Polypharmacy is an enormous health crisis throughout our country. It's one of the many reasons I do what I do .... the education....the leading people thru the process of learning to care for themselves by reading their own bodies and understanding the holistic options available to them.... the empowerment of personal care ownership🙌❤!
This story.... it started with eye drops. It's not an isolated incident. This kind of story happens every single day very innocently. I've watched it happen to patients throughout my pharmacy career.
There is a time and a place for Western medicine, but it behooves a person to enter into Western medicine treatment with eyes wide open, well armed with research, an advocate or two, and a willingness to look into all types of care options.
The average American adult is currently on 4 or more prescription medications 💊..... not including over the counter (OTC) remedies.
It can be a slippery slope and it's not the consumer's fault.... other than placing too much trust in a profit driven system.
This is why I do what I do.
Defy the system.
Don't be normal or average. You are worth more than that.
God created you to use your gifts and talents in unique and beautiful ways.... not too medicated to even think clearly.
If you'd like help navigating what living like "normal" should look like, click above for a consult.
My husband calls me “the noticer” on our farm because I notice even the slightest irregularities or inconsistencies… It doesn't matter if it’s person, plant, or beast. Often what I notice is nothing to be concerned about, but acknowledging trends or patterns will oftentimes save time and heartache if we can “nip something in the bud” before we have an all out crisis.
It doesn’t matter if you live on a farm👩🌾 or in a city apartment🏢, becoming a casual “noticer” hones skills that may keep you safe, alive, and healthy. Pairing “noticing” with instinct (what I prefer to call Holy Spirit led discernment😉), along with a bit of knowledge goes a long way as a skilled “noticer”. We all become amateur paramedic sleuths🔎 when a temperature is taken, a throat is examined for spots, sleep is lost, pain is felt, or a quick look is taken at what just dropped into the toilet😳😱. Those are all clues that we see after the fact…. changes within the body have become noticeable enough that they can no longer be ignored.
“Blood goes round and round” air goes in and out; any variation from this is bad.”~ Paramedic 101
*Blood should move efficiently and effectively throughout the body. If it does not, trouble is on the horizon. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and removes carbon dioxide and other waste. It also helps regulate body temperature and pH, and is a shield of protection within us by way of its finely tuned clotting mechanisms (so that we won’t bleed too much or too little) and role in immune system function .
*Healthy “clean” blood makes more efficient oxygen and nutrient deliveries to cells which ultimately leads to better mental health, cleaner clearer skin, better regulation of cholesterol, and enhanced liver and lung function (which allow for better off loading of cellular and pathogenic waste and toxins).
*Does your blood appear to move efficiently throughout the body?
Try this “hands on” clue to assess whether your vascular system may (or may not) be serving blood to the nether regions of your body well (your hands and feet!).
The Capillary Nail Refill Test is a simple test you can do on yourself or family member:
*Note the color of unpolished nails. They should be light pink in color.
*Gently and firmly press on the nail bed of a fingernail for about 5 seconds. The nail will turn pale.
*Holding the hand above the heart, release the pressure on the tip of the finger and watch for the amount of time it takes for the original color to return to the nail.
*Upon release of pressure, the nail should return to its original color within 2 seconds.
Now, what do the results from this clue mean? If the nail bed color takes more than two seconds to recover its color, it may mean any (or all) of these things need to be addressed:
👉Dehydration (blood simply cannot flow well if there isn’t enough water in the blood)
👉Hypothermia (if someone has poor peripheral circulation as with Raynaud’s Syndrome, a cold room can certainly affect the outcome of the press test. This in itself may be a clue, as Raynaud’s is often associated with autoimmune disorders such as lupus, scleroderma, RA, and Sjogren syndrome).
👉Peripheral vascular disease (commonly caused by a buildup of plaque inside artery walls which ultimately lead to narrowing, blockage, and vascular spasms in legs and sometimes also in arms. This is another clue if pain is exacerbated during exercise and improves when at rest.)
Poor oxygenation throughout the body is the Number One cause of declining health and disease. Blood needs to flow, oxygen needs to be delivered, and waste needs to be disposed of constantly.
What are some things you can do to encourage and support a healthy vascular system?
*NingXia Red! Our favorite red drink supports both the vascular system and the blood flowing through it…. I encourage you to pick up a copy of NingXia Wolfberry: the Ultimate Superfood by Gary Young to learn more! You’ll never want to be without NingXia Red after understanding how valuable and supportive this drink is to our health.
*Eat plenty of fresh cabbage, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, garlic, grapefruit, lemon, and oranges to encourage detoxification. Fruits like apples, plums, and pears have pectin fiber that are also useful in cleansing the blood.
💫Strive to keep a slightly alkaline body. In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize for proving that highly oxygenated, slightly alkaline blood creates an inhospitable environment for cancer cells.
*Diaphragmatic Breathing: Use ALL of the lungs when breathing. Most people only breathe using the upper portion of their lungs. Make your diaphragm work when you breathe at least several times a day (if not always). Pairing “mindful breathing” with positive emotions and gratitude improves oxygenation of blood!
*Stay well hydrated! If you don’t like to drink water, my guess is that you’ve never tried the Young Living Vitality Drops! (Grapefruit Bergamot is my fave!)
🌟Glutathione: This is the master antioxidant. Sulfurzyme provides the body with essential tools needed to make glutathione. This is another one of my personal all time favorites!
🌿Chlorophyll, as is found in the leafy greens mentioned above, also provides key nutrients for healthy blood. It’s hard to get enough of it though for most people. Young Living’s Multigreens is a fantastic way to get concentrated chlorophyll into your body on the days you just can’t eat enough kale and spinach!
💥Vitamin B12 and Folate (Super B for the win!)
💪Exercise and movement! The mere act of standing up triggers chemical changes within the body that benefit blood flow.
*Increase joy and reduce stress in your life (Have you read Dr. Emoto’s book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”?)
👐Massage: It improves circulation and mood!
Poor circulation can be painful and even dangerous, and the ideas above are just a few ways to support a healthy vascular system and blood supply.
What is something that you consciously do to encourage cardiovascular health?
Do you use a particular aroma to help you focus, memorize, or learn? My favorites to help me in the office are Cedarwood, Rosemary, Lemon, Brain Power, and Clarity.
"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." ~ Hamlet (act 4, scene 5)
Tho all of these smell amazing, it's not only about creating a pleasant work environment. According to this interesting study, the constituent of 1,8-cineole is an effect brain tool for increased performance.
This is 5 minute video, and it's packed with some interesting facts. Here are a few tidbits:
🌿 EEG (brain function) assessed in 40 adults given 3 minutes of rosemary aromatherapy resulted in "decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting increased alertness. "
🌿 Lowered cortisol levels occurred (stress hormone) when exposed to rosemary aromatherapy.
🌿 "..... compounds absorbed from rosemary aromatherapy affect cognition and subjective state independently through different neurochemical pathways."
🌿Rosemary, of course, is an age old kitchen herb. A study focused on older adults (>75yrs old) who were given varying degrees of dried rosemary in food. Speed of memory was measured... the lowest "dose" of dried rosemary in food had significant improvement on speed of memory.... a little bit will do ya!
Do you have a favorite memory or brain supportive oil?
My wise friend.... she knows her stuff.
One of my mottos is this... You can pay the farmer or you can pay the pharmacist. You'll end up happier and healthier paying the farmer every time. Promise!!
Melissa Heeran writes:
How many people believe that gaining weight is the result of eating too much and not exercising enough?!
What if I told you that some studies show obesity has a lot more to do with the quality of your foods, than the quantity of the foods you eat and the amount you exercise?
I recently attended a lecture focusing on the study of obesity in relation to poverty. It was shown that people who face poverty are more likely to be overweight and obese. Isn’t that backwards?
The observers looked at an affluent Indian tribe who were healthy and lean during the prime of their affluent lives when they were growing food and hunting, and followed up 30 years later when they had been pushed off their land, so that farming and hunting was scarce. It was observed that during these times of famine their entire dietary lifestyle shifted to one loaded with carbohydrates.
The diet full of carbohydrates created hormone imbalance which led to insulin resistance.
Insulin is the mechanism by which fat is transformed into usable energy.
High insulin levels accumulate fat.
High Glycemic Index carbs like sugars, breads, pasta, cereal, white rice are the driving force of insulin resistance and obesity.
Filling your plate with more vegetables, fruits, lean protein and healthy fats may help to balance hormones and insulin levels, to reduce the likelihood of insulin resistance.
Quality wins, every time. 💯
Feet: Part III... Health from the ground up!
I’ve got a question for you…… when was the last time you went barefoot 👣…..outside…. and on the regular? If you’ve never been one to go barefoot, this may be an important clue for your foot health AND your overall physical and emotional wellbeing.
Certainly you’ve heard the terminology, “He (or she) is well grounded.” What does being “well grounded” feel like? Here’s the clue….”Well groundedness” is the feeling of being VIBRANTLY healthy!
Calm. Cool. Collected.
Does this sound like you? If not, a little regular “grounding” is good medicine for everyone!
What is grounding? Grounding is direct contact of the skin, usually the feet (or hands) with the surface of the earth (or through a grounding system). Grounding is a method of healing that has been used for thousands of years all over the world. Sadly, in industrialized cultures, it has mostly been ignored or forgotten.
Very simply…. the earth 🌎is electromagnetic and so are we! We are designed by God to live exposed to the earth’s natural electrical field regularly. Unfortunately, most of the industrialized countries live more surrounded by stronger, harmful man made electromagnetic frequencies, and spend very little time in direct contact with the healing frequencies from the earth. Long term exposure to manmade EMF without grounding regularly ultimately contributes mightily to many health issues…. especially those that are neurological, cardiovascular, muscular, or immune system based. 😔 I would argue that one of the most electrically unhealthy places to be is in a hospital bed surrounded by electrical devices.
Decades ago, shoes were leather soled. This allowed the transfer of the earth’s healing energy to a person. Rubber and plastic on the other hand are insulators and inhibit the transfer of energy. Centuries ago, most people slept on pallets on the ground. Many cultures today still do…. but rarely in modernized countries. Sadly, in some areas of the world, people go for days or weeks never interacting with nature, much less going barefoot IN a natural setting.
There’s definitely a time and a place for shoes, but as in all things, finding balance between booted and barefoot is where we often fail. Over the centuries, shoes👠👟 have both solved problems and created them. I am a firm believer that God did indeed give us all we needed in the garden, which means there had to be a simple solution to foot health outside of a pair of $200 orthotics. Indeed, God created us to be predominately barefooted beings and science agrees!
Proven health benefits of regular “grounding” include:
📋Reduced inflammation throughout the body
📋Improved immune system function
📋Improved pain management
📋Decreased stress response / improved cortisol rhythm (which helps us shift more easily from “fight & flight” to “rest and digest”)
📋Improved circulation and decreased blood viscosity
📋Improved emotional health (increased serotonin levels)
📋Improved heart rate variability (which is associated with better recovery, emotional resilience, and an overall feeling of well-being)
📋Improved sleep patterns
📋Improved wound healing
How to practice grounding?👣 It’s so very easy! Soil, grass, sand, rocks, or unpainted concrete are all conductive grounding surfaces, while wood, asphalt, rubber, and vinyl are not. Grab a book, a friend, or simply enjoy sitting and relaxing in the outdoors barefoot. Go for a walk on a beach. Garden with your bare hands. Sit in a chair with your bare feet on the ground. Leave your electronics indoors! ….. Remember, the object is to rebalance the body’s electricity. It’s much harder to do that if you’ve got a cell phone in your hands!
*Studies show that a mere 30 minutes a day of grounding has a profound effect on overall wellness!
Additionally, simply walking barefoot:
➡️Trains the body to walk more naturally
➡️Improves body balance
➡️As in reflexology, pressure points in the feet are activated
➡️Strengthens foot and leg muscles (engages all muscles in feet, toes, and legs instead of relying on shoes to do it for you)
➡️Reduced hip and knee pain
➡️Reduces incidence of calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammer toes and foot funk fungus
➡️Improves foot flexibility
Grounding and barefoot walking are two gifts of health we can give ourselves easily and inexpensively. If at first your feet object to freedom, consider simply sitting with your feet in the grass (don’t forget to use Young Living’s MOST AMAZING nontoxic Insect Repellent… a little dab'll do ya’!). If your feet have been screaming for years, be patient with the process, but don’t give up!
If you’ve got achy arches, consider applying this blend regularly to the bottoms of your feet and incorporate some foot stretching exercises into your routine:
(in a 10ml roller bottle)
12 drops of copaiba
32 drops lemongrass
32 drops peppermint
12 drops helichrysum
12 drops frankincense
Fill the remaining space with the carrier oil of your choice!
It is no coincidence that VIBRANT and “vibrate” share the same etymology lineage. That’s energy my friends….in essence, grounding is like energy nutrition!
Alzheimer's disease is a scary enough diagnosis all on its own. Navigating the path of quality care and treatment brings on a trauma all its own.
When the FDA does a questionable job of approving a medication for use, that doesn't make the situation any easier. In fact, it makes it all that more difficult. Surely "they" wouldn't approve a drug that wasn't both safe AND effective?
Interesting facts about the recently (June 7th) approved Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm:
* Approved by the FDA DESPITE the nearly unanimous conclusion of an independent panel of experts convened (by the FDA itself) that there was inadequate evidence that the drug was effective in slowing cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
* High dose therapy of the drug over an 18 month period was found to slow the progression of the disease by four months in one study. A second clinical trial failed to show any slowed progression of disease.
* The drug itself will cost an estimated $56,000 per year per patient.
* Potential side effects were found to be common. Brain bleeds and brain swelling was seen in 41% of patients treated with 10mg of Aduhlem.
I don't know..... potential brain bleeds and brain swelling ⚖️ seems like a potentially pretty high price to pay for a $56,000/yr drug that may or may not work.
A well informed patient or care giver is absolutely critical when navigating the healthcare system. Do your research friends.
I've been working on a class about blood and blood typing with a couple of dear fellow educators. As I do my deep dives, it occurred to me to wonder why insects don't have red blood (does anyone else's mind go to places like this😂?)
I won't keep you in suspense if you are now on the edge of your seat with curiosity. Unlike mankind, the blood of insects does not transport oxygen. .... therefore no reddish colored hemoglobin is needed.
Love your blood friends. Don't take it for granted and keep it clean and healthy or it cannot nourish the rest of your body.
Before we move on to foot clues you feel internally, I wanted to touch briefly on the toenails. If you’ve been hanging with me this long, you may remember we spent quite some time on fingernail clues. Fingernails and toenails share many traits, and you may want to go back and revisit those posts for expanded details on your distal digits. Very briefly, these are some of the “biggies” for the toes:
*Clubbed toenails - often a sign of lung, heart, liver, or digestive disorders. Poorly oxygenated blood is usually the causative agent for curved nails.
*Yellowed toenails - usually related to a fungal infection, but if most or all toenails are involved, look for other clues including swollen feet or ankles. Paired with lower extremity swelling, more toenails become involved and the nails appear to get thicker or seem to detach. These telltale tips may also involve clues related to lymphedema, lung disease, or autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.
*Spoon shaped toenails - frequently a sign of iron deficiency or frequent exposure to petroleum based solvents. Know that there are “clean” nail polish and nail polish removers available, and using them instead of toxin laden products is one more way to support healthy liver function!
Chronically cold feet is a clue indicating impaired circulation. Decreased blood flow is commonly linked to smoking, heart disease, diabetes, anemia, digestive disorders, or hypothyroidism. Exercise and deep breathing techniques are two ways to improve circulation. Our bodies are designed to move, not to be still.😉
*Heel pain or pain that radiates from the heel to the arch of the foot (plantar fasciitis) is often a result of inflammation of the ligament attached to the heel bone which runs along the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is often said to be most painful in the mornings. Heel pain alone may suggest arthritis, excessive exercise, or a possible bone spur.
*Have you been told that you have (or had) stress fractures in your feet?. This is one of the most common injuries seen by our active duty military men and women in training, and is also fairly common in civilian life. Though contributing factors include improperly fitted boots, carrying heavy loads regularly, and intense exercise, the biggest factor is improper nutrition leading to weaker bones. Very often, stress fractures in the feet can be a clue for osteopenia / osteoporosis if bones are not given the proper nutrients to thrive.
Young Living’s Super Cal Plus is a wonderful supportive tool for bones that need a little extra TLC! It contains Magnesium, calcium, Vit D3 and a thoroughly helpful blend of micronutrients, herbs, and essential oils. You’ll want to remember this supplement when we chat about foot and leg spasms here in just a little bit too!
*Perhaps you’ve had a random but sudden and severe pain in your big toe? This is a pain that appears “ “magically” (if you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m talking about!), and may leave you wondering how you broke your toe but didn’t know it….. It’s THAT painful! 😳Years ago, gout was considered a rich man’s disease because of the rich diet that often precipitates a flare. Foods and beverages that may aggravate gout include alcoholic beverages, shellfish, bacon, beef, and broccoli, but the worst culprit of all is sugar in all forms, but especially high fructose corn syrup. Gout flares may also be linked to certain medications. Diuretics and certain blood pressure medications in the ACE inhibitor family, are two of the more common ones.
*Regular foot spasms are another wonder filled clue with several possibilities. Poor circulation, dehydration, an imbalance in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or vitamin D are all potential thieves of ease. Thyroid disorders and a sharp change in hormone levels (as is seen in pregnancy) are other potential causes. There are soooooo many medications that can cause a metabolic imbalance resulting in regular foot and leg spasms. Any medication that depletes any or all of these nutrients often leads to foot and leg spasms unless the deficiency is remediated.
Medications known to do this include:
💊Acid blockers/reducers (for the stomach)
💊Many common antibiotics ( the quinolone class especially)
💊Many blood pressure medications
💊Birth control pills
💊Certain maintenance meds used for breast cancer
💊A high sugar diet (yes…. Sugar may be defined as a drug!)
*Leg spasms are often diagnosed as restless leg syndrome when in reality, it’s more often than not a simple deficiency in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or Vit D that may be easily remedied with proper supplementation. In my experience as a pharmacist, I’ve found the most common culprit to be a magnesium deficiency, especially if the spasms are in the lower legs. Remember, the body is giving massive clues and not a single clue is ever an indicator that it is “deficient” in a medication.
*Generalized pain, tingling, or a burning sensation of the feet affects over 20 million people in the United states, and the clue field is a vast one. This particular clue is the result of damaged nerve fibers. Damage may happen in a myriad of ways, but the most common cause is diabetes followed by alcohol abuse. Other potential causes include chronic kidney disease, chronic hypothyroidism, lyme disease, or a vitamin B12, folate, and/or B6 deficiency. The B vitamin family is critical for nerve health, and Young Living’s Super B is a stellar opportunity to support unhappy (and perhaps malnourished) nerves.
Medications that rob the body of a variety of B vitamins include:
💊Acid reducers and antacids
💊Many blood pressure medications
💊Bronchodilators (example: albuterol)
💊Many diabetes meds including metformin (do you see the irony here?)
💊Birth control pills
💊Certain medications for Parkinson’s Disease
Oftentimes, clues can certainly be found in a pill bottle, once you start to understand the cause and effect and even put together a timeline of when the clue appeared. This is why it is so important to keep a health journal, especially when multiple clues make themselves known. Think of it as writing your personal detective story!
Our body rarely deceives us!
Plant those seeds friends. I love having friends, mentors, and even people I don't know throwing seeds my way.... I try to keep my own soil fertile to allow for personal growth.
Meanwhile, I hope and pray I'm able to pay it forward by sowing seeds for others.
Either way, huge blessings result!
Receive the seed. Be the seed. Every day!
(Well written words from a sweet and gifted friend:
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!