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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Green Tea Boosts Brain Cell Production

It has long been believed that drinking green tea is good for the memory. Now researchers have discovered how the chemical properties of China’s favorite drink affect the generation of brain cells, providing benefits for memory and spatial learning.

There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain.  The research focused on the hippocampus, the part of the brain which processes information from short-term to long-term memory.” Read the entire article.

Take Green Tea Extract in capsule form.

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Edible Mushrooms as Medicine


Mushrooms have been valued for their culinary and medicinal properties for thousands of years and the Egyptians reserved them by law for the pharaoh. In ancient times, mushrooms were not cultivated but grew wild, and always carried the risk that the wrong (i.e., poisonous) variety had been gathered intentionally or unintentionally, as the Roman Emperor Claudius found when his mushroom dinner became his last meal.

Ancient Asian civilizations believed that mushrooms, especially the shiitake and maitake varieties, support health generally and the immune system in particular. Today there is a wealth of scientific research attesting to the health benefits of mushrooms. Read the entire article.

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Natural Perfumes - No Alcohol or Chemicals

Creator Emily Lape wanted a healthful and natural perfume, and she's come up with six scents -- all water-based and void of parabens, oils and phthalates as well as being cruelty free.

"Today's women are much more aware of the environment and the ingredients in their cosmetic bag, yet we still want our perfume to evoke sophistication and femininity," says Lape. "When I went out to look for such a perfume I could not find it on the market."  Read the entire article for lots of other options.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

On SALE Tuesday Only: HistaBlock Buy 3, Get 1 Free

Bye-bye, Black Friday...
So long, Cyber Monday...
Hello Terrific Tuesday!

Buy 3 bottles of HistaBlock, get 1 FREE!
Order Tuesday, November 27th only.
(Sale Begins at 12:10 AM Mountain Standard Time)

HistaBlock is a unique blend of herbs and natural ingredients that support free breathing and may help reduce unpleasant symptoms associated with irritants, pollutants and toxins.


Stinging nettle supports the body against seasonal airborne substances.

• The antioxidant quercetin may help stabilize mast cells, which release compounds in the body when exposed to irritants.

• The enzyme bromelain helps reduce swelling of mucous membranes during times of respiratory stress.

Bitter orange fruit contains synephrine, which helps keep airways open.

Stock up on HistaBlock, and be prepared to fight allergens all year long.  
Sale is only on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 beginning at 12:10 AM MST.

Although inventories have been increased for this promotion, NSP reserves the right to discontinue any product sales due to exceedingly high demand and/or manufacturing constraints. Discounted products may not be combined with any other offer or certificate.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

On SALE for Black Friday & Saturday

ON SALE - 11/23 - 11/24
Expires Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST

50% OFF - $5.00

As a nutritional support for proper waste elimination, the bark has been used by cultures around the world. Cascara Sagrada acts as an herbal laxative, influences intestinal contraction and supports a clean, healthy colon. 

$20 OFF - $42.95

Noni has been successfully used for over 2,000 years in Polynesia, China, India and elsewhere. Like Aloe Vera, Kelp, Papaya, Grape Seed Extract and other botanicals, the extract of the Noni plant has been demonstrated to improve a wide variety of health conditions. 

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rapid Relief for Holiday Feasting Indigestion

Digestive Enzymes: Rapid Relief for Indigestion from Holiday Feasting
by Steven Horne

Oh, the joys of Thanksgiving dinner. Many of us look forward to this day of feasting with mouth-watering anticipation, but unfortunately, a lot of us get carried away and eat more than we should. The result is sleepiness and indigestion. (The TV show Mythbusters just proved it isn’t the tryptophan in the turkey that makes you sleepy, it’s overeating.)

So, if you overindulge, it’s time to break out the enzyme supplements. Enzymes, along with hydrochloric acid and bile salts, are the catalysts that break food down into usable components. Without them, food just rots in the digestive tract, producing acid irritation, belching, bloating and gas. Poor digestion also contributes to toxicity in the body and compromised immunity, not to mention bad breath and body odor.

Unfortunately, many people reach for antiacids to settle their holiday indigestion. In fact, many people regularly use antiacids to treat their indigestion. This just makes the problem worse because it neutralizes the stomach acid necessary to break down food. Most of these people would be much better off taking digestive enzyme supplements.

Enzyme supplements aren’t just for holidays and overeating. They have numerous other benefits. Read the entire article.

More information on Food Enzymes.

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Survey Reveals Keys to Happiness

From Huffington Post

If you want to be happy, focus on health, relationships, simple pleasures and achieving a sense of control of your well-being, according to a survey of more than 4,000 adults age 35 released today by the AARP.

The study looks at how happiness changes over time and how age impacts the factors that are most important to well-being. The survey confirmed two decades of research suggesting that happiness is U-shaped over the life cycle: It peaks in one's 20s and begins to decline, bottoming out in the mid-to-late 40s and rising again in old age.

A study by David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald, leading researchers in the field of subjective well-being, found that after controlling for factors such as income, education and marital status, "happiness bottoms at age 49 for American males and 45 for American females, and ages 44 and 43 respectively for male and female Europeans." Read the entire article.

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Menopause and PMS

Women are unique and wonderful, each one a pulsing combination of emotions, guts and hormones. Sisters, mothers, wives and daughters, we have many roles to play in life. And we face the ongoing challenge of finding balance along the way.  Find a natural solution for your female challenge.

As women age, levels of their unique hormones become imbalanced as the body produces less of them. Two primary hormones, estrogen and progesterone, need to work in harmony to perform their many and complex regulatory functions.

Somewhere around age 45–50, most women begin peri-menopause, a prelude to official menopause, which, by definition, is the time when a woman has naturally ceased having menstrual periods for one year. Symptoms of this “change” can include hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, irritability and more. During this challenging transitional period, women can try a variety of natural means to find balance, including soy foods and health
supplements.  Suggested Product:  C-X

Hot Flashes
A hot flash is a brief sensation of heat that may include a red face, sweating, rapid heart rate or chills. When they occur at night, they are called night sweats.

Hot flashes happen when blood vessels near the skin’s surface expand to help cool the body. Hot flashes are the most frequent symptom of menopause and peri-menopause.

More than two-thirds of North American women experience them during peri-menopause, and almost all women with induced menopause or premature menopause suffer from them.  Suggested Product:  Flash-Ease

Premenstrual syndrome is a name given to a host of symptoms women may experience just before or during their monthly menstrual cycle.

These may include bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain, aggression, difficulty concentrating, headaches or backaches, cravings, overeating, irritability, anxiety, mood swings and/or simple nervous tension.

PMS is related to the imbalance of hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, that occurs as the body prepares for menstruation. While up to 85 percent of menstruating women experience some of these symptoms, only 2–10% experience severe symptoms.  Suggested Product:  Female Comfort

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs are most often caused by bacteria. They are the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting for roughly 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. Women are especially prone to UTIs for a variety of reasons. If left untreated, UTIs can cause kidney infections, which can cause permanent damage.  Suggested Product:  Cranberry-Buchu Concentrate

Symptoms of a UTI can include:
• pain or burning during urination
• the frequent urge to urinate without much success
• a tender or heavy feeling in your belly
• cloudy or foul-smelling urine
• pain on one side of your back under your ribs (kidneys)
• fever and chills
• nausea and vomiting

The risk for UTIs increases if you are dehydrated, have diabetes, or if you are pregnant.


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Easing Stress of Heart Condition


If you have a heart condition such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, high blood pressure, or even high cholesterol, you may be feeling stressed out right now. What's worse, you may be feeling stressed about being stressed.

"It can be a vicious cycle -- stress can make heart conditions worse, and living with a heart condition can trigger stress," says N. A. Mark Estes, MD, director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts University School of Medicine and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.

You can break the cycle. How? By making concrete changes to your lifestyle, you can cut stress and ease heart condition symptoms. Here are some tips to help you fight stress, feel calmer, and improve your heart health. Read the entire article.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

On SALE: 2 More Products = 14

THESE PRODUCTS ON SALE - 11/16 - 11/30
Expires Friday, November 30, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST

$2 OFF - $22.25
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $81.80
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $218.25

Ayurvedic Bronchial Formula, a special combination of herbs from the East will help many who find Western formulas either too slow or not quite right for their particular needs. With thousands of years of experience, Ayurvedic herbalists offer some amazing possibilities to Western man. 

$2 OFF - $19.95
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $87.80
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $197.55

Lung Support TCM is a Chinese combination of 16 herbs specially formulated to supplement the needs of a weakened respiratory system.  The Chinese call this formula "fu lei," which means to "strengthen the weak and thin." Lung Support is considered a lung tonic formula.

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NOTE:  Although inventories have been increased for this promotion. Nature's Sunshine Products reserves the right to discontinue any product sales due to exceedingly high demand and/or manufacturing constraints. Quantities are limited. Order NOW!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tips for Insomnia

Americans get 20% less sleep today than they did 100 years ago. More stress? Probably. Less physical activity? Perhaps.

In any case, some type of insomnia will affect one in three of us. And women, you’re up to twice as likely to experience sleeplessness as men. But don’t take this news lying down (staring at the ceiling). Here are 5 tips to do your part to make every night a restful night.

Allow yourself some time to wind down each evening. Bustling around, trying to get a few more things done before you retire is counter-productive to good sleep. Even social networking before bed can stimulate the brain, making it hard to truly relax when your head hits the pillow.

Some people can sleep anywhere. Most of us can’t. Creating a sleep-friendly environment might include controlling the amount of light in your bedroom, your room temperature and the amount of noise reaching your ears. Consider black-out curtains, earplugs, turning on a fan, listening to mellow music, a bark collar for the dog and other changes that might make your sleep room a better place for real rest.

Create a Routine
Doing the same thing every night can help train your body that it’s time for sleep. Drink a glass of warm milk, brush your teeth, read for 10 minutes, then listen to relaxing music. Whatever your routine should be, stick with it for at least two weeks and see if sleep is less elusive. Note: Exercising too close to bedtime can stimulate the mind, making sleep much more difficult for some people.

Get Comfortable
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good mattress and/or pillow. Before you buy a new mattress, do some research. Talk to friends, check out blogs and ask about doing a 30-day test-run to see if you like it. Nowadays you can choose from air, gel, water, and good old springs and foam. People are quite different and so are mattresses!

Herbs and supplements for sleep can play an important role in getting proper rest.

Valerian root has been used for over a thousand years to help people sleep. It helps relax the central nervous system, promotes feelings of calm and can help decrease anxiety or stress. And unlike some sleep aids, it does NOT leave you feeling groggy.

Hops flowers have nervine properties and promote restful sleep.

Passion Flower can help relax tense muscles and soothe frayed nerves.

Lavender is the most popular essential oil for relaxation and encouraging sleep. Diffuse lavender in your bedroom or spray a mist of it onto sheets and pillows before bed.

Melatonin is a hormone naturally present in the brain. It can help restore the body’s natural sleep rhythm and may help you feel more alert and rested when you awake. Our bodies make less melatonin as we age. NOTE: don’t use melatonin during the day; not for pregnant women.

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Aromatherapy - The Art of Oils

There’s nothing more soothing after a stressful day than drawing a warm bath, lighting a few candles and cracking open a bottle of … essential oil!

Aromatherapy, defined by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), is “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” This practice can be traced back as far as 2800 B.C., when Egyptians commonly used myrrh, and pharaohs were buried with urns containing aromatic resins (1). Today, it is still common to use the oils of plants to help naturally restore and enhance the health of the body.

What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils, the main ingredients used in aromatherapy, are the highly concentrated aromatic extracts that are distilled from plant materials (1). Distillation of these oils occurs either through steam or expression. In steam distillation, the plant matter is steamed until it is broken down to its fragrant oils. These oils are then cooled, separated from the water and filtered. In expression, the oil is simply pressed out of the plant. In either method, one is left with a highly concentrated, essential oil (2).

There are several ways to use essential oils on and around the body. The safest and most common use of essential oils is massaging them over a local area or the entire body. Because the oils are so highly concentrated, they must first be diluted in a carrier oil, or the fatty acid portion of the plant. Common carrier oils are derived from olives, avocados, rapeseeds and almonds (1). Body oils are commonly made into a 2% dilution, or 10 to 12 drops per ounce of carrier oil, before they are applied (3).

Oils can also be used through inhalation, which can produce psychological and physical results. The olfactory (or smelling) sense can link with the rest of the body, causing certain regions to either be stimulated or sedated. The aromatics also physically come in contact with mucous membranes inside the nose and lungs, which allows them to quickly travel through the bloodstream. When using this method, three to five drops can be placed in a bowl of hot water or into a tissue and inhaled (1). Oils can also easily be utilized by placing three to 10 drops in a bathtub before bathing (3). Lastly, only under the recommendation of a physician, oils are rarely prescribed for ingestion to aid with severe gastrointestinal or respiratory issues (1).

It is important to properly store essential oils, especially because some carrier oils can become rancid. Oils are best kept in a cool place (40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) with the lid secured tightly to prevent oxygen from mixing with and degrading them. When correctly stored, oils can last from six months to two years (1).

Top Essential Oils
According to NAHA and Aromatherapy authors Kathi Keville and Mindy Green, the following oils are the most common essential oils, and the ways in which they support a healthy body are listed (1, 3).
Bergamot: healthy mood and inflammation.
Chamomile: healthy mood and inflammation, antiallergenic, digestive and relaxant.
Eucalyptus: supports respiration, antibacterial and benefits immunity.
Geranium: balancing hormones, antifungal and healthy inflammation.
Lavender: antibacterial, benefits immunity, healthy mood and inflammation.
Marjoram: antispasmodic, healthy inflammation and antiseptic.
Peppermint: digestive support and decongestant.
Rosemary: pain and muscle ache support, decongestant, circulatory tonic, mental and immune system stimulant.
Tea Tree: antifungal, antiyeast and antibacterial.

Safety and Precautions
While aromatherapy uses natural oils from plants, there are still some best practices to follow. Because essential oils are very highly concentrated, the key to aromatherapy is that “less is more.” Using more of an oil will not increase any benefits, and may actually cause adverse effects such as irritation or burning of the skin. Pregnant women should avoid hyssop oil and ask their physicians before starting aromatherapy. This practice is also not advised for people with asthma. Lower dilutions are recommended for young children and the elderly. Most importantly, one should always read the label before using any product (3). WF

1. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy,, accessed Sept. 15, 2012.
2.,, accessed Sept. 15, 2012.
3. K. Keville and M. Green, Aromatherapy a Complete Guide to the Healing Art (Crossing Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009).

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012

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On SALE: 12 Popular Products

Sale expires Monday, November 19, 2012 at 11:15 PM MST

Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $45.00
$1 OFF - $10.25
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $101.25

ALJ is a key product for the respiratory system. It provides nutrients that must be present for proper respiratory system function. This formula supports healthy lung function and helps support the body during seasonal changes. It also encourages the entire respiratory tract to gently cleanse itself and helps promote respiratory tissue health. 

$2 OFF - $13.25
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $61.00
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $137.25

Sinus Support EF is a unique herbal formula that supports nasal passages and supplies nutrients for proper respiratory function. This combination contains trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, silicon and zinc. It's also a source of vitamins A and C, and thiamine.

$2 OFF - $14.95
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $67.80
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Bowel Detox contains the nutrients essential for proper digestive and bowel eliminative function. This product is rich in vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene and selenium to protect the intestines. The formula provides betaine HCL, pepsin, pancreatin and bile salts for the upper gastrointestinal tract, and nutrients such as psyllium hulls, kelp and chlorophyll for the lower intestinal tract. 

Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $105.00
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $236.25
$2 OFF - $24.25

EverFlex benefits the structural system and supports healthy joints. It offers the nutritional advantages ofglucosamine , chondroitin hyaluronic acid and MSM combined with devil's claw root in one convenient tablet.

$2 OFF - $11.25
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $53.00
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $119.25

You may need more silicon in your diet and this herbal combination is a way to get it. It contains two of the richest sources of organic silicon in the plant kingdom - Dulse and Horsetail.

Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $41.00
$2 OFF - $8.25
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Magnesium Complex combines two excellent forms of magnesium citrate and malate. Studies show that magnesium citrate and malate are more soluble and better absorbed than the other forms of magnesium.

Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $87.00
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $195.75
$2 OFF - $19.75

Para-Cleanse with Paw Paw is a 10-day program designed to support the efforts of the intestinal system in cleansing. This carefully formulated herbal combination supports an intestinal environment that is not hospitable to foreign invaders.

$2 OFF - $16.80
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $75.20
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $169.20

Historical and scientific evidence suggests that the herbs and nutrients found in this formula can strengthen the eyes and help them to heal.

Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $78.00
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $175.50
$2 OFF - $17.50

Proactazyme Plus - contains a blend of protease, amylase, glucoamylase, lipase, pectinase, and cellulase enzymes in an herbal blend of beet fiber, caraway seed, ginger root, fennel seed, gentian root, dandelion root, and potassium citrate. It also contains a blend of protease enzymes (3.0, 4.5, 6.0) formulated to digest proteins at various pH levels ranging from 3.0 to 6.0. The herbal blend serves three purposes: 1. Relaxes and soothes the stomach, 2. Activates the enzymes, and 3. Buffers and stabilizes the enzymes.

$2 OFF - $21.95
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $95.80
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $215.55

Probiotic Eleven contains 11 strains of important, gut-beneficial organisms for promotion of gut health and immune functions. This product is recommended to populate the intestinal tract with a variety of beneficial microorganisms that may be removed in colon cleansing or after times of intestinal stress.

Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $59.80
$2 OFF - $12.95
Buy 9 Get 3 Free - $134.55

Bones are also mineral storage sites, giving the body an emergency supply for growth, wounds or illness.

To help conserve strong, sound bones, Nature's Sunshine developed Skeletal Strength formula. Its unique blend of vital nutrients counteracts many of the forces that rob the structural system of strength, flexibility under stress, and the ability to replenish the blood supply.

$2 OFF - $10.25
Buy 4 Get 1 FREE - $49.00
Buy 9 Get 3 FREE - $110.25

Thyroid Activator was formulated by Dr. John Christopher, noted American herbalist, who had great success using Thyroid Activator combination to supply trace elements often lacking in a normal diet. The entire glandular system is benefited, along with the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems.

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Ear Infection Home Diagnostic Tool

News Release From Georgia Institute of Technology.

A new pediatric medical device being developed by Georgia Tech and Emory University could make life easier for every parent who has rushed to the doctor with a child screaming from an ear infection.

Soon, parents may be able to skip the doctor's visit and receive a diagnosis without leaving home by using Remotoscope, a clip-on attachment and software app that turns an iPhone into an otoscope.

Pediatricians currently diagnose ear infections using the standard otoscope to examine the eardrum. With Remotoscope, parents would be able to take a picture or video of their child's eardrum using the iPhone and send the images digitally to a physician for diagnostic review.

Wilbur Lam, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, along with his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, is developing the device, with plans to commercialize it.

"Ultimately we think parents could receive a diagnosis at home and forgo the late-night trips to the emergency room," said Lam, who is also a physician at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine. "It's known that kids who get ear infections early in life are at risk for recurrent ear infections. It can be a very big deal and really affect their families' quality of life."

Remotoscope's clip-on attachment uses the iPhone's camera and flash as the light source as well as a custom software app to provide magnification and record data to the phone. The iPhone's data transmission capabilities seamlessly send images and video to a doctor's inbox or to the patient's electronic medical record.

The device has the potential to save money for both families and healthcare systems, Lam says. Ear infections, or otitis media, affect 75 percent of children by age 6, making it the most common diagnosis for preschoolers. They result in more than 15 million office visits per year in the United States and thousands of prescriptions for antibiotics, which are sometimes not needed.

At the initial visit with a patient, physicians say it is difficult to differentiate between ear infections caused by viruses, which resolve on their own, and those caused by bacteria, which would require antibiotics.

"As pediatricians will likely only see the child once, they often err on the side of giving antibiotics for viral infections rather than risk not giving antibiotics for a bacterial infection, which can lead to complications," Lam said. "So, we are currently over-treating ear infections with antibiotics and consequently causing antibiotic resistance."

Lam says Remotoscope may be able to change physicians' prescription patterns of antibiotics for ear infections. Receiving serial images of a child's ear over several days via the Remotoscope could allow physicians to wait and see if a child's infection improves or whether antibiotics are warranted.

A clinical trial for the Remotoscope is currently under way to see if the device can obtain images of the same diagnostic quality as what a physician sees with a traditional otoscope. The Food and Drug Administration, through the Atlanta Pediatric Device Consortium, is partially funding the trial.

Fourth-year Emory medical student Kathryn Rappaport, who is part of the research team, is recruiting families who come into the emergency department at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals for treatment of ear infection-type symptoms. Once a family agrees to be in the trial and the child has seen the emergency room doctor, Rappaport takes video of the child's ear with Remotoscope and a traditional otoscope linked to a computer. Next, a panel of physicians will review the quality of the samples, make a diagnosis from the Remotoscope video and see if it matches the original diagnosis by the ER doctor.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

ON SALE - 2 DAYS ONLY - Silver Shield

Save on Silver Shield 
On SALE:  November 8 and 9, 2012

Silver Shield is a powerful support to the immune system, making it a perfect natural supplement to have on hand for the winter months. 

This safe, effective product is made using a patented process, resulting in potent and pure immune support. Silver Shield is non-toxic. 

It can be used externally or internally (as a gargle or swallowed), and it is tasteless. Truly this is a versatile product. 

Get your season's supply of Silver Shield today while it's on sale.

Silver Shield with Aqua Sol Liquid (18 ppm) (4 fl. oz.)     

$ 2 OFF Each Bottle 
Retail: $33.40          SALE PRICE: $20.25

Buy 4, Get 1 FREE 
Retail:  $167.00       SALE PRICE:  $89.00

Buy 9, Get 3 FREE
Retail:  $400.80       SALE PRICE:  $200.25

Silver Protection through the Ages
Did You Know?

•    The Phoenicians, Greeks and Persians lined drinking vessels with silver to preserve water. The Russian army used this same tactic during the Napoleonic Wars, WWI and WWII.

•    The ancient Romans used silver as an ingredient in medical plasters.

•    Medieval royalty ate with silver utensils, plates and cups for health reasons.

•    The saying "born with a silver spoon in one's mouth" was more a reference to health than wealth, though it was primarily wealthy people that could afford the luxury of ensuring their child's health by feeding them with silver spoons and even using silver pacifiers.

•    American pioneers put silver dollars in their milk jugs and stored their silverware in their water barrels to make their milk and water last longer.

•    Throughout the middle ages and into the 20th century pure silver was inserted into battle wounds to speed healing.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Foods That Affect Asthma

Asthma affects more than 20-34 million Americans, including about 7 million children, and drains the economy of $16.1 billion each year, according to the American Lung Association.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a condition where normal respiratory airways feel restricted and breathing becomes labored.

The bronchial tubes become inflamed with increased production of sticky secretions. It is often accompanied by wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and a feeling of chest constriction. For some, it can be life threatening.

But what many may not know, is there are natural remedies that can support asthma and healthy lung funtion. Some of those things are readily available at your grocery store. The right diet might be one of the best ways to help support asthma symptoms. Some of those include:

9 Foods That Affect Asthma

Experts have studied asthma and diet to see if any correlation might help sufferers avoid certain challenges or reap health benefits. Results and opinions are a bit mixed, but these findings may interest you:

1. Food allergies: Food allergies can trigger asthma symptoms. Avoid known food allergens to help steer clear of asthma attacks.

2. Antioxidants and carotenoids: Consumption of an antioxidant-rich diet led to improvements in both lung capacity and longer times for an asthmatic attack to worsen, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People with diets that are higher in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of asthma. Antioxidants are known to protect cells from free-radical damage.

3. Fruit and omega-3s: Teens who eat poorly are more likely to have asthma symptoms. Eating plenty of fruits and foods with vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids appears to promote lung function.

4. Mediterranean diet: Children who ate a Mediterranean diet while growing up—high in nuts and fruits like grapes, apples and tomatoes—are less likely to have asthma-like symptoms as adults. (2007 study)

5. Vegetables: A study comparing the diets of city-dwelling kids and rural children found that asthma was three times more prevalent in the city kids, even after they adjusted for pollution. Researchers learned that children who ate the most vegetables and milk were 2-3 times less likely to develop asthma or allergies than kids who ate the most.

6. Apples: A British study of adults found that eating apples helped to reduce asthma symptoms. The vitamins in produce, especially A, C and E, act as antioxidants, and researchers theorize that these may help to reduce airway stress and tissue damage.

7. Watch the meat: The Nutrition Journal published research that suggests that eating more meat, poultry and seafood is associated with a higher risk of asthma and hayfever in adults. Richard Rosenkranz from the University of Western Sydney headed up the study, which examined 150,000 Australian adults.

8. Sweet potatoes: According to Kathleen Riggs of the Spectrum, sweet potatoes are a great good source because of a high amount of antioxidants that work in the body to prevent inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis and gout. Just don't counteract the positive health benefits by smothering it in butter, sugar and marshmallows.

9. Vitamin D: Food sources include eggs, fish and dairy products -- and the sun if you want to argue that soaking up the sun's rays counts as nutrition. Vitamin D is the new "it" vitamin. A new review article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is making its case for Vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of asthma. The review says it "blocks the cascade of inflammation-causing proteins in the lung, as well as increasing production of the protein interleukin-10, which has anti-infammatory effects."

Related Article
Respiratory System: Sinus, Allergies, Lungs


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Black Rice Beats Brown For Health Benefits


Black rice offers all of the same health benefits of brown rice but it also packs some serious antioxidants. Because of its dark color, black rice bran contains the same anthocyanin antioxidants found in blueberries or blackberries.

According to research from the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University, a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.

Found in dark blue, red and purple foods, anthocyanin antioxidants show promise for fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Black rice is often referred to as "purple rice," since when it's soaked or cooked it changes from black to a deep purple or burgundy color. Read the entire article.

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