About Dr Cyndi Gilbert, ND

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So far Dr Cyndi Gilbert, ND has created 51 blog entries.

7 best herbs for women’s health

I’ve avoided writing “best of” lists for years but was inspired last weekend by naturopathic elder and women’s health expert Tori Hudson, ND, speaking at a conference here in Toronto. Whenever I’m coming up with a treatment plan for a patient, I always think about using the fewest number of remedies possible to address the whole person sitting across from me. (I also think about the least invasive thing I can start with, though that is for another article.) In other words, I’m looking for one or two herbs to address multiple symptoms or health problems at the same time. John Scudder called these specific medicines. Tori Hudson calls these twofers, threefers, or fourfers. Even though it took a lot of restraint to keep this list small, here are my top 7 herbs for women’s health in honour of twofers and threefers. […]

Golden Milk

Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory herb. Plus, you probably already have it in your kitchen cupboard. If not, you should. Turmeric, also known as yellow ginger, has been used to decrease inflammation and pain for all sorts of health conditions. In traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is used to move stagnant blood and Qi, which can contribute to joint pain and menstrual cramps. In India where turmeric originates from, it has over 50 names and hundreds of medicinal uses. Clinical research on turmeric is ongoing for conditions as varied as menstrual cramps, arthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, endometriosis, fibroids, high cholesterol, and cancer. Golden milk is a traditional Ayurvedic preparation for using turmeric medicinally. […]

Crampbark for cramps, duh

As I was walking out the door today, I was struck by the beautiful colour of the Crampbark leaves in the fall. The deep pinkish red hue is a nice contrast to the yellow and green colours that most of the leaves in my garden have right now. The red colour, though not exactly the colour of blood, is a small reminder of Viburnum’s best known medicinal use – to help treat menstrual cramps. I purchased several of these bushes for my garden under the impression that they were Viburnum trilobum, American Highbush Cranberry, sometimes listed as Viburnum opulus var. americanum, which is native to Ontario. […]

By | October 30th, 2014|Herbal Medicine, In My Garden, Women's Health|0 Comments

Making a jewelweed succus

Early one morning I went outside to admire my garden (as I often do) and I noticed how much jewelweed (Impatiens capensis is the native to Ontario species) had taken over and was choking out the lady’s mantle. My kids had clearly done a great job last year of popping the seed pods. Possibly too good a job. There was a lot of jewelweed blocking my view of the lady’s mantle plants which had just started to flower. A little thinning out was needed, so I got to work weeding out the extra jewelweed plants. Naturally, I wasn’t about to waste all that jewelweed. Thankfully, I had a little time before my first patient of the day. In the past I’ve harvested jewelweed and created a mash or juice for immediate use on rashes, stings, bug bites, and especially poison ivy. Conveniently, it often grows right next to poison ivy on riverbanks and wet ground. But since I hadn’t recently been exposed to poison ivy, I decided to make a succus. […]

Kale & Apple Slaw

Spring is the perfect time to focus on liver cleansing foods and detoxification after hibernating during the winter months. According to Chinese medicine spring is associated with the functions of the liver – spreading Qi (energy) smoothly throughout the body, storing and releasing blood as needed to the muscles and tendons in increased physical activity, as well as for the purposes of menstruation. During the spring, when most people begin to spend more time outside, and generally increase their levels of physical activity, the liver can benefit from additional support in order to optimize its functions. Foods such as dark leafy greens, beets, and small amounts of citrus and olive oil help to move liver Qi. Raw and sprouted foods mirror the renewal happening in the external environment. […]

By | March 25th, 2013|Recipes, Traditional Chinese Medicine|0 Comments

Fever: to treat or not to treat, that is the question

Fever is one of the most common childhood complaints seen by pediatricians and other healthcare providers. Fever, however, isn’t the real problem. Fever is just part of our natural, and actually quite helpful, physiological response to an infection. Rather than causing harm, fever actually benefits us by slowing the growth and reproduction of viruses and bacteria while increasing the production and circulation of white blood cells. (1,2,3) In generally healthy children (and adults too!), fever stimulates a stronger, more effective immune response. Research shows that fever actually helps the body recover faster, and may result in fewer complications with certain types of infections. (1,3) […]

By | January 17th, 2013|Health Research, Home Treatments, Kids|1 Comment

Black Bean Soup

This recipe has always been a hit in our house. The vegan version, pictured here, can be adapted for those who eat dairy to include a dollop of sour cream, crumbled queso fresco, or shredded cheese of any kind. I'm not a big supporter of "hiding" vegetables in food (I believe that kids and adults [...]

By | November 27th, 2012|Recipes|1 Comment

Happy and Healthy Hallowe’en

Knowing that there is virtually no sugar in my house, parents often ask me what I do with my kids at Hallowe’en. I confess to lying to my kids for the first couple of years. I told them that Hallowe’en was a holiday where people paraded up and down the street in costume and visited their neighbours. They were completely satisfied with my explanation. That is, until the other kids at school told them about the candy. Since then, we do go out trick or treating though we also employ several strategies for handling the vast amounts of high fructose corn syrup pouring into our house. […]

By | October 22nd, 2012|Kids|1 Comment

Colds and flus: prevention and treatment

The days are getting colder out there, and cold and flu season has officially started. In fact, just last week I was home (and still trying to get some work done) with two kids sick with viral, croupy coughs. Thankfully, there are lots of great strategies for preventing colds and flus as well as naturopathic treatments that you can do at home to help shorten the course of an illness once you are sick. So why did my kids get sick and I didn’t? […]

By | October 17th, 2012|Home Treatments, Hydrotherapy, Kids|1 Comment

Coconut Curry Vegetables

This recipe, very slightly adapted from Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine, one of two excellent cookbooks courtesy of Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver, is a staple in our house. It is also a great way to incorporate tofu into your diet, as this recipe capitalizes on tofu’s ability to absorb other flavours. […]

By | August 25th, 2012|Recipes|0 Comments