The Dummy’s Guide to Super Foods that are Indigestion Remedies

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Most uncomfortable, unmentionable, stomach and gastrointestinal issues that have you searching for indigestion remedies can be helped by eating a diet of superfoods. These foods are nutrient-dense, filled with vitamins and minerals, and in your neighborhood grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

The world around us consists of fast food menus, vending machine fare, and highly processed diet disasters full of fat, sugar, preservatives.  Yet, the term “superfoods” often conjures up images of acai berries and sardines. What is an acai berry anyway? Sardines every day? No way!

If you are looking for indigestion remedies that are easy and natural, you most likely won’t find them in the corner convenience store, but in abundance throughout your local grocery store.  Many easy to find, delicious and common household food items can ease your tummy troubles and help you be healthier all around.

The Super 7

  1. Berries – blue, straw, black, and raspberries are nature’s candy. These sweet and simple fruits are full of antioxidants that will seek and destroy cell-damaging toxins from preservative-laden fast food meals.  Berries are also packed with fiber to keep your digestive tract humming along to reduce gas and bloating. They are also a great way to increase your fluid intake everyday, which is critical for keeping the GI tract functioning properly.
  2. Oranges – with almost a day’s RDA of vitamin C and antioxidants, these sweet juicy orbs are a must for every healthy diet. Skip the sugar-laden juices and slice up the entire fruit for a delicious snack with lots of fiber and folate.
  3. Broccoli – it’s just good for you! The green spears are full of healthy compounds that fight aging; and fiber that keeps you feeling full and regular. It also has a unique compound called sulforaphane, which stimulates detoxifying enzymes that may ward off cancer.
  4. Beets – these dark purple beauties not only liven up the looks of many dishes, they are mmm, mmm good for you!  The potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C make them “un-beetable” when it comes to keeping a healthy belly.  Beets also boast a good amount of fiber and are a plant source of iron for the vegan and vegetarians in your family.
  5. Spinach – Popeye knew it! Spinach makes you strong and healthy from the inside out. You can eat it raw or cooked in a variety of salads and dishes and the mild taste won’t sour your stomach. These dark green leaves offer vitamin B6, which helps the body metabolize fats and proteins and convert food into energy.  It also boasts a good-sized helping of iron and vitamin C to make it a super food all-star.
  6. Beans – another excellent source of plant-based iron, beans in all colors (kidney, black, pinto, navy) are good for the body. They are rich in soluble fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied longer so you eat less, and lower your cholesterol.
  7. Sweet potatoes –these bright orange potatoes are for more than a sugar-laden casserole at Thanksgiving. Bake them in the oven and top them with a touch of butter and cinnamon for a delicious side dish full of fiber, beta-carotene (aka vitamin A), vitamins B1, B2, and B6. Minerals like copper and manganese are also in the colorful flesh so roast one up today.

Related:  Alternative Protein Sources and Links to Fighting Heart Disease

Eat to Your Heart’s Content

If you are looking for indigestion remedies, the superfood seven is tops on your menu items. They are all mild on the GI tract, will help keep your metabolism humming along, and they are rich in vital nutrients. The best part about eating these superfoods as they are all low in fat, low in sugar, and a source of high quality carbs, so you can eat them every day, as much as you want!

To get the most health benefits eat the entire rainbow of colors these foods come in from red, purple, and black to orange and green. Your stomach and your entire body will thank you for it.

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


Ten Quick Tips about Superfoods

by Health News

True, superfoods have certain traits that make them, well, super, like vital nutrients, no artificial anything, and are often indigestion remedies. 

1. Marketing Misinformation

According to the health website Medicine Net, “there is no accepted medical definition of a superfood.” It’s really just marketing term that is generally thought to mean that any food labeled super has significant health benefits like reducing one’s risk of certain diseases or improving one’s physical or emotional health.

The Food & Drug Administration does not recognize the term superfood, and across most of Europe the use of the term for food labeling is not allowed without hard scientific evidence to back up the claim. The Daily Beast devoted an article to the term saying that “no food should be labeled as a superfood in the first place.”

So are there really any superfoods? The answer is yes…and no.

2.  Definition of a Superfood

In order for a food to be eligible for superfood status, there are a few things it must be, or at least have:

  • Nutrient dense with several vitamins, minerals and compounds with known health benefits
  • Have absolutely nothing artificial in it. No extra sugar, spray on vitamins, no preservatives of any kind. 
  • The calories count, fat content and carbohydrate amounts are irrelevant because of the foods are so full of essential vitamins, minerals and compounds that the body needs to function properly

3. Nutrient Dense

A true superfood will have more than one healthy compound. Just having a bit of vitamin C is not enough to give a food super status.  Nutrient dense means it has at least three essential vitamins and or minerals along with fiber, or protein or a high quality carbohydrate.

4. Nothing Artificial

More than one or two ingredients on the packaging means step away from the fake food.  True superfoods do not have added anything.  If it is in a box or container, it should need to be refrigerated and have an expiration date within a few days like pomegranate seeds, or a superfood salad with several fruits and or vegetables already prepared in the deli food aisle of your local grocery store.

5. Carbs Calories Fat? Who Cares?

You should be able to eat a serving or two of any true superfood without having to take a photo of it for the calorie counter app on your phone. If your meal consists of true superfoods, you can eat hearty servings of it and will feel full and stay that way for longer than anything offered in a vending machine.

Related:  Are Sprouts Superfoods?

6. Gut Friendly

A true superfood is not going to cause you a lot of pain or discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract (GI). In fact, most superfoods are great healthy indigestion remedies when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.  They usually offer some kind of benefit to your gut by helping you absorb nutrients, keep your colon cleansed naturally and don’t cause cramping or excessive gas (some gas is normal, but a lot is not) and bloating.

7. Disease Fighting Properties

Superfoods originally got the term because of the compounds, vitamins and minerals they contained had some scientific research to back up their effectiveness against certain diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis and many forms of cancer.  Antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and carotenoids are common in many superfoods and they are all known to help stave off disease.

8.  Not Every Healthy Food Is a Superfood

Onions, apples and carrots are not called superfoods, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating them regularly. Many vegetables and fruits may have only one or two health boosting compounds but are good for you.  You shouldn’t avoid a certain fruit or vegetable, especially if you enjoy eating it, just because it’s not labeled as super.

9. Foods That Truly Earn the Title

So what are some true superfoods?  There are three foods that meet all the criteria for being a true superfood and they are not grown on some exotic island in the South Pacific, but readily available at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

Blueberries – Chock full of anthocyanins, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals you can’t go wrong by tossing a few into your morning oatmeal, lunch salad or stirring them into some Greek yogurt for a snack. With only 80 calories in one cup, go ahead and have seconds. The natural sugar content will keep your energy up, the fiber will fill you up and the phytonutrients and antioxidants will help keep your cells healthy.

Spinach – Popeye was a smart guy. Spinach is truly a superfood loaded with protein, iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin K with lots of hydrating water and filling fiber. It’s been shown in many research studies to have a positive impact on blood pressure, asthma symptoms, bone health and the GI tract.

Broccoli- Mom was right when she told you to eat your broccoli. Those little green spears of goodness have everything you want and nothing you don’t. They are a great source of vitamin C, K and A, fiber, and many other compounds that ward off cancer, help with allergies, acts as an indigestion remedy to keep your GI tract humming along normally and the list goes on and on. Eat some already!

10. The Truth about Superfoods

Always keep in mind that no official regulating body legally recognizes the term, superfood.  It’s a description to denote a food with many health benefits but low in calories, saturated fats and sugar carbohydrates. The honest truth is no one food is a miracle cure-all. But through superfoods, you can gain indigestion remedies and more. 


Safe Anxiety Treatments: Rose and Lavender are Scents that Soothe

by Health News

Used by natural healers for centuries, aromatherapy provides safe drug-free relief for anxiety and depression. Aromatherapy involves using natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems and leaves to enhance physical and psychological well-being. In recent years, aromatherapy methods that incorporate lavender and rose essential oils have emerged as effective anxiety treatments and to provide natural remedies for depression.

Numerous studies have shown that aromatherapy works by sending signals to the olfactory nerve that affects the central nervous system. The sense of smell is closely associated with memory and feelings related to what researchers call “the emotional brain.” 

Lavender has been used throughout history to reduce stress and promote restful sleep. Its fragrant flowers and leaves are used either dried or distilled into essential oil.  Because it is so relaxing, lavender oil is often used during massages and it is also used in lotions, soaps and other bath and beauty products. Teas derived from lavender are often recommended for people suffering from excessive stress or insomnia.

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Roses have been cherished for centuries for their beautiful fragrance. Essential oil derived from roses has therapeutic properties, especially for relaxation and for the treatment of depression. Several studies, including one recently published in The Journal of Natural Medicine, have confirmed the therapeutic use of rose oil as a mood enhancer.

Essential oils can be added to the bath, massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or used in candles or diffusers to provide soothing aromas in a room. Here are some common ways to use essential oils:

  • Add a few drops of essential oil to a hot bath
  • Put a couple of drops on your wrists, hands or pulse points
  • Combine a few drops of oil with your favorite lotion or shampoo
  • Pour a few drops on a tissue and inhale as needed

The flowers of roses and lavender can be dried and used in eye pillows, soothing sachets or potpourri.  Many people carry small pomanders of the dried flowers in their briefcases or purses for easy access.

If you are suffering from anxiety or depression consider embracing the healing power of aromatherapy. You don’t have to go to an expensive spa in order to benefit from this natural remedy for depression. Aromatherapy is safe, effective, affordable and convenient.  


Feeling Down? Try These Natural Remedies for Depression

by Cindy Gray

Everybody feels a little sad or depressed occasionally and often it is a normal reaction to loss or life’s inevitable struggles. For most people, the blues go away after situations are resolved. Others however, are not so lucky.  

According to the National Institute for Mental Health more than 14.8 million adults suffer from major depression which affects their health, relationships and ability to function.  Although there are many prescription medications that claim to help, most people prefer to seek out national remedies for depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sad, anxious feelings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Digestive problems

People who are clinically depressed may look at external reasons for their sadness.  But in true clinical depression, outside factors are not often the primary reasons for depression.  Depression is influenced by the balance of brain chemicals and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.  The often-prescribed medications that are supposed to regulate neurotransmitters tend to be very expensive and most have side effects that range from unpleasant to dangerous.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided us with safe, effective natural remedies for depression. Recent studies have found a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in eggs and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Your body can make its own vitamin D after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, but that can be difficult depending on the time of year and where you live.

RelatedNatural Supplements and Vitamins--Why They are Important

Vitamin D has also been associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and it also contributes to bone health, immune function and muscle maintenance. Because it is so important, millions of Americans take vitamin D supplements to help ensure they are getting sufficient amounts. Vitamin D is available in tablet, capsule, powdered, and in liquid forms. The needed amount varies from person to person so ask your holistic health practitioner to determine the dosage that best suits your individual needs.

Consider adding nutritional supplements to your natural remedies for depression. It’s also important to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, moderate exercise, adequate rest, social interaction and stress reduction techniques.


Three Herbs for Stress Reduction

by Institute for Vibrant Living

In the modern world, prolonged stress is far too common. Most of us are on the go and under pressure every day.  Life can be difficult, as we juggle to meet the demands of modern life in our careers, families and especially around the holidays.  You might be surprised to learn that there are three herbs for stress that can safely and gently bring a little calm to the chaos of daily living.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and considered a calming herb in Chinese medicine.  It has been used since the Middle Ages to calm anxiety, treat insomnia, and reduce feelings of stress.  In modern medicine, lemon balm is often combined with other calming herbs like chamomile or valerian in teas or in supplements to induce relaxation.  

Studies have shown that lemon balm does indeed elevate your mood, induce calm feelings and increase alertness.  It’s believed that a compound called eugenol in lemon balm is responsible for its effectiveness in calming muscle spasms, killing bacteria and producing feelings of calmness.

You can find lemon balm in bulk dry leaf form, in tea, capsules, as an oil, extract or tincture.  In general you can take safely take 300 to 500 milligrams up to three times per day, drink it in tea form up to four times per day or us 60 lemon balm drops (tincture) per day.  Of course, always consult your doctor when taking new supplements to prevent any drug interactions.

Holy Basil

Holy basil is also a member of the mint family of herbs but is not to be confused with its cousin sweet basil, commonly used in cooking. Native to tropical Asia, holy basil has been grown in India for more than 3,000 years and is considered a sacred plant.

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Holy basil is packed with potent antioxidants, and has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great supplement to treat a variety of stress inducing illnesses.  It has shown to ease the symptoms of the common cold, bronchitis, and digestive disorders like ulcers, and even reduce fevers.  Modern medicine is finding this divine herb is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope or adapt to handle stress and anxiety.

It is believed that the compounds eugenol, caryophyllene and triterpenoic acid in holy basil are the reason it is one of the best herbs for stress relief. 

Holy basil is best absorbed in soft-gel capsule form in 300-milligram doses for the average adult, but check with your doctor before taking any new supplements to avoid negative drug interactions.


Nothing is more fragrant, delicious and relaxing than a steaming hot cup of chamomile tea after a long stressful day.  This herb, a member of the daisy family, has been used for centuries to soothe, calm and heal a variety of medical issues.

Extensive scientific research over the past two decades has shown chamomile to be a potent stress-busting herb.  The scientific data shows it to have antiseptic, antispasmodic, antibacterial, and sedative properties.  Some animal studies have documented chamomile’s positive effect on parts of the brain that anti-anxiety medicines are administered to treat to reduce anxiety and stress.

Nothing increases stress like sleep-deprivation. It’s a chronic problem in our modern day lives and chamomile is an effective natural remedy that induces calm and helps promote sleep.  In fact, it is probably the most widely consumed herbal tea in the world according to the Research Foundation in Boulder, Colorado.  Its long history of use and the new research documenting its positive effect on stress levels make it a smart herb to add to your daily diet.

With no known negative side effects, there is no standard dosage for chamomile. In general, 400 to 1600 milligrams seems to be the amount in capsule form to provide the most benefit. Consult your doctor before taking it in any amount.

Three to Be Stress Free

Taking herbs for stress relief is an easy natural way to improve your health.  Lemon balm, holy basil and chamomile have long histories of use and modern research is supporting their use to help combat mental and physical strain.


Take Lack of Sex Drive to 'Super Libido' with Tongkat Ali

by Cindy Gray

Eventually, all men must face getting older, which comes with a host of side effects including diminished libido.   When it comes to reduced sexual desire, aging men look to any remedy that promises to help.  While 20 percent of American men over the age of 40 have tried Viagra for enhancing erectile function, this drug has virtually no effect on sexual desire.  What's more, roughly 50 percent of men experience side effects from Viagra like flushing, headache, nasal congestion, upset stomach, or visual problems.  Fortunately, men who suffer a lack of sex drive have a natural option in the form of tongkat ali, an herb from Southeast Asia. 

In addition to many other health benefits, tongkat ali helps replenish a lack of sex drive.

Tongkat ali is a shrub-like tree found in Borneo, Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sumatra, and Thailand.  Dubbed "Asian Viagra" by the New Sunday Times, this herb has been used to treat men with a lack of sex drive, reduced sexual performance, and low energy levels. 

According to research, tongkat ali contains potent phytochemicals that increase muscle growth, boost mental alertness, support healthy sex organs, promote semen quality, increase muscle growth, boost mental alertness, and promote healthy testosterone levels in men.  In fact, consumption of tongkat ali has been shown to boost free testosterone and nearly double total testosterone in men undergoing clinical trials. 

A Malaysian study in 2012 examined 76 men.  At the beginning of the study, only 35 percent of the men showed normal testosterone levels.  Following 30 days of supplementation with tongkat ali, over 90 percent of the participants showed normal levels of testosterone.  Many animal studies have also found success with tongkat ali in boosting sexual arousal and frequency of sexual behavior. 

Related:  Five Common Myths about Prostate Health

Tongkat Ali and Male Fertility

While fertility may not be important to some men as they get older, other men might appreciate the fruitful benefits offered by tongkat ali.  Because it improves sperm quality, the herb also enhances male fertility.  One study of 75 men showed improvements in sperm quality that lasted for months following the study, and nearly 15 percent of participants reported resulting pregnancies in female partners.

Other Uses for Tongkat Ali

Natural herbs often provide a host of health benefits, and tongkat ali is no different.  In addition to its use for lack of sex drive and diminished sexual performance, tongkat ali is said to benefit:

  • aches, pains, and fever
  • bleeding (as a coagulant)
  • dysentery
  • edema
  • glandular swelling
  • hypertension
  • sores and ulcers

Precautions for Supplementing with Tongkat Ali

While generally considered safe when consumed in appropriate amounts, tongkat ali sometimes causes side effects in doses higher than 1000 mgs.  These include insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and restlessness.  People should look for products that are certified for authenticity and free of mercury.   Before engaging in any supplementary program, it is always wise to consult with a health care professional. 


Natural Remedies for Depression Include Three Healthy Foods

by IVL Products

Depression affects nearly 19 million people across the United States.  While a number of factors contribute to depression, many people fail to consider daily nutrition.  What we put in our mouths plays a big role in mood as well as mental focus and energy levels.  According to experts, some foods that reduce depression include garbanzo beans, turkey, and yogurt.  Each of these nutritional foods contains mood-enhancing properties and a few extra health benefits, making them must-haves for the shopping cart.  

Add foods that reduce depression like garbanzo beans, yogurt, and turkey to the shopping cart.

Garbanzo Beans

According to a 2004 study published in "Human Psychopharmacology," people with depression show high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can hinder recovery and endanger the heart.  Folic acid helps keep homocysteine levels in check, and garbanzo beans make a rich source of this valuable nutrient.  Studies also show that folic acid may enhance the effectiveness of prescribed antidepressants, but people should consult with their doctor before using folic acid supplements.  Garbanzo beans also provide a rich source of fiber for better digestive health.


People looking for natural remedies for depression should consider foods rich in protein, particularly turkey.  Many lean sources of protein provide amino acids that help improve mood as well as support the immune system, repair body tissues, and boost energy.  Turkey goes one step further with high levels of tryptophan, a chemical that stimulates the production of serotonin, a mood-enhancing and sleep-promoting neurotransmitter in the brain.  This might explain why people feel so drowsy and content following Thanksgiving dinner.  Other dietary sources of tryptophan include cottage cheese, milk, brown rice, peanuts, beef, and soy products.

RelatedWays to Lower Risk of Depression


Low-fat dairy products like yogurt contain calcium, vitamin D, and protein as well as specific peptides that support wellbeing.  In addition to these healthy ingredients, yogurt offers a rich source of probiotics ─ microorganisms that help maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines.  Some depressed people have an overgrowth of 'bad' intestinal bacteria, which can cause problems with the absorption of micronutrients.  These compounds are directly involved in the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin.  To get the most health benefits, people should purchase plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it with fresh fruit or lemon juice and stevia.

In light of all their healthy properties, it makes sense to add these three foods that reduce depression to a dietary plan.  People who don't like the texture of garbanzo beans might try a smooth and creamy hummus spread with fresh veggies, crackers, or chips.  Natural turkey lunch meat makes a good alternative to a big roasted bird, and probiotic supplements make a good replacement for plain yogurt.

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


The Multivitamin-Mood Connection

by Health News

We’ve all heard the saying "you are what you eat", but a recent study shows that diet does more than just affect our long-term body weight and energy levels - what we eat also controls our moods. Scientists now believe diet can even provide natural remedies for depression.

Study into Vitamins as Natural Remedies for Depression

In order to control and measure the association between depression and nutrient deficiency, scientists ran a study on a group of 50 healthy male volunteers aged between 50 and 69. They were given either a placebo or a multivitamin supplement for eight weeks.

The supplement contained a higher-than-recommended daily dose of 26 vitamins and minerals and extracts from 21 herbs, fruit and vegetables. At the end of the trial, the participants were required to complete a questionnaire on mood and stress levels before and after the trial to measure the possible effects of multivitamins as natural remedies of depression.

Those who took the supplement showed a significant reduction in depression, anxiety and stress compared to those on the placebo. They also noted an improved level of alertness. The study concluded that taking a daily supplement of multivitamins and minerals can improve mood and alertness. Supplement-takers also reported less negative mood symptoms and an improved sense of well-being, showing that a healthy diet high in vitamins and minerals can provide natural remedies for depression and poor mood.

RelatedIndigestion and Mood:  The Gut-Brain Connection

How Food Affects Mood

An example of how food affects our mood can be seen when we eat a heavy lunch and feel sluggish and dozy afterwards. That's due to higher blood sugar levels suppressing orexin, a chemical in the brain that's responsible for levels of alertness.

Similarly, when you are hungry and blood sugar levels are low, your brain triggers feelings of impatience and irritability – a throwback to when man was a hunter and needed to take action to address that hunger!

Understanding that food can affect our mood and feelings of happiness or depression can help us address the problems and find answers. Everything we eat has an effect on our hormones and neurotransmitters, which control our mood and energy levels.

Those suffering from feelings of depression are often low in dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Proteins can help boost the levels of these neurotransmitters and avoiding excess sugar can also help provide natural remedies of depression. As the study shows, the value of taking multivitamins and supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet can also be a powerful weapon, working together as natural remedies against depression

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How Depression Affects your Brain Structure

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Doctors understand that depression can manifest itself in physical ill-health, but new research has found it can also physically change the structure of the brain.


Depression and the Hippocampus

Studies have shown that recurring periods of depression can reduce the size of the hippocampus which is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. This part of the brain controls emotion, memory and the autonomic nervous system, so it is vital to a person's personality and quality of life. 

If the hippocampus shrinks in size, it can affect behavior, with a loss of natural emotion and sense of self. It is particularly important to address the causes of depression in teenagers to avoid long-term damage to their memory and emotions.

Researchers used the results of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 8,930 people to study the hippocampus. The results showed that those who regularly suffered bouts of depression had a smaller hippocampus in about 65% of cases.

Previously it was not known whether the shrinkage of the hippocampus was the cause or the result of depression.

However, new research shows that depression comes first, and then the shrinkage of the hippocampus, according to Professor Ian Hickie. It is also now clear that persistent bouts of depression cause even more reduction in the size of the hippocampus, so it is important to get help early to counter the effect and causes of depression.

Fortunately the shrinkage is reversible as the hippocampus is able to generate new connections between cells to restore brain health once the underlying depression has been treated.  

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Causes of Depression Include Chronic Inflammation

There are many causes of depression, including personal circumstances, chemical or hormonal imbalance and other biological factors.

Chronic inflammation is one of the factors associated with depression. Common causes of inflammation are vitamin D deficiency, a sugar-loaded diet and unbalanced flora in the gut. These can all be remedied by a healthy diet.

If you are struggling with depression and mood swings then try switching to a healthier diet focused on organic, cultured and fermented food to boost gut bacteria.  Avoid processed foods and increase fresh raw fruits and vegetables so you know exactly what you are eating.

Add regular exercise to your daily routine and as the inflammation reduces you will find you can combat feelings of depression, have a healthier body and a healthier brain, too.

Free 30-Day Vibrant Living Challenge



Tea Tree Oil for Acne: Natural Remedy with Proven Results

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Should you treat oily skin with oil? On the surface it might not sound like a good idea but the truth of the matter is it that tea tree oil for acne is a centuries-old remedy with proven results. A natural antimicrobial agent, tea tree oil kills the bacteria that cause many types of dermatological problems, including acne. 

Natural Remedy for Acne:  Tea Tree Oil Results

Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained from the leaves of melaleuca alternifolia (commonly known as the narrow-leaf tea tree), a plant native to Australia. Its antimicrobial activity is linked to an ingredient called terpinen-4.  Several studies, including a recent one at the University of Maryland Medical Center, found that tea tree oil for skin is just as effective as many popular over-the-counter chemical-based acne medicines. This makes it an excellent choice for people who want to achieve clearer skin without the potentially serious side effects of chemicals.

Natural beauty products are better for your skin because what you put on your skin eventually winds up in your body.  They are also better for the environment because chemicals have a destructive effect on water and soil. Widely available online and in natural health stores, tea tree oil for skin care is inexpensive and safe when used as directed. Because it is an essential oil, it must be diluted with water or vegetable-based oils before using.

Here are some recommended treatments:

As an on-the-spot treatment: Gently wash your face with all-natural soap and then saturate a cotton swab with the tea tree oil solution.  Apply directly to your acne trouble spots and do not rinse. It is recommended that you do this once in the morning and again just before bedtime.

As an astringent rinse: Combine four drops of tea tree oil to one cup of water and rinse your face with the mix.

Related: A Humble Houseplant Works Wonders With Skin Issues

As a facial mask:  Combine four drops of tea oil into an egg white. Apply solution to your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Tea tree oil is for topical use only and can be toxic if it is ingested internally. Do not exceed recommended dosages as it is very strong and using concentrated dosages can irritate the skin. When used properly it is an effective natural remedy that has the potential to keep your skin clear and radiant.  


Adult Acne: Wrinkles and Pimples at the Same Time?

by Cindy Gray

While nobody ever said life was fair, it does seem like a cruel joke and a double whammy to have to deal with acne and wrinkles at the same time. After all, aren’t pimples supposed to be a malady reserved for teenagers? Adult acne is becoming increasingly common in this country, leaving millions of older people perplexed about treatment options.  According to The Journal of Cosmetic Science, adult acne affects about 25% of men and 50% of adult women with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

The major culprit in acne at any age appears to be hormones which trigger activity in the sebaceous (oil) glands. That explains why many people have their first acne outbreaks during puberty. Later in life acne is triggered by menstrual issues, pregnancy, menopause, pollution and stress. Modern day diets filled with hormone-laden dairy and meat products also contribute to the problem.    

The first step in finding the proper treatment for adult acne is gaining an understanding of the various ways in which it manifests itself:

Blackheads: Blackheads occur when dead skin cells and oil clog the opening of a pore. They are sometimes referred to as the “first stage” of acne. Because they form before bacteria invade the pores they are usually not painful or inflamed. They typically develop on the face but can also appear on the back, chest, neck, arms and shoulders.

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Whiteheads: A whitehead develops when oil, bacteria and dead skin cells get trapped inside the pores. Unlike a blackhead, a whitehead is formed under the surface of a closed pore. You should never “pick” at whitehead because that can cause it to become infected and inflamed.

Cystic Acne:  Cystic acne occurs when a pore in your skin gets clogged and bacteria get trapped inside the pore, causing it to swell and redden. This type of acne happens when the infection goes deep into the skin and it results in a bump that is filled with pus. If the cyst bursts, it can cause an infection to spread that will cause more breakouts.

If you suffer from adult acne consult your dermatologist or holistic health practitioner about natural remedies. Many of the over-the-counter remedies in drug stores contain strong chemicals which can irritate your skin. A healthy diet, plenty of rest, good hygiene and stress management can help your skin and your overall health so that you will glow from the inside out. 


Detox for Clear Skin

by Cindy Gray

Detoxify for clear and healthy skinIf acne, wrinkles or cellulite have you feeling self-conscious and miserable, don’t despair! You can clear up your blemishes, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and send cellulite packing with some herbs and supplements that can help you detox for clear skin.

First, here are some of the obvious things you should be doing to keep your skin clear, smooth and glowing:

  • Get enough sleep every night
  • Exercise
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Stop smoking
  • Wash your face before going to sleep

So now that you have sworn up and down to do all of the above, hasten the detox for clear skin with these gifts from Mother Nature:

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is an herb with anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and soothes irritation.  Taking it can help your intestines and bowels stay healthier, which is essential for getting rid of toxic substances and bacteria.  This helps reduce the bacteria that can cause acne, and helps to reduce the redness and irritation of a breakout—plus it helps keep more breakouts from occurring.

A known blood purifier, milk thistle improves circulation to the skin and its demulcent properties help form a protective layer over skin cells to protect them from environmental damage.


Actually it’s the leaves, not the heart of an artichoke, where most of its powerful health benefits can be found.

As an antioxidant, artichoke can help reverse sun damage and encourage healthy cell regeneration.  It also helps reduce inflammation, and is a rich source of peptides that work to improve the texture of your skin to smooth away wrinkles and improve circulation.


Strangely enough, this noxious weed that spreads over your lawn is good for something.  Dandelion is a good source of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A, a known friend to skin. It also has vitamins C and D, along with a host of B-complex vitamins.

Dandelion has been the foe of green thumbs everywhere, but for thousands of years it was used to treat scurvy, skin problems like rashes, and even blood disorders.  Eating dandelion can help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure.

Finally, dandelion is a mild diuretic, meaning it helps the kidneys flush out excess waste and water from the system; and helps to inhibit microbial growth in the urinary tract system.  When you feel good, you look good.

Related:  Five Fabulous Oils to Remove Wrinkles

Blessed Thistle

Seen in nature, blessed thistle looks wicked and spikey, but those are indicative of its detoxification powers. Blessed thistle has two anti-microbial compounds in it that are very beneficial to skin because it helps the body battle bad bacteria.

Blessed thistle also helps reduce inflammation and is beneficial to the liver so it can more efficiently remove toxins from the blood that contribute to skin problems.  The astringent properties of blessed thistle also makes it a natural remedy to treat boils and skin ulcers.


Methionine is an essential fatty acid with many health benefits for the body and skin. It helps the body eliminate fat build up in the tissues to make cellulite less noticeable.

Methionine also supports liver function, critical to removing the toxins that find their way into our bodies.  It is essential to collagen production, too. As we age, the production of collagen protein starts to decline and wrinkles are the result.  It’s also an anti-inflammatory and contains amino acids that aid the body in eliminating toxins, support healthy tissue and improve your cardiovascular system.

Detox and Glow

Don’t let acne, wrinkles or cellulite keep you indoors and make you blue. You can detox for clear skin for healthy, wrinkle- and cellulite-free skin, thanks to nature’s bounty.


5 Ways to Overcome Thinning Hair

by Health News

Hair today might be gone tomorrow for some men and women experiencing hair loss.  While genetics sometimes plays a part, men become susceptible to thinning hair when testosterone converts to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a form of the hormone that affects the follicles.  For females, a sluggish thyroid or menopausal hormone changes are often to blame.  The possibility of balding can cause acute emotional distress, and people spend millions on products promising to bring back their lost tresses.  While conventional treatments like Minoxidil and Propecia have shown positive results, many people worry about side effects that could accompany long-term use.  Natural remedies offer a safer alternative. Check out five effective herbs for thinning hair

Five herbs for thinning hair offer promising, natural and safe solutions.


Providing double the benefits, horsetail makes one of the best herbs for thinning hair.  It offers potent anti-inflammatory properties that boost circulation and build stronger hair follicles.  It also contains silica, a trace mineral linked to improved hair health and hair growth.  Many people with dandruff benefit from shampoos containing horsetail extract.

Stinging Nettle

Found in abundance in North America, stinging nettle helps prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, making it a good product for men and some women.  People can take this herb in a supplement form, find it in shampoos, or make their own topical treatment. Placing stinging nettle leaves into a jar of olive oil for a period of three weeks makes a good topical hair loss treatment according to some herbalists. 

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is another herb for thinning hair that helps prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and it contains anti-inflammatory benefits.  Research shows that saw palmetto offers enhanced effectiveness when combined with stinging nettle.  While it may help prevent further hair loss, studies on hair growth are still in preliminary stages.  People can purchase saw palmetto dried or in teas, capsules, and tinctures.

Related:  What Are The Benefits of Green Tea?

Pelvetia Canaliculata

Also called channeled wrack, the herb Pelvetia canaliculata comes from seaweed.  It contains powerful antioxidants ─ comparable to vitamin E ─ that revitalize the scalp.  Channeled wrack also offers DHT-inhibiting properties, and it is used in many shampoos and other hair care products.

Green Tea Leaf

In addition to offering many other health benefits, potent catechins found in green tea leaves inhibit the formation of DHT like many of the herbs mentioned above.  According to some herbalists, men might reduce risks for male pattern baldness by drinking several cups of green tea daily or taking green tea supplements.

Although conventional hair loss treatments offer positive results in some people, many worry about the effects of certain man-made chemicals over the long term.  That's why many people turn to remedies like herbs for thinning hair. The five herbs above offer effective hair-boosting therapies wrapped in a safe and natural package. 


The One Tactic That Can Stop Hair Thinning

by Health News

Scientists have recently discovered a new ally in the search for effective hair loss remedies – green lipped mussels. Known as Perna Canaliculus, these delicious mussels are brimming with vitamins, proteins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and enzymes. While research into the health benefits of green-lipped mussels was in progress, doctors discovered that these shellfish are one of the most effective hair loss remedies in nature's medicine cabinet.

To a degree, hair loss is governed by genetics, but hair thinning treatments can prevent unnecessary hair loss, as well as treating those suffering from alopecia or other hair loss problems.

Natural hair loss remedies for thinning hair include green-lipped mussel extract

History behind the Health Benefits of Green Lipped Mussels

The indigenous Maoris of New Zealand rarely suffer illness, despite their physically demanding lifestyle in a cold and damp climate. Scientists noticed that the Maoris never seemed to be afflicted with swollen joints, aches, back pain and arthritis that most Westerners suffer from as they age.

Doctors began studying the traditional Maori diet, which consists mainly of seafood, in particular green-lipped mussels. They found that the mussels were high in anti-inflammatory properties, making them a natural replacement for aspirin and ibuprofen. Another unexpected side effect of eating green-lipped mussels was that it boosted hair growth, providing a natural hair thinning treatment.

One of Nature's Most Effective Hair Loss Remedies

Further studies into green-lipped mussels found that the shellfish are exceptionally high in several components known to be effective hair loss remedies.   Shellfish are an excellent source of omega-3s and mussels contain even more powerful fatty acids than standard fish oil. As well as lowering cholesterol, supporting a healthy heart and reducing joint pain, omega-3s are known to improve skin, hair and nails. They can slow down or even restore hair loss by keeping the scalp lubricated and promoting the production of hormones responsible for maintaining a lush head of hair.

Green Lipped Mussels and Zinc

Zinc is another vital mineral that is an important ingredient in hair loss remedies. Zinc deficiency is known to cause hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hair loss is a common symptom. If you are suffering from hair loss (alopecia), a boost of zinc from green-lipped mussels or a supplement of green mussel extract may be one the simplest and most effective hair loss treatments for you.

RelatedHair Loss:  Causes and Solutions

One final benefit found in green-lipped mussels is the high content of mucopolysaccharides they contain. More commonly known as glycosaminoglycans, these sugar molecules have been found to stimulate hair growth in clinical trials. They lengthen the anagen (growing stage) of hair follicles, producing the same effect as chemical hair loss remedies.

If your hair is thinning and in poor condition, take a tip from the Maoris and eat more green-lipped mussels. Alternatively, add a mussel extract to your daily diet and look forward to receiving those compliments about your thicker head of hair soon. 


Here’s a Quick Way To Stop Cellulite

by IVL Products

If you're worried about the appearance of orange-peel skin and lumpy bumpy areas on the stomach, buttocks and thighs, then welcome to the club.  Like 90% of women, you have developed cellulite!

Many popular cellulite home remedies include using coffee grounds

There are several effective cellulite home remedies available to reduce the unsightly appearance of cellulite and help prevent more cellulite from forming. Here are three of the least expensive, natural, and most effective methods:

1. Dry Brushing Cellulite

Dry brushing the areas that are prone to developing cellulite is one of the easiest cellulite home remedies. It works by stimulating the circulation and lymph flow in the body, breaking down existing fat cells and preventing others from sticking and forming bulging cellulite pockets.

Dry brushing is exactly what it says, so step into the shower but don't turn on the water yet. Use a brush with natural bristles to dry brush the skin toward the heart. Systematically sweep up the legs, work the arms from wrist to chest and brush the stomach counterclockwise. The action sloughs away dry skin as well as encouraging the fat cells to release toxins. Once done, enjoy your shower as usual.

2. Massage Cellulite-Prone Areas

Many people report that massage is one of nature's best cellulite home remedies. Similar to dry brushing, a massage improves blood circulation, breaks down fat cells and helps flush out toxins. Use an anti-cellulite cream a double effect.

RelatedTop Five Foods for Beautiful Skin

3. Cellulite Home Remedies Using Coffee Grounds

Many cellulite home remedies involve coffee grounds, making it an inexpensive, readily available, and effective way to use up those natural left-overs rather than discarding them.

One way to use coffee grounds as a cellulite home remedy treatment is to moisten coffee grounds with olive oil to make a paste and massage it generously over the problem areas. Dr Oz suggests adding ¼ cup of brown sugar to the paste for added exfoliation.  (In place of sugar, try adding extra fine sea salt.)

Leaving the coffee grounds in place, wrap the area in cling film for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water and a moistening soap or cleanser.

The caffeine apparently constricts the blood vessels, tightening the tissue. It is also thought to enhance fat metabolism, which is the basic cause of cellulite. When applied topically, coffee grounds may also absorb water and fat from the skin, breaking down the fat cells and improving the appearance of cellulite.

Coupled with a Cellulite Diet, these free cellulite home remedies will certainly leave your skin looking and feeling good, as well as keeping ugly cellulite under control. 


The Best Sprouts for Menopause

by Health News

Hormone replacement therapy for menopause is linked to a dramatic increase in your risk of developing breast cancer.  With that scary statistic in mind, you may want to consider finding natural menopause relief.

Different kinds of sprouts work for natural menopause relief.

Thanks to an abundance of research and anecdotal publishing, we know there are some natural remedies for menopause symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, and weight gain. A food you may not realize can help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause is sprouts.

What about Sprouts?

All sprouted seeds are very rich sources of natural enzymes.  A sprout is a seed in the active state of maturation, or sprouting, and has a lot of nutrients and healthy enzymes to offer. In fact, when a seed sprouts to become the plant it was destined to be, its nutrient value increases dramatically, but only for a short time.

There are many different kinds of sprouts, but the best ones to eat for natural menopause relief are:

Bean Sprouts – easy to grown and rich in folate protein, vitamin C, B vitamins and iron, these are most commonly found as mung, or soybean sprouts. 

Alfalfa Sprouts – best eaten raw to retain their crunchy texture these sprouts are a great source of beta-carotene (about as much as carrots!) calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins C and K, riboflavin, manganese and copper. They are also loaded with fiber.

Alfalfa sprouts also contain high levels of phytoestrogens, a compound that can have the same effect on the human body as estrogen. This will help reduce the symptoms of menopause caused by a decline in estrogen production as women age.

Lentil Sprouts – These sprouts are a little high maintenance but worth it because of the vitamin C, thiamine, copper, iron, folate and manganese they contain.

Related:  Are Sprouts Superfoods?

Sprouted Grains – Found in brown rice and buckwheat, sprouted grains supply a crunchy texture to breads and a hefty dose of extra fiber.  They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, helping to control diabetes, alleviate depression and reduce blood pressure.

Depression, higher blood pressure and weight gain are common side effects of decreased estrogen and progesterone production making lentil sprouts a great natural remedy for menopause.

How to Incorporate Sprouts Into Your Diet

You can easily incorporate sprouts into your diet. They make a great addition to any salad, stuffed in a pita, part of a sandwich, and are a tasty burger topper.  They are delicious in stir-fries, soups and stews as well. 

Eating them regularly and throughout the day will not only help relieve hot flashes, but will also provide you with several nutrients critical to good health.

Sprout Safety

You can easily find sprouts at most grocery stores.  Since sprouts are known to be contaminated with E. coli and salmonella sometimes, it is a good idea to look for the organic variety, keep them refrigerated and buy fresh sprouts with the buds still on them.

You can also grow your own at home with a jar, cheesecloth and a rubber band. Those you know for sure are not contaminated!


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.


How to Exercise Away the Effects of Depression

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Depression is a debilitating mental disorder that affects approximately 14.8 million Americans.  Worse, studies show it is on the rise and has become a worldwide epidemic according to the World Health Organization.  It’s a relief to know that exercise is a safe and effective natural remedy for depression that most anyone can put into his or her daily routine.

New research has concluded that those who regularly exercise can combat depression.

Some people only suffer depression at one point in their life like post-partum depression, while others are afflicted with it chronically over a lifetime.  The medical industry has responded with a flood of powerful brain altering drugs to combat the effects of depression. Yet in many cases, exercise is proving to be just as effective, with positive side effects!

The Research: Exercise and Depression

A study published by the Archives of Medicine found exercise to nearly as effective as medication in treating patients with major depression.  

Another study conducted on students at the University of Virginia observed a significant reduction in depression symptoms for those students diagnosed with the disorder who jogged regularly.  Those who did not engage in any form of regular exercise showed no changes in their symptoms in contrast.

Related:  Ways to Lower Risk of Depression

To bolster these findings, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a report where researchers found that a mere one point increase in regular exercise appeared to lower study participants’ risk of being depressed by 10%. More importantly it cut their risk of becoming chronically depressed by 17%!

Effects of Exercise on Depression

The effects of exercise on depression are quite profound.  It can effect change in brain chemicals, reduce immune system chemicals that worsen depression and increases body temperature, which seems to have a calming effect.

Your Brain

When you exercise your brain releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings in your brain while reducing your perception of pain.  While the effects are temporary, regularly feeling that “runner’s high” has a very positive, energizing affect, something those who suffer from depression need.

Your Immune System

There is a growing body of evidence that depression has as much or more to do with your immune system as it does your brain.  While most medications are prescribed to help balance chemicals in the brain, research out of the University of California has suggested that inflammation, an immune response, may be a contributing cause of depression.

Regular moderate exercise is known to strengthen the immune system.  It will also help keep body fat in check, and improve circulation, which benefits the brain and the body and could lead to fewer depression symptoms.

Exercise and Depression: Your Attitude Matters

The possibility of finding effective natural remedies for depression is good news for those who have resigned themselves to taking powerful anti-depressants and dealing with the side effects. With the many positive aspects of exercising to help with depression, it a good idea to make sure you get plenty of it on regular basis if you have or are at risk of developing symptoms of depression.

Besides the feel good brain chemicals and boost to your immune system, exercise will help you keep weight gain in check, make you stronger and give you more energy.


Six Potent Probiotics

by Cindy Gray

If you are seeking a natural remedy to help with diarrhea, then look to probiotics.  These potent little strains of live bacteria and yeasts are very good for your digestive system and can bring relief to those suffering from occasional to chronic diarrhea.

Those who suffer from diarrhea will find probiotics a powerful remedy.

Probiotics are naturally helpful to your body; and you can ingest them easily from certain foods and supplements.  There are many kinds of bacteria classified as probiotics and they all have different health benefits, but almost all of them come from two groups:

  • Lactobacillus – the most common probiotic, it can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods.  It can help those who are lactose intolerant and ease diarrhea.
  • Bifidobacterium – this type is found in dairy products like milk and can help those with IBS relieve their symptoms.

You are not alone if you suffer from diarrhea. Those who have three or more loose stools per day for a period of four weeks or more are diagnosed with chronic diarrhea.

Related Top Three Fermented Foods for Constipation Relief

Taking over the counter medications is fine if you only experience diarrhea occasionally. However, if your condition is chronic, you’ll want to consider these diarrhea natural remedies.

  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus – is found in foods like yogurt, kefir, pickles and soy products, and in supplement form.  It is very beneficial to the human GI tract because it helps break down sugars in milk products (lactose) and produces vitamin K.
  2. L. casei (lactobacillus casei) – is found naturally in fermented foods. It has shown to be a very effective way to speed up recovery time for those suffering from acute diarrhea. It helps the gut break down lactose, and relieve constipation. It also relieves gas and promotes healthy digestion, which improves your immunity.
  3. L. rhamnosus – is found in the human GI tract, mouth and vagina.  Its greatest health benefit is as an anti-inflammatory. This makes it beneficial for those with loose stools and vaginal infections.
  4. L.  plantarum – this strain of bacterial is a real powerhouse. It can take up residence in your gut and keep disease-causing microorganism from wreaking havoc there. It also has the ability to “stick” or coat the lining of your intestines and prevent dangerous bacteria from getting into your bloodstream
  5. Bifidobacterium breve – also known as B breve, a shortage of it in the intestinal tract has been linked to diarrhea, allergies, gas and irritable bowel syndrome. It can benefit you by balancing the acidity (pH) of your colon, reduce bloating and gas, and relieve constipation.
  6. B. longun (Bifidobacterium longum) – found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract and the vagina it is thought to be an effective way to help prevent certain diseases like colon cancer. It contains anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties that help keep the pH balance of your digestive track normal.

Eating fermented foods rich in the super six or taking supplements can improve your overall health by boosting your immune system, relieving painful gas or constipation and possibly even help lower your risk of developing some forms of cancer.


Three Herbs for Testosterone Support

by Cindy Gray

A hormone produced by the testes, ovaries, and adrenal glands, testosterone is essential for proper functioning of the reproductive system.  While the male body produces much more testosterone, females bodies need testosterone too.  It helps maintain bone density, muscle mass, red blood cells, sexual function, and a sense of wellbeing in both men and women.  As people age and testosterone levels diminish, many rely on natural testosterone boosters to keep hormone levels balanced.

Herbs to increase testosterone include damiana, ashwagandha, and gingko biloba.

The use of herbs for testosterone has proven safe and effective.  Three show particular promise, either used individually or in combination with other natural remedies.


Native to Mexico, damiana leaves are used to produce herbal medicine and a type of liqueur. The plant contains an alkaloid that behaves like testosterone in the body, and it is purported to possess aphrodisiac properties.  Laboratory studies show that damiana extract inhibits the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, thereby showing potential as one of the more promising herbs for low testosterone.


Also known as Withania somnifera, ashwagandha is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family, and it is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for sexual dysfunction and infertility.  A study from India determined that men who took ashwagandha supplements showed improved semen quality and improved testosterone levels.  The herbal preparation used in the study also lowered oxidants and boosted antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress in subjects.

Related: Five Ways to Boost Your Testosterone Naturally

Ginkgo Biloba

When people think of herbs for testosterone, gingko biloba often comes to mind.  Many know gingko biloba by another name, maidenhair.  Derived from the oldest surviving tree species on earth, this herb offers a number of important health benefits.  According to a study conducted by researchers at National Taiwan University and published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, it was shown to boost levels of testosterone in lab rats making it potentially beneficial for humans.

Side Effects of Low Testosterone

Side effects of low testosterone in men include waning libido, infertility, increased body fat, reduced muscle strength, fatigue, sleep disturbance, mood swings, and depression.  Reduced testosterone in women can result in diminished libido, mood swings, and lower energy levels.