Fueled by a perceived necessity for some, due to past starvation history, while for others a compulsion prompted by present day pandemic shortages, food preparedness has become a modern day trend allowing for sustainable living.

After planting an extensive organic food garden this year at a new property, after years without space for a garden, the appeal for food preservation re-surged for me. In the past, with a young family and a garden, food harvesting, foraging and canning were a common fall ritual. Presently, canning supply shortages are common in many parts of the country, the result of the resurgence of food preparedness through preservation. This has come after a renewed interest in backyard gardening, prompted by the lockdowns.

My food preparedness ‘fury’ is the result of a combination of a family ‘food deprivation’ history and a need to ‘be prepared’ in terms of having enough healthy food supply available to last till next year’s harvest, just in case, as forecasted, there will be food shortages due to the pandemic. It also gives me a chance to rekindle my ‘hippie ways’ of reaping natures bounty of food and herbs. Practices that I attribute to my health recovery and which I shared with clients as a nutritional consultant over the years to help them with their health challenges.

My ancestors suffered from food deprivation, during, and post WW11. The Dutch famine of 1944-45, known as the ‘Hongerwinter’, in the Netherlands, took place in the German occupied western provinces. Blockades cut off food and fuel shipments from farm towns. An estimated 22,000 people died of starvation, numbers that would have been higher if it had not been for the soup kitchens in urban communities.

As food stores became depleted in the Netherlands, adult food rations, dropped to below 1000 calories a day by the end of November 1944 and to 580 calories in the west by the end of February 1945.

Food grown by my Opa (grandfather) and his family was confiscated by the Nazis. My Oma (grandmother) shared stories of people coming to the door and asking for food during WW11, when she and Opa, and their nine children (including my mother) had barely enough to feed themselves. And yet, my grandmother said, ‘come in’ to those that knocked at the door, and the family shared what sustenance they had. My father spent three years as a forced labourer in a German work camp in Germany during WW11, and told stories of subsisting on boiled cabbage soup. He came back from the war after the liberation by the Americans, a very thin, malnourished man, and would never eat cabbage again.

Operation Manna and Operation Chowhound were humanitarian food drops carried out by Allied bomber crews during WW11 in 1945 to relieve the famine in the German-occupied Netherlands.

According to the New York Times article, The Famine Ended 70 Years Ago, but Dutch Genes Still Bear Scars, published in January 2018;

‘the Dutch Hunger Winter served as an unplanned experiment in human health. Pregnant women, it turns out, were uniquely vulnerable, and the children they gave birth to have been influenced by famine throughout their lives. When they became adults, they ended up a few pounds heavier than average. In middle age, they had higher levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. They also experienced higher rates of such conditions as obesity, diabetes and schizophrenia.’

You can read more about the research study carried out by Dr. L.H. Lumey, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and his colleagues by following the link in the sources of my blog post. Their study suggests that the Dutch Hunger Winter silenced certain genes in unborn children, and that they have stayed quiet ever since, possibly affecting later generations.

Do I feel a need to be prepared and food wise in the midst of the present pandemic, and due to my ancestors food deprivation history? Definitely! My escape to ‘my farmacy’ organic backyard garden, and local farm markets for quality produce, have provided me with an abundant food preparedness resource. The first pictures you see are of my modest storage spaces for canned and dehydrated produce, is a nod to my ancestors efforts to sustain their families through the days, weeks and months of WW11 and after.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/

#foodpreservation #organicgardening #foodpreparedness #foodsustainability #escapetothefarmacy #healthbydesign #plantbaseddiet #plantfood

Healthy Escapes: A Mental Health Must Have

Inspired by @stephanieejarvis and the positive and caring team of residents, volunteers and visitors to Chateau de LaLande, as seen in The Chateau Diaries, I opened up my backyard for a ‘healthy escape’ to Chateau Diaries lovers, with a Midsummer Night Dreams theme.

I found the Chateau Diaries during lockdown and was inspired by the positive, respectful and upbeat interaction of the residents, volunteers and visitors as they shared in work projects, meals and adventures; while keeping the focus off of the difficult news, controversies and challenges of the pandemic. The Midsummer Nights Dreams themed event at my ‘healthy escape’, was open to a small number of Chateau Diaries loving family members, who I introduced to The Chateau Diaries during lockdown. The event was planned and decorated by my talented sister Adriana. Her flower crowns and florals were created with a combination of my gardens flowers and greenery, and some store bought pink carnations (there were no roses available locally). Signature cocktails were made of Red Crown organic pomegranate juice and soda stream bubbly water.

The table display was created by my talented sister Adriana using thrifted plates and Eiffel tower, dollar store mini lights and garden florals. The beautiful table cloth was a gift from Adriana for the event.

The porcelain tiered plates DIY project, which Stephanie and Phillip demonstrated in one of their video diaries, were made of locally thrifted plates, and came with some challenges; but produced several tiered plates which were used to display the shared food. Guests took home a tiered plate gift.

Healthy escapes are a ‘must have’ for mental health. Creating a backyard oasis where family and friends could gather to enjoy each others company in a positive and safe manner during lockdown, was important to me. These have been difficult times for everyone. Being mindful of others by being kind and respectful and providing safe, healthy escapes can help those struggling with the challenges of the pandemics or other life challenges.

After dinner we had a delightful game of croquet; laughing, laughing and laughing at our misadventures.

Photographs are courtesy of my brother Bernard and Kevin. My brother was very gracious in allowing my sister’s wish to see him in a flower crown!.

Thank you to Stephanie Jarvis for starting such an incredible positive, kindness ripple that has helped so many to maintain their mental health during the lockdowns and pandemic challenges. Make sure you visit Stephanie’s chateau page and the chateau diaries.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/

#chateaudiaries #chateaudelalande #healthbydesign #mentalhealthbydesign #kindness #respect #unconditionallove #empathy

LICORICE ROOT: Research in the treatment of respiratory infections

Licorice root has a long history of use in Chinese medicine. Glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid or glycyrrhizinic acid), the chief sweet-tasting constituent of Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) root.has been studied.for use in the treatment of COVID-19 and the associated respiratory syndrome.1 Glycyrrhizin augments natural killer cell activity and
induces interferon production by T cells.5

A ‘must have’ home apothecary stock item, I use the steeped root tea for its varied medicinal properties. Licorice has well-documented antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. 2 “The anti-inflammatory activity of GLR could be useful to alleviate the respiratory distress syndrome associated to the viral infection”.3 “In addition to the antiviral effects of GL reported on hepatitis C, many other viruses that cause human suffering have been successfully treated, including: herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1), the “cold sore” virus; varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the cause of shingles; hepatitis A virus (HAV); hepatitis B virus (HBV); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), coronavirus; Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), human cytomegalovirus (CMV) and influenza virus”4

Maintaining a well stocked home apothecary of research supported medicinal plants can provide you with supports during life’s health challenges and when other solutions may not be readily available or compatible.

Make sure your source for licorice root comes from a location where air pollution is not a factor. Roasted licorice root may not provide you with the desired medicinal benefits due to roasting. Steep the roots in a small amount of very warm, not boiling water to cover, for 30 minutes. Drink as a tonic (is may not suit your palette) or add a favourite favoured tea. As with all medicinal herbs, use occasionally in moderate quantities and check with your regular healthcare provider and pharmacist to determine any contraindications due to health challenges or medications.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/


  1. Pharmacological perspective: glycyrrhizin may be an efficacious therapeutic agent for COVID-19, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7180159/
  2. Licorice Root: Potent Antiviral, Antimicrobial and Antifungal, Botanical Medicine, https://www.botanicalmedicine.org/licorice-root-antiviral-antimicrobial-antifungal/
  3. Glycyrrhizin: An alternative drug for the treatment of COVID-19 infection and the associated respiratory syndrome, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7311916/
  4. Antiviral Activity of Glycyrrhizin against Hepatitis C Virus In Vitro, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3715454/.
  5. Glycyrrhizin, an Active Component of Licorice Roots, Reduces Morbidity and Mortality of Mice Infected with Lethal Doses of Influenza Virus, ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS AND CHEMOTHERAPY, Mar. 1997, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC163749/pdf/410551.pdf

#medicianlherbs #licorice #glycyrrhizin #apothecary #herbs #healthbydesign #respiratoryvirus #antiviral #escapetothefarmacy

LECITHIN: Brain and Brain Chemistry Protection & Support


Lecithin, found in sunflower seeds and other healthy food sources, provides the brain and brain chemistry, protection and support; a ‘must have’ mental health support.

Lecithin is a phospholipid, a compound made of fats and water-soluble chemicals, produced in the human liver and are significant constituents of the central nervous system (CNS), and brain. “The phospholipids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the most abundant1. DHA and omega-3 are necessary for normal brain development and cognitive function2,3,4,5. A strong link exists between an adequate supply of dietary PUFAs and the sustenance of cognitive health, learning, neural plasticity, synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission” 8,9,10,11

Lecithin is source of choline, an essential nutrient the body needs to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that communicate between the neurons (nerve cells) throughout your body.

Lecithin helps break down cholesterol in the blood. In a research study, Influence of Soy Lecithin Administration on Hypercholesterolemia; “The results showed significant reduction in the concentration of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol during the first month, suggesting that the daily administration of lecithin capsules could be used as an adjuvant treatment in hypercholesterolemia, possibly by reducing the intestinal absorption or by the increased secretion of bile acids with high levels of cholesterol and phospholipids.” 13

Lecithin Production

A healthy, properly functioning liver is a prerequisite to healthy lecithin production and brain function. There are many factors that can interfere with the natural production and utilization of lecithin in the body and brain. It is the liver’s job to make toxic substances in the body harmless. These toxic and excess substances may be breakdown products made by the body (ammonia), hormones (including cortisol) or substances that you take in through diet, medications, air pollution, alcohol and personal care products (cosmetics). Toxins can harm any part of the body or brain including the blood brain barrier, your brain’s protection. Loss of or compromised brain function can occur when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood. This is called hepatic encephalopathy (HE). This problem may occur suddenly or it may develop slowly over time. 15

In a holistic approach to improving mental health, the liver and detoxification pathways are a necessary starting point for review. Ongoing detoxification through healthy lifestyle and detoxification supports can improve overall liver and detoxification function, which in turn can improve the body’s natural lecithin production, distribution and usage. Anything that challenges the liver and detoxification pathways can compromise the body’s lecithin availability, brain function and mental health. Holistic detoxification requires a two step process; stop adding to your body pollution of potential liver challengers, and detoxify the existing body pollution of toxins. Learn more about body pollution and whole body detoxification methods in my blog posts Body Pollution: Who is Responsible? and MAINTAINING HEALTHY LONGEVITY: Keep Your Liver Happy in the Midst of Toxins, Distress and Happy Hour.

Lecithin Intake

Lecithin occurs naturally in many foods,

  • whole grains
  • wheat germ
  • walnuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • peanuts
  • milk
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • cooked green vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli
  • legumes, such as soybeans, kidney beans and black beans
  • organ meats
  • red meat

Lecithin supplements are derived from eggs, soy, sunflower seeds, canola, cottonseed, or animal fats. For improved health, efforts should be made to avoid genetically modified foods and supplements. Soy crops in the US are reported to be 94% genetically modified. Buy organic, Non GMO lecithin supplements when possible, to avoid adding unwanted toxins like pesticides to your body and brain.

Lecithin: Impact on the brain

The research studies to date (some listed below and in the sources section), indicate a positive mental health benefit from ensuring an adequate supply and distribution of lecithin to the brain.

“A positive influence of phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidic acid (PA) supplementation, phospholipids found in soy and sunflower seed lecithin, on memory, mood, and cognition was demonstrated among elderly test subjects.” 14

Research studies show that salmon-derived lecithins, a good source of choline, facilitated the formation and enhanced the complexity of neuronal networks. 12

Omega-3 fatty acids: one 4-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Bipolar) found marked therapeutic efficacy and no side effects. Dose: 9.6 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Benefits: longer period of remission and may inhibit neuronal signal transduction pathways in a manner similar to that of lithium carbonate and valproate. 17

Phosphatidylcholine (PC): large amounts of PC (15 to 30 g q.d. in both pure form and lecithin)—better results for mania than monoamine precursors. 16


Consult with your regular healthcare provider before adding lecithin supplementation. Do not stop taking your prescribed medication.

Elisabeth Hines, C.B.P., C.N.C., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/



  1. Wurtman R. J. Synapse formation and cognitive brain development: effect of docosahexaenoic acid and other dietary constituents. Metabolis 57 Suppl 2, S6–10, doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.07.007 (2008). – DOI – PMC – PubMed
  2. Eilander A., Hundscheid D. C., Osendarp S. J., Transler C. & Zock P. L. Effects of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on visual and cognitive development throughout childhood: a review of human studies. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 76, 189–203, doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2007.01.003 (2007). – DOI – PubMed
  3. Fotuhi M., Mohassel P. & Yaffe K. Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease: a complex association. Nat Clin Pract Neuro 5, 140–152, doi: 10.1038/ncpneuro1044 (2009). – DOI – PubMed
  4. Darios F. & Davletov B. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids stimulate cell membrane expansion by acting on syntaxin 3. Nature 440, 813–817, doi: 10.1038/nature04598 (2006). – DOI – PubMed
  5. Salem N. Jr, Litman B., Kim H. Y. & Gawrisch K. Mechanisms of action of docosahexaenoic acid in the nervous system. Lipids 36, 945–959, doi: 10.1007/s11745-001-0805-6 (2001). – DOI – PubMed

8. Guesnet P. & Alessandri J.-M. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the developing central nervous system (CNS) – Implications for dietary recommendations. Biochimie 93, 7–12, doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2010.05.005 (2011). – DOI – PubMed

9. Mayes C. et al.. Variation in [U-13C] α Linolenic Acid Absorption, β-oxidation and Conversion to Docosahexaenoic Acid in the Pre-Term Infant Fed a DHA-Enriched Formula. Pediatr Res 59, 271–275, doi: 10.1203/01.pdr.0000196372.29648.7a (2006). – DOI – PubMed

10. He C., Qu X., Cui L., Wang J. & Kang J. X. Improved spatial learning performance of fat-1 mice is associated with enhanced neurogenesis and neuritogenesis by docosahexaenoic acid. PNAS 106, 11370–11375, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904835106 (2009). – DOI – PMC – PubMed

11. Lafourcade M. Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions. Nat Neurosci. 14, 345–350 (2011). – PubMed

12 Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882550/

13 Influence of Soy Lecithin Administration on Hypercholesterolemia, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065734/

14 Positive Effects of Soy Lecithin-Derived Phosphatidylserine plus Phosphatidic Acid on Memory, Cognition, Daily Functioning, and Mood in Elderly Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271139/

15 Loss of brain function – liver disease, Medline Plus, US National Library of Medicine, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000302.htm

16. Affective disorders: Bipolar (manic) depression and hypomania, Bipolar Depression, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/bipolar-depression

17. Affective disorders: Bipolar (manic) depression and hypomania, Bipolar Depression, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/bipolar-depression

#healthbydesign #mentalhealthbydesign #escapetothefarmacy #depression #bipolar #bodymindspirit #wholepersonwellbeing #sunflowers #sunflowerpower #sunflowerlecithin

MY APOTHECARY RECOMMENDATIONS: Stinging Nettle, a ‘must have’ nutrition and healing powerhouse.

When I am asked which important herbs I recommend to stock in an herbal apothecary, stinging nettle would be at the top of my list. In addition to its powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, the scientifically researched positive health impact of nettles in a variety of health challenges, should make it an essential ‘at home’ apothecary staple. The ultimate goal in my personal health quest and that of my clients is to ‘amplify’ the nutritional and health benefits of each meal, which is why I add greens and herbs like nettles at every opportunity, like my vegan pizza, shown near the end of this post. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is stingingnettleplant.jpg

Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, stinging nettle or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America. 

“The most recognized health benefit of using stinging nettles is activity against Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, as well as urinary tract infections. Clinical studies suggest that Urtica spp. contain compounds that affect the hormones responsible for BPH. In addition, nettle root extract shows activity against prostate cancer cells. In therapy, nettles are usually used in combination with saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). They are also used as a home remedy for bladder infections.”[1]

“Nettles can help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint pain, typically in the case of hands, knees, hips and spine” [1] “Another study conducted by Klingelhoefer et al. showed the anti-inflammatory benefits of stinging nettles against other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis” [1] “Recent studies show that nettles possess anti-diabetic properties” [1]

“In addition, because of their anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties, stinging nettles can be used as a natural component in eczema medications. Infusions of the plant can be used for nasal and menstrual hemorrhage, diabetes, anemia, asthma, hair loss and to promote lactation” [1] Nettles grow all over the world, mostly considered a weed and are usually wild harvested. The tiny hairs on the stems and leaves cause a burning sensation and temporary rash when rubbed against the skin, so foraging comes with risks that may be better left to experienced foragers. Nettle possess antimicrobial activity against a variety of microorganisms. The chlorophyll rich fresh leaves contain high concentrations of vitamins A, C, D, E, F, K and P, vitamin B-complexes, large amounts of the metals selenium, zinc, iron and magnesium and lesser amounts of copper, manganese, cobalt, boron, sodium, iodine, chromium and sulphur. It is often used in animal feed due to its potent nutritional benefits. The early season fresh leaves, before the stinging hairs come out, are used in salads. Nettles are used in a variety of recipes, juices and teas. Although you can find many recipes online for using nettles, to retain the maximum benefit of the nutritional and medicinal properties, use them in recipes where they are not excessively over heated, ideally not at all. The dried leaves make a nutritious garnish sprinkled on dishes, like soups, pizzas, casseroles, eggs pesto and dips, just before serving. Make teas with warm not boiled water and steep for 20 minutes. Cool the tea and drink as a healthy iced tea adding honey and lemon if desired. Make a smaller, stronger concentration of tea and add sparkling water and lemon or lime.

The ultimate goal in my personal nutrition and that of my clients is to ‘amplify’ the nutritional and health benefits of each meal, which is why I add greens and herbs like nettles at every opportunity. The picture below of my personal size lunch pizza with sundried tomato pesto, arugula, red onion, basil and dried stinging nettle with vegan cheese. Nettle iced tea provides a refreshing, nutritious beverage. If you are interested in purchasing quality stinging nettle visit this link

The scientifically researched positive health impact of stinging nettles against Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, as well as urinary tract infections, prostate cancer, anemia, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis makes it an essential‘ at home’ apothecary staple herb. 

Enjoy researching and experimenting with stinging nettle, a ‘must have’ nutrition and healing powerhouse.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/

Sources:Stinging Nettle Research Papers – http://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Stinging_Nettles

American Botanical Council – http://cms.herbalgram.org/heg/volume15/07July/FAM_Nettle.html?ts=1592072376&signature=a62c58cdea6bc969af338b9d2182c7ff

Medicine Net – https://www.medicinenet.com/stinging_nettle/supplements-vitamins.htm

One Green Planet, How to Forage for Stinging Nettles – https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/forage-for-stinging-nettles/#:~:text=Nettles%20are%20best%20harvested%20from,the%20top%20of%20the%20plant.[1]

Urtica spp.: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Properties, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100552/

 #benignprostatichyperplasia #BPH #enlargedprostate #urinarytractinfections #prostatecancer #anemia #diabetes #rheumatoidarthritis  #medicinalherbs #botanicals #escapetothefarmacy #healthbydesign

MEDICINAL HERBS: Researched Benefits for Depression and Anxiety


Although conventional drug treatment helps many people suffering from depression, there are many people who do not benefit from these treatments, and others who suffer unwanted side effects.  Please do not stop taking your medications. This is not a post to encourage you to stop using your medications, including anti-depressants. My goal in sharing this information to help those who are not benefiting from their present treatments and are considering other options. If you are considering adding any of the medicinal herbs mentioned in this post, speak to your regular healthcare provider for guidance and supervision as you make the changes to your treatment regime. Not all natural plants are safe and some could interact negatively with prescribed drugs. Do not go out into your garden and use plants that are considered bedding plants as medicinal herbs.

Many, many years ago, I was one of the people suffering from depression who did not benefit from conventional drug treatments. My passion to help match the right symptom relief solutions for each unique client prompts me to continue my research into non-conventional treatments, not only for depression, but other symptoms. What works for one person with anxiety or depression will not necessarily be the right fit for another person with the same symptoms. Before you consider adding herbs to your treatment plan, please read my blog post Mental Health by Design for my holistic mental health recommendations for ‘where to begin’.

A number of studies have researched adjunctive therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for depression patients. I have summarized some of them below.

Medicinal Herbs Studied:

The fruit of the Nelumbo nucifera (Nelumbinis semen) plant has long been used as a natural tranquilizer in Asian countries. “Nelumbinis Semen reverses a decrease in 5-HT1A receptor binding induced by chronic mild stress, a depression-like symptom”(1)


Carvacrol, the main compound in oregano oil, has been found to induce antidepressant effects that seem to be dependent on an interaction with the dopaminergic brain pathways.(2)  Carvacrol can raise 5-HT and dopamine ranges in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex and influence neuronal activity through modulation of neurotransmitters.(3)


Camellia sinensis (or tea plant) is used to make most traditional caffeinated teas, including black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea. Research results suggest that green tea polyphenols can regulate the HPA axis involved in the pathology of depression.(4)


Crocus sativus, commonly known as saffron crocus, or autumn crocus, improves the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and improves the Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory Scores with rare side effects.(5)


Hypericum perforatum commonly known as St. John’s wort, is used in the treatment of anxiety and depression and can prevent relapse after recovery from acute depression.(6)


Piper methysticum, commonly called kava, improves the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale with no serious adverse effects and no clinical hepatotoxicity.(7)


Rhodiola rosea showed increased hippocampus 5-HT level-induced proliferation of neural stem cells, repairing the damaged neuronal cells in hippocamps.(8)  Improves overall depression, together with insomnia, emotional instability, and somatization, but not self-esteem with no serious side effects.(9)


Lavandula angustifolia, the well known and loved lavender plant, reduces stress, anxiety, and depression in pregnant women.(10) Lavender Improves the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.(11)


Curcumin: The medicinal properties of turmeric, which is the major source of the polyphenol curcumin, have been known for thousands of years.  Curcumin requires enhancing agents like piperine (found in black pepper) to provide the multiple health benefits. Curcumen restores biochemical and behavioral changes induced by chronic stress, reverses the decreased immobility period and MAO activity induced chronic stress and attenuates the stress-induced hippocampus in mice studies. (12)


Proanthocyanidins are a class of polyphenols found in a variety of plants such as blueberry. They enhance 5-HT levels in hypothalamus, hypothalamus, and the frontal cortex.(13)


Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid). It is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, American elder, and others. Buckwheat tea has a large amount of quercetin. Studies show that Quercetin prevents hyperactivation of the HPA axis, (14), preventing a skewed stress response, like ‘flight mode’.


Resveratrol, is a natural polyphenol has been detected in more than 70 plant species, especially in grapes’ skin and seeds. Resveratrol raises 5-HT, dopamine, and noradrenaline concentrations in the brain and reduces MAO activity.(15)


The previous phytochemicals and medicinal herbs are just a few of the possible natural treatment options for anxiety and depression. Finding the right mix and dosage of these medicinal alternatives requires time and experimenting under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner experienced in their use. Please review the research information and discuss the information with your regular health care provider before adding phytochemicals and medicinal herbs to your treatment regime and before making adjustments to your present treatment plan. Do not stop taking your medication. 

Many phytochemicals can be found in essential oils and are easy to use. Lavender essential oil is one of my favourites and I use it often, applying it to the inside of my wrists and ankles over the Chinese meridian channels, the base of my skull, my toes (reflexology points) and my sternum (this is where I first feel stress). Find out more about phytochemicals in essential oils at my page My Green Medicine Cabinet.


Escapes to nature and other body, mind and spirit experiences promote mental health and overall well-being!

Follow my ‘escape to the farmacy’ adventures here!

Wishing you health, happiness and peace of mind!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/

Author of The Whole Person Well-being Equation available at http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/books.htm

Wishing you many health promoting escapes! Follow some of my escapes at  https://www.instagram.com/escape_to_the_farmacy/ .






Table 1 – Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs on Depression, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/6596241/tab2/

Table 2 – Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs on Depression, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/6596241/tab2/

1    C.-G. Jang, M. Kang, J.-H. Cho et al., Archives of Pharmacal Research, vol. 27, no. 10, pp. 1065–1072, 2004.

2    F. H. C. Melo, B. A. Moura, D. P. de Sousa et al., “Antidepressant-like effect of carvacrol (5-Isopropyl-2-methylphenol) in mice: involvement of dopaminergic system,” Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 362–367, 2011.

3    M. Zotti, M. Colaianna, M. G. Morgese et al., “Carvacrol: from ancient flavoring to neuromodulatory agent,” Molecules, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 6161–6172, 2013.

4    W.-L. Zhu, H.-S. Shi, Y.-M. Wei et al., “Green tea polyphenols produce antidepressant-like effects in adult mice,” Pharmacological Research, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 74–80, 2012.

5    E. Moshiri, A. A. Basti, A.-A. Noorbala, A.-H. Jamshidi, S. Hesameddin Abbasi, and S. Akhondzadeh, “Crocus sativus L. (petal) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial,” Phytomedicine, vol. 13, no. 9-10, pp. 607–611, 2006.

5    S. Akhondzadeh, N. Tahmacebi-Pour, A.-A. Noorbala et al., “Crocus sativus L. in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial,” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 148–151, 2005.

5    A. Akhondzadeh Basti, E. Moshiri, A.-A. Noorbala, A.-H. Jamshidi, S. H. Abbasi, and S. Akhondzadeh, “Comparison of petal of Crocus sativus L. and fluoxetine in the treatment of depressed outpatients: a pilot double-blind randomized trial,” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 439–442, 2007.

5    S. Akhondzadeh, H. Fallah-Pour, K. Afkham, A.-H. Jamshidi, and F. Khalighi-Cigaroudi, “Comparison of Crocus sativus L. and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a pilot double-blind randomized trial [ISRCTN45683816],” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 4, article 12, 2004.

5    A. A. Noorbala, S. Akhondzadeh, N. Tahmacebi-Pour, and A. H. Jamshidi, “Hydro-alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus L. versus fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot trial,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 97, no. 2, pp. 281–284, 2005.

6    S. Kasper, H. P. Volz, H. J. Möller, A. Dienel, and M. Kieser, “Continuation and long-term maintenance treatment with Hypericum extract WS® 5570 after recovery from an acute episode of moderate depression—a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled long-term trial,” European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 18, no. 11, pp. 803–813, 2008.

7    J. Sarris, D. J. Kavanagh, G. Byrne, K. M. Bone, J. Adams, and G. Deed, “The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum,” Psychopharmacology, vol. 205, no. 3, pp. 399–407, 2009.

8    Q. G. Chen, Y. S. Zeng, Z. Q. Qu et al., “The effects of Rhodiola rosea extract on 5-HT level, cell proliferation and quantity of neurons at cerebral hippocampus of depressive rats,” Phytomedicine, vol. 16, no. 9, pp. 830–838, 2009.

9    V. Darbinyan, G. Aslanyan, E. Amroyan, E. Gabrielyan, C. Malmström, and A. Panossian, “Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression,” Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 61, no. 5, pp. 343–348, 2007.

10    F. Effati-Daryani, S. Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, M. Mirghafourvand, M. Taghizadeh, and A. Mohammadi, “Effect of lavender cream with or without foot-bath on anxiety, stress and depression in pregnancy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial,” Journal of Caring Sciences, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 63–73, 2015.

11   M. Nikfarjam, N. Parvin, N. Assarzadegan, and S. Asghari, “The effects of lavandula angustifolia mill infusion on depression in patients using citalopram: a comparison study,” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, vol. 15, no. 8, pp. 734–739, 2013.

11    P. Conrad and C. Adams, “The effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high risk postpartum woman—a pilot study,” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 164–168, 2012.

11     I.-S. Lee and G.-J. Lee, “Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students,” Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 136–143, 2006.

11     S. Akhondzadeh, L. Kashani, A. Fotouhi et al., “Comparison of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. tincture and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized trial,” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 123–127, 2003.

12    M. K. Bhutani, M. Bishnoi, and S. K. Kulkarni, “Anti-depressant like effect of curcumin and its combination with piperine in unpredictable chronic stress-induced behavioral, biochemical and neurochemical changes,” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 92, no. 1, pp. 39–43, 2009.

13    Y. Xu, S. Li, R. Chen et al., “Antidepressant-like effect of low molecular proanthocyanidin in mice: involvement of monoaminergic system,” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 94, no. 3, pp. 447–453, 2010.

14    P. Bhutada, Y. Mundhada, K. Bansod et al., “Reversal by quercetin of corticotrophin releasing factor induced anxiety- and depression-like effect in mice,” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 955–960, 2010.

15    Y. Yu, R. Wang, C. Chen et al., “Antidepressant-like effect of trans-resveratrol in chronic stress model: behavioral and neurochemical evidences,” Journal of Psychiatric Research, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 315–322, 2013.


MCS & FRAGRANCE SENSITIVIES: Overcoming Travel Challenges

trapped in a bubble2

I am presently on the way to my fourth, month long airbnb stay, between moving out of my sold home in one town in August and into my next home next month in another town.  As a recovered MCS and TILT sufferer I am always vigilant about staying away from fragrances and toxic chemicals, not only because they are offensive but because I have done my homework to be able to recover and know how toxic these are.


The first airbnb host had issues with me using 4 drops of pure tea tree in a spray bottle to clean instead of their toxic cleaning products, due to the unfamiliar scent and someone elsewhere in the building being sensitive to fragrances; but apparently not to the toxic cleaning products provided in the airbnb rental unit.

Gratefully, the second airbnb host used vinegar to clean and no toxic or fragranced products and had no issue with me using tea tree and natural non toxic products.


When I arrived at the third airbnb I was overwhelmed with the scent of Glad and Febreze when I opened the door.  My past vigilance alarm went off and I stepped back to assess.  I knew these products were toxic, but I also knew that I would be safe if I took precautions now that I am recovered. What’s so toxic about these readily available and commercially advertised products? The Invisible Disabilities Association reports:

“These synthetic compounds are chemicals that can be dangerous to many when inhaled or applied to the skin. Author Connie Pitts explained, “Perfumes, colognes, and many other scented  products contain an abundance of harmful chemicals, many of which are listed on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List. They also include numerous carcinogenic chemicals, neurotoxins, respiratory irritants, solvents, aldehydes, hundreds of untested and unregulated petro-chemicals, phthalates (which can act as hormone disrupters), narcotics, and much more.”

Have you ever considered how a neurotoxin in a fragrance might affect someone with mental health challenges? Would it affect their brain chemistry negatively? You can find out more about what is in the products below by reading this excellent post.

The Dangers of Febreze- EZ Breathe

I packed the Glad plug in and Febreze can in a ziploc bag and set it out on the deck out of site.  I immediately opened the one window and turned the bathroom fan on to try to get the smell out.  I then went to Canadian Tire and bought 3 Environmental Air Sponges which are made up of natural products that soak up toxins in the air.  They are often used after fires to clean the air.  I then turned on my diffuser with all natural Purify Cleansing Blend essential oil in it to further clean the air and override the smell. These are the 100% natural ingredients:

  • Lemon Peel
  • Lime Peel
  • Siberian Fir Needle
  • Austrian Fir Needle
  • Pine Needle
  • Citronella Grass
  • Melaleuca Leaf
  • Cilantro Herb

I was able to stay in the room that night without reacting, due to my previous recovery, and my actions to mediate further harm.  Even now, almost 30 days later, whenever I enter the room I can smell residual Glad and especially Febreze fragrance, possibly coming from the adjoining host’s side of the house or their circulated air.

My advice to you if you are a traveler, whether you have or had MCS or TILT or not, is to be cautious about accommodations that use toxic and harmful cleaning and air freshener chemicals that contain neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. Go prepared when you travel with Purify and a diffuser, Environmental Air Sponges, and if you will be staying for long periods of time, a supply of your own natural cleaning supplies vinegar, baking soda and a spray bottle, as well a tea tree essential oil. Unfortunately making comments in reviews after an airbnb stay may interfere with you odds of successfully securing airbnb accommodation in the future, and during Covid-9, long term stay locations, at least in southwestern Ontario have been few and far between. Hopefully airbnb will encourage hosts to refrain from using toxic cleaning and air freshener products and encourage designations for host accommodations making it easier for those that have or have recovered from MCS, TILT, fragrance sensitivities, asthma, COPD or other  immune compromised diseases or are in cancer treatment. I will bring the air freshener and glad plug in back in when I leave.  Should I leave a note?  Should I share this information with the host? Should I share this information in a review? For my fourth airbnb location I am on my way back to host #2, who is providing an eco-friendly environment by using and allowing all natural cleaning and air freshening products.

Learn more about my recovery and how you can recover too in my book:


Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

Author of The Whole Person Well-being Equation.

For information on less toxic products for home and rental accommodations visit the Less Toxic Guide. 

Environmental Working Group: Fragrance Concerns

FRAGRANCE: Oh How Sweet The Smell and How Potentially Dangerous To Your Health

Invisible Disabilities Association





https://www.instagram.com/escape_to_the_farmacy/, https://www.instagram.com/elisabethlhines/


#multiplechemicalsensitivities #MCS #toxicantinducedlossoftolerance #TILT #environmentalillness #EI #chronicfatigue #CF #foodallergies #irritablebowel #depression #spasmodicdysphonia #SAD #bodymindspirit #holistic #mindfullness #wholepersonwellbeing #naturalcures #yourbodycanhealitself #healthbydesign #B&Bretreats #holisticB&Bretreats #womensretreats #escapetothefarmacy #airbnb #ecofriendlyaccommodation

THE ZINC IMMUNE FACTOR: Increasing Serum Zinc Levels to Fight Viruses


The immune system has many protective and signaling functions which require an adequate availability of micronutrients to maintain a healthy immune response.  Diet deficiencies of many of these necessary micronutrients, including zinc, are often found in the elderly and immune compromised. The Nutri-Facts article titled Micronutrients and the immune system states “The nutrients collaborate and complement each other in the diverse processes of the immune system”. It is crucial that we ingest an adequate supply of healthy foods with diverse micronutrients to maintain a healthy immune response.  Many drugs are associated with the depletion of nutrients that are necessary for a health immune system. Corticosteroids like cortisone and prednisone cause increased zinc excretion. Homemade soups with a large variety of quality ingredients are an excellent way to get a diverse array of immune supporting micronutrients.

According to the Frontiers in Immunology article Immunosenescence (immune decline) and Its Hallmarks: How to Oppose Aging Strategically,

“The close connection between nutrition, intake of bioactive nutrients and supplements, immune function, and inflammation demonstrate the key role of dietary strategies as regulators of immune response and inflammatory status, hence as possible modulators of the rate of immunosenescence. The link between aging and disease is in part a reflection of the functional changes in the immune system of older people”.

The Blue Zones research article, Boost Your Energy and Immunity with These 13 Super “Blue” Foods,  reports that you can improve your immunity by making changes in your diet. A diet focused on beans, greens, sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, oats, barley, fruits, green or herb teas, turmeric, garlic, shitake mushrooms and goats milk; can boost your immunity. The Blue Zones Solution lays out a proven plan to maximize your health based on the practices of the world’s healthiest people. Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as blue zones—those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people. The Blue Zones diet is naturally high in zinc. Visit the Blue Zones website to read more at https://www.bluezones.com/2020/03/boost-your-energy-and-immunity-with-these-13-super-blue-foods/.

Zinc and Immune Function Research:

Recent research into the prevention and treatment of the current virus indicate that patients who had healthy zinc blood levels naturally and through supplementation during treatment had better recovery results. A study of serum zinc levels and current virus recovery and survival:

“The study data clearly show that a significant number of COVID-19 patients were zinc deficient. These zinc deficient patients developed more complications, and the deficiency was associated with a prolonged hospital stay and increased mortality.”

An interesting review of a study of patients with the virus in Spain and India showed a significant difference between serum zinc levels at the onset of the virus between the two countries.  Could diet be a factor?  How is the Indian diet different than the Spanish Diet?  The Indian diet consists of a variety of foods including legumes and seeds with significant levels of zinc as well as the addition of herbs and spices, which help to add to their zinc levels.

Although zinc is a necessary immune ingredient, supplementation is not always the recommended source according to the Harvard School of Public Health. If you are planning to start supplementing with zinc, please consult with your regular healthcare provider, a nutritional consultant and your pharmacist to ensure you will not be compromising your iron and copper levels.

“Zinc is available in supplement form as pills and lozenges. Excess zinc can interfere with the absorption of iron and copper. High doses can also cause nausea and even vomiting. Therefore it is important not to take supplemental zinc unless it is known that the diet is low in foods containing zinc or a zinc deficiency is confirmed.” Consult a qualified nutritional consultant to guide you in improving your serum zinc levels through diet. You can find a list of foods that naturally provide zinc at the Harvard School of Public Health.

There is much controversy over natural supplements that could help with the present virus. Here are some insights on how to safely proceed using herbs in your natural response to the virus, without contributing to the dangerous cytokine storm:

“Caution may be advisable with herbal agents such as Echinacea and Elderberry which may stimulate TNF and other cytokines. However, this danger is unclear. More important is the addition of herbs that down-regulate dangerous cytokines while also exhibiting antiviral effects (for instance, St. John’s wort, Baikal Scullcap, Salvia milthiorrhiza, Ginger, Turmeric).”1

Always proceed with caution and consult with your regular healthcare practitioner and local public health authority as you add natural strategies.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.C., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

Author of The Whole Person Well-being Equation









ANEMIA: The Endocrine Disruption Factor


I haven’t written about anemia before although I have in the past had my challenges. Many of my clients come with lab results indicating they suffer from anemia.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. Having anemia can make you feel tired and weak. There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe”.

I am not going to go into further details about symptoms, causes and treatments here.  I will leave that to the professionals. You can read more at the Mayo Clinic webpage – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20351360.

My purpose in this post to consider the possible link between anemia and endocrine disruption and what more could possibly be done to alleviate the condition. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with endocrine and hormone systems.

The Environmental Health Perspectives article Environmental endocrine disruption: an effects assessment and analysis states:

Found in many household and industrial products, endocrine disruptors “interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for development, behavior, fertility, and maintenance of homeostasis (normal cell metabolism).”

Any system in the body dependent on hormones could be affected by endocrine disruptors. The hormone hepcidin is the principal regulator of iron absorption and distribution.  Hepcidin excess or deficiency, through disruption of any kind, can alter intestinal iron uptake, leading to either iron deficiency or iron overload. The body’s iron balance is controlled through absorption from the diet.

What can you do if you are suffering from either iron deficiency or overload?

When I work with clients to help them recover from their health challenges and eliminate their symptoms I work from a two step approach when it comes to endocrine disruptors and other harmful environmental and body pollutants. Not all iron deficiency or overload conditions are the result of endocrine disruptors so discuss your condition with your regular healthcare provider for assistance.

Step # 1:  Avoid/stop adding in harmful, disrupting environmental body pollutants

If you are challenged by either iron deficiency or overload, take a look at your exposure to and elimination of endocrine disruptors. You can find more information on endocrine disruptors at:

Body Pollution: http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/bodypollution.pdf

Pollution in Newborns: https://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns

REPORT: TOXIC NATION: A REPORT ON POLLUTION IN CANADIANS – https://environmentaldefence.ca/report/report-toxic-nation-a-report-on-pollution-in-canadians/

Endocrine Disruptors, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors, The Environmental Working Group, https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors

Hormone Disrupting Chemicals, The Hormone Network, https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/endocrine-disrupting-chemicals-edcs

9 Ways to Avoid Hormone Disrupting Chemicals, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), https://www.nrdc.org/stories/9-ways-avoid-hormone-disrupting-chemicals

Avoiding Endocrine Disruptors in Food:  Obesity – https://endocrinenews.endocrine.org/forbidden-fruits-the-endocrine-disrupting-threat-of-obesogens/

Step # 2: Detoxify existing body pollution of harmful toxins, disruptors.

The human body has many natural efficiency detoxification process when working correctly with help the body to detoxify harmful substances. Sometimes your body may need some additional help. Consider adding in additional detoxification supports to help promote your body’s natural detoxification process. The method that I have found most effective in my health recovery and that of my clients is whole body detoxification.

Maintaining Healthy Longevity: Keep Your Liver Happy in the Midst of Toxins, Distress and Happy Hour – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/maintaining-healthy-longevity-keep-your-liver-happy-in-the-midst-of-toxins-distress-and-happy-hour/

Guide to Less Toxic Products – a resource of safer, less toxic personal care and cleaning products – https://lesstoxicguide.ca/

Listening to your intuition can guide you away from foods that may be harmful to you due to the presence of endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins or other harmful substances.  Learning how to using your body as a gauge to determine the potential harm of a food can help you to protect your body and avoid consuming harmful substances. Learn more at my blog post HEALTH PROTECTION: Using Your Body Responses to Identify Health Challenges – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/health-protection-using-your-body-responses-to-identify-health-challenges/

Wishing you health and happiness in your beautiful life!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca



https://www.instagram.com/escape_to_the_farmacy/, https://www.instagram.com/elisabethlhines/



Regulation of the Iron Homeostatic Hormone Hepcidin, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5227985/

The Role of Hepcidin in Iron Metabolism, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855274/

Endocrine Disruptor, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_disruptor

Anemia, The Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20351360

The Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/iron/

IMMUNE SUPPORTS: How to Amplify Your Body’s Own Internal Pharmacy


Tapping into your body’s internal pharmacy is your best defence in times of health challenges, including bacteria, viruses and other microbes. You may not always be able to have access to or secure the drugs that have traditionally been used for specific symptoms or conditions.  Your amazing and efficient human body came created and stocked to provide a variety of necessary therapeutic substances. In a healthy body, the internal environment, referred to as ‘milieu interieur’ by the 19th century physiologist Claude Bernard, supplies substances similar to pharmaceutical drugs, per need, where needed, through a well orchestrated self-regulation system. The body’s natural surveillance, assessment and response systems are dependent on healthy uninterrupted communication within the body to provide a cornucopia of anti-anxiety, anti-stress, immune responder, pain killer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and other necessary therapeutics. A well balanced body, in a state of natural balance called homeostasis, can provide you with these precious natural resources. 

So how do you enhance your body’s natural internal pharmacy efficiency?

  • Ensure uninterrupted communication within your body.  Deal with any potential disruptors such as stressors, body pollution and environmental pollutants like endocrine disruptors. Dealing with pollution’s impact on the human body requires a two step detoxification approach: Stop adding to your body pollution and remove any existing body pollution. You can learn more by reading the following related posts:
  • Ensure that your body has the required quality raw materials, including essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates to produce quality and adequate internal pharmacy substances. Diet, lifestyle and life balance are crucial to a well stocked, ready supply of therapeutics for dispensing as needed, where needed. You can learn more by reading the following related posts:

There is much controversy over natural supplements that could help with the present virus. Here are some insights on how to safely proceed using herbs in your natural response to the virus, without contributing to the dangerous cytokine storm:

“Caution may be advisable with herbal agents such as Echinacea and Elderberry which may stimulate TNF and other cytokines. However, this danger is unclear. More important is the addition of herbs that down-regulate dangerous cytokines while also exhibiting antiviral effects (for instance, St. John’s wort, Baikal Scullcap, Salvia milthiorrhiza, Ginger, Turmeric).”1

Always proceed with caution and follow the guidance of your regular healthcare practitioner and your local public health authority.

Read my blog post FIGHTING AGE & STRESS RELATED IMMUNE DECLINE: Implementing strategies to keep you protected for more information to help you improve your immune system responses.

Wishing you a strong, efficient immune system for a healthier, happier you!

Stay tuned on this blog and my social media links below for more upcoming immune and health support strategies!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/

Author of The Whole Person Well-being Equation available at http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/books.htm 


Read more about mynatural ‘escapes to the farmacy’ at my Health by Design blog – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/escape-to-the-farmacy/.

Wishing you many health promoting escapes! Follow some of my escapes at  https://www.instagram.com/escape_to_the_farmacy/ .