Passion for Healing Naturopathic

Dr. Curry's Wellness Blog

In this area Dr. Curry periodically shares her ideas, natural medicine research reviews, recipes, inspirational health stories, health tips, and provides answers to questions her patients are currently asking. These articles are not meant to diagnose or treat any specific condition without Doctor supervision.

Please call Dr. Curry at 503-995-8674 to schedule a Naturopathic Home Visit when you are ready to address your individual health concerns. Dr. Curry will custom tailor a plan targeted to your individual preferences and goals to optimize your whole body, mind and spirit.

Maca for the Potent Male

maca1 maca3

Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a cruciferous plant which is grows at altitudes of 4,000-4,500 m in the Peruvian Central Andes. Maca is traditionally used for both food and medicinal properties. Over the past 20 years increasing global interest in Maca has made Maca a major Peruvian export.  Maca is exported in several forms including capsules, pills, powder, flour, liquor, and extracts. There are different types of maca with different colors ranging from white to black. The type of maca and location of harvest is not generally indicated in maca supplements.  This may be a problem if you are hoping for specific effects from your maca supplement.  In the last decade the pharmacological effects of 3 types of maca, yellow, black, and red maca have been studied.

Research indicates maca affects nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood. Black maca has shown to increase sperm while yellow maca has only moderate effects, and red maca has no effect at all on sperm production. However, red maca has been shown to reduce prostate size in rat studies with yellow maca showing only moderate prostate shrinking effects, and here it is black maca that shows no effect. Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility, and semen volume. Most studies show serum levels of testosterone, estradiol, LH, FSH, and prolactin are not affected. How these sexual health effects are produced without apparent effects on sex hormones is still being explored.  Some sources suggest that perhaps maca helps activate the hormones, others think maca activates DNA, still others think a completely new mechanism may be responsible.

Regardless about how maca causes these enhancements in men’s sexual health, recent research clearly indicates that various bioactive constituents contribute to the clinical effects reported. Randomized clinical trials have shown that maca has favorable effects on energy and mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire.  Many naturopathic clinicians I know have reported that using specific maca formulations that take into consideration the type of maca used have improved clinical results beyond those seen with maca supplements sourced without regards to phenotype.  If you’ve tried maca before, you may not have been taking the right kind for what ails you.  Come in for a consultation and together we can determine if maca would be a good addition to your overall men’s health and wellness plan. If you are interested in reading more about maca check out these links that do a pretty good job summarizing the recent research on maca and why in this case the colors do matter:

This entry was posted in Herbal Reviews, Men's Health, Sexual Health and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

Split Pea Soup with Toasted Kasha and Veggies

IMG_2460[1]I’ve modified a traditional Jewish Recipe into a delicious split pea soup with extra nutrition from added vegetables and kasha (buckwheat).  Buckwheat is a traditional whole grain food that is not related to wheat at all, indeed is actually a very small fruit called an achene and is related to rhubarb, making this a great option for gluten-free diets.


Each cup of cooked kasha supplies 148 mg potassium and only 7 mg sodium, which helps restore balance to our excessively sodium heavy diet and may help normalize high blood pressure. Each cup of cooked kasha, or buckwheat groats, provides 4.5 g dietary fiber, or 18 percent of the daily value. Dietary fiber can help lower levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol in your blood and reduces your risk for constipation. Most Americans get less than half of the recommended amount of fiber, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kasha provides just under 10 percent of the daily value for choline, niacin and iron. Kasha is also a low-glycemic index food, making this great for diabetics.

Feel free to add a little more or less of any ingredient you want as this recipe can be very flexible.  If you want more flavors add a pinch of smoke flavoring, a ham hock, or your substitute your favorite meat stock.  Get creative-this is your soup!  Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups dried split peas
1 1/2 cups dried Kasha (buckwheat grouts)
1 large organic carrot diced
1 medium organic zucchini diced
1 organic celery stick diced
1/2 medium onion diced
5 cloves of garlic chopped
6 cups organic vegetable stock (or water)
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (1 tsp dry)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp dry)
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano (1/2 tsp dry)
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp dry)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (1 tsp dry)
1/2 chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)
salt to taste

Start by rinsing the split peas. Add stock or water and bring to a boil on the stove-top. Reduce heat and simmer until peas are softened, about 25 minutes.

Toast the Kasha grouts in a pan in a toaster oven or on stove-top until fragrant and slightly browned (not blackened), about five minutes.

Add the toasted Kasha, the chopped vegetables and herbs to the cooked split peas. Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer another 25 minutes (or to preferred consistency).

Serve hot in a bowl. Crack an egg into the soup or sprinkle cheese or broken crackers on top if desired. Pair with toasted bread or a side salad. Then sit back and feel the intense nutrition flood into your happy body! Enjoy!

This entry was posted in Dairy Free, Diabetes management, Gluten-free, Healthy Diet Advise, Recipes, Transition to good food, Uncategorized, Wheat-free and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Collecting and Processing Cottonwood Tips Video

Check out my new YouTube video on how to make medicine using Cottonwood tips!

Collecting and Processing Cottonwood Tips

This entry was posted in Making Herbal Medicine, Videos.

Statins: Are they really the best first therapy for elevated cholesterol?

Risk of incident diabetes among patients treated with statins: population based study

The link above will take you to an article from the British Medical Journal about a Canadian study on the effects of different statin drugs on developing diabetes.

Statin drugs as the primary method for reducing cholesterol levels already have many known associated negative side effects. Ongoing now is a controversy over whether statin drugs actually can increase the risk of developing type II diabetes. Some researchers conclude there is no risk, but others are confident in their findings that there is some increased risk. I like this study because it is large, and goes through the hassle of comparing individual statins against each other instead of just lumping all statins together. These researchers found that in their study of 471,250 patients taking statins over 14 years certain types of statins were associated with higher incidence of onset of type II diabetes. Most notably after adjustment for known confounders, and compared with patients treated with pravastatin, those treated with atorvastatin faced a 22% increase in the risk of new onset diabetes. This makes me really nervous about the widespread use of statin drugs as the first choice for lowering lipid and cholesterol levels. There are a variety of more natural methods for doing this that are much safer. Yes, the controversy suggests the risk increases are overall low, but if I can prevent even 1 or 2 out of 100 of my patients from developing diabetes because of the treatment I recommended, then that is to me very worth the hassle of trying other means first and resorting to statins only when other means have failed. FIRST DO NO HARM PHYSICIANS! And always be wary of the secret big pharm funding trails that may influence the outcomes of studies on extremely profitable popular drugs. Ultimately time will tell all, but in the meantime do you really want to risk it yourself?

This entry was posted in Diabetes management, Warnings and tagged , .

Transition to Good Food

This entry was posted in Healthy Diet Advise, Transition to good food.

Shopping For the Healthy Cart

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Whole Grains-What Are They Really?

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