Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October is Breast Health Awareness Month + 3 Herbs for Breast Health



October is Breast Health Awareness Month and I want to take this opportunity while the subject is on the minds of many to introduce you to some amazing ways to care for your breasts as well as your body as a whole! 

I want to kick off this month long series with an overview of alternative medicine as it’s practiced all around the world.  If you listen to my radio show Simple Solutions for Everyday Health, you may have already tuned in to hear some of this info a few weeks ago.  If you would like to listen just click on the link below.


Since herbs are used in many other natural healing methods, I thought we could begin our journey into breast health with these powerful healers of the plant world!  

Many herbs and plants have the ability to kick your body into a higher healing gear by boosting your metabolism by ridding your body of unwanted toxins!  Boosting your immune system is the best way to increase your breast and whole body health.

One of the first things I want to be clear about is the fact that an illness, a disease or a chronic health challenge of any kind is never just physical – they always involve the whole person, your physical body is just 1 aspect – there are also mental, emotional and spiritual aspects to all health issues.

Ironically enough for those of us who are treated by medical professionals in the Western school of thought, the entire rest of the world already acknowledges this.  Whether we are talking about the medical perspective of an Herbalist, a Traditional Chinese Medicine doc, an Acupuncturist, a Homeopath, a Naturopathic, an Osteopath or an Ayurvedic Medicine Doc – each of these systems of health and healing all consider the whole person in treatment. 

It’s only been in the last few decades – especially with the advent of pharmaceutical drugs and specialized medicine – that the medical profession has decided to dissect a person into parts rather than treating the whole person.

I’m sure many of you have experienced the frustration of going to a doc, spending all of 5-8 minutes and walking out with expensive prescriptions that terrify you if you read the package inserts!  Most of the time the potential side effects are much worse than what was bothering you to begin with!

Natural medicine takes a whole different approach.  No matter whether you are speaking with a Naturopath, an Ayurvedic Doc, an Acupuncturist, a Homeopath or an Herbalist – they will all be interested in treating you as a whole person, not just your colon like a proctologist, or your heart like a cardiologist, or at your brain like a neuro-surgeon. 

Obviously, if you have a broken bone you need an orthopedist, or if you had an accident and got a nasty gash on your face you need a plastic surgeon.  But if you want to be truly healthy, then you need a healthcare professional who thinks outside the traditional allopathic medical box.

Back in the mid-90’s I enrolled in a series of classes to become a Neuro-linguistic Programming Master Practitioner – you may not recognize the name of the program, but you probably recognize the name of the program founder, Anthony Robbins.  This course was truly eye-opening and one of the most profound things I learned was this . . . It does not matter where you begin your healing journey, all parts will eventually be made whole.  So you can choose where you want to start - with your physical body, your emotional body or your spirit.  But if you choose to work on all 3 at the same time – WOW!  The results are exponential!

With that in mind, over the course of the next few days, I’ll be sharing a little information about some of my favorite healing modalities as well as links to help you connect to practitioners in your own area. 

Today I want to start by sharing a little about Herbalists.  Since herbs and herbal preparations are the foundation for many other healing modalities, it seems like a great place to begin . . .

Herbalists – use the healing nature of plants to address symptoms while increasing your body’s own ability for self-healing.  Most pharmaceutical drugs are synthetic replications of herbs, tree bark or flowers.  The major difference is this – herbalists understand that the most healing aspects of a plant, an herb or a tree are not contained in its chemical composition, but in its characteristics.  This would include the shape of the leaves, the texture of the bark, the density of the stem, or their natural growing habits. 

I’m sure this all sounds a bit esoteric, but the character or “spirit” of the plant really does address the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of an illness while addressing the physical symptoms.  So the plant naturally treats the whole person – mind, body and spirit.

To find an Herbalist near you, click on the link below.


Three of the herbal stars to promote breast health include:

Dandelion – promotes detoxification of the lymphatic system, and breast tissue.  Since it is an anti-inflammatory, it’s also a great option for sore breasts, cysts, fibrocystic breast tissue, as well as swollen lymph glands.


Red Clover – promotes a balance of estrogen on receptor sites.  The iosvlavones in red clover are adaptogenic.  In other words they bind to the estrogen receptor sites to either activate and increase estrogen when the levels are low, or they bind to receptor sites to block estrogen when the levels are too high.  Red clover is also a great detoxifier of xenoestrogens – powerful chemical substances that mimic estrogen found in plastics, pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fabrics.  Xenoestrogens have been strongly linked to estrogen driven tumors.

Evening Primrose Oil – is a natural source of GLA (gamma linolenic acid).  GLA is an effective anti-inflammatory agent with none of the side-effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.  This quality makes it an excellent treatment for PMS – especially when accompanied by tender or swollen breasts – as well as fibrocystic breast tissue and painful swelling of lymph nodes. GLA is relatively hard to come by in our daily diets.  I recommend adding a few drops to sweet almond oil or to your body lotion and gently massaging into tender or swollen breasts.

These are just 3 of the many herbs that a qualified Herbalist may recommend based on your specific needs.

Please contact one today!  Here’s that link again . . .

  

My next post will introduce you to Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture!

To Your Healthy Breasts!

Dr. P

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