By Carol Van Kirk



Are you feeling irritable and apprehensive, constantly tired to the point where getting out of bed each day is a chore, and you no longer have the energy to get through your normal daily routine? Perhaps you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or you are unable to cope with the slightest social or professional obligations. Okay, the holidays have come and gone, and that’s enough to put anyone in a funk.

Most people have more than their share of chores and not enough time to get it all done. And others feel left out of what appears to be a happy social and familial whirl of events for everyone else but not them. Sometimes, however, these feelings have been around for a while and last long after the last string of lights are packed away.

According to Dr. Alex Strande, D.N., Naturopath and Director of the Simply Healing Clinic in Irvine, CA, feelings of anxiety and depression are very common in our fast-paced society and often exist together. Naturopathy is the practice of natural, non-invasive methods of healing that employs herbs and other botanical substances, sound nutritional principles and exercise to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.

The symptoms of depression and anxiety are many. They range from mild irritability, decreased or increased appetite, indecisiveness, lack of concentration, heart palpitations, dizziness and nausea, chest pains to feelings of terror that supercede reality, and thoughts of suicide. These symptoms can be triggered by life events such as divorce, death of a loved one, loss of job, or by physical imbalances in the body.

Women are especially prone to depression and anxiety because they are often overburdened with the responsibilities of full-time jobs, raising children and tackling the major burden of household chores. Women also have to cope with delicate hormonal changes throughout their lives that can upset their natural bodily rhythms and balance, causing depression and/or anxiety.

When asked what treatment he uses for this common and widespread problem, Dr. Strande responded, “My treatment is very individualized, based on the patient’s symptoms. I use very concentrated, therapeutic doses of liquid herbs individually mixed for each patient. Because they are organic by nature, herbs are compatible with the body’s own chemistry and can be gently effective without toxic side effects.

“Traditional Western, allopathic medicine typically uses poisonous drugs, which may or may not alleviate the symptoms and definitely do not get rid of the underlying problem. The long-term side effects of these drugs can be devastating and worse than the illness itself. My treatments banish depression and anxiety permanently, and the patient often sees an alleviation of symptoms within the first seven days.

The doctor cites the case of a patient whom we’ll call Helena, age 40, who was suffering from a combination of anxiety and depression. She had tried many different drugs but was getting worse and contemplating suicide. She was taking Xanax to get through each day, was suffering from insomnia, and missing too much work. The woman came in as a last resort, desperate to get well after having exhausted the efforts of several allopathic physicians.

“Helena’s first visit was in October of 2003,” says Dr. Strande. “I put her on a protocol of liquid herbs, some amino acids and other supplements. By her next visit in the beginning of November, she had improved an average of 75% in her overall symptoms. By mid-November, her symptoms had improved overall by 90%. She is currently on a maintenance program and will soon be able to discontinue the regimen of herbs, amino acids and supplements, and will be able to maintain her emotional health without additional treatment.”

When I expressed surprise at this patient’s quick response to the treatment, Dr. Strande responded that he is only bringing the patient’s natural healing ability into play. “The body has a tremendous ability to heal itself if we will just allow it to work. Most illnesses, including emotional disorders, are manifestations of underlying physical pathology that causes an imbalance in the body.

The symptoms are expressions of the body trying to heal itself. By introducing chemicals into the healing process, allopathic medicine subverts the natural healing process and only suppresses the symptoms. Through the use of these concentrated herbs, I am able to work with the body’s healing process and reestablish a healthy environment.”

Alex Strande is a Traditional Naturopath and Microbiologist. He can be contacted for appointments and consultations at (949) 553-1882. Also please check out

Carol Van Kirk is a technical writer with an interest in consumer health. She can be reached at .  

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