M AY 2018
hop to it
Boost libido Ease into menopause
herb of the year
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©2018 American Health, Inc. | 18-AH-1034
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May 2018 vol. 14 no. 5
6 From the Editor’s Desk
9 Health Pulse
Fish oil may boost immunity • Spearmint linked to better memory • Try t’ai chi for fibromyalgia pain • More
16 Herbal Healing
Discover the benefits of hops.
19 Supplement Spotlight Curcumin offers a wide range of health benefits.
12 gearing up for perimenopause
Herbs and supplements can help ease the transition.
22 Healthy Glow
Learn about essential oils for anxiety, fatigue, and more.
24 Healthy Aging
Ward off osteoporosis with key nutrients.
Lower your risk with cancer-fighting habits.
29 The Goods 30 Everyday Remedies Natural ways to boost libido. Cover: Hops (Humulus Lupulus).
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes May 2018
l remedies 5 4/2/18 3:48 PM
from the editor ’s desk
Heartened! Back in February, we asked readers to share their heart-health goals for 2018 for a chance to win a basket of heart-healthy products. Reading through the entries is always inspiring, and this year was no exception. Many of you noted your exercise and weightloss goals as well as your eating and supplement routines. Here is a sampling of the many motivational comments: n “Do more of what makes my heart full: Spend time with family, talk to distant family members more often, and garden more.” —M. Wulf, CA n “My great-grandmother lived to be 99 years old and she walked daily!” —K. Robberts, TX n “Get together with friends for coffee and planning healthy, fun outings.” —S. Watkins, IL n “I walk every day at lunch and more on the weekends; it is always in nature.” —I. van Buuren, CA n “Activate my tidy gene, because clutter causes stress.” —L. King, WA n “Walk in forgiveness, mercy, and grace.” —M. Howard, NJ We selected two winners. K. Cotterell of Illinois vowed to “keep on truckin’” with her weekly routine of kick-boxing, step, and other fitness classes while following a holistic program of diet and supplements. J. Ward of California stressed the importance of healthy foods and omega-3 fatty acids, and inspired us with her plans to “get more active . . . by running to the library (aerobic) and carrying home lots of books (weight-bearing) several times a week.” She also hopes to learn to play the didgeridoo! Those sound like great plans to me.
Rich Wallace, 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 email@example.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) 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.
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supplements may lower kids’ allergy risk Children whose mothers took fish oil capsules while pregnant and breastfeeding were less likely to have certain allergies. Researchers also found that if a mother took a probiotic supplement during those times, her child had a reduced risk of eczema. Researchers assessed more than 400 studies involving 1.5 million participants. “Our research suggests probiotic and fish oil supplements may reduce a child’s risk of developing an allergic condition, and these findings need to be considered when guidelines for pregnant women are updated,” said lead author Robert Boyle, PhD. His team’s findings included the following: n W omen who took a fish oil capsule beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy and during the first three to four months of breastfeeding reduced the risk of egg allergy in their child by 30 percent. n W omen who took a probiotic supplement from 36 weeks of pregnancy through three to six months of breastfeeding lowered the risk of eczema in their child by 22 percent. n W omen’s avoidance of potentially allergenic foods such as nuts, dairy products, or eggs during pregnancy did not affect a child’s risk for allergies or eczema. n F ish oil intake by women during pregnancy may reduce a child’s risk of peanut allergy. “Diet During Pregnancy and Infancy and Risk of Allergic or Autoimmune Disease . . .” by V. Garcia-Larsen et al., PLOS Medicine, 2/28/18 l “Fish Oil and Probiotic Supplements in Pregnancy May Reduce Risk of Childhood Allergies,” Imperial College London, 2/28/18
did you know?
Taking a fish oil supplement for 12 weeks provided a significant immunity boost in obese adults. Participants took four 1-gram capsules of a high-DHA concentrate per day and saw improvements in antibody production. “Effects of Fish Oils on ex vivo B-cell Responses of Obese Subjects . . .” by W. Guesdon et al., Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 3/18
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supplement/med awareness lacking
Nearly 40 percent of US adults who take dietary supplements and a prescription medicine are not aware of the potential combined impact of the two interventions. Both can help support overall health, but consumers should discuss possible drug-nutrient interactions (DNI) with their healthcare provider. “Nutrient deficiencies and diagnosed health conditions often require the use of vitamins and prescription medications, but they can interact,” said Michael Roizen, MD, the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. “We know the interaction can occur by direct effect or by changing the metabolism of a drug.” Dr. Roizen is the medical board chair for Vitamin Packs, which sponsored a survey to determine the level of awareness of such interactions. Vitamin Packs offers a commercial subscription service that provides nutritional supplements and cross-references 650 prescription medicines. The survey found that about 45 percent of Americans who take supplements and prescription drugs don’t tell their doctor when they begin taking a new supplement.
spearmint may boost memory
Adults with age-related memory impairment saw improvements in memory and the ability to fall asleep after taking a spearmint extract, according to a new study. Participants received 600 or 900 milligrams (mg) of the extract for 90 days. Both groups saw significant improvements compared to those who took a placebo, with the 900 mg group seeing the most favorable results. Improvements were seen in working memory and spatial working memory. “Spearmint Extract Improves Working Memory in Men and Women with Age-Associated Memory Impairment” by K.A. Herringer et al., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2018
“Nearly 40 Percent of Americans Taking Prescription Medications and Dietary Supplements Don’t Know About Drug-Nutrient Interactions, New Survey Finds,” www.PRNewswire, 3/6/18
t’ai chi eases pain
People with chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia may find relief through t’ai chi exercises, according to new research. Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain throughout the body, and aerobic exercise is part of the standard treatment. But many patients find aerobic exercise too difficult due to the pain. Researchers identified 226 adults with fibromyalgia who had not participated in t’ai chi or similar interventions in at least six months. They were scored on such symptoms as pain intensity, physical function, fatigue, anxiety, and overall well-being. They were then assigned to a 24-week program of aerobic exercise or 12 to 24 weeks of supervised t’ai chi classes once or twice weekly. All participants continued their normal medications and doctors’ visits. Scores improved in all groups after 12, 24, and 52 weeks. Those in the t’ai chi groups saw greater improvements than those in the aerobics group. Longer-term t’ai chi interventions provided greater benefits, although there was no significant difference in participants who met once weekly compared to twice. “Tai Chi as Good as or Better than Aerobic Exercise for Managing Chronic Pain,” BMJ, 3/21/18
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vitamin D may curb metabolic syndrome . . .
A new study of postmenopausal women found a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and excess weight. It carries increased risks for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. It affects more than half of American women older than 50. “The results suggest that supplementing and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in A large study of Japanese adults supports the idea that vitamin D may protect postmenopausal women can against certain types of cancer. Researchers examined the medical histories, diets, reduce the risk of disease,” said and lifestyles of more than 30,000 middle-aged adults, and also took blood samresearcher Eliana Aguiar Petri ples to determine vitamin D levels. Participants were monitored for an average of 16 Nahas, MD. years. The researchers linked a higher level of vitamin D to about a 20 percent lower
. . . and reduce cancer risk
“Vitamin D Might Be Key to Syndrome Affecting Half of Women Aged 50 or Plus,” www.Eurekalert.org, 3/20/18
risk of overall cancer. Rates of liver cancer were as much as 50 percent lower. “Higher Vitamin D Levels May Be Linked to Lower Risk of Cancer,” BMJ, 3/7/18
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By Claire Sykes
gearing up for perimenopause make the road to menopause less rocky
Hot flashes and night sweats. Patchy periods and heart palpitations. Vaginal dryness and lower libido. Migraines and mood swings and memory loss. Oh, my. These and other symptoms mark the natural winding road through perimenopause (peri is the Greek word for “around”), with irregular periods among the first. The journey, on average, begins in your forties, about four to eight years before you reach menopause.This is the border you cross after your final menstrual period, which you can only see through the rearview mirror 12 consecutive months later. And then, welcome to the land of postmenopause. The road there needn’t be rocky.
“Puberty in reverse”
As you travel forward, “it helps to keep in mind that perimenopause is basically puberty in reverse, and just as normal,” says Susan Love, MD, adjunct professor of surgery at UCLA and president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, in Los Angeles. She is also author of Dr. Susan Love’s Menopause & Hormone Book ($17, Harmony, 2003). “With puberty, your ovaries are preparing for reproduction of the human race. You skip periods, you’ve got cramps, you’re crazy emotional, and then everything evens out and you cruise along. Then at the other end with perimenopause, after two to three years of being tossed around by hormones, everything evens out again.”
continued on page 15 12 remedies
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You may have no say about going through perimenopause, but understanding the lay of the land can help you make the best choices along the way. Let’s start with those hormones. Whether you blame or bless them, they’re only working in your favor. In perimenopause, their levels begin to shift. The first hormone to decrease is progesterone. An overall drop in it leaves a relative excess of estrogen, which can stay the same or climb, and sometimes swing wildly. About a year before menopause, estrogen ebbs but never completely empties out. A woman’s testosterone levels slowly decline beginning in her twenties. It’s the changes in hormone production and (blood) serum levels that bring on perimenopausal symptoms. The most common are hot flashes and night sweats. These happen when surface blood vessels in your head and neck open up, welcoming more blood and, with it, heat. Menstrual cycles can get longer or shorter; flow can fluctuate, too, along with being heavier or lighter. Sexual arousal takes more time and you may be less orgasmic. It doesn’t help that vaginal dryness can also mean pain with penetration. Your skin and eyes also are dryer, and your hair starts to thin.
On top of all this, you may feel yucky emotionally. Tori Hudson, ND, medical director at A Woman’s Time in Portland, OR, and author of Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine ($26, McGraw-Hill Education, 2008) explains why: “The changes in estrogen and progesterone, in particular, affect the levels of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters—serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, GABA, and histamine, among others. These changes then lead to potential issues with anxiety, depression, and insomnia.” Good thing there’s relief. “Women should feel optimistic because there are many options, from nonpharmaceutical ones (lifestyle, botanical, and nutraceutical) to prescription hormones and/or symptom-specific medications for insomnia, anxiety, depression, and more,” says Dr. Hudson. “For anxiety, the newest research shows that a special formula of oral lavender extract works just as well as pharmaceuticals,” she says. Maca may also be effective for hot flashes, and kava for anxiety. St. John’s wort has been shown to help with both. Can’t sleep? Try valerian, hops, tryptophan, or glycine.
cancers, osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease—all associated with postmenopause and aging. Then preventive and interventional strategies would be determined, such as therapeutic diets, calcium, vitamin D, and fish oils, and beyond,” says Dr. Hudson. “If hot flashes are severe, I might prescribe estrogen and progestogen. With the latter, there are risks associated with the type, and with the type of delivery of both hormones,” she continues.
Do what it takes to feel your best. Exercise regularly and include weight-bearing workouts to help build bone density. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and say no to sugar, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and bad fats. For the good omega-3 fats and fiber, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to any meal. “And remember the healing power of being out in nature,” says Dr. Hudson. Meanwhile, view perimenopause not as an obstacle but as an opportunity. When you clear the road with smart habits, you’ll enjoy a smoother ride to an even healthier you. “Botanical and Dietary Supplements for Mood and Anxiety in Menopausal Women” by S.E. Geller and L. Studee, 2007; “Effect of St. John’s Wort on Severity, Frequency, and Duration of Hot Flashes in Premenopausal, Perimenopausal, and Postmenopausal Women . . .” by K. Abdali et al., Menopause, 3/10 l “Hormones, Herbal Preparations and Nutriceuticals for a Better Life After the Menopause . . .” by F.H. Comhaire and H.T. Depypere, Climacteric, 6/15 l “Lavender and the Nervous System” by P.H. Hossein et al., Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 3/13 l “Lesser Known Botanicals for Menopause Symptoms” by Tori Hudson, ND, http://DrToriHudson.com, 2018 l “Menopause 101: A Primer for the Perimenopausal,” North American Menopause Society, https://Menopause.org l “Perimenopause: Rocky Road to Menopause,” Harvard Health Publishing, 9/20/17 l Personal communication: Tori Hudson, Susan Love, 3/18
A personal plan
Before you fill up your shopping cart with supplements, see your natural-medicine healthcare provider. “Each woman should be assessed for past medical history, present symptoms, and risks for heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes,
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hopping glad hops are the Herb of the Year
Beauty Boost Hops contain antioxidants that may improve hair strength and reduce hair loss. Look for a shampoo that contains liquid hop extract. Hoppy beer can also be used as a beneficial hair rinse: Simply massage into scalp, let it rest for a few minutes, then rinse.
If you’re a fan of beer, then you’re probably a fan of hops. The flowering cone of the perennial hop vine (Humulus lupulus) contains a yellow resin called lupulin that gives beer its slightly bitter, tart taste. But hops aren’t just for beer aficionados—they have lots of health benefits. Hops contain powerful nutrients and antioxidants that can boost immunity, fight disease, and slow the aging process. With all they have to offer, it’s no surprise that hops have been named the Herb of the Year for 2018 by the International Herb Association.
Hops have been shown to ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety, especially when used in combination with valerian. Research indicates that hops may have a sedative effect on the nervous system. Hops may also be useful for treating temporary bouts of insomnia. Several studies have shown that a combination of hops and valerian may help promote sleep. (Even nonalcoholic beer that contains hops can improve sleep quality.) The herb also contains a compound called xanthohumol (Xn) that seems to protect brain cells from the oxidative stress that has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
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Pro heart, anti cancer
Xn in hops may have cardiovascular benefits. Research suggests that it may help prevent the formation of blood clots, and it may be useful in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. An extract of hops containing Xn has also been shown to aid weight loss. Xn appears to reduce body weight and fasting glucose levels, and it may have a positive effect on other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Even certain cancers may be affected by hops, including those of the breast, colon, and ovaries. In laboratory experiments, acids in hops called humulones and lupulones have been shown to prevent leukemia cells from attaching to bone and to kill cancer cells.
Help for menopause
Some chemicals in hops mirror the effects of estrogen, so they may be helpful in dealing with the symptoms of menopausal hormone changes. A study of postmenopausal women found that use of a gel containing hops reduced the discomfort of painful intercourse. Another study found that a daily dose of hops extract relieved many of the common symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes.
Tips and tricks
Sudden mood changes?
Hops can be found in a variety of preparations including capsules, liquid extracts, tablets, and tinctures. The herb can also be brewed as a tea, using about two teaspoons of hops per cup of water. Steep for about 10 minutes before drinking. Combining hops with other herbs can boost their efficacy. Hops with artichoke leaf, motherwort, or yarrow aids digestion. Hops are very bitter, so tinctures or capsules may be a good choice for those with a sensitive palate. Hops are considered safe for most healthy adults, but are not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Because of their strong sedative effect, hops should not be consumed in large doses, and are not recommended for people with depression. —Kelli Ann Wilson
Trouble concentrating? Sugar cravings?
“10 Benefits of Hops” by Marc Seward, www.HealthyFocus.org, 5/4/17 l “Are the Hops in Beer Good for You?” by Cameron Scott, www.Healthline.com, 3/13/16 l The Food Encyclopedia by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman ($49.95, Robert Rose, 2006) l Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Healing for Men by Rosemary Gladstar ($16.95, Storey, 2017)
* 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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as good as gold the power of turmeric & curcumin
Excerpted with permission from Turmeric for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Turmeric by Britt Brandon, CFNS, CPT ($12.99, Adams Media, 2016). Britt Brandon is a certified personal trainer and certified nutrition specialist. She blogs about fitness and nutrition at UltimateFitMom.com and is the author of several health and wellness books, including Apple Cider Vinegar for Health, Coconut Oil for Health, and Ginger for Health.
Used internationally as a staple spice in cuisine, an element of holistic medicine, an offering in religious ceremonies, and even a coloring in cosmetics, turmeric has been providing the world with countless uses and immense health benefits for thousands of years. The scientific name for the plant is Curcuma longa. The adult plant produces the turmeric offshoot roots that can grow up to a meter in height. Turmeric’s yellow root has led to its nicknames “the golden spice” and “Indian saffron.” Available in a natural state of the whole root or in powdered, pressed, or extract forms, turmeric can provide countless preventive and healing measures.
A Long Tradition
Native to the southwest of India, turmeric has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years. India now produces more than 80 percent of the world’s turmeric. The Indian city of Erode, commonly referred to as “The Yellow City,” is known for growing turmeric with the highest concentration of its profound phytochemical, curcumin. While cultures worldwide have been using curcumin for centuries, countries geared more toward administering “modern” pharmaceutical medicines have only been studying turmeric’s effectiveness in recent years. With more than
3,000 studies published in peer-reviewed journals in the last 25 years showing the amazing benefits of turmeric, turmeric has made quite an entrance into the Western medicinal world.
Turmeric’s Unique Chemical Profile
Turmeric contains more than 100 chemical compounds that contribute to its ability to help treat conditions from stomachaches to respiratory illness. These chemical compounds are what make turmeric unique. Most important, turmeric contains curcumin, which is a polyphenol. Polyphenols are organic chemicals that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is what gives turmeric its beautiful yellow-orange color.
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Curcumin is the part of turmeric that has been studied most frequently for its uses as a dietary supplement. One study conducted by the Asian Coordinating Group for Chemistry showed that turmeric extracts may have antifungal and antibacterial properties. The National Institutes of Health lists more than 80 studies that are looking into turmeric’s ability to treat and heal issues, from irritable bowel syndrome to diabetic nephropathy. Turmeric’s unique chemical composition of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals provides the body with • Promotion of immunity • Protection against illness and disease • Prevention of the development of serious illness and disease • Destruction of chronic disease cells within the brain and body. Thanks to these properties, turmeric has now been integrated into natural treatment methods for common and chronic conditions.
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essential oils get relief with aromatherapy
Did you know that certain scents can help you improve your mood and let go of stress? Perfumer and chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937—his book of the same name included early research on therapeutic uses of essential oils to cure a range of common ailments. 22 remedies
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Aromatherapy stimulates the olfactory system (the sense of smell), which helps stimulate calmness and relaxation. A recent study demonstrated that lavender aromatherapy may be an effective treatment for pain. Patients who received lavender aromatherapy after surgery felt significantly less pain at five, 30, and 60 minutes after treatment compared to those who received oxygen alone. While shopping, look for personal care items—hair care and bath products, liquid soaps, and body lotions—that use these scents. Aromatherapy may not work miracles in your life, but it can help you feel better—and make you smell good too! Our chart identifies seven difficult emotional states and the scents that may provide relief.
You feel… Nervous
You feel… Unfocused
You feel… Angry
You feel… Depressed
You feel… Stressed
You feel… Tired
You feel… Sad
Uplifting and cheerful; use when you’re stressed and need a boost of confidence.
This invigorating scent increases alertness. It also helps open the sinuses.
Relieves stress and tension. Promotes a restful night’s sleep.
A stimulant; avoid using before bedtime.
Look for it in bath products; it’s relaxing and healing to the skin.
Refreshes and increases alertness. May help banish a negative mood.
May lift your spirits and boost creativity. The rose has inspired many poets!
Scent Safety 101 • Don’t apply undiluted essential oils to the skin. Instead, blend a couple of drops with a carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba, macadamia nut, sesame, or grapeseed oil. • Do not take essential oils internally. • If you’re pregnant or have a health condition, consult a healthcare practitioner before using essential oils. • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children. Avoid synthetic scented oils and those that have been extracted by chemical or petroleum solvents. Man-made scents do not contain the beneficial components of pure plant oils. Look for the botanical, or Latin, name on the label.
Stress less with mint
Feeling stressed? The mint family may be just what you need. Peppermint: If you’re tired, stressed, or unfocused, you have a friend in peppermint. Inhaling the scent of this essential oil can increase alertness and snap you out of a bad mood. Research shows it provides relief from tension headaches. One study found a significant reduction in headache pain when a peppermint solution was applied to the forehead. Spearmint: This fresh, mood-elevating scent calms and relaxes the brain, focuses concentration, and can help open your sinuses. It’s not as intense or stimulating as peppermint but can still be useful for headache relief. Try adding a few drops of oil to boiling water to get this energizing scent circulating in your home. Other options include using an electric diffuser or aromatherapy lamp. You can also whiff an open bottle or place a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale. —remedies staff “10 Morning Mood Boosters” by Tori Rodriguez, www.WebMD.com, 11/1/12 l Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd edition, by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green ($19.95, Crossing Press, 2009) l Aromatherapy for Life Empowerment by David Schiller and Carol Schiller ($19.95, Basic Health, 2011) l The Essential Guide to Herbs by Lesley Bremness ($14.95, Watkins Publishing, 2012) l The Essential Herbal for Natural Health by Holly Bellebuono ($19.95, Roost Books, 2012) l “Peppermint Oil in the Acute Treatment of Tension-Type Headache” by H. Gobel et al., Schmerz, 6/16 l “Re: Lavender Aromatherapy Helps Reduce Postsurgical Pain” by Shari Henson, HerbClip, http://cms.HerbalGram.org, 5/31/16 l Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar ($14.95, Storey Publishing, 2012) l “What is Aromatherapy?” National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, www.NAHA.org
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strong bones Every three seconds, someone with osteoporosis fractures a bone. Here in the United States, at least 55 percent of people aged 50 or older have osteoporosis or low bone mass (osteopenia).
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Osteoporosis affects five times more women than men, triggered by the rapid fluctuation of estrogen in menopause and compounded by the fact that women’s bones tend to be less dense than men’s to begin with. So many factors impact bone density for better or for worse, ranging from the medications you take to lifestyle habits to diet. The best defense against osteoporosis is to build strong bones from a young age, but even if you’re older, changes you make now can improve your odds.
Know the Basics
Calcium, vitamin D, and weight-bearing exercise together play a crucial role in developing and preserving healthy bones. Bones constantly break down and rebuild themselves. Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, resides in the bones, providing structure to your skeleton and acting as a reserve to pull from when calcium is needed elsewhere (for muscle contraction, buffering acidity, and other roles). Vitamin D helps absorb and utilize calcium. Weight-bearing exercise prompts your body to shore up bone strength to meet the perceived increased demand. If you do one or two of these things but skimp on another, your likelihood of success diminishes dramatically because the three factors interlink. Interestingly, population studies show that people in countries that consume more calcium from less well-absorbed sources (dairy) have more hip fractures than those in Asian countries, who consume little dairy but emphasize highly bioavailable plant sources (leafy greens), phytoestrogens, less animal protein, and more physical activity. The whole picture matters more than mega-dosing one key nutrient. • Calcium: 500 to 1200 milligrams (mg) per day from a supplement or food. Even though calcium carbonate and dairy are dense with calcium, they’re not as well absorbed as calcium citrate, calcium hydroxyapatite, or chelated calcium. Kale, broccoli, bok choy, sardines with bones, salmon with bones, bone broth, and strong nettle tea are rich sources. • Vitamin D: 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3, preferably as a liquid. Consider having your vitamin D levels checked; doctors may recommend short-term, supervised higher doses.
Extras: K2, Magnesium, Silica, Boron
Various vitamins and minerals work with calcium and vitamin D to reduce breakdown and enhance density and a stronger, flexible bone matrix that is more resistant to fracture. Vitamin K2 regulates bone density and reduces the risk of fractures, rivaling drugs but with less toxicity. One study determined that up to 45 micrograms of K2 daily reduced hip fractures by 77 percent.
Magnesium plays an essential role in vitamin D metabolism due to its presence in several key enzymes, but many Americans are deficient in magnesium and vitamin D. Silica, abundant in the herb horsetail, improves bone matrix integrity so it’s less brittle. Just 3 mg per day of boron can reduce bone demineralization. • Magnesium: 250 to 500 mg per day. Well-absorbed forms include citrate, glycinate, chelated, powdered, or liquid. If magnesium causes intestinal distress or diarrhea, try a lower dose or a different form. Food sources include cashews and nettle. • Vitamin K2: 45 to 180 micrograms daily • Boron: 3 mg daily
Sharp fluctuations in estrogen trigger rapid bone demineralization, which is why peri- and postmenopausal women are at the greatest risk. Weak plant estrogens in the diet or supplements appear to protect the bones by diminishing the severity of hormone fluctuation, reducing bone demineralization, and sometimes prompting the body to make more bone. Soy isoflavones are by far the best researched; other legumes including beans likely work as well. Red clover blossoms and ground flaxseeds also contain phytoestogens. Legume plant proteins play an additional role in bone support because they displace meat and dairy protein; animal proteins are associated with increased bone demineralization. These represent the easiest, most impactful supplement, diet, and lifestyle changes you can make to improve bone density, but many other factors are also at play. Proton-pump inhibitor medications like Prilosec and Nexium decrease stomach acid, reducing your ability to absorb calcium and magnesium. Herbal bitters may improve nutrient absorption by enhancing the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Steroid medications rapidly reduce bone density. Smoking and drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day also increase the risk of osteoporosis. —Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG) Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), author of Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care, is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. Learn about herbs, the book, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com.
Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) l Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating by Walter C. Willett ($19.99, Free Press, 2011) l The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 3d Edition by Michael T. Murray and Joseph Pizzorno, $29.99, Atria, 2012) l “Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function” by A.M. Uwitonze and M.S. Razzaque, J Am Osteopath Assoc, 3/18 l “Vitamins K1 and K2: The Emerging Group of Vitamins Required for Human Health” by G.K. Schwalfenberg, J Nutr Metab, 2017
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cancer prevention these healthy habits can help
The list of life-threatening cancers seems endless. Skin. Lung. Breast. Prostate. Cervical. Colorectal. Oral. Testicular. But while each disease is different, all of these types of cancers share common ground—they can often be prevented through lifestyle changes or treated following early detection.
While there’s nothing you can do about aging—which is the biggest risk factor for developing cancer—studies have shown that only 5 to 10 percent of cancers are hereditary. That means you have the power to make healthy choices that can keep most common cancers at bay. Estimates suggest that about 30 to 40 percent of cancers can be avoided through lifestyle changes. Here are eight ways to help reduce your risk. ➊ Stay away from tobacco. “There’s an incredibly strong relationship between cigarette smoking and malignancies,” said Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Lung cancer is the most deadly, accounting for 27 percent of all cancer deaths among men and women. But smoking isn’t the only danger. Second-hand smoke and chewing tobacco also cause cancer, so eliminate tobacco altogether. ➋ Practice sun safety. Although skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, it’s also the most preventable. While short bursts of exposure to sunshine (15 minutes a day) can give you the vitamin D you need, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 is critical to protecting your skin from deadly melanoma, especially during your first 18 years. ➌ Eat a healthy diet. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, healthy fats, and fish are natural cancer-fighting foods that help repair DNA. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E; selenium; quercetin; and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Fish and nuts have essential omega-3 fatty acids that reduce chronic inflammation. “We live in a world where people eat on the go and don’t necessarily choose nutrient-rich food,” said registered dietitian Amy Goodson. “Processed foods tend to have excessive quantities of sugar and saturated fat, which contributes to inflammation at the cellular level.”
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Consider nutritional supplements. ➍ Although it’s ideal to get as many nutrients as you can from whole, nutrient-rich foods, you can’t always get everything you need. That’s where supplements can really make a difference. “Tart cherry powder is an antioxidant that’s five times as strong as vitamin C,” said Goodson. “Herbs, like turmeric, and fish oil are natural anti-inflammatories.” Increasing your intake of vitamin D may help reduce your risk of certain cancers as well. ➎ Get regular screenings. Early detection is critical to fighting cancer, so be sure to schedule regular screenings for cancer of the skin (especially if you have a lot of moles), colon, cervix, breast, and other organs as often as your healthcare practitioner recommends.
Get vaccinated. Human papilloma➑
Limit alcohol. The more you drink, ➏ the more you increase your risk of cancer, especially if you drink excessively. While resveratrol in red wine has been linked to heart health, it does not have anticancer properties. So drink in moderation. ➐ Maintain a healthy weight. 70 percent of the American population is considered overweight, and that’s a significant problem for our nation’s health. “We know that people who are leaner are less likely to develop cancer,” said Dr. Ligibel. “And regular physical activity is linked to a lower risk as well.”
virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and genital cancers. Kids should be vaccinated at age 11 or 12, as should anyone 26 or younger who didn’t get immunized in their youth. Also, the hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for certain high-risk adults to prevent liver and other cancers. Be sure to ask your healthcare practitioner for guidance. Years ago people whispered the word cancer, but today there is a slew of information about it. The important thing to know is that the prevention of many cancers is impacted by the way you live your life, so live it well. —Patty Lenz Bovie
“2018 Estimates,” Cancer Statistics Centers, American Cancer Society, www.Cancer.org l “30 Simple Ways You Can Prevent Cancer” by Reader’s Digest editors, www.rd.com l “Cancer Prevention: 7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk,” www.MayoClinic.org, 11/29/17 l Personal communication: Amy Goodson, Jennifer Ligibel, 3/18 l “Risk Factors for Cancer,” National Cancer Institute, www.Cancer.gov
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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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Ridgecrest Herbals’ ClearLungs Sport adds oxygen-supporting herbs to the 13 Chinese herbs found in ClearLungs Classic to maintain respiratory health while supporting muscle recovery. https://RCherbals.com
Normal saline nasal sprays can dry out the nasal passage, but Xlear Saline Nasal Spray with xylitol will moisturize and soothe your sinus and nasal passages. www.Xlear.com
Now Foods NOW Mega D-3 & MK-7 Veg Caps combine two key nutrients extensively researched for their roles in the health of teeth, bones, and the cardiovascular system. 888-669-3663 www.NOWfoods.com
Host Defense MycoBotanicals Energy includes herbs to complement the health benefits of mushrooms, providing the best possible combination for promoting both immediate and sustained energy. www.HostDefense.com
Bio-Kult Infantis is a multistrain probiotic for infants that contains seven probiotic strains, omega 3, vitamin D3, and preplex prebiotic (FOS and gum acacia). No refrigeration needed. Easy-to-use sachets.
Emerald Health Bioceuticals ENDO CALM naturally addresses your body’s response to stress and anxiety by supporting your endocannabinoid system and optimal health and vitality.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
low libido What is it? Decreased sex drive or diminished desire for sexual activity. What causes it? Aging, decrease in sex hormones, medical conditions, medication side effects, and stress, among other things.
Food: Almonds, avocados, bananas, Brazil nuts, dark chocolate, figs, watermelon, and foods rich in vitamin C, iron, and collagen. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, fried and processed foods, trans fats, and sugar.
Lifestyle: Work on reducing stress, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, use a lubricant if sex is painful, address relationship problems, discuss medications and their side effects with a health professional.
Herbs: Ashwagandha, ginkgo
biloba, tribulus, maca, and ginseng.
Essential oils: Cinnamon, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.
Supplements: Iron (for
women), L-arginine, and niacin.
“15 Everyday Habits to Boost Your Libido” by Celia Shatzman, www.Health.com, 3/4/15 l “Can You Rev Up Your Libido?” by Sonya Collins, www.WebMD.com, 10/28/17 l “How to Increase Libido the Natural Way,” www.DrAxe.com
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