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Archive for Natural Health Regimens

Staying Healthy: The Importance of Exercise

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’ve been looking at various ways of staying healthy. I wanted to focus this article on the importance of exercise.

In a previous blog I referred to an article I read in a medical magazine on this topic. It stated that for a person who retires from his active job and decides that he’s “done his part” and is going to just sit down and watch [football] for the rest of his life, his life expectance is only about two (2) years. That may surprise you but remember several of our body systems don’t have pumps to move nutrients along. And notable, the waste disposal systems – the kidney, the bowel, and the lymphatic system – are among them. I call it the “toothpaste effect”. How do you get toothpaste out of the tube? You squeeze it! And how do you get the dead cells out of your lymphatic system? You contract the muscles, which squeeze the lymph nodes and lymphatic tubing to move the waste to the disposal locations. If you don’t move, then neither does the toxic, dead waste your body produces. Is it any wonder the body becomes toxic and diseased?

Now, be assured, I’m not telling you you have to go join a gym and do vigorous, daily workouts. While that may be important to some, I just think of exercise as movement! Regular, active, get-your-heart-pumping movement! One writer said it’s anything that makes your muscles work and makes your body burn calories.” I like that! Just don’t become a “couch potato” and bind yourself to the TV.

While researching this article, I read dozens of resources on the importance of exercise from sources like the Mayo Clinic, the Better Health Channel, Healthline, and many others. Most come to several similar conclusions:

  • It improves your mood and makes you feel happier; reduces stress and anxiety and reduces depression by generating and mobilizing “feel good” hormones.
  • It helps you build and maintain strong muscles and bones. It is great for your skeletal system. Just like plants grow stronger in the wind, your skeleton grows stronger when it is exercised.
  • It reduces fatigue and increases energy levels by moving vital nutrients throughout the body.
  • Obvious to most of us is the fact that burning more calories also helps us to manage our weight and helps us loose weight.
  • One writer quoted “regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition, and can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”
  • Blood and oxygen flow from exercise improves memory and brain function and may slow the aging process.
  • It helps prevent and manage many other health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, strokes, arthritis and many types of cancers.
  • It can improve sleep quantity and quality, especially for the older folks among us who are prone to many sleep disorders. Let’s face it, a good restful sleep is certainly more forthcoming when we go to bed tired!
  • Several writers noted that it can “put the spark back in your sex life” not only by increasing your energy, but by increasing your confidence about your physical appearance.

And quoting from an article from the Mayo Clinic, “Exercise can be fun … and social! Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy.”

How much is enough? I loved my Fitbit and used it for several years. It advocated 250 steps every waking hour as a minimum. Several references stated you needed to get your heart rate to 200 minus your age for 15 minutes each day. The Mayo Clinic article advocated 150 minutes each week of moderate aerobic activity. Most references have suggestions for healthy activity.  Choose one that works for you – one that you will do regularly.  The bottom line is “get up off the couch and MOVE every day.” Find something active that you enjoy and stay at it.  One of my best friends lived to be 95, and she did water aerobics at the “Y” regularly.  It’s not so much WHAT your do, but that you do something – regularly!

–  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.

Staying Healthy: The Importance of Water

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’re going to look at various ways of staying healthy. I wanted to focus this article on the preparedness for having pure water.

I want to refer you to a couple of other articles I’ve written on water. One is Water, Water Everywhere! It is available in our resource list, and it points out the decreasing supply of potable water on our planet due to pollution and lack of care of the water systems. It quotes Dr. Andrew Weil from his book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health: “According to recent reports, drinking water in the U.S. is increasingly becoming a health risk, whether you live in a big city or a rural area.  More than one hundred million Americans drink water that contains significant levels of three cancer-causing chemicals: arsenic, radon, and chlorine by-products. In addition to chemical contamination, chlorine-resistant viruses and parasites can slip through the more than one thousand large water systems in this country lacking proper filters.”  And we can add to his comments that many health advocates believe that even chlorine and fluoride, which we routinely add to our drinking systems, are themselves health risks. And it itemizes many of these risks.  The second article from our resource list is Which Water Is Best? It itemizes many of the water types currently available to us and points out some of the benefits of each.

I read a book several years ago that I recommend to you for addressing your need for water. The book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water outlines how much water you need and why. We need water throughout each day.  Technically, the body assimilates only about four ounces of water each hour. So, guzzling a whole bottle of water a few times a day doesn’t hydrate us very well.  My studies show that we need about half our body weight in ounces of water each day, with a minimum of 64 ounces and a maximum of about 100 ounces.  So, if you weigh 180 pounds, plan to drink about 90 ounces per day at the rate of four to six ounces per waking hour.  Less than that won’t give you proper hydration and more than the 100-ounce maximum may tend to wash essential minerals (especially cell salts) from your body.

The real purpose of this article, which differentiates it from the others we’ve written is how do we get pure water to use in times of crisis? Most of us live in urban areas and get our water from the water treatment plants of our towns. When those systems are inoperable, we still need water. So, I’m outlining some options to ensure that you have safe water in these emergencies.  Note that these are just suggestions and require some preplanning on your part.  In an emergency, it may be too late to “make arrangements.”

To name a few:

  • You may simply store a supply of water for drinking or washing/bathing. The shelf life on many of these is shorter, so you’ll need to use and resupply on a regular basis to keep it useful. And you may need more room to store an adequate supply for your family.
  • Home wells work. We have one. But you need to have the water tested periodically for chemical contamination and pesticides. Treat it as needed for these issues. Also, usually the water is drawn from the well by electricity – not like in the old days when you could just pump it.  Such pumps are still available, and you might also consider a solar source of power to pump it.
  • When I was in the Boy Scouts, we took water purification tablets on our campouts.  These are still available but are usually limited to neutralizing some chemicals and perhaps a few pathogens. But they are cheap and easily stored for emergencies.
  • Another step up in this day and age are decontamination straws.  You use these just like a straw, but the filtering mechanisms filter and remove chemicals, pathogens, toxins, and other things that could cause you problems. I like a company called LifeStraw. A single straw will sterilize 3000 liters of water, has an almost unlimited life of functionality, and is easily stored due to its size.
  • And, of course, many home water-system decontamination units exist and vary in costs from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars.  These may cover your entire home.

Remember, you can’t live without water, and you need a viable, healthy source. Plan to have your own supply in an emergency. It may not be available from other sources.

–  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.

Staying Healthy: Nutritious Foods

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’re going to look at various ways of staying healthy. For most of us that would start with eating right, i.e., getting all the nutrition we need. There are many popular programs that seek to give us that illusive perfect diet. We’ll look at several.

You don’t have to be talking about nutrition with me before you start hearing me espouse Dr. Joel Wallach’s list of essential nutrients. He was nominated for the Nobel prize in Medicine in 1991 for his work on necessary nutrition for humans and supplementation to provide them. He documented over 90 nutrients that we need every day: 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, twelve amino acids, and three essential fatty acids. I remember reading an article in the Journal of American Medicine shortly after the turn of the century that stated that they recommended that at a minimum every American should be on a good, quality Multiple Vitamin because all the necessary ones would be impactable (if not impossible) to get anymore from just food.

You can’t watch TV for any length of time before you’re seeing advertisements for “systems” that offer you programmed meals for various purposes – mostly losing weight. But I always question whether weight loss becomes more important than healthy eating. How many nutrients are missing from these focused diets?

Last month I heralded the new programs that portion prepare your ingredients and offer packages that only need to be cooked by you.  And I do like many aspects of these programs. But remember, YOU select the meals you want to prepare, so there is the potential to “get in a rut” and continually eat only the things you know you like and skip the variety that will provide an assortment of nutrients. I believe the folks designing these meals seek to provide balanced meals, but they don’t decide what you order, or how strictly you stick with the recipes.

We used to carry hundreds of books to cover every aspect of diet, nutrition and health. But few people bought them and fewer still spent time researching the nuances of the offerings there. There were many “words of wisdom” in them. I remember books like:

  • Eat Right for Your [blood] Type – It focused on how bodies of different blood types “burned” nutrients differently, and what was good for one blood type may not be so good for another one.
  • Eat Your Colors – It taught us that blue and purple foods helped to control obesity and were antioxidants that protected us from free radicals and cellular damage; greens contain chlorophyll and carotenoids that protect human eyes and skin; red foods protect us from oxidation damage, especially from ultraviolet light and tobacco smoke; among many other things, the vitamins and carotenoids in yellow and orange foods play a role in age-related macular degeneration and cataracts; and white foods contain more fiber, potassium and magnesium.

I’ll address the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water more fully in a future session. But for now, we need to know that the water content of our foods is also important to our health.

Remember, each of us has many common traits of anatomy – but each of us is also different genetically. Therefore, I don’t believe that is ONE perfect diet for the whole of us! So, if you were reading/listening to this to find the perfect answer, I’m sorry.  The purpose of this session is to address the fact that there ARE many nutrients that may be missing from your diet, and that absence WILL affect your health and enjoyment of life.

Even the Food & Drug Administration publishes a Food Pyramid describing a “healthy diet”; but I note that it has changed twice in my lifetime, based on new research, and new food production techniques.

Those of us who are healthier will need to study our family histories, our genetics, our current health and make judgments. Keys will include better food sourcing, better food preparation, more food variety, limiting food intake, …, AND a really good, quality Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement to help fill in some of the dietary gaps!

–  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.

Simples: Dandelion

The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer as Spring emerges, and in my hand is what will make my wishes come true.  Close my eyes, make a wish, count to three and…..blow!   The childish delight of watching the thousands of dry dandelion seeds travel on the wind!  And of course, if I blew hard enough to remove all seeds with one blow, well the added benefit of a realized wish! Of course, with adulthood, not much faith is placed in the “making a wish” with dandelion seeds, but I certainly have a deep respect for the plant that has so many health benefits.  

The Latin name for Dandelion is Taraxacum Officinale and has been referred to by other common names as Puff-ball, Lion’s Tooth, and Wild Endive.  The name Dandelion is taken from the French meaning “dent de lion” — Lion’s Tooth.  This is a reference to the toothed edges of its leaves. 

It is commonly thought to have been included as one of the “bitter herbs” that was mentioned in the Bible and has recorded use from the 10th century as an excellent diuretic and laxative. 

Nicholas Culpeper, a physician and herbalist in the 17th century, was always a man for the common people and set about translating the English Physician’s Pharmacopoeia from the professional’s Latin to the common man’s English.  In doing so, he was defamed by his colleagues, but very much respected and popular among the common community he served.  Culpeper wrote this about Dandelion:  “It is of an opening and cleansing quality, therefore, very effectual for the obstructions for the liver, gall, and spleen.  It opens the passages of the urine both in the young and old, powerfully cleanses and doth afterward heal them.”

Cleansing and healing!   The Dandelion is full of health benefits.   With constituents like phenolic acids that help with inflammation, polysaccharides to enhance digestion, and inulin to feed good gut flora, these are just a few of the health benefits found in the roots.  The flowers contain nutritive Vitamins A and B-2 and minerals.  When used as a diuretic, Dandelion is amazingly effective, but without the side effect of mineral depletion that can occur with pharmaceutical diuretics.  This diuretic effect makes Dandelion helpful in cases of hypertension and edema.  The cleansing properties of Dandelion make is helpful in uses for skin issues like Psoriasis and Eczema. 

Although (unfortunately) it is considered a weed to many, it grows rampant in the U.S.  It can be found wild most anywhere, but if wildcrafting the plant, please be careful of any toxins that may have been sprayed on the ground or chemicals dumped in the ground. It can be used in tea or capsules. And of course, there is the fun way to benefit from Dandelion blossoms….Dandelion Wine!

Here is a recipe from the Late Dr. Phil Fritchey.  Enjoy!

  • 2 quarts of fresh Dandelion flowers (making sure they have not been sprayed!)
  • 2 quarts of spring water
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cups of brown turbinado sugar
  • ½ packet of yeast

Carefully remove stems from the flowers.  Place in a large crock or non-metal pan.  Thinly slice the orange and lemon and add to the flowers, along with the sugar.  Bring water to a boil and pour over the flowers, fruit and sugar.   Cover loosely and let set two days, stirring occasionally.  Strain liquid into another large pot and add yeast.  Cover loosely again and allow to ferment in a warm place for two weeks.  Skim off any foam, and carefully pour off wine, trying not to disturb any sediment.  Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in tightly sealed bottles. 

“Wishing” you health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030 and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

Healthy Body Systems: Urinary Maintenance

In 2020 we completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups.  Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.”

Many herbal supplement manufacturers not only focus supplementation on specific problems within a body system but they also usually have what I call an “umbrella” product. This umbrella is an attempt to both cleanse AND nourish that system.

This month we’re considering the Urinary System. Its primary functions include ridding the body of soluble toxic wastes storing and expelling urine and maintaining fluid regulation. Many of us may not know that it is also responsible for helping the body to maintain proper levels of minerals. The urinary system in the body is composed of your kidneys, ureters, your bladder, and urethra.

Functionally, the kidneys do most of the work. They lie behind the stomach in a protecting cushion of fat. They balance the blood’s pH by maintaining sodium/potassium balance, secrete some hormones to help regulate the body, extract water from the body to keep it healthy, help regulate blood pressure, and filter toxins from the bloodstream. The ureters are tubes attached to the bottom of each kidney to carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine and signals the brain when it needs to be emptied. And the urethra is a tube that leads to the outside world for toxic waste disposal.

One maintenance function I like to mention here is that if you fail to empty the bladder often enough the chemicals it holds can allow bacterial growth causing infection and/or irritation. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you here to drink enough water. How much? My answer is always half your body weight in ounces – with a minimum of 64 ounces and a maximum of 100 ounces regardless of your weight! One easy way to consider whether you’re drinking enough water is to pay attention to the color of your urine: look for bright, sunshine yellow urine for adequate water consumption. Dull yellow or tannish brown is inadequate. No color (totally clear) may indicate too much!

Common problems associated with the Urinary system include kidney stones, bladder and/or kidney inflammation and infection, and pain and irritation.

I have some old Nature’s Sunshine training materials from a body systems class we used to offer that listed some interesting facts about the urinary system. It states that the kidneys recycle about 45 gallons of blood every day. 25% of your blood is being filtered in the kidneys at all times.  Inside the kidneys are 2.4 million nephron filters requiring 50 miles of tiny capillaries and tubules. And micturition is the medical term for emptying the bladder! Fun, huh?

While there are many herbal supplements to help alleviate problems with different components and functions of the urinary system, the “umbrella” product we use for folks who have general problems or a hereditary predisposition for urinary system problems is actually called “Urinary Maintenance.” It contains asparagus stem which is known to help detoxify; dandelion leaf which serves as a potent herbal diuretic; parsley which is another diuretic; cornsilk which is known to cleanse the urinary tract and help with urinary tract infections; watermelon seeds which are known to be rich in magnesium, iron, and zinc; the potent silica source of horsetail; hydrangea which has been shown to dissolve the minerals that may cause kidney and gallbladder stones; and several other herbals with specific aids for the urinary system.

If you have urinary issues, talk to us about Urinary Maintenance supplementation. Add “urinary” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030 and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

Simples: Gingko Biloba

“Do you have anything for memory?”

Right behind a request for supplements for better sleep, this may be the most frequent question I am asked.  The question has no age boundaries, either; adults in any age group find from time to time that they are just not thinking as clearly or recalling information as they would like.  It really is not surprising to me that this issue is on the rise; in our time of great technology, we are never “unplugged”.  We have constant information at our disposal without time to really process that information.  The stress that our culture experiences lend itself to a rise of quicker aging processes and diseases that can decrease our ability to think or remember clearly. 

With oxidation and aging quicker from stress, we often experience a lack of circulation throughout the body and recognize it by the fatigue and “foggy” thinking that can come with it.  Increasing circulation throughout the body, particularly to the brain, is key in helping to increase cognitive function.  Gingko Biloba has been found to have compounds that can do just that.

The Gingko tree is an ancient tree, but it has only been in the last several decades that the compounds in the Ginkgo leaf have been found to have significant effects on circulation.  Since this discovery, Gingko has become one of the most studied medicinal herbs in the world.

What have these studies discovered? Gingko can relax blood vessels to enhance blood flow to the brain and extremities.  This action can help improve concerns caused by decreased blood flow such as memory loss, lessened cognitive function, ringing in the ears, dizziness, some cases of erectile dysfunction, and hypertension. Gingko also strengthens capillaries, helping with easy bruising.

Gingko also has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aggregation properties; making it useful in helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases and free radical damage.  Free radical damage has been indicated in dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

While using the whole herb for medicinal purposes is recommended for the benefits of utilizing cofactors in the plant, studies have shown that that is not the case in Gingko. Concentration, standardization (meaning the doses are kept consistent), and consistency are key with this herb.  The extracts of the Ginkgo leaf have been found to be the most beneficial and using standardized extracts consistently for at least 2 to 3 months is when the most health benefits have been recognized.  Also, due to its blood-thinning properties, Gingko Biloba should be used with caution when taking blood thinners.

As always, we here at The Health Patch are happy to help you find the most beneficial supplements for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

Healthy Body Systems: Mega-Chel

We’ve just completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups. Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.

Many herbal supplement manufacturers not only focus supplementation on specific problems within a body system but they also usually have what I call an “umbrella” product. This umbrella is an attempt to both cleanse AND nourish that system.

What is Mega-Chel? Mega-Chel is Nature’s Sunshine’s umbrella product for the entire Circulatory System. It contains high levels of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glandular extracts, and other nutrients that have a history of “conditioning” the entire circulatory system. According to a resource card produced by Natures Healthy People, “Ingredients found in Mega-Chel reduce fatty deposits in the arteries; reduces blood cell clumping; lowers triglyceride, LDL and total cholesterol levels; improves vascular and heart muscle tone; and increases circulation, peripheral warming, and oxygenation of all body tissues.”

Why do we need it? Most of us know of someone (or perhaps you are that someone) who suffers from high cholesterol or hardening of the arteries. The function of plaque in the arteries is to “plug” cracks in the arteries, or cover foreign material that may be seen by the body as dangerous. LDL cholesterol and other floating fats may be seen as such a foreign material. So, the plaque simply acts as the glue or cover to adhere that material to the artery walls to “take it out of circulation. Over time, too much coverage of this type of material may narrow the diameter of the artery causing blockages. Most of us know of someone in the family who has required “stints” to re-open these arteries. And such blockages can also overwork the heart which is trying to pump adequate blood through these vessels – leading to strokes and heart attacks.

How does Mega-Chel work? As noted above, many of the ingredients in this product are for toning the system, “feeding” the system with needed nutrients, and soaking up and removing many of the unwanted elements in the system – a “cleansing” effect. But additionally, many of the ingredients are various minerals that serve the function of “chipping at’ or “scraping” the walls of the arteries. These minerals can remove the plaque from areas where the excess foreign material was covered without removing the “glue” from actual cracks where it is still needed.

This process should be accomplished slowly because stuff adhered to the walls long ago may be packed on, but new plaque will come off the walls quickly releasing those materials back into the bloodstream easily. And heavy scrubbing of those materials could release too much debris into the bloodstream too quickly producing headaches and excess fatigue.

Years ago, a Mega-Chel Program was introduced and has proven highly successful in removing decades of plaque buildup. We would be glad to share this program material with you and discuss how to best use it. Accomplishing the complete program would generally require about three months plus one month for each decade of your age. The cost would be limited to the cost of the required amount of Mega-Chel and also depends on your age. Drop by the store and talk with us about it if you are interested. I completed the Mega-Chel program about a decade ago and found it to be very helpful in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Successful use of this product DOES NOT require doing the complete program. I introduced it to an 85-year-old friend of mine some years ago and in two years reduced her arterial blockage by about ten points with minimal supplementation and enabled her to avoid arterial surgery.

If you have circulatory issues, talk to us about Mega-Chel supplementation. Add “circulatory” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

For more information about Mega-Chel, click on the link. Should you decide to purchase it, use sponsor number 10258.

How to Prepare: Home Gardening

An upgrade to the grocery store for more quality and local production is your local Farmer’s Market. They are popular now and available most likely on weekends in YOUR hometown. Foods are usually locally grown and most of the gardeners are willing to tell you how they grew them – pesticide-free; compost, organic or commercial fertilizers; watering sources; chemicals used to enhance production; did they produce the plants from heirloom, hybrid, or commercial GMO seeds; or did they purchase the seedlings from commercial sources and determine how they grew them?

Obviously, you get the best of exactly what you want if you do it all from seed selection from heirloom sources, and make all the production decisions exactly as you want them yourself. I am a strong advocate of do-it-yourself home gardening. If I’m going to eat it, I want to know how it was produced and what was used in the growth process.

If you’ve never gardened before, you can start by just removing ground cover grasses, shoveling the soil, adding some compost or other organic material to enrich the soil, putting your seeds in the soil according to the directions on the seed packets, provide regular water, and remove weeds to keep only what you want growing there. There’s an exhilarating joy in watching your plants grow, flower, put on vegetables and picking and eating from your own handiwork. Start small with just a few of your favorite vegetables, and add to the beds each year as you become more confident.

Through the years, I’ve used many techniques. Each has its advantages. As a kid, I watched my dad use the tractor to dig up the ground each year to produce virtually all the vegetables we needed for our family of seven. But it was a most pleasurable experience to watch my oldest daughter, shortly after her marriage, put just a few vegetables in her suburban flower beds and pick a few of her favorite “tasties” and serve them to her family. My sister lives in a small apartment – she does “container gardening” (which we will cover in more detail next month!). The size of your garden is limited only by the size of the beds you have available, how much time you have to work those beds, and how much you want, or need, to produce.

And there are many new developments in the home gardening arena. We’ll look at just a few of them that I have personally tried. Outside of the “normal” gardening I’d done all my life, I tried “Plasti-culture”. Introduced to the US more than a decade ago, and used in Israel very extensively for decades now, it is a great way to conserve water, limit weeds, and focus your production. I applied and met the criteria for an Oklahoma Agriculture Department, a three-year state-subsidized test of the method. Special machines, in one pass, cultivate the beds, mound the soil, lay down drip irrigation, cover the mounded rows with plastic sheeting, and cover the edges of the plastic to keep it in place. The drip lines are connected to a watering source and you can even attach a timer to turn the water on and off according to weather conditions and the need for water of the plants you choose. Then you just poke holes in the plastic and place your seedlings. The plastic conserves the moisture, warms the soil, and prevents weeds from growing. The only negative I saw was the cost of the initial bed preparation and the need for adequate room for the machines to operate.

Next, I tried “chip gardening”. The idea here is that each year you add two inches of wood chips after poking holes in previous years rotted/composted organic material and inserting your plants. The chips do help cut down on weeding, and the composted soil adds vital nutrients to the ground virtually illuminating the need for commercial fertilizers. You can order (or purchase from our store) a DVD of the film “Back To Eden” which guides you through the entire process. Here in central Oklahoma chips are readily available for free, and as the film states, the process is a “simple sustainable solution.”

This year we’re trying a technique we’re learning from the Neversink Farm (videos on YouTube) using techniques that do not disturb the underground bio culture. They boast the highest crop production per square foot of garden space in their state.

I hope to be able to combine chip gardening with the Neversink techniques to see if we can get the most from our Oklahoma garden. Grow your own food and never be without – wishing you health for your family!

– Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

For more information about this product, click the link: https://www.naturessunshine.com/recommended-products/10258/4051pmoklqpho4b/?sid=10258&offer=NSP Should you decide to purchase, use sponsor number 10258.

Healthy Body Systems – Enzymes

We’ve just completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups.  Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.

For this first offering of the year, we’ll consider enzymes – what are they, why do we need them and how do we get them.

What are enzymes? They are biologically active proteins found in every living cell.  They fall into two different categories. Metabolic enzymes are regulatory; they regulate every biochemical reaction occurring in your body. They are essential for overall health. Digestive enzymes primarily turn the food we eat into energy. There are over 1300 different enzymes found in the body and they combine to numerous coenzymes to form around 100,000 chemicals to carry out virtually all of our body processes. As we look at our digestive system, we will be more concerned with the digestive enzymes – those that break down our foods so that we may extract the nutrients we need to “feed” our bodies.

Why do we need them? Nutrients from the foods we eat could not be extracted without their being broken down into a mush-like substance. This allows the friendly probiotics to “digest” them and then excrete them in a liquified form. Then the intestinal villi may absorb them and pass them along into the bloodstream for delivery to the cells that require them. Enzymes facilitate this process as well as allowing the waste byproducts of digestion to be discarded.

How do we get them? There are several functions that allow us to get the enzymes we need.

Firstly, the body produces some of them and they are secreted along the digestive tract.  Around 50 or so are produced and stored in the pancreas. A “trigger” in the stomach announces the arrival of food components and the pancreas secretes those enzymes needed for the breakdown of the specific foods found in the stomach. The liver, gall bladder, small intestine, stomach, and colon also play a role in this process. And the quantities of enzymes our bodies produce are affected by our age and the health of the various components of our digestive systems.

Secondly, raw foods we consume contain enzymes to help in the digestion of those foods themselves. Unfortunately, those foods generally only contain specific enzymes, and in appropriate quantities, to digest that food itself. Further, cooking and processing these foods destroy most of the enzymes they contain. This fact has led many people to consider a completely raw diet which is difficult to carry out and impractical for most.

Thirdly, these two shortcomings often lead to the necessity for supplementation. Which supplements you need is determined by the foods you eat and the need to know which enzymes you need to add to your diet.

A list of the most common enzymes which would help your dietary needs would include protease and peptidase for digesting proteins, amylase and glucoamylase and malt diastase for starches, lipase for fat, cellulase for fiber, and invertase and alpha-galactosidase for sugar. And it is good to know that in most cases, plant-based enzymes work better than those that are chemical based.

One article I researched stated that almost “one out of every three people in the US experience some kind of digestive problem. Though many suffer, few have to. The typical benefits of enzyme supplementation include reduced digestive distress, increased energy, and improved regularity.”

If you have digestive issues, talk to us about enzyme supplementation. Add “digestive” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

Annual Cleansing Summary

It’s been a great year for focusing on body system cleansing in general. I started in January talking about each body system and how it functions, trying to focus not so much on the specifics of the functioning as on “what could go wrong” in each system that would cause them not to function optimally. I wanted us to see how the foods and drinks we consume can enhance or be a detriment to our body functions and their proper functioning or led to disease within that system and the whole body as a result.

Consider a car (for one illustration). If it doesn’t get oil, the parts of the vehicle that use the oil can break down when the oil is not applied. But the breakdown of that single or those few parts may cause the entire vehicle to become useless. A broken brake line may not cause the engine to cease functioning, but it makes the entire car useless for transportation – not because it can’t run, but because it can’t stop, and that can lead to a crash.

An untreated liver problem may not stop the heart from performing as it should, but it stops the body from being able to remove toxins and that may lead to any number of diseases and prevent the whole body from giving us the vitality we need to have a good, productive life.

I’ve enjoyed talking about the cleansing regimen that I use. I celebrated my 75th birthday last month, and while that may be noteworthy, even more noteworthy is the fact that while I have found help in finding and “reworking” some of the issues that have cost many of my relatives (i.e., the genetics) their lives at a younger age than this, I have also been able to maintain an active, vital, and enjoyable life.

And, beyond cleansing, I also use:

  • food enzymes and probiotics to aid my aging digestive system
  • products to slow down the aging process
  • products to support my genetic weaknesses (things that “run in the family”).
  • other products focused on whatever is bothering me at this time!

Feel free to drop by the store and talk to us about any of these issues that are troubling you.

I’ve tried not just to present a “possible” annual cleansing regimen but show you in some detail the regimen that I have personally used for several years now. And I can truthfully say that, even at this age, I feel good and have only minor restrictions on my chosen life activities. I still work at my store 40-50 hours each week; I take care of my farm animals on my five acre “farm”; I have a 5000sqft garden that produces much of what we eat; I have an orchard and I mow about half of the acreage each week. I have a loving, caring wife, three married kids, seven grandkids, and our second greatgrandchild is on the way. Life is good and God blesses us in countless (and often surprising) ways each day.

I would encourage you to stay healthy. Eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods; drink healthy liquids including adequate, daily water; get outdoors for a bit of sunshine and at least walk a bit each day; and take time daily to thank friends, neighbors, and family members for the regular support they add to your life, and God for His rich blessings. I can’t say enough about the uplift we get from a grateful attitude.

It’s been correctly stated that life is a journey, not a destination. Don’t try to run through it or walk it alone. Take time to enjoy the journey – with others and with God’s help!

Nothing here is meant to diagnose or treat any diseases. It is simply what I personally do for my health and is given to you for educational purposes. If you have a serious health problem, please consult a competent health practitioner.