Ease joint pain with herbs, enzymes, and natural supplements.
Students have special requirements whether they are in middle school or working on their PhD. Herbs and other supplements can help with optimal brain functioning and also with the stress of schoolwork. Read more on how to help them in their studies here.
Don’t let anxiety and depression get you down this time of year. With so many natural options, there is surely something to help you ease through any tough season with a bit more calm and cheer. Here’s just one.
Curious about adaptogens? They are herbs that help your body respond to stress. In a world full of intense environmental, physical, emotional, and mental stress, adaptogens have risen in popularity to help ease the daily demands of modern life. Read more here…
For Men’s Health Month I put together a list of natural help for thinning and even graying hair. These issues are not just men’s issues of course, but they do seem to suffer the earliest and most severely when it comes to thinning hair. Overall nutrition and lifestyle play a role, as well as genetics, but there are things you can do to help your hair remain vibrant and healthy. Check out the post here, and please share it with anyone who might be looking for a little help in the hair department.
It’s been a long road.
I’ve wanted to write this up for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve been too nervous. I keep waiting for the old gluten symptoms to spring up, but so far…nothing. It’s been three weeks that I’ve added spelt back into my diet and so far I haven’t had any issues. Spelt is the last thing I gave up way back at the beginning of this blog’s existence actually, and now it’s the first thing I’ve put back in my diet after years of actively trying to heal my gut. My personal symptoms include bloating, headaches, fatigue, general malaise, and acne. I realize these sound like odd things to string all together, but the fact is that when I used to eat wheat, those issues plagued my life, then when I’d stop they’d stop, then when I’d eat wheat either as an experiment or by accident, sure enough, those symptoms would immediately be back. So far though, these last three weeks have been symptom-free despite eating spelt once about every other day. It isn’t much but I was so nervous to do it that it took about a month of thinking about it before actually eating a bite of spelt. (By the way, spelt is a variety of wheat with a lower than average gluten content which is why it is more tolerable than regular wheat flour.) My protocol started two years ago which I detailed here, but I also ended up adding adaptogens to my daily life which balance all the bodily systems, digestive herbs every day, and I’ve used Renew Life’s IntestiNew powder for a few months to really rebuild the intestinal lining. I also did a candida cleanse about a year ago b/c it’s important to your digestive health to make sure you don’t have an overabundance of candida in your system which many many people do because of antibiotic use and sugar-filled diets. If you are working to overcome food intolerances, here are some things to consider:
- Stop eating the trigger foods (of course)
- Take probiotics~ the highest potency ones you can find, and take different brands each time you need a new bottle. Talk with your doctor or naturopath about the dosing because most likely they will recommend higher dosages than on the bottle. This is especially true if you’ve been on antibiotics (ever) and never taken probiotics before.
- Heal intestinal lining by taking glutamine and herbs targeted towards such, and also by eating foods that are not overly taxing on the digestive system. These can vary by people, but you know what sits in your gut or causes you to bloat and have digestive distress and what feels good to your body when you eat it. By taking digestive enzymes before you eat and incorporating digestive herbs into your diet, you are also aiding the healing process.
- Give it time. Depending on how long it’s been an issue in your life, it could mean 3 months to 2 years of work. Trust your body, your intuition, and your medical professionals, but especially your body. Food intolerances can arise at any time in a person’s life but they don’t have to last for the rest of that person’s life. You can beat it, you can heal, and you can have optimal health.
Curing food intolerance is not something to undertake alone. I’ve worked with my physician, naturopath, and a GI specialist, plus I am an certified herbalist who’s worked in the natural foods and products industry so I know about what supplements are out there. Please work with health professionals of your own before trying to heal yourself, but hopefully this post will encourage others to heal and not just live with food intolerances indefinitely.
Below is an article about four trusted places to get bulk herbs which is timely since I was just talking about Mountain Rose Herbs and of course they are one of the four. I also used to work in the health food industry and can tell you that Frontier is where every health food store I worked with got their bulk herbs. I’d also like to give a shout out to Gaia Herbs for their herbal supplements which are thoughtfully formulated and extremely effective, Herb Pharm for it’s tinctures and supplements too, and while we’re at it, Rainbow Light is my favorite vitamin/mineral company because of their intelligent and holistic formulations. Also, a rule of thumb I learned in the natural foods industry is that when you are using a new natural product, you want to give it about two months time to see a difference, and it’s also a good idea to start with less than the recommended dosage and work up to it as your digestive system allows. This is especially true with herbs because they have fiber and depending on how used to fiber your particular system is used to, your body might react unfavorably to a sudden large increase in daily fiber consumption, but it will acclimate to it if you give yourself time. It’s best to work with a naturopath or a clinical herbalist when starting something new so they can advise on dosing, which very well might end up being more than on the packaging, but if that isn’t an option than at the very least stick to reputable companies and do thorough research.
Consider these conscious companies when shopping for herbal ingredients. Many of us like to take our health into our own hands and create our own herbal remedies such as tinctures, teas, salves, and oils. Of course, growing our own herbs is the absolute best way to get the freshest possible ingredients. But there are many […]
This was definitely one of those days where I needed some good news. Our refrigerator is on the fritz, the sky can’t decide whether rain or sleet is better for pelting, and my son made a huge deal about walking to school this morning~ not a fun way to start the day. It was sunny then, by the way, when we chose to walk, OK I chose to walk them, and that is one of the reasons I thought they should walk~ the forecast was not a happy one so all the more important to take advantage of the sun, right? Well, my oldest didn’t agree and he certainly knows how to make his feelings well-known. But, here’s the good news: I saw our family naturopath today to talk about my oldest son’s needle phobia which is causing him to dread turning 10 in a month b/c then he’ll turn 11 and have to get some shots. I know kids in general hate shots, but his fear goes well beyond the norm~ he has seriously talked about his fear of turning 11 due to shots at least once a week for about two years now. The last time they tried drawing blood to test something they literally could not do it b/c he was screaming and hitting and thrashing around so much. They actually gave up after one person tried to control him while the other tried to poke him and all the while I tried distraction techniques, not that he noticed. (I guess I don’t have a future in puppeteering.) So, that’s how badly he dreads needles, but our naturopath gave me some great suggestions and I have a sliver of hope they might actually help him. The biggest piece of advice is to use GABA which apparently is a neurotransmitter that helps keep the body calm, in other words a natural anti-anxiety supplement. After looking around the web a bit for side effect information, this article seemed to sum up what I found, and WebMD has similar information. There is actually a ‘listen’ option on WebMD which is nice if you are sick and tired of reading articles on your screen, and believe me, I can relate. I guess I got so excited about this because I know so many people with anxiety triggers and I’m always talking about kava and other herbal sedatives with them, but this is something that’s found in the brain already and is supposed to keep you calm but alert, something herbs don’t necessarily do as well. Everyone is different, so herbs might be one person’s answer and GABA another’s, or a combination of both. Of course, talk to your own doctor first, or better yet, your naturopath (who has actually studied these things.) And if you want a recommendation for a naturopath is Bellevue, I think ours is the best and I’d be happy to pass along her info.