• 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.

What I would do with Ebola….

Like anyone else with anything to do with natural health care, I have been drowning in questions about herbal and other “natural” approaches to Ebola. A couple of thoughts and some info follow. Remember that I am not a doctor, so I am not trying to diagnose or prescribe for anybody’s disease, just sharing my personal thoughts and ideas.

Ebola is not a new disease. It has been around for ages, and over the last 38 years there have been 25 confirmed, significant outbreaks in West Africa. Prior to this year, the cumulative number of people who had died in those outbreaks totaled 1037; in Canada over 1500 people died of the flu in the last two years. About 40 million died in the flu outbreak if 1918, including nearly  700,000 in the US, so hopefully that gives some perspective. This outbreak has obviously been much larger than most, but we wouldn’t even know about it if an American hadn’t gotten sick. Ebola is not more contagious than other viruses, just more deadly if you do contract it.

What to do about it? As with any virus, the best defense is a strong immune response. Of over 40 people who had direct, even intimate contact prior to his hospitalization with the first victim to die in the US, none have developed any symptoms of the disease and all were released from 3 weeks of quarantine today. Granted, two nurses did develop the disease, but 40 people who had no protection did not. As one doctor in West Africa put it, we are fighting two diseases, one is Ebola, and one is fear of Ebola! If you are still particularly concerned simple things like adding colloidal silver (quality is critical here, since most home-made and many commercial solutions have particles large enough to also kill good bacteria, and should be 18-20ppm) to your water, or diffusing Guardian essential oil blend in your home or office have been shown to reduce pathogens, and thus your likelihood of contracting anything. Eating well, getting plenty of rest, and taking adaptogenic herbs like Suma and Astragalus are no-brainers. One study years ago found that white vinegar was more effective than chlorine or peroxide solutions at eliminating HIV virus from hospital surfaces, so don’t stress your body with chemical cleaners and synthetic anti-bacterial products. Maintain a great probiotic level with a good variety of cultured foods, and consider adding a supplement if foods like kefir and kimchee haven’t been dietary staples (I like Probiotic 11). None of these treat any disease-but your body will recognize and eliminate foreign entities more effectively if you take care of it appropriately.

Specific supports I would look at are based on what I know about how the virus works. In all hemorrhagic fevers, the mucous membranes seem to be compromised. They constitute the first responders to any kind of foreign element, from a piece of dirt in your eye, to pollen or viruses in your nose, to toxins in the food you eat, so I would support mine with Marshmallow root, which coats, soothes and provides materials to rebuild compromised tissues. I have read that the virus disables the body’s ability to recognize invaders and replace normal cells, and stimulates reproduction of itself instead (interesting; that is how cancer works, and many researchers believe cancer is actually virus-instigated!). To trigger immune response I would be thumping my thymus gland (in the center of the chest, a la Tarzan). I would take lots of (cider) vinegar baths, which help to maintain hydration, especially when people can’t keep enough in orally, and keeps the acid mantle high enough to fight pathogens. Most of all, I would live in faith, not fear!

GMO Enzymes and Patented Probiotics!

Any time you see a patented or trademarked notice on a product you are buying something that has been altered in such a way or to such a degree that it does not exist in a natural state. That reality extends even to “natural” products, since “natural” does not have any legal definition. As I explained to a client this morning in response to an inquiry about a new  “natural” anxiety supplement, “I’m always cautious with patented products-to me, any “patented, standardized” product is a drug, not an herb. It no longer has the balance with which it was created. After all, vodka is just a “standardized” extract of potatoes, and I know people who swear by it for stress relief!”

While most people agree that eating cultured foods like kimchi, yogurt and kefir, and taking probiotic supplements are good ideas, very few know where their cultures come from. You may be surprised to learn that most commercial products in those categories are also patented! In 2011 DuPont acquired Danisco, the largest producer of enzymes and cultures for the food industry. The patented ingredients include a huge list of acidophilus and other cultures, including “starter cultures for color, texture and flavor development and to maintain microbiological quality.” From the Danisco website:  “The DuPont™ Danisco® range encompasses the broadest portfolio of ingredients for the dairy industry. Today, every third cheese obtains its well-defined flavor and texture from our leading cultures.” The same is true for many other products-and not just dairy products, to settle the anti-dairy “told-you-so” voices! Dairy and meat substitutes are using the same engineered cultures, and so are supplement manufacturers.

Patented supplement ingredients include more than just probiotics. Vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, fiber, and phytosterols are also in the Danisco  lines. DuPont-the company responsible for fostering genetically modified foods-made big  business news with their “New Harvest” Omega Three; it’s selling well on the grounds that it’s sustainable and vegan! They even offer to help companies work with regulatory agencies in whatever country they are interested in doing business to get their products approved.

The solution? Get your nutrients as much as possible from real, whole, organic foods. I have a great kombucha-type culture that generated itself when I kept a bottle of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar near my stove. That is a live food! If you need supplements, generally use herbs rather than isolated nutrients-we were designed to digest plants-from a company that does serious quality control of its own. Be wary of wonder supplements with names you can’t pronounce, and question the source of foods and supplements. Buy local where possible, and support smaller companies who are less likely to use the engineered enzymes and cultures.

http://newhope360.com/news/dupont-buys-danisco-what-deal-means-nutritional-ingredients

Sinus Infection, Silver and Neti Pot Quick tips

Text message Q&A: My son has a sinus infection. I have silver shield left. Should he take it straight or mix it with juice or Gatorade?

A: Either way,  except Gatorade has way more crap than benefits. Pineapple juice would be good. Massage the lymph nodes from behind the ear down toward the collarbone. Snuff warm salt water for fastest relief. Lots of garlic for dinner!

Feeling better really can be that simple! Extra info beyond my quick text would be massage with an aromatic oil-I use a cajeput blend, or tea tree, chamomile, and lemon; see my website for more. A neti pot makes “snuffing” easier, and bayberry bark in the water will take down inflammation even faster than salt. My son’s sinus infections were what got me started in Natural Health!

More questions:

Natalie wrote: “I am prone to sinus infections (just got over one….again). But I can’t use the Nettie pot because the water gets trapped in my ears. Do you have any tips for that?”

When you use the neti, make sure you are letting the water in slowly, that your mouth is open, and that you do not block the open nostril or blow hard. There is a good set of instructions at  http://yoga108.org/pages/show/106-how-to-use-a-neti-pot-without-danger
It also helps to work the lymph nodes, stroking firmly from the bottom of the ear, the mastoid area (at the base of the skull) and the lower edge of the jaw down toward the collarbone.  I usually use a massage oil blend that includes cajeput or tea tree, chamomile, and lemon essential oils to increase circulation and reduce inflammation. That should help open the area and facilitate drainage. You can use the same blend on the sinus area, stroking from the nose outward, around the eye socket, and from the eye to the temples and behind the ears in one smooth motion.

Aside from that, you need to find out WHY you keep getting sinus infections. For most people it has to do with poor digestion, which produces acid waste that increases mucous production in the whole body in an attempt to soothe the irritated membranes. The offending foods have to be eliminated; the most common are dairy products and wheat, which for some reason seems to be connected especially to infections in the right ear. Supplements to support the stomach and/or pancreas (I am NOT a fan of digestive enzymes as a rule-I prefer safflowers, Garcinia combination, etc.) may be helpful, and marshmallow or slippery elm rebuild mucous membranes.  Remember that sugar feeds bacteria, so watch your diet for refined starches and sugars. Lymphatic congestion is usually a major factor as well; many of my clients do well with the Nature’s Sunshine Lymph Gland Cleanse Formula, and the regular practice of lymphatic exercise, based on  “Riding Horse” Qi Gung stance. Stand with feet a little more than shoulder width apart and the knees flexed. Begin to “bounce” lightly, gradually increasing the amount of movement. (The body will do this quite naturally.)  Allow the arms to bounce as well; they will tend to fall into loose fists which will lightly beat on the thighs. Gradually move them to beat on the groin, then  move them one at a time up the body, to the armpit, out the arms, and back in.  Continue around the neck and down the sides, ending with going down and back up the legs. Maintain the bouncing throughout the entire time; the whole process should take  8-10 minutes. Follow with plenty of water!

Q&A: Children’s Vitamins and Anemia

Question:

One question I have is, are you or were you in the medical field? I couldn’t remember if you were a nurse or not. I remember a past conversation on iron and the proper supplements and I was wondering, do the Flintstone vitamins give the proper source of iron? I do understand the difference between the two, labels just don’t always spell out what is good for you and what is not. I know my son has a lot of me in him and I was anemic taking the true iron supplements (wasn’t fun), not the Flintstones vitamins. I hope Flintstones are a good source for him since he shows some signs of how I was as a child and being anemic. He does eat very well, with lots of raw veggies.

Thanks for your input!

Answer:

***I am not in the medical field, I am a consulting body systems counselor, trained in herbs, flower essences, homeopathics and the like. I focus on restoring health rather than fighting disease symptoms.***Lots of my clients are nurses. I think they tend to be more open to alternatives in health care because they interact more closely with patients, so see more directly the consequences of conventional treatments. Our four-kid family has been virtually doctor-free for 30 years!

I don’t know the source of iron for Flintstones, but they, like virtually all commercial vitamins, are in a base of coal tar, which is a petroleum by-product. Commercial products, even prescription iron, are almost always ferrous sulfate, the form of iron found in skillets and nails, which is why it is so often unpleasant to take. We absorb ferrous gluconate much better and more easily. If he is eating lots of raw vegetables and fruits-in that order- he may already be getting what he needs. Dark, leafy greens and dark red foods (red cabbage, beets, dark raisins and cherries, etc.) are great sources of iron. Remember, you can sneak those into smoothies and they will not even notice the spinach or kale!

Sometimes anemia is not from a lack of iron but an inability to assimilate it; I would be giving him lots of (maple or fruit-sweetened only) live, whole milk yogurt to make sure his gut flora are producing enough B-12, which helps  maintain proper hemoglobin levels. If you do still really feel a need to give him a vitamin, I would use the Herbasaurs children’s vitamin on my website, which is in a base of powdered herbs so provides the co-nutrients essential for assimilation of vitamins. Remember that nothing in nature exists in isolation, so taking any single vitamin or mineral can throw off others; that’s why I prefer to work with herbs. Alfalfa, for example, has the widest range of trace minerals available; I encourage my clients to eat lots of alfalfa sprouts rather than taking capsules because sprouting activates enzymes in the seed and produces lots of vitamin C, but I’d still prefer alfalfa capsules to mineral supplement tablets. I especially like the “Herbal Trace Minerals”, which combine alfalfa, kelp, and dandelion.

Liquid Chlorophyll (check for preservatives-I use Nature’s Sunshine) taken between meals with chelated iron and bioflavanoids is the best way to restore hemoglobin levels. When I was pregnant with my second child I developed pernicious anemia. By the time it was recognized my hemoglobin was around 7.5. 30 days on prescription iron, with the attendant nausea and constipation, brought it up to a little over 8. I switched to the chlorophyll formula and got it to 11.4 in two weeks. I lost over 2 pints of blood in the delivery (they did not realize the placenta had already detached and were holding her in the birth canal trying to loosen the cord from around her neck to prevent that). Even after that loss, my hemoglobin was over 12 at my 6 week checkup!

Stress, Menopause, and DHEA questions

A client of mine emailed me this inquiry about stress and hormone issues recently and I thought it would be helpful to share my response.

She says,”I went off milk for a while and started drinking almond milk – I seem to muscle test okay for it – but the last week or so I have felt warm on and off throughout the day and tired. I seem to be testing for 2 adrenals and 2 wild yam. I take the Pantothenic Acid and have been taking the l-Lysine as I wasn’t sure what was going on. I do have the occasional sneeze attacks but feel like my eyes are heavy for some reason – I’d say allergies but can’t say since we really haven’t been here long enough. It’s been like this the heavy eyes for a couple of weeks or more and the feeling warm on and off last two weeks I’d say. Please let me know what you think. ”

My response: I think I would add 3 evening primrose oil after checking you, and remember that licorice root is key for anti-histamine stability. The almond milk isn’t quite as high in fat as the dairy and you need plenty to make your hormones. It’s also helpful for immune response…which is also fat dependent. Do you want me to send you a flower essence as well??

Her:
Okay so I’ll continue with the adrenal support @ 2 and the wild yam @ 2 – continue the l-lysine and the panothenic acid. I stopped taking the licorice root – hmmm not sure why – lol and will add the evening primrose. I needed that reminder about the fats for my hormones. I am now using half milk and half almond milk in my shakes – got to thinking about it (I over think things sometimes! lol) and remember that nuts will cause me to have a breakout on my hand if I eat too many so wasn’t sure if that was contributing. I need to place a NS order so I’ll add evening primrose and continue the rest? licorice root? and YES to a flower essence and please let me know what I owe you!!! Thanks a million Kim. You don’t know how good it feels to be able to go to you and get these scans done/advice, etc. When are you coming up this way? We need a retreat to happen!!!!

Kim – an added note that I didn’t think of – I was taking 25mg of DHEA – I have been told since that I may have been taking too much – it is what they said when I was on the bio-identitcal hormones and did all the blood work. Anyway – I’ve been off of it for about 3-4 weeks and wondering if that did attribute. Ordering today if possible – let me know if adrenal support, wild yam, pano acid and evening primrose is all i need to order….licorice root still have some. Thanks a bunch kim!

Me: That could be the bulk of the issue!! If your glandular system is properly supported (which the supplements you tested for are intended to do) then your body should be making enough DHEA. As you know, I am not a huge fan of “bio-identical” hormones. In the first place, I don’t believe we can duplicate anything in the body. Beyond that, hormone levels can and should fluctuate on a daily (hourly!) basis. The adrenals, liver, and thyroid gland are also factors in hormone health and taking a female hormone substitute doesn’t address those organs. Taking any one hormone will affect levels of many others. The basic premise that we need to keep our hormone levels the same as we age seems counter-intuitive to me; would you like to be pregnant in your 50’s or 60’s? If not, there is not a reason, in my opinion, to attempt to artificially replicate hormone levels appropriate to that function. I have an inherent belief that we were correctly designed, and that artificially high hormones are necessary for us to be well as we age and pass into menopause.

Q&A: Broken Bones

Question:
My mother broke her ankle three years ago and no surgery could of helped it heal. Can you help my mother?
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Q&A: Gall Stones

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