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Your May Issue of Natural Alternatives
April 30, 2020

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

May 2020

Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates






( Qigong For Stress and Immunity, Discover Potent Antiviral Herbs and Formulas, Energy Codes, Supercharge Your Chakra Practice, Somatic Movement Summit)


By Ida Taylor

While we’ve known about the huge health advantages of yoga, brain health is another factor we’re eager to study. An ongoing research article distributed in Brain Plasticity analyzed the positive manners by which yoga can affect the brain.

This article incorporated 11 late studies about yoga’s impact on the brain, both structure and capacity. Each examination utilized some type of cerebrum imaging system, for example, MRIs to contemplate mind contrasts in individuals who consistently rehearsed yoga and individuals who didn’t.

As initially expected, specialists saw numerous similarities between yoga’s effect on the mind and studies analyzing vigorous exercise’s effect on the brain. One region where this was found was with an expansion in the hippocampus, which is engaged with memory preparing and has been known to shrivel with age. Results likewise indicated increments in the volume of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, both associated with in general cerebrum capacity, feeling, and learning.

Not exclusively did the yoga-rehearsing bunch show contrasts in the mind imaging, however they additionally performed better on psychological tests and proportions of passionate guideline.

At the point when it came to directing feelings, one of the large zones where yoga demonstrated valuable was pressure alleviation. “The practice of yoga helps improve emotional regulation to reduce stress, anxiety and depression,” says researcher Neha Gothe, Ph.D. “And that seems to improve brain functioning.”

This research likewise opens up the likelihood to think about specific sicknesses influenced by the pieces of the cerebrum distinguished as bigger in yogis, similar to the hippocampus. Age-related and neurodegenerative ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s might profit by these sorts of studies.

Analysts state that more studies should be done to affirm these outcomes and prescribe all the more enormous scale analyzes that would have the option to connect with members in yoga for a considerable length of time, estimating changes in the cerebrum and execution on comparative subjective tests.

Gothe trusts that these sorts of studies will offer more responses for what is behind the cerebrum changes found in this exploration. “Yoga is not aerobic in nature, so there must be other mechanisms leading to these brain changes,” she says. “So far, we don’t have the evidence to identify what those mechanisms are.”

For all you yogis out there, this research gives us another motivation to continue rehearsing! Look at this at-home arrangement you can do while home for these special seasons this season.

About the Author: Ida Taylor is a celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality who focused on international cuisine and culture. She wrote both fiction and historical nonfiction the culinary mysteries. She also wrote news articles on as a free lance author.

by Alyssa Girdwain

How many times have you wanted to sage away your problems, bad juju-related or not? I’m right there with you. After all, Salvia, sage’s genus name, is derived from salvere, the Latin word meaning “to heal” or “to save.” From the Egyptians, to the Romans, to the Greeks, to Indigenous cultures, the aromatic herb has a far-back history touting medicinal and spiritual benefits.

While there are hundreds of sage species, you’re likely aware of commonly used white sage (Salvia apiana) and culinary sage (Salvia officinalis). Oh, and you might’ve heard of diviner’s sage (Salvia divinorum), a variety with hallucinogenic properties.

From cleansing energy to healing ailments, herbalists maintain sage is worth a place in your feel-good arsenal of natural remedies. “Garden sage, just regular old culinary sage, has been used historically for anxiety and depression, colds, digestive complaints, and more,” says Sarah Corbett, clinical herbalist at Rowan + Sage. “It’s a lovely hot, pungent, warming herb.”

What are the benefits of sage?

One teaspoon of ground sage contains 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which helps assist our bodies with bone health and blood clotting. The herb also reaps small amounts of other nutrients like magnesium and vitamin A. And that’s just the beginning.

1. Sage is packed with antioxidants

The fuzzy leaves are stacked with antioxidants that boast anti-inflammatory properties and help protect against free radicals. Herbs in the mint family, like sage and rosemary, include antioxidant powerhouses carnosic and rosmarinic acids. These specific polyphenols may even contain anti-cancer and memory-boosting properties.

2. Sage has antimicrobial properties

Historically, people have used sage internally and topically as a cleansing herb. “Sage is generally seen to be highly aromatic, and therefore rich in antimicrobial compounds,” Corbett says. That’s thanks to its volatile oil content, she says, which early research supports. Research also suggests sage essential oil can be an effective disinfectant against airborne microorganisms, can banish body odor when used as a deodorant, and can treat wounds and skin infections caused by staphylococcus.

3. Sage can boost cognition

“I use sage sometimes with clients who have a very damp constitution, an herbal term for people who tend to be sluggish and have low cognition,” Corbett says. “Its heating, drying element can also help with improving memory.” From smelling its essential oil and experiencing an improved mood and reduced anxiety, sage can be just what the doctor (herbalist) ordered.

4. Sage can help with digestive complaints

Good news for your gut, says Corbett. Research reveals sage extract might be able to help curb diarrhea, so you can leave the Pepto Bismol in your medicine cabinet this time around.

5. Sage might have added benefits for women

In traditional medicine, people use sage as a natural way to quell hot flashes during menopause. For the new mommas, sage can be helpful if you’re trying to wean off breastfeeding or are producing too much milk, although its effectiveness is more anecdotal, so take with a grain of salt (not literally). “Its drying, stringent quality can help to dry up breast milk,” Corbett says.

Why do people burn sage?

The centuries-old practice of burning herbs in ceremonies and rituals has gained new life in our wellness culture—especially sage. But before you DIY a bundle to try cleansing negative energy an ex left wafting through your apartment, here’s something to consider.

Native American cultures have long burned white sage, a sacred smudging tradition Corbett says people have latched onto despite red flags of cultural appropriation and overharvesting. White sage is an endangered plant that only grows in certain parts of North America, and Corbett warns much of the white sage bundles aren’t sustainably sourced. “Fumigation for medicine and spiritual healing is not just a Native American thing, but using white sage is,” she says. “This specific tradition of ‘smudging’ that we know today is a Native American right.”

That said, you can totally burn regular garden sage you grow on your windowsill or find at the grocery store and still reap the fresh air perks of smoke medicine. “You can burn aromatic herbs to potentially cleanse air of bacterial pathogens,” Corbett says. “We only have a few studies on that, but it’s been used this way for hundreds of years.”

Beyond literally fumigating your space (don’t forget to open the windows), you can turn burning sage into a ritual all your own. As you clear the air and walk through your home, embrace your intentions and mindfulness. The earthy aroma not just smells divine, but can help you relax and introduce a fresh start to a stale space. “We know people have been looking to plants for spiritual connection and healing,” Corbett says. “Burning herbs that have an aromatic or pleasant scent is one way we facilitate that connection.”

How to consume sage

To make sage tea, or “thinker’s tea” as it’s called in a nod to its wisdom-boosting attributes, Corbett recommends adding two teaspoons of sage to eight to ten ounces of hot water and steep for 15 minutes. Don’t let the bitter sips scare you off, as a warm mug of sage tea does wonders for a sore throat and may help to lower cholesterol. As sage contains thujone, a compound that is toxic in large amounts, avoid drinking sage tea all day, every day.

Now to the kitchen. Sage adds an earthy and pungent flavor to savory dishes, from fall-evoking butternut squash soup, a warm salad reminiscent of Thanksgiving, to a brown butter and sage sauce fit to douse on nearly anything. Corbett gives a shout to incorporating the herb in a breakfast sweet potato hash. And that’s some sage advice.


By Kristine Thomason

If there's one thing the entire world can agree on right now, it's that COVID-19 is top of mind. As the pandemic continues to be a reality, many people are taking extra measures to stay healthy and support immune strength—that includes getting more sleep, eating nutrient-rich foods, and breaking a sweat with plenty of at-home exercise.

Recently, a number of scientists and doctors have been discussing another measure to support immune and respiratory health: vitamin D.The nutrient is associated with keeping a number of your body's systems running smoothly, including musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and cardiovascular. And now, some experts even believe supplementing with vitamin D might help reduce the risk of COVID-19.*

It's important to acknowledge that at this time, however, there's no confirmed cure or guaranteed way to avoid contracting COVID-19. As far as preventive measures go, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommends washing your hands with soap and water frequently, socially distancing yourself from other people, covering your nose and mouth with a face mask in public, shielding your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfecting frequently used surfaces regularly. 

COVID-19 is still very new, and since there's a lack of research on the topic, it's too early to know if vitamin D may help stave off the virus.* Still, there is a solid body of research, including some newer studies, that support vitamin D's connection to immunity and lung health.* 

Vitamin D and immunity.

Vitamin D, which is classified as both a fat-soluble vitamin and a hormone, plays an important role in immune function, according to a fact sheet published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

While scientists' understanding of the interaction between vitamin D and the immune system has developed significantly over the last 20 to 30 years, there are still a number of questions researchers are working to understand. That said, "There’s no disagreement between scientists and doctors that vitamin D is important for the immune system," Harvard geneticist David Sinclair, Ph.D., told mbg in a recent interview. "Our immune cells need vitamin D to function."

Vitamin D is thought to play a crucial role in promoting immune response by enhancing the production of antimicrobial agents, according to a research review published in the Central European Journal of Immunology.* What's more, findings from a recent in vitro study imply vitamin D activates certain genes involved in the immune response.*

"Immune cells are favorably affected by vitamin D levels," Heather Moday, M.D., previously told mbg.* And on the other end of the spectrum, "vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased frequency of infection."* There is also mounting evidence linking vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, according to a research review published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine.

Vitamin D deficiencies are more common than you may think: One study estimates that 1 billion children and adults worldwide are deficient. While there's not a defined optimal range for vitamin D, "people who have about 40 ng/mL to 60 ng/mL in their blood tend to have the lowest mortality but also do better when they get viral infections," says Sinclair.

Functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman, M.D., similarly recommends aiming for levels over 30 ng/mL, but not more than 80 ng/mL. You can ask your doctor to test whether you're in this range.

Vitamin D and respiratory health.

Many experts have also drawn associations between vitamin D and lung health.* Namely, researcher Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., was one of the first scientists to speak openly about the potential of vitamin D protecting against lung injury.*

One meta-analysis published in BMJ, for example, specifically looked at the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on respiratory tract infections. Researchers reviewed data from 10,933 participants and found vitamin D supplementation was safe and reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all subjects.* The researchers also noted that patients who were very vitamin D deficient experienced the most benefit.*

A different research review stated that vitamin D deficiency is very common among patients with respiratory diseases, and there may be a connection between the two. However, further research is needed before drawing any conclusions. 

While it's not yet possible to confirm that taking vitamin D will prevent you from getting a respiratory infection (particularly COVID-19), research does indicate that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D can support lung health.*

How to get more vitamin D.

The most common way to get vitamin D is by spending time outdoors in the sun. However, if you aren't able to absorb ample sunshine—whether that's because it's winter or you're sheltering-in-place—you may need to get vitamin D from other sources.

For example, there are a number of vitamin-D-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet. Some of the best sources include fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel), fish liver oils, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified products, according to the NIH. However, most foods don't have high enough levels of the hormone, says Hyman, which means you may need to supplement to reach adequate levels.

The NIH recommends 400 to 800 IUs of vitamin D a day, but that's mainly to prevent rickets, a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency, says Hyman."It's typically recommended between 2,500 and 4,000 units of vitamin D3 per day to bring adults to adequate levels of 30 nanogram per day," says Sinclair. However, if you're really deficient, you may need to take even more. That said, "you don't want to overdo it," he adds. "You can have too much vitamin D." That's why it's important to speak to your doctor before supplementing with excess amounts of vitamin D.

Bottom line.

While some recent papers suggest that supplementing with vitamin D may help prevent the risk of COVID-19, there isn't currently enough clinical research to draw definite conclusions.* That said, based on what we do know, taking vitamin D supplements has a range of other potential benefits for your health, such as immune and respiratory support.*

About the Author: Kristine Thomason is the senior health editor at mindbodygreen. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and former worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she edits, writes for, and oversees the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.


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This newsletter is for educational purposes only.It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge,to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health.You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advises are not intended to be a substitute forconventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changesin order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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