Tag Archives: prod-520980

  • Medicine Cabinet Spotlight: An Herbalist’s Supplement Essentials

    HannahsPicksOur health care practitioners are pros at recommending natural remedies for customers. But what are the essentials they always keep on hand? We asked Hannah Miles, clinical herbalist and nutrition counselor at our store in Pacific Palisades, Calif. to give us her Pharmaca favorites.

    Host Defense MycoShield Spray
    “This product is fabulous for everyday use. I also always have it on hand when travelling. Just two sprays to the back of the throat 2-3 times a day will keep you protected throughout cold season!”

    Host Defense MyCommunity
    “If on the off chance I do succumb to an illness, the first thing I grab is MyCommunity. At the first sign of a scratchy throat, fatigue or aches I’ll take 2 MyCommunity every 3 hours for the first day, then drop down to 2 pills 3x a day for the next 2-3 days, then 1 pill 3x a day for the remaining few days. This will either protect me from coming down with an illness, or if I do actually fall victim, this will significantly cut down on symptom severity and down time.”

    Boiron Oscillococcinum
    “This is specific to the flu, and is something that needs to be taken BEFORE you actually get sick. But it’s fantastic for reducing symptoms and symptom severity.”

    Garden of Life MyKind Organics Vitamins
    “I take their Women’s Once daily, and their D3 and B12 spray. The sprays are delicious and convenient, and it makes it so I don’t have to take a giant handful of pills.”

    Natural Factors CurcuminRich Theracurmin 300 mg
    “I take this for just general all over health support. The research on Theracurmin is compelling regarding its wide reaching anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Curcumin is also a fantastic herb for liver support."

    Peter Lamas Rice Protein Volumizing Shampoo
    “This shampoo/conditioner gives my hair incredible volume without leaving any build-up! I can't live without it!”

    Acure Lemongrass & Argan Oil Firming Lotion
    “I love all the Acure lotions, but this is my favorite. I love the fresh scent and its long-lasting moisturizing action!”

    Acure Argan Cell Stimulating Body Wash
    “Features a super-light scent and moisturizing feel without leaving any residue on your skin.”

    Anything from W3LL PEOPLE
    “A fantastic makeup line. I love the fun eyeshadow shades and that it’s one of the cleanest makeup lines on the market!”

  • Mushrooms and Long-Term Immunity

    Looking for a way to boost long-term immunity for cold and flu season? Mushrooms may be the next big thing in the fight against sickness.

    “Mushrooms are used to strengthen immune function in a powerful way over a long time,” says Matthew Becker, herbalist and lead practitioner at our North Boulder store. “They have a slower effect than something like echinacea, but it’s a deeper effect.”

    Matthew notes that mushrooms are great for helping boost general health. "They can have anti-inflammatory actions and detoxify the liver, and strengthen the adrenals to help lower stress levels," he says. "In other words, they are great allies for all aspects of healing."

    “Reishi mushrooms are considered to be the king of all herbs in China,” says Matthew. “They strengthen immunity, and can be energizing and calming at the same time,” perfect when you’re stressed and more vulnerable to sickness. Matthew likes Mushroom Science Reishi Gano 161.

    Cordyceps are another popular immune-boosting mushroom, commonly used in China–and increasingly in the US–to combat the side effects of chemotherapy. Matthew adds that they also are widely used for heart conditions, weak lungs, asthma and adrenal fatigue. He recommends Fungi Perfecti Cordyceps. (Learn more about cordyceps many uses.)

    For a more full-spectrum approach, try a combination formula such as Fungi Perfecti MyCommunity, a blend of 17 different mushrooms that work together to strengthen immunity. Matthew also likes Immune Builder by Mushroom Science, a high-quality blend of reishi, maitake, shiitake and others.

    Don’t forget about astragalus
    Matthew also recommends astragalus. “Regular consumption can have a remarkable effect on your ability to fend off sickness,” he says. “People who begin to take it a few months before the cold and flu season hits will find it much easier to stay healthy.” He recommends Vital Nutrients Astragalus Root capsules, twice a day for a few months.

    Bring all of your immunity questions to the pharmacists and practitioners at Pharmaca.

  • Expert Advice: Beating Cold & Flu Symptoms

    We're still in the midst of cold and flu season. Here's the rundown on common cold and flu symptoms--so you can make sure you know what you've got--before you start treating it.

    The common cold is caused by viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract (including the nasal passages). Most people only suffer one or two colds per year; any more than that can be an indication of an under-functioning or compromised immune system.
    Cold symptoms are usually short-lived (3-4 days), but can include general fatigue, malaise (vague discomfort), fever, headache and/or upper respiratory tract infection (runny nose, sore throat, etc.). One can generally distinguish a cold from the flu by the severity of the symptoms, since flu symptoms are much more severe and usually occur in epidemics (contact your local Public Health Department to inquire about current flu trends). In addition, flu symptoms often come on rapidly and intensely, and include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache, chills, dry cough, sore throat, sneezing and runny eyes.

    So what are the best strategies for beating cold and flu symptoms? Because they're caused by viruses, antibiotics aren't an effective solution (antibiotics work against bacteria, not viruses). In addition, antibiotics can potentially decrease your immune function because they destroy the healthy gut flora in your body.

    Instead, try vitamins and supplements that can help boost your immunity and lessen symptoms. Here are my recommendations.

    Natura's Flew Away: A wonderful formulation that uses herbs to increase immunity. Can be taken at the onset or in the midst of the flu, or even preventively throughout the flu season.

    Rainbow Light Counter Attack: This is great to take the moment you feel sick. It works fast and helps curb illness while easing sinus and respiratory discomfort.

    Plantiva ColdDx: One of our most popular herbal cold and flu supplements. This blend of Eastern and Western herbs offers proactive immune defense as well as anti-viral and antibacterial properties.

    Natura's Throat and Gland Spray: A fantastic blend of herbs for immediate soothing of a sore throat.

    Host Defense MyCommunity: A medicinal mushroom complex that is strategically formulated to give comprehensive immune support.

    Boiron's Oscillococcinum: This top-selling homeopathic formula may be one of your best defenses against influenza (body aches, fever, headache, chills, fatigue). Oscillo has been shown in clinical studies (and approved by the FDA) to both reduce the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms.

    Vitamin C: 4,000-6,000 mg of vitamin C (divided into a couple of doses throughout the day) has been shown to shorten the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold, as well as boost the body's immune function to reduce flu risk. Try American Health's Ester-C (a buffered form that's gentle on the stomach) or HealthForce Nutritionals powdered Truly Natural Vitamin C.

    Echinacea: Though there are many herbs to help support immune function, echinacea is the herb that has the most scientific support behind it. I like Herb Pharm's Super Ecinacea or Gaia Herbs' Quick Defense.

    Zinc: Zinc has been shown to reduce the duration of symptoms, serves as an immune-system enhancer and is anti-viral. Take zinc either in pill form (I like Jarrow's Zinc Balance) or in lozenge form (try Zand's Elderberry Zinc Herbal Lozenges).

    Probiotics: Populating the gut with healthy flora will greatly increase your immune response. I like Bio-K, Udo's Choice Adult Blend, and two that don't require refrigeration, Jarro-Dophilus EPS by Jarrow Formulas and Dr. Ohhira's Probiotic 12 Plus.

    Elderberry: A very good source of immune enhancement with anti-viral activity. I like Gaia Herbs' Black Elderberry Syrup and Flora's SambuGuard.

    And don't forget to take care of yourself!

    Rest up and de-stress. During your deepest level of sleep, your body releases immune-enhancing compounds that greatly increase your immune function. And stress has been shown to increase the risk of flu infection; try to decrease stress with relaxation, visualization, meditation or exercise.

    Drink plenty of liquids. Keep your membranes hydrated-it's more difficult for viruses to attack when you're hydrated. I highly recommend drinking hot herbal tea, especially ginger tea or Gypsy Cold Care by Traditional Medicinals. Stay away from beverages with concentrated sugars (i.e. fruit juices with added glucose, fructose, sucrose or honey). And try using a vaporizer or a humidifier (look for Crane Humidifiers at Pharmaca) to keep the membranes of the respiratory tract hydrated.

    Avoid sugar. Sugar can impair immune function, so limit your consumption to less than 50 g per day.

    Try a neti pot for sinus congestion. Wash the sinus passages with a saline rinse to beat germs. Himalayan Institute makes durable neti pots and a neti wash solution that is soothing and moisturizing.

    Wash your hands! Decrease the possibility of spreading viruses and other germs by washing your hands frequently and carrying an essential oil-based hand sanitizer, like those from Pharmaca, with you.

    Come in to Pharmaca today for a free health consultation on how to beat the common cold or flu. You can also shop online at pharmaca.com to find these great products for getting yourself through this cold and flu season.

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