All posts by Mo Horner

Liver Fatigue in the Spring? What should you do?

Liver Fatigue in the Spring? What should you do?

liver fatigue

 

Did you catch my Facebook live last week about Spring Liver woes? Check that out at Natural Healing Omaha Encouragement and Support Group page. During a 15 minute chat with Aaron Hill from Prairie Star Botanicals, we chatted about some very important things regarding liver fatigue in the Spring so I wanted to share them here with you as well.

This time of year your liver and your gallbladder are the most active and they might actually be too busy and causing problems for you. So this is why this time of year we pay attention to those organs, and we give them a little extra love. So that's… Click To Tweet

In the world of Chinese medicine, spring is a critical time for new growth and change and expressing all the creativity that’s been bottled up in you. It’s associated with the organs, the liver and the gallbladder, sort of paired organs that act in conflict with each other. The liver needs the gallbladder, the gallbladder needs the liver. This time of year your liver and your gallbladder are the most active and they might actually be too busy and causing problems for you. So this is why this time of year we pay attention to those organs, and we give them a little extra love.

The liver is one of your major detox organs, so you know that you have to keep waste material out of your body. And where does that happen? It happens in the kidneys, in the liver and a lot of that through the skin as well. The liver is one of your major detox organs and has to handle a lot of natural substances like your hormones and let’s just say the byproducts of digestion. That’s a concise description of what the liver does. Especially in the Springtime. And the gallbladder, of course, is sort of like a holding tank for bile that needs to be secreted whenever plates are coming through the body. At the same time, we have a full moon going on. Full moons don’t last just one day. It seems like there’s a three-day transition where they’re almost full. It’s practically full for three straight days. I don’t know if you noticed but I was driving somewhere yesterday, and the moon was twice as big. When the moon’s that big, you get a lot of fire-y energy. It is adding to whatever is bothering you.

How do you know if your liver is fatigued and needs loving?

  • Nasty emotional PMS for women
  • Men and Women alike can experience an increase in anger symptoms, frustration, just sort of like acting out, it’s overexpressing feelings a little bit.
  • Cravings for caffeine or other things that might not be the best choices
  • Worsening of Anxiety/OCD symptoms
  • Severe digestive issues

Within a couple of weeks of the actual season change and a couple of weeks after, that’s when people start to experience the most digestive disruption that we talked about this a little bit earlier. Constipation, diarrhea, both of those things. Stomach aches, extra burping or reflex happening. You might at some point even feel twingy actual pain in the liver and gallbladder area.

Also when the gallbladder is having a little bit of squeaky problems, maybe it’s a bit sludgy, that kind of things, fat digestion will be reduced. What you’ll see is fat in your stools, like in the toilet, it’ll be floating on top, and that will tell you that you’re not having great digestion gallbladder. Here is a little fact- Your poop can tell you a lot about your digestive health! It’s very important to learn how to diagnose your stool.

 

liver in spring

 

The ultimate question is. What do we do about it? First off, you need to talk to somebody who really understands these transitions. Come to Prairie Star Botanicals and make an appointment. I can see you on Thursdays, and Thursday.

And then there also are a couple of quick tips.

  • Eat more greens. I’m talking about like dark, leafy, bitter tasting greens, like arugula, watercress, kale, chard and my dad’s favorite, mustard greens and collard greens. Just steam them and maybe sprinkle a little bit of sesame oil on them with some sesame seeds or your favorite plain nut. Sprinkle a little bit of garlic salt or regular salt, pepper, and my favorite, cayenne, just a little bit of cayenne pepper really brings up the flavor. It’s okay to add a little fire, just a little fire this time of year.
  • Surround yourself with wood. Liver and wood go together.  Bring wood into your house, wood furniture even.  And take walks in the woods, which bring me to the next point…
  • Get outside. The powers of getting out in the fresh air! Plant therapy can do a lot for you, and I don’t mean plant therapy as in taking your tinctures and glycerites. It’s actually getting outside, being with the plants, and just being still for a little bit. Take a walk. Take a walk out. Get some things moving. Smell the things that are coming up out of the ground right now.
  • Appreciate the dandelions and enjoy the sunshine. It’s beautiful! Beautiful first herbs.

If you like what you’re reading, invite other people into our Natural Healing Omaha Support and Encouragement group so they can learn all this good juicy material, because not everybody gets this.

Share with me what are some of your favorite things to enjoy in the Spring!  I want to know! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

 

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444.

You can read more about Ramona’s story HERE. 

 

 

      Click HERE to get your free guide “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

How to find an herbal remedy

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What Do I Need to Know about Photosensitizing Herbs and Foods?

What Do I Need to Know about Photosensitizing Herbs and Foods?

Do you find photosensitizing herbs to be a mystery?

In a recent “Ask the Herbalist” Q & A time in our Facebook group, I shared more about what you need to know if you think you might be experiencing a reaction due to photosensitizing herbs.

PHOTOSENSITIZING HERBS

 

Today I want to address these questions:

What are photosensitizing herbs?
What are the most common plants that cause photosensitivity?
What causes photosensitivity?

Photosensitivity is an unusual skin related response to ingesting or topically applying an herbal remedy or a combination of herbs. It usually occurs only on sun-exposed areas of skin, such as the face, neck and hands.

When someone thinks they may be having such a reaction from an herb or plant, I always ask if the person may be taking any medication. I suggest they check with their dr if they are not sure. The reason I ask this right away is that herbs often get blamed for problems that end up being related to medications, or foods. It could also be related to their lifestyle and especially emotional issues that may have come up. I see this often with hives, which can happen in a situation of increased stress.

If you are fairly certain about the connection between the herbs you are taking and your skin response, discontinue use immediately. Most of these kinds of problems clear up within 24 hours, usually much sooner than that

Photosensitizing herbs that can create reactions in humans are usually the ones that contain a phytochemical called coumarin. Scientists think coumarin exists in plants because they provide a microbial or protective response for the plant. So, viruses and bacteria stay away from these plants. They do this for us as well, providing antimicrobial protection with medical therapy. For example, St Johns Wort is used in medical therapy to heal skin conditions like Psoriasis and Vitiligo.

Here’s a link to a great article on photosensitive herbs: Go to Article

What are some photosensitizing plants?

Plants in the Apiaceae family for starters:

  • Carrots,
  • Parsnips
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Monarda
  • Bergamot
  • Bee Balm
  • Anise seed
  • Celery seed
  • Angelica

Another note to remember is that often it’s over time that these sensitivities can arise.

If you feel like you may be having a photosensitivity reaction, rather than immediately seeing your dermatologist, reach out to an herbalist you trust. Ask them if something you are taking or eating could be a plant that causes this type of response.

If you like to watch the question and answer session where I talk about this and also answer other questions, head over to our Facebook group and join us!

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444.

You can read more about Ramona’s story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Click HERE to get your free guide “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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The Hot, Dry Constitution – Lifestyle and Diet Changes to Increase Moisture

The Hot, Dry Constitution –  Lifestyle and Diet Changes to Increase Moisture


I’ve shared with you how a Hot, Dry constitution makes you vulnerable to sickness.  Now, I’ll share some tips on what you can do about it.  Make sure to read last week’s post if you missed it. 

hot dry constitution


Alright, here are some these easy steps to DIAL BACK the HEAT and INCREASE MOISTURE.

Food, herbs, and environment are the simplest tools to restore your immune defense and stay healthy all year! Click To Tweet

Start by getting humidity into your home.

  • Put your humidifier by the bed
  • Don’t put the humidifier directly on YOU
  • If you don’t have a humidifier, keep a pot of water simmering on the stove on cold, dry days.

Increase your fluid intake!

  • Drink water at room temperature (remember, cold brings injuries to the digestion.)
  • Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, they deplete fluid (diuretic) and don’t forget the sugar is not the most healthy way to improve moisture.

Eliminate drying foods and drinks, such as:

  • Caffeine
  • Spicy Food
  • Dry Crackers
  • Dehydrated Food
  • Hot Natured Spices (like pepper, cayenne and paprika)
  • Sour Fruit (like green apples, grapes, some berries, grapefruit, and lemon)

(Think about it: sour things make you pucker and ‘astringe’ tissue they are not necessarily drying, but not immediately moistening.)

What foods and herbs are beneficial for a Hot, Dry Constitution?

Rather than immediately looking for cold food and drinks to ‘put out the fire’, search for foods, spices, and herbs that do the job more effectively, without creating an opposite problem.

You want to balance your body, not swing the problem the other way and turn HOT to COLD. Look for substances that lubricate, moisten, tonify the YIN and restore Hot, Dry tissues to normal fluid and temperature levels.

Foods Beneficial for a Hot, Dry Constitution:

Focus on sweet-flavored fruits and veggies. The foods on this list are moistening, and because they add moisture, they’re the same ones that Damp, mucusy people have to avoid.

hot dry constitution
  • Bananas, avocado, dates, figs, and raisins (sticky foods)
  • Sweet apples
  • Peaches, melons and other sweet fruits
  • Cucumbers, green beans and beets
  • Mushrooms – ok, NOT sweet, but definitely moist
  • Winter squash (butternut) and sweet potatoes
  • Oily foods and oils, sesame oil, ghee, and olive oil [oils counteract dryness – use them topically too!]

Helpful herbs for the Hot, Dry Constitution:

  • Aloe (just think about how cool and gooey aloe is)
  • Marshmallow root and Slippery elm bark
  • Mullein leaf
  • Licorice root
  • Asparagus root/Shatavari
  • Violet and Red clover
  • Elder flower and Linden flower (pictured above)
  • Elecampagne

Many of these are available in teas that contain the word ‘throat’ or ‘cough’ in the description.

The take-away: If you have a Hot, Dry constitution, implement these four practices: Increase cooling, moistening foods and herbs. Decrease hot, drying foods. Use Humidity!! Increase your fluid intake.

Are you looking for a more personal approach specific to YOU?

Reach out to me for a face-to-face, in-person herbal consultation!

I’d love to hear some of the changes you’ve implemented to avoid colds and flu this season. Feel free to SHARE!

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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Why a HOT, DRY Body Makes You Vulnerable to Colds and Flu

Why a HOT, DRY Body Makes You Vulnerable to Colds and Flu

Ready? Today I’m going to address a question. So you don’t have a Damp problem, so why does a hot, dry body also make you vulnerable to colds and flu?

Vulnerable to Colds and Flu
Why a HOT, DRY Body Makes You Vulnerable to Colds and Flu

Last week we talked about those that have a damp constitution and how they can be vulnerable to colds and flu. But, Maybe YOUR constitution runs a little HOT or DRY…. or Both. Or maybe you have an imbalance that has created HOT and DRY conditions in your body?

How do you know if you’re a HOT, DRY person?

(BTW, most of us are a combination of qualities, not strictly one or the other.)

You might identify more with HOT and DRY than COLD and DAMP or maybe you’re a combination of both, but your conditions are mild. If you’re having trouble figuring it out, let’s get together face-to-face or on Facetime. Contact me about it.

Today I am going to share with you how to identify if you have the characteristics of HOT or DRY to help you be less vulnerable to colds and flu.

[Remember, you don’t have to have ALL of these qualities – just a majority – to be HOT]

 

Characteristics of a hot, dry constitution:

Warm all the time, maybe sweaty, warmest one in the room

Tend to have red complexion, red hair, flushed, redness in the eyes, skin, more than just one place

Your tongue is red, has cracks and may even be peeled (dentists call this geographic)

You get canker sores and cold sores a lot

Fast heart rate, palpitations, anxiety

Prefer cool or cold food/drink – ice cream, cold coffee, iced tea, smoothies (this is not always a sign of HEAT and can be a different imbalance but if this is a problem combined with some of the other HOT qualities, then it’s probably HEAT.)

Tend to have reflux, GERD, hot, burpy type of indigestion

 

Spicy foods bother you, even if you love them!

People who are hot sometimes also hate Summer  and avoid hot weather

If you have more than 5 of these signs, you’re probably HOT and if the HEAT is there long enough, you can begin to develop signs of DRYNESS:

  • Thirst, you can’t drink enough.
  • You have dry skin, eyes, mucous membranes, nasal passages.
  • Instead of too much mucus you DON’T HAVE ENOUGH mucus, or it’s solid and compacted and not running out your nose.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, moisture is referred to as YIN.

When YIN depletes because of the influence of too much HEAT, you end up vulnerable to colds and flu becuase you are dry in lots of places. Places that you wouldn’t think of such as:

  • LUNGS – A dry cough, pressure in the sinuses, chronic sinus infections, lack of mucus drainage:  smokers and people in low humidity homes can be especially vulnerable to this.
  • COLON – You have dry, hard stools that may cause bleeding or hemorrhoids from straining.
  • VAGINAL area – a lack of fluids makes intimacy painful,
  • BLADDER – you have very concentrated urine.

Today’s question: Why do DRYNESS and HEAT make us vulnerable to colds and flu?

Back to herbal basics with tough cases

Here’s why:

When pathogens like the cold and flu virus enter your body, they do it thru the NOSE, EYES, MOUTH mostly.

Remember from the last post ‘the job of the mucous membranes in these places is to hold onto those nasty bugs while they get flushed OUT! Like a water slide!

Down the Tracheal Toilet it goes to be discharged through your waste removal system – poop, pee, and sweat.

When you’re dry and lack mucus, you’ve got nothing but raw, dry tissue that doesn’t encourage movement and fluidity. Your mucus defense system is down. So you’re vulnerable to attack. When your DRY, unprotected membranes have to deal with a virus, your body has to use other defense mechanisms to disable or weaken it before it weakens YOU.

So, as you can see you’re already at a disadvantage being HOT and DRY.

This leaves the question, what can we do for it? Stay tuned for the next post where I will share with you lifestyle and diet changes to implement to help increase moisture, and that will make you less vulnerable to colds on flu.

 

Have you joined our facebook group yet?  If not, head over and do so now to have free, private access to loads of helpful information!

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444.

You can read more about Ramona’s story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Click HERE to get your free guide “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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How to Avoid Colds and Flu This Season|Two Important Lifestyle Changes to Implement Today

How to Avoid Colds and Flu This Season|Two Important Lifestyle Changes to Implement Today


Ready? Today I want to share with you how you can avoid colds and flu this season. Both are at their usual peak levels, and with a couple lifestyle changes, you can increase your chances of staying healthy.

How to Avoid Colds and Flu This Season

Avoid Colds and Flus

Let’s face it – it’s everywhere. Is it really possible to avoid colds and flu?

Across the country, we’ve been having excessively cold weather and epic low temperatures.  This is giving many of us snow days with our kids, which can be a lot of fun. The flip side of that is, many times with the kids home, viral contagions come home with them. Why is it that kids catch and carry disease so well?

Partly it’s because they’re full of mucus. Mucus holds on to pathogens like cold and flu viruses. To some degree, kids and mucus go together, and that’s because of the link between their immature digestive systems and mucus itself. Kids also catch and carry disease because their immune systems are immature. Coming into contact with their environment is a part of the process of building their immune system, and sometimes the result is catching a cold.

So why is it that we adults with our grown-up immune systems catch their stuff so easily, as well as our co-workers’ and our spouse’s viral stuff? Here are a few of the major reasons we’re vulnerable to colds and flu as adults:

Lack of sleep

Overwork or excessively busy schedules

Chronic worry

Lack of exercise

Diet (this is a really big one)

Your body constitution

You have a large degree of control over some of these factors, but especially the one I want to address in this blog – diet. Let’s talk about the factors in your diet that produce too much mucus and dampness.

Why? Because dampness and mucus are two of the biggest problems that influence our exposure to colds and flu.

Dampness and mucous are two of the biggest problems that influence our exposure to colds and flu. Click To Tweet

How do you know if you have too much dampness in your body?

  • You’re full of snot and phlegm all the time.  You’re constantly clearing your throat, you’re coughing up clear mucus. These things might be associated with a cold for you right now, but in general, if your constitution is damp you’ll be experiencing this all the time.
  • You’re puffy or swollen and feel like you retain water.
  • You don’t pee out much urine because you’re retaining too much water.
  • Your stools are loose or watery.
  • You feel heavy and gain weight even if you just look at food. You feel bloated most of the time, especially at the end of the day.
  • You have a tendency to develop nodules or lumps on various parts of your body, like your arms, stomach, the backs of your shoulders, legs, even on the wrist.

In Chinese Medicine, we have a saying, “The Earth element creates Damp and the Metal element stores it.” What this means is that poor digestion becomes a problem for the lung and the large intestine. Dampness creates mucus in the lungs and mucus-y, loose, sticky stools.  Yuck!

So in other words, you’re already more prone to conditions with mucus if your constitution is damp.

What can you do about this? How can you reduce dampness and mucus and avoid colds and flu this season and for the rest of your life?

First, a lesson on snot.

avoid colds and flu

We don’t want to completely eliminate mucus because we need that healthy goo to catch the nasty stuff that’s going into our mouths and our noses.  Healthy mucus flushes viruses and dirt and environmental particles and other pathogens down what we call the ‘tracheal toilet’. This is basically your entire digestive system, starting with your mouth and throat. A healthy mucus lining is a really big factor in respiratory and immune health. Did I just blow your mind?

Two Important Lifestyle Changes You Can Implement Today to Avoid Colds and Flu.

1. Diet

You can reduce excess mucus by making tiny but daily changes to the way you eat. These might not seem small if you love your heavy, sweet foods.

-Dairy

-Grains

-Sugar

Reducing the amount of these 3 foods in your diet will significantly impact how much phlegm and dampness your digestion produces. If you don’t believe me, take these 3 foods out of your diet for just 3 days. You’ll notice a ridiculous shift in your well-being.

Grains

Grains in and of themselves are not the bad guy. They provide certain nutrients and a degree of fiber for our diets. But for those of us with damp constitutions, they increase the tendency to produce more mucus. This means allergies, blocked sinuses, weight gain, bloated stomach, and loose stools.


Sugar

What do I mean by sugar?  I’m talking about foods that are downright sweet and full of sugar. Pastries and pies, cookies and candy and some kinds of chocolate. But also some less-obvious foods. Soft drinks are one of the worst. They contain a LOT of sugar – up to 16 teaspoons in a normal-sized can! And the diet ones are full of artificial sweeteners, which create the sensation that they’re extremely sweet. This stimulates your desire for even more sweet. Did you hear what I just said? Even artificial sweeteners can stimulate your desire to eat more sweets!

Because oranges are in season in winter, I have to single out these little delicious fruits. Oranges are one of the worst offenders causing dampness in damp people.  Next time you eat an orange, notice how within a short period of time you get a wad of mucus in the back your throat. I know oranges are full of vitamin C, and that’s a really great nutrient for us this time of year. But you can get vitamin C from other fruits that don’t cause phlegm. Consider replacing oranges with green apples, pomegranate, cranberries (without the sugar added), blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a nice firm pear.  You’ll notice all of these have just a tiny degree of sourness to them. Also avoid super sweet fruit – melons, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, honeydew. Just like any sugar, they encourage more desire for sweet flavors.

I have to make special mention of a special category of dampening foods that isn’t strictly sweet. Sticky foods, like bananas, avocados, and dates aren’t so great for your damp body, even if they are loaded with nutrients. Sorry to all you avocado lovers. 🙁

Dairy

We all know that dairy is mucus-producing so I won’t spend a lot of blog time explaining this. Particularly in this season, minimize your intake of dairy. You can read more about this as you scroll down.

2. Eat for Warmth

An unusual and not commonly acknowledged piece of wisdom for damp, mucus-y people is to eat a strictly warm diet. This is especially important in cold weather climates.

Cold food injures digestion if you’re already prone to dampness. Cold can also injure digestion when these foods are eaten over a long period of time, even if you aren’t prone to dampness. Over time, coldness in food and diet causes everything from bloating to weight gain.

In Chinese Medicine, we say Dampness (which is often created by Cold) combined with Heat (an opposite but equally problematic condition) can even cause cancer in some circumstances. Avoiding cold foods is a serious thing. A warm diet allows a stressed out tummy to stop working so hard and take a break.

And speaking of tummy stress, dairy is another cold-natured, damp food that causes no end of problems for many people. Avoiding ice cream, cold milk, and cheese lightens the load on our winter bodies.

If it comes out of the fridge and you don’t warm it up, it’s too cold for you. Maybe it goes without saying, but avoid iced tea, ice water, and refrigerated fruit this time of year, too.

Even if you do warm up a cold-natured food, like milk and cheese in a recipe, for instance, they’re still mucus producing, but slightly less so. It’s certainly better than just snacking on cheese slices to go along with your favorite crackers or chugging a big glass of milk along with your sandwich.

If  you want to know more about why coldness creates dampness, you can google this information. Search ‘cold’ and ‘damp’ and the letters ‘TCM’ and that’ll help explain in the words of Traditional Chinese Medicine why cold and damp are related.


So let’s summarize:

Too much dampness makes you vulnerable to illness. To avoid excess mucus and keep your body healthy this season and all year long, follow these two simple rules:

  1. Avoid grains, sugar, and dairy – the top 3 mucus producing foods.
  2. Warm up your diet. Doesn’t a bowl of soup sound great?!

There are other body types and dietary imbalances that can lead to illness for their own unique reasons. That’s for another post.  But fitting in just these two changes can make all the difference in your health this season.

I’d love to hear some of the changes you’ve implemented to avoid colds and flu this season. Feel free to SHARE!

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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The Positive Benefits of Healthy Optimism

The Positive Benefits of Healthy Optimism


Ready? Today I want to share with you something that’s been in my thoughts lately. It’s about the positive benefits of healthy optimism and how I applied it during a dark and difficult time in my life.

The Positive Benefits of Healthy Optimism

The positive benefits of healthy optimism

I read an article in the New York Times about a study that showed that when patients were told they had a genetic predisposition to a disease, they were more likely to develop the symptoms of that disease. Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me, but it’s good information for people with jobs like mine.

I understand how labeling diseases is helpful for some people. It gives them something to call their collection of problems. But it also labels us as sick, and in our healthcare system, that means you need a drug or procedure or surgery to recover from that sickness. Granted, there are a lot of legitimate health problems, and I see all kinds of them here in my clinical practice.

But, how you view your daily health affects your ability to have an optimistic outlook. I truly believe – and it’s my personal philosophy – that your thoughts become your feelings.

Optimistic healthy thoughts create optimistic healthy people. Click To Tweet

Optimistic healthy thoughts create optimistic healthy people. I try to live by that rule myself. Similarly, when I’m guiding my clients through a discussion of their health issues, I ask about what sorts of influences they have in their life on a daily basis. We troubleshoot so we can begin to find ways to implement a healthy optimism. Some questions I ask new clients:

  • Who do you live with?
  • What kind of people are you around?
  • What is your work environment like?
  • Who do you work with?
  • What kind of things are you reading?
  • What kind of social media are you taking in and how much social media?
  • What kind of tv are you watching?

Often, I hear that right before bed, people are watching news reports filled with words like rejection, victim, restrictions, explosions, terror, attack, assault. We can’t expect restful sleep if these are the things we’re filling our minds with before bed. What’s more, a steady diet of these words and images is a recipe for fear, distrust and worry – and a good starting place for depression, anxiety, fear and ultimately, dis-ease.

My Story:

Some people say I see things through rose-colored glasses, but I’ve had plenty of setbacks in my life and lots of reasons to be negative or feel that my health could end up in a bad place. A health scare is the reason why I started working in the field I’m in now.

Some of you may know that 15 years ago, I had a breast cancer diagnosis at 40 years old. At the time, I had a little pity party and scary moment for myself wondering what was ahead for me. But then I realized it was an opportunity to make some big changes that I’d been needing to make for a long time, including learning some healthy optimism. So I did.

I began to research natural health solutions for recovering from breast cancer. I talked to anyone I could about what natural and alternative methods they used to stay healthy. I talked to everyone I felt was in good health and optimistic, and I asked them “How do you maintain your optimism, and what are some of your secrets to feeling so good?” I basically interviewed people in how to be an optimistic person. And I incorporated these things into my life.

I did go to therapy as well. In therapy, I learned that my thoughts create my feelings. So I began to watch how my thinking was creating a negative attitude and a “poor me” sort of situation. Healthy optimism has been a practice of mine now for 14 or 15 years since I recovered from breast cancer.

I encourage my clients to practice healthy optimism as well. I’ll be sympathetic, listen, and write down what they say, but ultimately they’ve come to me for change. So we’re going to talk about change, talk about healthy optimism and why it’s essential, and how to practice it.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Having a healthy attitude is part of making a change.

This is why I am such a big proponent of being part of a support and encouragement group like my Natural Healing Omaha Support and Encouragement Group , which many of my readers are involved in. I created this group to allow you to come to me with some of the challenges you’re facing and for all of us to support and encourage each other into a better place. If you’re not a member then please join us now by clicking HERE.

Share with me what you’re struggling with and let’s see what we can come up with – a healthy optimistic plan to allow you to get out of that stuck place.

Studies show that staying positive even in the face of chronic disease helps improve the immune response in your body and minimized secondary disease and co-infections. If you have a good attitude, you’re less likely to get sicker than you already are, and you’re more likely to improve over time.

A healthy optimism in your life and the lives of people around you can bring positive benefits and changes and is a small thing you can begin even today. Click To Tweet

A healthy optimism in your life and the lives of people around you can bring positive benefits and changes and is a small thing you can begin even today.

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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3 Gentle and Effective Ways to Overcome Post-Holiday Fatigue

3 Gentle and Effective Ways to Overcome Post-Holiday Fatigue


Ready? Read here for the specific tips and details of how to overcome Post-Holiday fatigue.

3 gentle and effective ways to overcome post-holiday fatigue.

post-holiday fatigue pinterest

This holiday season I stayed on track pretty well with my herbal regimen. But rest of my healthy lifestyle? Well, like most everyone else it went by the wayside.  And I felt it. I had some back pain and plain old tiredness starting to creep up, and I knew I had to start making changes to get back on track. Here are the three things I implemented to help me overcome that post-holiday fatigue and sluggishness.

1. Reintroduce Gentle Exercise and Meditation.

First, I started by reintroducing a little yoga. I found a low back pain video by a gal named Adrian. I’ve been doing it for about 4 days.  Just that short 30 minute practice has helped shake loose some tightness.  Do you have a favorite gentle exercise program?

I also returned to a short daily meditation, a healthy lifestyle practice for anyone and everyone. I set aside a specific time of day – for me its usually after dinner. I find a cozy, private spot, light a candle, put on calming music, and sit for about 30 mins.  I make sure to set a timer so I don’t get antsy. I reset and remind myself to have gratitude. We all need gratitude, don’t we? Gratitude is essential in recovering from post-holiday fatigue.

I also had a session with a friend of mine that I trust.  This friend keeps me on task with my promises.  We sat down and talked about our goals and visions for the next five years.  What do we see our work and personal lives looking like in five years? That really put some things in perspective for me.  Do you have a friend you can call and sit down with to review your life and talk about what you want?

2. Start Gentle: Cut Back on Negative Habits

Talking with my friend was another baby step to recovery. Next, I began to slowly cut back on the kind of heavy sweets and foods I was eating over the holidays.  I ate a little less each meal and stopped the snacking, which can really get out of hand during the holidays, can’t it? I also started rethinking my coffee habit and returned to green tea.  Not every day. Tiny changes are the trick. Allow yourself some wiggle room so you don’t feel deprived.

One thing people do at this time of year is go whole-hog and decide to do a cleanse or fast. They throw themselves into it, and then at the end of the fast they return to the habits that got them there in the first place! Winter is the Kidney season, associated with the Water element in Chinese medicine.  In this dark season, we’re meant to go inward and power down a smidge. When we fast, it tends to lower our body temperature just a little, and cold weather isn’t the time of year for that.

I recommend fasting as form of cleansing during the warmer season, so as Spring comes up, it’s a better time to think about a healthy cleanse plan.   I love to guide people through cleanses so ask me!

3. Begin Gently Adding In Healthy Foods

Adding in the healthful foods for your organs and for the winter season will help you overcome post-holiday fatigue. Below are some foods I recommend for just about every constitution this time of year.

  • Replace heavier root vegetables with steamed greens (collards, mustards). The longer you cook greens in water the more heavy minerals you get.  If you’re trying to increase your minerals for your bone, skin, nails and hair, keep this in mind! Try sprinkling a little vinegar on for a zippy taste!
  • Replace heavier meats with lighter, free-range poultry, and fish. If you’re going more meat-less, try tempeh.  Tempeh is a fermented soy product that provides the protein you crave when you’re cutting back.  You can use it in lots of ways. I like it seasoned and as a meat replacement in tacos, or crumbled up with my eggs.  It has a nice crunch to it that I crave.
post-holiday fatigue
  • Add one type of food for each element in Chinese medicine.  Each element represents one of these five important organs – Liver, Spleen, Kidney, Lungs, and Heart.
  1.  Liver- Beets are a super food for your liver. Next time you’re at the store, grab a bundle of this wonderful purple veggie that often gets neglected. Broil the beets and steam the tops for a colorful side dish or add cooked beets to salad.
  2. Spleen- did you know Sweet Potatoes are chock full of beta carotene? Good for the eyes and great for breakfast! (Check out my Instagram to see the sweet potato pics I’ve been posting lately) 
  3. Lungs- Garlic, onion and shallots are your best Lung-protective foods.  They’re naturally antiviral and keep the mucus loose and smooth. If you’re squeamish about mucus, keep plenty of garlic in your dishes.
  4. Kidney- Celery, seaweeds, and kidney beans benefit the Kidney element. Seaweed keeps the thyroid healthy, and is a great internal moisturizer for that winter dryness. 
  5. Heart- Bitter-tasting foods benefit the heart.  See if you can find a bitter food in your cupboard that you can sneak into your daily diet. Food aside, the Number One practice for a healthy heart is practicing gratitude. Daily reminders of the blessings in your life, even the simplest ones, are my top recommendation for health health!

Schedule regular down time. A 10-minute meditation in the morning or before bed helps to trigger the neurotransmitters that down-regulate anxiety. Science says so!

Turn off phone ringers and social media notifications, setting some discipline around answering emails, and respond less often to needy friends, family and co-workers.

By implementing these gentle changes one at a time, you can get yourself back on track. If you need help or guidance with overcoming your post-holiday fatigue and sluggishness, I would love to help you out. Contact me and let’s talk a bit!

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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Three Exciting Changes at Natural Healing Omaha!

Three Exciting Changes at Natural Healing Omaha!
Exciting Changes

Today I am happy to announce 3 exciting changes I’m making that are going to support and encourage you even more!

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying this time of year as we head to the end of 2018 and look forward to 2019.  I know I’m excited about some of the things on board here at Natural Healing Omaha.  It’s going to be a great year! I have three big changes that are specifically for you, my favorite people. All of these changes involve having more of an online presence to support you in your natural living journey. 

#1 of the exciting changes- NEW Facebook group

Yup, I want us to have a tight knit community where we can communicate, ask questions, and support each other.  This community will be interactive and a place where those who enjoy the Natural Healing Omaha lifestyle will be able to engage on a more personal level.  I plan to have regular Facebook lives or videos to give you encouragement and tips.  If you’re like me, you need all the help you can get to make this lifestyle as easy as possible.  In this group, you will get VIP treatment, so head over and join now. 

#2 of the exciting changes- Regular blog posts here on this website.  

I have been pouring advice and support into my newsletter for past few years and still plan to continue the newsletter.  But, from now on this site will be the hub for the nuggets I’ll be sharing with you.

#3 of the exciting changes- LinkedIn and Instagram

Starting now, I’ll be much more active on both LinkedIn and Instagram, so you can follow me on whatever is your favorite platform.  

I hope these changes will help Natural Healing Omaha reach and help even more people.  And of course I always love to see my clients in the office.  Social media is great but there is nothing like face to face! 🤓

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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How to Repair Vata Imbalance!

How to Repair Vata Imbalance!

In my last blog, we talked about Rebecca’s Vata Imbalance and how to understand your own specific Dosha blend.  (If you missed that post, you can find it here. You can also use this quiz to find out what your dosha balance is.) Today we’re going to talk about How to Repair Vata Imbalance.

Listen up! Because I’m going to lay out the specific tips that I gave Rebecca that you can use yourself to repair  Vata Imbalance.

How to repair your Vata Balance

Rebecca was ready to try almost anything. The key to helping repair Vata balance for her was getting her to stick to it consistently.

Here is what I laid out for her. 

When Rebecca takes on too many responsibilities at work, skips meals, drinks too much caffeine, habitually stays up late, and sets aside nourishing practices like yoga and mini-vacations, her healthy Vata qualities are replaced by these:

  • Underweight, unhealthy BMI (click here to calculate yours)
  • Dry, scaly skin, even itchy and flaky 
  • Always cold, shivering and can’t warm up
  • Wired but tired insomnia, circular thoughts preventing sleep
  • Forgetfulness and poor short-term recall
  • Dry stools, constipation or changeable bowels
  • Brittle bones from inadequate nutrition
  • Physically anxious, jittery, and on edge
  • Allergy symptoms that are itchy, watery, scratchy, or irritated

Vata imbalances like insomnia, anxiety, allergies, and irritable bowel issues, are very common problems in today’s tech-driven, never-shut-down culture. 

Over-the-counter allergy product sales topped almost $7 Billion in 2016. There’s plenty of proof that we’re at epidemic levels of these issues.

Because the home of Vata is in the large intestine, Rebecca is prone to digestive disorders. One of the chief ways her imbalance shows up is unpredictable and sometimes painful bowel issues.

To repair Vata balance and bring this imbalance back in order is especially hard for her body type because her nature is to be fickle. As soon as she starts eating 3 meals a day or getting to bed by 11:00, she’s enticed by an exciting social event or drawn into a family argument. Then she’s back to her helter skelter lifestyle and doubled over in pain. Relationships are especially hard, and as one good friend admitted to Rebecca, “I never know what side of you I’m gonna get.”

The Ayurvedic way to reduce dry, ungrounded, hectic Vata habits is to introduce opposite, Kapha, earthy qualities. Sweet, sour and salty flavors increase Kapha, which help a thin, dry person hold adequate moisture, return to a healthy weight and sleep more deeply.

Fall is a peak time for Vata problems to rise up. Windy weather and dry conditions stir up conditions that create an unsettled body and mind.

Habits like these could promote Rebecca’s solid, steady Kapha qualities:

  • Establish a regular bedtime that allows for 8 consecutive hours of sleep, electronic-free
  • Eat 3 meals a day around the same time each day
  • Swap caffeinated coffee for green teas that contain less caffeine. Then, make the switch to hot herbal teas with warm spices and calming herbs – chamomile, cinnamon, tulsi, ginger, lemon balm, skullcap, kava, passionflower, and linden.
  • Schedule regular down time. A 10-minute meditation in the morning or before bed helps to trigger the neurotransmitters that down-regulate anxiety. Science says so!
  • Turn off phone ringers and social media notifications, setting some discipline around answering emails, and respond less often to needy friends, family and co-workers.

My advice to Rebecca to help repair Vata balance- and my advice to YOU: choose one simple practice and stick to it for 30 days. Watch how your allergies, insomnia, tummy problems and anxiety take a much-needed vacation.

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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Do you have a Vata Imbalance? Understanding your Dosha.

Do you have a Vata Imbalance?  Understanding your Dosha.
Do you vata imbalance

Rebecca flies into my office about once a month rattled and scatter-brained. I can see her Vata imbalance within seconds of her entering the room. She practically bounces into my square chair with news of workplace disruptions, boyfriend break-ups, over commitments,

…and tears.

She’s eager to try anything I suggest, and then follows through about half the time.

Rebecca has a classic Vata imbalance.

Vata is an ancient name that describes a kind of body and mind physiology. Vata is one of 3 doshas. Kapha and Pitta are sister doshas with often opposing qualities. Each of us is a blend of these 3 doshas, described in great detail in a system of medicine called Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old healing science dedicated to lengthening life and maximizing vibrancy. It offers us a time-tested method of overcoming deficient or excessive patterns. In Ayurveda, diet, herbs and lifestyle practices are considered non-negotiable components of a balanced, healthy state.

Take this quiz and find out what your dosha balance is.

As humans, we are natural categorizing machines; our brains look for patterns. Discovering patterns we have in common with other humans allows us to find our tribe. Identifying behavior patterns can help us break free of self-destructive habits.

Rebecca’s tribe is a vibrant, healthy one, when it’s in a balanced state. Like all of us, she has qualities of each Dosha type, like the soft, empathic nature of a Kapha, and the fiery, driven passion of a Pitta.

At her healthiest, the strong and predominant Vata features in Rebecca’s constitution look like this:

-Thin, at or below normal Body Mass Index  [calculate BMI here]

-Normal to slightly dry skin

-Fair complexion, blonde to light brown hair

-Small-boned and often tall

-Sensitive to cold temperatures

-High-energy but wears out easily

-Excellent multi-tasker

-Short attention span

-Great short-term memory

-Functions best with small meals and frequent snacks

-Sensitive to wind and changing weather conditions

So how did Rebecca become Vata imbalanced? Stay tuned. In my next post I’ll share with you why Rebecca became imbalanced but also how I helped her return to a healthy state.

Mo Horner, Registered Herbalist

Mo Horner is a professionally trained Registered Herbalist, specializing in botanical support for women and families. From hormones problems to emotional ups and downs, you’ll feel better about plant healing. Mo co-founded a donation-based community clinic associated with Herbalists Without Borders.  She has two Omaha-area practices where she serves her clients in person or online, for those outside the area. Consultations are available by appointment.

Email Mo at info@naturalhealingomaha.com or call 402-933-6444. You can read more about her story HERE. 

How to find an herbal remedy

Have you gotten your free 7-page guide yet?  Click HERE to get “How to Find an Herbal Remedy- That WORKS!”

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