Liver Healing vs. Liver Detox: Why there is a HUGE difference!

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liver healing

Liver Healing vs. Liver Detox

Most of my followers know that I am a huge Liver Lover! I can never stress the importance of the liver enough. It has about 500 functions in the body, and it takes a beating in our toxic world.  You can read more about liver health here, but we’re going to go over some important points in this post: what the liver is for and why we need to love and support it- not flush and force it to “cleanse”.

The liver plays a role in:

  • hormonal balancing
  • blood sugar regulation
  • heart health
  • weight management
  • cholesterol regulation
  • detoxification (of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, pathogens, etc)
  • digestion (of fats and protein)
  • utilization of fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A and D
  • keeping copper and iron balanced
  • thyroid and adrenal health
  • immune health

Why we need Liver Loving, not Flushing or Cleansing

The Liver itself doesn’t get dirty- it doesn’t need to be flushed or cleansed. It can get sluggish and it can start getting an extra storage of fat, iron, and copper but it doesn’t store toxins.  When the liver gets sluggish, it stores toxins in FAT which is why there is such a huge link between being overweight and having liver issues.

This is one of the main reasons why I am not a huge fan of liver flushes, cleanses, or anything that will stress the liver out and force it to detox. Our goal should be to provide supporting herbs, foods, and practices to help gently stimulate the liver to heal.  Obviously we all have to make our own choices, but I am not a fan of things like liver/gallbladder flushes, chelation, or fasting- these methods can be very harsh on the body, especially if you are dealing with adrenal dysfunction.  Forcing the body to heal when it doesn’t have the strength is counter-productive.  Gently nourishing the whole body is the key for sustainable healing.

How to Properly Love your Liver

One of the main liver lovers that I recommend to nearly all of my clients is BioRay Liver Life. I have seen miraculous results with this particular herbal blend. The herbs that are used help with the liver, kidneys, lymph, adrenals, and immune system so you get a huge whole-body healing effect from this one supplement. You can read my full post about Liver Life here. Or you can check it out on BioRay’s site, where you can also see many of their other awesome products that I often recommend (and now you can get 15% off your order with the code SASSY at checkout!).

liver healing
BioRay Liver Life is the best choice for liver loving!

According to this source, the tests done with Liver Life “reveal improvements in high liver enzymes, food sensitivities, fatty acid metabolism, pH balance, nutrient absorption and microbial imbalances.”  Not only that, but liver function can improve liver function by 50% in only 15 days. Liver Life supports both phases of liver detox, can improve histamine intolerance, and can help heal food sensitivities over time.

The Liver Life itself can be used for kids as the dose is based on weight, but BioRay has a specific formula just for kids called CALM. You can read more about the kids’ line here.

Other Liver Loving Ideas

  • Herbal infusions like nettles, oatstraw and red raspberry leaf. Infusions are extremely nourishing to the body, and most of them help with liver, lymph, kidneys, and the adrenals.
  • Sunflower Lecithin: This form of lecithin is rich in phosphatidyl choline, which is a B complex vitamin that has extremely important roles in fat metabolism and liver health. It helps with stimulating bile flow and can help flush fat out of the liver, and it is also extremely important for brain health.
  • Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!)
  • Dandelion root decoctions or tea
  • garlic, turmeric, ginger, cayenne
  • Bitter herbs

 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*

 

liver healing

My New Hand-Picked Packages at Perfect Supplements!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps to keep this site running. Thanks for your support!

Most of my followers know that I love Perfect Supplements, and I order many thing from them myself. Well, it just occurred to me recently to see if they would set up some of the most common packages that people buy. This makes things sooo much easier for everyone (myself included!) so that when I need to reorder my collagen, dessicated beef liver, etc I can just click ONE button now instead of searching for everything individually. I find that I often forget something when I do that too. So now it is super easy! PLUS when you use my code SASSY at checkout, you still get 10% off of everything 🙂

You can see my whole storefront on Perfect here, and the new packages are at the top.

Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #1

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 4 oz liquid
  • Garden of Life – Vitamin Code – Raw Vitamin C, 120 capsules
Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #2

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 4 oz liquid
  • Garden of Life – Vitamin Code – Raw Vitamin C, 120 capsules
  • NutraPro Virgin Cod Liver Oil – All Flavors -8 oz
Sassy Holistics – Gut Healing Essentials

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitter Elixir – 4oz
  • Prescript-Assist Probiotic – 60 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 2 oz Liquid
  • Bioray Belly Mend – 2 oz Liquid

Sassy Holistics – Kids Healing Essentials

  • NutraPro Virgin Cod Liver Oil – All Flavors – 8 oz
  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Kids NDF Calm-Mood and Brain Boosting Herbal Drops (Vanilla cream flavor) 4oz liquid

Sassy Holistics – Detox Package

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Artemisa & Clove – 2oz Liquid
  • Sonne’s #7 Bentonite Clay Detoxificant 32 oz
  • Bioray Liver Life – 2 oz Liquid
  • This one I would recommend for those wanting to do pathogen cleansing. (Note: I usually have people rebuild their minerals a bit first before moving onto pathogens!)

My Experience with Homeopathy

homeopathy

I LOVE HOMEOPATHY

Once you really delve into natural health, you can’t help but explore different modalities of natural health. One of the modalities that has really called to me is homeopathy.  I have found that is an extremely misunderstood branch of medicine, and I’m currently taking classes to learn more about it so I can practice it myself.

I touched a tiny bit on homeopathy before when I wrote about cell salts, an incredible part of homeopathy that helps the body utilize certain minerals much better.  I’ve recently added cell salts (BioPlasma) into my daily routine and I love them. They have many different uses and they’re super easy to use!

History of Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been documented since 400BC, but became more popular in the 1800s when Samuel Hahnemann became the main founder of it and added a lot more research to it.  This form of natural health is safe, gentle, and truly holistic. Kids, pregnant women, pets, and anyone else can safely benefit from homeopathy, whether it is an acute or chronic issue. Homeopathy is all about “Like cures like”: something that causes symptoms in one person can cure another. No one will end up with the same remedies even if they have the same symptoms- it is truly individualized and holistic. In the early 1900s, 20% of US docs were homeopaths. 500 million people worldwide practice homeopathy! So for those that think homeopathy is not effective or relevant can learn a bit from the rest of the world.

My Personal Experience with Homeopathy

My first experience with homeopathy was several years ago when I tried to dabble in in myself. I recently decided to give it another go for a few main reasons: 1) If I want to study it and be a homeopath myself, I must try it out with a real homeopath first and  2) I had been reading about how homeopathy can help with healing the body from trauma. I had a lot of abuse as a child, and I never was really able to fully heal from everything that had happened. I had looked into several modalities of emotional healing, but none of them really seemed quite right to me. So I reached out to my dear friend and homeopath, Khush Mark, and she told me a bit about how homeopathy can heal trauma. We cannot heal the physical without healing the emotional! And even health practitioners need other practitioners of their own at times 🙂

So I had my consult with Khush about a month ago. The call itself was over an hour and extremely interesting because homeopathy is *truly* in-depth! It’s all about finding out how you react to certain issues and symptoms, and how your personality plays a role in your health. Once the call was done, Khush sent me my remedies and my plan, and I diligently followed it.

At first I didn’t notice much, but after a week or 2, I really started feeling a shift. My mood was lighter, I started sleeping better, my brain was calmer, and when I think of my childhood, I finally feel nothing! It isn’t a stressor anymore- it feels like I emptied a bucket that I had been carrying around for nearly 20 years.  I was absolutely amazed. During this time, I finally had found the emotional strength to do something that I had been wanting to do for a long time- write out a letter to my abusers. And write I did! I poured out nearly 4000 words into a “letter” that I will never send. But I was able to finally get it out without initiating a stress response. I truly believe homeopathy gave me the strength to handle this burden that I had been carrying for more than 2/3 of my life.

I’m finally moving on!

I have a follow up with Khush soon, and I am so excited about it. In my first call with her, I kept mentioning how I felt “stuck” in life. I can honestly say I no longer feel stuck. HTMA and mineral balancing has given me the tools I need to physically heal, but homeopathy has helped immensely with the emotional aspect. The main reason why I want to marry these two modalities (just like Khush does!) is because homeopathy can heal symptoms pretty quickly and get you back to a baseline with your health, and HTMA can set you up with the lifestyle changes needed to prevent any further health issues in the future.  They are truly an amazing tag-team.

So if you feel like you are “stuck” or you know that you still need to heal old trauma, feel free to reach out to Khush! She offers a free 15 minute Skype session for those that want to really see if this is the path for them.  It’s been proven that childhood abuse can contribute to health issues in adults (in HTMA, it is very common with persistent low Sodium/potassium imbalances), and we cannot process or heal many of these issues as children. Many people really need a bit of  budge to stimulate the body to start truly healing. I hope that anyone reading this that has a history of trauma starts to heal as I have been able to heal <3

homeopathy

Lyme Disease Resources on how to Heal Naturally

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lyme disease

Lyme disease isn’t something I’ve dealt with personally and I haven’t done much studying done on it as of yet. But I wanted to get together a good article for resources for people trying to learn more about this insidious disease, especially as it is supposed to be a very bad year for ticks. It is possible to heal though, and I know many that are beating Lyme’s butt naturally and successfully.

How Mineral Imbalances play a role in Lyme

Copper is a crucial mineral for pathogen management in the body. All of my clients that have tested positive for any kind of pathogen (Lyme, Candida, parasites, EBV, etc) have a copper imbalance. Our environment is pretty much set up for us to create this imbalance. We need healthy livers and adrenals to create the copper binding protein (and most people have sluggish livers and stressed adrenals thanks to the SAD lifestyle- poor diet, tons of stress, lack of sleep, etc). When copper becomes hard for the body to balance, we can also become imbalanced with iron. I see some people with Lyme that have high iron storage, and I see some that have low iron- depends on the person and what their history is on if they start to hoard iron (which Lyme can feed on) or if they are just outright deficient because of how minerals can become skewed under the stress of dealing with a pathogen.

To get to the bottom of copper and iron imbalances

Get an HTMA done, and get these blood labs drawn: copper serum, zinc plasma or serum, ceruloplasmin, iron, ferritin, TIBC, Saturation %, and transferrin. If you’re lucky enough to have an understanding doctor, ask them to request the labs. If not, check out Request a Test or Walk-In Lab (usually the cheaper of the 2).

Read more about copper dysregulation here, and about iron here. As these minerals balance, it will be easier for your body to handle the pathogens, but there are so many amazing herbs and protocols out there too that will help as well.

Other awesome resources

Keep ticks out of your yard naturally: Did you know that chickens eat ticks? Or that there are certain plants you can put in your yard to repel ticks? This article has a lot of great ideas.

Stephen Buhner: Buhner has one of the most popular and effective protocols for healing Lyme. He has a website, a book about healing Lyme, a book about herbal antibiotics, and a book about herbal antivirals. I know many people using some of his recommendations and they all are doing well. He even has info on preventing Lyme during heavy tick seasons: at least 1000 mg of astragalus daily can help keep the immune system strong enough to prevent infection or even to make the disease less harsh if you are bit.

Lyme healing protocol from Organic Lifestyle Magazine: This is a very comprehensive post that goes over the history of Lyme, the stages of it, the controversy about testing, the common co-infections, and all of the treatment possibilities there are.

Brenda from Real Food Rebel: Brenda healed herself from Lyme and has an absolutely amazing blog dedicated to helping others. She outlines what helped her heal from Lyme, which includes whole foods, bowel and parasite cleansing, the Buhner protocol, and more. Everyone is different though- her protocol is amazing, but some may need to do more or less depending on what you are dealing with exactly.

Homeopathy and Lyme: Homeopathy can be a huge helper in helping one to heal from anything, including Lyme disease.

Mold toxin Illness in Lyme Disease: Lyme rarely exists on its own, and a weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to being sensitive to mold.  Activated charcoal and bentonite clay can both be helpful in this situation.

One more story of someone healing their Lyme

Barlow Herbals: This company has 2 awesome formulas that help immensely with overall immune support, and they include one of the most powerful herbs for Lyme called Lomatium root. Barlow recommends starting with Munity Boost first, and then you can eventually move on to just straight lomatium. They have a ton of amazing info on their site about this too!

Stay tuned for more additions!

Amazing Resources on the Importance of Minerals

importance of minerals

I love HTMA and Mineral Balancing!

I was asked yesterday for some awesome resources that would help explain mineral balancing and HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) to those that are either skeptical about the importance of nutrients or those that are just getting into holistic nutrition. I realized that while I have hundreds of links saved on my bookmarks bar, I haven’t ever put the best links into a post yet. I am a HUGE advocate for everyone to constantly learn more about health! I think that we all need to be our own best advocates and the only way to do that is to learn, research, and read, read, read!

So here are my FAVORITE links on HTMA, mineral balancing, and nutrition in general. Some are studies, some are articles, and some a big hard to decipher if you aren’t used to the jargon. But the more you read, the more you learn and that is the most important part.

Directly from the 2 main HTMA Labs (ARL and TEI)

From TEI labs: A list of all of the studies that proof the reliability of HTMA

From TEI labs: All of their published articles on specific minerals (and vitamin A)

From TEI Labs: “Blood analysis for minerals is a good indicator of the transport of minerals to and from the storage areas of the body (extracellular).
Hair tissue mineral analysis is a good indicator of the metabolic processes occurring within the cells (intracellular).” (source)

From TEI Labs: All of their published newsletters on specific conditions and how they relate to HTMA (from 1985-present)

From ARL Labs: A breakdown on what HTMA is exactly.

From ARL Labs: Specific information on each mineral and heavy metal

From ARL labs: Their Newsletters and Published articles.

Studies and Articles about Minerals

Magnesium and Zinc involvement in Tobacco Addiction

Copper Dysregulation: Basics, Pyroluria, Bipolar, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, Thyroid health, hormonal balancing,

Amazing Articles from Dr. Malter

Zinc: Responsible for about 300 enzymes

Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology, diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, info on mag and about 30 other illnesses,   Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment

Copper: Metals and the Mind | Weston A Price , Copper-Zinc Imbalance: Unrecognized Consequence of Plant-Based Diets and a Contributor to Chronic Fatigue | Weston A Price , Copper deficiency symptoms, Type IX Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Menkes syndrome: the decrease in lysyl oxidase activity is associated with a corresponding deficiency in the enzyme protein.

More on Copper: Role in neurological disorders, The role it plays in lipid metabolism (fats and cholesterol, it is SUPER important!), health benefits of copper, All about Ceruloplasmin (the copper binding protein-this report is 119 pages long and incredibly in-depth)

Iron: How to really balance iron, the higher the iron the higher the risk of heart issues, the role of ceruloplasmin in iron balancing,

The Great Iodine Debate | Weston A Price

Breakdown of major minerals and their uses.

Studies and Articles about Vitamins

Vitamin A: Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System? | Clinical Education

The Daily Lipid: Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

Infants, Vitamin D WAPF

Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C

The Importance and Uses of Vitamins

 

 

Adrenal Fatigue and Kids

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adrenal fatigue and kids

Healing Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

You probably read that headline and thought it was a typo, right? Unfortunately it is a horrible reality that our kids are dealing with these days. One of the saddest parts about helping others heal is seeing how much kids suffer these days with health issues.  Many are born already with adrenal issues- mostly because if we are dealing with any form of adrenal fatigue while pregnant, our kids can be predisposed to adrenal issues themselves. (Source)

Need a bit more info on what adrenal fatigue (or more accurately, adrenal dysfunction) actually is?  Read all about it here.

How to Test for Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

Since the 90s, mineral balancing science has shown that even toddlers can deal with adrenal dysfunction (source). Think about that: more than 20 years ago it was well known in the HTMA world that kids are suffering so much. It took this long for more and more people to wake up. We’re at the point that we have to start reversing illnesses, when we had so much time to prevent these issues.

But this information has never been mainstream nor accepted by the medical field unfortunately. When it comes to health, doctors seem to be taught that people are either fully healthy or extremely ill; there is no in-between, and no levels of illness (for example, there are several stages of adrenal dysfunction, so even if a few dozen people were dealing with “Adrenal fatigue” their symptoms could vary greatly).

The best way to test adrenal function is the hair tissue mineral analysis. You can read all about that here, but I will give a quick run down on why this is so helpful. HTMA gives us a huge view on overall health: it can show us adrenal strength, how the body handles stress, and it can give us a view on how well digestion is (which is key for assimilating many nutrients). The minerals that are most important for adrenal health are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Knowing these mineral levels as well as the ratios between them can tell us if kids are dealing with overactive or sluggish adrenals. This is crucial for picking the best treatment plan.

Symptoms that are closely associated to adrenal issues that are common in kids: food allergies/intolerance, fatigue, sleeping issues, reflux as an infant, picky eating habits, constipation, anxiety, skin issues, and more. Any chronic symptom that your child deals with is worth looking into further with HTMA, especially as this test can be used just as much for preventing future issues as it is used for healing current ones.

Treating Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

Even in adults, there is never *just* adrenal fatigue. The root cause of any illness is going to include nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. Knowing this, we need to focus on a few key points depending on ones test results, symptoms, and history. These key points are gut health, liver health, lymph health, and diet/lifestyle.

Gut and Liver Healing

Healing the gut is often one of the first steps to take for better health. I include the liver in this as well as a healthy liver plays a big role in the absorption of many nutrients (like fats, protein, and fat soluble vitamins like A and D). I have a full post here on healing the gut for kids that you can check out.

The basics include healing the gut lining (with foods like bone broth, collagen or gelatin powders, and aloe vera), replenishing good gut bacteria (with fermented foods or probiotics like Garden of life and Renew Life), helping stomach acid production (like with Switchel or my Cranberry Lemon-Limeade, recipes in the full post linked above), and healing the liver (which most of the above help with liver healing, but I see kids do particularly well with the BioRay Kids’ line products, which you can read more about here. These BioRay products all have different main purposes, but they generally offer liver, adrenal, and gut support).

Lymph Health

The lymph system plays a huge role in our overall health. There is a big link between the gut and the lymph- in fact, when we are dealing with leaky gut, the food particles and toxins that leak through the gut lining end up in the lymph system, which starts to make it sluggish. Chronic, underlying infections are common with a sluggish lymph: this includes Epstein-Barr virus, parasites, yeast, etc. The lymph system doesn’t have its own pump, so we have to do it ourselves. Luckily, kids tend to love the main lymph mover: jumping on a trampoline! Rebounding one of the easiest and most effective ways to stimulate the lymph system.

Exercise in general helps to move the lymph. Dry skin brushing can be good for older kids that understand it.  Even castor oil packs or rubbing castor oil over the liver area can help with moving the lymph a bit. Read more about the lymph here.

Diet/Lifestyle

This is perhaps ones of the hardest things to adjust for kids, especially if you have been making the switch over from a Standard American Diet. But it is absolutely one of the most important changes. The SAD is full of dead foods with no nutritional value: processed foods, genetically modified foods, massive amounts of sugar, artificial flavors and sweeteners, food dye, high fructose corn syrup, etc. All of these things have links with illnesses like obesity, cancer, diabetes, ADD/ADHD, and more. Eliminating these “foods” can make a HUGE difference in a short period of time for some kids.

Switching to a nutrient dense, whole foods diet is the ideal for sure, but I know how rough this can be. Schools still tend to over terrible food choices and I have even heard of teachers that use candy and other sweets in the classroom to keep kids’ attention (or for certain activities like math). This is where the phrase “Do your best!” comes into play. We all cannot be 100% perfect, and we cannot control everything. Do your best to control what you can in cases like this. Learn how to pick your battles when it comes to this topic.

One of the best approaches for this issue is to slowly start incorporating nutrient dense foods into your child’s diet. This can be anything from pumpkin seeds (which are *amazing* in this coconut oil chocolate recipe!), fat bombs (snacks that can act almost like desserts, but they pack a punch of healthy fats which are essential for children’s health and development- don’t believe the BS about fat and cholesterol being bad! They are extra essential for children’s health.), collagen powder, herbal infusions, cod liver oil, and desiccated beef liver.  You can read my full breakdown on these foods here, as well as the typical smoothie I make for my own child.

For a full breakdown on what I consider to be the Ideal Diet, my ebook on this issue can be found here.

 

So…

When it comes to kids and their health, I am a HUGE advocate for changing the current way that we live. Between the terrible diets, stress (both for kids and parents alike), technology and how too much screen time messes with us, environmental toxins,  and just the fact that these nutrient deficiencies have been effecting each generation in a worse way as time goes on, thing just need to change. We really need to focus on preventing illness instead of just waiting for a diagnosis, and this is even more imperative now since our current generation of kids have shorter life spans than us. As we heal and change, so do our kids. And they deserve a better future!

More reading:

Nutritional Balancing and Kids

Burnout in Children

Children’s Growth and Development

adrenal fatigue and kids

Balancing 3 of the Main Minerals: Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium

Balancing Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium

Hair tissue mineral analysis is an amazing tool to use to determine how your body is handling stress, how well your adrenals are working, and where your mineral levels are. Minerals are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, inhibitors or even as the enzyme themselves. Enzymes are what keeps our bodies running. When we are low on minerals or if they are imbalanced, our bodies cannot physically function correctly. We look at the whole picture with HTMA- levels, ratios, and the person’s individual symptoms.

In this post though, we are going to go over 3 of the main minerals in HTMA which include: Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium.  Our goal with HTMA is to BALANCE these minerals. These 3 have a very delicate balance, but they are all incredibly important.  (and Calcium makes up the 4th main mineral- but it doesn’t seem to be as hard to balance as the other 3 for most people).

Balancing Mg/Na/K: A Delicate Mineral Dance!

In the mineral balancing world, magnesium lowers sodium, which in turn can mess with the sodium/potassium ratio. From ARL Labs: “Sodium and magnesium tend to be antagonistic. As one goes up the other goes down. The ratio of the two minerals often gives a better picture of adrenal activity than the sodium level alone. “

If both sodium and potassium are low and one takes their dose of mag (whether it be the RDA of 400mg or their body-weight dose of about 800+), one can experience both low sodium and low potassium signs. Also, while potassium might not directly be affected by mag, it is very closely related to cortisol on its own and magnesium can lower cortisol. So a very low potassium reading on the HTMA can indicate low cortisol output (roughly), which would indicate an issue with tolerating magnesium.

With HTMA, there are clear indications if someone truly can handle mag or not. About 80% of people in general are slow oxidizers, which means that adrenals are sluggish. Magnesium *decreases* adrenal function, while sodium supports it. Mag *lowers* sodium and further decreases adrenal activity. For some, it can take months and other it takes years to see the negative effect. HTMA is about balancing in the long run, not taking massive doses of any one nutrient.

I am seeing that *so many people* are reacting poorly to magnesium.

Adrenal crashes, severe insomnia, anxiety, low blood pressure, dizziness- these are all of the side effects of too much mag and not enough sodium and potassium. I know it can be frustrating, as there are oodles of articles out there coming out about how magnesium can be a cure-all mineral for so many illnesses. Magnesium is crucial but when we have low sodium and potassium, it can be hard to tolerate any amount of magnesium. This is why the HTMA is important so we can determine your sodium and potassium, as well as the state of your adrenals. The whole point is to get a personalized plan. Healing happens in stages: we cannot fix everything all at once!

You can read my whole post on the sodium/magnesium ratio here and how it relates to adrenal health. In short: Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).  Usually with over-active adrenals, one will have high cortisol and high sodium levels- taking magnesium can help balance this. Those with under-active adrenals are more complicated, as they tend to have mixed cortisol and very low sodium- so magnesium *might* help someone if they deal with high nighttime cortisol, but overall they need to focus more on sodium through the day to support the adrenals.

So how much Mag, Potassium, and Sodium do we need?

Looking at the minerals separately: Magnesium recommended daily amount is about 400mg. Potassium RDA is about 4700mg. Sodium RDA is about 2300mg. (These obviously approximates as the RDA doesn’t always cut it when it comes to info- just using these as a reference). That is a pretty big difference here: 400-4700-2300. So if you are using more than that amount of mag, imagine how much more sodium and potassium you would need to properly balance it. Many are doing 800+mg of magnesium, and doing maybe 2-3 adrenal cocktails (which have about 500g of potassium and about 500mg of sodium).

Needs for each mineral will vary person to person depending on HTMA results and symptoms, as well as what a person tolerates. A majority of people are not getting nearly enough potassium in their diet. Unless you are focusing on potassium intake, it is extremely hard to get to that almost 5000mg amount!  Usually I suggest going for about 3000 a day just to get used to getting more potassium and that way we slowly introduce it instead of flooding the body with it (especially as potassium can cause copper dumping!). Read my post on potassium here for more info and my giant list of favorite potassium rich foods.

Sodium intake seems to vary person to person. Many people with adrenal fatigue crave salt like crazy. We have the potential to waste up to 30,000mg of sodium a day when adrenals are stressed (and I cannot find the source I had for this as I read it several years ago now- but it is an alarming amount, and mineral balancing agrees at least that sodium is the first mineral that we start burning through like crazy in adrenal fatigue.) I usually have people listen to their body on this: if it tastes good to you, go for it! Eventually your body shouldn’t crave it as much as levels are replenished. Adrenal cocktails, salt water sole, doing sea salt baths, making your own salt capsules, and obviously just salting food are all helpful.

When sodium, potassium, and magnesium are all low it is VERY hard for someone to raise all 3 at once. They all have to be in balance because too much of one can bump another around. It can be easy to determine which one is the lowest when looking at an HTMA though, and that is usually the main one that people need to focus on. I try to tell people to take note of their symptoms: low sodium signs include dizziness, low blood pressure, muscle weakness or a very rapid heartbeat. Low potassium signs include a hard, thumping heartbeat; thirst; insomnia; or muscle cramps. Low magnesium signs include muscle pain/stiffness, headaches, and skipped heartbeats.

My favorite way to use magnesium is topically. It seems to have less of a chance to mess with sodium this way, and I’m seeing people raise levels well with it. There was a study that showed that in only 12 weeks of use, most of the people rose their magnesium levels by almost 60%! Compare that to oral supplementation which can take 9-24 months to raise mag levels. (Source)

You can try mag oil baths or foot baths: try 1-2 ounces mag oil (or ½ cup to 1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda (for increased mag absorption and to neutralize chlorine in the water); add ½ cup of pink salt if desired so you can get the balance between sodium and magnesium. Soak for 20-40 minutes at least twice a week.

Or you can use magnesium lotion! I love Swift Natural’s magnesium lotion, but you can also see this recipe to make your own.

Common questions I get:

“But don’t we burn through magnesium like crazy under stress?” Yes we do. We can also burn through sodium, potassium, zinc, and even copper (technically, stored copper can get pushed out under stress, along with other toxins). Magnesium is not the *only* mineral that has to do with stress!

“Our soils are so depleted of mag, don’t we need high doses?” Yes, our soils are depleted. A Standard American diet is also very devoid of most nutrients. Switching to a whole foods diet can help increase nutrients in your diet (plus healing your gut– we need stomach acid to utilize many nutrients). If you look in nature, you will *never* find any food right now with the whole RDA of magnesium in it. The most you will find is about 150mg in a cup of cooked spinach or an ounce of pumpkin/squash seeds- plus you will be getting SO much more from the food: enzymes, co-factors, more minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, protein, etc.  You can check a list of high magnesium foods here. Also, nettle and oatstraw infusions are very magnesium rich. More is not always better. We need to look at nutrients in a complex, not in isolation, especially when you are trying to heal your body and not just treat symptoms.

“I NEED magnesium for xyz reason. I can’t live without it.” Yes, I believe that. Magnesium supplementation acts like a crutch (sort of like any other isolated nutrient). I’m coming across many people that supplement with mag or any other nutrient in isolation for years and their symptoms are managed, but their levels never rise much, or they even drop. Isolated oral magnesium is not the kind that your body utilizes so while you might find symptom relief, it isn’t solving the actual deficiency. As soon as one stops supplementation for a day or 2, their symptoms come right back.

Conclusion

I preach caution with high doses of anything in general, but magnesium is the most common one right now that is creating so many issues for people. In our quest for better health, we see to believe the “more is better” lie. We became ill because our diet was imbalanced to begin with- flooding your body with the full RDA of each nutrient (or more) is not the way to get yourself back in balance. There is a huge difference between treating an illness and healing your body. The more that time goes on, the more I am an advocate for whole food nutrition, nutrient dense foods, and focusing on the body as a whole.

If you want more of an idea on how I do approach healing, you can check out my posts: The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Healing and my ultimate collection of favorite remedies for specific conditions.

Need more reading?

Adrenaladvice.com: “If you are unfortunate enough to get to the exhaustion stage ……too much magnesium can cause you to crash since it lowers sodium.”

ARL Labs: Sodium and the Adrenals

ARL other mineral articles

Nutrient interactions: what happens when you take one nutrient on its own and the other nutrients it can lower/raise

How to Balance Hormones the truly natural way

balance hormones

Healing your Hormones the Sassy Holistics Way!

Hormonal imbalances are so incredibly common these days- so much so that even young kids are dealing with them! A majority of doctors or natural practitioners out there approach hormonal imbalances with actual hormones. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty about that, but I’m going to share the way that I believe we should be approaching this issue. I don’t agree with the hormonal balancing approaches typically, and you’ll understand why in this post!

What is the ROOT CAUSE of hormonal imbalances?

If your hormones are out of balance, adding in all of the separate hormones you are deficient in makes zero sense to me. Besides the fact that this is not how we’re meant to keep our hormones balanced, this can be extremely hard on the body, especially the liver and adrenals. Hormonal imbalances have 3 main root causes: a sluggish liver, stressed adrenals, and a copper imbalance (and these 3 are all connected too!).

Why is the Liver is important in hormonal health?

Our livers have about 500 different functions in the body. One of the main functions is to keep our hormones balanced, both by creating hormones as needed and filtering out excess hormones that we either make or are exposed to. Our livers also make a majority of our cholesterol but can only do so if it is happy and functioning properly. ALL OF OUR HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL. That is the fact that drives me nuts about using individual hormones.

ALL of the hormones that run the adrenals need cholesterol to be made. The lie that cholesterol is bad for us is a primary reason why we are all so deficient in hormones. We need cholesterol to create pregnenolone, which in turn can be used to make the rest of the hormones like estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and aldosterone. But we need healthy livers to regulate cholesterol. If you want to see a chart that explains the hormone/cholesterol relationship, check it out here.

We have a completely obvious root cause here to address, but most docs/practitioners will go straight to the individual hormones (again, “natural pharmacology” or “allopathic natural health“: treat the symptoms, not the cause).  If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is more likely that your liver is having trouble clearing the excess estrogen- if you add progesterone to antagonize/balance estrogen, where is the estrogen going to go if the liver is still angry? The problem in the first place was that the body couldn’t get rid of the excess estrogen in the first place. Heal your liver, fix your hormones.

How is a copper imbalance related to hormonal health?

In the mineral balancing world, we know that estrogen and copper go hand in hand, just like zinc goes along with testosterone and progesterone. Women are copper dominant and men are zinc dominant. When the liver and adrenals are stressed, they have a VERY hard time keeping copper and zinc balanced.

I mentioned above how adding progesterone to “fix” and estrogen dominance issue makes no sense if the liver can get rid of the excess copper in the first place: It is EXACTLY the same issue with copper/zinc. Zinc can mobilize stored copper but it doesn’t excrete it! (bile is the key for that, which I talk about below) Messing with the individual hormones or nutrients doesn’t solve the root issue, which is that the liver is angry and the minerals aren’t able to balance.

Balancing copper is one of the main things I focus on for most of my clients. I RARELY see someone with balanced copper. That is how common this issue is. Keeping copper balanced involved happy adrenals and livers, as well as true vitamin A (from cod liver oil, beef liver, eggs, and butter- all things that many people didn’t eat growing up as there has been fear mongering on each of these foods!). Those that have been vegetarian/vegan, been on birth control of any sort, had copper pipes in their house, or women that just recently had a child are the most common people to be effected by a copper imbalance.

When we are dealing with a sluggish liver and stressed adrenals, it is hard for the body to utilize vitamin A, which is one of the keys needed for making ceruloplasmin, the copper binding protein. When ceruloplasmin cannot be made, copper can build up in the body (as excess, unbound copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well). This creates a huge issue in the body: the excess copper can become antagonistic to zinc and other nutrients and it creates it own host of symptoms as it basically irritates the body, but you can also deal with copper deficiency symptoms since you cannot use this excess copper. You can read the giant lists of copper excess and copper deficiency signs here, as well as the whole story about copper dysregulation.

How are the adrenals related to hormonal health?

When people start to feel fatigued or just not as well as they used to, most people will automatically tell them to go test their thyroid. In reality, the adrenals play an even bigger role in overall health as they are higher up on the totem pole in the endocrine system (AKA the HPA Axis!). The adrenals play a big role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.

The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!

This fight-or-flight response can becoming chronic for many people, and eventually the adrenals can get into burnout. You can read a bit more on how we can use HTMA to determine the health of the adrenals and how we can support their function better.

How to truly fix a hormonal balance

1) Heal your Liver and get that bile flowing! Many of my ladies need a LOT of liver loving/bile support. It seems that when we start healing, the body goes a bit into overdrive and tries to do all the things at once. We need bile to flush out the toxins: the excess copper, the estrogen, the heavy metals, parasites, yeast, etc. But we also need bile for fat utilization and cholesterol balancing. From what I’m seeing, most bodies choose to detox FIRST. The more bile support we add, the easier the process gets. You can read my whole post on bile support here, but my favorites include dandelion root, sunflower lecithin, Gaia Herbs or Herb Pharm Bitter herbs supplements, castor oil packs, and staying hydrated. Bile is one of the main keys for healing constipation too- keeping your colon happy is key in healing from any illness. Also, anything you do to support your overall liver function will help your bile flow!

2) Heal your Adrenals. A general course of action for adrenal fatigue will include good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats (fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production), Whole food vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid), high quality proteins like collagen or whey, animal based vitamin A that you would find in Cod Liver Oil, butter and beef liver, and the most important things are rest, sleep, more rest, and more sleep! It depends on the person’s Na/Mg ratio on the HTMA whether they will need magnesium or a good quality salt like Pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond’s Real Salt. Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).

3) Balance your minerals. As mentioned above, the main mineral imbalance that is involved in hormonal issues is the copper/zinc balance. Get an HTMA and a blood panel for copper, zinc, and ceruloplasmin to determine your full status on these minerals. HTMA also can give us insight on how well your adrenals, thyroid, and liver are working which also plays a big role in hormonal health.

4) Reducing environmental toxins is also an essential step to healing your liver and hormones.  Many of the chemicals used in beauty products are carcinogenic and are known hormone disruptors, and they mostly mess with estrogen. There are about 82,000 chemicals used in personal care products and most of them are not tested for safety, or how they react to other chemicals. What you use on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream- reducing the amount of toxins you are exposed to helps take strain off of your liver so it can do its job better.

5) SLEEP!!!! Sleep is perhaps the number 1 most critical thing needed to heal from every illness. And yet it is one of the first things that suffers when health starts to suffer.This is the most underestimated healer out there.  We just need sleep! It’s not just because it keeps us happy- it helps us regenerate and heal, as well as helping us to eliminate toxins because our LIVERS work the hardest at night.

If we are always on the go during the day and we aren’t sleeping enough at night, we simply cannot function well.  The first part of ANY healing plan should be to evaluate your sleep.  If you aren’t getting enough because of your schedule, then it is time to cut down on things to take care of yourself no matter how hard this might be.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”  If you are healing from any illness, you have to focus on yourself as much as you can in order to truly heal.  This may be hard for a lot of people but it is crucial!If you having any trouble sleeping, there are a variety of reasons why this could be happening. Read my post on how to bust insomnia here.  You can also check out this article from ARL about the importance of sleep.

More reading:

This awesome article by Dr. Lam was sent to me yesterday which prompted me to finally write about my approach to balancing hormones. He goes over the negative effects of improper progesterone supplementing.

Natural Dental Care

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natural dental health

Natural Dental Care

The state of our teeth can be a pretty good representation of our health. Many people deal with cracking teeth, cavities, sensitivity of the teeth and gums, and more. Most of us have been taught about the external care of teeth which just includes brushing and flossing- but there is SO much more to healthy teeth than that!

My Top Tips for Improving Dental Health

There are many things you can do to improve the health of your teeth. Luckily, most of these will sound familiar to many of my readers!

Balance minerals

Minerals play a VERY big role in dental health. Our enamel is the most mineralized substance of the body: 96% of the enamel is pure mineral! (source). Using HTMA can help determine where your mineral imbalances are so we can see what we need to focus on first.

Use cell salts

Cell salts are homeopathic remedies made from minerals. They help your body utilize minerals better, unlike supplements that just add a huge amount.  Cell salts are gentle, safe, and very effective. The calcium cells salts are best for bone and dental health: Calc fluor, calc phos, and calc sulph. You can try the cell salts individually or go for a blend of them like this Bioplasma.

Ditch the fluoride

Most people know fluoride as the stuff put in toothpaste to give us strong teeth. It’s also put in our water supply because it is supposedly so amazing at preventing cavities. There is a huge difference between naturally occurring fluoride and the sodium fluoride that is thrown in our water. For one, the former is natural and in small amounts in food and water and the latter is a synthetic form that is toxic waste. Harvard University declared a few years ago that sodium fluoride was actually a neurotoxin, meaning that it destructive to nerve tissue. The study from Harvard focused mostly on the effect that fluoride has on children.

The worst offenders for this added, toxic fluoride are water and toothpaste. Look for water filters that get the fluoride out (like Berkey or Tapmaster) or look here for other ways to make sure you get clean water. The toothpaste we will talk about below!

Use a better toothpaste

As mentioned above, most toothpaste is going to have that toxic form of fluoride in it, and it is usually filled with other nasty ingredients. Sticking to a natural form of toothpaste is best for our dental health. You can make your own with coconut oil and baking soda, or you can go with other awesome options like Poofy Organics. We use the Toddler toothpaste for our son, and the tooth powder for ourselves (which is amazing! Tooth powder might sound weird, but I promise that you will see the difference in your teeth with this.). They also have an awesome mouth rinse that helps combat plaque and bad breath: see all of these here!

Use Cod liver oil

Fat soluble vitamins are a crucial part to our overall health. There has been so much misinformation about Vitamin over the last several decades, but now people are going crazy over vitamin D supplements. In truth, we need BOTH of these vitamins. But they need to be in a proper balance! Cod liver oil gives us this perfect balance of vitamins A and D. I do not advocate for fermented cod liver oil- if you use it and it works for you, great. But I never could get myself to actually try it as my gut was telling me something was “off” about it- and once this report came out a year or so ago about how it is rancid and not as nutrient dense as it is claimed.

My favorite cod liver oils are NutraPro and Rosita’s. NutraPro has the best value of any other natural cod liver oil I’ve found (and I’ve done a lot of digging just to find the cod liver oils that don’t add synthetic nutrients- it is horrible but MANY of the brands of CLO out there add synthetic A and D!). You can read my full breakdown on the benefits of CLO here, and my comparison of NutraPro and Rosita’s. Or you can find them both on Perfect Supplements’ site, where you can save 10% with my code SASSY at checkout! They also have ghee and high vitamin butter oil which can provide K2 for added absorption of A and D.

We also need healthy livers to utilize both A and D. This is why liver support is so crucial for healing! We need these fat soluble vitamins, but we cannot use them properly with sluggish livers.

Drink Bone Broth and herbal infusions

Bone broth is one of the most powerful healing tools in the natural healing world. Broth provides highly bio-available nutrients, helps to heal and seal the gut lining, and can be a great source of energy. Beef bone broth tends to be the more nutrient dense option but chicken bone broth can be easier and just as helpful. You can find some ideas for recipes here on my friend Renee’s site, Raising Generation Nourished!

Herbal infusions are also powerful for healing. They are extremely nutrient dense, and since they are also liquid they supply extremely bio-available minerals to the body. Nettles and oatstraw tend to be my top choices for the most nutrient-dense infusions. You can read about how to make infusions, where to find the herbs, and what they are all used for here.

Use powdered eggshells

I know what you are thinking, what in the world would we use with powdered eggshells?? Eggshells are extremely mineral rich, especially with calcium. You can crush or grind the shell of your eggs after you boil them and let them dry. You can add this powder to your toothpaste to give it a boost of minerals!

Oil pulling

Oil pulling is something many people have been raving about over the last few years. It is an Ayurvedic practice that helps to detox your mouth of any bad bacteria that could be lingering in there. You basically just swish an oil (coconut, sesame, or even olive) in your mouth for about 10 minutes each day, and then spit the oil out once you are done (preferably in the garbage and not down a drain). You can read a bit more on this here. I’ve also heard of people swishing with wheat grass juice too to help remineralize the teeth even further.

And finally, try to find a holistic dentist.

There are a lot of dentists out there that are either realizing the harm that mercury amalgams and fluoride have caused, or they already have known this for years. Many of them will be able to fully assess your dental issues and come up with more ideas to help you heal. You can find a holistic dentist near you with Holistic Dental’s website.

 

This book is a favorite of many that are dealing with dental issues: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition

Why We Need to be our own Best Advocate!

best advocate

Becoming your own best advocate for health is important!

One of the major lessons that I have learned on my own health journey is that as an individual, we have to be the ones that are in charge of ourselves. Growing up, most of us were taught to go to the doctor when we were sick and we were supposed to just do as they said because they were the “experts”. That mentality is something that I find dangerous, even when we are switching over to natural doctors and practitioners. We should never blindly trust anyone!

This is why when I write my posts and talk to my clients, I am constantly explaining things, sending links for them to read more, or just telling them where they can find more info. I never want someone to feel like it’s “my way or the highway”.  I want people to feel empowered to learn more, whether it is to help others in the future or just to help themselves heal at this point in time. I have been on the end of being a client and not having questions answered because the doctor/practitioner didn’t like being questioned. That did nothing but make me feel frustrated and set my healing back a bit because I didn’t understand the “why” behind a lot of things I was told I should be doing.

At the end of the day, we all know ourselves best. And it is important to remember that! Only you can explain the symptoms you are feeling, how you react to certain foods and supplements, and what you feel is the main area of health that you need to focus on. You are responsible for yourself: your health, your attitude, your actions, your choices, etc. You can find people to guide you and help you though! But ultimately, you are the best advocate for yourself.

How to be your own best advocate:

Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. There are a million and one people out there trying to make a quick buck, but there are still many people out there with great information. Find those that are truly offering the best solutions, and not gimmicks. True healing takes time! Learning to sift through the good and bad can take a little time, but it is worth it. Try not to become obsessed though, as that can happen a lot on this journey to better health.

Look for people treating others as individuals. While most people are dealing with the same deficiencies and imbalances, not everyone will be able to tolerate the same treatments. I’ve touched on this in my Biochemical Individuality post and my Individualized Nutrition post before if you want to read more. But basically, anyone that is trying to tell you that we all need exactly the same treatments is someone to question. Everyone is on a different level of health and cannot tolerate the same exact things.

Listen to your instinct. Instinct is real! If your gut/heart/brain is screaming at you that something you are doing isn’t or is right, listen to it. Our bodies are smart- we just have to learn how to listen and respect them.

Look out for quick fixes. It takes decades (and generations in some cases) for health issues to form. While many symptoms can start resolving quickly on a plan, true healing can take a long time. We all have years of damage to undo. Stay clear of things that claim you will be healed in a week (usually these are weight loss gimmicks, but I see them with general health posts every so often).

Have faith that you will heal. Don’t get discouraged. Believe in yourself! Find a good team of docs/practitioners that are all willing to help you heal. One person doesn’t always hold all of the answers (no matter how much a person might wish that were true!). Depending on what YOU are going through, you might need a few people to aid you on your journey.

It’s ok if the above doesn’t speak to you too. If you feel better trusting your practitioner/doctor or team, that is ok too! Some people don’t have the time or energy to learn more. They just want answers and healing. I just want more people to realize that it is ok to be a part of your own healing: you can make decisions, you can ask questions, and you can have doubts. I believe that there should be a team mentality when it comes to practitioners and clients though. Our end goal should be to help people heal!