Pharmaca News

Since 2000, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has offered traditional pharmacy services alongside holistic remedies so customers can choose how they want to approach their health care. Our staff of certified practitioners helps guide customers through our selection of over-the-counter medications, alternative remedies, and natural cosmetics and body care products for a stress-free shopping experience. Pharmaca has 24 locations throughout the western US, in California, Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico and Washington. You can also shop online at www.pharmaca.com. Pharmaca has established this blog to share information and news on the latest topics in integrative health, from government standards to ingredient questions to advice. We hope you'll turn to Project Wellness for expertise and inspiration.

  • Ask a Practitioner: I need gluten-free cold remedies!

    We get questions nearly every day via Ask a Practitioner from people with a variety of health concerns. Our practitioners take turns answering these questions, offering advice based on their experience and expertise. Each week we'll be posting some of these questions with the hopes that our practitioners' advice can help answer some of your health questions.

    Q. I need a cough drop and nasal decongestant that are gluten free. Because of my sensitivities, and because most medications have these ingredients, I always get stuck with a cold without relief!

    A. Pharmaca has a number of gluten-free products to help with allergy and cold symptoms. For cough drops I would recommend Herbal Lozenges by Zand. They’re sweetened with brown rice syrup and come in many flavors such as Elderberry with Zinc and Umckaloabo, an African Cherry.

    We also have many zinc lozenges, which are always effective against a cold or flu. My favorite are the Wellness Zinc Lozenges by Source Naturals, which contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. I would also recommend one of our herbal throat sprays, such as a propolis throat spray, to deliver the medicine to the throat and gain some relief.

    As for a decongestant, one of the most popular is Astragalus. It has deep immune-boosting properties and Pharmaca makes a certified organic brand in both tincture and capsule form. Gaia Herbs also makes a great product called Respiratory Defense, which is an all-natural herbal formula to aid in mucus secretions.

    Another suggestion is MucoStop by Enzymedica, which is made from plant enzymes and acts as a decongestant. It contains no artificial ingredients, or allergens such as soy, yeast, wheat or corn.

    -Shannon Wood, Naturopath, Menlo Park Pharmaca

    The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  • Reserve your mini makeovers and facials now for Spa Day!

    It's everyone's favorite time of the year at Pharmaca--our Spa Day events start this week!

    While customers can always get skin care and makeup advice at Pharmaca, Spa Day events focus specifically on new products and trends in the health and beauty category. “Right now, with the summer months coming, is an especially good time to change up your skin care regimen, and a great time to brighten up your makeup colors,” says Shauna LaChapelle, licensed esthetician and store manager at Pharmaca in Oakland, Calif.

    “A lot of people come to Spa Day with a group of friends and make an outing of it,” Shauna says. She adds that customers love getting great information and samples of new products from the host of vendors that show up to Spa Day. People also scramble to reserve the mini-makeovers or mini-facials that are offered on event day. (Please note that makeovers and facials require a $10 reservation fee, but customers also receive a $10 shopping coupon. Call or stop by your store to make your reservation.)

    On the day of the event, if you spend $75 or more on the day of the event, you’ll receive a free Lavender Travel Kit, including 2-oz. bottles of Pharmaca’s Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash and Body Lotion (a $7.99 value). You'll also receive coupons for shopping savings, including $10 off a $50 purchase, or $20 off a $100 purchase, to use on the day of the event. And all participants can enter to win a sampling of some of Pharmaca’s favorite products.

    FIND YOUR SPA DAY EVENT DATE NOW >

  • Practitioner of the Month: Sarah C, Naturopath

    Because Pharmaca stores are staffed with such unique practitioners--from acupuncturists to herbalists to naturopaths, every once in awhile we like to highlight one who is particularly great at their jobs. Our practitioner of the month is Sarah C, Naturopath and Lead Practitioner at Pharmaca in Los Gatos, Calif.

    According to Kathleen Lamoureux, assistant manager at the Los Gatos store, "Sarah is a very popular and reliable expert, not only in the store, but also in the Los Gatos community. Many customers come back again and again to consult with her."

    Sarah received her training in naturopathic medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2004, and certification from the Desert Institute of Classical Homeopathy in 2002. Sarah has a passion for teaching and has worked closely with the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, Colo. as an instructor and mentor for students of holistic nutrition. She joined the Pharmaca team in Los Gatos, Calif. in March 2010, with expertise in allergies, children and women’s health and fertility.

    "Sarah designs the appropriate treatment path for each individual, with great results and testimonials to match," Kathleen says. "She is a walking encyclopedia and keeps abreast and on top of what's new in alternative and traditional therapies.  She can also tell you in the snap of a finger which shelf and section a supplement or remedy is on. She is one amazing woman!"

    We couldn't agree more. Congrats Sarah, and thanks for all your hard work!

  • Ask a Practitioner: How do I know which calcium to take?

    We get questions nearly every day via Ask a Practitioner from people with a variety of health concerns. Our practitioners take turns answering these questions, offering advice based on their experience and expertise. Each week we'll be posting some of these questions with the hopes that our practitioners' advice can help answer some of your health questions.

    Q. I have just been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and I know I need to take calcium, vitamin D, maybe even magnesium. But there are so many different types of pills out there. Can you tell me where to start?

    A. My favorite product is New Chapter’s Bone Strength Take Care. This product is 100% food-based and sourced from algae, which makes it much easier for your body to absorb.

    In general, calcium can be a difficult mineral to absorb from the bloodstream into the bones. You do not want extra calcium floating in your bloodstream, since it can lead to bony spurs and cardiovascular events over time. The magnesium and vitamin D (amongst a few other minerals) play crucial roles in calcium’s uptake into the bones, and Bone Strength Take Care has all the necessary components in its formulation for this process.

    -Kate Brainard, Naturopathic Doctor, La Jolla

    The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  • Thriving in Menopause events going on now!

    If you have questions about menopause (How do I sleep better? Get rid of these hot flashes?), don't miss our annual Thriving in Menopause events, happening at a store near you. Participants can talk to practitioners about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and symptoms, get chair massages, enter raffles and more. EVENT DETAILS >>


    If you can't make it in to an event, join our free webinar on April 6!

    Menopause Solutions

    Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, MD

    Wednesday, April 6, 2pm PST/3pm MST

    Join Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative approaches to women's health, as she discusses common sense strategies for managing the symptoms of menopause. From herbal remedies to bioidentical hormone therapy, Dr. Low Dog will offer helpful advice for women in every stage of menopause.

  • Ask a Practitioner: What can I do to increase focus and concentration?

    We get questions nearly every day via Ask a Practitioner from people with a variety of health concerns. Our practitioners take turns answering these questions, offering advice based on their experience and expertise. Each week we'll be posting some of these questions with the hopes that our practitioners' advice can help answer some of your health questions.

    Q. What are your recommendations for increasing focus and concentration? My adult son has ADD and doesn’t want to go the prescription medication route.

    A. Thank you for your question. The following are suggestions to assist your son with focus and concentration:

    1. DHA—is an essential fatty acid found in great concentrations in fish and flax oils. The human brain is approximately 70 percent DHA, so when we supplement with it, we are directly supporting the function of the brain and nervous system. I would recommend taking 2+ grams of a good quality fish oil (Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega is my favorite). Other great brands include: Pharmax, Renew Life, Pharmaca, Metagenics, and New Chapter.

    2. Think Clearly by Supernutrition—I used this product often when I was studying in my doctorate program and had great results. It’s a natural vitamin/herbal supplement, made from whole foods, and has many elements that support brain activity.

    3. A good multivitamin—My favorite is New Chapter’s Men’s Daily, which is also food-based. Supernutrition and Megafood also make fantastic multivitamins.

    4. Bach Flower Essence Clematis—This is literally a formula extracted from the Clematis flower that “helps you live more actively in the present.”

    5. Phosphatidylserine—Helps the brain cells to function properly.

    6. Digestive health—Examine your son’s digestion and diet. Is he getting proper nutrition? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to poor concentration. Taking a good probiotic can play a crucial role in aiding with digestive and immune issues, which can also have an impact on concentration.

    -Kate Brainard, Naturopathic Doctor, La Jolla

    The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  • Upcoming webinar! Better Sleep: The Holy Grail of Good Health

    Dr.

    Pharmaca is proud to be hosting another free webinar with Dr. Bradly Jacobs, Chair of our Integrative Health Advisory Board.

    Better Sleep: The Holy Grail of Good Health

    Thursday, March 17, 2pm PDT/3pm MDT

    Join Dr. Jacobs as he discusses a holistic approach to getting better sleep, including diet and lifestyle changes, supplements and herbal remedies ideal for your unique situation.

    Register now and submit your questions! Everyone who attends will receive $10 good toward future shopping purchases in stores and online.

    REGISTER NOW!

    Can't join us on March 17? Check back later to find an archived version of the webinar.

    Or, stay tuned for registration details for our next webinar, Women in Menopause, with Dr. Tieraona Low Dog
    Wednesday, April 6, 2pm PST/3pm MST
    She'll be discussing common sense strategies for managing the symptoms of menopause, from herbal remedies to bioidentical hormone therapy.

  • Healthy heart events are starting now!

    Our very first Healthy Heart event is taking place as we speak in our Sonoma, Calif. store. Visitors to the store will get to take advantage of cholesterol screenings with LDL and HDL breakouts (screenings are $10, but you receive a coupon good for $10 in free shopping afterward!), consultations with practitioners, free product samples and raffle prizes.

    Want to know when you can attend a Healthy Heart Event near you? Here is the complete list of event dates (click on the image to download a PDF):

  • Prescription delivery available!

    Did you know? We now have prescription delivery available from nearly all Pharmaca locations (excluding New Mexico locations, South Boulder and North Boulder).

    Delivery times and costs vary by store, so contact your pharmacy for details.

  • Welcome to Project Wellness!

    Pharmaca is pleased to announce its new forum for all of the latest news in integrative health: Project Wellness. We'll keep you up to date about research in vitamins, supplements and medications, talk about our favorite products and get expert opinions from our licensed holistic practitioners.

    We hope you'll use this forum to ask questions of the integrative health community, our practitioners and to share your opinions about our products. Come in, feel better!

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