Blog: What You Need to Know About Naturopathy, a Holistic Medical Model

 

 

My journey into alternative medicine began because of my son’s health. As an infant and toddler, he had ear infections, was a restless sleeper. Troublesome, worrisome and perplexing, I felt forced to look at health in general and his in particular from a different angle. How could I create foundational health for him when traditional medicine seemed to be a band-aid? It helped with the crisis but didn’t seem able to get to the root of the problem?

He was born in New Jersey where naturopathic medicine was /is not licensed. When he was three years old we moved back to CT, my home state, where I found out naturopaths are licensed to practice medicine. Remember I was trained as a nurse in western, allopathic medicine so this was a stretch for me. But I was tired, tired of long restless nights with him, cranky daytimes and his ill health. I had to step off the medical model I was trained in, face my fears, ( I was told in nursing school that chiropractors, naturopaths etc were “quacks”) and investigate alternative medicine for myself. I learned a whole lot, became angry that good research was not mainstream though potentially helpful.

Through a series of synchronistic encounters, I met a couple fo N.D.’s, Naturopathic physicians, who were licensed to practice medicine in the state of CT. Through specific testing, we found out my son was very sensitive to certain foods. When I removed them from his diet, the results were miraculous. After three days of removing these suspected culprits from his diet, he slept peacefully. Gradually his ears improved and so did his overall health.

Naturopathy refers to a system of medical practice that combines a mainstream understanding of human physiology and disease with alternative remedies. Naturopathy grew out of taking the

cure from natural mineral springs and spas prevalent in Europe in the 1800’s. This model flourished in the 1800’s and early 1900’s here in the USA. However, hospitals and schools were shut down by the 1920’s by the rise of biomedicines and the Flexner Report. As complementary and alternative medicine experienced a resurgence in the 1970’s, we began to see N.D.’s in our cities here in CT.

This practice chooses natural remedies aimed at stimulating the body’s own healing ability rather than surgery and drugs. These Doc’s have the same medical school training as our allopathic, (western medicine) Doc’s do with a few differences.

congerdesign / Pixabay

First, they cannot perform surgery and cannot prescribe certain classes of drugs. However they are trained in homeopathy, supplements, nutrition, and some are well versed in acupuncture, body therapies, traditional Chinese herbs, Ayurveda herbs, and western herbology.

My podcast guest this week, Dr. Ashley Burkman, highlighted her approach, involving a comprehensive review of a person’s lifestyle, environment, work and study habits, routines, in order to address whatever her patients present.  On my first visit to an N.D. with my young son, I was surprised at the extensive interview and the quality time spent with me and my son. And it paid off. Little by little, we made dietary changes along with the addition of herbs and supplements. He improved. I finally felt he was regaining foundational health and vitality. And for the parents out there with small children, you can imagine my relief.

ExplorerBob / Pixabay

For the holidays: keep in mind bedtimes both your child’s and yours. We all function better with a good night’s sleep. Try different recipes that contain less refined sugars, refined flours and opt for more organic ingredients where you can. Put on relaxing music while doing kitchen chores. Laugh, smile and giggle. This is a wonderful time of year where true heartfelt giving, family, and friends surround us.

From my heart to yours, have wonderful holidays. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Dr. Scott Gerson, Ayurveda and the Immune System

Description: Ayurveda means the science of life. Ayurvedic Medicine developed and recorded over 4000 years ago, based on the keen observation of the outside world and how it relates to our inside world, is a great example of a holistic medical model. My guest this week, Dr. Scott Gerson, is licensed as an Ayurvedic physician and a Medical Physician practicing in NY and Florida. He seeks to build bridges between both worlds. Dr. Gerson gives us several practical tips and guidance for improving immunity and resistance, all perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

About My guest: Scott Gerson, M.D., Ph.D. (Ayurveda) is one of the world’s leading Ayurvedic primary-care physicians and is a prolific researcher in Ayurvedic Medicine who is well-versed in virtually all modalities of integrative medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Dept. of Integrative Medicine, Division of Research and Education at Jupiter Medical Center and Chief Physician at The Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine in Lake Mary, Florida where he treats patients through merging authentic Ayurveda, integrative medicine, and conventional medical approaches. Dr. Gerson is an Associate Professor at Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Department of Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine), where he earned his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Ayurvedic Medicine, a Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community and Preventive Medicine, New York Medical College, and founder of the Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine (est. 1982)

Transcript: #36 Dr. Scott Gerson

Blog: One Great Tea, Three Great Herbs: Get Ready for the Holidays

 

 

 

Autumn’s chill, holidays and colds seem to come at the same time. We bundle up, turn on the heat, stay indoors. with school parties and adult parties, maybe too much eating, lots of sweets. We seem to get a cold more easily this time of year, suffer from indigestion too.

My podcast guest this week, Janet Pagan, Ayurvedic Nutritionist, suggests a few simple remedies to ward off the beginning of a cold, soothe digestion. Ayurveda uses many plants to balance our dosha type. One ayurvedic tea, CCF, is quite helpful for balancing our digestive system. What I have learned in my herbal studies is that when our digestion is more balanced we feel better, we sleep better and our immune system is supported.

CCF stands for Cumin seed, Coriander seed, Fennel seed tea.

Cumin: Cumino aigro, is a small, herbaceous plant that grows to about 10″ in height. This plant is indigenous to Upper Egypt but found in many far eastern countries. Medicinal and popular in the Middle Ages for its medicinal properties, it was grown, used and sought after. But it does not have popular flavor and so was blended with other herbs. It has a carminative action, which means it aids in digestion.

Coriander: Coriandrum sativum, also known as cilantro, (coriander is the Spanish name for cilantro), is indigenous to Egyptian area. Tall, growing to a height of about 2′, its an easy addition to most gardens. Coriander is also a carminative and masks the flavor of cumin. I like to add it to my summertime vegetable juices. When it goes to seed, gather them and dry them. They keep well and you can begin to make your own tea blends.

Fennel: Foeniculum vulgare ( wild variety), a tall, hardy, perennial, growing to 4-5′, stems are often cut down for flavoring and even garnishing. Fennel grows for years and easily propagates from seed. It originates in the Mediterranean. Fragrant, a softer licorice-like flavor makes fennel a great choice to mask other flavors, such as cumin.

These three seeds are known to aid in digestive disorders from relieving flatulence, colic, diarrhea, cramps, even acid indigestion. They also stimulate our digestive juices which support the efficacy of nutrient breakdown in our stomachs and small intestines. Three well-known seeds, form easy to grow plants, can be added to your garden wish list for 2019. In the meantime, get some seeds, make your own tea. When our constitution is strong we can handle the changes in weather, the changes in diet, company, and parties with more ease.

Recipe:
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Add to 4 cups of boiling water. Let sit a few minutes. Sweeten if needed to taste. I recommend honey, maple syrup, or stevia but you may find you enjoy the flavors on their own. Try it plain first. Sweeten only if needed.

Ayurveda, as a recognized medical model, offers many simple remedies that work. I hope you get a chance to make this tea, enjoy its flavors. Wishing you good health.

“As long as we are not living in harmony with nature and our constitution, we cannot expect ourselves to be really healed. Ayurveda gives us the means.” David Frawley, Hindu teacher, author, speaker.

Judith

 

 

 

 

Blog: The Hidden Value of Goldenrod

 

 

 

Goldenrod, sweet goldenrod, also known as blue mountain tea, fills the countryside with golden yellow color as summer moves into its third act. These flowers are attractive sources of nectar for bees, flies, wasps, and butterflies. It plays host to many beneficial insects and repels pests. Most species are native to North America.

Did you know that Thomas Edison studied goldenrod extensively in his search for native plants with rubber content? It seems he was asked to find a more “local” source of rubber for his friends, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. At that time, in the 1920’s, these entrepreneurs and automobile pioneers had to rely on tropical sources of rubber which could be a problem if strife hit those countries. Unfortunately, Thomas Edison could not extract enough rubber-like substance from goldenrod to make the endeavor worthwhile.

Here is in this country Goldenrod was used by the Native Americans to treat wounds. The early settlers used it for several types of ailments as well. I make a salve using goldenrod flowers and leaves. Its one of several ingredients in my salve and I have a lot of testimonials for its effectiveness.

Botanical name: Solidago sps: Solidago has about 100 species of flowering plants in the family Asteracaea

Parts Used: aerial parts; does not usually flower till the second year; blooms continuously from July through fall in most regions;

Where Found: native to North America; one species, Solidago virgaurea is the only one native to Great Britain.

Uses: aromatic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, astringent, One of the chemical components in goldenrod, the saponins, seem to be helpful with the Candida fungus which produces various types of fungal infections and thrush. Goldenrod leaves are most commonly used in tea form. Note it is difficult to find goldenrod in the health food industry as a tincture or capsule. This plant has an unfounded reputation as being the cause of hay fever. Please note:

Toxicity: None known. Goldenrods are often blamed for causing hay fever because they flower during allergy season. However, the true culprits are ragweeds (Ambrosia spp.). Goldenrod flowers are mainly insect pollinated, so the flowers are showy to attract insects and pollen is relatively heavy and sticky compared to that of ragweed. It is unlikely that the wind-blown allergens affecting hay fever sufferers include appreciable amounts of goldenrod pollen.”

Ragweed is wind-dispersed and makes it the likely culprit for hay fever. So many folks insist that goldenrod is the culprit for their hay fever allergies. Yet the seed patterns do not seem to support this claim.

Schwoaze / Pixabay

Whenever I take students on field walks I can usually find ragweed nearby, thriving next to goldenrods.

Goldenrod and others support wildlife and diversity. Galls form on stems and when left alone after summer bloom, they can provide homes and food to other wildlife. Downy woodpeckers and Chickadees, in particular, search for galls for winter food. Many bugs form the galls for their young. When deadened stems are left in fields, they provide food for many.

My podcast guest this week, Jane Seymour, describes and educates us on the role many meadow plants play in maintaining a holistic ecosystem. Meadows, fields demonstrate that many parts play a role in supporting the whole. Remember fields, whose appearance seems messy and haphazard, have a beneficial focus, most of which is hard to see. However, in my backyard meadow, I sit and listen to various bees create a hum that’s soothing on a hot summer’s day. I love the deep mustard yellows of goldenrods too, placed among the pinky purples of joe-pye weed and the purples of woodland asters as if some invisible impressionist painter stole in during the night. And, I watch the wildlife, the birds and other critters who hide out here.

Food, shelter, habitat, goldenrod fulfills an invaluable service to our community. For without our plants and plant communities, our insects suffer. If they suffer then we will too. We are all connected by an invisible web and while mysterious and splendid, we have much to learn. Nature is here to teach us.

We appreciate your comments. Please share. Thanks.

Enjoy your day. Judith

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog by Janet Verney: 4 Healthy Herbs Help Heal Our Gut

 

 

 

This week’s guest on my podcast series, Holistic Nature of Us, is Janet Verney. I invited Janet to share an idea for supporting a healthy gut. Her photo and topic include herbs that many of us grow, whether on windowsills, in containers or gardens. Easy to use and a delight to harvest especially this time of year, these herbs provide nourishment and extra benefits towards maintaining a healthy gut.

Why is this so important? Our guts play an extremely important role not only in digestion but keeping our immune systems healthy. Think about this: everything we eat and drink comes from the outside world. Our biological system needs to stay healthy. Growing good bacteria in our gut contributes to overall health and vitality and protects us from unwanted negative bacteria, toxins. Enjoy her easy recipe and valuable message.

Did you know that Herbs & Olive Oil are a win-win for your GUT? In this picture, I have fresh rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme in a glass jar with some organic, extra virgin olive oil.

• Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, supports poor digestion of fats and has some prebiotic properties.

• Sage, Salvia officinalis,  can reduce bloating and abdominal spasms. In olive oil, it can help lower blood sugars.

• Oregano, Origanum majorana, is a powerful antioxidant, is anti-microbial and promotes healthy gut bacteria.

• Thyme, Thymus vulgaris, mixed with olive oil is superior for gut health.

Olive oil is a polyphenol that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to help lower LDL, bad cholesterol. So get some high-quality organic olive oil and some fresh herbs and make your own wonderful infused oil for use on salads of all kinds, or over some GF Ancient Harvest pasta with lightly sautéed veggies. Happy Gut, Healthy Life!

By Janet E.Verney, Author, Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach, & Wellness Designer at ROOTS2Wellness.com Janet-Verney-

Always, your comments and support are appreciated. Please share.

Judith

Podcast: Meet Janet Verney: Wellness Designer

Description: Janet Verney shares her journey of seeking a diagnosis from a serious but unsolved lung ailment, undergoing multiple and complicated testing to letting go. It’s not an easy task to find health solutions but Janet’s journey inspires us as she learned about gut health, the detrimental effects of NSAIDS, (non- steroidal,  anti-inflammatory drugs, usually over the counter) and more. She offers practical health tips as she recounts her journey.

About My Guest: Janet Verney is certified in Integrative Health and specializes in Women’s Wellness. As The Wellness Designer, she creates fun and educational programs for women around the world. Janet is passionate about living a rich and full life through delicious food and an abundant lifestyle!

Transcript:  #25 Janet Varney

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