You can boost the detoxifying effects of a plant based diet with a fiber-based herbal cleanse. Adding an all-natural DrNatura Cleanse to your whole-foods diet can help stimulate digestion while sweeping the GI tract clear of wastes and toxins. Look for a cleanse that combines powerful psyllium fiber husks with soothing and stimulating digestive herbs like fennel seed, rhubarb root and/or slippery elm bark.
AcidophilusLactobacillus acidophilus is a ‘friendly’ organism which helps the body fight disease and restore health. Modern research has discovered that acidophilus kills the harmful bacteria strain of E. coli in the intestinal tract. Acidophilus breaks milk sugar down into lactic acid. Bacteria which produce putrefaction and gas in the intestines cannot live in lactic acid. Acidophilus also has the unique ability to help the body synthesize, or manufacture all of the ‘B’ vitamins in the system. This makes it especially valuable since there is literally a host of agents which destroy B vitamins. A few are antibiotics, birth control pills, eating sugar and refined foods and drinking coffee. A diet high in red meat will destroy the beneficial bacteria, due to the concentration of antibiotics and steroids given to the animals before they are slaughtered. Lactobacillus acidophilus has been used to restore normal oral, GI, and vaginal flora in those affected by antibiotics or by Candida and bacterial infections.
AlfalfaAlfalfa is a well-known herb to health-conscious consumers. It is high in nutrients, which are drawn into the plant from deep in the soil. The richest land source of trace minerals, the roots of Alfalfa plants have been known to reach as much as thirty feet deep! The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene. They are also a source of protein, vitamin E and vitamin K. Alfalfa has been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to treat kidney stones, and to relieve fluid retention and swelling. Alfalfa nourishes the digestive, skeletal, glandular, and urinary systems. Alfalfa contains chlorophyll, which is renowned for its cleansing qualities.
Aloe VeraAloe vera has historically been known for assisting the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, and for its properties of soothing, cleansing and helping the body to maintain healthy tissues. This plant has a reputation of facilitating digestion, aiding blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as kidney, liver and gall bladder functions. Aloe contains at least three anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach, small intestine and colon. It naturally alkalizes digestive juices to prevent overacidity – a common cause of digestive complaints. A newly discovered compound in aloe, acemannan, is currently being studied for its ability to strengthen the immune system. Studies have shown acemannan to boost T-lymphocyte cells that aid natural resistance.
AngelicaAngelica has been used to stimulate gastric secretion, reduce flatulence, and treat rheumatic and skin disorders by topical application .
AntioxidantsAntioxidants are substances, such as grape seed or pine bark extract, vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta carotene, that appear to protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. This would make them especially helpful for the circulatory system and for soft tissue maintenance.
Apple Cider Vinegar(should be organic, raw & unfiltered!) Apple cider vinegar helps the body get rid of toxins and nourishes the digestive processes. Apple cider vinegar is an old folk remedy claimed to be beneficial in treating a long list of ailments. Proponents say that it can cure arthritis, guard against osteoporosis, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent cancer, destroy infection, assist in digestion and weight control, maintain memory, and protect the mind from aging. Those who have tried using it swear by it. Skeptics who have not tried it swear at proponents of this “folk remedy”.
B ComplexB-complex vitamins play many roles in the human body, but primarily they nourish the brain and nervous system. A diet high in refined foods or a life full of stress puts a greater demand on the body for these important nutrients. B1 – skin, eyes, hair; B2 – nourishes the tissues of the body; B6 – mild diuretic, PMS; B12 – anxiety and depression; Folic Acid – works synergistically with B12, cell division and replication; Biotin – metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates, cholesterol; B3 (Niacin) – energy production; Pantothenic acid – nourishes the adrenal glands which help the body to withstand stress; PABA – works synergistically with folic acid; Choline bitartrate – helps make acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain; Inositol – metabolism of fat and cholesterol; absorption and utilization of fat.
Bee PollenBee pollen is a rich source of many nutrients, including amino acids. It bursts with easily assimilated protein and lecithin, which nourish the brain and nervous system. Bee Pollen nutritionally supports the body in many ways, including assisting with vitality and a feeling of well-being. It has been used by athletes, along with Ginseng, to maintain energy and stamina.
Beta-CaroteneTanning tablets containing beta-carotene and canthaxanthin have been available over the counter to promote the appearance of a “suntan”. Tanning tablets have been used to give a natural-looking skin tan, prevent photosensitivity in people with inherited erythropoietic protoporphyria, and in the treatment of vitiligo.
Beta-glucansBeta-glucans stimulate the activation of NK cells and therefore are helpful against tumors. Has also been used to stop certain bacterial infections.
BilberryBilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) contains nutrients that protect eyes from eyestrain or fatigue, and can improve circulation to the eyes. When British Royal Air Force pilots During World War II ate Bilberry preserves before night missions and discovered that their night vision improved afterwards, this herb was investigated and found to be beneficial for the eyes. Bilberry works by improving the microcirculation and regeneration of retinal purple, a substance required for good eyesight. It is believed that this property is related to the high amount of proanthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid that tends to prevent capillary fragility and strengthen the capillaries which nourish the eyes. Other properties appear to assist in thinning the blood and stimulating the release of vasodilators. Anthocyanin, a natural antioxidant, also lowers blood pressure, reduces clotting and improves blood supply to the nervous system. Anthocyanosides support and enhance the health of collagen structures in the blood vessels of the eyes, thus aiding in the development of strong healthy capillaries that can carry vital nutrients to eye muscles and nerves. Bilberry has long been a remedy for poor vision and “night blindness.” Clinical tests have indicated that oral administration of bilberry tends to improve visual accuracy in healthy people and can help those with eye disorders such as pigmentosa, retinitis, glaucoma, and myopia.
BioflavonoidsBioflavonoids are nutrients which are related to the Vitamin C family. They cannot be synthesized by the body, and therefore must be obtained from food or supplements. Bioflavonoids are helpful in nourishing the integrity and strength of capillaries and cells.
BiotinBiotin assists in the metabolism of fat and protein. It nourishes muscles. Black Cohosh Black Cohosh has traditionally been used to calm the nervous system by nourishing blood vessels, and balancing the hormones in menopausal women. Studies show it contains substances that bind to estrogen receptors. Black Currant Oil Black currant oil is rich in linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This substance supports the body’s manufacture of hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins which help regulate functions of the circulatory system. GLA assists the body with its energy processes and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Black Walnut Black Walnut hulls contain a substance which helps the body eliminate parasites. Although this is the primary purpose of this herb, it is also used for poison oak, ringworm and skin ailments. It has antifungal properties and is also said to promote bowel regularity. Borage Oil Borage oil is an excellent source of gamma-linolenic acid. It also nourishes the heart. Boron Boron may retard bone loss. There are indications that boron increases the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as controls the urinary loss of these minerals. The ability to use energy and to think may also be related to boron levels, but this is not yet confirmed. Boron be be nutritionally supportive in conditions of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Calcium Calcium is essential to strong bones and may prevent osteoporosis. Calcium Pantothenate Calcium pantothenate nutritionally supports the glandular system and helps promote a feeling of well-being. Caprylic Acid Caprylic acid is a nutrient from coconuts which helps burst yeast cells and hinder their reproduction. Cardiospermum The flowering tropical vine Cardiospermum halicacabum, a plant that has been used as a medicine in Africa & India for centuries, has been prescribed for years by European skin specialists and family doctors. In a study of 833 patients with eczema, better than 4 out of 5 subjects reported improvement or remission of symptoms (inflammation, swelling, scaling, blisters/vesicles, dry skin, itching, burning and pain). Carnitine L-carnitine is an amino acid which nourishes the heart, nourishes and strengthens muscles, and nutritionally supports the circulatory system. L-Carnitine is considered to be a “carrier” of fat to the mitochondria or “fatburning” area of the cell. This remarkable amino acid-like substance is not only necessary for the metabolism of fat at the cellular level; it is also essential in the forming of firm, lean muscle tissue in the body. Recent studies support earlier research which shows that the heart has the greatest amount of L-Carnitine of any muscle in the body. L-Carnitine has also shown to be instrumental in the metabolism of cholesterol. Some overweight people may lack L-Carnitine in their bodies. The heart produces most of its energy from fats; thus is dependent upon L-carnitine. An L-Carnitine deficiency causes extreme metabolic impairment to heart tissue. On the other hand, supplemental L-Carnitine has proved to be beneficial to heart patients. Cat’s Claw (“Una de Gato”) Cat’s Claw has been used for Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, hemorrhoids, fistulas, gastritis, ulcers, parasites, intestinal flora imbalance, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, environmental toxic poisoning, organic depression and those infected with the HIV virus. Most of the clinical research which show these alkaloids to be antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulating, antimutagenic, antioxidant, etc., are tests done “in-vitro” (proven in the test tube) not “in-vivo” (proven in the human body). Cayenne Cayenne is a pepper well known for its benefits to the circulatory system. It aids the body to balance pressure levels and resist abnormal bleeding. Cayenne also nourishes the digestive system. This plant assists in the body’s utilization of other herbs, when used in an herbal combination. When applied topically, it helps relieve minor discomfort. Celery Seed Celery seeds contain vitamins A, C and B-complex. Cetyl Myristate Cetyl myristate, cetyl myristoleate, and other cetyl esters help lubricate the joints, increasing mobility and encouraging a more active lifestyle. These ingredients have captured significant attention recently with researchers and scientists involved in the discovery of natural ingredients that support joint health. Chamomile Chamomile has been traditionally used for treating insomnia, anxiety, menopausal depression, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, colic, aches and pains of flu, migraine, neuralgia, teething, vertigo, motion sickness, conjunctivitis, inflamed skin, and urticaria. Choline Choline helps in the formation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, which assists brain function and health. It also helps the body break down fats effectively. Chromium Chromium is necessary for the body to convert glucose to energy. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study has shown that nine out of ten Americans get less than the low end range of chromium recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. Biologically-active chromium (as found in ChromaTone), helps maximize the body’s efficient use of insulin. Insulin regulates the metabolism of blood sugar, lipids (including cholesterol) and protein. Studies also indicate that chromium, when combined with appropriate exercise, has very positive muscle-tissue building and toning properties. Chromium Polynicotinate Chromium polynicotinate is nutritionally beneficial as an appetite suppressant and for normalizing blood sugars. Cinnamon Cinnamon has received much publicity since early 2004 about its effectiveness in reducing high cholesterol and triglycerides. Cinnamon bark or oil has been used to fight microorganisms, diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal disorders, and dysmennorhea. Coconut Oil Some nutritionists and health professionals have called coconut oil the healthiest oil on Earth. There are now indications that there may be benefits for those with heart disease as well as Alzheimer’s disease! Co-enzyme Q10 Studies that have been conducted on this co-enzyme in the past 40 years demonstrate that it can help maintain healthy immune and cardiovascular systems, tissues and organs, and oral health (especially the gums). It also assists the body to maintain proper weight balance. Cranberry Cranberry contains a compound that prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder and rest of the urinary tract. This prevents the bacteria from spreading and eventually results in the halt of infection. Using cranberry on a regular basis may help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Cruciferous Vegetables Research conducted by Dr. Jon Michnovicz of the Institute for Hormone Research and Dr. Leon Bradlow of the Strang Institute, suggests that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts may reduce the risk of certain cancers, particularly breast cancer. Cruciferous vegetables contain indoles – a unique class of phytonutrients that have been scientifically shown to balance hormone levels, detoxify the intestines and liver and reinforce the body’s immune system. Devil’s Claw Devil’s Claw has been used traditionally for an extensive range of diseases, including arthritis and rheumatism. Research has suggested that it may be of assistance as a hypotensive, anti-arrhythmic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) Essential fatty acids are dietary fats required for a healthy nervous and immune system. For example, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important constituent of brain cell membranes. Many fats can be synthesized by the body, but some, like DHA, must be obtained through the diet. DHA is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, and the omega-3-type fats must be kept in balance with omega-6 fats to insure that proper physiological functioning can be maintained. While omega-6’s are abundant in the typical American diet – occurring in most vegetable oils – omega-3’s are harder to come by. One good source, however, is fish. DHEA DHEA is a short name for the fancier name of Dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone normally produced by the adrenal glands, but which diminishes as a person ages. It is a precursor to male (androgens) and female (estrogens) steroid hormones. DHEA seems to increase a feeling of vitality in many people. Dong Quai Dong Quai has traditionally been used to relieve pain in rheumatism, to suppress allergies, and to treat menstrual disorders. It has been shown to possess antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and anticoagulant properties. Enzymes The enzymes Amylase, Cellulase, Invertase, Lipase, Protease, Glucoamylase act as catalysts for proper assimilation of vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Essential Fatty Acids Essential fatty acids (EFA), sometimes referred to as vitamin F, cannot be made from the body – they must be supplied in the diet. Essential fatty acids nourish the body at the very foundation of health . . . at the cellular level. They strengthen cell membranes to fortify against the invasion of harmful microorganisms. These nutrients also help dissolve body fat and increase metabolism and energy production. Thus, they are also very helpful in a comprehensive weight management program. Essential Fatty Acids help reduce cravings for sweet and fatty foods. Evening Primrose Oil Evening primrose oil supplies both linolenic and linoleic essential fatty acids. Fennel Fennel has been used as a stomach and intestinal remedy to relieve flatulence and colic, as well as to stimulate digestion and appetite. It also has a calming effect on coughs and bronchitis. Feverfew Feverfew has been found helpful by many in the treatment of migraine headaches, especially when these are relieved by applying warmth to the head. Feverfew may also be helpful with arthritis when it is in an inflammatory stage. Flaxseed Oil Flaxseed oil may have anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic activities. Development of atherosclerosis has been reduced by up to 69% in some studies using diets enriched with flaxseed. Flaxseed has been recommended by some for hyperlipidemia, to decrease platelet aggregation, and to help prevent heart attack and stroke. It may have some ability to lower blood pressure and to have anti-inflammatory effects in persons with arthritis, as well as assist in fighting breast cancer. Folic Acid Folic acid is a vitamin that stimulates the formation of normal red blood cells. Folic acid helps nourish the skin and nervous system. Garcinia cambogia Garcinia cambogia slows the body’s conversion of carbohydrates and excess calories to fat, decreasing production of harmful fats (low-density lipoproteins), promoting sustained energy levels by enhancing the body’s production of glycogen, reducing the body’s desire for excess food; helping to nutritionally support the metabolism and burn calories. Human studies indicate that Garcinia, also known as HCA (hydroxycitric acid) may be especially effective when combined with chromium and L-carnitine. Garlic Garlic provides nourishment for the circulatory, immune and urinary systems. It aids in supporting with normal circulation, nourishing stomach tissues, maintaining normal blood pressure and aids the body’s natural ability to resist disease. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and fungicide. Germanium This trace mineral is a potent antioxidant. It improves oxygen flow to cells, and strengthens the immune system. It has pain-relieving properties and studies have shown that organic germanium (sesquioxide) can nutritionally support the body’s defense system. Many people have attributed remarkable benefits with the intake of Germanium. One woman had suffered many years with arthritis, nervous problems and a painful muscle disease called “fibrositis.” She could not stand to even barely be touched because it caused her such agony. This person began taking one capsule daily of 30 mg. of germanium sesquioxide, which also had odorless garlic added. She said, “Now I’m on ‘cloud nine’ since taking Germanium … and I have so much energy, I don’t know what to do with it all!” Ginger Ginger has been used as a stimulant of the peripheral circulation in cases of bad circulation, chilblains and cramps. In cases of fever, ginger may act as a diaphoretic to promote perspiration. It may also be effective, as a gargle, in relieving sore throats. Glucosamine Glucosamine stimulates the body’s manufacture of collagen, the protein portion of the fibrous substance that holds joints together. Collagen is also the main component of the shock-absorbing cushion called articular cartilage the white smooth surface which covers the ends of body joints such as those in the wrist, fingers, toes, ankles, knees, hips and between the discs of the spine. Glycogen Glycogen is the body’s natural form of stored energy. Glycogen provides the long drive of energy known as the athlete’s “second wind.” Stored half in the muscles and half in the liver, glycogen is enzymatically controlled for a natural time release of energy to maintain necessary blood sugar levels. Grapefruit Pectin Grapefruit pectin (derived from the pulp and rind of this citrus fruit) is a type of fiber which can bind toxins and help eliminate them from the body. Grapeseed Extract Grapeseed extract is a rich source of potent antioxidant bioflavonoids known as proanthocyanidins. Grape seed extract provides 92-95% potency, as compared to 80-84% yielded by pine bark. This means that its antioxidant and nutritional properties are far superior. According to proanthocyanidin researcher, Dr. Jack Masquelier, only grape seeds contain powerful gallic esters, dynamic ingredients in the battle against free radicals. Horse Chestnut Horse chestnut may be useful against edema, inflammation, and venous insufficiency, especially with circulation in the legs. Inositol Inositol nourishes the brain and helps balance cholesterol levels. It also helps the body break down fats effectively. Iodine The thyroid depends upon minerals, especially iodine, to function properly and to secrete adequate amounts of thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones influence metabolic rate and body temperature, as well as regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate utilization in cells. Iron In North America, 58% of the population consume less than the recommended daily amount of iron. Iron deficiency is the single most common nutrient deficiency in the world today. Growing children, females and athletes all have increased need for iron in order to avoid anemia. Iron is vital to healthy blood and an essential part of the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin of the blood. Kava Kava has been reported to have mild sedative effects and has been used for nervous anxiety, stress, and restlessness. Heavy kava use can cause visual problems and a scaly skin rash. Rare cases of severe liver toxicity also have been reported. Kelp Kelp contains nearly thirty minerals which nourish the glands (especially the thyroid and pituitary). By enhancing the action of the glandular system, it helps balance the body’s metabolism and rate at which it burns calories. Kelp, also known as seaweed, grows in the rich ocean beds, far below surface pollution levels. Because of its high nutrient content, this herb is reputedly beneficial for a wide range of applications. It is known to nourish the sensory nerves, brain membranes, also spinal cord and brain tissue. Kelp contains alginic acid which can help protect the body against the effects of radiation. Lecithin Lecithin is essential to every cell and organ in the body. It provides nourishment to the body so that the body can regulate metabolism, increase defenses and break down fat and cholesterol. Magnesium Magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, B complex, C and E. Manganese When manganese is bound or “chelated” with specific amino acids, it targets parts of the body to help metabolism. When manganese is chelated with the amino acids proline, histidine, and glutamic acid, it travels through the blood to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the organ below the brain which is responsible for regulating many body functions, including temperature, appetite and sleep. The chelated manganese increases the natural thyrotropin-releasing hormone secreted by the hypothalamus. This hormone, known as T.R.H., has a direct effect on the master gland (pituitary). Melatonin Melatonin is produced in the body by the pineal gland in the brain. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in food, is taken in by the body and made into serotonin, a neurotransmitter (conductor of nerve signals). The pineal gland takes the serotonin and makes it into melatonin, but only during the night. (The enzymes in the brain which change serotonin into melatonin are inactivated by light). Norepinephrine is another neurotransmitter which assists in melatonin production. It acts as a catalyst to melatonin production by stimulating cells in the pineal gland to begin making melatonin in the absence of light. Sometimes, for one reason or another, the body does not produce adequate amounts of melatonin for its needs. This can result in insomnia and depression, among other symptoms. The body’s ability to synthesize melatonin may decrease with age. Minerals Trace (micro) and major (macro) minerals play a crucial role in maintaining health. It is well-established that some mineral deficiencies can be linked to physical conditions including grey hair, baldness, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis and mental illness. MSM MSM is simply an acronym for methylsulfonylmethane, a dietary source of sulfur that naturally supports the immune system and plays a major role in the formation of enzymes and hormones that control body activities. Niacin Niacin is nutritionally beneficial for circulation. Niacin reduces low-density lipid (LDL) forms of cholesterol and improves peripheral blood flow. Nicotinamide Nicotinamide nourishes the digestive and circulatory systems. Noni The noni plant has many folk-remedy uses. It is fabled among the Polynesian peoples to especially help support the body’s respiratory, immune, digestive, and structural systems. Octacosanol Octacosanol is derived from wheat germ oil and helps improve endurance and stamina. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Essential fatty acids are dietary fats required for a healthy nervous and immune system. For example, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important constituent of brain cell membranes. Many fats can be synthesized by the body, but some, like DHA, must be obtained through the diet. DHA is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, and the omega-3-type fats must be kept in balance with omega-6 fats to insure that proper physiological functioning can be maintained. While omega-6’s are abundant in the typical American diet – occurring in most vegetable oils – omega-3’s are harder to come by. One good source, however, is fish. PABA PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) helps assimilate pantothenic acid and nourishes the skin. Papaya Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which helps the body break down protein. Parsley Parsley is valued as a blood builder, cleanser and has pressure regulating properties. Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) Phosphatidyl Serine been found to be important to brain function. Potassium Potassium nourishes the heart, kidneys, pancreas, muscles and the nerves. It assists in the growth and repair of body tissues, and also helps conduct messages in the body through the nervous system. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure. There must be a balanced potassium-to-sodium ratio in the body for all systems to function at their optimum level. Quercetin Quercetin has been shown to help the body defend itself against harmful microorganisms. Resveratrol Red wine extract contains the recently acclaimed flavonoid, resveratrol. Resveratrol is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, however, red wine and other grape products are the richest source. Recent research has linked resveratrol supplementation with enhanced immune and cardiovascular support. Rhubarb Rhubarb can help dissolve mucus adhering to the walls of the colon. Rosemary Rosemary has been reported to decrease capillary permeability and fragility. Extracts have been used in insect repellents. The plant may have anticancer properties and has spasmolytic actions, liver and immune effects, and other various actions from asthma treatment to aromatherapy. It has antimicrobial actions against a variety of bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses. (Caution: Taking large quantities of rosemary internally can result in stomach and intestinal irritation as well as kidney damage. Allergic contact dermatitis has been associated with the plant, but rosemary is not generally considered to be a human skin sensitizer. Rosemary’s constituents, monoterpene ketones, are convulsants, and have caused seizures in large doses. Rosemary is also an abortifacient.) Salmon Oil Salmon oil is rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. These nutrients are recognized as having many beneficial properties. They include regulating the body’s production of cholesterol, and strengthening cell walls, fortifying them against the invasion of viruses and bacteria. Selenium Selenium is a mineral that reinforces the body’s defense system. St. John’s Wort St. John’s Wort (Hypericum) has been studied for its potential antidepressant and antiviral effects.(Caution: Dr. Donald Brown of Bastyr University recommends that persons with fair skin avoid exposure to strong sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light when taking St. John’s Wort because of some cases of photosensitivity that have been reported. He also advises avoiding foods that contain tyramine, alcoholic beverages, and medications such as tyrosine, narcotics, amphetamines, and over-the-counter cold and flu remedies while taking St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort should not be taken while also taking prescription antidepressants. It is also Dr. Brown’s opinion that St. John’s Wort should not be used during pregnancy or lactation.) Thyme Thyme has been used internally for respiratory and digestive infections. It has also been used as a gargle in laryngitis and tonsillitis – to soothe sore throats and irritable coughs. As a cough remedy, it assists in producing expectoration and reducing unnecessary spasm. It may be helpful in bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma. Transfer Factor Transfer factors are important immune substances normally found in blood and colostrum. Transfer factors are capable of transferring immune information from one individual to another, and are important because of their role key for the immune system to recognize and defeat viruses, bacteria and other immune threats. Uva Ursi Uva ursi has been useful in some cases of urinary tract infections, as well as a diuretic. It has also been usedto alleviate contact dermatitis, allergic reaction-type hypersensitivity, and arthritis. (Caution: Taking large amounts of uva ursi has resulted in gastric discomfort, tinnitis, nausea, vomiting, cyanosis, convulsions, collapse, and death.) Vitamin B1 Vitamin B1 (thiamine) has positive effects on the nervous system, mental well-being, skin, eyes, and hair. Vitamin B2 Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) nourishes skin, nails, hair, growth, reproduction and vision. The body needs more of this nutrient during stress situations. Vitamin B6 Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCL) is necessary to metabolize B12 in the body. It helps the body release excess water and nourishes the nervous system. Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is used in the production of energy and it nourishes the nervous system. Vitamin B12 supports the maturation of red blood cells. Vitamin C We do not produce our own vitamin C it must be obtained from our diet. Science continues to confirm, with ever increasing evidence, the benefits of the C vitamin family to especially nourish the body’s structural and defense systems. Vitamin C strengthens cells and tissues and helps build the body’s defense system. Vitamin D The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. By promoting calcium absorption, vitamin D helps to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D also works in concert with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones to promote bone mineralization. Without vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, two forms of skeletal diseases that weaken bones. Research also suggests that vitamin D may help maintain a healthy immune system and help regulate cell growth and differentiation, the process that determines what a cell is to become. This substance seems to act more like a hormone than a vitamin. Hormones affect our various systems, making those systems run better. Vitamin D regulates and enhances the body’s production of certain antimicrobial peptides called “bacterioncins.” These peptides attack bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses by dissolving their cell walls. At this same time, the body responds with inflammation, and vitamin D takes a roll in this process by preventing the immune system from releasing too many inflammatory agents (cytokines) especially into the lung area. Thus it’s been discovered that people lacking in vitamin D catch more upper respiratory illnesses than those with sufficient vitamin D. This is another reason that the cold and flu season hits in the winter months when there is less sun to make vitamin D and we simply do not spend as much time out of doors. Researchers have discovered that Vitamin D is required to metabolize stored fat and that more than 60% of people tested are severely deficient. You can help your body burn abdominal fat and lose weight naturally by regulating your vitamin D intake. The results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reveal that 59% of young women tested had too little circulating vitamin D and nearly one-quarter were grossly deficient in the active form of the vitamin. Vitamin D insufficiency has been shown to be a factor in the accumulation of excess body fat as the fat-soluble vitamin becomes locked away in adipocytes (fat cells). In the absence of sufficient vitamin D, the body increases the number and size of newly formed fat cells that promote and accelerate abdominal obesity. Widely used sun-block creams and lotions may shield the skin from dangerous rays, but also keep it from being able to create the vitamin thats vital to good health. In the attempting to protect their skin from skin cancer, many may have prevented their bodies from making sufficient vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D is widely known for its importance to strong bones. Whats new is that scientists are finding that a shortage of vitamin D can increase the risks of diabetes and hypertension, and can lead to a blood vessel inflammation that can result in acute heart attacks. Some research also suggests that vitamin D may help in preventing osteoporosis, cancer and several autoimmune diseases, according to information presented by the Mayo Clinic. A common sign of a vitamin D deficiency is muscle aches, since muscle fibers need Vitamin D for optimum health. Vitamin E Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and helps the body cope with toxic substances such as air pollution. It also helps protect the cells and increase oxygen to them. Research shows that animals who were exposed to various concentrations of ozone and took vitamin E lived longer than animals whose diets were not supplemented with this nutrient. Vitamin E strengthens the circulatory system and may help soothe leg and foot aches that occur at night. Vitamin F Vitamin F, also known as Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), cannot be made from the body – they must be supplied in the diet. Essential fatty acids nourish the body at the very foundation of health . . . at the cellular level. They strengthen cell membranes to fortify against the invasion of harmful microorganisms. These nutrients also help dissolve body fat and increase metabolism and energy production. Thus, they are also very helpful in a comprehensive weight management program. Watermelon seeds Watermelon seeds help the body eliminate excess water. Whey Whey is derived from the cheese-making process, and is full of vitamins and minerals. It is also a superior protein source, with a protein efficiency rating that exceeds that of soy, wheat, and even whole milk. This means that the protein in whey is used more efficiently by the body than by the protein from these other sources. Wild Yam Wild yam has many effective uses. It is known to relax the muscles and promote glandular balance in women. Wild Yam contains natural plant components known as phytochemicals which help the body balance hormone levels. Wild Yam nourishes the digestive system and the nerves. Zinc Zinc is essential for the health of the reproductive organs, especially in the male.