Monday, December 7, 2009

Perception and The Environment

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Stretching - An Often Ignored "Cure"

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Medication as a Crutch - Not a Cure

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Herbs and Medicine in Germany

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Simple Healing Appetizer

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Monday, October 12, 2009

How Housework Can Heal You

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why I Had Food Poisoning

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How Can You Tell if Health Information is Valid?

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beware of Bad Herbal Advice

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do I Have to Gain Weight to Get the Nutrition I Need?

Question (edited to abbreviate): "I am nutritionally frustrated, and you are someone who will understand. In investigating my sudden onset joint pain, I found that I am anemic. I have never been anemic, and am guessing it may be due to my reduced calorie/reduced red meat diet that allowed me to lose 35 lbs. So today for breakfast I had a bowl of cereal with 5 g fiber and 4 mg iron, prune juice with 2 g fiber and 3.5 mg iron. I added a glass of grapefruit juice with vit C because prune juice has no vit C, and had a strawberry smoothie. This provides 7.5 mg of iron, toward a daily goal of 18, and 10 g fiber toward a daily goal of 25g. It also adds up to 13 Weight Watcher's points, and my daily total is 20 points. Am I going to have to re-gain 35 lbs in order to each enough food to correct my anemia and get enough fiber to avoid getting constipated? I see no option other than to take supplements, and that should not be the way this works. Am I wrong?" - B

Dear B,

This is a great question and a place where herbs are the perfect solution! There are so many herbs that are high in iron and herbal teas have no calories! Some ideas are below:

ROOT TEAS (Make as decoctions)
Choose one or mix together in portions
Yellow Dock
Don Quai
Oregon Grape Root
Pau d'arco

LEAFY TEAS (make as infusions or eat as foods)
Raspberry leaf tea

There are also many dietary solutions to your problem - eating patterns and various foods you can focus on, as well as other therapies you may want to explore. If you would like a full consultation I offer consultations at

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Monday, June 15, 2009

Carrots and Chlorine

For years I thought I was allergic to carrots. I ate from a variety of sources so I am sure there were a few times I didn't react to them. However, the majority of times I did. I had horrible reactions to them - a catch in the throat and a general feeling of being choked. However, I enjoyed the taste of carrots and for some reason carrot juice never seemed to give me the same problem. Years passed and finally I decided to get new allergy tests. Nothing showed up new - I had the same allergies I had when I was two years old (although interestingly enough many of them don't bother me anymore. I have four cats, for example, and don't have any reaction to them anymore). My favorite carrots were the little mini carrots that were pre-cut. They just seemed so easy. The other place I ate a lot of carrots was when I lived overseas. I ate them fresh from the market.

Have you figured out the mystery yet?

I didn't either. It took me years and years to figure it out until one day I read an article about how packaged carrots are treated with chlorine bleach before going to market. In Egypt, where I was living for a time, it was common for people to soak their vegetables in a weak bleach solution to kill parasites and other contaminants. In both cases I was getting from minute to large doses of bleach - something I am severely allergic to.

I am sharing this story because this happens, not only with carrots but with many food items. You may feel miserable after eating certain foods, but it may not be the food itself - it may be the way it is processed or what is added to it.

Did you know that boxed orange juice most often contains at least a little moldy fruit? This is bad news for people allergic to mold but not allergic to oranges.

Did you know nuts have high mold counts too?

Many salads contain sulfites?

Salad dressings in most restaurants contain MSG?

Some processed meats, chips and canned soups contain gluten?

The list could go on for pages.

So if you are having a reaction to one of your favorite foods it may be helpful to do some research into how it is harvested, stores, transported, processed and displayed. It could be at one of these points that the irritating substance is added and not the food itself. And keep in mind - purchasing organic and/or at the farmer's market will reduce your chances of having a reaction but won't eliminate the chances all together.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reduce Caffeine in Tea Naturally

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Healing Breath by Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Space Clearing Reminder

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Other Names for MSG

If you look on the sidebar of this blog you will find a few articles I have written on MSG. Not everyone reacts to this substance. However, if you do, it can be devastating. Symptoms can range from headaches to insomnia to heart palpitations. MSG can cause anxiety attacks in some people and much more. I have found some useful links to supplement the articles I have already written on the subject. The first set of links gives you a list of other names for MSG and a little background, the second set of links talks about the many restaurants that use it and the places you will most commonly find it. - along with this there is a list of restaurants that use this at: and:

To learn more about eating right you can audit the Nutritional Healing Course or earn a certificate in Nutritional Healing at:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Music and Healing

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Favorite Detox Diet

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

What our Children Should Be Eating

When my children were babies and toddlers I had an idea in my head, formed in part by magazine articles, friends, my own mother, etc...about what foods were "healthy" for a growing child. I also had another list of things in my head called "things children will never eat". This list included spinach and lima beans.

However, as my children grew and as I learned more and more about nutrition through my own studies I realized that each person has their own list of "needs and desires". However, my own children have taught me more about this than my formal studies.

Rather than share a philosophy with you I will share some of the likes and dislikes of my youngest child, who is very intuitive.

Sofi dislikes meat. She will not eat it in a box, she will not eat it with a fox, she will not eat it in a house she will not eat it with a mouse...

She has been like this since she was a baby. I am not a complete vegetarian. Most of our meals are vegetarian focused. However, I do use meat as a flavoring because my own body cannot digest beans in any way, shape or form and many alternate protein sources (such as soy) I am allergic to. However, for Sofi she remains completely healthy with her vegetarian fare.

Sofi does not like orange juice, peas, green beans, carrots, oranges, bananas, lettuce or any of these typical "healthy" things I grew up with. For a while I tried to force these foods on her thinking to myself "who does not like orange juice???" However, Sofi's body was more clever than I! I discovered, over time, that she adores Molokia (a spinach like plant), she adores alfalfa sprouts (eats them by the handfuls) and will eat an entire box of raspberries in one sitting!

These were all items on my "kids won't eat" list. However, interestingly enough, these items are power packed with nutrition and are even healthier than the items I was trying to feed her. As a rule, sprouts, any "baby" greens and any berries have more nutrition than their larger vegetable or fruit counterparts.

As time goes on I find out more and more about my children's likes and dislikes and I have found that it is the nutrient value of what they are eating that is important rather than what they are eating. I have discovered that if I allow them to try different foods from different cultures and different gardens that they have more opportunities to find their own likes and dislikes. Instead of making those decisions for them, I now offer them a larger variety of foods and have the rule "you have to at least try it once but you don't have to finish it the first time". Sofi recently discovered she loves oriental orange chicken. I would never have thought she would have liked THAT!

Gone are the days where you have to have a certain amount of food in each of the "four food groups" or those days when everyone needs to have a glass of orange juice with their breakfast. Our focus is now on making sure the foods we eat are high in nutrition, organic when possible and loved by the person who is eating them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Explain MSG to Children

The other day I was trying to explain why MSG is unhealthy for you. However, my 10 and 12-year-old just looked at me with one of those "yah, whatever you say" looks. Obviously I didn't do a very good job of explaining. As many long-time readers know I have a campaign against MSG. It is a harmful flavoring that causes different health problems for different people ranging from stomach aches, insomnia and headaches to more major problems like diabetes, heart problems and cancer. Because of its dangers Chinese restuarants were pressured to take it out of their foods about 8-10 years ago.

What I have found offensive, since then, is that while Chinese restaurants have taken it out of their foods, places like Pizza Hut continue to add it to their sauces and many canned items include it in their sauces and soups. It is still used in many salad dressings and other food items.

However, I am getting "off track" here. If you want to know more about MSG you can visit this BLOG and find the words MSG to the right hand side and look at all the articles there.

This little note was to share an idea a student gave me about how to explain MSG in a way children would understand. She was completing her assignment on nutritional healing and included the following description of MSG:

MSG: Also can be named as hydrolyzed plant protein, natural flavor and Kmbu extract, autolyzed yeast, and yeast extract. The animal based MSG comes from animal blood or decaying protein. It has been linked to learning disorders in children and hyperactivity. Effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, mood changes, sleep problems, rash, sweating, and chest pain.

I think when anyone hears the words "animal blood and decaying protein" they will have enough information until they are able to understand the rest. That just sounds unappetizing!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Toxic Home Reminder & Affirmation

A student in the Naturopathic Healing Course turned in her assignment today on the "Thirteenth Principal of Healing". She chose as her topic, "Creating a Healthy Living Space". I thought her paper was a great affirmation for all of us that what we are doing to live more natural lifestyles is worth it! Sometimes we spend so much money, time and thought creating all those "perfect natural spaces" around our home, purchasing the "greenest" cleaning supplies and making sure our kids have the most natural toys. However, some days don't you find yourself wondering, "I'm I being nuerotic or is this all worth it?" Even if you don't think it - how many times have your relatives asked you this question?

This quote, take from the first part of the student's paper, sums up the "worth" of it all to me:

Siegfried Gursche, in the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, quotes: “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fifty percent of all our illness can be traced to indoor pollution, which is ten times more toxic than its outdoor counterpart.”

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Your Herbal "Stemulus" Package

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

3-Day Healing

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Educated Natural Living

In the "old days" what one read in a book or magazine was thought to be pretty accurate and we often based decisions on what we read. It was only with the advent of the Internet and self-publishing that more opinions emerged and we started to question what we were reading. Now, the tangled web we are in amazes me! In this day and age one needs to actually be educated in the field of natural healing and natural living just to be able to navigate the websites, online articles and off-line magazines and books.

I can't even read a magazine or book today without stopping every few pages and saying - "Hey - that is not true!" or "Wow! That is bad advice!"

Here is an example from a woman's magazine I picked up at the grocery store:

THE LIE (from the magazine)
(Article on saving energy)
"Cook your meals in your microwave oven, and you'll save time plus use 50% to 65% less energy than if you used a conventional oven."

THE REALITY (from me)
If you cook food with a microwave oven it will not save money because when you cook (or even re-heat) with a microwave you are destroying nutrients in the food. Food has no real value without nutrients so you will either find yourself more hungry later and need to eat more or you will find yourself depleated of nutrients over time and will need to purchase expensive supplements. Furthermore, a poor diet of microwave cooked food will cause health issues that will also cost you money.

This is just one example. However I see tens of examples daily as I browse the newspaper, magazines, articles and online sites.

So this little BLOG post is just a reminder....

Make sure you are educated in the subject you are reading about. Herbal and natural healing information in magazines and online can inspire me and give me new ideas. However, they are only useful when I also have the knowledge and tools to know how to cross-reference information and use the information I am given.

Do you know how to figure out the dosage of an herb you want to take after reading an article about it? Do you know how or where to cross-reference information about that herb? Do you know the most recent studies about the different trends in health (eggs, cholesterol, water,sleep, etc...) and how they compare to studies done ten years ago?

Without a lot of basic information a person can easily be misled through many online articls and even published books.

Make it a goal for yourself this year to become educated in some of the topics you read about most - you can take classes at a local community college, you can study a well-respected book on the topic and now you can even audit some of my online courses for a fraction of the cost it takes to be a full-time student. Check out the auditing possibilities at:

Audit Natural Healing Courses

Blessings & Health,

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Healing Power of Nurturing Herbs

Sometimes part of the healing process with a child (or any person for that matter) is the nurturing and reassuring feeling they get by "taking medicine". Somehow, this process evokes a healing response in the body, in addition to any healing power the medicine may have.

One of the many reasons I enjoy herbal healing with children so much is because I am able to allow them to heal themselves with herbs and they can even take a few extra sips or spoons of herbal syrup if they feel the need.

Because I only use very mild and safe herbs with the children like peppermint, chamomile, catnip, fenugreek and others, I am able to leave these herbs in drawers labelled "Stomach ache", "Fever", "Nerves", "Sleep", etc...and invite the children to use the herbs when they feel the need. I would never feel comfortable doing this with any OTC medicine as most can have serious side effects if taken in any excess at all. Of course the children have been taught how to use herbs and have been told all the safety warnings and they usually ask me first anyway...but the fact that I can feel comfortable leaving these "medicines" within their reach is wonderful.

Additionally, when my child feels the need to take more herbal syrup or tea because they want to feel they are "getting better faster" I don't have to say "no". I invite them to have an extra cup of peppermint tea or an extra spoon or two of chamomile syrup, knowing that they probably do not need it, but that it will not harm them either. And they feel better because they sometimes enjoy the process of taking the medicine. Somehow "taking medicine" makes a child feel special when they are ill. It helps a person feel nurtured. And those feelings can help a person heal.

If you would like to do this with your children make sure you are only using very mild herbs that are safe for children and that they know how to use the herbs and are supervised as much as possible in the beginning and that the place where you openly store your herbs is in a public place near where you are. I have posted before about the side effects of herbal medicines and how we must be cautious even with remedies that are natural. Over-use or misuse can cause a variety of problems, and taking herbs that are not suitable to your temperament can also cause a variety of problems (see previous BLOG posts).

If you would like some ideas on how to teach your child about herbs and natural healing you can check out some of the parent-child classes I am offering at

Blessings & Health,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

HERBS: Winter Herbs for Your Blood Type

I found this wonderful chart online for those of you interested in eating according to your blood type AND season! This chart shows you what herbs, appropriate for the winter season, are ALSO good for your blood type. You can find the chart at:

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

It's the Little Things...

Sometimes it is the little things that help us lead a healthier and more holistic lifestyle - not the big changes! Here are three little things that have made very big changes in my life. I appreciate finding things like this. We spend so much time trying to improve our lives or make changes for the better. Sometimes we spend hours and many dollars and of course we always hear the saying, "If it sounds too good to be true it is". However, sometimes it sounds too good to be true and it actually is true! This is how it was with these three things for me. I am sure there are more...and would love to hear about yours too (please comment below this post on the BLOG) but these are the three that stand out for me the past month:

1. Lavender on the Drier Sheets. I get unscented drier sheets and put a few drops of lavender on them before I toss them in with the bedding. It helps the bedding to smell wonderful, the kids love it and it actually helps them to sleep better. We all sleep better with the lavender infused sheets and it is much easier than running the diffuser, putting it in the bath or rubbing it one someone's feet. It is also very very inexpensive.

2. The One-Server Blender: I purchased a small blender that has a little base on the bottom and then on the top it is a 16-ounce cup with a lid and a cap - much like a portable coffee mug or plastic drink cup you get from a gas station. You can make a smoothie in this little cup/blender and then take the entire cup off the top of the blender, put a straw through the lid and then enjoy it. It is easy to clean, the kids enjoy making their own smoothies with it, you can make individual flavors (since everyone around here likes different ones), you can take it out the door for a quick breakfast or snack and it encourages us to drink more smoothies. Since buying this the kids and I have eaten a lot more fruit and one more serving of something healthy means one less serving of something potentially unhealthy.

3. The Mini Vac: I have a mini vac near the dining room. Every time one of the children or animals makes a mess I (or even the kids) take the little vac down, vaccuum it up and it is done. I used to have to vaccuum the entire floor in the dining room area almost daily, but now with this spot cleaning method I don't have as much work to do. And that gives me more time to make homemade bread!

What are some of the little things that make a difference in your life?

Blessings & Health,


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Blessings & Health,