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26 cool under pressure

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December 2016 vol.12 no. 12



departments 6 From the Editor’s Desk

stock those 12 stockings feature

Treats don’t have to be sweets.

8 Health Pulse

Carotenoids improve vision • Fenugreek helps with hot flashes • Melatonin reduces blood pressure • Fish oil eases muscle aches • More

17 Sports Nutrition

Stay active during the holidays.

20 In Focus

Indulge in moderation at this year’s festivities.

23 The Goods 24 Real-World Homeopathy Help for indigestion.

26 Herbal Healing

Weather the demands of the season.

29 Supplement Spotlight

Relief for common aches and pains.

30 Postscript Cover: Blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea)

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


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from the editor ’s desk

remedies for LIFE

Giving Ways Whether you’re buying for many or for just a few special people, the holiday season poses challenges we only see on a small scale the rest of the year. How do we show the people we love that we care without giving them something that will end up simply cluttering a shelf, or duplicating something they already have? The answer, often, is to think outside the (gift) box. I’ve taken great pleasure giving people experiences—gift certificates to special restaurants, snowboarding lessons, and nights at bed and breakfasts in picturesque towns. I’ve also felt some expensive disappointment when these well-meaning gifts fell short, for whatever reason, and weren’t used. So what does everyone need? Starting on page 12, Jane Stoddard suggests small, healthy “treats” that adults, especially, can use and enjoy. These include teas, aromatherapy sprays made with essential oils, and therapeutic personal care products. A sidebar discusses innovative ways to give essential items to those in need. And how about a gift to yourself? This time of year, taking care of yourself can seem like an expendable luxury—our focus is on the “spirit of giving.” But you’re in a much better place to give of yourself to family and friends when you’re well. Need tips on finding the time to stay fit over the holiday season? Turn to Karen Asp’s article, “Exercising Before the Rush,” on page 17. Fitness doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition, and it can help keep you calm and cool amid the rush. When you can let down your hair, maybe at the next holiday party, make sure you take care of yourself then too. We look at this topic from two different directions in this month’s remedies: On page 20, health expert Lisa Petty describes ways to enjoy yourself without regrets. But then, in case you do hit the dessert table or wine bottle a little too hard, we suggest homeopathic remedies for indigestion and other post-party ills starting on page 24. Our best, healthiest wishes to you and your family this holiday season!

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Managing Editor Donna Moxley Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service 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 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); ©2016 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

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healthpulse nondrug approaches for pain

A new report in Mayo Clinic Proceedings identifies yoga, t’ai chi, and other complementary practices as effective treatment options to help manage common pain conditions. “For many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, medications may not completely relieve pain and can produce unwanted side effects,” said Richard L. Nahin, PhD, of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “As a result, many people turn to nondrug approaches to help manage their pain.” Dr. Nahin and his team reviewed studies that focused on complementary approaches to chronic pain. They found these treatments safe and effective: ■ Acupuncture for back pain ■ Acupuncture and t’ai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee ■ Massage therapy for neck pain (short-term benefit) ■ Relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraines. They also determined that massage therapy, spinal manipulation, and osteopathic manipulation may provide some relief from back pain, and that relaxation and t’ai chi may help people with fibromyalgia. “NIH Review Finds Nondrug Approaches Effective for Treatment of Common Pain Conditions,” NIH/National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 9/1/16

supplements may

improve vision

Supplementation with three carotenoids was found to improve visual performance in people with normal vision to begin with. The biggest gains were observed in contrast sensitivity, which measures how we discern the edges of objects. The three carotenoids are lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. They are generally concentrated in the macula, which is responsible for our central vision. Participants received 10 milligrams (mg) of lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin, and 10 mg meso-zeaxanthin daily for 12 months. “Enrichment of Macular Pigment Enhances Contrast Sensitivity in Subjects Free of Retinal Disease . . .” by J.M. Nolan et al., Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci, 6/16 ● “Study Shows 3-Carotenoid Formula Boosts Visual Performance for Non-impaired Subjects” by Hank Schultz,, 7/14/16


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melatonin regulates circadian rhythms Numerous factors can upset our circadian rhythms as we age, including irregular blood pressure (BP). A recent study shows that melatonin supplements can help. Older adults were studied during three consecutive weeks. Data were collected during the first week to establish a baseline for the circadian rhythms of BP, heart rate, and body temperature. For the next two weeks, participants received a daily low-dose melatonin supplement (1.5 milligrams) at 10:30 p.m. At the end of the trial period, the melatonin had significantly reduced BP and made other circadian rhythms smoother and less irregular. The maximum effect on systolic BP occurred between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., which is the time of the highest risk of heart attacks and strokes. Participants with the highest BP at the beginning of the study saw the most significant improvements. “Daily Melatonin Administration Attenuates Age-Dependent Disturbances of Cardiovascular Rhythms” by D.G. Gubin et al., Curr Aging Sci, 2016 ● “Melatonin Reduces Blood Pressure and Tunes Up Disrupted Circadian Rhythms in the Elderly,” Bentham Science Publishers, 5/17/16

fenugreek cools

hot flashes

A common herbal extract provided significant relief from menopause symptoms in a three-month study. Women with moderate to severe discomfort and poor quality of life received 1,000 milligrams of fenugreek extract per day. About a third of them reported no hot flashes after 90 days, while the others were experiencing only one or two flashes per day (down from three to five before the trial). Improvements were also seen in vaginal dryness, irritability, anxiety, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, and headaches. “A Novel Extract of Fenugreek Husk . . . Alleviates Postmenopausal Symptoms and Helps to Establish the Hormonal Balance . . .” by S.S. Begum et al., Phytotherapy Research, 7/13/16

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fish oil for muscle soreness?

A fish oil supplement reduced muscle soreness after weight training in a group of young women. Participants had not done weight training before. They received a high dose of EPA/DHA-rich fish oil (6 grams) or a placebo each day for a week. They then did resistance training for elbow flexion and leg extension. Muscle soreness was measured 48 hours later and again after a full week. The supplement group had significantly less soreness compared to the placebo group. “Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation on Postresistance Exercise Muscle Soreness” by G.M. Tinsley et al., J Diet Suppl, 7/21/16

vegans may need B12 supplement

A new report from Germany states that it is difficult for those following a vegan diet to get an adequate amount of vitamin B12. The vitamin is primarily found in meat and fish, although many breakfast cereals and other foods are fortified with it. “With a pure plant-based diet, it is difficult or impossible to attain an adequate supply of some nutrients. The most critical nutrient is vitamin B12,” stated the report from the German Nutrition Society. The report identified omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium, iron, zinc, and selenium as nutrients that might be lacking in a vegan diet, and recommended dietary supplementation to fill the gaps. US, Canadian, British, and Australian agencies have all said in the past that well-planned vegan diets can be healthful and appropriate, particularly when they include nutritional supplements, according to Be sure to consult with a healthcare practitioner when embarking on a vegan diet. “Vegans Should Take Vitamin B12 Supplements ‘Permanently’” by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn,, 8/23/16 ● “Vitamin B12,” National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet, B12

herb may

lighten mood

Looking to ease mild depression? The herb St. John’s wort appears to reduce the production of cortisol (a stress hormone) and boost the action of neurotransmitters that help lighten mood. The staff at Massachusetts General Hospital advises that the herb is most effective for mild to moderate depression and less so for people with severe depression. It can interact with certain prescription drugs, so check with a healthcare practitioner before taking St. John’s wort. It should not be used with most antidepressant drugs. “Do ‘Natural’ Remedies Work for Depression?” Mind, Mood & Memory, Massachusetts General Hospital, 9/16


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stocking stuffers for the ages little gifts with a big payoff

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Pouring the contents of a Christmas stocking onto the rug in front of the fire and sorting through the loot is a cherished memory of many a grown-up child. As adults, our idea of a “treat” often changes, and receiving a variety of small, fun, healthy items can fit the bill. If you’re looking to create a sweet stocking for someone you love who has more adult tastes, check this list for some great ideas.

Gifts for those in need Many of us see the holidays as a special time to help the less fortunate. In addition to donating money to causes we want to support, there are also personal ways to make a difference in people’s lives.

Last year, a friend collected women’s unused handbags and filled them with items homeless women and others down on their luck might need: Deodorant, soap, toothpaste/toothbrush, socks, a small amount of cash, feminine products, and a comb or hairbrush made up these essential gift bags. She and her daughter distributed them to women on the streets in their area. Other gift bags for men, women, and children may include high-protein snacks, individually wrapped tea bags, drink powders, candies, and grooming supplies. Gloves or mittens, hand sanitizer and cream, and small toys would be a welcome surprise. Or consider donating some of these items in bulk to a nearby shelter or food pantry. The cost may be small but the difference they make can be huge! 14

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Body and beauty care

Soothing body cream scented with lavender essential oil and cocoa butter or vanilla Natural lip balms flavored with orange, cinnamon, peppermint, and other festive flavors Cuticle cream Argan oil for pampering the face Deliciously scented olive-oil soaps Natural-bristle makeup brushes Natural-bristle hairbrushes Attractive, well-designed manicure supplies Bath salts, homemade or store-bought, in a glass jar with a holiday fabric–topped lid Mineral cosmetics, including color-matched lipstick, cheek color, eyeshadow, and nail color (but take heed: This gift may not be well received by someone who doesn’t use makeup)


A variety of essential oils (consider frankincense and myrrh!) A room diffuser or aromatherapy lamp Aromatherapy spray—purchased in your favorite shop, or handmade using the essential oil of a favorite scent, vodka, and distilled water Scented candle


Small jars of local honey tied with a festive bow Loose tea (think winter flavors like peppermint, cinnamon, and vanilla) in bags tied with ribbon A small basket or teacup filled with tea packets Steeping tools, like a tea ball or tea strainer

DIY scented stationery

Letter- and journal-writers will love the idea of notebooks or stationery scented with an essence that will remind them of you every time they write. Choose an essential oil, or combination of oils, that make you think of the holidays, or of the person you’re giving this personalized gift to. Use a few drops of each on a few of the type of cotton pads that are used for removing makeup. Lay these at the bottom of a container that has a lid, and cover with a piece of cardboard to protect the journal from the oil itself. Place the journal, stationery, or other paper in the container and seal for at least a day. Thick journals will need more time for the scent to penetrate. If you have time, experiment with small amounts of common writing paper to see if its scent is what you’re looking for.

Specialized gifts

Hand salve and natural bug repellent for the gardener Valerian root, melatonin, immune boosters, and an inflatable travel pillow for the traveler Tiny, decorative jars of gourmet herbs and spices in a basket, for the adventurous cook A collection of aphrodisiac herbs for you and your romantic partner: consider ashwagandha, Gingko biloba, epimedium (“horny goat weed”), maca, and Panax ginseng A toy, a natural treat, and a breath-freshening snack for your pet’s stocking (if it’s a cat, tuck a catnip or catmint plant right in the top!)

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sports nutrition

exercising before the rush how to get a jump on your fitness and maintain your activity throughout the holidays The holidays are approaching, and you know what that means: Your fitness program is about to go on hiatus. Who has time, after all, to log five days a week in the gym? Yet staying active and committed to your healthy intentions can go a long way in staving off holiday weight gain, not to mention keeping you sane. But how? Simply by shifting your mindset and being flexible in your approach. Adjusting your expectations Thanksgiving might mark the start of what many consider the holiday season. Yet the real rush doesn’t usually start until mid-December. So use those first weeks in December to maintain as normal a fitness program as you can; it could give you the edge come January 1. “With only about three to five days of festivities, using the other 25 days to focus on your movement will keep your hard-earned physique,” says Roland Denzel, personal trainer and health coach in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and co-author of Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well (Propriometrics Press, 2016). Of course, though, once the rush sets in, maintaining your regular exercise program could be nearly impossible, and that’s okay. “Move away from the all-or-nothing mentality that’s so prevalent when it comes to fitness and nutrition, especially during the holidays,” says Jessica Matthews, senior advisor for health and fitness education with the American Council on Exercise, and ACE-certified health coach and master trainer in San Diego, CA. “Instead, adopt a more flexible approach by shifting your mindset about what an active, healthful lifestyle looks like, as small changes done consistently lead to big results.”

Even if you can’t log your regular 45-minute workout, what if you could do just a few minutes—say 10—of movement at a time? “Research has shown that small bouts of activity accumulated throughout the day can improve health and well-being,” Matthews says. For instance, maybe you do 10 minutes of body-weight exercises (think squats, lunges, and push-ups) before work, take a 10-minute walk during lunch, and then do 10 minutes of stretching that night while watching TV. You’ve now logged 30 minutes of activity without having to miss out on any of the holiday fun. December 2016

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How time off can benefit you Yet what if you do have to take a day, or more, off from your structured workout? Not to worry. “Even professional athletes plan weeks off in the middle of their training session,” Denzel says. You may even find that rest could do your body good. “All of your systems need it, as muscles get rebuilt at rest, not in the gym,” he adds. Surprisingly, your fitness won’t decline as much as you might think. Studies show that cardiorespiratory fitness doesn’t begin to decline until about a week and a half of no physical activity, Matthews says. Improvements in muscular strength and endurance can be maintained for a somewhat longer period of inactivity with only slight detraining effects during the first one to two weeks. Greater reductions don’t usually occur until about three to five weeks of non-training with notable reductions observed within six to 12 weeks, she adds. Knowing that, take advantage of this time to be a positive influence on your family. “You can be the driving force to the health of your whole family,” Denzel says. For instance, lead short hikes and active physical games after meals. Encourage your family to build snowmen, shovel snow, or ice skate. If weather allows, you can play hide and seek with your kids or organize a game of dodgeball. The holidays will come and go, as they always do. But with this new flexible approach on your side, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday fun without stressing too much about —Karen Asp your hard-earned fitness.

5 ways to squeeze in extra movement

Little tricks can keep your fitness on track—and your weight from climbing—during the holidays. Try these five: 1 Step it up: Holiday errands can help you rack up steps. To log even more, walk as many places as you can, even taking walking meetings at work and pacing whenever you’re on the phone. 2 Walk as you read: Setting aside time to read? Get the audio version of whatever you’re reading and walk as you listen. 3 Carry one bag at a time: Make multiple trips to the car to log more activity. 4 Turn wait time into move time: Whenever you have a few minutes where you’re doing nothing, like standing in line at the store or waiting for your coffee to brew, perform simple exercises like balancing on one leg at a time. 5 Stand up for your health: Standing burns more calories than sitting, so get vertical as much as possible by trading light-intensity activity for sitting. For example, while watching TV, move during commercials. Or take five-minute walking breaks every hour. Personal communication: Jessica Matthews; Roland Denzel, 2016


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in focus

navigating party season A guide to healthy indulging

Indulging in foods, fancy drinks, and late nights during this time of year is part of the holiday package. But when we get too tired, too stressed, too emotional, or too hungry, intentions to use restraint at a celebration often go up the chimney. Here are some strategies to have your cake—and ďŹ t into your January jeans too. 20

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“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” —Mae West

An ounce of prevention Despite what you may think, avoiding food all day so you can indulge at a later party doesn’t result in a break-even equation for calories and fat. More often than not, you’ll arrive at the event too hungry and impatient to pace yourself and make moderate choices. Instead, when your later day plans include party foods and beverages, be sure to eat well all day. Keep blood sugar balanced by enjoying a source of fat (nuts and seeds), protein (cheese or yogurt), and fiber (veggie sticks) with every meal and snack. This strategy will help you keep your energy levels more even and help to prevent you from over-filling your plate or diving into the dessert table. ▼

Use a small plate: Take a little bit of food at a time and wait a few minutes after eating before you make a return trip to the smorgasbord. Move away from the buffet: Reduce mindless munching by being deliberate about your food choices. Position yourself away from the food, and be conscious of the free pour at the bar. Ask the host

or server not to refill your glass until it’s empty so you can track how many glasses you are sipping. ▼

Keep your hands full: Hold your glass of holiday cheer in one hand and a purse—or glass of water—in the other. Busy hands won’t be as likely to find their way to the finger foods.

Hydrate: Drink at least one glass of water for every other beverage you enjoy. Water not only fills you up so you are less likely to overeat, but it also helps to slow the absorption of the alcohol in your other glass. Skip the coffee: Late night caffeine could interfere with sleep, which can increase the intensity of a hangover. Sleep deprivation also leads to fatigue and may contribute to poor food choices the day after your party. Savor: Choose foods you really enjoy and be mindful of their taste and texture as you eat them. Savoring each bite will keep you in the moment, and will likely lead to eating less food overall.

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Protective party foods

Whether you are hosting the party or choosing a dish to add to the potluck, consider recipes that call for mango, persimmon, or asparagus, and use seasonings including thyme and ginger to help with alcohol metabolism. Choose organic foods whenever possible, to help reduce toxin intake.

Craving crusher

Start your day with a greens supplement so you can front-load your nutrients. Regular intake of greens drinks may help to reduce cravings associated with nutrient deficiencies.

A pound of cure Despite our best intentions, sometimes we feel the effects of overfilled wine glasses, trips to the dessert table, or enjoying foods that disagree with us after the party is over. Here are some tips to soften the morning after. ▼

Hangover help: For relief of

Settle your tummy: No matter what your indulgence, supplemental probiotics including Bifidobacterium longum, B. bifidum, B. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and L. rhamnosus may help relieve abdominal discomfort, bloating, and loose stool. If you don’t feel like eating, replenish nutrients with an easy-on-the-stomach smoothie made with potassium-rich banana, berries, unsweetened yogurt, and a scoop of protein powder.

next-day headache, fatigue, and lethargy, try supplementing with Borago officinalis (borage). Fenugreek seed and red ginseng are also helpful to enhance alcohol metabolism and boost detoxification ▼ Restorative rest: Remember the power of sleep to help your enzymes. Drink plenty of water to body heal from whatever ails you. If help flush toxins out of your system.

anxiety about party-going or a never-ending to-do list is keeping you up at night, sip some chamomile or passionflower tea before bed. —Lisa Petty

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

“10 Tips on . . . Hangovers” by Nerys Williams, Practice Nurse, 12/17/04 ● “Effect of Multispecies Probiotics on Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial” by J.S. Yoon et al., Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2014 ● “Interventions for Preventing or Treating Alcohol Hangover: Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials” by M.H. Pittler et al., BMJ, 12/22/05 ● “Natural Products for the Prevention and Treatment of Hangover and Alcohol Use Disorder” by F. Wang et al., Molecules, 1/7/16


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real-world homeopathy

eat, drink, and be merry weapons in the fight against indigestion

Sooner or later, the cast-iron stomach of youth gives out. On that day we surrender to the reality of human digestion. Suddenly we can’t eat everything in sight. Or drink whatever we choose. What’s a devoted foodie to do? The answer is, “Think small.” The Smallest Cures Homeopathic medicines use minuscule amounts of natural substances to stimulate the body’s self-healing ability. A few bonuses: They’re safe for people of all ages and do not interact with supplements or medications. While the name may seem offputting, Nux vomica is soothing for many digestive issues. These include acid stomach (belching accompanied by sourness); burping that begins an hour or two after eating; difficulty belching; indigestion after too much wine or coffee; and nausea accompanied by vomiting. 24

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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. According to homeopath Alan V. Schmukler, Nux vomica is also an excellent choice when you feel as if the food you’ve eaten is sitting like a stone in your stomach.

Arsenicum album is another highly regarded remedy for digestive problems. Unlike people who find relief from Nux vomica, however, those who gain 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.

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Carbo vegetabilis deserves shelf space in your homeopathic repertoire. It is useful for a different range of symptoms, including: acid stomach or indigestion due to food poisoning; weak digestion; and those times when you’re full, sleepy, and have had too much to eat or drink. This remedy is also handy for heartburn. Speaking of heartburn, if it’s bringing you to your knees, along with a case of sour belching, consider homeopathic Echinacea angustifolia. It’s also the perfect remedy for nausea, accompanied by gas and belching, before bedtime. If a little digestive fine-tuning is still in order, consider Phosphorus, which is good for acute heartburn; Kali bichromicum if you had one beer too many; or Pulsatilla for indigestion due to morning sickness or an evening of fatty foods. Then raise a toast—because you know you can afford to indulge a little—to the potent power of these tiny homeopathic titans. —Annie Graves and Alan Siddal

Remedy Your Situation Check this chart for food triggers and potential homeopathic remedies. SYMPTOM





coffee, spices, alcohol

Nux vomica

worse in the a.m.

sweets, milk

Iris versicolor

headache too

rich or fatty foods


no thirst


Argentum nitricum

very anxious

warm drinks


craves fresh air

pork, pastry, fruit


profuse salivation

fruit, vegetables

Arsenicum album


bread, sour wine

Antimonium crudum

with heartburn

spicy foods

Nux vomica

chilly, irritable

greasy foods


worse at night

cabbage, beans



alcohol, coffee

Nux vomica


fatty foods, onions


protruding abdomen

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 Wordwide, 2006) ● “Indigestion,” by Mayo Clinic staff, ● “Indigestion,” US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health, www.nlm., 2/4/11

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herbal healing

the calm of a winter’s morn . . . . . . and the stress of a demanding season

If cozy, fireside evenings and relaxed ice-skating forays to bucolic ponds in silent woods aren’t regular parts of your holiday experience, it’s possible that stress is. Probable, even. But we can ramp up our planning, social interactions, and expenditures without raising our blood pressure or losing our minds: The natural world has provided us with mood-tempering help. ●

B-complex These vitamins work together to lessen the different symptoms of stress. They can also support the kind of energy levels we need this time of year.

Chamomile It’s not a cliché: Chamomile soothes

anxiety. If you don’t like to drink tea (which in itself is a soothing exercise), it’s available in oil and capsule form. You can also add the dried flowers to a warm bath. ●

Eucalyptus This familiar aroma can help clear the sinuses and chest of winter congestion and ease stress.

Hops Not just found in beer, hops can relieve anxiety and calm hyperactivity. Lavender Add this to an evening bath, or spritz your bedroom with a spray scented with lavender essential oil to invite sleep. L-theanine This amino acid, which is found in green tea, can lower the heart rate and help the brain relax.

Magnesium The relaxation mineral, magnesium eases muscle contractions and has been shown to help with anxiety and sleeplessness. Passionflower Delicious in a tea, passionflower can be taken in several other forms as well. It’s been shown to be as effective as some anxiety drugs. —Donna Moxley

“The Effects of Multivitamin Supplementation on Diurnal Cortisol Secretion and Perceived Stress” by D.A. Camfield et al., Nutrients, 11/13 ● “Lavender Oil-Potent Anxiolytic Properties via Modulating Voltage Dependent Calcium Channels” by A.M. Schuwald et al., PLOS One, 4/29/13 ● Living with Insomnia: Get a Good Night’s Sleep—Natural Sleep Solutions” by Elizabeth Shimer Bowers, www.WebMD. com, 4/25/14 ● Nutritional and Herbal Supplements for Anxiety and AnxietyRelated Disorders: Systematic Review” by S.E. Lakhan and K.F. Vieira, Nutr J, 10/7/10 ● A Randomized, Double-Blind, PlaceboControlled Trial of Oral Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder” by J.D. Amsterdam et al., J Clin Psychopharmacol, 3/17/13 ● Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar ($14.95, Storey Publishing, 2012)


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Don’t Succumb to Cold and Flu

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supplement spotlight

when it hurts

natural remedies can help If you’re shopping for a few hard-to-buy-for family members, keep in mind that nearly everyone suffers from some kind of pain. That might not sound like the jolliest holiday message, but a few simple remedies can help make the season brighter. Try these supplements for relief from common pains. Arthritis Omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage. They’ve been shown to reduce the reliance on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their heat) is effective for arthritis pain. Try it in a rub-on cream.

Headaches Herbal teas made from kava kava, passionflower, valerian, or willow can help relieve headaches. A combination tea of peppermint leaf mixed with linden flower, chamomile, or lemon balm is a tasty remedy for tension headaches. For chronic headaches, Pycnogenol may help in the long term by restoring healthy circulation throughout the body.

Back pain Alpha lipoic acid is found in every cell in the body. A supplemental boost can help relieve back pain. A yoga mat might be the most worthwhile gift of all. Many studies have demonstrated relief from back, shoulder, and neck pain through regular yoga practice. —Cameron Hendrix 7-Syndrome Healing by Marcia Zimmerman and Jayson Kroner ($16.95, Nutrition Solution Publications, 2007) ● Herbal Therapy & Supplements by Merrily A. Kuhn and David Winston ($46.95, Wolters Kluwer, 2008) ● The Inflammation Syndrome by Jack Challem ($14.95, Wiley, 2010) ● Your New Pain Prescription by Sari Harrar (Rodale, 2011)

consider this NEW Flora’s White Willow Bark Extract provides all-natural pain relief. Each vegetarian capsule contains 354.5 milligrams (mg) of white willow bark extract standardized to provide 50 mg of salicin. Wakunaga of America’s Kyolic Curcumin is a unique combination that specifically targets the inflammatory response to safely and effectively support healthy tissues and organs throughout the body.

NOW Red Mineral Algae from NOW Foods is a vegetarian, multimineral complex from marine red algae that can help to support joint comfort and mobility.

Europharma’s Curamin formulas are carefully selected for effective and safe pain relief. Curamin doesn’t mask occasional pain—it gets to the source and stops it.

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“In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in

winter enjoy.”

—John Burroughs


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Be Ready For The Season

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