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More on Mercury; Dealing With the Big Picture

Heavy metals, including mercury, cause havoc in various bodily systems. Regularly decreasing the toxic burden on the body is a positive move toward greater health. There are now many products and protocols available for doing this. I and my clients have used several with good results. My favorite, however, is a product called HMD (Heavy Metal Detox) which is backed by a 3 year double-blind placebo study. You can read about this liquid chelator HERE . And by the way, Iris Herbal Products sells this 4 oz. tincture cheaper than Amazon. At present, you need to call toll-free 877-286-2970 to order it.

Thinking about mercury pollution as we in the Southwest are experiencing a massive drought, and a big chunk of the country is dealing with record-breaking high temps, and the Tea Party wing of the radical right is explaining how they intend to shut down the EPA (after they successfully played “Chicken” with the national debt), I am led to my strength and curse: seeing clearly the Big Picture. So here are a few “exposes” that have crossed my computer desk today that eloquently describe in part or in whole our current “reality.”

For those who wish to confront their fears about environmental decline and how to adequately address the current situation of global warming, here is an article from AlterNet that is sobering in that it gets real about power, corporate control (of everything), privilege (of those of us living in industrialized states), and what has worked (and not worked) in social change movements.

If you don’t believe the corporate greed machine is really that insidious, then check out this wonderfully scathing indictment of the Supreme Court by Hightower, that can be read here. 

Oh no, you say, we have freedom of the press, look at all you’ve shown us courtesy of the alternative media…and that is my point. Mainstream media (except National Geographic and a few other bolder entities) is not giving us important news about anything alternative unless it has already been co-opted by a multinational. Here is an article about the recent intergovernmental raid against a buying club that dared to sell raw milk.

Next week I’ll start exploring the many and fascinating alternative views to Type II Diabetes and its treatment and prevention.

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Mercury: A Common Heavy Metal That Is Not Your Friend

Heavy metal exposure and toxicity is a complicated political and health care hot potato. After doing a bit of research, and bringing to bear my experience, I am putting forth the idea that even if relatively few people present with outright mercury (or other heavy metal) poisoning, most folks carry a burden of mercury and other heavy metals in their body, and reducing that amount is good common sense and active preventative medicine. Also, not everyone is equally sensitive, or equally able to excrete toxicity.

Radiation is a source of heavy metal exposure, and with the melt-through in Japan, and leakages from numerous nuclear facilities, we are adding to our exposure daily, even if in tiny amounts. Industrial accidents are also a source, and since some heavy metals are retained more  (and for longer periods) than others in the body, even exposures from years ago may still be having an effect

For a comprehensive list of symptoms, and the experience of a woman who experienced mercury poisoning go  HERE .

Where do we find mercury?

Mercury is used in the agricultural, paper, coal burning, petrochemical production, fishery and dental industries.

Common items that contain mercury:

1. Dental mercury amalgams

2. Contaminated fish, especially tuna and swordfish

3. Preparation H

4. Vegetables (especially carrots & lettuce) contaminated with pesticide and fungicide sprays

5. Hair dyes

6. Contact lens solutions

7. Laxatives

8. Calamine lotion

9. Vaginal gels, especially contraceptives

10. Mascara

11. Afrin nasal spray

12. Certain perfumes

13. Fungicides for lawns, shrubs and trees

14. Latex paint solvents

15. Fabric softeners

16. Oil paints

17. Pottery glazes

The last two items are the source of heavy metal toxicity which I and several artist friends in the Taos area have experienced first hand, and it was not a pretty picture. All of us found relief using HMD (Heavy Metal Detox) which I’ll talk about more next week.

Tune in next week for detoxification strategies.

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If You Use Nutritional Supplements: Please Read!

The FDA is working towards further regulation of the US nutritional supplement industry in such a way that could easily make supplements both harder to purchase and more expensive. Please check out the following articles for more detailed info and action steps. Thank you!

Alliance For Health article here which talks about how the FDA is emulating Europe’s strategy of making herbs and supplements difficult to purchase and why, as well as 2 earlier articles which are linked, giving the political details (this all came down just before the 4th of July holiday).

An opinion piece by a respected health educator here which goes into the bigger picture and lots of detail. Both articles contain action steps that I recommend you take (and pass the word along) if you wish to continue purchasing and using nutritional supplements. We stopped the FDA in 1994 when they wanted to make nutritional supplements equal to drugs. Time for us to stop them once again as they try to limit out health freedom.

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Boycotting Fake Organics

When I was in my twenties I helped start a small town buying cooperative for those of us “hippie-types” who lived in the Appalachia/Big Stone Gap, VA area. We wanted food the local Piggly-Wiggley wouldn’t/maybe couldn’t offer. So 4 times a year all the “back to land folks” and the “urban political folks” gathered together and tried to mix a 5 gallon tub of peanut butter so that everyone got sorta the same consistency….you can imagine how that turned out. Bags of brown rice, lots of laughter, and everything organic…and grown by family farms or manufactured by family businesses,  as those were the only folks interested in the “weirdness”of organics back in the early 70ies.

When I left for the big city (Atlanta, GA) in 1977, I joined the local food co-op (Sevananda), and by early summer of 1979 was somehow its produce manager…talk about learning on the job! And what a great time to be getting up before dawn: driving the produce truck to the (genuine) Farmer’s Market, where, in the summer, one could buy 3 kinds of peaches and watermelons, corn, and lots of other fruits and veggies, so fresh the dew still sparkled on the green leaves….and though none was organic, at least it was from the farmer who grew it, or an independent agent who worked all night going from farm to farm picking up cases of delicious, ripe food.

As I learned my job, I found out a lot of people were asking for organics, and discovered that some of the hippie-type back to land folks in California were growing organic food on a scale that was, though still family farm (or cooperative farm), large enough to send me a one ton air freight container of fruits and vegetables every week. Since the Gerson Diet for cancer treatment was starting to become popular, I easily sold every morsel of that incredible food.

So that’s what I “grew up” considering organic; and sold it, purchased it, and ate it, despite the larger culture’s less than welcoming attitude…that is, until all us hippie types, in our innocence and idealism, launched what is now a juggernaut of profit so mind boggling that most of those family farms/manufactures have “sold out” to large multi-national corporations….who are hell-bent on cutting any and all corners to squeeze another ounce of profit…which means organic that isn’t really organic.

If you’d like to learn more, please check this out:

Organic Spies Strike Again: Exposing the Shocking Links Between the Biotech
Industry and the Organic Trade Association

After the success of “Organic
Spies Find Lies,” the organic industry’s most diligent muckrakers,
the Organic Spies, are at it again with a new documentary, this time exposing
the connection between Horizon, Dean Foods, Land O’ Lakes and Monsanto.

Watch the
Video and Take Action

So it’s time to boycott the “fakes:” Horizon Dairy (with their imaginative spin on “free-range”) and all the other companies above. It’s time we consumers paid a wee bit more attention to what we are consuming…and from whom.

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Rethinking Cholesterol

I was at my Internist’s office yesterday discussing my shingles improvement, when he asked about my getting blood work–specifically a cholesterol test as mine was from years ago.  My answer was: the research I’ve done seems to support the fact that the numbers are not nearly so important as whether or not our cholesterol is oxidized, and if it is nice and plump or really small particles. He looked at me a moment and replied: we (the practice he is part of) discussed this very situation last year. Evidently there isn’t (yet) a decent blood test for that purpose. Can you imagine my shock at being heard with an alternative view…that maybe is not really so out in left field after all….we only have drugs when there is a test to prove we need that drug.

This does not mean that cholesterol is unimportant. Too much or too little (yes, you can actually have too little! Hormones and your nervous system and all cells need cholesterol) can certainly negatively affect our health. So here a few of the basics:

Solution #1 – Stop Forcing Your Liver to Manufacture Excessive LDL cholesterol     This is basically a 2 part process: first, remove the junk food from your diet (sugar, fried fats, fast food, ingredients you can’t pronounce), and secondly (and this one is the kicker) don’t overeat good food either.

Solution #2 – Decongest Your Stagnant/Fatty Liver     This step is about losing weight around our middle, eating more fiber, and de-gunking our liver (ooh, back to the detox section).

Solution #3 – Stabilize Cell Membranes, Reduce Inflammation      Here we are asking ourselves to do some serious stress management, eat more fresh food (especially leafy greens and berries), and look at how we can bring balance into our lives so that our over-all inflammatory markers stay down. All these steps, by the way, are from an article I will highlight at the end of this post. This article goes into greater detail about:  explaining cholesterol and how it works in our body and what strategies and supplements to use to assist us in following these steps.

Solution #4 – Restore Cellular Oxygen Utilization, Fix Thyroid Problems      We gotta keep moving! Exercise is not just about going to the gym…our ancesters didn’t have gyms. We worked. We walked and lifted, and moved around A LOT. Recently I read that for those of us who are sedentary (at that computer all day) were much more likely to have heart attacks because we weren’t moving around enough.

Solution #5 – Reduce Your Toxic Burden, Especially from Your Own Digestive Tract     We’re back to more detox, as well as adding plenty of probiotics to our diet. This can include yogurt and supplements, but also fermented foods like (unheated) sauerkraut and kim chi.

Piqued your interest? Want to get off statins? Want to address/ balance your cholesterol numbers? You can click  HERE to read the entire article. Any one who, after reading this article, would like to order any of the supplements mentioned, call me toll-free @ 877-286-2970, and we can talk about excellent quality at excellent prices.

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Statins

Statin drugs, when taken after a first heart attack to prevent a second heart attack, have shown to be useful (if you wish to take a pharmaceutical drug in the first place). However, statin drugs, when taken to prevent a first heart attack, have come under increasing scrutiny, and basically the studies do not support its use for prevention  of a first heart attack. You can read a very good synopsis of the studies and data supporting this  HERE

And then there are the significant side effects: the GreenMedInfo folks have kindly collated a truly horrifying compendium of what can go wrong if “susceptible’ individuals use statins. For a detailed list (with references) visit this page before you use or continue using statin drugs. Oh, and what constitutes “susceptible”, you might ask? When you experience the side (meaning unwanted) effect, then you are “susceptible” to that (unwanted and usually negative)  effect.

If you are taking statin drugs, and wish to continue, then please take at least 50 mg of Co Q10, as statins severely deplete this nutrient…. which coincidentally helps our hearts….Also, the GreenMedInfo folks have compiled some interesting info on a natural alternative/Red Yeast Rice to statin therapy. You can read about it here.

Next week we’ll take a look at the daunting issue of cholesterol…which may be as much a friend as a foe.

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Shingles Adventure and OK Blog Readers: What Next? Plus Update on Radiation

No I am not abandoning Detox, gentle or otherwise…it seems I have material enough to beat this subject to death; therefore  I’ll continue to talk about detox a bit at a time. Since our bodies are constantly detoxifying (or trying to) every day, I’ll keep adding tidbits from my stacks of research as we wander into the future.

Shingles is not something I thought much about until I “got” them. Now I find that almost everyone I’ve spoken with in my age group (and older) knows a friend or relative who has had them, or has suffered themselves. Who knew!? And that many did not know what it was for several days (myself included). And anyone can get them (children, teenagers, young adults: no one who has had chicken pox is immune). So, if you have NOT had them, after reading this blog, please find a good website that shows you pictures so you can recognize the lesions (they looked like the systemic poison ivy I once had). They key info: the outbreak is preceded by a  burning feeling in the area, and pain along nerve endings, even before eruption. As the eruptions increase, so does the pain. Also: they do not necessarily occur in the most common places (around the middle or on one side of the trunk).

The allopathic response (and the one I had to take as I was away on vacation) is Acyclovir (or other heavy-duty anti-viral). It really does work to halt the progression, and start the lesions’ reduction in size.  The holistic response: double-blind placebo studies have shown that the immediate use of very strong proteolytic enzymes (Wobenzyme N has been used with success) can work as well as anti-viral drugs. Another possibility (especially if this is a recurrence) is large (approx. 5 grams each per day) doses of Vitamin D, Vitamin C and l-Lysine.

On the lesions themselves: clay with essential oils of tea tree or other anti-viral oils (see previous blog posting), powdered charcoal and cornstarch (equal parts) mixed into a paste and applied, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) oil or salve, hydrogen peroxide gel, and the following as herbal tea poultices: Lemon Balm, Baikal Skullcap, Mullein Flowers, St. Joan’s wort, and/or Turmeric (found a great Chinese recipe that called for Turmeric, honey and yogurt: kinda messy, but very cooling).  Aloe Vera Gel is nice and cooling as well.

Now for the pain…suffice it to say that I have the deepest sympathy for any and all who have suffered intense pain, having now made a very personal acquaintance with it for a month. I fully understand why folks get depressed, discouraged and hooked on pain meds. I am currently weaning myself off Gabapentin (and it doesn’t really work unless you’re damn near unconscious). The Western herbs I am taking now in rather large doses during the day: 2 parts St. John’s/Joan’s wort, 2 parts Skullcap (I’m doing 1 part regular and 1 part Baikal) 2 parts Oats, 2 parts Licorice, and 1 part Ginger. Kathy Keville’s original recipe called for an additional 1 part Vervain (which I’m getting and making into a tincture pronto). There are other excellent Chinese possibilities; however, they work best with an individual diagnosis. My friend (and fellow blogger) Lisa Goodstein is formulating one for me now that she’s seen me.  Acupuncture in general is very helpful with post-herpetic neuralgia (the official term for the pain that often INCREASES after the lesions are almost or fully resolved). However, one must see an acupucturist at least once a week for  4 to 6 weeks.

And here’s an interesting herbal and pharmaceutical combo: Capsaicin creme. Works for 80% of the folks who use it (myself included). The really effective stuff is prescription only (but not terribly expensive), and the studies are impressive. The usual dosage is 0.075% Capsaicin (an oleoresin derived from Cayenne peppers) added to a (wish it were organic) hypo-allergenic base. Any compounding pharmacy can make it. One applies it 3 times daily.

And here it comes: the detox part: 2 especially great liver detoxifiers: Milk Thistle Seed (as a tincture or standardized extract) and the supplement Calcium-d-Glucarate. This patented form of glucaric acid is supported with numerous studies and used in several cancer centers. It works by assisting the liver and healthy cells to eliminate wastes and foreign elements (and those pharmaceuticals and their metabolites I’m taking are definitely in that category). I won’t get all technical on you here, but it is a really cool (though expensive) supplement, especially for anyone that is concerned about breast cancer.

What Next, dear blog readers? Please let me know what you’d like to see me address. Either respond to this blog or email me: irisherbal@yahoo.com.

Radiation from Japan update: check this out for an in-depth expose of the current situation…NOT for the faint of heart. And may we all continue to send prayers and energy to the people of Japan who must persevere through this enormity.

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More Aromatherapy for Gentle Detox

As I’ve been dealing with shingles, I’ve found some new ways of using essential oils.  When applying essential oils on the body, they must be diluted, and sometimes (like with shingles lesions or broken skin)) you do not want to use the more common mediums like oils and lotions. So I’ve been using alternatives: yogurt, fresh aloe gel (just the inside goop, not the skin), honey and clay. If you are wanting a drawing, astringent, use the clay (and for shingles, tea tree is a great addition, as is any anti-viral including bergamot, niaouli, cajeput, basil, lavender and eucalyptus). The yogurt is cooling and good for hot conditions (and is aided by using cooling essential oils like the chamomiles, lavender, blue cypress and yarrow). Honey is anti-microbial as well as soothing, and helps prevent secondary infections. Use any of the first list for added antiseptic power, and any of the second list for the anti-inflammatory effect.

Eucalyptus is penetrating and cleansing; helping to disperse negativity and constriction through clearing stagnation, thereby bringing inspiration for positive change. {anti-microbial, stimulant, decongestant/expectorant, mild diuretic}  There are several species of Eucalyptus that are useful in aromatherpy. Here are some of the most commonly used:

Peppermint Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives) is great for bronchitis (as it thins the mucus very effectively) but not for children or pregnant women.

Narrow Leaf Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) is strongly anti-viral, an expectorant, and anti-inflammatory. Is excellent in a vapor steam.

Blue Gum Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is the most commonly used; be aware that much of this Eucalyptus sold (even in natural food or herb stores) has been redistilled and is not as therapeutically valuable as the pure and natural oil, which is an excellent expectorant.

Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) smells like a combination of regular Eucalyptus and Lemon. With its high aldehyde content, it is anti-viral and calming (but irritating if not well-diluted).

Gully Gum Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus smithii) is the safest for children because it is milder. Like all Eucalypti, it is antiseptic, anti-catarrhal, analgesic and fever-reducing.

Grapefruit this fresh, light citrusy oil is essentially cleansing, especially of deep-seated frustration, self-blame, and feelings that lead to “comfort eating.” It helps disperse the heaviness of angry disappointment. {liver tonic, digestive stimulant, lymphatic decongestant).

Juniper with its pungent woodsy aroma, has been used since ancient times to purify on the spiritual level, using its power to drive away negativity (this is the herb we commonly call cedar). There is also a sweeter note that reflects Juniper’s empowering potential  as it helps us to confront the rigidity of worry. {loosens phlegm, lymphatic decongestant, anti-rheumatic, stimulates circulatory system, a general tonic– especially of the nervous system–and anti-microbial}.

Bay or Sweet Laurel has been a symbol of triumph and achievement since ancient times.  Its fresh camphoraceous scent brings warmth to chilly, congested folks who are burdened with doubt and debility. {pulmonary antiseptic and expectorant, anti-spasmodic–especially of the digestive system–stimulant, diuretic, anti-rheumatic and nervous system tonic}.

Any of the above oils may be purchased from www.irisherbal.com , as well as individually formulated for specific health enhancement purposes. None of the info presented here in this blog is for diagnostic or treatment purposes. It is just the traditional wisdom of our ancestors conveyed in a modern way. Nothing here has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for specific illnesses. For that you must consult a qualified health care practitioner. This info is for educational purposes only.

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Addressing the Emotional Aspect of Detox with Essential Oils

Anytime we change our habits, add or subtract food groups, look at how and when we eat, and/or start a detoxification process (however modest) emotional issues are going to arise. Our emotions (which some folks call feelings with a story) are inextricably linked to our thoughts and to bodily sensations (both “positive” and “negative”…what we often call “symptoms”).  Although much of our culture treats our minds as “ourselves” and our bodies as the “mules” which haul “us” around, we are really whole and indivisible beings. Those of us reading this know that intellectually (myself included), but doing any kind of detox will bring home this truth, as old “stuff” gets liberated during the release of toxins, and we get to “deal with” whatever we’ve back-burnered, or let slide into our subconscious.
Essential oils, which are very concentrated plant distillations (yes, they do come in other forms, but the vast majority are steam distilled), offer us a unique melding of the physical, emotional and “spiritual” (unseen dimensional/non-specific to any religion) aspects of herbs. They contain chemicals that are biologically “recognizable to our bodies (and some of these can be toxic or toxic at high doses) and which, if used properly, interact with our own bodily chemistry in beneficial ways. Because essential oils usually have agreeable (or at least “interesting”) scents, we tend to inhale them, and the same chemicals interact with our brain chemistry which can affect our mood, almost always in a positive manner (the main caveat here is you must like the scent, or at least not find it offensive). As we begin to “feel” an effect from inhalation, our souls are engaged….leading to an enhanced ability to both face our shadow aspects, as well as to let in more joy.
So here begins a journey into the physical and energetic effects of approx. 20 essential oils that are useful in assisting us with detoxification (and which are affordable and safe). I’ll start with 5 oils in this blog and the blog entries after I get back from my journey east…the next two blogs will be guest–edited by Lisa Goodstein , DOM.
Bergamot is a cold-pressed oil from a citrus tree, and is the magical ingredient of Earl Grey tea. It is very helpful in releasing tension, irritability, frustration and repressed emotion, especially unexpressed anger. A gentle, calmative, Bergamot is uplifting to the spirit and emotions. {anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, digestive and nervine tonic}.

Atlas Cedar
Atlas Cedar

is a distilled oil from the true Cedars (unlike what we call  Cedars, which are actually Junipers!) With a lovely deep scent this oil imparts strength and determination while dealing with difficult situations. { lymphatic decongestant, anti-microbial and general tonic}.
Roman Chamomile helps relieve nervous stress especially in the solar plexus region. Much like its herbal tea counterpart (though much stronger in both effect and aroma) Chamomile brings calm acceptance of our limitations. {analgesic, anti-inflammatory, gentle sedative, anti-spasmodic and digestive}.
Clary Sage brings inspiration and restores clarity of purpose. Its uplifting scent is gently euphoric, helping to restore balance when over-stimulated and experiencing mental and emotional fatigue. {anti-microbial, antispasmodic, digestive and uterine tonic}.

Cypress
Cypress

is excellent for general detoxification on the physical level, while supporting change on the emotional level. Its clean scent imparts strength to relinquish what needs to be let go, while lending stability and optimism for renewal. {anti-microbial, astringent,antispasmodic, and decongesting to the lungs, lymphatic system and prostate}.
Using these essential oils in the bath is an easy way to introduce aromatherapy into your self-care routine. You only need to use 4 to 10 drops of essential oil (mixed into a teaspoon of vegetable oil, or vodka, or dish soap) and add to a tub of warm (not hot) water. Relax, and let the scent and the energy of the oil relax or invigorate you. To read more about these and other essential oils, go to Iris Herbal Essential Oil Info Portal. To purchase these or any other essential oil, you can visit the Iris Herbal website or call Cathy on the phone toll-free @ 877-286-2970 (useful if you are just ordering one or two essential oils and would rather pay less shipping). For those who would like their bath oils already mixed in vegetable oil (or emulsified in a coconut base so that the blend completely disperses into the water) please go HERE. Enjoy!
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Implementation, Part 2

Before I continue with the list of herbs, let’s look at storage of herbs, and some basics about tinctures.

Herbs need to be stored in airtight, opaque jars in a cool, dark, dry place. Light, heat and oxidation degrade the quality of herbs as their constituents evaporate, oxidize, and other otherwise lose their potency. Powdered herbs will only last about 6 months or so; same with tea bags! (They have a use by date stamped on the bottom…and yes, many of mine are past their prime). Whole dried leaves (the best way to home dry, as the more a leaf or root is pulverized, the more surface area is exposed to the air) can last a year; whole dried roots up to 3 years. Alcohol-free extracts (usually glycerites) last 3 or so years, and alcohol extracts or tinctures can last 7 (or lots more) years.

Any of the herbs from yesterday, today, or this weekend’s lists can be (used, made or bought as) tinctures. The dosages of store-bought should be on the label. If a range of doses is given, the middle dose is usually for a 150 lb. adult. If you are making tinctures at home, check out the books offered through Iris Herbal  HERE  to find a good text to help you make and use herbal tinctures correctly and safely. You can also call the Iris Herbal office (toll-free 877-286-2970) and talk to Cathy about buying single herb (or ready-made combinations and/or special blends) tinctures (with all the new FDA regs, this is no longer possible online through the shopping cart).

Nettles: a very versatile edible herb; it is an astringent good for discharges (especially hay fever, diarrhea, nose bleeds); a alkalyzing diuretic; and useful for arthritis & eczema. Pour a cup of boiling water over 1 to 3 teaspoons of dried herb and let steep, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Do 3 times daily.

Burdock: another very useful plant disparaged as a weed; it aids liver, gall bladder and kidney function, and is especially good for the treatment of systemic imbalance that manifests as skin problems (eczema, psoriasis, dandruff), arthritis and gout. Put 1 teaspoonful of the root into a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this 3 times daily.

A note about dosages: before I continue, the amounts to make and use have so far come David Hoffmann’s The New Holistic Herbal and reflect a robust relationship between human and plant. When first taking any new herb, you may want to half the dosage and start with once a day, and work up to larger dosages. Sometimes taking herbs can exacerbate a symptom, often referred to as a “healing crisis” as toxins are discharged (and the body is supported in dumping metabolic waste). Some herbalists are gung-ho here and exhort the patient to press on. Since we are doing “gentle detox” my advise is to slightly back off, drink more water, go to sleep earlier, continue cleaning up your diet, and calmly persevere. Also, when a herb is specifically for digestion, take your tea  just before eating; otherwise, (in general) take the dose 45 minutes 1/2 hour before a meal.

Oregon Grape/Mahonia: this root is a bitter tonic for impaired salivary and gastric secretions (especially for difficult fat and protein digestion); is a stimulant to liver protein metabolism; and is an anti-microbial for both the skin and intestinal tract. Prepare like Burdock; take 2 to 4 oz. in the am and before retiring; do this for at least 2 weeks. (Thank you, Michael Moore).

Sarsaparilla: this alterative is good for systemic tonification, especially where there is chronic skin irritation and problems, rheumatism, herpes, gout and deficiencies in the adrenal and gonad hormone production. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of the root into a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this 3 times daily.

Yellow Dock: another wonderful weed! For all chronic skin eruptions and complaints, especially when accompanied by constipation; also for jaundice from liver congestion. Make and use as for Sarsaparilla.

Cleavers: excellent tonic for the lymphatic system; good for swollen glands, cystitis, and skin conditions. Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried herb and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this three times daily.

Red Clover: fabulous herb for children (childhood eczema, whooping-cough, mono) and for adults (chronic skin problems and infections, increases lactation). Pur a cup of boiling water over 1 to 3 teaspoons of herb; infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Take 3 times daily. DO NOT use if PREGNANT.

Red Root: good for lymphatic congestion, especially accompanied by sore throat, inflamed spleen, and/or fluid cysts in sexual organs (male or female). Use like Sarsaparilla.

Echinacea: this is our premier anti-microbial herb; good for all infections anywhere in the body (use at first sign of upper respiratory problems). Also beneficial to tendons and ligaments (in chronic inflammation) and for any swollen areas on the skin (whether due to septic cuts or insect bites. For acute symptoms it’s easier to take a tincture (up to 40 drops per hour) and in chronic conditions, see Sarsaparilla.

Calendula: this flower is useful both internally: ulcers, mouth sores, indigestion with gall bladder pain and fungal infections; and externally: inflammation due to bruising, minor burns and sprains, as well as fungal problems. Pour a cup of boiling water on 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herbs and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this 3 times daily.