A P R I L 2018
Nontoxic spring cleaning Care for aging pets Headache solutions
24 Improve your sleep with herbs
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April 2018 vol. 14 no. 4
15 12 green up! feature
Celebrate Earth Day with nontoxic cleaning tips, and more.
6 From the Editor’s Desk
8 Health Pulse
Vitamin D helps build muscle • Acupuncture for joint pain • Arginine may prevent depression • More
15 Sports Nutrition
Boost sports performance with beets.
16 Supplement Spotlight Help aging pets stay healthy.
18 The Goods 20 Herbal Healing
Learn about herb safety and sustainability.
23 Everyday Remedies
Get relief from painful headaches.
Discover natural ways to beat insomnia.
29 Healthy Glow
Decoding skin care labels.
30 Inspiration Cover: Chamomile
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes April 2018
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from the editor ’s desk
Best friends I’ve written here before about our dog, Shadow. She joined our household a year ago after a difficult upbringing. She was rescued in a snowstorm after giving birth to four puppies, and she was weak and sickly. Shadow was at least 10 years old, so we figured we might have her for only a year or two. We turned to a very perceptive and kind veterinarian/ chiropractor who had treated another older dog of ours. He’d given great care during the last year of Lucy’s life, so we knew he’d be ideal for Shadow as well. Today, after a year of supplements to strengthen her joints, probiotics to support her digestion and immunity, a healthy diet, and regular chiropractic adjustments, Shadow is thriving. Her energy level is through the roof and her eagerness for walks and cuddling is boundless. CJ Puotinen offers more advice for caring for older pets in this issue (page 16). I was surprised to learn from CJ that most dogs and cats are considered “senior” by age 7. Naturally, we want to give our pets the best care throughout their lives, so be sure to read this article if you have an older housemate. There’s plenty for humans in this issue too. Our new Healthspan department delves into the importance of sleep and provides lifestyle suggestions and supplements for improved slumber (page 24). And Healthy Glow looks at the value of natural skin care ingredients and lets you know which harmful ingredients to avoid (page 29). Happy spring.
Rich Wallace, guest editor
Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Graphic Designer Ronna Rajaniemi Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service firstname.lastname@example.org 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) 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, 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2018 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: 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, 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. 6 remedies
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2/7/18 9:11 AM
D3 can help restore heart damage
Muscle fiber thickness increased in sedentary subjects who took a vitamin D supplement, according to a new study. Those who also took olive oil during the 10-week trial saw even greater gains. The study was done with lab animals.
Taking a vitamin D3 supplement was shown to be effective in restoring cardiovascular damage done by conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. The new study found that the vitamin stimulates nitric oxide, which helps regulate blood flow and prevent blot clots. The vitamin also reduced the level of oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system. “Generally, vitamin D3 is associated with the bones,” said lead researcher Tadeusz Malinski, PhD. “In clinical settings people recognize that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3. It doesn’t mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack.” Dr. Malinski added that “there are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and D3 can do it. This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system.”
“Vitamin D plus Olive Oil Could Aid Muscle Repair” by Tim Cutcliffe, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 2/20/18
“Ohio University Study Shows Vitamin D3 Could Help Heal or Prevent Cardiovascular Damage,” Ohio University, 1/30/18
D boosts muscle growth
A new review of studies highlights the many positive effects of sea buckthorn oil (Elaeagnus rhamnoides L.) on human health. It has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressive properties. The oil’s high levels of unsaturated fatty acids have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disorders. It’s also high in vitamins A and E and other nutrients. “The oil, berries, leaves, and bark have medicinal properties, and the fruits have a unique taste,” wrote Beata Olas, PhD. She added that these parts are used to make juice, jams, and other food products. Sea buckthorn is readily available in nutritional supplements, including softgels, capsules, tinctures, and other forms. “The Beneficial Health Aspects of Sea Buckthorn . . .” by B. Olas, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 3/18
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acupuncture eases pain in cancer patients Acupuncture treatments provided relief from joint pain in patients taking breast-cancer medications. The researchers hope this news will enable some patients to continue with their meds longer. “If something so simple as acupuncture can improve these symptoms and the patients’ quality of life, we will have more women becoming compliant in taking their medication, and one would expect improved outcomes,” said Lauren Cassell, MD, chief of breast surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
More than 200 postmenopausal women with early stage breast cancer participated in the study. All were taking drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. The drugs (such as Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin) are used to treat women with estrogen-sensitive breast tumors. Side effects often cause the women to miss treatments or abandon the medications. Patients underwent true acupuncture or fake treatments twice weekly for six weeks, then once a week for an additional six weeks. Those in the true acupuncture group reported much lower pain scores than those in the sham group.
“Acupuncture May Ease Pain Tied to Breast Cancer Care” by Robert Preidt, https://MedlinePlus.gov, 12/7/17
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amino acid levels linked to depression
People with major depressive disorder are often deficient in one important amino acid, according to a new study. The low level of arginine leads to a reduction in the production of nitric acid, which is a mediator of the nervous system and immune system. The study is an early step toward understanding the link between arginine and depression. “Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression,” said lead researcher Toni Ali-Sisto, a doctoral student at the University of Eastern Finland. “That’s an area for further research.” “Depression Linked to Reduced Arginine Levels,” University of Eastern Finland, 2/21/18
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fitness matters for brain health
Getting into better shape may improve brain health and “slow down the aging process,” says neurologist Kan Ding, MD, who authored a new study. Her research showed that lower fitness levels lead to faster deterioration of vital nerve fibers in the brain. This leads to cognitive decline—including the types of memory problems seen in people with dementia. Dr. Ding and her team studied older adults who showed early signs of memory loss. They found that those with lower fitness levels also had lower levels of nerve fibers that are used by neurons to communicate throughout the brain. The scientists used brain imaging and measures of cardiorespiratory fitness as a baseline, and conducted memory tests to establish a correlation between exercise, brain health, and cognition. “Poor Fitness Linked to Weaker Brain Fiber, Higher Dementia Risk,” UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2/14/18
did you know?
A large-scale new study found that alcohol use is the most preventable risk factor for all types of dementia, especially early onset dementia. The study included more than 1 million participants. The researchers found that the majority of cases of early onset dementia (before age 65) were related to chronic heavy drinking. “Largest Study of Its Kind Finds Alcohol Use Biggest Risk Factor for Dementia,” Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto), 2/20/18
l remedies 11 3/6/18 8:58 AM
By Kelli Ann Wilson
April is Earth Day month, a time when we find ourselves reflecting on our choices and how they affect the world at large. Some choices boast big environmental benefits, like installing solar panels or buying a hybrid vehicle. But small changes can have powerful results too. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to make the most of your Earth Day momentum. 12 remedies
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Green your clean Today’s detergents and washing machines are optimized for use with cold water. Washing clothes in cold water keeps up to 15 gallons of water from being heated per load. Using the fastest spin cycle saves energy in the washer and the dryer—the fast-spun clothes dry faster. Swap out throwaway mops for reusable ones, and use only as much cleaning product as you need to do the job. Avoid toxic ingredients in home cleaning products or make your own. A great all-purpose scrub can be made by mixing equal parts natural dish soap and baking soda with a bit of water. To boost your mood while you clean, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix.
Handle e-waste with care Millions of tons of consumer electronics are dumped into our landfills every year or shipped to countries that lack proper regulations regarding worker safety. Instead of tossing broken or obsolete electronics in the trash, take the time to find a certified E-Steward that will dispose of them responsibly. If you have electronics, like tablets or computers, that are still functional but are no longer needed, consider donating them to a school.
Be prudent with paper Paper bills and notices can pile up, and most of them end up being thrown away or recycled. Many companies now offer e-billing options to cut back on needless printing. If you need a copy of a bill for your records, simply download it to your hard drive, or email it to yourself. If you must print, make sure to choose your printer’s double-sided
feature (if available)—you’ll use half as much paper. To keep printed materials in order, choose paper clips, which are reusable, over staples.
Conserve energy Swapping out older bulbs is a boon to the environment and your budget. An LED bulb uses just 10 watts of electricity to produce the same amount of light as its 60-watt incandescent counterpart. LED bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, saving you $100 or more over the lifetime of the bulb. Today’s digital TVs often have a feature called Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) that allows the screen’s brightness to adjust to the light levels of the room it’s in. Instead of allowing your TV to glow at 100 percent capacity, enable the ABC feature to ensure that your TV will use only the amount of power necessary to give you an enjoyable viewing experience. Turn off all unnecessary lights before you leave the house for the day. Being mindful to flip the switch will save energy and help your bulbs last longer.
Shop smart Americans waste tons of food. Somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of the food we buy ends up in the landfill. To avoid over-buying, make a list and stick to it. Avoid making impulse buys, which might happen if you shop while hungry. Cook creatively: Freeze what you don’t need and find ways to repurpose leftovers into new dishes. Whenever possible, choose reusable bags over plastic ones destined for the dump. Many stores have reusable bags available for purchase. In some places, the initial investment will pay for itself: Stores in some states are now charging customers five to 10 cents apiece for throwaway plastic bags.
Try to consolidate your shopping trips. Called “trip chaining,” combining as many errands as possible into one trip is both challenging and rewarding. It might take some extra time to organize, but planning ahead and grouping errands by location will save you money on gas and reduce your carbon emissions.
Be the change Walking and biking, instead of driving, is healthy for you and the planet. Getting yourself from point A to point B under your own power cuts down on emissions and gets your heart pumping. Some cities even have bike share programs to help you get where you need to go, sometimes for free (though some programs do charge a fee). Whenever possible, choose tap water over bottled. Americans drink an average of 34 gallons of bottled water a year, and that habit comes at a price: $13 billion, to be exact, which is the estimated amount of money spent annually on bottled water. Concerned about safety? The Environmental Protection Agency insists that tap water is safe. In fact, some bottled waters are nothing more than filtered tap water. If you need to take your water on-the-go, invest in a reusable water bottle.
Take the lead Get friends and family on board with your efforts by organizing a recycling drive in your neighborhood or local school. The usual suspects—glass, plastic, newspapers, and books—can be collected and transported to your recycling center. Start a composting program in your community. Designate an area of your lawn or a shared common area to collect organic waste. The resulting compost can be used to enrich local gardens or sold to benefit charities.
“9 Easy Earth Day Tips You Won’t Find Anywhere Else” by Noah Horowitz, www.HuffingtonPost.com, 4/15/15 l “10 All-Natural, DIY Cleaners to Scrub Every Inch of Your Home” by Stephanie Sisco, www.RealSimple.com l “10 Super Easy Practices That Are Good for the Earth—and Your Budget” by Brad Tuttle, www.Time.com, 4/21/15 l “Reducing Waste: What You Can Do,” Environmental Protection Agency, www.EPA.gov
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‘beet’ the competition
boost performance with this humble root vegetable Beets get a bad rap in the West. In parts of Eastern Europe and beyond, where borscht (beet soup) is frequently on the menu from noonday on, people have long known of the endurance-boosting qualities of this seemingly simple red vegetable. Now athletes, and the scientists and nutritionists who study ways to boost athletic performance on the playing field, are taking notice of beets. Working with his colleagues in the Sport and Health Sciences department of England's University of Exeter, Andy Jones, PhD, looked at how beet juice can impact athletic performance.
Jones and his team concluded that when it comes to beet juice and athletic performance, you should drink about 21/2 cups roughly two to three hours before you exercise or compete. Concentrates (“shots”) and powders are available at natural products stores. Look for the equivalent of roughly 600 milliliters (ml) of juice to achieve peak performance.
Beets are rich in inorganic nitrates. Consumed a few hours in advance of your activity, those nitrates mingle with the bacteria in your saliva and convert them to nitrites. (If you use mouthwash or gum after consuming the beet product, this conversion will not occur.) Your body takes it from there, converting the nitrite into nitric oxide. Athletes know that the average nitrite boost of 12 percent to 14 percent means improved blood flow, muscle contraction, and neurotransmission. That can improve performance, the study showed, by as much as 2 percent. Another plus: Blood pressure drops when those nitrites kick in. Athletes in the study also needed an average of 3 percent less oxygen to maintain specified levels of moderate exercise if they drank beet juice two
to three hours before a race or a game. That’s right: Drinking beet juice means you’ll use less energy to keep up the same pace as before. Another study showed that even nonathletes can benefit from beet juice. Patients with heart failure who drank it saw a 13 percent boost in their muscle power two hours after consumption. Let your competitors beat that! (Or should that be “beet” that?) —Dave Clarke
“Acute Dietary Nitrate Intake Improves Muscle Contractile Function in Patients with Heart Failure: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Trial” by A.R. Coggan et al., Circ Heart Fail, 7/2/15 l “Beet Juice: How Much and When?” www.RunnersWorld.com, 5/13 l “Beetroot Juice and Exercise: Pharmacodynamic and Dose-Response Relationships” by L.J. Wylie et al., J Appl Physiol, 8/1/13
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nutritional support for senior pets Puppies and kittens are fun, but the longer our pets share our lives, the more we want them to stay active, comfortable, and healthy. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cats and dogs are considered senior citizens by age 7. A 7-year-old cat resembles a 45- to 54-year-old human, while a 10-year-old dog compares to a person between the ages of 56 and 78. Small dogs often live longer and act younger while large breeds tend to show advancing age sooner. To help prevent age-related health issues, the AVMA recommends physical exams for older pets twice a year so developing conditions can be addressed early.
Keep ’em slim
Excess body weight, which is a serious health risk for older animals, affects one in five dogs and cats. Almost half of the dogs and cats diagnosed with arthritis and diabetes are overweight, as are dogs with high blood pressure or hypothyroidism. Effective weight-loss strategies for pets include feeding more protein and fewer carbohydrates, avoiding high-fiber foods (they leave pets feeling hungry and may interfere with nutrient absorption), feeding the right fats (such as the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil), and reducing portion size. Exercise helps, too, but arthritis, which is common in older pets, can interfere with fitness plans. Its symptoms include limping or favoring a leg; having difficulty sitting or standing; having stiff or sore joints; hesitating to jump, run, or climb stairs; gaining weight from inactivity; losing interest in walks or play; and behavioral changes, including irritability. Researchers blame chronic inflammation for age-related health problems like arthritis in pets just as in people, and they suggest that similar nutritional interventions may delay or reduce the development of symptoms in both pets and humans. 16 remedies
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Among the most widely prescribed nutritional supplements for older pets are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which help relieve arthritis symptoms. Antioxidants such as vitamin E may also make a difference. Because over-the-counter and prescription drugs can have significant side effects for pets, many holistic veterinarians prefer herbal supplements such as boswellia, devil’s claw root, ginger, or turmeric, all of which have been shown to address the underlying causes of pain and discomfort. Most pet supply stores carry a variety of products labeled for pet use that contain these and other ingredients to help relieve joint pain.
Digestive enzymes release micronutrients in food, improving their assimilation. Protease breaks down proteins, lipase digests fat, and amylase processes carbohydrates. Because heat processing destroys the enzymes that occur naturally in food, enzyme supplements can improve digestion in dogs and cats, especially those who eat a commercially prepared diet. Incomplete digestion can lead to bloating, diarrhea, gas, bad breath, body odor, lethargy or sluggishness, allergies, skin and coat problems, and a compromised immune system, all of which are common in older animals. The benefits of digestive enzymes include saving money as animals receiving more nutrients may not need as much food; stool size decreases because less food is wasted through inefficient digestion; pets feel more satisfied and less hungry, so are less likely to overeat; and pets become healthier overall because they receive more nutrients.
Researchers blame antibiotics, processed foods, genetically modified foods, chemicals such as pesticides and preservatives, prescription drugs, and even the stresses of modern life for dysbiosis and its complications. Simple ways to improve the microbiome and help reverse dysbiosis include feeding your pet fresh, whole foods, avoiding antibiotics and prescription drugs as much as possible, and supplementing the diet with probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep the digestive tract healthy by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria, while prebiotics provide food for the beneficial bacteria. Products labeled for pet use containing one or both are sold as digestive aids, skin and coat conditioners, immune system support, and senior-care supplements. You are what you eat, the old saying goes, and what our best friends eat helps determine not only how long they will live but also how well. Nutritional supplements that improve their quality of life are worthwhile investments in our older pets’ health and happiness. —CJ Puotinen
During the past decade, much research involving dogs, cats, and humans has focused on the microbiome, an umbrella term used to describe communities of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes in the body. Because a healthy microbiome destroys harmful pathogens, including disease-causing viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites, it is the immune system’s first line of defense. A healthy microbiome improves digestion, creates some nutrients including vitamins and short-chain fatty acids, and helps regulate the body’s endocrine system. Dysbiosis, a term that describes a weakened or depleted microbiome, can lead to nutritional deficiencies and leaky gut syndrome, which allows partially digested food particles to enter the bloodstream, resulting in food allergies, skin and coat problems, digestive disorders, joint pain, and illnesses such as autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel disease, and diabetes. “Arthritis in Senior Dogs—Signs and Treatment” by S. Gilbeault, American Kennel Club, www.AKC.org, 9/28/17 l “Banfield Report Reveals Increase in Overweight Pets, Arthritis,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 5/30/12 l “Digestive Enzymes” by J. Hofve, 2/20/13; “Herbs Offer Safe, Effective Pain Management” by I. Basko, 6/16/15, Integrative Veterinary Care Journal l “Enzymes for Dogs,” www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/enzymes-for-dogs.html l “Probiotics and Prebiotics: Ask the Nutritionist” by M.W. Smith, www.WebMD.com l “Senior Pet Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ),” American Veterinary Medical Association, www.AVMA.org l “Understanding How Dogs Age . . .” by J.E. Alexander et al., Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 11/6/17
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harvesting health follow your herbs from seed to shelf
As the CEO and founder of Gaia Herbs, Ric Scalzo knows a thing or two about herbal supplements. His journey with plants began in college. “Connection with nature is part of my spiritual process,” he explained. It “was an emergence from my desire to find a little bit more truth about God and my connection to God. I realized I needed to connect to nature if I was going to find answers. The plants and nature became the path.” This path has brought Scalzo business success, and it’s also opened his eyes to the risks associated with unsafe supplements in the industry. While giving a tour of the 350-acre North Carolina organic farm that serves as his company’s headquarters, Scalzo told visitors about the time he was traveling in China and was poisoned by traditional Chinese medicine herbs sold by a large manufacturer there. After about a month of taking the supplements, he
knew something was wrong. “I started feeling really awful.” Upon his return to the United States, he had the herbs tested and learned he’d been consuming a daily dosage of lead hundreds of times higher than what’s safe for human intake. The daily mercury levels were thousands of times higher. The experience affected him profoundly. “It gave me a lot of reverence for what we’re doing at Gaia. As a seed-to-shelf organization controlling every aspect—knowing that there are no contaminants in our products and that we are delivering safety and efficacy— has now taken on a new meaning for me. Before, I could say I was fully immersed in every phase of that effort, but now I understand when people say, ‘I’m concerned about the safety of herbs.’”
Clinical herbalist Maria Noël Groves of New Hampshire concurs. She recommends that consumers be wary of products imported from certain countries with corrupt government standards. According to Groves, some Chinese companies have been known to buy quality herbs (American black cohosh, Peruvian maca), cut them with cheaper adulterants, and then sell them back to the United States market. She advises checking a product’s label to see where it was made, and also contacting the company to find out where it sources its raw materials.
Get to Know Your Herbs
Given his experience, Scalzo isn’t surprised that Gaia’s Meet Your Herbs program has been well received by consumers. The program allows people
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to trace a Gaia product from seed to shelf. They enter the product ID number provided on a product’s container at GaiaHerbs.com or on the company’s app. Information about the herb’s cultivation, harvest, and extraction is displayed, along with validation that it is free of heavy metals. To ensure that consumers are purchasing quality products, Scalzo recommends they ask questions of manufacturers such as: Where did the herb come from? How was it grown? How was it extracted? What solvents were used to extract it? Has it been tested for solvent residues?
Each year, Gaia Herbs is evaluated by Oregon Tilth, one of the nation’s strictest organic certifiers. Certification by Oregon Tilth ensures that sustainable
approaches to agricultural production systems, processing, and handling are being followed. What Scalzo finds most fulfilling about his work is the ability to run his company in alignment with his beliefs. Since 2016, the company has produced an annual sustainability report, which is available on its website. “To uphold those core values as you get bigger and to pass those values on and ensure that the next generation of leaders that come into the company are fully aligned to those mission vision values, that’s oftentimes where companies, as they grow, break down,” he said. “I’ve been putting a lot of attention on that in the last few years. It’s what I’m most proud of, what I think I contribute the most to Gaia in terms of leadership.”. —Lynn Tryba
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Natural remedies and tasty recipes to support a healthy way of life.
Donâ€™t Succumb to Cold and Flu
Most of us want to spend the holiday season socializing with friends and family, not spending quality time on the couch with a box of tissues.
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
What is it? Pain/discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck; tension headaches are the most common type. What causes it? Stress, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, skipped meals, caffeine withdrawal, alcohol.
Lifestyle: Exercise, eat regularly, stay hydrated, get adequate sleep, manage stress.
Food: Avoid caffeine, chocolate, alcohol (especially red wine), aged cheese, and products containing nitrates or sulfites.
Supplements: Magnesium, B vitamins, fish oil.
Herbal Therapy: Blue vervain, butterbur, feverfew, ginger, wood betony.
Homeopathy: Antimonium crudum, apis,
belladonna, bryonia, lycopodium, magnesia phos, pulsatilla.
Body into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) l The Complete Homeopathic Resource by Dennis Chernin, MD, MPH ($29.95, North Atlantic Books, 2006) l “Food Triggers for Migraines,” www.WebMD.com, 9/19/14 l “Headache,” University of Maryland Medical Center, www.umm.edu, 1/5/16 l “Headache,” www.MedlinePlus.gov l “Headache, Migraine Overview,” www.NYTimes.com, 12/23/13
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a good night’s sleep
get more shut-eye with herbs and other natural remedies When life gets busy or extra stressful, a good night’s sleep is often the first casualty.
HOPS 24 remedies
Sleep is vital
Sleep deprivation is a serious concern. Lack of sleep has been linked to health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, depression and anxiety, and reduced immune function. In fact, good sleep might be a matter of life and death: Three epidemiological studies all found that sleeping five hours or less per night boosted mortality risk by up to 15 percent. On top of the health effects, fatigue and inattention caused by lack of sleep can diminish cognitive function, making it more likely that we’ll make errors and generally perform at less than our best. It’s estimated that 100,000 police-reported vehicular accidents are directly linked to driver fatigue every year, and that tired drivers are responsible for up to 20 percent of all crashes. Don’t let these statistics keep you up all night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, consider trying one of these time-tested herbal remedies to help you get those precious ZZZs. continued on page 26
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! W E N
SHARPEN YOUR MEMORY & FOCUS NON GMO
Clean, clinically studied whole food ingredients to support brain health at three stages of life† Kids • Young Adults • Adults 40+ † These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Herbal sleep aids
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is perhaps the most widely known herb for sleep. It relaxes muscles and quiets the nervous system. Unlike the similar-sounding (but unrelated) drug Valium, valerian is not habit forming. Valerian also has helpful pain-relieving and warming properties, but it may not work for everyone. VALERIAN Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a natural sedative that’s traditionally used to treat anxiety, hyperactivity, and insomnia. It’s considered safe for all ages, even children, but it’s best to take it only at night—skullcap can cause drowsiness that might interfere with daytime tasks. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), like skullcap, has long been used to relieve anxiety and insomnia. It has a whole-body relaxation effect, and is safe for almost everyone to use. Like skullcap, it can leave you groggy if taken during the day. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is used to relieve anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness in both children and adults. A member of the mint family, it may also ease common digestive woes that prevent us from sleeping well. Hops make beer tasty, but they’re also great for easing anxiety and tension. Chamomile has long been used, especially LEMON BALM in tea form, to soothe nighttime restlessness; it is especially helpful for children and the elderly. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that works on the nervous system and adrenal glands. It’s particularly helpful for easing consider feelings of burnout and can be used throughout the day as well as at bedtime. Kava may help those who are suffering from chronic stress, or from tight muscles due to anxiety.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, but our body’s production of it may become unbalanced if our sleep cycles are disrupted. Tart CHAMOMILE cherry juice is a natural source, and melatonin supplements are also readily available. It may seem like an old wive’s tale, but a glass of warm milk before bed may actually help induce sleep. Milk contains small amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted in the body into another amino acid called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP raises serotonin levels in the brain, helping us feel more relaxed and at ease. 5-HTP is also available in supplement form. —Kelli Ann Wilson “5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan),” www.WebMD.com, 5/8/17 l Body Into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) l Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Healing for Men by Rosemary Gladstar ($16.96, Storey Publishing, 2017) l “Sleep and Disease Risk”; “Sleep, Performance, and Public Safety,” Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu
Sleep 101 Being mindful of good sleep hygiene is the first line of defense against insomnia. Here are some easy ways to make sure your body is primed for sleep. • Reduce stress using exercise, meditation, yoga, or a relaxing evening ritual like reading or drinking herbal tea. • Avoid stimulants of all types including caffeine, energizing herbs, alcohol, and late meals. • Limit screen time, and turn off all devices at least an hour before bed. Body Into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016)
this Irwin Naturals’ Melatonin plus 5-HTP & Rhodiola combines melatonin and L-theanine with 5-HTP and traditional botanicals to promote a restful sleep.
Natrol’s Stress & Anxiety Day & Night with Melatonin, 5-HTP and L-Theanine helps reduce the effects that stress and anxiety have on the body and helps establish normal sleep patterns. Tranquil Sleep from Natural Factors is an advanced, fastacting formula that combines 5-HTP, Suntheanine L-theanine, and melatonin to help you fall asleep quickly, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed.
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safe skin care decoding the labels
At first blush, it’s difficult to determine if a cosmetic product poses health risks. Manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products ranging from shampoo to sunscreen to makeup aren’t legally bound to tell the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about any health problems their products might cause. They also don’t have to put their products through any kind of stringent presales regulatory approval process. And to make things even harder on consumers who seek safe cosmetics, the FDA doesn’t review the effectiveness and safety of cosmetics once they’re available to purchase. Fortunately, several organizations that place a priority on health, wellness, and eco-friendly materials offer recommendations and guidelines. Here’s where you can turn to better ensure the personal care products you’re buying won’t harm your health.
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
The National Products Association
NPA offers a Natural Standard and Certification for Personal Care Products, a set of guidelines that dictates whether a product can be deemed truly “natural.” To achieve NPA Natural Certification, a product has to be comprised of only, or “almost only,” natural ingredients and avoid any ingredient with a suspected human health risk. Ingredients that are prohibited include parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, petrolatum/mineral oil/paraffin, glycols, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and more. Animals can’t be used in development testing. NPA lets manufacturers submit their cosmetic products for scrutiny. Consumers can search the organization’s database of certified natural personal care products.
This organization educates consumers about toxins used in cosmetics. Its Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website details the chemicals you should avoid and the products in which you will find those chemicals.
Baby shampoos, facial cleansers, lipsticks, and more undergo the scrutiny of the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic safety standards. More than 1,000 products carry an “EWG Verified” label, meaning they fully disclose their ingredients and none of those ingredients are cause for concern. Consumers can sign up for email updates that reveal when products become verified. Natural and organic cosmetics meeting ECOCERT certification must be made from renewable resources and manufactured using environmentally friendly processes. The organization checks for the absence of GMOs, parabens, synthetic perfumes and dyes, and animal-derived ingredients (unless they’re naturally produced). —Al McKeon “Adverse Events Reported to the US Food and Drug Administration for Cosmetics and Personal Care Products” by M. Kwa et al., JAMA Intern Med, 6/26/17 l “Chemicals of Concern,” www.SafeCosmetics.org l EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, www.EWG.org l “NPA Natural Standard for Personal Care Products,” www.NPAinfo.org
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astonishment. “Every spring is the only spring—a perpetual
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