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Archive for Naturopathic doctor

Simples: Passionflower

As I have shared a number of times before, my first introduction to herbal medicines was as a young mother of three suffering from allergies. The effective, but sleep-inducing over- the- counter medications were not an option for me if I wanted to stay awake during the day, so I considered it a gift when a good friend introduced me to herbs. I used those herbs faithfully and considered the wisdom of my friend invaluable. I went to her many times with questions, and I do not think she was the least bit surprised when this tired mom went to her with the question of “what do you have for sleep?” Anybody with me on this? 😊

Passionflower was exactly what I needed.

Passionflower is a nervine due to its ability to strengthen the nervous system, particularly the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us relax and sleep more soundly. In a world where we face a great deal of mental and emotional stress, having this natural supplementation can mean a better night’s sleep.

Native to Eastern and Central United States, the Passionflower plant or Passiflora Incarnata has a perennial root from which a trailing vine of up to 20 feet can grow. It derives its moniker from characteristics in the plant’s blossoms that resemble a crown of thorns in the center and cross and wounds on other parts of the flower. All reflections of the Passion of Christ.

Written history has Passionflower first introduced into medicine around 1840 in the New Orleans Medical Journal. From there, many works were written to record the many benefits that include “induced sleep from Passiflora is a peaceful, restful slumber, and the patient awakens quiet and refreshed”.

Along with calming actions, Passionflower also has anti-spasmodic and hypotensive properties, making it a great option for muscles spasms and elevated blood pressure. It can be used alone, but can also be added to other herbals for effective blends:

  • For sleep: Passionflower blends very well with other nervine herbs such as Hops and Valerian.
  • To help combat Anxiety: Make a tea infusion of Passionflower and Lemon Balm.
  • For Muscle Tension: Mix with Lobelia
  • It has even help with a fast heart rate by combining with Hawthorne Berries.

Passionflower can be purchased in capsules and bulk form. To make a tea add 1 cup of boiling water to two teaspoons of dried Passionflower. Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Enjoy.

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson
Natural Health Practitioner

Healthy Body Systems: Nervous

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

This month, we’ll consider “care and feeding” of the nervous system. The basic function of the nervous system is to trigger and monitor all communication processes in the body. The Central Nervous System is composed of the brain, (which is the master controller, weighs an average of three pounds, uses 20% of the body’s total energy supply, and contains around ten billion cells) processes signals from the peripheral nervous system; the peripheral nervous system, which is a network of nerves branching out from the spinal cord and reaching throughout the body sending the electrical impulses; and the spinal cord, which collects the electrical impulses.

Neurons look like small squids with a large “head” section and a tail. The head receives message signals from other cells and pass then along to other cells through the “tail”. There are billions of nerve cells throughout the body, and these cells transmit their messages at the speed of about 400 feet per second. That is faster than we think! For example, think about touching a hot stove – we pull our hands back from the heat even before we recognize it burns!

A note from research done in the year 2000 said that prescriptions for antidepressants had increased over 100% in the previous five years. So how can we help to keep ours healthy? Here are some ideas:

  • Protect it from injury. Sports injuries, motor vehicle injuries, falls, and military type injuries account for many such nerve problems.  We should encourage safe practices and the regular use of protective gear where it is appropriate. Remember, some nerve damage may not be repairable!
  • Work “brain food” into your diet. One resource stated that green, leafy vegetables are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. And their research suggests that these plant-based foods may slow cognitive decline. Ensure you’re getting the omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish like salmon, cod and sardines. The flavonoids in colorful berries help improve memory and a Harvard study showed that strawberries and blueberries delayed memory decline by up to two and a half years. Caffeine from moderate consumption of tea and coffee also helps to solidify new memories. And walnuts, which look like small brains have helped in studies help improve memory!
  • And, of course, we recognize a number of supplements that enhance the function of the nervous system. Among them are B-vitamins which help support the system function; alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant known to relieve uncomfortable symptoms in the legs and arms; acetyl-l-carnitine which may raise energy levels, create healthy nerve cells, and reduce pain in people with neuropathy; n-acetyl-cysteine medically treats neuropathic pain and inflammation; curcumin is a favorite in the herbal world for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties; and fish oils!

Common problems associated with the nervous system include memory trouble, depression, insomnia, headaches, and other nervous disorders. If you have nerve issues, talk to us about supplementation that may be an answer for you.  We have a staff of five Naturopathic Doctors who would be willing to talk with you via a brief phone conversation if you live far away, or a private in-store consultation if you are local. Find the herbals that will work for you, and we’ll be glad to mail them to you. We offer 10% discounts to those who mention our blogs/podcasts and free shipping on orders over $50.

Add “nervous” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  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.

Flower Essences: Gentian

That relationship did not turn out as I had hoped.

I did not get the job.

The loan did not go through for the home I dreamed of having.

The bank account does not support my hope to make that purchase.

The rain caused my grandson’s last game of the season to be canceled.

Disappointment.  To be human is to experience it.  The ones I listed can be small in comparison to others, but there is no denying that we feel the effects of disappointments.  In the case of the canceled game, I was able to spend time with my grandson going to a movie and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The purchase I was not able to make, turns out I found it later at a better price.  The home loan…well, that home would not have fit my needs in the long run.  You get the picture.  In every scenario I had the option to face disappointment with the trust and faith that it is for the best.  Or I could have been easily discouraged, skeptical, doubting or pessimistic.  This is when I could use Gentian.

Dr. Edward Bach says that Gentian is for “those who are easily discouraged.  They may be progressing well in illness or in the affairs of their daily life, but any small delay or hindrance to progress causes doubt and soon disheartens them”.

The negative Gentian state appears to be a kind of weakness of faith in which the mental process falls into negativity.  Healthy skepticism may turn into a need to question everything.  In this state:

  • Even small setbacks can feel devastating.
  • One can easily give up when discouraged.
  • Even minor disappointments can lead to a state of depression.

Dr. Gotz Blome states in his book Advanced Bach Flower Therapy that one that could benefit from Gentian “passes up many opportunities—often without justification—withdraws into himself and becomes despondent when his plans cannot be realized without resistance”.  In this state, Dr. Blome believes that one can bring about their own failure by not trying or by their own lack of confidence. 

Gentian helps us to move from doubt to trust. 

The essence of Gentian can help move us into a state of a strengthened faith and facing difficult, disappointing situations more positively.  We can have the understanding that conflicts have their purpose, and we can be strengthened by them even if we do not understand in the moment how that can be. 

James 1:2-4 tells us to consider it joy when we face trials.

Romans 8:28 tells us that God works things out for our good.

I need faith to trust these verses.  I do not understand how, but I can trust the one who does. 

In a positive state one can go from:

  • Small setbacks feeling devastating to understanding setbacks are learning steps.
  • Being easily discouraged and giving up to having unshakable faith despite difficult circumstances.
  • From minor setbacks leading to depression to knowing there are solutions to all problems.

Gentian can help us move into a positive state of understanding that resistance and disappointment are a natural order of life, and that we can meet these challenges with faith.

Depression

Last month our flower essence was Mustard and how it was helpful for situations when a depressive state could occur for not particular reason.  A mood could just change without cause.  Along with helping one to move to a state of trust, Gentian can be helpful in depressive states in which a cause is known.  In most cases a deep sadness is rooted in disappointments such as in the loss of a loved one, loss of a long-term job, or divorce.  These deep losses can cause us to question our faith; hence, Gentian can be extremely helpful in moving through these seasons.

If you feel you could benefit from a flower essence, we here at The Health Patch would be happy to help you find the right one for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

Simples: Alfalfa

“Are you talking about the hay for cows?” was the bewildered question from an elderly gentleman a few years ago when I recommended this herb to him?  I still laugh about it today, and while I would not recommend nibbling on some hay, Alfalfa is recommended for humans for much of the same reason for animals: it is highly nutritious. Humans cannot digest the Alfalfa plant in a way that helps us gain energy or calories the way cattle can, but supplemental Alfalfa is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. 

Alfalfa is in the Legume family and has been cultivated for livestock since ancient history.  It was first cultivated in Ancient Persia (modern day Iran) and introduced to the Greeks when Persia invaded Greece in about 490 B.C.  The use spread across Europe and then in the 19th century Spanish colonies introduced Alfalfa to the Americas.

Known as “The King of Herbs”, Alfalfa grows in arid places with its deep root system able to reach water sources that other plants cannot.  This may be the reason the Alfalfa plant is so rich in minerals and vitamins A, C, and K. Alfalfa is a great source of iron, and in my opinion, a great supplement for low iron conditions without the harsh side effect that can occur with Iron supplements.

Diet is an important factor in the healing process and eating highly nutritious foods is imperative.  Alfalfa can increase the appetite, making it easier to eat nutritious foods, especially for the elderly. It is also referred as a “Super Food”. According to Registered Herbalist, Steven Horne, this is a term applied to nutritionally dense foods that have medicinal value.  Whenever I see Alfalfa in any herbal formula or meal replacement, I know that unless the product is of overall poor quality, it will have great nutritional value. 

I consider this herb an excellent option for nutritional support for the elderly (like my bewildered friend at the beginning of this article 😊) or anyone healing from surgery or illness. 

Alfalfa is also a great supplement to support the Pituitary gland. The Pituitary gland is considered the “master” gland for good reason.  Located at the base of the skull, this gland receives messages from the brain and then secretes hormones to regulate hormone production in other glands.  In this process, it controls hormonal functions such as growth, body temperature, and thyroid activity, just to name a few.  Nutritionally supporting this gland can be key in bringing hormonal balance to the body. 

With its great nutritional profile, there is good reason for Alfalfa to be considered “King of the Herbs”.

 We here at The Health Patch would be happy to help you find the right supplements for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

Staying Healthy: Nutritious Foods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flower Essence: Mustard

We are well into the season of Spring.  More days of sunshine, more beauty displayed in blooming gardens, more time spent in the outdoors.  Just the thought of Spring can bring a smile and a feeling of happiness.  The season of shorter, gloomier days is behind us and longer days of clear, blue skies are our present reality. 

Then, unexpectantly and unexplainably, out of that beautiful, clear blue sky, comes such deep feelings of gloominess and despair, it is almost shocking.  And certainly perplexing, as these feelings seem to appear for no apparent reason. In this state, one may experience:

  • No ambition to do things you love.
  • Inability to enjoy anything.
  • You suddenly feel weighed down.
  • The feeling of a black cloud seems to be hanging over you.
  • It is difficult to hide this mood from anyone.
  • It is impossible to shake this mood through logical or willful thinking.

Then, just as suddenly as they appear, these intense emotions will disappear.  Making you feel out of control and at the mercy of such feelings. Welcome to the personality of the Flower Essence Mustard. 

Dr. Edward Bach, the doctor that developed the Flower Essence therapy stated that people that most benefit from Mustard are:

“Those who are liable to times of gloom or even despair, as though a cold dark cloud overshadowed them and hid the light and the joy of life.  It may not be possible to give any reason or explanation for such attacks.  Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to appear happy or cheerful.”

He described the Mustard flower essence as The Light Flower that can raise the vibrational frequency that is depressed in this negative state. 

Not surprisingly, many famous artists and musicians experience this type of depressed state.  It is in the positive state that the artist is able to experience rich emotions, sense things deeply and then transmute those feelings into the beautiful art and music we enjoy. 

It is the power of the Mustard Flower Essence that can bring us into that positive state.  When we are balanced, we will experience the “cloudy” days in a more peaceful, serene way, knowing that there are cycles and that there will always be the ebb and flow in life; but, just as the cloudy days relent to the sun once more, the cloud over our lives will relinquish. 

If you think Mustard or any other Flower Essence might be right for you, contact me at The Healthpatch.  We would be delighted to help you find health and balance.

Kimberly Anderson, ND

Visit us at The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Ave., Midwest City, OK 73130 or online at http://www.thehealthpatch.com

Simple: Mullein

Homer’s Ulysses used this great plant to ward off evil spirits and magic. He had confidence it would protect him from evil wiles. While I would not depend on this plant for spiritual battle, it has a strong case in history for good reason. It was a remedy often used for the great evil that afflicted many of our ancestors: Tuberculosis.

Mullein can be found in many countries with temperate climates including the U.S. It has been referred to by many names such as Aaron’s Rod (a reference to its height, sometimes reaching up to 10 feet), Torches (the tall plant could be soaked in oil and used as a torch), Shepherd’s Staff, and Golden Rod. It has a rich history as an excellent aid for lung and respiratory problems as well as being used to bandage wounds during the American Civil War. It was also common for the soldiers to smoke the leaves to alleviate lung diseases so common in the trenches.

This herb is not just for the literature or history books, either. The more contemporary American herbalist, Dr. John Christopher (B.1909-D.1983) wrote: “It is the only herb known to man that has remarkable narcotic properties without being poisonous or harmful. It is a great herbal pain killer…. quieting and calming all inflamed and irritated nerves….Mullein soothes and strengthens the bowels and renal system, and is one of the most important for the glands and mucous membranes. It stops the escape of fluids from ruptured vessels and eliminates toxins.”

As we have seen with so many other herbs, Mullein has multiple uses without being harmful! It has several healthful properties including:

  • Demulcent. This means that when taken internally, Mullein helps to soothe irritated or inflamed tissue.
  • Expectorant. It can aid in the production and elimination of mucus from the throat and lungs.
  • Antispasmodic. Mullein can help relieve muscle spasms, cramps, and hacking coughs.
  • Anti-inflammatory. This herb, like so many others, carries the ability to help reduce inflammation.
  • Nutritive. These are herbs that that supply substantial nutrients to nourish the body.

This is not a complete list of properties found in Mullein, and honestly, we may never know the full extent of the properties of herbs, but it is clear with this brief list that Mullein has a strong affinity for the respiratory system and aiding in conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • coughing
  • sinus congestion
  • allergies

Mullein is safe for children too! It can be mixed with Chamomile for soothing relief for children.
Mullein can be found in capsule or cut and sifted leaves.
To make a tea:
Place 3-4 teaspoons of Mullein leaves in an infuser
Pour boiling water over the infuser and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy.

Kimberly Anderson, ND

Visit us at The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Ave., Midwest City, OK 73130 or online at http://www.thehealthpatch.com

Flower Essence: Mimulus

A few years ago, my family enjoyed watching the television series Monk.  It was about a former police detective who was excellent at solving crimes but was plagued with multiple phobias.  Of course, the character’s extended list of fears gave great comedy to the program and we the viewers got a few laughs from his great attempts to overcome a phobia only to add several more to his list each week.  While this served for a few laughs in a fictitious setting, phobias and fears can be very debilitating. When we do not discuss them, leaving us to our own devices, it is very isolating.

Our Flower Essence this month is “The Bravery Flower” or Mimulus.  Dr. Edward Bach described the person the most in need of this flower as: “….fear of worldly things illness, pain accidents, poverty, of dark, of being alone, of misfortune.  The fears of everyday life.  These people quietly and secretly bear their dread, they do not freely speak of it to others”. 

I have a confession.  This is my personality state.  I benefit from Mimulus.  In many ways, I have improved in this state from how I was when my children were small.  When they were young I, of course, fretted about their well-being on a regular basis, but I also held deep fears of losing their father to an accident.  He was my life partner, and I could not fathom a life without him and the life of my children without their father.  These fears, along with many others, seemed absurd when mentioned in the light of day, but they held such strong bonds in my mind.  Maybe my fellow Mimulus personalities might recognize these behavior patterns:

  •  You fear a certain situation but do not talk about it.
  • You imagine everything to be more difficult and dangerous than it really is.
  • You suffer from specific anxieties, and they cause inner tension.
  • You are hypersensitive to cold, noise, bright light, loud voices, and strong smells.

In fact, the Mimulus personality finds it difficult to tolerate too much of anything.  It is not uncommon for our personality, when caught in a negative state, to fall ill when pressures become unbearable.  We are sensitive people and sensitive to the needs of others around us.  This can be an invaluable trait, but to be in a healthy state there are two crucial things we must learn:

  •  We need to learn to rejuvenate.  This includes learning to withdraw from the world at times without feeling guilty in order to recharge.
  • We must learn to come to terms with our fears.  This means understanding that fear can materialize.  Like with all thoughts, each anxiety will reinforce the other, tying up our energy.

Mimulus helps us come out of the confused state our fears can cause.  It helps us come to our true nature and this allows us to deal with thoughts and fears more effectively.

 Jesus states in Matthew 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble; but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”.

Philippians 4:6-7 says “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God”.

Mimulus can help us clear out the confusion, and with time set apart, really cling to the hope of these promises.  Our positive potential then becomes:

  • I can grow beyond my anxieties, know my limits, and be able to face the world with a cheerful composure.
  • I feel up to the world’s challenges and I am able to get involved in the next task.

I can be brave. I can step forward. I can be my true nature.

We here at The Health patch would love the opportunity to help you with any of your wellness needs. 

Health and Blessings

Kim Anderson

Simples: Dandelion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Wishing” you health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

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

Healthy Body Systems: Urinary Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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