JU LY 2020
An anti-aging plan Stay hydrated Heartburn relief
5/26/20 11:56 AM
5/12/20 1:22 PM
July 2020 vol. 16 no. 7
20 12 your antiaging plan feature
Key supplements may help slow down the clock.
4 From the Editor’s Desk 6 Health Pulse
Ease stress with aromatherapy • Tips for better sleep • Boost weight loss with green tea • More
10 New Frontiers
Some dogs may benefit from CBD.
16 Supplement Spotlight
Collagen may help fight the signs of aging.
18 Everyday Remedies
Natural ways to treat heartburn.
20 Herbal Healing
Learn about your body’s powerful endocannabinoid system.
23 Natural Medicine
AHCC—a mushroom extract— may enhance immunity.
24 Healthy Glow
Essential oils for hair and skin.
Discover ways to support your nervous system.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com
@RemediesRecipes July 2020
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from the editor ’s desk
I’m just sayin’ A few days ago, five baby red squirrels emerged from their nest and acrobatically leaped from tree to tree in our yard. We’ve upped our daily walking to six miles, mostly on a wooded dirt path along the river in a wildlife preservation area at the edge of the nearby college. We’re seeing snapping turtles and beavers, ducks and geese. Few people. Last evening a gorgeous red fox walked across the path about 40 yards in front of us. Maybe I’m just more attuned to wildlife in these strange days, but I am definitely seeing more bees this year. And butterflies. I know for certain that the frogs and salamanders are poised for a huge summer. The New York Times reports that—because vehicular traffic has been reduced—half as many as usual were squashed this spring while crossing roads to the vernal pools where they breed. Our local press is reporting similarly good amphibian news. Skies in highly polluted cities like Los Angeles, Beijing, and Delhi have been clearer than they’ve been in decades. Humans have been pretty effective at screwing up the planet, but, given a chance, nature is very resilient. I have little doubt that getting our lives back to “normal” will not be a good thing for newts and herons and rabbits. But there may a lesson in this respite. I’m just sayin’.
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 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) 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.
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SELECTED SOURCES “Field reports from the 2020 amphibian migration,” Harris Center for Conservation Education, www.HarrisCenter.org l “India savors a rare upside to coronavirus: Clean air” by Jeffrey Gettleman, 5/19/20; “With the world on pause, salamanders own the road” by Brandon Keim, 5/18/20, www.NYTimes.com l “Public urged to sit out Keene salamander crossings” by Sierra Hubbard, Keene Sentinel, 3/30/20
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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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aromatherapy may ease stress A new study found that nurses who wore aromatherapy patches felt less stress and fatigue during work hours. Nursing is a stressful profession, and the COVID-19 epidemic has only increased the pressures. Nineteen nurses at the West Virginia University Cancer Institute experimented with the patches over an eight-week stretch. The patches were infused with a citrusy blend of essential oils: lemon, orange, mandarin, pink grapefruit, lemongrass, lime, and peppermint. The researchers suggest that aromatherapy might make people outside of healthcare settings feel better too. “After all, a patch on an employment badge isn’t the only way to use essential oils. Someone can plug in an essential oil diffuser or simply add a drop of pure lavender essential oil to a teaspoon of lotion.” SELECTED SOURCES “West Virginia University oncology nurses don aromatherapy patches: A pilot feasibility study” by M. Reven et al., International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy, Spring 2020 l “Aromatherapy may reduce nurses’ stress, WVU researcher suggests,” West Virginia University, 5/1//20
better sleep Experts at the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center offer these tips for getting a good night’s sleep: n Keep your bedroom cool. n Avoid bright lights (especially from electronic devices). n Allow three hours between exercise and bedtime. n Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid; try an herbal tea instead. SOURCE “Tips to fall asleep naturally,” Healthy Years, UCLA Health
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stay active for mental health Increasing your level of physical activity can make you less prone to episodes of depression, according to a recent study. The findings held true even for people with a high genetic risk for the disorder. “On average, about 35 additional minutes of physical activity each day may help people to reduce their risk and protect against future depression episodes,” said lead author Karmel Choi, PhD. Higher-intensity activities—such as dance and using exercise machines—and lower-intensity forms such as yoga and stretching were all beneficial. SOURCE “Physical activity may protect against new episodes of depression,” Massachusetts General Hospital, 11/5/19
green tea aids weight loss Making a switch to green tea might help you lose weight. Researchers looked at the results of 26 studies and found significant reductions in weight and body mass in participants who consumed green tea daily for more than 12 weeks. (It tastes good too!) SOURCE “Green tea may help with weight loss efforts,” www.EurekAlert. org, 5/6/20
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sports nutrition + performance
healthy hydration A key part of summer workouts
Water and electrolytes play an important role in athletic performance. When in proper balance, the water and electrolytes in your body ensure that your heart, muscles, and nerves are working the way they should so you can perform at your peak capacity. As the summer season heats up, be mindful of your body’s water and electrolyte balance, especially when playing sports or exercising outdoors. Drink up! About 60 percent of your body weight is water. It’s in every cell, organ, and tissue of the body. It helps to flush waste, regulate your temperature, and keep your joints working smoothly. Even very mild dehydration can cause symptoms like fatigue, which will blunt your performance. You’ve probably heard that drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the perfect formula for proper hydration. Experts recommend that men take in about 15.5 cups of fluid per day, while women need about 11.5 cups. Since up to 20 percent of your daily fluid intake comes from the foods you eat, if you aim for those eight glasses of water you’ll be well on your way to making up the other 80 percent. It’s a good idea to hydrate before working out or spending time in the sun. Otherwise, you’ll put extra stress on your body and increase your risk of becoming dehydrated.
Mighty minerals “Electrolytes” is the scientific term for the minerals in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electrical charge. The most common electrolytes are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Electrolytes are especially important for heart function because they facilitate the electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract and relax at a normal rate. In extreme cases, electrolyte imbalances can lead to arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats.
Refresh and replenish Sweating can deplete water and electrolytes quickly. The three main electrolytes lost through sweating are magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Even if you’re not sweating a lot during a workout, you can still lose electrolytes from breathing rapidly. If you’re very active, especially in the warmer months, consider replacing one 8-ounce serving of water per day with an oral rehydration product that contains electrolytes. —Kelli Ann Wilson SELECTED SOURCES “Electrolytes,” 11/20/17; “Fluid and electrolyte balance,” www.MedlinePlus.gov l “Essential electrolytes,” Rush University Medical Center, www.Rush.edu l “Quick facts about body water,” www.MerckManuals.com, 7/18
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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 for dogs? Ease into it Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD might be a safe and effective treatment for dogs, but there’s been very little in the way of scientific studies to back that up. As with all medications and supplements, your pet’s veterinarian should be consulted. Recommended doses vary widely, as do the potency of various CBD products. The dog’s weight, age, overall health, and activity level are some of the factors that must be included in any decision to start a regimen of CBD. That said, CBD has been reported to relieve pain in some dogs, and to help control seizures. Those benefits have been more clearly demonstrated in humans, but a 2020 study has added weight to the positive effects of CBD for easing osteoarthritis pain in dogs. Results of the four-week study were published in the journal Pain.
AKC cites CBD Jerry Klein, DVM, the chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, recently cited CBD’s use for cardiac benefits, anxiety control, and treatment of inflammation. A new report from CanineJournal.com provides sensible guidance on dosage: “The best advice we can give you is to start small and then ease into the manufacturer’s dosing guidelines for their specific products. Companies that formulate their own highquality CBD typically give you very detailed instructions on how to dose their various products.” SELECTED SOURCES “CBD dosage for dogs: Clearing up the confusion” by Sally Jones, www.CanineJournal.com, 5/4/20 l “CBD oil for dogs: What you need to know” by Randa Kriss, www.AKC.org, 10/27/19 l “Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs” by L. Gamble et al., Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7/18 l “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain” by C.D. Verrico et al., Pain, 4/24/20
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By Kelly Milner Halls
your anti-aging plan supplements can help
Growing older brings experience and wisdom we can all appreciate. But it also can wreak havoc with our bodies and our skin. Nothing can roll back the clock entirely, but a few nutritional supplements may help slow it down. Curcumin
Turmeric is best known as the spice that gives Indian curry its golden hue. But India has long valued it as a medicinal herb too. Curcumin, an active element in turmeric, works wonders as an anti-inflammatory agent rich in antioxidants. According to nutrition expert Kris Gunnars, curcumin has additional benefits: “Curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF,” a growth hormone that declines as we age. Boosting BDNF may reverse age-related brain disease and improve memory. Because turmeric is only 3 percent curcumin, a supplement—500 to 1,000 milligrams per day—is a better way to deliver the active ingredient. But the body does not absorb curcumin efficiently on its own. Be sure your supplement includes piperine. Drawn from black pepper, piperine significantly improves absorption.
For decades, collagen has been touted for boosting the elasticity of skin and the overall health of hair. But it also may reinforce the body’s connective tissues including tendons, ligaments, and muscle. How much of the supplement you use matters. “Perhaps the biggest reason why people fail to see results with collagen is because they aren’t using the proper dose,” said Chad Walding, DPT, a wellness expert and cofounder of NativePath. Natural collagen levels abundant in youth diminish as we age, so older people will need a larger dose to benefit. People younger than 40 should take 5 to 10 grams of collagen per day, according to Walding, but older people should double that dosage. Some see results after eight weeks of use, but Walding believes most people will need 12 weeks to realize success. New York dermatologist Michele Green, MD, suggests an old standby—vitamins. She encourages a back-tobasics approach to battling age. “Weight gain and a lack of exercise can have an effect on overall health,” she says. “Lack of sleep, stress, and hormonal changes can also impact your health.” Consider a mindful approach to nutrition and exercise to retain youthful vigor—and moderate your consumption of alcohol.
Green tea Thanks to high concentrations of EGCG—epigallocatechin gallate—green tea is much more than a drink. It’s believed to reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It also slows aging by removing damaged cellular material. Green tea may also help the body manage blood sugar, fortify the heart, and delay the onset of wrinkles. 12 remedies
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continued from page 12
Add to your anti-aging arsenal Looking for other options when it comes to supplements to roll back time? Here are four more. • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) boosts energy and helps neutralize harmful free-radical elements. • Rhodiola enhances brain function and metabolism and eases anxiety and depression.
• Garlic aids immunity, heart heath, and brain function and works as a prebiotic in the gut. • Resveratrol promotes weight loss and the oxygenation of muscle tissue.
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Kelly Milner Halls has been a full-time freelance writer for the past 30 years. At 62, she knows a thing or two about aging with grace. Just ask her grown daughters, Kerry and Vanessa. You can ask Abbey, her elderly Great Dane too, but she’s not likely to answer. For more about Kelly’s work, visit www.wondersofweird.com.
Saffron may aid weight loss Supplements for weight loss have evolved for the better, and saffron supplements offer a case in point. Drawn from the flower of Crocus sativus, saffron doesn’t stimulate the shedding of pounds: It quiets the cravings that sabotage many diets. Saffron “offers a special route to weight loss support—by enhancing the neurotransmitter serotonin and reducing the desire to snack between meals,” PLT Health vice president Steve Frink told Nutritional Outlook. In one double-blind study, people given the supplement twice daily lost more weight than those given a placebo. They credited the loss of cravings for their success.
SELECTED SOURCES “7 health benefits of garlic, according to a nutritionist” by Cynthia Sass, www.Health.com, 2/25/20 l “10 proven health benefits of turmeric” by Kris Gunnars, www.Healthline.com, 7/13/18 l “Benefits of Rhodiola rosea . . . ,” www.Lybrate.com, 10/6/17 l “Can resveratrol actually help you lose weight?” by Richard Laliberte, www.Shape.com, 4/7/20 l “CoQ10: Dosage, benefits and side effects” by Jamie Eske, www.MedicalNewsToday.com, 12/4/19 l “Health benefits of saffron: Pinch of saffron can improve your health” by Nibedita Roy, www.TimesofIndia.com, 5/11/20 l “How much collagen you really need . . .” by Chad Walding, www.NativePath.com, 2019 l Personal communication: Michele Green, 5/5/20
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save your skin collagen supplements can help to restore a youthful glow Our bodies make an abundant amount of collagen, a protein that binds connective tissue and helps keep skin firm. More than a dozen types of collagen do different things in the body. Types I and III contribute to skin’s elasticity and brightness. Starting in our mid-20s, our bodies begin to produce less collagen, with levels decreasing about 1 percent each year. Over time, this leads to a dull, dry complexion, thinner skin, and wrinkles. Look for the terms “hydrolyzed collagen” or “collagen hydrolysate” when purchasing a collagen product. In this form, collagen is broken down into peptides, which offers enhanced bioavailability and absorption by the body. It also allows the collagen to be mixed more easily in hot and cold beverages. Studies have shown that supplementation with bioactive collagen peptides improves skin elasticity and hydration, and reduces wrinkles. n In one study, women ages 35 to 55 who took a daily dose of 2.5 grams of collagen peptide supplements for eight weeks experienced increased skin elasticity and volume, leading to a 10 to 20 percent improvement in wrinkles. 16 remedies
n In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of women ages 45 to 65, those who took 2.5 grams of collagen peptides daily reduced crow’s feet by about 7 percent in four weeks. After eight weeks of supplementation, wrinkles were reduced 20 percent. n One three-month study followed 40 women ages 40 to 50 who took 9 grams of hydrolyzed collagen daily for three months. The supplementation increased moisture retention and skin density. Skin elasticity around the mouth and nose improved, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. —remedies staff SELECTED SOURCES “Collagen supplements review,” www.ConsumerLab.com, 11/20/19 l “Oral collagen supplementation: A systemic review of dermatological applications” by F.D. Chol et al., Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 1/1/19 l “Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails” by D. Hexsel et al., 12/17; “Topical application and oral supplementation of peptides in the improvement of skin viscoelasticity and density” by M. Campos et al., Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 3/4/19
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Plant-based collagen builders Collagen supplements are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans because they are derived from animal ingredients. But plant-based products may boost the body’s natural production of collagen. Two key ingredients show promise in preliminary research. Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis) is a traditional food and medicine from India. Studies have shown that amla fruit extract is effective at fighting UVB-induced photoaging in human skin. Ceramides are naturally occurring in human skin but tend to decrease as we age. One study
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found that supplementing with glucosylceramides for 60 days resulted in significantly increased skin elasticity, hydration, and smoothness. Participants also experienced a decrease in roughness and wrinkles. SELECTED SOURCES “How plant-based brands are riding on collagen’s momentum, without the collagen” by Adi Menayang, www. NutraIngredients-USA.com, 12/19/19 l “Effect of Emblica officinals (fruit) against UVB-induced photo-aging in human skin fibroblasts” by M.D. Adil et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 10/28/10 l “Improving skin hydration and age-related symptoms by oral administration of wheat glucosylceramides and digalactosyl diglycerides: A human clinical study” by V. Bizot et al., Cosmetics, 6/13/17
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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s
heartburn What is it? That burning pain behind the breastbone, often accompanied by a bitter or sour taste. It usually develops after eating—especially overeating or indulging in certain foods. What causes it? Stomach contents back up into the esophagus. Triggers include spicy foods, citrus fruits, onions, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, tomatoes, and fatty foods. Going to bed with a full stomach is another risk factor.
Lifestyle: Eat slowly; maintain a healthy weight;
de-stress with gentle exercise instead of alcohol or tobacco; drink herbal teas; avoid tight-fitting clothing.
Diet: Choose low-acid fruits and vegetables such as
Homeopathy: Nux vomica is a go-to homeopathic
Herbal therapy: Chamomile is effective for
Supplements: Plant-based enzymes are effective
broccoli, asparagus, celery, bananas, and melons; wholegrain foods including breads, oatmeal, brown rice, and couscous; lean poultry and meats (not fried); potatoes and other root vegetables; and grilled, poached, or baked fish.
soothing the digestive tract; try it in tea or a tincture. Also consider devil’s claw and gentian root.
treatment for digestive disorders, including heartburn. Arsenicum album, Phosphorus, and Pulsatilla may also ease heartburn pain.
for heartburn, according to integrative medicine expert Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. He also recommends sea buckthorn oil and herbal licorice.
SELECTED SOURCES “Foods that fight heartburn” by R. Morgan Griffin; “Lifestyle changes to manage heartburn, www.WebMD.com l “Heartburn,” www.MayoClinic.org, 4/17/20 l “Heartburn symptoms,” http://my.ClevelandClinic.org, 1/22/20
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working with your
endocannabinoid system a pathway to relief
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When the US government funded a cannabis study at the St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1988, it was hoping to document the dangers of using the schedule 1 narcotic. The plant was thought to be on a par with cocaine and heroin. SLU researchers Allyn Howlett, PhD, and William Devane, PhD, confirmed that naturally occurring receptors in mammalian bodies were impacted by compounds in cannabis. They named them cannabinoid receptors and proved they were the most abundant neurotransmitter receptors in the human brain. Dr. Devane carried the research forward in 1992 with Lumir Hanus, PhD, DSc, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. They cracked the code on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the impact of cannabis. What they discovered was not dangerous. In fact, it was a possible pathway to relief.
Head to toe According to Katie Stem, the CEO of Peak Extracts, a cannabis production facility in Portland, OR, “The system consists of two main receptor types: CB1 and CB2. [They] elicit effects on the entire nervous system, from your brain to your fingertips,” she said in High Times. Paul Song, MD, chief medical officer at Peak, confirmed that the highest concentrations of CB1 receptors are found in the brain, while most CB2 receptors are components of the nervous system. “But both CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the body,” he said. THC, the chemical component of cannabis that creates a “high,” binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, impacting the body and the brain. Cannabidiol (CBD)—a nonpsychoactive substance—binds with receptors without producing a high.
Widespread impact Experts believe the endocannabinoid system controls pain, appetite, memory, immunity, anxiety, sexuality, and other key components of the human body, via those receptors. By harnessing the positive aspects of the cannabis plant, the receptors could be amplified or quieted to address chronic medical issues.
Cannabinoids are found in other plants too including clove, black pepper, echinacea, broccoli, ginseng, and carrots. Consuming carrots and black pepper won’t produce a high, but their cannabinoids do offer physical benefits. Like all bodily functions, the ECS requires nourishment for full efficiency. Cannabinoids of all kinds provide that fuel.
An individual approach What does your body’s ECS require? The answer may be as unique as you are, according to Ethan Russo, MD, author of “The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Cannabis (Frontiers in Plant Science, 1/19). “We hear a lot these days about individualized medicine,” Dr. Russo told Cannabis Business Times. “That would be the idea that we can’t always use a one-size-fits-all approach. That is particularly true in relation to the ECS.” Genetics may be key to identifying and delivering the right cannabinoids for each individual. To explore that potential, Dr. Russo has joined forces with Endocanna Health. Using tests similar to those developed by 23andMe, Endocanna hopes to isolate cannabinoids that address medical issues like sleep deprivation and chronic pain linked to the ECS. “It’s apparent that different people need different things. With cannabis-based medicine, we can’t guess in advance what someone’s dose is,” Dr. Russo said. Genomic testing may help experts like Dr. Russo target individualized treatments that will heighten the benefits and steer clear of negative side effects. —Kelly Milner Halls SELECTED SOURCES “Beyond cannabis: Plants and the endocannabinoid system” by E.B. Russo, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, www. ScienceDirect.com, 5/11/16 l “Dr. Ethan Russo joins Endocanna Health’s science board to advance ‘individualized medicine’ research” by Eric Sandy, www.CannabisBusinessTimes.com, 4/15/20 l “How the endocannabinoid system was discovered: Cannabis sciences” by Melissa Moore, www.LabRoots.com, 4/5/18 l “Plants as medicine: Are cannabinoids the next breakthrough in plant medicine?” by Brend Bauer, www.Thorne.com, 5/21/18
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mushroom extract shows promise for immunity AHCC boosts protective cells
For two decades, the mushroom extract AHCC has been the subject of studies at major institutions including Harvard Medical School and the Yale University School of Medicine. AHCC stands for active hexose correlated compound. It’s an extract of hybridized shiitake mushroom mycelia (root system). AHCC’s oligosaccharides are linked to immunomodulatory effects. In both human and animal studies, AHCC has been shown to activate and enhance immune cells, including white blood cells called NK (natural killer) cells and NKT (natural killer T) cells. These cells are part of the body’s innate defense mechanism, which immediately launches attacks against viral threats. Enhanced NK cell response has also been linked to the ability to clear infections more quickly.
Going viral AHCC has been shown to have protective effects against some infectious diseases, including H1N1 influenza (swine flu), H5N1 avian (bird) flu, and West Nile virus. In one study, mice supplemented with AHCC showed increased survival against H1N1. The mice were able to main-
tain body weight as opposed to controls, which indicates less severe infections. AHCC enhanced NK cell activity in the lungs and shortened recovery time. In a 2009 study, mice were infected with what should have been a lethal dose of West Nile virus. One group received AHCC at various intervals before and after being infected. The survival rate of mice treated with AHCC was more than twice that of the controls. AHCC also increased the number of antibodies to that virus in the blood. In another study, mice were infected with the flu virus after receiving the H5N1 vaccine. Eighty percent of the vaccinated mice survived; 100 percent of the mice that also received AHCC lived. In another study, mice were infected with 100 times the 50 percent lethal dose of the avian flu. All the control mice that did not receive AHCC died within 12 days. Thirty percent of the group given AHCC before infection were alive at 28 days.
Flu protection In a human study, people received the seasonal flu vaccine. Some of the group also received 3 grams of AHCC daily for several weeks. Blood samples showed that those who received AHCC in addition to the vaccine showed significantly improved numbers of NK cells and T cells. The increase in cells was most notable in people over 60. —Lynn Tryba
SELECTED SOURCES “Oral administration of active hexose correlated compound enhances host resistance to West Nile encephalitis in mice” by S. Wang et al., 3/09; “Supplementation with active hexose correlated compound increases the innate immune response of young mice to primary influenza infection” by B.W. Ritz et al., Journal of Nutrition, 11/06 l “Short-term supplementation with active hexose correlated compound improves the antibody response to influenza B vaccine” by B.E. Roman et al., Nutrition Research, 1/13 l “What is AHCC?” AHCC Research Association, www.ahccresearch.org
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summer beauty essential oils to the rescue! Between relentless sun, blazing heat, and chlorinated pools, summer takes a toll on our looks. You may be familiar with the soothing benefits of aromatherapy, but did you know that essential oils are as good at nourishing your hair and skin as they are at soothing your soul?
A word about carrier oils Essential oils are very concentrated, and 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 made 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. Good choices for carrier oils for hair include coconut, jojoba, and olive oils.
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Help for stressed hair Not only do essential oils like sandalwood, rose, and patchouli smell great, but they also help protect strands. Mix a few drops with your favorite carrier oil and massage into hair tips after washing to prevent split ends. If you’re looking to ditch the dandruff, essential oils like lavender, bergamot, clary sage, cypress, geranium, juniper, lemon, and ylang-ylang may do the trick. Try mixing a few drops of your favorite scent with a carrier oil and massage it into the scalp, or blend it with an unscented natural shampoo. If you want to reduce oiliness, choose lemongrass, peppermint, or ylang-ylang. Lavender and rosemary oils may stimulate hair growth.
Skin-saving scents Even during the hot months, we can battle dry and scaly skin. To promote the soft and supple feel, evening primrose oil and borage oil are 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 oil, it’s rich in vitamin C and minerals, and can improve brittle nails and hair. 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. Consider applying tea tree oil, which is an antiseptic and anti-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. —remedies Staff SELECTED SOURCES “8 natural skin care tips”; “Black currant oil,” www.DrWeil.com l “The beauty benefits of natural oils”; “Dandruff—topic overview,” www.WebMD. com l The Complete Guide to Natural Homemade Beauty Products & Treatments by Amelia Ruiz ($24.95, Robert Rose, 2016) l “An in-depth review on the medicinal flora Rosmarinus officinalis (Lamiaceae)” by A. Begum et al., Acta Scientarium Polponorum Technologia Alimenteria, 1-3/13 l Natural Beauty by Rebecca Warren, ed. ($25, DK Publishing, 2015) l “Tea tree oil gel for mild to moderate acne . . .” by H.K. Malhi et al., Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 3/16
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Green Goddess Purifying Clay Mask Due to its gentleness, this mask is my preferred method of exfoliation for acneic skin. (Most granular, enzyme, and fruit-acid masks can be quite irritating to acneic skin.) French green clay combined with anti-inflammatory essential oils is very beneficial for cystic and weeping or active acne conditions that are also sensitive. It aids in removing impurities and toxins from beneath the surface of the skin. You can also apply this drying mask to chest or back areas that have blemishes. Mix this recipe as needed; do not store. Yield: 1 treatment Prep time: 5 minutes 1 Tbsp powdered French green clay About 2 tsp commercial aloe vera juice, strong peppermint tea, or water 2 drops German chamomile, helichrysum, or lavender essential oil To make In a very small bowl, use a spoon or tiny whisk to combine the clay with enough aloe vera juice to form a smooth, spreadable paste. Stir in the essential oil. To apply Using your fingers, spread the paste onto your face and neck. Let dry completely, which should take 20 to 30 minutes, preferably while you are lying down. The mask will feel like it is lifting and tightening your skin. When you’re ready, rinse off with warm water. Use one or two times per week. Follow with light moisturizer. If your chest or back is blemished, make an additional batch and apply there as well. Skin types recommended for: oily or acneic, combination, oily mature
Excerpted from Pure Skin Care by © Stephanie L. Tourles. Photography by © Michael Piazza Photography. Used with permission of Storey Publishing
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getting on your nerves and keeping them healthy
Who are we? One reasonable answer is that “we” are our nervous systems. Every function of our bodies and minds is a result of this system. Keeping it healthy is a key to our wellbeing.
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The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that runs throughout the body. The nerves receive information and relay it to the brain. The central nervous system includes the brain and the spinal cord. This system controls just about everything we do—from thinking to breathing to moving to speaking. The list of fuels that keep the nervous system running is long, but certain B vitamins play particularly important roles.
These Bs are key Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) “contribute essentially to the maintenance of a healthy nervous system,” write the authors of a 2020 study. The researchers found those three vitamins to be “neurospecific”—playing specific and essential roles in the system. “Their importance is highlighted by many neurological diseases related to deficiencies in one or more of these vitamins, but they can improve certain neurological conditions even without a (proven) deficiency.” The other B vitamins—B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B7 (biotin), and B9 (folate and folic acid) also contribute to the overall health of the nervous system. Folate/folic acid is especially important during pregnancy (see “Folic acid essential in pregnancy” at right). The human body doesn’t produce B vitamins, so they must be obtained from food or supplements. Vegans and vegetarians are likely to benefit from B supplements since these nutrients are most easily obtained from meat, eggs, or dairy products.
Keep your balance Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are important minerals for nervous system health, and all are readily available in supplemental forms. Since the effects of the nervous system are pervasive, a balanced diet rich in many nutrients is essential to keeping it functioning well. The Mediterranean diet and DASH eating patterns have been shown to help maintain a healthy nervous system. —Cameron Hendrix
Folic acid essential in pregnancy The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all women of child-bearing age take a daily folic acid supplement of 400 to 800 micrograms, ideally beginning three months before conception. Even though enriched grain products are required to be fortified with folic acid, many women do not consume adequate amounts of this B vitamin to guard against birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida. “Since neural tube defects occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it is important for women to be taking the recommended amount of folic acid before they become pregnant,” said Laura E. Mitchell, PhD, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. Folic acid is the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate (B9). SELECTED SOURCES “Daily folic acid supplementation remains important for prevention of birth defects,” University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 1/10/17 l “Folate (folic acid),” MayoClinic.org
SELECTED SOURCES “Brain and nervous system, www.WebMD.com l “B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin” by C.A. Calderon-Ospina et al., CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 1/20 l “Eating to promote a healthy nervous system” by Michael O. Schroeder, US News & World Report, 1/3/18 l “In fighting gut infections, nervous system is key, Yale-Harvard team finds,” Yale University, 1/9/20 l “Nutritional supplements and the brain” by R. Meeusen and L. Decroix, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 3/17
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