Archives for January 2014

Q&A: Menstrual cramping

Q&A: Menstrual cramping

I have really bad cramping during my menstrual cycle, what can I take? Also, is this affecting the fact that I'm trying to get pregnant? Excessive cramping during menses (dysmenorrhea) can be related to many factors, and without seeing you it is difficult to say which are at play. However, there are a few basic categories of issues that I see in my patients with dysmenorrhea. Inflammation The first issue relates to an imbalance in eicosanoid production, locally acting hormones such as prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes that mediate the pain and inflammation of dysmenorrhea. Cleaved from the fatty acids in the membranes of our cells, this imbalance in eicosanoid production is mostlycaused by consuming too many omega 6 fatty acids relative to omega 3s. In an attempt to maintain the yin-yang balance of homeostasis, the body utilizes omega 6 fatty acids to create pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, whereas  omega 3 fatty acids are metabolized to produce anti-inflammatory e … [Read more...]

Original “fire cider” for nausea

Original “fire cider” for nausea

A few weeks ago I had a visit from a family who brought their senior-aged mother to see me, complaining of a relentless nausea. No cause could be ascertained, and she had already spent a couple days in the hospital on IV, but with no respite. When I examined her, the poor lady was very pale and cold, barely coherent, and was listing in her chair, almost falling over. Her family was obviously very worried, but I was confident that I could restore her rather quickly, my optimism based on a little remedy I discovered about 15 years ago. While she and her family waited, I excused myself and made some up. I measured out a dose and diluted it in warm water, gave it to the mother, and then continued talking to the family about ways they could restore her electrolytes and digestion. Within a minute or so, the mother's pallor changed notably, and she began to sit upright, and answer questions easily. Her eyes were clearer and brighter, and by the time she left a few minutes later, she easily … [Read more...]

The best diet for dogs

The best diet for dogs

Knowing what to feed your dog can be an enormously confusing enterprise, particularly when there is so much disagreement among supposed experts. Most veterinarians recommend the industry standard dog "chow" or "kibble", comprised of an admixture of cereals such as corn, by-products from the meat industry, and a smattering poorly absorbed synthetic nutrients.  Despite their advocacy for this type food, however, I am far from convinced that this is the best diet for dogs. In fact, I think this type of dog food directly contributes to many of the health problems that veterinarians end up treating, including joint problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. My eldest dog - a collie-lab mix - is turning 14 this year, and to look at her and watch her play and run, she does not seem like an "old dog".  Since she was a pup I have fed her a diet of raw meaty cartilaginous bones and organ meats, and as a herbalist, I always took care of her health needs and she never saw a vet. When she was ar … [Read more...]