June is here and this month we celebrate the men in our lives with Father’s Day. One of the best ways we can do this is to make sure they are aware of the importance of health to ensure we get many more years with our favorite guy.
Good health is a duty to yourself, to your contemporaries, to your inheritors, to the progress of the world. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks
Tribulus: Tribulus is one of those weeds that we see all the time and hate. I have always called them goat heads or puncture vines. I was really surprised to learn that this annoying, thorn-producing weed actually had some pretty great qualities. Tribulus is great for increasing testosterone levels in the body and increasing libido. Many athletes use it to increase strength and muscle mass. Tribulus is helpful in treating some cardiovascular conditions including angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and poor circulation. It is beneficial for those with digestive disorders such as constipation and flatulence. It has antiseptic and diuretic properties that reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections. Tribulus can be used internally and topically to treat skin issues like allergic reactions, eczema and psoriasis. You can find Tribulus in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends and in a tincture.
Saw Palmetto: Saw Palmetto is derived from the purple berries of the Saw Palmetto Fan Palm. It has benefits for both men and women. It reduces testicular and urinary tract inflammation. It strengthens the thyroid gland, balances metabolism, stimulates appetite and aids digestion. Saw Palmetto tones the urethra and urinary system. It is very effective for men with benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH which causes painful urination, reduced urine flow, difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, dribbling after urination and more frequent nighttime urination. BPH can lead to serious kidney problems if left untreated. Saw palmetto does not reduce prostate enlargement. It inhibits the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). BPH is thought to be caused by an increase in testosterone to DHT. You can find Saw Palmetto in our bulk section, in capsules and in blends.
Sarsaparilla: Sarsaparilla is recognized all over the world for its medicinal properties. It smells absolutely amazing and gives old-fashioned root beer its bite. It has been used to treat gout, gonorrhea, open wounds, arthritis, cough, fever, hypertension, pain, lack of sexual desire, indigestion, and even certain forms of cancer. Sarsaparilla root contains saponins, which work by disabling bacterial components called endotoxins. Endotoxins show up in the bloodstreams of people with immune disorders such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Sarsaparilla can be taken in capsules or extracts, but then you would miss out on one of natures best tasting herbs. Use 1-2 teaspoons of the chopped, dried root for each cup of water, boil and simmer. You can find sarsaparilla in our bulk section, in capsules and in a tincture.
Nettle Root: Nettle Root is a helpful little herb that has amazing healing properties. Nettle Root has many active chemicals that play an important role in reducing the effects of an enlarged prostate. Nettle can be used to help maintain a healthy prostate as well as a healthy urinary tract. The root is recommended as a diuretic, and provides relief for benign prostatic hyperplasia and other prostate issues. Nettle Root is a natural remedy for treating or preventing baldness. Internally, Nettle Root is good for anemia, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema. Nettle interferes with the body’s production of prostaglandins and other inflammation-causing chemicals. Consequently, nettle has an anti-inflammatory effect. Externally, the plant is used to treat skin issues, arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and hair problems. You can find Nettle Root in our bulk section, in a capsule and in blends.
Maca: Maca is a really popular herb for men and woman alike due to its high nutrient content that revitalizes the entire body. It is a great herb to increase men’s libido, combat impotence and help overcome mild erectile dysfunction. One of the things Maca does well is to increase blood circulation. Maca Root can enhance a person’s stamina, or lasting power in the bedroom and enhance his total energy. Maca improves men’s fertility by increasing the volume of semen and sperm count. This root can help balance hormones like testosterone and progesterone, which provides support for males affected by hormone imbalances. Maca is anabolic or muscle building. It has a high content of bioavailable protein and other nutrients that support healthy, natural muscle growth. Maca works as a mood up-lifter and supports positive emotional health. Maca is also known to help men to boost concentration, memory and learning. You can find Maca in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture and in blends.
Horny Goat Weed: Horny Goat Weed is often used to treat various sexual dysfunctions like spermatorrhea and impotence. It increases libido in both men and women. Horny Goat Weed can treat hypertension, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, and polio. The active ingredients work on smooth muscle tissue which surrounds the heart. Mental and physical fatigue are alleviated when the smooth muscle tissues are relaxed. Horny Goat Weed can treat joint pain, numbness, memory problems, and pain in the lower back. It has anti-aging effects and improves the function of the immune and endocrine system. You can find Horny Goat Weed in our bulk section, in capsules and in blends.
Ginseng: Asian Ginseng is highly regarded worldwide in all types of herbal and functional medicine. It is also known as Chinese Ginseng, Panax Ginseng, and Red Ginseng. It has a reputation for promoting health, increasing body vigor, and prolonging life. Ginseng is an adaptogen, or an herb the supports a healthy response to physical and mental stress, especially stress and anxiety. Ginseng can reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, or male impotence, and increase libido. Men taking Ginseng have higher sperm counts and increased sperm motility. Ginseng is useful in the treatment of anemia, cancer, depression, diabetes, fatigue, hypertension, insomnia, shock, side effects of radiation, side effects of morphine and cocaine use, and chronic illness. It acts as a stimulant, promotes endurance, relaxes the nervous system, improves mental awareness, encourages proper hormone functions, improves lipid levels, lowers cholesterol, and improves nerve growth. You can find Ginseng in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends, and in a tincture.
Ginkgo: Ginkgo Biloba, also known as Maidenhair, has been traced back nearly 300 million years making it the oldest surviving tree species on earth. Ginkgo extract has proven benefits to support the health and wellness of elderly people. It enhances oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties. Ginkgo has also been shown to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. It has been shown to provide relief from depression in elderly people. Ginkgo extract provides relief for those who suffer from headaches, sinusitis, and vertigo. It may also relieve chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. Another use for Ginkgo Biloba is in the treatment for impotency. The main cause of male impotence is poor circulation and impaired blood flow through the penis, which is often the result of atherosclerosis. Raynaud’s disease is believed to be caused by blood vessels that over react to the cold and spasm, reducing blood flow, depriving extremities of oxygen. Ginkgo Biloba may help this condition by widening the small blood vessels, which would keep these spasms from completely blocking the blood flow. It’s believed that by preventing blood clots from developing and increasing blood flow to the brain, Ginkgo Biloba may help stop strokes from occurring. It also inhibits free-radical damage of brain cells after a stroke. You can find Ginkgo Biloba in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends, and in a tincture.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek has a delightful aroma that resembles maple syrup. Fenugreek is known for its ability to increase libido and performance. It helps people maintain normal testosterone levels. Fenugreek can protect diabetic and insulin resistant individuals by keeping blood glucose levels in check after a meal, making it an effective treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Fenugreek has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, and bronchitis. It improves digestion, maintains a healthy metabolism, and increases libido and male potency. Fenugreek treats skin problems, sore throats, and acid reflux. You can find Fenugreek in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends and in a tincture.
Herbs for Stress Relief
Most of us feel anxious or depressed at times. Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely, scared, nervous, or anxious. These feelings are normal reactions to life’s stressors. Some people experience these feelings daily or nearly daily for no apparent reason, making it difficult to carry on with normal, everyday functioning. These people may have an anxiety disorder, depression, or both. This month in the WON Scoop I will be discussing many herbs that can help someone cope with stress, anxiety and depression.
Holy Basil: Holy Basil is a great herb to take for stress. Holy Basil is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that increase both physical and psychological resilience to stress. They have the capacity to increase physical and emotional endurance thus increasing your resilience to all stressors. Adaptogens do not alter mood directly, instead they support overall health by helping the body achieve a state of balance known as homeostasis. Holy Basil and other adaptogens calm and energize at the same time. When you are stressed your body accumulates the stress hormone cortisol. When you constantly have increased cortisol levels it is dangerous to your health and contributes to anxiety, mood swings, forgetfulness, insomnia, weight gain, and worn out adrenal glands. Holy Basil can lower levels of cortisol. Lowered levels of cortisol are associated with improved mental clarity and memory, and can reduce the risk of age-related mental disorders. Holy Basil improves memory and cognition, anxiety and depression, insomnia, migraine headaches, headaches, and Alzheimer’s disease. You can find Holy Basil in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture, tea, as an essential oil and we now sell Organic, non-GMO Holy Basil seeds (Sacred Basil).
Turmeric: Turmeric is an amazing adaptogen herb that has many health benefits including the ability to reduce stress related depression symptoms. Turmeric contains Curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a major role in depression. Chronic inflammation has been shown to influence almost every pathway involved in the development of depression, including neurotransmitter metabolism. Scientists believe that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms contribute to its antidepressant activity. Curcumin also helps combat depression by increasing levels of “feel good” neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. You can find Turmeric in our bulk section, in capsules, blends, in powders, as a tea and in a tincture.
Passionflower: Passionflower is also an adaptogen and can provide relief from problems like nervousness and insomnia. It helps you mellow out by boosting the brain’s levels of a chemical called GABA. GABA is the main neurotransmitter in your brain that inhibits nerve transmission and calms nerve activity. GABA normalizes brain waves and brings the nervous system back to a calmer and more stable state to meet the challenges coming at you in life. Passionflower is effective in relieving anxiety, insomnia, and related nervous disorders. Although, Passionflower is great for calming nerves, you should be aware that it should be used in moderation. Long-term use is not recommended as it can depress the nervous system, which may result in fatigue and mental fogginess. Start with a low dose several times a day and increase as you learn how you respond to passionflower. If you begin to feel tired or foggy go off of it for a few weeks before you begin again. You can find Passionflower in our bulk section, in capsules, in several blends and in a tincture.
Lavender: Lavender flower and its extracts have been used for centuries as a treatment for anxiety and depression. It can be taken internally as a tea or a tincture. Lavender essential oil can be massaged into the skin or put in a diffuser and used as aromatherapy. The smell receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. When you breathe in essential oils they stimulate your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. Scientists believe lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala, similar to the way some sedative medications work. Lavender helps with restlessness, nervousness and insomnia. It eases symptoms of depression and helps people who suffer from agitation related to dementia. You can find lavender in our bulk section, in a tincture and as an essential oil.
Lemon Balm: Lemon Balm is a memory boosting, anti-anxiety, cognitive enhancer that is also known as Melissa officinalis. Lemon Balm is a calming herb that is used to treat stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort. Lemon Balm is able to improve processing speed and memory by increasing GABA activity in the brain. GABA helps ensure that we are not overly stressed and plays a role in sleep cycles. Increasing the stimulation of GABA receptors will produce a sedative or calming effect and explains why Lemon Balm works as an anti-anxiety supplement. Terpenes, parts of the volatile oil that gives lemon balm its distinctive smell, are also responsible for its efficacy as a sleep aid and sedative. Lemon balm tincture is especially potent in treating insomnia. Lemon balm can improve cognitive function and decrease agitation in Alzheimer’s patients. Lemon balm extracts bind directly to specific receptors in the brain that make it an effective and safe treatment for dementia. You can find Lemon Balm in our bulk section, in capsules, and in a tincture.
Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola Rosea is used to promote good health, strength, endurance and physical and mental performance. Rhodiola Rosea is used to treat a wide range of conditions, such as stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment. Rhodiola increases the synthesis of serotonin, known as the happy hormone. It enhances the production of dopamine, which is associated with positive moods, motivation and concentration as well as optimal central nervous and peripheral nervous system function. Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are believed to have impaired dopamine neurons in the brain. Rhodiola rosea helps to reduce levels of cortisol when you are stressed. Rhodiola rosea is considered an adaptogen, helping a person to adapt to both physical and mental stress, while improving energy, endurance and stamina. Rhodiola rosea increases mental clarity, uplifts your mood and decreases mental fatigue. You can find Rhodiola rosea in our bulk section, in capsules, and in a tincture.
Skullcap: Skullcap has long been used for mental disorders. It has also been used to treat epilepsy, insomnia, fever and withdrawal from various drug addictions including alcohol. It can be taken to treat nervous headaches, neuralgia and pain. Skullcap also acts as a sedative and is found in many sleep teas. Skullcap is useful for anxiety of all sorts, particularly for hormonal mood swings associated with PMS and menopause. Drinking a strong cup of Skullcap tea will have a striking calming effect on the mind of agitated individuals. Skullcap is the remedy for people who experience anxiety along with restlessness, muscle tension, and jaw clenching. If you tend to toss and turn in bed, or if you feel like you can only relax when you’re out walking (sitting makes you want to jump out of your skin), or if you feel like “climbing the walls” when you’re stuck inside during a bout of anxiety, skullcap can help you unwind and reduce muscular tension and restlessness. You can find Skullcap in our bulk section, in capsules and in a tincture.
Ashwaganda: Ashwaganda is found to be very effective at calming anxiety. It is specifically helpful for someone with agoraphobia (anxiety in open or crowded places). Ashwaganda’s best use may be for someone with a chronic stressful life or physical and emotional fatigue. Ashwaganda lowers levels of cortisol. Having high levels of cortisol causes insomnia, feelings of stress, weakens the immune system, causes us to feel more anxious and depressed. Simply by lowering our cortisol levels, Ashwaganda is able to have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, sleep and depression. It increases mental alertness, focus and concentration. It relieves nervous tension and anxiety, invigorates the body, and decreases inflammation and balances or levels mood swings. You can find Ashwaganda in our bulk section, in capsules, and in a tincture.
Spring is upon us! This is my favorite time of year. I love planting seeds. I love watching them mature into beautiful flowers or a juicy tomato. This month I am covering several herbs that you can grow easily in your windowsill. They are great for adding into your favorite dish but I wanted to go over the many health benefits they offer as well.
"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but also the soul." – Alfred Austin
Parsley: Parsley is often mistaken for decoration on your plate at a restaurant. It is a beautiful addition, but don’t forget it has lots of nutritional benefits. Its high chlorophyll content makes it a natural breath sweetener. It is known for its anti-bacterial properties and my can help prevent bacteria that can lead to loss of tooth enamel. It has been used to dissolve and help pass kidney stones and gallstones, if they’re not too large. Parsley is a blood purifier and provides the nutritional material necessary for tissue maintenance of the urinary system. Parsley is healing to the urinary tract and can make difficult urination easier, especially when dealing with an enlarged prostate. The generous use of parsley can lower blood pressure and increase the flow of urine. Parsley has been used for ailments of the liver and is a good tonic for blood vessels, capillaries and arterioles. You can find parsley in our bulk section, in capsules, essential oil and we are now selling organic Italian flat Leaf Parsley seeds.
Chives: I love chives! They are super easy to grow and they last most of the year. They are the first to come up in the spring and last well into November, weather providing. If I am making baked potatoes or potato soup I love being able to go out and clip off some fresh chives to top off my meal. They provide a great aroma and a superb flavor to any dish. Chives are part of the allium family of vegetables and herbs, which include garlic, scallions, onions and leeks. Allium vegetables have been studied extensively in relation to cancer, especially stomach and colorectal cancers. The exact way allium vegetables inhibit cancer is unknown, but it is hypothesized that they inhibit tumor growth and mutagenesis and prevent free radical formation. Chives also contain choline, which is an important nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation. Folate, also found in chives, helps with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain. You can find chives in our bulk section.
Thyme: Thyme is part of the mint family. It is a general tonic with antiseptic qualities that promote healing and fight infection. Thyme reportedly controls fungal infections such as athlete’s foot as well as skin parasites such as scabies, crabs, and lice. Thyme is helpful in the removal of mucus from the head, lungs and respiratory passages. Thyme tea has been used as a remedy for shortness of breath. Thyme is used for uterine and bowel problems as it relaxes spasms and inhibits flatulence, and has a soothing affect on nerves. Thymol, the oil of Thyme, is a powerful germicide with a pleasant odor. It is used as a pharmaceutical product in gargles, mouthwashes and in toothpaste. Thyme can be found in our bulk section, essential oil and as a tincture.
Basil: The main use of basil medicinally is as a natural anti-inflammatory. It is similar to the compounds found in oregano and medical marijuana and may be used as a substitute for the latter because it offers the same relief without the “high”. The same compound that makes it useful as an anti-inflammatory is also believed to help combat bowel inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. Many naturopathic doctors prescribe basil in treatment of diabetes, respiratory disorders, allergies, impotence, and infertility. Basil is very high in antioxidants, especially when it is used as an extract or oil. These antioxidants can protect your body against free radical damage associated with aging, some skin ailments, and most forms of cancer. Fresh basil leaves and basil oil have antibacterial properties. They can be used to disinfect surfaces. Leaves applied to wounds may eliminate infections. Basil used in cooking or taken as a nutritional supplement can assist in combating common viruses like colds, flu, and the herpes family of viruses. You can find basil in our bulk section, essential oil and we are now selling organic basil seeds in several varieties including Genoves, Lemon and Sacred (Holy Basil).
Rosemary: Rosemary has been known for centuries for improving memory, not just for the amazing flavor it can add to your chicken or soup. Recent advances in the science surrounding the herb have shown that it inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a compound that plays a role in sections of the brain responsible for memory and reasoning. Rosemary may also promote memory function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Rosemary contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and a-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. Manganese, another mineral found in rosemary, is a critical antioxidant that is associated with lowering the risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer. The leaves of rosemary are often used to make tinctures that are applied directly to the skin to treat maladies such as muscle soreness and sprained ankles. You can find rosemary in our bulk section, in capsules, essential oil and in a tincture.
Bay: Bay leaves are typically used for flavoring stews, soups or casseroles. The leaves are usually removed before serving. The aroma of the leaves is much more noticeable than the taste. The essential oil of bay leaf provides relief from swelling, rheumatic and arthritic pain, lower back pain, earaches, and sore muscles and sprains. Bay oil can even ease pain brought by neuralgia, which is severe pain that occurs due to a damaged nerve. It also functions as a decongestant and can be used to treat respiratory problems when inhaled. It is helpful for coughs and colds, viral infections, and flu. As an astringent, the oil triggers contractions in the muscles and tissues. It fortifies the hold of scalp on hair roots, as well as strengthens gums and stops the sagging of skin and muscles. You can find bay leaves in our bulk section and essential oil.
Oregano: The name Oregano means “mountain joy.” Ancient Greeks and Romans revered oregano as a symbol of happiness. One active agent in oregano is rosmarinic acid, which is a strong antioxidant that supports the immune system. Carvacol and thymol, two phytochemicals in oregano, are powerful antimicrobials. Essential oils from oregano can kill the foodborne pathogen Listeria and the superbug MRSA. Oregano contains beta-caryopyllin, a substance that inhibits inflammation and may also be beneficial for conditions including osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, as well as metabolic syndrome. Oregano also has anti-viral properties. If you come down with a cold or the flu, oregano oil can be useful as it encourages sweat production as a mode of detox. Ingesting it may help your body to get rid of unwanted phlegm in your lungs. You can find oregano in our bulk section, in capsules in tincture forms, essential oil and we now sell organic Greek Oregano seeds.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass as a tea is a great herbal medicine for gastrointestinal problems, stomachaches, diarrhea, gas, bowel spasms, vomiting, fever, the flu, and headaches. Lemongrass oil mixed with other oils such as coconut oil is used as a liniment for back pains, rheumatism, neuralgia, sprains and other body pains. Lemongrass is used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat fevers and infectious illnesses. It is also useful for respiratory infections such as sore throats, laryngitis and fever and helps prevent spreading of infectious diseases. Lemongrass is also used as an insect repellant. It helps to keep pets clean of fleas, ticks and lice. You can find Lemongrass in our bulk section and essential oil.
Mint: Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser, and it promotes digestion. It will soothe a stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation. When you feel sick to your stomach, just drink a cup of mint tea for relief. Even the aroma of mint activates salivary glands in our mouth. If you eat or drink mint before a meal it helps secrete digestive enzymes that will help digest your food comfortably. Since it eases digestion, the body makes less gas, so less farting. The aroma also is a quick and effective remedy for nausea. Even just the smell of mint oil or freshly crushed mint leaves will alleviate your stomach issues. Many people have found that consuming mint produces positive relief for asthma symptoms. It is a great relaxant and relieves congestion. Mint is an expectorant; it encourages the body to eliminate mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchi and trachea. It promotes the drainage of mucus from the lungs. You can find mint in our bulk section, in capsules, essential oil and in a tincture.
The doctor has been taught to be interested not in health but in disease. What the public should be taught is that health is the cure for disease. – Ashley Montagu
The liver is the largest organ in our bodies and is responsible for helping you maintain optimal health. It makes and regulates the secretion of bile to aid digestion and neutralizes and removes toxic compounds from our bodies. It is extremely important to keep our liver healthy and running efficiently if we want to feel our best. This month in the WON Scoop I will go over several herbs that are known for keeping your liver running in top condition.
Milk Thistle: Milk thistle is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years to support the liver. It works as a detoxifier by drawing toxins out of the body that can cause a range of symptoms and diseases. It contains the flavonoid silymarin, which is thought to be responsible for many of its beneficial effects. Silymarin protects the liver and has antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It acts as a “toxin blockade agent” by inhibiting the binding of toxins to liver cell membrane receptors. Silymarin is an anti-fibrotic, which means it prevents tissue from scarring. It is used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis, and toxin induced liver diseases. Milk thistle is shown to decrease, or even reverse, damage to the liver that’s been caused by prescription medications, antibiotics, pollution, heavy metals and so on. You can find Milk thistle in our bulk section, in a tincture, in capsules, in teas, and in blends.
Dandelion Root: Most people do all they can to get rid of the yellow weeds that pop up in their yards every spring not knowing how healthy they are. Dandelions are a potassium rich herb and actually have a number of powerful health benefits including the ability to cleanse the liver. The role of our liver is to produce bile, which helps enzymes in the body break down fats into fatty acids, and to filter and detoxify our blood. The liver also breaks down and stores glucose, and regulates our internal functions. When your liver is sluggish you can experience a number of symptoms including: headaches, bad breath, fatigue, indigestion, bloating, irritability, sugar cravings, skin problems and excess weight. The vitamins and nutrients present in dandelions help cleanse the liver and keep it working properly. Dandelion is known for inducing the flow of bile from the liver. Dandelion functions as a natural diuretic, and helps the body release excess water caused by liver dysfunctions such as cirrhosis of the liver. You can find Dandelion in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture, in teas, and in blends.
Yellow Dock Root: Yellow dock root has high iron content and is a digestive tonic, acting specifically on the liver and gall bladder to inspire function and balance. Yellow dock has a cleansing action and supports the liver, allowing it to capably process out excess amounts of hormones. When the toxic load of the body is extreme due to drug and alcohol abuse, or chemotherapy, yellow dock assists detoxification and heals the body through increased nutrient absorption. In cases of hepatitis, yellow dock root helps to maintain the integrity of the liver, improve function and bring elevated enzyme levels back down to normal. It also helps boost a stressed immune system when lymphatic inflammation and liver deficiency are present. You can find yellow dock root in our bulk section, in capsules and in a tincture.
'Peppermint: Peppermint is one of nature's little gifts. It has the most amazing scent, taste and aroma, a true treat! Peppermint supports liver function by improving the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. By increasing the amount of bile flow, peppermint leaf positively supports digestion by breaking down fats and reducing bad cholesterol. Decreased cholesterol levels reduce the workload required from the liver. If your liver is sluggish, peppermint may provide a boost. You can find peppermint in our bulk section, in teas, in a capsule, in a tincture, and peppermint oil in a capsule and in our essential oils.
Turmeric: Turmeric is one of the most valuable plant based medicines in existence. Research has connected turmeric to a variety of wonderful benefits, including and especially the promotion of liver health. Curcumin is the compound found in turmeric that fights inflammation. Numerous studies have linked curcumin to combating liver cancer and improving liver fibroids. Turmeric removes cholesterol from the liver, which can save you from fatty liver disease. Curcumin communicates with liver cells to produce more LDL receptors, which means more cholesterol is cleared from our body. Turmeric assists the enzymes that are responsible for flushing out known dietary carcinogens. The result is enhanced protection against liver damage, and even regeneration of affected liver cells. You can find turmeric in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture and as a powder.
Artichoke: Artichokes are high in silymarin and cynarin, which are antioxidants known as phytonutrients. These phytonutrients aid in liver problems and help to regernerate liver cells. Artichokes are a natural diuretic and choleretic, stimulating bile production, which flushes toxins out of the body. Artichokes improve gallbladder function and aid in more efficient breakdown of foods for improved digestion. One of the major benefits of artichokes to your liver is that they are a natural defense against hepatoxicity (toxicity of the liver). They guard your liver cells from damage caused by outside pollutants, carcinogens and toxins, such as alcohol, acetaminophen, processed food, and other pollutants. Artichoke can be found in our bulk section, in a tincture and in blends.
Burdock: Burdock root is a liver cleansing agent. It is useful with skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. These conditions often manifest when the liver is overloaded from a diet high in fat and protein. Burdock aids the liver in metabolizing nutrients and encourages the removal of waste products protecting the liver from toxicity. Burdock stimulates bile and helps purify the blood. You can find Burdock in our bulk section, in the Essiac tea blend in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture and in blends.
February is heart health month! This month the WON Scoop will cover several natural herbs that can help to keep your heart healthy. To feel good from your head to your feet, keep a healthy heartbeat!
“It is important for Americans to recognize that, despite all of the fancy gimmicks and perceived power of modern medicine the largest explosion of preventable, chronic diseases ever in the history of mankind has occurred as a direct result of modern medicine and scientific reductionism. Modern medicine is not an antidote for the incredible harms caused by the modern food industry, but it is an effective distraction”.
–Charles C. Harpe, Naturvore Power
Hawthorn: The berries, leaves, and flowers of the hawthorn plant are all used for medicinal purposes. The flowers and leaves are used to normalize blood circulation, creating stronger arteries for better blood flow to the heart. Nutritionally, the berries are more beneficial for those with dysfunctional cardiac weaknesses that already exist. The berries help to support higher quality heart function. Combining the berries, flowers, and leaves is the best preventive approach for an overall healthy heart. Studies have shown that Hawthorn is excellent for both the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease when used on a regular basis. Hawthorn is used primarily as a cardiac tonic, it is considered valuable for improvement of cardiac weakness, angina pectoris (chest pain), valve murmurs from heart valve defects, an enlarged heart, involuntary gasping or sighing, and unexplained chronic fatigue. There is evidence that it is effective for helping heart valve disorders, easing cardiac pain, regulating a rapid or feeble heart beat, difficulty in breathing, lack of oxygen in the blood, heart strain due to overexertion and is useful in cholesterol reduction. Scientists have discovered that Hawthorn increases coronary blood flow and improves myocardial metabolism, allowing the heart to function with less oxygen. Hawthorn dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely and thus, is effective at lowering blood pressure. In addition, it acts directly on the heart muscle to help a damaged heart work more efficiently. Hawthorn can be found in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends, in our teas, and in tincture form.
Garlic: Garlic is one of my go to herbs when cooking as I try to add it into everything. It not only tastes amazing but also smells amazing. Garlic supports the heart and blood by helping to regulate high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack and hardening of the arteries. Garlic is useful for preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), narrowing of the arteries, and reducing blood cholesterol. Your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. Garlic helps to dissolve LDL (harmful) cholesterol and to lower triglycerides (a type of fat found in your blood), while increasing HDL (beneficial) cholesterol levels. Raw garlic contains allicin, a substance that works to relax blood vessels, reduces any pressure or damage affecting blood making it an effective treatment for hypertension and high blood pressure. Garlic supplements containing allicin must be enteric coated to ensure absorption. Garlic also works at preventing high blood pressure by stimulating hydrogen sulphide and nitric oxide synthase production that relaxes blood vessels. Garlic can be found in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends and in a tincture.
Motherwort: Motherwort is an herb that helps heart conditions aggravated by nervousness. Motherwort has the ability to improve mental outlook and reduce the effects of stress. It is good for hypertension (high blood pressure) because it relaxes blood vessels and clams nerves. Motherwort injections recently were shown to prevent the formation of blood clots, which improves blood flow and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other diseases. Motherwort also may correct heart palpitations or arrhythmias that sometimes accompany thyroid disease and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You can find Motherwort in our bulk section, in a blend, and in tincture form.
Ginkgo Biloba: Oh, Ginkgo Biloba! I have a lot of love for the Ginkgo Biloba tree. The history behind it and the beautiful, unique shape of its leaves are enough to intrigue anyone. Ginkgo Biloba can protect the heart and blood vessels from damage, while helping in nerve regeneration. Ginkgo Biloba is mostly used in treating vascular diseases such as peripheral vascular disease and varicose veins. It improves blood flow, by preventing restriction of blood vessels. This helps relieve pain and discomfort associated with disease. Ginkgo Biloba is a natural blood thinner and may even slightly reduce blood pressure. Ginkgo Biloba also lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, thrombosis (blood clot) and heart attack by helping remove plaque from arteries, neutralizing free radicals, preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol and platelet aggregation. You can find Ginkgo Biloba in the bulk section, in capsules, in blends, and in tincture form.
Cayenne Pepper: Many of us have used cayenne pepper to add a little spice to our meals, but did you know that it has the power to change your health? It has been used for both food and medicine for the last 9,000 years! Cayenne pepper can stimulate your body’s circulation, reverse excessive blood clotting, lower high cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Blood clots are blockages in your arteries and blood vessels that limit blood flow through your circulatory system. Cayenne encourages fibrinolysis (prevents blood clots from growing and becoming problematic). This is also the reason why cayenne pepper is effective in preventing heart attacks. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps to clear away artery-narrowing lipid deposits, and dilates arteries and blood vessels to clear away clots. You can find Cayenne pepper in our bulk section, in capsules, in blends, and in tincture form.
Hibiscus: Hibiscus is widely consumed around the world as a ruby-colored, lemony beverage. Recent studies show that hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure as effectively as some standard hypertension drugs. Hibiscus lowers blood pressure because it has diuretic properties. It opens the arteries, and it appears to act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which means it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, hibiscus tea can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 points. Hibiscus tea also has impressive antioxidant properties. It lowers LDL cholesterol, helping to protect against heart disease and protecting blood vessels from damage. Dose recommendations vary from about 1-5 teaspoons of dried “flowers” per cup of boiling water. Steep five to ten minutes and drink after meals. Take readings before different doses and retest an hour later to see what works best for you. You can find Hibiscus in our bulk section and in a tea.
Beet Root: Although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat Beet Roots a few times a week, enjoying their sweet, earthy flavor. Beet Roots have powerhouse nutrients that improve heart health by lowering your blood pressure. The consumption of beetroot helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases in multiple ways, so conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes are less likely to develop. Drinking beet juice may help lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. A clinical study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points. Beet Root has naturally occurring nitrates which your body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Beet fiber reduces cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL. The fiber in beets also works to strip excess LDL cholesterol from the walls helping to eliminate it from the body quickly. The presence of the nutrient betaine lowers the levels of homocysteine in the body, which can also be harmful to the blood vessels. You can find Beet Root in our bulk section, in capsules, and in multiple powder forms.
Celery Seed: Celery seeds are found in the flowers of the well-known celery plant. These small, tan to dark brown seeds have a strong but pleasant smell, and they are occasionally used in South Asian cooking recipes as a food spice. Studies show that Celery Seed acts as a vasodilator by widening blood vessels and improving circulation. It has a diuretic activity that helps reduce excess fluid in the body. When these two activities occur together they result in lower blood pressure levels. In fact, a recent study on 30 patients suffering from mild to moderate blood pressure levels showed that administering 150 mg of Celery Seed extract per day lowered both systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels in those patients. Therefore, for mild to moderate hypertension, using one teaspoon of organic Celery Seeds or one capsule of Celery Seed extract once daily may help protect your heart. You can find Celery Seed in our bulk section, in capsules, and in tincture form.
Stevia: Stevia is a small shrub like perennial plant, which belongs to the sunflower family. The leaves of Stevia are a source of natural, zero-calorie sweetener, which is considered sweeter than sugar. Stevia contains phytonutrients, trace elements, minerals, vitamins and volatile oils, which give it nutritional and medicinal properties. A number of studies show that Stevia can be beneficial in the treatment of many health conditions. It has hypertensive properties, which may help with high blood pressure. Certain glycosides in stevia extract have been found to dilate blood vessels, increase sodium excretion, and urine output. In effect at slightly higher doses than as a sweetener, stevia can potentially help lower blood pressure. The plant may have cardiotonic actions, which normalize blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. Heart health month is a great time to start replacing sugar or artificial sugars with Stevia. Stevia can be found in our bulk section, in powders and in many flavors in liquid form.
Reishi: Reishi is called the “mushroom of immortality” and the “medicine of kings.” Reishi is not often used in cooking because they are hard and have a bitter taste and you are unlikely to find them at your favorite market. They are mainly used for purely medicinal purposes and have a number of health benefits. Reishi can help treat one of America’s top killers, cardiovascular disease. The protection reishi offers against heart disease and stroke is truly remarkable. It helps prevent so many different risk factors due to its high content of heart protecting nutrients like sterols, ganoderic acids, coumarin, mannitol and polysaccharides. Experts believe that the ganoderic acids lower triglyceride levels, remove excess cholesterol from the blood, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet stickiness and even help correct arrhythmia. In fact a recent clinical study had 54 people with hypertension, who were unresponsive to medication, take reishi extract three times a day for four weeks. The study by Burton Goldberg in a book named “Heart Disease” reported this was enough to significantly lower blood pressure. Just imagine how the incidence of cardiovascular disease could be reduced if taking reishi really caught on in the Western hemisphere. You can find Reishi in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture and in other mushroom blends.
This month the WON Scoop is all about herbs that boost our immune system. We can use nature to our benefit only if we have the knowledge. “Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favor compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.” – Thomas Edison
Cat’s Claw is known for its hook-like thorns that form along the vine and resemble the claws of a cat. This little-known botanical agent exerts powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that support DNA repair, joint health, immune function, and normal cell division. Cat’s Claw has been shown to aid in DNA cellular repair and in preventing cells from mutating, in essence helping to inhibit cancer. Animal and human studies suggest that Cat’s Claw strengthens internal defenses against the multitude of toxic pathogens encountered each day in the air, water, and environment. Cat’s Claw is most commonly used for improving symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used for various digestive system disorders including swelling and pain of the large intestine (diverticulitis), inflammation of the lower bowel (colitis), inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis), stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and leaky gut syndrome. Cat’s Claw is available in bulk, capsules and as a tincture.
Astragalus works in multiple ways to promote immune health. It contains polysaccharides, which promote phagocytosis (the ability of white blood cells to engulf and remove foreign substances from the body). It contains saponins, which protect the liver and stimulate the release of cytokines (immune system messengers). It also acts as an antioxidant and reduces free radicals. Astragalus, a natural diuretic, improves urine flow and reduces the risk of developing infections in the bladder. It is an anti-clotting agent and has vaso-dialiting properties, helping prevent coronary heart disease and improving circulation. Astragalus increases energy by supporting liver function through increased detoxification. It can even increase the flow of bile and digestive fluids. Astragalus is a heart tonic that lowers blood pressure, dilates blood vessels and increases the endurance of a fatigued heart. I recently learned that Astragalus reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Excess cortisol can cause you to store fat around your belly. As you can imagine, I will be adding Astragalus to my regimen as soon as possible, since I carry a lot of my weight in my belly. Astragalus is available in a tincture, capsule and in bulk. (Because bugs love Astragalus too, we store it in the fridge.)
Echinacea is the herb I learned most about while doing research for the WON Scoop. Echinacea is used to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu, and reduce symptoms such as sore throat, cough, and fever. Many herbalists recommend Echinacea to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections. It is important to note Echinacea is best used as either a preventative measure or immediately at the onset of symptoms. Echinacea should not be used over a long period of time without a break, that way your body gets a chance to build the immune system naturally. To get the optimal benefits of Echinacea you should purchase products containing both the root and aerial (above ground) parts. The roots have high concentrations of volatile oils that are helpful for the treatment of flu-like infections, while the above ground parts of the plant contain more polysaccharides that help treat colds, upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and slow healing wounds. Echinacea is available in the bulk section, in capsules, as a tea, lozenges, and in a tincture.
We recently made some Elderberry syrup for flu and cold season at my house out of Elderberries. It was a fun project for my kids and it’s nice to have anti-viral medicine on hand for the winter. Elderberry is a potent antioxidant used to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health, and to treat coughs, colds, flu, bacterial & viral infections, and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. The anthocyanins found in Elderberries enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines. These unique proteins act as messengers to help regulate the immune response and defend the body against disease. People with the flu who took Elderberry reported less severe symptoms and felt better faster than those who did not. Infusions of Elderberry help to treat nerve disorders, back pain, and have been used to reduce inflammation of the urinary tract and bladder. Elderberries are available in tincture, capsules, syrup, gummies, lozenges, tea, and in the bulk section. (To keep Elderberries fresh we store them in the fridge)
Elderflower is from the same plant that Elderberries are from and are Native to Idaho. They can be found growing wild in many of our local mountains and along roadways. In Germany and other parts of Europe, Elderflower has been used for centuries to treat respiratory infections including colds, flu, bronchitis, laryngitis and more. Elderflower works to reduce inflammation in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat to relieve congestion. It is a key ingredient in herbal blends used to treat sinusitis. The best time to use Elderflower is in the first stages of a cold or flu. Studies show Elderflower tea contains diaphoretic or sweat inducing properties to help relieve fevers and reduce the severity and duration of the flu. Elderflower can be found in our bulk section, as a tincture, in a tea, and in combination in other immunity blends.
Let’s be honest here, Horehound is a horrible name! It’s actually derived from “Horus”, the Egyptian god of sky and light. Don’t hold the name against it because Horehound is actually a pretty amazing little plant. Horehound acts as a respiratory stimulant, expectorant, and a cough suppressant. It reduces the thickness of the mucus in your lungs and your bronchial tubes, making it easier to expel built up mucus. Native American tribes use horehound to treat stomachaches, influenza, and infections. Horehound can be applied externally to treat damaged skin, ulcers, and wounds. Horehound is available in the bulk section and as a tincture.
Olive Leaf is a traditional medicinal herb whose therapeutic treatments date back centuries. Olive Leaf interferes with the production of certain amino acids essential for viruses to thrive. Olive leaf has the ability to directly penetrate infected cells and stop the virus from replicating. It stimulates phagocytosis, an immune system response in which cells engulf harmful microorganisms and foreign matter. Studies show Olive Leaf effectively fights over 50 common disease causing organisms including viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections. Olive leaf can be found in our bulk section, in a capsule, and as a tincture.
If you are new to mushrooms, Reishi is a good place to start. Known as the “Mushroom of Immortality”
Reishi is used for boosting the immune system, fighting cancer, lowering cholesterol levels, calming your nerves and relieving both allergies and inflammation. As an immune-stimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. Studies have shown Reishi extracts support a faster regeneration of healthy liver cells. This causes a release of free radicals that have built up in liver cells. The liver is now able to work more efficiently to detox the body and prevent disease and illness. If you’re ready to do some “shrooms” we have them available in the bulk section, in capsules and as a tincture.
WON Staff Member