Castor Oil Packs Made Easier

Castor Oil Packs have a long history for treating all kinds of ailments in the world of natural medicine.  Many people have not made use of them because they can be inconvenient and messy.  Well, don’t give up on them–get a pack and lots more information from and start decongesting and rejuvenating your liver.  The packs are re-useable and besides the one for the liver, they have them for the thyroid and abdomen also.  Best of all, you can sleep with the pack on.   Remember to only buy organic castor oil that is in a glass bottle.  Heritage is a good brand and it is available online at sites such as   The only contra-indications for use of castor oil packs are  pregnancy and lactation.




Just Say No–It’s Easier

Did it ever occur to you that you would be better off just saying no to gluten?  The people who need to go gluten-free the most are the ones who cannot imagine what they would eat if they stopped eating wheat flour products.  Some don’t even know what wheat flour products are though they eat them three times a day!   Bread, pasta, cakes, cereals, pastries, crackers, and flour products of all kinds made from wheat can conveniently fill the stomach leaving little room for a variety of delicious and interesting, health-promoting foods.

The main reason I promote a gluten-free diet for everyone (not just people with auto-immune conditions, GERD, constipation, IBS, arthritis, etc.) comes from my observations of the behavior of people–even ones who are more health conscious– who don’t think gluten bothers them.  They will eat white flour products regularly because we are surrounded by them.  Today’s wheat flour  is one of the most problematic foods in the Western diet for many reasons.  (If you are not familiar with the work of Dr. Weston Price, check out the book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” written back in the 1930’s. While broad in depth, it includes a discussion of the devitalization of wheat in the Western diet–it tells the beginning of the story which has continued to get worse with wheat hybridization and then the  contamination of our wheat supply with glyphosate.)  Bread made with organic, freshly ground wheat that is fermented (sourdough) is the gold standard.  If you can’t have that, then just say no!

Prevent UTIs and Bladder Irritations

If you tend to get bladder infections or bladder irritation that makes urinating painful or stinging, there is a very effective natural supplement  available.  Our experience with many patients is that by taking Cranberry Complex at the first sign of trouble, symptoms can be stopped right away.  Many women are prescribed antibiotics for bladder infections, which are often recurrent, when a proactive approach using herbs would work–possibly better– without the side effects.

Cranberry Complex is available from one of our supplement companies, Standard Process/MediHerb.  While there are many cranberry/D-mannose supplements available in stores and online, this formulation has three  herbs in addition to the cranberry: crataeva, buchu, and uva ursi.  This is one of those supplements that needs to be in your medicine cabinet for prevention of these problems.  We keep it in stock here at our clinic because it is that effective.  A nutrition consult for help with a supportive diet and other supplements may be a good idea also.

Is Your “Healthy” Diet Making You Sick?

Anti-nutrients get lost in the hype of superfood promotion.  Anti-nutrients, you say?  What are those?

Most people don’t know, and if they are eating the standard American diet it is likely not an issue for them because these anti-nutrients are not in animal foods and are much lower in most highly refined foods such as white flour, sugar and oils.  But what if you are food conscious and working towards improving your health by “cleaning up” your diet?  Perhaps you are making it more “plant-based” with almond or cashew milk, green smoothies, sweet potatoes and chia seeds.  Before you dive into the world of “superfoods”, you need to know about anti-nutrients.

Anti-nutrients are natural compounds in plants that the plant makes to protect and promote growth in itself or its seeds.  They are present in seeds, leaves and roots/tubers of various plants–some plants/plant parts having very high amounts of various anti-nutrients, especially seeds.  The reason we need to be aware of them is that they can make us sick and deficient in various nutrients.  If you think about it, this makes sense as a protective mechanism for the plant.  The plant wants not to be eaten by an animal and wants to give its seeds stores of nutrients so they will grow later on.  Anti-nutrients such as phytates, enzyme inhibitors, oxalates are examples of how plants guarantee survival when good conditions for growth occur in its environment.  They have been known about and researched extensively for many decades and animal studies give us really clear examples of their possible negative impact on human health.

So the nutrient facts on the label of a food product may list so many milligrams of calcium in a serving but you may not absorb all or any of that calcium if anti-nutrients are also present in the meal.  Wow!  That means you think you are getting all this wonderful nutrition plus the phyto wonder compounds that are touted as miracle ingredients in the product infomercials, and you could be losing nutrients!

One anti-nutrient, oxalic acid, is the topic of a recent book, “Toxic Superfoods” by Sally Norton.  If you have had kidney stones, you definitely want to read this book to know what foods to avoid to reduce the formation of stones.  Some of the foods with the highest amounts of oxalic acid are spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, sweet potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat, dark chocolate, almonds and chia seeds!  And it is possible that other health problems superfood eaters–especially vegans or vegetarians-suffer from are related to an accumulation of oxalic acid in their organs, glands, muscles, eyes, etc.

In summary, in my experience studying nutrition over the years, animal foods are an important part of the human diet.  Plants are very valuable too–please don’t misunderstand– but consumers need to be educated in finding the right balance.  If you are unsure about your diet and its anti-nutrient content and the effect they could be having on your health, make an appointment for a nutritional consult.  We’re here to help.


Watch Out For Belly Fat

This is one study that confirms what nutritionists have been warning about for years now.  You may appear thin and be normal weight for your height but how does your middle look?   Fat around the middle is a metabolic problem that predicts diabetes.   There’s even a name for this presentation: MONW or metabolically obese normal weight.

The very significant results of magnetic resonance measures of the visceral/abdominal fat and liver fat of middle-aged Asians is what caught my eye about this study.  Visceral fat was two-times higher and liver fat four-times higher in the metabolically abnormal (insulin resistant) subjects compared to matched controls.  Wow!

Increasing belly fat with age is a very common occurrence among Americans.  And we are seeing it show up in younger and younger people, just as type II diabetes is showing up in younger and younger people .  It is best in my estimation that we adapt our diet and lifestyle to our life stage–and we can gauge how well we are doing by taking a good look at our waists!  Making diet changes is not always easy as we are creatures of habit and habits are not easily broken.  If you need help assessing and addressing your diet and lifestyle habits, make an appointment with Monica.  The body has an amazing healing capacity if you will just work with it!

Which Eggs to Buy?

Eggs are good for you when they come from healthy chickens that have free access to grass pasture, are fed an organic feed, and are properly taken care of.  When the yolks are golden yellow–almost orange–and the shells hard, these are good signs.  Very often even organic brands have pale yolks and thin shells.  When we don’t know about the farm where our eggs are produced, it is difficult to know which brand to buy.  If you don’t know your farmer and his/her practices, visit Cornucopia Institute’s organic egg scorecard.  Their list and the ratings will help you make a good choice at your local, natural foods grocery.  Once you find a brand that you have available locally, go to the scorecard and click on the name to open the criteria list with individual ratings.  The long list of criteria which determines the rating is very educational!  Check it out!

April’s Natural Face Moisturizer

What you put on your skin is as important as what you eat!  Go natural with wholesome ingredients like the ones in this face moisturizer.  Some ingredients are easiest to find online at,, or  Look for small glass jars to store your moisturizer.

Thank you, April!


Makes Two 2-ounce jars


1/4 cup shea butter

2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil

1 tsp. vitamin E oil

1 tsp. Argan oil

1 Tbsp. cocoa butter

2 tsp. beeswax

1/2 tsp. hyaluronic acid powder


Optional for anti-inflammatory effects and pleasant scent

1/2 tsp. lavender essential oil

10 drops frankincense essential oil

10 drops sandalwood essential oil

10 drops geranium essential oil


Optional for SPF addition

1 Tbsp. zinc oxide


Melt the shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax over very low heat or in a double boiler.  Remove from heat and add liquid oils, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid powder, and zinc oxide if desired.  Mix well and add the essential oils if desired.  Stir well again.  Pour while still warm and liquid into 2-ounce wide-mouthed jars.  Cool until hardened.  Rub fingers over moisturizer to lightly moisturize around eyes, face, and neck.  Long-term storage best in refrigerator.


Baking Soda in Your Medicine Cabinet

Baking soda belongs in everyone’s “medicine cabinet” as part of their health protection plan.  It’s a true blessing that it is inexpensive but still very powerful!  People tend to forget about it–don’t let that happen to you!

In my opinion, everyone should brush their teeth with baking soda.  Besides really cleaning/whitening the teeth and killing  bacteria that cause tooth decay, it will reduce the risk of colds and infections when used daily.   It can be used straight by dipping a wet toothbrush into about a 1/2 tsp. of baking soda. If you prefer using toothpaste, put some toothpaste on your toothbrush and then dip it into the baking soda.

Also, when mixed with a little water to make a paste it can be used on the skin and nails as an anti-fungal and also for itchy skin and poison ivy.  After it dries rinse it off with warm water.

Baking soda can be taken internally also at a dilution of 1/4 tsp. per cup of water and preferably on an empty stomach two times a day.  This provides a source of bicarbonate which buffers acids in the body.   This can be helpful for the kidneys and the bladder in the case of bladder infections and interstitial cystitis; the baking soda alkalizes the urine which assists an acid-irritated bladder.   There are many other benefits but these are the most important to keep in mind.

If you are trying to reduce sodium intake, use potassium bicarbonate instead.  You can purchase online potassium bicarbonate.


Anyone who eats needs to be informed about our food supply–it’s just too easy to make bad choices while thinking you are doing good for yourself and the planet.  Check out this interview in the Price-Pottenger newsletter for the nitty-gritty on fake meats.  I couldn’t agree more—Excellent job!

Is Your Inflammation From Eating the Wrong Fats?

We now offer the OmegaQuant tests for quick and easy determinations of the body’s balance of fats (pro-inflammatory vs. anti-inflammatory), vitamin D, and even hemoglobin A1C.  A simple finger prick and collection of a drop of blood is all it takes.  These are all very important indicators of whether the diet is anti-inflammatory, immune-system supportive, and supportive of healthy pregnancy/lactation.  With these results we can make specific diet recommendations to address any insufficiencies/imbalances.  Ask for more information by calling our office or scheduling an appointment with Monica.