Today, Drink Tea

Coffee has some health benefits, though I wouldn’t recommend drinking more than a few cups per day. But tea has so many positive properties, making it a wonderful alternative to coffee. White tea, green tea and red tea are some favorites to try.

Because, let’s face it, the evenings are getting a little darker and the air is colder. A hot drink can brighten and warm your bones and hydrate you wonderfully. You might even experiment with adding a teaspoon of xylitol and half a teaspoon of butter or coconut oil in the morning. This will help you assimilate the beneficial phytochemicals in the tea more gently and could elongate their effects until way past mid-morning.

Is Cane Sugar Healthier than Common Sugar?

We know sugar isn’t a healthy food. However, it can be confusing to know which sugar to turn to instead of regular table sugar. Should you buy coconut sugar, for example, and wonder why it’s better. You might buy stevia and wonder what it actually is. Let’s talk about cane sugar today.

So let’s get one thing straight before I tell you more. Table sugar is refined cane sugar. And cane sugar in all its forms, from raw can sugar to brown sugar to organic cane sugar and whole cane sugar. It’s pretty-much all the same thing, with a few extra nutrients here and there in the least refined types, which are usually brown in color. 

There is more cane sugar produced on this planet than any other crop. Lots of it comes from Brazil, but many other plantations can be found in the Caribbean, South America, and the Pacific island nations. However, though the world consumes a lot of it, it is one of the most unhealthy foods on this planet we call home, no matter what form it comes in.

Eating a lot of it can contribute to inflammation and chronic conditions, lead to weight gain and fat gain, cause sugar withdrawal symptoms when you stop consuming it, and give you tooth decay, mood-related issues, and candida overgrowth in many cases.

Switch it up for stevia, monk fruit, xylitol, erythritol, mannitol or even coconut sugar, raw honey or organic blackstrap molasses if your body is able to handle a little carbohydrates and you have no health issues at all.

A More Natural Retinol For Your Skin

Patients have been asking me recently if there are any new ingredients out there that they should be looking for in natural skincare products. I’m happy to announce there is, and this one has great potential. (Listen up anyone with acne, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and skin aging!) It’s called bakuchiol, pronounced buh-koo-chee-all. It’s a plant-based antioxidant that works to promote healthy aging while being gentler on your skin than retinol. Retinol can sometimes cause redness, burning and stinging.

If you’ve experienced any of those side-effects, check out bakuchiol. This extract comes from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant, a purple-flowered herb from Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has been found to reduce fine lines and wrinkles (hurray!), boosts skin elasticity and firmness, stimulates the production of collagen, soothes rough and damaged skin and fights acne and hyperpigmentation. Shop for a bakuchiol serum or oil that you can use on your face morning and night. You can apply it directly or add it to your favorite natural moisturizer. Enjoy!   

Soothing Strep Throat at Home

I just wanted to write a quick note today about strep throat, especially after yesterday’s post about antibiotic side effects. The most common strep throat treatment is antibiotics, even though viral infections cause 85-90% of sore throats in adults.

You can recognize strep throat for its symptoms:

  • A non-itching, red rash called scarlet fever
  • A headache and body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Red spots on the roof of your mouth and a white or yellow coating on your throat and tonsils
  • A sore throat and difficulty swallowing
  • A fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

You can try taking supplements to aid it:

  1. Elderberry
  2. Echinacea
  3. Vitamin C
  4. Vitamin D.

Also eat and drink raw honey, bone broth, herbal tea, apple cider vinegar. Gargle with Himalayan salt. Try oil pulling, and use essential oils: peppermint oil, lemon oil and thyme oil. Sterilize your toothbrush daily with a hydrogen peroxide solution of 3%.

Nine Crazy Things Antibiotics Do to Your Body

If I had a dime for every time a patient came to me with health problems and a history of heavy antibiotic use… I could have retired very early! But I don’t want to retire because I really do love working with my patients.

So getting back to antibiotics, haha, I want to ask you this: Are they hurting you more than helping you? 

Resistance

The CDC warns us about resistant “nightmare bacteria” that’s spreading throughout the country. This is caused by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics among other things, like the use of antibiotics in the food we’re eating, such as non-organic dairy, meat and fast food. Ew! Antibiotic resistance has been called the world’s most urgent public health issues.

Allergies & Asthma

There is a link between babies who took antibiotics and antacids before they were six months old and the development of allergies and asthma. Those allergies include allergies to dust, dander, pollen, eye allergies and anaphylaxis.

Diarrhea

This is a common side effect of taking antibiotics and it can lead to complications. It can even keep going for weeks after you stop taking them. 

Exhaustion

Antibiotics can make you feel even more exhausted than you were when you got sick. Feeling tired and even extreme fatigue can occur after taking them.

Menstrual Cycle Changes

Some women’s hormones can get thrown off by antibiotics causing a delay in your period.

Hallucinations, Psychotic Reactions & Tendon Ruptures

Now here are some of the more extreme but real side effects of the antibiotics with a black box warning called fluoroquinolones. They may cause irreversible nerve damage, but scientists don’t yet know why. They can create brain fog, depression and even hallucinations and psychotic reactions.

Natural Options

Here are some ideas of what to consider. They aren’t known for creating superbugs 😉

  1. Raw garlic, garlic oil and garlic supplements. Garlic is known to have strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal abilities. It’s also good for protozoa, which are tiny parasites.
  2. Oregano oil contains powerful substances like carvacrol and thymol, which may have strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. 
  3. Also consider colloidal silver, coated silver, Manuka honey, onions, mushrooms and turmeric.

Natural Ways to Help Treat Liver Disease

Keeping your liver in good health is absolutely necessary if you desire health for all the days of your life. Even though you can’t see it or feel it, this organ is your largest internal organ. It’s about the same size as a football!

If the fat in your liver makes up to 5-10% of the organ’s weight, you are diagnosed with fatty liver disease. There are two main types of fatty liver disease, one caused by alcohol consumption, the other non-alcohol related. It can be caused by fast weight loss, malnutrition, medications, autoimmune issues or genes, and viral hepatitis. If you have metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes or obesity, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, you’re more likely to get it.

So here are my favorite natural ways to keep your liver in wonderful condition:

  • Avoid the foods and drinks that can make it worse:
    • Alcohol
    • High-carb foods
    • Sugary drinks
    • Processed foods
  • Eat more:
    • Raw vegetables
    • Ginger root
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Bananas
  • Then add:
    • Dandelion root
    • Milk thistle
    • Vitamin E
    • Turmeric
    • Black seed oil 
    • Liver!

Are Birth Control Pills Recommended

If you don’t use contraception yourself, you might have children or grandchildren who do… If so, please pass this information on. 

Millions of women choose to take hormonal medications every day. In fact, 67% of all females who say that they practice contraception use non-permanent ones, mostly hormonal methods like the pill, patch, implant, injectables and the vaginal ring. Or IUDs and condoms. 

And about one quarter of these women rely on taking birth control pills, though most of them have completely no idea that the pill affects their entire bodies.

The pill increases your risk of breast cancer, it increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if you’re overweight. It can cause headaches and migraines, gallbladder and liver issues like benign tumors. Weight gain, mood changes like depression and anxiety, nausea, crampling, irregular bleeding–the list goes on and on!

This is because these pills contain the very same sorts of synthetic hormones as hormone replacement drugs used by menopausal and post-menopausal women. Some experts say that because of the side-effects of synthetic hormones, women shouldn’t take them at all. Others strongly recommend avoiding birth pills whenever possible.

Here are some of the alternatives:

  • Male condoms: With around 98% effectiveness when used right, they’re nearly as effective as the pill.
  • Female condoms: These are unfamiliar to many people, yet female condoms are 95% effective and are less likely to tear than condoms for men. It’s a small pouch that fits into the vagina.
  • Diaphragms: These thin, soft rubbers mounted on rings should be fitted by a doctor and are 92% to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. They act as a barrier to sperm.
  • Natural family planning/fertility awareness is an all-natural method allowing women to track their natural cycles and identify times of fertility.
  • The calendar method relies on avoiding sex during the week when a woman is ovulating. It works best when a woman’s menstrual cycle is very regular. It can be very effective when combined with the temperature and mucus methods.
  • The temperature method: This method pinpoints the day of ovulation so sex can be avoided for a few days before and after. You take your temperature as soon as you wake up each morning with a basal thermometer and note it down. Once you have tracked your cycle for a few months it can be very useful. When used with the mucus method it can have a success rate of 98%.
  • The mucus method: The amount and texture of vaginal discharge tells you how much estrogen there is in your body. For the first few days after your period, there is often no discharge, but when estrogen starts to rise, there will be a cloudy, tacky mucus down there. Next, as ovulation is near, the discharge will increase in volume and become clear and stringy. Once it has returned to the tacky, cloudy mucus, or there is no discharge at all, it means that ovulation has passed.

There’s a Secret World in Your Mouth!

I’m always busy researching health so I know what solutions I can share with you. I try to find the ones that will benefit you the most while being the easiest to start using. 

Recently, I’ve been reading about the progress scientists are making in the area of your oral microbiome. This secret world is full of bacteria and other types of little bugs that live in your mouth. It is very important to find out what’s in there because it gives us a lot of information about what is happening in other parts of your body.

However, the microbes in your mouth also play a role in digestion, metabolism, blood pressure regulation and keeping your teeth in great shape. 

You know there’s imbalance in this microbiome when you have increased plaque on your teeth that is thick, sticky, smelly or off-white. Or it forms a film on your teeth in the morning. Bad breath, bleeding gums and receding gums, sensitive teeth, mouth ulcers, gum disease and even respiratory infections and heart disease and stroke are all signs that something isn’t right in there. To take care of this important ecosystem for health:

  1. Floss and brush your teeth with natural toothpaste
  2. Avoid harsh chemicals in dental hygiene products, including:
    1. Sodium lauryl sulfate
    2. Sodium fluoride
    3. Triclosan
    4. Artificial sweeteners
    5. Artificial color dyes, often made from coal tar!
    6. Propylene glycol
    7. Diethanolamine (DEA)
    8. Microbeads (tiny solid plastic particles)

One Simple Way to be Happier

There are many benefits to this little trick for both your body and your mind. What is it? Gratitude. It’s linked to reduced depression, anxiety but also a boost in overall well-being, kindness, physical health, and the satisfaction you feel in relationships. 

Gratitude is being thankful. While it can feel challenging to try to make yourself feel grateful when you don’t feel thankful at all, have faith. Doing this can be as easy as writing down several things daily in a journal that you’re thankful for. It can mean expressing your appreciation to your family members or friends that they are in your life. By writing them emails, letters or complimenting them. For you, it might mean praying and meditating on what you love about your life, no matter how small. Or it could be making an effort to bring things to mind each day that make you feel warm, happy, and good. Try doing this for five minutes today.

Turmeric Shots!

I’m always talking about turmeric. With good reason, because it is hugely beneficial. Yet it can be challenging to know what sort of recipes to add it to, apart from Asian dishes.

Here’s the answer: Turmeric Shots. This spicy little drink is inspired by the popular wheatgrass shot, and you drink it quickly like an alcoholic shot. Give it a try. I know you’ll love the benefits.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of water or unsweetened coconut water

The juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons of turmeric

1 tablespoon of black pepper

Pour the water or coconut water into a shaker or blender. Add the lemon juice. Add the turmeric and black pepper. Shake it up or blend. Serve immediately in shot glasses, or store in the refrigerator and take 1-2 shots per day.