Health and Wellness

Why we don't stock vapes

By Zach, Supplements Manager + Co-Director of Purchasing

We take health seriously. We curate our selection. We agonize over our products. Many factors contribute to how we evaluate products and brands: ingredient sourcing, base ingredients, testing methods, and dozens of other variables are taken into consideration when choose (or choose not) to stock something. In light of that, we want to talk about vaping. Yes, vaping. Specifically CBD Vapes. But before we get there, let's lay down some base info.

Vaping nicotine is considered a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, no doubt about it. But what about those who just vape nicotine and don't smoke cigarettes? Early research shows that vaping nicotine vapes alone may increase risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack risk vs not vaping at all.  And some researchers have proposed that vaping while also being an active cigarette smoker may actually be doubly bad for your health. So it seems like vaping itself isn't inherently 'healthy' and is potentially 'unhealthy.' 


So what about CBD vapes? 

Based on anecdotal reports and our understanding of physiology, vaporizing CBD does likely have a very high absorption rate because it bypasses digestive processes and enters the blood quickly through the lungs. As a result, it may have a more noticeable, 'fast' effect compared to a tincture, oil, or pill.

But there is still controversy to be hashed out around the potential health benefits and potential health risks of CBD vapes. The pens themselves are made of metals, plastics, and sometimes glass. In most all E-Cigs (AKA Vapes), high temperature pieces of metal or quartz wrapped in metal wire are what actually vaporizes the CBD oil. Multiple studies done by prestigious institutions like Johns Hopkins, the NHI, and others have shown that the vape pens themselves may expose the user to unnecessary intake of toxic metals like nickle, cadmium, and lead.

As a health focused business, we aim to provide solutions for health. While 'vaping' CBD may be an effective tool for some people, we believe that ingesting it orally and using it topically has broad potential health benefits. Therefore CBD can be effective without the potential exposure to toxic metals that vaping and potential health risks that vaping may have. We appreciate the value vaping may have, and the need it may fill, but at this point, we have decided not to stock any CBD Vape products. If a CBD Vape is what works for your health, for your needs, 'more power to you.' We support you on your health journey!

Beautiful fields of agricultural hemp from our partner SunSoil in VT.

Beautiful fields of agricultural hemp from our partner SunSoil in VT.

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 intended for use as a means to cure, treat, prevent, diagnose or mitigate any disease or other medical or abnormal condition.

Love CBD? Try this!

Have you heard about CBD? No, that’s not a joke. There are still many people out there who are just now learning about the magic of cannabidiol, a compound extracted from the hemp plant that can work wonders on achy muscles and joints, acute and long-term stress, and inflammation. The power of CBD is due to our body’s endocannabinoid system, and it can be incredibly effective for many people. In the last three years, we’ve brought in more than 200 products that contain high quality, full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD - everything from liquid tinctures, to capsules, to topical salves, to chocolates, to cold-brewed coffee, and the customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

But before we knew all about CBD, there were many other supplements and herbs that were prized for their stress-relieving and inflammation-modulating effects. And, we at Cambridge Naturals still love them and use them frequently! Whether used on their own, or accompanied by a CBD product, these herbs and supplements can be powerful supports for getting through the day and feeling great.* Below are some of our favorites:

Kava Kava

Kava Kava (Latin name: Piper methysticum) is a root grown in the Pacific Island region. It has been used traditionally for hundreds of years (both medicinally and ceremonially) for its calming, relaxing, and mood uplifting benefits. We carry Kava Kava in capsule, tincture and bulk powder form. “The calm I feel after taking a dropper-full of Kava Kava could be compared to the calm I feel relaxing on a Sunday morning with a special someone. My brain, it could be said, is laying on its own pillow once the Kava Kava starts working on its magic,” says Vicki, CN’s Bulk Herbs Lead. Herbs can be wonderful allies, but all those with compromised liver conditions should not take Kava Kava. As always, make sure to follow the recommended dosage guidelines!

When you take your kava tincture, make sure to look fierce.

When you take your kava tincture, make sure to look fierce.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral used by our bodies to support, among other things, strong and healthy bones, blood pressure, and muscle + nerve function. Supplemental magnesium comes in many effective forms including tablets, liquid, quick-dissolving powder, topical oils and gels, and even in the form of Epsom salts for baths! We use it both topically and internally for achy muscles, for its deeply calming effects, and even for sleep support. Bex, our Events Director, says, “On those days that I'm feeling extra-edgy, I turn to magnesium to support de-stressing, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I've found that it has been particularly helpful for moodiness, cramping, sleep issues, headaches and digestive distress during my monthly moon--and my experience has been corroborated by a slew of studies.”


B-Complex

You’ve probably heard your doctor talk about B12, or maybe folic acid, but what about the full range of B-Vitamins? Did you know that a B-Complex can be a gentle but effective stress support supplement? “I am that person you know at work whose brain is always on,” says Zach, CN’s Co-Director of Purchasing. “You know the one. They speak a mile-a-minute, think even faster, and they always have ten tabs open on their web browser. To support my mind and my body, I take B-Complex Vitamins. Shown to help support reduced cortisol levels (the 'stress hormone') and to support cognitive health in a myriad of ways, I find a good B-Vitamin soothes my nerves, focuses my mind, and energizes for my body. If swallowing pills not your thing, a B6-B12-Folate lozenge is a great way to get some of the most essential B-vitamins.”

The wonderful  Arnica Montana  via Wikimedia

The wonderful Arnica Montana via Wikimedia


Arnica

Arnica, an herb indigenous to Siberia and Europe, has been used in holistic medicine for hundreds of years for its anti-inflammatory benefits. You might be familiar with topical formulas (balms or salves) that contain Arnica - an effective remedies for bruises and muscle tension. Arnica can also be taken orally as a homeopathic. “Arnica is a wonderful floral addition to a routine that needs some relief. With anti-inflammatory properties, I look to a simple arnica flower infused oil for the occasional bump, bruise or discomfort,” says Caitlin, CN’s Body Care Lead. “Arnica is a go-to for me as it is typically low in price and fairly easy to find - we have several arnica-infused options for your skin including oil, stick, balm or spray.”


Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, otherwise known as “Indian Ginseng”, is an adaptogenic herb - meaning it works with the body’s natural processes to balance healthy levels of stress and energy. Many people find Ashwaganda, when taken over the long term, to be extremely beneficial. “Ashwagandha has been a staple in my daily herbal lineup for over 2 years now,” says Alyssa, Supplements Buyer. “It's gentle and balancing nature helps me stay grounded and healthy despite changes in my internal and external environments. Unlike herbs like Kava kava, the effects of Ashwagandha are best felt with prolonged use... I look at it as an herbal investment for my endocrine and immune systems.”

Fields of lavender via Wikimedia Commons

Fields of lavender via Wikimedia Commons

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils, and with good reason! Not only does it smell amazing, but it can be a very effective remedy for relaxation and sleep. Lavender EO should only be used externally, such as in a diffuser, or diluted with water in an atomizer bottle as a linen/pillow spray. You can also find many balms and salves that contain high-quality lavender EO. “I use Badger’s Sleep Balm with lavender every night,” says Caleb, Co-Owner. “I rub a little bit on my wrists, temples, and under my nose, and find that it helps calm my mind so that I’m able to drift off to sleep without all the racing thoughts of the day!”

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm, or Melissa Oficinalis, is a widely-planted and widely-cultivated green herb grown and enjoyed everywhere from Europe to the US. It’s known for being a gentle herb for uplifting one’s mood, and has also been clinically studied (with hopeful results!) for use with hyper-activity disorders. “Like a lot of folks in this day and age, I often find myself with rather higher stress levels than I'd like,” says Sam, CN’s Body Care Buyer. I often use lemon balm to soothe my overactive stress-demons, in one of two ways: as a tincture for a concentrated dose, or as a cup (or several!) of soothing tea. This past weekend, on a day when everything seemed to be Too Much (the store was busy, I had So Many Things To Get Done, and I made the mistake of reading the news) I brewed a large pot of lemon balm and drank it over the course of a couple hours. By the time I finished the savory herbal brew, I felt the very definition of mellow.

Gaia Herbs’ traditional Golden Milk powder is tasty and effective!

Gaia Herbs’ traditional Golden Milk powder is tasty and effective!

Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, and in traditional South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. More recently curcumin, one of the active constituents in turmeric, has been recognized for its powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. “Turmeric, now there's an herb whose value is unquestionable!” says Michael Kanter, Cambridge Naturals’ Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer. “Especially when one is dealing with an aging body and joints. That's me! Maybe it's you, too? My body thanks me every day!” There are so many ways to take quality turmeric - including tablets, capsules, powders (for use in cooking and beverages), and even teas and tonics.

* None of these statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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.