Health and Wellness

Cannabidiwhaaat? CBD FAQ's!

By Miles, CN Supplements Buyer & Trainer

The legal hemp market is exploding with all sorts of products! Caught up in confusion? Heard your neighbors talk about CBD but can’t figure out the difference between hemp and marijuana products? This guide is for you!

 

So what the heck is CBD anyway!?

CBD or cannabidiol (can-nAh-bi-dEYE-ol) is regarded as the medicinal* component of cannabis. CBD is regarded as a well-studied and safe compound naturally present in agricultural hemp.

 Green Mountain CBD hemp fields in VT

Green Mountain CBD hemp fields in VT

What do people use CBD for?

CBD may support healthy stress and pain response in the body. Numerous research into our endocannabinoid system indicates CBD may also have a role in supporting proper nerve signaling, healthy cell division and balance inflammation.

 

Endocannaba-whaaat?

Our body has a cannabinoid system. All throughout our body, our cells use different messengers to communicate with each other, including our own cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors are found in our brain as well as throughout our periphery. Compounds such as CBD activate CB2 receptors, promoting feelings of relaxation or relief of mild and occasional pain.

 

How is CBD legal?

CBD comes from agricultural hemp, rather than marijuana. Interestingly, marijuana that people use recreationally is the same species of plant (Cannabis sativa) as agricultural hemp. Marijuana, however, is high in the presence of the compound THC, which causes one to feel high. Agricultural hemp that is imported to or grown in the United States must contain less than 0.3% THC.

In contrast, agricultural hemp contains other non-psychoactive cannabinoid constituents such as CBDa and CBD (as well as essential fatty acids and vitamin E) which promote wellness in our bodies.

Even though marijuana has been legalized by the state of Massachusetts, stores cannot yet sell THC-containing products. The United States congress passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, sometimes called the “Farm Bill”, which allows for the use of low THC-containing hemp in industry and agriculture.

 

So wait, CBD will get me high?

As the hemp-derived CBD we carry contains negligible levels of THC, it does not get one high, stoned, lit, etc. CBD may cause drowsiness in a dose-dependent manner.

 

What brands of CBD do you carry? How can you take it?

cbd.png

We have numerous brands! Some of our favorites include:

CV Sciences – One of the leaders in the hemp industry, they import Dutch agricultural hemp for processing into capsules, liquids and salves. They have a variety of different doses, and are known for their purity, research-based ingredients and quality extraction methods.

Green Mountain CBD – One of my favorites, this locally operated brand grows their own organic hemp right in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. They extract their hemp with coconut oil into capsules, paste or liquid tincture. Many of their products are higher doses per serving, including their beloved 20mg capsules.

The Healing Rose – Based out of Andover, MA, The Healing Rose specializes in topical CBD products! They have a high potency salve, containing arnica, peppermint and ginger beyond just CBD, for those of us looking for a little bit of extra tension release. Their roll-ons with essential oil of rosemary or fir needle together with CBD are great for the neck and temples, too.

 

What dose do I take?

Dose is a very personalized thing!

I personally prefer around 5-10mg of CBD for daytime use, and maybe another 15mg before bedtime. That being said, I know some people who take 1mg a day, and I know some people who take 60mg a day.

High doses of CBD (think 200mg) seem to be well-tolerated, based on studies. CBD is a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) dietary ingredient. However, although it is safe for most people to take that much, you usually don’t usually need that much.

Your sensitivity depends on your genes. I invite you to be flexible with CBD use. Start with a low dose, and build up until you find your sweet spot. In my experience, one often feels CBD within an hour of use, and you can take it multiple times a day, if you wish.

 

Can I stop taking my other medications if I use CBD?

Talk to your doctor! We do not recommend changing your medications without consulting with your doctor.

 

Disclaimer: Nothing in this website is intended as, or should be construed as, medical advice. Consumers should consult with their own health care practitioners for individual, medical recommendations. The information in this website concerns dietary supplements, over-the-counter products that are not drugs. Our dietary supplement products are not indended for use as a means to cure, treat, prevent, diagnose or mitigate any disease or other medical or abnormal condition.

Final Exams Survival Guide

By Jenn, CN Customer Service Specialist & Industrial Design Major

Finals are a difficult time for students. You want to be able to eat well, get some sleep, see all your friends before you depart for the summer, and of course pass your exams! It can seem overwhelming, but here are a few tips that have gotten me through the end of the semester for the last four years.

 Photo via textbooksandtea

Photo via textbooksandtea

1. Stay Fed

This can seem like a difficult task, like, who has time to cook? And those take-out charges seem to add up so quickly, but there are a few foods I love that can be quick, filling, and nutritious. I love the single serve nut butters from Once Again - they can fit in my bag and can be spread on crackers, bread or just directly into your mouth (seriously, I've done this many times). Food bars can be a saving grace as they are great on the go and will help you get to your next meal without a massive blood sugar crash. In particular, I love Macro Bars from GoMacro. They have a huge range of flavors and a lot of them are protein-packed, along with being extremely tasty. All of my non-veg friends swear by the Bulletproof Collagen Bars, as they are full of healthy fats from MCT oil and loaded with protein rich collagen (also, they taste pretty delicious, or so I've heard). Our Cambridge Naturals™ nuts, sourced from Tierra Farms, are the perfect munching companion for your late night study sessions - all organic and all filling. We also recently started carrying Yuso, a cute and filling Japanese inspired snack full of rice and a savory filling all wrapped up in seaweed! Perfect for when you're sick of bars and nuts!

2. Stay Hydrated

A lot of people forget to drink water when they're busy but, staying hydrated is extremely important all the time, not just during finals! We have a great selection of reusable water bottles from Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask, along with carrying a diverse selection of bottled water and coconut water, you really have no excuse but to stay hydrated.

3. Stay Focused

Working in a health food store I’ve been able to learn a lot about different types of supplements and what they do. And we carry some great supplemental study companions, My go to is Host Defence MYCO Brain, it’s a wonderful blend of herbs and mushrooms to help keep me focused. Theanine is a great ally during finals it helps to keep you calm and focused. Theanine is derived from green tea and can provide a nice steady dose of energy!

 Crush your exams like Hermione Granger. Photo via Pinterest.

Crush your exams like Hermione Granger. Photo via Pinterest.

4. Stay Awake

We have lots of things to help you stay awake for those long study sessions! For the coffee lovers out there, we carry some great coffee brands including Counter Culture and Tandem! If you're not super into coffee, we also carry dozens of teas to get you through. I love the MEM Tea Earl Grey - local and caffeinated, what more could one ask for? And if you're not into warm beverages, we carry great cold brew from Commonwealth Coffee. The hops one is my favorite. We also carry Runa Ready To Drink Guayusa beverages, if you're just not feeling the coffee but still need the burst of energy! And for those times when you just want to look awake we have Vapor Beauty Halo Illuminator for the dark circles under your eyes!

5.  Stay Alive

We all know that during finals it's good to hang out with friends and blow off a little steam, but if you have an 8am exam the next day, having a few drinks can sometimes cause more harm than good! Luckily there is a solution - two in fact. Take Party Smart from Himalaya before heading out, or a Hangover Helper Gummy from Nature's Dynamics when you get home to help ease you into the next day.

Come into Cambridge Naturals and let us help you get everything you need to survive the end of the semester!

Nutrigenetics in a Nutshell

By Miles, CN Supplements Buyer

Every wondered how your genes can play a role in things like metabolism, bone health, inflammation, and food sensitivity? Our resident experimental science aficionado, Miles breaks down the basics behind genetic testing and how it can help you understand your body!

And, from today (April 24th) through May 1st 2017, we're running an instagram giveaway with Nordic Naturals - win a bottle of Omega Memory with Curcumin and a bottle of Vitamin D3 Gummies, along with the Bliss Kit from local Orig3n! For more details visit our Instagram.

What’s a Gene again?

As you may remember from high school biology, our cells contain bundles of information otherwise known as genes. Your genes were passed down to you from your parents, and help to determine everything from the color of your hair to how your metabolism operates, among much else. DNA is a long double helix with repeating molecules of nucleotides that make up your genetic code.

In order to be expressed, your genetic code of DNA is read and converted into proteins in a process known as transcription and translation. Again, these proteins are what define your unique characteristics – they can be enzymes that help create neurotransmitters like serotonin, or the collagen in your skin.

Mutations in our genes can occur. Most of the time, these mutations do not make too big of a difference in terms of how our biology operates. A common type of mutation is known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), which occurs when one of the base pairs in DNA gets changed around. This may result in decreased activity of the enzyme/protein for which the gene encodes, so sometimes SNP’s lead to disease states.

What does all of this mean for us at Cambridge Naturals? Many supplements interact with our DNA or how our genes are expressed. Turmeric supplements, for example, may work in part by turning off certain genes that lead to heightened inflammation. To support your selection of supplements, we’ve actually started selling DNA genetic test kits.*

 

Why would I want to test my genes?

Sometimes when I help somebody choose supplements, I add the caveat, “we all respond to supplements in a bit of a different way.” There are numerous factors that alter how supplements may work in our bodies, ranging from nutrition, digestive health, and metabolism--all the way to psychosocial variables. A key part of this paradigm, however, is our genetics. Our DNA governs the way we metabolize and absorb certain types of nutrients. Hence, based on our DNA, some specific types of supplements might work better for our bodies than others.

The concept of optimizing your health with supplements targeted to your DNA is an emerging area of focus called Nutrigenetics, and it’s a key component in the type of complementary and alternative medicine practice called Functional Medicine.

With Orig3n Life Profile genetic test kits, your genetic information is collected from a cheek swab sample and analyzed for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s.) It can be cost prohibitive to analyze your entire genome, so only certain genes related to specific areas of wellness are analyzed.

Orig3n Life Profile kits are not diagnostic tests and cannot be used for the diagnosis of disease. Nowhere in your results will it tell you that you are deficient in any vitamin. Instead, the words: “adapt, normal, or gifted” are used to discuss genetic activity. For example, if someone has a mutation in a gene linked to Vitamin D metabolism that is statistically associated with lower Vitamin D levels, the test results imply that he or she might need to “Adapt” based on their result. It doesn’t, however, tell you what your Vitamin D levels are! Nonetheless, when we find out more about the SNP’s in our genome we can make actionable conscious decisions to optimize our health.

 

Orig3n Life Profile – An Overview of Kits

Orig3n Life Profile has five different genetic test kits available to us. They are as follows.

Superhero – The “beginner” genetic test kit. Only analyzes for three genes related to muscle speed, strength and IQ.

Fuel - Analyzes for SNPs in genes that contribute to food sensitivity, vitamin absorption, sugar craving and fat metabolism.

Bliss – Analyzes genes related to mood and behavior imbalances. Think: neurotransmitter receptors and related enzymes.

Aura – Skin health genes! Think collagen, hydration, and antioxidant genes that protect us from the sun’s rays.

Fitcode – Analyzes genes linked to fitness, endurance, VO2 max and recovery, among others.

Come in and ask any one of us about the Orig3n kits that are newly available to you!

*These kits are non-diagnostic, do not require blood samples, and are not meant to be used to diagnose any disease nor prescribe any treatments.

Interview with Liat of Tamim Teas

By Vicki, Local Grocery Brands Coordinator

I bet you’ve never tasted a mushroom blend that as good as the Tamim Tea blends! With five unique, synergistic and delicious mushroom teas, they create a user friendly experience - making it easy for you to get the benefits of mushrooms in a simple and tasty way. Medicinal mushrooms are growing in popularity - more and more of our customers are seeking them out for their health and wellness benefits. We truly believe that they can save the world!

Last year during Herbstalk, Michael Kanter, co-founder of Cambridge Naturals, noticed Liat from Tamim teas offering her delicious mushroom tea to the public. Her blends were gaining a lot of interest from the attendees, all the notes were very nicely balanced, AND she was working with local farmers for her blends. Ever since then, we have closely collaborated with Liat and her products, and were one of the first stores to offer them. In addition to the pre-packaged blends, two of the Tamim Teas are now also available in our bulk section: “Lion’s Share and Reishi Delight”.

Her full line consists of: Lion’s Share, Reishi Delight, Chaga Chai, Shiitake Uplift, and Maitake Bloom. I talked with Liat to learn more of her story and why mushroom teas are a great addition to your daily diet!

How did you get inspired with the idea to create such unique mushroom blends?

Sipping on mushrooms for health benefits is an age-old tradition that has recently gained more attention from people interested in caring for their health in a natural way. When I first started drinking mushroom teas, I realized that I didn’t love the taste of plain mushrooms, but I do love tea!  By using herbs to balance the flavor profiles of different medicinal mushrooms, I could make blends that were delicious, full-bodied, and much better tasting than the teas I was drinking everyday – and with the added benefits of mushrooms, it was the best of both worlds!

Where do you source your ingredients? Why is sourcing locally important to you?

Our mushrooms are locally sourced from family farmers who we know and trust in New England. Many of our organic herbs and spices are locally grown, too. Currently, we use local and organic ginger and turmeric from western Massachusetts.

Local means the best taste, and benefits for both you and the environment. Our mushrooms are grown and freshly dried whole, so you wont find any processed powders or extracts here. Our cultivated mushrooms are grown organically, without chemicals or toxins, and our wild harvested mushrooms are sustainably sourced. This is vitally important to us as mushrooms like chaga can take years to regrow and irresponsible sourcing can wound trees and cause long-term ecological damage. 

Which is your favorite blend of Tamim Teas? Why is it your favorite?

That’s like asking someone to choose their favorite child. It all depends on mood…and that can change from day to day ;-) 

How do people respond to the idea of drinking mushroom teas at first?

There are two general groups of responses. The first are from people who revere mushrooms as a source of vitality. These are often people who are already taking mushroom supplements based on powders or alcohol based extract and for them, an all natural caffeine-free tea made with whole local dried mushrooms is a no-brainer.

The second group of responses is from people who have never heard of mushroom teas. This is always more exciting for us, as we love the transformation from wary… to curious… to yum!

Leave us with your most favorite quote, and your favorite song :)

Favorite Quote:

Peace, happiness and joy is possible during the time I drink my tea.
— thich nhat hanh

Favorite Song:

“La Vida Es Un Carnival”  (Life is a Carnival) by Celia Cruz. The song reminds us to think of life as a carnival; to always remember to laugh and that pains can be alleviated through song and dance.

Clean Swaps

By Mary, Body Care Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

We’re two months into the new year and those resolutions of cleaning up diets and skincare regimens may begin to waiver. It’s hard to resist the pull of something you’re familiar with and invest in something new. As someone that has successfully cleaned up her makeup and skincare products, I assure you that the initial discomfort and uncertainty of change quickly dissipates. Similarly, you’ll discover new snack options that you’ll become devoted to, that fill you with nutrients instead of high fructose corn syrup. Don’t worry, they’ll still satisfying those cravings!

We’ve put together a collection of clean swaps to help those in need of recommendations for simple replacements from Cambridge Naturals brands that are just as good (if not better) than their conventional counterparts.

MyChelle Sugar Cleanser <-- St. Ives Apricot Scrub

When we talk about exfoliating, we’re talking about gently sloughing off those dead skin cells and clearing clogged pores. This reveals smooth, clean skin that will readily absorb the nutrients from the other skincare products you’re using.  But most commercial exfoliants will actually leave small scratches on your skin, doing more harm than good. The MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser gently exfoliates with naturally moisturizing sugar and smells like birthday cake.

 

Acure Spot Treatment <-- Clean & Clear Persa Gel 10

Despite what you’ve been told, blemishes are a common occurrence well into your 20s (maybe even your 30s!) and it’s not a bad idea to have a secret weapon in your bag for when one of them sneaks up on you. The Acure Spot Treatment Gel contains 2% salicylic acid naturally derived from white willow bark, along with a slew of other plant extracts that support healthy skin without redness or irritation associated with harsh conventional treatments. I’ve seen this work overnight and happily replaced my trusted CVS brand with this one.

 

GoMacro Bars <-- Clif Bars

Between work, kids, class, errands, and appointments, sometimes it’s just not possible to sit down and enjoy a proper lunch. And that’s okay! We proudly support snacking. But we do want you to get the most out of it. Clif bars tend to be the go to but GoMacro Bars are giving them some serious competition. In addition, they don't contain soy protein isolates, which can act like estrogen in the body. If you’re looking for a bar that will fill and satisfy you, the go macros come in a variety of flavors that are entirely organic, non-gmo, vegan, gluten free, soy free, and kosher.

 

 Dandy Blend <-- Coffee

Quitting coffee is easily one of the top resolutions, and also one of the hardest. We live in a world with a coffee shop on every corner, where mindless consumption of caffeine is the norm. But if quitting entirely or even lessening the amount you drink is something you desire, Dandy Blend is an incredible alternative. The taste is great and it allows you to enjoy the ritual of coffee making and drinking without any caffeine withdrawal symptoms. If you haven’t given this a try yet I urge you to. They even offer small single serving packets if you want to try before jumping into the full size.

 

Ultima Replenisher <-- Gatorade

Electrolytes without the simple sugars and flame retardants! These Ultima packets can be a life saver when it’s hot and humid, after a late night, or one two many coffees. The packets offer an easy travel option that can be added to any cup of water rather than a bulky plastic bottle. They keep you hydrated with essential salts and minerals! 

 

Gaia Quick Defense <-- Airborne

Working in a high contact environment such as retail, we at Cambridge Naturals take our immune support seriously. Gaia’s Quick Defense is loaded with immune boosting herbs including Elderberry, Echinacea, and Ginger. Take this at the onset of symptoms (aka that first sneeze) for powerful support! And unlike its commercial counterparts, this Gaia supplement has no unnecessary additives and is made with organic ingredients.

Marching Into Wellness: Jenn on Navigating Your Monthly Flow

This month some of our beloved team members at Cambridge Naturals will be sharing their own personal wellness stories - from navigating a menstrual cycle to finding a life changing skin care regimen to discovering supplements they can’t live without. March may have arrived sooner than we were ready for, but we will be marching our way into wellness nonetheless.

First, Jenn shares how she found peace with her period. We are truly living in the early days of the 'Golden Age of Menstruation' - now more then ever we have open dialogue around periods and clean, effective products to support us during that time. From cramps and mood swings, to cravings and fatigue, read on for expert tips and learn what she does throughout her cycle to find balance in the throws of sometimes drastic hormonal change.

 Via  pinterest.com  from 1952. Luckily a few things have changed!

Via pinterest.com from 1952. Luckily a few things have changed!

Getting your period can be a beautiful and magical thing, at least that’s what most tampon commercials would lead you to believe. But for some, like me, it can seem more like that scene from Carrie (you know the one).

I get all the typical PMS symptoms to what seems like a monstrous degree: bloating, cramps, I eat everything around me, I cry, and I can get a tad mean. I know I’m not alone so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks on how to make that time of the month a little more bearable.

I’m vegetarian and very iron deficient, so bleeding for 5-7 days per month can take a large toll on my energy levels. To combat this loss of iron I do a few extra things. First, I take MegaFood Blood Builder and drink an iron rich tea blend (recipe included at the end). I do both of these things (almost) everyday.  On the days leading up to my period I tend to be very achy and crampy. At home I pretty much live with my heated Grandpa's Garden Bunny Wrap attached to me. But when I have to be in public, walking around with a small heated bunny isn’t exactly “socially acceptable” so I take Herbalist and Alchemist Full Moon tincture. It’s a great blend of anti-spasmodic herbs that quell my cramps, and the only thing I found that really works.

On the days of my actual period, I use a menstrual cup, which has changed my life. If you’ve been wanting to try one but are hesitant - just do it, you will not regret it! We carry a few different brands - Diva Cup, Lunette and Glad Rags. I use to dread finding a bathroom during the day to take out my tampon or change my pad wrapping it in endless toilet paper before throwing into the trash. Now I just have to take out the cup twice a day, once when I wake up and again before I go to sleep. On the last couple days (when it’s more of a light spotting rather than a full on flow) I like to use a cloth pad from Glad Rags. I choose to use reusable items because I saw how much waste my monthly cycle was creating and wanted to do something about it - but I understand that getting that up close and personal with your blood isn’t for everyone. Cloth rags are easy to wash and save you cash in the long run!

Once my period finishes I’m able to put all these things in a little bag and stick it in my sock drawer until next month. I hope in talking about this I can help bring a normalization to talking about periods, since half the adult population gets one every month!

Iron Rich Tea Blend

In a bowl mix equal parts:

  • Nettle
  • Rosehips
  • Holy Basil Vanna
  • Red Clover
  • Red Raspberry Leaf

Steep in boiled water for 15 minutes, filter and serve.

Thank you so much for sharing your wellness story with us, Jenn! All of the products mentioned in the posts are sold at Cambridge Naturals and, as always, we’re happy to help anyone navigate their female health needs in the store and answer any further questions you may have. Feel free to leave a comment below with any of your own tips and tricks!


This blog post — Marching Into Wellness: Jenn on Navigating Your Monthly Flow — is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Gift Guide by Team Supps!

As we gather goodies to bestow upon our loved ones during this expensive time of generosity and, obligation, there’s definitely room for that nonsensical gadget, useless doo-dad or might-not-ever-be-worn trinket; that said, most of the gifts that will be truly remembered this year, will be given from a place of intention and thoughtfulness. Guess what? So many game-changing presents that have the potential to really support one’s quality of life can be found in our supplement section. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: “Give the gift of health this holiday season!” Read on for some of our favorites.

- Zach, Miles, Bex & Alyssa (your friendly Supplements team)

1. MyCommunity by Host Defense

One of our favorite products just got better; Host Defense’s MyCommunity is now available in a 4oz size!  It’s a mindful gift chock full of medicinal mushrooms, formulated to support the immune health of your sibling and their growing family--or anyone else you know for that matter. Also perfect for that extended family member who’s interested in biology, the science behind Host Defense is extensive and compelling. Their packaging is beautiful too!

2. Unfair Advantage by Bulletproof

You've heard of CoQ10 before, right? It's one of the coenzymes we need for creating energy in our mitochondria -- the 'power plants' of our cells. But what about PQQ? PQQ is a novel micronutrient which has some studies showing that it boosts cellular energy production in part by creating new mitochondria. PQQ also boosts blood flow to the brain, where it may have a protective role. Unfair Advantage packs liquid PQQ and CoQ10 into an ampule for quick clean energy when you (or the one you are gifting) needs it most.

3. Organic Drops by Calm-A-Mama

For those of you eager to make a pregnant woman, nursing mother or adorable child smile, these tasty glycerin-based drops are safe for all! With Calm Drops, Sleep Drops, Teeth + Tummy Drops, Happy Drops, Balance Drops and Focus Drops, Calm-A-Mama offers the kind of botanical support that is often a challenge to come by during such sensitive life stages. Formulated with gentle herb and flower extracts, like lemon balm, peppermint, rose and hyssop, Mary Poppins would approve of these delicious drops.

4. Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides by Vital Protein

Collagen, the structural protein praised for its unique ability to provide much-needed strength and elasticity support for our joints, skin, nails and hair, can be found in your traditional JELLO dish, but we find  Vital Proteins Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides to be a much tastier treat. Perfect for the athlete on your shopping list, this delicious protein powder comes from pasture raised and grass fed cows, offering protein AND BCAAs. While it can be hard to stomach cold smoothies in the winter, this mix also tastes great served warm, mixed with water or your milk of choice!

5. Omega Memory by Nordic Naturals

Winter in the Northeast can be tough: cold days, gray skies, and long nights.  A wonderful way to gift a loved one a mild pick-me-up is with Nordic Naturals Omega Memory with Curcumin.  Perfect for the teacher, student, or hard-worker in your life who needs a little more 'oomph,' the omegas provide brain support and the curcumin supports the reduction of overall inflammation.

6. Standardized + Full Spectrum Ashwagandha by Cambridge Naturals

Adaptogenic in nature, ashwagandha is a balancing herb that supports stress relief, emotional balance and hormonal regulation. Many of us find that it zens us out and brings on a general sense of wellbeing when taken regularly and consistently. The Cambridge Naturals blend is potent and effective with both the root and the extract packing their punch.

STOCKING STUFFERS!

The 1oz and 2oz bottles from Urban Moonshine, Herbalogic, Bach Flower Essences, not to mention pretty much any of our herb tinctures, and individual Party Smart boxes, all make perfect stocking stuffers for grown-up family members and friends. If you are looking for functional (and yummy) treats for the same crowd, try Veggimins CBD-infused Chocolate, Yes Cacao’s Botanical Chocolate Bars, or Bulletproof Chocolate Fuel Bars. For the kidlets, consider vitamin gummies, a much healthier version of the candy that often overflows from the stockings of wee ones!

See our staff picks and our curated gift boxes for even more gifting ideas!


This blog post is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Scum Scum Go Away, Come Again Another Day (Or Not!)

By Bex, Supplements Buyer and The Naturalist Contributor

After an uncharacteristic drought in New England this year, the skies have parted and graced us with some splash-worthy puddles.  When you think of all of that rainfall accumulating (yes, we need more of it) hopefully you envision glistening lakes, cascading rivers and serene beaches. Mmmmmmm, water… Perhaps, if you are like me, you think of your Lifefactory Water Bottle, which you carry around with you wherever you go, like Linus with his blanket. Mmmmmmmm, blanket…

Vital for our health and oh-so refreshing, water is at its best when it’s crystal clear and pure; the murky news is that it can easily become contaminated. So if our water becomes contaminated, it makes sense that our bodies may very well also become contaminated over time. Oh no! A seemingly unlikely culprit, water can actually be quite dangerous when it isn’t properly purified.

It will be cold. It will be gloomy. It will be RESTORATIVE.

By Bex, Supplements Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

Over the past several weeks, we've heard so many of our customers describe feeling inundated with physical, emotional, or political toxicity. The state of the world can take a deep toll on one's body and mind - immune health, stress response, sleep, you name it. While you're preparing to take meaningful action to clean up our planet and our society, it's also so important to also 'clean house' on a personal level and prepare yourself for dark times ahead.

Now, I’m not being fatalistic here, talking about dark times... rather, we’re shifting into the barren, frigged, overcast months when some lucky animals get to hibernate. It will be cold. It will be gloomy. It will be RESTORATIVE. Remember that, ok? While it's so tempting to linger in our beds, we suggest taking action and choosing to feel better! Healthy bodies, healthy minds = can't lose. So, what are some of our favorite self-care tips for tough times?

SNOWBALL FIGHTS! (Just kidding, sort of… actually, running through snowy woods is one of my favorite winter remedies.)

The real answer though: bid good riddance to toxicity! Purify, detoxify, rejuvenate and usher in the most life affirming foods, supplements, lifestyle and body care products. If the word detox conjures up gnarly images of cold-pressed veggie juices that make you shiver at this time of year, don’t fret. There are plenty of warming ways to fuel the body and release all that toxic gunk (think: nourishing soups and teas.) In the next few blog posts, we’ll share some ideas with you on how to purify your phenomenal vessel from the inside out and the outside in, but for now, here are some quick and simple ways to get started!

 A pot of Pu-erh tea - one of our favorite restorative rituals. Photo via Rishi Tea.

A pot of Pu-erh tea - one of our favorite restorative rituals. Photo via Rishi Tea.

FIVE EASY WAYS TO JUMPSTART MENTAL, EMOTIONAL & PHYSICAL DETOX

  1. To start (and this one won’t cost you any money,) we encourage you to take three slow deep breaths every time it is all feeling like too much. Just three mindful inhalations and exhalations. See how good that feels?

  2. Make yourself a pot of tea and DRINK IT slowly. Here are some tea suggestions from a few of our brew-loving staff members: Caleb, Rishi Pu-erh; Brenden, Guayusa tea; Jess, Organic India Tulsi tea; Caitlin, Traditional Medicinals Nettle tea with 1tbsp South River Dandelion, Leek Miso; Vicki, Mugwort tea from the bulk section; Bex (that’s me!) Four Sigmatic Reishi Tea. Stop in and ask us why we love these particular teas and brews!

  3. For a little something more, gift yourself one of the beautiful journals or notebooks from our lifestyle department and write down all the toxic, difficult feelings and actions you want to release this season. Then make a list of the nourishing feelings and actions you want to invite into your life, and the steps you can take to help manifest those dreams.

  4. Next level: Pick up a bottle of Cleanse and Fortify by Maine Medicinals, a surprisingly tasty tonic that “supports the gentle elimination of toxins.” With cleansing and restorative herbs as well as adaptogenic balancing herbs, this is a pleasant way to ease into detox.

  5. Keep reading the blog for ideas on how to filter out the crud and replace it with things that support your well being. We're here for you!

Not to be nosy, but you may need a Neti Pot!

By Bex, Supplements Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

What’s that ceramic wonderland hanging out in the Sinus & Eye Support section by the supplements desk? The rainbow pottery assortment is a colorful tribe of neti pots! While they are neither teapots, nor genie lamps, neti pots can pretty much function as both for your nasal passages. If you find yourself complaining about seasonal allergies year round, if you constantly feel like you’re swimming underwater, or if you’ve yet to shake that stuffy, sniffly, cranky, leaky bout of the morning blaaaahs, you might want to try nasal irrigation!

PRAY TELL, WHAT IS NASAL IRRIGATION?

Nasal irrigation is a support system that stems from Ayurveda, the 2,000 to 5,000 year old traditional healing modality of Vedic India that was developed to assist one’s yogic path. This ancient practice involves flushing the nasal passages to support the release of mucous buildup, congestion and other potential ickiness that gets stuck in your nostrils and sinuses. Neti pot flushing assists the airways to promote deep and clear breathing, which is a major boon for yogis and non-yogis alike!

WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD I STICK THIS THING IN MY NOSE?

Our nostrils are the primary passage of air in our bodies - so pollutants, debris and other irritants can sneak into our system and get caught there, bringing on an onslaught of, well, snot. Other people that are particularly booger prone prefer flushing to picking because (just in case you didn’t know) fingers are dirty.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, autumn is the Vata time of increased wind and cold. As chill sets in, leaves fall, mold forms and ragweed goes nutso, so it turns out that now is a great time to start flushing and prep your schnoz for the frigid winter months.

OK, YOU’VE CONVINCED ME. HOW DO I DO THIS THING?

It miiiiight feel a little goofy to shove what feels like a piece of dishware up your nose to encourage that feeling you would get when you accidentally snort water through your nose while swimming - but I assure you, after a few practice sessions, you will be diving into the practice!

Your neti pot will come with instructions, but basically, you will be letting water travel from one nostril to the sinuses and back down the other nostril - then you will switch sides and repeat! Remember to always use lukewarm previously boiled, sterilized or diffused water as regular tap water can introduce some pretty funky critters into your nose.

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WHAT COLOR NETI POT SHOULD I GET?

Now that’s totally up to you. We carry gorgeous Baraka and Coryell ceramic neti pots as well as an assortment of (BPA free) plastic neti pots. While they are all super-functional, some might fit into your bathroom aesthetic better than others.

Soon you will be a neti pot devotee! And if after a while your nasal passageways are so clear and moisturized that you decide the practice is no longer necessary, you can always use the ceramic vessel as a landing pad for your latest experiment sprouting seedlings!