Natural Ways to Deal with Gout

Do you know someone who suffers from Gout?

Gout is a disease of uric acid processing and build up. Excess uric acid is converted to sodium urate crystals that settle into joints arid other tissues. Men are more often affected than women and there is some evidence suggesting it may be hereditary. The big toe is a common site for the buildup of urate crystals.

Symptoms include hot joints, inflamed and shiny in color. The body temperature may also rise in acute conditions. It can be very painful swelling of a joint, along with chills and fever. If left unaddressed, it can lead to joint breakdown.

 

Nutrition Support Protocol

Lifestyle Recommendations:

  • Make weight reduction a priority; maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Exercise daily; avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Reduce alcohol intake, particularly beer; stop smoking and increase hydration with plenty of purified water.
  • Moderate consumption of organic coffee may be helpful as coffee may lower uric acid levels.
  • Be aware of potential hypertension or cholesterol issues, which are associated health concerns.
  • Review all current medications while treating gout.
  • Manage stress and reduce excess obligations and any sources of chronic negativity.

 

Dietary Tips:

  • Identify and eliminate any food allergens or intolerances to reduce inflammation.
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup (especially from sodas and juices) and any refined sugar.
  • Avoid all vegetable and industrial seed oils; avoid over-consuming omega-6 oils; use healthy oils such as olive, coconut, and avocado.
  • Avoid animal proteins that are particularly rich in purines, such as organ meats, shellfish, anchovies and sardines.
  • Eat fewer red meats; prioritize lean meats, cold water fish, and/or beans (if not intolerant).
  • Increase high fiber foods and food rich in magnesium and potassium such as bananas.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Drink nettle tea.
  • Include apple cider vinegar and tart or black cherry juice in beverage choices; consider using tart cherry juice.

 

Herbs Most Helpful for Gout

  • Stinging Nettle tincture or tea
  • Celery Seed tincture or tea
  • Wild Cherry Bark tincture

Other Herbs to Consider

Tamarack, Black Cohosh, Chamomile, Dandelion, Gravel Root White Willow Bark, St. John’s Wort, Meadowsweet, Burdock Root, Goldenrod, Juniper.

 

Helpful Topical Ideas

  • Diluted essential oil options may include: sage, rosemary
  • Comfrey ointment
  • Epsom salt foot soaks or baths
  • Warm potato poultice

 

Supplements Helpful for Gout

 

Note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice from your professional healthcare provider. Please consult your qualified healthcare provider for treatment of medical problems.

Herbs for Winter Health

This winter it seems colds, flus, respiratory issues are hitting many people hard. So here are a seven tips for prevention and also helpful tools if you do get sick so the illness will move through much faster. Be sure to try the easy tea recipes too.

 

1. Eat Warming & Nourishing Foods

As a preventative measure, we first need to look to “winter” types of foods that will nourish our body so it can take care of itself.  These are “warming and nurturing” things to eat to help keep you healthy everyday.

Look for foods rich in vitamin A, C including:
  • root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets, etc.)
  • squash & pumpkins
  • brassicas (turnips, cabbage, kale, etc.)
  • greens
  • citrus fruits and rosehips, lemons

 

Eat food from the allium family.

These are vegetables are that are high in sulfur:

  • leeks
  • onion
  • garlic

 

Add warming spices:
  • Ginger
  • Curry
  • Cayenne
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom

 

2. Use Astragalus.

It is a sweet and mild Chinese root used as an herbal tonic that can be used to build up your resistance. You can find this as a tincture or as a dried herb in the bulk section at the Lamb Shoppe.

We suggest adding the dried root to a pot of soup or when making bone broth.  Astragalus nourishes both the spleen and the lungs

 

3. Calendula Flowers.

Thus is another great item to throw in soups and stews. This herb is also used as an anti-depressant and for people with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Calendula makes a great ointment and salve and is an effective remedy for chapped skins and lips. The Lamb Shoppe has dried Calendula blossoms in the bulk herb section of the store.

 

4. Use Sprigs of Pine, Juniper, Cedar & Sage to Simmer on Stove.

Just having these simple plants simmer on the stove top will freshen and clear the air of germs. Steam inhalations of these plants can be beneficial for relieving congestion in coughs and colds. You can also add a few drops of the essential oil to hot boiled water, place your face over the bowl, cover with a towel, and inhale the steam.

 

5. Build immunity through nutrition and balancing the body.

  • Always work toward avoiding sugar and commercially processed foods.
  • Consume bone broth. You can make your own or purchase frozen beef or chicken broth at the Lamb Shoppe.
  • Take a vitamin D supplement regularly and bump up the dosage if you are sick.

 

 

6. Remember, getting sick sometimes is good for “house cleaning” the body.

A healthy person actually does get sick from time to time. It is the body’s way of getting rid of toxins and wastes that the body needs to remove. So if you do get sick once in a while, use this time to cleanse and build.

 

7. Take Elderberry.

Whether it is a tincture, syrup, or tea, Elderberries are an incredible multi-purpose herb that is known for its effectiveness when used at the first stages of cold, flu, and upper respiratory congestion. In a number of studies, Elderberries have shown to significantly reduce the time of being sick from colds and flu.

 

 

Easy Therapeutic Tea Recipes

 

Best Remedy from the Orient: Basic Ginger Tea

In both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is considered the best home remedy for colds. Drink a cup of ginger tea several times (at least 3 times) a day.

To make a tea:

  1. add 1 heaping teaspoon of grated fresh gingerroot to 1 cup of boiled water.
  2. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
  3. If you use dried ginger powder use 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger per cup.

 

Extra-Kick Ginger Tea

  1. Grate a one-inch piece of peeled ginger root.
  2. Place in a pot with 2 cups of water and cover, bring to nearly a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add ½ t. of cayenne pepper and simmer for one more minute.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add 2T. fresh lemon juice, one or two cloves of mashed garlic and honey to take.
  6. Let cool slightly, and strain if you wish.

Chinese Tea (To induce a sweat)

Simmer the following herbs together with water for 15 minutes:

  • Ginger Root
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Clove

 

 

 

Lamb’s Quarters…A Delicious, Nutritious Wild Edible

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Latin Name: Chenopodium album

About the Plant: This annual belongs to the spinach and beet family.  A very common wild edible found in backyards, vacant lots, overgrown fields, and along roadsides. It is easy to identify, nutritious and delicious. Lamb ’s Quarters is dusted with a white powdery substance which is perfectly safe to eat.

Parts Used: Tender young shoots, leaves and tips, and seeds.

Leaves:  One of the best tasting and most nutritious wild foods available. Use fresh in salads and sandwiches.  Young leaves and stems are excellent steamed, sautéed and cooked.  Leaves are often eaten in place of spinach in dishes like omelets, quiche, and lasagna.  Eat alone or throw in soups and stews, add to casseroles. Chop leaves for stir-fry or add to pizzas and lasagna. Blanch and freeze leaves for winter use. Leaves may also be dried. This plant is extremely versatile.  Make cookies, brownies, pancakes or pita cakes from Lamb’s Quarters.

Seeds:  Collect in late summer, autumn and early winter by stripping the seed-fruit clusters by hand into a container. Dry carefully to prevent mold or spoilage.  Rub the seed clusters between the palm of your hands to reveal the small, round black and dark brown seeds. Remove chaff.  Grain may be boiled to make as a breakfast cereal or ground into flour to mix with other flours.

TIPS: Do not pick plants with red stems as they may contain nitrates. You can dry the whole plant and grind it into a vitamin packed flour. Use the leaves to make green drinks and add to smoothies in the blender.

Nutrient Profile: Rich in Vitamin A, C, K. Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese

Why I Love Creeping Charlie…

Creeping Charlie 

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Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

  • Soothes inflamed mucous membranes
  • Sinusitis
  • used for inner and middle ear remedy
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears
  • kidney and lung disorder
  • head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes
  • bronchitis and viral pneumonia
  • cough remedy
  • bladder infections
  • indigestion
  • may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)
  • traditional cancer remedy
  • Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant 

 

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea

IMG_2561Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…
  1. Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar.
  2. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie.
  3. Place the plant material in a quart jar.
  4. Fill to top with boiling water.
  5. Cover jar and steep for one hour.
  6. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold.
  7. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint.

Combat Seasonal Allergies with Quercetin Rich Foods

Using Foods as Medicine:

Foods with the Most Quercetin

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You may have heard of quercetin, but you probably don’t know exactly what it is or why you may need it. Well, let’s discuss the basics and find out why it is important to consume if you have seasonal allergies.

 

Quercetin is a natural occurring substance that is found in plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their colors. It is known to inhibit the release of histamine which is said to be responsible for the symptoms of allergies in addition to having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

 

Top Choices of foods rich in quercetin:

Vegetables (mg/100 g)

  • Capers. Just one tablespoon contains 180 milligrams. Add capers to soups, salads, pasta dishes and dips
  • Radish Leaves. We all know the radish roots are great to eat, but did you know that the greens make a delicious soup too? So do not throw out the radish tops if they look good, put them in a pot with chicken broth instead, add seasonings, blend and enjoy because they contain 70.37 mg of quercetin.
  • Hot Wax Yellow Peppers. Eaten raw you will get 50.63 milligrams.
  • Onions. The raw red onions contain the most quercetin with 33.4 milligrams.

Fresh Herbs (mg/100 g)

  • Lovage leaves. This is loaded with 170 milligrams. Lovage looks like a massive Italian parsley plant. Many lovage lovers make this savory soup, but you can use it similarly to parsley too.
  • Dill weed. (55.15 mg)
  • Cilantro. (52.9 mg)
  • Fennel leaves. (48.8 mg) 

Fruits & Berries (mg/100g) 

  • Elderberries. (raw berries 42 mg, concentrated juice 106.16 mg)
  • Cranberries. (raw 15.09 mg) 

Wild Edibles (mg/100g)

  • Yellow Dock Leaves. This wild edible is great to find in the early spring. It has a lemon like flavor and contains 86.20 milligrams of quercetin. Come to our Wild Edible Workshop & Dinner and discover this gem growing locally.
  • Chokeberry. (68.17 mg)
  • Bee Pollen. (20.95 mg)

Grains (mg/100g)

  • Buckwheat ranks as the top grain with 23.09 mg. This is not surprising since it is a relative of Yellow Dock.

 

Have You Heard the Buzz on Bitters?

bittersOur modern diets are unquestionably very different from that of our ancestors. One of the traditional old world remedies for a myriad of health conditions was that of consuming bitter herbs just before or with meals. Today, however, people in America reach for Priolosec, Nexium or Prevacid for comparative digestive complaints. If you are looking for natural approach to digestive wellness consider using bitter tonics like those found at The Lamb Shoppe.

Top reasons you should be using bitters:

  • Bitters support healthy liver and gall bladder function
  • Bitters balance appetite and sugar cravings
  • Bitters may offer relief from heartburn and acid reflux by encouraging HCL production
  • Bitters may soothe and upset stomach from gas and bloating
  • Bitters help balance blood sugar levels
  • Bitters increase absorption of vitamins A, D, E & K
  • Bitters assist to normalize the bowels
  • Bitters may improve skin conditions due to better digestion
  • Bitters are considered a gentle liver detoxifier and blood tonic

7 Ways to Avoid Cold, Flu and Cough

Have you been hit been hit by the cold, flu or respiratory illness this season? It is wise to boost your immune system and here’s how.

Tips for winter stronger immunity:

1. Take plenty Vitamin D.

While some people will be fine with just 2000 IU per day, you may need even more, IMG_1294 (3) Bdepending on your health status. That is why many health professionals recommend between 5000 and even up to 10,000 IU. It is important to note that with vitamin D3 works in synergy with vitamin K2 so take these together. My favorite supplements for this are Designs for Health Omega Avail Ultra, Elmusi D3 Synergy, Vitamin D Supreme and Vitamin D Complex plus Blue Ice cod liver oil.

 

 

2. Supplement with Probiotics.

Probiotics and fermented foods are one of the best things to build immunity. Studies showprobiotics about 80% of your immune system lies within you GI tract. That is why it is critical to have adequate beneficial bacteria present to fight off the harmful ones. My top picks for probiotics are Biokult, Probiophage, Probiotic Synergy and PrescriptAssist. We have all of these brands available at the shoppe. Also, remember to eat plenty of cultured foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, and other fermented veggies. Come and check our selection of these items in the refrigerated section of our store.

 

3. Drink Chaga Mushroom Tea or Take the Tincture.

The chaga mushroom grows on birch trees and has been used for centuries as folk

medicine in northern Europe and Russia. In laboratory studies, Chaga demonstrates anti-cancer activity , anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune stimulating properties. Come and taste chaga for FREE at The Lamb Shoppe on Tuesday, February 9th. At The Lamb Shoppe you will find free Chaga tea recipes and locally harvested chaga that is available for purchase.

chaga - arboreal mushrooms growing on birch trunk. officinal fungus.

 

4. Consume Elderberry.

Elder is a multipurpose herb and a very powerful medicine. It is available in the easy toelderberry tincture take tincture form, tea, syrup or other forms. The berries are especially known for their effectiveness when used at the first stages of cold, flu and upper respiratory congestion. Studies have shown that Elderberries can shorten the duration of these illnesses. Research also reveals that elderberries were valuable against the H1N1 virus as well as several other influenza viruses. Teas and tinctures available.

 

5. Astragalus.

Astragalus root stimulates the body’s natural production of interferon,enhances the production of immunoglobulin, stimulates macrophages and helps to activate T cells and NK cells. It increases the number of stem cells in the bone marrow and lymph tissue and helps them to develop into active immune cells. Many herbalists say it is much better and more balancing than Echinacea. The dried root is great to add to soups and stews, while the tincture is easy to take for acute conditions.

 

6. Use “Super Tonic”.

This old folk remedy has a rich history. It is also known by many other names: Cyclone Cider, Fire Cider, Dragon Water, etc. I call it “Good for What Ails You”Tonic. It contains horseradish, garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar. It is easy to make your own click on to the above link for the recipe.

 

7. Use Essential oils.

They can assist in preventing the dreaded viruses that cause colds. Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Wild Orange and Thyme all deter the growth of viruses. Essential oils can be diffused to cleanse and purify the air and even lift your mood.

 

5 Traditional Home Remedies for Skin Tags, Moles and Warts

lemon-906141_1920 generic herbal medicineOne of the most frequent questions that I get asked as a holistic health practitioner, is how to get rid of moles, skin tags and warts. I have found in my practice that the same thing does not work for everyone. But, here are the most common ways that have been successful for most of my clients.

      1. Apple Cider Vinegar.

This traditional remedy is successful for most people about 80% of the time. Here is what you do: Saturate a small gauze pad, piece of cotton ball , tissue with raw apple cider vinegar. Apply on wart, skin tag or mole. Repeat two or three times a day for 2 weeks. If this remedy is going to work, you will notice that the unwanted growth starts to get red and then eventually it will darken and fall off. Many people report this is effective within just a couple of days.

      2. Essential Oils.

The best choices of oils include: Oregano, Tea Tree/Melaleuca, Frankincense, Thyme,

Wild Orange, Lemon, Clove, Rosemary. The oils that I have seen with the best results

include Oregano and Frankincense. Just like the apple cider vinegar, apply these two or  three times daily for a period of two weeks..

      3. Caster Oil, Baking Soda and Lemon Oil Paste.

Similar to the other ideas, this mixture is applied a couple of times a day and continued for two weeks.

      4. Lime or Lemon Juice.

This method is used when the problem is less chronic and is addressed when the skin issues first appear. If you have had the problem for some time, try another method first.

      5. Turmeric Root Paste with Lime Juice.

Grate a portion of the fresh root, add fresh lime juice. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes. Apply to skin when it is not too warm to the touch. Reapply in 2-3 hours. Do this daily until it is gone.

 

DIY Anti-Fungal Salve

salveThis recipe is a nice one to use for a variety of skin problems. Not only do the herbs in it contain anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, but some also support and promote cell regeneration for fast healing.

How to Make Anti-Fungal Herbal Salve

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Echinacea root
  • 1 tablespoon Calendula flowers
  • 2 tablespoons Comfrey leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Plantain leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Yarrow flowers and leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary leaf
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 30 drops Grapefruit essential oil
  • Vitamin E oil to preserve (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Infuse the herbs into the olive oil. There are two methods for this procedure. You can either combine the herbs and the olive oil in a jar with an airtight lid and leave for 4 weeks, shaking the jar every day. The other method is quicker. Simply heat the herbs and olive oil over a very low heat in a double boiler for about 3 hours until the oil is completely infused with the herbs. It will change color to take on a stronger green.
  2. Strain the herbs out of the oil by pouring the mixture through cheesecloth. Let all the oil drip out and then tightly squeeze the herbs to get the remaining oil separated from the plant material.
  3. Discard the herbs and save the infused oil.
  4. Melt the beeswax in a pan with low heat. After the beeswax is completely melted, add in the infused oil and gentle heat just until the wax and oil combine.                                      If desired, add vitamin E.
  5. Add the Grapefruit essential oil to the warmed oil and beeswax.
  6. Pour into small glass jars, let cool and cover. Label salve. Use topically on wounds, diaper rash, or other skin issues.

Note: To keep the salve fresh longer, store in refrigerator and it will keep up to one year. If not refrigerated, the salve should be used within 6 months.

Six Simple Steps to Ward Off Cold and Flu

thermometer-833085_1920Are you dreading cold and flu season? You can avoid catching germs by naturally boosting your immune system with some simple tactics. Germs are around us all the time, but the difference of whether or not we get sick lies in our immune system strength.  Remember 80% of your immune system is within the digestive tract.

Here are my suggestions to add to your daily regime to stay healthy as winter approaches.

 

  1. Take Elderberry Tincture or Syrup.

    Here’s my protocol for Elderberry tincture from The Lamb Shoppe: For a preventative, take 1 drop under the tongue daily. If you have been highly exposed to germs, take 1-3 drops twice a day in the morning and at night. If you are sick take 3 drops every 2 hours.

  2. Take Vitamin D and K2 or Cod Liver Oil.

    I recommend taking 5000 IU of vitamin D daily during cold and flu season. It is important to know your vitamin D levels from blood tests. The optimal level is 50-70 ng/ml. If you are below 50 ng/ml, many health experts agree that you are deficient in vitamin D. Stop in at The Lamb Shoppe to find which source of vitamin D is best for you as we will individualize your needs.

  3. Take Probiotics Daily or Eat Fermented Foods with Each Meal.

    The Lamb Shoppe has a superb selection of therapeutic level probiotic supplements. We will help you select which one is best for you. If you prefer to eat you probiotics as foods, be sure to register and attend the upcoming class on making fermented vegetables on Thursday, October 29th.

  4. Drink Herbal Teas.

    The Lamb Shoppe offers a special blend called Super Immunity Tea which is designed especially to boost vitamin C levels and it is made with immune boosting herbs including: Astragalus Root, Lemon Balm, Linden Flowers, Elderberries, Rosehips, Peppermint and Hibiscus Flowers. Make a big batch at at time, store it in the refrigerator and drink it warm or cold. Take it along to work with you to give you a boost throughout the whole day.

  5. Consider Bee Propolis.

    Propolis is a resinous substance that is collected by honeybees from tree buds, sap flows and other plants. Bees instinctively mix this substance with beeswax and amino acids and use it to form structures within the hive, much like cement. Bees protect themselves from disease with propolis. As the bees travel through the hive, they rub against the propolis and receive the benefits of the natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiviral properties from their building materials. Human use of propolis as a healing agent goes far back to ancient times. At The Lamb Shoppe, we have propolis capsules and it is also in a convenient tincture form.

  6. Enhance your Immune System with Essential Oils.

    A number of essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Come into the shoppe and let us show you which ones are most beneficial for you. Some really good choices may be Thieves, Protective Blend (On Guard), Oregano, Lemon, Frankincense and Thyme.