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Curcumin is the active anti-inflammatory compound found in the spice turmeric of the ginger family. Curcumin has gone head to head in clinical trials with all the major over the counter NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Tylenol. But unlike Ibuprofen and Tylenol, you don't need to worry about damaging your liver, kidney stones, excessive bleeding, overdose or filling the pockets of big Pharma. Instead, you can use curcumin as a pain reliever.

curcumin is currently used medicinally in some European countries and even administered IV for chronic and acute inflammatory disorders. Recently, states like California and Washington have started to utilize infusions of curcumin in similar patient demographics, including those with severe symptoms stemming from chemo therapy treatments.

Additionally, some of the curcuminoids extracted from turmeric are currently being studied for their anti-cancer properties, including being used to aid in effectiveness of chemo therapies. Beyond that, a meta-analysis suggests curcumin initiates "Killer Cell" potential in combating chronic viruses. It's used also as a preventative aid in early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia and can relieve swelling of the brain.

"I heard Turmeric doesn't absorb well"

Unfortunately, the curcumin content of turmeric is not high. In fact, it's only around 3% by weight. Another and even more important factor is curcumin is extremely poorly absorbed. The bio-availability is so poor that even with an extract of 95% it only stays in plasma for a few hours and very few curcuminoids make their way to the blood stream for benefits. It's also fat soluble and unless fat or fatty acids are consumed with curcumin, then it's even less likely to be absorbed.

There’s hope! We’ve been lucky to have companies tackle the absorption issue by formulating more bio-available versions of this amazing compound. This started by adding black pepper extract called bioperine which potentiated absorption to 7x a standardized curcumin extract and managed to stay in blood plasma up to 6 hours. From there, even more potent forms have hit the shelves. Theracumin is about 30x more potent and the first of the water soluable curcumin, Meriva at 36x more potent and then Longvida and Curcuwin at 46x more potent finally crossing the blood brain barrier. And finally, prescription grade full spectrum micelle technology called NovaSol created in Germany has allowed curcumin to undoubtedly cross the blood brain barrier requiring no fat or additional compounds to enhance absorption. It’s water soluble and stays in blood plasma for up to 24 hours. Some curcumin formulations are better for certain things. "C3" formulation, like our Bonne Sante brand, is recommended for a good, fast pain reliever comparable to ibuprofen and may help boost your immune function aide in improving liver functioning. Longvida formulation was made to enhance cognition by decreasing any inflammation occurring in the brain. The important thing is to recognize that depending on your goal, consider investing in a more potent formulation. Ask someone at our health foods store to guide you in a direction that supports your personal needs. 

Is it your thyroid?

According to the American Thyroid foundation, 12% of the US population experiences thyroid abnormalities and symptoms. Of that 12%, it’s estimated that 60% are unaware of their thyroid abnormality. Every cell in the body depends on thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism. The most common forms of thyroid abnormalities are under-active and overactive or hypo and Hyper-thyroidism. Symptoms of these can be:

Hyperthyroidism: Excess sweating, excessive hunger, fatigue, heat intolerance, or restlessness mood swings, nervousness, or panic attack abnormal heart rhythm, fast heart rate, difficulty falling asleep or insomnia irregular menstruation or short and light menstruation, hyperactivity or irritability weight loss, diarrhea, hair loss, muscle weakness, tremor, or warm skin

Hypothyroidism: Delayed puberty or slow growth, lethargy or feeling cold, hair loss, brittle nails, constipation, dry skin, high cholesterol, irritability, sensitivity to cold, sexual dysfunction, slow heart rate, sluggishness and weight gain.

Whether you know you suffer from thyroid disorder, or you want to maintain a healthy thyroid gland, consider supplementing with a natural supplement that supports thyroid regulation.Brands like Life Extension and Bonne Sante offer a thyroid complex using compounds listed below:

· Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, shown to support natural production of the thyroid hormone T4. In one study, researchers found that 500 mg per day of standardized ashwagandha extract enhanced T4

· Guggul, an extract of Commiphora mukul, shown in one study to support the activity of the enzyme that converts T4 into the most active thyroid hormone, T3.

· Korean Ginseng, found in one study to reduce levels of the inactive, thyroid hormone-inhibiting reverse T3 (rT3) and support healthy T3 and T4 levels.

  • Iodine and tyrosine, which are required for thyroid hormone production,
  • Vitamin B12, a sufficient level of which is needed for healthy thyroid activity,
  • Vitamin A, an important nutrient for supporting healthy serum T3 (active) levels.



Alot of noise has been made about the


benefits of aloe vera whole leaf juice compared to the inner fillet gel. There has been some debate on which is better for health benefits. Aloe vera is a plant grown in South Africa. Aloe vera gel is produce inside the leaf, which is protected by the ring of the leaf. The aloe plant is grown as a ornamental plant, which can grow up to 39 inches in height. Aloe vera has been praised as a herbal medicine, and has been used in many cultures for thousands of years.

The inner fillet part of the ring is where aloe vera contains its health benefits. Aloe vera whole leaf juices use the entire leaf. Manufacturers claim that the whole leaf contains more nutritional value. However, that is simply not true at all. The ring of the plant is more as a filler and most go under chemical removing process to get rid of potential pesticides, bacteria, and get rid of the yellow sap on the out of the ring which contain harmful anthraquinone glycosides. The yellow sap contains toxic laxative properties. What's even worse is that some aloe vera whole leaf juices don't even remove the yellow sap. The yellow sap known as aloe latex is very bitter and has very intense side effects. Side effects when used for a long period of time can potentially lead to death even!

The difference betweenWhole Leaf Aloe Vera and Inner Fillet Gel

Both inner fillet aloe vera gel and aloe vera whole leaf juice are different even though they're from the same plant. Manufacturers who sell whole leaf aloe vera juice use the entire leaf thinking it contains more nutrients. Aloe leaves are made up of four different parts. The ring, the sap, the mucilage, and the gel. Some aloe vera whole leaf products combine all four parts. Some just the gel and the ring. All 75 nutrients are found in the gel which is located on the inner part of the leaf. Leaves are hand filleted themselves to remove the gel from the leaf.

It really makes no sense why the ring needs to be added, when it provides no nutritional value. Known bacteria and toxins live on the outer ring that strips away most of its nutritional value. So when the ring is required to go under a filtration process to remove its harmful toxins and bacteria, most of the polysaccharides which gives aloe vera its health benefits will be loss. So not only does aloe vera whole leaf juice not contain as many health benefits, it doesn't contain nearly as much as aloe vera gel located on inside of the leaf.

Does Aloe Vera Whole LeafJuice have health benefits?

Aloe vera whole leaf might contain health benefits, but not as much as the gel. Aloe vera whole leaf juice still uses the gel which is where the nutritional value is found, but who knows how many of its nutritional value is loss during filtration. The ring of the plant doesn't have any known nutritional value. The gel itself has 75 known nutrients found, which contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, and polyscaccharides which gives aloe vera its health benefits. The gel remains inside the inner fillet of the leaf, and is protected by the ring from bacteria, the sap and pesticides. It doesn't require a filtration process and keeps its nutritional value. Aloe vera whole leaf juice might lose some of its nutritional value when undergoing a heating process, and carbon filtration to get rid of any contamination on the leaf. Bacteria lives on the outer part of the ring and can strip some of its antioxidant properties that are known to give aloe vera its health benefits.. So if aloe vera whole leaf juice loses most of its polyscaccharides, then aloe vera loses most of its nutritional value with the filtration of toxic properties. Aloe vera leaf juice is safe to drink if the aloin and anthraquinone glycosides are removed. The gel itself doesn't contain toxins.

Herbs for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease in which ulcers form in the lining of the rectum and colon, causing bouts of bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms of ulcerative colitis include abdominal cramps, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite and joint pain. Certain herbs may be helpful in treating ulcerative colitis, in conjunction with a well-rounded treatment plan. Consult with a licensed standard physician as well as a botanically-trained health care professional, such as a naturopathic physician, for proper diagnosis, a holistic treatment plan and personalized advice on herbal combinations, forms, dosage and safety.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm, also known by its Latin names Ulmus fulva and Ulmus rubra, is tree and a member of the Ulmaceae or elm family. The inner bark is used medicinally and it has a tangy taste. According to Dr. Sharol Tilgner, a naturopathic physician and author of "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth," slippery elm soothes and heals the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Slippery elm is available as a tea, tincture or capsule.


Echinacea, also known as purple cone flower or by its Latin name Echinacea angustifolia, is an attractive and aromatic plant and a member of the Asteraceae or aster family. The root, seeds and flowers are used medicinally and they have a slightly sweet taste. Echinacea is thought to help normalize the immune system, which tends to be dysfunctional with ulcerative colitis. Dr. Tilgner reports that echinacea decreases inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, decreases over-active immune response to mild food allergies and stimulates healing of the gastrointestinal tissues. Echinacea may be taken as a tea, tincture or capsule.


Geranium maculatum root is an astringent herb. Astringents are drying and they cause contraction of the mucous membranes -- the type of tissue that lines the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, astringent herbs, such as geranium, decrease diarrhea and bleeding, which are prominent symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Geranium also contains tanins, which protect and heal wounded gastrointestinal tissue. Geranium may be taken as a decoction or a dry liquid extract.


Goldenseal, or Hydrastis canadensis, is a member of the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family. The bright yellow root is used for medicine and it has a bitter taste. According to Dr. Tilgner, goldenseal is well known for its antimicrobial effects in the body. This may be useful in ulcerative colitis because bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal or viral infection is hypothesized to be a contributing factor to the disease. Goldenseal also has astringent properties and can decrease bleeding. Goldenseal may be prepared as a decoction or a liquid extract, or it can be taken as a capsule. Because over-harvesting threatens goldenseal's survival, it should be used sparingly.

IBS Symptoms

An expert panel has outlined a list of symptoms common in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Doctors often use this list of symptoms, known as the Rome III criteria, to distinguish IBS from other intestinal problems. But people who don't have all of these symptoms may still have IBS. You meet the Rome III criteria for IBS if your symptoms began at least 6 months ago, you have had abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days each month in the last 3 months, and at least two of the following statements are true: Recommended Related to Irritable Bowel SyndromeIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptom Journal An irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptom journal can help you and your doctor figure out what triggers your IBS, and how to deal with those triggers. Fill this out as soon as you experience symptoms. Print extra copies to have on hand. Remember, a variety of factors can set off IBS: Certain types of food, the volume of food, stress, medicines, your menstrual cycle, and your environment. You may find, for instance, that you tend to feel bloated after eating snacks during office meetings. Knowing...

·         The pain is relieved by having a bowel movement.

·         The pain is linked to achange in how often you have a bowel movement.

·         The pain is linked to a change in the appearance or consistency of your stool. The presence of any of the following symptoms supports a diagnosisof IBS. Bowelmovement patterns When you have IBS, your pattern of bowel movements may be different over time. Two or more of the following may happen:

·         Bowel movements may occur either more often (diarrhea) or less often (constipation) than usual, such as having more than 3 bowel movements a day or less than 3 a week.

·         Bowel movements may differ in size or consistency (may be hard and small, pencil-thin, or loose and watery).

·         The way stools pass changes. You may strain, feel an urgent need to have a bowel movement, or feel that you haven't completely passed a stool.

·          You may have bloating or a feeling of gas in the intestines. Otherintestinal symptoms Some people may have lower abdominal pain with constipation that is sometimes followed by diarrhea. Other people have pain and mild constipation but no diarrhea. Symptoms that are sometimes present include intestinal gas and passage of mucus in stools. Nongastrointestinalsymptoms You may sometimes have other symptoms that don't affect theintestines, such as:

·         Anxiety or depression.

·         Fatigue.

·         Headache.

·         Unpleasanttaste in the mouth.

·         Backache.

·         Sleeping problems (insomnia) not caused by symptoms of IBS.

·         Sexual problems, such as pain during sex or reduced sexual desire.

·         Heart palpitations (feeling like the heart skips a beat or is fluttering).

·         Urinary symptoms (frequent or urgent need to urinate, trouble starting the urine stream,

trouble emptying the bladder).

 Symptoms often occur after a meal, during stressful times, or during menstruation.

What Is HibiscusTea Good For?

Hibiscus, a member of the mallow family, is native to tropical and subtropical regions. It produces large, striking flowers, so is often used as an ornamental element in landscaping. It is also used to make tea. Hibiscus tea, notable for its sour flavor, is consumed hot and cold in many parts of the world. It has been shown to provide a variety of health benefits that contributes to its longstanding popularity among tea drinkers and health food advocates.

Blood Pressure

A study published in the February 2010 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition" found that participants, aged 30 to 70, who consumed three 240 milliliter servings of brewed hibiscus tea per day for six weeks showed lower blood pressure readings at the end of the study period than at the beginning. Hibiscus tea reduced both systolic pressure -- the upper number of the blood pressure ratio, which represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart contracts -- and diastolic -- the lower number, which represents the pressure in the blood vessels during relaxation of the heart. Additionally, those with higher systolic blood pressure levels at the start of the study experienced greater blood pressure-lowering benefits from drinking hibiscus tea. The researchers concluded that hibiscus tea effectively lowers blood pressure at doses that can easily be incorporated into the average person's diet. The University of Maryland Medical Center also supports drinking hibiscus tea to lower blood pressure and recommends brewing 2 tbsp. of dried hibiscus flower per cup of water.


Diabetics with high blood pressure may experience blood pressure-lowering benefits by drinking hibiscus tea. A study published in the January 2009 issue of the "Journal of Human Hypertension" found that a group of 60 diabetic patients with mild hypertension who drank hibiscus tea twice a day for one month showed a 16 percent systolic blood pressure reduction. Conversely, a group that drank black tea experienced an increase in systolic blood pressure. There was no effect on diastolic blood pressure in either group in this study. The researchers concluded that hibiscus tea is helpful for managing mildly elevated systolic blood pressure in diabetics.

Kidney Health

Hibiscus tea helps prevent kidney stones, according to a study reported in the May 2008 issue of the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology." The study showed that hibiscus tea improved the kidneys' ability to filter out the waste products uric acid and oxalic acid, both of which can form kidney stones if they accumulate to excessively high levels. In the study, half the participants had a history of kidney stones and half had no history of kidney stones. All study participants drank tea made from 1.5 g of hibiscus flowers in 1 cup of water twice per day for 15 days. Those with a previous history of kidney stones showed increased levels of uric and oxalic acids in their urine after drinking hibiscus tea, implying that hibiscus tea helped reduce excess levels of these waste products. The beneficial effects reversed when the tea was discontinued, leading the researchers to conclude a kidney-protective effect from hibiscus tea consumption.

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