• YOU can become your own primary health care provider!

    Natural medicine is a vast improvement over contemporary care, but natural health is even better. My intent is to provide the tools and information you need in order to duplicate my successful experiences, and to offer you the comfort and peace of mind that has been such a blessing and security to my family.
  • Whatever form of natural health supplement you choose, be sure to educate yourself on all aspects of your health care. Let your diet and your attitude be the foundation for a life of wellness, not disease. When you don’t feel well, look for the root causes rather than seeking to simply substitute an herb or remedy for your medication. If you are taking medication for a serious condition, consult with someone well trained in herbs and alternatives before making a substitution and stopping your prescription. Your body will need time to reestablish it’s awareness that it is required to function!
  • DISCLAIMER:

    The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Parsley Posts

Saw a news feed today touting parsley’s power to “cure” arthritis pain. It’s true, but I think it’s important to understand WHY it works. Real understanding leads people to action, which could remove the need to TREAT arthritis by simply removing the cause of the collection of symptoms we’ve given the name. Arthritis literally means “inflammation of the(itis) joints(arthro)”, so when your doctor tells you you have it he has really just said back to you in Latin what you told him in the first place.

So WHY did your joints inflame? One word-ACID.  Waste acids collect in the joints, especially when you aren’t moving as much as you need to. The acids come from normal muscle function waste and from your body’s unsuccessful efforts to break down protein. WHY does red meat affect arthritis? The fibers in red meat are really tough, lots of work for your stomach, and impossible if you are taking any kind of antacid. The right acids in your stomach are critical for digesting heavy proteins; without them the undigested matter moves on to the small intestine before the job is finished. That results in those fibers turning to waste acids, irritating the villi that should be absorbing the nutrients in to the bloodstream. Instead, the nutrients aren’t accessible and acid flows through the intestine wall. Sugar does the same thing and also feeds bacteria. WHO has to make up the difference? Your kidneys, which filters waste out of the bloodstream. This is WHERE the parsley comes in. Parsley is classified as a bitter herb, with an affinity for the kidneys because it contains lots of potassium, which is essential for their function. That combination of qualities makes it an adaptogenic herb for kidney support, meaning it helps “stuck” kidneys figure out WHAT they really need to be doing. In this case, that is working harder at flushing out the waste acid instead of letting it accumulate, meaning that joints don’t hurt as much because they are not being burned up inside! Potassium and other trace minerals abundant in the plant also support the creation of healthy cells to replace lesser quality ones as they die, and the chlorophyll is a natural alkalizer.

If you are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the joints caused by the strep bacteria; I was diagnosed with the juvenile form when I was 12 but that will be another post) parsley will still be helpful (though you will likely need lymphatic and blood quality herbs as well), but your kidneys now also have to filter out dead bacteria and other debris, while impaired by the additional stress of decreased bowel function caused by antibiotics.

For all of the reasons listed above parsley is named as a diuretic in many herb books. It’s also often listed as helpful in dealing with kidney infections, which are just an extension of the same problems.  I got a call from a client one day dealing with scanty, burning urine and a fever. Because of past experience she was anxious to avoid taking antibiotics and wanted an appointment, but I was completely booked until late that day and the following morning. I told her to buy fresh parsley and pineapple juice, put them in the blender together, and choke them down as often as possible; I would fit her in the following afternoon. She called mid-morning and left a message that she was feeling fine, all symptoms had disappeared, and she would keep it up over the weekend to make sure things kept going well. No wonder I still have to work for a living!

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Super Magic Fix-Everything Formula!!

One of my apprentices walked into my office a few years ago and asked if I had seen a recent article about a new wonder-mix that would pretty much fix anything that ailed you. She was surprised when I responded that I had not, but asked if it included apple cider vinegar and honey or molasses. Astonished, she asked how I had known. Easy. Whenever there is a slow day at the tabloids it’s released again with another startling ‘new’ cure claim-most of which are right!! The newest version is at http://www.householdmagicdailytips.com/index.php/homemade-fat-burning-formula?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=2014-05-29%20HDM%20NL%20%281%29&utm_content=&utm_source=Newsletter&cid=45957880&spMailingID=45957880&spUserID=NTE4NTcxNDc1ODES1&spJobID=442781247&spReportId=NDQyNzgxMjQ3S0, where the former two ingredients are mixed with grapefruit juice for a “fat-burning” miracle.

So what’s the deal? Real apple cider vinegar (Best is still Bragg’s) is a live, cultured product that contains three principal properties. First is live enzymes to aid in the digestion and assimilation of whatever you eat in any kind of reasonably near time frame; live cultures also are essential for immune function and intestinal health. I keep a bottle of Bragg’s on a rack near my stove, which generated enough warmth for the culture to grow into kombucha-style mushrooms in the bottle. I use it to add a splash of flavor on or in just about everything I prepare, and frequently drink it mixed with water and maple syrup. If I was home and more organized I would separate some of the babies into bottles of diluted fruit juice or coconut water to create Kevita-like beverages (http://kevita.com/).(I don’t drink regular kombucha because I avoid caffeine; great article at http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/03/25/kombucha-myths-vs-truths/). The benefits promoted for kombucha are essentially the same for raw vinegar! Most vinegars are not live, and ONLY live, fruit based vinegars have the benefits we are discussing-white vinegar is usually corn or wood-pulp based-and has no health advantage whatsoever.

Second, the breakdown of the fruit base (usually apples or grapes)retains all of the trace minerals found in the source, in a form that has increased bio-availablity. The  magic mixtures, whether credited to a long-lost family recipe or aliens (yes, they have been given full credit in several articles) often include molasses, which has even more trace minerals, one of the most-lacked nutrient groups in our modern diet. Trace minerals are critical for glandular function, feeding the pituitary and ancillary glands including the thyroid. Alfalfa and Spirulina tend to particularly support the pituitary, while dulse and kelp are higher in the iodine needed for thyroid function. Since the pituitary governs when all other glands kick in or up their function, and the thyroid regulates metabolism and calcium uptake you can see that just about everything would work and feel better with the “magic” combo. Minerals are part of what alleviate spasms, so the “magic” vinegar mix is correctly touted for relieving leg cramps; use vinegar alone topically or in baths.

The malic acid that also helps reduce cramping is part of the third benefit, which is that vinegar supports balanced acid levels in the body. I am NOT a fan of ph balancing programs as a rule; proper ph changes constantly and manipulating it can be dangerous in the long run. A couple of basic rules DO apply. Your stomach needs to be highly acidic to break down protein properly, regardless of whether the protein is plant or animal based. Too little good acid results in excessive bad acid in the blood, joints, etc.. Drinking vinegar or another acidic beverage in small amounts may be helpful when eating by increasing the stomach’s ability to work properly. I don’t encourage drinking much of anything with meals, since it encourages people to flush food down with something more alkaline than stomach fluid, like water, rather than chewing.  Your skin should also be somewhat acidic, which is why vinegar is an effective body splash (the smell dissipates rapidly), especially for people who have  some types of skin irritation. The high acid level breaks down the cell walls of bacteria and other organisms; in the 1990’s vinegar was found more effective against HIV and related  viruses than bleach or any antibacterial product, and it’s the best thing I know for ringworm.  Together, these properties are also the basis for recommendations for a (diluted) vinegar douche for vaginal infections.

Mindfulness and Meals

I get lots of questions about what I eat; not so many about how, which I think is just as important. A few years ago I returned to Paris, one of the places I lived as a child. Whenever I travel I try to bring home one intangible thing from the trip, something I experienced that I can apply to make my life better. We were in the flea market one day around lunchtime in a tiny shop selling antique compacts, which my daughter wanted to buy for her grandmother. The proprietor told my daughter to pick one out for herself as well as a gift from him, and to bring the money around the corner, where he would be eating with a friend; he left the shop completely in our hands. Our next stop was at a small shop selling vintage linens, with several tables set up on the sidewalk out front. While we were looking at those items the proprietor placed a broom across the doorway, signifying that the shop was closed, and proceeded to set a table in the street with one of the vintage cloths, real silverware and china, and a lovely lunch for herself. The message was clear: “you may look at whatever you like, but don’t expect me to sell it to you until I have finished dining”. Contrast that with America, where we may grab a few bites out of a sandwich in the back room between customers, or throw down a snack bar and coffee in lieu of real food. Europe has the sidewalk cafe and Japan invented the tea house-we created the drive through. At any rate, mindful meals were the change I decided to bring home.

So how does that make a difference? Three major ways. First, we digest our food better when we are relaxed. The vagus nerve that runs behind the stomach affects gastrointestinal function, heart rate, and blood pressure in addition to esophageal and other functions. When we are rushing through our meal we usually are ‘uptight’, pushing the stomach into the diaphragm (often resulting in a hiatal hernia) so we constrict circulation to the nerve and related organs. Taking a short break to relax and focus just on eating releases that tension.

Second, we might actually take time to chew our food rather than mash it slightly with our teeth and force it down with a beverage (usually carbonated, so we distend the stomach and reduce our oxygen levels, and sweetened, so we stress the pancreas and create acidity, whether we use real sugar or artificial sweeteners). Digestion begins with smelling your food, which triggers digestive enzyme activity, tasting it, which lets the body know what specific levels of insulin, bile, etc. will be needed, and chewing it, which provides the initial breakdown of the starches. Skipping any of those steps causes unnecessary stress on the pancreas and makes you more susceptible to everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Diabetes.

Third, it makes you much more aware of what (and how much!) you are actually eating. This is what prompted this entry: I rushed right into my day this morning, resolving a couple of crises left unfinished last night, so I just had some juice for breakfast, which I rarely do. Was just going to grab something quick for lunch, like hummus with chips (love the lentil chips from Simply Seven!) and carrots. Got a glimpse of the linen towel I bought (eventually) from the shop in Paris which reminded me I could afford two minutes to put my lunch on a plate, instead. The carrots looked lonely, so I added some snow peas; decided I would do even better with some multi-grain/flax crackers mixed with the chips, and remembered my own rule about three raw foods per meal so added some dried cranberries. Took less than two minutes to double the nutritional makeup and mindfulness of my meal, which led to a deep breath of gratitude before I ate, which took the tension out of my shoulders…….which will let me tackle my ongoing challenges with a better attitude and fresh resolve!

Gluten-Free Free

It’s interesting to watch the food fads fall in and out. The gluten-free rage has been one of the most interesting phenomenons of all, since most people really don’t even know what gluten is, but swear they feel better without it.  I get calls from clients who are amazed at the difference they notice when they put themselves or their child on a gluten-free diet, then decide to come in for consultation because the results seem to be fading. What I see is that usually the “feel better” comes because they dramatically cut their overall carbohydrate consumption, which also explains why the immediate improvement only lasts a relatively short while.

The gluten-free market has been the fastest-growing sector in the food world for several years, and a fortune is being spent promoting it. Gluten is one of many proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and other wheat relatives. It’s not true for everyone, but is not at all unusual for someone to test poorly for gluten but fine for rye or wheat; spelt and kamut are closer to the original wheat and test even better as a rule. For years I have tested clients with digestive concerns for a full range of grains, and have shocked lots of people who are absolutely certain they are “allergic” to wheat but whose bodies tell them otherwise. God did not put gluten on the planet by itself. In its original state, wheat contains enzymes and other elements that usually help the body process gluten. The problem arises when we separate the gluten, which is what has been routinely added to commercial baked goods and other prepared foods for decades, from the rest of the complex. It’s hard for people to process the isolated protein; undigested proteins turn to acid in the intestinal tract, creating inflammation and breaking down the villi that enable absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. Without the co-factors present in the whole grain the body can’t completely process the gluten, any more than it can process any of the other isolates we substitute! I am finding clients developing sensitivities to pea protein,which is often used in gene splicing, and other isolates found in protein powders, supplements, bars, and gluten-free substitutes. If I have a client who insists on using a protein powder, I encourage them to buy at least two, not to increase my sales but to ensure that they consume a variety of proteins; favorites are Tera’s Whey, Love and Peas, and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein. I also suggest alternating powder in their smoothie with a fresh, raw egg, a handful of nuts or seeds, some sprouts, or coconut or peanut butter.

When people are first told (or diagnose themselves) as gluten-intolerant they usually start by eliminating anything containing wheat from their diets, which includes breads, cookies, pasta, and a whole realm of other starches that form the basis of the typical American diet. They feel better, largely because they are also reducing the sugars in their diets, which also convert to acid. It doesn’t take long, though, before they discover the huge marketplace of gluten-free replacements for the foods they’ve been avoiding. They go back to (usually refined) starches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and gluten-free cookies, chips, and other starchy snacks. That loads them up with carbohydrates, including rice starch, potato starch, and rice protein isolates, all restructured foods and simple sugars, and suddenly they find that gluten-free diet isn’t as effective as it seemed at first. Focus on adding more fresh, raw foods, which contain enzymes to help with digestion, use sprouted grains, and increase the variety of whole foods in your diet, and you can likely free yourself from ‘gluten-free’.

EAT CLAY??

The title question was sent to me by a client, along with the bottom link below.

A: Yep. Hydrated Bentonite (you can do the same thing with other clays) internally is a standard recommendation for intestinal distress such as food poisoning. My personal favorite is the Redmond Clay, from central Utah; in the kitchen I use almost exclusively Real (Redmond) Salt, which is pink from the clay content. Lots of kids who eat dirt do so because they are deficient in trace minerals. People ate dirt and clay in part via their earthenware dishes and lack of running water-maybe that’s why we feel so good at Alafia (our 10 day 18th century rendezvous)….!

Clay packs and baths are traditional in all kinds of detox programs, in virtually every culture. My favorite Russian bathhouse sells little cups of dried black clay to rub on yourself while you sit around and sweat.  Interesting thing about zeolites, shown below the video link you sent,  is that they are used primarily in laundry detergents and as catalysts-they help increase oxygen availability. Remember to breathe while eating your clay! Downside to commercial zeolite products? According to the United States Geological Survey, “it is likely that a significant percentage of the material sold as zeolites in some countries is ground or sawn volcanic tuff that contains only a small amount of zeolites.” They are easy to synthesize so there is another pretty good chance you may not be getting the real thing; the artificial ones have a much larger crystal size so would not be as effective at adsorbing waste matter. That is correct spelling-adsorbing means that toxins attach to it for easy elimination rather than being absorbed into it. Activated charcoal works the same way.

Redmond Clay 10oz. http://www.redmondtrading.com/product-category/redmond-clay/

  http://www.longevitywarehouse.com/Articles.asp?ID=342

Best Breakfast Ever Food Rules

Looking around for my third raw food for breakfast reminded me that I had never posted my basic food rules. (You can watch them in the introductory video www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQrSGl_aKc4  that I made for clients to watch in my office.) First is at least three raw foods at a meal. This morning I had a pumpkin seed Doctor Kracker with a slice of smoked gouda, sprouts, and honeycrisp apples. Delicious, but I added some slices of pear to round it out. Raw foods have enzymes that help you break down everything else you eat so you access more nutrients than you otherwise would. At least one of the foods should be a vegetable rather than just fruits. Think of fruits as vitamins and vegetables as minerals. We are generally more deficient in the latter!

Adding raw foods to breakfast is easy. If you normally eat eggs, toss in chopped veggies after they are cooked, which will warm but not kill them, or eat them with a side of fresh salsa. Instead of jelly on your (whole grain, I hope!) toast (Food For Life sprouted English muffins are the best!) smash fresh banana and strawberries on top of raw almond or cashew butter. Add raw nuts, apples, and raisins, or coconut, oranges, and bananas to your oatmeal. I eat my oatmeal “raw”, mixing quick oats, nuts and fruit with plain or vanilla yogurt or kefir. There is nothing that is a quicker, better breakfast than a smoothie, though you do need to pay attention to ingredients if you use protein powders. Most are very high in sugars, and isolated proteins can be very stressful to the digestive system. I like Tera’s Whey and Manitoba Harvest hemp protein, but even better are raw flax, hemp, or sesame seeds, or raw nut butters. You can throw anything into smoothies; I literally tossed a bowl of leftover dinner salad into the blender with frozen berries, yogurt, and juice on a morning that we were leaving town for a few days. Everyone loved the smoothie that morning, and the salad had included onions among the many other ingredients!

Q&A: Gall Stones

Question:
I am suffering from gall bladder and gallstones problems. How can you help me?
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