Pass Favorites

A "Miracle Cure" for Sunburn

Sunburns as an adult are so terrible since we’re not children, we should know better. Still, it happens. I wanted to share about what I now think of as a “miracle cure” for sunburn- I wanted to write about it last month but there just wasn’t room in last month’s newsletter.

In May, Liz and I from the store went to Revival’s Yoga Fest in Palos Heights (if you’re not familiar with them, they’re an amazing yoga studio in Palos Heights with fabulous people). It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We had a booth there outside to talk to the people there about supplements and whatever else. It wasn’t that hot and since it was still May, and Liz forgot to use any sunscreen- she was just there in the morning until just a bit after noon, so generally you wouldn’t think the sun would be that strong at that time anyway.

Well, when I saw her at work the next day, her arms were as red as a tomato and she was in so much pain (as anyone who has been badly sunburned will attest to). She took some of our Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel (which has had research done on its benefit for healing burns) from the store as well as Alba Botanicals After Sun Gel, a favorite of both of ours that mixes aloe with cooling plant extracts that are soothing and healing to the skin.

She alternated using both the First Aid Gel and the aloe gel several times throughout the day on her arms, which she felt were absolutely radiating heat. By the NEXT DAY she said her sunburn was so much better, and then when I saw her the day after that, her sunburn was completely gone, and even more amazingly, she had no peeling whatsoever from where her skin was damaged.

To be honest with you, if I had not seen what happened with her sunburn with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. It was literally like a miracle, particularly since I saw how red her arms were in the beginning.

So, first I would definitely recommend using sunscreen if you’re going to be outside, obviously. If the worst happens, and you do forget and find yourself sunburned, I would definitely recommend using this combination. I actually just picked up a bottle of the First Aid Gel by Sovereign Silver to have in the house just in case.

Aloe in general is of course wonderful, but the After Sun Gel by Alba is really worth having- I feel like it’s less sticky and gloppy than other aloe gels I’ve used. In addition to the aloe, their After Sun Gel also contains green tea extract which has been shown in studies to help repair sun damaged skin when used topically as well as probiotics, which have been shown in research to help to reduce skin sensitivity and redness from sun damage when used topically.

 


 



Natural Help for Perimenopause and Hormone Balance

This month I wanted to write about a supplement that Sarah at the store uses and loves- DIM + CDG by Jarrow. That’s a lot of letter abbreviations, but they stand for Diindolylmethane, an extract from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, and Calcium D-Glucarate a nutrient found in fruit. So I guess it’s definitely easier to just use the letters.

DIM + CDG is an amazing supplement to help with hormone balance, specifically that it helps your body to be able to balance its own hormones correctly. It can be helpful for women of all ages with hormone related issues, but Sarah has found that it really helps her with regulating her emotions during perimenopause- she actually calls it her “anti-crazy pill”. Jarrow was out of stock of it for a while due to manufacturing issues, and during that time that she didn’t take it, she said she could really feel a difference.

She has said that for her, during perimenopause, she has been feeling “irrationally emotional”, some days going back and forth between crying and laughing and then crying again. She says she sees a huge difference between the times she has been using the supplement and the times when she hasn’t.

DIM, or diindolylmethane, is a supplement that can help the body to balance its own hormones better. It’s not a hormone supplement, but rather, it helps the body to balance the natural estrogens that can form in women’s bodies to achieve better hormone balance and to reduce the negative effects of hormone imbalance so common in perimenopause and menopause. One of the ways those hormone imbalances manifest themselves is in mood swings, which are extremely common in women in the throes or perimenopause.

This supplement by Jarrow is so nice in part because it combines DIM’s hormone balancing action with a supplement called CDG, which actually works as a sort of hormone cleanse, detoxing the body from negative forms of estrogen and working to remove excess estrogens from the body. It’s due to these actions that CDG has been found to be able to reduce the risk of hormone related cancers. GDC and DIM also have a synergistic effect on women’s hormones, working together to be more effective than either product taken alone.

Sarah says she felt like she could feel the DIM + CDG working from within the first week, though each woman’s experience may be slightly different due to their own unique hormone makeup. Still, it’s a supplement that we definitely recommend for hormone related issues for women of all ages, since I think everyone would benefit from a little hormone balance. Plus they’re in easy to swallow capsules that are in a one-a-day formula. Also this month our Jarrow DIM + CDG will be on sale for 25% off, so it’s a great time to try it to see if it works for you!

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Common Questions About CBD

CBD has become so popular lately, and we’ve received many questions about it, so I wanted to address some of those here. CBD is a great supplement with many different benefits, the most common of which are its benefits to helping with pain reduction and anxiety, though benefits are also being researched for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, depression, insomnia, and many more.

Is CBD the same as marijuana?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a plant extract known as a phytocannabinoid that is found in both marijuana and hemp. Hemp derived CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that it won’t make you feel “high” or out of it, but it can be of benefit to many people since it is very effective for treating pain (from all causes) and anxiety. Hemp derived CBD is now legal in all 50 states since the 2018 US Farm Bill was put into effect.

Does CBD contain THC? My job requires drug testing.

THC is the compound in marijuana that confers the “high” that the plant is known for. Even though hemp based CBD is not made from marijuana, hemp plants naturally do have trace amounts of THC. To be sold legally in the United States, CBD from hemp cannot contain more than .3% THC. That amount isn’t enough for a person to feel a “high”, but it may be enough to show up on a drug test. If a person is consuming CBD with any amount of THC in it, there is no way to be certain that they won’t have a problem if they needed a drug test for whatever reason.

That being said, there is CBD available that is guaranteed to contain zero THC. At Pass Health Foods we have many CBD products available that contain no THC. If this is an important issue for you, be sure that the CBD you’re using does not contain any THC. Small amounts of THC in a CBD product does not mean that it’s a bad product necessarily, but it is important to know exactly what you’re taking. For example, CBD extracts known as “whole plant” extracts will almost always contain CBD because it is a natural part of the hemp plant, even though it is in small amounts.

There was a television news story just recently about a woman who lost her job because she was taking a CBD product that contained small amounts of THC, which just reiterates the importance of knowing exactly what you’re taking. Personally, I feel like using a zero-THC product is a good decision, since it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Is CBD regulated by the FDA?

Natural products and supplements, like CBD, are regulated by the FDA differently than prescription drugs. CBD is approved as an ingredient to be sold, but individual bottles and products are not specifically tested by the FDA. Because of this, it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting a reputable product sold by a reputable store. When it comes down to it, anyone could put something in a bottle and say it’s CBD. If people started to get sick from taking it, the FDA would probably step in, but otherwise, there would be no way to know that that specific product was fake (other than it not working). In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 70 percent of CBD sold online did not match the concentrations printed on the labels.

One of the ways to protect yourself against issues of quality when it comes to CBD is to look for brands that do something called “third party testing”, which means that they formulate their product but then send it away to be tested by a laboratory not connected to their brand to confirm the ingredients and that what it says on the label is really true. Every CBD product we carry at Pass Health Foods is third party tested to confirm potency and purity.

What is the best way to take CBD?

CBD is available in many different forms from liquids, gummies, and pills to even foods and drinks infused with CBD. The very best way to take CBD is in a liquid extract; the reason is that CBD is difficult for the body to absorb, and liquids are able to be absorbed so much better. When you take a liquid CBD supplement, it’s recommended that you put it under your tongue for about a minute (longer is even better, but you don’t need to be ridiculous about it). Holding the CBD in your mouth helps the CBD to begin to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the soft tissues in the mouth (similar to if you’ve ever taken a sublingual vitamin). After holding it under your tongue, swish it around your mouth (further enhancing absorption) before swallowing it.

Taking CBD in this way allows your body to absorb it the best it possibly can. Also, liquids are fast acting, with the benefits generally being felt within 20 minutes, which can be extremely helpful is you need relief right away. Gummies are convenient especially for on the go or for people who can’t take liquids for whatever reason, and can be effective, but I would definitely say that liquids are best when it comes to CBD.

Many people worry that a liquid will taste terrible, and to be honest, some do. I’ve tried many different brands of CBD and some are absolutely awful tasting, which can make it difficult to take on a regular basis. The difference in taste from brand to brand comes from a variety of factors, including what carrier oil it’s mixed with and if it’s a whole plant extract, which can be more bitter tasting.

We have several extremely high quality CBD liquids at the store that are great tasting without any bitterness or awfulness. The CBD we most recommend is by a company called Green Gorilla, which I believe has the cleanest, best quality CBD around. They’re USDA Certified Organic (which is incredibly rare when it comes to CBD) and do third party testing on each batch of CBD they make. They also make really nice tasting CBD liquids, making them easy to take.

How much CBD should I take?

First, I’d like to explain about how CBD is sold in regards to potency, since it’s unlike any other supplement. For example, if you wanted to buy Vitamin C, it would say 500mg on the bottle whether it had 30 pills or 500. CBD is not that way, it is measured by how much is in the entire bottle, which can often be confusing. What really matters is the strength of CBD per serving, which varies. We carry CBD in a variety of strengths, the most common being 10 or 20 milligrams of CBD per serving. A 10 milligram dose is on the low side, but can often be enough for someone just experiencing mild pain or anxiety. For people experiencing more severe issues, often a low dose isn’t enough.

The amount of CBD needed for each person if different, depending on the problems they’re experiencing in addition to their individual physiological makeup. In our experience, most people have good results with a 20mg. dose of CBD, though we do have a number of people who use higher amounts to help with more extreme pain. CBD is very safe to take, even in extremely high doses, though there’s no sense in taking a higher dose if a low dose does the trick. That is another nice thing about liquids, with a liquid it is very easy to lower or raise the amount of CBD you take at one time, and also that the benefit is felt quickly, so it is easy to determine if you may need more to help with your individual needs.

I’ve written about some of the more common questions above, but please stop in the store if you have any other questions that we could help you with. Also, all of our health articles are archived on our website at passhealthfoods.com, including many different ones on CBD, its benefits, and how it works. We also have copies available at the store of a wide variety of articles on CBD, so feel free to stop in for more information at 7228 W. College Drive in Palos Heights.

Other articles on our website:

The Science of CBD: How it Works, and Why

CBD: An Overview

A New Approach for Managing GERD and Heartburn

This month I wanted to write about a unique and little known supplement for heartburn and GERD. Digestive enzymes, probiotics, and DGL licorice are all helpful for managing GERD, but there is another supplement ingredient I’ve discovered and have been doing some research on which I believe could be a great help for GERD and heartburn sufferers.

The ingredient I’m talking about is called alginate, also known as algenic acid. It’s an extract from brown algae that absorbs many times its weight in liquid, making a natural gel substance. When that algae gel is combined with natural buffers like sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate and used after a meal, it is actually able to make a gel-like raft that blocks acid reflux into the esophagus.

When the alginate reaches the acids in the stomach, it makes a pliable gel. At the same time, the calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) produce bubbles in the algae gel which make it rise to the top of the stomach, so it is literally floating on top of the contents of your stomach.

By making this floating stomach acid raft, it prevents those stomach acids from coming back up the esophagus, which is what happens in acid reflux, GERD, and heartburn.

It sounds a little strange, and but if you think about it, it makes sense. One of the main reasons so many people suffer from acid reflux is that naturally as we age, the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus known as the esophageal sphincter can weaken, so it doesn’t close all the way. When this happens, it allows acid to begin to travel back up the esophagus from the stomach, causing pain and damage over time.

When this gel raft is formed, it can last several hours in the body (which means that it is effective for that amount of time) before passing through the intestines and being digested like any other fiber.

Research has been done on alginate and its gel barrier method for preventing acid reflux, and when compared with PPIs, other acid blocking drugs, and antacids, it’s been found superior in both safety and effectiveness (here’s a link the abstract of one of those studies on Pub Med). There are no side effects, drug interactions, or toxicity that has been found from using this method since you are not actually taking a drug or anything that is necessarily changing what the body naturally does, but are just preventing acid from going where it shouldn’t be going anyway. It’s very much like fencing a dog in your yard- you aren’t stopping Fido from doing whatever he likes to do in your yard, you’re just preventing him from running in the street.

This alginate combination has been the subject of over fourteen different studies as well as a meta-analysis that examined each of the studies done on these nutrients at Duke University. The results showed that the alginate based supplement was more effective than placebo or antacids. In the studies, the people who took the alginate supplement were 4.42 times more likely to have a complete resolution of their symptoms than the placebo group.

I don’t know why alginate based supplements aren’t more well known, since the research is sound, but I’m happy to be able to share the information I’ve come across, since I think it could help a lot of people.

The supplement we’ve found that has this impressive alginate combination that we carry at the store is called Nutrisec by a company called Nature’s Plus. It’s a chewable tablet that is meant to be taken after a meal or 30 minutes before bedtime to prevent reflux when lying down to sleep at night, which is a very common issue for people with GERD. If you use it before bed, wait a half hour before laying down so the raft has time to get into place so it can work properly.

I’d very much recommend trying it, especially since it has been shown to cause no harm, and that it seems like something that might really help if you’re dealing with acid reflux, GERD, or heartburn. It’s definitely worth a try!

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CBD: An Overview

At Pass Health Foods, we are extremely knowledgeable about CBD and its many benefits. We’ve written many articles on CBD about different aspects of its benefits as well as just additional information about CBD itself and how it works.

We wanted to have a place to put links to all our CBD articles for easy reference. Please see the links below for specific articles, and as always, please feel free to stop by the store for further, individualized attention.

What is CBD

The Many Benefits of Hemp Derived CBD Oil

Why Certified Organic CBD is So Important

Our CBD Product Recommendations

Natural Help for Anxiety: CBD and Theanine

CBD for Pets: Natural Pet Care

See a collection of the CBD Products we have available at the store at the link below. We offer both local delivery as well as shipping anywhere in the continental US. Call the store at 708-448-9114 if you would like to place an order and have it shipped. The product listing below is not a complete listing of the CBD products we carry, but is a collection of our top selling and most recommended CBD products.

CBD Product Catalog

The Many Benefits of Probiotics, the Good Bacteria Your Body Needs

There are many wonderful natural products that have all sorts of benefits, but probiotics are part of a handful of supplements which we believe are vitally important for people of all ages- they’re a group of supplements that everyone would benefit from.

Probiotics, or “good bacteria”, are best known as an aid to digestive health, where they have impressively documented benefits for helping the body to digest and process foods. Probiotics also help the body to assimilate nutrients from foods and improve nutrient availability.

Probiotics are also fantastic for the immune system, enhancing our bodies own disease fighting white blood cells. One yearlong study showed that children who took probiotic supplements had significantly fewer upper respiratory infections (colds, etc.) and had a 30 percent reduction in missed school days. Research also found similar immune system benefits for adults.

In addition to activating the immune system against illness, it appears that probiotics are also able to modulate the immune system to diminish over reactive responses to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Interestingly, new research is also showing benefits for bone health for people who use probiotics. One new study found that in animals with hormone changes similar to what happens in women after menopause those who consumed probiotics were able to stave off bone loss compared to the group that was not given probiotics. The control group that did not use probiotics lost half their bone density compared to the probiotics who were able to retain bone density.

Also, pregnant women who use probiotics have been shown to have children with a lower incidence of eczema and atopic dermatitis. Additionally, research has suggested that pregnant women who use probiotics may have children with fewer food allergies.

Probiotics can also have benefits to overall brain health and mood. One study which was measuring the benefits of probiotics on IBS found that the probiotic takers had twice as many people that saw decreases in depression and depressive symptoms when compared with a placebo.

There are many wonderful, high-quality probiotics that we have at the store, but I wanted to specifically mention one by Flora called Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic, a probiotic which has actually won a number of different awards. Flora is a small company that makes exceptional products. They don’t come out with a ton of different “hot, new products” every year, but instead specialize in a few different areas, like probiotic supplements, where they really excel.

Flora’s Super 8 is a mix of eight well researched, scientifically identified strains that have been shown to survive in the body and form colonies.

Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic has probiotic strains that aid digestion, breaking down carbohydrates and helping to synthesize B vitamins. It also contains specific strains which have been shown in research to help inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the colon and GI tract. Super 8 is also formulated with strains that have been found to help reduce gas formation as well as other strains that help with urinary tract health and even a strain that helps with lowering cholesterol levels!

Best of all, it’s a high potency probiotic (42 billion per pill) that is very reasonably priced, especially when compared to other probiotics at similar potencies. This September, we’ll be having our Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic on sale for 25% off, so it’s a great time to try it!

 


 

 

A New Favorite: Carlson's Omega 3 Olive Oil

We have a new product in stock from Carlson that I really wanted to highlight- it’s a premium olive oil with added omega 3’s called Olive Your Heart. As many of you know, omega 3s are absolutely crucial to our health- it’s not called an “essential fatty acid” for nothing!  

Omega 3s are important for both children and adults for their many benefits for brain function (including concentration and focus, reducing the symptoms of depression), heart and cardiovascular health (by reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure), arthritis and more. 

Omega 3s cannot be manufactured in the body and must be obtained through diet. If you or your family members are not eating fatty fish or a good amount of flax and chia seeds multiple times a week, a deficiency in omega 3s are extremely likely.

I love this olive oil by Carlson, because it’s an easy way to boost omega 3s in your diet. Even for people who take vegetarian sources like flax or chia I would recommend it since the omega 3s in flax and chia do not contain EPA or DHA, but rather ALA, which the body then converts to the necessary omega 3 forms, EPA and DHA. The trouble with ALA is that not everyone converts it at the same rate, that there’s really no way of knowing how much EPA and DHA you’re getting. This is especially important for brain and eye health, since it’s primarily DHA that gives those benefits. For more information on the differences in various forms of omega 3s, see our article, All About Omegas, here.

When I first heard about this new “fish oil olive oil” by Carlson, I was skeptical, since who wants a fish flavored olive oil, even if you’re a fan of fish?  Well, we tried the Olive Your Heart olive oil and everyone loved it, there was no fishy taste at all. I’m a vegetarian, so I just smelled it, but let me say this- I am extremely sensitive to the smell of fish, and there was no fishy smell at all.

Even though we’re a vegetarian family, I do give omega 3s from fish oil to my second-grade daughter because the research on omega 3 fish oil, particularly DHA for children’s developing brains, is too important and conclusive. When I gave her a bit of Carlson’s Olive Your Heart on her pasta, she thought it was delicious, and didn’t notice any strange smell or taste. Liz, who works at the store, has also been using this omega 3 olive oil with her family (without advertising the fact that it contained fish oil) and they all think it tastes great.

Fish oil supplements can sometimes be a pain to take, so this is a great tasting alternative to omega 3 softgels. Even for people who regularly take omega 3 supplements, it’s a great way to get an extra boost for your health.

Click on any of the above photos to enlarge.

A Pass Favorite: Magnesium Oil Spray

I wanted to write about a new favorite of ours at the store- magnesium oil spray and magnesium flakes for soaking. Our new LifeFlo brand magnesium oil spray and flakes are from the Zechstein Seabed- an ancient geological formation of pure magnesium, unspoiled by pollution or chemicals.

Magnesium is great for the muscles, and using magnesium topically (whether through a magnesium oil spray or soaking in magnesium flakes) is especially effective.

I tried some for the first time recently and was kind of amazed, to be honest. It is absolutely wonderful for sore muscles. I’ve been using it when I have sore legs before bed and can’t believe how well it works for soothing and relaxing the muscles. I’ve also been using it on my daughter’s legs when she complains of “growing pains”. Liz, who works at the store, has a son who plays hockey, and he’s been using it after practice to help with sore muscles and is impressed with how well it works.

Even though we’ve primarily been using it for muscle aches, many of our customers have found it to be very effective for arthritis and joint pain as well.

The nice thing about magnesium oil spray and magnesium flakes for the bath (or a foot soak) is that there is really no downside, they can only help. I’d really recommend giving them a try!

A Pass Favorite: Herbatint Natural Hair Color

This month’s Pass Favorite is Herbatint Natural Hair Color
 
Sarah at the store uses Herbatint on a regular basis and she absolutely loves it.  She says it helps her hair to feel soft and smooth and not at all "straw-like" (as it did when she used conventional hair dye at the grocery store).  It doesn’t fade, and she gets many compliments on the color (she uses 5M). 
 
Herbatint is nice because it is completely natural and ammonia free.  Another bonus is that if you have short hair, the rest of the bottle can be saved for another use.  Sarah has shoulder length hair and she says a box usually lasts her two uses for coloring her hair.
 
I have another friend who swears by Herbatint hair color, but she actually brings the box to her hair dresser for her to use instead of the chemical laden hair dyes at the salon.  There are actually a number of our customers who do the same thing.  Herbatint is nice and gentle and doesn’t smell like chemicals (I remember back in the day when I would color my hair, I hated the chemical smell that seemed to linger on my hair for days).  
 
Herbatint also has a fantastic treatment conditioner called Royal Cream- it’s actually the same as the conditioner found in the hair color, that’s available now in a regular size bottle for sale on its own.  Both Sarah and I are crazy about it, it really keeps colored hair in good condition (I don’t color my hair, but I still like it anyway as a fantastic conditioning treatment).
 
Since we’re featuring Herbatint in our April newsletter, we’re going to have it on sale for 25% off for the whole month.  If you color your hair, it’s an easy change you can make for the benefit of not only yourself (removing toxins from your life is always a good thing) but for the Earth!