Top Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Inflammation is the underlying cause of many diseases, arthritis being one of them. The body is designed to handle small amounts of inflammation, but when it becomes excessive we need to provide the body with ways combat inflammation.  The use of NSAID’s and other conventional medications can be very useful in the short-term, but many medications have long-term side effects that lead people to search for natural options.

Powerful natural remedies for arthritis include:

1. Boswellia

If we’re talking arthritis, the number one  herbal inflammation fighter is Boswellia. Not only does it help reduce inflammation, but it has been shown to actually inhibit the progression of arthritis.

2. Ginger

3. Curcumin

4. Bromelain

Ginger, Curcumin, and Bromelain are all powerful antioxidants. They calm inflammation and help reduce cellular damage. Ginger can easily be added to tea or used as a spice in food. Curcumin is found in the popular Indian spice, turmeric. Bromelain is an active component found in pineapple.  Each of these can also be used in a potent supplement form and a naturopathic doctor can help patients determine the best formula and dosage.

5. Fish oil

The results of a recent study found that people who received a blend of cod liver oil and fish oil over a 9-month period reduced their NSAID intake by more than one-third, compared with a control group that only received a placebo.  The quality of fish oil varies greatly from company to company and some forms can even be contaminated with PCB’s or mercury, so be sure to ask your naturopathic doctor which type is best for you.

6. The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The food you choose to eat can either increase or decrease inflammation.  With the help of a food intolerance blood test, naturopathic doctors can help patients determine what types of foods to focus on eating or avoiding to improve joint health and reduce pain and inflammation.


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Recipe: Cool Summer Carrot Salad

Happy Summer Solstice!

It is time to celebrate the abundance that is growing from tiny seeds and plans. Since summer is a time of growth and fertility, make sure to be attentive to what needs nourishment in your life and you will have something to harvest come autumn. It has been a busy spring/summer for me so far (selling my house and searching for a new one), so I have not had time for gardening, yet I have certainly planted many beautiful intentions as if they were seeds in the earth. One of these “seeds” is the creation of a Be Well Cookbook. This summer is a perfect time to revel in the vibrant energy at farmer’s markets, experiment with old & new recipe ideas, and share summer feasts with friends and family.

This Cool Summer Carrot Salad makes for a great side or main dish on hot summer days and it happens to be especially great for fertility & pregnancy, symbolic of the energy of summer!

Cool Summer Carrot Salad

4 Multi-colored carrots (I get mine at Trader Joes)

2 T Toasted Sesame seed oil

2 T lemon juice

2 tsp honey

1 tsp tahini

½ cup tri-colored quinoa

3/4 cup water (a few tablespoons more if you want it more tender)

1/2 can of chickpeas

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

Dash of salt

1/3 cup almonds, walnuts, and/or chopped brazil nuts

¼ cup chopped dried apricots or raisins

¼ cup goat or feta cheese crumbles

Optional: Top with parsley or basil

(Recipe adapted from

Put water and quinoa in a pot and heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is desired tenderness (I like mine firmer, so you may need to cook longer and add more water if you want very tender quinoa). While quinoa is cooking, peel the carrots into long ribbons. In a small dish, add 2 T sesame oil, lemon juice, honey, and tahini and whisk until mixed. Pour dressing over carrots, toss to coat and set aside. When quinoa is done, add spices and chickpeas and stir together. Add to carrots along with nuts, apricots or raisins, and goat cheese and toss together. Enjoy!

Nutritional insights: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and are good for circulation, immunity, skin health and they also reduce the risk of food poisoning caused by listeria bacteria. Apricots are a great source of fiber and like carrots, can help with moving things through the digestive tract. They also contain vitamins A, B, and C, iron, potassium, and magnesium—so they help to keep the nervous system balanced. The nuts in this salad also provide great nutritional value. Choose almonds, and you get zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and powerful antioxidants. Choose walnuts and you get a wonderful source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. To complete this pregnancy superfood, include Brazil nuts. These nuts contain selenium, which has powerful antioxidant activity and is great for boosting fertility. The quinoa and chickpeas in this salad provide an excellent source of protein, the chickpeas providing a boost in fiber as well. The addition of turmeric gives this salad a touch of anti-inflammatory action while the cumin is good for increasing breast milk supply during lactation. To top it all off—literally, sprinkling the salad with parsley provides digestive and immune support as well as aiding the body in detoxification.

With summer love & light,

Dr. Liz

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A Natural Approach to Autoimmune Disease

Has your immune system been high-jacked by an autoimmune disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s, Celiac disease, or Ulcerative Colitis?

Autoimmune diseases are chronic inflammatory diseases which can be both managed and improved through the use of naturopathic medicine.  Here are just a few examples of how Be Well Natural Medicine can help you heal your body:

>>> Food intolerance testing and nutritional therapy: Food sensitivities can often be aggravating to inflammatory diseases and Be Well Natural Medicine offers a test which gauges sensitivity to 95 different foods.  When the body is reacting negatively to certain foods, it can cause a cascade of adverse reactions, kind of like putting the wrong type of gas in your car.  Food intolerance testing is an easy way to see what foods work for your body, and which ones just don’t.

>>> Herbal medicine: Herbal medicines are potent healers and when used correctly can calm the inflammatory storm of an autoimmune disease.  For example, turmeric is one of many powerful anti-inflammatory herbs which can be simply added to food as a spice. Not only has it been shown in studies to reduce inflammation, but it is also beneficial for neurologic, metabolic, liver, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases—just to name a few.  A naturopathic doctor can help you identify which herbal medicines will be the most potent healers for your body.

A great benefit to these and other natural therapies is that they have little to no side effects in contrast to pharmaceuticals.  You truly CAN heal your body naturally!   With the right guidance, you will discover that your body is capable of amazing things.  If you nourish your body, it will thank you generously in the form of vitality, strength, and a deeply rooted sense of connection and peace.  It is your beautiful home.

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Under Our Skin: Documentary Reveals Lyme Controversy

“Under Our Skin” is a riveting documentary film about the controversy surrounding Lyme Disease. This documentary was a finalist for the Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival and and has won five Best Documentary awards. It is now viewable for free from various documentary sites online, so we are sharing it here.

If you or a loved one have struggled with chronic fatigue, MS, fibromyalgia, migratory joint pain, strange neurological symptoms, this film may resonate.

If you don’t have time to watch the film, but are wondering what the controversy is all about, Dr. Oz does a great job of briefly explaining the situation here in the December 2009 issue of The Oprah Magazine.

Dr. Leslie Vilensky, one of the naturopathic doctor’s at Be Well Natural Medicine, specializes in holistic medicine for people affected by Lyme Disease and similar issues.  She is an amazing natural medicine resource for these patients.  More info about her services is available here on our website.

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New Year 2014: Supercharge your goals and desires

It’s time to welcome in the New Year with freshly renewed purpose and alignment with our heart’s desires.  I’ve been prepping for the New Year like a mad woman:

  • Setting goals with soul using Danielle LaPorte’s guide “The Desire Map
  • Prepping for the launch of our St. Paul Desire Map Book Club, which launches globally on January 7th, 2014
  • Getting ready to welcome our newest “Doctor Who Listens”, Leslie Vilensky, ND (she’s amazing)
  • Fine-tuning and prioritizing projects, course offerings, retreats, and more
  • Dreaming BIG (think annual business trips to warm tropical destinations)
  • Keeping up with the usual daily to-do list that comes with being a doctor, mom, partner, friend, mentor, woman.

All of the beautiful visions dancing in my head gave me a sense of fullness, pride, joy, and passion.  But after a few days of being up to my ears in them, I realized my goals were actually starting to give me a tension headache and insomnia.

I was clinging.  After all, I had worked so hard to create such lovely goals, now I wanted them with urgency.  The mental and physical tension created by my attachment was beginning to suck all my time and energy, leaving no room for, well, LIFE to happen.

So, instead of continuing to cling to my goals and desires (I was squeezing the life out of them), I loosened my grip and released them (see my list below for ways to release), which allowed me the energy and flexibility to let life happen again.  I could breathe deeply, sleep soundly, remember to eat healthy balanced meals, drink plenty of water, dance, and enjoy myself more.  The way to supercharge my goals and desires was to nourish myself in the present moment.  Thus I learned that the ”release phase” is just as important as the “planning phase”.


  • Dance, yoga, run – whatever it takes to build enough heat in your body that you literally sweat.  Use that energy and heat to release your desires and create room for the New Year and all it has in store for you.  Check out my New Year’s Playlist on Facebook, created to inspire you to move and release.
  • Write your desires/dreams on tiny pieces of paper and burn them (safely, please).  Whether it’s a raging bonfire with a group of friends or cozying up to your fireplace with a furry-friend is entirely up to you.
  • Create a “quiet” space for transformation to take place – this doesn’t mean sit somewhere quiet and then think incessantly, it means quiet your mind.  Meditation, getting a massage or acupuncture, and spending time in nature are my favorite ways to do this.
  • Practice gratitude.  Give yourself permission to enjoy what you have in THIS MOMENT.  Regarding the future, sometimes what we receive is far better than what we could have ever imagined for ourselves.

For more encouragement, support, and guidance as you begin your personal transformation this New Year – would you like to lose weight, eat healthier, reduce stress –  whatever your goal, I invite you to work with me as your naturopathic doctor and guide.  I can help you transform your BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT using naturopathic medicine, the power of truly listening, and the gift of being present.

With peace and joy ~

Dr. Liz Orchard

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