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Welcome Dr. Kristen Donigan

This health tip is especially exciting for me as I have the pleasure of announcing that a new physician, Kristen Donigan, DO, has joined WholeHealth Chicago and is available for appointments. After a decade of trying to find my first physician associate, I felt blessed when Casey Kelley, MD, joined us, though I was concerned […]

Dr. Casey Kelley and Integrative Medicine

There’s a most exciting development at WholeHealth Chicago this week, but first let’s take a brief look at the 20-year arc of what we know as alternative medicine. Since the early 1990s, when data started appearing about the unexpectedly wide use of alternative therapies by the US public, there’s been a nonstop conversation about what […]

Vitamin K

In the 1930s, researchers in Denmark observed that chicks on a fat-free diet experienced bleeding problems. By l939, they were successful in isolating an alfalfa-based compound that effectively stopped the bleeding. Because of its ability to help blood clot–called coagulation–this substance was named vitamin K, for Koagulation. Over time, scientists discovered that “friendly” bacteria in the intestinal tract produce sufficient quantities of this nutrient to meet most of our body’s needs. Another 20% of this fat-soluble vitamin is acquired from foods (it’s particularly abundant in leafy green vegetables). Vitamin K helps to prevent excessive bleeding and promote strong bones. A number of other health benefits are currently being researched.

Spirulina and Kelp

For thousands of years, traditional healers in China and other parts of the world have looked to the water for healing remedies. Spirulina and kelp were two key finds.

Spirulina is a small, single-celled microorganism that’s rich in chlorophyll, a plant pigment that gives so many lakes and ponds their dark blue-green color. Kelp, in contrast, is a brown algae that grows only in the sea. The name refers to any of the numerous long-stemmed seaweeds that belong to the order Laminariales or Fucales.

Kava

A member of the pepper family, kava (or kava-kava) is a natural tranquilizer that soothes jangled nerves and eases anxiety with few of the mind-dulling effects of prescription relaxants. Its Latin name, Piper methysticum, means “intoxicating pepper,” and indeed, on the South Pacific islands where it is grown, kava is made into a traditional beverage that is drunk at ceremonies and on social occasions–as alcohol is in other societies–to relax people and induce a sense of well-being.

Kidney Stones

My guess is that there’s never been a human being in the history of mankind who ever answered “Yes, sure, okay!” to the question “Would you like to pass another kidney stone?” We’re not positive why some people get stones and others don’t, but stone formation does run in families, and has less to do with diet than we once thought. When the stone, which forms in the kidney, decides to move, it’s during the l-o-n-g passage down the ureter (the tube from the kidney to the bladder) that causes so much pain.