Antioxidants and Skin Health: Three Steps to Consider

by Cindy Gray

Most folks know that eating foods and taking supplements with antioxidants are good for them.  Those critical nutrients found in vitamins like A, C and E are good for you, both inside and out.  

Consuming antioxidants and skin health go hand in hand, so to speak, and in just a few easy steps you can keep your skin looking younger for longer.

1. Layer It On

We are exposed to sunlight from our earliest days of life. Wearing sunscreen religiously every day is the best way to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun. However, most of us tend to skip it now and then.  And you may recall experiencing some sunburn back when you were just a kid. 

Those dark spots, dry patches and wrinkles are the result of cell damaging free radicals, which are molecules that have lost an electron.  Feeling bereft, these free radical molecules steal from healthy cells, which starts a chain reaction that eventually damages the cell leaving the evidence of their crime on your face in the form of wrinkles and sunspots.

If you neglected sun protection when you were younger, there is something you can do about it now.  Eat foods and take supplements rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E.  They contain nutrients that generously give free radicals the electron they so desperately want, thus halting their cell damaging thievery and restoring healthy skin cells.

2. Don’t Fan the Flames

The body’s natural response to cell damage is to ignite a fire—such as inflammation—to try to destroy whatever is causing the trouble. Most people suffer from chronic inflammation caused by sun exposure, smoking, and consuming too many sugary foods and drinks, along with the daily activities of life.

Over time, the inflammation takes a heavy toll on the body, especially the skin, leaving it dry, red and sometimes with a pimple or two to add insult to injury. 

Consuming antioxidants is like throwing a bucket of water on the fire. They quench the burn and help damaged cells repair themselves.

3. Eat Drink and Be Healthy

Here is a list of the top antioxidants that should be included in your healthy skin diet:


Known as a carotenoid, it is what gives certain food a red hue.  Lycopene helps improve the texture of your skin by supporting collagen production (a protein that makes up the support bands beneath the dermis) while it reverses free radical damage that causes wrinkles.  You can find it in cooked tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit and sweet red peppers.

Related:  Royal Jelly For Skin:  Your Skin's Best Friend

Vitamin C

This essential nutrient is showing to be a powerful weapon in the war on aging. It works as an antioxidant and collagen booster to help reverse the signs of aging by smoothing out wrinkles and encouraging healthy skin cell turnover to shed those dark spots for clearer, younger looking skin. You can find it in citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis and strawberries.

Vitamin A

This antioxidant plays an important role in bone growth, reproduction and keeping the immune system healthy. It also helps undo the damage from sun exposure by neutralizing free radicals. You can find it in sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and spinach.

Because too much vitamin A can be toxic, it’s best to get it from your diet rather than supplements.

Vitamin E

Since sun damage is the top producer of free radicals that damage skin cells, vitamin E is a critical antioxidant for skin health.  When combined with vitamin C, it is very effective at protecting skin from UV damage by halting inflammation and limiting DNA damage.  It is also known as a-tocopherol so check for it on the ingredients list when choosing an antioxidant-rich supplement.  You can find it in abundance in foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, asparagus and spinach.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and has shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is especially helpful in getting rid of sunspots due to its depigmenting properties. Find it in pork, chicken and fish like tuna, farmed salmon and halibut or swordfish.

The Skin-ny:

Antioxidants and skin health are intertwined so if you want to keep your complexion radiant, eat foods rich in antioxidants and pop supplements with these essential nutrients. 


Understanding Hair Loss in Women

by Institute for Vibrant Living

From the time it sprouts on the head until it falls, human hair goes through three stages: the anagen (growing) phase, the catagen (transitional) phase, and the telogen (resting) phase. Typically, females lose 50 to 150 hairs daily as part of the normal shedding process, but a variety of influences may trigger more frequent hair loss in women or cause it to become thinner over time.  

Some women suffer from a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia. Although it usually affects women in their 50s or 60s, it can happen any time. Normally, new hair is as strong as the hair that is shed, but in women with genetic hair loss, the new hair grows in finer and thinner.  A variety of diseases also contribute to hair loss in women.


The body depends on thyroid hormone for many functions, from metabolism and heart rate to hair, skin, and nail growth. When the body produces too little thyroid hormone, a number of symptoms can result like unexplained weight gain, fatigue, depression, and foggy thinking. In addition, skin becomes drier and hair and nails become more brittle and break more easily. Concerned women can visit a health care provider for a simple blood test to determine if they have hypothyroidism.

Related: Natural Immune System-Boosters


While the immune system protects most people from disease, in people with lupus, it turns on the body and attacks healthy tissues. Symptoms of lupus include a butterfly rash across the nose and cheeks, chronic fatigue, headaches, oral ulcers, and swollen, painful joints. It can also cause mild hair loss in women and men or more severe hair loss, accompanied by a rash on the scalp. To identify lupus, doctors may perform a diagnostic exam and take a blood test.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Up to five million American females suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition which causes the ovaries to produce too many male hormones. Sometimes starting as early as junior high, this disease creates symptoms like acne, excessive facial hair, irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and hair loss on the scalp. Women concerned about PCOS can visit a health care professional for a blood test.

Telogen effluvium

Certain influences cause hair to shift more quickly from the growth phase to the shedding phase. Known as telogen effluvium, this phenomenon may result from pregnancy, major surgery, extreme weight loss, or high levels of stress. It can also be triggered from medications like antidepressants, beta-blockers, NSAIDs, and diuretics. To determine a relationship between hair loss and stress, pregnancy, weight loss, or medications, a doctor may conduct a thorough interview and check hair for club-shaped bulbs on the roots, an indicator of a completed cycle of growth.

The best course of action for women concerned about hair loss is to consult with a health care professional. Diagnosing the cause of female hair loss provides possible strategies for reversing the process and growing stronger, healthier hair.


Understanding Hair Loss in Women

by Institute for Vibrant Living

From the time it sprouts on the head until it falls, human hair goes through three stages: the anagen (growing) phase, the catagen (transitional) phase, and the telogen (resting) phase. Typically, females lose 50 to 150 hairs daily as part of the normal shedding process, but a variety of influences may trigger more frequent hair loss in women or cause it to become thinner over time.  

A number of influences cause hair loss in women including heredity, disease, stress, and medications.

Some women suffer from a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia. Although it usually affects women in their 50s or 60s, it can happen any time. Normally, new hair is as strong as the hair that is shed, but in women with genetic hair loss, the new hair grows in finer and thinner.  A variety of diseases also contribute to hair loss in women.


The body depends on thyroid hormone for many functions, from metabolism and heart rate to hair, skin, and nail growth. When the body produces too little thyroid hormone, a number of symptoms can result like unexplained weight gain, fatigue, depression, and foggy thinking. In addition, skin becomes drier and hair and nails become more brittle and break more easily. Concerned women can visit a health care provider for a simple blood test to determine if they have hypothyroidism.

Related: Natural Immune System-Boosters


While the immune system protects most people from disease, in people with lupus, it turns on the body and attacks healthy tissues. Symptoms of lupus include a butterfly rash across the nose and cheeks, chronic fatigue, headaches, oral ulcers, and swollen, painful joints. It can also cause mild hair loss in women and men or more severe hair loss, accompanied by a rash on the scalp. To identify lupus, doctors may perform a diagnostic exam and take a blood test.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Up to five million American females suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition which causes the ovaries to produce too many male hormones. Sometimes starting as early as junior high, this disease creates symptoms like acne, excessive facial hair, irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and hair loss on the scalp. Women concerned about PCOS can visit a health care professional for a blood test.

Telogen effluvium

Certain influences cause hair to shift more quickly from the growth phase to the shedding phase. Known as telogen effluvium, this phenomenon may result from pregnancy, major surgery, extreme weight loss, or high levels of stress. It can also be triggered from medications like antidepressants, beta-blockers, NSAIDs, and diuretics. To determine a relationship between hair loss and stress, pregnancy, weight loss, or medications, a doctor may conduct a thorough interview and check hair for club-shaped bulbs on the roots, an indicator of a completed cycle of growth.

The best course of action for women concerned about hair loss is to consult with a health care professional. Diagnosing the cause of female hair loss provides possible strategies for reversing the process and growing stronger, healthier hair.


Five Herbs for Stress and Mood Swings

by Cindy Gray

Five Herbs for Stress and Mood SwingsTaking a pill to help you chill might sound appealing, but many prescription drugs have nasty side effects and are very expensive. Using herbs for stress relief is a lot less, well…stressful. 

For centuries, herbs have been the cornerstone of good health.  Many cultures have successfully used herbs as treatment for all types of medical issues.  Unlike western society that relies on powerful mind-altering drugs to help with severe mood swings and depression, other cultures have often looked to the natural world for stress relief.

The Fabulous Five Herbs for Stress Relief

1. Ashwagandha

One of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has been used since ancient times to treat a wide variety of conditions.  It is most well-known for its restorative benefits.  The name means “the smell of a horse” indicating it promotes the strength and vigor of a stallion.

Ashwagandha contains many potent medicinal compounds in the leaves and roots like:

  • Steroidal lactones – improve the power supply of nerve cells
  • Alkaloids – act quickly on the nervous system and can have a safe natural sedative effect
  • Choline - from the B vitamin family it has been shown to lower cholesterol and stave off cognitive decline by boosting brain function
  • Fatty acids – omega-3 and omega-6 are critical to proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system
  • Amino acids – the building blocks of protein they play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of a healthy nervous system, immunity and brain function
  • Healthy sugars – for energy

2. Rhodiola rosea

This unique herbal remedy grows at high altitude in the sandy soil of artic areas of Asia.  It has long been used as a treatment for fatigue and western medicine is prompting scientists to examine its health benefits more closely.

Rhodiola rosea has been showing great promise by decreasing the harmful effects of chronic, long-term stress on the body.  It helps bring balance back to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body.

In the modern world, we are often under constant pressure and stressed throughout the day.   This leads to feeling edgy, tired and depressed. Rhodiola rosea seems to be able to help the body re-establish balance by influencing the brain chemicals serotonin (the “happy” hormone) norepinephrine (the adrenaline hormone) and feel good opioids called beta-endorphins.

In a Columbia University publication, rhodiola’s remarkable effect on the nervous system was described as “emotional calming.”  Dr. Richard Brown stated that rhodiola “enhanced the healing properties of one’s own nervous system”

The health benefits of rhodiola rosea don’t stop there. Numerous studies have found it to:

  • Improve cognitive and memory function
  • Increase mental and physical resistance to stress due to fatigue
  • Reduce levels of C-reactive protein, and inflammatory marker that results from muscle damage due to physical exertion
  • Enhance sleep
  • Lessen depression symptoms
  • Keep blood sugar stable

3. Elueuthero (Wucha)

Elueuthero belongs to an amazing class of plants known as adaptogens. They are known for helping the body to adapt to environmental changes and reduce the effects of stress on the body.   Other health benefits include:

  • Stronger memory and clearer thinking under stress
  • Sustained energy without the side effects of stimulants like caffeine that cause the jitters
  • Increased tolerance to heat, noise, strenuous exercise
  • Increased sexual vigor
  • Sleep aid

Elueuthero’s effectiveness at reducing stress is believed to come from the compounds it contains called eleuetherosides. These enhance the immune system by helping T-cells engulf harmful microorganisms, damaged cells and foreign particles in the body. It also promotes the formation of protective B lymphocytes that are critical to a strong immune system.

Related:  Do Probiotics Benefit Your Overall Mood?

4. Holy basil

Holy basil is known to be a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. Modern science has been taking a closer look at this remarkable herb due to its great potential in relieving stress and promoting relaxation.

Like Eleuethero, holy basil functions as an adaptogen to enhance the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress.  It seems to be able to influence the secretion of stress hormones, corticosterone in particular.  A rush of cortisol is good when an actual predator confronts you.  However, work, traffic, and many other things keep us saturated with the stress hormone, and it wreaks havoc on the body.

Holy basil’s concentration of eugenol and caryophyllene release a pleasing and soothing aroma that has been shown to elevate mood.  Eugenol also has shown to enhance mental clarity, something that can suffer during periods of prolonged stress.

5. Suma root

Suma root has been used for hundreds of years in South America to increase physical strength, boost energy levels, stamina and the immune system. It contains two anabolic agents, allantoin and ecdysterone, which have been linked to muscle growth and enhanced endurance.

It also is an herb for stress release known as an adaptogen.  Packed with germanium, a potent immune booster and saponins, which have shown to improve immune function and lower cholesterol, suma root also has many important vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

A compound called beta-ecdysterone is also found in the herb and is showing great potential to treat sexual dysfunctions like impotency.  This is most likely due to its ability to provide more oxygen to cells. This has the added benefit of improving circulation to all areas of the body including the brain, which improves memory and sharpens mental clarity.

Suma root is an effective herb to combat stress due to its ability to affect the adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline and corticosteroid hormones, the ones that are responsible for our “flight or fight” response.  Suma root is effective at balancing these hormones in the body, which is important because constant long-term exposure to them causes many health problems.

Using herbs for stress relief has proven effective for thousands of years in many cultures.  Finding natural ways to reduce stress are preferable to taking powerful prescription drugs with harmful side effects.  Taking these five herbs to reduced stress and balance out mood swings is a safe natural way to combat the stressors of daily life without dangerous side effects.


EFAs for Menopause Treatment

by IVL Products

All women have to go through menopause at some point in their lives. The unpleasant symptoms can make life difficult, but there are ways to deal with some of the worst side effects of menopause simply through your diet.  

Women who consume essential fatty acids regularly can reduce the negative symptoms of menopause.

Increasing your intake of EFAs, (or essential fatty acids) is easy.  Not only will you experience less severe menopausal symptoms, but the EFAs offer many other health benefits as well.

What Are EFAs?

Essential fatty acids are so named because your body cannot produce them naturally. The only way to get them is through your diet. 

Your body cannot synthesize linolenic (omega-6) and linoleic acids (omega-3) that are critical to the normal functioning of all the tissues of the body.  Without sufficient EFAs, you are at an increased risk for:

  • Liver and kidney abnormalities
  • Depression
  • Dry Skin
  • Decreased immune function

However, when you get adequate amounts of omega-3s and omega-6s, you have a decreased risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Menstrual pain
  • Breast cancer

EFAs have been found to greatly help reduce the most troublesome menopausal symptoms like:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal, hair and skin dryness
  • Mood swings and depression

A study conducted by Italian scientist back in 2005 noted that women who ate a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids reported a “progressively and highly significant reduction” in hot flashes. They concluded that this could be a result of the influence omega-3s have on nerve cell membranes, helping to reduce their sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations.

Related:  Top Three Heart Healthy Nutrients

It has long been known that having an adequate intake of EFAs helps balance hormones, increase immune function, improve cardiovascular health and promote healthier skin and hair.

Happy Food

What you may not realize is that omega-3 fatty acid EPA helps the body produce adequate levels of serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter that greatly affects our moods. Depression and mood swings often accompany the hormonal changes you will be experiencing making EFAs an essential part of your menopause diet.

Brain Food

DHA is a natural brain booster. It keeps nerve cell membranes in the brain healthy, which means better cognitive function, and less memory loss. 

The Menopause Diet

By incorporating foods rich in essential fatty acids into your diet, you can greatly reduce unpleasant menopausal symptoms and improve your health overall.  It is essential that you get the right combination of omega-3s and omega-6s in your diet and that can take some research and planning. Omega-6 fatty acids compete with omega-3s for use in the body, so getting the right ratio of each is important. 

DHA (omega-6) is found in animal foods like beef and pork and corn oils. These are generally plentiful in our diets and most Americans eat too many omega-6 foods when they should be eating foods with more omega-3 fatty acids like.

  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts
  • Canola, soybean, walnut oils
  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Fish

Trying to get your EFAs in supplement form is not the most efficient way to up your intake of them.  Besides the nasty fish tasting burps many pills cause, the fish oil molecules are highly unstable and can quickly decompose and release cell damaging free radicals.

Omega-3s for Everybody

Whether you are going through menopause or not, eating more food rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA just makes good sense. 

You will look better, feel better and be more prepared to handle the hormonal changes when you eat more foods with omega 3 for menopause relief.


Lack of Energy? Restore Vitality with Acai and Suma

by Institute for Vibrant Living

If the lack of energy is dragging you down you might want to consider two Brazilian superfoods to rev up your engine. Studies show that the acai berry and suma root provides energy-boosting nutrients that restore vitality and boost the immune system.  (FYI, Acai is pronounced ah-sah-EE.) 

The nutritional properties of acai and suma make them an energy-boosting supplement that enhances vitality and the immune system.

Demanding careers, inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, excessive stress, sedentary lifestyles and constant exposure to environmental toxins are taking their toll and millions of people spend their days feeling tired and sluggish.  Studies show that acai berries and suma root may be just what the doctor ordered for people suffering from a lack of energy. 

The purple-black acai berry, which is sometimes called Brazilian palm fruit, comes from the acai tree that is native to Central and South America. The acai berry surpasses all other berries in its antioxidant density and it is one of the few fruits that contain omega-3 fatty acids to support brain and joint health.  It has been lauded for centuries by natural healers as a healing, immune-boosting fruit that enhances energy levels.

RelatedHow the Antioxidants in Superfruits Keep You Healthy

Freshly picked acai berries have a short “freshness” window but they are available frozen, dried and in juice forms. Acai extract is an ingredient in many high-quality nutritional supplements.

Sometimes referred to as “Brazilian ginseng,” the suma root is another energizing superfood. Natives of South America have used it for thousands of years to increase strength and stamina.   Suma root contains potent levels of vitamin B and electrolytes, both of which are potent natural energy boosters. It is also rich in immune-boosting nutrients including vitamins B, E and K as well as minerals and amino acids.

While fresh suma root can be difficult to find in some parts of the country, it is available in powdered or supplement form online and at natural health stores. It is also an ingredient in many nutritional supplements.

If you are among the millions of Americans who struggle with a lack of energy, considering using acai berries and suma root to boost your vitality. This duo packs a nutritional punch that will put the spring back in your step so that you can enjoy a vibrant life and live each day to its fullest.

Easy Superfood Recipes


Five Reasons to Add Cranberries to Your Daily Diet

by Cindy Gray

Growing scientific evidence shows that it might be a good idea to add cranberry juice to your shopping cart the next time you see it in the supermarket.  Known for their bold, tart taste, cranberries have gained an enviable reputation for a growing list of healthful properties. From their exceptional taste to their multiple health benefits, these delicious natural foods are truly one of Mother Nature’s superfruits.

Add Cranberries to Your Daily Diet for Improved Health

Here are five great reasons to consider adding cranberries to your daily diet:

  1. Urinary tract health - not only do cranberries taste good, they are also good for you, especially when it comes to promoting urinary tract health. Cranberries contain powerful natural compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs) that keep harmful bacteria from attaching to your cells and flush them away instead, helping to cleanse and purify your body.

  2. Heart health - cranberries are good for the heart because of their rich polyphenol antioxidant content. A recent study shows that children and adults who regularly drink cranberry juice have improved heart health profiles.

  3. Immunity booster - according to a recent study, people who drink a glass of cranberry juice daily experience a boost in their immunity and have fewer cold and flu symptoms than those who do not drink cranberry juice.

  4. Taste - cranberries are known for their unique flavor, vibrant color and ability to mix with flavors from sweet to savory. Cranberry juice can be sipped on its own or added to smoothies, cocktails, breads and desserts.

Adding cranberries to your daily life can be simple. Here are some simple, practical tips:

  • Breakfast - an energizing cranberry banana smoothie can provide a refreshing and nutritious start to your day. If you need something fast in the morning because you’re on the move, pour yourself a serving of cranberry juice instead.

  • Mocktail - refresh and refuel at the end of a long day by adding a splash of sparkling water and a touch of lime to an iced, tall glass of cranberry juice.

  • Dessert - transform your everyday cake mix with a dose of delicious cranberry juice.

Given their powerful health benefits, why not add cranberries to your daily diet today?


Five Reasons To Add Cranberries To Your Daily Diet


Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

by Cindy Gray

According to a 2010 study, poor lifestyle choices, including a diet low in micronutrients and minerals, inactivity, smoking and excessive drinking, all add up to a massive increase in the likelihood of death.  Study researchers found that risk of ‘all-cause mortality’ (dying from any cause) rose 85% for people with any one of these risky health behaviors; and went up a massive 3.5 times in those who engaged in all four harmful activities.  In fact, the combination of all four behaviors prematurely aged a person 12 years, in terms of mortality risk!Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?

These results are not surprising, since each factor has shown an independent effect on mortality in prior studies. However, this study shows the heavy price people pay when they engage in two or more of these poor lifestyle choices.

On the positive side, even modest positive adjustments to any of these lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a significant impact on health.

This study analyzed results from the prospective Health and Lifestyle Survey, in which 4,886 participants aged 18 or older were followed over an average of 20 years. Individuals were scored for unhealthy behaviors, including:

  • Eating less than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day

  • Getting less than two hours of leisure time physical activity per week

  • Drinking more than 14 eight-gram units of alcohol per week for women or 21 units for men

Men were seen to be more likely than women to meet each of these unfavorable criteria.  The effect on all-cause mortality was weakest for a nutrition-poor diet. Physical inactivity, current smoking, and high alcohol intake scored the highest.  Cardiovascular deaths were higher with all four unhealthy behaviors, but significantly associated only with lack of exercise. Cancer deaths were significantly associated with both current smoking and inactivity.  The greater the number of unhealthy behaviors, higher the overall death risk as well as specifically from cardiovascular, cancer and other causes of death.

Of these four unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, a nutrition-poor diet is perhaps the most common. A diet of overly refined, processed, overcooked foods and not enough fruits and veggies can deplete your body of the micronutrients and minerals it needs to function optimally, making you more susceptible to infections, premature aging and chronic diseases.

Fortunately, one simple solution is to include a high quality multivitamin supplement every day.  Many unique formulas are now available that include natural probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion and overall metabolism; energy boosting ingredients; antioxidants to help fight off harmful free radicals; phytonutrients to balance pH and combat acid overload; immunity boosters to help your body fight off disease; and multiple anti-aging constituents to help you look and feel young again.

So why not include a daily multivitamin supplement in your routine, and take a positive step towards a healthy lifestyle?

Source: Can Supplements Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle?   

Superfood Recipes to Offset the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle


Nature's Natural Energy Boosters

by Health News

It’s a new year, and perhaps you’ve decided to start an exercise regimen, or maybe you want to step up the one you’ve been doing. Whether you’re looking to increase your athletic performance or simply find natural ways to boost energy and combat the post-lunch “crash”, here are some of nature’s most potent and proven botanical energy boosters:

Licorice. Licorice rhizomes are rich in flavonoids and saponins (antioxidants). In their book THE HERBAL DRUGSTORE published in 2000, Dr. Linda B. White and medicinal plant expert Steven Foster recommend licorice as a tonic for the adrenal glands and to increase energy.

natural ways to boost energy

Siberian Ginseng. Siberan Ginseng is known as an “adaptogenic” herb for its ability to combat fatigue and stress. In his 2003 book MEDICAL HERBALISM: THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF HERBAL MEDICINE," clinical herbalist David Hoffmann states that Siberian Ginseng is useful in cases of prolonged stress, exhaustion and overwork and is safe to take on a long-term basis.

Astragalus. Astragalus membranaceus is a perennial herb found throughout eastern Asia. A potent immune enhancer, Astragalus is also a powerful weapon against fatigue. Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster suggest using Astragalus tincture, tea or capsules to combat fatigue and help digestion.

Ginger. Because Ginger is so helpful to the digestive system, it helps you get the most energy out of the food you eat, and helps you get that energy faster. Herbs that help you digest your food will inevitably give you energy.

Visit your local health food store to find the various forms of these and other energizing botanicals. Before taking anything new, be sure to consult with your health care practitioner to make sure the herbs you choose will not worsen any health condition or interact with any medicines you are taking.



Supercharge Your Immune System Before You Travel

by Health News

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, travel requires careful planning. That’s why we develop extensive to-do lists that include filling up the gas tank, making airline reservations, obtaining maps and packing suitcases. Unfortunately most of us make travel plans that provide little or no focus on the most important thing of all - our health. 

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

While maintaining a strong immune system is critical for vibrant health every day of our lives, it becomes increasingly important when we are on the move. Travel can compromise the immune system because it upsets the internal body clock that regulates sleep, hunger and digestion. (This can be particularly troubling when you cross time zones.) Many travelers fall into poor eating habits and consume more caffeine and alcohol than their bodies can tolerate. 

To further complicate matters, travel also means increased exposure to germs and viruses that thrive when people are hoarded together in cars, airplanes, buses or trains. Poor air circulation contributes to the spread of illnesses and doorknobs, counters, banisters and other surfaces are likely to be contaminated by germs.   

With a little planning you can supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy your travels and protect your health. One of the best ways to prepare your immune system for travel is to take nutritional supplements before and during your trip. Supplements containing green tea and resveratrol are particularly important. Green tea contains an agent called catechin polyphenol that is considered “jet fuel” for the immune system.

Resveratrol is another potent immune system booster that can help keep you healthy before and during your travels. This powerful antioxidant, which is present in red wine, fruit and the skin of grapes, is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Because it would be difficult to obtain optimal amounts of resveratrol from food and wine, many people use resveratrol supplements. 

Many people also add probiotics to their daily regime before and during travel to prevent gastric distress. Probiotics, which are available from natural health stores, populate the intestinal tract with “friendly” bacteria that limits the growth of “bad” bacteria such as salmonella, clostridia and E coli. 

The next time you make travel plans, make sure you take your healthy habits with you. Supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy every second of your trip.  

What do you do to stay healthy while traveling?


Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally

by Health News

As the temperature drops outside, it’s not unusual for our immune systems to take a nosedive too. Luckily, you can stop that dive in its tracks with good, old-fashioned blueberries.

Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally

According to a December 2011 study from Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, blueberries are a powerful immune booster. Not only did they increase natural killer cell activity, but also reduced inflammation and oxidation.

While you likely know how to incorporate blueberries into your diet, here are a few novel ideas:

  • Toss into a salad with a little goat cheese and sliced almonds.
  • Place frozen berries in high-speed blender with water and a touch of powdered stevia for instant sorbet.
  • Crush and add to mineral water for a healthy, alcohol-free cocktail.



Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu

by Nancy Maneely

Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and FluAs flu season approaches, it’s a good time to assess your overall health regimen and adopt protective measures. The cold winter months are a time when we spend more hours indoors, surrounded by friends, family, schoolmates and co-workers with their myriad germs. Our exposure to sunshine often is diminished, which effectively depletes our body’s natural Vitamin D defenses.

Aside from frequent hand washing – recommended by health experts everywhere – there are steps you can take to support your body’s immune system in its constant battle against viruses and bacteria. Here are some suggestions:

Clean your stuff – Doctors and other health professionals know how important this is in preventing the spread of germs. Use an alcohol-based cleaning agent to clean surfaces you and your family frequently touch: doorknobs, countertops, faucet handles, kitchen appliances, cell phones, the TV remote. At work, make it a daily ritual to clean your computer keyboard, phone, and desktop.

Eat more onion and garlic – Both are rich in antioxidants and selenium, members of the Allium family known for its health-promoting effects. Garlic contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, so add it to your recipes in abundance. Supplements are a good idea, too.

Keep your head clear – Healthy mucus membranes and mucus flow help your body flush toxins. When your sinuses and throat feel dry, they’re more likely to attract and harbor nasty microscopic invaders. Avoid treating a stuffed nose with nasal sprays, which tend to dry delicate tissues (you can use a saline spray or flush with a neti pot containing a saline solution). Make good old-fashioned chicken soup a mainstay of your winter menu. Researchers are discovering what grandma suspected all along – the ingredients in chicken soup (stock, carrot, onion, and celery) might actually have a medicinal effect on the body’s immune system.

Get plenty of exercise – Just because it’s cold outside, that’s no excuse for cutting out your workout sessions. Exercise boosts the immune system by clearing out the lymph system. It also boosts mood which is a protective factor in the prevention of illness.

Cut down on sugar – Just a few grams can diminish your white blood cells’ ability to resist infections for several hours. If you must sweeten your food and beverages, choose stevia.

Sleep better – Keep your body’s melatonin levels in balance with regular, good quality sleep. The immune system works best when the body is well rested.

Keep stress levels in check – Another way to wreak havoc with your immune system is to walk around with high levels of stress and anxiety. Practice a few minutes of deep breathing several times a day. Laugh more. Play with your pet. Start and end your day with a brief meditation – there are many good books and CDs that will help you.

Helpful supplementsProbiotics attack pathogenic bacteria and support your body’s white cells in their reaction to invaders. Vitamin D3 will help balance appropriate levels to support immune system function. Echinacea and zinc help protect against colds. And Vitamin C is an essential year-round immune system booster.

What is your favorite tip for keeping winter colds and flu at bay?

Natural Society


Minor cut? Follow this advice to guard against infection

by Nancy Maneely

Many of us were shocked and disturbed at the news of a young woman in Georgia who contracted a deadly flesh-eating bacterial infection from a cut on the leg. The bacteria was believed to be from river water into which she fell after cutting herself in a zipline accident.

A properly functioning immune system will take care of most exposure to bacteria, and a case like this is very rare. However, it is still wise to know the proper steps for cleaning minor cuts and scrapes as a first line of defense against bacterial infection. Take a look at the following recommendations:

  1. Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If they don't, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Hold the pressure continuously for 20 to 30 minutes and if possible elevate the wound. Don't keep checking to see if the bleeding has stopped because this may damage or dislodge the clot that's forming and cause bleeding to resume. If blood spurts or continues flowing after continuous pressure, seek medical assistance.
  2. Clean the wound. Rinse out the wound with clear water. Soap can irritate the wound, so try to keep it out of the actual wound. If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove the particles. If debris still remains, see your doctor. Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of infection and tetanus. To clean the area around the wound, use soap and a washcloth. There's no need to use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or an iodine-containing cleanser.
  3. Apply an antibiotic. After you clean the wound, apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin to help keep the surface moist. The products don't make the wound heal faster, but they can discourage infection and help your body's natural healing process. Certain ingredients in some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
  4. Cover the wound. Bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. After the wound has healed enough to make infection unlikely, exposure to the air will speed wound healing.
  5. Change the dressing. Change the dressing at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty. If you're allergic to the adhesive used in most bandages, switch to adhesive-free dressings or sterile gauze held in place with tape, gauze roll or a loosely applied elastic bandage. 
  6. Get stitches for deep wounds. A wound that is more than 1/4-inch (6 millimeters) deep (or is gaping or jagged edged and has fat or muscle protruding) usually requires stitches. Adhesive strips or butterfly tape may hold a minor cut together, but if you can't easily close the wound, see your doctor as soon as possible. Proper closure within a few hours reduces the risk of infection and scarring.
  7. Watch for signs of infection. See your doctor if the wound isn't healing or you notice any redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling.
  8. Get a tetanus shot. Doctors recommend you get a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your wound is deep or dirty and your last shot was more than five years ago, your doctor may recommend a tetanus shot booster. Get the booster as soon as possible after the injury.

Reuters: Georgia flesh-eating bacteria patient breathing on her own


Top 5 Tips for Preventing Colds and Flu

by Health News

Many people mistakenly believe that colds and flu are inevitable when winter sets in. The fact of the matter is that there are many steps you can take to keep your immune system strong and your body healthy all year long.

1. One of the most important things you can do to ward off illness is to stay active. When it’s cold outside it’s harder to get motivated to go for a walk or for that matter, even a workout inside. But you can get exercise without having to endure the bitter cold. Check out your community recreation center for exercise classes or take a stroll at the nearby shopping mall.  Avoid direct contact with germs on surfaces; use a gloved hand (or your scarf) to open the doors when you enter or exit public buildings.

2. During a recent interview, a well-known naturopathic MD revealed his secret to avoiding colds and flu while traveling around the world. He attributed his good health to washing his hands often. It’s hard to believe that something as simple as washing your hands can protect you from illness, but it can.  So wash your hands often during cold and flu season.

Use warm water and soap; wash your hands, up to the elbows if possible, for 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly to remove soap. Also, make sure the children in your life understand the importance of frequent hand washing. 

3. Drinking plenty of fluids is another “stay-well” strategy for winter. Fluids, especially water, flush out toxins. The beauty of water is that it is readily available and it has no calories, salt or sugar. Bear in mind that fruits are comprised of 80-90 percent water, so they can be an excellent source for increasing the fluids in your diet. 

4. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of adults use some form of herbs, botanicals and enzymes to enhance their health and boost their immunity. Consider adding supplements to your diet. Look for these popular immune boosters.

  • Vitamin C is especially helpful in strengthening the immune system.
  • Vitamin D is an effective dietary supplement that infuses your body with all-natural vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for immune function and the metabolism of calcium. Without vitamin D, you would be susceptible to constant infection and your bones would be weak and brittle.
  • Zinc is a mineral that is needed for a healthy immune system and is often sold as an over the counter natural treatment for the common cold.
  • Echinacea is available as a dietary supplement that can be used to prevent or decrease the duration of the common cold. 

5. It may surprise you to know that one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to nurture your mind, body and soul. Make sure you take time to pamper yourself. Indulge in a massage, a hot bath or an aromatherapy treatment session. Spend some quiet time with family and friends. Get plenty of sleep. Smile and laugh often. Focus on the positive people and events in your life.


How to Boost Immune System

by Health News

Having a strong immune system is key to a healthy life. Being sick is no fun and during the How to Boost Immune Systemcolder months our immune system needs all the support we can give it. Certain natural supplements and vitamins are known to help counter bacteria and viruses and should play an important part in boosting your immune system this winter.

Provide Your Body with Good Nutrition
If you are undernourished, either generally or lacking specific groups of vitamins and minerals, your body will be susceptible to disease and sickness. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods and concentrate on eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Avoid sugars and processed foods as they are known to decrease the function of your immune system and should be avoided at all costs if you are on the verge of sickness. Also drink plenty of clear liquids every day – water and herbal teas are best – to keep the body flushing out any toxins.

Get Plenty of Sunshine or Vitamin D
There is compelling evidence showing that colds and flu are related to a deficiency in vitamin D. Spending ten minutes in the sunshine each day, exposing arms and legs, is sufficient to allow your body to produce its own vitamin D. If you live in an area where that is not practical, then make sure you take a vitamin D supplement daily.

Take Vitamin E
Vitamin E naturally strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of immune cells that create antibodies to fight germs and disease. In a study on vitamin E supplements conducted by Tufts University in Boston, the patients who received 200mg of vitamin E for four months produced more antibodies in response to vaccines for tetanus and hepatitis B than those who were given a placebo.

Consider Echinacea
Studies in Germany are way ahead of the U.S. and in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies Echinacea users had less frequent virus infections and less severe symptoms than those taking a placebo. Echinacea is most effective if taken when you feel a cold coming on, when you are under extra stress or when entering a situation that will challenge the immune system, such as returning to school after a break. A 300mg dose taken three times a day will be an effective natural immune booster.

Keep Active
Exercise helps boost the immune system as the increased blood flow stimulates all the body’s cells. Regular exercise allows the immune system to counter bacteria and viruses before they can cause problems, resulting in less colds, sickness and flu.

Get Plenty of Sleep
Your immune system will function best if you are well rested. During the cold and flu season your immune system is at its most stressed, so make a special effort to get plenty of sleep.

Manage Stress
Chronic stress is known to suppress the immune system. Studies have shown that people living stressful lives have a lower count of white blood cells, an indicator of a poor immune system. Laughter helps lower the stress hormones that circulate when you are under pressure, so make sure you laugh with friends or have a few good comedies to watch to boost your immune system and ward off illness the natural way this winter.


Natural Immune System Boosters

by Health News

Natural Immune System BoostersA healthy immune system is the body’s first line of defense against microorganisms that can cause disease, so it is important to keep it strong and healthy.  As the immune system is not a single unit, but a complex group of components, this can sometimes be a challenging dance requiring balance and harmony.  There is still a lot to learn about how to naturally support the immune system, but there are strategies that one can adopt to give the immune system a boost naturally.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Make healthy choices.  Don’t smoke cigarettes, use alcohol in moderation, and eat a diet composed of fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.  Make sure to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, keep blood pressure under control and get a sufficient amount of sleep.
If your diet is occasionally lacking in some nutritional components, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can be helpful. Here are several specific vitamins, minerals and other supplements that may be promising for their potential effect on immune system support. 


Vitamin A – Low levels of vitamin A have been linked with reduced immunity and an increased risk for infection.  However, one study found that supplementation with vitamin A without a deficiency had no effect on T cell immunity in a healthy group of older adults.

Vitamin B6 – Research suggests that deficiencies in vitamin B6 can weaken immunity.  Supplementation with moderate doses of B6 can restore immune function, but large doses provide no added benefit. 
Vitamin C - Scientists have examined immune-boosting effects of vitamin C, but many of the studies have been poorly designed.  It has been suggested however, that vitamin C combined with other nutrients may provide health benefits.

Vitamin D – Since it can be manufactured by the body with exposure to sunlight, this vitamin is really a hormone.  Researchers have found that vitamin D signals an antimicrobial response to mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for TB. Whether vitamin D has similar ability to fight off other diseases will be determined with further research.

Vitamin E – Research involving healthy individuals over age 65 has shown that an increase in vitamin E from 30 mg (RDA) to 200 mg raises post-vaccination antibody responses to hepatitis B and tetanus. However, these responses did not occur following the administration of diphtheria and pneumococcal vaccines.

Selenium -
Some studies have linked low selenium levels with a greater risk of bladder, breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.  A comprehensive, multiyear study is currently under way which is examining whether a combination of selenium and vitamin E might aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Zinc - This is a trace element that is essential for immune function.  Low levels of zinc affect the ability of T cells to properly function.  A word of caution: an adequate amount of zinc varies from 15–25 mg per day, but too much can lower immune response.

Other Supplements
Garlic - In laboratory tests garlic has proved successful in fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, but there haven’t been enough human studies conducted to know whether this benefits people. One 2006 study on consumption of garlic and onion in southern European populations found a link between the frequency of garlic and onion consumption and a lower risk of some cancers.

ProbioticsThe human gut is full of different types of “good” bacteria which aid in digestion.  Researchers are finding evidence of a link between these bacteria and the immune system.  It is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the development of the immune system resulting in an increase in certain T cells.

Probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are beneficial bacteria that have been added to many dairy products, beverages, cereals and energy bars. Unfortunately, a direct connection between consumption of these products and improved immune response has not yet been made. Nor is it known if taking probiotics will replenish good bacteria destroyed through the consumption of antibiotics.

More research is needed regarding the effects of various micronutrients on the immune system.  In the meantime, it is wise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement.

What steps do you take to ensure that your immune system is healthy?



9 Benefits of Bee Pollen

by Health News

The natural health solution bee pollen has been touted for its health benefits. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it “ambrosia” and “life-giving dust,” and there are some today who believe that humans could live on bee pollen alone.

Pollen is the seed or grain of a flower blossom. There are two kinds of pollen grains - anemophile and entomophile grains. Anemophile grains are those that cause allergies in people, and these are not collected by bees. Bees do collect the heavier and stickier entomophile grains which are chock full of nutrients. When combined with special digestive enzymes and nectar, bee pollen is formed. 

Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and it is a complete protein - packed with all 22 amino acids. It contains more protein per gram than fish or meat, which makes it a great choice for vegetarians looking for an all-natural supplement to boost protein consumption.

In addition to its “super food” status in terms of nutrition, bee pollen is said to be a natural solution for many health problems.

  1. It helps regulate the digestive process, and it contains a natural antibiotic that destroys harmful bacteria in the intestines.
  2. Bee pollen helps to flush poisons and toxins from the body.
  3. Important phytochemicals like lycopene and beta-sitosterol, as well as many flavonoids found in bee pollen have proven to slow growth of prostate tissue and reduce inflammation and pain.
  4. It is said that bee pollen helps reduce cravings for alcohol and other drugs.
  5. Bee pollen has been espoused to boost fertility in women and sexual potency in men.
  6. As an immune system booster, bee pollen helps prevent communicable diseases, such as the flu and the common cold. It is even believed to slow the aging process.
  7. Bee pollen is said to help reduce symptoms of depression.
  8. Because of its detoxifying properties, bee pollen helps to lower blood pressure. It flushes impurities from the blood, allowing oxygen to reach body cells, including those in the brain. 
  9. Lastly, many people swear by bee pollen’s ability to help relieve seasonal-allergy symptoms. Allergies cause the body to release antibodies or histamines. Bee pollen contains quercetin, which is known for its power to neutralize histamine response, providing relief from inflammation caused by hay fever and other allergies.

The Journal of Allergy reports:
74% of hay fever patients experienced an average 75% improvement in symptoms when supplemented orally with bee pollen.

17.8% of those with hay fever and 33.3% of asthma patients experienced marked improvement with oral bee pollen supplements.

A study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research in April 2009 studied mice that were fed bee pollen. The researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Japan found that active mast cells were reduced depending on amounts of bee pollen in the diet – the more bee pollen, the better the result.  Mast cells cause the production and release of histamines with exposure to allergens.  Histamines trigger inflammatory responses such as itching, runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

With so many potential health benefits, it might be wise to investigate bee pollen supplements, but always check with a health care professional in advance.


Natural Vitamin Supplement Echinacea

by Health News

Have you ever wondered what are the benefits and side effects of Echinacea, a natural vitamin supplement?

Echinacea, sometimes called cone flower, is a wildflower found mostly in meadows and wet valleys in the Midwestern United States. It is most known for its natural medicinal properties, but it is also commonly grown in gardens because it’s so pretty, with striking, purple daisy-like flowers. The natural medicinal properties of the plant are found in the flower, leaves and the root.

Echinacea’s Therapeutic Potential

Echinacea is a natural immune system booster. It stimulates white blood cells, which attack the viruses and bacteria that lead to illness or infection. Because of this, Echinacea is being researched as a potential benefit to people with AIDS, though it is not currently part of current AIDS treatment because its full effect on the immune systems of patients with AIDS is still not fully understood.

Echinacea is commonly used to treat acute respiratory ailments like colds. Some research has found Echinacea to be effective as an antiviral anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In some parts of Europe, Echinacea is taken in an IV as supplemental treatment for some forms of cancer. Some European medical professionals also inject Echinacea to remedy urinary tract infections.

Many people have also used Echinacea externally to help skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and insect bites. It has also been used as an ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments and to soothe sunburn.

Echinacea Side Effects and Precautions
In rare cases, some people experience allergic reactions, including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were intestinal discomfort (pain, nausea) and dizziness. These side effects were generally mild and temporary.

Echinacea is available in whole herb or extract powder or liquid extract, either by itself or as an ingredient in a nutritional supplement. Echinacea can be purchased in most health food stores and some drug and grocery stores.

Is Echinacea a natural supplement you would be interested in trying?



Natural Vitamin Supplements: Spirulina

by Health News

Natural Vitamin Supplement: Spirulina A type of algae containing all eight of the essential amino acids needed by the body, spirulina is a complete, edible protein.  It is chock full of vitamins including E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, K1 and K2.  Spirulina also contains the minerals calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.  These healthy ingredients combined with immune-system boosters such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), chlorophyll, c-phycocyanin and zeaxanthin make spirulina an ideal anti-aging food and a potent natural health product.

Spirulina can be found growing in alkaline, warm-water lakes.  With 60% protein content, there is a high demand for it as a natural food supplement, which has encouraged cultivation for commercial use.  As a result, many types of spirulina supplements are now available online and at natural health stores.  With multiple health benefits, spirulina is an obvious choice for an all-natural anti-aging supplement.

The human body does not easily assimilate animal proteins which can result in a buildup of waste products.  Therefore, spirulina is a great alternative to animal proteins in the diet.  Individuals who consume excessive animal products and refined foods, especially those who are overweight, diabetic, hypo-glycemic, cancerous or arthritic, can benefit from the high quality of protein found in spirulina. 

Spirulina is the only vegetarian source of vitamin B12 which is necessary for the health of red blood cells.  This natural health product can also help to lower blood cholesterol levels, enhance the absorption of minerals needed by the body, and suppress fatty accumulation in the liver.  In addition, all-natural spirulina supplements can supply needed nutrients during fasting in order to properly cleanse and heal the body while limiting hunger. 

A rich source of beta-carotene, spirulina is a member of the carotenoid family which gives plants their varied color.  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A is known for its many benefits to the health including the promotion of healthy teeth, skin, hair and eyes. 

A potent antioxidant supplement, spirulina is full of specific anti-aging properties.  It contains enzymes which help to prevent tissue damage and wrinkling, and it promotes clearer skin and a smoother texture.  Spirulina also helps to offset harmful environmental effects caused by stress, UV rays, chemicals and pollutants.   Essentially, the health benefits of spirulina make it an ideal anti-aging food and all-natural supplement that is worthy of investigation.


The Wonders of Garlic

by Not in Use Not In Use

The word ‘panacea’ gets thrown around quite a bit, especially in the realm of nutrition and natural health. But if the word has any import or meaning, it lay in the substance of garlic. Garlic is widely recognized as one of the most important health supplements that can be found in the natural world. It promotes both the heart and immune system, with antioxidant properties, and helps to maintain healthy blood circulation. Indeed, one of garlic’s most powerful heath benefits is its ability to increase the body’s immune cell activity.

The potent aspect of garlic, that is to say its active component, is the sulfur compound allicin, which is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed, or bruised. Allicin is a strong antibiotic, and a powerful agent which assists the body to inhibit the ability of germs to augment and reproduce.

Garlic also contains Germanium, an anti-cancer agent, and garlic has more of it than any other herb. In lab tests, mice fed garlic showed no cancer development, while those mice which were not fed garlic showed some increase. In fact, garlic has been shown to slow tumor growth in human subjects in some parts of the world.

These are reasons enough to take garlic regularly; but these are merely a few of its desirable qualities. Garlic has proven one of the best immune system boosters, as the presence of all the antioxidants in garlic have a very positive effect on the immune system in general and can therefore protect the body against all types of bacterial and viral attacks, including cold sores, herpes and shingles.

Garlic also acts as a good cold medication, decongestant and expectorant. It is a surprisingly good source of vitamins C, B6 and the minerals selenium and manganese all of which have long been associated with immune system boosting as well as other benefits.

Antibotic, anti-carcinogenic, pro-immune system. And throw in helpful to the heart, and useful in losing weight, as well as other beneficial properties. Garlic is an essential part of a heathful and intelligent diet.