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Archive for natural health consultations

Summer Energy – Keep it; Use it!

Summer is finally here! Yea! Now what? School was already out some time ago due to the pandemic. Social distancing has become the rule of the day, so what can we do with our friends? Video games have become mesmerizing and mind boggling and seem to lead to nowhere! And we don’t sleep well at night and feel frustrated and lethargic all day virtually every day. Help us save our children!!!

First, how do you generate Summer energy? As a start:

  • Take a great multivitamin – every day; one with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. The old cassette admonition called “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” says you need 96 nutrients EVERY DAY to really feel healthy and energized.
  • Take supplements to boost energy: Cordyceps mushrooms boost energy; supplements combined into “energy” support supplements; brain tonics; fatigue/exhaustion remedies; Zone and Millennium Diets (check them out on the internet); high protein and low-carb foods – boost energy and stop sugar cravings; colostrum is especially good for chronic fatigue. Spirulina is a seaweed that is 71% digestible protein – four capsules have the equivalent of a three-ounce steak!
  • Exercise regularly – sweating removes toxins, deep breathing improves respiration and oxygen generation and usage; and muscle fatigue will aid in muscle growth and strength.
  • Get plenty of rest, starting with a good night’s sleep where you go to bed tired and rest uninterruptedly. Take a safe, sleep supplement if you need it until you establish a routine.
  • Get some sunshine. Yes, too much can cause sunburn, but we’re seeing a rise in chronic vitamin D deficiencies which the body produces from sunshine. And note that sunscreen blocks the body’s ability to make Vitamin D from the sun!
  • Drink plenty of water; give up sugary drinks.

Then, how can you use that energy productively? Try something new.

  • Exercise your body. I grew up poor. We didn’t have store-bought toys. We challenged each other with “kick the can”, racing and jumping – how high & how far, homemade hula hoops endurance, etc. (look them up on the internet if you haven’t heard of them!)
  • Develop unknown skills. Vocational activities – e.g., making things from metal or wood; balance and endurance – e.g., making and using swings, rope walking, climbing, etc.
  • Learn to garden or care for, exercise and train animals. Learn how to use various kinds of tools and machinery; etc.

And one of my favorite things was to learn to exercise your mind. I read about a man who had three teenage boys who each held patents for things they had created – not because they were smarter than most but he had begun when they were young to challenge their creativity. Once he gave them a brick and had them write a list of things it could be used for. Think outside the box. One of the boys came up with several HUNDRED things for which he could use the brick. Trained creativity – a great summer activity!

I once gave six random items to three groups of young people and told them to use them to develop a new game, rules and all. It took them only 15 minutes to have the game developed: how to play, rules of play, and penalties for breaking the rules!

Motivate your kids to do things for others. I love the new TV show “Little Heroes” which spotlights kids who are of themselves not spectacular, but have been motivated to do spectacular things. Challenge your kids to do great things – teach them to be motivated to do great things! We’ll all benefit from their successes. And they will learn from both their successes and their failures. Remember Thomas Edison succeeded in make the electric light bulb after 1000 failed attempts.

What NOT to do: don’t waste your time on television and video games. Get active, get challenged, get productive!

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

Diet and Supplements for the Liver

While I personally recommend a regular cleansing regimen that includes a cleanse especially for the liver due to its unique status as the primary detoxifying organ of the body, I strongly support the idea of ensuring your supplement regimen and your diet remain liver-friendly for the same reasons. The liver, by its very function, takes a lot of abuse; and you can’t live without it. So, take special care to keep it healthy.

Some special diet considerations are due to common functions of the liver itself:

  • The liver manufactures cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for making cell membranes and cell structures in the body. It is also vital for the synthesis of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances. About two-thirds of the cholesterol in our bodies is manufactured by the liver; the other third comes from our diet. Cholesterol is necessary, and while we must have some cholesterol for our bodies to function, the liver will usually produce enough and we compound problems if we add too much by allowing ourselves a high-fat diet. Reducing dietary fat can ease demands on the liver.
  • The liver also stores glucose fuel in the form of glycogen. The body has a feedback system that between meals tells the liver to release more sugar to maintain the body’s energy level. The liver then converts either fat or glycogen into the simple sugar glucose. Too much sugar can mean problems for other body systems. So, reducing simple sugars from your diet can also ease production demands on the liver.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver is a disease with which we’re all familiar. We associate it with heavy drinkers (and this is one real cause). It is a degenerative inflammatory disease that results in hardening and scarring of liver cells. What many of us don’t consider is that malnutrition and chronic inflammation can also lead to liver malfunction.
  • Keep the colon clean, regularly use an herbal detoxifying blend if you work in an environment that contains known toxins, and limit alcohol intake.

Our liver processes require vitamins, minerals, proteins (preferably from vegetable sources), amino acids, and enzymes. Ensuring these nutrients are in your diet (or a good broad-spectrum vitamin-mineral-amino acid-essential fatty acid supplement), will also help keep a healthy liver. Other supplements that you may consider specifically for the liver may include:

  • Herbs that help to ensure a healthy liver. Alfalfa is an excellent source of vitamin K and a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to bleeding. The silymarin in milk thistle has been shown in scientific studies to repair and rejuvenate the liver. Fermented red yeast rice extract is beneficial for those with high cholesterol as it inhibits the liver’s production of cholesterol. Other herbs that can be beneficial include barberry, black radish, burdock, dandelion, fennel, horsetail, Irish moss, red clover, rose hips, suma, thyme, chickweed and wild Oregon grape.
  • Drink lemon water to “wash” the liver.
  • Choline and inositol are B-vitamins that prevent scarring and help prevent cirrhosis and high cholesterol.
  • And liver-healthy foods include red beets (especially raw and shredded in a salad), almonds, bananas, blackstrap molasses, prunes, raisins, wheat and rice bran, kelp, beans, and seeds. Dandelion greens are a great Spring tonic if they contain no herbicides or pesticides. Poor food choices include excessive animal proteins, processed foods, junk food, refined white flour and white sugar foods.

In a previous blog I noted a fact that is worth repeating here: “Overeating is probably the most common cause of liver malfunction. It creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. Since the liver must detoxify all of the various chemicals present in our food supply today, it is easily overworked and may not be able to keep up, leaving harmful substances in the body.”

There are many ways to alleviate the stress of a degenerative liver. But it doesn’t “just happen”. Be aware of the load you’re putting on your liver by poor diet choices, working in toxic environments, and making poor lifestyle choices. Carefully care for your liver and it will care for you throughout your lifetime!

  • 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.

A Simple Liver “Flush”

So, what is the difference in a cleanse and a “flush”? If you asked that question to a dozen different people, you may get as many responses! But for my purposes here, I’m going to look at it this way. A cleanse is usually better in the long run. It is more thorough. It cleans deeper. It takes longer. And it may be trying to get more work accomplished that just a simple flush. For example, you go into a bathroom right after the toilet has been used and you can get rid of many of the smells and much of the waste by simply flushing it. But while that takes care of the immediate problem, you have not necessarily deep cleaned the toilet itself or gotten rid of the microbes, stains and trapped wastes that are accomplished by the routine, less frequent cleaning of the toilet.

Most of us do the cleaning of our bathrooms (and toilets) regularly to keep them running at peak efficiency, and we thereby avoid messy breakdowns. In your body, a regular cleansing regimen does that for each body system. That’s what I try to accomplish by the annual cleansing regimen that I follow for each of my body systems. Most of them take about a month to accomplish but leave me with the sense that I get by the carrying out of the recommended mileage inspections I do on my vehicle. I flew aircraft in the military for a while and I know a lot about routine maintenance and the longevity accomplishing it gives to the aircraft – or car – or my body!

So where does the “flush” come in? It’s sort of an emergency quick fix for an unexpected breakdown. It’s the maintenance the aircraft or vehicle needs when something unexpected happens. Or the “quick fix” we make on the toilet to get rid of the waste quickly after a necessary “toxic” use.

If we were conscientious about following all the rules for the care of our livers, we may not need the “flushes” to get us through the emergency breakdowns. There is no logical reason to need to discharge kidney stones or gall stones, or liver sludge, if we’re following the necessary anti-toxic safeguards and dietary guidelines to keep them healthy. But we didn’t and now we are faced with stones and sludge. What can we do?

I’ve used a simple two-day gallbladder/liver “flush” many times. It’s not pleasant; it definitely ties you to the bathroom; and it tastes kind of nasty. But it works. The full recipe may be found in our website “recipe” section. But, in essence, it is using Epson Salts and water to drink at two-hour intervals on the first evening and ending the night with a mixture of grapefruit juice and olive oil along with eight capsules of the amino acid l-ornithine. Go to bed around 10PM, lay on your back for 20 minutes and then sleep on your right side. Next morning finish off the Epson Salt/Water mixture in divided doses at two-hour intervals, follow two hours later with a large glass of juice and an hour later with a piece of fruit. At this point, I’m telling you not to be more than a few feet from the bathroom; expect “explosive” diarrhea, passage of the gallbladder, kidney and liver sludge, and final relief!

Note that I do not recommend this procedure if you know you have kidney stores. There are different treatments for that, and using this flush could force stones through the fragile nephron filters of the kidneys and gallbladder. I certainly prefer the routine maintenance of the regular cleanses, but this is a handy “flush” when the situation requires it! Keep it handy – or just copy if from our “recipes” website section. I’ve used it several times; feel free to refer questions to me!

  • 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.

Keep Your Liver Clean

Unless you have a disease specifically concerning the liver, you rarely think much about it. But if you have a compromised liver, or suffer from cirrhosis or hepatitis or several other such conditions, it can take priority in your lifestyle accommodations. When you do stop to think about it, you realize you can’t live without it. It is, by far, the most significant cleansing organ in the body!

While it normally weighs only three to four pounds it is a very complex organ. It has a double circulation system. That means it receives blood from both the veins and the arteries. The main artery carries in plenty of oxygen from the lungs and the main vein comes directly from the small intestine full of nutrients. The liver performs over 500 functions. It serves as a digestive aid, it detoxifies food impurities, and it inspects nutrients before allowing them into the bloodstream. Further, it has the ability to be its own metabolic chemical plant to make new compounds you must have to live.

Of all the organs you have in your body it is often the most abused and yet has the greatest capacity for regeneration if it gets the proper supplements and care. I read a report from Johns Hopkins Medical Center that states “The liver is the only organ in the body that can replace lost or injured tissue (regenerate). [A] donor’s liver will soon grow back to normal size after surgery. The part that you receive as a new liver will also grow to normal size in a few weeks.”

The liver also manufactures cholesterol and bile, stores glucose fuel, and can suffer from a number of diseases. We have a number of studies that show that the typical American diet can produce liver damage, digestive problems, low energy, allergies, and even depression. One study even showed that a low-grade fever at night could indicate liver problems.

So, it only makes sense that when we are considering a cleansing regimen for the body, we should include at least one liver cleanse each year. And there are a number of them. We carry at least a half-dozen of them at The Health Patch, by almost as many different companies. I have also used a simple, popular “mini-cleanse” for the liver which can be accomplished over a 30-day period by the consumption once a day of two (2) tablespoons of olive oil mixed with two (2) tablespoons of lemon juice and four (4) ounces of apple juice. This can be both refreshing and cleansing.

We’ll cover the specific functions of herbs that help clean and heal the liver, foods that support it and other supplements we use for liver health in another blog in a couple of weeks. But a simple list of many of them include: alfalfa, milk thistle, red yeast rice extract, barberry, black radish, burdock, dandelion, fennel, horsetail, Irish moss, red clover, rose hips, suma, thyme, and wild Oregon grape.

Overeating is probably the most common cause of liver malfunction. It creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. Since the liver must detoxify all of the various chemicals present in our food supply today, it is easily overworked and may not be able to keep up, leaving harmful substances in the body.

Stress is also a major contributor to a fatigued liver. Deliver your liver from stress by ensuring it has the proper nutrients and is sparred undue excesses of known toxins. You only get one. Keep it healthy.

  • 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.

The How and Why of Lymphatic Cleansing

In dealing with our customers, I often question them about how they view the functioning of their various body systems. Curiously, when I ask about their lymphatic systems, I often just get an askance glance. Few people even know what the lymphatic system is, much less how to describe theirs as functioning. They may recognize that they have lymph nodes, but may not know what they do. But the functioning of the lymphatic system is essential to good health.

Upwards of 100,000 body cells die each day. And where do they go when they die? Into the lymphatic system. It is a system of interconnected nodes that collect and move the dead material from all over your body into the waste disposal systems of the body so it may be evacuated. We do not want to hold on to all that dead and decaying material which quickly becomes toxic to the rest of the body.

Besides the network of connected nodes to collect the dead cells there are three main larger collection points: the spleen, the tonsils and the appendix. Interestingly, many of my peers, including me, had their tonsils removed in childhood because the doctors didn’t at that time know of any serious function they performed. So, when they swelled up during an infection which caused more than average cellular death, the doctors just removed them. I know of people today who have recently had their appendixes removed due to that same logic. And, granted, we can live relatively normal lives without them, but have to stay more on top of large-scale infections without them. Now we realize a lymphatic cleanse may be warranted.

An annual lymphatic cleanse would also be recommended for folks with a more sedentary lifestyle. You see, the lymphatic system has no pump to move the waste through the body. I call this the “toothpaste” movement system. How do you get toothpaste out of the tube? You squeeze the tube. The lymphatic tubes run through muscle structures in the body. So, to get the waste to flow, you need to contract the muscle so they squeeze the tubes. No muscle movement means no squeezing on the tubes which means no movement of the dead material. Exercise is essential. And the more sedentary your lifestyle, the more you need regular cleansing of the lymphatic system.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combination to cleanse. The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally. And as a rule, we should regularly cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Fifteen years ago, we had a test we could use to see how your body systems were working. The developer of the test worked for several months with a body of career herbalists to develop cleansing products for the kidney and the lymphatic systems. He stated that we could expect ninety percent of our clients to need these two products prior to begin any other cleansing programs. In my experience, he was accurate. Herbs for cleansing the lymphatic system include: parthenium, yarrow, capsicum, cleavers, red clover flowers, prickly ash bark, and others. They include encapsulated herbs or liquid tinctures which may be accomplished in a single month.

I cleanse my lymphatic system each year. Join me, and I hope you can feel as good as I do! Good health and God’s blessings!

  • 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.

A Year of Celebration and Health: April

Overview:
Awareness: Alcohol, Autism, Child Abuse, Donate Life, National STD, Parkinson’s, Stress, World Health
Flower: Daisy
Gemstone: Diamond
Trees: Rowan, Maple, Walnut

Fool’s Day:
I am using this day to highlight two areas of healing that often ‘tricks’ one into thinking that they are either getting worse or better: the healing crisis and emotional trauma healing. The healing crisis, formally known as the herxheimer reaction, is characterized by a temporary increase in discomfort during the body’s process of detoxification. It occurs when internal toxins and wastes are being released faster than the body can eliminate them. A general rule of thumb for a healing crisis is the more dietary, medical and/or environmental toxins that one has accumulated over time, the more severe the effects of the detoxification during a cleanse or natural healing program.

The herxheimer reaction is an indication that the process of cleansing and detoxification is working and that the body is cleaning itself of impurities, toxins and other wastes. The reactions are temporary, but, depending on the levels of toxicity, they may occur immediately, within several days, or even several weeks later. Some people feel flu like complaints during the first few days of the cleanse because the body is dumping toxins into the blood stream for elimination. The ill-affects usually pass within 1-3 days. On rare occasions, they may last several weeks. Sometimes, the discomfort during the healing crisis is of greater intensity than before starting a cleanse.

Another crisis may come after you begin feeling your very best. There may be many small crises to go through before the final crisis is experienced. The healing crisis may bring about experiences of past conditions. While people often forget past diseases or injuries, they may be reminded during the healing crisis. On a positive note many people experience little or no discomfort at all.

When one decides it is time to heal from emotional traumas it is easy to fall into a false sense of healing. This usually occurs in the beginning of the journey. Once one opens up and starts to talk or write about the trauma event/s there is a sense of ‘I am better. I am healed.’ These feelings often stem from the fact that one is finally releasing the surface facts of the trauma. But, just doing these steps rarely deal with the core trauma issues. In reality one’s healing never ends as the triggers never fully go away. The more one continues to work on healing from the negative effects of trauma, the more positive one’s thoughts, dreams, and actions will be. Emotional healing is truly about changing one’s way of thinking and dealing with painful memories and future traumas. Do not rush the healing–it takes time, but it gets easier as one heals.

Easter:
Spring finds us entering an important Christian season. Some of the common symbols of Easter can also aid in keeping one healthy. They include: fish, lambs, rabbits, doves, lilies, date palms, and eggs. Fish contains protein, omega-3, vitamin D, vitamin B2, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. In moderation, lamb is an excellent source of protein and vital nutrients like omega-3, iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Rabbit is a low-calorie white meat that is rich in protein, iron, and phosphorus. Although dove is high in cholesterol, it is also a good source of protein, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium.

The bulb of the Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) is antiasthmatic, antitussive, expectorant, and a sedative tonic. It helps with coughs, haemoptysis, insomnia, and fidgetiness in the later stages of febrile disease. The flower aids in healing cysts in the breast, ovaries, and skin. It also can aid in infertility where the mucus is too thick to allow an egg to enter the fallopian tubes. And, it can help with chronic bronchitis where there is a lingering thick, dried mucus. The flowers as a flower essence remedy can aid in grief, sadness, depression, and inability to let something go.

The fruit of the date palm can be beneficial with sore throats, colds, bronchial catarrh, fever, gonorrhea, and edema. When they are ground and made into a paste they can aid in healing ague. Date oil is useful in aging skin, male infertility, inflammation, sores in the mouth, and breathing problems.

Eggs are rich in muscle building protein. Omega-3 oils aid in the moisturizing of one’s skin, circulatory system, brain, eyes, and lining of the intestines. The lutein and zeaxanthin also aid in eye health. And, l-lysine aids in controlling the herpes virus.

Another favorite way to celebrate the holiday is hunting for colorfully dyed eggs. One can make their own dye natural sources. These include food, flowers, weeds, bark, moss, leaves, seeds, mushrooms, lichens, and even minerals. When gathering plant material for dyeing blossoms should be in full bloom, berries ripe and nuts mature. Never gather more than 2/3 of a stand of anything in the wild when gathering plant stuff for dyeing. (See recipes)

Ramadan:
The traditional healing system of the ancient Levant is called Unani. Arab and Persian elaborations upon the Greek system of medicine influenced the early development of Unani. The medical tradition of medieval Islam was introduced to India by the 13th century with the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate and it took its own course of development during the Mughal Empire. The Hellenistic origin of Unani medicine is based on four humours: phlegm (balgham), blood (dam), yellow bile (ṣafrā) and black bile (saudā’), but it has also been influenced by Indian and Chinese traditional systems. According to Unani medicine, management of any disease depends upon the diagnosis of disease. Proper diagnosis depends upon observation of the patient’s symptoms and temperament. Unani is based on the theory of the presence of the elements in the human body. According to followers of Unani medicine, these elements are present in fluids and their balance leads to health and their imbalance leads to illness.
According to Unani practitioners, the failure of the body’s ability to maintain its own health, may lead to derangement of the normal equilibrium of the body’s akhlat (humors). Abnormal humors are believed to lead to pathological changes in the tissues at the affected site, creating the clinical manifestations of illness. The theory postulates the presence of blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile in the human body. Each person’s unique mixture of these substances determines his mizaj (temperament). A predominance of blood gives a sanguine temperament; a predominance of phlegm makes one phlegmatic; yellow bile, bilious (or choleric); and black bile, melancholic. After diagnosing the disease, treatment follows a pattern (Usool-e-ilaj): Izalae Sabab (elimination of cause), Tadeele Akhlat (normalization of humors), Tadeele Aza (normalization of tissues/organs). Treatment includes regimens and therapies included in the term Ilaj-Bil-Tadbeer. These therapies include cupping, aromatherapy, bloodletting, bathing, exercise, and dalak (massaging the body). It may also involve the prescription of Unani drugs or surgery.

A key component of Ramadan is fasting during the daylight hours. It was suggested that this type of fasting could be a recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes, essential hypertension, weight management, and for rest of the digestive tract includes lowering blood sugar levels, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the lipids profile. During fasting hours when no food or drink is consumed, the body uses its stores of carbohydrate (stored in the liver and muscles) and fat to provide energy once all the calories from the foods consumed during the night have been used up.

Earth Day:
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Although traditionally considered a way to bring attention to modern air, land, and water pollution, it has expanded to supporting everything ‘green’. There are a few things everyone can do within their outdoor space to help the environment.

Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. It is not poisonous; it does not have to be eaten in order to be effective. It causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton. Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process. It remains effective as long as it is kept dry and undisturbed. Diatomaceous earth seems to not harm earthworms nor beneficial soil microorganisms. This makes it a safe pesticide for use inside and outside one’s home. It’s also useful as a pest control for one’s animals.
Traditional farming, regrowing vegetables from scrap, composting, small container gardening, and straw bale gardens are all relatively easy to do.

Collecting rain water can help clean the soil of salt buildup and enhance root developments in plants. By not raking leaves in the fall they can break down over the winter and aid in rebuilding the soil. All these methods not only save money, but also aids in the mending of the environment.

And, lastly, let’s not forget what we can do for the pollinators. These include bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and even bats-to name a few. Without these friendly beings plants will not only stop producing food, but also the plants themselves will become extinct. This will cause the air not to be replenished of its oxygen. One can start helping by planting more flowering plants, not mowing a patch of weeds, and encouraging the growth of mushrooms–water collected on them seep out the healing benefits of the mushrooms which the pollinators enjoy drinking.

Arbor Day:
Trees provide us with sap, leaves, blossoms, bark, berries, and nuts—most of which have medicinal properties that cannot be found anywhere else in nature. The wood is boiled for extended periods or added to hot baths for topical use. Medicinal trees can be infused into teas, tinctures, oils and made into salves and poultices.

For the most part, careful leaf and twig harvesting isn’t a big deal. So long as your conscientious and don’t take more than a small percentage of the total tree. Bark is a different matter. Anytime you cut into the bark of a tree, you’re opening up the trunk of the tree to insects, disease and decay. If you cut around the full circumference of the tree, a practice known as girdling, the supply of nutrients is completely cut off, and the tree will die. It takes a healthy tree a full year to heal that small wound, so bear that in mind anytime you’re breaking into bark. Some trees, like beech trees, can’t heal bark wounds. If you’re harvesting 1/3 of the bark, you’re pushing the limits of that tree’s survival and crippling it for the rest of its life.

According to the Herbal Academy’s Botany and Wild-crafting Course, “As a rule, never harvest from the trunk of a living tree. Only harvest bark from a tree that has been recently cut down for some other reason or has recently fallen over on its own. The timing here can be tricky, as you only want to harvest from recently fallen trees (within a few weeks of falling or being cut down) and not those that have begun to rot and decay. Never, absolutely never, cut a tree down simply just to harvest its bark or its root bark. This is not only unethical, but unsustainable, and is the reason why so many tree species used in herbalism, such as slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), are currently at risk from over-harvesting.”

Recipes:

Fabric Dye: To make the dye solution: Chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Double the amount of water to plant material. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Strain. Now you can add your fabric to be dyed. For a stronger shade, allow material to soak in the dye overnight. Getting the fabric ready for the dye bath: You will have to soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This will make the color set in the fabric. {Color Fixatives (Mordant): Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water; Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1-part vinegar; Other Mordant: Cream of tartar, iron, tin, alum or chrome.} Add fabric to the fixative and simmer for an hour. Rinse the material and squeeze out excess. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.
Dye Bath: Place wet fabric in dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry.
Note: It’s best to use an old large pot as your dye vessel. Wear rubber gloves to handle the fabric that has been dyed, the dye can stain your hands. It’s also important to note, some plant dyes may be toxic, check with the Poison Control Center if unsure. Muslin, silk, cotton and wool work best for natural dyes and the lighter the fabric in color, the better. White or pastel colors work the best. All dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.

Easter Egg Dye: Toss one’s choice of a handful – or two or three – of one of the ingredients listed below into a saucepan. Use your own judgment about quantity. This is an art – not a science! Add about a cup of water for each handful of the chosen ingredient, so the water comes at least an inch above the dye materials. Bring mixture to boiling, reduce the heat and simmer from 15 minutes up to an hour, until the color is the shade one want. Keep in mind that the eggs will dye a lighter shade. Remove the pan from the heat. Through cheesecloth or a fine sieve, strain the dye mixture into a small bowl that’s deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of dye liquid. With a spoon or wire egg holder, lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Let the eggs stand until they reach the desired color. For emptied eggshells, stir or rotate for even coloring. With a slotted spoon or wire egg holder, remove the eggs to a rack or drainer. Allow the eggs to dry thoroughly. Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs that you intend to eat within two hours, and always follow tips for egg safety. Naturally dyed eggs require longer soak time in the dye solution for the color to take hold (overnight will give the best, most saturated color).
Note: Pinkish Red=raspberry, cranberry, radish, fresh beets; Orange/Yellow=yellow onion skins, turmeric powder, citrus peels, cumin, carrot tops, celery seed; Pale Green=spinach; Green Gold=yellow delicious apple peels; blue=blueberry, red cabbage; Beige/Brown=strong brewed coffee, dill seeds, chili powder; Purple=red grape juice, beet juice.

Fish Cakes (1881): Cold boiled codfish, either fresh or salt, remove the bones and mince the meat; take two-thirds as much warm mashed potatoes as fish, add a little butter and sufficient beaten eggs or milk to make the whole into a smooth paste, season with pepper, make into cakes about an inch thick; sprinkle them with flour and fry brown in butter.

Carp-Pye (1600’s): After you have drawn, washed, and scalded a fair large Carp, season it with Pepper, Salt, and Nutmeg, and then put it into a Coffin (crust), with good store of sweet Butter, and then cast on Raisins of the Sun, the juice of Lemons, and some slices of Orange-peels, and then sprinkling on a little Vinegar, close it up, and bake it.

Mansaf (family recipe): Servings: 4 people
Ingredients: 4 pieces of lamb, 1 medium chopped onion, 350 grams of jameed (dry yogurt) soaked it in warm water the day before OR 500 grams of labaneh or plain Greek style yogurt, 400 grams of small grain rice, ghee (clarified butter), 3 bay leaves, 5 full cardamoms, ½ tea spoon of cumin powder, a small pinch of saffron, ½ cup of whole blanched almonds, ½ cup of pine nuts, 4 loaves pitta bread (khubz), salt and pepper
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place the lamb into the skillet, add the chopped onion and cook for about 5-10 minutes until brown. Add the bay leaves, cardamom, cumin, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 ½ teaspoons of black grounded pepper. Cover it with boiling water and let it simmer for 1 ½ hours.
While the lamb is cooking, place the jameed and half the water that it has been soaked in (or the yogurt substitute) into a food blender. Add ¼ of cup of cold water and blend until it’s smooth, then slowly add it to the lamb while it’s cooking and keep stirring. This is very important to keep the consistency of the sauce thick and smooth. You can stop stirring when the whole mix starts bubbling. Cover it and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Next, wash the rice and soak it for 10 minutes in warm water. Soak the saffron in a little bit of water for as long as possible until the water turns a yellow-orange color. Place the rice into a pot and cook for the time suggested on the packet. Remove the saffron and add the water that it has been soaked in, along with 2 tablespoons of ghee, salt and pepper. In a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of ghee. Add almonds and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Split the khubz loaves open and arrange, overlapping on a large serving tray. Add ½ cup of the yogurt sauce to the khubz to soften. Arrange the rice over the khubz leaving a hole in the centre of the rice. Spoon the meat into the rice and then spoon the ghee and nuts over the meat. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Pour the sauce into a big serving bowl. Add sauce onto the rice and the meat. Serve hot.

Bee Food: *Candy Board–5 lbs dry sugar, 3/4 c. water, 2 tsp. essential oil (lemongrass, spearmint) and amino acids mixture, 2 tsp. vinegar Directions: Mix all ingredients, the consistency will be similar to pie crust dough. Spread in two 8″ x 8″ rectangular pans. Bake at 200 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until top is crusty, middle will be jiggly. After cooling the candy board will harden. The only reason to bake this is if you want it to be a solid brick otherwise you can place it on top of wax paper within your hive. Great source for food supplement for your honey bees through winter.
*Sugar Syrup–Late Winter/Early Spring Feeding – use a 1:1 syrup ratio using 1 pound of water (2 cups) to 1 pound of sugar. Fall Feeding (if not enough honey was left on the hive after the honey flow), make a 2:1 syrup using 2 pounds of sugar per pound of water. Directions: Completely dissolve the sugar in the water by heating the water on a stove top (don’t boil just get it warm enough for the sugar to dissolve), add the sugar and stir until the liquid becomes clear. Remove from heat and cool before feeding it to your bees. May add mushroom mycelium extract of the Reishi and Amadou mushrooms to the bees’ sugar water at 1 percent concentration.
*Dry Pollen Substitute–3 parts soy flour, 1 part brewer’s yeast, 1 part dry milk (instant or non-instant baker’s milk) 1 teaspoon vitamin C (for every 6 cups of mixture). It is best to measure these ingredients by weight instead of volume. For example, if you use three pounds of soy, use one pound of yeast and one pound of dry milk. Directions: Put the first three ingredients in a bowl. Take some vitamin C tablets and crush into a powder. Add one teaspoon of crushed vitamin C for every six cups of mix. Thoroughly combine the ingredients. In the winter, the dry mix can sprinkled on the top bars or put in a feeder above the brood box. In the early spring, the mix can be placed in a bird feeder or other covered container near the hive.

Black Cherry Cough Drops: 1 teaspoon butter (divided), 1 cup black cherry bark, powdered, ½ cup elderberries, dried, 3 cups of filtered water, 1 cup honey
Equipment: 2 silicone candy molds rated for high temperatures (Try a mold that holds 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of candy per mold), candy thermometer.
Directions: Prepare silicone candy molds by buttering the inside of the mold. Set aside. In a 1 ½ quart saucepan place cherry bark, elderberries, and filtered water. Cover the sauce pan. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Shut off the heat and allow the pan to come to room temperature naturally. Strain the herbs out of the concoction. Return the liquid to a saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Stir in honey. Cover the saucepan. Bring the pan to a boil. Remove lid. Add ½ teaspoon butter to the syrup to decrease foaming. Boil over medium heat, without stirring, until the liquid reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer or the hard crack stage for your elevation. Remove from the heat. Use a ladle to ladle the candy into the prepared molds. Allow the molds to cool naturally. This could take an hour or two. Remove the cough drops from the mold. Wrap individually with parchment paper and tape. Place in a glass jar and cap tightly. Store in a cool, dry place, protected from light and heat.
Note: Cherry cough drops should last for 2 years. Cherry bark should only be used for 10 to 14 days. There is a risk of toxicity with long term use due to the cyanide alkaloids present in cherry bark and seeds. This is the almond flavor.
Contraindications: Pregnant and nursing mothers should not use cherry bark without consulting with their doctor. Cough drops are a choking hazard for young children, so avoid the choking hazard by making these candies into suckers. For children 1 years of age and over only

Almond Milk: Makes 6 cups. Soaking Stage: 1 cup raw almonds, 2 cups pure water for soaking
Method Stage: 6 cups pure water, 1/4 cup raw honey or a few dates (optional, for sweetening) Directions: Soak the almonds in 2 cups of filtered water overnight, up to 24 hours (or longer if the temperature is not too warm). They do not need to be skinned. After the soaking time, drain and rinse the almonds. Proceed with your chosen processing method below. Place nuts and 6 cups of fresh water into blender container. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour contents of blender container through the fine mesh filter into a storage container, such as a ½ gallon mason jar. If sweetening, pour 2 cups of the milk into the blender container and add desired sweetener. Blend well and add back to storage container. Mix well. Store milk in refrigerator.

Sugared Almonds (16th century): 1 pound almonds, blanched and peeled, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp. rose
water, dash cinnamon
Directions: Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer until the syrup reaches 225°F, then add the rose water and set heat to low. Then put the almonds into a large pan over low heat. Add the syrup to the almonds a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring them constantly and allowing them to dry out before adding more. As things progress then shaking the pan may work better than stirring it. When the almonds are completely coated sprinkle with cinnamon and allow to cool.

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

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for
educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Extra Help for Your Immune System

More so than at other time in recent history we are concerned with our immune systems. So, I thought I’d take a bit of time to discuss some extra things that we can do that are more “outside the box” than most of the things we usually discuss. Remember that I’m a Naturopathic Doctor, so I don’t talk about treating or curing diseases, but, from a purely educational perspective, here are some body system ideas that we consider when we are trying to get people to think of things they can do to get their body systems operating with more efficiency. So here are a few things to consider.

Foods:

  • Spicy foods add pathogen-destructive and immune-stimulating nutrients. Many spices like clove, ginger, onions, horseradish, peppers and garlic are common helpful ones.
  • Nutrient rich fruits and vegetables of varied colors provide just as varied nutrients. Your body needs all the nutrients to fuel its functions.
  • There are a number of mushrooms that boost your immune system. Many farmers markets are now selling these “medicinal” mushrooms. Consider Agarikon, which is reported to have similar benefits to olive leaf and Echinacea, known immune system supporters. Cordyceps is used primarily for energy support, but is also praised for its lung support effects. Combinations of Cordyceps, Reishi and Chaga are touted for their ingredients to help you breathe better. And one company I know of processes flavored, blended mushroom extracts and mushroom combinations that are meant to support your immune system.

Remedies your grandma used:

  • Hot toddies. I’ve never been a drinker. But whenever we “caught” something as kids, my folks made their annual trips to the liquor store for whiskey! A Hot Toddy was made from three ingredients; drinkable alcohol (in our family it was whiskey), lemon juice (a citric acid that alkalizes your body), and raw honey (the perfect bee food that is nutrient rich in enzymes that break down foods (pathogens?) in your stomach. It’s interesting to me that we are all trying to make hand sanitizers because the news media have told us that the alcohol will kill pathogens.
  • Brush your teeth with salt and baking soda. I always thought it was because we couldn’t afford toothpaste; perhaps it was. But we now know that salt is a preservative that was used to move meat across the prairies because it caused it to remain unspoiled by pathogens that inhabited the environment. And nothing lives in the Dead Sea, a natural source of salt and other minerals. And baking soda is an alkalizing element, and my training has taught me that no pathogen can live in an alkaline environment. So, we put it in our refrigerators to get rid of decaying smells, and in our stomachs for easing an upset. My dad used it as his “go to” for digestive upset.
  • Any time we were sick, especially if we had hampered breathing, mom (and grandma) pulled out the vaporizer and filled it with VapoRub! Now we know the pathogen-killing and breath-restoring powers of many of our essential oils in a modern diffuser. We have blends with essential oils of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, neem, and others to ward off pathogens, and chamomile and lavender to help us sleep.
  • Chest rubs. Arnica, eucalyptus, tea tree, neem and others in plain ole Vaseline was what they used. Many of our commercial products vary slightly, but are just as effective.
  • And don’t forget the annual cleansing of castor oil. It either made me throw up or run for the bathroom. Either way it did a number on cleaning me out. I’d check with my doctor before I did that again, but many a kid has endured it with what ended up to be positive results!

Many of the old remedies have modern counterparts. The new ones often seem more humane to me, but I note that I lived to tell the tales and I seem to be healthy as I do!

Your immune system is the battlefront for us in these trying times of “dis- ease”. Keeping yours strong doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, work, caution and often the help of others. Don’t let it get neglected in the rush of life.

Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit https://thehealthpatch.com.

A “Whole Body” Cleanse

Most of my family and my customers know that I have an annual approach to cleansing. Every month of the year I have some particular part of the body or some body system that I work to “cleanse”. But twice each year I use products – a different one each time – that are designed to be “Total Body” cleanses.

Obviously, such a “total body” approach isn’t going to do as deep a cleanse on any one body system as a focused product on a particular system will, but it serves a purpose. I use the individual system cleanses that I do each month to “deep clean” body areas that need the regular (annual) focus, but manage relatively well with routine maintenance the rest of the year.

So, the “whole body” approach is used a couple of time a year to clean those systems that are “collection points” for the routine depositing of the debris of the heavier, annual cleansing of the individual systems.

One example is the colon. This body system is the final accumulation point of most everything that is processed out of the body (with some obvious exceptions, like stuff that is eliminated through the skin or the respiratory system). But it processes most of the body’s waste and needs more than just the annual heavy cleansing that I referenced every January! So, two other months during the year, the “total body” cleanse will have ingredients/herbals/cleansers that will do on-going sweeping (brooms; insoluble fibers) and scrubbing (sponges; soluble fibers) of the colon specifically. This routine cleansing coupled with the deep cleaning in January keeps the colon operating at peak efficiency all year long.

Other such routine maintenance is allowed by other overworked body systems such as the little individual cells, various individual organs, the blood stream, the digestive system, and some very common parasites. We have a number of these types of “overall” body cleansing systems that we can use. They generally consist of small packets of capsules that are taken once or twice a day for anywhere from a week to half a month. They don’t “tie you to the bathroom” or cause any cramping. They may stimulate an extra bowel movement some days, and should always be taken with plenty of water.

Such routine care of your elimination systems facilitates the proper functioning of all your other body systems! Consider making it a part of your routine body cleansing regimen!

  • 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 pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

National Nutrition Month – March

March is National Nutrition month. To lower your health risks. To stay strong and active. To manage your weight. To set a positive example. To save money. To improve mood and mental health. To improve your quality of sleep. To encourage everyone to advocate and realize the importance of healthy and clean eating.

Celebrated each year during March, it focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for National Nutrition Month 2020 is Eat Right, Bite by Bite. During the month of March, we invite everyone to focus on the importance of making informed choices, and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Here are some practical varieties of nutritious food for every day:

  • Include healthy foods from all food groups.
  • Hydrate healthfully.
  • Learn how to read nutrition fact panels.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Take time to enjoy your food; never eat in a rush.
  • Visit a local farmer’s market.
  • Eat what is in season.
  • Try a healthy, new recipe each week.
  • Drink eight glasses of water a day.

The main focus of the campaign is to bring awareness to making informed food choices and developing good eating and physical activity habits. This year National Nutrition Month is all about achieving a healthy weight and reduce risk of chronic disease. What are some of the benefits of Good nutrition? It can help:

  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Lower high cholesterol.
  • Improve your ability to fight off illness.
  • Improve your ability to recover from illness and injury.

Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month and “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.” You can go to EatRight.org and find food resources and tools from the Academy of Nutrition.

Your Wellness Friend:
Shirley Golden, Staff ND, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, ph:736-1030, e-mail: jehovah316@netzero.net.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

What’s So Special About The Health Patch?

We regularly have folks ask us, “What’s so special about The Health Patch? What makes you different from any other health food store?” Well, first of all, we aren’t a health food store! We actually sell very few food items. We do have a few alternative flours and natural sweeteners that aren’t available is your local grocery store, and we do have some healthy snack foods and juices that our customers have asked us to carry for them. But the primary differences are best spotlighted within the two bylines that we use with the store name “The Health Patch.”

The first byline is “Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health.” We think we are unique in Oklahoma in that we are a staff of five Naturopathic Doctors who use holistic approaches to total health care for our customers. Our customers may drop in and talk to us in the aisles about the health advice they need and we listen! Then we direct them to the supplements that we feel will best help them achieve “total health”. We’re unique in that we have the knowledge and will take the time to work with each customer.

If they need more help than we can give them in just a few minutes in the aisles, we are also available for private consultations where the Naturopathic Doctor of their choice can take an hour or so at a time and work with them. They can schedule one appointment, or as many appointments as they need for as long as they feel we are needed. We will keep records and follow their progress as their counselors and advisors. They talk – we listen – we advise!

Our other byline is “Alternative Health Clinic & Market.” We are, more accurately, a supplement store. In the “market” part of our care, we offer what we believe are the best brands of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements available. We offer them in a variety of forms: encapsulated, in tablet form, numerous powders, the popular gummies, many in liquid form, and several as teas or in bulk which they can purchase by the ounce.

It is also our goal to affordably provide both our care and our products. We offer free memberships in the Nature’s Sunshine Company so everyone may purchase their products at the member’s 22% discount every day. We have an agreement with the NOW Foods Company so that we can offer ALL their products at a 30% discount EVERY Thursday. We have selected the third (3rd) Tuesday of every month as the day to offer ALL our store products to EVERYONE at a 20% discount. And we offer daily 10% discounts to seniors over 65, all active duty and retired military families with an ID, all first responders (police and firefighters) in uniform or with an ID, and we recently added ALL teachers with an ID.

If you are looking for affordable, alternative health care and counseling, and the best available health supplements, or just a quick healthy snack, drop in to The Health Patch. Let us provide naturopathic care for YOUR total health.

  • Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic & Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, Phone 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com, offering private consultations by appointment.