About Dr Cyndi Gilbert, ND

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So far has created 58 blog entries.
  • jewelweed

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. […]

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

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
  • Healthy Halloween

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.
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By |October 22nd, 2012|Kids|1 Comment
  • woman sneezing

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

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.
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By |August 25th, 2012|Recipes|0 Comments
  • jewelweed

Jewelweed, poison ivy, and me

Last spring, with the landscaping prowess of Small Spade Gardening, I transformed my front yard into a stunning display of medicinal plants indigenous to Ontario. Once everything was planned and planted, I realized I had forgotten to include one of my favourite native botanicals, jewelweed. A relative of the popular impatiens commonly found in annual flower beds, Impatiens capensis has a smaller more delicate flower on long succulent translucent stems.

A couple of months later, as I was weeding and admiring the garden, I noticed my old friend jewelweed had found its place in my yard, filling in the spaces between the eastern hemlock bushes. Although it wasn’t the first time that I’ve invited a plant into my environment only to have it magically appear, it was still a welcome surprise. […]

By |August 18th, 2012|Home Treatments, In My Garden, Kids|2 Comments
  • Brain Dough

Neuroplasticity: your brain is playdough

The word neuroplasticity sounds like your brain on playdough. In a sense, it is. Neuroscience has documented how our brains are constantly changing and responding to our environments and lived experiences, changing both anatomically and physiologically. The mantra “neurons that fire together, wire together” has been used in educational and neuroscience circles since the 1990s but how does this relate to mindbody techniques such as meditation, visualizations, and affirmations in the context of general health?

Conscious of it or not, we are constantly sending messages to ourselves, to our bodies. This internal dialogue may be related to physical sensations, feeling, moods, addictions, or ways of being in the world. The things we say to ourselves may be loving and self-affirming; or, they may be critical and hurtful. […]

By |July 20th, 2012|Health Research, Philosophy|0 Comments
  • Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp milkweed, or Asclepias incarnata, is hugely popular with my kids for both its beauty and its playfulness. Gentle pink flowers cluster together like a choir of amazing singers and butterflies flock to drink the sweet nectar hidden inside.

The seed pods however, are the parts that bring the most intense joy to the hearts of children and adults alike.

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By |July 14th, 2012|Herbal Medicine, In My Garden, Kids|0 Comments