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Sustainable Living

While Sustainable Living may take on many connotations, I have chosen to look at it from the perspective of personal growth and personal survival under less than perfect conditions. What are the practices that you need to incorporate into your life to ensure that you have a healthy, fulfilling life when all the world around you seems to be falling apart?

First, you will need to eat “live” foods. Live foods are food from which the vital nutrients have not been removed. We generally call these types of foods “unprocessed” foods. In order to enhance shelf life for our food products, suppliers remove nutrients that cause shelf life to be shortened. But that causes them to contain fewer vital nutrients and aren’t as good for your health.

Next, we need to add more “green” foods to our diets. Green foods contain chlorophyll and are richer in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that aren’t available in other foods. These green foods can come from land or sea sources and your diet should have a variety of them to get the variety of nutrients that your body needs.

I take every opportunity I get to highlight the importance of consuming sufficient water. Well over half our body is water-based – from our circulatory system to our lymphatic system to our digestive system and so on. Nothing in our bodies works well without sufficient water. How much do you need? You need a minimum of 64 ounces per day in small serving throughout the day. Your maximum should be around half your body weight in ounces, from a minimum of 64 ounces to about 100 ounces. Drinking more than that could cause some to wash out vital nutrients. Of course, if your lifestyle causes you to sweat a lot, you may need to replace more as well.

And no lifestyle is sustainable without proper exercise. I’m not suggesting that every person need to go spend hours in a gym every day. But several of our body systems depend on movement to function properly – bowel “movements” require movement (!); the lymphatic system requires muscle contractions to move dead cells through peristalsis. And one writer I read recently stated that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer”. I know of many people who decide to retire from work and then go home, sit down, watch TV, and die within a couple of years. We were created for movement.

Our bodies were created to last around 120 years. But a sustainable lifestyle includes more than just existing. Get healthy; get active; eat green “live” foods, and drink plenty of water. As Mr. Spock on Star Trek says, “Live long and Prosper!”

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail [email protected], or visit

Managing Regional Allergies

allergy, allergies, regional, US, u.s., managing, relief, planning Have you ever noted how people who live most of their lives in a given location seem to have fewer allergies to the things in that area? I concede that this is not true for every person who lives there, but I still observe it to be generally true. Our bodies seem to have a great ability to adapt.

It is true that as we apply homeopathy, we find that when we ingest a very small amount of a substance (say one part per million!) we don’t immediately feel the effects of that particle on our bodies. But the body recognizes that substance even at that small dilution. And, if that substance is something that could cause harm at a larger dosage, then the body begins immediately to prepare antibodies to the substance. It’s the same principle used in giving someone a flu shot to prevent the flu – a small, weaken germ that causes the body to prepare antidotes so that it is prepared when larger samples arrive.

I think in a broad sense this applies to the allergy example. If you live in an area for a long period of time and your body is subjected to the same substances repeatedly for several years, then your body may produce the antibodies so that with a healthy immune system you may not have the negative reactions that normally result.

This could account for travel problems where street vendors’ foods, local water, and different environmental factors cause you problems. And have you noted new immune issues when you move into a new area or decide to embark on a new diet or new regional activities?

To cover these types of allergy problems, several of our supplement suppliers offer “allergy drops” that are specific to a given regional zone. We purchase only Zone 5 drops from one such provider. They seem to cover the allergy discomforts for folks who live in or visit this zone.

A word of caution – whether this particular information is scientifically, fully accurate or not, you should be prepared to follow good health practices when you travel, move, or visit new places. Take your personal supplements with you and don’t let an allergic reaction to something new spoil your trip.

– 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 [email protected] or visit

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: [email protected]