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What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has made quite the impact on the health market within the last several years. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably heard of the non-intoxicating marijuana extract that has a wide range of benefits. It is just one of 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids from in the marijuana plant. CBD has been known to treat anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, physical pain, insomnia, seizures, and many other medical problems. Since CBD is non-psychoactive this tends to make the plant a more appealing option for patients who are looking for the significant medical benefits, without the high from Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD might be new to the market, but the hemp plant is not. Cannabis has been known to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. Within our bodies there is a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that processes cannabinoid receptors. The ECS is one of the body’s largest neurotransmitter networks and it regulates various cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, and immune system functions. Our brains naturally produce endocannabinoid molecules which can be found in your brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. The ECS is a homeostatic regulator. This means it balances your system. If there are any issues the ECS sends extra neurotransmitters to receptors, which ultimately regulate and normalize the way you think and feel. If your ECS is not operating properly, you may have a difficult time regulating emotion, memory, appetite, etc. It Is also important to remember that every person’s system is different.

In December 2018 the Farm Bill was signed into law. The Farm Bill contains a provision that legalizes hemp. This legalization has made such an impact on the CBD industry just within the last few months. It is believed by 2020 the industry will easily hit $1 billion in sales. CBD can be found in forms of oils, tinctures, vaporizers, gummies, topical creams, and beverages. More recently in the nutraceutical industry the rise of CBD protein powders and supplements has taken off. As mentioned above, CBD can reduce inflammation, joint stiffness, promote relaxation, and help with muscle recovery. Adding CBD to a supplement is an easy way to experience the many natural benefits. While there is still a stigma against the hemp industry, CBD has been quite the trailblazer. Once again, CBD has no psychoactive properties and is something most people could benefit from. The easiest and best ways to experience the benefits of CBD are by ingesting, vaporizing, or applying topically.

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Can Elderberry Help You This Cold and Flu Season?

Elderberries have been proven to be a great way to boost and balance your immune system from the flu, common colds, bacterial, and viral infections. The widely known antiviral herb is best known for its natural healing properties and abilities. With cold and flu season quickly approaching, adding elderberry to your supplement routine can be extremely helpful. Even if you’ve received a flu shot or generally have a great immune system, the beneficial properties that elderberries provide should not be overlooked.

Specifically, Elderberries contain a chemical compound called anthocyanidins. Anthocyanidins have immunostimulants which are substances that stimulate the immune system by increasing activity of any of its components. Elderberry has been shown to reduce influenza if used within the first two days of onset flu symptoms. If Elderberry is taken in a timely manner it can reduce the overall duration of the flu four days sooner than without. In addition to the antiviral effects, Elderberry also possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This greatly helps with sinus infections and aiding in the recovery of the respiratory system. Healing properties within Elderberries help break down mucous while calming congestion and coughing. These properties may also help reduce swelling in mucous membranes which relieves nasal congestion.

Elderberry has a long history of being used throughout the world, so it is no surprise that historically, this plant can be traced back to prehistoric times. Elderberries importance can be seen throughout ancient Egypt, but most historians associate this antiviral herb with the Greek Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, who first acknowledged the benefits as early as 400AD. This herb was also popular among Native Americans, Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. The elder plant itself is often referred to as the “medicine chest of the country folk” since it’s versatility can be used to make teas, syrups, jams, and medicinal wines. In reference to more modern times, in 1995 the Panama government actually employed the use of elderberries during the flu epidemic and it is accredited to aiding in the help of ending the epidemic altogether.

The most commonly used parts of the plant are the berries and flowers. Botanically known as Sambucus nigra, the tree produces cream-white flowers and blue-black berries and can reach the height of 32 feet tall. If you’re harvesting the plant from the wild, you can usually find it among moist places like riverbanks or woodlands. If harvesting this berry isn’t accessible or it’s simply not your thing, you can easily stock up at your local store with capsules, syrups, and powders.

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What is Turmeric?

Turmeric, or Curcuma Longa, is an extremely well-researched herb and spice that has been used for thousands of years. Popular and commonly found in India and Southeast Asia, the root is dried and ground, producing a unique, bright yellow powder that has an abundant amount of natural benefits. Within the actual plant, there are numerous chemical compounds called Curcuminoids. In Turmeric the active substance within the Curcuminoids is one you’ve probably heard of, Curcumin. Curcumin is a natural healing compound that also has several nutritional benefits. Turmeric is recognized as one of the most influential herbs on the planet. Not only does is carry many natural healing compounds, it is considered very safe to consume and there are hardly any known side effects to consuming Turmeric.

Here are five benefits of Turmeric:

  1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory: The active ingredient within Turmeric is called Curcumin. Curcumin is said to have the same powerful effectiveness as anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. This can help reduce or prevent inflammatory diseases both internally and externally. These include inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, IBS, metabolic syndrome, and several others.
  2. Can Slow or Stop Future Blood Clots: The Curcumin from Turmeric sustainably decreases blood clot formation and possibly the future risk of future clot formation. Curcumin alters the formation of an internal process called eicosanoid biosynthesis by reducing platelet aggregation.
  3. Benefits Against Depression: There have been several studies that show Curcumin, the active ingredient within Turmeric, is as effective as taking an anti-depressant but again, it doesn’t have the negative side effects. Depression is connected to reduced levels of BNDF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and a shrinking hippocampus. This part of the brain is associated with learning and memory. Curcumin is said to increase BNDF levels, reverse potential damage, and enhance low serotonin and dopamine levels.
  4. Supports Gut Health: With the anti-inflammatory properties that Turmeric has, supplementing with Curcumin has been said to restore and heal gut health while supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Improving gut health can benefit more than just the digestive process. The absorption of nutrients is improved which means the body is receiving the essential nutrients it needs to function.
  5. Improves Skin Health: Again, Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that help reduce inflammation, but it also contains antioxidants. Both properties can help revive your skin, producing a natural glow and luster. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been known to aid in the healing of wounds, psoriasis, acne, scabies, and a wide range of other dermatological conditions.

Turmeric can easily be added to a person’s diet. As mentioned earlier, Turmeric is a herb and spice that has been used for thousands of years. Cooking a traditional dish or adding Turmeric to your smoothie is an easy way to add this beneficial plant to your diet. If adding Turmeric directly to your diet is not an option or doesn’t appeal to you, another easy way to reap the benefits of Turmeric is to take a supplement. This can be done in powder or capsule form. It is recommended to take one that includes the ingredient black pepper. The Curcumin in Turmeric does not absorb easily, and black pepper helps aid with the absorption process.

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