About Dr Cyndi Gilbert, ND

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

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

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, 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. […]

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

Dry Skin Brushing

The skin is the largest organ in the body, with an estimated size of 18 square feet. Along with the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system, colon, and blood, the skin works to remove built up toxins and waste from your system, maintaining optimal health. Up to two pounds of waste products are discharged through the skin every day! […]

By | June 27th, 2012|Home Treatments, Hydrotherapy|0 Comments

Placebo medicine

In the world of medical research, placebo is almost always talked about in the negative, as the baseline against which all other treatments are tested. Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials are often considered the gold standard of study design. According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, placebo is defined as “a medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect.” When surveyed, 1 in 5 Canadian MDs admit to prescribing placebo, or using medications significantly below the active dose. (1) In an American survey of internists and rheumatologists, over 50% of those surveyed had recommended a placebo treatment to a patient in the year prior. (2) […]

By | May 30th, 2012|Health Research, Philosophy|0 Comments

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Zucchini Loaf

Before I had kids, I never gave much thought to sugar-free baking. I rarely baked anyways, and sugar-free was a temporary lifestyle change I only associated with my twice yearly detoxes. All that changed after kids, as I resolved to provide them with a completely sugar-free existence until they were at least 1 year old. During that first year, I experimented, transforming the recipes I had previously loved with sugar into sugar-free favourites. Nowadays I’m more relaxed about sugar ingestion, letting the kids self-moderate at events where sugar is served, primarily at birthday parties and at other people’s houses. Not that they don’t over indulge when given the chance. But they are also the first to declare, “My tummy hurts. I think I ate too much sugar.” […]

By | May 8th, 2012|Health Research, Kids, Recipes|0 Comments

Welcome Jess, student intern

Please help me welcome Jess, a naturopathic student intern in her 4th year of studies, who will be joining me in my practice on Tuesdays from May until August this year. During the fourth year of naturopathic college, senior clinic interns work under the direct supervision of regulated naturopathic doctors to provide primary health care. Most of this time is spent working in the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, the teaching facility of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) and its satellite clinics. Students may also apply to intern with naturopathic doctors outside of CCNM. […]

By | April 5th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tolle Causam

Tolle causam. Treat the cause. This directive seems so simple and obvious at first glance. Like any good detective, it implores us to search through the patient’s story, signs, and symptoms to seek out the root of ill health. Tolle causam urges us to uncover the source of disease, remove any obstacles to cure, and let the vis medicatrix naturae work its beautiful magic to restore health. If only it were so easy. Mercifully for both doctor and patient, sometimes it is. Tolle causam is sometimes translated as “identify and treat the cause.” (1) Other definitions allow for more plurality: “Identify and treat the causes.” (2, 3) A direct translation says something a little different. […]

By | April 3rd, 2012|Philosophy|0 Comments

Vegetable Soup

Earlier this week while shopping at Fiesta Farms, my kids declared themselves chefs and started gathering vegetables for their version of “Red Pepper Soup.” Nevermind that they have always disliked all bell peppers, which I have long suspected is actually a food intolerance to Solanaceae, or nightshade, family vegetables (peppers, tomato, potato, eggplant). Regardless, they began dumping a variety of vegetables in the cart and teaching me how to make their recipe. I confess I made a few adjustments. I wasn’t convinced that sardines were a good idea, although I reserve the right to be wrong. Maybe they would have made the soup extra delicious. Anyways, I present to you my version of K & E’s recipe. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. Dinner at our house is often both busy and delicious. Instead, I offer you the cover of the book that likely inspired it all: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert) […]

By | March 9th, 2012|Kids, Recipes|0 Comments

The Healing Power of Nature

A couple of weeks ago, I presented at the Ontario Forestry Association’s Annual Conference. This year’s theme was “Prescription for Nature: Healthy Forests for Healthy People”. It was an inspiring conference, with great speakers from the Back to Nature Network, Tree Canada, and the Kinark Outdoor Centre amongst others. I was asked to speak from a clinical perspective about the relationship between forests and human health, a topic I am very passionate about, as it speaks to the vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature. It was also a pleasure to present to a different audience than the usual naturopathic students I lecture to on a weekly basis. […]

By | February 23rd, 2012|Health Research, Kids, Nature & Culture|0 Comments