Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Hops are today’s herb of the month. Hops are a member of the Cannabaceae, or hemp, family. The oldest known hop leaves dated back to 67 million years ago.

Most people often think of beer when they hear about hops but they can be used on their own as medicine. In traditional herbal medicine, hops are used to calm indigestion related to nervousness, reduce anxiety, support sleep, reduce pain of menstrual cycles, reduce symptoms of menopause, and reduce inflammation and spasticity. Research suggests hops help to improve symptoms of female hormone imbalances through its modulation of estrogen. Hop flavonoids are the active constituents that are likely responsible for their medicinal properties. Hop extracts are available and contain estrogenic compounds, especially their most potent estrogenic compound called 8-prenylnaringenin. Most studies on 8-prenylnaringenin are directed towards symptoms of estrogen insufficiency in women, like hot flashes of menopause, however this compound has been observed to affect aromatase. Aromatase is an enzyme that often converts men’s testosterone into estrogen, and therefore has huge implications in the evaluation and treatment of men with low testosterone. I presented a case at a conference called the Xymogen Xperience in June 2016 on how important it is to assess and address excessive amounts of estrogen in men with low testosterone using products that contain aromatase inhibitors like 8-prenylnaringenin. If we can modulate estrogen enough, we can improve testosterone in men naturally. Pharmaceutical aromatase inhibitors are also used extensively in patients with hormone sensitive breast cancers. Aromat8-PN™ by Xymogen is the supplement we carry to help support hot flashes in women, modulate excessive estrogen in men and women, and modulate estrogen in hormone sensitive cancers.

If you’re looking to use hops for sleep or anxiety support, I like the Celestial Seasonings Organics Relaxation Tea with Lemon Balm and Hops. Drink 1-3 cups throughout the day or drink a cup at night before bed. Have a great weekend!


Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is today’s herb of the month because of its ability to serve as a food and a medicine. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said, “Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine.”

I like to drink green teas with ginger to give it some flavor. There are many therapeutic benefits to using ginger. In traditional herbal medicine, it acts to stimulate appetite, reduce nausea, relieve motion sickness, reduce spasticity, hypoglycemic, relieve indigestion, treat diarrhea, reduce joint pains/arthritis, control cough and other respiratory issues, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, diaphoretic (i.e. induce fever), reduce symptoms of drug withdrawal, antiviral, etc. Ginger has also been found to be safe and effective for relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy according to this clinical trial. According to several other studies, ginger’s anti-emetic effects can improve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. A systematic review found ginger to be effective for treating primary dysmenorrhea (cramping in the lower abdomen before or during menstrual cycles in the absence of other diseases). Lastly, a systematic review shows ginger may reduce the subjective experience of pain in some conditions such as osteoarthritis.

My favorite tea brands are Yogi and Tazo. You should consult with a naturopathic physician before taking this product especially if you are taking any medications because there are many potential herb-drug interactions. The most notable interaction is with anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications due to ginger’s ability to inhibit thromboxane formation and platelet aggregation, however this seems to be dose dependent. Try putting some in tea or a vegetable stir-fry.

Until next time, thanks for reading!


Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Green Tea is today’s herb of the month because it’s my morning beverage of choice. I typically drink the caffeinated form in the morning, especially mornings before going to the gym, but decaffeinated versions are also available. There are many therapeutic benefits to consuming green tea as a beverage but it’s ideal if you purchase the organic form of it because it tends to be sprayed very heavily with pesticides. In traditional herbal medicine, it acts to as an antioxidant, antibacterial, immune modulator (especially in cancerous conditions), antiviral, hypoglycemic, and hypotensive. According to medical research, it’s benefits are to prevent high blood pressure, prevent tooth decay by preventing bacteria from attaching to teeth, prevents heart disease through inhibition of LDL cholesterol oxidation, and protection against cancers (particularly colon and stomach cancer). Oxidation is when a wrench rusts or an apple turns brown. When this oxidation process happens to our LDL cholesterol, it creates inflammatory changes within the arteries, which promotes atherosclerosis and increases risk for cardiovascular events (i.e. heart attack, stroke, etc). It’s not so much that high cholesterol is always bad; we need cholesterol to make our hormones. It’s more whether the cholesterol is in a more inflammatory form, like oxidized LDL cholesterol, small particle size, increased particle number, etc. I also recommend people with to consume green tea regularly for prevention and management of cancer due to protection from chemotherapy and laboratory studies showing one of its constituents (EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate) may interfere with formation of blood vessels around tumors and may cause tumor cell death (apoptosis).

You should consult with a naturopathic doctor before taking this product especially if you are taking any medications because there are many potential herb-drug interactions.

My favorite brands are Yogi and Tazo.


Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

Maca is today’s herb of the month because a patient living in Peru recently brought me some of the freshly harvested root. Although it’s used in Peru extensively as a food due to its rich nutritional content, Maca has numerous medicinal functions. In traditional herbal medicine, it’s often used to enhance libido, reduce hot flashes of menopause, balance menstrual irregularities, improve erectile dysfunction, enhance fertility, and improve anxiety/depression. Herbal actions include adaptogen, aphrodisiac, anti-depressant and trophorestorative. In laymen’s/laywomen’s terms, it helps us adapt to physical and mental stress, enhances libido, improves symptoms of depression and supports fertility/hormones. I’ve used this clinically to help improve athletic performance, increase libido, reduce hot flashes in women, and increase fertility in men and women. One research study even found it to improve prescription-induced sexual dysfunction in women. Another study on male cyclists found maca to increase exercise performance and sexual desire after 14 days. Other studies have shown it to increase sperm motility, reduce blood pressure and depressive symptoms, and reduce psychological symptoms and sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. I personally have been using the powder in my morning smoothies to help me adapt to physical and mental stress of life. One of my favorite brands for Maca as food is Navitas Naturals, but one of my favorite brands for Maca as medicine is Herb Pharm (liquid) or Gaia Herbs (capsules). Consult with a health care provider to determine if this could be the right supplement for you. Until next time, enjoy God’s pharmacy right outside.

Maca is today’s herb of the month because a patient living in Peru recently brought me some of the freshly harvested root. Although it’s used in Peru extensively as a food due to its rich nutritional content, Maca has numerous medicinal functions. In traditional herbal medicine, it’s often used to enhance libido, reduce hot flashes of menopause, balance menstrual irregularities, improve erectile dysfunction, enhance fertility, and improve anxiety/depression. Herbal actions include adaptogen, aphrodisiac, anti-depressant and trophorestorative. In laymen’s/laywomen’s terms, it helps us adapt to physical and mental stress, enhances libido, improves symptoms of depression and supports fertility/hormones. I’ve used this clinically to help improve athletic performance, increase libido, reduce hot flashes in women, and increase fertility in men and women. One research study even found it to improve prescription-induced sexual dysfunction in women. Another study on male cyclists found maca to increase exercise performance and sexual desire after 14 days. Other studies have shown it to increase sperm motility, reduce blood pressure and depressive symptoms, and reduce psychological symptoms and sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. I personally have been using the powder in my morning smoothies to help me adapt to physical and mental stress of life. One of my favorite brands for Maca as food is Navitas Naturals, but one of my favorite brands for Maca as medicine is Herb Pharm (liquid) or Gaia Herbs (capsules). Consult with a health care provider to determine if this could be the right supplement for you. Until next time, enjoy God’s pharmacy right outside.

Meet Dr. Meyer!

Originally from Hammonton, New Jersey, Dr. Kyle Meyer he moved to Atlanta, GA where he recently completed his 2-year residency after graduating from naturopathic medical education in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Meyer attended National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, Oregon for 4 years where he received a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree and a certificate in Shiatsu massage. Before attending naturopathic medical school, Dr. Meyer earned his undergraduate degree from Albright College in Biology, Business, Pre-Med.

Dr. Meyer’s goals are to provide patients with the resources to attain health through the use of physical medicine, exercise, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, and pain education. After his patients recover from their health imbalance, his goal is to educate others on how to maintain health using diet, exercise, lifestyle, natural remedies and food as medicine. When he isn’t aiding patients on their road to health, you can find him at sporting events, concerts, or hiking with his chocolate Labrador and his wife.

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