Pharmaca Blog

  • Back to School Days

    Get your little one prepared to head to school with the right nutrition, brain-boosting supplements and eco-friendly gear.

    8am: Breakfast
    For complete nutrition, send them off with a spoonful of ChildLife Essentials delicious orange/mango-flavored multivitamin. While you’re at it, jump-start their immunity with a dropperful of WishGarden Herbs Kick-It Immune Kids in their morning OJ.

    9am: Off to school
    Fill their backpacks with eco-friendly notebooks and pencils from a variety of brands, along with CleanWell Hand Sanitizer Wipes (triclosan-free!) to keep germs away.

    10am: Recess
    Make sure they’ve been slathered ahead of time with some all-natural sun protection, like the Environmental Working Group’s top-rated Goddess Garden Kid’s Natural Sunscreen. And rest easy when they hydrate with water from a fun, safe and reusable water bottle from Sigg, Lifefactory or EarthLust.

    Noon: Cafeteria
    Fill one of the retro-inspired lunchboxes from So Young Mother with whole foods like apples, carrots and yogurt. “Keep away from processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup,” says Whitney Elkins-Hutten, nutritionist at our North Boulder store. “If you give them healthy options, they’ll take the ones that are most interesting,” she says. She notes that adding stickers to a sandwich bag, or even cutting the sandwich it into fun shapes, can be enough to encourage them to eat well. And in the end, don’t worry if they want to eat the same thing every day. “Kids like routine,” says Whitney. “Just keep trying to introduce new foods slowly.”

    2pm: Snacktime
    When little ones need brainfood, make sure they’ve got a package of Pharmaca’s healthy and delicious snacks. They’ll get a great afternoon pick-me-up with nut and fruit mixes like Organic Protein Power or the Antioxidant-Rich Trail Mix (including cranberries, papaya and raisins).

    And don’t forget the omega-3s! Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Gummies are an easy and tasty way to get the DHA and EPA that growing brains need.

    4pm: Playtime
    Set up your little Picasso with non-toxic art supplies from EcoKids. Colored pencils are made from recycled newspaper, wax and vegetable-derived glue. Or outfit them with recycled crayons from Crazy Crayons.

    6pm: Shower/bathtime
    Lather up with Clean Kids by Gabriel’s Liquid Soap or Foaming Bath to bust germs and gently clean skin. And they’ll enjoy bathtime even more when you turn on Putumayo’s Rock & Roll Playground CD, featuring Dan Zanes and friends doing a kid-friendly version of early rock and roll.

    8pm: Bedtime!
    After a full day of activities, they’ll need to get the best sleep possible to prepare for the next school day. If they have trouble falling asleep, turn to Hyland’s Calms Forte 4 Kids, a well-loved sleep remedy that quells restlessness without making them groggy. You can even switch on Cloud B’s Twilight Turtle and they’ll fall asleep to soft light and starry constellations.

    Good night!

    To get expert advice about your child’s growing needs—or just to pick up some fun gear for school—stop into a Pharmaca today. 

  • Selenium May Ward Off Cancer

    Is there a link between the mineral selenium and cancer prevention? It seems this naturally occurring substance may be an effective weapon in the war against cancer. Multiple studies have shown that selenium may be helpful in warding off breast, stomach, prostate, liver, bladder and esophageal cancers. Since many Americans do not get the recommended dose (200 mcg) of selenium each day, a selenium supplement may be worth thinking about.

    Research shows that selenium, especially when taken with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, works to block the chemical reactions in the body that create free radicals. (Free radicals damage our DNA and cause degenerative changes in the cells, which can lead to cancer). By preventing damaged DNA cells from reproducing, selenium can then prevent cancerous tumors from growing.

    According to Dr. James Howenstine, author of A Physician's Guide to Natural Health Products That Work, selenium "contributes towards the death of cancerous and pre-cancer cells. Their death appears to occur before they replicate, thus helping stop cancer before it gets started."

    Not only has selenium been shown to help prevent cancer, it can also help slow the progression of cancer in people already diagnosed with it. Beating Cancer with Nutrition reports that selenium helps "enhance the effectiveness of chemo, radiation and hyperthermia while minimizing damage to the patient's normal cells; thus making therapy more of a selective toxin."

    Still not convinced of the link between selenium and cancer? Dr. Larry Clark from the University of Arizona conducted a long-term study of 1,300 people. The cancer occurrence in those taking 200 mcg of selenium a day was reduced by 42 percent compared to those in the study who received placebo. Further, cancer deaths for those taking selenium were cut almost in half. (Via Journal of the American Medical Association.)

    Interested in learning more about the wonders of selenium? Ask a Pharmaca practitioner about selenium today.

  • “Meatless Monday” in Full Swing to Promote Health and Wellness

    Back in June, we wrote about something called “Meatless Monday,” a new movement gaining popularity. In an effort to bring awareness to over-consuming animal products (45% more than the USDA recommends), people are going meatless once a week hoping to reduce the risk of preventable conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Restaurants across the nation are participating by offering special vegetarian dishes on Mondays in honor of this day.

    Meatless Monday

    According to a July 8, 2011 article in The New York Times, Meatless Monday has really caught on in Aspen, Colorado (no surprise, since Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the entire nation). More than 20 restaurants in the Aspen area are currently offering veggie choices on Mondays, and all of these establishments were happy to participate.

    Restaurateurs and patrons alike are jumping on the Meatless Monday bandwagon. The Aspen School District is even participating by offering vegetarian alternatives to students each Monday afternoon. One favorite is the “breakfast for lunch” concept of whole grain pancakes (yum!), so children, as well as adults, are doing their part to eat a healthy diet and reduce their intake of high-fat red meat. Would you like to take the Meatless Mondays pledge? Sign up today and join the Meatless Mondays movement!

    Pharmaca practitioners recommend a diet filled with leafy greens and whole grains, low in foods that contain high levels of saturated fat (i.e. red meat). And if you're concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals, talk to a Pharmaca practitioner about nutritional supplements that can ensure you're meeting your daily requirements. Our vast line of health and wellness products makes getting and staying healthy easy!

  • Looking for a Natural Acne Remedy? Try a Green Smoothie

    Carrot, Celery, Spinach and Watercress Juice

    Creative

    If you or someone you love has struggled with acne, you know how frustrating this skin condition can be. What's more, some of the prescription medications prescribed to treat acne come with dangerous side effects. Remember Accutane? Introduced in the early 1980s and pulled from the market in 2009, Accutane, a then highly-popular medication prescribed for the treatment of acne, was found to cause very serious side effects including birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and suicidal feelings.

    While there are still prescription medications available to treat acne, the side effects lead many to search for a more natural acne remedy. We found the perfect solution: A green smoothie that can help clear up acne and feed your skin the important nutrients it needs for optimal health.

    Green Smoothies as a Natural Remedy for Acne

    Green smoothies act as a natural acne remedy because they contain green leafy vegetables that are packed with the nutrients your body needs to cleanse and heal itself. Plus, blending these nutrients into a smoothie makes them easier for your body to absorb.

    These are the nutrients in the below green smoothie that act as natural acne remedies:

    • Chlorophyll: Helps eliminate toxins, improves cell metabolism and speeds healing
    • Sulfur: Balances body's pH, fights infection and reduces inflammation
    • Vitamin K: Improves skin tone, reduces acne scarring
    • Vitamin A: Rebuilds tissue

    Natural Acne Remedy Recipe

    1. Place 1 cup of your favorite green leafy vegetables in a blender (spinach, swiss chard and kale are easy to find)
    2. Add two cups of fresh or frozen fruit (berries, bananas, grapes and pineapples)
    3. Add enough water or juice to give the smoothie the thickness you desire, then blend until very smooth
    4. Pour and enjoy!

    Look for more greenfoods at Pharmaca to support your skin health, or speak to a practitioner about other great natural acne remedies.

  • What Does the "SPF" Number Really Mean?

    With summer in full swing and ski season fast approaching, you'll still find piles of sunscreen available at most pharmacies and grocery stores. Experts have been talking about the danger of sun exposure for decades now, and there certainly is an abundance of sun protection products on the market, all claiming to give you the sun protection you need. While you may know that SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, what does the SPF number really mean? Does SPF 100 really protect you better than SPF 30?

    Here's how it works. SPF's are determined by testing artificial UV (ultra violet) radiation in a laboratory. Volunteers come to the lab and have their skin exposed to artificial sunlight to see how long it takes for their skin to burn. Then, sunscreen is applied to the volunteer's skin and he/she is again exposed to artificial UV radiation.

    The SPF is determined by dividing the amount of radiation required to burn with sunscreen by the amount required to burn without sunscreen. So the SPF number really is a standard for how long you can tolerate sun without burning. If you can withstand sun exposure for ten minutes without burning, then an SPF of 30 would allow you to spend 300 minutes in the sun before burning. An SPF of 15 would allow you to be able to withstand sun exposure for 150 minutes before burning. (Learn more about the FDA's new rules about labeling sunscreens, especially with regard to SPF claims.)

    Your sunscreen should protect your skin from dangerous UV rays, but it should also be safe. Take a look at our Pharmaca's entire line of natural sunscreen products and rest assured that we offer the safest, most effective sunscreens on the market.

  • Brain Health Questions: How does stress affect brain health?

    Our webinar with Dr. Bruce Price on July 27 sparked some interesting questions on brain health from our participants. Since Dr. Price wasn't able to answer all of them during the webinar, we thought we'd tackle some common ones here. These answers come from Dr. Haythum Tayeb, a behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry fellow in Dr. Price's department of neurology at McLean Hospital.

    Q. How does stress affect brain health?

    A. Stress, anxiety and depression can all negatively influence cognitive performance because of their effects on attention and concentration. Stress activates the cortisol system, which has specific effects on the brain.

    Maintaining an active social and mental life is associated with better cognitive outcomes, however, and stress avoidance should not lead to an attitude of intellectual retirement. Seeking to remain intellectually active, and engaging in a motivating endeavor that does not induce pathological stress can increase cognitive reserve, which buffers cognitive dysfunction later in life.

    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.
  • Brain health questions: Is there a connection between ADHD & Alzheimer's?

    Our webinar with Dr. Bruce Price on July 27 sparked some interesting questions on brain health from our participants. Since Dr. Price wasn't able to answer all of them during the webinar, we thought we'd tackle some common ones here. These answers come from Dr. Haythum Tayeb, a behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry fellow in Dr. Price's department of neurology at McLean Hospital.

    Q. Is there a connection between ADHD & Alzheimer’s?

    A. There is no known direct connection between Alzheimer’s and childhood ADHD. There have been recent early reports of an association between adult ADHD and risk of Alzheimer’s, though this association needs to be confirmed. It may be that the symptoms of early dementia, often subtle, can be mistakenly attributed to adulthood ADHD in people with a previous history of the disorder. A potential explanation for the association, should it be proven, is that ADHD may lead to a lower cognitive reserve to buffer insults later in life, or that there could be an unidentified overlap between the genetic and environmental factors causing both disorders.

    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.
  • Webcast: Boost your Brain: How to maintain good memory & cognitive function as you age

    Join Dr. Bruce Price, associate professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, as he offers expert advice on supplements and lifestyle changes to keep your brain working smarter at any age.

    July 27, 2011
    Click icon on bottom right to view full screen
    Download a PDF of the presentation >
  • Studies Show Homeopathics for Ear Infection Superior to Antibiotics

    Most children, at some point, develop an earache that's often caused by an infection in the ear canal. Concerned parents then call the child’s pediatrician, and if the doctor does find the child has an ear infection, they'll usually prescribe an antibiotic medicine. You may, instead, want to try homeopathic remedies for ear infections.

    But parents should take note: A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicated that homeopathic remedies for ear infections, such as those found at Pharmaca, really help.  Homeopathic treatments for ear infection are safe, effective and produce no side effects, making this approach to healing an appealing solution for worried parents.

    An earlier study, published in 1997 in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, divided 131 children into two groups, receiving either homeopathic treatment or antibiotic treatment. The study showed that the children receiving homeopathic treatment recovered an average of one day faster than the children who received antibiotics. In yet another study in 2001, the British Homeopathic Journal compared homeopathic treatment for ear infection to placebo treatment in 230 kids with acute ear infection. Again, the children in the homeopathic group recovered more quickly—after only 12 hours, 72 percent of them recovered 2.4 times faster than the children receiving the placebo.

    Homeopathic Treatments for Ear Infection

    The research shows that homeopathic remedies can be hugely successful in treating ear infections in children, so before you get any prescriptions filled, you may want to consider these safer, effective options:

    • Homeopathic ear drops— Comprised of many different natural ingredients that are used to safely and effectively relieve the pain often associated with an ear infection.
    • Homeopathic earache tablets—Taken orally to relieve pain quickly and safely with no side effects.
    • Belladonna—Derived from the plant of the same name. This remedy is used to treat a variety of ailments and is indicated for earaches causing severe pain, ear redness and fever.
    • Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum—A mixture of finely powdered oyster shells and pure flowers that is indicated for severe earaches accompanied by a thick, colored discharge from the nose or ears.
    • Pulsatilla—A combination of more than 30 species of herbaceous perennials that is helpful for earaches accompanied by a yellow or green discharge from the ears or nose.

    As with all homeopathic remedies, please consult your doctor before administering them to children. And as always, you can always speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about dosing and administration questions.

  • Brain Health Questions: How can I reverse memory loss?

    Our webinar with Dr. Bruce Price on July 27 sparked some interesting questions on brain health from our participants. Since Dr. Price wasn't able to answer all of them during the webinar, we thought we'd tackle some common ones here. These answers come from Dr. Haythum Tayeb, a behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry fellow in Dr. Price's department of neurology at McLean Hospital.

    Q. Once someone is already experiencing memory loss, is there anything that can stop or reverse the process?

    A. It depends on the cause and pattern of memory dysfunction. There are different memory systems in the brain and these systems can be affected by a number of pathological processes. While some of these processes are completely reversible and others are definitely amenable to modification and improvement, and some are irreversible.

    For example, attention and concentration problems are often felt to cause memory dysfunction, with or without genuine problems in the parts of the brain that store the memories. There are many reversible causes for attention difficulties, including anxiety, depression, medications, inadequate sleep, medical illness and others. Interventions to reverse negative effects of these factors on attention and memory can improve overall memory performance significantly.

    Even in cases where there is a problem in the memory-storage system itself, the cause is not always irreversible. A medical and neurological evaluation is required to search for the treatable causes of amnesia, which include vascular, nutritional, infectious and endocrine, medical and inflammatory problems.

    Furthermore, early cases of memory problems (amnestic mild cognitive impairment), do not always progress to Alzheimer's disease, and sometimes actually reverse spontaneously. Alzheimer's disease, while a common cause for memory problems, is certainly not the only one. In cases of probable Alzheimer's disease, a multi-lateral effort to improve memory and functioning is often very helpful. Factors that can potentially help for variable periods of time include physical exercise, maintaining a reasonable degree of mental and social activities, having an adequate diet, treating depression, and making sure medical and sleep problems are treated appropriately. While there are medications that can temporarily improve symptoms,  none are yet available for clinical use to delay, stop or reverse the process. A large area of research is however progressing promisingly in pursuit of this goal.

    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.

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