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Archive for natural

My Throat is Sore

Neck and throat

Sore throat! Literally, everyone has had one – multiple times! Sore throats are one of the most common health complaints. Think about it, everything that enters your nose goes down your throat. Everything that goes in your mouth goes down your throat. We live in a toxic world, so that’s a lot of “stuff” that we allow down our throats.

Symptoms of a sore throat are generally a raw, burning, scratchy feeling (or a combination of them) at the back of the throat. They are often caused by viral or bacterial infections like colds, the flu, or the Streptococcus bacteria. Phyllis Balch, in her book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, states that “a sore throat can be caused by anything that irritates the sensitive mucous membranes at the back of the throat and mouth.” She lists irritants such as medications, surgery, radiation therapy, dust, smoke, fumes, extremely hot foods and drinks, tooth or gum infections, dental work, and abrasions. Even excessive coughing or loud talking can irritate the throat. Think about you hoarseness after a great football game!

This discomfort may not last long. Most disappear in a few days. But it may be a symptom of a different disorder and should not be left untreated if the duration is longer than a few days. It may be a precursor of ailments such as tonsillitis or sinusitis, or even more serious diseases like upper respiratory infections.

Common sore throats are often treated with lozenges containing many of the minerals and vitamins we have previously mentioned used to boost the immune system and relieve viral or bacterial infections. Common herbal aids include calendula, Echinacea, elderberry and cayenne.

Slippery elm or marshmallow lozenges are very soothing to the mucous tissues, and bee pollen is often used to both soothe and heal a sore throat so long as you do not have a common allergic reaction to it. If you aren’t sure of an allergy, start with a very small amount and watch for any allergic symptoms. In our store, we carry a number of soothing herbal combinations that allow throat relief while it has time to heal itself.
Ms. Balch in her book lists over a dozen recommendations to help with throat relief and to aid in healing. A few of them are:

  • Sip vitamin C powder dissolved in warm liquid and allow it to drip slowly down the throat. This will boost the immune system and calm the inflammation.
  • Use a mixture of raw honey and lemon juice to coat and soothe the throat.
  • Avoid eating foods that are spicy, hot, salty, or acidic. These can be irritating to the throat.
  • Cut food into small pieces or puree it so it doesn’t add to the irritation as you swallow it.
  • If you smoke, stop smoking. Smoking is a major cause of sore throats.
  • Gargle alternatively with chlorophyll liquid and sea salt (1/2 teaspoon in a glass of warm water) every few hours.

And we’ve all heard of chicken soup for a cold. Well, chicken broth or vegetable broth will help to keep the throat lubricated while it heals. A dry throat can be added irritation for you.

Other daily activities that may help you would be replacing old toothbrushes – they contain bacteria. And vaporizers, humidifiers, and diffusers containing essential oils may help rid your environment of toxins, bacteria, and viruses while adding soothing moistures to your surroundings. Consider eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, chamomile, or one of the popular combination blends for this purpose.

Sore throats are common and they are usually just a nuisance, but treat them immediately for health and comfort, and watch that they go away promptly and don’t develop into something more serious.

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.

Keep Your Nose in It

smell, nose, olfactory, health, healthy, natural

Your nose is not just that pretty thing in the middle of your face. It works for you in many ways. It is a major component of your overall respiratory system. It filters trash to keep it out of your lungs; it warms outside air before it entered the lungs to prevent the pain of a cold day; and it, along with the adjoining sinuses, humidifies incoming air to prevent the entire system from drying out.

Here are a few interesting facts about the nose’s filtration importance: city dwellers may inhale 20 billion particles of foreign matter every day; while you are in heavy traffic, you may breathe as many airborne free radicals as a pack-a-day smoker; even if you are a nonsmoker, if you are in close association with smokers you raise your risk of lung cancer by 30%.

Your nose is a leading component in the distinction of smells.
~ This can be emotional. Think about the smells of your mother’s kitchen, or your favorite restaurant. The loss of your sense of smell can, therefore, take much of the joy out of eating.
~ This can be activating. Think about what the smell of a gym does to your energy level. Or think about your response to the smell of your favorite partner’s cologne or perfume.
~ This can be comforting. Think about the smell of your favorite room at home, your family’s favorite activities, or even your own motor vehicle.
~ This can be lifesaving. Your sense of smell may alert you to the presence of toxins, poisons, or other dangers.

The loss of the sense of smell is called anosmia. And this sense seems to deteriorate in most people shortly after the age of 60. Many people lose it completely. It is a chemical sensing system and requires the release of molecules to send signals to specific parts of the brain. The nerve bundle that does this is in the top part of the nose and is connected directly to the brain.

I read one article on the internet that listed over a dozen reasons why a person may lose their sense of smell. Some were unavoidable, such as injuries and birth abnormalities. Some were developmental, like developing polyps or problems with the central nervous system, or simply aging. Some came as a side effect of normal living, like cold, allergies, and chronic sinus conditions. But many were preventable, like inhaling toxic chemicals, tobacco smoke, illegal drugs.

Complete loss of the sense of smell is difficult (some say impossible) to treat. But I found a number of alternative remedies on the internet which have helped many to regain the sense of smell. Here is a “short list”:
~ Warm castor oil drops in the nose can alleviate swelling and inflammation.
~ Warm garlic tea can relieve cold and flu symptoms to help you breathe easier.
~ Chew small pieces of ginger to unblock a stuffy nose.
~ Make a tea from honey and cayenne pepper. Its capsaicin can clear congestion.
~ Warm honey-lemon tea stimulates the olfactory nerves
~ Continued, long term bentonite clay baths may detox your body so as to restore your sense of smell.
~ Drink warm apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey to thin nasal mucus and enhance smell.
~ Ask a practitioner about “oil pulling” using sesame or coconut oil as it helps oral health!

There are also several minerals that have been associated with the loss of smell. Consider:
~ B-12 is necessary for all nerve tissue health.
~ A vitamin E deficiency may lead to nerve damage which might diminish your sense of smell.
~ Zinc is also necessary for many sensory benefits.

Since smell is directly associated with your sense of taste, a loss of the smell sense can cause eating disorders as well and if you don’t eat, you don’t get nutrients for other body systems either.

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.

The Eyes Have It

eyes, funny, natural

Most of us truly treasure our eyesight. Yet most of us take for granted that as we grow older our eyesight will diminish. On the other hand, we regularly hear of folks well into their centenary years who still have excellent eyesight – often even without eyeglasses. So what makes the difference? Surely genetics plays a part in it. But I believe that proper nutrition that “feeds” the eyes is also a contributor. Let’s look at some herbs that specifically seem to nourish the eyes.

One whose name seems to speak to its benefit is Eyebright. It has been used for centuries as the herb of choice for many diseases of the eyes. Eyebright can be taken internally and is also used in many eyewash formulas because it has antibacterial, antiseptic and astringent properties. It is especially useful for treating conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” and sore, stinging inflammation along with discharges. Eyebright seems to have the ability to improve vision, relieve eye pressure, relieve over-sensitivity to light, and protect the optic nerve in the early stages of glaucoma. A number of testimonials attribute to its usefulness in removing cataracts if used regularly for a few weeks to a few months. It contains a glycoside called aucoboside, which definitely strengthens the capillaries and improves circulation in the eyes. Making eyewash with it is easy and the wash can be used up to a dozen times a day. Simply empty a capsule of the herb into water and boil it for about ten minutes. Cool it, strain it, and then use it as you would any eyewash. This can relieve the discomfort of both eyestrain and minor irritation.

Bilberry contains potent antioxidants that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier to neutralize free radicals in the brain and other nerve tissues including the eyes. One reference told the story of British pilots in World War II who ate bilberry jam on their bread. It states that they were observed to suffer less fatigue, have reduced eye irritation and nearsightedness, and possess better night vision and an extended range and sharpness of vision. It is further known to reduce eye irritation from smog. Note that while vision will often improve within a couple of weeks, continued use over time is needed for the greatest benefits.

There is truth to the old adage that eating carrots will also help improve your eyesight. You see, carrots contain not only beta carotene but other carotenoids such as lutein which concentrate in the eye. These are needed in sufficiently high levels to protect eye tissues such as the macula, and macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual loss. One reference also noted that lutein dwindles in menopausal years, which may contribute to loss of eyesight as women age.

Soy has a variety of nutritional values. Among them is its ability to lower high cholesterol. How does that relate to the eyes? High cholesterol levels drop the density of retinol necessary for good eye health.

Combinations, which take advantage of the synergistic effect of combining herbs, contribute to “eye” formulas. One popular formula combines eyebright with golden seal (antiseptic), bayberry (astringent), and red raspberry (better known for its use in female tonics). Such combinations have been used with hay fever, glaucoma, and superficial cataracts. Remember that these results may take months to accomplish.

Vitamins are a good idea for all our body systems, but we should note that of particular importance to our eyes are the vitamins A and C and a good complex of the B vitamins. And keep eating carrots!

Don’t face old age passively. Work at getting everything from life that God intended. And when we “vote” for good vision right up to the moment we’re called to heaven’s gate, remember, the “eyes” have it. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

  • 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.

The Importance of Exercise

exercise, natural, health

We all know that exercise is important. It is certainly one of the practices that we need to incorporate into your life to ensure that we have a healthy, fulfilling life when the entire world around us seems to be falling apart. Most can recall the increased activity levels of our youth, but we seem to let go of the motivation to “move” as we age. Life gets busy and the gym loses its priority, and after a long day of sedentary work, we just want to relax. So a mental acknowledgment of the importance of exercise gives way to the practicality of daily living. Is that really so bad?

Truthfully, no healthy lifestyle is sustainable without proper exercise. I’m not suggesting that every person need to go spend hours in a gym every day or even that you have a gym membership. But “movement is necessary for health. Let’s look at some reasons.

Of primary importance is the fact that several of our body systems depend on movement to function properly. The circulatory system has the heart at its center – a pump that forces blood through arteries, veins, and capillaries to get nutrients and oxygen to all our cells. But look at three of these systems:

  • The respiratory system provides oxygen to the circulatory system for disbursement. But the amount of oxygen we have to send is dependent on how much is in the lungs. Deeper breathing, like that that accompanies exercise, provides the needed oxygen. And the bottom parts of the lungs may fill with fluids if we don’t breathe deeply regularly. Carbon dioxide is toxic and can stay for long periods of time in the lower lungs if we don’t breathe deeply – e.g., exercise!
  • Elimination from the digestive system requires movement. There is no digestive “pump”. Movement of nutrients from digestion throughout the digestive systems depends on the peristalsis that comes from muscles pressing against the intestines and colon. Bowel “movements” require movement!
  • The lymphatic system is the system that removes dead cells from within the body. It is estimated that the body is made up of some 50-100 trillion cells and about 300 million of them die and are replaced every minute. Those in the digestive tract are generally removed through the digestive tract, but the remainder is removed by the lymphatic system. And it requires muscle contractions to move dead cells through peristalsis. Without exercise, those dead cells just rest and putrefy inside your body contributing to disease.

Most publicity about exercise centers on weight management. You probably know a lot about that already, so I’ll just point out that a pound of body weight equals around 3500 calories. We have machines to measure your metabolic rates. Each person’s rates are different and depend on factors such as current weight, exercise levels, types of foods consumed, and caloric intake. For most people, the rates run around 1200 to 2500 calories burned per day. If you consume more than you burn, you gain weight. Exercise not only burns calories, but it also raises your metabolic rate, making it easier to burn more.

And one writer I read recently stated that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer.” I know of many people who decide to retire from work and then go home, sit down, watch TV, and die within a couple of years. We were created for movement.

Whether you exercise to feel better, to lose weight, to look better, or to help prevent disease, know that it helps in all these lifestyle factors. Get moving!

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.

Which Water is Best

I talk a lot about water. A common question for me is “Does it matter what kind of water I drink?” Answer: Yes! Are you just trying to keep your body hydrated, or do you have “health” reasons for drinking the water?

water, best, natural, health

So what are the common types of water and what makes one different from the other? Answer: Let’s look at some common types and their differences. This is not an exhaustive list, but does cover many of the more popular types.

  • Tap Water. Whether you should drink the tap water or not depends what the tap is connected to. Most “city water” taps are filled with chlorine, fluorine, and other chemicals to provide “water safety”. Many of these chemicals can themselves be toxic. And if you have your own well, you should have it tested to see what pathogens and adverse minerals it may contain. Then you can determine if it is safe enough for your tastes.
  • Filtered Water: You may have a water filter on your well or your water tank or your refrigerator. For many this is sufficient – for cooking, cleaning, bathing and perhaps drinking. This depends on you likes and your health concerns.

And then, popular bottled waters:

  • Distilled water is “dead” water. It has no nutrients at all. It is great for using in home appliances where chemicals may be caustic, but as a drinking water I could only think it useful for some body cleansing purposes where you are seeking to get rid of toxins and cleaning is the end purpose.
  • Spring Water is promoted as natural, and clean. It is simply water with natural minerals, and if from a reputable source and is simply to hydrate may be sufficient.
  • Artesian water is promoted as earth’s finest water. The label from a very popular brand reads “rainfall filters through volcanic rock, adding the vital minerals that give [it] its unique and refreshing taste. The water collects in an active ancient artesian aquifer deep within the earth, where it is protected from external elements.” It is a very popular drinking water, simply for hydration.
  • Some brands are labeled as “ultra-purified”. They address contaminants as “less than one part per million”. Their claim is that there are “no additives”, processed for “fast hydration” and “quick absorption” and a patented process to accomplish this. Purity is their main claim and purity is certainly important, but remember that the body itself also removes toxins and uses what it needs of whatever you consume, casting out impurities and toxins as it can.
  • We carry a black water that gets its color from a blend of fulvic and other trace minerals. It’s a great water if you’re looking for another source of trace minerals normally missing from your diets. And it contains electrolytes.
  • Alkaline waters come in many strengths. The black water mentioned above is one alkaline water. We also have a product called Crazy Water which comes in four different pH levels. Since most pathogens entering our bodies cannot survive in an alkaline environment, this is another way to raise the pH level of your body and reduce some acidity.

You can personally research and determine which type of water works best for you. How does it fit with or enhance other health issues for you. From my perspective, it is most important to get enough of some kind of water regularly to keep your body functioning well. Remember that you need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to fully hydrate your body systems. That’s about the equivalent of one two-liter bottle a day. Fill a two-liter bottle each morning with “effective” water. Make it a goal to drink it all before bedtime that night, preferably by sipping it often all day long!

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.

Eat Live Foods

live, food, vegetable, health, naturalI often espouse eating “live” foods and many of my customers then ask “Do you mean I can’t cook my food?” Laugh-Out-Loud (lol)! No, I don’t mean you can never cook your foods, but I do think we eat too many foods that are overcooked and over processed.

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

I’m an advocate of selecting your food from the perimeter of the grocery store – the outside edges. That’s where you find the fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs and spices, the cheeses and dairy products, the fresh cuts of meat and fish, fresh eggs and water. And this is where you find the colorful foods. Did you know that there are even books written about “Eating Your Colors”? Every different shade of food provides some different nutrients. For example, deep red and purple foods provide antioxidants to get rid of free radical damage; orange and red food provide carotenoids such as beta-carotene which aids bone and cell growth, and lutein which is important for healthy vision; green foods provide a powerhouse of nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, and the A-C-E vitamins; and crimson, blue and brown foods provide flavonoids that contribute to proper brain function and blood flow.

While canned foods still have some nutrients, I put them in the intermediary – the heat of canning kills many vital nutrients, and the added salt used in the canning process preserves the contents from spoilage but adds sodium which can cause several health issues.

And then there are the packaged foods. They have had most of the “live” nutrients replaced with long-lasting preservatives. The focus is on shelf life. And they will fill you up, but they provide little nutrition.

So what are some things you can do to eat better? Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Shop from the outer perimeter of the grocery store. Enlarge the variety of foods you eat to get a better variety of nutrients and prepare your own foods as much as your lifestyle will permit.

Consider one of the popular mail-in food programs we see advertised so much now. They ship the fresh foods along with recipes for preparing them. You can involve the family in the preparation to enhance family time and learn to cook together. And you get a freshly prepared meal.

And you might then consider the next step – a small backyard garden to get just the food you enjoy in the freshest form available – pick them from your backyard and take them in and prepare them for a family meal! Whether you dig up the whole back yard, simply prepare a few small raised beds, or put together a collection of pots and pans for a deck or porch container garden, it can be a life-changing and tasty new hobby.

– 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.

Sustainable Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Electrolytes 101

Most college students recognize the “101” designation! For any course of education you take up, that’s the basic, introductory course in that field. So, Electrolytes-101 is simply a beginning look at the study of electrolytes.

The “body electric” depends on electrolytes. An electrolyte is simply a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when placed in a solvent. In our bodies that is usually just plain water. And the electrolytes are generally cell salts. The cell salts are dissolved into electrically charged ions that interact with each other, conducting electrical energy and supporting the body’s electrical components.

Electrolytes are naturally occurring elements in the body and important to control many physiological functions. Examples of these electrolytes are sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and even calcium. We get them from numerous foods and drinks and many supplements also contain them. They are necessary for balanced loads in the body.

In severe cases of imbalance, we may see such drastic things as seizures, coma, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest. But we may regularly see symptoms in hot, sweaty activities like outdoor running and sports. You see, we lose a lot of electrolytes when we sweat. So it is not unusual to see young people with muscle cramps, muscle weakness, nausea, confusion and the like after an outdoor summer athletic practice. If we let it go further, we may see diarrhea, fast heart beating, headaches, and cramping.

When I was a kid our PE coaches use to give us salt tablets after hard play outdoors in the last spring and summer. Both sodium and chlorine which make up table salt are electrolytes. But a more complete form of “cell salts” are better balanced and more effective – and without the heart strain that can come from using too much table salt.

Cell Salt formulations go by the homeopathic names of their ingredients. A couple of examples might be Mag. Phos., which stands for Magnesia Phosphorica and is formulated to help with muscle cramps and pains, or Nat. Sulph., which stands for Natrum Sulphuricum, and helps with flu symptoms, nausea, and vomiting.

Original studies in cell salts led to the formulation of 12 standard cell salt formulas. More recent studies have identified up to some 27 different cell salts. They should always be replaced after any strenuous activity. So if your work or play produces active perspiration, or if you feel fatigue, lethargy, or a mild headache after a bout of physical activity – take some cell salts – or a salt tablet as a minimum!

– 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.

Intro to Supplements

nutrients, supplements, chartWithin a two-week period shortly after I opened my store over 20 years ago, three young customers had asked me the same question. Not using the same words, but basically, they were all asking “I’m young, healthy and don’t know any of my family’s genetics. Should I be taking any supplements?”

Not having a ready answer and not wanting to just sell them something, I began to research the idea of preventative supplementation. Then I came upon a tape that was being sent around during those days entitled “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie,” written by Dr. Joel Wallach, a 1991 Nobel Prize nominee for his work in nutritional supplements. He had been a veterinarian for over 20 years before becoming a medical doctor and noted that when animals get sick we feed them healthy foods, but when people get sick we give them drugs.

Dr. Wallach further noted that every living thing will die for one of two things: an accident or a nutritional deficiency. When they finished mapping the human genome, the scientist stated that the genetic potential of mankind appeared to be about 120 years. In other words, if we die before we’re 120, it will be from an accident or a nutritional deficiency. So he began to research the nutritional needs of the average man. In his research, he stated that we need 60 different 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” of 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. And there are a couple of real problems in this area that we face today:

One: We don’t eat right. In the Bible in Genesis 1:29, God tells Adam and Eve “I give you every herb on the whole earth for your food.” Additionally, Dr. Paul Barney, in his book Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine stated “In many cultures, there is no separation between food and medicine. In other words, food IS the medicine treating various conditions.” And Dr. Andrew Weil, in his book Spontaneous Healing, says “The body can heal itself [given the proper nutrients].”

Two: Even if we ate good, balanced meals all the time, the land no longer provides all the proper nutrients. For years we’ve stripped the minerals from the land and generally use on Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous (NK&P) in our fertilizers. These elements generally grow lovely fruiting plants, but their fruits can’t contain vitamins and minerals that aren’t available in their development. There are about half a dozen places in the world where people routinely live to be 100+ years of age. All of them are at high elevations where their crops are watered with glacial runoff – glacial water still has plenty of minerals.

So, like Dr. Joel Wallach, I believe the solution is supplements. Get all those he listed above every day and add supplements to help you ward off genetically potential future ailments. If you need help, remember we have five Naturopathic Doctors at The Health Patch who do private alternative health consultations. We’ll be glad to work with you.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blog at www.TheHealthPatch.com. Our full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Blood Pressure Basics

blood, pressure, health, naturalSince heart disease still reigns as the number one killer of both men and women, and because hypertension and high blood pressure are a major component of cardiovascular disease, let’s look at what I call “Blood Pressure 101” – the basics of blood pressure that everyone needs to know.

Most anyone who has had a basic high school course in biology can tell you that normal blood pressure is 120/80. What does that mean? The upper number is called the Systolic number measured in millimeters of mercury on a blood pressure cuff. 120 is considered to be the normal reading. The bottom number is 80 millimeters of mercury and is called the diastolic pressure.

For all of my adult life, anything below 140/90 was considered ok – even for flying aircraft. But recently the American Medical Association has determined that 120/80 is “normal” Numbers above that are now considered “elevated” up to 129/80, stage 1 hypertension up to 139/89, and stage 2 hypertension at 140/90. They now consider you to have a hypertension crisis if your blood pressure exceeds 180/120.

Practically, what do the numbers represent? When the heart pumps it pushes blood into the arteries of the cardiovascular system at a pressure represented by the systolic number. That means the heart must be strong enough to exert that amount of pressure to get the blood flowing without causing distress to the heart itself or rupturing the vessels. The diastolic pressure then is the “resting” pressure, the least amount of pressure you’ll have in the system. If the system diastolic number is too high then the system never gets to rest. Enough pressure within either action can cause “system failure” – i.e., cardiac failure.

In a previous blog, we mentioned that the system must pump blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. That in itself is astounding, but I feel the need to address why being overweight is so difficult on the heart and cardiovascular system. You see, capillaries must be built to deliver water, nutrients, and oxygen to every cell in the body. And for every pound of weight we add, the number of cells we add require the building of five miles more of vessels through which those nutrients must be pumped. That adds quite a load to the pumping requirements of the heart.

And exercise is required to keep all system components strong and healthy. Many folks have caused heart failure by attempting overzealous activities straining an only moderately strong system with sudden overload!

So, if you are ready to improve your heart’s health and live longer, consider adding healthy food and some heart-healthy supplements to your daily routine, stop smoking, and maintain your weight in a healthy range. Live long and in good health. Genesis 1:29.

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