Energy and VOG by Sally Boyd

Aloha all!

Well, the reduction in the trade winds has created a swirling eddy of volcanic emission to sweep over the islands, especially at night.  We have noticed increased effects in many ways.  Strangely, different concentrations of vog affect people very differently.  In addition, there is a lot of variation in HOW the vog makes one feel.  I have noticed that the more chronically or deeply ill a person is, especially with hormonal or adrenal issues, the 'deeper' the vog seems to 'go' in the body.   One person may just get watery eyes from an exposure that gives the next person (a menopausal female, for example) stomach cramps and exhaustion.  Overall, though, vog exposure seems to create a listless irritable brain fog and low energy. 

It s VERY helpful to the body to get a good break from the vog.  Overnight 'breaks' are very very helpful.  Air conditioning helps remove about 60% of the particles from the room (this is an estimate).  That is nice if it is hot enough out for the AC to work.  Also AC is expensive to run.  So what to do?  Commercial HEPA filters are NOT very helpful because the vog (H2S and H2SO4) particles are too small and go through those filters.  But help is on the way!

We at Vitality Clinic have worked with an engineer to come up with an affordable bedroom air filter that removes these tiny toxins (as well as other air impurities). We are allowing our patients and friends to sign up to place a deposit on one of these filters at the 'at cost' price of the materials so that we can get enough together to make a bulk purchase of these materials.  Once we have the making of them streamlined we will offer them for sale to our patients. The 'hold' deposit for one of these amazing filters is only $300.  If you or anyone you know would like to be the first to get one of these just give us a call at 808-965-2233.

Lung Love by Sally Boyd

We here in Puna on the Big Island enjoy paradise.  BUT we also cope with some unique challenges, from which other people can learn.  One of those is our exposure to volcanic plumes of toxic smoke, called 'vog' (short for 'volcanic smog').  VOG contains many small airborne particles, including H2S and H2SO4.  The tiny size of these particles as well as their extreme toxicity makes them devilishly hard on lung tissue.   Those with preexisting conditions such as asthma, dehydration, COPD, pneumonia, chemical sensitivity, or allergies already have inflamed and irritated lung tissue and can react to vog intensely. It also 'drags down' the energy of even those who don't have a lung issue.  Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, dry burning or itchy eyes, muscle pain and cramping, sinus pain or congestion, irritability, brain fog or trouble concentrating, Yuck!  

Here at Vitality Clinic we have come up with many ways to help people cope with the vog and thrive here in paradise.  One method we use is inhaled (or 'nebuilzed') glutathione.  Glutathione is an antioxidant molecule already present in the body   It is used in the process of  breaking down toxins inside cells.   As we age we often make less of it.   Glutathione can not be easily absorbed through the digestive system, so we make it into a cool steam and  then have patients breathe it directly into the lungs where it can go to work immediately on the tissue that is suffering the most direct damage from smoke, smog, vog, airborne allergies or pollution  Neat, huh?  It also has the effect of thinning mucus out in the lungs which allows you to cough it out naturally.  So we use it for pneumonia, sinus infections, and flu symptoms with very good results. 

Glutathione is just one of the ways we are learning to help! If you are suffering from effects of air pollution of any kind  and can not get in to our clinic to get glutathione, you can start to help yourself by-

1. Staying hydrated  Lungs excrete water and will 'spasm' if you are low on water to help conserve it.    

2. Avoid sugar, which lowers immune effectiveness.

3. Reduce commercial dairy products, these can make mucus in sinuses and lungs thicker and stickier.  

Mahalo nui loa from Pahoa!

Dr. Sally


A tropical health concern - MRSA by Sally Boyd

by Dr Sally Boyd, Vitality Natural Medicine Clinic, Pahoa, HI

Uhoh! What’s that sore on your leg, the one that just won’t heal?  Could it be MRSA? Just what is MRSA, anyway?

MRSA stands for a long jumble of words (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).  You don’t really need to know that. But, especially if you live in the tropics, you do need to know what MRSA is and what to do about it.


Let’s start with the bug.  Staph Aureus is a common  (‘ubiquitous’) bacteria that lives on the skin.  In fact, it’s quite possible that you have some on you right now.  It seems to be especially common in warm, humid places like much of Hawaii. The most common place for it to hang out is right inside the nose. (Mom was right, it is nasty to pick your nose- and it can spread MRSA!)  Staph causes infection if the body is run down or stressed.  It is commonly found in hospitals and nursing homes for that reason.  Staph can infect skin, lungs, heart, bone, and even the breasts of nursing mothers.  MDs have used antibiotics to kill Staph for a long time.  In fact it is generally recognized that we have overused antibiotics, causing the bug to become resistant to most of them.  The result of that is ‘MRSA.’ The ‘last stand’ drug that is used to kill MRSA is Vancomycin, which is often dosed via an IV for 2-8 weeks!  Even scarier, there are now “Vancomycin resistant’ strains of staph out there.

MRSA is spread rapidly in hospitals and places where a large number of people with weakened immune systems live in close proximity, such as nursing homes and homeless shelters.  Ironically, the places we turn to in crisis can actually end up spreading the disease.  The doctors, nurses and staff are not to blame,  rather, the systems set up to care for our sick people cause the problem.   This is a sad reflection on our health care system.  Rather than focusing on disease prevention and strengthening the body, we can end up ‘chasing our tails’ trying to treat disease once the person is already very ill.  This crisis care system comes at  a high personal, social and economic price.

Naturopathic physicians focus on prevention and strengthening the immune system as a whole, therefore hopefully preventing MRSA in the first place.  While we can prescribe antibiotics, we do so as a last resort.   By strengthening your bodies’ immune system, you can often eliminate infectious agents yourself.  Simple examples of ways to do this include reducing sugar and ‘refined’ carbohydrates from the diet, increasing intake of well grown fresh fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise.  Beyond this, Naturopathic doctors are trained to examine the body and lifestyle to look for ways specific to the individual that can keep infection at bay.  NDs also use natural topical treatments for MRSA infection on the skin.  Natural treatments are effective as part of a plan to treat MRSA because the bug  has not developed immunity to them like it has to antibiotics.  However, true health means creating a body so strong that MRSA can’t get a foothold in the first place!