Posts Tagged ‘herb’

With the circulating virus’ this time of year the snot, sniffles, fever and chills are everywhere! The physical stress of the temperature changes, time indoors, more sugars and less exercise all contribute to the increasing colds and flus this time of year.

While it is incredibly annoying to have a cold, for many people it provides an opportunity for the body to restore. Extra sleep, days off, increased elimination can all provide the body a net benefit when it’s all said and done. Getting a low to moderate fever benefits the body greatly. Despite feeling crummy, the fever is the body’s best defense against not only organisms we don’t want but also genetic errors and toxins that all contribute to the “normal symptoms of aging” and chronic diseases.

The most common treatments that American’s utilize for colds and flus may be short-changing the body’s experience and leaving us worse off than before. Most of our over the counter cold and flu remedies contain variations of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief and fever reduction. Brand names Tylenol, Advil and more contain acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen all work via similar mechanisms in the body. While they often provide much desired pain relief, an undesireable effect that this class of drugs has on the body is diminishing the immune systems response.

Using NSAIDs during the course of a cold or flu is more likely to cause a longer duration of illness, worsening symptoms over time and the necessity for stronger medications to get through the illness. What’s worse yet, the inhibition of the immune system with these drugs prevents the immune systems most important feature from happening; memory. When the body goes through an illness, the immune system captures the experience in it’s long-term memory so that the next time we see that organism, or one similar to it we are ready to go and can address it immediately. Ideally, we experience enough illnesses in our younger years that when we reach our senior years and have lessened capacity to fight infection, our memory is so vast that we’re naturally prepared for any infection that comes our way (1).

Fortunately, natural medicine provides an incredibly diverse spectrum of healing tools that not only help relieve pain and discomfort but also strengthen the immune system along the way.

At the first sign of illness:

  • Support the immune system with a visit to the sauna. Before an illness has a chance to get settled in, boost your immunity with the fever-simulation of the sauna. Contrasting hot and cold temperature provokes lymphatic circulation and should feel great!
  • Oscillococcinum- homeopathic flu remedy that helps address the symptoms of flu regardless of which organism provokes it. (2)
  • Echinacea, Elderberry, Propolis Throat Spray – these anti-viral and immune stimulating herbs are ideal to use directly into the throat where most viral exposures get started. All 3 of these herbs function via different mechanisms to stop virus’s adhering to the tissues, interrupt virus replication and more.
  • Osha Root – chew on pieces of this powerful high mountain herb to kill virus in the upper respiratory tract. (3)
  • Rest – the worst thing we can do for ourselves at the onset of a cold or flu is to push ourselves to keep going. Stress hormones inhibit the immune systems functioning and allow infections to get a head start.
  • Avoid sugar, dairy, gluten and individual food allergies. Any food that provokes an inflammatory or mucous stimulating response will interfere in the ability of the body to fight an illness naturally and increase the pain response.Free stock photo of person, love, woman, relaxation

Relying on natural medicine for health provides countless options in healthcare. Together in conjunction with appropriate use of pharmaceutical therapies we can make the best of both modern medicine and ancient traditions. For individualized support with NSAID alternatives to pain whether for acute or chronic disease schedule an appointment today.

  1. Simona Bancos,1Matthew P. Bernard,1David J. Topham,2 and Richard P. Phipps1,* “Ibuprofen and other widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit antibody production in human cells,” Cell Immunol. 2009; 258(1): 18–28. Published online 2009 Apr 5. doi:  10.1016/j.cellimm.2009.03.007
2.RosemariePappaGertSchubackbElmarBeckbGeorgBurkardcJürgenBengeldSiergfriedLehrla “OscillococcinumR in patients with influenza-like syndromes: A placebo-controlled double-blind evaluation,” British Homoeopathic journal Volume 87, Issue 2, April 1998, Pages 69-76.
3. Glenn D.Appelt “Pharmacological aspects of selected herbs employed in Hispanic folk medicine in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, USA: I. Ligusticum porteri (osha) and Matricaria chamomilla (manzanilla),” Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 13, Issue 1, March 1985, Pages 51-55.

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Preventative medicine is the key to affordable healthcare.  The more we can work to keep ourselves well, the greater contributors we our to our community.  Many states in the US have taken the steps to license Naturopathic Doctors in order to establish their place in the medical world.  Most primary care Doctors are licensed as an MD which means they have completed medical education within the conventional medical, or allopathic approach to health.  This system is ideal for handling emergencies and extreme health imbalances, yet it often has little to offer in keeping people well.  A common recommendation to “watch and wait” with a sub-clinical disease process leaves little hope for improvement.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the western medical system equivalent to the MD education.  However, the emphasis shifts in the 3rd and 4th years of training to incorporate herbal medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, spinal manipulation, physiotherapy and more.  The ideal healthcare system incorporates all systems of healthcare to take the best of each and apply them in an effective manner.  For a comparative review of the education of leading Naturopathic and Conventional medical schools in the US, see the attached document here:  Nat-Med-Ed-Comp-Curricula.

Licensing Naturopathic doctors benefits communities in a variety of ways.  It makes more physicians available in an era where there is a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors.  It allows the option for the first point of contact for patients to be with Doctors who emphasize what people can do for themselves to improve their health.  Naturopathic Doctors spend more time with patients traditionally, allowing for more personal attention and an opportunity to explore the mind-body relationship.  Naturopathic Doctors are experts in herb-drug and food-drug interactions providing a close watch to notice when dosages may need to be altered to support the changes in the individuals body.  This expertise is critical in a time where patients glean a great deal of their health information from online sources and natural food store clerks.  People often end up taking a wide variety of substances without any oversight of how things may be working together in their body.

As a healthcare practitioner, my experience spans over 20 years in a variety of roles.  Initially working in home health and institutional care as a Nurse Aid, I observed the end stage of care for a wide variety of chronic health conditions treated exclusively with allopathic therapies.  From there, I witnessed thousands of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases improve as a medical student intern in Integrative Medicine clinics.  As a medical researcher with the Helfgott Research Institute in Portland, I got to know the process of determining what works in healthcare from the evidenced based model.  While the research in natural therapies is generally smaller studies due to financial constraint, there is plenty of data to support its use, once as we begin to look.

Licensed as a Naturopathic primary care Physician in Portland, Oregon I was able to provide both natural and pharmaceutical tools for illness, covered by health insurance.  Some patients prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals altogether or have responded negatively in the past to drug therapies.  Still, there are a wide variety of options to choose from when treating illness with natural medicine.  Other patients present with a health condition that will improve more quickly with pharmaceuticals but whose underlying health can be supported with natural medicine to prevent long term damage.  Many individuals experience a state of health that is not clinically ill, but not 100% well either.  This is where natural medicine can make dramatic change in a person’s life.  Using tools from all systems together gives us the greatest potential to improve health and have lasting change.

Please support the effort to license Naturopathic Doctors in Colorado, and throughout the US in order to provide options for people in their healthcare services.  For specific details please follow the instructions below.

Thank you for your time in supporting natural medicine and working toward affordable options in healthcare.


Dr. Hart

Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors
It’s time to write again!

HB 1111 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary committee sometime this next week. If we are successful, we “may” be assigned to the Finance committee, but will for sure go before the Appropriations committee… then on to the Senate floor and passage by May 8th, the last day of the 2013 legislative session.
Opponents of this bill have been vocal and unrestrained in spreading false claims about what this bill does.  The legislators want to hear from you… again!  Please take a moment to write the committee members.PLEASE SEND YOUR E-MAIL TODAY TO ALL OF THE COLORADO SENATORS LISTED BELOW.  WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR MESSAGE.   THANK YOU!


Please support Colorado House Bill 13-1111 concerning “Regulation of Naturopathic Doctors.”

False and misleading claims are being circulated from those fraudulently using the title, Naturopathic Doctor, in order to practice medicine in Colorado.  HB 1111 will protect the consumer by allowing them to check credentials and file complaints against anyone using the title, Naturopathic Doctor or ND.This legislation will protect the health and well being of Coloradans to conveniently and easily:

Determine who is qualified to be called a Naturopathic Doctor and who has completed a four-year graduate level clinical doctorate degree from an accredited naturopathic medical program, has passed a national exam, and has met other qualifications for regulation;

Check credentials and backgrounds of those who are Registered as Naturopathic Doctors;

Lodge complaints against a Naturopathic Doctor should harm or wrongdoing be suspected;

Be confident that when someone is called a “doctor,” that he or she has the training to provide the safe and effective care inherent in the title;

Be assured that their Naturopathic Doctor will communicate and collaborate fully with other health care providers as a member of the health care continuum; and

Be assured that the Naturopathic Doctor they choose has completed annual mandatory continued competency and carries adequate malpractice insurance.

DORA has reviewed this profession numerous times since 1993 and has recommended that Naturopathic Doctors be regulated in 1998, 2005,and in 2008 which is the last time that Colorado law allowed Naturopathic Doctors to undergo the Sunrise process.

The time is now to pass this bill.  Please vote YES on HB 1111!


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lucia.guzman.senate@state.co.us; jessie.ulibarri.senate@state.co.us; steve.king.senate@state.co.us; kevin@kevinlundberg.com; irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us

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