• 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.

No Pain…..No Gain….NoSAIDs

A report this week warned that regular use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) increases heart attack and other cardio-vascular risks by about 40%-huge for people with any other existing risk factors. So, do you suffer, which also increases stress, or take the chance? Short of opiates, there are not lots of plants that stop pain. But then, neither do medications “stop” pain.

Pain control is not one of nature’s strong suits for a reason. Pain is a message that something is wrong and needs to be addressed, and NSAID’s put a gag on the message rather than requiring that we deal with the issue. They block the production of prostaglandins, some of which trigger the inflammation that leads to pain-but which also form the foundation for the production of other, critical hormones. (Could their use then also be connected to our infertility, diabetes, and other glandular-imbalance epidemics?) It is amazing what happens when you support the body functions instead. One of my clients dealing with a serious condition found that oxycodone was not managing her pain; she added large amounts (20-30 capsules a day) of magnesium complex which took care of it to the extent that she now uses the drug only occasionally at night. Magnesium coats the nerve endings and helps with the assimilation of calcium, which is essential for healing. Willow barks ( white, purple, etc.) are high in salicylates, and the original source of the salicylic acid that became aspirin; they are also astringent herbs, which tone tissues and thereby reduce inflammation and pain. High acidity damages nerve endings, so chlorophyll (always at least 30 minutes from a meal to prevent it from interfering with digestion!) and safflowers can be helpful. Remember that consuming refined sugar acidifies the body so will increase both pain and inflammation; high blood sugar is what destroys nerve endings in diabetics. Ironically, NSAID’s negative effect on cardiovascular health may be, in part, that they tend to make breathing more shallow; deep, focused, breathing alone has been found to reduce pain significantly by getting more oxygen to the cells. Herbs like blessed thistle and chamomile, and lavender and clary sage essential oils probably have been used traditionally for headaches and other pain largely because they increase oxygenation through relaxation! Getting adequate B vitamins, digestible fats, and calcium is likely to strengthen the nervous system overall, making you less susceptible, in a sense, to pain.

Inflammation is also protective. Pain results from inflammation of the nerves in response to something going on internally, which is why it has to be addressed. Think about a joint that hurts, say your elbow. It swells to prevent you from moving and injuring it further, but you’ve got a tennis game tomorrow so you take the pills and move it anyway, and eventually end up needing surgery for a greater injury. A better response is to be sure you support the function of the adrenal glands and others involved in the inflammatory process, which may be why licorice root is sometimes called “nature’s cortisone”(actual corticosteroids stress the adrenals). I love Everflex, which is marketed for joint issues, but which I find is actually primarily beneficial to the adrenal glands and works great for many of my clients. Essential fatty acids like those in black currant,  borage, and “Omega” oils lubricate the joints, so can reduce associated pain. Lymphatic massage, stroking the inside of joints near the inflamed area toward the heart, is a huge help, especially if you also use Tei-Fu (I like to add chamomile as well) or other essential oils to increase circulation through the area. Move!

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Deep-Pressed and ‘Stroked-out’?

Heard about a study this morning that links depression and stroke risk, finding that people who have been depressed have an increased likelihood of stroke even after they are no longer depressed. Recommendation, of course? Identify and medicate depression earlier-even thought the stroke risk remains elevated indefinitely after depression is ‘gone’. REALLY??? What about the possibility that impaired oxygen flow may be a causal factor in depression, and a precursor to stroke? What about a low level of B vitamins and other nutrients that impact the physical brain and mental health? What about a person lacking the basic skills to cope with stress, which may also impact overall function and increase stroke risk? What about a diet based on refined carbohydrates, which raises triglycerides, which have been positively linked to stroke risk, and leads to depression?

The issue here is the acceptance of the doctrine that giving people more pills sooner will prevent every other possible health problem, rather than looking for root issues that can be personally managed and will prevent a plethora of other concerns. Enough exercise has been shown to drastically reduce both depression levels and stroke risk. Enough Vitamin D (see my blog post for more on that fraud) does the same. In Chinese medicine depression is rooted in unexpressed anger, which is associated with the liver, which regulates blood quality, so could be a factor in strokes. Likewise balanced calcium and magnesium levels, adequate trace minerals, breathing exercises and yoga are proven to lower hypertension, depression, and a host of related and other health conditions.

I may get lots of hostility for this comment, but depression is way over-diagnosed, and ridiculously over-treated. As a culture we have accepted the myth that life is supposed to be painless, easy and fun. (“The Prozac Effect” is an excellent book on the subject!) We don’t allow mourning even after great personal loss; you get two weeks off work and are ‘depressed’ if you aren’t ‘moving on with your life’ after six weeks so we need to “give you something to help you get over this”, isolating us from each other instead of having us reach out to each other for and with support. I know so many people (including many close to me) on anti-depressants-and after years and years they are still depressed. Obviously, it is not working, and most find they need an anxiety medication as well within 2-3 years on the medication. Why? Anti-depressants ‘numb’ emotions (the biggest comment I get from clients who ask for help in feeling better so they can stop taking them). In real life, the only time we feel that way is in a serious crisis situation; when we feel that way for an extended period our mind begins to wonder why, and starts looking around for the crisis that has to be lurking somewhere. I have seen it over and over and over. Connection to stroke? Anxiety increases adrenalin output, and that is something that will elevate stroke risk. Bottom line here is that we need to look at our overall picture, recognize that we can manage much more than we believe we can, and that we have got to stop looking for a magic bullet that will ‘fix’ us. There is much more ‘right’ with us than can ever go ‘wrong’; every symptom is just a message that we need to address something differently in our lives. Let’s get better!

PSORIASIS+ENBREL+3 MONTHS=TUBERCULOSIS….

Saw a commercial for the newest medication for psoriasis, and listened to the lengthy list of side effects, which specifically includes several warnings about tuberculosis (and death, lymphoma…). For that collection of risks “some patients saw a reduction of up to 75% after three months.”

Funny, my clients who have been told by doctors that they have the condition usually see a reduction of 100% after three weeks or so when they nutritionally support their livers and adrenal glands, the organs most often weakened or stressed in people with psoriasis. Most test for fatty acids like Super GLA, so I also encourage them to make sure they get enough digestible fats in their diets-nuts, seeds, avocados, etc.  The most common adrenal supports they test for are Licorice root or Everflex (remember that the adrenals are responsible for controlling inflammation, hence, flexibility). Those who have or have had chronic strep (“rheuma”) infections may benefit from golden seal or the original Christopher combination sold as IN-X. Bio-Water Stress Mist provides topical relief; even people without skin problems need to really watch their soaps and topical products since virtually all commercial soaps and lotions are made in a petroleum base, which is generally toxic and seals the skin. Every body has a different set of needs, which is why I test all organs for each of my clients regardless of the symptoms about which they may express concern. The root problems may include poor digestion of fats (pancreas head), mineral deficiencies and imbalances, or thyroid malfunction (which may be the result of pituitary weakness or a hiatal hernia, etc.) so the adrenal and liver symptoms may just be the visible tip of the iceberg!

To be fair, I will warn you about possible side effects of a nutritional approach to psoriasis: you may experience generally feeling less stressed and more energetic. You also may have to buy new clothing since long sleeves and pants will no longer be essential; one eight-year-old had who had been so embarrassed by other kids that he had worn a turtleneck and jeans every day (including in summer in Florida) for years suddenly found himself wearing shorts and t-shirts.

Darkness and Light: Bulbs, Concentration, Cancer, Depression and Insomnia

My daughter-in-law is an opera singer and mentioned tonight that several of the singers at her current production are complaining about the rehearsals being held in a windowless room with fluorescent bulbs since “everyone knows they wear out your adrenals”. A family I knew pulled their children out of public school shortly before the end of a school year, tired of hearing that they were hyperactive when they behaved well at home. Things went so well that they decided to home-school the following year; they built on a classroom, complete with fluorescent lights since they were “going to do it right” . Two weeks into the year they were ready to send the kids back to school-on Ritalin. I suggested that they let the kids do their work near a window or on the back porch, as they had done initially. End of problem.

Fluorescent lighting, even with CFL bulbs, has a flickering effect that is almost imperceptible to the eye, but which hyper-stimulates the medulla, the part of the brain that controls the autonomic or “animal” part of the brain. That increases anxiety-hence the adrenal exhaustion comment, and sensitivity to external stimuli, hence the hyperactivity. I have counseled my clients literally for decades not to use them, and now the Federal government is forcing us to have them at home and banning the sale of high-wattage incandescent bulbs. ( I read recently that in Europe they are getting away with selling them as heat lamps.)

The blue tones of the light emitted also interrupt the normal serotonin/melatonin production cycle, disrupting the hormones most connected to depression, anxiety, and sleep. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, the feel-good-be-happy-wake-up hormone. Exposure to darkness, which is increasingly difficult to achieve, triggers the production of melatonin, which winds you down for rest and sleep. Too little contrast between the two leaves the body chronically “on”, albeit at a very low functional level. Think of it as running on a battery that’s almost dead. You can turn your camera or whatever off and back on when it’s almost dead to get a couple more minutes of use, but in relatively short order the battery dies completely and you have to recharge or replace it. We can only recharge with full sunlight, full darkness,and lots of the right foods, and each of us is rather hard to replace!!

I encourage my clients to avoid using any overhead lights after dinner, but the CFL bulbs are especially detrimental. Multiple studies have linked the lack of darkness to immune deficiencies (including increased cancer risks) insomnia, and depression. (The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard has some interesting statistics and information. Great radio interview with him on “All Things Considered” at  http://www.npr.org/2013/03/03/173365741/turning-it-down-cities-combat-light-pollution-by-going-dim) Within the studies was clear evidence that the color frequencies with the worst health impact were the blues and greens-the colors in fluorescent lighting and all of our night-lights and power lights on the huge assortment of electronic gadgets we have in every room.

So what to do? Incandescent bulbs, especially the “full spectrum”type, muscle-test the best for most people. You can still find them at some flea markets and discount stores in the higher wattage not available in most places. Yes, they use more electricity, but so does hot water and I’m not ready to subject my body to cold showers all winter. Remember, you shouldn’t be using many lights after dark anyway! Next best thing is the “daylight” (not “full”) spectrum LED bulbs, which are much more expensive. If you or a friend live in Washington State you’re in luck-they heavily subsidize LED bulbs so they are much less expensive there than in most other places.

Another good article on risks I haven’t gotten to here is at http://www.naturalhealth365.com/stop_cancer/cfl_light_bulbs.html

Splenda® DOES skew blood sugar!

A new study has finally been released that showed drinking sucralose (and I believe any other artificial sweetener) significantly affects the way the body functions-or doesn’t. For example, although there are no calories (read: no fuel for energy!) in Splenda®, it had the following effects on people when they drank water sweetened with it:

  • 12% higher peak blood glucose levels.
  • 20% higher total insulin secretion.
  • 22% faster insulin-secretion rate.
  • 7% slower rate of clearing insulin from the blood.

I’m not even going to begin to address the issue of toxicity and chemical stress from artificial sweeteners here; I’ll do that in other posts, and have done several questions and comments about it on my website that will eventually migrate here as well.  The new discussion is that taste buds (and we know now that there are taste receptors in the gut, too) trigger the production of insulin. Your body responds, makes it, and then has to figure out what to do once it gets into the bloodstream since insulin isn’t necessary for processing artificial sweeteners. Refined sugar has a similar effect since it can enter the bloodstream through the cell walls; unlike naturally-occurring sugars in, say, a strawberry, it doesn’t require digestion for extraction.  That’s the essence of “insulin resistance”, which is the newest buzzword in the sugar sagas connected to the American diabetes epidemic. The surplus insulin causes stress leading to exhaustion of the adrenal glands-as if we didn’t have enough other stresses in our lives- since they have to produce the hormone to break down the excess insulin; it also leads to the chronic inflammation researchers are blaming for everything from obesity to cancer.

Frankly, I’m not a fan of most of the so-called “natural” sweeteners, either, and this study would probably apply to them as well. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a highly refined extract that causes stomach upset in lots of people, including me. Stevia is fine if you use it fresh or as a green powder (just the dried leaves) or liquid; if it is clear it has also been through a long list of refining treatments that make it about as healthy and natural as vodka, which “just comes from potatoes”! High fructose corn syrup is also considered a “natural sweetener”.

The real problem is that Americans simply want things too sweet.  Even agave, honey, molasses, and maple syrup, which really are consumed essentially in their natural state, should be used in really moderate amounts.  I am constantly encouraging my clients to eat more raw, fresh foods. The fiber they contain slows down the release of the sugars, and the full range of flavor slows down the demand for sweetness. Organic fruits usually have more taste; it’s trace elements that give them flavor and organic fertilizers have a wider range of nutrients than commercial ones. Protein also slows the release of sugar; if you have to have a chocolate chip cookie, have one made with whole wheat pastry flour (more fiber and protein than white flour but made from softer Spring wheat) and nuts for extra protein. When I bake I use Sucanat®, which is just dried,  unrefined sugar cane juice, and use less than the recipe calls for. Because none of the molasses has been removed it has a really rich flavor. Friends and I make baked goods for an eighteenth century re-enactment every year-people LOVE our products and we make the above substitutions, which are period-correct! (Check out my “Three Wives Kitchen Cookbook“, which goes into great detail about healthy period ingredients.)

You can read the article citing the study at the link below. Bottom Line Health is one of my favorite newsletters for quick info.

http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/health-a-healing/splenda-raises-blood-sugar-levels-and-may-increase-diabetes-risk?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=2013-09-19%20DHN%20NL%20%20CID-0000001681%20remainder&utm_content=utm_source=Newsletter&spMailingID=42643680&spUserID=NTE4NTcxNDc1ODES1&spJobID=203947271&spReportId=MjAzOTQ3MjcxS0