Elderberry and Other Interventions for Colds and Flu Season

Elderberry is one of my favorite herbs for cold and flu prevention because it is easy to make a delicious syrup to take every day or for first symptoms of congestion and body aches. Elderberry has multiple mechanisms of action that are not fully understood including stimulation of the production of immune signaling molecules and prevention of connection between flu viruses and human cells. In studies where people were given elderberry or placebo at first signs of flu, the symptom severity was reduced and the duration of illness decreased from an average of six days to two days.
Elderberry [...]

Boswellia

Boswellia Serrata, also known as Frankincense, is one of my favorite herbs for treating osteoarthritis and autoimmune arthritis.  Another herb I use frequently is Turmeric but here I am focusing on Boswellia because it is an unsung hero while turmeric has been getting a lot of press lately.

Boswellia Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Multiple studies have shown that Boswellia reduces pain and inflammation equally or better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen for people with osteoarthritis and autoimmune arthritis.  NSAIDs work well at reducing inflammation and pain but they have many side effects including stress on kidneys and [...]

Arthritis: Root Causes and Treatments

Whenever we talk about arthritis, it’s important to define it and discuss the different types of arthritis. Arthritis means inflammation of the joints and there are two main categories of arthritis: autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis) and osteoarthritis. 

Autoimmune Arthritis
Autoimmune arthritis usually begins in the thirties or forties, although we have been seeing it more often in younger people as well. A hallmark of autoimmune arthritis is that the pain and swelling are the same on both sides. There can be more pronounced swelling with autoimmune arthritis than osteoarthritis and sometimes there are other symptoms present like [...]

Root Causes of Constipation and IBS-C

You may be surprised by how many people take laxatives or stool softeners every day. Many of these products were prescribed by a medical provider. When people who have chronic constipation come to our office, we ask questions to determine the cause of their constipation so that we can treat their constipation without the side effects associated with laxatives.
No Single Cause of Constipation
There is no single cause of constipation and often people will have more than one of the root causes on this list.

Inadequate water intake – This is a very common cause of constipation especially [...]

Experiencing Adult Onset Food Allergies?

A recent article in the New York Times brought my attention to a study that is currently in process about adult-onset food allergies. I have seen many patients who develop allergic symptoms later in life. When I suggest that the symptoms may be related to a food, people often respond with “but I have eaten this all my life.”

I am glad to see that researchers are looking into the question of how and why food allergies develop because I often see patients with severe and life-altering symptoms from immune reactions to foods. There is a significant difference between food [...]

Health Tech Resources: Meditation Apps

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve memory, focus, and mental well-being and regular practice improves sleep quality. When I first heard about these studies on mindfulness meditation, I imagined that to get these benefits, one would have to spend at least an hour per day meditating.  I was surprised to find out that even five minutes can make a difference in stress hormone production and improved sleep. 
There are many local resources for learning about mindfulness meditation with a group or counselor.  I highly recommend joining a group if you would like to deepen your practice but these [...]