Visit my website here: http://www.gracebrycemh.com
Visit my website here: http://www.gracebrycemh.com
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 herbs 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?
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. This 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 year. 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, but 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 a 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 to 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 plant 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 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: http://www.planetherbs.com/specific-herbs/assembling-an-herbal-first-aid-kit.html
Plant Healer Newsletter Volume 4 #4 http://bearmedicineherbals.com/free-plant-healer-newsletter.html
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!
By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP
Like doing regular maintenance on your car or house, cleansing 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.
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)
Fresh raw vegetables
Glucomannan (noodles or powder)
* 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!
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:
Extra Nutrients Help The Body Adapt To Stress:
Feed The Soul:
Feed Your Sleep Bank:
Food for Thought:
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.
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.
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)
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!
May the herbs be with you.
Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP
There is a lot of confusion out there about GMO (genetically modified organism) food. People have been genetically modifying crops for thousands of years to produce better taste, disease resistance, color, etc. These steps have been beneficial for agriculture and the consumer. Hybrids have given us several improvements and in some cases more abundance and could actually reproduce. However, in recent years genetic engineering (GMO) has taken place where careful selection and cultivation is used to cross the genetic materials of two different, but related plants to produce new plants that can’t be reproduced by the two plants in nature. Then, through molecular biology techniques, GMO technology has combined the DNA of species that would never breed in nature, they are called genetically modified, transgenic or genetically engineered. GMO crops have been engineered genetically with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to produce their own pesticide. When the bugs bite the plant, the bacteria splits their stomachs open and they die. This becomes our problem, because the gene inserted into the GMO foods transfers into the DNA of bacteria living in our intestines and continues to function. We could be producing our own pesticides in our guts! This opens the door for many health problems, when our gut flora is destroyed. To compound the problem, the bugs have become resistant to Bt, so the crops still have to be sprayed with pesticides. This whole scenario has opened us up to a plethora of new health issues, such as new allergies, new diseases, and new nutritional problems. We really don’t know the extent of the damage caused by GMO foods, we are the guinea pigs. Buying organic food is more important now, than ever.
A careful look at product labels will offer clues about genetically modified ingredients. Here is a quick reference chart that is useful for shopping. You can also pick up a pocket shopping guide at Georgia’s Naturals, located at 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 105, Georgetown, TX.
For a complete list of Non-GMO Project Verified Products, please visit:
As with any ingredient or food that is consumed too often, health issues can develop and sensitivities or allergies can emerge. We have to be aware and listen to our bodies and if these sensitivities develop, an elimination diet may be useful to figure out which ingredient or food is the offender. The symptoms typically disappear when the food or ingredient is eliminated from the diet. We may not even realize how much of a substance we are ingesting, until we start reading the labels.
Dr. Mercola explains, “We have had reports of allergies to canola, and internet articles describe a variety of symptoms — tremors, shaking, palsy, lack of coordination, slurred speech, memory problems, blurred vision, problems with urination, numbness and tingling in the extremities, and heart arrhythmias — that cleared up on discontinuance of canola. None of this has been reported in the medical journals, however.”
For more information about canola oil and why it is not the best choice, check out this article:
Be careful about reading labels and learn what you can about GMO foods. Know where your food comes from, grow your own food, buy local. Listen to your body, you will hear more than anyone else, if you listen. You have the power to do something about it.