Monthly Archives - October 2016

#TBT – Witch Hazel – History and Benefits

Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we focus on wonderful Witch Hazel!

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Indigenous to North America, hamamelis or witch hazel has been prized for thousands of years for it’s astringent, anti-inflammatory and healing benefits. Native Americans boiled the bark and leaves to create an extract that was valued for its cooling and healing properties in treating swellings and inflammations. Early New England Puritans copied the idea and it’s use in America has been widespread after Dr. Charles Hawes found that steam distillation of the plant’s twigs was more effective. “Hawes Extract” came on the market in Essex, Connecticut in 1846. The process was further refined by Thomas Newton Dickinson, Sr. who began the commercial production of the product. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel is still on the market today.

Because it’s naturally rich in tannins, which have a drying effect, witch hazel’s astringent powers have been found to be helpful in treating hemorrhoids, minor bleeding and skin irritation from insect bites and poison ivy. Some folks have also had success in using it to treat psoriasis and eczema. Because of it’s skin tightening properties, it’s also effective at slowing down and stopping bleeding from small cuts and scrapes.

Witch Hazel is also prized by “Water Diviners” who practice an ancient technique called dowsing wherein a limb or branch of a tree is used to “divine” where water is located underground. They are also a great choice for landscaping as they are hardy, low maintenance and ignored by most pests. Whether you consider them a small tree or a large shrub, they are manageably sized, topping out at 10 to 20 feet. Some varieties will spread nearly as wide, making them a great addition when wanting to cover a lot of space in the yard. Best of all is the beautiful yellow glow you’ll see in your yard when its leaves turn in early autumn. Then in late fall, its spicy smelling, spidery shaped yellow flowers appear and will remain on the branches long after the leaves have fallen.

We can enjoy witch hazel’s beauty and also incorporate it into our own beauty routine! It’s commonly used as a toner and some folks claim that it helps to reduce puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. To test it out for yourself, mix equal parts witch hazel and aloe vera gel and pat under the eyes. We’ve included links to some other Do-It-Yourself beauty products that include witch hazel below. Enjoy!

 

DIY Rosemary, Cedarwood and Witch Hazel Facial Toner

DIY Mouthwash with Witch Hazel, Peppermint and Aloe Vera Juice

Homemade Makeup Remover Wipes

Natural Remedies in the Fight Against Fall Allergies

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Last time, we talked about understanding the main culprits behind fall allergies and different ways to prevent them. Today we’ve got some suggestions of natural helpers to relieve your symptoms!

Raw Local Honey

Not only is it yummy but it also relieves symptoms of seasonal allergies as it contains the local pollen that is causing those allergies. Adding a couple of teaspoons into your day each day helps you to build up a tolerance. It’s a good idea to do this year round.

Pineapple

Sweet and juicy relief! Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which helps to reduce swelling in the nose and sinuses.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Well known for giving your immune system a boost, it also helps in breaking up mucus and supports lymphatic drainage. When you are feeling that runny nose coming on, try mixing one tablespoon each of Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh lemon juice and local honey mixed with water to get some relief.

How Can re:iimmune help?

As we discussed in the last post, staying hydrated is one of the most important steps to take in preventing and relieving symptoms of fall allergies. You want to flush all that nastiness out of your system! Our isotonic Clinical Strength Hydration® formula also contains zinc, which helps adrenal fatigue caused by stress. Stress worsens the symptoms of both seasonal allergies and the common cold.

Other Supplements and Essential Oils

Other supplements to add into your routine include Spirulina, Stinging Nettle and Quercetin, all of which help stop the release of histamines.
Some folks find relief by using a combination of different essential oils. Remember that essential oils should typically not be applied directly to the skin. Instead, they should be added to a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond or grapeseed oil to avoid irritation. Lavender, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities to aid in your allergy relief. One common way to get their benefits is by adding a few undiluted drops to your bath or shower to breathe in as you wash that pollen away! Check out essentialoilbenefits.com for more ideas and essential oil recipes.

Coping with Fall Allergies Naturally

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Suffering from fall allergies? The main culprit of the seasonal sniffles is ragweed. We feel its wrath during the spring and then it typically begins to release its pollen during the warm days of August, lasting all the way into October. Because it can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind, even if it doesn’t grow where you live you may still be suffering the effects. Today we’ve got some ideas for you on how to prevent and deal with your fall allergies.

Know Your Enemy!

If you do suffer from ragweed allergies, you should also minimize the following foods in your diet as they may exacerbate the symptoms: bananas, melon and zucchini. While we just sang the praises of chamomile in a recent post, those suffering from fall allergies may want to step away from the chamomile tea for a time too. Chamomile belongs to the same family of plants as ragweed. So as you might guess, it can also worsen your allergy symptoms.

Clean It Up!

One of the best things you can do to ease and prevent fall allergies is to rid your home of dust and allergens as much as possible. While we all want to save a little money and turn the air conditioner off, open windows let that pollen you are trying to avoid into your home. So keep an eye on the allergy index/pollen count and on those days, you may want to consider keeping the windows closed. Also, many people use humidifiers to help with breathing, but dehumidifiers may actually be better if you are sensitive to dust or mold as both flourish in humidity.

Don’t forget to clean up outside. Mold is another huge trigger for fall allergies and it flourishes in damp spots outdoors. Take the time to clean up those rotting leaves and your sinuses will thank you.

When you come back inside, leave those shoes at the door! Shoes track in pollen, dust and germs. Leaving them at the door and going shoeless in the house will help cut down on cleaning and protect you from illness and worsened allergies.

Wash it Away!

You know we’re all about hydration! Staying hydrated helps keep your system in top shape and will help to decrease allergy symptoms of dry throat and a runny nose. Add some re:iimmune to that water and you’re body will receive hydration support and the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics. These keep gut flora in balance which helps make your system stronger against susceptibility to allergies. Many people also find relief in flushing their sinuses with a neti pot. Showering regularly will also help keep the pollen at bay and relieve symptoms.
Tomorrow we’ll also share some other natural helpers in the battle against fall allergies, such as specific foods and essential oils. Check back in with us!

Whole Foods Spotlight – Pumpkin

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” – Virginia Woolf

It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s new blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition! With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to talk pumpkins!

Pumpkin on white background.

 

 

Fall means pumpkin flavored everything and we’re totally on board! That said, lattes and pumpkin spice muffins do more for you spiritually than they do nutritionally speaking. Even though 90% of a pumpkin is water, that other 10% is packed with a wealth of nutritional benefits. We hope to inspire you to add more of this great gourd into your diet and reap the rewards!

The oldest pumpkin seeds found so far came from Mexico, dating somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BC, so it’s believed that the plant is indigenous to North America. However, pumpkins from that time are not the round orange varieties we carve into jack o’lanterns today. Rather they were a crooked neck variety which stored well during long winters. After maize (corn) was introduced, some Native Americans began a clever planting technique known as “The Three Sisters.”  Corn and beans were planted together so that the beans would twine their way up the corn stalks. Pumpkin and other gourds were planted at the base as the plant’s large leaves helped create shade and hold moisture to the roots of the companion plants.

Like carrots, pumpkins contain carotenoids which give it that orange hue and support healthy eyes and better night vision. Studies have shown that carotenoids also provide some protection from cataracts and age related macular degeneration. The pumpkin is also rich in beta carotene which has been shown to reduce cell damage and improve immune function.

They are also a great source of magnesium which is important for energy levels, a healthy nervous system and strong bones and muscles. Finally, one cup of pumpkin has a whopping 245% of recommended daily amount of Vitamin A!

We decided to skip over the zillions of pumpkin dessert options for our recipe suggestions since we know you’ll get your share of those lattes and slices of pumpkin pie this season. Instead we’ve opted to give you some links to more savory ways to get more pumpkin in your diet. Enjoy!

 

Caramelized Onion and Pumpkin Soup with Curry Yogurt Sauce

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecans

Savory Pumpkin and Sage Scones

Registered Dietitian’s Stamp of Approval – re:iimmune for Intestinal Health- Why Wednesday

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“As a Registered Dietitian I am always on the lookout for superior nutrition products that are supported by evidence-based medicine, and have found a keeper in re:iimmune.  I often find myself becoming dehydrated throughout my busy workday, when things become so hectic it’s easy to forget to drink or eat anything! It’s a snap to mix up some re:iimmune and instantly feel recharged- and it tastes great, too, not like some other supplements that contain artificial sweeteners and a chemical-laden aftertaste. The nutritionist in me also likes fact that there aren’t extra calories from added sugars- it’s really just good, simple, nutrition- and can be enjoyed by diabetics or others who are controlling their carbohydrate intake.  Knowing that re:iimmune contains probiotics and L-glutamine, both proven to support intestinal health, makes me feel even better about drinking it and recommending it to patients, especially those on low-fiber diets or with gastrointestinal disease. re:iimmune contains just the right ingredients whether you’re recovering from an illness or just trying to stay healthy! And did I mention it tastes great?!”

Stephanie B.

It’s always exciting to hear from dieticians and other health care professionals who are using  and recommending re:iimmune to their patients and clients for better intestinal health! Dr. Kerri Miller’s intention in creating the first ever  Hydrobiotic formula was to help people get better, better. Added sugars are not better, in fact they are counterproductive! Much thought and consideration has gone into making a supplement that assists in hydration and helping to balance the digestive system but with no added sugars, artificial sweeteners or terrible aftertaste. Thanks for the shout out Stephanie!

Testimonials found on reiimmune.com have been sent to us by Make People Better customers and may not reflect the typical purchaser’s experience and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. The testimonials are meant to be a showcase of the best result our product has produced, and should not be taken as the results a typical user will get. If you’d like to send us your testimonial, email us at info@makepeoplebetter.com 

Cholera Outbreak in Haiti – re:iimmune Relief Effort

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Friends, Haiti needs our help! After the recent devastation of Hurricane Matthew, Haiti’s citizens are facing a terrible outbreak of cholera as reported by news outlets such as nbcnews.com. Cholera is a an aggressive diarrhoeal infection caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. People who have been infected begin to show symptoms within 12 hours and 5 days after exposure. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhea which leads to dehydration. In severe cases it can kill within hours if left untreated. The bacteria remains present in feces for 1-10 days after infection and are then shed back into the environment, potentially infecting more people.

Our partners, Convoy of Hope and Project Hope have boots on the ground in Haiti. They are providing water and supplies within their relief efforts, but water alone is not enough. re:iimmune’s hydrobiotic technology is clinical strength hydration with intestinal immune support, the very thing to aid in relief efforts when IV’s are scarce and a rampant spread of intestinal disease is ever present.

Through re:immune’s Get Well, Make Well  program, we have donated over 120,000 servings of life saving hydrobiotics to date through Convoy of Hope. We have donated 4,000 servings to Haiti so far, but to reach more people we need your help! We have set up a page over on generosity.com that enables you to directly buy 1 box, ½ of a case or a full case as a donation to the people of Haiti. With each purchase, we will donate extra servings as well! You can find the full details by following this link: https://www.generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/haiti-relief-no-one-should-die-from-dehydration

Can you help us get more re:iimmune to the people who need it the most? Make your donation today and we’ll get it to Convoy of Hope and Project hope for delivery. Let’s make a difference today!

#TBT – Chamomile – History and Benefits

Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care.

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Ancient Egyptians believed chamomile to be a universal cure all and it certainly has a long history of being used to cure many ills and ailments. Both varieties of Chamomile, German and Roman, belong to the Astereraceae (daisy) family and are familiar to most people due to their popular use in teas to calm and soothe. It’s sometimes even called “the plant’s physician” as chamomile seems to help revive failing plants growing near it. In ancient Wales it was planted upon loved ones’ graves to bring about a happy afterlife.  Here in this world, it has many beneficial uses!

Chamomile has been used throughout history to calm upset stomachs, ease headaches, toothaches, teething babies, pink-eye, and to soothe sunburns. Chamomile oil is produced through steam distillation and during the process, a blue organic compound called azulene is produced. It is this compound, high in anti-inflammatory properties that makes it a good choice for alleviating the  pains of arthritis and sore muscles and joints. Known for it’s power of soothing, it’s long been used in nighttime teas to promote a good and restful sleep.

As with any herb, there are always precautions to think about. Too much chamomile can induce vomiting and some folks who are allergic to ragweed can have similar reactions. Also, it contains coumarin which is a natural blood thinner. So if you are already taking a blood thinner such as warfarin, you will want to check with your doctor.

This pretty little herb also has a long history of being used in beauty products and treatments. It’s traditionally a  go-to for calming inflammation in the skin such as eczema and acne and reducing puffiness around the eyes.  Cosmetically speaking, it’s best known for bringing out highlights in blonde hair and for subtle lightening of darker tones. To do so, simply brew a strong cup of chamomile tea and let it cool. Apply to certain strands for highlights or do an overall rinse. Sit in the sunshine for about thirty minutes and then wash it out.

Finally, chamomile is just one of the sweetest  little flowers around! It’s fairly easy to grow, lovely to look at and a must have in the herb garden.

Natural Ingredients for Home Cleaning

 

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Last week we shared with you some tips to keep in mind in our post Fall Cleaning for Optimum Health. This week we’re sharing some basic, natural ingredients you can use to get your home to sparkle! Many cleaners on the market are filled with not so natural ingredients that can aggravate our breathing, sinuses and aren’t so easy on the environment. The natural ingredients below are cheaper, do just as good of a job and are much healthier for you and the planet.

Baking Soda

Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, good old fashioned baking soda is known for it’s abilities as a gentle yet effective scrub and neutralizer of odors. Here are some great uses for this ingredient in home cleaning. . .

~ Sink and bathtub drains getting clogged and smelling not so fresh? Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, along with half a cup of vinegar. Watch it fizz and bubble and ponder the wonders of science! Rinse with several cups of hot water and use the excess in the sink to scrub down the sides and bottom for a sparkly shine.

~ Many of you probably already have a box in your fridge to absorb nasty smells. (Activated Charcoal also works well for this!) and we recommend sprinkling some into the trash can and putting a box in closets as well to eliminate odors.

~ Have those old metal tracks in your windows that get clogged up with dirt and grime? Here’s a great trick to clean them using baking soda and a few other ingredients from theintentionalmom.com!

~ Freshen up mattresses by combining five tablespoons of baking soda and five teaspoons of lavender essential oil and using a sieve to sprinkle over the mattress. Leave it there for about a half hour and then vacuum up.

Black Tea

Black tea is brilliant for cleaning your hardwood floors. Black tea contains polyphenolic compounds which helps eliminate germs and the tannins in the tea help enhance the color of the wood and hide small scratches. Another natural item to use to help hide scratches in your wood floor are walnuts. Yes walnuts! Rub the meat of the nut into the scratch and it fills in the crack to smooth the surface.

Vinegar

Vinegar is extremely versatile. It works like a charm at cleaning glass and windows. Just mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Try using newspapers instead of paper towels or rags for less lint and a streak free shine. Vinegar is also your go to for getting rid of grime, grease and stickiness on surfaces. Have kids in the home who like to put stickers on every surface they aren’t supposed to? Squirt a little vinegar on it, let it sit for a bit and the sticker should wipe up in no time.

Vinegar is also great for getting rid of mineral deposits around faucets, shower heads and in automatic coffee makers. The smell of vinegar fades pretty quickly but if you just can’t stomach the scent, add in a little essential oil of your choice or try out this Pine Scented Vinegar recipe.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This powerhouse ingredient is known for whitening and brightening as well as killing bacteria. It can be used in the laundry to whiten and get rid of yellowing, on cutting boards to kill germs and on shower curtains or other items that have mold and mildew.

Battling filthy tile and grout? You don’t need bleach and other harsh chemicals. Mix together ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap and gently scrub the grime away.

Important Tip

Natural does not always mean safe! Hydrogen Peroxide + Vinegar = Peracetic Acid which can corrode surfaces and can irritate your skin, eyes and lungs. So never combine these two ingredients together.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus – The Friendly Bacteria

At re:iimmune we want to help our customers feel better faster as they are recovering from illness, help restore hydration and assist in boosting immunity. When we don’t feel well, there’s sometimes a disconnect between our minds and our bodies and we feel powerless to do anything. But knowledge is power! When one understands how different elements in our product, like Lactobacillus, aid in digestion and overall wellness, it helps to create a connection. When we know how our bodies work, we gain a sense of control in being an active participant in our own health. 

Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a bacteria but it’s a friendly one! It normally lives in our digestive, urinary and genital systems without causing disease. In fact, the bacteria is a pretty good friend to have on our side. It assists in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and fighting off organisms that cause very unfriendly problems such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections. Lactobacillus produces Vitamin K and lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down the lactose (sugar) in milk. Therefore, when it is included in foods such as yogurt, kefir and soy products it can help people who are lactose intolerant.The bacteria becomes the lactose intolerant person’s best buddy, doing much of the work in breaking down the lactose and making it easier to digest.

We include probiotics like Lactobacillus in re:iimmune to support our body’s natural immunity, 70% of which is our digestive tract. Think of your body as an ecosystem. When all things are in balance, the ecosystem flourishes. However when the ecosystem of your body is bombarded with pathogens like E. coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella or Candida it compromises that natural immunity and throws your system off kilter. Probiotics help to restore order in the ecosystem and get our immunity back on track!

Fall Cleaning for Optimum Health

 

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While spring is typically the season when most people think of doing a big house cleaning, there are many important reasons to do the same in the fall. We’re all ready to cozy up and refresh our nests so that we can be comfortable, prepare for the holidays and keep healthy in the long winter ahead! Here are some things to keep in mind as you do your fall cleaning. . .

Bed Pillows

One of the biggest battles in a home is fighting against dust. Did you know that dust is comprised mostly of dead skin cells that we are constantly shedding? Getting rid of dust on furniture is something to do quite often to help with your breathing and allergies. Several times a year it’s a good idea to rid areas that aren’t often thought about. Bed pillows also collect dust, mold spores and other allergens. It’s best to clean your pillows three to four times a year and while we’ve got fall cleaning on the brain, it’s a perfect time to take care of them.

Add a half cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent and if concerned about dust mites, eucalyptus oil is a great addition as well. To help keep your pillows fluffed up, put a couple of tennis balls into old socks and toss them in the dryer with the pillows.

Speaking of Dust

Don’t forget your walls, ceilings, curtains and overhead fans while doing your fall cleaning. It’s always a good idea to start high when cleaning and work your way down to the floor. It’s no fun to get all the dust up out of corners and off of surfaces and then look up and realize you’re going to have to knock down all that dust up high onto those newly clean surfaces. After cleaning those high areas, wait a few minutes for the dust to settle before you continue cleaning anything else. It’s always fun to spend a few minutes daydreaming and watching the dust spores fall through the sunshine as they settle. Do you remember doing that as a kid?

After daydreaming, it’s back to reality and it’s time to think about having the air ducts in your home cleaned by a professional. You yourself can change the air filter in your furnace to keep things running smoothly and to keep the air in your home clean and healthy.

‘Tis the Season to Purge

Fall is a great time to get rid of unnecessary clutter. Think about going through your closets and selecting clothing and coats for donation. The holidays are just around the corner so it’s also a good time to go through children’s toys and pare down before the gift deluge hits.

Another area to look at is the kitchen. Go through the fridge, freezer and pantry and use up or get rid of those things that have expired or are about to go bad. Don’t forget the spice drawer! Spices tend to lose their potency over time. Some good guidelines…

Ground Spices: 2-3 years

Dried Herbs: 1-2 years

Whole Spices, Seeds and Extracts: 4 years

Check out Treehugger.com. They have some great ideas for what to do with those expired spices, so don’t throw them out just yet!

Very few of us really LOVE to clean but we love how the house feels when it’s all done! So put on your comfiest clothes and bliss out to your favorite tunes. Before you know it, you’ll have a cleaner and healthier home which will lift your spirits and make the next season much merrier and brighter.
Check back next week when we’ll share some great natural ingredients for home cleaning!