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Vitamin ABCs Anxiety busters Relief from SAD

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© NASSIMA ROTHACKER

November 2018 vol. 14 no. 11

29 20 feature

8

departments

6 From the Editor’s Desk 8 Health Pulse

Resveratrol for arthritis pain • More probiotics = less antibiotics • Omega 3s may relieve depression • More

14 Sports Performance

Strategies for dealing with fascia pain.

16 Supplement Spotlight Natural treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

the ABCs of vitamins What do they do, and how much do you need?

25 Healthspan

Support your brain as you age.

27 Everyday Remedies Helpful ways to ease anxiety.

29 Healthy Glow

Get relief from dry, itchy skin.

30 Herbal Healing

Discover the benefits of oregano oil. Cover: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

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

/RemediesRecipes

@RemediesRecipes November 2018  

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from the editor ’s desk

Casting doubt At the end of every article in remedies you’ll find the sources that were used to verify the information provided. We rely on quality scientific journals and other trusted publications, or we go directly to the experts who discovered the information. But sometimes those sources are less reliable than they appear. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently retracted six studies. We’d reported on some of those studies in remedies or its sister publications. The studies were so fascinating that we couldn’t ignore them! They had titles like “Super Bowls: Serving Bowl Size and Food Consumption” and “Fattening Fasting: Hungry Grocery Shoppers Buy More Calories.” All six (and seven other recently retracted articles) were authored by Cornell University professor Brian Wansink, PhD. They were widely reported in popular media. Wansink resigned from Cornell shortly after the JAMA retractions. He said there’d been “no fraud, no intentional misreporting.” But Cornell cited “misreporting of data” and “problematic statistical techniques.” I’ve always looked forward to Wansink’s studies, which asserted, for example, that students watching a horror movie would tend to snack on candy and cookies, while those watching a talk show might be more inclined to eat fruit. Those studies usually confirmed something I already believed about the psychology of food choices. I’m not entirely skeptical of his findings now, but I’m alarmed that his methods cast doubt on them. I hope Cornell University will continue with this type of research. Carefully scrutinized studies can provide a useful and accessible check on the food choices we make.

Rich Wallace, editor 6  remedies 

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Graphic Designer Ronna Rajaniemi Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service customerservice@tasteforlife.com Client Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Client Services Director—Advertising and Digital Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 978-255-2062 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) 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, 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2018 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.

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resveratrol may ease arthritis pain Taking resveratrol along with a standard medication reduced osteoarthritis (OA) pain in a 90-day trial. All participants had mild to moderate knee OA, and all received a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Those who also received 500 milligrams per day of resveratrol reported significantly less pain than those who took a placebo, and blood tests showed reduced levels of C-reactive protein and other biomarkers of inflammation. Resveratrol is a polyphenol extracted from grapes and certain other plants. It has strong antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. It’s available in several supplement forms. “Is resveratrol an effective add-on to NSAIDS to treat knee osteoarthritis?” www.EurekAlert.org, 9/17/18 l “Resveratrol supplementation reduces pain and inflammation in knee osteoarthritis patients treated with meloxicam . . .” by B.H. Marouf et al., Journal of Medicinal Food, 8/30/18

diet can help RA Diet can play a significant role in controlling the symptoms and progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A recent study in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition lists blueberries, ginger, olive oil, and green tea among the beneficial foods. RA causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. The authors of the study determined that certain foods can help reduce inflammation brought on by the disease. They also specified dried plums, pomegranates, whole grains, and turmeric, among others. “Regular consumption of specific dietary fibers, vegetables, fruits, and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, can help patients manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis,” said researcher Bhawna Gupta, PhD. “Incorporating probiotics into the diet can also reduce the progression and symptoms of this disease.” “Managing rheumatoid arthritis with dietary interventions” by K. Shweta et al., Front Nutr, 11/8/17 l “Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression,” Frontiers, 11/8/17

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yoga music calms anxiety Listening to yoga music at bedtime may lower the risk of heart trouble. A new study found that such music “has a beneficial impact on heart rate variability before sleeping.” High variability is a positive measure, showing the heart’s ability to adapt to changes. Previous research showed a link between music and a reduction in anxiety in patients with heart disease. Participants in the new study listened to two types of music on separate nights,

and no music at all on the third. Soothing, meditative yoga music brought about a reduction in anxiety and an increase in heart rate variability. Pop music had the opposite effects, while silence did not cause significant changes. “Listening to soothing music before bedtime is a cheap and easy-to-implement therapy that cannot cause harm,” said researcher Naresh Sen, MD. He noted that holistic therapies such as music should not be used to replace medications, but can be used as an add-on. “Listening to yoga music at bedtime is good for the heart,” European Society of Cardiology, 8/27/18

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exercise is key to heart health

probiotics may cut need for meds Infants and children who receive daily probiotic supplements appear to be less likely to need antibiotic prescriptions, according to a new analysis of studies. “Given this finding, potentially one way to reduce the use of antibiotics is to use probiotics on a regular basis,” said researcher Daniel Merenstein, MD, of the Georgetown University School of Medicine. “We already have evidence that consuming probiotics reduces the incidence, duration, and severity of certain types of common acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.” The analysis of 12 studies found a 29 percent reduced likelihood of antibiotic prescriptions in kids who regularly received probiotics. When only the highest quality studies were analyzed, that number rose to 53 percent. “Modulatory effect of three probiotic strains on infants’ gut microbial composition and immunological parameters . . .” by J. De Andres et al., Beneficial Microbes, 5/4/18 l “Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions, researchers say,” Georgetown University Medical Center, 9/14/18

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Older adults who spend less time sitting and more time exercising have healthier hearts and blood vessels, according to new research from the American Heart Association (AHA). Women showed particularly strong benefits. “The 60 to 64 age range represents an important transition between work and retirement, when lifestyle behaviors tend to change,” said lead author Ahmed Elhakeem, PhD. His research team studied the effects of light physical activity—such as slow walking, golfing, or gardening—and moderate-to-vigorous exercises like brisk walking, cycling, dancing, or tennis. They concluded that physical activity may lower cardiovascular disease risk by improving the function of blood vessels. The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, plus muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days per week. “Cardiovascular disease risk is higher in older adults,” Dr. Elhakeem said. “We found it’s important to replace time spent sedentary with any intensity level of activity.” “Older adults who get physical can lower their heart disease risk,” AHA/ASA Newsroom, https://Newsroom. Heart.org, 8/2/18 l “Physical activity, sedentary time, and cardiovascular disease biomarkers at age 60 to 64 years” by A. Elhakeem et al., Journal of the American Heart Association, 8/8/18

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a checklist for health Harvard Medical School has completed a large-scale, long-term study on the impact of health habits on life expectancy, looking at health measures of nearly 200,000 people over three decades. They identified five major factors that make a huge difference in the likelihood of living a long, healthy life. 1. A healthy diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and low in red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium. 2. A  t least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise. 3. A healthy body weight, defined as a normal body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. 4. N  ot smoking. 5. M  oderate alcohol intake, limited to no more than one 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits per day. “Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life” by Monique Tello, MD, Harvard Health Publishing, 7/5/18

omega 3s may ease depression Having higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids correlated to lower levels of cognitive depression in a group of heart failure patients. Cognitive depression includes sadness and pessimism; somatic depression would also include symptoms such as fatigue and disturbed sleep. Participants in the study had been diagnosed with both chronic heart failure and depression. They received 2 grams per day of a 2:1 EPA/DHA omega-3 supplement, a high EPA product, or a placebo. The two omega-3 products produced similar results. The study lasted 12 weeks. “Generally, we think of the function of omega 3s as preventive rather than as treatment,” said lead researcher Bill Harris, PhD. “If used as treatment, the dose must be fairly high (4 grams is a typical ‘drug’ dose).” “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplements in depressed heart failure patients . . .” by W. Jiang et al., JACC Heart Fail, 8/7/18

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sports performance

flex your fascia this web of tissue shapes every movement

For something that’s present pretty much everywhere inside the body, fascia has received remarkably little attention from researchers—until recent years. Considering that, as Runner’s World magazine put it, “Fascia is a major player in every movement you make and every injury you’ve ever had,” it’s about time.

What is it? A network of connective tissue that literally holds the body together, fascia weaves around organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones, and organs—encasing, connecting, and protecting you and all of your parts. It’s made of collagen and is both fibrous and mucous. Picture a spider web, cling wrap, fabric, or film that continuously adjusts as you move. 14  remedies 

Why is it important? Consider this: “Injuries to the fascial system cause a significant loss of performance in recreational exercise as well as highperformance sports, and could have a potential role in the development and perpetuation of musculoskeletal disorders, including lower back pain.” That’s from a consensus paper on fascial tissue research, developed by experts following a sports medicine conference and published in the August issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The paper calls for continued research into fascia, and it’s easy to see why. Damage or tightness in the fascial network can lead to stiffness, poor posture, headaches, and muscle, neck, and back pain. If you sit too long, stand too long, or don’t stretch enough, your fascia may tighten up. Intensive physical training can cause fascial tightness, too, as can chronic inflammation and physical trauma like surgery or injury.

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Keep it flexible Healthy fascia is pliable; it stretches and returns easily to its initial shape. You can keep it flexible—or restore its flexibility—by being mindful and following a few guidelines. Keep moving. Take time every day to really stretch. Try rolling around in bed in the morning and working all your muscles. You can also stretch your fascia by holding gentle stretches for three to five minutes. Hydrate. Keep your fascial tissue lubricated and working smoothly by drinking plenty of water. Roll, baby, roll. Use a soft foam roller or a small ball to gently and slowly work your fascia. In places where you find tension, hold pressure for three to five minutes. To ease discomfort in the plantar fascia (the bottom of the foot), gently roll your foot over a tennis ball. Relax. Loosen up tight fascia in a warm Epsom salt bath. Soak for 15 or 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of light activity. Consult a specialist. A variety of practitioners offer fascial or myofascial therapy, using techniques that range from massage to Rolfing to stretching and exercise.

Think like a plant Tom Myers, coauthor of Fascial Release for Structural Balance ($34.95, Lotus Publishing, 2017), notes that bodies are often described in mechanical terms, their parts chugging along like individual components in a well-oiled machine. “The error comes when we start thinking that humans are actually built that way,” he says. A better metaphor for the body than a machine, he says, is a plant. “We are grown from a tiny seed—a single cell, or fertilized ovum, about the size of a pin prick—not glued together in parts.” Rather, he says, the parts grew together within the glue, or fascial web. Once you understand and really feel the body as a whole organism, Myers says, you can move with more integrity—like a plant, not a machine. —Jane Eklund “Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: From molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics” by Martina Zugel et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, 8/14/18 l “Learn about fascia: Fascia and your yoga practice” by Tom Myers, Yoga Journal, 1/18/18 l “Understanding your fascia” by Julia Lucas, Runner’s World, 6/10/11 l “What is fascia, and is ‘myofascial release’ the secret to better health?” by Madeleine Howell, The Telegraph, 12/20/17 l “What is muscle fascia?” by Christiane Northrup, MD, DrNorthrup.com, 2/22/17

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supplement spotlight

from SAD to glad seasonal affective disorder needn’t be a drag Gone is the sunny warmth of summer. Breezes carry a chill that provokes a gloomy feeling in you. What gives? You may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s a depression that typically occurs during the winter, when there’s less sunlight. “SAD is one of the most common types of depression,” says Amy Rothenberg, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Enfield, CT. “It’s both very preventable and treatable, and responds well to natural-medicine approaches. And the earlier you seek care, the better.”

Know the signs Start by knowing what to expect with SAD. You may feel a general sadness and be fatigued and easily agitated. Other symptoms include low energy and less interest in things you usually enjoy. Some people get headaches and muscle and joint pain. Maybe it’s hard for you to concentrate. You might also have trouble sleeping, or you may sleep too much. You may crave and eat more simple carbohydrates and sweets, and gain weight. Hopelessness may creep in and, at the worst, despair and suicidal thoughts. Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider, in case they’re due to something else. SAD “occurs more often in females between puberty and menopause, telling us it has something to do with the sex hormones,” says Alfred Lewy, MD, psychiatrist and a SAD specialist, in Portland, OR. “You’re

16  remedies 

also more susceptible if you live far from the equator, and there’s a history of depression with yourself and/ or within your family. Or, maybe you’ve got too little vitamin D, which your body makes with the help of the sun.”

Adjust your body clock During the longer nights of winter, you naturally produce more melatonin, the best biomarker for your 24-hour body clock. Come morning, sunlight helps you wake up. When those rays hit the retina, they activate cells there to tell the brain’s hypothalamus to stop the pineal gland from producing melatonin. But what if you have to get up before dawn? Winter’s short days may disrupt your body clock, leading to SAD. To shift your body clock earlier, face the morning sun, but without looking at it. “You’re safe getting about 20 minutes without sunscreen,” says Dr. Rothenberg. Also helpful (and evidence-based) is a medicalgrade light-therapy box. Light from its cool fluorescent tubes is diffused by a clear Plexiglas cover that blocks any (minimal) harmful ultraviolet rays. “Right when you wake up, for 30 minutes to two hours a day, sit in front of the light box at the distance recommended by its manufacturer, usually within two feet, to get 2,000–10,000 lux [a measure of illumination]. But don’t stare directly into the light,” says Dr. Lewy. “If you’re among the small percentage whose body clocks need more light in the evening, use the box then, instead, ending one hour before bedtime.”

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You can also shift your body clock with melatonin. “A low dose (0.3–0.5 milligrams) presents a more precise time signal,” says Dr. Lewy. “If that amount doesn’t make you sleepy, you can take it earlier than bedtime, otherwise right before sleep.”

Be vitamin savvy Dr. Rothenberg cautions that too much vitamin D can cause toxicity. In addition to getting the vitamin from the sun and a supplement, it’s found in cod, salmon, sardines, herring, and other fatty, coldwater fish. “A diet high in B vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids also helps with SAD,” she says. “So does St. John’s wort, 500–1,000 milligrams a day.” She adds exercise, a good night’s sleep, and the company of others to the list. “Even if you don’t have SAD,” Dr. Rothenberg says, “you can benefit from these healthful choices that only improve your overall well-being, no matter what the season.” —Claire Sykes “Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women” by D.C. Kerr et al, Psychiatry Res, 5/30/15 l “Beat the winter blues! Seasonal affective disorder,” The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, www.Naturopathic.org l Personal communication: Alfred Lewy, Amy Rothenberg, 9/18 l “Seasonal affective disorder,” American Psychological Association, www.APA.org l “Seasonal affective disorder,” National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov

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the ABCs of

vitamins give your body what it needs

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There’s consensus that the best way to get your vitamins is by eating a balanced diet that focuses on whole foods. But it’s also true that many of us don’t get all the nutrients we need from the food we eat. Sometimes we just don’t have the time or resources to eat well. And, as we age, our body’s production of both stomach acid and saliva declines, impairing digestion and decreasing the amount of nutrients we absorb from food. If there are impairments to organs such as the stomach, pancreas, or small intestine, vitamin absorption decreases further. All of these reasons help explain why a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement is a staple for more than half of Americans. One way to fill nutritional gaps without foregoing the benefits of whole foods is to take vitamin supplements made from whole foods. Whole foods provide a wide range of nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and more—in combination, so your body can absorb them efficiently.

Which type is right for you? What’s the difference between synthetic and wholefood supplements? Synthetic supplements provide isolated vitamins manufactured in labs and may contain fillers and additives. They are designed to duplicate the way natural vitamins act in the body. Whole-food supplements are made from natural materials containing the vitamin source. Natural whole-food supplements are usually labeled as such and name food sources in the ingredients list; synthetic supplements typically list individual vitamins and minerals and may use chemical names for them. While plants can provide many nutrients, they are not good sources of vitamin D. In the case of this important vitamin, “[f]ood-based products need to include either fish oil (such as cod liver oil), a meat liver extract, or brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), or lichen (a combination of algae and fungus—which can be eaten if properly prepared),” according to ConsumerLab.com, a publisher of independent test results on nutrition products. “Do whole food multivitamins contain synthetic vitamins?” www.ConsumerLab.com l “Food synergy: an operational concept for understanding nutrition” by David R. Jacobs et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 5/1/09 l “Synthetics vs. natural supplements: what you need to know” by Lee Holmes, http://WellnessPlus.net

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continued from page 21 VITAMIN

ACTION

RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCES AND ADEQUATE INTAKES

A

Antioxidant needed for eye and skin health and immunity; may help fight cancer.

700 micrograms for women; 900 micrograms for men

B1 (thiamine)

Enhances brain function and energy.

1.1 milligrams (mg) for women; 1.2 mg for men

B2 (riboflavin)

Essential for energy and immune support.

1.1 mg for women; 1.3 mg for men

B3 (niacin)

Aids healthy circulation and nerves; lowers cholesterol.

14 mg for women; 16 mg for men

B5 (pantothenic acid)

Fights stress; enhances stamina.

5 mg

B6

Needed for growth; reduces high levels of homocysteine.

1.3 mg; 1.5 mg for women 51 and older; 1.7 mg for men 51 and older

B7 (biotin)

Promotes healthy hair, nails, and skin.

30 micrograms

B9 (folic acid or folate)

Important in genetic, metabolic, and nervous system health; reduces risk of some birth defects.

400 micrograms; 600 micrograms during pregnancy

B12

Needed for blood formation and nervous system health.

2.4 micrograms

C (ascorbic acid)

Antioxidant for immune, eye, and skin health.

75 mg for women; 90 mg for men

D

Critical for bone and tooth health; may help prevent autoimmune diseases and some cancers.

15 micrograms; 20 micrograms for ages 71 and older

E

Antioxidant that protects against Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease.

15 mg

K

Helps with blood clotting, bone formation, and bone repair.

90 micrograms for women; 120 micrograms for men

“Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, vitamins,” Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies, www.NationalAcademies.org/hmd, 2017 l An Evidence-Based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals: Health Benefits and Intake Recommendations by Jane Higdon and Victoria J. Drake ($69.96, Thieme, 2012) l “Micronutrient information center,” Linus Pauling Institute, http://lpi.OregonState.edu, 2015 l “Nutrient recommendations,” National Institutes of Health, http://ods.od.nih.gov, 2015

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Boiron’s Oscillococcinum temporarily relieves flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headache, fever, chills, and fatigue. Oscillococcinum works best when taken at the first sign of symptoms. www.BoironUSA.com

With the organic essential oils in NOW Foods’ Let It Be Organically Essential Oils Kit you can stay connected to nature and promote a healthy outlook as well.

Ridgecrest Herbals’ SinusClear supports a positive histamine response and helps keep nasal passages and airways clear using a unique blend of herbs from global traditions. www.RCherbals.com

Saline sprays alone can be drying to the nasal passages. Adding xylitol helps ensure that beyond cleansing, Xlear Sinus & Nasal Spray also moisturizes and protects delicate tissues.

888-669-3663 www.NOWfoods.com

www.Xlear.com

Bluebonnet Nutrition’s Simply Calm Powder is a water-soluble blend of magnesium carbonate/ citrate to help with occasional sleeplessness and stress, as well as provide bone and immune support.

Mushroom Wisdom’s Amyloban 3399 is made from an extract concentrating active compounds from the lion’s mane mushroom to support healthy brain function and cognition, as well as sleep quality.

www.BluebonnetNutrition.com

www.MushroomWisdom.com

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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healthspan

staying sharp

natural ways to support brain health as you age As we age, it’s normal for the brain to work less nimbly than in years past. Memory’s inevitable decline starts as early as the 20s, although it’s subtle enough that most people won’t notice that they’re losing mental ground until after age 60.

Memory lapses usually start small, such as forgetting why you walked into a room, where you put your keys, or drawing a blank on an acquaintance’s name. This normal part of the aging process is called age-related cognitive decline, with the main signs being memory problems, less aptitude for learning new information, and difficulty concentrating. People of all ages want to keep their minds sharp—from middle-aged people who may have noticed the first inklings of age-related cognitive decline to older adults concerned with the potential for serious memory problems. Fortunately, memory experts have found ways to retain brainpower.

Feed your brain Adopting a Mediterranean diet—the cuisine typical of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea—may be the most powerful dietary route for preserving gray matter. When nearly

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2,000 older individuals and their diets were tracked for many years, the benefits of a Mediterranean diet became clear. As a person’s score (representing how closely they followed a Mediterranean diet) went up, their chances of later experiencing cognitive problems such as dementia went down by 10 percent. The Mediterranean diet also showed clear benefits for memory, language use, and overall thinking ability. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish account for some of the brainy benefit in this diet. For the greatest benefit, select fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines a few times a week. These fish are the richest in a brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. Dietary supplements of omega-3 fatty acids offer a great alternative for those who don’t care to regularly eat fish.

Be MINDful A variation of the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet combines Mediterranean-style eating with the DASH diet (which aims to reduce blood pressure). When people eating foods from this diet were tracked for more than 14 years, clear benefits were documented for retaining verbal memory skills. The MIND diet is rich in fish, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, and leafy, green vegetables. It avoids red meat, cheese, and fried foods. Another tasty way to keep your brain humming along? Blueberries. Powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins in blueberries account for this benefit. Current thinking holds that the anthocyanins boost brain cell connections and communication, as well as the regeneration of brain cells. When older adults with cognitive complaints take either a daily tablet of fish oil or anthocyanins, something remarkable happens: Thinking gets clearer. A specialized type of fat called phosphatidylserine (PS) is found in brain cell membranes, where it facilitates communication among the cells to aid memory and clear thinking. Research suggests that PS supplements can help safeguard brain function in older adults and can also counteract some amount of agerelated cognitive decline. 26  remedies 

Consider Curcumin Curcumin, extracted from the herb turmeric, has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline in older people. Curcumin can increase the levels of BDNF—brain-derived neurotrophic factor—in the brain. A deficiency of BDNF has been linked to depression and Alzheimer’s. Because curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it can sharpen memory and ramp up learning ability. This herb has been put to the test in a group of older people. Daily curcumin supplements provided an attention and memory boost, as well as a mood lift. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) can be added to food, but supplements of a standardized extract can be a more reliable way to garner a significant therapeutic effect. Aim for 400 milligrams (mg) of a curcumin standardized extract once or twice daily.

Herbal Help Many herbs have the potential to enhance thinking powers. A growing body of research shows that ginkgo, taken alone and in various combinations with other supplements, benefits cognition. Ginkgo extract supplements show effects on cognitive symptoms similar to those of the dementia medication Aricept, with the advantage of being safer to use. —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH “Association of long-term adherence to the MIND diet with cognitive function and cognitive decline . . .” by A.M. Berendsen et al., J Nutr Health Aging, 2018 l “Cognitive response to fish oil, blueberry, and combined supplementation in older adults with subjective cognitive impairment” by R.K. McNamara et al., Neurobiol Aging, 4/18 l “Curcumin and cognition: a randomised, placebocontrolled, double-blind study of community-dwelling older adults” by S.R. Rainey-Smith et al., Br J Nutr, 6/16 l “Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood . . .” by K.H. Cox et al., J Psychopharmacol, 5/15 l “A high omega-3 fatty acid multinutrient supplement benefits cognition and mobility in older women . . .” by S.C. Strike et al., J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2/16 l “The impact of the Mediterranean diet on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults . . .” by D.G. Loughrey et al., Adv Nutr, 7/17 l “Mediterranean diet and cognitive health: Initial results from the Hellenic longitudinal investigation of ageing and diet” by C.A. Anastasiou et al., PLOS One, 8/17 l “Similar treatment outcomes with Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 and donepezil in Alzheimer’s dementia in very old age . . .” by M. Rapp et al., Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther, 3/18

l  November 2018

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

anxiety What is it? Feelings of tension; worry; physical changes including increased blood pressure, dizziness, sweating, trembling, racing heartbeat. What causes it? Most often factors such as finances, personal relationships, school, and work; sometimes brain chemistry and genetics, medical conditions, or side effects of medications.

Lifestyle: Breathe deeply; exercise; focus on the positive; listen to soothing music; meditate; talk to a friend, especially one who makes you laugh.

Food: Almonds, blueberries, bananas, bell peppers, chia seeds, citrus fruit, dairy, dark chocolate, eggs, green tea, salmon, turkey, yogurt.

Herbal Therapy: Ashwagandha, bacopa, chamomile, kava kava, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, rhodiola, St. John’s wort, valerian.

Supplements: Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B-

Homeopathy: Aconite, Argentium, Arsenicum

complex; fish oil; GABA; L-theanine; magnesium; 5-HTP.

album, Calcarea, Natrum muriaticum, Pulsatilla, Silica.

“6 foods that help reduce anxiety” by Brianna Elliott, 7/9/17; “25 vitamins, minerals, herbs, and more” by Adrian White, 3/22/18, www.Healthline.com, 3/22/18 l “10 relaxation techniques that zap stress fast” by Jeanette Moninger, www.WebMD.com, 12/10/17 l “Anxiety,” American Psychological Association, www.APA.org l “Anxiety or fear,” National Center for Homeopathy, www.HomeopathyCenter.org l “Herbal treatment for anxiety: is it effective?” www.MayoClinic.org, 3/2/18

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© NASSIMA ROTHACKER

healthy glow

Avocado & Rose Face Oil From The Art of Natural Beauty by Rebecca Sullivan Perfect for dry skin. Avocado and rose are both super nourishing and hydrating, making this the perfect moisture treatment while you sleep. 6 1 2 8–10

Tbsp avocado oil tsp rosehip essential oil tsp rose water drops rose essential oil

1. Place all ingredients in a sterilized small bottle and shake to mix. Keep in a cool, dry place or the fridge for up to 3 months. 2. To use, wash and dry your face before bed, then put a few generous drops of this oil on your fingertips and rub them together to warm the oil. Apply to your face, leaving it to soak in while you sleep. Tip: To extend the shelf life of this oil further, to about 6 months, add 2 drops of pure vitamin E oil.

natural beauty – Excerpted from The Art of Natural Beauty by Rebecca Sullivan ($12.99, Kyle Books, 2018) The chemical-laden product I was smoothing all over my cheeks contained at least 13 things I couldn’t pronounce nor could I have told you what they were. I felt a bit of a hypocrite after years of banging on about what we should and shouldn’t put in our bodies. There I was, standing in the bathroom putting blusher on my cheeks, and I had a sudden realization that I was saying one thing about what I ate and doing the opposite with what I put everywhere else. On average, women use around 12 personal care products a day. If you add that up by way of individual ingredients if they’re shop-bought, potentially that’s well over 100 different ingredients going into your body via your skin. If even just a quarter of those are chemicals, that’s a lot of rubbish going into your bloodstream. Eek! And when there are no regulations in the beauty industry, like there are with food and drink, anything could be going in there. Mainly synthetic fillers, water, and alcohol. I can think of better things to do with alcohol. November 2018  

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herbal healing

drops of power oregano oil packs a punch

It turns out Grandma’s spaghetti sauce doesn’t only taste good, but it’s good for you too. Oregano, a key aromatic herb in Mediterranean cooking, is a natural antioxidant that’s been used for medicinal purposes for more than 2,000 years. But the highly concentrated oil of oregano greatly enhances the herb’s healing properties, helping to ward off a long list of internal and external ailments. Producing oregano’s powerful healing elixir requires drying its leaves and shoots and distilling it to extract the essential oil. It includes three key compounds: ◆ Antimicrobial carvacrol, which can help prevent the growth of bacteria. ◆ Antifungal thymol, which helps boost the immune system. ◆ Antioxidant rosmarinic acid, which helps protect against damage caused by free radicals.

Vast healing powers Oregano oil has been shown to rival antibiotics for treating or preventing various infections, without harmful side effects. It potentially can fight off allergies, sinus pain, arthritis, colds and flu, earaches, and fatigue. It’s also been shown to prevent overgrowth of yeast that can lead to thrush, yeast infections, and digestive problems. It also may help manage cholesterol levels, reduce pain and inflammation, and even help shed unwanted pounds. When applied topically, oregano oil can help minimize a long list of skin conditions from acne, athlete’s foot, and dandruff to warts, ringworm, rosacea, and psoriasis. Oregano oil comes in liquid and capsule forms. One drop packs a powerful healing punch, but it should not be used at full strength. For skin conditions or infections, dilute one drop of oregano oil with one teaspoon of olive oil, then apply to the affected area. If ingesting it, dilute one drop of oregano oil with one drop of another oil such as olive or coconut, place 1 to 3 drops under the tongue, then flush with water. Or you can put a few drops in a cup of water or tea. Because oregano oil might interfere with medications, ask your healthcare practitioner if it’s safe for you to take. Avoid it if you are pregnant. —Patty Bovie

“Anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil in a human skin disease model” by X. Han and T.L. Parker, Biochim Open, 3/17 l “Characterization of herbal antifungal agent, Origanum vulgare against oral candida spp. . . .” by V. Bhat et al., Contemp Clin Dent, 6/18 l “Effective antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer activities of essential oils of horticultural aromatic crops . . .” by H.O. Elansary et al., BMC Complement Altern Med, 7/18 l “Oregano,” WebMD.com l “Origanum vulgare L. essential oil as a potential anti-acne topical nanoemulsion . . .” by M.H. Taleb et al., Molecules, 8/18

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Š Rod Luey - Fotolia.com

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

www.AmericanHealthUS.com

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Remedies November 2018  
Remedies November 2018