Archive for the ‘Health Tips’ Category

It’s easy to buy almost anything over the internet. And considering the price cuts that true “warehouse retailers” can offer, it’s often less expensive to buy products online. But just like you wouldn’t want to get “discount antibiotics” off of an online marketplace (and you can’t, anyway), it’s an equally sketchy market for nutritional supplements and herbs. There are safe ways to buy online, but it mean turning down some seemingly good deals.

Over the last year, investigations of online retailers and scientific studies of their products have revealed the prevalence of counterfeit supplements. The market must be very attractive to counterfeiters: An expensive product with a good reputation can be reasonably well faked with some bottles, a label printer and pills filled with whatever looks most like the original. Even some mainstream supplement manufacturers have been caught selling less-than pure products.

Supplement fakery falls into a few basic categories.Supplements

  • Dilution – Some supplements contain a diluted version of the product they are selling, cut with inert ingredients.
  • Substitution – The herb or compound supposed to be in the pill is from an entirely different plant which is less expensive and more available.
  • Repurposing – The actual product is acquired from the manufacturer (legally or illegally) after it has expired or is discarded for other reasons and re-bottled as “new”.

The best way to get a reliable, safe product is through your doctor’s office, but we recognize that we don’t have everything under the sun, and we don’t always have it in stock. So, other than buying your supplements directly from your doctor’s office, how can you find the recommended supplements elsewhere, possibly at a discount?

1) Only buy from recognizable businesses – if they’re selling on eBay or Amazon, they should also have their own website that also sells items – with industry certifications and a BBB rating.

2) Only buy brands recommended by your doctor. Not all brands are equally committed to product purity. Products that your doctor sells are either only available to doctor’s offices (so beware finding them elsewhere if it says that on the bottle!) or are of equally high quality with rigorous testing. If you wish to purchase another brand’s version of a recommended product, check with your doctor.

3) If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Prices varying by more than 15% from the cost at your doctor’s office or from the manufacturer’s website are more likely to be counterfeit. Honest retailers need honest profit to run their business; shady resellers can offer a greater discount on product that isn’t what it seems.

We understand that the prices of some supplements seem prohibitive, and we don’t mean to dissuade anyone from shopping around. If there is a less expensive way to get what your doctor wants you to have – go for it! But we also want to make sure our patients are using safe and effective products. The price tag for these products includes research, high-quality ingredients and independent third-party testing for purity and contamination. That’s why we use them!

Some further reading:

Read Full Post »


The article linked above has some of the simplest and best advice for every body (and everybody) on the planet: Exercise.

And remember that exercise comes in many forms! If all you think of is Jane Fonda or Billy Blanks or that merciless gym teacher you once had – and it fills you with dread, boredom or disgust – there is a form of exercise out there that can make you excited to get to it! Or maybe you feel hampered by past injury or present illness – there is still some kind of movement your body will be happy with, and that can make you happier and healthier.

Need some ideas? Give Tilia a call and schedule an appointment with your doctor to go over the ways in which you can get your particular body moving and keep your brain happy about it.

Read Full Post »

The easy answer is: Not really.

We heard the recent news stories, too. While we were mulling over the best way to address this issue for our patients and their families, we received the following press release from Thorne Research.This represents our position on this new information, as well, and does so with excellent clarity.


As you may be aware, an article published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests there is an association between elevated plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and a heightened risk of prostate cancer.

This study must be interpreted with a significant degree of caution for a variety of reasons:

  • The data came from what is referred to as a retrospective, nested, case-control study. The data was extracted from another, much larger, previously conducted trial that was not originally intended to examine the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid levels and prostate cancer.  In other words, the original study was not designed to determine any of the conclusions reached in the analysis contained in the article.
  • The study’s results conflict with the results from other studies that do suggest that omega-3 fatty acids offer a protective benefit against prostate cancer; and these other studies were, in fact, designed to analyze that very outcome. (See link) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629172/
  • Identifying one particular physiologic marker in a group of individuals with a given condition – in this case, an elevated omega-3 level in men with prostate cancer – does not prove causation, especially when that marker can be influenced by diet or behavior and is only measured at a single point in time.
  • It is also hugely important to realize that the authors of this study did not assess any of the participants’ dietary intake of fatty fish or omega-3 nutritional supplements – the study’s conclusions are based wholly on the results of a single blood test.
  • The omega-3 index, which measures both EPA and DHA within red blood cells, is a much more accurate indicator of long-term omega-3 intake and tissue status than is the plasma omega-3 level, which is subject to significant day-to-day variability.
  • A number of confounding risk factors might have influenced the purported outcomes in the study, despite attempts by the investigators to account for them:
  1. 53 percent of the subjects with prostate cancer were smokers.
  2. 64 percent of the cancer subjects regularly consumed alcohol.
  3. 30 percent of the cancer subjects had at least one first-degree relative with prostate cancer.
  4. 80 percent of the cancer subjects were overweight or obese.
  • Considering the extensive body of literature that supports the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids, there is no credible biological mechanism, nor is one suggested in the article, that would explain why these essential fatty acids might increase tumorigenesis.

Summary:  Given the inconsistent data attributable to omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer, and acknowledging the broad range of health benefits that are almost universally accorded to omega-3 fatty acid consumption, it would be premature to stop eating fish or to discontinue taking omega-3 nutritional supplements on the basis of this study.

In Health,

Robert Rountree, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Thorne Research, Inc.


We welcome you to contact your doctor with any reservations or concerns you have about your supplementation or health regimens – at any time! Call our office to schedule a consult to re-evaluate your current wellness plan with your doctor. And if you aren’t yet a patient at Tilia Natural Health, we welcome the opportunity to help you feel and live your best – give us a call.

Read Full Post »

Did you know….

Did you know….

1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This most likely applies to half the world’s population.
2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
3. Even mild dehydration slows down your metabolism as much as 3%.
4. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
5. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of those with that complaint.
7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page.
8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45% and it can decrease the risk of breast cancer by 79% and bladder cancer by 50%.

Are you drinking the amount of water recommended every day? For adults: 2-3 quarts of water per day depending on activity level. For children: 1/3 of their body weight in ounces. If you carry a water bottle with you, you are more likely to reach your goal!

Read Full Post »

Spring is here!

Now is the perfect time to create the conditions for renewal in your body. Tilia Natural Health will help support your healthiest inner self this season with our Spring Cleanse Kit. In addition to a brief consultation to establish your unique detox goals, we are offering a discount on a 2-week supplement regime that will cleanse the bowels and support the liver.

The Spring Cleanse Kit includes a 30-minute visit and 2 weeks of specific supplements to support healthy elimination and detox.
* $75 for current patients
* $100 for new patients
This is a discount of more than 30% off the regular pricing for these products and services.

Come into the new season with high energy, clear skin and zest for life! Call now to schedule your visit.

This offer is good through April, so reserve your time now.

Read Full Post »

Tilia Natural Health is excited to announce that we will be holding a drop-in Vitamin B-12 Injection Clinic starting January 2012.

Are you feeling run down, low on energy or depressed?

You may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is also protective against cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well as treating certain medical conditions such as peripheral neuropathy in diabetics, sciatica, chronic pain, migraine headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, dandruff, acne, menstrual cramps, asthma, smoking cessation and is recommended by Oncologists to help heal the nervous system after chemo and radiation.

Stop in to Tilia Natural Health for a quick, low-hassle Vitamin B12 injection to help boost your mood and fight fatigue.

Drop-In Hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-12pm, or add to your existing appointment

Open to all current Tilia patients as well as the general public. Appointments also available.

January Special: $15 per Vitamin B12 Injection  (Regularly $25/injection)

Call our front desk with questions: (206) 257-5817

Read Full Post »

(Class Notes from Dr. Blesoff)

Thank you to everyone who attended our community class “Spring into Spring: Creating a Cleanse”, this past Wednesday evening at Tilia Natural Health. I had such a great time talking with all of you! For those who couldn’t join us, this post will highlight some of the ideas I touched on.

Spring is a great time to plan an intentional detox or cleanse for yourself. It is a season of transition, physically and energetically, from inward to outward. We see this in the animals and plants around us as they emerge from hibernation and the comforts of the soil. That which has been stored over winter may no longer serve us in spring. A detoxification plan can work to facilitate this transition physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The goals of a cleanse include:
• Optimize and support all the organs of Elimination
• Decrease your Total Body Burden by Minimize intake of toxins, Mobilize toxins, and Maximize excretion of toxins
• Address the physical, mental, and spiritual realms

If you are under the care of a physician or following a medication regimen, please inform your health care provider that you are planning on doing a light detox as it may shift the metabolism of certain prescription medications.

Plan ahead and pick a time where you can set aside time for yourself, with minimal commitments, to start . You can do this detox for 2 to 4 weeks.

Our primary organs of elimination include: Skin, Lungs, Kidney, Colon/Liver, and Mind. Below are some suggestions to optimize function of each, this is not an all-inclusive list, but some of what we touched on during the Detox class earlier this week:

Increase your fiber intake when you increase your veggie intake!

• Optimize digestion by taking 1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar (in a little water) before meals or taking digestive enzymes with meals
• Pick one or two food groups to eliminate from your diet. These may be foods that you are suspicious or curious about it’s effect on your body. Some ideas to start with: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nightshades, citrus, potatoes.  For information and ideas on meal planning, one of my favorite resources is the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog by personal chef Alissa Segersten and nutritionist Tom Malterre MS, CN.  Their cookbook is fantastic.
• Increase your fiber intake. Your goal should be 25-30 grams per day. It is best if fiber comes from fresh vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, beets, dark leafy greens, turmeric, burdock, onions, garlic. These veggies will also enhance Liver detoxification pathways.

• Minimize toxins in your food. Use the http://www.ewg.org “Dirty Dozen/Clean 15” Guide to prioritize organic picks
• Castor Oil Packs 3-4 nights per week to tonify the Liver and improve lymphatic circulation
• Optimize regular elimination with daily exercise

• Minimize toxic load from your skin care products. Take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s latest post on how to read product labels and know what chemicals to avoid http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/\
Try this: Dry Skin Brushing before bed. See my previous post for more details
SWEAT is an excellent way to encourage elimination through the skin.  Though exercise is optimal, sweating in the sauna or steam room is also very efficient way to detox through the skin.

• Decrease exposure to chemical irritants including strong perfumes and pollution
• Deep breathing after exercise, as part of a meditation practice, or relaxing before bed
Try This: Inhale X 4 count, Exhale X 8 count, Hold x 4 count. Repeat 5 to 10 times

herbal tea is a great way to increase hydration

• Take a break from coffee, soda, alcohol (it doesn’t have to be cold turkey, make it gradual)
• Increase your hydration.  Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water or herbal teas
• Substitute green tea, coconut water, or herbal teas. Some of my favorite herbs: Yarrow, dandelion root, ginger, Elder flower, schisandra, burdock root, nettle leaf

• “Unplug” your cell phones, TV, computers, and other technologies 1 hour before bed.
• Clear the clutter of your mind and your home (maybe organize a goodwill drop-off)
• This can be a time for reflection. Be gentle with yourself. Pay attention to any thoughts, emotions, or feelings that may come up for you during this time. Let them go as needed.

These are very basic fundamental suggestions, a place to start. Following these tips will point you (and your body) in the right direction toward enhancing your body’s ability to Detoxify that which you no longer need.

We also discussed specific products to support areas of detoxification. Contact your doctor at Tilia Natural Health to learn more about these.

Please join us for our next monthly community class on Thursday May 12, 2011 from 6-8pm. Dr. Laura Walton will be speaking on the topic Allergies: seasonal, food, and environmental. Learn more about it on our website.

In health,
Jamine Blesoff, ND

Read Full Post »

It looks like the “radioactive plume” released by the nuclear disaster following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will be reaching US shores tomorrow, March 18. It is predicted to reach Southern California tomorrow, in minute detectable levels. I found this information in today’s NY Times Science section:

Interactive Radioactive Plume map

Interactive NY Times Radioactive Plume map

You can see that the dosage of radiation dissipates as it travels the distance from Japan to the US. While this prediction does not give specific units of radiation, here is a chart from the CDC website to help with some perspective:

  • Exposure to cosmic rays during a roundtrip airplane flight from New York to Los Angeles 3 mrem 0.03 mSv
  • One dental x-ray 4?15 mrem 0.04?0.15 mSv
  • One chest x-ray 10 mrem 0.1 mSv
  • One mammogram 70 mrem 0.7 mSv
  • One year of exposure to natural radiation (from soil, cosmic rays, etc.) 300 mrem 3 mSv

Here is a Washington Dept of Health report on current risk of radiation exposure. They seem to be updating this link daily, so check back every day if you are feeling concern.

I am keeping tabs on this issue because I am saddened by the devastation in Japan and feel that in the US, while of course we want to protect ourselves and our families, we are so scared that we are not able to properly care for the our emotions and the emotions of our loved ones. I am also disgusted that companies that sell Potassium Iodide are increasing their prices for this product to play on the general public fear of radiation expose.

As it is now, there does not seem to be a risk to Washingtonians. If more nuclear reactors heat and possibly melt down, we all may need to reevaluate and begin taking precautions. In the meantime and if there is any exposure to deal with, I would recommend the following diet, based on the historical data that Dr. Akizuki fed his staff and patients a strict diet of brown rice, miso and tamari soy soup, wakame, kombu and other seaweed, Hokkaido pumpkin, and sea salt and prohibited the consumption of sugar and sweets. As a result, he saved everyone in his hospital, while many other survivors perished from radiation sickness. More from that article:


Whole grains help to protect us from the deleterious health effects of radiation exposure in five ways:

  1. Grains are low on the food chain. Although they may have been exposed to pollution and radiation, they do not have the concentration of contaminants that is found in meat and large fish, which are at the top of the food chain.
  2. Important with respect to radiation protection is the high fiber and phosphorous contents in grains. The binding ability of these substances helps the body to remove poisons.
  3. The bulking factor of grains lessens the intestinal transit time and so hasten the elimination of all toxins.
  4. Being neither very acid nor very alkaline, grains help us to maintain the middle-range pH that has been found to increase our resistance to radiation.
  5. Whole grains provide vitamin B6, which is indispensable for the thymus. In addition, their calcium content guards against uptake of radioactive strontium, and their vitamin E and selenium prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.


  1. Refined, genetic modified and processed foods
  2. Fatty foods (meat, dairy products)
  3. Simple sugars (white sugar), soft drinks
  4. Dairy, produce, sea vegetables coming from an area exposed to radiation

Along with eating healthily, we can care for the emotions of our families, friends, and communities. Fear breeds ill-health and disease. Along with reassurances that we really don’t know how this will turn out, but that we will be ok, there are many flower essences, herbal teas, and botanical formulas that can help calm the nerves. Visit your naturopathic physician, herbalist, or local herb shop for ways to help support your community.

Finally, the amount of iodide in Potassium iodide (SSKI) tablets can make a healthy person sick if there is no actual radiation exposure (and even with radiation exposure, but the risk is worth it!). It is my professional medical opinion to NOT take these tablets unless or until there is an actual threat. Instead, focus on the iodine found naturally in sea vegetables like kelp, nori, and many others that are commercially available if you would like to make sure your innate iodine stores are sufficient.

Read Full Post »

Many patients have asked the physicians at Tilia Natural Health how to protect themselves from possible radiation exposure. First, I’d like to suggest that we all help each other not succumb to fear-mongering being propagated by the media. The truth is that we don’t know much yet- how much radiation is being released, and if or when we will be affected in this country.

I  will assure you that I will vigilantly keep up to date with media sources I trust to try to find ‘the truth,’ and will let you know my thoughts on how to most optimally stay healthy.

In the meantime, we can keep perspective that this is a very real, immediate crisis for hundreds of thousands of people living in Japan. Here, now, we can pray for our fellow humans. We can pray that all the world’s governments will revisit and seriously consider the wide-spread implications of housing nuclear power plants anywhere on the planet without adequate safety systems in place. We can also practice daily wellness for ourselves and our families, including eating more sea veggies than perhaps we normally would.

Three articles that I have found that are helping to ground me in this truly terrifying catastrophe:


Thanks to Karyn Shwartz, owner of the new herb shop, Sugarpill, on Capitol Hill in Seattle, for this one: http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/health/radiation.htm


Read Full Post »

by Dr. Jamine Blesoff


Choose Organic berries for the most health benefits

Eating dark-skinned berries is important for maintaining health and preventing disease.  Regular dietary intake of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and grapes can improve cardiovascular health, immune health, and eye health.    They are excellent sources of phenolic compounds called anthocyanidins; important anti-oxidant compounds that work to decrease inflammation (in blood vessels), prevent tumor cell growth, stabilize cell membranes (in allergies), and improve brain function.

The high phenolic content in the skins has shown additional antioxidant action on lowering LDL cholesterol.  This is one reason why some studies have shown protective benefits in moderate consumption of red wine in people with high cholesterol or atherosclerosis.

The benefits of regularly eating dark berries have proven to be extensive.  So, how can you incorporate eating these tasty morsels into your life?

Eat at least ½ cup per day or 3-4 cups of organic berries per week.  Eat them raw as a snack, add frozen berries to your protein smoothie, layer it within yogurt topped with nuts, add it to any dessert, or try the recipe below:

Berry Hazelnut Salad (with Honey Poppy Seed Vinaigrette)

Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook 2nd ed


8 cups mixed greens

2 cups mixed fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or other local berries)

½ cup hazelnuts, roasted (can substitute almonds or walnuts)

3 to 4 green onions, sliced into rounds

incorporate a variety of organic berries into your life


¼ C extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1-2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp poppy seeds (can substitute flax or sesame seeds)

¼ tsp sea salt

  1. Rinse and dry the greens, place into a large salad bowl.  Rinse and dry the berries.  Place berries atop the greens.  Chop the nuts and add them to the salad along with the green onions.
  2. To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a glass jar, and shake well.  Pour over the salad just before serving


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »