JU N E 2018
Exercise for mental health The latest on hemp Help for dry skin
20 remedies BODY CARE AWARD WINNER
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BODY CARE page 22
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June 2018 vol. 14 no. 6
6 From the Editor’s Desk 9 Health Pulse
Vitamin D needs magnesium • Regular meditation keeps you sharp • Hot flashes? Try acupuncture • More
Exercise to boost mental health.
16 Herbal Healing
Everything you need to know about hemp.
18 Natural Shopper
20 Sports Nutrition
Hydration is key to success in summer sports.
24 Life In Balance
Learn the art of self-compassion.
body care awards Our top picks for the best in natural lotions, body washes, and more!
26 Supplement Spotlight Reap the health benefits of aged garlic extract.
27 The Goods
29 Everyday Remedies
Ways to prevent and treat bug bites, naturally.
30 Healthy Glow Help for dry skin.
Cover: Water drop on dandelion gone to seed.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes June 2018
l remedies 5 5/1/18 10:09 AM
from the editor ’s desk
Stress relief “Boy, I need a run.” I say (or think) that fairly often, especially late every month as we put the finishing touches on each issue of remedies. The nature of publishing is that there are always a few last-minute changes, a missing piece or two, and a deadline crunch. Anxiety levels rise. My personal remedy for blowing off steam has always been to take a run, preferably in the woods. As soon as I start to sweat, the tension begins to dissipate. Thoughts become clearer. The workday slips from view. So I found myself nodding in rigorous agreement as I read “Exercise for Mental Health” by Maria Noël Groves (page 12). Maria cites many studies on the benefits of exercise for a wide range of stresses—from mild and fleeting tension to chronic and serious depression. And she explains why it works. Just reading it made me feel slightly more relaxed. As the weather (finally) warms, many of us venture outside for more of our daily exercise, so staying hydrated becomes a concern. Turn to page 20 for Kelli Ann Wilson’s “Healthy Hydration” for the latest on fluid replacement before, during, and after exercise. This issue of remedies also includes a look at the benefits of hemp (page 16) and aged garlic extract (page 26). And don’t miss our annual Body Care Awards (page 22), featuring our recommendations for natural body washes, skin creams, sunscreens, and more. Here’s to a healthy summer.
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 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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these nutrients work best together
Vitamin D and magnesium work together in many ways, keeping bones, muscles, and teeth working efficiently and helping to ward off heart disease and other disorders. A new study found that D can’t be metabolized without sufficient magnesium. The authors cautioned that taking vitamin D without an adequate intake of magnesium may lead to complications. “People are taking vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized,” said author Mohammed S. Razzaque, PhD. “Without magnesium, vitamin D is not really useful or safe.” Since most or all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to do so, a deficiency of the mineral can lead to osteoporosis, bone fractures, or vascular calcification. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. The recommended daily allowance is 420 milligrams (mg) for men and 320 mg for women. As many as half of American adults are not consuming sufficient amounts. “Researchers Find Low Magnesium Levels Make Vitamin D Ineffective,” American Osteopathic Association, 2/26/18 l “Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function” by A.M. Uwitonze et al., Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 3/18
ids heart a patients
Vitamin D works to prevent excessive scarring and thickening of heart tissue after a heart attack, according to new research. “Scarring of heart tissue can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively, which can lead to heart failure,” said researcher James Chong, PhD. His study determined that vitamin D deters the actions of scar-forming cells after a heart attack.
“New Research: Vitamin D May Help Prevent Heart Failure After Heart Attack,” Westmead Institute for Medical Research, 3/6/18
did you know?
Meditating on a regular basis may lead to better attention and focus in later years. A new study found that “intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition,” and may deter “typical patterns of age-related cognitive decline.” “Meditate Regularly for an Improved Attention Span in Old Age,” Springer, 3/28/18
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acupuncture may ease hot flashes
Acupuncture appears to reduce the frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. Such symptoms include hot flashes and night sweats. Women who underwent acupuncture in a new study also reported improvements in their health-related quality of life. Researchers evaluated studies that tested acupuncture’s effectiveness for treating vasomotor symptoms as well as any negative effects. They determined that the practice “presents real promise for patients wrestling with bothersome vasomotor symptoms.” “Can Acupuncture Help Alleviate Menopausal Symptoms?” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine/Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 3/20/18 l “Vasomotor Symptoms and Menopause . . .” by R.C. Thurston and H. Joffe, Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am, 9/11
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for heart, fitness may surmount genetics
Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, even in people who are genetically prone to it, according to large new study. Researchers focused solely on the role of physical fitness, tracking about a half million adults who did not have heart disease at the start of the study. They tested for genetic susceptibility and then placed participants in three groups based on fitness levels. Evaluations were done over the next six years to see which people developed heart disease. Many participants did develop heart disease, especially those who were genetically prone. But the men and women who had the highest aerobic fitness levels cut their risk in half. “What this tells us is that you can mitigate some of your genetic risk for heart disease by being fit, no matter how high that risk may be,” researcher Erik Ingelsson, MD, PhD, told The New York Times. He added that most of the fittest people “were not athletes,” but did moderate exercise such as walking. “Associations of Fitness, Physical Activity, Strength, and Genetic Risk with Cardiovascular Disease . . .” by E. Tikkanen et al., Circulation, 4/9/18 l “To Slash Your Risk of Heart Disease, Keep Moving” by Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times, 4/18/18
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exercise for mental health the benefits are many
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Forget weight loss (or, at least, don’t focus on it); exercise delivers so many other health benefits even more reliably. One big advantage of getting your heart rate up is a brighter outlook on life. Regular activity relieves depression, eases anxiety, alleviates fatigue, and improves quality of life. It has even outperformed antidepressant drugs in studies! Need more convincing? Let’s dive into the research.
For Cancer Patients and Survivors
Numerous studies have explored the mental (and physical) health benefits of exercise for cancer patients and survivors. In a recent review of 140 studies, all but one showed benefits of exercise for cancer survivors for overall health including quality of life, fatigue, and depression. This echoes an earlier review of studies of people actively undergoing cancer treatment, which also concluded that moderate to vigorous exercise was generally more beneficial than lower intensity exercise programs.
Exercise for Depression
Nearly 100 studies have been done on exercise’s antidepressant activity. In a review that analyzed the 13 most scientifically rigorous studies, exercise was confirmed to have a moderate to large antidepressant effect. In one inspiring study, 156 adults with major depressive disorder either took the prescription drug Zoloft, or did a course of aerobic exercise, or used both therapies for four months. All groups saw significant improvement—the exercise-only group had results nearly identical to those of the Zoloft group—and those who only exercised had fewer relapses than the medication group after 10 months. In a similar study, people with major depressive disorder were able to significantly decrease depression with lower medication doses when they added aerobic exercise to their regime compared to those who only took Zoloft. (The Zoloft group required higher doses to get the same results over time.) Other studies concur. Walking 20 to 40 minutes three times a week for six weeks alleviated overall depressive symptoms in men and women better than attending a social support group. Substantial improvements in mood were seen in people with major depression after just 10 days of aerobic exercise. Keep your exercise routine up to maintain those benefits: A small study found that stopping exercise induced depressive symptoms, particularly for women.
Exercise for Anxiety
Exercise not only lifts people bogged down by depression but also calms those with anxiety. While vigorous, aerobic, and high-intensity exercise can help here too, also consider calming practices that incorporate mind-body balance such as yoga or t’ai chi, and exercising outdoors. Any exercise is better than none, but exercising outdoors often provides greater mood benefits. Bonus points for access to trees, water, or other scenes of natural beauty. In Japan, where death due to overwork (from stress-induced heart attack or stroke as well as suicide) is a serious problem, researchers have found that nature therapy or “forest bathing” has profound benefits for stress, mood, and overall health. Researchers at the University of California also found that people who exercise outside have greater stress reduction and tend to exercise more regularly than those who exercise indoors. You’ll also notice greater mood benefits immediately after you exercise outdoors that aren’t as likely to occur with indoor exercise. That said, new research also supports mood benefits for virtual reality exercise, already popular for rehabilitation. June 2018
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continued from page 13
How Does It Work?
Exercise could be working via several mechanisms. You’ve likely heard of the burst of mood-boosting endorphins during exercise. Researchers also postulate that the increase in body temperature during exercise improves mood-related areas of the brain, particularly alleviating anxiety. Exercise also increases monoamine neurotransmitters known to alleviate depression, perhaps by increasing serotonin and norepinephrine. Exercise might also simply distract you from the downward spiral of negative thinking in mood disorders, or help you feel more capable and accomplished.
Who Should Try It?
Studies support exercise’s mood benefits in numerous special populations. Not only cancer patients and survivors but also people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia (with t’ai chi working well); people recovering from meth drug addiction; caregivers who tend to people with dementia; those with anxiety and overall health issues after heart transplant; and children with multiple sclerosis. And exercise moderately improved depressive symptoms in people with congestive heart failure. If you are new to exercise or have a serious health condition like heart disease or an injury, work with a qualified physical therapist or trainer to choose the best routine for your needs and gradually increase the intensity. You’ll notice mental health improvement quickly, with further advantages over time, not to mention a variety of side benefits like better sleep, blood sugar control, longevity, brain function, heart health, and, yes, weight management.
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.
“Chronic Heart Failure and Depression” by C. HerrmannLingen, Internist (Berl), 3/20/18 l “Effect of Exercise Versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or No Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Fitness, and Quality of Life . . .” by L. Morris et al., Addict Sci Clin Pract, 1/16/18 l “Effect of Tai Chi Versus Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia . . .” by C. Wang et al., BMJ, 3/21/18 l “Exercise Interventions on Health-Related Quality of Life for People with Cancer During Active Treatment” by S.I. Mishra et al., Clin Otolaryngol, 10/12 l “Importance of Physical Capacity and the Effects of Exercise in Heart Transplant Recipients” by M. Yardley et al., World J Transplant, 2/24/18 l “Physical Exercise Intervention in Depressive Disorders . . .” by T. Josefsson et al., Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2014 l “Therapeutic Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Exercises for Cancer Survivors . . .” by J.T Fuller et al., Br J Sports Med, 3/16/18
—Maria Noël Groves, R.H. (AHG)
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the latest on hemp is momentum shifting toward legalization?
l June 2018
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The ninth annual Hemp History Week (June 4–10) is a time for farmers, hemp product makers, and advocates to continue fighting federal prohibitions on growing industrial hemp in the US. While hemp and marijuana are closely related—both are varieties of cannabis—industrial hemp contains just a trace of THC, the natural chemical found in marijuana that gets people high. The cultivation of industrial hemp was banned along with marijuana during Prohibiton. It’s this law that many people— including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky—are trying to change.
The cannabinoids in hemp, including cannibidiol, or CBD, offer pharmaceutical value. Drugs containing CBD are used in more than 25 countries to treat certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to vote this month on whether to approve an epilepsy drug that would be the first plant-derived cannabidiol prescription medicine in the US. Previously, the FDA has approved only synthetic versions of cannabinoid chemicals for other purposes, including cancer pain relief.
The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis research has led scientists to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, a biochemical communication system that’s important in regulating physiology and mood. Receptors in the body respond to cannabis, and the human body also produces cannabinoid compounds that bind to those receptors. The cannabinoids in the plant trigger cannabinoid receptors, releasing their properties. That produces physiological effects on cognition and memory, nausea and vomiting, inflammation, and more. A metastudy published in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal found that combinations of cannabinoids may prove effective for patients dealing with chronic pain. And researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco are studying ways CBD destroys breast cancer cells by attacking a gene that is involved in several aggressive cancers.
Cannabis has nutritional value too. The edible parts of the hemp plant, the seeds (sometimes referred to as “hearts”), are used to make a milk alternative, protein powder, and oil, and they can be sprinkled directly onto food. Toss two tablespoons of the seeds over your salad, oatmeal, yogurt, rice, or vegetables,
and you’re getting two grams of fiber, five grams of protein, 300 milligrams of potassium, 25 percent of the daily requirement of iron, and 15 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin A—in addition to a tasty crunch. Hemp also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and provide heart and immune system benefits. Hemp milk contains both calcium and protein, making it a great nondairy replacement for cow’s milk. And as a protein powder, ground hemp seeds also provide fiber.
Many of these nutritional products, as well as textiles, oils, lotions, and more made with hemp, are widely available in the United States thanks primarily to hemp imported from other countries, particularly Canada. Growing industrial hemp is allowed mostly for research purposes in the US, and many states have legalized industrial hemp production for research and pilot programs. Federal law may be changing, though. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, introduced April 12 by Senator McConnell, would remove federal prohibitions on cultivating the non-psychotropic varieties of cannabis. The bill has bipartisan support. McConnell, in introducing it, said the act “will build upon the success of the hemp pilot programs and spur innovation and growth within the industry. By legalizing hemp and empowering states to conduct their own oversight plans, we can give the hemp industry the tools necessary to create jobs and new opportunities for farmers and manufacturers around the country.” Find out more about the laws pertaining to industrial hemp by visiting the website for the National Conference of State Legislatures, www.ncsl.org, and searching for “hemp.” —Jane Eklund “The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol” by Nora D. Volkow, National Institute of Drug Abuse, www.DrugAbuse.gov, 6/24/15 l “The Endocannabinoid System,” www.ProjectCBD.org l “The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain” by Perry G. Fine and Mark J. Rosenfeld, Rambam Maimonides Med J, 10/13 l “Senator McConnell Introduces the Hemp Farming Act of 2018,” www.VoteHemp.com, 4/12/18
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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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healthy hydration drink up for peak performance
Warmer weather is here, which means we’re spending more time hiking, biking, running, and swimming. As our activity levels increase along with the rising temperatures, it’s important to make sure we’re staying hydrated. Water, water everywhere
Think Less, Drink More
Here are some easy ways to get more water during the day without having to think about it! • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. • At work, consider keeping a cup at your desk and drink from it several times an hour. • If your work keeps you on the go, take a reusable water bottle with you. • Take a drink whenever you pass a water fountain. “Drinking Enough Water,” University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, www.umcvc.org, 5/4/17
It may not be the most glamorous beverage, but water is the cornerstone of adequate hydration and it can have a significant impact on athletic performance. Water takes on a variety of roles in the body including transporting nutrients and oxygen, supporting digestion and preventing constipation, protecting joints and other tissues, stabilizing body temperature and heartbeat, and keeping electrolytes in balance. Staying adequately hydrated is especially important for athletes, as dehydration can make the heart less effective at pumping blood, which in turn diminishes the efficiency of muscles. A recent study that looked at sweat loss in team sports found that many factors influence how quickly and to what extent athletes become dehydrated, including the frequency of high-intensity activity, the body size, the equipment worn, and the level of heat stress present during the activities. Soccer has consistently been linked to significant fluid loss due to sweating, while football, rugby, and basketball led to milder fluid losses. Researchers concluded that dehydration (also known as hypohydration) typically impaired performance at higher levels of mean body mass loss (BML), in the range of 3 to 4 percent, or more when heat stress was involved. The more significantly dehydrated athletes in the study reported higher levels of fatigue and perceived exertion than those whose hydration levels were better post-performance.
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The rules of the hydration game
Individual water needs vary, but most healthy people should consume four to six cups of water per day. Exercising, especially in the heat, will increase your water needs. Most experts agree that waiting until you are thirsty is not the best indicator that you need to hydrate, because thirst typically means that dehydration is already occurring. Another factor to consider is that aging adults tend to have a diminished ability to sense thirst, putting them at additional risk of dehydration. Rather than rely on thirst alone, a better measure of hydration levels is the color of your urine: Pale yellow to clear is good; darker colors mean you need to drink more fluids. Athletes who practice during the summer need to be particularly mindful of fluid losses. A good ratio to remember is that a pound of sweat equals about a pint of water. A high school football player decked out in full gear may lose as much as five pounds or more of sweat during the course of a practice— that’s five pints, or more than half a gallon, of water that needs to be replaced! The best way to ensure that you stay hydrated while exercising during the summer months is to drink before you play sports or spend time in the sun. It’s also better to drink water while you’re exercising instead of waiting until you’re done if you want to maximize your performance and prevent your heart from having to work too hard.
Beyond the basics
While water is the best form of hydration, if it gets too monotonous you might not drink as much as you need. Flavored or infused waters are the perfect pick-me-up, and they’re easy to make at home. Start with a cold glass or pitcher of water and add any of the following: slices of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit; peeled and sliced ginger; and crushed berries or herbs, especially mint. Sports drinks, when used sparingly due to their high sugar content, can also help keep you properly hydrated. In addition to much-needed liquid reserves, sports drinks offer carbohydrates to boost energy and stave off fatigue, as well as electrolytes, including minerals like sodium and potassium, that tend to get lost through sweat. —Kelli Ann Wilson
“The Effect of Mineral-Based Alkaline Water on Hydration Status . . .” by J. Chycki et al., Biol Sport, 9/17 l “Factors Associated with Pre-event Hydration Status and Drinking Behavior of Middle-Aged Cyclists” by B.A. Yates et al., J Nutr Health Aging, 2018 l “Fluid Balance in Team Sport Athletes and the Effect of Hypohydration on Cognitive, Technical, and Physical Performance” by R.P. Nuccio et al., Sports Med, 10/17 l “How Much Water Should You Drink?” by Heidi Godman, Harvard Health Letter, www.Health.Harvard.edu l “Staying Hydrated, Staying Healthy,” American Heart Association, www.Heart.org, 6/25/15
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BODY CARE AWARD WINNER
remedies Body Care Awards Sorting through the multitude of body care products on the market can be overwhelming, to say the least. Some that sound beneficial turn out to be loaded with not-so-healthy ingredients. Others simply don’t deliver on the promises they make. Staff members and colleagues have spent weeks testing some truly great products. Here are some of our favorites.
Annemarie Börlind Facial Firming Gel leaves the face feeling hydrated, but not greasy. It features field horsetail extract, which firms and stimulates skin.
Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care Vitamin A Serum delivers clean ingredients including aloe leaf juice, coconut oil, and hyaluronic acid to fight wrinkles and discoloration. 22 remedies
Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Healing Ointment soothes dry, chapped, and itchy skin. The colloidal oatmeal is effective for rashes, eczema, and insect bites.
Mushroom Wisdom Aquamella Cream features moistureretaining tremella mushroom and antioxidant-rich coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid.
INIKA Organic Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is a vegan and crueltyfree product that hydrates and smoothes the skin. An innovative pump applicator offers a less messy application. Olive Branch Natural Body Care All-Natural Facial Lift, Tighten & Contour Gel makes skin smoother and firmer with 10 botanical ingredients.
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Crystal Hills Organics Crystal Harmony Body Serum is infused with green quartz crystals. It locks in moisture with coconut, moringa seed oil, and jojoba seed oil.
Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream features zinc oxide and is made with 98 percent organic ingredients.
everclen Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin is free from ingredients that can stress the skin. It won’t clog pores or remove natural oils.
Kayo Better Body Care Daily Remodeling Serum is a plant-based, all-body treatment for long-lasting hydration.
Every Man Jack Face Lotion Daily Sun Protection SPF20 protects against UVA and UVB rays. It’s light and non-greasy.
Lily of the Desert Cleansing Cream is an aloe-based herbal cleanser designed to tone and moisturize the skin.
BODY WASH Alaffia Shower Gel Coconut Chai cleanses with coconut oil, reishi mushroom, turmeric extract, shea butter, and other refreshing, natural ingredients
MUSCLE TREATMENTS A. Vogel Arnica Rub from Bioforce is made with fresh, organic Arnica montana. It works great on sore muscles.
SHAVING CREAM Now Solutions Nutri-Shave features a blend of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, coconut and olive oils, and other natural ingredients to leave skin nourished and smooth.
CALM Specifics Calmful Muscles drink powder from Natural Vitality relieves cramping and eases sore muscles after a workout. It features beetroot powder and magnesium.
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.
l remedies 23 4/30/18 11:05 AM
life in balance
try a little tenderness —toward yourself compassion pays off
Your little sister just lost her job and thinks she’s a failure. You’re all ears, and assure her she’s anything but. Or maybe a friend tells you that someone cut him off in traffic, sending him into a rage, and now he feels awful. “It happens to the best of us,” you say. But when these things happen to you? You beat yourself up big time.
You’re so there for others! When you show people compassion, you know they’ll only feel better. Do that for yourself and you will, too, as you also improve your physical and emotional well-being. It’s not easy to be self-compassionate, though. Our culture tells us that being kind to yourself is weak and passive, self-indulgent and self-pitying. When it comes to self-motivation, we’re taught that the stick is better than the carrot, whipping us into working harder and achieving more. And if we don’t, boy do we lay on the self-criticism. But that’s only self-defeating.
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If you’re a woman, especially, you most likely “learned to focus more on others, and that it’s selfish to focus on yourself,” says Kristin Neff, PhD, an expert on self-compassion. She’s the author of several works on the topic, including The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook (Guilford Press, 2018). Self-compassion doesn’t mean that you don’t take responsibility for your actions, or that you forget that other people have problems too. It’s also not about self-esteem or how you view yourself or how much you think society values you. Self-compassion simply means caring about—and having compassion for—yourself. If you’ve had trouble doing that, don’t give yourself a hard time. “As long as you’ve got the ability to have good friendships and are kind and supportive to others, that’s really all you need to be self-compassionate,” says Dr. Neff. “It’s a skill that can be learned.” She adds that self-compassion begins with “acknowledging and accepting your own struggle with self-kindness, not self-judgment. Otherwise, your nervous system will perceive your emotions as a threat and try to keep you safe by making you react with fight, flight, or freeze.” Then your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and cortisol and other stress hormones kick in. Not good. So the next time you feel terrible about something you said or did—or didn’t say or do—be gentle with yourself.
In this together
You’re not alone in your feelings. Everyone on Earth suffers at some point. Letting our common humanity embrace you instead of battling feelings of isolation is the second element of self-compassion. “Recognizing what it means to be human, that no one is perfect and we can learn through suffering, brings a type of wisdom to see things in a larger perspective,” Dr. Neff says. That view can help you steady your emotions— and not by stuffing them out of sight or blowing them out of proportion. Instead of attaching your whole identity to your feelings, just observe them with mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is conscious awareness of what’s happening, and it gives you the space you need to make a choice,” Dr. Neff says. She suggests taking a “self-compassion break.” Say to yourself, “This hurts. It’s really hard right now.” And then, “Other people feel this too; I’m not alone.” Then say the kindest words you want to hear: “May I forgive myself.” “May I be strong.” “May I be patient.” “Imagine what you would say to a friend or what they would say to you, and try it on yourself,” Dr. Neff says. Writing about your feelings or meditating can help you build self-compassion.
Easing the jitters
You’ll find that being self-compassionate calms the sympathetic nervous system—that fight, flight, or freeze reaction. You can further calm yourself by placing your hand on your heart. Doing so releases oxytocin in your body, which soothes and comforts you. Being kind to yourself leads to positive states of mind (connectiveness, optimism, happiness, self-confidence), which balance negative reactions (depression, anxiety, shame). Though it aims for your pain, self-compassion may not make it go away. But it will offer you the most nurturing environment to cope with your difficult emotions. Self-compassion isn’t totally about you, though. The more you practice it, the better you’ll be at it, helping you be more compassionate toward others. —Claire Sykes “The 5 Myths of Self-Compassion: What Keeps Us from Being Kinder to Ourselves?” by Kristin Neff, www.PsychothereapyNetworker.org, 9-10/18 l “Definition of Self-Compassion”; “Tips for Practice” by Kristin Neff, www.Self-Compassion.org, 2018 l Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology edited by Todd Kashdan and Joseph Ciarrochi ($49.95, New Harbinger Publications, 2013) l Personal communication: Kristin Neff, 4/18 l “The Scientific Benefits of Self-Compassion” by Emma Seppala, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University, 5/8/14
l remedies 25 4/30/18 2:50 PM
a breath of fresh air the natural healing power of garlic
Back in 1994, researchers published a tongue-in-cheek study in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association exploring whether garlic truly protected people against blood-sucking vampires. Their findings? Just the opposite. If vampires are anything like leeches, garlic-clutching humans are in trouble. “Owing to the lack of vampires, we used leeches,” the researchers wrote. In the study, a hand smeared with garlic or a clean hand was offered to the leeches. “The garlic-smeared hand was preferred in two out of three cases. When they preferred the garlic, the leeches used only 14.9 seconds to attach themselves, compared with 44.9 seconds when going to the nongarlic hand.” Leeches have good instincts. When it comes to improving health, garlic is a rock star. If you want to reap its benefits without being irresistible to leeches, you may want to opt for odorless aged garlic supplements.
Garlic v. Disease
There are hundreds of studies documenting garlic’s power at fighting atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, coronary disease, and hypertension. Research shows that the more garlic middle-aged people consume, the lower their risk for gastric and colon cancers. Eating just a half to one clove of garlic daily (or about 900 milligrams of aged garlic extract) has the power to reduce total cholesterol by 8 or 9 percent. 26 remedies
More than a dozen studies published in The Journal of Nutrition support the idea that aged garlic extract (AGE) may help prevent the progression of cardiovascular disease. New research indicates that AGE may help combat the loss of brain function associated with aging by increasing cognitive functioning, such as memory. Consult a doctor before taking AGE if you have thyroid or ulcer problems. Garlic may make birth control pills less effective. Medications that slow blood clotting (such as warfarin, aspirin, and ibuprofen) also interact with garlic. —remedies staff “Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Blood Pressure in Hypertensives” by K. Ried et al., Eur J Clin Nutr, 1/13 l “Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Low Attenuation Plaque in Coronary Arteries of Patients with Metabolic Syndrome . . .” by S. Matsumoto et al., 2/16; “Aged Garlic Extract Suppresses the Development of Atherosclerosis . . .” by N. Morihara et al., 2/16; “Garlic and Heart Disease” by R. Varshney and M.J. Budoff, 2016, J Nutr l “Aged Garlic Extract Suppresses Inflammation . . .” by N. Morihara et al., Mol Nutr Food Res, 10/17 l “Neuroprotective Effects of Aged Garlic Extract on Cognitive Dysfunction and Neuroinflammation . . .” by N. Nillert et al., Nutrients, 1/3/17 l “Unique Vascular Protective Properties of Natural Products . . .” by M. Slevin et al., Vascular Cell, 4/12
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Super Curcumin from AFI utilizes the award-winning Curcumin C3 Complex ingredient and BioPerine, the safest and most effective way to increase the uptake of curcumin. 800-350-3305 www.AFIsupplements.com
Garden of Life Organic & Pure Essential Oils are certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, sourced responsibly, and extracted using 100 percent pure methods. www.GardenofLife.com
Targeted Choice EyeCare AREDS 2 + Blue Vegetable Capsules from Bluebonnet Nutrition help protect eyes from excessive blue light/LED, improve visual performance, and support optimal eye health.
Carlson’s Vitamin D3 Gummies provide 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per gummy, which promotes teeth, bone, and muscle health; healthy immune and cardiovascular system function; and calcium absorption.
Stay sharp and focused with NOW Brain Attention from NOW Foods, a cutting-edge cognitive support supplement for kids and adults that promotes memory, learning, attention, focus, and more. 888-669-3663 www.NOWfoods.com
Wakunaga of America’s WellTrim iG IGOB131, certified authentic African mango, helps decrease appetite, boost metabolism, block blood sugar conversion to body fat, and improve insulin sensitivity. www.Kyolic.com
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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Vacation First Aid
Before you head off on a summer road trip, put together a first-aid kit. Visit the link below for a list.
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bug bites What is it? Temporary discomfort and pain, including itching, redness, stinging, and minor swelling of the skin. What causes it? A puncture wound caused by an insect, frequently accompanied by the injection of an irritating substance.
Lifestyle: Remove stinger, if present. Wash the area
Herbal therapy: Aloe vera, basil, calendula, chamomile, cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, raw honey, tea tree oil.
Homeopathy: Apis mellifica, Hypericum, Ledum, Staphysagria, Urtica urens.
Supplements: Vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids,
surrounding the bite with soap and water. Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth or a cold compress for several minutes to reduce pain and swelling.
“Bug Bites and Stings,” www.KidsHealth.org, 9/16 l “How to Prevent and Treat Insect Bites Without Harsh Chemicals,” http://articles.Mercola.com, 7/22/13 l “Insect Bites and Stings: First Aid,” www.MayoClinic.com, 2/17/18
l remedies 29 4/24/18 1:49 PM
3 ways to protect your skin this summer
Summer is finally here, and chances are your skin is going to be on display—no more hiding under bulky sweaters. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking its best for the beach, the barbeque, and beyond! 1. Be wise with water
It may seem counterintuitive, but water can rob skin of moisture. This is especially true of very hot water or long showers and baths. Even frequent dips in the pool can cause dryness. It’s best to limit daily shower and bath times to 5 or 10 minutes and use warm—not hot—water. Choose soaps and body washes carefully, as some ingredients can make dry skin worse. Look for gentle, fragrance-free formulas, and avoid products that contain alcohol. One tried-and-true remedy to consider is oats, which contain chemicals called avenanthramides that ease inflammation and redness. A great way to maximize oats’ itch-relieving properties is to grind or blend old-fashioned oats and then add to running water as the tub fills. A 15-minute soak should provide relief. Commercially prepared oat bath products are also available.
2. Moisturize and repeat
Slathering moisturizer on dry skin may be an obvious solution, but most of us don’t moisturize enough for the products we use to be effective—once a day isn’t enough. Experts suggest up to six applications a day for true protection, which means keeping moisturizer handy or investing in duplicates to stash around the house, office, and anywhere else you might need them. Always apply moisturizer immediately after washing.
Not just any moisturizer will do, and there are two vocabulary words to learn in order to choose the right product for your needs: emollient and humectant. As cells age, crevices form between them. Emollients help these cells hold together better, and give skin a “slippery” feeling. Jojoba oil is an example of an emollient that is commonly found in moisturizers. Humectants pull moisture from the air onto the surface of your skin, increasing hydration. Hyaluronic acid is one of nature’s best humectants, so look for it in the ingredients list. If your skin is very dry or damaged, look for thicker ingredients such as cocoa or shea butter and beeswax.
3. Nourish from the inside out
Dehydration can be an issue in the summer, so it’s important to be mindful of fluid intake. Aim to drink eight cups of water each day to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. It also helps the body clear toxins. Essential fatty acids—commonly found in fish, nuts, and seeds—can help ensure skin stays soft and smooth by protecting it from environmental damage. Research suggests that regular supplementation with flaxseed or borage oil can boost skin moisture and soothe rough, scaly patches. —Kelli Ann Wilson
“7 Tips to Soothe Your Dry, Itchy Skin,” www.WebMD.com, 6/11/16 l “Dermatologists’ Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin,” American Academy of Dermatology, www.AAD.org l “Dry Skin,” by Mayo Clinic Staff, www.MayoClinic.org, 10/27/16 l Natural Beauty by Rebecca Warren, ed. ($25, DK Publishing, 2015)
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