How to Keep Your Hair Healthy with Age

I see a number of patients who are worried about their hair. They are losing hair or it is thinning. They may think it is a phase and so they wait to see what happens and may even get concerned enough to try a few things on their own. By the time they come into my office for care, they are really concerned. Sometimes patients bring a bag of hair into the office that they show me or a bag full of supplements they have tried. Not only do we want to understand why the hair loss started but we want to rule out any contributing medical conditions, then provide nutrients for building good hair.
There are several types of hair loss.
Non-Scarring Hair Loss Types include:
Alopecia areata
Androgenetic hair loss
Telogen effluvium
Anagen effluvium
Scarring Hair Loss Types include:
Lupus- the discoid variant
Lichen planopilaris
Central centrifugal cicatricial Alopecia
Radiation related hair loss
Mixed Hair Loss includes:
Trichotillomania
Traction alopecia
Hair is constantly replacing itself. At any given time, 2% of hair is falling out and being replaced. Active growth lasts 2-6 years. This is why most treatments take a while to implement. Many women and men are trying to figure out ways to get that thick hair back or fill in bald spots. There are some basic good for your hair tips that all of us can do. A diet rich in plant-based foods helps with healthy hair growth as well as adequate protein. Oral hydration is often forgotten. Adequate sleep drives the circadian rhythm, sex hormones and inflammation which all play a part in driving healthy hair growth. On top of these basics, we like to check basic labs to be sure everything is optimal. Thyroid and the iron levels are important since both hypothyroid and anemias can cause hair loss.
Biotin can strengthen what you have in your hair and nails but doesn’t really help with new growth. We don’t want to take more than necessary because it can affect our thyroid or heart medication efficacy; 2.5-5 mg is plenty. More than 10 mg is not needed. You may have to take it for 6 months before it gets integrated in.
Vitamin D on the other hand appears to stimulate dormant hair follicle. Testing Vitamin D levels is discouraged nowadays in doctor’s offices but is a good idea when we are taking it as a supplement.
Vitamin A is tricky because too much preformed Vitamin A can prevent hair growth so no more than 25,000 IU daily but in general, there should be a purpose that you are on Vitamin A for more than a month.
Zinc can influence cell differentiation. Patients with hair loss generally have lower zinc as well.
Silicon, particularly cs-OSA can influence hair growth after 9 months or so but the absorption is highly dependent on digestion.
Selenium can be particularly helpful if thyroid is involved.
Other options depending on the individual such as DIM, Maca or topical miroxidil in either liquid or foam used before bed. Low level laser light therapy (LLLT) or red and near infrared light aimed at the scalp have been shown to be helpful with 26-week minimum use. There are several FDA approved devices. Platelet Rich Plasma has also been helpful for bald spots but also genetic hair loss. Often patients see results after 3 treatments even though the goal is 6 treatments. Annual maintenance is needed to maintain the results but patients seem to be quite satisfied with the results. Cosmetic tools or Camouflage is something else that can be used along the way. Scalp coloring with pens, pencils, sprays or powders to make thinning or balding less obvious. Hair pieces can be helpful too but the cap fit is the most important element. Extensions and weaves are yet another options.

If you are looking for natural options for hair loss or the best ways to stop hair loss or prevent hair loss, please reach out.  We specialize in this kind of thing so it’s not a new idea for us. Getting the right care tailored for you and your situation is key to success in your health.  At Journey of Health Naturopathic Clinic we are dedicated to finding the right integrative solutions for each patient. We proudly serve the San Diego area, providing some of the best service in Naturopathic medicine. If you wish to further your own journey of health with Naturopathic solutions and Alternative medicine, give us a call at (619) 772-1164.  We offer free 10 minute consults so you can see if we are the right fit for you and you family.  Reach out and learn more about your holistic medicine options today!

Mold: Is My House Making Me Sick?  Naturopathic Doctor Talks about Identifying Mold Mycotoxins

Do you have some chronic generalized symptoms that are persistent despite treatment even good treatment?  Treatment may work for awhile but it just doesn’t hold.  Or perhaps treatment is helping a lot but the sustainability of lots supplementation, intense diet restrictions and lifestyle modifications is intense.  This predicament is classic for patients suffering from mold exposure.  Molds such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium are more common than we think and are making people sick!  Remember hearing about black mold? That’s called Stachybotrys and I see it come up positive as a culprit of causing mold illness!!  Yuck!

 

Now you may think mold growth in San Diego is fairly rare.  It is more common than you think and something to look for if someone in your house is always trying to find ways to feel better! If you are wiping black mold off your tile, it doesn’t naturally grow on tile so it is coming from behind the tile.  If there is a history of a flood or water damage in your house and it has not been adequately dried and/or treated, it only needs a few spores to for the mold to grow back.  Mold thrives in damp areas. They can grow on anything with cellulose such as fiberboard, wood, gypsum or paper.  The mold itself is not dangerous but it is those mycotoxins that tear down our health.

 

So what does having this fungus in us look like? Here are a list of symptoms that have a connection with mold toxicity:

Allergies that worsen

Alzheimer’s

Anemia

Asthma, coughing or wheezing

Bloating

Brain Fog

Dehydration despite excess thirst

Dementia

Dizziness

Dopamine disruption

Eyes that are itchy

Fatigue

Fevers and poor temperature regulation

Hair Loss

Headaches, especially sharp sensations

Light Sensitivity

Liver Infections

Infections, exacerbation of micro infections especially in the Lungs

Insomnia or trouble sleeping

Memory Loss

Muscle Cramps

Nausea chronically

Nerve Pain

Night Sweats

Nosebleeds

Obsessive Behaviors

Parkinson’s Disease

Rashes, especially itchy

Sensitivity becomes increased to fragrances and chemicals

Sinus Problems

Skin Sores

Sweet Cravings

Throat that is itchy

Tics of Tremor

Weakness that is generalized

Weight Gain or Loss

In the last couple years, a new mycotoxin test has been developed which is really helpful for patients to learn about their present mold exposures and eliminating them as well as detoxing from them.  It is shocking to see toxic mold metabolites come up so high that they bypass the known ranges of measurement.  The type of metabolite helps isolate the type of mold and how the exposure likely happened.  It can be really difficult to test your home and even harder to test your workplace, vehicle, RV, school or other place for mold but testing people for their exposure is very doable.  I have patients who come to me wondering, and have been wondering about whether they have mold in their house and the easiest way to find out if they have been exposed is by testing for mycotoxin metabolites.  The test is a simple urine collection. 

 

Is there HOPE after toxic mold exposure?

Since our office has a holistic mind set, I have an unwritten policy in our office not to test for things that we really don’t know what to do about.  In other words, if we can’t use the results of the test, it is all very interesting but not really useful or helpful to make it very far on our journey to wellness.  So the next reasonable question is, “what can we do for mold toxicity?”

Naturopathic Doctors really are good at offering detox options.  Natural medicine gives us a lot of tools for eliminating mold mycotoxins and other toxins.  There are some basics such as making sure that our bodies are in elimination mode.  One of my favorite ways is by infrared saunas, which we have in our office.  Ochratoxin A, phalates and heavy metal have all been found in human sweat.  Cool right?  Castor oil packs target the liver which is a main outlet for lymphatic bound toxins.  Dry skin brushing can compliment this and is practiced in alternative medicine circles.  Charcoal can be a good option as well.  Cholestyramine and nebulized antifungals are both finding good success. 

 

Individuals will have their own unique challenges and need to follow up with a Naturopathic Doctor for a personal plan to wellness.  We specialize in this kind of thing so it’s not a new idea for us. If you are frustrated with your health, finding a doctor as a resource is key to success in your health.  At Journey of Health Naturopathic Clinic, we are dedicated to finding the right integrative solutions for each patient. We proudly serve the San Diego area, providing some of the best service in Naturopathic medicine. If you wish to further your own journey of health with Naturopathic solutions and Alternative medicine, give us a call at (619) 772-1164.  We offer free 10-minute consults so you can see if we are the right fit for you and your family.  Reach out and learn more about your holistic medicine options today!

It’s time to Find out by TESTing- DETOX and TREAT you as an individual.

Holistic and Natural Pregnancy

How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy
For Mom and Baby
 
During pregnancy, a woman’s body creates an environment in which an entire human being is formed. What could be more amazing than that? As the new mom-to-be strives to protect the integrity of the womb in which her baby will develop, she needs to make good lifestyle choices and commit to high-quality food and nutrients. Here’s some important information to help achieve those goals.
 
Pregnancy Nutrition Essentials
 
Daily requirements for macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), vitamins, and minerals change dramatically in pregnancy and are crucial to the health of mom and her developing baby. For most normal-weight pregnant women, the right amount of calories is about . . .
 
  • 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester.
  • 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester.
  • 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester.
 
These calories should be acquired from a variety of whole grains, fruits and veggies as well as eggs, lean cuts of meat and poultry, and low-mercury fish, such as tilapia or salmon. (Vegetarians and vegans will have dietary considerations to discuss with their Naturopathic doctor in order to ensure they meet their caloric and nutrient needs.) During pregnancy it’s particularly important that food is sourced organic, verified non-GMO and antibiotic-free to ensure chemicals are not passed along to the baby.
 
 
Tips For Meeting
Pregnancy Nutrient
Requirements
 
Increase Protein. Pregnant women need 75 – 100 grams of protein daily, Good sources include: fully cooked fish, lean meat, poultry, nuts, legumes (black beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.), plain yogurt with added fresh fruit, and tempeh. If you find it challenging to eat high-quality sources of protein, speak with your doctor about using protein powder to make smoothies (or to add to yogurt or oatmeal).
 
Choose Healthy Fats. Consuming adequate fats is vital to baby’s organ and brain development. Focus on healthy sources such as avocado, nuts and nut oils, olive oil, coconut, eggs, low-fat plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
 
Snack on Veggies and Fruits. Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies helps curb cravings, boost energy, and provide essential fiber, vitamins and minerals (calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, and others). Ideally, eat veggies raw or steamed; also consider fermented veggies.
 
 
Drink More Water. A woman’s blood volume increases during pregnancy and her body has to supply fluid to replenish the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. Drinking water is important for hydration levels and may help with morning sickness and prevent constipation. The amount of water needed varies by activity level, climate, food consumption; an average rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 body weight in ounces.
 
Go for Whole Grains. The carbohydrates provided by whole grains are your body’s primary source of energy. Grains also provide B vitamins and fiber. Ancient Grains (such as millet, flax, farro, oat, and quinoa) are an excellent source of whole grains. Choose fresh-baked breads; opt for whole grain crackers, pasta, and brown rice.
 
Consume Fermented Foods. Fermented foods are a potent source of probiotics, which are essential to powering up the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract and producing antibodies to pathogens. Both are key to maintaining vibrant health for mom and baby. Your holistic doctor may recommend a probiotic in lieu of fermented foods.
 
Eat Smaller Meals. Morning sickness, special dietary needs, and other factors can alter the food a woman can tolerate during pregnancy. Many women find eating smaller meals, more frequently, is easier for digestion and managing nausea.
 
Avoid Chemicals. Chemicals in processed foods, caffeine, and sugar can affect the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system, as well as immunity and gut health. Try to avoid (or significantly reduce) your intake of processed/packaged foods, caffeine, and sugary snacks. If you need a caffeinated beverage, opt for green tea over soda and if you drink coffee, keep it to one cup per day.
 
Consider Supplements. A prenatal vitamin containing folate is beneficial to many women during pregnancy and many holistic doctors recommend starting it a minimum of three months preconception. A number of other supplements are considered important for mom and developing baby, based on individual needs. Consult your holistic doctor to determine what is safe and best for you.
 
The Integrity of the Womb
 
Many chemicals and medicines have unknown risks for the fetus, which can result in birth defects. To protect the integrity of the womb, it’s important for a woman to avoid use of over-the-counter and prescription medicines that are not essential for a health condition. Of course, recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking are to be avoided. Finally, herbs (botanical medicines) and essential oils should be cleared by your holistic physician before use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
These tips skim the surface of making healthy choices during pregnancy. To address your unique needs, speak with your Naturopathic doctor, obstetrician or midwife about what is best for you and baby during pregnancy.
 
References

Recovery of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Crohn’s Disease

Many patients are diagnosed with IBS or Irritable Bowel Disease when they have an onset of symptoms, either diarrhea, constipation, not being able to make it to the bathroom.  It can come on suddenly or something that gets worse over time.  They may have the understanding that they have a diagnosis of IBS and their condition may not be investigated further.  They may actual have a different diagnosis of IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Crohn’s Disease.  They may not be receiving adequate treatment for their condition which means not much seems to help.  They also will not be able to analyze their prognosis or what their disease process will look like in the future.  As it progresses, a proper diagnosis will help plan for the disease and prevent aspects of the disease or hold it off.

 

Labs have come a long way to help

 

We specialize in this kind of thing and see it frequently in our office so it’s not a new idea for us. Getting the right care for your body is important and tailored for your specific body in mind. At Journey of Health we are dedicated to finding the right naturopathic solutions for each patient. We proudly serve the San Diego area, providing some of the best service in naturopathic medicine. If you wish to further your own journey of health with naturopathic solutions and alternative medicines, give us a call at (619) 772-1164.

 

Strep throat

What’s the deal with yeast- yeast infections

IBS

Naturopathic Approaches to Fever

Fever phobia is fairly common among parents of young children, and even some adults when they become sick. We worry that something serious is going on. Most often, that’s not the case.

Fever occurs when our body’s internal thermostat (an organ in the brain called the hypothalamus) shifts our body’s normal set-point upward, indicating that something is out of balance. It can be brought on by a virus, bacterial infection, heat exhaustion, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, teething, pain and vaccinations just to name a few. Symptoms may include:

  • Chills and shivering
  • Headache and muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Irritability

While these symptoms are uncomfortable, be comforted knowing that fever is a natural and beneficial response of the immune system. It plays a key role in helping the body fight off infections and can even help strengthen immunity. It typically resolves on its own.

You should know . . .

  • For infants, toddlers and young children, a slight fever generally will go away with attentive care and holistic therapy. However, for infants younger than two months, fever should be discussed with your family doctor.
  • If a child is unable to hold eye contact/seems unresponsive, has intense neck pain or uncontrolled vomiting, seek emergency medical care. Adults should seek emergency care if they become confused, experience abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, intense head or neck pain, or have a seizure.
  • Children between the ages of six months and five years might experience febrile seizures. The seizure is triggered by a rapid change of temperature. About one-third of children who have one febrile seizure will have another one, most commonly within a year. This is generally not harmful and unlikely to cause long-term damage. If a seizure occurs, loosen tight clothing and gently hold the child on the ground in a safe area to prevent injury.

Naturopathic, Gentle Ways to Manage Fever

Since most fevers resolve on their own, don’t be quick to reach for over-the-counter meds to lower it. Instead, consider the following simple therapies aimed at supporting the body’s innate ability to heal and restore balance.

  1. Fast the Fever. Never feed a fever. The body’s resources should not be diverted to digesting food while it’s fighting fever. Drink clear broth, homemade electrolyte replacement drinks, water or suck on ice cubes.
  2. Keep a Journal. Record when the fever started, temperature, how you measured (oral, ear, rectal, etc.), and note any symptoms. Be sure to measure temperature consistently, not with different instruments each time (note differences in recording methods). Also, note if there was exposure to anyone who’s been ill. List all medications, vitamins and supplements taken. You’ll need this if you have to see the doctor or go to the ER.
  3. Use Hydrotherapy. This home remedy increases comfort while supporting the body’s ability to lower temperature. It involves the use of cold towels or sheets with a wool blanket over top and all wrapped around the body.

The bottom line is that a fever is the body’s attempt to restore balance. Your La Mesa Naturopathic Doctor may have other suggestions and strategies for supporting the body through a fever so be sure and check in for more information!

References
Contact our office for more information

Journey of Health Medical Clinic

619-772-1164

Make a Change for Better Health this New Year

Have you set an intention to make better choices around diet and exercise in the New Year? Kudos for recognizing a change needs to be made and committing to it! As you begin to adopt new, healthier behavior, remember that change is a process. Be kind and patient with yourself. It takes about six weeks for a new behavior to become ingrained in our lifestyle, whether it’s exercising, eating more veggies and less meat, or limiting those sodas you’ve come to love.

Success involves creating plans for moving forward, as well as for for managing those inevitable setbacks. Here are some simple strategies to help you achieve your goals.

Know Your Why. Write down why you want to adopt a particular health behavior or change a poor one. Motivation is an important predictor of behavior, so be honest with yourself. Think deeper than just wanting to fit into smaller clothes – examine how you want to feel when you achieve that goal. Connecting emotion to your “why” strengthens your motivation and willingness to stick to the goal: I’ll feel healthier and stronger and more confident when I lose weight and fit into a smaller size.

Find Your Tribe. Enlist the support of loved ones, friends, and co-workers. Working toward a goal together provides social support that makes it easier (and more fun) to stick with making the change. You might start by telling the people closest to you what you are doing and why. Ask people for specific help: When you see me reach for a third cookie, please say something. Tell people what you need as you start and keep them updated as you progress.

Have a Plan and Be Flexible. Anything you want to achieve isn’t about finding the time, it’s about making the time – and that’s a choice in your power. Look at your daily and weekly routines to identify blocks of time when you can exercise or prepare meals in advance. It may mean getting up 20 minutes earlier or getting off social media. Do it. Make actual appointments with yourself and keep them. Planning also means knowing your environment – at home, work and play – and being aware of triggers that could put you off course. Examples: bring your lunch instead of going out; take a walk before eating; reduce temptation by removing salty, fatty snacks from the house; shop for food mindfully, staying in the outside aisles of the store where the food is typically healthier. And be flexible: life happens and things will get in the way. Those are temporary shifts. Get right back to your health routine the following day or as soon as possible.

Set Reasonable Goals. If you need to get up earlier to exercise, don’t start with an hour – start with ten minutes. Every five days increase by five minutes until you’re awake early enough to do the kind of workout that you want. Starting with small, reasonable goals makes them more attainable and gives you a sense of achievement. And that’s important when you’re first making a behavior change. Every small success builds up to bigger achievements.

Celebrate! In your plan, note the markers at which you’ll celebrate success. Incorporate a small reward for weekly successes and a bigger reward for milestones (e.g., 3 weeks of exercising daily, or losing the first five pounds). Rewards need not be expensive; rather, make them meaningful for you – and not food based unless you’re going out to a great new vegan restaurant.

References
Contact our office for more information

Journey of Health Medical Clinic

619-772-1164


Doing Good for Others is Good for Your Health

Lower stress, higher self-confidence, and enhanced social relationships – sounds like the health benefits of exercise, right? Surprise! Those benefits also come from volunteering. Whether you’re working at a food shelter, giving time as a literacy mentor, or helping out after a natural disaster, the many ways of doing good for others is also good for your health.

In general, people volunteer because they believe helping those who are having a harder time in life can actually make a difference. That alone makes those who volunteer feel good about themselves, about others, and about their community. But there’s much more to it; research shows that the “happiness effect” of volunteering enhances social, emotional, and physical aspects of health and that these benefits increase as we age.

Social Benefits

  • Strengthens community ties
  • Builds in-person social networks to create genuine friendships
  • Reduces feelings of loneliness
  • Enhances professional networks and job opportunities

Emotional Benefits

  • Strengthens emotional stability for those with and without mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Contributes to a sense of purpose

Physical Benefits

  • Lowers stress and tension
  • Enhances brain function
  • Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Promotes being physically active

People who volunteer tend to take better care of themselves; they typically have lower rates of heart disease, depression and anxiety. These health benefits don’t just apply to adults. They apply to kids and teens as well. As noted earlier, the benefits continue as we age and become even more pronounced for older adult volunteers.

So, find a cause (or two) that is meaningful for you, involve the whole family in volunteering, and celebrate all that it does for others and for you!

References
Contact our office for more information

Journey of Health Medical Clinic

619-772-1164

Peppermint for Home and Health

Aromatic peppermint (Mentha piperita) has been used for centuries to add flavor or fragrance to foods, cosmetics, toothpaste and mouthwash, soaps, candles, and scented products for the home. Several different cultures also use peppermint leaves, oil, and fresh or dried powder in holistic health preparations.

As a traditional remedy, peppermint is used to awaken the mind and help relieve fatigue. Consider lighting a peppermint scented candle during the busy holiday season. Peppermint is also well known for relief of symptoms associated with the common cold and indigestion; it works by calming the stomach muscles and improving the movement of bile through the digestive system. Some scientific studies indicate that peppermint can improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea. Because the menthol component of peppermint acts as a decongestant, peppermint essential oil is a good choice for use in a diffuser, as a chest rub, or added to a warm bath. Dried peppermint leaves make for an excellent infusion for tea.

It is possible to be allergic to peppermint. Even though it can ease digestive complaints, it may not be appropriate for people who have acid reflux (GERD). Like many other herbs, peppermint can interact with other herbs, prescription medicine, or supplements. Peppermint can affect respiratory function in young children; it should not be used without the supervision of a trained medical aromatherapist. Be sure to consult your holistic physician or naturopathic doctor before adding any form of peppermint (oil, capsule, tea) to your health regimen.

References
Contact our office for more information

Journey of Health Medical Clinic

619-772-1164

What You Need To Know About Digestive Enzymes

Have you ever wondered how the macronutrients in food – fats, carbohydrates and proteins – get where they need to be in your body? This is where digestive enzymes come into play: they move macronutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the digestive tract and into the bloodstream where they participate in functions such as growth and repair. If the body is deficient in these enzymes (due to genetics, illness, or food allergy), food cannot be properly digested.

What you need to know about your digestive Enzymes:

  • Proteases break down protein into amino acids and peptides.
  • Lipases break down fat into three types of fatty acids.
  • Amylases break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.

Other enzymes target specific sugars:

  • Lactase breaks down the sugar in milk.
  • Maltase moves maltose, which is produced from starch, and converts it into glucose that the body uses for quick energy.
  • Sucrase works on sucrose and converts it into other sugar molecules.

Deficiencies in digestive enzymes often result in gastrointestinal distress, belly discomfort, and food intolerances after eating food that contains a starch, fat, or protein the body cannot break down. For example, if you’re deficient in lactase, you’ll feel ill (bloating, cramps, gas) after eating dairy products. These can seem like hard to diagnose stomach problems. Deficiency of these enzyme leading to gastrointestinal distress may also lead to anxiety and other mental and emotional issues.

Digestive enzymes are naturally present in many foods. Pineapple and papaya are rich in proteases and can help ease symptoms of IBS. Mango and banana contain enzymes that break down starches. Other excellent sources of digestive enzymes include kefir, sauerkraut, honey and ginger and other cultured foods for health. To reap the benefits, eat these foods at their peak freshness and chew mindfully as saliva activates many enzymes. Eat fruits raw as heating destroys the enzymes.

When treating digestive dysfunction, food allergy or sensitivity, a naturopathic doctor may recommend dietary changes and probiotics along with enzymes in pill form. Many factors influence how you should take these enzymes (before, during, or after a meal). Your alternative doctor can help determine how these digestive problem solutions can best support your journey of health.

References
Contact our office for more information

Journey of Health Medical Clinic

619-772-1164

Avoid a Cold with Home Remedies

When you first feel yourself becoming sick there are holistic remedies you can start to avoid becoming ill or to shorten the duration of illness.  These suggestions are especially helpful if you do them early on – as early as possible.  They will help you fend off flus, colds, or minor infections.  Call a doctor if your symptoms become severe or if you do not improve.  If you are interested in natural remedies, then you will want to seek out one of our San Diego Naturopathic Doctors. There are some steps you can take to boost your immunity.

Eat Very Lightly or Not at All – With most illnesses the appetite is diminished, this is a natural response of the body.  Energy is needed to fight off the “bug” and the body doesn’t have the energy to process food.  Give your digestive tract a rest! Simple home remedy.

Get Rest as Soon as Possible – Many people ignore the early warning signs of illness and keep on working until they “drop.”  You will take longer to heal if you allow the illness to get a foothold.  If you feel a sore throat, headache, congestion, etc., coming on, take it easy.  If possible, take a day off from work.  This may prevent you from having to take three days later on.

Drink Plenty of Fluids – This standard advice is good advice.  You can clear the toxins from a “bug” out of your system with large amounts of filtered water and herbal teas. Our favorite herbal tea in our holistic office is respitussive tea.

Take Immunity-Boosting Supplements and Homeopathics*

      Vitamin C is a great alternative medicine option for a decongestant.          Take 500 mg every 3-4 hours with a small amount of food.  Cut back on dosage if stools become loose. Great home remedy option.

      Vitamin A is another natural remedy but can cause dryness of your mucus membranes.    Take 10,000 IU daily with food. Your naturopathic doctor can give more specific advise for proper dosing for your wellness.  (Women who are pregnant should not take high doses of Vitamin A as it can have adverse affects on the fetus.)

      Zinc lozenges are my favorite way to get zinc in for repairing cells.           Take 5-30 mg spread throughout the day.  This home remedy can be continued for 1-2 weeks without depleting copper stores in the body.

      Oscillococcinum can be a general option but our naturopathic doctors can advise on more specific homeopathic treatments for you. Take 6 pellets of this homeopathic remedy every 6 hours at the first onset of flu or cold symptoms.  Take away from food.

Take Immunity-Enhancing Herbs* – These herbs can be taken as teas (3-5 cups/day), tinctures (30 drops 4 times a day), or in freeze-fried capsules (1-2 capsules 4 times a day). Our naturopathic medicine clinic can help you choose the herbal remedies that are appropriate for you and your illness.

      Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)                                Hydrastis (Goldenseal)

      Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh)                                 Trifolium (Red Clover)

      Ligusticum (Osha)

*These are adult dosages.  Consult your physician regarding dosages for infants and children.

Give Yourself a Home Hydrotherapy Treatment (A Hot Foot Bath) – Soak feet in hot water while wrapped in a warm wool blanket.  Put a cold cloth on your head and relax while you sit in a comfortable position for 10-15 minutes.  Take care to avoid getting chilled after this home remedy.  Or another alternative medicine option is the…

Throat or Chest Compress – Warm the throat or chest with a warm washcloth or hot shower.  Dry the skin thoroughly and apply a thin cotton wrap (to throat) or a thin cotton T-shirt (to chest) that has been soaked in cold water and wrung out so that it is not dripping wet.  Cover this with a wool scarf (throat) or a wool sweater (chest).  Go to bed this way.  By morning the scarf or T-shirt will be dry.  This treatment increases circulation and increases white blood cell activity.

Naturopathic medicine is a holistic way of supporting the body’s natural healing ability from illness. If you have questions about naturopathic doctors or holistic medicine, we are happy to help you find your answers. Please reach out to us by calling (619) 772-1164 or emailing info@journeyofhealth.org