Articles and Q&A's

September 2013

Red Reishi, the "Heavenly Herb"

There are two categories of mushrooms, namely culinary mushrooms used for food and medicinal mushrooms used for promoting health. Medicinal mushrooms include Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), Shitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes), Cloud mushroom (Coriolus versicolor), Cordycept (Cordyceps sinensis), and Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). These mushrooms contain polysaccharides, beta-glucans, triterpenes, ganoderic acid, amino acids, and other phytonutrients that have many effects such as antioxidant, antitumor, immune-modulation, cardiovascular, antiviral, and antibacterial effects. Some of these have been used in the Orient for 4000 years. Among the medicinal mushrooms, Reishi mushroom is regarded by the Chinese and the Japanese as the king of herbs. In fact the Chinese call it “Ling Zhi” which translates to “Miraculous herb from Heaven”.
August 2013

Alternatives to Botox

Botox Cosmetic™ is the trade name for medicinal Botulinum toxin type A. Botulinum is the name of a bacterium. This micro-organism produces a toxin that paralyses muscles. When used cosmetically, the toxin is injected into the skin where it paralyses the cutaneous muscle fibers thereby relaxing the skin so fine lines and wrinkles are attenuated. Restylane® and Perlane® are hylauronic acid gels injected into the skin. Hyaluronic acid works by attracting and retaining water thereby making the skin fuller, firmer and tighter. Botox™ and Restylane® injections are definitely quick fixes for established wrinkles. However they can be painful, costly, have to be done by a plastic surgeon, have potential allergic and infective complications, and last only a few months. Repeated use may also lead to a rigid and unnatural look.
August 2013


Q: I used to buy HCG on line for my weight control but apparently this has been removed from the Canadian market. Is there a close substitute for HCG? A: HCG has been publicized by TV and radio talk shows as a weight reduction miracle. Cloverdale Pharmasave compounds a homeopathic mixture called Metabolic Syndrome Mix that works the same way if not better than HCG. It has homeopathic ingredients that activate and balance hormones in the same way as HCG.
August 2013

Homeopathic Travel Kit

This continuous sunny weather is inviting many travellers to pack up and leave home. On your way, health accidents may happen and it would be nice if you have something on you that can help you out. Let’s talk about some of the possible medical problems that you may encounter. Read through the following paragraphs and mark down the remedies that you would like to bring along. Go to a natural pharmacy and get the staff to help you assemble your personal First Aid Travel Kit. I never leave home without mine.
July 2013

The Woman's Word by Lorna Vanderhaeghe

The Woman's Word by Lorna Vanderhaeghe - Issue 7
July 2013

Make Friends: Stop Snoring!

Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone. Snoring typically increases as we age due to changes in anatomy and medication use. It affects up to 25% of us, and if you include sufferers of “secondary snoring”, then the numbers rise dramatically. But snoring is harmless, right? Well, yes and no. Physically, even if you can endure the pillows and elbows tossed at you by your spouse or trip companions, snoring can be a sign of things such as a sinus infection, nasal congestion, deviated septum, or obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the temporary blockage of airflow during sleep for 10 seconds or more, resulting in less oxygen getting to the blood, thus causing the heart to pump harder, increasing blood pressure, and ultimately increasing the risk of congestive heart failure and stroke. Snorers may also not reach the deeper sleep stages, which are required for an appropriate night’s rest. This can be dangerous in that it renders the person less alert for their daily activities (eg. driving, crossing street, going up and down stairs).
July 2013

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

If you have frequent abdominal cramps, a lot of gas, on and off diarrhea at times alternating with constipation, feeling stressed out but experience no marked weight loss or profound tiredness, you may have IBS. IBS should not be mistakened as IBD. IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome while IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease referring to Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. As the name “syndrome” implies, IBS is not a disease entity. It is a group of symptoms and signs caused by oversensitivity of the intestinal mucosa leading to irregular contraction. In a normal subject, bowel contents are being driven along by coordinated serial contractions called peristaltic waves. In IBS, the overly responsive mucosa causes massive contraction of bowel segments giving rise to stomachache and cramps. Excessive large bowel contractions cause diarrhea. Interestingly constipation can also be a symptom of IBS. When the bowel contraction and relaxation pattern is lost bowel content can no longer be effective driven along, resulting in constipation. An abnormal bowel environment creates excessive gas. IBS happens more often in anxious personalities and is definitely related to stress. Food allergies have been implicated in many cases. Because IBS is a functional abnormality, IBS seldom causes bleeding, weight loss and malaise. If there is blood or significant constitutional symptoms then there may be structural damages to the bowel, in which case you may be IBD (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease). IBS is a nuisance whereas IBD is a life threatening condition.
July 2013

DHA for Memory & Children

Q: How does DHA help improve my memory and how does it help children in their cognitive development? A: The omega-3 fatty acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a major component of our brain and nervous tissues. Adequate intake is essential to maintain brain function and development. As well DHA will benefit neuropathies. It is found mainly in cold ocean fish oils. Ordinary fish oil preparations unfortunately contain more EPA than DHA.
June 2013

Tasty Omega-3s!

Q: I want to get my family started on an Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement, but I'm concerned that my kids won't like the taste. Are there any good-tasting fish oil supplements out there?
June 2013

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Tired of counting sheep? Prescription drugs may help but they can be habit forming, may lead to hang over, and produce side effects. There are many natural alternatives. Certain herbs contain pharmacologically active tranquilizing ingredients. These include Valerian root, hops, lemon balm, passion flower, skullcap, and chamomile. EZ Sleep® made by Nature’s Way contains a combination of these herbs and can be tried. People who are chronically stressed feel tired and exhausted yet they cannot fall asleep.
May 2013

Growing Hair and Healthy Nails

Have you noticed more hair on the floor when you vacuum your home lately? Are you now able to see your scalp between hair bundles? These are the subtle signs of insidious hair loss. Don’t wait till you go bald. You can do something to slow down the process if not grow your hair back. The first step you want to take is to have a doctor check your thyroid function. If blood tests come back normal and yet you have symptoms of low thyroid activity like lack of energy, weight gain, loss of memory, dry skin, etc., then you can take a supplement called Thyrosol® (Metagenics) to enhance the efficiency of your existing thyroid hormone.
May 2013

New Vaginal Lubricant

Q. Is there anything natural that can be used for vaginal dryness? A. An exciting new all-natural product is a vaginal lubricant called Mae by Damiva. It contains hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, cocoa butter, kokum butter from mangosteen, and seabuckthorn. It is free of waxes, parabens, hormones and chemicals.