232 W. 6th Ave., Lancaster, OH 43130
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Meet The Owner

Meet The Owner

Lisa received a Doctor of Naturopathy Degree from Trinity School of Natural Health, an acknowledged leader in the field of…

New Aromatherapy Classes  from now through November!

New Aromatherapy Classes from now through November!

Check out our upcoming events on how to live a healthier life.

Healthy Life Solutions' DVD Teachings

Healthy Life Solutions' DVD Teachings

Check out our latest teachings on DVD. You can watch the trailer to the DVDs and find out how you…



We love aromatherapy! Come in to see our great selection of essential oils or create your own blend! 

Meet the Owner

Meet the Owner

  Lisa received a Doctor of Naturopathy Degree from Trinity School of Natural Health, an acknowledged leader in the field…

Healthy Life Solutions DVD Teachings

Healthy Life Solutions DVD Teachings

Check out our latest teachings on DVD. You can watch the trailer to the DVDs and find out how you…

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Assessments Available

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What is Reflexology?

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a hands-on therapy that stimulates reflex points in our ears, feet, and hands that correspond to all parts…

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I hope you had fun at the county fair this year. I know we enjoyed seeing all of you at our booth. It is nice to get away from routine, have a little fun, and of course eat fair food. I especially enjoyed hearing some of the success stories that customers took time to share with me. One in particular stood out to me, a child around 5 years old with severe eczema, a problem since birth. 

Her mother shared the exciting news of how essential oils were making all the difference. She uses Dragon's Blood in coconut oil applied daily. I was pleased that she had no visible signs of eczema, what a blessing! Essential oils are amazing!

We will begin our essential oil classes on Oct. 27 - REGISTER NOW! You don't want to miss this exciting opportunity to learn how aromatherapy can benefit you and your family.


Chronic skin problems such as eczema are challenging. They can be hereditary, allergies, or the result of toxin exposure. Always try to eliminate the cause if you can. In children, the most common allergies are cow's milk and eggs, so you might begin with eliminating those. Use very gentle soaps and shampoos, such as castile, to eliminate chemicals. Many find it nice to make their own skin care products using healing essential oils and leaving out the chemicals. You also could do some internal cleansing with herbs such as burdock or red clover. A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids may also contribute to the condition. Also, be sure to drink enough water. Try these blends for relief from dry, itchy, irritated skin and keep the skin moisturized so it doesn't crack and weep. (Recipes are from the book: the Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness, by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele.)


8 tsp. grapeseed, almond, or hemp oil

10 drops evening primrose oil

10 drops chamomile essential oil

5 drops myrrh essential oil

5 drops lavender essential oil



¼ cup shea butter

15 drops lavender essential oil

15 drops frankincense essential oil

15 drops myrrh essential oil

10 drops chamomile essential oil

2 drops vitamin E oil


Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!

We are having fun with our classes on making Herbal Remedies. Check our Face Book page to see pictures of the action. In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe with you from one of those classes. Start today, making the formulas that will keep your family healthy this winter. Mark your calendars for Essential Oil Classes beginning October 27, more details to come.

Don't forget!!! We have a special FREE event happening this week. So plan to bring a friend on Tuesday, September 27, at6:00 pm. Beverly Clark, from EuroPharma will be coming to Healthy Life Solutions to speak about natural solutions for pain and inflammation. Got Pain? Get Safe Results! Psst...a little secret, we will have a sale that night ONLY - 10% off anything in the store!

The store will be CLOSED for Fair Week, October 8-17. Be sure to stop by our booth in building #41, pick up a gift, and say hello. Stop by the store to get what you need before we go to the fair. Hope you have a great time there!


Cough Be Gone Syrup

We made this sore throat syrup in our herb class this past week. It works well and tastes great! The recipe is from Rosemary Gladstar's new book, Herbs for Common Ailments. We have the book and herbs available for purchase, at our store, Healthy Life Solutions. I love the way Rosemary makes the directions so easy to follow in her books. If you have never tried making your own herbal remedies, try to make this one today.

4 parts fennel seeds

2 parts licorice root

2 parts marshmallow root

2 parts valerian

2 parts wild cherry bark

1 part cinnamon bark

½ part ginger root

1/8 part orange peel


Mix the herbs together and cover with water in a saucepan. Use 2 oz. herbs per 1 quart of water. Simmer down to half the original amount of liquid. This will give you a concentrated tea. 

Strain the herbs and discard them, pour the liquid back into a clean pot. Add 1 cup of honey, warm only enough to mix well. Rosemary says she would rather not cook down the syrup to thicken it. As she would like to save all the living enzymes in the honey. I agree. If you like you may add a bit of brandy as a preservative. Syrups will last for several weeks, even months, if refrigerated. Take 1-2 tsp. every hour or as needed for cough.

A bit of information about each of these herbs as it relates to the cough syrup:

Fennel - helps to remove mucus from the body and settles the stomach.

Licorice - is a great antiviral herb and it tastes pleasantly sweet.

Marshmallow - a soothing anti-inflammatory herb and helps draw out infection.

Valerian - a calming sedative herb and exceptional pain killer.

Wild Cherry Bark - an expectorant, helping to rid the lungs of mucus, good for dry hacking coughs.

Cinnamon - antibacterial and stimulates the body to move towards healing.

Ginger - increases circulation and warms the body with delicious flavor.

Orange Peel - adds unique flavor and citrus bioflavonoids.

Herbal medicine is simple to make, safe to use, and fun, knowing you did it yourself! To learn more, join us for classes, or stop by the store to purchase a book with easy to follow recipes. Achieve health by making one remedy at a time!


Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!

I am often asked which products are my favorites. So today, I thought I would share some of them with you. These products are tried and true, they work and are safe, and I am proud to carry them at Healthy Life Solutions.

Curamin - EuroPharma

This is the #1 seller in the store right now. People daily are trying it and finding relief from their pain. Many studies are being done on curcumin and the results are exciting. Curcumin, a fantastic antioxidant, comes from the Indian herb turmeric and is responsible for its golden orange color. Adding turmeric to your diet is a wonderful idea for health, but to address stronger pain and inflammation, this good-quality concentrated curcumin comes to the rescue. Curamin also contains Boswellia and DLPA (DL-phenylalanine), making it the most effective natural product for pain that I have ever seen. Stop by the store for a sample, available only as supplies last.


Ultimate Flora - Renew Life

We are talking about the good bacteria which lives in your intestines. You may know it as Acidolphilus or Bifidolphilus. There are thousands of different types of flora and they are measured in billions, so an average adult dose would be 15 billion. Unfortunately, your gut bacteria can be compromised by drugs, such as antibiotics and birth control pills. Sometimes a bout of the flu or a prolonged illness may destroy your microbiome. The importance of this good bacteria is just now being discovered and studied. Flora is connected with your immune system, digestive health, your brain, and even weight loss. It may take 3-6 months to replenish your good flora and a supplement may only target 10 -12 strains, but it can make a great difference in your overall health.


Digestive Enzymes - Allegany Nutrition

Enzymes are in all raw food. The problem is that we cook and process almost everything that we eat. Then our pancreas has to work overtime to produce enough enzymes to finish the digestion process. Taking the supplemental digestive enzymes can give the pancreas a rest and eliminate many digestive symptoms, which otherwise would lead to further illness. Enzymes work in the stomach to break down the food into a molecular structure which can be absorbed in the intestines. Often confused with flora, which works in the intestines, enzymes are important to the proper function of the digestive process.


Vitamin Mineral – Food Research

A quality multivitamin is always a good place to start, when looking to support good health. What makes this one different is that it is truly a whole food vitamin. It is made only from foods, no synthetics. Many vitamins claim whole food on their label, but aren’t actually from food alone. Whole food vitamins are better absorbed and used by the body, and they are safer. It is hard to overdose on food, but synthetic chemicals can build up quickly causing problems. You should be able to feel the difference of a good vitamin.



CALM – Natural Vitality

Symptoms of magnesium depletion may include: stress, fatigue, low energy, inability to sleep, muscle tension, spasms and cramps, anxiousness, nervousness, irritability, headaches, weakness, PMS, hormonal imbalances, abnormal heart rhythm, or calcification of organs. Wow, that is quite a list. Try magnesium and feel amazing!


Bone Strength – New Chapter

I have a lot of customers who are concerned about osteoporosis. When they ask me for the best calcium supplement available, I show them a calcium made from red algae. Would you take a rock, or oyster shell, or a piece of coral and eat it? Nope. Just because you grind it up and put it in a capsule, doesn’t make it any more available to the body. We were meant to eat plants, not rocks. So always choose a plant or food calcium. Red algae is a good choice, naturally containing trace minerals and magnesium to help absorb the calcium. Including vitamin D is important for the bones too. Another thing I love about Bone Strength calcium is that it comes in small tablets, easy to swallow, not the typical huge horse pills!


MCT Swirl - Barlean’s

Every week, someone comes into the store asking me for something to help memory and the brain. There are a lot of herbs and brain formulas, but I always say to start with coconut oil. Our brain is mostly fat! Most of us have been told over and over to eat a low fat diet. I think low fat has been the fad for at least 30 years. Fat, cholesterol, and heart disease – the facts got twisted and then repeated, and now the theory has been disproved. We need fats! Particularly, the good fats for our brain function. Doing the low fat thing, we have literally starved the brain. So take steps today to feed your brain what it needs to function, MCT Swirl, containing medium chain triglycerides or good fat.


Nopal - Nature’s Sunshine

Commonly known as the Prickly Pear Cactus, Nopal is my favorite herb supplement for blood sugar support. Nopal enhances the body’s sensitivity to insulin and stimulates pancreatic production of insulin. Its fiber content is also beneficial, as well as its ability to lower cholesterol levels by increasing the number of LDL receptors in the liver. Studies show its blood sugar-lowering affects to last 4-6 hours after Nopal is taken. Please check your sugar levels often, as you begin taking this supplement to insure your level does not fall too low.


ALJ - Nature’s Sunshine

Literally the herbal formula that I raised my children on and now my grandchild. ALJ is designed to help relieve respiratory congestion and symptoms of the common cold, flu, bronchitis, and allergies. It has decongestant herbs and herbs to help move mucus out of the body. It comes in capsules or glycerin liquid, so it is perfect for all ages.




Lavender Oil – NOW

Sometimes known as “first aid in a bottle”, lavender essential oil is great for bug bites, rashes, wounds, and especially burns. It is also very calming, good for headaches, and to help you sleep. Lavender is a good oil to use with children or the elderly. It is one of the essential oils which may be used directly on the skin. If you are just starting to learn about essential oils, try lavender first.


Bamboo Diffuser – NOW

If you have been counting, I am now on product #11…but it is just too hard to choose! The bamboo diffuser is everyone’s favorite. It runs for 7 hours and automatically shuts off. Easy to fill and clean, just add sink water and 4-5 drops of essential oils, and turn it on. The diffuser uses a cold steam, so the medicinal qualities of the oils are not compromised.


I hope this list gives you an idea of some the wonderful products we carry at Healthy Life Solutions. My desire is to help you find solutions for your health challenges. Set a goal and achieve health one choice at a time!



Last year, just after school began, a teacher came into the store asking for my help. She wanted to put together an essential oil blend to diffuse in the classroom, both to help the children focus and to keep things calm. We dug thru the books and came up with this simple and delightful aromatherapy blend. I have had so many people love it and comment on it as they are shopping in the store. Stop by and take a good whiff, you might want to try it yourself. Guess what? This is not just a remedy for children! I have been delighted to find that I am calm and focused while I work.  You might find that it is perfect for your office. This formula would work well in a diffuser, candle warmer, spray bottle with water, or in a roll-on bottle with a carrier oil.

Focus Attention Blend

Vetiver    3 drops

Cedarwood    2 drops

Lavender    1 drop


Vetiver is a scented wild grass from Southern Asia, the essential oil is made from the roots. It has an earthy aroma with musty overtones. The most important attribute of vetiver is the ability to strengthen the nervous and immune systems of the body. It has been called the “oil of tranquility”. It is balancing, relaxing, and healing. It helps to ease stress, calm the nerves, and encourages restful sleep. It is particularly useful for those who are nervous about the future, or depressed about the past. Vetiver is grounding, and useful in blends for hyperactive children. Physically, vetiver is antiseptic, helpful with acne, to prevent infection in wounds, or to reduce the risk of becoming sick when your defenses are down. It increases blood flow to a localized area, so is often used in massage blends for arthritis or muscle aches.


Cedarwood is distilled from the reddish brown wood of the Atlas cedar tree, grown in Algeria and Morocco. It is a close relative of the Biblical cedar of Lebanon, but entirely different from the North American Red cedar. Cedar oil is strengthening and tonic to the vitality or Qi-energy of the body. It is a decongestant, encouraging lymphatic drainage and stimulates the breakdown of accumulated fats. It is diuretic, astringent, antispasmodic, and antibacterial. Cedarwood oil stimulates us to hold firm and can give us immovable strength in times of crisis. It can help us to take a negative or threatening situation and transform it into an experience from which we can derive strength and wisdom. It can restore a sense of spiritual certainty.


Lavender is probably the best known and used of the essential oils. If you can afford only one oil, most people begin with lavender. The oil is made from the beautiful flowers. It has many healing properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, antispasmodic, analgesic, and stimulating to the immune system. It is a balancing herb, primarily thought of as calming and relaxing. It is very safe and gentle, a good choice for using with children. Lavender is an excellent first aid essential oils, useful for burns, bug bites, and rashes. It is one of the few essential oils which may be used undiluted on the skin.


Most people do not realize how powerful essential oils can be. They have remarkable healing qualities. As aromatherapy the scent is not only pleasant, but the action of the hundreds of chemicals in the oils has a great effect on the body. The scent enters your nose, and goes quickly into the brain, where the body decides how to use those chemicals. This blend is not intended for internal use, but the external use is safe and has excellent results. Stop by the store and smell them for yourself.



Last year, just after school began, a teacher came into the store asking for my help. She wanted to put together an essential oil blend to diffuse in the classroom, both to help the children focus and to keep things calm. We dug thru the books and came up with this simple and delightful aromatherapy blend. I have had so many people love it and comment on it as they are shopping in the store. Stop by and take a good whiff, you might want to try it yourself. Guess what? This is not just a remedy for children! I have been delighted to find that I am calm and focused while I work.  You might find that it is perfect for your office. This formula would work well in a diffuser, candle warmer, spray bottle with water, or in a roll-on bottle with a carrier oil.

Focus Attention Blend

Vetiver    3 drops

Cedarwood    2 drops

Lavender    1 drop


Vetiver is a scented wild grass from Southern Asia, the essential oil is made from the roots. It has an earthy aroma with musty overtones. The most important attribute of vetiver is the ability to strengthen the nervous and immune systems of the body. It has been called the “oil of tranquility”. It is balancing, relaxing, and healing. It helps to ease stress, calm the nerves, and encourages restful sleep. It is particularly useful for those who are nervous about the future, or depressed about the past. Vetiver is grounding, and useful in blends for hyperactive children. Physically, vetiver is antiseptic, helpful with acne, to prevent infection in wounds, or to reduce the risk of becoming sick when your defenses are down. It increases blood flow to a localized area, so is often used in massage blends for arthritis or muscle aches.


Cedarwood is distilled from the reddish brown wood of the Atlas cedar tree, grown in Algeria and Morocco. It is a close relative of the Biblical cedar of Lebanon, but entirely different from the North American Red cedar. Cedar oil is strengthening and tonic to the vitality or Qi-energy of the body. It is a decongestant, encouraging lymphatic drainage and stimulates the breakdown of accumulated fats. It is diuretic, astringent, antispasmodic, and antibacterial. Cedarwood oil stimulates us to hold firm and can give us immovable strength in times of crisis. It can help us to take a negative or threatening situation and transform it into an experience from which we can derive strength and wisdom. It can restore a sense of spiritual certainty.


Lavender is probably the best known and used of the essential oils. If you can afford only one oil, most people begin with lavender. The oil is made from the beautiful flowers. It has many healing properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, antispasmodic, analgesic, and stimulating to the immune system. It is a balancing herb, primarily thought of as calming and relaxing. It is very safe and gentle, a good choice for using with children. Lavender is an excellent first aid essential oils, useful for burns, bug bites, and rashes. It is one of the few essential oils which may be used undiluted on the skin.


Most people do not realize how powerful essential oils can be. They have remarkable healing qualities. As aromatherapy the scent is not only pleasant, but the action of the hundreds of chemicals in the oils has a great effect on the body. The scent enters your nose, and goes quickly into the brain, where the body decides how to use those chemicals. This blend is not intended for internal use, but the external use is safe and has excellent results. Stop by the store and smell them for yourself.


It happened this morning. My husband pulled out an old advertising flyer in an effort to clean up an unused area. Out came about 6 wasps with it and one stung his hand. Thankfully, he is not allergic to them, so he shrugged it off as annoying, but no big deal. Being the herbalist of the family, I felt I needed to do something, so I went to the herb cupboard. I mixed about a teaspoon of bentonite clay with some colloidal silver and spread it on the spot to help draw out the poison. I told him to put on some aloe vera gel after he washed off the clay. You could also use bee rescue cream, tea tree or lavender essential oils, or the homeopathic Apis Mellifica. I love that I have many options in my herb cupboard, so that I am prepared for these types of situations. I hope you have taken the time to prepare for first aid emergencies. You never know when they will happen and you want to be ready to care for your family. Let's talk a little bit about some of the things you might want in the cupboard.

Bentonite Clay
 - a natural clay derived from volcanic ash from Redmond, Utah. Bentonite has an "adsorbent" quality, which means that substances attach to the outside of its structure. This happens because of a negative ionic charge, it attracts the positive charged toxins and helps to remove them from the body. Make a paste, spread it on the area, cover with a damp cloth if desired. When the clay dries, wash it off, and the toxins go with it. If you are out camping, keep in mind that any clay will do. So if need be, spread on the mud from the creek bed. Not as sanitary, but it may bring relief for the moment. Especially good to remember if you step in a hornet's nest.

Silver Shield Liquid & Gel
 - nanoparticles of silver (20 parts-per-million) utilizing the Aqua Sol Technology which poses no risk of heavy metal contamination as the nanoparticles are eliminated within 24-48 hours. Silver is one of the oldest antimicrobial agents and numerous studies confirm its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. It has been proven against MRSA, E. Coli, Strep, and the H1N1 influenza virus, just to name a few. Silver is currently being used in the treatment of wounds and burns to minimize the chance of infection. I find it to be one of my favorite things to take with me on a trip because it can be used for such a variety of problems, both internal and external.

Aloe Vera Gel - soothing and healing to burns, bug bites, rashes, wounds, poison ivy, and skin irritations of any kind. I always like to keep an aloe vera plant growing in my kitchen. It is so easy to grab a leaf, cut it open, and use the fresh soothing gel on a burn. Aloe vera gel is definitely a MUST to pack for any trip to the beach or lake.

Lavender Essential Oil
 - the most loved and used oil of today. Known to be calming, it is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, analgesic, and stimulating to the immune system. It will help repel bugs and is very effective for treating burns. Lavender may be safely used undiluted on the skin.

Tea Tree Oil - known as "first aid in a bottle", it has been used for abscesses, acne, athlete's foot, blisters, boils, minor burns, rashes, mouth ulcers, insect bites, lice, diaper rash, ringworm, and wounds. Tea tree is an excellent antifungal and antimicrobial essential oil and may be used undiluted on the skin. It also may be used to loosen and remove mucus, or to reduce fevers by promoting sweating, and to boost the immune system. Be sure to take tea tree oil in your back pack for your next hiking trip.

Bee Rescue Cream or Stick
 - amazing healing ointment for your first aid kit! Let me just list the ingredients: olive oil (infused with lemon balm, yarrow, lavender, calendula, oregano, chamomile, thyme, comfrey, hyssop, sage, rosemary, mint) shea butter, beeswax, propolis, honey, vitamin E, lavender & tea tree essential oil. Need I say more? These are some of the best natural healing plants available!

Apis Mellifica - a homeopathic remedy used for swelling, itching, redness, burning and stinging pains. Product comes as small pellets which are placed under the tongue to dissolve. Homeopathy usually brings quick relief, without side effects or interactions, a very safe medicine.

I hope this article has inspired you to pack your natural remedies to take with you on your vacation. You don't want to be stranded with only chemical drugs to rely on for relief. Be prepared! Make sure some of these remedies are in your herb cupboard at home and your travel first aid kit for the road!
Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!
I hear wonderful success stories from my customers all the time. So I thought I would share some of them with you. It is amazing how well natural remedies work! Each person has a different set of circumstances, so understand that these remedies may need to be "tweaked" for your personal situation. They may not be what you need right now, but let these testimonies of success inspire you to find the right solution for your health problems. I would love to help!

Acne - A young woman came in with the frustrating symptoms of acne, unwanted facial and body hair, and menstrual irregularity. I suggested that she might try red clover. It is a blood cleansing herb, so it helps to rid the body of impurities. It has phytoestrogens, so it often has been used to provide hormone balance. A few months later she returned with no noticeable acne. Joyfully, she told me how her menstrual symptoms began to improve the first month and more so after about 3 months. The unwanted hair had also disappeared. All these results from a simple, single herb!

Asthma - An older gentleman came in to purchase an essential oil diffuser. He had found a recipe of essential oils for asthma and wanted to try them. He explained that the asthma was so bad, it had forced him to retire early. He was on inhalers, nebulizers, and medications from his doctor without much success, so he thought he would try the essential oils blend. The recipe he used for his asthma blend included: lemon, lavender, and peppermint oils. He came back a few weeks later to purchase more oils because they are working! Amazingly, he is off ALL of the medications he was using. All he needs now are the essential oils.

Diarrhea - A gentleman came in to get a potassium supplement for his wife. She had recently been hospitalized with severe diarrhea which had depleted her body of potassium to the point of convulsions. You could see the man was traumatized by watching his wife in this condition and he wanted to make sure it would not happen again. I suggested Potassium Combination from Nature's Sunshine because it contains herbs which help the body to assimilate the potassium better. The medical team he was working with were shocked at the results when the supplement worked to bring up her potassium levels. They had told him a supplement would do nothing but this one did.

Dog - A couple came in for their multivitamins and in the course of our conversation, they mentioned that they had taken their dog to the vet earlier that morning. They were a bit taken aback by the cost, a bill over $350. The dog had gotten into some chocolate, so had digestive troubles. He also had chewed an ulcer/sore on his tail which was infected. I thought to myself that my husband would be happy to know that I had likely saved him $350 by treating our dog at home. In the past, my dog Mo had unfortunately gotten into chocolate and eaten most of a king-sized bar. I gave him barberry root powder mixed in a bit of peanut butter. Barberry helps with blood sugars and cleanses the liver. It caused him to throw up the chocolate, which was a good thing, although no fun to clean up. Bichons are known to have sensitive skin, so when they start itching and biting, they can really be irritated. Mo had chewed until he bled but I tried to stay on top of it before the infection set in by using Silver Shield gel. I have also used Aloe gel to soothe the itchy spots. Neither one will hurt him if he licks it off, which you know he will do. Herbs are great for dogs too! The cost to purchase all three of those products was around $50.

Nightmares - A female customer regularly experienced extreme nightmares. She woke up having fallen out of bed in a hurry and in the process hit her head on the nightstand, leaving a painful lump. I suggested she try a BACH flower remedy. Since this was a chronic issue, she filled out our in-store assessment questionnaire and I put together a blend of six flowers which were indicated as her personal remedy. It worked great - no more nightmares!

Ask The Herb Doc! I hope these success stories encourage you to look to natural solutions for your health. It is amazing how different the remedies and situations are yet answers are just waiting to be found. Please don't hesitate to ask me for ideas to help. I am here to assist you.

Do YOU have a success story? I would love to hear it. Share it with us on my Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/HealthyLifeSolutionsLancaster
Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!

Are you looking for that special spice blend to marinate your BBQ meats this summer? Did you need to find a blend without salt or MSG added? Put together this all-purpose herbal blend today! One of my customers, Kerry Looney, shared the recipe and makes it every year. Put it into a salt shaker for the table too! We have all of these spices available at Healthy Life Solutions, so stop by and pick them up.

Mix together equal parts by weight:

Basil, fennel seeds, marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Basil has a sweet flavor. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and is helpful for allergies or respiratory difficulties. Used effectively as a stimulant for complete exhaustion.

Fennel is aromatic, smells and tastes like licorice. It is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antacid, and expectorant. Fennel has been used to increase lactation and to soothe colic in babies. It is useful for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy to soothe nausea. It is helpful with digestion, decreases appetite, and clears mucus from the body. It is a rich source of Vitamin A, reducing light sensitivity and improving night vision.

Marjoram is good for hay fever, sinus congestion, asthma, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, headache, colds, coughs, and nervous disorders. Some people use the tea as a mouthwash for sore throats and irritated gums.

Rosemary may be used dried or fresh. Some people prefer to grind the needles before using in cooking. Rosemary is antispasmodic, antibacterial and analgesic. It is useful in headaches, depression, or colds. It stimulates hair growth and is good for the scalp. Rosemary is included in many brain formulas...Rosemary for Remembrance!

Sage has a strong woody flavor. It is antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic. It is useful for sore throats, stress, and depression. It is useful for the night sweats of menopause. Sage has also been used to dry up lactation.

Thyme has a subtle earthy flavor. It is antiseptic and expectorant. It has been used as a tissue cleanser and to heal wounds. It is a powerful germicide. Thyme is excellent as a mouthwash. It is used often for bronchitis, asthma, or to remove mucus from the body. It helps with fungal infections or parasites, or as a deodorant in the sick room.

As the saying goes, "Let Your Food Be Your Medicine". Don't be surprised at the benefits of the simple spices in your cupboard. Shake some of this spice blend on your food and BE HEALTHY!

"Help, my kids are sick again!" was the cry I heard from a tired Mom this week. The respiratory "bugs" going around this year seem to be particularly difficult. People tell me that they have been sick for 2-3 weeks and that it tends to come back again. Many hospitals have the flu warning out and extra precautions are being taken to protect patients. So what can you do naturally?

One common problem is that people are afraid or unwilling to aggressively address the problem. Our society is used to drugs, which powerfully come in tiny pills and if you take too many you can do great harm. Herbs are very different from drugs. 

Herbs have few side effects and rarely do harm. Herbs are more like food, so if you dehydrate your salad and put it into capsules, you are going to have to swallow a lot of them! The first thing you have to do to have success against these powerful viruses is to NOT BE AFRAID TO BE AGGRESSIVE in your herbal treatment choices.

So back to the story of my friend, the tired Mom...she was willing to be aggressive and to try something new. She uses a lot of homeopathy and natural treatments in her home, but for some reason this time they weren't working. So we put our heads together and tried to figure out a new plan to help the kids feel better. She decided on propolis tincture, colloidal silver, ALJ, and elderberry syrup. 

We talked about using an aggressive dose schedule of every two hours for a couple of days to nip this in the bud. She used them twice and called me just before the store closed at 5:00 to let me know that they were working! She had already seen a drastic change in attitude, behavior, sleep patterns, nose discharge, and her son's fever had broken. Sometimes the body needs something new or different to give a healthy response.

Propolis is made by honeybees and is wonderful for boosting your immune system. It contains 16 amino acids and has antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Colloidal silver has a long history of use and is currently used in bandages particularly with burn patients. Colloidal silver traditionally is used as an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. 

ALJ is an herbal blend containing boneset, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, horseradish root, and mullein leaves. ALJ is designed to relieve respiratory congestion and symptoms commonly associated with the common cold, flu, bronchitis, and allergies. It comes in capsules or in a liquid glycerin tincture form which is great for children. http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/97-are-you-ready-for-cold-and-flu-season
Elderberry syrup is excellent for building the immune system and is antiviral. http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/112-elderberry-for-flu
When you look at the typical dosages on the bottle of your herbal medicine, they may not be the therapeutic dosage you need. Sometimes you need to take a more aggressive dose to make a real difference. If you need information about whether or not you can safely take more of an herb than is recommended on the label, please feel free to call me. Sometimes being aggressive also means taking more than one remedy. The body may need several things to strengthen it enough to fight off the illness. If you aren't sure about combining herbal remedies, please stop in and ask the herbalist! Together, we can work out a plan that works for the health of your family.
Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!


This week I met a wonderful young mother who was shopping for vitamins for her family. As we talked, I realized that she needed something cheaper in price than what I had to offer on the shelf. Buying vitamins for 5 children can add up to "expensive"! I had 6 children and I remember the days of working hard to stretch the budget to cover all of their needs. My husband says I have saved our family thousands of dollars by making herbal medicine. I would love to help you SAVE MONEY and give your family quality health supplements.
This brings us to the other reason to make your own herbal remedies...QUALITY. You know exactly what you have put into them. No preservatives or dyes or chemicals to make your family sick. No side effects of unnatural drugs. No synthetic or man-made ingredients...just FOOD.

Whole Food Multivitamin and Mineral Blend
Dr. Christopher, a famous herbalist and teacher, formulated a wonderful blend of herbs to be a multivitamin and mineral. Called Vitalerbs, I carry it on the store shelf. I also carry the bulk powder and empty capsules, so that you can save a little money by putting it in the capsules yourself. The powder also could be added to a smoothie or made into a tablet with honey or made into a glycerin tincture for the kids. The beauty of this formula is that it is ALL FOOD -there are no synthetic vitamins added.
Herbal Vitamin C Tablets
Mix together: 1 Tbsp. each rose hips, amla berry, and acerola berry powders. Add warm honey, enough to hold together without being sticky. Form into balls and roll in orange peel powder. If you find this too sour for your taste you could make it into a glycerin tincture instead or put it into those empty capsules, using about ½ Tbsp. of the orange peel powder with the other herbs and skip the honey.

Rose Hip Syrup
Place in a sauce pan or double boiler, 2 cups rose hips and 4 cups distilled water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cool, strain, add 2 cups honey. This is a great source of natural vitamin C. Do not give this to children under one year of age because of the honey.
Calc Tea
6 parts (by weight) horsetail or shave grass, 3 parts oat straw, 4 parts comfrey leaf *, 1 part lobelia herb, optional-2 parts red raspberry and 2 parts nettle leaf. Combine the herbs and use 1 Tbsp. of the herb blend with one cup of hot water to make a strong tea. To get the most out of your herbs let them steep in the water for 15-30 minutes. Strain, sweeten as you like. Drink two or three cups daily for an adult, one cup for a child, and only ½ cup for a small child. You could also make this herbal blend into a syrup, glycerin tincture, or capsules. I believe this recipe originated with Dr. Christopher, but I found it in Rachel Weaver's book, Be Your Own Doctor II.
Calcium Vinegar
Another recipe from Rachel Weaver's book...this calcium is well absorbed and so inexpensive, share it with those in need. Clean a dozen egg shells and allow them to dry. Break them up, place them in a quart jar, and cover them with apple cider vinegar (with the mother), and allow them to set for 2 weeks. I like to cover the inside of the lid with plastic to keep the metal from dissolving into your medicine. Shake daily. Strain and use one tsp. in a glass of warm water with a bit of honey if you like.
I hope you enjoy making these simple vitamin and mineral supplements for your family. We have most of the supplies you need at Healthy Life Solutions, so stop in to shop or take a class, and learn how to make your own herbal medicine!

Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!


SNOW! A level 2 snow emergency today. OK, so I won't go in to open the store. What will I do now? What a wonderful question, full of possibilities. I feel a bit like a kid again...no school, so I can play!

First, I will make some Complete Tissue and Bone Formula for my friend who has hurt her foot. The original recipe is in Dr. Christopher's Book, the School of Natural Healing, but today I am reading from Rachel Weaver's book, Be Your Own Doctor II. 

She gives specific instructions on page 190 for how to use the Tissue and Bone Formula therapeutically to help the body heal and thus relieve pain. I will share this information with my friend. She will need the formula in a salve and also capsules. Complete directions for making these are on page 246 of Rachel Weaver's book, Be Your Child's Pediatrician. I will state it briefly here.

Complete Tissue and Bone Formula

6 parts each white oak bark and comfrey root

3 parts each marshmallow root, mullein herb, black walnut hull, and gravel root

2 parts wormwood

1 part each skullcap herb, lobelia herb, and slippery elm bark

To make the capsules: blend the powdered herbs and put into empty capsules. I have a machine which helps me to do this quickly. You can find the bulk herbs, empty capsules, and the capsule machine at Healthy Life Solutions. Making your own herbal formulas is cheaper in the long run than purchasing them ready made and you have the assurance of quality, knowing exactly what you put into the capsules. You can even grow and dry your own herbs to make your remedies.

To make the herbal salve: fill a pint jar ½ full of the herb blend. Pour olive oil over the herbs to fill the jar, stir the herbs to remove air bubbles. Use a canning jar lid and ring on your jar. Set the jar into a crock pot with a cloth under it. Fill the crock pot with water to the neck of the jar, Heat on low for 1 ½ days, stirring at least once. Refill the crock pot with water as needed. 

Do not let it boil, just be warm. Strain out the herbs and discard them. To every ounce of oil, add 1 Tbsp. beeswax and a drop of vitamin E oil. Pour into a jar and allow to harden to a salve. The store has beeswax beads, vitamin E oil, and empty jars to use for salves. If the idea of making something like this scares you, join us for one of our classes! I would love to show you how easy it is to make your own herbal medicine.

Since I have the crock pot going with the oil for my herbal salve, I think I will make some ALJ glycerin tincture for my granddaughter. ALJ is a fantastic formula from Nature's Sunshine, which I have used with all of my children and now grandchildren. It is perfect for ridding the body of excess mucus due to a cold. Its combination of decongestant herbs works especially well on mucus draining down the back of the throat or a cold going into the chest. Stop it early before it takes a strong hold. 

You can powder these herbs to make your own capsules or cover them with glycerin to make a liquid suitable for children. We carry either the finished products or the ingredients to make your own in the store. Complete directions for making glycerin tinctures are in Rachel Weaver's book, Be Your Child's Pediatrician, page 238.

ALJ Glycerin Tincture

Mix together equal parts by weight: boneset, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, horseradish, and mullein (I sometimes add astragalus to help build up the immune system). 

Fill a pint jar ½ full of the herb blend, cover with ½ cup of hot water, cover with glycerin to one inch above the herbs. Stir to remove bubbles and moisten all the herb. Add glycerin as necessary. 

Place into a crock pot, on a cloth, cover to the neck with water, and heat on low for 24 hours, Strain, bottle, label and date your homemade tincture. Glycerin tinctures will last for 2 years.

OK, I am getting a little tired now, but I want to make one more thing. My family has been sick a lot this winter, so we really need this right now. Super Tonic, Let your food be your medicine! I am not sure where this recipe originated, it is in many books and passed down with various names. I learned it from Dr. Schultz, a student of Dr. Christopher, and this formula really works to build up your immune system and fight off the winter bugs. You can find more information on this at: http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/97-are-you-ready-for-cold-and-flu-season

Super Tonic

In a blender place ¼ to ½ cup of each of these herbs or foods: cayenne or habanero peppers, garlic, onion, ginger, and horseradish root (To make life easier, I purchase the horseradish already chopped in a jar in the dairy section of my local grocery store). Cover with apple cider vinegar and whiz. 

You can strain this after two weeks and just use the liquid. Or as my family likes it, take ½ tsp. of the pulp and chase it with an apple. This is basically a vinegar tincture, so it will last for 6 months. I keep mine in the refrigerator, but it is probably not necessary to do so.

I have had a very productive SNOW day! I hope you did too. If making your own medicine intrigues you, watch for our class schedule, coming soon!

Recently, a new customer stopped into the store with a problem.  She had a lot of crustiness on her scalp and the spot was growing bigger.  Each day handfuls of her long beautiful hair was falling out.  She had changed to a new hair product and this reaction was the result.  She said, “I am too young to go bald!”  I suggested that she try Black Walnut tincture and Coconut oil.  Rubbing them into the scalp and even leaving it on overnight.  Putting on the old-fashioned night cap or a shower cap to keep the moisture in.  A week later she reported that it was working!  Already the crusty spot was diminishing in size, and her hair was not falling out in the quantities it was before.  It is so exciting to see the quick results an herbal remedy can give.  Most of the cells in your body turn over every 3-6 months, so by keeping up with the herbs for this time period, you may find the condition will not return.  The body will have healed itself.

Black Walnut Tincture – Dr. John Christopher states that this herb is “one of the best known remedies for fungus.”  Since many skin conditions are fungal in nature, keep this herb in mind to get rid of them.  It also could be used with things like dandruff, eczema, rashes, ringworm, or toe fungus.  It should be applied often externally to the problem area, or even left on to “soak” or saturate the area.  Jack Richason ND states, “The green husk of the Black Walnut produces a brown stain resulting from the high organic iodine content.  This makes it antiseptic and useful in healing.”  Do remember that it causes a brown stain, so use gloves when applying, and old clothes to wrap the area in, to keep the stain contained.  Black walnut tincture is often used internally to kill parasites.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is easily absorbed by the body and increases absorption of other important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.  It is an excellent choice to use as a carrier oil, to move other nutrients into the body.  It is a wonderful moisturizer, feeling soothing, yet not sticky, it is used in many skin care products. Mary Newport MD states, “Half of coconut oil is made up of Lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid.  Lauric acid has antimicrobial properties and may inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, fungi/yeast, viruses, and protozoa.”  I love to rub warm coconut oil into my hair and let it set for 15-30 minutes, before washing out.  It is a wonderful “hot oil treatment”, so nourishing to the hair and skin.  Coconut oil may also be used internally, as it is a healthy addition to your diet.

One of the nicest gifts to receive is something homemade.  My kids always love it when I make a big batch of granola.  I tried something new this time, using coconut oil and coconut sugar.  It turned out great, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  Make this a really nice gift by finding a special jar to put it in.

In a large bowl mix together:

24 oz. rolled oats

10 oz. shredded coconut

2 cups ground flax seeds or triple seed mix (flax, chia, and hemp)

1 cup each of chopped walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut sugar

1 cup protein powder, optional

In a blender mix together:

10 oz. liquid coconut oil

1 cup water

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix.  Place in a 9 x 13 baking pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool.  Add 2 cups dried cranberries.  Pour into storage jars or freezer bags.

Thanksgiving dinner traditionally leads to a sluggish nap for everyone.  Part of this is the relaxing effect of the tryptophan in the turkey, but much of it has to do with simply overeating.  It takes a lot of energy for the body to digest such a diverse rich meal and so the body’s energy is mostly diverted to do that work.  You can make your family more comfortable by passing the enzymes around the table too. 

What are digestive enzymes?  Think of them as little packets of energy that do all kinds of things in the body.  Most raw foods have the enzymes needed to break that food down to a useable molecular structure.  The problem is that we cook or process the food, thereby destroying all those enzymes. 

The body then has to make the enzymes needed for digestion.  This is the first job of the pancreas…and a big one!  The pancreas may become exhausted and then not have the energy to do its second job, making insulin.  This situation may lead to high levels of blood sugar.  One of the best things you can do for your body is to give the pancreas a rest from working overtime.  Supply the body with the digestive enzymes it needs to break down your food properly.

Another problem to consider with a lack of enzymes is what is commonly called, “leaky-gut”.  If the food is not broken down properly in the stomach with the proper enzymes and acid, then it may end up in the intestines in bigger molecular structures than it should be.  Think of a strainer that has large particles forced thru, eventually it makes a big hole.  These “holes” in the gut allow food particles to get into the blood that should not be there.  The body recognizes them as invaders and sends out the troops to remove them.  These antibodies clean up the blood, but lead to food sensitivities, allergies, and autoimmune disease. 

Your digestive system plays a huge role in your overall health!  I hope this simple explanation gets you to thinking about how one thing leads to another.  When we ignore simple warning signals, like heartburn, bloating, and gas…we may be allowing disease to develop.  If you are chronically experiencing some of these problems, I would love to help you find solutions!  Stop into the store to see what you can do to help your digestion.

A simple suggestion for a more pleasant Thanksgiving dinner…Try Papaya Mint, chewable tablets from Nature’s Sunshine.  Papaya Mints contain papaya, the source of an enzyme called papain, which breaks down protein and assists in the digestion of fats and carbohydrates.  Papaya Mints also contain peppermint, which promotes the production of digestive fluids.  They can be taken before a meal to facilitate digestion, or after the meal to freshen breath and help aid digestion.  Place a bottle of Papaya Mint on your Thanksgiving Dinner table…Please, pass the enzymes!

As many of you know, we had a booth at the Fairfield County Fair this year. We met some incredible people while there! One lady in the booth across the aisle from us came in one morning, limping with a very painful toe. She had an ingrown toenail that she had been digging at, trying to help it heal, but with standing all day - every day - on the cement at the fair, she was in a lot of pain. Kristi, who was manning our booth that day, went over with some frankincense and lavender oils, to see if she could help. Removing the shoe and sock, the lady applied some of the oils to her toe - ahh...relief! All day she was "advertising" for us, telling people how the essential oils had helped her pain. She purchased some to take home, so she could keep treating the wounded toe. Essential oils are amazing, giving quick relief for many problems. If you would like to learn more, sign up for one of our classes. Be informed and be prepared to help yourself and the people all around you.

Some notes from several books on essential oils:

Frankincense, Boswellia thrurifera/carterii - an uplifting, spicy, woodsy scent. Instills a feeling of calmness, soothes emotions, stress, anxiety, and mentally allows past trauma to fade away. Frankincense is useful in meditation, helping to open a state of spiritual awareness. It is ideal for asthma and respiratory disorders, allowing the breath to slow down and deepen. It is also excellent for skin care, helping with scars and stretch marks, rejuvenating and revitalizing mature skin, banishing wrinkles. Frankincense is commonly used to relieve pain. It is normally diluted in a carrier oil before using on your skin.

Lavender, Lavandula officinalis - a refreshing floral scent. Useful for a wide variety of skin conditions from irritations, burns, bug bites, fungal infections, and acne. Lavender has a balancing effect on the nervous system, relieving anxiety depression, and insomnia. It provides pain relief, and soothes inflammation. Lavender is commonly used "neat" or straight on your skin and usually does not need to be diluted.
Next time you need some quick skin relief, remember this story and try Frankincense and Lavender Oil to the Rescue!

It is so fun to try new things in the kitchen. Today, I made two different flavors of basil pesto and I can't wait to try them in different foods. I think the cranberry pesto will go wonderfully on salmon or pork. I also want to try out my new spiralizer. It makes zucchini or other vegies into thin pasta-like slices that are easy to stir-fry in olive oil. I plan to try the parmesan pesto with the spiralized zucchini. My daughter loves pesto in her eggs. You can even use it to flavor vegie wraps. Harvest your basil and enjoy the recipes! I am placing mine in a jar in the refrigerator, but my friend freezes her pesto in ice cube trays and then stores them in a freezer bag. Great idea, because you only use a little bit at a time. Let me know how you use pesto.

Parmesan Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix together all ingredients in a food processor. Place in a clean jar and refrigerate until needed. Freeze to keep for a longer period of time.

Cranberry Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or pecans
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix together all ingredients in a food processor. Place in a clean jar and refrigerate until needed. Freeze to keep for a longer period of time.

What are food enzymes? Enzymes are protein substances that are produced by living cells. Enzymes help to break down the molecular structure of foods, so that the body can use the various nutritious components. There are many different enzymes, but some of the main ones to look for in a digestion formula would be: protease (breaks down protein), amylase (for starch), lipase (for fats), cellulose (for fiber), and lactase (for dairy). A digestive enzyme formula is normally taken before a meal - to place those enzymes in the stomach prior to the food it is needed to break down. General symptoms presented by a body that needs supplemental enzymes are: indigestion, fever, redness, swelling, pain, and muscle contractions. http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/2-enzymes-the-key-to-good-health

We obtain most of our enzymes from our food, but they are only active in raw fruits and vegetables. Cooking kills enzymes! The main function of the pancreas is to make the enzymes that the body needs for digestion. If we eat a lot of cooked and processed foods, the pancreas becomes overworked and may not have the energy it needs to make enough enzymes or to make insulin, which is its secondary job. http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/46-overworked-pancreas-diabetes

We also have metabolic enzymes, which are needed for every function in the body. EVERY biochemical reaction occurring in the body needs an enzyme to make it happen. Consuming cooked enzyme-deficient foods forces the body to work harder and to even steal enzymes which might better be used in other organs and tissues of the body. This may create some of our chronic degenerative diseases.

Who created Enzyme Solution Formulations and how do they work? Dr. Loomis, a chiropractor, developed the Enzyme Solutions supplement formulas and also the signs and symptoms questionnaire to help you discover sources of stress in the body and which formulas might be useful for you. The formulas combine enzymes with herbs to create a powerful reaction in the body.

Dr. Loomis believes that there is a cascade of illness. Disease begins with improper diet or inadequate digestion, so the body is deprived of needed nutrients. This continues to cause problems with bowel elimination - the body's inability to get rid of toxins. Then disease cascades into inflammation - the accumulated toxins irritating the body. After inflammation, follows immune system involvement - where the body attacks the accumulated toxins, and even itself. The cascade goes on into nervous system involvement, based in a very acidic environment, and continues to involve the glandular system eventually causing chronic degenerative diseases. Dr. Loomis believes that by addressing the earlier stages of the cascade (diet, digestion, elimination, and inflammation), the symptoms in the later stages will disappear.

What are some of the signs and symptoms which the Enzyme Solutions Formulas may address? A partial list taken from my notes in class include: chronic stress, trauma, psoriasis, eczema, heartburn, muscle weakness, allergies, candida, anemia, cramping, nausea, gas, anxiety, joint pain, always tired, diarrhea, poor immune response, inflammation, foot odor, bladder infection, headaches, low or high blood pressure, spinal disc problems, low or high blood sugar, gallbladder stones, insomnia, vertigo, circulation, heart disease, varicose veins, cough, bursitis, bronchitis, osteoporosis, low sperm count, thyroid imbalance, fast heartbeat, panic attacks, irregular periods, heavy or scanty flow. Stop by the store to look thru a summary of my class notes. Learn how these amazing formulas could help you.

Take an In Store Assessment Today! The assessment cost is included with the purchase of an Enzyme Solutions Formula and no appointment is necessary. Stop by the store and fill out the Signs and Symptoms Questionnaire, give me a few minutes to process the information and the assessment will recommend products which will reduce the sources of stress in your body. Stop the cascade of illness, and even reverse it! Give the body the enzymes, herbs, and nutrients it needs to create balance and true health.

In Store Assessments

Healthy Life Solutions offers several assessments which you can complete quickly in the store and do not require an appointment.  These questionnaires are tied to specific lines of products and enable us to recommend the products that will most benefit you. These assessments are free with the purchase of the product recommended, so take advantage of a personalized remedy.


Bach Flower Remedies Bach

Bach Flower Remedies bring balance to the body, mind, and emotions.  Discovered by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930’s, these simple 38 flowers can help with feelings like anger, fear, depression, grief, anxiety, or lack of motivation or confidence.  Dr. Bach believed that a person’s mental outlook influenced their physical recovery from disease.  I have found them to be useful in letting go of the past, and preparing yourself mentally to move forward.  Unlike psychiatric drugs which have many side effects, the flower remedies are SAFE.  They do not interfere with any medications, and can be given to children or pets.  These remedies can give you the courage needed for change, and enable you to do so.  Fill out a questionnaire and then we will create a combination of flowers personalized for your needs.  Do you have a mental attitude or emotion which you would like to bring into balance?  Bach flowers offer amazing help.


Chinese Herb Formulas

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is complicated and difficult for many of us to understand, yet extremely effective.  Nature’s Sunshine has put together a fantastic line of Chinese Herb Formulas, with an easy questionnaire to help you decide which one would benefit you.  Chinese medicine is all about balance and energy.  Whether the problem is acute or chronic, these herbal formulas can help to bring you back into balance, increasing your Qi (pronounced chee), or energy, and giving a healthy state of well-being.


Enzyme Solutions

Enzyme Solutions are powerful unique combinations of herbs, supplements, and enzymes.  Created by Dr. Howard F. Loomis Jr., DC, the formulas are based on the assumption that the human body’s starting point is a state of natural health and that the body will always attempt to maintain this balance.  The Signs and Symptoms Questionnaire helps to identify sources of stress or imbalance in the body.  The products recommended help to restore the body to its normal functions, eliminating the stress, nourishing the involved tissues, and improving waste elimination.  Dr. Loomis believed that disease progressed as a cascade of illness, beginning with diet, digestion, and elimination and progressing to inflammation, and then affecting the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.  Enzyme Solutions address these specific areas of stress, bringing the body back to a state of well-being.  What are food enzymes? 


Jeannette Murray, Whole Sole Reflexology

I am Jeannette Murray, the American Reflexology Certified Board therapist behind Whole Sole Reflexology.

I am also a wife, mother, grandmother, and thirty year Hocking Valley resident. I am very privileged to be working in Healthy Life Solutions with Lisa Purdy. In the spring of 2007, I was suffering from stress and grief induced insomnia that had been plaguing me for over four years. I was desperate for sleep so when someone suggested that I try reflexology, I scheduled an appointment. After just one reflexology session, I began sleeping, and generally feeling better. I wanted to learn more about this wonderful therapy and help others experience how reflexology had made me feel. So I enrolled in the Reflexology School of Ohio in Columbus and was amazed to learn the benefits of reflexology. The amazement continues as I work with clients of many different ages, backgrounds, and wellness and see how they benefit from reflexology therapy. I still receive regular reflexology sessions.

What is Reflexology?  Reflexology is a hands-on therapy that stimulates reflex points in our ears, feet, and hands that correspond to all parts of the body. By manipulating these points, a physiological change happens in the body. Stress and tension is reduced and it becomes easier for the body to relax. Reflexology also improves circulation and helps to open nerve pathways. And we mustn’t forget balance. In this unbalanced world we live in, reflexology helps the body to balance.

Just how important is stress relief and balance to our general wellbeing? Many studies have shown that stress is the root cause of more than 70% of chronic illness and disease. Wouldn’t it be great to find proven ways of reducing stress and thereby reducing its ability to make us sick? For so many people, health care is a knee-jerk reaction, we just mindlessly react, while our family endures round after round of illness. We can be proactive about our health care, not just reactive. Reflexology is a proven therapy to reduce the stress and tension that is so prevalent in our daily lives and causing so much illness. Reflexology is safe, non-invasive, with no harmful side effects, and you just might leave the session feeling as if you are walking on a cloud.

Join those who have found reflexology to be a proactive way to feel better and reduce their stress.  My clients express that reflexology has helped them as regards to headaches, constipation, high blood pressure neuropathy, back and neck pain, sinusitis, colic, autoimmune issues, insomnia, and much more.  I have seen reflexology benefit 80+ year olds to premature infants and every age in between.  

 Call for an appointment and let reflexology reduce your stress and be a part of your proactive wellbeing plan.  Relax – Refresh - Rejuvenate

Jeannette Murray


Lisa A. Purdy ND, MH, CNHP

Hi, let me share a little of my personal background.  I am a wife of over 30 years, mother of six children, and grandmother of one.  I birthed 5 of my 6 children at home, and all of them naturally.  I raised my children using herbs and natural remedies as often as possible.  Some of my children reached age 18 without needing to see a doctor.  I believe there is a need for doctors and hospitals and I am not opposed to using them when necessary.  In fact, my youngest daughter is a miracle, and life-saving surgery had a lot to do with that.  But for most of childhood’s sniffles and fevers, I was able to rely on the natural remedies in my herb cupboard, and I believe my children are healthier because of it.  I love to share practical information about health with others, particularly mothers and grandmothers, enabling them to take care of their families naturally.

Education is a big part of what we do here at Healthy Life Solutions.  Whether you take a class, come in for an assessment, or are looking for a solution to a particular health problem, I like to point you in the direction of research, information, and books written by experienced authors.  The historical tradition and safety of herbs is amazing!  All we need is to learn how to apply it to our daily lives.  That is what I love to help you to do.

What do all those letters mean after my name?  I have more than practical experience using herbs.  ND, stands for Doctor of Naturopathy, received from Trinity School of Natural Health.  This is an educational doctorate, I am NOT a medical doctor, but I have studied a lot about natural health.  MH, stands for Master Herbalist, received from the School of Natural Healing.  Herbs are my first love!  I tend to use them most, and share information on them often, and I love to grow them to make my own natural herbal remedies.  CNHP, stands for Certified Natural Health Professional, a professional designation showing successful studies in a variety of natural health areas.  For me, education never ends!  I love learning and sharing what I learn with others.

What can you expect when you make an appointment for an assessment? I will ask you to fill out some general health information and answer questions about symptoms you may be experiencing or problems you would like to address. Then we will test points on the body to assess weakness or strengths, and also test supplement products to see if they make a difference for you, called Applied Muscle TestingI will also teach you how to test products for yourself.  Then we will work together to create a uniquely developed plan for your health, focusing on your strengths and weaknesses, and your personal needs.  I want to empower you with knowledge, a plan to reach your health goals, and the supplements to get you there.

If you are interested in improving your health using natural products, then ASK THE HERBALIST! 

Call for a personal assessment appointment - Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!

Lisa Purdy


There are a few products which you are probably thinking about purchasing this summer, and maybe you need to rethink how you use them or why. We have many natural alternatives in the store, stop by and see which products work the best for your needs.

Natural Sunscreen

There are so many cancer causing chemicals in sunscreen! Isn't it ironic that we slather this on to prevent cancer? " In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated that: "The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer" In fact, many reports show that most sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk, wellnessmama.com." We need to rethink the sunscreen products we use daily, and especially the ones we use on our children. The mineral sunscreens are said to be safer, although they still should be used only when necessary. A bit of sunshine is good for you! Why, do you suppose that we are all deficient in Vitamin D? We need some time in the sun. Personally, I only use a natural sunscreen if I am going to be in the sun for an excessive period of time. When I work in the garden, I love to use coconut oil. It both protects and moisturizes my skin and hair.

Natural Deodorant

I love the CRYSTAL deodorant brand. It contains No Aluminum, an ingredient which has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Amazing that we daily apply cancer-causing ingredients next to our breasts and on the lymph nodes in that same area! The crystal mineral deodorant also contains no parabens or phylates. It comes in a crystal rock stick, which lasts forever, and in spray or roll-on forms. Stop by the store and pick up a sample crystal deodorant towelette, these are great for travel too. Rethink the amount of deodorant you need. A clean body doesn't smell bad. If you have a body odor problem, you may need to do a box herbal cleanse, and clean up your diet as well. When you find that you sweat more while doing heavy labor, isn't that just normal and to be expected? Do we really need to shut off or suppress the body's natural mechanism for cooling itself? Sweat is a good thing. Maybe you only need to apply deodorant on the day of the big/nervous meeting and you are wearing the silk blouse.

Natural Hand Sanitizer

Especially when we travel, we find the need to clean our hands more often...nasty restrooms, picnic lunches, time at the park playground, or public swimming pool. More information is coming out about the beneficial bacteria that lives on our skin and protects us from disease. It really is not desirable to use antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers constantly. If you need something like this for traveling, try making this natural recipe! (It doesn't compromise the good bacteria,.)

1   Stir together: 1 cup aloe vera gel, 2 tsp. witch hazel or colloidal silver, 4 drops tea tree oil, and 4 drops peppermint oil.

2   Adjust aloe vera content to thicken the solution if needed.

3   Package in flip top bottles or travel size toiletry bottles. 

Natural Insect Repellent

Do you need something to keep away the mosquitoes on that camping trip or the family reunion picnic? Why use awful-smelling, cancer-causing chemicals? We have a wonderful natural bug spray made of essential oils, Bug Ban made by NOW products. This really works! 

Rethink the way you use these products and pay attention to the ingredients that you put on your skin. They are absorbed into the body for good or bad. Don't keep doing the same harmful thing out of habit or because of advertising. Make a better choice today!  Come by the store and I can help you to find better choices for your summer needs!

The New Year 2015 is here. I have not had much time to think about goals or resolutions. It is easy to feel too busy to take the time to make a plan. Mostly, I tend to just put out the next fire...the tyranny of the urgent.  

The problem with this idea when it comes to your health is that if you don't take the time to prevent disease, you will be sick! Then you have no choice, but to deal with it. Take just one hour to come by the store and pick up natural alternatives to those chemicals with side effects that you might otherwise pick up at midnight at the drugstore.  

Be prepared for the colds and flu of the season, with traditionally safe and effective herbs and homeopathy. What about prevention of more chronic issues? Schedule an appointment and together we can create a plan of prevention, building your body to resist sickness and be in good health into your old age. You are never too young or too old to begin taking care of yourself. Take the time to create a plan for good health! 

Lisa Purdy  ND, MH, CNHP 
Healthy Life Solutions

Chills, Fever, and Sore Throat?

Influenza, commonly called the flu, seems to be sweeping through our area this year. It is an infectious disease caused by virus. Common symptoms of flu are chills, fever, muscle aches, severe headache, sore throat, coughing, and weakness. In some cases it can go into pneumonia, which can be fatal, especially for the young or elderly. Influenza is more severe than the common cold and may also include symptoms of nausea and vomiting, which is commonly called the "stomach flu" or "24-hour flu". Typically, the flu is transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes, and from contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces.

What can you use for prevention of flu or to relieve symptoms and shorten your recovery time? The first thing to note is that antibiotics are not effective on virus. They may help if your illness goes into a secondary infection, but in the beginning of the flu, your doctor probably will not prescribe them unnecessarily. He will tell you to drink lots of fluids, stay warm in bed, resting...as the flu just has to run its course. So, this is the perfect scenario to use your herbal remedies!

Try elderberry, which has two compounds that are active against flu viruses. You can make your own elderberry syrup or take capsules. I purchased Elderberry Defense from Nature's Sunshine for all my children this year and told them to take a capsule every day as a preventative. (We do this instead of the flu shot!) Elderberry Defense has elderberry extract and 2000 IU's of Vitamin D, which boosts the immune system. You can read more about it here.

Another great herb to consider is garlic, which has been known to kill influenza virus in test tubes. I stimulates the immune system and helps ward off those secondary infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia. I like to have this on hand for the winter in the form of  "Super Tonic". I take 1Ž4 tsp. of this every day for prevention, and when sick, I will increase the dose up to 1Ž4 tsp. every 2 hours. To make Super Tonic place equal parts: chopped garlic, onion, cayenne or habanero peppers, fresh ginger root, and horseradish root (I buy the horseradish root already chopped in vinegar in the dairy section of the grocery store.) into a blender. Cover with apple cider vinegar and blend well. Let sit for at least 2 weeks before straining off the liquid, you could then discard the pulp and use a few drops of the liquid tincture. My family prefers to leave the pulp in, so we take 1Ž4 tsp. It is HOT! So we chase it with an apple slice or two. You can begin taking it fresh, but it gets stronger as it sets. I keep it in the refrigerator door in a qt. jar. Cover the metal jar lid with plastic, as this stuff will eat right through the metal! Super tonic is great to have around during cold and flu season. 

Let your food be your medicine!You may want to up your intake of Vitamin C during this infectious season also. 1000 milligrams is commonly recommended and Rachel Weaver recommends that much every hour for a day or so, when you are really sick. (See her book, Be Your Own Doctor, page 189.) 
I love the EmergenC packets, made by Alacer Corp.  Another option is Oregano oil. You have to take the type formulated for internal use, as there is toxicity in oregano taken in concentrated amounts. A good brand is Oreganol, from North American Herb and Spice. I keep this in stock at the store. It is expensive, but a little bit goes a long way, so it lasts a long time, and it is top quality. I also have NOW brand, Oregano Oil softgels, a little easier on the pocketbook and not so HOT on the tongue.

My favorite flu remedy is a homeopathic called, Oscillococcinum, made by Boiron. This comes in a box of vials with little pellets you dissolve under your tongue. The typical dose is one vial every six hours. My daughter had the "flu" this year, horrible chills, fever, headache, diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting. I came home from work to find her miserable on the sofa. One homeopathic vial and an hour later, she was sitting up watching TV with us. I was amazed! She continued with the homeopathy for a couple of days until her symptoms were completely gone. I have taken a vial now and then for the past month, whenever I felt that I might be "catching something", and thankfully, have not been sick at all so far this winter.   

For more information on homeopathic remedies, go hereJust because you are exposed to the virus, does not mean you have to get it! If you have a strong immune system, you will fight it off. Make sure that you build up your immune system today! Be prepared with remedies to help you. Natural remedies work best if taken early on, at the very hint of sickness. There are many options, so come in to the store and let me help you to find the best choice for your family.

The holidays are a great time to introduce essential oils to your family and friends. Holiday seasons stir up our emotions, bringing up memories, and increasing sometimes unrealistic expectations of our loved ones. They can be a time of great blessing, or a time of great grief and disappointment. Aromatherapy is helpful to address these emotions in a non-invasive, safe manner. Are you in the holiday mood?

Ideas for typical holiday oils include:

Black Pine - invigorates your vitality, instills positivity and counteracts pessimism and melancholy. Pine restores self-confidence and self-identity, dispelling feelings of remorse and undue guilt from taking on the responsibilities of others.

Cinnamon - stimulates creativity and new ideas, relieving depression and mental exhaustion. Cinnamon transforms low vitality and lack of motivation into a zest for life.

Cypress - helps with transition and life change, comforts those in grief. Cypress helps those in a state of finding a new direction, yet feeling a sense of self-doubt. It instills a feeling of optimism and restores the ability to accept, relinquish and release feelings locked within.

Frankincense - relaxes the nerves by calming the intellect, and quieting the mind of chatter. Frankincense relieves excessive mental strain and the feeling of being overwhelmed. It is useful for irritability, restlessness, mental agitation, worry, insomnia, depression, and nervous tension. Frankincense helps us to break free of the past, or what weighs us down, allowing us "to breathe".

Ginger - activates will-power, restores determination, boosts confidence, and stimulates vitality. Ginger is useful for feelings of fatigue or procrastination.

Myrrh - instills a deep tranquility of mind and helps heal the wounds of loss and rejection. Myrrh is grounding, soothing, and clarifying. It is useful for freedom from restlessness, overthinking, worry, or mental distraction. Myrrh brings unity of the spiritual and physical, creating inner stillness and peace.

Orange - eases frustration, stress, headaches, insomnia, tension, moodiness, and irritability. Orange oil is excellent for hard-working perfectionists and planners, easing the feeling that "things are bound to go wrong". It encourages adaptability and a positive attitude.

One of the best ways to use aromatherapy is to use a diffuser which disperses the oils into the air. We have several different styles available at Healthy Life Solutions Health Food Store, so stop in to see which one best meets your needs. I like to use the simple, inexpensive, plug-in Candle Warmers...it is so easy to add the essential oils each morning as I turn them on and the store smells wonderful. The holiday blend of oils I am using this year includes pine (4 drops), mandarin (2 drops), and cinnamon (1 drop). Another interesting idea for the holidays is to place about 10 drops of holiday essential oils on a log and allow them to soak in before throwing it on the fire.

Use these oils as aromatherapy to invigorate the vitality of all your guests this Christmas season. Perhaps you know of someone struggling with emotions and mental stress this year. Make them a special blend of holiday essential oils and give them the gift of holiday cheer!

Happy Holidays from Healthy Life Solutions!


Oh, "the weather outside is frightful", but I hope your holiday is delightful! The problem with holidays is that we eat TOO much, and it is TOO rich. The best supplement to have on hand is digestive enzymes. Pass the enzymes before the turkey and find that everyone in the family will feel better after the meal! Consider making some healthier versions of your favorite recipes this year. I found this great recipe to try and we have most of the ingredients needed in the store:


Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

1/3 cup chia seeds

13.5 oz. can coconut milk or almond milk

plus one can water

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spicor

Aimee's Blue Ribbon Spices - Jill's Pumpkin Muffin Mix

1/8 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. honey or stevia, xylitol, agave or maple syrup

Whisk water and coconut mild together. Stir in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and honey. Stir in chia seeds and let stand for 1 hour. Stir again and refrigerate overnight before serving.




Looking for a nice holiday aromatherapy blend? Try this:


Winter Forest Blend

Pine - peaceful, balancing, comforting, yet invigorating, clears negative energy

Orange - rejuvenating, promotes mental clarity and emotional balance

Vetiver - deeply relaxing, eases tension, worry, fear

Juniper - promotes well-being and inner strength, expansive, clears the mind for new ideas


Thanks so much for reading, and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


What is the best defense against winter colds, flu, sniffles, and sore throats? Build up your offense - your immune system! When your body is strong and healthy, it is able to fight off various invaders, and keep you on your feet. However, if your body is weak or has an excess of toxic build up, the nasty bugs have more of a chance to take hold and make you sick.

Pathogenic bacteria are drawn to garbage. If you are filling your body with sugar and junk foods, your toxic level is high. Ever notice how many people get sick after the holidays? Too much sugar and rich foods! Many drugs also cause a build-up of toxins in the body. This is why some drugs require vigilant testing of the kidneys and liver to make sure the level is not too great for the body to handle. Even a round of antibiotics will leave the body with all that extra dead bacteria to get rid of, sometimes adding to a cycle of sickness. Make it your goal to reduce the chemicals in your life. Watch out for cleaning products, fragrances, plastics, and cigarette smoke.

Step #1 is to eliminate toxins: rich foods, drugs, and chemicals to create a clean environment in your body.

Step #2 is to build up your immune system with herbs, vitamins, and probiotics.

My favorite two herbs for building immunity are astragalus and elderberry. Both of these herbs are suitable for children and come in liquid form. Begin taking these in the early autumn, so the change in the weather doesn't stress your body into developing a cold or flu. 

Astragalus has a long and safe history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is often used in chronic illness or to increase the body's vitality. Chinese research shows that astragalus helps the body resist viral infections, especially in the lungs, and it also has demonstrated antibacterial activity. Clinical studies have shown astragalus to minimize the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation, while speeding recovery. 

I also love the formula by Nature's Sunshine called Elderberry D3fense, which supports immune function and inhibits bacterial and viral infections.   Elderberry used at the first sign of a cold or flu has been shown to cut recovery time in half! Elderberry D3fense combines elderberry with 2000 mg of Vitamin D3 which increases white blood cells to destroy bacteria and boosts your immunity. Elderberry D3fense also includes Echinacea, willow bark, royal jelly, and olive leaf, providing an effective offense against colds and flu. 

Finally, add Probiotics to your offensive line-up! Probiotics are the good bacteria which live mostly in your intestines. They fight off the bad bacteria, keeping us healthy and our immune system strong. Remember that antibiotics kill the good bacteria along with the bad, so make sure to replace them by taking a quality supplement.

Are you ready for winter's weather and invaders? Do you have your play book ready? Is your team's offense and defense prepped for the game? Be ready to take your vitality to the finish line! Remember, the best defense is a good offense - stock up your supplies today and build up your immunity for tomorrow! 

For more information stop by the store or read more from Healthy Life Solutions - Our other blogs on the Immune System!

We all know that there are harmful chemicals in our environment. What are they? Where do they hide? And what can we do about it, anyway? I have recently become more interested in how to reduce the toxins in my home. As some of you know, my first grandchild was born this summer and she is a delight! During my daughter's pregnancy, she mentioned to me the "list" of things to avoid while pregnant. I was shocked! This kind of list wasn't as long or emphasized as much "back in the day" when I was pregnant. It made me more aware of the information available about toxins and how extreme our chemical exposure is today.

First, you want to avoid phthalates, pronounced "thall-ates". These are a group of chemicals used in plastics and as solvents. They retain color and scent and are found in all kinds of products, such as: nail polish, shampoo, make up, shower curtains, air fresheners, scented candles, laundry and dish soap, fabric softeners, and perfumes. You won't find the word "phthalate" on the label, so look for "fragrance or perfume". Women test at higher levels of these because we love to smell nice. What we don't realize is that these phthalates are a synthetic estrogen, mimicking and blocking natural estrogen, disrupting the endocrine system and altering thyroid hormone levels. So your first step is to get rid of all synthetic fragrances and perfumes...replace them with pure essential oils!

Second, you want to avoid BPA or Bisphenol-A, which is another estrogen-blocking and endocrine-disrupting chemical. BPA is found in clear, hard plastics, such as: travel cups and bottles, water pitchers, baby bottles, and food storage containers. BPA is also found in almost ALL canned foods, as the can is sprayed with a liner which leaches the chemical into the food. Canned tomato products are the worst, as the acid in them releases the toxin. So step two is to switch to fresh, frozen, or foods packaged in glass...and store your leftovers and drinks in glass instead of plastics.

Third, you want to avoid the chemical, triclosan, which is found in "antibacterial" dish soaps, hand soaps, sanitizers, and toothpaste. I checked my dish soap, and sure enough it had triclosan in it. This chemical has been linked to thyroid hormone disruption and to antibacterial resistance. Triclosan accumulates in the fatty tissues of our bodies and can especially be passed on to our children through breast milk. More studies are finding that we don't need to be so bacteria-phobic because being exposed to bacteria at young ages actually boosts your immune system. It has also been shown that washing with plain soap and water is just as effective as using the "antibacterial with triclosan" soaps. So, the third step is to read the label for triclosan and avoid anything marked "antibacterial"...make your own cleaning products!

My hope is that this article helps you create an easy strategy to reduce the toxins in your life! You don't have to have a chemical engineering degree to understand these simple steps...it is as easy as one, two, three!

For more information stop by the store or come to one of our upcoming classes - more details on Healthy Life Solutions Events are here!

We have had so much fun in our classes learning how to blend essential oils that we have decided to offer the opportunity to blend them at your convenience. We have set up an antique style cabinet with a lot of different oils from which you can select and then pay by the drop.   We have different bottles to choose from: sprays, roll-ons, droppers, and flip-tops.  

There are carrier oils, sea salt (for scrubs), or an organic cream base, to add to your oils. Each item is individually priced...so add them up and blend to your heart's content. We have several books available for purchase to help you create your own personal formulas. Blends that you formulate yourself are wonderful, inexpensive, gift ideas...make one today!


Go Away Flea Formula

Lavender   7 drops

Citronella   5 drops

Cedarwood   12 drops

Oregano   3 drops

Lemongrass   5 drops

Pennyroyal   5 drops

*Add to water in a spray bottle and apply to pant cuffs, shoes, socks, and pets.


Focus Attention Formula

Vetiver   3 drops

Cedarwood   2 drops

Lavender   1 drop

*Add to 1 Tbsp. carrier oil in roll-on or to water in a spray bottle.


Cold Remedy Oil                    

Carrier oil   1 tablespoon

Eucalyptus essential oil   4 drops

Geranium essential oil   4 drops

Rosemary essential oil   4 drops

*Add the essential oils to a roll-on bottle with the carrier oil. Shake gently and label.


Allergy Relief Blend

Lavender essential oil   5 parts or drops

Bergamot essential oil   2 parts

Lemon essential oil   1 part

Juniper essential oil   1 part

Peppermint essential oil1 part

*Use in a diffuser or in a spray bottle with water added.


Headache Oil                            

Carrier oil   1 tablespoon

Lavender essential oil   10 drops

Peppermint essential oil   5 drops

*Add the essential oils to a roll-on bottle with the carrier oil. Shake gently and label. Apply to the temples of the head and just beyond the hairline.


For more information stop by the store or plan to come to our upcoming class on the 27th of September - more details are here!


Back to School Brain PowerIt is time to go back to school, so along with purchasing books and school supplies, think about purchasing supplements to improve your brain power. We have several new products in the store to help with focus, memory, calming, and brain function. No matter what stage of life, whether it is a child, adult, or older adult...we have formulas to help support the brain.

Some things to look for in a brain support formula:

Curcumin, from turmeric, is a super antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb for the body. There is new technology which makes it more bioavailable and able to cross the blood-brain barrier to help neutralize free radicals and support cognitive function.

Ginkgo biloba provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage to the brain and helps prevent a lack of blood flow to the brain. It helps increase oxygen utilization, cerebral circulation, and the uptake of glucose by brain cells. It helps improve memory, learning capacity, an nerve transmission

Huperzine is an alkaloid from a plant called club moss, native to India and Southeast Asia. It inhibits the breakdown of a necessary neurotransmitter in the brain called Acetylcholine, which is responsible for normal neurological, cognitive function, and memory. We tend to produce less of this neurotransmitter as we age.

Magnesium l-threonate is a patented form of magnesium that readily crosses the blood-barrier to be utilized in the brain. New research shows that magnesium is critical for normal brain health and cognitive function by maintaining the density and stability of neuronal synapses.

Methylcobalamin is a form of B-12 that is bioavailable to the body. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is common among people 65 years and older, and it has been linked to depression and cognitive decline.

Omega-3 fatty acids, usually from fish or flax oil, help in the normal development and functioning of the brain. DHA (docsahexaenoic acid) is the predominant structural fatty acid in the brain and retina and is crucial for brain development.   

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) appears to be more influential in behavior and mood. Studies have shown that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved verbal learning ability, spelling, reading, memory, and behavior in schoolchildren.

Phosphatidyl Serine is a phospholipid found in high concentrations in the brain. It supports cell membrane fluidity and neurotransmitter function. 

Rosemary improves the memory and combats stress, good for headaches, and high in calcium (a calming mineral). Rosemary essential oil is often used as aromatherapy to help you to remember what you have studied.

Brain Power Tea

2 parts peppermint
2 parts lemonbalm
2 parts gotu kola
1 part rosemary herb
1 part gingko
1 part ginseng
1 part licorice
1 part ginger root (chrystallized)

Mix herbs together and store in a glass jar. To prepare add 2-3 tsps. Brain Power Tea mix to 2 cups water and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let steep another 5 minutes, strain, sweeten if desired, and drink up to 3 cups daily.

Study Time Aromatherapy Blend

5 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops basil essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
2 drops cypress or pine essential oil

Mix together in a spray bottle with water, or add to a diffuser to use in the room while studying.

There are many natural supplements to help the brain. I encourage you to research and find a combination which will help your brain to function its best! For more information stop by the store or look up Brain Protex, Focus Attention, or Mind-Max at my online store: www.healthylife-solutions.net 


I couldn’t figure out where the itchy rash came from…and then it made little blisters.  I’ve seen that before - poison ivy!  It must have been in my herb garden somewhere.  One little touch is all it takes to place its oil on your skin, and then, out comes the itchy rash.  We have had several customers come in looking for relief this past week, so I guess it is the season for poison ivy.  What are some things you can do for relief?

Poison Ivy Video

First, learn to identify and avoid the plant.  You can see a good video here.  

If you realize that you have touched poison ivy, you need to wash off the area quickly – within 10 minutes.  We carry home-made jewelweed soap, which is great for this.  Jewelweed or plantain usually grow near poison ivy and help to antidote it.  Simply crush the leaves and apply immediately to the affected area.  You also can make a tea of the herbs to soothe the rash.  We carry home-made jewelweed salve, so you can be prepared anytime.

Another thing to help soothe and dry up the rash is aloe vera gel.  Use the gel from a fresh plant or keep a tube ready in your medicine chest.  Aloe is great for sunburn and bug bites too…don’t go camping without it!  Read more about Aloe on my website:  Aloe - Great For BurnsAdd in a few drops of Copaiba Essential Oil and boost the relief.

Many people find the quickest relief of poison ivy comes from homeopathy.  Rhus tox is commonly used, but we have a couple of blends which work even better.  Hyland’s Poison Ivy/Poison Oak, or my favorite, Ellen Bench’s Turbo Poison Ivy remedy.  I used one pellet under my tongue and aaahhh, quick relief! I then repeated the dose twice more, every 5 minutes.  I did the same thing for 3 days and the rash was completely gone.  Amazing!

Don’t suffer.  Prepare now with natural items in your medicine chest to bring help from poison ivy.


Do you feel out of balance? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is all about bringing balance to the energy of the body.  

Everything we see is composed of energy. It has a vibration or electrical movement of electrons and protons, which can be measured. Our body has an electrical energy, think of it as being like a circuit board. That energy can be unplugged (deficient), or the flow broken (sagging or stuck), or there can be a surge of energy, frying the circuits.

The Chinese call this energy, Qi or chi, pronounced chee. Qi is the unlimited energy which is the basis of all life. I think of it as the "breath of life". It is the "vital force or life force", which gives us the ability to move, think, feel, and work. Qi is your vitality! When the body is in a state of balance, you possess a positive vitality, a form of Qi which protects you from pathogenic factors. When Qi or vitality declines, we experience more degenerative disease. In TCM the primary principle of health is recognizing and promoting the flow of Qi and eliminating any blockages of that energy.

There are three origins of Qi. Original Qi is the Qi you were born with, transmitted to you from your parents at the moment of conception (think genetics). It is finite and used up little by little. The second source is nutritional Qi, extracted from the food you eat. It is used and replenished. The third source is air Qi, extracted from the air you breathe. It is also used and replenished.


Symptoms of sagging or stuck Qi include: feeling a sense of heaviness, anxiety, head or chest pain, sadness, depression, worry, nervousness, nightmares, depressed immune system, sagging organs, or constipation. Remedies include: Mood Elevator, Liver Balance, or Stress Relief. Acupuncture also works well to balance the flow of Qi.  

Symptoms of deficient Qi include: feeling severely run-down, energy reserves are exhausted, long-term stress or illness, weakness, chronic fatigue, pale/anemic, toot thin, cold, discouraged, overwhelmed, depressed, sad, hair loss, depressed immune system, loss of sexual desire, tendency to general aches and pains, dry skin, abdominal bloating, and asthma. Remedies include: Trigger Immune, Nature's Chi, and Mineral Chi Tonic.

The Chinese believe energy or Qi has two sides, for example: top - bottom, in - out, front - back, left - right, male - female, day - night, summer - winter, or positive - negative. These two sides of the whole are called yin and yang. Health depends on a balance of these two energies in the body.

Symptoms of excess yang energy: heat, inflammation, acute, fever, earaches, sore throats, skin rashes, acute pain, constipation, high blood pressure, irritable, talking fast or bragging. Remedies include IF-C and VS-C. Typically in this state the body is trying to rid itself of something irritating, it is time to cleanse.

Symptoms of deficient yin energy: dryness, hot-flushed feeling, night sweats, burning sensations in hands and feet, confusion, poor memory, dry sore throat, agitated fatigue, and insomnia. Remedies include HY-C and Nervous Fatigue Formula. There is a need for the body to build up its reserve, you want to use tonic herbs.

Recognize some of these symptoms in yourself? Are you feeling out of balance? Traditional Chinese Medicine may be a little difficult for the western mind to grasp, but Nature's Sunshine has put together remedy formulas to make it easy for us. I encourage you to look up the remedies I have mentioned, at the online store on my website: http://www.healthylife-solutions.net 


Stop by the store to fill out a FREE assessment, which will help you to select the Chinese herbal formula needed to balance your body. I look forward to seeing you!

Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, has been used traditionally to help with arthritis and allergies. Alfalfa is not a quick fix, but if taken for several months people really notice a difference.  A typical dosage for this seems to be 4-6 capsules or tablets, 3-4 times a day.  Alfalfa gently cleanses the body of toxins, while providing incredible amounts of nutrition...especially minerals.

The name "alfalfa" comes from the Arabic meaning, "Father of all foods".  It is abundantly nutritious, providing minerals...iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and trace minerals.  It also is rich in protein and vitamins, especially vitamin K.  For more information or to order alfalfa online go to:  

Its high mineral content makes it excellent for the bones and teeth.  Rachel Weaver MH, in her book, Back Yard Pharmacy, suggests drinking this tea to help rebuild decayed teeth.            

Tooth Booster Tea:  Mix together:  2 parts alfalfa leaf, 1 part oat straw, 1 part horsetail (or shavegrass), and 1 part peppermint.  Use 1 Tbsp. herb mix to each cup of boiling water.  Steep for 10 minutes, strain, sweeten, and enjoy.  Drink one to three cups daily.

The silica and minerals in alfalfa combined with the carotene in carrots is also nourishing for hair growth.  Make a juice with two handfuls of alfalfa sprouts and two medium sized carrots, and drink daily.

Alfalfa sprouts are easy to grow!  Stop into the herb shop to see our sprouting jars.  I love their large size, stainless steel mesh lid, and reasonable price.  We have seeds too.  Alfalfa sprouts are the highest vegetable source of antioxidants, so I plan to add them to my diet daily.  All those minerals are great for maintaining a good pH balance too.  Eating alfalfa sprouts will also boost your immune function, increasing the activity of natural killer cells.  A particular amino acid in alfalfa, L-canavanine, may be effective in fighting leukemia.  Alfalfa is an amazing herb!

Alfalfa is high in vitamin K, which encourages blood clotting. It is also high in vitamin C, which can help prevent nosebleeds and excessive bruising.  Alfalfa has a long history of recommendation by midwives, to help reduce postpartum bleeding, and to increase the production of mother's milk. With the added benefit to the newborn baby of sufficient vitamin K levels, this pregnancy tea is a must for mother's to be.   

Pregnancy Tea:   Mix together:  2-3 parts red raspberry tea, 1 part alfalfa, and 1 part nettle leaf.  Use ¼ cup herb mix to make 1 quart of tea.  Drink 1 quart daily.


Do not use alfalfa at the same time as anticoagulant or blood-thinning drugs.  In large doses, alfalfa may cause photosensitivity, breakdown of red blood cells, or anemia.  It should not be used if you have gout or lupus.


Highly nutritious, alfalfa feeds and builds the body, while eliminating toxins and neutralizing acids.  So if you are suffering with joint pain or hay fever...give alfalfa a try! 


Elderberry, Sambucus nigra, grows wild in Ohio and is found in the country along the edge of wooded areas.  Used as a home remedy for centuries, elderberry is known for its anti-viral properties.  It assists the body's immune system to fight off invaders.  Elderberry juice was used in 1995 to treat a flu epidemic in Panama.  It is listed in Mosby's Nursing Drug Reference, 2000 edition, for colds, flu, yeast infections, nasal and chest congestion, and hay fever.  A recent study found that elderberry relieved flu-like symptoms an average of 4 days earlier as compared to a placebo.  In another study, elderberry flavonoids inhibited human influenza A (H1N1) infection in vitro.  The raw berries are considered poisonous and may cause vomiting, along with all green parts of the tree.  Cooking remedies this, so you will find a common way to use elderberries is by making them into syrup.  Elderberry syrup is safe for all ages, children love the taste, and you can even serve it on pancakes!


Lisa's Class Version of Elderberry Syrup

In a sauce pan mix together:  ½ cup dried elderberries (1 cup fresh), 1 cinnamon stick, 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger (grated), 5 cloves, and 2 cups water.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until reduced by half.  Strain, squashing all the juice from the berries, and discard the pulp.  Add 1 cup honey to the liquid.  Store in the refrigerator.  Take 1 tsp. at the very start of flu symptoms, and every couple of hours, up to 3 Tbsp. a day.  Reduce the dosage for children, not recommended for infants because of the honey.


Another FUN way to take your elderberry is by making a gelatin gummy.  I can't wait to try this with my grandchildren. 

I think kids will love it!  Our last class sampled these and there were no leftovers.  Diabetics should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels when using elderberry as it improves the body's use of insulin thereby lowering blood sugar.


Elderberry Gummies

(Adapted from a recipe by Rosalee De La Foret)

In a sauce pan mix together:  ½ cup dried elderberries, 1/3 cup rose hips, ¼ cup cinnamon chips, 2 Tbsp. licorice root, 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 3 cups apple cider (or juice).  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain, squeezing all the juice out, and discard the pulp.  Measure out 2 cups juice, add more apple cider if necessary to have 2 cups.  Reserve ½ cup of the juice and chill it in the refrigerator.  Once it is cold, sprinkle 3 Tbsp. gelatin over the juice and let it set for one minute.  Bring the rest of the juice to a simmer.  Then pour the hot juice over the cooled juice with the gelatin.  Stir briskly with a whisk until dissolved.  Add honey or stevia as desired...I thought it was sweet enough without it.  Pour into a rectangular pan and chill.  Cut into cubes and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  They should last several weeks.  Rosalee recommends eating 1-3 small gummies a day.


Nature's Sunshine Elderberry D3fense

If you are on the go and want to purchase an excellent product to boost the immune function and inhibit bacterial and viral infections such as colds and influenza...try Elderberry D3fense.  You will find it at my online store: http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=897-2 


If you happen by an elderberry patch this summer, harvest the berries!  Rachel Weaver gives detailed instructions for freezing them to make into syrup as needed, in her book,Back Yard Pharmacy, which is available at Healthy Life Solutions.  She doesn't recommend canning the elderberry syrup as heat will destroy some of the medicinal value of the herbal remedy.  Personally, I will skip the flu shot, and make elderberry syrup instead!

Warm weather is here!  And with the change you may be looking for something new, cool, and easy for breakfast.  I love to make granola for my family.  Most granola on the grocery store shelves is full of sugar, but it is easy to make your own healthy version.  This recipe is gluten & dairy-free too!  Just make sure you buy gluten-free oats and vanilla.  You can change it up by adding different dried fruits and nuts each time you make it.  Sometimes I will sprinkle in a little cinnamon too.


Lisa's Healthy Granola

In a large bowl mix:

15 cups rolled oats (3 lb.)

1 lb. flax seed meal

1 lb. coconut

½ lb. sunflower seeds (could add flax, chia, pumpkin, or hemp seeds)

3 cups nuts (sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or pecans)


In a blender mix:

1 cup water

1 cup oil (olive or flax)

1 cup honey

1 Tbsp. vanilla

2 tsp. salt


Pour the liquid over the dry mix and bake in two 9x13 pans at 350 for 1hour.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Cool.  Add dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, apples, or cranberries).  Store completely cooled granola in an air-tight container and place the extra in the freezer for longer freshness.  Placed into a pretty jar, this makes a nice gift.  Serve with milk, almond milk, or sprinkled on yogurt or fruit.


Welcome the warm weather and enjoy making this homemade healthy granola for your family!

Recipe from the book, Be Your Own Doctor, by Rachel Weaver, MH


2 parts Echinacea root

1 part fennel seed

1 part crystallized or dried ginger root

1 part licorice root

½ part dried orange peel

Mix herbs and use 4 Tbsp. tea in 1 qt. water, simmer 20 minutes, strain. Drink 3 cups per day.


Echinacea angustifolia, purpurea, or pallida, coneflower is
native to North America.  This perennial has large daisy-like flowers with a cone center.  All three varieties stimulate the immune system, although thangustifolia is considered the most medicinal having the antibacterial echinacoside. Stimulating the production of white, "killer" cells and regulates red blood cells, echinacea works on a cellular level to fight bacteria, viruses, fungus, and microbes.  Echinacea is a lymph system cleanser, tumor inhibitor, blood cleanser and antiseptic.  It removes toxins and fights infections.  As an immune stimulant it should be taken for short periods with a break...two weeks on and two weeks off.  Nutritionally, Echinacea contains B vitamins, iron, calcium, selenium, and silica.  Parts used:  

Fennel Seeds: 

 Foeniculum vulgare, improves digestion, expels gas, quiets hiccups, and prevents nausea.  It is helpful for morning sickness and increases lactation.  Useful for colic and is a mild sedative for children.  Fennel is a kidney, liver, gallbladder, and tissue cleanser...very effective for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy.  Also helps in weight reduction by curbing the appetite.  Fennel is a rich source of vitamin A, and so is useful in alleviating light sensitivity and improving night vision.  Fennel, a relative of the same bulb used as a vegetable in Mediterranean cooking, produces small, light green, ridged seeds that are a good digestive remedy.  Indian cooks often chew the seeds after a meal to freshen the breath. 


Ginger Root: 

Zingiber officinale, is most often used to stop abdominal, intestinal, and menstrual cramping...effective in combating nausea from motion sickness.  It reduces headaches, helps clear the lungs, soothes sore throats, reduces fevers, and has a long history of use against the common cold.  Ginger is a vascular stimulant especially increasing circulation in the hands and feet...it reduces blood cholesterol and prevents blood clots.  Ginger is native to tropical Asia and now is cultivated in the West Indies.  Use the dried, chopped root in tea blends...or use crystallized ginger root to add a little bit of sweetness to your tea.  GINGER IS BENEFICIAL DURING PREGNANCY:  IT IS EXCELLENT FOR MORNING SICKNESS AND HAS LOTS OF MINERALS.  

Glycyrrhiza glabra is a woody perennial.  It is best known as a tonic for the adrenal glands.  A cup of licorice tea each day helps you to handle stress. It also helps ease allergic symptoms and soothe the inflammation in the respiratory tract.  It provides a protective mucous for the stomach lining and is well-known for ulcers.  AVOID LICORICE IF YOU HAVE HYPERTENSION.

Orange peel:  

Citrus sinensis isrich in bio-flavonoids which strengthen the vascular system by increasing the strength of the capillaries and regulating their permeability.  Bio-flavonoids enhance the effectiveness of vitamin C and act as antihistamines, have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, and protect LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage.   BIOFLAVONOIDS ARE BENEFICIAL DURING PREGNANCY.

During the change of seasons, your immune system may need extra support to prevent "catching" a cold or flu.  These are some of my favorite herbs I use to fight off any nasty bug that seems to be going around.  Come by our herb shop to find exactly what you need.


Elderberry D3fense

from Nature's Sunshine is a great combination of five herbs and vitamin D to stimulate the immune system.  Vitamin Dhas been shown to decrease sick days.  It plays a crucial role in reducing respiratory tract infection and inhibits the influenza virus.  Vitamin D is mostly absorbed from the sun on our skin and, with our dreary Ohio winter weather, it is easy to be deficient.  So be sure to supplement it if needed.  Ask your doctor to test for it the next time you need blood work done. This product also contains elderberry, which is an excellent antiviral.  Take it at the first sign of a cold or flu for the best results. Echinacea is another herb which is best taken
as soon as you suspect a cold or flu, as it works for prevention.  Echinacea helps rid the lymph system of waste material and it has antibacterial qualities.  Another herb that stimulates the immune response is olive leaf.  To reduce infection, it works best at early onset of symptoms, and should only be used for a short time, maybe two weeks.  For a complete description of this product see my website:




has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to increase the body's vitality.  It is most effective if used on a long-term basis. Chinese research shows that astragalus helps the body resist viral infections, especially in the lungs.  It also has shown antibacterial activity to several common illnesses such asStaphStrept, and pneumonia.  An increase of white blood cells is seen after only two weeks of using astragalus.  It is particularly useful as a help during chemotherapy or radiation, as it improves tolerance and minimizes the toxic effects.  For more information visit my online store:

Seasonal Defense

from Nature's Sunshine is ideal to help prevent colds, flu, and upper respiratory infections.  It provides decongestant, expectorant, antibacterial, antiviral, and immune enhancing herbs.  Andrographis stimulates immune response and is especially useful for the upper respiratory tract, sore throats, and fever.  Thyme is commonly recommended for bronchitis and coughs.  Come by the health food store or check online: 
http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=806-6These herbal combinations, along with "good old vitamin C", can stimulate the immune system to fight off any bacteria or virus you might be exposed to.  We can't live in a bubble, away from all the sickness around us; but we can insure that our immune system is equipped to handle whatever comes its way!  Think prevention!
Are you just beginning to put together a collection of essential oils?  The following ten oils would be a good start for a basic care kit.  You also will want to purchase a carrier oil, such as almond oil or grape seed oil to use with the essential oils, when applying them to the skin.  A standard dilution is 3 drops of essential oil to 1 Tbsp. carrier oil.  Oils are then applied to the soles of the feet, on the belly or chest, on pulse points, and on acupressure points. 

The National Aromatherapy Association warns against using essential oils internally, so all suggestions in this article are for external use only.  
One drop of essential oil is equivalent to 30 cups of herbal tea. 
Please be SAFE!


Lavender is most effective oil for burns!  It is safe to use, 'neat' or without diluting, so you may place it directly from the bottle onto the skin.  Lavender oil is antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, and sedative.  It promotes healing by stimulating the immune system and it prevents scarring by stimulating the cells of a wound to regenerate more quickly. Lavender oil helps improve moods, depression, sleep, headaches, or the shock of injury.


Tea Tree is an impressive antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal!  It is effectively used for all sorts of infections, including:  candida, ringworm, acne, athlete's foot, toenail fungus, and toothache.   Tea Tree oil is safe to use 'neat' on the skin, although too much may irritate.  It is often used in shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and personal care products. You can also use it to treat lice or fleas.


Peppermint promotes health and a feeling of well-being. Peppermint encourages digestion, promotes circulation, helps the respiratory system, is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and is an antiseptic.  Peppermint invigorates the mind, and is useful for mental fatigue or headaches.  Peppermint has a warming effect on the body, clearing phlegm, and is useful for colds, flu, or sore throats.  Place peppermint oil on cotton balls behind the furniture or in drawers to discourage mice.  Do not use in pregnancy or lactation.


Chamomile is most known for its anti-inflammatory qualities!  It has been used in burns, psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever, diarrhea, sprains, nausea, fever, and nervous states.  It is antibacterial, antiseptic, analgesic, and sedative.  Chamomile has been used with children to relieve teething and general fussiness.  Its calming properties make it very desirable!


Eucalyptus is great for the sinuses!  It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, diuretic, analgesic, and antiviral.  It is best known for its effectiveness against coughs and colds. Place a drop on a tissue or cotton ball and carry it in your pocket to sniff every now and then, decongesting and soothing the sinuses.  It is also a good choice for a vaporizer or steam bowl.  Just remember a little bit goes a long way.  Don't get it too strong!  Do not use with children, unless heavily diluted.


Geranium works on the nerves and balances hormones. Well-known as a nerve tonic and sedative, it uplifts emotions. It is helpful in endometriosis, heavy menstruation, teenage hormonal acne, menopause, uterine and breast cancer. It also affects diabetes, blood disorders, and throat infections.  It is astringent and antiseptic and will bring a radiant glow when used on the skin.  Avoid in early pregnancy.


Rosemary is known to help memory, great to use while studying for a big test!  It helps with fatigue, muscle soreness, bruising, cramps, headache, nervous tension, stress, depression arthritis, and gout.  Rosemary is antiseptic, astringent, antispasmodic, analgesic, and decongestant. Avoid during pregnancy and do not use on small children. Do not use in large amounts if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy.


Thyme has powerful antiviral properties.  It is great to have in a room diffuser when the flu is going around!  Thyme will assist in the eliminating toxic wastes from the body.  It is useful for whooping cough, rheumatism, neuralgia, fatigue, chest colds, chills, and muscle aches.  Its antibiotic and antiseptic qualities make it useful for hair and skin.  Thyme will instill courage, self-confidence, and restore morale.  It will also discourage parasites and insects.  Use with caution, as its overuse can stimulate the thyroid gland and lymphatic system.  Thyme should never be used undiluted or with children.


Lemon is a brain and immune stimulant.  It increases the ability to concentrate up to 63%.  It is antiviral, bactericidal, antifungal, and antispasmodic.  As an immune stimulant it increases white blood cells.  It may be used for acne, boils, oily skin, and corns. To treat plantar warts, put the straight lemon oil on the wart three times a day.  Lemon oil may also be used diluted as a rinse for mouth ulcers or a sore throat.  Lemon decreases depression, confusion, and lethargy to give you a sunny disposition. 


Clove prevents infection!  It has even been used to sterilize surgical instruments.  Clove oil is antibacterial, antiseptic, and analgesic.  A bit of the oil rubbed on the gums will numb the pain of a toothache until you can get into the dentist.  It can be used for asthma, nausea, sinusitis, and muscular disorders. Being so powerful, it should never be used undiluted on the skin.  I hope you enjoy putting together a basic kit of essential oils, using them for first aid, and in aromatherapy.  If you are looking for a good book, I recommend:  The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, by Valerie Ann Worwood, which is available for purchase at our health food store.  We also have a class on DVD, which covers more safety information, carrier oils, dilution tables, individual oils, and recipes.  We carry a variety of quality, pure, therapeutic essential oils.  These make great gifts!  Come in and visit your vitamin shop today!

RESCUE REMEDY - Perfect for any emergency!

When disaster strikes, what is the first thing you reach for?  Do you have what you need in those first moments, available to you almost without thought?  Every household should be prepared for emergencies.  One of the best things to include in your emergency kit is Rescue Remedy


Created by Dr. Bach in the 1800's, from the flowers around his England home, Rescue Remedy is a blend of five of the original 38 flower remedies.  It calms, stabilizes, and heals.  It has been recommended in all types of accidents, hysteria, shock, collapse, panic, attack, stroke, burns, injuries, threat of suicide, or tense situations.  I have used it when feeling stressed or anxious and felt almost instant relief.  My daughter uses it before visiting the dentist.  I also give it to my dog, before a visit to the vet.  The Bach flowers are prepared homeopathically, which means that they are very safe!  They have no side effects or interactions with medications.  Bach flowers are safely used with children, the weak and sick, elderly, or animals.


The normal dosage of Rescue Remedy is three drops on the tongue at intervals of about 10 minutes, until improvement occurs, then lengthen the time between doses until no longer needed.  If oral ingestion is not possible, you may place a few drops on a person's lips or rub into their forehead.  Rescue Remedy also comes in a cream, which may be more easily used in some situations...such as the hospital or at school.

The five flowers included in the Rescue Remedy and their descriptions follow:


Cherry Plum

is for losing control and when hysteria is evident and violent, even to the point of doing harm to someone else or one's self. When combined with the other flowers in this formula it has the ability to allow a person to maintain control when dealing with pain or when terrified.



restores consciousness; useful in fainting, coma, or injury.  It has the ability to help a person remain conscious, to be focused, or to take action, even if in pain.



is the remedy for PAIN!  Impatiens helps, whether there is mental pain of irritability and extreme stress, or physical pain such as a toothache or even in the intense pain of an accident.


Rock Rose

is the remedy for panic or terror, as in accidents or near death experiences.  It is for paralyzing fear.  It gives the ability to have courage, to sacrifice oneself for another, to do what is "right", it also gives mental freedom from fear.


Star of Bethlehem

is the remedy for shock and trauma.  When you have heard bad news, after being in an accident, or subjected to harm.  This remedy defuses trauma, so that it does not become locked into the subconscious memory pattern to haunt a person for life.  Stories of use include:  after being attacked by a dog, so as to not maintain a fear of dogs.  Or perhaps when someone is returning to drive after a car accident.Having these five flowers together in one remedy makes it easy to have ready and to use quickly.  You don't have to give much thought as to which flower remedy would be best, because it is perfectly blended together for you.  If in doubt, if in an emergency, USE RESCUE REMEDY!

For the past 30 years we have been told it was healthier to "eat whole grains", and carbohydrates have become the mainstay of our diet...the bottom of the food pyramid.  I remember a time in my life, when I ground my own grain daily to make the very best healthy whole wheat bread for my family. Good intentions...but it made me sick.  New research is showing that these grains may actually be causing some of the epidemic diseases of today.  It is important for all of us to understand the significant range of damage.  We are talking about: cancer, autoimmune disease (MS), osteoporosis, brain disorders (autism, ADD, dementia, tremors, epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia), intestinal disorders (IBS, celiac, Crohn's), diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and infertility. In recent months, I have been reading shocking information about how these grains are affecting every one of us!  I mistakenly thought that allergies to grains were rare, and if I didn't have digestive problems, then it was of no concern to me...maybe you are thinking the same way.  I challenge you to do some research...and think again!


GMO's...Genetically Modified Organisms

...are created by forcing genes of one species into the DNA of another.  This includes animal, insect, and plants...and GET THIS, even pesticides! ...put together to create something new.  Thank heavens this new species is infertile and does not reproduce itself, however, it does do permanent change to the DNA of those who eat it as food.  Because GMO seed does not reproduce naturally (it can't be saved as seed to replant), it becomes a great money maker...hence, why it was created in the first place!  Almost all soy and corn grown in the United States is from GMO seed.  The major way this shows up in our diet is in high fructose corn syrup, which is in EVERYTHING...start checking labels!  Eat only corn or soy products that are labeled "organic" or "certified non-GMO". Another unacceptable place where we find GMO soy is in infant formula...Are we setting up the next generation for allergies, ADD, and autism?  One of the biggest problems with GM foods is that it creates a "leaky gut"...allowing foreign proteins into the blood.  These proteins trigger the immune system to fight them, causing sensitivities and allergies to foods.  This "leaky gut" situation sets us up for all kinds of health problems.  Read more about GMO's in these books:  Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey M. Smith and The Unhealthy Truth, by Robyn O'Brien.



...BIG, BAD, and UGLY..."Modern grains are silently destroying your brain...This is about all of us.  Gluten is what I call a silent germ.  It can inflict lasting damage without your knowing it," writes David Perlmutter, MD, in the book Grain Brain.  The wheat of today is not the same as the wheat of our ancestors.  It is not the same wheat as in the Bible when we pray, "Give us our daily bread".  Cardiologist William Davis explains the history of wheat in his book, Wheat Belly.  Wheat has undergone significant hybridization, to improve yields and make it easier to harvest by machine, but causing some nutrition concerns.  These hybrid wheat grains contain more gluten proteins, different and unique proteins, which their parents did not have.  Unfortunately, our bodies do not have the enzymes necessary to break down these proteins.  If these foreign proteins find their way through a "leaky gut" into the blood stream, they cause all kinds of diseases. 

Everyone has trouble digesting these proteins!It is just a matter of time, exposure, and sensitivity as to how each individual reacts to gluten.The main sources of gluten are wheat, rye, and barley...and WHEAT is in everything...start reading those labels!We may be slowly poisoning ourselves, without even realizing it...or worse yet, thinking that we are eating something healthy.

If you want to understand testing for gluten sensitivity and its connections to the above diseases, read the book: Dangerous Grains, by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA.

This article just scratches the surface...maybe it will catch your attention to do some reading...or attend my upcoming class on gluten sensitivity.  I guarantee, these grains are affecting YOU!

1.  Cleanse out the pantry and your body.  Remove all remains of holiday cookies, potato chip bags, and packaged junk foods from your cupboard shelves.  Take it a step further, and get rid of all sugar, flour, boxed cereals, crackers, soda, and even canned fruits and juices.  Begin taking the Dieter's Cleanse from Nature's Sunshine, which will help cleanse the body of the daily accumulation of environmental toxins.  It addresses the bowel, liver, urinary system, digestion, and glands; with chromium to help balance blood sugar levels and herbs traditionally used to support weight loss. This 14-day cleanse may be divided into two parts, use half now and save the other half for when your weight loss hits a plateau.  As with any cleanse, be sure to drink plenty of water.  For more information, see my website: 


2.  Join the CLEAN EATING CLUB!  What is clean eating?  It is the title of my favorite magazine!  Check out their website:  http://www.cleaneating.com   Clean eating means eating REAL food, without all the chemicals added.  Concentrate on a variety of vegetables, minimize carbohydrates...try to eliminate GMO and gluten, and don't be afraid to eat good fats!  Part of my clean eating plan is a green drink every morning...it gives me energy, balances pH levels, and provides protein.  Quality protein helps you to lose weight because is increases your lean muscle mass.  Having more muscle, means that you will burn more calories...even just sitting there.  For my green drink recipe, go to my blog:  http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/40-lisas-morning-green-drink


3.  To help boost my metabolism and energy, I plan to useNature Sunshine's Ultra-Therm...green coffee bean extract.  It does have caffeine, but has never given me an uncomfortable hyper feeling...just energy to do all I have to do - without eating the carbs!  It helps to rid the body of that belly fat...I noticed loss of inches before the loss of pounds.  http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=3077-5  To help curb my appetite, I plan to use Nature Sunshine's Garcinia Combination.  It contains a blend of herbs helpful to encourage fat burning, decrease appetite, and balance blood sugar levels.See my website for details:http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=906-9  This past summer, I used both these supplements and lost an average of 1 pound per week...a nice steady loss that is more likely to stay off!


4.  Exercise!  I know, you were hoping I would forget about that part!  I read once that you should choose an exercise you ENJOY.  Do you like to bike or play tennis?  I do enjoy walking my dog...if it is not too cold outside.  I find that I like best exercising with other people.  I enjoy the social aspect...it makes the time go by faster.  I look forward to my daily work out at Curves.Check out their website at: http://www.curves.com.  The other exercise I enjoy is Restorative Yoga.  It helps me de-stress from work and family, it is nice to have quiet time to meditate, and it keeps my muscles relaxed and flexible.   


If I can do it...so can YOU!  Join me in the Lose the Weight Challenge!  To help you achieve success with your weight loss PLAN, I have put together a supplement package.


 It includes these products from Nature's SunshineDieter's CleanseLove-n-Peas protein powder, Ultra-Therm, and Garcinia Combination...Retail Cost $185.45...January 2014 Sale Price $150.00...SAVE   $35.45 by purchasing the products together. (This price is available in my health food store only...not available at this price online.)

Frankincense:  A small tree, native to the Middle East and North Africa, growing 10-12 ft. with white-pink flowers.  Frankincense essential oil was used extensively in Egypt and Rome. Considered sacred, it was one of the gifts given to baby Jesus by the wise men.  Medicinally, it is used for inflammations, wounds, and the respiratory system.  On an emotional level, Frankincense heals old wounds.  It has been used for grief, fear, nightmares, or to bring awareness of purpose and self-confidence.


Holly:  A native North American evergreen tree growing up to 90 ft. with clusters of poisonous red berries in midwinter.  Early Christians believed the thorny foliage and red berries represented the crown of thorns with drops of blood falling to the ground.  The herb was thought to bring protection when brought into the home; shielding from evil spirits, witchcraft, and even lightning.  Other legends claimed that holly blessed the home with prosperity and good fortune.  Native Americans used the herb for indigestion, colic, colds, flu, pneumonia, and measles.  Traditionally, it is used as a cleansing herb to remove waste from the body...its actions are diuretic, purgative, astringent, expectorant, and it reduces fever.


Mistletoe:  The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe comes from Norse mythology.  Balder, the god of peace, was slain by an arrow made from mistletoe.  His parents, Odin and Frigga, restored his life and gave the plant to the goddess of love, and then established that anyone who passed under it should receive a kiss. Early Christians believed mistletoe was the wood used to make the cross of Crucifixion, and that God punished the tree by turning it into a parasite.  Mistletoe is known in Latin, as lignum cruces, "wood of the cross".  Mistletoe has traditionally been used to regulate blood pressure and enhance immunity.  It is considered toxic in large doses.


Myrrh:  A gum tree grown in the Middle East, Northern India and Africa.  It grows 30 ft. with small white flowers.  The trunk exudes a yellow resin known as the "tears of the tree".  Myrrh was considered precious, sacred, and of great value.  Medicinally it is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, useful for the respiratory system, mouth ulcers, and wounds.  Myrrh stimulates the production of white blood cells, helping the body to fight infection. In aromatherapy, it is used to enhance meditation and spiritual connection, bringing peace and the emotional cleansing of old wounds.  It was one of the gifts brought to baby Jesus by the Magi.


Peppermint:  The world's oldest surviving medical text, the Ebers Papyrus, mentions mint as a stomach soother.  It was accepted as tax payment in Palestine, and mentioned by Jesus in Luke 11:39. Peppermint owes its value in healing to the aromatic oil, menthol. It is greatly valued for pain relief, congestion, coughs, infections, headaches, digestion, and as an antispasmodic.  A little peppermint oil on cottonballs stashed under furniture or in drawers, will keep away mice.  At Christmas, we enjoy the stimulating qualities of peppermint in the form of candy canes.


Pine:  A tall, inspiring evergreen with more than 100 varieties. Highly aromatic, it has been used medicinally from ancient times. It is a stimulant for the circulatory system, and energizing to the immune system.  Pine essential oil is traditionally used for protection; beneficial when feeling weakness, fatigue, or low self-esteem.  It is useful with infections, bronchitis, muscular pain, exhaustion, or will bring a sense of vitality and inspiration.  Do not use in pregnancy.


Enjoy using these herbs and essential oils in your holiday celebrations...I wish you all a very, Merry Christmas!

We like to think of the holidays as a time of joy, with the love of family and friends.  But the reality is not always so pleasant.  In fact, we all have "bad" years.  There will be times when we are lonely and grieving, or times we are stressed.  The family may be full of resentments and bad memories, making a "get together" something to endure and not enjoy.  The holidays can be a lonely and uncomfortable time, full of mental anxiety.  There are some natural products to help us get through such times.  Don't hesitate to call and ask for help.


Passion flower is my favorite herb for anxiety.  It is quieting and soothing to the nervous system, without causing depression.  It is great for calming nerves when you feel "on edge".  You can use passion flower with children who are irritable or hyperactive.  (It might be tempting to spike the holiday punch with some passionflower tea!)  Passion flower is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and it aids sleeplessness.  http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=500-3


For long term stress and adrenal exhaustion, I love the formula,AdaptaMax from Nature's Sunshine.  This formula helps support the body during prolonged periods of stress and change.  It contains adaptogenic herbs which help you to endure, and antioxidant/nutrient herbs to enhance the immune system and increase your energy levels.  I used this formula when my boys were overseas in the military.   I still worried, but the AdaptaMax formula made it easier for me to handle the stress. http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=872-9


Nature's Sunshine has just released a new formula, AnxiousLess. It is designed to quickly calm your mind, boost your mood, and reduce fatigue.  It might be "just the thing" to help you get through the holidays!  Made with an extract of a South African herb, Zembrin (Sceletium tortuosum); it promises effective support for the nervous system.  Other ingredients include L-Theanine, Thiamine, and Magnesium; which improve mood and relieve anxiety.   http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=1167-9


Another of my favorites is a homeopathic formula, calledAnxiety.  This formula gives quick relief for acute anxiety.  Great for those moments you are dreading; like giving a speech, visiting the dentist, or meeting with relatives.  I used this formula freely while in the waiting room, as my daughter was in surgery...it helps!


If the emotions and mental attitudes you face are more long-term, you might consider a BACH Flower Assessment.  Pick up the questionnaire and fill it out, return it to me and I will put together a formula personalized to your needs.  The assessment with formula is only $30.00, it is quick to do, and may bring about lasting emotional healing.


I hope you have a wonderful holiday!  But if this is "one of those bad years", there is natural help available at your health food store.  You are not alone...Stop in and have a cup of tea with me!

It seems inevitable that after the Thanksgiving Day Feast comes: discomfort, bloating, belching, gas, and constipation.  Have you watched your family "shut down", one by one, until nearly everyone is dosing on the sofa?  What happened?  How can you be prepared to help those you love from the overabundance of rich food they have eaten?


The first and best option is to avoid over-eating the rich food in the first place!  I know, we have our traditions, and "heaven forbid" that we mess with those.  But there are ways to adapt your traditions and recipes to be healthier.  Take time to research the internet or library for new ideas.  I challenge you to change at least one recipe for the better...if you do that every year, soon you will have a healthy feast.  "Achieving Health One Choice at a Time!"


Next, please pass the enzymes!  Enzymes help us to break downthe food we eat into particles small enough to be absorbed by the body.  If food is not broken down properly, it ferments in our gut, causing bloating, gas, and discomfort.  Cooked food has no enzymes in it!  So our pancreas has to go into overdrive to produce enough enzymes to digest your feast.  Add to that work... the extra sugar in the sweet potatoes, carbs of white potatoes and wheat rolls, all the fancy sauces, and don't forget the pie...all this sugar requires the pancreas to crank out the insulin too.  This feast is no holiday for the pancreas!  To read more about enzymes, go to my blog:  http://www.healthylife-solutions.com/blog/item/2-enzymes-the-key-to-good-health 

To help the pancreas with the job of balancing your blood sugar after the indulgence, you might try a product from Nature's Sunshine, called Sweet FX.  It contains cinnamon and chromium - to help maintain blood sugar levels, and l-Arabinose - to help block the absorption of sugar, and l-Theanine - to boost your mood and calm anxiety.  Read more on my website: http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=3068-3 


Finally, prevent the next day misery/constipation by drinking plenty of water and perhaps taking a laxative herbal supplement at bedtime.  The most popular one in the store and the one I have in my home herbal cupboard is from Nature's Sunshine, called LBS-II.  It comes in liquid also, and is safe for children.  Recommended for occasional use...this is a formula I always take with me when I travel.  Read more on my website:  http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=990-1 


Be prepared with these items in your cupboard, start a new tradition...and have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Maybe this year, the family will be smiling, laughing, and playing a board game after the feast.

Do You Have Trouble Sleeping?

Getting a good night's sleep is a common difficulty, and one which can make a difference in both your enjoyment of life and in the quality of your work.  After a night of restless tossing and turning, we just don't feel the vitality we want to feel!  As an herbalist, I always try to go to the CAUSE of the problem...and difficulty sleeping may come from several causes.  Is it coming from:  pain, muscle cramps, anxiety/worry, working third shift, breathing problems, or did you just eat too much pizza?  After identifying the cause, you can address the problem naturally.


Nature Sunshine's Herbal Sleep Formula is one of my favorites!  I always keep this in my herb cupboard and take it whenever I feel the need for a little help with sleeping.  It contains: valerian - great for pain and to soothe nerves and to relax the muscles, passionflower - a wonderful herb for anxiety (those thoughts that just keep going around and around in your head), and hops - shown to produce calm in 20 minutes!  There is no need to take these sedative herbs all the time...just take them when needed.  For more information or to order online:  http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=940-8 


Melatonin is especially good for regulating sleep/wake cycles.  Many people find it helpful after working third shift, when those days and nights are mixed up.  Melatonin is made by the body in the pineal gland, and is regulated by the amount of light we absorb.  So if you sleep under bright lights, are in artificial light all the time, sleep during the day, or live in Alaska with 6 months of light or darkness, you may need a supplement of melatonin. Our bodies work best with a natural balance of sunshine and night, having electric lights has changed that balance.  For more information or to order online:  http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=2830-4 


Nature's Rite Sleep Apnea Relief is a great formula for the respiratory system.  Many people suffer from breathing difficulties, which don't allow a good night's sleep.  This formula contains:  lobelia - opens the bronchial tubes and also rids the body of mucous, meadowsweet - useful for colds, flu, and fever with its astringent, analgesic, and antispasmodic qualities, thyme - antispasmodic, expectorant, and sedative, chamomile - calming, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and cramp bark - calms cramps and spasms of the involuntary muscles.  Try this first if you really don't want to wear a machine while you sleep!


Digestive Enzymes

may be exactly the relief you need after eating too much pizza!  Enzymes break down the food you eat so that it can be utilized by the body.  If we don't have enough natural enzymes the food may feel like "it is just sitting there".  We may experience bloating, gas, or heartburn.  Antacids may seem to give quick relief, but they have side effects and may cause problems if taken regularly.    

See these natural alternatives from Nature Sunshine:  Stomach Comfort   http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=1820-0  or Papaya Mint http://www.healthylife-solutions.net/?sn=485-6

Go to the CAUSE of the problem...and get a good night's sleep tonight!


I am thrilled to announce the arrival to the store of three of the best books I have ever read on using herbal remedies in your home! 

Rachel Weaver M.H.
 has taken the time to write down a wealth of practical information and stories of how to use herbs in your everyday life.  Rachel is a master herbalist, educator, midwife, consultant, and mother of nine children.  I found many of the remedies she recommends are the same ones that I have used over the years with my family.  Rachel is a kindred spirit, sharing many of my same beliefs and motivations, and using simple remedies to keep her family healthy. We used three of Rachel's recipes in our "Make Your Own Medicine Class", and they worked wonderfully.  I am excited to recommend these books to you!  


Be Your Own "Doctor"

In this first book, Rachel includes a discussion on how the book is not intended to give medical advice, as she is not a physician.  The common sense information given is to inspire you to take responsibility for your own health.  Part one discusses at length the applications and recipes using 19 essential household remedies, including:  apple cider vinegar, black walnut, castor oil, cayenne, chamomile, charcoal, cloves, comfrey, echinacea, flax, garlic, ginger, lavender, onions, papaya, parsley, peppermint, red raspberry leaf, and slippery elm.  Part two shows us how to work with your family's health, including:  first aid and emergencies, respiratory difficulties, fever, flu, colon health, kidney and bladder health, liver and gall bladder health, growing girls, pregnancy, your new baby, the mature woman, treating burns, "a pill for every ill", and antibiotics.  Part three covers: planning ahead, making medicines for your family, supplies, and a quick reference emergency chart.  The knowledge given in this book and applied with your family will improve their health, and enable you to treat many problems at home, thus avoiding expensive and unnecessary visits to a doctor.


Back Yard Pharmacy...Weeds that Heal

This second book is designed to be a companion to the book, "Be Your Own Doctor".  It contains full-color pictures of 22 herbs, along with growing and harvesting information, cautions, recipes, and practical suggestions on how to use the herbs.  Rachel states, "As you begin your journey, be well prepared, well studied, and very observant.  This way, if your child really does not improve with your natural treatment, you will be able to make an informed decision to take him for medical help...Backyard Pharmacy is intended to make you comfortably familiar with simple herbs that grow in the countryside around you.  It is amazing to learn that there are so many herbs, we consider weeds, that can heal many of our diseases."  The herbs covered in this book are:  alfalfa, black walnut hull, burdock, calendula, celandine, chickweed, cleavers, mallow, dandelion, elderberry, jewelweed, mullein, stinging nettle, plantain, poke, purslane, queen anne's lace, rose hips, teasel, violet, wild lettuce, and yarrow.


Be Your Child's Pediatrician...Responsible Home Health Care

The third book is also designed to be a companion to the book, "Be Your Own Doctor", so it will add to your knowledge and not feel repetitive.  Part one covers problems you may encounter from birth to toddler stage.Part two coverscommon childhood problems.  These are listed in an easy-to-access alphabetical style.  I love the pictures showing different rashes, making childhood sicknesses easier to identify and knowing which natural approach to take.  Rachel says, "Childhood diseases are a part of life in many families, vaccines or no vaccines.  Some of us have chosen not to use vaccines and instead, live as healthy a lifestyle as we can.  This gives our children a stronger immune system and body.  But if we choose this way, we must be prepared and responsible when sickness comes."  I have found that many mothers take their children to the doctor, simply because they don't know what else to do.  Doctors are trained to use the tools of powerful drugs and surgery.  Sometimes a more gentle approach will work...if you know what to do...saving the more powerful tools for when they are really necessary.  This book is a MUST for being prepared to responsibly and naturally take care of your children.


With the changes happening in our health care system, we may find that we NEED to take care of more things at home.  Are you ready to do that?  Do you have the knowledge, herbs, and tools necessary to protect your family?  In the past, knowledge was passed down from generation to generation...until we allowed professionals to take over all the responsibility.  I think it is time to again be responsible for your own health...don't count on someone else to be there - to do it for you.  I would love to share some practical herbal knowledge with you!  I am available to teach your group...Call me to set up a time.  Come in and purchase one of these fantastic books for your library.  Begin to build your herbal remedy knowledge today!

Many people are looking for a natural alternative to antibiotics.  The overuse of antibiotic drugs has caused an increased growth in "superbugs", which are difficult to treat.  My philosophy is that if you use more natural methods to take care of the "little stuff", then maybe when you truly need the intervention of antibiotic drugs, they will work for you.  The other concern of using antibiotic drugs is that they destroy the beneficial bacteria in your intestines, causing a lot of problems.  Most natural alternatives do no harm to these good bacteria...keeping the intestines and immune system strong.  There are some fantastic natural antibiotics available...thy these:

Garlic:  The fragrant element of garlic, called "alicin", contains its antibiotic properties.  Sorry, but fresh, smelly garlic is the best!  Heat destroys some of the medicinal qualities of garlic.  So cooking with garlic is still good for you, but fresh garlic is best for medicine.  It has been said that one clove of garlic is equal to one dose of penicillin.  You will want to take a clove of garlic every four hours, for several days, to truly see the medicinal benefits.  I like to chop the garlic fine and put it in a spoonful of honey..."A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down", sings Mary Poppins.  Garlic is also available in capsules, not quite as effective as fresh, but easier to take and still worthwhile medicinally.

Echinacea:  The angustofolia variety, or white coneflower, is the one with the antibiotic properties of echinacoside.  Notice the ending on echinacoside...like homicide...it actively goes after the bacteria to kill it!  There is a huge difference in the quality of echinacea on the market.  Generally, "you get what you pay for"; so if the price is too cheap - expect the quality to be low also.  Also, be sure to purchase echinacea root, not herb, for the highest medicinal benefits.  Echinacea is very nice in a tea, or available in tincture or capsule form.  It works to stimulate the immune system to fight off sickness or infection.  It works best not to take echinacea all the time, but only for short time periods as needed, giving the body a rest break.  A suggested schedule might be to take it for two weeks and then rest one week.  It works best if you begin taking echinacea at the first sign of symptoms, or when you have been exposed to "something" that is going around.

Goldenseal:  It has anitseptic, antibiotic, alterative, and tonic properties.  Goldenseal root is usually expensive, so I tend to use it when I need to "pull out the big guns" in fighting something.  It has a special affinity to healing the mucous membranes, preventing infections of the skin, and as a tonic for intestinal assimilation.  Goldenseal may tend to lower the blood sugar, so hypoglycemics should be careful in using this herb.  The herb has a bitter taste, so I like it best in capsule form.  It is often used in combination with echinacea.  The most active ingredient of goldenseal is hydrazine, which accounts for its chemical effectiveness.  Another constituent,berberine which gives its root the wonderful yellow color, is effective against a variety of microbes.  Goldenseal grows wild in the woods of Ohio, but could be endangered by over harvesting.  Support the organic herb farmers by purchasing goldenseal that they have cultivated.

We have many effective herbs available to kill harmful bacteria and prevent infection.  I keep these three herbs in my cupboard all of the time...ready for use.  If you need to purchase these for your cupboard, come by the store, or go to my website at:  http://www.healthylife-solutions.com

Lisa Purdy is not a physician, and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices. 

The weather is changing, we see leaves turning color, and feel the need for a sweater.  It is a good time to take stock of our herbal medicine chest.  Are you prepared for the winter season?  Here are some of the things I like to have on hand:


ALJ formula from Nature Sunshine:  boneset, fennel, fenugreek, horseradish, and mullein.   Mullein is soothing to the respiratory system, helping with coughs and sore throats.  Boneset, fennel, fenugreek, and mullein work as expectorants to rid the body of excess mucus.  Horseradish will instantly decongest the nasal passages, helping you to breathe. Have you ever smelled it fresh?  Then you know exactly what I mean.   ALJ is a favorite formula in my home.  The dosage is 2-4 capsules, 3 times a day.  Don't be afraid to take the 4 capsules when you are really sick and then go down to 2 caps as you feel better.  It comes in a liquid too, great for children!  For more detailed information or to order online go to my website:



Super Tonic:  equal parts fresh chopped onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger, and cayenne (habanero or jalapeno) pepper.  Place these in a blender, cover with apple cider vinegar and mix.  May be used immediately, put in a jar in the refrigerator, this will last six months.  You may strain off the liquid after two weeks and put into a tincture bottle if you wish.  My family likes it better with substance and texture.  Eat just a tiny 1/8th of a teaspoon at first (each batch will vary in heat), and chase it with an apple slice to cut the heat on your tongue.  Take some super tonic at the first sign of sickness - it will knock whatever ails you!  You can take it every couple hours as needed, until you are feeling better.  You can also use super tonic in cooking!  It makes a spicy addition to chicken or hummus.  Let your food be your medicine!


Flu Tea:  3 parts red raspberry leaves, 1 part alfalfa, nettle, and peppermint leaf, ¼ part yarrow flowers.  Blend dry herbs together and store in an airtight jar.  Use 1 tsp. herb tea with 1 cup hot water, steep, and strain.  Drink the tea hot or cold to help prevent sickness.  These herbs provide vitamin C and minerals which strengthen the body.


Goldenseal & Echinacea

capsules or tincture is a must in your herb cupboard.  Echinacea is a good herb to boost the immune system to fight off the sickness (quality is important!).   


Goldenseal is what I use instead of antibiotics.  It is a powerful antibacterial herb.  Come to one of our classes to learn how to make your own...or it is available for purchase at the store or on our website.


EmergenC packets:  1000mg. of Vitamin C, plus B vitamins which provide the body nutrients it needs to boost the immune system.  It is in powdered form, so mix with warm water, and drink.  It is quickly absorbed, giving you strength to get thru the day and soothing you when you feel lousy!  This was the #1 item my military sons asked me to send them when they were overseas.

I hope you don't find the need for these helpful cold and flu remedies, but if you do...BE PREPARED!   I wish for you a healthy winter season.

What a great idea!  These are made to help increase a nursing mother’s milk supply. They taste great and really work. It is recommended to eat 4 cookies a day. 
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 T water
2 T flaxseed meal (no subs)
2 Lg eggs
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 C Thick cut oats
1 C Chocolate chips
2 T Brewer’s Yeast (no substitutions)
Preheat oven at 375.

Mix 2 T of flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3-5 minutes.
Cream together butter and sugars.
Add eggs.
Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla.
Beat until well blended.
Sift: dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips.
Add butter mix to dry ingredients.
Stir in the oats and then the choc chips.
Drop on parchment paper on baking sheet.
Bake 8-12 minutes.
To read the articles where I found this recipe follow the links below:

Parasites are something none of us want to think about, but they are with us every day.  Did you know that diarrhea caused by parasites is the 3rd major cause of sickness (and even death) in the United States?  Pinworm is the most common type of intestinal worm infection in the US, mostly affecting children. Ocular toxoplasmosis- a parasite in the eye- is the most common infection of the retina (the inner lining of the eye) in many parts of the world, including the US.


What are the common symptoms of parasites?   

Do you experience...

Unexplained muscle aches and pains, normal bowel movements with alternating bouts of explosive diarrhea and constipation, abdominal pain and cramps, weight loss, unexplained fever, bloated belly, gas, nausea, grinding of your teeth at night, chronic fatigue, dark circles under eyes, acne or hives, insomnia, irritability or hypersensitivity, anal or vaginal itching.   *This information taken from Renew Life Formulas and Herb Allure Inc.


Where do we pick up these parasites?  Do you...

Have contact with pets, empty the cat litter box, travel internationally, participate in sex, eat raw or unwashed vegetables/fruits/meat/fish...sushi, eat at fast food restaurants, eat undercooked pork or lamb, swim/bathe in or drink infected water, have insect bites (mosquitoes are bad this year).


Yikes!  How can I get rid of parasites?

I recommend a parasite cleanse once or twice a year.  Fall and spring are good times to do an herbal cleanse, as the body adjusts to the new season.  We have several products available in the store...I have used these cleanses personally and with my children.  They work!


Para-Cleanse, by Nature's Sunshine, is a 10-day program formulated to destroy parasites, yeast, fungi, and microbes and to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract.  It may be repeated after a week break to catch the eggs which may hatch out.  It also improves digestion, liver health, and supports the immune system.  Para-cleanse packets contain capsules including:   Black walnut - traditionally used to expel intestinal worms, Artemisia - known to destroy worms/virus/bacteria/candida yeast, and Paw paw - especially strengthening to the immune system.  For more information or to order online: 



ParaGone and ParaGone for Kids, by Renew Life is a cleanse designed to be taken for 15 days, rest 5 days, and repeat for another 15 days...this catches the eggs which may hatch out.  These cleanses have two-parts:  capsules and a liquid to be taken daily.  They include the herbs:  black walnut, wormwood, clove, garlic, rosemary, thyme, pau d' arco, pumpkin seed, and marshmallow


Come by the store, check out the products, and ask questions.  Most of us worm our animals/pets regularly...shouldn't we do the same for ourselves and our children?  Don't let parasites steal your energy or the nutrients you need for good health.  Get rid of parasites - NOW!

Attention Deficit Disorder doesn't have a single cause, and at this time there is no definitive test for the disease diagnosis.  ADD is a list of symptoms, which clustered together are considered indications of the disease.  

Symptoms of ADD include:  careless mistakes, failing to give close attention or in sustaining attention, does  not seem to listen, does not follow instructions, loses things, often forgetful, easily distracted, and has difficulty organizing tasks.

Causes of ADD include:  diet, food allergies or sensitivities, toxic load, and physical factors.  Remove as many of the causes as you can, and see a difference in your child's behavior and focus!

Diet:  eliminate sugar and processed foods!  Studies have shown sugar to contribute to destructive, aggressive, and restless behavior.  Sugar creates an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain...it is intoxicating and addictive.  Consuming excessive sugar robs the body of B vitamins and minerals needed for nervous system function.

Symptoms of allergies/food sensitivities include:  anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, insomnia, irritability, mental confusion, and personality changes.

Toxic load of chemicals, food additives, heavy metals, candida yeast, parasites, vaccinations, and fetal drug exposure.

Physical factors may include:  brain injury, adrenal glands, thyroid function, and low blood sugar.

My favorite book on the subject of ADD is by Skye Weintraub, ND..."Natural Treatments for ADD and Hyperactivity".  It is out of print, but we do have a few copies left in the store.

To order a natural supplement, FOCUS ATTENTION, go to our online store: 


Look at the children around you and what do you see?  Overweight, snotty, sickly, listless, unmotivated, or the opposite hyperactivity, obnoxious behavior, ADD, learning difficulties...just to name a few of the problems we see in our children today.  Life-threatening diseases (High cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer) are more often striking children at young ages.  Why?  One reason may be the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Have you ever noticed the stuff in the cart next to you at the grocery store?  Our children live on fast food, processed and packaged foods, snacks, sugar, and sodas.  We live on chemicals and additives; doesn't everything come in a box?  Is there even any REAL food in the cart?


Below is a list of things to eliminate from your child's diet.  This list is taken from the book, Kid Smart!  Raising a Healthy Child,  written by Cheryl Townsley.  


  • Eliminate or minimize foods processed with chemicals... preservatives, food coloring, MSG, and nitrates.
  • Eliminate or minimize hydrogenated fat products...includes margarine and many cooking oils.
  • Eliminate or minimize the "whites"...sugar, flour, rice.
  • Eliminate or minimize meats...especially those grown with antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.
  • Eliminate or minimize dairy products...antibiotics and hormones go into the milk...dairy contributes to mucus production, may contribute to allergies.
  • Minimize the use of canned vegetables and fruits...most nutrients and enzymes are destroyed.

It has been well documented that a child's learning ability and brain development can be affected by diet.  Our children are fat, yet undernourished.  The first organ to suffer from malnutrition is the brain.  The brain is 2 % of the body's weight, yet it utilizes 20% or more of the body's energy sources.  If your child is not fed properly the brain will signal the need to eat more, even if he just ate.  Do you know children who are continually hungry?  When a child is fed a nutrient-poor diet, his brain cannot function properly and all kinds of psychological problems result.  We have a whole generation of children on psychological drugs...Is anyone asking WHY?  As a parent or grandparent, I challenge you to take a good look at the food in your child's grocery cart!


A quick reference for dietary basics is listed below.  This list is taken from one of my favorite books,        

 If It's Not Food...Don't Eat It! written by Kelly Hayford, C.N.C. (available for purchase at the store).

  • Eat 2-4 pieces of fresh fruit a day...preferably organic and in season.
  • Eat 3-7 servings of fresh vegetables a day...preferably raw or lightly steamed.
  • Eat 1-3 servings of protein a day...animal or vegetable protein, or alternate.
  • Eat 1-3 servings of complex carbohydrates a day...either whole grains or starchy vegetables.
  • Consume essential fatty acids daily...either 1-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, ground seeds or an EFA supplement.
  • Drink plenty of pure water daily...and eat a VARIETY of foods...to reduce sensitivities.


ACHIEVE HEALTH ONE CHOICE AT A TIME!  Changing our diet is a process.  If you try to do too much at once you will be frustrated and the children may rebel at the change.  Choose one thing to change this week; then add another change next week.  Soon you will look back and know that your child's diet has drastically improved, and I bet his health and behavior have changed too!

If you are looking for a children's multivitamin to help with nutritional needs, check my website:


Looking for an alternative to antibiotics?  Garlic is the simple solution.  Available in any grocery store, keep it on hand to use for cooking or sickness.  Raw garlic is a potent antibiotic, with anti-fungal and anti-viral properties as well.  When crushed the garlic releases an enzyme which combines with an amino acid in the garlic to create allicin...the smelly and antibiotic quality of garlic. 

One of the simplest ways to use garlic, especially with children, is to make a salve which you rub on the soles of the feet.  The skin is sometimes called your largest organ.  We forget how many things are absorbed by the skin.  It is a great way to get medicinal herbs into the body.  Rub this garlic salve on your feet and see how quickly you taste it in your mouth.  It also may be rubbed on the chest or back to assist in healing an upper respiratory infection.  This salve may also be used on rashes, athlete's foot, or on any area to prevent infection.  Having the salve prepared and in the refrigerator makes it quick and easy to use when you need it.

Garlic Salve Recipe - In a blender mix:  1/3 cup coconut oil, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 8 cloves peeled garlic, 5 drops of lavender oil.  Blend until liquified, strain out any pieces of garlic, and refrigerate.  This recipe is taken from the book, Be Your Own Doctor, written by Rachel Weaver, M.H. (One of my favorite books.)

To purchase garlic in capsules or to read more about its qualities, go to our online store: 


Lisa Purdy is not a physician, and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription,  Any information given is for educational purposes only.,  You are responsible for your own health choices.

It has been well documented that a child's learning ability and brain development is affected by diet.  Nutrient dense foods provide what is needed by the body for maximum mental and physical performance.  Today, we have an abundance of nutrient depleted packaged food products, which may contain more chemicals than actual food.  The first organ affected by malnutrition is the brain.  The brain is 2 % of the body's weight, but it requires 20 % of the body's energy sources.  The following list of twelve learning nutrients was taken from the book, Eating for A's, written in 1991, and is now out of print, but still is an excellent resource for information.

Make sure your child has these nutrients for learning:

Vitamin A - helps in the manufacturing of protein and DNA.  Deficiency effects:  Depression and apathy.  In infants, retarded brain growth.

Vitamin B-1, Thiamine - helps the brain process energy from glucose and proteins.  Deficiency effects:  fatigue, impaired memory, mental confusion, conduct disorder, irritability, impulsiveness, poor sleep.

Vitamin B-2, Riboflavin - helps maintain the nerve's myelin sheath, and assists in making energy available to the brain.  Deficiency effects:  impairs the growth of the brain in young children and contributes to behavior problems.

Vitamin B-3, Niacin - helps the brain produce essential chemicals, aids in the manufacture of protein.  Deficiency effects:  irritability, fatigue, poor concentration, mood swings, poor sleep.

Vitamin B-6, Pyridoxine - helps the brain produce essential chemicals, aids in the manufacture of protein.  Deficiency effects:  irritability, fatigue, poor concentration, mood swings, poor sleep.

Folic Acid - helps produce RNA/DNA...important in forming nucleic acids and in the storage of recent memories.  Deficiency effects:  apathy, impaired memory, irritability, withdrawal, slowing of all intellectual processes.

Vitamin C - helps in the utilization of protein, improves absorption of iron needed by the brain.  Deficiency effects:  fatigue, depression, hypersensitivity.

Iron - assists in the processing of nutrients required in brain activity, helps process neurotransmitters and DNA.  Deficiency effects:  conduct disorder, inattentiveness, hyperactivity, poor concentration.

Magnesium - helps get energy from nutrients for the brain.  Deficiency effects:  irritability, nervousness, lethargy, depression, confusion.

Potassium - required for normal levels of brain neurotransmitters.  Deficiency effects:  feelings of weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, irrational thinking, confusion.

Zinc - required in virtually every enzyme reaction in the brain; helps manufacture RNA, DNA, and protein; helps provide energy from glucose and protein.  Deficiency effects:  lethargy, irritability, poor eating habits, poor appetite, anorexia, fatigue, confusion.

Chromium - essential for glucose metabolism.  Deficiency effects:  poor concentration, impaired short-term memory, mood fluctuation, general feelings of tiredness.

A healthy diet is essential for the learning and behavior of children.  You also may want to provide a good multivitamin/mineral supplement - available on my website: 


Lisa Purdy is not a physician, and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

Are you allergic to corn or trying to avoid GMO corn? 
Here is a list of surprising places to find hidden corn in everyday products:

cheese cultures
linings on "to go" cups
frozen vegetable bags
tea bags
xanthum gum
natural flavors
free-flowing agents
vitamin E
multivitamin supplements 
ascorbic acid
citric acid
dish soaps

Reading labels gives you a quite an education! 

It is time for children to go "Back to School" and for parents and teachers to think about how to manage a child's ADD in the classroom.  There are natural solutions to the problem.  I highly recommend the book, Natural Treatments for ADD and Hyperactivity, by Dr. Skye Weintraub, ND.  It is packed full of practical information and natural insights on ADD.


What is the cause of ADD?  Dr. Weintraub states, "Labeling a child with Attention Deficit Disorder merely signifies that the child is displaying certain behavioral symptoms.  The National Institutes of Health says that the cluster of symptoms making up ADD does not represent a single disease, nor is it likely that the cause is singular; rather, the syndrome may be due to several causes."   


Understanding that ADD may be caused by a combination of things may help you find answers.  The cause may be different for each child.  There is no easy, definitive answer and this is what makes it such a challenge to find the causes of ADD and solutions for your child.


One of these causes is diet.  Changing a child's diet may be a contributing factor in his ability to focus.  Dr. William Crook, MD reported in a study in the Journal of Learning Disabilities (May 1980) that observing 182 hyperactive children and noting their hyperactive behavior was definitely related to specific foods.  Sugar was the worst, followed by food additives, then milk, corn, wheat, and eggs.  Each year the average person consumes 113 lbs. of sugar, 15 lbs. of additives, and 8 lbs. or salt.  Over 10,000 food and chemical additives are legally allowed in our food supply.  Many additives cause reactions in those people who are sensitive to them.


Allergies or food sensitivities are another contributing factor in ADD.  Symptoms of allergies may include anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, insomnia, irritability, mental confusion, and personality changes.  Frequent offenders are milk, wheat, chocolate, peanuts, sugar, apples, carrots, tomatoes, eggs, soy, grapes, corn, oranges, red and yellow dye, and preservatives.  One eye-opening statement in Dr. Weintraub's book states, "A small amount of offending chemical may trigger behavior problems lasting five days...so if you allow a minor slip every five days the reaction could be continuous".


It is useful to eliminate sugar, processed foods, and known allergens from the diet.  Eat organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein...chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts.  Dr. Lendon Smith, MD reports that 80% of children get better just by changing their diet and giving them vitamin supplements.  Helpful supplements might include:  B vitamins to support the nervous system; calming minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and zinc; and essential fatty acids such as fish or flax oil (omega 3) and borage or evening primrose oil (omega 6).  Did you know the brain is made up of 25% fat?  We need to be sure to provide good quality fats in the diet to keep the brain healthy.

If you want to learn more about the various causes of ADD and how to treat it naturally, stop by the store to purchase Dr. Weintraub's book or plan to attend our upcoming class, "ADD?   

Focus Attention Naturally", on September 5th.  Visit our website for more information on classes.



If you would like to purchase a supplement to improve clarity of thinking, mental focus, memory, and learning ability, I recommend you check out Focus Attention, formulated by Nature's Sunshine.  Follow this link for more information: 


How do I harvest and dry the herbs from my garden?
The traditional method is to cut them, tie them loosely together, and hang them upside down to dry.  It is as easy as that...well, almost.  It is best to allow them to dry in a cool, dry place, with air movement.  A dry basement, garage, or shed works well.  Attic spaces are usually too hot...you end up cooking all the goodness out of your herbs.  Another method is to lay the herb flat on a screen to dry, or you may use a dehydrator at a low heat.  Be careful not to over-dry the herbs or to leave them so long they are dusty. 

How long will the herbs take to dry?
It depends on the weather, temperature, and water content of your herbs.  If the weather is rainy, the herbs may reabsorb water from the air and take longer to dry.  If they feel dry to the touch, try rolling a couple of leaves between your palms...Do they make a moist ball?  Or do they crumble?  When the herbs are ready they will crumble fairly easily.  I like to store the herbs in quart-size canning jars.  Check the inside of the lid about 3 days after you seal them.  If there is moisture there, you need to dump out your herbs onto a screen and let them dry a little more.  Watch out for mold!

When do I harvest the herbs?
Harvest on a sunny day, not after a recent rain. It is best to cut them in the morning after the dew has dried on the plants, but before it gets too hot and they begin to wilt.  Harvesting the leaves of the plant may be done at any time in the growing cycle...Avoid yellow or diseased leaves.  If you want the leaves and not the flowers, it is best to cut them before the flowering cycle begins.  Once the plant flowers, most of its energy will be in the flowers and then producing seeds.  It is best to harvest the flowers before they are fully open.

What about roots? 
Roots should be harvested in the fall when the plant is fully developed and it is easy to identify.  Wash the roots carefully and slice them while they are fresh.  You may also want to run them through an old-fashioned meat grinder.  It is almost impossible to cut roots after they are dried...Even when fresh you may want to enlist some muscular help!    Lay the root pieces on a screen to dry.  

Other things to note:
Be aware that some herbs may give off smells as they dry, which may bother sensitive or allergic persons...especially if in large amounts.  Remember to label your herbs as they dry, because they will look quite different than the fresh herb, and many dried herbs look alike.  Dried herbs should be stored in airtight containers and in a cool, dark place.   Optimum quality will be in the first year, but herbs stored properly will last a long time.  If it still has color, taste, and smell...then it still has medicinal value.

Enjoy the beauty of your drying herbs.

I have been reading a fascinating book, "Your Body Can Talk", by Susan Levy and Carol Lehr.  I thought I would paraphrase what I have read, and share their fascinating information about PMS with you.  I recommend the book and give them full credit for the information.  They describe four types of PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, that may affect women during their menstrual cycle.  Which type are you?


Type A ...PMS - Anxiety

Do you experience mood swings, nervous tension, anxiety, or irritability?  Do you suffer with excessive worry, feel vulnerable, fearful, or insecure at certain times during the month?    Herbal stress relief formulas, BACH flowers, Homeopathics, or Amino Acid supplements may help to balance these overly stressed women.  Eat foods which promote calm within the body.  Avoid excessive salt, as it may cause the body to retain up to five pounds of fluid.  With this water retention, the brain actually swells, causing intense anxiety and mood swings.   B Vitamins can be very helpful to balance the nervous system, along with minerals, chromium, zinc, and magnesium.  Reduce the stress in your life as much as possible, and use methods to deal with stress positively.  Change your thinking patterns, treat yourself to a massage, or join a yoga class.


Type C...PMS - Craving

Do you experience headache, increased appetite, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, or heart pounding?  Those women, who have a tendency to hypoglycemia, may find symptoms intensified prior to menstruation.  They may experience compulsive intense sugar cravings a week or ten days before their period.  Once sugar is eaten, the body chemistry is thrown off balance, blood sugar levels lower, and headaches may result.  Sugar cravings may signal the need in the body of other nutrients, such as chromium, magnesium, or zinc, and oddly enough excessive sugar intake depletes the body of these same minerals - a vicious cycle.  Chocolate cravings, common at this time, may signal the need for magnesium.  Providing a diet abundant in vegetables will help to supply these minerals needed by the body.  Chlorophyll is very close in molecular structure to blood and is great for replenishing the hemoglobin in blood.  Heavy bleeding is often a common problem for women.  Make sure you are taking in the nutrients needed...more green vegies and whole grains in your diet!


Type H ...PMS - Hyper hydration

Do you experience weight gain, swelling of extremities, breast tenderness, or abdominal bloating?  Do you have blotchy red cheeks or areas of blotchy red around the throat or thyroid?  Do you have sore, tight muscles, stiffness, puffiness, or feel swollen with water retention?  Inflammation is a key word for these women.  It is important to figure out which foods are irritating and causing inflammation.  Make efforts to eliminate these from the diet. Suspect wheat or dairy as possible sensitivities.  Generally, these women should avoid salt, processed foods, coffee, soda pop, some teas, and ibuprofen (which contains caffeine). Be aware of the hormones in meat, as they can be very inflammatory.  B-vitamins, magnesium, flaxseed oil, and diuretic herbs may be helpful. Herbs such as dandelion, parsley, alfalfa, shave grass, uva ursi, may be used for short periods of time to get the excess water off.   Marshmallow is an herb which may help to soothe the inflammation.  The omega-3 rich flaxseed oil is like a water hose, putting out the fire!


Type D ...PMS - Depression

Do you experience depression, forgetfulness, crying, confusion, or insomnia?  Are you emotions intensified reactions to normal every day circumstances?  Are you lethargic and irritable?  Sometimes these women may even experience suicidal tendencies.  Women who suffer this kind of depression may not have enough estrogen to counterbalance the progesterone.  So the phytoestrogens in herbs and foods may be helpful in helping the body produce estrogen.  Soy, red clover, and black cohosh are three commonly used herbs.  Excess lead in the body may also be a factor for type D; hair analysis may confirm this as a problem.  These women should avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, coffee, soda pop, alcohol, and intense spices.  Instead they should rely on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Soy products, pumpkin seeds, and almonds may be beneficial.  Supplements to help include:  B and E vitamins, magnesium, zinc, Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Glutamine, Choline, Valerian, and Passionflower.  Phytoestrogen and progesterone is also available in creams and may be very useful for PMS symptom.


I find the dividing of PMS symptoms into types to be helpful in discovering the cause of the hormonal imbalance and finding solutions to bring the body back into balance.  Don't accept that PMS is just a "fact of life" or something to "live with"...You can make changes that will improve the quality of your life! 

Call for an appointment...I would love to help you find answers!

Summertime can be hard on your hair, skin, and nails...too much heat or sunshine, chlorine at the pool, or work in the garden!  If your hair, skin, or nails need a little loving care, consider these products.


HSN-W is a formula from Nature Sunshine which contains four herbs to help strengthen the hair, skin, and nails.  Horsetail contains more silica than any other herb and in a highly absorbable form.  Silica keeps the hair from being dry and brittle, and it helps nails not to split and break.  Horsetail is also high in calcium and trace minerals.  The seaweed, Dulse, is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, including iodine and calcium.  Iodine feeds the thyroid gland, which if weak may cause the hair to be thin and dull.  Rosemary promotes hair growth by increasing the blood flow to the scalp.  It also is rich in calcium, magnesium, and is antibacterial in nature.  Sage has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.  It contains calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants to reduce free radical damage to the skin, hair, and nails.  HSN-W provides nutrients necessary for healthy hair, skin, and nails.  This is one of the store's most popular supplements!


Biotin aids in the utilization of the other B vitamins.  It aids in cell growth...and must be in sufficient quantities to have healthy hair and skin.  Biotin is found in brewer's yeast, egg yolks, meat, milk, poultry, saltwater fish, soybeans, and whole grains.  It is added to many shampoos or may be taken as a supplement in capsule form.


Coconut oil is one of my favorites for a hot oil treatment on my hair.  I like to rub it into my hair, and then go out and work in the garden, allowing the sun to heat the oil.  After I wash it out, my hair is soft and shiny.  Coconut oil is great applied to the skin as a moisturizer also.  Many of the lotions we might use contain chemicals that we absorb through the skin.  The other danger of using lotions is that they disturb the protective, acidic barrier on our skin which kills bacteria.  Coconut oil is antibacterial, so it helps protect the skin from invasion by bacteria.  It also helps to get rid of dandruff.


Cell Food Gel contains 78 minerals, 34 enzymes, 17 amino acids, aloe vera, lavender, and glycerine.  It renews the skins texture, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, promotes the skins natural balance, and revitalizes moisture.  I have used it to help heal wounds and to reduce the appearance of brown spots.  I love the way it tightens the skin as it dries...I imagine the wrinkles disappearing more every day!


Tea Tree oil is used in many shampoos to prevent dandruff.  It may be used as a head lice treatment also.  We have it in a small bottle with a brush to use as a treatment for toenail fungus.  Being antibacterial, it has many uses on the skin.


Miracle II Soap is a good place to start for healthy skin and hair.  We mentioned before how important it is not to disturb the balance of the protective barrier on your skin.  Harsh soaps can destroy that barrier, disturb the natural pH balance, and introduce toxic chemicals into your body.  The skin absorbs anything we put on it...so be careful!  Miracle II soap works as a body wash, shampoo, hand soap, or even laundry soap.  It is concentrated, so you only use a small amount.  I have even heard first-hand reports of the new growth of hair in a bald area.


This summer take care of your hair, skin, and nails.  One of the simplest ways to do this is to remember to drink enough  


WATER...Don't allow yourself to become a prune...Hydrate - Hydrate - Hydrate!

Catnip or catmint is a favorite plant for cats, but it is great for people too.  Cats love the scent and will roll around in it, destroying your plant.  I sprinkle my plant with cayenne pepper in the early spring until the cats get the idea to leave it alone.  Many people give their indoor cats a treat of a little catnip to enjoy.

Catnip is part of the mint family, so it has the signature square stem.  It doesn't send out pesky runners though, but multiplies slowly.  It grows easily from seed or root division in the spring.
I like the shorter variety, Nepeta parnassica, for growing under bushes.  Sometimes called Greek catnip, it grows two feet tall.  Nepeta cataria is nice too, growing to 3 feet tall.  Catnip has a tradition of keeping away rats and snakes, so people have tended to plant them around their houses.

Catnip makes a wonderful tea for respiratory infections.  It increases perspiration, reduces fever, soothes a painful throat, and acts as a decongestant.  It is a perfect remedy for children, calming and relaxing them.  Catnip contains vitamins A, C, and B-1,2,3,5,6,9,12.  Historically, catnip has been used as a healing enema.  It can help with delayed or suppressed periods, and relaxes the uterus, relieving pain.  Catnip relaxes headaches related to tension.

Join your cat in the enjoyment of this wonderful herb...have a cup of catnip tea!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

Diatomaceous Earth works great as a natural insect killer.  The white powder is made from the fossilized shells of tiny creatures called, diatoms.  The powder is sharp and glass-like, cutting the insect's cuticle causing it to dehydrate and die.  Doesn't sound nice, but it gets rid of the pesky critters in your garden.

I use diatomaceous earth every year to kill the slugs around my hostas, lady's mantle, and wild ginger plants.  I use an old parmesan cheese or spice type container with a shaker screw-on lid, which makes it easy to sprinkle the garden.  Sprinkle around the base of the plant for slugs.  Sprinkle the foliage of plants to be rid of beetles or aphids.  If it rains, you must reapply the powder.  You can also sprinkle a line across basement windows or the house foundation to prevent ants from coming into the house.  Or pile some diatomaceous earth powder on an ant hill to discourage them from remaining in your yard.  It is even safe to use on your vegetable garden or fruit trees, and it is safe to use where children or dogs might wander.

Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to mammals.  It can be brushed into the hair coat of goats, dogs, or cats for flea control.  You can also spread it around their bedding.  I have used it to get rid of fleas on a carpeted area.  Simply sprinkle the area and let it set undisturbed awhile and then vacuum.  It can be used with chickens for lice and mite control.

Use food grade diatomaceous earth with your animals or on your vegetables.  Then if a bit is ingested, it does no harm...in fact it will kill internal parasites.  The powder may be mildly irritating to the lungs, eyes, or skin, so you may want to wear a mask, eye protection, long sleeves, and gloves while working with it.  Some people will add it to grain buckets before storing them, to keep the insect critters out.  For more information go to:   www.earthworkshealth.com

If you are looking for inexpensive, non-toxic, and natural options to kill those pesky bugs...give diatomaceous earth a try.

Lisa Purdy is not a physician, and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

Rose Hips are the dried fruit or round ball which grows under the rose petals.  Some varieties of roses produce larger hips than others.  A Dog rose or Rugosa rose is recommended for harvesting the hips.  They may be sliced and dried to use as a natural source of vitamin C.  I love to add the rose hips to an herbal tea blend.

Rose hips contain more vitamin C than any other food!  And they contain vitamins A, B-1, B-2, D, E, K, P, pantothenic acid, calcium iron, phosphorus, and zinc.  Rose hips stimulate the immune system to fight infection.  They are useful during colds, fevers, or times of stress.  Rose hips are rich in bioflavonoids, which increase the absorption of vitamin C.

Take time to smell the roses...and to harvest the rose hips for tea!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician, and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

Losing weight can be frustrating.  Our food supply today has been so sabotaged by fertilizers, pesticides, hybridization, genetic modification, and processing that it can seem hopeless to work on personal weight control.  Here are a few products and tips that I have found to help win the battle of the bulge!


Nature's Sunshine - Love and Peas - Starting my day with a high-protein meal replacement helps to get the metabolism moving.  Made from peas and beans, this protein supplement does not contain soy or dairy.  Love and Peas is my favorite protein powder...it doesn't have that nasty vitamin aftertaste, which some protein powders do have.  Instead, it has a nice vanilla flavor and I will usually add some fruit.  It provides 20 grams of protein, which is important to build lean muscle.  Lean muscle will burn more calories...so this helps you lose weight. 


Nature's Sunshine - Garcinia Combination - This formula really helps to decrease my appetite.  It works best if taken 30 minutes before meals.  This formula inhibits fat production, encourages the burning of fat for energy, and helps to balance blood sugar levels.  Garcinia, also called brindleberry, is a fat production inhibitor.  It enables the liver to convert excess carbohydrates into glucose for energy rather than into fat to store away.  The formula contains the herb, Chickweed, which is a fiber believed to help break up fatty deposits in the body.  Yeah!  That is exactly what I need!  Chickweed also helps reduce inflammation and promote detoxification, which both contribute to weight gain.  The formula also contains Chromium, which is the primary mineral involved in insulin production, and functions to keep the blood sugar balanced.  Lastly, the formula contains L-Carnitine, which significantly reduces elevated blood fats.  It lowers triglyceride levels and raises the beneficial cholesterol HDL levels.


NOW - Green Coffee Diet Support - Surprise!  This really works!  And it doesn't give you the caffeine jitters either.  It has only a tiny amount of caffeine in the green plant form.  Dr. Oz was the one to bring this product to my attention...and to the notice of everyone in America!  It has been a good seller in the store. You know something works when the customers come back for more, and they have great stories of success.  Dr. Oz recommends 400 mg. 3x a day, 30 minutes before meals.  It helps your body to burn fat faster.  Sorry, your cup of coffee won't do the same thing, as roasting the beans destroys the fat burning properties.


Renew Life - Fibertastic - Finally, a fiber drink that tastes good!  One scoop adds 4 grams of fiber to your diet.  Brenda Watson suggests 35 grams of fiber daily to lose weight.  That is a whole lot of vegetables and fruit!  Taking a fiber supplement can help you to reach this goal.  Sometimes I will add this to my protein drink, but it is best taken in water before a meal to reduce appetite.  Fiber aids in keeping the colon clean, which will help you to assimilate nutrients better, making you not as hungry.


I hope you find success in your weight loss goals!  It can be done...let us keep encouraging each other to achieve health one choice at a time.

"The marigold goes to bed with the Sun
And with him rises, weeping."  William Shakespeare

The marigold, Calendula officinalis, is called pot marigold or Mary's gold, in honor of the Virgin Mary.  The orange flower is associated with grief, and it has been considered a magical plant used to protect against evil.  In some cultures it is considered a symbol of endurance.  To the Aztecs, calendula represented the cycle of life. 

An annual, growing 18-30 inches tall, with daisy-like ray flowers, the entire plant is covered with fine hairs.    The parts used medicinally are the flower petals, which are commonly used as a tea.  The petals have been used in cosmetics and to color foods, naturally.  Calendula may also be prepared as a homeopathic medicine, where it is indicated if the pain seems out of proportion to the injury.

Calendula is useful for the skin, healing wounds and ulcers.  It promotes tissue repair with minimal scarring and reduces inflammation.  It is antibacterial and antifungal.  Research has shown it to be effective in flu and herpes viruses, and to reduce lymphatic congestion and infections.  It improves circulation and strengthens the heart.  Calendula detoxifies the liver, increasing the production of bile and enzymes, improving digestion.  Traditionally, the tea has been used for fevers.

Calendula has a reputation for treating tumors, fibroids, and cysts of the female reproductive system.  It regulates menstruation, reduces muscle tension and cramps, and reduces excess bleeding.  It has an estrogenic effect which helps menopausal symptoms and reduces breast tenderness.  It stimulates uterine contractions and the delivery of the placenta...therefore DO NOT use in pregnancy.

Calendula is easily grown in your backyard.  Harvest the flower petals and dry them to use in tea, or to make your own healing ointment.

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription,  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  Your are responsible for your own health choices.

Aloe vera is great for anything that burns...inside or out!

Aloe soothes wounds, scrapes, rashes, and sunburn.  It promotes the removal of dead skin cells and stimulates growth of living cells.  It stops pain and reduces chance of infection.,  Aloe neutralizes body toxins, balancing the pH of the skin or internally, the blood.  Aloe promotes growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines, and is very effective for soothing digestive issues.  It has been used in the treatment of HIV; as it hinders the virus from spreading throughout the body.  

Aloe is one of the oldest therapeutic herbs.  Drawings of the plant dating to 3000 B.C. have been found in Egyptian temples.  Aloe is found in Egyptian medical writings and is thought to have been included in their embalming process.  Alexander the Great heard of aloe's healing powers when he conquered Egypt and sent an army to seize the island on which the plant grew.  He wanted to use the plant in healing his soldier's wounds.

Whole leaf aloe is rich in over 200 nutrients; many times stronger in nutrients than the gel.  It is generally recommended to use the gel, externally and the whole leaf juice, internally.  Do not use the yellow juice lining the leaf as it is very cathartic.  Every kitchen should have an aloe plant on the windowsill, where it is easily accessible as a first aid in burns.  Another idea is to keep the gel in the refrigerator, where its cold temperature will help to cool a burn.  The plant is easy to grow, it likes sandy soil and a bit of sun.  Be careful not to over-water...it is a desert plant.  In Ohio, you must bring the plant indoors for the winter.

Lisa Purdy is not a physician, and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

Bug Ban Spray - Afraid that hungry mosquitoes will ruin your outdoor fun?  Why use toxic chemicals when non-toxic essential oils will do the job?  Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Thyme essential oils in a spray bottle will make your outdoor time comfortable without the chemicals!


Bug Bite or Spider-bite ointment - These homeopathic ointments take care of the itch, inflammation, and infection a pesky bite may cause. 


Calendula homeopathic spray - This spray is great for healing wounds or sunburn, and best of all you don't even have to touch the skin to apply it!  Calendula is considered to be one of the best antiseptics, due to its natural iodine content. 


Aloe vera gel - Aloe is an excellent remedy for anything that burns.  I keep an Aloe vera plant on my kitchen counter and apply the juice from a fresh leaf anytime I burn myself.  The gel may be purchased in a convenient tube to take with you on your next outdoor adventure.  Aloe is excellent for sunburn, and its astringent qualities also make it healing to wounds.


Poison ivy ointment or soap - Made locally, this ointment or soap helps to relieve the irritation poison ivy may cause.  It is made with jewelweed, which has a traditional history of soothing poison ivy, and coconut oil with its antibacterial properties.  Find natural, quick relief!


Silver Shield - This product is a gel made with colloidal silver, which has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Silver Shield comes in a convenient tube to take with you and use anywhere you need a first aid product for wounds.


Injury Combo - This product is a blend of homeopathic remedies to help with inflammation, infection, bruising, and healing. Homeopathic products do not interfere with prescription medicines, so this combo is great to help with healing after surgery or dental procedures.  Use injury combo after any accident to speed the process of healing and recovery.


Rescue Remedy - This blend of Bach Flower remedies helps with the anxiety, grief, or shock of any accident or stressful news. Instantly calming, this remedy may help with emotional well-being so you are able to deal with the situation at hand.

I love to use herbs in my cooking!  These are a few of the basic herbs to grow for flavor and health benefits.  Most kitchen herbs do not take up a lot of space in the garden and may also be grown in pots on a windowsill.  Enjoy looking for unusual varieties too!


Basil - is antibacterial, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and a digestive stimulant.  It has been used as a cough medicine, for fevers, or for colds.  It has also been used for headaches, insect bites, or to expel worms. 


Ocimum basilicum is an annual which grows well in part sun.  There are many varieties of basil, enjoy growing their different flavors, colors, heights, and shapes.  My favorites are the globe basil, which grows in a perfect ball shape, with tiny leaves.  Then there is the purple basil, really decorative to put into a bottle of oil.  The African blue basil is a perennial, in warm areas, with beautiful multi-colored leaves.  I like to dry the leaves of different varieties and mix them together for my cooking spice.


Coriander or Cilantro - YES!  They are the same plant.  Cilantro refers to the leaves and coriander is the seeds.  Medicinally, cilantro is often used to remove toxic metals from the body.  Coriander is known in Indian medicine to aid digestion.  Cilantro looks like a flat-leafed parsley, but tastes completely different.  It has been compared to a combination of lemon, pine, and sage...people either love it or hate it's taste.  I love to combine chopped cilantro, purple onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, and mangoes into a delicious salsa for chips or on chicken.  Coriander seeds are usually ground like peppercorns and used in a lot of Indian cooking.


Plant coriander seeds in a sunny place.  They will grow to about 18 inches tall.  Harvest some of the cilantro leaves for cooking, and leave some to produce seeds to harvest as coriander.  Cilantro leaves are best used fresh, as the dried quickly loses its flavor.  The seeds dry well for future use.


Dill - is useful as a digestive aid and breath freshener.  It also is a good source of calcium which prevents osteoporosis.  1 Tbsp. of dill seeds contains 100 mg. of calcium, and 1 Tbsp. of dill leaves contains 55 mg. of calcium.  Dill combines well with fish or chicken.  My family's favorite recipe uses chicken and rice with a white sauce and surprise...dill in a cracker topping. 


Anethum grveolens or dill is an annual and grows vigorously from seed.  If you leave some dill when you harvest it will reseed itself for the next year.  Dill leaves are delicate with lacy yellow flowers.  It will grow quite tall sometimes, expect 3-4 feet.  It likes to grow in the sun, but will do well inside with 6 hours of light.  Dill is best harvested and cut up for use with scissors.  It may be dried, but the flavor will not last a long time.


Rosemary - is symbolic for love and remembrance.  It is a tonic for the heart and mind.  Rosemary stimulates blood flow through the heart which in turn increases the oxygen supply to the brain.  Rosemary relaxes the nervous system and is specific for strenuous anxiety, irritated nerves, depression, and nervous headaches.  Rosemary is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant.  Rosemary improves the digestion of fats, helps regulate the menses, and helps reduce blood pressure.


Rosemarinus officinalis comes in many different varieties, but most have wonderful blue flowers.  One variety is white.  It grows from 3-6 feet tall.  Most varieties will not survive a harsh winter, so plan to take your plant indoors.  It blooms in December...so plan to enjoy!



These are some of my favorite herbs to grow and use as medicine.  They cover a lot of first aid needs and can be relied on for quick help.  I have seen amazing results in using these herbs with my family. I encourage you to learn about them and plant them in your garden.


Yarrow - is best known as the first aid herb to stop bleeding.  It is anti-inflammatory, and has many properties for wound treatment.  Yarrow is anti-spasmodic, giving relief for digestive or uterine cramping.  It is anti-viral, protecting the liver and useful in hepatitis.  Yarrow is a diaphoretic, helping the body to sweat out toxins and reduce fever. 


Achillea filipendulina is my favorite yarrow variety.  It is a perennial and grows 4 ft. tall with feathery foliage and large ornamental yellow flower heads.  It grows in clumps which are not as invasive as other varieties of yarrow.  The flower heads dry beautifully and make a nice herbal tea.


Comfrey - multiplies cells quickly, helping wounds to heal.  Comfrey stops bleeding and soothes inflammation.  I love to use comfrey and marshmallow together in a fomentation used externally for healing.  Make a strong tea with 1-2 Tbsp. herb to 1 cup water, and steep for 15 minutes.   Dip a clean white cloth into the strained liquid and apply to the painful area.


Symphytum officinale grows vigorously to 4 ft.  It is not invasive, but once established it can be difficult to remove...so be careful where you plant it.  It may be kept trimmed to a hedge-like look.  The leaves are quite large and covered with prickly hairs.  Both the leaves and roots may be used medicinally.  You may also make a great organic fertilizer for your garden by making a tea of the leaves.  Use a large tub or bucket, fill with comfrey leaves, cover with water and let the sun make it into tea.  Pour the liquid around your plants.  Add the leaves to your compost pile for more benefit.


Marshmallow - is a great herb for soothing inflammation.  The leaves are often used in poultices or fomentations to reduce inflammation or draw out poisons or debris embed in a wound.  Marshmallow improves the ability of white blood cells to devour disease-causing microbes.  Beneficial internally, it is useful for the lungs, digestive system, intestines, and urinary system.

Althea officinalis is a relative of the hollyhock and is a beautiful addition to the herb garden.  It grows 4-6 ft. tall with soft leaves and white flowers.  A perennial, marshmallow is easily grown from seed.  Both the leaves and roots are used medicinally.


Mullein - alleviates lymphatic congestion, and has been used for respiratory and glandular conditions.  It quiets irritated nerves, relieves pain, and is soothing to inflammation.  Mullein strengthens sinuses, removes excess mucous from the body, and inhibits bacterial growth.  I love to make an infused oil of the flowers to help soothe earaches.


Verbascum thapus grows wild in Ohio.  Mullein is a tall self-sowing biennial.  It thrives with neglect and poor soil.  The first year it is a simple rosette of leaves.  Then the second year it sends up a beautiful spike of tiny yellow flowers.  The leaves and flowers are used medicinally; the seeds are considered toxic.

I hope you begin adding these "easy to grow" medicinal plants to your garden.  Herbs are both useful and beautiful, GROW HERBS TODAY!

As the weather turns warm, we find ourselves out in the yard doing spring clean-up projects.  Our muscles find the extra work objectionable and give us a pain response.  There are several simple remedies which may help relieve these sore and painful muscles.
Magnesium – The first thing I do is increase the magnesium in my diet.  Food sources of magnesium include:  kelp, almonds, cashews, dulse, soybeans, dandelion greens, spinach, figs, apples, and fresh citrus fruit juice.  It may also be taken as a supplement.  Magnesium helps with bone strength, relaxes the muscles, and it useful for nervousness.  It may help with leg cramps, anxiety, or insomnia.
Arnica – A popular homeopathic remedy, Arnica is used for pain relief, bruising, or injury.  It may be taken in tiny tablets or pellets which dissolve under the tongue.  It is wonderful in a cream or gel to be rubbed into the painful area.  It is commonly used for arthritis or back pain, and brings relief to sore muscles.  Arnica should NOT be used on broken skin.  It may be helpful after an accident or surgery, and does not interfere with any medications.
Passionflower – A beautiful and invasive vine which grows well in Ohio.  It has lovely aromatic purple flowers, but the leaves are the part of the plant used for herbal medicine.  Passionflower may be taken as a tea, tincture, or in capsule form.  Passionflower relieves muscle tension, menstruation cramps, nervous insomnia, and helps calm anxiety.  It has analgesic or pain-relieving properties and is anti-inflammatory.  Passionflower should not be taken during pregnancy, as it may stimulate uterine muscles.  It also should not be taken if you take an MAO inhibitor drug.
Essential Oil Bath Salts – Mix together this blend and add it to a warm bath for a relaxing soak. 1 cup Epsom Salts, 4 drops Lavender oil, 2 drops Juniper oil, 2 drops Rosemary oil, and 2 drops Peppermint oil.
Try one of these natural remedies today and enjoy more yard work tomorrow!

Making an herbal tincture is as simple as following a recipe to bake cookies...YOU CAN DO THIS!

The idea of making your own herbal medicine makes most people fearful.  What if I do it wrong?  Will it make us sick?  These questions are common, but let me reassure you that making an herbal tincture is easy to do and there is little that can go wrong. 

Why should I bother to make my own tincture, when I can just purchase it?  There is something therapeutic in making your own tincture.  Having your mind and hands involved seems to begin the healing process...perhaps it is taking an active positive role to get well.  When you make your own, you know exactly what is in it.  You decide how strong to make your tincture, and you know the quality of the herbs you put into it. 

How do I make an herbal tincture?

1.  Fill a quart size canning jar 1/4 full of dried herbs.  The standard for commercial tinctures is 1/4, but if you want to make a stronger tincture use 1/2 or 3/4 herbs in your jar.  We use dried herbs because of the water content in fresh herbs.  Too much water will weaken your tincture and its preservation.  It is always a good idea to sterilize your canning jar before you begin.

2.  Fill the jar with vodka or apple cider vinegar, leaving about 1 inch headroom at the top of the jar for shaking.  Place a square of plastic wrap on top of the jar before placing the metal lid, as both vodka and vinegar will eat away the metal...you don't want metal in your medicine! 

What is the difference between vodka and vinegar?
Vodka tincture will last 20+ years, vinegar tincture lasts for 6 months.  They both act as a preservative for your tincture, refrigeration is not necessary.  Vodka and vinegar also act to pull out the medicinal qualities of the herb into the liquid.  In general, vodka will pull out the chemical constituents of hard roots and barks.  Some herbs, like lobelia, prefer to be in vinegar, as it pulls out the medicinal qualities you desire.  Some people avoid alcohol for physical or religious reasons, so vinegar is a good option.  You can eliminate the alcohol before ingesting by dropping your dose of drops into 1/4 cup of HOT water.  The alcohol will evaporate, leaving only the medicinal qualities for you to drink.  This is a good option for children.  Always use a high proof vodka, 90-98% and use apple cider vinegar with the "mother" as this has healing qualities in itself.

3.  Allow the tincture to set for 10-14 days, shaking it 3 times every day.

4.  Strain out and discard the herb, saving the liquid.  You may use a cloth in a strainer or a coffee filter for this purpose.  Bottle the liquid in colored glass and store in a cool dark place.  Always label the bottle with a list of contents and the date it was made!

How much tincture do I take and how often?

This question makes some people a little nervous, because there is no definitive answer.  I recommend that you research in a good herbal book what the general dosage is for that herb.  This will give you a starting place.  Know what the dangers or signs would be of taking too much.  Think about the quality of your tincture...did you make it stronger?  Start out with a small or average dose and see how it works for you.  Then increase it as needed.  Anytime you want to give it to a child, I recommend that you take it yourself first, to give you a better idea of its strength.  Every batch of tincture that you make at home will have a different level of strength...it is not "standardized"...so even the time of day that the herb was picked will affect its quality.  Using homemade herb tinctures is more intuitive than precise.  Use common sense, be balanced, not fearful - but not wildly overboard either.

Enjoy using your herbal tinctures!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

What is an herbal infusion and how do I make it?

An herbal infusion is simply another word for tea.  It is usually made with one teaspoon of dried herb in one cup of HOT water, and allowed to steep for 15 minutes.  Teas can be made by using loose herbs and then straining them, or by using a tea ball or tea pot especially made to strain out the herbs.  If you wish to drink the tea before the 15 minute time, you will not receive as much medicinal value, but the tea may taste lovely.  You also may add honey or stevia to sweeten the tea for a better taste.  I have listed some of my favorite herbal teas below...A cup of tea anyone?

Chamomile:  With miniature daisy-like flowers and a sweet apple smell, chamomile is one of the most well-known teas.  Chamomile is a strengthening tonic to the body and a well known herb for the nerves.  Chamomile relieves tension, calms and tranquilizes, and as a sedative is beneficial for a good night's sleep.  It is antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.  It provides relief for muscle aches, strains, arthritic pain, nausea. fevers, and menstrual cramps.  Chamomile is beneficial during pregnancy.  It may cause allergic reactions in persons sensitive to ragweed or chrysanthemum.

Lemon balm:  Has mint-like square stems and heart-shaped leaves which smell wonderful!  Its name in Greek means "honey bee" and it has many of the tonic qualities of royal jelly.  Lemon balm is nature's antihistamine, relieving allergy attacks, and aiding respiratory healing.  It is an antidepressant, alleviating tension and anxiety.  Lemon balm soothes the kidneys, urinary and digestive tracts, relieving spasms and colitis.

Peppermint or Spearmint:  Cooling and sweet, mints are the base of many herbal tea blends.  It can also help to cover the nasty taste of some herbs.  Peppermint is a mild stimulant...gently kicking the body to get it moving.  Peppermint increases the oxygen supply to the blood, it is a digestive aid, calming to the nerves, and strengthens the whole system.  It is a great choice for children and is beneficial for the nausea during pregnancy.

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations should not be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices.

How do I begin using herbs with my family?

I suggest that you begin learning one herb at a time. There are so many wonderful plants that the subject can become overwhelming. It is great to research one herb, learn how it has historically been used to help the body, taste it as a tea, use it in a tincture or in capsules, and see how it reacts with your system. It is always a good idea to do some research on its' interaction with other medications you may be taking or on the listed cautions of the herb so that you feel confident in using it. I also recommend purchasing a couple of good reference books written by herbalists that you trust, so that you are able to look things up as needed. You will be amazed at how fast your herbal knowledge grows, and soon you will have a whole cupboard of herbs from which to choose.


What is an infusion?

One of the first steps is to begin learning the vocabulary as you will see it in some of the herbal reference books. An infusion is basically just a fancy word for tea. Use 1 tsp. dried herb to 1 cup of hot water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain and drink. The advantage of drinking herbal teas is that the medicinal qualities of the herbs are absorbed into the body quickly with little to digest.


What is a tincture?

A tincture is usually made by soaking the herb in vinegar or alcohol for 10-14 days to pull out the medicinal qualities of the herb. Strain and store the liquid in a colored bottle. A vinegar-based tincture will only last 6 months, but an alcohol-based tincture will last more than 20 years. One of the advantages of a tincture over a tea is that the vinegar or alcohol-based tincture will pull out properties in the plants that water won't, especially for a hard root (like Echinacea). It also is preserved, so does not need to be made fresh daily.


What is a glycerite?

Vegetable glycerine is a natural preservative, so will last 2 years. It is sweet tasting syrup, so it helps to mask the nasty taste of some herbs. It is popular in children's formula, both to avoid the alcohol and to help the taste.


Which herbs are good to use as a beginner?

Chamomile tea has a mild taste and a relaxing nature; it is often used before bedtime. Excellent for children, chamomile has a wonderful apple-like smell. Echinacea would be an excellent choice. It helps activate the immune system to fight off infections and is commonly used as a tea for colds. Passionflower is excellent to relax the muscles, help with sleep, and with anxiety. Red Raspberry is a great tea for children and women. It is high in vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, and as an astringent; a good choice for diarrhea. Senna tea has a long history as a laxative tea for those times of constipation.


ENJOY learning and using these wonderful herbs!

Homeopathic remedies are safe, nonaddictive, and may be used with children who have developmental or behavioral problems.  These remedies may be taken with medications as they do not interfere with them.  The information for this article was taken from one of my favorite books, Natural Treatments fro ADD and Hyperactivity, by Skye Weintraub, N.D.  Please see the book for more complete descriptions and information. 

Anacardium:  for confused children who have the feeling of being followed or having a double.  They have a tendency to curse or swear and are abusive to animals.
Arsenicum album:  for children who are fidgety, hyperactive, and have allergies.  They have restless sleep.  Their mind is anxious with obsessive thoughts and double checking. They are always in a hurry.  They fear being alone.
Baryta carbonica:  for the child who is delayed in physical and mental development.  Poor assimilation causes emaciation of the body.  The mind has a a lack of understanding, very literal, with difficulty keeping up.  Problems with tonsils and chronic cough.
Cannabis indica:  autistic or "spaced out" children whose senses are exaggerated. They make up stories, have a short attention span, day dreaming, absent-minded, biting, and fear of death.  Urinary tract problems common.
Capsicum:  children who are brooding, irritable, absent-minded, disobedient, angry, and homesick.  Extremely obstinate and offended easily.  Difficulty in sleeping, wake full of fear.
Carcinosin:  children who are dull of mind, fearful, timid, unhappy, worried, and obstinate.  They love travel and music.  Strong cravings or aversions to certain foods.  Symptoms may appear after a vaccination reaction or a family member may have cancer.
Chamomile:  child with a bad temper, irritable, impatient, and complaining.  Everything for them is intolerable...they "cannot bear it".  Symptoms worse at night.
Cina:  child who is restless at night, grinding teeth or wetting the bed.  They may pick their nose until it bleeds.  This child does not want to be touched or looked at.  Parasites may be present.
Helleborus:  child feels stupid, dull, unresponsive.  History may show head injury or encephalitis.  They are unable to memorize anything.  A feeling of despair, anger, and aversion to making any effort.  They often bite their spoon without awareness.
Hyoscyamus:  child with poor impulse control.  They do not answer questions, act silly, laughing, and dancing around.  They talk excessively, with episodes of mania, rage, and depression.  They are manipulative, lying, jealous, fearful, delusional, and violent.
Lachesis:  jealous children, vengeful, sarcastic, nasty, with severe depression.They are very sensitive to criticism. They wake from sleep even more agitated.  They hate tight clothing.
Lycopodium:  the bossy child.  Intelligent with performance anxiety, insecurity, poor memory, inability to concentrate, and chronic fatigue.   Fearful of new situations or changes in diet.  
Medorrhinum:  children who fear public places...especially eating in public.  Aggressive, having temper tantrums, malicious with animals, impulsive, cannot pay attention, they are night owls.
Stramonium:  remedy for terrors and nightmares, worse between midnight and 2:00am, often wake screaming.  They have a horror of shiny objects.  Do not estimate distance correctly.  Food tastes bitter.  Child may sit silently, picking at their clothes.
Sulphur:  children who do not like to be bathed, and tend to be untidy.  Daydreamers in a fantasy world.  Their thought processes are illogical.  Memory is poor.  Enclosed situations threaten them.
Tarantula hispanica:  remedy for the most hyperactive of children.  They display impulsive restlessness, self-destructive, excessive fits, unceasing movement, violence, and depression.
Veratrum album:  child displays repetitive behavior and hyperactivity.  Child is restless, destructive, will tell outrageous lies, and act inappropriately by  touching others.  They love ice cold drinks.

Lisa Purdy is not a physician.  The information given is not intended to be diagnosis or prescription, nor is it intended to replace professional medical help for your child.  The information is given for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices.

Diarrhea is defined as the frequent and excessive discharge of watery stools from the bowel.  It is a cleansing action and generally means the body is trying to rid itself of something.  It may be caused by unfamiliar foods, spoiled foods, or bacteria.  Always remember to drink plenty of fluids, to avoid the dangers of dehydration.  The following homeopathic remedies will help relieve symptoms without interfering with the healing action of the body.

Arsenicum:  The stomach feels heavy with nausea and vomiting.  There is a feeling of weakness.  Symptoms may have come from eating fruit, particularly melons, or an unfamiliar food.

Cuprum arsenicosum:  Symptoms include burning, cramping, pains in lower bowels, a feeling of collapse, with vomiting and diarrhea.

Gelsemium:  Loose stools or diarrhea in anticipation of a social engagement or fear of an ordeal.  May also follow a fright.

Podophyllum:  Diarrhea in the early morning or after eating.  Yellow watery stools with squirting action. May have cramps, better by heat and bending.  May feel weak and exhausted after bowels move.

Sulphur:  Stools change between yellow and watery to slimy with udigested food.  Urgent need to evacuate in the morning.

Veratrum album:  Similar symptoms to Arsenicum, but also feels on the verge of collapse and is in a cold sweat.

Difficulty sleeping is a common problem.   If it continues long term it can lead to more serious health problems, as the body builds and repairs during sleep.  Here are a few homeopathic remedies to help with chronic exhaustion and problems getting a good night's sleep.

Calcarea phosphorica:  Difficulty in getting to sleep.  Relaxing is difficult with tension in neck and shoulders.  Difficulty sleeping after an illness.  Can't seem to sleep before midnight...then hard to get up in the morning.  Growing children who have trouble sleeping.

Cocculus indicus:  Disturbed sleep or lack of sleep causing dizziness and insomnia.  Feeling anxious, especially caregivers.  Sleep is restless with nightmares.  Loss of appetite with nausea.

Coffea cruda:  Overactive mind, excitement, or caffeine makes it difficult to sleep.  Cannot switch off thoughts.  Sleep is full of vivid dreams.

Kali phosphoricum:  Nervous strain, over-excitement, from an intense period of work or study makes it difficult to go to sleep.  Nervous exhaustion with empty feeling in pit of stomach.

Nitricum acidum:  Especially in shift work...loss of sleep or disturbed sleep.  Insomnia and irritability.  Cannot get to sleep till early morning hours (2:00), then wakes exhausted.

Nux vomica:  Loss of sleep or disturbed sleep from overwork and mental strain, or too much caffeine.  Exhaustion, insomnia, and irritability.  Difficult to go to sleep, vivid dreams, wakes at 3:00 and can't get back to sleep, finally drifts off just before the alarm, wakes feeling tense and exhausted.  Unable to relax, sedentary lifestyle.

Sulphur:  Sedentary lifestyle causing slump, hard to get motivated, no get-up-and-go.

Zincum metallicum:  A period of overwork or emotional stress causes difficulty getting to sleep.  Feels run down, exhausted, and tense.  Sleep is unrefreshing.  Restless legs jerk on falling asleep.

These twelve mineral compounds were discovered by Dr. W.H. Schuessler, M.D. in 1873. He believed that the body was made of cells and that medical treatment should be directed toward healing these cells. He studied the symptoms of disease and discovered a deficiency of minerals. By supplying the body with minerals, the symptoms decreased or disappeared and the patient was cured.  Well-nourished cells provide us with the building blocks of health.


Cell Salts:


Calc Fluor - Calcium Fluoride   

A natural producer of suppleness and elasticity

Calcium Fluoride is useful in treating many ailments of the bones and teeth.   It is also a prime ingredient in the muscular and connective tissues of the body.   Calc Fluor is useful for hemorrhoids, varicose veins, vascular blood vessel walls, enlarged glands, and cracks in the skin/especially hands and toes.


Calc Phos - Calcium Phosphate  

The regulator of healthy cellular activity

Calc Phos is the chief builder of bone tissue and new blood cells. Calc Phos is useful for proper growth, nutrition, and function of the cells. It is useful for the elderly to regenerate nerve tissue or slow down decay. In the young it helps with cramps, growing pains, or teething. It is useful with other cell salts to increase their ability.


Calc Sulph - Calcium Sulphate  

Healer and purifier of the skin and external tissues

It is commonly known as Gypsum or Plaster of Paris...do not use below a 6x potency. It is important in the formation of new skin. Calc Sulph holds water, but resists acid, providing some protection from acidic fluids. It is useful in protecting the stomach wall. As well as protecting the eyes, nasal passages, mouth, throat, and bladder from moisture. It is a great blood purifier, useful in pus situations or to help heal wounds. This tissue builder helps with catarrh, bronchitis, boils, ulcers, abscesses, or to fight infection.


Ferr Phos - Ferrum Phosphate 

Powerful oxygenator

It is the primary first aid remedy because it carries oxygen throughout the body. Ferrum Phos strengthens the blood vessels, especially the arteries, helps to regulate rapid pulse, and will stop hemorrhage. Being a blood tonic, it helps with anemia, overall health, and energy. It will improve the function of the immune system thereby fighting congestion, inflammation, and fever.


Kali Mur - Potassium Chloride  

Subtle in action, but profound

It is an important constituent of the muscles, nerve cells, and brain cells. It is responsible for building fibrin, important in blood clotting, and may act as a blood thinner. Kali Mur is useful in chronic ailments involving inflammation. It also helps destroy bacterial waste from a fever or infection, helping to rebuild health. This is the remedy for sluggish conditions.


Kali Phos - Potassium Phosphate 

Soother of jangled nerves

Used around the world as a natural tranquilizer, it helps those who suffer from shock, grief, despair, and sorrow. Phosphoric acid is vital to brain chemistry, helping with depression, anxiety, and irritability. Kali Phos may also help headaches, insomnia, memory loss, dementia, and shingles. In restoration of nerve and brain, Kali Phos is one of the greatest healers known.


Kali Sulph - Potassium Sulfate 

Cellular building block

It is helpful in respiration conditions, lungs, sinuses, bronchi, or asthma. Known as the anti-friction cell salt, Kali Sulph acts like a lubricant. It is important for healthy skin, inflammation, or to build new skin. Kali Sulph is useful for yellow discharge, glandular swelling, abscess, or cancer. Its main duty is to build new cells.


Mag Phos - Magnesium Phosphate 

Antispasmodic remedy

Mag Phos is needed by the brain, heart, and muscles to relax. It helps with flatulence, convulsions, sciatica, neuralgia, cramping, muscle tightness, and spasms. As a nerve tonic, it is very useful for pain.


Nat Mur - Sodium Chloride 

Headache remedy

Nat Mur is the water distributor and cell membrane protector. Its primary function is to regulate the proper degree of moisture throughout the system. Exceptional dryness or excessive moisture is an indication for this remedy. It works as an antihistamine, relieving allergy conditions. It relieves imbalances of the lymphatic system, blood, spleen, and mucous lining of the alimentary canal. The parts of the body most influenced by Nat Mur are the kidneys and sinuses. Sodium chloride works to stabilize the blood flow, relieving headaches and reducing hypertension.


Nat Phos - Sodium Phosphat 

The great acid balancer

Sodium Phosphate helps reduce acidity in the blood, relieving acid conditions such as gout, back pain, muscle aches, and indigestion. Emotional symptoms rising from over acidity due to irritation of the brain cells include: hate, envy, criticism, jealousy, competition, selfishness, suicide, and murder. Nat Phos is the great acid balancer!


Nat Sulph- Sodium Sulphate  

Remedy for asthma

While sodium chloride attracts water to the body's tissues, sodium sulphate regulates the carrying away of fluids from the cells. It is known to speed healing in the mucous membranes, in the intercellular fluids, lungs, liver, and pancreas. Use this salt for the symptoms of chills, malaria, influenza, or to excrete superfluous water.


Silica - Silica Oxide 

Cleanses and eliminates waste

It helps to rid the body of any impurity. It can create a passage for pus, breaking up accumulations, boils, or abscesses. It has been called the "homeopathic surgeon". Silica helps to cure chronic skin conditions. It is a slow working tissue cleanser, but has lasting results. Silica acts as an insulator for the nerve, connective tissues, bones, joints, glands, skin, and mucous membranes. It is a basic nutrient of the skin, hair, and nails. If you are always chilly, you may need silica. In cases of asthma complicated with heavy mucus on the chest, silica can reduce inflammation and restore normal breathing.


Dosage for Cell Salts:


Adult....Take 3-4 tablets three to four times a day.

Children.....Take 2 tablets three to four times a day.

Infant or pet....1 tablet crushed and placed under tongue or dissolved in warm water three times a day.


Chronic cases: Take tablets three to four times a day. The remedies may have to be taken for a month or longer.


Acute cases of sudden onset or severe pain: Dose every 15 minutes, then 1 to 2 hours apart and decrease frequency as symptoms improve.

Homeopathy is wonderful for acute conditions such as colds.  It is safe, having no side effects, easy to use, and inexpensive.  Listed below are a few of the commonly used remedies, simply match your symptoms to the remedy.

Aconitum napellus (monkshood):  Useful in the early stages of fiver or inflammation with sudden onset, especially after exposure to cold, dry wind.  The person is fearful, restless, and thirsty.  Throbbing headache, clear nasal discharge, sneezing, burning throat, barking cough, eyes feel dry and sandy.  Sensitive to noise and light.  Worse at night.

Allium cepa (red onion):  Profuse watery discharge from eyes and nose, sometimes from one nostril, without sneezing, hoarseness, laryngitis, with a raw sensation in throat and chest. Better from open air and cold room.

Bryonia alba (white bryonia):  Called the "grumpy bear" because the person is irritable and wants to be left alone.  watery nasal discharge with stuffy nose, dry racking - painful cough, aching, great thirst, pale, splitting headache, person fells worse from the slightest movement.

Hepar sulphuris calcareum (calcium sulphide):  Most commonly used for children with croup.  Oversensitivity, irritable, and touchy.  Ear ache with sticking pain, deep - barking voice, rattling cough, itching eyes and throat, sneezing, offensive sour sweat.  Better from warmth and eating.  Useful for the late stage of stuffy colds.

Phosphorus:  Fearful of the dark or being alone.  Pale, laryngitis, throat raw - furry, violent tickling in throat, dry - racking cough that hurts, descend to heavy weight in chest, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.  Better from open air, and cold drinks.

Pulsatilla (wind flower):  Person craves open air and is not thirsty.  Sensitive, moody, in pain, craves attention.  Nose runs thick with yellow discharge. Styes on eyes.  Gagging cough, bringing up yellow mucus, weight on chest - must sit up.  Ears ar stopped up, with severe throbbing, worse at night.  Better with motion.

Spongia tosta (roasted sponge):  Chief symptom is a croupy, wheezy cough - the croup.  Lying down with head low, breathing sounds harsh, breathing difficult as if throat was plugged, dry - barking cough.  Nose runs and then stops, alternating.  Eyes water, discharge of mucus.  Better from swallowing.  Feeling of exhaustion or heaviness of body. 

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only You are personally responsible for your own health choices and any information is to assist you in making those choices.

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that uses "natural" substances made from animal, vegetable, minerals, and even bacteria to create balance in the body. These substances are ultra-diluted and prepared in a way that makes them nontoxic and very safe. They do not have side effects and do not interfere with any medications. Homeopathy is a great choice for home use and is safe for children, the elderly, or pets.


Homeopathy was discovered by Samuel Hahnemnann, a medical doctor and chemist, in the early 1800's. Hahnemann was frustrated with the toxic medicines of his day; a time when mercury and bloodletting were common. He suggested that a drug acts therapeutically when it produces symptoms in a person without the disease that are similar to those in a person who has the disease. This became known as the "Doctrine of Signatures" or "like heals like". Hahnemann's 'provings' of remedies were on humans, without harm, and they included mental symptoms as well. Remember, that this was at a time BEFORE microscopes, stethoscopes, blood chemistry, germ theory, or CAT scans! Symptoms were the only way to define an illness.


Homeopathy was considered advanced science for its time and it is still viable today. In the past some scientists have criticized it, saying the action was a placebo effect, as it was too ultra-diluted to be seen by a microscope. In a dilution above 6x there is NO physical substance. Today's nanotechnology makes us realize that there are things we cannot see, yet they are very real. Homeopathy has been called an energy medicine, having to do more with physics (vibrational movement or frequency) than chemistry. Recently, MRI technology has identified the action of homeopathic remedies. It is no longer thought of as voodoo, any more than electricity, radio waves, cell phones, or the internet.


In 1810, Hahnemann published his book, Organon of Medicine: The Rational Art of Healing. It was taken by explorers all over the world. Homeopathy is popular in India, Africa, England, France, and South America. There are over 2000 homeopathic remedies. Learning all of them can feel overwhelming. Yet, with a little basic knowledge, you can safely use these inexpensive remedies at home. Most people will begin by learning the acute remedies. Usually sold in kits of 30 - 48 remedies, these provide the basics for treating coughs, colds, ear aches, sore throats, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, teething, bug bites, injuries, pain, and more.


Another good place to start is with the cell salts. There are 12 individual mineral remedies and the combination of all twelve is called, Bioplasma. In 1873, Dr. Schuessler began analyzing the body's blood and tissues, isolating the minerals it contained. He believed that providing the needed minerals, the body would come into balance and health. He also believed that the twelve cell salts contained all the active ingredients used in traditional homeopathy. Using the 12 cell salts or tissue salts is a simple way to begin to learn homeopathy.


Homeopathy is a safe, inexpensive medicine to learn and use at home!

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GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism.  This is the process of genetically altering food.  I am not a scientist, but as I understand it:  basically, they take a strand of DNA and shoot material into it and see what sticks.  There is not a specific place where they insert the new material.  Rather it is changed at random, which suggests things may change that they didn't plan.  Once the DNA is changed, it is changed forever.  If you eat a food that has GMO, it becomes part of the bacteria in your intestines.  It will stay there for generations, being passed on to your children.  This has not been tested over time...WE ARE THE GUINEA PIGS!  As are our children and grandchildren.

There has been an increase in certain diseases in children.  Autism, 1 out of 150 has it.  Asthma, 1 in 11 has it.  Allergies, 1 in 4 children are affected.  The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that asthma and allergies affect 1 in 4 Americans.  There has been a 100% increase in asthma in the past 30 years.  The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunologypublished a study in 2003 stating that the number of children with peanut allergies actually doubled between 1997 and 2002.  Now we cannot send a peanut butter sandwich to school...it used to be the classic school lunch!  Robin O'Brien states in her book, The Unhealthy Truth, "The dramatic increase in the number of allergies should serve as a warning to all of us that something about food has changed".  I AGREE!!!

So WHY do they want GMO foods?  The simple answer - isn't it ALWAYS about the money?  Some  well-known seeds are the "Round-up Ready" or "Bt corn"...they add  pesticides to the DNA so that the insects won't eat it.  This isn't just spraying the pesticide, which we could purposefully wash off, but this is inserting it into the genes of the plant...no way to wash it off!  Recently, the first animal, a GMO salmon was approved.  This introduces an eel gene so that the salmon grows huge and fast...ready for market.  What happens if it is introduced into the wild?  Will it make the true salmon endangered and then extinct?  These GMO plants and animals can be patented...so they cannot be reproduced.  They are great from a business or market value point of view.  They make money.

Some of the foods approved in the United States include:  corn, cotton, potatoes, tomatoes, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, rice, flax, squash/zucchini, papaya, chicory/radicchio, and salmon.  I encourage you to support the efforts to have these foods labeled as GMO.  We should know what we are eating!  Also, support foods labeled non-GMO or non-GMO project by purchasing them.  For more scientific information, look online at www.SeedsofDeception.com.  I also recommend you read Robin O'Brien's book, The Unhealthy Truth, which tells the story from a mother's point of view.

What is Aromatherapy?   The study of scent, it is defined as the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well-being. Essential oils are the essence of the plant contained in tiny droplets in its glands, veins, leaves, stems, bark, flowers, roots, and fruit. Essential oils are not really oily at all, but rather a water-like fluid...so most will not stain clothing. Essential oils are very concentrated; one drop equals about thirty cups of herbal tea!


How do essential oils enter the body? Essential oils enter the body either through inhalation - the nose, or through topical application - the skin. The olfactory bulb is linked directly to the limbic brain which controls emotions, memory, stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and hormone balance. The sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than our other senses. We don't realize how quickly the things we smell can move into the brain, for good or bad. The skin is our largest "organ" and we can efficiently absorb the essential oils by placing them on the skin. Essential oils have a small molecular structure which is easily absorbed. Lavender and tea tree oils are the only ones recommended to put straight or "neat" on the skin. Most oils need to be diluted with carrier oils before they are used topically. 3-6 drops of essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil is a typical dilution.


Cautions? The National Aromatherapy Association does not recommend ANY essential oils to be used for internal use. Remember essential oils are highly concentrated...KEEP ALL ESSENTIAL OILS OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN! Oils may be specially formulated for internal use and put into a soft gel...but don't use your topical essential oils for internal use. Always make sure you use PURE oils and not synthetic ones. Pure oils are not diluted. Look for the words, "cold pressed or steam distilled". Do not use any that are labeled "perfume, fragrance, or potpourri"; as these words signal synthetic oils. Also, pure essential oils vary in price...if they are all the same price, they probably are synthetic. Some essential oils are not safe during pregnancy...so do your research.


What do essential oils do? Most oils will have both physical and emotional uses. They can help with eczema, acne, boils, colds, flu, bronchitis, coughs, infections, fungus, menopause symptoms, arthritis, sprains, joints, headache, burns, hair loss, circulation, hyper or hypo tension, muscular soreness, bruising, cramps, cold sores, varicose veins, decongestant, sinus, toothache...the list is endless! Emotional uses for the oils include: nervous exhaustion, depression, nervous tension, mental fatigue, hysteria, shock, irritability, memory, anxiety, stress, grief, insomnia, PMS, frustration, alertness, or concentration...to name a few!


How do I get started? I recommend that you buy a good book on essential oils. Get one that has a good index to look up ailments or topics, has good recipes for combining the oils, and has an individual listing of the different oils explaining their use. Next, pick out 2 or 3 oils and begin using them...you can slowly add to your collection as you discover their uses. You may also want to purchase a candle warmer or diffuser to disperse the oil into the air. Enjoy Learning and Using Aromatherapy!

Considered a super-grain, quinoa was revered by the Incas for its nutrition.  Pronounced, 'Kee-no-a', the grain gave strength and energy to the Incas for heavy labor at high altitudes.  Originating in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, quinoa is now also grown in the high altitudes of Colorado, New Mexico, California, Washington, and Oregon.  There are about 1800 varieties of quinoa, ranging in size and color.  Quinoa has a near perfect balance of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  It is also rich in calcium and other minerals.

Quinoa must be thoroughly rinsed before cooking, as it contains saponins, which will leave a bitter taste if not removed.  Simply put 1 cup of the grain into a strainer, placed in a bowl of water.  Swish around allowing the water to be sudsy, rinse with fresh water, and repeat 3-4 times as needed until the water is clear.  To cook the quinoa, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa, cooking a couple of minutes.  Then cover, remove from heat, and let it stand for 30 minutes.  (Or you can cook it longer, about 12 minutes, and let it stand for 5 minutes.)  It yields about 4 cups of cooked quinoa.  It may be kept in the refrigerator 3-4 days.  Quinoa has a rather bland taste, so it may be used a variety of ways depending on the spices and flavorings you add to it.  It makes a wonderful breakfast cereal.  Packed full of nutrition and easy to cook, give Quinoa a try!

For more recipes check out this website:   http://www.cookingquinoa.net 

Chocolate is derived from the cacao tree, native in Central and South America.  The Mayan and Aztec cultures used chocolate extensively in a fermented beverage called xocolatl, containing cacao beans, hot chili, and corn. 

Chocolate makes us feel good!  It contains l-tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, which creates feelings of satisfaction, contentment, and even elation.  Chocolate also contains phenylethylaminewhich stimulates pleasurable feelings: joy, excitement, elevated mood, and euphoria.  The same area of the brain that responds to sex and music, also responds to chocolate.  Eating chocolate triggers the release of endorphins in the brain which relieve pain.  Chocolate gives more satisfaction if a small portion is ingested slowly...it is all about the taste! 

One ounce of dark chocolate contains 136 calories, 1.19 grams of protein, 8.51 grams of fat, 9 mg of calcium, 33 mg of magnesium, 37 mg of phosphorus, 103 mg of potassium and 18 mg of caffeine.  It also contains vitamins B1, B2, D, E, and is high in antioxidants.  Chocolate is naturally bitter, so beware of the sugar, fats, and milk added to candy to make it more delicious.  Dark chocolate contains bioflavonoids which have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer health benefits.  Dark chocolate has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, making it great for heart health.  

So, go ahead, treat yourself to a bit of chocolate today!

Cayenne Pepper may be lifesaving!  It stops bleeding, is a stimulant for the heart - preventing heart attack and shock, it equalizes blood pressure and circulation, and prevents hypothermia.  Cayenne increases thermogenesis aiding in weight loss.  Mistakenly thought to cause ulcers; in fact, hot compounds such as cayenne, garlic, and ginger actually have anti-ulcer activity.

Capsicum has many anti-cancer compounds.  It is high in Vitamins A,C, and E; and in antioxidants which are able to neutralize free radicals.  As a pain-killer, cayenne is used in many creams for arthritis and sore muscles.  Cayenne increases the effectiveness of other herbs, so it is often included in formulas.  

Columbus went looking for the black Indians and black pepper of India and found the red Indians and red pepper of America.  Cayenne changed the world's cuisine!  In 1913, it was even named the "National Spice of Ethiopia".  In Latin it is Capsicum frutescens.  In Greek it means, "to bite".  Add a little spice to your cooking and increase your circulation!

Samuel Thompson popularized its use medicinally in the early 1800's, along with his other favorite herb, lobelia.  Dr. John Christopher always carried cayenne and lobelia in his pocket because of their lifesaving qualities.  Do you suspect a heart attack?  Is there an accident or bleeding?  Call for help-911...and give a squirt of cayenne tincture while you wait!  Lobelia is great to help someone breathe;  it opens the bronchial tubes...but that is the subject for another article.

Cayenne pepper is an annual and is easily grown in a home garden.  The peppers look beautiful strung together and hung to dry.  Cayenne is best used as a tincture, because it gets into the system quickly.  

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices.

One of the most common things people ask me about is heart health. What supplement can I take to help lower my blood pressure? Is there something I can do to lower my cholesterol? Actually, yes there are several things you can do to strengthen your heart and arteries. Let's discuss a few of the most common supplements used for heart health.


Hawthorn Berry - One of my favorite herbs! Hawthorn berry is first herb which comes to my mind for strengthening the heart muscle. It is considered a cardiac tonic, increasing oxygen utilization and enzyme metabolism in the heart muscle. Hawthorn berry helps a damaged heart work more efficiently. It is useful for arrhythmias and heart valve problems. It dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow freely, thereby lowering blood pressure.


Garlic - Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, discourages platelet aggregation, and contains helpful antioxidants. Many studies have shown garlics ability to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising protective HDL cholesterol. One average size clove of garlic contains 4,500 mcg of allicin, the smelly but active component of garlic.


Red Yeast Rice - This traditional Chinese remedy is the fermented product of red yeast cultivated on rice. Lovastatin is a drug that was synthesized from a substance in red yeast rice. Like the statin drugs, red yeast rice lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises HDL, but in a safer, gentler manner. The recommended dose of red yeast rice is 1,200-2,400 mg per day. Do not take red yeast rice if you are on a statin drug.


Fish Oil - One of the most potent therapies for heart disease! Helps with inflammation, blood clotting and platelet aggregation, cholesterol and triglycerides. Look for high-quality fish oil that is harvested in northern waters and has been tested for mercury contaminants. The recommended dose for heart health is 2000 mg daily. Look for softgels which are enteric coated, meaning they open in the intestines instead of the stomach, solving the bad taste, burping, or upset feeling fish oil might otherwise cause.


CoQ10 - Coenzyme Q10 is the spark plug that gets things going! Its main role is in the energy production within your cells; because the heart beats more than 100,000 times every day, you need that energy! CoQ10 stabilizes heart muscle cells and protects them from free radical damage. It can reduce chest pain, lower blood pressure, help arrhythmias, and improve exercise tolerance. Studies at the Whitaker Wellness Institute have shown CoQ10 to prolong the life of patients with heart failure and even reverse their condition.


Yes, what you eat and the supplements you take can make a huge difference in heart health! To further pursue this subject I suggest the book, Reversing Heart Disease by Julian Whitaker MD. Give your heart the nutrients it needs to keep your body going...and going strong!

How do I use Marshmallow to soothe inflammation?  Marshmallow is an excellent herb to promote the healing of wounds.  Its leaves are often used to reduce inflammation and draw out poisons or debris embedded in a wound.  The best way to do this is by making a strong "tea" using 1-2 Tbsp. of the herb (leaves) to 2 cups water.  To use dip a clean white cloth in the warm "tea"  and cover the affected area.  You may then cover it with plastic wrap to keep it moist for awhile, and keep your clothes dry and clean.  This is called a "fomentation".  You may also use the fresh leaves as a "poultice" by chopping them or bruising them adding a bit of moisture and placing them directly on the wound.  Leave the fomentation or poultice on for 15 minutes to an hour, then let the skin breathe awhile before repeating it.  You may reheat the "tea" several times, but make fresh each day.  Let your body tell you when it is time to stop...if it feels clammy and you want it OFF...then you are done.  I have used this simple remedy many times with my children.  It is a great first aid herb!  

More facts about Marshmallow:  It improves the ability of white blood cells to devour disease-causing microbes. I had a friend who used the marshmallow fomentation after knee surgery.  Her incision was becoming infected, so she tried the marshmallow and it began to heal.  Marshmallow is a wonderful alternative!  Marshmallow is muscilaginous, soothing internally or externally.   It is very useful for the lungs, digestive system, intestines, and urinary system.  You will find marshmallow added to many formulas for these areas.  Being calcium-rich, marshmallow also increases the flow of mother's milk. 

Marshmallow as Food:  The nutritious roots are referenced in the Bible as a food eaten in famine (Job 30:3-4).  When eaten, marshmallow root has fiber which absorbs toxins and eliminates them from the body.  In France, marshmallows were originally made by boiling the roots and adding sugar.  Today's marshmallows have no trace of the original herb in them.

How do I grow Marshmallow?  Marshmallow is a relative of the hollyhock and is quite beautiful in your flower garden.  It likes sun and poor soil.  It grows 4-5 feet tall with soft leaves and white flowers.  It is a perennial, returning every year, but is easily propagated from seed.  The leaves should be harvested in summer after flowering.  Dry them by hanging the whole stalk or by spreading the leaves out on a table.  How long they take to dry depends on the weather...if it is humid they will reabsorb moisture from the air.  Store them in an airtight container,  I use glass canning jars.  Check for dryness a couple of days later...as they may still have a bit of moisture in them.  The roots should be dug in autumn, usually at 2-3 years old...older roots will become woody. 

Grow your own medicine this year!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  Your are personally responsible for your own health choices.

Which foods can I add to my diet to prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart problems?

Flaxseed - Flax is the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.  Adding 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed to your diet daily provides the fiber needed to help lower cholesterol.  You might even lose weight too!  Flax also contains an abundance of lignans, which help to prevent cancer.

Low-sodium Tomato Juice - Tomatoes are very high in potassium, which is important for blood pressure regulation.  Most of us get too much sodium in our diet, which throws the potassium out of balance.  An easy way to insure that you keep up the potassium is to drink a glass of low-sodium tomato juice daily.  It also is low in sugar, high in the antioxidant vitamins A and C, and high in lycopene.  Lycopene protects against cancer and the risk of heart attack.  V-8 anyone?

Fatty Fish - The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies and trout have great benefits for the cardiovascular system.  Omega-3's  increase circulation, protect the arteries, and inhibit the formation of blood clots.  They work to normalize blood pressure and heart rhythm, while lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.  Fish oil also may improve brain function and memory, help with insulin resistance, help you to lose weight, relieve arthritis pain, and protect against cancer.   Could we ask for anything more?  Eat a serving of fatty fish two or three times a week.

Nuts - Walnuts have been the most studied for heart health, but other nuts may be beneficial also.  Nuts are a great source of the healthy fats which help to reduce cholesterol levels.  They also contain the antioxidant Vitamin E and the amino acid arginine, which protects against plaque formation, and relaxes the arteries, helping blood pressure.  A great snack...just remember moderation.

Garlic - Just one clove a day may reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.  Garlic contains antioxidants that protect the arteries.  It also enhances the immune system, kills microbes, and protects from cancer.  Make an effort to include garlic in your cooking...although raw is always best.

Green leafy vegetables - Spinach, kale, collard and mustard greens, chicory, Swiss chard, and arugula are all highly beneficial to the cardiovascular system.  They are high in antioxidants, protecting the arteries and improving LDL cholesterol.  They are high in calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and essential fatty acids to improve heart health.  Try some new greens!

Beans - Kidney, pinto, garbanzo, soy,  black beans, and other legumes are all beneficial to cholesterol levels.  Eat 1/2 cup of beans a day to add protein, minerals, and fiber to your diet.

Oatmeal - The old fashioned slow cooked cereal grain is a wonderful source of fiber, called beta glucan.  Eating oatmeal several times a week may help reduce cholesterol.

The body needs a variety of nutrients to function at its best.  If we want to be healthy, we have to put the right fuel into our systems.  What you eat has a huge impact on how you feel!  Make better choices today.  Remember, Achieve Health One Choice At a Time!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices.

EGGS - Eggs contain 72 calories, 6.3 grams of high-quality protein, and vitamins B12, A, and E.  Want to lose weight?  Replace carbs with eggs for breakfast and lose 65 percent more weight; as did the people in a study reported in the International Journal of Obesity.  For a time people were told to avoid eggs because of its cholesterol content, but it has been shown that eating eggs has little impact on your serum cholesterol level.  Eggs are good food...not to be avoided!

GREEN TEA - Boosts the metabolism, aiding in weight loss.  Green tea contains antioxidants which help prevent cancer.  They say it only takes 4 cups a day - I say that is do-able!

GARLIC - Antibacterial and antifungal, garlic is great for fighting off colds.  Garlic strengthens the cardiovascular and immune systems.  For best results, eat it raw, as cooking changes it's effectiveness.  I use 1 clove every 4 hours as a natural antibiotic...mince and add to a tsp. honey.

GRAPEFRUIT - Has long been known to help people lose weight.  Grapefruit decreases levels of insulin as sugar is metabolized more effectively.  It also contains a massive amount of the cancer-preventing antioxidant lycopene.

GREEK YOGURT - Contains more proteins, more calcium, and less sugar than most yogurts.  Plus it is a great source of the good live bacteria...beneficial to the intestines and immune system.  Try this instead of sour cream, use in dips, salad dressings, or with fruit for breakfast or a snack.  Yum!

AVOCADO - This moist,creamy, delicious food is one of my favorites.  Try it on a salad, sandwich, or as a salad dressing, or dip for vegies.  I like to cut it in half and just eat it with a spoon!  Avocado contains the good kind of fats; which the body needs for brain, heart, and artery health.  Eating good fats helps the body to release stored fat as well...so you can lose that belly fat.

QUINOA - Try something new!  Quinoa is a grain which cooks like rice, but has twice the protein.  It is a complete protein...containing a blend of all the amino acids...perfect for vegetarians!  It also has lots of fiber with a small portion of carbohydrates, making it a good choice for diabetics or those watching their weight.

BELL PEPPERS - Go for the brightly colored ones...they are full of antioxidants!  Also high in carotenoids and vitamin C, which improve immune function, cell communication, and defend against sun damage and cancer. 

ALMONDS - High in fiber and protein, almonds make a great snack.  Also high in oleic acid, almonds improve brain and heart function.  We all need that!

SWISS CHARD - known as nature's multivitamin...contains 16 vital nutrients including:  vitamins A, E, and K.  These nutrients strenthen bones, improve brain function, and protect against cancer.  Our Grandmother's knew what they were doing when they added these cooked greens to the diet!

THE CHALLENGE - How many of these foods can you add to your diet today?

Information for this list was taken from the book, Eat This Not That by David Zinczenko.

Did you know that your brain is 50% fat?  If we deprive ourselves of beneficial fats, we deprive the brain of the nutrients it needs to function.  Deficient EFA's lead to an impaired ability to learn and recall information.  Do you suppose there is a correlation between the past 30 years of low fat and no fat diet fads, to the increase in Alzheimers, dementia, and Attention Deficit Disorder?

What are essential fatty acids or EFA's?  They are the building blocks of fats and oils.  EFA's are essential for rebuilding and producing new cells in the body.  They are called essentialbecause they are not made by the body and MUST be obtained from the diet.

What do essential fatty acids do?  They improve the skin and hair with anti-viral effects.  EFA's may prevent arthritis by decreasing inflammation.  They lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels; and improve artery integrity. EFA's aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and the functioning of the brain.

How do we increase the EFA's in our diet or with supplements?  Essential fatty acids, particularly the omega-3's, are found in deep water fish, fish oil, flax oil, and walnut oil.  Theomega-6's are found in raw nuts, seeds, legumes, unsaturated vegetable oils, borage oil, grape seed oil, evening primrose oil, sesame oil, and soybean oil.  It is best to have a ratio of4/1...omega-3's/omega-6's for adequate prostaglandins.  Prostaglandins regulate:  inflammation, pain, swelling, blood pressure, heart/gastrointestinal/kidney functions, blood clotting, allergic response, steroid and hormone production.

What causes a deficiency of essential fatty acids?  Excessive consumption of omega-6 oils, trans-fatty acids, or hydrogenated oils.  Hydrogenated oils are found in most refined and processed foods, breads, cakes, candies, canned soups, cereals, cookies, doughnuts, processed cheese, and snack foods.  Hydrogenated oils are in margarine, canola, corn, safflower, sesame, sunflower, and walnut oils.  Hydrogenated oils are associated with:  low birth weight, low quality breast-milk, abnormal sperm, decreased testosterone in men, prostate and heart disease, obesity, suppression of the immune system, cancers, and raised LDL/lowered HDL cholesterol levels.

What destroys essential fatty acids?  Heat!  Worse, it causes free radicals.  So be careful not to heat good oils such as flax oil. However, olive oil is fine for cooking at lower temperatures.

Improve your brain...take a fish or flax oil supplement daily!

What do minerals do?  Minerals are necessary for the function of your cells...and remember:  You are only as healthy as your cells.  Minerals are needed for proper composition of body fluids, the formation of blood and bone, healthy nerve function, activating enzymes,  maintaining muscle tone including heart muscle, balancing pH levels, and are involved with energy production, growth, and repair.

Where do minerals come from?  One of the best sources of minerals are rocks.  Now think about that...would you pick up a rock, a piece of coral, or an oyster shell, and eat it?  Yet, we will grind it up, put it in a capsule and expect our digestive system to break it down and utilize it.  We were not made to eat rocks!  The plant roots go deep into the soil and take up the minerals there.  Then we eat the plants to provide our minerals.  We need to get our minerals from an organic...or living...source.
The other problem with these rock mineral supplements is that they are processed with industrial chemicals.  Dr. Robert Thiel has some excellent information on his website:  www.doctorsresearch,.com. 

How do I provide my body with enough minerals?   First, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.  The best source of minerals is real food!  If you need extra minerals, make sure you get them from a plant source.  Herbs such as alfalfa, dandelion, kelp, and spirulina, are very high in trace minerals.  Red algae is a great source of calcium...and one that is easily absorbed by the body. 

Make sure your minerals come from an organic source...not rocks!

The gallbladder is about four inches long, pear shaped, and located under the liver on the right side of the body.  The liver produces bile as a waste product to remove toxins from the body  The gallbladder stores the bile and uses it to aid the process of digestion. The body believes in recycling!    

The gallbladder holds about 1/4 pint of bile, which it releases into the duodenum to neutralize the acidic chyme (food) released from the stomach.  The other job of bile is to degrease fat...much like your dish soap does for washing dishes.  .  If the gallbladder is removed neither of these functions are possible.  Bile will continually drip into the duodenum, but never in sufficient quantities to neutralize the pH or break down fats as it needs to do. This acidic state in the duodenum leads to ulcers; and fats will simply run through the bowel causing diarrhea. 

The composition of bile includes: pigments- made from bilirubin which is the waste from red blood cells and is responsible for the color of urine and feces, bile salts - mostly sodium and highly alkaline, and cholesterol.  Since this is such a easily accessible source of minerals, the body will sometimes steal the minerals stored there for the lifesaving use of neutralizing an acidic body.  If the liquid minerals are stolen, the cholesterol and pigments may solidify to form gallstones.  Prevention of gallstones then, would include eating vegetables and using organic mineral supplements to build up the  minerals available to the body.

A good cleanse to rid the body of gallstones is described in the book, The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse, by Andreas Moritz.  It is important to follow a careful regimen for removal of gallstones, which should include using apple juice to help soften the stones.  Stones too large to pass, may be a problem causing pain and hospitalization...so be sure to discuss this with your doctor.  However, many people have had success in removing gallstones from the body with natural methods.  Do your research first!  Definitely explore the possibility of ridding the body of stones before it gets to the point of needing the gallbladder removed, as this causes problems lasting a lifetime.  Prevention is the cure!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all information given is for educational purposes only and not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices and any information given is to assist you in making those choices.

Digestion and absorption are the two chief functions of the digestive system. 

Digestion mostly occurs in the stomach where enzymes and hydrochloric acid break down the food into small molecular chains, which can be used by the body after it is absorbed into the bloodstream.  You are NOT what you eat...but what you assimilate and utilize! 

Problems in the stomach include:  heartburn or acid reflux, churning, belching, bloating, and ulcers. .  
Supplements for the stomach include:  enzymes and betaine HCL to better break down the food, slippery elm and aloe vera to sooth and rebuild the stomach lining, fennel or ginger to settle an upset stomach.

Absorption is the job of the small intestine, a 20 foot long tube, divided into 3 sections.  The first section, the duodenum, receives the juices from the gallbladder and pancreas which create just the right pH and enzymes to finish off the break down of the food which mostly occurred in the stomach. The main part of assimilation occurs in the jejunum, 12 feet long, covered with finger-like projections called villi.  These catch the food absorbing the nutrients, leaving water and waste behind to move on thru the third section, called the illeum.  

Problems in the small intestine include:  inflammation called enteritis, mal-absorption of minerals and vitamins commonly caused by allergies to foods, duodenal ulcers, or candida yeast imbalance.  Celiac disease is caused by an allergic reaction to gluten which damages the jejunumeach time wheat is eaten.  It is important to remove the allergens from your diet. 

Supplements for the small intestine include:  enzymes, probiotics, essential fatty acids (EFA's), and herbs.  Enzymes, EFA's, and herbs like marshmallow, wild yam, and slippery elm help soothe inflammation.  Probiotics, such as acidolphilus help keep candida yeast in check.

Digestion and absorption are basic to the health of the body.  If they are not functioning properly, the body doesn't have the nutrients it needs to function, have energy, or repair and heal.   
Give the digestive system the attention it needs!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and nothing herein is to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  All information is for educational purposes only.  You are responsible for your own health choices and this information is presented to assist you in making those choices.

Which supplements do I really need? People often ask me this question. Money is tight for most of us right now, and we want to make each dollar count with our health choices. Also, it is easy to read an article, see an advertisement, or hear a television show and buy several products. Pretty soon the counter is covered with too many pills to swallow, and we may not even remember what they are supposed to do. I like to help people create a plan for their health...so they are taking supplements for a real purpose. A good place to start is with these supplements:


Multivitamins: A good quality multivitamin will help fill in the gaps of the food we eat. However, they will never take the place of REAL food. We still need to eat right...but how many of us really do? So a vitamin supplement can help to cover the areas we miss with our diet. It is important to get a quality supplement. Look for the words, whole food or food based...this means they have added REAL food nutrients to the synthetic vitamins. A vitamin made completely of REAL food is a rarity...hard to find. They will be more expensive and you will have to swallow more tablets to get the amount you need. Synthetics are man made versions of the natural or God made version of food nutrients. Chemists will tell you that there is no difference in the molecular structure. However, there is a difference in the way the body absorbs the nutrients...perhaps something is there that we do not yet see. REAL food is always the best! Buy the best multivitamin you can afford.


Minerals: Sometimes these are included in a multi-vitamin, but rarely in sufficient amounts. Because our diets are so acidic, we need to continuously replenish a supply of minerals which our body can use to keep our pH balance in the proper range. Many mineral supplements are made of ground up rocks put into a capsule. Do we really think that our bodies can digest rocks? We are better able to digest plants which absorb the minerals from the soil. Look for minerals that are labeled from a plant source. Seaweeds are an excellent, easy to digest, source of minerals. Another source of minerals which are easier to absorb are those labeled ionic or colloidal. These are made through an electrical process that makes the mineral molecules more able to be absorbed by the body.


Essential Fatty Acids: EFA's are the building blocks of fats and oils. They are essential for production and the rebuilding of cells. The body cannot produce EFA's; they must come from the diet. Did you know that 50% of the brain is fat? If we deprive our bodies of good fat, we deprive the brain of its ability to learn and recall information. Do you suppose there is any correlation between the past 30 years of no-fat and low-fat diets and the increase in dementia, Alzheimer's, and ADD? This might be something to think about. Most of us do not eat enough of the good kinds of fats in our diet. Supplements of fish oil or flax oil can improve your health. EFA's have desirable effects in areas, such as: arthritis, blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation, arteries, and skin.


Create a plan for better health! Lay the foundation with a quality multivitamin, plant-sourced minerals, and essential fatty acids. Build a strong body with the nutrients from good food and by targeting specific body systems for supplement support. Take a step today toward achieving health...one choice at a time!

The pancreas is located just below the stomach.  Its primary function is to produce the enzymes necessary for digestion and secrete them into the duodenum where they will be activated.  Its secondary function is to produce two hormones, insulin and glucagon.  Insulinlowers blood sugar by allowing glucose to pass into the body's cells and be used as energy. Glucagon raises blood sugar as needed to keep balance.

Problems of the pancreas include:   Pancreatitis which is defined as the inflammation and enlargement of the pancreas gland.  Pancreatitis may be caused by alcohol damage or by overwork as it desperately tries to create enough enzymes for food digestion. If the pancreas is too busy making enzymes for digestion...it doesn't have the energy needed to make enough insulin.  Diabetes mellitus is defined as a disease of insufficient insulin.  Excess glucose is found in blood and urine it is characterized by abnormal metabolism of glucose, protein, and fat.  Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is now considered to be the precursor of diabetes.

Diet is key to preventing diabetes, which has become epidemic in the United States.  We must replace simple carbohydrates or sugars, with complex carbohydrates which digest more slowly and do not spike blood sugar levels. Avoid all processed foods, including those labeled whole grain.  In changing your diet, remember, it is not the once-in-a-while special treats that harm us, but what we eat every day that will kill us.  When we eat sugar our pancreas secretes insulin to help us process that sugar....because we eat too many sugars our pancreas works overtime, and wears out.  Then we end up on insulin, and facing the many side effects that diabetes brings.  

Supplements and herbs that may be useful for the pancreas include:  alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E,  cedar berry, cinnamon, chromium, gentian, gymnema sylvestre, nopal, and vanadium.  Also taking supplemental enzymes for digestion, allows the pancreas to focus more on creating insulin and less on making digestive enzymes.  Give your pancreas a rest today!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and the above information is not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  All information given is for educational purposes.  Each person is responsible for their own health choices, and the information is solely to assist in making those choices.

What causes ulcers?

Stomach ulcers develop when the mucous lining is compromised.  The acid burns a painful sore in the stomach or more often in the upper part of the small intestine called the duodenum.  Chyme or food from the stomach along with the hydrochloric acid moves into the duodenum and then is neutralized by bile from the liver through the gallbladder.  If the bile does not have sufficient minerals to neutralize the acid then it will burn sores or ulcers there.  The duodenum does not have the same protective mucous lining as the stomach does, so it is easily burned by the acid.  The other interesting thing about the duodenum is that it doesn't have many nerve endings, so you may not even feel the acid burning there...you just start bleeding.  Ulcers are also caused by bacteria, so it is important that you have enough bacteria in the stomach to kill the bacteria before it reaches the duodenum.  Other causes of ulcers are the overuse of  NSAIDS (nonsteroid anti-inflammation drugs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen.  Stress will make ulcers worse.

What are natural ways to help ulcers heal?

While allowing ulcers to heal, eat a low protein and low fiber diet.  A high protein diet requires the body to make more acid; and although fiber is normally desired, with an ulcer it acts as a scrub brush irritating the sore.  Herbs which ;might be useful for ulcers include:  agrimony, aloe vera, bilberry, calendula, chamomile, cinnamon, comfrey, fenugreek, ginger, goldenseal, licorice, marshmallow, meadowsweet, mullein, and myrrh,.  Slippery elm is very soothing and healing, especially to the mucous membrane, and is my first choice for use in healing the digestive system.

Dr. Christopher's Slippery Elm Gruel

Make a paste by adding (up to 8 oz.) distilled water a little at a time to 3 oz. slippery elm powder; add 1 tsp. honey and a dash of cinnamon.

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and this information is not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information is given for educational purposes only and is intended to supplement, not replace, the medical advice of  your doctor.  Each person is responsible for their own health choices.

Dr. John Christopher, a famous herbalist, warns us, "Well over ninety percent of all disease comes from an unclean body whose sewer is backed up."  It is very important for the bowel to be eliminating properly, otherwise toxins build up and create all kinds of problems for the body.

Constipation may be caused by poor diet, low fiber, too much fast food, food allergies (especially dairy), too much red meat, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, travel, stress, and lack of exercise.

Diarrhea may be caused by poor food absorption, lack of fiber, enzyme deficiency, chronic vitamin A deficiency, intestinal parasites, colitis, food poisoning, food allergies (particularly milk or wheat), stress, reactions to chemicals or drugs, and bacterial or flu infection.

Check into these herbs and supplements to help the bowel! 
Laxative:  cascara sagrada, senna, triphala, magnesium
Soothing:  marshmallow, slippery elm, aloe vera, essential fatty acids
Astringent:  red raspberry, aloe vera
Detox:  chlorophyll, bentonite clay, activated charcoal
Fiber:  psyllium hulls, flax seeds, chia seeds
Probiotics:  the friendly bacteria...such as acidolphilus

There are many box cleanses available that combine several of these herbs and fiber to give the bowel a good cleanse.  Two of my favorite cleanses are Clean Start by Nature's Sunshine or theTotal Body Rapid Cleanse from Renew Life.  If you want to find better health...start by cleansing the bowel!

Lisa A. Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to e considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices and all information is solely to assist in making those choices.

What do these words mean?  My husband frequently uses the saying..."He who defines, WINS".  If we don't understand what the terms mean, we can be easily fooled by marketing strategies. 

Organic- This term is the easiest to define and to understand.  Organic means "living".  If it is certified organic, then the item has been grown under certain conditions.  It has no chemical fertilizers or pesticides sprayed on it or even near the place it is grown.  Organic also by definition is NOT a genetically modified organism, GMO.  Organic animal products have been fed organic grain, and also have not been subjected to artificial growth hormones and minimal antibiotics.  You pay more for a product that has been certified organic, but you know it has been produced under strict conditions with minimal contamination.  The more we support organic farmers, the more availability will increase and the prices will go down too.  Watch for labels where part of the ingredients are "organic", but not everything in the product.

Natural- This term is "Trouble with a capital T".  Natural means "from the earth".  Basically any chemical found on the earth is natural.  So a natural food could contain any chemicals found on the earth.  Natural does NOT mean that it is in its Nature/God-created or original state.  The label "Natural" is like a warning sign to me..that it may not be what I think of as natural at all.  For instance Natural flavors may be from any chemical on the earth...blueberry flavor may in fact be made from cranberries or grapes or any chemicals in them.  We think natural is a good term, but in fact it is used broadly in marketing to hide things you may want to avoid.

Synthetic- This term means Man made.  It is the idea that the synthetic item is LIKE the real thing...some would say it is the same thing.  In fact, it may look identical in its chemical/molecular structure...but somehow the body knows the difference.  Synthetics are an imitation of the real thing...they may look alike, but they are not the same.  They may be helpful at times...but they never completely replace the real food or original vitamin.  Perhaps there is something "alive" that we cannot imitate.

I hope this discussion of word meanings is helpful to you.  The next time you read food or supplement labels...keep my simple definitions in mind as you make your choices.

Fun example:  Have you heard of the coffee beans that achieve their special flavor after going thru the digestive system of the elephant?  They are then handpicked from the "elephant piles", roasted, and sold for $500 a pound.  I think these could be labeled organic and natural...but that doesn't make them good in my mind!

Mix until smooth in blender:

1 scoop protein powder
1Tbsp ground flax or chia seed
1 Tbsp wheatgrass or barley green powder
herbs:  gingko, bilberries, astragulus (optional) 
1/3 cup yogurt (optional)
2/3 cup water or milk (goat, almond, or rice)
liquid mineral supplement
1 Tbsp fish or flax oil
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 banana

This green drink gives me lots of energy and keeps me satisfied most of the morning.  If I have my green drink for breakfast, a large salad for lunch, dinner of meat and vegies, with snacks of fruit, vegies, or nuts...I lose weight too.  The protein powder I like best is vanilla flavored, Love -n- Peas, from Nature's Sunshine.  The ground flax and chia seeds provide fiber, vitamins, protein, and omega-3 fats.  I use the powdered wheatgrass or barley because it's easy, but you can use fresh greens, spinach, or kale.  I place 1 weeks worth of measured dry ingredients into a jar in the fridge...then I just grab 2 scoops out of the jar and add my wet ingredients in the blender.  This makes it easy to put together in the morning, despite my rush to get out the door...if I don't make it easy, then it is too easy to make excuses not to do it.  I also add good-tasting herbs...less pills to swallow!  Ginkgo is for circulation to the brain...I need all the help I can get!  Bilberries and also the blueberries help my eyes, and astragulus builds the immune system - great for the winter months.  I add Cell Food as a mineral supplement or Chinese Mineral Chi Tonic, from Nature's Sunshine.  I use Barlean's fish or flax oil...the flavored Omega Swirls are really yummy (not a bit fishy, I promise!).  The nice thing about a smoothie is you can ad just about anything!  The banana gives it a nice sweet taste, but you can use a variety of fruits and frozen fruits will make a thicker smoothie.  The only negative is:  You have to get past drinking something GREEN!  A green drink can provide protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 oils...a great way to start your day!  Give it a try!

I hate the word DIET...mostly because it has the word DIE in it. Killing the desire for iced cappuccinos, pizza, and chocolate (my favorite indulgences), is NO fun! So I try to keep it simple:

Achieving Health One Choice at a Time. My diet is not at all perfect; but if each day I can make at least one better choice...then my overall health will improve.


Choice #1: If it's NOT food, don't eat it! It is amazing how many things we eat that really don't qualify as REAL food...it is just a bunch of processed chemicals. Eliminate as much packaged food as possible. Consider this: if a food, for example a loaf of bread, lasts on the shelf for over a month without molding...is it real food? Bread made with real, fresh ingredients will mold in a matter of days. Avoid the empty calories of processed foods with little nutritional value. Challenge: Clean out the pantry! Out goes the stuff with white flour, sugar, and chemicals.


Choice #2: Eat 2-4 Servings of fresh fruit...preferably organic and in season when possible. Fruits, particularly the deeply red and purple color, have an abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants give protection from free radicals...the things which cause cancer and aging. They also are an abundant source of vitamins and fiber. Challenge: Have fruit at breakfast every day.


Choice #3: Eat 3-5 Servings of vegetables. A variety of vegies is best. Think all the colors of the rainbow....the more color, the more vitamins! Remember to include vegies at breakfast and as snacks to help get more into your day. I often will have a green drink smoothie for breakfast, adding both vegies and fruit to my protein powder. Your lunch and dinner plates should be 80% vegetables. Challenge: Try a new and different vegetable once each week for the next month!


Choice #4: Eat 1-3 Servings of protein daily (20-30 grams). A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards...we need less than we think. Limit red meat and cheese. Remember that fish, eggs, beans, and nuts are protein...add them into your daily diet. Challenge: Include fish and beans each at least once a week for the next month.


Choice #5: Eat 1-3 Servings of complex carbohydrates daily...whole grains or starchy vegetables. Whole grain means NOT ground or processed! Bread is not whole grain. Think brown rice, barley, or quinoa...try to eat the grain in as close to a natural state as possible. Cook them at low temperatures and eat only a small portion...they digest very slowly. Challenge: for just one month eliminate all GMO (genetically modified organism) grains and wheat.


Choice #6: Eat 1-3 Tbsp. Essential fatty acids (EFA's or Omega 3 oils). Fats that heal include: flax, fish, coconut and olive oil. Fats that kill include: saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, hydrogenated oils, and margarine. Use butter in moderation. Avoid fried foods as heating the oils to high temperatures creates free radicals. Challenge: Protect your heart and brain with an Omega-3 oil daily...as food or supplement.


Choice #7: Drink more water...exercise more...and get enough sleep. Challenge: Schedule exercise into your lifestyle or it won't happen!


I challenge you to take one or two of these choices to focus on at a time. Add a new one each week or so and by the end of the month you will have drastically changed your health. Don't be overwhelmed: Achieve Health One Choice at a Time!

Many of you may have heard of the 'Master Cleanse or Lemonaide Diet'...It is based on the book,The Master Cleanser, by Stanley Burroughs.  This is one of the best cleansing fasts (and safest), that I have seen.  Its purpose is to eliminate toxins, cleanse the kidneys and digestive system, purify the glands and cells, eliminate waste in the joints and muscles, and build healthier blood and arteries.  

2 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh only!  organic if possible...approx. 1/2 lemon)
2 Tbsp. genuine maple syrup (NOT flavored)
cayenne pepper to taste
10 oz. medium hot water (spring or purified)

You may mix this up in a larger quantity and sip on it all day long.  This is the only thing you eat...and you drink it anytime you are hungry...as much as you like.  The lemons are wonderful for cleansing the liver and balancing the body's pH.  The maple syrup has the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function without being tired during the cleanse.  Feeling tired?  Then you are not drinking enough of the lemonaide.  These minerals also assist in balancing your pH and in keeping your blood sugar levels up.  The cayenne pepper works as a stimulant...sort of a 'kick in the pants' to get the body moving to cleanse and heal.

I usually suggest doing a fast for only 1-3 days.  If you wish to go longer, I recommend you read the entire book first as it answers many important questions. The book is only about 35 pages and costs $6.50.  It can be dangerous to do a long period of fasting, please check with your physician first.

Start ANEW with a cleansing fast...free the body of toxins, rest the digestive system, replenish minerals, and feel great!

Lisa Purdy is not a physician and all recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices and all information is solely to assist in making those choices.

The Herb Allure HART Reference Book states that "Parasitic - related diarrheal diseases are the 3rd major cause of sickness and death in the United states".  An informational brochure fromRenew Life states that "two - thirds of Americans harbor parasites in their bodies".  Many people do not have symptoms because the immune system is effectively doing its job, but if the immune system is compromised the problem quickly shows itself. 

 What is a Parasite?
 A parasite is an organism that feeds on another organism...YOU!  It feeds on your blood, your cells, your food, and even your supplements; stealing the energy you need to live a full life.  There are several parasites, but three worth mentioning are as follows:

  • the protazoa - single celled organism seen only thru a microscope
  • the toxoplasma parasite - very serious infection for pregnant women
  • worms - in sizes from less than one centimeter to 12 meters in length 

Where Do Parasites Come From?

  • Raw meat or fish
  • Polluted water or soil
  • Poorly washed fruits and vegetables - beware of cat feces!
  • Insect bites - carriers of many sicknesses, more rampant overseas
  • Contact with pets - make sure to deworm them...homeopathic wormers are available
  • International travel - watch out for the above problems being more common 

What Symptoms Indicate the Possible Presence of Parasites?

  • unexplained muscle aches and pains
  • bouts of intermittent diarrhea or constipation
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unexplained fever
  • a distended belly
  • grinding your teeth during sleep
  • dark circles under your eyes                                            
  • insomnia
  • contact with pets
  • international travel

YIKES!  How Do I Get Rid of Parasites? 
It is an excellent idea to do a parasite cleanse a couple times a year.  I like to use the box cleanses from either Nature' Sunshine:  Para-Cleanse or Renew Life:  ParaGone.  The box cleanses are nice because they have a great combination of herbs to kill the parasites and move them out of the body.  Any parasite cleanse you do should include some of these herbs:  artemesia, black walnut, cloves, oregano, pau d arco, paw paw, pumpkin, and wormwood.  There are formulas available for children also.  It is not recommended to do a parasite cleanse during pregnancy

After the holiday season many people find an increase in yeast overgrowth.  This is largely due to the increase of sugar in the diet, and sugar feeds candida yeast.  Factors which contribute to yeast overgrowth are stress, infection, prolonged or severe illness, exposure to toxic metals, eating too much sugar, or taking antibiotics.  Candida albicans  is an organism we call yeast, mostly living in the intestines.  Normally, beneficial bacteria in the gut do a good job of keeping the yeast in control.  But if that bacteria is compromised by drugs such as oral contraceptives or antibiotics, then the yeast is allowed to grow to excess causing many unwanted symptoms.
If you answer yes to several of the following questions, you may be experiencing an overgrowth of candida yeast:

Do you experience chronic fatigue?
Do you experience muscle aches and pains? 
Do you have food sensitivities or allergies?
Do you crave sugar, bread, or pasta?
Do you experience gas and bloating?
Do you have recurrent vaginal yeast overgrowth?
Have you experienced nail fungus, athlete's foot, or jock itch?
Do you suffer from brain fog?
Do you have a yellow-coated tongue? 
Have you taken broad-spectrum antibiotics?
Are you on birth control pills?

Getting rid of candida overgrowth may take a combination of natural products and diet changes.  First, eliminate sugar and alcohol...also avoid carbohydrates which turn to sugar quickly in your system.  Supplement beneficial flora such as Lactobacillus acidophilus to naturally fight the yeast in the intestines.  Herbs to kill the yeast include:  barberry, black walnut, garlic, oregano, and pau d'arco.
Special blends of enzymes may also help to rid the body of yeast.  Once the yeast is under control and a good colony of beneficial bacteria is established, you should find symptoms diminishing, and also the elimination of those reoccurring yeast infections.

A fever is a signal from the body that there is a problem - something needs attention.  To react by giving a drug to reduce the fever without addressing the cause of the fever will drive the sickness deeper and create more chronic problems later.  The question you should be asking...What is the cause of the fever?  What is the body trying to accomplish...and how can I help it along?

One cause of a fever is that the body is trying to move bodybuilding materials from one area to another.  For example in a teething baby...the child is not really "sick", but the body runs a fever to help get the tooth thru.  If the child is given an organic, easy to absorb, calcium...the fever will drop quickly and the tooth will appear.  This may also be true after injury; wounds or broken bones.  The body needs extra building materials to repair, so it may create a fever to accomplish the movement of the nutrients needed.  We can help by supplying those nutrients.  While also watching for infection, which the fever helps to guard against.

Perhaps the main cause of fever is that the body has reached a toxic level and it is time to remove the toxic material.  Think of a city with a garbage pick-up strike.  The garbage builds up and begins to stink...so we spray it with perfumes (deodorants).  Then the rats come, we panic and kill them with spray...think antibiotics!  But has the garbage pile been diminished?  No...the garbage is still there and will continue to be a problem until it is removed.  One way to remove the trash is to burn it.  This is also the way the body reacts to an overload of garbage...it creates a fever to burn it up.  Our job is not to turn off the fever with a drug, but rather encourage the removal of the toxic waste that has been accumulated in the body. The first thing to do is to make sure the bowels are moving...a constipated body is a toxic body.

A third cause of a fever is bacterial infection.  The body will attempt to turn up the heat to kill the bacteria.  If we take drugs to shut off the fever, we allow the bacteria to grow, causing a worse infection.  Instead of turning off the heat, we can allow it to burn and kill the bacteria and eliminate waste.  The body will not allow the fever to go too high as is commonly feared.  For more information on this read, How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor, by Dr. Mendelsohn.  The real worry in allowing the fever to run its course is dehydration.  Dr. Christopher always said, "dry heat kills, moist heat heals".  Let this be your motto and drink plenty of fluids.  Also consider soaking in a warm tub to both soak in water and sweat out toxins.

Next time you have a fever...ascertain the cause.  Figure out what the body is trying to do and help it to do its job by giving it nutrients or herbs to accomplish its work.  The fever is just a signal...you must figure out what needs attention.  Don't simply reach for a drug to shut off the alarm.


 To improve overall health and for optimal pH balance try to eat 80% alkaline forming foods and only 20% acid forming foods.  In general, to be more alkaline eat more fruits and vegetables...and limit the acidic foods:  meat, dairy, and grains.  Here is a basic list to help you make better daily choices.

Alkaline - Forming Foods

Almonds, Apples, Apricots, Avocadoes, Bananas, Beans - dried, Beet greens, Beets, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Dates - dried, Grapefruit, Grapes, Green beans,  Green Peas, Lemons, Lettuce, Limes, Milk - goat's, Molasses, Mushrooms, Muskmelon, Onions, Oranges, Parsnips, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Potatoes - white and sweet, Radishes, Raisins, Raspberries, Sauerkraut, Spinach - raw, Strawberries, Tangerines, tomatoes, Watermelon

Acid - Forming Foods

Bacon, Barley, Beef, Blueberries, Bran - wheat and oat, Bread - white and whole wheat, Butter, Cheese, Chicken, Codfish, Corn, Corn oil, Corn syrup, Crackers, Cranberries, Eggs, Flour - white and whole wheat, Haddock, Honey, Lamb, Lentils - dried, Lobster, Milk - cow's, Macaroni, Oatmeal, Olive oil, Peanut butter, Peanuts, Peas - dried, Plums, Pork, Prunes, Rice - brown and white, Salmon, Sardines, Sausage, Shrimp, Spaghetti, Squash - winter, Sugar, Sunflower seeds, Turkey, Walnuts, Wheat germ, Yogurt 

Achieve Health One Choice At a Time!

A Thymely Word Newsletter December 2012 Issue

Natural Options Aromatherapy offers a wonderful Stress Relief Roll-on blend of essential oils...
Easy to use, simply roll on neck, shoulders, temples, and pulse points for quick relief of stress.

Stress Relief Roll-on contains:

Lavender - eases insomnia, depression, impatience,m stress, worry, shock...brings clarity, peace of mind, and emotional balance...clears negative energy

Clary Sage - brings tranquility and balance to the mind and emotions...calms anxiety, panic, paranoia...relaxing if feeling overwhelmed...antidepressant

Sandalwood - quiets the mind and emotions...relaxes, calms, promotes peaceful meditation...boosts confidence and promotes inner strength

Vetiver -promotes a sense of security and stability...deeply relaxing; eases tension, worry, and fear...
supports balance and aids insomnia

Grapefruit - eases depression and moodiness, stimulates and clears the mind, inspires joy, humor and confidence...energizes the nervous system

Ylang Ylang - inspires creativity...calms the heart and nerves...soothes negative emotions, eases depression...useful in stressful situations

Feeling overwhelmed with stress?  Try this roll-on for quick relief...I love it!

Lisa A. Purdy is not a physician and all communications or recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription,.  Any information given is for educational purposes only.  You are personally responsible for your own health choices and any or all information is solely to assist in making those choices.

One of my favorite teas is Easy Now Tea from Traditional Medicinals!
For those moments of tension and stress, I reach for a cup of this organic tea. 
It contains the following organic ingredients:

Passion flower:  Great herb for anxiety...relaxes the muscles
Chamomile:  Calming, comforting, and soothing
Lavender:  Relieves stress and steadies the nerves
Catnip:  Natural antacid and sedative...not just for cats - great for people too!
Rosemary:  Tonic for heart and mind...eases anxiety, depression, and tension headaches
Peppermint:  Calms the entire body...great for hysteria
Spearmint:  Soothing to the nerves
Licorice:  Adrenal stimulant...soothes indigestion...adds sweetness    * Avoid with hypertension

Too much holiday stress?  Enjoy a cup of tea...

Passion flower, Passiflora incarnata, is a vine from the West Indies.  Its name comes from the cross found at the center of the blossom.  The Jesuits called it "flower of the five passions" and believed it was the flower that grew on the cross in St Francis of Assisi's vision of Calvary, signifying the "passion" of Christ.  The five sepals and five petals represented the ten true apostles (excluding Judas and Peter who denied Christ), the flower's fringed crown was the crown of thorns, and the five stamens were the five wounds of Christ at his death.

Passion flower improves circulation to your nerves.  It is a mild sedative to relieve pain, antispasmodic, and relaxant.  Its analgesic properties may be helpful for headaches, menstrual pain, and toothache.  Passion flower may be used for all nervous disorders, including:  nervous tension, hyperactivity irritability, twitching, anxiety, agitation, panic, stress-induced disorders, tension headaches, nervous coughs, exhaustion, and insomnia.  Studies have shown that, unlike narcotics, passion flower promotes sleep with light natural breathing, with little neural depression, and upon waking no signs of confusion or melancholy.

Use passion flower as a routine tea and your nerves will be gradually steadier, you will respond better to stress, and your sleep will be more natural.

Passion flower is NOT recommended during pregnancy, because it may relax the uterus.

Lavender tea has a long history of calming nerves that are on edge.  It is particularly attuned to the brain to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.  Lavender has the ability to improve mood and help you to get a good night's sleep.  It also has been used for headaches.  Lavender tea induces sweating, detoxifies the body, and reduces fevers.  Lavender comes from the Latin, lavare, meaning "to wash".  It is frequently added to bath products and shampoos.

During the 1920's, a French fragrance chemist named, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse severely burned his arm in an explosion in his laboratory.  In intense pain, he dipped his arm into the nearest liquid...a bowl of lavender oil.  Immediately the pain diminished and the burn healed quickly without scarring.  Gattefosse devoted the rest of his life to the study of essential oils and wrote a book, Aromatherapie, creating the term we use today.

Lavender oil is useful for all inflammations of the skip, but particularly burns.  It soothes the nervous system, useful for anger, hysteria, stress, irritability, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, or insomnia.  Essential oils are powerful, so remember to use only a couple of drops.  If you use too much it will give the opposite effect of causing a headache or keeping you awake in a restless state.  Lavender is one of the essential oils which may be put directly on the skin, but do not take internally.  Avoid lavender in the first trimester of pregnancy or if your blood pressure is extremely low.

A Thymely Word Newsletter December 2012 Issue

Chamomile tea has long been known as a soothing tonic for the nerves.  It is one of the most beneficial herbs to keep on hand for emergencies.  Chamomile is invigorating and strengthening to the body.  Yet, it has sedative qualities, which soothe the nerves and may help you to sleep.

One famous use of chamomile tea is in, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, when young Peter eats too much in Mr. McGregor's garden and is terrified at being chased out of the garden by the angry man.  Peter's mother gave him a cup of chamomile tea, which would both soothe his indigestion and calm his frightened nerves.

Chamomile is especially useful for children:  for stomach upset, fevers, or even nightmares.  It is an herb that is beneficial in pregnancy as it relaxes the mother for a sound sleep and helps with digestive and bowel problems.  Chamomilla which is the homeopathic form of the herb has a safe history of use with cranky, teething children.

Chamomile tea provides relief for muscle aches, menstrual cramps, nausea, and colic.  It is antiseptic and antibacterial, useful as a wash for the skin or eyes.  Chamomile reduces inflammation and helps to fight infection.

The Greeks called Chamomile, "ground apple", for its low-growing habit and its apple smell.  There are two types of chamomile:  Roman chamomile grows like a ground cover and even likes to be stepped upon, and German chamomile which is the type to plant if you wish to grow your own tea.  German chamomile is an annual, which grows to 18 inches tall.  The flowers are easily harvested and dried for tea.  The only caution for chamomile is for those who are allergic to ragweed or any of the chrysanthemum family.


I found a wonderful aromatherapy blend for the holidays.  I am using this in my candle warmers at the store and have been surprised at its mellow effectiveness.  I thought pine would be strong and overpowering, but instead it has a subtle and pleasant scent.  Try this blend to help with holiday stress:

4 drops pine
2 drops mandarin
1 drop cinnamon

Pine is peaceful and balancing, yet invigorating.  It is helpful for apathy, nervous exhaustion,  fatigue, or lethargy.  Pine is beneficial for the glandular, urinary, respiratory, and circulatory systems.  It assists in the healing process.  With qualities of being antiviral, decongestant, expectorant, and disinfectant, it is a great choice for this time of year.  Pine is also excellent for clearing negative energy from the environment, making it a good choice for relatives, who may bring resentments along with gifts, when they visit.  

Mandarin is cheerful, refreshing, and inspiring.  It alleviates stress, tension, irritability, nervous tension, and mental fatigue.  Mandarin helps restlessness, gives relief from over-activity,  and promotes peaceful sleep.  Mandarin is a favorite of children because of its sweet, orange-like scent and its gentleness.

Cinnamon transforms low vitality, depression, mental exhaustion, and lack of motivation into a zest for life.  It stimulates creativity and stimulates new ideas.  Cinnamon may ease indigestion caused by stress, use externally only.  It stimulates circulation and is antiviral.

Enjoy the holidays...without the stress!

Are you looking for a nice tea blend for the holidays?  Mix equal parts:  cinnamon sticks (broken), fennel seeds, crystallized ginger root (chopped), and dried peppermint leaves.  To make a cup of tea:  use 1 tsp. of the herbal blend to 1 cup of hot water.  Allow it to steep for 5 minutes, strain, and enjoy!

Cinnamon is antibacterial and anti-fungal.  It helps to settle an upset stomach, comforting nausea and diarrhea.  Also helpful for menstrual discomfort.

Fennel seeds improve digestion, expel gas, quiet hiccups, and prevents nausea.  Useful for cancer patients after radiation or chemotherapy.  Fennel is a rich source of vitamin A, helping alleviate light sensitivity and improving night vision.

Ginger is most often used to stop abdominal, intestinal, and menstrual cramping.  It is very effective to combat nausea from motion sickness or due to pregnancy.  Ginger increases the circulation in the hands and feet...a cup of tea is a wonderful way to warm up!

Peppermint increases the oxygen supply to the blood, strengthening the whole body.  It is a gastric stimulant, digestive aid, relieves gas and bloating, and aids bowel elimination.  Peppermint is one of the oldest household remedies and forms the basis of many herbal tea blends.

Enjoy a cup of tea today!  Better yet, find someone to share it with...Happy Holidays!

A Thymely Word: Why do I have Acid Reflux or Heartburn?

A Thymely Word Newsletter October 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter March 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter January 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter September 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter May 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter April 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter August 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter March 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter May 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter November 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter April 2012 Issue 6

A Thymely Word Newsletter February 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter June 2012 Issue

A Thymely Word Newsletter July 2012 Issue

Lisa A. Purdy ND, MH, CNHP


Lisa A. Purdy, ND, MH, CNHPLisa received a Doctor of Naturopathy Degree from Trinity School of Natural Health, an acknowledged leader in the field of alternative health. 

Lisa also holds the degree of a Master Herbalist from the nationally recognized School of Natural Healing. 

She is a member of the association of Certified Natural Health Professionals with over 15 years of experience offering resources, education, and solutions for living a healthy lifestyle.



Lisa A. Purdy is not a physician and all communications or recommendations are not to be considered diagnosis or prescription.  Any information given is for educational purposes only. You are personally responsible for your own health choices and any or all information is solely to assist in making those choices.

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Hawthorn is a small, deciduous flowering tree with white bark, sharp thorns, and small red apple-like fruits.  There are over 200 species of hawthorn, some growing 40 feet high.  Hawthorn grows in Europe, where it is also known as Mayflower, and in the Northeastern parts of North America (including Ohio).

The hawthorn berry is the part of the plant most commonly used in natural medicine.  It has a traditional role as a cardiac tonic or heart stimulant.  Hawthorn contains flavonoids which open coronary arteries and expand blood vessels, improving blood flow both to the heart muscle and circulation to other areas of the body.  This strengthens the heart, allowing it to beat more forcefully and in better rhythm, reducing arrhythmias.  Improved blood flow lowers blood pressure, increases oxygen utilization, and reduces the strain on the heart.

Dr. James Duke includes hawthorn in his book, Dr. Duke’s Essential Herbs.  According to Dr. Duke, hawthorn contains at least seven known blood thinners, nine anti-endemics, and three anti-hypertensives.  Doctors frequently prescribe aspirin, diuretics for edema (swelling), and hypertensive medications to prevent high blood pressure.  Hawthorn also has beta-blocking activity. Beta-blocking drugs increase coronary blood flow, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce arrhythmias.  Hawthorn berry may be a good choice for heart health. 

Hawthorn is considered safe to use over extended periods of time.  It should not be used with the drug digitalis, as it may dangerously increase the drug’s effectiveness.  No one should attempt to treat a serious heart condition on their own…talk to your doctor about using hawthorn as part of your healthy heart plan.

What are enzymes? 

Most of us have never heard of them and yet enzymes play a vital role in many life processes. Enzymes are specialized proteins made by all living things.  They are responsible for all chemical reactions in the body, doing the work of rearranging molecules and breaking down compounds. Each enzyme has a specific action on a unique material (called a substrate), similar to fitting a key into a lock.  Sometimes minerals, pH levels, and temperature influence how an enzyme reacts.  Without enzymes, our food (along with its nutrients and vitamins) will not be processed into a form that our body can absorb.
Where are enzymes found? 
Enzymes are abundant in RAW fruits and vegetables.  Cooking destroys enzymes!  Processed and canned foods have no enzymes.  When the majority of our food is cooked or processed, our body (specifically the pancreas) must take on the extra work of creating enzymes to break down the food.
What if digestive enzymes are deficient? 
A study was done in the 1930s by Dr. Francis Pottinger with 900 cats over a period of ten years.  Half of the cats were fed raw milk and raw meat; the other half fed pasteurized milk and cooked meat.  The cats fed the raw milk and meat, rich in enzymes, thrived without disease generation after generation.  However, the cats fed pasteurized milk and cooked meat, deficient in enzymes, deteriorated with each subsequent generation.  Modern, degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, kidney and thyroid disease, tooth decay, arthritis, reduced bone mass, infertility, and intense irritability, appeared at progressively younger ages in each subsequent generation of cats.  By the third generation the cats could not even produce offspring.  Do we see any correlation between the Pottinger study and the health of people in today’s society? 
What if undigested food particles slip into the bloodstream?  
Symptoms of  a “leaky-gut” (possibly resulting from enzymes being  unavailable to breakdown the food properly) include:  aggression, anxiety, nervousness, bladder infections, bed-wetting, bloating or gas, chronic pain in joints or muscles, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, migraines, mood swings, skin rashes, confusion, and memory problems.  If these particles continue to leak the consequences become more severe and may include:  autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD, asthma, allergies, sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, celiac, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue, ADHD, hyperactivity, arthritis, IBS, skin conditions, liver problems, pancreatic insufficiency, and malnutrition.  These lists are presented in the book Enzymes for Autism and other Neurological Conditions by Karen DeFelice - highly recommended reading!   
How do I take supplemental enzymes
Enzymes should be taken at the beginning of each meal to improve the breakdown of the foods eaten. A good plant digestive enzyme blend may include:  protease (for protein), amylase (for carbs), lactase (for dairy), lipase (for fats), sucrase (for complex sugars), invertase (for table sugar), cellulase (for plant fiber), bromelain (as an anti-inflammatory), and papain (for protein).
Enzyme therapy protocols also suggest that enzymes may be taken between meals, especiallyprotease, to help clean up the blood and numerous problems where undigested particles have caused inflammation.
Enzyme supplements increase the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the food we eat.  Enzymes also assist in restoring gut intestinal health, thereby avoiding a host of chronic degenerative diseases.  Almost everyone could benefit from eating more RAW fruits and vegetables, reducing cooked and processed foods in the diet, and taking a digestive enzyme supplement with each meal. 
Enzymes are the key to good health!
Lisa A. Purdy ND, MH, CNHP

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