The A to Z of Herbs for Healthy Thyroids – P through R

Optimal thyroid function supports healthier hormones and a balanced metabolism. The effects of an overactive thyroid (or hyperthyroidism) include excessive weight loss, physician anxiousness and other unwanted results.

On the other end of the spectrum, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can slow your metabolism, increasing weight gain out of proportion with your calorie intake. Luckily there are several herbs that promote thyroid health and help to balance hormones. Here are herbs P through R in the A to Z of healing herbs:

The A to Z of Herbs for Healthy Thyroids – P through R
Parsley contains Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as copper and manganese.

Parsley

This commonly used culinary herb contains reasonable amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as copper and manganese. All of these nutrients support healthy thyroid function and hormone production.

Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

This aromatic shrub was used historically by first peoples in North America for medicinal purposes. In addition to stimulating circulation, herbal tonics made using the bark of the tree also assist long-term thyroid function.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea or golden root has many positive health benefits. It is thought to bolster the nervous system, alleviate depression and is also thought to promote enhanced cognitive ability. Besides all this, Rhodiola supports healthy endocrine function. The endocrine system is the complex of glands which includes the thyroid, and the system as a whole regulates hormone production.

Rosemary

You may enjoy using this common culinary herb in the kitchen, but besides its lovely aroma it also has numerous beneficial health properties. Rosemary is said to lift the mood and ease anxiety, and is even thought to help memory. Rosemary contains compounds that have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

When it comes to thyroid health, rosemary is thought to improve overall thyroid function. Make a meal incorporating both parsley and rosemary into flavouring for separate dishes and enjoy a healthy, balancing thyroid boost.

The multiple health benefits of these herbs should remind that nature’s medicine chest is diverse and can be used to promote wellbeing and balance. Add your favourite herbs to a salad or blend them in a smoothie. Search healthy cooking sites for ideas on how to incorporate common culinary varieties into your meal plan creatively.

The A to Z of herbs for healthy thyroids – H through O

This post looks at herbs H through O in the A to Z of herbs that promote thyroid health.

An underactive thyroid can contribute to uncontrollable weight gain and other undesirable conditions, treat while an overactive thyroid can cause anxiety, rx restlessness and heart trouble. Incorporate these healing natural herbs into your diet to restore hormonal balance.

You can make a powerful green juice and add fresh herbs or natural supplements that will help you maintain wellness.

He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)

Though technically a root rather than a herb, drugs he shou wu can be used to make a tonic that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. In addition to helping to prevent oxidation damage to the heart, he shou wu:

  • Improves adrenal and thyroid secretions, aiding underactive thyroids
  • Provides anti-inflammatory support
  • Aids digestion (it has a mild laxative effect)

Licorice

Forget the sugar-loaded sweets – licorice in its natural, healthy plant form offers a host of benefits. These include:

  • Boosting weakened adrenals, which in turn can improve thyroid health
  • Reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Alleviating other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are admittedly a fungus rather than a herb, but they deserve mention simply because they contribute well to ensuring good thyroid function. Their benefits include:

  • High selenium content – selenium is needed for the body to convert T4 to T3 (active thyroid hormone)
  • Natural help with stress management (mushrooms are rich in the important stress-reducing B vitamins)
Nettle can help oromote a healthy thyroid
Did you know that nettle can also help to alleviate symptoms of menopause?

Nettle

Because of the central role iodine plays in healthy thyroid function, nettle is a good herbal supplement to add to your diet. Health benefits include:

  • Increased production of thyroid hormones (help with hypothyroidism)
  • Relief from menopausal symptoms
  • Arthritis relief
  • A supportive effect on the kidneys

Oregon Grape

Another natural thyroid stimulant, Oregan Grape was used historically along the Oregon Trail in North America. In addition to helping balance hormone production in the thyroid, Oregon Grape:

  • Is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic
  • Is rich in vitamin C
  • Helps cleanse the liver

If you want to add herbs to your diet to improve thyroid function, do so safely and schedule a consultation with Dr Alison.

The A to Z of herbs for healthy thyroids – C to G

Chickweed
Although thought of us a common garden weed, case chickweed is edible and has numerous health-giving properties including:

You may have seen the previous post beginning the A to Z of herbs that have beneficial effects on thyroid function. This follows on and examines the medicinal properties of herbs from Chickweed to Guggulu.

Always remember to consult with your doctor before adding any new supplement to your diet, to avoid any possible drug interactions. You can find your own way to wellness by using nature’s medicine chest in your smoothies, salads and other nourishing meals.

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Although thought of us a common garden weed, chickweed is edible and has numerous health-giving properties including:

  • High saponin levels – these are substances that help to break down fat cells
  • Regulating thyroid function and balancing your metabolism
  • Chickweed infusions are also said to be excellent for helping eye conditions such as conjunctivitis

Coleus Forskohlii (Plectranthus barbatus)

This herb has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It’s used as a fat burning supplement and has additional medicinal properties:

  • Assists with low thyroid function
  • Improves heart health
  • Reduces intraocular pressure which contributes to glaucoma

Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)

Eleuthero or Siberian ginseng is an adrenal adaptogen that supports thyroid function and is especially useful for hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). Further benefits of taking Siberian ginseng as a supplement include:

  • Increased stamina and energy
  • Mild mood elevation

Gentian

This plant has multiple health benefits, including:

  • Assisting with hypothyroidism – it stimulates an underactive metabolism and enhances the production of thyroid hormones
  • Relief from gastric diseases
  • Normalising gallbladder function

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

This herb has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is a natural hormone and nervous system regulator. Supplementing your diet with Gotu Kola can help:

  • Normalise your hormones
  • Increase energy and vitality

Guduchi

This herb, traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for a range of health improvements. Guduchi is said to assist in:

  • Boosting thyroid activity
  • Helping the liver remove toxins from the body

Guggulu

Another Ayurvedic herb, Gugulu is widely used to alleviate a range of medical problems, including nervous disorders, bronchitis, arthritis and more. Additional health properties include:

  • Stimulating underactive thyroids and assisting in weight loss
  • Reducing cholesterol levels

Do you want to know more about how you can incorporate nature’s medicine chest into your diet? Contact Dr Alison today and schedule an appointment so you can discuss finding a holistic eating plan.

The A to Z of Herbs for Healthy Thyroids – A through B

thyroid systemThe thyroid gland in the neck is responsible for producing hormones that regulate your metabolism and assist growth. Herbs are an important part of nature’s medicine chest. Many have documented medicinal properties and have been used in traditional healing for thousands of years. As part of a series on herbs that assist healthy thyroid function, pharmacy this post looks at herbs A through B.

You can incorporate these herbs into your diet a variety of ways – add them to your next raw juice, blend them in a smoothie, or use them for seasoning. You can also obtain each easily via natural herbal supplements.

A is for Ashwagandha and Astragalus

Ashwagandha is a powerful healing herb used in traditional Ayurvedic healing. Its benefits include:

  • Stimulating T3 and T4 synthesis (the process by which the thyroid converts iodine to regulatory hormones that ensure healthy thyroid function)
  • Easing osteoarthritis symptoms

Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. This herb is thought to:

  • Help normalize body functions, including thyroid function
  • Be particularly helpful for those who have hyperthyroidism (some sources say astralagus should be avoided by those who have underactive thyroids or hypothyroidism – always consult with your GP before taking any supplement)

B is for Bee Propolis, Black Cohosh, Black Walnut and Bladderwrack

The ‘B’ herbs that assist healthy thyroid function include:

Bee Propolis

This residue that bees produce for sealing open spaces within the hive has numerous health-giving properties, including:

  • Boosting thyroid function
  • Providing antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant properties

Black Cohosh

This species of flowering plant related to the buttercup is native to North America. The root of the plant is used to make natural supplements. Black Coshosh medicinal effects include:

  • Assisting the thyroid in hormone regulation (especially in menopausal and peri-menopausal women)
  • Acting similarly to estrogen (although its efficacy differs from person to person)

Black Walnut

Iodine plays an important part in healthy thyroid function. Black walnuts are high in iodine and have the following medicinal benefits:

  • Supporting proper thyroid and metabolic function
  • They also help normalize insulin levels in the body

Bladderwrack

Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed found across a broad geographic range. The health benefits of bladderwrack herbal supplements include:

  • Iodine deficiency and thyroid support (especially underactive thyroid and an oversized thyroid gland)
  • Alleviating joint pain
  • Alleviating digestive disorders

Keep an eye out for Dr Alison’s subsequent guides that work through the remaining A to Z of herbs that promote healthy thyroid function.

Crystals and work stress: Alternative accessories that enhance your mood and beat stress

Crystals and work stress: Alternative accessories that enhance your mood and beat stressThe workplace can be a cause of stress for many reasons, remedy from impossible deadlines to difficult clients or workplace politics. Stress is one of the largest causes of absenteeism in the professional world.

Chronic stress interferes in maintaining balanced health and emotional and psychological wellness. Given these adverse effects of stress, it makes sense to reduce stress in your work environment in every possible way. Crystals and alternative accessories using their healing and calming effects provide one option.

The Earth’s beautiful precious and semi-precious gems exist in a dazzling array of colours. We know from colour therapy that different hues can affect our moods and emotions significantly. Think, for example, of how many fast food chains and restaurants have bold, red décor. The reason for this is that red is a stimulant – it not only rouses the appetite, but also compels people to eat more quickly, thus helping fast food outlets accelerate their business. The same principles apply to the colours of crystals. Here are 5 colourful crystals that ease stress:

1. Amethysts

These purple gem stones can be worn as alternative accessories, in pendant or ring form. The deep, meditative purple colour will help you find moments of calm introspection. According to crystal healers, amethysts are also supposed to alleviate headaches.

2. Citrine

This stone is a dazzling yellow colour, and its brightness is sure to boost your happiness if you keep it about you throughout the day. Wear citrine if you are under pressure at work as it helps to balance your emotions.

3. Clear Quartz

This gem, with its naturally faceted, translucent appearance, is one of the most sought-after stones in crystal therapy. It is said to raise energy levels and also is used for calming and clearing the mind. Keep a crystal on a pendant or an accessory incorporating quartz on your desk to keep focused and calm throughout the day.

4. Fluorite

This peaceful green stone is said to unblock stuck energy. Wear it in a bracelet or keep a fluorite paperweight around your workspace to harness its positive, mental block-clearing properties.

5. Garnet

Garnets are thought to renew drained energy. This bright red stone makes a striking addition to any accessory collection, and will lift your energy levels when you are feeling stretched thin.

Do you need to put in place reliable stress management techniques? Contact Dr Alison today to book a stress-busting consultation.

Numerology: How numbers can make you healthier and happier

Of all the holistic and divinatory arts, order numerology is one of the lesser known. Numerology involves the studying of numbers that are thought to be significant due to astrological or cosmological factors.

One of the most common uses of numerology is for working out your ‘life path’ number. This is a number from 1 to 9 that you can work out using your date of birth. Your life path, according to numerology, tells you about key challenges or health problems people who share your specific life path number might face.

Using numerology to gain insights into yourself can empower you to make changes that will result in a healthier, happier lifestyle.

How to work out your life path numberNumerology: How numbers can make you healthier and happier

You can work out your life path number by adding the individual digits that make up your date of birth together. This you keep doing until you are left with a single digit. Say, for example, your birthday is the 1st of June, 1981:

1/6/1981 = 1 + 6 + 1 + 9 + 8 + 1 = 26 = 8

In this case, your life path number is ‘8’. According to numerology, those who have an eight life path tend to be very driven to succeed. A pitfall of having this life path is being so attached to material things that you become a workaholic and fail to take time to ease stress and put your health first.

This can contribute to high blood pressure, heart problems or stress-related illness. The insights of numerology can thus provide you with useful advice on putting your health first and counteracting any negative tendencies you may have.

Vedic numerology and health

The ‘life path’ number (also known as the ‘destiny number’) is only one aspect considered in the Indian art of vedic numerology. This branch sees each person as having three core numbers in their lives. The first is the psychic number, the second is the destiny number, and the third is the name number.

The psychic number is linked to the way you see yourself, your aspirations and your basic predispositions and abilities. Your name number is thought to be influential in your dealings with other people. Because it is a complex practice, it is best to see a vedic numerology professional if you want to obtain an in-depth analysis of your predispositions and the further steps you can take, using numerological insights, to living a healthier, happier life.

This is just one way that you can help understand your habits and health concerns. Do you want to ease stress and forge a path to wellness? Contact Dr Alison today to book a consultation.

Feng Shui: How your environment can affect your health

Feng Shui: How your environment can affect your health
Eliminating as much clutter as possible and filling your space with objects that don’t drain your energy may provide a long-term energy boost.

Good health and balance are determined by more than what goes on internally, viagra inside our bodies. If you think of social pressures, such as difficult situations with family members or co-workers, these are external factors that can have a marked effect on your health.

Yet even your immediate, seemingly inanimate environment can have a positive or detrimental effect on your health. This principle is active in the ancient Chinese philosophical system known as feng shui.

Feng shui, which literally means ‘wind-water’, sees an essential, movable life force called qi (pronounced ‘chee’) as one of the most important factors of how we relate to our environment.

Ancient astrological methods were used historically to decide where and when to build auspicious landmarks such as temples, according to how their alignment could direct the flow of qi or life energy best.

Modern feng shui and health

Although many of the tools and instruments traditionally used in feng shui have changed over the millennia, the core concepts of the philosophy and its understanding of how we live in and are affected by space has stayed the same. There are three fundamental requirements of a home for it to be a healthy and happy one, according to feng shui:

  1. A home should have fresh, quality air

 Fresh air is essential for keeping supplied with the oxygen we need for continuous brain function. In feng shui, air-purifying plants are often used as a means of maximizing fresh air in an enclosed space.

  1. There should be enough natural light

Light is also held to be important in feng shui, as this is another essential environmental condition we need for optimal health (including healthy eyes).

  1. Your space should be clutter-free

 Clutter is the accumulation of broken or unused material things. Often people are tied to items for nostalgic reasons, but the negative side of this is that clutter can inhibit being mindful and grounded in the present moment. Eliminating as much clutter as possible and filling your space with objects that don’t drain your energy may provide a long-term energy boost.

Have you used feng shui to organise your own living space? What was your experience?

8 reasons you should be drinking warm lemon water every morning

8 reasons you should be drinking warm lemon water every morningForget the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, ask make lemonade’. Warm lemon water made with fresh slices of this vitamin-rich fruit does away with unhealthy sugar and provides multiple health benefits.

Here are ten reasons you should add a warm mug of lemon water to your morning routine:

 

  1. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C

Like other citrus fruits, lemons are high in ascorbic acid or Vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps to fight infections, inhibits the development of colds, and assists cholesterol regulation.

  1. Your liver will love you

According to researchers, the human liver is able to make a large amount of enzymes out of fresh lemon juice. Drinking a mug of hot lemon water in the morning will assist your body in ridding itself of toxins.

  1. Hot lemon water stimulates digestion

‘More fibre’ is the usual nutrition mantra where digestion is concerned. Yet hot lemon water also hydrates you on top of stimulating your digestive system.

  1. Lemon water can replace caffeine for better hydration

Apart from the addictiveness of caffeine and the restlessness it may cause, it also acts as a mild diuretic. If you want to stay well-hydrated throughout the day, sipping hot lemon water is a better option.

  1. Lemon water alkalizes the body 

This might come as a surprise, given the acidic taste of the citric acid in lemon, yet drinking hot lemon water actually has an acid-neutralizing effect. A build-up of acid can cause uncomfortable conditions such as acid reflux. Drink hot lemon water regularly to help your system stay within the ideal pH range.

  1. Lemons’ antioxidants help skin stay clearer 

Lemons are rich in antioxidants that provide nourishment from within for your skin. Pair this with the healthy effect good hydration has on the skin and drinking hot lemon water each morning becomes a great natural beauty boost.

  1. Regular hot lemon water consumption may relieve joint pain 

Due to the alkalizing effect of lemon on the body’s pH levels, regularly drinking hot lemon water can help reduce joint pain. This is because uric acid found in the joints is one of the main causes of inflammation.

  1. Drinking lemon water is thought to support weight loss

Not everyone in the medical community is agreed on whether or not hot lemon water is effective as a weight loss stimulant in itself. Even so, replacing sugary, milky morning drinks with hot lemon water will cut calories out of your daily routine and these add up.

 

Do you drink hot lemon water? What particular benefits have you found?

Holistic doctors: why the combined approach gives you better care

Holistic doctors: why the combined approach gives you better care
Holistic doctors who are trained in mainstream as well as alternative medicine provide the best of both worlds.

Often in contemporary medical practice a patient’s symptoms are analysed and the treatment thought to address those symptoms best is automatically prescribed.

The problem with this approach is that often you are working with eradicating symptoms – the signs of an underlying problem – rather than the broader, advice more holistic and systemic health concern from which they spring.

Holistic doctors who are trained in mainstream as well as alternative medicine provide the best of both worlds. Here’s why:

Holistic doctors work with the whole patient

Many medical practices are run like fast food outlets, order where patients are processed as rapidly as possible. Good holistic doctors examine more than a checklist of each patient’s symptoms: Part of holistic medicine involves getting to know patients’ stories and finding ways to work with every aspect of the patient to devise a combination of therapies and/or supplements that will best promote wellness.

Holistic doctors take an adaptable approach

Many medical practitioners will doggedly stick to a set plan of action when treating any particular cluster of symptoms, viagra sale yet each person’s body and constitution is different. A holistic doctor understands that each patient’s unique body and mind-body connection requires its own, tailored approach.

Being holistic means looking beneath the surface

So often we deal in surfaces – the advised plan of action for being overweight might be a diet, for example. Yet a holistic doctor looks deeper. A tendency to overeat, for example, may be the result of an emotional response to stress. If this is the case for a patient, a holistic doctor is likely to work stress management techniques into the suite of treatments and therapies prescribed. This combined approach, involving treating symptoms in tandem with underlying issues is a hallmark of the holistic approach.

Do you need a supportive holistic doctor to help you maintain optimal health? Get in touch with Dr Alison today.

Forget naysayers: Sometimes nature is the best dispensary

Sometimes nature is the best dispensary
Homeopathic medicine works from the observation that nature provides most (if not all) of the support our bodies need for optimal health.

It seems obvious enough: That the food we eat and the other organic substances that we consume daily (voluntarily or otherwise) have a profound effect on health and wellness.

Homeopathic medicine works from this observation – that nature provides most (if not all) of the support our bodies need for optimal health. Yet there have been many naysayers who swear by allopathic (western) medicine, healing preferring treatment that focuses on symptoms over therapies that work holistically.

Sometimes, hospital however, the biased side of anti-homeopathic pundits comes into view:

An example: Stephen Barrett is the founder of a website that purports to ‘combat heath-related frauds, myths, fads and fallacies’, Quackwatch. Barrett and his website have come under fire in the past due to spreading information about homeopathic medicine that has been called biased. Barrett has initiated libel claims and lawsuits against many challengers, and these have raised questions about the way big pharmaceutical companies respond to competition.

Barrett made a career out of attacking established alternative therapies such acupuncture, yet when he challenged King Bio Pharmaceuticals, a homeopathic medicine company, he lost his case. In the course of the case, the court allegedly found that Barret was not the authority on homeopathic medicine he claimed to be, lacking the required qualifications. More worryingly, the case found that Barrett and his associate had a vested interest in the outcome of the case since they were allegedly beneficiaries of the fund that paid their legal defences.

What cases such as these show is that debates around homeopathic and allopathic medicine do not always come down to scientific research alone. Often there are biased individuals who are against new research being performed as a matter of course. This might be either because they stand to gain personally from limiting new knowledge, or because they are biased for other reasons.

While naysayers might rubbish the benefits of alternative medicine, it is wise to remember that there is an industry around health and wellness. Where there is industry, there are individuals (and big companies) that might put existing financial interests above exploring new therapeutic possibilities. Thus it is wise to not take naysayers who are skeptical about holistic medicine too seriously: Even if its remedies are generic rather than trademarked, sometimes nature is the best dispensary.