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Archive for naturopathic doctor – Page 2

Healthy Body Systems: Glandular

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flower Essence: Mustard

We are well into the season of Spring.  More days of sunshine, more beauty displayed in blooming gardens, more time spent in the outdoors.  Just the thought of Spring can bring a smile and a feeling of happiness.  The season of shorter, gloomier days is behind us and longer days of clear, blue skies are our present reality. 

Then, unexpectantly and unexplainably, out of that beautiful, clear blue sky, comes such deep feelings of gloominess and despair, it is almost shocking.  And certainly perplexing, as these feelings seem to appear for no apparent reason. In this state, one may experience:

  • No ambition to do things you love.
  • Inability to enjoy anything.
  • You suddenly feel weighed down.
  • The feeling of a black cloud seems to be hanging over you.
  • It is difficult to hide this mood from anyone.
  • It is impossible to shake this mood through logical or willful thinking.

Then, just as suddenly as they appear, these intense emotions will disappear.  Making you feel out of control and at the mercy of such feelings. Welcome to the personality of the Flower Essence Mustard. 

Dr. Edward Bach, the doctor that developed the Flower Essence therapy stated that people that most benefit from Mustard are:

“Those who are liable to times of gloom or even despair, as though a cold dark cloud overshadowed them and hid the light and the joy of life.  It may not be possible to give any reason or explanation for such attacks.  Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to appear happy or cheerful.”

He described the Mustard flower essence as The Light Flower that can raise the vibrational frequency that is depressed in this negative state. 

Not surprisingly, many famous artists and musicians experience this type of depressed state.  It is in the positive state that the artist is able to experience rich emotions, sense things deeply and then transmute those feelings into the beautiful art and music we enjoy. 

It is the power of the Mustard Flower Essence that can bring us into that positive state.  When we are balanced, we will experience the “cloudy” days in a more peaceful, serene way, knowing that there are cycles and that there will always be the ebb and flow in life; but, just as the cloudy days relent to the sun once more, the cloud over our lives will relinquish. 

If you think Mustard or any other Flower Essence might be right for you, contact me at The Healthpatch.  We would be delighted to help you find health and balance.

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Simple: Mullein

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Asthma
  • coughing
  • sinus congestion
  • allergies

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

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Flower Essence: Mimulus

A few years ago, my family enjoyed watching the television series Monk.  It was about a former police detective who was excellent at solving crimes but was plagued with multiple phobias.  Of course, the character’s extended list of fears gave great comedy to the program and we the viewers got a few laughs from his great attempts to overcome a phobia only to add several more to his list each week.  While this served for a few laughs in a fictitious setting, phobias and fears can be very debilitating. When we do not discuss them, leaving us to our own devices, it is very isolating.

Our Flower Essence this month is “The Bravery Flower” or Mimulus.  Dr. Edward Bach described the person the most in need of this flower as: “….fear of worldly things illness, pain accidents, poverty, of dark, of being alone, of misfortune.  The fears of everyday life.  These people quietly and secretly bear their dread, they do not freely speak of it to others”. 

I have a confession.  This is my personality state.  I benefit from Mimulus.  In many ways, I have improved in this state from how I was when my children were small.  When they were young I, of course, fretted about their well-being on a regular basis, but I also held deep fears of losing their father to an accident.  He was my life partner, and I could not fathom a life without him and the life of my children without their father.  These fears, along with many others, seemed absurd when mentioned in the light of day, but they held such strong bonds in my mind.  Maybe my fellow Mimulus personalities might recognize these behavior patterns:

  •  You fear a certain situation but do not talk about it.
  • You imagine everything to be more difficult and dangerous than it really is.
  • You suffer from specific anxieties, and they cause inner tension.
  • You are hypersensitive to cold, noise, bright light, loud voices, and strong smells.

In fact, the Mimulus personality finds it difficult to tolerate too much of anything.  It is not uncommon for our personality, when caught in a negative state, to fall ill when pressures become unbearable.  We are sensitive people and sensitive to the needs of others around us.  This can be an invaluable trait, but to be in a healthy state there are two crucial things we must learn:

  •  We need to learn to rejuvenate.  This includes learning to withdraw from the world at times without feeling guilty in order to recharge.
  • We must learn to come to terms with our fears.  This means understanding that fear can materialize.  Like with all thoughts, each anxiety will reinforce the other, tying up our energy.

Mimulus helps us come out of the confused state our fears can cause.  It helps us come to our true nature and this allows us to deal with thoughts and fears more effectively.

 Jesus states in Matthew 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble; but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”.

Philippians 4:6-7 says “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God”.

Mimulus can help us clear out the confusion, and with time set apart, really cling to the hope of these promises.  Our positive potential then becomes:

  • I can grow beyond my anxieties, know my limits, and be able to face the world with a cheerful composure.
  • I feel up to the world’s challenges and I am able to get involved in the next task.

I can be brave. I can step forward. I can be my true nature.

We here at The Health patch would love the opportunity to help you with any of your wellness needs. 

Health and Blessings

Kim Anderson

Simples: Dandelion

The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer as Spring emerges, and in my hand is what will make my wishes come true.  Close my eyes, make a wish, count to three and…..blow!   The childish delight of watching the thousands of dry dandelion seeds travel on the wind!  And of course, if I blew hard enough to remove all seeds with one blow, well the added benefit of a realized wish! Of course, with adulthood, not much faith is placed in the “making a wish” with dandelion seeds, but I certainly have a deep respect for the plant that has so many health benefits.  

The Latin name for Dandelion is Taraxacum Officinale and has been referred to by other common names as Puff-ball, Lion’s Tooth, and Wild Endive.  The name Dandelion is taken from the French meaning “dent de lion” — Lion’s Tooth.  This is a reference to the toothed edges of its leaves. 

It is commonly thought to have been included as one of the “bitter herbs” that was mentioned in the Bible and has recorded use from the 10th century as an excellent diuretic and laxative. 

Nicholas Culpeper, a physician and herbalist in the 17th century, was always a man for the common people and set about translating the English Physician’s Pharmacopoeia from the professional’s Latin to the common man’s English.  In doing so, he was defamed by his colleagues, but very much respected and popular among the common community he served.  Culpeper wrote this about Dandelion:  “It is of an opening and cleansing quality, therefore, very effectual for the obstructions for the liver, gall, and spleen.  It opens the passages of the urine both in the young and old, powerfully cleanses and doth afterward heal them.”

Cleansing and healing!   The Dandelion is full of health benefits.   With constituents like phenolic acids that help with inflammation, polysaccharides to enhance digestion, and inulin to feed good gut flora, these are just a few of the health benefits found in the roots.  The flowers contain nutritive Vitamins A and B-2 and minerals.  When used as a diuretic, Dandelion is amazingly effective, but without the side effect of mineral depletion that can occur with pharmaceutical diuretics.  This diuretic effect makes Dandelion helpful in cases of hypertension and edema.  The cleansing properties of Dandelion make is helpful in uses for skin issues like Psoriasis and Eczema. 

Although (unfortunately) it is considered a weed to many, it grows rampant in the U.S.  It can be found wild most anywhere, but if wildcrafting the plant, please be careful of any toxins that may have been sprayed on the ground or chemicals dumped in the ground. It can be used in tea or capsules. And of course, there is the fun way to benefit from Dandelion blossoms….Dandelion Wine!

Here is a recipe from the Late Dr. Phil Fritchey.  Enjoy!

  • 2 quarts of fresh Dandelion flowers (making sure they have not been sprayed!)
  • 2 quarts of spring water
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cups of brown turbinado sugar
  • ½ packet of yeast

Carefully remove stems from the flowers.  Place in a large crock or non-metal pan.  Thinly slice the orange and lemon and add to the flowers, along with the sugar.  Bring water to a boil and pour over the flowers, fruit and sugar.   Cover loosely and let set two days, stirring occasionally.  Strain liquid into another large pot and add yeast.  Cover loosely again and allow to ferment in a warm place for two weeks.  Skim off any foam, and carefully pour off wine, trying not to disturb any sediment.  Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in tightly sealed bottles. 

“Wishing” you health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Healthy Body Systems: Urinary Maintenance

In 2020 we completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups.  Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.”

Many herbal supplement manufacturers not only focus supplementation on specific problems within a body system but they also usually have what I call an “umbrella” product. This umbrella is an attempt to both cleanse AND nourish that system.

This month we’re considering the Urinary System. Its primary functions include ridding the body of soluble toxic wastes storing and expelling urine and maintaining fluid regulation. Many of us may not know that it is also responsible for helping the body to maintain proper levels of minerals. The urinary system in the body is composed of your kidneys, ureters, your bladder, and urethra.

Functionally, the kidneys do most of the work. They lie behind the stomach in a protecting cushion of fat. They balance the blood’s pH by maintaining sodium/potassium balance, secrete some hormones to help regulate the body, extract water from the body to keep it healthy, help regulate blood pressure, and filter toxins from the bloodstream. The ureters are tubes attached to the bottom of each kidney to carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine and signals the brain when it needs to be emptied. And the urethra is a tube that leads to the outside world for toxic waste disposal.

One maintenance function I like to mention here is that if you fail to empty the bladder often enough the chemicals it holds can allow bacterial growth causing infection and/or irritation. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you here to drink enough water. How much? My answer is always half your body weight in ounces – with a minimum of 64 ounces and a maximum of 100 ounces regardless of your weight! One easy way to consider whether you’re drinking enough water is to pay attention to the color of your urine: look for bright, sunshine yellow urine for adequate water consumption. Dull yellow or tannish brown is inadequate. No color (totally clear) may indicate too much!

Common problems associated with the Urinary system include kidney stones, bladder and/or kidney inflammation and infection, and pain and irritation.

I have some old Nature’s Sunshine training materials from a body systems class we used to offer that listed some interesting facts about the urinary system. It states that the kidneys recycle about 45 gallons of blood every day. 25% of your blood is being filtered in the kidneys at all times.  Inside the kidneys are 2.4 million nephron filters requiring 50 miles of tiny capillaries and tubules. And micturition is the medical term for emptying the bladder! Fun, huh?

While there are many herbal supplements to help alleviate problems with different components and functions of the urinary system, the “umbrella” product we use for folks who have general problems or a hereditary predisposition for urinary system problems is actually called “Urinary Maintenance.” It contains asparagus stem which is known to help detoxify; dandelion leaf which serves as a potent herbal diuretic; parsley which is another diuretic; cornsilk which is known to cleanse the urinary tract and help with urinary tract infections; watermelon seeds which are known to be rich in magnesium, iron, and zinc; the potent silica source of horsetail; hydrangea which has been shown to dissolve the minerals that may cause kidney and gallbladder stones; and several other herbals with specific aids for the urinary system.

If you have urinary issues, talk to us about Urinary Maintenance supplementation. Add “urinary” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Flower Essence: Willow

The Willow tree has long been recognized for its contribution to alleviating pain.  The bark of the Willow has been used since the Roman empire to make a tea and the medicinal compounds found in Willow—salicin– is the original source for the over-the-counter pain reliever aspirin.  The Willow is of the Salix species with many variants, but the species we will discuss here is the Salix vitellina.  This species can be found growing in moist ground with flowers that open in early May. 

Just as the medicinal compound in the Willow can help alleviate physical pain, the vibrational energy in the Salix Vitellina is used to help overcome emotional pain and the feelings that keep us from moving forward in a positive way.  The Willow is often associated with sadness and weeping.  In Psalm 137 Willows are mentioned during a time of great grief: “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.  On the willows, we hung our lyres.”

The very characteristic of the Willow is its ability to continually replace cut branches with new shoots. The willow sees opposition but can cling to life despite hardships, making the tree a symbol of not only mourning but of new hope and beginnings.  It is often referred to as The Destiny Flower and can help one to move from grieving and resenting what life has handed to them to take personal responsibility for one’s own life. 

Dr. Edward Bach, the founder of the Bach Flower Essences described the person that can benefit from Willow as this: …those who have suffered adversity or misfortune and find these difficult to accept, without complaint or resentment, as they judge life much by the success which it brings.  They feel that they have not deserved so great a trial, that it was unjust, and they become embittered.  They often take less interest and are less active in those things of life which they had previously enjoyed. 

Now, one cannot live on planet Earth and not experience some pain and loss.  It is perfectly normal to feel grief and even depression in the face of adversity, but the one that benefits the most from Willow is one that has become embittered with life and blames everyone and everything but one’s own self.  Self-pity, resentment, and bitterness reign, and one feels like a total victim of fate.  This negative mentality of being a victim creates the perfect environment for not taking responsibility for one’s own destiny.  Other common behaviors and beliefs include:

  • Feelings of being held back.
  • Feelings of being powerless.
  • Believing that life has failed to provide the things that are rightfully deserved.
  • Reacting defensively and with accusations
  • Unconsciously putting a damper on the cheerful mood and optimism of others.
  • Wearing a sad face and withdrawing more and more from life.
  • Reigning thoughts are spiteful and grudging.

Due to the bitterness, anger, and resentment, the one in need of support from Willow may often feel ill.  They can have physical symptoms, but even when the symptoms improve, they will not acknowledge that they are feeling better.  This person does not want to allow any positive thoughts.

Willow Flower essence helps one to let go of bitterness and to actively take responsibility for their life.  It also has the positive potential to help one to think more constructively about situations and to understand the principle that we can attract positive or negative events and make use of this principle.

For more information about this product, click the link: https://www.naturessunshine.com/recommended-products/10258/4051pmoklqplm3i/?sid=10258&offer=NSP Should you decide to purchase, use sponsor number 10258.

Once again, it amazes me how the God of the universe loves us so that he provides natural means for us to live our best life both physically and emotionally. We here at The Healthpatch would love to help you on your health journey.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Simples: Gingko Biloba

“Do you have anything for memory?”

Right behind a request for supplements for better sleep, this may be the most frequent question I am asked.  The question has no age boundaries, either; adults in any age group find from time to time that they are just not thinking as clearly or recalling information as they would like.  It really is not surprising to me that this issue is on the rise; in our time of great technology, we are never “unplugged”.  We have constant information at our disposal without time to really process that information.  The stress that our culture experiences lend itself to a rise of quicker aging processes and diseases that can decrease our ability to think or remember clearly. 

With oxidation and aging quicker from stress, we often experience a lack of circulation throughout the body and recognize it by the fatigue and “foggy” thinking that can come with it.  Increasing circulation throughout the body, particularly to the brain, is key in helping to increase cognitive function.  Gingko Biloba has been found to have compounds that can do just that.

The Gingko tree is an ancient tree, but it has only been in the last several decades that the compounds in the Ginkgo leaf have been found to have significant effects on circulation.  Since this discovery, Gingko has become one of the most studied medicinal herbs in the world.

What have these studies discovered? Gingko can relax blood vessels to enhance blood flow to the brain and extremities.  This action can help improve concerns caused by decreased blood flow such as memory loss, lessened cognitive function, ringing in the ears, dizziness, some cases of erectile dysfunction, and hypertension. Gingko also strengthens capillaries, helping with easy bruising.

Gingko also has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aggregation properties; making it useful in helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases and free radical damage.  Free radical damage has been indicated in dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

While using the whole herb for medicinal purposes is recommended for the benefits of utilizing cofactors in the plant, studies have shown that that is not the case in Gingko. Concentration, standardization (meaning the doses are kept consistent), and consistency are key with this herb.  The extracts of the Ginkgo leaf have been found to be the most beneficial and using standardized extracts consistently for at least 2 to 3 months is when the most health benefits have been recognized.  Also, due to its blood-thinning properties, Gingko Biloba should be used with caution when taking blood thinners.

As always, we here at The Health Patch are happy to help you find the most beneficial supplements for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

How to Prepare: Home Gardening

An upgrade to the grocery store for more quality and local production is your local Farmer’s Market. They are popular now and available most likely on weekends in YOUR hometown. Foods are usually locally grown and most of the gardeners are willing to tell you how they grew them – pesticide-free; compost, organic or commercial fertilizers; watering sources; chemicals used to enhance production; did they produce the plants from heirloom, hybrid, or commercial GMO seeds; or did they purchase the seedlings from commercial sources and determine how they grew them?

Obviously, you get the best of exactly what you want if you do it all from seed selection from heirloom sources, and make all the production decisions exactly as you want them yourself. I am a strong advocate of do-it-yourself home gardening. If I’m going to eat it, I want to know how it was produced and what was used in the growth process.

If you’ve never gardened before, you can start by just removing ground cover grasses, shoveling the soil, adding some compost or other organic material to enrich the soil, putting your seeds in the soil according to the directions on the seed packets, provide regular water, and remove weeds to keep only what you want growing there. There’s an exhilarating joy in watching your plants grow, flower, put on vegetables and picking and eating from your own handiwork. Start small with just a few of your favorite vegetables, and add to the beds each year as you become more confident.

Through the years, I’ve used many techniques. Each has its advantages. As a kid, I watched my dad use the tractor to dig up the ground each year to produce virtually all the vegetables we needed for our family of seven. But it was a most pleasurable experience to watch my oldest daughter, shortly after her marriage, put just a few vegetables in her suburban flower beds and pick a few of her favorite “tasties” and serve them to her family. My sister lives in a small apartment – she does “container gardening” (which we will cover in more detail next month!). The size of your garden is limited only by the size of the beds you have available, how much time you have to work those beds, and how much you want, or need, to produce.

And there are many new developments in the home gardening arena. We’ll look at just a few of them that I have personally tried. Outside of the “normal” gardening I’d done all my life, I tried “Plasti-culture”. Introduced to the US more than a decade ago, and used in Israel very extensively for decades now, it is a great way to conserve water, limit weeds, and focus your production. I applied and met the criteria for an Oklahoma Agriculture Department, a three-year state-subsidized test of the method. Special machines, in one pass, cultivate the beds, mound the soil, lay down drip irrigation, cover the mounded rows with plastic sheeting, and cover the edges of the plastic to keep it in place. The drip lines are connected to a watering source and you can even attach a timer to turn the water on and off according to weather conditions and the need for water of the plants you choose. Then you just poke holes in the plastic and place your seedlings. The plastic conserves the moisture, warms the soil, and prevents weeds from growing. The only negative I saw was the cost of the initial bed preparation and the need for adequate room for the machines to operate.

Next, I tried “chip gardening”. The idea here is that each year you add two inches of wood chips after poking holes in previous years rotted/composted organic material and inserting your plants. The chips do help cut down on weeding, and the composted soil adds vital nutrients to the ground virtually illuminating the need for commercial fertilizers. You can order (or purchase from our store) a DVD of the film “Back To Eden” which guides you through the entire process. Here in central Oklahoma chips are readily available for free, and as the film states, the process is a “simple sustainable solution.”

This year we’re trying a technique we’re learning from the Neversink Farm (videos on YouTube) using techniques that do not disturb the underground bio culture. They boast the highest crop production per square foot of garden space in their state.

I hope to be able to combine chip gardening with the Neversink techniques to see if we can get the most from our Oklahoma garden. Grow your own food and never be without – wishing you health for your family!

– 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.

For more information about this product, click the link: https://www.naturessunshine.com/recommended-products/10258/4051pmoklqpho4b/?sid=10258&offer=NSP Should you decide to purchase, use sponsor number 10258.

Simples: Ginger

Remember our moms reaching for the Ginger Ale when we were not feeling our best or feeling particularly nauseated?  While the sugar in the commercial drink was not the best option, Mom knew best when it came to the ginger part.

Most of us are familiar with Ginger and the culinary possibilities this herb spice offers–its pungent flavor adding flair to our recipes; But the flavor is not the only benefit of this flowering plant.  There are many medicinal properties in Ginger as well. 

Originating from Asia, this plant was brought to American in the 15th and 16th centuries through the Spanish.  It is now cultivated in tropical regions of the United States.  It is a flowering plant, but only the rhizome, or underground part of the stem, is used for medicinal purposes.  Being in the same family as turmeric, it carries similar health benefits:

Anti-inflammatory

One of the main bioactive compounds in ginger is gingerol and is responsible for the smell, flavor, and health benefits in the plant.  Like its sister plant, turmeric, ginger is especially useful in cases of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis.  A study in 2011 found that a combination of ginger, cinnamon, and sesame oil applied topically helped reduce pain and stiffness in people with Osteoarthritis.  Ingesting ginger as a tea or in capsules enhances this effect by lowering systemic inflammation.

Antioxidant

Antioxidants are molecules in the body that fight free radicals.  Free radicals are compounds that are constantly being formed in the body.  They serve a positive function that is important to health such as helping immune cells fight infection. 

However, if levels of free radicals become too high, they can lead to a state of oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress has been connected to health issues such as heart disease and cancer.  Oxidative stress also increases the aging process and, along with inflammation, is one of the key causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Gingerol in ginger has been found to have antioxidant properties—those important properties that help keep oxidative stress in check.

Antibacterial

Ginger can also help lower the risk of bacterial infections, with a special affinity against oral bacteria linked to gum diseases.  Small intestinal bowel overgrowth or SIBO is another condition that ginger can be used as an alternative.

Antinausea

Ginger is highly effective for taming nausea.  Studies have shown ginger to be effective against nausea connected to motion sickness without the drowsiness that can occur when using over the counter medications; making it a safer option when needed for traveling.  Studies have also been shown that ginger may help with morning sickness.   While ginger is safe, as with any supplement use during pregnancy, always check with a qualified practitioner before use. 

Antacid

As of November 2019, 60 million Americans were believed to suffer from indigestion, causing recurrent pain and discomfort.  Many pharmaceuticals prescribed for chronic indigestion have now been found to cause certain cancers. 

Certainly not a desirable side effect when trying to alleviate discomfort.  Ginger is a natural alternative in relieving indigestion.  It is believed that one key trait of indigestion is a slower emptying of the stomach.  Ginger enhances digestion, by increasing digestive secretion.  By enhancing digestion, it is possible that the stomach empties sooner, reducing indigestion. 

Anti-Aggregation

Platelet aggregation is the clumping together of blood platelets that can create blood clots or thrombosis.  Blood clots can be life-threatening.  Gingerol in ginger has been known to help prevent platelet aggregation and increase blood circulation.  It has also been known to help support the heart and pumping action.

With so many medicinal properties and delicious flavor, it is easy to see why so many natural health practitioners consider ginger to be one of the best spices to have on hand.  Here at The HealthPatch, we carry ginger teas, capsules, and bulk ginger in crystals and powder.  We are happy to help you find the best for you.

How about a healthy Ginger Ale?  Here is a recipe from  Katrin Nurnberger of Sugar-Free Londoner using a sugar alternative, making it a healthier option.

Sugar Free Homemade Ginger Ale (makes 2 cups)

Ingredients 6 cm of ginger root peeled and grated Juice of ½ of a lemon 1 TBSP of powdered sweetener like Lakanto Monk fruit 2 cups of carbonated water

Instructions Peel and grate the ginger.  Place it in a muslin or cheesecloth and squeeze until you have around 1 tablespoon of liquid ginger juice. In a jug, mix ginger juice, lemon juice and carbonated water. Stir in sweetener to taste. 

Enjoy the taste and health benefits!

Health And Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND