Pain Relief

Natural Pet Care

Natural products can work extremely well for helping pets with a variety of ailments, and can actually be significantly less expensive than getting a prescription through a Vet’s office for your pet. As for pet’s human counterparts, we are not at all against doctors and conventional medicine, though if you can do something naturally, that’s always a good place to start.

We don’t have a huge variety of pet supplements at the store, but what we do have, we really stand behind as quality, effective pet supplements (and with everything, if you’re looking for something specific that we don’t have, let us know and we’ll do our best to see if we can order it).

Two supplements I wanted to mention that we really feel are the “best of the best” when it comes to pet supplements is our Green Gorilla Organic CBD for Pets and our Pharm Aloe Crumbles.

As dogs and cats get older, they deal with the very same issues people do- joint pain and inflammation being one of the most common. CBD has become very well known for humans for its benefits for natural pain relief, but those benefits extend to pets as well, in fact, CBD oil for pets has been a miracle for some people in treating their dogs not just for pain, but also anxiety and nervous behavior, and even in treating tremors in aging animals- all of this without causing sleepiness or impairment of any kind.

Dogs are “wired” very similarly to humans when it comes to pain and anxiety and research has shown similar benefits for humans and canines when it comes to CBD. We have both liquid CBD (available in two concentrations) for pets that can be squirted directly in the mouth, rubbed on the gums, or added to foods. We also have new CBD infused dog treats that have drawn some great responses.

 

In addition to CBD, we have another really amazing product for pets that I wanted to highlight- K9 Crumbles by Pharm Aloe (which are not just for dogs- cats and other small animals can benefit from them too). They are little crumbles that are easily added to food containing a mix of aloe, yucca, and alfalfa.

They work in a variety of ways to help pets, helping them to have a nicer coat (people have reported huge benefits especially to animals who have had skin problems or are experiencing dull or patchy fur), as well as helping digestion and appetite. One of the main reasons people use them is to reduce animal gas as well as fecal odor. In one study, the component yucca in the Pharm Aloe Crumbles reduced fecal odor by 49% in cats and 56% in dogs, so using these crumbles can really help with a stinky dog or cat.

We have a limited supply of free samples of the Pharm Aloe Crumbles available at the store, which contain enough for several uses to make sure pets like them. Feel free to stop in to get a sample pack to see if the crumbles are something your pet would like. The benefits can really be astounding.


Why Certified Organic CBD is So Important- Plus a New Organic CBD Balm

Last year, CBD Oil was something people were just learning about, the hemp extract that has been shown to be so beneficial for pain, anxiety, and so many other issues. Back then CBD seemed to be difficult to find, and people were always excited to find that we carried it in the store.

Now, a year later, it seems that CBD is everywhere and is sold by a hundred (even more than that, truly) different brands. With the recent flood of different CBD products in the market, it’s even more important to be sure that you are choosing a quality brand with certified ingredients. Companies have even gotten caught selling “fake CBD”, here is an article from CBS News where 52 people became sick after buying fake CBD Oil.

With so many CBD products now available, we have remained true to the choice we made in the beginning, to sell only USDA Certified Organic CBD oil in our store, since we believe that having to comply with the USDA Organic Certification is just another level of standards. USDA Organic Certification of CBD products are rare, since it is a stringent and difficult process to comply with their standards, standards we think are especially important when it comes to CBD products.

Hemp is  a bio-accumulator plant that has been found to suck more toxins into its plant fibers than other plants, toxins which are then present in non-organic hemp and CBD products. Lots of brands say that they are organic or have organic ingredients, but in actuality will say nothing about organic on the label. If a product is truly organic, it should be listed on the label, you shouldn’t have to “take someone’s word for it” when it comes to quality or certifications.

The primary brand of CBD we carry is Green Gorilla, which has a variety of concentrations of organic CBD oil. We have also just found another certified organic CBD oil by Barlean’s that we are bringing in this month.

Another reason that Green Gorilla is our favorite CBD oil is that it contains absolutely zero THC, the part of both marijuana and hemp which shows up on a drug test. Legally, CBD products have to be less that .3% THC to be sold in the United States. While .3% isn’t enough to make someone feel “high”, it may be enough to show up on a blood test with regular use, which is why choosing an organic CBD without any level of THC is a good idea.

Green Gorilla as an organic brand also has the most seals and certifications that we have ever seen, their products are not only USDA Certified Organic, but are also independently verified, gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and have the Good Manufacturing Seal and are also produced in an FDA Registered Facility.

This month we also have a brand new topical organic CBD product that we are excited to share- a new CBD topical balm for pain by Green Gorilla. We’ve had several customers try it with good results. Stop by the store so we can show you our new variety of organic CBD products!


 


 

Natural Help for Leg Cramps

If you’ve ever experienced a leg cramp in the middle of the night, you know how awful it can be!  Leg cramps are very common, particularly as we get older. They can have a variety of causes, including dehydration, mineral deficiencies, and overexertion.

Thankfully, there are a number of simple natural remedies available that can help.

The first thing we’d recommend is to try to increase the amount of water you drink during the day (though try to do it earlier in the day so you’re not going to the bathroom all night long), since dehydration can cause muscle cramps.

Mineral deficiencies are another common cause of leg cramps. Increasing your potassium intake can help to make leg cramps less frequent. Here is a great list of potassium-containing foods on our website. 

Magnesium can also be extremely helpful for people suffering from leg cramps. The USDA has reported that between seventy five and eighty five percent of Americans do not receive the recommended dosages needed to meet their body’s requirements, and one of the ways that deficiency can present itself is through leg cramps, particularly since magnesium can help with relaxing the muscles. For helping to prevent leg cramps, we recommend supplementing with the glycinate form of magnesium, which is a very well absorbed form.

Topical magnesium can also be very effective for muscle cramping and pain. We have a great magnesium oil spray which works exceptionally well, and quickly. 

The last mineral that we wanted to mention in regards to muscle cramps is calcium. When we think of calcium, bones are usually the first thing we think of, but proper amounts of dietary calcium are also needed for the muscles to function properly and a deficiency can cause muscle tenderness and cramping, so if you aren’t consuming enough calcium through diet (and many aren’t), adding a bit of supplemental calcium can be a good idea.

Something else a little different for leg cramps that is actually a favorite at our store, is an old Amish remedy from a company called Caleb Treeze that is said to stop leg cramps in under two minutes. They recommend drinking a capful when you’re in the throes of a leg cramp. It can also be taken preventatively before bed. My aunt Joanne (one of the owners of the store) swears by it. She keeps a bottle by her bed just in case, but will also often take a capful before bed to prevent cramps, especially if she’s been on her feet a lot that day. It isn’t the best tasting thing around, but she really feels like it does work.

Stop by the store so we can help you further.

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The Many Benefits of Hemp Derived CBD Oil

Q: I have been hearing a lot about CBD oil lately, that it’s an alternative to medical marijuana that can help with pain. I’m interested in it, but wanted to find out more before I tried it.

A: CBD oil has been gaining in popularity lately, so I’m happy to explain more about it! CBD is a non-prescription, legal alternative to medical marijuana. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants, which has been found to be extremely effective for pain relief, anxiety, and a number of other disorders.

The difference between marijuana and hemp plants (also known as “industrial hemp”) is the amount of THC the plants contain. THC is the compound in marijuana that causes one to feel intoxicated or “high”. Research into cannabis and hemp plants, however, has found other substances (of which CBD is the most well researched) that provide a variety of medicinal effects without the “high” from conventional marijuana.

Research on cannabinoids (the medicinal extracts found in marijuana and hemp plants) had a breakthrough when it was found that humans actually had cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This system of receptors is known as the endocannabinoid system, which accounts for the many benefits that are seen when people begin taking CBD oil. These receptors work to confer the benefits of CBD oil throughout the body, not just in the brain, but with benefits that extend to our musculoskeletal tissues, the central nervous system, the immune system, and more.

CBD is best known for its ability to reduce pain from a variety of causes. CBD has shown impressive benefits for reducing inflammation throughout the body, and research has also found that it also works to regulate pain through compounds in the brain that actually help to reduce the amount of pain a person feels. We have a large group of customers who have been taking our organic CBD oil for pain relief that have had very impressive results. CBD can significantly improve the quality of life for people dealing with chronic pain issues.

The second most common reason that people take our CBD oil is for anxiety. There have been numerous very positive studies on CBD and its benefit for reducing anxiety, as well as helping to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Several published studies have also reported the benefits of CBD for a number of different mood and emotional disorders. CBD has even been found to be beneficial in people who have not had success with conventional treatments for anxiety and depression.

New research is coming out all the time with even more benefits for CBD. CBD has been found to aid in cancer treatment and can help to reduce tumor growth in several different types of cancers. Preliminary research has even found that CBD may help with drug resistant tumor cells.

Another study even found that CBD can help with quitting smoking, helping to reduce the desire to smoke. Other research has suggested that CBD may help with Alzheimer’s disease by beneficially interfering with neurodegenerative pathways as well as having neuroprotective effects on the brain. Further research has also found benefits of CBD for diabetes, stroke, COPD, and more.

Even though hemp does not cause the “high” that marijuana does, the amount of THC found in CBD products can vary, since it is legal for hemp extracts to contain as much as .3% THC. That amount isn’t enough to cause a person to feel “high”, but it may be enough to cause problems with a drug test. The certified organic CBD oil from Green Gorilla that we carry at Pass Health Foods contains absolutely zero THC, so there is absolutely no problem with drug testing, even if you were to consume an entire bottle at a time. We have a number of customers who have been using our Green Gorilla CBD oil who regularly undergo drug testing (police officers and fire fighters for example) who haven’t had any problems with their drug tests.

CBD oils on the market range widely in quality, potency, and effectiveness. Conventionally grown CBD from hemp can also contain a large amount of toxins because hemp is naturally a “bio-accumulator” plant, which means that it draws toxins from the soil. There have also been a number of recent cases of fake, adulterated, and synthetic CBD being sold in stores, so it’s even more important to make sure you’re buying a quality product that contains pure, authentic CBD oil.

Because of this, we’ve been very careful in the types of CBD oil that we’ve decided to carry in the store, and have chosen the brand Green Gorilla, a high quality CBD extract consisting of entirely organic ingredients that is also USDA certified organic (there are many CBD oils on the market that say they have organic ingredients, but few that have actually been certified by the USDA).

Magnesium: You’re Probably Not Getting Enough

Magnesium is a supplement nearly everyone would benefit from. It is needed in over three hundred different processes in the body, including proper cholesterol and blood sugar regulation, supporting the heart and cardiovascular system, maintaining bone strength, and helping to maintain normal nerve and muscle function.

With magnesium being such a crucial mineral in our diets, it’s unfortunate to note that the USDA has reported that between seventy five and eighty five percent of Americans do not receive the recommended dosages needed to meet their body’s requirements. Foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and some legumes. These foods were once plentiful in our diets, but processed foods, soft drinks and the “Standard American Diet” have severely reduced most Americans intake of magnesium. Worse, alcohol, along with many prescriptions and over the counter medications, depletes our bodies stores of magnesium even further.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps and spasms, headaches, high blood pressure, hormone imbalances, calcification of the arteries, and sleep problems, and more.

Since magnesium is a large molecule, it is not usually included (or if it is, it is usually less than recommended amounts) in most multivitamins and even most calcium supplements, which is a shame since one of the benefits of magnesium is increased calcium absorption in to the bones. Because of this, it usually needs to be taken by itself or in a quality calcium supplement that contains the proper amounts of magnesium.

Magnesium and calcium are closely interconnected, and magnesium is useful for helping to mitigate any negative effects of calcium, like hardening of the arteries through calcium deposits. Magnesium can also help to dissolve and reduce the occurrence of many kidney stones, including calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate kidney stones. Magnesium deficiency has even been linked to the increased formation of kidney stones.

Magnesium supplements can also help with preventing constipation, since magnesium in the intestines draws fluid into stool, making it easier to pass. Unlike laxatives, which can be damaging to the body, adding extra magnesium to the diet can be a great idea for people who struggle with constipation, and unlike laxatives, can be taken on a regular basis to ensure proper bowel movement.

There are numerous forms of magnesium, the best absorbing include magnesium citrate, chelated magnesium which is bound to amino acids, and magnesium glycinate. Magnesium glycinate is the form least likely to have a laxative effect in the body, so if you’ve had an issue with loose stools when taking magnesium, the glycinate form is probably the best option.

Remember, magnesium must be obtained through diet, and over three quarters of Americans do not ingest the recommended amounts of magnesium needed for their body processes. Supplementing with a quality magnesium supplement is a great idea that can help your body to run better.
 

What is CBD?

CBD is an extract from the hemp plant which has similar chemical and health properties to the THC (the psychoactive extract of the plant known for its “high”) in marijuana, but without the mind altering effects.

THC from medicinal marijuana and CBD from hemp have been shown to have similar benefits for pain relief and help with anxiety (including PTSD) as well as very impressive results with seizure disorders in children (especially drug-resistant epilepsy). CBD has also shown neuroprotective effects for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more.

CBD oil is probably best known for its benefits for pain relief, like medicinal marijuana, especially for people who have unsuccessful results with conventional pain medication. In one large-scale survey by Project CBD participants who had used both high THC medical marijuana and CBD extract from cannabis and reported that there were no significant outcomes in pain relief between THC and CBD.

In America, medical marijuana and all extracts from the cannabis plant are illegal for use without a prescription. Because of this regulation, CBD oil available in America is sourced from the hemp plant. CBD oil ranges vastly in quality, potency, and effectiveness. Conventionally grown CBD from hemp can also have a large amount of toxins in it because hemp is naturally a “bio-accumulator” plant, which means that it draws toxins from the soil.

Because of this, we’ve been careful in the types of CBD oil that we’ve decided to carry in the store, and have chosen the brand Green Gorilla, a high-quality CBD extract consisting of entirely organic ingredients. We have it in two strengths, a 150mg product which is considered a daily dose for overall health, and then a higher 600mg product which is what is recommended for acute issues and pain relief.

We would very much recommend trying our new CBD oil from Green Gorilla. Also, its fast acting- results of the 600mg dose are usually seen within 20 minutes for pain relief. Last, I wanted to say that our CBD oil is completely safe for drug testing, since there is absolutely zero THC (the compound in marijuana that shows up on a drug test) in our Green Gorilla CBD oil, so there is absolutely no worry about any problems with a drug test (which I can’t say is the case with all CBD oils on the market).

Natural Help for Fibromyalgia

Q: I have fibromyalgia and basically feel miserable all the time. I’ve not had luck with prescriptions, so I wanted to see if there was anything natural that could help me with the pain and tiredness. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!

A:  There are definitely natural supplements which can help! Fibromyalgia is a disorder hallmarked by widespread and chronic muscular and skeletal pain that can also be accompanied by fatigue, depression, headaches, sleep disturbances, and more. Fibromyalgia is difficult to treat, though many people have had good luck with natural products for reducing their symptoms.

The first supplement I’d recommend is S-adenosylmethionine, better known as SAMe (pronounced like “Sammy”). SAMe is necessary for many different processes in the body, and clinical studies have shown benefits for depression, pain, and fatigue- all main issues fibromyalgia patients suffer with. SAMe supplementation usually begins to help with boosting mood and relieving depressive symptoms in the first week, but can take up to six weeks to alleviate overall fibromyalgia symptoms. The body can only produce small amounts of SAMe, so taking additional SAMe as a supplement can make a real difference. It’s important to take SAMe on an empty stomach for best absorption.

Another supplement that can be helpful for people suffering with fibromyalgia is 5-HTP, an amino acid related to tryptophan. 5-HTP works by helping to boost serotonin, the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Increasing levels of 5-HTP in the body can help with reducing depression as well as pain. When taken before bed, 5-HTP has been shown to promote deeper, more restful sleep. Since 5-HTP increases serotonin levels in the body, it is important to not take them with SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, since they work in a similar way; in fact- research has shown 5-HTP to be as effective as prescription antidepressants, but with fewer side effects. The usual recommended dosage for fibromyalgia is 50-100mg three times a day.

Magnesium supplements can be helpful for fibromyalgia, particularly those containing malic acid (a compound in apples and other fruits), since magnesium can help relax the muscles and relieve muscle pain. Most Americans are deficient in this mineral, which can also help with preventing headaches as well as stimulating serotonin production. Studies on fibromyalgia patients who took magnesium malate had a decrease the pain and tenderness that accompanies the disorder. Magnesium is best taken in divided doses, since too much magnesium at one time can cause loose stools. 

I hope that helps!  Natural products can work very well for people suffering with fibromyalgia because rather than just treating the symptoms they help to bring the body back into balance, treating the whole self rather than just one aspect of the problem.

I'm pleased that fibromyalgia is now being recognized by the medical community as a true disorder. There was a time not very long ago when many medical professionals thought that fibromyalgia was an imaginary disease since it cannot be diagnosed with a specific test. Feel free to stop by the store so we can help you further.


Healthy Q & A: Natural Pain Relief

Q:  Is there anything natural I can take for occasional pain?  I get headaches and muscle aches a few times a week, and I don’t love taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen all the time.  Is there something I can take just when I need it for pain?  I’m not really looking for something that I need to take every day. 

A: Many natural supplements for pain work best when taken every day, though there are some supplements which are effective when taken on an “as needed” basis for acute pain.  Solaray’s IbuActin is a mix of impressive natural anti-inflammatories which work very well for reducing pain, without the side effects of conventional, over the counter anti-inflammatories.  It can be taken every day for chronic pain, but is also effective when only taken when needed.

What makes IbuActin different from other natural anti-inflammatories is its noteworthy formula.  It is the only supplement we’ve found with the specific form of hops extract it contains.  Hops are usually known for their benefits for relaxation and sleep.  What is lesser known about hops is that they have potent pain relieving compounds.  Solaray’s IbuActin contains hops extract which has been isolated for its pain relieving effects, without the sleep inducing effects that hops extract usually has.

That novel pain relieving hops extract is then combined with other natural anti-inflammatories, including bromelain (a pineapple enzyme which reduces inflammation), papain (a papaya enzyme which helps to reduce pain and inflammation), and the inflammation reducing herbs turmeric and ginger.

Solaray’s IbuActin has been shown in a recent study to be as effective as ibuprofen, but without being hard on the liver.

IbuActin comes in two strengths, the original, and a new Super IbuActin, which contains hops extract that is twice as potent as the original.

I really think this supplement is unique, and I would very much suggest giving it a try.  For March we’ve put both IbuActin and Super IbuActin on sale for 25% off.


Healthy Q & A: Corydalis for Pain Relief

Q:  I’ve been hearing about the supplement corydalis and that it’s supposed to be the best thing for arthritis.  I’ve never heard about it before.  Does it really work?

 

A:  Corydalis is an herb which has been shown in research to help with pain relief.  It works by blocking pain signals in the brain, and can be helpful for people suffering from chronic pain.  It is also not habit forming, unlike prescription pain relievers like codeine and morphine.

Corydalis is an impressive supplement, but since it only blocks pain rather than helping to solve the underlying issue, it is not the first supplement I would recommend for joint pain. 

Herbal anti-inflammatories like curcumin phytosome or blends like Solgar 7 would be the first thing I would suggest, since they would actually help with reducing the pain-causing inflammation.  In the case of arthritis, anti-inflammatories are helpful, as well as glucosamine and chrondroitin, which can help to support and enhance the cartilage in the joints.     

Still, for many people who suffer from chronic pain, corydalis may be of great benefit, especially for people who have tried a number of treatments without success. 

Corydalis should not be combined with sedative medications, certain cancer medications, or drugs for heart arrhythmias.