Published January 11, 2019 When I first launched my collection of “juice” tinctures at the end of 2018, I never could have imagined the overwhelming love and support that they would receive from this amazing community. It took a long time to get those formulas out into the world, and I see them as a representation of my growth and continued education in this field. Although I’ve created several products in the past, I wanted my first official “line” as an herbalist to be a complete set of core blends that make everyday life easier and smoother (so that you always have something to turn to no matter what’s thrown your way). It’s been a few months since the launch, and your feedback and reviews have quite literally made me cry tears of joy on the kitchen floor on more than one occasion! All I’ve ever wanted to do is help people with the power of plants, and I can’t thank you enough for making this work possible. Once people started feeling the results from these tinctures, requests for new products and issues to tackle came flooding in. You have no idea how honored I am that so many people are excited about herbal medicine – that’s how you know the world is changing. My gears began turning and I have so many ideas for powerful plant medicine that I want to bring to you. My goal is to one day have an entire herbal apothecary where I carry enough blends to meet everyone’s needs and serve as many people as possible. Slowly but surely I will make it happen, and I’m excited to announce the very first step in realizing that dream: our brand new line that I like to call The Immunity Collection. THE IMMUNITY COLLECTION With a launch date of January 11th, my objective this time around was to create a seasonal collection that would be perfect for the winter transition and cold/flu season. There’s nothing we need more during this time of year than immune support and tools for all the respiratory bugs going around. As someone who grew up chugging NyQuil and Robitussin like it was my job, I wanted to make safer, natural alternatives that get to the root to help you through whatever this season brings. Herbal medicine can be extremely effective when it comes to easing the uncomfortable symptoms of colds, flus and coughs (not to mention that immune-supporting and anti-microbial herbs can help speed recovery, too!) Every blend I’ve created not only aims to ease those surface symptoms, but goes a step further to tackle the bugs causing discomfort in the first place. For example, our “HerbalTussin” cough syrup not only contains antispasmodic, antitussive herbs to help “relax the hack”…. we’ve also included ingredients that support the native immunity of the resident macrophages (white blood cells) so that your own immune function is reinforced and boosted. The goal is to re-establish immune homeostasis so that the respiratory ailment is taken care of by the body as swiftly as possible. Rather than simply suppressing the cough, this is a whole-body approach. While this is of course an “immunity” themed collection (complete with an HerbalTussin Cough Syrup, Sore Throat Spray and Elderberry Immune Elixir), there are two formulas that may seem a bit out of place at first: Allergy Defense Tonic and Adrenal Recovery Formula. Although these aren’t directly related to colds and congestion, they have everything to do with balancing the immune (and allergic!) response in our bodies. We decided to launch Allergy Defense Tonic with this collection because allergies often arise in the Spring after we become depleted and deficient throughout the harsh winter. Allergies are not a sign that you’re just unlucky. Rather, they’re a sign that your body is prone to imbalance as the seasons change, with a heightened immune and allergic response that can be calmed and reduced with herbal medicine. It is a “tonic” blend (formulated with the building and strengthening Nettle Leaf) that you take preventatively at least 2-4 weeks before allergy season begins. It also helps with environmental allergies and those who are sensitive to histamine as it improves liver detox and histamine clearance. It can also be taken by those who are sensitive to everything and often feel congested or itchy with dust or mold exposure! Adrenal Recovery Formula is of course designed to combat “adrenal fatigue,” but matters immensely for your immune system as well. When the adrenals are overstimulated and overstressed, the HPA axis (which controls your mood, immune system, hormones, and sleep cycle) becomes dysregulated. A dysregulated HPA axis leads to symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, cognitive impairment, inhibited digestion, slow wound healing, and most importantly: suppressed immune function. If you’re someone who is always getting sick and you’re exhausted with symptoms of “adrenal fatigue,” adaptogenic herbs are the best way to build up your immune system and change the way your body responds to stress altogether. This balancing herbal formula is designed to bring life back to those who are overworked, overstressed, and find themselves feeling burnt-out or under the weather much of the time. ABOUT THE PRODUCTS 1. Elderberry Immune Elixir Black elderberries have a rich history in the realm of herbal medicine as a must-have for supporting the immune system during cold and flu season. Although it has been a staple in herbalist’s medicine cabinets for centuries, elderberry syrup specifically rose to fame across the world after a 2009 study was released demonstrating its ability to effectively inhibit the H1N1 strain of the flu (Roschek, et.al., 2009). This came as no surprise, since elderberries support the immune system and recovery process in several different ways. First and foremost, elderberries are considered “immune-stimulating,” meaning they tell your immune soldiers that “it’s time to get to work right now!” This is different from medicinal mushrooms in my ImmuneShroom formula, which is more of an “immune-modulating” blend that brings the immune response up or down as needed. For this reason, elderberry syrup is best consumed at the very first sign of illness or just after a known exposure to someone who is sick. If you are someone with a very weak immune system who catches every bug that goes around, it can also be taken in small daily doses preventatively during the entirety of cold and flu season or during times of increased exposure (such as holiday or airplane travel). Second, research shows that elderberries have an additional benefit of inhibiting viral replication (Kinoshita, et.al., 2012). In one Norwegian study, 60 patients were given elderberry syrup within the first 48 hours of developing flu symptoms. This included patients with both type A and type B influenza. The patients receiving elderberry were over the flu virus within an average of 4 fewer days than those with placebo. (Zakay-Rones, et al, 2004). Elderberry syrup must be extracted by hot water decoction in order to deactivate any irritating glycosides in the berries through the use of heat. When thoroughly cooked down in hot water, you get the most potent and 100% safe end product that is suitable for kids and adults alike. We cook the berries for several hours in a steam jacketed kettle and then press the berries to maximize extraction. Then we reduce it down enough to make room to add in the vegetable glycerin base (derived from organic palm so it’s corn, soy and gmo-free). Our Elderberry Immune Elixir is highly concentrated (with 6400mg of active plant medicine in every serving) and is safe for the whole family. It’s nourishing, building, and starts working right away. HOW TO USE (adults): Take 2 teaspoons every 3 hours at the first sign of a virus. For daily prevention throughout cold and flu season, take 2 teaspoons per day. HOW TO USE (kids): The adult dosage is based on a 150lb person. Childrens’ dosages will also depend on weight. If the child is ~75lbs, you would use half the adult dose. If the child is ~35lbs, you would use a quarter of the adult dosage. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. 2. HerbalTussin Cough Syrup HerbalTussin Syrup is our natural, herbal take on the classic OTC syrup from the drugstore. It is designed for acute needs to “attack the hack,” whether it’s a wet or dry cough. Our main objective was to ease discomfort in the throat, lungs and bronchial tubes so that you’re a) far more comfortable, and b) able to sleep much better through the night. Several of the herbs in this syrup have anti-spasmodic and bronchio-dilating properties, which allows you to breathe easier despite any active respiratory ailments. This blend is also highly soothing to mucosal membranes. Because all of our formulas aim for the root instead of treating surface symptoms, we’ve also included herbs that support the native immunity of the resident macrophages (white blood cells) so that your own immune function is reinforced and boosted. The goal is to re-establish immune homeostasis so that the respiratory ailment is taken care of by the body as swiftly as possible. Rather than simply suppressing the cough, this is a whole-body approach. On top of this, HerbalTussin helps the body take care of excess mucus when one is congested by loosening thick mucus and helping it to move out. All of the tools in our immunity line are there to help you feel better faster and support your body as it fights respiratory bugs. HOW TO USE (kids and adults): Take 1/2 teaspoon every 2 hours or as needed. Shake well before using. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. 3. Aloe & Echinacea Soothe Your Throat Spray Soothe Your Throat Spray is a natural, herbal spray for sore and irritated throats brought on by sickness or overuse. Formulated with Aloe Vera and Echinacea Root, this blend instantly coats the throat with soothing, lubricating herbs that help relieve tenderness and dryness – all while fighting the invaders responsible for this discomfort. In order to make this a well-rounded formula that does more than target surface symptoms, we’ve included additional herbs that warm the lungs (ginger) and encourage bronchiodilation for easy breathing and relief from congestion (osha root). The “demulcents” or “lubricating” herbs in this blend include aloe, licorice, propolis and organic honey. They not only combat dryness and irritation in the throat, but actually strengthen the mucosal layer or “immune barrier” that prevents microbes from invading and penetrating respiratory tissue. Both echinacea and spilanthes add to this action by increasing saliva, which pH corrects the mouth and throat to further support healthy boundaries against sickness invading deeper into the body. You can use this spray when you’re sick, when you’re speaking or singing, or at sports events before and after yelling. This spray can also be used by smokers to help clear and clean out the lungs. You may additionally implement it preventatively during airplane travel when you’ll be exposed to stale, recycled air. HOW TO USE (kids and adults): Hold the bottle very close to your mouth (sideways if needed to get the nozzle as close to the throat as possible) and spray 1-2 times into your throat. Repeat more frequently as needed to soothe discomfort and improve vocal clarity. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. 4. Allergy Defense Tonic Hay Fever, also known as seasonal allergies, is an extremely common and disruptive condition that affects a whopping 1 in every 5 people. If you’re one of those people who has to deal with them year after year, shutting the windows and missing days at work when you should be out enjoying the sun, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way! Allergies are not a sign that you’re just unlucky. Rather, they’re a sign that your body is prone to imbalance as the seasons change, with a heightened immune and allergic response that can be calmed and reduced with herbal medicine. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), part of this imbalance is rooted in “liver deficiency,” meaning the liver is overburdened and needs help detoxifying and excreting the sudden buildup of histamine. Why? Because when allergens (such as pollen) come into contact with the body’s mast cells, these mast cells ‘degranulate’ or burst open, releasing a slew of itch-inducing histamine. The body is supposed to break down and detoxify histamines through your liver detox pathways. However, many other compounds use the same exact route to exit the body (for example medications, pesticides, hormones, heavy metals, etc!) While OTC allergy drugs can temporarily suppress symptoms, plant medicine goes a step further to address the root cause. This preventative formula strengthens your resistance to pollens before the season even begins, and includes anti-histamine, decongestant, and liver-supporting herbs. Results can vary from a decrease in reactivity to complete relief. HOW TO USE (preventative): Begin use 2-4 weeks before allergy season by taking 1 full squeeze of the dropper bulb (approx. 30 drops) 2-3 times per day. Continue throughout allergy season. HOW TO USE (acute symptoms): Take 2 full squeezes of the dropper (approx. 60 drops) 3-4 times per day. HOW TO USE (kids): Begin use 2-4 weeks before allergy season by taking the weight-appropriate dose 2-3 times per day. For kids 10-30 lbs, one dose equals 5-10 drops. For kids 31-60 lbs, one dose equals 10-20 drops. For kids 61-100 lbs, one dose equals 20-30 drops. For kids 100 lbs and over, use adult dose of 30 drops. FOR BEST RESULTS: Can be combined with Liver Juice and Adrenal Recovery Formula to address underlying liver deficiency and stress-induced histamine release. It is also recommended to consume small amounts of bee pollen (local to your area) and avoid dairy. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. 5. Adrenal Recovery Formula Adrenal Recovery Formula is a blend that I started working on last year when I was faced with the fatigue and burnout that is all too common in our modern world: “adrenal fatigue” also known as HPA axis dysregulation. This is a deep, unrelenting fatigue that does not get better with sleep and makes one extremely sensitive to external and internal stressors. The slightest inconvenience feels like a massive burden as the body has been in “fight or flight” mode for far too long, exhausting its resources and resistance. Circadian rhythm is often disrupted as you have a hard time ‘shutting down’ or getting into parasympathetic relaxation mode which is required for restful sleep and recovery. Anxiety is extremely common as well, since emotions are on overdrive and cortisol is consistently high. This balancing herbal formula is designed to bring life back to those who are overworked, overstressed, and find themselves feeling burnt-out most of the time. It is also helpful for those who haven’t “hit the wall” yet, but live fast-paced, high-stress lifestyles and want to avoid breakdown or burnout. Adrenal Recovery Formula increases the body’s resistance to physical, mental, and environmental stress and helps to defend against conditions brought on by a high-stress lifestyle. Formulated with highly adaptogenic herbs, each plant works synergistically to enable the body to respond more appropriately to stress without exaggerating the response. This prevents overstimulation and allows you to take on challenging tasks with greater ease and pleasure. Things don’t feel as “big” and overwhelming all the time – you can handle the unexpected because the body’s innate response is improving and getting stronger. When taken daily, Adrenal Recovery Formula assists with normalizing stress hormone levels, decreasing over-reactions to stress, restoring energy and vitality, and improving mood and emotional well-being. You may experience a more level-headed, grounded state of being where you’re able to take on your to-do list without feeling powerless due to fatigue. HOW TO USE (adults): Take 1 capsule 1-3 times per day or as directed by your health care practitioner (for example, 2 capsules before breakfast and 1 before lunch). Best taken between meals for complete absorption. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.