Q: If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only take one nutritional or herbal substance with you, what would you choose? A: Without a doubt, the substance I choose is essential to immune function.  Humans don’t produce this vital substance, and our adrenal glands require massive amounts of it when under stress.  We can get enough from our diet to prevent scurvy, but we need to ingest much more to allow for optimal tissue repair, and graceful ageing.  Can you guess?  It’s Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, or for you chemistry buffs, C6-H8-O6.  I mention the chemical structure because the resemblance to glucose, which is the end product of food digestion, allows a glimpse into the significance of Vitamin C.  The process of digestion breaks down all the macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) to glucose, ultimately, because glucose is the micro-unit of fuel used by the mitochondria to produce the main energy driver for all living things: ATP (adenosine triphosphate) — which is for your body like the gas in your car — makes...

from a colleague: For my bulletproof turmeric, I have used coconut oil, butter, honey, and spices to optimize digest and the absorption of curcumin.  Curcumin is notoriously difficult to absorb, but fats and spices, particularly the black pepper in the garam masala, greatly increase our absorption of curcumin into the blood stream.  1 cup water  1 tsp turmeric (optionally add one capsule of curcumin 95% extract)  ¼ tsp garam masala  1 tsp maca (optional, but delicious)  1 Tbs grass fed butter  1 Tbs coconut oil or MCT oil  1 tsp honey  Simmer water with turmeric and garam masala for 10 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Add remaining ingredients and whirl in blender or with immersion blender until foamy.      

Wild About ‘Pure Synergy’ I’m really enjoying my latest discovery of a multi vitamin/mineral/superfood.  Check out ‘Pure Synergy‘ and read founder Mitchell May’s story. ‘Pure Synergy’ is an amazing product; tastes good and makes me feel utterly radiant!  Start with a small amount daily and build up to 1 heaping tablespoon daily.  If you place an order let the company know I referred you to get free shipping on your first order, and this also gets me a $25 discount coupon, which you would then receive when you refer a friend.  If you prefer to call the number is 800-723-0277.  Enjoy!

Overheard in the Healthfood Store Two friends, Linda and Jenna, who work at Rainbow Foods in beautiful downtown Juneau, Alaska, agreed to pick out a few quirky popular requests from customers and pass them along to me.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), particularly the seeds, has been used medicinally for over 2000 years.  Ancient writings recommend milk thistle not only for liver and gall bladder disorders, but for poisoning of all kinds including from toxic mushrooms and snakebites. The modern use of milk thistle extract began in 1949 when animal studies showed that it could protect the liver against carbon tetrachloride poisoning.  Since then over 100 clinical trials have been performed on this miraculous medicine and it is carried in the Emergency Department pharmacies of most major European hospitals.  Milk thistle has successfully saved lives by reversing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Amanita mushroom (one of the most deadly) poisoning. Milk thistle is thought to work in three main ways: first as an antioxidant, “quenching” free radicals created from poisoning or environmental pollution.  Folks living in a smoggy area are well advised to take 600-750 mg daily of standardized milk thistle.  The best quality milk thistle is standardized to contain 70% by weight of the major ingredient silybin.  The other mechanisms of action are by protecting the cell membranes (most...

Origanum vulgare (Oregano) is native to Greece, but mostly produced today in Turkey. Like all mints, the plant has a squared stem and is extremely aromatic. Oregano loves hot dry weather and grows well at high altitudes also. The active ingredients, found in the leaves, are the volatile oils thymol and carvacol. These oils have a complex, strong, and pleasant odor. Oregano is often thought of as a “pizza” herb. The medicinal qualities of oregano fall into two major categories: bronchial dilation and anti-microbial activity. Many volatile oils will help to clear congested sinuses or even a chest cold. You could drop a few drops of the concentrated oil into the bottom of a large bowl, put in a few cups of hot water and situate yourself over the bowl, under a large towel, so you can breathe in the “fumes” of the oil coming up in the steam. Be very careful never to put concentrated volatile oils, and this certainly includes oregano, directly against mucus membranes (inside of nose, mouth, vagina and especially not in the eyes). You could...

New Research on Ginseng: Pharmacogenomics and the Yin/Yang actions of ginseng: anti-tumor, angiomodulating and steroid-like activities of ginsenosides.  Chinese Medicine 2007 Long known as a whole-body tonic (the root plant, precious for centuries in Asian countries, is shaped like a person) new evidence validates and explains some of ginseng’s healing actions. In Chinese medicine, ginseng (Panax ginseng) has long been used as a general tonic or an adaptogen to promote longevity and enhance bodily functions. It has also been claimed to be effective in combating stress, fatigue, oxidants, cancer and diabetes mellitus. Most previous studies have claimed that the pharmacological effects of ginseng are attributed to its bioactive constituents such as ginsenosides, saponins, phytosterols, peptides, polysaccharides, fatty acids, polyacetylenes, vitamins and minerals.  In this new research, the focus was the recent advances in the studies of ginsenosides on the formation of blood vessels, which is a common denominator of many diseases, such as cancer and some cardiovascular disorders. Specifically, the root has been shown to inhibit new blood vessel growth in rapidly growing tissue: that is, tumors.  The medical term...

“Stress” produces very real physical, mental and emotional changes, which are cummulative. Severe stress can cause permanent damage. So, it’s certainly a good investment in your health to reduce stress. A major stress chemical is cortisol, which is produced by the outer “cortex” of the adrenal gland.

Q: Why Do I Crave Foods That Are “Bad” For Me? A: This is a big question. Part of the answer involves understanding the relationship between your individual digestive system and the wide variety of food choices out there. Much of what passes for “food” has not even been grown in the ground. Start with this: eat real food. Eat food that HAS grown in the ground, optimally in certified organic soil, and choose food that grew there in the good earth not too long ago. Each person has a unique relationship with food depending on various factors. For example, family background. How was food presented to you as a child? Was candy given as a bribe or treat? Food choices would ideally also be predicated on blootype. Also, consider your caloric requirements: how much do you exercise, are you mostly sedentary during the day, is your day-to-day work highly mentally demanding? When you crave a certain food, and it’s a whole food (such as a juicy ripe peach) and when you eat that food and feel good and satisfied,...

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