5-HTP vs Melatonin

We get asked a lot which is better? 5-HTP or Melatonin. 5-HTP  and Melatonin are both hormones but they do different things.

Melatonin is stored in the pineal gland and is only released when there is low light. Melatonin seems to work best when people have low melatonin levels, not if their levels are normal. It is useful for jet lag, ADHD, insomnia.

5-HTP comes from L-tryptophan and increases seratonin production and seratonin increases melatonin production in turn. 5-HTP bypasses the brain's light-regulation system and crosses the blood-brain barrier. As it increases seratonin levels and not just melatonin levels, it has other positive mood enhancing benefits like feeling happier and more relaxed. 

Overall, it seems that 5-HTP can help you get a deeper sleep (because it increases your REM sleep) and can help you stay asleep if you have problems waking up and getting back to sleep. It also makes you feel generally happier. Melatonin seems best suited for specific situations and will not make you feel tired unless you are already low on melatonin. 

Talk to your Health Care provider for more information on what might work best for you and always check with your pharmacist to ensure you will have no contraindications from medication and supplement use.   

Posted on May 14, 2017 and filed under You asked us.

Feature of the Month May 2017: Mental Health Supplements

This month is Mental Health Awareness for Adults & Children. We have many great supplements (mostly for adults and a few for children) that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Here's a list of the most popular.

  • Relora is a proprietary blend of two herbs: Phellodendron amurense (P. amurense), and magnolia. Both plants are native to China and Japan. The bark of the magnolia tree contains magnolol and honokiol, two compounds shown to have anti-anxiety properties, as well as the ability to reduce allergic reaction and asthma. Phellodendron has been shown to help in lowering both blood sugar and blood pressure as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. From http://www.nationalnutrition.ca/herb_articles_Relora.aspx
  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is indigenous to the Arctic and Alpine regions of Europe, Asia and America and has long been used as a tonic by many cultures, including the Ancient Greeks. Rhodiola is generally known as an  "adaptogen," a term which refers to any agent possessing the ability to support the body's natural capacity to adapt to life's changing conditions. From https://www.nowfoods.com/supplements/rhodiola-500-mg-veg-capsules
  • Holy basil functions as an adaptogen, enhancing the body's natural response to physical and emotional stress. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress. Multiple scientific studies examining this property of Ocimum sanctum have found that supplementation with various extracts of holy basil decrease stress hormone levels, corticosterone in particular. From http://www.medicinehunter.com/holy-basil

  • The hormone melatonin plays a role in your natural sleep-wake cycle. Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night. Some research suggests that melatonin supplements taken at the right time might be helpful in treating jet lag or other sleep disorders that involve poor alignment of your natural biological clock with the night-day pattern around you. Melatonin might also reduce the time it takes to fall asleep — although this effect is typically mild. From http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/melatonin-side-effects/faq-20057874

  • 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical that the body makes from tryptophan (an essential amino acid that you get from food). After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, the chemical is changed into another chemical called serotonin (a neurotransmitter that relays signals between brain cells). 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation. 5-HTP is not found in the foods we eat, although tryptophan is found in foods. Eating foods with tryptophan does not increase 5-HTP levels very much, however. As a supplement, 5-HTP is made from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia. From http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/5hydroxytryptophan-5htp

  • Magnesium is known to reduce muscle tension, lessen pain associated with migraine headaches, improve sleep, and address neurological disorders such as anxiety and depression. From http://www.ancient-minerals.com/magnesium-benefits/

  • Linden is an herb that comes from various species of Tilia, or lime tree. It has been used in European folk medicine for centuries to treat a wide range of health problems.historically used to soothe nerves and treat health problems associated with anxiety. 

Posted on May 3, 2017 and filed under Feature of the month.

Natural All Purpose Homemade Citrus Cleanser

Natural All Purpose Homemade Citrus Cleanser

YOU WILL NEED
•    Peels from lemons, limes, grapefruits and/or oranges (use organic for an organic cleanser)
•    White vinegar (use organic for an organic cleanser)
•    Mason jars with lids (tapered opening recommended), or any airtight container
•    Spray bottle
•    Mesh strainer
•    Distilled water

Before peeling your citrus, be sure you have cleaned it with warm soapy water and have removed any stickers. You can use any variety or combination of citrus that you like. I prefer to do the peeling by hand to eliminate the possibility of any fruit getting into your cleanser base-- sugar = mold.
Fill a clean mason jar, or airtight container, with the peels and pack as tightly as possible. Jars with a tapered opening work best, so that you can place a larger peel at the top to block the smaller pieces from floating above the vinegar, which in my experience can lead to mold.
Once you jar is packed, fill with vinegar until all of the peels are completely submerged.
Screw the lid on tightly and store the jar in a cool, dark place for two weeks. I like to check it every few days to be sure that the peels are still submerged and no mold has grown on any exposed pieces.
After two weeks your cleanser base is ready. Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl or another jar. Discard the peels.
The base can be stored in a tightly sealed jar or airtight container until ready to use. When you are ready to make the cleanser, combine it with distilled water in a 1:1 ratio and, using a funnel, pour into a spray bottle.
Use to clean counter tops, glass windows, or anywhere you need a natural all purpose cleanser. Please note that this cleanser does not work well for marble or stone surfaces, as well as certain granite counter tops... the acid content may cause etching. It does work like a charm for glass windows, showers, mirrors, and many other household surfaces!
 

Posted on April 6, 2017 and filed under Mad Science.

How to Roast Garlic

How to Roast Garlic
From toriavey.com

Ingredients
•    1 whole head of garlic
•    Olive oil
You will also need
•    Aluminum foil, small baking sheet

Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 1 head of roasted garlic cloves
 

Prep

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the outer skin from the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact in their casings.
  2. Slice the top part of the garlic head off, leaving the cloves exposed.
  3. Put the garlic head onto a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Wrap the garlic up in the foil. Put it on a small baking sheet and place it in the hot oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove garlic from the oven and unfold carefully-- there will be hot steam inside. You may wish to let it cool for several minutes before unwrapping.
  6. Squeeze the cloves out from their casings. They will be soft, caramelized, and easy to spread on toast or crackers.
     
Posted on April 6, 2017 and filed under Helpful Hints.

DIY Natural Cleaners

DIY Natural Cleaners
From theprairiehomestead.com

DAILY SHOWER SPRAY
•    1.5 cups water
•    1 cup white vinegar
•    1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
•    1 teaspoon natural liquid dish soap (not castile soap)
•    15 drops lime essential oil
•    15 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
Combine in a quart-sized spray bottle. Spray daily on shower door and walls after use (this is a preventative spray, designed to help prevent build-up)

GOO & CRAYON REMOVER
•    Lemon essential oil
•    1-2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil or almond oil (optional)
Mix together, then apply directly to sticker residue, random goo, gum, crayon marks, etc. (Test in an inconspicuous place first, if needed) Rub in with your fingers, then wipe away with a clean rag. Repeat as needed.

SWEET LAVENDER AIR FRESHENER
•    3/4 cup water (I use tap water, but distilled is fine too)
•    2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract
•    10 drops lavender essential oil
•    5 drops chamomile essential oil
Combine in a 8 oz spray bottle, shake to combine. Spray throughout the house to eliminate odors or stale smells.

Posted on April 4, 2017 and filed under You asked us.

Feature of the Month April 2017: Spring Cleaning products

With Spring officially here, it's time to put a little elbow grease into your cleaning routine. Maybe this is when you clean window frames or base boards but if you're looking to use more natural cleaning products or to make your own, look no further!

We carry Many natural cleaning products from Nature Clean as well as other Ecover, Seventh Generation and more. Most are unscented which is great for those with sensitive skin. 

If you're thinking of making your own products we carry lots of ingredients from natural bleach (hydrogen peroxide) to apple cider vinegar to borax and many essential oils. We also have bottles and containers for your creations! Come in and check us out today and look up recipes for DIY cleaning products in our scrapbook section or by searching.

Posted on April 4, 2017 and filed under Feature of the month.

DIY Disinfectant Spray

Want to make your own natural disinfectant spray at home? Here are a few great recipes using thyme oil, which is an excellent germ killer! 

10 drops of lemon essential oil
10 thyme essential oil
1 oz vodka
3 oz distilled water
Allow this blend to mellow for an hour and always shake before using. 

3 cups of hot water
2T borax
4T vinegar
10 drops thyme essential oil
1 tsp dish soap
Mix well and shake before using. 
 

Posted on February 22, 2017 and filed under Helpful Hints.

One Degree Organic Foods recipe!

SPROUTED BROWN RICE CRISPS WALNUT ORANGE BALLS

www.onedegreeorganics.com

INGREDIENTS

2 cups One Degree Organics Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps, crushed
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/8 tsp cardamom
Zest from one large orange
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Powdered sugar for rolling

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Roll and press into 1″ balls. Roll in powdered sugar and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. For storage, refrigerate in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Posted on February 22, 2017 and filed under You asked us.

Feature of the Month February 2017: One Degree Organic Foods

From British Columbia comes a great new line of products that support farm to table living, traceability of ingredients, organics and farmers! Choose from sprouted flours, cereals, granola, even bread! They are all delicious and good for the environment and farmers! Try some today and taste the difference sprouting makes! 

Posted on February 22, 2017 and filed under Feature of the month.

Los Chileros Mole Recipe

Mole Rub with Mole Turkey Recipe

From Los Chileros de Nuevo Mexico


Makes
1 1/3 cups

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
  • 2 tbsp corn Masa (available in the flour section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground LOS CHILEROS New Mexican Red Chile powder
  • 1 tbsp LOS CHILEROS Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 tbsp LOS CHILEROS Chipotle Chile Powder
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp ground star anise
  • 1 tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1½ tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp LOS CHILEROS Mexican Oregano

Methods/steps

  1. Mix together all the ingredients. Use at once or store in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to 3 months.
  2. For the Turkey1 (18-20-pound) turkey; neck, heart, and gizzard removed 5 ½ cups chicken stock 2 tbsp vegetable oil.
  3. Place thawed turkey on rack set in large roasting pan; tuck wings under.
  4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon mole rub in main cavity of turkey and ½ cup spice mixture all over and under turkey skin; tie legs together to hold shape. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
  5.  Let turkey stand 1 hour at room temperature. Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
  6. Brush turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle with an additional ¼ cup of the mole rub.
  7. Pour 1½ cups chicken stock into pan with turkey.
  8. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; place pan in oven and roast turkey 2 hours. Add 2 cups broth to pan; roast 1 hour.
  9. Pour 2 cups broth over turkey; cover turkey loosely with foil. Continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175 degrees, about 1 hour longer.
  10.  Transfer turkey to platter, tent loosely with foil and kitchen towel, and let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature of turkey will rise 5 to 10 degrees).
  11. Skim fat from the pan reserving juices. Carve and serve with mole broth that is left in the pan after skimming.
Posted on January 24, 2017 and filed under You asked us.