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Archive for natural health

Detox Options

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic.  Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease…), and we can see that we can really have our bodies bombarded with toxins.  The inevitable consequences are further disease or debility.  Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine. I personally follow a routine that includes a monthly detoxification – perhaps an organ or a body system or a whole-body cleanse.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia.  Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, and Asiatic Indians – practiced and still continue some form of detoxification.  In early American history, the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods.  Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation.  One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse.  The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two.  It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change.  Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program.  And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout.  Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

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

Combinations for the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root.  Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet are also helpful especially for the liver.  The blood and lymph glands also benefit from the dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, Oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark and yellow dock.  Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves, high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise, and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy.  Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature. Start your own cleaning program and see how much better you feel.

–  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.

Your Health – Your Responsibility

Most of us as adults have long since come to grips with the fact that we have to take responsibility for our own actions in every area of our lives.  Genetics certainly play a part in our physical makeup, but given those constraints, we can challenge ourselves to make the most of what we are.  For example, we can’t make ourselves taller or shorter, but we can make ourselves lighter or heavier.

Your body is made up of trillions of cells.  They are organized into tissues, organs and body systems (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc.).  To function in the manner in which God intended it, it needs five important things: oxygen, pure water, food or nutrition, elimination, and homeostasis (that’s a big word meaning an even temperature).

We get oxygen in the air we breathe, but we can increase the amount of oxygen entering our systems with exercise.  In fact, many of our body systems (for example, the lymphatic system which has so much to do with our immune system) have no “pumping mechanism” – as the circulatory system has in the heart!  And therefore, without exercise, it has no means of moving its waste.  We can find positive benefits that stem from exercise in every body system.  Increased exercise means improved health.

Water is absolutely essential for life.  Most of us could live for six weeks or more before we suffered permanent, life-threatening consequences from lack of food, but only days without water could kill us.  Most of the reference works I’ve encountered state that for optimum functioning we need to take in six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.  And that’s water intake – not soda, coffee, or other liquids.

As for nutrition, Dr. Joel Wallach (1991 Nobel Prize nominee for his work in nutritional supplements) states that we need 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids, and three essential fatty acids in our diet every day to really stay healthy for life.  And that doesn’t count the addition of other herbal supplements that may be needed to help combat “family histories” for disease.  For example, you may need additional supplements if your family has a genetic history of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.  And there’s a real sense of truth in the old adage “you are what you eat”.  Your body isn’t going to function well on a daily diet of junk foods, fats, and sugars.

Elimination is simply the process of expelling the waste materials that remain after our bodies have extracted the nutrients that exist in the foods we eat.  Many things we eat can’t be digested.  Many fibers are just for “sweeping out” our systems.  Many environmental factors contribute to toxins in our bodies.  And waste material rots in our intestine if not eliminated in a timely manner.  Toxins remaining in our intestine too long can be reabsorbed and redistributed through our bodies contributing to a variety of diseases.

And our body temperature will normally rise a bit when it is fighting infections.  But if our immune system is strong and intact, it should return to normal in a short period of time.

There you have it … the five things necessary for good health and a long life.  So who is responsible for ensuring that these things are available to you?  YOU ARE!  If a good, long, healthy life is a priority for you, then you need to learn what is and what is not good for you.  You need to practice discipline in exercise and proper nutrition, and becoming aware of the signals your body sends you of impending crisis.

So, are you ready to accept responsibility for your own health?  True, your genetic predispositions may have “dealt you a difficult hand” but what you make of your health is truly your responsibility.  Want to make a change in your health condition?  Don’t depend on someone else to tell you what to do.  Study what supplements may be available, and then commit yourself to a healthy exercise and nutrition program.  Live long and in good health.


Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, website: http://www.thehealthpatch.com, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. All of our staff are now offering affordable private consultations!

Music for the Soul

a7e7690db6b64bafb1214361fee05665This month’s theme is right up my alley!  I’m now a Naturopathic Doctor, but I “began my life” as a musician with an undergraduate degree in music! So now I blend “body and soul” with herbs for the body and music for the soul! I greatly enjoy the pairings. When I’m happy and energetic, I enjoy bee pollen, Co-enzyme Q-10, Gotu Kola, or Ginkgo Biloba for my body paired with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the Ode to Joy, 50s rock & roll or some upbeat hymns for my soul.

When I’m experiencing something like Neal Diamond’s Song Sung Blue, I pair any of a number of our suppliers Mood Elevator formulas or a bit of 5-HPT or St. John’s Wort for my body with Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, any of a number of the Star Wars themes, or a more contemporary, uplifting Abba song for my soul.

A well-known cliché says “music calms the savage beast.”  So often anger brings me to essential oils like lavender or rose, a calming magnesium tonic, or a cup of chamomile tea for my body, or a soothing harp concerto or a rousing rendition of a song like Queen’s We Are the Champions to revitalize my soul.

Are you ever just so tired that you feel like you can’t make it through the day? Try an energy boosting dose of Guarana or a cup of green or black tea for its natural caffeine boost, or an energizing peppermint or citrus essential oil applied topically to the temples, or a foot-tapping march by John Phillip Sousa for your soul.

Trouble sleeping? Hormones like melatonin or an Herbal Sleep tonic may help the body, and we all know the soothing effects of a lullaby for the soul.

Needless to say, there is always an herb for the body and a song for the soul for every emotion you may be experiencing and for all of life’s feelings. Pair them for doubling their effects and enjoy every facet of your life. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.