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Archive for naturopathic supplements

Flower Essence: Rock Rose

I remember when completing my Traditional Naturopathy classes, having an instructor stating she kept Rock Rose in the car in case she was to come upon a car accident.  Another instructor stressed the importance of keeping the flower essence in a first aid kit.  They both taught the invaluable help flower essence can provide in acute shock and trauma. 

Dr. Edward Bach wrote that Rock Rose was “the remedy of emergency for cases where there even appears no hope.  In accident or sudden illness, or when the patient is very frightened or terrified, or if the condition is serious enough to cause great fear for those around”.

Rock Rose relates to courage and steadfastness.  It is helpful in moments of crises such as accidents, sudden illness, or natural disasters when it can be challenging for a person to cope.  In such a state it is common to feel helpless.

The energy of the Rock Rose can help move us from a state of fear to one of steadfastness and courage.  It allows us to manage an emergency with a calm mind and complete necessary tasks.

This flower essence can help us keep a healthy perspective in crisis and allow us to depend on our true refuge, strength, and very present help in trouble. 

Psalm 46:1

We here at The Healthpatch can help you find the best flower essence for you.

Kimberly Anderson, ND

This information is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose or treat disease.

Simples: Horsetail

With our emphasis on the skeletal system this month, our “Simple”—a single herb used for medicinal purposes—is Horsetail.

Horsetail has mild diuretic and kidney nourishing properties, making it helpful for encouraging the release of fluid in the body and for nourishing the kidney and urinary tract.  In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are directly related to the skeletal system and are said to “build the bones”.  The connection lies in the function of the kidney to flush acid waste from the body and when this waste is not eliminated adequately the body must neutralize the acid to keep a proper PH level.  The body completes the alkalizing step by using minerals and if there is not enough mineral “reserve” in the system, they will be borrowed from the bones.  If this borrowing system occurs frequently throughout one’s life, it can lead to structural problems such as neck and back pain, weakness in the legs and ankles and even osteoporosis.  Herbs like horsetail that have mineral electrolytes can help the kidneys flush waste as well as replenish mineral reserves. This helps keep the body from having to borrow from our skeletal system.

Horsetail is especially high in the mineral silica.  This is a natural compound made of two of earth’s most abundant material: silicon and oxygen and is found naturally in the body’s tissues.  Silica adds elasticity to tissues, making them strong and not brittle.  It is an essential element in collagen that helps hold our body together, providing elasticity, flexibility, and strength to the skeletal system.

Horsetail favors sandy soil and grows well in North America.  It is hearty and, once planted, can be hard to eradicate.  So, plant wisely 😊

Using horsetail in a powder (capsule) form or tincture is recommended.  It can be combined with other herbals for maximum benefit.  For hair, skin, and nails add Irish moss.  For urinary health, adding cornsilk is helpful.

We here at The Healthpatch can help you find the best herbal supplements for you.

Kimberly Anderson, ND

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat or diagnose disease.

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.

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

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.

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.

October

Overview: Awareness: Breast Cancer, Children’s Health, Dental Hygiene, Domestic Violence, Down Syndrome, Healthy Lung, National Chiropractic, National Physical Therapy, SIDS, Vegetarian Flower: Calendula Gemstone: Opal, Tourmaline Trees: Hazelnut, Rowan, Maple, Walnut

Halloween:
Halloween is one of those holidays that are challenging for those with diabetes. Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels. It is currently one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders around the world. In fact, type 2 diabetes now affects more than 20 million Americans.

Diabetics need to be extra cautious of what they add to their plate-especially during the holidays. There are many dishes that are loaded with sugars of all kinds. Sugars are naturally occurring carbohydrates. These include brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar, fructose, honey, and molasses. They have calories and raise one’s blood glucose levels (the level of sugar in the blood).

There are many different types of sugars that tend to have little to no effect on one’s blood sugar levels. They are:

  • Sucralose (Splenda)-It is 600 times sweeter than sugar, yet has no effect on blood sugar, says Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life. In addition, Splenda passes through the body with minimal absorption. These attributes have helped it become the most commonly used artificial sweetener worldwide, according to an article published in October 2016 in Physiology & Behavior. However, there are studies that show it to be a cancer-causing agent when heated above 350 degrees. And another study showed beneficial gut bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria were significantly reduced, while more harmful bacteria seemed to be less affected. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 5 milligrams (mg) or less of sucralose per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
  • Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)-It is calorie-free and is about 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar. It was the first artificial sweetener, with chemists discovering it as a derivative of coal tar by mistake in 1879, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Studies by the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health concluded that saccharin shouldn’t be on the list of potential carcinogens. Saccharin is currently FDA-approved. A 132-lb individual would need to consume 45 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 15 mg of saccharin per kg of body weight per day.
  • Aspartame (Equal)-It is a nonnutritive artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. While not zero-calorie, it is still very low in calories. A study published in December 2014 in the journal Cytotechnology, has shown linkage to leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer. “Other research shows a [possible] linkage to migraines.” People with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare condition in which they are unable to metabolize phenylalanine (a key component of aspartame), should not consume this sugar substitute. A 132-lb individual would need to consume a whopping 75 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 50 mg of aspartame per kg of body weight per day, notes the FDA.
  • Stevia (Truvia)-Steviol glycosides are sweeteners derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is native to Central and South America. It is calorie-free. However, it doesn’t have a 1:1 ratio (cup-for-cup) with sugar when using it in foods and drinks. Thus, one needs to remember a little stevia can go a long way. It can also gain a bitter taste when too much is used depending on the brand. According to the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, published in January 2019 in Diabetes Care, nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, have little to no impact on blood sugar. The FDA has approved the use of certain stevia extracts, which it has generally recognized as safe (a term that is applied to food additives that qualified experts deem as safe, and therefore not subject to the usual premarket review and approval process). Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes that people have reported side effects, like gastrointestinal symptoms, after eating high amounts of stevia. But to date, there is no solid scientific research to prove these claims. The FDA recommends an ADI of 4 mg or less of stevia per kilogram of body weight per day. A 132-lb individual would need to consume nine tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
  • Sugar Alcohols (or polyols)-They are derived from the natural fibers in fruits and vegetables, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. They include Xylitol (sourced from corn and birch trees), Sorbitol, Mannitol, and Isomalt. They may have a laxative effect and cause indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea in some people, the FDA points out. Products containing sorbitol and mannitol must bear a label warning that excess consumption can cause a laxative effect, per the FDA. The gastrointestinal symptoms arise because sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed in the digestive tract, says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE. She explains that unabsorbed carbohydrates from these sweeteners pass into the large intestine, where they are fermented by gut bacteria to produce gas. Sugar alcohols do contain some carbohydrates and are nutritive sweeteners, so they can affect blood sugar levels. If one counts carbs to manage diabetes, a common rule of thumb is to subtract half the amount of the sugar alcohol carbs listed on the nutrition label from the total carbs listed, according to the University of California in San Francisco. Also, they do have a 1:1 ratio with sugar when it comes to food and drink. When baking with yeast and making hard candies, these should not be used. And they are harmful to dogs.
  • Erythritol-It is also a sugar alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and doesn’t have a big effect on blood sugar levels, per the American Diabetes Association. It’s an ingredient in the stevia-derived sweetener Truvia and is marketed under the brand-name Swerve. Swerve measures 1:1 ratio with sugar. Thus, one can use it like table sugar, or in cooking and baking recipes that call for sugar. If other sugar alcohol sweeteners give one tummy trouble, this may be a better option for them. It is less likely to produce the gas, bloating, and diarrhea that happens from fermentation by gut bacteria because only about 10% of the erythritol consumed enters the colon, per past research. The rest leaves the body through the urine. There’s no ADI for erythritol.
  • Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo fruit extract and Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit extract)-This nonnutritive sweetener comes from a plant native to southern China. The extract contains 0 calories per serving, per the International Food Information Council Foundation, and per the FDA, is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA has not questioned notices submitted by monk fruit sweetener makers that the extract is “generally recognized as safe.” The agency doesn’t specify an ADI for monk fruit sweetener. It also has a 1:1 ratio with sugar.

As one can see, there are many artificial sweeteners to help one reach their blood sugar goals. Just remember that maintaining them will be easier if one practices moderation and don’t allow sweet-tasting food and beverages to lead one to overconsume them. A major goal should be to reduce all types of sweeteners in one’s diet, including sugar substitutes so that one becomes accustomed to the naturally sweet taste of food. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends that in the case of beverages, it’s best not to rely on zero- or low-calorie options as a replacement for ones that contain sugar beyond the short term; but instead, to consume as little of any type of sweetener as one can, and simply drink more water.

There are two types of fiber: water-insoluble and water-soluble. Water-insoluble fibers bind or attract water, becoming very viscous and add bulk to the stool. This bulking helps maintain normal bowel function by acting as a scouring agent in the bowel. Water-soluble fibers actually dissolve in water and are further altered by the bacteria in our intestines. However, all fibers can slow the absorption of sugar and fat from food, and therefore help prevent spikes in blood sugar and blood fat after eating, possibly reducing the inflammatory response to food. Fiber can also prevent the absorption of some fat and cholesterol altogether, lowering blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Calling fiber indigestible is not entirely accurate. Although we do not produce the needed enzymes to digest many of the fibers we eat in our diets, many of the bacteria that live in our intestines are able to break down, or ferment, fibers. It provides important nutrition for the bacteria to live and prosper, and so they are called pre-biotics. Many have heard of the fiber, fructooligosaccharides (FOS)/inulin. A few examples of inulin-containing foods are legumes, jicama, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Fiber is further important in normal detoxification functions in the body. Much of this detoxification occurs in the liver. When the liver detoxifies these substances, the end products are frequently eliminated in the bile, a liquid substance made in our liver, and secreted via the gall bladder into our intestinal tract. When we eat a high fiber diet, the fiber from our meals binds these toxins and allows us to eliminate these waste products. Without a lot of fiber in the diet, these toxins can be reabsorbed, go back to our liver, and need to be processed again. Requiring the liver to reprocess these toxins requires more energy and may result in higher levels of these toxins in the bloodstream.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends adults eat 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1000 calories eaten in the diet. For most of us, this translates into 21-28 grams of fiber per day. However higher fiber diets may have additional benefits for those people with diabetes, including reducing blood sugar, lowering insulin, and lowering cholesterol. A typical recommendation to patients is 35-40 grams of fiber per day ideally achieved through the diet alone, with additional fiber intake (usually as a powered supplement) for weight loss or to selectively target reduction in post-meal blood sugars. Many people need to increase their water intake when they increase their fiber intake to avoid constipation because of the water-binding/bulking effects of water-insoluble fibers. Fiber, in combination with fish oil, has extra benefits on triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Vegetables (like kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and lettuces), whole grains (like quinoa, barley, oats, and rye), nuts and legumes (beans, peas, soy, black, pinto, and lentils) remain the single best sources of fiber in the diet. Quick sources of supplemental fiber include ground flaxseed (freshly ground to preserve the oils present in the seeds), powered fiber supplements, chopped nuts, and/or oat bran. All of these can be sprinkled over salads, mixed in protein-shakes or water, or added to yogurt, salads, and vegetable medleys.

Psyllium, oat bran, glucomannan (Konjac), corn bran, peas, and agar have all been studied in people with type 2 diabetes. They all demonstrated substantial reductions in blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and/or weight in study participants. Wheat fiber has also been studied but did not result in improvements in blood glucose or cholesterol in people with diabetes, though this was a very small and short study. Some people cannot tolerate fiber supplements (psyllium being the most commonly reported) as it produces gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation. These are the signs of food intolerance. Also, it is important to determine wheat/gluten sensitivity before choosing to supplement with oat, wheat, rye, or barley bran as a fiber source.

There are many herbal supplements that aid in reducing blood glucose levels. A few are:

  • Curcumin (a compound found in turmeric)-It has been shown to both boost blood sugar control and help prevent the disease. In a nine-month study of 240 adults with pre-diabetes, those who took curcumin capsules completely avoided developing diabetes while a sixth of patients in the placebo group did.
  • Ginseng-It has been used as a traditional medicine for more than 2,000 years. Studies suggest that both Asian and American ginseng may help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. One study found that extract from the ginseng berry was able to normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in mice who were bred to develop diabetes.
  • Fenugreek-It has been used as a medicine and as a spice for thousands of years in the Middle East. In one study of 25 people with type 2 diabetes, fenugreek was found to have a significant effect on controlling blood sugar.
  • Psyllium-Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes who take 10 grams of psyllium every day can improve their blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol.
  • Cinnamon-Consuming about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can result in significant improvement in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Aloe Vera-It has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties. Some studies suggest that the juice from the aloe vera plant can help lower blood sugar in people with types 2 diabetes. The dried sap of the aloe vera plant has traditionally been used in Arabia to treat diabetes.
  • Bitter melon-This is a popular ingredient of Asian cooking and traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed to relieve thirst and fatigue, which are possible symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that the extract of bitter melon can help diabetics with insulin secretion, glucose oxidation, and other processes.
  • Milk thistle (aka silymarin)-It has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Milk thistle may reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have liver disease. It contains high concentrations of flavonoids and antioxidants, some of which may have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance. The role of milk thistle in glycemic control is little understood.
  • Holy basil (Tulsi)-It is commonly used in India as a traditional medicine for diabetes. Studies in animals suggest that holy basil may increase the secretion of insulin. A controlled trial of holy basil in people with type 2 diabetes showed a positive effect on fasting blood sugar and on blood sugar following a meal.
  • Neem-It has been long used as a treatment for diabetes. Aqueous extract of neem leaves significantly decreases blood sugar level and prevents adrenaline as well as glucose-induced hyperglycemia. Aqueous leaf extract also reduces hyperglycemia in streptozotocin diabetes and the effect is possibly due to the presence of a flavonoid, quercetin. The plant blocks the action of epinephrine on glucose metabolism, thus increasing peripheral glucose utilization. It also increased glucose uptake and glycogen deposition in isolated rat hemidiaphragm.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre-It has been linked with significant blood-glucose-lowering. Some studies in animals have even reported regeneration of islet cells and an increase in beta-cell function.
  • Nopal (prickly pear cactus)-Inhabitants of the Mexican desert have traditionally employed the plant in glucose control. Intestinal glucose uptake may be affected by some properties of the plant, and animal studies have found significant decreases in postprandial glucose and HbA1c.
  • Okra (bhindi)-It is a rich source of fiber, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin B6, and folate. B vitamins slow the progress of diabetic neuropathy and reduce levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for this disease. This vegetable has a very low glycemic index. 100 grams of bhindi contains only 7.45 grams of carbohydrates. It is one of the few vegetables, which is also dense in protein. Diabetics are often advised to keep their diet high in protein as it helps keep them satiated and prevent bingeing on other sugary foods. 100 grams of bhindi has less than 33 calories. In addition to the blood-glucose-lowering compounds, okra is also a powerhouse of antioxidants. It is also enriched with anti-inflammatory properties.

There are several vitamins and minerals that aid in reducing blood sugar levels:

  • Chromium-It is required for the maintenance of normal glucose metabolism. Effects of chromium on glycemic control, dyslipidemia, weight loss, body composition, and bone density have all been studied. Considerable experimental and epidemiological evidence now indicates that chromium level is a major determinant of insulin sensitivity, as it functions as a cofactor in all insulin-regulating activities. Chromium facilitates insulin binding and subsequent uptake of glucose into the cell. Supplemental chromium has been shown to decrease fasting glucose level, improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels, and decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides while increases HDL cholesterol in normal, elderly, and type 2 diabetic subjects. Without chromium, insulin action is blocked and the glucose level is elevated. Although a low recommended daily allowance has been established for chromium over 200 mg/day appears necessary for optimal blood sugar regulation. A good supply of chromium is assured by supplemental chromium because chromium appears to increase the activity of the insulin receptors, it is logical to expect that an adequate level of insulin must also be present. Those using chromium supplements should be cautioned about the potential for hypoglycemia, and monitoring renal function is prudent.
  • Vanadium-Several small trials have evaluated the use of oral vanadium supplements in diabetes. Most focus on type-2 diabetes although animal studies suggest that vanadium has also potential benefits in type 1 diabetes. In a subject with type 2 diabetes, vanadium increased insulin sensitivity as assessed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp studies in some but not all trials. Two small studies have confirmed the effectiveness of vanadyl sulfate at a dose of 100 mg/day in improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Magnesium-These mineral functions as an essential cofactor for more than 300 enzymes. Magnesium is one of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in diabetes. Low dietary magnesium intake has been associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in some but not in all studies. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with complications of diabetes, retinopathy in particular. One study found patients with the most severe retinopathy were also lowest in magnesium.
  • Nicotinamide (vitamin B3)-It occurs in two forms, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide. The active coenzyme forms (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD and NAD phosphate) are essential for the functions of hundreds of enzymes and normal carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. The effects of nicotinamide supplementation have been studied in several trials focusing on the development and progression of type 1 diabetes a meta-analysis and one small trial in type 2 diabetes. Nicotinamide appears to be most effective in newly diagnosed diabetes and in subjects with positive islets cell antibodies but not diabetes. People who develop type 1 diabetes after puberty appear to be more responsive to nicotinamide treatment. Study results have offered more support for the idea that nicotinamide help to preserve β-cell function than for its possible role in diabetes prevention.
  • Vitamin E-This essential fat-soluble vitamin functions primarily as an antioxidant. Low levels of vitamin E are associated with an increased incidence of diabetes and some research suggests that people with diabetes have decreased levels of antioxidants. People with diabetes may also have greater antioxidant requirements because of increased free radical production with hyperglycemia. Increased levels of oxidative stress markers have been documented in people with diabetes. Improvement in glycemic control decreases markers of oxidative stress as does vitamin supplementation. Clinical trials involving people with diabetes have investigated the effect of vitamin E on diabetes prevention insulin sensitivity glycemic control, protein glycation, a microvascular complication of diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and its risk factor.

Recipes:

  • Okra Water: 5 okra pods, medium-sized; 3 cups of water. Directions: Take the okra pods and wash them thoroughly. Cut off the ends of the pods. Now, with the help of a knife split the pods in half. Take a mason jar or a tumbler with three cups of water and put the pods in it. Let the pods soak overnight. Squeeze the pods into the water and take them out. Drink the water.
  • Chocolate Candy: 1 cup coconut oil; 1/3 cup xylitol; 3/4 cup cacao powder; 1/4 teaspoon stevia extract; 1/3 cup coconut flour. Directions: If you have granulated xylitol, begin by putting it in a food processor or coffee grinder and whiz it around for a minute or two until the xylitol is powdered. It will dissolve SO much easier if you don’t skip this step. Next, place your coconut oil in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it is liquid. Add your xylitol and stevia, continuing to warm until the sweeteners are dissolved. Be careful not to boil. Add the cacao powder and coconut flour and stir until dissolved in the mixture and well combined. Finally, pour your chocolate into some type of silicone tray and place it in the freezer until solid. After the candies have hardened (it doesn’t take long), pop them out of the tray, place in a ziplock baggie, and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Homemade Peanut Butter Cups: 1/4 cup nut butter; 1-2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (optional) ; pinch salt (optional); 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional); 2 teaspoons coconut oil. Directions: For the base: Carefully melt the chocolate chips and stir with the optional oil until smooth. Spread about 1 tsp up the sides of mini cupcake liners. Freeze. Meanwhile, stir nut butter together with the optional sweetener and salt. Add about a teaspoon of filling to each liner, then cover with another tsp chocolate. Freeze again to set. Variations: *Nut Butter & Jelly: Make the base. Fill with nut butter and jelly. *Dark Chocolate Coconut: Use melted coconut butter as your base (stir in a little sweetener of choice if desired). Fill with melted chocolate chips. *Inside Out: Stir 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter with 1/4 cup coconut oil and 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice. Use this instead of the chocolate coating in the base. Melt 3 tablespoons chocolate chips as filling. *Chocolate Banana: Use mashed banana instead of nut butter for the filling. *Strawberry Jam: Combine 3 tablespoon coconut butter with 2 teaspoons mashed strawberry and optional sweetener of choice to taste. Use this as your base, and fill with nut butter of choice. *Raspberry Truffle: Fill the base with raspberry jam.
  • Vegan Candy Corn: 1/4 cup cashew butter (or peanut butter); tiny dash salt; 1/4 cup powdered sugar; tiny pinch turmeric; a few drops beet juice. Directions: Mix the first three ingredients together in a bowl until it becomes a crumbly dough. (Note: if your nut butter is from the fridge, let it sit awhile or heat it up so it’s easier to mix.) If the dough is too gooey, you can add a little extra sugar. Taste the dough and add a little more salt if desired. Now transfer the crumbles to a plastic bag and smush very hard into a ball. Remove from the bag and form three little balls, the turmeric to one ball, and knead until it’s all one color. Do the same with the red. Roll balls into skinny strips—the skinnier the strips, the smaller the resulting candy corns, and press strips together. Cut into triangles or other shapes. As stated above in the post, these aren’t supposed to taste exactly like store-bought candy corn; they’re yummy in their own right. You can store it in the fridge or freezer. Or bake them: 350 F for 3-5 minutes, then allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tray.
  • Ginger Lemon Tea with Cinnamon: Servings: 8 Ingredients: 1 oz. fresh ginger, thinly sliced; 1 cinnamon stick; 8 cups water; 1 medium lemon; ¼ cup honey. Directions: Juice ½ of the lemon using a citrus juicer. Reserve juice. Discard the seeds and peel. Slice the remaining half lemon horizontally. Set aside. Place ginger, cinnamon stick, and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard the ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the lemon juice and honey into the ginger tea. Pour individual cups. Garnish with a slice of lemon. Serve and enjoy.
  • Tea for Blood Sugar Management: 25 grams holy basil; 20 grams cinnamon; 20 grams Gymnema Sylvestre; 10 grams fenugreek; 15 grams orange peel; 10 grams ginger. Directions: Mix the following herbs and spices together. Dried leaves and spices can be stored for a long period of time in a glass jar in a cool dark place. Makes a total of 100 grams of the mix. To prepare the tea: Take a teaspoon of the herbal mix and add it to a cup or use paper tea filters. Add 8 ounces hot water into the cup and cover for 10 minutes so the herbs are infused in water. Enjoy this tea 15 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.

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

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

Kidney Cleansing

The kidneys are tasked with constantly cleansing all the liquids taken into the body. And my family (and many others that I know personally) have many family members with weak kidneys. Some suffer from genetic weaknesses, some from lack of proper care of their kidneys, and some from the abuse of putting things in their bodies that are damaging to the kidneys. There are many things we can do to strengthen our kidneys and we need to be diligent in doing so or kidney disease, dialysis, or kidney loss are in our futures.

We will talk about how we can promote proper kidney function and health in our next blog, but here I want to discuss this year’s topic – cleansing – and specifically “how to keep the kidneys clean.”

In almost every article I write the subject of water is addressed. Water is essential to virtually EVERY body function. Medical articles I have read say that “66% of the body is water.” So, NO body system functions well without adequate water. Remember my rule of thumb regarding water: our goal should be to drink half our body weight in ounces of water each day, keeping a minimum regardless of your body weight of 64 ounces and normally, a maximum of 100 ounces. More than that may wash out some essential body salts and other essential nutrients. This is a general rule and you should consult a doctor for specific guidelines if your condition warrants it. The body can only assimilate about four ounces per hour, so sipping all day will hydrate you better than guzzling a 16-ounce bottle four times each day.

So, as we address cleansing the kidneys, adequate water is the first order of business. The kidney is removing foreign matter, toxins, and other impurities from the whole body. It does this through a series of around one million nephron filters. We don’t want them to get clogged in the system and begin to make the whole structure toxic, blocked, or developing stones.

Next, don’t hold on to those toxic substances. Use of some light diuretic may need to be a regular part of your dietary program if you know you have weak kidneys. You may be surprised to find that our best two common herbal diuretics are dandelion root and parsley. Fresh dandelion greens make a great addition to spring salads and taste much like arugula, slightly bitter. And common dandelion tea is popular and a roasted version is a popular coffee substitute with no caffeine.

We once had a test in which customers brought in saliva and urine samples to find weak body systems. The developer of that test told herbalists that upwards of 90% of his customers would find their weakest organ to be the kidney because of all the work it had to do. I found that to be true with my customers as well. So, he worked with customers to develop a liquid supplement specifically to drain the kidneys. It consisted of extracts of asparagus, plantain leaves, juniper berries, and the aerial parts of goldenrod. You simply put 20 drops in a bottle of water and sip on two such bottles throughout the day. It works great!

Other popular herbal kidney cleansing formulas contain extracts of rosemary, fennel, nettle root, horseradish, and others. Some products promote proper functioning, stimulate weak kidneys, and are called “activators” and some are simple “cleanses”. They come using both American and Chinese herbal formulas and both seem to work effectively for putting your kidneys back in proper functionality.

Keep your kidneys clean and they will serve you well. 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.

Back to School – in 2020!

It’s that time of year again. And what a different world we live in this year. “Back to School” means many different things to the kids (and their parents) this year. Some will return to the classroom, some will do on-line training, some will homeschool, and some have joined small community co-ops with diverse curricula. So, the health challenges are just as diverse.

I’m not even going to comment on the viral concerns directly. We get new updates, advice, and regulation almost hourly. But there are still some other health concerns that we need to address – regardless of how or where we’ll learn this year. So, much of this is relooking at advice from years past.

First, a well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is still a necessity. The purpose of every cell in our bodies is to produce energy. But they must have a balance of proper nutrients as well as adequate water, exercise and rest to accomplish this task. Since most of us don’t get regular, well-balanced meals, supplements help to meet this need.

Mental alertness is imperative. It’s tougher than ever to focus on “learning” – but it is certainly necessary! Establish a routine early in the school year. Schedule adequate time for rest, exercise, homework, and desired activities. And since many longtime athletic and extracurricular activities have been canceled this year, you may need to get truly creative to ensure your kids don’t become “couch potatoes.” There are some wonderful natural nutritional supplements to help with mental alertness, too. They can aid with focus and concentration. This is especially important if your child has focus and attention challenges.

This year especially, consider adding immune system boosters to your child’s supplement regimen. I’d recommend an echinacea or elderberry supplement. And don’t forget to include good, old fashioned hygiene. To “sanitize” I add “cleanse”. Wash often, bathe regularly using antibacterial soap, brush your teeth after each meal, and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

As if our kids didn’t have enough stress in this year of the pandemic, remember that the new school year also brings on other conditions for the average student: increased mental stress and increased muscle aches and pains for those involved in outdoor activities, and increased emotional anxiety. Each student experiences these on different levels. Watch your students and listen to them. If a supplement is in order to help them adjust, contact your health food store or herb shop.

This year this “wonderful time of the year” has added burdens for our children. We’ll need to be diligent to put a positive twist on every adventure. Enjoy life and make it full. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.