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New Therapy to Support Your Gut?

N-acetyl glucosamine (N-AcG): A Possible New Therapy for Supporting Our Gut

N-acetyl glucosamine (N-AcG) comes from the outer shell of shellfish. Studies indicate it might help protect the lining of the stomach and intestines. N-AcG seems to be an energy source for friendly organisms within the microbiota, which may account for its protective benefits to the intestinal tract/gut.

There is early evidence that taking N-AcG by mouth or rectally might decrease symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, conditions that are known to have deterioration of the gut microbiota. While a holistic practitioner will always focus on reestablishing a healthy microbiota, sometimes we also need therapies and treatments to help with flared symptoms.

Do not confuse N-AcG with the forms of glucosamine that are used in holistic therapies for osteoarthritis; the supplements are very different. For osteoarthritis, glucosamine sulfate is used. N-AcG, since it is derived from shellfish, carries the risk of causing a reaction in individuals who are allergic to shellfish. Also, N-AcG may raise insulin levels, interact with prescription medications, and is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

The appropriate dose of N-AcG glucosamine depends on several factors, such as age, health issues, current medications, and many other factors. The appropriateness of N-AcG for any individual needs to be determined by a natural medicine practitioner.

Have you used N-AcG glucosamine in the past? Let us know if you have and what your experience has been by contacting out office at office@drlachman.com.

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Headaches: Getting to the ROOT cause

Headaches are NOT normal.

Did you know that it’s not normal to have headaches or migraines? It seems like so many people have them that it’s almost normal. But, it actually means that there is something going on in the body that is creating headaches or migraines. There is only one time that it would be normal to have a headache, and that would be if you hit your head, or you had a concussion (which could mean you could have hit your head, but you also could have acquired one from other reasons, like a blast, or from falling down).

Headaches, in those cases, would be normal, just like it would be normal to have a bruise if you fall down. Even so, just like homeopathy and natural methods can actually help resolve bruises more quickly, homeopathy and natural methods can also help you if your headache is a result of a concussion or other injury. When you get a cut on your skin, it heals! Your brain can also, when given the right support.

In the Naturopathic healthcare world, you are an individual. When someone with headaches or migraines comes into my clinic, I look at YOUR symptoms. Your headache might start in the back of your head on the right side, and come over your head to settle above your right eye. Perhaps you have nausea with it. Someone else’s headache may start above the left eye and remain there for hours. Sometimes headaches or migraines extend to the teeth. You might want to be in a quiet, dark room, where for another person those things don’t seem to help much.

Everyone’s headache is different and is addressed as such. You are unique, and you will get a headache and migraine plan as unique as you are!

Using Herbs in a Sustainable Way

Growing Your Own Herbs

Sustainable use of herbs means researching how the plants are sourced, harvested and stored and determining what you will use in a reasonable amount of time. Assessing your consumption and making choices based on actual need is essential to being a good steward of Earth’s resources. Choose readily available, easy-to-grow herbs with many uses.

Explore the idea of wildcrafting, a.k.a. foraging, which is the practice of gathering herbs, plants, and fungi from the wild. When done with care and with plants that can sustain the harvest, wildcrafting is an ideal choice for those familiar with their local wild herbs and when to safely pick from what nature provides. Wildcrafting requires a good amount of plant knowledge so don’t go foraging on a whim. Take a class with a local horticulture society, garden club, or one offered by a local college agricultural extension program.

When wildcrafting is not feasible, source herbs from a domestic grower. The majority of herbs sold online can come from as far away as Egypt. With a little research you can find herb farms in the United States and maybe one within reasonable driving distance of your home (See: Sustainable Herbal Farm and Ethical Wildcrafters in the US). If you are fortunate to find a local herb grower, it really is your best source because they harvest herbs in small quantities and sell them immediately. You receive fresh herbs that, when properly prepared or dried and stored, retain potency. In addition, local growers are always happy to provide customer education regarding uses and proper storage.

Dried herbs should not be exposed to light and air. It’s best to store herbs in amber or other dark-colored glass, preferably in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. Potent, well preserved dried herbs should retain their natural color and have a very strong aroma; roots should remain dry and mold-free.

To ensure herb availability for future generations, try to incorporate as many of these practices in your use of herbs for both medicinal and cooking purposes.

References

Recipe of the Month: Curry!

Garbanzo-Vegetable Green Curry

This dish has both spice and a hint of creamy sweetness from the coconut milk to satisfy all tastes. Green curry does have “kick” though, so if spice is not your style, substitute with the milder red or yellow curry. This recipe makes a great main dish served with a salad or can be a unique pairing to an Asian fish or poultry main course. If you have a nut allergy, the cashews are optional, but they do add crunch and a healthy fat to the dish so be sure to complement the curry with another healthy fat of your choosing (pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds, or raw bean sprouts sprinkled on top).

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen cauliflower
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (13.66 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup green curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 packages (8.8 ounces each) ready-to-serve long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted cashews (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, combine cauliflower, beans, coconut milk, curry paste and salt. Bring to a boil; cook, uncovered, 5-6 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  2. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into the skillet. Stir in peas. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions. Sprinkle cauliflower mixture with cashews. Serve with rice.

References

Recipe of the Month!

Garlic Roasted Radishes

What is the secret to this recipe? Bring out the sweetness, and maximize the health benefits of radishes, by roasting this jewel-hued veggie in garlic. Roasting draws out a mildly sweet juice that tempers the peppery flavor of rashishes. The garlic and butter (or ghee, if you prefer) blend perfectly with this hidden sweetness, giving the roasted radish a delectable aroma and flavor. Enjoy these over salads, served as a side dish to a roasted or grilled main course, or as a snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. radishes, ends trimmed and halved
  • 1 Tbsp. melted ghee or butter (vegan option: use coconut oil or avocado oil)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley, dried chives or dried dill

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the radishes, melted ghee or butter, salt and pepper and toss until radishes are evenly coated. Save adding the minced garlic until just before the radishes are done roasting.
  3. Spread radishes out in a large 9×13 inch baking dish. Don’t over crowd.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 10 or so minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and dried parsley and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until radishes are golden brown and cooked through.

Optional: Serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping or drizzle on top and garnish with parsley, dill or chives.

References