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Archive for Natural Health Product Benefits

A Year of Celebration and Health

February 2020
Overview:
Awareness: American Heart Association, National Cancer Prevention, National Children’s Dental Health, National Eating Disorder
Flower: Violet
Gemstone: Amethyst
Trees: Cypress, Poplar, Cedar, Pine

Groundhogs Day: Groundhogs live in the ground and it is from the ground that we get most of our minerals! Minerals come from rocks, soil, and water, and they’re absorbed as the plants grow or by animals as the animals eat the plants. They are the elements that our bodies need to develop and function normally. The body cannot create minerals. Minerals have to be digested, but the body can create 10 out of the 14 vitamins that we need if our mineral intake is up. They are needed to activate enzymes. If fact, many diseases are caused by a polluted blood stream and a mineral deficiency. There are 102 minerals that make up the human body. The major minerals, which are used and stored in large quantities in the body, are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.

The trace minerals are just as vital to our health as the major minerals, but we don’t need large amounts. Minerals in this category include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. “Each one plays a role in hundreds of body functions. It may take just a very small quantity of a particular mineral, but having too much or too little can upset a delicate balance in the body,” says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Essential minerals are most potent when they come from food. But if you’re struggling with deficiencies, you may need to take supplements. If so, use caution: ingesting too much of a mineral supplement can be harmful. One way the ancients supplemented minerals was to consume mineral-rich clays. The other way was by adding a hard rock to their cooking pots. There are two different methods: one was to add a rock first and then boil food over an open fire; the other was to add a hot rock to a vessel which would cook the food without using an open flame. Sodium and calcium are the top two minerals provided using this method. And, by boiling stones and water for 15 minutes any harmful bacteria should be eliminated. A limestone rock was often used in the American Southwest. This leached chemical lime from the stones into the water, which has been found to raise the pH of the water to 11.4–11.6 at temperatures between 300–600 degrees centigrade, and higher yet over longer periods and at higher temperatures. When historical varieties of maize were cooked in this water, the chemical lime broke down the corn and increased the availability of digestible proteins.

President’s Day: This is the day the United States set aside to celebrate two former Presidents’ birthdays-George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Thus, I am using this day to talk about natural birthing herbal aids.

  • Herbal infusions (aka: teas that don’t contain any Camellia sinensis-tea bush) have been used by midwives throughout history to help with some of the negative symptoms associated with pregnancy and labor.
  • Red Raspberry: While red raspberry leaf infusion is typically recommended for the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, some women use the herbal remedy to help with nausea and vomiting in the first trimester as well. The fragarine compound found in red raspberry leaves is known to help tone and tighten muscles in the pelvic area, including the walls of the uterus, which can help make delivery easier. It also lessens complications, shortens labor by helping contractions to work more effectively; making birth easier and faster, and prevents excessive bleeding after childbirth. Women who drink red raspberry leaf tea later in pregnancy have been shown to have reduced use of forceps and other interventions such as, C-sections or vacuum-extractions, as well as a reduction in the likelihood of pre- and post-term labor.
  • Nettle Leaf: Nettle leaf is a tonic herb thought to strengthen and tone the entire system, and is particularly useful to support fertility in both men and women. In traditional herbal medicine, nettles are thought to ease leg cramps, and possibly ease the pain of childbirth. After birth, nettle is thought to promote an abundant milk supply. Nettle is particularly rich in micronutrients like carotene, vitamin C, manganese, iron, calcium, zinc and chromium. As the mother passes anything she consumes to her baby both during pregnancy and breastfeeding, nettle will not only nourish her body, but also her growing baby. In addition to nettle infusion, one can use fresh nettles in springtime (be wary of their sting) in one’s cooking.
  • Oat Straw: Oat straw was traditionally used in Europe as a tonic for health, beauty, and emotional resilience. It’s rich in both calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium work together in the body. Calcium tones the muscles and the cardiovascular system, and improves circulation both in the mother’s body and, naturally, in her baby as well. It also stimulates the muscles to contract. Magnesium then, by contrast, helps those muscles to relax, easing cramps, restless legs, as well as improving sleep. In this way, it’s thought by herbalists and midwives that oat straw can be particularly valuable for pregnant women.
  • Alfalfa: Alfalfa, like nettle, is a general restorative herb. In folk medicine, alfalfa is used to support thyroid health and it’s thought to ease morning sickness. Alfalfa hay is also given to livestock to help them produce abundant milk, and is thought to convey the same benefits to human mothers as well. Alfalfa, like nettle and red raspberry leaf and other green leafs, is also rich in vitamin K which supports healthy circulation and proper blood clotting. Low vitamin K levels is linked with bleeding and hemorrhage which may be why many midwives recommend optimizing one’s vitamin K levels during pregnancy, particularly in the weeks leading up to childbirth, with the primary recommendation being diet as well as herbs like alfalfa.
  • Lemon Balm, Rose Hips and Rose Buds: Lemon balm gives a pregnancy infusion delightful, mellow lemon-like flavor. In traditional, folk medicine, lemon balm is used for nervousness, digestive upset, and headaches. Similarly, rose hips bring a light and pleasant tartness to an infusion. Rosehips are rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C, and it’s that vitamin C that works synergistically with iron to help your body better absorb that mineral. Similarly, rose buds bring pleasant floral notes and a lovely feminine energy to an infusion. Lemon balm and rose hips added to an infusion is for their flavor more than anything else. The pregnancy infusion listed below in the recipe section tends to be inky and dark, owing to the heavy use of leafy green herbs like nettle, alfalfa and raspberry leaf. Both lemon balm and rose hips, bright in flavor, aromatic and astringent, lighten the infusion in a pleasant way.

Some uncommon plants: Each culture has their own special herbs they use for labor. Alas, a vast majority of these plants are not found on the market and need to be foraged. Some exceptions are yucca and prickly pear cactus roots used by the Lakota as an infusion to aid in childbirth. Eggplants, lemons, dates, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, melons, and licorice are others that have been claimed to aid in the birthing process.

*Caution: Although herbs are natural, not all herbs are safe to take during pregnancy. The FDA urges pregnant women not to take any herbal products without talking to their health-care provider first. Women are also urged to consult a trained and experienced herbalist (or other professionals trained to work with herbs) if they want to take herbs during their pregnancy. Some herbal products may contain agents that are contraindicated in pregnancy. Herbs may contain substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth,
uterine contractions, or injury to the fetus. Few studies have been done to measure the effects of various herbs on pregnant women or fetuses.

Valentine’s Day: Many of the common symbols of this day include hearts, roses, and chocolate. It is common in Japan and Korea for singles to get together and eat Jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce). In Wales it is tradition for a man to give the woman whom he loves a carved wooden spoon.

Rose petals and their medicine help to move and open a heart which has tightened emotionally and spiritually. Both TCM and Unani (traditional Arabic medicine) teach that rose has a powerful effect on the spiritual state of one’s heart. In Unani medicine some heart herbs are termed as “exhilarants”, which help the spiritual heart feel joy. A wonderful nervine, great for uplifting the mood and alleviating depression, rose also has antispasmodic, aphrodisiac and sedative qualities, as well as being anti-inflammatory. Rose helps regulate menstruation as well as stimulate the digestion. Rosehips, which come along after the bloom has faded, are a wonderful source of vitamins C, B2 and E. One may use rose as an herbal supplement, essential oil, or flower essence. Rose petal tincture is often used in heart formulas. Dried rose petals make a lovely addition to teas. There is a long tradition of rose water being used in medicine, including in Iran and other parts of the Middle East, as far back as the 7th century.

The observation that people prone to herpetic lesions and other related viral infections, particularly during periods of stress, should abstain from arginine excess and may also require supplemental lysine in their diet. Some arginine-rich foods such as chocolate, nuts, and seeds causes some to experience herpes outbreaks. Lysine-rich foods such most vegetables and fruits, dairy, egg whites, and meats help. Foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin C such as citrus, leafy vegetables, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bell peppers, strawberries, and papaya aid in boosting the immune system. Other immune boosting foods that contain high amounts of bioflavonoids such as citrus, many bright colored fruits and vegetables, leafy vegetables, black tea, broccoli, brussel sprouts, eggplant, wine and juice made from berries or grapes. Zinc-rich foods that also aid the immune system include pumpkin seeds, most dairy, beans, lentils, whole-grain cereals, and legumes.

If you’re an abuse survivor, there’s not one way to cope with feelings that Valentine’s Day might stir up. But if you can do things that empower you and make you feel good, that’s a step in the right direction. (And for those of you who haven’t experienced abuse but know a friend who has, Valentine’s Day is a good time to reach out and remind them you’re there for them in any way they need.) Here are some general suggestions that may work for you:

  • Surround yourself with support: Seek out friends and family who make you feel validated and won’t encourage you to return to your abuser.
  • Call a helpline: There are quite a few hotlines available for those who are or have experienced domestic abuse. There’s Day One, which is a great resource. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which you can reach at (800) 656-4673.
  • Take self-defense classes: not necessarily as a defense against a future incident of abuse, but as a way to make you feel stronger and less vulnerable.
  • Turn to therapy: Talk with a therapist or a survivor group where you can be candid about the trauma you experienced. A good online support group with over 80,000 users is Pandora’s Project (a nonprofit organization that provides support to survivors of sexual assault). https://www.pandys.org.
  • Put your own needs first: Do whatever makes you feel good and at peace. It could be meditating or seeing a silly movie or reading that book you’ve been curious about. Overall, the hope is that with the right support, no matter where it comes from, triggers like Valentine’s Day will, over time, become less impactful and destabilizing. Yes, the trauma you experienced was real, but the memories of it don’t have to keep hurting you. The more autonomy you allow yourself to have over them, the sooner they’ll fade into the background.
  • Herbal aids: There are several herbal aids one may take to help deal with triggers, memories, and nightmares. St. John’s wort is most commonly used for “the blues” or depression and symptoms that sometimes go along with mood such as nervousness, tiredness, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain. Neurotransmitters function as chemical messengers. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it blocks, or inhibits, certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system. Rescue Remedy is a blend of five flower remedies especially beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic or stressful situations.

Mardi Gras: Traditional Mardi Gras foods include shrimp, grains, and legumes. All these are within the top 8 foods groups known to be allergens. In fact, researchers estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under age 18. And, about 40% of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food. There are also those who do not have allergies, but instead have intolerances. Both allergies and intolerances are labeled food sensitivities. Key differences between food allergies and food intolerances:

  • Food Allergy: Immediate response; possibly life-threatening; IgE-mediated immune response
  • Food intolerances: Response ranges from one hour to up to 48 hours; not life-threatening; possibly IgG-mediated immune response
  • Food Sensitivity Symptoms: acne, brain fog, eczema; dry and itchy skin; bloated stomach after eating; fatigue; joint pain; reflux; migraines; diarrhea; depression and mood swings; runny nose; headache; trouble sleeping and dark circles under eyes.

If you notice certain ailments or aches on a regular basis like the ones listed above, you might have a food intolerance. The tricky part is figuring out which food is to blame. Since symptoms can wait to show up until a few days after consumption, it makes diagnosis especially challenging and time-consuming. That’s why for many, food sensitivities last for decades and are largely undiagnosed. Traditionally, you would keep a food journal and embark on an elimination diet, removing possible culprits one at a time for periods of two to eight weeks (the longer the better).

Leaky gut occurs when there is damage to the lining of the intestinal tract making it more permeable to substances that should not cross the delicate lining. Normally, only nutrients from fully digested foods such as vitamins, minerals, emulsified fats, amino acids and simple sugars are able to cross the intestinal barrier that separates our blood stream from our gut. But when the gut becomes leaky, undigested food particles, bacteria and toxins are able to make it through the gut lining and they enter the
circulation, going to places in the body where they don’t belong. The body’s defense system fights back and it’s during this fight that uncomfortable symptoms are experienced.

There are several causes of leaky gut and one or more of these causes may be at work simultaneously. For example, leaky gut can be caused by damage from an autoimmune reaction, such as celiac disease which destroys the microvilli and increases permeability, or by the presence of gluten which causes the production of a chemical called zonulin which directly opens up the tight junctions, making the gut more permeable; it may also be due to damage caused by bacterial toxins in conditions such as Small
Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), which also contribute to gut inflammation leading to leakiness. And probably most importantly, leaky gut can be caused by undiagnosed food sensitivities with the immune battle between white blood cells and undigested food particles taking place in the villi of the small intestine.

Food intolerances are the main cause of symptoms associated with leaky gut. Food intolerances create a vicious cycle in that they help maintain the reason for their development (the leaky gut) while being the direct cause of the various symptoms suffered. This vicious cycle can only end after carefully removing all sources of reactive foods and chemicals, which not only eliminates symptoms, but also allows the gut to finally heal. But this is easier said than done for a number of reasons: Food sensitivities are often dose dependent, with symptom onset delayed by many hours, and there are usually many reactive foods, not just 1 or 2 as in food allergy. And just like each person has a unique fingerprint, both food intolerance symptoms and trigger foods are different from one person to another. In other words, in two gluten sensitive people, gluten may cause digestive problems in one person and migraines in another. And in 10 migraine patients, there could be 10 different sets of trigger foods. Because of this, obviously there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Although research proves that leaky gut exists, there is no perfect test to diagnose it, diagnose its cause, or determine if a particular therapy is effective at treating it. What is known is that diet and stress are two things that play a significant role in causing leaky gut. Therefore, an individually prescribed diet, stress reduction and supplement plan are a big part of the solution. Monitoring symptom improvement is the best way to determine the effectiveness of therapy and the healing of your leaky gut. Omega-3 oils, probiotics, fibers, removing foods to which one is sensitive, and eliminating sugar to can aid in the healing of the gut.

Recipes:

  • Pregnancy Infusion: Makes 28 serving Ingredients: 2 ounces’ nettle leaf, 2 ounces’ raspberry leaf, 1 ounce oat straw, 1 ounce alfalfa leaf, 1/2 ounce lemon balm, 1/2 ounce rose hips, 1/2 ounce rose buds. Instructions: Stir all the herbs together in a large mixing bowl so that they’re evenly distributed. Set a wide-mouth funnel into the lip of a jar and spoon the mixed herbs into the jar. Cap tightly and store out of the sun. Bring about a quart of water to a boil, and then spoon a heaping quarter-cup (about 1/4 ounce) of your mixed herbs into a quart-sized jar. Cover with boiling water, cap, and let them steep overnight – about 8 hours. Strain out the herbs, and enjoy the tea. Note: Take about two cups a day during the second trimester and up to a quart a day in the third trimester. Reach out to your care provider to determine what is the right amount for you.
  • Nan-e Berenji (a cookie): 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1 egg yolk, 2 cups fine rice flour, 1/4 cup rose water, 1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds. Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add egg yolk and mix for another 20-30 seconds. Sift in the rice flour, in three batches. Using a spatula, fold in the flour into mixture after each batch is added. Add the rose water. Knead the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Shape into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 325 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into small 1-inch balls and flatten the cookie into a small disc. Repair any cracks on the edges and place on baking sheet. Using the curve of a small teaspoon make overlapping arch-shaped indentation marks on the top. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bottom and edges begins to turn a light golden color. Let completely cool before carefully removing from baking tray.
  • Millet & Rice Pasta: ¼ cup arrowroot starch, ¾ cup brown rice flour, ½ cup millet flour, ½ tsp xanthan gum, ¼ tsp salt, 2 tbsp light olive oil, ½ cup flax seed gel, 4 tbsp warm water. Directions: Combine the dry ingredients and set them aside. In the stand mixer, combine all of the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients slowly until a crumbly mixture forms. Form into a long roll and slice to make long noodles. Cook as normal pasta.
  • Konjac Noodles: 2 teaspoons of glucomannan/Konjac, 1/8 teaspoon of pickling lime (or 1 gram of baking powder), 2 cups of Cold Water. Directions: Pour 2 cups of cold water into a large cooking pot. Stir in pickling lime (or baking powder) for one minute. Add the glucomannan powder, stirring continuously until the liquid reaches a boil. Boil the mixture for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. The mixture will turn into a gel once the mixture cools down. Being a thermally stable (non-reversible) gel, this gel will not dissolve at room temperature. Once cool, cut the gel into small pieces or into your desired shape. When ready to serve, dip the cut glucomannan food into a pot of warm water or steam for about 3 to 5 minutes. Then serve or continue to cook in any manner one likes.
  • Vegetable Noodles: serves 2. Ingredients: 4 zucchinis, cut into thin strips on a mandolin, or julienne peeler, black pepper, freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Directions: Saute zucchini in a pan over a medium heat with a little olive oil. Season with a little lemon, sea salt and black pepper. Add fresh herbs if you wish. Note: You may use: Zoodles-zucchini noodles, Poodles-parsnip noodles, Swoodles-sweet potato noodles, Toodles-turnip noodles, Coodles-carrot noodles, Squoodles-squash noodles, boodles-broccoli stem noodles (peel stem first).
  • Carob-dipped Strawberries: 8 -10 large fresh strawberries, washed and dried; 3 tablespoons coconut oil; 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or liquid stevia-to taste), optional; 2 tablespoons carob powder. Directions: Pre-line a flat tray that you will use to place your strawberries on to and keep in the fridge to cool whilst preparing the carob sauce. Pre-chilling the tray helps carob coating to set quickly. In a small mixing bowl, mix coconut oil over boiling water to melt. (Use a small saucepan of boiling water and sit bowl over the top. The heat from underneath will melt the coconut oil in the mixing bowl). Add carob powder and optional maple syrup (or liquid stevia-to taste) and mix well. Holding the strawberry at the leafy end, dip each strawberry into the carob sauce and coat well. Use a spoon to help if needed. Place onto pre-chilled and lined tray. Once all strawberries are coated, place in fridge until carob coating is set. Keep in refrigerator until ready to eat. Variations: Use raw cacao powder instead of carob for an authentic chocolate flavor. Add desiccated coconut to your carob dipping sauce or sprinkle coconut over wet carob dipped strawberries before setting. Add 1 tablespoon nut butter such as almond butter to dipping sauce for a nut fudge coating. Make carob sauce to serve as a fondue at dinner parties and let guests dip their own strawberries. Tips: Make sure your washed strawberries are pat dry before dipping into carob sauce otherwise the coating won’t stick as well. For an extra thick coating of carob, after first coat is set on strawberries repeat process for a second coating. Pre-chilling your lined setting tray in freezer will help the carob coating to set quickly. Pre-chill your washed strawberries in the refrigerator prior to dipping to also help the carob to set quickly. If your carob dipping sauce is too runny it won’t stick to the strawberries well. If it is too runny place your dipping sauce in the fridge for a few minutes or until it begins to thicken.
  • Traditional King Cake (Gil Marks): Dough-1 package active dry yeast (or 1 cake fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast); 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115°F for dry yeast; 80 to 85°F for fresh yeast); 1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115°F for dry yeast; 80 to 85°F for fresh yeast) (or sour cream); 1/4 cup granulated sugar; 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (½ stick); 2 large egg yolks or 1 large egg; 3/4 tsp table salt; 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or cardamom), optional; 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, optional; 1/8 tsp almond extract, optional; 1 tsp grated lemon zest, optional; 2 tsp grated orange zest (or orange blossom water), optional; 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or bread flour); 1/4-1/2 cup chopped candied citron (or ½ cup chopped mixed candied fruit, or ½ cup golden raisins); egg wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk or water)–Cinnamon Filling-(optional): 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar; 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon; pinch salt; 2/3 cup chopped slightly toasted pecans (or 1/3 cup pecans); ¼ cup raisins; ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (½ stick); 1 pecan half, large bean, or other token/baby, optional. Icing–1 cup confectioners’ sugar; 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (¼ stick) (or ¼ cup cream cheese, softened), optional; 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or ¼ teaspoon almond extract); 1 tbsp milk (buttermilk, fresh lemon juice, or water); a few drops gold food coloring (or 2 to 4 tablespoons yellow colored sugar) optional; a few drops green food coloring (or 2 to 4 tablespoons green colored sugar), optional; a few drops purple food coloring (or 2 to 4 tablespoons purple colored sugar), optional. Directions: To make the dough–In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt, and, for a flavored dough (but omit this if you are using a filling), the spice or zest. Blend in 1½ cups flour. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft workable dough. On a lightly floured surface or in a mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough until smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. Knead in the citron, mixed candied fruit or golden raisins. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a kitchen towel or loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours, or in the refrigerator overnight. To make the optional filling–In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the pecans. Drizzle the butter over top and mix until crumbly. Punch down the dough and knead briefly. Making the cake with the filling: Roll the dough into a 16- by 10-inch rectangle, spread evenly with the filling, leaving 1 inch uncovered on all sides. If using a token, place it on the rectangle (Be sure to warn your guests.) Beginning from a long end, roll up jellyroll style. Then bring the ends together to form an oval. Place on a parchment paper-lined or greased baking sheet, seam side down. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap spritzed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Making the cake without the filling: Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 24-inch-long rope. Braid the 2 ropes together, and bring the ends together to form an oval, pinching the ends to seal. OR Divide the dough in thirds and roll each piece into a 16-inch rope. If you prefer an oval shape, the strands should be closer to 20 inches. Braid by first connecting the ends of the ropes at one end. As you braid, be sure that you are pulling the strands gently taut to make a neat and even braid, otherwise your cake may bulge in some areas. When you are ready to connect the ends, unbraid a few inches at each end, then braid them together by connecting the corresponding pieces. For example, center rope to center rope. Place on a parchment paper-lined or greased baking sheet, seam side down. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap spritzed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. To make the icing: In a medium bowl, stir the confectioners’ sugar, optional butter or cream cheese, vanilla, and enough milk until smooth and of a pouring consistency. If desired, divide the icing into thirds and tint each third with one of the food colorings. Or you can drizzle or spread the icing over the warm cake. While the icing is still wet, sprinkle with the colored sugar. The easiest way to do this neatly is to use a pastry brush to apply icing to each section, then sprinkle with sugar, let dry, and move on to the next section. For the braided cake, follow the braid pattern around the cake, using one color at a time and applying to each icing section directly after applying while still wet (the icing dries fast!). Then allow the icing to dry and gently tap off the excess sugar before starting the next color. Serve warm or at room temperature. After cooling, the cake can be wrapped well in plastic, then foil and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Do not cover with the icing before freezing. Variation: Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Beat 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese at room temperature with 1 cup (4 ounces/115 grams) confectioners’ sugar, ½ egg yolk (use the rest for the egg wash), and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract. This can be used with or without the cinnamon filling. Hint: To make colored sugar, in a jar shake ¼ cup granulated sugar with 4 drops yellow, green, or purple food coloring.

—-Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ—-
Jolene Griffiths, 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 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.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.

Heart Healthy Foods for February

February is American Heart month. This February marks the 51st anniversary of American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., claiming more lives than all cancers combined. It is important for us to take a serious look at what we can do to lower our risk for heart disease this month and throughout the year. I will share with you the following tips to get started on your path toward Heart Health.

Be active. Physical activity is one of the best ways to fight off heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any amount of activity is better than nothing. However at least 30 minutes a day is ideal. If you can’t devote a full 30 minutes, split your exercise into 10-minute segments.

Maintain a healthy diet. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in fat and sugar. High fiber foods can help prevent high cholesterol.

Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight especially in your mid-section is hard on the heart and can increase risk for diabetes. Losing 5-10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.

Know your numbers. Have your levels checked. Staying informed will allow you to better manage your heart and prevent certain health conditions from developing.

Dark chocolate on Valentine’s Day? My answer would be “yes”. Why?

  1. Dark chocolate may give your brain a boost. Dark chocolate, made from the seed of the cocoa tree, is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
  2. Cocoa may calm your blood pressure.
  3. Dark chocolate can help you lower your cholesterol. There are a number of products out there to help lower cholesterol. But by all means, don’t use dark chocolate as a license to purchase a case of dark chocolate. It is just an added benefit.
  4. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower your risk of heart disease. Keep in mind these dark chocolates should contain at least 50-70% cocoa.

Another tip: these dark chocolates should be sweetened with natural healthy sweeteners, not refined sugars. Where can you find these healthy sweeteners? “At the Health Patch” of course!

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

Mulled Cider

One of my most fond memories of the holidays from my childhood, and one which has followed me into adulthood, is the smell of the kitchen as we prepared the mulled cider which was a part of warm family gatherings. The mulled cider was made by placing about a gallon of apple juice (or apple cider, red wine, cranberry juice, or pineapple juice) in a large pan on the stove. We’d add the mulling spices (about a half-cup of them) tied in cheesecloth. These days we use a tea ball instead. Then we’d simply let it simmer – at least a half hour, though I can remember mom dipping servings from the pan, adding more juice, and letting it simmer all evening.

Recently I thought, what were these spices? And since the recipe dates back to the Middle Ages, what was the importance of such wassail to the folks back then? Obviously, it was a tasty treat. But the spices were expensive back then, so the treat was only for the more affluent, their families and their friends. And even then it was reserved for special occasions, like the holidays we’re about to enter.

I wanted to take it a bit further and look at the spices individually and see what other needs may have been met in their use as a festive, winter drink.

The Spaniards introduced Ginger to the Americas in the 16th century. It is known to inhibit an enzyme that causes cells to clot and, as such, help to prevent “little strokes”. It helps to relieve nausea, to relieve congestion in the sinus cavities, to warm blood vascular stimulation, to treat sore throats, and as a body cleanser. Herbalists have long recommended it as a regulator of blood cholesterol and to improve blood circulation. In China, ginger is used for bronchitis, flu, and the first stages of the common cold.

The volatile oils in Orange Peel help to reduce fevers, help warm the body, aid in relieving scurvy, and help relieve heartburn. Dental texts note that orange oil helps prevent gingivitis! Aromatherapists traditionally use these oils to improve appetite, treat bronchitis and respiratory infection, lower cholesterol, and help to relieve mid-winter “blues”.

Cinnamon is listed in most texts as one of the spices that spurred world exploration. Studies conducted by Japanese researchers have shown that it contains a substance that is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It helps to control virulent outbreaks by many microorganisms including the one that causes botulism and staphylococcus. Historically it has been used for treating bronchitis, arthritis, diarrhea, stomach upset, fever, nausea, parasites, rheumatism, and vomiting.

One text on spices notes that Allspice can be used to make couples more harmonious. Physically it is a balm for the liver, helps warm the body, improves digestion, calms the nerves, opens the sinuses, relieves colic and gas, and loosens tight muscles.

Herbalists have used Clove for centuries to cure nausea and rid the stomach and intestine of gas. Its essential oil is today one of the most effective pain relieving agents used by dentists, and has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties. It also helps relieve bad breath, poor circulation, dizziness, nausea, and dysentery. Oh, by the way, it is also said to increase sex drive (just what you need on those cold winter nights!).

And finally, star anise. It was used by the Romans to provide a delightful palette and to help prevent indigestion from overeating. And today it is a popular addition to cough syrups, mouthwashes, candies and bakery goods. It is a cell stimulator for the heart, liver, brain and lungs, and its volatile oils can be helpful for treating bronchitis, spasmodic asthma, and emphysema. It can also be used for colds, coughs, indigestion, excessive mucus, pneumonia, loss of appetite, and stimulating most of the glands.

Is it any wonder that this popular drink was used so extensively, especially during those cold winter months? Make it a welcome addition to your holiday festivities. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

  • 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!

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.