Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to support your Immune System during the Cold Season: Reishi Mushroom Extracts.

The important immune tonic herb, Ling Zhi, commonly known in America as "Reishi" is a mushroom that has been used in Asia since prehistoric times.

The name "Reishi” usually refers to one of several species of woody mushroom, including Ganoderma lucidum, Ganoderma sinensis, Ganoderma tsugae.  The names "Reishi" and "Lingzhi” often is translated as 'Supernatural Fungus'.
Reishi is an herb used in China to promote health, longevity and a more centered state of mind. It is known as one of the most immunoprotective herbs in the world. Reishi provides immunological, neurological, metabolic, hepatic and vascular protection. Traditionally, it is valued as a tonic herb that can lead to exceptional health on all levels. Research conducted in the last two decades has verified that Reishi contains hundreds of biologically active constituents that benefit many cells in the human body. It is best used as a primary tonic on a daily basis throughout a lifetime to improve immune response during the cold season. Reishi is very safe and may be used by anyone to promote overall health and longevity, and a strong immune system.
The Reishi spores are also of significant medicinal and tonic value. They are rich in triterpenes, one of the main active constituent groups in Reishi. These spores tend to be more potent than the fruiting body, and are widely used in cancer therapeutics in Asia and by people on longevity programs. The combination of Reishi mushroom, spores and the extracted oil, are thought to be about seven hundred times more immunologically boosting than just the mushroom itself.


About the Author:
Nathan J. Heide is the Acupuncturist and founder of Anjuna Medicine, a company specializing in Acupuncture treatment, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and medicinal Chinese herbs, currently located at SpringWell Health Center in Eugene, Oregon. Heide is a grounded and well-informed practitioner who is passionate about using acupuncture to treat a wide variety of ailments, both physical and emotional. He specializes in working with patients to develop long-lasting regimens that will aid their longevity, boost immunity, and promote balanced, centered well-being.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nutrition Tid-Bit: Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

Growing up in the Western world, we were all told from a very young age that drinking milk was the best way to keep our bones strong, because "milk is the best source of calcium in the diet". Fast forward to present day, and we know from various studies that women who consume more milk on a regular basis have higher instances of osteoporosis than women who do not drink milk.

The fact is that, like all animal protein, milk causes the pH of the blood to become more acidic, which then the body must correct and balance using sodium and calcium. If necessary, the body will leech calcium from the bones in order to do this, as calcium is great for neutralizing acidity, and will then release it from the body via the urinary tract. Threrefore, the bones and the body are losing calcium as a result of drinking milk. Many people are unable to properly digest dairy as well. For these people, consuming dairy products can cause mild to severe digestive upset, skin outbreaks, and a variety of other symptoms (which sometimes go un-recognized).

There is much more information to be discussed on this topic, but for today I would just like to share with you some of the best alternatives to dairy products that will provide your body with useable calcium, without over-acidifying the system:

Sesame seeds, chia seeds, spinach (especially cooked), almonds, broccoli, kale, collard greens (fresh picked & frozen are highest), mustard and turnip greens, quinoa, brussel sprouts, beans (white, baked, blackeyed, etc), tofu and tempeh (soy), bok choy, peas, baking powder, and seaweeds are all high in calcium as well as many other healthful vitamins and minerals needed and used by the body. Dark leafy-greens provide calcium that is bio-available while also providing the body with nutritent-rich chlorophyll and fiber, which aids the digestive tract. Some dried herbs also contain calcium! Dried herbs that are calcium rich include dill, basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano, poppy seed, mint, celery seed, sage, parsley and rosemary.

It is also advisable to avoid excess sugar and sweets, and processed carbohydrates. These food products cause a surge in blood-sugar and insulin levels which, in-turn, causes a large excretion of calcium from the body, and potentially the bones. This is true for soda and other high-sugary drinks as well as sugary fruit juices. Caffeine is another culprit in encouraging calcium loss from bones and the body, so limit your intake of caffeinated products, like coffee.

For more information on this or other nutrition-related issues, visit my website:

About the Author:  

Rachel Hoffman founded, a site and business committed to sharing information about non-toxic living, essential oils, nutrition, and total wellness. Visit to learn more about what chemicals & ingredients to avoid in your beauty and personal care products as well as find whole-food recipes, books and other natural-care products.