Heal GERD Naturally

You’ve just enjoyed a southwest burrito at your favorite restaurant. Now, you’re feeling as if someone has lit a fire in your upper abdomen and the flames are reaching up your throat. That’s acid reflux. It’s triggered when stomach acid backs up into your food pipe (the esophagus). Acid reflux (commonly called heartburn) is a painful and aggravating condition that affects about 60% of the adult population in a given year. A more persistent and serious condition, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) afflicts as many as seven million Americans.

Symptoms of GERD

A variety of symptoms accompany reflux – not everyone has them all. People with GERD typically experience symptoms from intense irritation to burning pain in the lower mid-chest or behind the breastbone. Other common symptoms are stomach ache, nighttime cough, and inflammation. Persistent reflux can erode tooth enamel, damage the lining of the esophagus, cause sore throat/laryngitis, interfere with swallowing, and increase risk for diseases of the esophagus.

You may be familiar with prescription and over-the-counter medications for reflux disease, such as proton-pump inhibitors and antacids. At best, these drugs only mask symptoms, providing short-term relief rather than getting to the root cause. From a holistic medicine perspective, possible underlying causes of GERD range from the food you eat to factors such as imbalances in stomach acid, food sensitivities, hiatal hernia, overuse of antibiotics and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine.

To get to the root cause of GERD, a holistic physician may test for food sensitivities, evaluate your diet and lifestyle habits, and consider a number of other possible causes. Once the underlying cause has been determined, your doctor may recommend diet changes, herbal and homeopathic remedies, as well as nutritional supplements and physical therapies such as abdominal massage and stress management techniques. Your doctor will use therapies and help you make changes that will restore balance and health to your gut.

Below are a few of the supplements and lifestyle changes that can help you maintain a healthy gut and reduce your risk for heartburn and GERD.

Ginger: Treats various gastrointestinal ailments, including heartburn. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can reduce irritation in the esophagus.

Licorice Root: Helps increase mucus production and digestive activity, protecting the stomach and esophagus from acid. Licorice root has been known to increase blood pressure in people diagnosed with hypertension. Be sure to discuss use of this supplement with your health practitioner.

Probiotics: Helps maintain balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria.

Adopt healthy habits: Exercise 30 minutes daily. Boost your diet with whole, fresh fruits and veggies, fermented foods, and organic meats. Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily. Maintain a healthy body weight. Properly care for other medical conditions such as diabetes. Don’t smoke or overuse alcohol, as this can trigger and aggravate reflux.

Remember, supplements alone do not address underlying lifestyle habits and health conditions that cause GERD. It’s important to work closely with a holistic physician to understand the root cause and your best individualized treatment.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to identify the root cause and relief your unsettled symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).
If you want more information about Functional Medicine, contact us to receive a FREE copy of Dr Klimenko’s E-book.

 

References:

Mayo Clinic Online. GERD. Accessed October 10, 2016: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/basics/definition/con-20025201

University of Maryland Complementary and Alternative Medicine Database. GERD. Accessed October 10 2016: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease

Ginger. (2012, April). Retrieved October 10, 2016 from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger

Kandil T. S., Mousa, A. A., et al., “The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in gastro-esophageal reflux disease [Abstract].” BMC Gastroenterology (2010 January 18): 10(7). Retrieved October 7, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20082715

Lukic, M., Segec, A., et a.l., “The impact of vitamins A, C, and E in the prevention of gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma [Abstract].” Collegium Anthropologicum, (2012) 36(3), 867-872. Retrieved October 7, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23213946

Patrick, L., “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A review of conventional and alternative treatments.” Alternative Medicine Review, 16(2), 116-133. (2011). Retrieved from http://altmedrev.com/publications/16/2/116.pdf

Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Gettyimage

Rose Hips for Wellness

Rose Hips for Wellness

There’s nothing like a rose to stimulate feelings of wellbeing. And nothing quite like rose hip – the actual fruit of a rose – to enhance health and promote wellness.

Of all the roses, the beautiful Wild Dog Rose is the type most often cultivated for their hips. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a range of herbal preparations. Rose hips contain a variety of antioxidants (especially Vitamin C), Vitamin A, carotenoids, and other plant compounds that are recognized for their role in preventing degenerative disease, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Many natural health practitioners use rose hip to treat wounds and inflammation. Rose hip oil is commonly used in cosmetics as it has the ability to revitalize skin cells. It has been used to treat scars, acne and burns. In Germany, rose hip powder (capsule) has been used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Herbalists have long used rose hip tea to ease constipation and as a supplement to treat a cold.

Rose hip pulp can be incorporated into sauces or made into a jelly. Standardized extracts are also available in capsules. Always check with your wellness practitioner before using any herbal remedy.

 

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you decide if Rose Hip is the right supplement 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

  • Pyke, Magnus, and Ronald Melville. “Vitamin C in Rose Hips.” Biochemical Journal 36.3-4 (1942): 336-339. Accessed on March 28, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1265699/
  • Iherb.com “Rose Hip” Accessed on March 28, 2016. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-rose-hip.html
  • Mahboubi, M. “Rosa Damascena as Holy Ancient Herb with Novel Applications.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 6.1 (2016): 10-16. PMC. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737971/
  • Phetcharat, L., Wongsuphasawat, K. & Winther, K. “The Effectiveness of a Standardized Rose Hip Powder, “Containing Seeds and Shells of Rosa Canina, on Cell Longevity, Skin Wrinkles, Moisture, and Elasticity.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 10 (2015), 1849-1856. PMC. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655903/
  • Schwager, J.,et al. “A Novel Rose Hip Preparation with Enhanced Anti-Inflammatory and Chondroprotective Effects.” Mediators of Inflammation (2014) October. PMC. doi: 10.1155/2014/105710 Web. 28 Mar. 2016 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211164/
  • S.N. Willich, K. Rossnagel, et al., “Rose hip herbal remedy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis – a randomised controlled trial.” Phytomedicine (2010) 17:2, 87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.09.003 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711309002311
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.
Soothing Herbs for Restful Sleep

Soothing Herbs for Restful Sleep

Lavender (Lavendula species), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Oats (Avena sativa)

Three herbs well known for calming effects are Lavender, Chamomile and Oats. Perhaps, not quite as well known as the first two herbs, Avena sativa (Oats Milky Seed or Oatstraw) is the grain* source of oatmeal. The entire plant is abundant in minerals and trace nutrients, in particular the B-vitamins, calcium, and magnesium, which help soothe and strengthen the nervous system. As an herbal remedy, oats can ease the effects of stress, anxiety or exhaustion and resolve sleeplessness. Oats contain the amino acid tryptophan, which research shows promotes sleep. In fact, Scottish folks suggest a bowl of oatmeal before bedtime to ensure restful sleep!

Of its many medicinal uses, lavender is known worldwide as an herbal “rescue-remedy” for reducing stress, anxiety and tension. Its strong, relaxation-inducing scent is used in massage therapy lotions, candles, bath salts, tinctures and essential oils. As one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, a dab of lavender on the inside of your wrist can help soothe a stressful moment. Lavender is also used in teas, often paired with chamomile. If you are not a tea-drinker, dried lavender can be added to a sachet and placed beneath your pillow to help induce sleep. I always keep lavender essential oil handy to sooth my son, when he has hard time to fall asleep.

Chamomile has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for easing stress and insomnia. Today, these uses continue and we also have good clinical evidence for the safe use of chamomile preparations to help reduce inflammation, promote more restful sleep, ease colic and digestive upset, and facilitate wound healing when used in a cream. While chamomile seems to reduce the effects of anxiety, which can contribute to sleeplessness, more research is necessary to demonstrate the specific properties of chamomile that contribute to its effects.

Since there are many different ways to prepare these herbs, and some people can be allergic to certain herbs, do check with your wellness practitioner for the best approach to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.

*If you have sensitivity or allergy to gluten, be sure to use an oat product produced using gluten-free manufacturing practices.

References
  • Mars, B. & Fiedler, C. (2015). The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. (pp. 29-29, 45, 193, 200).
  • Bennett, Robin Rose. (2014). The Gift of Healing Herbs. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
  • Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. (p. 532)
  • Duke, James. A. (2002). Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (2nd Ed). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. (p. 534)
  • Thorne Research. Matricaria chamomilla (German chamomile). Monograph. Alternative Medicine Review (2008) 13:1, 58-62.
  • D. Wheatley (2005) Medicinal plants for insomnia: a review of their pharmacology, efficacy and tolerability. J Psychopharmacol, Volume 19, Pages 414-421.
  • Murray, M. “Insomnia” as cited in Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier. (chapter 182).
  • Zick, Suzanna M et al. “Preliminary Examination of the Efficacy and Safety of a Standardized Chamomile Extract for Chronic Primary Insomnia: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11 (2011): 78. PMC. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
  • Medicine Talk Professional. Lecture on Healthy Sleep.
  • Sleep Health Foundation (Australia). Herbal Remedies and Sleep.http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/files/pdfs/HerbalRemedies-0713.pdf
  • Herbal Academy of New England. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/05/oats-benefits-getting-to-know-avena-sativa/
Natural Therapies for a Good Night's Sleep

Natural Therapies for a Good Night’s Sleep

Before your head sinks into the pillow at bedtime, there are some very simple things you can do to prepare mind and body for a night of deeply restful sleep. The evening hours are a time when the busyness of your day should begin to wind down. It’s important to create a bedtime ritual that will help tame the thoughts that may still be racing through your mind and which can prevent you from falling or staying asleep throughout the night. In addition to the lifestyle tips for better sleep that are described in this month’s feature article, try adding some of the following naturopathic and holistic approaches to your evening routine.

  • Enjoy a warm bath including Epsom salts and/or lavender oil.
  • Listen to the relaxing sounds of ocean waves, classical music, or chimes. There are specialized acoustic recordings that are orchestrated to affect specific brain wave patterns for relaxation or sleep. Call our office for a complimentary download of MP3 file.
  • A guided recording of progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, restorative yoga poses, can help the body create the ‘relaxation response’.
  • Herbs and other botanical or aromatherapy treatments are useful for calming down after a stressful day. In addition to the herbs discussed in this month’s newsletter, you might want to ask your physician about teas, tinctures or capsule preparations of valerian, skullcap, passionflower, or lemon balm and kava kava.
  • Try meditation, beginning with just 10 minutes a day. Meditation has numerous health benefits and recent studies show it can significantly affect quality of sleep.
  • I also like to recommend some homeopathic medicine for sleep. Quietude is a great combination of homeopathic medicines that helped many of my patients to avoid sleeping pills. Just dissolve 1-2 tabs after the dinner and before bedtime to get faster onset and uninterrupted sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night take another dose.
  • Melatonin is sleeping hormone helping us to fall asleep and staying asleep. Almost of all of us drop the production of it after 40 years of age which also corresponds with the process of aging. Starting a supplementation of good quality of melatonin at 3mg at night time can be a great help before running for a pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Get a good night sleep or call our office for a free copy of the sleeping meditation recording. Stay Healthy Wealthy & Wise.

Elena Klimenko, MD

Integrative Medicine Specialist

References
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609072719.htm
  • Corliss, J. Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep. Harvard Health Newsletter. 18 February, 2015. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726
  • Murray, M. “Insomnia” as cited in Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier. (chapter 182).
  • Mars, B. & Fiedler, C. (2015). The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. (pp. 29-29, 45, 193, 200).