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!

Healing Chronic Underlying Infections- Why You can’t just ATTACK!

healing from chronic underlying infections

Healing Chronic Underlying Infections

Infections are a hot topic these days.  And for good reason- they ARE incredibly common. Nearly every one of my clients has something going on underlying- Lyme, EBV, parasites, and yeast overgrowth are among the most common.  Once we realize that these problems can be playing a huge role in our health issues, it is only natural to want to “fight” them and start working on the offensive to get rid of them. However, this is NOT always the best idea.

How we get these infections

So why exactly are these chronic forms of infections so common?  There are so many reasons! The most obvious ones are that we grow up in a toxic environment with a really crappy diet, lots of stress, and we have been taught such a backwards way to look at health thanks to conventional medicine.  We can also inherit these issues while in the womb which is probably the most troubling of all!

Candida:  Overuse of antibiotics, birth control use, and imbalanced diets can all be causes of Candida overgrowth.  The most common culprit that is blamed is excessive sugar intake with CAN be a contributor- but this doesn’t meant that going sugar free will heal you from Candida.  I’ve known many people that stayed on sugar-free diets for YEARS just to keep symptoms at bay- and that is literally all it does. It keeps symptoms at bay without solving any of the underlying issues.

Candida is especially related to a copper imbalance, just like a majority of the things we’re talking about in this post. You can read more about Candida specifically here.

EBV: Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common chronic infections we come across.  A large majority of the population has been exposed to it and for generally healthy people it can stay dormant in the body.  But for many, EBV can be reactivated for various reasons- relentless stress going on in life, a major traumatic event, pregnancy, etc.  If you have had strep throat or mono in your life, then that would be the biggest indication that you are a carrier of EBV but many people with EBV didn’t have these specific occurrences. EBV can also be passed on in the womb like the other infections we’re talking about in this post. You can read my full post on EBV here.

Lyme and Co: Lyme tends to have many components to it as its rarely alone.  Lyme is mostly known for its association with tick bites but in reality you can contract Lyme from ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, fleas, and any other biting insect. I know- it’s a bit overwhelming to think that Lyme or its common co-infections can come from anywhere.  I have my whole Lyme post here for those that want to read more.

Parasites:  Parasites are a lot more common than you would think.  Most people are told that they are very rare in first world countries, but in reality we have become the perfect host for things like this thanks to our terrible lifestyles.  Parasites also tend to be just one part of the picture- they are rarely alone in the body so they are very common to find with any of the above infections as well. You can read all about parasites here.

Parasites, viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals all love to stay together in the body- this is one of the biggest reasons why I believe we need to work on healing the HOST first, not so much the individual issues!

Where to Start your Healing

If you have any or all of the above infections, please keep this important information in mind: healing the terrain is MORE important than directly attacking the infection, especially at first. We have to work on getting strength up in the body before it can physically handle detoxing pathogens of any kind.  I have seen some practitioners say they won’t even touch detox until at least a year of basic healing- and I am apt to agree with them.  Even if we’re starting to feel better and then decide to go on the “attack” it might not be time yet and you can bring yourself right back to square one.  I have seen countless times that once the body is ready to start working on heavy stuff it will just start without any massive prodding.

This means basic foundational care:

  • Clean up your diet– Get rid of the junk! Processed foods, soda, coffee (at least switch over to organic, low-mold brands if you don’t want to give it up completely), and refined carbs.  Not everything has to be organic, but I really encourage everyone to just do their best.  Meats, dairy, and any grains that are consumed are best organic.  This post outlines a bit of what I think is most important to get organic and why.
  • Assess your Minerals– The most common pattern I am seeing lately with a chronic infection is a higher calcium level with a potassium level that just will not budge (or tanks often). Minerals are at the absolutely base of our foundation- without them, we cannot function. As you get your minerals balanced, it will be easier for your body to handle the pathogens as well.  A copper imbalance is one of the MOST important aspects to address when there is any kind of infection. Bioavailable copper helps with keeping viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites under control. When it goes rogue then we can really have a giant issue with these infections!
  • Heal your gut– Without sufficient stomach acid and bile flow, we cannot utilize our nutrients.  Our gut is also an incredibly important part of the immune system. In fact, when we have “leaky gut”, the toxins that are going through that gut lining actually make their way into the lymph system! This is just another huge reason why we need to respect our bodies as wholes- everything is connected.
  • Work on your detox pathways– Liver, Lymph, Colon, Kidneys, Skin- we try to assess the most important things to start with once we see a person’s HTMA. Sometimes we need more adrenal healing before even thinking about detox support.
  • Start supporting your adrenals– Again, I love HTMA as it can tell us the exact state of your adrenals.  This is one of the most important parts of foundational care.  If your adrenals are stressed out or completely exhausted then there should be more of a focus on healing them first before even thinking about detoxing anything.
  • Clean up your environment– This can be a rough one because there is only so much that we can control.  Just do your best in your home!  Deodorant, makeup, shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, etc are just some examples of things that tend to be big offenders for toxins that can mess with our liver function, and they can have very negative impacts on our endocrine function. Learn more here!
  • Work on emotional trauma- This is something I have had to learn the hard way myself.  Emotional trauma from past abuse is something that can stick with us until we’re ready to deal with it.  This can become a constant stress on the body which can suppress the immune system.  If the immune system is suppressed, it will be impossible to heal from any chronic infection, period.  Things like homeopathy, acupuncture, EMDR, Reiki, and EFT are among the most popular methods to use to start healing from emotional trauma. My big list of ideas is here.

 

So as you can see, there is a LOT that should be set up in place before attacking infections.

I can’t even believe the amount of “natural” docs and practitioners that actually advise their clients to start on a major detox protocol right off the bat.  This might work for some people, but many people will CRASH with this method.  When we give the body the tools it needs, it can start to work on things in its own time.  I have seen this countless times with my own clients. Start with the foundation, and regain your strength first.  Work with someone that makes sense to you as well- if you don’t feel good with an attack protocol, then listen to your body and find a different method!

Other Modalities of Healing that can aid in your healing

modalities of healing

Other Modalities of Healing that are Amazing!

I am such a huge lover of HTMA and true holistic mineral balancing, but over the years I have learned about so many other awesome modalities to heal.  HTMA is a great base- at the end of the day, your minerals HAVE to be balanced in order for the body to heal.  We need a solid nutrition base in order to fix any health issues, period.  So it works pretty well in tandem with a lot of other forms of natural healing.

I wanted to make a good list of other modalities because I have noticed that everyone can be so different with what forms work for them.  Since we are ALL different, it is important to realize that not everything will work the same for all of us.  For example, I know plenty of people that love EFT (tapping) but it never really helped me (whether I was on my own or with a practitioner).  I do very well with acupuncture, but I’ve heard from many that did it for months and it didn’t help them.  You have to learn about a few methods and go with what seems best to you.

I think that there is merit in picking a few modalities in your healing journey.  Depending on what you are dealing with, you will NEED more than one thing to help you through this crazy path of healing!  Read and research some of these methods and go with your gut on what sounds best to you.  It is our responsibility to be our own best health advocate- there will not be one doctor or health care practitioner that can know or do it all so it’s best to keep looking for other options!

So here are some of the best natural modalities out there (I covered some of these in my post about emotional healing as well if you want to check that out for other ideas on healing emotional trauma specifically!):

HTMA

HTMA stands for hair tissue mineral analysis.  This is a simple, non-invasive test that looks at the mineral balance in about a heaping teaspoon of hair.  We look at the ratios between these minerals to determine things like adrenal strength, poor nutrient absorption, how the body is responding to stress, and more.

When people first learn about HTMA, they usually think about the old school methods- lots of synthetic supplements (some recommend about 30 pills or more a day).  This is NOT what we do here at Sassy Holistics. We try to take a true holistic method with our HTMA protocols- whole foods, food-based supplements when needed, stress management, herbs, and more.  We work on healing the gut and liver for a majority of people because if these functions aren’t up to par then the entire body can suffer. We work on healing the ROOTS of our health issues.  Nutrition is everything- we have to eat too so why not get it tailored to your specific needs?

Chiropractic

According to the ACA: “Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.”

Chiropractic care can help the whole body as well- there is a lot of evidence that different vertebrae correlate with different parts of the body.  Here is a cool chart that outlines this! (I experienced this first hand when my little bubba was only a few months old- he was a gassy little monkey and his first adjustment allowed his little body to release all of that stuck gas. It was rather funny- my chiro adjusted him, we put him back in his car seat, he farted louder than he had in his whole life, and then went right to sleep! LOL)

Chiropractic care was one of the first natural healing modalities I ever used- I actually depended on it quite a bit for about a year or 2.  It helped me SO much with my chronic pain issues- I was dealing with fibromyalgia, costochondritis, and countless other health issues at the time.   I had only wished that I knew about mineral balancing back then because as I started balancing my minerals I needed the chiro less and less- it would have saved a lot of pain and money if I was instructed in nutrition back then! This is why multiple modalities can be so helpful- it seems like even in the natural health world, doctors and practitioners chose one “specialty” and neglect other systems.  A copper imbalance is a huge reason why people have issues with holding chiropractic adjustments as well!  For me, as I balanced my copper, I no longer had joint issues like I used to.

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.

Working with a great homeopath is best- don’t go it alone for chronic conditions!  I highly recommend Khush Mark– she is who I worked with and I found great healing with her recommendations. I was still keeping up with my HTMA protocol for myself as well- and it was huge proof that these 2 modalities can work very well together.

Massage

I’m pretty sure there is no need to explain what massage is- everyone knows it and most people love it.  There are many forms of massage out there, but the best thing to look for is a legitimate massage therapist that knows what they are doing.  Massage is quite trendy so there are a lot of people that just do it as an add-on service at salons or at the mall.  Just do your research and find the best for you.  Deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, relaxation- no matter what your purpose is, massage can help! Massage helps to increase circulation, can help to remove toxins from the body, stimulates the lymph system, reduces pain, and it also can help with releasing deep emotional trauma that is stored in tissues.

I recently invested in this home massager that I’m loving- it’s helping my lymph a lot and it’s been an invaluable tool during my recent healing of EBV.  This massager specifically has almost 3000 reviews on Amazon and has a 4.5 rating- pretty amazing! It has several attachments for different spots of the body.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is another one of my favorite methods of healing.  It basically just helps your body do what it is trying to do. It makes the healing process easier as it opens up the energy blockages.  Acupuncture can pretty much help with any health issue- depression, infertility, chronic pain, obesity, digestive issues, and so much more.  Length of treatment will depend on the severity of your issues- the most common recommendation I have seen is about 10 weeks of weekly appointments.  Just like with anything else, make sure the acupuncturist you are seeing is properly trained.  Even better if you can find someone that you found by a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone that had success with that particular acupuncturist.

Most people get a little scared of the needle aspect of acupuncture but they really are very small!  There are many studies backing up the effectiveness of acupuncture as well- you can read a bit more about this here. For most people, acupuncture can create an almost immediate increase in energy and a boost in mood.  For those that are actively trying to heal, it can take several sessions before you feel a huge difference. Healing reactions are absolutely possible with acupuncture (and any other modality out there). My first few sessions made me absolutely exhausted for a day or 2 but then I started to feel so amazing after each session.

EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  This is a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. ” (source)

I’ve known many people that have had success with EMDR and absolutely love it. It has sparked my interest as well as it seems to be another method that is supposed to help you heal with the minimum amount of discomfort.

EFT

Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.  Many people swear by this method.  My suggestion for this is to find a good practitioner that knows all about EFT and how to properly do it because it seems to be much more powerful this way. Doing EFT on your own can help too, but some only notice the benefit if they speak with a practitioner. YouTube has plenty of how-to videos too!

No matter what healing therapy you choose, just remember that healing can take time. We don’t get sick overnight so it will take awhile before we regain our health completely.  Don’t give up! Have patience, faith, and determination.  Consistency is key as well!

modalities of healing

Circadian Rhythm Imbalance

Circadian Rhythm

Circadian Rhythm Imbalance: My Top Tips for Better Sleep!

What exactly is “circadian rhythm”?  Here is the main definition for it: “A daily cycle of biological activity based on a 24-hour period and influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day.” (source)

Circadian rhythm is technically a process that our bodies have that help us to be awake during the day, and asleep at night. However in our current world, it is incredibly easy for us to mess up this cycle! An imbalance in circadian rhythm has the potential to lead to blood pressure issues, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, and more.

What causes this imbalance? Nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, stress, poor diet, and even something as simple as white light exposure at night (which is one of the biggest causes of a cortisol/melatonin imbalance). Let’s learn about these causes!

Fixing the Cortisol/Melatonin Imbalance

In a perfect world, cortisol would be higher in the morning and slowly start to decline as the day goes on, and be pretty low at night. Melatonin should be the opposite: we want melatonin lower in the morning and higher at night. This is because cortisol plays a role in overall energy through the day, while melatonin helps us sleep at night. When we are dealing with adrenal issues (aka HPA axis dysfunction), it is so common to have these hormones flipped.

The main helpers that I have found for fixing this imbalance (other than the tips that are listed further below) are:

  • Tart Cherry Juice: This has a natural source of melatonin which helps to regulate sleep patterns. Look for organic if possible. There are pure juices and then concentrates, so be sure to read instructions if you try this method out. You can even make tart cherry gummies!
  • Limiting screen time at night: the light that we are exposed to from TVs, computers, cell phones, etc are all considered to be “white light” which is known for stimulating cortisol production. We do not want this at night! Limit screen time at night and try to cut it off completely about an hour or 2 before bed; or get blue-light apps (f.lux for Android, or Night Shift on iPhones 5s and above, which comes automatically with the phone now).
  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses: These are one of the easiest helpers for regulating cortisol/melatonin. Ideally, we should use these as the sun goes down, but at least 2 hours before bed seems to help most people. These glasses help the body to stimulate melatonin on its own ( I just got a pair myself a few months ago and highly recommend them!)
  • Getting sun in the morning: This helps to stimulate cortisol production in the morning, which helps to keep levels stable through the day, especially when used in conjunction with the above 3 tips.  If sun is not an option in the morning for whatever reason, you can use something like this lamp.
  • I do NOT recommend supplementing with melatonin. This is a hormone. When we consume hormones we can create many other imbalances, and we can even confuse our body to a point where it stops its own production of melatonin
  • Adaptogens can also be helpful, but these can take a bit of time to find what works best for you. Read more about adaptogens here! I love Herb Pharm’s Aviva blends (3 to choose from), Herb Pharm’s Stress Manager, or BioRay’s Loving Energy.

Nutrients that play a role in better sleep

Vitamin A

No matter where you go these days, everyone seems to be talking about vitamin D. However, we really should be putting more of a focus on vitamin A! It is every more crucial for overall health. You can read the whole awesome breakdown on how vitamin A influences circadian rhythm here. Seriously, it is a great article! One main quote from this article, ” Thus, without vitamin A, our brains cannot know when it is daytime and cannot set our circadian rhythm. If this system fails, we are less likely to feel alert in the daytime, less likely to feel relaxed in the night time, and less likely to get adequate, regular, restful sleep.”

Vitamin A deficiency is extremely common these days. Why, you ask? Great question! Mostly it is because we have been lied to about what vitamin A really is. You see, foods like carrots and sweet potatoes don’t actually contain vitamin A. They contain beta carotene, which has the potential to be CONVERTED to vitamin A. Only 50 of the 600 or so carotenoids can even be converted to actual A.

We also need happy livers to utilize vitamin A correctly (we also need happy livers for SLEEP too!), which is another factor in why many people are deficient- most are dealing with some level of liver dysfunction. So things like herbal bitters and overall help with bile flow is necessary for proper use of vitamin A. The best sources of vitamin A are cod liver oil, liver (beef, chicken, etc), eggs, grass-fed butter, ghee, and even grass-fed dairy. (Notice how ALL of these foods have been demonized in the past or present- most people have not grown up eating beef liver or cod liver oil like our grandparents and great-grandparents did!).

Read more about vitamin A here!

Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium

These 3 minerals play huge roles in overall health. It is important to use a tool like HTMA to determine where your personal imbalances are before trying to increase or avoid any particular mineral. Magnesium is usually important for those with high cortisol and over-active adrenals, where potassium and sodium are the most important for those with overall low cortisol output and under-active adrenals. These 3 minerals have a delicate balance, but potassium itself is a common deficiency related to burnout. When potassium is under a 4 on the HTMA, it is a huge cause of insomnia and adrenal dysfunction. You can read a bit more on these 3 minerals here.

Copper Imbalance

Copper plays a role in insomnia when it becomes out of balance. Excess, unbound copper can be irritating to the nerves and is a common cause of racing mind, anxiety, and inability to fall or stay asleep. You can read more about copper imbalances here.

Diet and Gut Health

Diet plays such a huge role in overall health and well-being. If you are eating junk, you will feel like junk- period.  Common offenders in our diets that can impact our sleep are artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, MSG, caffeine, GMO sugar, and even intolerances to gluten or conventional dairy can play a role. Everyone is so different when it comes to diet though, and there is not just *one* main thing for everyone to focus on. It takes trial and error to figure out what might be harming you.

In truth, a huge part of why we have intolerances is because of leaky gut. So healing the gut is a crucial step in healing from any health issue, including sleep problems.

Stress

Almost everyone is under some sort of stress.  Whether it is chronic or acute, this can have a huge impact on our sleep.  Stress can negatively impact our gut, our adrenals, and it can deplete us of crucial nutrients like magnesium and zinc.  Here are a few ways that you can help lower your stress levels so you can get quality sleep:

  1. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose
  2. EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself
  3. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method , and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  4. Find a hobby- this is probably the simplest method to help stress, but it is the most overlooked.  Find something that you love to do and try to do it daily.  Reading, writing, drawing, painting, walking, bike riding, photography, anything you can think of that will get you away from the TV and off of the couch.

 

 

More reading

From Uncaged Health about Circadian Rhythm

My post on 25+ Sleep Tips

My Experience with Homeopathy, which has help me heal my long term sleep issues.

From Jack Kruse

My Absolute Favorite Remedies for Specific Conditions

favorite remedies

I’ve realized how crazy it can be to look through all of the posts on this site, so I wanted to put everything I could in one spot for ease of access.  Hopefully this will be good for those either just starting their journey, or looking to switch things up with their healing protocols.

Some of these will take you to other posts, some will take you right to product pages. Please note: I only recommend products that I use myself, or from companies that I have done research on! If you order from any of the Perfect Supplements or BioRay links, be sure to use my code SASSY at checkout so you can save 10% on your whole order!

 

Gut Health

Liver Health

Lymph Health

Kidney Health

Adrenal Support

Hormonal Balancing/Women’s Health (AKA Copper balancing!)

Kids/Teens Health

Immune Support and Chronic Infections

Good posts to share with Friends/Family to learn more about natural health:

Dealing with Specific nutrient deficiencies?

Other Helpful Posts:

Categories of Blog Posts on this Site

Herb Spotlight: Rhodiola, the adaptogen that packs a big punch!

rhodiola

Adaptogens: All About Rhodiola!

After my post last week on adrenal fatigue and the mention of herbal adaptogens, I decided to do some more reading on a few of the herbs. Rhodiola stuck out to me, especially after reading Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Buhner (best known for his research on healing Lyme disease naturally with herbs- check out his site for more info!)

So why did Rhodiola stick out to me? In Buhner’s book, he writes that rhodiola is an:

  • adaptogen, and adrenal protector
  • Antidepressent
  • Antioxidant
  • Antistressor
  • Antiviral and antibacterial
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Helps with chronic fatigue
  • Mental stimulant (for those with mental fatigue)
  • Mitochondrial tonic!
  • Nervous system tonic

So what does all of that really mean? It means that Rhodiola helps with:

  • Brain Fog (also helps with focus and memory)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Adrenal Exhaustion (even long term exhaustion)
  • All forms of chronic fatigue
  • Immune system health (helps prevent recurrent infections)
  • Increases stamina, especially for exercise
  • Increases fat burning and weight loss!
  • Helps adrenal related symptoms like insomnia, blood sugar swings, low libido, and a sluggish liver
  • Can heal the thyroid and thymus gland as well!

Where to Find Rhodiola:

Rhodiola is one of the most common adaptogens out there. You can find it in many adrenal blends, or even on its own. Most health food stores will carry rhodiola in a variety of forms. There are capsules, tinctures (my preference!), or even blends like this one.

Since there are so many adaptogens out there, it can take some time to find the one that works best for you. Rhodiola has a pretty good track record at being effective for most people. The only major side effect noted is that it can be too over stimulating for some if taken close to bed time. Stick with using it in the morning and early afternoon. Some notice an immediate benefit with some of their worst symptoms!

Interesting Tidbits about Rhodiola:

  • The Vikings used to use it for increased stamina!
  • Rhodiola has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a very long time
  • Rhodiola has also been used in traditional Russian folk medicine, and was one of their favorite herbs because of its effects on fatigue, stamina, infections, depression, and impotence
  • One of the first mentions of rhodiola usage was in 77AD!!

Read more about Rhodiola here:

Herb Wisdom

Life Extension

10 Reasons to Love MCT Oil

I love MCT oil!

I’m sure by now most of my followers know I like to try things myself before I recommend them. So the new thing I’ve been trying over the last 2 months or so is MCT oil! I was skeptical at first because while it’s technically a food, it’s still processed. But after seeing many awesome benefits (mostly energy, better sleep, and better stamina) from it, I am definitely starting to appreciate it more. Some of us just need extra help when it comes to fat- and MCT is very easily absorbed, but we’ll get into that soon!

But first, a refresher on why we need good fats….

Why we should LOVE Fats!

Fat is needed for many different reasons. It is needed for brain health, reproductive health, adrenals and thyroid health, immune system health, and also for eyes, skin and nails. Saturated fats are especially good for heart health- even though for decades “experts” were saying the opposite!  Fats help balance your blood sugar, especially when you cut out all of the refined and processed foods from your diet.

Many people have grown up with the lies about fat (and its buddy cholesterol), and have stuck to a low fat diet most of their lives. This is one of the main reasons why so many people are suffering with hormonal imbalances, sluggish metabolisms, adrenal exhaustion, liver dysfunction (because consumption of good fats encourages bile flow), and so many other illnesses.

GOOD fats include: grass-fed butter, coconut oil (MCT oil too!), grass-fed dairy (cream cheese, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, heavy cream), avocado, fish, nuts, chocolate, meats, eggs, and olives.

BAD fats include: oils from soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, and peanut.

What is MCT Oil?

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides which is a form of saturated fat (the GOOD fat) that is very easily digested and assimilated. Coconut oil itself is a great source of MCTs and many people have noticed the amazing health benefits of coconut oil. However, unrefined coconut oil is not always the most appealing thing to eat, which is where MCT oil comes in. You have the benefit of the fat in coconut oil without the taste, which I find to be a very important aspect. When I first tried coconut oil, I made myself eat it everyday for about a month. I lost quite a bit of weight, but each day I found it harder to stomach the taste of the oil! It was just not appealing to me, and I know many other people feel the same way.

The MCT coconut oil is made up mostly of caprylic and capric acid, but some also keep in the lauric acid which is especially helpful against issues like EBV.

Benefits of MCT Oil:

  1. Great for the metabolism
  2. Helps with energy levels and mood stablization
  3. Easily digestible fat, which is ideal for those with a sluggish liver
  4. Helps with weight loss
  5. Helps keep blood sugar stable
  6. Keeps you fuller longer, and helps curb sugar cravings
  7. It’s tasteless! You can add it to anything: smoothies, protein shakes, coffee, tea, etc. Most use 1-3 tablespoons a day, spread out. Start slowly though, just like anything else. It can truly get things moving!
  8. Great fuel for the brain!
  9. Helps to eradicate parasites, yeast, bacteria, and fungi in the body
  10. Helps constipation

Where to find MCT Oil

Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and many other health food stores carry MCT oil. Some of the brands have flavorless and flavored so be sure to read labels to find the one you want. Whole Foods has a great store brand that is 100% coconut MCT oil. Vitamin Shoppe has Jarrow and their own store brand which is good.

My absolute favorite MCT oil is from Perfect Supplements! They now offer a 100% organic coconut MCT oil , which is incredibly rare to find. I feel like this is the best quality MCT oil I have tried- I get such a great boost of energy that lasts for hours! You can use the code SASSY at checkout for 10% off as well.

 

Read more about MCT Oil:

https://draxe.com/mct-oil/

mct

Endometriosis- How Minerals can help

Endometriosis (and other related hormonal imbalances) is becoming more common because of the level of nutritional imbalances, liver dysfunction, and adrenal fatigue that we are dealing with. Endometriosis can cause a lot of pain and sadness for those that suffer with it because of its possible effects on fertility.

Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is when tissue lining in the uterus spreads and grows outside the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tubes, intestines, and ovaries but the tissue can migrate almost anywhere in the body. This can cause issues with internal scarring because of the foreign tissue that ends up in other parts of the body.

Symptoms:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Menstrual pain
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Issues with conceiving; miscarriages
  • Some women can have these symptoms but not have Endo, or they can have Endo with none of these symptoms- it is very hard to diagnose

Conventional treatment of Endometriosis includes drugs and surgery- both of which will not solve the underlying issues. You can read more about endometriosis, symptoms and other treatments here.

Natural Treatment of Endometriosis:

Balancing copper will be the number one thing to do to heal from endo, or any other hormonal issue. Copper imbalances are incredibly common, especially among women, because copper is related to estrogen. The biggest issue that is created with imbalanced copper is that you can be both copper toxic and deficient, and they both come with their own sets of symptoms. Copper gets “toxic” when we are deficient in the copper-binding protein ceruloplasmin which depends on healthy adrenals, a strong liver, and a few key nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and copper itself. When copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well creating what we know as “estrogen dominance”, when in reality we are just high in excess copper, and unable to filter it out because of a sluggish liver. Please read my whole post on Copper Dysregulation to get the full story on how to test for this mineral imbalance.

Healing the Liver is the next step, and it is also a crucial part of healing from a copper imbalance. We need healthy livers to filter out toxins and excess hormones (especially estrogen), and we need healthy bile flow to excrete excess, unbound copper. We also need a healthy liver to create ceruloplasmin which is a key protein for balancing copper and iron. You can read about liver healing here, and check out other ideas for increasing bile flow here.

Healing the adrenals will also be very important to healing from hormonal issues. The adrenals are the emergency glands of the body. When we are constantly stressed, our bodies cannot keep up with the demands of homeostasis (keeping the body in balance). The brain sends messages that activate the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the adrenal glands, which releases adrenaline- and this is whether we truly need it or not. Dealing with illnesses like endometriosis can be a constant stress (both physically and emotionally) on the adrenals. You can read more about healing the adrenals here. Getting a hair tissue mineral analysis to determine the state of your adrenals can be a great first step to healing.

Nourishing the body is also very important for healing from any illness. So many people suffer from nutritional deficiencies and imbalances because of the Standard American Diet, which is most definitely the saddest diet out there. Herbal infusions, nutrient dense organic foods, lots of healthy fats and proteins- these are all very good things to add to the diet to help heal from nutrient depletion.

You can also look into homeopathic remedies for endometriosis for symptom control and for extra help in healing.

Have you healed from endometriosis? What has helped you the most?

 

 

 

 

Mineral Spotlight: Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that tends to get a bad rap- but in reality it’s calcium supplements that we should be worried about. Real calcium from FOOD that is balanced with other nutrients is essential for health. Everything needs to be in balance!

calcium

Calcium’s Role in the Body

This is the most abundant mineral in the body- 99% should be found in the bone (but over consumption is the cause of tissue calcification). The 1% not in the bones is needed for nerve transmission, blood pressure regulation, iron metabolism, proper cell division, plus health skin and teeth.  There is an increased need for calcium during pregnancy, lactation, and adolescence. It is possible to have high tissue calcium as well as bio-UN-available calcium. We need magnesium and potassium to keep calcium in proper balance. There are 2 hormones involved with calcium metabolism: calcitonin and the parathyroid hormones.  Excess vitamin D makes us absorb too much calcium. Boron helps with the proper utilization of both calcium and vitamin D.

Calcium deficiency signs:

  • Bones issues
  • Anxiety
  • Brittle nails
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Diminished nerve function

Calcium Sources

Recommended amount: 1000 mg

Blackstrap molasses, 1 tbsp: ~100mg

Yogurt (grass-fed), 1 cup: 300mg

Nettle infusions: 300mg per cup

Collard Greens, 1 cup: 300mg

More Calcium Rich Foods

Calcium supplementation is being linked to heart disease, arthritis, crippling PMS, thyroid disorders, renal failure, and countless other ailments. (source) You can get PLENTY of calcium from food, no matter what your diet entails.

Do you have elevated Cadmium on your HTMA?

cadmium

With my approach to mineral balancing, I like to help rebuild the person, replenish nutrients, and work on supporting detoxification. Once the body restores metabolic balance, it can work on removing any of the bad things that we might have underlying- this includes heavy metals (like cadmium), parasites, viruses like EBV, and more. We need energy to detox, and harsh methods that involve ripping metals (and much needed minerals) from the tissues can create a lot of chaos if your body isn’t strong enough for it.

So I’m going to give an overview on one of the most common metals we see and why it  would be high, as well as what helps to take care of it.

Cadmium

Cadmium is just below zinc on the periodic elements table, and this allows it to take zinc’s spot in a zinc deficient body. This is perhaps the biggest issues with metals in general- they can take the place of minerals in the body so they can accumulate easily in a very deficient person. It can take time for cadmium to show up on HTMA because it can take awhile to build up the metabolism of a person, especially in slow oxidation.  Slow oxidizers need to focus on so many different aspects of health at once- so getting rid of the metals will more likely take several years. These metals didn’t build up overnight, and we will not get rid of them overnight. But a slow, nourishing, and supportive approach is preferred to prevent any severe reactions. We’re so used to conventional medicine and trying to “fix” things instantly- but there is no way to do that!

Cadmium affects:

  • Energy (the Krebs cycle)
  • Mental health– Can cause learning disorders, as well as anger issues
  • Kidneys– Cadmium tends to accumulate in the kidneys and disrupt their proper functioning
  • The Male reproductive system– since cadmium can take the place of zinc, this will interfere with hormonal balance in men
  • Teeth– Cadmium interferes with calcium and vitamin D which can lead to tooth decay
  • Other health issues created by cadmium toxicity: Cancer, cardiovascular disease, infertility, inflammation and liver disorders

Where do we find Cadmium?

  • Soil and water ( the west coast of the USA is a huge source of cadmium)
  • Large fish like tuna and cod
  • Processed foods- Hydrogenated oils are a huge source of cadmium. Most processed foods use these oils!
  • Cigarettes are one of the worst sources of cadmium- and yes, it’s in smoke that other people are inhaling too!
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Some paint

What will detox Cadmium?

  • Restoring Zinc (balance copper!)
  • Restoring magnesium and calcium balance
  • Restoring Sodium (and the Na/K ratio)
  • Rebuilding the adrenals
  • Supporting the liver, kidneys, and lymph
  • Dry skin brushing, sauna therapy (for those that tolerate it, or you can look into single lamps to make your own)

 

Read more about Cadmium:

Dr Wilson on Cadmium

ARL- Cadmium

More on Toxic Metals and HTMA