Saturday, July 20, 2019

Elderberry aka samubucus and its benefits

         Elderberry has been used for centuries to treat and flu.  It was used to treat the flu epidemic in Panama in 1995 with success.  It was also approved by the German Commission E (German FDA) to treat cough, bronchitis, colds and flu.  It has been known for centuries to help boost your immune system but only recently studies have been performed to confirm it. 

          Elderberry syrup comes from the Sambucus Tree, the most common is the European Elder or Black Elder Tree.  It is native to Europe but is grown in many other places and can grow to be 30feet tall. The flowers and leaves  can be used for pain relief, swelling and inflammation.  The berries must be cooked before eaten and is used for juices, jams, pies, wine and of course the syrup we use to knock out cold and flu symptoms, infection, sciatica, dental pain, heart pain, and nerve pain. 

Elderberry is high in:
    Vitamin C- there is anywhere between 6-35mg per 100 grams of fruit.
     Dietary Fiber- 7grams of fiber per 100 grams of fruit
     Phenolic acid- powerful antioxidant that can help reduce damage from stress
     Anthocyanins- what gives the fruit its color and a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits

     Keep in mind that these facts have been derived from studies on commercially made products and have no bearing on the potency or efficiency of homemade products.

    Studies have show that Elderberry may have great effects on heart and blood vessel  health as well. It may reduce levels of fat in the blood and decrease cholesterol (along with a healthy, vegetable dense diet)

    sounds like a pretty amazing product don't you agree?   

Friday, March 29, 2019

We are back!

Hello out there,

It has been a while since we have been on here!   I wanted to introduce myself, My name is Tressa, I am the newest member of the Comfrey Corner family. I have been here for a little over a year. I have been making my family's body products and cleaning supplies for the past 5 years, using the simplest ingredients as well as essential oils, keeping my family as toxin free as possible (and saving money in the process). My love for essential oils has brought me to get my certification.  I want to learn why they work.  down to the chemical composition. They are fascinating!  Did you know that one drop of an essential oil can be made up of as little as 10 or as many as 200+ chemical components? Or that 1 drop of peppermint oil is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea?   it is amazing!  
      As well as being a student, I am a Den mother for both of my children, dance mom, karate mom, Doterra wellness advocate, Certified Aromatouch Wellness Advocate, and expecting a new little one in November.
       So in the next few weeks I'll be spotlighting some of our brands and essential oils themselves along with everything else in the natural health community.  Talk to you soon!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Avocado the New Food Color?

Persea Naturals, a one-year-old food color additive company, is the result of a happy accident. Gregory Ziegler, food science professor at Penn State, was extracting starch from avocado pits when he stumbled upon a surprising color: a bright orange caused by an enzymatic reaction that occurred after the pits were pulverized. Ziegler extracted the starch, but the color was persistent and simply would not wash away.
There is growing interest in the natural products industry for natural sources of food coloring So for Ziegler, this was a business opportunity. A bonus is that the product is both a way to repurpose food waste—since avocado pits are the main input—and it doesn't divert otherwise marketable and edible produce away from the food supply. Ziegler and Persea Naturals, under CEO Bob Hicks, are now working to bring the concept to market under the brand name AvoColor.

They are early in the process of seeking FDA approval and are working with potential collaborators on ways to utilize and commercialize the product, but Ziegler has some ideas of what those collaborations could look like. "Avocolor is highly water-soluble, clear and vibrant, so we expect early applications in systems like beverages and confections," he said in an email.

Confections could include things like hard candies, gummies and icings, and it can work in almost any beverage—water, teas, dairy, soft drinks, even alcoholic beverages. Ziegler added they’re researching ways to disperse the pigment in fat-based foods, like fillings and frostings, although it may have an adverse effect on leavening, so it’s unlikely to be used in baked goods for now.

The team is in the process of figuring out the right approach for getting the product to market and what exactly their business model will look like. "The most reasonable approach may be a joint venture of some kind with a partner looking to expand its product line. We are in discussion with several possible collaborators but have yet to enter into a business partnership," said Ziegler. "Interest is coming from the many food companies that have committed to replacing certified food colors with natural alternatives. But the way the industry is structured, we are working most closely with so-called ‘color houses’—that is, companies that prepare colors for food manufacturers."


Looking Younger and Feeling Better with Collagen

These days, we don’t just want to feel OK. We want to feel absolutely, positively amazing—and look the part, too.

Aging gracefully depends on how you nurture your body. Today, a trove of studies shows the importance of following a nutrient-dense diet, being active and taking dietary supplements to support a healthy aging process. One of the clear standouts to help along the way: collagen, an antiaging nutrient that rose to stardom in Japan decades ago and now is making its prowess known here in the United States, thanks to innovative, research-backed products and an understanding that what goes inside your body supports your skin, hair and nails.

“In Asia, collagen supplements have long been a craze, and even before [collagen supplements], the tradition of consuming certain foods to rejuvenate the complexion is an old one,” says Naomi Whittel, founder of Reserveage Nutrition. “Asian diets are rich in collagen from foods like homemade bone broth from skin-on, bone-in chicken.”

Found plentifully just about everywhere in our bodies—from our skin, hair and nails to our bones and joints—collagen is an important protein for staving off wrinkles and keeping our joints healthy. The problem? As we age, we start to lose it. A notable decline in your collagen production starts at age 25, which means relying on your body’s stores simply isn’t enough.

Are you getting enough?

When it comes to collagen, experts agree it’s nearly impossible to get enough from diet alone, so you have to look elsewhere. Luckily, with food products getting more functional and supplements using new delivery formats, it’s no challenge to find products that contain the powerful antiaging protein.

“My first goal is for my clients to get everything they need from their food,” says Brooke Alpert, RD, founder of the website and nutritional practice B Nutritious. That’s why she recommends that clients drink bone broth, as well as cook bone-in poultry to up their dietary intake of collagen.

“It’s still not enough to really reap the health and skin benefits; that’s why I always recommend a collagen supplement.”

Today, supplement companies offer many ways to get collagen. Whether you favor a pill, a powder or a chewable, collagen supplements are beneficial for a few reasons: As with other supplements, they can send a quick dose of the nutrient to your body. Unlike other supplements, a collagen supplement can also stimulate cells to produce even more collagen at a faster rate, spawning natural rebuilding of the body’s tissues.

Focus on quality 

With the rise of collagen supplements has come more scrutiny over the quality of ingredients. In order to find a top-notch product, ask your retailer or the manufacturer about the collagen in products—does clinical research support its joint or skin benefits? Also be sure to ask where and how the ingredient was sourced. “Collagen is produced all over the world, so it’s important to pay attention to the way the animals are raised,” says Corey Friese, Vital Proteins cofounder and vice president of product strategy. The three main types of collagen are bovine, chicken and fish, so responsible companies source only the highest quality ingredients that meet the same standards you’d look for if you were eating those foods—for example, grass-fed cattle or wild-caught fish.

Of course, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, collagen is off limits. That’s one reason that the next frontier for collagen may be plant-based collagen precursors, Whittel says. “Ingredients such as high-quality vitamin C, preferably organic plant based; specific amino acids such as glycine, proline and lysine; and silica-rich compounds such as bamboo extract all help our bodies synthesize and produce more collagen.” Some collagen companies are also adding these ingredients to collagen to help you get more value for your money.


Managing Migraines

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils and migraines, I just have to share with you about Dr. Mariza Snyder, DC whose practice specializes in migraines and hormonal imbalances.  She published the book Smart Mom's Guide to Essential Oils.  She said that in working with hundreds of patients who suffer from migraines, she has found some essential oil blends that truly work for her patients.  She said that you can apply these essential oils every 30 minutes if severe by putting several drops in a cupped hand and taking several deep breaths, by applying to the back of the neck or crown of the head, or by rubbing on the feet.  She suggests to use a roller bottle on the skin where the oils will get into the blood stream in less than 30-60 seconds.

To help prevent migraines when stress is the trigger she recommends the following:

8 drops Lavender
6 drops Frankincense
6 drops Wild Orange

Add to roller bottle and finish filling with fractionated coconut oil.  Roll on wrist, temple, behind ear, or just breathe it in for fast relief.  She says this formula decreases cortisol levels and adrenal load, and encourages hormonal balance.

For a blend to help prevent migraines she recommends the following:

6 drops Lavender
6 drops Frankincense
2 drops Basil
4 drops Peppermint
4 drops Marjoram

Put in roller bottle and fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil.  She said that you need a pure therapeutic grade essential oil because the purer it is, the more effective it is.  One drop of Peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea.  That is why you can overdose on essential oils when you use a lot of drops internally or can burn the esophagus if you do not put the drops into a vegetarian capsule.

Please keep any blend with peppermint oil away from the eyes when applying for muscle tension around the head.  Many oils can irritate the eyes when applied too closely to the eyes.  Some oils like wild orange, grapefruit, bergamot, and other citrus oils when applied to the skin may make you more sensitive to the sun, so avoid sun exposure for 24 hours after application.

There can be many other contributing factors for headaches such as hormonal imbalances.  According to Rosemary Gladstar in Herbal Healing For Women, vitex is great especially in perimenopause when many women are estrogen dominant.  "Studies verify that vitex increases the production of luteinizing hormones, enhancing the progesterone cycle."  "Vitex has a stimulating effect on the pituitary gland, which among other functions, regulates and normalizes hormone production."  Vitex comes in capsule, extract, and essential oil forms.  There are many other essential oils for hormonal balance such as clary sage, cedarwood, and ylang ylang.  Many of our customers find the ionic form of magnesium works well in relaxing muscles and for sleeping when taken in the evening.

Diet plays an important role in migraines as well.  Many people think that grains, especially gluten, milk, and sugar play a significant role.  Even occasional use of these foods can contribute to headaches.  Omit foods that contain tyramine including avocados, bananas, beer, cabbage, hard cheese, potatoes, raspberries, tomatoes, wine, and MSG to see if that may contribute to your headaches.

King Bio makes a wonderful homeopathic remedy for headaches and migraines.  Some of our customers find feverfew, butterbur, and B2 to be helpful as well.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer Necessities!

Welcome to summer...sunburns, bee stings, mosquitoes, poison ivy, etc.  Luckily, many homeopathic remedies, essential oils, and preparations can be carried with you so that you can have a fun day, even if you find yourself with a bite or sting.

Lets start with homeopathy.  I like Hyland's Apis for bee stings.  My husband used to have to go to the E.R. when stung because of having bad reactions to stings.  Please do go to the emergency room if you feel it is necessary, but my husband hasn't needed to when he takes the Apis.  I also like the remedy Sting Stop for use externally because it helps with the itching, pain, and redness.

Make sure to carry your homeopathic poison ivy tablets, poison oak itch relief spray, and a bar of Jewelweed Chickweed herbal soap with you when you are out and about. Jewelweed is natures remedy for poison ivy. Jewelweed often grows near poison ivy and is a folk remedy for poison ivy, irritants like mosquitoes, bug bites, razor burn, and heat rash. According to, "The results of a clinical study, in which a 1:4 Jewelweed preparation was compared for its effectiveness with other standard poison ivy dermatitis treatments was published in 1958, (Annals of Allergy 1958; 16:526-527).  Of 115 patients treated with jewelweed, 108 responded "most dramatically to the topical application of this medication and were entirely relieved of their symptoms within 2 or 3 days after the treatment."  The herb chickweed is used mainly for itch relief.

Poison ivy tablets by Hylands contain croton, rhus tox, and xerophyllum, which are good when the skin breaks out with red, swollen, intense itching,  burning, watery blisters, sometimes followed by oozing or crusting.

All Terrain's Herbal Armor and suntan lotion are both highly rated by the EWC for purity and effectiveness.  The herbal armor uses the essential oils of citronella, peppermint, cedarwood, lemongrass, and geranium.  It has proven to be natural and safe.  All Terrain's Herbal Armor was awarded best gear for hikers or anything outdoors.  For pets (cats and dogs) and people, there is an organic tick repellent by Ticks N All.  For people, the essential oils used are cedarwood, lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, citronella, thyme, clove, and geranium oils.  For pets, the essential oils used are citronella, rosemary, cedarwood, lemongrass, cinnamon, peppermint, thyme, clove, and geranium.  

Of course, you can also make your own remedies.  doTERRA has an essential oil blend called TerraShield that combines Ylang Ylang Flower, Nootka Wood, Cedarwood Wood, Catnip, Lemon Eucalyptus, Litsea Fruit, Arborvitae Wood essential oils and Vanilla Bean Absolute in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil and Tamanu Seed Oil.  This is a wonderful product for a wonderful price (retails at $14).

Please make sure that you are not using any citrus essential oils like bergamot, grapefruit, wild orange, lemon, etc. externally then being exposed to the sun because they make your skin photosensitive.  Please use our Facebook page for a more complete listing, as we don't want you to burn! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Choosing Safe Beauty Products

Big changes start with small actions, including what you put on your face and body. That’s the fundamental principle behind Protect Our Breasts (POB,, a nonprofit educational initiative based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. POB’s young women ambassadors, clad in the organization’s signature green scarves and led by Executive Director Cynthia Barstow, personify a singular mission: to reduce rates of breast cancer and other diseases linked to toxin exposure from everyday products and choices. Knowing that early-life habits lead to lasting patterns, POB spreads its message through college and community outreach events, arming others—especially young women and men—with the information they need to choose safe products for every aspect of their lives.
“It’s increasingly clear that ‘safety’ is a difficult word to define for cosmetics, so I look at it holistically,” says Gay Timmons, a POB advisory board member and founder of organic personal care company Oh, Oh Organic. This means assessing everything from ingredients to packaging to environmental impact.
Here, the POB team and Environmental Working Group offer tips to identify common beauty-product toxins so you can protect yourself daily and fearlessly.

Look for worthy labels

Third-party certifications are a good place to start, because they equate to more transparency in ingredients and sourcing. Whether you’re buying shampoo, shaving cream, or a great mascara, POB recommends prioritizing the USDA Organic label (which denotes the same standard that is applied to food) or the NSF/ANSI 305 “contains organic ingredients” label, developed specifically for personal care items. Both seals require a high percentage of organic content and prohibit caustic synthetics.
Two more labels to keep on your radar: Ecocert—a sustainable-body-care certification used by European brands—and the Natural Products Association’s “natural” label. 

Say no to endocrine disruptors

Endocrine disruptors receive particular emphasis in POB education. These ubiquitous chemicals (triclosan is one common offender found in personal care products) behave differently than “typical toxins,” says R. Thomas Zoeller, PhD, a UMass Amherst researcher and POB advisory board member. Endocrine disruptors can have a range of negative effects on hormones, according to the EWG, including increasing or decreasing hormone production, imitating hormones, or turning one hormone into another. Low-level endocrine-disruptive exposure has been linked to serious health consequences, from thyroid and prostate cancers to autism and ADHD.
If you have questions about any body care ingredient, search The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange, a comprehensive, nonprofit site that disseminates scientific evidence about these toxins.

Pay attention to the package

Remember: Endocrine disruptors aren’t found merely in the actual lotion or gel. “We now know that packaging has a huge influence [on toxin levels],” says Barstow. At its “safer alternatives” events, POB only permits products in containers that don’t leach potential carcinogens such as BPA (a well-known endocrine disruptor). Also on the “bad” plastics list: PVC, PS, and polycarbonate. Look instead for bottles that use PET/PETE and HDPE, so-called “good plastics.”