JU N E 2019
natural pain relief page
29 Hempseed oil benefits Aromatherapy essentials The endocannabinoid system
curcumin can help
4/29/19 3:18 PM
12/17/18 11:34 AM
June 2019 vol. 15 no. 6
anxiety busters Easy ways to reduce stress.
21 12 feature
endocannabinoids explained Everything you need to know.
4 From the Editor’s Desk 7 New Frontiers
The latest on cannabidiol (CBD).
8 Health Pulse
Black tea for weight loss • Ginkgo seeds may ease skin ailments • More
10 Sports Nutrition
Protein provides energy and supports weight loss.
Tips to help men maintain their health as they age.
18 Herbal Healing
Boost skin health and more with hempseed oil.
25 Healthy Glow
Essential oils for beauty, mood, and more.
28 Everyday Remedies
Natural ways to soothe sore muscles.
29 Supplement Spotlight
Get relief from joint pain, naturally. Cover: Curcumin.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes June 2019
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from the editor ’s desk
One man’s health My dad smoked a pipe for much of his adult life (actually, he started before he was technically an adult, and gave it up in his fifties). He drank a significant amount of beer, and never really had much of an exercise program after his college distance-running days were over. His diet was heavy on salt and saturated fat. Breakfast was always whatever stale cake was left sitting around on the counter. And he estimated that he drank about 30 cups of black coffee a day—a bit overboard, even given coffee’s health benefits. But he did a lot of things that kept him relatively healthy for more than eight decades. Walking, for example. His daily commute included lengthy treks to the train station or to catch a bus, and additional miles on foot to and from the Port Authority or Penn Station to his office. And eating. My mom made sure he and everyone else in the house ate a lot of fruit and vegetables. What else? He kept family close. Read a lot. Had many interests. Did lots of yard work, and walked even more in retirement. The sorts of things experts now recommend that we do to stay physically and emotionally fit. That’s an indirect way for me to pitch this month’s Healthspan feature: “Maintaining Men’s Health.” It’s packed with strategies for doing just that. You’ll find it on page 15.
Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editor Rich Wallace Assistant Editor 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 603-831-1868 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); ©2019 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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F O R M U L A S
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Run this joint Collagen is the main component of healthy joint cartilage, which acts as a cushion between bones. Collagen supports healthy joints by supporting the synthesis of new cartilage tissue.* Your optimized protein plan Pair our daily recommended dose of collagen with your protein portions to help offset high methionine intake.*
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new frontiers Cannabidiol (CBD) supplements are obtainable in much of the US. A nonpsychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is being studied for its effects on many health conditions. Each state has laws regarding CBD with varying degrees of restriction. Learn about CBD’s status in your state at www.CBDCentral.com.
CBD may enhance delivery of meds CBD appears to help certain medications cross the blood-brain barrier—a layer of tightly linked cells that line the capillaries of the brain. The barrier prevents most substances from entering the brain. It allows glucose and certain amino acids to pass, including endocannabinoids, which bind to proteins known as cannabinoid receptors. Those receptors help transport molecules to the brain. Scientists tracked nanocapsules attached to CBD, and found that they were better able to pass through to the brain than nanocapsules that did not have CBD. The researchers see potential for the use of CBD to deliver medications in diseases affecting the central nervous system. “Cannabidiol could help deliver medications to the brain,” American Chemical Society, 4/17/19 l “Cannabidiol enhances the passage of lipid nanocapsules across the blood-brain barrier . . .” by J. Aparicio-Blanco et al., Molecular Pharmaceutics, 3/13/19
CBD may reduce impairment
Did You Know? June 3 to 9 marks the tenth annual Hemp History Week. The nationwide educational campaign will feature more than 1,500 events. Visit www.HempHistoryWeek.com for more information.
A new study found that CBD reduces the impairment to brain function caused by certain strains of cannabis. “Over the last two decades, rates of addiction and psychosis linked to cannabis have been on the rise, while at the same time stronger strains of cannabis with more THC and less CBD have become increasingly common,” said lead researcher Matt Wall, PhD. “We have now found that CBD appears to buffer the user against some of the acute effects of THC on the brain.” The researchers compared two strains of cannabis with similar amounts of THC—one with high levels of CBD and one with very little. They found that the low-CBD strain caused significant impairment of certain regions of the brain associated with sensory and emotional input. The high-CBD strain caused less disruption. “CBD reduces impairment caused by cannabis,” University College London, 4/25/19
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trouble swallowing? consider peppermint oil Peppermint oil can ease the difficulty of swallowing in people with a disorder of the esophagus, according to a new study. About twothirds of the patients who tried the therapy showed improvement. Some people with disorders of the esophagus have trouble swallowing, and that is often accompanied by non-cardiac chest pain. “Our findings suggest that peppermint may help prevent these symptoms by relaxing the smooth muscle in the lower esophagus,” said gastroenterologist Donald O. Castell, MD. Peppermint oil has been shown to have therapeutic effects in several disorders because of its muscle-relaxing properties. Little previous research had been done on its role in the upper digestive tract. “A spoonful of peppermint helps the meal go down,” Medical University of South Carolina, 4/26/19
tea may aid weight loss Black tea may contribute to weight loss and other health benefits, according to researchers at UCLA. Substances in the tea appear to alter bacteria in the gut, which in turn can have a positive effect on energy metabolism. Extracts from the tea led to fewer bacteria associated with obesity and more that are linked to lean body mass. Previous studies have found similar benefits from green tea. “Black tea may help with weight loss,” Healthy Years, UCLA Health, 2018
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herbal extract may ease skin conditions Extracts from Ginkgo biloba seeds have been shown to be effective on a variety of skin ailments, including acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. Guided by an ancient text, Emory University scientists determined that the extracts inhibited the growth of bacteria that cause the conditions. They believe this is the first study to show an antibacterial effect from ginkgo seeds on skin pathogens. The scientists consulted the Ben Cao Gang Mu, a sixteenth-century text on traditional Chinese medicine. “It was like blowing the dust off knowledge from the past and rediscovering something that had been there all along,” said lead researcher Xinyl Huang. “Ginkgo seed extracts show antibacterial activity on skin pathogens,” Emory Health Sciences, 4/18/19
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protein is the key to peak performance Protein bars have become a go-to option not just for athletes but for almost anyone who needs a quick nutritional hit. They aim to provide energy, stop the stomach from growling, and help with weight management. The move toward healthier protein bars has been a welcome one. Nuts, soy, pea protein, flax and chia seeds, and grain proteins from rice and quinoa have definitely upped the nutritional value. The protein bar market in the US was valued at $837 million at last count. As with anything that grows, the protein bar is evolving as more people expect different things from the product.
Raising the bar One thing’s for sure: Consumers can expect protein bars to emphasize healthier ingredients while remaining a source of convenient energy. This change has come about as some bars have fallen under the microscope for not being as healthy as advertised. The health and sports insurer Protectivity, for example, researched 56 protein bars and found that a third of them had more fat than a popular brand of doughnut while 10 of them had more sugar than the glazed treat. Thankfully, that’s not the entire protein bar market. Recognizing that many parents give their children a protein bar as a snack, the food manufacturer Kind in 2018 launched a new line of lower-sugar granola bars for children. The bars feature a blend of oats, sorghum, and quinoa.
Plant power Other brands are also trying to demonstrate that their protein bars are nutritious options. Creation Nation, a California company, believes that health-conscious consumers won’t mind creating their own protein bars from their mixes. Its DIY vegan mixes include flavors such as peanut butter and jelly and “Peas Love and Cocoa”—the peas refer to the organic pea protein isolate that is the product’s top ingredient. The runaway success of protein bars has prompted some companies to tweak their products as they hope to capitalize on the idea that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Protein bites and balls offer a new shape to digest but essentially have the same ingredients as protein bars. These bites and balls are small enough to feel more like a snack than a bar does. They also feel like a boutique product of sorts, enabling manufacturers to try bold ideas. Time will tell if the protein bar market continues to diversify as it grows, and if the truly healthy products push out the less healthy ones. —Albert McKeon
“The fitness food index,” www.Protectivity.com l “Global protein bar market,” www.ResearchandMarkets.com, 2/18 l “Kind launches chewy granola bar range for children’s lunchboxes,” www.FoodBev.com
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4/10/19 3:04 PM
By Lynn Tryba
endocannabinoids explained the human body makes its own
Cannabinoids aren’t found only in marijuana. The human body actually produces them naturally. But why? You have questions, we have answers.
Q: What is the endocannabinoid system? A: About 30 years ago, cannabis research led to the discovery of the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a molecular signaling system that works to ensure homeostasis—or equilibrium—within our bodies, especially during times of stress. This was about the same time that researchers first discovered receptors for THC—a psychoactive cannabinoid from marijuana— and then, shortly afterward, the body’s own endogenous cannabinoids.
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Q: What are endogenous cannabinoids? Can you be deficient in them? A: The body makes its own cannabinoid-like substances, called endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. These chemical compounds are a type of neurotransmitter—part of the body’s chemical messaging system. There’s 2-AG, which has been called the workhorse of the endocannabinoid system. When the body’s ECS works to inhibit 2-AG degradation, pain and anxiety are reduced. Another endogenous cannabinoid is called anandamide (AEA), named for the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss. AEA is a stress-responsive endocannabinoid. Both 2-AG and AEA are derivatives of arachidonic acid, which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. If your body is lacking in omega-3 essential fatty acids, it can’t make sufficient endogenous cannabinoids. Some people may have genetic issues that interfere with their ability to make enough endocannabinoids. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD) is thought to be present in fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine conditions. Omega 3s also help grow and repair CB1 receptors in the brain.
Q: What are CB1 and CB2 receptors? A: The body’s endogenous cannabinoids interact with receptors, of which there are two established subtypes: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found mostly in areas of the brain that, among other attributes, are related to anxiety and fear. CB2 receptors are most abundant in immune cells. Numerous studies have shown that mice absent CB2 receptors have issues with inflammation. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors interact with both endogenous and exogenous (external) cannabinoids.
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Q: What is cannabidiol? A: Both marijuana and agricultural hemp belong to the Cannabis sativa L. plant species. Marijuana is rich in a cannabinoid called THC, which induces a euphoric high. Hemp contains so little THC that it could never produce such an effect. Its primary cannabinoid is cannabidiol, or CBD. THC is an agonist of our body’s CB1 receptors, which means it initiates a physiological response in the brain when combined with the receptor. CBD operates differently by blocking the breakdown of anandamide, which increases the presence of that endocannabinoid at receptor sites. CB2 agonists have pain-relieving and tissue-protective effects.
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“The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation” by C. Turcotte et al., Cell Mol Life Sci, 7/11/16 l “Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): Can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions?” by E.B. Russo, Neuro Endocrinol Lett, 4/08 l “The endocannabinoid system: Hemp and beyond” by Sebastian Krawiec, www.WholeFoodsMagazine.com, 6/18 l “Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, www.ScienceDaily.com, 7/18/17 l “Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids” by Joseph Maroon and Jeff Bost, Surgical Neurology International, 4/26/18
Source Naturals’ SourcePure CBD is derived from orange peel giving you a CBD bioidentical to that from hemp in one of the purest forms you can buy.
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men’s health easy changes can boost longevity
Research continues to pile up showing that a few basic tenets go a long way toward maintaining our health as we age. A balanced diet heavy on plants and low on saturated fats, regular physical activity, low-stress social connections, and avoiding smoking are powerful lifestyle habits. Some key nutritional supplements are helpful as well.
New studies out of Boston underscore these truths.
The brain Boston University researchers determined that “every additional hour of light intensity physical activity was associated with higher brain volumes, even among individuals not meeting current physical activity guidelines.” Those guidelines call for 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise. The new study found that favorable effects on brain aging may begin at a lower threshold than 150 minutes per week. Physical activity is strongly linked to larger brain volume and healthy aging. Another study supported the idea that diet plays a role in maintaining physical function— which, of course, enables us to increase those minutes of exercise!
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“Diet can have specific effects on our health and can also affect our well-being and physical independence as we get older,” said senior author Francine Grodstein, ScD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Even if people can’t completely change their diet, there are some relatively simple dietary changes people can make . . . such as eating more vegetables and nuts.” Fruit, whole grains, legumes, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, and other fatty, cold-water fish as well as flax) are other great choices. The researchers also recommend lower intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, red and processed meats, and sodium.
The heart “With heart and blood vessel disease being the number one killer of men, as well as a major cause of disability, it is critical that you take good care of your heart,” said Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of Real Cause, Real Cure. Dr. Teitelbaum said coenzyme Q10 is a great supplement for heart health, especially for those taking a cholesterol-lowering medication. These medications can deplete this important nutrient—putting your cardiovascular health at risk.
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The mineral zinc serves as a mild heart protector. Zinc supplements in older adults lower heart disease markers (such as C-reactive protein). The most important nutrient on Dr. Teitelbaum’s short list is magnesium. This mineral “increases the strength of your heart muscle and helps keep heart rhythms steady and smooth.”
The joints One of five American men reports joint pain (generally from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis), notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A go-to for relief is curcumin, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory extracted from the spice turmeric. This herbal extract offers relief for aching joints without the risk of adverse effects seen with conventional medications. But it’s not just about masking discomfort. Research shows that curcumin can help rebuild joint tissue by replacing damaged cartilage with new, healthy cartilage. All areas of connective tissue in the body contain collagen. This protein plays an important role in healthy joints. Supplementing with a form called collagen hydrolysate offers joint benefits, particularly for those with osteoarthritis. —Cameron Hendrix “The alternative eating index and physical function impairment in men” by K.A. Hagan and F. Grodstein, Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 3/20/19 l “Healthy diet helps older men maintain physical function,” Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 4/8/19 l “The impact of the Mediterranean diet on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults” by D.G. Loughrey et al. Adv Nutr, 7/17 l “Substituting healthy plant proteins for red meat lowers risk for heart disease,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 4/9/19
Key supplements for athletes n Glutathione supplements have been shown to reduce exercise-induced fatigue and to suppress levels of lactic acid, which often causes soreness following exercise. n Drinking chokecherry juice helps prevent inflammation, oxidative stress, and iron depletion after intense physical exercise. n Athletes recovered faster from sprinting and made quicker decisions after drinking high-nitrate beet juice for a week. “Beetroot juice improves sprinting and decisionmaking during exercise,” University of Exeter, 9/18/15 l “Glutathione supplementation suppresses muscle fatigue by prolonged exercise . . .” by A. Wataru et al., 2/6/15, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition l “Re: Black chokecherry juice improves inflammation and iron metabolism parameters after intense physical exercise” by Laura M. Bystrom, PhD, HerbClip, 4/15/15
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restore and revive try hempseed oil for skin health and more
For six years, tradition says, Siddhartha ate nothing but one hemp seed per day. While the legendary Buddha diet is not one you’d want to try, the story does point to the nutritional and healing value of the seeds of the Cannabis sativa L. plant.
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Hempseed oil is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Unlike cannabidiol, or CBD, oil, which is extracted from the cannabis plant, including flowers and leaves, hempseed oil has long been on the market. Clear green with a nutty flavor, hemp oil has only trace levels of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. In Eastern cultures, it’s been used internally and topically for generations.
Nutritional breakdown Hempseed oil is a great source of essential fatty acids—including the ideal ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s—and proteins. It’s also a source of antioxidants, including vitamin E and y-tocopherol, along with all nine of the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. Other nutrients found in hemp oil are magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and manganese.
Skin health Hempseed oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, which come from its fatty acid components, combined with its moisturizing qualities make it a go-to for skin health. Because it can restore moisture without clogging pores, it works well with all skin types—balancing out oily skin and preventing dry skin. It can also reduce the wrinkles and fine lines that come with aging. The omegas in hempseed oil can help soothe skin inflammation and irritation. Applied topically, the oil can calm conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Taken internally, it can treat conditions including atopic dermatitis. In one study, patients experienced reduced symptoms and appearance of clinical atopic dermatitis after 20 weeks of supplementing with dietary hempseed oil. To apply hempseed oil to your skin, first try a small patch to ensure that it causes no irritation. Put a small amount on a clean area of your upper arm, cover with a bandage, and wait 24 hours. If there’s no redness, burning, or itching, it should be safe for you to use.
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Get the OK from your healthcare practitioner before adding oral supplemental hempseed oil to your regimen. Then start with a half teaspoon per day, and work up to one to two teaspoons per day. You can also mix it into foods like smoothies and soups.
Hair care The essential fatty acids in hempseed oil can moisturize hair and scalp too—and in fact are often found in shampoos and conditioners. Apply a moderate amount of hempseed oil to brittle hair as a deep conditioner before shampooing or add to your conditioner after shampooing.
Heart, brain, and more The anti-inflammatory properties of the fatty acids in hempseed oil, along with other components, bring additional benefits when you take it in gel-cap form or add it to your diet. In a study on mice, hempseed extract helped protect the brain from inflammation. Alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid found in hempseed oil and also in fish and flaxseed oils, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Research is ongoing on other potential benefits of hempseed oil: One study indicated, for instance, that multiple sclerosis patients who took a combination of hempseed and evening primrose oils or the combination plus a special diet showed a decrease in relapse rate and an improvement in immunological scores, as compared to a control group.
Check it out Look for hempseed oil at your local natural products market. Choose a trusted brand, and read the label carefully. Some hemp oils contain a hemp extract, meaning CBD may be an ingredient. If the product is labeled “hempseed oil,” it should be free of CBD. —Jane Eklund
“Analysis of cannabinoids in commercial hemp seed oil and decarboxylation kinetics studies of cannabidiolic acid” by C. Citti et al., Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2/5/18 l “Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seed phenylpropionamides composition and effects of memory dysfunction and biomarkers of neuroinflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide in mice” by Yuefang Zhou et al., ACS Omega, 11/27/18 l “Hemp oil for skin,” www.HealthLine.com l “How to use hemp oil” by Christine Ruggeri, https://DrAxe.com, 1/24/19 l “Immunomodulatory and therapeutic effects of hot-nature diet and co-supplemented hemp seed, evening primrose oils intervention in multiple sclerosis patients” by S. Rezapour-Firouzi et al., Complement Ther Med, 2013 l “Nutritive quality of Romanian hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.) with special focus on oil and metal contents of seeds” by Marcela Mihoc et al., Chem Cent J, 10/23/12
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By Jane Eklund
anxiety busters natural help is near
Let’s face it: Life can be stressful. Work, family, world events—even in the best of situations, they can take a toll, emotionally and physically. If you’re suffering from the effects of mild stress or anxiety, take heart. There are effective strategies for coping with the stress of day-to-day life.
Simple Changes › Start with self-care. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and it works best when you do it regularly. Find something physical that you like to do, and start a routine. › Eat healthfully. Avoid skipping meals and snacking on junk food. Reach for nutritious energy-boosters when you’re flagging. › Relax by practicing yoga or mindful meditation, taking deep breaths, listening to music, or getting a massage. › Organize your tasks to help avoid procrastination and stay on top of what needs to be done. Make prioritized to-do lists. Do one thing at a time rather than multitasking. Learn how to say no. › Keep things in perspective by challenging your negative thoughts. You may be able to free yourself from a cycle of anxiety by letting go of things that are not in your control and by checking in with yourself: Are things really that bad? June 2019
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Take your vitamins and minerals Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to stress and anxiety. If you’re not getting the following in your diet, consider supplements. › Vitamin A. The antioxidant properties of vitamin A can help keep symptoms of stress under control. › B-complex. The B vitamins keep your nervous system healthy. › Vitamin C. Another antioxidant, C can guard against oxidative damage—which can pump up anxiety—to your nervous system. › Vitamin D. Your body uses D to help absorb other vitamins, so if you’re D-deficient, you may be deficient in other vitamins as well—which can aggravate stress. › Vitamin E. A stressed-out body uses vitamin E quickly, so supplementing can bring things back into balance. › Magnesium. The mineral magnesium is critical to health; a deficiency can bring on symptoms of stress.
› Herbs. If stress is causing insomnia, try valerian root to quell anxiety and bring on sleep. Kava kava encourages relaxation along with sharper cognitive ability. Ashwagandha, an adaptogen, targets the hormones that promote stress and supports those that promote sleep and relaxation. Rhodiola brings on calmness and helps you manage stress. Lemon balm and chamomile, both used for anxiety, can be taken in capsule form or as tea. Tulsi tea, via its active ingredient, clove oil, manages levels of cortisol in the body, helping reduce stress levels and prevent side effects of stress. › With benefits ranging from boosting energy and the immune system, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving cognitive function, reishi mushrooms help keep the body in balance so it can defend against stressors.
Other helpful supplements
Here are some other nutrients to consider: › Omega-3 fatty acids. Research indicates that omega 3s can help with stress. In one study of medical students, those who supplemented with omega 3s saw their anxiety symptoms decrease by about 20 percent.
If your stress and anxiety are chronic and keep you from enjoying life, seek help from a professional. If, like most people, you struggle occasionally with stress, you may be able to alleviate the symptoms by trying some of these suggested remedies.
“8 effective herbal supplements for anxiety” by Chloe Brotheridge, www.PsychologyToday.com, 6/16/18 l “9 proven benefits of reishi mushrooms,” 7/2/18; “Health benefits & side effects of tulsi tea,” 5/14/18, by John Staughton, www.OrganicFacts.net l “16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety”; “Try this: 25 supplements for anxiety,” www.HealthLine.com l “Coping strategies,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, https://ADAA.org l “Coping with anxiety” by Jeanie Lerche Davis, www.WebMD.com
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essential oils explore the benefits of aromatherapy
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to provide relief from common ailments— they can lift your mood, make it easier to focus, and help you relax after a hard day at work. Derived from plants, essential oils can affect the body in a couple of ways: When inhaled, essential oils pass from the lungs into the bloodstream; when diluted and absorbed through the skin, they enter the circulatory system. Used properly, essential oils can be amazing natural remedies. June 2019
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Start with the essentials Since they’re highly volatile, essential oils evaporate when exposed to air. But when combined with carrier oils, they easily can be applied to the skin and hair, or used for massage. And since essential oils are very concentrated, some individuals can have reactions to them if they’re applied directly to the skin. To prevent this, a carrier oil is used to “carry” the benefits directly into the skin. Carrier oils are produced from vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Pressed from the fatty portions of plants, they do not evaporate the way essential oils do, nor do they have as strong an aroma. They do, however, offer many therapeutic benefits of their own. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, they can help improve the health and softness of the skin.
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Avoid complications Baths offer the perfect occasion to reap the benefits of essential oils. But you should never add essential oils directly into bathwater, advises Lora Cantele, author of The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness ($24.95, Robert Rose, 2014). Oil and water don’t mix. Putting essential oil directly into a bath leaves the undiluted substance floating on the top of the water. It could then come into direct contact with the skin and potentially cause irritation and pain, Cantele explains. Instead, while your tub is filling with water, mix a tablespoon of carrier oil like grapeseed with about 5 drops of essential oil in a nonreactive bowl. After the tub has filled and the water’s off, add the oils to your bath and stir the water with your hand. This method avoids the loss of any essences through evaporation. You could also use an unscented body wash or liquid castile soap in place of the carrier oil, Cantele says.
Soothing scents Throughout history, humans have extracted oils from grasses, seeds, flower petals, buds, bark, wood, stems, leaves, and roots. These powerful scents have been benefiting humankind in many ways—soothing minds, lifting spirits, and healing bodies. Here are some common essential oils and their benefits: Chamomile. Inhibits activity of bacteria, fungi, and toxins on the skin; improves wound healing and eczema; lifts mood and eases emotional oversensitivity, stress, and insomnia. Eucalyptus. Antiseptic for wounds and insect bites; enhances skin repair; reduces skin inflammation and itching; scent increases energy and can relieve congestion, headache, shock, and stress. Geranium. Helps smooth wrinkles; benefits both oily and dry skin types; uplifting; eases anxiety; balances mind and body. Lavender. Lifts mood; has anti-inflammatory properties; helps heal scars and stretch marks; eases nervousness, irritability, and insomnia. Lemongrass. Reduces oily hair, acne, and skin infections; has deodorant properties; sedating and soothing; eases stress and nervous exhaustion. Tea tree. Antifungal and antibacterial; helps heal acne and wounds.
—remedies staff “Aromatherapy carrier oils: Which ones should you choose?” www.your-aromatherapy-guide.com, 2018 l Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd ed., 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 Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness ($24.95, Robert Rose, 2014). l Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils by Stephanie Tourles ($16.95, Storey, 2018)
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
sore muscles What is it? Aching, discomfort, or pain in the muscles of the arms, back, legs, neck, or elsewhere in the body. What causes it? Minor injuries, overuse, tension, and stress are the most common causes.
Supplements: Glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, curcumin.
Lifestyle: Heat and cold therapy, exercising at a lower
Herbs: Creams made with arnica, capsaicin, or
Food: Cacao, cottage cheese, ginger, green tea, pineapple, nuts and seeds, salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, tart cherries, turmeric, watermelon.
Homeopathy: Arnica, Bellis perennis, Bryonia,
intensity, massage, and rest.
comfrey; boswellia, curcumin, devil’s claw root, white willow bark.
Hypericum, Magnesia phosphorica, Rhus toxicodendron, Ruta graveolens.
“10 foods to cure sore muscles and speed up recovery” by Brittany Smith, www.MensJournal.com l “Can supplements help with pain?” by Kara Mayer Robinson, www.WebMD.com, 10/28/17 l “Exercise your resolutions!” by Luc De Schepper; “Think arnica first for sports injuries” by Emlyn Thomas, National Center for Homeopathy, www.HomeopathyCenter.org l “Muscle pain,” www.MayoClinic.org, 2/9/19
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joint comfort: curcumin & more natural remedies are effective If one or more of your joints ache and nag for attention, you’re not alone. Nearly one in four US adults is bothered by some form of arthritis, which means there’s a lot of joint pain in need of relief out there! Many people turn to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, or Celebrex to manage their pain. But as Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, points out, that is not without risk. Analysis of large studies including more than a half million patient years shows that NSAIDs contribute to at least 30,000 American deaths yearly from side effects such as bleeding ulcers, heart attack, and stroke. These NSAID-related deaths are avoidable, Dr. Teitelbaum says, since “double-blind studies have shown that natural remedies are as effective (or even more so) than NSAIDs for arthritis joint pain.” Moreover, NSAIDs trigger less serious, but still bothersome, side effects such as nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, and peptic ulcers.
Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).
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Curcumin eases inflammation “Two head-on studies of a unique curcumin-based herbal mix called Curamin compared to the NSAID Celebrex showed the herbal supplement to be more effective for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis,” said Dr. Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! and Pain Free, 1,2,3! “In fact, instead of causing side effects, the herbal supplement resulted in ‘side benefits’ such as decreased risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and colitis.” The herbal extract curcumin, which is one of the main ingredients in the supplement that Dr. Teitelbaum mentioned, comes from the yellow spice turmeric. Turmeric gives curry a vibrant yellow hue and “both Ayurvedic and TCM [traditional Chinese medicine] relied on this herb for over a thousand years for the treatment of joint pain,” says Thomas Bond, MD, founder of TotalCare Health and Wellness Medical Center in Louisiana and president of the American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine. Curcumin’s benefits for arthritis pain are backed by a large body of research. Curcumin works by modifying the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, Dr. Bond explains. When inflammation settles down, joints tend to feel less stiff and painful. He recommends using this herbal extract in the amount of 2,000 milligrams (mg) each day. For his patients, he advises starting with a dose of 500 mg per day orally, increasing over time to the full 2,000 mg daily amount.
Fish oil eases pain
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Another well-researched natural remedy for achy joints comes from fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids—specifically the ones named EPA and DHA—have been shown in multiple studies to convey anti-inflammatory effects to swollen and painful joints. As with curcumin, there is even research pitting this supplement head-to-head against NSAIDs. In this case, omega-3 fatty acid supplements at a daily dose of 2,400 mg edged out ibuprofen for better pain relief. “There are many fish oil and omega-3 supplement brands available in the marketplace,” Dr. Bond says. “I recommend that my patients check that their product provides a dose of at least 2,400 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and not just say ‘fish oil’ on the label.” Some of his patients get better results from higher amounts: up to 4,800 mg/ day of omega-3 fatty acids.
Tried and true When it comes to joint pain relief, the old standby glucosamine sulfate shouldn’t be overlooked. Dr. Teitelbaum notes that 750 mg of glucosamine sulfate twice a day plus 400 mg of chondroitin three times a day can bring effective relief to those with joint discomfort. This combination, according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, brought the same amount of relief as Celebrex. There are many natural remedies that can put the brakes on joint pain and do at least as good a job as NSAIDs, but with less risk! —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH Personal communication: Jacob Teitelbaum, MD; Thomas Bond, MD, 4/19
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