Tag Archives: prod-468835

  • Your Pre-Travel Checklist

    Traveling-HealthWhether you're piling in the minivan to visit family or jetting overseas, a little prep work—and stocking up on essentials—can make traveling a breeze this summer.

    Check to see if you need vaccinations
    Many international destinations require or recommend travel immunizations. A Pharmaca pharmacist can help you identify which vaccinations you need based on your destination, and administer them in the store.

    Our pharmacists can also give you information on other safety and health considerations at your destination. Just call ahead to request your pre-travel consultation and vaccines a few days ahead of time. Learn more about pre-travel vaccinations at Pharmaca >

    Stock your travel first aid kit
    Getting sick when you're away from home can be no fun. Dr. Sarah Ouano, ND, at our Madison Park store in Seattle, talks about the travel essentials she often recommends.

    "The biggest thing in travel is prepping your body for new foods," Sarah says. That's where probiotics come in. She recommends Saccharomyces Boulardii, a strain that has been shown to prevent traveler's diarrhea; Jarrow Formulas' version is especially helpful, she says, because it combines the strain with MOS, an oligosaccharide that helps remove bad bacteria.

    She also recommends giving yourself a little immunity boost while traveling, especially if you're going to be on crowded planes and trains. "My favorite thing right now is Kick-Ass Immune from WishGarden Herbs," Sarah says.

    If you're prone to motion sickness or nausea, Sarah loves Ginger People's Ginger Chews. "They're spicy, which is what's helpful for the stomach," she says. "You need the punch in the mouth to get the salivation going." She also likes to keep WishGarden Herbs' Mo Betta Belly on hand. "It helps with anything digestively, since it's chock full of carminitives like peppermint, ginger, fennel and catnip."

    For jet lag, Sarah recommends a combination homeopathic remedy like Miers Laboratories' No Jet Lag, which can help reset your circadian rhythm when taken throughout your flight. Later, when you're headed for bed, Sarah recommends Deep Sleep by Herbs, Etc. "You do have to take it as directed—one hour before bed and one at bedtime," she says. "But it will knock you out throughout the night!"

    Pack some healthy snacks
    Leave the temptation of candy and soda behind when you keep healthy, satisfying snacks on hand. Natural energy bars, refreshing coconut waters and organic trail mixes are the perfect pick-me-up when a healthy meal is out of reach. And for a sweet treat, grab one of our delicious Pharmaca brand Chocolate Bars, Rainforest Alliance and non-GMO certified.

    Talk to a Pharmaca practitioner about the best supplements and strategies for your destination!

  • 5 Reasons to Get Better Sleep

    SleepMaskIf you have trouble getting quality sleep, it can affect more than just your level of fatigue throughout the day. “We think sleeplessness actually accelerates a lot of health issues related to age,” says Dr. Brad Jacobs, chair of Pharmaca’s Integrative Health Advisory Board. It can also affect your endocrine system, carbohydrate metabolism, glucose tolerance, cortisol levels, and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system, he says.

    Here are a few reasons why getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is essential to good health.

    Sleep improves your mood.
    We all know how we feel after a lousy night’s sleep—irritable, impatient and unable to concentrate. The reason could be that the chemicals involved in the sleep-wake cycle are also in involved in mood and energy concentration. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you enjoy, exacerbating the cycle.

    Sleep can aid in weight loss.
    Too little sleep can increase your levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which increases your appetite and can affect the way we process and store carbohydrates. It can also impair your ability to process glucose and increase your body’s tendency to hold on to fat cells. Experts have even linked these issues to increased rates of diabetes.

    Sleep is good for your skin.
    Our bodies produce proteins while we sleep to restore and repair skin damage that comes from UV light exposure, stress, pollutants and other age-accelerating factors we deal with daily. That means not enough sleep can make it harder to fight off free radicals and speed up our skin’s aging process.

    Sleep keeps your brain and memory strong.
    Not enough sleep limits our time in REM sleep, the cycle that is most closely linked to improved learning and memory. Adequate sleep has been shown to improve our ability to learn tasks, consolidate memories and make good decisions—a good reason to take a night to “sleep on it” when faced with big choices!

    Sleep can reduce your chances of serious disease.
    A number of studies have shown that people who sleep poorly are at greater risk for health problems such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and more. Sleep deprivation can also alter immune function, impair the activity of the body’s killer cells and increase the presence of stress hormones in the body.

    Want better sleep? Learn more about natural strategies and supplements from Dr. Brad Jacobs, MD.

    Ask a practitioner about other helpful sleep supplements and strategies.

  • Hit the Hay

    For many people, getting to sleep or even getting back to sleep can be a struggle. We spoke with pharmacist Anne Friar and Ayurvedic practitioner Sunny Rose at Pharmaca in Albuquerque to find out about the range of solutions available to help the sleepless get more rest. From time-tested herbal formulas to doctor-recommended prescriptions, Pharmaca can help you conquer short-term sleeplessness and chronic insomnia.

    Sunny: Insomnia is often a result of stress, worry and having too much on the mind. I like to start by recommending remedies that gently relax the nerves-ones that don’t interact or have side effects. Bach’s Rescue Sleep is great because people can use it if they wake up in the middle of the night and it won’t make them drowsy the next day. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go to herbal combinations like Deep Sleep from Herbs, Etc. with things like valerian, lemon balm, poppy and passionflower.

    Anne: Ambien or its generic versions and Trazodone are the two prescriptions we see most often for insomnia. For people who are prescribed Ambien, I tell them not to take more than the recommended dose and to avoid drinking alcohol. It’s a pretty quickly metabolized drug, so it’s best to have 6-8 hours of sleep time to avoid the “hangover” the next morning. Ambien is really only recommended for occasional sleeplessness, a few times a week, but a lot of people start taking it every night. Because it can be mildly addictive, we can advise on alternative options so people don’t become reliant.

    Sunny: I try to recommend melatonin in moderation because people can become habituated to it and need increasing amounts. In certain cases, I suggest Natural Health International’s Herbatonin, because it is a low-dose, plant-based melatonin that is safer for the long term. I also like Pharmaca brand Sleep Formula, which combines an herbal blend with melatonin-perfect for taking during an especially stressful period or for jet lag.

    I see more people with insomnia than almost anything else. Being an Ayurvedic practitioner, I also encourage people to try restorative yoga and good breathing practices. In my opinion these are some of the most important things you can do.

    Speak with one of Pharmaca’s pharmacists or licensed practitioners for advice and information that suits your specific needs. And enjoy getting your zzzs.

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