I’ll Be Back!

Dear Readers,  I have been gone longer than I originally planned.  Life has been full of excitement and adjustments as my family has transitioned to a new normal.  My son is doing well as a freshman at the USMA at West Point.   I will return to blogging in the New Year, so stay connected.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


Margaret Durst

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Note to Readers

Dear Readers,  Thank you for being loyal followers.  I have enjoyed publishing to you for quite a few years – 14 years for those of you that started with me via Mason County News.

I will be taking a long and necessary break as I send my only son off to college.  I will hopefully resume sometime in the late summer early fall.

Warmest Regards,

Margaret Durst



Kidneys and Bladder – A Natural Perspective

KIDNEYS are the organs that maintain our water balance and help manage the pH of our bodies.  While we generally think of kidneys as organs that get rid of water, they actually conserve water by filtering waste products into urine while returning the rest to the blood stream.  Approximately 100 quarts of liquid are filtered through the kidneys daily with only 1½ quarts passing out of the body as urine.

High protein diets are hard on the kidneys.  URIC ACID, a by-product of protein metabolism, must be eliminated by the kidneys.  If too much protein is consumed, the kidneys get overloaded with waste which can result in high blood pressure, joint problems, and fluid retention.  Many of the herbs used for kidney conditions help to neutralize uric acid so that it can be eliminated.

GOUT is a condition that results from too much uric acid.  It is a very painful condition that happens when the uric acid crystallizes – usually in the extremities like the big toe. Supporting the kidneys with cherry juice and herbs to strengthen the kidneys and neutralize uric acid can be very helpful.

Traditional Chinese medicine views the kidney as a major ENERGY CHANNEL or meridian in the body.  Imbalances along this energy channel tend to affect other parts of the body related to this energy channel.  Accordingly, kidney imbalances may relate to dry mouth, lung congestion, low back or hip pain, knee and ankle pain or proneness to injury, and/or hemorrhoids, hernia or tailbone pain.  Working with kidney-strengthening herbs can help alleviate symptoms along this energy channel.

KIDNEY STONES and calcification in the kidneys are problems partially caused by excess calcium in the urine.  This excess calcium can be from a magnesium deficiency, a potassium deficiency, inadequate water consumption, high sodium intake, high calcium intake from unbalanced sources such as antacids, high oxalate intake from foods such as chocolate, coffee, spinach and beans, and high intake of acid-forming foods such as sugar, coffee, sodas and animal protein.  If this reminds you of my articles on pH and bone health, you are following along perfectly.  It’s all related.

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS are problematic if you aren’t drinking enough water, if you have yeast/fungus, or if your bladder is prolapsed or blocked.  There are so many good, natural ways to manage this tendency.  I like colloidal silver to help knock the infection back.  However, if the problem is recurring, it’s important to figure out why and address the underlying cause.

One of the best ways to help your kidneys is to DRINK WATER.  Good quality water is the best, most natural drink for your body.  Adding lemon juice to your water is also helpful for the kidneys as the lemon juice is alkalizing, helping the kidneys eliminate acid waste.  Unsweetened cranberry juice is another good addition to water to break down toxins and help the kidneys eliminate them.

HERBS that are useful for kidneys fall in several major groups.  Diuretics such as parsley and dandelion help with water retention.  Antiseptics such as juniper, buchu, uva ursi and cranberry fight infection.  Demulcents such as marshmallow leaf and corn silk have a soothing action.  Anti-lithics such as parsley, hydrangea and gravel root help remove stones.  Herbal tonics that strengthen and tone the urinary system include buchu, uva ursi, juniper and dong quai.  In looking for an herbal remedy for kidneys, there are many good blends that combine several of the herbs listed above.


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Get Healthier with Daily Habits

The QUEST FOR HEALTH is universal.  Throughout the ages, there has been a desire to find the one pill or potion that would restore our health and hopefully our youth – at least some of it.

Think of the resources and effort behind our modern health care system.  Think of the “MIRACLE” DRUGS that have been developed.  Think of the modern technology and sophisticated tests that we now have access to.

Yet ARE WE HEALTHIER?  I actually think we are not.  Statistics show that as a nation we aren’t healthy.  Health problems that used to be found in 50 and 60 year olds are now common in 30 and 40 year olds.  More and more people are diagnosed with cancer every day.

BEYOND the diagnosable diseases, think of how many people take blood pressure medicine or cholesterol medicine.  How many people do you know that take a medicine and actually get well?   It seems more common that people take one medicine and then another, and then another and then they get really sick.

What if the ability to GET REALLY WELL was right in front of us?  What if it was something accessible to all of us, not just the wealthy, or those with insurance?  What if the answer was not found in a simple pill you could take, but in the food that you eat?  What if the answer to good health was not something additional that you do, but something that you need to quit?  Would you quit?

Ninety percent of the time, our health problems are caused by our DAILY HABITS over time.  Many times I hear the phrase “it’s my genes”.  In a small percentage of cases, it really is the genes; however, most of the time it is the inherited lifestyle and diet that cause the problems.

When dealing with a chronic health problem, the most PROFOUND CHANGES almost always come from diet and lifestyle changes.  From my own personal experience in dealing with health problems, the best and longest lasting results came from diet and lifestyle changes.

So what do these diet and LIFESTYLE CHANGES really mean?  I am going to borrow some tips from Dr. Julian Whitaker’s book “Shed 10 Years in 10 Weeks”.  The FIRST TIP is to eat 5 to 8 servings of different vegetables each day.  Wow, that’s a lot of vegetables, and it’s certainly a lot more than most of us like, much less eat.  (I have to take vegetables in a pill form – not ideal, but it is the best way I have found to be consistent.)

The SECOND TIP is to drink 8 glasses of water per day.  Many health conditions involve dehydration.  Good water (not chlorinated) is the best cellular rejuvenator.   Plus the water should replace some of the drinks that contribute to certain health problems such as sodas, tea or coffee.

The THIRD TIP is to eat the right kind of carbohydrates.  This means whole grains, beans, and fruits and vegetables.  This does not mean things made from white sugar or white flour.  Starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes should be limited to 2 to 3 servings per week.

The FOURTH TIP is to eat three servings of fruit each day.

The FIFTH TIP is to exercise regularly.  There is lots to say about exercise, but I am out of space.

These health tips have the ability to DRASTICALLY CHANGE your health and they are available to you and to every one.  The first time I followed this plan, I did just the first 2 tips and lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks. Try them for yourself and see how you feel.

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