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A P R I L 2016

for LIFE

calming stress page

Celebrate Earth Day: Buy Green A guide to healthy mushrooms Supplements for beautiful skin

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Great lemon taste


April 2016 vol. 12 no. 4

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18

departments

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cover story

sustainability How to avoid greenwashing.

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From the Editor’s Desk

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Health Pulse Pre/probiotics aid weight loss in kids • Exercise for lower back pain • Carotenoids reduce AMD risk • Lutein improves cardiometabolic health • More

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Herbal Healing Many benefits of medicinal mushrooms.

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In Focus Simple stress relief.

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The Goods Supplement Spotlight Garlic to the rescue!

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Healthy Glow Collagen and hyaluronic acid rejuvenate skin.

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Postscript Garden and landscape designer Mary Reynolds discusses working in harmony with the land.

. Cover: Field of chamomile flowers.

A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. facebook.com/RemediesMagazine @RemediesMag April 2016

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from the editor ’s desk

remedies for LIFE

The flip side I was reminded by a reader this month how important it is that we pay close attention to our bodies and minds as we continue to seek out scientific research and traditional remedies that can help support our healthy lifestyles. As proud as we are at remedies that all of our health content has science to back it up, we also know that every person is different and works toward his or her peak health while navigating different needs, triggers, and interests. Some of us may want to focus on our personal environmental record this month in honor of Earth Day, so we’ve devoted several pages to green shopping and cleaning (page 12). To further inform an exploration into natural healing, Maria Noël Groves shares how mushrooms can improve our health (page 18), and supplements for beauty are detailed on page 28. One thing we all have to deal with—let’s face it—is stress. We’ve got help for that too (page 23). It might soften the blow for some who can’t find relief in a substance many of us turn to in times of angst: chocolate. Read more below. FROM OUR READERS To the editor: I always enjoy reading your Remedies Magazine but I wanted to report what I have learned about cacao. It is actually a super stimulant and not a super food. There are plenty of other sources to get great antioxidants that don’t cause neurological problems. Please check out toxic cacao—there are YouTube videos that explain how harmful cacao actually is. It specifically is in the methylxanthine family of caffeine-like compounds. It is fine for an occasional treat. But many people are very sensitive to caffeine-like compounds, which are a big migraine trigger. The seed is actually the harmful part of the cacao plant—it is actually the jelly like substance that surrounds the seed that is beneficial. Animals will not touch cacao because of its toxic effects. Just thought you’d like to know this. — Paula Lawrence

Editor’s Note: Studies have shown that, in moderation, the methylxanthines in cacao and chocolate are beneficial to mental and physical health. However, there are concerns about cacao consumption among people who are sensitive to caffeine, and overindulgence can lead to excess calorie and fat intake due to the high fat content of chocolate. In addition, chocolate and other cacao products are toxic to animals. Thank you for taking the time to write to us!

donna.moxley@remediesmagazine.com

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Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Managing Editor Donna Moxley Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Director, Creative and Interactive Justin Rent Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service customerservice@tasteforlife.com Client Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Client Services Director—Advertising and Digital Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 978-255-2062 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Diane Dale Retail Account Manager Kim Willard Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS, professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University; Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director, American Botanical Council, editor/publisher of HerbalGram, senior editor, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs; C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD, research geochemist, author, Natural Asthma Relief and Prevent, Treat, and Reverse Diabetes; Steven Foster, photographer, herbalist, and senior author of three Peterson Field Guides, author of 101 Medicinal Herbs, A Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine and more, associate editor of HerbalGram, the journal of the American Botanical Council; John Neustadt, ND, founder of Montana Integrated Medicine, coauthor, A Revolution in Health Through Nutritional Biochemistry; Lisa Petty, RHN, RNCP, holistic nutrition consultant, author of Living Beauty and host of the health talk radio show Lisa Live; Dana Ullman, MPH, author of The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy and other titles on homeopathy; Marc Ullman, partner at Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, chairman, Legal Advisory Counsel, Natural Products Foundation; Amber Lynn Vitse, CN, is certified in Integrative Nutrition, a fusion bodyworker, and an Ayurvedic practitioner, and writes on health issues. remedies is published monthly by Taste for Life, 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2016 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in remedies may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.

Creative and Sales Offices: 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431 603-283-0034 Printed in the US on partially recycled paper.

The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.

Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.

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healthpulse pulse folate may boost children’s attention

Supplementing with the B vitamin folate (folic acid) during pregnancy may lead to better attention and conflict resolution in children. Researchers administered folic acid alone, folic acid in combination with fish oil, or a placebo to pregnant mothers. When their children were 8 years old, those who received folic acid alone scored best in solving a “response conflict.” “Folate and Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy Has Long-term Effects on the Attention System of 8.5-y-old Offspring . . .” by A. Catena et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 11/11/15

supplement fosters weight loss Obese children in a weight-loss program had better results when a probiotic/prebiotic supplement was part of the routine. Compared to a control group, participants who took the synbiotic supplement each day lost more weight and saw greater reductions in cholesterol and oxidative stress. All participants in the month-long study were treated with a reduced-calorie diet and an increase in physical activity. Improvements were seen in both groups, but those who took the supplement fared better. Probiotics are healthful bacteria found in yogurt with live cultures, kefir, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. Prebiotics are found in foods that help those bacteria thrive, such as bananas, “Effects of Synbiotic on Anthropometry, Lipid Profile and Oxidative Stress in Obese Children” by N. Ipar et al., Benef Microbes, 12/15 onions, beans, and many others.

exercise may prevent back pain

Exercise appears to be an effective way to prevent lower back pain. It also tends to reduce the use of sick days. But a comprehensive review of more than 20 studies including almost 31,000 participants determined that ongoing exercise is necessary to prevent recurrences of lower back pain, so continue regular exercise even after getting relief. “Exercise Associated with Prevention of Low Back Pain,” JAMA Network Journals, 1/11/16

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supplements may greatly

reduce AMD risk

The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by up to 40 percent, according to a recent study. Data from more than 100,000 people over a 20-year period indicated that participants with the highest plasma levels of the two carotenoids had a far lower risk of advanced AMD compared to those with the lowest levels. Other carotenoid levels were associated with smaller but still impressive risk reductions. The macula is a part of the retina responsible for sharp, clear vision. It is yellow due to its high content of lutein and zeaxanthin, which filter out blue light that can damage cells in the eye. “Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow-up” by J. Wu et al., JAMA Ophthalmol, 10/8/15

did you know? Lutein appears to improve cardiometabolic health, according to a review of more than 70 studies. The analysis showed lower rates of coronary heart disease and stroke in people with the highest levels of lutein compared to those with the lowest. Lutein is available as a dietary supplement. Good food sources include egg yolks and many fruits and vegetables. Cardiometabolic risk refers to your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, or Type 2 diabetes. “The Effects of Lutein on Cardiometabolic Health Across the Life Course: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” by E. Leermakers et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 1/13/16

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By Cameron Hendrix

green buys

sustainable purchases take some legwork You see the labels constantly. “All Natural.” “Eco-Friendly.” “Green.” What do they mean? Unfortunately, usually not much.

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Those terms and others like them are often just marketing ploys, and government agencies don’t have the teeth to do much about them. It’s called “greenwashing”—falsely claiming that a product is sustainable or otherwise friendly to the environment.

“Greenwashing”

Companies want to sell products, and linking items with consumers’ desire to promote sustainability, reduce pollution, and ensure health can boost sales. But don’t be misled. Does the label include warnings such as “caution” or “use in a well-ventilated area”? Those are tip-offs that the product is not a healthy choice. Is the packaging easily recyclable? Does the label carry an independent, third-party verification of the product’s “green” claims? If an examination of the label raises red flags instead of green ones, then find a different product.

Taking action?

The good news is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally taking steps to define the use of “natural” in food labeling. That’s in response to consumer pressure regarding such “lessthan-natural” ingredients as high-fructose corn syrup and genetically modified foods. For now, the agency’s stance is that “it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been

processed and is no longer the product of the earth.” The FDA states that it “has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.” So “natural” on a food label doesn’t carry much weight. But choosing foods with the USDA Organic label will go a long way toward reducing your exposure to toxins, particularly from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. So much for what we put into our bodies. How about what we put on them? Potentially harmful substances are found in a wide range of items, so consider organic versions of personal care products.

A toxic mix

Skin care and other personal grooming products are often loaded with chemicals—far too many to list here. Suffice it to say, the European Union has banned more than 1,000 substances from use in cosmetics; FDA’s list contains fewer than a dozen substances. That allows barely pronounceable but clearly toxic ingredients such as triclosan, toluene, phthalates, and formaldehyde to slip into products we use on our hair, nails, and skin. Read labels carefully, and take a pass on any products that contain suspicious ingredients. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is an excellent guide (www.EWG. org/skindeep).

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continued from page 13

Greener cleaning Consider home-cleaning products that carry the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice label. The label identifies products that are safer for people and the environment. You can also mix your own solutions. Lemon juice (which dissolves soap scum), vinegar (it cleans and freshens), and baking soda (it absorbs odors) are good choices. Adding herbal extracts can boost the cleaning power while providing a welcome scent.

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✔ For sinks: Mix N cup baking soda, K cup vinegar, and a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or citrus essential oil. ✔ For floors: Add 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap, 10 drops pine essential oil, and 5 drops cypress essential oil to a gallon of hot water. ✔ For dusting: Combine N cup lemon juice, V cup lemon balm tea (cooled), 2 drops thyme essential oil, and 4 drops lemon essential oil. Use right after mixing; storage is not recommended because of the fresh lemon juice. “Green Cleaning Tips,” NSF International ● The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier (2008, Storey Publishing, $10.95)

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Quick takes

Consider these eco-friendly tips to green up your life. ■ Select sustainable seafood and marine-based supplements. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch offers an online guide for selections of farm-raised and wild-caught fish, shrimp, and other seafood at www.SeafoodWatch. org. Consider buying supplements certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. To earn the council’s Certified Sustainable Seafood logo, seafood products must originate from a sustainable fishery. ■ Opt for resealable glass containers for storing leftovers, soups, and other foods. Cutting down on plastic containers and wraps is healthier for you and better for the environment. ■ Shop for locally produced products like soaps, herbs, and other items when possible to reduce the effects of cross-country trucking. Organic is the best choice, but many small producers do not seek organic certification. Ask questions about the items you’re purchasing to be sure they comply with your green goals. “Avoiding Greenwashing,” NSF International, www.NSF.org/ consumer-resources ● “Misleading ‘Natural’ Claims,” www. NaturalCosmeticNews.com ● “Myths on Cosmetics Safety,” Environmental Working Group, www.EWG.org/skindeep ● “What Is the Meaning of ‘Natural’ on the Label of Food?” www.FDA.gov ● “What Is Sustainable Seafood?” www.DavidSuzuki.org

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herbal healing

mushrooms for better health

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From fighting cancer to aiding digestion to boosting vitamin D levels and immunity— and don’t forget the brain benefits— mushrooms aren’t just what’s for dinner. Americans are shedding their fungalphobia and digging into mushroom medicine. From mushroom chai to immune-boosting blends, these mycological powerhouses are finding their way into daily life as honorary “herbs.” Key players include chaga, reishi, turkey tails, maitake, shiitake, and lion’s mane, and there are many ways to reap their rewards.

Nutrient powerhouse Mushrooms provide bioavailable vegan vitamin D. When exposed to sun or UV light (especially when placed upside down), mushrooms concentrate nearly 500 times more of this important vitamin in their flesh, which is retained once dehy-

drated. Mushrooms also provide excellent, economical vegan protein with a meaty “umami” texture and flavor, ample fiber, and some B vitamins. Consider shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, maitakes, or any of your everyday culinary mushrooms—fresh, dehydrated, frozen, or powdered. Note that most mushrooms need to be cooked, simmered, or otherwise heat-treated in order to be safe and make their benefits available to us.

Immune boot camp Polysaccharides, including beta glucans, provide the most famous of medicinal mushrooms’ benefits: their ability to

strengthen and modulate immune function. These complex starches create a healthy challenge to the immune system, which improves immune cell signaling and function. This strengthens a weak immune system in someone with frequent illnesses and chronic infections. It also downplays over-reactive allergic and autoimmune responses, and it appears to strengthen the body’s response against cancer, both for prevention and as an adjunct treatment. All mushrooms contain polysaccharides, but some of the best candidates for immune support include turkey tail, shiitake, chaga, reishi, and maitake. Reishi, chaga, April 2016

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chaga

cordyceps

maitake continued from page 19

and cordyceps also strengthen the respiratory system for people with chronic respiratory conditions and infections including bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma. Get these benefits from long-simmered broth and tea, cooked mushrooms, powder concentrates made via hot water extraction, and specially made capsules or liquids. The alcohol-soluble, bitter-tasting triterpenes in reishi offer added anti-inflammatory benefits.

Brain health, longevity, and nerve regeneration In traditional Chinese medicine, mushrooms are often seen as agents for long life, particularly the “mushroom of immortality,” reishi, which has unique stress-relieving adaptogenic properties and is traditionally simmered in broth or tea. New research on the gourmet edible lion’s mane and similar Hericium species shows that these mushrooms taken as capsules can promote nerve growth factor and improve and allay the symptoms of dementia in elders. Researchers are just beginning to discover the diversity of mushrooms’ potential benefits for the human brain, with promise shown in several mushroom species. —Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG) Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. Her book, Body into Balance, hit bookstores in March. Learn about herbs, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com.

consider this ChagaMax capsules from North American Herb & Spice—a convenient way to take chaga mushroom—are uniquely fortified with wild oregano and birch bark.

Mushroom Wisdom’s Super Lion’s Mane is a synergistic blend of concentrated hot water extract with whole fruiting body. Research has shown Lion’s Mane to support healthy brain function. * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America by Robert Rogers ($29.95, North Atlantic Books, 2011) ● “Improving Effects of the Mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial” by K. Mori et al., Phytother Res, 3/09 ● Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, and Culture by Christopher Hobbs ($18.95, Botanica Press, 1995) ● Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi by Greg Marley (Down East Books, 2009) ● “Progress on Understanding the Anticancer Mechanisms of Medicinal Mushroom: Inonotus obliquus” by F.Q. Song et al., Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2013 ● “Suppression of Inflammatory and Allergic Responses by Pharmacologically Potent Fungus Ganoderma lucidum” by N. Bhardwaj et al., Recent Pat Inflamm Allerg Drug Discov, 2014 ● “Suppression of the Inflammatory Response by Triterpenes Isolated from the Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum” by S. Dudhgaonkar et al., Int Immunopharmacol, 10/09 ● “Therapeutic Potential of Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for the Management of Neurodegenerative Diseases . . .” by C.W. Phan et al., Crit Rev Biotechnol, 2015

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Natural remedies and tasty recipes to support a healthy way of life.

Don’t Succumb to Cold and Flu

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in focus

calm simple stress relief

Sure, you can try yoga or a walk in the forest when your stress levels peak, but sometimes serenity requires more. Incorporating these remedies into your day is as easy as inhaling . . . 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 and exhaling . . . 1 . . . 2 . . . 3. B tranquil

Be lazy with lavender

Supplementing with B vitamins helps to ameliorate symptoms of stress, and may have positive effects on your mood, cognition, and health in as few as four weeks. Try B complex, as these vitamins work together in a delicate balance.

You may be familiar with the aromatherapeutic effects of lavender, but research also shows that volunteers who took 100 or 200 microliters (Âľl) of lavender experienced improvements in symptoms of anxiety while in stressful conditions. You can also add some to your favorite tea blend. Of course, you could also add a few drops of essential oil to a relaxing bath, onto your pillowcase at night, or to a diffuser to scent the air.

Cuppa calm Although it is unknown exactly how it works, chamomile helps to reduce feelings of anxiety. Try it in a tea or an oil. In one study, participants taking 220 milligrams (mg) of chamomile in capsule form experienced relief of anxiety symptoms within weeks.

Passionflower peace Research shows that this remedy is as effective as some drugs used for symptoms of anxiety, but without the

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performance impairment often associated with prescription medication. Try passionflower in teas, tinctures, or lozenges.

Mellow magnesium Researchers found that when women took 300 mg magnesium along with vitamin B6, they experienced relief from symptoms associated with premenstrual anxiety, including cravings and depression. Magnesium also helps to relax muscles. Try magnesium in liquid or capsule form. You can also enjoy it in a preferred delivery method for many women: organic dark chocolate! —Lisa Petty Lisa Petty, ROHP, is a nutrition and healthy living expert for TV and radio, an award-nominated journalist, and an author who has shared her unique perspective with thousands of people through her workshops, lectures, coaching, and extensive writing. She is author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well, a modern guide to feeling younger at any age. Her website is www.LisaPetty.ca.

What is it?

That shallow breath, fast heartbeat, tight tummy, and headachy feeling result from the interaction of the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of your central nervous system in response to an environmental stressor like a sudden noise or a near-miss in a busy intersection. Busy schedules or unpaid bills trigger a similar reaction. The result of this interaction is elevated cortisol, a stress hormone linked (in the long term) to damaging effects on your health including weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, and heart disease. “Cortisol—Its Role in Stress, Inflammation, and Indications for Diet Therapy” by Dina Aronson, MS, RD, Today’s Dietitian, 11/09

“The Effects of Multivitamin Supplementation on Diurnal Cortisol Secretion and Perceived Stress” by D.A. Camfield et al., Nutrients, 11/13 ● “Lavender Oil-Potent Anxiolytic Properties via Modulating Voltage Dependent Calcium Channels” by A.M. Schuwald et al., PLOS One, 4/29/13 ● “Nutritional and Herbal Supplements for Anxiety and Anxiety-Related Disorders: Systematic Review” by S.E. Lakhan and K.F. Vieira, Nutr J, 10/7/10 ● “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder” by J.D. Amsterdam et al., J Clin Psychoparmacol, 3/17/13

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New Primadophilus Optima Intensive from Nature’s Way contains 200 billion active probiotic cultures (CFUs) per capsule from six different HDS probiotic strains—ideal for everyday use. 800-9-NATURE www.NaturesWay.com

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supplement spotlight

super bulb! garlic to the rescue

People concerned about arterial plaque—and that’s a lot of us—received good news earlier this year: Aged garlic extract may help clear arteries. 26

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Plaque in the arteries, or atherosclerosis, is a serious cardiac risk factor. According to the National Institutes of Health, “over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. Atherosclerosis can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death.” The study that found the artery-clearing effect used aged garlic extract—which concentrates the benefits of the culinary herb—to test if daily supplements would reduce risk in people who had metabolic syndrome. And they did: The subjects’ plaque accumulation slowed by 80 percent and their buildup of soft plaque was reduced over a period of a year. This study confirmed some of what we’ve been reading about garlic for years: It’s great for cardiovascular health. An analysis of several studies, published last year, showed that garlic supplementation could help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Garlic powder, aged garlic extract, and garlic oil were included in the studies reviewed.

A medicinal powerhouse So maybe it doesn’t actually work to ward off evil spirits, vampires, and werewolves, as it was believed to do for centuries, but antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic garlic can fight off infection. It might even prevent colds. And its antioxidant effects are believed to help prevent free-radical damage, which can cause heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Garlic’s blood pressure–lowering properties are attributed to its ability to raise nitrogen oxide levels in the body, which relaxes blood vessels. It’s also been found to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (which makes this bad cholesterol more damaging), and it’s been shown to help reduce levels of homocysteine, which is believed to cause aneurysm and stroke. So, unless you’re not a fan of the taste or aroma of this pungent herb, get eating! And if you’d rather not smell like your grandmother’s pasta sauce, aging garlic doesn’t just stabilize and concentrate its beneficial compounds, it also removes its taste and odor. —Jane Stoddard

“Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Blood Pressure in Hypertensives: A Dose-Response Trial” by K. Ried et al., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2/5/15 ● “Effect of Garlic on Blood Pressure: A Meta-analysis” by H. Wang et al., J Clin Hypertens, 1/5/15 ● “Garlic,” University of Maryland Medical Center, http://umm.edu ● “Garlic Reduces Dementia and Heart-Disease Risk” by C. Borek, J Nutr, 3/06 ● Garlic: The Mighty Bulb by Natasha Edwards ($24.95, Firefly Books, 2012) ● “Learning and Memory Promoting Effects of Crude Garlic Extract” by D. Mukherjee and S. Banerjee, Indian J Exp Biol, 12/13 ● “New Study Shows Aged Garlic Extract Can Reduce Dangerous Plaque Buildup in Arteries,” Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at HarborUCLA Medical Center, 1/21/16 ● “Unique Vascular Protective Properties of Natural Products: Supplements or Future Main-line Drugs with Significant Anti-atherosclerotic Potential?” by M. Slevin et al., Vasc Cell, 4/30/12 ● “What is Atherosclerosis?” www.nhlbi.nih.gov

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healthy glow

age-defying skin boosters collagen and hyaluronic acid The years go by and somehow your skin doesn’t look the same as it used to. No matter how clean your diet is or well hydrated you are, the fact is that internal changes to the skin itself tend to lead, over time, to fine lines, sagging, and dryness. In large part, the culprit lies with a protein called collagen, which provides the magic mix for skin that is both flexible and firm.

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“Although many people associate stopped still showed a noticeable hormonal changes with aging, a more benefit from the prior collagen use. significant contributor to aging sympJust how does collagen roll back toms is the breakdown of collagen in the clock? As nutritionist Mount bonus collagen the body, most notably in the skin, explains, “Collagen is a protein fiber benefit joints, and bones,” notes certified woven throughout the tissues of clinical nutritionist Tim Mount. our body from head to toe, much Collagen supplements “Wrinkles, joint pain and instability, like the threads in a piece of fabric. don’t just lead to fresher and bone weakness are all a result of This mesh of collagen in the skin skin. Collagen serves as the progressive slowdown of collagen holds it tight against the body and is an important component of connective tissue, production after we reach the age of responsible for the youthful appearsuch as that found in 25,” he adds. ance of the complexion. Collagen the joints. When people The dwindling collagen supply may supplements replenish and rebuild with osteoarthritis be replaced, with supplemental colladamaged collagen fibers and allow supplement with 2,000 gen serving as an easy (and nonsurgius to recapture our beauty from mg of collagen daily, cal) way to achieve firmer, smoother within.” He suggests supplementing they report less joint pain skin that defies your chronological with at least 2,000 mg of collagen, and an improved ability age, Mount says. “No longer do we while noting that the optimal dosage to take part in physical have to be a victim of nature. A daily is likely closer to 4,000–6,000 mg activities. collagen supplement reverses the daily. natural aging process and rebuilds our Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally tissues from the inside.” in the skin as well, where it attracts In one study, supplementing with collagen daily and retains moisture while helping support collagen (along with hyaluronic acid) for two months improved fibers. In essence, it traps huge amounts of water in the skin appearance in terms of wrinkles, dryness, and skin to give a smooth, firm appearance. This explains firmness. Similar results were reported in research of why hyaluronic acid is known as “nature’s moisture middle-aged women comparing daily collagen supplemagnet.” ments (with some women taking 2,500 milligrams [mg] Just as collagen declines with age, so does hyaluronic and others taking 5,000 mg) or dummy pills for two acid, potentially contributing to dry skin that has lost its months. By the end of the study there was a noticeable suppleness. difference, with the skin of the collagen users appearing Wondering about pills versus creams? Both collagen smoother, more elastic, and less saggy. and hyaluronic acid are larger molecules, which generSimilarly, when more than 100 women ages 45 to 65 ally makes skin absorption more troublesome. Dietary with crow’s feet took either collagen in 2,500 mg supsupplements in pill form might be a better bet with plements or dummy pills, those in the collagen group these skin boosters. —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH showed improvement in their eye wrinkles. Objective observers, who didn’t know which women were taking Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, has been a health collagen, documented crow’s feet as being 20 percent journalist for more than two decades; her latest book is Life After Baby: Rediscovering and less deep in the collagen group after eight weeks of Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health supplementation. This benefit didn’t fade away. Even Publications, 2012). wrinkles rechecked a month after the supplements were

“Daily Consumption of the Collagen Supplement Pure Gold Collagen Reduces Visible Signs of Aging” by M. Borumand and S. Sibilia, Clin Interv Aging, 10/13/14 ● “Effect of the Novel Low Molecular Weight Hydrolyzed Chicken Sternal Cartilage Extract, BioCell Collagen, on Improving Osteoarthritis-Related Symptoms: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial” by A.G. Schauss et al., J Agric Food Chem, 4/25/12 ● “Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis” by E. Proksch et al., Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 12/24/13 ● “Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study” by E. Proksch et al., Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 8/14/13 ● Personal communication: Tim Mount, 2/16

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postscript

Forging an alliance with the land

© CONOR HORGAN

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí. (Praise the young and they will blossom.)

Mary Reynolds often features in various top ten international landscape designer lists. She is an Irish garden and landscape designer, famous for her wild garden designs. Her life was the inspiration for the film “Dare to be Wild.”

Each individual patch of land longs to evolve into a healthy, self-sufficient grown-up, the same as any child. Even without your presence as guardian, the piece of earth you are working with has a strong intention of its own—a fierce need for stability and growth. It has the core intention of working toward harmony, balance, and health. It’s just plain silly to work against the intention the land has for itself. Most of our gardening energy is spent trying to stop our gardens from becoming what they want to become. If we work to facilitate the land’s needs, managing it just enough to allow our own expression and requirements to be part of the process, we are working within the flow of life. Maturity is reached when nature is allowed to move through all the various stages of succession until it has settled into a balanced ecosystem. Most land that has been inhabited by people (apart from landscapes such as savannahs, wetlands, and flood plains) would naturally revert to woodland over time, if allowed to do so. Forests have evolved over millions of years to become the most efficient and balanced growing system possible. Land can bond with the people who work with it, but that doesn’t mean it always does. The special relationship between you and your land is the same as the bond that develops between a parent and a child. The parent can choose to love, cherish, and support the child, or treat the child harshly and without respect. The quality of their bond will be forever shaped by the quality of love, care, and attention the parent puts into it. Cleared land is like a mirror: It reflects the love and attention it receives from us. Children, in large part, develop their self-image through their interactions with their parents. In the same way, if land receives the message that it is valued only as long as it looks pretty, it will try to contort itself to wear those ill-fitting garments you may insist on. But I guarantee, it will not want to stay clothed in any pretty enforced planting scheme forever, inevitably bursting out of the seams you have imposed—sometimes gently, sometimes not—and its true character will emerge. The land simply cannot help itself; that’s just its nature. – Excerpted from The Garden Awakening: Designs to Nurture Our Land & Ourselves ($39.99, Green Books, 3/16)

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