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Herbal Extracts Plus extends our warmest welcome to you, our friends (old and new) and longtime patrons!  Having previously supplied fine botanicals and natural nutrients since 1995, our company now provides our rich storehouse of accumulated valuable information. This includes current and previous scientific research and university studies, history and folk use, clinical trials and common usage of herbs, spices and natural supplements....and how alternative therapy using natural substances and lifestyle habits can enhance your health  right now and maintain it for many years to come - the natural way.


Porridge OATS Alter

Gut Microflorial Functions


A bowl of Oatmeal a day keeps microbial enzymes away.

According to a study conducted by scientists from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, Norway’s University of Bergen and Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital, OATS should be considered as a prebiotic (nondigestible food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines), and eating a bowl of porridge Oats (Oatmeal) a day could alter gut microbial functions in a positive way. The study included ten healthy subjects who ingested 60g Oatmeal porridge daily for one week. Gut microflora-associated characteristics were assessed before and after the intervention, and results indicated that the inflammatory state of participants, as measured by levels of prostaglandin (which plays a role in inflammation) decreased, but not significantly. Levels of urease (a general marker of unfavorable gut micflora) also declined, and the research noted that the results of decreased levels of urease following the dietary intervention suggest that Oatmeal porridge shows prebiotic actions. An increase in the microbial enzyme β-Galactosidase, which has been associated with improved abdominal symptoms of lactose intolerances, was still in question as a general marker of a favorable gut microflora. However, the overall results indicate that Oatmeal porridge has an effect on gut microbial functions and may possess potential prebiotic properties that deserve to be investigated further.

Sources: British Journal of Nutrition, NutraIngredients-USA  and

U.S. National Library of Medicine


Read the full article with study details:


Porridge OATS Alter Gut Microflorial Functions




Read other new research about more health benefits of OATS:



Health Claims Reaffirmed





no longer offers our fine botanicals for sale and we are now an independent, not-for-profit educational site. The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. You should not use the information herein for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of medication or treatment. We have always recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.We do not endorse or sell products, nor verify the content or claims made with respect to outside research collected for this site, either implicit or explicit, nor responsible for any consequences of the use of this information. Herbal Extracts Plus does not profit in any way from the information herein, which is copyrighted by Herbal Extracts Plus, unless otherwise credited.

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(An Interesting Study)

According to a University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute study, athletes do a better job at making it across a busy thoroughfare. The researchers say it wasn't because they were moving faster than the non-athletes, but that they were thinking faster. The athletes were sizing up the situation better by visualizing their surroundings more sharply, and then their brains processed the additional data from the scene, using it to stay out of harm's way. The researchers noted that the athletes may possibly just have had faster brain functions to start with, so they couldn't draw an absolute conclusion that sports made them think faster. However, there does appear to be an association between the agility developed by participating in sports and an increase in certain brain functions. Even if you don’t have to scramble across a street and dodge heavy traffic, it’s always helpful to have good reflexes and improved mental and physical agility - AND, at the very least you’ll be fit.




Try Some Important Advice From Optometrists. For Computer Users: Follow the 20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes be sure to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, create a friendly workstation by lowering and tilting the monitor to reduce screen glare. Check light levels, blink your eyes often (important) and adjust your seat. A good diet that includes yellow and green leafy vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Carrot, Sweet Potatoes) - plus Omega-3 Fatty Acids (from cold water fish or Flaxseed), nuts and seeds (Sunflower, Almonds, Walnuts) and tasty fruits (Mangoes, Blueberry, Apricots) will all help to improve eye health and protect retinal function.

Don’t Want To Be Stuffed

Like Your

Thanksgiving Turkey?

Try these hints: DO eat normally during the day (but don’t overeat); if you starve yourself, you'll stuff yourself (with mostly the wrong things) at dinner. DO eat white meat (not the dark with 15% more calories and 30-40% more fat), and pull off fatty skin. DO drink lots of water throughout the day and during the meal; you’ll fill up faster, and if you're hydrated, you'll be less likely to make bad food choices. DON'T deprive yourself of the favorites you dream of all year; you could end up raiding the fridge for leftovers at midnight. Treat yourself, but just be smart about it. DO start with a salad and/or soup; then fill your plate mostly with lots of healthy veggies and lean meat, going easily on the gravy, butter, sauces, rolls, etc. Chew every mouthful thoroughly (putting down your fork after every mouthful may help). Don’t forget to take a brisk walk after dinner; bring along some of the guests to keep you company (and get them out of the host’s way for a little while).




Thanksgiving Day is a special time when family and friends gather to express gratitude and look forward to the traditional turkey dinner. How you store, cook and serve turkey is serious business. Follow some smart DO's and DON'Ts to keep your Thanksgiving turkey and your family safe from harmful bacteria and food-borne illness. DO: Defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator or in a cold water bath. Allow one day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs. of turkey. If using a cold water bath, change the water every 30 minutes. Keep utensils, dishes, kitchen equipment and work surfaces clean. Wash your hands before and after handling a turkey. DO NOT: Defrost a turkey on the counter at room temperature; this allows bacteria to grow. Refreeze a thawed turkey. Use cutting boards and knives that have touched raw meat or other foods without washing them first. Cooking the turkey DO: Separate the giblets and the neck from the turkey. Rinse the turkey and pat dry. Use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is done (180 degrees Fahrenheit). Cook turkey to appropriate temperature in one session. DO NOT: Cook stuffing inside the turkey. If you do, the stuffing must reach a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be safe from salmonella and other bacteria, typically resulting in an overcooked turkey. Partially cook the turkey one day and continue the next. DO: Remove the leftover turkey meat from the bone. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving the meal. When reheating, make sure that the turkey reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have questions concerning the preparation or cooking of poultry or meat, call the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.



Make A Battle Plan ~

If you are battling the bulge of extra weight, it can be so easy to fall off the wagon when you aren't prepared for a tough road! During holiday season, you need a battle plan to avoid setbacks by identifying tricky situations that can set you off your pace. Think ahead and have a backup exercise plan to fit your busy schedule or accommodate bad weather (it’s so easy to stop an exercise routine and so hard to restart). Think about how to handle tempting foods and drinks at family gatherings, and substitute lighter choices that you really enjoy, so there won’t be a tremendous sacrifice; some mental rehearsing can go a long way! Look at your schedule this coming weekend and identify any upcoming challenges to your routine (there will be many temptations everywhere; autumn barbeques, tailgate parties, leftover Halloween candy, Thanksgiving and more holiday dinners). Brainstorm effective solutions or consider how to balance indulgences with smarter options. Remember, if you have a misstep, refine your strategies and get right back on track. Some people find natural therapy with herbs like Garcinia as a weight management tool to help curb appetite, boost caloric burning and increase metabolism.



The great plant is Gravel Root, and Gravel Root has been used in herbal medicine since early days when Native Americans and settlers used it for exactly what its name promises! Gravel Root flushes the bladder and kidneys with increased urine flow and helps to remove gravel, kidney stones and accumulated toxins from these organs.

NO Competition Required -

You don’t need athletic prowess to be active! There are plenty of solo and team activities that emphasize fun and fitness, rather than competition or scoring points. Try playing games with like-minded friends, taking a dance class or going for a run, bike ride or swim. Find your personal motivation this week and try an activity that reflects your interests. Instead of keeping score, simply consider the physical and mental benefits of your new activity.


GOOD As Running ~

Running may be more efficient in terms of calories burned, but if you walk a longer distance to make up for not running, you will get many of the same benefits as running. That includes a reduced risk of hyper-tension, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary heart disease. The message is clear: If walking suits you better than running, then by all means: Walk On!

Moving The Body-

To Move The Brain?

Can regular physical activity protect memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's? Scientists investigating the exercise-memory-dementia link have shown positive outcomes in recent years. Key studies have demonstrated the importance of regular exercise and its beneficial relation to improved blood circulation to the brain and better memory. Speak with your doctor about natural therapy with herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri, (the Brain Tonic) and Gotu Kola (the Memory Herb). Read about them and see why they may be of help to you - along with exercise - of course!


Home-cooked meals take all the guesswork out of eating. Preparing your own dishes ensures a properly portioned, balanced meal with fewer calories, less sodium and saturated fat than packaged or fast-foods. You can also easily incorporate whole grains and unprocessed foods into your diet and save yourself a bit of cash while enjoying healthier foods! Aim to prepare at least half of your meals at home this week. Make it easy by coming up with a few meal ideas on Monday, and heading to your local supermarket. Eat healthy (and save money) by bringing your leftovers for lunch.




Your home can be a major culprit with many airborne allergens that include animal dander, dust mites, mold, scented candles, cleaning products and cigarette smoke. In a healthy immune system, they won’t spark much of a histamine reaction, but when hypersensitive, they set off a host of five-alarm symptoms. A few hints: Use a nasal rinse once a day (twice if you’re really suffering) to flush irritants from your nasal passages (make your own by adding a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda to a quart of boiling water then cool it to body temperature before use. If the rinse burns, add a little more baking soda). Replace carpeting with hard flooring (if possible) and limit upholstered items and fabric hangings like wall tapestries or drapes. Enclose in allergen-proof covers: pillows, mattresses and box springs; and launder bed sheets, mattress pads and blankets in 130-degree water every week. Also, put pillows in the dryer on high heat for 45 minutes once a week (heat kills dust mites). Check out some natural help with Butterbur - an herbal antihistamine, expectorant and cough suppressant that helps seasonal allergies.


That is a very bad habit. While you don’t have to dwell on it constantly, it’s important to develop good overall habits to benefit your complete daily health and especially your heart. Exercise, eat a healthy diet (delicious Mediterranean is great), and know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar). Don’t wait to get to work on keeping your heart healthy; the ideal time to do your heart a favor is right now!


Follow The Food Trail ~ Keep track of how much you’re eating by living with the visible evidence of your food packaging and remains. One study offering all-you-can eat chicken wings found that participants whose leftover bones had been cleared away ate 34% more than diners whose remnants remained at the table. That’s a lot of wings! Visual reminders - like candy wrappers, soda cans and take-out bags - can help you keep track of how much you’ve already consumed, so you’ll be less likely to overeat. This week take the no-throw challenge and keep your wrappers, empty containers, bags and other bits on the table during the entire meal. You might also want to look through your car or home trash for remnants of unnecessary snacks (Surprise, surprise! Did I eat all that?).

Halloween Goodies? or Baddies!

Now this can be really scary for dieters! If you are watching your weight, keep the candy in the bag. Stay away from the Halloween treats that you are handing out to the neighborhood goblins, and that goes for the bags of “new goodies” that your own youngsters bring home. If you’re tempted, keep healthy snacks handy, like sliced apples, fruits, unsalted nuts, carrot sticks and grapes. You can treat yourself to a small piece of antioxidant-rich, dark chocolate with high COCOA content (86% Cocoa content).


Ghost, goblins and ghouls aren’t the only concerns on Halloween. Accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children trick-or-treat. If your family will be out trick-or-treating, think SAFETY first with a few tips that may help: Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. Do not trick-or-treat alone - only in groups or with a trusted adult. Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating. Limit the amount of treats you eat. Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Walk - don't run - from house to house. Be sure costume makeup is safe (test a small area first), and remove before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation. Look both ways before crossing streets. Use established crosswalks wherever possible. Lower risk for serious eye injury: Don’t wear decorative contact lenses. Walk only on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe. Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls. Eat only factory-wrapped treats and no homemade treats made by strangers. Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Visit only well-lit houses. Do not stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers. Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Always wear flame-resistant costumes.

Protect Your Head, Neck..

and LIFE!

We like to remind our friends to remember simple safety guidelines (common sense?): Do not tack down or hide power cords; keep cords out of traffic areas to avoid tripping. When using a step stool, make sure it has a handrail that you can hold when standing on top step. Have children put away toys. Do not overburden yourself with packages. Place non-slip strips or decals in tub-shower. Use a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Take special care when walking on wet patios or stairs or poolside. Avoid socks, smooth-soled shoes or slippers on hard floor surfaces in the home. Never dive into a body of water headfirst (check depth before or lower yourself into water feet first). Only one person on a trampoline at a time, and stay in the middle of the mat (supervise users at all times). Devise a plan and practice a “drill” and meeting place in the event of emergencies or if someone gets injured. Keep emergency numbers near the telephone. Don’t walk around a dimly lit home (turn on lights), and be sure all passageways are well lit. Always wear a seatbelt when in a car. Drive within the speed limit and (of course), never drink and drive.


Get in the Habit: Is physical activity part of your everyday routine? Having an exercise habit means you’ll be more likely to keep moving (or start up again if you fall off the wagon). Make fitness part of your daily life by adding extra steps to your commute or taking an active lunch break. Stick with it despite obligations by exercising while on the phone or playing fun fitness games with your kids and pets. This weekend, think of little ways you can add motion to your busy life. Renew your commitment each week (Monday is a great day to restart), and soon fitness will feel just as routine as brushing your teeth or combing your hair. You will just feel better and look better too.



ten, mealtimes are anything but relaxing; the chaos of daily life leaves hardly any time to enjoy dinner! Many studies show that a relaxing dinner experience is beneficial to everyone, whether you’re eating alone or with your family. To create a positive dining atmosphere, turn off ALLtechnology and eat at a table with nice place settings. This week, schedule at least one relaxing dinner to enjoy time with your family and/or friends. The dinner doesn’t have to be perfect, either; it can be very simple and casual, but do try to make it a healthy-happy one. As long as you’re enjoying the experience, there’s no need to stress about any mistakes that occurred while planning, serving or cooking. Just enjoy the food, the company - and the moment.


Have you ever reached for a glass of Gingerale when your stomach was upset? Well, you are on the right track. Ginger Root is a time-honored and an ancient herbal remedy for upset stomach, indigestion, motion sickness and cramps. Keep up the good work; your stomach will thank you.


An often-overlooked strategy for preventing blood pressure is managing stress, so Learn Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises and yoga are powerful stress-busters. Manage Time: The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level. Get Enough Sleep: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep negatively affects mood, mental clarity, energy and physical health. Strengthen Social Ties: Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, seeing friends or participating in a support group. Nurture Yourself: Treat yourself to a massage. Savor an experience -for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music. Resolve Stressful Situations: D0 NOT let them fester if you can. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and work. Ask For Help: Don't be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends or a family member. If stress and anxiety persist, ask your doctor about helpful meds or natural herbs (like Chamomile or Lemon Balm) to relax. Life should be enjoyed, so enjoy every minute in good health and peace of mind.


Warming up before exercising is important at any time, but especially in cooler weather. Cold temperatures can make your muscles tight and more prone to injury, so be sure to stretch first and walk or run in place. Cooling down afterwards is just as important. Don’t just stop when you’re finished. Stretch, walk and safely slow down your body and your heart rate. After all, your exercise regimen is supposed to make you feel better and improve your physical condition - with no leftover aches.


Tired of really bad hair days? Dandruff can torment your scalp, making it itchy, irritable and excessively flaky - not to mention embarrassing. Triggers such as diet, stress, sun and wind damage, cold weather, poor health and excessive use of hair products can provoke the condition, but the true culprit may be the oil-eating fungus, malassezia. Although it also dwells on healthy heads, this fungus thrives in dandruff sufferers, feasting on the hair’s oil. To combat the flakes naturally, look for shampoos that contain an antifungal and antibiotic agent or zinc, which helps regulate oil glands. Making your own herbal rinses can help too: Try some Burdock Root or Eucalyptus Leaf; they’re great for fighting dandruff and have antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Read about them and see why.


Your skin craves good nutrition just like the rest of your body, so take care of it. Start with clean skin: Wash with warm or cool water (hot water strips away skin's natural moisture). Pat your face dry (don't rub). Apply moisturizers while skin is still damp (creamy one for dry skin or an oil-free, foaming for oily skin). Eat lots of vegetables, lean protein and whole grains (important nutrients feed skin from within). Studies tell us nutrients can improve and protect skin. Avocado’s healthy high fat, mineral, vitamin content helps fight ravages of age, sun and wind damage while softening and smoothing skin. Don't smoke (ages skin and encourages wrinkles). Exercise daily (boosts blood flow to skin, and sweating flushes out dirt). De-stress (makes skin more sensitive and worsens breakouts), so find a way to unwind. Stay out of the sun unless completely protected.


Choose your children’s shampoos and bubble baths very carefully. Studies warn that many bath products contain 1,4-dioxane, which the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a probable carcinogen (it’s banned in Europe). Moreover, it appears that the dioxane levels increase when a child is exposed to multiple products like shampoo, bubble bath and baby wipes. To be sure that the products you are buying are dioxane-free, Avoid those with sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate, which may contain dioxane. Read those labels.


It’s Autumn, and again we like to remind our visitors and friends that changing seasons often brings the dreaded flu. We can’t always keep flu out of our homes, but we can certainly reduce risk of infection. The Centers for Disease Control recommends some steps: Get vaccinated. It’s especially important for pregnant women (check with your doctor), children, folks over 65 and those with chronic health conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, etc.). Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw out the tissue. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water. Stay away from crowds during flu outbreak. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people. Keep your immune system healthy with a good diet, exercise and no smoking. Some herbs are used to support the immune system, along with their antibacterial and antiviral qualities. Check out Echinacea and Elderberry and see how they might help. You may be very pleasantly surprised.



When Dining Out: Restaurants like you to be satisfied, so, the portions served are often much more than anyone should eat in one sitting! Restaurant foods also tend to be overloaded with salt, fat, sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain. Cut calories ahead of time (while ordering) by foregoing the bread basket, asking for a child’s size or half order, or by making your own meal out of side salads, soups, steamed veggies and appetizers. If you do get a full-sized entree, listen to your body’s natural cues and stop eating when you’re full. Take steps to reduce your restaurant portions this week. Don’t overindulge simply because you’re eating out: enjoy the portions and meal choices that you would normally eat at home. There is also the option of bringing home half your portions; it’s nice to have a tasty (and easy) meal next day.

DE-STRESS...Help Your Heart!

Stress can influence heart disease in subtle ways, even causing some people to act in ways that increase heart disease risk, i.e., eating unhealthy food, having no energy and taking no time to exercise. Others find comfort in other heart-damaging behaviors (smoking and drinking too much alcohol). Let’s try some easy way to help deal with stress and break unhealthy habits. Stay positive. Laughter can lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries and increase "good" HDL cholesterol. Meditate. Practicing inward-focused thought and deep breathing can help reduce heart disease risks like hypertension. Its close relatives, Yoga and Prayer, can also relax the mind and body. Exercise. Every physical activity, whether walking or playing tennis, helps release mood-boosting chemicals (endorphins). Exercise not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscle and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Unplug. It's impossible to escape stress IF it follows everywhere. Cut the cord. Take time each day - even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes - to escape from the world. Avoid negative people, e-mails and TV news. Find your own ways to escape stress - simple things like a warm bath, listening to music or enjoying a favorite hobby - can provide a much-needed break from the stressors in life. Some herbs can soothe: Chamomile and Lavender are very gentle and may be very helpful; give one a try.


..And Mixing When Taking Medicines: Many fruit juices can influence efficacy of medications. Grapefruit juice has long been known to interact with certain meds (i.e., cholesterol or blood-pressure-lowering), but now scientists have found that taking apple juice and orange juice within two hours of taking your pills can also disrupt some other medications, including hay fever meds, anti-cancer drugs, beta blockers and antibiotics. Because other drugs may also be affected by fruit juices, researchers recommend taking medications with good old-fashioned water!

Lose Weight To Cut


Did you know that if you lose just two pounds, you could improve your gastrointestinal symptoms? Extra pounds, especially around the midsection, can worsen digestive issues like heartburn, gas and belching. Of course, always check with your doctor before starting a weight loss program, but this could be quite helpful for these discomforts.



Your life is busy, and maintaining your cardiovascular fitness can be challenging. Yet cardiologists tell us that the answer might be right in front of you. Just taking the stairs instead of the elevator in your office building can contribute to your fitness. Small things like that - or even taking a quick walk around the building if your office doesn’t have stairs - can burn calories. If you don’t work in an office center, a walk around your house or neighborhood will do just fine, and don't forget to try parking far away from the stores in a parking lot when shopping, so you’ll add some more steps. Every little step you take can help you maintain or improve your fitness...and your heart.


Did you know that in North America, the use of Flax dates back to 1617, when the first farmer in Canada brought it to "New France." Today, the crop grows widely on the prairies of Canada for its healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acid and oil-rich seeds (Flaxseed-Linseed) that are invaluable for helping to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and to improve circulation and immune function. Fun Uses? Sprinkle them on your salads, cereals, yogurts and soups for extra crunch. They’re also good in ice cream, cottage cheese and even applesauce. If you’re baking, try them in muffins and pumpkin bread (yummm).



U.S. guidelines call for about half of Americans to limit sodium to 2,000 milligrams or less per day. The American Heart Association recommends less than 1,500 milligrams per day for: People aged 51 and older, African Americans and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Eating less sodium can help lower blood pressure in some individuals and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney damage in those with hypertension. Ask your doctor for guidance regarding your own salt intake needs. We need salt, but we do not need (and should not have) too much. Read those labels.


Although it can be hard to discuss stressful situations, keeping perspective and coming up with potential solutions is an important part of remaining calm and moving forward. Friends - who are often facing similar issues or have advice from past experiences - can sometimes provide the perfect support system to help you do just that. If you feel stressed this week, ask good friends or close family members or clergy to lend an ear. They may be able to offer insight that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Talking things through can be very helpful and even lighten the heavy burden of stress. If you suffer from insomnia, stress and anxiety, check out Chamomile as a natural sedative and tonic to soothe the nerves, induce sleep, help calm colitis and ease a nervous stomach. It’s the most gentle of all the ancient herbs that is still popular today (that must mean something?).



Maintaining a healthy diet is very important for maintaining a healthy body (we are what we eat?). With hectic schedules and the convenience of fast food, however, it's sometimes difficult to make that healthy diet happen on a regular basis. Here's where planning ahead can really help. This week, (starting today), make a plan and take a list (and stick to it) when you go grocery shopping. Try cooking a few large portions and freeze some for later quick, healthy and satisfying meals throughout the week (casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, stews, etc.). Be creative: Omelets are fast and great with leftover veggies; same for salads with leftover meats and added veggies and fruits. Plan ahead with your meals, snacks and shopping, and you'll find it much easier to follow through on healthy eating all week long, no matter how busy you get!


Laughter is actually good for your health: A good belly laugh can relieve pain, soothe tension and make it easier to cope with stressful situations. If you’re feeling tense this week, put a smile on your face by calling a bright, upbeat friend, playing a fun game with your kids, watching old, funny movies or early TV comedy shows, or swapping funny jokes with a co-worker. Try it. You may be happily surprised. Think of it: Your good health really can be just a laughing matter.


& Don'ts of Pairing Foods ~

Certain foods become even healthier when mixed with other certain foods. Conversely, other food pairings may become less healthy and potentially even harmful. Follow a few tips to get the most out of your food choices: DO MIX grilled steak and Brussels sprouts: Certain compounds in Brussels Sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables (CauliflowerBroccoli, etc.), may help rid the body of carcinogens that can form on meat during high-heat cooking. Nevertheless, charring meat on the barbeque is not the best method. Instead, cook your meat or fish at low temperatures until done. DON'T MIX alcohol and diet soda: You might cut calories but you also might get drunk faster. In a recent study, it took just 21 minutes for half a diet cocktail to leave the stomach and reach the small intestine, where most alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, while the same amount of a non-diet cocktail took 36 minutes.


Try two easy ways to improve health and maybe even lose a few pounds: Eat Breakfast - Simple as that! Much research has shown that eating a healthy breakfast with a complex carbohydrate like whole wheat bread or whole grain cereal, along with a protein like an egg or low-, or non-fat milk, helps us to lose weight and maintain what we have lost. Eat Apples and Nuts - They make fantastic snacks. Apples provide nutrients and Apple fiber that help to reduce cholesterol, regulate healthy glucose levels and promote normal bowel function. Many studies tell us that snacking on nuts is good for our cholesterol and other blood markers associated with heart disease. The majority of the research shows that when we eat nuts (not the whole bag) in place of other snacks, we won't gain weight and will be very satisfied.



Research tells us that exercise can help stave off or delay dementia - but did you know that regular workouts may actually reverse ageing in the brain? Aerobic exercise enhances speed and sharpness of thought, but it also increases the volume of brain tissue. As little as fifty minutes of brisk walking three times a week was found to have this brain-expanding effect. For an added boost, walk in the park: Studies found that test subjects whose course took them through a tree-filled setting performed twenty percent better on memory and attention tests than those who walked in town. Think of it as food not only for the brain, but food for the soul as well.



Many times stress is the result of little things that were left unresolved, like work projects, medical visits, paperwork and other household concerns. These tasks can hang over your head week after week, building up stress without you even realizing it. This week, set out to solve the little problems in your life. Sit down this Monday and write a list of all the small things that have piled up; then come up with a realistic comfortable time line to make them disappear. By catching up and completing these goals, you can feel in control again! Need extra help? Look into natural help with gentle Passion Flower.



Ancient Greeks and Romans not only used the herb Thyme to spice up their foods, they also burned it to fumigate and purify their rooms. In World War One, Thyme was used to purify surfaces and air in  hospitals and sickrooms to destroy bacterial infection. Today? We still add delicious Thyme to so many of our foods - AND - check out the label on your Listerine antibacterial mouthwash, and take note of its important active ingredient: It is thymol - the very same active antibacterial compound extracted from Thyme! The same delicious herb that flavors our food delivers good health too. Imagine! The old-timers already knew all this!


Never Forgets?

Sri Lankans believe that Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) promotes longevity on the basis that long-living and very smart elephants eat it (not exactly scientific), but Gotu Kola is often called "The Memory Herb" because its potent circulatory effects help revitalize brain cells, and it is often used in herbal therapy to enhance mental activity, concentration and managing memory loss.



Have you ever heard of a beautiful flower associated with good health? It's true: Word of American Indian and Colonial usage of the beautiful Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) roused the curiosity of physicians in Europe, where today it remains one of the most sought-after herbs, particularly in Germany, where doctors have been known to prescribe Echinacea as often as they prescribe antibiotics. It’s one of nature’s most powerful natural antibiotics, and it is great for supporting a strong immune system and helping to stimulate the body's resistance to infection. People often take it prior to travel to build up immunity to infectious bacteria and viral exposure in different environments from home.



According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that people who eat salads have higher levels of six key nutrients. Those who ate raw vegetables in a salad had “above median serum micronutrient levels of folic acid, vitamins C and E, lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene.” Each serving of salad translated into 165 percent likelihood of meeting the RDA of vitamin C for women and 119 percent for men. The study concluded that eating salads can be an easy and effective (and delicious) tool for getting people to meet currently recommended nutritional needs. Eat your way to good health!



Recent research suggests that poor oral hygiene (brushing less than twice daily) actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Brush Your Teeth with a soft-bristle brush and gently clean your teeth to avoid hurting gums. Fluoride toothpaste can help destroy oral bacteria, and frequent cleanings (if possible, right after snacks or meal) can stop buildup leading to gum disease. Don't Forget To Floss. It's one of the most important things we can do to keep teeth healthy. Floss is the only thing that reaches below the gum line. Bacteria build up in the pocket between the tooth and gum line, causing inflammation, tissue damage and bone loss. Worse, it can spread to the bloodstream and through the body. Try some Green Tea: it’s also rich in fluoride and may help reduce tooth decay. Too many people mistreat their teeth and ignore the decay and disease warning signs until too late. A little prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when the alternative is growing old without any teeth at all. Take the time to brush your teeth. Your teeth (and your heart) will thank you for it!



Save the bags only for your groceries, handbags or trash - BUT not under eyes - SO Banish Them: Put Down That Salt Shaker: Water finds its way from body areas low in sodium to those with the most (eye area). Manage Allergies: Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand, but some over-the-counter allergy, cold or sinus infection medicines and herbs like Eyebright can dry puffy eyes. Try a Neti Pot: It looks like a small teapot, and you pour salt water into one nostril at a time and let it drain out the other to help flush out all extra moisture in your sinuses. Sleep On Your Back: Gravity causes fluid to collect under eyes, so sleep on your back and add an extra pillow under your head. Remove Eye Makeup: Sleeping with eye makeup on can make your eyes water and cause morning-after puffiness. Limit Alcohol: It pulls the water out of your skin, and once you weaken the delicate area around the eyes, it's more likely to sink into a pouch. Protect Eyes From Sun’s UV Rays: You protect your body from sunlight and should do the same for your face. Too much sun makes the skin around eyes sag or wrinkle. Use sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to protect your face from harmful rays.Chill Eyes: A cold compress can ease puffiness. Try chilled cucumber slices, tea bags or even a chilled spoon. What you use doesn’t matter; the low temperature does the work.


Many people swear by daily habits and routines for keeping them in good health, and often those habits are grounded in sound medical science, say many doctors. Here are three healthy suggestions: Take a daily nap. Sleeping just 20-30 minutes (no more to avoid interfering with night sleep) can help improve your alertness, performance and mood, and reduces mistakes and accidents too. Eat fresh, buy local. Local food is generally fresher, riper, better-tasting and higher-quality than commercially produced food that's been shipped many miles, and because it's locally distributed, it requires minimal preservatives or processing (also helps the local economy, and there’s a lot available during these summer months from the farmers’ markets). Head for your garden. Gardening is a therapeutic and creative outlet. You can let your personality shine through. A garden also burns calories and provides regular exercise, which can help prevent heart disease, obesity and adult-onset diabetes. Think of adding veggies to your garden for your own organic market. It’s a great feeling - with even greater great results.


You should have listened to Mom when she said, “Eat your vegetables.” Science now tells us that consuming yellow and green vegetables will protect against age-related macular degeneration, thus preserving eyesight - and green vegetables like Broccoli and Cabbage may help protect the body against breast and prostate cancer. Fresh is best, but when not available, both can luckily be found in supplement form.


Is the Tomato a fruit or vegetable? Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it a vegetable, they were scientifically incorrect: Botanically, it is classified as a fruit, and The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association specifically classifies it as a berry, since it contains both pulp and seeds. Tomato is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene, the remarkable, powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage to cells. So...whatever we decide to call it, just be sure to call it HEALTHY!


But Maybe

A Lot Healthier ~

Did you know that the stronger the smell of Onions, the more potent and effective their healing powers are thought to be?...and did you know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Onion as the symbol of “Eternal Life?” Today we do know that Onion is one of nature’s best natural immunity supports that helps protect against infection of all kinds. As a powerful natural antibiotic and antiseptic, it is a wonderful way to strengthen the body’s natural defenses against common colds, flu, sore throat, bronchial and gastric infections; and happily Onion can be found in no=tears supplements. Can’t promise the perfume, tho!

What?  Education -


Although higher education levels have been linked to better health in surveys, you don't necessarily have to have a long list of degrees to achieve well-being. According to health professionals from City University of New York, reading more often, following current events and engaging in activities that keep the mind as sharp as possible will help us reap vast health rewards. Time to get out those crossword puzzles, newspapers, library cards - or join a travel group (a truly fun way to learn and make friends at the same time). C'mon: It's Time to GET SMART!


Traveling can be very stressful, so your immune system may not be at its best. Furthermore, when traveling, you are exposed to germs that can be very different and from those you are used to. To stay healthy during your trip, why not try some Echinacea a week before you leave, and continue taking it while you are away from home. Studies tell us it can be helpful for supporting a stronger immune system to fend off colds and other unwanted germs that you’d rather not bring back as souvenirs. (T-Shirts, cups and postcards are much more enjoyable -and safe.)


Here’s how you can help your overweight child: Set a Good Example - Make healthy food choices for yourself. Eat at Home - as a family, and at the table (children eat nearly twice as many calories in restaurants as they would at home). Stay Calm - Make mealtime pleasant, not combative. Serve Healthy Snacks - that are low-fat and calorie, as well as healthy meals. Get the Kids Involved - in meal planning and preparation. Keep Active - Make fitness a family affair. Healthy eating habits start at home; contrary to popular belief, children do not naturally outgrow baby fat.


Let Anger Get the Best of You -

It Can Make You SICK!!

Help yourself with a few simple tips: Admit Your Anger. Release Stress (get some exercise; take a walk or swim, go dancing). Relax (see a funny movie, listen to soft music). Take Care of Yourself (eat properly, look your best). Surround Yourself With Happy People who are positive and caring. Take Deep, Slow Breaths (slow, deep-breathing helps to trigger relaxation, so you can deal with unpleasant situations). Analyze and even talk about the situation that caused that anger with a friend, and try to put it in its place. Lastly, Try to forgive the mistakes of others; you’ll be the better/happier one in the long run.


Bring On


Research shows Blueberries to be super nutritious and may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may also help reduce effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Some scientists have actually nicknamed Blueberries “Brainberries.” Do they know something? More News: Recent studies found that a Blueberry-rich diet improved learning, as well as muscle function in older subjects.


When buying wheat bread, don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding words like “nine-grain” or “multi-grain.” And just because the bread has a nice tan color, the color does not mean it’s whole grain. Be sure the label reads “whole” grain from the whole-wheat kernel. That way you’ll get the bran, the germ and all the natural nutrients that benefit your good health. Always take that extra time to read food labels - on everything. Your improved health will prove it was time well spent.

Don’t Just Sit There: MOVE!

More and more studies point to the negative health effects of sitting for extended periods of time. Today (every day), try to get up every hour and engage in a few minutes of light activity. The good news is that if you get up and fit in at least two minutes of light activity, such as stretching, walking or even doing chores, that activity can offset some of the health risks of being sedentary for long periods of time. It’s a brand new week - a brand new opportunity to get back on the health train. Use the new week to reset your health goals. So don’t just sit there. Stand up! It’s time to get moving toward better health - NOW!

What is the ONE Prescription that can lower your risk for FIVE Major Diseases with NO Side Effects?

You guessed it!!! EXERCISE!!!Harvard Medical School tells us that Exercise has the power to keep us from developing high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and some cancers. In fact, Exercise can lower risk of heart disease as effectively as medications! It can also help ease arthritis pain, sharpen memory, trim the waistline and preserve our independence. So why isn’t everyone exercising? One of the biggest reasons is not knowing where to start, or finding a program that’s easy to stick with. Start simply with something that is fun for you, and work up to more strenuous workouts over time. Get a friend to accompany you; it’s more fun, and you can encourage each other to stick with your routines. Of course, ask the doctor to find the best, safest workout for you if any health issues are a concern.


Did you know that a poor diet is considered a mind robber that can steal away bits of memory and cognition over time? It’s a fact. Although researchers have not yet quantified the specific effects of a good diet on mental health, it is known that Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in fish, fish supplements, Soy, Nuts and Flaxseed,) help provide the body with the amino acids needed for healthy cell formation and play a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. Healthy brain cells (neurons) will perform better than unhealthy ones, thereby promoting cognitive clarity, a well-functioning memory and positive mood. While a few deep-fried Oreos won't bring down your IQ or destroy your memory, it's generally accepted that a healthy diet aids the brain in maximizing its potential. Start this weekend with a healthy food list when grocery shopping.


Some people open a window or a door - or simply walk outside and will become exposed to pollen in the outdoor air and suffer. Unless you want to live in a bubble, avoiding pollen is pretty difficult. However, you can follow some tips to at least minimize pollen exposure: Keep windows in your home closed, which prevents pollens from drifting into your home. Minimize early morning activity when pollen levels are highest (between 5 and 10 a.m.). Keep your car windows closed when driving. Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported high and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air. If taking a vacation during pollen season height, go to a more pollen-free area, like the beach. Avoid performing yard work, or wear a mask or bandana over your nose and mouth when working outside. Use a clothes dryer to machine dry bedding and clothing (don't hang clothes on a clothesline, where laundry becomes coated with pollen). An indoor air cleaner can help reduce indoor pollen levels if windows are open. Speak with your doctor about symptom relief with natural herbals like Eyebright or Mullein Leaf, etc.


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Our main links are on the left of every page of the site.  Browse our Symptoms and Remedies  page for all natural herbal remedies that will help you to relieve many different ailments and conditions. Find your own herbal remedy by looking through our Single Herbs, Botanicals & Nutrients.  We offer information covering over 300 well-known and time-tested herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, plants and other natural nutriionals that are well known for their beneficial therapeutic properties. Visit these pages and learn how they can help us all achieve and maintain optimum health. Keep on top of the latest News Research  (linked above).  You'll find the latest university and scientific studies exploring the world of botanicals and how they can improve our health....the natural way!  We have also composed several informative articles chronicling the histories of Ayurvedic Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, The History of Herbal Medicine (in general) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our Herbal Learning Center  offers carefully researched and comprehensive information relating to important health topics, herbs and herbal health.  In the event you may be unfamiliar with some of the terms you find throughout our website, we have included a Glossary of Terms and Definitions.  Our Herbal Preparations Page will demonstrate some simple ways for you to prepare your own herbal remedies, including teas, herbal infusions, tinctures, poultices, etc., at home; and we have also included a section describing the benefits of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, another form of healing through herbal extracts in oil form.  Don't forget to visit the Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids & Other Nutrients page. If you wish to read even more facts about herbs, herbal supplements and current health topics, we have provided a page filled with Links & Resources  that will connect you with other helpful websites. They are invaluable resources for information. Visit our FAQs  page for answers to questions about taking our herbal supplements or finding your way around our website. 

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