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Archive for Natural Health Product Benefits

When the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is Not Wonderful: A Holistic Approach to the Holidays

For many, the holidays bring family traditions, gathering of family, and sharing of gifts. But when the holidays bring more than a little stress it can often be a very difficult season. When feelings of depression and anxiety replace feelings of joy and happiness it can leave us feeling alone and isolated.

You Are Not Alone
Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from degrees of depression. For various reasons that could include a death in the family, divorce, or a change in finances, feelings of depression are deepened during the holidays. It is important to remember that we are not alone and there are steps that can be taken to make a difficult season a little lighter.

A Holistic Approach

  • Diet—Tis the season for sugar but try to limit the amount of sugar intake. Stable blood sugar can mean a stable mood.
  • Exercise—Even a gentle walk can improve mood by releasing endorphins. It can also be a time to work through the emotions.
  • Talk—Talk to someone you can trust. Talking through our feelings can help us see expectations we may be placing on ourselves. We could gain a new perspective.
  • Supplements—Taking a good multi-vitamin during times of stress can help our body from becoming depleted of important nutrition. Vitamin D is particularly helpful during the winter months when we don’t get outside as often.

Uplifting Aromatherapy
The brain has a more direct connection with the sense of smell than any other of our senses. The sense of smell is tied to the limbic system, the part of the brain associated with emotions and is responsible for alerting us to danger and creating positive or negative feelings. Different scents will determine a reaction in this emotional part of the brain which in turn affects the release of neurotransmitters. Smelling an essential oil can affect our emotional state faster than anything we can ingest. Here are some Essential Oils that can be very uplifting:

  • Frankincense—This oil is so closely related to Christmas as it was one of the gifts brought to Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus.  This oil is refreshing, uplifting and helps ease muscle tension related to stress. 
  • Myrrh—Another gift brought to Jesus, Myrrh helps a person to find inner peace and stillness when feeling anxious.
  • Patchouli—This oil is very helpful during time of over-thinking and worry.
  • Helichrysum—Very helpful when one feels emotionally stuck
  • Bergamot—Uplifting and refreshing
  • Lemon Balm—Uplifting, helping to lift depression
  • Clary Sage—Particularly helpful for women, this oil helps balance the nervous system.

Remember, it is OK if this is NOT the most wonderful time of the year. You are not alone and there are proactive steps to take to help this be a more uplifting time.

Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blogs and podcasts at www.TheHealthPatch.com. Our full staff are now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Herbs and Natural Remedies for Sleep

Herbs and natural remedies for sleep are very beneficial. Sleep is one of the most deeply healing and revitalizing experiences known. When we can get enough restful sleep each night, the entire world looks brighter. Based on clinical trials, it is documented that our body naturally heals itself between the hours of 10:30PM and 6:20 AM.

There are 20% to 30% of American adults that are plagued with sleep disorders. Sleep disorders became so prevalent in 1993 that the U.S. Congress mandated a National Center on Sleep Disorders. Today sleep disorders are recognized as a disease.

What is the best herb to take to help you sleep? I will give you six of the most common bedtime herbs:

  • Chamomile. For years chamomile has been used as a natural remedy to decrease anxiety and help you sleep.
  • Valerian Root. Valerian is an herb that has been used for centuries to help with sleep.
  • Lavender. Lavender has a natural calming sleep effect and a fresh, energetic morning.
  • Lemon Balm. Evidence shows that lemon balm increases GABA levels which indicates a 42% reduction in lack of sleep symptoms.
  • Passion Flower. Recent studies have shown that passion flower has the ability to alleviate anxiety and improve sleep quality.
  • Magnolia Bark. Magnolia bark is a flowering plant that has been around for over 100 million years. This herb decreases the time it takes to fall asleep and increases the amount of overall sleep.

I would like to add that most of these herbs can be purchased in “tea” form. Some people prefer drinking hot tea before bedtime.

Good sleep is crucial to your overall health. In the meantime, these alternative remedies may help you get back to sleep sooner.

Your Wellness Friend:
Shirley Golden, Staff ND, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health

The Health Patch 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, ph:736-1030, e-mail: jehovah316@netzero.net.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for
educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

When the Sandman just won’t visit!

We’ve all had those nights when, no matter what we do, we just can’t seem to fall asleep. Right? We try counting sheep; we try clearing our mind of all thoughts; we try warm milk, a hot shower, or a warm bath. Well, an occasional night of tossing and turning may be a real nuisance, but for many of us this is a regular occurrence.

Lack of sleep may have a number of causes. One is simply advancing age. The pineal gland is a small gland about the size of a pea located between the lobes of the brain. It is a “light sensitive” gland. When we find ourselves in the dark, it begins to secrete the hormone melatonin. Increased melatonin makes us feel drowsy. That’s why most of us get sleepy at night. But as we approach 50 or so, give or take a few years, the pineal gland slows its production of melatonin. For that reason, many older folks have sleep problems. If you’re in that age group, perhaps all you need is a melatonin supplement. And if you’re not in this age group, you should note that artificial lights, stimulant beverages and stress can disrupt normal body rhythms. Thus, for you too, melatonin supplements can be very useful, especially for jet lag or occasional insomnia. Most companies carry them in one and ten milligram capsules. This is also a good help if you can GO to sleep, but then can’t STAY asleep.

Often depression can hinder sleep, too. If this plagues you, perhaps you can benefit from a supplement of 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). It is a precursor to serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. This is a metabolized form of l-tryptophan that the body can use directly to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter which plays a role in mood, hunger and sleep. One source states “Increased levels of serotonin may improve symptoms of depression and anxiety and may be required for improved mood, weight-loss success and better sleep.” Check with you doctor before taking 5-HTP if you’re taking prescription medication or if you’re pregnant or nursing. And if you use it regularly, take a two-week break about every three months.

One of the primary causes of insomnia is stress. We are often so keyed-up that we just can’t seem to turn our minds off to get to sleep – especially if there are important things planned for tomorrow. In this case there are some very helpful herbs to help calm the nerves. Hops has a gentle, relaxing, sedative effect on the central nervous system. It can be taken in a capsule, enclosed in a pillow placed on your bed, or added to evening teas. Valerian root is a stronger relaxant for nervous anxiety and muscle spasms. It has a nasty odor, but cats seem to like it! So, it is best taken in capsules and is not for long-term use in large doses as it can cause depression. Passion flower is a mild sedative nervine. This is not the ornamental blue passion flower (which is poisonous), but is an entirely different plant. Its name was given in the 1500s by a Spanish doctor who was reminded of the “Passion of the Crucifixion” by the configuration of the blossom. It is much more likely to help you sleep than to generate “passion.” And Skullcap is a perennial herb in the mint family originating from North America. Skullcap has a long history of use among Native American tribes due to its soothing properties. Combinations of these are often found in “nervine sedative” sleep formulas.

We have also previously mentioned Siberian ginseng (now called Eleuthero) before as an energy producer. So, while it seems contradictory, it is also mentioned in several references to be reputed as a cure for insomnia. And most people who work with herbs know that a cup of chamomile tea is very relaxing at night.

I’ll quote two formulas for you from a book entitled “The Way of Herbs.” Both are for insomnia. “Make an infusion using equal parts of chamomile, valerian, skullcap, catnip, wood betony, and spearmint. 1) Use one ounce of herbs per pint of water. Let it steep ten minutes and drink it before going to bed. 2) For incredible dreams and for nights when you can’t allow sufficient time for sleep, make an infusion of 4 parts kava kava , 1 part alfalfa , 1 part spearmint ,1 part raspberry leaves, and 1 part lemon balm. Vary the strength according to your needs, and sweeten it with honey. The kava kava will produce a numbing effect on the tongue.”

As for minerals, ensure that your diet contains sufficient calcium and magnesium if you wish to sleep well. And foods high in l-tryptophan promote sleep. These include turkey, pumpkin seeds, bananas, figs, dates, yogurt, tuna, whole-grain crackers and nut butters. Avoid caffeine, cheese, wine, potatoes, and tomatoes in the evening.

Remember, “he grants sleep to those he loves.” Ps. 127:2b. May you enjoy the fruits of your labor and sleep like a newborn baby tonight. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

  • Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Using Herbs to Enhance Good Oral Health

Good oral hygiene is the foundation to having healthy teeth and gums, but occasionally we need a little extra help to keep oral health top notch. Herbs can be very beneficial in this area of good health.

Teeth, like bones, need constant remineralization. Mineral rich herbs can help prevent tooth decay by helping to remineralize and to fight bacteria in plaque. Alfalfa and Horsetail are two such herbs.

Alfalfa has tap roots that grow into the ground as far down as 60 feet. This allows Alfalfa to reach minerals that other plants cannot, making it a storehouse of nutrients containing major minerals like calcium as well as numerous trace minerals.

Horsetail is another great herb for oral care. It contains more silica than any other herb and it is in a form that is highly absorbable. This ability makes Horsetail a powerhouse in promoting collagen formation and working with calcium to strengthen teeth and bones.

Black Walnut has properties that are anticarious or helping to prevent cavities. Used as a powder and left overnight on teeth, it can help rebuild enamel and, due to its astringent properties, can help tighten loose teeth.

Bacteria in the gums can cause infection and bleeding of the gums. This is where Golden Seal can be beneficial with its bacteria-fighting alkaloid called Berberine. White Oak bark has also long been used for gum problems due to it being rich in tannins. Tannins help tighten tissue, fight infections, and halt bleeding.

Using a powder mixture of Horsetail, Black Walnut, Golden Seal, and White Oak Bark can help fight infection, tighten loose teeth, stop gum bleeding, as well as strengthen tooth enamel.
So, keep up the foundations for healthy teeth and gums, but for those times where additional support is needed, adding these powerful herbs to your dental routine can be quite beneficial.

Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND

The Health Patch 1024 S. Douglas Blvd. Midwest City, OK 73130 PH: 405-736-1030

Oral Health

Much research in alternative health of late has been directed toward the links between the gut and the brain – your microbiome. And the gut begins in the mouth. Good oral health is essential for a healthy biome. So let’s look at some factors to consider when we talk about oral health.

Regular brushing of the teeth, gums and tongue. The mouth is warm, moist, and dark – the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And that bacteria can grow rapidly in such an environment. Regular brushing to remove that bacteria is essential. Few of us brush enough. You should actually brush after each time you eat – a meal or a snack. If you can’t (for whatever reason) ensure you brush with a good quality toothbrush at least twice each day – in the morning after you rise and at bedtime. Overnight there is nothing going on to disrupt the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

Don’t forget to floss! It’s obvious that brushing removes plaque-forming bacteria from the teeth. And it also gets particles from between the teeth often missed by a brush. But it also “massages” the gums, stimulating blood circulation in the mouth with its immune stimulating factors.

Choose a good toothpaste. Toothpaste is effective for removing tartar and plaque, and it also prevents cavities, periodontal disease and bad breath. It is also the agent for removing stains and discolorations from your smile, and adding ingredients to strengthen your teeth, preventing early breakage and tooth loss. Follow brushing and flossing with a good mouthwash to rinse away the stuff you just brushed off and leave a protective barrier against the bacteria.

And there are certainly things to avoid in your toothpaste:

  • We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
  • While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
  • Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.

And there are certainly things to avoid in your toothpaste:
We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.


We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.

Just a word about probiotics. “Pro” means “for”; “biotic” means “life”. And we always want the “good” to win out over the “bad”, right? So if one of the real reasons to brush is to get rid of bad bacteria that cause any number of tooth and mouth disorders, it should make sense to use a good probiotic to fight against the bad stuff that invades our mouths and causes the diseases. I don’t see many toothpastes or mouthwashes with probiotics, but you can certainly use a chewable probiotic at the end of the toothcare routine, and don’t rinse it out of your mouth. They usually taste great and add yet another level of protection to the entryway to your whole digestive system – the mouth!

  • 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.

Children’s Health and Emotions

According to an April 2018 data analysis reported in the Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics more than 2 million U.S. children between the ages of 6 and 17 were diagnosed between 2011 and 2012 with anxiety. Cited reasons varied, but commonly included school issues and parent/family conflict.

As with adults, common physical symptoms expressed in children with anxiety include stomach aches, nausea, headaches, muscle tension, irritability, and difficulty breathing. This connection between emotional well-being and physical illness was something that Dr. Edward Bach, an English medical doctor and homeopath in the 1920’s, observed in his patients. In his observations, he noticed that certain illnesses (or physical symptoms) tended to coincide with personality traits as well as how the emotional state of a person determined a lot about their ability to heal. Dr. Bach concluded that unresolved emotional conflicts in a person created such a state of disharmony that they would eventually lead to physical illness. His belief was that health was created by restoring internal harmony. This led to his discovery, and using with his patients, a type of energy medicine created from flowers commonly referred to as Flower Essence. He created the first 38 flower essence formulas that gently restore the balance between mind and body by alleviating negative emotions such as fear, worry, and anger. Due to their very gentle nature, these made a wonderful formula to help children with anxiety.

One such formula is the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy. This magnificent flower essence, containing Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatiens, Cherry Plum, and Star of Bethlehem is particularly helpful during times of physical or emotional stress and. Here at The Health Patch we carry this flower remedy in spray and drops.

Come see us and let us help you get to the root of good health.

Kim Anderson, CNHP, ND

The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK Phone: 405-736-1030 www.thehealthpatch.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Get Your Kids Back to School Healthy

It’s that time of year again. The kids lament and the moms breathe a sigh of relief. Summer seems to get shorter and shorter, and ever more full of activities. So there is little time for rest and then it’s back to the routine of homework and school activities. What can we do to help our kids get the most from their school experience? Here are some ideas.

A well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is a necessity. The purpose of every cell in our bodies is to produce energy. But they must have a balance of proper nutrients as well as adequate water, exercise and rest to accomplish this task. Since most of us don’t get regular, well-balanced meals, supplements help to meet this need.

Mental alertness is an imperative. Establish a routine early in the school year. Schedule adequate time for rest, exercise, homework and desired activities. It takes planning and hard work to fit in everything and balance all the desires of a healthy, well-adjusted young person. There are some wonderful nutrient supplements to help with mental alertness, too. They can aid with focus and concentration and they are all natural. This is especially important if your child has focus and attention challenges. Talk to the folks in your local herb shop about specific supplements for your child’s special needs.

Also consider adding an immune system booster to your child’s supplement regimen here at the beginning of the school year. I’d recommend an echinacea or elderberry supplement. This is also important as the flu season starts up in another couple of months. But as we begin to gather in classrooms we mix our ailments with those of our classmates and become susceptible to “who knows what!”

This is also the time of year that we usually see the first round of head lice. There are some excellent natural shampoos and treatments to rid this infestation. One effective recipe using essential oils is to mix two drops eucalyptus oil, one drop each of lavender oil and geranium oil, and a teaspoon of any of the common carrier oils. Then massage this into the hair, leave it for at least a half an hour, and shampoo and rinse. An excellent rinse is made from combining two drops each of these three oils with a half an ounce of vinegar and eight ounces of water. Make sure you rinse every hair and let it dry naturally. Repeat this process daily until all the lice and eggs are gone. My grandma use to say that a good head scrubbing with old fashioned lye soap was a great natural remedy for this, too.

Does you child suffer from acne? They certainly don’t want to return to school with outbreaks of skin rashes and pimples. Help them alleviate this problem with a good hygiene regimen. There are some wonderful herbal programs and some herbal blend supplements to help also.

Finally, remember that the new school year also brings on other conditions for the average student: increased mental stress, increased muscle aches and pains for those involved in school sports, and increased emotional anxiety. Every student experiences these on different levels. Watch your students and listen to them. If a supplement is in order to help them adjust, contact your health food store or herb shop.

This is a wonderful time of the year. We anticipate fall and the end of summer. We look forward to school accomplishments and rejoining friends in daily communication. But it can be a time of added stress. Be sure to put a positive twist on every adventure. Enjoy life and make it full. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

  • 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.

Gut Supplements!

While we all should search for our own “gut healthy” diet, there are some foods that we have previously mentioned that seem to have a positive effect on the gut of most individuals. We’ve mentioned variety in the fruits and vegetables we eat – every food has its unique set of microbiomes – so the greater the variety we eat leads to a greater variety of microbiomes as well. And we know that an oriental diet introduces us to the added benefit of fermented foods, also in great variety. But for many, this is a culture shock, or a hard learning activity. Some of us simply don’t care for many otherwise healthy foods.

My advice is to do the best you can, and work at it. Our taste palates are often trained in childhood. Our cultures and our families taught us how to eat. My dad was a “meat and potatoes” man from the rural South. I ate a lot of home-grown vegetables, but nothing ethnically diverse. But I have enjoyed food most of my life and now enjoy virtually any international food delights – adding to what my friends and family call my “cast iron digestive system”. I have little problem enjoying and digesting most anything placed before me. But, if that is not you, I would suggest some gut-healthy supplements. Here are a few of them.

Number one on my list here is berberine. It is an alkaloid found as a stand-alone, or as a natural constituent in many herbs such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry. Clinical studies have shown that berberine helps to support already normal glucose and lipid metabolism, helps to control intestinal bacteria and reduce intestinal inflammation. It interested me, that in a recent program I took to improve gut health, the company recommended an eating program and added only two supplements: a strong probiotic and berberine!

Cinnamon has a strong antimicrobial action and is an astringent that will tone up the gut membranes. It is also used in many of the weight loss programs I have seen.

Golden Seal is one of our strongest immune system builders and it is usually suggested that it not be used for long periods without a break, but it has a long history of use for intestinal infections and diarrhea caused by giardia.

Finally, the amino acid L-glutamine is essential for many body functions including gut health. It helps the body produce energy in the mitochondria of the cells, and has been shown to repair leaky gut and reduce irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory diseases like ulcers, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Besides supplementation, it is found naturally in bone broth, grass fed beef, spirulina and whey protein.

Other herbs that help reduce intestinal inflammation and/or tone up the gaps between intestinal cells include pau d’arco, cat’s claw, turmeric, kudzu and black walnut. Much of this information comes from a publication by my favorite herbalist Steven Horne. Drop by the store for a copy of his complete presentation, while copies last, if you have further interest.

– 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. Check out our blogs and podcasts under “resources” on our website each week for related topics.

Gut Needs – Mix it Up!

“A healthy gut promotes a healthy body.” But what specific kinds of nutrients does the gut need? Other blogs have covered the basics: some 50 or so enzymes, several bile salts, betaine hydrochloric acid, and hundreds of microbes and probiotics – all to ensure foods are broken down into consumable components. I believe the key focus here is “variety.”

For example, we carry dozens of brands and formulations of probiotics at The Health Patch. When we opened the store 22 years ago, we could only get supplements with half a dozen strains of probiotics containing some two to three million bacteria per capsule. But research has come a long way. As the function of a given strain is uncovered, it is added to the combinations. We now carry several brands with up to 35 strains and as many as 100 million probiotics per capsule.

Additionally, enzymes are often separated by their sources – plant based, animal based or both. And capsules may be gelatin or vegetable for those who don’t wish to use animal sources.

I found an article online by a group called Viome Laboratories who are dedicated to research on gut health. They listed “8 Gut Damaging Foods and Behaviors” to avoid. It’s an article worth reading because they also give valid reasons for the avoidances. Sugar was number one, followed by Artificial Sweeteners. We’ve covered those in our blogs before. They also mentioned GMO foods, Preservatives, Antibiotics, NSAIDS, Stress and Smoking. Each of these destroy specific microbiomes necessary for good gut health. Or conversely, the use of any of these will destroy some beneficial microbiomes which could denigrate your gut health.

Each of us is different; our bodies and their nutritional needs vary – either by genetics or by environments. So there is no “perfect” gut diet that will work for everyone. But it is well determined scientifically that we all need a variety of fruits and vegetables, usually some fermented foods (like sauerkraut or kimchi), green foods, foods from the sea, and proteins. Recent research also shows that bone broth, a supplemental food which has become very popular, may also help to heal leaky gut! Experiment to find those things that work best for you while avoiding those listed above.

– 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. Check out our blogs and podcasts under “resources” on our website each week for related topics.

Detox – Yes, the Brain!

Generally, in the herbal industry, we talk a lot about detoxing.  I have a complete annual detox regimen that I practice, a different body system or specific organ for each month of the year.  I’ll be glad to share it with you if you want to drop by the store and get one, or write me and ask for one.  It’s not “magic” or even completely professional, but I’ve been using it for several years now and my doctor says I’m doing fine with no serious health problems and I’ll be 74 this year.  So, why do I even mention it?  Because when we talk about cleansing (detoxing), we rarely talk about anything to detox the brain.

You see, the brain has a special barrier called the blood-brain barrier that tries to block many toxins from getting into the brain.  It works pretty well on many substances but not all.  If you’ve ever seen a drunk person, you know that alcohol isn’t blocked and the only way to detox it is to “endure the hangover.”  The body will detox it in time – with some side effects, however.

But there are some things that the body doesn’t detox on its own.  One of those that is particularly problematic for the brain is “heavy metals.”  They are particularly damaging to our immune and nervous systems, and produce a wide range of hard-to-diagnose symptoms.  I find this to be a problem for customers who work in areas where heavy metals are common – the oil fields, places that work with heavy solvents and cleaners, people who use certain drugs, and a whole category we refer to as “drug babies.”  And I’ve often noted that while I think deodorants are great (lol), every antiperspirant I’ve found in the marketplace used aluminum (a heavy metal) as the instrument to stop perspiration.  I recommend using deodorants, but not antiperspirants!

When heavy metals get into your body, the body doesn’t know what to do with them.  The immune system, knowing they are toxic” uses the technique of “suffocating them” with fatty tissues to keep them from harming other tissues.  One place where they cause real problems is in the brain.  The brain is “electric!”  We often define the passing of a signal from one brain cell to the next as “firing” from one cell to the next.  When this “spark” fires, if it hits a molecule of a stored metal, it could be seen as a small “explosion” which damages surrounding cells. With enough of these microscopic explosions we can see the destruction of thousands of cells. Depending on which cells are destroyed, we may find many different resulting failures inside the brain.

Product components that remove heavy metals are designed to bind with the heavy metal ions and remove them from the body.  Common ingredients usually include cilantro, sodium alginate (from seaweed), apple pectin, and plenty of dietary fiber. Try eating more Mexican food – studies show that cilantro has demonstrated the capacity to remove considerable amounts of mercury from water sources, too.

Good advice as related to things consumed is “increase the good stuff and get rid of (detox) the bad!”  Live long and in good health. Genesis 1:29.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, Nana’s Pawpaw Patch – Herbs, Oils & Teas for Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@promoteyourhealth.com.