Welcome to April! As I am writing this the weather is
beautiful, my tulips and daffodils are blooming and I
have kale and collard greens in the garden ready to
cook that made it through the winter ! I haven't even
rototilled and planted yet and so I guess I have to till
around these greens! It is so nice to have some fresh
garden vegetables already. Since we had some
really deep freezes, perhaps all of the snow and
moisture we had this winter protected them. Anyway
this is a first for me living here in zone 5! This
month's newsletter will be a variety pack. My
colleague, Jacob Shor , N.D. of Denver wrote a
compelling article about lavender and its perils (!)
that I just had to include here. So get out, get active
and enjoy the great weather!
Last June Clifford Bloch pediatric
endocrinologist here in Denver reported that young
boys grew breasts after using lavender shampoo.
Gynecomastia, the medical term for enlarged
male breasts, usually results from an imbalance
between estrogens, which stimulate breast growth,
and testosterone. The condition is very rare before
puberty, rare enough that Bloch realized something
was wrong with a dozen preteen boys with
gynecomastia seen in his practice. Testing showed
their sex hormones were at normal levels. Bloch
interviewed the boys and their parents carefully and
found that they were all using a shampoo, hair gel or
other topical product that contained lavender.
The gynecomastia got better when the boys
stopped using the lavender containing products.
Bloch took this a step further. He contacted Derek
Henley and Kenneth Korach of the National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences in Research
Triangle Park , N.C. These two investigators set up
an experiment in their lab and exposed human-
breast cells to lavender. They found that the oil
turned on estrogen-regulated genes and inhibited an
There is every reason to assume these oils have a
similar but unnoticed effect in young girls. It would
just be harder to notice. Earlier age of sexual
development has been blamed on many
environmental factors; eating too much tofu [i] and
chicken or the phthalates in plastics [ii] have all been
pointed to as possible culprits. Lavender exposure is
another cause we should now consider
Other interesting lavender research has come out
this year. Lavender looks useful for treating
depression and insomnia in college aged women. [iii]
It changes autonomic nervous function lowering
blood pressure, at least in rats. [iv] It increases
appetite, slows the break down of fat and stimulates
weight gain. [v] It acts as an effective anti parasitic,
killing giardia and trichimonas. [vi] A study from 2005
confirmed our long time use of lavender as an
In our eagerness to shift away from synthetically
manufactured chemicals to things more natural, we
may have rushed a little too quickly in assuming that
pharmaceutical grade plant extracts were benign.
Lavender obviously has a long history of safe use but
the extracts we are now are quite strong and may
cause effects unnoticed in the past. It's not just
lavender. Highly concentrated plant extracts are
added to almost all shampoos and soaps.
Gynecomastia of course is one of those
undesirable side effects of the hormone blockade
used to treat advanced prostate cancer. This might
make one wonder if lavender might have a role in
treating prostate cancer. Recall that lavender is one
of the sources of perillyl alcohol. And indeed a May,
2006 study concluded, “These novel properties of
perillyl alcohol strongly suggest that perillyl alcohol
could be highly useful for intervention of prostate
cancer.” [viii] Although an earlier phase II human trial
published in 2003 wasn't able to demonstrate benefit.
[ix] , another 2003 study called it a “promising new
agent” that could be used to “radio-sensitize prostate
cancer cells.” [x] While it seems unlikely that the
lavender used in a shampoo provides enough perillyl
alcohol to make a difference, it is still worth
Irregardless of whether lavender has a role to
play in cancer treatment, it is obvious that it has little
use in products used on a routine basis for healthy
people and especially children. Double check those
shampoo bottles at your earliest opportunity.
by Jacob Shor, N.D.
HB 1192 on the Move! More letters needed to Rep. Jack Pommer in House District 11!
I already forwarded an alert to you all last week. We
need more letters to Rep. Jack Pommer in HD 11.
House District 11 incudes parts of East Boulder,
Gunbarrel, Niwot and Longmont. Mr. Pommer
himself doesn't believe in natural medicine, but he
REALLY needs to hear from his constituents that
they want it and that it is important to them! HIS YES
VOTE IS CRUCIAL!!!!!!
Some messaging ideas:
Health care professions are not static entities.
They evolve and change in relation to new
technologies or changing consumer interest.
Complementary medicine, is one of the fastest
growing parts of the health care sector.
This discussion may be upsetting to some if not
most of those currently involved in health care work.
The exclusive franchise of what counts for health or
even medicine will no longer be able to be controlled
by a few individuals.
Recognition that a single western scientific model
of the world is no longer the only acceptable model of
The paradigm of health care needs to adapt to
the diverse views of the world.
The existing system has severe limitations in
The recognition that the mechanical biological
model of health, so dominant in the 20th century
exists along with other models of wellness and being.
Choice by individuals is not only a right, but often
produces different and better outcomes.
Protect the public, and protect the rights of
NO EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS YET! Letters
need to be received by April 9th! Write him at:
Honorable Representative Pommer
Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Rm 271
Denver, Co. 80203
or home address:
Representative Jack Pommer
605 Pine Street
Boulder, Co. 80302
Dr. Paul Herscu, N.D. a naturopath and homeopath
based in Massachusetts has successfully used the
homeopathic remedy Lycopodium for dogs and cats
poisoned by tainted dog food. I would recommend a
200c dose 3x per day but if it is an emergency, you
could just pick up a 30c dose from the natural food
store and administer 3x/day. It has a strong effect on
the liver and Dr. Herscu has seen it work in several
In honor and reverence to nature's power and the
power of Kale surviving the coldest snowiest
Colorado winter I've ever experienced, here are
some Kale recipes from around the world! Since I'm
a fairly novice gardener as they go, I'm sure that
others are also eating kale from the garden already
so here's to us and here's to Kale!
Now that it is officially Bolder Boulder training
season, many of us are stepping up our activity
levels. After this last very snowy winter, many people
didn't get out as much as they would have liked and
are feeling the consequences now. My husband ,
Chrystos , who works as a massage therapist for
Massage Specialists is seeing a lot of overtraining
injuries. Here is a list of things you can do to prevent
longterm consequences of overtraining.
an adequate amount of protein. Many athletes,
especially ones who live at altitude tend to be protein
deficient. You should be eating at least 1.5-2 grams
of protein per kilogram of body weight.
adequate calcium. This will help to protect your
bones and also help to prevent muscle cramping.
1000-1200 mg/day is adequate.
enough omega 3 and 6 oils. This will help to
counteract any inflammation that may be caused from
muscle overuse and injury.
4. Make sure your
adrenals are healthy. Depleted adrenal glands can
cause fatigue and burnout, as well as affecting the
thyroid gland. This could be you if you are training
hard and are tired all the time and gaining weight
and/or not gaining muscle mass.
5. Drink at
least 1/2 of your body weight in oz of purified water
6. L-glutamine can be helpful to
protect your gut mucosa. Many runners have
increased intestinal irritability with running. 500 mg
per day can help your gut mucosa stay healthy and
prevent capillary fragility in the G.I. tract.