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#TBT – Thyme – 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. This week the focus is on the powerful protector and palate pleaser: thyme!

Thyme, the most common variety being Thymus vulgaris, is an evergreen herb with a fragrance Rudyard Kipling described as being, “like dawn in paradise.” There are a couple of possible origins for the name. It may be derived from the Greek thumos and/or the Latin fumus, which both mean “smoke” or the Greek word thumos can also signify courage. The Greeks burnt the herb as incense in their temples believing it a source of courage. Later, during the Middle Ages, ladies would give knights and warriors gifts embroidered with a bee hovering over a spray of thyme as a symbol of protection. Danish and German folklore listed wild thyme patches as a place favorable to find fairies.

Thyme does have some powerfully protective disinfecting and deodorizing properties. The disinfecting qualities of thymol, a primary component of the oil, has been useful in treating psoriasis, eczema and ringworm. It’s also useful in dental care, traditionally used to treat tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque and bad breath as it helps to kill germs. It can help keep those outdoor pests away too and treat the bites you may suffer from the little critters. For women, it’s been used to help improve progesterone production and relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Thyme is also a powerful immune system booster, encouraging white blood cell formation and increasing resistance to germs and bacteria. This makes it a great herb to use in your defense during cold and flu season.

As for its culinary uses, it’s best known for flavoring meat dishes, soups and stews. In some parts of the Middle East it’s a vital ingredient for the condiment za’atar. Thyme is also a component of the bouquet garni and Herbes de Provence. It can be used fresh or dried and in its dried form it retains its flavour better than most other herbs.

DIY Lemon Thyme Upholstery and Carpet Deodorizer

Honey Roasted Beets with Balsamic and Thyme

Eczema Skin Salve DIY

Whole Foods Spotlight: Quinoa

“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 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! This week we encourage you to incorporate quinoa into your meal plan. . .

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) originated in the areas around Lake Titicaca in South America. Around 3,000 to 5,000 BC Pre-Columbian peoples domesticated the plant and used the grains as a staple food of their diet. The Incas called quinoa the “mother grain” and considered it a sacred food. Technically, the plant is not a cereal grass like wheat, oats or barley but is a broadleaf plant and a member of the same family as spinach and beets. Sometimes it is referred to as a “pseudocereal” which is used to describe foods that are not grasses but can be ground into a flour or boiled and consumed much like rice. The entire plant is edible and what ends up looking like a grain on our plates is actually the seed. Quinoa plants are actually really beautiful and put on purple or reddish flowers before going to seed.

Those little seeds are packed with nutritional benefits! It is one of the most protein-rich plant sources and unlike cereal grasses it’s gluten free. It is considered a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids, including a high amount of lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It’s a great source of fiber, containing nearly twice as much as those traditional grains and it’s also packed with magnesium, manganese and riboflavin. Quinoa is a great source of energy, keeps you fuller longer and yet is low in calories. This is a food that really earns it’s “superfood” title!

Quinoa comes in many varieties and can be red, cream, pink, orange purple and even black in color. It cooks up quickly and has a somewhat nutty flavor. Because the outer coating of the seeds contains saponins which can give a bitter taste, it’s a good idea to rinse the seeds in a fine meshed strainer and rub them together under cold water prior to cooking. It should be stored in an airtight container and will last longer if kept in the refrigerator, with a shelf life of about 3 to 6 months.

You can use quinoa in a variety of ways, and can be a fantastic substitute for rice, pastas and couscous if you are watching your carbohydrates. We’ve included some links below to yummy recipes to help you add more of this super delicious superfood into your meal planning.

Cinnamon Maple Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Garlic Butter Shrimp, Quinoa and Asparagus

Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Power Salad

Foods for a Healthy Liver

Earlier we talked about the functions of the liver and the important role it plays in keeping us well. We focused in on what not to do in order to keep it functioning optimally such as limiting alcohol intake and acetominophen consumption and exercising to maintain a healthy weight. Today we’ve got some suggestions of what one can consume to promote liver health!

Leafy Greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, cabbage, lettuce)

These foods should be a staple in any healthy diet. They supply us with good amounts of protein, calcium, iron and fiber and are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. They are one of the best sources for Vitamin K which triggers the production of the protein osteocalcin, essential for healthy bones. They are also low in calories, making them ideal for weight management. In regard to the liver, leafy greens act as protectants for the liver due to their ability to neutralize chemicals, pesticides and metals.

Turmeric

We’ve discussed turmeric and it’s many great properties on this blog before. This rhizome which is typically grated into a powder, typical to Indian cuisine, is gaining more and more attention here in the west and throughout the world for it’s many health benefits including protection against inflammation. Turmeric is a great friend to the liver in that it assists our bodies in the digestion of fats and stimulates the production of bile.

Fruits  – Grapefruit, Lemon and Avocados

Citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit are high in Vitamin C and antioxidant properties and aid in the digestion process. They also assist the liver in flushing out carcinogens and toxins.

Avocados produce a type of antioxidant, glutathione, which is required by the liver to filter out harmful materials.

Fermented Foods

Foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchee are loaded with good bacteria due to the fermentation process. They are known immunity boosters and also help the liver flush out heavy metals.

Taking Care of Your Liver

The liver is our largest internal organ, roughly the size of a football and is positioned under the lower rib cage on the right side of the body. It’s also considered a gland because it secretes chemicals used in other bodily functions. The liver is essential for survival as it helps clean our blood by eliminating harmful chemicals, produces bile which helps us break down fats in food and turns glucose into glycogen and stores it for when the body needs a quick burst of energy.

Liver cells also make many proteins required for blood clotting and the maintenance of fluid within the circulatory system. Detoxification is another key responsibility; it converts ammonia into urea which is excreted in the urine by the kidneys. It also breaks down alcohol, drugs, medication, insulin and hormones in the body. Finally, the liver acts as a storage unit in the body for vitamin B12, A, D and K as well as folic acid and iron.

With all of the important processes your liver is responsible for,  it makes sense to take really good care of it! Here are some ways to keep it in tip top shape. . .

  • Moderate your alcohol intake. It can damage the cells of the organ and leads to scarring called cirrhosis, which can be deadly. The National Institue on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism defines moderate intake as up to four alcholic drinks for men and three for women in any single day with a maximum of 14 weekly drinks for men and 7 drinks for women. 
  • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Doing so will keep you from the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease which also leads to cirrhosis.
  • Watch your intake of painkillers such as acetaminophen as it is damaging to the liver if taken too much.

A healthy diet is also beneficial to the liver. Check back with us next week when we’ll share several foods that are beneficial to the health of your liver!

 

#TBT – Rose – 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. In honor of Valentine’s Day we are focusing on the rose!

Fossil evidence dates the rose as 35 million years old and there are around 150 species spread through the world. The Chinese were most likely the first culture to begin garden cultivation of roses, some 5,000 years ago. Throughout time the rose has come to symbolize romantic love and you are bound to love some of the surprising health benefits of this sweet smelling queen of flowers.

Dietary Benefits

Rose hips, the flowers which have swollen to seed are commonly used in tea and have been used throughout the ages to aid in relieving bladder infections, menstrual cramps and diarrhea. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant which can block some of the damage that can result from exposure to toxins and helps to support the immune system The flower petals are also edible and can be mixed into salads! The petals contain polyphenols which research shows help to prevent cardiovascular disease as well as osteoporosis.

Skin and Hair Health

Rosewater is a perfect choice for sensitive and irritated skin. Along with balancing out oily skin, softening, deep cleansing and toning the skin, rosewater also provides relief from irritation and itching. Those battling acne will want to reach for the rosewater as it contains antibacterial properties to dry up the acne, a natural antiseptic called phenyl ethanol and its a good moisturizer to boot! Rose essential oil is also useful in maintaining a healthy scalp and hair and many swear by it’s ability to prevent hair loss.

Aromatherapy

No wonder the rose has become such a symbol of romance and considered an aphrodisiac. The scent of rose essential oil is known to boost the libido and reduce symptoms of sexual dysfunction. The oil has also been used to treat depression, stress, anxiety and headaches.

Ready to reap the rewards of the rose? Here are some links you might want to check out. . .

Rose Petal Iced Tea

Rosehip Jam

Homemade Rosewater

Call for re:iimmune testimonials

 

 

re:iimmune® Hydrobiotic - 3pack - 30 day supplyWe love to hear from our customers about how re:iimmune has helped support their regular health routine and/or aid in their recovery. We often share testimonials from our regular customers to help get the word out about the benefits of our hydrobiotic formula. Now we are calling for a new round of testimonials and if yours is selected as a feature on our blog, you’ll be entered to get a gift of thanks, a box of re:iimmune to replenish your supply!

If you have been regularly using our product which was created to deliver clinical strength hydration, provide beneficial gut bacteria and decrease inflammation in the gut, we want to hear your story! Here are some ideas of what to include. . .

  • Give us a little background on yourself and how did you come across re:iimmune? What issues were you aiming to address? Were you recovering from an illness, suffering from a chronic condition or adding it to your wellness routine to aid in staying healthy?
  • How long have you been using re:iimmune? What is your routine to incorporate it into your day?
  • What benefits have you noticed by regularly consuming re:iimmune?

American consumers are literally flooded with gimmicky and expensive variations on H2O: concoctions of sugar, artificial flavors and unsubstantiated ingredients that can themselves pose a challenge to our health. At the same time, poor hydration and insufficient intestinal microflora can endanger patient recovery and lead to hospital readmissions and poor outcomes. Dr. Kerri Miller developed re:iimmune to address those issues and to help people get better, better! A Johns Hopkins and Harvard educated nurse practitioner, Dr. Miller developed a simple solution; make the water you drink more efficient during illness recovery!

With her oral Hydrobiotic technology, she created a solution that gives water more power to hydrate while supercharging the body’s natural defense system.

We want to hear from you and share your story to encourage others to give re:iimmune a try and help more people who are on the road to recovery or looking to maintain a healthy gut and stay properly hydrated. If you would like to help us get the word out, please email your testimonial to info@makepeoplebetter.com. As inspiration we’ve included a couple of testimonial videos below!

Natural Cold Remedies

 

Fighting a nasty cold? An average of 2-3 times a year, most adults suffer through the effects of the common cold including sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, headaches and body aches. There is no cure for the common cold. Over-the-counter medicines mask symptoms but often have side effects people would like to avoid. Here are some natural cold remedies to lessen the misery and support your recovery!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

No surprise to hear us shouting this from the rooftops. In any recovery, staying hydrated is essential. When dealing with a cold, drinking plenty of water helps to prevent respiratory secretions from getting thick and making it difficult to expel. If plain old water is hard to get down, it’s helps to add lemon which is high in Vitamin C and assists in loosening up stuffiness and congestion. Hot tea is also soothing for a sore throat, stuffy nose and congestion and adding honey to it will help with coughs. Just be sure to reach for the decaf. Caffeine is dehydrating, making caffeinated teas, coffee and soda the last thing your body needs to recover. Also, as we’ve discussed in previous posts, stay away from sugar loaded sports drinks. If you are looking to replenish electrolytes, re:iimmune’s hydrobiotic formula was created to address poor hydration, a weakened immune system and intestinal inflammation which affects immunity. re:iimmune provides isotonic, clinical strength hydration along with a prebiotic, probiotics, electrolytes, L-Glutamine, Zinc and Ginger and it’s sugar free!

Simple Soothers

When you are suffering from a cold, it’s all about finding ways to soothe the symptoms to make yourself more comfortable. We mentioned adding some honey into your tea above and you may even want to ingest a tablespoon or two all on it’s own if one of the symptoms you are struggling with is a nasty cough. Honey has been shown to be as or even more effective at controlling and soothing coughs than over the counter cough medicines.

When we’re sick, our nasal passages go into overdrive, swelling up and producing more mucus to try to drive the virus out. An easy and effective way to calm them down is using a saline spray which helps to loosen mucus and moisturize the nasal passages. If all that mucus is irritating your throat, a saltwater gargle can also provide relief.

Another irritating symptom? The sore nose that inevitably comes from blowing it so much. Using a little dab of coconut oil will moisturize your nose and help prevent it from getting raw and sore.

We’ve included some links to other great natural cold remedies, including essential oils that bring relief and why chicken soup really might deserve it’s cold remedy reputation. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

 

Chicken soup

How To Make Homemade Vapo Rub

15 Essential Oils for Cough, Cold and Congestion

Whole Foods Spotlight – Orange

“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! Today it’s all about the juicy, sweet orange!

The first wild ancestor of the sweet orange we are familiar with today probably evolved in Australia and New Guinea. These early citron fruits made it to the Asian continent and spread west toward Africa. Citrons have been found in Egyptian tomb paintings from 1000 BC.  These fruits were not juicy and people mainly ate the rind of the fruit and used it for perfumes. Very early on it was used in India as a treatment for scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency). However, these citrons are not the ancestors of the modern orange. Either Chinese or Indian food scientists bred the pomelo and mandarin together sometime around 314 BC and developed both the bitter orange and the more familiar to Western culture, sweet orange. The word orange is derived from “naranga”, the word for orange trees in India. As oranges spread their way across the world throughout the centuries they have been prized for their sweet, juiciness and many health benefits.

Immune Support and Digestive Health

High Vitamin C content means oranges are a fantastic choice to drive away nasty germs and bugs and preventing colds, flu and ear infections. Vitamin C is also aids in the prevention of ulcers and the high fiber content of oranges ensure a healthy colon. Fiber also helps to reduce constipation and diarrhea.

Vision Protection

Loaded with carotenoids, oranges are a great choice in preventing night blindness and macular degeneration.

Healthy Skin

Sweet Orange Oil has been touted for its ability to stimulate collagen production, easing inflammation and improving the flow of blood to the skin and clearing clogged pores.

Heart Health

Oranges contain hesperidin which has been shown to lower both high blood pressure and cholesterol in animal studies. Most of this phytonutrient can be found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange so it’s benefits are lost when the fruit is processed into juice. Vitamin C also helps to prevent arteriosclerosis which is hardening of the arteries.

Hopefully reading this made you long for an orange as much as writing it did for me! I’m off to peel one now. Hope you enjoy the links below . . .

Sliced Fennel, Orange and Almond Salad

20 Orange Essential Oil Uses

Make Your Own Dried Orange Peel

Stay Safe in the Snow – Hypothermia

In our third and final piece on how to Stay Safe in the Snow, we are sharing ways to avoid, recognize and treat hypothermia. In cold temperatures, the body cannot produce heat as fast as it’s losing it and this can lead to serious health problems. Hypothermia happens gradually and people become confused and unaware that this life threatening condition is happening to them.

Avoiding Hypothermia

  • Dress appropriately! Make sure areas most likely to be affected by frostbite are covered including your nose, ears, cheeks, chin and fingers. It is best to dress in layers and it’s best if the outer layer is something wind and waterproof. As for the inner layers, go for wool or fleece. Do not wear cotton as the base layer. Because cotton retains moisture, dries slowly and loses its thermal properties causing your core temperature to drop.
  • Carry at least one thermal heat blanket in your car’s emergency kit.
  • Avoid activities where you might sweat a lot if possible. Stay as dry as possible.
  • Rain, sweat or snow can cause hypothermia in temperatures as warm as 40 degrees Farenheit. Be aware!

Recognizing Hypothermia

  • Uncontrollable shivering means the body cannot warm itself.
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty forming thoughts/confusion
  • Lack of energy/unconsciousness
  • Weak pulse/shallow breathing

Treating Hypothermia

  • If you cannot call 911 or get emergency help, the first thing to do is seek any kind of shelter you can find, the warmer the better.
  • Remove wet clothes immediately. Get into dry clothes and/or  layers of blankets. Skin to skin contact is beneficial.
  • If using warming packs/compresses from a first aid kit, place them on the chest and groin area not the legs or arms. This will force cold blood to rush to the heart.
  • Do NOT drench the body in hot water or rub skin vigorously as this is too taxing on the heart.
  • It’s okay to drink warm liquids slowly but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Since skin may be numb, victims of frostbite may unintentionally harm themselves further. Do not walk on feet or toes affected by frostbite unless absolutely necessary for survival. Don’t rub or massage frostbit areas.Don’t use a fireplace, heat lamp, stove, heating pad or electric blanket for warming this can be damaging to the skin and if the heart is struggling, could cause cardiac arrest. It is good to place afflicted areas in warm-to-the-touch water, not hot.

#TBT – Eucalyptus – 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 the spotlight is on eucalyptus!

Eucalyptus is a native plant of Australia where there are over 700 varieties. Aboriginal people considered them a general “cure-all” and the trees have been utilized for paper, mulch, fuel, as windbreakers and for fighting malaria. Because it has an extensive root system it can absorb large quantities of water and so it was intentionally planted in marshy, malaria infested areas to dry up the soil. The plant is also a good example of why humans have to be careful introducing non-native species. In the 1850’s during the California Gold Rush, thousands of acres of eucalyptus trees were planted in the state. Since the climate is similar to parts of Australia, the hope was that it could serve as a renewable source of timber for all sorts of construction including railroad ties for an ever expanding railroad system. However the timber wasn’t suitable for railroad ties as the wood has a tendency to twist when drying. Unfortunately eucalyptus trees release compounds which inhibit other plant species from growing nearby, it’s an invasive species and a fire hazard in a state plagued by drought and wildfires.

All that said, eucalyptus has some wonderful health and wellness benefits and has been used from ancient to modern times for respiratory ailments like bronchitis, coughs and flu. During World War 1, the oil was in high demand to help control a meningitis outbreak and as a treatment during the terrible influenza breakout in 1919. The plant is antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, plus it’s a natural decongestant. Studies have shown that for people suffering from non-bacterial sinusitis, symptoms improve faster when given medicine containing eucalyptus oil. It’s also used as a remedy for sore throats and can provide relief when mixed with warm water and used as a gargle solution.

With it’s cool and refreshing smell, eucalyptus has also been used to do away with sluggishness and promote mental alertness. For those suffering from asthma, massaging a few drops onto the chest and inhaling the vapors helps to calm the throat and dilate blood vessels allowing more oxygen into the lungs. The oil is also useful in dental care, the treatment of lice, as a foot deodorizer and skin coolant and for sore muscles. Below are links to some ways to incorporate eucalyptus into your wellness routine.

Cooling Foot and Shoe Deodorizer

Homemade Chest Rub

Frozen Eucalyptus Towels