Friday, May 30, 2014

Nature's Rx: Local honey for allergies

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine July 2008**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbal Information Specialist /Business Representative for the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

Dear Jonathan, 

I am taking local honey daily to try and get rid of my allergies. How long should I continue? Arthur

Dear Arthur, 

The idea of using honey gets mixed reviews. Some folks get results and some do not. The idea is to desensitize yourself to the effects of the pollens. Many people will mix a few grains of local bee pollen with the honey. Needless to say, this is a matter of individual choice. Some people are extremely sensitive and should not try this. There are other approaches to getting through allergy season. 

Dear Jonathan,

I read your article on erectile dysfunction in last months' PRIME magazine .I am a diabetic and wondered if you could recommend which herb you talked about is best for me. 


Dear Ron, 

Thanks for reading the column and PRIME. Actually the article was meant to shed some light on the 'male enhancement' product industry, but as a side issue, most of the herbs have ED uses. In your case, I would try Ginkgo biloba (stay away from the stuff that Larry King advertises) A good Ginkgo in liquid or capsule form helps to promote circulation off the trunk. Basically, anything that protrudes could benefit from using Ginkgo (head, hands, feet . you get the picture) Because Diabetes affects circulation, Ginkgo could have many other benefits for you, other than working on ED. Most of our diabetic customers use Ginkgo and have experienced excellent results, especially for foot problems, of which I am sure you are aware. Before trying any of the Rainforest herbal remedies, I would start with Ginkgo.

Dear Jonathan, 

We just returned from a vacation in Maine, and I have to say the Bugzaway we bought at the Herbarium really lived up to its claims. Our friends were using regular insect repellent and spent their time swatting the bugs. I sprayed on the Bugzaway and presto no bugs! Thanks for a great product. Bill

Dear Bill, 

I will pass your letter on to my wife. Kathy created the Bugzaway many years ago to protect the children, and just kept tweaking the formula, adding different oils to repel different insects. We have received reports from all over the country and around the world on how well it works. The reason is rather simple, but profound. A chemical spray is going to be the same, time after time. The formula never changes. Bugs can build up an immunity to the compound. Bugzaway uses only pure essential oils from the plants. Every batch of oil is going to be different because of growing conditions, sunlight rain, etc. The chemicals in the essential oils will vary slightly each time, and the insects cannot develop an immunity to them. Isn't Mother Nature grand?

Dear Jonathan, 

I use Hawthorn berry for my heart, and I just read that I should stop using it after three months. Is there a danger to using it for a long time? David

Dear David, 

I do not know where you read this information, but do not even worry about it. Perhaps the writer was using an old rule that says herbs should be discontinued after certain times because the body may become to accustomed to it. My mother used Hawthorn for many years and her heart doctors had no problem with her using it even when she was in hospital. One of our customers has been using Hawthorn daily for more than 23 years and would not dream of being without it. I can't tell you the details of his case, but even his doctors can't explain why he is still with us considering his condition, without paying proper respect to the effects of Hawthorn berry. Hawthorn berry is one of the most benign remedies you can use. There is no known toxic level, and it is the first cardio tonic anyone should consider. Noted cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra uses Hawthorn in his practice. The only problem related to using Hawthorn is in conjunction with Digitalis. Always consult your Cardiologist before using herbal products. 

Hey fishermen! 

One of my customers has a great use for garlic. He told us he melts down a jar of Vaseline, adds a garlic tincture and mixes it up and lets it solidify. He slathers it onto his lure and fishing line and the bass go crazy! He says it works better than any commercial preparation he has ever used. 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Treating IBS, cold sores, tendonitis naturally

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine Sept 2007**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbal Information Specialist /Business Representative for the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

The following reader's question came to me via e-mail:

Dear Jonathan, 

I heard your radio show Saturday when you said there were natural products that can help IBS, but I couldn t catch the whole story, could you please tell me what I can use? Linda

Dear Linda, 

IBS is defined as a chronic, relapsing gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain and bloating with alteration in bowel habits. 

IBS is highest in people of northern European descent and those suffering depression or anxiety. It is significantly lower in Asian and Hispanic populations. The best thing you can do to improve the situation is to change your diet. In most cases IBS can be helped enormously by avoiding dairy, sugar, refined and prepackaged foods. The Getting Started sheet, available at the HERBARIUM, has all the diet suggestions listed. I am not saying you have to give up milk and cheese forever, but it sure would be a good idea to abstain during a flare up and to reduce your intake of dairy to keep down the recurrence. Slippery Elm tea is very helpful to soothe the digestive tract, as is Aloe Vera juice or gel. 

Some people get results using enteric coated peppermint oil capsules, and others have used a Dr. Christopher product called ANTSP. 

Another important product to aid in managing IBS would be probiotics to help restore and maintain a good level of flora in the digestive tract. And, remember to baby your belly. That may mean eating baby or junior foods for a while, but so be it. 

There is some research that indicates IBS sufferers have a deficiency in essential fatty acids. Consuming fish or flax oils can help with this problem. While we are on the subject, I need to tell all of you that taking one capsule of fish or flax oil a day is not really going to do a whole lot for IBS or any other problem you are trying to address. I know the bottles say one daily but it is just not enough. Figure it this way, three capsules only equal one teaspoon of oil. The daily recommendation is a tablespoon of oil. That s nine capsules folks. Most of you won't take that many, so either switch to an oil or take at least three caps a day for any benefit. 

You may not like the suggestions I have given, but just remember the old saying, if you want to keep getting what you are getting, keep doing what you are doing. Jonathan

Dear Jonathan, 

My son keeps getting cold sores. He has tried several products that claim to help, but he just keeps getting outbreaks . They are very painful. What else can he try? Barbara

Dear Barbara, 

We have had very good results using a homeopathic cold sore ointment that contains Melissa oil, and taking lysine supplements. Lysine is an amino acid and people usually take 500-1000 mgs daily during the outbreak. Another product we have used for many years is Dr. Claytons HERP-EAZE. This herbal combination helps get rid of the sore and keeps it from coming back. Jonathan

Dear Jonathan, 

I have been diagnosed with tendonitis, and can t take the NSAID the doctor prescribed. It is tearing up my stomach. Anything in your bag of tricks that can help? Mike

Dear Mike, 

There are a couple of things I can suggest. BF&C is a product that can do wonders. It cuts down on the inflammation and the swelling, and can help heal the tissue. 

MSM750 is another great product. This combination contains MSM which is a sulfur compound that works as an anti-inflammatory, and is excellent for the ligaments and tendons. It also contains a combination of herbs such as turmeric, Cats claw, and Boswellia that have been used as anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. This combination is very good for arthritis pain and inflammation and does not have the side effects of the prescription medicines. 

MSM is not related to sulfa drugs, so do not worry about being allergic. Sulfa and sulfur are two different things. 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Marvels of 'the stinking rose' - How that garlic in your pantry is keeping you healthy

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine Nov 2006**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbalist & co-owner, the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

Garlic (Allium Sativum) has been been used throughout recorded history for the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. Sanskrit records document the use of garlic remedies nearly five thousand years ago, while the Chinese have used it for at least three thousand, and the Codex Ebers, an Egyptian medical papyrus, mentions garlic around 1550 B.C.

So, what's it good for?

When I do talks and lectures around the area, the question "what is garlic good for?" is bound to come up. 

My answer: "the list of what it does not do is shorter than what it is good for." 

As an example, the list of garlic uses include acne, alopecia, angina, antibiotic, asthma, blood pressure, bronchial catarrh, bronchitis, cancer, candida, cholesterol, intermittent claudication, circulation, colic, colds, coughs, dysentery, earache, fungus, hepatitis, infection, liver problems, parasites, rheumatism, sore throat, toxic metal poisoning, ulcers, vaginitis, whooping cough, worms, wounds, and yeast infections, to name a few.

A garlic primer

Garlic is rich in aliin, allicin and sulfur, all of which exhibit strong anti-oxidant and anti-microbial effects along with dozens of minerals, and several vitamins (A,B,C).

Garlic as an anti-microbial, anti-viral, antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-bacterial, are well documented. Some of the latest research is being conducted on the anti-oxidant effects and anti-cancer activity.

Garlic's cardiovascular benefits are being confirmed by yet more studies. The analysis of sixteen trials, representing 952 subjects, covered in twenty-eight clinical studies found LDL cholesterol levels reduced, HDL levels increases, and triglycerides reduced.

Garlic and the common cold

One east way to experience garlic's effects for colds and coughs is to do a garlic steam. Simply take 6-8 cloves of chopped garlic, put in a bowl, pour boiling water over the garlic and put a plate or lid on the bowl to build up a head of steam. Then take a towel, cover your head and shoulders and the towel to make a tent. Remove the lid from the bowl and breathe in the steam. It will help to clear the lungs, and the sinuses very quickly. 

Warning! Warning! I know the readers are smart enough to know that steam is hot, and you should not put your face down in the bowl or directly into the steam, but just to cover my butt, I will tell you ... do not put your face in the hot bowl or steam. Of course, after the garlic steam, you can put the garlic in your chicken soup and get more benefit from the garlic.

As I said before, the list of garlic uses could go on for many pages. I hope you will look into its many uses and enjoy the benefits of this simple plant. Besides, doesn't everybody love Italian food?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Evaluating krill oil

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine Now 2012**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbal Information Specialist/Business Representative for the Herbarium

This month, we look at some new products that are garnering a lot of attention in the press.

Krill oil has been touted as the hot new way to get your Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) – and there was a time when I felt "whatever way you get your EFA's is fine" – but that has changed recently.

Krill is a tiny crustacean that is very low on the food chain. It has been harvested and used as a food product for many years, notably by the Russians and the Japanese. Recently, krill harvesting has also become a small but growing trend for people looking to get a "cleaner" source of omega 3s. 

Research shows krill contains less omega 3 than fish body oil, but contains a phospholipid which allows for better absorption. 

At this point I have to wonder if all this work is really worth it. Krill oil is expensive, as the creatures are very tiny and have to be specially processed to remove high amounts of fluoride, which can be toxic. Economically it seems a lot of expense for a relatively small benefit. Fish oil has been working just fine for a long time. Do we really need to over harvest the lowest levels of the food chain for all this?

As I was pondering this, my daughter voiced her concern about the long-term effects of harvesting creatures at the bottom of the world's food chain, and told me she was uncomfortable with promoting the sale of krill oil.

The more I thought about it, the more I was uncomfortable with it, too. Haven't we had enough examples of over harvesting of a species? Think of the buffalo. No one in 1880 would have believed the massive heard of buffalo could be driven to near-extinction. 

In doing some research on krill, I found that it is very sensitive to climate change, pollution, and algae blooms. I am not comfortable with messing with the bottom of the food chain. If we screw that up, the ripple effect up the line could be horrendous.

The Herbarium will stock some krill oil for people who have to have it for medical reasons, but I am not a promoter of the product, and hope to find a better alternative. The human race just cannot afford to mess with our food chain and Mother Nature any more than we already have.

– Jonathan

Monday, May 26, 2014

Natural heartburn help; why your 'joint juice' may not be working

**this article originally published in prime Magazine Nov 2008**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbal Information Specialist /Business Representative for the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

Dear Jonathan, 

I've heard there are herbs that can help people get off Nexium. Is this true? Dave Williamsburg

Dear Dave, 

Yes and no. 

For minor heartburn and indigestion, people have traditionally used herbs and spices such as chamomile, peppermint and ginger. Some people will use pineapple or papaya, as both contain enzymes that help to break down protein. In addition, The Herbarium's Kathy Duffy has created tea formulas for upset stomach, gas and ulcers. 

These are some items that may be good to have around the house for the playoffs and the holidays. 

However, Nexium, Prilosec and the whole category of acid reducing medications from your doctor are a bit different. People tend to be on these prescriptions if they have a chronic problem such as GERD or reflux. 

The problem with this course of treatment is that long-term use of these medications can cause a whole host of other digestion-related problems. Recently, Dr. Todd Lococo, MD appeared on our radio program and was discussing this very topic. Interestingly enough, many people think they produce too much stomach acid, when actually they produce too little. 

When you are under stress, (and these days, who isn't?) you produce less acid, not more. Thus there is too little to digest food, you feel bloated, and gassy and take an antacid for quick relief. 

However, the longer you do this self-treatment the weaker your stomach lining becomes, which makes it very sensitive to the acid that eventually returns. 

Lack of stomach acid also contributes to a variety of other problems from allergies to Candida. Dr. Lococo has his patients try the HcL challenge. He gives them a sample of Betaine Hydrochloride to take with the meal. Usually, this does the trick. The added acid breaks down the food and everything works just fine. For people who have been on Nexium for long periods, it may be necessary to use DGL, or Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, which helps to restore the stomach lining. When the stomach is just too sensitive for using Hcl, we use digestive enzyme formulas that contain a variety of enzymes to aid in the digestion of fats protein carbohydrates, vegetable matter and dairy products, but do not contain any Hcl. 

Over time, some people have been able to reduce or stop their use of Nexium because their condition improved. 

Of course, one never stops a prescription without discussing it with their physician. Some people do have too much acid and suffer from reflux and need to be on these medicines. Even then it is important to use an enzyme combination to aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. We have many articles explaining enzymes, GERD, Hcl and digestive health available at the HERBARIUM, free of charge.


Dear Jonathan, 

I have been using glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for two years, with very little results. I hear so many people say it helped them, but I am still using Aleve several times a day. What can I do? Mary- Southwick

Dear Mary, 

The short answer is to change the product you are using. Chances are you are not using Glucosamine Sulfate, and the chondroitin is practically useless. Most products on the market today contain two other forms of glucosamine, with the sulfate form nonexistent or the least amount in the blend.

Chondroitin is a very large molecule and is poorly absorbed. You are probably getting about 13-15 percent of the chondroitin, and that is the sulfur. Read the back label, not the front. It should only contain Glucosamine Sulfate, not NAG or glucosamine Hcl. One very good combination is glucosamine and MSM, which is a sulfur compound that acts as an anti-inflammatory and is very good for the ligaments and tendons. 

If you have not had improvements within three months, perhaps you are treating the wrong thing. Get a diagnosis.


The scoop on OPCs

Recently there was a doctor who appeared on television touting the benefits of OPCs (oligomeric proanthrocyanidins) or Pycnogenol. 

Pycnogenol is a registered trademark for pine bark from the Pinus maritimus. Not all pine bark is equal, nor is it the best source for OPCs. It tends to be very expensive. A better source is grape seeds. Most of the research on OPC's was done using grape seed extract, not pine bark. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weight loss on "Dr. Oz"

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine Nov 2012**

Recently, I have been bombarded by questions on weight loss products that have been talked about on the "Dr. Oz" TV program. 

As much as I like the good doctor, I have a feeling his staff is struggling to find guests to fill his time. 

Here is a quick primer on some of the weight loss products that have been promoted on his program recently.

African Mango: This is a soluble fiber that slows digestion, absorption of dietary sugars, helps to lower LDL cholesterol numbers and triglycerides.

Konjac root or glucomannan: This water-soluble fiber helps create a full feeling in the stomach. It appends to bile acids and eliminates them through bowel movements. It is very similar to the African Mango.

Hoodia gordonii: This is a cactus from Southern Africa used by indigenous people for stamina. It essentially increases the satisfied message from the liver to the brain.

Green coffee bean: This works to reduce the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut, and also reduces insulin levels, which would improve metabolic function. Raspberry ketones: This is the most questionable product yet. In 30 years in this business, we had never heard of Raspberry ketones as a weight loss product. This was a red flag. Websites claim this is a natural product, but all my research has shown it is a synthetic, and nearly all of it is sourced from China. 

My research shows raspberry ketones is a flavoring agent, not a weight loss product of any value.

One website that alleges to be independent says look for a natural product, from the United States, and do not believe anyone saying you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days. So I went to a site that certifies natural ketones. The first thing on the website proclaims you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days! 

Other evidence indicates many of these raspberry ketones products are adulterated with ephedrine and other chemicals. Results from using the stuff is spotty at best. There are plenty of weight loss products available, with proven results and at reasonable prices.

We at Herbarium will not sell raspberry ketones. We will not trade our integrity for a few quick dollars. That is our promise. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Two more reasons to question GMO's and those who promote them

I get a little behind in my reading sometimes, and just recently found two stories in the same issue of
Whole Foods  Magazine , January 2014,  dealing with the question of GMO's .( read the articles in their entirety at WholeFoods Magazine Jan 2014 pages 8 & 9 )
 In short, it appears Monsanto and its minions put some serious pressure on  the journal
Food and Chemical Toxicology,  after publishing a French study that showed rats fed GM maize, and water sprayed with Round Up had significantly more and faster growing tumors than the rats fed a clean diet, and they died earlier.  The study was met with criticism from supporters of GM crops and Monsanto, as you would expect.  The journal retracted the study but did not cite scientific fraud, plagiarism or unethical methods; the usual reasons for retracting a study. The journal's reasons given were "no definitive conclusions can be reached" from the findings, and the rats used are more susceptible to tumors.
 Funny though, when Monsanto used the same rats in a 13 week study (versus the  2 year French study)
and found that GM corn was safe, no one questioned it. It is also interesting to note that six months after the study was published, the journal hired Richard Goodman, a former Monsanto employee with ties to a pro -GMO lobbying group, to a new editorial position, called Associate Editor for Biotechnology.
 Seriously, I am supposed to believe this is a coincidence?!
  The other story cites a report from the Institute for Responsible Technology, suggesting there may be a link between GM foods and gluten related disorders including celiac disease. You really need to read the whole story because it gets very detailed, but suffice it to say there is a rather glaring connection between some very common GM foods or additives  and  leaky gut syndrome and the imbalance of gut flora which is often seen in those with celiac disease. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Herbal helps for that weight-loss resolution

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine Jan 2007**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbalist & co-owner, the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

Greetings and Happy New Year. By the time you read this column you will probably have made your New Year resolution to lose weight, and probably fell off your diet. 

It sounds good to say you will keep to a strict diet, exercise regularly and so forth, but we all know if you were going to follow this regimen you would have started earlier. 

I mean really, how good is January weather for taking a walk/run, or heading to the gym before or after work? 

All right, enough of this. I am not knocking your intentions, believe me. I congratulate you for making the attempt, and for wanting to continue. 

But now, let's get real about that weight-loss resolution.

The facts about diet supplements

According to a survey commissioned by Weight Watchers, International, almost half of American women said losing weight was one of their new years resolutions . It is a difficult thing to do, and there are some natural products that can help you make the change and stick to your resolution.

Diet pills were one area of the natural products industry that kept popping up in the news over the past few years, mostly because of poor products, and abuse by certain individuals. That was the ephedra craze that led to a dozen "miracle" weight loss products that promised to burn fat without exercise, etc. They did work, but because they depended on caffeine and ephedrine to keep you speeding along with extra energy, as soon as you stopped using the rather over-priced products, the weight returned. You see, nothing about you changed.

What works

Here are some ingredients to look for when investigating natural weight loss products. 

Thermogenic supplements are very popular and a good product should include one or more of these ingredients: Citrus aurantium, Garcinia cambogia,Coleus forskohli, or green tea. Research in the U.S. and Canada found Citrus aurantium an excellent substitute for ephedra, without affecting heart rate or blood pressure. Garcinia is the source of HCA (hydroxycitric acid) which appears to reduce food consumption by diverting carbs away from fat synthesis and toward stored glycogen, which signals satiety. In regular English the HCA helps slow the conversion of carbs into body fat, and fools your brain into thinking you have had enough. 

Coleus is being studied for its fat loss stimulating properties and may also increase lean body mass. Coleus is also used for hypertension, psoriasis, asthma, and hypothyroidism.

Green tea research is growing every day. Compounds such as caffeine, catechins including EGCG and theanine may have synergistic effects that help supress weight increase. I have been reading a number of studies involving green tea and the wide range of positive effects it has on the body.

Other ingredients of interest include CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that is the subject of extensive studies looking at CLAs' ability to maintain lean muscle mass and promote fat loss. Researchers at North Carolina State University note CLAs' mechanisms of action are still largely unknown; it appears to show both long and short- term benefits.

About Hoodia

A newcomer to the weight loss family is Hoodia gordonii, a South African plant that appears to suppress appetite and thirst.

It has become so popular and the shysters have been out in force selling "hoodia" everywhere. The problem is, of course, most of these supplements are not the real thing. Be careful before buying hoodia products on line or from special places. Know your source. 

White kidney bean extract works as a carb blocker, that is, it promotes weight loss by preventing starch digestion. And there is Prickly Pear Cactus, which exhibits fat-binding qualities, supported by several clinical studies.

In closing, I will not make the usual comments about the fad diets, be they the high protein, blood type, low carb, all fruit, eating for your ethnic background or whatever seems to be popular this week. Eat a moderate diet. 

The majority of your diet should be fruit and vegetables. If you are following a diet and you do not feel good on it, for heaven sakes stop!!! These books you buy are only guides, not gospel. Your body will tell you what it wants and how it feels. Listen to it, as it has more intelligence than you give it credit for. Good luck.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Yes, there are natural ways to manage ADD/ADHD

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine Sept 2008**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbal Information Specialist /Business Representative for the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

Dear Jonathan 

My 9 year old son has been diagnosed with ADD. He is a bright child and can do well sometimes, but then it seems he can't concentrate or remember what he just read. He is a rather quiet child, but he can erupt with frustration when he can't recall or gets stuck on a problem. We are trying to avoid Ritalin, but we do not know what else we can use. Are there any natural products that could help? Sandra

Dear Sandra, 

There are so many things that can be used to treat this condition, I almost do not know where to start. My wife, Kathy, has conducted workshops on ADD/ADHD for many years, and we have experience with the condition within our family and friends. 

The first thing to do is to look at your son's diet. The additives, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors used in many processed foods can be like a poison to some children. 

Try to find books written by Doris Rapp, M.D. She has been working with this problem since the 1970's. Lenden Smith, MD, and Ben Feingold, MD, are other authors you need to seek out and read. 

At the Herbarium, we have our "Getting Started" sheet, which would be a great starting point in your quest to understand how to manage ADD/ADHD. Because of your son's age, I would suggest keeping things simple. The company Buried Treasure offers a liquid supplement for youngsters that contains a variety of herbal and nutritional ingredients designed to increase focus and concentration. In addition, The Herbarium has a fish oil supplement that the kids love (so do the adults) that tastes like lemon-lime Skittles or an orange creamsicle pudding! (You would never know it is fish oil rich in EPA and DHA.) Grape seed extract, given in a small capsule or mixed in fruit juice and according to formula, is very beneficial for calming, and help to focus. It is one of the few things that pass the blood brain barrier. Grape seed extract is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and helps to build new blood vessels and promote new vessel growth. There is on-going research about how this extract helps the brain, but Kathy figured it out many years ago, with excellent results. 

Kathy has also developed two essential oil blends that may help. The first, Brain Power, is designed to help one recall information. While studying, one inhales the oils and the information is now tied to the oil scent. When test time comes or you need to retrieve the information, you sniff the oils, and voila! The information comes flooding back. The other blend is called "I Know I Can". Kathy created this oil blend for a family member to help them with self confidence and self esteem. 

Aromatherapy is a wonderful thing! There are many other essential oils to help lift the spirits and to calm the mind, such as neroli, tangerine, sweet orange, chamomile, to name a few. This is where I would start. 

As your son gets older, and is more prone to swallow capsules, there are other products we would use. 

Of course, there is the small possibility that your son may need a prescription, and that is fine also. Let's hope it is a last resort and not a first choice.


Doggy breath mix nixed

Several weeks ago, a column appeared in the a local newspaper that suggested an essential oil mixture to treat bad breath and inflamed gums on a dog. Many people came into the store and called about the mixture. We at the Herbaruim did our best to talk people out of using the mixture because of the concentration of oils high in phenols(meaning they burn!) in the concoction. 

I told Kathy about the recipe, and she said the dog would probably bite the person trying to put those oils on tender gums. We suggest you try myrrh powder. Myrrh is anti-bacterial anti-microbial, astringent and very soothing to the gums. Humans use it and it works well; you probably won't get bitten using the myrrh. To counteract bad breath, try feeding the dog parsley, or a chlorophyll supplement. The bad breath is coming from the tummy, not the mouth. And really, this is a dog. Who better to have dog breath? Think about some of the stuff they eat for heaven sake! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pine Bark vs. Grape Seed Extract; Alternative Treatments for Psoriasis

**This article originally published in Prime Magazine July 2008**

By Jonathan Evans

Herbal Information Specialist /Business Representative for the Herbarium

Special to PRIME

Dear Jonathan,

What is the difference between pine bark extract and grape seed extract? I heard part of your program last week, but could not get the whole story. Ed, Southwick 

Dear Ed,

Great question, lets see if I can give you a clear enough answer.

Both pine bark extract and grape seed extract are very rich sources of biologically active flavinoids, but according to Dr. Michael Murray, the overwhelming majority of clinical studies have used grapeseed instead of pine bark. Murray states the antioxidant activity of the grapeseed is substantially more potent and effective than the pine bark.

Not all pine bark contains the proper amounts of phenols, catechins or procyanins. The product most talked about is trade named Pycnogenol. This is a very specific product, using the bark of the Pinus maritimus, or French maritime pine tree. If you use pine bark extract, look for that name.

As stated before, the grapeseed is a better product and has more clinical studies under its belt. Grapenol is a trade name product we have used for our clients for many years. It is also much more cost effective, since growing grapes is so much easier than growing a whole tree.

Oligomeric proanthrocyanadins are used for capillary fragility and easy bruising, varicose veins, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, heart disease treatment and prevention, macular degeneration, LDL oxidation, wound healing and immune system stimulation, to name just a few. We have also used it for our clients with memory and concentration problems, ADD/ADHD.etc. These compounds help promote new blood vessel growth and circulation. It is one of the few things that can cross the blood/brain barrier, so it has been quite effective helping kids with ADD. My wife Kathy figured this out many years before the research was done and helped so many children with learning problems over the years.

One thing you need to know is how to use the grapeseed or pinebark extracts. There are many very expensive products out there that try to dazzle the consumer with an exotic blend of pine bark, grape seed, grape skin, and so on. the problem is, the total dose is only 75 milligrams of so. To use the OPC's properly is dependent on a weight/milligram dosage and is different for every person. You need to know this to get the full benefit from your product. They don't tell you this, I just did. Jonathan

Dear Jonathan,

My daughter has Psoriasis, and has been using several over the counter preparations and prescription, but it does not seem to get any better. Any suggestions? Gloria, Springfield

Dear Gloria,

We have been getting more people coming in with this problem recently. There are a few things that can be done. Is your daughter under a lot of stress, or does she not process stress very well?

This seems to be one of the biggest factors. What we usually do is clean up the diet (refer to our Getting Started sheet on the website) and get the person on a regimen of enough vitamins to do the job. Extra vitamin B complex, and vitamin C are very important. These are the stress vitamins. They are water-soluble and need replenishing often and in higher amounts the governments' recommended daily allowance. Sometimes Milk Thistle extract is used, for a liver cleanse, or if the problem is really stubborn, we use Dr. Clayton's Psoriacin formula. It is an excellent cleanser and can really help clear up the psoriasis. Also vitamin A, Vitamin E and beta-carotene are beneficial. Just as an aside, since the government "suggested"" vitamin A intake was too high, and the vitamin companies all reduced their vitamin A levels, and some people believed the silly mis-analysis on vitamin E, we have seen an increase in psoriasis, and eczema. Interesting coincidence, don't you think? Other things needed are fish or flax seed oil and MSM, a sulphur compound that can help the skin and inflammation. If you can get a good base of nutrients, the skin healing is just a matter of time. Kathy's Magic Salve works very well to relieve the skin irritation, and there are several homeopathic creams that are used as well. Try this out before you spend any more time and money on the creams alone. These problems are coming from the inside, not the outside, such as poison ivy or poison oak. Jonathan