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Keeping you up to date on nutrition and health news.

Blessed Thistle

Have you noticed there’s a pattern here? Spiny exterior hides the secret medicinal properties inside. Good use of camouflage if you’re a spiny plant.

Naturally Botanicals-Cnicus benedictus-Blessed thistleBlessed Thistle is native to the Mediterranean and is a member of the Asteraceae (Aster) family, as are Jerusalem Artichoke and Dandelion. It was often grown in the gardens of monks, and the leaves, stems and blossoms were used to make bitter tonics and liqueurs. Other names for Blessed Thistle include holy thistle, St. Benedict's thistle, and spotted thistle.

There are many different kinds of thistles. You may think that they look similar but Blessed thistle can still be identified by its own unique features. It has the characteristic hairy stems and spiny-edged leaves but it also produces bright yellow flowers surrounded by specialized leaves meant to attract pollinators. The plant's leaves can be up to a foot long and the entire plant can reach up to 2 feet. (That’s one way to ensure that your pollinators find you!) Blessed thistle flowers in June, at which time the leaves and tops are collected, as that is when the plant is at its highest degree of medicinal power. 

Why is it called Blessed thistle? It was grown in monastery gardens throughout Europe, near holy sites and graves to ward off evil. “Blessed” or “holy” refers to the belief that the plant was a gift from a higher power. Its botanical name is Cnicus benedictus.

 

Naturally Botanicals-Cnicus benedictus-Blessed thistle 2Once upon a time, Blessed thistle was used extensively for medicinal purposes. During the medieval period in Europe it was considered a cure for just about every ailment. It is one of the oldest folk remedies for treating the absence of the menstrual cycle, and is often used in commercial herbal preparations formulated for women. The plant is also believed to stimulate bile production in the liver and is used to treat liver disorders of all types. Other modern medicinal uses of blessed thistle include regulating the menstrual cycle, improving appetite, lowering fevers, helping lessen bacterial infections, providing anti-inflammatory support, and treating indigestion. 

 

The plant is not considered edible, as it has an extremely bitter taste. Why use a bitter plant to help with digestion? Well, bitters are good for you. They stimulate the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach and support the breakdown of fats, supporting a healthy appetite and assisting in the assimilation of nutrients. The main bitter substance in Blessed Thistle is cnicin.

Blessed Thistle can be made into a tea, although other aromatic herbs should be added to reduce the bitter flavor. Blessed thistle tea has been used historically by midwives and naturopaths to support healthy breast milk production. That’s because Blessed thistle is a galactagogue that is used to promote lactation. A galactagogue is any natural or synthetic substance that increases milk production. 

Herbal galactagogues have been used for thousands of years. The most commonly used galactagogue herbs are fenugreek, hops, blessed thistle, and red raspberry leaves. Blessed thistle is said to increase milk supply two to three days after consumption. 

 

Blessed thistle is often used as a treatment for:

  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Fevers
  • Respiratory allergies
  • Poor appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Bronchitis
  • Flatulence 
  • Excess mucus
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Poor liver function 

Interesting fact: In Shakespeare's comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, Blessed thistle, in tincture form, is recommended for a cold.



Note: The content of this article, and additional content on this website, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking help because of something you read here on this website.





Dandelion - More Than a Pesky Weed!

Dandelions are often thought of as weeds. They grow everywhere and their little puffballs go flying in the wind with just a breath of air. Did you know that they’ve been around forever; probably about 30 million years. However, they’ve only been in North America for a couple of centuries – having made their grand entrance on the Mayflower, it’s believed, brought here for their medicinal purposes.

Naturally Botanicals-Dandelion-Taraxacum officinale fieldDandelion is translated from dent de lion (tooth of the lion) because its leaves look like a lion’s tooth. The genus name, Taraxacum, is derived from the Greek taraxos, meaning “disorder,” and akos, meaning “remedy.” And it’s no wonder why it’s been called that. Dandelion greens are known as Taraxacum officinale.

Part of the flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, including Jerusalem Artichoke, the plant is also known as blowball, cankerwort, milk witch, lion's-tooth, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, and puff-ball. 

Dandelions have been used by humans for food and as an herb for much of recorded history. They were well-known to ancient civilizations and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat hepatitis, bronchitis, mastitis, and to enhance immune response to upper respiratory infections, for over a thousand years. Dandelion was first noted for its medicinal qualities in the works of Arabian physicians of the tenth and eleventh centuries as being used to treat liver and spleen disorders. Native Americans used the dandelion root in preparations to treat kidney disease and heartburn.

Naturally Botanicals-Dandelion-Taraxacum officinale

The entire plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers and roots, is edible and has a high nutritional value. The root was traditionally roasted and consumed as a beverage, while the leaves and flowers were used in salads and other raw vegetable dishes. Dandelions are low in calories and high in fiber. It contains abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C, D, K, and B-complex.  Dandelions are also a good source of manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, sodium, beta-carotene, and potassium. They are especially high in antioxidants. The roots are rich in inulin, a prebiotic that helps encourage the growth of healthy microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Dandelion is thought to help provide the following health benefits:

  • improving appetite
  • reducing joint pain and muscle aches
  • helping relieve digestive ailments, upset stomach and intestinal gas
  • stimulating the functions of the stomach, liver and bile
  • treating infection 
  • treating skin conditions
  • as a laxative 
  • and as a diuretic

Dandelion contains more vitamins and minerals then most vegetables. It’s eaten raw in salads, cooked or boiled, the flowers can be batter-fried, and the dried roots are used as a coffee substitute. Dandelion coffee not your thing? Try dandelion tea made with the dried herb or root. Or go for the dandelion beer or wine!

Sauteed Spicy Dandelion Greens and Onions features onions, cloves, a hot Italian cherry pepper and ground black pepper. Spice up those greens!

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-spicy-dandelion-greens-and-onions-51233220

 


Note: The content of this article, and additional content on this website, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking help because of something you read here on this website.




Saw Palmetto

We all know that we can eat the fruit of many types of palm trees. Coconut palms. Date palms. Acai berry palms. Yep, that’s a palm fruit, too. 

Naturally Botanicals-Saw Pamletto-Serenoa repensNow, there’s another palm tree that offers health benefits, however it’s not one which is currently known for edible fruits. Historically it was a source of food for Native Americans in Florida. 

We’re talking about the Saw Palmetto. It’s considered an herb although it is a dwarf palm that grows in the coastal lands of North America, West Indies, and Mediterranean countries. The fruits are a rich source of fatty acids and phytosterols (those are naturally occurring compounds found in plant cell membranes) and have been used to help with various health conditions.

Why is called “saw?” Well, as one person said, “You don’t want to run through a saw palmetto grove. The sharp spines on the leafstalks will scratch your legs like the teeth of a saw.” Its fan-shaped leaves have sharp, saw-toothed edges that give the plant its name.

Naturally Botanicals-Saw Pamletto-Serenoa repens 2

Saw palmetto benefits have been known for centuries, and the plant has been used in traditional, eclectic and alternative medicine. Its active ingredients include fatty acids, plant sterols and flavonoids. The plant bears white flowers and berries that emerge yellow but ripen to blue-black. The abundant berries are harvested from the wild in the fall and are dried for medicinal use. The berries contain high molecular weight polysaccharides (sugars), which may reduce inflammation that’s at the root of many diseases and strengthen the immune system — thus adding immune system booster to the list of saw palmetto benefits.

(Other natural anti-inflammatory ingredients such as quercetin, bromelain, and ashwagandha can help calm your body down and also boost your immune system.  You can find these and other anti-inflammatories in our full line of supplements and homeopathics.)

Serenoa repens is the scientific name. It’s the only species found within the Serenoa genus. Some saw palmetto plants live for over 700 years. It's also known as sabal, American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm, dwarf palmetto, fan palm, Fructus Serenoae Repentis, sabal fructus, saw palmetto, serenoa, and scrub palm.

Today saw palmetto is much better known as the source of a prostate medication found in the fruit that helps shrink overgrown prostates. The size of the prostate changes with age. It’s about the size of a walnut in younger men, but it can grow to be much larger in older men — and this can become problematic. It’s when the prostate becomes enlarged that men begin experiencing symptoms from BPH and lower urinary tract issues.

Saw palmetto treatments are usually associated with men; women do use it for counteracting the physical manifestations of too much testosterone, treating hair loss, treating acne, and treating symptoms of menopause.

In addition to eating the berries, the saw palmetto plant was used for medicine by the Native Americans of the southeastern United States. In the early 20th century, men used the berries to treat urinary tract problems and increase sperm production.

It’s thought that saw palmetto can help provide the following health benefits:

  • Helping reduce colds, coughs and sore throat
  • Treating asthma and chronic bronchitis
  • Relieving migraine headaches
  • Promoting hair growth
  • Keeping testosterone levels balanced
  • Increasing urine flow
  • And enhancing sex drive

We’re not including a recipe on this herb. (We think you’ll thank us for that!)

 


Note: The content of this article, and additional content on this website, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking help because of something you read here on this website.

 





Jerusalem Artichoke

Naturally Botanicals-Jerusalem Artichoke-Sunchoke-Sunroot

 

When you think of an artichoke, do you envision that green spiny vegetable that holds inside it that beautifully delicious and nutritious artichoke heart? I think that’s what most of us do. That one is called a Globe Artichoke and is quite a bit more well-known than the Jerusalem Artichoke. They have similar names however they don’t have a lot in common. The Globe belongs to the thistle family, and Jerusalem Artichoke, also called a sunchoke, belongs to the aster family.

 

Another difference is that the Globe, which has been around forever, is native to southern Europe and widely cultivated in the Mediterranean regions and central Europe. Jerusalem artichoke originates in North America. Cultivation of Jerusalem artichoke started long before first European settlers arrived to America. It’s often believed that the name comes from “artichokes from Jerusalem.” It actually comes from Italian “girasole carciofi,” which means sunflower artichoke in English. Some of the common names are sunroot, sunchoke, topinambur etc. Its scientific name is Helianthus tuberosus.

 

Naturally Botanicals- Jerusalem Artichoke-Sunchoke-SunrootWhen in bloom, the sunchoke looks much like a miniature sunflower. To get to the edible part you have to dig up the bulbous root in spring, before the plant has blossomed. That edible part is known as the knobby tuber, which looks like a ginger root. The skin of the root can be eaten, too, as long as its thoroughly scrubbed.

 

This knobby tuber, like ginger and turmeric with their rhizomes (mass of roots), is chock-full of goodies from the inside out.

 

You can eat it raw, roasted, boiled, steamed or mashed and can be added to many dishes. Put it in salads, soup or sandwiches to improve vitamin, mineral and fiber content. It’s a root vegetable and eaten in much the same way like potato in many parts of Western Europe and Mediterranean regions.

 

Jerusalem artichoke is excellent source of vitamins B1 and B3 as well as minerals and electrolytes such as iron, potassium, copper and phosphorus. It also has some of  the B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine.

 

It’s a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. A high-fiber diet can normalize bowel movements. It contains small amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Combine that with no cholesterol and almost no fat, and you just might have to add sunchokes to your diet. They’re low in sodium, too.

 

With its iron, copper and vitamin C nutrients, Jerusalem artichokes are a good source for hair health. This iron carries oxygen to the hair, keeping hair follicles healthy. Similar to iron, copper helps prevent hair loss and boost hair growth. Vitamin C helps because is required for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen contributes to healthy hair by strengthening hair follicles and by keeping blood vessels in the scalp healthy. 

 

Prebiotics are getting a lot of press these days.  They deserve it. Prebiotics are food ingredients, typically non-digestible fiber compounds, that cause the growth or activity of beneficial fungi and bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. 

 

Your GI tract requires the right balance of bacteria to stay healthy. Gut bacteria play a role in many important functions in the body, including helping your immune system, making serotonin, creating energy for your body from the food you eat, and disposing of foreign substances and toxins.

 

Unfriendly bacteria like to make themselves known in a number of ways. Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and heartburn are well-known symptoms of problems in the gut. Leaky Gut Syndrome is becoming more prevalent as modern diets and lifestyles negatively contribute to overall health through our digestive system. Food cravings, weight gain or loss, feeling moody or anxious, difficulty staying or falling asleep, skin issues, and other health problems are often symptoms of a dysfunctional gut.

 

Jerusalem artichokes contain plenty of inulin, a complex carbohydrate which improves absorption of calcium and magnesium from the food we eat and lowers blood cholesterol level. It also stimulates the growth of Bifidobacteria and fights harmful bacteria. We don’t have a permanent supply of gut bacteria so we need to constantly replace them through our diet. 

 

(RenewLife, one of our product lines, recently created a new line featuring their Probiotics plus Organic Prebiotics. Another line, NuMedica, has Power Greens which have a Pre- and probiotic blend.)

 

Jerusalem Artichoke is also considered to help control cholesterol and blood pressure, assist with new blood cell formation, help boost the immune system, and support blood glucose levels.

 

Jerusalem Artichoke may be used as a treatment for the following health benefits:

  • Normalizing bowel movements
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Promote weight loss
  • Fighting food cravings
  • Help prevent mood swings
  • Improving diabetes control
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Providing a high amount of Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Thiamine is crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the muscles. It is also needed for carbohydrate metabolism as well as for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

 

Check out this super-easy recipe from Jamie Oliver for sautéed Jerusalem artichokes with garlic and bay leaves:

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/saut-ed-jerusalem-artichokes-with-garlic-and-bay-leaves/

 

Interesting fact:

A US distillery makes a brandy from Jerusalem artichokes. They say “sunchokes are the root of certain varieties of Sunflowers and have a unique natural sweetness. This spirit is perhaps one of the most unique in the country and tastes like tipsy sunflower seeds.”

 


Note: The content of this article, and additional content on this website, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking help because of something you read here on this website.





Herbie, Viti, and Mini Talk To You About The Importance of Vitamins & Minerals

For National Nutrition Month, it is particularly important to be talking about healthy lifestyle choices.

Healthy eating and supplementing with a quality vitamin and mineral is essential for the body's overall health and well-being. Check out Herbie, Viti, and Mini in the video below...

 




Alfalfa, not just for livestock

 

Alfalfa sprouts are small but mighty...

The benefits of alfalfa - Naturally Botanicals

Alfalfa, while known as a livestock feed,

Can also help humans with what we need

It’s said it can improve cardiovascular health

Perhaps offer some digestive fiber wealth

And can be grown at home from a little seed!

Alfalfa is one of the oldest cultivated plants. Hay is made from alfalfa; it’s made by allowing the plants to grown until their early bloom, then they’re harvested dried and cured. It’s also a highly nutritious food for humans, and has been used an herbal medicine for at least 1500 years!


The benefits of alfalfa - Naturally BotanicalsThe word Alfalfa is Spanish and was derived from the Arabic word that means “Father of All Foods.” Sometimes called lucerne, buffalo herb, or Medicago sativa, alfalfa is a member of the pea family.  It is the most cultivated legume in the world, with the United States being the largest producer. 

 

The extensive root system of the alfalfa plant allows it to absorb a high level of nutrients from the soil. They contain a concentration of all the B-vitamins, A, C, D, E and K. Alfalfa is a source of iron, niacin, folic acid, biotin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous potassium, beta carotene and flavonoids. Alfalfa has the highest chlorophyll content of any plant. Compared to other plants, alfalfa leaf is very high in protein, especially when dried. Alfalfa also contains essential amino acids that are not made by the body but must be obtained from food sources.

In China, it’s used as an appetite stimulant and as a treatment for digestive disorders, especially ulcers.

Ancient Indian texts show that Alfalfa seeds and sprouts were prescribed for improving blood cell production and its leaves and stems as a good source of proteins and minerals. Ayurvedic medicine used it as an herbal treatment for ulcers, to alleviate the pain of arthritis, and a treatment for fluid retention. Native Americans used the seeds as a nutritious additive to their meals. Herbal physicians in the early 19th century used it in their tonic mixes. 

This is one plant where the outer leaves and roots not only have medicinal properties, but their sprouts are edible. Alfalfa sprouts may be small but they’re mighty. And low in calories. A single  serving of alfalfa sprouts provides nearly 15% of the daily required intake of vitamin C, making sprouts a great immune booster. By stimulating the production of white blood cells, alfalfa sprouts may help protect the body from infections and inflammation. 

You know, your immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them. When our immune system is working properly, we don’t even notice it. It’s when the performance of our immune system is compromised that we face illness.

Obviously, the goal is to stay healthy. Get more sleep, work on lowering your stress level (easier said than done however it’s worth a try!), give your system good, regular nourishment with as many vitamins and nutrients as possible, and add in some immune boosters to help you seek and destroy those unwanted visitors.

Alfalfa juice and leaves are considered to help provide the following health benefits:

  • improving digestive health
  • reducing inflammation
  • enhancing kidney function
  • improving cardiovascular health
  • detoxing the urinary tract
  • supporting healthy blood sugar levels
  • supporting the pituitary gland
  • and faster wound healing

Scientific research confirms the effectiveness of medicago sativa as a natural treatment for high cholesterol. Studies have shown that alfalfa may reduce blood sugar levels due to its high manganese content.


Chicken Salad Sandwich with Alfalfa Feta and Mint Food and Wine Magazine | naturallybotanicals.com

This Chicken Salad Sandwich with Feta and Mint (and alfalfa added for good measure!) is from Food and Wine Magazine. (or click here for more recipes)




Note: The content of this article, and additional content on this website, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking help because of something you read here on this website.




Vol 5 | Issue 7 | Digestive Health

DIGESTIVE HEALTH | THE BODY’S OPERATING SYSTEM

Support for Your Body Naturally…


Is your stomach the only organ involved in the digestion of your food?

The answer is no. The human digestive system is a complex series of organs and glands that process food. In order to use the food we eat, our body has to break the food down into smaller molecules that it can process; it also has to excrete waste. 
Food provides us with fuel to live, energy to be active, and the raw materials to build new cells. All the different varieties of food we eat are broken down by our digestive system and transported to every part of our body by our circulatory system. 


How the Digestive System Works

Our digestive system is an approximately 30 foot long tube. The digestive process begins in the mouth, where the teeth and tongue break up the food after it has been softened with saliva. The food is then swallowed and travels down the esophagus to the stomach. 

While the food is in the stomach, it is mixed with a mild acid which breaks the food down into a paste similar to porridge, called Chyme. The food then passes, a little at a time, into the small intestine, which is roughly 18 feet long. Here the food is broken down even further until it is small enough to pass through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Food that cannot be digested passes into the large intestine, where the water and minerals are absorbed into the blood stream. The solid waste is then expelled from the body. The digestive tract also functions as an immune organ, serving as a protective barrier to ingested toxins, allergens, and pathogens (bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi) that could otherwise cause disease
 
Parts of the Digestive System

The Mouth: The process of digestion begins with chewing. Chewing breaks up food into smaller pieces that can be swallowed without choking. The salivary glands secrete a mucous solution into the mouth that moistens and lubricates food particles. Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that begins to digest carbohydrates. As food particles begin to dissolve, they react with the chemoreceptors in the mouth, giving rise to the sensation of taste.

Esophagus: Once food is in the esophagus, involuntary muscle contractions called peristalsis push it toward the stomach. At the end of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter lets the food into the stomach. It opens and then quickly closes to keep the food from escaping back into the esophagus. 

Stomach: In the stomach, the food begins its preparation for the small intestine. Glands in the stomach secrete acid, enzymes and a mucous that coats and protects the stomach from its own acids and prevents ulcers. The stomach's smooth muscles contract about every 20 seconds, stirring up the acid and enzymes and turning your food into chyme. But some foods just can't be reduced to chyme and remain a pasty, solid substance that is released into the small intestine in a process that takes more than an hour. Some food, however, can be out of the stomach in a mere 20 minutes.

Duodenum: Your now unidentifiable food squirts into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. The breakdown process continues with enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the liver. Again, peristalsis helps mix up these juices. The next small intestine section is the coiled jejunum, followed by the ileum, which leads straight to the large intestine. These two sections absorb nutrients and water more than they break down food.

Small Intestine: The small intestine has a smaller circumference than the large intestine, but it's actually the longer of the two sections -- it has the surface area of a tennis court! You may wonder how all this fits into your body. The answer is simple: The surface of the small intestine has many tight folds that can absorb nutrients and water -- they greatly increase the surface area. These folds are covered with villi, or tiny projections that have even smaller microvilli on them. Villi and microvilli have affinities for specific nutrients. That means that several different kinds of villi will grab the nutrients, electrolytes and dietary molecules in your food (for example carbohydrates, protein, sodium, calcium, and vitamins.). The absorbed nutrients move through the wall of the intestines and into blood vessels that take them throughout the body.

Large Intestine: Once all the nutrients are extracted from the food, the indigestible parts are transported into the large intestine. The large intestine absorbs extra fluid to produce solid waste. To move the waste, the colon uses the same involuntary muscular movements called peristalsis. Unlike the stomach and small intestines, though, whose movements take a matter of hours, it takes days for waste to move through the large intestine. The waste moves at a pace of about 1/3 of an inch per hour.  The large intestine is often referred to as the colon.

Colon: Also known as the large intestines, the colon has four sections: ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid. In the first two sections, salts and fluids are absorbed from the indigestible food. Billions of bacteria that normally live in the colon help to ferment and absorb substances like fiber. While these tracts absorb, they also produce mucus that helps the solid waste move easily through the descending colon and into the third part of the large intestine, through the sigmoid section and finally on to the rectum where the fecal matter is stored before it leaves the body.

Digestive Disorders
The digestive system is an intricate system that can be disrupted by disease, diet, and emotional stress. Digestive problems can include gas pains, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, protein metabolism, and poor appetite. Common digestive problems such as heartburn/GERD, IBD, and IBS cause millions of Americans to suffer daily and limit quality of life. 

1. Indigestion
Also known as dyspepsia, indigestion is marked by a feeling of abdominal discomfort after a meal. Key symptoms include pain or a burning sensation in the upper abdomen.

2. Causes of Indigestion
Indigestion is often caused by overeating, eating too quickly, or consuming an excess of greasy or spicy foods. Certain emotional issues, such as stress or anxiety, can also trigger indigestion.

Indigestion may be particularly common among individuals with the following conditions: gastro esophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcers, abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts, gastritis, pancreatitis, gallstones, and people taking antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

3. Symptoms of Indigestion
While abdominal discomfort following a meal is the hallmark of indigestion, other symptoms may include: mild to severe pain or burning in the epigastric area (located between the lower end of the chest bone and the navel), bloating, nausea and belching.

4. Heartburn
Ever had heartburn? This occurs when this sphincter isn't working properly and stomach acid manages to splash into the esophagus. If this happens chronically, you might have Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD

5. Leaky Gut Syndrome
The lining of the intestines is a barrier that normally only allows properly digested fats, proteins, and starches to pass through and enter the bloodstream. It allows substances to pass in several ways. 

Chloride, potassium, magnesium, sodium and free fatty acids diffuse through intestinal cells. Amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, minerals, and vitamins also cross through cells, but they do it by another mechanism called active transport. 

There's a third way substances can pass through. The spaces in between the cells that line the intestines are normally sealed. These tight junctions are called desmosomes. When the intestinal lining becomes irritated, the junctions loosen and allow unwanted larger molecules in the intestines to pass through into the blood. These unwanted substances are seen by the immune system as foreign (because they aren't normally present in blood). This triggers an antibody reaction.

When the intestinal lining becomes further damaged, even larger substances, such as disease-causing bacteria, undigested food particles, and toxins, pass directly through the damaged cells. Again, the immune system is alarmed and antibodies and substances called cytokines are released. Cytokines alert white blood cells to fight the particles. This fight produces oxidants, which cause irritation and inflammation throughout the body.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome / Intestinal Permeability

Symptoms include: abdominal pain, asthma, chronic joint pain, chronic muscle pain, confusion, fuzzy or foggy thinking, gas, indigestion, mood swings, nervousness, poor immunity, recurrent vaginal infections, skin rashes, diarrhea, recurrent bladder infections, poor memory, shortness of breath, constipation, bloating, anxiety, fatigue, and feeling toxic.

Leaky gut syndrome is associated with the following conditions: autoimmune disease, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, hives, acne, allergies, inflammatory joint disease / arthritis, intestinal infections, pancreatic insufficiency, ulcerative colitis, giardia, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, psoriasis, liver dysfunction, food allergies and sensitivities, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

NATURAL DIGESTIVE SUPPORT PRODUCTS

a.     LEAKY GUT

Supports the body’s ability to repair the gastrointestinal tract, cools inflamed tissue and promotes the tissue-repair process. Unhealthy tissues allow for food and other particles to enter the system and are common in creating allergies, commonly known as “Leaky Gut”. Repairing the gut wall is essential for good health and proper digestion and assimilation.

N-Acetyl Glucosamine: Supports the extracellular tissue surrounding intestinal epithelial cells, decreases the binding of some lectins and prevents damage to the intestinal lining.

L-Glutamine: Glutamine is the transporter form which is converted to Glutamic Acid 'as needed' by the body. It is the main fuel that the intestinal cells need for maintenance and repair. It enhances the barrier function's ability to combat invaders.

Vitamin C (Sago Palm): Vitamin C helps tissue rebuilding and is an antioxidant which protects the lining from free radical damage.

Vitamin E Succinate (natural): Vitamin E is an antioxidant and thus helps protect the intestinal wall from oxidation. It also maintains the integrity of all lipid cell membranes. This substance is also an antioxidant.

Lactobacillus Acidophillus: These are friendly bacteria that restore the establishment of colonies to offset bad bacteria and Candida which can inflame the intestinal lining.

Zinc Chelate (elemental): Zinc is essential for proper immune system function. Zinc also helps in the repair of damaged tissue.

Slippery Elm Bark (Ulmus Fulva): Slippery Elm is a soothing demulcent which cools inflamed mucous membranes and stimulates mucus secretions. GINGKO (Gingko biloba): Gingko is known for its effect on improving circulation which is essential to tissue repair.

Deglycyrrhized Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Uralensis): Licorice stimulates circulation promoting healing. It is believed to increase the life of the intestinal cells and coordinates protective substances and other herbs in this formula.

Ion Min Clay: Antiseptic clay that cools and soothes the smooth muscle in the intestines.

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthemum Tuberosus), Cat's Claw (Dolichos Filiformis) & Gingko Extract: are herbs to promote circulation and support the formula’s intended action. More…

b.    FLORA NORM

A powerful 12-strain probiotic formula that helps restore and support normal bacterial flora in the intestinal tract. Probiotics are needed to support the growth and restoration of normal flora in the intestinal tract. Commonly needed when a person has undergone any antibiotic therapy.

Contains a 12 Strain Probiotic Mix 5BUG/gm: Lactobacillus Plantrium, Lactobacillus Rhamnosusand, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilius, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Helveticus, Lactobacillus Salivarius, Pediococcus Acidilactici & Streptococcus Thermophilus. Plus Apple Pectin & Rice powder. More…

Non-milk (non-diary) based probiotic. Supports the re-establishment of normal bacterial flora in the intestines, or more specifically the colon. This source is carrot based and is lactose free.

Proprietary blend of a non-milk (no-dairy) based probiotics 4 bug/gm, Acidophilus (carrot source), and Apple Pectin. More…

d.    VEGIE ZYMES

Designed to support proper digestion and support the body to relieve the pain of ulcers and aid the symptoms of indigestion, especially when accompanied by acidic/sulfur burps or heartburn.

100% vegetable-based blend of enzymes supporting the digestive process. 

The enzymes found naturally in raw foods are easily destroyed by heat and are not available from cooked or processed food which composes over 90% of our diets. Enzymes are also destroyed by chemicals such as caffeine, alcohol, and drugs (prescription and OTC).  Many doctors, therefore, consider enzyme deficiency to be our #1 nutritional problem. This formula provides an acid-stable balanced mixture of enzymes from a controlled ferment of selected plants for optimum activity in human digestion; it contains no chemicals, preservatives, or milk products. 

Enzymes are the indispensable catalysts of all metabolism and they are the most difficult of all metabolic factors to obtain from our food. We live as long as our body generates enough enzymes to operate its metabolic machine therefore we need outside enzyme sources from foods and supplements to keep our internal reserve intact to protect our continued health and longevity. Our selection of quality vegetable enzymes for this product include consideration to (1) temperature of maximum activity level (2) variety of foods acted upon (3) measured activity level and (4) effective pH range. The enzymes in this product are of 100% vegetable source and have an effective pH range of 2.4 to 9.8.

Amylase: a group of proteins found in saliva, pancreatic juices and parts of plants; helps to convert starch to sugar.

Protease: an enzyme that conducts proteolysis, i.e., it begins the breakdown of food proteins. It is involved in a multitude of physiological reactions.

Lipase: is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down fats in the human digestive system.

Cellulase: is not produced in the body and is needed to optimize the energy contained in plant material.

PLUS, varying amounts of maltase, oxidase, peroxidase, invertase & phosphatase as naturally associated with the above enzymes. Hypoallergenic - contains no chemicals, preservatives, or milk products.  
More… | and click here to see a 2-stage digestive enzyme formula, Di-Aide Enzymes

e.    Digest Ease

Supports stimulation of digestive organs. Activates and enhances digestive secretions and helps to tone the gastrointestinal tract. Also, supports a general reprogramming of the GI tract.

Gentian Root (Gentiana Lutea): An herb broadly used for digestion. Gentian is bitter to taste, because the body responds to a bitter taste, its first response is increased saliva secretion, then neurological receptors respond through the brain to organs of digestion causing a reflex secretion of fluids in the stomach lining, pancreas and liver. This activity reaches the stomach for digestion and enhances digestive properties. Gentian is considered effective for dyspepsia, tonic conditions of the digestive tract and anorexia. It is an aid after prolonged illness, especially when fever and infection were present, to speed recovery though better digestion and assimilation. It is useful in gastritis and intestinal catarrh. If acute irritability and inflammation is present, Gentian may control gastric juices. Gentian also tends to increase circulation to the gastric system and promotes the appetite.

Bitter Orange Peel (Aurantium Amara Cortex): Again, the bitter flavor enhances the flow of digestive juices. This herb is also slightly pungent and has an aromatic quality that encourages increased circulation to the digestive tract. It also helps relieve cramping by relaxing the intestinal tract.

Cardamom Seed (Elettaria Cardamomum): Quite a bitter, but tasty herb with a very pungent taste similar to Orange Peel. Slightly diuretic, because of its aromatic oils, it is known as a carminative and aids flatulence and colic.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia): Aromatic oils and carminative qualities make Cinnamon a plus in digestive formulas and tannic acid in it reacts as an astringent. It also helps cleanse the mucus sludge from the intestinal tract.

Cloves (Caryophyllus Aromaticus): A carminative due to its aromatic oils. Cloves is a good flavoring agent, is slightly laxative, warming, and helps sweeten the digestive tract.  More… 

f.   LIPOZYMES

Dandelion contains high levels of potassium, is a rich source of iron and vitamins, and, ounce for ounce, and contains more carotene than carrots. Dandelion leaves are a powerful diuretic. The roots act as a blood purifier that helps both the kidneys and the liver to remove toxins and poisons from the blood. The roots have been used for centuries to treat jaundice. Dandelion also acts as a mild laxative and improves appetite and digestion. Dandelion stimulates bile which is needed to digest fats.  

Vitamin C: Helps break down fats in the liver.

Niacin: Aids in the metabolism and breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and in the production of hydrochloric acid. Niacin lowers cholesterol, and other fats in the body including those in the liver.

Biotin: Aids in cell growth, in fatty acid production, and in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Choline Bitartrate: A lipotropic* agent which is needed for nerve transmission, gallbladder regulation and liver function. It minimizes excess fat in the liver, aids in hormone production and is necessary in fat and cholesterol metabolism.

Methionine: A sulphur-bearing amino acid used therapeutically as a dietary supplement with lipotropic* action.

Inositol: A lipotropic* agent which is vital for fat and cholesterol metabolism. It also helps remove fats from the liver.

Dandelion Root: Dandelion stimulates bile which is needed to digest fats.

Betaine HCL: A lipotropic* agent and a substitute for hydrochloric acid (HCL).

Red Clover: Red Clover has many benefits for digestion and is commonly used for constipation and sluggish appetite. Red Clover tea stimulates liver and gallbladder activity to aid in digestion. More…

g.  INDIGEST

Designed to support proper digestion and support the body to relieve the pain of ulcers and aid the symptoms of indigestion, especially when accompanied by acidic/sulfur burps or heartburn. Supports a return to healthy digestion regardless of whether symptoms are caused by a heavy protein meal, dysentery, milk poisoning or severe food poisoning. 

Fennel Seed (Anethium Foeniculum): Fennel fits well here due to its aromatic quality. It helps sweeten the intestinal tract. Its aromatic oils help increase circulation in the stomach and the intestinal tract, thereby serving to relax the muscles in that area and relieve cramping. Digestion is also aided by increasing healthy secretions in the intestinal tract and gall bladder.

Slippery Elm Bark (Ulma Fulva): Slippery Elm is a famous American folk herb used in the treatment of intestinal and stomach irritation by American pioneers and Native Americans. It is also very nutritive. It has been used for inflamed stomach and bowels. It has been used for treating diarrhea and also to soothe the pain of an ulcer. It is also used to stop prolonged vomiting.

Wild Yam Root (Dioscorea Villosa): Wild Yam is included because it’s an antispasmodic in the intestinal tract. It’s an antispasmodic to the gall bladder and the ileocecal valve. It’s included because it relieves spasmodic cramping in the stomach and down the intestinal tract. It also supports the adrenal glands due to plant steroids it contains.

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra): Licorice Root is soothing as it is somewhat mucilaginous. Evidence indicates that licorice is very healing for ulcers and it is a tonic to the adrenal glands. It helps calm people who lead a stressful life. Many times this is a symptom and cause of ulcers.

Ion Mineral Clay: Has the ability to absorb a large amount of toxic gases and acids. It is also mucilaginous and therefore soothing to the stomach lining and intestinal tract. It is antiseptic and it also aids in the removal of undesirable material from the digestive tract. More…

  

Click Here to View All Natural Digestive Support Products





Vol 5 | Issue 6 | Summer Activities, Sports & Fitness

SUMMER ACTIVITIES, SPORTS & FITNESS

CAN CAUSE ACHES, PAINS AND STRESS ON THE BODY

Support for Your Body Naturally…


Summer Fun

The hot summer months get us energized and take us outdoors doing all sorts of sports and fun activities, bringing with it an increased risk of injury and physical stress to the body.  Acute injuries are usually very obvious, as they often occur in a very dramatic fashion. However, other injuries can creep up slowly and get progressively worse.  These often turn into nagging chronic aches and pains.  Most joint and soft tissue injuries have some common warning signs and symptoms; pain being the number one warning sign.  Don’t ignore it. Pain is a communication.  If we pay attention to the warnings signs and symptoms of both types of injuries, we can often get to the root of the problem.  It’s important to start off on the “right foot” to promote health and strength in the body, and possibly prevent sports injuries.

Eating Right is a Good Start

There is no doubt that the type, amount, composition, and timing of the food you eat can dramatically affect exercise performance, recovery from exercise, body weight and composition and health. When exercise increases to more than one hour per day, the importance of the food you eat becomes even more critical. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are important nutrients for active individuals. A balanced diet of protein, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables plays a vital role in providing adequate essential nutrients and energy for a healthy active lifestyle. 

As stated in the 2000 Position Statement on Nutrition and Athletic Performance, published by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), any active individual “who wants to optimize health and exercise performance needs to follow good nutrition and hydration practices, use supplements and ergogenic aids carefully, minimize severe weight loss practices, and eat a variety of foods in adequate amounts” (ADA, 2000).

Supplementing is Necessary

Most health care practitioners advocate healthy diet practices, a daily exercise routine and recommend adding daily supplements to support and maintain health in the body. Food grown in depleted, nutrient deficient soils lacks the nutrients needed to keep people healthy. The nutritional content of harvested food produced today is significantly different from the food produced 70 years ago. In the United States and throughout the world there is a widespread lack of adequate nutrition in both in the agricultural soils in which food is grown and in harvested food. A critical need exists to halt the alarming declines in the world’s supply of topsoil and to increase the nutritional values of our food. Exhausted soils depleted of needed minerals and organic material cannot grow healthy, nutrient rich food.

The human body needs nutritious food to stay healthy. Food is the body’s main source of energy. Nutrients in food are needed to sustain life. Our diet, the food we eat, is the source of nutrients for all our body’s biochemical processes. Minerals may be more vital to physical and mental health than vitamins. Minerals assist the body in a multitude of biochemical processes. Minerals are inorganic compounds found in the soil. Foods grown in soil depleted of minerals do not contain the minerals needed to sustain human health.

Hydration is a Must

It is well-documented in the research literature that exercise performance is optimal when athletes and active individuals maintain fluid balance during exercise (Coyle, 2004). So, it is imperative that all active individuals drink adequate amounts of fluids and stay well hydrated.  Active individuals exercising in special environmental conditions (heat, cold, altitude) need to take extra precautions to remain hydrated (ACSM 1996a; Brinkley et al., 2002; Freund & Sawka, 1996).

Maintaining Water and Electrolyte Balance

Maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance means that active individuals need to replace the water and electrolytes lost in sweat. This requires that active individuals, regardless of age, strive to hydrate well before exercise, drink fluids throughout exercise, and rehydrate once exercise is over.

As outlined by ACSM and NATA (ACSM, 1996a; Casa et al., 2000), generous amounts of fluids should be consumed 24-h before exercise and 400-600 mL of fluid should be consumed 2-h before exercise. During exercise, active individuals should attempt to drink ~150-350 mL (6-12 oz) of fluid every 15-20 minutes.


When Sports Injuries Occur….


Sprains and Strains

A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, the band of connective tissues that joins the end of one bone with another.  Sprains are caused by trauma such as a fall or blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position and, in the worst case, ruptures the supporting ligaments.  Areas of the body most vulnerable to sprains are ankles, knees, and wrists.  Signs of a sprain include tenderness or pain; bruising; inflammation; swelling; inability to move a limb or joint.

A strain is a twist, pull, or tear of a muscle or tendon, a cord of tissue connecting muscle to bone. It is an acute, noncontact injury that results from overstretching or over-contraction.  Symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasm, and loss of strength.  Strains not treated immediately can cause damage and loss of function.

Knee Injuries

Because of its complex structure and weight-bearing capacity, the knee is the most commonly injured joint. Each year, more than 5.5 million people visit doctors for knee problems.  Knee injuries can result from a blow to or twist of the knee; from improper landing after a jump; or from running too hard, too much, or without proper warm up.

Shin Splints

Although the term "shin splints" has been widely used to describe any sort of leg pain associated with exercise, the term actually refers to pain along the tibia or shin bone, the large bone in the front of the lower leg. Shin splints are primarily seen in runners, particularly those just starting a running program.  Risk factors for shin splints include overuse or incorrect use of the lower leg; improper stretching, warm up, or exercise technique; overtraining; running or jumping on hard surfaces; and running in shoes that don't have enough support.

Enduring Pain is Not the Answer

When injure or pain occurs, most of us try to “push through the pain.”  We continue working out and playing summer sports.  We endure the pain and pop a couple of over-the-counter pain pills rather than taking positive steps to repair the joint and tissue damage, reduce inflammation and pain.  After all, isn’t it easier to take a quick trip to the drugstore and grab some ibuprofen? While taking pain killers provides temporary relief, it is simply the wrong approach for long term relief and ultimate healing.

Taking Over-The-Counter Pain Medication is Not the Answer

Taking over-the-counter pain medication provides only short term relief to a long term problem! 

Since pain goes hand in hand with joint injury and inflammation, the most common approach is to take aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen or one of the family of drugs known as NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).  What is often not realized is that the relief provided by these drugs comes at a very high price.  Over time, they all can have dangerous and possibly even health threatening consequences. Prolonged use is not recommended.  There are natural alternatives you can use instead. Click here to see. 

Old Fashioned Remedies Work

What to do with an injured joint?  The old fashioned remedies still work. Ice, elevate, and immobilize the joint.   Elevate, whenever possible, to relieve the swelling; and wrap in an ace bandage to secure the joint to provide support and prevent additional injury or trauma to the joint and damaged tissues. Keep the injury iced for as long as possible. Icing the injury helps reduce tissue inflammation caused by the injury, which in turn reduces swelling, which then reduces the pain.  It is the inflammation and the swelling that causes the pain. Anytime inflammation and swelling are reduced, pain is reduced.

Repair the Problem

So, when summer injuries occur and pain, swelling and inflammation are present, get to the root of the problem.  Allow the body to heal.  Don’t just mask the symptoms with pain killers.  Support your body’s own natural healing process by using natural sources to reduce inflammation and swelling, which ultimately reduces pain.  There are many natural source products and ingredients that have been used successfully for many, many years.   Many of these natural ingredients, such as glucosamine and chondroitin have long been used to repair and improve joint tissues and cartilage.  While others, such as valerian root, white willow bark, quercetin, and bromelain are often used for their natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.  A combination of Serrapeptase + Prozyme with SPR Oil provides a highly effective immediate relief remedy for acute injury.  Ligatone/Disc Support paired with Glucosamine CL non-sodium offers a powerful long term regenerative combination.  Try some natural alternatives to support the body in healing as assumed to just masking the symptoms. Click here to see. 

 This Month’s Featured Product – 365 Active Power Pro 21

 


 

rehab physical therapy pack | glucosamine CL  | inflam-X  | Ligatone/Disc Support

Serrapeptase + Prozyme  | spr oil | Relaxall  | total pain relief

 

 




Vol 5 | Issue 5 | Sneezing, Wheezing, Coughing Season

SNEEZING, WHEEZING AND COUGHING
Sinus Allergy Season

If you suffer from repeated sinus and allergy problems, you are not alone.  The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics reports that sinus and allergy problems are the number one chronic health complaint across the country, with over 60 million sufferers. * Annual U.S. Prevalence Statistics for Chronic Diseases

An allergy is characterized by an overreaction of the human immune system to a foreign protein substance (“allergen”) that is eaten, breathed into the lungs, injected or touched. This immune overreaction can result in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. In severe cases it can also result in rashes, hives, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and asthma attacks.

The job of immune system cells is to find foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria and get rid of them. Normally, this response protects us from dangerous diseases. People with allergies have specially-sensitive immune systems that react when they contact certain harmless substances called allergens. While there are no cures for allergies, they can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. Allergies have a genetic component. If only one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies. More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from allergies. It is among the country's most common, yet often overlooked, diseases.

Here are some facts on the prevalence of Allergies:

  1. Allergies are the most frequently reported chronic condition in children, limiting activities for more than 40% of them.
  2. Each year, allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient office visits, primarily in the spring and fall; seasonal allergies account for more than half of all allergy visits. [3]
  3. Skin allergies alone account for more than 7 million outpatient visits each year. [4]
  4. Food allergies account for 30,000 visits to the emergency room each year. [5] 
  5. Exposure to latex allergen alone is responsible for over 200 cases of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) each year. [6]
    [3] “CDC Fast Facts A-Z,” Vital Health Statistics, 2003
    [4] “In Allergy Principles and Practice,” 5th Edition, 1998
    [5] “Anaphylaxis in the United States,” Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001
    [6] “Anaphylaxis in the United States,” Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001
    © Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
     
    http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30

SEASONAL ALLERGY OR YEAR ROUND?
Some allergies are considered more “seasonal” while others are on-going and can bring misery to the sufferer all year round.  “Seasonal” allergies (also called “seasonal allergic rhinitis” [SAR], “hay fever,” or “nasal” allergies) occur when allergens that are commonly found outdoors are inhaled into the nose and the lungs causing allergic reactions. Examples of commonly inhaled outdoor allergens are tree, grass and weed pollen and mold spores. The allergic reaction to all plants that produce pollen is commonly known as hay fever.

Symptoms include eye irritation, runny nose, stuffy nose, puffy eyes, sneezing, and inflamed, itchy nose and throat. For those with severe allergies, asthma attacks, chronic sinusitis, headaches and impaired sleep are symptoms. Warm weather also brings some not-so-welcome visitors in the form of stinging insects. For most people, these small creatures are an annoyance that threaten to ruin outdoor fun. But for some 2 million Americans, these insects pose a far more serious threat of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Other allergens existing outdoors are poisonous plants, and these, as well as insects, are considered “contact,” “skin” or “insect” allergens rather than “inhaled” allergens.

Year round allergies include indoor allergies (“perennial allergic rhinitis” [PAR], often called “nasal” allergies). These occur when allergens that are commonly found indoors are inhaled into the nose and the lungs causing allergic reactions. Examples of indoor allergens are airborne cat or dog dander, dust mite feces and mold spores. Other year round allergies are food allergies and allergic reactions to certain drugs. They are characterized by a broad range of allergic reactions to ingredients in the foods we eat or the medications we take. Food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system, different than food intolerance or food sensitivity. The U.S. Food Allergy Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) now requires food labels to clearly identify all allergen ingredients (even if it's a spice or flavoring), and to discourage labels with ‘may contain' statements.

THE MOST COMMON ALLERGIC SUBSTANCES:

POLLEN:
Pollen is a very fine powder released by trees, weeds and grasses. It is carried to another plant of the same kind, to fertilize the forerunner of new seeds. This is called pollination. The pollen of some plants is carried from plant to plant by bees and other insects. These plants usually have brightly colored flowers and sweet scents to attract insects. They seldom cause allergic reactions. Other plants rely on the wind to carry pollen from plant to plant. These plants have small, drab flowers and little scent. These are the plants that cause most allergic reactions, or hay fever.

When conditions are right, a plant starts to pollinate. Weather affects how much pollen is carried in the air each year, but it has less effect on when pollination occurs. As a rule, weeds pollinate in late summer and fall. Weeds that cause allergic reactions are ragweed, cocklebur, lamb's quarters, plantain, pigweed, tumbleweed or Russian thistle and sagebrush. Trees that pollinate in late winter and spring, ash, beech, birch, cedar, cottonwood, box, elder, elm, hickory, maple and oak pollen can trigger allergies. Also Grasses which pollinate in late spring and summer including Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, Johnson, Bermuda, redtop, orchard, rye and sweet vernal grasses. Much pollen is released early in the morning, shortly after dawn. This results in high counts near the source plants. Pollen travels best on warm, dry, breezy days and peaks in urban areas midday. Pollen counts are lowest during chilly, wet periods.

RAGWEED: Ragweed’s are weeds that grow throughout the United States. They are most common in the Eastern states and the Midwest. A plant lives only one season, but that plant produces up to 1 billion pollen grains. Pollen-producing and seed-producing flowers grow on the same plant but are separate organs. After midsummer, as nights grow longer, ragweed flowers mature and release pollen. Warmth, humidity and breezes after sunrise help the release. The pollen must then travel by air to another plant to fertilize the seed for growth the coming year. Come late summer, some 10 to 20 percent of Americans begin to suffer from ragweed allergy, or hay fever. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and throat and trouble sleeping make life miserable for these people. Some of them also must deal with asthma attacks. Of Americans who are allergic to pollen-producing plants, 75 percent are allergic to ragweed. People with allergies to one type of pollen tend to develop allergies to other pollens as well.

MOLD: Mold and mildew are fungi. They differ from plants or animals in how they reproduce and grow. The "seeds," called spores, are spread by the wind. Allergic reactions to mold are most common from July to late summer. Although there are many types of molds, only a few dozen cause allergic reactions. Alternaria, Cladosporium (Hormodendrum), Aspergillums, Penicillium, Helminthosporium, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Mucor, Rhizopus and Aureobasidium (pullularia) are the major culprits. Many molds grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, in compost piles and on grasses and grains. Unlike pollens, molds do not die with the first killing frost. Most outdoor molds become dormant during the winter. In the spring they grow on vegetation killed by the cold. Mold counts are likely to change quickly, depending on the weather. Certain spore types reach peak levels in dry, breezy weather. Some need high humidity, fog or dew to release spores. This group is abundant at night and during rainy periods.

PET DANDER: People with pet allergies have supersensitive immune systems that react to harmless proteins in the pet's dander (dead skin that is shed), saliva or urine. These proteins are called allergens. Dander is the culprit; actual pet hair is not an allergen. Pet hair collects dander, which can also harbor other allergens like dust and pollen. Dogs and cats secrete fluids and shed dander that contains the allergens. They collect on fur and other surfaces. The allergens will not lose their strength for a long time, sometimes for several months. They appear to be sticky and adhere to walls, clothing and other surfaces. Cat and dog allergens are everywhere. Pet dander is even in homes never occupied by these animals because it is carried on people's clothing. The allergens get in the air with petting, grooming or stirring the air where the allergens have settled. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time. Six out of 10 people in the United States come in contact with cats or dogs. The total pet population is more than 100 million or about four pets for every 10 people. Allergies to pets with fur or feathers are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma. From 15 percent to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. People with dog allergies may be allergic to all dogs or to only some breeds. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OTC, MEDS AND HERBAL REMEDIES
So what do those who suffer from watery eyes, wheezing, sneezing, headache, runny nose, and an itchy throat, and who feel miserable much of the year, do to get some relief from their symptoms?

Allergy medications are available as pills, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, eye drops, skin creams and shots (injections). Some allergy medications are available over-the-counter, while others are available by prescription only. These many varieties of over-the-counter drugs as well as stronger prescription medications are widely advertised and purport to give the user their life back and freedom from symptoms. However, antihistamines and other treatments often cause other unpleasant side effects such as feeling exhausted, wanting to do nothing more than sleep and feeling “spacey”. There are also lists of unpleasant side effects.  For example: “Side effects can include unpleasant smell or taste, nasal irritation and nosebleeds”, “may include bitter taste, dizziness, drowsiness or fatigue, dry mouth, headache, nasal burning, nosebleed, nausea, runny nose, sore throat, and sneezing,” “can cause a number of side effects, including irritability, fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, tremors, and increased blood pressure.”

HERBAL REMEDIES
Herbal Remedies, on the other hand, do not cause side effects like the medications lists above. They also are designed to address the cause of the body’s elevated response, reduce the inflammation, strengthen the immune system and support it in remaining free from infections.

Common Herbs used to deal with allergies the natural way are:

BITTER ORANGE EXTRACT (CITRUS AURANTIUM):
Over the centuries bitter oranges have been highly valued for their food and medicinal properties. Bitter orange contains important neuroactive amines such as synephrine, octopamine and tyramine. Synephrine and octopamine are similar to the catecholamines, noradrenaline and adrenaline found in the sympathetic nerve fibers. The most active constituent of Citrus aurantium L. is synephrine. Synephrine works as an anti-inflammatory to the respiratory mucosal lining. It has also been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat chest congestion.

QUERCETIN:
A bioflavonoid, Quercetin taken daily can stabilize the white blood cells that are responsible for the release of histamine that accompanies allergies. Quercetin has antioxidant properties that can stabilize a hyper immune system along with a respiratory tract that has been invaded by toxins, viruses, and bacteria which lead to allergy attacks. The flavonoids found in Quercetin work an anti-inflammatory, which is useful in supporting lung health during a variety of breathing issues. The benefits of Quercetin are not limited to allergies and asthma as it is also known for supporting the body as it deals with hives, which often accompany allergic reactions. Quercetin has been experienced by many people to effectively reduce allergy attacks, hives, and other respiratory ailments that run with inflammatory immune and lung diseases. Quercetin works by inhibiting the synthesis of enzymes that can cause allergic reactions. Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of its ability to directly inhibit several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators. Quercetin has been shown to have antiviral properties.

GUARANA (PAULLINIA CUPANA):
A study published in the Journal of Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry demonstrates that guarana seed extract can be used in allergy therapy. The study revealed that guarana inhibits an allergic reaction through preventing hives. Guarana helps reduce allergic reactions induced by increases in mast cells and immunoglobulin E, IgE. Part of the normal immune system, mast cells are rich in histamine, which is the substance responsible for the allergic reactions of watery eyes, stuffy nose and inflammation. IgE is from the class of blood proteins called antibodies. This plant of many legends from Brazil contains natural caffeine and is known as a physical and mental energizer. Taken daily by millions in Brazil, Guarana is known as a blood cleanser and intestinal detoxification agent as well as an energy booster.

FENUGREEK (TRIGONELLA FOENUM-GRAECUM):
Fenugreek is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae. Fenugreek is one of the oldest plants recorded as having medicinal purposes. It supports people with allergies by soothing the membranes of sinuses.  It aides the body in getting rid of mucous, by working as an expectorant, which supports people with asthma and respiratory discomfort  Beneficial for lung disorders, It also aids in reducing inflammation and fever.

GOLDENSEAL ROOT (HYDRASTIS CANDENSIS):
A bitter herb that strengthens the immune system, acts as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial, cleanses mucus membranes, soothes inflamed tissues, and stimulates the central nervous system. It is good for colds, flu, inflammation, and glandular swelling. Because of its hydrastine alkaloid, it is a specific for healing the mucus membranes or inflamed tissue in the body.

EUCALYPTUS LEAVES (EUCALYPTUS GLOBUS):
The eucalyptus tree is native to Australia. The oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines to heal wounds and fungal infections. Teas made of eucalyptus leaves were also used to reduce fevers. Eucalyptus is also used in other traditional natural healing systems, including Chinese, Ayurvedic, Greek and European. In 19th-century England, eucalyptus oil was used in hospitals to clean equipment. Laboratory tests have shown that eucalyptus oil contains substances that kill bacteria. It also may kill some viruses and fungi. Studies in animals and test tubes also found that eucalyptus oil acts as an expectorant, meaning it loosens phlegm and has decongestant properties.

Click here to see all Sinus Allergi products
Sinus Allergi | Lungs Mucus | Co-Resist | ZNAC | Immune Response Pack




Vol 5 | Issue 4 | Detox - Good Housekeeping

DETOX – GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

 

5 Reasons Why You Need To Detoxify Your Body

 

With the process of everyday life, the body undergoes a lot of wear and tear both inside and outside. So it is important to ensure that the body is well taken care of in order to compensate for this demand.

 

1.       Promote Health - Just like a car engine which needs to be serviced and have its oil removed and changed, the body also has to be detoxified in order for it to function properly and to promote general health and well being.

 

2.       Food - During the course of our lives we ingest a variety of foods, some of which are healthy and some of which are not so healthy. The fact is that not all this food is successfully absorbed by the body as nutrients and not all of it is discharged out of the body as waste products, there are always remnants and these remnants become toxins that are left in the bowel and colon of the body. Over a long period of time, this can have some adverse effects on the body if these toxins are not removed.

 

3.       Lifestyle - Detoxifying the body becomes even more important if you indulge in things such as cigarettes, junk food, coffee and alcoholic beverages. These things make it even more difficult for the natural detoxifying mechanism of the body to work and it makes it even more important for you to take steps to rid yourself of the toxins that are being accumulated in your body.

 

4.       pH Balance - A lot of the foods most people eat on a daily basis have a very high acidic content. This can have a negative effect on the body if this acidity is allowed to accumulate in the body without being removed at some point. It is necessary for the body's alkaline PH balance to be restored in order to aid the renewal and repair of cells and to promote general well being and a short detox program can do this for you. It is not only important to detoxify the body, it is necessary to do so as regularly as possible in order to maximize the benefits that are obtained from doing so.

 

5.       Whole Body Approach - Purifying and keeping your body clean through detoxification is the best way to avoid colon diseases, as well as maintaining a healthy bloodstream and heart. The important thing to remember about toxins is the fact that they are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to other parts of the body and can lead to a variety of health issues because the body's immunity against disease is weakened by the presence of toxins and waste. So, a detox program is highly essential in order to aid the body's ability to fight off disease.

 

What is Detoxification?

Simply put, it is the safe and gentle removal or elimination of toxic substances or waste matter from the body.

 

What are the two Types of Toxins?

“Toxins” is a general term for any type of built up waste – the gunk that is left over after your body has broken down food, drink, alcohol, smoke and thousands of other substances our body’s consume and comes in contact with daily. Toxins can be divided into two categories - Internal or endogenous, and external or exogenous toxins.

 

What are internal toxins?

Internal toxins are the wastes that are created inside of the body during the course of normal daily functions. These toxins are the bi-products of these functions and occur during biochemical, metabolic and cellular processes; and they require elimination. A common and well known example is free radicals. Our thoughts, emotions and stress can also create biochemical toxins in our body.

 

Internal toxins are part of our body’s normal processes; others are only produced when we are sick.  

Internal toxins include:

·         Organisms living inside our bodies- bacteria, worms, fungi, parasites, yeast, etc.

·         Disease- many disease organisms produce waste material in the body’s tissues, which can produce of prolong disease.

·         Normal digestion and food breakdown – the body will produces toxins in the course of normal digestion and will produce more toxins when low nutrient foods are consumed.

·         Negative thought patterns and stress –can cause chemical changes in the body, increase the body’s storage of toxins, and increase the damage that toxins cause.

 

What are external toxins?

External toxins are any toxic substances that come directly from outside our body. Common examples include substances like pesticides found in our food sources, pollution in the air and water, medications, recreational drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. The body has to work hard to deal with all of these exogenous toxins.

 

External toxins are part of our everyday lives. They are the substances we eat, drink, breathe and have contact with our skin.  External toxins include:

·         Herbicides, pesticides and insecticides (often found in food)

·         Food additives such as preservatives and colorings

·         Polluted water

·         Air pollution and smog

·         Pharmaceutical medicines – taken orally or topically

·         Pollution, household/industrial chemicals (including makeup, shampoo, etc.)

 

The Most Common Signs that You Need to Detox

With an accumulation of wastes, functions in the body are slowed. When toxins cannot be eliminated efficiently, the body must store them in fat cells, joints, muscles, arteries, liver and other organs.

A build-up of toxins in your body may cause:

·         Allergy or intolerance to certain foods

·         Back pain

·         Bad breath (halitosis)

·         Breast soreness

·         Brittle hair and nails

·         Foul-smelling gas (belching and flatulence)

·         Constipation

·         Diarrhea

·         Fatigue

·         Frequent chest and nasal congestion (colds, flu, viruses)

·         Indigestion

·         Intolerance to fatty foods

·         Low energy or loss of vitality for no apparent reason

·         Migratory aches and pains

·         Sluggish or irregular bowel movements

·         Swelling of legs

·         Vaginal infections

·         Skin problems-rashes, boils, pimples, acne

 

5 Benefits of Detoxing

·         Improved energy

·         Improved digestion

·         Regular bowel movements

·         Increased memory and clarity

·         Clearer skin

 

Besides the fact that detoxifying your body can help you avoid health problems, there are also a variety of benefits detoxing can have on your body. It has been advocated by medical specialists that detoxifying your body will improve your levels of physical fitness and promote youthfulness. Participating in a regular detox program will also improve the appearance of your skin and give you more energy and vitality. Detox is a useful tool in losing weight because fat stores toxins, therefore when losing weight (fat) the body is exposed to more toxins. This can inhibit weight loss, so detoxing can help improve the body’s ability to shed weight while also making you feel better inside and out.

 

What is the Largest Organ of Elimination? (Clue: it’s not the colon)

A common misconception of detoxing is that the colon is the most important organ to “cleanse” and the only one that matters. Did you know that your skin is actually your largest organ of elimination? Your skin is an indicator of your health and level of toxicity and can reflect our diet and lifestyle choices: it's the mirror to internal health. Clear, radiant skin can be a sign of healthiness and a toxin-free body. Blemished, sallow skin, on the other hand, can signify harmful toxins being ingested or not properly detoxed (eliminated) from the body. You may also experience hives, eczema, very dry or oily skin, dark eye circles, puffy eyes or rashes if your dermal system is not working properly.

 

5 Main Detoxification Systems in the Body

1.       Respiratory - lungs, throat, sinuses, nose

If you frequently cough or wheeze or experience shallow breathing and nasal congestion, your respiratory system may have high toxin levels.

2.       Gastrointestinal - liver, gallbladder, gut

Signs of a toxic digestive system can include indigestion, heartburn, bad breath, constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, protruding abdomen.

3.       Urinary - kidneys, bladder, urethra

Kidney stones, fluid-retention and dark-colored urine mean a highly toxic urinary system.

4.       Skin - sweat and sebaceous glands, tears

You may also experience hives, eczema, very dry or oily skin, dark eye circles, puffy eyes or rashes if your dermal system is not working properly.

5.       Lymphatic - lymph channels, lymph nodes

You can suffer from sore or swollen lymph nodes if your lymphatic system is not working well.

 

All of these systems must be functioning optimally to be able to clear the body of unwanted and harmful substances and eliminate toxins and wastes. When toxins cannot be eliminated efficiently, the body will also store them in fat cells, joints, muscles, arteries, liver and other organs.

 

The Important Role the Liver Plays in Detoxing

All the blood in the body will eventually pass through the liver. This is important because the liver needs to filter the blood and pull out the toxins, and remove them from the body. Some of these toxins are drugs, like antibiotics and over-the-counter pain medications, and other toxins are things that the body no longer needs, like damaged cells, proteins and old hormones. The liver prepares all these toxins to be removed from the body. However, when the liver is damaged, these toxins can't be removed and they start to accumulate creating problems.

 

Common symptoms due to poor liver function are:

·         Poor digestion, abdominal bloating, nausea especially after fatty foods, weight gain around the abdomen and constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome, associated with abdominal swelling and flatulence, is often due to a sluggish liver. If you wake up in the morning with bad breath and/or a coated tongue, your liver definitely needs help.

·         Unpleasant mood changes, depression, `foggy brain' and impaired concentration and memory. If the liver is sluggish, excessive amounts of toxic metabolites find their way into the blood stream and can affect the function of the brain.

·         Allergic conditions such as hay fever, hives, skin rashes and asthma.

·         Headaches. Unfortunately, pain killers can cause further stress on the liver as the liver is the organ that breaks down all drugs.

·         High blood pressure and/or fluid retention.

 

Don’t Neglect This Powerful System When Detoxing (What is it?)

Most cleanses focus on the colon and liver. However, another system in the body which has many repercussions if not addressed, especially to your immune system, is the lymph system. Sinusitis, allergies, swollen nodes, overweight, cellulite and frequent infections are just some of the signs that a lymph detox would be of benefit to you. 

 

A network of tubes and organs, the lymph system takes waste products away from the cells and also carries nutrients to them. It acts as a transport and filter system and includes the lymph nodes, the bone marrow, tonsils, appendix, spleen, thymus gland. It produces the cells of your immune system which circulate around your body in the lymph fluid. Working as a filter, it removes bacteria, micro-organisms and dead cells. It has no pump like the heart and the circulation of the 6 - 10 liters of fluid within the lymph system depends on muscle movement and breathing. The lymph fluid can become thickened and clogged up with toxins if we don’t drink enough fluid or exercise to keep it moving. Our ability to overcome illness and boost our immune system can be optimized by doing a lymph detox and this system is often overlooked in favor of the colon and the liver, but is equally as important.

 

Whatever detoxification route you take, the main point to remember is that detoxifying the body is not something to be done occasionally, but something to be done on a regular basis. There is a lot to gain from detoxifying your body and absolutely nothing to lose. It is also easy and affordable to do so; making it an absolute must. 

 

Natural Herbal Detox Products

Naturally Botanicals has a unique detoxification program, Prep Tonic Detox Pack, designed to help rid your body of stored toxins in the liver, kidneys, stomach, skin and intestines, as well as detoxify the blood and lymph systems. Our Prep Tonic Detox Program has gentle and effective detoxification formulas designed to cleanse (detox), regulate and tonify the organ systems.

 

Each Canister contains 7 different formulas designed to work synergistically to cleanse the whole body.  Each canister has 30 individual prepackaged packets containing the seven formulas all ready for you to take. Option one is to take three packs of supplements per day for a 10 day cleanse. Or you may opt to take a slower approach and take one pack per day for a 30 day cleanse.  We suggest you read our article “The Healing Crisis” on how the detoxification process can affect the body. The total cost of buying all the products individually $204.65!

The MRSP of one Canister is $79.00 Save big this month. Click here to see the savings!

 

Click here to see all detox products

Cell Detox | Liver Detox | Liver Detox plus Siymarin | Lymph Detox | Metal Detox | Prep Tonic Detox Pack




Vol 5 | Issue 3 | Things to Know About Perimenopause and Menopause

Things to Know About Perimenopause and Menopause

What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is that time in a woman's life, often referred to as “the change of life” when hormonal changes begin, which usually occurs between age 35 and menopause (menopause normally begins around 48-52). Menopause is simply defined as no menstrual cycle for at least one year.  Perimenopause is that period in time prior to that.  Early perimenopause is defined as a change in the menstrual cycle length of more than seven days. Late perimenopause is characterized by two or more missed periods and an interval of 60 days or more between periods. Perimenopause is usually easily recognized due to all the symptoms and noticeable physical and emotional changes that occur. 

So biologically, what’s happening?
Essentially, perimenopause is the wind down of a woman’s reproductive system from child-bearing to non-child-bearing. Perimenopause is the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins eight to ten years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less and less estrogen. With less estrogen, biological changes become noticeable.  Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstrual cycles cease. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the decrease in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many changes occur in a woman’s body and many women experience the recognizable symptoms of menopause.

What are the symptoms?
Here’s something interesting. The symptoms of perimenopause are the same as menopause. The only difference is, during perimenopause the menstrual cycle is still active and in menopause menses has stopped.  Both phases have the same symptoms: headaches, memory loss, depression, anxiety, night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, insomnia, heart palpitations, fatigue, urinary problems, vaginal dryness, and bone loss. The only difference is that periods still occur during perimenopause (irregularly). In the menopausal phase it is often noted that the symptoms begin to lessen and/or disappear.

What is menopause?
Menopause is the period of time when a woman stops having her monthly period and experiences symptoms related to the lack of estrogen production. By definition, a woman is in menopause after her periods have stopped for one year. It is a normal part of aging and marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.

The drop in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause triggers physical changes such as weight gain, hot flashes as well as many emotional changes -- such as depression, apathy, anxiety and changes in memory. Like any other point in a woman’s life, there is a relationship between hormone levels and these physical and emotional symptoms.

Anxiety
This one is sneaky. Sometimes it is assumed that hot flashes are the first true sign of perimenopause, but many women experience anxiety long before hot flashes set in. Anxiety can be the first sign of perimenopausal hormone transitions, but many women do not connect a rise in anxiety levels to the physical changes caused by changing estrogen levels. Perimenopause can be an added stressor to an already stressful overly busy life, and hormonal imbalances can adversely affect your nerves, mood and mental function. Anxiety can shake your very core and reduce your self confidence. Many women begin to feel lost and confused with a strange lack of confidence in themselves.

Depression
You may found yourself feeling apathetic, a little bit down, unable to "pick yourself up," or you might even feel depressed. Well, you're not going crazy. There a simple biological changes occurring during perimenopause that contribute to feelings. There is a connection between the hormonal changes during perimenopause and depression, affecting the way you feel. The imbalanced ratio of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can be the physical basis for depression. The estrogen dominance so common in perimenopause can exacerbate symptoms of depression and apathy.

Memory
Finding yourself not remembering appointments, someone's name, or recalling something that is and has been very important to you?  Well, you are not losing your mind. The same is true here as with anxiety and depression.  The changes in estrogen levels during perimenopause are creating the impaired memory function.  Supplementation is important here.  B vitamins and essential fatty acids are known for their brain-helping properties, but at this time you may find that some additional help with an herbal supplement is helpful.

Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. Your skin may redden, just as if you were blushing. Hot flashes can also cause profuse sweating and may leave you chilled. The exact cause of hot flashes isn't known, but the signs and symptoms point to factors affecting the function of your body's thermostat — the hypothalamus. This area at the base of your brain regulates body temperature and other basic processes. Lowered levels of estrogen confuse the hypothalamus, causing it to inappropriately sense that the body is overheating. This provokes an internal chain of reactions that women experience as hot flashes. The estrogen reduction you experience during menopause may disrupt hypothalamic function, leading to hot flashes.

Weight Gain
As many women enter perimenopause or approach menopause, they find themselves experiencing unexplained weight gain — especially around the waists and hips — despite their best attempts to diet. Often the methods of weight management that worked for them for years are suddenly ineffective. In fact, weight gain in the abdomen is one of the most common complaints of perimenopausal women.

Estrogen is stored in fat cells, and when you enter menopause, your body responds by holding on to fat cells in an effort to boost the lagging estrogen levels. It then becomes tougher to lose fat and much easier to keep the pounds on. Also as estrogen levels drop, your level of androgens increases in relation to the estrogen. Unopposed by the higher levels of estrogen your body used to have, the androgens produce male characteristics -- in this case, the shift in body fat from your hips, thighs and buttocks to your midsection, resulting in the "apple" shape that is more common in men and in postmenopausal women Low progesterone levels (which in relation to estrogen is popularly called "estrogen dominance") also cause a number of side effects including increased bloating and water retention -- not be actual fat, but can makes you look and feel heavier. It can also cause blood sugar fluctuations -- which can increase your appetite and slow your metabolism.

What to do?
Coping with apathy, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep and hot flashes is no picnic. Often women are confused with what is going on in their bodies and they begin to question themselves and their self confidence. Am I losing my mind?  Is this memory loss permanent? Will I ever feel motivated again? How am I ever going to cope with these awful symptoms and manage my life?

There’s no need to suffer through these symptoms unnecessarily.  Once you have a clearer understanding of the physical causes for these changes, you can make informed and empowered choices to support your body with these symptoms and help your ability to function better in life. You can chose to address the situation naturally and nutritionally and get back to feeling like your old self again. Like most health challenges the basics apply here too. Reduced intake or no coffee and alcohol, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercise even though your energy and enthusiasm may be low.

There are also highly effective herbal supplements designed specifically for women's health and menopause that you may find will help you through this time.  Many women have resorted to natural remedies for relief.  And, of course, the most well renowned is Black Cohosh, which is great, but it’s not enough on this own.  Perimenopause and menopause is a multi-platform issue requiring a multi-platform solution.  More than one single herb is required to balance all these symptoms.  Here are some suggestions:

Female Menopause and Sleep Eaze:
These products address the issues of hot flashes and sleep problems. About 65 to 75 percent of women experience hot flashes, most commonly during late perimenopause. The intensity, duration and frequency vary. Sleep problems are often due to hot flashes or night sweats, but sometimes sleep becomes erratic even without them.

Alive, Tense Ease, Relax and Mental Clarity Extra:
These products address the issues of mood changes such as, anxiety, apathy, irritability or increased depression during perimenopause.  As mentioned above, the decrease in estrogen levels are the catalyst to all the mood and emotional changes that most women experience during perimenopause and menopause. Lower hormone levels directly affect physical and emotional wellbeing.

Cal/Mag with Boron and Mineral Complex:
These products address the issue of Bone Loss. With declining estrogen levels, you start to lose bone more quickly than you replace it, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.

Ox Redux and Cardiotone + CoQ10.
These products address the issue of changing cholesterol levels. Declining estrogen levels may lead to unfavorable changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol — which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. At the same time, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the "good" cholesterol — decreases in many women as they age, which also increases the risk of heart disease.

Also recommended:
ADR Complex | Adaptostym |Age-Defi | Energi | Female Gland Balance | Sugar Control

Click here to check out all our all natural female health and menopause support formulas




Vol 5 | Issue 2 | Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue | What are the Adrenals?
The adrenal glands sit over the kidneys, where they play a significant role in the body, secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life, including epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone and testosterone. Since they produce so many essential hormones, the adrenal glands are responsible for many of the functions we need to stay alive and healthy, including energy production: carbohydrate, protein and fat conversion to blood glucose for energy and fluid and electrolyte balance. Cortisol, in particular, is extremely important for keeping our body systems in balance, as well as protecting our cells: It normalizes blood sugar and it regulates blood pressure. It controls the strength of the immune system: Too much cortisol weakens the immune system, setting the motions for increased susceptibility to infections and cancer, while too little leads to an overactive immune system and autoimmune disease.

Good adrenal health is important. As the manufacturer of adrenaline, they are the first glands to fail during prolonged or intense periods of stress. The problem with stressors is that they are "cumulative," in the sense that their impact tends to add up in the body over time until your adrenal glands (and probably your mental state) just can't take anymore.

For example a "nervous breakdown isn’t when nerves break down, as nerves really don't break down; adrenal glands do. A "nervous breakdown" is actually adrenal fatigue, or when the adrenal glands can't deal with the amount of stress they're given. Adrenal fatigue used to be rare, but is now all too common because of our lack of relaxation and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits and excessive caffeine intake, as well as allergies.
 
Adrenal Fatigue | Is Adrenal Fatigue “real”?
Not to most western medical doctors, but ask the patient or even an alternative doctor or healthcare practitioner and you will get a resounding, yes. In the medical model, your adrenal glands can be functioning 20 percent below the mean average of cortisol levels and the rest of your body can be experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, yet most mainstream physicians won't recognize that you have a problem. So, why don't doctors recognize adrenal fatigue? In medical school, they are only taught to look for extreme adrenal malfunction -- Addison's Disease, which occurs when the glands produce far too little cortisol, and Cushing's Syndrome, which stems from excessive cortisol production. They check adrenal function by testing ACTH levels, using a bell curve to recognize abnormal levels. This is where the problem occurs. ACTH tests only consider the top and bottom two (2) percent of the curve as abnormal, yet symptoms of adrenal malfunction occur after 15 percent of the mean on both sides of the curve.

Adrenal Fatigue is real to a lot of people. Adrenal Fatigue can be caused by chronic exposure to stress, poor nutrition, a diet depleted of vitamins and minerals, high in sugar, caffeine, and toxins, long-term illness or untreated conditions such as arthritis, lack of sleep, or a depressed immune system.

Contemporary lifestyles and eating habits contribute to the widespread incidence of adrenal depletion with issues ranging from mild to serious. Some of the symptoms and corollary conditions to adrenal depletion are insomnia and/or hypersomnia—a sense that one cannot get enough sleep, vulnerability to colds, aches in joints and throughout the body, general fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS), difficulty exerting energy, even in small spurts, poor digestion, difficulty deriving energy from food, and mental “fuzziness.” 

Common to most people with Adrenal Fatigue is the use caffeine and sugar to get by. As much as you may feel you need your three o’clock coffee and sugary snack, the caffeine and sugar spike causes your adrenals to pump out more stress hormones, eventually leaving your body more drained than it would have been without your “pick-me-up.” Tomorrow we will list out the rest of the most common recognizable ways to tell if you have Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue | Common Signs of Adrenal Fatigue
Feeling burned out?  Low energy is such a common feeling these days, that it has become almost normal and acceptable to need caffeine and sugar to keep going as we deal with our busy lives. We try to push through by whatever means possible, especially in the afternoons.  However, that feeling of fatigue can be addressed instead by naturally supporting the healthy function of your adrenal glands

Check the list below to see how many apply to you:

  • Are you always on the run?
  • Do you feel like you “can never do enough” or get it all done?
  • Does everything seem like it’s a whole lot harder for you than it should be?
  • Need coffee, colas, energy drinks, sodas, salty or sweet snacks to keep going?
  • Do you use caffeine or sugar to bolster your flagging energy in the afternoon?
  • Do you feel weary and irritable much of the time?
  • Do you often crave salty foods or binge on sugar?
  • Do you fall asleep while reading or while watching movies?
  • Do you struggle to “come down” at night so you can get to sleep?
  • Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning?
  • Do you wake up in the morning feeling that you didn’t get enough sleep?
  • Morning fatigue | you don't really seem to "wake up" until 10 a.m., even if you've been awake since 7 a.m.
  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
  • Increased allergies
  • Mild depression
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Apathy; inability to get motivated

Adrenal Fatigue | Back to Balanced Healthy Adrenals
It is possible to restore, replenish and bring your adrenals back to balance and get your energy levels back up to how they used to be?  The answer is, yes.

However, stress has become a "normal" part of life and the same is true for that "never-ending list" of things to do in a day, but when you are at optimal adrenal health you will take all this and more in your stride. You will feel a normal level of tiredness at the end of the day, as opposed to feeling exhausted after dragging yourself through the day. You will wake up refreshed, ready for a new day after a full night of restful sleep.

How do you go about restoring your Adrenals? 
The most popular and natural way to do this is by the use of herbs and nutrients to support adrenal gland health. The use of plants and herbs for the purposes of healing is known as Phytotherapy. Many people around the world have practiced the ancient art of botanical medicine and followed plant-based diets for thousands of years, but now there is evidence-based research to back up phytotherapy’s treatment benefits. For example, researchers in the U.S. and around the globe have demonstrated that the herb Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also commonly referred to as Siberian ginseng, supports the adrenal glands with its anti-fatigue and anti-stress properties. In 2009, Swedish researchers proposed one way it does this is by increasing the specific molecules the body typically releases to protect the body against physical and emotional stress. These “molecular chaperones” help treat and repair damaged proteins during times of intense physical demand. Having more “repair” molecules on board helps build our tolerance to stress and allows for less physical destruction, and thus less feelings of exhaustion and fatigue. In Australia, another team demonstrated how Eleuthero inhibits the binding of stress hormones to their receptors.

Eleuthero is an adaptogen, a group of herbs known for their restorative and gland-toning properties, and is widely used by doctors and healthcare practitioners in cases of adrenal fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, stress, low function endocrine system and when the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis is compromised.  By restoring glandular function, your personal energy levels are restored, making it seem as though you have increased your energy levels, when in fact you are just running at normal energy levels.

Adrenal Fatigue | Herbs that Support Adrenal Function and General Health
Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion is on the minds of many and is compromising the health and functionality of many people, especially with today's busy lifestyles, and it is so often overlooked, dismissed or brushed aside by western medicine.  You may very well be one of these people and still looking for answers.  How do you naturally improve adrenal gland function and health, and restore yourself back to normal energy levels? The most popular and natural way to do this is by the use of herbs and nutrients to support adrenals.

Let’s take a deeper look at Phytotherapy, the use of plants and herbs for the purposes of healing and restoring adrenal health. Many people and healers around the world have practiced the ancient art of botanical medicine and followed plant-based diets for thousands of years with great success.  Below is a list of a few of the most popular and adaptogenic herbs.

ADAPTOGENS: Along with Eleuthero, all Ginsengs (Korean, American, Siberian) are adaptogens. While all nutrients are valuable and required for sustenance, only the adaptogen will prompt the body to release its own sluggish and oft-weakened powers of self-revitalization. Adaptogens help the body remain vital and healthy even under unfavorable and stressful conditions. Adaptogens affect the energy supply of cells in your brain, muscles, liver, kidneys, glands, nerves and just about everywhere else, energizing them and allowing them to function properly even when subjected to adverse conditions.

There is a most important secondary effect of this normalization of the energy supply of the cells. All body cells are continuously renewed. This most basic function depends upon a pair of nucleid proteins known as RNA and DNA. An adaptogen energizes the RNA and DNA molecules to rebuild cells.

AYURVEDA ASHWAGANDHA: has been used for 4,000 years plus in India. Generally, Ashwagandha stimulates the immune system. It has also been shown to inhibit inflammation and improve memory. Taken together with Ginseng, these actions support the traditional reputation of Ashwagandha as a tonic or adaptogen. It counteracts the effects of stress and generally promotes wellness.

CORDYCEPS: While recently been purported for their anti-cancer properties, Cordyceps are a prized antioxidant fungus that can slow aging and take a load off the adrenals by supporting the immune system, balancing the inflammatory response and helping to stabilize blood sugar. They also help restore normal functioning of various parts of the body by stimulating the immune system, benefiting the circulatory system and promoting energy, vitality and longevity. They develop strong anti-aging power and are known as a powerful anti-oxidant.

BARBERRY ROOT: A stimulant to the adrenal gland, this herb also tends to increase secretions and excretions thus improving digestion and assimilation. This is done through the activation of the lymphatic system and ductless glands.

BLESSED THISTLE: Also a stimulant to the adrenal gland. Thistle, a known stimulator due to its bitterness, tends to increase gastric and bile secretions. It is also tonifying to the liver and digestive tract.

Adrenal Fatigue | Additional Beneficial Nutrients
Most diets are low in the essential nutrients required to maintain adrenal health and function.  That's why many individuals and healthcare professionals use supplementation as way to naturally support the adrenals and restore adrenal function and normal energy levels.

Many of these adrenal support products often use a singular nutrient, or better yet, some are complex synergistic formulas combining several beneficial nutrients into one powerful formula. While B vitamins are well known and well documented for their anti-stress properties, there are many other vital nutrients that produce health promoting results for so many people troubled with adrenal fatigue and exhaustion.  Here's a few:

VITAMIN B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Vitamin B5 is known as the anti-stress vitamin. Pantothenic acid plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and formation of antibodies, aids in vitamin utilization, and helps to convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. It is needed to produce vital steroids and cortisone in the adrenal glands and is an essential element of coenzyme A, which is also thought to play a major role in the body's ability to cope with stress and strengthen the immune system. 

VITAMIN B6 (Pyridoxine): Vitamin B6 must be obtained from the diet, because humans cannot synthesize it. It plays a vital role in the function of approximately 100 enzymes that catalyze essential chemical reactions in the body. These vitamins work together to sustain proper chemical reactions and support the adrenals in providing the necessary energy for our lives.

VITAMIN B12 (Cyanacobalamin): Vitamin B12 is needed to prevent anemia. It aids in cell formation and cellular longevity. This vitamin is also required for proper digestion, absorption of foods, protein synthesis, and metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. The beneficial effects of vitamin B12 on adrenal gland health and adrenal function were well documented in an article in the June 1984 edition of "Reproduction Nutrition Development".  The article discussed an investigation on the effects of vitamin B12-deficiency towards adrenal cortex function. The study showed that an erratic endocrinological control mechanism located in the hypothalamus-pituitary axis led to irregular cycles due to diets insufficient in vitamin B12 and that adrenal function was restored upon supplementation or an increase of B12 in the diet.
 
VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is required for tissue growth and repair and adrenal gland function. Humans, unlike most animals, cannot make Vitamin C in their bodies and can only store it. We store Vitamin C in a system within the adrenals, called the Ascorbate system, and stress can deplete our store of Vitamin C. In January 2008, Baehr and colleagues commented on their research in a letter to the editor of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," involving vitamin C-deprivation leading to impaired adrenal function can be alleviated by vitamin C supplementation due to its antioxidant effects that restore adrenal enzymatic activity to protect the function of the adrenal cortex against reactive oxygen species.

ASPARTIC ACID: Aspartic Acid gets its reputation as a treatment for chronic fatigue from the crucial role it plays in generating cellular energy. In addition, this amino acid helps transport minerals needed to form healthy RNA and DNA to the cells, and strengthens the immune system by promoting increased production of immunoglobulin’s and antibodies (immune system proteins). It keeps the mind sharp by increasing concentrations of NADH in the brain, which is thought to boost the production of neurotransmitters and chemicals needed for normal mental functioning.

ZINC: Zinc aids metabolic and energy producing processes performed by the body and promotes a healthy immune system. In simple terms, when the body is under stress ("fight or flight") the body releases larger than normal amounts of zinc and magnesium ("calming minerals") in an effort to calm the stress.  In doing so, the body is depleting its stores of zinc and magnesium, which are required for their energy producing properties.  So, the adrenals glands are called upon to work extra hard to produce even more energy to make up for this energy shortfall.

L-ALANINE: L-Alanine is one of the most important amino acids released by muscle, functioning as a major energy source through the synthesis of glucose from glycogen stored in the liver. L-Alanine is also an inhibitory or calming neurotransmitter in brain.

FOLIC ACID: Folic acid is considered a brain food. It is needed for energy production and the formation of red blood cells. Folic acid levels in the body can be depleted by alcoholism, low dietary intake, or poor absorption.

ADRENAL SUBSTANCE: The protein derived from this adrenal gland substance, containing some important adrenal hormones, helps to rebuild and repair the adrenal glands.

PITUITARY SUBSTANCE: The protein derived from this pituitary substance, containing some important pituitary hormones, helps to build and repair the adrenal glands, through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Tips for Maintaining Adrenal Health

  • Sleep - Resist the temptation to burn the candle at both ends! Getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night is one of the best ways to restore your adrenal glands. It’s best to turn in early if you can. Drink herbal tea or consider a natural herbal supplement to help you wind down. And if you need one, and can, take a nap during the day.
  • Modify Your Exercise - Some people feel great after they exercise and if so, keep with your program. Other people feel drained with exercise and it’s ok and important to take it slow as you build back your energy levels. Mornings are best for aerobic exercise because this is when your cortisol is naturally highest, but try not to let your heart rate go above 90 beats per minute. Try relaxing walks, yoga, or any kind of exercise that restores you instead of draining you.
  • Take an Herbal Formula - Supplement your body with herbs and nutrients that restore, replenish and support your adrenals and your whole body. Make sure you purchase from a reputable company, whose products are clinically tested and of a high quality.
  • Relieve Stress - Learn to take time for yourself, where no-one is making demands on you and you can just relax. Schedule a massage or enlist a partner or friend to give you one; practice yoga, tai chi or qi gong; put up your feet and enjoy a cup of tea; or call a friend just to chat. Cultivate the practices that best relieve tension and stress for you. Just five minutes a day of quiet breathing or meditation can do wonders for your adrenals and your health in general.
  • Play - Take a good look at your life, and let go of as many of the things that drain you as possible, replacing them with those that fulfill you. Engage with the people, activities, and work you most enjoy. Go to the beach, play with your grandchildren, go dancing; whatever you have fun doing, give yourself permission to do it during this time of healing. Your adrenals will soak these experiences up with pleasure and respond quicker.

Use natural ways to get your energy back.
Today’s lifestyle is rushed, busy and full of activities and it’s easy to get burned out and run down. There are other options to just relying on sugar, carbs, and caffeine to make it through the day. Don’t put up with feeling so tired and depressed anymore. Natural herbal/nutrient options for adrenal support are available to boost your energy, and restore your adrenals and set you on the road to adrenal health and optimum performance.

ADR Complex | Adrenal Cortex 100 | Adaptostym | Energi | Gland Aid

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