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Tips from our Doctors

The more you learn about the healing powers of herbs, the more you can gain in terms of your personal health and well-being. This is why our advisory team of doctors and herbalists has developed these practical tips to help you on your journey.

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Women and the Evolution of Health Care

April 16th, 2010

by Keri Marshall, MS, ND

For the first time in history, women’s medicine is taking a front-row seat and is in part guiding the new health care discussions. Until recently, health care decisions and research have primarily revolved around men. However, because women are the primary consumers of health care, they have helped to shape the new debate. In fact, modern women are the first women in history to actually anticipate longevity and self-directed health care, in part due to the natural health movement that is sweeping society.

Self-awareness and education around women’s bodies are leading to more opportunity and choices for health and health maintenance. From natural childbirth to herbal remedies for menopause instead of synthetic hormones, integrative medicine is on many people’s minds. All women want safe and effective options for health care, with little to no side effects. Integrative medicine can serve as a platform for women to engage in conventional medical care, including appropriate diagnostics, while exploring either natural options or an integrative approach that combines both conventional and natural options.

As far as herbal remedies go, there are many options available that can help women enjoy health maintenance as well as systems support for the body. Women need to feel like they have energy and vitality both inside and out. External beauty always makes women feel better, but with a diminished sense of vitality, such as if a woman generally feels sluggish, then they won’t feel motivated to cook healthy food and exercise regularly. They will not be able to have healthy relationships and excel in their workplace or as parents if that is the case. This could likely result in depression.

Women need to ensure that the systems in their body that regulate stress pathways, such as the adrenal glands, are fully functional. Interestingly, these are the same endocrine glands that produce the hormone DHEA, which plays a role in libido. Healthy adrenal glands will help maintain normal moods and normal energy levels. Gaia Herbs’ best selling product, Adrenal Health, provides nonglandular adrenal and stress support.* The product contains botanical adaptogens that help the body adapt to stress on a daily basis in a healthy manner, while providing integrity and vitality to the rest of the body.*

Many women also experience hormone fluctuations that may make them feel uncomfortable throughout their menstrual cycle. Chaste Tree Berry, or Vitex, helps the body maintain normal levels of progesterone throughout the menstrual cycle. It has historically been a great alternative for women choosing not to do traditional hormone therapies, including the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy. Restoring a healthy normal balance to a woman’s hormones can bring a renewed sense of vitality and wellness that carries over into multiple areas of a woman’s life. For these reasons, Gaia Herbs offers both a Chaste Tree Berry liquid extract as well as Vitex Elixir for Women liquid extract formula.*

Above Photo: Dr. Marshall sits at Cathey’s Creek, which runs through the Gaia Herbs organic farm.

*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

About Dr. Keri Marshall
Dr. Keri Marshall is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in pediatrics, women’s medicine, and chronic disease management. She also serves as the Medical Director at Gaia Herbs. She has published several scientific papers and magazine articles, has written a book on proteins and amino acids, appears regularly on nationally syndicated radio shows, and has appeared on ABC’s “A View from the Bay” and the “Healing Quest” program seen on public television. Dr. Marshall has served as a scientific adviser to Citizens for Health, a clinical adviser to Nordic Naturals, a nutrition adviser to the United States Sugar Association, and as a nutrition expert in her local public school district. Dr. Marshall received her naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, her master’s in epidemiology from SUNY at Buffalo, and her bachelor’s from the George Washington University. She maintains a small private practice in Washington, DC.