• Just Ask Terry-May 3, 2013

    Q. Dear Terry, “My chiropractor has told me for years that my adrenals are exhausted.  What is the general underlying cause and are there any natural alternatives I can use to get my adrenals back on track?” — Todd S., Pittsburgh, PA

    A. Dear Todd, The adrenal glands are two small glands, each about the size of an acorn, that sit at the top of both kidneys. They are responsible for secreting important hormones, including cortisol, that help the body respond to stress. Many of us are living lives full of stressful events – work, family, commuting, finances and more. All this stress may cause our adrenal glands to work overtime, leading to what is often called adrenal fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion. In cases of adrenal fatigue, the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands drops. This can lead to a lack of energy, weight gain, sugar cravings, and reliance on stimulants like caffeine to get moving every day

    While I do have some recommendations, I encourage you to discuss the use of dietary supplementation with your physician as they may have additional input regarding a supplement regimen. The ability to overcome your condition will be dependent on the degree of adrenal insufficiency or “exhaustion” and what you do to assist the recovery.

    Diet is important – you would do better with more proteins and fats, and less carbohydrates and sugar in your diet. Click on my healthy diet plan for more information.

    There are a number of necessary nutrients that the adrenals require to function at their peak optimal level. So, in order to support and repair the adrenals, I would first recommend taking an adrenal support formula that contains DHEA, adrenal extract, L-tyrosine, licorice, P-5-P and rehmannia root extract, along with additional ingredients. These ingredients work together to help repair the adrenal gland, as well as support the body’s ability to respond to environmental stress in a healthy manner, which helps restore optimal adrenal function. I recommend taking 1-2 capsules of this combination three times daily.

    I also recommend a blend of four adaptogenic herbs: rhodiola, eleuthero, ashwagandha and schisandra. Adaptogens work by increasing strength, stamina, and energy without being stimulants. I suggest taking 1 capsule three times daily.

    Please be patient – it may take several months, but you will feel a difference.

    Healthy Regards!

    Terry . . . Naturally

     

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  • Just Ask Terry-March 22, 2013

    Q. Dear Terry, “Is it possible to overcome Addison’s disease with natural alternatives? Any suggestions are welcome.” — Grace P., Columbia, South Carolina

    A. Dear Grace, The adrenal glands are two small glands, each about the size of an acorn, that sit at the top of both kidneys. They are responsible for secreting important hormones, including cortisol, that help the body respond to stress. In the case of Addison’s, the adrenal glands produce insufficient levels of cortisol and aldosterone.

    While I do have some recommendations, I strongly encourage you to discuss the use of dietary supplementation with your physician as they may have additional input regarding a supplement regimen. The ability to overcome your condition will be dependent on the degree of adrenal insufficiency and what you do to assist the recovery.

    I would first incorporate my diet that’s described on my website at Terry’s Traditional Diet. You will do better with more proteins and fats, and less carbohydrates and sugar.  If you get too exhausted and begin feeling depressed, you may also want to add Celtic sea salt to your daily regimen. Just dissolve a teaspoon of Celtic sea salt in a quart of mineral water and sip that throughout the day.  Then, follow the nutritional protocol below.

    There are a number of necessary nutrients that the adrenals require to function at their peak optimal level. So, in order to support and repair the adrenals, I would first recommend taking an adrenal support formula that contains DHEA, adrenal extract, L-tyrosine, licorice, P-5-P and Rehmannia root extract, along with additional ingredients. These ingredients work together to help repair the adrenal gland, as well as support the body’s ability to respond to environmental stress in a healthy manner, which helps restore optimal adrenal function. I recommend taking 1-2 capsules of this combination three times daily.

    I also recommend a blend of four adaptogenic herbs: rhodiola, eleuthero, ashwagandha and schisandra. Adaptogens work by increasing strength, stamina, and energy without being stimulants. I suggest taking 1 capsule three times daily.

    Healthy Regards!

    Terry . . . Naturally

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  • Weekly Articles-August 31, 2012

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    Terry’s note:

    I’m delighted to announce that this week’s newsletter is from Dr. Holly Lucille, N.D., R.N. Known as “Dr. Holly” to her many patients, friends, and fans alike, she is a nationally recognized, licensed naturopathic physician, author, and natural products consultant.

    Dr. Holly is one of the most dynamic people I know. A graduate of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ, Dr. Holly has a private practice in Los Angeles called Healing from Within Healthcare. Dr. Holly has been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, discussing natural interventions for stress. Look for her own television show, Myth Defying with Dr. Holly, premiering in the fall on Veria Health and Wellness cable TV channel nationwide. In this show, Dr. Holly will examine erroneous health beliefs and misinformation. Thank you, Dr. Lucille, for all you do to promote natural medicine, and for sharing information with us on some of my favorite herbs in the world: adaptogens!

     

     

    Chronic Stress Makes Everything Harder

    Herbs that can help make it easier again!

    Holly Lucille ND, RN

    Stress is a word we banter about quite freely. We use it to convey fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, pressure, and even damage to our body. Stress is all those things, and more. Technically, stress is defined as the “pressure or tension exerted on a material object.” Exposure to cold can be stress, running for hours can be stress, and experiences such as losing a job or a loved one can be stress as well. Both physical and mental stress evokes changes in our physical bodies, and chronic stress, whether mental or physical, can do real damage. Stress can raise blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and cortisol levels; it can interfere with sleep, wound healing and healthy digestion; and it can suppress the immune system, which is why chronic stress is linked to catching more colds and flu. Chronic stress can even put you at a higher risk for certain cancers.

    This article will discuss ways to protect the body from the dangerous effects of chronic stress and help us thrive, even in the face of difficulties and challenges. One of the most powerful tools in my natural medicine toolbox is a selection of herbs called “adaptogens.” You’ve heard of the fight or flight response? Well, there is a third way: adapt!

    Energizing Eleuthero

    One of my favorite herbs to help people thrive despite stress is Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), formerly called “Siberian ginseng,” though it is not in the ginseng family. It is native to far Eastern Russia (naturally), northern Korea, China, and Japan.

    Eleuthero has been found to help reduce the physical responses to stress — those “pit of your stomach” feelings that make challenging days even worse.

    This plant medicine has also been associated with improved mental health, increased physical endurance, stronger immune health, and reduced levels of cortisol – the “fight or flight” hormone that can cause that stressful spiral to get even worse.

    Eleuthero has been clinically studied, too. In one double-blind study, participants age 65 and older used the herb or a placebo for a total of 8 weeks. Surveys taken by the participants showed the Eleuthero group was already noting better mental health and more comfort in social situations at just 4 weeks.

    In a double-blind study examining the cardiovascular response to stress and eleuthero, those in the eleuthero group showed a 40% reduction in their heart rate when responding to a standard clinical stress test.

    Another controlled clinical trial studied the effect of eleuthero for individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, a notoriously difficult to treat condition with multiple contributing factors to consider. While the overall study wasn’t statistically conclusive about the effects of eleuthero, those in the herb group noted less fatigue and a definite improvement.

    Other scientific research shows that eleuthero may be just the ticket to help you get through those days when you haven’t had enough sleep the night before. A lot of us love coffee or tea, but after a certain amount, you’re just getting jittery – not more wakeful, and definitely not less stressed. Eleuthero has the potential to help you– here’s that word again – adapt – to the circumstances and take the day in stride.

    For anyone interested in getting a bit more exercise, eleuthero is the perfect workout partner, too. It has been shown to enhance physical endurance and help the cardiovascular system keep up the pace.

    Additionally, if you’ve ever noticed that you tend to get a cold more often during (or right after) periods of intense stress, it’s because your body is using up its energies just trying to get you through that time of crisis, and can’t put as much effort into dealing with threats to the immune system. Well, with eleuthero, you’re in luck: it doesn’t just keep you feeling balanced, it actually activates the immune system and inhibits common viruses.

    The key compounds from eleuthero responsible for these remarkable abilities are called “eleutherosides” and are standardized from the root of the plant.

    Powerful Partners for Stress Protection

    There are other excellent, clinically proven adaptogenic herbs, and I recommend three in particular. Better yet, find them in a formula together with eleuthero for really powerful, overall stress support.

    Some of my favorites include rhodiola, ashwagandha, and schisandra.

    Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is another one of nature’s amazing herbs. Used in natural medicine for generations, it improves calmness while increasing energy and concentration. For those times when you feel tired or slightly stressed even before you begin your day, rhodiola can help give you a mental energy boost that can get you started.

    Like eleuthero, rhodiola has been clinically studied and shown to enhance concentration and physical stamina.

    In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, rhodiola showed a marked improvement in fighting fatigue, and in another, a significant improvement was seen in participants in the rhodiola group for mental fatigue, physical fitness, and overall well-being. Yet another clinical study focusing on fatigue associated with night duty for young physicians showed an improvement in the rhodiola group for total mental performance – important for anyone working over the evening hours, but especially critical in this case.

    One study looked more specifically at physical stress factors: reaction time, speed, strength, and attention. The result? This double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed an improvement in endurance exercise capacity after just 4 weeks of use. So again, like eleuthero, rhodiola is another botanical that will help you meet your physical goals as well as the demands on your mind and attention span.

    It’s perfect for anyone with an ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle because it is so effective at reducing acute stress. Compounds from the root of the plant called “rosavins” are responsible for the abilities of rhodiola. Here again, you want to find a standardized extract so that you know you’re getting the concentrated benefits of the plant.

    Interestingly, despite the fact that rhodiola can help give you the energy and clarity you need, it does not contain caffeine, nor will it affect your blood pressure or heart rate. That is part of what accounts for the feeling of calmness – you just feel better. And, conversely, it is not a sedative. So even though you’ll get past that “revved up” feeling that stress can bring about, you won’t feel like taking a nap, either.

    A frequently utilized adaptogen in Ayurveda is ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).  One of the oldest healing systems in the world, Ayurveda has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years. Practitioners of Ayurveda incorporate diet, meditation, breathing, yoga, purification (detox), massage and herbal extracts in their treatment plans to restore patients to a state of balance and good health.

    Traditionally, ashwagandha is used to relieve anxiety, reduce inflammation, and as an anti-inflammatory. Like the other botanicals we’ve looked at, it is recognized as having the special ability to be simultaneously energizing while being calming, too.

    Understandably, these effects make ashwagandha a natural stress reliever. Research studies have found that ashwagandha not only reduces stress by decreasing cortisol levels, it can significantly reduce anxiety as well – by over 50% in one clinical trial (as measured by a standard anxiety rating scale). Ashwagandha has also been shown to increase physical energy and stamina, and even relieve stress-related male infertility.

    It is able to protect the body from the adverse effects of chronic stress, including stress-induced ulcers, and helps the immune system generate protective white blood cells that are often depleted by constant stress. Ashwagandha can help you resist the damaging effects of stress and be revitalized and recharged. So again, like the other adaptogenic herbs, it truly keeps your body and mind in shape. I consider it to be one of the most important adaptogens.

    Native to China, schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) is a woody vine that bears clusters of tiny, bright red berries. Interestingly, the berries are called “Wu Wei Zi” in Chinese, which translates to “five-flavor fruit,” based on their salty, sweet, sour, pungent, and bitter flavors. Schisandra has been used traditionally for millennia to slow the aging process, improve concentration, fight fatigue, and enhance immune function.

    As an adaptogen, schisandra is a potent general tonic, decreasing fatigue, enhancing physical performance, and promoting endurance, so it’s perfect to help you exercise your stress away. While the mechanism of action is not completely understood, beneficial compounds called lignans found in the seeds of the berry may be responsible. Schisandra counters stress by reducing the levels of stress hormones in the blood. And, it has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

    Several human clinical studies show that schisandra also improves concentration, coordination and endurance. Much like rhodiola, schisandra helps to prevent mental fatigue and increases accuracy and quality of work. In various human clinical studies with people who definitely need to be able to function under stress and lack of sleep, including soldiers, doctors, students, and other groups, schisandra demonstrated superior benefits and helped keep everyone focused.

    One thing I would add about schisandra, is that when you choose a formula, look for one that contains schisandra standardized for one type of lignan in particular – schizandrin. It’ll help you get the optimal potency and benefits from the herb.

    You Can Manage Stress

    You are stronger than you realize. You are in the driver’s seat and you CAN manage chronic stress.  First, you must identify and decrease as much of the “unnecessaries” and use that time to become centered and focused. While you are whittling away at this, consider a natural, safe, and effective combination of eleuthero and other adaptogenic herbs that can give you the support you need with none of the baggage that you don’t.

    Terry recommends a product with these ingredients. Look for it at your local health food store.

    Proprietary Formula

    Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) Root Extract standardized to contain >5% rosavins (rosavins and salidrosides), Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) Root Extract standardized to contain >0.8% eleuthorosides, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract standardized to contain 5% withanolides, Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) Fruit and Seed Extract standardized to contain >9% schisandrins

    750 mg

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  • Newsletter - August 31, 2012

    I’m delighted to announce that this week’s newsletter is from Dr. Holly Lucille, N.D., R.N. Known as “Dr. Holly” to her many patients, friends, and fans alike, she is a nationally recognized, licensed naturopathic physician, author, and natural products consultant.

    Dr. Holly is one of the most dynamic people I know. A graduate of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ, Dr. Holly has a private practice in Los Angeles called Healing from Within Healthcare. Dr. Holly has been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, discussing natural interventions for stress. Look for her own television show, Myth Defying with Dr. Holly, premiering in the fall on Veria Health and Wellness cable TV channel nationwide. In this show, Dr. Holly will examine erroneous health beliefs and misinformation. Thank you, Dr. Lucille, for all you do to promote natural medicine, and for sharing information with us on some of my favorite herbs in the world: adaptogens!

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  • Just Ask Terry-July 6, 2012

    Q. Dear Terry, “I am a mountain climber and am looking for supplements that can help increase my energy. At times, I can spend up to 7-8 hours a day climbing. Do you have any suggestions?” — Costas V., Athens, Greece

    A. Dear Costas, For a more immediate boost in energy, I recommend taking a blend of plant oils including Black Spruce, Scots Pine, and Thyme that, when used together, can increase your daily energy—with no negative impacts. The beneficial effects of these oils are believed to be due to the ability of compounds in the oils to influence the body’s response to stress and to balance the HPA (Hypothalamus-Adrenal-Pituitary) axis in the body, which aids in regulation of mood, sexuality, alertness and energy. I would suggest taking 125 mg of this oil blend daily.

    Be sure to choose a formula which features concentrated plant oils that have been laboratory tested to accurately identify elements of their natural chemical composition. Unlike essential oils used for massage and aromatherapy, these plant oils are tested and “fingerprinted” based on specific molecular makeup, species, marker compounds, purity and safety for internal medicinal use. The extraordinary potency of these tested plant oils allows for relatively low doses, but very powerful health benefits.

    I have some additional recommendations that will help to further enhance your sustained energy and endurance levels. Keep in mind that you will not see the immediate boost in energy levels that is evident after taking the plant oil blend above, so be sure to start taking them at least several weeks before a climbing event.

    The first recommendation is a blend of four of the best adaptogenic herbs on the planet: rhodiola, eleuthero, ashwagandha and schisandra. Adaptogens work by increasing strength, stamina, and energy without being stimulants. I suggest taking 1 capsule of this blend three times daily.

    My other recommendation is a root plant from the highlands of the Andes Mountains called maca. Maca can have an impact on energy, mood and stamina, as well as enhance sexual performance. I recommend taking 1,500-4,500 mg of organic whole maca root extract daily. When looking for maca, be wary – lots of companies are making claims about “special” forms of maca. However, I think maca is best when in the form used in the ancient Andes cultures–nothing altered or manipulated. I think this form far and away has the most powerful effects. Some other things to consider when purchasing maca: Is it whole root? Organic? Clinically studied? A “yes” answer to all these questions indicates a high quality product.

    Healthy Regards!

    Terry . . . Naturally

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