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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Witch Hazel

This is my favorite picture of witch hazel. I took it up in the Northwest. The scientific name of witch hazel is Hamamelis virginiana. Commonly, drug stores sell an alcoholic, U.S.P. witch hazel bark extract, which is for external use only.  Astringents are appropriate for tissues with lots of congestion and laxity--think of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, swollen insect bites, and weeping wounds. Witch hazel also helps decrease inflammation.

Both the leaf and bark of the witch hazel tree can be used medicinally. While the astringent sold at the drug store should not be taken internally, certain preparations of witch hazel can be consumed. Internally, it can be used as a tea or tincture to help decrease diarrhea and gastrointestinal inflammations. I have even seen it used in a formula for urinary incontinence, which works quite well. When consumed in internally, it is suggested to use low doses over a short period of time, as there is some concern about stomach irritation and liver health.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Healing Spices

Recently, my dear friend Amelia visited me. She recommended a book called Healing Spices: How to use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease. It is written by a researcher named Dr. Aggarwal. Dr. Aggarwal is well known in my profession for his human clinical trials that he is conducting for cancer and curcumin (which comes from the spice turmeric).

I checked a copy out from the Tulsa Public Library last week, and I have been deeply enjoying the book. He discusses the scientific studies done on spices in down-to-earth, understandable language. He also describes how the spices are used in cooking, their history, and the best way to pick them out and prepare them.

Dr. Aggarwal has set out to inspire people to add more spice to their diet to help improve their health and prevent disease. For certain, spices are an important part of the diet that often go overlooked.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New and Improved Website

As of last Friday, my website www.ourhealingroots.net has a new design and look. It provides more information and now the 2013 class schedule and registration form can be downloaded from the website. Additionally, it unveils a new service I am now providing.

For people who need naturopathic healthcare, but are unable to afford it, Our Healing Roots, LLC, is offering one day a month where visits are $5.00. First priority is given to clients of Neighbor for Neighbor, SNAP card recipients, people on disability and elders over 70 years of age. More information can be found on my webpage.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Home Remedy for Growing Pains

A young friend of mine visited on Thursday night for some fun. She learned how to make vegetable dip and sauté mushrooms. After dinner, she said her feet and calves hurt due to growing pains. So, together we came up with a recipe for growing pains...

We thoroughly cleaned a deep bucket. In it, we added one cup of Epsom salts, 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil, and 2 drops of basil essential oil. We mixed this up well, and then we filled the bucket with warm water.

She soaked her feet and we read a fairy story together. Within a matter of minutes her legs felt much better. (At the end, we had best smelling bucket, too.) If you don't have essential oils, the Epsom salt will work by itself, too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Dream "Staycation" Contest

My friends taught me about the concept of the "staycation"; it is a vacation where you stay at home, at least in your home town. Imagine...a vacation with no travel hassles and relatively affordable.

A 2010 study by the Applied Research in Quality of Life journal that found that people have a higher degree of pre-vacation happiness compared to post-vacation happiness.

So, with summer just around the corner, I think it is perfectly reasonable to raise our level of happiness and plan our next staycation.

Between now and June 21st (the first day of summer), I am running a contest. The winner will receive a gift certificate for a free class or healing touch session at Our Healing Roots, LLC.To enter the contest, respond to this post with your staycation description AND send an e-mail to office@ourhealingroots.net with your description and the best way to contact you if you win. A winner will be selected randomly from all who enter. Good luck! 

Reference: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11482-009-9091-9

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thank you...

A huge thank you for visiting the open house, even in rainy weather! It was a delight to visit with everyone and show the new location. 

We had a drawing for a gift basket and two gift certificates. The winners will be contacted tomorrow to claim their prizes.

I certainly feel blessed to be surrounded with so much support and love. If you are in need of information about Our Healing Roots, LLC, please do not hesitate to contact office@ourhealingroots.net.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Open House at Our Healing Roots

Location: Our Healing Roots, LLC
                5550 S. Lewis Avenue (Chevy Chase Office)
                Suite 315
                Tulsa, OK 74105

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 21st from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Phone: 918-813-1874

Please join us for an open house on Tuesday evening. Free food, party favors (while they last), information on upcoming events, and a drawing for a gift basket will be offered. We would love to see you there!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stepping back into the past...

Yesterday, I was off on an adventure to Guthrie's Drug Store Museum. Now, you might be wondering why I would be so excited about a drug store museum. As it happens, botanical medicine was used largely in conventional medicine in the 19th century and early 20th century. The museum was filled with old botanical medicines, tonics, homeopathic medicines, medical equipment and drugs.

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific, nonprofit group that sets the standards for medications; these are standards currently used by over 140 countries. It began in 1820, and at that time, it consisted mainly of botanical medicines and natural substances. In the early 20th century, it also set standards for vitamins. Much has changed in the pharmacopeia since those times. (Reference: http://www.usp.org/dietary-supplements/overview

Advertising and claims for these historic medicines were not regulated as they are now, so the bottles and ads are quite fascinating to read...and not always quite accurate. If you find yourself north of Oklahoma City, I invite you to venture to downtown Guthrie and explore it for yourself.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chamomile Tincture

Frame courtesy of cottagearts.net
My absolute favorite tincture is a fresh chamomile tincture. Every winter I plant several chamomile seeds in anticipation. My efforts have paid off. I have been picking chamomile blossoms for the past several weeks (shown in the picture).
A tincture is an alcoholic extract of a plant. I soak my herbs in vodka for at least six weeks. Then, I strain off the plant matter and run the extract through a paper coffee filter. This results in a clear tincture with a very low turbidity.
When taking tinctures, I have been taught to dissolve the drops in water. This way, I can actually taste the herbs instead of feeling the burn of alcohol in my throat. The fresh chamomile tincture has a wonderful sweet flavor, just as sweet as the sleep it provides.
This Thursday, I will be teaching a class on botanical tinctures from 6-8 p.m. To register or get more information, please call 918-813-1874.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Herb Walk Today and Other Upcoming Events

Herb Walk at the Garden Trug
Today! Saturday, May 11th | 11am-12pmLocation: The Garden Trug; 3009 E. 101st Street; Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone: 918.528.3828
Discover the herbal possibilities waiting your garden with me this Saturday. This special event includes a walk through The Garden Trug's retail garden, where you will learn how varieties of plants can be used medicinally. I invite you to come be inspired for Mother's Day. 
Homeopathy--The Basics
Phone: 918.813.1874

Homeopathy is a complex system of medicine started in the 1800's, when a physician was looking for a safer and gentler method of healing. It still exists today and is becoming widely popular for its safety and affordability. This class includes instruction and introduction to the art of homeopathy. This class is a series offered over a 1 month period. Tea and light snacks will be served.

Classes on Mondays, May 13, 20, and June 3
(6-7:30 p.m.)                               Cost $30.00 

Botanical Tinctures
Phone: 918.813.1874

Tinctures are a fast and easy way to take herbal medicine. A tincture is an alcohol extract of an herb. Learn how to craft your own botanical tinctures from dried and fresh herbs using a folk method. Instruction in botanical medicine and safety will also be included. Class includes hands-on experience, and each participant can take home two 1-ounce tinctures.

Class offered Thursday, May 16 (6-8 p.m.)

Cost $25.00


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Preview of Lemongrass

I am looking forward to this Saturday's free herb walk at The Garden Trug, and I hope to see you there. One of the herbs we will learn about this weekend in lemongrass. Here's a preview...

The botanical name for lemongrass is Cymbopogon citratus.  It is native India, so it is no surprise that it shows up commonly in pan-Asian cooking. Externally applied it can help repel insects and soothe rheumatic pains. It has a particular affinity for toning the connective tissues of the body, particularly with strains, bruises and sports injuries. For connective tissue conditions/rheumatic pains, you can bathe in a lemongrass tea.  

This plant contains silica and highly soluble forms of vitamins A and D. It has a lovely lemon fragrance, and it makes a tasty addition to stir-fries (and coconut ice cream).

It can also be consumed as a tea to help reduce gas and soothe abdominal cramping. This tea is also excellent for fevers to promote sweating and cooling. It also supports the immune system by draining lymphatic congestion and supporting the actions of the spleen and thymus gland.

I have found it to be a beautiful addition to my herb garden. In my personal experience, it's an ornamental and useful grass that grows about 3 feet in height by autumn.

Skenderi, Gazmend. Herbal Vade Mecum. New Jersey: Herbacy Press, 2003.
Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants. Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2008.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Free Herb Walk on Saturday

Saturday, May 11th | 11am-12pm

Location: The Garden Trug; 3009 E. 101st Street; Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone: 918.528.3828
Website: www.thegardentrug.com
Map: Click here to view map

Discover the herbal possibilities waiting your garden with me this Saturday. This special event includes a walk through The Garden Trug's retail garden, where you will learn how varieties of plants can be used medicinally. I invite you to come be inspired for Mother's Day. This year we'll be covering the following plants available at The Garden Trug...

Mosquito Plant                               Raspberry Leaf                     Balloon Flower
Foxglove                                        Speedwell                             Wormwood
Lavender                                        Rosemary                             Yew
Buckthorn                                       Yucca                                   Juniper
Hibiscus                                          Aloe                                     Blueberry


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Remembering Good Intentions

I make an excellent tincture that supports memory. Unfortunately, I find most people forget to take it. It's easy to have good intentions, but often difficult to remember those intentions, particularly when life gets busy.

So, whether you are trying to drink more water or remember to take an herbal or dietary supplement or make other lifestyle changes, here are a few suggestions to help you remember those good intentions...

(1) Couple the change with a habit you already have. For example, set your supplement(s) near your toothbrush or on the dinner table.
(2) Set an alarm on your phone. It also helps to label the alarm so you remember why your phone is going off.
(3) If you make "to do" lists, add it to your list. I always take pleasure in marking things off.
(4) If you are taking capsules and tablets, get a weekly "pill" box. It can help you remember if you've already taken your supplements for the day.
(5) Place a reminder in a visible area. If you work at a desk most of the day, place a workday's worth of water on your desk where you can see it.
(6) Pick out a fun calendar and small stickers. Give yourself a sticker each day you complete the change. (Yes, this actually still works for adults, too, but results may vary.)
(7) Make your tablets and capsules into a dessert. This is especially helpful for those of us who hate taking pills and accidentally, on-purpose forget to take them. I take a spoonful of pureed fruit and place one or two capsules in it at time. A spoonful of "sugar" does help the medicine go down...and it can help you remember.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Move is Almost Complete...

This past week, I have been busy moving the office with the help of friends and colleagues. I am delighted with the new space. There is a large area for hospitality, which is complete with a drop down screen for classes. The consultation room has three large windows looking out into a garden and several trees. Finally, the office also comes with an exam room with plenty of storage and equipped with plumbing.

I look forward to sharing this space with clients in the times to come...