Planting the seeds of health: Part 1

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After a long winter and frustrating spring, we are exuberantly working to get our fields and gardens planted. Some will spend time planning just the right colors, textures, heights and maybe even fragrances in their flower gardens. Others are planting vegetables and herbs. Maybe they are trying new varieties, or planting old favorites, or even some of the varieties planted by our ancestors decades or centuries ago that are popular recently. A lot of time and effort goes into the process. Do we put the same effort into our health?

Do we have a strategy for growing our seeds of health?

It’s highly unusual that you can just throw seeds into the wind and have a productive crop, especially in a small garden. You can attempt it, but rarely will you get the desired results. No, it takes work to get a satisfying yield. Yet, the work can be enjoyable and worth every effort. But it starts with a plan, and that plan starts with preparing the soil.

If you really want to do it right, you’ll get a soil sample out to get evaluated, and recommendations made so that you have the perfect growing medium (visit the Kootenai County Extension Office, Master Gardener Clinic to get a test kit). The other option is to just buy compost or a natural fertilizer based on guess work and hope you’re not wasting your precious money. The condition of the soil — the composition of sand, silt, and clay is the best place to start. You don’t want your plants feet soggy all the time, nor do they like to be dry. Then, to have healthy plants, you need the right combination of nutrients — and not just N-P-K either. All the minerals in the proper proportions are necessary for the plant to be healthy. Next, you want to protect them — from insects, overgrowth of other wanted or unwanted plants, the stress of over or under watering or the stress of too much or too little sun.

The miracle of plant life parallels the miracle of human life. We too need to have our “soils” evaluated. Typically, we use lab tests to determine if we are heading for, or in, a health crisis. Our body “soil” can be stressed physiologically, emotionally, physically or chemically if the right conditions don’t exist.

This is where you really need a health detective. What’s wrong? Is it a soil problem? Nutrients? Water? Sun? A good health detective is going to look at all the factors, and not just the symptom, such as the bug. Then a good strategy is put into place for growing the seeds of health. Then and only then will you be truly healthy and vital! We will look at several of these factors in Part II of Planting the Seeds of Health.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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