The No-Nonsense Guide to Choosing A Resveratrol Supplement

best_resveratrol_supplements

by Colleen Russell

What’s The Best Resveratrol supplement?

All Resveratrol supplements are not created equal, and there are a lot of brands competing for your attention.  So, how can a consumer choose the best Resveratrol supplement and ensure that the product in the bottle matches the information on the label?   We’ve done the research for you and are happy to say that the best esveratrol supplements on the market from Perfect Supplements (Perfect ResGrape and Perfect ResGrape Max), and Biotivia (Transmax, Transmax TR, and Pteromax), can be found in the Peaceful Planet supplement store.

Why are Resveratrol Supplements So Popular?

Resveratrol took the supplement market by storm in 2003, when a study published in Nature magazine reported that this polyphenol had potential benefits as a longevity enhancer. Laboratory studies have found that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Resveratrol can improve blood flow to the brain, inhibit the rate of blood clotting, and enhance cellular energy. Human studies have shown an improvement in insulin resistance and increased blood flow to the brain. Since the human body is unable to produce Resveratrol, taking an all-natural Resveratrol supplement is the best way to glean the benefits of this powerful substance. A diverse range of consumers now use Resveratrol supplements for bodybuilding, slowing the aging process, boosting heart health, and preventing disease. Since Resveratrol can be lab synthesized or extracted from several whole-food sources, it is important to know the source of your supplements. Our favorite Resveratrol supplement, Perfect Resgrape, is a pure blend of 99% pure trans-resveratrol and muscadine grapes.

Resveratrol Supplement Reviews

In 2010, Consumer Lab study evaluating the market’s most popular brands of Resveratrol Supplements produced some staggering results. Among the products tested, two demonstrated potency levels far lower than the label advertised. Other resveratrol supplements were found to contain potentially dangerous contaminants including cadmium and lead. Several others, because of the compression of the tablets, do not break down, making the Resveratrol undigestible.

Dr. Oz and Resveratrol Supplements

Dr. Oz recommended Resveratrol Supplements to his viewers as one of the top four supplements for living a longer life. According to Dr. Oz, Resveratrol is a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement and can be used to combat the damage done to the body by improper diet, poor sleep habits, and a high-stress lifestyle. Dr. Oz says that Resveratrol Supplements appear safe with a dose ranging from 250-2500 mg and recommends purchasing Resveratrol Supplements from a reputable supplier. Dr. Oz does not endorse or recommend any particular brand or product, so we scoured the market and brought in the highest-quality Resveratrol Supplements that we could find using the guidelines that Dr. Oz shared on his show. Our favorites, including the popular Perfect ResGrape, are all from reputable manufacturers and have dosages within the recommended parameters.

Peaceful Planet Resveratrol Supplements

Peaceful Planet has a full line of five high-quality Resveratrol supplements from two reputable manufacturers; Perfect Supplements and Biotivia. These products have been selected based on potency, cost, and purity.

Perfect ResGrape

A great Resveratrol Supplement choice is Perfect ResGrape. Perfect ResGrape is a 1200 mg serving of a blend of Trans-Resveratrol and Muscadine Grapes. Perfect ResGrape is guaranteed pure and has been independently laboratory tested to contain the appropriate amount of manufacturer-claimed ingredients. The Consumer Lab study in which Resveratrol supplements were tested and compared gave Perfect ResGrape the thumbs up for purity, cost, and potency. Perfect Resgrape Max, the mega-dose version of the popular Perfect ResGrape supplement, contains even more Resveratrol — a whopping two times as much!

 

Take Perfect Collagen for Aches, Pains, & Joint Relief

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If you suffer from the aches, pains, and soreness of chronic conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, you know how hard it can be just to complete ordinary tasks and get through the day. Don’t despair, though! Perfect Collagen may be just what you need to provide your body with the nutritional support to heal. Some benefits of taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement for chronic aches and pains include:

  • Less pain
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Increased joint elasticity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Reduced swelling
  • Improved mobility and function

Why would collagen help reduce pain?

Collagen is critical to the body, as it comprises nearly one-third of the proteins in the human body. Collagen is one of the main components of muscles, bones, joints, skin, cartilage, and connective tissues. As we age, our collagen levels tend to decline, contributing to loose skin and wrinkles as well as aches, pains, and bone loss. Some conditions known for causing chronic pain are associated with low levels of collagen. Therefore, collagen supplementation may be a natural remedy for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain disorders, and even osteoporosis.

Collagen is rich in amino acids, the “building blocks of life,” which, among other roles, are essential for growth and repair of body tissues. One particular amino acid in collagen, methionine, helps the body to produce sulfuric compounds. Those with arthritis have been found to have sulfur levels three times lower than their healthy counterparts. Methionine has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as stimulate cartilage production.

Research has found that collagen is more effective than glucosamine and chondroitin for relieving the pain of arthritis. MRI studies have found that those taking a collagen supplement for arthritis experienced a regrowth of collagen instead of the deterioration found in their non-supplementing counterparts. Muscle biopsies have noted that those with fibromyalgia have lower levels of collagen in the muscles, so collagen supplementation may benefit fibro sufferers as well. Another study found that those with fibromyalgia and temporomandibular joint pain experienced significant improvement in pain levels after 90 days of collagen supplementation. Other research suggests that supplemental collagen can improve the inflammatory response and, in effect, teach the body to control the T-cell reaction to prevent the breakdown of cartilage and connective tissues.

Collagen vs. Gelatin

Collagen is simply uncooked gelatin. While gelatin only dissolves in hot liquids, collagen dissolves in either hot or cold liquid, doesn’t change the taste, and doesn’t thicken. This means you can add it to plain water, any kind of milk or juice, coffee, tea, smoothies, and more. Another big advantage of collagen is that it’s lower molecular weight makes it easier to absorb than gelatin. Those suffering from chronic digestive issues may have a hard time breaking down the molecules in gelatin or bone broth, so collagen is an excellent, easy alternative.

How do I choose the best collagen supplement?

When choosing a collagen supplement, you’ll want to make sure the one you select is made from grass-fed, hormone-free cattle. The cows used to make Perfect Collagen feed on clean, green, pesticide-free pastures in Brazil. The cows are never given hormones or antibiotics. Perfect Collagen goes through a natural enzymatic process to break down the collagen into its most absorbable, bioavailable form. This process is called hydrolyzation. No chemicals, preservatives, flow agents, or fillers are added — only pure, pastured collagen.

Get the most out of your collagen supplement

  • Vitamin C is a cofactor for collagen production, so this is an important supplement to take alongside collagen.
  • You may also want to consider a B Complex supplement, as B vitamins support methionine in producing sulfurs in the body.

Does collagen have any side effects?

Collagen supplements are extremely well tolerated. Potential side effects include mild diarrhea or a slight rash, but most will experience no side effects from collagen supplementation. There are no known dangers or drug interactions associated with collagen.

What other natural remedies help with aches and pains?

  • Emu oil is excellent for achy joints and sore muscles. An oral emu oil supplement provides anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. Topical emu oil can be rubbed right into the aching joint to reduce inflammation locally.
  • Calm Balm soothes sore muscles with menthol camphor and healing oils. This is a great natural alternative to Icy Hot.
  • Magnesium is also extremely important for easing aches and pains, as it aids in the nerve response plus muscle contraction and relaxation.
  • There is growing evidence that turmeric is as effective as aspirin in relieving pain — but without the gastrointestinal side effects
  • Avoid sugars and excess carbohydrates in your diet, as these may contribute to inflammation in the body.

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Balance Hormones and Increase Fertility with These Natural Supplements

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When your hormones are off, you know it. Whether your period shows up unexpectedly early, or you find yourself inexplicably sobbing at a red light or screaming at your family for no good reason, hormones out of whack really mess with your mind and body. I’ve experienced every extreme of the spectrum myself, from adult acne worse than a teenager, to distressing hot flashes multiple times an hour during which I swear I could feel my ovaries dying. Some of the signs of hormonal imbalance are more subtle or surprising, though. Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include:

  • Irritability, anxiety, anger, depression, mood swings
  • Low sex drive, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse
  • Brain fog, poor memory, attention problems
  • Hot flashes, acne breakouts, hair loss
  • Weight gain, fatigue, cyclical headaches
  • Insomnia, poor sleep, night sweats
  • Endometriosis, irregular periods, infertility, miscarriage
  • Pain, thickening, lumps, or cysts
  • Cramps, bloating, irregularity, diarrhea, nausea

When we think of hormones, most of us first think of estrogen, but our bodies are constantly working to balance a wide array of hormones, including not only estrogen but also thyroxine, testosterone, progesterone, aldosterone, melatonin, epinephrine, FSH, LH, and many others. An imbalance with any one of your hormones can throw off all the rest. Even an imbalance in, or complete lack of, certain nutritional precursors to hormones can affect hormonal balance, as your body needs particular vitamins and minerals to synthesize hormones. A variety of factors can affect hormonal balance, including:

  • Time of the month
  • Medications
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Birth control
  • Life stages such as pregnancy or menopause
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Excess stress

There are several points in life where supplements to balance the hormones could be highly beneficial: when you are going through puberty, or later, perimenopause; if you are struggling with infertility; or if you have symptoms of hormonal imbalance that disrupt your life. If any of these situations describes yours, you may benefit from taking steps to improve hormonal balance.

How to balance hormones naturally

The simplest place to start is with diet and lifestyle changes. It’s important to exercise regularly, but not too intensely; over-exertion may exacerbate the hormonal problems. Make sure to avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, soy, omega-6 vegetable oils, and of course, smoking. Any of these may intensify the effects of a hormonal imbalance. For some, avoiding wheat and/or dairy may also help. Choose organic foods and minimize environmental toxins; xenoestrogens, found in pesticides and plastics, can wreak havoc on hormones. Get enough sleep, and eliminate artificial light during the night. Artificial light interferes with melatonin levels as well as ovulation, so use blackout curtains and cover any digital clocks or other light-up electronics. Decrease stress as much as possible — easier said than done, I know! And here’s a surprising tip to aid in hormone balance: eating a raw carrot a day may correct estrogen dominance.

Supplements to balance hormones

Fermented cod liver oil contains vitamins A and D, plus omega-3s. Omega-3s help regulate hormones and also reduce inflammation, which is a common issue in those with hormonal imbalances. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to endometriosis, PCOS, and endocrine disorders. One study found that rats deficient in vitamin D were 75% less fertile than their counterparts. Vitamin A combats acne and is needed for thyroid function. Some anecdotal evidence that FCLO really works: I was suffering from severe hot flashes several times an hour, all day long and through the night. It was really disrupting my life. Within days of starting to take Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil, my hot flashes had reduced to only 1-3 mild warm flashes a day!

Magnesium supports the production of progesterone and is also needed for egg production. Magnesium regulates levels of cortisol, blood sugar, and thyroid hormones, and it’s a precursor to the hormones estrogen and testosterone.

Gelatin and collagen support hormone production as they contain amino acids that balance out those found in muscle meat. This in turn balances out the thyroid, which is critical for keeping all other hormones in balance.

Coconut oil taken internally can aid in thyroid function and increase low basal body temperatures. Plus, you can use coconut oil externally for the dry skin and acne caused by hormonal imbalance.

Female Fuzion contains maca root and other hormone-balancing herbs and is specifically formulated to support female hormone production.

Adaptogenic herbs such as cordyceps, ashwagandha, and rhodiola rosea help the body to adapt to stress, improve mood, lower anxiety, and reduce the symptoms of menopause.

Additional hormone-balancing supplements to try include evening primrose oil, iodine, maca powder, and black cohosh.

Are there supplements to help with infertility?

The pain of infertility can be so paralyzing. It’s something close to my heart; it took us well over a year to conceive our first (and currently, only) child, and there was a long time during which I thought it might never happen. As soon as my son was born, we began trying for number two. Four years later, when a life-threatening illness forced us to stop trying altogether, I still hadn’t managed to get pregnant again. We are so blessed to have one wonderful child, but it’s also painfully hard to give up on our dream of giving him a sibling and having a large family. One reason I wanted to write this blog post was that, when and if we get the okay to resume trying to conceive, I wanted to be more prepared with an arsenal of supplements for healthy hormone balance. I also wanted to share this knowledge with others struggling with primary or secondary infertility, in the hopes that it might help someone somewhere achieve a much wanted pregnancy. In addition to the hormone-balancing supplements above and a good organic prenatal vitamin, here are some of the supplements I’ve discovered may be especially helpful for those trying to conceive:

I know I’ve already mentioned cod liver oil, but it bears repeating, as it also tops the list of fertility supplements. Studies have found that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation is associated with higher pregnancy rates, lower miscarriage rates, and lower risk of premature birth. Cod liver oil is also high in vitamin D, which research has noted is important for uterine development, healthy, mature egg production, and normal fetal growth and development. Try Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil or Rosita Extra-Virgin Cod Liver Oil.

B vitamins are also essential for anyone trying to get pregnant. Folate is essential for preventing neural tube defects. B6 may increase fertility in women; it lengthens the luteal phase and corrects progesterone imbalance. B12 is correlated with normal ovulation, egg development, and implantation. In men, B6 is needed for proper sperm development, and B12 may improve low sperm count. Garden of Life and Catie’s Energy Essentials both make high-quality, whole food B-complex supplements.

Oyster is a powerful aphrodisiac, so it’s no big surprise that oyster powder may be beneficial for infertility. Oyster powder is the richest natural, whole food source of zinc. Zinc is vitally important for women & men trying to conceive. It improves libido, keeps ovulation normal, and allows the body to effectively utilize hormones. Zinc is crucial for cell growth and repair as well as DNA production. Insufficient zinc levels in a pregnant mother may lead to chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriage, prematurity, or low birth weight. In men, low zinc levels lead to low sperm count.

Vitamin E is important for both male and female fertility. In men, vitamin E appears to better allow sperm to permeate an egg. It also boosts sperm count and quality. In women, inadequate vitamin E has been linked with infertility. A vitamin E supplement aids in ovulation and implantation, plus reduces the risk of miscarriage.

Co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) has been found to improve blood flow to the pelvis and particularly the uterus, while low CoQ10 levels have been linked to miscarriage. In one study, older mice given CoQ10 supplements had enhanced egg quality and increase conception rates. Pass some to your man, too; CoQ10 also increases sperm count and motility

Vitamin C balances female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. If you have low progesterone levels, short luteal phase, or other luteal phase defects, vitamin C may be able to correct the issue and boost fertility. Vitamin C also appears to reduce the risk of PROM (premature rupture of membranes).  Don’t overdo it, though; vitamin C supplementation in excess of 2000 mg a day may create a hostile environment for sperm and for implantation, and may also increase the risk of premature delivery. Try Catie’s Whole Food Vitamin C or Traditional Foods High Vitamin C Powder. This is another supplement that also improves male fertility; vitamin C improves sperm motility and also has the ability to protect sperm from DNA damage, which is important because DNA damage in sperm makes it harder to conceive and raises the risk of miscarriage if conception does occur.

Other fertility supplements to consider include red clover, maca, chasteberry (Vitex), royal jelly, and red raspberry leaf. When taking supplements for fertility, it is important to remember that it may take several full menstrual cycles for these supplements to make a difference, and there is no guarantee that you will get pregnant. Make sure to talk to your health care professional to ensure these supplements are right for you and won’t interfere with any other medications, fertility drugs, or preexisting health issues.

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Natural Remedies for Colds & Flu

Beat colds & flu to get back to you!

Cold and flu season is in full swing and there have been lots of runny noses and coughing around these parts lately! Fortunately, we have some great natural remedies for all those yucky symptoms.

The elderberry syrup recipe featured below is one of the first supplements to turn to when you start feeling something coming on. Rich in vitamins A, B, and C, elderberry syrup is a natural alternative to flu shots that you can make at home for only a few dollars. Not only has elderberry syrup been found to prevent the flu, but it also shortens the duration of illness for those who’ve already succumbed to the flu. Plus, you can customize homemade elderberry syrup to suit your needs — for example, substituting manuka honey for extra antiviral and antibacterial benefits, adding a spoonful or two of cocoa powder to relieve coughs, or turning it into gummy candies to better appeal to kids.

Manuka Honey Nugget Cough Drops
All the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of manuka honey are packed into these convenient Manuka Honey Nuggets, perfect for soothing sore throats and coughs

We have also found vitamin C powder to stop colds in their tracks, and many studies indeed support vitamin C’s ability to lessen the severity and duration of a cold. Catie’s Vitamin C Plus is made from organic plant foods, not synthetic ascorbic acid. Mix a spoonful into a glass of water for a tasty fruit punch that’s actually good for you! Or try Organic High Vitamin C Powder made from organic acerola cherries. You’d have to eat 16 oranges to get the amount of vitamin C in just one teaspoon of powdered acerola cherries… I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t eat that many oranges!

To alleviate the sinus pressure and congestion accompanying winter bugs, VAXA Sinus Formula combines traditional herbs with homeopathic ingredients to reduce sinus congestion and post-nasal drip, decrease sneezing, coughing, and swollen eyes, and eliminate that “stuck in a bell” feeling caused by blocked ears, dizziness, and vertigo. If you’re more prone to respiratory problems than sinus troubles, GHC AllerTrex eases swollen, inflamed bronchial passages and helps clear out mucous and supports the lungs.

Finally, for the congestion and all-over aches and pains that the flu may cause, Calm Balm is a natural alternative to vaporub, relieving congestion and soothing aches and pains with healing fermented cod liver oil, high vitamin butter oil, coconut oil, menthol camphor, and essential oils. And don’t forget the old standby of hot tea with lemon and honey — just a cup or two always makes me feel so much better!

While colds and flus don’t generally require antibiotics — in fact, antibiotics may be completely ineffective in these situations and contribute to the development of superbugs — some bacterial infections such as strep throat, certain sinus infections or ear infections, and some types of pneumonia may require additional treatment. Natural remedies for bacterial complications include colloidal silver, raw garlic, and manuka honey, all of which may be more effective than prescription antibiotics, without the dangerous side effects and the ability to breed superbugs.

If you do opt to take antibiotics, the best way to protect your immune system and digestive tract is to take probiotics daily during and after the course of antibiotics. Prescript-Assist restores the beneficial bacteria that are wiped out by antibiotics so that you can return to good health quickly and get back to the activities you love. Feel better soon!


Get 10% OFF these cold and flu supplements with coupon code: FluFighters


Feel the effects of elderberry & honey home remedies.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Wellness Mama makes this yummy elderberry syrup to prevent flu, as well as treat it. Use regular honey when making for a preventative, but use manuka honey when taking for treatment of an active illness, to give an added boost to the immune system. In addition to having powerful illness-fighting abilities, elderberry syrup is a delicious topping for pancakes, waffles, plain yogurt, or even a bowl of newly-fallen snow!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup black elderberries
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbs ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (preventative) or manuka honey (acute illness)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except honey to a saucepan. You do not want to heat the honey, as this will destroy many of the beneficial compounds, so we’ll add this at the end.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is reduced by about half. Wellness Mama said this will take 45 minutes to an hour, but it took me over 2 hours.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool a bit.
  5. Use a mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the liquid into a jar or bowl.
  6. The elderberries are no longer needed; you can compost them, but they are also great in pancakes or muffins!
  7. Allow the liquid to cool, then mix in the honey.
  8. Pour into smaller mason jars and refrigerate.

Recommended Dosage:

The preventative dose for kids is 1/2 – 1 tsp a day; for adults, take 1/2 – 1 Tbs a day. Many suggest skipping the weekend doses to further boost immunity.

During a cold or flu, take the usual dose, but increase the frequency to every 2-3 hours until symptoms subside.

Elderberry Gummies

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine elderberry syrup and lemon juice.
  2. When it is hot, slowly add the gelatin. If it is added too fast it may clump and leave gross lumps in the gummies. Stir constantly until the  gelatin is completely dissolved. The mixture gets a glassy look when this has occurred.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. You want it to be no warmer than 115° before you add the honey. The mixture should still be a warm enough to mix the honey easily, but not so hot it will destroy the beneficial compounds of the manuka.
  4. If you don’t have a silicon mold, then use coconut oil to grease the sides of a bread pan. Once the honey is completely combined into the mixture, pour into silicon mold or into the bread pan.
  5. Put into the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from freezer and pop out of the mold. If you used the bread pan, then cut into bite size pieces for easier removal from the pan.

Manuka Honey & Lemon Cough Drops

If you or your child has a cough you want to treat, then these homemade gummy drops are an excellent choice. Even regular honey has been used medicinally for treating coughs, and has been shown in studies to be just as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants. Manuka honey does this and more with its extra immune-boosting and healing  properties. Coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants and contains lauric acid, which gives it its ability to kill viruses and germs, so these little babies can help suppress the cough and help your body fight the cold at the same time.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil and lemon juice.
  2. When it is hot, slowly add the gelatin. If it is added too fast it may clump and leave gross lumps in the gummies. Stir constantly until the  gelatin is completely dissolved. The mixture get a glassy look when this has occurred.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. You want it to be no warmer than 115° before you add the honey, as higher temperatures will reduce the effectiveness of manuka honey.
  4. If you don’t have a silicon mold, then use coconut oil to grease the sides of a bread pan. Pour the mixture into a silicon mold or bread pan.
  5. Freeze for 20 – 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from freezer and pop out of the mold, or if you used a bread pan, use a knife to cut into bite size pieces.

All supplements mentioned above are 10% OFF! Enter coupon code “FluFighters” at checkout.

By Ali Wetherbee and Kerrie Bross

Everyday Uses for Bentonite Clay

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Bentonite clay is a volcanic ash clay that has been used for centuries for a wide range of healing purposes. Bentonite clay can be used both internally and externally for a variety of uses. It’s rich in minerals, has a soft, fine texture, has no odor, and will not stain clothes or objects. What’s really interesting about bentonite clay is, when you add it to water, the clay becomes activated, producing an electrical charge that attracts toxins and heavy metals. Once the toxins are drawn into the clay, they are bound to it, and can be safely eliminated from the body. When choosing a brand of bentonite clay, be sure to use a high-quality, pure clay, especially for internal use, to avoid contamination or high acidity. Genuine bentonite clay should be gray or tan, not white. We recommend Living Clay or Sonne’s bentonite clay.

How to Use Bentonite Clay

For most external uses and all internal uses, you need to hydrate the dry clay powder first. Mix the dry bentonite clay with water and give it some time to absorb the water. The fully hydrated clay will have a smooth consistency. Remove the stirring spoon while you let it sit (or use a wooden spoon), as contact with metal can negate the clay’s electric charge. Once hydrated, the bentonite clay acts like a sponge to toxins, quickly absorbing them. For this reason, the best way to mix and store hydrated clay is in glass or wood, not plastic, to avoid absorbing toxins from plastics. You can also buy already hydrated bentonite clay so you always have it ready at your convenience.

Bentonite Clay for General Health

When taken as a daily supplement, bentonite clay offers numerous benefits.

  • Provides trace minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Oxygenates cells
  • Promotes beneficial bacteria in the digestive system

Add a teaspoon of bentonite clay to a full glass of water. Stir well and let it sit at least a half hour, but preferably longer, to allow the clay to fully hydrate. Take the bentonite clay on an empty stomach or separate from a meal (i.e. an hour before eating). Consuming bentonite clay at the same time as other supplements or medications could reduce their effectiveness, so take it at least two hours before or after any medications or supplements.

Detox with Bentonite Clay

Sonne’s #7 Bentonite Clay is a key component of the 21 Day Detox. The bentonite clay detoxes the body of heavy metals and other toxins. The 21 Day Detox plan explains how to use the clay internally for detoxification. Bentonite clay also works externally at pulling out toxins. Soak in a warm bentonite clay detox bath, or spread some hydrated clay on your feet to detox those hard-working tootsies. Living Clay makes a wonderful clay face mask designed to pull impurities from the skin, remove excess oils, and combat acne.

Treating Common Ailments Naturally with Bentonite Clay

Dissolve a teaspoon of bentonite clay in 2 ounces of water. Use internally for a variety of conditions including:

  • Acid reflux, gas, and bloating
  • Nausea, morning sickness, or vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Parasites
  • Food poisoning (including E. coli)
  • Infections such as mastitis and even MRSA

Bentonite clay is a natural laxative and thus can remedy constipation, but too much or improper use can also cause constipation. Make sure to use only fully hydrated clay, drink plenty of water, and consider using a magnesium supplement to keep things moving while toxins and hardened colon buildup are being eliminated from the body.

Externally, bentonite clay is a perfect natural remedy for common injuries and conditions. My favorite use for bentonite clay is for treating mosquito bites. Make a little paste with bentonite clay and water, and spread it on the bite. The itch is relieved almost instantly, and redness and swelling quickly disappear as well. Alternatively, you can mix the bentonite clay with witch hazel instead of water, since witch hazel also helps to soothe and draw out toxins. Keep a small glass jar or dish of hydrated clay in your natural first aid kit. This paste is also excellent for:

  • Soothing other insect bites and stings, rashes, itchy skin, poison ivy, or chicken pox
  • Relieving skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Healing wounds or burns and preventing infection

The clay paste makes a great diaper cream, as well, or the dry clay may be used in place of baby powder for redness and diaper rashes.

Bentonite Clay for Natural Personal Care

Nourish yourself with these amazing bentonite clay beauty products! The Living Clay Face & Body Scrub is cleansing and invigorating, really waking up your mind and body. Follow up with the Rejuvenation Face Cream, which softens and smooths skin for a younger look and feel. For men, it’s also a great aftershave! The anti-aging bentonite clay Wrinkle Release Cream helps reduce wrinkles and plump up skin. Living Clay also offers an all-natural deodorant in two fresh scents. Additional personal care and beauty uses for bentonite clay include:

  • Decreasing acne and blackheads
  • Shampooing and softening hair
  • Making homemade shaving soap
  • Fading tattoos

Use bentonite clay for tooth brushing or rinsing. The clay draws out toxins, reduces oral bacteria, remineralizes the teeth, and whitens and brightens. You can also create a simple homemade bentonite clay toothpaste.

Using Bentonite Clay Around the House

The uses for bentonite clay are endless! Use it to purify tap water for drinking and bathing; the clay removes some of the fluoride and chlorine. Make your own clay fruit and veggie wash. Since bentonite clay is so absorbent, it can be used to clean up oil spills in the garage or grease spots on the stove. And for your furry friends, bentonite clay can eliminate pet parasites. Sprinkle some in your cat’s litterbox to absorb moisture and reduce odor. Spread a light layer on pet bedding or carpets (and later vacuum it up) to deodorize, or put a small cloth bag of clay in your refrigerator or behind your trash can to draw out offensive odors. Add some to your homemade laundry detergent. Put a pouch of bentonite clay in storage boxes to ensure your scrapbooks and filed documents aren’t damaged by high humidity. You can even use bentonite clay in your garden to enrich the soil. So many possibilities in one little jar of bentonite clay!

By Ali Wetherbee

Back to School 2015: Save 10% on Eco School Products!

back-to-school

 

Back to School products and supplements are 10% OFF with coupon code: BackToSchool

Summer is winding down and it’s time to start school shopping, if you haven’t already. Our Back-to-School Essentials list can get you started with planet-friendly lunch products and all natural supplements to support your child’s learning and health this coming fall. And we haven’t forgotten the older crowd! Send your university-bound student off with these Eight Must-Haves for Back-to-College. Also check out our Eco-Friendly School Product Guide below.

Packing Healthy School Lunches

Our School Lunch Ideas Pinterest board is full of a variety of healthy lunch options. Whether your child is gluten-free, nut-free, Paleo, vegetarian, or hates sandwiches, there are tons of great ideas — even some for your own work lunches, too!

We also have a couple of new lunch products on the horizon. One is a square stainless steel container with a BPA-free, leak-proof plastic cover. The other is a wide-mouth stainless steel soup container that utilizes the same technology as our Double Wall Hot/Cold Insulated Water Bottles, so your kids can enjoy a hot lunch at school. Keep an eye out for these New Wave Enviro lunch products, available soon!

Managing Learning Challenges Naturally

For some students, heading back to school brings not excitement but dread. At least 1 in 10 children in America are diagnosed with ADHD and struggle with paying attention, sitting still in class, performing well on tests, and committing important information to memory. Get this year started on the right foot with two key supplements to support those with attention difficulties. Read more here:

Eco-Friendly School Product Guide

litter-free-lunch

Litter Free Lunch Kits contain everything you need to pack a healthy, eco-friendly lunch: a machine-washable lunch bag, a BPA-free water bottle, and 4 BPA-free containers in various sizes.

bamboo-lunch-bag

This tough, durable lunch sack is made from sustainable bamboo and is a great alternative to brown bag lunches. Its roomy interior can hold up to 3 of the stainless steel food containers below.

non-toxic-water-bottleThis Seriously Safe Stainless Water Bottle holds 40oz — enough to last the entire school day — and clips easily onto backpacks or belt loops. stainless-steel-food-containersThese stainless steel food containers are reusable, recyclable, and completely non-toxic… plus, they’re dishwasher safe!
stainless-water-bottlesKids will enjoy choosing a fun water bottle design, while parents will love that these Flip ‘N Sip Water Bottles are free of toxins and easy to clean. natural-ADHD-remedyIf your child has attention problems, homeopathic Attend can calm the body and improve attention without the risks of stimulants.
dorm-water-filter-pitcherSending your teen off to college? A Barrier Grand Filter Pitcher is the perfect portable solution for dorm life and can be programmed for up to 4 roommates!

Back to School products and supplements are 10% OFF with coupon code: BackToSchool

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Decoding Manuka Honey Designations: What do the numbers mean?

Manuka_Honey

Manuka honey isn’t ordinary honey. It’s a superfood that is excellent for the digestive system, as it is naturally antimicrobial and contains enzymes that can help restore gut health. It contains unique beneficial factors that set it apart from other types of honey, and it is naturally anti-inflammatory. Amazingly, manuka honey can kill antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and superbugs, including MRSA, E. Coli, and Staph. Unlike prescription antibiotics, no bacteria has been found to develop a resistance to manuka honey. You can even use manuka honey topically for cuts, scrapes, burns, wounds, rashes. It is also used for skin health — it tightens and softens the skin and provides anti-aging benefits. For those who suffer from acne, manuka honey is great for clearing skin. Dr. Oz recommends using manuka honey to relieve symptoms of heartburn and calm the inflammation associated with acid reflux. Manuka honey is a great natural remedy for digestive ailments such as nausea, upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis.

High-quality manuka honey benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiviral
  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Full of beneficial enzymes

But how exactly is “high-quality” determined? Different brands of manuka honey have different grading systems… so how do you compare them? How do you know which is best? Manuka honey nearly always contains a number between 1 and 30. This number is a designation of the activity level of the honey, although the specific factors measured will vary depending on the symbol preceding it, and some may list no symbol at all. In general, manuka honey 10+ is considered the minimum therapeutic level, and the higher the number, the more potent the product (and the higher the price). A number of 15 or higher should be potent enough, as numbers above 20 are rarely found and considered to be a bit overboard and unnecessary.

We’ve listed some of the common manuka honey designations, along with their meanings, below. Keep in mind that these designations are simply trademarks or labels and do not necessarily signify that the honey is authentic or high-quality manuka honey. Additionally, heating destroys many of the beneficial compounds, so any manuka honey that does not specifically state “raw” or “unpasteurized” may not offer the same health benefits as unaltered, raw manuka honey.

Hydrogen Peroxide Activity (HPA)

Hydrogen Peroxide Activity is one measure of antibacterial activity in manuka honey. Hydrogen Peroxide Activity levels are quickly reduced or destroyed by heat or light, rendering most honeys quite low in HPA by the time it reaches your house, regardless of the HPA number on the label. Peroxide activity is not unique to manuka honey — other types of honey also have hydrogen peroxide activity when first collected from the hive.

Non Peroxide Antibacterial Activity (NPA)

The Non Peroxide Antibacterial Activity level is the activity level remaining once the Hydrogen Peroxide Activity has been destroyed. The NPA level is stable and not reduced when exposed to light, heat, water, blood, saliva, or body tissue, and is an indicator of how effectively the manuka honey will combat infection or inflammation. The NPA level is equivalent to the non peroxide antibacterial level of a phenol solution. NPA 10+ indicates that the manuka honey has the same non peroxide activity level as a 10% phenol solution. NPA is unique to manuka honey, as other honeys do not have these special properties.

Manuka Honey Active Levels (Active, TA, BioActive)

Activity levels attempt to determine the total amount of antibacterial activity in a jar of manuka honey. This term can be misleading and confusing, as it may refer to a variety of factors depending on the brand. Sometimes Active or TA (Total Activity) levels combine both the HPA and NPA levels, which can artificially inflate the rating as the HPA level is not a useful indicator of the honey’s effectiveness. Some manuka honeys list Bio Active levels. Manuka Honey Bio Active 5+ simply means the honey is guaranteed to have a total antibacterial activity level of 5 or higher.

Manuka Honey: What is MGO?

If you see the designation MGO 250+, this means that the honey contains a minimum of 250mg/kg methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal is one key component of manuka honey thought to be responsible for manuka honey’s antibacterial benefits. Manuka honey must contain at least 100mg/kg to have consistent antibacterial properties. An MGO of 263 might be roughly equal to UMF 10 or NPA 10, although since it is only a measure of methylglyoxal it does not always reflect the honey’s actual NPA. Many brands of manuka honey focus only on methylglyoxal levels, even adding chemicals to artificially raise their levels, when there are many other factors that give manuka honey its unique qualities. High levels of methylglyoxal can in fact destroy manuka honey’s naturally-present antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, denaturing the honey.

Manuka Honey UMF: What does it mean?

UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. This is a quality trademark that can only be used by licensed New Zealand brands who have met set criteria. The UMF grading system measures the presence of DHA (dihydroxyacetone), leptosperin, and methylglyoxal — the NPA levels — to determine whether it is, in fact, manuka honey. If you’re looking at UMF-labelled honeys, you’ll want to choose one that is at least UMF 10+. A honey labelled 10+ is a honey that has been determined to have at least a rating of 10, never lower, but it may be higher. Manuka Honey UMF 16+ is a better rating than UMF 10+. Since the UMF grading system is based heavily on methylglyoxal levels, it is a rather limited designation that does not take into account antioxidant levels, pH, purity, and other factors. UMF 10+ is equal to NPA 10+.

Manuka Honey KFactor Rating

This is a designation now used by Wedderspoon, as they are abandoning the sometimes-ambiguous “Active” label and switching to “KFactor” ratings. Rather than just testing for methylglyoxal or a limited number of components, Wedderspoon separates their batches of honey using a complex rating system that takes multiple factors into account, testing for:

  • Purity
  • Live enzymes
  • Over 250 chemical residues
  • Pollen count, 70% or higher
  • pH level consistency
  • Antioxidant levels
  • Phenolic compounds

These measurements were previously designated as Active levels but are now listed as KFactor instead to more accurately reflect the numerous unique manuka honey factors in Wedderspoon manuka honey.

Which manuka honey is best?

Unfortunately, because a variety of rating systems are used, it’s hard to compare, say, “Manuka Honey UMF 15+” to “Wedderspoon Manuka Honey KFactor 16” as “UMF 15+” and “KFactor” are the results of measures of very different components. The designation 16 doesn’t automatically mean that Wedderspoon’s honey is better than a UMF 15 honey, and at the same time, the lack of a UMF designation doesn’t mean a product is lower quality or less effective.

We chose Wedderspoon manuka honey because they test every batch for multiple properties to determine that you indeed get the highest quality manuka honey available. Since heat and light eliminates nutrients and can kill off the beneficial enzymes in honey, we looked for a completely raw, unpasteurized, pure manuka honey. Wedderspoon makes the only Non GMO Project verified manuka honey available, setting it apart from other manuka honey brands.

Manuka Honey Recommended Use & How Much to Take

For general health and immune system support, take 1-2 teaspoons a day.

For digestive problems, oncoming cold or illness, or infections, take up to 3 teaspoons a day.

For wounds, apply a layer of manuka honey every 12 hours, covering with a bandage.

For skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosea, or psoriasis, apply a layer of manuka honey for skin conditions to the area and cover with a bandage so that it stays on for at least an hour a day.

Note: Be sure to avoid giving any kind of honey to babies under 1 year old, as their undeveloped immune systems may make them susceptible to botulism, which can (rarely) contaminate honey.

How to Take Manuka Honey Orally

Make sure to use manuka honey in its raw state — putting it in your tea or baked goods will destroy many of the beneficial compounds. You can take manuka honey by the spoonful, spread it onto bread or crackers, or drizzle it over fruit, yogurt, or cereal. You could also mix it into lukewarm (under 95°F) or iced tea, or add it to your herbal medicinals.

By Ali Wetherbee