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Archive for naturopathic doctors

Healthy Body Systems: Structural

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 necessary nutrients for the structural system. The basic functions of the skeletal system are to give our bodies form and mobility, house all the other body systems, and protect the insides from the outside environment. Components of the structural system are:

  • the bones – which serve as the framework for the body and protects the internal organs,
  • the muscles – some 620 various special types of tissue adapted to contract, allowing body movement and mobility,
  • connective tissue – tendons (a soft, yet strong tissue that connects muscles to bones), and ligaments (the tissue that holds bones together).
  • skin – it is the largest organ in the body; it is the tissue that holds everything together! It helps eliminate toxins, supplies its own surface oils for keeping itself pliable, and helps regulate body temperature.
  • hair – a major component of the body’s sensory system, and the roots draw out toxic elements from the body and store them in the hair itself.

Years ago, manufacturers learned that adding the element carbon to iron produced steal – a building material that was lighter weight, more flexible and stronger than the iron itself. Likewise, in our bodies we add silica to calcium to get a structure that is also lighter weight, more flexible, and stronger than a calcium structure on its own.  So, while we tout the benefits of adding calcium to our diets (and it does have a lot of benefits), we have other herbals that help us maintain a strong complete skeletal system as well. Some of them include:

  • horsetail – a rich source of silica. It is involved in the formation and maintenance of all the skeletal structures. Interestingly, it grows well here in Oklahoma. It can be consumed as a tea, a tincture or in supplements.
  • dandelion – it is a rich source of both calcium and silica. It not only helps the body grow strong bones, but can improved the strength of bones by providing calcium for repair and new growth. It also contains boron to help produce strong bones. I found a recipe that said use one teaspoon of dried dandelion in a cup of boiled water, steep it for ten minutes, strain it and drink three cups a day for best results.
  • lemongrass – great as a simple tea, it is rich in flavonoids which have been found to prevent bone loss!
  • hawthorn – these berries can be beneficial for bone repair in that they increase blood circulation and oxygenation, aiding in getting calcium from the bloodstream into the bones.
  • gotu kola – this herbal contains neither calcium nor silica, but it has been found to improve the health of both cartilage and ligaments that connect the bones.
  • nettle – one of the most nutritive herbs for bones because it contains an abundance of calcium in a readily absorbable form.
  • chamomile – it is effective in preventing gradual bone loss which often leads to osteoporosis.

Common problems associated with the skeletal system include: arthritis, osteoporosis and muscle cramps. If you have skeletal issues, talk to us about supplementation that may be an answer for you.  We have a staff of five Naturopathic Doctors who would be willing to talk with you via a brief phone conversation if you live far away, or a private in-store consultation if you are local. Find the herbals that will work for you and we’ll be glad to mail them to you. We offer 10% discounts to those who mention our blogs/podcasts and free shipping on orders over $50.

Add “skeletal” 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.

Container Gardening

So, what if you would love to have fresh foods to eat and you don’t mind the idea of growing them yourself, but you just don’t have a place to grow them.  You may live in an apartment with no yard. You may live in a community with Neighborhood Association rules that prevent your chopping up the yard. Or you just may not have the motivation to put in a full-fledged garden. Well, you can still have fresh food produced by your own hands. You can certainly use the idea of “container gardening.”

Even before we get to the “containers”, consider replacing the decorative concepts of trees and shrubs with fruit trees and berry plants that will serve the same purpose AND provide fruit and berries for your table.

Most fruit trees are also lovely to look at, bloom in season, and then produce a crop of tasty, nutritious fruit for family consumption.  And, truly, few shrubs are any lovelier than a blueberry – with dozens of varieties and even a variety of colors of foliage and fruit! Some other berry bushes – like thornless blackberries, bilberries, gooseberries, etc. – may be planted within your other flowering shrubs for contrast and fruit.

And don’t forget that there are many popular flowers that have edible parts – rose petals and rosehips make delicious tea and are rich in vitamin C; nasturtium leaves and blossoms are delicious in salads; technically broccoli, artichokes, and capers are the immature forms of these plant flowers; and one of the most expensive spices in the world is saffron, from a type of crocus flower. I did a simple search for “edible flowers on Wikipedia and found a list of about 50 edible flowers! Add some to your flowerbed and “spice up” your meals.

Last month, as an introduction to this concept, I posted “Literally, all you need is a container, some soil and some seeds.  You can grow an abundance of produce in a relatively small space.  My sister lives in an apartment and has only a 5’X6’ balcony, but it’s room for one chair and over a dozen different sizes of pretty pots.  She grows a lot.  And stuff grows in ugly pots like tin cans and soup cans as well as in the pretty ones. And when in the past I’ve done container gardening I didn’t adhere to the spacings listed on the seed pouches. The packet may have said plant one seed every 6”, but neither I nor my plants seemed to mind touching each other. I had a friend who planted everything she needed for salads in a half whiskey barrel and kept it going spring through fall.  When she picked one thing, she just put in a couple more seeds!”

An August 19, 2011 issue of the Southern Living magazine I found online presented “125 Container Gardening Ideas.” Among them were ideas for hanging baskets, indoor containers, outdoor pots, and many others. They suggested planting food crops in your containers, mixing perennial herbs with some annual veggies in the same larger planters, or substituting a large container for a traditional raised bed. You are limited only by your imagination – or your ability to “Ask Siri” for suggestions on your smartphone!

My wife and I garden, and we can/preserve each year.  Again, join me, and you too can control the quality and variety of foods you eat!  Good health and God’s blessings!

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

Healthy Body Systems: Mega-Chel

We’ve just 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.

What is Mega-Chel? Mega-Chel is Nature’s Sunshine’s umbrella product for the entire Circulatory System. It contains high levels of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glandular extracts, and other nutrients that have a history of “conditioning” the entire circulatory system. According to a resource card produced by Natures Healthy People, “Ingredients found in Mega-Chel reduce fatty deposits in the arteries; reduces blood cell clumping; lowers triglyceride, LDL and total cholesterol levels; improves vascular and heart muscle tone; and increases circulation, peripheral warming, and oxygenation of all body tissues.”

Why do we need it? Most of us know of someone (or perhaps you are that someone) who suffers from high cholesterol or hardening of the arteries. The function of plaque in the arteries is to “plug” cracks in the arteries, or cover foreign material that may be seen by the body as dangerous. LDL cholesterol and other floating fats may be seen as such a foreign material. So, the plaque simply acts as the glue or cover to adhere that material to the artery walls to “take it out of circulation. Over time, too much coverage of this type of material may narrow the diameter of the artery causing blockages. Most of us know of someone in the family who has required “stints” to re-open these arteries. And such blockages can also overwork the heart which is trying to pump adequate blood through these vessels – leading to strokes and heart attacks.

How does Mega-Chel work? As noted above, many of the ingredients in this product are for toning the system, “feeding” the system with needed nutrients, and soaking up and removing many of the unwanted elements in the system – a “cleansing” effect. But additionally, many of the ingredients are various minerals that serve the function of “chipping at’ or “scraping” the walls of the arteries. These minerals can remove the plaque from areas where the excess foreign material was covered without removing the “glue” from actual cracks where it is still needed.

This process should be accomplished slowly because stuff adhered to the walls long ago may be packed on, but new plaque will come off the walls quickly releasing those materials back into the bloodstream easily. And heavy scrubbing of those materials could release too much debris into the bloodstream too quickly producing headaches and excess fatigue.

Years ago, a Mega-Chel Program was introduced and has proven highly successful in removing decades of plaque buildup. We would be glad to share this program material with you and discuss how to best use it. Accomplishing the complete program would generally require about three months plus one month for each decade of your age. The cost would be limited to the cost of the required amount of Mega-Chel and also depends on your age. Drop by the store and talk with us about it if you are interested. I completed the Mega-Chel program about a decade ago and found it to be very helpful in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Successful use of this product DOES NOT require doing the complete program. I introduced it to an 85-year-old friend of mine some years ago and in two years reduced her arterial blockage by about ten points with minimal supplementation and enabled her to avoid arterial surgery.

If you have circulatory issues, talk to us about Mega-Chel supplementation. Add “circulatory” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

For more information about Mega-Chel, click on the link. Should you decide to purchase it, use sponsor number 10258.

Flower Essences: Cerato

We have all been there:  a decision needs to be made so we analyze, research, ask for advice or maybe use our “gut feeling”.  But what if that decision has been made and we begin to fret about if it was the right one. We question ourselves: “Did I do the right thing?” or “How will this decision affect the ones I love?”

https://www.bachcentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cerato.jpg

And on and on the questions roll until we begin to feel the pain of tumultuous anxiety.  Then anxiety lends itself to physical symptoms such as upset stomach, tension headache, and even more serious conditions such as hypertension.  While it is certainly prudent to do research and ask questions when needing to make decisions, always doubting the decisions and one’s own ability to make a “correct decision” is a pattern of thinking that can be destructive. This is where Flower Essences can be extremely helpful.

Mechthild Scheffer, Author of The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy” wrote: …. Bach Flower Therapy helps us to deal more constructively with the negative behavior patterns of human nature such as jealousy, impatience, inability to say no, timidity, and inappropriate guilt—patterns that are seen, by Dr. Bach as well as many others, as a deeper cause of physical illness.

Dr. Bach wrote: …Our Souls (the still small voice, God’s own voice) speak to us through our intuition, our instinct’s, our desires, our ideals, our ordinary likes and dislikes in whichever way it is easiest for us individually to hear: All true knowledge comes only from within ourselves in silent communication with our Souls …

Dr. Bach believed that we all can hear and trust the voice of God in making decisions for our life.  We can trust the intuitive in our decision making.  But many of us find ourselves questioning our ability to make a correct decision.

Dr. Bach developed the Cerato flower essence for such cases as “those who have not sufficient confidence in themselves to make their own decisions.  They constantly seek advice from others and are often misguided.”

The key symptom for needing Cerato is a lack of confidence in your own intuition.

  • Distrusting your own judgement
  • Constantly asking for advice from others
  • Give too much weight to other’s opinion.
  • Seeking confirmation.

Cerato, a flowering plant found native in the Himalayas, reaches about 2 feet in height.  It does not grow wild in Western countries but is cultivated in gardens.  In Bach Flower Therapy it is known as The Intuition Flower—moving from negative thought patterns of indecisiveness to inner certainty. It can be found as a single flower essence or in formulas designed to help with uncertainty and excessive fear. 

Using Cerato can help people begin to trust their own inner judgement or “gut feeling”.  As a person learns to form their own opinion and make decisions for themselves, their self – confidence will begin to flourish. 

Flower Essences are safe and can be used with children and pets, too. Four to ten drops can be placed under the tongue up to three times a day.  It can also be added to water for both humans and pets to drink.

Here at The Health Patch, we are happy to help you find the Flower Essence for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Emotional Balance: What are Flower Essences?

As humans, we are three-part beings—Spirit, Soul, and Body.  Spirit is our connection to God; the “new” man when we have been redeemed by Christ and this part is perfect, made in HIS image.  The Body, as we all well know can seem very imperfect from time to time with the aches, pains, trauma, and illnesses we can experience. Then there is the Soul: the mind, will, and emotions.  Our thought processes, our beliefs, and the emotions connected to the thoughts and beliefs. As natural health practitioners, it is our ministry to help others achieve balance in the whole being, and it is the soul or emotion part we will focus on today and discuss how emotions affect our well-being and how we can bring harmony into this area for better health.

 We all have these expressions called emotions and may even have experienced a wide range of them this past year as we have experienced the unknowns in our society. Emotions are a critical part of our human nature.  They communicate to us just like physical cues of hunger, pain, fatigue, and tension communicate to us.  Emotions tell us where we are in life and relations to ourselves and others.  They inform us of our spiritual and social needs.  The word “emotion” comes from the Latin root of emovere which means to move, remove or agitate; therefore, emotions were given to us by our Creator to move us or prompt us to do something.  They evoke emotion, and contrary to popular belief, emotions do not lie.  They are accurately communicating what our needs are, but our thoughts about those emotions can certainly be deceptive because they can misinterpret the message the emotion is trying to convey.  The thoughts about the emotions were shaped by those cues we received from the world around us.  Following these thoughts instead of the emotion messengers can lead to being out of touch with our emotions, therefore our needs.  When this occurs, we rely on two equally dysfunctional ways of dealing with our emotions.  We either suppress and deny our feeling or we blame and vent.  Neither of these strategies is effective because neither leads to a feeling of wellbeing.

Our goal is to find Emotional Balance.  To achieve emotional balance, we must learn to listen to the messages our emotions are telling us as well as identify the actual need behind the emotions.  We must then take responsibility for finding ways to get those needs met, not place that responsibility on another.  While many may try to reach this balance by attempting to change their emotions through their mind or body (that is, trying to change their thinking or take drugs that alter chemical messengers in the body that are involved in emotional response) there are ways of dealing directly with our emotions that can produce lasting changes.  One of these tools for emotional balance or healing is flower essences.

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are vibrational remedies made from the flowers of plants.  While “vibrational” remedies may sound a little strange, let me bring to mind other areas that are more familiar where vibrations or energy therapy is applied:  X-rays, radiation therapy for cancer, electrical nerve stimulation for treating pain, and full-spectrum light used to treat seasonal affective disorders.  So not a new idea, but certainly an effective one.  They were founded by Dr. Edward Bach, an English medical doctor born in 1886.  Dr. Bach had become frustrated by the symptomatic approach of “modern” medicine.  He felt that medical doctors focused too much on the pathology of illness and not on the patients themselves.  In his own observations, he noticed that each of his patient’s emotional states were a crucial part of their healing process.  It was this observation and theory that prompted Dr. Bach to begin work on his own remedies using the power of plants.  The flower essences were (and continue to be) created by placing fresh flowers in pure spring water in the sunlight.  The flowers were then removed and the water preserved with brandy to make a mother tincture.  The tincture is then diluted homeopathically. The dilution is so great that only the “vibration” of the plants remain.  The theory is that each flower used in the essence had to overcome many challenges in nature: extremes of temperature and harsh environmental conditions, and that plants, like people, have an “energy” or characteristics that help that person to overcome adversity.    Just as associating a person with positive traits can help us learn to meet life’s challenges, so can associating the right plant energies to bring balance to the soul of a person.  A flower essence captures the vibration of the plant’s personality which helps our own emotional energy.

When we take a flower essence, we are taking in the emotional energy of the plant which can break through blocks in our emotional world and help us feel things we may not be acknowledging.  This increased awareness of our emotions helps us make constructive changes in our lives and bring balance to the whole body.

During this next year, as we discuss holistic approaches to well-being in the home and body, I will bring to you each month a flower, its characteristic’s and the emotional challenges it can help a person to overcome. I am excited about this opportunity to share with you and I hope you find flower essences as exciting as I do.

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: American Ginseng

The word “simple” can have a few definitions if one were to look it up in the dictionary. One definition of simple is “easy to understand, deal with, or use.”  In reference to plants, the definition refers to an “herb or plant used for medicinal purposes.”  Obviously, as a natural health practitioner, this definition is my favorite, and I am excited to be bringing a “simple” to Natural Health Dialogue each month.  It is my hope that the information I share is “easy to understand, deal with, and use”. 

This month’s simple is American Ginseng.

Ginseng, derived from the Chinese word jen-shen meaning “the essence of man”, has long been valued in Asian countries and was once so revered that only the emperor was allowed to collect the plant.  Panax ginseng is the Asian or Korean species of ginseng and continues to be one of the most highly prized herbs in the world due to its ability to increase energy, physical stamina, and agility.

American Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius has historically been widespread in the Appalachian or Ozark regions of the U.S.   The temperate climate and shady, rich soil in these mountainous regions provide the unique requirements for the growth of ginseng. However, due to overharvesting and urban growth, the ginseng supply is far less than what it once was.  Fortunately, small doses still provide significant health benefits. 

While American Ginseng is less stimulating or energizing than Korean or Asian Ginseng, it contains similar energizing compounds called ginsenosides and a second group of compounds called panaxanes.  These compounds appear to have even more health benefits that include helping the body cope and adapt to stress, boost the immune system, and regulate blood sugar.  Ginseng also has antioxidants that are important in helping to prevent free radical damage that can cause premature aging.

This month, in our holistic dialogues, Dr. Lee has discussed digestion and how important it is for us to be digesting well.  As we age, digesting and utilizing nutrients well can become difficult.  American Ginseng’s medicinal properties make it greatly beneficial in building up and nourishing the digestive organs as well as helping the body to absorb nutrients more efficiently.

While generally safe and non-toxic there are some that should not use ginseng.  Persons with high blood pressure, acute inflammation, or acute illnesses such as cold or flu should not use ginseng.  High doses can cause insomnia and overstimulation.  However, 100 mg one to two times a day can be an effective long-term tonic for digestion, and the other health benefits listed above.

If you think American Ginseng is for you, we would love to help you here at The Health Patch.

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.

September

Overview: Awareness: Baby Safety, Children’s Eye Health & Safety, Cholesterol Education, Healthy Aging, Leukemia & Lymphoma, National Childhood Cancer, National Food Safety, Ovarian Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Sickle Cell, World Heart Flower: Aster, Morning Glory Gemstone: Sapphire Trees: Pine, Weeping Willow, Lime, Olive, Hazelnut

Labor Day:
Although this holiday has its origins as being a day set aside for people to meet with their labor unions, today it’s used as a day of rest and a time to destress. Stress (resulting from demands placed on the brain and body) is a situation that triggers a particular biological response. When you perceive a threat or a major challenge, chemicals and hormones surge throughout your body-such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Stress triggers one’s fight-or-flight response in order to fight the stressor or run away from it. Typically, after the response occurs, one’s body should relax. Too much constant stress can have negative effects on long-term health. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s what helped our hunter-gatherer ancestors survive, and it’s just as important in today’s world. It can be healthy when it helps one avoid an accident, meet a tight deadline, or keep one’s wits about them amid chaos.

But stress should be temporary. Once one passed the fight-or-flight moment, their heart rate and breathing should slow down and the muscles should relax. In a short time, one’s body should return to its natural state without any lasting negative effects.

On the other hand, severe, frequent, or prolonged stress can be mentally and physically harmful. This is due to the long-term effects of high levels of the stress chemicals and hormones. When asked, 80% of Americans reported they’d had at least one symptom of stress in the past month. Twenty percent reported being under extreme stress. Anxiety (resulting from feeling high levels of worry, unease, or fear) can be an offshoot of episodic or chronic stress.

Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, or the fight-or-flight hormone; increases heartbeat, increases breathing rate, makes it easier for muscles to use glucose, contracts blood vessels so blood is directed to the muscles, stimulates perspiration, and inhibits insulin production. Frequent adrenaline surges can lead to damaged blood vessels, high blood pressure or hypertension, higher risk of heart attack and stroke, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain.

Cortisol raises the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, helps the brain use glucose more effectively, raises the accessibility of substances that help with tissue repair, restrains functions that are nonessential in a life-threatening situation, alters immune system response, dampens the reproductive system and growth process, affects parts of the brain that control fear, motivation, and mood. Negative effects of cortisol are weight gain, high blood pressure, sleep problems, lack of energy, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, mental cloudiness (brain fog) and memory problems, a weakened immune system, impacts mood.

Symptoms of stress and anxiety include tension headaches, chronic pain, insomnia, and other sleep problems, lower sex drive, digestive problems, eating too much or too little, stomach ulcers, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed/irritable/fearful, alcohol/tobacco/drug misuse, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, panic disorder, depression, panic disorder, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, anger outbursts, lack of motivation/focus, social withdrawal, and exercising less often.

Stress and anxiety can be helped by using various strategies and resources to develop a stress management plan. Start by seeing a primary doctor, who can check one’s overall health and refer one for counseling with a therapist or other mental health professional. If one’s having thoughts of harming themselves or others, get help immediately. (See my August blog for more information.) Also, get emergency help immediately if one is having chest pains, especially if also having shortness of breath, jaw or back pain, pain radiating into the shoulder and arm, sweating, dizziness, or nausea. (These may be warning signs of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.)

The goal of stress management isn’t to get rid of it completely. In order to manage one’s stress, first one has to identify the things (triggers) that are causing the stress. Figure out which of these can be avoided. Then, find ways to cope with those negative stressors that can’t be avoided. Over time, managing stress levels may help lower the risk of stress-related diseases.

Some basic ways to start managing stress are to maintain a healthy diet, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, exercise regularly, minimize the use of caffeine and alcohol, stay socially connected so one can get and give support, make time for rest/relaxation/self-care, setting aside time for hobbies, read a book/listen to music/sing (stick with calming subject matter), learn meditation techniques such as deep breathing/yoga/tai chi/massage, keeping a sense of humor, spend time with animals, reconnect with one’s faith, and taking medication or natural remedies for stress. (Note: watching television, surfing the internet, or playing video games may seem relaxing, but they may increase stress over the long term.)

Some natural treatments for stress symptoms include magnesium, potassium, flower essences, St. John’s wort, S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e), B vitamins, inositol, choline, probiotics, fiber, citrus fruits, chamomile, hops, kava kava, essential fatty acids, holy basil, ashwagandha, astragalus, Schisandra, valerian, lavender, melatonin, passionflower, skullcap, hops, lemon balm, sage, marjoram, rosemary, elderflower, mugwort, cedarwood, black cohosh, ginkgo Biloba, ginseng, magnolia, Phellodendron, hibiscus, peppermint, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), l-theanine, l-tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).

Recipes:
Sweet Sleep Infusion: 1/4 cup lavender buds; 1/2 cup chamomile flowers; 1/4 cup dried orange peel; 2 tablespoons rose petals; honey; milk; water
Directions: Mix all herbs gently together and store them in a glass jar.
To Make: Heat water to boiling and pour over herbs. Use 2 teaspoons of herbs per 8 oz water. Steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain out the herbs and stir in honey and milk to taste-such as 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon honey per serving.

Chamomile Infusion Latte: 2 servings
Equipment: saucepan; mesh strainer; French press
Ingredients: 2 cups milk; 2 tablespoons chamomile; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; 5 cloves, crushed; 1 cinnamon stick + ground cinnamon for garnish
Directions: In a saucepan, heat milk on medium-low heat with chamomile, cinnamon stick, and cloves. When little bubbles form along the sides of the pan, let it simmer for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat. With the heat turned off, steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain hot chamomile latte into a French press. Add vanilla extract. Move the French press plunger 5-8 times to froth. Pour latte into 2 cups and garnish with ground cinnamon.

Lemon and Ginger Magnesium Tonic: Serves: 2
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated; 1 tablespoon powdered magnesium; 1 fresh lemon, sliced; 2 cups boiling water; honey, to taste (optional)
Directions: Mix ginger and magnesium with boiling water and honey. Add the lemon slices to the cups. Serve warm.

Orange Lavender Herbal Infusion: 2 oranges, any variety; 1 lemon; 1 apple; 1 bunch sage leaves; 1 tablespoon lavender; 8 dried apricot halves, chopped
Directions: Cut the citrus and apple into chunks and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add the sage, lavender, and apricots and spread into an even layer. Leave out in the open for 24 hours or so, until there is no more juice from the citrus. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature, around 200 degrees. Put the baking pan in the oven, leave the door open, and let the fruit dry out completely until there is no moisture whatsoever. Crumble the herbs and bigger pieces. Steep in boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Store the rest of the dry mixture in an airtight container.

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

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.

Uplifting Gifting

What is a gift? The word gift wandered through multiple meanings before arriving at its current common meaning: “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion without any particular effort or without its being earned.

Here are some “uplifting” gift ideas:

  • Take time to match the gift idea with the person. A friend of mine has a safari of animal items throughout her home. So I gifted her with an elephant salt & pepper shaker. The gift was meaningful and let her know that I’d noticed this special interest of hers.
  • Use Natural gift ideas such as health gift cards, spa gift cards or paid appointments for massage, facials, or reflexology. Candles, fruit baskets, essential oil gift sets, books or herbal teas to warm the soul may be appropriate. Herbal teas have many amazing health benefits and their aromas can evoke calm and peaceful feelings. No tea lover can ever have too much tea! Himalayan salt lamps are natural air purifiers. They cleanse the air and help ease allergies and asthma symptoms; they may help boost the mood and help one get deeper sleep.
  • Other uplifting holiday gift ideas are: Give someone a gift that is not a monetary object. Give something that will help their personal development, a personalized card, something you can share together, words of encouragement, create a keepsake wooden box and fill it with inspirational quotes.
  • Put thought into each gift. Ensure they are uplifting, positive, inspirational, motivational.

The ultimate Gift: Frankincense, Myrrh and gold. These were brought to the baby Jesus by the three Wise Men and WE are still benefiting from those today! Frankincense used as a resin or essential oil, is opening and is relaxing for both the mind and the body. Myrrh is used for inflammation and is applied to the mouth for soreness, swelling, inflamed gums and teeth, cancer sores and bad breath. Additionally, in Bible times, frankincense and myrrh, often used in combination, were burned in places of worship to help purify the air and prevent the spread of contagious diseases, including those caused by bacteria.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were the richest of gifts that could be offered to a newborn King. But their significance lies not so much in the fabulous wealth they represented, but instead the gifts are clues to the identity of the Wise Men and their recognition of the King!

And don’t forget the importance of the gift of LOVE.

Uplifting Gifting should not be focused on the cost or size of the gift, but the true spirit of giving is doing for others with no expectation of gain.

Your Wellness Friend:
Shirley Golden, Staff ND, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
The Health Patch 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.