Pharmaca Blog

  • Tea Up for Health


    Green, black, white, oolong or pu-erh, whatever your taste preference, these traditional teas from the Camellia sinesis plant deliver a potent brew of health benefits. Scientists have shown that tea can help our heart, reduce cancer risks and protect us against sun damage thanks to powerful compounds found in the leaves. Each tea’s characteristics depend on when the leaves are picked and if they are allowed to wither or turn black, a process called oxidation. White and green teas come from shoots and leaves that are not yet oxidized and retain the most beneficial anti-oxidant properties. Oolong, black or pu-erh tea are oxidized and have higher caffeine levels. Here’s why a cuppa should be a part of your daily routine.

    White tea comes from the young shoots of the tea plants and is the most delicate tasting, caffeine-free tea.

    Health Benefit: White tea is a good germ fighter, especially for bacteria that causes strep, pneumonia and tooth infections.

    Try: Teatulia Organic White Tea Pyramid bags for a mild tea with peachy notes.

    Green tea is a light tasting tea from green leaves of the plant that are heated to stop oxidation.

    Health Benefits: An anti-oxidant compound in green tea called EGCG can dramatically slow the growth of cancerous tumors.   When a protein found on the surface of cancer cells is treated with tea’s EGCG, the cancer cells growth is significantly reduced. Drinking just 2 or 3 cups a day produces anticancer effects, especially in lung, breast and prostate cancer. Green tea also helps make your skin more resistant to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The tea reduces inflammation caused by damaging sun rays, keeping wrinkles in check.

    Try: Teatulia Organic Green Tea Pyramid bags with whole green leaves and a tea bud for maximum antioxidants.

    Oolong tea is partially oxidized and medium-bodied falling somewhere between a green tea and a black tea in taste and caffeine levels.

    Health Benefit: Oolong tea lowers our LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and prevents arteries from clogging.

    Black tea is made from fully oxidized leaves that have turned dark and it’s favored for its robust flavor.

    Health Benefit: Studies have shown that women who regularly drink black tea have a much lower risk of ovarian cancer.

    Try: Republic of Tea Biodynamic Organic Darjeeling Black Tea with rich, dark grape notes.

    Pu-erh tea is a very dark, aged tea, fully oxidized for a strong, earthy taste with high caffeine levels.

    Health Benefit: Pu-erh has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels due to a natural form of lovastatin that’s found in the tea.

    Tea for two or to go? A tea tasting is the perfect way to experience the subtleties of various teas. Tea Forte Rare Imperial Tea Gift Set offers different six limited edition teas, a proper artisan-crafted cast-iron teapot for brewing and two traditional sipping cups. Pharmaca’s Triple Insulated Hot and Cold Beverage Bottle with Tea Strainer keeps tea warm for 8 hours, a great way to keep sipping throughout the day.

  • 5 Steps to Beautiful Hair

    BathTowelWe’ve all heard the hair care mantra: lather, rinse, repeat. But the right techniques—and products—can make the difference between having a good hair day and hiding your hair in a scrunchie and baseball cap.

    Here are 5 easy steps to get the best results for your hair (and some Pharmaca favorites to try)

    1. Cleanse

    Beautiful hair starts with knowing how often your hair and scalp need cleansing.

    Fine, limp hair tends to absorb oils from your scalp more noticeably and may need daily shampooing. Look for balancing shampoos that gently cleanse with clarifying ingredients like citrus, mint or tea. (John Masters Spearmint and Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo)

    Dry or color-treated hair needs shampooing only every two or three days to keep it from being stripped of natural oils or color processes. Look for moisturizing shampoos with nurturing botanical oils like avocado or argan. (Andalou Naturals Moisture Rich Shampoo)

    Naturally curly hair may be shampooed just a few times a week with products that coat hair strands to avoid breakage, minimize frizz and enhance shine. Shampoos with natural softeners like coconut oil or smoothing keratin proteins work best. (Giovanni 2chic Ultra-Sleek Shampoo)

    And to prolong a blowout or touch up your hair after the gym, dry shampoo a terrific on-the-go option. (Klorane Dry Shampoo or Acure Dry Shampoo)

    2. Condition

    Conditioners restore hair and infuse it with targeted ingredients that make it soft and manageable. But don’t overdo it; apply the conditioner to the bottom half of your hair first, then comb it through.

    Fine hair benefits from added volume, so look for products with body-building plant proteins like barley or soy. (Mineral Fusion Volumizing Conditioner)

    Dry or color-treated hair needs protection from the sun’s color-fading UV rays and natural botanicals like avocado oil to moisturize. (ShiKai Color Reflect Intensive Repair Conditioner)

    Curly hair looks best with shiny, defined curls so a leave-in conditioner that tames frizzy strands is the right choice. (John Masters Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner)

    3. Towel Dry

    Wet hair is fragile and can be easily damaged with excessive rubbing or twisting. Friction from cotton towels can cause split ends, breakage and even thinning. And because wet hair takes longer to dry, it’s exposed to more damaging heat from your blow dryer.

    To combat this, look for towels created especially for drying hair—they can wick excess water away without friction or tugging, and ultimately, dry hair much more quickly. The Aquis Essential Hair Towel or Turban, made with ultrafine microfibers, cuts drying time in half and can prevent hair damage. Plus, they’re super light-weight and ideal for travel or camping.

    4. Treat

    Occasionally, your hair may need extra help with targeted treatments. Need moisture? Get deep hydration with rich cocoa butter. Try Alba Botanica Hawaiian Deep Conditioning Minute Mask or John Masters Argan Oil.

    Thinning Hair? Chinese herbs and fruit stem cells work directly on hair follicles to encourage growth in Peter Lamas Chinese Herbs Regenerating Scalp Serum.

    Itchy scalp? Dr. Hauschka Strengthening Hair Treatment calms irritation with neem and chamomile.

    5. Style

    Finishing touches will give your style staying power. For extreme control, or in high humidity, rub a small amount of Max Alchemy MGA Scalp Rescue Sculpting Gel in your hands and work throughout your hair.

    And for more pliable hold and texture, MOP Orange Peel Molding Cream is an ideal choice for shaping your hair while adding a bit of shine.

    <p class=”italic”>Questions about hair care? Speak with a Pharmaca practitioner to find out how to keep your tresses healthy, manageable and beautiful. </p>

  • Why We Love Sea Buckthorn—and its Omega-7—for Beautiful Skin

    PrettySkinWhether you apply it topically or add it to your diet, there’s a lot to love about these tiny, bright orange berries. Valued for their healing properties for centuries and packed with omega-7, sea buckthorn has become the latest sought-after ingredient in the quest for glowing, healthy skin.

    “I recommend Sea Buckthorn for all sorts of skin issues,” explains Pharmaca esthetician Leah Benyamin. “It’s particularly helpful in keeping your skin hydrated, and unlike other oils, it’s not inflammatory.”

    Sea Buckthorn oil, which is made by squeezing the small berries through a press, is a true skin multi-tasker, according to Benyamin. For oily skin types, it can help balance and reduce the skin’s oil production. And for aging skin types, it can help repair damage from free radicals and help diminish hyperpigmentation.

    With an array of skin-beneficial vitamins, Sea Buckthorn berries contain three times the vitamin A of carrots and 10 times the vitamin C of oranges. And it’s one of the few plants to offer both ascorbic acid (water-soluble vitamin C) and ascorbyl palmiate (fat-soluble vitamin C), which means it’s better absorbed than ascorbic acid alone.

    Second only to wheat germ as a source of vitamin E, Sea Buckthorn is also a rich source of beta carotene, as you can tell by its bright orange color. And because it’s also high in antioxidants, many people drink it as a juice or take it as a supplement, according to Benyamin, who is also an herbalist and certified nutrition consultant.

    To get glowing, healthy skin from the inside out, consider incorporating some of Benyamin’s favorite Sea Buckthorn products into your daily diet and beauty routine.

    Evan Healy Sea Algae Serum

    Sea buckthorn oil, seaweed, algae and CO Q-10 combine for a silky, sheer firming treatment designed to nourish skin damaged by sun, pollutants, aging or inflammation.

    Genesis Today Organic Sea Buckthorn Liquid

    With a tongue-tingling, slightly sour flavor, this juice is the world's first 100% pure, unfiltered, undiluted sea buckthorn berry juice with 30,000 mg of sea buckthorn in every fluid ounce.

    Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil

    With oil from both the Sea Buckthorn berry and seed, this intensive moisturizing body oil is packed with essential fatty acids that replenish vital moisture, while pro-vitamin A and vitamin E soften and protect your skin.

    New Chapter Supercritical Omega-7

    Often recommended for great skin, this supplement also said to promote a healthy digestive system and provide respiratory support.

    <p class=”italic”>Speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about your health and beauty questions.</p>

  • Get spa-quality skin care at Pharmaca


    You already know Pharmaca has certified estheticians on staff to help you find the best skin care routine for your skin type.

    But did you know that because of their training, our estheticians are allowed to sell the kind of cleansers, moisturizers and masks typically available only at your favorite spa or dermatologists’ office?

    For more about the many benefits these premium “spa-quality” skin care lines offer, read on.


    A favorite of dermatologists, Avène’s soothing, calming formulas address a multitude of skin concerns. Each product contains therapeutic thermal spring water to refresh and rejuvenate the skin.

    “Our customers with sensitive skin especially love this line from the south of France,” says merchandising manager Tiana Ukleja. “The thermal spring water is infused with trace elements and silicates, which offer healing benefits.”

    The popular line also includes formulas for dry, aging or oily skin types, with everything from cleansers to soothing masks and anti-wrinkle creams to gentle make-up removers.

    Pharmaca now carries super-hydrating Avène’s sun care, which provides chemical-free, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

    Product Pick

    Available in a convenient, travel-size bottle, Avène Thermal Spring Water soothes, softens and calms skin.


    With its emphasis on skin health, Sanítas is specially formulated to target and correct a variety of skin care challenges, from hyperpigmentation and rosacea to fine lines, wrinkles and acne.

    “What sets Sanítas apart is its unique philosophy of alternating between stimulating and nourishing your skin,” explains Tiana. “They recommend using more active ingredients like alpha or beta hydroxy acids one day and then giving your skin ‘a rest’ by using more nourishing cleansers the next.”

    With regimens for dry, oily and normal skin, Sanítas offers introductory kits so customers can try out a line for 30 days. Each kit includes a travel-size active cleanser, resting cleanser, toner, moisturizer and serum. There are also masks, peels and spot treatments for a variety of skin concerns.

    Product Pick

    Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: Organic pumpkin enzymes break down impurities, oil and dead skin while stimulating healthy cell growth and reducing age spots.


    Best known for its hydrating, detoxifying and exfoliating masks, Astra’s products and treatments are synergistically formulated to reverse the damaging effects of aging, the environment and lifestyle factors.

    “Astara has been around for nearly two decades and has developed a cult following,” explains Tiana.

    Formulated with raw plants, powerful antioxidents, flower essences and sea extracts, Astara offers cleansing gels, moisturizers, purifying treatments and purification masks featuring pure ingredients. Pharmaca estheticians often recommend products from this natural skin pioneer for acne sufferers.

    Product Pick

    Astara Blue Flame Collection: Penetrates clogged pores, clarifies skin tone and soothes inflammation.

    <p class="italic">Speak with a Pharmaca practioner about your health and beauty questions.</p>

  • 6 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

    For the years of wiped noses, changed diapers, cuts cleaned, bruises kissed and feelings comforted, it’s time to show mom you appreciate her. Pharmaca has you covered with an endless selection of gift options: luscious natural bath and beauty kits, aromatherapy essentials, tea time luxuries, yoga accessories and other special items.










    Tea Time

    Kick off Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed, accompanied by Tea Forte’s adorable ceramic teapot filled with a rich chocolate rose brew of hand-picked loose leaf black tea. A well-deserved indulgence.

    Serenity Now

    Bring the spa home with SpaRoom Essentials’ Aromaharmony, a Bluetooth-connected wireless sound system that diffuses delicate scents and soft sounds to create the a peaceful retreat. Enhance the atmosphere with one of Caldrea’s beautiful and uniquely scented candles for a hint of lavender pine or ginger pomelo. For a quick aromatherapy refresh on the go, Pacifica’s natural, portable roll-on scents pack away in mom’s purse perfectly.

    Luxury Beauty Kits

    For a little bit of luxury, Pharmaca’s high-end beauty brands offer popular cosmetics and natural skin care in a gorgeous assortment of kits. Help mom refresh and revive with Dr. Hauschka’s radiance-boosting, spa-quality home facial kit, which includes a porcelain mask mixing bowl, natural bristle application brush and a selection of revitalizing and refreshing masks to open pores and revive skin. Follow up with one of MyChelle’s ‘Hello, Beautiful’ collections, which include serum, sun care, scrub, cleanser, hydration mist and moisturizer, each customized for individual skin types.

    Springtime Nail Care

    Help mom show off natty nails and on-trend toes with an array of springtime nail polish shades—think Deborah Lippman’s pretty pink, hint of mint and tropical sunsets—and soft, creamy lotions that keep hands soft and delicately scented. Pre de Provence’s set of three shea butter hand creams allows mom to soothe her hands anytime, with one tube for her bag, one for her desk and the other for her car. For portable touch-ups, Tweezerman’s Mini Nail Rescue Kit cures cuticle woes as it cleans away the grime of the day, neatening nails in a jiffy.

    Blissful Bath

    A relaxing bath can be a rare indulgence. For Mother’s Day, help mom up-level a blissful bath experience with Kneipp’s Revive 5 natural herbal bath collection. In Lavender, Pure Bliss, Enjoy Life, Stress Free and Soft Skin, each bath oil offers a new experience in meditative relaxation. Add Eco Tools’ Bamboo Bristle Bath Brush and Ahava’s Deadsea Mud Gentle Body Scrub for silky exfoliation and a sense of renewal.

    Yoga Essentials

    Say Om. Paired with a punch card to her favorite studio, an eco-friendly yoga mat and Earthlust’s cool graphic water bottle are just the thing for your favorite yogi. A light spritz of Aura Cacia's Organic Purifying Yoga Mist brings an element of relaxing aromatherapy to her yoga session.


  • More about Medium Chain Triglycerides: The Saturated Fat With Benefits!


    Contrary to popular thought, not all saturated fats can lead to heart disease and obesity. That’s because they’re not all created equal—Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), for example, are saturated fats with many health benefits, including support for metabolism, energy and beauty. (Learn more about the beauty benefits of MCTs and coconut oil here.)

    What Are Medium Chain Triglycerides?

    Medium Chain Triglycerides are saturated fats naturally found in coconut oil and palm kernel oils (and in lesser amounts in whole milk and butter). Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs), on the other hand, are the most abundant fat in nature, and the source of 98 percent of our dietary fat.

    Medium and Long Chain Triglycerides are named based on the length of their carbon chains, and as you would suspect, LCTs have longer carbons chains than MCTs. This structural difference affects how each fat is metabolized—LCTs pass slowly through the digestive tract, requiring bile salts and enzymes to break them down, then entering the lymphatic system and ending up mostly in fat stores as conserved energy. Conversely, MCTs are metabolized by the liver—bypassing the lymphatic system and the need for bile salts and enzymes—making them available for quick energy.

    MCTs for metabolism and weight management

    By replacing common LCTs with MCTs in your diet, you reap many metabolism- and weight-associated benefits. First, MCTs provide about 10 percent fewer calories per gram than LCTs. Consuming MCTs also slows down accumulation of fat over time, since MCTs are not stored in fat deposits the way LCTs are. MCTs may also suppress appetite.

    To get started, try cooking and baking with coconut oil to get more fat calories from MCTs and fewer from LCTs. Palm kernel and coconut oils are also great for cooking because they are stable at high temperatures, unlike vegetable oils such as canola oil.

    Other healthy benefits of MCTs

    Energy – As we’ve established, MCTs provide quick energy because they are so readily metabolized by the liver. This makes them great for endurance athletes, bodybuilders or anyone looking for a quick energy boost.

    Heart Health – MCTs promote normal blood platelet function, healthy cholesterol levels and prevent plaque build-up. Worth noting: Pacific Islanders—whose diet features a whopping 30-60 percent coconut content—show nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.

    Brain Health – MCTs may also be helpful in supporting cognitive health. Here’s why: The brain regularly uses insulin to convert glucose to brain fuel. When insulin response is compromised (e.g. through poor diet or diabetes), the brain can starve of the glucose-converted energy it needs. But MCTs can be converted into ketone bodies or ketoacids, an alternative form of fuel for the brain. In this way, the body treats MCTs more like a carbohydrate than a fat, turning it into quick brain fuel.

    Immunity – The fatty acids in coconut oil (i.e. capric, caprylic and lauric acids) have many immune-benefitting properties, including anti-microbial actions.

    Ways to get your MCTs

    Ready to improve energy, boost immunity and brain power, manage weight and beautify your skin and hair? Pharmaca carries a variety of great products containing MCTs.

    NOW Foods’ MCT Oil – A blend of liquefied pure coconut/palm kernel oils.

    Nutiva’s Organic Red Palm Oil – A buttery, MCT-rich oil that’s great for sauces, sautéing and baking. (Note: Red palm oil is not to be confused with palm kernel oil that has a richer amount of MCTs.)

    Nature’s Way’s Liquid Coconut Premium Oil Made from pure, expeller-pressed coconuts, and formulated to maintain a liquid form wither refrigerated or at room temperature. A great alternative for vegetable oil in cooking, or adding to dressing, sauces and dips.

    Jarrow Formulas’ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Made with organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed coconuts. Try the easy-to-take pill form, or the solid form that’s great for cooking, baking and for use topically on the hair and skin.

    Nature’s Way’s EFAGold Coconut Oil – Another great option made from certified organic, non-GMO, extra virgin coconuts. Cold pressed, hexane-free, unrefined and non-bleached.

  • Get Extra Protection from Natural Sunscreen Boosters

    LadyOnBeachWe know that mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are very effective at physically blocking damaging UVA and UVB rays without harmful chemicals. But did you know that these skin protectors can get a boost from certain natural botanicals that prevent and repair UV radiation damage? Look for these added ingredients in your sunscreen to amp up its protective qualities.


    Recent scientific studies show that licorice root extract can boost our skin’s defenses against UV rays by producing antioxidant molecules in our skin that create a protective shield. The active ingredient in licorice, Licochalcone A, combined with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, gives us a more complete defense. Kiss My Face’s Sunscreen Oat Protein Complex SPF 30 blends licorice extract with skin-calming oat protein and powerful antioxidants to provide extra protection from sun damage. Or add licorice to your daily skin care routine by applying Eminence’s Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster Serum before your sunscreen. This multi-purpose serum combines pure licorice root with skin brighteners to created protected skin with more even tone.


    Green and white teas contain antioxidants called polyphenols that make our skin more resistant to UV radiation and protect us against cell damage caused by sunburn, say researchers. Drinking just two cups of green tea daily boosts our skin’s ability to repair damage from the sun’s rays.

    Makes sense, then, that tea extract added to our daily sunscreen can maximize the benefits of these powerful antioxidants. Green tea extract, grape seed juice and zinc oxide come together to protect and moisturize in Elemental Herbs’ Sport Zinc Sunscreen SPF 33, which goes on smooth without leaving a sticky white residue. And white tea and licorice extracts combine with both zinc and titanium dioxide in Mineral Fusion’s Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 15 to provide a light, daily facial moisturizer and sunscreen that’s especially good for oily skin.


    Plant oils have been found to block UV rays, and sesame oil is one of the most effective, blocking about 30 percent of the UV rays. It’s rich in antioxidants too, neutralizing free radicals that cause skin damage and premature wrinkles. Elemental Herbs’ Zinc Sunstick SPF 30 blends organic sesame seed oil with zinc oxide in an easy-to-use stick. And kids and babies get SPF 30 protection from zinc and sesame seed oil in Babo Botanicals’ Clear Zinc Sport Stick that absorbs quickly and goes on clear.

    Aloe Vera

    Known for its skin-healing and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe also helps absorb damaging UV rays. Rich in aloe leaf juice powder, MyChelle’s Sun Shield SPF 28, maximizes sun protection with both botanical and physical sun blockers. Its unscented, chemical-free formula is especially good for sensitive skin. Finally, customer favorite Goddess Garden’s Sunny Body Organic Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 30 adds organic aloe vera and calming lavender and honeysuckle extracts to a lightweight zinc and titanium dioxide formula that sprays on for fast, easy application.

  • The ABCs of Adrenal Health

    Massage Lady
    Are you tired and sluggish? Having trouble sleeping? These are just a few symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which many of our practitioners believe can be the result of a nutrient-poor diet and high levels of stress.

    Finding relief can be easier when you understand how best to nourish your adrenal glands. We asked certified herbalist and nutritionist Shizandra Fox from our Sonoma store to shed some light on this all-too-common syndrome.

    What are the adrenal glands?

    Sometimes called the body’s “shock absorbers,” the adrenals are two thumb-shaped glands located above your kidneys. Kicking into high gear when we feel stress, the adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones including, cortisol, norepinephrine and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

    What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

    People suffering from adrenal fatigue are usually very run down, have difficulty sleeping, wake up with panic and can be overly emotional. In addition, Shizandra often notices her customers complaining of:

    • Low blood sugar
    • Poor circulation
    • Depression
    • Low self-esteem
    • Muscle weakness
    • Pain in the joints
    • Constipation
    • Compromised immune function

    How does diet affect adrenal fatigue?

    What you eat and drink can make a huge difference in how you feel, Shizandra says. That’s why she recommends that before you take any herb or supplement, you first clean up your diet—and keep it cleaned up. Here are a few simple ways to do that:

    • Choose fresh, whole foods, preferably organic and locally grown.
    • Include lean protein with each meal and snack to help stabilize blood sugar.
    • Try to prepare extra nutritious snacks to have on hand when you crave sugar and caffeine.

    Shizandra also recommends preparing the digestive tract with a combination of probiotics, enzymes and minerals that can help boost absorption of any supplements you take for adrenal nourishment. She also suggests a morning “liver flush” of 12–16 ounces of filtered water with lemon juice, and advocates for taking a good B complex that includes pantothenic acid or B5.

    What supplements can help?

    First, Shizandra has customers describe their symptoms, so she can best match an herb or supplement with what they need. “If they’re feeling primarily depleted, for example, then I might suggest rhodiola to support their energy levels,” she says. “Or, if they’re really stressed out, I might suggest ashwagandha for its calming effect.”

    Rhodiola, along with ashwagandha, astragalus and eleuthero are among a class of herbs called adaptogens, which are said to help you adapt to physical, emotional and environmental forms of stress.

    One popular adaptogen blend Shizandra frequently recommends is MegaFood’s Adrenal Strength, which includes functional food mushrooms, along with astragalus and schisandra to help to strengthen adrenals and support immune health.

    And to promote better sleep and help normalize stress-related hormones, Shizandra often suggests Gaia Herbs’ Adrenal Health, which includes a combination of ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, schisandra and wild oats. Shizandra also loves Vitanica’s Adrenal Assist, a naturopath-developed formula that supports and promotes adrenal hormone production with key nutrients and a variety of adaptogenic herbs.

    Finally, because stress plays such an important role in adrenal fatigue, Shizandra tells customers to do anything they can to lower their overall stress level on a daily basis—get enough sleep, exercise regularly or breathe more deeply.

    If you’re feeling run down and are wondering how to nourish your adrenals, talk with a Pharmaca practitioner today for customized solutions.

  • Buyer Spotlight: What's in our Lifestyle Buyer's Medicine Cabinet?

    MCsFavesEver wonder what the person who gets to make all the decisions about our lifestyle category keeps around for herself? We asked our Lifestyle Buyer, Mary Catherine Horgan, to break down the Pharmaca faves she always has with her.

    Wean Green Food Storage Containers
    These are my everyday food storage containers. There’s a perfect size for everything, from sauces to salads. The lids don’t leak and the tempered glass doesn’t break, even when I drop a container. Plus the vibrant colors make me happy!”

    Bucky Travel Pillows
    “I love Bucky's buckwheat and millet-filled pillows that adjust to exactly where I need support, meaning I am comfortable no matter what position I’m snoozing in. The Duo Bed Pillow is great for home and the Minnie travel pillow is perfect for on the go!”

    Radius Vegan Xylitol Antibacterial Cranberry Floss Sachets
    “These single-use packets of dental floss are so ingenious! They’re so small that they can fit into my wallet or purse so I always have dental floss when I need it.”

    SpaRoom Aromaharmony
    “I love how clever this product is—it combines an essential oil diffuser with soothing colored lights and a Bluetooth receiver, creating an instant spa environment in any room.”

    One Love Organics Vitamin C Facial Serum
    We sell so many awesome facial care products at Pharmaca, but this is one of my favorites! I love the scent and consistency—and I really love how this makes my skin brighter and more radiant.”

    Goodlight Natural Candles Tea Lights
    These candles are inexpensive, eco-friendly and unscented—making them the perfect way to add a warm glow to any room. I imagine myself using them to decorate my back deck for a fabulous summer dinner party this summer.”

    Pharmaca Barrel Mug
    “I gave this as a gift to my husband and brother-in-law, both whom use it all the time and get so many compliments on them! They love that the extra insulation keeps beverages keeps their coffee hot for hours.”

  • The Gratitude Challenge: Simple Ways to Start a Gratitude Practice

    Grateful Lady“What we think, we become.”
    — Buddha

    What boosts your mood, lowers your blood pressure and even strengthens your immune system? The answer may surprise you. It’s gratitude.

    Turns out, people who make a point of being thankful for the blessings in their lives feel better than those who do not. Studies show they experience more joy, act with more compassion and even feel less isolated.

    Here at Pharmaca, we understand how important the mind-body connection is to your overall wellbeing. And we know that spending just a few minutes a day practicing gratitude can impact your health. Below are some simple ways you can start your own gratitude practice.

    Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are grateful for each day in a notebook. (Or, just jot them down on your calendar.) Be sure to be as specific as possible. For example: “I am grateful for my strong legs and powerful lungs.” Not, “I am grateful for my health.”

    Send a thank you letter. Take a moment and express gratitude to someone you’ve never properly thanked with a short, handwritten letter. This can be especially powerful if you write to someone with whom you share a complicated history. The trick is to be as genuine as possible.

    Share during dinner. Like saying grace, have your family take turns expressing their appreciation for specific things that happened during their day. Be sure to acknowledge each person’s contribution before going on to the next person.

    Use visual reminders. Inspirational messages, quotes and uplifting pictures around your home or office can remind you to stop, breathe and remember to focus on gratitude during your busy day.

    Read inspirational material. Autobiographies, blog posts, Facebook feeds—there’s a never-ending supply of sources that can move you to appreciate all of the good in your life.

    Take a gratitude walk. Slow down, be in the moment and notice your surroundings. Take in the birds singing, the clouds rolling by, the rustle of leaves in the trees. Pause and appreciate the beauty nature offers us each and every day.

    Notice the lesson. Think about a hardship you’ve experienced—losing a loved one or job. What did you learn from the situation that you can now be grateful for? When you find yourself being negative, stop and reframe your thoughts to find this positive point of view.

    Get support. Find a similar-minded group of people who focus on practicing gratitude, like a meditation group (learn more about how to get started with a simple practice). If there’s no one in your local community, look for one online—or challenge your friends to share what they’re grateful for every day for a week through social media.

    Have other great ideas about how you incorporate an attitude of gratitude into your daily life? Tell us your favorite way to practice gratitude below.

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