Image

Archive for benefits

Intro to Supplements

nutrients, supplements, chartWithin a two-week period shortly after I opened my store over 20 years ago, three young customers had asked me the same question. Not using the same words, but basically, they were all asking “I’m young, healthy and don’t know any of my family’s genetics. Should I be taking any supplements?”

Not having a ready answer and not wanting to just sell them something, I began to research the idea of preventative supplementation. Then I came upon a tape that was being sent around during those days entitled “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie,” written by Dr. Joel Wallach, a 1991 Nobel Prize nominee for his work in nutritional supplements. He had been a veterinarian for over 20 years before becoming a medical doctor and noted that when animals get sick we feed them healthy foods, but when people get sick we give them drugs.

Dr. Wallach further noted that every living thing will die for one of two things: an accident or a nutritional deficiency. When they finished mapping the human genome, the scientist stated that the genetic potential of mankind appeared to be about 120 years. In other words, if we die before we’re 120, it will be from an accident or a nutritional deficiency. So he began to research the nutritional needs of the average man. In his research, he stated that we need 60 different 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. And there are a couple of real problems in this area that we face today:

One: We don’t eat right. In the Bible in Genesis 1:29, God tells Adam and Eve “I give you every herb on the whole earth for your food.” Additionally, Dr. Paul Barney, in his book Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine stated “In many cultures, there is no separation between food and medicine. In other words, food IS the medicine treating various conditions.” And Dr. Andrew Weil, in his book Spontaneous Healing, says “The body can heal itself [given the proper nutrients].”

Two: Even if we ate good, balanced meals all the time, the land no longer provides all the proper nutrients. For years we’ve stripped the minerals from the land and generally use on Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous (NK&P) in our fertilizers. These elements generally grow lovely fruiting plants, but their fruits can’t contain vitamins and minerals that aren’t available in their development. There are about half a dozen places in the world where people routinely live to be 100+ years of age. All of them are at high elevations where their crops are watered with glacial runoff – glacial water still has plenty of minerals.

So, like Dr. Joel Wallach, I believe the solution is supplements. Get all those he listed above every day and add supplements to help you ward off genetically potential future ailments. If you need help, remember we have five Naturopathic Doctors at The Health Patch who do private alternative health consultations. We’ll be glad to work with you.

– 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!

Is Your pH Balanced?

If you took chemistry in high school then you’ve heard of “pH.” “pH” stands for “potential of Hydrogen” and is the mark of the acid-alkaline ratio of an item. In this case, we’re talking about the pH balance of your body. It is the balance between positively charged ions (which form acids) and negatively charged ions (which form alkalines).

Why is this important? A recent pamphlet (available to you at the shop without cost) states that “the body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is threatened, however, many unpleasant sicknesses can arise. Because our bodies naturally use hydrochloric acid to break down foods and nutrients, the optimal saliva and urine pH for our bodies is slightly acidic, around 6.4-6.5.”

This is only slightly acidic because the number assigned to “neutral” is 7.0. And the measure of a well-functioning body is a saliva pH between 6.4 and 6.8 both morning and evening, and a urine pH of 6.0-6.4 in the morning (since your body has been removing acids during the night) and 6.4-7.0 in the evening. Numbers outside these set up an environment in the body where disease can flourish.

You can easily know what your pH levels are. While the old litmus strips we used in chemistry class only showed us red for acid and blue for alkaline, newer developed strips use a color-code to measure pH from 5.0 to 9.0 in .5 increments.

While the range of diseases attributable to pH imbalance is great, it should be noted that more people suffer from too much acid – a condition known as acidosis. This condition causes the body to borrow the minerals needed to buffer the acids from other organs, tissues, and bones. And while less common, high alkalinity can cause the body to digest foods too slowly and create problems in the bowel and urinary tracts. And too much acid in the saliva can indicate a problem with digestive enzymes from the stomach and liver.

Another example of conditions attributed to an improper balancing of your pH may be the inability to lose weight because the body may be improperly using the minerals needed to maintain proper metabolism.

Many foods we eat contribute to acid and alkaline buildups in our bodies. Further, new research shows that our blood types cause our bodies to react differently from one person to another. A food that is well-used by someone with a blood type of “A” may cause acid problems in a person with blood type “O”, for example. You need to research which foods are best for your blood type.

What do you do if you test your pH and find it out of balance? Well, besides modifying your diet, there are numerous mineral and herbal combinations available to correct either condition. Interestingly, different forms of the same mineral may be necessary to correct an acid as opposed to an alkaline condition. But some elements are common between the conditions: enzymes are essential to ensure vitamins and minerals are absorbed, using the correct calcium is needed, and one should cleanse regularly. Cleansing serves to detoxify your body and a “cleanse” should be accomplished quarterly or at least semi-annually.

While proper nutrition and a good supplement program are always advised, experts further recommend checking your saliva and urine pH levels twice a day and at least two days a week. Conditions caused specifically due to improper pH balances may go undetected for years, but the consequences can be devastating. 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 | ph:736-1030 | e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Call to schedule your private health consultation with one of our five Naturopathic Doctors!

Super Spices

spicesSpice up your life! Doesn’t that conjure up exotic thoughts of passion and that “something special” about adding a new dimension to your life? Interestingly, the whole idea of spices is to add that something special. Food can be just nourishment to keep us alive, but add some spices and turn the meal to pure joy! There are thousands of spies; here are some of my favorites.

Cinnamon is listed in most texts as one of the spices that spurred world exploration. Studies conducted by Japanese researchers have shown that it contains a substance that is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It helps to control virulent outbreaks by many microorganisms including the one that causes botulism and staphylococcus. Historically it has been used for treating bronchitis, arthritis, diarrhea, stomach upset, fever, nausea, parasites, rheumatism, and vomiting. Besides, don’t you just love hot cinnamon apples on a cold winter day?

The Spaniards introduced Ginger to the Americas in the 16th century. It is known to inhibit an enzyme that causes cells to clot and, as such, help to prevent “little strokes”. It helps to relieve nausea, to relieve congestion in the sinus cavities, to warm blood vascular stimulation, to treat sore throats, and as a body cleanser. Herbalists have long recommended it as a regulator of blood cholesterol and to improve blood circulation. In China, ginger is used for bronchitis, flu, and the first stages of the common cold. And at the table, it adds a special zing to some otherwise bland cuisine.

Herbalists have used Clove for centuries to cure nausea and rid the stomach and intestine of gas. Its essential oil is today one of the most effective pain relieving agents used by dentists and has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties. It also helps relieve bad breath, poor circulation, dizziness, nausea, and dysentery. Oh, by the way, it is also said to increase sex drive (just what you need on those cold winter nights!).

Star anise adds the delightful flavor of licorice. It was used by the Romans to provide a delightful palette and to help prevent indigestion from overeating. And today it is a popular addition to cough syrups, mouthwashes, candies, and bakery goods. It is a cell stimulator for the heart, liver, brain, and lungs, and its volatile oils can be helpful for treating bronchitis, spasmodic asthma, and emphysema. It can also be used for colds, coughs, indigestion, excessive mucus, pneumonia, loss of appetite, and stimulating most of the glands.

Oregano was named by the Greeks and means “joy of the mountain.” Technically it is wild marjoram. While its aromatic influence is to strengthen the feeling of security, it has anti-viral qualities. It may aid the body in balancing metabolism and is useful as a tea for coughs, stomach and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pains. “Oregano has also been used for nervous headaches, irritability, exhaustion, and as a sedative. It is thought to prevent seasickness. It can be applied externally for swelling, rheumatism, and a stiff neck. Chewing on an oregano leaf provides temporary relief for a toothache.”

“Basil was said to have been found growing around Christ’s tomb after the resurrection, and some churches use basil to prepare holy water while others set it around their altars. The Indians swore their oaths upon this herb.” Its aromatic influence is reported by many to help one have an open mind. “Basil is food for the brain. When you feel victimized or criticized, eat some basil.” Basil also works as an antidepressant, is helpful for nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue is anti-viral in its use against the flu and helps to relieve itching and ringworm. It may also be used for indigestion, kidney and bladder problems, headaches, cramps, and constipation. And in Africa, it is used to expel parasitic worms.

These and many other have medicinal value. That can sound dry and clinical, but they also just add joy to our lives. Isn’t that what makes them “Super Spices?” And that is a blessing.

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

Aromatherapy Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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