SEP TEM B ER 2015
The essential omegas Minerals for athletes Homeopathy for tummy troubles
14 fancy fungi
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September 2015 vol. 11 no. 9
minerals for athletes The extra boost.
mushrooms As medicine or simple food, these fungi are for you.
departments 9 From the Editor’s Desk 11 Health Pulse Omega 3s may help with migraines • Ginkgo can reduce ADHD symptoms • Cocoa for cognition • Multis reduce stress
20 Supplement Spotlight Our guide to the essential omegas.
23 The Goods 24 Sports Nutrition Minerals: the extra boost for athletes.
26 Real World Homeopathy Tame your tummy.
A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. facebook.com/RemediesMagazine
Cover: Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor).
@RemediesMag September 2015
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from the editor ’s desk
remedies for LIFE
Mushrooms Mushrooms—whether they’re toxic, culinary, medicinal, or a combination of safe, tasty, and healthy—grow from something we can’t see. Whether the spores have implanted themselves into hospitable ground after being blown by a brisk wind or the “fruiting bodies” have come from a parent mycelium that lives and spreads for miles underground, these diverse fungi often seem to come from nowhere. After a few rainy days, they suddenly make an appearance in the yard or off a woods trail. There is some predictability, though, in when large numbers of these “fruit” will turn up—it’s often in the cooling, damp month of September. That’s why September is National Mushroom Month, a time to recognize and celebrate this huge family of organisms that populate our world. We’ve devoted several pages to Maria Noël Groves’s feature on medicinal mushrooms—what they are and what they do for our health (page 14). From boosting the immune system to helping prevent cancer to even helping to treat certain cancers, they’re worth looking at every month of the year. Minerals like magnesium and calcium are too, and this month we’re addressing these and other essential minerals with regard to athletes and their needs (page 24). And if you’re already on board with omega 3s and know what they can do to fight inflammation and support brain and heart health, you might be interested in our review of these and the other omegas making their way into supplements and offering health advantages. To your good health, and a healthy Mushroom Month!
Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Managing Editor Donna Moxley (email@example.com) Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Director, Creative & Interactive Justin Rent Senior Graphic Designer Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service Director of Retail & Customer Service Judy Gagne (x128) Director of Advertiser & Customer Service Ashley Dunk (x190) 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 & Marketing Anna Johnston (firstname.lastname@example.org) National Sales Manager Diane Dale Retail Account Manager Kim Willard Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS, professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University; Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director, American Botanical Council, editor/publisher of HerbalGram, senior editor, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs; C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD, research geochemist, author, Natural Asthma Relief and Prevent, Treat, and Reverse Diabetes; Steven Foster, photographer, herbalist, and senior author of three Peterson Field Guides, author of 101 Medicinal Herbs, A Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine and more, associate editor of HerbalGram, the journal of the American Botanical Council; John Neustadt, ND, founder of Montana Integrated Medicine, coauthor, A Revolution in Health Through Nutritional Biochemistry; Lisa Petty, RHN, RNCP, holistic nutrition consultant, author of Living Beauty and host of the health talk radio show Lisa Live; Dana Ullman, MPH, author of The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy and other titles on homeopathy; Marc Ullman, partner at Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, chairman, Legal Advisory Counsel, Natural Products Foundation; Amber Lynn Vitse, CN, is certified in Integrative Nutrition, a fusion bodyworker, and an Ayurvedic practitioner, and writes on health issues. remedies is published monthly by Taste for Life, 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); © 2015 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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healthpulse omega 3s may offer migraine relief A higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. More than 100 migraine patients ages 15 to 50 participated in a month-long study that assessed their migraine frequency and their intake of the omega 3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as well as saturated fatty acids. Lower intake of the omega 3s was associated with a higher frequency of attacks in both males and females. No link was seen between migraine frequency and saturated fatty acids. “The Relationship Between Different Fatty Acids Intake and Frequency of Migraine Attacks” by O. Sadeghi et al., Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res, 5-6/15
an exercise boost? Taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement for three weeks improved neuromuscular function and reduced fatigue in a group of highly trained male athletes. Participants trained for an average of 17 hours per week. They received a daily supplement that included 375 milligrams (mg) EPA, 230 mg docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and 510 mg DHA, or an olive-oil placebo. In tests of thigh muscle function, the omega-3 group saw a 20 percent gain compared to placebo. “21 Days of Mammalian Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Improves Aspects of Neuromuscular Function and Performance in Male Athletes Compared to Olive Oil Placebo” by E.J.H. Lewis et al., Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6/18/15
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ginkgo may help with ADHD
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An extract of Ginkgo biloba effectively reduced the severity of attention problems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a recent small pilot study. Twenty patients ages 6 to 13 received the extract (EGb 761) for three weeks after an appropriate dose was determined for each child. A dose of 120 milligrams (mg) per day was effective for two patients, while the others received 240 mg. Significant changes were seen in attention and quality-of-life assessments. “Re: Ginkgo Extract Pilot Study Suggests Potential for Application in Childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” by Amy C. Keller, PhD, HerbClip, http://cms.HerbalGram.org, 6/15/15
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A single dose of a multivitamin/mineral containing plant extracts reduced stress in a group of older women. The study found improvements in overall mood as well. Healthy women ages 50 to 75 received either the supplement or a placebo. They were asked to rate their mood and perform several computerized tests of cognition. Significant improvements in “perceived mental stress” were reported after supplementation. “Single Multivitamin-Mineral Dose May Boost Mood in Older People” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 5/12/15
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cocoa can help cognition Flavonols from cocoa appear to boost cognition in older adults. Every day for eight weeks, participants drank a cocoa beverage that included either 993 milligrams (mg) of cocoa flavonols, 520 mg, or 48 mg. None of the adults showed any clinical evidence of cognitive dysfunction, and they maintained their usual diets and lifestyles during the trial. The groups that consumed the two drinks with higher levels of flavonols saw improvements in tests of cognition after eight weeks. Those two groups also saw blood-pressure reductions and improvements in insulin resistance, which might account for the cognitive gains. “Cocoa Flavanol Consumption Improves Cognitive Function, Blood Pressure Control, and Metabolic Profile in Elderly Subjects . . .” by D. Mastroiacovo et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 2/15 ● “Mounting Evidence Demonstrates Improved Cognitive Function from Cocoa Flavanol Consumption,” Mars Symbioscience, 1/6/15
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By Maria NoĂŤl Groves
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
mushrooms fancy fungi for better health
In spite of our mycophobic culture, Americans are at last getting excited about mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms, in particular. Spurred by the enthusiasm of mushroom lovers like Paul Stamets, weâ€™re tiptoeing into the dark woods to get to know these creatures better. 14
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Chaga (Inonotous obliquus)
Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) Although beneficial fungi tend to be lumped alongside medicinal herbs and plant foods, on a genetic level mushrooms have more in common with humans. When we combine emerging research with the extensive knowledge of fungi in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), we find many ways in which mushrooms can improve health. As a simple food, mushrooms provide excellent vegan protein (with a meaty texture and flavor), ample fiber, and some B vitamins.
When exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light, mushrooms make vitamin D in their “skin” just like we do. When we eat light-treated mushrooms, we absorb this muchneeded vitamin. In one study, levels of vitamin D in shiitakes that had been dried gills-up in the sun for six hours two days in a row leapt from 100 IU to close to 46,000 IU (per less than four ounces of mushrooms). They also maintained much of their vitamin D content after a year in storage. Oyster mushrooms—found in
the wild or easily cultivated— contain high levels of lovastatin, a natural statin that helps lower cholesterol. Delicious, tender, edible medicinal mushrooms include shiitake, maitake, oyster, enoki, lion’s mane, and others in the Hericium genus. Always cook mushrooms. Cooking makes their benefits and nutrients more readily available and removes antinutrients and toxic potential in otherwise safe edibles. And, of course, never eat
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mushrooms you don’t know to be safe: Some are inedible or highly toxic. Dried mushrooms and mushroom powders can be added to simmering teas, soups, stews, and other foods. As medicinals, mushrooms contain varying amounts of polysaccharides including glucans, which have profound benefits for the immune system. Your immune system recognizes mushroom polysaccharides as possible invaders and improves its immune response to protect your body against this perceived (though benign) threat. In a sense, mushrooms send your immune army to boot camp to give it training and strength, and to improve its communication skills. This explains why mushrooms are used to help your body
fight cancer, fend off common pathogens like the cold and flu, and down-regulate autoimmune disease and allergies. They have long been used as immune tonics in TCM, and even though most of the modern research is preliminary—mostly lab and animal studies—it is impressive. Here are a few of our most famous medicinal mushrooms, which you’ll want to get to know:
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), also called the “mushroom of immortality,” is among our most impressive medicinals. In TCM, reishi boasts a long history of use as a qi tonic to restore vital life force and promote longevity. It acts as an adaptogen while also strengthening respiratory and cardiovascular health, oxygen utilization, energy, and immune modulation. It is often used for
immune weakness, fatigue, and autoimmune disease, and in combination with other cancer therapies. I often use it for clients with respiratory weakness and immune vulnerability, either in soup broth or in combination with cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis, or Cordyceps sinensis) in capsules. Because it tastes quite bitter and medicinal, often only a small slice is simmered in tea (think chai) or soup broth. Otherwise, a doubleextraction tincture or capsules are generally preferred.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is as likely to be found in the produce aisle as in medicinal mushroom formulas (in whole form or specialized extracts of AHCC or lentinan) in the supplement aisles. Traditionally used for stamina and circulation, and to help with arthritis, diabetes,
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immune deficiency, and high cholesterol, shiitake and its components have been clinically studied for their benefit in cancer treatment (especially breast, gastric, and prostate). Results have supported its ability to prolong lifespan, improve the results of conventional treatment, and limit relapse. Other studies have supported its ability to fend off various pathogens. Similar benefits have been noted for maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa).
Chaga (Inonotous obliquus) isn’t a true mushroom (a sporeproducing fruiting body) because the part that’s used is actually a vegetative fungal growth called a sclerotium. It grows on trees, particularly birch; some of chaga’s antitumor benefits are due to a concentration of compounds including betulin and betulinic acid that it extracts from the birch. Baltic countries have used chaga for centuries as a general tonic and cancer treatment, and for gastric complaints. It has immunomodulating properties as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. While chaga is traditionally simmered to make a pleasant-tasting tea,
you can also take it as a doubleextraction tincture or capsule.
Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor), a common wild polypore that looks a bit like tiny, fanned turkey tails, may be less recognized yet has more clinical research than any other mushroom. The Japanese drug PSK is extracted from turkey tails and is among the most prescribed anticancer agents in the country. PSK and the related compound PSP are used primarily as an adjunct to conventional cancer care to improve the results and discourage relapse. Turkey tails can be taken as simmered tea, capsule, or double-extraction tincture. Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) helps nerve cells regenerate, which had been thought impossible. Preliminary yet impressive research suggests that lion’s mane contains nerve growth factors that help heal nerve damage, improve cognition, and fight dementia, in addition to stimulating nerve growth. In a small study, 30 older Japanese men and women who took 3 grams of powdered lion’s mane (in capsules, divided up throughout the day) performed significantly
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better on cognitive tests at two, three, and four months compared to the placebo group. Unfortunately, the benefits diminished once the treatment ended, so you will need to continue taking it, at least in the face of dementia. Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. For recipes, online classes, and more information about herbs as well as her forthcoming book, visit www.WintergreenBotanicals.com. The Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Rogers ($29.95, North Atlantic Books, 2011) ● “Lion’s Mane: A Mushroom That Improves Your Memory . . . ?” by Paul Stamets, www. HuffingtonPost.com, 8/8/12 ● Medicinal Mushrooms by Christopher Hobbs (Botanica Press, 2002) ● Mushrooms for Health by Greg Marley ($15.95, Down East Books, 2009) ● Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets ($35, Ten Speed Press, 2005)
Chaga tea September 2015
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the many mighty omegas which ones are essential to good health? You know the omegas—those numbered fatty acids that have received so much attention as must-haves for health. But are you up on the differences between them? Or how to be sure that your diet includes the omegas you need most? Here’s the latest, beginning with the mighty omega 3.
Omega 3 Fatty acids, which play an important role in cell development and function, are either synthesized by the body from dietary fats broken down during digestion or obtained from the foods we eat. Omega 3s (as well as omega 6s) fall into the latter category, which dietitians call “essential” fatty acids; our bodies need them, but can’t make them on their own. There are three important omega 3 fatty acids. The first, alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, is found in plant oils and is readily available in walnuts and flaxseeds. The other omega 3s are the marine-based eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in fish oils. All omega-3 fatty acids are “polyunsaturated”—in that category of fats perhaps best known for their ability to lower bad cholesterol. But these fatty acids have more tangible benefits as well. Omega-3 deficiencies can lead to liver
and kidney problems, decreased immune function, and dry skin, among other conditions. Omega-3 supplementation has been shown to reduce joint tenderness in patients with arthritis, relieve symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis and menstrual pain, and reduce the risk of breast cancer. And according to the American Heart Association (AHA), omega 3s can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. The AHA recommendation: Eat fatty, EPA- and DHA-rich fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna at least two times per week. If your triglyceride levels are high, you’ve already been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, or you just want to boost your omega 3s
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continued from page 20
The other omegas
beyond what your diet can provide, consider taking omega-3 supplements. Vegetarians, especially, may need more of these essential oils, and can get DHA and EPA from algae-derived vegan supplements.
Omega 6 Another polyunsaturated fatty acid is omega 6, found primarily in safflower, corn, sunflower, and soybean oils, but also in nuts and seeds. Like the omega 3s, omega-6 fatty acids have been touted by the AHA as a “beneficial part of a heart-healthy eating plan” and play an important role in everything from brain function to normal growth and development. But unlike omega-3 fatty acids, most Americans have no trouble getting enough of them. The reason: The omega 6s are readily available in most processed foods. Studies have shown that the typical American consumes at least 10 times more omega-6 fatty acids than they do omega 3s. Health experts agree that most people would benefit by decreasing their consumption of foods that contain omega 6s, while increasing intake of omega 3s. The fear is that the overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids may not only inhibit the body’s use of omega 3s, but also promote inflammation.
Two other omegas, 7 and 9, are “nonessential,” monounsaturated fatty acids that our bodies can synthesize on their own. Omega-9 fatty acids (primarily available as oleic acid, which is found in everything from olive oil and nuts to poultry and cheese) have been found to have inflammation-reducing, cholesterol-lowering effects, and are especially beneficial when they supplant non-omega foods like saturated fats and carbohydrates. Some research has shown that dietary omega-7 fatty acids (found in macadamia nuts, meats, and dairy) can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, improve insulin resistance, and promote weight loss. A number of supplements provide omega 3, 6, and 9 together, in an attempt to balance the intake of these fatty acids. Just make sure to cut way back on processed food consumption so you don’t throw off that balance. —Chris Hayhurst “Essential Fatty Acids,” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, www.pcrm.org ● “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health,” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, https://ods.od.nih.gov ● “Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids”; “Omega-6 Fatty Acids,” American Heart Association, www.Heart.org ● “Omega-6 Fatty Acids,” University of Maryland Medical Center, www.umm.edu, 6/11 ● “The Omega Fats” by Jill Weisenberger, Today’s Dietitian, 4/14
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V E G E T A R I A N 22
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minerals for athletes The extra boost
Male or female, young or old, athletes of all kinds know how to take care of themselves for optimal performance. Many athletes get sufficient sleep, train hard, eat well, and take a daily supplement or two.
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But even the best athletes sometimes forget about minerals, substances needed for many processes in the human body.
Critical combination Without calcium, muscles cannot contract; without magnesium, they cannot relax or recover; together, these minerals work with the body to create muscular harmony. Magnesium deficiency can negatively affect physical performance in several ways. This mineral acts as a muscle relaxant. If you experience muscle cramps (the result of a muscle contracting but not being able to stretch out again), you may be deficient. Magnesium may also be able to increase energy and stamina by encouraging the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), energy for cells.
That’s not all. A study last year showed that women who took 300 milligrams of magnesium oxide each day for 12 weeks while taking part in a fitness program increased their strength. Calcium, for its part, does more than just help muscles contract. It is also necessary for the maintenance and repair of bones, blood clotting, and proper bone mineral density. A calcium deficiency can lead to stress fractures, especially for women.
Try the trace Calcium and magnesium are not the only minerals athletes need. The body also needs trace minerals, which are equally important but needed in smaller quantities. Iron is critical for athletic performance. This mineral helps produce
energy and is needed to help carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. A deficiency in iron is more common in women than men and can lead to fatigue and headaches. Zinc is also key; a deficiency (also a particular risk for female athletes) may decrease physical performance. Zinc helps grow, build, and repair muscle tissue. It also plays a role in energy production. Obtain an adequate amount of this mineral to avoid decreases in cardiorespiratory function, muscle strength, and endurance. —Diana Pimer “Dietary Supplements and Sports Performance: Minerals” by M.H. Williams, J Int Soc Sports Nutr., 6/05 l “Effect of Oral Magnesium Supplementation on Physical Performance in Healthy Elderly Women . . .” by N. Veronese et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 9/14 l “Nutrition and Athletic Performance,” www.MedScape.com, 3/09 l Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC ($29.95, Penguin Group/Avery, 2006)
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stomach troubles? homeopathy can help
Turn up the volume
So many things can bring on stomach distress: food, viruses, our hectic lifestyles. The aisles of pharmacies are lined with all kinds of remedies—with all kinds of side effects. Homeopathy can offer safe and effective relief for nausea, indigestion, and related ills.
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Homeopaths often prescribe remedies based on more than the troubling symptoms, as people with certain personalities will respond better to different treatments. Nux vomica and Arsenicum album are often used for the same digestive maladies, for example, but the hard-charging, type A personality may find relief from Nux, while a more sensitive, restless person may be more suited to Arsenicum.
Driven to sickness According to Edward Shalts, MD, author of Easy Homeopathy, Nux vomica is widely prescribed by homeopaths because “it is perfectly suited to the emotional and physical state triggered by the typical stressors of the modern lifestyle.” In fact, the remedy is a go-to choice for people whose driven personalities are often accompanied by digestive problems. It’s a frequent option for all kinds of stomach upset, ranging from constipation to diarrhea to vomiting. “The individual who needs it feels stressed out and overworked,” writes Dr. Shalts. Nausea caused by overeating is often relieved by Nux vomica. According to homeopath Alan V. Schmukler, it’s an excellent choice when you feel
as if the food you’ve eaten is sitting like a stone in your stomach. He also recommends it for diarrhea caused by poor food choices.
Restless types Arsenicum album is another highly regarded remedy for digestive problems. Unlike people who find relief from Nux vomica, however, those who benefit from Arsenicum album are more likely in general to feel restless and anxious. Dennis Chernin, MD, notes that the patient may feel quite weak but have the urge to pace from room to room. Dr. Chernin advises using Arsenicum when the stomach is extremely irritated. Burning pain in the stomach soon after eating is a sign that this remedy may help. Heartburn, excessive thirst, and a craving for milk (which may soothe the stomach) are other symptoms that signal a need for Arsenicum.
“Why did I eat that?” It’s no secret that digestive upset can be brought on by certain foods or drinks. If you feel nauseated after eating pastry, for example, reach for Antimonium crudum. Check this chart for other food —Alan Siddal triggers and potential remedies.
coffee, spices, alcohol
worse in the a.m.
rich or fatty foods
craves fresh air
pork, pastry, fruit
bread, sour wine
worse at night
fatty foods, onions
Indigestion Diarrhea Gas
The Complete Homeopathic Resource by Dennis Chernin, MD ($29.95, North Atlantic Books, 2006) ● Easy Homeopathy by Edward Shalts, MD ($14.95, McGraw-Hill, 2006) ● Homeopathy: An A to Z Home Handbook by Alan V. Schmukler ($17.95, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011)
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