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Archive for Specific Ailments

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.

How to Age Gracefully

I am commonly heard saying “Aging isn’t for the faint of heart!” But aging is inevitable. Our goal should be to age gracefully and enjoy the benefits of advanced age. Here are a few things you can do to ensure aging is more pleasant and enjoyable.

Anyone (everyone!) will tell you that the greatest goal as we age is to maintain good health. We see folks who reach into their 90s and still enjoy good mobility and sound minds.  Research tells us that these are the people who take steps early to avoid preventable diseases; avoid smoking; carefully monitor the use of alcohol; be vigilante in preventing accidental injuries.

Nutrition and Longevity

As mom always said, “eat your veggies” and use sugar minimally. Take a good multiple vitamin and mineral supplement regularly. Use enzymes and probiotics as you age since your body will produce less of them. Use supplemental hormone-supporting supplements as the hormones are the internal messengers of the body, and take supplements to forestall genetic weaknesses.

Longevity Herbs

Many herbs also promote longevity.  An example is sage. An ancient proverb states “How shall a man die who has sage in his garden?” And Winston Churchill said, “We are happier … when we are old than when we are young. The young sow wild oats, the old grow sage.”

Exercise both your body and your mind.  Physically, do what you can – simple walking regularly supports the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system, and the bowel, and keeps the muscles and

balance toned. Remember the adage “use it or lose it?” This is particularly true of the brain.  Instead of settling for TV or movies, find something to challenge and tone the mind every day – a hobby, reading, working puzzles, playing games, and so on.  I had a 93-year-old friend who was mentally “sharp as a tack” – his secret: for years he had worked a cryptogram every day! Find something you enjoy and practice it every day.

The Human Elements

And such an article as this would be incomplete without mentioning the importance of comradery, fellowship, friendship, and companionship.  I once read an article about a village in Japan where people routinely live to be over 100 years old.  They believed (as I do) that the secret to their longevity was grouping daily with people who knew them intimately, people they had known all their lives, people who shared their joys and sorrows, people who knew their secrets and loved them unquestioningly, people who could laugh with them and cry with them.  We need people in our lives – family, friends, business or church partners, etc. – with whom to share all of our lives.  If we don’t have these now, we can work to develop them.

Finally, the Reader’s Digest had it right – laughter is truly the best medicine. Don’t take the struggles of life too seriously.  To live long and to age gracefully take care of your body and your mind, walk with true friends, love well and laugh often. May the Lord bless and keep you!

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

How to Get Energy