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Archive for Natural Health Regimens

Children’s Health and Emotions

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

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

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

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

Kim Anderson, CNHP, ND

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

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

Children’s Health – Early Development

One of the most important measures of preventing childhood disease is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for less than three months is correlated with a reduced risk of asthma in children.

Another important fact for children is a healthy diet. Children with healthier diets tend to have less childhood diseases. What researchers have found can encourage parents to pursue a healthier wholefood diet for their children.

Researchers also discovered that the daily consumption of grapes, oranges, apples and fresh vegetables has assured less allergies and asthma.

A few tips on the care of children’s health are:

  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • Let children help plan and prepare one meal each week.
  • Eat together as a family as often as possible.
  • Take time eating, and chew slowly.
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of water.

In another study, it is clear that children with allergies may benefit from eating a diet with high proportions of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. And don’t forget to include nuts in children’s diets as well (including walnuts, pecans and almonds), but not until at least two years of age.

The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. It is very important to maximize their future well-being.

Shirley Golden, Staff ND, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK Phone: 405-736-1030 e-mail: jehovah316@netzero.net

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

Get Your Kids Back to School Healthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gut Healing Ideas!

This blog is basically partial summaries of two resources that I have thoroughly enjoyed. They approach gut-healing from two separate perspectives. The first is from a Steven Horne publication. We have purchased several copies of the full copyrighted material and will provide you a copy as long as they last if you come by The Health Patch and ask for one, or we will give you the address if you wish to procure multiple copies for your own use. The second is from an online website called Viome.com – a site owned by Viome Laboratories. They also do extensive work and research dealing with gut health. Both provide excellent ideas for helping you heal your gut.

Dr. Horne lists four specific practices to help you in your efforts to heal your gut.

  • Improve your elimination. Your gut can’t heal adequately if you are experiencing poor bowel transit times. He references practices and products to help improve bowel elimination
  • Eliminate irritants. He suggests avoiding grains containing gluten, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup (they feed bacteria), substances that disrupt the friendly flora (antibiotics, NSAIDS, etc.), pesticides, food additives, GMOs, and other personally problematic substances such as dairy, nuts, eggs, nightshades, citrus, and shellfish.
  • Balance you gut flora. Fight yeast, substances that cause belching and bloating, and take good probiotics.
  • Nourish the intestines with a good variety of foods and supplements.

The Viome article lists activities which may help enlarge your access to a greater variety of microbiomes.

  • Test your gut microbiome. You can contact them on their website and get a scientific test that will find exactly which foods you should eat to boost the beneficial bacteria and bring balance to YOUR microbial ecosystem. Remember, we are all different!
  • Get outside and play. There are more varieties of beneficial microbes outdoors, but most of us don’t live or play outdoors these days.
  • Try intermittent fasting. Certain bacteria thrive in a calorie-dense environment, while others thrive in a calorie-scarce environment.
  • Get plenty of sleep. And it needs to be restful sleep!
  • Exercise the right amount. Exercise has been shown to enrich diversity, and increase beneficial bacteria.
  • Stick to a schedule. Many of our gut microbes run on a circadian rhythm.
  • Get a pet. Microbes on your pet increase your overall microbial diversity.
  • Keep your home microbiome healthy. Actually, being too clean may reduce beneficial microbe exposure.
  • Choose local, organic veggies. Enough said!

Gut health is not a diet. It is not a program. It is a lifestyle!

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com. Check out our blogs and podcasts under “resources” on our website each week for related topics.

Managing Personal Allergies

allergies, personal, pollen, manage, managing, cat, fish, eggs, How is your immune system? If it is healthy you probably are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have a lot of allergies. You see, when we ingest pollens, pollutants, toxins, etc., our bodies have to determine whether it is something natural for our bodies or something that will cause us trouble – e.g., a dietary dilemma, a respiratory resistance, a bowel blunder, or system-wide stress.

If the foreign material is new to us, or our bodies are not able to break it down, then the immune system has to come up with a plan to keep it from breaking us down. This is particularly true with seasonal distresses. We live in central Oklahoma. We recently had a warmer week in the middle of a couple of truly cold periods. I guess Mother Nature thought for a few days that it was turning to Spring, so the Red Cedar trees started to really pour out their pollen. Virtually the whole of the mid-Oklahoma population ran to our shop for anything we had to help them breathe. Histamines poured, nasal passages and sinuses swelled, mucus built and caused coughing, sneezing, and congestion, and dis-ease was rampant.

Fortunately, these are so common that we keep on hand a variety of supplements that block the histamines and minimize the other symptoms. But what can YOU do in these cases?

Be aware of your immune shortfalls. Ask family members what bothers them … they may also be the things that bother you. Particularly ask your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles what changes they noted as they aged. Be prepared for those seasons that cause you discomfort. Journal! Keep a record of foods that cause you dietary trouble. Stay away from animals that have dander to which you react negatively.

And when you find products that work for your particular allergies, keep some on hand. You may not have a lot of warning when your provokers arise.

I’ve noted a number of new techniques that my customers are able to use to manage their symptoms. Be aware! Look into homeopathic solutions. Consider aromatherapy. Pay attention to the weather and the seasonal changes. No one knows your body or your natural shortcomings like you do.

– 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.

Cleansing – A New Year’s Priority

milk thistle, dandelion root, red clover, garlic, elecampaneI’ve always made it a practice to really enjoy the holiday season. So from Thanksgiving until the New Year, I eat pretty much whatever I want. I enjoy all the festive foods, and I always know that many of them really aren’t that good for me and that I’ll probably pick up a few extra pounds. So after the new year begins, I make cleansing a top priority.

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic. Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleaners, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease, …) and we can see that we can really bombard our with toxins. The consequences are inevitably further disease or debility. Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia. Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, Asiatic Indians – practiced and still continue some form of detoxification. In early American history, the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods. Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation. One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse. The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two. It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change. Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program. And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout. Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combination to cleanse. The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally. And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Combinations for the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root. Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet are also helpful especially for the liver. The blood and lymph glands also benefit from the dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, Oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark, and yellow dock. Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves, high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise, and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy. Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature. But this year, start your “Spring cleaning” early and start with your body. Good health and God’s blessings!

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

Aromatherapy Intro

Do you remember entering your grandmother’s kitchen and being greeted by the aroma of fresh bread in the oven? How about the smell of a hot apple pie, the spicy pungency of your dad’s aftershave, or the scent of the earth right after a spring rain? I have a friend who has, with age, lost her sense of smell and she often tells me how much real joy has been lost in her life as a result.

I teach a ten-week course on herbs for the various body systems and every time we get to the digestive system I ask, “Where does the digestive process begin?” Obvious answers are “on the tongue” or “in the mouth.” But the real answer is “in the nose.” That’s right. As soon as we smell our food, in anticipation, our bodies begin to secrete digestive juices in both the mouth and the stomach. That’s one reason it is so important to “prepare” to eat our meals. Smell the aromas. Savor the smells. Take time to chew and enjoy the food.

Well, there’s certainly more to aromatherapy than eating and smelling our food. Aromatherapy is all tied up in using aromas and the essences of materials to heal. The most common method of doing this is to use the essential oils that are extracted from plants. These essential oils are the very “essence” of the plants. And the oils will contain all the healing properties of the plant material in a very concentrated form. They are the vital energies from the plants and they help to heal us on all our levels – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Quoting from Common Scents by internationally renowned aroma therapist Lorrie Hargis, “Essential oils are therapeutic because they have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, analgesic, calming, soothing and revitalizing chemical constituents.”

It is extremely easy to extract the essential oils from some materials. For example, take a piece of orange peel and bend it double while holding it up to a window. See the “spray” from the peel? That’s the oil. And it’s so easy to extract that the cost of essential oils from most citrus products is very inexpensive. But it make take up to three or four tons of some rose petals to extract a single pound of its oil. So, pure, undiluted rose oil is very expensive. Not to worry! Most of the essential oils are used by the drop, diluted in carrier oils. Carrier oils are more common and inexpensive oils which contain very little (and easily overpowered) aroma of their own. A simple list of common carrier oils includes sweet almond, apricot kernel, grapeseed, avocado, macadamia nut, hazelnut, and jojoba. Even common vegetable oils – olive, canola, and sunflower – may be used as carriers. Carrier oils dilute the more expensive oils (needed due to the potency of the essential oils), extend the uses of the essential oils, and “carry” all the benefits to our betterment.

Each essential oil can be placed into a chemical family such as phenols, ketones, etc. Each family has a number of chemical constituents, and each oil may contain a number of these constituents. Therefore, each oil is unique and has a number of healing properties. For example, lavender is commonly known to be relaxing and restful. But not so commonly known is that it is also antiviral, antibacterial, calming, soothing and refreshing. An exhaustive study of the healing properties of all the oils is a life’s work. But anyone (yes, you) can gain an understanding of common uses of many of the more common oils. And such knowledge can make your life more healthful AND enjoyable.

Here are a few of the essential oils with which you may be familiar. Eucalyptus, which is purifying and invigorating, is often found in your sauna and is used in cough drops. Citronella is vitalizing and is the scent you’ll recognize in most of your bug sprays. Grapefruit is refreshing, but did you know that many use it to shrink fat? Jasmine is sensual and is found in many costly perfumes. Myrrh is meditative and has been used for thousands of years to treat gum disease. Nutmeg is rejuvenating and is a major component of many spicy men’s fragrances.

The uses of essential oils are myriad. They made be added to baths or saunas, included as ingredients in lotions and cremes, used as delightful enhancements to massage oils, crafted into soaps, diffused in light rings and potpourris, or misted in vaporizers. Only your imagination and creativity limit their utility.

A boon to the soul and the spirit, a strengthener of all the body’s systems, and an exciter of the mind, a study of aromatherapy on any level can enhance you and your life. Talk to a knowledgeable friend or acquaintance, read a book on the subject, or attend a course offered by a practitioner. You and your senses will be delighted! Good health and God bless.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Detox Options

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic. Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease…), and we can see that we can really have our bodies bombarded with toxins. The inevitable consequences are further disease or debility. Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine. I personally follow a routine that includes a monthly detoxification – perhaps an organ or a body system or a whole-body cleanse.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia. Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, and Asiatic Indians – practiced and still continue some form of detoxification. In early American history, the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods. Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation. One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse. The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two. It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change. Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program. And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout. Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combinations to cleanse. The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally. And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Combinations for the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root. Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet are also helpful especially for the liver. The blood and lymph glands also benefit from the dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, Oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark, and yellow dock. Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves, high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise, and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy. Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature. Start your own cleaning program and see how much better you feel.

– 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.

Cleansing

I’ve always made it a practice to really enjoy the holiday season.  So from Thanksgiving until the New Year, I eat pretty much whatever I want.  I enjoy all the festive foods, and I always know that many of them really aren’t that good for me and that I’ll probably pick up a few extra pounds.  So after the new year begins, I make cleansing a top priority.

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic.  Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease, …) and we can see that our bodies are bombarded with toxins.  The consequences are inevitably further disease or debility.  Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia.  Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, Asiatic Indians – still continue some form of detoxification.  In early American history the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods.  Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation.  One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse.  The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two.  It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change.  Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program.  And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout.  Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combination to cleanse.  The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally.  And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

The combination for cleansing the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root.  Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet is  also helpful especially for the liver.  The blood and lymph glands benefit from dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark and yellow dock.  Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves,  high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy.  Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature.  But this year, start your “spring cleaning” early and start with your body.  Good health and God’s blessings!

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blog at www.TheHealthPatch.com.

Our staff are now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Detox Options

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic.  Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease…), and we can see that we can really have our bodies bombarded with toxins.  The inevitable consequences are further disease or debility.  Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine. I personally follow a routine that includes a monthly detoxification – perhaps an organ or a body system or a whole-body cleanse.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia.  Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, and Asiatic Indians – practiced and still continue some form of detoxification.  In early American history, the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods.  Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation.  One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse.  The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two.  It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change.  Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program.  And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout.  Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combinations to cleanse.  The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally.  And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Combinations for the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root.  Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet are also helpful especially for the liver.  The blood and lymph glands also benefit from the dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, Oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark and yellow dock.  Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves, high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise, and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy.  Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature. Start your own cleaning program and see how much better you feel.

–  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.