Winter Immunity

by Tara Levy, ND

Have you been hit by the flu yet this season?  The flu is now considered to be widespread in California,  and we are now seeing many cases in the Bay Area.  The holiday season brings additional stress on the immune system — poor eating, disrupted sleep, increased travel — so it’s a great time to give your body a little extra support to help get you into the New Year with good health.
The importance of hand washing can not be overstated:  Wash your hands!  Hand washing is perhaps the simplest, easiest and most economical way to stave off infection. Regular soap is all you need so steer clear of anything fancy, scented or anti-microbial. Be sure to wash palms, backs of hands and in between fingers. Try humming the alphabet song while you wash, to ensure you are taking adequate time. Wash before eating, after using the restroom, after coughing/sneezing, after shaking hands and certainly after you have been around people that are clearly sick.

Nasal rinsing, similar to hand washing, is one of the most preventive things we can do to reduce our risk of getting sick.  Nasal rinsing can wash away viruses and bacteria before they  take hold, so is a great method of prevention.  Nasal rinsing can be done with saline spray, with a neti pot, or with a nasal spray such as Xclear, which contains ingredients that are also anti-microbial.  As with hand-washing, you can do this at the end of every day and after any possible exposure to those that may e sick. Xclear and saline spray are great to have with you for use on airplanes and during large gatherings, where there is lots of exposure to others in close quarters.  And it’s safe for adults and children!

Many of you know that probiotics are good for your gut and digestion, but did you know they are also critical for your immune system?  Mucus membranes are our first line of defense against bacteria and viruses, and Probiotic bacteria are an integral part of these membranes functioning optimally.  Give your body a daily dose of these immune boosters by eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, pickles, or kombucha regularly.  At first sign of illness, one can take probiotic supplements 1-2 x daily until symptoms resolve.

Immune supportive nutrients such as as Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc can be incredibly beneficial in both preventing and shortening the course of illness.  There are many herbs that also have immune supportive effects, such as echinaciea, elderberry, pelargonium, and astragalus.  If you are prone to illness, consider taking an immune support formula, either on a regular basis or at the very first sign of symptoms.  We have several formulas in the office, both for adults and children.  Ask your doctor which might be best suited for you.

Homeopathic flu and immune support can also be a great preventive at this time of year.  In the office we have both Influenzinum, an oral homeopathic remedy made to match his year’s flu vaccine, and Engystol, a homeopathic immune boosting injection from Germany.  Both of these remedies are available in the office.  Give a call or message the office to arrange to get yours, or to ask about any of the remedies mentioned here!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to support your body during this time of increased smoke and toxin exposure.

by Elizabeth Korza, ND and Tara Levy, ND

I opened my door this morning to find ash raining from the sky. The fires up north are devastating to the people that live there and are making the air quality in the Bay Area the worst in the nation. Unfortunately, this is not going to change soon as most of the fires are barely, if at all, contained. To make matters worse, what is burning are trees and homes, and all the contents of these homes. Think couches, rugs, beds, cleaning supplies, appliances and plastics, not to mention cars, motorcycles, bikes and more.

There is a lot we can do to protect ourselves during this time of increased smoke and toxin exposure. Here are some quick and essential tips to support your health and the health of your loved ones during this time:

  • Purchase a face mask
    • While this will not filter out the smaller particulates, it will reduce the amount of larger particles, dust and ash that you breath into your lungs. Wear this any time you are outside.
    • Ideally find a mask that is  NIOSH approved and marked N95, N100 or P100.   These respirators are designed to filter small particles when fitted properly over the mouth and nose.  The thin paper surgical and dust masks don’t filter these particles.
    • Since most places have sold out by now, consider ordering from an online source with speedy delivery.
  • Purchase an air filter.
    • Good quality air filters can be found at Costco and online. Purchase at least one to run in your bedroom all day and all night.
    • Keep your windows closed for as much of the day and night as is possible.
    • Eat very cleanly and drink plenty of filtered water.
        • Focus on vegetables of as many colors as possible, clean meats, fruits and healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, olives and coconut.
    • Avoid packaged foods, fried foods, fast foods and etc.
    • Drink Throat Coat Tea.
      • While this is designed to help with sore throats, the formula contains herbs that also offer great lung support. 3-5 cups per day per person is a great place
    • If you are asthmatic, be sure to take your medications regularly and have extra stock on hand.
    • Nasal rinsing.
      • Just like in allergy season, the smoke brings a large number of irritating particles into our respiratory passages.  Rinsing with saline, either through a spray or a neti-pot, can help clear out the respiratory mucosa.
    • Consider additional supplementation with the following:
      • Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that is incredibly beneficial to the entire body. Suggested dosing is 1,000-2,000mg, three times per day. (Note: high dose vitamin C can cause loose stool. The amount that equals “high dose” is different for everyone. If your stool does become loose, reduce the amount you are taking.)
      • N-acetyl-cysteine or NAC is a potent supporter of some of our body’s main antioxidant capacities. Suggested dosing is 500mg, 2-3 times per day.
      • Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful water and fat-soluble antioxidant. Suggested dosing is up to 200mg, three time per day.
      • General liver support: Our liver is responsible for detoxifying or clearing the majority of the toxins to which we are exposed. As a result, increasing liver detox support now is incredibly important. Find your favorite liver detox formula (Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Green tea, Quercitin, Choline, Yellow Dock, Schisandra and Dandelion are a few common ingredients) and take the recommended amount 2-3 times per day.

Many of these supplements can be found in stores around town like Whole Foods or Pharmaca. At the office, we can enroll you in our online pharmacy or update your FullScript cart to contain any of these that you’d like.  If you have questions about these suggestions, please feel free to call the office at 925-949-8604 or 510-845-8600.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

Posted in allergies, immune, News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breast Thermography — SUMMER DATES

Our next breast thermography screenings are on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 from 10 am – 5 pm.  The price for screening is $225 – this includes screening, interpretation, report, a copy of the images and, if needed, a review of findings with one of the doctors.  Our last several clinics have been completely full, so  schedule yours soon!

Unlike Mammography or other forms of breast imagery, breast thermography is a technique that detects the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation that may be associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. By detecting minute variations in normal blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find thermal signs that suggest a pre-cancerous state or the presence of an early tumor that may not be large enough to be detected by physical examination, or mammography.

Breast Thermography is especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue that is difficult to see on mammography or younger women who are still menstruating.   Thermography does not replace mammography, but can be used as an additional way to screen the breasts.  This service is available to the general public as well as patients of Tara Natural Medicine.  To schedule, or to have questions answered about thermography, please message or call the office at 925-949-8604.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breast Thermography — APRIL date!

Our next breast thermography screenings are on Wednesday, April  5th, 2017 from 10 am – 5 pm.  The price for screening is $225 – this includes screening, interpretation, report, a copy of the images and, if needed, a review of findings with one of the doctors.  Our last several clinics have been completely full, so  schedule yours soon!

Unlike Mammography or other forms of breast imagery, breast thermography is a technique that detects the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation that may be associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. By detecting minute variations in normal blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find thermal signs that suggest a pre-cancerous state or the presence of an early tumor that may not be large enough to be detected by physical examination, or mammography.

Breast Thermography is especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue that is difficult to see on mammography or younger women who are still menstruating.   Thermography does not replace mammography, but can be used as an additional way to screen the breasts.  This service is available to the general public as well as patients of Tara Natural Medicine.  To schedule, or to have questions answered about thermography, please message or call the office at 925-949-8604.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breast Thermography Clinic — NOVEMBER

Our next breast thermography screenings are on Thursday, November  3rd, 2016 from 10 am – 5 pm.  The price for screening is $225 – this includes screening, interpretation, report, a copy of the images and, if needed, a review of findings with one of the doctors.  Our last several clinics have been completely full, so  schedule yours soon!

Unlike Mammography or other forms of breast imagery, breast thermography is a technique that detects the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation that may be associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. By detecting minute variations in normal blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find thermal signs that suggest a pre-cancerous state or the presence of an early tumor that may not be large enough to be detected by physical examination, or mammography.

Breast Thermography is especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue that is difficult to see on mammography or younger women who are still menstruating.   Thermography does not replace mammography, but can be used as an additional way to screen the breasts.  This service is available to the general public as well as patients of Tara Natural Medicine.  To schedule, or to have questions answered about thermography, please message or call the office at 925-949-8604.

Posted in Classes and Events, women's health | Leave a comment