Trees

the nature Rx for hot flashes

I got out to my favorite park recently and thought about all my videos about the beneficial effects of nature on health.

 

And I thought, maybe people are getting bored with me talking about how nature is great for supporting mood, cognition, immune function, and so on.

 

And then I thought, what about my per/menopause friends? Because, at least in theory, getting out in nature should help reduce hot flashes.

 

Here’s the logic: (more…)

three great books for healthy holidays

Filed under: food as medicine,healthy living,Uncategorized,Vitamin N — Orna @ 2:43 pm

Yes, I’m a book geek. It’s how I was raised.

 

So it’s no surprise that when it comes to gift suggestions for the holidays (or any time of year), books are a go-to recommendation.

 

I think they’re especially apt gifts during the December holiday season.

 

Why?

 

First, reading is a great inward activity during an inward time of year. The weather outside is sometimes frightful, and cozying up with a book can be delightful.

 

Also, if you choose the right books, they can be a great counterbalance to the unhealthy traditions that are so hard to avoid at this time of year.

 

For both of those reasons, consider these three book recommendations for the reader, the eater and the nature-needer on your list.

 

(more…)

my top prescription for seasonal affective disorder

Filed under: depression,mood cures,sleep,Vitamin N — Orna @ 3:30 pm

How do you stay sane during Cascadia’s dark, wet winters?

 

When I first moved here, I got some great advice that I completely ignored. It was logical, sure, but it went against deeply ingrained biases. When I finally started heeding it, though, everything about our 9-month rainy season changed for me.

 

But let me backtrack for a minute. (more…)

healthy presents for the holidays

Stumped about what to get friends and family for special occasions? Want to help them get and stay healthy? Here are my top recommendations. (more…)

does summer make you SAD?

Working in the Pacific Northwest, I see a lot of patients who have issues with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

 

 

Most people understand SAD as a depression response to the short, dark days of winter. And indeed, that is the most common form.

 

 

But summer SAD is also truly a thing: hot days, unrelenting brightness that makes you think you have to be cheery and energetic, wildfire smoke in certain parts of the country — all of these contribute to seasonal depression in the summer.

 

 

Seasonal affective disorder, whenever it hits, has some common characteristics: depression is key, but also over- or undersleeping, anxiety and others. And some of the herbal and, if necessary, pharmacological prescriptions can help both types.

 

 

One simple treatment that works well for most types of depression is especially suited to summer SAD: getting into cold water.

 

 

 

natural mental health | wild water | summer SAD | depression | Dr. Orna Izakson

Cold water helps beat depression.

(more…)

the forgotten garden flavor

When you see a lavender plant in flower, what comes to mind?

 

Maybe you think of bees. Or the familiar fragrance. That it grows easily without tons of water. That it’s just plain pretty.

 

If you know its medicine, you may be reminded that it helps heal skin and calm the mind.

 

But how often do you think of lavender as a flavor?

 

Until recently, lavender was a largely forgotten flavor in most of the United States. Its culinary renaissance has been inhibited by its association with soap — some folks just can’t untangle the tastes. But lavender’s profile is rising again, and you can find it in items ranging from tea to ice cream. (more…)

zebrafish and brain repair

Filed under: healthy living,insomnia,sleep — Tags: , , — Orna @ 1:58 pm

Healthy brains require healthy sleep.

 

Really, you can’t fudge on this. At least not for long.

 

This cool study looked at zebrafish (fun in itself.) (more…)

terrain

Filed under: chronic disease,healthy living,Uncategorized — Orna @ 8:50 am

Gardeners know that healthy plants have certain basic requirements: they need the right temperature, the right amount of sun, the right amount of water, and the right amount and kind of nutrients in the soil. Different plants have different needs, but one that has all these will be the most resilient, able to withstand pests, diseases and climate variations.

 

People are no different.

 

I was a gardener long before ever thinking about becoming a doctor. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the idea of feeding the soil is fundamental to naturopathic medical philosophy.

 

The profession even has a specific term for it: Terrain. (more…)

the sun is more than a vitamin

I talk about vitamin D a lot. It’s useful for healthy bones, healthy immunity, healthy levels of inflammation, healthy mood. In the past decade it’s gotten a lot of press.

 

But in the same way whole foods are a better source of nutrients than a multivitamin, there are things the sun can do that a supplement cannot. When it comes to health, Nature almost always does it better. And it turns out that sun is more than a vitamin.  (more…)

bye bye, joint pain

Filed under: food as medicine,healthy living,weight management — Tags: , , , , — Orna @ 11:08 am

I talk a lot about food being the first and most fundamental medicine. You know that vegetables are good for you, and that donuts aren’t so much.

 

But what does that actually mean in terms of making you feel better? That’s what my patient Kelly wants to tell you about.

 

 

(more…)

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