Three years ago, Jeremiah Joseph was an 11-year-old autistic Maple Grove boy who was often sick despite nine daily medications. Now at 14, Joseph is consuming less than half the pills and rarely misses a day of school.
Judy Joseph says her son’s transformation can be attributed to the work of naturopathic doctor Pamela Hartung. Jeremiah visited Hartung’s Functional Medicine Naturopathic Center in Maple Grove in an effort to alleviate what Judy calls the imbalance antibiotics were leaving on his already-weak immune system.
In a two-hour introductory session, Hartung will probe clients about their diet, lifestyle and health history. She often hears afflictions such as asthma, but her solution will not focus on the lungs. Her approach is more holistic.
“My theory is that the body’s ability is to heal itself, but you have to help it along to get to that point,” says Hartung, whose been in business for six years. “If I do something, I’m not going to throw the liver off, or the kidneys off, or the heart off or something else. I try to look at the big picture when I’m working with someone.”
Hartung’s big picture began to focus while working with her father. On her way to school from the family farm northwest of St. Cloud, her father would say, “Hey kids, take your alfalfa.” Hartung says alfalfa, “the father of minerals,” was just one item on a list of remedies coming straight from their garden. A green thumb and a nose in Prevention magazine at age 10 paved the way to her current vocation, Hartung says.
One of Hartung’s go-to solutions is garlic. She calls it “nature’s penicillin,” an antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal. “Anything you got going on, garlic will pretty much take care of it,” Hartung says.
Below are five more simple nutritional tips from Hartung:
- Stay away from processed foods.
- Watch your sugar consumption.
- Try to incorporate nuts and beans into the diet.
- Don’t eat the same thing all the time.
- Grains are good, but make sure you are doing good grains.
For more vitamins, minerals and supplements, Hartung says she isn’t going to push a variety of remedies when few will do. “I always say that I want to be very simplistic because I don’t want to make it complicated for someone,” Hartung says. “If it’s too complicated, I’m not even going to do it.”
Hartung didn’t just do it for Jeremiah Joseph; she did it for all eight members of the Joseph family.
“I’m so thankful that we’ve been able to see Pamela,” says Judy Joseph of her husband and six kids. “She is very thorough. … She wants to get you completely balanced. She doesn’t want you to be anything less.”
For Jeremiah, the remedies have included homeopathic drops, magnesium and drops to clear his lymph nodes, with most remedies changing seasonally. When Jeremiah’s classmates would get sick three years ago, he would be one of the first to catch it. And often, it was swift and severe. This school year, others have been routinely sick and missing stretches of school, but not Jeremiah.
“It’s just amazing the difference from three years ago when he was sick all the time,” Judy says
Hartung showed Arlene Povroznik of Maple Grove not only remedies for her seasonal allergies, but also the affects of household products from laundry detergents to soaps.
“I do see improvements,” says Arlene, whose husband, son and two daughters have also visited with Hartung. “The more you deal with, the more you are aware of what is around you.”