Category Archives: Herbs & Supplements

Debunking the Marijuana CBD Versus Hemp CBD Silliness



It would be difficult to fail to notice the surge in meaningful media attention to the health and wellness benefits of CBD.

Even the most entrenched opponents of cannabis legalization have relented, under the weight of emerging research.  Of course, history and testimony to the medicinal use of cannabis is far and deep, reaching into antiquity.

While marijuana – including CBD (cannabidiol) oil products made from marijuana – must comply with seed-to-sale state laws that make these products illegal to transport across state lines, hemp – whether hemp oil, hemp nuts or hemp supplement oils that are highly luminarymedicineconcentrated with CBD- is perfectly legal for use throughout the United States, as long as the hemp is imported from an international source. (Hemp oil grown in the United States is subject to the same seed-to-sale state laws that apply to marijuana.)  Continue reading

Five Easy Ways to Watch your Weight in the New Year

One of the top resolutions people make every year is to try and lose weight. They wake up on January 1st and realize that their favorite jeans just aren’t fitting like they used to! This is when they typically join a gym, start eating a lot of salads, and make a pact with themselves to lose 20 pounds in a matter of just a few months. These ambitious people start off strong but slip back into bad habits after a few months, and through no fault of their own! When we stress out our bodies or deplete it of the valuable nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy, it is very easy to watch that weight creep back on. Here are some easy ways to keep your eye on the prize as your enter in to 2016!

Start Walking: One of the best gifts that I ever received was a step-tracker that I wear on my wrist. Not only did this little device open my eyes as to how much I was sitting during the day, it motivated me to get outside and take as many steps as possible. After a few weeks, I found myself in the regular roueasy ways to watch your weighttine of getting up in the morning and heading out for a long walk. Not only is walking an easy way to get your body moving, it’s a wonderful way to combat stress. When we get anxious or depressed, we tend to start emotionally eating. By getting outside, breathing fresh air, and moving around, we are helping keep these negative emotions at bay. Try walking every day for at least 15 minutes! You will be amazed at how you feel and eventually look!

Eat your Veggies: Low in calories and rich in nutrients, vegetables are one of the best foods we can eat when watching our waistlines. A lot of them are also rich in fiber to promote proper digestion and help give us that sense of fullness! When trying to lose weight, it is important that we aren’t starving ourselves or depleting our bodies of beneficial nutrients. That’s why I recommend adding veggies to your morning smoothie. Just a few handfuls of leafy greens like spinach, chard, or kale can help nourish your body from the inside out. You will also notice that your body gets a nice boost of energy from all of the B vitamins found in these vegetables! Make it a habit to incorporate green vegetables into at least one meal per day, every day! Your body will thank you for it.

Focus on Fiber: There is nothing worse than eating a big meal and not feeling full! Even after you ate all of that food, you still feel tempted to snack throughout the day. Focusing on adding fiber to your diet can help with this! Not only does fiber tell your body that you are full and it is time to stop eating, it can help promote regular bowel movements. When we have proper elimination, we feel lighter and more energized to get our bodies moving. I like incorporate the ORGANIC INDIA Whole Husk Psyllium into my recipes for a nice boost of soluble and insoluble fiber. Try adding a spoonful to your morning smoothie as a way to start the day off on the right foot!

Stay Hydrated: Believe it or not, water is one of the most common things that Americans are deficient in. That’s because we spend all of our time drinking coffee, soda, or alcoholic beverages. Make sure you are hydrating your body every day with the right intake of water. How do you know what amount to drink? Take your body weight and divide it in half. The number you get is the total amount in ounces that you should be drinking. It may sound like a lot, but our bodies need water in order to think and function properly. Get in the habit of drinking water by caring around a water bottle with you. Add some lemon juice to it for some extra flavor and a boost of nutrients.

Focus on Good Fats: Not all fats make you fat! In fact, a low fat diet can actually increase your odds of gaining weight. Why? Well, if you have ever been on a low-fat diet, you know how cranky, tired, and awful you feel. When your food isn’t satisfying to your body, you feel like you want to eat more! That’s why it is so important to incorporate beneficial fats into your diet. Try using cold-pressed olive oil and coconut oil in your recipes. Start eating avocados and raw, organic nuts for a midday snack. Add omega-3 fatty acids into your routine by supplementing with a spoonful of chia seeds. These good fats will help your body feel satisfied, energized, and glowing from the inside out.

By: Margaux J Rathbun, B.S., N.T.P.

Courtesy of Organic India USA

Support a Healthy Stress Response with Botanicals

Stress is so much a part our daily lives that most of us don’t take it seriously. Yet while common, stress can have serious effects on your health. It can impair your ability to make good decisions, sleep, maintain a healthy weight, and recover from illness. It can even disrupt your hormones and accelerate the aging process. Fortunately, there are a number of botanicals that can support your body as it responds to stress in a healthy way.

The Three Phases of Stress

There are three phase of stress. The first two phases are acute, meaning short-lived, while the third phase is chronic, meaning persisting over a prolonged period of time.

1. Acute, non-recurring and mild response
This is the mildest form of stress. In this phase, you may suffer from stress for a short time, but you are not incapacitated by it. You need support, but you are able to function normally.

2. Acute, recurring and poor recovery
In the second phase, your stress is recurring and you may take longer to recover. Your sleep can become affected and you may be feeling nervous and uneasy. If this is the case, ask your doctor for lab tests to evaluate your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

3. Chronic, prominent symptoms and poor recovery
By the third stage, your stress has become chronic. Your symptoms are prominent and it takes you a long time to recover because your adrenal glands are most likely exhausted. You may also have unusual sleep patterns, sleep apnea, and excessive fatigue. Chronic stress can also impair your short-term memory.

Since chronic stress can lead to serious diseases — including heart disease and depression — it is best that you consult your healthcare practitioner on methods of coping if you are feeling continually overwhelmed and debilitated by it. However, everyone suffers from acute stress (both phase 1 and phase 2) now and again.

Botanicals for Acute Stress

Herbs have been used for centuries by cultures all over the world to relieve acute stress. For phase 1, ashwagandha and rhodiola are good choices. For phase 2, consider these two herbs plus passionflower and holy basil.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it can help the body to adapt to stress by increasing or decreasing biochemicals as needed to produce a state of balance.* A 2008 clinical trial showed ashwagandha helped reduce people’s subjective perceptions of stress, as well as their physical symptoms.* For example, it decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol; maintained pulse, blood pressure, and blood sugar already within normal limits; and improved markers of liver and heart health.*

Ashwagandha is recommended in the following dosages:

• 3 to 6 grams of the dried root per day
• 6 to 15 ml of a 1:2 fluid extract per day
• 300 to 500 mg of an extract standardized to contain 1.5% withanolides per day

Rhodiola

Rhodiola is another adaptogen that can help your body adapt to occasional stress.* In the 1960s, the Soviet Union researched rhodiola in secret as a way to improve the performance of their Olympic athletes and cosmonauts.*

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials have demonstrated rhodiola’s ability to elevate mood, counter stress-induced fatigue, increase mental performance and concentration, and support healthy sleep.* This may be because rhodiola decreases levels of cortisol.*

Rhodiola is recommended in the following dosages:

To support a positive mood: 170 mg or 340 mg twice per day for six weeks
To energize: 200 mg three times per day
To promote healthy sleep: 600 mg per day

Passionflower

Native American healers and 19th century herbalists traditionally used passionflower to gently induce sleep.* New research indicates it also has daytime benefits. A double-blind, randomized clinical trial found passionflower was effective at reducing feelings of nervousness and tension, with fewer side effects than other treatments.*

Passionflower is recommended in the following dosages:

• Dried herb: 2 grams, three to four times per day
• Infusion: 2 grams in 150 ml of water, three to four times per day
• Fluid extract, 1:1 or 1:2 (g/ml): 2 ml, three to four times per day
• Liquid Phyto-Cap form: Two capsules, three to four times per day
• Tincture 1:5 (g/ml) extract, three to four times per day

Holy Basil

Considered a sacred herb by Hindus, holy basil is often planted around Hindu temples. Another adaptogen, it is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve occasional stress.*

A clinical study of several active compounds found in holy basil demonstrated the herb combats stress by maintaining blood sugar levels already within normal limits, balancing corticosterone (a hormone involved in stress response) and creatine kinase (a marker of heart health), and regulating the growth of the adrenal glands (which secrete steroid hormones).*

Holy basil is recommended in the following dosage:

300 to 600 mg per day in divided doses (does not need to be taken with food)

Ease Your Stress Naturally

Stress — even your everyday, garden-variety stress — can have so many deleterious effects on your health, it just doesn’t make sense to try to tough it out without help. There are many safe and effective botanicals you can take to alleviate the effects of acute stress. And that’s good news, because a less stressed you will be a healthier, happier you.

By: Dr Tori Hudson, N.D.
Courtesy of Gaia Herbs