Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


The Monthly Natural Health Gathering at the 306 Phoenix House is cancelled for today. The National Weather Service is predicting more downed power lines and falling limbs today. Please stay inside and be safe.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
May your holidays be safe, peaceful, and surrounded with love.
We are still intending to host our monthly natural health gathering at 306 Phoenix House tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 p.m. with special guest Russ Doden.  It looks as if road conditions should improve by that time. If that changes, an announcement will be posted on my blog and Facebook. 

I will be taking a holiday break from regularly writing until Monday, January 6th. Appointments are available at my office during the holidays on a limited basis...

Thursday, December 26th-- 8-12; 1-3; 5:30-7:30
Friday, December 27th--7-1
Thursday, January 2nd--8-12; 1-3; 5:30-7:30

Have a sweet holiday...
Katrina Bogdon, ND, FABNO

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This was a good morning for a pot of tea. I pulled a canister of organic green tea out of my cabinet. Perhaps it's all the studies I've been reading on l-theanine in green tea, but I truly did feel relaxed and alert after sipping my tea this morning.

Theanine is able to cross the blood-brain-barrier and support alpha-wave formation in the brain. What is an alpha wave? It is a brain state of being relaxed, yet awake, such as sitting peacefully with eyes closed.  It is thought to help improve focus and reduce the body's stress response. A 2012 journal article reported that it helped reduce blood pressure increases during challenging mental tasks. (1) While a 2011 article reported that may also decrease cognitive decline in the elderly. (2) 

The effects of theanine are very quick. It only takes about 50 minutes for theanine to reach peak concentration in the blood plasma after consuming it. (3)

Theanine can even support sleep in certain situations. A double-blind, placebo controlled study gave 400 mg of theanine to 8-12 year old boys diagnosed with ADHD and found that it improved the quality of their sleep. (4)

Are you trying to find some calm, mental focus this month? If so, try an organic cup of green tea and join me for an upcoming gathering.  I'll be speaking on restorative sleep at Green Acres on Thursday at 700 p.m., and I'll be at the 306 Phoenix House at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday to explore the benefits of meditation with Russ Doden. Please join us...

(1) PMID: 23107346
(2) PMID: 21477654
(3) PMID: 23096008
(4) PMID: 22214254

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free Class on Restorative Sleep Thursday Night--Please RSVP

Are the holidays wearing you out? Do you need help getting some restorative sleep? If so, please join me at Green Acres Market this Thursday, December 19th night at 7:00 p.m.
I will be at Green Acres to introduce to you natural solutions for restorative sleep! I will show you how to enjoy the benefits of living an energized life without the side affects of conventional sleep aids. 
Green Acres will be giving out samples of some great immune boosters to anyone who attends the class as well!

Please RSVP when you are at the store, or give Green Acres a call! (918) 209-5900. See you there!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Fresh Start to 2014: A Detox and Body Purification Program

Are you looking to detox in the new year, but want a professionally supervised program designed to meet your needs?  A Fresh Start to 2014 is waiting for you!

We now live in a world of highly processed food, harmful chemicals, and less active lifestyles. This modern life overburdens our bodies, resulting in fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, poor concentration, emotional stress, and many other symptoms. Detoxification gives your body a break. It supports the natural function of your body to clear the toxic burden.
Here's what the program consists of...

ü  Four individual sessions with a natural health care provider

ü  Review of lab work from a natural health perspective before and after the program (**cannot provide diagnosis in the state of Oklahoma)

ü  A program guide

ü  Individualized detox nutrition plan

ü  Individualized supplement recommendations

ü  Supportive care to help you feel good throughout the program
Ø  Castor oil pack
Ø  Hydrotherapy
Ø  Option of colonics

ü  Supportive oversight and care throughout the program

ü  Health education to transition to a healthy lifestyle after the program.


Week One

Initial consult, recommendations, and preparation 

Week Two-Three

Detox with consultations and supportive care

Week Four

Transition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Wrap-up visit and education with natural health care provider.

E-mail office@ourhealingroots.net or call 918-813-1874 for more information or to sign up. This is a great time to plan for the new year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Connection Between Food Cravings and Serotonin

Are you struggling with food cravings around the holidays? Know that you are not alone and this is a very common occurrence.  Imbalances in your neurotransmitter levels (such as serotonin) can contribute to food cravings.

One of the medical theories behind food cravings is a low serotonin level. Low serotonin may lead to irritability, anxiousness, fatigue and low mood. (Does this sound like a common time for you to crave those holiday cookies?)

The theory goes that inflammatory foods (such as sugar) can cause your digestive tract to release serotonin. Imagine feeling tired and anxious at work due to low serotonin. You grab one of those cookies on the counter. Serotonin gets released, and for a short period you feel better.  In essence, food cravings can be a way of self-medicating for low serotonin levels.

If you struggle with food cravings and corresponding weight gain, the good news is that we can test and balance serotonin levels using natural supplements. Of course, it is also a good idea to pair this with mindful eating practices to shift the habit.  If you need further support, please feel free to contact my office for a consult.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Announcing 2014 Workshops--A Great Gift Option for the Holidays

I'm thrilled to announce our 2014 Our Healing Roots Workshops!  Gift certificates are available for the holidays upon request (e-mail me at office@ourhealingroots.net).  The registration form can be found at my website www.ourhealingroots.net under "Classes and Events"

Here's what we have to look forward to...

Getting Started with Sourdough
Saturday, February 8th; 1-5 p.m.

Beer--The First Round
Saturday, March 8th; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Root Beer
Saturday, April 26th; 12-5 p.m.

Fermented Vegetables 101
Thursday, May 8th; 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Pressure Canning
Saturday, June 14th; 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Jam It!
Tuesday, July 15th; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Putting Up Summer Tomatoes
Saturday, July 26th; 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Herbal Baby Gifts
Wednesday, August 13th; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Herbal Cough Syrups
Saturday, September 20th; 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Soap Making
Sunday, October 12; 1-5 p.m.

Each class is limited to 6 people. Pre-register early!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Time to Rest

As the day darkens and the weather becomes cold, it is a natural time to rest and go inward. I laugh a little writing this because I know that is the last thing many people are doing right now. The holidays are approaching, and it is a time of parties, baking, shopping, travelling, being with other people. In truth, this week has been quite busy for me as well.

Now the snow and sleet has come. My clients have cancelled for today. Many of my weekend plans are no more. I have no plans to travel on the roads. The snow has brought its own form of rest for me.

This month I am focusing on the topic of rest and turning inward. I have two local events planned, so mark your calendars for these restorative events. Please share with your friends and family in the Tulsa area...

"Natural Strategies for Restorative Sleep"
Thursday, December 19th
7:00 p.m.
Green Acres Market in Jenks

"Nurturing the Inner Self"Sunday, December 22nd
2:00 p.m.
306 Phoenix House

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Where's Katrina?

Apologies for the missed posting yesterday. I've been busy helping prepare for the major Tulsa Herb Society event of the year--Carols & Crumpets!  If it is safe for you to travel on Saturday, please consider joining us for this spectacular event at the Tulsa Garden Center.
"Save the Date"
8:00 A.M. – 3:00 p.m.
  Tulsa Garden Center
2435 South Peoria Avenue
11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
A portion of the proceeds from Carols & Crumpets benefits
the Tulsa Garden Center
the Linnaeus Teaching Garden

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Introducing New Hours Starting December 10th!

I'm excited to announce new and expanded clinic hours for Our Healing Roots, LLC! These hours of appointment availability will become effective on December 10, 2013.

Monday-Wednesday       8:00-12:00 & 1:00-5:00
Thursday                         8:00-12:00, 1:00-3:00, & 5:30-7:30
Friday                              7:00-1:00
Every second Saturday  12:00-4:00 

These hours were selected on the most popular and requested times this past year.  I hope the early morning, evening hours and Saturday hours will accommodate those who work a regular schedule. As always, please continue to make an appointment before coming.

Holiday Hours
For the 2013 Winter Holiday, the office will be closed

Monday, December 23--Wednesday, December 25th
Monday, December 30--Wednesday, January 1st
Friday, January 3rd

As always, thank you for your patronage!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Calm and happy...

Thank you for joining me on a month of mindful eating topics! Mindful eating is a continual practice. I have found myself fully engaged with mindful eating, falling off track, and then revisiting it again. That is normal.

Have you noticed any changes with this practice? I find it easier to stop eating when I'm full. I've actually lost weight with this practice. I have fewer food cravings for unhealthy food choices. I enjoy and appreciate my food more fully. I digest my food better. Finally, I just feel calm and happy after eating a meal. My practice hasn't been 100% this month, but there has been a noticeable change. It is a welcome change, particularly as the holiday season begins.

Bon appetit, my friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Mindful Approach to Thanksgiving

Today, many people (mostly women) will be shopping, cooking, baking, and preparing for a holiday largely centered around eating. This food will have been grown, in some cases slaughtered, prepared, packaged, and shipped to markets. Hours of life and work are being poured into this dinner. This month, I pause to give thanks for all the life and working hands that feed me on a regular basis.

There will be all kinds of Thanksgiving dinners this week--traditional dinners, ethnic variations, vegan versions, raw versions, gluten-free versions, locally produced and raised versions, food bank versions, homeless shelter versions and restaurant versions. People will gather in families, among friends, among strangers and sometimes be simply alone. Alone can freeing, but very lonely too. This month, I pause to make sure people know I love and appreciate them. Even when we don't have a lot, we make sure we share what we do have...even if it is simply a bag of healthy food so others can eat good things, too.

This month, I have been practicing mindful eating and I intend to carry these practices to the table tomorrow. No plans to gorge myself. I'll eat breakfast so I won't be extra hungry when I eat. I'll take small portions and chew small bites, while appreciating all the flavors and textures. I want to savor the love and hard work that goes into my food. No feeling sick after dinner, just happy. I'll be thinking of how my friend Nanc raised the lamb we will eat. I'll be thinking of my friends at Three Springs Farm who raised the most of the produce we will be eating, and I'll be thinking how this summer goodness was put up in jars. Finally, it will be sweet to gather with dear friends and new acquaintances, knowing a few less people will be alone this holiday. It's a dinner that took months to come together and prepare. I hope to enjoy it slowly.

Many blessings to you and happy Thanksgiving! May you be blessed with food to eat, many helping hands, and time to relax. May you be surrounded by love and caring.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pendulum Effect

On Sunday, Jason Stevens and I spoke at the 306 Phoenix House on the topic of eating mindfully over the holidays. Jason described hunger as a scale...

Imagine a scale of 0-10 of hunger. A '0' would be the hunger you would feel after missing several meals. A '10' would be the stuffed and painful feeling after eating an exceptionally large meal, such as a large Thanksgiving dinner. 

Interestingly, there is a pendulum-like effect to this scale. If you are very hungry, then you are more likely to overeat at your next meal.  For example, if your hunger level is a 2, then you will likely eat until you are at an 8. Your hunger/eating pendulum swings high. If you are only slightly hungry (say a 4 on the scale), then you are likely only to eat until you are at a 6 on the scale. Your hunger/eating pendulum swings lower.

So, why does this matter? If you have a habit of over-eating, then try not to let yourself get so hungry. It is especially important not to skip meals. Try eating 3 smaller meals instead of 1 huge meal that causes indigestion. Also, it is easier to make healthy food choices when you don't feel extremely hungry.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Flower Essences for Emotional Eating

Don't forget...this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. I'll be speaking at the 306 Phoenix House (306 S. Phoenix Ave; Tulsa) with special guest and dietitian Jason Stevens about eating mindfully for health over the holidays.

Two days ago, I posted about emotional eating. Today, I would like to address three flower essences that can help with emotional eating.  Flower essences can be used as a supportive therapy once you have set your resolve to change this habit.

Cherry Plum essence supports people who fear they are going to lose control. For example, if you fear you are going to lose control an eat an entire box of cookies to cope with your feelings, Cherry Plum can support you in regaining control.

Sweet Chestnut essence supports people who keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. For example, you know that eating doughnuts make you feel sick to your stomach, but you just can't keep yourself from pulling into the doughnut shop every few days.

Crab Apple essence helps people to feel better about themselves as they are. Staving oneself and many more poor dieting habits are borne of a poor self image. Crab Apple supports self acceptance.

Other flower essences may be supportive, too. These three essences are sold as an Emotional Eating Support kit and can often be found in the flower essence section of your natural food store.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Emotional Eating

"If you are not hungry, then what you are looking for is not in here."  --Your Refrigerator
There are several reasons people turn to food to cope with their emotions. This is often termed "emotional eating" or "comfort eating." Emotional eating commonly occurs when we are not even physically hungry.
If you suspect you are eating to soothe your emotions, consider keeping a diet diary for three to five days. Record the following in your diary...
(a) What & how much you eat
(b) Where you ate it
(c) How you were feeling at the time
(d) On a scale of 0-10, record how physically hungry you were at that time, where 0 is not hungry at all and 10 is ready to devour an entire table of food.
This exercise helps to create awareness, if you are eating emotionally. Look at the diary to discover if there is a particular emotion that may be causing you to eat when you are not hungry.  For some people, it can be triggered by a certain location and situation (i.e. the candy bowl during a terrible day at work).
On Friday, I'll discuss the use of flower essences for emotional eating.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chewing Contemplation

Prominent naturopathic physician and professor Dr. Dick Thom teaches his patients and students to chew each bite of food 31 times. Why 31 times and not 30? Dr. Thom was convinced with the extra one, we would actually count how much we chewed.
My clients and I typically agree this is the hardest part of eating mindfully.  I can prepare my meals, set a table, sit down, relax before I eat, say grace, smell, taste and appreciate my food, but chewing (really chewing) is a challenge. I sat down to brunch recently to determine why this was such an obstacle.

I started chewing and counting to 31. Inevitably, I would begin swallowing early. Hmmm…why is that? I noticed that I actually felt anxious, like I needed to hurry and swallow so I could take a breath.  I shared my observation with my brunch companion.  She had an astounding idea—put less on your fork and take smaller bites.  Eureka! It worked.

Another common issue with chewing comes up with people who grew up in large families. Historically if they wanted to get seconds, they needed to eat fast. As adults, this pattern no longer serves us. It is okay to recognize and release this old belief.

Why is chewing so important?  In order to absorb nutrients from food, it needs to be broken down into small enough particles that it can cross the barrier of our intestines and move into our blood stream. That’s really small! The process of breaking down our food optimally begins in the mouth.  Food gets chewed apart and mixed with an enzyme called salivary amylase. When your salivary amylase is not adequately produced, then your stomach function is impaired and blood flow to your small intestine is inadequate.  The faster you eat, the longer it takes your body to assimilate and utilize the nutrients in your food.  Help your body out—take small bites and give yourself time to chew. Chances are you’ll need less digestive medications and have fewer nutrient deficiencies later in life.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Super Sourdough Saturday!

As I stepped outside this morning to feed the critters on my urban farm, a little of the autumn melancholy blew past me. Blackened plants with their blackened recent blooms scattered my garden; a result from the hard frost from earlier this week. 

This week flew by as fast and hard as the wind today. A student from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) came to do a preceptorship with me on Thursday and Friday. It was a delight to meet her and exchange ideas! It also gave me insight on my life from an outsider's eyes. Closing the clinic on Friday afternoon, I was especially reminded all the amazing clients with whom I am privileged to work on a daily basis.

All this week, I have also been preparing for my Saturday sourdough class. Today, we had a blast making sourdough pizza, sourdough pancakes and many variations of the sourdough bread loaf! Everyone got to take home their own starter and a collection of recipes and ideas. It was a Super Sourdough Saturday with five super women!

The class came to a close this afternoon. This is my last hands-on, experiential workshop of the year. Like my autumn melancholy, I had a little melancholy about this, too. It's been a wonderful year of teaching. I can't wait to do it again next year!  For those who might be wondering, a list of 2014 workshops will be offered soon.

I still have two natural health gatherings at 306 Phoenix House this year and I will be giving a talk at Green Acres Market in December about sleep. Stay tuned for more details...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rest and Digest

You have probably heard of "Fight or Flight." We go into 'fight or flight' mode when we are stressed. Blood flow decreases in the digestive system and travels out to the muscles in the extremities so we can run from that bear. After running, the body is able to return to balance. Most of us are not running from bears these days when we are stressed; without the running phase, we can easily stay in "fight or flight" mode for long periods of time.  Ideally, it is best not to be digesting food when we are in "fight or flight." Have you ever lost your appetite or got indigestion after eating because you were stressed out?

The cousin of "fight or flight" is "rest and digest."  As it suggests, we digest our food better when we are relaxed. If you are stressed at meal time, try this simple exercise to relax before eating...

(1) Breathe in for 3 seconds.
(2) Breathe out slowly for 6 seconds. It helps if you purse your lips.
(3) Do steps 1-2 five times.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Preparing to eat...

Digestion begins with smelling and thinking about food. Sensors in our brain become excited and let our digestive organs know that we are about to eat. Receiving messages from the brain, our body begins to produce natural enzymes and acids to help us break down our food. Our mouth begins to salivate and produce salivary amylase.

Today, think about the process you use to prepare your food. How long does it take you to prepare your meal? Do you take time to smell your food before eating? Do you notice your mouth salivating and your stomach beginning to rumble?

This is where fast food and convenience food can pose a challenge to our digestive systems. It cuts down the amount of time we may spend smelling and thinking about food as it is prepared. In turn, our digestive system may not be activated and ready to eat. Without the proper acid and enzymes, it is difficult for our body to break down and utilize the food we ingest.

P.S. On a personal note, the breakfast and lunch alarms are working great so far! :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Making Time to Eat...

These beautiful vegetables recently came from our garden. They spent weeks growing. Like most vegetables, they will take relatively little time to prepare for dinner one night. Simple cutting, some marinade and perhaps baking will be required. The outcome will be nourishing and truly delicious. With the pace of life these days, finding even this little bit of time for vegetable preparation (let alone eating!) can be challenging.

Even with the flexible schedule of being self employed, I still find myself getting caught up in my work and forgetting to eat breakfast or lunch.  I do a good job of preparing and packing food for work, but remembering to eat food is another issue. It's easy to schedule too much over the lunch hour. It is just as easy to forget about breakfast on the days my workday starts at 6:30 a.m. When I was employed, lunches were rarely any easier, even though we technically had a lunch hour. By the time my body reminds me that I'm really hungry, it can be a challenge to eat slowly and mindfully.

This month, I'm resolved to reshape this habit of mine. First, I will start scheduling time for myself to eat...at a table. Secondly, I'll be setting the alarm on my phone to remind myself to stop and honor my meal times.  

After all, these beautiful vegetables took weeks to grow, and I want to set aside the time to appreciate them fully. Please wish me luck :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Where We Eat...

Where do you eat your meals?

Eating mindfully begins with consciously choosing the setting in which we eat. A staggering number of Americans eat in front of a television or computer. Fast food has made our cars a common place of dining. How many meals are eaten at the desk at work?

As we focus on eating mindfully this month, I invite you to the table or any place where you can enjoy your meals in peace.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Theme for the Month: Eating Mindfully

Last weekend, I attended and spoke at the Integrative Medicine Conference in Tulsa, OK.  Friend and colleague Jason Stevens, LD, RD, spoke on the topic "Mindful Eating." Mindful eating is paying attention to the way you eat without judgment.

I am convinced nutrition is not just about what we eat, but how we eat. It was thrilling to see a dietitian presenting on this topic at our conference!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I will be focusing on the topic of eating mindfully this month. It will also be the focus of the 306 Phoenix House Monthly Natural Health Gathering this month.

"Savor Your Food: Eat Slowly for Your Health"
2 p.m.
Sunday, November 24th

I look forward to sharing this topic with you. I hope you will join us!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Starting a batch of kefir...

I was recently given a generous gift of milk kefir grains. Milk kefir is a thick, yogurt-like drink. This morning, I sterilized my equipment. Then, I heated my milk up to 78 degrees. I added the kefir grains. My mixture was then put to bed in my Yogotherm. (Kefir likes temperatures from 70-78 degrees for incubation, and our house stays fairly cool. I am using the thermos method to keep it warmer.)  In 24-48 hours, I should have a new batch of kefir hopefully.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Integrative Medicine Conference 2014

Tomorrow, I will be speaking at the 3rd annual Integrative Medicine Conference in Tulsa, OK. This year has particularly sparked my interest in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), so this will be the topic of my presentation.

NHL is actually not one cancer, but rather a collection of many different cancer subtypes. As I study nutrition and cancer, many of my findings apply to specific NHL subtypes, not NHL as a whole.  For example, vitamin D improves survival rates for people diagnosed with diffuse large B cell subtype and T-cell lymphoma subtypes, but not for NHL overall.

Certain bacterial and viral infections are established as risk factors for NHL. For example,  the bacteria H. pylori is associated with some cases of MALT lymphoma of the stomach. This subtype of lymphoma has been successfully cured by treating the H. pylori infection in some instances.

In the 1980's, NHL also helped us first to understand how cells die in humans. The study of programmed cell death is now flourishing and being used to develop several novel approaches to cancer treatments.

Well, the kiddos approach...have a happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Healthy Halloween Treat for Kiddos

Looking for a healthy treat for your trick-or-treaters? Consider handing out water or 100% juice. It's easy to get dehydrated while running wild through a neighborhood on a sugar-high.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Holiday Giftmaking Class Last Night

Our 2013 class season is slowly winding down. We had our Holiday Giftmaking Class last night. (Our final 2013 hands-on class will be a Sourdough bread class in November.)
We enjoyed great holiday treats...
Pictured above is a melon brain, little fruit salad goblins, and a stack of bread bones.
We crafted trays of lavender-bergamot-oat soap. This is a great soap for irritated skin conditions!
We adapted Rosemary Gladstar's luscious recipe for warming bath salts (cinnamon, roses, ginger and cardamom). Oh my!  The original recipe can be found in her latest book Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide.
Finally, we made a great salve to help support healthy skin healing.  These tins are cooling off.
It was a great night!  Thank you to all who participated. Keep an eye out for our upcoming 2014 class list so you can join us for the fun next year.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Adverse Childhood Experience Study

Last night, I started reading a new book called The Last Best Cure. It is written by a science journalist who undergoes a year of meditation, yoga, acupuncture and being among nature to turn around numerous chronic diseases that her body is expressing. As I am beginning the book, she is discussing the Adverse Childhood Experience study.

The Adverse Childhood Experience study examined how certain childhood experiences are linked to health conditions later in life. The results of this study stunned researchers. They discovered, in fact, a very high correlation between later life disease and those exposed to adverse experiences as a child. These adverse experiences included neglect, parental divorce/separation (and I think also includes death of a parent?), a mother being abused, drug and/or alcohol abuse in the home, imprisonment of a household member, mental illness of a household member, and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. These adverse experiences were not limited to any one socioeconomic part of our population.

Those who have had more of these adverse experiences have been found to actually have a smaller hippocampus (part of the brain). Ultimately, these experiences can alter how our stress and immune response functions. Eventually, it has the potential to lead to chronic disease. More information about this study can be found at acestudy.org.

So, where's the light at the end of this bleak tunnel?  It is this--our brain is malleable. There are techniques that can change our response and, thus, our health. A whole new field of science called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is emerging that describes how we can change our brain, immune and stress responses and reverse disease.  Many of these techniques are not new, but rather ancient (i.e. mindfulness, loving-kindness meditation, yoga, being among nature, breathing techniques). It is just now that science is coming to understand just how profound their effects can be on changing health.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Making a Respiratory Tonic Syrup

I recently made a batch of herbal syrup as a respiratory tonic.  Since it is a tonic, I worked to balance the herbal energetics of the formula so it would not be too heating, too cooling, too drying or too wet. 

12 cups filtered water
6 Tbs dried elderberries
6 Tbs rosehips
1 Tbs dandelion root
2 Tbs Siberian ginseng root
1 Tbs Astragulus
4 Tbs Fennel seeds
3 fresh inner stalks of lemongrass

Bring the above ingredients to a slow simmer. Simmer until there is about 6 cups of liquid left. Strain out and compost herbs. To the remaining liquid, add

2 ounces fresh ginger root juice
15 mL of Osha tincture (optional)
15 mL of Elderberry tincture (optional)
3 cups local, raw honey (do not give to infants)
Brandy (as a preservative)

Bottle and label. I canned my syrup in canning jars. Once open, they need to be refrigerated. This recipe does have the potential to interact with certain medications; check with a qualified health professional if you are currently taking other medications.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gift Giving...

At the Monthly Naturopathic Gathering this Sunday, we will not only be talking about gift ideas for the holidays, but also the practice of gift giving itself. Please join me at 2:00 p.m. this Sunday at 306 S. Phoenix Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gift giving can evoke a mixed bag of feelings for people. I know several people who loathe the tradition of giving gifts and see it as too materialistic. Some see the tradition as overshadowing the true meaning of the holidays. On the other hand, it is other people’s favorite time of year, filled with happy memories and love. I find it very interesting to examine why this disparity exists.
In college, I had a wonderful professor named Dr. Heather Zwickey. She was a brilliant immunologist and researcher at our college, but she also appreciated helping students develop into well-rounded physicians.  She introduced me to a book called The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman.

The main thesis of the book is people give and receive love differently.  These different ways of giving and receiving love are called “love languages.” Each person has a primary love language for giving love and a separate primary love language for receiving love.  The five love languages described in this book are words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. How do you give and receive love?

If the tradition of giving gifts does not suit you or your loved ones, perhaps look to the love languages to provide some alternatives for the holidays. If your friends and family don't like receiving gifts, then talk to them about providing love in their primary love language instead. Here are some ideas…

  Words of affirmation—a homemade holiday letter telling them how much they mean to you

  Quality time—set aside an afternoon to spend together doing something they love

  Acts of service—find out if they need help getting a project done or make something homemade for them

  Physical touch—consider a gift certificate for a massage or providing them with a relaxing foot bath and rub

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free Class on Sunday & How to Peel a Pomegranate

If you know someone who likes to make homemade gifts for the holidays, please share this with them...

I warmly invite you to join me at the 306 Phoenix House at 2:00 p.m. this Sunday, October 20th, to get ideas about homemade, healthy gifts for the holidays. It will be a wonderful hour of tasting and experiencing potential holiday ideas. There is no cost for the class, but donations are warmly accepted. The address of this class is 306 S. Phoenix Avenue, Tulsa, OK.

One of the things I will be demonstrating in this class is how to peel a pomegranate. These wonderful fruits are delicious and are filled with health benefits. Pomegranate has anti-cancer action (PMID: 22689129), may reduce blood pressure (PMID: 21457902), and can also slow the progression of osteoarthritis (PMID: 20955562). However, pomegranates can be intimidating to eat.

Here's how I eat a pomegranate...
(1) Cut the pomegranate into quarters or eighths.
(2) Place the slices in a bowl of water.
(3) Separate the seeds from the pith. The pith will float in the water and the seeds will sink to the bottom.
(4) Discard the pith and drain the seeds.
(5) Enjoy the seeds!

I love to give pomegranates as gifts. If you live in Tulsa, I found organic pomegranates on sale at Whole Foods today at 2 for $4.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Healthy Gift Ideas for the Holidays--Free Event Sunday

This Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., I will be at 306 Phoenix House for October's Monthly Natural Health Gathering. We will be discussing gift giving around the holidays and alternatives to gift giving. There will be several demonstrations of herbal and healthy gifts to share with friends, family and coworkers. We will also be cooking up some rosemary, roasted nuts and seeds. Please join us this Sunday and bring your friends!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Naturopathic Medicine Week

Naturopathic medicine is a form of medicine that:

-               Considers the whole person
-               Focuses on the causes of illness, not just the
-               Emphasizes prevention and ongoing wellness
-               Uses natural treatments that are less invasive and
                  less expensive than conventional drugs and

There are approximately 4,400 naturopathic doctors (NDs) in the US who are currently licensed, having graduated from an accredited 4-year naturopathic medical school.  NDs are rigorously trained in approaches that facilitate the body’s inherent self-healing ability.  They treat a full range of illnesses and work closely with their patients, guiding and empowering them education and self-care.
The US Senate’s unanimous passage of a resolution (S. Res. 221) establishes October 7-13, 2013 as Naturopathic Medicine Week.  This is the first time Congress has recognized the ability of naturopathic physicians to “provide safe, effective, and affordable health care” and to play an essential role in addressing the nation’s pressing shortage of primary care physicians.  
Happy Naturopathic Medicine Week!