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tea season

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16 Boost immunity Soothe inflammation Ease into yoga

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healthful hibiscus

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December 2018 vol. 14 no. 12

9

24 19 feature

yoga 101 Everything you need to know to get started.

departments

6 From the Editor’s Desk

9 Health Pulse

Lavender may ease anxiety • Omega 3s and breast cancer • Supplement/drug interactions • More

13 Healthspan

Strategies to boost immunity and fight viruses.

16 Herbal Healing

Relax with a warming cup of tea.

24 Health Strategy

Tackle inflammation to reduce disease risk.

27 Everyday Remedies Simple ways to reduce stress.

28 Supplement Spotlight

Support brain health with vitamins, minerals, and more.

30 Healthy Glow

Exfoliate to refresh dull, dry skin. Cover: Hibiscus tea.

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

/RemediesRecipes

@RemediesRecipes December 2018  

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from the editor ’s desk

Seasonal checklist I was scanning the table of contents for this issue and was struck by the fact that every article was immediately relevant to me. We’re well into cold and flu season, so an immunity boost is certainly a timely idea. Check “’Tis the Season” (page 13) for Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum’s tips for battling winter illnesses. Tea is my favorite beverage, whether it’s green or black or herbal. I was pleased to learn more about the benefits of hibiscus tea and others in “Brewed for Bliss” (page 16). I’ve been a part-time yoga fan for several years, but lately my attention to it has waned. Jane Eklund’s primer on the practice, “Yoga 101” (page 19), reminded me why I need to make it a regular part of my day. As an (aging) runner, I find that minor aches and pains are becoming a bit too common. “Your Anti-inflammation Plan” (page 24) offers treatment strategies I’ll be sure to try. And who doesn’t confront day-to-day stress in their life? Certainly not me. “Everyday Remedies” (page 27) provides diet, supplement, and lifestyle advice for easing frayed nerves. This issue also provides solid advice for maintaining memory and cognition (page 28) and healthful tips for exfoliation (page 30). Here’s to a healthy holiday season.

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 603-831-1868 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 Rich Wallace, editor

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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lavender may ease anxiety Love the aroma of lavender? A new study confirms that smelling the herb and its extracts has calming effects. “In folk medicine, it has long been believed that odorous compounds derived from plant extracts can relieve anxiety,” said study author Hideki Kashiwadani, PhD. His team found that sniffing linalool—a component of lavender —increased relaxation in mice, but only when inhaled rather than injected. Dr. Kashiwadani said the findings are a key step in determining how lavenderderived compounds can help relieve anxiety in humans. “Many people take the effects of ‘odor’ with a grain of salt,” he told The New York Times. “But among the stories, some are true based on science.” “Lavender’s soothing scent could be more than just folk medicine” by JoAnna Klein, www. NYTimes.com, 10/23/18 l “The smell of lavender is relaxing, science confirms,” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10/23/18

did you know? Adults with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive tasks compared to peers with average cortisol levels. The new study included more than 2,300 participants in their 40s and 50s. See “Everyday Remedies” on page 27 of this issue for advice on controlling stress. “Stress can impair memory, reduce brain size in middle age, study finds,” University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 10/24/18

beware of supplement/drug interactions Taking well-researched nutritional supplements is known to have many health benefits, but be aware of the potential for dangerous interactions with certain medications. The Harvard Women’s Health Watch newsletter cautions that supplemental vitamin K may reduce the effectiveness of the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). The newsletter also reported that vitamins C and E may interfere with chemotherapy. Certain supplements can affect the results of blood tests. Biotin, for example, may cause inaccurate results in tests for troponin, a substance that shows whether a heart attack has occurred. “Supplements may seem benign, but they can cause medical problems,” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 11/18

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omega 3s may thwart breast cancer Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil delayed the growth of breast cancer tumors and blocked cancerous cells from spreading to other organs in a new study. “Our study emphasizes the potential therapeutic role of dietary long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in the control of tumor growth and metastasis,” said lead author Saraswoti Khadge, PhD. The researchers speculate that the benefits might stem from the way omega 3s support the body’s immune and anti-inflammatory systems. Dr. Khadge stressed that the research does not mean omega 3s could prevent the tumors from forming altogether. The study compared the effects of two diets in mice. One was rich in omega-6 fatty acids and one in omega 3s. It was published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Metastasis. “Diets rich in fish oil could slow the spread and growth of breast cancer cells,” www.EurekAlert.org, 10/16/18

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healthspan

’tis the season be prepared for colds and flu

The common cold is a highly contagious, infectious viral disease of the upper respiratory system, primarily caused by picornaviruses (including rhinoviruses) or coronaviruses. The flu is caused by the influenza virus. Common cold symptoms are sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and coughing; sometimes accompanied by pink eye, muscle aches, fatigue, malaise, headaches, muscle weakness, and loss of appetite. Fever, widespread achiness, and extreme exhaustion are more usual in influenza. Sore throats may be viral or bacterial. If you have a white coating on the back of your throat, with sore throat being the overwhelming symptom, and you have swollen neck glands, it is more likely to be strep or infectious mononucleosis and a trip to the doctor may be worthwhile.

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continued from page 13

With upper respiratory infections, you may be contagious before you even have symptoms, and are usually moving past the infectious stage after you are past the worst of the symptoms.

Treatment Get your rest. Pushing through a flu or cold can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome. Resting also makes you less likely to lose friends by spreading your infection to them. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids, particularly water. Recommended supplements. For any infection, add thymic protein to optimize immune function. Take as directed at the first sign of any infection until the infection resolves. Take 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C every few hours while awake, then lower the dose if and when you get loose stools. For stuffy nose or nasal congestion try eucalyptus oil. This wonderful penetrating vapor does not have the tendency to irritate like menthol. Eucalyptus smells great and has been used for centuries to clear stuffy airways, shrink nasal swelling, and reduce secretion of mucus quickly and without causing sedation. Another helpful tool to fight sore throats and colds in general (especially in kids) is an echinacea herbal mix. Look for a blend of echinacea along with two other immune-boosters: thuja and baptisia.

Other Therapies If you have the flu (or even think you may), consider taking a wonderful homeopathic called Oscillococcinum as soon as possible. The earlier you start it, the more likely you are to knock the flu out quickly. Suck on a zinc lozenge containing 10 to 20 mg of zinc 4 to 5 times a day. This is especially helpful for sore throats. Dark chocolate is an effective (and tasty) cough suppressant. It’s as effective as codeine. For sore throats or nasal congestion, use salt water gargles and nasal rinses. The recipe is 1 teaspoon salt (table salt is fine), plus 1 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder!), plus 1 pint of lukewarm water. —Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Fight flu with vitamin D Low levels of vitamin D are associated with cold and flu. Be sure you’re getting enough of this vitamin to help reduce your risk of respiratory infections. Consider supplementation or look for fortified foods such as dairy products, orange juice, and cereals. Sardines, salmon, and other oily fish provide significant levels of vitamin D. Most adults need at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day. If you’re 70 or older, shoot for 800 IU. “A bit more vitamin D might help prevent colds and flu” by Allison Aubrey, www.NPR. org, 2/16/17 l “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections . . .” by A.R. Martineau et al., BMJ, 2017

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies.

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brewed for bliss savor tea for inner peace

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Taking the time to brew a hot cup of tea can help ease anxiety and stress. And researchers have found that simply holding a warm mug gives you a more generous, kind demeanor and improves your perception of others. Of course, the herbs themselves offer many benefits. Here are several healthful teas to consider next time you put the kettle on.

De-stress with tulsi This divine tea, also known as holy basil or sacred basil (Ocimum sanctum, syn. O. tenuiflorum), is well known in its native India and has recently become popular in the United States. It is planted in temples around India. The leaves and flowers have adaptogenic properties, which means they help the body adapt to stress, decreasing its effects. In addition to its calming and energizing properties, tulsi decreases inflammation, improves cognition and mood, lowers blood sugar, boosts immune function, and balances the stress and blood sugar hormone known as cortisol. Tulsi blends particularly well with green tea. Steep the herb for five minutes or as long as you like.

Tea has a small amount of caffeine. If this interferes with sleep, makes your heart go pitter-patter, or frays your nerves, consider naturally decaffeinated green tea or very lightly brewed white tea.

performs as well as several hypertension medications and also helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Like cranberry juice, it may help prevent urinary tract infections. Sipped with honey, it’s effective for soothing sore throats.

Savor cinnamon

Seek good vibes

Cinnamon bark makes a deliciously sweet tea that’s free of sugar and caffeine. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and it lowers blood sugar by making cells more sensitive to insulin. Cinnamon is an astringent herb that tightens and tones the digestive tract in cases of diarrhea and leaky gut. If you’re making tea with plain cinnamon, seek the whole sticks or chips because the powder transforms into a mucus-like consistency (not dangerous, just unpalatable). You can simmer cinnamon for 20 minutes or let it steep for an hour or longer.

The source of your tea matters. Organic teas will contain fewer pesticides and other synthetic farming agents while having a better impact on the environment. Several popular tea brands have been under scrutiny for potentially containing illegal levels of pesticides. For tea coming from far away, seek fair-trade options, which ensure that the people who grew your tea (often in developing countries) are treated and paid well. Many herbal teas are available from farms that use organic methods and put good vibes into your tea. Good vibes matter: In one study, tea drinkers who drank tea “treated” with good intentions from Buddhist monks had greater mood benefits than those who drank tea made from the same ingredients but without the “treatment.”

Go green

Revel in hibiscus

We can thank the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) for providing this popular beverage. Black, oolong, green, and white teas all come from the leaves of this plant, but different flavors and properties develop depending on how it is grown, harvested, and processed. Green and white teas are the least processed forms of true tea, giving them slightly less caffeine, more antioxidants, and greater health benefits. Green tea boasts more scientific research than any other tea, though it’s fair to assume white tea is at least as good, if not better. Drinking green tea regularly is linked to improved cognition, weight loss, immune function, and mood, as well as decreased inflammation and cancer risk.

If you’ve tasted any red or fruity tea blend, you’ve probably sipped hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa). Also known as roselle and “rosa de Jamaica,” hibiscus comes from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Sipped cold and sweetened, it helps keep you cool on a hot day and tastes a bit like a more sophisticated form of Kool-Aid. Unsweetened, it more closely resembles pure, tart cranberry juice. Hibiscus is made with the flower calyx of the plant, but it provides more fruit flavor and color than almost any dried fruit. It contains anthocyanin and bioflavonoid compounds similar to berries. Recent research has uncovered impressive benefits of this blood-red tea: It

—remedies staff “Cinnamon use in Type 2 diabetes . . .” by R.W. Allen et al., Annals of Family Medicine, 9-10/13 l “Effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa on blood pressure and electrolyte profile . . .” by D.C. Nwachukwu et al., Niger J Clin Pract, 11-12/15 l “Effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) on arterial hypertension . . .” by C. Serban et al., J Hypertens, 6/15 l “Experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth” by L.E. Williams and J.A. Bargh, Science, 10/24/08 l “Metaphysics of the tea ceremony . . .” by Y.J. Shiah and D. Radin, Explore (NY), 11-12/13 l “Pesticide traces in some teas exceed allowable limits” by Megan Griffith-Greene, www.CBC.ca, 3/8/14 l “Tea and its consumption: Benefits and risks” by K. Hayat et al., Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2015 l “Tulsi—Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons” by M.M. Cohen, J Ayurveda Integr Med, 10-12/14

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By Jane Eklund

yoga 101

stretch your body and your mind Thinking about taking up yoga for the first time? Good for you! You’re in for a treat. But with so many options—power yoga, Kundalini yoga, Bikram yoga, and more where do you start? Start at the beginning, says Minnesota yoga instructor Caroline Burau. Writing on www.MindBodyGreen.com, Burau recommends that first-timers start with a beginner’s class and go back at least four times before moving up to the intermediate level. “If you were playing football for the very first time, you wouldn’t expect to show up and be thrown right in as the starting quarterback, would you?” she writes. Hatha yoga offers a combination of styles and is gentle, making it a good bet for newbies. There are several reasons for starting slow, even for people who are in good physical shape. For one, writes Burau, you want to go into yoga with an open mind and no specific expectations. That means taking it from step one and paying attention all the way through. For another, she adds, breathing is key to yoga, and it’s the first lesson you’ll learn. Skip that in favor of trying to keep up with more advanced classmates, and you may end up with an injury. Most important, notes Burau, is that skipping ahead means you could miss the point. “The purpose of yoga is to find focus,” she writes. “The purpose of finding focus is to find peace, and to keep growing within that new peace.”

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continued from page 19

Yoga’s Many Benefits

With regular yoga practice, you can punctuate your life with moments of bliss, and gain long-term mental and physical benefits. In a typical yoga session, the teacher leads the class through breathing exercises, meditation, and what’s called asanas—poses that you stretch into and hold. The combination is aimed at building strength, awareness, and harmony in mind and body. Some of the physical benefits are obvious. Stretching will give you improved flexibility and muscle strength; holding the poses will increase your endurance. Breathing practice will improve your respiration. But the benefits go much deeper. They include: Cardiovascular effects: Studies have shown that yoga can contribute to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, lower blood sugar levels in people with some types of diabetes, lower cholesterol, and reduced stress, all of which can mean lowered risk of heart disease. Sharpening the brain: One study showed that a yoga session worked better than running to raise participants’ ability to process information. That effect is attributed to the mindful awareness of yoga, which works on the part of the brain that manages memory and executive function. Better body image: While doing yoga, you focus on inner awareness, not outer. It’s all about what’s going on inside of you and not on how you look or how people around you look. That can lead to a more positive body image and improved self-esteem. Weight loss/maintenance: Yoga encourages people to be tuned in to their bodies, and that, in turn, can make them more aware of feeling hungry or feeling full. One study found that four years of weekly yoga practice contributed to weight loss for overweight people.

Get Started!

You’re ready to go. Identify a beginner’s class to join, and have a quick chat with the instructor in advance, letting her know you are new and asking any questions you may have. You may want to purchase a yoga mat so you’ll be able to practice poses at home. If you’re a fashionista, feel free to deck yourself out in the latest yoga outfits—but a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt will work just as well. Your clothes should be comfortable without being baggy, and they shouldn’t restrict your movement. Once you’ve joined a class, remember to focus on your breath: It’s all about connecting breathing to movement. In holding poses, don’t try too hard—just follow along. When you get tired, rest. If you’re frustrated, don’t give up too soon. Stick it out for at least 10 classes, and you’ll likely connect with your inner yogi. “5 yoga tips for beginners” by Amanda MacMillan, www.HowStuffWorks.com l “The benefits of yoga,” American Osteopathic Association, htpps://osteopathic.org l “Which style of yoga is best for you?” www.WebMD.com l “Why it’s important to take beginner yoga classes” by Caroline Burau, www.MindBodyGreen.com l “Yoga—benefits beyond the mat,” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 2/15

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your anti-inflammation plan safeguard against disease

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Inflammation lies at the root of many chronic conditions and diseases, including pain, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and even mental well-being.

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While an individualized approach is warranted for each of these complicated and multifaceted conditions, we can often make major improvements in our health by adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. This reduces the risk of developing disease and can help manage pre-existing conditions. Daily movement and exercise has profound anti-inflammatory effects. Mind-body balance through stress reduction, meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or t’ai chi is also helpful. Don’t smoke or drink excessively. Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly.

Supplements and superfoods Anti-inflammatory substances often work better together than they do as single-shot “miracle pills.” Antioxidants help turn on your body’s own antioxidant systems and promote a decrease in inflammation. Having a mix of antioxidants helps them refresh one another and target oxidative stress in different areas of the body. Turmeric. This bright yellow spice offers potent anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional use and modern science confirm its benefits in a wide range of inflammation-induced diseases including osteoarthritis, certain cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. In a study of 367 people with knee osteoarthritis, 1,500 milligrams (mg) of turmeric extract daily for four weeks worked as well as 1,200 mg of ibuprofen with less gastrointestinal pain and other side effects. Most participants were satisfied with the therapy, with two-thirds noting marked improvement. Turmeric and its constituent curcumin inhibit inflammation via several pathways, including COX-2, TNF, and NF-κB. Although most attention has been given to the compound curcumin in turmeric, other noncurcumin constituents also show anti-inflammatory benefits. Green tea. All forms of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) offer anti-inflammatory properties, but green and white teas tend to be the most antioxidant rich. Both the whole tea and the compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) offer anti-inflammatory activity that targets cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease. Pure berry juices. In general, fruit juice can promote inflammation because it contains so much sugar, even if it’s 100 percent juice. However, several antioxidant-rich juices offer less sugar and more anti-inflammatory punch. These include tart cherry juice, blueberry juice, pomegranate juice, and aronia berry juice. Tart cherry juice reduces exertion-induced inflammation and pain post-exercise and improves sleep. Pomegranate offers benefits in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, prostate and breast cancer prevention, and exercise-induced pain. Consider aronia or blueberry juice for blood pressure reduction, vein health, and urinary tract infection prevention.

Check the ingredients label to ensure no filler juices like apple, pear, or grape have been added; even all-natural brands can have misleading front labels. Aim for 8 ounces morning and night, 1 ounce of juice concentrate, or an equivalent capsule form.

Diet and lifestyle Every piece of food you put in your mouth has the potential to amp up or reduce inflammation in your body. Balance your meals with produce (half your plate), protein, and a small amount of whole-food carbohydrates at every meal. • Increase: Vegetables of all kinds; fruit (especially berries); wild, coldwater fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel); nuts and seeds (especially sprouted); healthy fats (avocados, olive oil); cooked mushrooms; carbohydrates primarily from root vegetables (beets, rutabaga, sweet potato, carrots) and winter squash. Stay hydrated. • If they agree with you: Beans and legumes (high-fiber complex carbs with protein); whole, gluten-free grains; nightshade family vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant); eggs. And, in moderation, only if they agree with you: wild or pasture-raised animal products and dairy; gluten-containing whole grains. • Limit or avoid: Excessive animal products, factory-farmed animal products, processed/packaged food, high-glycemic food, white flour (not only wheat but also most gluten-free flours and starches), sugar, grilled food (especially meats and carbs), artificial anything, and anything you’re allergic or sensitive to. —Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG) Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), best-selling author of Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care and the forthcoming Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies, sees clients and teaches in New Hampshire. Learn about herbs, her books, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com.

“Anti-inflammatory action of green tea” by T. Ohishi et al., Bentham Science, 9/8/16 l Body into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing 2016) l “Consumption of chokeberry (Aronia mitschurinii) products modestly lowered blood pressure and reduced low-grade inflammation . . .” by B.M. Loo et al., Nutr Res, 11/16 l “Curcumin, inflammation, and chronic disease: How are they linked?” by H. Yan et al., Molecules, 2015 l “Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality” by G. Howatson et al., 12/12; “Pomegranate extract alleviates disease activity and some blood biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in rheumatoid arthritis patients” by M. Ghavipour et al., Eur J Clin Nutr, 1/17 l “Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis . . .” by V. Kuptniratsaikul et al., Clin Interv Aging, 2014 l “Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running” by G. Howatson, Scand J Med Sci Sports, 12/10

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12 Sugar Alternatives A spoonful of sugar may seem relatively harmless. It does, after all, make the medicine go down. But it’s the amount of it that we ingest every year (around 77 pounds per person!) that’s the real problem. A nonnutritive substance, refined white sugar increases inflammation and oxidative stress and is linked to the obesity and diabetes epidemic. It’s also a known immunosuppressant and has been shown to reduce the germ-killing ability of white blood cells for up to five hours after consumption, according to nutrition expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD. That’s enough to make anyone feel ill! But there may be those times when you want to enjoy something on the sweeter side of life.

Find 12 alternatives to help you cut sugar at www.tasteforlife.com/12-sugar-alternatives

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

stress What is it? Stress refers to both the perception of danger or pressure and the body’s physiological response to it. What causes it? Major life events, including job changes, financial difficulties, family and relationship problems, grief, and illness.

Lifestyle: Exercise regularly, practice yoga or mindful meditation, take deep breaths, listen to music, get a massage.

Food: Avocado, blueberries, dark chocolate, fatty fish, fermented foods, pistachios, seeds, turkey.

Supplements: Vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E,

Homeopathy: Argentum nitricum, Calcarea

Herbs: Ashwagandha, chamomile, kava kava, lavender, lemon balm, rhodiola, tulsi tea, valerian root.

carbonica, Ignatia amara, Kali phosphoricum.

magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, reishi mushrooms.

“8 effective herbal supplements for anxiety” by Chloe Brotheridge, 6/16/18; “Stress,” www.PsychologyToday.com l “9 proven benefits of reishi mushrooms,” 7/2/18; “Health benefits & side effects of tulsi tea,” 5/14/18, by John Staughton, www.OrganicFacts.net l “10 superfoods for stress relief,” https://articles.Mercola.com, 4/27/15 l “16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety”; “Try this: 25 supplements for anxiety,” www.Healthline.com l “Coping strategies,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, https://adaa.org l “Coping with anxiety” by Jeanie Lerche Davis, www.WebMD.com l “Homeopathic medicine for chronic anxiety & stress” by Mahnaz Shahrzad Asr, www.VitalityMagazine.com, 9/1/11 l “Why stress happens and how to manage it” by Christian Nordqvist, www.MedicalNewsToday.com, 11/28/17

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supplement spotlight

stay sharp! these nutrients support brain health Can better nutrition really mean better cognition? There’s an entire field of study known as “nutritional neuroscience” that documents the complex relationships between nutrients (either from the diet or as dietary supplements) and thinking ability. 28  remedies 

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If you’re getting older (and who isn’t?), this research probably sounds intriguing, since age is the number 1 predictor of cognitive decline. The good news comes from the many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can make a big difference in keeping the brain on its toes and memory sharp for as long as possible.

Brainy vitamin D Do you get enough vitamin D? Probably not. The valid caution about avoiding too much sun and applying sunscreen has inadvertently contributed to lots of US adults falling short. Vitamin D not only contributes to strong bones, but it also helps many other areas of the body, including mental prowess. Recently, researchers from the National Institute on Aging conducted a large and long-lasting study tracking both the vitamin D levels of adults and their thinking ability. Those with higher levels of D in their blood—as well as folks who supplemented with the vitamin—consistently showed up in the group of people who retained the best verbal skills as they aged. Memory skills also showed a slower rate of decline in adults with the greatest vitamin D intake.

Antioxidant power Carotenoids are an interesting family of nutrients that bring color to the plant world. Beta carotene probably ranks as the best-known member of this family, but there are more than 700 carotenoids. One of these, called astaxanthin, offers some intriguing mental benefits, mostly related to its powerful antioxidant effects. Unlike beta carotene, astaxanthin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Once there, it seems to keep the brain humming along. The very earliest stage of mental decline (mild cognitive impairment) can simply manifest as age-related forgetfulness. When older adults with mild cognitive impairment supplemented with astaxanthin every day for three months, the antioxidant led to faster thinking and a better ability

to figure things out quickly. In short, this supplement helped support a nimble mind. Another antioxidant nutrient with brain benefits is the Indian spice turmeric, with its active ingredient curcumin. The anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin are one way that this herb protects the brain, since long-term, low-grade inflammation contributes to cognitive decline. The research with curcumin has progressed to the human stage, with older adults supplementing with curcumin showing better working memory. Supplements of Pycnogenol (an extract of French maritime pine bark) show promising effects on cognition; this holds true even for those who still have sharp minds. A group of 150 middle-aged adults agreed to supplement with Pycnogenol daily for a year and were tested for memory and other mental functions. This group showed no compromised abilities before the study. By the end of the study period, their cognitive abilities had improved in all areas tested. These brainpower perks add to the other known benefits of Pycnogenol, which include heart and blood vessel protection and better vision.

Omega 3s Brain fitness can mean brain “fatness.” The human brain contains a surprising amount of fat, with omega-3 fatty acids playing a critical role throughout the lifespan. During pregnancy, omega 3s in the mother’s diet are crucial for the fetus for proper brain development, including fine motor skills and communication. This developmental importance of omega 3s continues for the nursing infant. Then, in school-age kids, supplementing regularly with omega 3s has been shown to produce an IQ bump.

At the other end of the age spectrum, when elderly adults supplement with omega 3s, their cognitive function perks up, even if they have already been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. From antioxidants to essential fatty acids: Now that’s some food for thought! —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH

Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, has been a health journalist for more than two decades.

“Can curcumin counteract cognitive decline?” by JC Kuszewski et al., Adv Nutr, 3/18 l “Effects of composite supplement containing astaxanthin and sesamin on cognitive functions in people with mild cognitive impairment . . .” by N. Ito et al., J Alzheimers Dis, 2018 l “How to make a young child smarter: Evidence from the database of raising intelligence” by J. Protzko et al., Perspect Psych Sci, 1/13 l “The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation improved the cognitive function in the Chinese elderly with mild cognitive impairment . . .” by Y. Bo et al., Nutrients, 1/17 l “Nutritional prevention of cognitive decline and dementia” by LJ Dominguez and M. Barbagalio, Acta Biomed, 6/7/18 l “Vitamin D status and intakes and their association with cognitive trajectory . . .” by MA Beydoun et al., J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 4/1/18

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healthy glow

smooth operation renew your skin with exfoliation If your skin is looking dry and dull, it might be time to freshen up your skin care routine. Despite how it might feel, what you see in the mirror didn’t happen overnight: The skin cycle takes approximately two weeks when we are young, but slows to a month or more as we age. And it’s not simply a cosmetic issue. Skin purges toxins from the body, and if pores are clogged with dirt and oil, impurities could be trapped. The process of exfoliation helps to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin, exposing your healthy glow.

Dead cell removal There are two basic methods of exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation uses something abrasive like a facial scrub to remove dead cells. Look for one containing tiny granules of crushed walnut, ground almond, or oatmeal. Try to find products that contain beneficial essential oils: Passion flower and black currant help to firm skin. Likewise, you remove dead body skin cells when you use your loofah in the shower or bath. For a gentle daily facial exfoliation, clean your face nightly with a cotton washcloth and warm water. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, takes advantage of topical ingredients to help remove dead cells. Although the name sounds frightening, chemical exfoliations often use vitamins to achieve their effect. Vitamin C, for example, promotes 30  remedies 

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cell generation, while B3 helps to speed epidermal turnover. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are naturally occurring acids found in fruits and vegetables and milk. Many AHA products are derived from milk, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, or sugar cane. They work to normalize cell renewal and encourage the formation of healthy skin by peeling away dead cells. AHA products may also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For sensitive skin, try beta hydroxy acids (BHA) instead. Derived from berries, papaya, pineapple, willow tree bark, or wintergreen leaves, BHA works by digesting the bonds that attach dead skin cells to live ones. BHA smoothes skin while clearing away dirt and oils that can clog pores. Do not combine chemical and mechanical exfoliation during your at-home facial or you could damage your skin. Remember, exfoliation can’t turn back time. Exfoliate no more than once a week for dry and sensitive skin, and up to three times a week for oily skin. —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.

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SHARPEN YOUR MEMORY & FOCUS NON GMO

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Clean, clinically studied whole food ingredients to support brain health at three stages of life† Kids • Young Adults • Adults 40+ † 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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