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Naturopathic Medicine in Florida 

In This Issue
Recipe of the Month
Bugs of Summer, Naturally
Garlic, the Super Food
Thiamine (B1)
Calendula
Walking Meditation
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
RECIPE OF THE MONTH:

 

Refreshing Summer Pesto

2 cups washed fresh basil, loosely packed
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Combine basil, pine nuts, and garlic in food processor or blender.  Blend until mixture becomes course.

Add lemon juice and olive oil slowly, pulsing the mixture and adding oil until pesto reaches desired consistency.

Season with sea salt to taste.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.  The pesto can be tossed with pasta, added to rice, or can be rubbed over fish or chicken.
FNPA Board

 

Dr adam Tice

Dr. Adam Tice

President

 

thompson

Dr. Judith Thompson

Vice-President

Legislative Chair

 

Swedrock

Dr. Katie Swedrock

Secretary

 

camp

Dr. Eli Camp

Treasurer

 

Dr. Jennifer Southard

Board Member

 

Dalili

Dr. Dawn Dalili

Board Member

The Six Principles of Naturopathic
 Medicine
 

 

 Take Action!

First Do No Harm

 

Take Action!

The Healing

Power of Nature 

 

Take Action!  

Doctor as Teacher

 

Take Action!

Identify and

Treat the Cause

 

Take Action! 

Treat the

Whole Person

 

Take Action! 

Prevention

Upcoming Events

 

Join Dr. Eli Camp on June 27th

at 11:00 AM EST

for a 1 hour teleseminar on

 

The Five Most Important Supplements.

 

If you had to pick just 5 supplements to add to your daily routine, what would they be? This teleseminar looks at the 5 most vital supplements, educates you as to why these are so important for health and gives you guidance on choosing a quality products.  

 

RSVP is required

 

Call information will be emailed out to those who RSVP.

 

Handouts will be provided.

 

Cost: Free

Legislative Update
thompson
We are looking ahead to meeting with our local state legislators. We are building relationships with the leaders of our communities and letting them know who we are and how we want to help keep our neighbors healthy. There are so many ways that our voices are heard.

 If you would like to join a local ND on a visit to your local representative's office please contact us so we can set up a meeting for you. It is an exciting event that helps you take full advantage of being an active participant in your community.

If you would like to set up a fundraiser or host a local talk please let us know what you are interested in learning more about so we can connect you with a local ND.


 We appreciate your support in helping to make Naturopathic Medicine more well known and accepted in Florida.


In health,

Judith Thompson, ND
FNPA VP
 & Legislative Chair

 

 June 2012
       

family2

Greetings!     

 

This newsletter discusses how to deal with bugs and pests this summer in a safe and natural way, using garlic as a super food, the importance and sources of Thiamine (Vitamin B1), the healing power of Calendula and the restorative practice of Walking Meditation.  

 

The most important thing you can do to ensure that you have the option to choose a Naturopathic Doctor as your health care provider is to tell your legislator that you would like him or her to help bring a licensing law for NDs to FL. The next most important step to see this happen is for you to join our Association. For more information, please visit www.FNPA.org.

 

There is a very quick and convenient way to share the newsletter with your loved ones. Please scroll down and use the "Forward" button we have provided. Help spread the word about Naturopathic Medicine!

Bugs of Summer, Naturally

kids

The long days of summer beckon us to spend time outdoors--dining al fresco with friends and family, playing outdoor sports and activities, and taking advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the sunshine.  The joys of summer also bring greater exposure to the bugs of summer including mosquitos, ticks, and stinging insects such as wasps and bees.



The majority of conventional insect repellent preparations contain a substance called DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) as the active ingredient.  In 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that DEET does not present a health concern as long as label directions are followed carefully and a list of "proper precautions" are observed with use, but many clinicians and consumers have concerns about potential toxicity with prolonged or repeated use in humans, including damage to the nervous system. Fortunately, for those seeking to avoid unecessary chemical exposure, there are a number of ways to minimize the risk of insect bites and stings so that you can enjoy the season without worry.

To avoid mosquitoes, it is helpful to consider their breeding and feeding habits.  Mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in moist soil and in areas of poor drainage and stagnant water.  Taking care to eliminate areas of standing water around the home and yard can help to limit breeding grounds. Timing is another key consideration. Mosquitoes experience their peak appetites at dusk and dawn each day. Further, they are most active in early summer and become less problematic by the end of July.

Careful selection of clothing and bodycare products may also afford some protection against insect bites.  During peak feeding times and when spending time in wooded areas, it is helpful to wear long pants, tucking them into socks or shoes to minimize areas of exposure. Mosquitoes and stinging insects are attracted to dark and bright colors, while light colored or muted clothing may help to deter insects. Highly scented hair and body products are also attractive to some insects and may be best left out of your routine when you know you'll be outside.  

There are a number of natural remedies for keeping the bugs at bay.  Essential oils derived from plants have long been regarded as natural insect repellents. These include peppermint, eucalyptus, citronella, cedar, rosemary, thyme,  pennyroyal, lemon eucalyptus, and many others. Essential oil combinations are found in natural insect repellent products and it is relatively easy to make a mix of your own.  Dr. Mary Bove recommends mixing together 15 drops each of lavendar, citronella, eucalyptus, and pennyroyal with 1 oz of almond or olive oil. This mixture can be applied directly to skin or clothing to keep insects from biting.  While some essential oils have proven effective at warding off insects for a short period of time, they generally require more frequent repeat applications than their chemically-derived counterparts.

Certain nutritional supplements can decrease our appeal to insect predators. Daily zinc supplementation has the potential to alter body odor so that bees are less likely to sting susceptible indiduals without provovation. Early studies suggested that high doses of supplemental thiamine (Vitamin B1) might prove useful in repelling mosquitoes. Later studies have been inconclusive regarding use of thiamine for this purpose but with its low toxicity potential, its use may be worthy of a try.  Clinicians reporting beneficial effects for thiamine as an insect deterrent report dosing thiamine between 50-300 mg daily.  Ingestion of garlic has long been recommended as a potential mosquito repellent, however, it has shown more impressive results for preventing tick bites.  A study involving Swedish military personnel serving in a tick-endemic area found a 30% reduction in tick bites in soldiers when their diets were supplemented with 1200 mg per day of garlic extract in a capsule form.

A few key precautions can be taken to minimize the risk of infection. For children, it is helpful to keep fingernails short and clean and discourage them from scratching the lesion as this may increase the risk of local infection. For minor skin inflammation after a bite, a topical wash of calendula tincture, diluted 1:2 with water, functions as an antimicrobial and decreases swelling. Common homeopathic remedies for bites include Apis for red, swollen lesions that feel better with cold applications and Ledum for skin that feels cold and has a dusky purple appearance after a bite.

It is good practice to check skin thoroughly for ticks when coming in from outdoors.  Although most ticks do not cause disease, the Deer Tick is a known carrier of Lyme Disease.  Should you spot a tick on the body, use tweezers to carefully remove it as close to the skin as possible and consult with your doctor, especially if you develop unusual symptoms such as red, target-like rash near the attachment site or experience fever or flu-like illness.

With a little help from your natural medicine chest and so many simple ways to minimize the incidence of bites and stings, it is easy to enjoy a carefree outdoor experience and peacefully coexist with the many bugs of summer.

References:

  • Bove M. An Enclyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants. Chicago: Keats Publishing, 2001.
  • http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/chemicals/deet.htm - Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  • Gaby AR. Insect Repellents. Nutritional Meicine. Concord, NH: Fritz Perlberg Publishing, 2010.
  • Kuhn MA, Winston D. Herbal Therapy & Supplements: A Scientific & Traditional Approach. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2001.
  • Maia MF, Moore SJ. Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development, and testing. Malaria Journal 2011 10 (Suppl): S11.
  • Steele, S. (1995). Summer's sting. Maclean's, 108(26), 46.

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Garlic - Super Food

Known widely as the "stinking rose,"  garlic is a member of the lily family that has worldwide cultivation and is a key ingredient in global cuisine including Chinese, French, Thai, Cajun, and Italian cooking. The use of garlic as food and medicine has been documented for thousands of years. Its medicinal effectiveness and versatility has stood the test of time and garlic remains widely used in Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Naturopathic medical practices.

Garlic is a nutritional powerhouse, with a wide range of trace minerals including selenium, chromium, potassium, germanium, calcium, and iron, as well as Vitamins A, C, and B complex.  In addition to providing an assortment of micronutrients, garlic has a multitude of phytonutrients which have active medicinal properties including at least 23 sulphur compounds, the most active of which is allicin.  Allicin and other sulphur compounds produced in its breakdown have extensive antimicrobial activity, inhibiting the growth of many bacterial and fungal organisms.

Along with its antimicrobial effects, garlic also has numerous protective effects for the cardiovascular system.  Studies show that regular consumption of 1-2 cloves of garlic per day can improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, garlic supplements have proven useful for decreasing plaque formation in blood vessel walls.  Garlic is also used to reduce blood pressure, decrease the likelihood of blood clots, and modestly reduce blood glucose levels.

Some chemical constituents of garlic have also been examined for their ability to inhibit certain cancer-causing nitroso compounds. Consuming both raw and cooked garlic has been correlated with lower rates of stomach, intestinal, and other cancer types.

Despite the many positive health benefits of garlic, many people avoid this pungent food due to concern about the body and breath odors that come with its consumption. Herbalists Merrily Kuhn and David Winston recommend some simple tips for preventing respiratory and body odors when consuming garlic.  Mince a garlic clove and let it stand for 10-15 minutes.  Next, mix the minced clove with a carrier agent such as yogurt, applesauce, or honey and do not chew the garlic.  Chewing parsley immediatly after eating garlic can help to make "garlic breath" less bothersome.

With its many health-promoting constituents and its prominence in global cuisine, garlic is truly a universal superfood.

References: 

  • Kuhn MA, Winston D. Herbal Therapy & Supplements: A Scientific & Traditional Approach. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2001.
  • Paradox P and Wells KR. "Garlic." The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 3rd ed. Vol. 2 Detroit: Gale, 2009. 894-898. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 May 2012.

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Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

thiamineThiamine (Vitamin B1) is a water-soluble nutrient that is part of the B-vitamin complex. It functions as a cofactor for numerous enzymes and plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Thiamine is essential for the production of energy by every cell of the body.  The body stores thiamine in skeletal muscle, heart, brain, liver and kidneys as these organs have high metabolic energy needs.

Severe thiamine deficiency results in a disease called beriberi. There are two types of beriberi: wet and dry.  Dry beriberi is characterized by dysfunction of the nervous system and symptoms include weakness, weight loss, tingling or sensation loss in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, mental confusion, and loss of muscle function. Wet beriberi manifests as impaired cardiovascular function and includes swelling of the lower legs, rapid heart rate, and symptoms associated with congestive heart failure.  A condition called Wernicke's psychosis can also occur in severe thiamine deficiency and manifests as psychiatric disturbances and multiple neurological abnormalities.  Thiamine deficiencies of these severities are considered rare in developed nations except in people with advanced alcoholism.

Mild deficiency states are possible in a variety of circumstances including alcohol misuse, gastrointestinal surgery, severe infection, eating disorders, disease states such as cancer (especially with chemotherapy treatment) and AIDS. Long-term use of pharmaceuticals such as oral contraceptives and certain types of diuretics (in addition to other medications) can also lead to mild deficiency states.  Symptoms occurring with mild deficiency include fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, vague headaches, pain, and difficulty with memory and mental focus.

Food sources of thiamine include whole grains, legumes, nuts, meat, and enriched flours but some of the micronutrient content can be lost with high-temperature cooking and lost in cooking water.  Additionally, some foods and beverages actually have anti-thiamine activity and can lead to thiamine deficiency status.  Anti-thiamine foods and drinks include tea and coffee, raw fermented fish, and  betel nuts.  Common additives such as the chlorine found in tap water and the sulfites added to many processed foods can also decrease thiamine levels.

For most people, a healthy diet with ample whole foods is adequate for meeting the body's needs for thiamin. Circumstances requiring additional thiamine include strenous physical exertion, fever, pregnancy, breast-feeding, and adolescence.


To prevent disease, the Food and Nutrition Board recommends intake of thiamine at 1.2 mg per day for males and 1.1 mg per day for females. The therapeutic dose often ranges from 5mg-200mg per day,  but should be done under the supervision of someone trained to manage therapeutic dosing like your neighborhood Naturopathic Doctor.  A toxic upper intake level has not been established for thiamine. When taken orally, supplemental thiamine is generally well-tolerated and considered non-toxic.

References: 

  • Gaby AR. Thiamine. Nutritional Meicine. Concord, NH: Fritz Perlberg Publishing, 2010.
  • Thiamine. Alternative Medicine Review. Vol 8, Number 1: 59-62. 2003.
  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/thiamin/ -Retrieved May 9, 2012..

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Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

herbsThe vibrant yellow flowers of Calendula officinalis have been described by seventeenth century doctor Nicholas Culpepper as "a comforter of the heart and spirits".  This sun-loving member of the Asteraceae, or daisy, family is commonly called the pot marigold. Believed to be native to Egypt, Calendula now has world-wide distribution and its flowers are used extensively as a culinary ingredient and medicine.

 

Calendula flowers bloom continuously throughout the summer, from May to October.  Dried flower petals have a saffron-like quality and are often used as a natural food coloring agent.  As a medicine, Calendula has a long, versatile history.  During the Civil War, the dried blossom powder was used to stop the blood flow of battle wounds. In Europe, it has been used as a treatment for jaundice and as a lymphatic tonic.  Eclectic physicians used calendula for conditions as varied as conjunctivitis, gastric ulcers, rashes, and burns.

Active constituents of Calendula include sterols, triterpenoids, tocopherols, flavonols, carotenoid pigments including lutein, and essential oils.  Preparations of the herb include dried flowers, salves, tinctures and teas. Known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, Calendula is used both internally and topically. Taken internally, Calendula is used to treat postmastectomy lymphedema and pain, chronic colitis, and gastric ulcers, as well as promoting bile production. Used topically, Calendula enhances the healing of skin and mucous membranes and is utilized to reduce varicose veins, heal cracked nipples during lactation, and can be used as an external wash for bee stings, eye inflammation, boils, and diaper rash.  

Calendula use is generally recognized as safe, with no expected adverse effects.  Allergic cross-sensitivity reactions are possible, however, for those with an allergy to feverfew, ragweed, and chamomile.  

References: 

  • Hanrahan C. "Calendula." The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine.Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2009.382-383. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 May 2012.
  • Kuhn MA, Winston D. Herbal Therapy & Supplements: A Scientific & Traditional Approach. Philadelphia: Lippincott. 2001.

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Walking Meditation

meditationDeep mental relaxation is one of many health benefits associated with regular meditation practice.  Other confirmed benefits include lower blood pressure, decreased heart rate, reduced stress levels, improvements in sleep, and stronger immune function.  Despite the many positive health  associations with meditation, many people find it difficult to maintain a formal sitting meditation ritual, especially in the more active days of summer when we may be inclined to spend time outdoors and take advantage of long, sun-drenched days.

Walking Meditation provides the perfect opportunity to couple the health benefits of mindfulness meditation practice with the joys of actively spending time in nature. As explained by Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Walking meditation involves intentionally attending to the experience of walking itself."  It involves walking without a destination, allowing oneself to simply be in the present moment, with focused attention on the process of moving the body.

Most people find the most successful way to implement a walking meditation into daily life is to begin with a structured practice.  This involves setting an intention to engage in walking meditation for a set period of time each day, even at an interval as short as 10 minutes.  Choose a location in which you can walk slowly back and forth, without being observed.  To start, narrow your focus to one aspect of walking, for example, the feet touching the ground.  Notice the sensations that arise as your feet make contact. As your practice grows, you may choose to expand this focus to include the legs or the whole body and then incorporate the awareness of the breath with the movement.  The pace of your walk is likely to vary and change. It is often helpful to maintain a slower-than-average pace at the onset to maximize the ability to pay attention.  If you find your mind drifting, gently bring your attention back to your walking.

A benefit of walking meditation practice is that it can be easily adapted to changing environments and busy schedules. When the weather does not permit outdoor walking, the practice can easily be taken indoors. Walking meditations can be utilized as brief respites as we go about our daily activities, including mindful walks from building to automobile, while shopping, or walking from one room to the next.  The opportunity to quiet the mind, creating a clearer space to connect with ourselves and our environments is a gift of self-care that we can implement with every step we take.  

Recommended Reading: 

  • Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990.
  • Ko-I Bastis, Madeline. Peaceful Dwelling: Meditations for Healing and Living. Boston: Turtle Publishing, 2000.
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1996.

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We want to provide better healthcare choices to Florida's residents and we need your help! Please visit our website to learn more. FNPA Homepage

Sincerely,

Florida Naturopathic Physicians Association