Overcoming addiction with natural remedies

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

It is no secret that an addiction to alcohol or drugs is an incredibly debilitating and difficult condition to overcome and because of this, there are many, many outlets available today for those suffering from these illnesses. While a diverse and continual amount of support is necessary to treat the disease of addiction, there are also many natural remedies available for someone who is working towards sobriety.

In conjunction with other therapies like support groups, formal rehabilitation and medically supervised  detoxification, herbal and nutritional supplements can be taken to further the addicts efforts.

While detoxing, taking a daily dose of Milk Thistle can help cleanse your system of any toxins that compounded over the days and weeks and months of abuse. A daily Echinacea supplement is also recommended for this reason.

St. Johns Wort is an herb that is often “prescribed” to help dampen the difficult period of withdrawal . The herb has been known to help curb the cravings and ease the anxieties associated with quitting drugs and alcohol.

While taking strides toward sobriety and working through all of the physical and emotional changes that are affiliated with that transformation, steps should also be taken to replenish the deficiencies that have been caused by any damage done by the substances that were consumed. Malnutrition is a very common occurrence in individuals suffering from the disease of addiction.

Taking a multi-vitamin that contains all of the B vitamins, Vitamin C, Thiamine, Magnesium and Zinc is important to help bring the body back to a healthy equilibrium. It is likely that the consumption of drugs and alcohol have also introduced countless toxins into your system, so it is also beneficial to consume increased amounts of antioxidant rich foods in their raw state, like: berries, red grapes, eggplant, pomegranate and beans. These foods will aid in expelling the harmful, unwelcome toxins from your body, helping to curb cravings and help to bring your body back to it’s most perfect state.

Overcoming an addiction of any kind is a long, hard road. It is a disease that requires constant management, but by replacing unhealthy, addictive habits with healthier, nourishing behaviors, triumphing over addiction is possible.

We provide information and not medical advice. Please consult your doctor on your individual needs. 

 

Prevent Osteoporosis, naturally

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

Our bones make up the architectural frame work that enables our body to take motion. Maintaining strong, healthy bones is paramount to staying healthy well into our golden years, but the work begins many, many years before.

Studies show that over 50% of women over the age of fifty will develop some stage of osteoporosis or bone loss, at some time in their life. Bone loss is prevalent among post-menopausal women as it can be caused by a depletion of hormones. Other factors that can increase an individuals chance of developing osteoporosis are excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol or nicotine, a lack of Calcium and Vitamin D and an extended lack of exercise.

Bone loss can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, which is why it is important to actively work at preventing it, whether you are formally “at risk,” or not. Some more advanced symptoms of bone loss are poor posture, neck pain, back pain and a loss of height (becoming shorter.)

Consuming adequate amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D on a regular basis can help to keep your bones dense and strong and reduce your risk of fracture.

It is widely understood that dairy products are most commonly known to contain the highest amounts of naturally occurring Calcium, but there are many other foods that will also help you to meet your daily quota. Salmon, Almonds, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Oranges and Rhubarb all have substantial amounts of Calcium, as well.

Vitamin D can be consumed most efficiently by eating fish, but the vitamin is actually one that is naturally synthesized by the human body as a result of sun exposure.

For those who are at higher risk or who may already be suffering from some symptoms of Osteoporosis, taking a more aggressive approach to remedy the threat could mean taking daily Calcium and Vitamin D supplements. There are many combination supplements available at vitamin suppliers, as well as fortified juices and cereals that will further aid in the maintenance of strong healthy bones and help to prevent the onset of Osteoporosis.

We provide information and not medical advice. Please consult your doctor on your individual needs.

Natural remedies for pregnancy woes

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life. With a beautiful, new baby on the way, pregnancy bliss can lead to the well known “pregnancy glow,” and a woman can discover amazing things about the strength of her body that she never knew before.

While there are so many wonderful feelings and experiences that come along with pregnancy, without a doubt, there are at least a few that will require a little creativity, patience and persistence to overcome. And with a precious life growing inside of you, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself, pregnancy woes and all, with natural, nourishing remedies that will be good for both you and your little one.

Morning sickness is a prevalent symptom in the first trimester, leading many women to spend the majority of the first three months becoming acquainted with the bathroom floor. Doctors can be quick to prescribe potentially harmful medications to ease the suffering of a soon-to-be mom, but beyond soda and crackers, sniffing essential oils like peppermint and ginger can bring a queasy and dizzy pregnant lady back to her equilibrium so she can move on with her day.

As your belly begins to blossom in the second trimester, lathering your bump in Earth Mama Organics Belly Oil multiple times a day can help prevent itching from skin stretching, and it can also help to prevent visible stretch marks from forming.

As the third trimester finally arrives and your baby (and possibly your body) is packing on the last few pounds, your stomach is quickly running out of room and those cute little kicks are hitting you right in all the wrong places. Heartburn can be a real bummer in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and with all of those cravings for spicy foods, prevention is less of a reasonable possibility, and relief is the name of the game. Earth Mama Organics also sells Organic Heartburn Tea to soothe that pesky heartburn, or any organic anise or fennel tea found at most health food stores will do the trick.

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and natural states for a woman to be in, and despite the reality of some difficult side effects, in just nine short months, you will have the most perfect reward. With these and many other all-natural and organic products available in stores and online these days, giving your baby the best start is not only easy, but it’s good for mom, too.

We provide information, not medical advice. Please consult your health practitioner before adding any supplements to your daily routine.

The vital vitamin most american’s aren't getting enough of

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

If you are eating a well balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, lean meat and dairy, you may still be missing some of the essential nutrients that your body requires to function at an optimal level. It is for this reason that the supplement market is a hugely successful industry and with so many elements potentially missing from our diets, prioritizing your nutrition is supremely important and it could make a significant difference in your overall health and happiness.

Current literature totes the importance of consuming adequate levels of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12.

B12’s primary function is to assist in the production of red blood cells, which are the vehicles that deliver oxygen throughout the body. Without B12, anemia and a number of other potentially serious conditions are compulsory.

A person who lacks vitamin B12 might experience some or all of the following symptoms: pale skin, rapid heartbeat, migraines/headaches, weakness, insomnia, weight loss and bruising, among some others.

If left untreated, as the deficiency progresses and worsens, memory loss and disorientation can be very real symptoms, sometimes causing irreversible damage, even leading to dementia, in some cases.

Lack of B12 can even cause DNA damage, which scientists suspect is the cause of many forms of cancer.

Great natural sources of B12 include seafood and meats, dairy products like milk and eggs, and fortified cereals and breads. For those who practice exclusion diets such as vegetarians or vegans, sources of natural B12, such as these, are significantly limited, and a supplement is advised in order to meet the suggested dose.

Vitamin B12 can be taken as a component of a multi-vitamin or a B-complex supplement, that includes all of the other B vitamins, as well, or B12 can be taken as a solitary supplement.

Natural remedies for fending off the flu

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

Nothing can cramp your style and rearrange your schedule quit like a nasty bought of the flu, and with flu season upon us once again, maintaining your healthy habits, as well as enlisting the help of some effective remedies can help keep you from falling victim to the bug, this season.

A strong immune system is the key to staying far beyond the flu’s reach and few things are more essential in maintaining your immunities than adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Reducing your stress levels at home and at work, as well as keeping your hands and face clean also go a long way in preventing illness.

In addition to the more basic preventative measures that you can take to stay healthy, you can also enlist the help of some easy remedies to keep you and your family healthy.

Echinacea is widely popular as an immune booster, but some other lesser known herbal supplements are also available and can help stave off sickness, too. Research suggests that small doses of Ginseng and Elderberry can both prevent and shorten the span of respiratory infections associated with the flu.

Sambucus syrup is a liquid form of Black Elderberry that is sold in natural food stores and vitamin boutiques, and has been known to be effective in treating the symptoms of the influenza virus, as well as shortening the span of the illness.

Drinking three or more cups of organic Green Tea can provide antioxidants that help eliminate toxins from your system. The drink also stimulates the secretion of hormones from your liver that help your body fight infection.

Thieves Oil Blends are a collection of products comprised of a proprietary blend of essential oils, including: Cloves, Rosemary, Eucalyptus and other essential oils. The blend is manufactured into soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash, wipes, sprays and more, and many swear by the brand as an all natural defense against household and bodily contamination.

Giving your body a fighting chance with all natural remedies can get you through flu season unscathed, and with a stronger immune system than ever.

Please consult your doctor before starting any new remedy or supplement.

Good fat vs. bad fat: What you need, and what you don’t

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

Anyone who has ever altered their diet to lose weight, lower their cholesterol or just to improve their overall health understands that cutting out fat is a huge factor in their success. And, there is no shortage of low fat diet plans available on the bookshelves these days. Any interested party can easily subscribe to the plan that best fits their lifestyle, whether it be one that cuts out carbohydrates or one that dictates that everything you eat be low-fat and sugar free. With the immense amount of information available to those looking to eat better, knowing the truth about the fat that is found in the foods they eat (or don’t eat, for that matter) can make all the difference.

Times have changed since the fifties and sixties, where housewives used to cook with butter and lard, now a modern cook would be chastised for including these saturated fats in their list of ingredients. But there is a middle ground, where the consumption of fat is concerned. Knowing the difference between good fat and bad fat isn’t difficult and it can prove to impact your overall health, indubitably.

Cutting the fat completely from your diet can actually be quite dangerous. Humans actually need fat to survive. The good fats, like Omega-3 fatty acids, a form of unsaturated fat, actually aid in the delivery and absorption of essential nutrients and vitamins to each of the cells in our bodies. Without these, our body can become malnourished, deteriorating our immune systems and depleting our energy. Fatty fish, like salmon and trout, are excellent sources for Omega-3’s, as well as Fish Oil Supplements, which can be found at any health food or drug store.

Other forms of “good fats” that are essential to a healthy body come in the form of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which can be found in a variety of foods, including: olives, nuts, seeds and avocados.

Those fats that should be avoided, and have been deemed “bad fats’ are saturated and trans fats, which can lead to obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol, and even, to some forms of cancer. Foods that are highly processed, and contain hydrogenated oils are called trans fats. These types of fats can be slipped in to foods that claim to be “healthier” like margarines and vegetable oils, but they are most commonly found in fried foods, shortening, butter and other dairy products. Saturated fats, the other form of “bad fat” are the ones that are most commonly found in animal products, like meat, poultry, butter, lard, and also, in most commercially produced bakery goods.

Eating a well balanced diet is one of the most important steps that a person can take to improve or maintain their health. High in fruits, vegetables and minimally processed carbohydrates, including the right kind of fats in your diet is just as important as any other factor.

Eat Raw Chocolate to Fight Depression and Prevent Heart Disease

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

Most often found in sugar laden sweets and high fat desserts, chocolate has developed a bit of a bad rap as a food that tastes ‘oh, so good,’ but one that is ‘oh, so bad,’ for your health. Some even call it a guilty pleasure, but there are many reasons to change your view on this once exotic treat. Eating organic, raw chocolate or ‘Cacao’ can be good for your physical and mental health, and it tastes great; a ‘not so guilty’ pleasure, after all.

In their conquests of “the New World,” Columbus and Cortes both noticed that the Natives enjoyed the fruits of the Cacao tree in their drinks and their cooking. This observation was not lost on either conquistador, both of whom hurried to ship samples of this bean to their homeland, where their respective kings enthusiastically responded. The pure Cacao bean that the kings received from exotic lands was cooked and roasted and mixed with sugar and cream, among other ingredients, to create a luxurious treat that we know today as Chocolate.

Going back to the bean’s simple origins, raw foods enthusiasts are boasting about the incredible antioxidant and mood boosting benefits that eating Cacao can bring.

Not unlike the positive feelings we experience when enjoying a chocolate bar, cacao contains strong mood enhancing neurotransmitters that encourage feelings of contentment, happiness, comfort and even love. Phenylethylamine, found in Cacao, is also a hormone that is naturally present in our brains, and one that is secreted when we experience feelings of love, thus the reason that many people find associations between chocolate and emotions, both good and bad. Cacao also increases levels of Seratonin and other Endorphins that improve your mood.

Not only is Cacao good for your mental health, this fruit in it’s raw form can also tote loads of cancer fighting antioxidants; some say that it has more than any other food on the planet. Similar to the antioxidants found in red wine and green tea, those found in Cacao are called flavinols, and they help regulate healthy heart and blood flow, helping to prevent heart disease.

Cheers to Your Health: Learn About Biodynamic Wine

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef 

Paul Dolan Vineyards Offers a Variety of Award-Winning Biodynamic Wines

For many, wine is imbedded in their culture throughout history as an important element of a nourishing meal – present at every social gathering, used to celebrate, to mourn, in the company of others, or in solitude. Some even believe that drinking spirits with a meal aids in proper digestion. So what type of wine is best for your health?

It is a sad fact that viticulture, or the growing of grapes for the production of wine, has long been known as one of the leading employers of pesticide use in the United States and all over the planet. Grapes can be a very finicky fruit to grow, easily affected by the slightest change in temperature, moisture and sun exposure, which is why so many vintners utilize the protection of chemicals to ensure that the wines that they make from their harvest will be palatable. Thankfully, in recent years, organic farming practices have begun to reduce the negative effects of what was once such a pollutant laden fruit.

Viticulturists in the U.S., as well as France, Italy, Spain and New Zealand are going one step further by using new techniques to reduce their impact on the environment, and to produce wines that are better for their consumers.

Biodynamic agriculture is a form of farming that has been on the rise in all areas of agriculture, in recent years. Not only does biodynamics encompass all the practices of organic farming, but it also places a priority on being in synch with the natural flow of the universe. The lunar calendar, for instance, is just one of the many earth cycles that biodynamic viticulturists pay close attention to for its effects on their grapes. Much like the practice of Ayurveda, biodynamic farmers strive to have as little impact on their environment as possible, which allows them to yield a product that is as close to nature as one can get.

In addition to being better for the planet, biodynamic wine is better for your health, too. Many studies show that these wines, grown without pesticides, following the cycle of the moon, the sun and the stars are more pure and nutrient dense, making that glass of merlot an asset to a well balanced diet and a healthy, long life. So, cheers to your health!

Tis the season for the best organic and biodynamic wines

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

Recently, Natural Products Network featured an article toting the benefits of producing and consuming biodynamic wines. Many of our readers responded with some great commentary and a few of their favorite biodynamic labels. Thrilled with the feedback, we wanted to continue the discussion by sharing those recommendations, and some more of our own, with all of you.

Who doesn’t love wine and organic farming? Biodynamic viniculture combines them both with many benefits to the consumer and the environment.

So, now you can stock your bar with some great eco-friendly blends. We’ve put together a grocery list of some of the biggest names in wine making who have made the commitment to growing their grapes according to the biodynamic agriculture principles.  Enjoy!

Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills has been producing some of the finest wines in the Napa Valley region for over thirty years. Recommended by one of our readers, the Fume Blanc is made from Californian Sauvignon Blanc grapes. With notes of summer grass and passion fruit, this wine is the perfect accompaniment to seafood, salad and goat cheese.

Quivira Vineyards & Winery

Not far from Grgich Hills Estates, Quivira Vineyards is located in Healdsburg, California, in the world renowned Sonoma Valley. The Sonoma region has long been known for producing the most complex and balanced Zinfandel’s in the world, and Quivira Vineyards is no exception to this rule. The Zinfandel is just one of the delicious wines that Quivira so artfully crafts every year, with the most diligent attention to detail, and always keeping in mind the natural flow of the universe.

Beckmen Vineyards

Located just north of Santa Barbara, California, along the outskirts of Los Padres National Forest, Beckmen Vineyards is yet another American vintner that has committed their vineyard to following the most fundamental growth cycles of nature. Best known for their amazing Sauvignon Blanc, Beckmen Vineyards grows their grapes on small lots, and produces a limited stock every year.

More International Biodynamic Wine

Domaine Lapierre – Beaujolais, France
Monte Bernardi – Tuscany, Italy
Rozendal Farm – South Africa
Pyramid Valley Vineyards – New Zealand
Emiliana Winery – Chile

The good germ that fights aging

When’s the last time that you heard the word germ used in a positive way….maybe never? Well, then you’ll be surprised to learn that there is one germ that is actually very good for you and can even help you look and feel years younger. So what is this mystery germ anyway? Found in every kernel of wheat, wheat germ is the part of the wheat kernel that can bloom into a plant. It is the most nutritious part of the wheat and chalk full of vital vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and selenium—two key nutrients that promote a more youthful appearance.

In studies, Vitamin E has shown to help prevent heart disease, increase the ability to heal and help protect lungs from toxins. It has also been touted for its ability to prevent skin aging, increase eye health and help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium is an important trace mineral that protects the skin from damaging ultra violet rays and promotes thyroid health, which is key to maintaining a healthy weight. Wheat germ also contains B vitamins such as folate, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids and phosphorous.

So how do you harness the power of wheat germ? You can buy simple and inexpensive wheat germ at your local health food store. Typically it comes as a powder-like substance that you can sprinkle on foods or an oil. We love the powder the best. Try it on your morning yogurt where the texture and taste makes for a delicious morning meal.

New study finds diabetes, breast cancer link. Which natural products can help?

A new study lead by Jeffrey Johnson from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, shows a shocking correlation between breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. The study followed approximately 170,000 women and found that the participants who were 55 and older were a third more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer if they had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the previous three months. There isn’t a concrete explanation for this connection, but researchers speculate that the link could be attributed the relationship between blood sugar and breast tumor growth.

So now that we know that there is a possible connection between diabetes and cancer, what natural products can help?

If your blood sugar levels concern you, there are herbs that have shown a positive influence on blood sugar levels. Of course, you should talk to your health care provider before adding any new supplements or herbs to your daily routine.

Fenugreek – This tiny seed with a funny name has shown it can help control blood sugar levels in multiple trials. One of the most promising studies out of India found fenugreek significantly helped control blood sugar for participants struggling with type 2 diabetes. You can also use fenugreek to heal warts. Simply put some fenugreek seeds into some warm water and let it sit overnight. Every morning thereafter for a week put the goo directly on the wart until it goes away. (We have tried this and it works!)

Tumeric – Lots of you may already have this in your spice cabinet…now you have a new use for it. This popular herb has been utilized for around 4,000 years, mainly in curry recipes. Besides being a delicious addition to spicy meals, studies performed with mice suggest that it can also help control blood sugar naturally.

Holy Basil – Sure you’ve heard of basil, but have you been introduced to basil’s chaste cousin, holy basil? In a trial with a controlled group of 40 participants with type 2 diabetes, holy basil showed an impressive ability to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Sources:

Gupta A, Gupta R, Lal B. Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycaemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Assoc Physicians India. 2001;49:1057-1061.

Arun N, Nalini N. Efficacy of turmeric on blood sugar and polyol pathway in diabetic albino rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2002 Winter;57(1):41-52.

Shane-McWhorter, Laura. “Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) – Diabetes Health.” Diabetes Health – Investigate, Inform, Inspire. 1 Sept. 2005. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2005/09/01/4349/holy-basil-ocimum-sanctum/>.

Conquer Flu Fear

It’s that time again when people start worrying about getting sick. In a past post, we mentioned how Bach Flower Remedies can be used if someone is experiencing a great deal of fear over the negative media coverage surrounding the flu. Then, a reader (Thanks Nancy!) gave us a tip on an article that the Bach Flower Education Center has posted on their Web site about this very same topic!

As Dr. Margaret  Chan, General Director of the World Health Organization, raises the global pandemic level to 5, the second highest level of threat possible, another disease is quickly ravaging people around the globe – fear. Reports from Mexico state that many have abandoned their homes and jobs for the countryside, while others have been housebound for days, both groups left with little to do but watch the news and worry about their own health and that of their loved ones. Meanwhile, in the US, sales of hand sanitizer are soaring nationwide and, in far north Ann Arbor MI, the local pharmacy is running out of surgical masks.  It is certainly essential to take practical health precautions such as washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough/sneeze and avoiding those who are ill, yet being fearful and worried about the flu is not in the best interest of your heath and wellness. In fact, research shows that to stay well, it is best to remain calm and positive. Read full article.

Is your food really natural? How to interpret food labels

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef


When we were younger, there wasn’t a lot of information about the ingredients in the foods that we ate. Processed foods were a major part of our diets because they were quicker, easier and cheaper. Today, processed foods containing synthetic ingredients, obscene amounts of sodium and very little nutritional value, make up almost 90% of the average American’s diet. Despite this alarming truth, in the last ten years, there has been an increasing curiosity to the affects of such an unbalanced and irresponsible diet, leading more and more shoppers to read food labels and make more educated decisions about their daily intake, not only for their personal well being, but for the well being of their community and their planet.

With this rise in dietary accountability from the general public, many food manufacturers have caught on to the trend of all-natural, earth friendly and organic labeling in an effort to boost sales and compete with the more wholesome items on the shelf. Controversy ensues when customers dig deeper to reveal these questionable claims.

So what do these labels actually mean? Based on USDA regulations, a company can claim that their product is organic as long as it contains at least 95% organic ingredients. That means that the remaining 5% can be comprised of “other” products. If a consumer is intent on purchasing a product that is entirely comprised of organic components, the label must read: 100% Organic.

In regard to organic produce, regulations state that it must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. The USDA even requires that a farm recycle its resources as well as “promote biodiversity,” in order to output produce that could be considered organic. Organic Meat and Poultry must come from livestock that has not been given any hormones or antibiotics and is even required to have access to the outdoors.

As far as labels that state that the product is “All-Natural,” or “Naturally Made,” the USDA does not actually regulate these claims, with the exception of meat and poultry. The USDA suggests, but does not ensure that foods that are labeled “All-Natural” are just less processed and are likely to contain less synthetics such as artificial sweeteners, dyes and other additives. In fact, some “All-Natural” products on the shelves today have very little natural ingredients at all. One diet shake sold by a company who boasts quite openly about their “quality, natural ingredients,” actually contained mostly synthetic components. There are no laws or regulations set up to protect the consumer from this misleading advertising, so it is important that the consumer investigate and be discerning when making their food choices.

GMO’s are another confusing and misleading aspect of this health food revolution. A GMO is translated to: a Genetically Modified Organism, which is most commonly found today in agriculture. The technique used to achieve a GMO is called recombinant DNA technology, in which scientists alter the DNA of a crop, such as corn, in order to make it more affordable to produce or more resistant to insects. While there are a great many benefits to the practice, many fear that foods produced using this technology are contributing to a number of growing problems, like: antibiotic resistant organisms, introduction of new allergens, and increased levels of pesticides introduced to the environment and ingested by consumers (which has it’s own, even grander list of consequences to consider, as well.) The U.S. Government requires no labeling indicating whether a product is a GMO; The European government does.

While the reality of the American diet is, at a glance, rather dismal and lacking, it is also true that as a result of the increasing amounts of information and literature written on the subject, more and more American’s are taking responsibility for the products they consume.
There are organizations popping up all across the country that are making it easier for consumers to make wise food decisions such as Agricultural Co-Ops, in which a community member can purchase one or more shares in a local farm, which then routinely doles out fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and poultry, all from on-site.

Purchasing food that was either produced or grown locally contributes to a cleaner, more pure product and since the source of all of this food is known, share holders in the co-op can be assured of the quality of the products, whether they be organic, all-natural, grass fed, free range, or what have you. Food that is mass produced by large, conglomerate food manufacturers and then shipped hundreds and thousands of miles away, is more likely to sacrifice healthful integrity in an attempt to be as cost effective as possible. It is also true that the less time a product sits on a shelf, the more nutrients it contains and by purchasing food locally, consumers can cut down significantly on the cost of fuel necessary to ship the products and the amount of environmental damage caused by the plains, trains and automobiles used to get it to their table.

So, while grocery stores seem to be laden with confusing and misleading labels, with the right amount of investigation and personal investment, Americans can reclaim their kitchen table, the quality of the foods they are eating and the environmental integrity of this great country.

Make it yourself! Homemade tea to improve your skin and hair

By: Dayna Copeland Schaef

You can use your own handmade tea bags to enjoy your teas. These cool looking ones are from Merriment Design. www.merrimentdesign.com

Health food stores are popping up all over the country, becoming worthy contenders to the mega watt superstores that have been dominating the market for so long. With all of the attention Americans are beginning to aim towards natural living, these stores are even expanding their shelves to support the growth spurt of healthy, natural products available to the public. It’s an exciting trend, but for those of us who have just begun to embark on the journey, and have merely stepped foot into one of these health food stores, we know that the choices can be overwhelming and sometimes, down right confusing. While, generally, you can’t go wrong with any of the products sold in health food stores, sometimes it’s just better to make it yourself.

Make your own herbal tea to improve your skin and hair, naturally:

First, make sure that you are using organic ingredients for the very purest tea blend. Found at any specialty health food stores, you can make your own tea with equal parts: Peppermint, Horsetail, Nettle and Strawberry Leaves.  Horsetail Leaf was once used by Native Americans to polish wood, and it is cooked and eaten for its health benefits by the Japanese, but it was first used as a tea by the Ancient Romans. It contributes to healthy skin, as an anti-inflammatory, it can even be used to heal skin boils and lesions.

Nettle Leaf has been used for centuries by herbal practitioners to brighten the skin and eyes, clean the blood as well as stimulate hair growth. Strawberry Leaf is one of the more delicious components and contains incredible amounts of Vitamin C and Calcium. It has been used to treat eczema and boost milk supply in breastfeeding women. Peppermint Leaf, also a potent and tasty ingredient, helps eliminate toxins in the body, promoting healthy skin and hair, as well as supporting a properly functioning liver.

Either fresh or dried, from the store or even your very own garden, crush enough leaves to make a subtle cup or a bold cup. The general recommendation for a six ounce cup is one teaspoon of herbs but you can alter to fit your own taste preferences. Use your own teabags, or place the crushed herbs in the bottom of the cup and drown in six to eight ounces of boiling, hot water. Cover the cup and let steep for five minutes before straining. Drink as is, or sweeten with honey, lemon or agave. You’re on your way to stronger hair and glowing skin! Bravo!

We provide information, not medical advice. Please consult your doctor before taking any new herb or supplement. 

Natural love life enhancers: Ways to boost your libido without a prescription

by: Dayna Copeland Schaef

There seems to be a pill for everything, these days, from insomnia and obesity to restless leg syndrome and while there are some ailments that surely warrant a doctors prescription, other health issues can be solved with everyday products found on the shelves of the neighborhood grocery store.

One such ailment that often times can be cured with a natural remedy is a low libido. This might not necessarily seem like a “health issue” to those with a thriving one, but for those who suffer from a low or nonexistent libido, few things could be more troubling. It can cause a rift in a marriage, depression and anxiety, low self esteem and more, and there are certainly no shortage of prescriptions one can take to augment ones hormones and blood flow, adrenaline levels and a number of other factors that cause the libido to drop.

The lack of sexual drive can be devastating to ones well being, but for those who are not ready or willing to turn to the pharmacist for answers, there are many all-natural ways to enhance your love life and at an affordable cost.

Doctors often point to a persons malfunctioning adrenal glands when assigning blame for a low libido. Low levels of adrenaline in a person, or “adrenal fatigue” can cause a chain reaction of symptoms such as: lethargy, low metabolism, stress, anxiety, depression and more, all of which can contribute to a poor love life. Products like: Libido formula, by Emerita or the less subtle, Horny Goat Weed, can be purchased at any vitamin store and contain a mixture of herbs and minerals – black cohosh, gingko biloba and ginseng, all of which aid in properly functioning adrenal glands, increase blood flow and increase energy.

In addition to taking natural supplements to increase bedroom activity, diet, exercise and adequate sleep as well as healthy communication between partners, all contribute greatly to a healthy sex life, which, overall, contributes to a happier, healthier you.

We provide information and not medical advice. Please consult your doctor when taking any new supplement.