Tired of Eczema? Natural Treatments For Eczema!

Skin, natural treatment, psoriasis, atopic, allergies, asthma, naturopathic doctor

I think of our skin as an external reflection of what is happening internally. As naturopaths, our goal is to find the root cause of dysfunction to eliminate presenting symptoms. The causes of eczema may vary. But much of the research and successful treatment strategies go back to healing the gut and supporting the microbiome. Learn how to use natural treatments for eczema below.

Eczema, skin, itch, redness, inflammation, natural treatment, edina, woodbury, minnesota

What causes eczema?

Eczema can be considered “itchy from the inside out,” meaning there is inflammation in the GI tract. Inflammation is ultimately causing the skin to be excessively irritated. This leads to severe itching, dryness, and cracking; which can lead to infection.

Some children have a genetic pre-disposition to atopic disease (eczema, asthma, allergies). Genetics, combined with disturbed gut microbiome during birth through toddler years, can exacerbate the body’s ability to develop atopy. This disturbance can lead to multiple causes, including, but not limited to:

  • Antibiotics (*this is by no means stated to make any parent feel guilty for their child needing antibiotic therapy!!!)
  • Personal food sensitivities or intolerances
  • Digestive disturbance: acid reflux/acid blocking medications that affect proper breakdown of food particles
  • Excess inflammatory foods in the diet, sugar, etc.

The above considerations ultimately lead to an inflammatory response causing gut barrier dysfunction or “leaky gut”. Inflammation inside is then reflected symptomatically on the skin! The skin is trying to tell you to “look inside”!

Inflammation, naturopathic doctor, eczema, allergies, asthma, natural treatments

Natural treatments for eczema

What you can do – tried and true? BUT every case is very personal and what works for one, may not work for another:

  1. Optimize gut health for future pregnancies
  2. Support nutritionally: Reduce inflammatory foods and
    consider potential food sensitivities
  3. Reduce stress and consider the mental-emotional aspect:
    Stress is commonly associated with exacerbations
    in skin conditions. I have seen this correlation so often
    clinically, as well as with my own daughter and severe
    eczema outbreaks associated with anxiety after the
    loss of her dad. Apps for kids: “Stop, Breathe, Think”
    and Square Breathing
  4. Heal the gut: Zinc, Probiotics, vitamin D (if deficient), Turmeric, Fatty Acids / Fish Oil (I prefer Cod Liver oil because it contains Vitamins A & D, which are important for skin health and immune balance); GI demulcent herbs help to soothe and heal intestinal cells; Digestive enzymes may also be warranted in some cases.
  5. Topical treatments: I have TRIED SO MANY with little success (always caused more itching), but my favorite is Look, No X Ma. You can purchase it locally at Tailor Made Nutrition in Woodbury, MN. I also love  Frankincense, Lavender, and Rose essential oils as well.
  6. Oatmeal bath: 3/4 cup oats, ground finely, ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup coconut milk or olive oil, 1-2 drops lavender and frankincense essential oil in tepid/warm water
  7. Restorative sleep is essential to skin / tissue healing
  8. Acupressure: LI 4 is a great point to apply lavender essential oil and massage. Location is on the highest spot of the muscle where the thumb and index fingers are brought close together.

    LI4: Our Great Eliminator

  9. Cell/tissue salts, homeopathy based upon symptom picture
  10. Testing considerations (depending on personal patient
    history per the discretion of your naturopathic
    provider)

    1. Food Sensitivity Testing to determine specific
      foods that are causing inflammatory response
    2. Comprehensive Stool Analysis to assess
      microbiome and digestion
    3. Micronutrient Testing to assess potential
      deficiencies within the cell

Julia Liebich, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment, digestion, anxiety, depressionWritten by: Dr. Julia Liebich

Still have questions on how to treat eczema naturally? Dr. Julia and Dr. Katie are ready to help. We are located in Edina and Woodbury, Minnesota. As Naturopathic Doctors, our goal is to address the underlying causes and use natural medicine for treatment.

Schedule appointments here

Immune System Support 101 – ZINC

supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, natural treatments, naturopathic doctor, edina, woodbury, mn, covid, corona, virus

There are many natural treatments that provide immune system support. You can even find some of these remedies in your very own kitchen! Zinc is just one of the many great natural immune supports.

supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, natural treatments, naturopathic doctor, edina, woodbury, mn

Please know Dr. Katie and Dr. Julia are available for virtual video and phone visits right now and would love to help you and your family with any health concerns.

Today we are going to talk about zinc! I think about immune function first with zinc. I also think about zinc in children, elderly, and pregnant or breastfeeding moms as these populations are more likely to have low zinc levels.

The body does not store very much zinc. Most of it is not readily available which is why taking a supplement can be critical.

Zinc is a mineral like iron, calcium, magnesium, and copper. When taking a mineral in supplement form, it is important to think about dosage and timing, because they can compete with each other for absorption. Zinc can be taken daily in lower doses and slightly higher with an acute infection.

Vitamin C helps with absorption of zinc and iron. Studies show that people experience less symptoms and recover more quickly when taking zinc and vitamin C together. Zinc and iron on the other hand compete for absorption so they should be taken separately.

Benefits of zinc

  • Helps lower inflammation
  • Immune system support
  • Associated with taste and smell
  • Especially beneficial for children and the elderly as they are often deficient
  • Sperm production and testosterone metabolism
  • Reduces pregnancy complications
  • Burn and wound healing
  • Antioxidant

Foods high in zinc

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Oysters
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Red meat
  • Chicken and pork
  • Oysters
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Dairy

 I hope you learned something about zinc today and will begin to include it in your diet and supplements if you weren’t already.

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopath

Dr. Katie is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Edina and Woodbury, MN. She specializes in natural treatments that address the root cause of disease. We offer 15 minute consultations by phone. You can schedule online.

 

 

 

  1. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/4/1181/htm
  2. https://www.infezmed.it/media/journal/Vol_28_2_2020_9.pdf

Combat Seasonal Allergies, Naturally!

allergies

Natural Treatments for Seasonal Allergies

‘Tis the season for allergy sufferers out there … both in adults and children.

allergies

What causes allergies, anyway?

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune response to substances in the environment that are generally harmless to most people. When the immune system recognizes something as harmful it creates an inflammatory response in the body that often drives the histamine pathway. Symptoms in allergy sufferers can be exacerbated by inhaling irritants, consuming certain foods, and / or touching substances that cause irritation. Allergic reactions to mold, spores, pollen, dust and dander can cause symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, chest tightness, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and headaches, which are heightened during the change of seasons.

Six natural treatments options for seasonal allergies:

Honey

1) Diet

EAT CLEAN!!! Avoid mucus forming, high histamine, and inflammatory foods, such as dairy products, bananas, mangoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, peanuts, eggs, red meat, food dyes and additives, sugar, and gluten to name a few… Personal food sensitivities also play a role in the inflammatory response and thereby further contribute to immune dysregulation. Local honey and bone broth may be beneficial, in addition to plenty of leafy greens, seasonal vegetables, wild caught fish, and fermented foods.

Essential oils

2) Essential oils

There are numerous single oils and blends that naturally support body systems involved in both the allergic (histamine) and inflammatory response in the body. Essential oils are excellent at alleviating symptoms. The following oils are well-known and have natural antihistamine properties: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint

Oranges

3) Nutritional supplements

Vitamin C, bromelain, and bioflavonoids such as quercitin and hesperidin help stabilize mast cells that release histamine in the body (antihistamine effects).

Probiotics support GI microflora; a healthy microflora is crucial to proper immune function and modulation. Magnesium deficiency has been shown to heighten allergic response.

Herbs

4) Herbs

There are many options depending on treatment goals, but some of the most common allergy supporting herbs are: Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica), Eyebright (Euphrasia), Butterbur (Petisides hybridus), Reishi, Astragalus membranaceous

Water

5) Hydrotherapy

Stimulates the immune and lymphatic systems, balances nervous system, and decreases congestion. Some of the best at home hydrotherapy treatments: constitutional hydrotherapy, contrast showers, warming socks, castor oil packs

Homeopathy

6) Homeopathy

Depending on symptoms, some top remedies to combat allergies are:

Allium cepa – bland discharge from eyes, burning discharge from nose

Euphrasia – swollen eyes with profuse burning discharge, bland discharge from nose

Sabadilla – violent sneezing, red, swollen eyelids, itchy nose

Pulsatilla – bland yellow discharge from nose, eyes; weepy, tearful disposition

Arsenicum album – burning tears, tightness in lungs, burning throat; restless worry

Nux vomica – evening congestion, blocked breathing, burning eyes with sensitivity to light, itchy ears, irritable and chilly

It is also important to support organ systems involved in the allergic response, such as the adrenal glands, immune system, and digestive tract to treat the root cause of dysfunction. Please consult a naturopath prior to initiating the above treatment strategies.

Julia Liebich

Dr. Julia Liebich is one of our Naturopathic Doctors practicing in Woodbury and Edina Minnesota, servicing the twin cities and Wisconsin. Specializing in treating the underlying cause using natural medicine, Dr. Julia creates customized treatment plans for each patient. Whether you have allergies, digestive issues, hormone imbalance, or cardiovascular problems, Dr. Julia can help. You can schedule an appointment by calling 612-564-2218 or scheduling online here.

Healing Pain and Inflammation Naturally!

healing pain and inflammation naturally

body massage

When you’re ready for natural pain relief

When you think about all the conditions and injuries out there, causing pain on the daily, you may wonder what your treatment options are. If you are like most adults, you probably already have a bottle of ibuprofen (Advil ®), acetaminophen (Tylenol ®), or naproxen (Aleve ®) just an arm’s reach away in your cabinet.

If you suffer from chronic pain, menstrual pain, or even the occasional “ouch”-worthy injury, you may be wondering if there are other options for pain relief beside NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), steroids, or opiates. At Balanced Care, we’re here to help. Taking steps for healing pain and inflammation naturally may be just what the holistic doctor ordered.

In this article, we’ve curated eight natural pain relief options for you to consider. If you’re curious about our services and how we can customize a treatment plan for you, be sure to schedule a consult with us, and together we can begin to help you find the relief you need.

Healing Pain and Inflammation Naturally

What is Natural Pain Relief?

A natural approach to pain relief means leveraging your body’s innate desire to be pain-free. Pain is a great teacher. Pain alerts us to injury, or that one or more of our body systems is not working optimally. Several natural pain relief modalities utilize our internal chemistry. Other methods use physical movement or other muscle manipulation to reduce inflammation and pain.

Remember, testing before treatment is best

When you notice pain in your body that is long-lasting, severe, new, or alarming in some way for you, it’s best to see your doctor first. If your pain accompanies a known or recent injury, it is essential to have proper diagnostic testing like x-rays, MRI scans, movement evaluations, blood work, or other diagnostics performed. Once you have a precise diagnosis, adequate treatment options rise for examination as well.

Prevent or reduce Inflammation

back pain

You’ve seen your doctor and got the tests to rule out severe conditions, and have acquired the recommended supports and resting protocol after injury. Now, what can you do to manage your pain and discomfort? Take steps to reduce systemic inflammation.  

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to an irritant or injury. The chemicals released by the body during an inflammatory response allows more blood to flow to the affected area, which can make the area hot, red, and swollen. Hormones released during the inflammatory response also irritate surrounding nerve tissue, which may cause pain. Taking natural measures to calm inflammation can reduce the pain you feel.

Stop Eating Inflammatory Foods

Several ubiquitous food sources can cause low-grade systemic inflammation. The biggest offenders are gluten and cow’s dairy. Watch out for these products that contain gluten:

Wheat, Barley, Spelt, and Oats, (unless the package says “gluten-free”, it may include some gluten particles).

Cow’s dairy is our most common form of dairy in the U.S. Dairy products (yogurt, cheese, or milk) are made from cow’s dairy unless the label says otherwise. Goat and sheep’s dairy are comparatively less inflammatory than cow’s dairy because they contain a different type of protein than cow’s dairy.

Choosing foods consistent with an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce the severity of your pain.

Exercise Gently

Consistently moving your body has been shown to help nearly every significant health condition. For example, in people with arthritis, a gentle and consistent movement like walking, biking, stretching, swimming, or even light dancing can help preserve or improve range of motion, reduce stiffness and swelling, and reduce pain symptoms.

People living with fibromyalgia may also relieve pain with exercise. A gentle walk or stretch can mitigate menstrual pain. Exercising (within healing protocols as suggested by your health care team) is required for re-gaining pre-injury levels of fitness and range of motion. These are just a few examples of how body movement can reduce pain.

Consider a Natural Herbal Pain Relief Supplement

Turmeric

There are a host of herbal remedies that help in healing pain and inflammation naturally. Here are a few of the most common anti-inflammatory supplements and topical products.

Capsaicin: The “spicy” compound found in peppers, capsaicin can be effective as a topical pain relief remedy.  This compound interrupts “substance P” (the neurochemical that transmits pain messages to the brain) transmission in our nervous system.

MSM: This sulfur-containing compound exists in humans, animals, and plants, and is sold extensively in pill form. The proof is in the science–taking this supplement can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as helping curb allergy symptoms and boosting immune function.

Turmeric: The curcumin in turmeric is touted as a potent anti-inflammatory. Though the science is still unclear, taking supplement-grade turmeric may improve the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Heartburn
  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Kidney problems
  • High Cholesterol

Turmeric as a supplement is best for adults who are not pregnant or nursing. Using turmeric as a cooking spice is generally considered harmless for most people. As always, check with your primary care physician or schedule an appointment with us for proper dosing suggestions.

Make Friends with Needles

Yes, it’s a thing. Commonly called acupuncture, getting “needled” can have some tremendous pain-relieving benefits. Here’s how acupuncture can help reduce pain:

  1. A needle is inserted just below the skin, along several key “meridian”, or energy points in the body.
  2. Once the needles are inserted, they remain in the patient for 10-30 minutes, while the patient relaxes in a chair or on a massage table.
  3. The going hypothesis is that the needles stimulate the surrounding nerves to send a hormonal message to the brain.
  4. The brain releases our natural pain-relieving chemicals (like endorphins), and we feel happier, and we may feel less pain.
  5. Try several treatments for best results.

Try a Relaxing “Mass-ahhhhhh-ge.”

See what we did there?  Now that you are picturing yourself breathing profoundly and sinking blissfully into the care of a licensed massage therapist’s experienced hands, perhaps you are feeling less pain already! Massage helps to:

  • Loosen tight muscles
  • Improve range of motion
  • Free up the adhesions that can build up between muscle layers (Myofascial release)
  • Quiet muscular “trigger” points–irritated bands of muscle commonly seen in the neck, shoulders, and other places where we tend to hold stress.

Next time you find yourself reaching for a bottle of your favorite pain relief drug, remember that there are may ways of healing pain and inflammation naturally. Methods that use your body’s own intelligence to come back into pain-free balance. Pain relief is best approached as a mosaic — a combination of tools will bring the best results. Contact Balanced Care today for an appointment. Together, we will find the best pathway to your well being —naturally!

Kale Recipes and Benefits

kale, greens, health, detox, weight loss

kale

If you like to eat healthily and have a lot of variety in your diet, you are probably familiar with kale and all of the fantastic benefits that go along with eating it. If you typically don’t make the healthiest food choices but know you should probably start, kale is a wonderful way to introduce a healthy choice into your diet.

Kale has recently gained notoriety for its leafy green goodness and its huge nutrient content. Thanks to the surge in popularity there are all kinds of tips for how to eat kale, as well as readily-available healthy kale recipes.

If you are looking for something easy and beneficial to help achieve a healthier lifestyle when it comes to your diet, reach out to us here at Balanced Care. One of our naturopathic doctors will be happy to help you with ideas on healthy food choices.

Health Benefits of Kale

kale

You can get so many fantastic benefits from kale that you might wonder why you haven’t yet added it to your diet. Kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods, and it is easy to include it in your diet so that you can reap the many rewards it has to offer.

Full of Nutrients

Kale is a nutrient-dense super-food containing vitamins A, C, K, and B-6. It also has good amounts of calcium and potassium. Just one serving of kale can deliver a huge and healthy package of nutrients that will help your body’s cells function effectively.

Antioxidants

Not only is kale full of nutrients, but it also contains powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Antioxidants have many fantastic abilities, such as helping to lower blood pressure, help to protect the heart, and even working as antidepressants.

The antioxidants found in kale may help establish lower glucose levels in type 1 diabetics and reduce the risk of heart disease. They may even have some anti-cancer effects.

Digestion

Kale can aid in digestion because it is high in fiber and water which help prevent constipation and keep you regular.

The List Goes On

There are many other excellent benefits of kale; the list goes on and on. The nutrients in kale impact everything from healthier hair and skin, to increased bone density, to anti-viral protection. This potent, nutrient-packed food can provide a considerable boost to your health and wellness routine. With so many benefits, you will be happy when you finally take the plunge and learn how to eat kale and make it a regular part of your diet.

Also Read: Healing Benefits of Garlic

Different Types of Kale

kale

With more than seven varieties of kale, you will easily be able to find this leafy green and add it to your diet. The most common types of kale are Tuscan, red, curly and baby. Each variety has a unique taste, from slightly bitter to sweet and tender.

You can enjoy trying different types and seeing what works best in the dishes you plan to prepare. You can’t go wrong with mixing it up and experimenting with different varieties

Tasty Ways to Add Kale to Your Diet

Now that you know how wonderful kale is for your body, you may be wondering which healthy kale recipes are worth trying. The good news is, kale’s popularity lends itself to a vast selection of recipes. It seems that everyone has a healthy kale recipe to share.

Kale Smoothies

Kale Smoothie

Many people throw a handful of spinach to their morning smoothies. How about also incorporating a serving of kale? When your smoothie includes delicious fruits, you won’t even realize you’re drinking your vegetables. It’s also a great, discreet way for kids to get their leafy greens.

Also Read: How to Prevent the Flu Naturally

Salads

Salads are one way to make adding this healthy food to your lifestyle a breeze. Try this Mediterranean Lentil and Kale Salad for a bold and tasty lunch. This simple but delicious Kale Salad with Beets and Wild Rice will make a wholesome meal with varying textures that will surely hit the spot.

Soups

A hearty and filling soup is a perfect way to use kale. Zuppa Toscana is a favorite soup that you might enjoy at your favorite Italian restaurant. It is sure to delight with its creamy and flavorful goodness. Another Italian favorite, Vegan Gnocchi Soup, is also a delicious way to enjoy kale.

Entrees

Meal

There are many fantastic ways you can enjoy kale in main dishes, too. The more you experiment with this powerhouse, the more you will discover how delicious it is. The benefits of this superfood soon will come second to the amazing taste and flavor you’ll enjoy.

Grilled Salmon with Kale Saute is a simple, yet tasty and healthy dish that is easy to prepare. You can also try this delicious Sweet Orange Chicken Over Kale to enjoy a yummy dinner served on a bed of kale and mushrooms. If you love pasta, you’ll be thrilled with this Scallop, Mushroom and Fennel Campanelle.

Enjoying Kale is Easy

With all of these fantastic recipes and more at your fingertips, you will love experimenting with kale in your meals and enjoying the powerful benefits. There are many choices available, so you won’t have to work too hard to add kale to your diet.

Make a Healthy Lifestyle Change Today

Change

The numerous health benefits of kale are clear. This great veggie allows you to add valuable nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins to your diet. And with all of the healthy kale recipes that are readily available, you can’t go wrong.

Adding kale to your diet several times a week can improve your health and also add some variety to your meal planning with new ideas. The health benefits are well worth the simple addition of this nutrient-packed food.

If you are still wondering how kale can benefit you, and how to eat kale, reach out to Balanced Care, and we will be happy to guide you in your healthy eating journey. We believe that food is medicine, and we love to join our patients as they boost their food know-how and expertise.

Where to Find Locally Sourced Honey

allergies

Honey for Allergies

There’s a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies: Honey. Yes, honey for allergies.

allergies, natural treatment, histamine, local honey

Last week you were looking out your window at the doom and gloom of the winter. You longed for warmer weather as you added another layer just to head outside.  It has been a long, harsh, and cold winter, but there are hints of spring everywhere you look.

While you are out shopping, you notice the displays around the stores are decked out in floral patterns with clever, cheery sayings, and the end caps have fun outdoor items like herb gardens and gardening tools. You are feeling excited and refreshed with the change in season.

You continue walking along and you also notice the allergy medication has dominated one of the end caps. Then you remember: You love the idea of spring, but with all the new blooms comes all the pollen. With all the pollen comes all the sneezing. Oh, the sneezing. And that’s just the half of it.

You contemplate stocking up because you know how miserable you get. However, as you stand there with the medication in your hand you wonder: Am I going to be on allergy medication for my whole life? Is there an alternative option? Lucky for you, there is a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies.

It’s honey. Honey? That’s right, honey for allergies. Perhaps this doesn’t come as much of a surprise because you might already use honey for other medicinal purposes, such as soothing your sore throat when you have a cold. Honey has a host of other benefits that help more than your cold.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of using honey for allergies.

allergy, pollen, edina, woodbury, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment

What are Allergies and What Do They Do To Your Body?

Seasonal allergies, also called Allergic Rhinitis (nasal allergies), trigger your immune system to respond when a foreign substance like pollen is introduced to it. For some people, the response is mild, while others experience a more severe response. Allergies can affect all people from all different backgrounds, races, and genders. This can be  upwards of 50 million people each year. Just because they are common and affect so many people doesn’t mean allergies are any less annoying to combat.

The most common type of allergy is a seasonal pollen allergy. When things are in bloom, pollen is everywhere. When the wind blows, it carries the pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds long distances which will cover anything in its path. During allergy season it seems as though nothing is safe.

Your immune system must work so hard to keep your body functioning normally.

Common symptoms include

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Congestion
  • A sore throat

There are other symptoms, such as fatigue, that aren’t as commonly talked about but can throw your whole body through a loop. It makes sense when you think about it. Your body is working tirelessly because your immune system is on overdrive. No wonder you are feeling so exhausted.

In addition, people can experience irritability, low productivity, and memory loss when they are in the midst of allergy season.

Seasonal pollen allergies are common, but it doesn’t mean you have to live with this discomfort the rest of your life.

Continue reading to understand the benefits of raw honey, and how it can help your allergy symptoms.

Honey, local, allergy, asthma, natural medicine, botanical, naturopathic, edina, mn, woodbury

Benefits of Raw Honey

Some experts believe that pollen from bees ends up in the honey. If people consume this honey, they will slowly build up immunity to and therefore be able to tolerate the pollen. While this might help slightly, this isn’t the main reason why local honey is beneficial for allergies.

Here is the deal with raw honey: It is packed full of nutrients, enzymes, sugars, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and let’s not leave out its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Best of all, it’s jam-packed with polyphenols (infection-fighting antioxidants). So what exactly does all of this mean?

It means that honey can help your immune system which, as stated above, is working extra hard and causing you to be miserable, irritable, and exhausted. If honey can help your immune system, it can also help fight your allergies.

Additionally, honey can help with hay fever symptoms which tend to go hand in hand with allergies.

Local Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey

So what exactly is the difference between local raw honey and processed honey? For one, the look of the two kinds of honey is very different. Processed honey is very clear while raw honey is cloudy. This is because raw honey has not been heated or filtered.

When you buy local honey, you know exactly where it comes from because the farmers are local, and the bees are local. In addition, the pollen that ends up in the honey is from the local area, so you could be introducing small amounts to your body. As stated previously, the local pollen in the honey isn’t necessarily what helps your body with your allergies, but it is an added benefit that processed honey doesn’t have.

You just read about all the fantastic health benefits that raw honey has. While processed honey might have some of those benefits, most of them have been destroyed during the pasteurization process.

You will be doing your body a huge favor by using local raw honey instead of processed honey. You can generally find raw honey in your local grocery stores or specialty health food stores, but you will find that using locally sourced honey will be the least processed and you will get the most significant health benefits.

How Local is Local Honey?

In general, to be considered local honey it should be from your state. Use this search to find local honey near you.

At Balanced Care, we would like to provide you with the care you deserve to manage your chronic illnesses and seasonal allergies. Please contact us to find out how we can help you start feeling better today.

8 Home Remedies For the Common Cold

home remedies for the common cold
You wash your hands, you stay away from others when they are sick, and you eat your fruits and veggies. You do all of these things, and yet those pesky viruses have still found a way into your body.

Eat Your Medicine

An unfortunately timed upper respiratory infection has attacked you like the common cold.  Did you know adults get about 2 to 4 colds each year? Children are double that, getting on average 6 to 8 colds each year. That is a lot of sick people to try to avoid. No wonder you have landed yourself with a cold.

Regardless of statistics, your nose is a faucet, your throat is sore and scratchy, and your pile of tissues on the coffee table makes you consider becoming the world’s next Jenga champion.

You know you will get better eventually, but right now you would like some relief. Life doesn’t slow down when you are sick, and you are ready to start feeling better, like yesterday. Natural home remedies for the common cold are becoming increasingly popular since people are getting more serious about their health.

So go ahead, curl up on the couch with a blanket (you deserve to because you’re sick) and continue reading below to find eight ways you can eat your medicine. That’s right, eat it. (And technically drink it for some of them.) The best part about the following list of natural home remedies is the fact that most of these ingredients are already sitting in your kitchen.

8 Home Remedies for the Common Cold

Some of these remedies are old favorites that you might already know, but some might surprise you and become your next favorite cold go-to.

1. Honey

Honey is liquid gold. It is high in nutrients and enzymes which help kill the nasty cold viruses. Honey will coat your throat and help protect it from the extra mucus which is causing your throat to be sore. Honey can also be given to adults and children with sore throats before bed to help them sleep.

Best Ways to Eat Honey

  • A spoonful of honey!
  • Add honey to your tea
  • 1 tsp lemon juice and 2 tsp honey. Take every 2 hours

Note: You should only give honey to children that are over 1 year old

2. Ginger

Ginger has a long history in medicines, so what is so unique about it? Ginger has some essential medicinal properties like antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It will help your body fight off the infection.

Best Ways to Eat Ginger

  • Eat raw ginger
  • Ginger Tea
  • Boil 2 cups of water
  • Add 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • Cover and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Take off heat for another 5 minutes
  • Strain
  • Add a little lemon juice and honey, then enjoy.

Chicken Soup

3. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup and colds go hand in hand. Good thing it is delicious as well as nutritious. While you are slurping down this delightful soup, you are doing your body another favor. The soup is full of ingredients that help fight off the infection. So go ahead and have a second bowl, or third.

Best Ways to Eat Chicken Soup

  • Homemade chicken soup using organic vegetables and chicken will provide you with the best ingredients
  • Bowl and spoon

4. Red Onion

Yes, red onion. When you inhale red onion oils, relief from your cold symptoms might feel immediate. Also, since red onions are high in antioxidants, they can help your body fight off the infection.

Best Ways To Eat Red Onion

  • Red onion syrup
  • In a mason jar, alternate layers of a thinly sliced onion and raw honey. Repeat until the jar is full. Cover for 12-15 hours.
  • Drink a spoonful of syrup often during the day for relief

5. Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine which is known to help open up the airways. That can help with breathing and reduce coughing. Since there is probably pepper sitting on your counter next to your stove, go ahead and add some to your next meal.

Best Ways to Eat Black Pepper

  • Sprinkle on meal
  • Gargle 1 tsp with warm water
  • Smell it (just smelling pepper can help open up your airways)

6. Garlic

Garlic is known to be antibacterial and antiviral which will help give your immune system an extra boost. Like pepper, garlic can help open up airways to make breathing more comfortable, but it can also flush out toxins from your body which will help you recover faster. (More on the healing benefits of garlic.)

Best Ways to Eat Garlic

  • Munch on raw garlic cloves
  • Garlic paste
  • 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or chili powder). Eat daily until your symptoms go away.
  • Add fresh chopped garlic to your food

Turmeric Milk

7. Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is known to have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Turmeric milk will help with not only coughing but also body aches and headaches.

Note:  I suggest using unsweetened coconut milk…

Best Way to Drink Turmeric Milk

8. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can help a scratchy and sore throat in addition to helping fight off the infection. Cinnamaldehyde is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Best Ways to Eat Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon Tea
  • Combine 1 tbsp powdered cinnamon, 2 cloves, and 2 cups boiling water
  • Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • Strain, let it cool, and enjoy!
  • For added benefits, and best results, add honey

There you have it: 8 home remedies for the common cold and upper respiratory infections.

Upper respiratory infections of any kind are never a welcomed experience. They are annoying, untimely, and they can make you feel miserable for days. People continue their daily lives feeling miserable until the cold goes away, but remember you will recover faster if you are taking care of yourself. Not only is it imperative to take care of yourself to get better, but it’s also important to take care of yourself, so you don’t get worse. A cold can turn into other more severe upper respiratory infections if untreated.

That means that you are getting proper sleep, drinking plenty of liquids, and eating and drinking foods that are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Please, stay home from work you deserve to rest and get better. There are so many simple, symptom-relieving foods available that you can try above. Check your cupboards to see what you have on hand already and give one of them a shot. You might be surprised at how much better you feel.

Note:  If you haven’t recovered in about two weeks or are catching colds frequently, it is time to check in with your doctor.

6 Health Benefits Of Sesame Seed Oil and How to Use it to Improve Your Health

health benefits of sesame seed oil

Sesame seed oil has been used through the ages in many Asian cuisines. It is high in nutty flavor and brings so much joy to those who eat it. It’s no wonder it has infiltrated Western culture in more recent years. People are using this small seed oil as an alternative to vegetable oil in their cooking. Do you know the health benefits of sesame seed oil?

Benefits+of+Seasme+Seed+Oil

6 Health Benefits of Sesame Oil

1. Healthy Skin and Hair

Skin: Sesame seed oil is loaded with zinc which means it’s incredibly good for your skin. It can be used to treat a plethora of different kinds of skin ailments. Sesame seed oil is useful for treating inflamed, irritated and damaged skin because it is high in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. The oil penetrates deep into the derma, fighting bacteria and leaving your skin vibrant and detoxified.

Reasons to use sesame oil on your skin include:

  • Fights and prevents bacterial infections (including acne)
  • Repairs skin cells
  • Soothes eczema and psoriasis
  • Reduces the appearance of age spots
  • Natural moisturizer and sunscreen
  • Helps with diaper rash in babies

How to use as a moisturizer

Apply liberally to your skin after a hot shower, and leave it on your skin for 10 minutes or so. Thoroughly rub it in after the 10 minutes. Apply more as needed.

How to Use to Detoxify

Before your bath or shower, apply and let it soak into your skin. This will allow the oil to have time to penetrate your skin and target the toxins deep within your skin. Finally, wash the oil away along with the toxins.

Hair: Sesame seed oil is high in vitamins and minerals which your scalp loves. From soothing a dry, flaky scalp to getting rid of lice, there are so many different ways to use this oil on your hair.

Reasons to use sesame oil on your hair include:

  • Deep conditioning
  • Lice treatment
  • Soothes and calms a dry and flaky scalp
  • Adds shine
  • Treats dandruff
  • Treats premature graying

Human Body

2. Improves Bone Quality

Sesame oil is used to help promote active bone growth. It is high in copper, zinc, and calcium, all minerals that are necessary for bone growth. It can be used by people to mitigate the effects of osteoporosis and other bone-weakening diseases brought on by age. In addition, it can be used to speed up the regrowth and healing process of damaged bones.

3. Oral Health

Many people don’t realize that brushing and flossing can cause micro-tears in their gums, which can open a gateway into the rest of your body for infections. While brushing your teeth is an essential practice for good oral hygiene, you might also benefit by giving oil pulling a try.

Reasons to use sesame oil in your oral care:

  • Fights oral infections
  • Prevents plaque build up
  • Prevents gum/mouth diseases like gingivitis and cavities
  • Fights bad breath causing bacteria

How to Oil Pull

  • Swish oil gently for about 15-20 minutes
  • Make sure it is reaching all parts of your mouth
  • As it pulls out toxins, the consistency will change
  • Once it reaches a thick consistency that is milky white, spit out before toxins are reabsorbed
  • Rinse well with water
  • Repeat a few times a week, or daily if you prefer

Note: Spit out oil in the trash so you don’t clog your pipes

running

4. Boosts Heart Health and Improves Circulation

Sesame seed oil is high in zinc and copper, which by now you probably know has many benefits to your body, including your heart and your blood.

Your heart will benefit because sesame oil contains lignins which contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that can prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Lignins are known to help lower cholesterol levels naturally.

Your circulation will improve after you start using sesame oil. The additional zinc and copper will enable your body to begin functioning at optimal levels for the production of new red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells in your tissues mean healthy organs, which means a healthier you. Not only that, but sesame oil is touted for its ability to lower blood pressure which will improve blood circulation.

5. Helps Manage Anxiety, Depression and Stress

Sesame seed oil contains an amino acid called tyrosine. This is great news for people who are dealing with chronic stress, depression or anxiety. Eating foods that contain the amino acid tyrosine will directly affect your serotonin levels which signal an increase in your mood.

6. Anti-Cancer Properties

Some of the chemical compounds in sesame oil, such as sesamol and sesamin, have been found to reduce certain types of cancer cells. This means that the growth of the cancer cells was slowed down or stopped altogether. Additionally, sesame seed oil stimulates antibodies which are your body’s natural way of attacking cancer cells.

There you have it: 6 key health benefits of sesame seed oil.

What Kind of Oil Works Best?

There are different kinds of sesame oil. To get the most health benefits, look for cold-pressed or organic sesame oil. These are the least processed options, and they contain the most nutrients compared to any other type of sesame oil out there. Organic and cold-pressed sesame oils can generally be found in specialty grocery stores or online.

If you are considering adding sesame seed oil to your everyday life, contact the experts at Balanced Care. We are a wealth of knowledge and would love to help you make the right decisions that fit your lifestyle. Contact us today.

New Weight Loss Plan with Dr. Rachel

weight loss plan and exercise

Are you, a loved one, a close friend or coworker looking for a solution to weight problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, or chronic fatigue? Maybe you’ve tried diets, detoxes, exercise plans and either can’t take it off or it comes right back after the program? We have a weight loss plan for you!

I have recently been trained and certified to offer the TRANSFORMATIONS®-360 Program and WICO® Score to my patients. This is an incredible technology that empowers people on how to take control of their health by learning to control blood sugar and body composition (healthy weight) for life!

The program has an incredible safety and efficacy record as close to 1,000,000 patients have used this program successfully since it was developed 15 years ago.

Patients lose weight faster, more easily and don’t have to take bars, shakes and pills. People eat real whole foods, and feel better than they normally do, as their body is bio-chemically set to burn belly fat not muscle mass. In this way, they can attain their goal weight without feeling hungry or having cravings, as they typically lose between 18-22 pounds every 5 weeks.

Most importantly, people learn correct food habits so as to not only maintain their weight loss over time, but to also be in control of their blood sugar to prevent diabetes. The program is very structured and simple to follow which means you will not have to keep calling with questions.

For those who like to have accountability, you can come in for a weekly appointment to be weighed and measured, and have any needed discussion. Otherwise, you will come back when you are within 5 pounds of your goal weight to be placed on a well-balanced maintenance program.

I will also be able to pinpoint the main food allergies or sensitivities you may have, and show you how to eat everything to keep your weight off for Lifetime success. This is critical, as maintaining a healthy body composition is perhaps one of the most important steps you can take to be preventative and wellness oriented with your health.

The cost is a function of how much weight you want to lose; however it is very affordable as people save between 30-50% of what they typically spend on food. This could mean just the food savings alone could cover the cost of the kit. To get started, call my office and tell them you want to see me for the TRANSFORMATIONS program. We will email you a questionnaire to complete and schedule your visit.

Once at the office we will do a body comp test, weigh and measure you and provide instructions on how the program works. You will leave with the kit, and start immediately with foods already in your kitchen. If you are ready to lose belly fat, look younger, learn how to NEVER become a diabetic, and feel better than you have in years, call the office ASAP at 612-564-2218.

You can also listen to some real patient testimonials at this link:
http://transformationsclinic.com/testimonials
As a gift to you we are offering a New Year Special of $200 off the regular price for the first 5 participants who sign up for the TRANSFORMATIONS 360 Program before February 28, 2018! Click here for more information on the program and how to sign up!

Creative Ways To Use Your FSA Money Before It Is Lost

client, wellness, wellness center, holistic, naturopath, edina

Most FSA plans view naturopathic health and medicine as eligible expenses. Our goal as Naturopathic Doctors at Balanced Care is to help individuals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond address health concerns and treat illnesses.

vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, naturopathic, natural medicine

  1. Naturopathic Doctors

Most FSA plans view naturopathic health and medicine as eligible expenses. Our goal as naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care is to help individuals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond address health concerns and treat illnesses. We do this by using natural remedies and natural medicine. An appointment at Balanced Care may consist of running lab tests and prescribing supplements. Both of these services can usually be paid for with FSA money.

If you are looking for natural ways to help solve chronic health problems we can help you. Whether you have digestion issues , high blood pressure and high blood sugar , or infertility natural treatments are available. On the other hand, if you simply want to lose some weight, decrease the amount of sugar you consume, or find ways to positively increase your health and wellness, naturopathic doctors can also help with those issues.

  1. Eye Exams, Glasses and Contacts

If your annual eye exam isn’t until next year, you can still visit your eye doctor. You might not need an exam, but you can get additional glasses, prescription sunglasses or contact lenses. Getting prescription sunglasses in the winter may seem odd, but we’ve had many sunny winter days here in the Twin Cities in the last few weeks. Sunglasses make perfect sense on these days. Even when the sun isn’t shining brightly, some eye doctors still recommend wearing sunglasses to protect eyes and skin from the sun’s UV rays.

If you’ve had enough of your glasses and contacts you may be considering LASIK. FSA funds can help pay for LASIK surgery. Most health insurance plans don’t cover LASIK. Utilizing your FSA for this costly procedure is a great way to get the permanent results you desire without having to foot the entire bill yourself. Dr. Katie had LASIK done this year with Dr. Chu and had an amazing experience and perfect results – she highly recommends their clinic.

  1. Chiropractors

Even if you don’t have any back or joint pain seeing a chiropractor is still a good idea. You don’t have to wait until after an accident or until you’ve started experiencing pain to see a chiropractor. A chiropractic checkup is beneficial for everyone. Pain and injury often aren’t apparent until after a problem has gone on too long. During a checkup a chiropractic doctor might be able to uncover areas that could lead to more serious health issues in the future. When health problems are caught early, and treated correctly, your chances of being completely healed are much higher.

We highly recommend  Bloomington Wellness and Chiro Center Bloomington for our Edina patients and Woodbury Family Chiropractic for Woodbury patients.

  1. Acupuncture

  2. Supplements

  3. Contraception and Fertility

Condoms are covered under flexible spending accounts. Female contraception is also usually covered under FSA with a prescription. If you are looking to get pregnant, pregnancy tests, fertility monitors and testing systems can also be purchased with FSA money.

  1. Kick Your Smoking Habit

If you’re a smoker with the goal of quitting in the New Year smoking cessation programs are FSA eligible. Whether you plan to use an in-person program, smoking cessation patches or gum, these can all be purchased with your flexible spending account. Even if you don’t plan to start until the New Year, purchasing these items before the year is up will leave you well prepared and ensure that you won’t lose your FSA money.

  1. Make Sure Your First Aid Kits are Stocked

Bandages, hot and cold compress packs, gauze, medical tape and alcohol wipes are all essential to any well-prepared first aid kit. They can all also be purchased using your FSA. Whether you are restocking or creating your own kit, or looking to buy a kit that has already been put together, utilize your FSA for all of these items.

Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel have appointments available still in 2017 and around the holidays if needed. You can schedule online or by calling 612-564-2218.