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WELCOME TO
HERBAL EXTRACTS PLUS INFORMATION

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 health 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, nutritional 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.

HERBAL EXTRACTS PLUS INFORMATION hopes you are enjoying the newest science and historic uses associated with natural botanical therapy, which we present to you as a means to help you make proactive nutritional choices for maintaining and enhancing your own long and healthy life. We are here to help you.

~ Learn - and Enjoy! ~

NEW RESEARCH ~

BEET ROOT'S

‘Anti-Ageing’ Effects Noted In Post-Exercise Brain Study

 

Beetroot juice supplementation could improve cognitive function in older people as study results showed an enhanced ability by the brain to form new neural connections.

According to study findings conducted by scientists from Wake Forest University, a combination of exercise and Beet Root juice seemed to set in motion changes in the participant’s cognitive make up, specifically in the motor cortex and the insula, which support mobility. The results of this study, which included hypertensive older adults, showed that compared to exercise alone, adding a Beet Root juice supplement to exercise resulted in brain connectivity that closely resembles what you see in younger adults, and trials that featured elderly adults supplemented with Beet Root juice also found an improvement in motor and cognitive skills. The wonderful health-enhancing properties of Beet Root juice have been well-documented with numerous studies pointing to Beet Root’s high level of dietary nitrate, which is converted to nitrite and then nitric oxide (NO) when consumed. The study enrolled 26 men and women aged 55 and older who used medication for high blood pressure but did not normally exercise. Over a period of six weeks, a Beet Root juice supplement was given to them one hour before carrying out a 50-minute walk on a treadmill three times a week. Half the participants drank Beet Root juice containing 560 milligrams (mg) of its rich nitrate; the other half received placebo, which contained very little nitrate. Results demonstrated significantly enhanced motor functions in the exercise and Beet Root juice group. Evaluation of peak MET capacity (a measure of the amount of oxygen used during a specific physical activity) revealed a trend for the exercise and BRJ group to have higher MET capacity following the intervention, compared to placebo. In addition, differences in second-order connections between the somatomotor cortex and insular cortex were also significant. The exercise and Beet Root juice group exhibited a lower number of connections when compared to the placebo group. Finally, Beet Root juice may also exert benefits on cardiovascular complications after reports linked Beet Root-enriched bread to lower heart disease risk by reducing blood pressure and improving blood vessel functioning. Likewise, Beet Root’s effects on sporting performance have been noted with significant gains in muscle recovery, aerobic fitness and sprinting attributed to Beet Root’s rich nutrient profile.

Sources: NutraIngredients and Science Daily

For complete research and study details, read the full article:

 

Beetroot’s ‘Anti-Ageing’ Effects

Noted In Post-Exercise Brain Study ~

 


Read other new and interesting research about the many health benefits of Beet Root

 

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

~~~~

HERBAL EXTRACTS PLUS INFORMATION

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.

Visit our study articles on important herbal therapy. There is also additional info on our Suggested Reading webpage if you're looking for more! 

Enjoy, and thank you for visiting

Herbal Extracts Plus Information ~

Your Home for Good Health ~

for Life!

If you have any questions or need information, please feel free to contact us at research@herbalextractsplus.com. Our business hours are eight to five weekdays, and for easy navigation, please see our Site Map (link is also at the bottom of any page of the site), which lists every page included in our website.

HEALTH TIPS ~

QUIZ TIME ~

SAFFLOWER or SAFFRON?

 

Did you know? Since the 1700s, Safflower has been occasionally used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for rich Saffron. It is true, and that is why Safflower is sometimes commonly called 'False Saffron.' Polyunsaturated-rich and healthy Safflower oil has become synonymous with maintaining good heart health by supporting lower cholesterol blood levels and relief of painful, stiff joints of arthritis and gout. Read about the popular, remarkably and naturally-healthy Safflower.

 

PRACTICE YEAR-ROUND SUN DEFENSE

Although it is now early springtime, protection from sun exposure is important ALL YEAR ROUND, not just during the summer, which is approaching soon. Any time the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun are able to reach the earth, you need to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure. UV rays reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as on bright, sunny days, and they will also reflect on any surface like water, cement, sand and winter's snow. The hours between ten a.m. and four p.m. are the most hazardous. Use suntan lotion (AT LEAST 15 SPF), moisturize your skin daily, apply lip gloss, and wear a hat and sunglasses. Be aware that if you are at the beach, on the water, or on ski slopes (next winter), you should wear sunglasses with a darker tint to block more light. If you're out boating or camping this weekend, remember that the risk of eye damage from the sun is greater because of reflection off water, so keep slathering on the lotion, wear the hat and the sunglasses - AND - IF YOU ARE COOKING OUTDOORS, BE SURE ONLY THE FOOD GETS COOKED. Enjoy fun in the sun - with a happy ending.

SIMPLE TIPS FOR KEEPING ACTIVE ~

Did you know that physical activity can help us keep away obesity,heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even depression? How do we get started? Well, if you haven't been active, start slowly. Choose something that fits into your daily life, and be sure to choose an activity that you really, really like. Ask a friend to exercise along with you (a pal can make it easier to start and also be a lot of fun) - or you can join a group. Physical activity can really help you feel so much better and happier - SO JUST GET STARTED AND ENJOY THE RESULTS..

A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN.& ON EARTH

Interestingly, both male and female White Pine Trees produce long, slender cones and can live for as long as four hundred years. Even more interesting, White Pine Bark is an old and trusted remedy for colds and flu. This beautiful, natural botanical helps loosen and expel phlegm from the respiratory tract, supporting bronchitis and lung congestion relief, and its warming qualities may also help ward off colds and flu before they settle in. Read about White Pine Bark and its many, many varied health benefits. You'll be amazed. Isn't Mother Nature Wonderful?

AN OLD AND TIME HONORED MALE TONIC!

Did you know that protein- and nutrient-rich Pumpkin Seed contains four times the amount of beta-carotene than carrots? It’s true, but, even better, Pumpkin Seeds are also often called a "Male Tonic," because they are a natural way to help revitalize the prostate gland, ease inflamed bladder and stimulate male hormone production. Read about prostate health and how and why Pumpkin Seed has been revered for centuries for male health and why it may be of help to you. Of course, always speak with your doctor too.

WATCH OUT FOR MOLDS !

Also called mycotoxins, molds may suppress the immune system and even cause cancer. Refrigerators are a haven for toxic mold fungus, which loves to grow on bruised fruits and vegetables. If a “hard” food that is uncooked becomes moldy, cut and discard the moldy part and at least one inch of the food in each direction from the site of mold. (“Hard” foods include apples, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, hard cheese in chunks, garlic cloves, onions, pears, potatoes, squash and turnips.) If a "soft" food, juice or cooked leftover becomes moldy, throw it all away. Do not attempt to salvage any of it. Refrigerated leftovers not consumed within forty eight hours should be discarded, even if they are not visibly moldy. IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT ~

ANOTHER FUN QUIZ ?

Do you know how  Butterfly Weed got its name? Answer: The beautiful herbaceous plant is a good larval food source for the equally beautiful Monarch Butterfly. It also happens to be an important nectar source for bees - but the plant is even more helpful for people. It has been used since ancient times as an exceptional expectorant for respiratory system support. It helps discharge and expel mucus and break up colds, ease symptoms of consumption, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, dry cough, clogged nasal passages, catarrhal affections of the lungs and throat, and virtually most bronchial complaints (that’s why it’s also called Pleurisy Root). Read about the fascinating Butterfly Weed,and ask your doctor how it may help with respiratory problems.

TRYING TO STAY YOUTHFUL?

But Of Course?

According to researchers at Prevention Magazine, here are the top seven steps you can take: Take brisk walks - Keep your waist trim - Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables - Strength-train a few times a week (it doesn't have to be too strenuous) - Get Enough Sleep (most people need seven or eight hours nightly) - Manage Your Stress - Keep a Positive Outlook (more important than you think). Best of all: Live Well - Live Long & Look Good!

GETTING ENOUGH FIBER? PROBABLY NOT~

We need at least 25 grams of fiber daily, and since most Americans don't get enough fiber in their diets, look to a few simple tips to help you reach your daily fiber goals. SCAN FOR BRAN (look for WHOLE grain and WHOLE wheat on labels). Munch on whole fruits, rather than drinking fruit juices (you'll get all the nutrients - plus the fiber too). Eat your fruit and veggies with the skins on (helps to bump up the fiber and adds to the nutrients too). Use your "Old Bean" (high-fiber Kidney, Pinto and Black Beans, dried Peas and Lentils make a easy and tasty way to get our fiber). Pea Fiber is really great. Read about it and see why.

HEALTH HISTORY & FUN FACTS

Did you know that highly nutritious and remarkably healthy Konjac plant fiber was added to the first national currency of Japan in the late 1800s to prevent counterfeiting? Did you also know that the practice was stopped after rats began to eat the bills? Konjack is considered a highly-important health food in Japanese cousine. Nourishing and calorie-free Konjac Root also removes fat from the colon wall and gently helps to cleanse the intestines and relieve constipation. Even better? It also increases bulk in the stomach and intestines, giving dieters a full feeling that helps lessen appetite. The healthy natural fiber also supports lower total cholesterol and blood sugar levels. (Who knew rats were so smart?)

CHEER UP! Things Could Be... BETTER?

Happy people may actually be better protected against disease, according to a study released from England's University College, London. The researchers found that people who had a more positive mental attitude displayed different responses to stress. The scientists followed the study participants who demonstrated that these patients were also less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and depression. The University study leader, Andrew Steptoe, Professor of Psychology, noted that happy people rely on a different part of the nervous system, which slows the heart rate, and furthermore, they tend to recover more quickly from distress, anxiety and tension. The lesson? It's Very Simple: Think positive thoughts, and make an effort to look on the bright side of life. Smile more. Who knows? Life be just get brighter after all. And even better? Life may just also become healthier and genuinely happier and, hopefully, even longer!

LEARNING? TO BE...HEALTHY?

Although surveys have linked higher education levels with better health and longevity, you do not necessarily need a long list of degrees to achieve well-being. According to health economist, Dr. Michael Grossman, of City University of New York, reading more often, following current events and engaging in activities that keep the mind as sharp as possible will reap vast health rewards. Get out those crossword puzzles, play word games or join a travel group (a truly fun and wide-ranging way to learn various new things and make friends at the same time). Maintaining a sensible weight, eating a healthy diet, no smoking, enjoying physical and mental exercises, and keeping strong social connections are vital components for a long and healthy life.

ACNE, BEGONE!

We know that skin breakouts are common during adolescence because active hormones stimulate sebum production, which blocks skin ducts; and hormone fluctuation is still common as women age. Many women experience skin blemishes the week prior to menstrual cycles, while others have no outbreaks, and while birth control meds often can clear acne in some women, they often bring on acne breakouts in others. Be on watch for oil exposure: Avoid oily cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners and oily foods. Watch for food allergies that trigger acne breakouts (keep note of those that affect you). Stress (including fear, emotional problems or anxiety) can bring out those blemishes, and hygiene is important too: Wash your face twice daily using very, very mild skin soap (with NO chemicals) and warm water. If acne persists, ask your doctor about natural help with Burdock Root, known as a powerful, natural blood cleanser that helps relieve skin diseases and inflammatory conditions, especially acne, psoriasis and eczema.

A ROSE IS A ROSE ~

Did you know? During World War II there was a shortage of citrus fruit in England, and so, the British government organized the harvesting of all the Rose Hips in England as a substitute for Vitamin C. Did you also know that Rose Hips contain a reported sixty times the amount of Vitamin C than lemons? It's true, and even better, it is also true how absolutely essential Vitamin C is to the maintenance of good health and prevention of many health problem. Don't forget to include your Vitamin C from Rose HIps in your diet.

IT'S THYME FOR A HISTORY LESSON

Did you know that ancient Romans and Greeks burned Thyme to fumigate and decontaminate their rooms? It's true; the powerful Thymol component in Thyme, which is so remarkably effective against bacteria and fungi, was even used throughout history for embalming - and also to preserve meats and botanical specimens. In the Middle Ages a tea made from Thyme leaves was believed to prevent nightmares. In World War One, Thyme - with Thymol's potent natural antibacterial and disinfectant effects - was widely used as an antiseptic to treat soldiers' wounds (check out your LIsterine bottle ingredients to see antiseptic Thymol's important position). Today, Thyme is still indespensible in the kitchen and in your herbal closet as a powerful natural antiseptic, antibacterial and disinfectant that supports the gastro-intestinal system and good digestion. Isn't it Thyme for you to keep that natural wonder on hand?

WINTER HOLIDAY DRIVE?

Don't Forget Snacking On The Go: If you're between meals, but still hours away from your destination (and possibly with hungry kids in the back of the car), don't give them potato chips or sweets. Instead, think healthy (and easy): Pack Fruits: Bananas, Grapes, Apples and unsweetened applesauce and fruit cups. Fill small re-sealable bags with their favorite whole-grain cereals and/or raisins or unsalted, small-sized chopped nuts. Kids love them, and they are healthy. Dress Up Veggies: Fill celery sticks with peanut butter or cut up carrot sticks for tasty munching. Hit The Trail: Mix a little low-fat granola with unsalted almonds and/or peanuts, raisins or fresh dried cranberries for your own trail mix. You'll have a carload of happy (and healthy) campers. And don't forget to make routine stops along the way for other needs and to stretch your legs for awhile. Happy Trails To All.

SUFFER FROM ALLERGIES?

Allergies can be with us all year 'round - and most people suffer from some kind of allergy. Happily, however, there are a few easy tips that can be very helpful and provide some relief. ELIMINATE COMMON FOOD SENSITIVITES or ALLERGENS from your diet for two weeks to see whether it makes a difference in your allergic responses, (i.e., Cut Out gluten, dairy, yeast, eggs, corn, soy and nuts). CLEAN HOUSE: Get Rid of Dust Collectors, i.e., heavy drapes, fluffy carpets, stuffed animals (often overlooked), and make an extra effort to keep your bedroom extra clean and dust free. USE AN AIR FILTER in the area where you spend the most time. CHECK FOR MOLD, and get professional help if needed. Try to EAT ORGANIC FOODS to minimize toxins. DRINK STEAM-DISTILLED WATER. TAKE PROBIOTICS to help maintain good bacteria in the gut and work to reduce allergies. Talk to your doctor about natural therapy, such as anti-allergenic and antihistamine Quercetin or Nettle, which have been known to reduce allergy symptoms.

GO BANANAS ~

Research indicates that two Bananas can provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. More than that Banana may help overcome or inhibit a number of illnesses or conditions. Recent tests showed that people suffering from mild depression felt much better after consuming tryptophan-rich Banana. High in iron, Banana may stimulate production of hemoglobin in blood and may help in cases of anemia. Also, high in potassium and B-vitamins (but low in salt), Banana may even support lower blood pressure levels, normalize heartbeat and potentially improve heart health - plus send oxygen to the brain (helping alertness), regulate bodily water balance, ease stress and calm the nervous system. If you don't have a fresh Banana, talk to your doctor about Banana in natural supplemental form.

PREVENTING COLDS May Be As Easy As VITAMIN ZZZZZZs.

Sleeping less than seven hours a night greatly raises the risk of catching a cold, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study. Those who slept eight or more hours a night were less likely to get sick than those who slept less, whose risk was trebled. Lack of sleep can impair the immune system and the body's ability to fight off the viruses causing colds and flu. Previous research has suggested that people who sleep seven to eight hours a night have the lowest rates of heart disease, but until recently, there has been little direct evidence that getting a good night's sleep can help ward off a cold.The quality of sleep also appeared to be important. The researchers believe that lack of good quality sleep disturbs key chemicals produced by the immune system to fight infection. Other research from the University of Cardiff (Wales) confirmed that sleep and the immune system were closely linked, indicating that the immune system can control the sleep-wake pattern, and lack of sleep or sleep disturbance may depress the immune response to infection, concluding that there is now enough evidence that lack of sleep or poor sleep will reduce our resistance to colds and flu. Give your immune system a natural boost with some Elderberry fruit in your diet. Read and see how.

MASSAGE BENEFITS MORE THAN JUST YOUR BODY ~

If you think that message is only a luxury and not something that your body actually needs, you may be mistaken. Massage has real physical, mental and emotional benefits that relieve stress, promote relaxation and ease muscle tension. Although there are many types of message - lighter touch, deep pressure, those targeting feet, hands or shoulders, hot and cold stone, Reiki, etc. - the overall benefits are all similar: they enhance calm thinking and creativity, improve circulation, alleviate stress and muscle stiffness, ease discomfort during pregnancy and increase awareness of the mind-body connection. Massage is a wonderful opportunity to give yourself time and space - just for YOU!

INSOMNIA STILL A PROBLEM?

Try A Few Tips: Avoid stimulants after 4:p.m. Coffee, Colas and even Chocolate contain Caffeine, the powerful stimulant that can keep you awake. Eat a light snack before bedtime; bread and fruit an hour or two before bedtime is great and so is a glass of warm milk, but avoid sugary snacks that excite the system or heavy meals that can stress your body. Don't smoke; nicotine is also a stimulant - and no nightcap before bed. Alcohol at dinner or evening can depress the central nervous system and also disrupt sleep when the effects wear off, waking you in the middle of the night. When insomnia results from anxiety, speak with your doctor about Kava Kava, which can be particularly effective. Research suggests that Kava promotes sleep by acting upon the brain's emotion centers and by relaxing muscles when taken an hour before bedtime. Sweet dreams.

HOW JUNKY IS JUNK FOOD?

TOO JUNKY!!  Researchers found that parts of the brain linked to memory, learning and mental health are smaller in people who consume lots of fries, burgers, potato chips and soft drinks, etc. However, berries (especially delicious Blueberries, whole grains, nuts and green leafy veggies), can preserve brain function and slow mental decline. An interesting aside? Blueberries have even acquired the nickname of "Brainberries." So the next time you reach for a bag of chips, grab a handful of nuts or berries instead. Your brain might just remember to thank you - for a nice long time.

FAREWELL HEARTBURN ~

Now that all the eating and drinking and stress that acccompany holiday celebrations are over, if digestive and heartburn issues are still a problem for you, some health advisors tell us that a teaspoon of baking soda diluted in water prior to a big meal can help make the stomach become more alkaline and less likely to overreact. Whatever you do after a big meal, do not let carbohydrate overload or other foods put you to bed. Lying down will make indigestion worse, so use the power of gravity, and take a walk instead. This can help settle food and aid digestion. If indigestion gets the better of you, speak with your doctor about old-reliable Peppermint Leaf, which has been known for centuries by herbalists to help neutralize acids, ease heartburn and settle your stomach. Check it out, and see whether it is right for you.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WORKED OUT YOUR BRAIN?

Just as you exercise your body, you should also exercise your gray matter to stay sharp and avoid mental decline. In fact, exerting your brain may even stave off dementia, Alzheimer's and memory loss. Get started: Tune up your fine co-ordination skills to improve body and mental dexterity. Play a sport that requires hand-eye co-ordination like ping-pong, or learn to knit; and once in awhile, try writing with your opposite hand. Keep your eyes and ears tuned: Your brain needs to keep its visual and auditory processing in top shape, so buy a book with pictorial puzzles, play a musical instrument and listen to books on tape. Do something new: Crosswords are great, but if you do them all the time, your brain won't stay in the learning mode it needs to prevent cognitive decline. Feed your brain: Eat antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits like Blueberry (often called the "Brainberry"), as well as foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids like flaxseeds or cold-water fish (tuna, salmon, etc.) that act like mental grease for the brain's complex machinery. Get those wheels turning - and keep them turning well for many, many more years.

READY FOR ANOTHER FUN QUIZ?

Did you know that Tarragon's botanical name, dracunculus, is derived from the Latin word, "Little Dragon," giving it several of its common names: "Dragon's Mugwort" and "Little Dragon"? To this was ascribed the power of curing the bites and stings of venomous beasts and mad dogs (having fun yet?). In the modern world, cooks know the value of its rich flavor, and herbalists find Tarragon Leaf to be indespensable for helping our digestive systems and stomach disorders like dyspepsia, flatulence, hiccups and general indigestion. It is also an old-time natural sedative and has been long used to help insomniacs by inducing sleep. Nature has certainly bestowed upon us so many gifts to keep us healthy while even pleasing our taste buds. Read about Tarragon's long-revered history and healthy uses.

WANT A LONG LIFE?

PERSONALITY COUNTS

Stay Calm, Busy and Organized. If you do, you may live a few more years than your anxious, depressed and angry peers, according to recent research from the National Institute on Ageing. In the study, those who scored above average for emotional stability, for staying active physically and mentally and for conscientiousness lived an average of two or three years longer than those with lower scores. The message is clear: Smile and Stay Busy, but don't forget to REST awhile when you need it. If you need help, talk to your doctor about nature's beautiful Passion Flower. It has helped many people over the years. Read and see how.

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED

Don't Just Sit There (especially for long periods of time): Take breaks every 20 to45 minutes to prevent strain. Stand up and walk around for a minute or two and stretch if possible. Try neck rolls from left to right and vice-versa. Do chin tucks and shoulder rolls. One Swedish study found that sitting upright increases the force on the spine by 140 percent, compared to standing. If you slump while sitting, the force on the spine is 185 percent. Sit properly by lining up your head over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. Rest on your "sitz" bones, which are the two bones in your rear-end (sit on your hands and you can feel them). Place your feet flat on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle, and try to bend back with your hands on your hips. Then grab onto the back of the chair and bend forward with your head down and keeping your spine straight. You should be able to get a few clicks of relief. Need extra help? Reliable old BOSWELLIA is a natural way to help with joint and muscle aches. Read and see why it is so popular. .

CHOLESTEROL TOO HIGH?

Lowering your cholesterol levels with a healthy lifestyle can significantly lower your risk for heart attack and stroke, so follow a few diet hints to help control your cholesterol: Maintain a healthy weight. Follow a low-fat diet. Replace saturated fats (red meats, dairy products, shortening and coconut oil) with fish, mono-unsaturated fats, vegetable oils, Olive Leaf, nuts and seeds. Eat only small amounts of high cholesterol foods like egg yolks. Add more daily fiber to your diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains). Eat a serving of fish each week with essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids, (already shown to lower "LDL" (bad) cholesterol levels. Watch that diet, and then watch those cholesterol levels drop - and your good health rise.

GRIN AND SHARE IT: YOUR SMILE

TARGET? YOUR TEETH! Follow these few easy oral health tips to save that big smile. Visit your dentist regularly. Brush your teeth at least twice daily (don't forget your tongue). Floss at least once daily to get rid of plaque buildup. If you have frequent bad breath, tell your doctor or dentist (it can signal gum disease or serious health problem). Drink plenty of water and cut back on sugary snacks (they promote decay) and caffeine (promotes dry mouth). You may be interested to know that Green Tea has demonstrated antibacterial activity that helps to reduce plaque, periodontitis, dental caries and minimize bad breath. Green Tea supports lots of good health, and that means lots of good smiles

TOO EMBARRASSED TO EXERCISE?

You may be afraid you won’t fit in with the “beautiful people,” but in reality, you will probably find people of every size, shape and age. Focus on similarities, not comparisons: Everyone is there for the same reason - to get fit and healthy. Start small (observe a class; many gyms let you do this for free, to see if you’ll be comfortable). Go with a friend (you can encourage each other). Keep your schedule flexible (avoid crowds by asking staff which times are less busy). Exercise at home (if you are certain the gym isn’t for you, try a beginner’s Exercise DVD). Even if you start with a walk after dinner, just be sure to get some exercise. It’s particularly important during holiday big meals. Ask your doctor about Magnolia Bark for natural weight management help.

A FUN BOTANICAL QUIZ

What plant family is associated with the Lemon Balm plant? If you answered Citrus - Ooops - you'd be wrong. If you thought Lemon Balm is a member of the citrus family, think again! Surprise! It is a member of the mint family. The name, Lemon, describes the plant's fragrance when the leaves are bruised, and it has been used for thousands of years as an effective calmative for all kinds of nervous problems, including tension headaches, migraines, neuralgia, tension, stress, anxiety, excitability and palpations (caused by anxiety). Known as “The Calming Herb,” and one of the most fragrant of herbs, it is used to relax muscle tension without daytime drowsiness. Read about it and see why it is so popular. 

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

It's interesting to note that  cardiovascular disease has been affecting civilization for thousands of years, and modern practitioners of India’s ancient and still highly respected Ayurvedic medicine already understand many of its timeless principles, including arteriosclerosis, already described in ancient medical treatises as “coating and obstructing channels” by fatty streaks in blood vessels and still prescribe a rich amber-like resin that oozes from the Gum Guggul (Commiphora makul) tree. Modern research has confirmed that this ancient botanical member of the Frankincense family may still help support lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides (check with the doctor for natural help).

SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE WITH SNIFFLES?

Germs that cause colds are easy to spread, and sick people leave them on common objects like door handles, TV remotes, light switches, salt-and-pepper shakers, dishwasher and refrigerator handles, phones and faucets, where they can live for several days. Cold germs survive for two days or longer in hotel rooms after guests leave and are picked up by the next person checking in. Controlled tests found that more than half the participants who were in contact with common mucus-contaminated surfaces came down with rhinovirus 48 hours after touching the objects. Don't forget waiting rooms where there are sacks of toys with potential germs. With flu season descending, speak with your doctor about flu shots for the whole family and also some natural botanical help to stimulate the body's resistance to infection with Echinacea Purpurea and Elderberry when feeling a common cold or flu coming on.

STILL STRESSED?

You're working against a deadline at work, your love life is in crisis, and everyone needs something - now. Stress can be contagious. People with heightened sensitivity especially can be set off by someone else’s mood, so protect yourself from stress infection by having calm-down strategies in place and ready when stress threatens. If someone’s behavior is affecting you, let him/her know how you’re feeling without being accusatory. Resist the fix-it urge, and support the stressed person by listening (don’t try to solve the problems). Exercise ~ Eat regular, balanced meals ~ Get enough sleep ~ Breathe deeply ~ Talk things out ~ Take a walk ~ Do something happy for yourself every day. Think about natural relaxing herbs like Valerian Root to relieve tension, anxiety, irritability, nervous exhaustion and stress. Sometimes we all need help.

KNOW THE SKIN YOU ARE IN ..ALWAYS

Examine your skin carefully at least once a month. It takes only ten minutes to do a self-examination to check for any changes on the skin. See a dermatologist for any potential skin problems that develop, such as discolorations or growths. Protect your skin and choose a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher, and use it all year-round. Clouds do not protect you from ultraviolet ray exposure. Take Vitamin C, a key ingredient for keeping skin plump and moist and reducing damage to ageing skin after exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Take a look at natural help with Avocado. In supplements or as a food, Avocado fights the ravages of age, sun and wind damage as it softens and smoothes the skin. Don’t neglect your skin - Ever!

"WE STEEP TO CONQUER"

According to the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, Japan, drinking Green Tea can stall prostate cancer’s progress. The researchers found that men who drink five or more cups of Green Tea daily were half as likely to get advanced prostate cancer (the type that spreads beyond localized disease) than those who sipped less than a cup per day. The study authors credit powerful compounds called catechins in Green Tea and Green Tea extract that control the levels of testosterone linked to advanced disease.

PROTECT YOUR KIDNEYS, PROSTATE, BLADDER & URINARY TRACT

(from INFLAMMATION)

Drink plenty of fluids, stay active and maintain a healthy weight. If you smoke, quit, and ask for a urinalysis during doctor's visits to give your doctor valuable information about your overall kidney, bladder and prostate health. Check out natural help with an old reliable botanical like Hydrangea for urinary tract support. It has a long history of promoting a healthy prostate and urinary tract. Hydrangea stimulates the kidneys to release retained fluids, helping to fight against harmful urinary, bladder and kidney inflammation and infection. Hydrangea also supports kidney-related backache relief while working to expel kidney and bladder stones. Watch those painkillers: Over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can harm your kidneys if taken long term. Speak with the doctor about it, and discuss Hydrangea’s natural help too.

GIRL TALK?

HEART DISEASE is a woman's biggest health risk...so know the symptoms: shortness of breath, unexplained indigestion, extreme fatigue, chest pains or constriction, shooting pains that travel up to the neck, left arm/shoulder, jaw or back, sweating, nausea, vomiting, palpitation, dizziness. You’re at greater risk post menopause and if you smoke, you are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a diabetes family history. Know Your Numbers: Get blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol tested regularly. Exercise, Eat Sensibly (the Mediterranean diet with Olive Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids-rich fish, Garlic,Whole Grains, and Tomato is best). Take your vitamins, and check out some heart-friendly supplements like Olive Leaf with your doctor - AND don’t forget to take time out to relax. By the way, this advice works for men too (something to ponder).

COLD AND FLU SEASON IS HERE

Fight It Naturally ~ Cold season officially begins in late August or early September (according to statistics) and then becomes progressively worse and lasts all the way until late March or early April. That means you and your family are at risk today and every day for quite a few months. Fortunately, there is a well-known way to help shorten the duration of your misery if you do begin to develop a cold. At the very first sign of a cold or flu virus, a regimen of natural botanicals - Elderberry and Echinacea Purpurea may be as effective as the anti-viral drug Tamiflu® for early treatment of flu - according to a brand-new clinical trial. Don't forget your flu shot too.

RECOGNIZE HEART FAILURE SYMPTOMS

....and take note of ANY of the following:Shortness of Breath during rest, exercise or while lying flat. Weight Gain - Visible Swelling of Legs and Ankles due to a buildup of fluid - Abdominal Pain or Occasional Abdominal Bloating - Fatigue and Weakness - Loss of Appetite - Nausea - Persistent Cough. If any of these symptoms seem familiar to you, it’s time to ring the doctor and get a diagnosis. Don’t forget to discuss diet and helpful botanicals, like Grapeseed Extract (with the important Resvertrol) which is used to support cardiac and vascular health.

BED DOWN FOR BEAUTY ~

Beauty Needs Sleep

Getting enough sleep helps your skin look brighter and fresh (and younger). Sleep can help prevent dark circles under your eyes, and it also gives the rest of your body a chance to recharge. On the other hand, lack of sleep can change your hormone levels and metabolism in many of the same ways that ageing does. So shoot for a solid eight (maybe even nine) hours of shut-eye every night. Having trouble? Try natural therapy with some gentle Chamomile orNature’s Tranquilizer, Passion Flower.

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NEED IDEAS TO HELP

DEAL WITH BACK PAIN?

 

Try these: Wear Sensible Shoes (alternate between flats and two-inch heels, and wear well-fitting athletic shoes during your leisure time). Lose Excess Weight (a bad back and extra pounds are a bad combo, so slim down, and your back will thank you). Don’t Sleep On Your Back (Lie on your side with a pillow tucked between your knees, and avoid sleeping on your stomach). Take A Load Off (a heavy shoulder bag more than five pounds is too heavy. Unload unnecessary items, and switch the bag from shoulder to shoulder). If pain strikes, apply an ice pack for no more than twenty minutes; after 48 hours, try a heating pad. Try To Conduct Your Normal Activities (bed rest of four days can actually aggravate your condition). Try Natural White Willow Bark (it’s a great anti-inflammatory and painkiller for backache - including lower back pain - and nature's own gift to us and our pain-free backs).

 

BELLS ARE RINGING ~ SLEEP IS THE ULTIMATE SCHOOL SUPPLY

Start the school year off right by getting your kids back on a healthy sleep schedule! Go to bed at the same time each night and get a consistent amount of sleep. Young people’s growing bodies need a good eight (to ten) hours of sound sleep a night for good brain function and good overall health. A good night's sleep costs nothing, but pays huge dividends.

WANT TO HURT YOUR BRAIN?

MISS OUT ON SLEEP ~

You do a few things you know you shouldn’t (don't we all?). But some of those bad habits can take a toll on your brain. For example, lack of sleep may be a cause of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (not good!). It's best to have regular sleeping hours. If you have trouble with sleep, don’t eat junk foods and avoid alcohol, caffeine and electronics in the evening - and start a soothing bedtime ritual. A nice warm bath and some Chamomile or Passion Flower are always soothing.

TV Prime Time DOES NOT MEAN

Prime Snack Time

Avoid munching in front of the television this week. It’s harder to keep track of how much you’re eating when you are preoccupied with entertainment (and plopped in a comfy seat). Remember: The pounds will add up - and snacks usually contain too much salt and fat, which only add to the health problem. Let this week be the beginning of better snacking habits and better health - and a better waistline.

CURB YOUR CHOLESTEROL ~

High cholesterol is one of the major risks for heart disease. If your levels are higher than they should be, try some hints from medical health experts: Check your numbers with a simple blood test to determine if your cholesterol levels are too high. Cut back on saturated fat (less than 7% of total daily calories). Avoid all trans fats, and Stock up on healthy foods: (fruits, veggies, whole grains and foods rich in OMEGA-3 Fatty Acids, i.e., unsalted walnuts and almonds, salmon or Omega-3-rich fish oil supplements, FLAXSEEDS or Brussels Sprouts. A healthy heart needs healthy foods). Get active: Exercise at least thirty minutes daily (you can do it in three, easy ten-minute segments). Lose weight: Being active and watching your diet can help. Dropping even five to ten pounds can lower cholesterol - and don’t forget to Stop Smoking.

ANNUAL GERM ALERT!

Now that the kids are back at school, remind them that Handwashing is a quick, easy (and best) way to cut down on the spread of infections. Colds, flu, ear infections, strep throat, food-borne illness and diarrhea are spread by unwashed, or poorly washed, hands. Most bacteria and viruses infect a person after entering the b

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