July 2014 
Summertime First-Aid Kit
Spend a weekend in New York City in July or August and you'll find yourself wondering where everyone has gone. It seems like most of the city clears out to the beaches, mountains and lakes and I'm no exception. I love being outside in the sunny heat, reconnecting with nature: surfing in Montauk, hiking in the Adirondacks, kayaking at the lake, cycling up the Hudson or just sitting on my deck soaking up the rays. Add in the excess of a barbecue or two to all that activity and sometimes my body doesn't love me in the morning. 
That's when I whip out what I call my summer toolkit, which is a little bag I travel with containing all I need to handle things like sunburn, achy muscles, upset stomach, bug bites, poison ivy or anything else that might get in the way of summer fun.
Here are the top five things in my bag:
1) Homeopathic arnica (30C potency): I don't leave on a long biking or hiking trip without this. Muscle strains, sprains and overuse benefit from a dosage or two when the day is done. Arnica gel is also in the kit for topical relief.
2) Activated charcoal tablets: Whenever I start to feel queasy or off from something I ate, I'll pop a few tablets of this. It binds to toxins and pulls them out through the digestive tract so you don't absorb them. 
3) Homeopathic apis (30C potency): I just used this yesterday when I got a giant mosquito bite while on a walk through the woods. Apis is great when you've got an insect bite or sting that's swelling quickly. 
4) C-C-C Cream (Eclectic Institute). That stands for comfrey, calendula and coneflower (echinacea). This powerful blend of herbs comes in handy for everything from sunburns to poison ivy and can often zap inflammation after one application. I don't go anywhere in the summer without it.
5) Essential oils: Instead of commercial bug sprays that are filled with chemicals, I like to put a few drops of eucalyptus, clove and citronella oil in a jojoba oil carrier to repel insects. A couple drops on the arms, legs, and along the neckline are usually enough to keep critters out of your way.

Check out Something I Love below for my favorite natural sunscreen. 
Hope your summer is relaxing, joyful and healthy!
Dr. Maura

Health News You Need To Know
Broccoli: The Ultimate Detoxifier?

What: Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that people who consumed a half cup of broccoli every day showed an amazing 61% increase in excretion of highly carcinogenic compounds benzene and acrolein. They credited this to sulforaphane, which broccoli converts to in the body when chewed and improves the body's ability to get rid of pollutants. 

Recommendation: Make sure you're consuming broccoli regularly: throwing some steamed broccoli into smoothies, adding it for your lunch salad or making this tasty recipe for roasted broccoli (kids love it too). 

Stress and Memory Loss: A Cortisol Connection 

WhatA recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience linked elevated cortisol (the hormone released when you're stressed) levels to the gradual loss of synapses in the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain that controls short-term memory. Synapses are the connections that helps us process, store and recall information. Long-term, chronic exposure to cortisol can make them shrink and disappear. 

Recommendation: Phosphatidylserine has been shown to reduce circulating cortisol in the body and herbs like ashwagandha and magnolia will help the body adapt to stress; ask me for recommendations on dosage for you at your next visit. Stress-reduction techniques like meditation and yoga are essential for healthy aging and memory retention. 

Intelligent Pregnancy: Pesticide Exposure Linked to Autism Risk
What: The MIND Institute at University of California Davis just released a study suggesting that expectant mothers that live near fields or farms that heavily utilize chemical pesticides have a two-thirds greater chance of having a child with autism or a related developmental delay.

Recommendation: The study's authors emphasized that, based on these findings, that all pregnant women should avoid agricultural chemicals as much as possible because of the high risk to fetal neural development. If you're thinking of becoming pregnant, speak to me about my Preconception Plan that involves comprehensive detoxification to reduce harmful toxins from being passed to baby.  

On The Blog: An Eczema Cure in Three Steps

My office is often the last stop on the block for people with chronic skin conditions who've been to dermatologists and taken meds that don't ultimately work. I typically see the cause of eczema as one, or a combination, of three things: a fatty acid deficiency, an expression of toxicity in the body or yeast. Find out how I treat this stubborn syndrome in one patient's story: a woman in her mid-thirties came in with her fingers completely bandaged and throughout our first meeting, incessantly scratched her arms. A few months later she was symptom-free. Read the full blog post and find out how Celia became eczema-free.

One of my favorite patient populations is people in recovery from alcohol and drugs. In this article, I discuss making nutrition a part of the treatment program for people in early recovery.  Read more.
Something I Love
EiR Surf Mud + Zinc

EIRI'm always on the lookout for exceptional natural sun protection, free of nasty gunk like oxybenzones and retinyl palmitate. (Read Environmental Working Group's guide to what to avoid in sunscreens and why. It's scary.)

Happily, in my search, I had to look no further than my friend and fellow surfer Jun Lee's new brand EiR. I watched her make from scratch the very first batches of her now-famous Surf Mud a few summers ago. Ingredients are 100% organic and it smells good-enough-to-eat: coconut oil, cocoa butter, tea tree oil (to prevent breakouts), beeswax and zinc oxide.

Does it work? Sure does. Ask any surfer in Montauk.

Go here to get yourself some. 

In This Issue
Now Seeing Patients at Element Natural Healing in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn 
I'm happy to announce that I'm now the on-staff naturopath at this fabulous wellness center that's been a trusted standby in one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York for over a decade. 
Element also has top-notch services that include: acupuncture, massage, reflexology, Thai bodywork, reiki, meditation, yoga, Alexander technique, facials and more. 
Call Element to make an appointment with me or any of the other practitioners. 

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Dr.Maura, ND | | maura@drmaura.com | 1133 Broadway
Suite 1023
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