JU LY 2017
Reduce inďŹ‚ammation Keep bugs away Nutrients for skin, hair, and nails
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July 2017 vol.13 no. 7
24 14 here comes the sun feature
Enjoy the summer heat without getting burned.
departments 4 From the Editor’s Desk 7 Health Pulse
Pycnogenol may reduce cardiovascular risks • Running increases longevity • Resveratrol may boost metabolism • More
16 Supplement Spotlight
B complex vitamins are bursting with benefits.
19 The Goods 20 Healthy Glow
Essential oils for summer beauty.
22 Herbal Helpers
Keep bugs at bay without the harsh chemicals.
24 Sports Nutrition
Natural relief from pain and inflammation.
29 Everyday Remedies
Tips for treating itchy, swollen bug bites.
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, suggests ways to improve bone health.
Cover: Fresh mint.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes July 2017
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from the editor ’s desk
remedies for LIFE
Skin is in Summer’s in full swing, meaning trips to the beach, the parks, the mountains! More time in the sun! More exposure to burning rays and mosquitoes! Concerned? Sure. But don’t allow fear of the ravages of nature to keep you indoors. This month’s issue of remedies covers a range of topics to keep your skin healthy and clear. “Here Comes the Sun” (page 14) spotlights the importance of protecting your skin from powerful UV rays. Slathering on sunscreen is vital, of course, but we offer a number of other sun-care tips for preventing skin cancer. “Bugs, Begone” (page 22) focuses on the skin as your first line of defense against bug-borne illnesses. Read how lemon eucalyptus oil and other natural solutions can thwart mosquitoes and ticks, allowing you to avoid harsh (and potentially toxic) chemicals like DEET. And if you are bitten, “Everyday Remedies” (page 29) provides lifestyle and supplement tips for treating bites and stings. “Essential Beauty” (page 20) looks at how plant oils can be useful for skin conditions ranging from dryness to acne to wrinkles. We also delve into how essential oils can help keep your hair and nails looking their best. As always, we look internally as well. “Gut Check” (page 13) examines the benefits of pre- and probiotics for your health, while “Cool That Inflammation” (page 24) explores several supplements that have been shown to counter this underlying cause of pain and disease. Enjoy the beach.
Rich Wallace, guest editor
Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Managing Editor Donna Moxley Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service firstname.lastname@example.org Client Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Client Services Director—Advertising and Digital Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 978-255-2062 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) Retail Account Managers Kim Willard, Ola Lau 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); ©2017 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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5/16/17 8:34 AM
healthpulse supplement may normalize heart risks
Perimenopausal women who took a Pycnogenol supplement saw reductions in cardiovascular risk factors, according to a 2017 study. Hot ﬂashes and mood also improved. Participants were ages 40 to 50, with mildly elevated levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and fasting blood sugar. Thirty-ﬁve women received 100 milligrams of Pycnogenol (an extract of French maritime pine bark) daily for eight weeks, while 35 participants did not. Both groups were given instructions on a “best management plan for menopause,” according to the authors. That plan included getting eight hours of sleep, eating a balanced diet, reducing salt, and exercising daily. The Pycnogenol group saw improvements in nearly every cardiovascular risk factor, as well as a 41 percent reduction in hot ﬂashes. The other group saw much smaller improvements. “Normalization of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Peri-menopausal Women with Pycnogenol” by R. Luzzi et al., Minerva Ginecologica, 2/17
yoga eases menstrual discomfort Yoga practice reduced pain, brightened mood, and improved relaxation in a new review of studies examining yoga’s eﬀects on common menstrual disorders. All 15 studies included in the analysis reported beneﬁts. The research looked at amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and premenstrual syndrome, among other disorders. “Patients can take solace that the studies uniformly found value regardless of the intensity and type of yoga intervention,” said John Weeks, editor in chief of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which published the analysis. “Can Yoga Reduce Symptoms of Menstrual Disorders?” www. EurekAlert.org, 4/27/17
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resveratrol may aid metabolism
Resveratrol reduced some of the negative eﬀects of a high-fat, high-sugar diet in a recent study. Animals were fed a diet similar to typical Western fare for two years, including high amounts of saturated fat and reﬁned sugars. They also received 80 milligrams (mg) of resveratrol per day for the ﬁrst year and an increase to 480 mg per day for the second. Resveratrol helped improve energy metabolism, among other beneﬁts. The researchers reported that the supplement’s most signiﬁcant positive eﬀects “occur within a metabolically impaired state such as obesity and diabetes.” They also noted that resveratrol did not reverse all of the potentially harmful eﬀects of the Western diet. “Comparative Proteomic Analyses of the Parietal Lobe from Rhesus Monkeys Fed a High-Fat/Sugar Diet With and Without Resveratrol Supplementation . . .” by A.M. Swomley et al., Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 1/17
consider these BP reducers
Nearly 65 percent of older Americans have high blood pressure (BP), but many lifestyle changes can help bring the numbers down. Reducing high BP will curb your risk for stroke, heart attack, and dementia. Harvard Medical School staﬀ members recommend these steps to reduce BP: ■ Exercise more. Moderate-intensity activities like brisk walking are eﬀective if done for at least 150 minutes a week, while higher-intensity jogging may do the job in half that time. ■ Lose weight. Your heart and blood vessels work harder if you’re carrying extra pounds. ■ Cut down on salt. Aim for no more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. ■ Limit alcohol. One drink a day is usually OK. ■ Manage stress. ■ Don’t smoke. “Blood Pressure Creeping Up? How to Bring It Down Without Drugs,” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 4/17
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runners may live longer
Every hour spent running may add seven hours to your life. Even an average of ﬁve minutes per day of running seems to increase longevity. Following up on an earlier study, researchers from Iowa State University determined that by running two hours a week for 40 years, a runner would spend a total of less than six months on the run. That would increase the runner’s life expectancy by more than three years. Study author Duckchul Lee, PhD, told The New York Times that any life extension from running is probably capped at about three years. But he added that more running does not appear to be counterproductive. Walking, cycling, and other forms of exercise were also found to be beneﬁcial, but running won the race. “An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life” by Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times, 4/12/17
did you know?
Regular exercise appears to make a person less likely to die from a heart attack. Danish scientists tracked more than 14,000 people for nearly 40 years. Heart-attack patients who had exercised survived at much higher rates than those who hadn’t. “Exercise Associated with Improved Heart Attack Survival,” European Society of Cardiology, 4/12/17
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aloe vera shows diabetes promise Oral intake of aloe vera can oﬀer signiﬁcant beneﬁts to people with diabetes and prediabetes, based on an analysis of recent studies. Reductions were seen in fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c. The studies lasted from four to 14 weeks and utilized aloe vera juice, gel, capsules, or dried resin. The aloe vera plant contains about 75 active compounds, and no deﬁnitive conclusion was made about which compounds are responsible for the beneﬁts. The authors of the analysis recommended additional studies. “Re: Meta-analysis Suggests Aloe Vera Reduces Fasting Glucose in Patients with Diabetes” by Heather S. Oliff, PhD, HerbClip, http://cms/ HerbalGram.org, 4/14/17
Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are generally known for their contributions to eye health, signiﬁcantly improved symptoms of stress in a new study. Participants received 13 or 27 milligrams of the carotenoids per day, or a placebo, for 12 months. Improvements were seen in blood cortisol levels, stress ratings, mood, and measures of suboptimal health after six months. Those gains had been maintained or improved further at the end of the study period. The supplement also included meso-zeaxanthin, another macular carotenoid. The 59 participants were ages 18 to 25 and in good health overall.
Younger Americans have seen an alarming increase in colon and rectal cancers. People born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer compared to those born in 1950. A new study pins the blame on weight gain. “The increase in these rates coincides with the obesity epidemic,” said lead researcher Rebecca Siegel of the American Cancer Society. Children and teens today have high rates of obesity, which Siegel says might mean more cases of colon and rectal cancers in the future. She stressed that doctors need to be aware of these trends.
“Supplementation with Macular Carotenoids Reduces Psychological Stress, Serum Cortisol, and Sub-optimal Symptoms of Physical and Emotional Health in Young Adults” by N.T. Stringham et al., Nutr Neurosci, 2/17
“Colon Cancer on the Rise Among Gen Xers, Millennials,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2/28/17
carotenoids reduce stress
millennials see uptick in colon cancer
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the benefits of pro- and prebiotics Ready to swallow live bugs? This isn’t a college dare—it’s actually something that can provide health beneﬁts. The “live bugs” in question are probiotic bacteria that already live in your gut and contribute to your wellbeing. Consuming extra probiotics through live-culture foods or via supplements can help establish flourishing communities of these beneficial bacteria in your gut. Also helpful in supplement form are prebiotics: substances that provide food for probiotic bacteria.
Ease anxiety The term “gut feeling” might be more accurate than you think. The bacteria that reside in the digestive tract can affect your mental health regarding depression and anxiety. The potential mental health lift was tested in a group of likely-to-be-anxious people— those about to undergo surgery. After they received probiotics or placebos daily for two weeks, anxiety levels were lower in the probiotic group. The placebo group members clocked in at much higher anxiety levels as their surgeries approached.
Boost immunity The immune system is better at fighting infections (especially infectious diarrhea) when probiotics are part of the daily diet. The common cold and similar respiratory viruses also back off when faced with the power of probiotics. Immune function tends to dwindle as people age, yet prebiotic supplements (specifically galacto-oligosaccharides) have been shown to shore up immunity in older people.
Relieve IBS For some people, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is just a mild annoyance, but for others it verges on disabling since they must plan their lives around never being far from a bathroom. People with IBS gain at least some relief with regular inclusion of probiotics to help control the symptoms of crampy pain, bloating, gas, and alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Probiotic supplements are available as powder, capsules, tablets, chewables, and in liquid forms. You can supplement with probiotics, prebiotics, or both of them together (which might go by the name “synbiotics” on a label). —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH
“Effectiveness of Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome . . .” by T. Didari et al., World J Gastroenterol, 3/14/15 ● “Gut Emotions—Mechanisms of Action of Probiotics as Novel Therapeutic Targets for Depression and Anxiety Disorders” by A. Slyepchenko et al., CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets, 2014 ● “Influence of Galacto-oligosaccharide Mixture (B-GOS) on Gut Microbiota . . .” by J. Vulevic et al., Br J Nutr, 5/15 ● “Prebiotic Intake Reduces the Waking Cortisol Response . . .” by K. Schmidt et al., Psychopharmacology (Berl), 2015 ● “Probiotics for Preventing Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections” by Q. Hao et al., Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 9/15 ● “Probiotics Reduce Psychological Stress in Patients Before Laryngeal Cancer Surgery” by H. Yang et al., Asia Pac J Clin Oncol, 2/20/14
5/31/17 10:25 AM
By Kelli Ann Wilson
here comes the sun stay safe this summer
Indoor tanning is risky business The US Department of Health and the World Health Organization have declared tanning beds and sun lamps to be known carcinogens. Research suggests the chance of developing melanoma increases by as much as 75 percent for those who use tanning beds or sun lamps. This is especially true if regular use begins before age 30. 14
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Fun in the sun is what summer is all about, but those bright, sunny days have a dark side. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer. Despite Americans being knowledgeable about sun protection, the National Cancer Institute reports that rates of new melanoma cases in the US have tripled since the 1970s. Sunscreen offers protection from the sun’s harmful rays, but every major public health agency, including the FDA, has concluded that sunscreen alone doesn’t reduce the rate of skin cancer. So, what can we do to protect ourselves? Read on for the latest sun safety tips.
We know we cannot rely on sunscreen alone to protect us from developing skin cancer, but it’s still an important tool for protecting our skin. When choosing a sunscreen, consider these important factors. There are two types of UV light that cause skin damage: UVA and UVB. Look for a “broadspectrum” or “full-spectrum” sunscreen that offers protection from both types of UV rays. Sun protection factor, also known as SPF, tells us how well sunscreen works to protect our skin from UVB rays (there is no rating for UVA protection). It might seem that the higher the number, the better the protection, but it’s not quite that simple. A sunscreen with SPF 30 is slightly more effective than one with SPF 15, and the same is true as the numbers get bigger. Experts tend to discourage use of sunscreens with SPF 50+, as they offer only a small increase in UV protection but may fool us into thinking we can stay in the sun longer (which actually causes more damage). Be sure to apply sunscreen as directed, and reapply it frequently. “Water resistant” sunscreen means that the SPF is effective for up to 40 minutes, even while swimming or sweating, while “very water resistant” offers up to 80 minutes of protection.
Being aware that sunscreen has its shortcomings, we need to seek other ways to protect ourselves from damaging UV light. Limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), year round, even on overcast days. Cover up. Wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat offers fullbody protection. In the heat of summer this may seem like overkill, but covering up is the best defense against the sun’s rays. Avoid sunburns! There’s a strong link between melanoma risk and the number of sunburns a person has had. Childhood sunburns are the most dangerous, so make sure kids get the protection they need. Some research suggests that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of melanoma. Getting screened for a vitamin D deficiency will help you determine if you need to make dietary changes or start taking a supplement. Check your skin regularly for new moles, especially ones that are tender or seem to be getting larger. Tell your doctor if you notice any suspicious changes. “Best Sunscreen: Understand Sunscreen Options,” www.MayoClinic. org ● “Eight Little-Known Facts About Sunscreens”; “Skin Cancer on the Rise,” Environmental Working Group, www.EWG.org
Healing the burn Despite our best eﬀorts, sometimes we still get sunburned. Lavender essential oil may reduce inﬂammation and aid healing, while gels made from calendula, stinging nettle, and aloe vera can soothe tender skin.
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B vitamins this vitamin complex offers a host of benefits
Research shows that vitamins B6 and B12 can help regulate levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin B3 (niacin) plays a role in keeping our skin, nervous system, and digestive system healthy. B5 (pantothenic acid) and B12 are vital for growth and development. B9 assists our cells in making and maintaining our DNA. Studies also show that people with a lower level of B6 in their blood may be at a higher risk for certain types of cancer. A well-balanced diet that includes meat or seafood, dairy, leafy greens, and whole grains will provide the B vitamins. If you are anemic, vegan, or vegetarian, you may be at risk for deficiencies, which can cause tiredness, loss of appetite, and poor growth in children. Consider supplementation. “B Vitamins,” www.nlm.nih.gov ● “Vitamin B6”; “Vitamin B12,” Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, http://ods.od.nih.gov ● “Vitamin B12,” Linus Pauling Institute, http://lpi. OregonState.edu ● “Vitamin B12,” www.MayoClinic. com ● “Vitamin B Complex,” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org
RECOMMENDED DAILY DIETARY ALLOWANCE milligrams (mg); micrograms (mcg) VITAMIN
B5 (Pantothenic acid)
B9 (Folic acid)
1.3 mg 1.7 mg
For more speciﬁc recommendations for dietary allowances for different life stages and ages visit http://lpi.OregonState.edu.
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essential beauty oils for personal care
First comes the thin layer of sweat, beading up on the skin under a relentless sun. Next, the sunscreen, slathered and slippery and all-too shiny. Then, the ﬁnal layer, bug repellent, as if you weren’t yet sticky enough. Let’s face it: In the dog days of summer, it can be tricky to feel easy, breezy, and beautiful, but we can still try! So pull up a patch of shade with your iced tea and read on for some natural beauty tips meant to draw out your inner glow and turn up your brightest summer smile.
Skin remedies Dryness Even during the hot months, we can battle dry and scaly skin. To promote a soft and supple feel, evening primrose oil or borage oil may be good options. Both contain gamma linolenic acid (GLA), beneficial for the healthy growth of hair, skin, and nails. A more economical choice—which also contains GLA—is black currant oil. Like primrose and borage oils, it is rich in vitamin C and minerals, and can improve brittle nails and hair. Look for capsules, since black currant oil shouldn’t be applied topically, and be patient— you may not notice much change for six to eight weeks. Acne Whether it’s the occasional pesky red bump or a widespread outbreak, acne can be a resilient foe for teens and adults alike. Breakouts can happen because of hormonal changes, stress, or just because of unlucky genes. Aside from including antioxidant-rich foods such as fruit and veggies in your diet, you might try applying tea tree oil, which is an antiseptic and anti20
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consider this inflammatory agent. One study showed that after 12 weeks of treatment with products containing tea tree oil, users with mild to moderate acne averaged 50 percent fewer lesions. Apply tea tree oil as a spot treatment or combine with other ingredients—such as clay powders—to make soothing masks or exfoliating scrubs. Anti-aging Menopausal women are especially susceptible to the loss of skin elasticity. In one study, 60 women took argan oil as a dietary supplement and applied it as a topical cosmetic. Many of them experienced the anti-aging effect of improved skin firmness.
Hair help For fuller hair with more shine, consider using rosemary oil, which also may be useful in treating hair loss and combating itch. Castor oil has been used to thicken eyebrows and lashes (but be careful using this near the eyes). To fend off dandruff, first use a nondrying shampoo, and follow up by taking black currant oil capsules. And let’s not forget the guys. Beard-care products containing soybean oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and other essential oils can keep the skin underneath soft and the hair conditioned. Enough with the scruff!
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Nail strength A beauty look wouldn’t be complete without healthy nails. If yours are thin or brittle, try dabbing them with olive or avocado oil before going to bed. The fatty acids in those oils will give them a nourishing soak. Collagen supplements can also help strengthen skin, hair, and nails.
Smile booster One way to finish off a daily beauty routine is with a sunny smile and a healthy mouth. Try oil pulling therapy, a traditional Indian remedy believed to strengthen teeth and prevent gum disease. It can also heal cracked lips and fight bad breath. Recent studies found that flushing the mouth with sesame, coconut, or sunflower oil can also reduce plaque and gingivitis. As always, when shopping for products, buyer beware. Some oils, for example, may be synthetic instead of pure and therapeutic. Research ahead of time and check labels before purchasing. You can also consult with your healthcare practitioner regarding the best natural remedies for you. —Karen Lovett “8 Natural Skin Care Tips”; “Black Currant Oil”; “What Is Beard Oil?” www.DrWeil.com ● “The Beauty Benefits of Natural Oils,” www.WebMD.com ● “The Effect of Dietary and/or Cosmetic Argan Oil on Postmenopausal Skin Elasticity” by K.Q. Boucetta, Clin Interv Aging, 1/15 ● “Effect of Oil Pulling on Halitosis and Microorganisms Causing Halitosis: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial” by S. Asokan, J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent, 4-6/11 ● “Tea Tree Oil Gel for Mild to Moderate Acne: A 12 Week Uncontrolled, Open-Label Phase II Pilot Study” by H.K. Malhi et al, Australas J Dermatol, 3/16
6/8/17 10:34 AM
bugs, begone! natural insect repellents: what to look for
Dangerous mosquito- and tickborne diseases are becoming more prevalent in the US. That means people venturing into forests, ﬁelds, and, in some cases, even their own backyards have a lot to think about when it comes to keeping bugs at bay. The risk of exposure to toxins in DEET, picaridin, and permethrin— the active ingredients in many chemical insect repellents—must be weighed against the risks of contracting diseases like Lyme, Powassan, West Nile virus, and Zika. Still, slathering chemical repellents over yourself and your kids every day isn’t a good solution, especially when you’re not in a situation or location where you’re likely to be exposed to an infected insect. Your best bet is to be aware of your surroundings and the likelihood of encountering a disease-infected insect. If you’re tromping through the woods of the Northeast, you’ll need a repellent that’s effective against ticks. If you’re traveling to a place that’s experienced an outbreak of the Zika virus, you’ll want to weigh using a chemical insecticide versus a natural alternative.
Naturally effective solutions What works and what doesn’t when you’re opting for natural bug repellents? While various herbal ingredients have long been used in homemade and packaged insect repellents, the one that rises to the top in terms of effectiveness is lemon eucalyptus oil. Research rates it on par with DEET for repelling mosquitoes, and it’s shown promise against ticks. In fact, of the active ingredients found in insect repellent products that have Environmental Protection Agency approval, oil of lemon eucalyptus is the only plant-based one that’s on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended list. A couple of things to keep in mind: Products made with oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3, and even natural repellent should never be sprayed directly onto a child’s face.
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Preparations that have shown some effectiveness against insects include a commercial product with a 2 percent soybean oil base plus other ingredients, including glycerin, lecithin, and coconut and geranium oils. Citronella is as effective as DEET, but only for a short time as the active ingredients quickly evaporate. If you buy a citronella insect repellent, be sure it includes a fixative compound to slow the evaporation.
Other approaches You can multiply the effects of bug repellent by taking these additional steps to keep bugs away: ■
Dress smart: Long pants tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts tucked into pants will help keep ticks and mosquitoes from getting to your skin. Wear light colors, as mosquitoes are drawn to dark colors. Also, it is harder to see ticks against dark clothing. If you’ve been out in the woods, do a full-body check for ticks and shower within two hours. ■ Seek the breeze: Wind deters mosquitoes, so find a breezy spot for your picnic, or plug in a fan if you’re on your porch or patio.
■ Drain the swamp: Where there’s standing water, there are mosquitoes—they breed in it! If you’re planning a hike or camping expedition, avoid stagnant wetlands. Around your yard, dump out any rainwater that’s accumulated in buckets, flower pots, or plastic containers. Freshen birdbaths regularly. ■
Watch the clock (and the sun): Dawn and dusk are
prime time for mosquitoes, so arrange your yard work and outings for other times of day.
Keep in mind Always follow product directions, paying attention to how to apply repellent and when to reapply it. Products with natural active ingredients may need to be reapplied more frequently. These days, ticks and mosquitoes are a big concern—but if you stay informed and take appropriate precautions, they don’t need to keep you from enjoying the outdoors. —Jane Eklund “How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard” by Jessica Walliser, www.RodalesOrganicLife.com, 5/27/16 ● “Natural Mosquito Repellents”; “Safer Bug Spray: Natural Bug Repellents” by R. Morgan Griffin, www.WebMD.com ● “On Your Mind,” Consumer Reports On Health, 6/17 ● “Plantbased Insect Repellents: A Review of Their Efficacy, Development and Testing” by M.F. Maia and S.J. Moore, Malaria Journal, 3/15/11 ● “Prevent Mosquito Bites”; “Stop Ticks,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www. CDC.gov ● “Why Some People are Mosquito Magnets” by Cari Nierenberg, NBCNews.com
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cool that inﬂammation get relief without the harsh side effects
Inﬂammation is not only the underlying mechanism of pain—including achy muscles and swollen joints—but also a root cause of many other health concerns, including autoimmune diseases, infections, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. It’s a complex and multidimensional process designed to ensure the body’s survival, but when unchecked, it can severely diminish both quality of life and even lifespan. Think of inflammation as fire: A little bit, here and there where needed, is extremely useful. But if your backyard barbecue gets out of control and turns into a five-alarm fire, the damage can be devastating. Fortunately, there are many natural options to help you get excessive inflammation in check. In addition to making diet and lifestyle changes, consider herbs and dietary supplements. Here are some of the most effective and best researched:
Tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) prevents and
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata, B. carterii) resin, also
treats muscle pain and inflammation resulting from overexertion. In a recent double-blind study, an ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate consumed morning and night for four days prior to, and three days after, soccer trials significantly reduced inflammation, muscle soreness, and recovery time, compared with a placebo. Tart cherry squelches inflammation and oxidation to counteract the damage of overexertion, rivaling NSAIDs but without the side effects. It may also decrease inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, and studies suggest that it promotes healthy melatonin levels, resulting in better sleep, when taken twice daily. Read the ingredients label carefully to ensure you’re buying 100 percent tart cherry juice.
known as Indian frankincense, shows promise as a safer NSAID alternative. It excels at reducing chronic and acute pain, and it relieves symptoms related to inflammation-based diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, cluster headaches, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma. A review of clinical research found that boswellia reduces symptoms in 60 to 70 percent of people with those diseases. It inhibits the inflammatory compound 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). One study found it just as effective as an anti-inflammatory medication for osteoarthritis of the knee—requiring slightly longer to take effect but providing longer-lasting relief. Boswellia is usually taken in capsule form. It may cause mild stomach upset (so take it with food), but it is generally well tolerated.
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa), with
Omega 3s and ﬁsh oil have been used for musculoskeletal and disc
its key constituent, curcumin, fights along various inflammatory pathways, most notably by inhibiting Cox-2 and NF-kB. Long-term use can reduce the inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In a four-week study, 1,500 milligrams (mg) of turmeric extract daily worked just as well as 1,200 mg of ibuprofen, with fewer side effects. Try adding a half-teaspoon or more of turmeric powder to a favorite dish each day. Though generally safe, turmeric may aggravate heartburn and upset the stomach (but less than NSAIDs), and it may thin the blood.
diseases for some 300 years. They may be among the most potent of natural anti-inflammatories, increasing the body’s own anti-inflammatory agents while inhibiting inflammatory compounds such as 5-LOX, Cox-2, cytokines, and certain prostaglandins. Omega 3s help decrease inflammation in and degradation of cartilage in osteoarthritis. They work best when consumed daily, one-half to 5 grams of total EPA and DHA taken with food. Interestingly, in a two-year study of knee osteoarthritis, the low and high ends of this dosage range worked equally well. Fish oil easily goes rancid, negating its health benefits, so purchase a highquality brand and store it in the fridge. A strong fishy flavor or odor suggests rancidity. Note that fish oil may interact with blood thinners, so you may want to consult your healthcare practitioner. Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. She is the author of the book Body into Balance. Learn about herbs, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com.
Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) ● “Boswellic Acids and Their Role in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases” by H.P. Ammon, Adv Exp Med Biol, 2016 ● “Cherry Juice Targets Antioxidant Potential and Pain Relief” by K.S. Kuehl, Med Sprt Sci, 2012 ● “Efficacy and Safety of Curcuma domestica Extracts Compared with Ibuprofen in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis” by V. Kuptniratsaikul et al., Clin Interv Aging, 3/20/14 ● “Montmorency Cherry Juice Reduces Muscle Damage Caused by Intensive Strength Exercise” by J.L. Bowtell et al., Med Sci Sports Exerc, 8/11 ● “Natural Anti-inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief” by J.C. Maroon et al., Surg Neurol Int, 2010 ● “Open, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of Boswellia serrata Extract as Compared to Valdecoxib in Osteoarthritis of Knee” by S. Sontakke et al., Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 2007 ● “The Spice for Joint Inflammation: Anti-inflammatory Role of Curcumin in Treating Osteoarthritis” by K-Y Chin, Drug Des Devel Ther, 2016
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Vacation First Aid
Before you head off on a summer road trip, put together a ďŹ rst-aid kit. Visit the link below for a list of treatment essentials.
Remedies-and-Recipes.com/article/vacation-first-aid REM_0617_450_30.indd 1
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
bug bites What is it? Temporary discomfort and pain, including itching, redness, stinging, and minor swelling of the skin.
What causes it? A puncture wound caused by an insect, frequently accompanied by the injection of an irritating substance.
Lifestyle: Remove stinger, if present. Wash the area
Supplements: Omega 3s, quercetin, vitamin C.
Homeopathy: Apis melliﬁca, Hypericum, Ledum,
surrounding the bite with soap and water. Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth or a cold compress for several minutes to reduce pain and swelling.
Staphysagria, Urtica urens.
Herbal therapy: Aloe vera, basil, calendula, chamomile, cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, raw honey, tea tree oil.
“Bug Bites and Stings,” www.KidsHealth.org, 9/16 ● “How to Prevent and Treat Insect Bites Without Harsh Chemicals,” http://articles.Mercola.com, 7/22/13 ● “Insect Bites and Stings,” University of Maryland Medical Center, www.umm.edu, 2/4/16 ● “Insect Bites and Stings: First Aid,” www.MayoClinic.com, 2/20/15
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As people get into their 50s, they sometimes experience a loss of bone density (bone strength) as their estrogen or testosterone levels drop. This can also occur at an earlier age from drinking a lot of soda or alcohol. Sometimes young people with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia have issues with loss of bone density. The condition can be diagnosed using a simple and safe bone-scanning test called a DEXA scan. If mild, loss of bone density is called osteopenia, and if severe, it is called osteoporosis. These conditions can result in hip or spine fractures, which result in a loss of height and even a curvature/hump in the upper back.
Lifestyle tweaks Reduce the consumption of alcohol as it can wash the nutrients from your bones. Weight-bearing exercise increases bone density.
Recommended supplements Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board-certiﬁed internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Penguin Group/ Avery), which has sold over half a million copies.
The standard medical treatment for bone density loss is to use expensive medications such as Fosamax and other biphosphonates. It is reasonable to use these medications (usually for up to five years, after which they may cause more fractures than they prevent), but natural remedies are safer and more effective, even long term. As they are also cheaper, no one has paid to make sure your physician has seen the research on these natural therapies. Calcium is good to take, but is minimally effective (and dangerous) if taken by itself. It is much better to find a good bone health nutritional aid that includes other nutrients along with the calcium. Especially important are magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and boron (take the mix at bedtime). Strontium is best taken at a different time of day, such as in the morning, on an empty stomach. Strontium is especially critical for strong bones. It has been shown to be more effective than Fosamax, and much safer, in repeated, long-term, placebo-controlled studies. Take 340 to 680 milligrams a day (the higher dose is twice as effective as the lower).
Bioidentical hormones To learn more about how bioidentical hormones may help with osteoporosis, go to tasteforlife.com/blogs/cures-a-to-z/osteoporosis. “The Effects of Strontium on the Risk of Vertebral Fracture in Women with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis” by P.J. Meunier et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 1/29/04 ● “Strontium Ranelate: Dose-Dependent Effects on Established Postmenopausal Vertebral Osteoporosis—a Two-Year Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial” by P.J. Meunier et al., Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 5/02
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