Archive for ‘Herbs’

December 6, 2013

Holiday Stress? Not This Year!

Between deadlines, holiday shopping budgets, crowded stores, long lines, and the odd family dust-up, stress is pretty much a given this time of year. But even if it feels like your stress is insurmountable, managing it is possible—and it’s easier than you probably think.

This increased stress manifests in all sorts of emotional and physical ways, from sadness and lack of motivation to headaches and muscle tension. More than half of the Americans surveyed also reported fatigue and lying awake at night, and 60 percent reported irritability or anger.

Stress screamSupplements can also help you deal with stress, and magnesium is the top stress-buster! It is estimated that 70 percent of U.S. citizens are deficient in magnesium, which could be one reason why so many people have difficulty dealing with stress.

B-complex vitamins are also a good idea, as they help boost production of serotonin and other “feel good” chemicals in the brain.

Other options include Holy Basil, which helps reduce cortisol levels (stress hormones that make you store fat), and Licorice Root or Siberian Ginseng tinctures or supplements to offer adrenal support. Strong adrenals keep your energy levels high!

L-Theanine is a wonderful supplement to use when you are feeling frazzled. L-Theanine is a compound found in green and black tea that has a wonderfully calming effect on the brain without making you feel dopey or drowsy. You can take it during the daytime or at night to help stop your mind from going a mile-a-minute. While it won’t make you sleepy, it will help you settle down so you can go to sleep.

As stress piles up this holiday season and you start to feel pulled in 20 different directions, don’t forget to take a few minutes for yourself each day. It’s important to unwind and relax so that you don’t end up sick through the holidays. That’s no fun for anyone!

Pick up what you need at you favorite Baums store today and enjoy yourself this holiday season!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
October 11, 2013

Are You Tired of Having A Bad Hair Day, Everyday?

Hair, skin and nails can speak volumes about one’s health, and  can be a reflection of inner health most of the time. Yet, sometimes no matter what steps a person takes, their hair and skin look  dry, dull and older than desired. This can be the result of stress, excess sun exposure, insufficient antioxidants, metabolic conditions and many other factors. This does not necessarily mean that a person is not healthy on the inside, yet they may not fully embody that radiant glow from within.

Supplementing your diet with nutritious foods filled with vitamins and other nutrients is beneficial for your skin, nails and hair, as vitamins help to keep your body healthy and strong. Also, they can help numerous conditions that can affect the health of your skin, nails and hair.

Baums Carries an array of great formulas that incorporate vitamins, amino acids, herbs and other nutrients to help regain strong, healthy  hair, skin and nails. Many of these formulas include the following:

Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin. Antioxidants are responsible for neutralizing free radicals, unstable molecules that may possibly harm your skin, nails and hair, making them become weak. Vitamin C helps to form collagen, a protein that is used to make skin and other connective tissues. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, low intake of vitamin C may result in dry hair and skin.

Biotin, sometimes referred to as “Vitamin H”, is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that a diet low in biotin may result in symptoms such as dry, scaly skin or hair loss. Biotin is an essential nutrient, as it helps  hair and nails that are thin or brittle. It is widely used to help with hair loss and stimulate hair growth in chemotherapy patients.  Biotin also helps our bodies to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates.

A deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, which stunts hair growth.  Several other B vitamins help with hair loss or slow hair growth as well. Panthenol, or Vitamin B5 is often used externally in shampoos and other hair products to help increase thickness.

Vitamin E is yet another antioxidant vitamin, effective in reducing damage that free radicals may cause your skin, nails and hair. Natural News reports that vitamin E helps to keep your hair healthy and aids in the prevention of hair loss by stimulating capillary growth and hair follicles, which are responsible for growing hair. Also, vitamin E encourages healthy hair growth by enhancing blood flow in your scalp.

Vitamin A  is also an antioxidant vitamin. A deficiency can be manifested as poor wound healing and acne. Vitamin A helps dry skin, ensuring that your skin is moist and hydrated.

The most well-known herb used for adding beauty and luster to the hair when taken orally is horsetail. Named for its long brush-like appearance, this herb is packed with a nutrient called silica. Silica is a substance that strengthens bones, nails, skin & hair. The presence of silica in our bodies can maintain the luster in our hair, the strength in our nails and the tone of our skin. It adds resilience to the hair by fortifying it with strength and thereby lessening breakage and thinning. Silica also is known for increasing shine and body. Use daily for brittle or unhealthy hair.

Rosemary is an excellent herb to use topically to promote hair growth and increase scalp health. When applied to the scalp rosemary increases circulation and helps to gently remove excess sebum and dandruff, which can inhibit healthy hair growth.

Lavender is another herb that enhances the beauty of the hair. Lavender helps increase shine and gently cleanse deposits that dull the hair.

Hops are not only a main ingredient in beer, they also make an excellent natural hair conditioner and softener when applied topically. The herb also contains silica so it helps fortify the hair from within to add strength and resilience.

Essential Fatty Acids—Want healthy skin, hair and nails? Dr, Andrew Weil says: Try taking the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). This essential fatty acid offers a wide range of benefits, from acting as an effective anti-inflammatory agent to promoting the healthy growth of skin, hair and nails. GLA can also be used effectively for other conditions such as brittle nails and hair, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and premenstrual syndrome.

Unfortunately, GLA is hard to come by in the diet, so supplements are necessary. Three good, natural sources are Evening Primrose oil, Black Currant oil and Borage oil. Do not expect immediate results when taking GLA: it takes six to eight weeks to see changes after adding GLA to the diet.

Skin’s Best Friend, Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance within the body that  hydrates the skin. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid that helps the skin look healthy. As we grow older, the ability of the skin to produce hyaluronic acid decreases and the amount of HA begins to fall. Since hyaluronic acid helps to bind water, the ability of the skin to retain water also declines with age. As a result, the skin becomes drier, thinner, and less able to restore itself. The loss of skin fullness also means that the skin becomes looser. This leads to wrinkling and an older appearance. Using a topical HA serum can have dramatic effects on skin health.  Hyalogic makes a Hyaluronic Acid Cream as well as a Hydrating Mist that work wonders on dry, dull skin!

Everything mentioned in this article is available at Baums Natural Foods stores. Stop in and check out our great Hair, Skin and Nail formulas as well as our cosmetic section .  Give your body what it needs to look and feel your best everyday!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

January 10, 2013

What Can You Do About an Enlarged Prostate?

What Causes an Enlarged Prostate?

The male prostate becomes inflamed and irritated because of elevated levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT is normally present throughout the body in small amounts, but as men age, their bodies tend to produce more DHT, which binds to androgen (male hormone) receptors on the prostate and stimulates cellular responses that lead to an enlarged prostate, also called benign prostate hyperplasia, or BPH.

An enlarged prostate causes urinary problems, such as:

  • urinating often
  • slow urination, needing to wait for urination to start
  • urinating during sleep
  • interrupted urination that starts and stops
  • straining or pushing hard in order to urinate
  • leakage or dribbling at the end of urination

One of the problems with BPH is that it is not usually painful. That means many people will leave it untreated thinking that there will not be any negative side effects. This is a very bad assumption. Left untreated BPH can lead to urinary tract infections as well as bladder stones. Also,  BPH is a progressive disease, so the longer it is left untreated, the worse it will get.

What Can You Do About an Enlarged Prostate?

Saw Palmetto – is the most popular and researched prostate herb. Saw Palmetto contains Beta Sitosterol, a powerful compound that interferes with the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Studies show that Saw Palmetto shrinks enlarged prostates & relieves urinary problems.
Other important nutrients for prostate problems

Zinc – an important mineral for many bodily processes, a zinc deficiency predisposes the prostate gland to infection, which could eventually lead to enlargement.

Vitamin B6 – along with zinc, Vitamin B6 regulates the hormone that converts testosterone to DHT, and helps prevent swelling of the prostate.

Lycopene – this extract from tomatoes contains powerful antioxidants that may be able to reduce BPH inflammation and prevent prostate cancer.

Baums carries a variety of prostate formulas, such as Saw Palmetto Pygeum Plus! Get started on one today.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

May 23, 2012

Is That Summer Glow Putting You at Risk?

It seems that we all got a great start to a healthy, summer glow with all of the beautiful weather we had in March. It also means that a lot of us didn’t really think about using any sunblock (all-natural, of course) being that is was so early in the season. While giving your body a heaping dose of vitamin D3 from the sun, which is encouraged, moderation is the key. Anywhere from 15-30 minutes of direct sunlight to exposed skin is recommended a few times a week. Cloudy days and pollution can block the UVB rays that produce Vitamin D, so use your best judgment.

There are two major forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is among the most common forms of cancer, with more than a half million new cases reported each year. Fortunately, it is a relatively benign disease with a very high cure rate. It develops on skin that is exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun over a period of years. It can also develop after exposure to arsenic. Basal cell carcinoma is most common on the scalp, face, neck, hands, and forearms. It is most prevalent in fair-skinned people.

Besides basal cell carcinoma, the other most common type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Both are highly curable if treated early. However, recurrences are common, and if they are not treated properly, they can spread and damage the deeper layers of the skin and even the bone.

Melanoma occurs less frequently than basal cell carcinoma but is much more aggressive. Therefore, all suspicious growths should be brought to a doctor’s attention.Melanoma is increasing at an alarming rate. Ten years ago chances of developing malignant melanoma were 1 in 250; today estimates that an individual will have malignant melanoma are 1 in 70. In raw numbers, nearly 50,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year. And while melanoma accounts for just four percent of skin cancer cases, it causes 79 percent of skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.

When sunlight hits exposed skin, it causes free-radical damage to skin tissues, reduces elasticity and contributes to the formation of “age spots,” wrinkles, and increases the risk of developing skin cancer. In clinical trials, a number of antioxidants have been found to be capable of  neutralizing the oxidative stress caused by overexposure to sunlight. These antioxidants include:

Selenium– (as selenomethionine) Laboratory studies show that selenium reduces the spread of melanoma cells.

Polyphenols–  Polyphenols can block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth and they can deactivate substances that promote the growth of cancers.

The polyphenol most strongly associated with cancer prevention is EGCG which is found most commonly in tea. Tea and coffee are very rich sources certain types of polyphenols. Choose caffeinated tea and coffee, as the decaffeination process may remove polyphenols along with the caffeine.
Drink red wine and beer instead of other alcoholic beverages. Hard liquor is distilled so essentially does not contain polyphenols.

Resveratrol is a compound found in red wine grape skins that is extremely high in polyphenols. Try taking the supplement in it’s in concentrated form so you won’t be seen constantly walking around town with a wine glass in your hand! (One to try: Resveratrol Forte’ from Enzymatic Therapy) . Foods such as blueberries, pomegranates, red grapes & cranberries are high in polyphenols. So are onions, turmeric, dark chocolate, and unfiltered olive oils.

Vitamins– Vitamin A (vegetable source cartotenoids) ,C,D & E all help prevent skin cancer, especially when take together.
Vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, is also essential for the formation and maintenance of healthy skin.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids-DHA, a main component of fish oil, is highly effective in inhibiting the growth of human melanoma cells.

From the list above, you can draw the conclusion that if you ate a super-clean, healthy diet loaded with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you could drastically cut your risk of developing skin cancer. Most people don’t eat that well so supplements are needed to fill in the gaps.  Do yourself a favor and get started on the ones you need to stay protected right through the summer months.

What About Sunscreen?

If you look at the labels on most sunscreens, they contain some pretty nasty chemicals, such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone. These are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man!  If your sunscreen contains them, please switch to a natural formula that is safe and healthy for your skin. Jason, Alba, Dr. Mercola and Kiss My Face are all great companies that offer sunscreens in many different SPF’s and children’s formulas that work just as well as chemical-laden sunscreens.  If there is one thing none of us needs, it’s more toxic chemicals!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

April 26, 2012

Benefits of Saffron

Saffron is basically a flowering plant which is widely used as a culinary spice. It is also used in herbal supplements due to its varied health benefits. Right from treating depression, asthma, atherosclerosis and stressful menstrual cycles, saffron’s benefits extend to even treating cancer and helping to lower bad cholesterol levels.

Saffron is in fact, an expensive spice made from the saffron crocus flower. Research indicates that a few compounds in saffron do promote anti-cancer activity. It also helps in stimulating the secretion of stomach acids which supposedly assists in the contraction of muscles, for instance, as in the uterus.

Health benefits and uses of saffron- Reddish golden in color, saffron is used basically as a seasoning agent in cooking and also as a coloring agent. In fact, saffron is one of nature’s highly powerful herbs. From time immemorial, saffron is known to have helped relieve stomach aches and kidney stones. It also improves circulation of blood.

A vital herb with multiple benefits, it is believed that in ancient days, grand moms used to mix a few sprigs of saffron in hot milk as a night cap for their grand children, to induce sound sleep and good health. It’s been scientifically proven that saffron contains carotenoids which play a vital role in inhibiting skin tumors, improving vision and relieving aches and pains of arthritic conditions. It’s been proven after a recent trial that this aromatic golden herb may prove instrumental in preventing loss of vision in the elderly. This is a proven fact in scientific circles that saffron helps to regain vision in the instances of cataract.

Saffron contains a compound by the name “crocin” which is helpful in promoting learning, memory retention and recall capacity to a great extent. Several studies have shown encouraging results that saffron might be great in the treatment and management of age related mental impairment.

Saffron contains certain active constituents which are known to produce positive effects in patients suffering from neuro-degenerative disorders. In case of soreness or inflammation of the mouth and tongue, try massaging gums with saffron. Discomfort is relieved almost immediately.

Medical studies over the years have proven beyond doubt that this golden herb enhances oxygen diffusivity in plasma and other liquids. It also improves pulmonary oxygenation. High levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides can be lowered by including saffron as a dietary intake, or as an herbal supplement.

For those suffering from conditions of acute dryness of skin, application of saffron cream typically on affected areas will help relieve the symptoms. In combination with other herbs, saffron is also reputed to be a good remedy for insomnia, coughing, indigestion and even baldness.
How to find out genuineness of saffron ?

How to find out genuineness of saffron ?

While buying saffron, to ascertain its genuineness, and to find out whether it is fake or adulterated, immerse a tiny piece of it in warm water or milk. If the milk or water colors immediately, then it is adulterated. Genuine saffron takes about ten to fifteen minutes of soaking in warm water or milk before it can turn a deep red color or emanate a wonderful aroma.

As mentioned previously, this highly valued spice helps to protect your eyes from being damaged by harmful UV rays. It is known to slow down considerably the progression of eye diseases like macular degeneration, which can in turn cause blindness.

Saffron has unique compounds like crocin and safranel which belong to a family of carotenoids. This includes beta carotene and this is which gives saffron it’s color. Not only do these compounds play a major role in preserving eye sight, they possess anti cancer properties too. Besides, they help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies reveal encouraging reports regarding macular degeneration patients, who were fed on a diet containing saffron, and they began showing signs of cell recovery and improved vision. Saffron affects the genes, regulating the fatty acid control of the cell membranes, which in turn makes vision cells tougher and resistant.

The compounds of crocin and safranel have anti tumor effects as well. Saffron greatly boosts immunity by aiding in the maturation of white blood cells, as well as accelerating the levels of enzymes that help the body to track down toxins.

For those suffering from acute premenstrual syndrome, saffron is like an answer to fervent prayers. It eases irritability, depression, and mood swings, symptoms typical to this syndrome.

Apart from numerous health benefits, saffron when added to a dish turns it into a truly exotic one, with appetite enhancing aromas wafting out of it. Even as it boosts the appetite, it improves digestion too. It’s a well known fact that this spicy aromatic herb is used in the treatment of kidney, bladder and liver disorders and also assists in improving circulation to the digestive system. While coating the membranes of the stomach and colon, saffron gently aids in soothing symptoms of gastro intestinal acidity and colic. For those afflicted with gastro intestinal disorders, acidity and related problems, saffron is like the boon from high heavens.

Over ninety disorders can be treated using this wonderful golden spice. Saffron is a great blood purifier and displays anti-inflammatory properties too. For those afflicted with severe inflammatory arthritis, intake of saffron provides relief from joint pains.

Saffron is just great for athletes as it eases fatigue and muscle inflammation by aiding tissues to get rid of lactic acid, which gets stored in joints after strenuous exercise regimen. It has mild sedative properties and can be safely used to provide ample rest during influenza and fever, and also to cure insomnia. Saffron helps in stepping up of oxygen content in blood, promoting over all health and well being in a person. This golden spice is a highly plausible remedy for a variety of illnesses, ranging from fatigue, sore gums, to heart disease and cancer. Research studies on saffron continue to reveal yet more eye opening results to benefit the human race.

Saffron does more than just add flavor and color to food. It can proudly boast of a three thousand year history of medicinal uses. This aromatic spice can even speed up the healing of burns and cuts. It is the anti inflammatory properties of saffron that is responsible for speeding up the healing process.

This amazing spice is always full of delightful surprises and can, over the years greatly benefit man kind in an amazingly astounding manner.

Reposted from NaturalHealthCure.com

Be sure to stop into Baum’s to pick up your bottle today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

March 8, 2012

The World’s Primary Medicines by The Medicine Hunter

 A full 80 percent of the world’s population employs herbs as their primary medicines. And while drugstore shelves in the US are stocked mostly with synthetic remedies, in other parts of the world the situation is quite different. In Germany, pharmacies dispense herbs prescribed by physicians.

Plants (aka Herbs)

The term “herbs” refers to plants or parts of them, including grasses, flowers, berries, seeds, leaves, nuts, stems, stalks and roots, which are used for their therapeutic and health-enhancing properties. Generations of skilled herbal practitioners, researchers and scholars have refined and tested the vast science of herbology, producing thousands of plant-based remedies that are safe and effective. The proper and judicious use of herbs is often successful in the treatment of illness when other, more conventional medicines and methods fail. Herbs can be used to cleanse the bowels, open congested sinuses, help mend broken bones, stimulate the brain, increase libido, ease pain, aid digestion, and a thousand other purposes. Topically, herbs can repair damaged skin, soothe a wound, improve complexion, heal bruises and relieve aching muscles. Herbs demonstrate great versatility for the treatment of a broad variety of health needs.

For over 5 billion people worldwide, natural plant-based remedies are used for both acute and chronic health problems, from treating common colds to controlling blood pressure and cholesterol. Not so long ago, this was true in the US as well. As late as the early 1950’s, many of the larger pharmaceutical companies still offered a broad variety of plant-based drugs in tablet, liquid and ointment forms.

Plants are the original source materials for as much as 40 percent of the pharmaceuticals in use in the United States today. This is to say that either the drugs currently contain plant-derived materials, or synthesized materials from agents originally derived from plants. Some medicines, such as the cancer drug Taxol (from Taxusbrevifolia) and the anti-malarial quinine from Cinchona pubescens and are manufactured from plants. Other medicinal agents such as pseudoephedrine originally derived from ephedra species, and menthol and methylsalicylate, originally derived from frommentha species and wintergreen (gaultheria procumbens) respectively, are now synthesized.

Herbal Use 60,000 Years Ago

Neanderthals lived from about 200,000 years ago until roughly 30,000 years ago in Europe and western Asia. They coexisted with modern humans for most of the period but then mysteriously vanished. Physical evidence of use of herbal remedies goes back some 60,000 years to a burial site at Shanidar Cave, Iraq, in which a Neanderthal man was uncovered in 1960. He had been buried with eight species of plants, seven of which are still used for medicinal purposes today.

The Ice Man’s Medicine

On September 19, 1991, one of the most extraordinary discoveries of our century took place in Austria’s Otzal Alps, when two hikers discovered an ice mummy preserved by freezing. The analysis of samples of organic tissues has determined that the Iceman lived between 3350 and 3100 B.C.The Ice Man died approximately 5200 years ago. At death he was between 40 and 50 years old and suffered from a number of medical conditions. He turned into a mummy accidentally almost immediately by the freezing weather conditions that turned him into the Ice Man. The Ice Man’s possessions have given scientists a better look at what life was during the Neolithic Age in Europe. Perhaps the most valuable possession, according to many scientists, was his “medicine kit,” two walnut-sized lumps of a birch fungus used as a laxative and as a natural antibiotic.

Plant Medicines, Safe and Time-Tested

Plant medicines are generally safe, gentle and effective for human health needs. This is so because human beings have co-evolved with plants over the past few million years. We eat plants, drink their juices, ferment and distill libations from them, and consume them in a thousand forms. Ingredients in plants, from carbohydrates, fats and protein to vitamins and minerals, are part of our body composition and chemistry. Unlike synthetic molecules, the compounds in plants are familiar to our bodies, and we can metabolize them.

Plants and Humans Share Similarities

Some compounds perform the same functions in plants and in the body. Natural antioxidant phenols in plants, for example, protect plant cells from oxidation, and often perform the same function in the human body. Our bodies know the substances that occur in plants, and possess sophisticated mechanisms for metabolizing plant materials.The regular and judicious use of herbs to protect and promote health and as medicines to help treat common ailments is an enlightened approach to personal well-being.

Plants Can Be Dangerous Too

Plants can also pose a danger to human health. Drink a tea made from oleander leaves or chew a mouthful of foxglove and you’ll be dead in a hurry. On the other hand, if you use any of the thousands of healthful herbs that have been utilized as traditional medicines over the past few millennia, in dosage ranges that have been determined by centuries of trial and error, you are most likely to benefit without any negative side effects. Plants are our friends, foods, and medicines.

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, and researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. Chris teaches ethnobotany at U Mass Amherst where he is Explorer In Residence. He advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies , and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France.
Visit his web site at www.MedicineHunter.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.