Magnesium – Better for Depression than Prescription Drugs

Do you have enough magnesium in your diet? Magnesium has been shown to help muscle cramps, as well as constipation, kidney stones, osteoporosis, insomnia, fibromyalgia and asthma, and recent studies have shown that magnesium can be very effective as a treatment for depression and possibly PTSD, ADHD and stress or anxiety. What can you do to make sure you have enough magnesium in your daily diet?  Continue reading

Fighting the Flu Naturally – 15 Top Tips, Herbs, Vitamins and Antiviral Remedies

The United States is getting hit quite hard right now with the flu and flu-like viruses. It seems like a hopeless battle. What can you do to protect yourself? Are natural remedies bunk or beneficial? Here are 15 top natural tips, herbs, vitamins, and antiviral remedies you can take, to help build up your immune system and increase your ability to fight off the flu naturally.
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms Treated Successfully with Chinese Herb Corydalis

What is the Chinese herb Corydalis? Can multiple sclerosis symptoms of pain be effectively treated using the herbal supplement corydalis? Can herbs help relieve pain, fatigue, and What results can one expect to achieve? Find out more by reading the insights of Dr. Kevin Lance Jones, OMD, LAc., and his patient June’s journey with herbal treatment of the pain, weakness and discomfort associated with multiple sclerosis.

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What is Naturopathy?

What is Naturopathy?

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What is Naturopathy?
In the dictionary, Naturopathic Medicine is defined as, “the integration of alternative practices such as Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Oriental Medicine with modern scientific diagnostic methods and standard of care.” In a few words, Naturopathy is the usage of natural methods and non-toxic remedies to improve or restore health.

Naturopathy has been around for centuries. The Chinese are known for their usage of acupuncture. The Greeks and especially Hippocrates described in their literature many Naturopathic principles like the usage and benefits of water, diet, massage, herbs and physical therapies. During the 19th century, Naturopathy was extensively developed with more than 20 Naturopathic schools in the United States (today there are only four). The practice of Naturopathic medicines declined as the use of pharmaceutical drugs increased. However, in the past several decades there has been a resurgence of interest in Naturopathy. Today there are more people consulting a natural health practitioner in the United States than their primary care practitioner.

What are the main principles of Naturopathy?
The body’s inherent ability to heal itself: The body, with the appropriate use of non-toxic remedies, has the ability to recover its initial functions. For that to be accomplished, the Naturopath needs to investigate and find all the different causes of the symptoms expressed by the patient by conducting a very detailed questionnaire. Then, if it is possible, the naturopath will help the patient to remove, one by one, the obstacles (physical and emotional) that blocked the body to use its own self-healing process.

The notion of intoxination:
Naturopaths consider that one of the reasons why people get sick is because their body is intoxicated by the consumption of too many chemicals and prescription drugs, as well as inappropriate diet. Thus, the Naturopath’s first goal is to help the patient to clear this state of intoxination.

Natural RemediesPrevent and educate: 
Information and education are very important keys given to the patients to improve their quality of life. The Naturopath carefully and thoroughly explains to his patients how to eat better, how to exercise, and how to prevent most of the current diseases. This helps the patients to become more autonomous by a better understanding of how their bodies work. Thus, a typical Naturopathic consultation includes not only the recommendation of certain remedies, but also the explanation of the reasons the body may malfunctions. As a consequence, the patient becomes more and more knowledgeable and responsible for his own health.

The idea of the Whole Person:
To really understand and find the primary causes of a person’s disease, Naturopaths always consider all the factors integrated in the patient’s lives. This includes their physical health, but also their psychological and emotional state, their environment, their genetic inheritance, and their professional and social life.

Vegetables and FruitNutrition: Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Naturopaths take a considerable time to explain to their patient how their diet is important to improve their health conditions. A personalized nutrition program is built with the patient to meet his personal needs depending of his health problems. Generally, improvements appear very quickly if the patient follows the diet recommendations faithfully.

Every person is unique:

Naturopathy is very aware of the individuality of a person. As everyone is a very unique human being with his own past, his own story and his own sufferings, every treatment is personally adapted to fulfill each patient. Because everyone has a different health history, there is not a standard treatment and not a standard dosage of the remedies. Instead, Naturopaths recommend a specific and unique treatment to each individual.

What are the different techniques utilized in Naturopathy?

They are many different techniques used in the domain of Naturopathy, and each Naturopath chooses his/her own specialties during his/her studies. Those techniques are for example: Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, different types of Massages Therapies, Iridology, Herbal medicine, Nutritional Therapy, Counseling, Mind-body therapy, Applied Kinesiology, or Cranio-sacral Therapy. We will detail some of them:

Nutritional Therapy:

Only whole food based supplements are used to improve or restore one’s health. An unhealthy body has a lot of needs for supplements but only if when they are of the best quality can they be assimilated properly. Chemically made or extracted types of vitamins are at the most not efficient, at worst harmful.

Healing HerbsHerbal Medicine:
Plants are used in different forms such as the entire plant in a tea (fresh or dried), a mother tincture (plant in alcohol), or as dried plants put in capsules. Throughout the ages people have turned to herbal medicine for healing. Many drugs used today originated in the herbal traditions of various cultures such as the medication commonly used for heart failure, digitalis, which is derived from Foxglove. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people or 80% of the world’s population use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary care.


Homeopathy is a 200-year-old practice developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It is based of two main principles. The first one states that a substance that can cause certain symptoms when given to a healthy person can cure the same symptoms in someone who is sick. The second states that the more substance is diluted, the more potent it becomes. Homeopathy is a very useful technique that has its best results on chronic symptoms because it really works on the origins of the disease.

What can Naturopathy address?

Naturopathy can improve and/or resolve almost all types of health problems from acute to chronic symptoms. Indeed, there are limitations for Naturopathic medicine, as for any type of technique or method. Naturopathy doesn’t perform miracles. Today there is more scientific research conducted on natural remedies to understand how they work. More and more physicians are accepting the concept of Naturopathy. Naturopathy can help in certain areas where conventional medicine cannot. But, Naturopathy also needs the competence of conventional medicine. Naturopathy is in fact a complementary medicine. When naturopathic and conventional medicine work together, all the benefits accrue for the patients, and that is certainly the most important.

Who should consult a Naturopath?
Anyone who is concerned about his own health and wants to eliminate or reduce the use of chemicals medications. Anyone who wants a better understanding on how to prevent illness and cure it with natural remedies. Anyone who is ready to make changes in his/her way of living and thinking. Naturopathy is wonderful for babies, children, adults and the elderly. It is a family orientated medicine that can improve everyone’s health. “The body is the temple of the soul”, and we need to take care of our body very carefully if we want to live a happy and healthy life.

Beatrice LevinsonBeatrice Levinson is a Naturopath and submitted this article to MBHA as a member and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  For more information about membership, contact us or visit our website at 

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

What is Essential Oil and Aromatherapy?

What Are Essential Oils?
lavender oil
An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aromatic compounds from a wide variety of plants, flowers, and herbs.  Essential oils are made from berries, roots, stems and leaves of plants.   There are more than 150 common essential oils that are used in a variety of ways, although many more oils exist.  The term “essential” refers to the “essence” of the plant.


Image credit:

Image credit:

Essential oils are generally created by distillation with steam, although other methods can be used to extract the oil.  Essential oils are used in aromatherapy for healing.  They are also used in perfumes, cosmetics, and cleaning products, and added to foods for flavoring.

Essential oils are extensively used  in aromatherapy and in combination with other holistic health practices such as massage or energetic healing.   Essential oils have been found to have a wide variety of health benefits, and are currently being tested in laboratories by researchers for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases including:

  1. bronchitis
  2. heart disease
  3. cancer
  4. HIV
  5. asthma

How Do Essential Oils Enter the Body?
Essential oils enter the body in three ways:

  • They can be inhaled
  • They can be absorbed into the skin
  • They can be eaten.

Some oils oils are strong in nature and can cause side effects if they are not taken in the appropriate manner and quantities.   Some oils may cause allergic reactions.   A complete patient history should be taken before applying essential oils. Always consult a medical practitioner before using these oils, internally or topically.

essential oil massageApplying Oils to the Skin
Essential oils can be very effective when applied to the skin.  For example, an oil blend that contains black pepper (Piper nigrum) or ginger (Zinziber officinalis) essential oil can be applied to the skin to reduce arthritis pain and improve flexibility, or an oil that contains German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) can be applied to treat eczema. Many of the citruses oils are phototoxic.  This means that particular compounds can become toxic when exposed to sunlight. This is not of concern when diffused or sprayed but when applied to the skin, it can be toxic.  It is suggested, then that the person using phototoxic oils, is not exposed to the sun for at least 24 hours after applying the oil.  Some oils need to be diluted, because they can be irritating when applied directly to the skin.  A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an essential oil that has never been used before.


Inhaling Essential Oils

Inhaled essential oils can affect the body through several systems and pathways. The odor molecules travel through the nose and affect the limbic system, the emotional brain, often bringing relief and healing.  If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use essential oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using essential oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an essential oil that you’ve never used before.
counselingIngesting Essential Oils
Oral ingestion of essential oils is NOT recommended except under the strict guidance of a aromatherapist, medical doctor or health practitioner because many essential oils can be toxic to the liver or kidneys and the chemical breakdown in the stomach can change the effects of the essential oils. For information about the healing properties of oils, contact an aromatherapist.   Essential oils should always be treated as medicine and should not be carelessly used or misused.

Herbal Essence DropperCommon Types of Essential Oils
Some popular essential oils include the following:

  • Agarwood oil
  • Ajwain oil
  • Amber oil
  • Ambrette seed
  • Amyris oil
  • Angelica root oil
    Anise Oil
  • Anise oil
  • Atlas Cedar
  • Balsam oil
  • Basil oil
  • Black Sage oil
  • Siam Benzoin Resinoid
  • Bergamot oil
  • Bitter Orange oil
  • Black Currant Bud Absolute
  • Black Currant Bud Concrete
  • Black Pepper oil
  • Boronia Absolute
  • Buchu oil
  • Calophyllum (Fatty Oil)
  • Cajeput oil
  • Camphor oil
  • Cannabis flower oil
  • Caraway oil
  • Cardamom Seed oil
  • Carrot Seed oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Cedar Wood oil
  • Cedar Leaf oil
  • Celery oil
  • chamomileChamomile oil
  • Roman Chamomile oil
  • German Chamomile oil
  • Calamus Root oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Clary Sage oil
  • Clove oil
  • Copla resin
  • Coffee oil
  • Coriander oil
  • Costmary oil
  • Costus Root Cranberry Seed oil
  • Cumin oil
  • Curry Leaf oil
  • Cypress oil
  • Davana oil
  • Dill oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Eucalyptus Citriodora oil
  • Eucalyptus Dives oil
  • Eucalyptus Globulus oil
  • Eucalyptus Polybractea oil
  • Eucalyptus Radiata oil
  • Eucalyptus Smithi oil
  • Eucalyptus Essential OilEucalyptus Staigeriana oil
  • Everlasting oil
  • Fennel seed oil
  • Fenugreek oil
  • Fir Needle oil
  • Frankincense oil
  • Galbanum oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Ginger oil
  • Grapefruit oil
  • Green Myrtle oil
  • Greenland Moss oi
  • Henna oil
  • Helichrysum oil
  • Honeysuckle aboslute
  • Hyssop oil
  • Inula Graveolens oil
  • Jasmine oil
  • Juniper oil
  • Juniper berry oil
  • Khella oil
  • Laurel oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Lavandin oil
  • Lemon OilLemon oil
  • Lemon Verbena oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Lemon Myrtle oil
  • Lime oil
  • Litsea cubeba oil
  • Lotus oil
  • Mandarin oil
  • Mandarin Petitgrain oil
  • Marjoram oil
  • Mastic oil
  • May Chang oil
  • Melissa oil
  • Mentha Arvensis oil
  • Mint oil
  • Moroccan Chamomile oil
  • Moroccan Thyme oil
  • Mountain Sage oil
  • Mugwort oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Myrrh oil
  • Myrtle oil
  • Neroli oil
  • Niaouli
  • Nutmeg oil
    Orange Oil
  • Sweet Orange oil
  • Orange leaf oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Orris oil
  • Palmarosea oil
  • Parsley oil
  • Patchouli oil
  • Perilla Essential oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Petitgrain oil
  • Pine oil
  • Pine Geranium oil
  • Ravensare oil
  • Red Cedar oil
  • Rose oil
  • Rosehip oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Rosemary Camphor oil
  • Rosemary Cineoleoil
  • Rosemary Verbenone oil
  • Rosewood oil
  • Sage oil
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Sassafras oil
  • Savory oil
  • Schisandra oil
    Scotch Pine
  • Scotch Pine oil
  • Spearmint oil
  • Spike lavender oil
  • Spikenard oil
  • Spruce oil
  • Star anise oil
  • Tangerine oil
  • Tansy oil
  • Tarragon oil
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Thuja oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Thyme thymol oil
  • Thyme thujanol oil
  • Thyme linalol oil
  • Thyme geraniol oil
  • Tsuga oil
  • Tuberose Absolute
  • Turmeric oil
  • Valerian oil
  • Vanilla
  • Vetiver oil
  • Wintergreen oil
  • Wormwood oil
  • Yarrow oil
  • Ylang Ylang oil
  • Zedoary oil

Battaglia, S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, by The International Centre of Aromatherapy, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Kilina AV, Kolesnikova MB.   The efficacy of the application of essential oils for the prevention of acute respiratory diseases in organized groups of children].  Vestn Otorinolaringol. 2011;(5):51-4. Russian. PMID: 22334926

Ross SM.  Aromatic plants, spirituality, and sacred traditions II. Holist Nurs Pract. 2010 Nov-Dec;24(6):355-7. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e3181fbb8b3. No abstract available. PMID: 21037460

Tisserand , Robert,  and Blacas, Tony.  Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals.

Woronuk G, Demissie Z, Rheault M, Mahmoud S. Biosynthesis and therapeutic properties of Lavandula essential oil constituents.  Planta Med. 2011 Jan;77(1):7-15. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250136. Epub 2010 Jul 21. Review.  PMID: 20665367



This article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website  Images used in this article are free public domain from  Other images are credited.


Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.