Natural Beauty Rituals for Spring By Aisling Badger, March 14, 2017

Spring is approaching and it is the perfect time to renew and refresh our best and most beautiful selves. Our beauty rituals and routines offer a luxurious moment of calm, self-love and appreciation. What we use to nourish ourselves internally has as much of an impact as what we use externally. What we eat, where we live, and how we feed our body and soul all play a significant role in how we outwardly represent ourselves. No beauty products can replace how you are feeling on the inside. It shows on the outside when we feel good physically and mentally. Happiness and self-love are beautiful.

Tending to the Internal Garden: What you put on your skin matters, but it’s more important to pay attention to what you are putting in your body. The age old saying, “beauty starts from within” is true in many ways.

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What you put into your body will also determine the health of your skin, hair, and overall physical being. It can be helpful to seek out the advice of a skilled herbalist or do research on your constitution, because often our constitution is optimally paired with specific foods or energetic qualities of plants, and this knowledge can help you work with imbalances. Gaining insight into our individual internal garden allows us to understand better what foods, plants and ingredients work best for us.

Whole foods rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins support your hair and skin. So load your plate with whole grains, leafy greens, root vegetables, berries, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, superfoods like raw cacao, turmeric, maca, and green superfoods like spirulina.

spring rituals nutrient rich tea

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Apple Cider Vinegar Bitters: New England Practicality, European Wisdom By Guido Masé, November 25, 2016

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Doctor Jarvis, who studied medicine in our hometown of Burlington, Vermont, was perhaps the epitome of the New England country doctor. He worked during the first half of the 1900s, helping countless patients, visiting homes of friends and neighbors, and relying on strategies that supported and nourished – the same tonic approach we favor today. But he is perhaps best known for popularizing the use of apple cider vinegar, recommending its use for a range of complaints. We may owe the recent popularity of switchel, fire cider, shrubs and other infused vinegars to the old country doctor. His popular remedy makes sense: New England is rich in apples, and every fall, pressed and fermented into cider, he had access to endless quantities of raw, natural vinegar. Ever practical, Dr. Jarvis realized that this abundant natural product (already popular with old-time Vermonters) could provide a range of health benefits.

Some of the classic uses for apple cider vinegar include improving digestion, especially the occasional bout of heartburn, and helping to keep healthy blood sugar levels stable. This seemed to us to provide a perfect match for the traditional European digestive bitters, another classic digestive and metabolic remedy. Furthermore, since apple cider vinegar’s fermentation process converts alcohol into acetic acid, steeping the right herbs and roots in vinegar provides a way to enjoy all the benefits of bitters in a preparation made without alcohol.

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We wanted to rely on the time-honored bitter roots that serve as the foundation of our original formula, so we started with burdock and dandelion […]

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Traditions and the Importance of Bitterness at our Table By Aisling Badger, November 20, 2016

Digestive Bitters and Bitter Foods

Abundant food, merriment, drinking and celebration are upon us: the holidays.  Enter the phase of the year where it is hard to say no to the daily treat left in the office break room, or the warm comforting smell of pie in the oven, the endless family feasts and time spent with loved ones. It is a time that we look forward to all year and however you celebrate, it is safe to say that feasting, eating, drinking and desserting are at an all-time high.

The holidays are known as the season of indulgence, and we should allow ourselves to partake in the merriment of eating together, because who wants to lose out on that?

Think about how much time goes into preparing a holiday meal–the chosen company, the aesthetic, the recipes and the traditions around them, the all too common feeling of overeating, and rightfully so!  This time of year should be enjoyed and we should feel well doing it.

Great health is about balance.  Body shaming and restricting food habits can dampen our mood and make the experiences less enjoyable, but there are ways to improve our health around the holidays, and thankfully they are easy habits that support these joyous traditions.

Among the best known herbal remedies used at this time of feasting are bitters. In our current food culture we have an overwhelming load of sugar, salt […]

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Science Update: Bitter Taste Effects On The Airway By Guido Masé, November 18, 2016

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Ever since discovering that bitter taste receptors are found in the airways1, we have been following this emerging area with an eye to how and why this is happening. Some of the initial research focused on cells that line our lung passages: these cells are covered in fine, small “hairs” called cilia which help to capture and eliminate harmful substances by constantly beating and pushing material up and out of the bronchial system. Scientists looked for genes in those cells that might have instructions for cell-surface receptors, to see if they were able to sense anything, and to their surprise discovered that these cilia-bearing lung cells had bitter taste receptors on their outside surface.

This in-and-of-itself was quite interesting, but what really surprised researchers a few years later was the discovery that, when stimulated, the bitter taste receptors in the lungs led to relaxation in airway smooth muscles, helping to keep lung passages open2. The apparent mechanism involves the cilia-bearing cells releasing a calcium-based signal into the local circulation which hyperpolarized the smooth muscle cells, making it harder for them to contract. Net result: dilation of the air passages.

It is becoming increasingly clear that our respiratory passages, from the nose to the lungs, are loaded with bitter taste receptors. Robert Lee and Noam Cohen at UPenn, for example, are researching bitter taste receptors […]

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