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Archive for Specific Ailments

October

Overview: Awareness: Breast Cancer, Children’s Health, Dental Hygiene, Domestic Violence, Down Syndrome, Healthy Lung, National Chiropractic, National Physical Therapy, SIDS, Vegetarian Flower: Calendula Gemstone: Opal, Tourmaline Trees: Hazelnut, Rowan, Maple, Walnut

Halloween:
Halloween is one of those holidays that are challenging for those with diabetes. Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels. It is currently one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders around the world. In fact, type 2 diabetes now affects more than 20 million Americans.

Diabetics need to be extra cautious of what they add to their plate-especially during the holidays. There are many dishes that are loaded with sugars of all kinds. Sugars are naturally occurring carbohydrates. These include brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar, fructose, honey, and molasses. They have calories and raise one’s blood glucose levels (the level of sugar in the blood).

There are many different types of sugars that tend to have little to no effect on one’s blood sugar levels. They are:

  • Sucralose (Splenda)-It is 600 times sweeter than sugar, yet has no effect on blood sugar, says Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life. In addition, Splenda passes through the body with minimal absorption. These attributes have helped it become the most commonly used artificial sweetener worldwide, according to an article published in October 2016 in Physiology & Behavior. However, there are studies that show it to be a cancer-causing agent when heated above 350 degrees. And another study showed beneficial gut bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria were significantly reduced, while more harmful bacteria seemed to be less affected. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 5 milligrams (mg) or less of sucralose per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
  • Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)-It is calorie-free and is about 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar. It was the first artificial sweetener, with chemists discovering it as a derivative of coal tar by mistake in 1879, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Studies by the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health concluded that saccharin shouldn’t be on the list of potential carcinogens. Saccharin is currently FDA-approved. A 132-lb individual would need to consume 45 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 15 mg of saccharin per kg of body weight per day.
  • Aspartame (Equal)-It is a nonnutritive artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. While not zero-calorie, it is still very low in calories. A study published in December 2014 in the journal Cytotechnology, has shown linkage to leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer. “Other research shows a [possible] linkage to migraines.” People with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare condition in which they are unable to metabolize phenylalanine (a key component of aspartame), should not consume this sugar substitute. A 132-lb individual would need to consume a whopping 75 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 50 mg of aspartame per kg of body weight per day, notes the FDA.
  • Stevia (Truvia)-Steviol glycosides are sweeteners derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is native to Central and South America. It is calorie-free. However, it doesn’t have a 1:1 ratio (cup-for-cup) with sugar when using it in foods and drinks. Thus, one needs to remember a little stevia can go a long way. It can also gain a bitter taste when too much is used depending on the brand. According to the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, published in January 2019 in Diabetes Care, nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, have little to no impact on blood sugar. The FDA has approved the use of certain stevia extracts, which it has generally recognized as safe (a term that is applied to food additives that qualified experts deem as safe, and therefore not subject to the usual premarket review and approval process). Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes that people have reported side effects, like gastrointestinal symptoms, after eating high amounts of stevia. But to date, there is no solid scientific research to prove these claims. The FDA recommends an ADI of 4 mg or less of stevia per kilogram of body weight per day. A 132-lb individual would need to consume nine tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
  • Sugar Alcohols (or polyols)-They are derived from the natural fibers in fruits and vegetables, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. They include Xylitol (sourced from corn and birch trees), Sorbitol, Mannitol, and Isomalt. They may have a laxative effect and cause indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea in some people, the FDA points out. Products containing sorbitol and mannitol must bear a label warning that excess consumption can cause a laxative effect, per the FDA. The gastrointestinal symptoms arise because sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed in the digestive tract, says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE. She explains that unabsorbed carbohydrates from these sweeteners pass into the large intestine, where they are fermented by gut bacteria to produce gas. Sugar alcohols do contain some carbohydrates and are nutritive sweeteners, so they can affect blood sugar levels. If one counts carbs to manage diabetes, a common rule of thumb is to subtract half the amount of the sugar alcohol carbs listed on the nutrition label from the total carbs listed, according to the University of California in San Francisco. Also, they do have a 1:1 ratio with sugar when it comes to food and drink. When baking with yeast and making hard candies, these should not be used. And they are harmful to dogs.
  • Erythritol-It is also a sugar alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and doesn’t have a big effect on blood sugar levels, per the American Diabetes Association. It’s an ingredient in the stevia-derived sweetener Truvia and is marketed under the brand-name Swerve. Swerve measures 1:1 ratio with sugar. Thus, one can use it like table sugar, or in cooking and baking recipes that call for sugar. If other sugar alcohol sweeteners give one tummy trouble, this may be a better option for them. It is less likely to produce the gas, bloating, and diarrhea that happens from fermentation by gut bacteria because only about 10% of the erythritol consumed enters the colon, per past research. The rest leaves the body through the urine. There’s no ADI for erythritol.
  • Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo fruit extract and Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit extract)-This nonnutritive sweetener comes from a plant native to southern China. The extract contains 0 calories per serving, per the International Food Information Council Foundation, and per the FDA, is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA has not questioned notices submitted by monk fruit sweetener makers that the extract is “generally recognized as safe.” The agency doesn’t specify an ADI for monk fruit sweetener. It also has a 1:1 ratio with sugar.

As one can see, there are many artificial sweeteners to help one reach their blood sugar goals. Just remember that maintaining them will be easier if one practices moderation and don’t allow sweet-tasting food and beverages to lead one to overconsume them. A major goal should be to reduce all types of sweeteners in one’s diet, including sugar substitutes so that one becomes accustomed to the naturally sweet taste of food. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends that in the case of beverages, it’s best not to rely on zero- or low-calorie options as a replacement for ones that contain sugar beyond the short term; but instead, to consume as little of any type of sweetener as one can, and simply drink more water.

There are two types of fiber: water-insoluble and water-soluble. Water-insoluble fibers bind or attract water, becoming very viscous and add bulk to the stool. This bulking helps maintain normal bowel function by acting as a scouring agent in the bowel. Water-soluble fibers actually dissolve in water and are further altered by the bacteria in our intestines. However, all fibers can slow the absorption of sugar and fat from food, and therefore help prevent spikes in blood sugar and blood fat after eating, possibly reducing the inflammatory response to food. Fiber can also prevent the absorption of some fat and cholesterol altogether, lowering blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Calling fiber indigestible is not entirely accurate. Although we do not produce the needed enzymes to digest many of the fibers we eat in our diets, many of the bacteria that live in our intestines are able to break down, or ferment, fibers. It provides important nutrition for the bacteria to live and prosper, and so they are called pre-biotics. Many have heard of the fiber, fructooligosaccharides (FOS)/inulin. A few examples of inulin-containing foods are legumes, jicama, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Fiber is further important in normal detoxification functions in the body. Much of this detoxification occurs in the liver. When the liver detoxifies these substances, the end products are frequently eliminated in the bile, a liquid substance made in our liver, and secreted via the gall bladder into our intestinal tract. When we eat a high fiber diet, the fiber from our meals binds these toxins and allows us to eliminate these waste products. Without a lot of fiber in the diet, these toxins can be reabsorbed, go back to our liver, and need to be processed again. Requiring the liver to reprocess these toxins requires more energy and may result in higher levels of these toxins in the bloodstream.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends adults eat 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1000 calories eaten in the diet. For most of us, this translates into 21-28 grams of fiber per day. However higher fiber diets may have additional benefits for those people with diabetes, including reducing blood sugar, lowering insulin, and lowering cholesterol. A typical recommendation to patients is 35-40 grams of fiber per day ideally achieved through the diet alone, with additional fiber intake (usually as a powered supplement) for weight loss or to selectively target reduction in post-meal blood sugars. Many people need to increase their water intake when they increase their fiber intake to avoid constipation because of the water-binding/bulking effects of water-insoluble fibers. Fiber, in combination with fish oil, has extra benefits on triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Vegetables (like kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and lettuces), whole grains (like quinoa, barley, oats, and rye), nuts and legumes (beans, peas, soy, black, pinto, and lentils) remain the single best sources of fiber in the diet. Quick sources of supplemental fiber include ground flaxseed (freshly ground to preserve the oils present in the seeds), powered fiber supplements, chopped nuts, and/or oat bran. All of these can be sprinkled over salads, mixed in protein-shakes or water, or added to yogurt, salads, and vegetable medleys.

Psyllium, oat bran, glucomannan (Konjac), corn bran, peas, and agar have all been studied in people with type 2 diabetes. They all demonstrated substantial reductions in blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and/or weight in study participants. Wheat fiber has also been studied but did not result in improvements in blood glucose or cholesterol in people with diabetes, though this was a very small and short study. Some people cannot tolerate fiber supplements (psyllium being the most commonly reported) as it produces gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation. These are the signs of food intolerance. Also, it is important to determine wheat/gluten sensitivity before choosing to supplement with oat, wheat, rye, or barley bran as a fiber source.

There are many herbal supplements that aid in reducing blood glucose levels. A few are:

  • Curcumin (a compound found in turmeric)-It has been shown to both boost blood sugar control and help prevent the disease. In a nine-month study of 240 adults with pre-diabetes, those who took curcumin capsules completely avoided developing diabetes while a sixth of patients in the placebo group did.
  • Ginseng-It has been used as a traditional medicine for more than 2,000 years. Studies suggest that both Asian and American ginseng may help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. One study found that extract from the ginseng berry was able to normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in mice who were bred to develop diabetes.
  • Fenugreek-It has been used as a medicine and as a spice for thousands of years in the Middle East. In one study of 25 people with type 2 diabetes, fenugreek was found to have a significant effect on controlling blood sugar.
  • Psyllium-Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes who take 10 grams of psyllium every day can improve their blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol.
  • Cinnamon-Consuming about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can result in significant improvement in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Aloe Vera-It has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties. Some studies suggest that the juice from the aloe vera plant can help lower blood sugar in people with types 2 diabetes. The dried sap of the aloe vera plant has traditionally been used in Arabia to treat diabetes.
  • Bitter melon-This is a popular ingredient of Asian cooking and traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed to relieve thirst and fatigue, which are possible symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that the extract of bitter melon can help diabetics with insulin secretion, glucose oxidation, and other processes.
  • Milk thistle (aka silymarin)-It has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Milk thistle may reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have liver disease. It contains high concentrations of flavonoids and antioxidants, some of which may have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance. The role of milk thistle in glycemic control is little understood.
  • Holy basil (Tulsi)-It is commonly used in India as a traditional medicine for diabetes. Studies in animals suggest that holy basil may increase the secretion of insulin. A controlled trial of holy basil in people with type 2 diabetes showed a positive effect on fasting blood sugar and on blood sugar following a meal.
  • Neem-It has been long used as a treatment for diabetes. Aqueous extract of neem leaves significantly decreases blood sugar level and prevents adrenaline as well as glucose-induced hyperglycemia. Aqueous leaf extract also reduces hyperglycemia in streptozotocin diabetes and the effect is possibly due to the presence of a flavonoid, quercetin. The plant blocks the action of epinephrine on glucose metabolism, thus increasing peripheral glucose utilization. It also increased glucose uptake and glycogen deposition in isolated rat hemidiaphragm.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre-It has been linked with significant blood-glucose-lowering. Some studies in animals have even reported regeneration of islet cells and an increase in beta-cell function.
  • Nopal (prickly pear cactus)-Inhabitants of the Mexican desert have traditionally employed the plant in glucose control. Intestinal glucose uptake may be affected by some properties of the plant, and animal studies have found significant decreases in postprandial glucose and HbA1c.
  • Okra (bhindi)-It is a rich source of fiber, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin B6, and folate. B vitamins slow the progress of diabetic neuropathy and reduce levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for this disease. This vegetable has a very low glycemic index. 100 grams of bhindi contains only 7.45 grams of carbohydrates. It is one of the few vegetables, which is also dense in protein. Diabetics are often advised to keep their diet high in protein as it helps keep them satiated and prevent bingeing on other sugary foods. 100 grams of bhindi has less than 33 calories. In addition to the blood-glucose-lowering compounds, okra is also a powerhouse of antioxidants. It is also enriched with anti-inflammatory properties.

There are several vitamins and minerals that aid in reducing blood sugar levels:

  • Chromium-It is required for the maintenance of normal glucose metabolism. Effects of chromium on glycemic control, dyslipidemia, weight loss, body composition, and bone density have all been studied. Considerable experimental and epidemiological evidence now indicates that chromium level is a major determinant of insulin sensitivity, as it functions as a cofactor in all insulin-regulating activities. Chromium facilitates insulin binding and subsequent uptake of glucose into the cell. Supplemental chromium has been shown to decrease fasting glucose level, improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels, and decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides while increases HDL cholesterol in normal, elderly, and type 2 diabetic subjects. Without chromium, insulin action is blocked and the glucose level is elevated. Although a low recommended daily allowance has been established for chromium over 200 mg/day appears necessary for optimal blood sugar regulation. A good supply of chromium is assured by supplemental chromium because chromium appears to increase the activity of the insulin receptors, it is logical to expect that an adequate level of insulin must also be present. Those using chromium supplements should be cautioned about the potential for hypoglycemia, and monitoring renal function is prudent.
  • Vanadium-Several small trials have evaluated the use of oral vanadium supplements in diabetes. Most focus on type-2 diabetes although animal studies suggest that vanadium has also potential benefits in type 1 diabetes. In a subject with type 2 diabetes, vanadium increased insulin sensitivity as assessed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp studies in some but not all trials. Two small studies have confirmed the effectiveness of vanadyl sulfate at a dose of 100 mg/day in improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Magnesium-These mineral functions as an essential cofactor for more than 300 enzymes. Magnesium is one of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in diabetes. Low dietary magnesium intake has been associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in some but not in all studies. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with complications of diabetes, retinopathy in particular. One study found patients with the most severe retinopathy were also lowest in magnesium.
  • Nicotinamide (vitamin B3)-It occurs in two forms, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide. The active coenzyme forms (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD and NAD phosphate) are essential for the functions of hundreds of enzymes and normal carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. The effects of nicotinamide supplementation have been studied in several trials focusing on the development and progression of type 1 diabetes a meta-analysis and one small trial in type 2 diabetes. Nicotinamide appears to be most effective in newly diagnosed diabetes and in subjects with positive islets cell antibodies but not diabetes. People who develop type 1 diabetes after puberty appear to be more responsive to nicotinamide treatment. Study results have offered more support for the idea that nicotinamide help to preserve β-cell function than for its possible role in diabetes prevention.
  • Vitamin E-This essential fat-soluble vitamin functions primarily as an antioxidant. Low levels of vitamin E are associated with an increased incidence of diabetes and some research suggests that people with diabetes have decreased levels of antioxidants. People with diabetes may also have greater antioxidant requirements because of increased free radical production with hyperglycemia. Increased levels of oxidative stress markers have been documented in people with diabetes. Improvement in glycemic control decreases markers of oxidative stress as does vitamin supplementation. Clinical trials involving people with diabetes have investigated the effect of vitamin E on diabetes prevention insulin sensitivity glycemic control, protein glycation, a microvascular complication of diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and its risk factor.

Recipes:

  • Okra Water: 5 okra pods, medium-sized; 3 cups of water. Directions: Take the okra pods and wash them thoroughly. Cut off the ends of the pods. Now, with the help of a knife split the pods in half. Take a mason jar or a tumbler with three cups of water and put the pods in it. Let the pods soak overnight. Squeeze the pods into the water and take them out. Drink the water.
  • Chocolate Candy: 1 cup coconut oil; 1/3 cup xylitol; 3/4 cup cacao powder; 1/4 teaspoon stevia extract; 1/3 cup coconut flour. Directions: If you have granulated xylitol, begin by putting it in a food processor or coffee grinder and whiz it around for a minute or two until the xylitol is powdered. It will dissolve SO much easier if you don’t skip this step. Next, place your coconut oil in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it is liquid. Add your xylitol and stevia, continuing to warm until the sweeteners are dissolved. Be careful not to boil. Add the cacao powder and coconut flour and stir until dissolved in the mixture and well combined. Finally, pour your chocolate into some type of silicone tray and place it in the freezer until solid. After the candies have hardened (it doesn’t take long), pop them out of the tray, place in a ziplock baggie, and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Homemade Peanut Butter Cups: 1/4 cup nut butter; 1-2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (optional) ; pinch salt (optional); 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional); 2 teaspoons coconut oil. Directions: For the base: Carefully melt the chocolate chips and stir with the optional oil until smooth. Spread about 1 tsp up the sides of mini cupcake liners. Freeze. Meanwhile, stir nut butter together with the optional sweetener and salt. Add about a teaspoon of filling to each liner, then cover with another tsp chocolate. Freeze again to set. Variations: *Nut Butter & Jelly: Make the base. Fill with nut butter and jelly. *Dark Chocolate Coconut: Use melted coconut butter as your base (stir in a little sweetener of choice if desired). Fill with melted chocolate chips. *Inside Out: Stir 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter with 1/4 cup coconut oil and 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice. Use this instead of the chocolate coating in the base. Melt 3 tablespoons chocolate chips as filling. *Chocolate Banana: Use mashed banana instead of nut butter for the filling. *Strawberry Jam: Combine 3 tablespoon coconut butter with 2 teaspoons mashed strawberry and optional sweetener of choice to taste. Use this as your base, and fill with nut butter of choice. *Raspberry Truffle: Fill the base with raspberry jam.
  • Vegan Candy Corn: 1/4 cup cashew butter (or peanut butter); tiny dash salt; 1/4 cup powdered sugar; tiny pinch turmeric; a few drops beet juice. Directions: Mix the first three ingredients together in a bowl until it becomes a crumbly dough. (Note: if your nut butter is from the fridge, let it sit awhile or heat it up so it’s easier to mix.) If the dough is too gooey, you can add a little extra sugar. Taste the dough and add a little more salt if desired. Now transfer the crumbles to a plastic bag and smush very hard into a ball. Remove from the bag and form three little balls, the turmeric to one ball, and knead until it’s all one color. Do the same with the red. Roll balls into skinny strips—the skinnier the strips, the smaller the resulting candy corns, and press strips together. Cut into triangles or other shapes. As stated above in the post, these aren’t supposed to taste exactly like store-bought candy corn; they’re yummy in their own right. You can store it in the fridge or freezer. Or bake them: 350 F for 3-5 minutes, then allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tray.
  • Ginger Lemon Tea with Cinnamon: Servings: 8 Ingredients: 1 oz. fresh ginger, thinly sliced; 1 cinnamon stick; 8 cups water; 1 medium lemon; ¼ cup honey. Directions: Juice ½ of the lemon using a citrus juicer. Reserve juice. Discard the seeds and peel. Slice the remaining half lemon horizontally. Set aside. Place ginger, cinnamon stick, and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard the ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the lemon juice and honey into the ginger tea. Pour individual cups. Garnish with a slice of lemon. Serve and enjoy.
  • Tea for Blood Sugar Management: 25 grams holy basil; 20 grams cinnamon; 20 grams Gymnema Sylvestre; 10 grams fenugreek; 15 grams orange peel; 10 grams ginger. Directions: Mix the following herbs and spices together. Dried leaves and spices can be stored for a long period of time in a glass jar in a cool dark place. Makes a total of 100 grams of the mix. To prepare the tea: Take a teaspoon of the herbal mix and add it to a cup or use paper tea filters. Add 8 ounces hot water into the cup and cover for 10 minutes so the herbs are infused in water. Enjoy this tea 15 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.

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

Rid Your Body of Abnormal Cells!

This is a touchy subject for Naturopathic Doctors because we work only with body systems. We do not diagnose or treat “named” diseases. But when we mention “abnormal cells” many people immediately go to “cancer” or “melanomas”. I always begin such a discussion with the fact that we do NOT treat or CURE cancer with our work. But we all carry some abnormal cells and we work with our customers to work within their body systems to alleviate the growth of these abnormal cells.

A few years back, due to some serious sunburns on my back as a teenager, I was diagnosed by my dermatologist as having a pretty severe skin cancer. I knew that in this case that was mutant cells in my skin that were multiplying and talked to him about the possibility in this case of using a natural product to get rid of these specific cells. He told me to try it and three weeks later removed all the malignant tissue from my back and retested it – and didn’t find any abnormal cells left.

The product was call Paw Paw Cell Reg. It is the extract of pawpaw twigs collected in the month of May when the over 400 acetogenins they contain are at their peak. The medical community has known about this product for over 40 years, but don’t use it much because of its limited effectiveness on many conditions. The product is selective for only abnormal cells, has no known contraindications, and can be used in a defensive roll. A few years back I went to a conference with Dr. Ajay Goel who was at the time the lead research scientist at the Baylor Cancer Institute in Dallas, Texas. The title of his talk was “Why cancer always comes back.” He made a powerful case, so I take a bottle once a year as a preventative.

The product works by slowing the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate – a chemical that provides energy to living cells) in the mitochondria of the abnormal cells making them weak; upsets the RNA & DNA building blocks within the abnormal cells interrupting their ability to reproduce, and may help modulate the growth of blood vessels near the abnormal cells making it difficult to get food, water and oxygen and get rid of their wastes.

According to Dr Goel, the reason these abnormal growths will always return at some point is that while traditional treatments kill the bad cells, they also kill good, normal cells in the process and yet do not kill the abnormal stem cells. He believes that a specific clinically studied curcumin with a concentration of a specific component and added turmerones may stop these stems cells from reproducing, and a clinically studies component of a French grape seed may also play a part in breaking some specific cellular communication chains in the proliferation of abnormal cell growth as well.

Dr Goel has changed jobs and now works at the City of Hope in Los Angeles. He is working to get more medical doctors trained in the use of several of our natural products to allow their use in their practices.

We hear stories from our customers regularly of products they have used to aid in the breaking of communication channels to halt the proliferation of abnormal cell growths. Rene Cassie worked decades ago with the Ojibwa Indians in Canada to learn to blend extracts of burdock root, sheep sorrel aerial parts, the inner bark of the slippery elm tree, and the roots of the turkey rhubarb to produce a popular product called Essiac Tea. Others have tried using such things as inositol hexaphosphate from mineral sources, shark cartilage which gained popularity from a book a couple of decades ago called “Sharks Don’t Get Cancer,” and essential oils like frankincense.

Every medical doctor I have talked with assures that there is currently no cure from the disease named “cancer”. But strides are being made, and doctors like Dr Ajay Goel of the City of Hope in Los Angeles teaches that some of the progress we see in inhibiting the early growth of the abnormal cells that may develop into the actual disease many be helped with some of our natural products. So I take a bottle of Paw Paw Cell Reg as a part of my cleansing regimen each year.

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.

Food Allergies

Though food sensitivities take many forms and various levels, most of us begin to have allergies to foods as we age – even foods we once enjoyed. Did you ever wonder why?

When we put things in our mouths, the body asks “can I digest that?” If it is something the body can readily digest, it considers it “food”, and begins the digestive process. This will mean the body has the enzymes and nutrients to turn the substance from its raw form to a form from which it may extract the nutrients and distribute them throughout the body. But as you age, your pancreas may lose the ability to produce some of the enzymes it needs.

So if the body says “I can’t digest this!” it considers it a foreign substance and begins the process of refusing it. It produces “allergic” reactions to kill, compartmentalize, or expel the matter:

  • Specialized cells are generated to “kill” the invader.
  • Mucous is produced to smother it.
  • Coughing and sneezing start to expel it.
  • Fever may be raised to “burn it up.”
  • Tearing may occur to wash it out.
  • While we call these “allergic reactions”, they are a valuable part of our immune system.
  • They keep the “foreign material” from harming us.

So, what can we do when these reactions start? Well, obviously we can stay clear of the foods that cause the reactions. But often we can just take a supplemental enzyme to “digest” the matter. This is especially true if it is foods that we once enjoyed and digested well.

Remember, many food sensitivities may be much more critical – don’t treat them lightly. While this won’t work for all food sensitivities, it may be a welcome relief for those who develop allergies to once-cherished foods later in life. You may not have to give up many of your favorite foods just because “old age” is slowing you down!

– 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.

What To Do About the Flu

flu, natural, remediesWell, the flu season is upon us. And this year, it appears, there will not be enough flu vaccine to go around. What can you do so that you do to ensure that you do not become a flu statistic?

I have not taken the flu shot for a number of years, and this is what has worked for me. First, keep a good, strong immune system. Ensuring that I take a good, balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is a start. Then around the first of November each year I start taking something to enhance my immune system. There are a variety of natural products that do this.

~ Echinacea
~ Elderberry Combination
~ Noni juice
~ Thai-Go (mangosteen fruit juice drink)
~ Defense Maintenance
~ Immune Stimulator
~ THIM-J – activates the thymus gland to produce more T-cells
~ Plenty of Vitamin C

These will usually keep me from having any flu symptoms. But in the event that I forget to take my supplements, or we get a particularly virulent flu strain, and I do start to feel any symptoms, there is another set of products, any of which can ensure that I don’t get “down with the flu”.

~ VS-C – Personal favorite, a blend of Chinese herbs that kill virus
~ Colloidal Silver – a liquid that kills virus on contact
~ Influenza Remedy – a homeopathic flu remedy
~ Tea Tree Oil – An anti-viral essential oil; mist it in the house
~ High Potency Garlic – a known anti-viral and antiseptic
~ Zinc Lozenges with Echinacea and Vitamin C

If you fail to keep ahead of it, and the flu actually gets to you, here are some products to help with the discomfort while the list above kills the virus.

~ ALJ – will help alleviate the congestion
~ FV – will help when there is fever and vomiting
~ Boneset – will help with the achiness
~ Echinacea & Golden Seal – strong immune help for a few days only
~ Peppermint Oil or Tei-Fu Oil – rub them on to help with the aches
~ Drink plenty of warm lemon water to prevent dehydration

Stay ahead of the flu and stay healthy this winter!

– 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.

Lest We Forget

Memory is one of those things we don’t think much about unless we start to lose ours. It is as natural as breathing and done almost as unconsciously. Lapses in memory are common for all of us and are an annoyance, but the anxiety that accompanies these feelings of possible loss is even more of a concern to us. We fear it may be only a symptom of some larger problem: depression, arteriosclerosis, or a progressive Alzheimer’s disease. And while these may be real problems for many people, it is important to note that these temporary memory losses are common and may have little to do with permanent, degenerative conditions.

The idea that all people will suffer memory loss as they age is not necessarily true. We all know of people well past eighty years of age that are still “as sharp as a tack.” One of the primary causes of memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. Let me quote from the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing. “The life of the body is in the blood. It literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. The brain is surrounded by a protective envelope known as the blood-brain barrier, which allows only certain substances to pass from the bloodstream into the brain. [Certain conditions can], over time, result in the brain becoming malnourished.” Add to this problems such as poor neurotransmitters, exposure to free radicals from our environment, wide swings in blood sugar levels, and the use of toxins such as alcohol and drugs, and it is easy to see that encroaching memory loss can be a result.

What can you do to ensure that you keep your brain fed? Certain vitamins and minerals are certainly needed, such as a good B-complex, the antioxidants C and E, and zinc, manganese and choline. Lecithin helps “lubricate” the neural synapses. The amino acids l-glutamine and l-aspartic acid serve as fuel for the brain and prevent excess ammonia from damaging it. And l-tyrosine helps sharpen awareness. Some research shows that Coenzyme Q10 improves brain oxygenation, and the hormone melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that may prevent memory loss.

Then there are the herbs. Much attention has been given by the news media to ginkgo biloba. This herb decreases capillary permeability and, in the brain, improves neural activity, increases cerebrovascular circulation, protects membranes and restores serotonin receptors. Much of the recent research has concentrated on its ability to increase blood flow to the brain specifically. Another herb that acts similarly is gotu kola. It has long been used in Ayurvedic (East Indian) medicine as a tonic for memory loss. Other herbs that are helpful for memory are anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and rosemary.

Foods that are helpful in maintaining memory functions include brown rice, farm eggs, fish, beans, nuts, tofu, whole grains, and most raw foods. Be sure to combine your carbohydrates with proteins and essential fats. Purely carbohydrate meals inhibit memory functions. Foods to avoid include dairy and refined sugars. They tend to “shut the brain down.”

Like the rest of the body, the brain responds well to exercise. Use it! Focus on things you need to remember. Practice word puzzles, adding columns of numbers, or memorizing Bible verses, poetry, or phone numbers. Keep learning; gain a new hobby; go back to school. Anything that “exercises” the mind will help to keep it young. Activities that don’t require us to think help rob us of our ability to think.

As with all our body systems, the brain needs water, nutrition, exercise and rest – all in good balance. May you enjoy good memory and good memories throughout your life. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Supplements to Aid an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

inflammationIt’s a crude analogy, but I liken inflammation in the body to friction in your car engine. Like using the wrong oil in your car, you could be using the wrong oil (like saturated fats or polyunsaturated fats containing too much omega-6 essential fatty acids) in the body (e.g., cottonseed or sunflower) or not enough of the good oils – omega-3s like those found in chia, flax, or cold-water fish like salmon, cod, herring, and sardines.

Like adding sand to your carburetor, some “foods” naturally produce inflammation – e.g., salt and sugar. And, of course, many factors encountered in ordinary use produce inflammation. Potholes, construction, mechanical failure, and inattentive drivers in the car can be compared with damage caused to your body by injury, infection, environmental toxins, viral and bacterial pathogens, and simple inattentiveness to your health.

You can help by just paying attention to your diet. What can you do? Add more raw foods, replace red meat with fish and lean poultry, get rid of “white” foods – white potatoes, white flour, white rice – and reduce the amount of processed foods you consume (they add unwanted preservatives and extract numerous vital nutrients just to enhance shelf life). Replace sugar with natural alternative sweeteners, yellow or blue for white potatoes, yellow, brown or wild rice for white, and flours like spelt for wheat (or at least use whole, unprocessed wheat). And use oils like olive or coconut instead of more fatty ones.

If you have an inflammatory response to any of the mentioned “road hazards” try any of the natural herbal anti-inflammatories – such as cat’s claw, garlic, curcumin (from turmeric), ginger, Boswellia (frankincense), white willow bark, stinging nettle, cayenne, and yucca.

Along with diet changes, supplements assist, as well. More Omega-3 essential fatty acids “add oil to YOUR engine.” Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and zinc reduce inflammation and aid in the healing process, vitamin B helps with tissue repair, and Grape Seed extract is a powerful antioxidant.

Finally, your car needs gas (or electricity) for energy. Just so, it is essential to use a good, complete, and balanced multiple vitamin and mineral complex for all your health issues…including inflammation!

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

Herbal Help for Chronic Pain

We have many friends and customers who suffer constantly from chronic pain and yet question the side effects of many over-the-counter and other common medications. To address these concerns and recent news stories, we recommend a variety of alternative herbal supplements.  Many are for general pain and some focus on specific body systems.

A few of the general pain relieving herbs are turmeric, boswellia, devil’s claw and white willow bark – a natural alternative to aspirin.  Curcumin is one component of turmeric and we have one company who has processed a curcumin extract that is 500 times as strong as basic turmeric and that they guarantee will “stop pain now!”

Feverfew is an herb that works on the neural transmitters of the brain to help alleviate migraine headaches. Herbs like red raspberry leaf, cramp bark, black cohosh and blessed thistle help alleviate menstrual cramping. And other herbs like mangosteen, andrographis, oregano, wild rosemary, and even simple ginger help to alleviate the pain associated with inflammation.

Additionally, many dietary enzymes, including bromelain, pancreatin and papain, have been shown to relieve many pain symptoms, and numerous essential oils have pain relieving qualities. Notable among them are peppermint for headaches, tea tree for burns, and blends you can make for yourself containing black pepper, rosemary, lavender, and ginger for back pain.

These are only samples of the diversity of herbal aids for helping you cope with chronic pain. Take your questions to any of our local herbal supplement stores for further, focused counsel!  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.

Multi-Level Healing

healing, multi-level healing, naturopathic doctorUsually, when we get sick our aim is to alleviate the symptoms.  We simply want to quit hurting and suffering and feel better. So, we look to those who can offer us relief and not really healing. Relief may lessen the symptoms that cause us discomfort and stress, but may not do anything to actually alleviate the root causes of that discomfort, causing us to feel better temporarily, but the symptoms return as soon as the medication (whatever it is) wears off.

We need healing on multiple levels – alleviate the symptomatic discomfort, find the root cause of the discomfort, and then promote true health in the affected area of the body.

Causes of stress may include any or all of the following: simple fatigue, known or unknown tissue wear or injury, nutrient deficiency, or our response to external pathogens.

Tissue Wear

Tissue wear is a part of the aging process, and while regular exercise is an essential pillar of good health, it should be commensurate with our age and our normal activity levels. Even the staunchest of athletes get occasional tissue damage, so it is important to start slow when starting to exercise. It’s easy to injure tissues that are not regularly manipulated if we jump into something new. If an injury does occur, look for creams and lotions containing arnica, camphor, menthol, capsicum, boswellia, and turmeric for short-term healing and don’t forget to seek medical care for more serious injuries.

Nutrition

As for nutrition, Dr. Joel Wallach (1991 Nobel Prize nominee for his work in nutritional supplements) states that we need 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids, and three essential fatty acids in our diet every day to really stay healthy for life.  And that doesn’t count the addition of other herbal supplements that may be needed to help combat “family histories” of disease.  For example, you may need additional supplements if your family has a genetic history of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.  And there’s a real sense of truth in the old adage “you are what you eat”.  Your body isn’t going to function well on a daily diet of junk foods, fats, and sugars.

Immune System

Our immune system should be kept at optimum to address the bombardment of a host of environmental pathogens – viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc. These may reoccur and many have a variety of symptoms. Most people have a susceptibility to common pathogens that they have come to know and have treatments for. But finding the right match of a supplement for a specific pathogen may require the help of a health care professional.  If you’re continually fighting the same symptoms of recurring varieties of symptoms, get help!

stress free, low stressStress and Fatigue

Stress and fatigue are known contributors to all kinds of ailments.  If your life is in chaos or you’re going through a particularly stressful time, try to set aside time to just rest or find pleasant things to occupy your time – take even a mini vacation or “stay-cation.” You’ll reap super rewarding health from it. Enjoy a full life and always seek out healing on multiple-levels.

– 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 full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Stings and Bites

Have you noticed the rash of insect bites this Summer?  In the years that The Health Patch has been open, I have been asked what to do for spider bites only once or twice – until recently, that is! In the past month, we have had eight customers call specifically for this reason.  Well, here is what our sources tell us.

Activated Charcoal

“Activated charcoal has an amazing ability to “attract” and absorb.  This makes it ideal for removing poisons from the body.  It is approved by the FDA in place of ipecac for internal poisoning.  The poisons adhere to the large surface area of the specially-processed, finely-ground powder so that both are eliminated together.

“It is used externally for insect bites/stings and surface infections.”  Just make a paste with water and apply it to the area.  This will neutralize the poison.  And for multiple bites or stings, put the charcoal in the tub and add warm water.  Then immerse your whole body.

There are other uses for the charcoal, too.  Charcoal will actually absorb intestinal gas, giving relief from bloating and acting to remove the intestinal coating that prevents normal absorption and removal of gas via the blood and lungs.  It is also used internally for a hangover, high cholesterol, food poisoning and to remove wastes from underactive kidneys or liver.

If you use charcoal in an open wound, be sure to rinse it out before the skin heals to avoid skin discoloration from trapped charcoal.

And some cautions: charcoal does not absorb caustics like lye or salts such as potassium nitrate very well.  It should not be used for more than a few days at a time; it absorbs nutrients, too.

Tobacco

How about other treatments?  Well, finally a good use of tobacco.  When I was a kid, my mom used to make a paste of tobacco, baking soda, and water.  This was placed over the bite/sting and this too worked to draw out the poison.

Black Cohost

If you are using black cohost for menopause then you will likely have capsules of it around the house.  A paste can also be made from this common herb.  When applied to the infected area, it will also draw out the toxins.  And you can also take this herb internally every 15 minutes for the first hour for additional relief.

Vitamin C

Large quantities of vitamin C can also help in recovering from the bite/sting, and pantothenic acid acts as an anti-allergenic.

Obviously, the best defense is a good offense, so watch out for dark, damp places and try to stay away from stinging insects.  But if you get stung anyway, try these home remedies and get medical attention in the case of allergic reaction.  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

Lest We Forget

Memory is one of those things we don’t think much about unless we start to loose ours.  It is as natural as breathing and done almost as unconsciously.  Lapses in memory are common for all of us and are an annoyance, but the anxiety that accompanies these feelings of possible loss is even more of a concern to us.  We fear it may be only a symptom of some larger problem: depression, arteriosclerosis, or a progressive Alzheimer’s disease.  And while these may be real problems for many people, it is important to note that these temporary memory losses are common and may have little to do with permanent, degenerative conditions.

Memory Myths

The idea that all people will suffer memory loss as they age is not necessarily true.  We all know of people well past eighty years of age that are still “as sharp as a tack.”  One of the primary causes of memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain.  Let me quote from the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing.  “The life of the body is in the blood.  It literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies.  The brain is surrounded by a protective envelope known as the blood-brain barrier, which allows only certain substances to pass from the bloodstream into the brain.  [Certain conditions can], over time, result in the brain becoming malnourished.”  Add to this, problems such as poor neurotransmitters, exposure to free radicals from our environment, wide swings in blood sugar levels, and the use of toxins such as alcohol and drugs, and it is easy to see that encroaching memory loss can be a result.

How to Maintain Memory

What can you do to ensure that you keep your brain fed?  Certain vitamins and minerals are certainly needed, such as a good B-complex, the antioxidants C and E, and zinc, manganese and choline.  Lecithin helps “lubricate” the neural synapses.  The amino acids l-glutamine and l-aspartic acid serve as fuel for the brain and prevent excess ammonia from damaging it.  And l-tyrosine helps sharpen awareness.  Some research shows that Coenzyme Q10 improves brain oxygenation, and the hormone melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that may prevent memory loss.

Then there are the herbs.  Much attention has been given by the news media to ginkgo biloba.  This herb decreases capillary permeability and, in the brain, improves neural activity, increases cerebrovascular circulation, protects membranes and restores serotonin receptors.  Much of the recent research has concentrated on its ability to increase blood flow to the brain specifically.  Another herb that acts similarly is gotu kola.  It has long been used in Ayurvedic (East Indian) medicine as a tonic for memory loss. Other herbs that are helpful for memory are anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and rosemary.

Foods that are helpful in maintaining memory functions include brown rice, farm eggs, fish, beans, nuts, tofu, whole grains, and most raw foods.  Be sure to combine your carbohydrates with proteins and essential fats.  Purely carbohydrate meals inhibit memory functions. Foods to avoid include dairy and refined sugars.  They tend to “shut the brain down.”

Like the rest of the body, the brain responds well to exercise.  Use it!  Focus on things you need to remember.  Practice word puzzles, adding columns of numbers, or memorizing Bible verses, poetry, or phone numbers.  Keep learning; gain a new hobby; go back to school.  Anything that “exercises” the mind will help to keep it young.  Activities that don’t require us to think help rob us of our ability to think.

As with all our body systems, the brain needs water, nutrition, exercise and rest – all in good balance.  May you enjoy good memory and good memories throughout your life.  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.