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Archive for natural health consultations

Simples: Horsetail

With our emphasis on the skeletal system this month, our “Simple”—a single herb used for medicinal purposes—is Horsetail.

Horsetail has mild diuretic and kidney nourishing properties, making it helpful for encouraging the release of fluid in the body and for nourishing the kidney and urinary tract.  In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are directly related to the skeletal system and are said to “build the bones”.  The connection lies in the function of the kidney to flush acid waste from the body and when this waste is not eliminated adequately the body must neutralize the acid to keep a proper PH level.  The body completes the alkalizing step by using minerals and if there is not enough mineral “reserve” in the system, they will be borrowed from the bones.  If this borrowing system occurs frequently throughout one’s life, it can lead to structural problems such as neck and back pain, weakness in the legs and ankles and even osteoporosis.  Herbs like horsetail that have mineral electrolytes can help the kidneys flush waste as well as replenish mineral reserves. This helps keep the body from having to borrow from our skeletal system.

Horsetail is especially high in the mineral silica.  This is a natural compound made of two of earth’s most abundant material: silicon and oxygen and is found naturally in the body’s tissues.  Silica adds elasticity to tissues, making them strong and not brittle.  It is an essential element in collagen that helps hold our body together, providing elasticity, flexibility, and strength to the skeletal system.

Horsetail favors sandy soil and grows well in North America.  It is hearty and, once planted, can be hard to eradicate.  So, plant wisely 😊

Using horsetail in a powder (capsule) form or tincture is recommended.  It can be combined with other herbals for maximum benefit.  For hair, skin, and nails add Irish moss.  For urinary health, adding cornsilk is helpful.

We here at The Healthpatch can help you find the best herbal supplements for you.

Kimberly Anderson, ND

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat or diagnose disease.

Staying Healthy: The Importance of Exercise

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’ve been looking at various ways of staying healthy. I wanted to focus this article on the importance of exercise.

In a previous blog I referred to an article I read in a medical magazine on this topic. It stated that for a person who retires from his active job and decides that he’s “done his part” and is going to just sit down and watch [football] for the rest of his life, his life expectance is only about two (2) years. That may surprise you but remember several of our body systems don’t have pumps to move nutrients along. And notable, the waste disposal systems – the kidney, the bowel, and the lymphatic system – are among them. I call it the “toothpaste effect”. How do you get toothpaste out of the tube? You squeeze it! And how do you get the dead cells out of your lymphatic system? You contract the muscles, which squeeze the lymph nodes and lymphatic tubing to move the waste to the disposal locations. If you don’t move, then neither does the toxic, dead waste your body produces. Is it any wonder the body becomes toxic and diseased?

Now, be assured, I’m not telling you you have to go join a gym and do vigorous, daily workouts. While that may be important to some, I just think of exercise as movement! Regular, active, get-your-heart-pumping movement! One writer said it’s anything that makes your muscles work and makes your body burn calories.” I like that! Just don’t become a “couch potato” and bind yourself to the TV.

While researching this article, I read dozens of resources on the importance of exercise from sources like the Mayo Clinic, the Better Health Channel, Healthline, and many others. Most come to several similar conclusions:

  • It improves your mood and makes you feel happier; reduces stress and anxiety and reduces depression by generating and mobilizing “feel good” hormones.
  • It helps you build and maintain strong muscles and bones. It is great for your skeletal system. Just like plants grow stronger in the wind, your skeleton grows stronger when it is exercised.
  • It reduces fatigue and increases energy levels by moving vital nutrients throughout the body.
  • Obvious to most of us is the fact that burning more calories also helps us to manage our weight and helps us loose weight.
  • One writer quoted “regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition, and can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”
  • Blood and oxygen flow from exercise improves memory and brain function and may slow the aging process.
  • It helps prevent and manage many other health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, strokes, arthritis and many types of cancers.
  • It can improve sleep quantity and quality, especially for the older folks among us who are prone to many sleep disorders. Let’s face it, a good restful sleep is certainly more forthcoming when we go to bed tired!
  • Several writers noted that it can “put the spark back in your sex life” not only by increasing your energy, but by increasing your confidence about your physical appearance.

And quoting from an article from the Mayo Clinic, “Exercise can be fun … and social! Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy.”

How much is enough? I loved my Fitbit and used it for several years. It advocated 250 steps every waking hour as a minimum. Several references stated you needed to get your heart rate to 200 minus your age for 15 minutes each day. The Mayo Clinic article advocated 150 minutes each week of moderate aerobic activity. Most references have suggestions for healthy activity.  Choose one that works for you – one that you will do regularly.  The bottom line is “get up off the couch and MOVE every day.” Find something active that you enjoy and stay at it.  One of my best friends lived to be 95, and she did water aerobics at the “Y” regularly.  It’s not so much WHAT your do, but that you do something – regularly!

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

Flower Essences: Olive

We are familiar with the many health benefits of olives.  Olive oil is a healthier fat option and has been used for herbal poultices and to help lower cholesterol; Olive leaf has been widely used to help lower blood pressure.  What we may be less familiar with is the benefit of the flower essence of Olive.  Unfortunately, the stress of Covid-19 may have left many of us in need of Olive.

Dr. Edward Bach stated the Olive personalities are: “Those who have suffered much mentally or physically and are so exhausted and weary that they feel they have no more strength to make any effort.  Daily life is hard work for them, without pleasure”.

I have been there.  You, too?

Maybe it has not been the stress from Covid but taking care of a family member with a serious illness.  Possibly it has been a position of mentoring or caring for others on an emotional or spiritual level. Whatever the event has been, it has left the feeling that the simplest of tasks are exhausting. 

  • Feeling completely sapped of energy
  • Peace and quiet are the greatest desire
  • No motivation to do anything, even activities once enjoyed

These are all indications for the need of Olive.

Along with physical rest and a proper diet, Olive can be beneficial to help restore energy that has been expended so deeply and move us from a state of exhaustion to one of inner renewal.  After a time of healing, we can then move in into a state of clearer positive thinking and better coping skills. 

We could all use, from time to time, help to rejuvenate.  We here at The Healthpatch would love to help you find the best essence for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson

Simples: Passionflower

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

Passionflower was exactly what I needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson
Natural Health Practitioner

Healthy Body Systems: Nervous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Healthy: The Importance of Water

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’re going to look at various ways of staying healthy. I wanted to focus this article on the preparedness for having pure water.

I want to refer you to a couple of other articles I’ve written on water. One is Water, Water Everywhere! It is available in our resource list, and it points out the decreasing supply of potable water on our planet due to pollution and lack of care of the water systems. It quotes Dr. Andrew Weil from his book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health: “According to recent reports, drinking water in the U.S. is increasingly becoming a health risk, whether you live in a big city or a rural area.  More than one hundred million Americans drink water that contains significant levels of three cancer-causing chemicals: arsenic, radon, and chlorine by-products. In addition to chemical contamination, chlorine-resistant viruses and parasites can slip through the more than one thousand large water systems in this country lacking proper filters.”  And we can add to his comments that many health advocates believe that even chlorine and fluoride, which we routinely add to our drinking systems, are themselves health risks. And it itemizes many of these risks.  The second article from our resource list is Which Water Is Best? It itemizes many of the water types currently available to us and points out some of the benefits of each.

I read a book several years ago that I recommend to you for addressing your need for water. The book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water outlines how much water you need and why. We need water throughout each day.  Technically, the body assimilates only about four ounces of water each hour. So, guzzling a whole bottle of water a few times a day doesn’t hydrate us very well.  My studies show that we need about half our body weight in ounces of water each day, with a minimum of 64 ounces and a maximum of about 100 ounces.  So, if you weigh 180 pounds, plan to drink about 90 ounces per day at the rate of four to six ounces per waking hour.  Less than that won’t give you proper hydration and more than the 100-ounce maximum may tend to wash essential minerals (especially cell salts) from your body.

The real purpose of this article, which differentiates it from the others we’ve written is how do we get pure water to use in times of crisis? Most of us live in urban areas and get our water from the water treatment plants of our towns. When those systems are inoperable, we still need water. So, I’m outlining some options to ensure that you have safe water in these emergencies.  Note that these are just suggestions and require some preplanning on your part.  In an emergency, it may be too late to “make arrangements.”

To name a few:

  • You may simply store a supply of water for drinking or washing/bathing. The shelf life on many of these is shorter, so you’ll need to use and resupply on a regular basis to keep it useful. And you may need more room to store an adequate supply for your family.
  • Home wells work. We have one. But you need to have the water tested periodically for chemical contamination and pesticides. Treat it as needed for these issues. Also, usually the water is drawn from the well by electricity – not like in the old days when you could just pump it.  Such pumps are still available, and you might also consider a solar source of power to pump it.
  • When I was in the Boy Scouts, we took water purification tablets on our campouts.  These are still available but are usually limited to neutralizing some chemicals and perhaps a few pathogens. But they are cheap and easily stored for emergencies.
  • Another step up in this day and age are decontamination straws.  You use these just like a straw, but the filtering mechanisms filter and remove chemicals, pathogens, toxins, and other things that could cause you problems. I like a company called LifeStraw. A single straw will sterilize 3000 liters of water, has an almost unlimited life of functionality, and is easily stored due to its size.
  • And, of course, many home water-system decontamination units exist and vary in costs from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars.  These may cover your entire home.

Remember, you can’t live without water, and you need a viable, healthy source. Plan to have your own supply in an emergency. It may not be available from other sources.

–  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.

Simples: Alfalfa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

Staying Healthy: Nutritious Foods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy Body Systems: Glandular

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

This month, we’ll consider “care and feeding” of the glandular system. Its basic function is to regulate all the body functions through secretion of its messengers – hormones! They assist in the repair of injured body tissue, determine sexual identity, promote body growth, control body temperature, and even regulate our emotions.

Years ago, the company Nature’s Sunshine (NSP) organized its herbal program around their count of nine body systems. In addition to products to nurture each gland in the glandular system, they also produced a product as the “umbrella” for normal, regular maintenance of the overall system. The NSP product for the glandular system is called Master Gland, and contains a wide assortment of vitamins and herbs that have been used for centuries to care for the hormones within this unique “regulatory” system. You’ll recognize many of these, like dandelion, alfalfa, asparagus, licorice, kelp, and marshmallow. Less known by the novice are herbs such as parthenium, eleuthero, and uva ursi. Here we won’t discuss the use of each of them, but I do want you to learn to recognize their names and know that they have a place in the generation of hormones.

Each gland in the system has a specific function and its own products for its care.  Rather than make this a lecture on herbal contents, I’d like you to question whether any of the functions “rings a bell” for you regarding a health problem you face.  If it does, stop by The Health Patch and talk with any of our five Naturopathic Doctors, or make an appointment for a private health consultation with any of them.

Top of the body to the bottom, the major glands are:

  • the pituitary – it’s about the size of a pea, resides in the brain, and has been called the master gland because it secretes hormones that regulate most all of the other glands.
  • the thyroid and para thyroid – they influence the growth, weight and metabolic rate of your body. It also influences your emotions, physical vitality and intellectual ability. It works with the parathyroid to balance body calcium.
  • the thymus – it is behind the breast bone, butterfly-shaped, and plays a key role in producing the immune system’s T-cells. These circulate in the blood and lymph to help protect the body from “invaders” or malignant cells.
  • the adrenals – they are for “fight or flight”. They produce some 50 different hormones that stimulate the heart, regulate blood sugar levels, and help normalize your blood pressure.
  • the pancreas – it is a major contributor to the digestive system, producing some 50 different enzymes, including insulin to regulate blood sugar.
  • the ovaries (for females) and the testes (for males) – the sexual glands for humans. They regulate the reproductive process and produce the hormones which control the physical and mental characteristics of each sex.

Common problems associated with the Glandular System include: hormone imbalances, emotional stress, reproductive troubles, and blood sugar levels.

Note that every hormone is carried through either the blood or lymph to stimulate or inhibit the activity of another organ or tissue. And prolonged stress can cause both the thymus and lymph glands to shrivel and also exhaust the adrenals as they try to keep up with demands. It is my personal belief that adrenal “burnout” is a major contributor to PTSD and Road Rage.

If you have glandular issues, talk to us about supplementation that may be an answer to many of your physical and emotional issues.  Add “glandular” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

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

Simple: Mullein

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Asthma
  • coughing
  • sinus congestion
  • allergies

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

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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