How to freshen the air you breathe with indoor plants

Not only are indoor plants aesthetically pleasing, they are also an excellent way to clean the air in your home or office.  Plants absorb carbon dioxide and sunlight into the leaves and release oxygen into the air through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.  In general, the greater the surface area of plant leaves there is, the greater potential for oxygen production to occur. So for plants, the bigger the better, and the more the merrier!

NASA has dedicated years to studying the plants that remove toxic chemicals from the air.  This is especially important to consider if you’ve just moved into a new house, got new carpeting put in, or have new furniture that was treated with formaldehyde or other chemicals.  Many work environments such as casinos, auto mechanics shops, science labs, (just to name a few) would also benefit immensely from adding more of these plants to their interior.  We are constantly breathing in all kinds of chemicals on a daily basis.  Having lots of these plants around can literally help us breathe easier!

Plants Effective at Clearing the Air of Volatile Organic Chemicals:

·       Money plant (Crassula ovata)

·       Mass cane (Dracaena Massangeana)

·       Pot mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)

·       Gerbera daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)

·       Warnecki (Dracaena Deremensis “Warneckei”)

·       Ficus (Ficus Benjamina)

·       Rubber tree (Ficus Elastica

Other plants that are effective at general air purification are as follows:

·       Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

·       English ivy (Hedera Helix)

·       Marginata (Dracaena Marginata)

·       Mother-in-laws tongue (Sansevieria Laurentii)

·       Peace lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”)

·       Chinese Evergreen (Algona “Silver queen”)

·       Banana (Musa Oriana)

·       Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)

·       Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron Oxycardium)

·       Green spider plant (Chlorophytum Elatum)

·       Janet Craig (Dracaena Deremensis)




Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement (NASA)

Plants that promote clean air – handout from Bastyr Center for Natural Health


Renewal of Spring!

Are you as excited as I am about spring?  I love seeing the new plant buds as our season is shifting and we are getting more daylight hours!

With the coming of spring, Qi (energy) shifts as the earth is awakening from the cold dormancy of winter. This time of year can bring rapid growth, renewal, and new beginnings as our bodies and minds awaken with the stimulation of energy that comes from the lengthening of daylight and shifts in nature.  Just as animals come out of hibernation, it can often feel that we go through a similar process of renewal during this time of year. 

Springtime is also the time of year when the liver organ becomes more active. The liver energy, from a Chinese medicine perspective, is responsible for stimulating movement and uplifting energy to activate the mind. It also stores the blood, which helps to balance out qi in the body to promote an even and balanced flow that is not too strong or restless. So, a “happy” liver results in a smooth energy flow that promotes an even disposition.

From a Western perspective, one of the main functions of the liver is detoxification and given that the liver is more energetically active during this time of year makes it the ideal time to detox and set a great foundation for the renewal and rebirth that spring promotes.

We have lots and lots of options for detox at Serene Natural Health! We offer guidance around nutrition, sauna therapy, IV therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and more.  To determine the best option for you, we recommend meeting with one of our doctors to develop a personalized detox plan.


Chinese proverbs about Spring:

Plan your year in the spring, your day at dawn.

Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men.

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still

Suffering from Arthritis pain?

Arthritis pain is one of the most common conditions that I treat.  Acupuncture is a gentle, safe, and effective medication-free way to manage joint pain.  Not only does it help relieve pain, it can also halt the inflammatory process that causes damage to the joint tissues. 

Arthritis pain is often worse during the cold winter months here in Seattle.  This often results in  people being even more sedentary than usual, which can lead to other problems such as muscle loss, weight gain, depression, and inactivity.  It's best to stay on top of your pain symptoms to prevent it from getting the best of you and negatively impacting your quality of life.  

I typically recommend getting acupuncture treatments 1 to 2 times per week, along with supplements and diet changes to help decrease overall body inflammation. 

Exciting things to come!


2016 will bring some very exciting changes!  

Beginning in the new year I will be working at Serene Natural Health in Edmonds,  It is a primary care naturopathic medicine clinic with an emphasis on brain health and neurological conditions.  We offer condition-specific IV therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, homeopathy, neuro- and biofeedback, along with other naturopathic and acupuncture treatments.  We are unique in that we offer a team care approach to patients because we understand that more brains working together are better than one!

We will also be offering a Detox Your Way to Health program starting on January 20th that will be meeting every Wednesday for 6 weeks.  Call 425-689-7007 for more information and to reserve your spot!

In other exciting news, I will be working with local retirements centers and assisted living centers to offer naturopathic medicine and acupuncture to the elderly through NatureWise Care Services.  If you know of anyone who could benefit from these services, please send them my way!  The elderly are so often overlooked and could benefit tremendously from individualized naturopathic care.

All the best to you and yours this holiday season!!



A penny for your thoughts..

The average life expectancy in the U.S. is at an all-time high at 78 years old, but the rate of memory issues such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease is also on the rise and there's still a lot to learn about how to prevent it and treat it. 

A recent study out of UCLA ( found that taking a naturopathic-like approach to treatment was highly successful.  The participants ranged from having mild cognitive decline to early stage Alzheimer's disease.  They underwent a thorough evaluation and were given individualized treatment recommendations including vitamin D, fish oil, etc., lifestyle and diet changes, and were followed for a period of time.  At the end of the study, the majority of the participants had improvements in overall health, and most importantly, memory and cognitive improvements that allowed some to return to work or continue working after having had to quit due to memory issues before the study.

These results are powerful and should bring hope to those who have a strong family history of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or are starting to notice issues with memory and concentration.  It also shows that treatment should not just be focused on treating the brain, but the whole body in order to optimize health and minimize inflammation.  Only then can you achieve the sustained improvements demonstrated in this study.  I'm looking forward to more studies like this that support a more comprehensive approach to treatment!

Why ask WHY?

Why do I work so hard everyday?  Why wake up everyday? Why should I exercise?  Why do I have so much on my "plate"?

What makes you push so hard every day? Find your WHY because it can help connect you to your deeper purpose and provide a stronger motivation to engage in life in a more meaningful way.  The more connected you feel to your WHY, the more committed you are to doing the things you don't necessarily like to do because you know that there is a deeper meaning behind it.  Your WHY makes life worth living.  Let your goals lead you closer to your WHY.

Watch this video and then write down your WHY and put it somewhere you will see it every day.


Naturopathic Medicine Week!

October 5-11th is Naturopathic Medicine Week! 

I'd like to take this opportunity to share what naturopathic medicine means to me and the principles that guide our practice of medicine.  As a naturopathic physician, I am privileged to be invited to be a part of the healing process of the patients I treat.  From the healthy and active, to those recovering from or dealing with health issues, I enjoy working with my patients in their journey towards optimal health.

The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medicine:

  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic physicians recognize the body's innate healing ability and recommend treatments that support this process.
  • Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): Identify the underlying cause of an illness and address it, instead of merely treating the symptoms.
  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians recommend treatments that have minimal side effects, are least invasive, and most appropriate for the condition being treated.
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians take the time to educate their patients about their health condition so that they can feel empowered in making decisions about their health. 
  • Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians take into account each individuals physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. These are all equally important in achieving optimal health.
  • Prevention: Naturopathic physicians strive to prevent disease by assessing lifestyle factors, family history, environmental exposures, susceptibility to disease.