Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Little of My Story

Hello Friends! I wanted to share a little more of my story...I should have been dead by now.  The new treatment for skin allergies, thought to be safe, ended up being whole body radiation...when I was only 4 years old. You can understand when I am leary of all new treatment and medication until they have been on the market over 10 years to see what the long term effects will be.  This is why I continuously stay up to date on research being done by the top naturopathic doctors and take many alternative healing classes each year.

Unfortunately, many doctors have very little schooling in diet and nutrition. Calories in-calories out is valid for some people.  I however, did not find that worked.  Are you exercising, think you are eating a healthy diet, but still not losing weight? Maybe I can help because that was my life.  I ended up having to decrease my caloric intake to 500 calories a day in order to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.  I  watched Dr. Oz and decided to follow a diet he suggested to no avail. When eating the whole grain pasta he suggested, I ended up gaining 3 more pounds that I would have to lose.  During this time I was taking care of my mother, up much of the night sometimes, working full time (50 to 60 hours a weeks), and understandably stressed.  Did you know that stress can contribute to weight gain or weight loss regardless of how well or poor you eat?  Add menopause to the equation, and you may find yourself in even more of a struggle to lose or maintain weight.  In my next post, I am going to give you some great tips for stress reduction, diet, supplements, and essential oils.  Also watch for delicious and healthy recipes on my blog.  Thanks for taking the time to read some of my story, and perhaps it helps you to see why Comfrey Corner Natural Foods is so very important to me. Until Next Time, Cheryl

Friday, December 9, 2016

Welcome to my Blog

Hi, I am Cheryl, owner of Comfrey Corner Natural Foods on Park Ave West in Mansfield.  I opened the store after being a Pediatric and Medical Surgical Nurse since 1966 when I started as a nurse's aid.  I went on to Ohio State University where I graduated with my Nursing Degree.  I taught nursing for 12 years.  Even back in the 60's, there was research on natural healing so I could teach about it to my nursing students.  I opened Comfrey Corner Natural Foods in 1978 with the distinct reason to educate and empower as many people as I could about taking care of their own health.  Who other than yourself cares more about your health than you?  I started this blog because I want as many people as possible to stay or become healthy.  Too many people tell me that Comfrey Corner is their last resort because no one else can help with their condition.  I am not a doctor.  I cannot diagnose or prescribe, but I can direct you to the most credible and up to date information for you to make informed decisions about your own health. Sound good?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How to SUPERCHARGE your Immunity

This time of year, cold and flu bugs seem as inevitable as an abundance of tempting goodies. But that’s no excuse to be complacent about your health. Instead, you can turn to several tried-and-true natural approaches to reduce your cold and flu risk. “Much of the immune system consists of, or is programmed by, cells in the gut lining,” says Jennifer Kaumeyer, ND, of the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas. “Probiotics and zinc are among the supplements that help keep these cells healthy.”

Of course, also remember to wash your hands frequently, especially after touching doorknobs, other people’s phones and your kid’s runny nose.


There’s a reason herbalists turn to echinacea to prevent colds and flus: It works. In one study, researchers gave 755 people either echinacea or placebos for four months. People taking the herb had fewer colds and needed fewer medications.

Dose: Follow label directions. If you can tolerate the taste, a tincture might be particularly effective.


In one study, people taking an elderberry extract were completely free of flu symptoms after just two to three days, while symptoms lasted almost a week in people taking placebos. The herbal extract has broad-spectrum antibacterial and viral effects.

Dose: Take a teaspoon of sugar-free syrup every three to four waking hours until symptoms disappear.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

NAC remains one of the most potent guards against colds and flus. Researchers gave either 600 mg of NAC or placebos twice daily to seniors. Those taking NAC still caught the flu but experienced fewer symptoms.

Dose: 600 mg twice daily, but you can boost it to 2,400–3,600 mg daily at the first sign of symptoms.


New studies show our gut bacteria—and probiotics—can prevent and reduce cold and flu symptoms. For example, researchers found that supplemental Bifidobacterium bifidum reduced symptoms among stressed college students. Another study reported that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG eased upper-respiratory-tract symptoms in children attending day care. Start taking probiotics before cold and flu season begins.

Dose: Follow label directions.

Vitamin D

It’s more than coincidence that the cold and flu season occurs when people get less seasonal sunlight and therefore make less vitamin D. People need the vitamin to activate a variety of germ-fighting immune factors. A study of high school students found that taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily reduced the risk of catching the flu by 83 percent.

Dose: Take 2,000–5,000 IU daily. You can increase the dose to 10,000 IU daily during the first three days of a cold.

Zinc Lozenges

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland analyzed data from 199 patients who took either zinc lozenges or placebos. All cold symptoms, including nasal discharge, congestion and hoarseness, decreased substantially.

Dose: Take one lozenge every two to four hours until symptoms subside.

At Comfrey Corner Natural Foods in the West Park Shopping Center, we carry all of these supplements and many more.  We look forward to you visiting our store!

SOURCE: Delicious Living (http://goo.gl/39I78M)

Go fish: Research shows omega-3s help hearts, brains and moods

We hear plenty about the health benefits of omega-3s—and for good reason. More than 23,000 medical or scientific articles have been published on them, and nearly 3,000 articles have focused on their effect on people.

“As dietary fats go, the omega-3s are without question the healthiest, and they have no negatives,” says Ron Hunninghake, MD, chief medical officer of the nonprofit Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas. “They have so many benefits to body and mind, and yet most people don’t get enough of them.”

The term omega-3 refers to the fats’ chemical structure, and the principal dietary omega-3s are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Most supplements contain both, but in varying ratios. There’s also growing interest in DPA (docosapentaenoic acid), which is found in fish oil supplements but not usually listed on the label.

Although the term omega-3 is practically synonymous with fish oils, vegetarian sources of DHA and EPA are also available, but at lower doses.

Healthy Hearts

Omega-3 fish oils are mild blood thinners and reduce the risk of erratic heartbeats called arrhythmias. Some research has shown that they can slow the heart rate and improve blood vessel flexibility. A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at more than 45,000 people. The key finding: High blood levels of fish-source EPA and DHA lowered the risk of fatal heart attack by 20 to 22 percent. The researchers noted that high DHA and DPA seemed to have the greatest benefits.
Dose: 1 to 2 grams omega-3s daily*

Quelling Inflammation

Inflammation underlies arthritis, gingivitis, allergic rhinitis and other “-itis” diseases. Luckily, EPA and DHA are the building blocks of three powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, namely prostaglandin E3, resolvins and protectins. Diets high in grain-sourced cooking oils, such as corn oil, suppress EPA and DHA, but taking omega-3s restores a balance and reduces inflammation.
A new study suggests that DHA may have slightly stronger anti-inflammatory effects when compared with EPA, but it’s important to take both.
Dose: 2 to 4 grams omega-3s daily*

Dry Eyes

Not just a condition of seniors, dry eyes can affect computer users and people who wear contact lenses. Symptoms include stinging, a lack of tears to maintain a moist surface on the eyes, blurred vision and damage to the eyes. Several recent studies have found that dry eyes reflect an omega-3 deficiency, which can be corrected by taking supplements.
Dose: 1 to 2.4 grams omega-3s daily*

Better Moods

Omega-3s are essential for normal brain development in utero and early in life, but we need them throughout life, too. Natalie Parletta, PhD, of the University of South Australia, says they help “oil the brain.” Japanese researchers just reported that high levels of omega-3s, particularly DHA, can reduce the risk of depression by up to 45 percent. Numerous studies have also found omega-3s valuable in treating severe depression, post–traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, impulse control and hyperactivity.
Dose: 1 to 10 grams omega-3s daily,* depending on the severity of the mood disorder. Both EPA and DHA are effective.

Staying Sharp

Omega-3s can slow age-related cognitive decline. A study by Chicago researchers found that high omega-3 intake slowed mental decline in seniors, especially those with a gene that boosts the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A study at the University of South Dakota found that women with high blood levels of EPA and DHA had larger brain sizes and less age-related brain shrinkage.
Dose: 0.5 to 1.5 grams omega-3s daily*
*1 gram = 1,000 milligrams

Have you found reason enough to find a quality Omega-3 supplement yet?  We would love to see you at our store, where we can help you find the Omega-3 supplement that you need.

SOURCE: Delicious Living (https://goo.gl/YTuE5s)

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Probiotic link to Better Health

A few years ago, probiotics were off most people’s radar. But that’s changing—and fast.

The latest research on gut bacteria and probiotic supplements shows that they impact both body and mind in myriad ways. That’s pretty heady, because until recently most people “considered the contents of the bowels as mere waste products,” says Kirsten Tillisch, MD, of University of California, Los Angeles.

An estimated 1,000 species of bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms (known collectively as the microbiome) inhabit our lower digestive tract. Scientists have gleaned that a more diverse bacteria population is healthier than a narrow range. Antibiotics upset the normal balance, creating what’s called dysbiosis, a medical term for the inbalance of gut flora caused by too few beneficial bacteria and an overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast or parasites. Food poisoning, stomach flu, poor eating habits and a lack of dietary fiber also hurt the microbiome.

“Probiotics support the body’s physiology and impart a positive influence on health,” says Gerard E. Mullin, MD, author of The Gut Balance Revolution (Rodale, 2015). “Thousands of studies show that probiotics provide harmony and balance to the gut’s immune system to improve inflammatory, allergic and autoimmune conditions.”

Not all of the probiotics described here are sold individually, so you might have to opt for a multiprobiotic supplement that includes the ones you want. Follow label directions for use, but always take probiotics immediately after a meal to buffer the bacteria-killing acid of the stomach. Probiotic quantities are measured in colony forming units (CFUs).

Immune Enhancer. Our gut bacteria program our immune system when we’re children, and a study at the Georgetown University Medical Center found that children taking supplemental Lactobacillus casei were almost 20 percent less likely to develop respiratory or gastrointestinal infections. A study in England tested daily Bifidobacterium lactis on 37 seniors and found that the supplements boosted white blood cell activity within three weeks.

Weight Loss. Overweight and thin people have vastly different gut bacteria populations, suggesting that dysbiosis may be a factor in obesity. When overweight individuals lose weight, their gut bacteria starts to resemble that of thin people. A six-month Canadian study found that L. rhamnosus supplements led to almost a 12-pound weight loss, double that of the placebo group. Another study found that Lactobacillus-rich yogurt led to an average loss of 3 to 4 percent of body weight, the equivalent of 10 pounds for a 250-pound person, after just 43 days. “Probiotics improve blood glucose and weight control by cooling down systemic inflammation and balancing gut-derived hormones that regulate appetite and insulin function,” says Mullin.

Mood Booster. Stress alters the microbiome’s composition, and the gut-brain connection is more than just a “gut feeling.” Gut cells make 90 percent of the body’s serotonin, along with appreciable amounts of other mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, including GABA, dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Recent human research has found that live-culture yogurt (compared with a placebo) improved stress resistance and reduced anxiety, and that a multispecies probiotic reduced negative thoughts. In other research, a combination of L. helveticus and B. longum eased stress, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior and improved problem solving.

Antibiotic diarrhea. Antibiotics indiscriminately kill both harmful and beneficial gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhea and a greater risk of gastrointestinal infections. Researchers used a combination of L. acidophilus, L. paracasei and B. lactis to treat patients taking antibiotics for three weeks. The probiotics halved the risk of developing diarrhea and a subsequent C. difficile infection.

Allergies. More than 50 million Americans have allergies, but supplemental L. paracasei might ease some symptoms of allergic rhinitis, also know as hay fever. After five weeks, people taking the probiotics had greater overall improvements in their symptoms. Three other promising strains: L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus and B. lactis.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Several recent studies have found that multispecies probiotics can reduce irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. In France, researchers showed that study subjects’ IBS symptoms and inflammation-promoting bacterium decreased after taking B. animalis lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, L. bulgaricus and L. lactis.

SOURCE: Delicious Living (https://goo.gl/sjS9Wi)

5 health-boosting benefits of amino acids

The term amino acid might sound a bit strange, but the definition is straightforward: Strands of these molecules form the building blocks of protein. When you digest protein, your body breaks it down into individual amino acids and then reconstitutes them as needed.
Amino acid supplements are most often associated with bodybuilders. After all, muscle consists of protein, and amino acids do help build muscle, and not just in young men. But individual amino acids also serve a variety of health-promoting roles in the body.
For example, they can influence mood, reduce stress and boost immunity. As a consequence, shoppers should be mindful of what they hope to achieve by taking an amino acid. As supplements go, their quality is exceptional. “Amino acid supplements are highly specific in their effects,” says Tod Cooperman, MD, president of consumerlab.com, which independently evaluates the quality of supplements. “Our analyses have generally found higher quality among amino acid supplements than among other types of supplements.”
As a general rule, take amino acid supplements on an empty stomach. The “L” before the names of most amino acids refers to their leftward molecular rotation.

1. Muscle maker.

By middle age, you rapidly lose muscle mass, even if you exercise. You can counter some of this loss by taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—leucine, isoleucine and valine. Of these, leucine is by far the most important for making new muscle, and a recent analysis of nine studies confirmed its muscle-enhancing effect. Leucine works for seniors, too, who might actually benefit the most. Adding vitamin D and exercising amplifies the benefits.
Dose: Take a daily BCAA supplement containing approximately 2.5 grams of leucine, 1.25 grams of isoleucine and 1.25 grams of valine. Alternatively, take 3–4 grams of leucine daily.

2. Mood lifter.

Amino acid L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) form the key building block of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that protects against anxiety and depression. Supplements have been found helpful for these disorders, as well as with insomnia.
Dose: Take either 500 mg of L-tryptophan or 50 mg of 5-HTP three times daily.

3. Stress buster.

The amino acid gamma- aminobutyric acid, or GABA, functions as a neurotransmitter that promotes a relaxed feeling while also increasing mental focus. It works by helping the brain tune out distracting “background noise.” A 2015 study by Dutch researchers found GABA supplements improve decision making and reaction times. Theanine, an amino acid found in high-quality green tea, boosts the brain’s alpha waves, which can reduce anxiety. GABA and theanine may be taken together.
Dose: Try 200–500 mg daily of GABA. You can add 200 mg daily of theanine.

4. Immune strengthener.

The preferred form of the amino acid cysteine, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an essential building block of glutathione, the body’s principal antioxidant. An Italian study found that NAC supplements greatly reduced flu symptoms among seniors. Its side benefits include supporting the liver’s detox efforts and lung function.
Dose: Take 600 mg daily. Double the amount during the cold and flu season.

5. Blood-vessel toner.

L-arginine functions as the precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that regulates blood-vessel flexibility. Increased flexibility is good for the cardiovascular system, and some research indicates that this amino acid can lower blood pressure. Men also need healthy blood-vessel tone for erections, and arginine may help men with erectile dysfunction, as well. Some research has also found that a combination of arginine and the herb yohimbe might increase blood flow to the vagina, which can increase arousal and help women achieve orgasm.
Dose: Try 1,000 mg of arginine three times daily.
SOURCE: Delicious Living (http://goo.gl/l9uxlm)