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Essential gifts Lighten your mood Bone broth benefits

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Valerian for better sleep

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December 2019 vol. 15 no. 12


28 12 lighten your mood feature

Keep your cool during the holiday season.


4 From the Editor’s Desk 7 Health Pulse

Vitamin D may boost muscles • Probiotics regulate weight • Exercise for brain health • More

16 Healthspan

Fight insomnia with sleep-supportive supplements and more.

18 Herbal Healing

Got stress? Rhodiola can help.

20 Sports Nutrition and Performance Bone broth is a nutrition powerhouse.

23 Smart Supplements

Boost skin and nail health with collagen.

25 Everyday Remedies

Natural treatments for eczema.

26 Just the Facts

Learn about the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

28 Healthy Glow

DIY aromatherapy gifts for the holidays.

30 New Frontiers

The latest from the world of cannabidiol (CBD). Cover: Valerian

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


@RemediesRecipes December 2019

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from the editor ’s desk

Mightier melons I don’t often think about watermelon this time of year. It’s one of my favorite fruits, though it’s mostly a summertime thing. But I was intrigued by a new study that links climate change to the potential fate of the melons, and offers some good news too. First, a surprise: There are seven species of watermelon, but only one of them is truly palatable. The other six produce fruits that are hard and bitter. Who needs those, right? Well, we all do. Researchers have figured out that the six wild species are loaded with traits that resist pests, diseases, drought, and other maladies. Cross-breeding those melons with the ones we know and love could expand their cultivation range. That kind of selective breeding has been going on for millennia, but it’s accelerated dramatically in recent decades. And some of the short-term gains may have put the plant’s future in limbo. “As humans domesticated watermelon over the past 4,000 years, they selected fruit that were red, sweet, and less bitter,” said Zhangjun Fei of the Boyce Thompson Institute in Ithaca, NY. “Unfortunately, as people made watermelons sweeter and redder, the fruit lost some abilities to resist diseases and other types of stresses.” I’m glad good work is being done to reverse those trends. (Note: Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, occur when genes from a particular organism are introduced into a very different one.)

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editor 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 Cl ient Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Cl ient 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 ( 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); ©2019 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.

Rich Wallace, editor

“Harvesting genes to improve watermelons,” Boyce Thompson Institute, 11/1/19 l “Resequencing of 414 cultivated and wild watermelon accessions identifies selection for fruit quality traits” by S. Guo et al., Nature Genetics, 11/1/19

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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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promotes stronger muscles A deficiency of vitamin D was found to be a strong determinant of muscle weakness in a new study. Twice as many older adults with low levels of the vitamin reported weakness compared to those who had adequate levels. Maintaining skeletal muscle function throughout the lifespan is vital for successful aging, particularly for promoting independence, mobility, and quality of life, and for reducing frailty and falls. The study also confirmed the protective effect of exercise. “Maintaining muscle function is incredibly important, and often overlooked, in promoting healthy aging,” said researcher Maria O’Sullivan, PhD. More than 4,000 adults ages 60 and older participated in the study. “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor muscle function in adults aged 60+,” Trinity College Dublin, 10/23/19

consider a vitamin D spray A new study determined that taking vitamin D via an oral spray is just as effective as taking a capsule. Participants took 3000 IU of the vitamin per day via the two methods of delivery. Tests were done in the winter months while stores of the vitamin in the body are generally lower. “All participants showed adequate levels of vitamin D after just 21 days of using an oral spray,” said lead researcher Bernard Corfe, PhD. “Taking vitamin D by oral spray just as effective as taking a tablet,” University of Sheffield, 10/15/19

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coffee substances may ease inflammation Extracts from coffee plants have potential to reduce inflammation in the body, according to a new study. Researchers isolated compounds from the silverskin (a thin sheath) and husk of coffee beans and found that they lowered obesity-related inflammation in fat cells. Glucose absorption and insulin resistance also improved. The scientists see potential for using the compounds to help prevent obesity and related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. “Phenolic compounds from coffee by-products modulate adipogenesis-related inflammation . . .” by M. Rebollo-Hernanz et al., Food and Chemical Toxicology, 10/19 l “Study: Coffee bean extracts alleviate inflammation” by Danielle Masterson,, 10/28/19

probiotics may aid weight control Adding a probiotic supplement to the diet of an obese child may enhance weight loss and improve the child’s metabolic health. That might eventually help stave off conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Probiotics are live micro-organisms that can improve and restore the diversity of healthful bacteria in our gut. Excellent food sources include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods. Probiotics are also available in various supplemental forms. “Probiotic supplements may enhance weight loss in obese children,” European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, 9/19/19

nutrient shortfalls can lead to frailty Consuming a wide range of nutrients may be a safeguard against frailty in older adults. A new study linked deficiencies of several vitamins and antioxidants to frailty or pre-frailty. Having low levels of more than one micronutrient appeared to increase the severity. Specifically, the researchers identified vitamins B12 and folate for DNA repair and energy metabolism; vitamin D for bone metabolism, muscle strength, and mood; and lutein and zeaxanthin for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are especially important for eye health and brain health. “Lower levels of dietary vitamins and antioxidants are linked to frailty in older adults,” Trinity College Dublin, 8/22/19

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Winter Blues?

a brain boost Exercise sessions appear to provide a brain boost for older adults. Researchers conducted experiments that included physical activity, brain scans, and working memory tests. They found that participants gained the same cognitive benefits and improved memory from a single exercise session as they did from longer, regular exercise. “You could think of the benefits day by day,” said researcher Michelle Voss, PhD. “In terms of behavioral change and cognitive benefits from physical activity, you can say, ‘I’m just going to be active today. I’ll get a benefit.’ So you don’t need to think of it like you’re going to train for a marathon to get some sort of optimal peak of performance.” Participants ranged in age from 60 to 80 and were healthy but not regularly active. Brain scans after 20-minute cycling sessions showed bursts of activity in regions known to be involved in the collection and sharing of memories. Working memory tests confirmed the gains, which were mostly short-term. “Exercise boost for your aging brain” by Susan McQuillan,, 8/27/19 l “New study suggests exercise is good for the aging brain,” University of Iowa, 8/26/19


uring the Winter season, we are besieged by the stress of the holidays, the discomfort of bone-chilling cold, and the diminished hours of daylight can be a drag. All this adds stress to your immune system. You can beat the winter blues by supporting your inner wellness with Maitake D-Fraction©, nature’s ingredient for immune system support.*

For updates & Special Offers subscribe to our newsletter at Or call 800-747-7418 with Code TFL1219

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

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By Kelli Ann Wilson

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There’s no nice way to say it—life can be stressful. This is especially true during the holidays. While most of us look forward to celebrating with friends and family, the festivities can compound our stress. Here are some helpful supplements and strategies to get back to feeling merry and bright.

Calming nutrients Nutritional deficiencies can make stress symptoms worse. If your diet has been less than ideal, supplements can help. Vitamin A’s antioxidant properties may help ease feelings of stress. B-complex vitamins boost nervous system health. Vitamin C helps reduce feelings of anxiety caused by oxidative damage. Vitamin D deficiency can make it harder for your body to absorb other vitamins, which can increase feelings of stress.

Mood-boosting mineral Magnesium deficiency can make it harder for the body to respond to stress. In turn, stress tends to deplete magnesium resources, creating a feedback loop of compounding stress. Most Americans don’t get enough of this mineral through their diets, so consider a supplement. Magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are well absorbed by the body.

Sleep help If you’re suffering from stress-related insomnia, consider valerian root to help you get much-needed rest. Take a timeout with a cup of chamomile tea to reduce anxiety, kava tea to help you relax, or try tulsi tea to balance cortisol levels and relieve stress.

Stress-less strategies During this busy time of year, it’s easy to rely on junk-food snacks to keep you going, which will just make you feel worse. Instead choose healthy, stress-busting foods like avocado, blueberries, dark chocolate, and pistachios. Making time to exercise regularly, even with a hectic schedule, is a great way to reduce stress. Find something physical you like to do, and add it to your routine. Exercise works best for stress relief when done on a regular basis. “8 effective herbal supplements for anxiety” by Chloe Brotheridge,, 6/16/18 l “The best magnesium supplement?” l “Coping strategies,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, l “Health benefits & side effects of tulsi tea” by John Staughton,, 5/15/18 l “Magnesium,” National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih

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continued from page 13

Probiotics may ease anxiety Probiotics have become increasingly popular as a way to improve health and well-being, and there has been a direct correlation between these healthful gut microbes and the central nervous system. University of Missouri researchers recently determined that Lactobacillus plantarum—a common probiotic bacteria in yogurt and supplements—may decrease stress-related behavior and anxiety. The study assessed the effects of various nutritional supplements on depression, anxiety, and other stress-related symptoms. The researchers concluded that probiotics (as well as omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and other nutraceuticals) “are promising avenues” for “significant clinical benefit.” “Common probiotics can reduce stress levels, lessen anxiety,” University of Missouri-Columbia, 11/22/16 l “Nutritional psychiatry: The present state of the evidence” by W. Marx et al., Proc Nutr Soc, 9/17

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Forge a happy home While simple remedies for depression can’t replace medical treatments, they can help lift your spirits. The Mind, Mood & Memory newsletter from Massachusetts General Hospital offered these ideas for “creating a happier environment” in the office or at home: “Play music you enjoy. Put up pictures that make you smile. Get rid of the things that you’re tired of seeing every day.” “Take steps at home to improve your mood,” Mind, Mood & Memory, 9/18

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December 2019

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say good night to insomnia natural relief for sleeplessness

Sleep’s vital role in good health and a sense of well-being during the day is indisputable, especially if you ask someone who suffers from insomnia.

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“Sleep is simply foundational to wellness, and when you address sleep issues, it’s remarkable how many other health symptoms improve,” says integrative herbalist Amy McKelvey, CEO of Her Vital Energy. “Everything from gut health to hormones, to metabolism, to joint pain, to mood and energy—the list is endless.” If sleep’s such a great thing, why can’t we all just lie down and do it? McKelvey explains: “Life is stressful, and that gets carried over into the night. It can be difficult to shut off and unplug. Many people aren’t giving their body ample time to transition into a sleep state, which then makes staying asleep even more challenging.” No matter the cause—stress, caffeine, depression, work shift issues, or discomfort from medical conditions—the daytime consequences for people with insomnia bring the same outcomes: tiredness, irritability, and trouble concentrating. Natural remedies offer effective solutions that can be your ticket back to dreamland; check out these slumber supports.

Time-Tested Herbs Herbal remedies have stood the test of time as gentle ways to achieve relaxation and better sleep. Two of McKelvey’s favorites are valerian and passionflower, used in combination. “A dropperful of equal parts of these two herbs taken 30 minutes before bedtime allows the body to slowly ease into sleep with a grounded, relaxed, and even gently sedated feeling,” McKelvey says. “For those who wake up at 2 a.m. with hamster brain, this same blend can be taken again in a small amount of water to go back to sleep.”

New Supplement A new sleep-supportive supplement has caught the eye of Manhattan-based physician Fred Pescatore, MD. According to Dr. Pescatore, the dietary supplement “Robuvit, an antioxidant extract derived from French oak wood, now has numerous peer-reviewed studies showing health benefits.” Specifically, a study last year showed Robuvit to improve sleep quality and mood, while reducing daytime sleepiness and overall fatigue in a group of adults who volunteered for this study. “Robuvit, which works at the cellular level to support healthy function of mitochondria (the part of the cell that provides energy), taken as a supplement could improve sleep quality by up to 22 percent,” Dr. Pescatore adds.

The Snooze Hormone The hormone melatonin is both made by your body and available as a dietary supplement. This compound plays an important role in regulating the body’s internal clock. When sleep cycles are disturbed (through jet lag, shift work, or ongoing insomnia), supplementing with melatonin can lend a hand, particularly the time-release form taken an hour or so prior to desired bedtime. Numerous studies back the effectiveness and safe use of melatonin.


An Old Favorite Perhaps your grandmother used to offer you a nighttime cup of chamomile tea to help you settle down? Modern research agrees with what she knew from a long history of use: The herb chamomile has a calming effect that improves sleep quality. In a recent study, this sleep support was documented in a group of older adults living in a nursing home who took either two 200-milligram (mg) chamomile extract capsules or a placebo every day for four weeks. The capsule form was chosen in place of tea in this experiment, since chamomile tea has a recognizable taste. The chamomile led to significantly improved sleep quality by the end of the study. So, go ahead, brew yourself an evening cup of this sleepy tea.

Green Tea Relief Green tea is very low in the stimulant caffeine, but does contain a different compound, L-theanine, which brings calming effects. McKelvey finds L-theanine supplements to be “a superb amino acid to take during the day, which has been validated to improve the quality of sleep at night. I recommend it as the ideal daytime protocol in the amount of 200 mg each morning for the full benefit of the amino acid’s alpha-wave–producing properties all day long.” Whether you were born a “good” sleeper or not, natural remedies can help you get the better nights you deserve that will bring about better days too. —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).

“The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial” by M. Adib-Hajbaghery and S.N. Mousavi, Complement Ther Med, 12/17 l “Improvement in mood, oxidative stress, fatigue, and insomnia following supplementary management with Robuvit” by G. Belcaro et al., J Neurosurg Sci, 8/18 l “Insomnia: Pharmacologic therapy” by E. Matheson and B.L. Hainer, Am Fam Physician, 7/17 l Personal communication: Amy McKelvey, Fred Pescatore, 2019

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herbal healing

rhodiola for depression herb helps body adapt to stress

Rhodiola rosea has been studied for safety and efficacy compared to a prescription antidepressant called sertraline for mild to moderate depressive disorder. Sertraline (also known as Zoloft) is an antidepressant in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These drugs are used for anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. One placebo-controlled clinical trial involved 57 people who were randomized to 12 weeks of a standardized extract of Rhodiola rosea, sertraline, or placebo. The Rhodiola rosea dose was 340 milligrams (mg) of powdered extract standardized to 3 percent rosavin, a compound found in the herb. 18  remedies

Study evaluation tools used were the Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Clinical Global Impression Change (CGI/C). Changes in scores over time were used for each group and compared. Results showed modest reductions for HAM-D, BDI, and CGI/C scores for all the depression conditions. The decline in HAM-D scores was greater for those taking sertraline versus Rhodiola rosea and placebo. The odds of improving were greater for sertraline than the herb, but more people reported adverse events

on the sertraline (63 percent) than the rhodiola (30 percent). While rhodiola was less effective as an antidepressant than the sertraline, there were significantly fewer adverse events, and it was much better tolerated. For this reason, rhodiola may have a more favorable risk-to-benefit ratio for many patients with mild to moderate depression. Another small trial found significant decreases in the mean Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale for patients with general anxiety disorder who took 340 mg daily of Rhodiola rosea extract for 10 weeks.

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History of the Herb For generations, people in Russia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia used Rhodiola rosea, or “golden root,” to increase physical endurance, longevity, and resistance to high-altitude sickness, fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and disorders of the nervous system. Traditionally, Rhodiola rosea roots were used in bouquets to enhance fertility in young Siberian couples prior to marriage. People sipped rhodiola tea for colds and flus during the hard winters in Asia. The Vikings of Scandinavia used the herb to enhance their physical strength and endurance. The herb has much more recently been introduced in the West. All of the folklore first led to investigations of rhodiola’s phytochemistry in the early 1960s. Those studies identified adaptogenic compounds in the roots of the plant. These adaptogens, as well as the later discovered antioxidant and neuromodulating compounds in Rhodiola rosea, are responsible for its medicinal properties. —Tori Hudson, ND Tori Hudson, ND, is medical director of the clinic A Woman’s Time in Portland, Oregon. She is a clinical professor at National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University, and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Rhodiola reduces cortisol levels and increases serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals involved in mood. “Regular use also can lead to increased levels of beta-endorphin in the brain,” writes David Winston, RH (AHG), author of Adaptogens ($19.99, Healing Arts Press, 2019). “Beta-endorphin is a potent endorphin released by the pituitary gland that relieves stress and pain.”

“A pilot study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)” by A. Bystritsky et al., J Altern Complement Med, 3/08 l “Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial” by J.J. Mao et al., Phytomedicine, 2015

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sports nutrition and performance

the buzz on bone broth give yourself a nourishing boost

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Instead of chugging electrolyte energy drinks to fuel their workouts, more Americans are turning to a newly trendy (yet old as the ancients) nourishing food: bone broth. Boutique broth restaurants serve steaming cups of broth in Seattle, New York City, and beyond, while natural food store shelves offer an ever-expanding line of options. Wait, isn’t this just broth? Yes (and no). Bone broth is made by gently simmering animal bones like beef or chicken for several hours or all day, infusing the broth with nutrients and connective tissue. Humans have been making bone broth for nearly as long as we’ve roamed the planet, but most of what you find as “broth” on grocery shelves is more a super-salty delivery system for MSG and glutamate than a powerhouse of nutrition . . . even the organic versions. You can make your own bone broth on the cheap at home, but expect to pay more for quality broth in the store. For convenience, powdered bone broth supplements as well as isolated collagen and gelatin are available and can be excellent delivery systems. Enjoy broth plain by the cup or add it to recipes including soups, stews, sauces, and the cooking liquid for grains. Add commercial powders to smoothies and other recipes.

The benefits n Hydration and electrolytes. Broth is more hydrating than water. In addition to water, it contains naturally occurring electrolytes extracted from bones and veggies. If you have hypertension or are drinking lots of broth throughout the day, go easy on the salt shaker. n Nutrients. Highly concentrated broths cooked over several days with vinegar added can provide meaningful doses of calcium, magnesium, and other essential minerals, which can benefit bone strength, nerve function, muscle contraction and relaxation, and overall vitality. n Body moisturization. The combination of water and electrolytes as well as naturally occurring fat from the animal products coat and soothe dry throats and can be supportive during the dry winter season. n Joint support. Well-made bone broth contains collagen, gelatin, and base amino acids like hydroxyproline for connective tissue that might help cushion and rebuild joints with regular intake, not to mention the benefits for skin health and other connective tissues.

If you’re making your own broth, opt for joint bones rich in gelatin and collagen such as chicken feet, backs, and wings; beef knuckles; and pig feet. n Gut healing. Broth is a mainstay of many gut-healing protocols because of its soothing and easily digested nutrition. Some people do best with long-simmered broths while others prefer a shorter simmer.

The best of the broth Admittedly, scientific research directly on bone broth is new and minimal. Most of what we know and assume is extrapolated from research on isolated supplements of compounds found in the bone broth matrix, like gelatin and collagen. Bone broth has the potential to provide rich amino acids, collagen, gelatin, and various minerals including calcium, magnesium, and iron. Scientists in Taiwan examining the nutrient content of various pork bone broth preparations note that acidifying the broth with 2/3 ounce of vinegar dramatically increased the calcium content of 1 kilogram of broth from a measly 34 milligrams (mg) to 361 mg, and magnesium from 6 to 120 mg when simmered for 12 hours. Time also matters: Acidified broth simmered for just 30 minutes had 201 mg calcium and 8 mg magnesium. Another study testing the amino acid profile of broth noted dramatic variations from batch to batch, with broth simmered for 72 hours containing nearly 9 times more hydroxyproline than a similar broth simmered for 24 hours. Be choosy with your animal bones and prepared products; naturally occurring heavy metals in animal bones and water can be concentrated while making bone broth. Look for bone broth supplements sourced from humanely raised organic and pasture-raised animals that are tested for heavy metals and other unpleasant byproducts. —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 Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies, is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. Learn about herbs, the book, distance consults, online classes, and more at

Body into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) l “Effect of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials” by J.M. García-Coronado et al., Int Orthop, 3/19 l Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2019) l Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World by Sally Fallon and Kaayla T. Daniel ($24.99, Grand Central Life & Style, 2014)

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smart supplements

get a beauty boost collagen supplements offer support for skin and nails Does your bathroom mirror reflect the march of time? From age spots and crow’s feet to brittle and chipping nails— you might be wondering what can be done to slow down the visible signs of aging. It’s not just what you buy to slather on the outside, but also the supplements you take that can help transform your mirror’s reflection. Collagen, the protein in skin that helps create strength, elasticity, and smoothness, is continuously renewed by your body. Getting enough vitamin C and protein supports your body’s collagen production, but oral supplements of collagen can also play a role. Oral and topical supplemental sources of collagen can help shore things up, say researchers who’ve designed several studies with women taking supplements of collagen daily (either 2.5 grams or 5 grams) for two months. After eight weeks, researchers noted skin improvements such as more plumpness, a smoother feel, and greater elasticity, as compared to those receiving a placebo. Collagen is also great for nails. One study revealed that daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides boosted nail growth and decreased the frequency of broken nails. As a bonus, the vast majority (88 percent!) of participants continued to see improvements in their nails for up to four weeks after the treatment period. —Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH “Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis” by E. Proksch et al., 12/24/13; “Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology . . .” by E. Proksch et al., 8/14/14, Skin Pharmacol Physiol l “Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails” by D. Hexsel et al., J Cosmet Dermatol, 8/8/17

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

Digestive Health from Emerald Labs offers a full spectrum of digestive enzymes, including DPP-IV, to stimulate the body’s breakdown of all foodstuffs, including gluten, dairy, and beans.


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.

Feeling a little tense? Try PlusCBD Oil Roll-Ons from CV Sciences, infused with CBD, camphor, and menthol.

Mushroom Wisdom Maitake D-Fraction contains Beta-1,3/1,6 glucan and D-fraction, a powerful immune booster that may increase numbers and activity of immune cells.

Sambucol Cold & Flu Relief from PharmaCare is a homeopathic remedy designed for fast, temporary relief from cold and flu symptoms including congestion, aches, and more.

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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l  December 2019 11/6/19 11:21 AM

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

eczema What is it? Eczema is a group of conditions that result in itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin. What causes it? The exact cause is unknown but there may be a link to an overactive response of the immune system to an irritant on the skin; it’s commonly found in families with a history of allergies or asthma.

Lifestyle: Avoid irritants such as coarse materials,

excessive heat or cold, exposure to household products and detergents, and contact with animal dander.

Herbs: Burdock root, calendula, chamomile, dandelion

Supplements: Vitamins A, C, D, and E; evening

Food: Apples, broccoli, citrus fruit, cold-water fish, eggs, flaxseeds, oysters, raspberries, red grapes, and walnuts.

Homeopathy: Arsenicum album, Calcarea

root, peppermint, passionflower, and red clover.

primrose oil; quercetin; and turmeric.

carbonica, Medorrhinum, Mezereum, Petroleum, Psorinum, Rhus toxicodendron, and Sulfur.

“The basics of eczema and your skin,”, 5/17/19 • Prescription for Natural Cures by Mark Stengler, James F. Balch, and Robin Young Balch ($34.99, Turner Publishing Company, 2016) • “Top 5 diet tips for people with eczema,”

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just the facts

beyond CBD approach the holidays with a healthy endocannabinoid system

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Unless you have been living on a remote island, you’re most likely aware of the latest buzz in natural products—CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 compounds found in both hemp and marijuana. CBD is gaining attention and people are flocking to health food stores to score some of this “magic” substance. The potential of CBD is significant; however, perplexity abounds around the legalities, mechanism of action in the body, quality sourcing, dosing, and more. Eventually, research, science, and consumer demand will catch up and the CBD craze will normalize. Until then, let’s uncover why CBD matters. The body system that CBD impacts lays the foundation of this exciting new paradigm in health. Enter the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a recently discovered (1988) body system that is being touted as the most important neurotransmitter system. Think of it as your body’s master conductor, communicating to every cell, tissue, organ, and gland to keep you in a state of health. Cannabis led to the discovery of the ECS, hence the name, endo (internal) cannabinoid system. The ECS does not need cannabis to function, and cannabis is not the only plant that supports it. The ECS predates cannabis by over 500 million years, indicating our bodies were doing fine without it. Cannabis contains compounds such as CBD and THC that function similarly to our own internal endocannabinoids (yes, we can produce our own!), acting on CB1 and CB2 receptor sites and regulating enzyme production. As the ECS becomes out of balance from stress, lack of exercise, poor diet, and other lifestyle factors, it’s possible to give it a boost by providing external support. Research continues to unveil plant (phyto) cannabinoids that exert a positive effect on the ECS, not just those found in cannabis. As the holiday season approaches and your body’s endocannabinoid system becomes taxed from too many treats, boozy evenings, seasonal stress, and likely one less yoga class, fret not. Leafy greens are loaded with beta-caryophyllene, a dietary cannabinoid. Spices like ginger in a stir-fry, clove in a hot glass of mulled apple cider, and black pepper sprinkled on morning eggs all contain phytocannabinoids. Echinacea, magnolia, and peony found in herbal formulas also contribute to the health of your ECS. Spice it up beyond the pantry and make sure to move your body daily, participate in stress management, and get ample omega fats. These, along with the addition of phytocannabinoids, are like ribbon-wrapped gifts for the ECS. If you take care of your ECS, it will take care of you. —Sara j Pluta, MS Sara j Pluta, MS, director of education for Emerald Health Bioceuticals, has spent her 15-plus-year career as an educator in the natural products industry. She has had the opportunity to work with innovative start-ups and established mainstays. Her speaking and writing style weave together science and real-life application, making learning fun and accessible.

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healthy glow

special, simple gifts

homemade presents feature essential oils 28  remedies

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Nothing says love in quite the same way as a gift you’ve made yourself. The time, effort, and thoughtfulness that goes into each present speaks of your caring for each family member or friend who receives it. Instead of offering sugar-laden cookies or cakes this holiday season, you can present health-enhancing aromatherapy gifts. Turn your kitchen into Santa’s workshop with some of our favorite recipes.

Hand Cream This rich, buttery mixture is just what winter hands need. Make a test batch for yourself before multiplying the ingredients to fill small glass jars for gifts. ½ oz beeswax ½ oz cocoa butter 2 tsp sweet almond oil 2 Tbsp jojoba oil 10 drops essential oil (lavender, lemon, patchouli, or rosemary) Place the beeswax and cocoa butter in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. When melted, remove pan from heat and add almond and jojoba oils. Stir in the essential oil, and pour into jar, leaving lid off until mixture is cool. Note: Experiment with the essential oils, using just one or a combination. For a thinner hand balm, add more almond oil.

Minty Lip Smoother To smooth and protect the lips in winter, try this yummy smoother. This is a good recipe to use if children want to help. They’ll have fun shaking the bottles! 15 drops peppermint essential oil 8 tsp castor oil 1 tsp vegetable glycerin Drop the essential oil into a small applicator bottle (with roller-ball tip). Add the castor oil and glycerin, screw on the cap, and shake for two minutes. Let it sit in a cool, dark place for at least one day. Note: When labeling gift bottles, include the instructions to shake well before using and to avoid use if lips are sunburned, chapped, or bleeding. Cautions: Use only the highest-quality essential oils from the store that gives you this magazine. Keep essential oils locked away out of the reach of children. —Nan Fornal The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood ($26.95, New World Library, 2016) l Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide by Stephanie L. Tourles ($16.95, Storey, 2018)

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new frontiers

CBD production soars in US

Cannabidiol (CBD) supplements are obtainable in much of the US. A nonpsychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is being studied for its effects on many health conditions. Each state has laws regarding CBD with varying degrees of restriction. Learn about CBD’s status in your state at

Here’s a clear indicator that CBD has taken a prominent place in American life: Nearly all of the hemp grown in the US this year is being used for CBD processing. And the US now cultivates more hemp than any other country. The website cites a report from a cannabis research company—the Brightfield Group—which states that US acreage planted with industrial hemp more than tripled in 2019 compared to 2018. The report estimated that an acre of hemp for CBD could produce revenues of up to $40,000, compared to about $1,000 for an acre of corn. Beverages, gummies, skin care products, chocolates, and many other items are being infused with CBD. And scientific research continues to uncover benefits—and pitfalls—of CBD use, including these: n A study released in November concluded that CBD eased symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and led to a reduced use of other medications. n A review of ten studies regarding CBD’s effectiveness for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) determined that CBD may offer some relief for symptoms such as sleep disturbances and nightmares. The researchers found the previous studies to be small and of low quality, and called for well-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical trials. “CBD update: Hemp cultivation surge . . .” by Elaine Watson,, 10/3/19 l “The effectiveness of cannabinoids in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A systematic review” by C. Hindocha et al., J Dual Diagn, 9/19 l “Medical cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease . . .” by T. Naftali et al., Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 11/19

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The Original, #1 Best Selling Elderberry Brand.** Now with more great ways to give your customers the immune support* they’re looking for. ** IRI MULO as of July 29, 2019

The Sambucol® range offers a variety of Black Elderberry based ways to provide natural immune system support*. Proven Effective - Sambucol’s® proprietary formula is scientifically tested & virologist developed.

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Best-selling Original Syrup Kids Syrup & Gummies Pastille Lozenges High-Potency Gummies Effervescent Tablets Capsules Sugar Free

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This season, when it comes to your immune health:

or trust Ester-C® The only vitamin C with 24-hour immune support* Don’t take chances. Do all you can to support your immune health:* Eat healthy, get your rest— and take Ester-C® every day.* Taken just once a day, Ester-C® capsules, vegetarian tablets and effervescent powder packets absorb into your system and stay there longer than regular vitamin C to deliver 24-hour immune support and potent antioxidant activity.* So now more than ever, trust your immune health to Ester-C®… Nothing Else Works Like It.*

One daily dose works for 24-hours.* Non-GMO. Gluten Free. Available at health, natural food and vitamin specialty stores.

, Ester-C® and The Better Vitamin C® are registered TMs of The Ester C Company. *These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

TFL_1019_AH_esterc.indd 1 ©2019 American Health Inc. | 19-AH-1182

8/13/19 2:07 PM