The BEST Herbal Courses are at Herbal Academy

Herbal Academy Courses

Herbal Academy Courses are the best!

I have been in the natural health world for over 6 years now and I have pretty much been obsessed with herbs since the beginning. They have played a huge role in my own healing journey and they are so much stronger than we have ever been told to believe!  However, there are may horrible sources out there spewing out bad information on herbal remedies.  I prefer to learn from actual herbalists with years and decades of experience, which is why I chose to go with Herbal Academy to gain more knowledge.

Why Herbs?

Archaeological evidence apparently exists showing that medicinal plants have been used close to 60,000 years. Within the last 100 or so years, the FDA has claimed that herbs are unsafe and basically useless. I think it’s time to start using our heads and make decisions for ourselves on what is healthy and what is not.  In an age of chronic illness, gut and liver dysfunction, and super-bugs (thanks to overuse of antibiotics!), herbs are becoming a more popular option to treat health issues. Many people are going back to ancestral knowledge when it comes to health, nutrition, and even lifestyles.

Herbal Courses To Choose From

There are MANY courses to choose from on Herbal Academy. There are paths to chose for those that want to become a Clinical Herbalist or even to just gain enough knowledge to be able to safely use herbal remedies for your own family. There are courses for Wildcrafting and even an herbal self care course!

New from Bioray: Good to Go and Get Sleepy!

new bioray tinctures

New BIORAY products!?!?

Most of you know how much I love Bioray, so I’m always excited when they do something new. They recently dropped 2 new products that I just wanted to mention! Good to Go and Get Sleepy!

For those that aren’t familiar with Bioray, here is a little background:

BioRay is one of my absolute favorite herbal companies. BioRay has been around for about 25 years. They use a mixture of ancient Chinese medicine and modern science to formulate their products. They make their products in small batches and use only organic ingredients.

I’ve been using and recommending Bioray products for about 3 years now,  and I did have the chance to become an affiliate a year ago when they started their program. I see such huge changes with Bioray products for my clients and with my own family- I truly believe in them and I appreciate a company that can supply the science behind their products.  They work well in tandem with our HTMA protocols as well.

So what are these new products?

We’re got Good to Go, which is basically the stronger version of the NDF Pooper that already exists for kids. Get Sleepy is the stronger version of the NDF Sleepy.

Good to Go and Get Sleepy are for adults and teens- they are part of the “Daily Line” which are basically double the strength of the kids’ version.

Both of these are recommended more for an “as needed” basis.  If these are needed for more than 7-10 days, then it is recommended to look into the liver support tinctures offered (Calm, Liver Lover, or Liver Life). Chronic constipation and sleep issues can both be linked to a dysfunctional liver.  Liver healing can take quite a while so as it heals we sometimes need extra support for symptoms like constipation or insomnia.

These specific issues are definitely common during the healing process, and even more so when we detox.  When detox is struggling, the last thing we need is a colon that is backed up!  I do have some general ideas here for making sure that your colon is moving effectively, but I’m glad to have another nice and easy option (and effective! I’ve actually tried it myself already!).

Sleep is often one of the hardest things to fix too so we often need sleep crutches as our minerals rebalance so that we can start getting the rest we need to really heal.

So there you have it! A breakdown on the new Bioray tinctures- and don’t forget that you can use the code SASSY at checkout for 10% off! : )

Other Bioray products I love:

Belly Mend, Liver Life, CALM, Belly Balance, Mind Zeal, and more. You can read about these here!

Dandelion Root “BulletProof” Inspired Tea Recipe

Dandelion Root “BulletProof” Inspired Tea Recipe- and why we add so much to our tea!

I love Coffee- but lately I’m trying to be nicer to my adrenals. Caffeine can be a real issue for those with adrenal issues- usually 1 cup a day is ok for most people, but if you can cut it out for a time then that’s the ideal. I really wanted to try a way to make tea version but I was worried about how it would taste. I actually spoke to one of my Mavens recently that mentioned how she makes hers, so I decided to finally try it out, and I’m kicking myself for not trying sooner.

Why Ghee, MCT oil, and Collagen?

We NEED healthy fats for proper health.  Fat is not evil like we’re made to believe- it’s the right kind of fat that is essential.  And no, I’m not taking about margarine- I’m talking about real, natural fats! I prefer ghee and MCT oil because they are easy for me and I do well with them, but you can use grassfed butter or coconut oil too.  Overall, I’ve realized that most people with a sluggish liver/gallbladder tend to do better with ghee and MCT oil.

  • Ghee is AMAZING. You can read my whole post on it here but basically it’s the best fat for fat burning, gut healing, and it can help with better detoxification (especially for those with a sluggish colon).  I usually go with Organic Valley’s ghee as it’s easy to find locally.
  • MCT oil from pure coconut oil is my other main choice as it is easy to use and very easy to utilize.  It can help with energy levels, brain function, and more! Check out my full post here. I use Jarrow’s MCT oil.
  • And of course, collagen! I love collagen for so many reasons- it’s an easy-to-utilize source of protein and amino acids, it helps with gut and liver healing, and it can help with healing the metabolism.  I use Perfect Supplement’s collagen (plus they give my readers 10% off with the code SASSY at checkout!)

How to make Dandelion Root Tea (“Bulletproof” inspired)

  • Brew 1-2 tea bags of dandelion root tea in 8 ounces of boiling water, let steep for 10-15 minutes. I like my dandelion strong so I use 2 teabags. You can use loose dandelion root too (1tsp-1Tbs of the root per cup of water), or even use your pre-made dandelion decoction.
  • Pour tea into blender with 1 tsp-1Tbs of ghee, 1tsp-1Tbs of MCT or coconut oil, 1 scoop of Perfect Supplements’ Collagen (start lower on the fat amounts if you’re just starting out to test our your
  • The other parts are going to be customization depending on what you want: you can add Ceylon cinnamon, raw cacao powder, or a pinch of coconut or organic brown sugar (yes, I know technically Bulletproof doesn’t recommend sugar in their coffee/tea, but I’m a rebel especially if it turns out more bitter than usual- I’m also not a sugar hater. Everything in moderation! ).
  • Blend everything up for a few seconds and then enjoy! I was surprised at how frothy it actually gets, and I honestly am loving this more than my coffee version now.

Also, you can use your bitter herb supplement before drinking this to help utilize these fats even better! I love Herb Pharm Better Bitters, Herbalist&Alchemist, or Urban Moonshine for bitters because they all have handy, dandy spray bottles. Read all about bitters here!

My gorgeous cuppa tea this morning:

Giveaway for May- Buy an HTMA and get entered to win a Bitter Herbs Bundle!

Here at Sassy Holistics, we are crazy about bitter herbs.  Lately we can’t really shut up about them, so we thought we’d do a bit of a giveaway this month for a pack of our favorite bitter brands.

Why do we love bitters so much?

  • They help with overall digestive fire and increase nutrient assimilation
  • They help to stimulate the body to create stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and bile
  • They are gentle liver healing tools
  • They can help symptoms like bloating, gas, and belching.
  • read more here and here!

 

Not sure what HTMA is all about? You can read all about it here!

A quick breakdown of HTMA:

  • It shows you your mineral levels which can help us determine the strength of your adrenals, thyroid, and overall metabolism
  • Minerals are needed for the enzyme reactions in our bodies- and enzymes are what run our bodies!
  • Our HTMA service focuses on balancing the minerals as well as gut healing, detoxification support, and more.

So from now until the end of May, if you order an HTMA, your name will be entered to win a  bundle of our favorite Bitters. You’ll get: 1 Herb Pharm Better Bitters Classic, 1 Herb Pharm Better Bitters Bittersweet, 1 Herbalist and Alchemist Original Bitters, and  1 Herbalist and Alchemist Spiced Bitters.  So basically, you’ll get free digestive support for a LONG time! And you will be able to try a variety of bitters so you can pick your favorite kind to stick with.

We’ll pick a winner on June 1st and announce it in our Mineral Mavens Facebook group!

All About Herbal Adaptogens: a Guest post by Denise

herbal adaptogens

The Truth about Adaptogens

By Denise. Brusveen, HTMA Consultant with Sassy Holistics

I’ve been hearing so much misinformation about adaptogens lately, so I wanted to help clear up the confusion.  Adaptogens are an amazing class of herbs that can help improve mood, energy, stamina, immunity, and mental concentration as well as reduce fatigue and promote hormonal balance.  Pretty much everyone could use some adaptogens in their life!

So how do adaptogens work their magic?  In order to be considered an adaptogen, the herb MUST meet the following criteria(1):

  1. Nonspecific effects, meaning the adaptogen herb increases resistance to a very broad spectrum of harmful factors (physical, biological, chemical, psychological).
  2. It must have a normalizing effect against stressors, independent of the pathologic state.
  3. It must be innocuous to have a broad range of therapeutic effects without causing any disturbance (other than very marginally) to the normal functioning of the organism.

Did you catch that?  Adaptogens have non-specific and normalizing effects on the body!  So this idea that we can use this herb to treat that cortisol level is a very allopathic way of thinking and isn’t how adaptogens are meant to be used.  So where does this type of thinking stem from?

One common example that I hear often is that ashwagandha lowers cortisol.  In doing some digging to figure out where this idea came from, I was able to locate the study I believe this stemmed from (2).  Interestingly, no 4 point cortisol test was used, and no reference ranges were given for the test.  Anybody with a chronic physical, hormonal or psychiatric illness was excluded.  That leaves out pretty much all the people who would have already been in adrenal exhaustion (cortisol bottomed out), needing a boost in their cortisol.  So it’s no wonder it lowered cortisol levels for people who all had high cortisol and needed it lowered!

That’s just one example of a flawed study causing people to make generalized recommendations.  Herbs are SO MUCH more complex than most people realize, which is why they really need to be used in a personalized way. And that’s what we aim to do with our HTMA consults.

While I’m on the topic of ashwagandha, let me explain a bit more why an individualized approach is so important.  Many people not do well with ashwagandha if they have previously tanked their adrenals by using large amounts of magnesium.  If you know you have a nightshade intolerance or an autoimmune condition, we might also want to avoid ashwagandha for you (Note that this is controversial – some experts say that ashwagandha is perfectly safe for both of these issues).  But if we see that your thyroid is struggling in addition to your adrenals on your HTMA results, and there’s a good chance you’ll tolerate ashwagandha, it can actually give your thyroid a boost(3)!  So we might suggest it in addition to working on your calcium and potassium levels, which make up the thyroid ratio.

Another place where people get into trouble sometimes is that they write an herb off as not working for them because they tried it all by itself.  There can be additive effects of herbs, where they are more powerful when combined with other herbs.  Panax ginseng and Ginkgo is just one very well studied example.  The effect of these herbs combined for improving cognitive function is much greater than using either of these herbs alone.

Another way that adaptogens can be beneficial in a blend is that they can provide benefits without being overpowering like they might be on their own.  For example, Panax ginseng might be far too stimulating on its own, but in a blend with other less energizing herbs, it can provide just the right amount of energy.  Adrena Uplift is one good example of a blend that uses Panax ginseng among other herbs.

Licorice is another example where it is usually better off in a blend.  It isn’t technically an adaptogen because its actions are specific rather than nonspecific, and it can actually cause problems for people with high blood pressure over time (whereas true adaptogens are considered to be generally safe).  It is an amazing addition to many adaptogen blends though, and being in a blend rather than taking it on its own lowers the dose that a person receives, which likely lowers the risks associated with it.  If you are worried at all about your blood pressure though, then go for a blend without licorice like this one.

One final amazing benefit of using adaptogen herbs to help support the adrenals is that they usually have benefits to other areas of the body.  Many adaptogens are also nervines that help to regulate the nervous system or tonics that help to restore or tone the body.  So sometimes we can pick out specific herbs for more than one purpose.  For instance if I’m working with someone who has POTS, I might suggest eleuthero.  If I’m working with someone with low iron, I might suggest ashwagandha (4).  If I’m working with someone with H. pylori, I might suggest licorice.  Someone needing extra support for heart health might consider rhodiola.  I could go on, but you get the idea!  These herbs are worth exploring!  They can be a great addition to your mineral balancing plan.

 

 

  1. Panossian A., Wikman G, Wagner H: Plant adaptogens. III. Earlier and more recent aspects and concepts on their mode of action. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10589450
  2. Chandrasekhar, Jyoti Kapoor, and Sridhar Anishetty. A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10589450
  3. Sharma AK, Basu I, Singh S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28829155
  4. Upton R. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Monographs: Ashwagandha Root. Santa Cruz, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia; 2000.

herbal adaptogens

Guest post from Denise on Herbal Preparations : Which type of herb is right for you?

 

herbal preparations

Which type of herb is right for you?

By Denise Brusveen, MS

Teas, tinctures, infusions, decoctions, capsules, powder. There are so many options when it comes to herbal preparations! How do you know which one is right for you? Let me break it down for you.

Water-based Preparations (Teas, Infusions, and Decoctions)

Preparing your herbs this way does a good job of pulling out the water soluble nutrients in the herbs. They are also very easily digestible in this form, which is especially great for people with low stomach acid or gut issues. They are also one of the cheapest ways to consume herbs. You can buy a whole pound of loose herbs and then add the amount you need for your daily dose. Nettles, for example, are usually $13-15 for a whole pound on Amazon.

Disadvantages of teas, tinctures, and decoctions is that you have to spend the time preparing them usually daily or every couple days because they spoil easily. The taste of some herbs is another downside, but sometimes it just takes some trial and error to find the right flavor combination. And it can be inconvenient to take them to work. Tea bags make it a bit easier to take with you to work, but teas don’t really provide a lot of nutrition because the dose is so small.

Infusions are basically a much stronger tea that deliver a LOT of nutrition. Susun Weed recommends using an ounce of dried herb, which is approximately a cup. If you’re super particular like me, you can
weigh the herb the first few times to figure out how many cups equal an ounce. For example, an ounce of nettles is actually closer to 1.5 cups. So you put that ounce of dried herb in a 1 quart jar and then top it off with freshly boiled water. Put the cap on, and then let it steep for 4-8 hours. Strain the herbs out and then begin drinking at room temp. or refrigerate. Most herbal infusions don’t last longer than a couple days before they start to go bad, so don’t make more than you’ll drink in that time.

With decoctions, you bring your water to a boil and then add your herb and simmer for at least 20 min. Some people simmer longer for an even stronger drink. You can start with just a couple tbsp. of herb in a quart of water and work your way up to 4-5 tbsp. Decoctions are very nutritious like infusions.

So how do you choose whether to make an infusion or decoction? Infusions are typically made out of the above ground plant parts, including the leaves, flowers, stems, fruits, and aromatic seeds. Decoctions are best for the roots, bark, and non-aromatic seeds because they need the longer direct exposure to the higher heat to pull the nutrients out.

Tinctures

The major nutritional benefit of tinctures is that they can pull out both the water and alcohol soluble nutrients because the alcohol also has water in it. They also have a much longer shelf life (usually several years). Some of the constituents can start to break down in as little as 3-6 mo., but there aren’t enough studies to determine which plants this is most likely to happen with. So it’s best to store your tinctures in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to help them last longer. If you’re buying from a company like Herb Pharm, they also print an expiration date on the bottom of the bottle.

Another benefit with tinctures is that it’s much easier to carry a small bottle in your purse or even keep it in your desk at work and add a dropperful to some water. I am really loving the even more convenient sprays that herbal companies are now coming out with. It’s so simple to spray a couple sprays of these bitters in my mouth before every meal.

The major downside to tinctures is that they can be pricey. But for simple tinctures, some people buy the bulk herb and make their own.

Glycerites

The alcohol in tinctures slightly increases absorption of many of the nutrients, but some people wish to avoid the alcohol, so they prefer glycerites instead. While glycerites actually slightly decrease the absorption of nutrients, they are a very good alternative to tinctures. They are made with glycerin instead of alcohol, so they are sweeter, which makes it easier to get kids to take them. And because they’re less potent, they’re great for people who are really sensitive to trying new remedies for healing.

The downside is that they mostly only provide the water-soluble compounds, since they don’t contain alcohol to pull out additional nutrients, and their shelf life is shorter than tinctures.

Powder and Capsules

In these forms, the entire herb is presented to the GI tract. In some cases, such as for IBS, it’s important that the herbs have direct contact with the gut. Another benefit of powdered herbs is that they can be relatively cheap, and if you prefer capsules like I do, you can make your own much cheaper than buying the herb already in capsule form. I currently make astragalus, cream of tartar, salt, and cat’s claw capsules. People often ask if they can take nettle leaf capsules instead of infusions. While some is better than nothing, you’re not going to get nearly as much nutritional value out of capsules as you will
infusions.

One risk with grinding an herb into powder is that the heat from the process can break down the constituents. Once an herb is ground into powder, it can oxidize more easily, so the shelf life is typically shorter than for tinctures. It’s important to try to buy from a reputable company that sells fresh herbs. Companies like Frontier Co-op print an expiration date on their bulk herb bags, so always be sure to check your bag to make sure it’s not close to expiring!

 

Have any questions for Denise about herbs? Let us know in the comments!

My Favorite BioRay Products!

 

favorite bioray products

Have you heard of BioRay yet?

BioRay is one of my absolute favorite herbal companies. BioRay has been around for about 25 years. They use a mixture of ancient Chinese medicine and modern science to formulate their products. They make their products in small batches and use only organic ingredients.

I’ve touched upon some of my absolute favorite BioRay products before, but I wanted to put them all on one page to make things easier for those that want to try more of their amazing supplements.

A few months ago, BioRay started up an affiliate program, which I was so excited about. I had already been using and recommending their products for over a year, so I was excited to be able to join them. They even have given me a coupon code for you all to use on their site: use SASSY at checkout for 10% off!

My Favorite BioRay Formulas

Liver Life (and Liver Lover)

BioRay Liver Life is the best choice for liver loving and regeneration!

 

Liver Life is my absolute favorite. My husband and myself have used this one on and off over the last year or so and it helps SO much with detoxification support. 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. I have seen people have nearly miraculous results with just this product. The liver itself has over 500 functions- if you are dealing with ANY health issue, you will need some liver loving.  Read more about why we need to love our livers here.

They also have Liver Lover that is close to Liver Life, but it is alcohol free. (tinctures are traditionally made with alcohol because that is the best way to draw out the properties of the plants used.). Liver Lover is a good alternative if you absolutely cannot tolerate alcohol based tinctures, but Liver Life is always my first choice. According to BioRay, Liver Lover is only about half as potent as Liver Life.

Kids Line

All of the tinctures in the kids line are Alcohol, Gluten, Dairy and Soy free, as well as Non-GMO. Most of these formulas are for children over 1 year of age, and they all have different doses based on weight. The biggest differences between the adult line (which most can be used for kids) and the kid’s line are that the kid’s products are all alcohol free and they are flavored, so even the pickiest kids might handle them well!

You can see all of the kids’ line here as well as further description of them.

    • CALM: For adrenals, mood support, sleep, and liver detox support
    • FOCUS: For gut healing, allergies, speech, adrenals, and detox support
    • SHINE: For gut and immune system health
    • HAPPY: This is mainly for parasite removal
    • SLEEPY: For sleep help
    • POOPER: For constipation support

 

Loving Energy

Loving Energy is the best herbal blend for adrenal support. If you are going through an extremely stressful time in life, or just dealing with chronic exhaustion, then Loving Energy can help!

Belly Mend

Belly Mend can be an amazing helper for those dealing with leaky gut, brain fog, and histamine intolerance.  This formula has a blend of herbs for both gut and liver support, as well as liquid probiotics.

Astemisia and Clove

This formula is the best for removing unwanted pathogens. I have used this one myself and can attest to its strength!

Mind Zeal

Mind Zeal is the *best* formula for those dealing with brain fog and cognitive issues. This especially works on safely removing heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic as well as many common toxic chemicals.

**I would really make sure that your colon and liver are ready for something like the last 2 that I mentioned!**

Kits

You can read BioRay’s amazing article about dispelling common detox myths here. If you are concerned about the chlorella used in some of these products, I totally understand your worry! I used to be skeptical about it too. However, the chlorellas used by BioRay is not just any chlorella you can go buy in a capsule. They use a special process called micronization , which actually breaks down the cell wall and allows for better usage of the chlorella. I recently tried the Belly Mend which has this form of chlorella in it and I can definitely vouch that is great! I would never recommend anything I have not tried myself. There is a lot of bad info out there on chlorella, and I hope to help stop the fear-mongering!   (read more about micronization here!).

You can also read their own post on what their main tinctures are used for here.

favorite bioray products

* 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.*

Whole Food Nutrition: Making the most out of your diet!

whole food nutrition

Whole Food Nutrition: How to HEAL with Food!

I am a huge advocate for whole food nutrition. Because of this, one of the MAIN questions I am asked almost daily is, “How in the world would we even get enough nutrition from food if our soils are so depleted?”

The answer is complicated. Yes, it is impossible to get 100% of the nutrients we need on a daily basis. But why does this automatically mean that we should be taking 20+ supplements a day to “make up” this deficit? More is not always better. Taking a multivitamin is a false reassurance that you are still “filling in the gaps”, especially when you realize that most vitamin/mineral supplements are made with synthetics that the body doesn’t even really recognize or utilize.

My approach is this:

Heal your gut to help your body utilize nutrients better. Heal your liver so we can not only process nutrients better, but we can properly eliminate toxins that would antagonize our nutrients. Heal your adrenals/thyroid/HPA axis to help your body react better to stress so you don’t waste or burn through nutrients as quickly. And be SMART about supplementing and eating: pick nutrient dense foods and whole food supplements that are tailored to YOUR particular needs.  Plus, you can rotate your food choices around to get the most out of your diet.

This list is a representation of what I typically recommend to my clients- exact supplements and amounts depend on the person. But this is my “proof” that you CAN get your nutrition from food!

Whole Food Nutrition is AMAZING

Cod Liver Oil:

My favorite Cod liver oil NutraPro packs a whopping 2500IU of vitamin A (about 80% of your daily value) and 250IU of vitamin D (about 60% of your daily value). You also get Omega 3’s 600mg,DHA 250mg, and EPA 350mg

Nettle Infusions:

If you want a real multivitamin, then look no further than nettle infusions. You can get a HUGE amount of nutrition just from this amazing green liquid.

From this source:

  • calcium (1000 mg per quart of infusion)
  • magnesium (300 mg per quart of infusion)
  • potassium (600 mg per quart of infusion)
  • zinc (1.5 mg per quart of infusion)
  • selenium (.7 mg per quart of infusion)
  • iron (1.5 mg per quart of infusion)
  • manganese (2.6 mg per quart of infusion)
  • plus chromium, cobalt, phosphorus, copper, sulphur, silicon, and tin.
  • Nettle is super-charged with vitamins:
  • Vitamin A from {beta carotene}(5000 IU per quart of infusion)
  • Vitamin B complex, especially thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate
  • Plus Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K ”
  • From my research, each quart of nettle infusions have about 3mg of BORON as well.

Oatstraw Infusions

Just like nettles, oatstraw is a highly nutrient dense herbal infusion.

*Calcium 476mg
*Magnesium 400-600mg
*Potassium 90mg
*Selenium 40mcg (RDA is about 55mcg)
*Chromium 140mcg (RDA is between 35-45 depending on stage of life)

You can see the nutrition for several other herbs like red raspberry leaf, comfrey leaf, and chickweed here. And you can read more here on making infusions and what they are good for.

Adrenal Cocktails

These are best for sodium, potassium, and vitamin C. I have a list of recipe ideas here, but generally each cocktail recipe gets you around 500-800mg of potassium (RDA is about 4700mg), 500mg of sodium (RDA is about 2500mg), and a nice boost of vitamin C. Most people do 2+ of these mixtures a day.

Beef Liver:

This is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It’s also something that people no longer have grown up eating, so we are pretty deficient in nutrients like vitamin A, bio-available copper, and B vitamins. Beef liver itself has vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folate, and minerals such as zinc, copper and iron.  With this desiccated beef liver supplement, you will get about 1000IU of vitamin A, 5.5mcg of B12, around 1 mg of copper, and 2.8mg of iron. Eating it would give you even more of a boost for these nutrients.

Blackstrap Molasses

This is probably one of the most nutrient-packed sweeteners you’ll ever find. 1 tablespoon of Black-strap molasses has: about 300-500mg of potassium, 100mg of calcium, 30mg of magnesium, 2mg of iron, .36mg of manganese, as well as copper, selenium, B6, and more. I typically add this to dandelion root tea, another nutrient dense herb.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another insanely nutrient dense food. One quarter cup has: .43mg of copper, 2.5mg of zinc, 1.47mg of manganese (nearly the whole RDA!), 190mg of magnesium, 9 grams of protein, and about 400mg of phosphorus. Look for raw, organic, and hulless pumpkin seeds. Check Costco if you can- they recently just started selling a big bag in my local store.

Other Nutrient dense foods:

  • Collagen, gelatin, and bone broth for protein and amino acids
  • Bee pollen, raw honey, and royal jelly for most of the BEE vitamins
  • Coconut water, mostly for the potassium content
  • Sea veggies for iodine and trace minerals: I love Maine Coast Sea Veggies, which is an easy brand to find in most health food stores. This particular one is the easiest to add to food for an extra boost! This brand is mostly offering organic products and they test their products for contaminants. Their dulse is the most nutrient dense sea veggie ever!

 

So with the above we’re able to get most or all of our Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, chromium, silica, selenium, zinc, mangansese, and more. The key is to SWITCH IT UP! Don’t eat the same things every day. And keep working on that gut to increase absorption.

Food has so much more than vitamins and minerals, components that you won’t likely ever find in supplements. You can read more about that here.

I would say the hardest nutrient to get enough of is potassium. The RDA is typically about 4700mg. Even with a healthy diet, this is hard to obtain. But we all can just do our best. Below is my favorite potassium rich food list, and this website has about 2 dozen other ideas.

I’ve had some people basically say that food doesn’t matter, and that supplements are the only way to heal. If that were true, then why bother eating anything at all, right? Or better yet- let’s just eat junk food all day. As long as we pop our multivitamin we should stay healthy, right? 😉

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

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!). You can also read about 10 of the most common detox myths here!

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

Lyme Disease Resources on how to Heal Naturally

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.

No matter what you are fighting, you have to be sure to start working on your foundation as well– we cannot always just go in and attack these infections. If we were strong to begin with, we wouldn’t be dealing with these things to begin with, or at least they wouldn’t be so devastating.

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. The basic protocols for healing Lyme and the co-infections (Bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma, etc) can be found here too, but the books are much more in-depth.

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!