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Archive for Natural Health Regimens

Small Intestine Detox

The dictionary tells us that the “primary functions of the small intestine are mixing and transporting of intraluminal contents, production of enzymes and other constituents essential for digestion, and absorption of nutrients.”

I consider that the small intestine is the most important part of the digestive system! Why? Well, VERY simply put, we could put our food in a blender and add some enzymes (particularly ptyalin – an enzyme secreted in saliva to change starches into sugars for digestion) to replicate the functions of chewing and carb breakdown. Then we could add the bile salts, hydrochloric acid and enzymes from the liver, stomach, and pancreas to further break down the food into its nutrient components.  And then we could add alkalizers like the duodenum does to neutralize the acids so they don’t “burn” the rest of the digestive tract. On a macro level, we’d then have what our bodies dump into the small intestine – a nutrient-rich, mostly liquefied “mush”. But we still haven’t caused the body to absorb the nutrients for use by all the cells. For our survival, that’s the essential function of the small intestine.

Obviously, from the product name Small Intestine Detox, we know that this product I use every December is focused on the small intestine. Not so clear, is the knowledge that the formula is designed to support the absorption of vital nutrients in the small intestine. The components of this product include pepsin, which is an enzyme used to help digest proteins. But it also helps to clear accumulated protein wastes from the intestinal walls, allowing the intestinal walls full contact with the digested food for improved absorption. The other major ingredient is marshmallow, which absorbs and carries bowel toxins out of the body. That all sounds technical and comes from a card on the product produced by Natures Healthy People!

But regardless of the technicalities, I love how this product helps me get the nutrients I need from the good foods I eat. And, truth be said, I use the product in December because with all the “holiday eating” – usually not so healthy – I use it to remind myself that I strongly need the nutrients from the good foods I do eat.

It IS important to eat healthy. And because our prepared foods and eat-on-the-go habits may not be the BEST for the nutrients our bodies require, I encourage everyone to do some regular cleansing of their body systems.  Life is fuller and richer if it is healthier! Make the most of the life with which God has blessed you!

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

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.

Putting the “Can Do” in a Candida Detox

Candida is a type of yeast that is one of many microorganisms that make up the intestinal microflora.  The balance of microflora is important for our bodies to stay in good health.  However, when these microorganisms are out of balance due to poor diet, medications, and stressful lifestyles, what once helped create health can now create havoc.  Overgrowth of Candida Albicans can then become an adversary responsible for intestinal inflammation and leaking toxins into the bloodstream that weaken the immune system.

Some common symptoms of Candida overgrowth can include:

  • Sensitivities to foods
  • Fungus in the nails or feet
  • Mental confusion, or inability to focus
  • General fatigue
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Poor Digestion Reoccurring yeast infections

While getting the gut flora back into balance can take some dedication and time, it is possible to regain health with a few “can do” steps:

  • Repopulate the body with probiotics.  This helps bring the “good guys” back into balance so they can keep the Candida Albicans in check.
  • Detox. Using natural Anti-fungal supplements to help create an unfriendly environment for the Candida Albicans.
  • Modify diet.  Changing the diet alters the environment for Candida.

Modifying the diet can be the most challenging part of keeping Candida in check, but it is also the most crucial because the yeast needs sugar to build cell walls and reproduce.  Not only are the simple sugars found in candy, soda, and pastries a food source for yeast, but even more complex carbohydrates in fruit and whole grains will break down into a glucose source. Eliminating junk food is always in our best interest for better health, but when detoxing from Candida, the elimination of even more complex carbohydrates that include fruit, potatoes, rice, bread, yams, and fruit juices, will be necessary for a time to have the best benefits.

So, what can we eat on a Candida diet? The “can do” list of nutritious, low-sugar, anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Non-starchy vegetables: leafy greens, spinach, kale, green beans, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, etc.
  • Low sugar fruits such as limes, lemons, avocado, and berries can be eaten in moderation.
  • Meat, fish, and eggs.  Avoid processed meats with sulfates and nitrates.  Many deli meats have added sugar in the form of dextrose, so learn to be a label reader.
  • Bone Broth!  Bone broth is wonderfully restorative with naturally occurring collagen and glutamine.  Both compounds help restore the integrity of the gut lining.
  • Fermented foods. These can include unsweetened yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles (unsweetened), and olives
  • Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and pecans.  Peanuts can be high in mold and should be avoided.  Mold does not necessarily feed the candida, but when there is an overgrowth there can be a high sensitivity to mold present, and eating peanuts could trigger a reaction.
  • Spices!  Spices add wonderful flavor and some such as turmeric and cinnamon are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and have anti-fungal properties that add another layer of nutrition and health benefits.
  • Good Fats such as avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil.  Both olive oil and coconut oil have anti-fungal properties and can help boost the immune system.
  • Herbal teas and plenty of water. There are some sweeteners that can be enjoyed in herbal tea if desired:
    • Stevia
    • Monk Fruit
    • Erythritol

Along with choosing nutritious foods to eliminate the candida food source, there are foods with special properties that make a wonderful addition to assist in the candida detox processes:

  • Garlic not only fights Candida Albicans, but it also helps to maintain a healthy digestive system by destroying harmful bacteria while leaving healthy bacteria in place.  Garlic also helps with detoxification by boosting the lymphatic system.
  • Onion has anti-parasitic as well as anti-fungal properties.  It also helps support the kidneys, helping to rid the body of waste through the urinary system more efficiently
  • Ginger, along with being anti-inflammatory helps with detoxification by assisting the liver in flushing out toxins.  Ginger also increases oxygen throughout the body (which aids in healing) as well as helps soothe irritation in the intestinal tract caused by yeast overgrowth.
  • Pau d Arco tea is an excellent addition to a Candida detox as It is packed with powerful yeast-fighting compounds.  Pau d arco can found in tea form or capsules in health food stores such as The HealthPatch.
  • Cayenne Pepper is not the biggest hitter on being anti-fungal, but it is still valuable in detox because, like ginger, it is particularly good at increasing oxygen throughout the body.  Oxygen in the cells is vital for healing and healing the body is the ultimate goal in a detox.

Some final thoughts:  Changing your diet and detoxing is not easy and may become even more uncomfortable for a time as the body goes through a healing process.  If this happens, do not give up.  Instead, adjust your program if needed, drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins, rest as much as possible, and give yourself grace.  Often a mental shift is needed when working to make permanent changes for better health.  The title of this article is cheesy, but I chose it for a purpose.  In the middle of processes such as detoxing, it can be very human to want to give up when the changes become challenging and the physical symptoms seem to have worsened. When we want to look at the diet and think “look at all I have to give up”, instead of shifting to “look at the foods that can help me reach my health goals” can often make a difference in moving forward.  Emphasis on Can.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Movement-The Natural Cleanse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few common houseplants are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other home treatments include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipes:

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

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

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

Back to School – in 2020!

It’s that time of year again. And what a different world we live in this year. “Back to School” means many different things to the kids (and their parents) this year. Some will return to the classroom, some will do on-line training, some will homeschool, and some have joined small community co-ops with diverse curricula. So, the health challenges are just as diverse.

I’m not even going to comment on the viral concerns directly. We get new updates, advice, and regulation almost hourly. But there are still some other health concerns that we need to address – regardless of how or where we’ll learn this year. So, much of this is relooking at advice from years past.

First, a well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is still 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 imperative. It’s tougher than ever to focus on “learning” – but it is certainly necessary! Establish a routine early in the school year. Schedule adequate time for rest, exercise, homework, and desired activities. And since many longtime athletic and extracurricular activities have been canceled this year, you may need to get truly creative to ensure your kids don’t become “couch potatoes.” There are some wonderful natural nutritional supplements to help with mental alertness, too. They can aid with focus and concentration. This is especially important if your child has focus and attention challenges.

This year especially, consider adding immune system boosters to your child’s supplement regimen. I’d recommend an echinacea or elderberry supplement. And don’t forget to include good, old fashioned hygiene. To “sanitize” I add “cleanse”. Wash often, bathe regularly using antibacterial soap, brush your teeth after each meal, and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

As if our kids didn’t have enough stress in this year of the pandemic, remember that the new school year also brings on other conditions for the average student: increased mental stress and increased muscle aches and pains for those involved in outdoor activities, and increased emotional anxiety. Each 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 year this “wonderful time of the year” has added burdens for our children. We’ll need to be diligent 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.

How Should I Cleanse the Colon?

The colon is the waste container for the body.  The digestive system dumps its waste here, the lymphatic system dumps its waster here, and the circulatory system dumps its waste here. Since we discussed in our last blog that the colon works to reclaim any nutrients left in the waste, it stands to reason that we should keep the colon as clean as possible.  It requires constant care to keep it disease-free. Daily bowel movements help, but a more focused cleansing should be a regular part of our cleansing regimen.  I look for ingredients in my monthly cleansing regimen that will ensure the colon is addressed in each of them.

I am often asked how often we should have a bowel movement. I am reminded of an old doctor who in the 1970s was the first person I remember asking me how often I had a bowel movement.  He told me he asked that question of every patient he ever saw.  Answers he received spanned the numbers form “once a month” to “twelve times a day” – and each person thought that was normal because we usually think that our number is “normal for us”. But he reminded me of a newborn baby who has a meal and about 45 minutes later has a dirty diaper. He said that if we had perfect body systems then we would usually follow that routine. But he said he wasn’t concerned as long as his patients had at least “daily regularity”. But the fewer bowel movements you have, the greater is your need for routine colon cleansing.

It’s interesting to me that as soon as we potty train a child, we begin to try to make its bowel habits “convenient”; we’re at the store when little Johnny says “I need to go to the bathroom.” And we say, “can you hold it? We’ll be home in just a few minutes.” Actually, few of us go to the bathroom just when the urge first hits us. So old fecal material dries and starts sticking to the colon walls.

Remember the water reclamation function of the colon.  If there is excess fecal material in the colon, as it tries to draw off the excess water, it also draws off the bacterial and disease that may also be present and recirculates these substances throughout your body as well – we re-toxify ourselves!!!

Also, consider a balloon that is filled with air, emptied, refilled, and on and on.  It will eventually produce dimples on the wall.  In our colons, these dimples are called diverticula.  They are the perfect place for seeds, etc. to collect and get infected and produce diverticulitis.  Remember “it is” simply means “inflammation of.”

So, in addition to regular bowel movements, I look for products specifically formulated to cleanse the colon. These products not only aid in the evacuation of wastes but may also contain ingredients that can re-tone (tonify) the bowel. They can both cleanse and strengthen the bowel at the same time.

Keep moving and keep your bowel moving too.  It will not only keep you comfortable, but it will help keep your whole body healthier.

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

“Barefoot in the Park”

I used this title simply because I thought that with many of you it may ring a bell. It was an early Hollywood classic movie. But my subject is really much different from Hollywood’s focus. I want to talk about some health benefits to be derived from walking barefoot. Of course, it matters when and even where you’re walking barefoot. By many medical practitioners, it is referred to as “grounding”.

One doctor’s article said that it was as simple as restoring our natural walking pattern from the changes we’ve made since learning to walk and putting on shoes. He also addresses better control of foot positioning, improved balance, better foot mechanics and less pain, a better range of motion in your ankle and foot joints, and stronger leg muscles.

Called “earthing,” another doctor said that drawing electrons from the earth could induce better sleep and less pain. He also gave an example when they claimed it changed electrical activity in the brain, improved skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress, and supported immune function (decreasing white blood cell counts while increasing red blood cell counts).

Other cited health benefits were a reduced risk of heart disease, decreases anxiety and stress, loosen tense muscles and eliminate headaches by grounding the body and reducing free radicals, boost energy levels by immersing yourself in the natural world and picking up higher energy frequencies emitted from nature, and protecting the body from dangerous electromagnetic fields.

Quoting from an internet article by Carrie Dennett, “If you think back to the last time you took a science class, you may remember that everything, including humans, is made up of atoms. These microscopic particles contain equal numbers of negatively charges electrons, which come in pairs, and positively charged protons, so an atom is neutral – unless it loses an electron. When an atom has an unpaired electron, it becomes a “free radical” with a positive charge, capable of damaging our cells and contributing to chronic inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. In this case, “positive” is not a good thing.”

The underlying premise is that when we are barefoot on grass, soil, or sand, we can discharge the negative electrons – “free radicals” and use our electricity more beneficially within our bodies.

Sports enthusiasts also find additional benefits of being barefoot on the sand, or at a beach. They get better strength training; burn more calories; gain more perception of body position, motion and equilibrium; they relax more; they get natural skin exfoliation aiding in skin functioning; and a vitamin and mineral boost from the environment.

I had a teacher in one of my Naturopathic Doctor classes who said she had encountered many of her clients who had sleep disorders that she was able to help with the effects of walking in the grass barefoot. She said she had them go out into their grassy back yards just at sunset and walk in the grass while watching the sunset. This action restored their circadian rhythms to the point that they fell asleep faster and rested better.

While researching this article, I found literally dozens of examples of significantly improved health and vitality that was the outflow and simply walking slowly and quietly in many venues where your bare feet were in contact with the earth – grass, soil, or sand. Try making it a part of your health practice routine.

Summer Energy – Keep it; Use it!

Summer is finally here! Yea! Now what? School was already out some time ago due to the pandemic. Social distancing has become the rule of the day, so what can we do with our friends? Video games have become mesmerizing and mind boggling and seem to lead to nowhere! And we don’t sleep well at night and feel frustrated and lethargic all day virtually every day. Help us save our children!!!

First, how do you generate Summer energy? As a start:

  • Take a great multivitamin – every day; one with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. The old cassette admonition called “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” says you need 96 nutrients EVERY DAY to really feel healthy and energized.
  • Take supplements to boost energy: Cordyceps mushrooms boost energy; supplements combined into “energy” support supplements; brain tonics; fatigue/exhaustion remedies; Zone and Millennium Diets (check them out on the internet); high protein and low-carb foods – boost energy and stop sugar cravings; colostrum is especially good for chronic fatigue. Spirulina is a seaweed that is 71% digestible protein – four capsules have the equivalent of a three-ounce steak!
  • Exercise regularly – sweating removes toxins, deep breathing improves respiration and oxygen generation and usage; and muscle fatigue will aid in muscle growth and strength.
  • Get plenty of rest, starting with a good night’s sleep where you go to bed tired and rest uninterruptedly. Take a safe, sleep supplement if you need it until you establish a routine.
  • Get some sunshine. Yes, too much can cause sunburn, but we’re seeing a rise in chronic vitamin D deficiencies which the body produces from sunshine. And note that sunscreen blocks the body’s ability to make Vitamin D from the sun!
  • Drink plenty of water; give up sugary drinks.

Then, how can you use that energy productively? Try something new.

  • Exercise your body. I grew up poor. We didn’t have store-bought toys. We challenged each other with “kick the can”, racing and jumping – how high & how far, homemade hula hoops endurance, etc. (look them up on the internet if you haven’t heard of them!)
  • Develop unknown skills. Vocational activities – e.g., making things from metal or wood; balance and endurance – e.g., making and using swings, rope walking, climbing, etc.
  • Learn to garden or care for, exercise and train animals. Learn how to use various kinds of tools and machinery; etc.

And one of my favorite things was to learn to exercise your mind. I read about a man who had three teenage boys who each held patents for things they had created – not because they were smarter than most but he had begun when they were young to challenge their creativity. Once he gave them a brick and had them write a list of things it could be used for. Think outside the box. One of the boys came up with several HUNDRED things for which he could use the brick. Trained creativity – a great summer activity!

I once gave six random items to three groups of young people and told them to use them to develop a new game, rules and all. It took them only 15 minutes to have the game developed: how to play, rules of play, and penalties for breaking the rules!

Motivate your kids to do things for others. I love the new TV show “Little Heroes” which spotlights kids who are of themselves not spectacular, but have been motivated to do spectacular things. Challenge your kids to do great things – teach them to be motivated to do great things! We’ll all benefit from their successes. And they will learn from both their successes and their failures. Remember Thomas Edison succeeded in make the electric light bulb after 1000 failed attempts.

What NOT to do: don’t waste your time on television and video games. Get active, get challenged, get productive!

  • Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is 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.

Diet and Supplements for the Liver

While I personally recommend a regular cleansing regimen that includes a cleanse especially for the liver due to its unique status as the primary detoxifying organ of the body, I strongly support the idea of ensuring your supplement regimen and your diet remain liver-friendly for the same reasons. The liver, by its very function, takes a lot of abuse; and you can’t live without it. So, take special care to keep it healthy.

Some special diet considerations are due to common functions of the liver itself:

  • The liver manufactures cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for making cell membranes and cell structures in the body. It is also vital for the synthesis of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances. About two-thirds of the cholesterol in our bodies is manufactured by the liver; the other third comes from our diet. Cholesterol is necessary, and while we must have some cholesterol for our bodies to function, the liver will usually produce enough and we compound problems if we add too much by allowing ourselves a high-fat diet. Reducing dietary fat can ease demands on the liver.
  • The liver also stores glucose fuel in the form of glycogen. The body has a feedback system that between meals tells the liver to release more sugar to maintain the body’s energy level. The liver then converts either fat or glycogen into the simple sugar glucose. Too much sugar can mean problems for other body systems. So, reducing simple sugars from your diet can also ease production demands on the liver.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver is a disease with which we’re all familiar. We associate it with heavy drinkers (and this is one real cause). It is a degenerative inflammatory disease that results in hardening and scarring of liver cells. What many of us don’t consider is that malnutrition and chronic inflammation can also lead to liver malfunction.
  • Keep the colon clean, regularly use an herbal detoxifying blend if you work in an environment that contains known toxins, and limit alcohol intake.

Our liver processes require vitamins, minerals, proteins (preferably from vegetable sources), amino acids, and enzymes. Ensuring these nutrients are in your diet (or a good broad-spectrum vitamin-mineral-amino acid-essential fatty acid supplement), will also help keep a healthy liver. Other supplements that you may consider specifically for the liver may include:

  • Herbs that help to ensure a healthy liver. Alfalfa is an excellent source of vitamin K and a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to bleeding. The silymarin in milk thistle has been shown in scientific studies to repair and rejuvenate the liver. Fermented red yeast rice extract is beneficial for those with high cholesterol as it inhibits the liver’s production of cholesterol. Other herbs that can be beneficial include barberry, black radish, burdock, dandelion, fennel, horsetail, Irish moss, red clover, rose hips, suma, thyme, chickweed and wild Oregon grape.
  • Drink lemon water to “wash” the liver.
  • Choline and inositol are B-vitamins that prevent scarring and help prevent cirrhosis and high cholesterol.
  • And liver-healthy foods include red beets (especially raw and shredded in a salad), almonds, bananas, blackstrap molasses, prunes, raisins, wheat and rice bran, kelp, beans, and seeds. Dandelion greens are a great Spring tonic if they contain no herbicides or pesticides. Poor food choices include excessive animal proteins, processed foods, junk food, refined white flour and white sugar foods.

In a previous blog I noted a fact that is worth repeating here: “Overeating is probably the most common cause of liver malfunction. It creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. Since the liver must detoxify all of the various chemicals present in our food supply today, it is easily overworked and may not be able to keep up, leaving harmful substances in the body.”

There are many ways to alleviate the stress of a degenerative liver. But it doesn’t “just happen”. Be aware of the load you’re putting on your liver by poor diet choices, working in toxic environments, and making poor lifestyle choices. Carefully care for your liver and it will care for you throughout your lifetime!

  • 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.