Herbs and Supplements


Herb of the Week: German Chamomile

Categories // Herbs and Supplements

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is one of the gentlest, yet surprisingly effective, herbal remedies available.  This beneficial herb is especially suited to ease many troubles commonly found associated with new mothers and their babies.  It will help to relax and promote a feeling of calm within the new mother while easing conditions such as teething, colic, and wining so often encountered with little ones.  This is a great antiinflammatory herb, used to reduce heat and fevers, soothing inflammed mucous membranes, reducing constricted liver chi, while also reducing irritation and tension throughout the body.

Herb of the Week: Cabbage

Categories // Herbs and Supplements

From Welsh folklore comes the belief that ironing a cabbage leaf with a hot iron and securing it over the affected area will help to alleviate the pain associated with rheumatism and arthritis.  Additional external preparations can be made by bruising the leaves and placing them over the affected part or by grating the leaves and securing them with a cloth or bandage.  These preparations have been commonly used in the past to beautify the skin, clear up skin eruptions, or to aid in the healing of wounds.


Controversy regarding Supplements

Categories // Herbs and Supplements

Many of our clients find us because they value our emphasis on food as a basis for healing.  However, visitors to our office see the supplement shelves and often ask us how we feel about supplements.  I think that supplements can be invaluable but they can also be harmful and it is good to evaluate each one carefully.  The flow system is one tool we use to help us verify what foods and supplements are helpful and what are not for each individual.  For example, Vitamin E may be invaluable for one person and excessive for another. We measure this in your antioxidant and fat levels from the urine in the flow system and advise you accordingly. Your levels and needs will change over time and that is why it is good to re-measure.

The problems with supplements:

1. Many supplement companies use Magnesium or Calcium stearate (vegetable oil) on their machinery and the oils become oxygenated and prone to create free radical damage by the time it makes it into the product for a consumer. Ingestion of a little of this oil is not a problem but a lot of it over many years may cause liver damage.

2. The other problem is that we don't have a lot of studies of long term effects of supplements. That is why I think it is good to minimize the list of supplements taken, take ones that are most natural such as in a tea or herbal form, and whenever possible, take your nutrition from food.

The good thing about supplements:

1. Supplements are designed to accelerate change in your body. In other words, we advise you on supplements to help you meet your goals. We are perfectly happy to only advise you on foods if that is your preference or what is most appropriate.
2. Many herbs and superfoods can be found in more natural forms like teas, tinctures, and powders. The enzyme and herbal supplements are different from synthetic vitamins in that they are food-based, but still, I think it is a good idea to only take things as they are needed.

Longterm supplements:

A good approach to supplements that you want to take for longer term is to take them every 6 out of 7 days or else for 3 weeks out of every month (taking 1 week off). This allows your body the opportunity to detoxify the residues from the supplements as it would from food.


Herb of the Week: Cleavers

Categories // Herbs and Supplements

Cleavers (Galium aparine) is an excellent traditional remedy for the lymphatics, kidneys, and nervous system.  It has been widely used as a lymphatic tonic to remove stagnation, help the body deal with the crisis at hand, and remove fluid buildup throughout the body.  In turn, skin conditions (especially the dry types) are greatly seen improving, fluid buildup is seen depleting, and and swollen glands are offered a bit of relief as well.  In addition, there is a history of folklore which ties Cleavers with birthing and preventing miscarriage, fevers, measels, and other childhood ailments.  Teas made from the fresh herb are prefered over the dried herb.  This prickley little plant is not far away, so try a cup today!



Herb of the Week: Angelica

Categories // Herbs and Supplements

Angelica (Angelica archangelica) is now in full bloom, its beautiful white umbelliferae visible from distances afar.  This powerful herb loves to dwell in damp conditions, such as near creeks and rivers, and is not at all far from home.  Some of you may be surprised to learn that this splendid plant is used to flavor liqueurs such as Chartreuse and Benedictine, while also being an ingredient of gin and vermouth.  However, curiously enough, this herb has proven quite beneficial in the past for those desiring to quit alcohol or smoking habits.  As its arc angel name implies, its healing benefits are abounding in almost any system of the body.  It is a popular traditional remedy for chest and respiratory complaints, to stimulate digestion, as a urinary antiseptic, and to help ease inflammations throughout the body.  European phytotherapy uses this herb to calm both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic sides of the autonomic nervous system, while also stimulating circulation and fluid movement throughout the body.

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