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Archive for Natural Health Product Benefits

Hypochlorous Acid

This is a product that is just too good to be easily believed. So, up front, I admit to plagiarizing virtually all the information I have placed here. I want my listeners to know that these are not claims that I am making. These comments have been approved for the manufacturer by the EPA. It is an “EPA-registered disinfectant & sanitizer that kills 99.9% of germs, even Staph, MRSA, Norovirus, Influenza A, Salmonella, and Listeria when used as directed. It’s on EPS’s N list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.”

Hypochlorous Acid, I’m told, is produced by every cell in the body and released into the blood stream as a part of your immune system to kill these pathogens. Previously, the problem had been that no one had been able to produce it OUTSIDE the body. But a few years back, the manufacturer found a way to electrocute [my word – I don’t really understand the actual process] salt water and produce a shelf stable hypochlorous acid.

The manufacturer calls it a “Non-toxic Natural Ingredient Solutions for Cleaning and First Aid”. They further state that it is “Natures gift to us and our environment. We’ve taken an incredible aspect of the body and made a gentle, effective, multi-purpose cleanser, first aid, and hand and skin products that are safe to use everyday for you, your family, pets and home!”

What does it do? Again, from their literature, the “Hypochlorous acid [is the] active ingredient that kills multiple drug resistant bacterium.

  • Virucide, Tuberculocide, Bactericide, GermicideKills Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (formerly called Swine Flu)
  • Kills Clostridium difficile (C.diff) spores
  • Kills HIV (Aids virus), Norovirus, and Rhinovirus
  • Deodorizes by killing the bacteria that causes odors
  • Aids in the reduction of cross-contamination between treated surfaces
  • Free from alcohol, Phenol & VOC [Volatile Organic Compounds]
  • Not harmful to septic and waste water treatment systems”

I’m told that for a product to be called a “sanitizer” by FDA rules, it MUST contain alcohol. Therefore, this product cannot be labeled a sanitizer, but is labeled as a “hand & skin cleanser”.

I’ve personally used the products. A personal problem of mine has always been that I have extremely dry skin. As a kid I was seriously teased by the fact that my hands were so dry that they were continually cracked to the point of bleeding. The solution back then was to slather them with “toilet lanolin” (sheep fat) every night, and sleep with my “fatted” hands in cotton socks! – NASTY! Especially for an 8th grader!!! One of my favorite attributes of this product is that it is water based, not alcohol based. Therefore, it kills the pathogens that a hand sanitizer kills, but does not cause you to suffer the drying, burning, and toxic effects caused by alcohol.

Come by the store and look at these wonderful products and pick up some of the manufacturer’s educational literature. We think you’ll love them, too. It’s trademarked “Seriously Clean, powered by Nixall”.

  • For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

October

Overview: Awareness: Breast Cancer, Children’s Health, Dental Hygiene, Domestic Violence, Down Syndrome, Healthy Lung, National Chiropractic, National Physical Therapy, SIDS, Vegetarian Flower: Calendula Gemstone: Opal, Tourmaline Trees: Hazelnut, Rowan, Maple, Walnut

Halloween:
Halloween is one of those holidays that are challenging for those with diabetes. Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels. It is currently one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders around the world. In fact, type 2 diabetes now affects more than 20 million Americans.

Diabetics need to be extra cautious of what they add to their plate-especially during the holidays. There are many dishes that are loaded with sugars of all kinds. Sugars are naturally occurring carbohydrates. These include brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar, fructose, honey, and molasses. They have calories and raise one’s blood glucose levels (the level of sugar in the blood).

There are many different types of sugars that tend to have little to no effect on one’s blood sugar levels. They are:

  • Sucralose (Splenda)-It is 600 times sweeter than sugar, yet has no effect on blood sugar, says Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life. In addition, Splenda passes through the body with minimal absorption. These attributes have helped it become the most commonly used artificial sweetener worldwide, according to an article published in October 2016 in Physiology & Behavior. However, there are studies that show it to be a cancer-causing agent when heated above 350 degrees. And another study showed beneficial gut bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria were significantly reduced, while more harmful bacteria seemed to be less affected. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 5 milligrams (mg) or less of sucralose per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
  • Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)-It is calorie-free and is about 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar. It was the first artificial sweetener, with chemists discovering it as a derivative of coal tar by mistake in 1879, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Studies by the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health concluded that saccharin shouldn’t be on the list of potential carcinogens. Saccharin is currently FDA-approved. A 132-lb individual would need to consume 45 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 15 mg of saccharin per kg of body weight per day.
  • Aspartame (Equal)-It is a nonnutritive artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. While not zero-calorie, it is still very low in calories. A study published in December 2014 in the journal Cytotechnology, has shown linkage to leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer. “Other research shows a [possible] linkage to migraines.” People with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare condition in which they are unable to metabolize phenylalanine (a key component of aspartame), should not consume this sugar substitute. A 132-lb individual would need to consume a whopping 75 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 50 mg of aspartame per kg of body weight per day, notes the FDA.
  • Stevia (Truvia)-Steviol glycosides are sweeteners derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is native to Central and South America. It is calorie-free. However, it doesn’t have a 1:1 ratio (cup-for-cup) with sugar when using it in foods and drinks. Thus, one needs to remember a little stevia can go a long way. It can also gain a bitter taste when too much is used depending on the brand. According to the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, published in January 2019 in Diabetes Care, nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, have little to no impact on blood sugar. The FDA has approved the use of certain stevia extracts, which it has generally recognized as safe (a term that is applied to food additives that qualified experts deem as safe, and therefore not subject to the usual premarket review and approval process). Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes that people have reported side effects, like gastrointestinal symptoms, after eating high amounts of stevia. But to date, there is no solid scientific research to prove these claims. The FDA recommends an ADI of 4 mg or less of stevia per kilogram of body weight per day. A 132-lb individual would need to consume nine tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
  • Sugar Alcohols (or polyols)-They are derived from the natural fibers in fruits and vegetables, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. They include Xylitol (sourced from corn and birch trees), Sorbitol, Mannitol, and Isomalt. They may have a laxative effect and cause indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea in some people, the FDA points out. Products containing sorbitol and mannitol must bear a label warning that excess consumption can cause a laxative effect, per the FDA. The gastrointestinal symptoms arise because sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed in the digestive tract, says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE. She explains that unabsorbed carbohydrates from these sweeteners pass into the large intestine, where they are fermented by gut bacteria to produce gas. Sugar alcohols do contain some carbohydrates and are nutritive sweeteners, so they can affect blood sugar levels. If one counts carbs to manage diabetes, a common rule of thumb is to subtract half the amount of the sugar alcohol carbs listed on the nutrition label from the total carbs listed, according to the University of California in San Francisco. Also, they do have a 1:1 ratio with sugar when it comes to food and drink. When baking with yeast and making hard candies, these should not be used. And they are harmful to dogs.
  • Erythritol-It is also a sugar alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and doesn’t have a big effect on blood sugar levels, per the American Diabetes Association. It’s an ingredient in the stevia-derived sweetener Truvia and is marketed under the brand-name Swerve. Swerve measures 1:1 ratio with sugar. Thus, one can use it like table sugar, or in cooking and baking recipes that call for sugar. If other sugar alcohol sweeteners give one tummy trouble, this may be a better option for them. It is less likely to produce the gas, bloating, and diarrhea that happens from fermentation by gut bacteria because only about 10% of the erythritol consumed enters the colon, per past research. The rest leaves the body through the urine. There’s no ADI for erythritol.
  • Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo fruit extract and Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit extract)-This nonnutritive sweetener comes from a plant native to southern China. The extract contains 0 calories per serving, per the International Food Information Council Foundation, and per the FDA, is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA has not questioned notices submitted by monk fruit sweetener makers that the extract is “generally recognized as safe.” The agency doesn’t specify an ADI for monk fruit sweetener. It also has a 1:1 ratio with sugar.

As one can see, there are many artificial sweeteners to help one reach their blood sugar goals. Just remember that maintaining them will be easier if one practices moderation and don’t allow sweet-tasting food and beverages to lead one to overconsume them. A major goal should be to reduce all types of sweeteners in one’s diet, including sugar substitutes so that one becomes accustomed to the naturally sweet taste of food. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends that in the case of beverages, it’s best not to rely on zero- or low-calorie options as a replacement for ones that contain sugar beyond the short term; but instead, to consume as little of any type of sweetener as one can, and simply drink more water.

There are two types of fiber: water-insoluble and water-soluble. Water-insoluble fibers bind or attract water, becoming very viscous and add bulk to the stool. This bulking helps maintain normal bowel function by acting as a scouring agent in the bowel. Water-soluble fibers actually dissolve in water and are further altered by the bacteria in our intestines. However, all fibers can slow the absorption of sugar and fat from food, and therefore help prevent spikes in blood sugar and blood fat after eating, possibly reducing the inflammatory response to food. Fiber can also prevent the absorption of some fat and cholesterol altogether, lowering blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Calling fiber indigestible is not entirely accurate. Although we do not produce the needed enzymes to digest many of the fibers we eat in our diets, many of the bacteria that live in our intestines are able to break down, or ferment, fibers. It provides important nutrition for the bacteria to live and prosper, and so they are called pre-biotics. Many have heard of the fiber, fructooligosaccharides (FOS)/inulin. A few examples of inulin-containing foods are legumes, jicama, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Fiber is further important in normal detoxification functions in the body. Much of this detoxification occurs in the liver. When the liver detoxifies these substances, the end products are frequently eliminated in the bile, a liquid substance made in our liver, and secreted via the gall bladder into our intestinal tract. When we eat a high fiber diet, the fiber from our meals binds these toxins and allows us to eliminate these waste products. Without a lot of fiber in the diet, these toxins can be reabsorbed, go back to our liver, and need to be processed again. Requiring the liver to reprocess these toxins requires more energy and may result in higher levels of these toxins in the bloodstream.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends adults eat 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1000 calories eaten in the diet. For most of us, this translates into 21-28 grams of fiber per day. However higher fiber diets may have additional benefits for those people with diabetes, including reducing blood sugar, lowering insulin, and lowering cholesterol. A typical recommendation to patients is 35-40 grams of fiber per day ideally achieved through the diet alone, with additional fiber intake (usually as a powered supplement) for weight loss or to selectively target reduction in post-meal blood sugars. Many people need to increase their water intake when they increase their fiber intake to avoid constipation because of the water-binding/bulking effects of water-insoluble fibers. Fiber, in combination with fish oil, has extra benefits on triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Vegetables (like kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and lettuces), whole grains (like quinoa, barley, oats, and rye), nuts and legumes (beans, peas, soy, black, pinto, and lentils) remain the single best sources of fiber in the diet. Quick sources of supplemental fiber include ground flaxseed (freshly ground to preserve the oils present in the seeds), powered fiber supplements, chopped nuts, and/or oat bran. All of these can be sprinkled over salads, mixed in protein-shakes or water, or added to yogurt, salads, and vegetable medleys.

Psyllium, oat bran, glucomannan (Konjac), corn bran, peas, and agar have all been studied in people with type 2 diabetes. They all demonstrated substantial reductions in blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and/or weight in study participants. Wheat fiber has also been studied but did not result in improvements in blood glucose or cholesterol in people with diabetes, though this was a very small and short study. Some people cannot tolerate fiber supplements (psyllium being the most commonly reported) as it produces gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation. These are the signs of food intolerance. Also, it is important to determine wheat/gluten sensitivity before choosing to supplement with oat, wheat, rye, or barley bran as a fiber source.

There are many herbal supplements that aid in reducing blood glucose levels. A few are:

  • Curcumin (a compound found in turmeric)-It has been shown to both boost blood sugar control and help prevent the disease. In a nine-month study of 240 adults with pre-diabetes, those who took curcumin capsules completely avoided developing diabetes while a sixth of patients in the placebo group did.
  • Ginseng-It has been used as a traditional medicine for more than 2,000 years. Studies suggest that both Asian and American ginseng may help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. One study found that extract from the ginseng berry was able to normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in mice who were bred to develop diabetes.
  • Fenugreek-It has been used as a medicine and as a spice for thousands of years in the Middle East. In one study of 25 people with type 2 diabetes, fenugreek was found to have a significant effect on controlling blood sugar.
  • Psyllium-Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes who take 10 grams of psyllium every day can improve their blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol.
  • Cinnamon-Consuming about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can result in significant improvement in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Aloe Vera-It has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties. Some studies suggest that the juice from the aloe vera plant can help lower blood sugar in people with types 2 diabetes. The dried sap of the aloe vera plant has traditionally been used in Arabia to treat diabetes.
  • Bitter melon-This is a popular ingredient of Asian cooking and traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed to relieve thirst and fatigue, which are possible symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that the extract of bitter melon can help diabetics with insulin secretion, glucose oxidation, and other processes.
  • Milk thistle (aka silymarin)-It has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Milk thistle may reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have liver disease. It contains high concentrations of flavonoids and antioxidants, some of which may have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance. The role of milk thistle in glycemic control is little understood.
  • Holy basil (Tulsi)-It is commonly used in India as a traditional medicine for diabetes. Studies in animals suggest that holy basil may increase the secretion of insulin. A controlled trial of holy basil in people with type 2 diabetes showed a positive effect on fasting blood sugar and on blood sugar following a meal.
  • Neem-It has been long used as a treatment for diabetes. Aqueous extract of neem leaves significantly decreases blood sugar level and prevents adrenaline as well as glucose-induced hyperglycemia. Aqueous leaf extract also reduces hyperglycemia in streptozotocin diabetes and the effect is possibly due to the presence of a flavonoid, quercetin. The plant blocks the action of epinephrine on glucose metabolism, thus increasing peripheral glucose utilization. It also increased glucose uptake and glycogen deposition in isolated rat hemidiaphragm.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre-It has been linked with significant blood-glucose-lowering. Some studies in animals have even reported regeneration of islet cells and an increase in beta-cell function.
  • Nopal (prickly pear cactus)-Inhabitants of the Mexican desert have traditionally employed the plant in glucose control. Intestinal glucose uptake may be affected by some properties of the plant, and animal studies have found significant decreases in postprandial glucose and HbA1c.
  • Okra (bhindi)-It is a rich source of fiber, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin B6, and folate. B vitamins slow the progress of diabetic neuropathy and reduce levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for this disease. This vegetable has a very low glycemic index. 100 grams of bhindi contains only 7.45 grams of carbohydrates. It is one of the few vegetables, which is also dense in protein. Diabetics are often advised to keep their diet high in protein as it helps keep them satiated and prevent bingeing on other sugary foods. 100 grams of bhindi has less than 33 calories. In addition to the blood-glucose-lowering compounds, okra is also a powerhouse of antioxidants. It is also enriched with anti-inflammatory properties.

There are several vitamins and minerals that aid in reducing blood sugar levels:

  • Chromium-It is required for the maintenance of normal glucose metabolism. Effects of chromium on glycemic control, dyslipidemia, weight loss, body composition, and bone density have all been studied. Considerable experimental and epidemiological evidence now indicates that chromium level is a major determinant of insulin sensitivity, as it functions as a cofactor in all insulin-regulating activities. Chromium facilitates insulin binding and subsequent uptake of glucose into the cell. Supplemental chromium has been shown to decrease fasting glucose level, improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels, and decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides while increases HDL cholesterol in normal, elderly, and type 2 diabetic subjects. Without chromium, insulin action is blocked and the glucose level is elevated. Although a low recommended daily allowance has been established for chromium over 200 mg/day appears necessary for optimal blood sugar regulation. A good supply of chromium is assured by supplemental chromium because chromium appears to increase the activity of the insulin receptors, it is logical to expect that an adequate level of insulin must also be present. Those using chromium supplements should be cautioned about the potential for hypoglycemia, and monitoring renal function is prudent.
  • Vanadium-Several small trials have evaluated the use of oral vanadium supplements in diabetes. Most focus on type-2 diabetes although animal studies suggest that vanadium has also potential benefits in type 1 diabetes. In a subject with type 2 diabetes, vanadium increased insulin sensitivity as assessed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp studies in some but not all trials. Two small studies have confirmed the effectiveness of vanadyl sulfate at a dose of 100 mg/day in improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Magnesium-These mineral functions as an essential cofactor for more than 300 enzymes. Magnesium is one of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in diabetes. Low dietary magnesium intake has been associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in some but not in all studies. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with complications of diabetes, retinopathy in particular. One study found patients with the most severe retinopathy were also lowest in magnesium.
  • Nicotinamide (vitamin B3)-It occurs in two forms, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide. The active coenzyme forms (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD and NAD phosphate) are essential for the functions of hundreds of enzymes and normal carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. The effects of nicotinamide supplementation have been studied in several trials focusing on the development and progression of type 1 diabetes a meta-analysis and one small trial in type 2 diabetes. Nicotinamide appears to be most effective in newly diagnosed diabetes and in subjects with positive islets cell antibodies but not diabetes. People who develop type 1 diabetes after puberty appear to be more responsive to nicotinamide treatment. Study results have offered more support for the idea that nicotinamide help to preserve β-cell function than for its possible role in diabetes prevention.
  • Vitamin E-This essential fat-soluble vitamin functions primarily as an antioxidant. Low levels of vitamin E are associated with an increased incidence of diabetes and some research suggests that people with diabetes have decreased levels of antioxidants. People with diabetes may also have greater antioxidant requirements because of increased free radical production with hyperglycemia. Increased levels of oxidative stress markers have been documented in people with diabetes. Improvement in glycemic control decreases markers of oxidative stress as does vitamin supplementation. Clinical trials involving people with diabetes have investigated the effect of vitamin E on diabetes prevention insulin sensitivity glycemic control, protein glycation, a microvascular complication of diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and its risk factor.

Recipes:

  • Okra Water: 5 okra pods, medium-sized; 3 cups of water. Directions: Take the okra pods and wash them thoroughly. Cut off the ends of the pods. Now, with the help of a knife split the pods in half. Take a mason jar or a tumbler with three cups of water and put the pods in it. Let the pods soak overnight. Squeeze the pods into the water and take them out. Drink the water.
  • Chocolate Candy: 1 cup coconut oil; 1/3 cup xylitol; 3/4 cup cacao powder; 1/4 teaspoon stevia extract; 1/3 cup coconut flour. Directions: If you have granulated xylitol, begin by putting it in a food processor or coffee grinder and whiz it around for a minute or two until the xylitol is powdered. It will dissolve SO much easier if you don’t skip this step. Next, place your coconut oil in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it is liquid. Add your xylitol and stevia, continuing to warm until the sweeteners are dissolved. Be careful not to boil. Add the cacao powder and coconut flour and stir until dissolved in the mixture and well combined. Finally, pour your chocolate into some type of silicone tray and place it in the freezer until solid. After the candies have hardened (it doesn’t take long), pop them out of the tray, place in a ziplock baggie, and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Homemade Peanut Butter Cups: 1/4 cup nut butter; 1-2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (optional) ; pinch salt (optional); 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional); 2 teaspoons coconut oil. Directions: For the base: Carefully melt the chocolate chips and stir with the optional oil until smooth. Spread about 1 tsp up the sides of mini cupcake liners. Freeze. Meanwhile, stir nut butter together with the optional sweetener and salt. Add about a teaspoon of filling to each liner, then cover with another tsp chocolate. Freeze again to set. Variations: *Nut Butter & Jelly: Make the base. Fill with nut butter and jelly. *Dark Chocolate Coconut: Use melted coconut butter as your base (stir in a little sweetener of choice if desired). Fill with melted chocolate chips. *Inside Out: Stir 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter with 1/4 cup coconut oil and 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice. Use this instead of the chocolate coating in the base. Melt 3 tablespoons chocolate chips as filling. *Chocolate Banana: Use mashed banana instead of nut butter for the filling. *Strawberry Jam: Combine 3 tablespoon coconut butter with 2 teaspoons mashed strawberry and optional sweetener of choice to taste. Use this as your base, and fill with nut butter of choice. *Raspberry Truffle: Fill the base with raspberry jam.
  • Vegan Candy Corn: 1/4 cup cashew butter (or peanut butter); tiny dash salt; 1/4 cup powdered sugar; tiny pinch turmeric; a few drops beet juice. Directions: Mix the first three ingredients together in a bowl until it becomes a crumbly dough. (Note: if your nut butter is from the fridge, let it sit awhile or heat it up so it’s easier to mix.) If the dough is too gooey, you can add a little extra sugar. Taste the dough and add a little more salt if desired. Now transfer the crumbles to a plastic bag and smush very hard into a ball. Remove from the bag and form three little balls, the turmeric to one ball, and knead until it’s all one color. Do the same with the red. Roll balls into skinny strips—the skinnier the strips, the smaller the resulting candy corns, and press strips together. Cut into triangles or other shapes. As stated above in the post, these aren’t supposed to taste exactly like store-bought candy corn; they’re yummy in their own right. You can store it in the fridge or freezer. Or bake them: 350 F for 3-5 minutes, then allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tray.
  • Ginger Lemon Tea with Cinnamon: Servings: 8 Ingredients: 1 oz. fresh ginger, thinly sliced; 1 cinnamon stick; 8 cups water; 1 medium lemon; ¼ cup honey. Directions: Juice ½ of the lemon using a citrus juicer. Reserve juice. Discard the seeds and peel. Slice the remaining half lemon horizontally. Set aside. Place ginger, cinnamon stick, and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard the ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the lemon juice and honey into the ginger tea. Pour individual cups. Garnish with a slice of lemon. Serve and enjoy.
  • Tea for Blood Sugar Management: 25 grams holy basil; 20 grams cinnamon; 20 grams Gymnema Sylvestre; 10 grams fenugreek; 15 grams orange peel; 10 grams ginger. Directions: Mix the following herbs and spices together. Dried leaves and spices can be stored for a long period of time in a glass jar in a cool dark place. Makes a total of 100 grams of the mix. To prepare the tea: Take a teaspoon of the herbal mix and add it to a cup or use paper tea filters. Add 8 ounces hot water into the cup and cover for 10 minutes so the herbs are infused in water. Enjoy this tea 15 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.

—-Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ—-
Jolene Grffiths, Master Herbalist

Movement-The Natural Cleanse

This year (2020) I have made “cleansing” the topic of the first blog of each month. And I’ve consistently made the topics in line with the annual monthly program that I personally follow. But I mentioned back in April that I repeatedly do a lighter “whole body” cleanse.  The one I use is a Nature’s Sunshine product called Tiao He Cleanse. This packaged product contains a 15-day regimen of two packets per day of six capsules each.  Each packet contains products to cleanse the colon, the bloodstream, the digestive system, various organs, the individual body cells, and many common parasites.  It was developed to be a “general, all-purpose” cleanse and I find it helpful to use twice each year. But if you want more information on this cleanse, you may refer to my April blog on the subject of regular, total body cleansing.

Since we are now in the middle of a global pandemic, I definitely wanted to remind our readers that the need for regular cleansing is even more important. I read a medical article a few months back that reported that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer!” The report stated that we now have more people dying from “doing nothing” than from many diseases – like cancer.

Also, in previous blogs, we’ve mentioned the importance of exercise to the functioning of every body system. But the importance of exercise on the eliminative organs of the body is essential.  Systems like the colon and the lymphatic system, which are basically eliminative in their very function, have no pumps to move the waste material from your basic cells all the way to the outside world. The same is true for the gall bladder, the kidneys, and the liver. So, if YOU don’t move, they don’t move.

I’ve researched the life expectancy of those who work hard all their lives, then retire and decide to just sit and “watch football” or the like. According to research, most only live a couple of years.  Consider that if you don’t move, your body holds on to all those toxins generated by the body and recirculates them all through your body. It doesn’t take long for the body to become totally septic! Sepsis is caused by infection and can happen to anyone.  There are, of course, many other causes of increased inflammation, but natural toxicity due to the neglect of excreting wastes is certainly one of them.

As I considered the effects of the current pandemic, I realized that decreased mobility (exercise) is on the rise.  More of us work from home, so we don’t even move from office to office, in and out of our workplaces, or up and down stairs.  We don’t even go shopping – we even have basic essentials like food delivered to the home! Many of our exercise programs, and the places we go to participate in them, are on shutdown, and we become more and more sedentary.  Unless we work on it, we accept a sedentary lifestyle by default. We gain weight, we feel sluggish, and we succumb to more sepsis.

So, I have begun to call this a sedentary, sepsis-producing lifestyle that could become more life-threatening even that the root causes of the pandemic. And forcing ourselves into more movement-generating activities could only help our condition.

Certainly, a regular program of cleansing and detoxifying along with good nutrition and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy.  But don’t neglect exercise – what I am calling “The Natural Cleanse!”  Good health and God’s blessings!

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

September

Overview: Awareness: Baby Safety, Children’s Eye Health & Safety, Cholesterol Education, Healthy Aging, Leukemia & Lymphoma, National Childhood Cancer, National Food Safety, Ovarian Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Sickle Cell, World Heart Flower: Aster, Morning Glory Gemstone: Sapphire Trees: Pine, Weeping Willow, Lime, Olive, Hazelnut

Labor Day:
Although this holiday has its origins as being a day set aside for people to meet with their labor unions, today it’s used as a day of rest and a time to destress. Stress (resulting from demands placed on the brain and body) is a situation that triggers a particular biological response. When you perceive a threat or a major challenge, chemicals and hormones surge throughout your body-such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Stress triggers one’s fight-or-flight response in order to fight the stressor or run away from it. Typically, after the response occurs, one’s body should relax. Too much constant stress can have negative effects on long-term health. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s what helped our hunter-gatherer ancestors survive, and it’s just as important in today’s world. It can be healthy when it helps one avoid an accident, meet a tight deadline, or keep one’s wits about them amid chaos.

But stress should be temporary. Once one passed the fight-or-flight moment, their heart rate and breathing should slow down and the muscles should relax. In a short time, one’s body should return to its natural state without any lasting negative effects.

On the other hand, severe, frequent, or prolonged stress can be mentally and physically harmful. This is due to the long-term effects of high levels of the stress chemicals and hormones. When asked, 80% of Americans reported they’d had at least one symptom of stress in the past month. Twenty percent reported being under extreme stress. Anxiety (resulting from feeling high levels of worry, unease, or fear) can be an offshoot of episodic or chronic stress.

Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, or the fight-or-flight hormone; increases heartbeat, increases breathing rate, makes it easier for muscles to use glucose, contracts blood vessels so blood is directed to the muscles, stimulates perspiration, and inhibits insulin production. Frequent adrenaline surges can lead to damaged blood vessels, high blood pressure or hypertension, higher risk of heart attack and stroke, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain.

Cortisol raises the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, helps the brain use glucose more effectively, raises the accessibility of substances that help with tissue repair, restrains functions that are nonessential in a life-threatening situation, alters immune system response, dampens the reproductive system and growth process, affects parts of the brain that control fear, motivation, and mood. Negative effects of cortisol are weight gain, high blood pressure, sleep problems, lack of energy, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, mental cloudiness (brain fog) and memory problems, a weakened immune system, impacts mood.

Symptoms of stress and anxiety include tension headaches, chronic pain, insomnia, and other sleep problems, lower sex drive, digestive problems, eating too much or too little, stomach ulcers, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed/irritable/fearful, alcohol/tobacco/drug misuse, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, panic disorder, depression, panic disorder, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, anger outbursts, lack of motivation/focus, social withdrawal, and exercising less often.

Stress and anxiety can be helped by using various strategies and resources to develop a stress management plan. Start by seeing a primary doctor, who can check one’s overall health and refer one for counseling with a therapist or other mental health professional. If one’s having thoughts of harming themselves or others, get help immediately. (See my August blog for more information.) Also, get emergency help immediately if one is having chest pains, especially if also having shortness of breath, jaw or back pain, pain radiating into the shoulder and arm, sweating, dizziness, or nausea. (These may be warning signs of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.)

The goal of stress management isn’t to get rid of it completely. In order to manage one’s stress, first one has to identify the things (triggers) that are causing the stress. Figure out which of these can be avoided. Then, find ways to cope with those negative stressors that can’t be avoided. Over time, managing stress levels may help lower the risk of stress-related diseases.

Some basic ways to start managing stress are to maintain a healthy diet, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, exercise regularly, minimize the use of caffeine and alcohol, stay socially connected so one can get and give support, make time for rest/relaxation/self-care, setting aside time for hobbies, read a book/listen to music/sing (stick with calming subject matter), learn meditation techniques such as deep breathing/yoga/tai chi/massage, keeping a sense of humor, spend time with animals, reconnect with one’s faith, and taking medication or natural remedies for stress. (Note: watching television, surfing the internet, or playing video games may seem relaxing, but they may increase stress over the long term.)

Some natural treatments for stress symptoms include magnesium, potassium, flower essences, St. John’s wort, S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e), B vitamins, inositol, choline, probiotics, fiber, citrus fruits, chamomile, hops, kava kava, essential fatty acids, holy basil, ashwagandha, astragalus, Schisandra, valerian, lavender, melatonin, passionflower, skullcap, hops, lemon balm, sage, marjoram, rosemary, elderflower, mugwort, cedarwood, black cohosh, ginkgo Biloba, ginseng, magnolia, Phellodendron, hibiscus, peppermint, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), l-theanine, l-tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).

Recipes:
Sweet Sleep Infusion: 1/4 cup lavender buds; 1/2 cup chamomile flowers; 1/4 cup dried orange peel; 2 tablespoons rose petals; honey; milk; water
Directions: Mix all herbs gently together and store them in a glass jar.
To Make: Heat water to boiling and pour over herbs. Use 2 teaspoons of herbs per 8 oz water. Steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain out the herbs and stir in honey and milk to taste-such as 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon honey per serving.

Chamomile Infusion Latte: 2 servings
Equipment: saucepan; mesh strainer; French press
Ingredients: 2 cups milk; 2 tablespoons chamomile; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; 5 cloves, crushed; 1 cinnamon stick + ground cinnamon for garnish
Directions: In a saucepan, heat milk on medium-low heat with chamomile, cinnamon stick, and cloves. When little bubbles form along the sides of the pan, let it simmer for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat. With the heat turned off, steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain hot chamomile latte into a French press. Add vanilla extract. Move the French press plunger 5-8 times to froth. Pour latte into 2 cups and garnish with ground cinnamon.

Lemon and Ginger Magnesium Tonic: Serves: 2
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated; 1 tablespoon powdered magnesium; 1 fresh lemon, sliced; 2 cups boiling water; honey, to taste (optional)
Directions: Mix ginger and magnesium with boiling water and honey. Add the lemon slices to the cups. Serve warm.

Orange Lavender Herbal Infusion: 2 oranges, any variety; 1 lemon; 1 apple; 1 bunch sage leaves; 1 tablespoon lavender; 8 dried apricot halves, chopped
Directions: Cut the citrus and apple into chunks and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add the sage, lavender, and apricots and spread into an even layer. Leave out in the open for 24 hours or so, until there is no more juice from the citrus. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature, around 200 degrees. Put the baking pan in the oven, leave the door open, and let the fruit dry out completely until there is no moisture whatsoever. Crumble the herbs and bigger pieces. Steep in boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Store the rest of the dry mixture in an airtight container.

—-Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ—-
Jolene Grffiths, Master Herbalist

Let’s Talk Antivirals

So, what is a virus anyway? We all know what they do to us. But what are they? According to Wikipedia, “A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.” They may lay on a table, float in the air, or ride on your vehicle, but they can’t replicate until they have an organic “host”.

Further research on the internet led me to an article that stated that there are already over 50 pharmaceuticals which have been shown in clinical trials to kill viruses. So why are they still an issue? Mutation. Just like bacteria they are clever little critters.

If the neighborhood bully catches up with you every day and takes your lunch money, you start looking for ways to avoid him. Take a different path to school, get a big buddy to walk with you. Carry a big stick. Take a self-defense class. And so on!

Well viruses do that too. If they are constantly wiped out by one drug, they develop an “immunity” to that one and we have to find another one. So, what can we do? Play on its weaknesses. Remember, it needs a host to survive!

  • Find a new drug – we’re hard at that all the time. But it takes time!
  • Know it’s coming and prepare for the season – You can do this by working on strengthening your immune system. There are at least two other blogs here that address ways to do this.
  • Take a two-pronged approach. Look for supplements that set up an environment in your body where viruses cannot thrive, AND look for supplements known to kill viruses in general. I wrote about several of these in our March blog about viruses and bacteria.

In addition to the herbs I mentioned in the March blog, I’ve spoken with a couple of doctors and searched the internet for some other vitamin and mineral supplements that help prepare you to fight viruses in general. And I’m notating the daily dosages recommended by the medical sources that I have found and reported to me by my customers from their doctors. They won’t apply to everyone, so check with your health care provider about your specific needs.

  • Vitamin C – 1,300-3,000mg per day. Most references seemed to think this worked best if the supplement also contained some citrus bioflavonoids.
  • Vitamin D3 – up to about 5,000IU per day.
  • Vitamin E – around 15IU per day. This is a major fat-soluble antioxidant that plays numerous roles in modulating the strength and breadth of your immune system.
  • Zinc – an interesting aside is that my shelf stock the first of this year was 2 bottles because it was normally only taken supplemental to a multivitamin/mineral by a few men. Men generally/normally need about 15mg per day. Now my shelf stock is up to 50 times that amount as customers come in saying their medical doctors are suggesting 50mg per day. We carry several brands and several strengths up to 50mg.

Refer back to the March blog on our website www.thehealthpatch.com under the “resources” tab for the list of some helpful herbal supplements to help manage viruses.

Use sensible precaution. Remember viruses need a host to replicate. Don’t be the host!!! Sanitizers, masks, and managed contact with carriers are all necessary. And a strong immune system is your best defense. Stay healthy.

Kidney Cleansing

The kidneys are tasked with constantly cleansing all the liquids taken into the body. And my family (and many others that I know personally) have many family members with weak kidneys. Some suffer from genetic weaknesses, some from lack of proper care of their kidneys, and some from the abuse of putting things in their bodies that are damaging to the kidneys. There are many things we can do to strengthen our kidneys and we need to be diligent in doing so or kidney disease, dialysis, or kidney loss are in our futures.

We will talk about how we can promote proper kidney function and health in our next blog, but here I want to discuss this year’s topic – cleansing – and specifically “how to keep the kidneys clean.”

In almost every article I write the subject of water is addressed. Water is essential to virtually EVERY body function. Medical articles I have read say that “66% of the body is water.” So, NO body system functions well without adequate water. Remember my rule of thumb regarding water: our goal should be to drink half our body weight in ounces of water each day, keeping a minimum regardless of your body weight of 64 ounces and normally, a maximum of 100 ounces. More than that may wash out some essential body salts and other essential nutrients. This is a general rule and you should consult a doctor for specific guidelines if your condition warrants it. The body can only assimilate about four ounces per hour, so sipping all day will hydrate you better than guzzling a 16-ounce bottle four times each day.

So, as we address cleansing the kidneys, adequate water is the first order of business. The kidney is removing foreign matter, toxins, and other impurities from the whole body. It does this through a series of around one million nephron filters. We don’t want them to get clogged in the system and begin to make the whole structure toxic, blocked, or developing stones.

Next, don’t hold on to those toxic substances. Use of some light diuretic may need to be a regular part of your dietary program if you know you have weak kidneys. You may be surprised to find that our best two common herbal diuretics are dandelion root and parsley. Fresh dandelion greens make a great addition to spring salads and taste much like arugula, slightly bitter. And common dandelion tea is popular and a roasted version is a popular coffee substitute with no caffeine.

We once had a test in which customers brought in saliva and urine samples to find weak body systems. The developer of that test told herbalists that upwards of 90% of his customers would find their weakest organ to be the kidney because of all the work it had to do. I found that to be true with my customers as well. So, he worked with customers to develop a liquid supplement specifically to drain the kidneys. It consisted of extracts of asparagus, plantain leaves, juniper berries, and the aerial parts of goldenrod. You simply put 20 drops in a bottle of water and sip on two such bottles throughout the day. It works great!

Other popular herbal kidney cleansing formulas contain extracts of rosemary, fennel, nettle root, horseradish, and others. Some products promote proper functioning, stimulate weak kidneys, and are called “activators” and some are simple “cleanses”. They come using both American and Chinese herbal formulas and both seem to work effectively for putting your kidneys back in proper functionality.

Keep your kidneys clean and they will serve you well. Good health and God’s blessings!

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

August

Overview:
Awareness: Cataract, National Immunization, National Minority Donor, World Breastfeeding
Flower: Gladiolus, Poppy
Gemstone: Peridot
Trees: Cypress, Poplar, Cedar, Pine

Mountain Day (Japan):
While Victory Day (the defeat of Japan) is celebrated only in Rhode Island in August, the rest of the United States observes this day in September. Having been blessed to have lived in Japan as a child I am choosing to honor the Japanese and their traditional medicine on Mountain Day-a day to leave the cities and get-back-to-nature.

Kampō medicine, modern Traditional Japanese medicine (TJM), is the study of traditional Chinese medicine in Japan following its introduction, beginning in the 7th century. Their traditional medicine uses most of the Chinese therapies including acupuncture and moxibustion, but Kampō in its present-day sense is primarily concerned with the study of herbs. Today, the Japanese have created their own unique system of diagnosis and therapy which combines TCM, TJM, and Western Medicine. There are 165 herbal ingredients, 148 Kampō formulation extracts, 241 crude drugs, and 5 crude drug preparations used today.

Kampō medicines are produced by various manufacturers. However, each medicine is composed of exactly the same ingredients under the Ministry’s standardization methodology. The medicines are therefore prepared under strict manufacturing conditions that rival pharmaceutical companies. Regulations, and likewise safety precautions, are much stronger and tighter for Japanese Kampō than Chinese traditional medicine due to strict enforcement of laws and standardization.

In addition to being used in Kampō, seaweed, or algae, is a major food item. There are four types of seaweeds that are regularly consumed. They are green algae such as sea lettuce or Ulva, and sea grapes; brown algae such as kombu, arame, kelp, and wakame; red algae such as dulse, laver, and nori; blue-green algae such as spirulina and chlorella. The unique properties of seaweed make it beneficial to the body. It is much more nutrient-dense than any land vegetables. It is an excellent source of micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium. Seaweed is also a great source of iodine (a serving typically contains 20 – 50 mg). Unlike land plants, seaweed contains pre-formed omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, so seaweed or algae oil can be a reliable source of omega-3 for vegetarians. Seaweed contains many antioxidants. The species, Kombu, aids with the digestion of legumes when added while cooking them.

All plants contain fiber, but seaweed contains many types of carbohydrates that the human digestive system can’t digest. For people prone to digestive problems or with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, these carbohydrates cause significant issues. These carbohydrates include carrageenan, fucan, galactan, and many more. They then become foods for the bacteria. What one eats directly influences which bacteria dominate in the gut. The types of bacteria that can feed best on the foods one chooses to eat will grow better. This explains why some cultures handle different types of food better than others. In fact, scientists found that the gut bacteria in healthy Japanese people are higher in bacteria that can digest the types of carbohydrates in seaweed. But, perhaps it is best to avoid seaweeds that are higher in carrageenan content such as Irish moss and occasionally enjoy other seaweeds in moderation.

One needs to be aware of when consuming seaweed of the effects it could have on the thyroid. Iodine is a very important mineral for thyroid functions. While the thyroid can adjust to higher intakes of iodine, it is possible to develop thyroid problems from too much iodine. Generally, consumption of seaweed on occasion (2 – 3 times a week) as a condiment (1 – 2 tablespoons) generally will not exceed the 3 mg limit of iodine. Asian cuisines typically serve seaweed along with foods that contain goitrogens that inhibit iodine absorption by the thyroid. These include tofu, soy milk, and cruciferous vegetables. This might explain why most Japanese and other Asian people can consume seaweed without any problem.

Seaweed can also contain toxic metals. This likely depends on the type of seaweed, where it is harvested from, and the variation of toxin levels in the water. Heavy metals levels in seaweed can really vary from batch to batch. The best way to know for sure is to purchase your seaweed from companies that regularly third-party lab test their products for heavy metal levels. Heavy metal exposure also comes through other sources like the environment and foods like fish and seafood. Everyone’s ability to remove these heavy metals from their bodies differs. Because seaweed is at the bottom of the food chain, the concentration of toxins like radioactivity and heavy metals is much less than in fish or other animals that eat the seaweed. It should be mentioned too that algin, a type of carbohydrate found in brown seaweeds, is used to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and to reduce the number of heavy chemicals including strontium, barium, tin, cadmium, manganese, zinc, and mercury.

Back to School (Northern Hemisphere):
As the new school year begins, there are several key areas of health that children combat. Alongside the excitement of new supplies, teachers, and friends, this time can also bring challenges like emotional stress, bedtime problems, and ‘ailments’ that hits when children are exposed to more germs. Each of these areas deals with some aspect of their ability to do well in their studies. Two simple things an adult can do to help ease these issues are making sure the student gets a good night’s sleep and receives good nutrition through diet or supplements.

Two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year and up to one month after, it is recommended that the student takes a good immune booster. Nerves, tension, and anxiety can suppress the immune system, which makes one more vulnerable to the viruses and bacteria that are found in classrooms. Vitamin A, B6, C, D, and E can help increase the strength of the immune system; whereas, echinacea and elderberry are two popular herbs.

House plants are great at cleaning the air of our homes, offices, and classrooms. But, they have the added benefit of helping boost our immune systems as well. House plants can scrub the air of toxins and help improve our overall well-being. They also have these added benefits within schools:

  • Learning-Research shows that children who spend time around plants learn better. In addition, being around natural environments improves the ability of children with Attention Deficit Disorder to focus, concentrate, and engage more with their surrounding environment.
  • Reduce stress-Studies show that people who spend time cultivating plants have less stress in their lives. Plants soothe human beings and provide a positive way for people to channel their stress into nurturing. They also give people a way to cope with their negative feelings.
  • Concentration and memory-Being around plants help people concentrate better in the home and workplace. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Moreover, being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent.
  • Increase attention by 70%-Studies shows that plants increase focus and attention. A year-long study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester, England, found that students demonstrate 70% greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.

A few common houseplants are:

  • Aloe Vera-It has so many benefits that it is hard to name them all. This plant grows great indoors and can be used in juices, applied topically, or used as an air scrubber. For best results, keep your plant in a warm area near natural light. Kitchen counters are a good option. Plant in succulent soil that is fast draining, and water thoroughly when the soil is completely dry. The most common mistake when caring for an Aloe plant is over-watering or allowing it to sit in water.
  • Spider Plant-It is especially good at scrubbing the air of carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde. By helping remove these toxins, they increase oxygen levels in a room, which improves a number of body functions. They are easy to care for and thrive in almost any indoor conditions. They prefer bright-indirect light but will do well in all conditions except direct sunlight. Water thoroughly through the summer and mist the leaves occasionally. Cut back on water through the winter.
  • Snake Plant-It is among the easiest of all house plants to care for. They decrease levels of formaldehyde which are found in many household products. It has also been proven to help you sleep, making them great additions to your bedroom. They are very forgiving and can go weeks without water or light and still thrive. For best results keep them in indirect light, and water only when the soil is completely dry.
  • Chrysanthemum-Similar to Aloe, they are a variety of uses that will improve your overall well-being. They scrub the air of benzene, and the flowers can be used in teas. Mums require a bit more care than some of the other plants on the list. They like direct sunlight and warmer temperatures. Keeping them in front of an east or west-facing window will produce full blooms. Water the soil under the leaves as needed.
  • Warneck Dracaenas-They are great air scrubbers and can improve the symptoms of asthma and allergies. They are low maintenance and prefer filtered light or semi-shade. A Dracaena’s growth will adjust depending on the amount of light received. The less light the plants get, the less water is needed. Mist the leaves and soil when dry. Other immune-boosting properties include; reduce stress and anxiety, absorb odors and molds, headache relief, improve mood, improve brain function, increase energy levels, boost healing, and lowing blood pressure.

Conjunctivitis, or Pink Eye, is a contagious common childhood ailment. It is important to treat this right away so that the condition does not worsen. Some treatments include chamomile, eyebright, and colloidal silver. If you’ve tried at-home treatments for a week and your symptoms are getting worse instead of better, if there is an increased sensitivity to light, intense eye pain, problems seeing, significant amounts of pus or mucus coming out of your eye-go see an eye doctor.

To keep Pink Eye from spreading to others practice these eye hygiene tips: change your pillowcase and sheets every day, use a clean towel every day, wash your hands after you come in contact with potentially contaminated items, and after you touch your eyes. For older students and adults: toss contact lenses that may have come in contact with your eyes as you were getting Pink Eye, toss out mascara you are using, and clean eye makeup brushes with soap and water to prevent recontamination. Remember: Don’t share anything that touches your eyes (like mascara or eye drops) with others.

Many people experience panic upon realizing that their child has a head full of lice, even though having them is not whatsoever associated with poor hygiene. Lice are tiny, wingless parasites that feast on minuscule amounts of blood for survival. Since they can’t fly or even walk on the ground, these insects can only live off of a host for 24 to 48 hours. An adult louse can be light brown or grey is two-three millimeters long and has a lifespan of about 30 days. An adult female can lay an average of six eggs per day (up to ten) and does so as close to the scalp as possible to promote survival, securing the eggs to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance. Nits are the size of a pinhead, and appear whitish or yellow. It takes approximately eight to nine days for an egg to hatch, which is why getting rid of lice is rarely a quick fix. A nit hatches into a nymph, an immature louse, and as long as there is a blood supply, it develops into an adult in nine to 12 days.

Lice are primarily spread through head-to-head contact with an infected child who has either lice or their eggs, called nits. Less commonly, lice are transmitted through shared belongings like hats, combs, brushes, scarves, and bedding. The good news is lice are not dangerous and do not carry disease. To get rid of an infestation, you must completely eliminate both the organisms and the eggs they lay. Otherwise, the remaining lice will lay more eggs. Many medical providers recommend treating all members of a family, whether they have evidence of active head lice or not.

The number one enemy of lice and nits is the extremely fine-toothed comb. Douse wet hair with thick, white conditioner mixed with baking soda, separate hair into sections, and use the lice comb to comb out nits and lice, starting as close the scalp as possible. Wipe off the conditioner on a rag or paper towel after each pass. Wet combing catches lice and removes eggs from new hair growth. This process should be done every other day for two weeks until you stop seeing live lice. And while combing is a tedious job, it’s important to stick with it.

Over-the-counter insecticidal shampoos have been found not to be as effective as they once were because so many lice have also become resistant to pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Thus, it’s possible you can make your comb-outs more effective by starting with a shampoo fortified with these essential oils:

  • Tea tree oil-This essential oil contains two constituents that have insecticidal activity and have proven to kill lice and nits. Parents can either mix three to five drops of tea tree oil to every ounce of shampoo or combine three tablespoons of carrier oil such as olive or coconut, with a teaspoon of tea tree oil and apply to infested hair for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Neem oil-This oil has compounds that disrupt the life cycle of the louse, making it a natural insect repellent (for gardens and human heads). Neem oil-based shampoos are available OTC or eight to 10 drops of the essential oil can be added to one ounce of regular shampoo and left on for 20 minutes.
  • Lavender oil-This oil is another effective and safe essential oil used to treat head lice, a variety of insects, and even fungi, but it does not kill nits. Dissolve two drops of the oil in 10 milliliters of water and apply as a hair wash once per week for three weeks. Lavender oil has also proven to be a terrific deterrent against getting lice in the first place.
  • Anise oil-This oil may coat and suffocate lice. A 2018 study of natural remedies for lice in children found that anise oil was one of the most effective natural remedies. Although other natural remedies were frequently effective, anise oil was one of just two that permanently eliminated lice. People who used other herbal remedies typically reported reinfestations within a couple of months.

Other home treatments include:

  • Vinegar-It has been touted as an aid in the removal of nits, but it doesn’t kill adult lice. The acidic makeup of vinegar breaks down the glue-like substance that adheres to the nits to the hair shaft. Mix 50 milliliters of vinegar with 50 milliliters of water and use it as a rinse.
  • Olive oil-It offers similar benefits to anise oil, potentially suffocating lice and preventing them from coming back. Like anise oil, it ranked among the most effective remedies in the same 2018 study. People who want a highly effective home remedy should consider using olive oil and anise oil together. Olive oil may have other benefits for the hair and scalp.
  • Coconut oil-It is a common treatment for people with dry skin and hair. Coconut oil is a popular treatment for dry skin and hair. The researchers behind a 2010 study in Brazil explored the effects of several natural head lice remedies and compared the results with those of over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. Of the tested remedies, the team found that pure coconut oil was the only effective treatment. Within 4 hours of applying the oil, an average of 80% of the head lice was dead. (The two most effective medicated shampoos killed 97.9% and 90.2% of lice in the same period.)

It is also important during periods of treatment to wash all clothing, hats, outerwear, and bedclothes that have been recently worn in hot water and dry them on the high-heat cycle, vacuum the floor and furniture and soak combs and brushes in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes. If there are objects that your child sleeps with or frequently touches that cannot be washed, soaked, or adequately vacuumed, place them in a sealed plastic bag for two weeks to kill the lice and nits that may have fallen onto them. Essential oils may be mixed with water and sprayed onto items and surfaces as a way to not only help kill them but also to repel lice in the future.

An area of stress deals with those with ADD/ADHD. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a neurological disorder that causes a range of behavior problems such as difficulty attending to instruction, focusing on schoolwork, keeping up with assignments, following instructions, completing tasks, and social interaction. ADD is a term used for one of the presentations of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as defined in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” It is officially, “attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive presentation.”

ADD does not manifest itself in the same way that ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type or ADHD combined type does. Students with these presentations have different symptoms. Children with the other two presentations of ADHD, for example, tend to act out or exhibit behavior problems in class. Children with ADD are generally not disruptive in school. They may even sit in class quietly, but that doesn’t mean their disorder isn’t a problem and that they’re not struggling to focus. In addition, not all children with ADD are alike.

Children with ADD without the hyperactivity component may appear to be bored or disinterested in classroom activities. They may be prone to daydreaming or forgetfulness, work at a slow pace, and turn in incomplete work. Their assignment may look disorganized as well as their desks and locker spaces. They may lose materials at school and at home or misplace schoolwork and fail to turn in assignments. This can frustrate teachers, parents, and result in the child earning poor marks in class. Behavior intervention may counter the child’s forgetfulness.

ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect a child’s success at school, as well as their relationships. The symptoms of ADHD vary and are sometimes difficult to recognize. However, the top three symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

The Mayo Clinic notes that certain food colorings and preservatives may increase hyperactive behavior in some children. Avoid foods with these colorings and preservatives:

  • Sodium benzoate-It is commonly found in carbonated beverages, salad dressings, and fruit juice products.
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow)-It can be found in breadcrumbs, cereal, candy, icing, and soft drinks.
  • D&C Yellow No. 10 (quinoline yellow)-It can be found in juices, sorbets, and smoked haddock.
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine)-It can be found in foods like pickles, cereal, granola bars, and yogurt.
  • FD&C Red No. 40 (Allura red)- It can be found in soft drinks, medications, gelatin desserts, and ice cream.
  • Diets that restrict possible allergens may help improve behavior in some children with ADHD.

It’s best to check with an allergy doctor if you suspect that your child has allergies. But you can experiment by avoiding these foods for two weeks:

  • Chemical additives/preservatives such as BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)-These are often used to keep the oil in a product from going bad and can be found in processed food items such as potato chips, chewing gum, dry cake mixes, cereal, butter, and instant mashed potatoes.
  • Milk, eggs, chocolate
  • Foods containing salicylates (chemicals occurring naturally in plants and are the major ingredient in many pain medications) –berries, chili powder, apples/cider, grapes, oranges, peaches, plums, prunes, & tomatoes
  • Grains-They may contain different chemicals that one can be intolerant to, not just gluten.
  • White sugar-This item can cause some symptoms to intensify.

Treatment with supplements may help improve symptoms of ADHD. These supplements include zinc, L-carnitine, vitamin B-6, magnesium, omega-3, and DHA. Herbs like oat straw, ginkgo, ginseng, lavender, cedarwood, chamomile, and passionflower may also help calm hyperactivity. In some children caffeine (found in guarana, coffee, tea, etc.) can actually act as a calming agent. There are some flower essences and essential oils that also aid in calming.

Peer pressure, or influence, comes in several forms, and these types of peer pressure can have a tremendous impact on a young person’s behavior. Research shows the most impressionable age for peer influence seems to be the middle school years. This is when a child is forming new friendships and choosing an identity among those friends.

It is also the most common age for kids to start experimenting with alcohol, drugs, sexual activity, and other risky behaviors. Very often, the drive to engage in this kind of behavior is a result of peer pressure. Adolescents who have larger circles of friends appear to be less influenced by the suggestions or actions of their peers, but the pressure to conform is very real at this age.

Here’s a breakdown of six types of peer pressure, and tips for parents who want to help their child make healthy, life-long choices:

  • Spoken Peer Pressure-It is when someone asks, suggests, persuades, or otherwise directs another to engage in a specific behavior. If this is done in a one-on-one environment, the recipient of the influence has a stronger chance of adhering to his or her core values and beliefs. If, however, the spoken influence takes place within a group, the pressure to go along with the group is immense.
  • Unspoken Peer Pressure-It is when someone is exposed to the actions of one or more peers and is left to choose whether they want to follow along. This could take the form of fashion choices, personal interactions, or ‘joining’ types of behavior (clubs, cliques, teams, etc.). Many young teens lack the mental maturity to control impulses and make wise long-term decisions. Because of this, many teens are more susceptible to influence from older or more popular friends.
  • Direct Peer Pressure-This type of peer pressure can be spoken or unspoken. Direct peer pressure is normally behavior-centric. Examples of these kinds of behavior would be when someone hands another an alcoholic drink, or makes a sexual advance, or looks at another student’s paper during a test. This puts the other person in a position of having to make an on-the-spot decision.
  • Indirect Peer Pressure-Similar to unspoken peer pressure, indirect peer pressure is subtle but can still exert a strong influence on an impressionable young person. When someone overhears a friend gossiping about another person and then reacts to the gossip, that is indirect peer pressure. Or if a middle schooler learns that the popular kids’ parties include alcohol or drugs, that indirect pressure may prompt them to experiment as a way to gain acceptance.
  • Negative Peer Pressure-Asking someone to engage in behavior that is against their moral code or family values is a type of negative peer pressure. Teens see the actions of other teens with stronger personalities and are put in a position of following the leader or walking away. It’s not uncommon for teens with strong morals to find themselves engaging in behavior that goes against their beliefs, simply because they want acceptance. Young people often lack the skills to come up with an excuse or reason to say no to negative peer pressure.
  • Positive Peer Pressure-A group dynamic can be a positive peer influence if the behaviors are healthy, age-appropriate, and socially acceptable. For instance, if a peer group wants to make good grades, a young teen can be positively influenced to study. Or if a popular friend wants to earn money and save to buy a car, a less outgoing teenager may also be influenced to get a job and open a savings account. If members of the football team take a pledge to abstain from drinking alcohol to focus on staying healthy and having a winning season, other students may adopt the same behavior.

Parents can be the strongest influence in their child’s life if they understand and are aware of the types of peer pressure their teenager is facing. Supporting healthy friendships, modeling responsible behavior, and keeping an open, judgment-free family dialogue are three key components of maintaining positive parental influence on a teenager. Take the time to talk it out with your child and ask them about types of peer pressure they may be facing. Bullying is a prevalent form of youth violence, particularly in school settings. It is defined by aggressive behavior (i.e., behavior that is intentional and mean) that occurs repeatedly over time and within the context of a power imbalance. Although both are harmful to youth, there is an important distinction between bullying and aggression- if there is an occasional conflict or fighting between two children of equal strength, size, and social status, this is aggression, but not bullying.

Most children are exposed in some form of bullying in schools due to the unequal balance of power and influence that is so common in youth relationships and peer groups. Research on bullying in schools shows that it increases in late childhood and peaks in early adolescence, specifically during middle school. Bullying in schools also typically takes place in unstructured settings such as the cafeteria, hallways, and playgrounds during recess. If someone is being bullied in school (or witnesses bullying) it should be reported to a parent, teacher, school counselor, principal, superintendent, and/or to the State Department of Education. Both peer pressure and bullying can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and/or something worse.

Students need school to be a positive climate where they feel safe. This reduces their own stress and potential aggression, allowing them to focus on the learning necessary for them to be successful in their lives. Fortunately, there are actions that students and school staff can take to prevent bullying in schools and to create a more positive school climate. The culture of school violence cannot be impacted by only working with bullies and victims alone. It takes consistent and united action by everyone -students, school staff, administrators, and parents.

If you know someone who is feeling hopeless, helpless, or thinking of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Report potential threats of school violence and student self-harm: Contact Safe2Say www.saysomething.net or call 844-572-9669, the Safe2Say phone app.

Recipes:

  • Yakitori (a family recipe): 2 skinless chicken breasts, cubed (for 4 people); 2 tablespoons soy sauce; 1 ½ tablespoons sugar (white or brown); 2 tablespoons water (or sake-a dry sherry); ½ teaspoon minced ginger; ½ teaspoon minced garlic; if desired: onion, scallions, pineapple. 2 bamboo skewers per person. Directions: Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least one hour to prevent them from burning on the grill. Combine all the ingredients (except vegetables) and marinate 30 minutes or more. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the marinade and thread onto bamboo skewers, alternating the chicken with vegetables. Place the skewers on the hot grill. Brush with the marinade during the first 2 to 4 minutes and grill for a total of about 6 to 8 minutes (internal temperature of 165 F), turning the skewers a few times. Serve over rice.
  • Elderberry Syrup: 3½ cups water; 2/3 cup black elderberries, dried (1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen); 2 tablespoons ginger (grated); 1 teaspoon cinnamon; ½ teaspoon ground cloves; 1 cup raw honey. Directions: Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle of some kind. Store in the fridge and take daily. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to help boost immunity. Instant Pot: Put all ingredients except honey in pot, seal lid, and set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vent pressure and strain. When cooled to room temperature, stir in the honey. Standard dose: ½ – 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If one does come down with symptoms it may be taken at the normal dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms disappear.
  • Lice Treatment: 1/4 cup food grade diatomaceous earth; 10 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil; 1cup witch hazel; 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil; 10 drops rosemary essential oil. Directions: Mix together the diatomaceous earth and tea tree essential oil. Place a small amount in hands and massage in hair and scalp. Make sure to cover all areas. Diatomaceous earth can create a lot of dust, so one may want to put a mask over the child’s mouth and nose while applying. Leave on hair overnight. Wash hair next morning and dry with a hot air hairdryer. Use a lice comb to remove any eggs or nits out of the hair. Make a preventative spray of witch hazel, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Liberally spray daily on dry or wet hair, style as usual. Repeat the same process for two more days, or as needed.
  • Immune-Boosting Bitters: 1 tbsp. honey; 1 oz. dried astragalus root; 1 oz. dried angelica root; 1/2 oz. dried chamomile; 1 tsp. dried ginger; 1 tsp. dried orange peel; 1 cinnamon stick; 1 tsp. cardamom seeds; 10 oz. alcohol. Directions: Dissolve the honey in 2 teaspoons of boiling water. Let cool. Combine the honey and the next 7 ingredients in a Mason jar and pour alcohol on top. Seal tightly and store the bitters in a cool, dark place. Let the bitters infuse until the desired strength is reached. It’ll take about 2–4 weeks. Shake the jars regularly (about once per day). When ready, strain the bitters through a muslin cheesecloth or coffee filter. Store the strained bitters in an airtight container at room temperature. Prepare: Mix this bitters into hot tea or take a few drops first thing when you wake up for protection during cold and flu season.
  • Pink Eye Remedy 1: Place cool, moist chamomile tea bag on each closed eye for about 10 minutes. Repeat this every couple of hours.
  • Pink Eye Remedy 2: Infuse a teaspoon of chamomile or eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis) in a cup of hot water. Allow to cool, strain. Use an eyecup to hold the lukewarm liquid in each eye. OR Just wash the eyes out with the infusion, make a compress with a cloth, or even soak a cotton ball in the liquid and wipe the eyes every so often. While treating pink eye topically, you certainly want to treat internally too using your go-to cold remedies.
  • Pink Eye Remedy 3: Wash the eye using 1 cup of boiled and cooled water in which 5 drops of chamomile tincture has been added. OR Soak a cotton ball in this mixture. Never use the straight tincture in an eye.

—-Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ—-
Jolene Grffiths, Master Herbalist

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

July

Overview:
Awareness: Herbal & Prescription, National Culinary Arts, National Therapeutic Recreation, UV Safety, World Hepatitis
Flower: Water Lily
Gemstone: Ruby
Trees: Apple, Fir, Elm, Cypress

Independence Day (United States of America):
The 4th of July is the busiest day of the year for firefighters and emergency rooms. As we celebrate the birth of a nation it is important to keep in mind some safety tips when using fireworks. And, how to administrate first-aid to injuries that may occur.

If you’re planning to set off fireworks on your own, make sure doing so is permitted in your area and do it in a location free of fire hazards and away from structures like your home or garage. Arrange the fireworks on a stable, fireproof surface with a foot or more of space between each device to prevent them from lighting each other. Read any and all safety and warning labels. Keep a bucket of water, garden hose, or fire extinguisher to hand. There’s a lot of common sense involved with fireworks-keep your children and pets away from them, don’t look down the barrel of a spent or loaded tube, don’t hold lit fireworks in your hands, don’t set yourself on fire, etc. It’s ideal to refresh or teach “Stop, Drop and Roll”- If a person is on fire stop them from running around, lay them on the ground, and smother the flames by rolling the person onto them or with a blanket, jacket or something similar.
Position the fireworks so they’re downwind of spectators-the wind should blow the sparks, smoke, and whatnot away from bystanders. And, they should stand 25 feet or more back if you’re lighting fountains and 100 yards or so away if you’re shooting rockets into the air. Light each firework one at a time, then stand back and wait for that device to finish its display before stepping forward to light another. Should a device fail to explode in an expected manner, do not attempt to re-light it. Sparklers are dangerous. Hot enough to cook an egg, children should be instructed on safe handling ahead of time and supervised while playing with them. A frequent cause of injury is picking up a spent, but still hot sparkler. After the display, soak all the used fireworks-duds or spent-with your garden hose. It’s a good idea to have a bucket of sand or water specifically for the purpose of dropping used sparklers into.

It’s always a good idea to have a first-aid kit in your home and car. These kits need to be checked and maintained periodically. Make sure the contents aren’t used up or expired and to update it with July 4th specific supplies. These include:

  • Sterile Saline Solution for cleaning eyes and can also be used to clean debris out of wounds on the rest of your body. Cling Wrap or similar can be used to protect burns while you transport a person to the ER or wait for an ambulance. Second Skin Moist Burn pads are a good way to protect and cool minor burns.
  • Aloe Vera gel and lavender essential oil can help treat and “cool” burns in the days following the accident.
  • Pain relievers expire, so check the dates and make sure you have some that are up to date. Burns hurt!
  • Blunt tip scissors are handy for cutting clothing off injured areas without stabbing yourself or the victim.
  • It’s also a good idea to have a dedicated fire blanket or wool blanket on hand. Those won’t melt or burn if exposed to direct flame, so can help you smother anyone that manages to light themselves on fire. You may need to treat someone for shock as well, so that blanket will give them something to lie down on or something you can wrap them in to keep them warm.

Treating Minor Burns-Red and painful, perhaps with a small blister or blisters. Immediately run the burn area under cool water for at least 10 minutes. While doing so, remove any jewelry or clothing from the affected area. Once cool, cover the area with Second Skin (or similar) or cling wrap to protect it. Do not use cloth bandages or similar materials that may stick to the burn. Aloe Vera gel or other soothing treatments can be applied after this initial treatment, but only if the burn is minor. If the burn is larger than your hand or the person is young, old, or otherwise in frail health, take them to the ER.

Treating Major Burns-Deep, with significant blistering and damage to the skin. These are frequently the result of burning clothing or direct exposure to flame. Cool the burn immediately with running water. If the burn covers a large area of a person’s body, you may need to use a garden hose or buckets of water. Call an ambulance or immediately transport the victim to an Emergency Room if you don’t have phone reception. Remove clothing or jewelry from the burn area, but only if it’s not stuck to the wound. Cover the wound with a sterile, protective dressing such as that plastic cling film.

Treating Amputation-Fireworks occasionally cost people their fingers or toes. Call 911-prompt medical treatment can reattach them. Lay the victim down and elevate the injured body part. Remove any visible foreign objects. Apply direct pressure to the wound for 15 minutes to stop bleeding. If possible, retrieve the amputated finger or toe and rinse (don’t scrub) it clean, then wrap it in a clean, damp cloth and make sure it goes to the hospital with the victim. Don’t place the digit on ice, which will damage the blood vessels and make reattachment difficult.

Treating Shock-If a person experiences a major injury, they may go into shock. When a person goes into shock, their organs don’t get enough blood and oxygen, which can lead to permanent damage. Signs of shock are cool and clammy skin, confusion, dilated pupils, or a weak and/or uneven pulse. Lie down with feet slightly raised higher than the head. If not breathing, begin CPR. Loosen clothing for comfort, but keep warm with a blanket. If vomiting or bleeding from the mouth, turn the victim on the side.

Treating Eye Injuries-During explosions particles are occasionally going to get in someone’s eye. If the eyeball is punctured, pulled out of the socket, or burned, you’ll need to protect it (cupping a hand over the area works great) and get the victim immediate medical attention. If it’s just some minor irritation, you can treat it yourself. Never attempt to pop an eyeball back into a person’s socket. Flush the eye with sterile saline solution or clean water. Examine the eye under a bright light and continue to flush it until all foreign objects are washed out. Seek medical treatment if vision is impaired or an object has penetrated the eye’s surface.

Another area of the celebration is eating. It is common for people to tend to overeat during the picnics and backyard barbeques. Digestive enzymes are useful in preventing and relieving a number of tummy troubles-bloating, gas, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.

The body secretes a variety of enzymes to break down the foods that we eat-some are secreted by the salivary glands and the cells lining the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine to aid in the digestion of food. The liver also produces bile (helps break down fats) which is stored in the gallbladder. The main enzyme categories are the proteases (which break down proteins), lipases (fats), and amylases (starches and sugars). These enzymes are released both in anticipation of eating when we first smell and taste the food, as well as throughout the digestive process. Some foods have naturally occurring digestive enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of certain specific nutrients.

However, diseases of the stomach, liver, and small intestine can reduce the number of enzymes produced by them. So, people with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, or low stomach acid might find digestive enzyme supplements helpful. The same goes for people who have chronic pancreatitis, which can cause a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes. Having your gallbladder removed can also make it so that there aren’t enough enzymes to break down fat properly, making supplementation a necessary measure to reduce digestive drama.

But if you don’t have a definite enzyme deficiency or your symptoms are more of a nuisance than severe, one may simply remove any foods from your diet that is causing digestive distress in the first place. Removing sugars, grains, dairy, and industrial seed oils from the diet can dramatically improve many digestive issues one might try to treat with a supplement. Even though these supplements may be labeled as containing natural ingredients (say, derived from plants) and regarded as safe, they can still interfere with other medications, such as oral diabetes medications and blood thinners. The most significant digestive enzymes are:

  • Amylase: It is essential for the digestion of carbohydrates. It breaks down starches into sugars. Amylase is secreted by both the salivary glands and the pancreas. The measurement of amylase levels in the blood is sometimes used as an aid in diagnosing various pancreas or other digestive tract diseases. High levels of amylase in the blood may indicate a blocked or injured duct of the pancreas, pancreatic cancer, or acute pancreatitis, a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. Low levels may indicate chronic pancreatitis (ongoing inflammation of the pancreas) or liver disease.
  • Maltase: It is secreted by the small intestine and is responsible for breaking down maltose (malt sugar) into glucose (simple sugar) that the body uses for energy. During digestion, starch is partially transformed into maltose by amylases. The maltase then converts maltose into glucose that is either used immediately by the body or stored in the liver as glycogen for future use.
  • Lactase: It (also called lactase-phlorizin hydrolase) is a type of enzyme that breaks down lactose, a sugar found in dairy products, into the simple sugars glucose and galactose. Lactase is produced by cells known as enterocytes that line the intestinal tract. Lactose that is not absorbed undergoes fermentation by bacteria and can result in gas and intestinal upset.
  • Lipase: It is responsible for the breakdown of fats into fatty acids and glycerol (simple sugar alcohol). It’s produced in small amounts by your mouth and stomach, and in larger amounts by your pancreas.
  • Proteases: Also called peptidases, proteolytic enzymes, or proteinases, these digestive enzymes break down proteins into amino acids. In addition, they play a role in numerous body processes, including cell division, blood clotting, and immune function. Proteases are produced in the stomach and pancreas. The main ones are:
  • Pepsin: Secreted by the stomach to break down proteins into peptides, or smaller groupings of amino acids, that are either absorbed or broken down further in the small intestine
  • Trypsin: Forms when an enzyme secreted by the pancreas is activated by an enzyme in the small intestine. Trypsin then activates additional pancreatic enzymes, such as carboxypeptidase and chymotrypsin, to assist in breaking down peptides.
  • Chymotrypsin: Breaks down peptides into free amino acids that can be absorbed by the intestinal wall
  • Carboxypeptidase A: Secreted by the pancreas to split peptides into individual amino acids
  • Carboxypeptidase B: Secreted by the pancreas, it breaks down basic amino acids
  • Sucrase: It is secreted by the small intestine where it breaks down sucrose into fructose and glucose, simpler sugars that the body can absorb. Sucrase is found along the intestinal villi, tiny hair-like projections that line the intestine and shuttle nutrients into the bloodstream.
  • Some foods have naturally occurring digestive enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of certain specific nutrients. Tropical fruits and fermented vegetables are naturally high in digestive enzymes that might speed up the digestion of certain nutrients. It’s best to consume them raw since heat can lessen or destroy these plant enzymes.
  • Pineapple: Proteases (bromelain)-Helps digest proteins and has additional anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Papaya: Proteases (papain)-Helps digest proteins and is a popular meat tenderizer.
  • Kiwi: Proteases (actinidain)-In addition to its digestive enzymes, the fruit is high in fiber to support digestive processes and motility.
  • Mango: Amylases-Helps break down carbohydrates from starches into simple sugars and increases as the fruit ripens.
  • Banana: Amylases, glycosidase-Like amylases, glucosidases also break down complex carbohydrates.
  • Raw honey: Amylases, Diastases, invertases, proteases-The amylases and diastases help to break down starches, invertases break down sugars, and proteases break down protein.
  • Avocado: Lipases-Helps digest and metabolize fat.
  • Kefir: Lipases, lactase, proteases-The lactase in kefir helps to digest the fermented milk and may be tolerated by some people with lactose intolerance.
  • Sauerkraut, kimchi: Lipases, proteases-Fermented foods develop enzymes during the fermentation process as well as probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, to further support digestive health.
  • Miso: Lactases, lipases, proteases, amylases-This fermented soy paste contains a potent combination of enzymes that help break down lactose in dairy, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
  • Ginger: Protease (zingibain)-In addition to its enzymes that can help break down proteins, ginger may also help ease nausea.

When one thinks of barbeque meats (proteins) are what comes to mind to many. Protein is a macronutrient (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) that is essential to building muscle mass. All food made from meat, poultry, seafood, insects, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds is considered part of the protein group, according to the USDA. Most people eat enough food in this group, but they should select leaner and more varied selections. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories. Protein makes up about 15 percent of a person’s body weight.

Chemically, protein is composed of amino acids, which are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of muscle mass. When protein is broken down in the body it helps to fuel muscle mass, which helps metabolism. It also helps the immune system stay strong. And, it helps you stay full.

Two recent studies showed that satiety, or feeling full after a meal, improved after consuming a high-protein snack. A 2014 study published in the journal Nutrition compared afternoon snacks of high-protein yogurt, high-fat crackers, and high-fat chocolate. Among the women who participated in the study, consuming the yogurt led to greater reductions in afternoon hunger versus the chocolate. These women also ate less at dinner compared to the women who snacked on crackers and chocolate.
A similar study published in 2015 in the Journal of Nutrition found that adolescents who consumed high-protein afternoon snacks showed improved appetite, satiety, and diet quality. The teens also had improved moods and better cognition.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that 10 to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. How that equates to grams of protein depends on the caloric needs of the individual. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount of protein foods a person should eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. Most Americans eat enough food from this group but need to make leaner and more varied selections of these foods.

A safe level of protein ranges from 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight [2.2 lbs.], up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram for very active athletes. Most Americans truly need to be eating about 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This equates to consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal–that’s 2.5 egg whites at breakfast or 3 to 4 ounces of meat at dinner. Most American women are not getting anywhere close to adequate protein at breakfast. This could be hindering their muscle mass, their metabolism, and hormone levels.
Parents should resist stressing protein consumption for their children, who typically get sufficient protein easily. It’s important to focus on fruits and vegetables for kids. When considering how to get protein into kids’ diets, parents should focus on whole foods and natural sources.

There are several sources of supplemental protein powders, including soy, hemp and whey. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese-making process and therefore not vegan. It is usually used to promote lean muscle mass and is also associated with weight loss. There are 20 grams of protein per scoop of whey protein.

Hemp protein comes from the hemp plant, which does not have THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), according to the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Hemp is also available as seeds and milk. There are 5.3 grams of protein per tablespoon of hemp seeds, about 5 grams per scoop of hemp powder, and 5 grams per cup of milk.

Soy protein comes from soybeans and is available in many different forms, including milk, tofu, various meat substitutes, flour, oil, tempeh, miso nuts, and edamame. Soy has been shown to have a little more phytoestrogens in it from isoflavones, which really helps to increase antioxidants. A lot of people are hesitant to eat soy because of a myth that associates it with breast cancer. But, that myth has been minimized based on a large body of evidence that supports the actual anticancer properties that soy has. To get the maximum benefits from soy, it is recommended to eat whole sources, like edamame. Processed forms like tofu are the next best option, followed by protein powders and drinks.

Some high-protein meats include: Top or bottom round steak (23 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving), Lean ground beef (18 grams per 3-ounce serving), Pork chops (26 grams per 3-ounce serving), Skinless chicken breast (24 grams per 3-ounce serving), turkey breast (24 grams per 3-ounce serving), Sockeye salmon (23 grams per 3-ounce serving), Yellowfin tuna (25 grams per 3-ounce serving)

High-protein dairy foods include: Greek yogurt (23 grams per 8-ounce serving), Cottage cheese (14 grams per half-cup serving), Eggs (6 grams per large egg), 2 percent milk (8 grams per cup)

Some other high-protein foods are: Some canned foods, like sardines, anchovies and tuna average around 22 grams of protein per serving, Navy beans (20 grams per cup), Lentils (13 grams per quarter-cup), Peanut butter (8 grams per 2 tablespoons), Mixed nuts (6 grams per 2-ounce serving), Quinoa (8 grams per 1-cup serving), Edamame (8 grams per half-cup serving), Soba noodles (12 grams per 3-ounce serving), 100 grams of cooked mealworms have 55 grams of protein while crickets have 58 grams.

People can produce some amino acids but must get others from food. The nine amino acids that humans cannot produce on our own are called essential amino acids. They are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Protein foods that contain all essential amino acids are called complete proteins. They are also sometimes called ideal proteins or high-quality proteins. Complete proteins include meat and dairy products, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and soy.

Many plant-based proteins are not complete proteins. These include beans, grains, and legumes as well as vegetables, which contain small amounts of protein. Incomplete proteins can be combined to create complete proteins. Beans and rice, peanut butter and whole-grain bread, and macaroni and cheese are examples of combinations that create complete proteins.
For a long time, nutritionists thought that complementary proteins had to be eaten together to make a complete protein. But, it is now understood that the foods don’t have to be eaten at exactly the same time. As long as you eat a wide variety of foods, you can usually make complete proteins, even if you’re a vegetarian.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that 10 to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. Most Americans do not get close to the 35 percent mark; they eat about 12 to 18 percent of their calories as protein, according to the NIH. Therefore, most commercial high-protein diet plans suggest intakes in the upper levels of the recommended spectrum. For example, the Atkins diet allows for up to 29 percent of calories to come from protein, and the South Beach Diet suggests protein levels at about 30 percent. Some high-protein diets, however, come in at higher than 35 percent.

The efficacy and safety of high-protein diets are still being studied. Often, they lead to a quick drop in weight-loss but their overall sustainability is unclear. One 2011 review of high-protein diet studies found that “although half of the studies showed a higher weight loss with a high-protein diet, three out of four studies with the longest intervention show no statistical difference in weight loss.”

Furthermore, high-protein diets can carry some health risks. They usually advocate cutting carbohydrates, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, fiber deficiencies, headache, constipation, increased risk of heart disease, and worse kidney function in those suffering from kidney disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

High-protein diets are not recommended because they are generally unnecessary. There’s a growing body of research that suggests that Americans are getting enough protein. The problem is that we don’t space out our protein correctly. It’s more important that we focus on getting protein at each meal, eating it within the first hour of waking up, and then every 4 to 6 hours thereafter. Getting enough protein at adequate intervals helps muscle mass and overall health long term.

The Ideal Protein diet is a medically developed diet plan created more than 20 years ago by French doctor Tran Tien Chanh. A coach at a licensed clinic or a health care provider supervises participants. For some participants, consent from health care providers may be required. The Ideal Protein diet is a low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, high-protein diet that aims to aid in weight loss by providing the body with the right amount and kind of protein while also stabilizing blood sugar. It consists of four phases. During the first three phases, participants eat at least one proportioned, prepackaged Ideal Protein meal per day. During phase one, in which most of the weight loss takes place, participants eat three Ideal Protein meals every day.

Supplements are for supplemental purposes only. Therefore, it is not recommended to have protein shakes on a daily basis. Sometimes, however, people have serious behavioral barriers to eating whole foods. If they feel like they can’t cook or eat whole foods then these shakes can be a good plan B. If you are going to use protein shakes, choose one that has more than 20 grams of protein. It is important to think about what you’re adding to protein shakes. If you’re using a protein powder to make a shake, try mixing it with water, nonfat milk, or a milk substitute. It is generally suggested not to mix fruit in. This makes the shake very calorie-laden, like pie in a cup. Adding vegetables, however, can add antioxidants and vitamins.

A common picnic drink is lemonade. Lemons are actually considered a superfood and contain plenty of health benefits and even topical uses. Since lemonade is essentially lemon juice combined with water and some sugar, it is an easy way to get a healthy dose of lemon. Vitamin C, B6, and A are just a few of the many vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds found in a single lemon. They also contain flavonoids, which are helpful antioxidants that can assist your body in numerous ways. Making all-natural lemonade with fresh lemons and a little bit of a sweetener is the best; avoid packaged mixes for optimum health benefits. Here are some of the many benefits you can gain from drinking lemonade:

  • Digestive Assistance: Lemon juice is highly effective in fighting both indigestion and constipation. Drinking lemonade can give your digestive tract the extra assistance it needs to break down foods you’ve consumed, while loosening waste that is lining the walls of your bowels.
  • Kidney Stone Prevention: Increasing your water consumption can definitely help to stave off future occurrences, but lemonade can help even more. The citrate you get from drinking lemonade can increase the amount found in your urine, which goes a long way in preventing the stones from even forming.
  • Weight Loss Support: You may have heard of lemon juice and lemonade being used as part of a weight loss regimen. Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fiber that has demonstrated weight loss properties. Lemonade can also help you feel full, which aids in staving off a nagging appetite.
  • Fever Treatment: Lemonade can help increase perspiration output, which is one of the best ways to break a fever. If you are suffering from the flu, or any other sickness that involves fever, try drinking some lemonade to speed up the fever’s breaking point and get back on track to a normal body temperature.
  • Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants found in lemons have been shown to prevent cells in your body from deforming, which is what leads to cancer developing and spreading. Drinking lemonade on a regular basis can ensure a constant intake of these antioxidants.
  • High Blood Pressure: Lemons contain a high amount of potassium, which can help to calm numerous cardiac issues. If you are experiencing high blood pressure, nausea, and dizziness, try drinking some lemonade for a calming and relieving effect.
  • pH Balancing: Lemonade itself is acidic on the pH scale. Yet, after it is in the body it acts as an alkalinizer to one‘s urine. Acid-alkaline balance is critical for health. Your body must maintain a pH of about 7.35–7.45. If you’re too acidic, then your body will find ways (even robbing your bones for minerals) to buffer acidity. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are more alkaline-forming, at least partly due to high potassium levels. High potassium levels drive higher alkalinity.

One final thought about this day of celebration is the ground that one sits on while having a classic picnic. While a bed of soft, mown grass is very comfortable many forget the benefits of the lowly weed. They are Nature’s support crops and are vital to a healthy system.

Weeds come in all shapes and sizes, both on top and root structure. Some weeds are vines to cover and protect the soil, some are tall and woody, some have thin and abundant roots, like grasses, and some have a single tap root, like a turnip. The structural makeup of the plant will tell you the purpose. Like grasses are designed to hold soil in place with their many fine root hairs, and a tap-rooted plant is designed to break up compacted soil.
The thing that separates weeds from our garden plants is they grow much faster. They grow faster by design; their main purpose is to build soil. Some species of weeds called pioneer species, not only grow fast, but they produce carbon quickly as well. This carbon, when they die, lasts a long time in the soil, helps build structure, and helps retain water. Weeds have certain nutrients that they absorb from the soil, bring to the top, and release when they die or compost.

So, looking across an abandoned field you will see a variety of weeds growing, each of them is a reaction of whatever deficiency the soil has. For example, the taller weed that has a small daisy type flower growing in our area is known for drawing calcium out of the soil. So an abundance of this plant is an indicator that your soil is lacking calcium.
Weeds protect the soil and help build it, but there is another main reason to keep them around. A plant’s main purpose in life is to produce sugars; they do this through the process of photosynthesis. The sugars they produce go to making leaves, flowers, and eventually fruit and seeds, but as much as 50% of the sugars they produce get exuded through the roots to attract the microscopic organisms of the soil food web. Plants do not have a stomach, so they rely on the soil to digest and transfer nutrients. Plants also, do not have a stomach liner to keep the digestive process in the root zone, so they exude these sugars to attract the biology in and keep them there to feed the plant.

Weeds also help protect surrounding plants. Sometimes weeds will help hold up our plants, or maybe they will shade them from the sun, or maybe they will take the insect attack for us. In a lettuce field, weeds are super important for another reason. They keep the soil out of the leaves. If the weeds were not present when we irrigate or rain comes the water droplets splash the soil in the leaves. When we have weeds surrounding the lettuce, the soil is not bare and therefore the weeds help keep the dirt from splashing into the leaves. Believe me, growing lettuce without weeds is a big problem. Delicate leaves are hard to rinse thoroughly and no matter what your lettuce will be crunchy from the sand and dirt.

Plants work together in their little community and biodiversity is the key. Bare soil is rare in nature and so is a monoculture, diversity is key. Plants work together and help feed each other, if you learn how they grow and how to cultivate them you can benefit from Nature’s support crops in your garden.

Weeds can tell you a lot about your garden, providing information about what is best to grow. If your weeds multiple rapidly it is likely that your soil is extremely fertile, and that you do not need fertilizer. If not, it may be wise to start growing forerunners such as onions before moving onto more difficult crops. If the amount of weeds is diverse, it is likely that you can grow a wide range of plants in your garden. If not, it will be worthwhile to ascertain the soil type. And weeds can do this too. Very acidic soil will produce sorrel and plantain but no charlock or poppy, while chickweeds is sign of neutral pH. High levels of nitrogen can be ascertained by nettles, ground elder, fat hen, and chickweed. Compacted soil is noticeable for silverweed and greater plantain, while creeping buttercup, horsetail and silverweed may indicate wet soil with poor drainage.

Another benefit of having a weedy lawn is that many weeds in your lawn attract butterflies and caterpillars. Common lawn weeds, such as plantain, dandelion, and clover are sources of food for many insects-also known as pollinators. Allowing some of these common weeds to grow in your garden, encourages butterflies to lay their eggs in your yard, which will result in more butterflies in your garden later on. Hummingbirds also feast upon the nectar produced by many weeds.

Weeds also help to attract other beneficial bugs to your garden as well. Many good bugs, like predatory wasps, praying mantis, ladybugs and bees find food and shelter in the weeds in our yards. These “good” bugs will help to keep the “bad” bug population down in your garden as well as providing pollination to your plants. The more weeds you have in your lawn, the less money and time you will have to spend on battling back the bugs that can hurt your plants. Many weeds are also blessed with a natural insect repellant. Letting weeds in your lawn grow near your more weed-free flower beds can help drive out even more “bad” bugs from your plants. While other insects-like fireflies-thrive only in weedy areas.

Weeds also constitute a good source of nutrients. Many weeds are edible and are used as natural remedies. They are also effectively free and environmentally friendly. Dandelion leaves are high in vitamins A and K and can be a useful addition to a balanced diet. Nettle soup is famous in the United Kingdom. Back in the Middle Ages, Ground Elder (which has a nutty flavor) was grown as a crop and was believed to cure gout – hence its alternative name goutweed. Sorrel and horseradish can both be made into a sauce and the latter is often used with beef. There are many sources dedicated to eating and cooking wild food.

Recipes:

  • Spiced Cricket Flour Cookies: ½ cup cricket flour; 2/3 cup almond meal; 1 1/3 cup general all-purpose flour – organic unbleached; ¾ tsp ground ginger; ¾ tsp ground cinnamon; ½ tsp ground cloves; 1 tsp baking powder; ¼ tsp salt; ¾ cup soft butter; ½ cup runny honey; ¼ cup old fashioned brown sugar (or coconut sugar); 1 egg; 3 tbsp molasses; 1 tbsp orange juice. Directions: Preheat an oven on a normal bake setting (not convection) to 350 F (175 C). In a mixing bowl, combine cricket flour, almond meal, all-purpose flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt by mixing with a whisk gently. In an electric mixer bowl, add the butter and honey, plus brown sugar/ or coconut sugar. Cream together for about 30 seconds on a medium-high setting, with a paddle attachment. Beat in the egg, molasses, and orange juice. Add the dry ingredients to the butter batter, and mix to incorporate on slow setting on the electric mixer. Put into the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (Or use a silicone baking mat.) With cold hands, scoop out 1 tbsp of the dough, and roll into little balls. Place on a cookie tray. Press down on each cookie until they are about half their size. Place into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until they appear golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool until you are able to handle it with your hands. Serve warm with a coffee, or refrigerate and/or freeze them for future use.
  • Chirpy Chip Cookies: 1 cup softened butter; 1/2 cup sugar; 1/2 cup brown sugar; 1/2 cup powdered milk; 2 eggs; 1 tsp vanilla; 2 1/4 cups flour; 1 tsp baking soda; 2 cups chocolate chips; 1/2 cup roasted crickets. Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, blend butter, sugars, and milk until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Then stir into the mixture. Stir in chips and crickets. Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks.
  • French Limonade (modern): 5 lemons; 3 tbsp Lavender Honey; 1 oz bottle of sparkling water; 15oz water; a pinch verbena leaves (optional). Directions: Squeeze the lemons. Boil the still water. Stop the heat, add the lemon juice and the Lavender Honey. Mix until honey is dissolved. Pour in the pitcher (the pitcher must be half-filled). Keep in the fridge for 20 min. Once cold, add the sparkling water.
  • Lavender Honey: ¼ cup dried lavender blossoms (Lavandula augustifolia); 1 cup raw honey. Directions: Pour the honey over the blossoms and then stir to make sure the honey and blossoms are well-combined. Place the jar in a warm spot away from direct sunlight. The top of the fridge is a good, warm spot. Allow the honey to infuse for 1-4 weeks, turning the jar over every day to redistribute the blossoms. When the honey has reached the flavor intensity that suits you, place a mesh strainer over a medium bowl and pour the honey mixture into the strainer. Because honey is so thick it will take a long time to strain, so wait a few hours before checking on it. Once you’ve finished straining out the lavender buds, don’t toss them! Store them in the fridge and stir them into tea for an extra flavor boost.
  • French Lemonade (1667): Get a pint of water and into it put half a pound of sugar, the juice of six lemons and two oranges, the peel of half a lemon and [half] an orange that you have pressed; blend the water well in two very clean vessels, pouring it back and forth several times from one into the other, and strain it through a white serviette.
  • One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream: Serves 2, Makes about 1 cup. Ingredients: 1 large ripe banana; any mix-ins (optional). Directions: Start with a ripe banana. Make sure the banana is ripe, it should be sweet and soft. Peel the banana and chop. Put the bananas in an airtight container. Place in a freezer-safe glass bowl or freezer bag. Freeze the banana pieces for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. Transfer the frozen banana pieces into a small food processor or high-speed blender. (A small food processor or chopper works best.) Pulse to break up and look crumbled or smashed. Scrape down the food processor. It will look like a gooey, mush. Keep until the last bits of banana smooth out to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream. (If adding any mix-ins–peanut butter, chocolate chips, vanilla bean, cookie crumbs, pieces of fruit, etc.–this is the moment to do it.) Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid. You can eat the ice cream immediately, but it will be quite soft. You can also transfer it back into the airtight container and freeze it until solid, like traditional ice cream.
  • To Ice Cream (1718): Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweetened, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be frozen in four Hours, but it may stand longer; then take it out just as you use it; hold it in your hand and it will slip out. When you would freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Raspberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemon juice sweetened; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.
  • Apple Pie (1845): Peel the apples, slice them thin, pour a little molasses, and sprinkle some sugar over them; grate on some lemon-peel or nutmeg. If you wish to make them richer, put a little butter on the top.
  • South Carolina Barbeque Sauce (the 1850‘s): 1/2 stick of unsalted butter; 1 large yellow or white onion, well chopped; 2 cloves of garlic, minced; 1 cup of apple cider vinegar; 1/2 cup of water; 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; 1 teaspoon of black pepper; 1 pod of long red cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper flakes; 1 teaspoon of dried rubbed sage; 1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh basil; 1/2 teaspoon of crushed coriander seed; 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar or 4 tablespoons of molasses (not blackstrap). Directions: Melt butter in a large saucepan, add onion and garlic and saute on medium heat until translucent. Turn heat down slightly and add vinegar, water, the optional ingredients, and the salt and spices. Allow cooking gently for about thirty minutes to an hour. To be used as a light mop sauce or glaze during the last 15-30 minutes over the pit of coals and as a dip for cooked meat. Note: Carolina Mustard Sauce–add 1/2 cup of brown mustard or more to taste, and a bit more sugar or “Red Sauce”—add two cans of tomato paste or four very ripe red or purple heirloom tomatoes (Large Red, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Amish Paste, cooked down for several hours on low heat into a comparable consistency; and two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce)
  • Yellow Jacket Soup/Oo-ga-ma (1868): Hunt for ground-dwelling yellow jackets early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Gather the whole comb. Place the comb over the fire or on the stove with the right side up to loosen the grubs that are not covered. Remove all of the uncovered grubs. Place the comb over the fire or on the stove upside down until the paper-like covering parches. Remove the comb from the heat, pick out the yellow jackets, and place in the oven to brown. Make the soup by boiling the browned yellow jackets in a pot of water with salt. Add grease if desired. Yield depends on the number of yellow jackets you can capture.
  • Honey-spiced Locusts: 1/4 cup butter; pinch of salt; 1 cup cleaned locusts; 2 Tbs. honey with 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper. Directions: Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the insects and salt and stir gently for around 10 minutes, making sure to get them completely covered in butter. When the bugs are suitably crisped, drizzle the spice-honey over them and stir a bit more. Then spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and cook for around 10 minutes at 200 F, until the bugs are no longer quite so sticky.
  • Homemade Sunscreen: 1/4 cup coconut oil (has an SPF of 7); 2 (or more) tbsp. powdered zinc oxide; 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel (must be 50 percent or higher); 25 drops walnut extract oil for scent and an added SPF boost; 1 cup (or less) shea butter for a spreadable consistency. Directions: Combine all ingredients, except the zinc oxide and aloe vera gel, in a medium saucepan. Let the shea butter and oils melt together at medium heat. Let cool for several minutes before stirring in aloe vera gel. Cool completely before adding zinc oxide. Mix well to make sure the zinc oxide is distributed throughout. You may want to add some beeswax or another waxy substance for a stickier consistency. Store in a glass jar, and keep in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use. Note: This recipe isn’t waterproof, and it’ll need to be reapplied often. (In fact, while some recipes may claim to be waterproof, there’s really no science to back up the idea of a homemade waterproof sunscreen. The ingredients that make sunscreen waterproof are the same highly processed ingredients that most natural consumers and DIY sunscreen makers are looking to avoid. These ingredients make it possible for your skin to absorb the sunblock components of sunscreen, and they can only be manufactured in a lab.)
  • Homemade Sunscreen Spray: To make a homemade sunscreen spray, combine the ingredients as described above, minus the shea butter. Once the mixture has cooled completely, you can add a bit more aloe vera gel and a carrier oil such as almond oil, which has SPF properties of its own, until the mixture is a sprayable consistency. Store in a glass spray bottle and keep refrigerated for best results.
  • Homemade Sunscreen for Oily Skin: If you have oily skin, you may be hesitant to slather on a DIY sunscreen that’s heavy on oil ingredients. But the essential oils palmarosa and lemon can actually correct overproduction of sebum (oil) on your skin. If you’re concerned about oil buildup on your skin, follow the recipe above, but swap out coconut oil — which is known to be comedogenic — for another carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil.
  • Homemade Fly Spray: 4 cups raw apple cider vinegar (where to buy raw apple cider vinegar) OR make your own vinegar; 20 drops rosemary essential oil (where to buy my favorite essential oils); 20 drops basil essential oil; 20 drops peppermint essential oil; 2 tablespoons liquid oil (olive oil, canola oil, or mineral oil will work); 1 tablespoon dish soap. Directions: Mix together in a spray bottle. Apply to the animals frequently (give it a good shake before applying). And be careful, it smells strong.

—-Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ—-
Jolene Grffiths, Master Herbalist

The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit thehealthpatch.com.

Parasites – Who Gets ‘em & How?

Parasites – we all know some!  They’re the folks who don’t make their own living and live off of friends and family. Right? Well, Yes! That’s one way of looking at it.  But we’re talking about your health. So, we’re defining them here as those “usually” small critters that get into your body by various means and live off of you!

Who gets them? Well, unless you live in a sterile environment, you do. We all carry some parasites most of the time. By definition they are “animals or plants which must live on or in another plants or animals to survive.” Here are some of the ways you may pick up a parasite:

  • Do you have a pet? Pets are notorious for carrying ticks and fleas, but they eat most anything they can get hold of. And they don’t care about the health of their dietary consumables. Cats love mice, birds, squirrels, and all manner of bugs and carrion. Dogs are much the same, but add larger prey like moles, feces of other animals, and so on. You can bet they get a generous number of parasites. Most of us “worm” our pets at least once a year for this very reason. You pet them – that is why we call them “pets” – and some of the microscopic parasites get on you or under your fingernails, etc. You may have heard of ringworm as an example of these. They can enter through your skin.
  • If you live on a farm, you’re probably contact larger animals – cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, or other farm animals – and pick up a few of their parasites.
  • Many of us have read the labels on meat items that warn us not to consume under-cooked items. That is because of the many parasites that are present in the foods we eat. Thread worms and hookworms are common examples of these; they generally enter through your stomach or gut. They get in your food, enter your body when you consume that food, then live on your food or even parts of your body. Most worms enter the body as eggs from food sources, hatch and set up housekeeping as worms.
  • Others may live in your hair or on your body. Examples are head lice and crab lice; we all know of folks who talk about “getting crabs”.
  • And many parasites are called protozoa – small, single-celled animals that can move about on their own. They are not usually visible to the naked eye and require a microscope to be seen. An example which many of us have heard of is Giardia lamblia – which can cause disease.
  • And watch where you walk around barefooted. Many parasites are spread by having their eggs leave an infected body through feces. Inadequate waste processing, or the lack of processing, may allow the eggs to get into our food or water supply, allowing further ingestion by another person.

A list of the most common parasitic infections includes Giardiasis, hookworm infections, thread worm (also called pin worm) infections, tapeworm infections, scabies on the skin (caused by a mite), and pediculosis (caused by head lice).

What can you do to lessen the attacks by parasites? Stay clean. Wash with soap (preferably with an antibiotic) after any suspected exposure. Don’t drink from unprocessed or unfamiliar open water supplies. Cook meats thoroughly. Wash fruits and vegetables before ingesting them. Use proper sanitation at all times when possible.

There are many herbs, teas, supplements and essential oils to assist your body in putting up a good fight against parasites. We’ll discuss them in another blog. Stay aware of the fact that parasites are common and always looking for a host. Their survival depends on it.

Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit thehealthpatch.com.

Parasites – Get Rid of Them!

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you know that this year I am giving you a breakdown of my personal cleansing regimen.  Well, this month is my annual parasite cleanse. We have cats, sheep, goats, and visiting dogs (family pets) at our house which I care for daily. I sometimes drink from my water faucet. And I often eat fresh veggies and fruit from my garden without washing them – straight off the tree/vine/plant! So, I know I have some parasites!!! In a previous blog I commented that virtually all of us carry some parasites. Hopefully you’ve been careful enough not to have a huge infestation of them which may have led to disease. But since I know we all have some, I take the opportunity each year to do a parasite cleanse to get rid of the small numbers to keep them from becoming a large problem.

You may have grown up like me, with a mom or grandmother who dosed you with a nasty castor oil tonic early every spring to get rid of winter intestinal “guests”.  I personally remember it well! But if you’re not traveling to third world countries, getting your water from streams or outdoor faucets, getting all your food from street vendors, eating your meat “tartar”, or wading barefoot in unmonitored, contaminated lakes or streams, you may want to do what I do – annual clearing out of unwanted house guests.

Most of the programs I have used take 20 to 30 days and consist only of taking small packets of pills containing known anti-parasitic herbs. Different herbs create environments in your gastrointestinal track that are not to the liking of or much to the detriment of commonly known parasites. Often a single herb may do the trick, depending on the parasite in question.

Some of the common herbs are:

  • Artemisia, also called wormwood is a very bitter herb.
  • Black Walnut Hulls are not only bitter, but will stain most anything they touch.
  • Paw Paw twigs are known to kill abnormal cells in the body – and parasites are certainly abnormal to our bodies.
  • Cascara sagrada causes bowel movements, and since parasites tend to reside in the intestinal tract, they help to expel them.
  • Chamomile flowers are used in tea to “calm” us; they do the same to parasites, making them less mobile.
  • Marshmallow and Slippery Elm are mucilaginous, help to soothe and smoothly move things through the bowel.
  • Strong spicy herbs like clove, ginger, onion, sage, tansy, garlic and spearmint are disliked by most parasites.

If, on the other hand, you do have a serious infestation leading to malnutrition because the parasites are getting most all your nutrition, or that are causing a serious parasitic infection, you may ask me for a copy of a 90-day Parasite Cleanse Program that I have used once or twice. I call it my DEEP Parasite Cleanse.

My idea is to give them things they don’t like, give them things to sedate them, give them things that “toxify” them, then add these to things that will push them out of your body and you may expect some success in controlling them!

There are also teas, supplements and essential oils to assist your body in snuffing out parasites. Be vigilant, stay ahead of them, be aware of them, treat them as soon as you discover them.

Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit thehealthpatch.com.