Herbs and Supplements

  • Frankincense Oil

    Looks like those wise men were on to something. Frankincense oil, long-heralded for its therapeutic benefits, may be an effective alternative therapy for bladder cancer, the fourth most common type of cancer among American men.

    By Melaina Juntti
  • Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Get Off the 'Rhoids

    Actually a type of varicose vein, hemorrhoids develop when veins in the lower rectum or anus become inflamed and swollen from trauma or too much internal pressure. We most often hear about them in relation to constipation and pregnancy, but they also result from anal intercourse, high blood pressure, venous blockages, or simply as an unpleasant side effect of aging.

    Soothing cures for hemorrhoids
    By Hilary Oliver
  • Bottle of Youth

    Mom and Dad told you to take your vitamins. Hopefully, you listened because new research shows that popping multivitamins may actually make your cells younger. In an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study involving 586 women, the cells of those who took multivitamins had a younger biological age than those of nonusers.

    By Melaina Juntti
  • Think Outside the Bag

    Talk about a serendipitous event: Legend has it that chance brewed the first tea when Camellia sinensis leaves blew into a pot of boiling water. It was 2737 BC, and the accidental teameister who boiled that water, Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, concluded the new brew gave “vigor of body, contentment of mind, and determination of purpose.”

    Get all the benefits of tea without curing up with a cup.
    By Bryce Edmonds
  • Bedtime Relax Tea

    2 cups water
    1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh chamomile
    1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
    1/2 teaspoon dried mint
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    1/2 teaspoon dried lemon balm

    1. In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat.
    2. Add the chamomile, lavender, mint, fennel, and lemon balm. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. Strain and drink before going to bed.

    nutrition info per serving: 2 calories; 0 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 g protein; 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 2 mg sodium

  • Primer on Probiotics

    Probiotic, prebiotic; good bugs, bad bugs. Every time we turn around, another study champions the benefits of these gut-friendly supplements. But what are they? What do they do? Why should we take them? We asked Angelica S. Vrablic, PhD, a leading expert in nutrition research and a probiotic guru, to give us the lowdown. Here’s what we learned:

    By Nora Simmons
  • Supplement Watch: Thiamine

    Vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine) may reverse kidney damage, says a new study in the journal Diabetologia. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and prevent your kidneys from functioning properly—a problem many diabetics face.

  • Holy Basil, Batman.

    Long-heralded by ayurvedic medicine for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, holy basil has recently passed scientific scrutiny. Indian researchers have now confirmed that the herb (also called tulsi) works as an adaptogen, sticking to and neutralizing free radicals that wear down the body.

    By Melaina Juntti
  • Supplement Watch: Acetyl-L-carnitine

    Walk out of the grocery store and can’t find your car? Left your keys in the front door—again? Age-related forgetfulness can be maddening, so you’ll want to write this one down: acetyl-L-carnitine. Research shows this amino acid can boost brainpower and memory.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Toxic Herbs?

    A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic, and lead, in some ayurvedic herbs. The study tested two types of ayurvedic medicines—herbal only and rasa shastra. “Rasa shastra is an ancient science that uses metals and minerals in combination with herbs.

    By Lindsay Wilson