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Archive for natural health

Natural Help for Anxiety and Stress

Some of the most anxiety-producing and stressful events in life are all simultaneously happening in our lives right now; financial problems due to job losses and national economic challenges, the deaths of many loved ones, worry over the family illness and frustration over the inability to care for and comfort them, etc. I certainly don’t have many answers to these struggles. But I would like to highlight some of the numerous ways we can help ourselves and our loved ones endure and persist. Here are some product categories:

Creams and lotions: We all use hand sanitizers now and we have one now that has CBD in it. The CBD will help some with calming. Colloidal Silver comes in cream form as do many of the zinc products. And alcohol-based astringents, lavender, oregano or tea tree-based lotions, and magnesium oils are common.

Drinks: As always, stay away from sugars. They feed pathogens in our systems and give “false energy”. They give you a quick burst of energy followed by a nosedive. Use drinks that hydrate – plenty of water containing known immune system boosters, like elderberry, ginger, vitamin C, electrolyte mixes and honey or JUST water.

Respiration: Sanitize your air with diffused respiratory products; essential oils of ginger, eucalyptus, lavender, or numerous blends offered by a number of reputable companies.

Potpourris: These used to be very popular before the advent of diffusers. But they still have a great place in home care. Their coverage is almost as great as the diffusers, but more subtle and easier on those with depressed respiratory systems. Plus, you can use some beneficial oils that we don’t usually diffuse, like frankincense and myrrh, chamomile, or camphor crystals.

Two other categories lesser known are homeopathy and flower essences. For lack of space, I’ll only mention them here, but you can look them up on the internet, or drop by the store and talk to us about them.

Remember, stress is mostly managed by your adrenal glands – little “snow cap peaks’ that sit on top of the kidneys — that allow the body to regulate stress. They produce some 50+ hormones, the body’s internal messengers, which signal other organs and body systems to react appropriately. So, I would be remiss not to recommend herbal supplements to help you care for both anxiety and stress. Here’s a paragraph from a previous blog:

“While there are many ways (and in many forms) to obtain the needed nutrients useful to reduce stress, one should consider taking a nutraceutical. Wikipedia defines a nutraceutical as “a pharmaceutical-grade and standardized nutrient.” The adrenals feed on B-vitamins, among other nutrients, such as vitamin C, folic acid, biotin, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and pantothenic acid. Other de-stressors are herbs like schizandra, passionflower, hops, chamomile, and valerian, and popular anti-stress minerals include magnesium and zinc. L-theanine is also a helpful amino acid for stress’s “partner” – anxiety.”

In-house herbal combinations are numerous, by many companies, and bear names like “AnxiousLess” and “Stress Relief”, “Nutri-Calm” and “Nervous Fatigue”. “AdaptaMax” is advertised to contain apoptogenic herbs to help your body adapt to physical and environmental stresses.

These are stressful times. We can’t take away the conditions or “cure” your reactions. But there are numerous avenues to help you cope better. May God bless and comfort you in this season of stress and anxiety.

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

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.

The Flow of Good Health: The Lymphatic System

I, like you, may not really give much thought to my home’s plumbing; until an uncomfortable issue arises. Clogged pipes, poor drainage—oh, what a mess that can be. The lymphatic system, like your home’s plumbing, is the drainage system of the body. Through its complex construction of lymph fluid, nodes, ducts and lymphoid tissues such as the tonsils, spleen, appendix, and thymus gland, the lymphatic system works to keep our bodies healthy. The systemic functions of the lymphatics:

  • Balance-By balancing fluids in the tissues, collecting fluid near tissues and organs and returning it to the blood stream, this process prevents fluid from building up and causing swelling.
  • Filtration-This system filters lymph by attacking any bacteria or virus when lymph fluid enters the lymph nodes and filters blood through the spleen by replacing old blood cells with new blood cells, and carrying away cell debris
  • Fights infection-Using specialized white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that are produced in the lymph, the lymphatic system fervently works around the clock to combat sneaky toxins and infections.

Unlike the circulatory system, there is not a pump to keep the flow of fluid and debris through the vessels. Instead, this system depends on muscle movement and compression to help with flow. Any lymphatic congestion is an underlying issue in chronic pain and inflammation. So how can we relieve any congestion that might present as tender and swollen nodes in the neck, breast, arm pits, or groin?

  • Movement– Inactivity creates lymphatic stagnation. Exercise as a gentle walk or gentle bouncing on a mini trampoline are excellent ways to keep lymphatic fluid moving.
  • Hydration-In dehydration, up to 70% of water loss is inside the cells, but approximately 20% is from lymph. When you are thirsty, it may be due to congested lymph fluid.
  • Deep Breathing-Deep breathing compresses the thoracic cavity which creates a pumping action in the lymph system. Sobbing and laughing work similarly. Proverbs 17:22 says laughter is a good medicine. Not only does laughter increase oxygen flow, it also creates lymphatic drainage.
  • Massage-Massaging an area can help improve lymph flow, ease pain and promote healing.

Along with these lifestyle tips to increase lymphatic flow, there are some herbs that are very helpful as well.

  • Cleavers-This herb is soothing to the lymphatic system and helps ease congestion and lessen swelling
  • Red Clover-This herb strengthens the lymph system, improves lymph flow, and aids swollen lymph nodes. This herb is particularly helpful for inflammation in the mammary glands.
  • Echinacea-This is a powerful lymphatic cleanser and immune system stimulant. It is helpful for swollen lymph nodes due to infection.

Just like with any other body system, lifestyle changes and quality supplements can be helpful in keeping this powerful system working well so you can continue to stay healthy. Here at The Healthpatch we are happy to help you with any of your natural health needs.

Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND

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.

Getting Rid of Heavy Metals Oh Yes, You Have Them!

Heavy metals are everywhere in our environment. By definition they are simply metallic elements that have a relatively high density compared to water. Of course, small amounts of some heavy metals such as copper, iron and zinc are important to our health. The body often considers them “trace elements” if their concentrations are in trace amounts (generally less than ten parts per million). But in larger quantities they produce toxicity often referred to as poisoning: lead poisoning for example. What truly makes them important to our discussion here is that the human body has no real use for them in larger quantities. Once they get into the body, the body has no obvious mechanism for getting rid of them. So, it generally “suffocates” them by covering them in fatty body tissues. But often these accumulations get so large that the whole body simply gets “toxic” from them.

Of course, all of us get some toxic elements from our environment. Many are in the soil – especially if you live near toxic dumps or get your food from areas of toxic earth. And many people work in areas containing large quantities of heavy metals. In our immediate area there are many people working in sheet metal shops, many using metal grinders allowing the breathing of microscopic metal particles, and many work in the automotive industry where the used oil from engine wear is in abundance in their clothing and on their hands and arms. The oil industry is rampant with jobs which put employees in heavy metal contaminated conditions. Larger and long-living fish tend to have more mercury. And many alcohols have heavy metals in their processing.

Some common symptoms of heavy metal “poisoning” are headaches, abdominal pain and cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, difficulty breathing and fatigue. In more severe cases you may experience chronic infections, brain fog, burning or tingling sensations, insomnia, visual disturbances or paralysis.

Then what? They don’t go away on their own, so what can you do to keep yourself protected? Here are some suggestions:

  • One of my annual cleanses is a “Heavy Metal Detox.” We have numerous products containing herbs, herbal combinations, foods and mineral compounds that “bond” with these metals in a process called chelation and pull them out of their fatty tissues and dump them in the body’s waste disposal systems.
  • Add sea greens to your diet. Specifically, chlorella, spirulina, algin, and dulse work as a heavy metal detoxifying agents. I have a personal friend who saw great improvement in the condition of his adopted “drug babies”. Many drugs contain heavy metals.
  • There are also foods that electrically attract metals to help move them out of your body. The list of such foods includes lemon water, the sea greens, cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, curry, green tea, barley grass juice powder, wild blueberries, apple fruit pectin, and probiotics. You should also avoid processed foods and excess fat as these have little nutritional value and slow down the detox process.
  • A good multiple mineral and vitamin supplement is also helpful. Deficiencies in the B vitamins have been associated with easier toxicity, and vitamin C has been shown to have chelating effects on iron.

We often mention green tea for its antioxidant benefits, but green teas are also a great drink to aid in the removal of heavy metals from your body, too. It is truly a drink for your health!

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.

Heart Healthy Foods for February

February is American Heart month. This February marks the 51st anniversary of American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., claiming more lives than all cancers combined. It is important for us to take a serious look at what we can do to lower our risk for heart disease this month and throughout the year. I will share with you the following tips to get started on your path toward Heart Health.

Be active. Physical activity is one of the best ways to fight off heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any amount of activity is better than nothing. However at least 30 minutes a day is ideal. If you can’t devote a full 30 minutes, split your exercise into 10-minute segments.

Maintain a healthy diet. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in fat and sugar. High fiber foods can help prevent high cholesterol.

Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight especially in your mid-section is hard on the heart and can increase risk for diabetes. Losing 5-10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.

Know your numbers. Have your levels checked. Staying informed will allow you to better manage your heart and prevent certain health conditions from developing.

Dark chocolate on Valentine’s Day? My answer would be “yes”. Why?

  1. Dark chocolate may give your brain a boost. Dark chocolate, made from the seed of the cocoa tree, is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
  2. Cocoa may calm your blood pressure.
  3. Dark chocolate can help you lower your cholesterol. There are a number of products out there to help lower cholesterol. But by all means, don’t use dark chocolate as a license to purchase a case of dark chocolate. It is just an added benefit.
  4. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower your risk of heart disease. Keep in mind these dark chocolates should contain at least 50-70% cocoa.

Another tip: these dark chocolates should be sweetened with natural healthy sweeteners, not refined sugars. Where can you find these healthy sweeteners? “At the Health Patch” of course!

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.

The Circulatory System: The Heart of Good Health

The circulatory system is made up of the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries with the primary function of carrying oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body as well as carrying away waste from each of those cells. The circulatory system also works intricately with the immune system to carry white blood cells and the endocrine system as an avenue to deliver hormones to tissues.

This system is vital for good health in every area of our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies and when circulation is impaired, tissues can begin to deteriorate and begin to lose function. Some common symptoms of poor circulation include cold hands and feet, poor memory, poor wound healing, and a pale complexion. Diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes can increase heart disease and poor wound healing by decreasing the circulatory system when there is a constant high glucose level in the blood. It is imperative to keep the circulatory flow to every tissue of the body and there are some wonderful herbs that help us achieve that goal.

Capsicum– has long been used as a circulatory stimulant. Its alkaloid, capsaicin, is what causes the herb to be hot. It is also the active part that is responsible for the ability of the herb to stimulate circulation. By helping to increase circulation, Capsicum has been useful in lowering blood pressure and in aiding in the healing of wounds. This herb is often blended with other herbs to work as a catalyst in getting the medicinal properties throughout the body. Capsicum is also rich in Vitamin C and E as well as other antioxidants known for their ability to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Ginkgo Biloba– this herb has a group of antioxidants known as bioflavonoids that help increase circulation, particularly to the brain and extremities. Several clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Ginkgo Biloba for improving blood flow to the brain, helping to improve memory loss, depression, headaches, and ringing in the ears.

Butcher’s Broom-this effective herb received its name from one of its uses many years ago. Butchers would tie several of the shrub branches together and use it to sweep their carving blocks clean. Butcher’s Broom is a vascular tonic which means it helps strengthen the veins and improve circulation, particularly to the lower body. Because it helps strengthen veins, it can be very helpful for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. This herb is also rich in iron, chromium, and B3. Due to its ability to strengthen the veins, this can cause the vessels to constrict and slightly increase blood pressure. Take caution if you have high blood pressure.

Hawthorn Berries– this herb loves the heart and helps protect it from oxygen deficiency. The Rutin, Quercetin, and other bioflavonoids in this herb help dilate and relax arteries, enhancing circulation to the heart. This increase in circulation and oxygen helps it to strengthen and normalize heart beats as well as help lower
blood pressure.

Garlic– the herb that those mythical creatures avoid is one that helps improve many circulatory problems. Garlic can help prevent the formation of clots in the circulatory system by inhibiting the clumping together of blood cells called platelets. Garlic is also a circulatory tonic, helping to strengthen and dilate circulatory vessels that can help reduce blood pressure.

In most of the herbs presented here, there is a rich presence of bioflavonoids that are important nutrients for the circulation. Foods such as blueberries, citrus fruits and pomegranate are rich in bioflavonoids. Pomegranate also enhance nitric oxide, a molecule produced in the body. Nitric Oxide’s important function is as a vasodilator—opening up the blood vessels—and this helps lower blood pressure.

Finally, an herb that can help with the stress and emotional component of good circulation is Holy Basil. This herb is an adaptogen and helps the body adapt to stress and helps protect the heart from stress as well as helps lower blood pressure connected to daily stress.

If you would like to learn more about how to better strengthen the circulatory system and help alleviate the conditions that can come from poor circulation, contact us here at The Healthpatch.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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.

Rid Your Body of Abnormal Cells!

This is a touchy subject for Naturopathic Doctors because we work only with body systems. We do not diagnose or treat “named” diseases. But when we mention “abnormal cells” many people immediately go to “cancer” or “melanomas”. I always begin such a discussion with the fact that we do NOT treat or CURE cancer with our work. But we all carry some abnormal cells and we work with our customers to work within their body systems to alleviate the growth of these abnormal cells.

A few years back, due to some serious sunburns on my back as a teenager, I was diagnosed by my dermatologist as having a pretty severe skin cancer. I knew that in this case that was mutant cells in my skin that were multiplying and talked to him about the possibility in this case of using a natural product to get rid of these specific cells. He told me to try it and three weeks later removed all the malignant tissue from my back and retested it – and didn’t find any abnormal cells left.

The product was call Paw Paw Cell Reg. It is the extract of pawpaw twigs collected in the month of May when the over 400 acetogenins they contain are at their peak. The medical community has known about this product for over 40 years, but don’t use it much because of its limited effectiveness on many conditions. The product is selective for only abnormal cells, has no known contraindications, and can be used in a defensive roll. A few years back I went to a conference with Dr. Ajay Goel who was at the time the lead research scientist at the Baylor Cancer Institute in Dallas, Texas. The title of his talk was “Why cancer always comes back.” He made a powerful case, so I take a bottle once a year as a preventative.

The product works by slowing the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate – a chemical that provides energy to living cells) in the mitochondria of the abnormal cells making them weak; upsets the RNA & DNA building blocks within the abnormal cells interrupting their ability to reproduce, and may help modulate the growth of blood vessels near the abnormal cells making it difficult to get food, water and oxygen and get rid of their wastes.

According to Dr Goel, the reason these abnormal growths will always return at some point is that while traditional treatments kill the bad cells, they also kill good, normal cells in the process and yet do not kill the abnormal stem cells. He believes that a specific clinically studied curcumin with a concentration of a specific component and added turmerones may stop these stems cells from reproducing, and a clinically studies component of a French grape seed may also play a part in breaking some specific cellular communication chains in the proliferation of abnormal cell growth as well.

Dr Goel has changed jobs and now works at the City of Hope in Los Angeles. He is working to get more medical doctors trained in the use of several of our natural products to allow their use in their practices.

We hear stories from our customers regularly of products they have used to aid in the breaking of communication channels to halt the proliferation of abnormal cell growths. Rene Cassie worked decades ago with the Ojibwa Indians in Canada to learn to blend extracts of burdock root, sheep sorrel aerial parts, the inner bark of the slippery elm tree, and the roots of the turkey rhubarb to produce a popular product called Essiac Tea. Others have tried using such things as inositol hexaphosphate from mineral sources, shark cartilage which gained popularity from a book a couple of decades ago called “Sharks Don’t Get Cancer,” and essential oils like frankincense.

Every medical doctor I have talked with assures that there is currently no cure from the disease named “cancer”. But strides are being made, and doctors like Dr Ajay Goel of the City of Hope in Los Angeles teaches that some of the progress we see in inhibiting the early growth of the abnormal cells that may develop into the actual disease many be helped with some of our natural products. So I take a bottle of Paw Paw Cell Reg as a part of my cleansing regimen each year.

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

Our year is filled with an assortment of celebrations-some a based in faith, others in history and folklore, and still others are to honor various people, groups or things. Each country, state, province, nationality and religion also has their own unique festivities. While some holidays fall on the same day, year after year; others move around the calendar. (Some calendars contain 12 months, others, 13. There are those which have different year counts. While others have a different number of days.) The following are just days that are celebrated within the United States and are listed according to the month they fall within on the Gregorian A.D. 2020 calendar.

January Overview:

  • Awareness: Birth Defects, Blood Donor, Cervical Health, Glaucoma, Healthy Weight, Thyroid
  • Flower: Snowdrop
  • Gemstone: Garnet
  • Trees: Apple, Fir, Elm, Cypress

New Year’s Day: This is the day when new beginnings are made. People make resolutions to aid in improving their lives. Certain traditions ranging from food, cleaning, even clothing are thought to bring good luck for the upcoming year. Some ‘good luck’ foods include greens, pork, rice, dates/figs, lentils, noodles and black-eyed peas. Cleaning not only covers tossing out broken/unused stuff but also airing out rooms. The physical body also needs to be cleansed and nourished. It is considered ‘good luck’ to wear clothing of certain colors and some believe it must be new. To help make the year a healthier one, you can consume food that is organic and heirloom (if possible) and allergen-free (ex: gluten, yeast, dairy and egg). Buy clothing made of 100% renewable plant fibers (ex: cotton and hemp) and has fasteners (if applicable) that are either metal zippers and snaps, stone/shell/wood buttons, or pull ties. Brooms made traditionally out of wood, broomcorn straw, twigs or horsehair and twine are eco-friendlier than the modern plastic ones. Body cleansing can include organ detoxing, skin brushing, bathing, consuming more fiber and water and getting more exercises. Also, one can nourish their mind and spirit by reading up-lifting books, going to church, meditating and seeking counseling to get rid of past traumas.

Martin Luther King Day: This is a day to honor an American Christian minister and activist who stood against social injustices in a non-violent way. But, during his life he battled personal religious conflict, severe depression and major stress. He seemed to have conquered all except stress. Everyone can change their hearts, minds and spirits. Counseling can help break down walls and overcome negative habits. Another technique to help achieve this is through nourishing the emotions with aid of flowers. The flower remedies are safe and natural methods of emotional healing discovered by Dr. Bach from the 1920’s and 1930’s in England. They gently assist the restoration of balance between the mind and body by casting out negative emotions such as fear, worry, hatred and indecisions which interfere with the equilibrium of the being as a whole. These remedies aid in allowing peace and happiness to return to the sufferer so that the body is free to heal itself. They are made from wild flowers and are considered safe for the whole family including pets. Common methods of use are applied on the skin or taken under the tongue. The flowers used are: Agrimony, Aspen, Beech, Centaury, Cerato, Cherry Plum, Chestnut Bud, Chicory, Clematis, Crab Apple, Elm, Gentian, Gorse, Heather, Holly, Honeysuckle, Hornbeam, Impatiens, Larch, Mimulus, Mustard, Oak, Olive, Pine, Red Chestnut, Rock Rose, Rock Water, Scleranthus, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut, Vervain, Vine, Walnut, Water Violet, White Chestnut, Wild Oat, Wild Rose and Willow.

Chinese New Year: The Chinese calendar lists this as 4,718. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the ancient Chinese medicine system is based on the Daoist view of a universe in which everything is interrelated. As the Chinese observed the world around them, they organized it into five primal powers or elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The Chinese have developed a unique method of understanding the structure of the internal organs and the body’s physiological processes. TCM is designed to promote and maintain health through diet and exercise. If illness occurs, it is treated with acupuncture, herbs and Qigong which help rebalance Yin and Yang (an energetic system that cannot be separated from one another or the universe). Thus, Chinese medicine is considered very complex and intricate. However, it treats the patient, not the disease.

The body was organized into corresponding systems know as Organ Networks. Each organ is not a separate structure, but is interconnected by an organ system that work together to keep the body functioning well. Vital substances (Qi, blood, body fluids, Jing and Shen) interact with each other to nourish and sustain the body and mind. Solid organs and Zang and hollow organs are Fu. Zang Fu deals more with an organ’s relationship to the body rather than to a specific function. The organs have difference functions, yet depend on each other to function properly. Each organ is predominantly Yin or Yang. Yang organs transform and digest. Yin organs store, in particular the Vital Substance. The Zang Fu organs are associated with specific body tissues and emotions.

The organs and all components of the body are connected by energy channels (Meridians). They are pathways for the flow of Qi throughout the body. There are Twelve Regular Meridians running vertically up and down the surface of the body with many branching channels. The Meridians are paired (the same on both sides of the body). Each Meridian is associated with a Zang Fu organ. Acupuncture points are Qi access points along the Meridians.

There are Eight Extraordinary Vessels, which do not connect to the Zang Fu organs. Only two of these channels have acupuncture points. They mostly function as reservoirs of Qi and blood for the Twelve Regular Meridians.

Recipes:

Homemade Broom: For a more durable broom that is less likely to fall apart, it is advised to use broomcorn, a variety of Sorghum – Sorghum vulgare var. technicum. Cut a straight tree limb with smooth bark and few knots or smaller limbs for your broom handle. Clean the broomcorn, shaking out loose stems, leaves, and other debris. Gather it into bundles about 1 to 1 ½ inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) thick, wrapping each bundle tightly, and trimming the ends straight. Tie individual bundles of straw tightly with twine. (This will help keep the finished broom neat.) Next, tie the bundles together, one at a time, and side by side. Keep them as flat as possible. By wrapping the twine back and forth from opposite sides around each bundle, they will lay closer together and flatter. Sharpen the end of the stick so that it can be pushed up into the end of the bundles at the center. Push it about 6 inches (15 cm) deep between the center bundles, then tie it off securely with more twine. Using sharp, heavy-duty scissors cut the ends of the straw straight across. The broom is now ready for use.

Soapy Plants: There are a number of plants that can be used as a substitute for soap without any chemical processing. These plants contain naturally occurring soap-like substances, called saponins. There are three common North American plants with significant saponin content. Directions: To use any of these plants for soap, chop up the appropriate part of the plant and rub it between one’s hands with some water or dry it for future use. (Before trying a full dose on one’s body, test for allergic reactions by rubbing a bit onto the inside of the wrist and waiting one day to make sure there is no adverse reaction. Because saponins are somewhat poisonous, and Native Americans have used them to paralyze fish, one does not want to eat these plants, except perhaps for the edible fruits and flowers of the yucca family.

  • Bouncing Bet (Soapwort): Do not use Bouncing Bet on your face, because it is very irritating to the eyes. Collect Bouncing Bet in the late summer to fall. Found nationwide, it is easiest to identify by its pretty white or pink flowers with five petals. One can use the entire plant.
  • Clematis: Clematis is a common climbing vine with white or purple flowers, and is often found dominating the tops of trees. Collect the leaves and flowers for use as soap.
  • Yucca, Agave, Spanish Bayonet, Sotol, Joshua Tree: The root contains the most saponins, but use of the root kills the plant, so please don’t use this plant frivolously (although it can re-grow if some roots are left in place). If pounding and soaking the leaves for fiber to make cordage, the soaking water will contain sufficient saponins for bathing.

Miss Hull’s Marble Cake (1865): (Light layer) Three and ½ cups of flour, three cups of white sugar, one cup of butter, ½ cup of cream or milk, whites of seven eggs, two teaspoons of cream of tartar, one teaspoon of soda. (Dark layer) Five cups of flour, two cups of brown sugar, one cup of molasses, one cup of butter, two tablespoons of cinnamon, one tablespoon of cloves, one tablespoon of allspice, one tablespoon of nutmeg, ½ cup of cream or milk (sour, if you have it), ½ teaspoon of soda and seven egg yolks. Directions: Butter and flour your pans. Put in a layer of the dark batter, then a tablespoon of light batter. Alternate with the dark and light layers throughout. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes until golden brown and edges pull away from the sides of the pans, and toothpicks come out clean. Some people have marble cake as a MLK Day dessert.

Jolene Griffiths, Master Herbalist

For more information, contact Naturopathic Dr. Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd., Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or email pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit http://TheHealthPatch.com.

Diet and Nutrition

Proper diet and good nutrition have become matters of concern for many in recent years. Diet and nutrition demonstrate how modern science and traditional wisdom can come together to provide practical answers to the issues that surround nutrition, so that one is brought into greater harmony with the environment and into closer touch with the inner self.

By the time we reach the month of January we have embraced traditional foods and drinks and they many have been high in sugar and calories and may be in excess of fat, so what should we do now? We can start to incorporate foods in our diet that are high in fiber, such as beans, nuts, oatmeal and fruits such as apples, berries and pears. You can also include a fiber supplement on those days that you do not have ready access to fruit or nuts.

Most of us have thought about New Year’s resolutions. Let’s start with a healthy one; tips for eating healthy and well.

  • Base your meals on higher fiber.
  • Eats lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more fish.
  • Cut down on saturated fats and sugars.
  • GET ACTIVE AND OBTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Don’t make your resolutions too complicated. Start small and “keep it simple.” Making big promises right off the bat is just setting yourself up for failure — start small and finish big!

“How about them apples?” “It seems the old adage of an apple a day was nearly right,” Professor Julie Lonegrave said of the findings after eating two apples a day for eight weeks. Participants decreased their risk of suffering from a heart attack and lowered their blood sugar and their LDL cholesterol, which is known as bad cholesterol. Lonegrave and her team noted, “For a start, two apples (any kind of apple so long as they are on the larger side) provides about 25% of someone’s daily fiber which strengthens gut bacteria and is also linked to cholesterol reduction. Apples are easy to eat and make great snack foods.”

So, let’s put on our New Year’s resolution seat belt and ride into a healthy sunset.

Your Wellness Friend: Shirley Golden, Staff ND, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health Email: jehovah316@netzero.net.

For more information, contact Naturopathic Dr. Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd., Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or email pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit http://TheHealthPatch.com.

*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.

The Digestive System: Root of Good Health

Our digestive system has many functions similar to how roots function in plants. They both absorb nutrients and water. If we are not properly absorbing the nutrients we need, this can lead to a host of issues. If fact, up to 50% of health ailments we suffer from can be rooted in poor digestive health; making the digestive system the root of good health when absorbing and functioning well and the root of poor health when it is not.

Toxins in foods, medications, environmental toxins and stress can all be culprits that can disrupt proper digestion and lead to irritation in the digestive tract that can cause such symptoms as bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, diarrhea and constipation. It’s not just these symptoms we need to be concerned about either. Up to 70% of immune tissue is found in and around the digestive tract and up to 90% of serotonin receptors are found in the gut; making gut health imperative to a healthy immune function and healthy mood.

So, how can we keep a healthy and happy digestive system?

Diet The most important step for a healthy digestive system is to look at what we are ingesting. Processed foods and allergens can create a world of havoc on digestion. Common food allergens are wheat, dairy and corn. Of course, there can be many other offending foods, but these are very good places to begin omitting foods that can cause gut irritation. Committing to healing foods like the Paleo diet can go a long way in healing the digestive tract.

Enzymes We have often heard the saying “We are what we eat.” In actuality, we are what we digest. We can eat very nutritiously, but if we are not breaking down and assimilating foods well, we will not benefit with nourishment needed for energy and good health. Enzymes are protein structures that have the ability to combine substances or to take them apart and regulate numerous body functions. They are typically found in raw foods. Because it is difficult to eat a 100% raw diet, supplementing with a plant-based enzyme supplement is important for good digestion.

Probiotics Good intestinal biofilm is crucial for good health. These biofilms act as a protective barrier against toxins and aids in assimilating nutrients. Biofilm is created by good bacteria in the gut. Once again, poor diets, stress and antibiotic use are destroyers of this good gut flora. Supplementing with a good probiotic as well as eating cultured vegetables and yogurt can help restore the intestinal biofilm.

Stress The big “S” word. Seems like we just can’t strive for good health without dealing with stress. As mentioned above, stress depletes the body of good gut flora, creating a poor foundation for health, and it also decreases our bodies ability to digest properly. Digestion works best when we are relaxed; making it important, as much as possible, to eat our meals in a low stress environment. That means avoiding eating while driving. Eating with family during the holidays might count as stressful, but we have an herb for that!
We here at The Health Patch are happy to help you find the best supplements for better digestion and a happy digestive system.

Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND

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 email pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit http://TheHealthPatch.com.