Herbal medicine

Could Herbal Preparations Help You?

 

You already know how important vitamins, minerals and proteins are for your health. Along with air and water, they provide the essential building blocks for the repair and maintenance of tissue, glands, organs and cells of the body.

How often have you wished that you could just shift gears as fast as life requires? Imagine if you could speed up or slow down your body’s responses as needed. The ups and downs of life are inescapable. It may be that those who can adapt the quickest have the best health, and likely have more fun.

To shift gears, your body has to be able to make fast changes in various systems that monitor the whole show. How do you ensure that your body’s “monitors” are working?  This is the true function of medicine, to help the body adapt to demands and challenges on the body. The immune challenges include chemicals, toxic metals, radiation, and bacteria, viruses and fungus. The demands include the various stresses from all the incoming messages and requests, the tugs and pulls on our time and energy, we each get every day.  These bring emotional responses ranging from joy and happiness to anger, frustration, anxiety and grief. Basically anything you run into in life requires the body to adapt to the new circumstances, every moment of every day.

Even a perfectly functioning body-machine needs to monitor how to adapt to changing conditions when more or less production is needed. This is the challenge of our modern world.  Generally speaking, there are more factors to interfere with normal function, and less vital nutrients available, than in previous times.

Herbal medicine can assist by acting to temper, or regulate, the reaction of an organ or gland to the degree of stress it is under. This can work in both directions. If you are exposed to a large degree of stress, such as missing sleep, experiencing emotional highs and lows, or suffering an injury, different body parts may have to shift into high gear, and herbal preparations help them do this efficiently. Likewise, when the stress has subsided, the glands or organs in question need to shift down and switch to a more normal or moderate amount of activity so they don’t burn too many nutrients, or send the wrong signals to their partner body-parts.

 This ability to shift up and down gives you more stamina, mental clarity, a stronger immune system, stress reduction, deeper sleep, a healthier libido, and can promote healing and longevity. Some herbal medicines can work quickly to help you through immediate needs. Other herbal preparations work over time to strengthen the body and minimize the wear and tear of every day living.

Herbal medicine must be prepared according to exact methods and standards to give you the full benefits. Look for companies that source and prepare according to standard herbal guidelines. At Well Body Clinic we use MediHerb brand from Australia. If MediHerb cannot source plants to their specification they will suspend manufacturing for weeks rather than make an inferior product. Potency and results are ensured this way.

Recently many of our patients have gotten help with sleep, stress, immune, fertility, bloating/digestion and allergies from MediHerb preparations. The herbs can be used when needed, or taken every day. Either way, herbs can improve your life and give you much-needed help to live a healthier/happier life. Ask for a sample at your next visit or email us to find out more.

The herbal world may not be quite as magical as suggested in Harry Potter, but getting on top of your world may be miracle enough.

 

 

 

10 Hacks For a Slimmer, Merrier Holiday

 

1.     Choose your treat before the feast.

Decide which type of treat you want to indulge in before each festivity. Choose breads or desserts, for example, but not both. For most people the starch in bread metabolizes like cake, so choosing one or the other prevents a double helping of sugar.

2.     Load up on the healthy stuff when you first arrive at a party. Take the edge off your appetite with the crudité, vegetable dips, olives and other low calorie snacks. Cheese and nuts, although healthy, quickly pile on calories.

3.     Volunteer to bring a dessert and make it sugar-free by using stevia or xylitol. That way you can enjoy a good helping of something sweet without blowing your diet. And you may be surprised how many people enjoy your dessert and ask for the recipe. Here are some recipes made with stevia. http://www.yummly.com/recipes/stevia-desserts  Another sugar-free suggestion is to serve berries with whipped cream sweetened with Stevia instead of the usual pies or cakes. You can use some English Toffee Stevia to give the cream a more Holiday feel. Sweetleaf carries a dozen flavors of liquid stevia and has many recipes to try.

4.     Try using coconut flour or nut flours instead of wheat for your holiday baking. These grain-free substitutes are higher in protein and lower in carbs. And you may start a new Holiday tradition. Here are other suggestions for making healthier cookies. http://www.cbsnews.com/media/healthier-holiday-cookies/

5.     Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. Pace yourself, set your drink down, switch to a bubbly water with lemon. Alcohol metabolizes like sugar, and it is toxic for the liver. A clear head and engaged mind makes you a more interesting party guest!  Milk Thistle before and after indulging will help you avoid a hang-over. We have the best in our Livco from MediHerb.

6.     Avoid chocolate when you are enjoying other rich, fatty foods. Chocolate is particularly difficult for the liver/gall bladder to process. If you suffer from any kind of migraines or headaches, try eliminating chocolate and see if the headaches subside. Even the best dark chocolate may cause headaches for some people. Chocolate may be particularly aggravating right before the menstrual period. Try taking extra magnesium at that time.

7.     Get family and friends active with games and walks and activities that keep people away from too much food or alcohol. Americans gain an average of 7 pounds at Christmas and many don’t lose it throughout the year.

8.     Don’t skip meals just because you are busy. Plan ahead so that you keep your blood sugar stable by including protein and fat in every meal and eating every few hours. Decide that you don’t have to sample every cookie that is offered or indulge in the treats around the office. Keep a supply of fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks around so that you aren’t starving when the parties start. You can also make pots of soup to enjoy for a filling treat to take to the office or enjoy when you come home tired.

9.     Indulge yourself in other ways than goodies and food treats during the Holidays. Get a massage. Ask for one for a gift or treat yourself. Enjoy herbal teas. Try Slippery Elm tea to soothe the tummy and Licorice tea to support the adrenals. Indulge your senses with essential oils. Peppermint essential oil is a wonderful pick-me-up in the morning or before a night out. Eucalyptus essential oil eases breathing and congestion. Lavender is a classic for relaxation and sleep. Essential oils can be used simply by putting a few drops on a hanky and breathing the scent. Children love them. You can also mix a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut and rubbing on temples or chest.

10. On the days between celebrations eat a simple diet with lots of salad, protein of choice, and dressings of good oil and lemon or vinegar. Give your digestion and your pancreas a break and stick to a Paleo regime.  Look at your calendar ahead of time and decide which days you will stick to a healthy plan. Write it down so you don’t forget.

Don't forget your supplements during the Holidays, especially if you are traveling. We can mail to you if you don't have time to come to the office. If you are stressed, try our wonderful herbal line that is sure to calm and soothe in just a few minutes. Enjoy this Holiday Season, with all its blessings.

 

True Stress Relief With Herbal Medicine

 

Plant medicine is the oldest form of medicine on the planet. Over thousands of years, herbalists have identified the key benefits of various plants, long before they knew why they worked. Thousands of years of research have demonstrated the fact that plants have amazing medicinal ingredients.

Today we know what those ingredients are, and why correct preparation pulls out the active constituents. With modern tableting technology these powerful medicines are readily available. The important thing about herbal medicines is to choose companies that understand how to prepare them. Without regulation, your money will be well spent with companies you can trust.

Here are some other ways that herbal medicine can help you. With the Holidays on us in full stride, stress may be a part of the preparations for the merry making.

If you are experiencing stress and anxiety, herbal medicine offers some of the fastest relief. Licorice, Rehmannia, and Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, Schisandra and Kava are all herbal remedies that can handle stress quickly. Some of my herbal preparations can knock out those frazzled feelings in just a few minutes. Think nutritional medicine for long term handling, and herbal medicine to calm things down when you need it right now, as well as supporting the body’s ability to adapt to stress.

For example, Schisandra with Rhodiola supports lung and adrenal gland function, boosts energy and stamina, helps to cleanse the liver, eases the effects of everyday stress, enhances memory and mental clarity, promotes vitality and stamina, supports physical endurance, maintains feelings of general well-being, supports and maintains the body as it ages. Nothing in the drug world can come close to this.

You may not believe how well these herbal complexes can work, whether it is a matter of stress on the job, physically over-doing it, or experiencing an emotional response. Your body does not know what kind of stress it is; only that it needs to go into high gear to deal with it.

This puts a strain on the systems that can lead to over-indulgence in drugs, alcohol, sugar, salty foods or comfort foods. These herbals remedies can help you curb emotional and stress eating, as well, which will ease the strain on your waistband over the Holidays! For further help with cravings, ask us how Gymnema can magically help you avoid sugar altogether.

Next time you are in, ask for a sample and see how you feel after taking a herbal supplement. Let us know about any medications you take, as that may determine which herbal remedy is right for you.

Enjoy a safer, saner, happier and healthier Holiday season by tapping into the healing power of Nature.

 

Anne Dunev, PhD, C.N., is a Naturopath/Nutritionist in Los Angeles. With 25 years of clinical experience her Functional Medicine approach has helped thousands of people recover their health by rebalancing hormones, and removing the barriers to the body healing itself.

Feeling Really Good

How many days do you feel really good? Do you skip through your work, juggle your family and friends with ease, and have the time you need to prepare delicious and healthy meals, enjoy some “me” time and then get the deep, refreshing eight hours of sleep you need?

Me, neither. But I do know what to do when I am particularly frazzled or my immune system is under siege.

Our bodies are up against terrible odds for maintaining health and stamina. And when the body is stressed physically, or you are stressed mentally or emotionally, the flood of responses in the body can make you feel overwhelmed. Internal alarm bells sound. Stress hormones like cortisol kick in, blood supply is re-routed, digestion may be affected, and reserves of nutrients are depleted. The result may leave you drained and feeling at the end of your rope. In actuality, you may be having a bio-chemical response, and think that how you feel is the way it has to be.

From the botanical world there are a number of herbs that are real medicine for challenged, stressed bodies. Herbs are the basis for many pharmaceutical drugs. But drugs are made in labs by producing synthetic copies of the active ingredients of plant-based medicines. Our bodies were not designed to easily handle synthetic chemicals. Our bodies were not designed to live off chemical, synthetic foods, either. So, breaking them down so they are not toxic taxes kidneys and livers. And, after a time, a kind of living death occurs.  People on multiple drugs of any kind, and people eating only junk foods, develop bodies that are only half alive. This drags them down mentally and spiritually, also. The answer is never more synthetic chemicals.

We have been led to believe that herbs cannot be as effective as pharmaceutical meds. But many herbs are powerful medicines, if they are prepared correctly, using the strongest parts of the plant, carefully preserving the active constituents. Herbal preparations from Health Food Stores may have some use, but few are potent enough when you need strong medicine.

By test, the MediHerb company makes some of the strongest herbal medicine in the Western world. In Australia, herbal medicine is regulated and must be effective and potent.

If you are feeling less than ideal, give herbs a try for supporting your body. Drugs bypass normal body function. Herbs can help your body truly heal and repair.

Brain fog? Memory issues? Study difficulties. Try Bacopa complex. Bacopa is a brain tonic that assists mental function, concentration, memory, and the mental stress of study and work. It may assist ADHD symptoms, and it appears to protect against brain decline and Alzheimer’s.

Flu is already making the rounds. Andographis Complex is a herbal preparation for acute and sudden onset infections. It helps relieve fever and mucous congestion, and will also boost your natural immunity. You can keep Andographis around to help for times you need extra immune support, or you can take Andographis every day to prevent infections. For flu bugs that linger and move to the chest, Andographis with Congaplex or Immuplex, can pull you out of the illness fast. Add Pneumotrophin if you are prone to chest infections, or have a history of asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia. *

MediHerb also makes some wonderful liquid preparations. They are very potent, and the taste reflects this. If you need a sleep tonic, I can mix California Poppy, with Licorice to improve the taste and support adrenal glands, as well as calm the stomach.

There are some powerful herbs for helping you to handle stress and anxiety and I will write about them in my next blog.

Whole food nutrition is still your most important priority in supporting your health. Adding in herbal medicine will help you support your health at a cellular level so that you can have the kind of bodily well-being it takes to manage your world and enjoy your life.

*There are times when pharmaceutical antibiotics are lifesaving, so any illness should be evaluated on an individual basis. 

 

Anne Dunev, PhD, C.N. has over twenty years experience helping people feel better by finding the root cause of what is causing their symptoms. Addressing that with the correct natural and nutritional medicine is her strength. With help restoring balance and function, thousands of people are living happier, healthier lives.