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N OVEM B ER 2017

for LIFE

stress busters



Halt cold symptoms Ease joint pain Soothe digestive ills

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November 2017 vol. 13 no. 11


28 12 feel blessed, not stressed feature

Keep your cool as the holiday season approaches.

departments 6 From the Editor’s Desk 8 Health Pulse

Frailty may be avoidable • Vitamin D may ease statin-induced pain • Herbs help depression • More

16 In Focus

Prevent and treat respiratory infections, naturally.

20 Supplement Spotlight

Enzymes aid digestion and ease pain.

21 The Goods 22 Healthy Glow

Makeup tips for cool weather.

25 Sports Nutrition Beat joint pain.

28 Beneficial Brew

Green tea boosts mood and more!

30 Everyday Remedies

Natural relief from tooth pain.

Cover: Echinacea tea

A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle.


@RemediesRecipes November 2017

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from the editor ’s desk

Herbal help A few days ago, the echinacea bottle made its first appearance of the season in our house. There’s still no reliable cure for the common cold, but I’ve found that taking a few daily drops of this herbal extract definitely helps control the symptoms. The trick is to take it at the first sign of throat irritation or sinus trouble. I find that mixing it with orange juice covers some of the bitter taste. The herb works for me, and for my wife, but my theory is that not every remedy works for every person. You might find your best option in this month’s “AllStar Winter Protection” feature by Victoria Dolby Toews (page 16). Victoria focuses on the value of echinacea, but also reviews the positive effects of other herbs. It’s worth reading as cold and flu season bears down on us. Late autumn into winter is also a season of added stress, often brought on by the upcoming holidays. Lisa Petty’s comprehensive article, “Feel Blessed, Not Stressed,” offers a wide range of supplements that can help you deal with tension (page 12). This month’s issue also highlights the healing power of green tea (page 28), supplements that can help ease joint pain (page 25), and the benefits of digestive enzymes (page 20). There’s more, of course, to help you maintain your health. Happy Thanksgiving.

Rich Wallace, guest editor

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba 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 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 ( Retail Account Managers Kim Willard, Christine Yardley 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.

Creative and Sales Offices: 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene NH 03431 603-283-0034 Printed in the US on partially recycled paper. The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.

Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations. 6  remedies 

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GOT THE TRAVEL BUG? Don’t let the toilet be your ultimate destination. Montezuma’s Revenge, Delhi Belly…call it what you may, but traveler’s diarrhea is not something you want to experience while on vacation. Flora’s new Travel Care Probiotic is clinically proven to reduce the risk of traveler’s diarrhea*, plus it doesn’t require refrigeration and is guaranteed to stay potent and active. This means you can explore new destinations and enjoy your vacation…knowing your intestinal health is being protected.* If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, just make sure you pack Travel Care Probiotic with you. *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

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Frailty may be avoidable

Although many people believe frailty and bone weakness is “just an inescapable part of aging,” a recent review by Frontiers in Physiology states that it may be a treatable and preventable health problem. By engaging in age-appropriate exercise and properly monitoring body weight and diet, older adults can prevent frailty entirely or at least delay the process. Physical symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, and unintentional weight loss are all associated with getting older, but frailty includes psychological symptoms as well, including isolation, depression, and slower thinking. These symptoms often lead to increased falls, disabilities, infections, and hospitalization. The report found that socializing with others addresses intellectual and social needs, while exercise and proper diet can help remedy physical symptoms. “Preparing for Longevity—We Don’t Need to Become Frail as We Age,” Frontiers in Physiology, 8/9/17

T’ai chi can help prevent falls

Participating in t’ai chi may help prevent falls in older adults. The improved balance and flexibility brought about by the exercise appears to be the key. Researchers looked at the results of 10 randomized, controlled trials that compared the effects of t’ai chi, physical therapy, and other forms of exercise on the risk of falls in older adults and other at-risk groups. T’ai chi lowered the rate of falls by 43 percent in studies that lasted less than a year, and by 13 percent over a longer term. “T’ai Chi May Help Prevent Falls in Older and At-Risk Adults,”, 7/24/17


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Supplement may counteract metabolic syndrome Taking a supplement of vitamin E tocotrienols reversed many symptoms of metabolic syndrome in rodents. The supplement produced positive changes in blood pressure, blood lipids, liver health, and other health markers in a new study. “Treatment with a TRF [tocotrienol-rich fraction] exhibited protective effects on the cardiovascular and liver health,” wrote the authors of the study. They fed the animals a high-fat diet for eight weeks and followed that with four weeks of the TRF supplement. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that includes obesity, high blood pressure, and impaired metabolism of glucose and insulin. “The Ameliorative Effects of a Tocotrienol-Rich Fraction on the AGE-RAGE Axis and Hypertension . . .” by H.S. Cheng et al., Nutrients, 9/7/17

D may ease statin-induced pain

If you’re suffering from muscle pain linked to a statin drug for cholesterol, vitamin D may help. The Harvard Women’s Health Watch reports that people with low blood levels of the vitamin may find relief from pain and cramping by taking supplemental vitamin D. “Managing Statin Muscle Pain,” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 6/17

Paleo diet? You may need iodine

The Paleo diet has been an effective weight-loss strategy for many people, but it may leave adherents deficient in iodine. “We suggest iodine supplementation should be considered” when following the Paleo diet, wrote the authors of a new two-year study. “Two of the largest iodine sources, table salt and dairy products, are excluded” from Paleo meals. Overweight but otherwise healthy postmenopausal women from Sweden participated in the study. They followed a Paleolithic diet or the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for 24 months. The Paleo diet led to mild iodine deficiencies. “A Paleolithic-Type Diet Results in Iodine Deficiency . . .” by S. Manousou et al., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 9/17 ● “Should Women on a Paleo Diet Be Taking Iodine Supplements?” by Stephen Daniells,, 9/28/17


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Herbs help depression

Herbal remedies have long been used to help ease the symptoms of depression. Staff members at Massachusetts General Hospital advise that bouts of depression lasting two weeks or longer may require professional medical attention. But for milder cases, consider these plant-based antidepressants: n St. John’s wort has been shown to prolong the action of mood-elevating chemicals in the brain. The effects compare well to conventional pharmaceuticals in cases of mild to moderate depression. n Ashwagandha has been shown to lift mood, lower anxiety, and help patients deal with stress. n Curcumin, an extract of turmeric, appears to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, thereby reducing symptoms of depression. n L-theanine, a substance in green tea, seems to have strong antidepressant qualities. It also can improve sleep and reduce anxiety. n Saffron has been shown to help mitigate symptoms of mild to moderate depression. “Herbal Remedies to Banish Depression,” Mind, Mood & Memory, Massachusetts General Hospital, 10/17

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By Lisa Petty

Sneaky stressors

Many factors can contribute to stress. Consider whether the following things might be impacting your stress levels, and take steps to reduce them. Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine Toxins in personal care products Nutrient deďŹ ciencies Physical injury or chronic illness Poor sleep Emotional or mental health concerns


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The countdown to the holiday season is on! Between the shopping and the eating and the drinking and the late nights and fitting it all in around your already jam-packed work and family schedule, you could be feeling more stressed than blessed at this time of year. Pour yourself a cup of stress-relieving chamomile tea, take a deep breath, and read on for some easy-to-add stress relievers to keep you feeling healthy and happy.

Stress isn’t all bad Things we enjoy, like the rush of downhill skiing or the thrill of a job promotion, are part of what makes life interesting, and we wouldn’t want to give them up. The rush of adrenaline we get from enjoyable events is the same hormonal response that occurs when we get cut off in traffic: The hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland, which triggers the adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol gets you ready for fight or flight. Muscles tense, heart rate increases, and breathing becomes rapid and shallow. This heightened state of arousal is equally crucial for navigating icy moguls on a ski afternoon as it is for walking through a dark alley in an unfamiliar neighborhood or having too many work deadlines. The only difference is how we feel about what’s happening. In fact, research shows that becoming present or mindful in the moment helps us to choose how to react to our environment. Mindfulness has been associated with improved psychological health and reduction of stress symptoms. Unfortunately, we can’t always control our reactions to events, especially when they seem to pile up and become ongoing. At that point, stress has become chronic. Sustained hyper-awareness leads to symptoms such as upset stomach, diarrhea, sleeplessness and fatigue, muscle tension, and headaches. Left unchecked, excess stress can lead to reduced immunity. continued on page 15

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If coffee stimulates feelings of anxiety, tea might help relieve them. Research shows that L-theanine in green tea mitigates physiological and emotional stress responses.



Several vitamins have been shown to help reduce stress symptoms. Start with the basics: ■ Vitamin A helps to preserve the length of chromosome-protecting telomeres. Life stress is linked with shortening of telomeres, which also has been associated with aging. ■ Chronic stress depletes B vitamins. Add a B complex formula to your nutritional supplement routine. ■ Adrenal glands are rich in vitamin C. New research shows that our adrenal glands secrete not only hormones in response to stress, but also C. Remember that vitamin C supports your immune system. Shore up your intake during the colder weather with a supplement.

“Association Between Leukocyte Telomere Length and Serum Carotenoid in US Adults” by K. Min and J. Min, European Journal of Nutrition, 2017 ● “Caffeine and Theanine Exert Opposite Effects on Attention Under Emotional Arousal” by G.E. Giles et al., Canadian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 2017 ● “A Current Status of Adaptogens: Natural Remedy to Stress” by S. Pawar Vinod and H. Shivakumar, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 2012 ● “Effects of Valerian on Subjective Sedation, Field Sobriety Testing and Driving Simulator Performance” by K. Thomas et al., Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2016 ● “Multicenter, Open-Label, Exploratory Clinical Trial with Rhodiola rosea Extract in Patients Suffering from Burnout Symptoms” by S. Kasper and A. Dienel, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2017 ● “Reducing Occupational Stress with a B Vitamin Focussed Intervention . . .” C. Stough et al., Nutrition Journal, 2014 ● “Weekly Change in Mindfulness and Perceived Stress in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program” by R.A. Baer et al., Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2012

Adaptogens can help Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to stress by increasing both physical and mental capacity, reducing fatigue, and improving resistance to disease. In order to be considered adaptogens, herbs must act quickly and have long-lasting effects, have properties that reduce stressinduced damage, and be safe. Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) may help reduce symptoms of anxiety, particularly nervousness, heart palpitations, attention deficiencies, and insomnia. Clinical research shows that rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) helps relieve stress-related conditions and indicators of burnout, including emotional and physical exhaustion, irritability, and low mood. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root may help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote calm without causing drowsiness. November 2017

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in focus

all-star winter protection

natural ways to prevent respiratory infections Cold and flu season usually gears up this month, with the number of infections likely to peak between now and January. You don’t have to be one of the victims. Cheryl Myers, an integrative health nurse and expert on natural medicine, shared some of her “must-have” herbal supplements for cold and flu prevention. She starts with echinacea. “I know everyone recommends echinacea,” Myers jokingly notes, “but that’s because it works.” This herb perks up immune system activity, making it “especially useful taken as soon as someone feels a cold or flu coming on.” Several reviews document that echinacea reduces symptom severity and shortens the duration of winter ailments. A four-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial found that it reduced the total number of cold episodes, shortened their duration, and prevented some viral infections entirely. continued on page 19 16

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consider this More herbal help

Elderberry ranks high as another power player in preventing respiratory infections. An Australian study found that it cut the risk of colds or flu in half. And even those who did catch something had milder symptoms and a shorter illness. A lesser-known winter go-to is larch arabinogalactan, an extract from the larch tree. “Arabinogalactan has been shown to stimulate our natural killer cells, which are the first line of defense against invaders like a virus,” explains Michelle Crowder, ND, of Beaumont Health in Detroit. The extract “also seems to improve adaptive immunity, meaning that it helps us respond more quickly to invaders we have seen before.” One study found 23 percent fewer colds during the winter season among participants who supplemented with this compound daily for 12 weeks, Dr. Crowder adds.

Nature’s Way Umcka ColdCare Day + Night Hot Drink packets shorten the duration and reduce the severity of cough, congestion, and sore throat symptoms—available in LemonCitrus or Honey-Lemon flavors.

Soak it in

Quantum Health’s Cough Relief lozenges quickly quiet coughs with effective menthol. Whether you prefer Meyer Lemon & Honey or Bing Cherry, Cough Relief will help get you back on your feet.

How about a remedy that you don’t take, but do? Soaking in a bath infused with mineral salts is a relaxing way to bolster your body’s immune resistance. Mixing magnesium salts in a warm bath allows the mineral to be absorbed through the skin (the skin is the largest organ of absorption). The absorbed magnesium can then be used by the immune system to fight off infectious invaders. “Consider magnesium salts baths every day, not just when you’re sick,” suggests Theresa Ramsey, a naturopathic doctor practicing in Paradise Valley, AZ. Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).

Personal communication: Michelle Crowder; Cheryl Myers; Theresa Ramsey

Ridgecrest Herbals’ ClearLungs Immune combines the synergistic blend of Chinese herbs from ClearLungs Classic with herbs to support healthy immune function.

Supplement may shorten colds Pycnogenol—an extract of French maritime pine tree bark—has been shown to reduce the length and severity of colds. Study participants began using their “best preferred management” at the first sign of symptoms. About half of the participants also took 50 milligrams of Pycnogenol twice a day. Those who took the supplement saw their colds reduced by about a day compared to the others. They missed less time at work, needed fewer over-the-counter treatments (such as nasal drops, aspirin, or antihistamines), and had reduced bouts of sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, cough, fever, and other symptoms. There is no cure for the common cold, so “best management” treatments were left to individual discretion. The participants in the study were otherwise healthy adults ages 25 to 65. “Improvement of Common Cold with Pycnogenol: A Winter Registry Study” by G. Belcaro et al., Panminerva Med, 12/14

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supplement spotlight

enzymes for better health they can ease digestion

Enzymes are proteins that help speed the completion of natural chemical processes in the body. Our bodies produce enzymes, and we also obtain them from raw foods. After age 40, our ability to produce enzymes decreases. The presence of enzymes in the saliva of young adults, for example, is as much as 30 times higher than in people older than 69. Because enzymes in food are destroyed by heat, cooked and processed foods can’t help us make up the difference, and this can lead to an enzyme deficiency. Some scientists believe that we could live longer and be healthier by preventing the loss of enzymes. This is where supplements come in.

Digestive support

The most familiar enzymes are sold for digestive support. Historically, pancreatic enzymes from pigs and cattle have addressed pancreatic insufficiency, while plantbased enzymes such as bromelain from pineapple effectively break down proteins. Taking plant-based enzymes 40 minutes before meals can help with heartburn, according to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. The common enzymes that help digest food (and prevent heartburn) are amylase (which helps digest carbs), cellulase (which helps digest the fiber in fruits and veggies), and lipases (which help digest fattier foods). Another familiar enzyme supplement is lactase, which is required to digest lactose—the natural sugar in dairy products. The production of lactase often decreases after childhood, leading to lactose intolerance.

Pain relief

Enzyme supplements may improve other conditions as well, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases. This approach, called systemic oral enzyme therapy, involves taking entericcoated digestive enzymes between meals. The enteric coating prevents enzymes from interacting with stomach acid, so they reach the small intestine before breaking down. The medical journal Arthritis reported a study that compared the effects of an enteric-coated enzyme product, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and a placebo on adults with moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee. The enzyme combination performed as well as the NSAID while producing fewer side effects. Both outperformed the placebo. Most over-the-counter enzymes are unlikely to produce adverse side effects, though some users experience gastrointestinal upset or irritation. —CJ Puotinen “Digestive Enzymes: Help or Hype?” by Tamara Duker Freuman, US News & World Report, 4/23/13 ● “The Safety and Efficacy of an Enzyme Combination in Managing Knee Osteoarthritis Pain in Adults . . .” by W.W. Bolten et al., Arthritis, 1/31/15 ● “Should You Add Enzyme Supplements to Your Shopping List?”, 8/4/14 ● “Systemic Enzyme Therapy in the Treatment and Prevention of Post-traumatic and Post-operative Swelling” by V. Kamenicek et al., Acta Chir Orthop Traumatol Cech ● “Treatment with Oral Bromelain Decreases Colonic Inflammation . . .” by L.P. Hale et al., Clin Immunol


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Ridgecrest Herbals’ ClearLungs Immune combines the synergistic blend of Chinese herbs from award-winning ClearLungs Classic with herbs to support healthy immune function.

North American Herb & Spice Oreganol P73 is a blend of edible species of wild oregano grown on mineral-rich soils. These growing conditions, along with a chemical- and alcohol-free extraction, make Oreganol P73 unique.

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Stay sharp and focused with NOW Foods Brain Attention, a cutting-edge cognitive support supplement that can help maintain healthy brain functions in both children and adults. 888-669-3663 These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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healthy glow

cool shades tips for cold-weather makeup

Whether or not we wear makeup on a daily basis, the cooler weather and approaching holidays give us a natural excuse to sparkle. Here’s a rundown on what’s new, what’s fun, and what’s the best way to use makeup. Clean and Clear

Makeup looks best on a palette of clear, glowing skin. But the cold winds and furnaceheated air that circulate at this time of year tend to increase skin dehydration. This dryness leads to tiny lines that not only age the appearance of your skin, but also trap your makeup—making lines much more obvious. Support clear, glowing skin by drinking plenty of water, using a gentle cleanser appropriate for your skin type, and following up with a nourishing moisturizer. Treat yourself to an ultraluxurious oil like cacay oil, which is nutrient rich but absorbs easily and works well under makeup.

Show Some Skin

Many women wear too much foundation, which can look unnatural and creep into tiny lines. Rather than slathering makeup over your entire face, use foundation or cover-up sparingly: a dab only where you need it to cover spots or enlarged pores. Remember that foundation should always match the color of your skin exactly. If you like a bit of cover-up, buy a lighter tint for the winter.

a slight shimmer to catch the light on a night out. If your top exposes your décolletage, you can sweep shimmery powder across your collarbones.

Over 16?

Do you remember the 1980s when turquoise, emerald green, and indigo blue splashed across entire eyelids? If you were like me, you used them all at the same time! Several of these colors are back in style, but you might want to leave the layering to the teenagers. If you want to dabble in vibrant colors, accentuate your outfit or eye color by applying the bold hues to the outer third of your upper eyelid.

Red Alert

The classic red lip never goes out of style. With so many shades to choose from—warm corals to deep blue-reds—there is something for everyone. Because reds are intense, application mistakes can be messy. Apply lipstick with a natural-hair lip brush for the best results. Lisa Petty, ROHP, is a nutrition and healthy living expert for TV and radio, an award-nominated journalist, and an author who has shared her unique perspective with thousands of people through her workshops, lectures, coaching, and extensive writing. She is author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well, a modern guide to feeling younger at any age. Her website is

Add a Glow

If your skin is dry and lacks sheen, avoid using matte makeup, including matte lipstick—it will only emphasize the dryness. The natural solution? Sparkles! Look for iridescent mineral makeups that enhance your glow. Add a gentle swish of an iridescent cream or powder with a tint lighter than your skin tone over the top of your cheekbones, under your eyebrows, and down the center of your nose. Or opt for a face powder with 22

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Strategies to Help You Quit Smoking

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sports nutrition

joint rejuvenation These supplements can counteract arthritis pain It’s an astounding number: 54 million American adults report receiving a diagnosis of arthritis or similar joint disorder from their doctors. That’s about one in four Americans, “making arthritis one of the most common, if not most common, chronic medical conditions,” says rheumatologist Nathan Wei, MD, director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, MD.

These joint problems range from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia. It’s not just older people who suffer, as Dr. Wei points out: “Approximately 60 percent of those affected by arthritis are under the age of 65.”

Glucosamine and chondroitin

People seeking relief from joint pain often take supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin. Both ingredients rebuild joint cartilage. These heavy hitters are what Dr. Wei recommends to his patients who have osteoarthritis, and he takes them himself. The compounds have similar and complementary roles in the body. “While the studies are in conflict, I believe there’s enough evidence to recommend it. The dosage I recommend is glucosamine 500 milligrams (mg), chondroitin 400 mg, three capsules daily for one month, and then one capsule twice daily,” he says. In a recent study, adults with knee osteoarthritis who supplemented with a combination including both glucosamine and chondroitin experienced improved walking speed (which is tied to a decrease in knee pain). It’s clear that these supplements, as a combination, reduced pain since those with knee osteoarthritis who started supplementing needed fewer NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin). NSAIDs ease joint pain while also reducing inflammation of joints and soft tissues, which is why so many people rely on them. But they do have downsides, which makes natural alternatives desirable.

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Omega-3 fatty acids

Osteoarthritis is known as the wear-and-tear disease, since pain and disability stem from a wearing away of cartilage in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, relates to underlying inflammation as the core problem. Inflammation is a complex biological response that, under normal circumstances, initiates healing. In rheumatoid arthritis, however, the inflammation becomes chronic and is destructive to afflicted joints. For patients experiencing inflammation-related joint issues, Dr. Wei recommends fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil fight inflammation, which helps in three key ways: decreased joint pain, less morning stiffness, and reduced reliance on NSAIDs for pain relief. “Fish oil generally comes as a 360 mg capsule, and I recommend at least two a day,” says Dr. Wei. “Fish oil has also been shown to be valuable for patients with heart disease.”


The spice turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is a well-established antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Joint function improves and pain is reduced when turmeric supplements are used. A large body of research backs up the use of curcumin for healthier joints. Turmeric comes in different forms, so Dr. Wei recommends following the manufacturers’ suggested dosing. —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH “Benefits of Antioxidant Supplements for Knee Osteoarthritis: Rationale and Reality” by A.K. Grover and S.E. Samson, Nutr J, 1/16 l “The Combination of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine (Artra) for Pain Relief and to Reduce the Consumption of NSAIDs in Patients with I-II Stages of Osteoarthritis of the Knee” by S.S. Rodionova and N.A. Eskin, Khirugiia, 2016 l “Glucosamine-Containing Supplement Improves Locomotor Functions in Subjects with Knee Pain” by N. Kanzaki et al., Clin Interv Aging, 6/16 l “Implications for Eicosapentaenoic Acid- and Docosahexaenoic Acid-Derived Resolvins as Therapeutics for Arthritis” by P.R. Souza and L.V. Norling, Eur J Pharmacol, 8/16 l Personal Communication: Nathan Wei, 2017

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Collagen and joint health Collagen hydrolysate may reduce joint pain, including discomfort caused by knee osteoarthritis. Collagen supplements supply peptides and amino acids the body uses to make collagen in joint cartilage. Studies show collagen hydrolysate taken orally accumulates in cartilage. Statistically significant results occur after three months. “Effect of Collagen Hydrolysate in Articular Pain . . .” by O. Bruyere et al., Complement Ther Med, 6/12 l “Efficacy and Tolerance of Enzymatic Hydrolyzed Collagen vs. Glucosamine Sulphate in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis” by T. Trc and J. Bohmova, Int Orthop, 3/11

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By Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG)

beneficial brew green tea offers amazing returns

The world’s second-most-popular beverage seems to have infinite benefits. Let’s take a closer look at Camellia sinensis, better known as tea! (Only water is consumed more frequently worldwide.)


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Green tea is one shade of the tea plant, which is also the source of white, oolong, black, and kukicha (twig) teas. With the exception of kukicha, all of these teas are made from the leaves, but the harvest time and extent of processing—including fermentation and oxidation—determine the flavor, color, benefits, and caffeine content. As tea oxidizes, it develops deeper flavor and color, and the caffeine increases, but some antioxidants are lost. This means green and white teas have the most benefits and the least amount of caffeine.

Primary constituents: Green tea typically contains about 20 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per cup. That’s half of the amount in black tea and only 15 percent of a serving of coffee. Decaffeinated green tea is also beneficial, though some of its other healthful constituents may be diminished slightly by the decaffeination process. Tea is also rich in a variety of antioxidants, including catechins—notably epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea’s unique amino acid, L-theanine, calms and lifts the mood without over-sedating. Mood and cognitive benefits: Monks first fell in love with green tea because it improved their calmalert state during meditation. Numerous studies support green tea’s ability to boost mood, alleviate anxiety, increase focus, and allay cognitive decline. Japanese researchers testing elderly patients with mild to severe dementia found that three months of green tea supplementation (equivalent to two to four cups of tea daily) improved dementia assessment scores and short-term memory. Other studies reported mood and cognitive benefits within just one to two hours.

Blood sugar, weight loss, and cardiovascular health: Green tea boasts several benefits for weight loss, though studies conflict. Dose matters here: To get

the best results, aim for three to four cups daily or 600900 mg of catechins (including EGCG). Green tea’s effects on modulating blood sugar, reducing bad cholesterol, mildly reducing hypertension, and protecting the heart are more substantial. Studies also suggest that green tea supports healthy liver function, especially where metabolic factors, such as fatty liver disease, are involved.

Anti-cancer and immune support: Thanks especially to EGCG and other antioxidant compounds, green tea improves the body’s ability to fight cancer via several mechanisms. It may even help protect against everyday ills like the common cold.

Overall protection: Interestingly, green tea seems to have a protective effect wherever it’s applied. If topical, it helps protect the skin from sun damage and skin cancer. Orally, it fights cavities and gum disease. Green tea consumption even appears to help protect against the long-term damage of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) exposure emitted by high-voltage power lines.

Downsides: While generally very safe, especially when consumed as a beverage, green tea isn’t for everyone. Some people are sensitive to its diuretic effects or get jitters from the caffeine (decaf is usually fine). It may interact with some medications. Several cases of liver toxicity and failure related to green tea weight-loss supplements have occurred. The risk appears greatest in multi-ingredient products and may involve adulteration, so buy from reputable companies or just drink the tea. Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), author of Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care, is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. Learn about herbs, the book, distance consults, online classes, and more at

Maximize your benefits

To get the best results, aim for three to four cups of green tea per day, delivering 600 to 900 mg of catechins. One cup of green tea usually has 240 to 320 mg catechins and 20 to 45 mg of caffeine. You can get the most antioxidants out of your cup by purchasing high-quality loose-leaf brands, using hotter water, and letting it steep longer (though if you let it steep too long, it gets bitter). Both dry and brewed green tea should have a fresh scent, flavor, and color. Store green tea in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark, dry spot or–especially for long-term storage–the fridge.

“Acute Effects of Tea Constituents L-Theanine, Caffeine, and Epigallocatechin Gallate on Cognitive Function and Mood . . .” by D.A. Camfield et al., Nutr Rev, 8/14 ● “Daily Supplements for Weight Loss,” National Institutes of Health, ● “Green Tea Consumption Affects Cognitive Dysfunction in the Elderly: A Pilot Study” by I. Kazuki et al., Nutrients, 10/14 ● “Effects of Dietary Green Tea Polyphenol Supplementation on the Health of Workers Exposed to High-Voltage Power Lines” by Y. Zhang et al., Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, 9/16 ● “Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction and Metabolic Syndrome Alleviation by Tea” by C.S. Yang et al., Mol Nutr Food Res, 1/16

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l remedies


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


What is it? Sharp, constant, or throbbing pain in or around the tooth; swelling around the tooth. What causes it? Tooth decay, abscessed tooth, earache, injury to the jaw or mouth, neck pain, sinusitis, infected gums, or grinding teeth.

Lifestyle: Good oral hygiene as prevention: regular flossing, brushing, professional cleaning.

Homeopathy: Belladonna, Magnesia phosphorica,

Food Therapy: Eat foods low in sugar. Place raw

Herbal Therapy: Clove, lavender, tea tree,

Topical Applications: Ice, moist heat.

Coffea cruda, Aconitum napellus.

oregano, peppermint.

onion, crushed garlic, or a paste of cinnamon on affected area; rinse with warm salt water.

“Clove”; “Lavender”; “Oregano”; “Peppermint Oil”; “Tea Tree Oil”; “Dental Health and Toothaches”; “Oral Care,” ● “Home Remedies for Toothache,” ● “Homeopathic Applications in Dentistry,” International Center for Nutritional Research, ● “Toothaches” by Ilona Fotek, University of Maryland Medical Center, 5/20/14


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