Herbs & Supplements

Not sure which natural health and beauty products are right for you? Turn to the experts at Pharmaca for advice on the best natural products out there. Take a look around our natural product news to find out more about popular ingredients to look for—and which ones to avoid—in your natural beauty products. Our Project Wellness blog offers specialized advice and suggestions on natural beauty that can help you look your best and fill your medicine cabinet with only the cleanest, most effective natural health and beauty products. From expert advice from our estheticians to makeup tips from our favorite brands, Pharmaca is your one-stop shop for the best information on natural beauty products and natural product news.

  • Kick Off the New Year With a Cleanse!

    featIMGWhy should I consider a cleanse?
    Cleansing can help reduce cravings for unhealthy food and set you up for good eating habits in the new year. Cleansing can also help reduce inflammation, enhance immune function, improve energy and boost overall health. So get the year started off right by breaking those bad eating habits. Who knows—you may even shed a few pounds in the process!

    How do I start?
    First off, eliminate three important toxic offenders: sugar, processed foods and alcohol. A diet heavy in these three can lead to diabetes, weight gain and cardiovascular disease, and can be a toxic burden on your liver. Getting rid of them allows your liver to focus on clearing out old toxins rather than processing current ones.

    Next, add these cleansing foods to your shopping list: Brazil nuts, blueberries, broccoli, parsley, cilantro, onions, sesame seeds, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, beets, basil, fennel, avocados, cucumber, hemp, green tea, kale, lemons, olive oil, dandelion leaves, flaxseeds, cabbage, apple, almonds, seaweed, asparagus, artichoke and turmeric.

    Finally, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Many metabolic waste processes need water to function, and water is critical to flush out toxins. In other words? Make water your go-to drink. You can also sip on your favorite herbal tea, or try one that’s meant for cleanses such as Gaia Herbs’ Cleanse and Detox Tea that nourishes the liver and digestive system—and tastes good, too!

    What can I do to support my body’s efforts?
    Pharmaca offers a variety of supplements that can help support your cleanse.

    Thorne Research’s Basic Detox Nutrients is a complete multivitamin with daily detoxifying extras such as green tea, milk thistle, curcumin, broccoli and dandelion.

    Vital Nutrients’ Detox Formula is a unique blend of amino acids and herbs that’ support detoxification, liver and immune function.

    Natural Factors’ Detoxitech Detoxification and Cellular Cleansing features a blend of antioxidants and phytochemicals that support natural detoxification processes and assist in elimination of environmental chemicals and heavy metals.

    Pharmaca’s Liver Cleanse Booster includes herbs that support liver function and cleansing.

    Herb Pharm’s Herbal Detox Compound is a simple but potent herbal detox tincture that’s easy to take even on the go.

    Gaia Herbs’ Liver Cleanse is a proprietary herbal blend to help support and nourish the liver and promote bile production.

  • Nordic Naturals Extends Their Environmental Commitment

    We’re happy to say that one of our best-selling, and most practitioner-recommended brands of omega-3s is now even more eco-friendly. Nordic Naturals just announced that their new headquarters in Watsonville, Calif. earned LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

    Nordic Naturals is already well-known for their commitment to sustainably sourcing their fish oils, and they’ve extended that environmental commitment by creating an eco-friendly space to house their operations. The 87,000-square-foot building features environmentally friendly elements like recycled rubber and cork flooring, low-VOC paints and solvents, and water and energy-saving fixtures and lighting.

    Learn more about Nordic Naturals’ commitment to purity, efficacy and sustainability. And shop our everyday low prices on Nordic Naturals at pharmaca.com!

  • "Natural" vs. "Organic" vs. "Homeopathic" Health and Beauty Products

    You will often see the words "natural" and "organic" used on a variety of health and beauty products, and some people believe these words are interchangeable. Here's how they're different.


    Let's first explain what "homeopathic" means when it comes to medicine or products. Simply put, homeopathic remedies come from natural substances such as minerals, botanical substances or other sources that are not man-made. The goal of homeopathy is to put the body back into homeostasis (its naturally balanced state) without using harsh chemicals or man-made drugs.


    Homeopathic medicines and remedies stimulate the body's own healing mechanisms. Practicing homeopaths believe that all physical disease has an emotional component, and take the whole being into account--a holistic approach to healing that has gained popularity in recent years.


    Health and beauty products like those in the Dr. Hauschka line are created on the homeopathic principle of "like cures like." This philosophy takes a wide range of natural substances and notes the symptoms they bring about in healthy people. Matching these substances to the individual and the symptoms they are experiencing encourages their own healing energy to return them to good health.


    Now let's discuss "natural" and "organic." While these words are often used synonymously, there are significant differences between organic products and natural products. If a product has "natural" on the label, it was produced by nature but is not necessarily "organic." Natural beauty products may contain ingredients that are not 100% organic, and there are no regulations regarding use of the word "natural" as there are with the word "organic." Natural products can contain chemicals, while organic products cannot. Organic strictly refers to product ingredients grown without pesticides, chemicals or artificial fertilizers.


    An organic product must have between 95-100% chemical-free ingredients, while a natural product usually is 50-70% chemical free. A label that reads "certified organic" means 95% of ingredients are organic while "made with organic ingredients" means at least 70% of ingredients are organic. (Read more about organic certifications from our friends at Juice Beauty.) If you have questions regarding natural products vs. organic products, a Pharmaca representative will be happy to help you find exactly what you're looking for.


    Pharmaca carries a full line of homeopathic remedies and natural and organic personal care products. From dental care to hair removal, Pharmaca has the natural and organic products you need to maintain optimal health and wellbeing.

  • Natural treatments for canker sores and cold sores

    Canker sores are painful, open sores in the mouth that are white or yellow and surrounded by a bright red area. The exact cause of canker sores is not known, but stress and tissue injuries have been known to lead to the development of these often-embarrassing sores. A niacin deficiency may also contribute to the eruption of canker sores. Treatment for canker sores and natural canker sore remedies are available Pharmaca.

    There are two types of canker sores:

    • Simple canker sores: May appear three or four times per year and last up to a week, typically. Simple canker sores are most often suffered by people ages 10-20.
    • Complex canker sores: Less common and occur more often in people who have chronic canker sore outbreaks.

    There are some warning signs of canker sores:

    • A tingling or burning sensation will occur prior to the appearance of the canker sore.
    • Evident sores inside your mouth, including on the tongue, soft palate or inside of the cheeks.
    • Sores that are round, white, or gray and with a red border.
    • In severe cases, you may experience fever, swollen lymph nodes and lethargy.

    A cold sore, on the other hand, is the common name for Herpes Labialis, a disease caused by infection of the mouth due to Herpes Simplex 1 Virus Type 1. Herpes Simplex 2 is more commonly referred to as genital herpes.

    A cold sore outbreak typically involves:

    • A rash or skin lesions around the lips, mouth and gums
    • Development of small, fluid-filled blisters
    • Raised, red, painful blisters
    • Broken and oozing blisters
    • Yellow crust that sloughs off to reveal healing skin underneath

    There are many natural canker sore remedies available at Pharmaca; if you’re suffering from one, check out our entire line of treatment for canker sore options now!


  • Cayenne pepper may aid in weight loss



    Long used for a variety of purposes in Chinese, Japanese and Ayurvedic medicine, cayenne pepper has now been shown to act as an appetite suppressant and to burn calories.

    A recent study in the journal Physiology & Behavior explained how capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers can help reduce hunger and encourage calorie burning.

    The six-week trial included 25 non-overweight adults, 13 of whom liked spicy food and 12 of whom did not. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a standard quantity (1 g) of red pepper, their preferred amount or no red pepper with meals. After each treatment period, the participants switched groups so they were able to try each dose.

    The researchers found that cayenne increased core body temperature, energy expenditure and the number of calories burned. Additionally, preoccupation with food and cravings for fatty, salty and sweet foods generally decreased more in the infrequent users of cayenne pepper compared to those who liked the spice.

    If you're not one for spicy foods, try taking a Cayenne supplement with meals. Because it acts as a stimulant, it can also be generally helpful for kick-starting digestion and warming the gut.

  • Pharmaca's top-rated home cleaning products


    According to an extensive study by the website learnvest.org, some of our favorite eco-friendly cleaning products have earned top honors for effectiveness and safety. The study's authors used environmental impact ratings from Good Guide, researched ingredient safety, and looked for positive reviews to determine the products' efficacy. Where do your home cleaning products stand?

    Pharmaca favorites among them are:
    Dishwashing Soap: Seventh Generation (also in the running: Method)
    Laundry Detergent: Method (also in the running: Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyers)
    Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Seventh Generation (also in the running: Method)

    Find all of these products at your nearest Pharmaca.

  • Reading your product labels


    We were intrigued by a recent email from the Environmental Working Group about how to read labels on personal care products. Unfortunately they list out all the big offenders to stay away from (parabens, triclosan, fragrance), but don't tell you what to actually look for when you're buying those personal care products.

    At Pharmaca, we've taken the guesswork out of finding personal care products that are good for you and your family. Sprinkled throughout the store you'll find signs like this one, where we talk about ingredients we love--and ingredients to stay away from. In most cases, you'll find it hard to find the ingredients to avoid, since we put such an emphasis on quality and safety within our product selection.

    Look for these signs the next time you're searching for a new personal care product. Then tell us: What ingredients do YOU love?

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