Hi Everyone! December 2003

Welcome to our first newsletter. We hope to inspire you to achieve optimal health.

Since our trademark is the Ginkgo Biloba leaf, we would like to discuss this plant also called the Maidenhair tree.

ginkgo leafThe Ginkgo biloba is the worlds oldest living tree species. It can be traced back to more than 200 million years. It was revered by the Chinese and often planted around temples, which probably saved it from extinction. It is a deciduous tree that can grow to a height of 100 or more feet with a 3-4 feet diameter trunk. It is very resistant to insects, disease and pollution. The extracts from the leaves are used medicinally.

Traditional Chinese medicine doctors prescribe ginkgo for its ability to support brain function including cerebral vascular insufficiency and dementia. However, historically, it was prescribed for asthma and polyuria. Currently, Ginkgo leaf extracts are one of the leading prescribed medicines in Germany and France. The extract can be used internally and topically.

It was a group a German Scientists that, in the 1960s, discovered the activity the leaf has on the circulatory system. Its effects include increase blood flow, tissue oxygenation and nutrition, antiplatelet activating factors (PAF) preventing membrane damage caused by free radicals, enhancement of memory and cognitive function especially in the elderly.

Today Gingko is used for memory and cognitive impairment, dizziness, tinnitus, headache, anxiety and depression, fatigue, stroke, vertigo, acute cochlear deafness, peripheral arterial disease, intermittent claudication, early stages of dementia, and Alzheimers disease. It also can be used for disorders related to reduced retinal blood flow, macular degeneration, congestive dysmennorrhea, effects of high altitude or hypoxia, diabetic vascular disease, atherosclerosis, Raymonds syndrome, asthma, allergic reactions, shock, ischemia, thrombosis, possible migraine prevention, impotence, and multiple sclerosis.

It is a very safe plant and needs to be used for 6 weeks before clinical benefit can be determined. There are many studies on the safety and efficacy of this plant. Caution must be used for patients on anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication such as warfarin and aspirin. There are no adverse effects with pregnancy and lactation.

From a pharmacology standpoint it is the total extract that is more active than its single isolated components (as with many medicinal plants). The active component of the Ginkgo leaf includes gingko flavone glycoside primarily composed of quercetin, kempferol, isorhamnetin, and terpene molecules of ginkgolides and bilobalide, organic acids (bioflavonoids) and proanthrocyanadins.

Sources for further reading

- Michelle Brannick, ND, DC



Tips for a Happier Holiday Season

The holidays are supposed to be a time full of joy, good cheer and optimism, but in reality, many people experience increased depression, stress and anxiety during this time of year in fact, every holiday season there is a 15% increase in the number of people seeking professional help with depression. The increased demands of parties, shopping and family reunions can contribute to our already existing tensions. Even people who do not normally become depressed can experience stress reactions during this time such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and having difficulty sleeping.

Here are a few ways that the National Mental Health Association recommends to identify potential sources of seasonal depression and help you cope with holiday blues:

In general, people ask the holidays to do too much for them. They want to strengthen family bonds, lift spirits from the dark days of winter, confirm their deepest religious beliefs&. The list goes on! While most of us share these values, its too much to expect of a holiday, much less of ourselves! The following exercise may help you clarify your intentions for the holidays. Number the following statements from 1 to 10. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.

____ The holidays are a time to be a peacemaker, within the family and the world at
____ The holidays are a time to enjoy being with my immediate family.
____ The holidays are a time to create a beautiful home environment
____ The holidays are a time to exchange gifts with family and friends.
____ The holidays are a time for a deep religious experience.
____ The holidays are a time for parties, entertaining and visits with friends.
____ The holidays are a time to help those less fortunate.
____ The holidays are a time to strengthen bonds with my relatives.
____ The holidays is a time to strength my community.
____ The holidays are a time to be relaxed and renewed.

This values clarification exercise may help you decide which parts of the holidays are most deserving of your efforts and then celebrate in a way that is in harmony with your deepest beliefs. By turning our focus on what holds the most meaning for us during this season, we create an atmosphere of faith, hope and love, rather than depression, anxiety or stress.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!

-Linda Dunbar, LPC



Michelles Beets - Great for your liver and has fiber too!

  1. beetBoil or pressure cook 3-4 beets (try to get organic) until the fork goes through easily.
  2. Strain off water and let cool.
  3. Cut off the tails, peel and cut into slices or chunks.
  4. Add to bowl: 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of Balsalmic vinegar.
  5. Sprinkle Tarragon on beets, approximately 2 teaspoons.
  6. Mix altogether, serve or chill.



The next issue will feature articles pertaining to infants and children including breastfeeding, fevers and nutrition.