7 Tips For Allergy Relief

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

This time of year, many people suffer with allergy symptoms.  There are several things that can help and offer relief.

1. Stress Management
Reduce your stress.  When the body is stressed, it is more sensitive to things like pollen and it won’t take much to set you off.  Reduce stress by regular exercise, breathing exercises, meditation, and  herbal adrenal support if needed.  Go to bed earlier and avoid staying up past 10:00 at night.

 2. Drink More Water
Take your body weight and divide by two, this is the number of ounces of clean pure water your body needs in a day.  Other liquid beverages do not count, when you are adding up your ounces.  Adequate water intake will cool down those hot allergic issues.  It also helps to improve digestion, elimination, and will help decrease sensitivity to pollens and allergens.

 3. Reduce Physical Exposure
Wash your face to remove allergens from the surface.  Use a neti pot to rinse the sinuses.  Wash your hair and or change your pillow case before you get in bed. Wear a mask especially if you are mowing the grass or doing other activities that kick up allergens.

 4. Eat More Vitamin A
Eat two or more servings of Vitamin A rich foods per day.  These include: apricots, sweet potatoes, mangoes,  etc.  (All of the yellow or orange foods)  plus beet greens, spinach, collards, parsley, & onions.   These vitamin A rich foods will help to strengthen mucous membranes in the lungs, mouth, nose and throat, which will help to reduce susceptibility to infection and allergies.

5.  Crank Up The Vitamin C
Eat two or more servings of Vitamin C rich foods per day.  These include: fresh grapefruit or orange juice,  blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, melons, tomatoes, broccoli and sweet peppers.  Add a supplement that is a complete Vitamin C with Quercetin and bioflavonoids.  Vitamin C is water soluble, so increase the dosage to bowel tolerance and then back off.  Vitamin C will also help support the adrenal glands, and fight free radicals, and acts as a natural antihistamine for allergy support.

6.  Avoid Dairy
Dairy products including milk, cheeses, cream, yogurt etc tend to increase mucus production and make the mucus thicker and harder to expectorate.  All dairy should be avoided during allergy season, especially if there is phlegm present.

7.  Herbs For Allergies
Ragweed (Ambrosia spp) tincture will help relieve allergies to ragweed, tree pollens, cat and dog dander, mites and molds.  Goldenrod tincture and Nettles are useful to dry up the runny noses.  Mullein flower and leaf tinctures help with infection and clearing mucus out of the lungs.  Elderberry and Elder flower are great for fighting viral infection as well as prevention.  Yarrow and Catnip help to break a fever without raising the body temperature and are traditional cold and flu remedy herbs.    It is best to test for sensitivity with one drop of tincture before using these herbs or if you are very sensitive.  As with any herb or supplement, please consult your doctor or pharmacist before use, especially if you are taking any medications.   Gracie’s Garden, LLC makes all of these tinctures. They are for sale individually or as a custom formula.  Please inquire for more information.  512-818-7857    www.gracebrycemh.com

Feel Better Soon!
Take Care,
Grace

This information is for educational purposes only and does not take the place of appropriate care by a licensed physician.

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Meet Multi-Talented Mullein: A Magnificent Herb

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

Mullein, Verbascum thapsus,  is a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete the botanical lifecycle.  During the first year, a rosette is formed of soft fuzzy green-silver leaves and the roots are established.  The second year, Mullein sends up a tall flower stalk, produces fragrant yellow flowers, which go to seed and then the plant dies.  It easily re-seeds itself to start again.  It can be weedy and invasive and is not native to our area, central Texas.  Mullein likes disturbed soils and can be found along roadsides and on slopes.  Roadsides are typically not a good place to harvest herbs, due to the contamination from auto exhaust.  Seeds can be sown in the fall, if you wish to grow it.  Some people confuse it with Lamb’s Ear.  It is NOT the same plant.
IMG_3960Mullein was said to have the powers of courage, protection, health, love divination and exorcism.  A few leaves worn in the shoes would protect the wearer from catching a cold.  Placed inside of the pillow, it would guard against nightmares.  It was also hung over doors or windows and carried in sachets to protect against evil or negativity.  In folklore, Ulysses carried Mullein to protect him against the spells of the sorcerer, Circe.  The dried stalks were dipped in fat or oil and used as torches.  Mullein has even been referred to as “cowboy toilet paper.”  Traditional medicinal use of Mullein has been recorded for several centuries, and is still used today.
Herbal Actions: Traditionally, Mullein has been used for many conditions.  Most commonly, it is known for respiratory uses and ear infections.  Herbal actions are known as: anti-inflammatory, demulcent, expectorant, astringent, anti-spasmodic, vulnerary and anodyne.  It is also a weak diuretic and has some lymphatic properties as well.
Traditional Uses: Cough, whooping cough, bronchitis, sore throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, asthma, influenza, chest congestion, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, anxiety, insomnia, recurrent ear infections, earaches, wounds, boils, rheumatic pain, joint and back pain, hemorrhoids, and common cold.
David Hoffmann describes Mullein as soothing and tonifying to irritated mucosal membranes, particularly in the respiratory system.  As an expectorant, it stimulates fluid production (and coughing), so that congestion can be relieved, while reducing inflammation.  It is specific for bronchitis, when there is a hard sore cough.  Jim McDonald describes that it is useful, when there is a wheeze involved and can be paired with other herbs to use for asthma and other conditions.  A couple of years ago, on a plant walk, he talked about using Mullein for back pain and inflammation and to reduce swellings.   Matthew Wood talks about Mullein and describes using the leaves topically to set broken bones, particularly broken ribs. He says the leaves are used when the condition involves the lung and kidneys, but flowers are betIMG_3966ter for nerves. Michael Moore  talks about the antispasmodic uses of the flowers, especially when there is infection and raspiness involved. The root is diuretic and a urinary tract astringent.  By toning the bladder, it helps with incontinence and prostate inflammation.  There are also many stories of these and other uses recorded historically.
Dosage & Preparation Notes: The leaves and root collected from the first year plant and fresh flowers are the parts of the plant that are used medicinally.  The seeds can be somewhat toxic, so generally are not used for medicine.
If you are using the leaves for smoking, it is best to cut away the stems before drying. Leaves can be used as smoke, tea, tincture or poultice.
For tea, steep leaves or 5-10 fresh flowers for 10-15 minutes, consume 2-4 ounces, 3-4 times a day.   It is a good idea to strain or filter the tea, because the fine hairs can be irritating.  A strong decoction (simmered and reduced) can be made of the (sliced and dried) root or make a tincture from the root.
IMG_1680For tincture,  leaves are tinctured 1:5 in 40% alcohol, and the dosage is up to 1 tsp, three times a day.  Fresh flowers are tinctured 1:2 in 60% alcohol.  (Elixirs or syrups could also be made.)
Leaves can be crushed with aloe to make a poultice and used topically.  The root decoction can also be used as a topical fomentation.
Fresh flowers can be infused in oil, 1:1 for several weeks, then strained. Care must be taken to decant the oil to remove any moisture or gunk that has settled out after straining.  (Mullein flower oil can also be combined with garlic infused oil.)  Vitamin E is typically added to extend shelf life.  The oil can be used for earaches, ear infections, ear mites, flaky skin in ears or inflamed skin.  It should not be used if the ear drum is perforated.
Tinctures of Mullein leaf and Mullein flowers, and Gentle Ear Oil are available through Gracie’s Garden, LLC and locally available at Georgia’s Naturals.  Custom formulas and bulk herbs are also available, please inquire.

IMG_3782
There are no known contraindications with the use of Mullein.  Some people may have an allergy to the flowers and may be more sensitive topically to the fine hairs on the leaves.  This should taken into consideration, especially if someone has a lot of allergies or sensitivities.
The information in this article is for educational use only and does not take the place of appropriate medical care by a licensed physician.
References:
Cunningham, Scott.  Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. 1985
Fritchey, Philip.  Practical Herbalism, Ordinary Plants With Extraordinary Powers. 2004
Green, James. The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook. A Home Manual. 2000
Hoffmann, David.  Medicinal Herbalism, The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine.  2003
McDonald, Jim.  http://www.herbcraft.org/mullein.html
Moore, Michael.  Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. 2003
PDR for Herbal Medicines. 2007
Telkes, Nicole. Medicinal Plants of Texas. 2014
Wood, Matthew. The Book Of Herbal Wisdom, Using Plants As Medicines. 1997
Also, check out Ginger Webb’s Medicinal Minute on Mullein

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Breast Cancer & Breast Health

By Darla Carrillo, CN, CNHP

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.  It is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women.  An estimated 40,000 women die from breast cancer each year.  American women have a lifetime risk of one in eight for breast cancer development.

Risk Factors For Breast Cancer:

Being a woman:  Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases develop in men.  A woman’s breasts are fully formed by age 14.  Her breast tissue cells are highly active and responsive to estrogen until her first full-term pregnancy.
Age:   Women over 55 have a higher risk of cancer.  1 out of 3 cases of invasive cancer occur in women 55 and older.  1 out of 8 cases occurs in women under the age of 45.
Family History: Women with close relatives who have developed breast cancer are at higher risk.  A first-degree female relative  (mother, sister, daughter) having breast cancer will double your risk.
Genetics:  5% to 10% of breast cancer is thought to be genetic.  Mutated genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 may account for 1 out of every 10 cases. Researchers are learning that there may be another mutation of genes called SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that increases cancer risk with or without BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations present.
Radiation to chest or face before age 30:  If you have been treated with radiation therapy for Hodgkin disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma your risk of breast cancer is higher than average.   If you have had radiation treatments for acne, your risk is higher than average.
Personal history of breast cancer:  If you have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in the past, your risk is called “risk of recurrence”.
Being overweight:  Anyone with a BMI (body mass index) over 25 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.  Fat cells make estrogen.
Certain changes in the breast:  Being diagnosed with certain benign breast conditions increases the risk of cancer.
Race/Ethnicity:  Caucasian: women are at higher risk for developing breast cancer than other races overall.  African American women are more likely to develop more aggressive forms of breast cancer.
Menstrual history:  Having a first menstrual cycle younger than age 12 will increase a woman’s risk as she ages.  Menopause after age 55 will also increase a woman’s risk.
Pregnancy history:  Breast cells are considered very active and immature until a woman’s first full-term pregnancy.  Pregnancy allows breast tissue cells to mature and grow in a more regular manner.
Breast-feeding history:  Breast-feeding will lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer.  If a woman breast-feeds for 1 year or longer, her risk is reduced even more. Making milk limits breast cells’ ability to misbehave.  Fewer menstrual cycles while breast-feeding results in lower estrogen levels. Women tend to eat more nutritious foods while breast-feeding.
Use of HRT’s:  In 2002 research linked HRT use to an increase risk of breast cancer. Women with past history of breast cancer or with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 cells are advised against taking HRT’s.
Having dense breast tissue:  Women with dense breast tissue can be 6 times more likely to develop breast cancer.  Dense breasts have more gland tissue for producing and draining milk.
Use of alcohol:  alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone induced breast cancer.  Women who consume three drinks per week have a 15% higher risk than women who don’t drink at all.  It is thought by experts that breast cancer risk goes up 10% for each additional drink consumed.
Smoking:  Smoking as well as being exposed to heavy second smoke will increase the risk of breast cancer.  It can also increase complications from breast cancer treatments.
Lack of exercise:  Research is showing that exercising for 4 to 7 hours per week can lower the risk of breast cancer.  Exercise controls blood sugar and limits insulin growth factor.  This hormone can affect how breast cells grow and behave.  Exercising also helps to maintain a healthy BMI.
Low Vitamin D levels:  Vitamin D may play a role in normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from forming.
Light exposure at night:  Night workers and ‘night owls’ may be at higher risk.  Research has linked the levels of melatonin to breast cancer.  Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep.  Levels peak at night and are lowered when your eyes register light exposure.
Eating unhealthy foods:  Diet is thought to be responsible for about 30% to 40% of all cancers.  Hydrogenated oils are known to cause cancer of all types.  Stay away from foods containing hydrogenated oils.  Labeling scams gives misleading information about trans-fats in foods.  The FDA states that a food label can list “0” grams of trans-fats per serving if there is less than .5 grams of trans-fats per serving.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver disease, and more.  HFCS has lobbied for a new name due to recent lost sales by educated consumers.  It now can be found as “corn sugar” on food labels.  Educate yourself about HFCS by visiting here  look up 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup can kill you.
 Exposure to chemicals in cosmetics:  Many of these chemicals can be hormone disruptors.  They can affect how estrogen and other hormones behave in the body.  Choose cosmetics without Parabens and Phtalates.
 Exposure to chemicals in food:  Pesticides and added hormones can increase risk of all cancers.  Buying organic can be expensive.  Choose these foods for limited exposure. The Dirty Dozen (highest chemical residue)
apples
celery
sweet bell peppers
peaches
strawberries
nectarines
grapes
spinach
lettuce
cucumbers
blueberries (from the US)
potatoes
kale/collard greens

The Clean 15
onions
sweet corn
pineapple
avocados
cabbage
sweet peas
asparagus
mangoes
eggplant
kiwi
cantaloupe (from U.S. only)
sweet potatoes
grapefruit
watermelon
mushrooms
Exposure to lawn and garden chemicals: These chemicals are considered hormone disruptors.
Exposure to chemicals in plastic:  BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen. It has
also been found to affect brain development in the womb.  This can cause signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression as the child grows.  Look for plastics that say ‘BPA free’, don’t cook food in plastic containers, don’t use steaming or roasting bags.

1  (PETE, OR PET)  Clear plastic soda and water bottles. One time use is considered ok.  Do not refill these bottles.

2 (HDPE) Opaque milk jugs, detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs and toiletry bottles.  OK to use.

3  (PVC) Food wrap, cooking oil bottles, plumbing pipes. Do not cook foods in these plastics.

4  (LDPE) Grocery bags, some food wraps, squeezable bottles, and bread bags.  OK to use.

5   (POLYPROPYLENE)  Yogurt cups, water bottles with a cloudy finish, medicine bottles, syrup and ketchup bottles and straws.  OK to use.

6   (Styrofoam)  Plates, cups and packing material.  Do not cook or used foods around this type of plastic.

7  (PLA)  A plastic made from plants (sugarcane or corn) that do not contain BPA.  Label must indicate BPA free, or it is made from plastic containing BPA.    Safe to use if BPA free.

Exposure to chemicals in sunscreen:  Look for sunscreen that contains Zinc or Titanium.
Exposure to chemicals in water:  improper disposal of unused medicines, birth control pills, paints, motor oil, pesticides, cleaners and other hazardous wastes can impact drinking water. Buy filters for your taps and showers.  Reverse Osmosis filters can remove contaminants left behind by other filter.
 Antiperspirants Deodorants:  High levels of mercury have been found in breast cancer tumors.

Xenoestrogens

Xenoestrogens come from chemical compounds that produce estrogen in the body.  The most widely used compounds are found in plastics and fertilizers.  Other names for xenoestrogens include environmental hormones and EDC (endocrine disrupting compounds).  During the last 10 years scientific studies have produced evidence on the adverse effects of xenoestrogens.  They have a profound effect on reproduction, and can increase endometriosis.  Studies have shown xenoestrogens to cause breast cancer growth.  They can also have a profound effect on fertility, rate of miscarriage, thyroid disorders, early onset of puberty, behavioral problems in children, and diabetes.

Chemicals known to be xenoestrogens:
*Atrazine (weed killer)
*4-MBC (4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, used in sunscreen lotions)
*BHA (food preservative)
*DDT
*FD&C Red No. 3
*Oral contraceptive pills
*Banned pesticides, restricted pesticides, and currently used pesticides (DDT is still being detected in the soil even after years of being banned)
*PBC’s
*Parabens (found in most body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, soaps)
*Chemicals used to produce plastics (choose plastic food storage containers that indicate BPA free) Never use plastic wrap in the microwave!!
*Propyl gallate (extends shelf life of oils and fats)
*Growth hormones given to cattle, poultry, pigs and other livestock to speed up maturation or production of milk and eggs.
*House hold cleaners, including laundry soap and fabric softener.
*Chlorine and chlorine by- products.
*New building materials (if your house is new, open windows frequently to air out toxins emitted from carpets, cabinets, paints, etc.)
*Water:  There have been reports that high levels of estrogen are found in water coming from water treatment facilities as a result of oral contraceptives.
*Chemicals used in dry-cleaning methods

Reduce your exposure:
*Buy organic when you can.  Most important would be to buy organic dairy products, eggs and meat when possible, especially for children.  Be aware that imported produce could contain residue from pesticides that have been banned here in the US, but not other countries.
*Avoid processed foods containing food dyes and preservatives.
*Choose personal care products from “clean” product lines.  (Avalon Organics, Aubrey Organics, Dessert Essence Organics, Pure&Basic, etc.)
*Limit consumption of water from commercially bottled water bottles.  Buy reusable bottles that are BPA free.  Never leave your water bottle in your car.
*Buy organic coffee (high pesticide use has placed coffee on the xenoestrogen food list)
*Use water filters on tap water and in showers (Enviro-wave products have excellent filters for sinks, showers and the bath tub)
*Use personal hygiene products that are chlorine free

Phyto-Estrogens
Phyto-Estrogen, also known as “plant estrogen” is chemicals naturally occurring in plants that may mimic estrogen in the human body.   In alternative medicine, these plant-based estrogens are sometimes used to prevent hormone related cancers.  A French study that was published the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states, “A diet rich in estrogen-like compounds found in plants may help curb breast cancer.”  Phyto-Estrogens are well known for their ability to reduce the symptoms of menopause when a conventional hormone replacement therapy is not used.

Estrogen Pathway:
1.  Estrogen docks to an estrogen receptor cite and sends a strong message to multiply and divide breast cells in the repair and replication of breast tissue.
2.  Rapid replication of breast cells that are fueled by estrogen can result in an inadequate resting phase between cell divisions.  Inadequate rest between cell divisions could result in the inability for new cells to eradicate genetic mutations.
3.  The uncontrolled replication of breast tissue may produce mutated genes that form a cancerous mass.  Estrogen will further fuel the replication of mutated genes.                        4.  Estrogen docks to an estrogen receptor cite and sends a strong message to multiply and divide breast cells in the repair and replication of breast tissue.
5.  Rapid replication of breast cells that are fueled by estrogen can result in an inadequate resting phase between cell divisions.  Inadequate rest between cell divisions could result in the inability for new cells to eradicate genetic mutations.
6.  The uncontrolled replication of breast tissue may produce mutated genes that form a cancerous mass.  Estrogen will further fuel the replication of mutated genes.

Lignan and Plant Estrogen pathway:
1.  When lignan or a plant estrogen is docked to an estrogen receptor cite it sends a mild message to multiply and divide breast cells.
2.  This slow and more controlled replication of breast cells allows for an adequate resting phase.  This may allow new breast cells to better indentify and eradicate genetic mutations.                                                                                                                                                 3.  When lignan or a plant estrogen is docked to an estrogen receptor cite it sends a mild message to multiply and divide breast cells.
4.  This slow and more controlled replication of breast cells allows for an adequate resting phase.  This may allow new breast cells to better indentify and eradicate genetic mutations.   Barlean’s is a favorite brand of mine.

Plant sources include saffron, flax, black cohosh, soy, tofu, red clover, nuts, oilseeds, legumes, red raspberry leaf, lentils, alfalfa, bourbon, beer, fennel, fenugreek, wheat berries, wheat germ, rice bran, rosemary, apples, carrots, pomegranates, other fruits and vegetables.
Soy:  Good or Bad?  While soy has been used by many cultures around the world for thousands of years, today’s soy has changed.  Soy has demonstrated many health benefits through thousands of studies in several countries, including the United States.  Today, here in the United States, over 93% of soy crops are grown from “genetically modified” soy seeds.   Reports of health problems started occurring after GMO seeds were being introduced to farmers.  The use of GMO seeds has caused export problems for the United States.  Most other countries will not accept soy produced from GMO seeds.  Not even for use in animals.  If you choose to use soy and you are comfortable with soy, check all food labels.  Make sure your label has a seal that identifies the product as NON-GMO.

Key Nutrients for breast health and Cancer prevention

Lignan Rich Flaxseed Oil:  A rich plant source of omega 3’s, this oil has health benefits that will affect every function in your body.  Full of the “good fat” our body needs for many metabolic functions, this oil is at the top of the list for breast health.  Make sure you choose oil that is high in ‘lignans’.  Lignan is the flax particulates that have not been filtered out of the oil after pressing.  How do lignans work against breast cancer?  In the same manner that phyto-estrogens work.

Pomegranate:  Suppresses breast cancer cells and slows the cell growth of tumors.  Other health benefits of Pomegranate include:  keeping cholesterol levels stable, prevents hardening of the arteries, chelates plaque from artery walls, prevents abnormal blood clotting, increases oxygen levels to the heart.  Helps to lower the risk of Prostate Cancer and fights cell damage.

Co-Q-10:  Coenzyme Q-10 is an antioxidant that is produced within the body.  This nutrient is responsible for producing energy within the mitochondria of the cells in the form of ATP (Adenosine Tryphosphate). It is structurally similar to Vitamin E.  Other names for Co-Q-10 are Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol.   In 1968 Dr. Karl Folkers at Merck reported the chemical structure of Co-Q-10.  Folkers later became a Chemistry Professor at UT Austin.  He is responsible for the studies linking a Co-Q-10 deficiency to heart disease. Folkers also pioneered studies using Co-Q-10 to treat various cancers successfully.  This nutrient is found abundantly in the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, and pancreas.  Studies indicate that supplemental Co-Q-10 of 100mg to 200mg daily induces a partial or complete regression of breast tumors.   Co-Q-10 is well known for its heart health benefits.  Other health benefits include the prevention of migraines, slowing early macular degeneration, slowing the progression of early neurodegenerative diseases, protects against hearing loss, improves learning, prevents muscle wasting during cancer, supports muscle regeneration, promotes male fertility, guards against diabetic complications, lowers triglycerides, and benefits treatments for AIDS, muscular dystrophy, myopathy, and Parkinson’s disease.  In Japan it used to treat congestive heart failure.
Cholesterol lowering medications will reduce or stop the body’s production of C0-Q-10, causing an adverse affect on the muscle tissue and the heart.
When choosing a Co-Q-10 supplement look for one that is in a “soft gel”.  Co-Q-10 must be in a liquid form to be used by the cells in the body.  It is also best to take in conjunction with an oil (flax, vitamin E, or fish oil) for better absorption.
Good brands include:  Natural Factors, Jarrow Formulas, Bluebonnet, Nature’s Plus, Carlson’s.
Food sources include:  Meats, peanuts, sardines, and spinach.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is actually a prohormone that is classified as a vitamin.  A prohormone is a precursor of a hormone and does not add any hormone itself.   Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of all bone-building nutrients.  Calcium cannot be absorbed without Vitamin D.  It has been found to protect against muscle weakness. It is also used in the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancer, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Postmenopausal women taking at least 1100 IU daily showed a 77% decrease in the rate of breast cancer.  Studies show that 75% of women with breast cancer also have a Vitamin D deficiency.  Other cancers that are shown to be reduced by use of Vitamin D include prostrate, bladder, ovarian, liver, lung and pancreatic cancer.  This is due to its ability to protect the cells from oxidative stress.
It is necessary for immune function as well as thyroid function.   Recent studies indicate that Vitamin D is essential in helping to reduce allergies, asthma, pulmonary inflammation, COPD, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer, Autoimmune disorders, IBS, Chrohn’s disease, Renal disease, muscle conditions such as rotator cuff problems and Parkinson’s.  Decreased Vitamin D levels can be associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Things that interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D include antacids, cholesterol lowering drugs, cortisone and mineral oils.
Cholesterol lowering drugs interfere with Vitamin D absorption by disrupting the conversion process the body naturally has for Vitamin D.  When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies actually use cholesterol to convert that sunlight to Vitamin D.
Food sourced Vitamin D is not fully activated.  It has to be converted by the kidneys and the liver before being fully activated.  This is why people with kidney or liver disorders may be at higher risk for Osteoporosis.
There are three types of Vitamin D.
*Vitamin D-2 (ergocalciferol):  This is the form of Vitamin that is naturally occurring in food items.  This form must be converted by the liver and kidneys to the active form of Vitamin D.
* Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol):  This is Vitamin D in its most natural and absorbable state.  This form of Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  Sunscreens and well as the natural aging process decrease the conversion of sunlight to Vitamin D.  People who have darker skin pigmentation will have a more difficult time converting sunlight to Vitamin D.  Today it is necessary to use supplemental Vitamin D-3 to obtain optimal health benefits.  Supplemental Vitamin D-3 is made from the fat of lambs’ wool.  Research indicates that supplemental D-3 is more beneficial than supplemental D-2.
Vitamin D-5:  This is the synthetic form of Vitamin D.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include:  dairy products, dandelion greens, egg yolks, oatmeal, oysters, salmon, sardines, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin D, while fat-soluble tends to be very safe.  Toxicity usually does not occur until a daily ingestion of 40,000IU is reached.

Kombucha:  A beverage made from fermented kombucha mushroom.  Studies show that kombucha is full of nutrients and probiotics.  Can be useful at detoxifying the body and boosting the immune system.

Anti-Cancer Supplements
IP-6:  Inositol Hexaphosphate. A compound consisting of the B vitamin Inositol plus six phosphate groups.  Studies show this supplement may help fight cancer, prevent kidney stones, prevent and treat heart disease and liver disease, and reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  IP-6 can successfully boost and maintain the immune system of those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  It also prevents fatty deposits from accumulating in the liver.  Dr. Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin has studied the use of IP-6 in cancer for many years.  He believes that IP-6 helps to take control of abnormal cell division.
Foods rich in IP-6 include brown rice, beans, wheat bran, grape juice, sesame seeds, and mulberries.
Supplemental IP-6 should be taken on an empty stomach for best results.

Essiac Tea:  First produced by nurse Rene Caisse from Ontario Canada, 1922 using an Indian recipe.  Brewing eight herbs together, Rene gave this tea to her patients who were diagnosed as being “terminally ill”.  Many of these terminally ill patients recovered from their illness to live an additional 20 to 25 years.  During the early years Rene was almost arrested twice for “practicing medicine without a license.”  In 1942 the government officially stopped Rene’s work.  In 1958 she partnered with Dr. Charles Brusch (personal physician to JFK).  Together they perfected the eight-herb formula.  Rene passed away in 1978 at the age of 91.  Essiac tea detoxifies and strengthens the cells in the body.  This tea has been used alone or in conjunction with western cancer treatments.

Flora’s FlorEssence:  A reputable company who also produces a supplement containing the original eight-herb formula.

*other anti-cancer supplements include Beta-glucans, mushroom blends, and apricot seed.

Breast Cancer Screening Methods
Self-Exams:  Get to know your own body.  Examine your breasts at the same point every month in your menstrual cycle.  It is preferred to do this during the first week after your cycle ends.  Before and during the menstrual cycle breasts can be tender or lumpy.
Mammogram: It is advised to receive your first mammogram by age 40 and every 2 years there after.  It has been thought the use of powders, deodorants or antiperspirants could interfere with the test results.  There has been recent controversy regarding the safety of mammograms, as well as accuracy of detection.  New software and the ability to use digital mammography may cut down on mis-diagnosis.  Like all preventive diagnostics there is always risk of false positives and false negatives.  If you don’t feel right about your test results, ask your Doctor about a second test.
MRI (Magnetic Response Imaging):  Can be a safe alternative for women who have breast implants, dense breast tissue, or are at higher risk of breast cancer.  Cancer can be harder to detect by mammogram in these women.  MRI’s have been known to detect benign spots.  New software was created called CAD-stream that is used with contrast.  The results have been promising using this method.  MRI’s can also be used to detect if implants have rupture or leaked any fluid.
Thermography:   Also known as Digital infrared thermal imaging. Non- invasive and pain free detection that can indicate potential problems in breast tissue up to 10 years earlier than mammograms.  There is a thermography clinic in Austin.  For more information click here.
Picture Your Health, LLC
3500 Oakmont Blvd.
Austin TX  78731
512-330-0266

BRCA 1 and BRCA 2:  Blood tests to determine your genetic risk factor for breast cancer.  These are specific human genes belonging to a certain class of tumor suppressors.  Women at high cancer risk have shown to inherit harmful mutations of these genes.  If one family has mutated genes it does not mean that all family will have the same mutation process.  Women with abnormal BRCA1 and BRCA2 are also at higher risk for developing ovarian, colon, pancreatic, and thyroid cancers.  Removal of breast tissue will decrease the risk of cancer by 50%.  For more information and frequently asked questions about the BRCA testing the website for the National Cancer Institute has wonderful educational material regarding research on this blood test.

Breast Tissue Cleansing
Breast tissue cleansing should be done for at least three months.
*  Eliminate exposure to xenoestrogens
*  Flaxseed Oil (1 to 2 tbsp daily), or Brevail
*  Calcium d-Glutarate (400mg to 600mg daily)
*  Nature’s Sunshine Lymph Gland Cleanse (taken as directed on label)

A ginger bath can also be used as often as you like to help remove toxins:
1 cup sea salt
1 cup baking soda
3 tbsp ginger
Soak for 20 minutes.
Ginger will feel hot, start with a small amount and increase slowly.

Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is an integral part of the immune system.  It is responsible for producing lymphocytes.  These lymphocytes are responsible for the development of certain immunities.  They also help the body in detoxifying waste material from cells, pathogens, dead blood cells, toxins and cancer cells.  Other important roles include delivering fat –soluble vitamins to cells of the body and removing waste from the interstitial spaces between cells.
Lymph is a clear yellowish fluid that flows in one direction within it’s own system.  It flows upward toward the neck.   This is where it enters the venous system, and is pumped through the heart.  Since the lymphatic system works within itself and does not have the pumping motion of the heart, it must rely on the motions of muscles and joints to move.
There are 600 to 700 lymph-nodes in the average human body.  Another sad role for the lymphatic system is to help spread breast cancer.  Breast cancer cells picked up for disposal can begin to grow within the lymph-nodes.  Once cancer cells have spread into the lymph-nodes, it is easy for them to enter the bloodstream and metastasize to other areas of the body.  The more lymph-nodes that are found to have breast cancer cells, the more likely cancer will be found in other organs of the body.
*Nature’s Sunshine Lymph Gland Cleanse is an excellent product to help move and detoxify the lymphatic system.

Types of Breast Cancer / Signs and Symptoms
DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ).  This is considered to be breast cancer at its earliest stage.  This cancer is contained within the milk ducts.  While there is an increased risk of developing invasive cancer, the survival rate is near 100 percent.
Signs/Symptoms:  In most cases this cancer has no signs or symptoms. But signs that may occur include a breast lump, bloody discharge from nipples, puckered or unusual skin, or a thickened region under the skin.  This cancer is usually not detected by mammogram.
IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma).  This begins in the lining of the milk ducts and invades surrounding breast tissue.  80% off all reported breast cancers begin here.
Signs/Symptoms:  new lumps, swelling of part or all of the breast, skin dimpling, breast pain, inverted nipple, nipple pain, any thickening, redness or scaliness of the breast or nipple, nipple discharge, a lump in the underarm area.
LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in situ).  This cancer begins in the milk glands, but does not go through the wall of the lobules.  This is not actually a true cancer, but it does increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer later in life.
Signs/Symptoms:  This has no signs or symptoms.  It is usually discovered when a biopsy is done on a lump, or other tissue for any reason.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma:  Cancer starts in the milk glands and spreads to other parts of the body.  This is the second most common type of breast cancer.
Signs/Symptoms:  Thickening or hardening of the breast tissue that is not a lump in addition to signs from all other breast cancers.
IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer).  This is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that is found in 1 to 3 percent of all breast cancer cases.  A tumor begins in the milk ducts, and as it grows it plugs the blood vessels and lymphatic glands.
Sign and Symptoms:  skin on breast looks dimpled like the peel of an orange, enlarged lymph nodes under the arm or above the collar bone, breast warmth, redness involving more than 1/3 of the breast surface area, thickening of the skin, ridging of the skin.
There are many more types and sub-types of breast cancer.  These are the most common.  Please take the time to further educate yourself, and ask questions during your routine exams with your Doctor.
There are numerous treatments for breast cancer depending on what type of cancer it is and how aggressive the cells are.  If you or someone you know is faced with breast cancer investigate every treatment option.  Naturopathic modalities can often be used along side conventional treatments to keep the immune system strong and lessen the side effects of treatments.  Austin has a wonderful Oncology center based on conventional treatments that are used along side nutritional and naturopathic measures.
There are other non-cancerous disorders of the breast that occur.  Calcium deposits can be detected in a routine mammogram.  Calcifications are most prevalent in women after menopause.  They are usually benign, but some cluster formations can be a sign of early cancer and warrant further testing for cancer.  You may be asked to return in six months for a follow-up mammogram to check cluster size and formation for changes.  Causes for calcification include any past injuries to the breast tissue and normal aging.  Dietary calcium intake does not cause breast calcification.
Fibrocystic breast condition affects more than 60% of women between the ages of 30 and 50.  It is characterized by lumpy breast tissue and some discomfort.  Lumps are benign.   The main contributing factor to fibrocystic breast condition is a woman’s hormonal variation.  The same hormone that prepares the breasts for producing milk is the same hormone that induces a menstrual cycle.  The breast tissue cannot slough off every month so it is programmed for cell death called adipoptosis.  Enzymes break down cells from within.  Fragmented cells and inflammation may lead to scarring from month to month.  Women who have fibrocystic breast condition have a 5% to 6% chance of developing cancer.  Nutrients that may help with the condition include Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Oil due to their ability to help maintain proper hormonal balance and reduce inflammation.

Darla Carrillo owns Georgia’s Naturals, Health Food & Vitamins, Inc.  located at 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.    Thanks for being a guest writer, Darla!

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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.

HOTLINES:
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
512-966-2488
www.jimwayland.com

Dr. Andrew Reichert, PhD., PLLC
3007 Dawn Drive
Georgetown, TX 78628
210-708-5909
www.andrewreichert.com

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.  www.gracebrycemh.com  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!

Grace

 

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Catnip, Not Just For Cats…

By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP

Cats…
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.

Culinary/Nutrition
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 useful.photo 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!

Gracie

www.graciesgardentx.com

References
Nutritional Herbology, A Reference Guide to Herbs, Mark Pedersen

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Phyllis Balch

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/catnip-effects-on-cats

http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=3348

http://herbgardening.com/growingcatnip.htm

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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.

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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.
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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.

Water
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.
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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.

Probiotics
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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