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Functional Nutrition Blog

Reduce Pain & Inflammation with Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Devil's Claw is indigenous to southern Africa where, for thousands of years, tribes prepared the herb as an internal remedy for migraine and gastrointestinal problems and to reduce fever. Salves were also prepared to heal skin conditions.

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Topics: herbs & botanicals, pain management

Health Benefits of Grapeseed Extract

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 24, 2015 8:03:04 AM

By Gene Bruno, MS, MHS – Dean of Academics, Huntington College of Health Sciences

Free radicals are extremely unstable substances which, in the presence of oxygen, will turn a shiny metal wrench into an ugly rusted wrench very quickly. Our bodies don't, of course, rust. In humans, however, free radicals cause irreparable oxidative damage to cells and the protective membrane linings that surround cells. This, in turn, can cause accelerated wear and tear that may lead to premature aging, lowered immune resistance, and even cancer and heart disease. Some common sources of free radicals are smoking, consumption of fats, inhalation of carbon monoxide and other environmental pollutants, chemical additives in foods such as nitrites and nitrates, overexposure to the sun and other sources of radiation.

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Topics: anti-aging, herbs & botanicals, smart supplementation

Tonifying the Colon with Triphala

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Constipation and improper elimination seem to be at an all-time high in many societies today. As a result, people looking for natural solutions may turn to ongoing magnesium supplementation; foods known to move the bowels, such as prunes; and herbs, such as cascara and senna. There are some potential harmful effects of using cascara and senna on an ongoing basis, as they do not address the cause of constipation. Considered "natural laxatives," they can create dependence and disrupt peristalsis (the natural contractions of the bowel).

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Topics: immune health, herbs & botanicals, smart supplementation

Natural Treatment of Osteoporosis

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 22, 2015 8:00:00 AM

In the last 20 years Americans have been consuming more milk and taking more calcium supplements than ever before, yet the rates of the bone crippling disease osteoporosis is rising. More than 10 millions women are diagnosed with osteoporosis. And another 34 million is believed to have “pre-osteoporosis” (osteopenia). Osteoporosis is disease progressive in nature where the bones become weaker and weaker, which makes the individual afflicted with the disease extremely susceptible to bone, fractures and changes in their posture. As derived from Latin, osteoporosis literally means “porous bones” (Balch, 2006, p. 605).

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Topics: micronutrients, herbs & botanicals, musculoskeletal health

Health Benefits of Echinacea & Goldenseal

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 17, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Echinacea and Goldenseal are a very popular combination of herbs which can be found in dozens of brands of dietary supplements. What these two herbs have in common is that they are effective at supporting and promoting short-term immune functions.

Echinacea

Centuries ago, Native Americans collected the root of the Purple Coneflower, Echinacea. Several species of Echinacea were collected and cherished by at least 14 tribes. This herb was a favorite folk medicine wherever it grew. Currently, Echinacea has been the subject of more than 350 scientific studies. In laboratory testing, Echinacea increases the immune system’s function in a few ways. Consequently, Echinacea may have applications for certain types of infections.

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Topics: immune health, herbs & botanicals, top posts

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Power Up Your Gut with Fermented Foods

Fermented foods may be setting trends on The Huffington Post, but these nutrient-potent foods have been around for thousands of years in Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and German cultures. For people living without modern medicine and refrigeration, fermentation was a simple means of food preservation and a way to imbue foods with the health-enhancing properties of the live bacteria the gut needs to stay in balance. Fermented foods are a potent source of probiotics, which research has shown are essential to powering up the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract and producing antibodies to pathogens. Both are key to helping you maintain vibrant health.

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Topics: whole foods, immune health, herbs & botanicals

Healthy Bowel Movements

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 14, 2015 8:00:00 AM

What Your Bowel Movements Reveal about Your Health

Unless you're the parent of a toddler who has just mastered "going potty," poop is probably not a hot topic in your household. But the composition of what you deposit into the toilet has important implications for health. Did you know the features of fecal matter--such as the size, color, shape, odor, and consistency indicate how well the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is functioning? Those same features also provide clues about how your body is (or isn't) faring against threats of infection and more serious diseases like celiac disease, hepatitis, urinary tract infections, malabsorption disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and cancer.

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Topics: herbs & botanicals, lifestyle

Promoting a Strong, Healthy Immune System

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 10, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Promoting a Strong, Healthy Immune System

By Gene Bruno, MS, MHS

Are you frequently the victim of the common cold or the flu? If so, you’re not alone. Each year there are one billion cases of the common cold in the United States,1 and each year 5 to 20 percent of the population is infected with the flu.2 Oh well, that’s life. Nothing much you can do about it, right? In fact, there is a great deal you can do about it if you focus on promoting a strong, healthy immune system. In part, this can be achieved through the use of specific nutraceuticals. This article will address those nutraceuticals.

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Topics: micronutrients, immune health, herbs & botanicals, smart supplementation

Health Benefits of Parsley

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) - More than Just a Garnish

Often thought of only as garnish for a pretty plate, parsley is a delicious, vibrant green herb with many culinary uses and health benefits. The seed, leaf, and root all can be used in preparation of foods, teas, and medicines. It is widely used in Mediterranean and Eastern European cuisine.

A member of the celery family, parsley is a biennial plant that contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits: volatile oils and flavonoids. The active mechanisms of the volatile oil components qualify parsley as a “chemoprotective” food, which means it can help neutralize certain carcinogens such as those found in cigarette smoke. Flavonoids have been shown to function in the body as antioxidants, which can prevent oxygen damage to cells.

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Topics: whole foods, herbs & botanicals

Herbal Teas for Detox

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 6, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Herbal Teas for Detoxification

By Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG)

In her 1962 groundbreaking book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote: “For the first time in the history of the world every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” Of course humans have always been exposed to potentially harmful chemicals from plants and other sources, but Rachel Carson’s point is well taken. Modern living exposes all of us to an unprecedented number of chemicals on a daily basis. This includes environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, industrial compounds and chemical byproducts, medications, cosmetic additives, inorganic chemicals, etc. These chemical substances which are foreign to the biological system are referred to as “xenobiotics.”

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Topics: herbs & botanicals, detoxification, smart supplementation, digestive health