Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), particularly the seeds, has been used medicinally for over 2000 years.  Ancient writings recommend milk thistle not only for liver and gall bladder disorders, but for poisoning of all kinds including from toxic mushrooms and snakebites. The modern use of milk thistle extract began in 1949 when animal studies showed that it could protect the liver against carbon tetrachloride poisoning.  Since then over 100 clinical trials have been performed on this miraculous medicine and it is carried in the Emergency Department pharmacies of most major European hospitals.  Milk thistle has successfully saved lives by reversing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Amanita mushroom (one of the most deadly) poisoning. Milk thistle is thought to work in three main ways: first as an antioxidant, “quenching” free radicals created from poisoning or environmental pollution.  Folks living in a smoggy area are well advised to take 600-750 mg daily of standardized milk thistle.  The best quality milk thistle is standardized to contain 70% by weight of the major ingredient silybin.  The other mechanisms of action are by protecting the cell membranes (most...

Origanum vulgare (Oregano) is native to Greece, but mostly produced today in Turkey. Like all mints, the plant has a squared stem and is extremely aromatic. Oregano loves hot dry weather and grows well at high altitudes also. The active ingredients, found in the leaves, are the volatile oils thymol and carvacol. These oils have a complex, strong, and pleasant odor. Oregano is often thought of as a “pizza” herb. The medicinal qualities of oregano fall into two major categories: bronchial dilation and anti-microbial activity. Many volatile oils will help to clear congested sinuses or even a chest cold. You could drop a few drops of the concentrated oil into the bottom of a large bowl, put in a few cups of hot water and situate yourself over the bowl, under a large towel, so you can breathe in the “fumes” of the oil coming up in the steam. Be very careful never to put concentrated volatile oils, and this certainly includes oregano, directly against mucus membranes (inside of nose, mouth, vagina and especially not in the eyes). You could...

Abnormal lipids (fats) in the blood are considered one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of premature death.  Conventional wisdom has been to evaluate blood lipids after abstaining from food for 12 hours.

Q: I’m 40 and happily married. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 2 years but no pregnancy yet. We’re pretty sure we don’t want to get into anything drastically high-tech or expensive but are certainly open to natural fertility enhancement. Any ideas?

Loss of height of one inch or more may be an indicator of a vertebral fracture.That means one of the 29 “backbones” forming the spine might have a crack or be slightly crushed.These vertebral fractures are much more common than one would think and vertebral fracture is emerging as an important indicator of osteoporosis. For many years it has been standard practice for doctors to recommend bone density evaluation (with “DEXA” scans, or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, a special type of X-ray) around menopause because estrogen is a potent bone-builder, and estrogen begins to wane at menopause, or even before menopause.According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 30 million American women (and 14 million American men) have osteoporosis today. This is a preventable disease, and if not prevented can seriously compromise quality of life, and, ultimately, longevity also.The DEXA scans measure bone density at several sites and give a standardized “score” to the bone density (called the T-score). A T-score of zero (0) is perfect.Anything below zero represents bone loss.A T-score of minus 1.5 (-1.5) means osteopenia (bone loss) and a T-score...

Q: Why Do I Crave Foods That Are “Bad” For Me? A: This is a big question. Part of the answer involves understanding the relationship between your individual digestive system and the wide variety of food choices out there. Much of what passes for “food” has not even been grown in the ground. Start with this: eat real food. Eat food that HAS grown in the ground, optimally in certified organic soil, and choose food that grew there in the good earth not too long ago. Each person has a unique relationship with food depending on various factors. For example, family background. How was food presented to you as a child? Was candy given as a bribe or treat? Food choices would ideally also be predicated on blootype. Also, consider your caloric requirements: how much do you exercise, are you mostly sedentary during the day, is your day-to-day work highly mentally demanding? When you crave a certain food, and it’s a whole food (such as a juicy ripe peach) and when you eat that food and feel good and satisfied,...

by Emily A. Kane, N.D., L.Ac. A clear, informative, 192-page guide detailing a natural approach to managing menopause. Preview the book inside > Order from Amazon > To obtain a signed copy with your own personal message, whether for yourself, or as a gift for someone else who is coming of age, you may purchase a personalized copy from Dr. Kane below: *protected content* $18.95 or send check to: Dr. Emily Kane 418 Harris St. #329 Juneau, AK 99801

PMS was classified in the early ’80s into four types by medical researcher Guy Abraham, MD. Although most women suffer from a mix of these types, it may be helpful, in terms of the most appropriate treatment strategies, to sort out symptoms as follows:

First Trimester Nausea… Yikes! First, a tried and true quotation heard many times during my adolescence from my father… “this too will pass.” You’re thrilled, all your relatives are thrilled, you’re starting to dream about darling infant outfits, researching the best pre-schools, baby-proofing the whole house, and how do you feel? Yuk! Second, full-fledged, woozy, faint, lethargic, stomach-heaving nausea is one of the signs that yes, your hormones are changing, and the pregnancy is “taking.” This is not to say that you should be worried if you DON’T feel like throwing up every few hours for the first few months, just a reassurance that healthy embryos often stir up a lot of change.