Tag Archives: prod-521085

  • 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!”

  • 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.

  • Your Holiday Survival Kit

    Ah, the holidays. Full of family, good cheer, rich food and for many, busy schedules and stressful travel. We spoke with Jenna Zampiello, naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist at Seattle's Madison Park location, about ways to keep yourself healthy and less stressed during this exciting time of year.

    Travel healthy
    When we're traveling and coming into contact with a lot of people, it's a good idea to give your immune system a little extra help. Jenna suggests packing an antibacterial gel or spray, like EO's Hand Sanitizer Spray, especially if you're traveling during flu season. She also recommends eating a healthy, low-carb breakfast on travel day, then eating smaller meals throughout the day. "Most people feel significantly better if they actually fast during travel time, abstaining from consuming the prepared airport meals that are high in fat and salt," says Jenna.

    Jenna also recommends staying hydrated by drinking at least one 8 oz glass per hour while flying, and mixing in some Emergen-C to add immunity-boosting vitamins and electrolytes. Other travel essentials include Jet Zone, a homeopathic formula to prevent jet lag and Reed's Ginger Candy or homeopathic Tabacum 30c to help settle an upset stomach.

    Maintain good immunity
    For continuous immune support Jenna also suggests keeping up a maintenance dose of New Chapter's Lifeshield Immunity, a medicinal mushroom-based formula offering a potent source of beta glucans which help to upregulate immune cells required to fight bacteria, viruses and cancer. Mushrooms not only stimulate your immune system, but have also been shown to help maintain normal cholesterol levels.

    Another quality immune support formula is Source Naturals' Wellness Formula. "You can take it every day, and if you feel like you're coming down with something, take the maximum dose of three tablets several times a day," says Jenna. She also recommends our best-selling homeopathic remedy, Boiron's Oscillococcinum, which can be taken at the onset of any type of flu symptoms.

    Keep stress at bay
    Most everyone can use extra adrenal support, says Jenna, since our bodies are not equipped to deal with chronic stress, and, let's face it, "everyone is stressed out during the holidays," she says. She recommends Gaia Herbs' Adrenal Health, which can serve as a preventive measure, giving you more energy and preventing fatigue. For more immediate relief, sip a cup of Yogi's Kava Stress Relief tea (or "make a big pot for the whole family if you need to!" says Jenna). If the holiday stress becomes too much, try Bach Rescue Remedy, available in easy-to-pack sprays, pastilles and drops.

    Maintain a healthy weight
    Boosting your adrenal health can also be helpful for maintaining a healthy weight, says Jenna, since it can help normalize your cortisol response. But it's also important to keep blood sugar levels stable during the holiday season. "Make sure you have protein for every meal, especially breakfast, since this helps to stabilize and regulate your metabolism for the rest of the day," she says. She recommends snacks like an apple with almond butter, hummus and carrots or trail mix that includes both nuts and fruit (try Pharmaca's Antioxidant Trail Mix). If you need a whole meal replacement on the go, try a packet of protein powder like Vega's Whole Food Health Optimizer, which can be easily added to water or juice while traveling.

    It's important to note that the winter season itself can create its own weight-gain challenges, since a lot of people eat more because of lower serotonin levels due to shorter days, says Jenna. You can boost those levels by maintaining a healthy dose of vitamin D. In the Pacific Northwest, that's especially difficult, so Jenna recommends a dose of 4,000 IU throughout the winter season ("Everyone should have their vitamin D levels checked at least once a year to ensure adequate dosage," Jenna says).  She likes Pharmaca's liquid Vitamin D3.

    Boost healthy digestion
    Finally, when rich foods abound, avoid heartburn and indigestion by packing a few simple products. "Enzymedica's Digest Gold is one of the best enzymes we have," says Jenna, for helping support digestion of holiday meals. She also likes chewable papaya enzymes, both of which can be taken during a meal. You can also support your digestion after a meal by sipping a cup of Traditional Medicinals' Eater's Digest Tea. "It contains a number of medicinal herbs that help stimulate your digestion should you feel bloated or sluggish after a meal," says Jenna. "It is a good standby should you happen to overindulge and eat too much."

    For more recommendations on facing holiday health challenges, speak with a Pharmaca practitioner today.

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