5 Natural Ways to Lift Your Libido Using Holistic Medicine

5 Natural Ways to Lift Your Libido

It’s hard to admit to yourself. Even harder to talk about. But there it is: your sex drive has taken a dive and you don’t know why. You’re likely embarrassed, confused and upset. Try not to be. Over the course of a lifetime, it happens to lots of us for many reasons.

Studies show that as many as 43% of women and 31% of men experience a drop in libido at some time in their life. Without a doubt, this has an impact on your overall physical and emotional health, as well as your relationship with your partner. Ironically, those same three issues are often the underlying factors in a low sex drive, which can be attributed to lifestyle and relationship problems, age-related hormonal changes, stress, physical disability, and certain medications. But there is help. Before venturing into unknown territory with a mass-marketed “quickie fix,” consider using a variety of holistic medicine approaches to help lift your libido.

Take Specialized Herbs. Several herbs have been studied for their positive impact on low sex drive, insufficient hormone levels, and performance problems, such as erectile dysfunction or inability to achieve orgasm. Herbs to consider are Panax Ginseng, Yohimbe, Maca Root, and Dong Quai. Each one works differently and some can interact with other medicines. It’s important to first consult with a qualified health professional before trying any herbal remedy.

Get to the Point with Acupuncture. Shown to be a beneficial complementary therapy for sexual dysfunction, acupuncture can help boost libido by stimulating physiological systems in the body that are involved in sexual response.

Talk about Sex. Sometimes what’s not going on in the bedroom has a lot to do with how you and your partner communicate. From the honeymoon period, to being together for decades, sexual needs can and do change. Have honest, open conversations. Consider engaging the services of a sex therapist, who can guide you toward strategies that will lead to more fulfilling and intimate times together.

Enjoy Forbidden Fruits. While there are few specific studies on the aphrodisiac effects of fruits, for centuries different cultures have touted the stimulating benefits of foods such as avocados, figs, pomegranate, dark chocolate, watermelon, and strawberries. The most likely effect of having these foods in your diet is that they provide vitamins and minerals necessary for peak performance of the whole body. Why not experiment with pomegranate wine and dark chocolate nibs to get you in the mood?

Move that Body. Exercise improves circulation, creates sexy muscles, helps manage stress. and promotes a positive body image. When you feel good physically and emotionally, you’re more likely to be in the mood for love. Also, working out with your partner can stimulate the sexual energy between you.

Healthy lifestyle practices provide the best foundation for enhancing sexual prowess. When the body is unhealthy, it may not respond optimally to the use of holistic approaches, which are intended to work synergistically with your natural ebb and flow.

 

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you decide the right course of treatment to help improve your sex drive. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification and natural remedies to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

 

References

  • Kotta, S., Ansari, S.H., & Ali, J., “Exploring Scientifically Proven Herbal Aphrodisiacs.” Pharmacognosy Reviews (2013) 7:13, 1-10. Accessed on 10 June 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/#sec1-4title
  • Meletis, C.D. “Nature’s True Aphrodisiacs: Vital Health Factors For Men and Women.” Alternative and Complementary Therapies.(July 2004) 6:4, 207-211. doi:10.1089/10762800050115176. Available from: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/10762800050115176?journalCode=act&
  • Murphy, L. L. & Lee, T. J.-F. “Ginseng, Sex Behavior, and Nitric Oxide.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2002) 962:372-377. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04081.x Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04081.x/abstract
  • Everyday Health. “Understanding Low Libido.” Accessed on June 27, 2016. http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/low-libido.aspx
  • Cleveland Clinic. “How Integrative Medicine can help You Enhance Your Libido.” Online Health Chat with Brenda Powell, MD, Integrative Medicine Physician, and Lead Acupuncturist Jamie Starkey, Lac. Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/1351_integrative-medicine-can-help-you-enhance-your-libido-
  • Saw Palmetto: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/saw-palmetto/background/hrb-20059958
  • Bella, A.J. & Shamoul, R., “Traditional plant aphrodisiacs and male sexual dysfunction.” Phytother Res. (2014) 6:28, 831-5. PMID: 25032254. Accessed on 10 June 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25032254
  • Avey, T. “Why these 10 Foods are Edible Aphrodisiacs.” PBS.org (2014). Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/10-edible-aphrodisiacs/
  • Bay, R. et al. “Effect of Combined Psycho-Physiological Stretching and Breathing Therapy on Sexual Satisfaction.” BMC Urology (2013) 13:16. PMC. Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614470/
  • American Council on Exercise. “Studies Show Working Out can Improve Your Sex Life.” Accessed on 12 June 2016: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/159/studies-show-exercise-can-improve-your-sex/
  • Penhollow, T. M. & Young, M. “Sexual desirability and sexual performance: Does exercise and fitness really matter?” Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality (October 2004) 7. Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://www.ejhs.org/volume7/fitness.html
  • Sifferlin, A. “Scientists on Aphrodisiacs: What Works and What Doesn’t?” Time online (September 9, 2015) based on a research report from International Society of Sexual Medicine. Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://time.com/3984196/aphrodisiacs-that-work
Garlic: Good for Your Heart!

Garlic: Good for Your Heart!

It may not smell like a lily, but Garlic (Allium sativum) is an edible bulb from the lily family. Fondly known to herbalists as “the stinking rose”, for centuries, there has been many traditional medicine uses for Garlic, including treatment of skin conditions, immune support, antimicrobial and, to reduce risk for cancer and heart disease. In fact, Garlic is one of the most widely studied herbal supplements for its beneficial effects on the heart.

The benefits of garlic are far ranging. Garlic contains several vitamins and minerals that support heart health, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and selenium. But it’s the chemicals that give garlic its pungent odor that scientists believe are the source of the herb’s heart health-promoting effects. Garlic is rich in the antioxidant compounds (allicin, alliin, and ajoene) that help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Studies on garlic and the cardiovascular system typically use garlic powder, oil, or aged extracts. To date, the effects of garlic on the heart that are supported by science include:

Slows the development of atherosclerosis (building the plaques that cause narrowing of the arteries)

Reduces blood pressure

Reduces triglycerides and therefore lowers total cholesterol

The amount of active compounds supplied by garlic supplements can vary because allicin is fragile to things such as air and heat. For example, aging garlic to reduce its odor also reduces the allicin present and compromises the effectiveness of the product. Adding to your diet 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic per day may be sufficient to protect your cardio-vascular system. Easiest way to do it is to blend it with your morning shake and rip full benefits of food based nutrients. To prevent garlic smell adds cilantro or parsley to the blend, which are also powerful antioxidant herbs.

Generally safe for most adults, taking a garlic supplement can cause heartburn, upset stomach, an allergic reaction, and breath and body odor (common with raw garlic). Garlic should not be taken by persons who are preparing for surgery or who have bleeding disorders because it can impair the body’s ability to form blood clots.

 

References

  • World’s Healthiest Foods: Garlic. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Garlic. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/garlic/ataglance.htm
  • Medline Plus. Herbs and Supplements: Garlic. (Includes information on garlic interactions with other drugs) https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/300.html
  • Karagodin VP, Sobenin IA, Orekhov AN. Antiatherosclerotic and Cardioprotective Effects of Time-Released Garlic Powder Pills. Curr Pharm Des. 2015 Nov 12. Available from: http://www.eurekaselect.com/136921/article
  • Seki, T. and Hosono, T. Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases by Garlic-Derived Sulfur Compounds. Jnl of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology (Tokyo). 2015. 61 Suppl:S83-85. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.61.S83. Date Accessed: Dec 8, 2015. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/61/Supplement/61_S83/_pdf
  • Xiong, XJ., Wang, PQ, et al., Garlic for hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Phytomedicine. 2015 Mar 15;22(3):352-61. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2014.12.013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25837272

 

Flaxseed Nutrients (And A Tasty Flaxseed Muffin Recipe!)

Flaxseed Nutrients (And A Tasty Flaxseed Muffin Recipe!)

While research results are mixed around flaxseed and its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms, there are enough positive findings to support use of this nutrient-rich herb. For many women it has made the difference between comfort and discomfort when it comes to reduction of hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings). Here are three nutrients unique to flaxseed, all of which play a role in supporting good health.

 

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: beneficial for preventing or treating certain health conditions, including heart disease and depression.

 

2. Mucilage: refers to water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that can provide special support to the intestinal tract. This makes flaxseed an excellent support to digestion and relief of constipation.

 

3. Lignans: provides fiber-related polyphenols that have two important health benefits. They provide antioxidants, which help prevent damage to other cells in the body and are associated with preventing disease. Additionally, polyphenols in lignans influence hormone metabolism.

 

Purchasing and Storing Flax

Raw flaxseed ranges in color from amber/gold to tan/brown. White or green flaxseed has been harvested before full maturity; black flaxseeds were likely harvested after full maturity. To reap the full health benefits, select the amber or brown variety. If possible, purchase the whole seed in bulk, store in the freezer and grind only the amount needed for immediate use. Flaxseed can be ground, sprinkled on cereal, added to baking mixes and used as a thickening agent in many recipes.

 

Gluten-free Flaxseed Apple Muffins

Whether you’re serving breakfast on the deck or packing a picnic lunch, these muffins add a perfect combination of sweetness and nutrition to your meal. Enjoy them plain or topped with preserves.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 cups flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole flaxseeds

Makes 6 muffins.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a six-muffin tin with large paper cups and set aside. Peel and puree the apples in a blender or food processor. Set aside (mixture will turn brown).

In a large bowl, mix flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well, and slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring. When wet and dry ingredients are combined, add the apple puree; stir to combine.

Using a measuring cup or scoop, evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups. (fill nearly all the way to the top; because these are gluten-free, they won’t rise very much.) Sprinkle flax seeds on top of each muffin. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 5 to 10 minutes.

Muffins will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

 

References
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum)
  • WorldsHealthiestFoods.com “What’s New and Beneficial About Flaxseed?” Accessed on March 23, 2016. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
  • University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. “Menopause” Accessed on March 23, 2016. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause
  • Goyal, A., et al., “Flax and Flaxseed Oil: An Ancient Medicine & Modern Functional Food.” Journal of Food Science and Technology 51.9 (2014): 1633–1653. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152533/
  • Peterson, J., et al., “Dietary Lignans: Physiology and Potential for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction.” Nutrition reviews 68.10 (2010): 571–603. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951311/
  • Poluzzi, E.,et al., “Phytoestrogens in Postmenopause: The State of the Art from a Chemical, Pharmacological and Regulatory Perspective.” Current Medicinal Chemistry 21.4 (2014): 417–436. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963458/
  • Ewies, AA. “Phytoestrogens in the Management of Menopause: up-to-date.” Obstet Gynecol Surv (2002, May). 57(5): pp 306-13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11997677
  • Dew, T.P., et al., “Controlled Flax Interventions for the Improvement of Menopausal Symptoms and Postmenopausal Bone Health.” Menopause. (2013) 20:11, pp. 1207-1215. Accessed on March 23, 2016.
  • Botanical-online.com “Mucilage Properties” Accessed on March 24, 2016. http://www.botanical-online.com/english/mucilage.htm
Gluten-free Flaxseed Apple Muffins
Adapted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/gluten-free-flax-seed-muffins
Could Diindolylmethane (DIM) Protect Against Cancer?

Could Diindolylmethane (DIM) Protect Against Cancer?

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound found in “cruciferous” vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Scientists think these crunchy vegetables may help protect the body against cancer because they contain diindolylmethane and a related chemical called indole-3-carbinol (I3C).

DIM helps balance the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. When the body breaks down estrogen, for example, it can form either a harmful or beneficial metabolite. DIM, in some clinical and animal studies, has been shown to help the body form the more beneficial estrogen metabolite and reduce formation of the harmful metabolite. The beneficial estrogen metabolites can have many positive effects, including reducing the risk for some types of cancer. DIM may benefit patients with certain types of prostate cancer and may help reverse abnormal changes in cells on the surface of the cervix. Some scientists think DIM will be useful for preventing breast, uterine and colorectal cancer. However, because of the variability in types of cancer and the sensitivity of the estrogen system in the body, DIM and I3C supplements may not be appropriate for everyone.

 

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you decide if DIM is the right supplement for you. In her practice, she uses advanced hormonal testing to evaluate your individual risk of hormonal related conditions. She uses lifestyle modification and natural remedies to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

 

 

References
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Database. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/diindolylmethane
  • Fujioka, N. et al., ” Research on cruciferous vegetables, indole-3-carbinol, and cancer prevention: a tribute to lee w. wattenberg.” Mol Nutr Food Res (Feb 2016) doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500889. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26840393
  • Ashrafian, L.,et al. “Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled multicenter clinical trial (phase IIa) on di-indolylmethane’s efficacy and safety in the treatment of CIN: implications for cervical cancer prevention.” The EPMA Journal. (2015) 6:25. doi:10.1186/s13167-015-0048-9. Accessed on March 23, 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4685602/
  • Ahmad, A., et al., “The Bounty of Nature for changing the cancer landscape.” Mol Nutr Food Res (Jan 2016). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500867. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799714
  • Higdon, J.V. et al., “Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis.” Pharmacol Res. (Mar 2007) 55(3): p 224-36. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043661807000321
  • Minich, D.M. & Bland, S. “A Review of the Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Cruciferous Vegetable Phytochemicals.” DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.tb00303.x p 259-267 First published online: 1 June 2007. Available from: http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/6/259
Soothe Emotional Angst with Motherwort

Soothe Emotional Angst with Motherwort

A plant in the mint family, Motherwort gets its name from its ancient use: helping women who had a tendency to “over-mother” and thus experienced more stress, and less joy, in their maternal role. Today, throughout Europe and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s used as a medicinal herb to treat emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. It also helps ease symptoms of menstrual distress, as well as physical and emotional exhaustion.

Motherwort can be prepared as a tea, tincture, or in capsule form. Depending on the the type of preparation, it can have a rather bitter taste and an odor some may find unpleasant. However, for many users, it becomes an “acquired taste” and the benefits outweigh any bitterness.

Motherwort has the ability to calm without causing drowsiness, and it has medicinal effects on circulation and heart rate. Because it can thin the blood, this herb should be used carefully and under the guidance of a qualified herbalist or natural health practitioner.

In our practice we use Motherwort to address the symptoms of  hyperthyroidism, benign irregular heart beat (racing heart), emotional and mental tensions, anxiety and spasms. It is also effective in addressing the hot flashes and mental tension so commonly occurring in perimenopause.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you decide if motherwort is right for you. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification and natural remedies to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

 

References

  • Mars, B. & Fiedler, C. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (2015.) p.191-192. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.
  • NatureGate.com “Motherwort.” Accessed on July 3, 2016: http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/motherwort
  • NDHealthFacts.com “Leonurus cardiaca.” Accessed on July 3, 2016: http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/motherwort
  • Hoffmann, D. Medicinal Herbalism. The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Healing Art Press 2003. http://www.pdfarchive.info/pdf/H/Ho/Hoffmann_David_-_Medical_herbalism.pdf pp. 501, 502, 509, 514-517.
  • Murray, M. “Hypertension” as cited in Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier. (chapter 174), 1475-1485.
  • Johnson, R.L., S. Foster, Low Dog, T. and Kiefer, D. “Plants and the Heart” in National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2012. 100-101.
  • Mars, Bridgitte & Fiedler, Chrystle. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. 2015.), 189.
Go Wild with Dandelion Greens

Go Wild with Dandelion Greens

You might not want dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) grow across your lawn, but you definitely want to make them a part your healthy diet. For centuries, the sunny yellow dandelion, its greens and roots, has been embraced across cultures for its culinary and medicinal uses.

Dandelion roots contain several compounds beneficial to health, one of which is bitter taraxacin, which stimulates digestion. The leaves are rich in potassium, antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and several B vitamins.

Dandelion helps filter waste products from the blood by the liver. In many cultures it has been used as a liver tonic, diuretic, and digestive aid. Herbalists have used dandelion to treat jaundice, cirrhosis and liver dysfunction. Some research suggests dandelion may even strengthen liver and gallbladder function.

All parts of the dandelion are edible. The bittersweet roots may be eaten raw, steamed or dried, roasted and ground for a coffee substitute. The flowers are commonly used to make wine and jam. Dandelion greens can be eaten steamed, boiled, sautéed, braised or raw in salads.

Try adding dandelion greens to:

  • quiche, omelette
  • pesto
  • sauce such as garlic & olive oil
  • dips
  • seafood soup
  • sautéed vegetables
  • to replace some of the kale in a green smoothie
  • stuffing

Dandelion packs as much power in its flavor as it does in its nutrition. It can quickly overpower more delicate herbs and flavors; a little goes a long way.

When harvesting dandelion, especially for salad, take greens from young and tender plants, before the first flower emerges. Greens from older plants will be larger, but also tougher and bitterer. Older leaves are more suited for cooking. At the grocery store, look for organic dandelion with vibrant green color.

Dandelion Salad Recipe with Fresh Goat Cheese & Apples

Dandelion greens pack a nutritional punch. Serve them raw in this salad recipe with fresh goat cheese and apples for added flavor. If you don’t have apples in season, or stored, substitute any firm fruit that’s in season. You can embellish this salad with the colors of the season by sprinkling in any of our ‘SuperSalad Substitutions’ listed below.

Ingredients

  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 3 T. vegetable or nut oil
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and dried, stems removed
  • 1/4 lb fresh white goat cheese, crumbled
References
Go Wild with Dandelion Greens
  • Herb Wisdom.com. Benefits of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Accessed on Jan. 4, 2016. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-dandelion.html
  • University of Maryland Medical Center, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Database. “Dandelion”. Accessed on January 4, 2016. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion
  • Self-Nutrition Data.com. Raw Dandelion Greens- Nutrition Facts. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2441/2
  • Whole Foods Market.com Dandelion Greens-No Common Weed! Accessed on January 4, 2016: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/dandelion-greens-%E2%80%93-no-common-weed
  • González-Castejón, M., Visioli, F. & Rodriguez-Casado, A. “Diverse biological activities of Dandelion.” Nutrition Reviews. (Sept 01, 2012), 70,9: 534-547. Oxford University Press Journals. Accessed on Jan. 4, 2016. First published online: 1 September 2012.
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00509.x
Dandelion Salad Recipe with Fresh Goat Cheese & Apples
  • Recipe Adapted from Mother Earth News. Roger Doiron (April/May 2008) http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/dandelion-salad-recipe-zmaz08amzmcc.aspx
Detoxification – Path to Greater Health – Part 2

Detoxification – Path to Greater Health – Part 2

Detoxing Boosts Your Health

Following a detox program suited to your personal needs supports the body’s natural cleansing process and boosts your health in many ways:

Allows digestive organs to rest

Stimulates the liver to process toxins more efficiently

Promotes movement of bowels

Improves circulation

Enhances sweating, which facilitates release of impurities

Restores vital nutrients and energy to the body

6 Things to Know Before You Detox

Before you begin a detox, prepare mentally and physically. Plan your dates a few weeks in advance. Inform the people closest to you about the time you’ve set aside to take care of yourself. Clear your schedule of routine obligations that may create stress. Stock up on inspirational music and reading material.

Gather Herbal Support. Herbal and nutritional supplements such as burdock, milk thistle, dandelion (see our post on delicious recipe), and vitamins C and B protect and support the body’s Detox Team, especially the liver. They also have antioxidant effects that benefit the whole body.

Hydrate! Without enough water, toxins will not be sufficiently flushed from the body. Aim to drink at least 2 quarts of water per day with lemon/lime during a detox.

Dry Brush Your Skin. Look for a brush with soft natural bristles. Begin with light, gentle brushing over the skin (don’t make the skin red). Always brush towards the heart. Shower immediately after to rinse off exfoliated skin.

Get Wet. Therapeutic use of water also supports detoxification. A steam or sauna can accelerate the release of toxins. Hydrotherapy provides support to the muscles and promotes relaxation. Mineral bath salts(Epson salt) also help release toxins.

Sweat it Out-Gently. Exercise facilitates digestion, circulation, metabolism and hormone balancing. During a detox, decrease the intensity of your usual exercise routine, but do break a moderate sweat. Get outdoors for fresh air and natural sunlight. Good exercise options are easy hiking, dancing, walking, yoga, or tai chi.

Rest. For your mind and body to fully assimilate the benefits of detoxing, you need good quality sleep. Plan your least stimulating activities (reading, meditation, bathing) for right before bed.

How to Detox?

There are many ways to approach detoxing, from fruit and vegetable juice fasts to herbal tea cleanses. A typical approach is a short period of fasting with proper fluid intake followed by whole or raw foods and beverages before resuming your usual daily routine. There are people who must be under the care of a health practitioner, such as people diagnosed with certain conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In general, it’s important to work with your doctor to select a program that matches your health needs. Call our office if you would like a consultation or guidance how to improve your health. Here, at Healthy Wealthy & Wise Medical, P.C. we evaluate our patients through holistic and functional medicine understanding of health and balance of vital organs and system and prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan.

Food for Thought. . .

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

References- Detoxification part 1 and 2
The following as cited in Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier. Jones, D.S., Quinn, S, et al. “Functional Medicine” (chapter 2), 10, 14-15 Lyon, M. “Functional Toxicology” (chapter 53), 483-484.Bland J.S., Barrager E., Reedy R.G., et al.”A medical food-supplemented detoxification program in the management of chronic health problems.” Altern Ther Health Med. (1995) 1:62-71.Cline, J.C., “Nutritional Aspects of Detoxification in Clinical Practice.” Altern Ther Health & Med. (2015) May-Jun, 21(3), p 54-62. PMID: 26026145. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26026145Wheelter, L. “Detox for Life: The Three Crucial Steps of the Detox Program.” Natural News.com Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.naturalnews.com/025899_detox_body_toxins.htmlJade, K. “Liver Detox Tea as Part of Your DIY New Year’s Detox Cleanse.” Natural Health Advisory Institute Online. Updated 1/1/2015. Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.naturalhealthadvisory.com/daily/natural-health-101/liver-detox-tea-as-part-of-your-diy-new-years-detox-cleanse/Lucille, Holly. “Do You Have a Toxic Workplace?” American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website. Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.naturopathic.org/article_content.asp?article=777Riordan Clinic. “Detox Cleansing to Remove Body Toxins.” Accessed on January 10, 2016. https://riordanclinic.org/2011/12/detox-natural-cleansing-to-remove-body-toxins/Jockers, D. “Dry Brushing to Detoxify Your Body.” Natural News.com. Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.naturalnews.com/040615_dry_brushing_lymphatic_system_detox.html#Dempster, John. “Top Five Daily Detox Tips that Work” Huffington Post. Accessed on January 6, 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-john-dempster/detox-tips_b_6089736.htmlZeratsky, K. “Do Detox Diets Offer Any Health Benefits?” Mayo Clinic Online. Last updated March 2015. Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-an
Preventing Blood Clots with Food?! Yes, the evidence is there…

Prevent Blood Clots with Food?! Yes, the evidence is there…

A compound called Rutin, commonly found in fruits and vegetables and sold over the counter as a dietary supplement, has been shown to inhibit the formation of blood clots in an animal model of thrombosis.

These findings, led by investigators at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and published online issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), identify a novel strategy for preventing thrombosis, and help pave the way for clinical testing of this popular flavonoid as a therapy for the prevention and treatment of stroke and heart attack, as well as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.

It’s not always fully appreciated that the majority of Americans will die as the result of a blood clot in either their heart or their brain,” says senior author Robert Flaumenhaft, an investigator in the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at BIDMC and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Approximately half of all morbidity and mortality in the United States can be attributed to heart attack or stroke.”

The study focused on protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), which is found in all cells and rapidly secreted from clotting cell (platelets) and arterial wall lining cells (endothelial cells) when a clot forms in a blood vessel. Interestingly, the inhibition of PDI could block thrombosis in a mouse model.

“This was a transformative and unanticipated finding because it identified, for the first time, that PDI is secreted from cells in a live animal and is a potential target for preventing thrombosis,” says Flaumenhaft. However, because intracellular PDI is necessary for the proper synthesis of proteins, the scientists had to identify a specific compound that could block the thrombosis-causing extracellular PDI — without inhibiting the intracellular PDI.

They began by conducting a screening  of a wide range of compounds to identify PDI inhibitors. Among the more than 5,000 compounds that were screened, quercetin-3-rutinoside (rutin) emerged as the most potent agent. “Rutin was essentially the champion compound,” says Flaumenhaft.

A bioflavonoid that is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, including onions, apples, and citrus fruits, as well as teas, rutin is also sold as an herbal supplement, having received a special designation for safety from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Surprisingly, studies of the rutin molecule demonstrated that the same part of the molecule that provides rutin with its ability to inhibit PDI also prevents the compound from entering cells.

“That finding explained how this compound can be both a potent inhibitor of PDI and a safe food supplement,” says Flaumenhaft. “Our next questions were: Is this compound anti-thrombotic? Can it prevent blood clots?”

The team went on to test rutin in a mouse model of thrombosis. Because they knew that humans would be taking rutin in pill form, they included studies in which the compound was administered orally and determined that it successfully retained its anti-thrombotic properties when it was metabolized following oral ingestion.

“Rutin proved to be the most potently anti-thrombotic compound that we ever tested in this model,” says Flaumenhaft. Of particular note, rutin was shown to inhibit both platelet accumulation and fibrin generation during thrombus formation. “Clots occur in both arteries and in veins,” explains Flaumenhaft. “Clots in arteries are platelet-rich, while those in veins are fibrin-rich. This discovery suggests that a single agent can treat and prevent both types of clots.”

Even with the use of existing anti-clotting therapies, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and warfarin (Coumadin), each year there are approximately 400,000 recurrent episodes among patients who previously experienced a stroke or heart attack, says Flaumenhaft.

“A safe and inexpensive drug that could reduce recurrent clots could help save thousands of lives,” he adds. “These preclinical trials provide proof-of-principle that PDI is an important therapeutic target for anti-thrombotic therapy, and because the FDA has already established that rutin is safe, we are poised to expeditiously test this idea in a clinical trial, without the time and expense required to establish the safety of a new drug.”

 

I am Elena Klimenko, MD, an internist and certified functional medicine physician. I’ve been using food based form of Rutin supplement to prevent thrombosis without side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. If you question if Rutin is right for you, call us. In our practice we use functional medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy to address the root cause of your medical symptoms and get your body to optimal health. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

 

 

References

  • Flaumenhaft, Robert. “Harvard Catalyst Profiles.” Harvard Catalyst. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 July 2016.
  • “High Throughput Screening (HTS).” High Throughput Screening (HTS). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2016.
  • Prescott, Bonnie. “Flavonoid Compound Can Prevent Blood Clots.” Harvard Gazette. N.p., 9 May 2012. Web. 9 July 2016.
Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea

Who does not want to have better mood, stronger libido, and stronger nervous system, feel stronger, resist to infections and tolerate stress better and live longer?

If you don’t want at least one of those qualities, you probably don’t need to read the rest of the article…

For all others, let me introduce you to the “queen” of the herbs Rhodiola Rosea. To be more exact, the root of the herb possesses the multitude of the medicinal qualities outlined earlier. If I ever get stranded on the deserted island and I have only one supplement to take, it’d be Rhodiola Rosea!

Rhodiola root (Rhodiola Rosea, Arctic Root, Golden Root) was first discovered in Russia, where the locals of Siberia were known to possess a strong health and survive severe climate conditions. It was later been used in the traditional medicine of many countries including Russia, Scandinavia and Middle Asia.

Since 1969 Rhodiola has been included in the list of official Russian medicine. It is regarded as a tonic and stimulant and used to increase physical endurance, attention span, memory, work productivity and resistance to high altitude sickness.

Other indications include fatigue, anemia, impotence, infections (including cold and influenza), nervous system disorders (mild depression and stress), headache and to enhance longevity and fertility.

Rhodiola has multiple key ingredients that are responsible for the myriad of therapeutic properties (rosavins and salidroside are among the most important). The particular ratio of those components (3:1) gives the most therapeutic efficacy. The interesting thing is that not all types of Rodiola are the same and the most balanced and therapeutic species from all existing Rodiolas appears to be Rodeola Rosea. Different parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, stems and roots) have different proportions of the therapeutic components. Many studies were done to find which part is the richest in the medicinal qualities and the roots invariably come as a winner.

The main indication for use of Rhodiola is adaptogenic, tonic and antioxidant effect.

General indications: Rhodiola Rosea extract is classified as an adaptogen due to its ability to increase your body’s resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical sources of stress. It is commonly recommended to people who are faced with large amounts of physical and/or mental stress. Sounds like any person leaving in New York or any large city.

Detoxification: Several studies have shown that Rhodiola Rosea can help to detoxify our body by increasing protein synthesis and removing ammonia from the blood. It also increases blood supply to the muscles and the brain, and therefore proven to improve athletic performance.

Brian support: Due to its ability to supply blood to the brain many people use Rhodiola Rosea during times of studying and taking exams. Rhodiola rosea also improves the brain’s ability to deal with stress by increasing serotonin in the brain (hypothalamus and midbrain), increasing endorphins, moderating the release of opioid peptides that occur as a part of dealing with stress response, and protecting the brain and heart by reducing the stress related production of stress initiating hormone (corticotrophin releasing factor).

Rhodiola is a wonderful herb for mental focus and brain activity. The results, observed in several clinical studies demonstrate enhanced mental performance, learning, attention span, and memory. It has been widely used as an antidepressant, working alone or adjunctively with other antidepressants and some patients find it more effective than prescription antidepressants like SSRI’s or St. John’s Wort.

Rhodiola’s indications: Fatigue, Physical stress, Debility, Increase of concentration, mental performance and memory, Failure to thrive, Impotence and infertility, Convalescence, Chronic immune deficiency, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Recovery from viral infections, Tonic for the elderly

Athletic performance: Rhodiola Rosea is able to increase physical work capacity. It improves strength, recovery time, endurance, and coordination. Clinical studies discovered Rhodiola to be more effective than Siberian ginseng at enhancing adaptation to physical stress.

Fertility: Rhodiola has been shown great results in enhancing fertility in women, even among those that have failed to conceive with standard fertility drugs; It also improves sexual performance in men with erectile dysfunction and/or premature ejaculation. It also enhances thyroid and adrenal function without causing hyperfunction of those organs.

Heart Function: Rhodiola is a very effective anti-arrhythmia/tachycardia agent. It also increases the energy efficiency and energy reserves of the heart by balancing the heart’s nerve inputs (sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems).

Remember, if you have time and money for only one herb, make it Rodeola Rosea. Keep in mind, the quality of herbs can vary immensely from one manufacturer to another. I use and trust MediHerb as a source of my herbs. This Australian company does vigorous quality control to test efficacy and purity of the herbal sources and I get consistent results when I use their product.

Feel free to call our office with any questions about this article or to get the best quality Rodeola Rosea.

Stay Healthy Wealthy & Wise,

Elena Klimenko, MD

 

What Do You Really Know About Your Dietary Supplements?

What Do You Really Know About Your Dietary Supplements?

There’s a frightening and emerging trend plaguing the dietary supplement (DS) industry. Recent studies (conducted by independent labs, scientists, and/or newspapers) in which DS were randomly and independently tested have shown that DS products do not always contain the ingredients (or the purity of ingredients) stated on the product label. This concern goes across all supplements: vitamins, minerals, herbs/botanicals, and amino acids.

To complicate matters, manufacturers of DS are not required to submit products to the scientific scrutiny of the FDA because DS are regulated as a food product, not a drug. The Federal Trade Commission regulates advertising of product claims to prevent false claims, but that has nothing to do with the purity and quality of the pill you may be buying in the store. The FDA has the authority to spot-check supplements (and to remove products that violate certain regulations) but is not required by law to test, or require testing, on all over-the-counter supplements.

Several private groups, as well as the Government Accountability Office (Natural Resources and the Environment Division) want to have more done to hold supplement makers accountable for the purity of their products. It’s a heated debate, but as more clinicians, consumers, and retailers call for standardized practices for testing, producing, and marketing DS before they go on the market, the more confident we all can be about what we’re buying.

Be an informed consumer:

Read labels and understand what the terms on the label actually mean. Ingredients you don’t want to see include fillers, dyes, lead, dextrose.

Look for a Quality Assurance seal of approval: Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Even better if products was third-party tested.

Purchase products from your healthcare provider or a reputable company that distributes its product only thorough trained healthcare practitioners.

Research the product / company on the Internet: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Look for product recalls and scams: FDA Health Fraud Scams & Tainted Supplements.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true.

Check products (and product recalls) on these websites: Council for Responsible NutritionConsumerLabs, and the National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement QA Program.

Working for the last 10 years with various nutraceutical companies I have my list of “preferred” and “avoid”. I am gladly sharing this information with my patients and provide them with the best products on the market based on my expertise and experience. It is also imperative to use good product when one is looking for consistency in therapeutic results.

Feel free to call our office 212 -696-HEAL(4325) if you want supplements advise and consultation.

References:

  • ConsumerLab Independent Testing of Supplements https://www.consumerlab.com/aboutcl.asp
  • Council for Responsible Nutrition. “One Dozen Tips for Consumers.” http://www.crnusa.org/CRNfactsheetconsumertips.html
  • Harel, Z., et al. “The Frequency and Characteristics of Dietary Supplement Recalls in the United States.” JAMA Internal Medicine 173, no. 10 (2013): 929-930. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.379.
  • National Institutes of Health Quality Assurance Program https://ods.od.nih.gov/Research/AMRMQualityAssuranceProgram.aspx
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office. “Dietary Supplements: FDA Should Take Further Actions to Improve Oversight and Consumer Understanding.” Published January 29, 2009. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-250
  • U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. “USP & Dietary Supplement Manufacturers.” http://www.usp.org/usp-manufacturers/dietary-supplements