Natural Health Care for Mental, Emotional and Physical Well-Being

Archive for October, 2011

Disease versus “Dis-ease”

In homeopathy, we don’t talk about disease.  We talk about “dis-ease”.  The body is not in a state of ease.  Disease is the end product of “dis-ease”.

So what exactly is “dis-ease” and what is health?  Dis-ease does not merely mean the absence of illness or disease.  Since disease is the end product of “dis-ease”, it is possible to have dis-ease but not have disease.  In fact, many people don’t think they need homeopathy because they don’t think they have any physical symptoms.  Of course, many physical illnesses are present before we even know they are there.  In homeopathy, we are concerned with the conditions present in a person that could eventually cause Disease.

Dis-ease includes the following elements:

  • A body is not in a state of ease.  It is mistuned.
  • A person has adverse feelings and irregular responses to those feelings.
  • Living in the there and then, rather than the here and now.

Since health does not merely mean the absence of disease, what does it mean?  Here are a few elements of health:

  • A sense of personal well-being on a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical planes.
  • An absence of limiting factors
  • Creativity on the mental level.
  • Living in the here and now.

So those who feel that there is no need to see a homeopath because they don’t have any disease symptoms, may feel differently.  If the definition of health doesn’t match your current state, come and see me.



The Color of Food

Assorted colors mean more nutrition

This is probably in Food Rules, a book I mentioned a couple days ago–it is hard to remember that many rules.  But I happened to be aware of this long before I read that book.

Basically, the color of the food we eat determines the nutrients in the food.  So, the greater variety of color in your diet, the greater variety of food, and thus, a more balanced diet with a variety of nutrients.  Some people hate green vegetables.  But they are important, so learn to like them.

Vegetables and fruits come in nine colors.  Orange, yellow, red, purple, black, brown, white, green, and blue.  For a list of what nutrients are found in what color of fruits or vegetables, go to

It is recommended that you eat at least one serving of each of these colors each day.  That could be tough.  Some of the foods simply aren’t in season all year round.  But there are ways to modify your diet to include them.

For example, one year I planted purple carrots in my garden rather than orange ones.  They tasted different, but they were SO yummy.  Beans also come in purple.  Potatoes can be white, yellow or even blue.  When I haven’t included a red vegetable, I will cook with red onions.  In fact, I usually do use red onions for that reason–more nutrients. Red cabbage versus green cabbage is another example. And what about the different colors of bell peppers?  Is there a better orange vegetable than yams, which also come in a red color, called Garnet yams.

In addition to having different nutrients, the darker the color, the more nutrient dense a food.  For example, iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value, except for fiber, which is also pretty low.  It is mostly water.  Romaine lettuce, however, is darker green and is loaded with Vitamin A.  They are both lettuce, but each has a vastly different effect on the body.

When you plan your menus for the week, think about what they will look like.  What will be most appetizing?  Will chicken, potatoes and cauliflower look better?  Or would you be better off substituting sweet potatoes and broccoli with a side salad?  Which would appeal to the eye?

Have you noticed that some bold colored vegetables, like purple cabbage or red onions turn to a dull color if they are cooked too much?  That is not only visually unappealing, it is a sign that many of the nutrients have been cooked out.

Finally, I have also saved the water remaining from steaming vegetables.  I let it cool and put it on my plants.  Some of the nutrients do get removed from boiling or steaming and they can be added to your plants.  Just don’t use the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage or broccoli.  Your plants will stink.

After you are done shopping in the produce section, your cart should be a gleaming basket of multi-colored jewels.



The Most Important Food

Raw Milk--the perfect food

As I sat next to a stranger on the airplane on the way home from Florida, we discussed occupations.  When he found out I am a homeopath, he immediately started talking about food and supplements.  After clarifying what homeopathy is and that it isn’t Naturopathy, he asked me this question:  If you could recommend one food that everyone should have to get optimum nutrition and health benefits, what would it be?

Easy.  Raw Milk.  From Grass-fed, pastured cows.

What most of you probably don’t know is that pasteurized milk is a processed food, just like frozen pizza rolls and french fries from McDonald’s.  It causes all sorts of problems for people.  But rather than dwell on the down side of pasteurized milk, lets talk about the upside of Raw Milk.

Like any other food, cooking it causes some of the nutrients to be destroyed.  Although there are folks who would say this isn’t so, I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be, when it is true almost everything else.

One thing found in raw milk is Wolzen Factor.  This is an anti-stiffness feature of raw milk which gets destroyed when it is heated.  So people who suffer from fibromyalgia or arthritis can benefit greatly from a diet which includes raw milk.

It also contains all sorts of flora necessary to digest food.  If you have problems with constipation or diarrhea, incorporating raw milk into your diet could be very beneficial.  I have a client who was doing well EXCEPT for bullet proof constipation.  She incorporated raw milk into her diet and a few weeks, it went away.

And who can forget about lactose.  There are so many lactose intolerant people because the heating from the pasteurization process destroys the lactase enzyme that is naturally present in the milk.  It has been shown that about 85% of people who have a diagnosed case of lactose intolerance can drink raw milk.  This is especially important to certain ethnic groups who have a very high incidence of lactose intolerance.

Then there is conjugated lineolic acid (CLA).  This is a component of meat and dairy products from animals that are ruminants–that is, animals that graze and eat grass.  Only Grass Fed cattle produce this.  In studies conducted by the University of Wisconsin, it was found to be a highly effective anti-carcinogenic.  In addition it is known to prevent cardiovascular disease and fight inflammation.  It is also known for its body weight management properties and its ability to build lean muscle mass.

Part of the problem with raw milk in the past is that dairies were moved into the city and the cows were fed the by products of distilleries rather than being allowed to graze in the pasture.  This produced milk that had a very high likelihood of harboring e-coli and it was deficient in the nutrients that come from grazing on grass.

So there you have it.  Raw Milk from clean, grass-fed, pastured cows is the ticket.  There is much, much more to read about Raw Milk.  Google Raw Milk Health Benefits and you will be kept busy reading for quite some time. Pick up a copy of the book The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid.  Good reading.

Cheers!  (Imagine lifting and clanging two glasses of raw milk!)



How is Your Health Affected By Your Diet?

Recently I saw that there is a publication entitled something like Diabetes Lifestyle magazine.  I am assuming this is directed at those who have developed this awful disease by eating the Western Diet, in other words, Type 2 diabetes.

The western diet, and all that accompanies it, can be avoided.  But we have been mistreating our bodies with highly processed foods for so long, that it is really hard to make the switch.  You must be really committed.  Having a magazine that basically gives approval to having this, is not really acceptable.

Michael Pollan's Food Rules is a good starter book for healthier eating.

So what can we do?  I am not going to reinvent the wheel.  There are plenty of good books out there.  But some are better than others.  Taking a single nutrient that is found naturally in a particular fruit or vegetable can’t be consumed on its own and then presumed to be helpful.  The phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables work in tandem with one another.  Best to eat them as nature intended.  I would, however, recommend books by Michael Pollan.  He has written such books as Food Rules, In Defense of Food, and Omnivore’s Dilemma.

He actually wrote them in reverse order of how they are listed above, but I read them in reverse order as well.  If you just want to get started on what to do, read Food Rules.  It is a thin book that can be read in an hour and provides the reader with 60 or so rules on what to eat and what not to eat.  It is a good place to start.  I loved the dedication in the front of the book.  He dedicated it to his mother “who always knew that butter is better for you than margarine.”  I was shocked.  MY mother always knew butter was better for you than margarine.  So I wrote a list of things I learned from my mother.  I will publish them at a different time–they have almost nothing to do with homeopathy, but so be it.  The first three NEW clients who mention this post will get a free copy of this book.  Schedule quickly, cuz that is all I have.

In Defense of Food gives a great food history and why we eat the way we do.  You’ll be amazed and astounded. In this book, he summarizes research and boils it down to seven words:  Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

I am still reading Omnivore’s Dilemma.  (I had to read a novel in between the books, just for something different.)  But it is a discussion on what we should eat, given than humans tend to be omnivores.

More specifics on food in another post.



Fear of Flying and Other Trauma in Airplanes

The vacation is over, as is the poor internet connections, which prevented me from posting as often as I had planned.

Trauma in an airplane--helped by Homeopathy

On the way home, my sons, 12 and 15, got to sit together in the very back row of the plane.  My husband and I were split apart.  My kids got to sit next to someone who normally got sick while flying.  YAY!.  Glad it was them and not me.  Apparently the poor fellow spent at least 45 minutes in the bathroom during the 2 hour flight.

Had he been fortunate enough to be sitting next to a homeopath who had her remedy kit handy in the plane (that would be me), the homeopath would have considered these remedies.

First, if the issue was related to the up and down motion of the airplane, which one can experience during turbulence, take offs and landings, I would have given him Borax.  This is a remedy that has the symptom of being worse from up and down motion.  Another remedy to consider for motion sickness is Cocculus indicus.  I believe I mentioned this as a jet lag remedy, but it is also a great remedy for motion sickness in airplanes and boats.  There are actually 61 remedies for nausea caused by motion.  Another one to consider is  Nux Vomica, a good all purpose remedy, especially for nausea from over indulgence.  So if too many drinks at the airport bar was the source of the distress–and this is not too far a stretch if the fellow was nervous about flying and wanted to calm his nerves–Nux Vomica would be the first choice.  If anxiety about potential death and chills were in the picture, try Arsenicum.  Homeopathic Tobacco, or Tabaccum, is another motion sickness remedy.  This remedy is also very chilly, but feels more distressed by the illness than by the thought of possibly dying in a plane crash. Like a child who sneaks his dad’s cigarettes, it also includes dizziness along with the nausea.

Sometimes it is hard to separate fear of flying from motion sickness.  There are many remedies for fear of flying, and it really depends on what the fear is about.  If you are certain that death is imminent, consider Aconite before the flight and during the flight.  If the fear of death includes nausea and chills, consider Arsenicum.  Argentum nitricum, common name Silver nitrate, is a remedy for fear of flying that would also include claustrophobia.  Aconite also has this symptom, but the emphasis is on death in Aconite, where as the closed in spaces would be the prominent symptom in Argentum nitricum.  Arg Nit is a warm remedy as well.

Another option is Bach Rescue Remedy prior to and during the flight.  You could also have someone familiar with Bach Flowers to mix a customized blend of Bach flowers to match your situations and symptoms.

There are many possibilities to help make your flight more enjoyable, short of drinking yourself into oblivion before and during the flight. If these options don’t help or match your symptoms, call a professional homeopath to help.




Blisters and Burns

I do not make it a habit of wearing new shoes on vacation.  This trip is no exception.  I brought along a pair of yoga sandals (instead of just a strap between the big toe and the second toe, there is a tab between each toe).  I have had these sandals for years.  So I didn’t anticipate any problems.

Yesterday while walking on the beach, I developed a blister on the top of my foot.  Perhaps it was a grain of sand caught under the top strap.  Maybe a pearl would have developed if I had kept it up long enough.  But I think the better explanation is that I was walking with my husband and he is always in too big a hurry.  I didn’t develop a blister, but I might have had the walk continued.

Blisters can ruin a vacation.  It’s hard to believe such a small thing can have such a big impact.  Kind of like when you get a paper cut.  It hurts like the devil, but it is so tiny.

A good remedy for blisters is Causticum.  Take it in a 12C, 30C or 30x as needed for pain and blisters and it will do wonders.  I still recommend adhesive bandages to protect the blister from getting further irritation.

As long as you have it along for blisters, you could also take it for a burn.  Perhaps you are like me and you like to burn candles when you are in your vacation place because it smells funky.  If you go somewhere warm, a sunburn can need a remedy as well.  Causticum would work for a mild sunburn.  Cantharis for a more severe and sunburn.  I remember many years ago, my husband wasn’t watching what he was going and instead of grabbing the handle of the grill, he touched the lid of the grill.  OUCH!  He came in and asked if I had a remedy for a burn, as he was running his hand under cold water.  I suggested Causticum.  Within seconds, the pain went away.  BTW, running a burn under warm water and then gradually changing to cold is a more homeopathic way to deal with a burn.

Senator Paul Wellstone likely needed Causticum for his MS.

I may have mentioned Causticum before, but if not, I likely will again.  Causticum is the brainchild of Samuel Hahnemann, MD, the founder of the principals of homeopathy.  It is a cooked up mineral soup which consists of potassium and sulphur as just a couple of ingredients.  As a constitutional remedy it is a Kali remedy.  Kali remedies like rules and family is important.  Kali Carbonicum is the backbone of America.  Hard working, do as they are told.  America wouldn’t have been America without Kali’s.  Causticum, interestingly, is a Kali, so it has some Kali physical symptoms, but it is the anti-rule Kali.  They work on behalf of people and animals and plants who can’t work on their own behalf.  Think of the tree-huggers.  Former Senator Paul Wellstone, may he rest in peace, likely needed Causticum for his Multiple Sclerosis.

Causticum–don’t leave home without it.



Two More Remedies to Assure Continued Beach Fun

As I was walking along the beach this morning, I thought of two remedies that would be important to have along on your vacation, especially if you are going to play on the beach or go barefoot.

Staphysagria is first.  It is normally thought of as a constitutional remedy for suppressed anger.  But it has specific uses for cuts.  If someone has surgery and there is pain located on the incision itself, Staphysagria will take care of that in short order.  As I saw some sharp shell fragments on the beach, I thought that it would be easy to cut one’s foot.  I would take Arnica first, but if the cut itself is painful, take Staphysagria.  It is different than a puncture wound, so it would require a different remedy.

Silica is a remedy made from sand.  Kind of ironic that it is a good beach remedy.  One of the really cool things Silica does is to expel foreign objects from under the skin.  I remember one day my son got a sliver under his nail before school.  I have no idea what he was doing that he managed to pull that off so early in the morning. It was painful and I couldn’t get to it with a tweezer.  I sent him to school after giving him a dose of Silica.  I told him that if it wasn’t better by lunch he should go to the nurse’s office and I would come over with another dose.

I didn’t hear from him.  After school I asked him about it.  His response was, “I don’t know when it came out, but by lunch, it was gone.”  YAY!  I would use a 30C or a 30x.

Just a cautionary note, Silica will also push out things you may need in your body, so ignore this if you have screws in a bone or something like that.



Remedies to Bring Along When You Travel

People ask all the time what remedies they should bring along on a trip.  Obviously, it depends on the time of year, where you are traveling, what you are doing, etc.

The first thing I recommend is that you buy a remedy kit for traveling.  This may or may not be the same kit you keep at home.  If you can have them hand checked, that would be best.  Many people I know replace the kits after they have been through an x-ray machine 8 – 10 times or so.  On the other hand, I have used the same kit for many years and it still works.

Ledum can help puncture wounds, such as you may get from stepping on a sea urchin barb.

Limiting it today to domestic travel, think about what could happen that would really ruin a trip.  Injuries, colds, influenza to start with.  A nice Homeopathy First Aid kit would be handy.  Arnica would naturally be a remedy I would recommend you bring on a trip.  30C and 200C at a minimum.  If you were to sprain an ankle, or sustain some other injury, it could really make a difference.

One remedy you may not think to bring is Ledum.  Ledum is a remedy for puncture wounds.  If you splash in the waves in Hawaii in your bare feet, you may step on a Sea Urchin barb.  The first thing the locals recommend for this situation is to soak your foot in your urine.  If you can’t stand the thought of that, take Ledum 30c, and ice the point of entry.  You will probably have to take several doses of Ledum.  You can take it as needed.  Another handy use for Ledum is if you bite your tongue.  People don’t think that as a particularly burdensome injury, but it can spoil your meals for a few days.  Young children in a crabby mood because they can’t eat could hamper the merriment as well.

Sunny weather often equals sunburn.  Obviously, Sunscreen is the best prevention.  But if you forget to put some one or you miss a spot, there are a few good options.  Calendula creme or ointment can help a mild sunburn applied topically as needed.  If you get a serious sunburn, Causticum or Cantharis could also help.

I recommend that my clients bring along their constitutional remedy in a 30C.  If you feel you are coming down with something, a couple doses of  30C of your constitutional remedy can help ward off a bug.  If you don’t know what your constitutional remedy is, give me a call.

I would also recommend Bryonia and Rhus Tox as well.  They are great injury remedies to follow Arnica.  Bryonia is good for injuries worse from motion.  Rhus Tox can help injuries that are worse on first motion but better on continued motion.

This won’t cover all situations that may arise, but it is a start.



Jet Lag and Homeopathy

Homeopathy can help jet lag.

One of the worst things about travel is the Jet Lag that accompanies that.  One of the best remedies for jet lag is Cocculus indicus.  I have seen it work first hand for my husband who travels a lot for work and for my son.

Two years ago the family went on a vacation to Spain and Portugal.  After finally getting to sleep, my youngest son woke up in the morning and did not feel good.  He was nauseous and didn’t feel like eating at all.  We had a car trip scheduled from Madrid to the Algarve.  It did not look good for my son.

Cocculus is a remedy for fatigue from travels and loss of sleep.  An accompanying symptom is nausea.  Cocculus is a motion sickness and morning sickness remedy as well.  My son had all those symptoms, plus, he refused to talk.  He just wanted to sleep.

Just a few minutes before we packed everything into the car I gave him a dose of Cocculus.  Twenty minutes into the car ride, he started talking and didn’t quit for hours.  The remedy helped save the first few days of our trip.  When we arrived, he slept well.

Arnica montana also helps with jet lag and exhaustion.  If you take a dose when you arrive or when you start to feel tired, it can give you a second wind to make it until bed time in your part of the world.

If traveling for business and you find yourself thinking of business issues while not sleeping, Nux Vomica would be a good remedy to try.

Another option for dealing with Jet Lag is to use an Australian Bush Flower Travel essence.  You can either put the drops or the creme on once an hour while traveling.  My oldest son used it when he went to China with my husband.  It worked very well for him.  He used it, my husband did not (he took nothing) and he recovered from his jet much more quickly than my husband did.

For more Homeopathy and Travel tips, read the blog all week.  PS, I know this is yesterday’s post!



Homeopathy and Malaria

Mosquitoes carry the protozoa which causes malaria.

This is the week for Homeopathy and Traveling, so I thought I would start with a look back in the history of homeopathy and discuss Malaria.  Fortunately, in the US, we don’t have this problem anymore.  But if you travel abroad, you may find yourself in a country where Malaria prophylaxis is recommended. Unfortunately, many of the mosquitoes are carrying a protozoa which is immune to the phrophylaxis drugs.  In addition, the side effects are not pleasant.

Back in the 1700 and 1800’s, physicians used Quinine to treat malaria.  It is still used in western medicine.  Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of the principals of homeopathy, was a physician and a chemist.  He was curious about the way medicines worked.  He was disgusted by the medical practices of his time and so he quit practicing medicine and translated medical textbooks to support his large family.  While translating a book, he found a reference to how Quinine worked.  It said that the reason it treated malaria so well was because it was so bitter.  Being a chemist, Hahnemann knew several substances that were more bitter than malaria.  His curiosity got the best of him and he decided to take a dose of Quinine, just to see what would happen.

What happened is that he developed the symptoms of malaria.  He didn’t develop malaria because he didn’t have the protozoa necessary to develop the actual disease.  In taking the medicine, he stumbled upon the principal of like cures like.  He recognized that if he gave Quinine to a patient who had malaria, the symptoms would go away.  But if he gave it to a patient who did not have malaria, that person would develop those symptoms.  He dedicated the rest of his life to exploring and developing the principals of homeopathy. He recognized that he needed to harness the healing properties of quinine and other natural substances without making people more sick than they had been due to other effects of the drugs.   He even coined the phrase “homeopathy” which means “Similar Suffering.”

So the first homeopathic remedy was made from the bark of the Chinchona bush, commonly called Quinine.  It’s homeopathic name is China.

Fast forward to the present time.  Malaria is a horrible disease which causes many needless deaths annually in Africa.  Homeopaths in Africa successfully treat malaria with homeopathy.  A homeopath in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has found that when he is able to treat his patients with homeopathy, they don’t get malaria again.

So what if you have a trip planned to Africa and you don’t want to take the Malaria prophylaxis drugs, such as chloroquine, doxycycline and others?  Can homeopathy help?  Yes, it can.  There are a series of high potency homeopathic remedies that can help your body develop a generalized immune response that can enable you to avoid the effects of the mosquitoes.   It is too complex and complicated to put into a blog, and the remedies can only be purchased from a homeopath.  Like other Malaria prophylaxis, you must start a month before you leave for your trip and continue the remedies while in country.  When you get home, you can discontinue the remedies.

If I were going to a country where malaria is rampant, I would bring my mosquito netting, insect repellent and a small kit of remedies to use just in case I got malaria while I was there.  (Many people who do contract the disease don’t actually get the symptoms until they have returned home.)  I would also have my malaria prophylaxis remedies along too.

Let me know if you have a trip coming and would like some help.  You would need to contact me at least six weeks prior to taking your trip.



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