Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Nitric Oxide

What is the deal about Nitric Oxide?   Is this a new supplement I need to be taking?  What does it do for our bodies?  Let’s see if I can find some answers to these questions.

 

First, Nitric Oxide is already produced by the body and is very different from the nitric oxide used in dentistry or the racing industry.  The Nitric Oxide that our bodies produce helps its 50 trillion cells communicate with each other by transmitting signals through the entire body.

 

Nitric Oxide has been shown to be important in regulating blood pressure by relaxing and dilating arteries, allowing blood, nutrients and oxygen to travel to every part of your body.  Nitric Oxide is also critical in these other cellular activities:

·        Increases endurance and strength, as athletes and body builders know

·        Helps memory by transmitting information between nerve cells

·        Assists with a healthy inflammation response

·        Improves sleep quality

·        Increases blood flow to the heart

·        Improving sexual health

 

So, this is good news!  But, where does Nitric Oxide come from and how can we be sure we have enough it in our bodies to reap some of these benefits?

 

Supplement your diet with ingredients known to help naturally stimulate and feed the body’s nitric oxide cycle.

 

Eating foods rich in the amino acids l-arginine and l-citrulline is a good place to start.  Some of these foods are pomegranates, watermelon, citrus and dark chocolate containing 85% cocoa.

 

Nitrate containing foods are also thought to contribute positively to the body’s NO production.  Beets top this list, and includes spinach, kale, arugula, seafood, meats, cheese, eggs, garlic and walnuts.

 

(The nitrates in these food suggestions occur naturally and most are also high in the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C.  The nitrates and nitrites associated with contributing to cancer risks are best known as the nasty pink chemical preservatives -added- to cured meats and hot dogs, and the information can be confusing.)

 

Also, engage in activities known to help naturally boost Nitric Oxide.  We hear this often, but this suggestion is as simple as exercise.  A 20-30-minute daily walk counts!  And get some sunlight in the process!

 

Nitric Oxide is not a product, per se, that is purchased as a supplement in a health food store. There are some supplements that contain NO boosters like l-citrulline. Seeking those ingredients, foods and activities that boost an increase in what the body already makes will help bring the desired healthful benefits.

 

Surprisingly, the overuse of antibacterial mouthwash is detrimental to our body’s NO production.  Mouthwash?  Well, I didn’t do well in chemistry 101, but apparently a conversion of nitrate to nitrite takes place in the beneficial bacteria of the mouth that allows nitric oxide to produce well in the body.

 

Okay.  I think I’m ready to energize and hopefully you found some of this information helpful.  I’m going to grab a glass of beet juice, take a good long walk while the sun is shining.  Oh, and toss my Listerine!

LIFE SEASONS Pain Bloc-R

Pain Bloc-R is a natural pain relief supplement, created to help manage pain discomfort in your body, while helping to relax muscles and quiet the mind.  It can soothe aches and pains by inhibiting substances that may be irritating, while calming the nervous system.

 

Pain Bloc-R has natural ingredients that do not have the same addictive properties of some pharmaceuticals, making it possible to ease discomfort without side effects.  This pain relief supplement usually delivers the same type of feeling that comes from traditional pain relievers, including decreased pain and increased relaxation.

 

Life Seasons uses these natural ingredients (plants and natural compounds):

 

White Willow Bark is used for pain, inflammation and musculoskeletal conditions.  Research has found it to contain chemicals similar to aspirin.

 

Angelica Root is used in traditional Chinese medicine for soothing aches and pains, as well as for detoxification.

 

L-Theanine influences brain wave frequencies to induce a state of relaxed wakefulness.  This amino acid, found primarily in tea leaves, has been shown to calm stress and boost mood and cognitive performance.

 

Benfotiamine is a derivative of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine).  It helps to normalize cellular processes and is used to support the cardiovascular system.  This antioxidant promotes healthy cell and tissue function and it is also frequently used for nerve pain.

 

L-Tetrahydro Palmatine (THP) is used in Chinese medicine for pain, and for muscle relaxation, without habit forming properties.  There is some evidence that it may be beneficial in treating drug addiction.

 

This amazing product also has Vitamins B-6 and B-12, for healthy nerve function and support in the process of making serotonin and norepinephrine chemicals that transmit signals in the brain.

 

We are pleased to carry this Life Seasons pain relief formula.

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!