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Emotional Balance: What are Flower Essences?

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

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

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

What are flower essences?

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

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

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

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Simples: American Ginseng

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

This month’s simple is American Ginseng.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Healthy Body Systems – Enzymes

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.

For this first offering of the year, we’ll consider enzymes – what are they, why do we need them and how do we get them.

What are enzymes? They are biologically active proteins found in every living cell.  They fall into two different categories. Metabolic enzymes are regulatory; they regulate every biochemical reaction occurring in your body. They are essential for overall health. Digestive enzymes primarily turn the food we eat into energy. There are over 1300 different enzymes found in the body and they combine to numerous coenzymes to form around 100,000 chemicals to carry out virtually all of our body processes. As we look at our digestive system, we will be more concerned with the digestive enzymes – those that break down our foods so that we may extract the nutrients we need to “feed” our bodies.

Why do we need them? Nutrients from the foods we eat could not be extracted without their being broken down into a mush-like substance. This allows the friendly probiotics to “digest” them and then excrete them in a liquified form. Then the intestinal villi may absorb them and pass them along into the bloodstream for delivery to the cells that require them. Enzymes facilitate this process as well as allowing the waste byproducts of digestion to be discarded.

How do we get them? There are several functions that allow us to get the enzymes we need.

Firstly, the body produces some of them and they are secreted along the digestive tract.  Around 50 or so are produced and stored in the pancreas. A “trigger” in the stomach announces the arrival of food components and the pancreas secretes those enzymes needed for the breakdown of the specific foods found in the stomach. The liver, gall bladder, small intestine, stomach, and colon also play a role in this process. And the quantities of enzymes our bodies produce are affected by our age and the health of the various components of our digestive systems.

Secondly, raw foods we consume contain enzymes to help in the digestion of those foods themselves. Unfortunately, those foods generally only contain specific enzymes, and in appropriate quantities, to digest that food itself. Further, cooking and processing these foods destroy most of the enzymes they contain. This fact has led many people to consider a completely raw diet which is difficult to carry out and impractical for most.

Thirdly, these two shortcomings often lead to the necessity for supplementation. Which supplements you need is determined by the foods you eat and the need to know which enzymes you need to add to your diet.

A list of the most common enzymes which would help your dietary needs would include protease and peptidase for digesting proteins, amylase and glucoamylase and malt diastase for starches, lipase for fat, cellulase for fiber, and invertase and alpha-galactosidase for sugar. And it is good to know that in most cases, plant-based enzymes work better than those that are chemical based.

One article I researched stated that almost “one out of every three people in the US experience some kind of digestive problem. Though many suffer, few have to. The typical benefits of enzyme supplementation include reduced digestive distress, increased energy, and improved regularity.”

If you have digestive issues, talk to us about enzyme supplementation. Add “digestive” 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.

A Thriving Home and Family: Finances

I had a pastor friend years ago that said there are two main causes of the failure of your marriage: infidelity and finances. I believe as it relates to finances, it’s the stress caused by not adhering to the Biblical admonition in Hebrews 13:5 CSB – “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.” We all want more! And contentment is a constant struggle and doesn’t come easily. This blog is a sort of summary of what I believe I’ve learned, in my 75 years of life, works where money is concerned.!

Nearly 50 years ago my wife and I returned from military service living in Taiwan but serving in Vietnam. In addition to my military pay, we drew a $500 per month tax exemption, combat pay, and flight pay. And, by American standards, living in Taiwan was inexpensive. We later recalled that we were “living like kings”. But when we returned to the United States, we lost all the special pay and bought a new house and a new car and continued the lifestyle to which we had become accustomed. Six months home and we were a full month’s pay in debt.

Our first solution was to agree to live on a family budget. It took us two months to figure out what our actual expenses were – house payment, utilities, car payment, gas, food, family clothing (we had child #3 there), entertainment, etc. Then I got some ledger paper and began the process of an actual budget – adding funds to each page on payday and subtracting from the appropriate page with every expenditure. And we learned that when friends invited us to go out to eat with them (for example), we didn’t look at the checkbook to see if there were funds; we looked at the entertainment page of the budget to see if there were funds available in that category. It took work, but it was more comfortable in the long run to know that the monthly amounts we’d added to the personal property tax category allowed us to pay the large sum as we’d prepared for it.

We’re Christians. We tithe. It’s the first check we write every month. In Malachi 3:8 God says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, how have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings.” I won’t get into how much is a tithe or offering? I accept II Corinthians 9:7 where it says, “Each person should do as he has decided in his heart – not reluctantly or out of compulsion since God loves a cheerful giver.” God looks at our hearts; work out the amount with Him. But remember that everything we have comes from Him and He wants us to give some back – just because we love Him! We provide everything for our children, but remember how it feels when they give us a gift – just because they want to!!!

Many years ago, I read a very small booklet called (as I remember it) “The richest man in the world.” In summary, it spotlighted the need to have a savings plan to be ready for hard times to come and things that are too big to purchase all at once – like that new motorbike, or a pony, etc. When I was trying to teach this concept to my very young children, I gave them a $1 weekly allowance – as ten dimes. I have a shoebox I’d divided into compartments. Each child put a dime in the top slot marked “tithe”. Every Sunday we took that one out and took it for the offering plate at church; they looked forward to getting to do that. The next slot was a dime for “savings” – and once a month we went to the bank and let them put their 40 cents in a passbook account. They kept the passbook in their rooms. They could watch it grow. The third slot was labeled “something big”. That dime was put in a piggy bank which was emptied each year and we took them shopping for a gift they bought for themselves with the $5 or so they had saved. That was a lot of money for a preschool kid in those days. And it made a point! And our family “something big” has often allowed us to get through a tough patch we hadn’t planned on.

All this assumes “no debt”. Step one if you’ve already “blown it” is to get out of debt. That’s what we did. You can make the debt a budget item that will one day go away. You can take a Dave Ramsey sort of class that teaches you how to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

Actually, the real first step is deciding to live within your means and allow God to bless you for some great unexpected blessing to come! Start today. Learn to be contented with what you have, plan for the future, and use it faithfully. Remember, you can’t take it with you anyway!

  • 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.

Annual Cleansing Summary

It’s been a great year for focusing on body system cleansing in general. I started in January talking about each body system and how it functions, trying to focus not so much on the specifics of the functioning as on “what could go wrong” in each system that would cause them not to function optimally. I wanted us to see how the foods and drinks we consume can enhance or be a detriment to our body functions and their proper functioning or led to disease within that system and the whole body as a result.

Consider a car (for one illustration). If it doesn’t get oil, the parts of the vehicle that use the oil can break down when the oil is not applied. But the breakdown of that single or those few parts may cause the entire vehicle to become useless. A broken brake line may not cause the engine to cease functioning, but it makes the entire car useless for transportation – not because it can’t run, but because it can’t stop, and that can lead to a crash.

An untreated liver problem may not stop the heart from performing as it should, but it stops the body from being able to remove toxins and that may lead to any number of diseases and prevent the whole body from giving us the vitality we need to have a good, productive life.

I’ve enjoyed talking about the cleansing regimen that I use. I celebrated my 75th birthday last month, and while that may be noteworthy, even more noteworthy is the fact that while I have found help in finding and “reworking” some of the issues that have cost many of my relatives (i.e., the genetics) their lives at a younger age than this, I have also been able to maintain an active, vital, and enjoyable life.

And, beyond cleansing, I also use:

  • food enzymes and probiotics to aid my aging digestive system
  • products to slow down the aging process
  • products to support my genetic weaknesses (things that “run in the family”).
  • other products focused on whatever is bothering me at this time!

Feel free to drop by the store and talk to us about any of these issues that are troubling you.

I’ve tried not just to present a “possible” annual cleansing regimen but show you in some detail the regimen that I have personally used for several years now. And I can truthfully say that, even at this age, I feel good and have only minor restrictions on my chosen life activities. I still work at my store 40-50 hours each week; I take care of my farm animals on my five acre “farm”; I have a 5000sqft garden that produces much of what we eat; I have an orchard and I mow about half of the acreage each week. I have a loving, caring wife, three married kids, seven grandkids, and our second greatgrandchild is on the way. Life is good and God blesses us in countless (and often surprising) ways each day.

I would encourage you to stay healthy. Eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods; drink healthy liquids including adequate, daily water; get outdoors for a bit of sunshine and at least walk a bit each day; and take time daily to thank friends, neighbors, and family members for the regular support they add to your life, and God for His rich blessings. I can’t say enough about the uplift we get from a grateful attitude.

It’s been correctly stated that life is a journey, not a destination. Don’t try to run through it or walk it alone. Take time to enjoy the journey – with others and with God’s help!

Nothing here is meant to diagnose or treat any diseases. It is simply what I personally do for my health and is given to you for educational purposes. If you have a serious health problem, please consult a competent health practitioner.

Berberine

This month we are talking about the small intestine and the importance of keeping it healthy and what can be done to bring back balance and health to this vital portion of the digestive tract. 

Bacteria is necessary for the function of the digestive system but most of the bacteria needs to be in the large intestine not the small intestine.  Too many bacteria in the small intestine can cause a condition called SIBO or Small Intestinal Overgrowth.  SIBO can cause the small intestine to not be able to keep up with its important job of breaking down food and absorbing nutrients, leading to vitamin deficiencies and uncomfortable symptoms like gas and bloating.  Berberine has been found to have great benefits for the small intestine by helping to restructure the balance of the microbiome and reducing bacteria overgrowth.

So what is this Berberine?  It may sound like it is something new, but Berberine has been used for centuries by natural health practitioners.  It is an alkaloid—a naturally occurring compound—found in plants that have traditionally been used where infections have been present such as Barberry, Goldenseal, and Oregon grape Root. 

Modern studies are showing that not only is the Berberine found in these plants beneficial against infection, but this alkaloid may be helpful in other conditions like diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and high cholesterol.  In fact, it was written in the December 2012 issue of Natural Medicine Journal  “Any condition that would be favorably impacted by a patient losing weight and or exercising more may be impacted favorably with oral berberine supplementation.”

“It makes sense to consider berberine for clients with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, heart disease, dyslipidemia, cancer, depression, and other neuropsychiatric diseases.”

In a 2015 Endrocrinol journal it was stated: “…..modern pharmacological effects of berberine on glucose metabolism…include improving insulin resistance, promoting insulin secretion…..”

Not only has berberine shown to help improve the regulation and function of insulin, but it also appears to inhibit the growth of fat cells.  Good news for those of us needing to lose weight!

Losing weight and controlling insulin levels are both great benefits for the heart and the use of berberine is showing some even more positive effects on the heart and high blood pressure by stimulating the release of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes arteries.  That means better blood flow and lower blood pressure.

High Cholesterol?  Yep, berberine may help there too.  Eleven clinical trials with a total of 874 participants noted that berberine may reduce LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL.  That means down with the bad and up with the good, just what a healthy body needs.

Increase insulin function, inhibit growth of fat cells, stimulate nitric oxide, lower cholesterol, fight infection, and reduce bacterial overgrowth. Could we have a silver bullet here?  Maybe not, but when you add in the anti-inflammatory properties of berberine and research showing positive effects on pain reduction in arthritic conditions, we may be getting close

Especially in America where nearly 34 million people have diabetes (95% is Type 2), 54 million people have an arthritic condition, 4 in 10 Americans are obese, and approximately 60% of people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrom also have SIBO, supplementing with berberine in either isolate form or in an herbal sounds like something to look in to.

Always be sure to use quality supplements that have been sourced and harvested well.  We here at The Healthpatch are always happy to help you find your best supplements.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Small Intestine Detox

The dictionary tells us that the “primary functions of the small intestine are mixing and transporting of intraluminal contents, production of enzymes and other constituents essential for digestion, and absorption of nutrients.”

I consider that the small intestine is the most important part of the digestive system! Why? Well, VERY simply put, we could put our food in a blender and add some enzymes (particularly ptyalin – an enzyme secreted in saliva to change starches into sugars for digestion) to replicate the functions of chewing and carb breakdown. Then we could add the bile salts, hydrochloric acid and enzymes from the liver, stomach, and pancreas to further break down the food into its nutrient components.  And then we could add alkalizers like the duodenum does to neutralize the acids so they don’t “burn” the rest of the digestive tract. On a macro level, we’d then have what our bodies dump into the small intestine – a nutrient-rich, mostly liquefied “mush”. But we still haven’t caused the body to absorb the nutrients for use by all the cells. For our survival, that’s the essential function of the small intestine.

Obviously, from the product name Small Intestine Detox, we know that this product I use every December is focused on the small intestine. Not so clear, is the knowledge that the formula is designed to support the absorption of vital nutrients in the small intestine. The components of this product include pepsin, which is an enzyme used to help digest proteins. But it also helps to clear accumulated protein wastes from the intestinal walls, allowing the intestinal walls full contact with the digested food for improved absorption. The other major ingredient is marshmallow, which absorbs and carries bowel toxins out of the body. That all sounds technical and comes from a card on the product produced by Natures Healthy People!

But regardless of the technicalities, I love how this product helps me get the nutrients I need from the good foods I eat. And, truth be said, I use the product in December because with all the “holiday eating” – usually not so healthy – I use it to remind myself that I strongly need the nutrients from the good foods I do eat.

It IS important to eat healthy. And because our prepared foods and eat-on-the-go habits may not be the BEST for the nutrients our bodies require, I encourage everyone to do some regular cleansing of their body systems.  Life is fuller and richer if it is healthier! Make the most of the life with which God has blessed you!

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

Nothing here is meant to diagnose or treat any diseases. It is simply what I personally do for my health and is given to you for educational purposes. If you have a serious health problem, please consult a competent health practitioner.

Putting the “Can Do” in a Candida Detox

Candida is a type of yeast that is one of many microorganisms that make up the intestinal microflora.  The balance of microflora is important for our bodies to stay in good health.  However, when these microorganisms are out of balance due to poor diet, medications, and stressful lifestyles, what once helped create health can now create havoc.  Overgrowth of Candida Albicans can then become an adversary responsible for intestinal inflammation and leaking toxins into the bloodstream that weaken the immune system.

Some common symptoms of Candida overgrowth can include:

  • Sensitivities to foods
  • Fungus in the nails or feet
  • Mental confusion, or inability to focus
  • General fatigue
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Poor Digestion Reoccurring yeast infections

While getting the gut flora back into balance can take some dedication and time, it is possible to regain health with a few “can do” steps:

  • Repopulate the body with probiotics.  This helps bring the “good guys” back into balance so they can keep the Candida Albicans in check.
  • Detox. Using natural Anti-fungal supplements to help create an unfriendly environment for the Candida Albicans.
  • Modify diet.  Changing the diet alters the environment for Candida.

Modifying the diet can be the most challenging part of keeping Candida in check, but it is also the most crucial because the yeast needs sugar to build cell walls and reproduce.  Not only are the simple sugars found in candy, soda, and pastries a food source for yeast, but even more complex carbohydrates in fruit and whole grains will break down into a glucose source. Eliminating junk food is always in our best interest for better health, but when detoxing from Candida, the elimination of even more complex carbohydrates that include fruit, potatoes, rice, bread, yams, and fruit juices, will be necessary for a time to have the best benefits.

So, what can we eat on a Candida diet? The “can do” list of nutritious, low-sugar, anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Non-starchy vegetables: leafy greens, spinach, kale, green beans, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, etc.
  • Low sugar fruits such as limes, lemons, avocado, and berries can be eaten in moderation.
  • Meat, fish, and eggs.  Avoid processed meats with sulfates and nitrates.  Many deli meats have added sugar in the form of dextrose, so learn to be a label reader.
  • Bone Broth!  Bone broth is wonderfully restorative with naturally occurring collagen and glutamine.  Both compounds help restore the integrity of the gut lining.
  • Fermented foods. These can include unsweetened yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles (unsweetened), and olives
  • Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and pecans.  Peanuts can be high in mold and should be avoided.  Mold does not necessarily feed the candida, but when there is an overgrowth there can be a high sensitivity to mold present, and eating peanuts could trigger a reaction.
  • Spices!  Spices add wonderful flavor and some such as turmeric and cinnamon are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and have anti-fungal properties that add another layer of nutrition and health benefits.
  • Good Fats such as avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil.  Both olive oil and coconut oil have anti-fungal properties and can help boost the immune system.
  • Herbal teas and plenty of water. There are some sweeteners that can be enjoyed in herbal tea if desired:
    • Stevia
    • Monk Fruit
    • Erythritol

Along with choosing nutritious foods to eliminate the candida food source, there are foods with special properties that make a wonderful addition to assist in the candida detox processes:

  • Garlic not only fights Candida Albicans, but it also helps to maintain a healthy digestive system by destroying harmful bacteria while leaving healthy bacteria in place.  Garlic also helps with detoxification by boosting the lymphatic system.
  • Onion has anti-parasitic as well as anti-fungal properties.  It also helps support the kidneys, helping to rid the body of waste through the urinary system more efficiently
  • Ginger, along with being anti-inflammatory helps with detoxification by assisting the liver in flushing out toxins.  Ginger also increases oxygen throughout the body (which aids in healing) as well as helps soothe irritation in the intestinal tract caused by yeast overgrowth.
  • Pau d Arco tea is an excellent addition to a Candida detox as It is packed with powerful yeast-fighting compounds.  Pau d arco can found in tea form or capsules in health food stores such as The HealthPatch.
  • Cayenne Pepper is not the biggest hitter on being anti-fungal, but it is still valuable in detox because, like ginger, it is particularly good at increasing oxygen throughout the body.  Oxygen in the cells is vital for healing and healing the body is the ultimate goal in a detox.

Some final thoughts:  Changing your diet and detoxing is not easy and may become even more uncomfortable for a time as the body goes through a healing process.  If this happens, do not give up.  Instead, adjust your program if needed, drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins, rest as much as possible, and give yourself grace.  Often a mental shift is needed when working to make permanent changes for better health.  The title of this article is cheesy, but I chose it for a purpose.  In the middle of processes such as detoxing, it can be very human to want to give up when the changes become challenging and the physical symptoms seem to have worsened. When we want to look at the diet and think “look at all I have to give up”, instead of shifting to “look at the foods that can help me reach my health goals” can often make a difference in moving forward.  Emphasis on Can.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

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

Hypochlorous Acid

This is a product that is just too good to be easily believed. So, up front, I admit to plagiarizing virtually all the information I have placed here. I want my listeners to know that these are not claims that I am making. These comments have been approved for the manufacturer by the EPA. It is an “EPA-registered disinfectant & sanitizer that kills 99.9% of germs, even Staph, MRSA, Norovirus, Influenza A, Salmonella, and Listeria when used as directed. It’s on EPS’s N list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.”

Hypochlorous Acid, I’m told, is produced by every cell in the body and released into the blood stream as a part of your immune system to kill these pathogens. Previously, the problem had been that no one had been able to produce it OUTSIDE the body. But a few years back, the manufacturer found a way to electrocute [my word – I don’t really understand the actual process] salt water and produce a shelf stable hypochlorous acid.

The manufacturer calls it a “Non-toxic Natural Ingredient Solutions for Cleaning and First Aid”. They further state that it is “Natures gift to us and our environment. We’ve taken an incredible aspect of the body and made a gentle, effective, multi-purpose cleanser, first aid, and hand and skin products that are safe to use everyday for you, your family, pets and home!”

What does it do? Again, from their literature, the “Hypochlorous acid [is the] active ingredient that kills multiple drug resistant bacterium.

  • Virucide, Tuberculocide, Bactericide, GermicideKills Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (formerly called Swine Flu)
  • Kills Clostridium difficile (C.diff) spores
  • Kills HIV (Aids virus), Norovirus, and Rhinovirus
  • Deodorizes by killing the bacteria that causes odors
  • Aids in the reduction of cross-contamination between treated surfaces
  • Free from alcohol, Phenol & VOC [Volatile Organic Compounds]
  • Not harmful to septic and waste water treatment systems”

I’m told that for a product to be called a “sanitizer” by FDA rules, it MUST contain alcohol. Therefore, this product cannot be labeled a sanitizer, but is labeled as a “hand & skin cleanser”.

I’ve personally used the products. A personal problem of mine has always been that I have extremely dry skin. As a kid I was seriously teased by the fact that my hands were so dry that they were continually cracked to the point of bleeding. The solution back then was to slather them with “toilet lanolin” (sheep fat) every night, and sleep with my “fatted” hands in cotton socks! – NASTY! Especially for an 8th grader!!! One of my favorite attributes of this product is that it is water based, not alcohol based. Therefore, it kills the pathogens that a hand sanitizer kills, but does not cause you to suffer the drying, burning, and toxic effects caused by alcohol.

Come by the store and look at these wonderful products and pick up some of the manufacturer’s educational literature. We think you’ll love them, too. It’s trademarked “Seriously Clean, powered by Nixall”.

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

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