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Natural Medicine

There is a surge of people who are opting to use botanical medicine instead of prescription medicine. Some questions that are asked are: Does botanical medicine really work? What is the risk factor? Are Naturopath doctors really safe to go to? So here’s some information to help you decide about botanical medicine.

Do botanical medicines really work?

ThymianBotanical medicine is also called herbal remedies. However, the term botanical medicine includes more than just herbs. The term also applies to the plant parts used as in bark, roots, seeds and stems. Now scientists aren’t really sure in some cases whether it’ the whole herb which works or just parts of the herb, but there are factors which affect the quality of the herb. Contributing factors can be the climate and the soil the herbs are grown in, when they are harvested, and how they are processed.

Botanical medicine can be very effective when used properly. For example, aloe is used for sunburn, minor burns and skin irritation. Ginger is used for nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint tea can be drunk to settle an upset stomach. There are many herbs and many uses for them when using natural medicine.

What risk factor is there?

As with any medicine, botanical or otherwise, there are risk factors. You have to tell your Naturopath doctor or your physician of any other drugs you are taking. Mixing herbs and drugs together that have similar actions can be dangerous. For example, if you’re taking a blood thinner, you cannot take the herb gingko because it is a natural blood thinner. Some commonly used herbs like Milk Thistle ( a liver support herb) and St. John’s wort (a natural anti-depressant) can have interactions with many medications.

Are Naturopath doctors licensed?

A Naturopath doctor uses natural medicine as an approach to illness and wellness. A licensed Naturopath doctor has attended four years at a naturopathic medical school. The doctor should be well versed in all aspects of nutrition, vitamin supplementation, homeopathic medicine and botanical medicine. You can ask about the doctor’s training and certification also. You can also find a reputable doctor on the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Botanical medicine when used in a program that includes nutritional counseling, stress reduction and proper exercise can be effective towards helping you become a happier you.

Nutritional counseling can be extremely beneficial to your overall health. It can help you with a healthier lifestyle, advice to build up your immune system and generally just help you feel better.

Why is nutrition important?

Poor nutrition has a lot of side effects. You can feel tired all the time. You can have weight issues and digestion problems. Eating poorly can cause migraines, other types of headaches and high blood pressure. By having nutritional counseling you can change all that. You can get help with identifying the foods causing the issues. Eating the right foods can improve your overall health and let you live longer. A Naturopath doctor can help you with these new life choices.

What is nutritional counseling?

Nutritional counseling is counseling which helps you to achieve health goals and maintain them. Learning about nutrition and how it affects your body will help keep you healthy. By making an appointment with a Naturopath doctor, you will have taken the first step. In nutritional counseling, the doctor will get to the root of the problem as well as your concerns. A personalized chart of information will be made to fit your lifestyle and needs. There will be a discussion about what you are eating and where to change the foods you consume. You will learn the best foods which help to increase your energy levels as well as making you feel better. If weight loss is an issue, there will be help for that too.

What are the benefits of nutritional counseling?

runningThe benefits of nutritional counseling are many. You will have increased energy because of a healthier lifestyle and correct food choices. You will sleep better and have an increased ability to concentrate. Your immune system will be strengthened. There will also be a lesser chance of diseases and disorders showing up. Also by improving your overall health, your doctor may be able to lower the strength of any prescription drugs you are on. By eating healthier you can experience weight loss and fat loss which will lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

If you want to feel better and have more energy, schedule an appointment for nutritional counseling with your Naturopath doctor or family physician today.

young female having a coldIt’s that time again, cold and flu season has come again.

If you think it’s a cold, and hope to skip that office visit, these are my suggestions for a speedier recovery. All suggestions, as well as a few more, are available at the office.

  • Bio-vegetarian: At the first sign of a cold or sinus infection, take 2 capsules every hour during the waking hours for the first day and then take 5 doses the following day until you are well plus 3 days. These capsules are large and don’t taste great. They are absolutely contraindicated if you are pregnant or may be pregnant.  If at the highest dose you developed a headache with a stiff neck, stop for that day
  • If capsules are not an option for you, and you suspect you have a virus/cold then Elderberry Syrup is another option. This option is great for children too as it tastes nice.  Elderberry doses for adults at 1/2 tsp 5 times per day, again take until you are feeling well plus 3 days.  I often combine this with short term, high doses of Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
  • Cough treatments depend on the type of cough. In the office we carry Herbal Cough Elixir by Wise Woman Herbal for a Dry cough (1/2 tsp up to 6 times per day). I suggest Khella compound for spastic coughs; the cough where you can’t quit coughing and it hurts (60 drops up to 4 times per day).
  • My preferred homeopathic formula for colds and flues is Engystol by Heel. For an adult take 1 tablet every hour up to 12 times per day.
  • Use the warming socks treatment for a good night sleep and to assist the fever.
  • We also offer the standard Meyers IV and our Super Immune IV’s. These are 30 minute IV protocols that provide 25,000 mg of Vitamin C plus B vitamins and electrolytes. The Super-immune has added extracts of an anti-viral derived from Licorice Root.

If you are using any of the above, and not getting better, then you need to see a doctor.

Call 623.251.5518 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jen immediately if:

  • have a fever of 103F or more
  • feel too ill to drink adequately
  • have any of the signs of dehydration
  • are still feverish after 72 hours
  • have difficulty awakening, confusion or delirium
  • have rash with fever
  • have a stiff neck
  • have difficulty breathing
  • have a sore throat lasting more than 7 days

Prevention is best, wash your hands, get enough sleep, avoid sugar and eat your fruits and vegetables.

Best of health!
-Dr. Jen


Eating fermented foods is not something new in natural medicine.  This is because people discovered long ago that fermenting organically grown food not only preserved certain foods naturally but maintained their health. Now fermentation actually works by using lactic acid bacteria to produce fermentation which when eaten breaks down the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the food before it is consumed. Being one of the natural remedies for maintaining a healthy digestive system, it’s also one of the easiest to introduce into your daily food intake.

Why Probiotics?

For healthy eating, information about probiotics and other types of natural medicine can be taught to you by a Naturopath Doctor. This type of doctor practices homeopathic medicine and herbal medicine and can give you nutritional counseling.  This is good to do because a person’s digestive system has a certain amount of microflora when we are born. The bacteria grow and develop as long as a balanced diet is eaten. With nutrition counseling, you will be taught the healthy way to eat such as consuming organic raw fruits and vegetables, probiotic foods, fermented and cultured foods so that the healthy bacteria grow instead of being destroyed. To help this happen, a Naturopath Doctor can give you a list of fermented foods to add to your diet which you can choose from to help solve your intestinal issues.

The doctor will also discuss with you any issues you may be having such as ways to support your immune to help defeat bacterial infection. The doctor can use natural remedies to help your body to increase its ability to heal itself.

Are fermented foods really helpful?

There are quite a few people who believe Homeopathic medicine and Botanical Medicine is only for health nuts or people who are into the New Age movement. This isn’t so. Natural medicine has been around for a long time and using fermentation in food has been around just as long. By the public becoming germaphobes though, the natural enzymes in our systems have been reduced. But since some bacteria are healthy to have in the body, consuming organically grown foods which have been fermented will encourage the growth of helpful enzymes, bacteria and yeasts so your body has a healthy microflora.

Homeopath treatments and natural medicine are very real and valid methods to treat illnesses. Probiotics and eating fermented foods are just two of those methods in these categories which can be used. With nutritional counseling by a Naturopath Doctor, feeling better soon is within your grasp.

When talking to a Naturopath Doctor, it will be stressed that natural is always better. In homeopathic and in naturopathic  medicine, the belief is the closer to the source of nature, the better you will feel. This is also true of why you should juice with organic ingredients whenever possible.

Why organic?

Organically grown fruit and vegetables are not genetically modified or altered. Strong chemicals and harmful pesticides are also not used when growing organic food.  What this means, is that the fruit and vegetables are as close to naturally grown as possible. Also, by using organically grown ingredients for juicing, there are more vitamins and nutrients to increase your overall health. Since organic juicing has such a high level of antioxidants, it will also help to rid your body of toxins and harmful impurities. Another plus to juicing is it can help with weight loss while still keeping you healthy.

appleJuicing is one of the natural remedies used to help raise energy levels too. When you drink juice made with organic ingredients, 95% of what is needed in vitamin and enzymes are supplied. Also so by drinking juice, the concentration of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes go directly into your bloodstream. This gives your digestive system a rest, yet the nutritional benefits are still there.

More good points

Using juicing as a natural medicine can promote strengthened immunity; help develop strong bones while reducing your chances of heart disease, stroke and can even cut down the risk of cancer. It has been proven that vitamins and mineral which are plant based are absorbed into the body more easily. Think of it this way, when you are drinking freshly pressed juice you gain the living enzymes plus essential minerals, natural antibiotics, and antioxidants it contains. It would be as if you were drinking a living vitamin as part of your natural medicine.

A smart thing to do is to have nutritional counseling by a Naturopath Doctor before starting a juicing program. Since your body requires all the food groups for proper nourishment, juicing alone can have side effects. You need to give your body what it requires to stay both healthy and strong so counseling is always advisable.

If you have tingling in your fingers or toes, white spots on your skin or extreme fatigue, you may be Vitamin B12 deficient. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which is essential to your health. It helps red blood cells to function properly and iron to be absorbed. To help control moods and support your immune functions, the vitamin works with folate to produce SAMe, an amino acid. Vitamin B12 is also a very important part of Naturopathic and natural medicine.

What is a Vitamin B12 deficiency?

nurseA Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to pernicious and megaloblastic anemia. The symptoms of anemia are varied from weakness, paleness and weight loss to memory loss. Pernicious anemia occurs in 1 to 2 percent of older adults and is a lifelong condition. It can be treated by high doses of B12 injections.

B12 shots are a natural medicine and can also be used to help people with Chronic Fatigue. It may take several injections by your Naturopath Doctor to see improvement. Your naturopath uses B12 injections to increase your energy and feeling of alertness which also improves your sleep patterns. These improvements happen because when B12 is absorbed by the body through injections, the B12 helps the body to form red blood cells.  The vitamin also helps to maintain your nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Why are there Vitamin B12 deficiencies?

Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs naturally contain Vitamin B12. The problem is some people have difficulty absorbing it from animal products. If your hydrochloric acid levels in your stomach are low, then absorbing B12 may be a problem. Also if you have bacteria that are associated with stomach ulcers, there could also be an absorption problem. When B12 is injected directly, it bypasses the digestive system. It goes directly to where it’s needed . Some people lack an intrinsic factor (especially those on vegan diets) which is a substance which is needed to absorb B12 when taken into the mouth and through the digestive system. When they receive an injection, B12 is immediately available to their body through the bloodstream, however.

The end result is that when you receive an injection of B12 instead of taking a supplement, far more is delivered into your system. The shots are not painful, you get the energy boost your body is craving, and you’ll feel better faster.

With the high cost of prescription drugs, a lot of people are turning to natural, homeopathic and botanical medicine. Plants have been used in natural medicine for centuries for illness, health and wellness. If used correctly, they are safe with fewer side effects. If you are looking for botanical medicine, herbs, homeopathic remedies and supplements, they can be purchased through a Naturopath doctor. Your Naturopath doctor will take the time to make sure there aren’t going to be any interactions with medicines you may already be taking.

lavender-plantWhat are natural supplements used for?

There are a lot of illnesses and medical conditions which can be helped by using natural remedies. Homeopathic medicine and Botanical medicine, if used correctly, can be extremely effective. In dealing with this, here is a list of a few types of herbs and supplements and what they can be used for;

  • Valerian is made from the dried roots of the plant. It can be used both as a sleep aid and anxiety.
  • Lavender isn’t just for aromatherapy. If used in essential oils, in tinctures and teas, it can aid relaxation, anxiety and depression.
  • B Vitamins are great for cell metabolism and helps to maintain the central nervous system.
  • Vitamin D can help to treat seasonal affective disorder
  • Ignatia is a common homeopathic remedy used in grief

These are just a few from long list herbs and supplements, your doctor can supply you with more.

What about side effects?

There can be some side effects if the supplements are taken in the wrong combination. Your Naturopath doctor can instruct you on the correct dosages and combinations. Also, if you buy your supplements and herbs from an unsafe source, there can be contaminants mixed in and along with the wrong ingredients added. The FDA has a requirement labels that all herbal supplements have to meet. The label should have listed the name of the supplement and who it was made by. It needs to have the complete list of ingredients, the serving size, amount and what the active ingredient is. Just because an herb is a natural medicine doesn’t make it less potent than a prescription drug, so don’t mix the herbs unless under supervision. If you are taking certain herbs, you may be asked to stop taking those 2 to 4 weeks before surgery so there aren’t any drug interactions or bleeding issues which could cause potential problems too.

Remember, the best and safest way to buy your herbs, vitamins and supplements is through a practicing naturopathic doctor, homeopath or a reputable health food store. That way you can be sure the information you receive is correct when choosing what natural supplement is best for you.

Businesswoman painYou may be surprised to discover that there are heavy metals in your body. Mercury, lead, arsenic and even aluminum can build up in your body over time. These metals can cause a host of problems such as neurological conditions, autism and heart disease. There can also be incidents of birth defects for babies born to women who have too high a concentration of heavy metals in their bodies. However, a good Naturopath Doctor can give you heavy metal detox information. Some options which can be used are heavy metal chelation therapy and natural medicine which can remove the contaminants from your body.

What are the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning?

There are varied symptoms which can lead to a heavy metal poisoning diagnosis. You may have unexplained fatigue, brain fogginess and problems with concentration. It can show up as thyroid and adrenal fatigue and numbness or tingling in various limbs. If it shows up as a neurological disorder, you can have tics, tremors, memory loss or even dementia. Since Naturopath Doctors are trained in natural medicine and how the environment affects our bodies, they have methods for detecting heavy metal in the body. A urine test is commonly used to determine past or current exposures to metals. Alternative testing could also include blood or hair tests.

How do you treat heavy metal poisoning?

There are several treatments for heavy metal poisoning and its removal. You may want to talk to your Naturopath Doctor about an internal cleansing of the colon and liver as a first step. Herbs  such as: garlic, dandelion root, burdock, yellow dock, kelp and cilantro could be recommended for liver support. These assist the body in its natural detoxification process, but do not necessarily remove metals. Your Naturopath Doctor will explain how to use these natural remedies.

Heavy Metal Chelation Therapy can also be arranged. This treatment can be administered either orally or by IV at the office. The heavy metals attach to the chelation agent administered and are  then be expelled through feces or urine in this treatment.

To cut down your exposure to heavy metals, you can change your life style and eat organically grown foods and fermented foods, and drink plenty of filtrated water. Prevention of exposure to heavy metals is a good first step to better health.