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Herbs to Protect Yourself Against Cold & Flu Season 2017

herbs protect flu cold season

Image courtesy of, Find a Doctor database.

Like clockwork, the cooler weather months often mean a cold or flu infection. Usually, a flu vaccine should protect you against an influenza infection. Unfortunately, it does not protect you against you the 500+ different viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms. In addition, it usually takes 2 weeks for the flu shot to develop enough antibodies to protect your body from the flu virus, noted by Dr. Villarreal, biological dentist in Newbury Park, CA.

Natural Herbs to Protect Yourself Against Cold & Flu Season (2017)

Fortunately, there are many other ways to protect yourself from the cold and flu viruses, including herbs and supplements you can take to enhance the effectiveness of your body’s natural immune system. Here are some herbs known to strengthen the immune system and help defend against colds and flu:

1. Ginger.
Zingiber officinalis, commonly known as ginger, is a spicy, aromatic root that is readily available and a great remedy for respiratory congestion and cold and flu symptoms. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antipyretic (reduces fever), diaphoretic (induces sweating), and analgesic, all of which help to manage the symptoms of cold and flu.

You can take the liquid extract of fresh Ginger Root, or chop up 1-inch of Dried Ginger Root and steep it in one cup of water for 15 minutes to prepare Ginger tea.

Learn More: “Organic” Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy.

2. Echinacea purpurea.
Also known as angustifolia, the Echinacea was used by the native people of North America to treat diverse ailments, including swollen glands, sore throat, toothache, and venomous stings or bites. Numerous studies and trials have corroborated the healing attributes of Echinacea with regard to common colds and glandular inflammation, as well as improving immune activity.

The plant can be easily identified by its purple flower with a spiny orange centre. The entire plant can be used for medicinal purposes, though the roots are said to be stronger, with anti-bacteria, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. To prepare the medication, simply draw some liquid extract from the plant or simmer one teaspoon of dried roots in about 2 cups of water for 20 minutes.

Learn More: Common Food Additives to Avoid that are Overlooked.

3. Elderberry.
Also known as Sambucus nigra, this tasty dark blue berry has antiviral properties. It is a great immune stimulant that effectively helps to manage cold and flu symptoms, including nasal congestion, fever, mucous damage, coughing, and aches and pains. Elderberry can also be used preventively in lower doses to boost your immunity when the cold and flu season approaches, or when you expect to be in crowds where the risk of infection is quite high.

Elderberry can be used as an alcohol-free glycerite or tincture, or one tablespoon of the dried berries simmered in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.

Final Note

Other readily herbs to help protect your family against the flu and cold season include the Oregon grape root, Thyme, peppermint, lemon balm, and garlic. Most can be used to prepare some healing tea that you can sip to recover, usually three cups a day.

amalgam filling removal newbury park
Dr. David Villarreal offers nutrition counseling in Newbury Park for those looking to make lifestyle changes centered around their diet. Not only will his advice help you lose weight, but will also kickstart your health by increasing your stamina, energy, focus, and self-esteem.

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What’s the Best Drug? Exercise!

best drug exercise health benefitsThe New Year is officially here and we’re sure many of you have thought about exercising more and some of us have probably made this a New Year’s Resolution for 2017. Here’s a few things we have to say on exercise.

Exercise is a “Wonder Drug”.

Our diet is very important, but exercise is just as important for our body if we strive for excellent health. In the words of the British Academy of Medical Royal Colleges…

“Physical activity is important in the management of long-term diseases, but it is even more important in the prevention of many other common diseases. I believe that if physical activity was a drug it would be classed as a wonder drug….”

Let’s Take a Look at Science.

Science is fascinating, but the best thing about science is it gives us a basis to put our trust in. What does science say about exercise?

Well… science shows that getting the minimum recommended amount of exercise can reduce risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression, heart disease, and other chronic conditions by at least 30%.

Sure, but what’s the “minimum recommended amount of exercise” – that happens to be 5 days of exercise per week, for 30 minutes each session.

But wait, Exercise has more benefits…

Exercise happens to improve cardiorespiratory health (COPD), increasing the ability for exertion. Researchers have also found moderate improvements in peripheral vascular disease, offering more pain-free walking time and distance.

…of course there’s more…

Physical exercise has also been shown to improve cognitive function for both healthy adults and those with early signs of Alzheimer’s.

In short, exercise can improve your life overall. ☺

We Challenge You.

Did you know that, according to science, an estimated 80% of adults DO NOT meet the bare minimum of just two and a half hours of activity in a single week. Yes, you read that correctly the first time. Two and a half hours per week.


Well, we live busy lives and most of us simply don’t value exercise enough to care. But you don’t want to live a lifetime of regret so we encourage you to challenge yourself this year for the better. Seriously.

It All Starts with the 1st Step.

It’s the New Year so the fire is really burning hot & you need to keep that fire alive. Rather than sign up for a gym membership & burn out quickly because it’s too overwhelming, start out small.

Walk the dog, stand in front of a mirror and dance away with nobody looking, or try doing some sit ups & push ups – even if you struggle to do just 3.

The minute you get yourself into a routine, you’ll start to FEEL the results. And you’ll look in the mirror & even SEE the results. That’s the best feeling.

Exercise should be a lifelong commitment to the well being of your mind & body. But it’s one that will make you feel so good about yourself, you’ll be asking yourself…

“Why Didn’t I Do this Sooner?”

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Studies Link Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) to Amalgam Fillings

oral lichen planus amalgamFirst off, it’s important to give you an understanding of what oral lichen planus (OLP) is. According to the National Institutes of Health, OLP affects between 1% and 2% of the American population. This doesn’t sound like a large number, but the reality is that millions are suffering from this disease.

Oral Lichen Planus is a Preventable Inflammatory Disease.

OLP is actually a chronic inflammatory disease that causes bilateral white striations (or patches), papules (similar to pimples or red swelling), or lesions on the mucosa, tongue, & gingivae. The disease may not be passed from one person to another. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body is tricked into attacking itself so as to fight off cells of oral mucous membranes as perceived threat.

OLP may present itself in one of three forms: reticular form, bullous form, or erosive form. The reticular form is the most common form of this autoimmune disease, but all 3 forms are painful. All 3 forms also happen to very treatable.

Studies Link Amalgam Fillings to the Inflammatory Disease.

Oral lichen planus has received a fair amount of attention over the years with decades of studies performed that all point to one thing: that OLP actually represents a type of allergic reaction to the metals specifically contained in dental amalgam. Studies have also shown that those who have been diagnosed with oral lichen planus & have had their amalgam fillings removed will heal.

We Believe Metal Doesn’t Belong in the Mouth.

We stress it all of the time: our belief that metal simply does not belong in our mouth (link to existing blog post). Research continues to reveal the harmful vapors of mercury in damaging our bodies, causing us unnecessary pain & discomfort that often affects our quality of life. An option to consider: replacing metal fillings with biocompatible alternatives. ☺

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Wishing You a Very Happy Holiday Season!


Wishing you a healthy and happy Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year!

Holiday Schedule
In observance of the Holidays, BioDental Healing will be closed until January 2nd, 2017.

amalgam filling removal newbury park

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Have a Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving!

A personal message from Dr. Villarreal…

As I enter the beginning of another “Holiday Season,” I think a little about the things I need to get done before the end of the year, but mostly, I think about the past eleven-months and how grateful I am.

Both personally and professionally, I feel very fortunate for the life I have. Although hard work and being passionate about what I do have something to do with my good fortune, I know that some of the opportunities I have been given in life are simply luck-of-the-draw.

After several years of practicing Biological Dentistry, I still very much enjoy the people I work with and the work I do every day. Over the years, patients have become friends and friends have become patients. Not to mention all of the amazing people in my field with whom I have worked in my journey.

I want to personally thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to help you, educate you, & make a positive impact in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving from Dr. Villarreal & Staff!

amalgam filling removal newbury park

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Which Organic Vegetables Are the Dirtiest and Cleanest?

dirtiest fruits and vegetables 2016People are increasingly looking for everything organic, from toothpaste and cosmetic products to foods and drinks. As scientists and the media continue to expose the health and environmental risks of pesticides used in traditional farming, consumers are getting picky about the items they include in their recipes – rightly so!

In this regard, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list of the “Clean Fifteen” and “Dirty Dozen” every year, outlining the “cleanest” produce that is least contaminated by pesticide use, and the “dirtiest” produce that is believed to have the most exposure to pesticides, respectively.

The EWG produce ranking system is based on the results of approximately 51,000 tests for pesticides on produce gathered by the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture between 2000 and 2005.

Dirty Dozen 2016

● Potatoes
● Imported snap peas
● Cucumbers
● Sweet bell peppers
● Spinach
● Celery
● Grapes
● Strawberries
● Nectarines
● Peaches
● Apples

Clean Fifteen 2016

● Sweet potatoes
● Cauliflower
● Cantaloupe
● Grapefruit
● Eggplant
● Kiwi
● Papaya
● Mangoes
● Asparagus
● Onions
● Sweet peas
● Cabbage
● Pineapples
● Sweet corn
● Avocadoes

Should the Dirty Dozen be Avoided?

Definitely not! The list comprises fruits and vegetables that make a much healthier diet compared to processed foods. Furthermore, non-organic processed foods contain plenty of chemicals. So, the list should act as a guide for you to make organic purchases for those items.

Why Eat Organic?

Organic foods are claimed to be much healthier and safer than non-organic foods because they are not produced with chemicals, including pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.

However, many people continue to purchase non-organic foods because they’re seemingly cheaper. What they fail to observe is that these foods demand more from the earth than they can produce, plus the long-term ingestion of chemicals used in production is associated with certain health complications.

Besides these abstract factors, non-organic foods are also associated with tangible variables, like subsidization of industrial agriculture by the government or the relative comfort of the population with foreign investment in commercial agriculture.

Making the Switch to Organic

Considering that the high cost of organic foods is one of the most prohibitive factors for their consumption, it is best that you make the switch gradually. We challenge you to consider home gardening to produce your own foods in the dirty dozen list, combined with some careful meal planning and food preservation to counteract the high cost of organic food purchases.

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BPA: Possible Link to Neurodevelopmental Disorders?

bpa linked autismHmm… What About BPA?

Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician who is known for his popular series “The Happiest Baby” has directed his attention to BPA, otherwise known as Bisphenol A that was invented over 100 years ago in the manufacturing of plastic water bottles, baby bottles, and other plastics.

Here’s what Dr. Harvey Karp has to say about BPA:

“You’ve heard of BPA, that’s an endocrine disrupting chemical. BPA was first created to be an estrogen. Then they found they could put it into plastics. Every single one of you have BPA in your bodies just from all the exposure you have. You have phthalates, which are plastic parts, as well which are in every new car…things like that. All of those have a hormonal effect and there are dozens of others; all different classes. The weird thing is that hormones are signalers, they tell cells ‘Do this, don’t do that’ and what can happen is these hormonally active chemicals make it into the brains of young babies or even before birth and shift the brain’s development.”

Some History on BPA

Research has already made a few notable discoveries that should not be ignored. In 2009, studies showed that BPA was seeping out of baby bottles and infant formula cans and into the brains of these children. As a result, many states have banned the use of BPA in children’s products, but have found a replacement known as BPS.

However, BPS may still pose a threat because of another study that showed in utero exposure to BPS may lead to neurodevelopmental disorders later in the child’s life. Nothing has been officially confirmed on this, but it begs to question that maybe these chemicals do play a significant role in the neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism.

Turn to BPA & BPS-Free Products Just to Be Safe

We always emphasize it’s better to be safe than sorry. If any chemical must be questioned as to whether or not it is safe for our bodies, then we urge you to just stay away from it – especially if there are safer alternatives.

• Stay away from plastic containers marked #7. These are BPA-free products that utilize BPS instead, which is cause for concern.

• Stay away from canned fruits and vegetables because the cans could be lined with BPA and BPS.

• Opt for silicone storage products that have no trace of BPA or BPS.

BioDental Healing is Metal Free, Fluoride Free, & BPA Free

amalgam filling removal newbury parkHere at BioDental Healing, we don’t believe questionable chemicals belong in our mouth or our body, which is why we steer clear of the use of metals, fluoride, and BPA in all of the products and services we provide. Learn more about our BPA free dental fillings and Dr. Villarreal’s renowned amalgam filling removal process.

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Let’s Be Clear: Organic Doesn’t Always Mean “Healthy”!

organic doesnt mean healthyThere are so many foods & drinks offered on the market nowadays that many of us subconsciously look for quick cues to determine what’s appropriate and what isn’t. Unfortunately, marketers have picked up on one of these quick cues: the word “organic”.

First of all, by definition what does organic even mean…

“Organic means crops grown without artificial pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, irradiation, or sewage sludge, and animals raised without hormones or antibiotics. Certified Organic methods follow specific rules established by USDA.”

Well, that doesn’t sound too bad right? Not so fast.

What Has Research Shown?

When you take a look at what research has shown when the word “organic” is applied to products, people’s perceptions of the product begin to change.

Cornell University ran a study involving food and brand labels in an effort to see what factors the word “organic” would influence. The study used 115 people recruited from a local shopping mall where participants were asked to evaluate 3 pairs of products: yogurt, cookies, & potato chips. Only one of the pairs was labeled as organic, and the others were not. The trick is that all of them were actually organic food products.

The researchers learned that when the food item was labeled with the word “organic”, participants estimated that the food item contained fewer calories, were lower in fat, were more nutritious, and would be willing to pay more for the product. WOW! Surprising? Not really. But the study reaffirms the belief that when the word “organic” is used, people immediately believe the product is healthier & as a result worth more money.

Gatorade’s New “Organic” Version

Gatorade has picked up on this trend. Gatorade owns roughly 70% of the market share in the sports drinks category & as a commanding leader in this market they have recently pledged to release an organic version of the product they offer that will only contain 7 ingredients that meet the criteria of the organic standards set forth by the FDA. Take this with a grain of salt; however, these sports drinks will still be loaded with sugar, which isn’t healthy for many of us.

Bottomline: Always Check the Label!

The next time you see the word “organic” used, be sure to check the back of the label and read it. Specifically look for nutrition facts in relation to serving size, and be sure to see what ingredients are actually listed. A general rule of thumb is the less ingredients listed, the more wholesome the product – but this shouldn’t equate to “healthy” because consuming too much of a healthy product is still unhealthy.

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Mercury Fillings Must Be Removed the RIGHT Way.

Recently, we’ve seen reports and others advertising the use of dental lasers as a convenient way to remove and replace harmful amalgam fillings.

As a holistic dentist who specializes in the removal of mercury, amalgam fillings & having removed over 20,000 of them we feel inclined to warn you that lasers should NOT be used in this process.

The Issue with Lasers Used During Amalgam Filling Removal

Lasers are growing part of modern dentistry, offering many convenient benefits both for dentists & their patients. They have many applications in dentistry, as well as supplement other procedures very well. We even use lasers here @ BioDental Healing for use in oral surgery procedures.

However, lasers should not be directly used to remove the amalgam from your tooth. The reason why is because lasers generate heat. This heat generation caused by lasers will actually increase the release of mercury vapors, which will inevitably occur during the removal process. That is why we employ a very safe & strict protocol to prevent you – and ourselves – from the exposure of mercury at any point during the removal process.

Moreover, lasers applied directly to a tooth could jeopardize its pulp if not performed very carefully.

amalgam filling removal
An example of what proper mercury safe protocol should look like as performed by Dr. Villarreal.

Your Dentist Should Always Follow Mercury Safe Protocol

If your dentist ever recommends that you remove your silver, amalgam fillings and replace them with something more tooth-like & safe, but then tells you how the procedure could be performed very easily using a laser then BE CAREFUL. We would advise you to question their approach further and make sure they are taking protective measures to prevent harm due to mercury exposure such as the use of a rubber dam, ionizer, air suction, full body protection, etc.

View What Mercury Safe Protocol Entails.

amalgam filling removal newbury parkDr. Villarreal practices mercury safe protocol during every amalgam filling removal that occurs t his office in Newbury Park. For more information on his world-renowned mercury removal services, please visit our website or call us @ (805) 375-2233.

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Introducing Our New “Spotlight Series”!

We’re introducing a new series – Spotlight Series – in which we’d like to give back to our patients by featuring the amazing holistic work they have accomplished. We have realized that many of our patients are doing great things to keep others informed!

This Month: Featuring Steven & Lisa Plog

Specifically, we’d like to feature an amazing couple this month – lovely patients @ BioDental Healing – who have shared their recent work with us. It was an excellent read that I would highly recommend you spend 2 minutes of your time to view their post below!

biodental healing spotlight series

View Their “Plog” Post Here

Browse Their Farmer’s Market!

Steven & Lisa Plog run a small, private Farmer’s Market known as “Our Little Market” in Pasadena, CA. We encourage you to see what goods they offer!

Learn how you can join their private Farmer’s Market!

You Can Steal the Spotlight, Too!

I’d like to personally invite you to share your blogs, websites, etc., that are holistic in nature – just as Steve & Lisa have! We would be delighted to have an opportunity to share your work with our community that is committed to practicing a holistic lifestyle.

How To Be Featured in Our Spotlight Series

To be featured in our new Spotlight Series, all you have to do is email us with your work. All we ask is for the work to be holistic in nature. That’s it!

Please email any submissions to:

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