Guest Blog: Seasonal Allergies with Terry Vanderheyden, ND

Guest Blog: Seasonal Allergies by Terry Vanderheyden, ND

When we speak of allergies, we typically mean symptoms arising from sensitivity to airborne allergens like grass, pollen, dust and dander. Manifestations are known as rhinitis, and include sneezing, itchy and runny nose and irritated eyes and throat.

Allergies are an Immune Problem 

Immune function is a delicate balance between competing subsets of immune cells. Re-balancing these immune issues is at the heart of allergy remedies, and there are no better herbs for this than the traditional Chinese herbs, Astragalus and Reishi. Both are revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine for rebalancing immune function. Both have demonstrated effectiveness in clinical trials for allergies. The remaining herbal ingredients, nettles, schisandra, and prickly ash, all have their merits as allergy herbs, being especially good at restoring the health and integrity of the mucous membranes (especially for the nasal and sinus linings).

Homeopathic Ingredients

Homeopathic medicines are ideally suited for acute allergy symptoms.  Notable ingredients like the well-studied Galphimia glauca are comparable in effectiveness to conventional antihistamines, based on a number of clinical trials. 

St. Francis Herb Farm has created their Deep Immune for Allergies (DIFA) formula containing these herbs as well as Homeopathic Ingredients.  This makes for an ideal double-edged formula that on the one hand treats the underlying immune imbalance that causes allergy, while at the same time relieving acute allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, and watering eyes. I recommend that allergy sufferers begin a program of DIFA use 4-6 weeks before their expected onset of symptoms and to do so consistently in the seasons that follow. Best of seasonal health! 

Terry Vanderheyden, ND

Terry Vanderheyden, ND is a 1994 graduate of the CCNM and has a practice in Barry’s Bay, ON. He also acts as a consultant to the botanical manufacturing industry, working in product development, regulatory affairs, and general medical consulting.  He is a board licensed ND with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. His is a general family practice with a minor emphasis on cancer treatments. As well, Terry is a contributor to the Integrated Healthcare Practitioner magazine and is a peer review board member of that same publication.

 

Allergy Season: Enjoy Spring Again

Enjoy Spring Again… Even the Pollen Part

Seasonal allergies affect a large portion of the population in North America.  Chances are you or at least one person you know suffers from a serious case of hay fever come spring time.  It’s such a shame to not fully be able to enjoy the beautiful season of spring! Fortunately, there are definitely things you can do or take to help naturally treat the symptoms and underlying issues associated with seasonal allergies!

What are allergies?

Have you ever taken the time to actually think about what it means to be allergic to something? Allergic reactions happen as a result of our immune system responding to a foreign substance that it does not deem as “safe”.  Most of the time, these “intruders” are actually safe and there’s something else going on in the body that’s gone ignored.

The Science Behind the Reaction

Here’s what happens: The allergen comes in contact with the immune system’s white blood cells (B cells).   These cells then release antibodies that work to fight against the “intruder”.  The antibodies help to prep the body for attack by binding to them and warning them, particularly the “mast cells”.  These mast cells release histamine which triggers major and FAST inflammation to slow the invaders and move immune cells to the area to help kill them off… thus an allergic reaction!

It is possible for your body to release histamine without actually triggering an allergic reaction. When the body is constantly bombarded by what it sees as “intruders”, the the total histamine level in the blood become so high that a reaction occurs.

The Reasons we have Allergic Reactions:

Many health experts will use the analogy of a “histamine bucket” to explain the allergic reaction reasoning.  Histamine is actually a molecule contained in many foods, and it’s released in the body quite often in varying amounts.  It is when the immune system is forced to be “on edge” or over-reactive i.e. the histamine level climbs too high or the “bucket becomes too full” that we experience an allergic reaction.

Leaky Gut – Increased Intestinal Permeability

The gut is a major line of defence for the body. Many of our immune cells reside here to help keep us healthy.  A lot of the nutrients we eat are absorbed through the intestinal walls, which act as a semi-permeable shield – allowing the good stuff in, and keeping the bad out.  However, with increased and excessive exposure to bad, our shield can be broken down, thus allowing more bad through the wall and into the blood stream – yikes.  This is called leaky gut. It is a major contributor to allergies as allowing “bad” into the blood stream launches one of the attacks from the diagram above. This increases the body’s histamine levels and can fill that bucket to an unmanageable level.

Are allergies treatable?

Yes. They indeed are. You are not doomed to be allergic to the outside world forever! Whoop! 🙂 There are things you can do to lessen your symptoms naturally, and in some cases even cure yourself of allergies completely.

The Elimination Diet:

Due to the prominence of leaky gut in allergy cases, especially hayfever, it can be a great idea to look deeper into the problem and find the real culprit.  A fabulous way to do this is to do an elimination diet. This involves cutting your diet down into the very bare bone basics. Remove any potential allergens for at least 4-6 weeks, and slowly reintroduce.. Check out Precision Nutrition’s blog about how to do this and more information about the process.

 

 

  •  Ki Hayfever Control Formula:

Ki Hayfever Control Formula is a blend of immune boosting herbs astragulus, ginger, rhina, and magnolia with the antioxidant quercetin.  All of these wonderful ingredients work together to prime the immune system so it’s ready to take on the hay fever season! Many people find that beginning Ki Hayfever Formula a few weeks before allergy season reduces risk of symptoms! 🙂

  • Purica Immune 7:


Immune 7 is a blend of 6 medicinal mushrooms that work to modulate the immune system.  When someone has allergies, their immune system is over-active, which means it’s recognizing something that is not a threat, as a threat! Medicinal mushrooms can help to bring your immune system UP when it’s down, and DOWN when it’s over-active!

  • St. Francis Deep Immune for Allergies:

St. Francis Deep Immune for Allergies is a blend of unique herbs and homeopathic remedies that help to treat and relieve allergy symptoms! It’s a fantastic immune support that also takes care of the immediate allergic responses.  The dual action involved in treating the underlying problem as well as the annoying symptoms, such as runny and itchy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and congestion!


  • Immuno-Care:

Immuno-Care contains plant sterols, that can be the answer to seasonal allergies.  Plant sterols are the fats found in plants that we tend to be deficient in today, due to the harsh processing of plant-based foods that we consume.  A clinical study was done that showed a decrease in basophil blood cells with use of Immuno-Care¹. These blood cells release histamine that is normally responsible for allergic reactions. There was also a reduction of interleukin-6, the cause of inflammation and pain¹! Immuno-Care has also proven to reduce the production of cytokines which cause inflammation in the body and can be attributed to allergy symptoms¹.

  • Neti Pot:

If you suffer from hay-fever, you probably have symptoms related to a runny nose, itchy nose or congestion.  These symptoms happen due to excess mucous production and irritation by pollen or allergens.  The symptoms can be prolonged if the allergens stay inside the nasal cavity, trapped in the mucous.  Neti Pots come from ancient Ayurvedic practice and involve the use of salt water to rinse the nasal cavity. They can be extremely effective for relieving itchy or irritated nostrils, which is the ultimate dream of every person with hay-fever!

  • Boiron Sabalia:

Sabalia is a homeopathic that is fantastic for helping rid of hayfever symptoms.  It contains 6 different homeopathic remedies that work together to lessen the itchy& runny nose, itchy eyes, and itchy throat symptoms of allergies! It’s fast, effective and is non-drowsy, as well as non-stimulating. It can be taken any time of day!


  • Local Bee Pollen or Raw Honey:

Consuming local bee pollen or local raw honey daily pre-allergy season can help to “inoculate” your body and prep it for the pollen that can cause seasonal allergies.  Taking one or the other daily has shown to reduce allergy symptoms come the dawn of allergy season! 🙂 We sell both Harmonic Arts Fresh Bee Pollen, and their Local Wild Raw Honey that is sourced from the Nanaimo area!


References:

  1. Gifford Jones, Dr. “Immuno-Care To Fight Seasonal Allergies.” Immuno-Care To Fight Seasonal Allergies – Dr. Gifford-Jones Dr. Gifford-Jones. N.p., 26 May 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Medicinal Mushrooms 101

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Medicinal Mushrooms 101

Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional and ancient medicine for thousands of years.  They have been studied in modern natural medicine to have amazing benefits for different systems in the body.  Mushrooms are fungi that exist and thrive only in a parasitic relationship, where they can be symbiotically beneficial to their host, or detriment the livelihood of that living plant or being.  Most individual medicinal mushrooms have a host of different benefits for humans, and are all unique.  Check out some of our favourite medicinal mushrooms and their benefits below!

  • Reishi

    reishiReishi mushrooms grow ALL over the world! They are very prevalent in Asia, and can be found in B.C, right near our home! 🙂 They generally grow on hardwood trees and can often be found thriving on dead or dying stumps.  Reishi has been used in ancient Traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is regarded as the “mushroom of immortality” in parts of Asia!

    The Benefits of Reishi

    – Promotes cardiovascular system health
    – Enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress
    – Supports energy and stamina
    – Overall wellness support
    – Has been known to help with insomnia
    – Immunomodulating

  • Cordyceps

    about_pics5Perhaps one of the more unique of the medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps does not find its host in a plant species.  Instead, cordyceps invades the larvae of insects, where it “forces” them to travel to higher ground where the altitude acts as a superior vantage point for mushroom spores to be spread widely.  Discovered in Tibet, where herdsman noticed that their Yak were far livelier after eating from pastures containing a lot of caterpillars infected by this fungus!

    Benefits of Cordyceps:

    – Supports energy and stamina
    – Supports the body’s natural metabolic systems
    – Promotes healthy kidney function
    – Supports healthy libido
    – May augment oxygen uptake – supports healthy lung function
    – Used to support athletic performance

  • Lion’s Mane

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Lion’s Mane grows all over the world, and is generally found on hardwood trees. It is most often found in small clumps of “spines”.  It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and has more recently been studied in modern science and revered for it’s “smart” effects, as well as nerve support!

Benefits of Lion’s Mane:

– Promotes mental clarity, focus and memory
– Provides cerebral and nervous system support
– Many studies have identified a NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) in Lion’s Mane
– Optimizes nervous and immune system health
– Supports cognitive function

 

Chaga

Chaga mushrooms grow all over the world, and are prominent in boreal forests where they reside on birch trees.  Often this mushroom is referred to as “birch fungus” throughout the world. Chaga has been used for centuries as an immune modulator and a strong antioxidant!  It is used in modern alternative medicine today, and is often enjoyed as a health-boosting, and delicious tea.

Benefits of Chaga:

  • Maximum antioxidant support against daily free radical damage
  • Immunomodulatory effects

agarikon
This mushroom is perhaps one of the most potent as far as medicinal benefits, and it is thought to be one of the longest living mushrooms in the world with some documented to be over 70 years old!  Unfortunately, it is also among the most rare.  Agarikon can only be found in a few places in the world, one being the conifer forests of the Pacific North West.  Agarikon mushrooms are commonly found on Larch, Douglas fir, Hemlock and Spruce trees.

 

 

Agarikon Benefits:

– Strong immunomodulating benefits
– Has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body
– May be helpful in the defense against various diseases caused by both bacteria and viruses

Essential Oils Uses & Benefits

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Fill your Home with the Scents you LOVE.. and Benefit!

The many uses & benefits of essential oils.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are natural oils typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrances of the plant or other sources from which they are extracted.

History of Essential Oils.

Essential oils have been dated back to 2500-3000 B.C! They have been used all over the world for literally THOUSANDS of years!! These plant-derived oils have long provided us with many benefits including sensory enhancement (aromatic scents) – thus beauty care, as well as a lot of medicinal benefits.  Throughout history they have been used both internally and externally, although it is not advised to use essential oils internally unless directed by a healthcare professional.

Essential oils are used today in many different natural wellness fields! The main one by which most people associate essential oil use is Aromatherapy. It is also used in Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine and even in Conventional Medicine in certain parts of the world!

How are they used?

Essential oils can have many positive effects on the mind & body.  They can help us relax when we’re feeling stressed or anxious; they can energize us when we’re feeling sleepy or down; they can help ease headaches, and nausea; they can boost a wintery mood; and they can simply make the room and our bodies smell nice!

On our Bodies – Natural Beauty Care Products

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Many essential Oils have an extremely pleasant aromatic scent making them fantastic for use as a natural perfume or fragrance.  Many natural skin care products use essential oils for a fresh, floral, energizing, or calming effect.

In our Homes – Diffused into the Air

Diffusing essential oils into the air can help to disinfect the air, add a pleasant smell into a room, and can enhance a calm or energized state. There are a few ways that essential oils can be diffused into the air.

The traditional method of doing this is heating the oil directly over a flame, or boiling a few drops in water.  These are both effective methods, so long as a good portion of your attention can be directed toward the heating oils as to not start an accidental fire.

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Nowadays, diffusing essential oils into the air is much more efficient, and far less dangerous.  Modern day diffusers have sensors that auto-shut off when the water levels get low, and in most cases don’t use much heat at all to produce steam!

This EcoSpa Deluxe Ultrasonic Diffuser has multiple mist options, an auto-shut off and a light on/off button! It also has a very appealing shape and design, so you can feel great about making it a part of any room! 🙂

Some of our Favourite Essential Oils and their Benefits!

Single Oils:

Lavender
Lavandula

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  • Promotes relaxation – great for bedrooms & nurseries.
  • Can improve mood and reduce stress.
  • Antibacterial properties – often used in natural cleaning
    formulas for both the body & the home!

Peppermint
Mentha piperita

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  • Energizing!!
  • Can improve digestion.
  • Enhances mental alertness.
  • Soothes sore muscles.

Clary Sage
Salvia sclarea

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  • Supports hormonal balance.
  • Can reduce menstrual pain.
  • Improves ability to cope with stress.
  • Can increase libido.
  • Natural aphrodisiac.
  • Complements male pheromones.
  • Can increase energy.
  • Extremely grounding.

 


We hope you were able to pick up a few tips about Essential Oils in this post :). For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Thieves Oil – The History, The Blend & The Benefits.

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Thieves Oil Blend
The History, The Blend & The Benefits

The Historic Folklore

According to the long-told historic tale…. The use of thieves oil dates alllll the way back to the year 1413.  The time of the infamous Bubonic Plague (aka The Black Death) that devastated a large portion of France.  The Black Death spread like wild-fire amongst the citizens, and the doctors alike.  It seemed impossible to be in the vicinity without contracting it, and at the time, the sickness really did mean ultimate demise.

During this time, however, four thieves were captured and charged for stealing from the sick and dying.  The thieves never contracted the plague, despite the close contact with the Black-Death victims.

At this time, the crime these 4 men committed was punishable by burning alive.  The judge was so intrigued by how these men had stayed immune to this terrible disease, that he told them if they shared their secret he would spare them of this punishment.

The Thieves told the judge their secret: they were perfume & spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of the sea ports and the devastation of the plague.  They had prepared an essential oil recipe that when applied to their hands, ears, temples, feet & a mask over their mouths, kept them safe from infection.  The judge stayed true to his word.  The men were not burned alive, but instead they were hanged for their crimes.

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From then on, the doctors who treated the Black Death victims put the herbal infusion on their hands, ears, temples & feet, and wore beak-like masks stuffed with cloths containing this special blend.  The beak is how doctors got the long-lasting nickname “quack”. You may recognize this somewhat terrifying uniform as a scary Hallowe’en costume worn today.   Exactly the way you’d want your doctor to be dressed right? AH!

 

 

The Blend

Traditional Thieves Oil is a blend of 5 essential oils:

Clove
Syzygium aromaticum

trans-cloves

warming

soothing

comforting


Lemon
Citrus limon
lemon_png3877

refreshing

cheerful

uplifting


Cinnamon
Cinnamomum verum
cinnamon

warming

comforting

energizing


Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus globulus
eucalyptus1

Revitalizing

Invigorating

Clarifying


Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis
rosemary

purifying

uplifting

Uses & Benefits

Traditional Thieves Oil can be used for more than just the Bubonic Plague due to its now well-known anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti-viral properties!

Here are some of the ways that Thieves Blend can be put to use as a natural alternative to many of the chemical-filled & toxic bacteria fighting products on the market today!

  • Add a few drops to water & use as a hand sanitizer!
  • Diffuse into the air to clear phlegm and congested airways
  • Mix with carrier oil such as jojoba oil and apply topically to relieve inflammation
  • Diffuse into the air to kill air-borne pathogens 
  • Use diluted on feet, head & hands as a natural fungicide!
  • Dilute in water and use as a natural bug repellant.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about traditional thieves oil. We would love to hear what your favourite use of this awesome essential oil blend is!!

 

Harmonic Arts Powered By

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Harmonic Arts

Harmonic Arts is a botanical dispensary from the Comox Valley area, right here on the Island! It is co-founded by Clinical Herbalists, Yarrow Willard & Angela Willard.  They are committed to high-quality & sustainable plant-based products that can promote health and vitality for people of all ages. The entire line of Harmonic Arts products is sourced as locally and organically as possible and offers a wide range of products including medicinal mushrooms, loose teas, loose herbs, herbal powders, wild raw honey & more!

Harmonic Arts Superfood Upgrades

Harmonic Arts does a variety of Superfood Upgrade Powders, each with unique flavours & health-boosting benefits. The three blends that we were able to try were: Activate, Elevate & Engage.  Here is a little bit more about each blend!

Activate:

activate

  • Chocolate Bliss
  • Deep Immune
  • Stress Balance
  • Core Nourishment

Ingredients: Raw Cacao, Lucuma, Mesquite, Maca, Mucuna Extract, Chaga Dual Extract, Reishi Dual Extract, Shilajit, True Cinnamon

Elevate:

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  • Creamy Cardamom
  • Uplifting Mood
  • Mind Nourishing
  • Energy Building

Ingredients: Tocotrienols, Lucuma, Mucuna Extract, Green Tea Pollen, Pine Pollen, Lion’s Mane, Coconut Water Crystals, Cardamom

Engage:

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  • Nutrient Dense
  • Pre/Post Workout
  • Power Boosting
  • No Sweetener

Ingredients: Ingredients: Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder, Rice Bran (Tocotrienols), Coconut Water Crystals, Maca Powder, Incan Spirulina, Goji Juice Powder, Cordyceps Dual Extract Powder, Pine Pollen Powder, Pumpkin Spice, Ginger Root Powder, Stevia Leaf Powder.

 

We were Powered by Harmonic Arts for one month…. & this is how it went for us!

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“I tried Harmonic Art’s Elevate powder. I blended it with my bulletproof coffee (coffee, butter, and xct oil) and loved it! It gave my coffee a delicious creamy taste with a hint of cardamom. Elevate made me feel more awake, energized, and more aware than just having my regular coffee. I love that it has the medicinal mushroom Lion’s Mane in it too. It is the perfect addition to my morning!” – Catherine

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“I tried the Harmonic Arts Elevate, I am new this product and it definitely did not disappoint. I mixed it in with my morning smoothies before school and It gave me a more centred and focused energy feeling that was perfect while studying! The cardamom flavour paired perfectly with a banana and almond butter smoothie. I have already bought more it is such a great product :)!” – Sarah
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“I loved trying out Activate in my morning tea. It has a rich, chocolatey taste, and it felt so good knowing it’s full of nourishing ingredients compared to the usual chocolate drinks! It was great having that extra boost of energy and stress-relief in the morning.I tried it a few different ways, but my favourite was blending a couple tablespoons in my morning rooibos tea. I added a little bit of honey for sweetness and it was a perfect blend. I felt like I was drinking hot chocolate but was also nourishing my body and mind for the day!” – Allannah
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“I tried “Engage” which is great for a little protein and energy boost. I made it with pumpkin purée, coconut cream, sunflower lecithin and added a dash of matcha ( I also may have put a dollop of unsweetened whip cream on there). I loved the pumpkin pie spice in it that gave it some warmth and the feeling of getting cordyceps, pine pollen and maca mid day to keep me going without stimulants.” – Tiffany

I tried Harmonic Arts Activate powder. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried it, and I LOVED it. Since it has a chocolatey flavour, I made it into a delicious & buttery 😉 hot chocolate with stevia. It also tasted really great mixed in with yogurt! I found that the Powder gave me a really calm & focused energy, which makes sense due to the Reishi & Maca, and I didn’t feel guilty after having it like I would sometimes with sugary hot chocolate powders :). I will definitely continue having Activate as my go-to hot chocolate (and even coffee) alternative! – Kelly

Activated Charcoal – Detoxify inside & out!

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Activated Charcoal:
for full body detox.. inside & out.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal, otherwise known as activated carbon, is charcoal that has been treated (generally by heat) to increase its adsorption – or binding affinity to toxins! 

How does it work?

carbon

 

Activated charcoal attracts positively charged toxins and molecules, that will bind to its negatively charged exterior.  Through the heating process, the charcoal molecules become extremely porous, increasing their surface area and allowing the particles to bind within their pores.

 

 

How YOU can detox from the inside out using activated charcoal!

Let’s start with the inside!

inside-detox

Detox from Inside Using Activated Charcoal

Detoxification of any part of our body starts deep within our internal organs.  Our organs work hard to keep our bodies functioning optimally & thriving! Often, however, it can be hard for our bodies to contend with a build up of toxins such as chemicals, alcoholic substances or unhealthy foods that our modern world tends to be riddled with. Charcoal can assist the body in ridding of these toxins that can build up and stay over time.  Charcoal can be helpful for people dealing with mild food intolerances, a night of indulging on alcohol, or digestive upset such as gas & diarrhea.

It is important to note that since charcoal is so great at bringing toxins with it, it must be of a clean & pure source! It wouldn’t suffice to reach into a barbecue, or a fire-pit and use the charcoal remains.  Although they definitely look similar to the activated and safe varieties, they are full of toxins themselves, and could do much more harm than good if ingested.  It is best to look for the activated charcoal supplements as they usually come in capsule form to ensure easy administration and avoid contamination.

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And of course, you can use this awesome toxin-binder externally too!

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Pull Toxins from Your Skin Using Activated Charcoal

When used externally, activated charcoal can literally pull out and remove toxins and chemicals that your skin has absorbed. The strong charge that it holds allows it to be an extremely effective way to remove what we don’t want from the largest organ in our body (our skin)!

Our skin is our first line of defence against everything the outside world throws at us.  Using natural ingredient skin care products with no chemicals in them reduces the amount of toxicity that our skin is directly exposed to, but our modern world is full of toxins.  That’s why using a charcoal product to get rid of some of the bad we’ve been holding onto (without even knowing) can be extremely beneficial for our overall health!

There are plenty of ways that we can add charcoal into our everyday skin care routine.  One of the best is to use a natural soap containing activated charcoal.  The soap cleans the skin, while the charcoal pulls all the bad stuff out!

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Facial Cleansing Soap – REVIVE by Sunstone

This awesome charcoal soap is made locally, by our favourite aromatherapist, Jennifer, from Sunstone Aromatherapy :)!

Jennifer uses only clean and natural ingredients to create her magical products, so you can rest assured you’ll be detoxifying your face (or body) in the cleanest way possible with this bar of soap!

 

 

 

 

 

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Body Cleansing Soap – BLACK CREEK SWIRL

Have you ever used a traditional tallow soap? Did you know that tallow soap has been used for centuries? It’s rich in fat soluble vitamins that support healthy skin, and allows bacteria to slip off of the skin easily!

Made locally, in Black Creek, this soap is great for the health of your skin, and has a delicious black liquorice scent :D.  With added charcoal for toxin-pulling, and added antibacterial properties, your whole body will feel clean and detoxed.  This soap is great for sensitive skin, and can be used on the face – and works great as a creamy shaving bar!

 

Another great way to use activated charcoal externally is in a skin brush!!  Activated charcoal-containing brushes allow you to use whatever soap you’d like, while getting the benefits of activated charcoal toxin removing power! 🙂  The face brush is SO soft (like, unbelievably soft) for use on the sensitive skin on our faces. It leaves your face feeling extremely clean and your skin smooth!  The body brush is a great way to get rid of dead skin, and toxins. 🙂 Be sure that you’re using a natural soap, or just warm water,  in conjunction with these brushes for maximum toxin detox! 🙂

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skin

 

 

 

 

 

Brush your Teeth with Charcoal!

That’s right, you can use charcoal to brush your teeth!  Charcoal is great at whitening and really great cleansing your mouth and teeth.  If you have capsules at home you can open one of them, and usually there is more than enough powder in one capsule to get a great cleanse.  Do be careful though, it does stain counters and sinks impermanently.  Check out the video below from Katie, “The Wellness Mama”, as she takes you through a step-by-step on how to use activated charcoal to brush your teeth!


Have you used charcoal to detox your body internally or externally? What do you think? 🙂 We’d love to hear from you!!

 

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

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Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

If you’ve wandered into Health Essentials, browsed our webpage, or spoken to any of our teammates regarding a probiotic supplement, chances are you’ve seen or heard of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. These unique probiotics were created by a Doctor named Iichiroh Ohhira in Okayama, Japan who put careful thought into the entire process of creating them.  It is clear that Dr. Ohhira’s is one of our top options for probiotics, but maybe you’d like to learn a little more about why.

Let’s start with a few definitions:

     Probiotics:

probiotic

  • Probiotics are important for the health of our gut, which is in turn important for the health of our ENTIRE being. The microflora in our gut are largely responsible for our immune responses, the production of B Vitamins, the formation of serotonin (our happy hormone), and of course digesting & absorbing our food… and that is just the tip of the iceberg! Having a healthy gut contributes to so much of our overall wellbeing, and probiotics play a crucial role in keeping our intestinal bacteria happy, balanced & healthy!

     Prebiotics:

prebiotic

  • Often referred to as the food for our intestinal flora, prebiotics help to maintain homeostasis in our gut by promoting the growth & health of the good bacteria.

     Fermentation:

fermentation

  • Fermentation is a natural process by which micro-organisms assist in the breakdown of a substance.  It is a slow process, but is highly beneficial in terms of increasing nutrient bioavailability & digestibility of foods!

How these apply to Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Formula:

Now that we understand what probiotics, prebiotics & fermentation all mean, we can dive into the reasons why Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Formula is so effective.   Here is what the formula looks like:

  • PROBIOTICS: 12 Strains of LIVE Lactic Acid Bacteria.
  • PREBIOTICS: A proprietary blend of 92 wild and organic fruits, herbs, seaweeds, & vegetable crops.
  • FERMENTATION: All ingredients are fermented in a natural temperature environment for 3-5 years.

The reason that Dr. Ohhira’s stands apart from a lot of other supplements on the market is the fermentation of all of the probiotic and prebiotic ingredients together, creating a synergistic blend that is ALREADY alive and thriving before it even colonizes the gut!  The probiotics promote the growth of healthy micro-flora in the intestines, the prebiotics keep these healthy bacteria alive, and the fermentation process makes the nutrients in the prebiotics more bioavailable to increase the strength of the probiotic supplement.  They are also shelf stable due to the unique processing that allows them to be live inside the capsule!

The Dr. Ohhira Process:

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  1. In order to make this awesome formula, Dr. Ohhira started with the basic most pure element –  pure Spring water from Shio Yama spring in Japan.
  2. He then formulated an extremely unique blend of 12 different lactic acid bacteria strains, which all have beneficial & supportive properties for the health of the intestinal microflora!
  3. In order to keep the probiotic bacteria thriving and alive, they needed food! A proprietary blend of over 92 organic and wild fruit, vegetable, herb, seaweed & mushroom crops are used to feed the live bacteria cultures.
  4. The whole works is fermented together for a lengthy 3 to 5 year period to produce a bio-genetically active & thriving ecosystem within the mixture! During the fermentation process, Dr. Ohhira plays classical music in the room, as he believes it enhances the vitality of the bacteria! Which actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it! Music is so important for all living beings, and has such a positive effect on mental wellness, which is something that a healthy micro-flora helps promote!
  5. After the fermentation process is complete, the ENTIRE mixture is encapsulated.  This ensures that the bacteria are still live and viable at the time of ingestion! The encapsulation of Dr. Ohhiras probiotics takes place in a high-tech facility in Japan.  The blend is encapsulated in a special coating that can pass through the stomach virtually unscathed! This means that the bacteria actually get where they need to be to colonize the intestines.

The Supplements:

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  • Dr. Ohhira’s formula comes in an Original strength, and a Professional strength that are both made using the probiotic & prebiotic synergistic blend.  The Original Strength is fermented for 3 years, and the Professional Strength is fermented for 5 years.
  • The Professional formula is fantastic for those suffering from a chronic intestinal dysbiosis, or in conjunction with antibiotics use.
  • Dr. Ohhira’s is safe for children, infants, and pregnant or nursing mothers! The capsules can be opened and paste inside can be ingested if swallowing capsules is a problem.
  • 100% shelf stable – no refrigeration required… awesome for travelling!

 

We hope that this was helpful information for you when choosing a probiotic supplement that works for you, or to better understand why we love this option so much! Please don’t hesitate to ask any further questions you may have regarding Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics.  🙂 Have you tried it? What do you think? We’d love to hear from you! 


 

DIGESTION SERIES: SESSION 3

DIGESTION SERIES: SESSON 3
Your Grandma was a Genius – Benefits of Bone Broth
with Dr. Christian Brix

 

christians-seminar

We have an amazing seminar coming up on October 22nd with Dr. Christian Brix! He’ll be coming to enlighten us on all of the wonderful benefits of bone broth. Bone broth is a fantastically nourishing superfood that has been part of ancestral diets for centuries. Bone broth is rich in a protein called collagen, which makes up a large portion of our own bodies. Come and learn the history of bone broth and the importance of including it in your diet today!

Dr. Christian Brix is a Chiropractic Doctor who works out of Kelowna B.C. He is also the co-founder of a homemade/premade bone broth company called Boned. Christian’s knowledge of both the human body, health & nourishing foods is astounding, and his charismatic personality makes him so engaging to listen to. We cannot wait to be hosting Christian for this wonderful talk! 🙂

For more information on this talk:

Visit our events page at:
http://myhealthessentials.ca/event/grandma-genius-dr-christian-brix/
or our Facebook Page at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/592423240930411/

Please RSVP to reserve your spot to hello@myhealthessentials.ca or by phone at 250-590-5524. 

 

Stay tuned for more information on our Digestion Series Talks happening right now! 

DIGESTION SERIES.

Back to School Essentials

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More than likely this week has been a whirlwind for you! Whether a parent of a scholar-to-be, or a student yourself, it may be time to start thinking about how to support your mind & body for the long school year ahead! Here are a few of our “Back to School Essentials”:
  • Sisu – Stress Rescue: Focus and calm your mind & body. 

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Stress levels are generally on the rise in September.  Your to-do list has likely doubled in size, and maybe you’re finding it hard to focus on one specific task with everything hanging over you…. Well, Stress Rescue could be for you! L-Theanine is an amino acid that naturally occurs in green tea and is fantastic for promoting focused and calm cognitive energy!

 

 

35500The brain is comprised mostly of fats! It only makes sense that consuming healthy oils & fats would help to enhance the health and function of our brain! Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) are fantastic for improving cognitive function and supporting the health of this extremely important organ.  DHA has been known specifically to support cognition, and that’s why Natural Factors Whole Earth & Sea Cogni-Hi-Q has formulated this amazing fish oil to provide DHA & EPA in a 3:1 ratio!  Support your brain, ’cause chances are you’re gonna need it this year! 😉

  • Nutristart – Quick Tea:  Increase your focused energy!

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It can be hard to find it in you to rise early in the morning and tackle the day in the fall & winter.  That’s why Nutristart Quick Tea, a green tea extract, can be a fantastic addition to your daily routine! 🙂 Green tea increases focused energy & is full of antioxidants that also support your body’s immunity. Wake up, feel energized, and stay healthy with this potent extract!

 

 

 

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During times of stress our adrenal glands are working overtime to help us deal with the increased demands and it is important that we help our adrenals to stay healthy so they can continue to help us cope. This is why we LOVE AOR’s Ortho Adapt formula.  It includes a blend of supporting adaptogenic herbs, and porcine adrenals to help support the proper function of our important stress organs!

 

  • Bulletproof – Collagen Bars:  Convenient & delicious doesn’t always mean junkfood!

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Delicious and extremely nutritious, Bulletproof Bars are the perfect on-the-go snack or meal to take with you on your busiest days! Packed full of collagen protein and tons of healthy fats, these bars have an amazing nutrition profile to help get you through the day!

 

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Grass-fed water buffalo meat is one of the best tasting meats with an UNREAL nutritonal profile.  It is extremely high in protein, and a great source of healthy fats, iron & vitamin b12! This amazing snack is perfect for anyone to pack with them on a busy day! Pre-packaged individually for added convenience, we rarely leave the house without a caveman stick in our bags!

 

 

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“Smart Drugs” have become a commonplace at a lot of post-secondary schools… If you’re reading this, you probably already know how detrimental these drugs can be for your overall health and wellbeing.  Fortunately, there is a healthy alternative with no harmful side-affects that actually supports the health of your brainl! Ortho-mind is a blend of herbs and nutrients that improves cognition and brain function. It can be taken any time of day without risk of sleep interference or reducing appetite.  It is the ULTIMATE study buddy :)!

 

 

  • St. Francis – Deep Immune: Increase your body’s immunity!

deep-immune

 

Rather inconveniently, the beginning of the school year often sparks the dreaded cold and flus that spread like wildfire throughout classrooms and households.  Good news: You can do something to protect yourself! St. Francis Deep Immune tincture is a blend of potent medicinal herbs that support your body’s immune system and fight infection. Perfect as a preventative measure, or to speed up the process of restoring health so you can feel better faster!

 


We wish everyone a smooth back to school transition and a relatively stress-free school year! 🙂 We hope these items are helpful to keep in your toolkit for tackling this school year! Do you have any back to school immune boosters or stress formulas that you use? What’s your go-to healthy snack for busy days? Let us know! 🙂