How Spring Cleaning Freshens Your World

  • By Marlene's Market & Deli
  • 28 Feb, 2017
by Nina Osberg
March is the perfect month for Spring Cleaning. It is a time of great renewal and a wonderful time to let go of all the things you no longer need, use or wear before summer arrives. Literally! Open up the windows to your life, let fresh air and new energy in, and who knows, you might even lose a few pounds in the process! I know, because it has happened to me in the past. Are you ready?
Start with one room or even just a drawer at a time. If you go from room to room or think you’re going to get it all done in one big swoop, you’re setting yourself up for failure; your energy may simply become unfocused and scattered all over the place. Personally, I like to start with my closets or clothes drawers because I have a weakness for clothes. Do I wear them all? I’d like to think I do (or will), but the truth is that I don’t and they just hang there like empty, forgotten shells, longing to be picked up and admired by someone else!
First Steps
First, remove all your clothes from your closet or drawer. Take a hard look at each item before putting them back. Ask yourself, “Do I love it?” Don’t over think – it is either a yes or a no. If it is a “maybe”, you have to be very honest with yourself and admit you probably don’t need it! You may also ask yourself, “Is this something I use?” The question isn’t, “Is this something I will use?” because, let’s face it – we all have a pile of stuff we tell ourselves we’ll use someday, but we never do. Keep ONLY what you use and love!
Next, move through your living spaces and look at all the items. I once read that the more items you own, the more they own you! Each of these items takes up mental energy without our even knowing it. For most of us, a cluttered home means a cluttered mind! There is no room for new things or new energy to enter and even flow. We get stuck this way too, which isn’t good on many different levels.
Your house will thank you
You will probably start to notice that once you let go of all that stuff (and once you dust, sweep, wash and scrub) you will be left with a lighter sensation inside and out. Personally, I always notice a significant shift in my space when I have purged, de-cluttered and cleaned my home. If my home could speak, I imagine it breathing a big sigh of relief and saying, “Thank you, I really needed that!”
Give it away
Most of us have too much unused stuff that would greatly benefit someone else! -Give your stuff to someone you know who would love and appreciate it. -Take it to Goodwill or The Salvation Army.
-Recycle it.
-Throw away what cannot be mended or fixed.
Inspiration
If you need an extra kick in the pants to get started, I recommend Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or browse through Leo Babauta’s wonderful free site called Zen Habits. There you will find many excellent tips! The point is, just get started! You will feel lighter and happier at the end of it, ready to enjoy the rest of spring and summer with a lighter home and mind!
Happy Spring Cleaning,
Nina
“I read recently that  the average household  contains 300,000 items.  I thought that was an  exaggeration, but I  purged 653 items today  after making it partway  through two rooms!  Now I believe that’s  possible. I have winterwear  and sealed toiletries  for those experiencing h omelessness, items to  give away, items for sale,  gifts for friends, boxes  for the thrift shop and  some garbage… here’s to  minimalism in 2017!”
– Jenelle York

Nina Osberg is a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and holds a Master’s degree in teaching. She teaches cancer and diabetes prevention, weight loss, and many other topics related to diet and health.
By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Subhadra Terhanian, Uncle Harry's Natural Products

Unless you’re no stranger to oral health issues, deciding on what type of toothpaste you should use probably doesn’t keep you up at night. The unfortunate truth is, while you’re sound asleep dreaming of things far less trivial than toothpaste, the acids and bacteria in your mouth are hard at work breaking down your precious tooth enamel.

Have no fear! Our planet is stocked to the core (literally) with amazing plants and minerals that, when utilized in the right combination, create a powerhouse of tooth protection. From preventing enamel erosion and gum issues to combating bad breath and yellowing teeth, natural toothpastes will give you something to smile about.

Although tooth enamel is the hardest part of the human body, it can erode in the presence of strong acids. When the pH of the mouth drops below 5.5, acids begin to dissolve the complex lattice bonds which make our teeth so durable. Calcium and phosphorus ions can then be leached from the crystalline structure, thinning the enamel and heightening sensitivity.

Major oral care issues can arise when there is prolonged contact with acids and bacteria, or when saliva is not present, too acidic, or nutrient deficient. At that point enamel is unable to recapture mineral ions released during the acid attack. A sustained loss of minerals is what leads to permanent, irreversible dental damage.

Bacteria, food and drink, and saliva all have the potential to introduce and accelerate the growth of acidic substances, preventing the teeth from remineralizing naturally. Luckily, the presence of alkaline, nutrient-rich saliva can neutralize these erosive substances and allow the enamel to reabsorb lost minerals before they are gone for good.

When it comes to complete oral care, minimally processed and food-grade ingredients are the most effective at addressing the risk factors of demineralization. Clean and simple ingredients can help maintain an alkaline pH of the mouth and promote naturally healthy teeth. Incorporate the following natural elements into your oral care routine and begin achieving satisfying and holistic results.

1. Control bacteria with essential oils: A blend of purifying essential oils – peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, wintergreen, and oregano – is a great antibacterial mixture that adds distinctive freshness and a kick to your teeth brushing regimen. Also great for supporting oral health, isolated components eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate,
and thymol have been suggested by the FDA to help address gingivitis and plaque issues.

2. Alkalize your mouth with earth minerals : Calcium carbonate is important for oral health. It is used in many oral care products for its high alkaline pH of 9.9, which neutralizes acidity in the mouth. Bentonite clay, another alkalizing mineral, has a pH over 8.5.

3. Keep salivating with pure sea salt: Brushing with salty clays and minerals for the first time can feel quite, well… salty, but for good reason! Salt promotes the secretion of saliva, which helps combat dry mouth and ensures minerals stay suspended near the teeth to be quickly reabsorbed.

4. Restore balance with bioavailable trace minerals:
Calcium carbonate, bentonite clay, and sea salt contain food grade trace minerals that the body can use to stabilize and strengthen enamel. An excess of minerals in the mouth also provides a mineral reservoir prior to and during acid attack, which helps control damage and improve recovery time.

Subhadra Terhanian is Uncle Harry’s daughter and business partner.

By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
It’s an exciting time here at our stores. We all look forward to harvest days and all of the early autumn produce that will be picked for you in the coming weeks. Let us introduce you to some of our wonderful local farmers on page 14.

We are thankful indeed, to have them growing organically for us. Well, there are so many excellent classes offered this month, I hardly know where to begin. Why don’t you look them over and come join us for a few? Our speakers are so knowledgeable and interesting, you can’t go wrong!

Dr. Mercola and Dr. Lucille have both provided us fascinating articles this month. They’re all about simple, clean living and giving the body the tools it needs to thrive on its own. Wonderful advice. And steps that almost any of us can take.

Don’t worry, be happy and love to you all!


By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Holly Lucille, ND, RN

I think that one of the biggest challenges that people have – and I see this in my practice often – is finding practical, realistic ways to be healthy and happy. That’s not to say that peace of mind and body is necessarily a simple, three-step process that you can do once and be all set for the rest of your life. What I mean by practical and realistic is that there are key steps you can easily apply to your life and truly start seeing results.

Detoxify: A Crucial First Step
Let’s face it: with our modern day environment and the choices we often make, there is somewhat of an everyday “re-tox” going on; so why don’t we employ an everyday “de-tox” to help even the playing field? One of the easiest ways to start detoxifying immediately is to bolster the ability of your liver with curcumin, a compound from turmeric. There are many curcumin (and turmeric) supplements available, but in my experience, the best form is a clinically studied curcumin blended with turmeric essential oil that helps it absorb better and stay in the bloodstream longer.

Although curcumin is often associated with pain relief, it is actually one of the most liver healthy compounds in the world, and that’s a must for detoxification. Curcumin prevents harmful fat deposits in the liver and enhances two key detoxifying enzymes – superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. This makes it easier for the body to rid itself of estrogen mimics and other unhealthy compounds and toxins that could otherwise lead to serious conditions. Additionally, it protects the liver from oxidative damage and allows it to regenerate the cells that keep toxins from getting the upper hand.1

Other investigations of the anti-inflammatory actions of curcumin show that it may stop the accumulation of fat cells in the liver (and elsewhere) that can lead to insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar levels, and unwanted extra pounds.2,3 One of the great things about curcumin is that it works along so many pathways in the body that it helps you stay healthy in a great variety of ways – reducing pain, inhibiting tumor growth, and preserving cognitive function. Another great detoxifier is one that probably everyone has heard of – Epsom salts. Simply adding these to your bath water does wonders. Epsom salts gently remove toxins and help your muscles relax while simultaneously providing a source of muchneeded magnesium, a critical mineral for detoxification. Try it for 20 minutes a few times a week, and I think you’ll notice a big difference.4

Adapt and Recharge: Meet Everyday Challenges
Unhelpful reactions to chronic and compounded stress can fuel all kinds of unhealthy conditions: elevated blood sugar and cortisol levels, adrenal burnout, a buildup of internal and external toxins, and an increase in inflammation throughout the body. However, there’s an herbal ingredient that may not be familiar to everyone – not yet, at least. It’s called ashwagandha, and it has been used in Ayurvedic practice for centuries. It has also been the subject of intensive research regarding promoting healthy energy levels, stress reduction, and better muscle response to exercise.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen – it has an ability to help you to mentally and physically adapt to changing circumstances and more easily get through your day. Natural compounds in ashwagandha called withanolides help you overcome the feeling of depletion. In a clinical test, it was shown to do this in a big way – decreasing cortisol levels (our “fight or flight” hormone) and reducing the feelings of stress and fatigue by over 50 percent. It has also been shown to dramatically reduce feelings of social dysfunction (that powerful urge to avoid people at all costs),  epression, and muscle stress and tightness.5

Because ashwagandha helps clear away so much of the distracting “chatter” produced by our minds and bodies when we’re under stress, it can really improve a sense of focus, clarity, and energy. I consider this herb a real jewel. And while it is gaining in popularity among health-minded individuals, ashwagandha is still somewhat “under the radar” and isn’t yet mainstream. But I bet it will be soon.

Unplug: Rejuvenate Body and Mind
It’s easy to get caught up in a rush of schedules, demands, and – let’s admit it – social media. Each conspires in its own way to control our attention and ratchet up our reactions to stress and toxins. Along with any one (or all) of the methods I’ve mentioned here, I would recommend that you unplug as often as possible. Resist the temptation to turn on the TV or check how many “likes” your latest post received. You deserve some peace. It will help you stay healthy and vibrant, and help make your presence to others more beneficial, too.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN is a nationally recognized and licensed naturopathic doctor and educator in natural products, an author of several books, and national educator for Europharma. As an expert in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Lucille provides lectures on a variety of natural health topics and is regularly quoted in both consumer and peer journals. Her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare, focuses on comprehensive naturopathic medicine and individualized care.

References
1. Kadasa NM, Abdallah H, Afifi M, Gowayed S. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015;16(1):103-8.
2. Shao W, Yu Z, Chiang Y, et al. PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e28784.
3. Ejaz A, Wu D, Kwan P, Meydani M. J Nutr. 2009 May;139(5):919-25.
4. Rosanoff A, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Nutr Rev. 2012 Mar;70(3):153-64.
5. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012;34(3):255-62.

By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Dr. Carla Yamashiro

You would think having been born and raised in Hawai’i, I would love the summer heat— but I can’t take it! My soul-mutt Makana, on the other hand, loves summer because it is the time of year he gets to cool off at the lake. I love seeing him jump out of his skin with excitement, because normally nothing gets him jumping, or sitting, for that matter. I remember taking him to puppy school, and by the end of the program all the other dogs learned to do tricks, but Makana didn’t even learn how to sit. We would arrive at class and he would plop himself down on the floor and lie there the entire time. I couldn’t even get him to stand in order to teach him how to sit. He may not understand “sit,” but he sure knows what “let’s go to the lake” means!

Another thing that cannot take the heat is dental amalgam. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals containing tin, zinc, copper, and silver, but about half of it is mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin, but when it is “fixed” or “bound’ by these other metals, it is considered safe by the American Dental Association. However, research from the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) shows that mercury vapor is released from its “fixed” state when exposed to heat or friction such as from brushing your teeth, drinking hot liquids, chewing and grinding teeth, or when the amalgam is drilled out by your dentist. Dr. Griffin Cole says, “Levels of mercury during removal exceed government safety limits.”

When it is time for amalgam restorations to be removed, there are safety protocols that can reduce your exposure to mercury vapors. One of the most important protocols is that the patient has an external oxygen source to prevent breathing in mercury vapors as they are released during the removal process. Use of a latex-free rubber dam helps keep particulate from entering the mouth. Rinsing and swallowing a slurry of charcoal or chlorella (algae) before the procedure and rinsing again after the procedure helps absorb mercury and decreases inadvertent exposure. Having a high-volume filtration system and a negative-ion generator to remove mercury vapor from the work space keeps patients and the dental team safe from exposure. These are a few examples of safer dental amalgam removal procedures. For complete lists of protocols, visit the
IAOMT and Huggins Applied Healing websites.

Great care is taken when a mercury-safe dentist removes dental amalgam from your teeth, and great care also has to be taken when deciding what to put back in its place. Many composite (tooth colored fillings) are made with a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a chemical commonly used in making plastics and resins. BPA doesn’t take the heat well either. When it is heated, BPA may release estrogen-mimicking compounds and contribute to other illness and disease. There are materials available that are chemically “safer;” however, the bottom-line is that everything in dentistry is potentially toxic. What may be less reactive for one individual, can be highly reactive for another. To ensure the new materials will not cause another type of toxic body burden, comprehensive dental material sensitivity testing is recommended. If you’re feeling the heat from dental amalgam and BPA, don’t take it sitting down. Lie down in the chair of a mercury-safe dentist. Be safe and enjoy the lake this summer!

Carla Yamashiro practices holistic dentistry at Ecologic Dentistry, the natural choice. Ecologic Dentistry is located at 8412 Myers Rd. E Ste 301 in Bonney Lake, WA. New patients welcome, current patients loved. To reserve your appointment, please call 253.863.7005. To learn more visit ecologicdentistry.com.

By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Karen Masterson Koch, CN, President of Aloe Life

Ever wondered why kids and adults seem to get sick right before school or just back from vacation? Besides the extra activities, eating fast food and sugary treats leaves them vulnerable to a drop in immunity. Excessive refined sugar (7 teaspoons in two cans of soda) has been linked to a drop in immunity in just 30 minutes.

Immunity is built by healthy foods, which provide the essential core nutrients to energize, build and protect the body from attack. Digestive and immune systems are not fully developed in infants and young children, and are weak in seniors and individuals living with illness or stress. Vaccinations do not strengthen the immune system and may actually weaken it.

Cancer and Immunity
• The American Cancer Society (ACS) confirms cancer is a result of a weakened immune system over a prolonged period of time. They also state that healthy lifestyle choices are important in lowering cancer rates and that heredity is not conclusively linked to most cancers.
• Cancer affects approximately one in three adults in the U.S. with a growing number of childhood cancers.
• Over the last 30 years cancer rates have gone up (varying by state) from 20 – 30%, with the top five cancers being skin, lung, breast, prostate, and colon. Statistically, the digestive system has the highest rate of cancer.

Auto-immunity is the term for an over-active immune system. Over 80 different autoimmune diseases plague society today, causing inflammation, damage, malnutrition, and diabetes. According to new studies, the central nervous system is also affected by autoimmune disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Environmental Factors Reducing Immunity:
• Poor diet
• Poor digestion and elimination
• Stressful, sedentary lifestyles and addictions
• Chemical and drug toxicity
• Pollution and poor hygiene

Aloe Vera for Immunity Balance
What truly keeps the body healthy and balanced is surprisingly simple and includes using a few supplements and herbal short-cuts. Aloe vera contains over 100 active constituents including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and special phytonutrients. Scientists have isolated four constituents in particular from aloe that heighten and balance immunity support: polysaccharides, saponins, sterols, and sterolins.
• Polysaccharides are long chain carbohydrates that stimulate the macrophages (a type of white blood cell) to engulf invaders.
• Saponins provide antiseptic support within body fluids.
• Sterols and sterolins are fats that balance the immune functionalities of white blood cells.

Although hundreds of aloe vera products are on the market, success requires a product that contains polysaccharide counts in the middle range of 80,000– 400,000 Dalton units* and actives of at least 4–5%. Whole leaf aloe vera concentrate products are the only ones that measure up. In his book, Aloe Vera – A Scientific Approach, Robert Davis, PhD, underlines how critical the processing of the aloe is in preserving the valuable polysaccharide action. He describes its role as the orchestra leader for immunity.

Revving Up Immunity Takes at Least 45 days!
Being sick is no fun and missing work is expensive. Get started now by making healthier choices and upping your intake of quality proteins, vegetables and fruits, and adding some regular exercise. Top it off with key supplements (as tolerated) of Vitamin A (fish oil or algae), C (500 – 1500 mg) and E (400 iu) and aloe vera (2 – 4 oz). Drinking a quality aloe vera juice or taking a tablet before meals is best for optimizing digestion and overall wellness. Remember, good health is not only for winter, but every day of the year!

Karen Masterson Koch is a certified nutritionist and the President of Aloe Life. She is also a health researcher, educator, and the author of Beyond Gluten Intolerance. For more information visit aloelife.com. Additional research available from the author upon request.

* Dalton is the standard unit indicating mass on an atomic or molecular scale

By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Elizabeth Ashbrook, Education Coordinator for Marlene's Market & Deli

At Marlene’s, we always love to personally connect with our vendors and learn how and why they create the amazing products that we are so proud to carry. Recently, a small group of Marlene’s staff and I were honored to take a tour of Uncle Harry’s Natural Products warehouse facility and headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Harry Terhanian, aka Uncle Harry, lives his pledge to heal earth and body every day. His own slice of paradise rests along the Bear Creek Watershed with a house, two barns, a greenhouse, and two purebred Gujarati Gyre cows from India. His family’s nine-acre organic farm is both his home and the source of some of the herbs used in the products that he makes. Their agricultural biodiversity strategy works with the natural flow of the land, as nature intended.
By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
By Joseph Mercola, MD
For those of you who missed the book, this article offers some basic guidance from my new NY Times bestseller, Effortless Healing, which provides simple and inexpensive ways to improve your health. Contrary to the impression you get when listening to drug advertisements on TV, your body was designed to move toward health, and away from disease. But to do so you need to provide it with the right lifestyle ingredients it needs to heal and thrive. And drugs are not on that list. The simple truth is, most disease is rooted in poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Unfortunately, most physicians are taught very little about the use of food for healing when they’re in medical school, and many never take the time to learn even the most basic nutritional principles. This is why most conventional doctors cannot guide you in nutritional healing, and why many are outright suspicious about claims that food can heal.

Exercise is another critical component of health, and studies have shown exercise to be as effective a treatment as many drugs, including antidepressants and medications for prediabetes and heart disease.

Statistically, Sickness Is More Prevalent Than Wellness
Statistically speaking, you’re far more likely to be some level of sick than you are being healthy. For starters, nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug for a chronic or other medical condition, with antibiotics, antidepressants, and opioids topping the list. 

Other signs indicating that sickness has become the prevailing norm include the following statistics:
• Obesity rates are on the rise, and one in five deaths is now linked to obesity.
• We are in the midst of a worldwide diabetes epidemic. In the US, more than 86 million adults aged 20 and over have prediabetes.1
• Of that number, nearly 30 million already have type 2 diabetes — a statistic researchers predicted in 2001 wouldn’t be reached until 2050. Diabetes has increased over 300 percent in just 15 years,2 and all told, nearly one-third of the 320 million people living in America today have either prediabetes or some form of diabetes.3
• One in eight Americans aged 65 and over currently have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to rise to one in four within the next 20 years.
• At present, more than half a million Americans die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.
• Cancer rates are projected to rise 57 percent in the next 20 years, with 13 million people dying from cancer each year.
• Over half of the U.S. population has at least one clinically diagnosable allergy, and allergies and diseases of the immune system have possibly quadrupled in the last few decades.

What’s Really Making You Sick?
Once you become familiar with the ins and outs of nutrition, you begin to realize that virtually every health problem you can think of can be traced back to the diet. One of the reasons why so many diseases are skyrocketing in prevalence is because of the foods we eat. Most Americans eat a predominantly processed food diet, which virtually guarantees you’ll suffer health problems at some point.

In short, one of the simplest health directives you could ever come across is to just eat real food (whole, unadulterated/unprocessed, and ideally organic), as this automatically eliminates a number of healthharming ingredients from your diet. Public enemy number one is sugar (all kinds, but in particular refined sugar and processed fructose such as high fructose corn syrup), followed closely by refined grains, as these ingredients cause your insulin level to spike.

Insulin allows your cells to use sugar, but when you eat too much sugar your cells eventually become resistant to the insulin. Insulin resistance, in turn, leads to diabetes and a long list of related health problems and disease. When you’re insulin resistant, your body will also store rather than burn fat.

As a result, it becomes exceedingly difficult for your body to use stored body fat for energy, and hence weight gain is typically associated with insulin resistance. This is why sugars and grain carbohydrates need to be avoided, as they not only can make you fat, they can make you stay fat. If your fasting insulin level is over 3 or 4, you’re insulin resistant. Other signs and symptoms indicating you fall squarely into this category include:
• Carrying excess weight
• Fasting blood sugar greater than 10. You may be diagnosed with prediabetes if your glucose is between 100 and 125. Having prediabetes is a risk factor that you may get type 2 diabetes in the future.
• Less than ideal cholesterol ratios
• Type 2 diabetes
• Heart disease or cancer

Next month in Part Two of “Effortless Healing,” we will explore how insulin resistance can be easily reversed or reduced by making small changes to your diet and incorporating more activities into your lifestyle. In the meantime, steer clear of processed foods and limit your sugar intake. Being actively aware of the things we fuel our bodies with is the first step to better health.

Joseph Mercola, MD, is creator of the number-one rated natural health website in the world, www.mercola.com.
1. Diabetes Care June 2011: 34(6); 1249-1257
2. Diabetes Care. November 2001: 24(11); 1936-1940
3. Tech Times. December 30, 2014

By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Delaney Dvorak, Sound Outlook Copy Editor

‘Tis the season of September’s beautiful and bountiful harvests, and Marlene’s carries some of the best local, organic and seasonal produce in the area. But who are these amazing people who have committed themselves to the organic farming lifestyle? It’s time to shine a light on a few of the many inspiring farming families that provide us with the produce we are honored to offer our community.
By Kaephas Kain 01 Sep, 2017
by Craig Klein, National Educator for Vitality Works

Our immune system is a fascinating, complex association of cells, tissues, and chemicals—each component providing support to the immune system in its own distinctive way. These components work together synergistically to protect us from the potentially harmful effects of microbial invaders. When looking for immune system support, the treasure chest of herbs provides a great number of choices. Supportive herbs can be broken down into two general categories: long term preventive support and support for acute situations. There are two herbs in particular that are ‘classics’ for preventive, pre-season care: echinacea and astragalus.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifloria and purpurea) is one of the most popular herbs for ongoing immune support. A completely safe herb, Echinacea is best taken long term to get its benefits. Echinacea stimulates specialized white blood cells called neutrophils. This increases ‘phagocytosis’ – the consuming of foreign invaders; this is the first level of immune response. In turn, this helps to prevent other tissues, like the joints, lungs, and throat, from being impacted. It is good to use echinacea when around people who are sick, such as work, the mall, or school.

Astragalus is another herb that can be used long term. A staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus is used to balance ‘chi’ – our vital life energy. It is known to provide many health benefits, including immune system support. Astragalus helps to take care of cells that are not eliminated by the neutrophils—its action is through stimulating specialized immune system cells including ‘NK’ (natural killer) cells and T cells. Astragalus works more in the lymph and supports a strong immunity differently than Echinacea.

If you are in need of a more specific remedy, there are several herbs that support more acute issues:

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is used to provide assistance for more acute conditions. The active components in goldenseal include berberine and hydrastine. Goldenseal is indicated for situations involving the respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive tracts, but it should typically not be taken for more than two consecutive weeks.

Echinacea-Goldenseal is also used for more acute situations. This combination formula can be used if one feels like something is coming on or if symptoms have already started. Together, these two herbs provide a powerful one-two punch: echinacea stimulates what is called ‘innate’ immunity, exciting special white blood cells to consume microbes. Goldenseal and echinacea are powerful on their own but can be further enhanced. Yerba mansa stimulates the immune response in the mucosal tissues and red root aids the lymphatic system.

Olive leaf (Olea europaea) provides many immune bolstering health benefits. Olive leaf is indicated for use during active situations. It provides antimicrobial support and one of its key components, oleuropein, offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefit.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is an herb that finds its way into both the kitchen and onto the shelves as a nutritional supplement. Oregano oil, specifically, contains a compound called carvacrol, which is responsible for much of its immune supportive attributes. It is the most powerful broad spectrum anti-microbial in the herbal world. Carvacrol circulates in the blood, destroying microbes of many types through direct contact with them. This is the difference between immune boosters like echinacea and oregano oil. Oregano oil is best used during acute situations and while traveling.

Immuno-Well Rx is a blend of herbs and mushrooms that provides comprehensive support for immune health. The formula includes astragalus, echinacea, garlic, shiitake and maitake, and the three herbs that make up Yin Chiao. Yin Chiao is a traditional Chinese formula that is used at the first sign of getting sick. Immuno-Well Rx provides immune enhancement for immediate support and can be used long term by the whole family. Assisting what is referred to as deep immunity, Immuno-Well Rx strengthens the initial immune response via circulating white blood cells and it stimulates the deeper immune response from the white blood cells in the lymph system, as well.

Mushroom Immune is a blend of fourteen certified organic mushroom mycelia. This formula can be used as a preventive to keep the immune system strong; to protect the individual from immune system breakdown; and by those who suffer from immune deficiency, stress, fatigue, and any sort of debility. Each type of mushroom contains various components, including triterpenes and polysaccharides, which provide immune support.

In addition to taking advantage of the many herbs that support immune function, there are some other actions that one can do to keep healthy: eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of water; get regular exercise, even just taking a brisk walk daily; and get good night’s rest; as nothing replaces quality sleep. All of these, along with smart supplementation, can support the body in preventing situations before they develop.

Craig Klein is the National Educator at Vitality Works. He is a licensed and certified nutritionist. Craig has worked in clinical practices, as well as in retail supplement stores.

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