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Super Spices

spicesSpice up your life! Doesn’t that conjure up exotic thoughts of passion and that “something special” about adding a new dimension to your life? Interestingly, the whole idea of spices is to add that something special. Food can be just nourishment to keep us alive, but add some spices and turn the meal to pure joy! There are thousands of spies; here are some of my favorites.

Cinnamon is listed in most texts as one of the spices that spurred world exploration. Studies conducted by Japanese researchers have shown that it contains a substance that is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It helps to control virulent outbreaks by many microorganisms including the one that causes botulism and staphylococcus. Historically it has been used for treating bronchitis, arthritis, diarrhea, stomach upset, fever, nausea, parasites, rheumatism, and vomiting. Besides, don’t you just love hot cinnamon apples on a cold winter day?

The Spaniards introduced Ginger to the Americas in the 16th century. It is known to inhibit an enzyme that causes cells to clot and, as such, help to prevent “little strokes”. It helps to relieve nausea, to relieve congestion in the sinus cavities, to warm blood vascular stimulation, to treat sore throats, and as a body cleanser. Herbalists have long recommended it as a regulator of blood cholesterol and to improve blood circulation. In China, ginger is used for bronchitis, flu, and the first stages of the common cold. And at the table, it adds a special zing to some otherwise bland cuisine.

Herbalists have used Clove for centuries to cure nausea and rid the stomach and intestine of gas. Its essential oil is today one of the most effective pain relieving agents used by dentists and has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties. It also helps relieve bad breath, poor circulation, dizziness, nausea, and dysentery. Oh, by the way, it is also said to increase sex drive (just what you need on those cold winter nights!).

Star anise adds the delightful flavor of licorice. It was used by the Romans to provide a delightful palette and to help prevent indigestion from overeating. And today it is a popular addition to cough syrups, mouthwashes, candies, and bakery goods. It is a cell stimulator for the heart, liver, brain, and lungs, and its volatile oils can be helpful for treating bronchitis, spasmodic asthma, and emphysema. It can also be used for colds, coughs, indigestion, excessive mucus, pneumonia, loss of appetite, and stimulating most of the glands.

Oregano was named by the Greeks and means “joy of the mountain.” Technically it is wild marjoram. While its aromatic influence is to strengthen the feeling of security, it has anti-viral qualities. It may aid the body in balancing metabolism and is useful as a tea for coughs, stomach and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pains. “Oregano has also been used for nervous headaches, irritability, exhaustion, and as a sedative. It is thought to prevent seasickness. It can be applied externally for swelling, rheumatism, and a stiff neck. Chewing on an oregano leaf provides temporary relief for a toothache.”

“Basil was said to have been found growing around Christ’s tomb after the resurrection, and some churches use basil to prepare holy water while others set it around their altars. The Indians swore their oaths upon this herb.” Its aromatic influence is reported by many to help one have an open mind. “Basil is food for the brain. When you feel victimized or criticized, eat some basil.” Basil also works as an antidepressant, is helpful for nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue is anti-viral in its use against the flu and helps to relieve itching and ringworm. It may also be used for indigestion, kidney and bladder problems, headaches, cramps, and constipation. And in Africa, it is used to expel parasitic worms.

These and many other have medicinal value. That can sound dry and clinical, but they also just add joy to our lives. Isn’t that what makes them “Super Spices?” And that is a blessing.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Spicy Holidays

spices, spicy, holiday, turkeyBecause of all the recent interest in herbs for medicinal purposes, many of us forget that “herbs and spices” were first thought of as a cooking term. But it is especially wonderful at this time of year to stop and think about how the herbs and spices that we use in our holiday treats make them special for us. An exhaustive treatment of this subject would require books, but here I’ll present a few of my favorites. Much of the information is from a couple of my favorite books on the subject: Dr. Jack Ritchason’s Little Herb Encyclopedia and Hanna Kroeger’s Spices to the Rescue.

A friend from Puerto Rico gave me the recipe for my favorite way to fix a turkey for the holidays. And therefore we just call it “Puerto Rican turkey”. It is spicy and the skin is “hot” and zesty. Finely chop several cloves of garlic. Add them to one-fourth cup of each of the following: black pepper, oregano, and basil. Add to this mixture one-cup of raw Apple Cider Vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will form a paste when can be rubbed all over the turkey including the inside cavity. Then bake the turkey as you normally would. Your kitchen will smell like heaven and your taste buds will certainly be prepared for the feast to follow.

Why are we attracted to the wonderful taste of these spices? I think it is just one of the ways that God has of drawing us to some nutrients that are really beneficial to us. Look at the health benefits from just the ingredients in this one recipe.

Black pepper cures and prevents many diseases. “It is a digestive aid, relieving gas, and has been used as a tea for running bowels. It is good for constipation, nausea, vertigo, and arthritis. It is a diuretic and a stimulant. Black pepper is loaded with chromium which is needed for proper functioning of the pancreas and heart.” You can also sprinkle a bit of it on some honey and eat it to help alleviate infected sinuses.

Oregano was named by the Greeks and means “joy of the mountain”. Technically it is wild marjoram. While its aromatic influence is to strengthen the feeling of security, it has anti-viral qualities. It may aid the body in balancing metabolism and is useful as a tea for coughs, stomach and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pains. “Oregano has also been used for nervous headaches, irritability, exhaustion, and as a sedative. It is thought to prevent seasickness. It can be applied externally for swelling, rheumatism, and a stiff neck. Chewing on an oregano leaf provides temporary relief for a toothache.”

“Basil was said to have been found growing around Christ’s tomb after the resurrection, and some churches use basil to prepare holy water while others set it around their altars. The Indians swore their oaths upon this herb.” Its aromatic influence is reported by many to help one have an open mind. “Basil is food for the brain. When you feel victimized or criticized, eat some basil.” Basil also works as an antidepressant, is helpful for nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue, is anti-viral in its use against the flu, and helps to relieve itching and ringworm. It may also be used for indigestion, kidney and bladder problems, headaches, cramps, and constipation. And in Africa, it is used to expel parasitic worms.

We could write books (and some have!) about the health benefits of garlic. Helping both the physical and mental bodies, “garlic has been prized by healers for more than 5,000 years. Pyramid builders and Roman soldiers on long marches were given a daily ration of garlic. Garlic is so strong an antibiotic that the English purchased tons of it during World War I for use on wounds. Journals of that period state that, when garlic was used on wounds, there were no cases of sepsis. It is a world-renowned cure-all and home remedy in practically every culture. Today even orthodox medicine accepts its healing powers.”

And if we follow the advice of Dr. Paul C. Bragg, perhaps the best-known advocate of daily use of apple cider vinegar, we’ll use vinegar in many tonics several times each day. He espouses its benefits to the digestive and circulatory systems, the bowel, and certainly the mind.

These are only a few of the spices we may find in our pantries and cupboards. We use them to prepare special dishes all the time. But we probably take for granted the wonderful health benefits they give to us. Perhaps, like my family, you may enjoy a Puerto Rican turkey this holiday season. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

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

Staff Intro

Community Spotlight

The Health Patch
Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health

Randy Lee, the owner of The Health Patch has been interested in health care since he was a youth. His goal as a young man was to attend medical school and care for his family and friends. Lack of finances prevented medical school, but did not diminish his interest in the health care field. So in 1997 he opened an alternative health care supplement store and called it Nana’s Pawpaw Patch – he and his wife are Nana and Pawpaw to seven wonderful grandchildren, and he grew up eating pawpaw fruit in rural Arkansas.

Nana’s Pawpaw Patch has been open in Midwest City for 21 years. The store has blossomed. The alternative health care field has further evolved and both the store product focus and staff have grown with the times.

naturopathic doctorsIn April, 2016, the store “rebranded.” The new store, “The Health Patch,” is indeed “cultivating naturopathic care for total health.” Along with Randy, the other staff members – Shirley Golden, Jolene Griffiths, and Cheryl Sevy – have all become Naturopathic Doctors. The remaining staff member, Kim Anderson, already a Naturopathic Doctor, joined the staff this year. We believe this to be the most certified and capable staff of any like store in Oklahoma!

Once trending toward the health food format, the store is now moving toward full naturopathic care for its customers. Bulk herbs, essential oils, many varieties of teas, personal care products, fruit juices, alternative sweeteners, and numerous products for making your own protein shakes are currently among our products. We also cater to crafters and those who wish to make their own personal care products.

Besides having an extensive line of herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals, the staff has the knowledge as to how to use them. And while any customer can get free information about the products by simply visiting the store, you may also now schedule private consultations with any of the staff members and allow them to track your wellness progress.

Our website includes weekly blogs, podcasts, videos, and most recently, an evolving e-commerce, online store where customers may purchase many of the products available in the brick-and-mortar storefront.

The store mission statement is “We want to help our customers attain and maintain Wellness – Physically, Materially, Emotionally and Spiritually.” In-store conversations, private consultations, free classes, and the best supplements available focus us toward reaching this goal.

The Health Patch is located at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, in the Village Oak Shopping Center in Midwest City. For more information, call 405-736-1030 or visit thehealthpatch.com.

Spicey Thanksgiving

turkey, spiceyBecause of all the recent interest in herbs for medicinal purposes, many of us forget that “herbs and spices” were first thought of as a cooking term. But it is especially wonderful at this time of year to stop and think about how the herbs and spices that we use in our holiday treats make them special for us. An exhaustive treatment of this subject would require books, but here I’ll present a few of my favorites. Much of the information is from a couple of my favorite books on the subject: Dr. Jack Ritchason’s Little Herb Encyclopedia and Hanna Kroeger’s Spices to the Rescue.

A friend from Puerto Rico gave me the recipe for my favorite way to fix a turkey for Thanksgiving. And therefore we just call it “Puerto Rican turkey”. It is spicy and the skin is “hot” and zesty. Finely chop several cloves of garlic. Add them to one-fourth cup of each of the following: black pepper, oregano, and basil. Add to this mixture one-cup of vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will form a paste when can be rubbed all over the turkey including the inside cavity. Then bake the turkey as you normally would. Your kitchen will smell like heaven and your taste buds will certainly be prepared for the feast to follow.

Why are we attracted to the wonderful taste of these spices? I think it is just one of the ways that God has of drawing us to some nutrients that are really beneficial to us. Look at the health benefits from just the ingredients in this one recipe.

Black pepper cures and prevents many diseases. “It is a digestive aid, relieving gas, and has been used as a tea for running bowels. It is good for constipation, nausea, vertigo, and arthritis. It is a diuretic and a stimulant. Black pepper is loaded with chromium which is needed for proper functioning of the pancreas and heart.” You can also sprinkle a bit of it on some honey and eat it to help alleviate infected sinuses.

Oregano was named by the Greeks and means “joy of the mountain”. Technically it is wild marjoram. While its aromatic influence is to strengthen the feeling of security, it has anti-viral qualities. It may aid the body in balancing metabolism and is useful as a tea for coughs, stomach and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pains. “Oregano has also been used for nervous headaches, irritability, exhaustion, and as a sedative. It is thought to prevent seasickness. It can be applied externally for swelling, rheumatism, and a stiff neck. Chewing on an oregano leaf provides temporary relief for a toothache.”

Basil was said to have been found growing around Christ’s tomb after the resurrection, and some churches use basil to prepare holy water while others set it around their altars. The Indians swore their oaths upon this herb. Its aromatic influence is reported by many to help one have an open mind. “Basil is food for the brain. When you feel victimized or criticized, eat some basil.” Basil also works as an antidepressant, is helpful for nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue is anti-viral in its use against the flu and helps to relieve itching and ringworm. It may also be used for indigestion, kidney and bladder problems, headaches, cramps, and constipation. And in Africa, it is used to expel parasitic worms.

We could write books (and some have!) about the health benefits of garlic. Helping both the physical and mental bodies, “garlic has been prized by healers for more than 5,000 years. Pyramid builders and Roman soldiers on long marches were given a daily ration of garlic. Garlic is so strong an antibiotic that the English purchased tons of it during World War I for use on wounds. Journals of that period state that, when garlic was used on wounds, there were no cases of sepsis. It is a world-renowned cure-all and home remedy in practically every culture. Today even orthodox medicine accepts it healing powers.”

And if we follow the advice of Dr. Paul C. Bragg, perhaps the best-known advocate of daily use of apple cider vinegar, we’ll use vinegar in many tonics several times each day. He espouses its benefits to the digestive and circulatory systems, the bowel, and certainly the mind.

These are only a few of the spices we may find in our pantries and cupboards. We use them to prepare special dishes all the time. But we probably take for granted the wonderful health benefits they give to us. Perhaps, like my family, you may enjoy a Puerto Rican turkey this Thanksgiving. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Aromatherapy Intro

Do you remember entering your grandmother’s kitchen and being greeted by the aroma of fresh bread in the oven? How about the smell of a hot apple pie, the spicy pungency of your dad’s aftershave, or the scent of the earth right after a spring rain? I have a friend who has, with age, lost her sense of smell and she often tells me how much real joy has been lost in her life as a result.

I teach a ten-week course on herbs for the various body systems and every time we get to the digestive system I ask, “Where does the digestive process begin?” Obvious answers are “on the tongue” or “in the mouth.” But the real answer is “in the nose.” That’s right. As soon as we smell our food, in anticipation, our bodies begin to secrete digestive juices in both the mouth and the stomach. That’s one reason it is so important to “prepare” to eat our meals. Smell the aromas. Savor the smells. Take time to chew and enjoy the food.

Well, there’s certainly more to aromatherapy than eating and smelling our food. Aromatherapy is all tied up in using aromas and the essences of materials to heal. The most common method of doing this is to use the essential oils that are extracted from plants. These essential oils are the very “essence” of the plants. And the oils will contain all the healing properties of the plant material in a very concentrated form. They are the vital energies from the plants and they help to heal us on all our levels – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Quoting from Common Scents by internationally renowned aroma therapist Lorrie Hargis, “Essential oils are therapeutic because they have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, analgesic, calming, soothing and revitalizing chemical constituents.”

It is extremely easy to extract the essential oils from some materials. For example, take a piece of orange peel and bend it double while holding it up to a window. See the “spray” from the peel? That’s the oil. And it’s so easy to extract that the cost of essential oils from most citrus products is very inexpensive. But it make take up to three or four tons of some rose petals to extract a single pound of its oil. So, pure, undiluted rose oil is very expensive. Not to worry! Most of the essential oils are used by the drop, diluted in carrier oils. Carrier oils are more common and inexpensive oils which contain very little (and easily overpowered) aroma of their own. A simple list of common carrier oils includes sweet almond, apricot kernel, grapeseed, avocado, macadamia nut, hazelnut, and jojoba. Even common vegetable oils – olive, canola, and sunflower – may be used as carriers. Carrier oils dilute the more expensive oils (needed due to the potency of the essential oils), extend the uses of the essential oils, and “carry” all the benefits to our betterment.

Each essential oil can be placed into a chemical family such as phenols, ketones, etc. Each family has a number of chemical constituents, and each oil may contain a number of these constituents. Therefore, each oil is unique and has a number of healing properties. For example, lavender is commonly known to be relaxing and restful. But not so commonly known is that it is also antiviral, antibacterial, calming, soothing and refreshing. An exhaustive study of the healing properties of all the oils is a life’s work. But anyone (yes, you) can gain an understanding of common uses of many of the more common oils. And such knowledge can make your life more healthful AND enjoyable.

Here are a few of the essential oils with which you may be familiar. Eucalyptus, which is purifying and invigorating, is often found in your sauna and is used in cough drops. Citronella is vitalizing and is the scent you’ll recognize in most of your bug sprays. Grapefruit is refreshing, but did you know that many use it to shrink fat? Jasmine is sensual and is found in many costly perfumes. Myrrh is meditative and has been used for thousands of years to treat gum disease. Nutmeg is rejuvenating and is a major component of many spicy men’s fragrances.

The uses of essential oils are myriad. They made be added to baths or saunas, included as ingredients in lotions and cremes, used as delightful enhancements to massage oils, crafted into soaps, diffused in light rings and potpourris, or misted in vaporizers. Only your imagination and creativity limit their utility.

A boon to the soul and the spirit, a strengthener of all the body’s systems, and an exciter of the mind, a study of aromatherapy on any level can enhance you and your life. Talk to a knowledgeable friend or acquaintance, read a book on the subject, or attend a course offered by a practitioner. You and your senses will be delighted! Good health and God bless.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Food Allergies

Though food sensitivities take many forms and various levels, most of us begin to have allergies to foods as we age – even foods we once enjoyed. Did you ever wonder why?

When we put things in our mouths, the body asks “can I digest that?” If it is something the body can readily digest, it considers it “food”, and begins the digestive process. This will mean the body has the enzymes and nutrients to turn the substance from its raw form to a form from which it may extract the nutrients and distribute them throughout the body. But as you age, your pancreas may lose the ability to produce some of the enzymes it needs.

So if the body says “I can’t digest this!” it considers it a foreign substance and begins the process of refusing it. It produces “allergic” reactions to kill, compartmentalize, or expel the matter:

  • Specialized cells are generated to “kill” the invader.
  • Mucous is produced to smother it.
  • Coughing and sneezing start to expel it.
  • Fever may be raised to “burn it up.”
  • Tearing may occur to wash it out.
  • While we call these “allergic reactions”, they are a valuable part of our immune system.
  • They keep the “foreign material” from harming us.

So, what can we do when these reactions start? Well, obviously we can stay clear of the foods that cause the reactions. But often we can just take a supplemental enzyme to “digest” the matter. This is especially true if it is foods that we once enjoyed and digested well.

Remember, many food sensitivities may be much more critical – don’t treat them lightly. While this won’t work for all food sensitivities, it may be a welcome relief for those who develop allergies to once-cherished foods later in life. You may not have to give up many of your favorite foods just because “old age” is slowing you down!

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

Your Health – Your Responsibility!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Build Our Immunity

echinacia, garlic, morindaSneezing, coughing, watery eyes and runny noses are the order of the day, it seems. It’s the time of year when the seasons are changing, the trees are beginning to drop leaves, and molds fill the air. And there are new strains of flu this year again. This is the time of year when our immune systems are bombarded daily, and many of us fall prey to colds, flu, and allergies.

Your immune system may already be working below par. It can be weakened by parasites, viruses, poor diet, toxins, smoking, a poor environment, poor lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, inadequate rest … anything that causes it to have to work too hard. If you “catch everything that comes along” or feel generally poor much of the time, you’re at higher risk of being laid up by another “bug”.

But you can prepare for the season. You can do much to build your immune system so that it can adequately fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Let’s look at how the immune system works. Its basic function is to protect the body from “foreign invaders.” Your bone marrow produces specialized cells that produce antibodies to neutralize these invaders. Your lymphatic system “filters” toxins and microbes from body tissues for cleansing. And tonsils, the spleen and the thymus also produce fighters and cleanse. The enemy? All those things listed above that weaken the body. There are a number of herbs that may help to “boost” it and allow the body to “fight.” Several popular immune system-building herbs are:

  • Echinacea – The root has important anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal actions that help build resistance to infections. It protects the cell-bonding tissues in the body that protect cells from infection. And it contains two polysacharides that stimulate “killer” cells. This is probably the most popular of the winter herbs for both children and adults.
  • Garlic – It has a broad range of well-documented healing properties including being anti-microbial against bacteria, fungi and worms. Because it contains aromatic sulfur-containing oils, many body systems including the respiratory system benefit. Be sure to get garlic containing its full complement of allicin (often removed from “odorless” garlic) as this does much of the healthful work. The odor can be absorbed with the use of herbs rich in chlorophyll.
  • Grape seed and white pine extracts – These are powerful antioxidants, up to 50 times more potent than vitamin E. They strengthen connective tissues including the blood vessels and capillaries needed to carry the “fighter” cells.
  • Golden Seal – The root of this herb is a rapidly effective, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, healing tonic. It may be particularly helpful after symptoms of the flu have set in. It is frequently used with damaged or infected tissues including the eyes, mouth and throat. One word of caution with golden seal, it should be used with caution by hypoglycemics because it is known to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Morinda – The roots, leaves and fruit are used in either capsule or liquid forms. Known as “Nono” in Tahiti and “Noni” in Hawaii, it has been called the “queen of sacred plants” throughout the Pacific basin. It benefits most of the body systems, particularly the immune system. It builds the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count to fight bacteria.
  • Anamu – Folk use suggests that, while this herb is not as well known in this country, people with compromised immune systems (chronic immune system deficiencies) may benefit from the immune-supporting properties of the anamu leaf.
  • Bifidophilus – These are actually friendly bacteria necessary for digestion and found in your intestine. I mention them here because pharmaceutical antibiotics, which we often use during the cold and flu season, kill indiscriminately both friendly and unfriendly bacteria. So, it is usually helpful to take some bifidophilus after completing a round of antibiotics.

Many of these herbs can be found in teas – a tasty way to build your immune system. And there are many combinations of these and other herbs specifically designed to support specific glands – e.g., the spleen or the thymus.

Aromatherapists have also shown us that there are a number of essential oils that may benefit us at this season, too. Oils such as camphor and eucalyptus open the sinuses and upper respiratory tracts to allow us to breathe better. Diffused tea tree and other oils can kill airborne viruses and bacteria in our homes and workplaces.

For the common cold, try one or more of the following. Put a few drops of thyme, tea tree, eucalyptus and lemon oils in your bath and breath deeply. Do a facial steam and add a drop of thyme, tea tree, lavender and clove oil. Keep a tissue with you that you can inhale from as often as necessary; moisten it with a drop of red thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove oils. Massage the chest, neck, forehead, nose and cheekbones with a drop of lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils diluted in a teaspoon of vegetable oil.

A dry cough may be relieved by adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil and a couple of drops of lemon oil to a couple of tablespoons of honey, mixing it with a small glass of warm water, and sipping it slowly.

Assist your body in putting up a good fight against those foreign invaders that would make you ill. Regardless of the current state of your immune system, you can help it to improve. The keys are good nutrition, plenty of rest and exercise, and adjustments of unhealthy lifestyles and habits. Herbs, teas, and oils can help. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

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

What To Do About the Flu

flu, natural, remediesWell, the flu season is upon us. And this year, it appears, there will not be enough flu vaccine to go around. What can you do so that you do to ensure that you do not become a flu statistic?

I have not taken the flu shot for a number of years, and this is what has worked for me. First, keep a good, strong immune system. Ensuring that I take a good, balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is a start. Then around the first of November each year I start taking something to enhance my immune system. There are a variety of natural products that do this.

~ Echinacea
~ Elderberry Combination
~ Noni juice
~ Thai-Go (mangosteen fruit juice drink)
~ Defense Maintenance
~ Immune Stimulator
~ THIM-J – activates the thymus gland to produce more T-cells
~ Plenty of Vitamin C

These will usually keep me from having any flu symptoms. But in the event that I forget to take my supplements, or we get a particularly virulent flu strain, and I do start to feel any symptoms, there is another set of products, any of which can ensure that I don’t get “down with the flu”.

~ VS-C – Personal favorite, a blend of Chinese herbs that kill virus
~ Colloidal Silver – a liquid that kills virus on contact
~ Influenza Remedy – a homeopathic flu remedy
~ Tea Tree Oil – An anti-viral essential oil; mist it in the house
~ High Potency Garlic – a known anti-viral and antiseptic
~ Zinc Lozenges with Echinacea and Vitamin C

If you fail to keep ahead of it, and the flu actually gets to you, here are some products to help with the discomfort while the list above kills the virus.

~ ALJ – will help alleviate the congestion
~ FV – will help when there is fever and vomiting
~ Boneset – will help with the achiness
~ Echinacea & Golden Seal – strong immune help for a few days only
~ Peppermint Oil or Tei-Fu Oil – rub them on to help with the aches
~ Drink plenty of warm lemon water to prevent dehydration

Stay ahead of the flu and stay healthy this winter!

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

Lest We Forget

Memory is one of those things we don’t think much about unless we start to lose ours. It is as natural as breathing and done almost as unconsciously. Lapses in memory are common for all of us and are an annoyance, but the anxiety that accompanies these feelings of possible loss is even more of a concern to us. We fear it may be only a symptom of some larger problem: depression, arteriosclerosis, or a progressive Alzheimer’s disease. And while these may be real problems for many people, it is important to note that these temporary memory losses are common and may have little to do with permanent, degenerative conditions.

The idea that all people will suffer memory loss as they age is not necessarily true. We all know of people well past eighty years of age that are still “as sharp as a tack.” One of the primary causes of memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. Let me quote from the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing. “The life of the body is in the blood. It literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. The brain is surrounded by a protective envelope known as the blood-brain barrier, which allows only certain substances to pass from the bloodstream into the brain. [Certain conditions can], over time, result in the brain becoming malnourished.” Add to this problems such as poor neurotransmitters, exposure to free radicals from our environment, wide swings in blood sugar levels, and the use of toxins such as alcohol and drugs, and it is easy to see that encroaching memory loss can be a result.

What can you do to ensure that you keep your brain fed? Certain vitamins and minerals are certainly needed, such as a good B-complex, the antioxidants C and E, and zinc, manganese and choline. Lecithin helps “lubricate” the neural synapses. The amino acids l-glutamine and l-aspartic acid serve as fuel for the brain and prevent excess ammonia from damaging it. And l-tyrosine helps sharpen awareness. Some research shows that Coenzyme Q10 improves brain oxygenation, and the hormone melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that may prevent memory loss.

Then there are the herbs. Much attention has been given by the news media to ginkgo biloba. This herb decreases capillary permeability and, in the brain, improves neural activity, increases cerebrovascular circulation, protects membranes and restores serotonin receptors. Much of the recent research has concentrated on its ability to increase blood flow to the brain specifically. Another herb that acts similarly is gotu kola. It has long been used in Ayurvedic (East Indian) medicine as a tonic for memory loss. Other herbs that are helpful for memory are anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and rosemary.

Foods that are helpful in maintaining memory functions include brown rice, farm eggs, fish, beans, nuts, tofu, whole grains, and most raw foods. Be sure to combine your carbohydrates with proteins and essential fats. Purely carbohydrate meals inhibit memory functions. Foods to avoid include dairy and refined sugars. They tend to “shut the brain down.”

Like the rest of the body, the brain responds well to exercise. Use it! Focus on things you need to remember. Practice word puzzles, adding columns of numbers, or memorizing Bible verses, poetry, or phone numbers. Keep learning; gain a new hobby; go back to school. Anything that “exercises” the mind will help to keep it young. Activities that don’t require us to think help rob us of our ability to think.

As with all our body systems, the brain needs water, nutrition, exercise and rest – all in good balance. May you enjoy good memory and good memories throughout your life. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

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