Natural Remedy

A Powerful Antiviral Herb: Desert Parsley

Desert Parsley Antiviral Herb
Medicinal  Uses Lomatium dissectum is a powerful antiviral herb and has been used historically by the Indigenous peoples of the United States for this purpose. During the 1918 influenza epidemic, the Washoe people of southwestern United States gathered the root and used it in the treatment of their sick. They prepared the medicine (either fresh or dried) by boiling it in water, skimming off the oils and resins on the surface, and giving large doses of the broth. The affected person would drink this tea for three days, which was considered the longest time needed to break up a fever caused by a viral or pulmonary infection. Whether a coincidence or not, no deaths were reported among the tribe from influenza or its complications. Other tribes in nearby regions, where the plant did not grow, reported numerous deaths. A doctor named Ernest Krebbs, who was working in the desert in Nevada, also noticed Indigenous people using the root to cure those stricken with influenza. Using strong decoctions of the root, the ill were able to get well within a week. Krebbs and other doctors started to use the root and found it to have great healing benefits. Since the plant grew on the western frontier, it did not get the medical profession's attention in general, and its use fell out of favor for a time. In a modern clinical setting, Lomatium root has been used to cure the initial stages of acute pharyngitis, subacute pharyngitis (which is persistent and slower to heal), and tonsils. It has also been used for influenza and pneumonia. It’s a proven remedy for viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, especially those of the respiratory and urinary tract. Bear Medicines An interesting subject I have come across in my study of traditional medicine is the ascription of certain archetypal pat- terns to medicinal plants. The most basic patterns are based on a circle of elements. For example, warming herbs are associated with the element of fire, moistening herbs with the element of water, and so on. Although there are different systems of elemental patterns from different schools of traditional medicine, they all seem to benefit from working in this way. Certain Indigenous traditions are based on a circle of animals from the local area, which may include snake, elk/deer, bear, wolf, and rabbit archetypes. They historically recognized certain plant medicines as being associated with a certain animal; some resemble an animal in some way or are the food of that animal, or perhaps the plant and its animal appeared together in dreams or visions. It was believed that animal medicine could im- part the beneficial qualities of its associated animal to an individual in need of them. Lomatium is part of a herb group that’s considered to be bear medicines. These herbs typically have brown (some- times furry/hairy), oily, spicy, and aromatic roots. Bears like to eat these plants in the spring after they wake up from their hibernation. The aromatic qualities help to warm up and reinvigorate their sluggish digestive system, which has been slowed through long periods of hibernation. The roots of these plants are full of oils that stimulate lipid metabolism in the liver. As with many medicinal herbs, the effect on the body is regulated. Bear medicines can be of benefits to those who lack oils in their systems, such as those with dry skin or dry hair and scalp; but they can also be beneficial in cases where there is an excess of oils, such as for teenagers with acne-prone or oily skin. Oily plants help us build our stores of subcutaneous fat, which is essential for insulating us from cold and damp conditions. Similarly, bears rely on high quantities of oils in their diet to develop a thick layer of fat which helps to insulate them through the winter. Adequate oil intake is essential in the production and maintenance of the adrenal hormones. The fatty outer layer of the adrenal glands is the adrenal cortex. It’s responsible for the synthesis and secretion of a variety of hormones, such as cortisol. The bear medicines are rich in oils that help to replenish the adrenal cortex and can benefit those with adrenal fatigue. Cortisol is essential for making stored fats and sugars available in stressful situations requiring resilience and strength. Of all the animals, the bear is known for possessing exceptional strength and courage. They are usually docile and calm, spending much of their time fishing or foraging for nuts, roots, berries, and honey; but mother bears are capable of being quite ferocious when they must defend their cubs. They stand their ground (sometimes on two legs) or even charge at a perceived threat when other animals would run in fear. The bear medicines help pro- vide nourishing oils for energy storage and for maintaining the health of the adrenals so that we might possess the strength and courage of the bear when we need it. Other examples of these medicines include members of the Apiaceae family, like Osha (Ligustic ...

Goji Berries: A True Superfruit and Anti-Oxidant Powerhouse

Goji Berries
We all know some of the most nutritious, antioxidant-packed (super)foods are berries – from blueberries to mulberries – and everything in between. How does the goji berry or “wolfberry fruit” stack up against its humble competitors? Is Goji a true superfruit and anti-oxidant powerhouse as purported? Goji has been an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, and a popular superfood for fighting free radical damage, aging, and markers of disease. Typically, goji berries are eaten raw and dried, but can also be used in a powdered form for smoothies, bowls, and shakes. Nutritional Content of Goji Berries Before even getting into the polyphenol and antioxidant content of goji berries, the nutritional content alone is quite impressive. ¼ cup provides (depending on dried or powder form, and how they’ve been processed) approximately: 70 Calories 12g of Sugar 9g of Protein 6g of Fiber 150% DV Vitamin A 84% DV Copper 75% DV Selenium 27% DV Vitamin C 21% DV Potassium 15% DV Zinc 42% DV Iron Goji berries are also extremely rich in “phenolic acids,” “polysaccharides,” and “flavonoids” – biologically active compounds with beneficial health properties. These compounds are responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to goji berries. Various studies and literature denote the many health-promoting properties of goji berries, such as those documented and compiled here. Vision Support, Macular Degeneration, and Eye Health Goji contains many ‘carotenoids’ – the natural pigments that give fruits bright orange and red colors, such as carrots (and goji berries). This is why you have probably heard the old adage that carrots are great for vision health. They are extremely high in Vitamin A, and this is due to the beta-carotene content. In particular, goji is high in the carotenoid “zeaxanthin” which is sometimes sold as an individual natural supplement for vision support. Research shows this compound protects the retina and improves retinal function. Further, human and animal studies looking at goji berry extract (not just zeaxanthin) found that goji was protective and restorative in the early stages of retina and macular degeneration. Cardiovascular Protection, Lipid and Cholesterol-Lowering Support Studies demonstrate goji berry extract as having a notable reduction in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to non-goji berry treated animals with elevated blood pressure and hyperlipidemia. Meanwhile, “good” cholesterol levels, HDL, were unaffected or increased with the dosage of goji berry extract. Aside from the high antioxidant levels of goji, they have also demonstrated the ability to lower blood lipid levels effectively in diabetic animal studies. Abnormal fat oxidization and accumulation in the blood vessels were inhibited in animals fed a high-fat diet after administration of goji extract. Goji appears to also be beneficial for diabetes from other studies, which point to its ability to lower blood glucose levels significantly and impact the rate of glucose uptake. Anticancer Benefits and Neuroprotective Benefits Not only are goji berries beneficial for heart health, cholesterol levels, and lipids – but they also have potent benefits in the fight against neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s and even in protecting against cancer cell growth. Goji has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many decades specifically to prevent the progression and early onset of cancer – the whole goji berry seems to have a better preventative effect than just extracts of specific compounds alone (those most commonly sold as supplements). The polysaccharides which are present in goji (polysaccharides are also extremely beneficial parts of what make medicinal mushrooms great) have the ability to inhibit and prevent tumor growth without negative side effects. Neurological brain health is an extremely important area of study, and the benefit of goji has been shown to reduce glutamate excitotoxicity, which is implicated in neurogenerative diseases. Treatment with goji showed a reduction in neurological deficits in stroke models and improved cognitive performance. Goji – Should I Be Adding Them to My Smoothies or Bowls? Similar to many other potent superfruits, goji berry offers a natural, whole-food antioxidant powerhouse that does not require supplementation or medication to confer benefits against cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, cancer, neurological disorders, and vision degeneration. Best of all, goji is easy to incorporate into daily diets in a wide variety of dried forms, powders, and extracts for any need – all available at Healthy Planet Canada.

Shea Butter: Synonymous with Hydration and Won’t Clog Your Pores

Shea Butter Benefits
One of the most commonly used ingredients in ‘natural’ moisturizing skin care products, shea butter, is a force to be reckoned with. Beyond being a natural, non-comedogenic moisturizer, it also boosts a high vitamin E content, fatty acids, vitamin A, and allantoin, and has benefits for those with fine lines, wrinkles, or skin conditions like acne or eczema. For those with dry, flaky skin – opting to try out pure shea butter as a soothing morning or night application and skin calmer is a no-brainer. Those with tree nut allergies tend to still tolerate shea butter without a reaction, as it doesn’t appear to contain any appreciable quantity of the problematic tree-nut proteins that can trigger allergies or anaphylactic response. Allergic reactions or adverse skin reactions to shea butter are exceptionally rare. The Production Process of Shea Butter Shea butter is not refined in the traditional sense, and the production process is quite simple. Extracted from the shea nut tree’s oily kernels within the seed, once the kernel is removed, they are ground and boiled to extract the fatty portion – the ‘butter,’ which becomes solidified. Most shea butter, regardless of organic certification, is sourced from West Africa.   The Many Therapeutic Skincare Applications of Shea Butter Shea butter can always be used on its own or incorporated with other ingredients as a combination moisturizer. Given how dense and solid shea butter is at room temperature, it is usually best incorporated with other body oils for an easier application process. The high amount of natural (and healthy) fatty acids like oleic, linoleic, and palmitic, combined with natural phenols and vitamin E content make it an ideal cosmetic product for soothing irritation or dry skin – the composition of fatty acids also makes shea butter mildly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Shea butter’s natural anti-inflammatory properties make it not only suitable as a moisturizer for dry, irritated skin, but also for sunburns, wrinkles, fine lines, aging, scarring, acne, plumping the skin, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and puffiness. Shea’s properties, including concentrations of linoleic acid, are specifically beneficial in treating inflammation and irritated skin without being pore-clogging or leading to overproduction of oil. Picking and Storing Shea Butter Shea butter should always be stored out of direct sunlight – and it usually lasts about 2 years from the date it was produced. Even after exposure to heat, it will re-solidify back at room temperature.   Refined or unrefined, which works best? Almost all of the shea butter you’ll find at Healthy Planet Canada is unrefined, meaning it is not extracted using any solvents or formulated with preservatives, or bleached. Some people prefer refined because they dislike the smell of natural shea butter’s nuttiness and the consistency may be smoother, but unrefined shea butter allows you to experience all the natural benefits of shea butter with its full range of antioxidants and compounds without any worry of what was used in the production process. Unrefined shea butter has more of a light beige or yellow color, and is much more ‘earthy.’ If you need some skincare help in the form of an all-natural, moisturizing powerhouse that protects against aging, skin conditions, and inflammation, look no further than shea butter. 

Seabuckthorn Oil: Is it The Superior Skincare Oil?

Seabuckthorn Oil for Skin
Rosehip oil may easily be the most popular therapeutic skincare oil on the market, superseding jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, almond, argan, marula, and olive. But few people are aware of a possible contender for the spot of number one.  Before we explore the benefit of seabuckthorn and how it stacks up to rosehip, we should investigate the therapeutic benefits of rosehip, which is also a highly recommended, nutrient-rich skin care option.  Seabuckthorn or Rosehip Oil – How Do They Stack Up? Rosehip oil is derived from the seeds of the fruit on rose bushes – this oil is now widely used as a topical skincare oil and treasured for the high content of fatty acids and antioxidants. These natural compounds can help improve skin elasticity and reduce visible signs of aging – fine lines, dry skin, wrinkles, sun damage, and discoloration. Rosehip is also touted for the ability to more effectively moisturize the skin than traditional moisturizers, without causing the staining or heaviness associated with a lot of cosmetic creams and lotions.  The main components of rosehip are essential fatty acids, and these are naturally anti-inflammatory and moisturizing. Rosehip is also extraordinarily high in vitamin C and antioxidant compounds like carotenoids.  Rosehip is not new – it has been used since prehistoric times, and more interestingly, by Egyptians, Mayans, and Native Americans for a variety of health concerns, infections, oral health, diseases, and skin applications. The Romans used rosehip to dress animal bite wounds. In other preparations, it was used as a jam. The healing properties of rosehip are noted in old Icelandic texts, and by many other ancient cultures. The interest in rosehip oil as a potential for cosmetics and skincare in North America did not rejuvenate until the 1980s and 1990’s when more clinical research showed the benefits of rosehip for sensitive skin types and the impact it had on reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and the appearance of scar tissue.  Many proponents of commercial skincare and cosmetics products will suggest that there are no actual scientific studies to demonstrate rosehip oil’s effectiveness on any claimed benefits – but this is not exactly true.  There are quite a few studies that show promising results (including one from 1983 conducted at the University of Santiago) that shows rosehip oil may promote healing, reduce scar appearance, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, even skin complexion and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  These studies are substantiated by simply looking at the composition of rosehip oil. This is an oil that is extremely rich in vitamin a, vitamin c, carotenoids, retinoids, and fatty acids like linolenic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic. This combination of free fatty acids, carotenoids, retinoids, and high vitamin-C content makes for a potent anti-aging oil.  Okay, so rosehip oil is great – what about seabuckthorn?  For starters, seabuckthorn contains over 190 bioactive compounds such as plant sterols, flavonoids, carotenoids, retinoids, and fatty acids – including the uncommon “omega-7.”  Omega-7 is not commonly found among plants. This fatty acid is known to promote skin repair and cellular regeneration, as well as work as an aide in soothing skin and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.  Seabuckthorn also contains the essential fatty acids omega-3 & omega-6 in a perfect ratio of 1:1, which is the ideal ratio for human health. Seabuckthorn is also often sold as a supplement and liquid extract (by the brand Sibu) which can aid in whole body wellness and contribute to reduced cellular inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. Seabuckthorn has a strong positive effect on the cardiovascular system in trials, and this seems to be associated with the wealth of beneficial oils and compounds found in the oils and juices.  The Final Word on Seabuckthorn for Skincare and Whole-Body Wellness While much has been made about seabuckthorn’s internal benefits, let us get back to skincare and how seabuckthorn proves as beneficial for the skin as rosehip! The plant sterols in seabuckthorn can help with skin elasticity, hydration, smooth skin, and complexion – seabuckthorn is particularly rich in beta-sitosterol and campesterol. The unique combination of essential fatty acids also lends seabuckthorn restorative and regenerative properties for the health and integrity of the skin. The fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid helps to promote blood circulation, which can aid in nourishment and oxygen supply. This can help promote a healthier appearance, tone, and overall complexion.  In summary, for skin: seabuckthorn can help reduce oxidative stress, fight free radical damage, promote skin elasticity and healthy aging, reduce fine lines, scars, and wrinkles, help address skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis, moisturize and soothe the skin, protect ...

Can colloidal silver replace your hand sanitizer?

colloidal silver
There has never been a time when the hand sanitizers in the health food stores are flying off the shelves faster than they can be restocked. Over a year since the pandemic began, hand sanitizer is still essential. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a quick errand or spending the full day at work, we’re willing to bet you have at least one bottle in your purse, maybe even another in your car. These days, you simply cannot leave the house without at least one bottle of hand sanitizer. However, many of these sanitizers, even the ones sold at health food stores, are made up of 70% alcohol and can be extremely drying to the hands. Hand sanitizer is certainly a great product, but there is another that is just as effective: Colloidal silver. This lesser-known sanitizer may sound unrelated, but it’s extremely versatile as a purse staple. A small bottle of colloidal silver takes up little space yet serves many purposes. What is colloidal silver? When comparing the bottles, colloidal silver is similar to hand sanitizer. They are both clear liquids that come in small spray bottles. The difference lies in the ingredients list. While hand sanitizer is composed of alcohol, preservatives, and scents, colloidal silver is described as tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid. Its only ingredients are silver and purified water. Don’t worry, you won’t see the “silver” in the liquid because they are nanoparticles and less than 100nm in size. How can you use colloidal silver? Before antibiotics were discovered, colloidal silver was used as an all-purpose remedy for infections and pathogens. Not only does it kill bacteria, but it can also fight viruses and fungi like candida. To reap its antimicrobial properties, you can use it as a topical spray or ingest it internally.  Most popular uses for colloidal silver sprays spray on hands to use as hand sanitizer spray on the face after a long day of mask-wearing, to prevent mask (acne caused by wearing masks long-term) spray in the mouth at the first sign of cold or flu spray in the eyes to clear out an eye infection spray on external wounds to prevent infections spray on the scalp to fight dandruff Best options: Sovereign Silver Spray 59mL*, Sovereign Silver Silver Hydrosol 946mL* *when spraying in the mouth, please follow the instructions on the bottle Is colloidal silver safe? Even though colloidal silver has many anti-microbial uses, not everyone is completely sold on the product. Silver itself is present in our everyday environment and we are constantly exposed to small amounts. Can ingesting it as a supplement be toxic? Current studies show that the risk for chronic exposure to colloidal silver is not well known. As with any substance, there can be a risk of overdose, but the exact amounts and time frame needed for colloidal silver to cause this are not known. Considering how long it’s been used and how effective it’s been, the risk of overexposure is likely low. Using colloidal silver as a spray ensures you are using low quantities, and many supplements contain low concentrations of silver. Nonetheless, it is recommended to use colloidal silver with caution. Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Elderberry vs. echinacea: which is more effective at fighting infections?

Elderberry vs. echinacea
In the natural health world, there are two particular herbs that are the most well-known for helping to fight infections. Whether it be to fight the flu or a common cold, it is best to be prepared with your natural health kit. As the back-to-school season nears, some people may reach for their trusty elderberry syrup, while others prefer their echinacea tinctures. The question is, which one is more effective? Let’s take a look. The benefits of echinacea Echinacea is a flower that is commonly grown in the US and in Canada. You may have seen it in parks without realizing it. These pink blossom flowers have been shown to lower the risk of developing colds by more than 50%. When taken at the onset of a cold, it can shorten the duration. How? Echinacea contains antioxidants that help the immune system to make more white blood cells. When the body detects an invader or pathogen, it will send white blood cells around to find and engulf the bacteria virus or dead cells. An increased amount of white blood cells during infections can help the body get rid of the infection faster and more effectively. How to take echinacea Tea: Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus Spearmint 16 Tea Bags Lozenges: Quantum TheraZinc Echinacea Lozenges Cherry Mint 14 Counts Tincture: Omega Alpha Echinacea & Goldenseal 50mL Capsules: Nature’s Way Echinacea Goldenseal 100 Capsules The benefits of elderberry As the name suggests, elderberry is a type of berry. It is widely grown across Europe and North America, although it is not as common as echinacea. If you do happen to come across it, keep in mind that only the white flower and dark purple berries are edible. The rest of the plant is poisonous. Despite this, elderberry is traditionally used as a medicine because of its therapeutic properties. It is packed with powerful vitamins and minerals that strengthen immunity –vitamin A, C, E, iron, potassium, and various antioxidants. Similar to echinacea, it helps your body kick off sickness faster by providing you with the nutrients to strengthen your immune system. Elderberry has been shown to reduce severe respiratory symptoms. It takes a more active approach in fighting pathogens and can stop viral replication in cells, to prevent it from spreading. The fewer viruses you have in your body, the faster your immune system can get rid of them! How to take elderberry Gummies: Mega Food Immune Support Elderberry 54 Gummies Syrup: Suro Organic Elderberry Syrup Adults 236mL Lozenges: Now Elderberry & Zinc 30 Lozenges Tea: Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus Elderberry 16 Tea Bags Capsules: Suro Organic Elderberry+ 60 Capsules Elderberry extract: Suro Organic Elderberry Extract 118mL Which herb should I take: elderberry or echinacea? If you have access to either, they are both effective at building immunity and fighting off infections sooner. They are great options to boost overall health and can be used together. If you must make the choice between the two, consider your unique symptoms or situation. Echinacea is best taken as a preventative measure, while elderberry works well when you are already sick. Elderberry contains more antioxidants and vitamin C. If you are able to distinguish between bacterial or viral infection, echinacea can help your body fight off bacteria. On the other hand, elderberry is less effective at fighting bacterial infections but can be effective at fighting viral infections like the common cold or the flu. Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Healthy Ways to Detox (Hint: it’s not through dieting!)

Body Detox Food
It’s that time of the year again! A new year can be a great time to reconsider or adopt new goals to prioritize your health. Motivation is at an all-time high during January, making it great time to start new healthy habits. How many times have you made New Year’s resolutions about weight loss? Fad diets or cutting out all junk foods may sound exciting, but as you probably know, it is neither sustainable nor realistic. What about detoxing after the holiday indulgences? Let’s say you drank more alcohol and ate more desserts than usual. It detoxing necessary? The word “detox” might make you think of diet pills, food restrictions or even detox drinks. Our bodies can deal with a moderate amount of harmful chemicals and sugary foods. But due to the large amount of toxins we absorb on a regular basis – pollution, processed foods, heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives, emulsifiers – helping the body detox and reducing the liver’s burden can make a huge difference. When you detox in a healthy way, you are doing so much more than losing weight. Detoxing also helps the body get rid of toxins, keeps your energy high, lower inflammation and supports a healthy immune system. So instead of using one-time fixes like pills or restrictive diets, consider adding these healthy habits first. Drink Dandelion Tea Dandelion root is a natural diuretic that helps your liver eliminate toxins more quickly. The liver is your primary organ for detoxification, and this powerful herbal tea is well-known for protecting the liver to make sure it is working effectively. Traditional Medicinals offers a high quality, organic dandelion root tea that is specifically created to support everyday detox. Plus, it is delicious!  Use a Dry Brush Before Showering Did you know that your skin is another detoxing organ? We don’t typically think of the skin as detox pathway, but many everyday toxins can be excreted through the skin’s pores. Dry brushing involves using a long brush with natural bristles to brush your skin, in the direction of your heart. This daily process removes dead skin cells, unclogs pores and stimulates the lymphatic system, helping your body remove waste more efficiently. Dry brushing is similar to massage – but way cheaper! All you need is a long body brush and you are good to go. Try brushing before you shower so you can wash off the dead skin cells after! Relax with a Castor oil pack Castor oil is an old remedy used for a variety of health conditions. It contains therapeutic fatty acids that provide many health benefits. When used in a castor oil pack, it can stimulate the lymphatic system, help the liver detoxify naturally and reduce inflammation. Castor oil packs are simple to do at home. You will need a high-quality, hexane-free castor oil. Pour just enough oil to soak a dye-free cotton flannel, wrap it around your liver area (right side of abdomen), then wrap another old towel over it to prevent the castor oil from staining. Then cover it with a heating pad or hot water bottle for 30 minutes. This should be a time of relaxation – lying down or sitting on the couch is ideal. Note: Do not use castor packs during menstruation as it can make your bleeding heavier. Everyday Detox Can be Easy Remember, health is a culmination of what you do every day. There are so many ways to improve your physical and mental health, without restriction and rigidity. Detoxing the right way is one of best ways you can help your body function at its best. Give these healthy habits and you will see just how easy it is! Author Grace Tien is a dietetics and holistic nutrition grad. She creates sustainable, delicious meal plans to help clients with their health goals. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

Herbs for Immune Seasonal Support

Cold versus flu. In general a flu has an abrupt onset of weakness, muscle aches, headache, high fever and a dry cough that often persists. A simple cold comes with feelings of malaise, sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat and only a slight fever. Generally speaking, the common cold has symptoms from the neck up whereas the flu involves symptoms below the neck. Antibiotics are of no use for these viral related afflictions although you should be aware of signs of secondary bacterial infections (see below).   Do it yourself. Most of us can easily treat our common colds and the flu at home. The key to success is to start treating within the first 12-24 hours of symptoms (ex. scratchy throat or feeling run down), take remedies consistently and get plenty of rest. Consult a doctor if tonsils are beefy-red, discharges are tick and yellow or green, cough is severe, you experience chest pain or difficulty breathing, have a fever of 103 degrees F or greater for over 4 days, are elderly, immune compromised, diabetic or a child.    Seasonal Herbal Support. Echinacea root (Purple Coneflower) is one of the most undervalued and misused immune modulating herbs (with antiviral and antibacterial actions) that is best used well before getting sick. It can help relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections. If you suspect a secondary bacterial infection then combine it with Goldenseal and seek out a professional. Echinacea is also one of the few remedies that can be taken during pregnancy and lactation. Astragalus is another great traditional remedy used to tonify the immune system and with demonstrative abilities to boost white blood cells. Gentle enough for children, it is often taking for a period of months during cold and flu season.   Other useful herbs. Andrographis contains andrographolides to help reduce symptoms of the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections (throat, sinuses and lungs). It is a key herb for strong and immediate short term immune support. Liquorice, traditionally used to sooth dry coughs and other lung disorders, sore throats, and laryngitis, contains glycyrrhizin, a constituent with powerful antiviral activity. Combining 3-5 herbs is not unusual traditionally so don’t be afraid to try. Garlic naturally contains a sulfur compound called allicin that is responsible for many of the prised antimicrobial properties.  NOW® Garlic 5000 allows for the release of allicin which is otherwise mostly lost when garlic is crushed, chewed or cooked.   A great combo for a cold or flu.  NOW® Allibiotic CF™ contains five ingredients which in combination provide support for a healthy immune response. It contains garlic known to help relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections and catarrhal conditions,Black Elderberries which exert free-radical scavenging, anti-viral and immunomodulating properties (attributed to their anthocyanidin flavonoid constituents), Olive Leaf extract which contains phenolic compounds (in particular the phytochemical oleuropein) with demonstrated antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities, Oil of Oregano which contains carvacrol and thymol suggested to be responsible for its antimicrobial activities and Arabinogalactan from the Larch tree bark (ImmunEnhancer AG™) shown to promote immunomodulation in response to microbial insults. Use 1 daily for prevention and 2 daily at the onset of any symptoms. 

Foods For Glowing Skin

As relaxing as regular facials may seem, sometimes they’re just not enough to give you the healthy glow you’re looking for, because how your skin appears on the outside can often be a good indication of your health on the inside. What we eat can not only affect us mentally and physically, but it can have a big impact on our skin’s appearance; that’s why it’s important to incorporate foods in your diet that are full of beautifying nutrients. So in addition to your skin care regimewhich should already include avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, a good moisturizer and drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day, start adding these 5 foods to your diet right now for healthier, more vibrant and younger looking skin. Chocolate Why: Yup, you read that right. But not just any chocolate, dark chocolate. Dark, unprocessed chocolate contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can help improve the health and look of your skin by helping to protect it against UV damage and can help fight free radicals, which have a direct relation to aging skin[1]. Chocolate has also been shown to help reduce stress and can boost your mood to brighten up tired-looking skin and reduce the breakdown of collagen….so you can say “See you never, wrinkles.” Tip: We aren’t suggesting to go grab yourself a large chocolate bar or drinking an extra-large hot chocolate. Studies show that just 2-3 ounces of 70% chocolate can give you the beautifying benefits (and craving fix) you’re looking for. Turmeric Why: Right now there’s nothing trendier than turmeric, but for a good reason!  Although not a food per se, turmeric is a not-so-spicy spice that should definitely be on this list. Many skin conditions such as acne, eczema and puffiness can be due to inflammatory conditions within the body that manifest to the surface of the skin. Turmeric on the other hand, is known for its high anti-inflammatory properties, so using turmeric as a flavour enhancer while cooking can offer some wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. Turmeric can also be used in at-home facial masks and can even be taken as a supplement if you want some additional benefits.   Avocado Why: Famous for their many heart and brain health benefits, they are actually great for the skin, too! Avocados are high in mono and poly unsaturated fats, which can help give your skin the glowing, dewy look by keeping it firm and moisturized. Avocados are also high in vitamin E and carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps fight free-radical damage—a major cause of aging skin. Studies[2] also show that carotenoids can help improve the skin’s thickness and tone, making it less prone to wrinkling. Tip: Avocados can be added to any meal, really, so there is no reason not to get enough of this yummy item in your diet. Need some ideas? Try topping your sandwich or salad with some avocado slices, or blend half an avocado in your next smoothie for extra creaminess. Still need some avo-inspiration? This summer, try grilling avocado slices topped with fresh lemon juice and sea salt. Or hey, give them a try as a facial mask if you’re feeling adventurous. Grapefruit Why: It makes for way more than just a refreshing breakfast! Grapefruit contains more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, a nutrient that has been shown to help aid skin damage caused by the sun or other environmental pollutants. Collagen, what keeps our skin tight and firm, naturally decreases with age, but one of vitamin C’s claims to fame is that it can help stimulate collagen production, which in turn can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help prevent future ones from developing.  Tip: Vitamin C is highly volatile to heat, meaning its potency can be lost during cooking. So eating these items raw is your best bet to get your max vitamin C benefits. If you’re looking for additional collagen support, a collagen supplement such as Jamieson Collagen Anti-Wrinkle is your best defense against fighting off the signs of aging. Tomatoes Why: They work great as a salad topper (and admittedlythey go perfectly on pizza), but it’s hard to find a reason why tomatoes shouldn’t be on your list if you’re looking to improve your skin health. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid that gives them their bright red hue, which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A (or you may be familiar with the term “retinol”) is a nutrient that can help reduce the effects of aging while helping to increase the production of collagen. Lycopene has also been shown to help reduce the effects of sun damage, helping skin cell regeneration, and reducing skin redness. But oily skin can also benefit from this antioxidant as it can help reduce inflammation leading to excess oil production and breakouts. Tip: Unlike Vitamin C, h ...