Saturday, November 24, 2007

For the love of enzymes...

"The human race is at least half sick. In a biological sense, there are no completely healthy people living on the conventional diet. Even those young adults who feel fit have health defects. Some have dental caries, thinning hair, approaching baldness, acne or allergies, headaches, impaired vision, constipation, and so on..."
Edward Howell, PhD, Enzyme Nutrition

Dr. Howell is commenting on this strictly looking at the enzyme deficiency contribution to this problem. When we eat as close to nature as possible, it is very likely we will consume raw foods. You know, when you get on your "healthy kick", you start to incorporate more fruits, more salads and so on. Now, thing of Morgan Spurlock in Supersize Me. Here, he consumes nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days. Did he ever try the salad...? If not, he consumed 100% cooked foods for that entire time. It's too bad that a naturopathic doctor was not consulted during the making of the movie. We could have checked for the enzyme point, located just below and to the right of the very lowest part of the sternum.

Imagine the amount of enzymes it would take to digest 1 McDonald's meal...The food is cooked, it is highly processed and so it is looks very complex to the body. In the 100-Year Lie: How food and medicine are destroying our health by Randall Fitzgerald, he mentions that the body is unable to recognize many of the synthetic chemicals that are currently being added into our food system, including pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, food preservatives and more. He explains that these foods actually get "locked" in the liver because the liver simply does not know how to process them. Because of this, it is very likely that the body secretes even more of the precious pancreatic enzymes in order to digest this type of a meal. Imagine people who eat McD's or this type of food every day! What enzymes will they have remaining by the time they are in their 40's or 50's. Imagine that just by supplementing enzymes and eating more live food that you can make a profound difference in your state of health in a very short time!

Dr. Howell continues:

"Nature's plan calls for food enzymes to help with digestion instead of forcing the body's digestive enzymes to carry the whole load...If food enzymes did some of the work, the enzyme potential would not be facing impending bankruptcy, as it is now in the bodies of millions of people on the minus diet - food minus its enzymes. Our enzyme potential has a problem somewhat similar to a checking account which could become dangerously deficient if not continually replenished."

"The heat used in cooking destroys all food enzymes and forces the organism to produce more enzymes, thus enlarging digestive organs, especially the pancreas...Although the body makes less than two dozen digestive enzymes, it uses up more of its enzyme potential supplying these than it uses to make the hundreds of metabolic enzymes needed to keep all of the organs and tissues functioning with their diversified activities."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Live Food 101:Enzymes

I am going to be doing a few posts on the basics of live foods. I lecture often on the amazing benefits of live foods, and do many live food preparation classes. Let's go back to the basics and explore some of the reasons that foods prepared without cooking make you feel so good! There is also a way to test yourself for enzyme deficiency that I mention at the end of the post.

"The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the use of enzyme potential."
The Enzyme Nutrition Axiom by Edward Howell

Dr. Edward Howell, who wrote the book Enzyme Nutrition, realized that the body has a limited ability to produce digestive enzymes from the pancreas. If you do not supplement your own enzymes over the course of a lifetime, it is very likely that you will rapidly deplete your own enzymes. As a result, the aging process will be accelerated, and it will be much easier for chronic illness to develop. He said:

"Enzymes represent the life element which is biologically recognized and can be measured in terms of enzyme activity. Our easiest measurement is a lack, for various chemical reactions fail to occur without enzymes: a radiated or cooked potato will fail to sprout."

We absolutely MUST supplement our diet with live foods or go completely live! Please remember that in addition to live foods, fermented foods are also rich in enzymes. So, your kombucha tea, miso soup, sauerkraut and rejuvelac are all good sources of enzymes as well. If you do not, you will begin to show signs of enzyme depletion. These can include fatigue, poor digestion, constipation, a feeling that food sits in your stomach, graying hair, waking in the morning and not feeling refreshed and so much more. You are constantly making withdrawals from your enzyme bank when you consume cooked foods. Like a good savings account that you continue to withdraw from, your enzyme bank account, as abundant as it may start out in life, will begin to go toward bankruptcy. Please don't let this happen!

You can do a test on yourself to find out if your body needs enzymes. Find your sternum, then find the xiphoid process, which is the lowest part, the part where the sternum ends. You can also work your way up from the abdomen and find the xiphoid process. Now, move about 1 inch to the down and 1 inch to the right, by your rib cage. Press with a medium-firm pressure. If you feel some tenderness in the spot, you need enzymes. You need to supplement with digestive enzymes AND you need to eat more live foods or begin to transition to live foods.

Also, ask yourself this: Why do people eating a 100% raw diet look SO GREAT? It's the enzymes to a great extent! If you supplement your enzymes with live foods, which contain their own enzymes, you will allow much more energy for your body to use on repair and rejuvenation of cells! You will look beautful, you will feel beautiful.
For the sake of your health more than anything else, take care of your savings account of enzymes. Either consume a diet of primarily live foods, or be sure to supplement enzymes, or do BOTH!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Watermelon Cleanse

The cooling qualities of watermelon make it ideal for a quick and easy 3-Day Summer Detox. Cleansing with watermelon is easy to do, delicious and extremely effective. The watermelon is a whole body cleanser. It has positive effects on the kidney, bladder, heart, stomach, colon, liver and more! I especially emphasize the benefits derived from this cleanse on the kidneys. I have observed through a test that I run for my patients that the kidneys are under tremendous strain. They may in fact be losing their effective ability to clear toxins in many individuals. Why? Protein, alcohol and caffeine all put strain on the kidney. High protein diets are still common in many patients I work with, as is the regular consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages.

The results of the test I run usually reveal beginning of a pattern that may not have been otherwise recognized until many years later. When the diminished ability of the kidneys to clear harmful waste produtcs like urea and uric acid from the body finally appears on a standard blood test, it may be too late. One thing that watermelon does is it helps the liver to process ammonia (waste from protein digestion) into the safer form of urea. This increased effectiveness in production of urea takes some strain off of the kidneys. This is just one of the many benefits of watermelon cleansing.

There are several ways to do a watermelon cleanse. You can use the juice alone, separated from the pulp. You can toss the melon in the blender, then consume it as a smoothie. You can add lemon, ginger or herbs. There are some specific watermelon cleansing recipes that you can use during your cleanse. The healing benefits of each of these will be discussed in future posts. You can get amazing utility from the humble melon. Every part from flesh, rind and seed can be consumed with some benefit. A watermelon cleanse can be used to shed a few pounds in a short time. Menopausal women can use the cleanse to relieve hot flashes. The extreme heat of August can be released through the cleansing power of watermelon. The colon is cleansed by watermelon. Watermelon can act as a blood tonic and therefore be very regenerative. The following is the first of 3 different versions of the cleanse from my forthcoming E-Book - "Juicy Bliss: The Watermelon Cleanse".

3-Day Watermelon Cleanse

Upon rising:
6 ounces of ,watermelon juiced
½ lemon, juiced with the watermelon

Optional: add grated ginger, mix in blender. You can also juice the ginger and mix with watermelon juice.
To juice the watermelon. Place watermelon in blender. Blend well. Use a cheese cloth or nut milk bag to strain the watermelon. Mix lemon juice and watermelon together.

Optional: Use a GreenStar Juicer or Samson Juicer to juice the rind. Drink the juice of the rind.

Watermelon smoothie.

To prepare watermelon smoothie: Place 2 cups of watermelon in blender or Vitamix. Blend for 30 seconds or until watermelon is well mixed. Drink!

Optional: Add 2 tbsp. of chopped cilantro and blend along with the watermelon.

2-3 cups chopped watermelon.

To prepare watermelon smoothie: Place 2 cups of watermelon in blender or Vitamix. Blend for 30 seconds or until watermelon is well mixed. Drink!

Watermelon Soup.

This isn’t really a “soup” per se, but something that can be mixed up and consumed as part of a watermelon fast.

4 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped.
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped or minced
1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Place 3 cups watermelon in food processor and blend until smoothie. Dice up the remaining 2 cups of watermelon into very small pieces and add to the puree. In a separate bowl, combine the lime juice, mint, ginger, and cardamom. Add this to the other mixture and stir well.

Before bedtime:
Take a Sea Salt/Baking Soda Enema – Order our special Enema kit from

Digestive Stimulator (Aloe Vera/Wormwood) – Take 2 capsules. Order Digestive Stimulator from

Epsom Salt Bath

Saturday, July 21, 2007

How Stress Depletes Precious Stomach Acid

I want to revisit the topic of stomach acid because it is so crucial to good digestion. Almost every patient that I see has some problem with digestion. For example, bloating after meals, frequent bouts of gas, problems with constipation, difficulty losing weight, food allergies and much more. Stomach acid is absolutely necessary, yet many people have depleted their acid for a few different reasons.

First of all, why is acid in your belly so important? The stomach should have an acidic pH when food is present. It is much more alkaline (about 6.0) when the stomach is empty. When you eat, the acid produced in the stomach should bring the pH to 2.0. This wonderful acidic substance is secreted from cells called parietal cells in mucosal lining of the stomach. The acid is important in protecting us from bacterial, parasites and other microorganisms that might come in to the body in our food supply. The acid also activates enzymes that digest proteins. When proteins do not completely digest the word for this is called putrefaction. Isn't that lovely? They rot in your intestines and the waste products can become poisonous. You also don't get the benefit of a completely digested food. You do not receive the needed amino acids from those proteins. Ultimately, you eat protein, so that it will break down into amino acids that your body will use. If the food will not digest properly, what's the use in eating it?

The ideal cirucmstances for perfect digestion would go a little like this. You begin preparation of your meal with your family by going out to your own garden and picking fresh vegetables. You see the fresh food, the vibrant colors, and completely appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into growing it. Not just your effort, but the plant's effort and the miracle of the sun, the soil, the seed all coming together to create beautiful food. You lovingly prepare the food together. You bless the food first, and eat the food over lively conversation, listening to music that is conducive to good digestion, like classical music, jazz or something similar that appeals to you.

WHO eats this way today? Here's a tasty tidbit of information. 40% of americans eat breakfast in their car. So, I know that this meal situation is something that you strive for, but might not achieve. In that situation, the parasympathetic nervous system is highly stimulated. At this point, all the enzymes necessary to break down the food are released. The stomach cranks up the production of that lovely acid, also called gastric acid or hydrochloric acid. Perfect digestion becomes possible.

If you eat breakfast in your car, take lunch at your desk, or eat when you feel stressed, just the opposite takes place. If you are in a state of stress, worried about work, see the person in front of you slam on the brakes, thinking about financial worries, then you are in "fight or flight" mode. The brain is perceiving danger in an ancient way, thinking that you are facing a life or death situation. Blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate all increase in anticipation that you may need to soon fight for your life. Does this seem like a good time to digest a burger? Not to your body either. So, the body shuts down the production of enzymes, and, of course, your awesome stomach acid. It also sends the blood from the stomach to the skeletal muscles. Remember how mom told you not to swim within 30 minutes of the whole meal thing?

Being in a constant state of stress, or at least stressed out when eating creates a poor environment for digestion. As a result, food stays in the stomach longer. This can create a feeling of bloating. The putrefaction can lead to the creation of gas in the body, which can "express" itself as belching or the lovely flatulence. This prolonged time in the stomach along with the putrefaction can cause organic acids to form. Guess what that makes you feel like you have? Yep. Acid reflux or heartburn. So, what do you take for that? You got it, acid blockers. Tums or your favorite over-the-counter acid blocker. Now, how do you think that will help your already challenged state of low stomach acid? Stay tuned for more information about the benefits of stomach acid, and how to tell if yours is low, and how to improve it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Every Day Makes A Life

As I was working the 23rd of 26 poses during 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga, I was thinking back to a couple of months ago. During my first class, I could hardly remain in the room, which is heated to 104 degrees. Now I was finishing the postures with ease. In a short time, I had made so many changes. Chronic shoulder pain - gone. Mild lower back pain - no more. My energy, mental clarity, flexibility were all so greatly improved, my posture better and so much more. I often recommend yoga, tai chi, or qi gong to patients. If you go to the gym every day, you are putting out a long of yang energy, or what could best be described as "go-go-go" energy. Yoga is nourishing and tends to increase yin energy. This helps you to restore energy instead of feeling burned out. I find that this is what people need most.

The postures of hatha yoga have a wisdom that is thousands of years old. The more you study how the postures work on the body, the more fascinating it becomes. These are not just random stretching exercises. Each exercise not only works the body, the muscles, the joints, but also massages the internal organs, improves the health of the spine allowing energy to flow easily through the spine. Yoga postures balance the meridians of the body, and even helps your endocrine system to function better. Many of the compression postures help the thyroid, pituitary, pancreas and other endocrine organs function better. This means that if you have diabetes, low thyroid function, difficulty sleeping or other endocrine issues that they may be helped without any medication, without any supplement, but by doing a specific exercise you can create health within your own body.

When I travel, I realize more than usual how terribly overweight not just the adult population is, but teenagers and children seem to be carrying a frightening amount of excess weight as well. I want to emphasize again how incredibly important it is to exercise EVERY day. If your work life is so busy that you have no time to exercise, then what kind of a life are you living? Movement is crucial, not just to prevent illness, but to feeling truly alive. Each day, you are either improving your flexibility, or you are losing it. You are improving the functioning of your heart, or the heart muscle is becoming weaker. You are forming beta endorphins and other brain chemicals that will help you to feel happy, alive, creative, or your are moving toward depression or mood swings, just from lack of movement! When your hips are tight, your shoulders locked up, when it is hard to get up, take a walk, do exercise, you are losing the very essence of life. You are losing that which makes you most truly you, your brightest, your healthiest.

When your body is conditioned, fit, the muscles are toned, the body is flexible, you feel good. It affects every interaction, your creativity, what you are able to achieve in your life. I highly encourage you to strive for daily exercise, doing activities that you feel drawn to. I do recommend some yoga, tai chi or qi gong. If you do not currently feel that you have time in your life for exercise, let me know. I will work with you to create the space in your life. Everything is possible. Make room for this just like you were fighting for your life. Because, as it turns out, you are.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Are Plastics Into You?

One of my teachers in Environmental Medicine loved to remind us of the famous line from "The Graduate" where Dustin Hoffman discloses that his post-college plan are to "get into plastics." "But now", Dr. Crinnion would always exclaim with glee, "plastics have gotten into us!" Indeed, he is correct. They are so into us that these miracles of chemistry are causing any number of hormonal imbalances and increasing the risk of cancer. Many people have absolutely no idea how important it is to be aware of plastics in their world. Here are some tips regarding plastics:

- Avoid plastics with the following recycle numbers: #3, #6, #7. These are the most dangerous.
- NEVER heat ANYTHING in plastic. This makes it much more likely that the plastic will end up in your food and then in your body. Most of this heating requires a microwave, so while you are at it, throw out the microwave. If you have any doubt about this, try this experiment. Microwave 1 glass of water and water one of the plants in your home with it for a couple of weeks. Water a different plant with purified water. See the difference in growth in a short amount of time. One participant in my 14-Day Renewal Cleanse tried this, and plant watered with microwaved water actually died, so be aware of that.
- Don't eat anything that is packaged in styrene or styrofoam. Styrene is what is in styrofoam and it is a known carcinogen. You might get a tuna sandwich at a convenience store that is on styrene, you might get soft serve ice cream or yogurt on styrene, and I always wince at this, you might be offered coffee or tea in a styrofoam cup (it is heated, even worse!). I do not recommend drinking or eating from these products. Also, keep in mind that a fatty food is more likely to pick up the styrene. So, tuna with mayo on top of a styrene plate, or 1/2 and 1/2 with coffee in a styrofoam cup. That is a real disaster, between the coffee, the half and half, the styrofoam.
-Store and drink water out of glass bottles or stainless steel containers. A good stainless steel container is the Klean Canteen, which I highly recommend.
-There are many products out there for children that specifically avoid harmful plastics. I will have more information on these products soon. There has recently been a run on glass baby bottles as more families have become aware of the hazards of plastics for children.

Polycarbonate Plastic: It lurks in strange places...

It is very important to know where you might come into contact with polycarbonate, as I discussed in the last post. You will have to start checking your recycle numbers in the same way that you check the ingredients on food labels. Here are some places, though, that you are likely to find polycarbonate plastic:

-Sippy cups.
-Baby bottles.
-Plastic water bottles at the water cooler.
-Nalgene-like bottles that are used for sports.
-Brita Filter - The plastic pitcher that holds the water is made of polycarbonate plastic. The filter is fine, so just get one that attaches directly to the sink, rather than using the pitcher or the large plastic container that has a spigot connected to it (also polycarbonate).
-Inside lining of most cans. Yes, cans. Your soup can, your tuna can, your can used for infant formula. Have you notices that they now contain a plastic liner inside of them? It is good 'ol polycarbonate plastic, unfortunately.
-Baby toys that are made from plastics. You might have to check with a manufacturer to find out what type of plastic is used. However, you MUST do this. I will be discussing the likelihood that our most vulnerable population for all of this plastic exposure are children who have developing reproductive systems. For this group, these exogenous estrogens may cause the most harm.
-Plastic container of the Vitaminx Blender.
-Tooth colored dental fillings as well as dental sealants.

You might be needing to sit down right now and grab a sip of water. Just be sure you are drinking out of a glass. Seriously, we need to demand that these plastic resins are better studied, or studied at all. Many plastics are put into use, with tacit approval from the FDA, which classifies them with a nifty acronym, GRAS. This means it is Generally Regarded as Safe. The chemical companies swear the plastics are not harmful, and there studies appear show that to be true. The studies that were not funded by the industry show that Bisphenol A (BPA) can cause hormonal disruption, pre-dispose a person to reproductive cancers, especially younger people, contribute to insulin resistance as well as Attention Deficit Disorder.

There is actually some good news, though, so stay tuned.

Plastic Blues: How Your Water Bottle Can Make You Infertile

When I am at the yoga studio, the gym, teaching at a local massage school or just visiting with people around town, I almost always stop in mid-sentence when I notice someone drinking out of a hard plastic water bottle, often a Nalgene or Nalgene-like bottle. Please check your favorite bottle right now. Does it say #7 inside the recycle triangle? If so, it is very likely that it is made from Polycarbonate Plastic. This type of plastic is made with a chemical called Bisphenol A, a plastic and resin ingredient that has harmful effects.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. This is a hard plastic, right? The kind which will not leach. Yes, that is what you were told. However, it is not true. The unfortunate truth of polycarbonate is that the bonds are broken through hydrolysis. Hydro-lysis. Water breaks the bonds. The more that you use your bottle, the more you leach the plastic into the water. This is also true because the polycarbonate plastic begins to degrade over time, so it is easier for more plastic to make its way into the water you are drinking and then into your body.

What happens when this plastic does get into your body? After all, wax coatings on apples simply wash out of the body, why not the plastic? This type of plastic stays in the body. It is quite active. It disrupts hormones by fooling the body to recognize it as the hormone estrogen. This form of estrogen does not have the same effect as a biological form. It is more likely to result in harmful effects. This means that for women, it may increase their risk of breast cancer. In men, it can lower sperm count and contribute to infertility. An exogenous estrogen, as this is called, does not break down after time, as the natural estrogens to. Also, the body tightly regulates estrogen to minimize harmful effects. It does this by increasing sex hormone binding globulin which binds up the estrogens until they are needed. Exogenous estrogens are not reduced, unfortunately, by sex hormone binding globulin. So, low amounts of exposure to the plastic may have larger effects.

I will be discussing where else you might find this harmful plastic, why it is absolutely imperative that children are not exposed, and what alternatives might be useful.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Vegans and Live-Food Vegans: To B12 or not B12?

Patients that I visit with who are live-food vegans or cooked food vegans often ask me if the should supplement B12 or would like to know why I object to them not supplementing. See the discussion below regarding some of the evidence about B12. Following this discussion are some advantages of eating live food, which I believe far outweigh the need to take a daily B12 supplement.

Are vegans and live-food vegans at risk for B12 Deficiency without supplementation?

Yes, according to Gabriel Cousens in Conscious Eating (revised edition).

He says, as many of us know, that methylmalonic acid is the best way to assess B12 status. For example, he found that some patients with "normal range" serum B12 (486 pg) still had an elevated MMA, indicating that the person was indeed B12 deficient.

He says:
Consistent research over the last decade has shown that vegans and live-food practitioners of all ages have a much higher risk of becoming B12 deficient. There are more than 15 studies on vegans that have substantiated this. The most dramatic was done by Dong and Scott on 83 subjects at a National Hygiene Society conference. 92% of non-supplementing primarily live-food vegans were B12 deficient. There are no studies that show that vegans do not get B12 deficient over time.


However, in the movie "Breakthrough", the story of a family that has been on live vegan food for many years, (and all the children from birth), they claim that none of their children were found to be B12 defiicient despite the fact that they did not supplement B12.

I would like to err on the safe side, so I do recommend a daily B12 supplement to vegan and live vegan patients.

Yes, one should supplement B12. However, here are some of the substantiated information regarding eating vegan or live vegan foods.

(Also from Gabriel Cousens, in his book Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine)

Compared to meat eaters who are 45-65 years old, lactovegetarians have 3X less heart attacks, Vegans have 10X less heart attacks.

Victoras Kulvinskas, in Survival in the 21st Century, estimates that up to 80% of nutrition destroyed when cooking food.

Most research concurs that 50% of the B-Vitamins are destroyed by cooking.

B1 and B12 losses have been recorded up to 96%, folic acid losses up to 97% and biotin losses up to 72%. Vitamin C losses are approximately 70-80%.

The Max Planck Institute for Nutritional Research in Germany found only 50% bioavailability in proteins that have been overcooked. The study found that cooking changes proteins in to substances that disrupt cellular function and speeed up the aging and disease process.

Research done at Stockholm Uiversity, in cooperation with Sweden's Natural Foods association, showed that the heating of carbohydrate-rich foods, such as potatoes, rice and cereals, creates acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen. The researchers found that a bag of potato chips may contain up to 500 to times more acrylamide than allowed in the drinking water by the World Health Organization. French fries sold at McDonald's and Burger King in Sweden showed 100 times the level permitted by WHO in the drinking water. Acrylamde has been found to cause benign and malignant stomach tumors and to also cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system. Acrylamde occurs in baked potatoes, French Fries, biscuits, and bread, as well as other high carbohydrate foods.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Cleansing Power of Watermelon

Last night at the 14-Day Renewal Cleanse, I mentioned the incredibly cleansing power of watermelon. One of the participants inquired as to why the watermelon has such a great ability to cleanse. In fact, you could do a 3-Day cleanse just eating watermelon. Juicng the rind, when your melon is organic, has value as well. I think a perfect addition to this is juicing wheatgrass or barley grass througout the day, drinking anywhere from 2-6 ounces.

Here is what Brigitte Mars says about watermelon in her book Rawsome. Brigitte is a wonderful herbalist and always has such a fresh take on nutrition of fruits, vegetables, weeds and other plants. I met her at the Raw Spirit Festival in 2006 and she is just delightful. She took a group of us on a spontaneous herb walk, and the doc (well, that's me) learned alot! Thanks Brigitte!

Watermelon is cold, sweet and refreshing and provides a safe reliable fluid in many desert regions of the world. Watermelon is considered a rejuvenating blood tonic and very alkalinizing. It is also antibacterial, antioxidant, anticoagulating, a digestive aid, diuretic, and laxative. It lubricates the intestines and has an affinity for the bladder, kidney, stomach and heart. Watermelon is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and silicon. It actually has half as much sugar as an apple, yet tastes sweeter, because it is mostly (92%) water. Watermelon contains the red pigment, lycopene which is proving to prevent cancer. It also contains glutathione, which guards against cataract formation. Watermelon helps lift the spirits from depression and has been used to improve halitosis, hangover, mouth sores, sore throat, and urethral pain. Watermelon makes an ideal food during a cleanse.

When the white spot that touches the ground, turns yellow or cream colored, it indicates ripeness. Avoid melons with a green or white belly. Select a melon heavy for its size. When the melon is thumped, it should have a dull, hollow sound. If the skin is scraped with one's nail and it comes off easily, the melon is ripe. Smell for a sweet fragrance. Best to enjoy watermelon alone, but try it with other melons in a fruit salad or juice it. Enjoy a cool watermelon sorbet.

Watermelon rind contains chlorophyll and can be eaten (close to the skin) or run through a juicer for building the blood and strengthening the glands. In some parts of South America, watermelon rind is applied to the temples and forehead to cool a headache. Watermelon pulp is used topically to treat heat rash and burns. The black watermelon seeds are a traditional remedy for strengthening the kidneys. The seeds, juice and pink flesh can all be juiced together. They contain curcurbocitrin which dilates the capillaries. Look for watermelons with seeds and eat them! I promise, a melon won't grow in your belly.


I recommend that your watermelons have SEEDS and that they are organic. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chasing Symptoms

Recently, a patient called to report another bout of a recurring, painful and bothersome sinus infection. Sheepishly, she was asking me, the naturopathic doctor, to prescribe an antibiotic. As a naturopathic doctor in Oregon, I have prescribing rights to many antibiotics. I think there is a time and a place for them, and I am grateful that I have access to them when needed. I also know that antibiotics have negative effects on the gastrointestinal bacteria. The immediate feelings of relief could ultimately result in decreased overall health in the long run. The decision of what to do next becomes the business of weighing carefully the current condition of the patient but also looking for the ultimate cause of the infections.

The patient recently had a constitutional hydrotherapy treatment and a nutritional IV support treatment. The nutrition in the IV was directed toward improving her immune system. Three days later, the chronic sinus infections reared their ugly head as a new, acute crisis. Was this a sign that natural medicine does not work?
I look for understanding in the words of the traditional naturopathic doctors, those that practiced at the beginning of the 20th century. One great example is Henry Lindlhar. He was a successful business man who turned to naturopathic medicine when he, a 5 foot 6 inch tall man weighed in at 250 pounds and soon thereafter developed diabetes.

Here is his philosophy:

"(Lindlahr) considered most symptoms beneficent and constructive - healing efforts of Nature. He called them crises, and spoke of them as healing crises. He taught his patients to regard symptoms in an entirely different light from that in which they had formerly been led to consider them."

I will be talking much more about the wisdom from Dr. Lindlahr as told by his son Victor Lindlahr in a now out of print book titled, "The Natural Way to Health."
The point here is that this patient was in the process of healing. This sinus infection is actually a sign of success. The body now had the energy to mount an immune response and begin to fight off this chronic, probably often latent bacteria or virus. I recommended that we wait on the antibiotic, always holding it as a possibility if there was a need for it. I prescribed three constitutional hydrotherapy treatments, one each day, with the application of short-wave diathermy. Diet was to consist mostly of broths, like the mineralizing broth that I often recommend. Avoid sugar, wheat, dairy, rich foods.

This allowed the body's natural defense systems to work instead of being shut down. Medicines that can make us feel better instantly may not support our long-term health. However, they do allow us to run right back to work and continue to strain an already impaired system. Which do we really want? True healing and recover take time. Time to rest and time to allow the body's immune system to respond. This is incredibly vital in the quest for optimal health.