Archive for tag: garden

Baby Niece Update

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Hello everyone! I am writing you from Springfield, Missouri with my one-month-old niece cuddled up in my lap! She is just sooo stinkin' cute I can't keep my hands off her for a second! My sister and brother-in-law left to run errands together this morning and left Grace with my boyfriend and I to look after. Right now she just woke up from a nap and was one hungry little baby so I warmed her "emergency" bottle and after a nice burp she was the happiest little thing ever! Seeing her lay here on the floor looking around the room taking things in makes me think of how minute all the stresses in my life are. Although I love the path I have chosen for myself, I am very excited for my "after school life" to begin so I can spend the majority of my time with my family, including my little Grace!

Ashley -baby

Clinic Update

Last week in clinic we learned we would be having a new doctor on staff to report to. He is a medical doctor with a couple other busy practices in the surrounding Chicago area. This is great news for us, especially in the Naturopathic field as this opens up the opportunity for us to train in our full scope of practice in the state of Illinois. I will be sure to keep you posted on our new staff member and clinic happenings as they come up!

Botanical Garden Update

The NUHS botanical garden is overflowing with herbs ready for harvesting. Last Friday morning the Naturopathic interns and clinicians took a walk over to the garden to brush up on our botanical knowledge. Thinking back on when we first planted this little garden last spring and seeing how it has taken off is really breathtaking. It was such a beautiful morning that we decided to have a little ND photo shoot complements of Dr. Coe, a professor in the massage therapy program as well as fellow ND intern. 

Ashley -peeps

That's all I have for now, hope you have a great week!

ZRT Bowl

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With the trimester flying by, the ZRT naturopathic medical students' collegiate bowl at the annual naturopathic convention is fast approaching! We have booked our flights to Portland and made our hotel reservations, so there is no turning back! The group of four of us who are going to participate are meeting weekly to practice for the competition. Although I am very excited to compete for NUHS, the next few weeks are going to be crazy with taking final examinations early, as we will be missing the last two weeks of school. A few crazy weeks of examinations will be well worth it once we are in Portland!

While we are out on the West Coast, we plan to shadow at as many naturopathic clinics as we can. Being so close to graduation, making connections with practicing NDs is becoming more important. We already have one shadowing opportunity set in stone in southern California. I can't wait to report back on how it goes!


In Botanicals recently, we discussed the topic of treating cancer in a naturopathic clinical setting. This topic is particularly interesting to me as I plan to pursue further education in naturopathic oncology. The field of oncology is vast, therefore most naturopathic treatments are guided toward integrated care and supporting the body's ability to tolerate debilitating chemotherapy, radiology and surgical treatments. There are many botanical formulas that can be given to help patients gain their energy and strength back after oncology treatments and to help with the brain fog patients experience post-chemotherapy referred to as "chemo brain." The lecture on botanical uses in cancer is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to naturopathic therapies that can be utilized as adjunctive treatment in the field of oncology.

We're also discussing oncology in depth in both Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine. I am a total cancer junkie… so I will be sure to relay any interesting information!

With about 10 papers and 3 presentations looming over my head I had better get to typing! Have a great week!


This week's photos show how our naturopathic garden is progressing.

Garden -sarah

Russian Steam Hydrotherapy

This week, I spent extra time in the clinic observing patients as well as being a patient. My student intern suggested that I do weekly Russian steam hydrotherapy treatments for detoxification, stress relief and overall immune support. There are two phases to the treatment.

The first phase is pretty intense as you start out in a mini steam sauna for 20 minutes where only your head is exposed. The intern takes your temperature and pulse every five minutes to ensure you don't get overheated, and offers you sips of water to keep you hydrated. After you get good and sweaty in the sauna, you transfer over to a hydrotherapy table.

This second phase of the treatment is spent lying on the hydro table wrapped up tight in a wool blanket and sheet that has been soaked in ice-cold water to induce sweating yet again. Yes, you are expected to climb into the cold wet sheet and wrap up! The contrast of being warmed in the steam sauna and then wrapping in a cold sheet is an important part of the treatment. It is typical to see the body temperature decrease by a few degrees after transferring from the steam sauna to the cold sheet wrap, but it will quickly rise again once you are wrapped up! This phase can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours

I only lasted 30 minutes in the wrap but my intern said that the more I get the treatment done, the longer I will be able to last in the wrap. We will see how I feel by the end of the month after a few more Russian steam treatments!

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BBQ and Baby

This weekend some friends and I got together for a barbeque and to hang out with our friend from school, Fayaz, and her 3-month-old baby boy, Layethe. Layethe did very well considering he was being passed from stranger to stranger! I know it must be hard taking care of a new baby and trying to finish out two more trimesters of school but Fayaz defiantly does a great job.

It made me realize that sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our school weeks that we forget that life outside of NUHS does go on. Although my reality is not taking care of an infant at this time in my life, it makes me realize just how much I do take on. With 30 credits, student clinic, two gardens, blogs, and work, I couldn't imagine adding even one more thing on right now. Not to mention it is summertime! It was really nice to finally get to meet little Layethe and to end the weekend with an amazing barbeque! 

Garden Update

We have been slowly sprucing up the garden with plant markers, fencing and a new watering system. The plants seem to be taking off and are thriving. The only thing left to do is work out a watering schedule and the garden should be set!

Ashley -Campus -Garden

Groundbreaking Weekend

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It's official! NUHS has a botanical garden!

About 15 students showed up to partake in the planting of the garden, and with so much help we were done planting an 8x10-10 foot plot in just over an hour. Before we packed up our tools we stood around the plot hand-in-hand and took a moment to think back on all of our hard work in getting to this moment.

It was suggested by a student that for good gardening luck we should spit on the garden. I know this sounds disgusting, but it was actually really fun! Now all that is left to do is to spruce up walking paths with stones and make a sign with the NUHS Botanical Garden printed on it! We will be assigning a watering and weeding schedule this week to help with maintenance of the garden. This week I'll welcome the rain instead of wishing it away!

In the Classroom

As for classroom news, this week's topic in Advanced Manipulation class was on low back and leg endurance tests. This meant that we were subjected to performing each test to see where we fell compared to the average patient. Dr. Selby had us really sweating by doing as many squats, sit-ups and sustained planks as we could! He wanted us to be able to experience what it would be like for a patient if they were asked to perform these endurance tests. Granted, we were not wearing proper attire, most of us in summer dresses, so it was a bit difficult to perform at our highest potential, but it was an enjoyable lecture nonetheless!

Ashley -sideplank

One of our teachers, Dr. Lou, is always telling us of the importance of "living in our labs" - meaning, we should not be recommending things to our patients that we have not tried ourselves. If we expect our patients to eat healthy and exercise regularly...we should be doing the same!

In the Pool

With the weather being so nice this weekend I finally got to take advantage of the swimming pool at my apartment. A friend from home came into town this weekend so we spent most of our time relaxing in the sunshine! Being that I did not apply sunscreen liberally enough, I ended up getting a pretty good sunburn on my shoulders. Not to worry though, homeopathic Cantharis and Calendula lotion to the rescue! 

This week is full of midterms and papers… but I will surely find time to play in the garden! I will keep you posted on the latest growth!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

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It has been raining off and on the past couple of weeks, making it almost impossible to keep up with the weeding in the garden! The rain has also postponed the planting of the botanical garden on campus until next weekend, weather permitting. In the meantime we have the plants and manpower ready to go!

Writing and More Writing

This week was exceptionally exhausting. I spent a lot of extra time in the clinic writing charts, which seems to be my biggest struggle with Student Clinic. After seeing a patient there is an enormous amount of paperwork that needs to be done. I am slowly learning how to concisely put things together, but my poor hand has never done so much writing! If I could only write as fast as I can type… 

Writing seems to be the theme of this trimester. Every class has a writing assignment attached to it in some form. For our advanced ND Business and Jurisprudence course, one of our assignments is to prepare an article on any naturopathic therapy. The article is to be written in terms that anyone can understand. We are to make the paper "web ready," meaning it needs to have links to outside websites and include pictures. The topic I chose was the many uses of the botanical lavender. I discovered a few new ways to incorporate the fragrant herb into cooking and teas, and also add a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow before bed at night to encourage restful sleep. It will be interesting to see what other students choose to write about. 

Much Needed R&R

After a long week of class, I went out with friends for some much needed sushi. It was nice to get dressed up and leave the books at home for a while. With midterms starting next week, we deserved a night out! 

Ashley _sarah _gray

I can't believe it is Week 6 of 15 already… where does the time go! As for now, I am off to make a list of things to do this week… Keeping organized this trimester is an absolute must!