wellness

Supplement not Supplant!

By Eric, Customer Service Specialist

Do you have both a morning and evening regimen of natural pill popping? Perhaps you take natural supplements to address a specific condition? Maybe it’s for general health and wellness, for disease prevention… Do you take a tincture to calm down when you feel anxious and another to give you energy? Do you take an herb when you feel sad? A few to help you sleep?

If you answered yes to all of these questions then congratulations, you’re like me! And, like me, possibly a bit out of balance -  finding quick solutions while still avoiding deeper lifestyle improvements that may require a bit more effort, but are totally worth it.

At Cambridge Naturals, we try to balance effective herbal and supplemental supports with holistic recommendations for healthy lifestyle. Here is a reminder of some basic ways to honor your body, mind and spirit that support a healthy life brimming with equanimity and a general sense of well-being:

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Sleep. It’s the cornerstone of health and happiness! If you’re not getting enough (roughly seven to nine hours per night), herbs and extracts can definitely help. And, relying on those alone may not support your longer term healthy sleep needs. It’s a healthy expectation to feel energized when you wake up. Consider this:

  • Sleep feels good. Go to bed early so you can experience more of it.

  • Avoid bright lights and screens for an hour before bedtime.

  • Try playing a YouTube video of soothing sleep-promoting music or a guided meditation when you go to bed.

  • Choose a cool room temp, snuggling under lots of blankets, as opposed to a warm room.

  • Use progressive muscle relaxation techniques.

  • Practice deep, slow breaths.

  • For supplements, consider deeper, long term solutions like adrenal health formulas that support those very important organs responsible for regulating your healthy cortisol levels.

Eat a nutritionally diverse plant-based diet. If sleep deprivation is your issue, consider avoiding eating meat at your evening meal. Pizza and chocolate may not be the best choices either - pizza is loaded with difficult to digest grease and eating chocolate before bed may keep you buzzing all night long.  If you’re craving a late night snack, try a banana. Bananas are rich in many of the ingredients found in natural sleep support supplements such as potassium, magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B6. They even promote the production of melatonin.

Exercise. For increased energy and to feel better in your body, consider committing to an exercise regimen, preferably three or more times per week. It can help to bring a buddy to the gym or yoga studio for mutual motivation! If you’re physically able, walking is an excellent, low-impact exercise that can have an amazing impact on mood and fitness in the long run. Consider 30 minutes a day.

Meditate. You’ve heard it from lots of people! Maybe you used to do it, and just need to get back into it. Consider waking up an extra 20 minutes early every single day to meditate. It may seem like a drag until you are actually meditating, and then it feels so right. There are countless wonderful methods, but if you just can’t get into them, try a guided meditation on YouTube, possibly one with positive affirmations about your day ahead. There are also several apps including Headspace and Insight Timer which offer free meditations!

Gratitude. Improve your mood and outlook on life through gratitude! If you think you don’t have much to be grateful for, you are a perfect candidate for this technique:

Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for, big or small. I will start you off with my own list:

  • I am grateful for the opportunity I had to help raise my stepson.

  • I am grateful for my warm winter coat.

  • I am grateful for the beauty of trees when their branches are covered in snow.

  • I am grateful for blue skies….

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It’s easier than you think to come up with 10 things. Write them down and say them out loud. Consider doing o this every day for a week. Then, challenge yourself by writing down and reciting a list of 100 things you are grateful for! Focusing on the positive can change your life in dramatic ways.

While none of these healthy lifestyle suggestions come in a capsule, they can be benefited by taking the right supplements and herbs for you personally, in moderation. Cause you don’t want to end up like this guy!


This blog series is for general health information only. This website 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 website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Moondeli: Herbacious Soup for the Soul

By Bex, Supplements Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

All images by Pure + Wild Journal

Growing up, any hint that we would be going on my family’s now-and-then adventure to our neighborhood deli prompted knee-rattling anticipation as I contemplated a challenging decision at the large window display chock-full of salads and spreads in quantities that could quite literally feed a village. Then, inevitably upon arrival, I would settle on a moon-like matzoh ball suspended in a large bowl of piping hot chicken soup, which my grandmother always reminded me was “the Jewish Penicillin.”

So, when I stumbled upon Moondeli, I naturally thought of that scrumptious celestial body floating in a steaming edible bath for my digestive tract. The comparison is actually not that much of a stretch since Moondeli is my modern day answer to the enduring need for bowl after bowl of comforting and fortifying liquid. Now that I only reserve matzoh ball soup for when I actually fall ill, I’m focused on regularly consuming herb based tonics that support my body in staying strong, energized and relaxed, so that I find myself getting sick much less often. The organic, wildcrafted, ethically-sourced precious powders from Moondeli become boosters to add to your smoothies, tea, coffee, juice, and get this - soup!

Moondeli’s adaptogenic blends have become part of my self-care ritual, supporting my body and mind as they adapt - rather than react - to stress. Inspired by ancient plant medicine, Moondeli Tonics can be enjoyed heated or chilled on their own, immersed in liquid, or cooked into goodies galore. I’ve even experimented with putting these functional foods on my face! Try a teaspoon of the Meditation Tonic stirred into your favorite cup of herbal tea. If you crave a little sweetness, add honey or stevia to taste. Make a golden milk latte by whisking the Golden Turmeric Tonic into your milk of choice. However, if you want to really have some fun, get creative in the kitchen and add these to sweet and savory treats to infuse your bites with life-affirming goodness.

Here are a handful of Moondeli-inspired recipes to nourish your body and soul!

 

THE NOT-SO-MEAN GREEN PROTEIN MACHINE SMOOTHIE

  • 2 tsp Moondeli Blue Green Protein (spirulina, tocos and salt)
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 4-6 frozen peach slices
  • 1 serving of your favorite vanilla protein powder (I use the plant-based sunwarrior warrior blend)
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp bee pollen (to sprinkle on top)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend it up! Add more almond milk to achieve the consistency you desire (I like it on the thick side, so I usually use less.) Serves 2

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CRUNCHY MINTY HIPPIE’S DELIGHT SMOOTHIE

  • 2 tsp Moondeli Mushroom Adaptogen (cacao, chaga, cordyceps)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1 handful of raw organic spinach
  • 3-4 mint leaves (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp of hemp seeds (one to be blended into the smoothie, the other to use as a topping)
  • 1 Tbsp of almond butter
  • 2 cups of unsweetened hemp milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbsp of granola (I sometimes add it as a topping and sometimes stir in. I use paleo granola)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend it up! Add more hemp milk to achieve the consistency you desire (I like it on the thick side, so I usually use less.) Serves 1-2

 

BLISS BOOSTING GLUTEN FREE hygge season COOKIES

  • ¼ cup Moondeli Bliss Booster (cacao, maca and cayenne)-like Mexican Hot Chocolate!
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup GF Flour blend (I use Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1.5 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (I often double that because I like salty cookies)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup flax meal whisked with a fork in ⅔ cup water
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup of unsweetened coconut shreds (or unsweetened coconut chips if you prefer crunch)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate (I prefer chopped chunks, but you can also use chips)
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (this is another area where I get a little generous)
  1. Mix dry ingredients together (Bliss Booster, cacao, cinnamon, flour, almond flour, oats, chocolate, coconut, cherries, baking powder and salt) in a large bowl
  2. In a separate large bowl stir together the wet ingredients and sugar (melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil)
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring it in bit by bit.
  4. Chill for at least 2 hours (I like to chill the dough overnight)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (or thoroughly greased) for 10-12 minutes
  6. Check the edges and consistency of the cookies. Depending on the oven, I usually increase the temperature to 375 and bake for another 1-3 minutes as needed.
  7. Cool on a cooling rack if possible.

CHILL THE F OUT CHAI CHIA PUDDING

  • 2-3 Tbsp Moondeli Calming Adaptogen (ashwagandha, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup berries of choice (I topped mine with blackberries and raspberries)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cacao nibs
  • 1 serving of vanilla hemp protein powder
  • 1 can of coconut milk
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Mash the banana into a tupperware container with the almond butter until it is soft. Add 1 can of coconut milk and stir together with the banana. Add 4 Tbsp of chia seeds and stir. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours (I like to let it sit overnight.) Mix in protein powder and Calming Adaptogen powder. Top with cacao nibs and berries!

 

I’ve also added these powders to soup, juices, overnight oats, zoom balls, pancakes, truffles, frosting, and salad dressing, so get creative and have fun! Moondeli suggests up to two servings of each blend per day, but remember that the tonics work synergistically, so you can mix several of them together in your attempt to gain superpowers. I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist, so I can’t say whether or not that will happen, but I’m gonna give it a try… Ceremony Tonic (matcha, cacao, maca,) here I come!

 

Herbs for Transitional and Challenging Times

By Steph Zabel
Herbalist & Ethnobotanist

2017 has been a challenging year for so many of us, on many levels. Just turning on the news can be heart-breaking and traumatic as we witness the loss, upheaval and grief so many of our kindred are experiencing due to human-made tragedies or environmental extremes.


What can we do? How can we respond?


When so many are wounded or are causing wounds, the pain existing in the world can seem overwhelming. If you feel at a loss for how to make a positive difference in the world at this moment in time… First, take heart that this too shall pass… Second, make sure that your body and spirit are nourished and comforted. Once you are well within yourself you will be able to spread this wellness and comfort outward to everyone whose lives you touch.


Some of my favorite ways of nourishing, comforting and healing myself — and my family — are the herbs below. These plants help us come back to our center. Some protect the heart; others nourish the nervous system; others lift the spirits. Read through these descriptions, try a cup of tea (or a tincture) of these plants and listen to the ones that call to you with their healing gifts.

By Rasbak via Wikimedia Commons

By Rasbak via Wikimedia Commons

MILKY OAT TOPS Offering Nourishment & Calm
Milky oats provides deep, deep fortifying nourishment for the nervous system and helps to overcome exhaustion. It eases anxiety, frazzled nerves and emotional instability. When you feel like you’re about to either 1) throw a temper tantrum if the slightest thing goes wrong or 2) collapse into a sobbing heap if you have to deal with one more thing… turn to milky oat. It helps to soothe sensitive people and anyone who is feeling emotionally overwhelmed. It strengthens the physical heart and the emotional heart. Oat is food; oat is medicine; oat is pure nourishing LOVE.


To make: Use dried oat straw: and steep 6 heaping spoonfuls in a quart of hot water for 6-8 hours. Strain and drink for a nourishing tea. Or, get your hands on a bottle of the milky oat tincture (it must say “milky”!) and take 1/2 to 1 full dropper as needed.

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HAWTHORN Offering Protection & Openness

Hawthorn berry is a famous cardiac tonic, imparting a strengthening and protective effect on the physical heart. But it also has a very special affinity for the emotional heart. It can be used to bring comfort during times of loss, grief, homesickness and heart-break. Hawthorn soothes a saddened heart and provides gentle support during stress and overwhelm. It is one of the best herbs I know of for a tender or troubled heart, or for any period of emotional tumult. This red-hued berry also helps us to know when when better emotional boundaries are needed. It helps us discern when it is necessary to protect our hearts and when it is safe to open them completely.

To make: Use dried hawthorn berries and add 2-4 Tbsp. of the berries to 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer at low heat for 15-30 minutes. Strain and drink.

By Ian Cunliffe via Wikimedia Commons

By Ian Cunliffe via Wikimedia Commons

SAGE Offering Clarity & Wisdom

Sage has a rejuvenating effect on the nerves, and has been used by herbalists to address depression, anxiety and nervousness. It is especially good for the frazzled feeling we get when life is too hectic or overwhelming. Sage helps us feel less anxious and more grounded. I believe when used over time it can also help us to feel more at peace with how things are, and to feel more connected with day-to-day reality, i.e. appreciating what is rather than what we want things to be. Many traditions have noted that sage has the ability to enhance one’s inner wisdom. Sage flower essence is especially beautiful and illuminating for enhancing inner knowingness.


To make: Use 1/2 Tblsp. dried herb per cup of hot water; let steep 7-10 minutes. Can also be gently simmered in a small saucepan for a more mellow flavor. Or, use sage flower essence, taking 3 drops 3-4 times per day.

By Line via Wikimedia Commons

By Line via Wikimedia Commons

 

TULSI Offering Centering & Grounding

For centuries tulsi (a.k.a. holy basil) has been called a sacred herb. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine it is regarded as an “elixir of life” and is said to promote longevity and perfect health. It is also said to gladden the heart and lift the spirits. Tulsi is a lovely relaxing nervine, and a calming, centering herb useful for an anxious mind. It can offer comfort and grounding when it is most needed. It is a very important herb for helping the body adapt to stress and to cope with an over-active nervous system. Even the scent of tulsi is healing: it is uplifting, brightening and soothing to the mind and spirit.


To make: Use 1/2 - 1 Tblsp. of the dried leaf per cup of hot water; let steep at least 7 minutes, if not longer. The essential oil can also be used before bed or meditation, in a diffuser or simply inhaled directly from the bottle.

By Shashidhara Halady via Wikimedia Commons

By Shashidhara Halady via Wikimedia Commons

Steph Zabel, MSc, is an herbalist and botanical educator who helps urban dwellers connect with the plant world. She teaches seasonally-oriented herbal classes that focus on local plants, herbal medicine-making techniques, and plant identification. She is also the creator of Herbstalk, Boston’s community herbal conference. Learn more about her work at: www.flowerfolkherbs.com and www.herbstalk.org.


This blog series — Herbs and Botanicals— 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.

Ritual: Take a deep breath this holiday season

By Heather, Lifestyle Buyer + The Naturalist Contributor

I have come to understand that breath is one our most powerful tools - to soothe, to decompress, to process, to shift. When my full capacity to breathe is deeply compromised, I feel disarmed; my musical career and my role here at the store (great customer service means lots of conversations!) both depend on my lungs being in tip-top shape.

Below is a tea blend, a playlist to listen to while sipping, and a simple ritual to support the hard work your lungs do every day. Many of the herbs in this blend are gently sedating or relaxing, making this a great tea to drink before bed, especially if you find that a cough is keeping you awake at night.

 

Deep Breath Tea Blend

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  • Mullein - an expectorant with an affinity for the upper respiratory system

  • Thyme - Agatha Noveille, Associate Educator at the Herbal Academy writes, thyme “...is useful for acute or chronic respiratory problems including coughs and bronchitis.” Thyme is also a nervine (an herb that aids the nervous system) and has a warming effect.

  • Honey Gardens’ Wild Cherry Bark Honey Syrup - a wonderful, tasty blend of several different herbs that are supportive of respiratory health. The blend includes:

    • Wild Cherry Bark - a bronchodilator (an herb that assists in widening of the bronchi, which opens the airways of the lungs) that can help ease the cough reflex, calm irritation, and assist in healing of the respiratory system. Because it is naturally astringent, it assists the body in drying out mucus.

    • Elecampagne - an expectorant traditionally used to combat coughs, chest mucus, and phlegm

    • Raw honey - besides being delicious, honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic (preventing growth of harmful microorganisms)

Mix equal parts of each herb (I estimate about 2-3 teaspoons of dried leaf per 8 oz of hot water), cover and steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain the herbs and add the Wild Cherry Bark Honey Syrup, stirring to combine, and enjoy your elixir!

 

Ritual: Burning Frankincense Resin

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Steph Zabel, MSc, local herbalist and botanical educator explains the magic of frankincense: “The astringent action of this plant can also help eliminate phlegm and congestion in the lungs. For mucous-y situations that seem to hang around in the respiratory system or sinuses, try frankincense as it will not only help to dry up mucous but will also act as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier.” You can find frankincense resin in our bulk section!

References:

http://www.flowerfolkherbs.com/blog

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com

https://theherbalacademy.com

 

CN Late Autumn TEA Ritual Playlist

 

This blog series — Rituals — 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.

Six Favorite Herbal Recipes for Autumn

Fall! It’s almost here!… The official start to the season is the autumn equinox on September 22nd. I’m sure you can already feel the shift in the air, the different slant of light and the ever-changing colors of the trees.

If you read my blog or newsletters you know that fall is my absolute favorite season. Summer is pretty wonderful, of course, but I have to admit that it always feels like a huge relief when the heat and brightness of the summer sun fade into the cooler, more gentle days of autumn. There is a special sort of beauty that exists only in fall.

In celebration of this season I am compiling some of my favorite, go-to herbal recipes. Some of these are quite simple to make and others are a bit more involved. Read on for the healing benefits of the plants in each recipe. I hope you are inspired to make a few of these herbal concoctions…

May your autumn days be full of beauty and abundance!

SIMPLE ELDERBERRY SYRUP

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Elderberry is an important herb for every home apothecary, especially as we enter the colder months of cold and flu season. This syrup is very easy to make, tastes delicious and is one of the best things you can do to support your immune system. It is my go-to potion for sniffles, colds, flu, and anytime I am starting to feel run-down. Take 1-2 tablespoons a day for preventative measures and to keep your immune system going strong. This syrup is also delicious added to teas (or hot toddies!), or as a special garnish on desserts.

An herbal syrup might sound complicated, but really it is just a mixture of:
a strong herbal tea + a sweetener + brandy

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon dried cinnamon chips
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup local honey
  • 1/2 cup brandy

1. Create a strong tea (decoction) by slowly simmering the elderberries and spices in the water. Let the water content reduce by half, which may take an hour or more.  Keep an eye on the pot and make sure the water does not evaporate too much - if needed, add another cup of water.

2. Strain and discard the herbs from the liquid.

3.  Measure your remaining liquid. If you started with 4 cups of water, you should have 1.5 to 2 cups of liquid left. Add 1 cup of honey. You can adjust the amount to your taste, and preference for consistency. (If you want a thicker, sweeter syrup, add more honey.)

4. After adding the honey, cook on very low heat until just combined, usually just a minute or two. When using honey (especially raw honey) you want to be careful with the amount of heat you use.

5.  Remove from the heat and let cool. At this point your syrup can be considered finished, but if you would like extra preservative properties for a longer shelf life, add 1/2 cup brandy. Mix thoroughly.

6. Pour into clean glass bottles, label it with the ingredients and date, and refrigerate. The syrup will keep for several months when preserved with brandy and stored in the fridge.

Options: You could also add other spices such as cloves, cardamom or orange peel to this recipe. I also like to add in a small amount of dried rosehips for added Vitamin C content. Use this basic recipe as a starting point and let your creative juices flow!

 

ROSEHIP OXYMEL

The combination of honey, vinegar and herbs creates an ancient preparation called an oxymel. This simple medicine dates back to the time of the Greeks and has been used for many different ailments. Today we can make oxymels as a delicious way to preserve our favorite herbs, or to create a medicinal tonic.

The basic method of making an oxymel is to mix together equal parts honey and apple cider vinegar and pour this mixture over your herbs to steep. (Use more vinegar for a thinner oxymel, less vinegar for a more syrup-y oxymel.)

Rosehips are an excellent herb to incorporate into your fall herbal routine as they are chock full of Vitamin C and help our immune systems stay healthy. Use this tart honey-vinegar concoction directly by the spoonful, or add to seltzer water for a refreshing drink. You can also use it as the base for sauces, marinades and salad dressings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Rosehips
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Raw honey

1. Fill a pint sized jar 1/3 full of dried rosehips or 1/2 full of fresh, chopped rosehips.

2. Cover with a vinegar/honey mixture (start with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar: honey). Stir it up to remove air bubbles and cover the top of the jar with a sheet of wax paper before capping if using a metal lid. (Or use a plastic lid to avoid corrosion from the vinegar.)

3. Shake those hips! Shake the jar often to make sure the herb does not clump together. Add more vinegar if necessary.

4. Let infuse for 2 – 6 weeks. Then strain out using a cheesecloth and store in a tightly capped bottle out of direct sunlight.

 

SPICED ASHWAGANDHA HOT CHOCOLATE

What better way to take your fortifying ashwagandha powder than in hot chocolate?! Make this brew on cold nights -- it is lovely to sip on as you are winding down from the day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha root powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • a few sprinkles of freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 8 oz. Coconut milk* (or other milk of choice)
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste

This recipe makes one serving. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and whisk in the cocoa powder, ashwagandha powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat gently over low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a mug and add honey or maple syrup to your taste. Enjoy!

*If using full fat coconut milk from a can I usually dilute it down with water to equal parts, i.e. 4 oz coconut milk plus 4 oz. water

 

HERBAL ROOT CHAI

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I love this chai because not only is it completely delicious, it is also very good for you. Dandelion, burdock and chicory roots are incredibly nourishing and make our livers happy. And astragalus is a sweet-tasting, tonic root that supports our immune systems — never a bad thing during cold and flu season. The spices in this recipe add a gentle heat that stimulates both our digestion and circulation. All in all, this root chai helps us to stay toasty and healthy during the cold months.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorn
  • 1-2 tsp. dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp. dried orange peel
  • 1/2 Tblsp. cinnamon bark (sweet or cassia)
  • 1 Tblsp. burdock root
  • 1 Tblsp. roasted dandelion root (roasted will yield a deeper, darker flavor)
  • 1 Tblsp. roasted chicory root
  • 1 Tblsp. astragalus root

Grind together the cloves, cardamom and peppercorn in a mortar and pestle. This will help their flavor be dispersed throughout the whole tea. Combine these crushed pieces with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in a tightly capped glass jar. This will make about 5-6 servings of tea.

To brew the tea, add up to 1 Tblsp. of the chai blend per two cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer covered at for least 20 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on the water level and don't let it evaporate too much. When it is as dark and spicy tasting as you would like, strain out the roots and add milk and honey to taste.

 

AUTUMN APPLE TEA

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This unusual tea blends together some of the brightest notes of summer with our delicious New England fall fruits.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon dried lemon verbena leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried (or fresh) sumac berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosehips
  • 1 tart apple, cut into pieces

1. Place all the ingredients in a quart-sized jar.

2. Cover with freshly boiled water and let steep for 10 - 20 minutes.

3. Strain out the herbs and add raw honey or maple syrup to taste. Drink cool or warm.

 

MUGWORT INFUSED VINEGAR

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Mugwort is one of my favorite herbs, full of healing on several levels. It is contains many minerals and vitamins and its bitter taste stimulates the digestion. I love to use this vinegar on roasted vegetables or as a salad dressing. I also simply take it by the spoonful!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Mugwort
  • Apple cider vinegar

 1. In a pint sized jar, add 1.5 cups chopped fresh mugwort leaves and stems. (If using dried mugwort, add just 3/4 cup.)

 2. Cover the herb completely with apple cider vinegar, until the liquid reaches to nearly the top of the jar.

3. Stir with a spoon or chopstick to remove any air bubbles.

4. Place a sheet of wax paper over the top of the jar and then cap tightly with the lid. (The wax paper prevents the vinegar from corroding the lid.)

5. Let steep for 4 to 6 weeks, if you can bear to wait that long! Taste at intervals to see if the flavor is to your liking. When ready, strain out the mugwort through a fine sieve.

6. Place the remaining liquid in a dark colored, air-tight bottle and label. The vinegar can be left at room temperature if used within a few months. For a longer shelf life, store in the refrigerator.

Steph Zabel, MSc, is an herbalist and educator who helps urban dwellers connect with the plant world. She teaches seasonal herbal classes and is the founder of HERBSTALK, Boston’s community herbal conference. Learn more about her work at: www.flowerfolkherbs.com and www.herbstalk.org.

 


This blog series — Herbs and Botanicals— 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.

Monthly Muse: Evan Healy

By Emily, CN Second Generation Co-Owner

When I first came back into the business three years ago, my focus at the store was our body care section. There was a big learning curve with understanding the intricacies of buying: getting to know each brand's particular ethos and story, how to order the products, and how to communicate the value of each individual line to our customers. One of the first brands I worked with was evanhealy, a line we'd carried for over a decade. I was fairly familiar with the products, but I didn't know that much about their back story, the ingredients, and what truly sets evanhealy skin care apart.

Evan and her husband David launched their skin care company in 1999. Evan had been a natural skin care aesthetician for over 10 years, and had studied Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy and aromatherapy in the US, Europe and India. She brought core tenants of these philosophies into her new skin care brand - as well as her own unwavering passion for authentic beauty and truth. What makes the evanhealy line so special is not just that their ingredients are impeccably sourced - they build deep relationships with women's cooperatives and small family farms around the world to ethically source the majority of their high quality, organic ingredients - but also that their plant-based products are formulated to highlight and embrace your skin. Rather than correcting "problems" or "challenges", Evan's products heal and harmonize with your skin's natural beauty. On every one of their shipping boxes is a sticker with the message "Who you are is enough." Using Evan's products feels like taking a deep breath of fresh air, drawn down into your belly, and exhaled slowly. The mixing of oil, water (and sometimes clay) is one of my absolute favorite daily rituals now.

We were lucky to learn more about Evan's own rituals, her quest for authenticity, and her passion for running evanhealy alongside David and their wonderful team. Read on for our interview:

All photos courtesy of Evan Healy.

Evan in a field of Sacred Tulsi in Trivandrum, India, 2009. Photo by Niika Quistgard.

Evan in a field of Sacred Tulsi in Trivandrum, India, 2009. Photo by Niika Quistgard.

Partnerships are very important to the evanhealy brand - when you source an ingredient like organic shea butter or fair trade argan oil, you're working closely with the communities that grow and harvest the raw material and you support their livelihood in deep ways. Can you tell us a little bit about why these relationships matter to you and to the company, and one particular partnership story that inspires your work?

Evan: Partnerships are the foundation of our business. Our relationships are what matter most. I prefer to deal with people I know and have met. We are very fortunate in our business that we work with families and folks devoted to the shared values of hand made and artisan, organic and holistic. We source from all over the global garden. We also value the profound knowledge of indigenous cultures. Traditional cultures and their regional remedies are often overlooked sources of wisdom. Traditional cultural remedies represent many generations of experience and knowledge of the natural world. This ancient knowledge is imbued with both simplicity and meaning, and I love learning about their historical context. I enjoy connecting with women who know the deep truths of the land on which they live. They exhibit such a generosity of spirit when they share their knowledge of their ancestors. This is true whether it’s the women of Kperisi in Ghana or the Berber Amazigh women of Tiznit, in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. These women radiate the power, integrity and well-being of Place.

Meeting Urias in Mexico, 2007 - maker of evanhealy's clay bowls for the Clay Mask Kit. His sons and grandsons now work with him.

Meeting Urias in Mexico, 2007 - maker of evanhealy's clay bowls for the Clay Mask Kit. His sons and grandsons now work with him.

What does a typical day in the world of evanhealy skin care look like? What are your favorite daily aspects about what you do for a living?

I’m a creative person. I like variety. I don’t like to get up and do the same thing everyday. I'm not a nine-to-five person. I follow my energy cycles. In the morning I like to go outside almost immediately.

I do enjoy getting in to the office and talking to people. I enjoy their energy. More than anything else I appreciate the opportunity to exercise my creativity. I am our company’s Creative Director, so I am always scanning the horizon for new ideas, partnerships, products. Ultimately, it is the natural world from which I draw the most inspiration and value. In all settings, I work best in the moment, and often better alone. Those moments can often stretch out for months, or years! I like to take something that I’ve been tinkering with and give it life, take it to the next level. This takes time, and conversely, the process is also rather spontaneous. For me working with our nutritive oils, our various infused oils, nut and seed butters, sun dried clays, emulsions and hydrosols is an almost meditative experience. It deepens the connection to what I feel is best about myself. It both grounds me and expands me. I have been very fortunate in my life’s work.

I find the way ‘beauty’ is portrayed in the mainstream media rather shallow, and too perfectionistic. I have learned that, pared down to its essence, beauty lies in the cracks and crevices of our lives every minute of every day.

I love collaborating with our design and media team. I get inspiration from all avenues: photography, food and home-style blogs. I love picking up the camera myself. With or without a camera, I am constantly framing what I see, recording it, or making a mental note. I look for harmony, magical light and natural, unfussy beauty. I find it no matter where I am: in my backyard, on a trail, in a remote village, on the street, and of course, in the faces I see. During the years I spent in my skin care practice, I learned the valuable lesson of looking, observing and watching. All three of these actions convey the need to both soften the vision - while sharpening the focus. Attention to detail has always been my specialty!

Evan doing a summertime facial. 2016.

Evan doing a summertime facial. 2016.

Skin is constantly changing and evolving, reflecting thoughts and emotions, I find that fascinating. I am constantly looking to communicate a more authentic expression of beauty, in both word and image. I find the way ‘beauty’ is portrayed in the mainstream media rather shallow, and too perfectionistic. I have learned that, pared down to its essence, beauty lies in the cracks and crevices of our lives every minute of every day. The challenge these days is to slow down long enough to look and really see what’s there. When done right, it becomes a meditation. I love the idea that natural beauty is transitory and messy. Nature is not perfect, but it is enlightened. We place too high a value on perfection, and our nervous systems can’t handle this constant striving for perfection. All things are impermanent. The inherent lesson of our life is: learn to let go! Take a nap. Go for a walk. Take time to relax. Your adrenals will thank you. Expressed by the relative simplicity of our product range, we want to raise the conversation from one of a hyper focus on 'anti-aging' - to the appreciation of imperfection. The deeper truth behind our message is the fact that - who you are is enough.

Evan & David

Evan & David

You and your husband David work closely together to run evanhealy. As a (multi-generational) family-owned business ourselves, we'd love to learn how you balance the demands (and joys) of work life with your family life.

Oh yes! I struggle with balance every day. However, at this point, David and I have been collaborating for most of our twenty years together. It’s pretty seamless, it’s always rewarding, but yes, it’s not always easy. We like to remind each other of that analogy about stones in a tumbler, softening each other’s sharp edges. We’re pretty comfortable together, and with our business. It’s our life. It’s our child. And we are perfectly suited to it. We each exhibit the complimentary, but polar opposite of the other’s talent and skill. He’s organized and financial. I’m artistic and spontaneous. He works on Excel spread sheets. I scribble on thousands of post-its. We have taken the Yin and Yang thing to a whole new level. We have boundaries – day and night, work week and weekend – but they’re not strict. Neither of us are that good with boundaries. Ultimately, he is my most important relationship.

The never-ending barrage of internet ‘noise’ is so disruptive to our delicately balanced nervous system. It impedes access to the inner quiet life of our true self. To counter this we say: Slow down. Simplify.

Your products have a devoted following among our staff and customers - and not just because they are well-formulated and made with beautiful ingredients, but because they inspire a deeper sense of self-care. The word "ritual" always comes to mind: The daily ritual of slowing down, taking time for your skin, and therefore yourself. What are some of your favorite self-care rituals?

Evan:  Yes, I love the word ritual as it pertains to care of the skin. I like to ease into my morning. I get up and immediately go outside with bare feet on the grass, stretching or yoga, with a cup of hot lemon water, tea or coffee. I’m an introvert, so being quiet is my touchstone. I can only regenerate when I am alone and early morning is my time. I go from a sleep state to a slow, calm, natural state via our backyard. By standing under our ancient apple tree, I go within. And while I don’t mind getting up early, I don’t like to have to be somewhere, or for that matter, leave my house at all. I prefer to glide slowly into my day. As I get older, I notice my rhythms change. The stability of daily rituals matter more. They become deeper, slower and more infused with meaning.

A shell Evan uses for scooping clay, found on the beach of her childhood summer home in Scituate, MA, a place she feels a deep connection to. Her hands are also one of the main ways she connects with the world around her - both as an esthetician and as a healer.

A shell Evan uses for scooping clay, found on the beach of her childhood summer home in Scituate, MA, a place she feels a deep connection to. Her hands are also one of the main ways she connects with the world around her - both as an esthetician and as a healer.

Out of necessity, I’m driven to find what calms and relaxes me. I struggle, frankly, to get away from the internet. I do a lot of the writing, planning, and I find inspiration by scanning social media, but I don’t find it healthy to know what’s going on every minute of every day! You certainly don’t need to know I’ve just flossed my teeth, boiled an egg or blinked my eyes, for instance. A distortion of our natural rhythms results in an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system and all its attendant symptoms, such as higher cortisol. Adrenal depletion can often been seen in the area around the eyes. The never-ending barrage of internet ‘noise’ is so disruptive to our delicately balanced nervous system. It impedes access to the inner quiet life of our true self. To counter this we say: Slow down. Simplify.

I use our copper distilled plant Hydrosols and Facial Serums as remedies, not just for the skin but also to send a message to my spirit. Healers have to remain grounded in nature. It’s what connects us to our own inner physician. I love saturating my face with our Hydrosols, followed by massaging a few droplets of our Oil Serum (Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir is my idea of heaven these days!) into my skin. I use our Whipped Shea Butter, made with our own infused oils, to cure any and all skin ills.

Copper stills used in making the evanhealy Hydrosouls

Copper stills used in making the evanhealy Hydrosouls

The world has seemingly become more chaotic and our political scene ever more divisive. What people, books, media, or movements are inspiring you to keep going these days?

In my earlier years, and out of a need for answers, I spent years reading classics, philosophy and books about eastern religion. Books that encouraged my flights of imagination were often about women explorers such as Alexandra David-Neel, Gertrude Bell and Freya Stark. I was looking for answers to the age-old question of how do I live an authentic life? And for that matter, what is an authentic life? I was truly on a journey of self-discovery. My path took me to mystics and teachers like Joseph Campbell and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. My list of teachers and mentors is long and varied! There are so many sources of inspiration, and the search is always a deeply personal one.

Stepping outdoors for an afternoon walk in Big Sur.

Stepping outdoors for an afternoon walk in Big Sur.

These days, I am inspired by topics and books such as Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan. I loved the book In Praise of Shadows, by author Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. I have read and reread Leonard Koren’s books: Wabi Sabi – Further Thoughts, and his earlier book, Wabi Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers.

The books on Wabi Sabi share the profound and ultimate wisdom of finding true beauty in imperfection. Embracing the cycles and profundity of nature. It’s a beauty that is simple, slow and uncluttered. This is what makes the most sense to me.

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.

March Monthly Muse: Dr. Eva Zasloff

By Mary, CN Body Care Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

We’ve been marching our way into wellness all month long, and encouraging you, our wonderful readers and customers, to do the same. As important as it is to nurture health throughout our entire lifetime, there’s no more important time than when we first arrive here. We at Cambridge Naturals are not doctors or pharmacists, and although we all carry a wealth of knowledge on our products, most of us don’t have the kind of experience and education needed to help ensure the best care for those precious days of pre and post-natal care.

Eva Zasloff, M.D. is a Cambridge based doctor offering in-home medical care for newborns and new mothers and has helped so many get the support and healthcare they need during this time. The term “fourth trimester” was not a term I was familiar with prior to speaking with Dr. Zasloff and I don’t think I’m alone. It refers to the moment of birth to three months after, and is a time of great change and adjustment for both the baby and parents.

At a time when the percentage of postpartum depression is up to 75% in the US, Eva’s model of care is an important one to know about. She offers pediatric check-ins as well as support for mothers for anything from lactation support to navigating postpartum blues. Her practice focuses on in-home visits allowing patients to be treated in the environment they’re most comfortable in. Read on to learn more about Eva and her work, including her top recommendations for new moms!

What is your favorite place or thing to do in the Boston area?

I love the pick-your-own-flowers CSA at Lex Farm. It is a local community-run farm located next to the Arlington reservoir.  Every week in the summertime, I head to the farm to hand pick flowers from the fields for my home. I look forward to it every year.

Do you have a life changing book you’ve read that you can recommend?

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. I have been interested in the microbiome and probiotics for a long time, but about 5 years ago I discovered this book. I love Katz's style and approach to fermenting foods- super informative but also laid back. This is my go-to book for homemade sauerkraut, pickles, and yogurt recipes. My three boys have grown accustomed to many glass jars with strange foods fermenting on our kitchen counter or patio...

What initially drew you to working with postpartum moms and babies when you entered the medical field?

I have always been struck by the beauty, power, and vulnerability during this time for both the newborn and the family. The physiology of the mother and baby is so fascinating. Newborns have to figure out how to exist breathing and living outside of womb which was filled with amniotic fluid - like figuring about how to transform from being an amphibian into a mammal! The postpartum mother is healing from the birth experience and having dramatic shifts in hormonal and regulatory mechanisms in order for lactation to be established. Another amazing aspect is how connected the mother-baby unit is, both emotionally and physically. How the baby is feeding, how the mother is feeling, these things affect one another. Also, so much attention is put into the pregnancy and birth experience- which is great- but so often, the baby is born and the support falls. As a practicing family doctor, I over and over again had felt like I could be caring for this population in a better way.

What have some of the highlights been since you founded your own practice, Tova Health?

So many! First, it is an honor to be a part of this transformative time for a family and to be welcomed into their home. It is also so energizing to have a vision of something good and important, and then to actually make it happen. It really is a creative process for me. Doctors and midwives from all over the country are reaching out and excited about this new model of care. So thrilling to watch this grow.   

I also love the multicultural richness of the postpartum time - there are many ancient traditions and rituals surrounding this time. After one my newborn home visits, the grandmother brought me to the kitchen to teach me how to make a traditional Indian postpartum drink. It is delicious and made with dill seed and ghee. Now I bring the ingredients and recipe of this tea as a welcome gift to new families.

Home births and in-home care for mothers and newborns is still a foreign concept for some in this country. Your patients have found the care you offer invaluable. In what ways is your service different?

For the first 3 months of life, I visit the family in their home, caring for the mother and baby in an integrative way. I provide comprehensive newborn care for the baby. The family can rest and heal. I walk through this time with them and meet them where they are. I listen to their birth stories- the beautiful parts and the hard parts. Sometimes there are tears. We talk about postpartum blues, breastfeeding concerns, diaper rash, all of it! It is remarkable how much recovery, learning, and grown can happen when supported.

Lastly, what are your top 3 Cambridge Naturals product recommendations you can make for new mothers?

  1. Organic Fenugreek seeds in the bulk section. Fenugreek is thought to promote milk supply. swallow 1/2 teaspoon of seeds each day postpartum if milk supply is low or needs a boost.

  2. Silverette Nipple Caps. These are a great gift! They can be really helpful and soothing during the first few weeks of  breastfeeding.

  3. The First Forty Days. Such a beautiful book- full of postpartum wisdoms, cultural traditions and recipes. great to read during the end of pregnancy or during those long postpartum nights.

Eva Zasloff MD  is a board certified family doctor with a focus on pediatric & women’s health. She has created a new model of care called Tova Health: Integrative Newborn & Maternal Care at Home serving the greater Cambridge area. info@tovahealth.com / www.tovahealth.com

Marching into Wellness: Bitters and How They Make Us Better!

By Elizabeth, CN Co-Owner & Certified Nutritionist

There are many reasons for us to use bitters to “make ourselves better” on a regular daily basis (see the list below). 

At Cambridge Naturals, we offer an eclectic collection sure to please your palate for both cocktails and for good digestive health.

Bitters’ complex flavors do more than make your mouth pucker, or add “life” to a cocktail.  Bitters help us balance our appetite and our digestive processes by increasing the secretion of our digestive enzymes. And bitters are also known to help detoxify the liver. 

Made from the roots, barks, and flowers of many herb plants, bitters stimulate the production of saliva, gastric juices and bile.  

Where did this concept of using bitter plants for cocktails come from?  Bitters have a rich history in all the major civilizations of the ancient and modern world extending all the way from the ancient Egyptians to the 16th century prescriptions of the physician Paracelsus to the 19th century British practice of adding herbal bitters to wine …. all the way to today when we mostly think of them for cocktails with names like orange bitters, celery bitters, lemon bitters, Creole bitters, grapefruit bitters, chocolate bitters, peach bitters, and more.

Here are 2 new bitters from Urban Moonshine™ to please your palette:

Cider Vinegar Bitters (alcohol free), which “Supports Digestion” and is “Fast Acting Heartburn Relief.” It is both “Earthy and Sour!”

Healthy Liver Bitters, noted as “Sweet & Herbaceous” and it “Supports Digestion, Normal Detox & Healthy Cholesterol”

 
 

What Bitters Can Do For You:

  • Curb sugar cravings*
  • Soothe gas and bloating and relieve occasional heartburn*
  • Encourage production of bile & digestive enzymes*
  • Calm upset stomachs*
  • Increase absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K*
  • Help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels*
  • Balance appetite*
  • Ease constipation and regulate bowel movements*
  • Support liver function and healthy skin*

Ask our staff for some of our favorite bitters!

*This blog post — Bitters and How They Make Us Better! — 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.