Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

The Adrenal Connection

Dr. Duebendorfer hosted a free class at Winter Ridge explaining the Adrenal Connection. Here are notes from the class provided by our Wellness Team Member, Rhylaigh.

 

The Adrenal glands are small glands located on top of the kidneys, and produce hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure, the way the body uses food, the levels of minerals in the blood and other functions involved in stress reactions.  Adrenals come from the Limbic part of the brain, a complex system of nerves and networks involving instinct and mood.  This system controls basic emotions like fear, anger, pleasure and drives hunger, sex, dominance and caring for others.

 

Our Limbic system affects us in two ways:

1) The Pituitary gland stimulates the adrenal center initiating fight or flight syndrome, which causes our digestion and immune system to shut down

2) The Hypothalmus activates the adrenal mendula and releases epinephren.  Our cardiovascular system is affected, and heart rate, pulse and blood pressure go up.  This, in turn, affects our nervous system

 

The adrenal glands are also affected by emotions as well as external dangers, either real or perceived.  It is a normal process when we encounter an acute danger:  Our body reacts in a fight or flight mode. However, when “perceived” dangers, such as emotional reactions become chronic (this can result from early childhood patterns of coping associated with defense mechanisms and behaviors are reinforced as we go into adulthood), the body develops a tolerance to the adrenalin released and adapts to it.  We, then, no longer have the capacity to have an appropriate adrenal response, developing a tolerance to the adrenalin and its effects.

 

The constant release of adrenalin affects many systems in our body:

  1. Fatigue is the first symptom occurring from adrenal stress drain, due to a lack of adrenalin.  Our thyroid is affected by hormones released, exhausting the thyroid and the adrenals become fatigued.  Taking thyroid feels better but our adrenals wear out eventually. In this way, thyroid becomes over prescribed
  2. Cardio system becomes over stimulated, causing high blood pressure, and a breakdown of heart and bones
  3. Immune system shuts down causing more chronic infections, auto immune diseases and allergies, which begin to happen on a tissue level.  The body doesn’t realize what is healthy and white  blood cells are reduced in activity
  4. Digestion is affected and shuts down. We have lymph nodes in out digestive tract that make up 80% of our immune system. A lack of absorption of nutrients causes inflammation and cortisol breakdown that causes oxidative damage
  5. Mood/Depression are an issue as the adrenals effect the hormones that control our moods, as well as reproductive hormones.  Erectile dysfunction and menopause are also affected
  6. Cancer– There is a tremendously strong connection between stress hormones and cancer, as an increase in receptor sites occurs, and cancer cells multiply more quickly and are more mobile

 

To help rebalance adrenals:

Diet– When adrenals are down, a natural protective function is to eat sugar and carbs when tired.    These cravings are a sign that your body has adapted. Avoid processed sugar and resist starches when you cook.  It is important to eat regular solid meals, ideally four to five hours between meals. The focus of 2-3 ounces of protein at each meal will stabilize blood sugar.  High fiber carbs are best eaten in the evening, as carbs increase insulin, which decreases cortisol.  To reset adrenals, increase cortisol levels so they are high in the morning and low at night.  Protein snacks before bedtime help us to sleep better.

Sleep– It is essential to have proper sleep for adrenals to recharge.  If you experience insomnia, you are not relaxed enough from stress.

Emotional Balance– Check for defense mechanisms and beliefs that are responsible for emotional triggers of fight or flight. Creatively initiate new coping approaches.

 

In conclusion, adjusting life styles will support a healthy adrenal connection.

  • Decrease stress by letting go of the perception that we are “running out of time”.  This will help to eliminate worry and stress
  • Don’t multitask.  Focus on one thing at a time rather than trying to get everything done all at once
  • Set priorities. What is your passion?  Include activities that you enjoy as a simpler way of life
  • Prayer helps brain waves slow down, which can bring insight, creative thoughts and healing before deep sleep.  Brain waves actually do affect clarity and efficiency.  Give your burdens to a higher principal.  Trust that the appropriate response will arise.  Feel gratitude all day long.  Meditation also causes a positive shift.

 

Suggested reading:  The Adrenal Reset Diet, by Dr. Allen Christensen

Essentials for a Healthy Heart and Brain!

Most of us have heard the terms ‘fatty acid’ and ‘omega 3’ and that they are good for our health.  But what is a fatty acid, exactly?  What about the other fatty acids?  How much of these do we need in our diets to live a long, healthy life?

 

In simple terms, the chemical structure of a fatty acid is described as a chain of carbon atoms attached to each other singly and in pairs.  The beginning of the chain is alpha, the end is omega.  The ‘3’ comes from finding the first double bond of the molecule 3 atoms from the end of the chain; omega-6 is 6 atoms from the end, and in omega-9 it’s 9 atoms away.

 

Fatty acids are important for all systems of the body to function normally, including our skin, respiratory and circulatory systems, our brain and other organs.  Within our bodies, omega-3 fatty acids chemically convert to the compounds DHA and EPA.  These are highly unsaturated fats very important in vision and brain development in infants, children and adults.  Blue green algae is a good source of supplemental DHA and EPA.

 

However, there are 2 essential fatty acids (EFA) that our bodies do not produce independently, so we must get these nutrients through our foods.  These 2 fatty acids are the omega-3 fatty acid and omega-6 fatty acid.

 

Omega-3 fatty acid (Alpha-linolenic acid) is important for healthy brain function and may help fight against cardiovascular disease.  Thus, the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization recommend a diet that includes 2 servings a week of fatty fish, like salmon, sardines or tuna.

 

Research is abundant on other health benefits of omega-3.  Omega-3 may help prevent and fight against asthma, arthritis and osteoporosis, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, attention and depressive disorders, decreasing liver fat, even some cancers.  Some of the richest food sources for omega-3 can be found in raw seeds and grains, hemp and wheat germ oils, raw walnuts and walnut oil, and flaxseeds and flaxseed oil.

 

Omega-6 fatty acid (Linoleic acid) combined with omega-3 helps with many of the benefits described above and most us get more of this omega than our bodies need.  We need about twice the amount of omega-6 than omega-3 in our daily diet.   If you eat a diet of fast foods, frozen entrees and high calorie snacks, it’s possible to get 15 times, or more, what we need!  Research and studies at Washington DC’s Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health suggest this high ratio is detrimental and may ‘cancel out’ the health benefits of the other omegas.

 

Naturally occurring sources of omega-6 are seeds, nuts and grains, and green leafy veggies like broccoli, lettuce and kale.  Cold pressed oils like sesame, hemp, chia, safflower and sunflower are rich in omega-6.

 

Finally, Omega-9 (Oleic acid) is a non-essential fatty acid that is produced in the body when there is enough omega-3 and 6.  This fatty acid promotes heart health, balances cholesterol levels and improves immune function.  Also found in seeds, nuts and oils, omega-9 is found abundantly in olives and avocados.

 

By: Teri, Wellness Team Member

KETO – Fat for Fuel

Like every other organ in your body, your brain requires nutrients to perform. The better you feed your brain the better it works. The brain CRAVES FAT! Diets high in healthy fats like coconut oil, whole eggs, olive oil, MCT’s, nuts, salmon and avocodo helps to generate nerve function inside your brain. It boosts energy, memory, cognition and alertness.

 

The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate way of eating. This way of eating forces the body to burn stored fat for energy compared to a typical standard diet where you are burning glucose. The keto diet helps with things like, less hunger, improved hormone function, beautiful and vibrant skin, burning body fat, maintains muscle and as mentioned already, brain fuel!

 

Ketosis kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 30-50 grams of carbohydrates per day. When you are burning carbohydrates for fuel instead of fat, your cell’s mitochondria (mitochondria are the cell’s power producers!) suffer more damage from free radicals. When a significant percentage of your mitochondria stop functioning properly, your health can falter and leave you vulnerable to chronic disease. I’m not going to go any farther into that but the fact is that the body was designed to run more efficiently on fats than carbs.

 

Starting in March the Wellness department is going to start a focus on Keto-friendly products and supplements such as:

 

* Apple Cider Vinegar. The use of apple cider vinegar for health dates back thousands of years. A new vinegar from Dr. Mercola contains ginger root puree for it’s thermogenic fat burning properties. It also includes turmeric root puree for digestive and metabolic support. Contains the “mother” with naturally occurring gut-friendly probiotics and enzymes and it contains Acetic acid that produces acetoacetate which is one of the 3 most important ketones!

 

   *MCT. medium-chain triglycerides are a special type of fat that get their name from their chemical structure, or their length or chain of carbon molecules. They are mostly extracted from coconuts, some of are from palm kernel oil (I personally stay away from palm though because of the rain forest devastation). There are four types of MCT’s ranging from 6-12 carbons long (C6, C8, C10 and C12). There are a lot of brands that use combinations of C8 and C10 fats. But C8 is the most expensive MCT fat and converts to ketones far more rapidly than C10 fats and is a bit easier on digestion. C8 fats are water soluble and cross the blood-brain barrier to provide your brain tissue with fuel. Not all types of fat do that! We carry 2 C8  MCT oils in the Wellness department, Dr. Mercola Pure Power Ketone Energy and Bulletproof Brain Octaine. A couple more cool facts about these MCT’s are that they bypass the normal intestinal processes to be used as a clean-burning fuel, it rapidly converts to energy to help squelch hunger pangs and boosts satiety. It is completely odorless, easy to add into food or smoothies or just take plain.

 

     *Organic Mitomix Seed Blend A great source of quality fats is organic seeds. They can be great sources of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Dr. Mercola has put together a great mix that includes whole psyllium, hulled hemp seeds, chia seeds, black sesame seeds, black cumin seeds and golden flax seeds. This is one of my all-time favorite blends I have ever tried! The black sesame and black cumin add snap and rich flavor. Most people will benefit from a diet where 60-85% of their calories come from fat and this is a high quality fat ideal for ketosis!

 

     *Berberine and MicroPQQ Researchers have discovered that berberine activates AMPK, which helps boost autophagy (cellular cleaning and recycling) in your cells. Because berberine and PQQ’s impacts are on different pathways in your mitochondria, putting these two together have synergistic effects and super positive benefits for a ketogenic diet.

 

*Ubiquinol  Reaching nutritional ketosis is a process and having the right “tools” is going to get you there a lot faster! Ubiquinol is a co-enzyme involved in the energy transfer cycle across your mitochondrial membranes. The higher your levels of ubiquinol or it’s oxidized form CoQ-10, the healthier your mitochondria and cells are going to be. Ubiquinol is responsible for the Q-cycle process in your mitochondria, which is the proton pump that converts fuel into ATP and in turn into energy. Sounds complicated but a very important big deal!

 

*Instant Ketones Beta-Hydroxybutyrate sounds intimidating and science-y so I’m going to break it down and call it by BHB, one of the top words in the ketogenic diet community. BHB is a molecule that is considered to be a ketone body. A ketone body is one of the main molecules that helps your body produce energy in the absence of glucose. This molecule is essential if you are using your own fat for fuel, or taking BHB as a supplement to increase energy production essentially to be in nutritional ketosis. BHB can be made in the body. When the body is done using up a certain substrate to create energy after eating carbohydrates, it starts finding creative ways to get the job done. If this didn’t happen, you’d be dead after fasting for a very short period of time. The liver steps up and starts making BHB from long chain and medium chain fatty acids that are taken from fat tissue. And this is a truly beautiful thing because it means you are turning fat into fuel. The problem is waiting for the body to make this switch from carbohydrate metabolism to beta hydroxbutyrate metabolism (KETOSIS!) and it can take some time and be a little uncomfortable. So a way to speed this up is by supplementing BHB, Instant Ketones. BHB turns into energy by going into the cell and enters the mitochondria (energy factories) fulfilling a lot of complicated scientific processes until it is churned into ATP which is the energy currency of your cells. Basically BHB is important because through many processes and abilities, it gives us what a lot of other molecules cant: ENERGY! And we are using stored fat for fuel. And the brain loves that! Supplementing with BHB will get you into ketosis faster and cut out some of the misery of giving up the carbs.

 

     *FatZymes This is an enzyme that has been formulated for the Ketogenic diet by Dr. Colbert. It assists the body in breaking down difficult to digest proteins and sugars, eliminates stress from the GI Tract and enhances nutritional absorption and prevents nutritional deficiencies. It can be a little tricky switching the body over to eating higher amounts of fats and this is the product that makes that easy as well!

 

We will also have Dr. Mercola’s book “Fat For Fuel” and Dr. Don Colbert’s “Keto Zone Diet” available to purchase which I highly recommend. There is a lot of great information out there and we are training to learn as much as we can about Keto so stop into the Keto Zone with us in March.

Brand Spotlight – Intelligent Elixirs

I think a lot about what we put on our skin, it’s my job to do so, but it’s also a personal passion. Here are some crazy statistics…

 

In the US, the cosmetic industry’s panel has reviewed just 11 percent of the 10,500 cosmetic ingredients cataloged by FDA (FDA 2010).Canada has a guideline for over 650 chemicals and The European Union Health Commission has restricted over 1,300 chemicals while only 11 Chemicals are banned in the US.

 

Government regulations when it comes to cosmetics, hasn’t been updated since 1930. There are currently 80,000 synthetic chemicals on the marketplace that are not fully tested.  (Source: Natural Resource Defense Council)

 

Laws do not regulate the use of words like “Natural” and “Organic” on cosmetics and personal care products. Fragrances are considered trade-secret.  Manufacturers are not required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients on the product label. Instead, the generic term parfum or fragrance is listed, representing a mixture of potentially dozens of chemicals.

 

This is alarming to those of us that not only eat as cleanly as possible but want the products that we apply to our face and body to be clean as well, not loaded with potentially toxic chemicals.

 

In the coming months I will be highlighting the cleanest Skin Care/Cosmetic lines that we have here at Winter Ridge and I am going to start this month with a small women owned company called…..

 

Intelligent Elixirs

From Denver Colorado, Intelligent Elixirs was launched in May of 2017.  The creators of the company, Cat Tatman and Mary Butler have always been passionate about creating quality products that promote healthy youthful skin. With more than 36 years combined experience in the professional skincare market, they were inspired to create a product line for the retail marketplace that was clean and non-toxic but that delivered the same results and efficacy as a professional line.

 

Blending alchemy with cutting edge technology, Intelligent Elixirs offers progressive treatments to promote healthy, vibrant skin.  At the core of the line is Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant proven to create real change in the skin.  Skillfully formulated, each ingredient was chosen for its transformative, anti-aging effect on all skin types.

 

With a comprehensive product mix of 13 products that include: Rose Foaming Cream Cleanser, Citrus Facial Scrub, Antioxidant Moisturizer, Ultra Restorative Moisturizer, Pure Squalane (plant derived), Hydrating B-5 Serum, 15% Vitamin C Anti-aging Serum. We carry all of these and will be bringing in the Brightening Serum, total eye repair, Gel Cleanser and Broad Spectrum Tinted SPF (3 shades) soon!

 

From their website –

 

Our Commitment:

Our mission is to offer clean products free of toxic ingredients; coupled with a commitment to complete transparency of the ingredients in the products. Our products are focused on anti-aging, improving the skins health and overall appearance. We do not test on animals and we do not formulate with the following:

GMOs, Artificial Fragrances, Pesticides, Parabens, Gycols, DEAs, Artificial Dyes or Fragrances, Phthalates, Oxybenzone, Formaldehyde, PEGs, Petroleum, Sulfates, Nanoparticles, Tetrasodium EDTA.

 

I have personally used these products for the last few months and can visibly see the difference, they are truly amazing! Intelligent Elixirs is very generous with testers, so come on in and ask for some take home samples today!

 

In Good Health

Kim

Health and Beauty Manager

Understanding the differences between Hemp, CBD and Marijuana

By Christina, Wellness Department Manager

 

We have carried CBD oil in the Wellness department for over a year or so. We still get the occasional phone call or customer who in disbelief finds out that we really carry CBD oil!! How is that legal? After the shock wears off we proceed with the lesson. Nope we aren’t selling weed!

 

Hemp and Marijuana are both varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. Cannabis contains over 400 chemical compounds. Of these compounds, 113, known as cannabinoids and have a direct effect on the body through cannabinoid receptors in our cells. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood and everyday experience. The discovery of this endocannabinoid system came about during research on marijuana’s effects and is one of the most exciting and underreported developments in modern science.

 

The cannabinoids found in plants and cannabis are called phytocannibinoids. Of the 113 cannabinoids, the best known are THC. THC is famous and comes from marijuana. It is well known for it’s psychotropic properties and altered states of consciousness, it has also been credited for it’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system and is effective at treating glaucoma, PTSD and asthma. Hemp is the humble, less-known cousin of marijuana and recently another cannabinoid has been grabbling a lot of attention. CBD, whose psychotropic properties are nearly non-existent and whose benefits on the body is quite impressive. CBD has raised public awareness of both CBD and the medicinal properties of cannabis. The discovery of receptors in the brain that responds to cannabis and the identification of endogenous cannabinoid compounds in our own bodies that bind to these receptors is advancing our understanding of human biology, health and disease.

 

Another difference between marijuana and hemp is that hemp contains an enzyme that marijuana doesn’t, an enzyme responsible for the production of CBD.  The beneficial properties of hemp-derived CBD are numerous and as it works with the human cannabinoid system is thought to have an impact on hundred’s of biological conditions including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ALS and diabetes. The list is growing continuously! CBD has awesome anti-inflammatory properties, helps relieve stress and anxiety, manages pain and even helps with sleep by battling insomnia.

 

Another area where the healing effects of CBD are impressive is it’s ability to treat cancer. Unlike chemotherapy or radiation therapies, which destroy not only cancer cells but surrounding healthy cells, CBD effectively chooses cancer cells and gets them to commit suicide. This process is called apoptosis and it is a part of the body’s natural growth cycle. Cancerous cells are immune to this process, except with the intervention of CBD.

 

It’s hard to believe that with all the benefits of hemp, that it remains illegal in much of the world and in most of America can only be sourced by being imported. But things are changing, in recent decades the push to restart hemp production has been massive and it is changing because of all it’s health benefit discoveries. Some states have legalized cultivation and more plan to. Federally, hemp’s importation is allowed as long as the plant’s THC levels are below 0.3 percent. And that is why we have CBD oil at Winterridge and it’s legal.

 

Hope that helped!

What the Cluck?

The Trump Administration just launched an assault on ORGANIC food and farming. It’s time to say NO!

 

• Use your voice to defend organic! Tell USDA that you oppose the proposed withdrawal of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule.

 

• The deadline to submit a comment to USDA opposing the outrageous withdrawal of organic animal welfare standards is January 17, 2018. Act now!

 

Click here to share your opinion.

 

Here are some other articles on the topic:

https://civileats.com/2017/12/18/years-in-the-making-trumps-usda-kills-organic-animal-welfare-rules/ 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/15/should-usda-organic-animals-be-treated-more-humanely-the-trump-administration-just-said-no/?utm_term=.9b9190dbf558

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/12/15/571187112/trump-administration-moves-to-kill-rules-for-organic-eggs

Merry Holy Basil!

By Christina, Wellness Department Manager

 

One of my faves and at the top of the list for me right now is Tulsi Holy Basil. Tulsi is an aromatic shrub in the basil family, it is a perennial that has a light lemon scent and purple-pink flowers.  We have just brought into the Wellness department, Dr. Mercola’s food grade organic essential oils and Tulsi Holy Basil is one we have that we’ve never carried before! The thing I love about aromatherapy is that it allows me to tap into certain specific compounds that are extracted from the leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark, and the roots of plants in the form of essential oils. When these essential oils are carefully produced, high-quality essential oils are pure and very concentrated. As little as a single drop can lift my spirit and improve my mood!

 

Tulsi-Holy Basil has many health benefits, especially lung disorders and asthma, heart diseases and stress, it kills bacteria and infections. It has medicinal value and has been worshipped and highly valued in India for thousands of years. It has been an age-old custom in India to worship it two times a day, water it, and light lamps near it in the morning and evening. It was and still is believed to protect the whole family from evil and bring good luck. Basil leaves have also been an essential part of all worship ceremonies since ancient times. These practices are not superstitious but actually have scientific reasoning behind them. The ultra-disinfectant and germicidal properties of this legendary herb can protect from infections, cough, cold, and other infections. A few leaves dropped in drinking water or food can purify and kill germs. Even smelling it (The smell of the Holy Basil-Tulsi essential oil is divine!!) or keeping it planted in a pot indoors can protect the whole family from infections, cough, cold and other viral infections. I’m headed downstairs right now to put some in the diffuser. Truly amazing!

 

The Tulsi leaves are now regarded in many countries as adaptogens which are anti-stress agents. Another great way to consume Tulsi is in a supplement or as tea. It is a natural remedy for anxiety, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, unbalanced blood sugar and as a home remedy for acne. In the last few decades Indian scientists have studied the pharmacological effects of various parts of the tulsi plant on the immune system and more. There has been a scientific basis for the therapeutic uses of Tulsi and has been found that it helps protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals.

 

The primary active compound of Holy Basil is eugenol, the active ingredient in the powerful antimicrobial Clove. Tulsi may work as a natural cancer treatment to help prevent it, research shows that people that regularly consume Tulsi are less likely to be immune compromised and less susceptible to developing cancer cells. It also increases antioxidant activity.

 

Elevated cortisol levels can be dangerous and can have a major impact on our learning, memory, immune function, bone density, weight gain and heart disease. Tulsi has the ability to regulate cortisol levels and keep hormone levels balanced naturally. It calms your system. Stress relief? Yes! Please!

 

Tulsi is effective in helping to alleviate almost all varieties of respiratory disorders, including bronchitis. The components of Tulsi leaves like camphene, eugenol and cineole provide relief from congestion and other symptoms of respiratory distress. Scientific studies have confirmed that holy basil possesses impressive anti-asthmatic abilities and can make breathing easier!

 

Because Tulsi has sedative and disinfectant properties, it can be used as a natural headache remedy that can help relieve migraine pain. Especially true for sinus pressure headaches!

 

Tulsi may also help prevent a range of eye issues, including cataracts. According to Dr. SK Gupta of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, topical administration of an herbal eye drop mixture containing turmeric and holy basil extracts helps to counter the oxidative stress and insoluble protein that leads to cataracts.

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest medical system. It has a holistic approach to health and disease that focuses on preserving and promoting good health and preventing disease through healthy lifestyle practices. This includes regular consumption of adaptogenic herbs that have the power to enhance the body’s ability to maintain balance in a world with a ton of stressful components. Holy Basil-Tulsi is highly recommended as a regular and essential lifestyle practice.

 

And did I mention the smell is divine? Enjoy.

Meet Sambucus.

By Teri, Wellness Team Member

 

The cold and flu season seems to have arrived and promises to be a ‘doozy’ according to medical experts.  Something I’ve learned to rely on as a Wellness Team Member at Winter Ridge are the benefits of the sage ol’ Elderberry.  I’d like to share some things I’ve learned about this bodacious berry!

 

Sambuccus is a genus of flowering plants; the different species of Sambuccus are commonly referred to as elderberry or elder.  The berries and flowers are used as medicine.  Plants are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia and has become quite common is the U.S., too.

 

Health benefits of elderberries are age old and timeless.  Known as Hippocrates’ ‘medicine chest’, elderberry has been used as medicine by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. Elderberry is also a significant healing ingredient in many Native American medicines.  In 1995, the government of Panama used Elderberry juice during the flu epidemic there, and found it greatly reduced the symptoms and severity of the flu, attributing it with helping end the epidemic.

 

Elderberries are naturally high in vitamins C, A, B6, and iron and potassium. They are higher in flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries and goji berries for a potent antioxidant punch, which help protect our cells from damage.

 

The greatest contemporary value of elderberry is, of course, major cold and flu relief, as it is an excellent immune system booster.  A study in the Journal of International Medical Research showed that when the extract is used within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, the duration of the flu may be shorted an average of 4 days.

 

Sinus issues are aided by elderberry’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and it may also ease allergies.  Additionally, elderberry may help lower blood sugar, encourage healthy skin and is a natural diuretic and laxative.  More research is coming soon indicating elderberry as a hopeful cancer fighter.

 

In addition to syrup at Winter Ridge, we also carry Elderberry extracts, lozenges, capsules and crystals.  Dried organic elderberries make an easy homemade syrup, delicious with some warming ginger, soothing cinnamon and honey. Quick online recipes are abundant. Do be careful in eating UN-cooked berries, though, as this could result in diarrhea or vomiting in some individuals.  Commercial elderberry preparations typically have few negative side effects when used properly for short periods of time.

 

Protecting ourselves and our families is a top concern during the Fall and Winter months and keeping our bodies strong during the cold and flu season can help us ward off those nasty bugs.  Elderberry products in your medicine chest can be a real powerhouse immune booster to help you through!

Tamanu. What’s That?

If you have ever endured the pain and itch of a skin rash, then it’s time you learned about Tamanu Oil! We are fortunate to live in a time where oils from around the world seem to be at our disposal. The benefits of Tamanu oil have made this exotic oil one of my most trusted beauty products, especially when it comes to less-than-pleasant skin conditions.

 

Not only has Tamanu oil been researched extensively for its potent healing properties to anything from eczema to leprosy, but it’s also got some pretty unique properties that anyone can enjoy — even if you’re rash free. Tamanu oil contains moisturizing omega fatty acids and it’s well known to promote new, healthy cell growth. Its antimicrobial properties have been compared to the strength of antibiotics and the antioxidant properties are able to prevent sun damage and wrinkles.Tamanu oil comes from the inside kernel of the fruit bloomed by the Tamanu tree, which leads to a pungent, nutty scent and a blue-green color. The oil originates in the South Pacific, where it continues to play an important cultural role.

 

Here’s a little history;

In the early 1900s, the Western world was briefly introduced to Tamanu oil. Word had spread due to the miracles worked by a French nun — Sister Marie Suzanna — who had used Tamanu oil to treat the symptoms of leprosy, including painful inflammation of the nerves (leprous neuritis).

 

In 1918, researchers affiliated with the French Pharmacopoeia began investigating tamanu for topical and subcutaneous use. These scientists were immediately impressed by its cicatrizing — or skin regenerating — effects.

 

The French medical literature of the era contains many records of tamanu’s successful application for severe skin conditions, including one astounding story of an anonymous gangrene patient treated at the St. Louis Hospital in Paris.

 

When the woman was admitted, she had a gangrenous ulcer on her leg that stubbornly refused to heal. Doctors were sure that amputation was inevitable, but as a last resort they opted to try treatment with tamanu oil dressings first. To their amazement, the dressings worked so well that the wound eventually healed completely leaving only a flat, smooth scar. Amazing!!

 

Why Tamanu Oil Has Remarkable Healing Power

 

Tamanu’s benefits are supported by research conducted in the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Europe. And more recently, major breakthroughs in Japan and Canada have illuminated the science behind its amazing success stories.

 

For example, Japanese researchers at Meijo University found that several isolated chemical compounds in tamanu inhibit skin tumor production. And a Canadian research team at the Université de Sherbrooke discovered that tamanu contains two chemicals called HIV transcriptase inhibitors.

 

Tamanu oil contains 3 essential classes of lipids: neutral, glyco-, and phospholipids. Additionally, the oil contains 3 unique and novel compounds:

  • Calophyllic acid –a fatty acid unique to tamanu oil
  • Calophyllolide- An anti-inflammatory
  • Lactone – An antibiotic

 

Along with coumarins — another powerful type of anti-inflammatory agent — these ingredients are the source of the oil’s remarkable healing power.

 

And we are all in luck because we have Tamanu Oil on our shelves and it’s on sale now!

 

In Good Health

Kim

Haba Mgr

Wishes for Winter Wellness

For most of us, the typical week can be pretty hectic. From busy work schedules, school and sports activities for those with kids, spending time with family and friends not to mention making time to exercise and eat well, life can seem like one long to-do list. With these busy schedules, catching a cold or even worse, the flu, can really throw us off track and be a real setback. There is a lot we can do to preserve our health and maintain those on-the-go lifestyles. It is important to give ourselves the time we need to slow down and treat our bodies right, to get the proper nutrition and rest we need. By eating a wide array of anti-oxidant rich foods and boosting our resistance with a few Super-hero herbs and getting the rest and relaxation we need, we can make it through cold and flu season healthy.

 

Sleep is a big deal for me. Any time I have gotten sick I know the root cause is inadequate sleep. It happens easily enough, a night or two of restless sleep or I’m ripping myself off on the amount of sleep I’m getting. Throw in some overwhelming stress and some poor food choices and it amounts to a recipe for illness. Getting adequate sleep is vital to a properly functioning immune system. If you get less than 6 hours of sleep a night you are going to be more at risk for contracting the flu. Personally, I’d rather make the time now to sleep than lay in bed for days miserable with the flu!

 

Stress reduction enhances immune function. When we experience stress, our bodies increase our output of neuroendocrine hormones which have detrimental effects on immune function. When this happens there is a reduction in the production of antibodies and the activity of NK (natural killer) cells. Not only does this make us susceptible to colds and flu, but it delays wound healing and impaired responses to vaccinations.

 

Eating well is one of the main ingredients in preventing illness and there are certain foods that go a long way in maintaining good health. Vitamins and minerals required for a fully functioning immune system include zinc, vitamin A and C and selenium. Zinc helps the body produce white blood cells and encourages healing. Good food choices would be red kidney beans, green peas and dark meat chicken. Vitamin C also helps the body produce white blood cells and defends against pathogens and microorganisms. Food choices include citrus fruits, broccoli and red pepper. Selenium offers antioxidant activity and food choices include brazil nuts and lean meats like turkey and chicken. Vitamin A acts as a barrier against harmful bacteria and helps defend against free radicals that can damage cells and weaken the immune system. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and cantaloupe is a great way to get that extra vitamin A.

 

Sugar can be devastating to your immune system because it causes inflammation which creates the perfect environment for pathogens like the flu virus to thrive in. Sugar disrupts the balance of gut flora and since the majority of the immune system is in the GI tract, it is really important to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system during cold and flu season!

 

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria vital to helping the body manage illness. Probiotics regulate harmful bacteria in the intestine and colon. Good food sources of these probiotics are kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, miso or anything fermented. Taking a daily probiotic can benefit, ensuring that good bacteria’s exist in the right proportions.

 

Exercise is still a great idea! Especially as we age, exercise helps moderate reductions in immune function. Higher amounts of physical activity also support a reduction in upper respiratory infections.

 

Herbs have always worked well for me and my family. Some of my favorites are Andrographis, Astragalus, Berberine, Echinacea and Elderberry. Medicinal mushrooms are potent immune boosters as well.

 

Andographis has long been favored in Chinese medicine and has been used to treay colds, fevers, bronchitis, diarrhea and liver disorders. It is included in some of our most popular wellness formulas here at Winterridge and I think of it as one of the “Big Guns!’ in treating colds and such.

 

Astragalus acts as a tonic to protect the immune system. It promotes healing and provides energy to combat fatigue and prolonged stress. It helps reduce cold symptoms once one does get sick.

 

Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a history of use in Ayuverda (traditional Indian Medicine). Chinese Medicine and American Indian Herbalists. Berberine is a potent microcrobial and helps get rid of bacterial infections.

 

Echinacea and Goldenseal are the most famous of the class of immune system herbs. Echinacea fights inflammation and bacterial and viral infection. It is supportive of both the immune system and the lymphatic system. Goldenseal Fights infection and inflammation and cleanses the body, it increases the effectiveness of insulin and strengthens the immune system.

 

Elderberry combats free radicals and inflammation. It relieves coughs and congestion, builds the blood and cleanses the system and it is very effective against flu viruses.

 

Medicinal Mushrooms such as Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake and Shiitake are just a few of the mushrooms that support our natural immunity. We as humans share more DNA with mushrooms than we do with plants and because of this connection, we can easily utilize compounds from beneficial mushrooms for total body support. Definitely worth taking a look at and considering for your winter wellness toolkit.

 

Another very important component to winter health is good ol’ vitamin D. It has some very big jobs in the body such as contributing to bone strength, heart health and cancer protection. Vitamin D plays a hugely important role in your immune system and can even be a determining factor in whether you develop an autoimmune disease.

 

And I’m going to squeeze one more in, Bee Propolis. Propolis is a resinous substance collected from various plants from bees. Bees use propolis, together with beeswax, in the construction of hives. As a supplement, it is an excellent aid against bacterial infections. Bee Propolis is believed to stimulate phagocytosis, the process by which some white blood cells destroy bacteria. Propolis fights inflammation and stimulates the immune system.

 

Let’s face it, when it comes right down to it, nothing is more important than your health. Making the right choices can determine how long you will live and how well. I wish you all the healthiest of winters!

 

Christina Kettenring