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JU N E 2020

natural first aid



Natural energy boosters Plant protein for athletes The power of reishi

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calendula soothes burns and rashes

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June 2020 vol. 16 no. 6


21 23 hemp andCBD: the basics feature

Herbalist Roy Upton offers an overview of this growing market.


4 From the Editor’s Desk 7 Health Pulse

Yoga eases stress • Finding your purpose • Supplements may boost immunity • More

10 Sports Nutrition & Performance Plant protein builds muscle and aids recovery.

12 Weight & Fitness

Bone broth can help you meet your weight loss goals.

15 Healthspan

Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses energy imbalances.

18 Healthy Glow

Men’s grooming tips.

20 Herbal Healing

Herbs for your first aid kit.

26 Everyday Remedies

Natural ways to treat hypertension.

28 Supplement Spotlight

Boost immunity with reishi mushrooms. Cover: Calendula.

A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com


@RemediesRecipes June 2020  

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from the editor ’s desk

A kind of harmony I’m writing this about six weeks into the shelter-in-place era. We have access to a wilderness area across the street from our home, so we get in a couple of hourlong walks most days and that has helped ensure our peace of mind. Neither I nor my wife is particularly musical. I took one piano lesson at age 6 and failed. Later, when I was about 11, an older brother gave me guitar lessons as a birthday present. The lessons reached great heights (of frustration) before fading out after a few weeks. My very even-tempered wife has one nagging regret: She never quite overcame her envy toward the young girl who played the tambourine in The Partridge Family TV series. She was the same age and absolutely certain that she would have made a far superior contribution to the band. Tonight, we finally had our musical moment: an at-home jam session with improvised instruments (pans make reasonable drums, and you actually can forge a decent rhythm by tapping a couple of spoons together). Our dog sat mesmerized as we fell into sync, creating a symphony of sorts and lifting our spirits after a day of Zoom meetings and other remote work. The past six weeks have also brought us weekly high tea, lots of time for leisure reading, forays into cookie baking, and new appreciation for flowers. I miss coffee shops and restaurants, spring sports, bakeries, movie theaters, and browsing in bookstores. But I’m patient, and I feel very, very lucky. Here’s to a healthful season, and to the light ahead of us.

Rich Wallace, editor

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editor Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service customerservice@tasteforlife.com Client Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Client Services Director—Advertising and Digital Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 603-831-1868 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Leanna Houle 800-677-8847 (x111) 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); ©2020 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. 4  remedies 

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ChildLife Essentials Core 4 ÂŽ

A Foundation for Children’s Health

Nutrition for Kids!

childlifenutrition.com |

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#moregood | @childlifeessentials 12/23/19 9:42 AM

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4/14/20 10:35 AM

meditation, yoga key to handling stress Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness can play important roles during stressful times such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A new report in the New England Journal of Medicine calls for increased use of such mind-body practices. The researchers emphasized the importance of incorporating stress-reducing practices into patient treatment plans. Lead author Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, wrote that stress increases anxiety and depression and plays a role in heart disease, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, and other conditions. “By reducing the body’s stress response, mindbody practices can be a powerful adjunct in medicine by helping to decrease patients’ symptoms and improving their quality of life,” Dr. Dossett added. “Mind-body medicine experts urge full integration of stress reduction into care and research,” University of California-Davis Health, 4/9/20

finding your purpose Reducing worry and mental distractions can improve both your memory and your outlook, according to experts at Massachusetts General Hospital. Among the physicians’ suggestions are these: n Have a clear purpose for what to do each day, week, month, year, and beyond. Write down your goals. n Turn anger or frustration into positive action. n Try meditation. Start with just a few minutes a day. “Spring cleaning your mind . . .,” Massachusetts General Hospital Mind, Mood & Memory, 4/20

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consider these immunity boosters Vitamins C and D and other nutritional supplements are a safe, low-cost means to help the immune system fight off acute respiratory tract diseases, according to researchers from Oregon State University. “The present situation with COVID-19 and the number of people dying from other respiratory infections make it clear that we are not doing enough,” said Adrian Gombart, PhD, of the university’s Linus Pauling Institute. “We strongly encourage public health officials to include nutritional strategies in their arsenal.” Specific vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids have key roles to play in helping the immune system, Dr. Gombart said. In particular, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish—docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)­—are critical for immune function. Dr. Gombart and his colleagues wrote that public health officials should issue a clear set of nutritional recommendations to complement messages about the role of hand washing and vaccinations in preventing the spread of infections. “Dietary supplements an important weapon for fighting off COVID-19,” Oregon State University, 4/23/20

vital supplements? Supplementing with vitamin D and fish oil has been associated with cancer prevention and heart health in a large ongoing study. The VITamin D and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL) began more than five years ago and includes more than 25,000 men and women. So far, the study has linked omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil to a significant reduction in heart attacks. Vitamin D appears to reduce cancer deaths among people who have been in the trial for at least two years. “The pattern of findings suggests a complex balance of benefits and risks for each intervention and points to the need for additional research to determine which individuals may be most likely to derive a net benefit from these supplements,” said lead author JoAnn Manson, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Vitamin D and fish oil show promise in prevention of cancer death and heart attacks,” North American Menopause Society, 9/24/19

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Formulated for women to help unwind from a stressful day, Relaxation CBD Gummies from Winged are infused with relaxation promoting nutrients including evening primrose oil, chamomile, lemon balm, and L-theanine.

With hemp CBD, camphor, and menthol, PlusCBD Roll-On from CV Sciences works hard, even on your toughest days—available in 200 milligram (mg) and extra strength 500 mg doses. www.PlusCBDoil.com


SourcePure CBD Cream from Source Naturals combines pure CBD with traditional botanicals such as arnica and calendula flower extracts, as well as organic lavender and clove oils.

Mushroom Wisdom Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), traditionally known as the “mushroom of immortality,” is considered a superior tonic for supporting overall health of body and mind.



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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sports nutrition + performance

plant protein delivers consider these powders

Americans are not shy when it comes to protein consumption—some of us consume twice the amount we need daily. Excess animal protein can have adverse health effects. One remedy for those looking to build muscle strength is to mix it up with plant-based protein powders. Consider these options.

Pea protein A great option for vegan athletes, pea protein is rich in amino acids like arginine and lysine that help build muscle and improve energy production. Pea protein is also free of the top eight food allergens (cow’s milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, and fish).

Soy protein Studies have shown that soy protein can be used as a sole protein source, equal to proteins of animal origins. Other research suggests that soy protein may help counter the effects of osteoporosis. It’s one of the most widely available plant proteins.

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Hemp protein A complete protein, hemp protein powder contains all of the essential amino acids that the body can’t make on its own. It’s also a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are often lacking in the typical American diet.

Brown rice protein Growing in popularity, brown rice powder is made by allowing the rice grain to germinate, resulting in an improved amino acid profile. Brown rice powder is a good source of the amino acid lysine, a precursor of carnitine, which the body uses to convert fatty acids into energy and to lower cholesterol. —remedies staff “Association of animal and plant protein intake with all-cause and cause-specific mortality” by M. Song et al., JAMA Intern Med, 10/16 l “Pea protein,” Northern Pulse Growers Association, www.NorthernPulse.com l “Soy diets might increase women’s bone strength,” University of Missouri-Columbia, 8/17/18

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12/16/19 4:07 PM

weight + fitness

can you lose weight with bone broth?

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5 ways this powerhouse of the soup family may help You may want to lose weight to look better, enjoy more energy, or get healthier by reducing your odds of developing obesity-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Whatever regimen you choose to lose weight, consider adding bone broth to your eating plan. Here are five ways bone broth can help you lose pounds:

1 Bone broth is rich, satisfying, and filling. Because it’s so low in carbohydrates, it’s low in calories, so “you can indulge in as much as you want,” according to Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND, the board-certified naturopathic physician who wrote Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet.

2 Bone broth fights chronic inflammation, which leads to weight gain. It helps break the cycle, thanks to its concentrated nutrients.

3 The high protein content of bone broth supports the calorie restrictions of weight-loss diets and may keep you from turning to unhelpful—and unhealthful—snacks.

4 Bone broth’s water content keeps you hydrated, says physician assistant Jessica DeLuise, MHS, founder of Eat Your Way to Wellness, a company that provides food and lifestyle-focused guidance and education. Hydration is key to any weight-loss plan.

5 Bone broth’s concentrated nutrients (collagen, minerals, protein) support digestive-tract healing, according to DeLuise. An unhealthy gut can be responsible for both digestive issues and weight gain. Whether you combine the use of bone broth with intermittent fasting, as in the Bone Broth Diet, or use it as part of another weight-loss plan, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider before embarking on your plan. —Nan Fornal “6 reasons to add bone broth to your diet for healthy aging & weight loss” by Kellyann Petrucci, www.MindBodyGreen.com, updated 3/19/20 l “Does the bone broth diet work for weight loss?” by Jill Schildhouse, www.rd.com l “What are the benefits of bone broth?” by Jon Johnson, www. MedicalNewsToday.com

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energy-zapping imbalances Sometimes being exhausted is simply a matter of spending more energy than you have available (yin and yang balance). If you have a mostly yin nature and your career requires mostly yang energy, you will get exhausted. It sounds like common sense—match your life to your nature—but is often overlooked and could be contributing to your lowered energy levels.

From Everyday Chinese Medicine © 2020 by Mindi K. Counts. Photographs © 2020 by Kristen Hatgi Sink. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.shambhala.com

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continued from page 15

If the preceding example sounds like you, finding ways to bring more yin energy to your job may be helpful. For example, if you are a yin-natured person working at a retail store, perhaps cashiering part-time and stocking the rest of the time to cut down on stress from working with customers might work. Or if you are cubicle-bound in a busy office, how about making sure you get a cubicle on the edge and not in the middle? Little changes like this might make all the difference to your energy at the end of the day. Sometimes we spent more energy than we had in the past and have never recouped our loss. A stressful childhood could require a lifetime of repair. Going through difficult times such as experiencing a death in the family, an illness, an accident— and even beautiful things like planning a wedding or having a baby—all require energy. If we aren’t equipped with energyrestoring practices and are living at the mercy of impossible twenty-first-century standards, we may have a one-way ticket to exhaustion. Many of us are wildly overstimulated and overwhelmed. We have more on our plates than we will ever get through, try as we might. This situation takes some serious brainstorming to resolve. Do you carve out and enjoy quality downtime? I’m not talking about watching TV; I mean taking baths, getting acupuncture and massages, reading books, and doing other yin activities. The point is you’ve got to make more energy than you’re spending, and you will notice that all of the dietary and lifestyle suggestions are all about this. Occasionally I have patients who simply don’t produce energy well. This often happens because their body is preoccupied by something, or because they aren’t getting the nutrients they need to support themselves. n Supporting energy-zapping imbalances with diet: Eat nourishing, seasonal, easy-to-digest foods (warm and cooked, nothing raw or cold). Focus on increasing your intake of healthy fats and anti-inflammatory foods; eliminate food additives, preservatives, and refined sugar. Drink lots of bone stocks that are rich in collagen. nL  ifestyle considerations for energy-zapping imbalances: Slow down. Build yin activities into your schedule every day. Gentle exercise such as walking, yin yoga, t’ai chi, stretching, and slow dancing are helpful. Assess your yin-yang balance. Grow your community around a hobby rather than career. n Additional testing to consider: Salivary cortisol, salivary hormone, neurotransmitters, food sensitivities, GI health panel, nutritional deficiencies.

HPA AXIS DYSFUNCTION (adrenal fatigue) Chinese Medicine interpretation: As with most patterns of imbalance, stress is a huge culprit here. We begin to spend more chi than we have to give. This leads to liver chi stagnation and spleen chi deficiency, and then the presenting patterns of adrenal fatigue begin. Special considerations: HPA axis dysfunction exists on a spectrum and may also be called adrenal exhaustion and adrenal dysfunction. There are typically four phases involved in HPA axis dysfunction with an increase in symptoms as the imbalance progresses. No matter the stage, an overhaul is in order, starting with reducing stress and increasing rest. Repairing from HPA axis dysfunction takes patience (a sixmonth minimum if you are in phase 1 or 2, eighteen months for phase 3 or 4). Phase 1: Symptoms are mild. There is intermittent tiredness and difficulty sleeping. Cortisol, adrenaline, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and insulin levels usually elevated. Phase 2: Symptoms progress. Wired-but-tired feeling during the day ends with crashing hard at night. All hormones maybe low except for cortisol. Phase 3: Symptoms get more intense. Exhaustion is prevalent, as are low libido and lowered immunity. Hormones (possibly including cortisol) drop significantly. Phase 4: Symptoms are across the board. You feel burned out and extremely tired and find it difficult to function. All hormones, including cortisol, are low. Symptoms: anxiety; asthma, allergies, or respiratory complaints; weakened immune system; dark circles under the eyes; salt cravings; dizziness; low tolerance for stress; cravings for caffeine and sugar; depression; extreme tiredness (especially in the morning and after exercise); insomnia (sometimes feeling wired at night); back and joint pain; low blood pressure; low blood sugar; low libido Chinese Medicine patterns: kidney yin deficiency; kidney yang deficiency Chinese herbs: ashwagandha, licorice, eleuthero, rhodiola, ginkgo Other herbs: chamomile, lavender, maca Nutritional supplements: probiotics, B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, EPA/DHA, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), tyrosine, bovine adrenal glandulars (for Phase 3 and 4) Acupressure points: kidney 3, 7, and 16; liver 3; large intestine 4; conception vessel 4 and 6. Mindi K. Counts, MA, LAc, is an integrative medical practitioner and Five-Element acupuncturist.

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Visit tasteforlife.com and download the Expert Advice information sheets below to learn different ways to boost your immunity.

Immune Defense

Immune Benefits

Boost Immunity

Immune Benefits of Mushroom Mycelium & Cultured Substrate Confirmed*

Immune Defense


Coronavirus: How to Boost Your Immune System & Protect Yourself

Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, has been working professionally as a herbalist for almost 40 years. He is trained in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbal traditions and is the president of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

Founder, owner and Director of Research of Fungi Perfecti LLC, Paul Stamets, D.Sc. has been recognized for decades as a leading innovator in the field of applied mycology, with a focus on revealing the health-supporting properties of mushrooms.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS (www.AnnLouise.com), is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 books, including Radical Metabolism, The Fat Flush Plan, and The Fast Track Detox Diet. She has appeared on Good Morning America, 20/20, The View, PBS, and CNN.

COVID-19 has caused the world to re-evaluate many aspects of healthcare. Completely ignored by the conventional medical world are herbal and nutritional approaches. Considering there are few therapeutic options available against this virus, Americans should take advantage of what the world of supplements has to offer.

Scientists demonstrate significant health benefits of Host Defense® mycelium & cultured rice.*

to understand the immune impact of organic brown rice

10 Simple Nutrients to Boost Your Immune System For Maximum Protection And Immunity

In 2017, Paul Stamets and his team at Fungi Perfecti, LLC

substrate after being cultured by Turkey Tail (Trametes versi-

(FP) partnered with Natural Immune Systems, Inc. (NIS) to

color) mushroom mycelium.

Nutritional Integrity If you do nothing else nutritionally, consider these superstars. Vitamin A: Helps maintain the health of the mucous membranes and cells of the respiratory system. Vitamin C: This vitamin is an essential factor in antiviral immune responses, especially against flu. It contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system and provides protection against pathogens. Vitamin D: Reduces the risk of flu. Schoolchildren and the elderly in nursing homes benefit the most from supplementation. Zinc: More than 50 years of research has provided evidence for an antiviral activity of zinc through numerous mechanisms and is especially important for the elderly.

especially for children, is too good to ignore. Astragalus root, and its key formula Astragalus Jade Wind Screen Powder, was key in preventing hospital workers from contracting the SARS virus, which is closely related to COVID-19. Andrographis and the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao San are first-response formulas to take as soon as you feel you’ve been exposed or feel symptoms coming on. Additionally, there have been more than 320 large-scale epidemics in China over the past 2,000 years, which has resulted in the development of many herbal treatment protocols available from professional Chinese medicine practitioners. Naturopathic physicians and integrated medicine physicians can also provide individualized herbal and nutritional recommendations.

Get more health information! Pick up a free copy of Taste for Life magazine, and go to www.tasteforlife.com for more articles on building immunity. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by healthcare professionals or product manufacturers. Information appearing in Taste for Life publications may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher. Printed in the US on partially recycled paper. © 2020


Botanical Superstars

mushroom ingredients. NIS Labs specializes in bio-relevant

produces a near-inseparable matrix of mycelium and enzy-

assays, integrating their laboratory and clinical facilities to

matically-converted material. Utilizing an expensive and

evaluate how natural products impact human physiology.

time-consuming laboratory process, researchers were able

Together, NIS Labs and FP are uncovering some remarkable

to separate pure Turkey Tail mycelium from the

truths about mushroom ingredients used in the supplement

cultured rice substrate. Testing verified both the mycelium and the cultured rice

industry. To check for activation of various immune factors, three

mycelium and the cultured rice substrate are active in

MyCommunity® capsules, Reishi mycelium capsules and

different ways, each conferring unique and complementary

Agarikon mycelium capsules.

immune benefits.* By contrast, the same immune assays were performed

Testing by NIS Labs confirmed that these three

on organic brown rice substrate that was not cultured by

mycelium-centered products: • increase innate immune cells for protection*

mushroom mycelium. With the plain, uncultured rice,

• activate white blood cells for immune strength*

no significant immune activity was detected. This data definitively demonstrates that cultured

• regulate immune cell compounds for a

tasteforlife.com/mycelium mycelium on organic brown rice is extraordinarily active

balanced immune response*

in supporting immunity.*

Fig. 1 Immune Activation: Turkey Tail Mycelium Cultured Rice vs Plain Rice

SELECTED SOURCES “Andrographis paniculata (chuan xin lian) symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children . . .” by XY Huo et al, , PLoS One, 11/14/18 n “Chinese herbal medicine for acute upper respiratory tract infections . . .” by Z.S. Huang et al., BioScience Trends, 5/12/19 n “The role of zinc in antiviral immunity” by S. Read et al., Advances in Nutrition, 4/22/19 n “SARS: Clinical trials on treatment using a combination of Traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine,” Report of the WHO International Expert Meeting to review and analyse clinical reports on combination treatment for SARS, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, World Health Organization, 10/03 n “Vitamin C and immune function” by A.C. and S. Maggini, Nutrients, 11/17 n “Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses through the production of Interferon-α/α at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection” by Y. Kim et al., Immune Network, 4/13 n “Vitamin D for influenza” by Gerry Schwalfenberg, Canadian Family Physician, 6/15 n “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections . . .” by A.R. Martineau et al., BMJ, 2/15/17




Plain Rice

TFL_0520_100_32.indd 23

substrate as immunologically active.* Furthermore, the

Host Defense® brand products were put to the test:

100 90 80

Activates White Blood Cells for Immune Strength*

Regulates Immune Cell Compounds for Balance*

Agarikon Mycelium Capsules

50 Mycelium Cultured Rice



Increases Innate Immune Cells for Protection*

Reishi Mycelium Capsules

60 40

Fig. 2 - Immune Activation Comparison Host Defense® Product MyCommunity® Capsules




As mushroom mycelium grows through brown rice, it

further clarify the immune-enhancing impacts of various

As with the key nutrients, botanicals can be used both for prevention and treatment. Elderberry juice has documented effectiveness against H1N1. Some have warned against use of elderberry, claiming it can worsen COVID-19 symptoms. There is virtually no good evidence to support this, and its safety and efficacy,


A separate research effort by FP and NIS Labs sought

Average % Change from Baseline - 5 Types of Immune Cells

Turkey Tail Mycelium & Cultured Rice Plain Rice *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

*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

With the fast, worldwide reach of the media, it seems like every year we hear about a new illness outbreak looming on the horizon. In 2001 it was anthrax, 2002 was West Nile virus, 2003 was SARS, and in the following years it’s been H1N1 influenza, Ebola, and Zika viruses, among others. And now in 2020, we have a new coronavirus. Fortunately, all viruses share the same fundamental weaknesses, and there’s so much we can do to safely, easily, and naturally exploit these weaknesses to boost our immune system and protect ourselves from getting sick. For instance, did you know the magnesium chloride that is commonly used even in hospital ICU departments to save lives can also help fight off a virus? It’s true, and magnesium chloride is readily available for home use as well, so you don’t have to get sick to have access to it. With a basic understanding of how common viruses spread, some simple common sense precautions, and nutrients to boost your immune system, you can help protect your family from this public health menace.

Common Sense Goes Viral

are immune-compromised, wear a mask.

10 Top Nutrients to Boost Your Immune System Viruses aren’t like bacteria, so you can’t simply take an antibiotic to get over them. Bacteria stick to the outside of your cells, while viruses inject themselves inside your cells, using your own cells as a layer of protection. This makes it difficult to develop medications that stop viruses without injuring our own cells. This is why we look to natural alternatives that help boost our immune systems so they fight off foreign invaders more quickly, and also help to strengthen cell membranes so the viruses can’t get in to begin with. Here are the 10 best immune support nutrients I’ve found: A Elderberry Syrup. Elderberry syrup has earned its reputation as a potent flu-fighter and works well to boost immunity for other viruses as well. Elderberry is an immune system modulator, increasing the production of cytokines to help the body regulate its response to infections and diseases. The best syrup is the one you make yourself by boiling fresh or organic dried berries and adding local honey to the strained liquid once it has cooled (to preserve the immune boosting enzymes found in the honey). If you choose store bought, make sure the syrup is organic with no artificial sweeteners. Aim for one tablespoon 3 to 6 times daily at the onset of symptoms. B Echinacea. Echinacea combined with elderberry is a dynamic duo. A Czech study of more than 400 people with early flu symptoms found it was more effective than a Tamiflu/placebo combination, with 90 percent of people experiencing symptom relief and shorter duration of the flu. This powerful combination also proved effective against avian influenza virus and other upper respiratory infections. Echinacea has an astringent effect on tissues, which decreases the ability of a virus to infect cells. It also increases the number of macrophages, the immune cells that kill bacteria and clean up dead viruses. Echinacea can be taken as often as every 4 hours in the first few days of infection as tincture, tea, or capsules.

tasteforlife.com/stay-strong The first thing you need to know about fighting off viruses is that the earlier you start, the better your interventions work. Don’t wait until you have a fever and cough, start at the first sign of a sniffle or that feeling that you might be coming down with something. When you have to go out in public during a viral illness outbreak (like flu season), make sure you understand how the virus is spread and take appropriate measures. Most viral illnesses that cause outbreaks are airborne. This means they spread through tiny droplets that come from coughs and sneezes, and can travel all the way across a crowded room through the air, landing on solid surfaces or being breathed in. Doorknobs, shopping carts, keypads at the checkout, chair arms, and even the items you touch while shopping can all have contaminated droplets on them. While you are out, take special care to not touch your face, and wash your hands regularly, or at least once you leave the store. If you


tasteforlife.com 4/6/20 5:01 PM

healthy glow

grooming tips for guys a little effort goes a long way

When it comes to self-care, men tend to be minimalists. That’s fine, because simple but effective personal care routines are best. Read on to learn how to feel and look healthier and younger without spending hours in the bathroom. Save your skin Every man has a distinct skin type. Yours will determine what type of products you use and how you use them. n Sensitive skin may burn or sting after product use. Look for products that say “mild” and “fragrance free.” Avoid products that simply say “unscented” because they may contain hidden fragrances that can cause irritation. nN  ormal skin is not sensitive and appears clear. While normal skin is relatively easy to care for, you’ll still want to choose a gentle, alcohol-free, non-abrasive cleanser.

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nD  ry skin is rough and may flake or itch. Use lukewarm water and your fingertips to apply a gentle cleanser. Apply moisturizer after cleansing. nO  ily skin appears shiny and feels greasy. Choose cleansers and moisturizers that say “non-comedogenic” or “oil free” because they’re designed not to clog your pores. n Combination skin has some areas that are dry and some that are oily. Regular bar soap can make dry skin worse, so choose a mild facial cleanser and be sure to apply an oil-free moisturizer daily.

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To shave or not to shave Removing or maintaining facial hair is a personal decision. If you choose to shave, you’ll want to do it the right way: n Shave after showering when hair is still soft. n Use a shaving cream or gel. If you have dry or sensitive skin, look for a product designed for your skin type. n Shave with the hair, not against it, to prevent irritation. n Rinse your razor after each swipe and change your blade often. n If you have a beard or want to grow one, you’ll need to do some basic maintenance to keep your facial hair looking its best: n Clean your beard with shampoo, not bar soap, several times a week, and apply a thick conditioner to keep the hair from getting wiry. nT  rim your beard, even if it’s long, to prevent split ends and a ragged appearance. Short beards can be clipped every few weeks; long beards need a trim every two months. nS  hape your beard with scissors and a comb to avoid clipping too much off at once. An electric trimmer works well to shape the edges of your beard.

Healthy hair Whether you’ve been blessed with a lot or a little, don’t overlook the importance of proper hair care to ensure that you look and feel your best.

nK  eep it clean. How often you need to shampoo your hair varies depending on your hair type and texture. If you have an oily scalp, very fine hair, or sweat a lot due to exercise or living in a humid climate, you’ll want to shampoo daily. For many men, washing every two to three days works well. n Deal with dandruff. If you’ve noticed skin flaking on your scalp, you may have dandruff. Mild cases—especially if you have an oily scalp—can be treated by washing daily with a gentle cleanser. Tea tree oil may also reduce dandruff and can be found as an ingredient in some shampoos.

A winning smile Tooth decay and gum disease are not only unattractive, but they also can lead to serious health problems. Be sure to practice good oral care every day. Here are the basic steps to follow: n Brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day. Brushing sweeps away plaque that produces decay-causing acids. Be sure to brush all the surfaces of your teeth—this should take two to three minutes.

nF  loss daily to get rid of the plaque between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Be sure to get between all teeth as well as behind your back teeth. n Consider rinsing daily with a natural mouthwash that uses antibiotic essential oils. This can help kill bacteria that can lead to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. —Kelli Ann Wilson “12 easy beard care tips” by R. Morgan Griffin, 3/24/15; “How often should you wash your hair?” by Jenna Birch; “Teeth and gum care,” www.WebMD.com l “Face washing 101”; “Hair removal: How to shave”; “Skin care tips for men,” American Academy of Dermatology, www.AAD.org l “Home remedies: Tips for dealing with dandruff,” www.MayoClinic.org, 3/13/19

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herbal healing

herbal first aid

Summer officially arrives this month, and that means many of us will be spending more time outside hiking, biking, swimming, and enjoying the warm weather. Outdoor adventures are fun, but they also increase the likelihood of cuts, bruises, and bug bites. Here are herbal remedies you’ll want to stock up on so you can deal with whatever discomforts come your way this summer. 20  remedies 

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Pain relief

Natural antihistamines

Arnica works great for aches and bruises and can be applied topically as a tincture, infused oil, liniment, or cream. Don’t apply it to broken skin, however. Comfrey, as a liniment or cream, works much like arnica for treating bumps and bruises. It’s especially helpful for sports-related injuries like jammed fingers and toes. Meadowsweet acts as an herbal aspirin and works well for acute pain, especially headaches. It can be taken internally as a tea or tincture and has a pleasant flavor. It should not be given to small children. Peppermint and wintergreen essential oils can ease headaches and muscle pain when used topically—always dilute in a carrier oil first.

Bromelain and quercetin are often used together to reduce histamine production and break down histamine that’s already circulating in the body. Goldenrod helps to tamp down seasonal allergies and works quickly. Nettle relieves seasonal allergy symptoms and reduces elevated histamine levels.

Cuts, scrapes, burns, and rashes Aloe vera gel is a fantastic allpurpose healing agent. It can soothe and repair a range of skin ailments including blisters, burns, insect bites and stings, rashes, and sunburn. Calendula promotes cell repair and can be used topically as a cream, ointment, or salve to treat burns, sores, and rashes. Calendula is also gentle enough for use on infants and children. Yarrow helps to disinfect wounds and slow bleeding. Mash the fresh leaves to make a poultice and apply to the wound. Dried yarrow powder can be mixed with water to make a paste and used in the same way as fresh leaves. Witch hazel can be applied topically to disinfect cuts and scrapes.

Digestive issues Ginger is known for its ability to calm nausea. It also helps to relieve bloating and gas pain. Fresh ginger works best, but for a first aid kit it might be better to have tea, tincture, or strong real ginger candy on hand. Peppermint tea heals the entire digestive system, offering relief from diarrhea, bloating, gas, indigestion, and nausea. Real peppermint candy or gum may be more portable.

Immune boosters Elderberry can be taken to fend off viruses as soon as you start to feel symptoms. Syrups, lozenges, teas, and tinctures are the most common methods of delivery. Elderberry is safe for kids. Raw, uncooked berries shouldn’t be eaten as they can cause digestive upset. Echinacea has a long history of use against bacterial infections, and more recently to help fight viruses like the flu. Tinctures made from all parts of the plant, including the roots, tend to be strongest. Echinacea can also be taken as a tea. —Kelli Ann Wilson

The Backyard Herbal Apothecary by Devon Young ($21.99, Page Street, 2019) l Body Into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey, 2016) l “How to build a homeopathic and herbal first aid kit for pets” by Deidre Grieves, www.PetMD.com l “On-the-go herbal first-aid kit for camping, hiking, or anywhere” by Christina Anthis, www.HerbalAcademy.com l Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar ($14.95, Storey, 2012)

June 2020  

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By Roy Upton RH, DipAyu

hemp and CBD: the basics clearing the confusion

Despite the fact that COVID-19 has dominated nearly every aspect of our recent lives, interest in CBD (cannabidiol) continues to be strong.

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Core CBD aficionados say they will use more and higher doses of CBD in the face of COVID, in part to “keep themselves sane” due to CBD’s claimed anti-anxiety effects. Some may reach for CBD because of a belief and research suggesting it has effects on the immune system (there is both positive and negative data), while others have stockpiled CBD in fear supplies will diminish. COVID aside, there is a considerable amount of confusion around hemp and CBD that is worthy of clarification.

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First and foremost, due to research on CBD, the hemp plant has made a shift from being a purely fiber and food (seed/ oil) plant to a medicinal. Most health food enthusiasts are intimately familiar with the plethora of hemp products on the market. However, CBD is relatively new. There is not a 100 percent consensus about the speciation of hemp “fiber types” versus marijuana “drug types.” There are arguments to be made that both are Cannabis sativa and that the species is characterized by a large degree of intraspecies differentiation. Others distinguish them as two primary species, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, and it can be argued that the two are varieties of the same species: Cannabis sativa variety sativa and Cannabis sativa variety indica. Intensive crossbreeding of fiber and drug types has blurred the line between absolute taxonomic differentiation, and many authorities differentiate them primarily by function—mainly fiber versus drug types. However, the recognition of the medicinal effects of CBD blurs that delineation further.

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Hemp, explained The fiber type commonly referred to as hemp is relatively low in the intoxicating delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is higher in CBD. Aggressive breeding over the past four decades has focused on producing higher concentrations of THC. On today’s market there are sources of CBD that are derived from the formal hemp strains as established by international law, as well as sources derived from crossbreeding of drug types to drive THC down to the federal standard of no more than 0.3 percent THC and higher amounts of CBD. There is no indication that either is better, except there is longer history of using the more true fiber types over the low-THC drug types. The European hemp types are accepted internationally. In the US, the FDA has clearly stated that CBD is not a legal ingredient for use in dietary supplements, but has mostly refrained from taking regulatory action against this huge category unless companies make outlandish therapeutic claims. Conversely, the Farm Bill passed into law in 2018 clearly created a legal foundation for hemp (defined as Cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC). Time will tell how the regulatory situation evolves.

Buyer beware There are many other issues of relevance to the CBD market. No consensus standard for quality or testing exists so it is buyer beware, though health food store clerks can often provide direction to products that work for others. Analysis of products over the years by FDA and others report that not all CBD products contain what they claim to contain, and some

have contained higher than the allowable 0.3 percent THC. Synthetic and semi-synthetic forms of CBD are available on the market, but may not be explicitly labeled as such. Some of those products claim the advantage of having no THC, while there is question of whether the synthetic is identical to naturally occurring. Other claims such as “full spectrum” similarly lack a clear definition, and many suppliers mistakenly refer to their oil products as tinctures. By definition, tinctures are hydroalcoholic extracts.

Some proven benefits Clearly, CBD offers some therapeutic benefits, predominantly for anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, and mild pain. Most dramatically, for some with childhood seizure disorders CBD is as close to a miracle drug as one can get, a use that in 2018 garnered FDA approval of the pure CBD anti-seizure medication Epidiolex. However, for others, CBD has been less than miraculous, and emerging science will help to identify what composition of cannabinoids and other compounds works best for whom, and when. Though there is evidence that a post-explosion correction in the CBD market is happening, there is no doubt the market will continue to evolve as new science and regulatory changes emerge. That will create new opportunities in the market and new therapeutic options for those in need. Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, has been working professionally as an herbalist for almost 40 years. He is trained in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbal traditions and is the president of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s

hypertension What is it? An excessive force of blood pumping against artery walls. It may lead to other health problems. What causes it? It may be linked to age, family history, excess weight, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, a high sodium diet, or stress.

Homeopathy: Argentum nitricum, Aurum metallicum, Calcarea carbonica, Lachesis, and Nux vomica.


Calcium, coenzyme Q10, vitamin D, green coffee extract, L-arginine, magnesium citrate, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Herbal therapy: Basil, cat’s claw, celery seed, cinnamon, cardamom, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, hawthorn, hibiscus, French lavender, reishi mushroom, and yarrow.


Maintain a healthy weight, reduce salt intake, exercise regularly, limit alcohol consumption, and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.


Follow the DASH diet (fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy); eat antioxidant foods including bell peppers, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, and squash; choose foods high in B vitamins like almonds, beans, and dark, leafy greens; opt for olive oil; avoid refined foods, red meat, and trans fats.

“10 herbs that may help lower high blood pressure,” www.Healthline.com, 1/30/18 l “DASH diet foods for high blood pressure,” www.WebMD.com, 3/28/19 l “High blood pressure (hypertension),” www.MayoClinic.org, 5/12/18 l “Treating high blood pressure” by Will Taylor, National Center for Homeopathy, www.HomeopathyCenter.org

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supplement spotlight

“The Mushroom of Immortality” Reishi offers strong immune support Reishi is perhaps the most highly revered medicinal throughout Chinese culture and has been for centuries. While commonly referred to as a mushroom, it is technically a polypore, a multipore fungus characterized by a fruiting body and pores or tubes on the underside.

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The Latin name that is typically assigned to this species is Ganoderma lucidum, which means “shiny Ganoderma” due to the varnish-like shine of the species. However, in reality, Ganoderma is part of a large complex of closely related species that historically were used similarly. There is also a lack of consensus regarding the most appropriate Latin name that should be applied, so different names may appear in the market. Reishi is the Japanese name of Ganoderma and was most popularized in North America.

Spirit plant The Chinese name for reishi is ling zhi, made up of the characters that originally depicted a shaman crying for rain, representing the magical or divine properties that were associated with ling zhi. Reishi has also been commonly referred to as the “mushroom of immortality,” “ten-thousand-year mushroom,” “mushroom of spiritual potency,” and “spirit plant.” Traditionally, red reishi was reported to treat chest tightness, tonify the heart, nourish the center, sharpen the wit, improve memory, and cultivate virtue. Images of reishi are prominently represented in many aspects of Chinese culture, including tapestries, ceramics, embroidery, statues, and paintings. In China and most of Asia, reishi is most known for its ability to preserve health and promote longevity. Its use was also prominently featured in Buddhist and Taoist traditions by monks and emperors seeking a calm mind and a long, disease-free life.

Adaptogenic power In more modern times, reishi has become most well known for its immune supportive actions, which are very broad, and its adaptogenic qualities. An adaptogen is a substance that helps us adapt to physical and psychological stresses and changes. The primary key to the survival of any biological substance is to adapt, and the biological actions of adaptogens fortify these adaptive processes. While not a treatment for acute infections such as flu in general or COVID specifically, the actions of reishi and other adaptogens are perfectly suited for our current world situation due to reishi’s ability to build immune resistance and ease stress and tension. The actions of reishi are so varied that entire books and treatises have been written on it. Reishi is used to promote most aspects of general health and additionally has some specific benefits. June 2020  

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continued from page 29

The Chinese name for reishi is ling zhi, made up of the that originally characters depicted a shaman crying for rain, representing the magical or divine properties that were associated with ling zhi.

Overall health boost Generally, reishi supports a healthy cardiovascular system (blood pressure, cholesterol), helps balance blood sugar levels, and promotes immune resistance through stimulation of various aspects of the immune system such as natural killer cell activity, interleukin response, promotion of red and white blood cells, and production of interferon. Tonics such as reishi are generally not used in acute illness, such as colds, flus, and infections. Rather, the actions of reishi are particularly suited to promote immune resistance and health. Another specific area where reishi is widely used clinically is as an adjunct with conventional cancer care. While there is very little clinical data regarding reishi, there is a tremendous amount of prelinical data (cell and animal studies) showing that it enhances immune function, counters some of the adverse effects associated with conventional cancer treatments, and, in some cases, enhances the efficacy of conventional treatments. Many consider immune potentiating mushrooms to be an integral part of cancer care. However, the primary use was as part of conscious lifestyle practices to cultivate and foster a long life as free of disease as possible.

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There are two primary forms of reishi on the market: those made from fruiting bodies (whole or extracts) and those prepared from the mycelium biomass. While I prefer fruiting body extracts, there is scientific data supporting the use of both.

Primary pharmacological actions of reishi n adaptogen n analgesic n anti-allergy n anti-inflammatory n antioxidant n antiviral (preventive) n expectorant n increases immune response n lowers blood pressure n lowers cholesterol n potentiates effects of

conventional cancer therapies n prevents bronchitis n protects liver from toxicity n supports healthy blood sugar levels n supports healthy heart n treats chronic cough —Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu

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