The Natura Blog

  • Did You Know... Flew Away™ and Lung & Bronchial Tonic™

    Flew Away™

    Did you know that Natura’s Flew Away™ formula can be used in conjunction with heat treatment to increase its effectiveness?

    One important way that the body defends itself against harmful bacteria, viruses and other pathogens is by sweating. The process of sweating promotes the deactivation and removal of damaging microorganisms and is often a natural way for the body to quickly overcome a fever.

    Sauna

    Diaphoretic herbs are ones which induce perspiration. Traditionally they were used by herbalists in the treatment of colds and flu to aid in ridding the body of infection and regulating fever. They work by influencing peripheral sensory nerves, which then relax and dilate superficial capillaries and blood vessels, increasing blood flow. The increased blood flow activates the sweat glands, which results in perspiration.

    Flew Away™ contains concentrated herbal extracts of yarrow, boneset, peppermint, elder flower, eucalyptus and ginger. These diaphoretic herbs promote sweating, thereby facilitating the safe removal of harmful organisms from the body.

    Heat Treatment Therapy

    Hot water acts as a diaphoretic when used both externally, in the case of hot baths and saunas, and internally when consumed in hot teas and soups. These types of heat treatments can work synergistically with the diaphoretic herbs found in Flew Away™, amplifying their effects. To increase the formula’s effectiveness, take a hot bath or sauna within 30 minutes of a dose of Flew Away™. Hot teas and soups can be consumed anytime throughout the day as additional therapeutic support.

    The Earlier the Better

    Utilizing holistic methods of immune support at the first sign of seasonal illness is the best way to achieve results. By acting quickly at the onset of such symptoms as throat irritation, fatigue, dull headache and swollen glands, the body’s defenses can be strengthened to help avoid an acute situation.

    We highly recommend the use of Natura’s Throat & Gland™ spray in conjunction with Flew Away™ for comprehensive support. Throat & Gland™ features potent broad spectrum anti-microbial protection and is uniquely suited to encourage the healthy flow and proper drainage of lymph fluids through the body while enhancing optimal immune system function.

    Lung & Bronchial Tonic™

    Did you know that Natura’s Lung & Bronchial Tonic™ can be added directly to hot water to make a soothing therapeutic tea?  While it is generally dosed straight by the teaspoon like most traditional herbal syrups, it can alternatively be utilized in this fashion to infuse hot water (or other hot teas) with its therapeutic benefits.  Simply add 1-2 teaspoons of Lung & Bronchial Tonic™ to a cup of hot water and stir until dissolved.

    Acute and Seasonal Ailments

    Sundew Flower Sundew Flower

    Lung & Bronchial Tonic™ is Natura’s primary formula for the relief of cough and congestion.  It works to relieve phlegm, soothe irritated throat and lung tissues, and relax and dilate bronchial passages, while providing an antimicrobial effect.
    * For acute symptom support: 2 teaspoons, 2-5 times daily.

    A True Tonic

    Lung & Bronchial Tonic™ features botanical extracts which nourish and strengthen lung and immune function, and is especially useful for conditions associated with general lung weakness.  It is intended to be taken at a lower dose for long periods of time when addressing chronic lung disturbances.
    * For chronic symptom support: 2 teaspoons, 1-2 times daily. 

    For comprehensive seasonal support, use in conjunction with Natura’s Throat and Gland and Flew Away formulas.

  • A Healthy Holiday Treat: Chocolate Brownies

    (Originally published December 28, 2012 at http://www.donnieyance.com/a-healthy-holiday-treat-chocolate-brownies/)

    As I write this, our home is filled with the welcoming scent of home-baked cookies. Over the past few weeks, Jen and I (with plenty of help from our children) have been busy baking treats for the holidays, which we enjoy sharing with family, friends, and neighbors. I believe that treats can be a part of a healthy diet, if made with good quality ingredients and eaten in moderation.

    Dark chocolate, in particular, provides a sweet, sensual, and sin-free pleasure food as well as some significant health benefits. Chocolate is a good source of magnesium, a nutrient that many people don’t get enough of in their diets. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural compound that promotes mental alertness, clarity, and enhances the ability to concentrate and retain information (dark chocolate has even been shown in studies to reduce the onset of dementia). Many people feel happier and calmer after consuming a bit of chocolate, and there’s a scientific reason: Chocolate contains the amino acid tryptophan, which makes the neurotransmitter known as serotonin; together with the neurotransmitters dopamine, and the compounds phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide (known as the “bliss chemical”), these natural compounds exert beneficial effects on the brain and nervous system and help to prevent depression. Finally, research indicates that dark chocolate has positive effects on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, apparently through reducing inflammation.

    To be beneficial, chocolate must be dark (milk or white chocolate doesn’t have the same healthful properties). The cacao bean from which chocolate is made is rich in antioxidant phytochemicals known as flavanols, however, the concentration of the flavanols in chocolate depends on how the cacao bean is processed. When choosing chocolate, buy dark, good quality chocolate (at least 70% cacao content or higher). For baking chocolate, choose unsweetened cocoa powder that has not been “Dutch processed” (a process that washes the beans with an alkali substance that destroys the beneficial flavanols).

    These brownies are made with rich dark unsweetened cocoa powder, which is an excellent source of healthful polyphenols (our favorite cocoa powder is Dagoba or Ghirardelli). They also contain coconut in several forms: coconut flour makes them appropriate for those who must avoid gluten, and coconut oil provides beneficial medium chain triglycerides, which have been shown to increase beneficial HDL cholesterol. Coconut oil is a good substitute for butter in any recipe. Sweetness is provided by coconut palm sugar, a natural sugar lower on the glycemic index that doesn’t wreak havoc with blood sugar levels. Finally, they’re loaded with shredded coconut, pecans, and dark chocolate chips. These brownies are a delicious, satisfying, and healthful holiday treat. Enjoy!

    Healthy Chocolate Brownies

    Ingredients:

    • 1/3 cup coconut oil (plus additional for pan)
    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
    • ¼  teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
    • ½ cup coconut flour
    • ½ cup roughly chopped pecans, lightly toasted
    • ½ cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)
    • ½ cup bittersweet dark chocolate chips

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.
    2. Melt 1/3 cup coconut oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Set aside and let cool.
    3. In large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add cooled coconut oil-cocoa mixture and blend.
    4. Add coconut flour and cinnamon, blending until smooth.
    5. Stir in pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips.
    6. Spread batter into prepared pan, and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until done. (Brownies are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.)

    Cool, and cut into 16 pieces.

  • Dandelion: Much More Than A Weed

    (Originally posted November 20, 2012 at http://www.donnieyance.com/dandelion-much-more-than-a-weed/)

    By Donnie Yance

    My oldest coffee mug is decorated with a big picture of a dandelion and emblazoned with: “If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em.”

    Many people consider the humble dandelion to be a pesky weed, and attempt to eradicate it from their lawns and gardens with toxic herbicides. But no matter how many poisonous chemicals are dumped onto dandelions, the bright yellow flowering plants not only survive, they thrive.

    The scientific name for dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, which translates as “the official remedy for disorders,” acknowledging the esteemed position that dandelion has held as a medicinal herb. For centuries, dandelion (both the leaf and root) has been used in traditional healing in cultures around the world.

    Dandelion greens are extremely nutritious, with an abundance of vitamins A, B complex, C and D; and minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Dandelion leaves are an extraordinarily rich source of beta-carotene—in fact, the fresh leaves contain more beta-carotene than carrots. In herbal medicine, dandelion has been used as an effective and safe diuretic. Because the plant is rich in potassium and other trace minerals, it doesn’t cause dangerous electrolyte imbalances, as can synthetic diuretics.

    The common name dandelion comes from the French dents de lion, meaning lion’s teeth—a reference to the toothed margins of the leaves. A number of plants are easily mistaken for dandelion, but there are two distinctive characteristics that set dandelion apart from look-alikes: the leaves of dandelion are smooth, without fuzz or spines; and each flower grows as a single stalk directly from the base of the plant (unlike many imposters, which sport one central or multi-flowered branching stalk).

    As an herbalist I use both the root and the leaf as medicine. Dandelion is a choleretic, diuretic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory; with potent redox-anti-oxidant activity, dandelion defends the liver against a wide variety of toxins. A recent research study proved that dandelion leaf extract effectively protects the liver against acetaminophen toxicity, which can cause acute liver failure and even death. [i]

    The mildly bitter flavor of dandelion stimulates liver and gallbladder function, making it a popular herbal remedy for improving digestion. I recommend dandelion as a digestive tonic, particularly to remedy liver stagnation and to enhance the digestion of fats. In addition, dandelion greens and root are both excellent for the kidneys. Because of their natural diuretic properties, they are useful for alleviating water retention and as a kidney-cleansing tonic. In general, I regard dandelion as a great tonic for overall health. I recently came across an interesting study that found dandelion improved energy levels and immune health in mice. [ii]

    As far as I’m concerned, the many health benefits of dandelion are icing on the cake. I enjoy the flavor of dandelion greens; in my Italian culinary heritage, we use fresh young dandelion greens in salads, and we cook mature dandelion leaves in the same way that you would cook spinach. I’d like to share one of my favorite dandelion greens recipe with you. This is a perfect fall dish.

    Italian-Style Sautéed Dandelion Leaves:

    • Wash and clean one bunch of dandelion leaves.
    • Slice into one-inch wide ribbons.
    • Heat in 1-2 Tbls. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add 1 tsp. of freshly crushed garlic, dandelion greens, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 2-5 minutes, until greens are tender.
    • Add a splash of good quality balsamic vinegar and powdered seaweed to taste.
    • To vary the recipe, add 1-2 ozs. organic crushed tomatoes or 1 tsp. tomato paste while greens are sautéing.
    • Serve, and enjoy!

    [i] Colle DArantes LPGubert Pda Luz SCAthayde MLTeixeira Rocha JBSoares FA. Antioxidant properties of Taraxacum officinale leaf extract are involved in the protective effect against hepatoxicity induced by acetaminophen in mice, J Med Food. 2012 Jun;15(6):549-56. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

    [ii] Lee BRLee JHAn HJ. Effects of Taraxacum officinale on Fatigue and Immunological Parameters in Mice, Molecules. 2012 Nov 7;17(11):13253-65. doi: 10.3390/molecules171113253.

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