It’s no secret I’m a plant lover. It’s why I went into medicine.
I love that plants reinforce our connection to nature, while helping us navigate the modern world. Nearly every patient I treat gets some kind of plant-based prescription, whether it’s a powdered herb, a tea or an herbal extract such as a tincture or a gemmo.
The plant medicines I use most in practice are flower essences. They’re safe and gentle, don’t interfere with any other prescriptions and reliably make big changes in my patients’ well being.
Here’s one patient’s testimonial: (more…)
December 31, 2013
Wishing you joy, laughter, freedom and light in 2014.
‘Tis the season to make resolutions. A time to reevaluate our choices, to envision a hopeful future in which we move forward into more perfect lives.
Although it hasn’t always been this way, as the Atlantic magazine explains in a Dec. 31 article, many of us make resolutions around our health. If you follow any blogs, Facebook pages or tweets on the subject, this is the time of year when you’ll be overwhelmed with possibilities for a New Year’s cleanse or detox program. You’ll lose weight! You’ll have more energy! That brain fog? Gone!
My friend and colleague Dr. Mahalia Freed wrote about this phenomenon on Facebook this time last year. Paraphrased (she said it so much better than I): You are not dirty, you don’t need to cleanse.
To which I said — and say again — hallelujah.
Health is not about fitting into your high-school prom dress. It’s not about just not being sick. We all have our definitions, but mine, today, is this: Health is enjoying our minds and our bodies, connecting with individuals and community and place, and fully living a life animated with meaning and purpose. (more…)
You know the smell that’s left on clothes, furniture and hair after being around cigarettes? Turns out the chemicals causing that smell, dubbed “third-hand smoke,” offer a whole new kind of cancer risk. When cigarette smoke mixes with nitrous acid — a common household gas emitted by gas appliances and cars — it creates new carcinogenic chemicals called tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Some of this happens with second-hand smoke, but the process continues as the smoke settles. That means even nonsmokers are exposed, often through skin contact, and the exposure can persist. Time to toss that stinky sofa — and get serious about smoking outside. (Via Scientific American and the Contra Costa Times.)
Bisphenol A (BPA), an increasingly common chemical used in polycarbonate plastics and often found in the lining of food cans, is frequently in the news because it also disrupts human hormones. Researchers have known for a while that the chemical can impair female fertility. But new research published in the journal Life Sciences found BPA may cause similar effects in males — and that the diminished fertility may persist for three generations. The study exposed male rats to low doses of BPA from conception until they were weaned. Those males went on to weigh more than their unexposed counterparts and had lower sperm counts, less mobile sperm, defective cells in their testes and lower overall levels of testosterone and estrogen. (Via Environmental Health News.)
Cell phones are becoming indispensable to many people around the world, but are they endangering your health? Not all the research is clear, but some studies find strong connections to cancers of the brain and saliva-producing parotid glands with extensive use over time. San Francisco and the state of Maine are considering warning labels on the devices. The simplest solutions still make sense: Use the phone less. Wear a headset. Carry it as far from your body as possible. And pay attention to radiation ratings when it’s time for an upgrade. (Via AlterNet.)
A version of this post originally appeared on WellWire.com.
January 15, 2010
Map by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
January is Radon Awareness Month. Who knew? But now that you do, here’s the scoop on what radon is, where it comes from, what it does and what you can do about it.
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas formed from the natural breakdown of uranium. The gas is found naturally in certain soils around Oregon and the United States.
Radon enters buildings through cracks in concrete floors and walls, and especially builds up in basements.
Decaying radon produces radioactive particles that can enter the lungs and cause damage, including cancer, over time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls radon the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. (more…)
The media has propelled estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A (BPA) to the forefront of health news. It’s ubiquitous, and it’s likely in your body.
The chemical, developed as an estrogen replacement, is commonly used to harden plastics such, most commonly polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It’s been linked to various cancers, diabetes, heart disease and digestive problems. The polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins are often used in plastic helmets and goggles, computers, kitchen appliances, medical devices, adult toys, and the packaging for some foods and drinks—including soda cans, water bottles and baby bottles. (more…)