The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 62 – (08/30/14)
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High-dose vitamin C injections have been shown to annihilate cancer, but Big Pharma doesn’t like it! There are natural sweeteners, like Stevia, that are safe, and beneficial, to use rather than sugar. Peppermint: an aromatic, healing herb you should use.
Peppermint is not only a great taste, it is a healing herb as well! There are many excellent uses for Peppermint!
The Healing Power of Peppermint
Mother Earth News – “Spring is floating around out there somewhere, just waiting for its moment to, well, spring. It’s been quite the winter around the majority of the country, bringing moisture that was well needed; there is no arguing that. I think for most of us though, we are ready to move on. We are ready to dig our hands into the dirt and feel the sunshine on our faces.
One of the things I most look forward to is the smell of mint in the air. It grows wild throughout my yard and when a strong breeze kicks up, it sets me on a peppermint cloud, bringing me to a standstill from whatever task I happen to be involved in at the moment. I know that for many, the mint family is a nuisance, spreading like wildfire wherever its heart desires. But for me, that nuisance was a blessing for my less than green thumb when I began my journey into the gardening world. And when I discovered just how useful the sprawling bugger was, it was easy to say: let it grow.
Peppermint Healing Properties
Though many in the mint family pack a whole health wallop, the herb we are loving on presently is Mentha Piperita, or Peppermint. This common weed is widely used for its properties as an antibacterial (inhibiting the growth of bacteria), antiseptic (applied to skin to prevent bacterial growth), and carminative (to relieve gas and griping). It is also a mild analgesic (pain relief without loss of consciousness) and has nervine (calm nervous tension and nourish the nervous system) properties.
Let’s begin with the easiest and most common form for getting that healing dose of peppermint: A simple cup of tea, made by steeping about 1 tsp of the dried herb or 2 tsp of the fresh leaves in 8 ounces of boiled water for about 15 minutes, is a lovely remedy for many everyday ailments, including headaches and stomach upset. Drinking a cup of peppermint tea about an hour after a meal helps to keep your digestive juices in working order and when taken prior to eating, might help you to avoid gas pains. Its mild anesthetic properties can sooth the stomach wall and relieve the vomiting associated with pregnancy and motion sickness.
Peppermint can help to relieve anxiety and maintain focus, aiding those who deal with daily stress. And while it can be a soothing herb, it also has the opposite function of encouraging circulatory flow and treating lethargy. A cup or two of a stronger brew, say a tbsp of herb per 8 ounces hot water, can offer you a boost without the caffeine hangover. It’s a valuable help for colds and flu. I usually turn to peppermint when I feel a cold coming on. Making an extra strong dose and letting it steep for an hour or two will usually do the trick when caught early. Right now though, I go easy on the peppermint because I’m breastfeeding and it has been known to reduce mother’s milk.
Other Uses for Peppermint
Another way to utilize the tea is for compresses. Soaking a clean towel in the hot, steeped herb can do wonders for headaches. Just place the towel on your forehead, lie down and relax. You can use the same method for sunburn. Just allow the towel to cool and replace as needed.
In addition to the herb, I always keep some pure peppermint essential oil on hand. It packs a bigger punch than the fresh or dried herb and one or two drops will usually do the job. A drop massaged into each temple always eases my headaches. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards because you DO NOT want to get it in your eyes. If you do: washing your eyes out with cool water will usually help. Because of its antiseptic properties, a couple drops of the oil on a minor kitchen burn or scrape can help sterilize the skin and ease the pain.
Putting a few drops into steaming water and draping your head over the water with a towel can relieve sinus congestion. You can also put a couple drops into your palms and rub them together briskly, creating warmth, and then cup your hands at your nose and breathe deeply. This also helps for concentration and focus. But be careful to only breathe this two or three times, as this can stimulate the heart and possibly cause lightheadedness and burning eyes. Use in an aromatherapy diffuser to provide an overall uplifting and enthusiastic feeling to any room.
I keep a bar of peppermint soap in my shower. For me, there is nothing like the magic of mint in a steaming bath or shower. It lifts my spirit and is super soothing for skin rashes. Adding a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion makes a great foot balm, and gargling with an infusion of the herb freshens the breath!
While the benefits of this herb are far-reaching, exercise caution if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not overuse peppermint in any form for any condition. The suggestions printed here are from experiences I’ve benefited from personally and do not mean they will work the same for you. Every body is different. Consult your doctor if you are more comfortable doing so.
The possibilities of this aromatic herb are many, far more than what I’ve included here. I encourage you to explore it further and maybe plant some in your own yard to enjoy its plentiful benefits. However, if you would like to avoid a mint takeover, I’d suggest potting it.”
I love Stevia! It is one of many healthy, yet zero calorie, sweeteners. Don’t use harmful artificial sweeteners! Use natural alternatives to pure sugar!
Four Natural Sweeteners That Are Actually Healthy
Care2 – Authority Nutrition Column “There are quite a few sweeteners that are perfectly safe to eat. They are low in calories, low in fructose and taste very sweet. Here are 4 natural sweeteners that are actually healthy.
Stevia is a very popular low-calorie (Dr. Bill: “Actually ZERO calorie!”) sweetener. It is extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana. This plant has been grown for sweetness and medicinal purposes for centuries in South America.
There are several sweet compounds found in Stevia leaves, the main ones are Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. Both are many hundred times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram. Stevia is very sweet, but has virtually no calories. There are some studies in humans showing Stevia to have health benefits:
- When blood pressure is high, Stevia can lower it by 6-14%. However, it has no effect on blood pressure that is normal or only mildly elevated.
- Stevia has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
- There are also studies in rats showing that Stevia can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol and reduce plaque build up in the arteries.
If you need to sweeten something, Stevia may be the healthiest choice. However… many people really hate the taste of Stevia. It does depend on the brand though, you may need to experiment to find one that you like. (Dr. Bill: “I recommend Now ‘Better Stevia’ Brand”)
Erythritol is another low-calorie sweetener. It is a sugar alcohol that is found naturally in certain fruits, but if you’re buying powdered erythritol then it will most likely be made via an industrial process. It contains 0.24 calories per gram, or about 6% of the calories as sugar, with 70% of the sweetness.
Erythritol doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin levels and has no effect on biomarkers like cholesterol or triglycerides (7, 8). It is absorbed into the body from the intestine, but eventually excreted from the kidneys unchanged (9). Studies show that erythritol is very safe. However, same as with other sugar alcohols, it can cause digestive issues if you consume too much at a time (10, 11).
Erythritol tastes very much like sugar, although it can have a mild aftertaste. I wouldn’t say that erythritol is “healthy” – but it certainly doesn’t appear to be harmful in any way and seems to be better tolerated than most other sugar alcohols.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweetness similar to sugar. It contains 2.4 calories per gram, or about 2/3rds of the caloric value of sugar.
Xylitol appears to have some benefits for dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay (12, 13). It may also improve bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis (14). Xylitol doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels (15).
However, as with other sugar alcohols, it can cause digestive side effects at high doses. If you have a dog in your home, then you might want to keep xylitol out of the house because it is highly toxic to dogs (16).
4. Yacon Syrup
Recently I reviewed a rather unique sweetener called Yacon syrup. It is harvested from the Yacon plant, which grows natively in the Andes in South America. This sweetener has recently become popular as a weight loss supplement, because one study found that it caused significant weight loss in overweight women (17).
It is very high in fructooligosaccharides, which function as soluble fibers that feed the good bacteria in the intestine (18, 19). Yacon syrup can help against constipation and it has various benefits due to the high amount of soluble fiber (20). Don’t eat too much at a time though, as it can cause digestive problems.
What About ‘Less Bad’ Sugars Like Honey?
There are several popular sweeteners that health conscious people often eat instead of sugar. This includes coconut sugar, molasses, honey and maple syrup.
I recently wrote an article making the case that they really aren’t much different from sugar. They may contain slightly smaller amounts of fructose and some tiny amount of nutrients, but your liver really won’t be able to tell the difference.
However… I should definitely clarify something here. The harmful effects of sugar depend completely on the context. Most of the studies are done on people who are already eating a high-carb, Western junk food diet. For those people, especially those who are overweight and/or insulin resistant, large amounts of sugar are downright toxic. There are a few people who might want to avoid sugar-based sweeteners completely. This includes food addicts, binge eaters and people who are on a very low-carb, ketogenic diet.
Other people can eat sugar in small amounts without any harm. It is still empty calories and will still be bad for your teeth, but it won’t harm your metabolism, give you fatty liver or end up destroying your health. If you’re one of those people who eat healthy but like to to bake stuff with healthy ingredients, then I don’t see a problem with using natural sweeteners like honey as long as the majority of your diet is based on real food.
In the context of a healthy, real food based diet, small amounts of these natural sugar-based sweeteners won’t cause harm.”
Big Pharma can’t patent vitamins, so this treatment is likely to be suppressed as a possible solution to cancer treatment!
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
(NaturalNews) “Groundbreaking new research on the cancer-fighting potential of vitamin C has made the pages of the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine. A team of researchers from the University of Kansas reportedly tested the effects of vitamin C given in high doses intravenously on a group of human subjects and found that it effectively eradicates cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.
Building upon earlier research pioneered in the 1970s by the late Linus Pauling, a chemist from Oregon State University who today is recognized as the world’s foremost proponent of therapeutic vitamin C, the new research involved injecting high doses of vitamin C into human ovarian cells. The tests were conducted in vitro in a lab, as well as directly in both mice and a group of 22 human subjects.
According to BBC News, the tests showed favorable results in all three models, as the vitamin C effectively targeted the ovarian cancer cells while avoiding healthy cells. The benefits of high-dose vitamin C were also observed in conjunction with conventional chemotherapy treatments, which destroy all cells, both healthy and malignant, eventually leading to patient death.
‘Patients are looking for safe and low-cost choices in their management of cancer,’ stated Dr. Jeanne Drisko, a co-author of the study, to BBC News concerning the findings. ‘Intravenous vitamin C has that potential based on our basic science research and early clinical data.’
Researchers admit more human trials on intravenous vitamin C unlikely because drug companies cannot patent vitamins
The next step for this type of research would typically involve applying these same parameters in a large-scale clinical human trial to see if they can be replicated and confirmed. While this new study is admittedly convincing on its own, the hurdles to gaining widespread acceptance of its findings include replicating them across a much larger human sample size.
But this may never actually take place. And the reason, says the research team, is that such trials require major funding that typically comes from pharmaceutical companies interested in developing a patented drug. Drug companies, in other words, are hardly interesting in promoting the medicinal benefits of natural substances like vitamin C, which stands to decimate the multibillion-dollar conventional cancer industry if word gets out about its benefits.
‘Because vitamin C has no patent potential, its development will not be supported by pharmaceutical companies,’ says Qi Chen, lead author of the new study. ‘We believe that the time has arrived for research agencies to vigorously support thoughtful and meticulous clinical trials with intravenous vitamin C.’
The conventional medical industry’s response to these and similar findings over the years has been nothing short of derisive, which is to be expected. Having to rationalize decades of ushering cancer patients through the gauntlet of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery — with dismal results — while ignoring natural cancer-fighting alternatives like vitamin C is a hard pill to swallow for this powerful, high-profit industry, which would rather everyone ignore such findings than think critically about them.
‘[A]scorbate is processed by the body in different ways when administered orally versus intravenously,’ writes Heidi Ledford for Nature about this commonly misunderstood variance. The medical-industrial complex, it turns out, intentionally corrupts the conversation on vitamin C by convoluting the distinct effects of these very different delivery routes.
‘Oral doses [of vitamin C] act as antioxidants, protecting cells from damage caused by reactive compounds that contain oxygen. But vitamin C given intravenously can have the opposite effect by promoting the formation of one of those compounds: hydrogen peroxide. Cancer cells are particularly susceptible to damage by such reactive oxygen-containing compounds.'”
The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 61 – (02/08/14)
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The benefits of homeostasis and building the immune system, natural health as a lifestyle, not a ‘quick fix,’ Cocoa Powder and Spirulina is effective in combating dementia, join me on Twitter! – @DrBillTN – Recent ginseng research backs user’s claims!
There has been a lot of controversy about whether Ginseng is beneficial. Now, a very large study, says, “Yes!”
Remarkable Ginseng Research Backs Herb’s Reputation (For study references, please follow the link to the source article)
Mother Earth News – “Ginseng is one of the best known and most frequently studied medicinal plants worldwide. This is for good reason ginseng benefits just about every system in the body in one way or another.There are a number of different types of ginseng. The species of ginseng that is most commonly used around the world is Panax ginseng, also known as Korean or Asian ginseng. Its official botanical name is Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is another commonly used and well-studied species. The word ‘Panax’ is derived from the Latin ‘Pan,’ meaning ‘all,’ and ‘Akos,’ meaning ‘cure.’ If any herbal medicine is truly a cure-all, ginseng is it. Its broad range of therapeutic effects includes everything from fighting fatigue to preventing cancer.
Ginseng’s Two Most Beneficial Constituents
Most ginseng benefits are thought to be the result of two important groups of compounds: ginsenosides and polysaccharides. The ginsenosides are the most-studied ginseng constituents and have been found to have regulatory effects on the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, immune system, reproductive system, and more. While both Asian and American ginseng contain ginsenosides, there are some key differences in types and amounts of these compounds which create some of the variation in terms of their therapeutic effects. The older the plant, the more ginsenosides generally contained in the root. Roots must typically be at least 4 years old before harvest in order to have adequate ginsenosides for medicinal effects. Ginseng’s polysaccharides, meanwhile, are antioxidants with immune-regulating effects and are thought to be partly responsible for its anti-cancer benefits.
Research-backed ginseng benefits include the following:
Ginseng Combats Stress and Reduces Fatigue
Ginseng is best known for its ability to boost energy and relieve stress. Both American and Asian ginseng can be perfectly classified as ‘tonic’ and ‘adaptogen’ herbs. Both ginsengs have nutritive, restorative, and normalizing effects which enhance homeostasis and counteract negative effects brought about by stressors. They do this mainly by helping to restore normal functioning of the body’s main stress response system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis).
The results of one of the largest studies to-date demonstrating ginseng’s anti-fatigue effects were recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial by Mayo researchers evaluated a daily dose of 2000 mg American ginseng extractor placebo for 8 weeks in 364 fatigued cancer patients or survivors from 40 different clinics. After 8 weeks, those taking the ginseng showed a statistically and clinically significant difference in their levels of fatigue compared to those taking the placebo. The results for the patients who received ginseng and were undergoing chemotherapy or radiation during the study were especially surprising to the researchers. Those patients had significant improvements starting at 4 weeks rather than 8 weeks.
Like American ginseng, Panax ginseng has also been shown to improve fatigue associated with various conditions in double blind studies. One recent study in adults with chronic fatigue syndrome found that 2000 mg per day of Panax ginseng extract significantly decreased fatigue compared to placebo.
Ginseng Improves Cognitive Function
Both Asian and American ginseng have been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy young adults found significant improvements in working memory 1-6 hours after administration of an American ginseng extract standardized to 10.65% ginsenosides. Other studies also found that standardized extracts of American ginseng significantly improve aspects ofmemory.
Like American ginseng, Panax ginseng also improves cognitive function. In one study, a 200 mg capsule of Panax ginseng enhanced performance of a mental arithmetic task and ameliorated feelings of mental fatigue during the later stages of a sustained, cognitively demanding test. A series of studies by researchers in South Korea found that high doses of Panax ginseng (4.5 to 9 grams a day of Korean Red ginseng) lead to significant and long-term improvements in cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng Improves Blood Sugar Regulation
Ginseng has traditionally been used to treat high blood sugar and diabetes, and some recent studies support its ability to help regulate blood sugar while other studies do not. At this point in time, researchers believe that certain compounds in both Asian and American ginseng may be beneficial for blood sugar regulation. Among the two, American ginseng seems to work better. Studies indicate American ginseng may help improve blood sugar control in both healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes. Most of the studies with American ginseng have used a dose of 1-3 grams of dried powdered root.
Ginseng Prevents Colds and Flu
In addition to ginsenosides, ginseng contains certain polysaccharides that have been shown to have immune stimulating effects. In one study, 200 mg capsules twice a day of a proprietary American ginseng extract called Cold-fX for 4 months during the cold and flu season reduced the risk of respiratory symptoms by 48% and the duration of symptoms by 55%. Another study using 400 or 800 mg per day of the same extract for six months found that both doses significantly reduced the incidence of upper respiratory infections compared to placebo, with the higher dose working best.
Additional ginseng benefits
In addition to the benefits listed above, ginseng has been shown to improve erectile function, decrease blood pressure and arterial stiffness, improve antioxidant functioning and glutathione levels, help prevent cancer recurrence, and decrease menopausal symptoms. With more studies currently underway, the possibilities for ginseng seem endless. For overall health and vitality, this herb is it!”
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For some reason Twitter has suspended my Twitter account. I will let you know what they say when I find out why. (Well, they lifted the ban on my account, but no explanation as to why. Odd.)
Once again, we see that natural products, and substances can make a tremendous difference in very serious conditions!
High-flavanol cocoa powder and spirulina could prevent senile dementia
(NaturalNews) – “If you’re consuming both cocoa powder and spirulina, you may consider how it could protect you from diminishing memory, cognitive decline and other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, as you age. And that’s not all. The positive cardiovascular effects of these two superfoods are also substantial.
The Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, has offered a medical hypothesis based on the medical literature of both superfoods. No actual studies were performed, but many existing studies were analyzed for the scientific foundation of their hypothesis.
This research group also suggested that adding cocoa to spirulina is a good way to disguise the taste and smell of spirulina in addition to compounding its health benefits.
FYI addition: If taste is an issue with spirulina, here’s one person’s solution that doesn’t included cocoa powder (http://www.cureendometriosis). Cocoa powder can be consumed separately but within the same time frame as spirulina. Some prefer adding cocoa powder to their coffee.
The basis of Oasis of Hope’s medical hypothesis
Their first observation concerned the Kuna Indians of Panama who consume large amounts of cocoa. They have an almost nonexistent level of hypertension (high blood pressure) and suffer hardly any strokes despite salting their foods profusely.
Could it be that the salt and high blood pressure connection is flawed?
A year or so ago, the European Food Safety Authority, the EU’s equivalent to the American FDA but perhaps not quite as corrupt, officially confirmed that dark chocolate and cocoa products could be promoted as supporting cardiovascular health with increased blood flow.
In addition to proven cardiovascular health and lowered blood pressure, studies have demonstrated cocoa’s ability to improve cognitive function. An Italian university recently used 90 subjects to determine improved cognitive and memory function among those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
MCI could be considered a precursor or early warning stage of dementia and Alzheimer’s. It involves thinking difficulties with daily activities and memory problems but isn’t yet considered dementia according to the Alzheimer’s Society UK site. It’s been observed that MCI sufferers often go on to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s.
So this level of impaired memory and mental acumen shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is the time to start adding cocoa powder beverages, high-cocoa content dark chocolates with minimal sugar and milk combined with the hypothetically suggested spirulina.
Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that has been demonstrated in several Asian rodent studies to reduce inflammatory markers with its high level of phycocyanobilin, a proven inhibitor of vascular and cellular oxidative stress.
The authors of this medical hypothesis claim that adding cocoa’s high flavanol antioxidant content encourages nitric oxide production, which enhances vascular flexibility and strength throughout the body, including the arteries and blood vessels of the brain.
Declining cardiovascular and brain health are two major aging crisis scenarios. This medical hypothesis offers what many like to call an anti-aging solution.
Other MCI reversal and dementia protective tips
Let’s not forget the role of pure cold-pressed virgin coconut oil for avoiding or reversing dementia. It’s been empirically demonstrated to reverse even late stage Alzheimer’s.
The medium-chain triglycerides of coconut oil are easily metabolized, instead of stored as fat, to create ketones that oxygen-starved, damaged brain cells can use for energy.
Ayurveda herbs such as brahmi, or bacopa, and gotu kola have centuries-old empirical evidence of improving MCI to prevent full blown dementia. They are inexpensive in powdered forms purchased online or from Ayurveda clinics.
Dementia is an expanding epidemic. Alzheimer’s can be tragically disabling and even fatal. But early natural preventions are abundantly available.”
The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 60 – (11/10/13)
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Vitamin and mineral use cuts down on cancer deaths according to a recent study, ‘tearless’ onions that are related to garlic, may be good for your heart! Natural methods to boost your body’s immune system health!
From the “Natural Cowgirl Blog” – Margaret Durst, A.K.A. “Natural Cowgirl” – This natural health blogger has some great info on steps that you can take to boost your immune system so that you will be ready for “flu season.” But, remember that your immune system should be in top shape at all times, not just special times of the year, when people are more aware of chances of flu.
Natural Immune Boosters
Margaret’s Natural Health Blog – From the “Natural Cowgirl Blog” – By: Margaret Durst, A.K.A. “Natural Cowgirl” – “Now is a good time to start building your immune system for flu season. Whether you are concerned about colds or flu, there are some great natural strategies for you to use to build your immune system.
Let’s review a bit about viruses and immune function. Viruses are opportunistic and function like scavengers. If the host is healthy and there is nothing to scavenge, the virus will not be successful.
An average body is somewhat easy to bring into balance and keep well. You want to make sure you are eating well balanced meals, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. If you are concerned about decreased immunity due to stress and what I call fast living (which we all do from time to time), my typical immune recommendations will work well for you.
I love a product called Elderberry Defense. It is a combination of Elderberry, Vitamin D, Echinacea and Olive Leaf. This is what I give my son. He doesn’t get sick enough to miss school unless he doesn’t take it. This comes in a chewable gummy form for kids and in capsule form for those who can swallow. Both work well and are a repeat favorite among mothers.
I am also a big fan of Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed Extract. One of our bestsellers is a product called Defense Plus. It is a blend of Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin C, Echinacea and several Mushrooms. Defense Plus is my ‘go to’ remedy for almost anything infectious if you can swallow big pills. Some people take one per day of either Defense Plus or high quality Olive Leaf to stay well.
I personally take Olive Leaf – I have for years. The last time I got really sick was when I ran out of my favorite brand of olive leaf and took another one that I no longer sell.
There are other products worth mentioning that work. Colostrum, Thymus Extract, Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, Astragalus, and Probiotics are all good immune builders. On the average body, any of these, or any combination will work.
It’s the ‘not’ average bodies that will have trouble. These tend to be out of balance to begin with. They tend to be overrun with problems of congestion, inflammation and excess acidity. They are hard to balance as they tend to be a disease waiting to happen.
Bringing these bodies into balance is more of a challenge. I would recommend a whole body cleanse along with some diet changes for these types of bodies. The 2 key problems I see are yeast/fungus and eating too many refined foods – mainly white flour and white sugar. Balancing the diet and getting rid of yeast /fungus will give a virus less to scavenge. With some balance restored, this kind of body will respond well to typical immune builders, but may have to double or triple the average dose to get results.
I can usually predict the first outbreak of a cold or flu virus in the school. It will be after our first bout of cold rainy weather and it is usually after Thanksgiving. It seems to be the combination of rich food, virus exchange with cousins, and cold weather that keeps us inside (Vitamin D deficiency) that yields the first wave.
Cold and flus outbreaks also come from ‘fast living’. This is when we really need to be prepared. This is when we get run down from things like following the football team to all of their games while continuing all of our ‘normal’ activities.
Watch for times of decreased immunity and boost yours naturally so you can stay well and enjoy life.”
NOTE: For the products that she mentions, check out her on-line store: http://www.vitaminranch.com/