National Suicide Prevention Month: Resources

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide is one of the top three leading causes of death in people ages 15-44.  If you are depressed, seek help.

In the event of a medical or mental health emergency, please call 911.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
GLBT youth in crisis-  Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386

Natural Approach
Here are a couple of articles that have useful information on natural approaches to depression.  Georgia’s Naturals carries a fine selection of supplements mentioned in these articles. Grace can help with Natural Health Consultations.

Natural Remedies for Depression

Natural Depression Treatment

Self Help Reading:
Feeling Good , David Burns, MD
Identifies behaviors that are your weak points that keep you depressed or anxious.  Cognitive therapy to help change the way you think to a more positive and healthier thinking.  There is also a workbook that is separate, but the book itself has several self-assessments in it that are helpful.  Buy it here.

Get Professional Help, Seek Counseling:
Dr. Jim Wayland, M.A., PhD., LPC, LCDC
3007 Dawn Drive
Georgetown, TX 78628

Dr. Andrew Reichert, PhD., PLLC
3007 Dawn Drive
Georgetown, TX 78628

Williamson County Crisis Intervention Team
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) consists of highly trained Sheriff’s Office law enforcement officers that provide crisis intervention assistance to the citizens of Williamson County.
The Crisis Intervention Team offers assistance to those suffering from emotional and psychological issues and assists them in obtaining the appropriate social service available to their specific need. The Crisis Intervention Team is also tasked with performing follow-up checks when deemed necessary.
The Crisis Intervention Team is structured to assist citizens by providing professional and immediate assistance in obtaining proper care and assistance.  Each member of the crisis team is licensed by the State of Texas with specific training in mental health, crisis intervention, first aid, CPR and are licensed Peace Officers with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
This service is offered to the citizens of Williamson County 24 hours a day.
Sheriff Wilson and his staff are committed to the citizens of Williamson County. Their guidance and commitment to the Crisis Intervention Team brings this valued service to the community.
To Reach a Crisis Intervention Team Member
For Emergencies – Call 911 for assistance
For Non-Emergencies Monday – Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm – contact numbers are:
Lt. Robert Gremillion – 512-943-1650
Sgt. Frank Saenz – 512-943-1650
Captain Mike Gleason  – 512-943-5270
For Non-Emergencies After Hours –  512-864-8282

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7 Tips For Back-To-School Stress Relief

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

August is here and school will soon start up again.  For some people, they are excited to get back into that routine and structure.  Others dread the thought of having to get up earlier and get into the groove again.  Either way, it can mean added stress.

Here are some tips to help relieve stress:

1.  Better Nutrition
Junk food will certainly drain energy.  Cut out the junk food, fast food and sugar.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Are you taking a good multi-vitamin?  Our food supply does not offer enough of the the nutrients our bodies need to be healthy.  Georgia’s Naturals carries good whole-food based multi-vitamins for adults and children.  Don’t forget the healthy snacks and lunch items, also available at Georgia’s.

2.  Exercise
If you have been the couch potato all summer, it is not too late to work on a simple exercise routine.  It may be too hot to walk unless you get up early, but there are other exercises that can be done indoors.  Find one that you are most likely to do and start small, don’t over do it.  Work with a personal trainer to target your goals and write an individual work out program for you that will work with your school schedule.

3.  Plan Ahead
Get organized.  Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey is an excellent book for learning how to organize your time more efficiently.  Set your priorities.  Write down your goals, make lists.  Get organized for tomorrow, today.  The less you have to gather and do in the morning, the less you will be stressed. Make your lunch the night before and pick out what to wear.   Buy school supplies and new school clothes before school starts.  Set up a family calendar for school activities and family plans.  Set up any charts for chores and homework ahead of time.

4.  Down Time
Living in the present moment can help tremendously with stress.  People tend to be more stressed if they are dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.  Spending just 10 minutes a day in quiet time or meditation, just to stop and be still, will offer mental clarity and give yourself a break. Regular meditation improves emotional and physical responses to stress. Stress is cumulative and we need down time.  Breathing exercises are also useful.  Watch the sunset and  get some fresh air.

5.  Adjust Your Schedule
Gradually shift your schedule so that you are going to bed a littler earlier and getting up a little earlier.  When school starts, you will have an easier time of getting into the routine.  Getting more sleep will also help with stress.

6.  Get a Tune Up
Stress can deplete your immune system. Get your tune-ups to help relieve stress, with chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, detox foot bath and schedule a natural health consultation.  We can make referrals for all of the above.  I offer Aqua Chi Ionic foot baths as well as natural health consultations, which assess stressed areas of the body and bring them back into balance through targeted nutrition.  I also offer energy balancing sessions and Jin Shin Jyutsu, which relieve stress and restore balance.  Please check out my website for more information.  All sessions are tailored to individual needs.

7.  Get Psyched
Think about all of the positive things you have to look forward to with the new school year.  What are you excited about? A class on your schedule? A new sport? Seeing friends you’ve missed?  Focusing on the positive can help relieve stress.  Rescue Remedy is great for minor anxiety and Georgia’s carries it in pastilles, gum, drops, spray and cream.  I can also make a custom blend of flower essences for individuals who need a little more help with adjusting.  Read more about stress management here and here.

Have a great school year!



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Catnip, Not Just For Cats…

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

The latin name for Catnip is Nepeta cataria, “cataria” meaning “of the cat“.  By the time kittens are 6 months old, they will express a sensitivity to Catnip, if they have inherited the sensitivity.  P4130096Not all cats inherit the sensitivity.  It is hard to say what percentage of cats inherits the sensitivity,  sources vary, but I’ve never met a cat that didn’t like it.   It is the nepetalactone found in the volatile oil of the Catnip that is the active ingredient for kitty bliss.  Catnip sensitivity can be expressed in different ways by different cats.  The can go from zero to crazy in a short amount of time from the smell.  Eating it can make them very IMG_1276mellow.  The kitty high will last about 10 minutes and then it takes a couple of hours before they are interested in it again.  As a purveyor of fine Catnip, I have witnessed two of my cats taking turns rolling in the flower bed where the Catnip grows and their behavior is quite entertaining.  They eventually destroyed that plant.  When I distill fresh Catnip for my Natural Bug Repellent, some of the volatile oils are released into the air and I have high kitties on the loose.  Bees and butterflies like it too.

Growing Catnip
 Sowing Catnip seeds is preferable to transplanting (if you have cats.)  They can destroy a transplant very easily.   Seeds can also be started indoors and transplanted after the last spring frost.  Propagation can also be done with cuttings or by root ball division.  photo 2The plants can grow 3-4 feet tall and can easily spread by seed. The flowers are white with a splash of pink/lavender in color. photo 4 Catnip is a perennial herb (Zones 3a-9b), and dead stems should be cut back in the spring, to make way for new growth.  It will grow in just about any soil that is well-drained, but the sandier soils tend to increase the aroma. It also does well with hydroponics.  Catnip likes full sun, but will also grow in shade and likes regular water.  It is harder to keep it alive indoors, because the cats will chew it up.  IMG_3786Catmint is another plant and sometimes the names are used interchangeably.  Catmint is the same Genus, “Nepeta”, but a different species.  Nepeta fassennii is a hybrid that is sterile, so you don’t have to worry about it taking over and re-seeding like Catnip.  The flowers are purple-blue and the leaves are more silver.  The leaf shape is similar, but different.  I find it to be more drought tolerant than Catnip and it works well in rock gardens.  Cats also like Catmint, but it is not as strong and not as enticing.

Medicinal Uses
So, Catnip is not just for cats.  It has been used medicinally and traditionally as a children’s remedy.  Catnip is safe for children and pets.  It is a member of the mint family, and shares the effects of dispelling gas and aiding digestion, like peppermint.  Traditionally, Catnip tea was used with children to help reduce a fever quickly, without raising the temperature.  As a diaphoretic, it helps promote sweating.  It was often used with colds and flu.  AAA010Because of the fever reducing quality and the calming effects, it promotes rest and recovery, which is helpful with colds and flu.    It is also a colic remedy. The sesquiterpene lactones (and nepetalactones) found in Catnip, are chemically similar to those found in valerian root, thus the sedative and antispasmodic effects. The calming effects can assist with nervousness, anxiety, stress and insomnia.   It is also a mild pain reliever and helps to reduce inflammation.  Catnip is an antispasmodic, which helps with any spasms, muscle spasms and cramps.   Catnip should be avoided during pregnancy.

Catnip is high in the minerals chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese, potassium, and selenium.  It also contains calcium, magnesium, silicon and phosphorus among others.  Some sources say it can produce euphoria when smoked, but it is harsh and leaves a pretty bad headache.  The headache alone is enough to keep it from being a bad habit.  It has been used historically to season meats and as an addition to salads.  It was a popular tea before Chinese tea became widely available.

Bug Repellent
IMG_1329 Research done at Iowa State University found that the nepetalactones in Catnip were 100 times more effective for repelling roaches than DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide) and in a purified form, it killed flies.  It also repels mosquitos. 


Herb Preservation
When I harvest Catnip from the garden.  I wait for it to flower and then harvest the flowers and leaves.  In my experience, it is stronger than just the leaves. 

I have three methods of drying the Catnip for future use:

photo 1
1. I hang it in bunches tied up with cotton twine.

2. I use a dehydrator, set on a very low heat to preserve delicate constituents in the plant material.  This is useful because it speeds the process.

photo 3








3. I also built drying racks that stack and I dry everything in a climate controlled room.  A small fan beneath the racks is also photo 2

Always wait for the plant material to be completely dry before storing it in an air-tight glass jar.  Herbs are best stored in the dark, since prolonged exposure to light and air will accelerate deterioration.

Check your herbs and spices in your kitchen. If they are brown (and should be green) and have no smell, they have likely lost their taste as well, and it is time to put them in your compost pile.

Enjoy your Catnip and don’t forget to share with your kitty.  You can buy Gracie’s Garden Catnip at Georgia’s Naturals, 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 105, Georgetown, TX 78628.  You can also buy my Natural Bug Repellent at Georgia’s and at Monument Market, 500 S. Austin Avenue, Georgetown, TX. 

Have a great day!


Nutritional Herbology, A Reference Guide to Herbs, Mark Pedersen

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Phyllis Balch

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10 Tips For Improving Nutrient Assimilation: Are You Getting The Most Out of Your Food?

by Grace  Bryce

The average American diet does not meet the (RDA) recommended daily allowance of nutrients according to studies by the USDA.  There are several reasons Americans are missing the nutrients essential to growth and development and good health.  Here are a few tips to help get the most out of your food.

Organic Food
1.  Buy organically grown food or grow your own.  Organically grown produce contains more nutrients than produce grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  Our soils are depleted of minerals and nutrients, so our food is not as nutritious as it was several years ago.  Check out the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen guides for shopping and learn which fruits and vegetables to buy organic.  Read more here.   The PLU number for organic produce starts with a “9” not a “4”.   Read more here.


Mechanical Advantage
2.   Physically, we can improve nutrient assimilation by chewing our food until it is mostly liquid.  The movement of chewing helps to release enzymes in the saliva in the mouth.  These enzymes help to break down the food into particles that are small enough to be absorbed.  Swallowing large chunks of food, makes more work for the stomach and there is a possibility that they may not be broken down adequately before they continue through the digestion process.  This leads to indigestion and gas, and other problems that can surface over time, such as food allergies.

Digestive Enzymes
3.   As we get older, our bodies produce fewer digestive enzymes, so supplementing with good digestive enzymes will assist the break down of the food we eat.  Taking digestive enzymes with meals, helps take the stress off of the digestive system.  Different enzymes break down different nutrients.  People who have had their gallbladders removed will need extra help to break down fats they consume.
Stomach Acid
4.   After age 30, the production of stomach acid can decrease.  Stomach acid is useful to assist with protein digestion and also kills bacteria that might be on food we ingest.  To help increase our stomach acid, we can take 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water about 20 minutes before meals.  A vinegar based salad dressing on salad at the beginning of the meal is another alternative.  Beet root or agarita tea can also help.  There is a supplement called Betaine HCl that may also contain pepsin, available commercially.  Inadequate supply of salt in the diet can also hinder the production of stomach acid.  If our sweat isn’t salty, we aren’t getting enough salt in our diet.  Some people who have stomach pain may think it is from too much stomach acid, but it could be from too little.

Avoid Junk
5.   Refined sugar, processed foods and fast food all put added stress on digestion and the body, not to mention the lack of nutrients contained in them.  Garbage in, garbage out.  If there aren’t any nutrients in the food to begin with, you won’t be absorbing any.

6.  Water is essential to life and every bodily function.  It is important to drink an adequate amount of pure clean water daily (not tap and not distilled).   Take your weight and divide by 2.  This is the number of ounces of water you should drink daily.  Other beverages don’t count. More water needs to be consumed, if coffee and tea are consumed.  Remember to replace electrolytes, if you are sweating.   Hydration is more efficient, if water is consumed in quantities of 4-6 ounces at a time.  It is better for digestion not to consume a lot of water or liquids during a meal.  This dilutes stomach acid.  Drinking ice water with meals can also slow down the digestive process.  

Synergy of Vitamins
7.  Vitamins and minerals need each other for absorption.  For example, the B vitamins work better together (with the other B vitamins) and with Vitamin C.  A good multi-vitamin from whole food sources will help round out what is needed for better assimilation.  People who have digestive problems may benefit from taking a liquid multi-vitamin.  Holding the liquid in the mouth before swallowing can help by sublingual absorption.  Some nutrients will pass directly into the blood stream.  Add more nutritive herbs to your diet, many are naturally balanced with what is needed for absorption.  Herbal supplement formulas are also naturally  balanced.
Avoid Depletion
8.  Sugar can deplete vitamins and minerals.  Coffee, tea, alcohol, and soft drinks can deplete vitamins and minerals.  Diuretics will deplete.  Some medications may deplete, so more supplementation may be necessary.  Be sure to check with your pharmacist and get to know your medications and which supplements would be safe and helpful to use.

Balance & Moderation
9.  Eating a well balanced diet is also important.  Most of a healthy diet should consist of fruits and vegetables and fewer grains.  Dr. Fuhrman has a food pyramid that makes sense.  Read more here.   Don’t eat the same thing every day.  Over exposure to the same food every day can create food sensitivities.  Rotate your menus.  When you crave certain foods, it is your body’s cry for certain nutrients or it could be a warning that you have Candida overgrowth.

10.  Maintaining healthy gut flora not only helps with digestion and absorption, it is necessary for  immune function.  Jarrow has a great line of probiotics, based on research of each strain of bacteria.  They are also shelf stable.


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Are You Bee Friendly?

0001Hc0001wU0001Ym0001uG0001HBHere are some links for more interesting information on bees:

Visit my website here:

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Growing First Aid In Your Garden

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

Most people would benefit from taking a general first aid class.  The information in this article could be used hand in hand with conventional first aid and/or while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.  First aid situations are basically for stabilizing the situation.  If you have a serious condition, please go to the Emergency Room or dial 911.  Herbal first aid does not take the place of conventional first aid or the care of a licensed physician.

Herbs and natural products can be helpful in many ways to enhance first aid action.  For instance, you may know from a first aid class that to stop bleeding you put pressure on the wound.  An herb that could assist with this situation is yarrow.  Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) could be placed on the wound as well as applying pressure to the wound to help stop bleeding, maybe a little more efficiently.

Tailor Your First Aid Kit To Your Needs
Your best plant medicine is going to come from the plants growing around you. Some IMG_3581herbs you can grow in your garden.  They may already be your landscape plants. They may be in your kitchen cabinet or they may be found along a hiking trail, while you are out camping.  Using fresh plant material is best, but some plants are not always in season. A supply of dried herbs or salves made from the herbs may be more convenient and would ensure that you have what you need when you need it.  Natural supplies that can be added to your first aid kit will vary depending on your situation.  At home you would certainly have more room for more supplies than you would if you were hiking in the wilderness.  It also may be more important to have certain items depending on the risks that surround you.  At any rate, you can tailor your kit to your needs.

First Of All, Educate Yourself.
Get to know the plants around you. Learn to identify them.  Learn their latin names and what they have been used for traditionally.  Do your homework.  Be able to positively identify plants over and over again and know what to look for.  If you aren’t sure, don’t use it.   Plant them, grow them, love them.  Plan what to plant and where you will plant it.  You may have a special bed for planting herbs or a whole garden.   Many herbs can be grown in pots or planter boxes and protected from chemicals and animals.  If you do any wildcrafting, be sure to ask permission of the land owner and don’t trespass.  Harvest ethically, only when there is an abundance of the herb.  Do not harvest all of the herb present. Leave some to go to seed and to propagate for the future.  Ask permission of the plant and harvest with gratitude for the good medicine it has to offer.  Carry water with you to offer back to the plants where you harvested.

How Will You Use Your Herbs?

  • Teas- herbal infusions and decoctions can be consumed
  • Teas for Fomentation or Compresses-  Gauze is soaked in the tea and applied to the photoskin and kept warm with a hot water bottle or heating pad. Reapply several times.  Make sure it is not too hot.  Tea bags or re-useable tea bags can also be placed on the skin.
  • Tinctures- stronger than tea- shelf life- 10 years.
  • Infused oils, Salves, lotions for topical use and convenience.
  • Poultice- made up of chopped or chewed fresh herb or powdered dry herb; clay or oatmeal; aloe; tincture, tea or warm water to mix and make a paste.  Oatmeal will be soothing, the clay will help draw out poison or toxin.

Who Should Use Which Herbs?
Anyone can have a sensitivity to anything, so always be cautious until you know how you are going to react to something .  Do your homework first on the herbs you want to use.  Many herbs should not be used by pregnant women or if you are taking medications. Some herbs are good for children, some are not.  Anything you drink or put on your skin can cause irritation, we are all different.  Check with your doctor and or pharmacist.

What Herbs Can I Plant?
Aloe (Aloe barbadensis; A. vera)   It grows in well drained soil low in organic matter.   IMG_2580This succulent thrives on little attention.  Avoid over-watering and move indoors before temps get into the 40s during winter.  It likes the sun, but a little shade during the day is good.   Cut a piece of fresh aloe leaf as needed.  Soothing gel is great for burns, cuts and wounds.  I will add a slice of the gel under bandaid for blisters or burns.  Fresh is best.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)  I think it grows better in fall in Central Texas. It doesn’t do so well in the Texas summer heat.  I replant it each IMG_1092year.  Dry flowers for tea.  Make a salve or buy a salve.   Calendula flowers are emollient, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic; astringent (tightens and tonifies tissues); anti-microbial; anti-fungal and diaphoretic (to help you sweat to reduce fever.)  It is beneficial for skin ailments and healing the digestive tract.

Comfrey (Symphytum officianale)  (Also known as knitbone.)  You can grow it in a pot, IMG_2508but use a large pot, because the root needs lots of room.  It is happier in the ground and it likes to have some shade. It does well in poor soil and holds up well in winter, so you don’t have to worry about it freezing.  It likes regular water.  Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are found in the root and in fresh leaves, but not in dried leaves. However, the FDA still requires a warning not to use it for more than 10 days in a row and not to take it internally, because it may cause liver damage and not to use it if you are pregnant or have liver damage.  Comfrey has been traditionally used for  broken bones, sprains, bruises, arthritis, and bronchitis.  Use as a poultice or fomentation.  First aid use is primarily for trauma or burns.  Do not use on deep, open wounds or puncture wounds, because an abscess can form below a quickly healed surface.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)  This is an easy to grow perennial.  It is drought tolerant and likes sun.  The leaves used for external wound washes for abrasions, contusions or inflamed skin.  Gargle with sage tea, then swallow for sore throat and congestion.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)  This is another easy to grow herb.  It is best to grow it in IMG_2576a pot because it can take over a bed in no time. Peppermint likes steady water.  Mints are one of the oldest and most reliable herbal remedies.  Spearmint is not as strong as peppermint, so it may be preferable to children.    It is great for digestion.  Peppermint is also a helpful herbal catalyst, so drinking a cup of peppermint tea before taking other herbs opens the circulation and potentiates their action.  It helps with gas, nausea, heartburn, bronchitis, colds & flu.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)  It can overtake the flower bed easily.  The medicine tends IMG_4721to be stronger if the soil is poor and the plant has to struggle a little.  White or pale pink flowers and leaves are used.  It will grow well in sun or some shade.  The shaded yarrow tends to have taller stalks and it spreads through roots and seeds.   It was traditionally used as a fever reducer, blood pressure regulator, astringent, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-microbial, antiviral and bitter.  First aid use is primarily to stop bleeding using a spit poultice.

Passionvine or Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) This is an easy vine to grow, but OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAplant enough for the butterfly caterpillars to eat.  Once you get it started you will have it everywhere.  The Native plant species can be found on hiking trails around here.   The vine and flowers are used for anxiety, insomnia, and have a calming effect. It can be consumed in tincture form, smoked or simply make a tea with it.   It is a Nervine, so has a calming effect, but typically  it won’t knock you out. This falls under first aid, because if you are in a trauma situation, people may tend to get anxious or have trouble sleeping.   It is anti-spasmodic, can help with stomach ache or diarrhea;  painful menstruation and mild pain relief.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) It is easy to grow in your garden.  Remember to plant enough for the butterflies.  Seeds were traditionally used for relief of gas, indigestion and for fresh breath.

These are just a few herbs that are easy to grow and do well in Central Texas.

What Other Natural Products Should I Add To My Kit?

Activated Charcoal Capsules:  food poisoning, diarrhea
*All Purpose Salve [Gracie’s Garden]:  suggested for minor burns, rashes, kin ulcers, bites,stings, cuts, bruises, inflamed skin or fractures.  Do not use on a deep wound.  Contains: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Non- GMO Vitamin E, Calendula, Plantain, Comfrey, Tea tree essential oil & Love.
Arnica Gel and / or Homeopathic tablets:  inflammation and bruising
Bentonite Clay:  To make paste with herbs to draw out toxins or poisons topically; drink  internally mixed in water for diarrhea
Baking Soda:  heartburn, urinary tract infection (drink a pinch in a glass of water); topically added to a poultice for spider bites etc.
*Burn Salve [Gracie’s Garden]: soothing to scrapes, burns and sunburns, contains: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Non-GMO Vitamin E, tomato leaves & flowers, calendula flowers, plantain, oregano, & lavender essential oil & Love.
*Calendula Simple Salve  aka Mama’s Boo Boo Salve [Gracie’s Garden]:  Made with Love. great for very sensitive skin, rashes, minor cuts, scrapes, bee stings, acne, diaper rash, stretch marks
CALM, Mineral drink packet (with Calcium):   Muscle cramps, electrolytes
Chamomile Tea Bags: upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, inflammation (directly on eyes or sprains), insomnia, headaches, skin irritation
Colloidal Silver Spray and/or Gel:  fire ant bites, general infection fighter
*Echinacea Tincture [Gracie’s Garden]:  antimicrobial, immune stimulant & wound cleaner; add to poultice for spider or snake bite
EmergenC drink packets:  immune system booster, electrolytes
Essential Oils (Dilute at least 1:4 or use a salve containing eo’s;  do not consume internally) buy them at Georgia’s and read more about them here –Indu’s Apothecary brand:
Lavender Essential Oil:  insomnia, headaches, anxiety, burns, bug bites, antiseptic, as a    IMG_0865 1 smelling salt after fainting
Tea Tree Essential Oil: mosquito bites, antiseptic
Clove Bud Oil: Toothache- apply with Q-tip
Peppermint Oil:  headache (migraine) -dilute and rub into temples (avoid eyes)

Ginger Candy, Capsules or Tea: nausea, upset stomach, indigestion, motion sickness
*InflamAway Salve [Gracie’s Garden]:  suggested for inflamed conditions, bruising, anti-fungal; contains: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Non-GMO Vitamin E, arnica, chaparral, ginger & rosemary & Love.
*Osha Tincture [Gracie’s Garden]: severe allergic reactions,  high altitude sickness, indigestion, toothaches, asthma, headaches
*Passionvine Tincture [Gracie’s Garden]:  anxiety, insomnia, may also help with migraine headaches
Peppermint Tea Bags:  upset stomach, nausea, inflammation (put tea bag on sprains)
*Plantain dried Herb [Gracie’s Garden]:  for spider bites, drawing out splinters, stings & allergic reactions (skin)
Homeopathic tablets for Poison Ivy/ Oak
Rescue Remedy Flower Essence: anxiety, emotional support for trauma (For custom combinations, please inquire.  Read More Here.)
*Thieves Oil Salve [Gracie’s Garden]: ready to apply to the soles of the feet or chest to chase away a cough or prevent the black plague.  It is also great as a first aid salve.
*Yarrow dried Herb [Gracie’s Garden]:  to stop bleeding & packing deep wounds
Willow Bark capsules:  for headaches, pain, and inflammation

What Other First Aid Supplies Should I Have?
Besides all of the customary first aid kit supplies, there are a few more that you might not think of:
Lighter (for sterilizing)
Swiss Army Knife
Strong reader glasses
Flashlight with straps to mount on forehead

Use small containers to add small portions to your first aid kit.  Be sure to make sure everything is labeled in your first aid kit, for safety.  Check and replace items at least annually.  Make your kit work for you with the items you need.  Put plenty of thought into it.  First Aid kits can be purchased at your favorite pharmacy and usually have the basic supplies along with a quick reference guide.  Natural products, Indu’s Apothecary Essential Oils and Gracie’s Garden products can be purchased at Georgia’s Naturals, 3010 Williams Dr. Suite 105, Georgetown, TX.
Be safe out there.

Go plant some herbs!

This information is based on traditional uses of herbs, no claims are made.  Nothing in this handout is meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  This information should never take the place of a Licensed Physician.  If you have an emergency dial 911 and/or go to the emergency room.   This is for educational purposes only.

Read more here:
Plant Healer Newsletter Volume 4 #4

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Bless Your Heart

Bless Your Heart with Heart Healthy Herbs for Valentine’s Day or any day.

Hawthorn (Crataegus pinnarifida) is at the top of my list for heart healthy herbs.  It is a great heart tonic herb.  It is useful to normalize irregular heartbeats.  It dilates coronary arteries, so it helps circulation in the heart.  Hawthorn also increases the strength of the contractions in heart muscle.  It also helps stabilize collagen and elastin and basically helps to make the vessels more flexible.  Read more here.

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)  is a Chinese herb, also a heart tonic herb, known as “five flavor berry”. Chinese folklore says that Schisandra can “calm the heart and quiet the spirit”.  Schisandra can help reduce anxiety, irritability and palpitations.  It contains flavonoids that strengthen the blood vessels and the cardiovascular system.    Not only is Schisandra a great heart tonic, it also brings more blood flow and energy to the sexual organs.  It increases sexual vitality and secretions, so it will help with vaginal dryness as well as fertility in men and women.


Rose (Rosa spp.) not only smell good, they are also good and strengthening for your heart and circulatory system.  Rose can be effective for reducing high blood pressure and improving circulation, when heat and dry conditions are present.  Rose is relaxing and cooling.   Roses also nourish a broken heart.  Read more here.

You can find all three in Gracie’s Garden’s Heart Healthy Elixir.  Available at Georgia’s Naturals or order by phone  512-818-7857 

$16 for a 2 oz bottle.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Gracie!

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Body Maintenance: Is It Time For A DeTox?

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

Like doing regular maintenance on your car or house, lunapic_133926302675305_1cleansing or detoxing your body can help it last longer, look better (and in the case of the body) keep it healthier.  So how do you know if you need to do a detox?  There are several symptoms that are sometimes indications that the body is ready for a cleanse, such as constipation, headaches, inflamed joints, weight gain, cravings, body odor, insomnia, lack of energy, skin break-outs, and frequent allergies or colds.

Did you know that any chemical you can smell in the air, can make its way into your bloodstream?  It’s no wonder that we all need to detox!  Even eating all organic foods and being as green as we can, we simply can’t avoid all toxins.  On top of environmental toxins, our bodies produce metabolic waste each day, which needs elimination or it can build up.   Food sensitivities to gluten, dairy, sugar and other foods can contribute to the toxic build up.  Preservatives, colorings, additives, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol are also culprits.  What we don’t eliminate, we reabsorb.00010s

It helps to understand a little about the digestive process.
Digestion begins in the mouth, so if you don’t chew your food well enough, the stomach has to work harder. Drinking too much liquid during meals, to wash the big chunks of food down, only dilutes your digestive juices in your stomach.  What doesn’t get digested enough in the mouth and stomach, continues through the digestive tract.  Undigested food particles may eventually end up in the blood stream creating food sensitivities, because your body sees it as a foreign substance and can make antibodies to it.  Then, the next time you eat it, guess what, you might break out in a rash or have swelling or just plain feel terrible after eating it, because you body identifies it as a foreign substance….And you say, “Wow, why now? I’ve been eating this all my life without a problem.”  It is because your body is moving into the stages of decline, which lead to chronic disease.  This is not a pretty thing, besides leaving you feeling miserable.

Toxins are dumped into our dietary fiber and eliminated.  If we do not eat enough fiber, those toxins get reabsorbed back into our bodies and can make us sick or sicker.  Once toxins get into the blood stream they are filtered through the Liver.  Medications can also build up in our bodies.  How are these toxins and substances processed in our bodies?  Everything must past through the liver to filter.   The liver can be stressed with all of the work it has to do and may let toxins pass back into the bloodstream creating systemic toxicity.  Some of the toxins are then excreted through the skin, kidneys and lungs.  The toxins that are not eliminated are stored in the bones, hair, muscles, lymphatics or fat tissues.  When this is allowed to go on, we become diseased.  This begins to show up as irritation and inflammation in our tissues. Those aches and pains could be stored toxins!
What can you do to detox, cleanse and support your healthy body?

* Digestive enzymes can help you tremendously if you eat cooked food and need more help digesting it. Taken between meals, they can act as a detoxifier.

* Fiber – Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber daily (25-40 gms) to absorb toxins and eliminate waste.  There are several fiber supplements at Georgia’s Naturals, in case you need more than you are getting in your diet. Some are formulated with herbs to nourish and strengthen the colon and others are designed for a more sensitive colon. Always take your fiber supplements separate from your other supplements or medications, because they can also be absorbed and eliminated, before the body can benefit from them.    The best scenario is to eat a clean diet with 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Raw fruit and vegetables are more cleansing. Including fresh herbs in your meals also adds nutrition.
My favorite good sources of fiber include:
Fresh fruit (with skins)
Dried prunes
Fresh raw vegetables
Fennel seed
Glucomannan (noodles or powder)
Psyllium seed
Chia Seed
Leafy greens

*  Water– Drink enough water.   The ideal amount of water to drink in a day is half an ounce per pound of body weight.  So if, I weigh 100 pounds, I should be drinking 50 ounces of clean pure water per day.   Don’t drink tap water.  Get a simple filter or filtering system, preferably one that filters out fluoride and chlorine.  Staying hydrated is important and drinking healthy water is important. Ideally, clustered water with antioxidants and minerals to hydrate and alkalinize the body more efficiently.  I personally like this system.

* Herbs for Cleansing & Nutrition–  Besides eating a healthy diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables and juicing, herbs are a great way to detox the body and supply added nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Most herbs help in a combination of ways and can be used together to balance a formula.  Renew Life makes several cleanse kits using herbal formulas, available at Georgia’s Naturals.  The following list is only a partial list of the herbs that can be used for cleansing, healing and support.   A good cleanse formula will support the seven routes of elimination:

1. Bowel support includes fiber to move the toxins out, as previously mentioned and herbs such as marshmallow root, and slippery elm bark help to lubricate and soothe the intestinal lining. Rhubarb root, mullein, fenugreek all have a laxative effect.  Fennel helps with gas and spasms or cramping.  [Note about constipation:  laxative herbs such as cascara sagrada, senna and aloe should be used with caution, since the body can become dependent on them if used continually.  Magnesium citrate (CALM by Natural Vitality) would be a better choice to get things moving.]

 2. Liver herbs help support healthy liver function, remove toxins from the liver, nourish the cells of the liver and offer cellular protection to the liver.   Milk thistle protects the liver, promotes detoxification of poisons and can help regenerate the liver, dandelion root stimulates the release of toxins, cleanses liver and stimulates bile, and burdock and tumeric restore the liver and offer liver protection,  others offer healing, such as garlic, blessed thistle, fenugreek, and yellow dock and all assist in liver support.

3. Lung support herbs include mullein to clear congestion and inflammation, garlic detoxifies and protects, oregano helps with inflammation and infection, tumeric is anti-inflammatory and fenugreek reduces mucus.

4. Kidney support herbs include: dandelion leaf acts as a diuretic and improves kidney function, marshmallow root also helps with reducing excess fluid and mucus, nettles work as a diuretic and tonic, parsley is a diuretic and tonic, and  mullein helps to soothe inflammation.

5. Skin support includes yellow dock which also supports the liver, colon and blood; oat straw is a restorative tonic; burdock aids in elimination of toxins and acts as an antioxidant.  Calendula is healing to the skin and the digestive tract.  It is soothing and anti-inflammatory,

6. Lymphatic herbs include: Echinacea supports the lymphatic and immune systems and mullein clears swollen glands, dandelion root and red clover are also cleansing to the lymphatic system.  Red root is another good lymphatic herb, which helps move long chain fatty acids from the lymph.

7. Blood herbs include: kelp provides minerals and strengthens vessels; burdock and dandelion root purify the blood and help eliminate toxins; tumeric inhibits platelet aggregation, improves circulation, vessel health and lowers cholesterol; blessed thistle, red clover and yellow dock are cleansing to the blood.

*  Regular exercise and deep breathing is essential for your liver circulation,  the production and movement of bile into the gallbladder, and for the circulation of lymph, which also moves toxins.     It will also benefit the bowel and your general health.  Find some form of exercise that works for you.  There are lots of choices.

* Detox Heavy Metals by adding cilantro, chlorella, spirulina and red marine algae to your diet and supplementation.  Have your amalgam dental fillings safely removed by a biological dentist.

* Adding a probiotic is also essential to rebuild the colony of beneficial bacteria in the colon and to restore colon health. Colon health is also your immune health you are building.

* Aqua Chi Ionic Foot Bath
The Aqua Chi Ionic Foot Bath is a gentle systemic detox booster.   Research has shown that it can improve  your circulation and improve cellular function at the cellular level, which oxygenates your tissues and alkalinizes your body.  This in turn aids the body in detoxification and supports a healthier you.

People have reported almost immediate relief in sore joints and the relief of numbness in the hands and feet due to diabetes or peripheral neuropathy.    This is a fast, gentle way to cleanse the body without putting it into a healing crisis.   There are reports that is has helped with headaches, fatigue, joint pain, stiffness, numbness, cold hands and feet, allergic reactions, dermatitis, memory loss, mental confusion, attention deficit, autism, insomnia, and stress.

People report feeling more relaxed and energetic after the sessions and that it helps them sleep better.  I have had that experience myself.   The ionic foot bath  doesn’t strip the body of vitamins or minerals.   I offer the service of Aqua Chi Ionic Foot Baths by appointment.  There is more information on my website.

If you have serious health issues, please consult your doctor.  I do not diagnose, treat or prescribe, but I am here to offer you educational information on how you can improve your health and address your health concerns.  With guidance you can move through the cleanses in a healthy way. This is something I could help with during a consultation.  If you would like to schedule a consultation, please see my website for more information.
Make a plan today for your body maintenance and start the new year with a clean slate!

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Holiday Stress Survival

by Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP & Darla Carrillo, CN, CNHP

Stress…  Stress is something that none of us can avoid.  It comes in all forms and fashions.  Sometimes stress can be the amount of pressure we place on ourselves, or expectations that we have set for ourselves.  Stress can also come from family, HOLIDAYS, finances, lack of sleep, and having deadlines to meet.  Wait… those last five items seem to hit all at once around this time of year.   Nothing can completely eliminate the stress of the holidays but there are ways to manage it. 

Feed The Body With Nutrition:

  • Eat fresh whole foods (lots of fresh fruits, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and lean meats)
  • Avoid processed foods, fast foods and artificial sweeteners (such as Splenda, Aspartame, etc).  These foods will create extra stress on your body.  Save the “goodies” for good times with the family on the holiday.
  • Three- bite rule!!!!  When temptation gets the best of you at the office or a party, use the three- bite rule.  Pick out your treat, and take three bites of it, discard the rest.  Chew each bite very slowly to savor the flavor and the texture of the food.  This will also help to reduce your calorie consumption!  Remember, Desserts spelled backwards is Stressed!
  • Going to a party?  Do not hesitate to ask the host or hostess what foods will be served.  When in doubt, eat a healthy snack before arriving.  This will reduce your hunger and cravings prior to any social event.
  • Do not feel obligated to “clean” the plates of your children or spouse.  This will only add extra calories that will add extra stress to your body.  Do not feel obligated to “clean” your own plate either.  When you are full, stop eating!  Not sure if you are full? Push your plate away and wait 20 minutes before eating more.
  • Avoid caffeine!!!  Oh no, this will be a tough one.  Caffeine actually contributes to nervousness, disrupts sleep patterns and can over stress the Adrenal glands.  This can leave you to feeling even more tired and stressed. 

Extra Nutrients Help The Body Adapt To Stress:

  • Pantothenic Acid:  1,000- 2,000 mg daily.  This will nourish the adrenal glands and boost your energy level without feeling “stimulated”.  (take with a B-complex if you are not on a good multi-vitamin)
  • Ashwagandha:  (Withania somnifera) This herb is an adaptogen and helps the body cope more appropriately with stress, leaving you relaxed and energized.  It boosts endurance, stamina and sexual energy.  It enhances resistance to occasional stress.  It is refreshing to the mind as well as the body and is soothing and calming to the nervous system.  It can also help you in falling asleep naturally.  Up to 800mg twice daily
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS):  If you are in need of brain support during stress this nutrient not only serves as a Cortisol blocker, but also protects brain function.  Some clients have experienced a reduction of “forgetfulness” during stress.
  • Antioxidants:  Stress will strip the body of protective antioxidants. This can lead to cellular destruction and damage.  Please increase your antioxidant intake this holiday season.  You can do this by increasing your consumption of fresh or frozen berries, or by purchasing an antioxidant from Georgia’s Naturals.  There are many to choose from:  Goji, Noni, Sea Buckthorn, Acia Berry, Resveratrol, etc.  Come to Georgia’s Naturals and we can help you decide what is right for you.
  • Medicinal Mushrooms:   Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress and supports energy and stamina.  Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) enhances the body’s natural metabolic systems, supports energy and stamina, and oxygen uptake.  Medicinal mushrooms are nutritious and high in anti-oxidants.  Georgia’s Naturals carries high quality Host Defense medicinal mushroom supplements.
  • Rescue Remedy:  This is made up of 5 Bach Flower remedies that are used in combination to help relieve stress and anxiety.  It can be used as needed, as often as needed and is not contraindicated with anything else.  Custom Bach Flower Remedy combinations can made specifically for you and for your stressful situation.  Please inquire.
  • L-Lysine & Vitamin C:  Be careful not to overeat nuts, wheat, sesame and grapes, with all of the holiday yummies. These foods are are high in arginine, which stimulates HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) replication. Lysine can block arginine.  Offending foods, coupled with stress, caffeine, sugar and alcohol can trigger the herpes virus to become active.  This can show up as genital herpes, cold sores and possibly shingles.  Supplementing daily with a combination of 1200mg of L-lysine with vitamin C can help prevent an outbreak and may reduce the severity, if caught early enough.  During an outbreak it is not unusual to supplement with 3000 mg – 9000mg daily (in divided doses).  A good time-released Vitamin C dosed to bowel tolerance works well with L-Lysine supplementation.  Always consult your healthcare provider before using any supplementation.  Topically, Ingleshay Eamcray cream and Melissa officinales essential oil are both effective.  Herpasor Lip Salve is great for cold sores.  You can find them at Georgia’s!

Feed The Soul:

  • Deep Breathing:  This can be done anytime, anywhere.  Deep breathing can be relaxing, and reduces stress.  Place one hand on your abdomen; inhale through your nose (being mindful to inhale using your diaphragm).  Your hand should rise with each inhale.  Hold for just a couple of seconds, and exhale slowly though your mouth.  Repeat 4 to 5 times.  We can live weeks without food, days without water, but only seconds without oxygen!
  • Reduce noise levels:  When you can control your environment, turn down or turn off radios and televisions.  Noise can contribute to stress
  • Be prepared for hassles and delays:  When shopping, tell yourself that the store will be crowded, the lines will be long, and sadly most shoppers will be in a hurry.  Parking lots will become a danger zone, and traffic will be congested.  Prepare yourself so that you can make the best of any situation. 
  • Aromatherapy:  Essential oils work wonders for the mind, body and soul.  Massage them into the bottom of your feet.  Remember to dilute essential oils 1:4 with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or almond oil, before applying to the skin.    Lavender is a great choice.
  • Make “YOU” time:  Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day to meditate, pray, or to sit in silence.  No excuses, it’s only 10 to 15 minutes!  Set aside time once a week for a soak in the tub.  Take a short walk everyday to clear your mind.
  • Sing!  Sing to the radio, in the shower or just from the heart.  Singing improves circulation and releases endorphins in the body that relieve pain and reduce stress.
  • Love, laughter and gratitude can all help reduce stress.

Feed Your Sleep Bank:

  • Sleep is critical to all functions of mind and body.  The less sleep your body gets, the more affected it will be by stress.
  • Take control of your projects don’t let them control you.  Tell yourself what time you are going to bed and be in bed at that time.  You cannot “get it all done” in one day.
  • Prevent yourself from laying in bed worrying about what needs to be done the following day.  Write it down.  Studies show that writing down everything before you go to bed relieves your mind of stress.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Staying up until you get a “second wind”, releases cortisol and adds more stress on the adrenals. 
  • Practice good sleep hygiene.  Start getting ready for bed at 9:30, so you can be in bed by 10:00.  A relaxing bath, meditation, a nice cup of relaxing herbal tea could all be a part of “getting ready” for bed.
  • Make sure your room is dark.  Cover windows, no night lights, or illuminated clocks.  The body needs darkness for the pineal gland to secrete melatonin into the blood stream, a hormone that helps you sleep.  Turn off all WIFI signals.
  • Dreaming and recalling positive dreams can reduce cortisol levels and stress.  Vitamin B6 has been shown to improve memory retention and increase serotonin, which helps improve dream clarity when we sleep.

Extreme Stress:

  • Ask for help from other people.  Delegate some of the tasks on your list.
  • We can help with referrals for hypnosis or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for stress management.  These techniques help tremendously with extreme stress.
  • Are your adrenals tired or exhausted?  Consider a Natural Health Consultation for advice to bring your body back into balance.  Please inquire.
  • This time of year is often difficult emotionally for some people.  We can also help with referrals for counseling or emotional balancing, please inquire.

Food for Thought:

  • Hard times have fallen on most everyone.  Do not put undue stress on yourself by purchasing items outside of your budget.  Make a budget for gifts and stick to it.
  • Stress goes hand in hand with disease and illness, so eat a well-balanced diet, get regular physical exercise, avoid over-indulgence in alcohol and get plenty of sleep.  You are not responsible for everyone and everything, let go of it.  Release your perfectionism.  Focus on what is important.  Investment in your health is time well spent to avoid stress related illness.
  • The most important part of being with family for the holidays is… being with family.  Do not loose site of the joy you get from a house filled with family, friends and laughter.  Enjoy each other, and enjoy the moment.  Time spent with family and friends is more valuable than any gift that is given or received.

 Please have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season!

Darla Carrillo, CN, CNHP

Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

Darla Carrillo owns Georgia’s Naturals, Health Food & Vitamins, Inc., 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 105, Georgetown, TX.  She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Certified Natural Health Professional.  She offers a fabulous selection of supplements & gluten-free groceries.  She  does Nutritional Consultations and  Hair Analysis, by appointment.

Grace Bryce owns Gracie’s Garden, LLC, 3007 Dawn Dr., Suite 102, Georgetown, TX.  She is a Master Herbalist and a Certified Natural Health Professional.  She offers a number of services by appointment, such as Natural Health Consultations, Jin Shin Jyutsu and Ionic Footbaths as well as a line of herbal products, bulk dry & fresh herbs and custom herbal products.


*Nothing in this handout is meant to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease.  This is for educational purposes only and should not be a replacement for a Licensed Physician.

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Cold & Flu Tips, Prevention & Recovery

It’s that time of year again.  Cold and Flu season is here!  I have had many Clients send emails asking what they can do to be prepared.  I hope that you will find this letter helpful in aiding your prevention or recovery from this season’s cold or flu.

Daily Prevention:

2 tsp. Nature’s Answer Black Elderberry Extract

5,000 IU Vitamin D-3

2,000mg Vitamin C

SilverBiotics ASAP Gel:  This gel can be swabbed around the entrance of each nostril to kill germs you might inhale.  This is also good to carry with you to use as a hand sanitizer in public places, or if your job requires that you handle money, or you are in close contact with other individuals.

Practice good hygiene:  Washing your hands frequently is your number one defense.  Be sure to wash your hands before you eat.   I have noticed that some stores now provide handy wipes at the entrance.  I would suggest using these to wipe down shopping cart handles.   Carry your own pen with you!!! Do not use pens provided at checkout stands if at all avoidable.

Eat well:  The food you eat will have a direct impact on your immune system.  Limit use of fast foods, processed foods, and sugar.  These foods will lower your immune system.  Try to eat whole, fresh foods.

Sleep:  Getting at least 8 hours of sleep EVERY night is recommended.  Your body rebuilds, repairs and recharges when you are sleeping.  

You have the flu, what do you do?

4 – 6 tsp of Elderberry Extract daily

10,000 IU Vitamin D-3

4,000 – 6,000mg Vitamin C

4 tsp of SilverBiotics daily

(optional extras:  Pau D’Arco 2,000mg; Oreganol softgels 3 daily)

Nasal Congestion:

Keep a Netti-Pot on hand to help clear sinus passages of unwanted mucus.  You can also keep a naturally based nasal spray on hand to help relieve congestion and ward off possible bacterial infections.

Extra’s to make you feel good:

Oscillococcinum (can reduce the symptoms of flu for temporary relief)

Traditional Medicinals Teas: choose between “Seasonal Herb Tea Sampler”, “Ginger”, or “Herba Tussin”

Fuzzy slippers, a warm blanket, and a movie

Think ahead and have some soup on hand.  If you love being in the kitchen, make your own soup and freeze some.

I do not want to see anyone do harm to themselves by trying to self diagnose or treat a serious illness.  If you are in doubt to the severity of your symptoms or illness please contact your Doctor immediately.

Please take care of yourselves this cold and flu season!

Blessings and good health,

Darla Carrillo CN, CNHP

Darla Carrillo owns Georgia’s Naturals, Health Food & Vitamins, 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 105, Georgetown, TX.  She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Certified Natural Health Professional.  She offers a fabulous selection of supplements & gluten-free groceries.  She  does Nutritional Consultations and  Hair Analysis, by appointment.  Thanks for being a guest writer, Darla!

Happy Thanksgiving!  

May the herbs be with you.

Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP


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