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DEC EM B ER 2020

CBD for pets?

what the science says

Anxiety relief Cold & flu strategies At-home facials

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December 2020 vol. 16 no. 12

7

16

curbing anxiety

23

feature

your home workspace Make the most of what you’ve got.

departments

4 From the Editor’s Desk 6 Health Pulse

Ways to reduce your ‘cough cloud’ • Some mouthwashes may neutralize COVID-19 • Exercise is an important part of cancer prevention • More

8 Healthspan

Is moderate alcohol consumption good for you?

12 Herbal Healing

Natural ways to prevent and treat cold and flu.

18 Everyday Remedies

Strategies to fight overactive bladder.

20 Supplement Spotlight CBD shows promise for pets.

25 Sports Nutrition & Performance L-theanine offers a boost for athletes.

26 Healthy Glow

Give your skin what it needs with an at-home facial.

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

/RemediesRecipes

@RemediesRecipes December 2020

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from the editor ’s desk

I got this right (maybe)!

My routine after visiting a store or a coffee house these days is simple: Wash my hands thoroughly. Use a nasal spray. And, just because I thought it might help, rinsing with a mouthwash. I figured the mouthwash wouldn’t hurt, and it might knock off a stray virus particle or two. Imagine my surprise when I read a new study that found a 99 percent effective rate for several basic, over-the-counter mouthwashes and oral rinses v. a strain of coronavirus (which the researchers said is genetically similar to the virus that causes COVID-19). This is a laboratory study, done in culture dishes, but the results are promising for real life. Of the several mouthwash brands tested, most included stalwarts such as hydrogen peroxide, menthol, eucalyptol, and/or thymol as the active ingredients. Researchers put viruses into contact with the mouthwashes for periods ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes. The rates of virus inactivation were stunning (at least to me). It’s not clear that the results would be the same in a human mouth, but this may be one tool in the battle. “The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines,” said study author Craig Meyers, PhD, of the Penn State College of Medicine. Perhaps even more surprising, one of the most effective treatments against the virus was a 1 percent solution of baby shampoo. Apparently, medical professionals often use a solution like that to rinse a patient’s sinuses. In the new study, the highly diluted baby shampoo inactivated more than 99.9 percent of the viruses. You can read more about the study in this month’s Health Pulse section (page 8).

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editor Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service customerservice@tasteforlife.com 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 (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Leanna Houle 800-677-8847 (x111) 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); © 2020 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.

Rich Wallace, editor

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

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how far does that cough carry? Airborne droplets carrying the COVID-19 virus remain in a “cough cloud” for about five to eight seconds before dispersing, according to a new study. The researchers also determined that the volume of the cloud is about seven times larger without a surgical mask, compared to wearing one. “We found that anything that reduces the distance traveled by the cloud, such as a mask, handkerchief, or coughing into an elbow, should greatly reduce the region over which the droplets disperse upon coughing and therefore the chances of infection,” said researcher Rajneesh Bhardwaj, PhD. SELECTED SOURCES “COVID-19 cough clouds in closed spaces,” American Institute of Physics, 10/20/20 l “Reducing chances of COVID19 infection by a cough cloud in a closed space” by A. Agrawal and R. Bhardwaj, Physics of Fluids, 10/20/20

mouthwash thwarts coronaviruses in lab Certain oral antiseptics and mouthwashes may have the ability to inactivate human coronaviruses, according to new research from the Penn State College of Medicine. These products may help reduce the amount of virus in the mouth after infection and reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The researchers evaluated the effects of over-thecounter products that included a 1 percent solution of baby shampoo, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers, and mouthwashes. All testing was done in a laboratory setting. Trials with people are planned. Several of the nasal and oral rinses had a strong ability to neutralize the virus, which suggests that these products may have the potential to reduce the amount of virus spread by people who are COVID-19-positive. The products were tested for periods ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes. “Surprisingly,” wrote the study authors, “we found that several of these common

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products had strong virucidal properties,” inactivating 99 percent of viruses or more. SELECTED SOURCES “Mouthwashes, oral rinses may inactivate human coronaviruses,” Penn State, 10/19/20 l “Lowering the transmission and spread of human coronavirus” by C. Meyers et al., Journal of Medical Virology, 9/17/20

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cancer society urges exercise Active older adults have better physical and mental health, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society. Higher amounts of moderate-to-vigorous exercise and less time sitting are keys. “The findings reinforce the importance of moving more and sitting less for both physical and mental health, no matter your age or history of cancer,” said researcher Erika Rees-Punia, PhD. “This is especially relevant now as so many of us, particularly cancer survivors, may be staying home to avoid COVID-19 exposure, and may be feeling a little isolated or down. A simple walk or other physical activity that you enjoy may be good for your mind and body.” The study included nearly 78,000 participants with an average age of 78. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity each week. SOURCE “Study shows active older adults have better physical and mental health,” American Cancer Society, 10/20/20

rethink your coffee routine That first cup of coffee in the morning might be setting you back, especially if you haven’t slept well. A new study found that drinking strong, black coffee to help wake you up could impair control of blood sugar levels. “Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee, especially after a night of disrupted sleep,” said researcher James Betts, PhD. “We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we still feel we need it. Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all.” The researchers put healthy adults through three rounds of tests, with variations regarding normal or disrupted sleep and coffee and breakfast routines. Blood samples revealed the impacts on blood sugar control. SELECTED SOURCES “Drink coffee after breakfast, not before, for better metabolic control,” University of Bath, 10/2/20 l “Glucose control upon waking is unaffected by hourly sleep fragmentation during the night, but is impaired by morning caffeinated coffee” by H.A. Smith et al., British Journal of Nutrition, 2020

December 2020

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healthspan

“cheers to good health” Is alcohol part of the equation?

In December, we clink glasses to good health, friends, family, and fortune. The oft-touted health benefits of a glass of red wine or other alcoholic beverage feel like a bright light of joy alongside boring go-tos like green leafy vegetables, fiber, and exercise.

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But is it really true? Is your health actually better off with a drink in your hand? Even though studies link moderate alcohol consumption with better health and longer lifespans, these studies are rife with flaws. Observational population studies don’t prove causation, only correlation, and other factors are likely involved, including privilege and socioeconomic status variations and classifying former drinkers in “abstainer” groups.

Moderation v. heavy drinking There is no question that excessive alcohol intake is bad for health on almost all fronts, increasing risk of heart disease, cancer, liver disease, addiction, intoxication-related accidents, pancreatitis, mood disorders, cognitive decline, inflammation, poor fetal development, and more. This applies to binge drinking four to five or more drinks within two hours as well as chronic heavy drinking. But what about moderate alcohol consumption of one or two drinks per day? Women are on the low end of these recommendations due to body weight and the risk of breast cancer.

Possible Pros: nP ast studies have shown a happy-dance correlation between moderate alcohol consumption, heart health, diabetes risk, age-related cognitive health, and longevity. But newer studies question these links, and excessive drinking more clearly worsens risks.

Likely Cons: n Cancer: Any amount of alcohol can increase cancer risk, particularly of the liver and breast as well as contact areas (mouth, esophagus) and colon-rectum.

n Allergies: Alcoholic drinks are implicated in various hypersensitivity responses relating to immune irritation, allergies, triggering asthma, food allergies, exerciseinduced anaphylaxis, and higher levels of allergyassociated immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels. nS leep: I see first-hand in myself and my clients how just one or two drinks worsen sleep, particularly in women. While you may fall asleep faster, the sleep quality is often reduced, with increased nighttime waking, restlessness, insomnia, morning grogginess, and daytime mood destabilization. Studies show sleep disruption with any level of alcohol, worsening as the amounts increase. Modest alcohol consumption also worsens sleep apnea. n Leaky gut and microbiome balance: Alcohol increases inflammation, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), and gut flora imbalance. Even moderate amounts have been shown to aggravate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). n Weight gain and obesity: Although the studies are not clear cut for moderate drinking, when we drink, we consume significant amounts of calories in our glasses. Feeling tipsy also encourages us to eat more food, which worsens with heavier drinking.

Alcohol during a pandemic These health implications become even more pertinent in these strange pandemic times, heading into a darker, colder season, when we may drink more alcohol out of boredom, habit, and to self-medicate for anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Studies, surveys, and alcohol sales all indicate that general alcohol consumption and binge drinking rates have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

What’s one drink? Beer: 12 ounces

Wine: 5 ounces

Hard Liquor: 1.5 ounces

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Does the type of drink matter? When it comes to alcohol specifically, ethanol is ethanol. However, other ingredients and constituents found in your drink may indeed matter. The higher beneficial polyphenol content of wine–especially red wine–and hoppy beer may confer additional benefits. Meanwhile, sweet meads, sweet wine, hard cider, and cocktails pose their own health risks from increased calorie and sugar content. Many cocktails have double the dose of alcohol, more sugar than a can of soda, and hundreds of calories per glass versus wine or beer. Also be mindful of extra-large serving sizes of wine and beer–one glass or can may provide more than one serving of booze. Bottom line: The research on moderate drinking isn’t clear, but consider sticking a little below the

recommended “up to one drink daily” (for women) or two (for men), reserving for special occasions, or avoiding altogether. Instead, fill your fancy glass with bubbly water mocktails with a splash of juice, wedge of fruit, sprinkle of pomegranate, splash of vanilla extract, dash of bitters or vinegar-based shrubs, or other garnish. When you do drink, consider high-polyphenol, lowersugar options like beer and red wine in small portions. You may be surprised how much better your overall health becomes! 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 books, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com.

SELECTED SOURCES “Alcohol consumption and body weight: A systematic review” by C. Sayon-Orea et al., Nutrition Reviews, 8/11 l “Alcohol dosing and total mortality in men and women . . .” by A. Di Castelnuovo et al., Archives of Internal Medicine, 12/06 l “Alcohol and sleep I: Effects on normal sleep” by I.O. Ebrahim et al., Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 4/13 l “Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits,” www.MayoClinic.org, 10/26/19 l “Binge drinking is a serious but preventable public health problem,” 12/30/19; “COVID-19 pandemic brings new concerns about excessive drinking,” American Heart Association, www.Heart.org, 7/1/20 l “Changes in adult alcohol use and consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US” by M.S. Pollard et al., JAMA Network Open, 9/20 l “Director’s blog: Alcohol poses different challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, www.niaaa.nih.gov, 4/20 l “Drink alcohol only in moderation,” Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, www.Health.gov, 10/15/20 l “Effects of drinking on late-life brain and cognition” by A. Topiwala and K.P. Ebmeier, Evidence-Based Mental Health, 2/18 l “Facts about moderate drinking,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov, 12/30/19 l “Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for weight gain and obesity?” by P.M. Suter, Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 2005 l “Is moderate red wine consumption safe in inactive inflammatory bowel disease?” by G.R. Swanson et al., Digestion, 10/11

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herbal healing

’tis the season For colds and flu!

The human immune system is complex, so it’s wise to take a multipronged approach to staying healthy during cold and flu season. Eating well, exercising, and minimizing stress are the foundation of a healthy immune response. Some herbs can bolster these good habits and offer additional protection against any viruses you might encounter.

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Elderberry Elderberries are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral powerhouses. They contain high levels of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B6, and flavonoids and help to relieve aches, sinus pain, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and fever. There is no documented evidence that elderberry can thwart or treat COVID-19, but its effectiveness against other viruses— including another human coronavirus called HCoV-NL63—has been noted. The authors of a recent report in Autoimmunity Reviews note that elderberries contain a lectin that may inhibit coronavirus function. Previous research has also identified lectins as anti-coronavirus candidates. Elderberry is available in many supplemental forms. The berries can be dried and made into teas, tinctures, and syrups. These remedies are readily available, as are elderberry capsules, gummies, and lozenges.

Echinacea One of the most popular herbs in the United States, echinacea finds a home in many cabinets during cold and flu season. Echinacea’s action as an immune-system booster comes from its ability to promote the production of immune cells, according to results of test-tube and animal studies. Research points to the activation of both lymphocytes and macrophages, specialized white blood cells, by three components of echinacea. While more human studies are needed, researchers have found that echinacea increases the body’s supply of interferon. This virus-fighting protein works by interfering with virus cells’ ability to replicate. One review of studies that included 2,500 people found that echinacea extract lowered the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and decreased complications, including pneumonia and ear infections.

Mushrooms can be taken daily as supplements or in food all season to bolster your immune system. Gently simmering them in hot water for tea or broth best extracts the polysaccharides. If you’re allergic to or simply don’t care for mushrooms, try astragalus instead. —Cameron Hendrix SELECTED SOURCES “Can medicinal mushrooms have prophylactic or therapeutic effect against COVID-19 . . .?” by G. Hetland et al., Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, 7/13/20 l “Combating COVID-19 and building immune resilience: A potential role for magnesium nutrition?” by T.C. Wallace, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 7/20 l “European elderberry,” HerbalGram, American Botanical Council l “Maitake,” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, www.MSKCC.org, 2/19/20 l “A scientific first: Reishi-shiitakemaitake combination has synergistic immune benefits” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 11/22/19 l “Seven recommendations to rescue patients and reduce the mortality from COVID-19 infection: An immunological point of view” by A. Kronbichler et al., Autoimmunity Reviews, 7/20

consider this RidgeCrest Herbals’ ClearLungs Immune combines a blend of Chinese herbs from award-winning ClearLungs Classic with herbs to support immune function.

PharmaCare Sambucol Homeopathic Temporary Cold & Flu Symptom Relief Tablets provide temporary relief from cold and flu symptoms—no water needed.

Medicinal mushrooms Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, reishi, maitake, and chaga contain polysaccharides called beta glucans, which stimulate immune system cells and help them become more effective at dealing with pathogens. Research suggests that medicinal mushrooms are most effective when used together. A 2019 study found that a combination of maitake, reishi, and shiitake mushroom extracts provided an increase in immune stimulation above and beyond the effects seen by each individually. Scientists are also starting to explore whether some mushrooms might be allies in the fight against COVID-19. A recent scientific review found that three related mushrooms— maitake, agaricus, and lion’s mane—possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against and treat complications associated with COVID-19, including damaging inflammation, immune overreaction, and multiresistant bacterial pneumonia. 14  remedies

Xlear Rescue Nasal Spray offers a drug-free formula including herbal supplements and essential oils like pau d’arco, oregano, tea tree, eucalyptus, and parsley.

NOW Foods ElderMune features elderberry, a multipurpose fruit used throughout Europe as a tonic to maintain health and well-being and for its high nutritive value.

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Breathe easy Try eucalyptus oil for stuffy nose or nasal congestion. Its 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. Eucalyptus also inhibits the effects of bacteria that can cause respiratory tract infections, sinus congestion, coughs, colds, and sore throats.

December 2020

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By Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

break out of the anxiety loop pay attention to your body’s signals

With the holiday season upon us, we need to be mindful of our anxiety levels and incorporate ways to alleviate stress. Conventional anti-anxiety plans often focus on our thoughts, supplements, and pharmaceuticals, missing the relationship between the body and anxiety. 16  remedies

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Pat Ogden, PhD, founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, describes the body’s crucial influence on anxiety like this: “Everything lives in the body, including anxiety. . . . If I imagine being anxious, my shoulders go up a little bit, my breathing gets more tight, and I feel a little bit of tension in my stomach. Everybody’s body is different, of course, so anxiety would live in each person in a different way. But I think the problem with working only cognitively is that it doesn’t typically address physiology, tension patterns, posture patterns, movement patterns that go along with the anxiety.”

Recognize stress When we are stressed, our body’s arousal tends to rise. Most of us identify the common symptoms of anxiety, such as difficulty sleeping, irritability, fatigue, increased heart rate, tension, and gastrointestinal problems. However, even before we have common symptoms such as a nervous stomach, our body alerts us with subtler signals that we are overloaded: collapsing the body inward, losing contact with one’s feet on the floor (grounding), not noticing our surroundings, jaw tension, clenching hands, gripping objects, and shallow breathing. For some, watching the news is enough to trigger their bodies’ unique arousal patterns. As Dr. Ogden says, “there are things you can do with your body to counteract how your body is holding the heightened arousal or anxiety. . . . If you know your trigger and you can identify how your body responds, then you have a tremendous tool to do the opposite in your body.” When you watch the news, notice if you grit your teeth or slouch: signals of body arousal. You can respond by stretching your arms into the air, opening your mouth widely, and vocalizing a loud “ahhh,” which sends a message to your body to calm down. According to Dr. Ogden, when our body gets stuck in arousal or learned patterns of responding to stress, each time we show our body a different way of moving and responding to threats, we begin to break the patterns

that keep us stuck in our anxiety loops.

Find the “sweet spot” Everyone has an optimal zone where they feel calm, comfortable, and energized. For some, this “sweet spot” can be found dancing, listening to music, or spending time with animal companions. Everyone is different. Dr. Ogden points out that noticing how your body feels before, during, and after an activity that makes you feel good is one way to start using your body for selfregulation. The more you can recognize how your body responds to these good feelings, the more you’ll be able to recreate the same feelings and repattern your body’s response to stress. Fortunately, we have access to many body-centered self-help resources for reducing anxiety. Exercises such as the calming hug and tapping are very effective. (Tapping is a technique involving use of the fingertips to tap points on the face and body to relieve stress.) Seeing a certified sensorimotor psychotherapist is also helpful.

Seek tranquility Rachel Michaelsen, a licensed clinical social worker and diplomate in comprehensive energy psychology, says, “I encourage my clients to use calming exercises as a regular part of self-care. Calming exercises not only create tranquility in our daily lives, but when we are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety, we can easily utilize familiar techniques to soothe ourselves. Many people report that over time they find themselves more resilient and able to handle the inevitable stresses of life.” Many of us have had years of patterning our stress responses and how our body carries anxiety, but with practice and attention, you will find that the body is the gateway to long-term anxiety relief.

To learn more You’ll find calming exercises and resources to cope with anxiety at these sites: ● Resources for Resilience (including the Calming Hug) https://www.r4r.support

● The Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute https://sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org

● Donna Eden’s Daily Energy Routine https://edenenergymedicine.com/ donnas-daily-energy-routine

● Self-Tapping Step-By-Step http://www.selfhelpfortrauma.org

● Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology https://www.energypsych.org

Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, author, and founder of www.lightyoursparkle.life. She specializes in integrative treatment models for chronic illness. Inspired by her own struggles with autoimmune illnesses and trauma, she educates about empowerment and how to build individualized healing plans.

SELECTED SOURCES “Coping with anxiety: Dr. Pat Ogden and body-centered approaches” interview with Casey Hersch, https://lightyoursparkle. life l Personal communication: Pat Ogden, 10/20; Rachel Michaelsen, 10/20 l Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment by P. Ogden and J. Fisher (W.W. Norton & Company, Ltd., 2015) l Trauma and the Body by P. Ogden (W.W. Norton & Company, Ltd, 2017)

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

overactive bladder What is it? A sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate; frequent urination (eight or more times in 24 hours); waking more than twice in the night to urinate. What causes it? Aging, cognitive decline, diabetes, excess consumption of alcohol or caffeine, hormonal changes, medications, incomplete bladder emptying, neurological disorders, or urinary tract infections.

Food: Eat a vitamin-rich diet including fruit and vegetables high in vitamin C; choose foods rich in vitamin D including fish, fortified milk and yogurt, and eggs; avoid carbonated beverages of all types; limit alcohol and caffeine consumption; use artificial sweeteners sparingly.

Herbs: Capsaicin, horsetail, pumpkin seed oil,

passionflower, reishi mushrooms, saw palmetto, soy isoflavone extract.

Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy weight and exercise

regularly; manage chronic diseases and disorders like diabetes; monitor fluid intake, but don’t drink less than one liter per day; perform pelvic floor or bladder training exercises; set a schedule for toileting instead of waiting for the urge to urinate.

Supplements: Free-form amino acid complex;

multivitamin/mineral including vitamins A, B complex, and D; calcium; magnesium; potassium; zinc.

Homeopathy: Causticum, Natrum muriaticum, Sepia.

SELECTED SOURCES “Are there dietary changes I can make to deal with overactive bladder?” 4/17/2020; “Overactive bladder,” 3/20/20, www.MayoClinic.org l “Herbal remedies for overactive bladder” by Sharon Liao, www.WebMD.com, 10/3/16 l Prescription for Natural Cures by Mark Stengler, James F. Balch, and Robin Young Balch ($34.99, Turner Publishing Company, 2016) l Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC ($29.95, Penguin Group/Avery, 2010)

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WHEN FALL ARRIVES, REACH FOR THE ESSENTIALS

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supplement spotlight

CBD for pets? studies show promise

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Some time ago, I heard this story about a meeting at a dog food company: “Our commercials have the best jingle in the business,” bragged the advertising director. “Our labels are bright and catchy,” added the head of marketing. “And we’ve invested heavily in promoting the product,” said the chief financial officer. “So why aren’t we selling more dog food?” asked the company’s president. The room fell silent for a moment. Finally, a voice from the back called, “Because the dogs don’t like it.”

The evidence Do dogs “like” CBD oil? Or, to put it another way, is cannabidiol safe and effective for treating health issues in dogs (and cats)? There’s anecdotal evidence that it can relieve stress and anxiety in these pets, and there’s scientific evidence that it may relieve arthritis pain and control epileptic seizures in dogs. Humans are using CBD to treat a wide variety of stress-related conditions, and studies have confirmed some of the benefits. Many pet owners assume that their furry friends will find the same results. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of CBD for pets, so many veterinarians are cautious about recommending it. “It’s not that we don’t see potential in these products, because we do,” said Gail Golab, PhD, DVM, the chief veterinary officer for scientific affairs and public policy at the American Veterinary Medical Association. She told the Washington Post that “we want their potential to be demonstrated through FDA approval and we want to make sure that owners can be confident that what they’re giving their animal is something that’s actually going to help them.”

Arthritis relief In a 2018 study, researchers tested two different dosages of CBD oil in dogs who suffered from osteoarthritis. (The amounts were based on the dogs’ weights). The dogs received the CBD or a placebo every twelve hours for four weeks. Those who took the CBD showed significant pain relief and increased activity. The dogs’ human companions reported that there were no side effects, and veterinarians agreed that the dogs had less pain.

Another four-week arthritis study from earlier this year found similar results. “Nine of the 10 dogs on CBD showed benefits, which remained for two weeks after the treatment stopped,” said Baylor University researcher Matthew Halpert, PhD. “We did not detect alterations in the blood markers we measured, suggesting that, under the conditions of our study, the treatment seems to be safe.”

Seizure control CBD proved very effective for controlling canine seizures in at least one study. Researchers from Colorado State University found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. The lead researcher, neurologist Stephanie McGrath, DVM, called the results “very promising.” Sixteen dogs were enrolled in the study, and nine were treated with CBD.

Daily use CBD generally has 0.3 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive component of cannabis. It obviously has potential for treating certain chronic conditions, but how does it measure up in otherwise healthy dogs and cats? Scientists gathered eight healthy dogs and eight healthy cats and administered a low-dose CBD product twice daily for 12 weeks. Side effects were minimal. The cats appeared to absorb less of the CBD compared to the dogs. They also showed a tendency toward excessive licking and head shaking after taking the oil. Most experts say to use caution when considering CBD for pets. The animal’s weight, age, and overall health should be considered carefully to determine proper dosage. Best to discuss all of this with your vet. —Alan Siddal SELECTED SOURCES “CBD for pets has gotten more popular, though vets urge caution” by Maura Judkis, Washington Post, 8/19/20 l “CBD oil for dogs: What you need to know,” American Kennel Club, www.AKC.org l “Cornell University research could help hemp entrepreneurs (and make dogs feel better)” by Julie Weed, www.Forbes.com, 8/19 l “Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs” by L.J. Gamble et al., Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7/23/18 l “Preliminary data from CBD clinical trials ‘promising,’” Colorado State University, 7/19/18 l Researchers find CBD improves arthritis symptoms in dogs,” Baylor College of Medicine, 5/28/20 l “Single-dose pharmacokinetics and preliminary safety assessment with use of CBD-rich hemp nutraceutical in healthy dogs and cats” by K.A. Deabold et al., Animals (Basel), 10/19/19

December 2020

By Alan Siddal

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By Nan Fornal

your home workspace

A comfortable spot where you’ll want to spend time As with so many areas of life, the pandemic has affected how and where we work. After COVID-19 hit, a whopping 88 percent of white-collar workers stopped going to the office every day, according to a survey conducted by two of the foremost workplace experts and strategists, Anita Kamouri, PhD, and Kate Lister. Before that, fewer than one-third of respondents reported working from home. What may be surprising, especially to managers who previously may have balked at allowing employees to work remotely, is that 70 percent of leaders surveyed reported, on average, that their teams’ performance is the same as or better than it was before. Most of the employees surveyed showed satisfaction with having the tools they need to do their jobs; more than 80 percent said they had suitable technology.

Your office setup If the work-from-home trend continues beyond the end of the pandemic, you may want to stop schlepping your laptop around the house. Using a laptop on your lap is “an ergonomic train wreck,” said Brett M. Layden, DC, owner of Layden Chiropractic in Plainville, MA. Park it in a space that’s dedicated to working. It doesn’t have to be a separate room, or even a large space. Dr. Layden suggests placing your computer on a desk so that it’s about 18 inches from your face. “You’ll want the screen to be at eye level or a little higher or lower depending on whether you wear glasses,” he said. “Your chair height should allow your hips to be a bit higher than your knees.” And don’t cross your legs! Dr. Layden calls this practice “crisscross applesauce,” and said it can cause long-term hip issues as well as contributing to varicose veins.

Using a lumbar-support cushion can keep you aligned and comfortable. Adjustable arm rests will keep your hands comfortably above the keyboard, reducing stress on your neck and the possibility of carpal-tunnel issues, he said. If it’s within your budget, Dr. Layden suggests a variable-height desk. It gives the option of sitting, but not sitting too much.

Workday routine Dr. Layden, who is also a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise, says, “I recommend that everyone exercise throughout the workday if possible, doing basic warmups for the hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.” He recommends about five minutes at a time. SELECTED SOURCES Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey by A. Kamouri and K. Lister, Isometrics and Global Workplace Analytics, 5/5/2020 l Personal communication: Brett Layden, 10/21/20

December 2020

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sports nutrition + performance

L-theanine

this supplement may boost athletic performance L-theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green tea. Its calming properties help to ease the stimulating effect of caffeine in tea. This is a win-win for green tea drinkers because they get a concentration boost that helps them focus and stay mentally sharp but without the jitters typically associated with caffeine consumption. L-theanine is also used for improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety. Preliminary studies in athletes point to L-theanine’s ability to reduce stress while also improving mental clarity. A 2020 study found that rugby players who consumed a drink containing black currant, pine bark extract, and L-theanine showed better cognition following a training session compared to those who received a placebo.

Immunity boost A recent study involving elite rowers found that supplementing with 150 milligrams (mg) of L-theanine for six weeks appeared to increase levels of some pro-inflammatory markers. L-theanine may also enhance immunity by limiting the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 and boosting production of T-helper type 1 cells. Former elite endurance athlete Mark Sisson writes that L-theanine is one of his favorite anti-stress supplements.

“L-theanine is most effective at improving the cognitive performance of people undergoing stress,” he writes. “I’d argue that most of us are in stressful environments, even if we’re not aware of it.” Sisson suggests taking L-theanine as a supplement, rather than drinking green tea, to ensure you’re getting the 100 to 200 mg dose found to be most effective in clinical trials. —remedies staff SELECTED SOURCES “The effect of L-theanine supplementation on the immune system of athletes exposed to strenuous physical exercise” by A. Juszkiewicz et al., Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2/15/19 l “Improving mental performance in an athletic population with the use of Arepa, a blackcurrant based nootropic drink . . .” by N. Gibson, et al., Antioxidants (Basel), 4/15/20 l “L-theanine shows potential immune benefits in elite athletes” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredients-LATAM.com, 3/4/19 l “Theanine: Calmness in a pill?” www.BerkeleyWellness.com, 8/3/15 l “Why you need to be taking L-theanine” by Mark Sisson, www.MarksDailyApple.com, 2020

December 2020

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healthy glow

easy steps for an

at-home facial DIY saves time and money

Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic has made you ultra-cautious about sitting down for cosmetic services. But applying quality products at home can give your skin what it needs to look fresh, healthy, and restored. Follow these four steps for an at-home facial that will keep your skin glowing. 1: Cleanse Wash and rinse face with warm water. Blot skin dry. Use a natural facial cleanser free of toxic chemicals such as parabens (preservatives) and phthalates (plasticizers that can build up in fatty tissue and interfere with endocrine function).

2: Steam and scrub Put a saucepan of water on to boil. Use your fingertips to gently apply an exfoliant scrub to your face with small, circular motions, taking care to avoid the delicate eye area. Remove pan from heat after the water boils. With the scrub still on your face, hover over the pan, being careful to stay at least 12 inches above the hot water. Use a towel to create a tent over your head for maximum effectiveness. Close your eyes while the steam opens your pores. After several moments, rinse your face thoroughly with warm water, using a wet facecloth to remove any residue. Choose an exfoliant scrub with fruit enzymes like papaya or pineapple. Both fruits contain beta hydroxy acids, which remove surface cells gently. Pumpkin is rich in healing retinoids, so consider products containing this skin superfood. Pumpkin enzymes help unclog pores and soften skin while pumpkin oil moisturizes with essential fatty acids that help regulate skin oil production. Other helpful ingredients include antiaging green tea extracts, rose hip oil, soothing aloe vera, and natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol), which improves skin elasticity and firmness. 26  remedies

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3: Apply a mask Again avoiding the eye area, apply a natural facial mask and leave it on for the length of time indicated on the package. Rinse with warm water and blot skin dry with a clean towel. Consider a hydrating mask with antioxidants. People prone to dry skin might want a mask with hyaluronic acid, which binds moisture to the skin to soften it. Masks made with Dead Sea salts offer deep cleansing and detoxification. A kaolin or bentonite mud mask can be used monthly for treating acne and oily skin. Look for mud masks that also contain rosemary essential oil. continued on page 29

December 2020

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When your world is UPSIDE DOWN

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continued from page 27

4: Moisturize While skin is still damp, smooth a thin layer of moisturizer on the face and neck using gentle, upward strokes. Healthful ingredients include rose essential oil, which promotes new skin cell growth, and hyaluronic acid, which helps flatten fine lines and make deeper wrinkles less noticeable. Look for moisturizers with vitamins A, C, and E, all of which help prevent premature skin aging. Vitamin A fights wrinkles. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production. Products containing goji berry extract contain all three of these powerful vitamins. Those with acne or problem skin should look for moisturizers with extracts of calendula or lavender. —remedies staff

Herbs may ease rosacea

SELECTED SOURCES Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor by Linda Wells with the editors of Allure ($24.99, Bulfinch Press) l Drop-Dead Gorgeous by Kim Erickson ($16.95, Contemporary Books) l Living Beauty by Lisa Petty ($21.95, Fitzhenry & Whiteside) l The Living Beauty Detox Program by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS ($13.95, HarperSanFrancisco l Return to Beautiful Skin by Myra Michelle Eby with Karolyn A. Gazella ($14.95, Basic Health)

The chronic flushing and redness of the face known as rosacea affects about 16 million US adults. It can be triggered by sun exposure, emotional stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and other factors, but treatment can be elusive. The University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter suggests that certain herbal remedies can help, including green tea extracts, licorice, chamomile, and oatmeal. SOURCE “Ask the Experts,” University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, Special Summer Issue, 2018

December 2020

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new frontiers

CBD and pain: An update A recent survey found that the most common reason for taking CBD is for pain relief. A promising study from earlier this year pointed to CBD cream as an effective treatment for back pain. The study involved just two patients, but the authors concluded that “hemp-derived CBD in a transdermal cream provided significant symptom and pain relief.” Another 2020 study looked into the pain-relieving effects of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and reported that any side effects from CBD were “much more benign” than THC. SELECTED SOURCES “Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain . . .” by J.P. Eskander et al., Journal of Opioid Management, 5-6/20 l “Cannabinoids in the treatment of back pain” by T.E. Kim et al., Neurosurgery, 8/20 l “CBD for the treatment of pain: What is the evidence?” by C.K. Svensson, Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 7/20 l “Use of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of chronic pain” by I. Urits et al., Best Practice & Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology, 9/20

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 www.CBDCentral.com.

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