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Taking Care of Your Heart During Turbulent Times: Is Your Heart Talking to You?

Taking Care of Your Heart During Turbulent Times: Is Your Heart Talking to You?

by Mikele Ketchem @Canton Olive Branch

Article 7- February 21, 2020

Hello fellow Olive Branch Customers!  Today is February 21, 2020, and it’s a brisk 33 degrees on a sunny day here in Canton, Ohio.  Have you recovered from the holidays?  Were the holidays particularly rough this past year?  With February being national heart month across the country, many of us in the health industry are abuzz in heart health.  Talks and sales of fish oils, antioxidants, anti-anxiety herbals, homeopathy, and many others surface when people come into the Olive Branch.  Stress, anxiety, and depression are common complaints which can bring about varying levels of discomfort with those seeking relief.  Nonetheless, did you know that overwhelming stress, anxiety, and depression have a link to your heart health?  Believe it or not, if you listen closely, your body talks to you on many conscious and subconscious levels to alert you to things you need to be aware of.  In this short article for February, we will discuss how our daily dose of stress, depression, and anxiety can play into the muscle that keeps you alive with every pump: Your heart.

Your Amazing Heart

Here’s some things to ponder about your heart:

  • Contracts about 115,000 times per day;
  • Pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood per day;
  • The heart runs on an electrical cardiac conduction system
  • The human heart weighs just less than 1 pound. However, the male heart weighs just 2 ounces heavier than a woman’s heart.

Some Startling Statistics to Ponder

According to an article in Science Daily, a study of 221,677 participants from Australia, researchers found that:

  • Among women, high/very high psychological distress was associated with a 44% increased risk of stroke; and
  • In men ages 45 to 79, high/very high versus low psychological distress was associated with a 30% increased risk of heart attack, with weaker estimates in those 80 or older

One thing that we can take away from these statistics is that stress is a part of life – we can’t escape it.  The fight-or-flight response is an evolutionary survival mechanism that has been a popular topic in Darwinism since the 1800’s that predicates our survival as a species.  Anyways, that is a total differing topic that won’t be discussed, but is relevant because the fight-or-flight response comes from a part of our brains called the amygdala.  The amygdala is responsible for the regulation of emotions including fear and emotional, arousal, and memory.  When we talk about anxiety and stress in correlation to heart health, the amygdala does play a part.

Positive and Negative Stress

As first stated, we experience stress and anxiety on a daily basis.  Stress in general is not a bad thing, as a little worry and stress is normal – even beneficial. There is even the topic of positive and negative stress.  Positive stress is stress that makes us take positive action to make changes, work harder, get that promotion, run that extra mile, or work that extra shift. However, it’s when anxiety and stress become chronic that can put you at risk for heart issues if they are not corrected early.  Negative stress is when stress becomes chronic and overwhelming that it causes us to not function normally in our daily lives.  This is when the connection of stress to our hearts really starts to open up.

Beyond Normal Stress

What happens when stress and anxiety go beyond normal, and cause us to go into negative stress?  Mental and psychological disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder have a higher prevalence in these situations.  According to Harvard University, chronic negative anxiety changes our hormonal and physiological reactions in conjunction with our adrenal cortex that change how our amygdala functions.  People with anxiety disorders have rollercoaster ups and downs with anxiety that can raise blood pressure and even heart rhythm disturbances.  Even scarier, platelets which are our clotting agents in our blood, become stickier which makes blood more likely to clot increasing the odds of a heart attack occurring.  Beyond this, stress and anxiety can be a precursor to increasing odds to developing heart disease as a whole.

Do You CRP?

One of the sources used for this article from Harvard University has a quiz to see if you may have generalized anxiety disorder.  The purpose of the quiz is not to diagnose you, but to give you an idea if you identify with more than three items on the quiz you should discuss options with a qualified medical professional: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/anxiety-and-heart-disease-a-complex-connection  One thing that sends many individuals to the emergency room daily is the feeling of a heart attack: racing heart, pain in the center of the chest, left arm pain, sweating, and confusion to name a few.  Depending on the individual and the circumstances, the emergency room may run tests to see if you are actually enduring a true heart attack.  A typical inexpensive blood test called a CRP, or c-reactive protein, is a blood indicator that gives an overall global risk assessment of an individual having a future heart attack.

What is CRP?

CRP is the c-reactive protein critical component of the immune system which is a set of proteins that our bodies make when faced with a major infection or trauma.  The CRP level of an individual is related to how much inflammatory proteins are present in the blood that can predict the occurrence of a heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death, and the development of peripheral arterial disease, or PAD.  Need a visual on how CRP and your heart health is measured?  Paul Ridker, MD in his article gives us just that in figure 2 below:

Figure 2. hs-CRP is a stronger predictor of heart attack and stroke than LDL cholesterol. Adapted with permission from Ridker et al (N Engl J Med. 2002;347:1557–1565).5 Copyright © 2002 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

 

I Got My CRP Blood Test.  How Do I Read It?

According to Dr. Ridker: Interpreting CRP results is straightforward (Figure 4). All laboratories should report values in mg/L (milligrams per liter). Levels of CRP less than 1 mg/L are desirable and reflect a low overall cardiovascular risk. Levels of CRP between 1 and 3 mg/L are indicative of moderate risk, while levels of CRP in excess of 3 mg/L suggest quite elevated vascular risk

Figure 4. Clinical interpretation of hs-CRP for cardiovascular risk prediction. Adapted from Yeh and Willerson (Circulation 2003;107:370–372).

My Heart is Ok, but I have Been Diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder.  Maybe Even Heart Disease.  Now What?

So, you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety/depression. Maybe even heart disease or a heart issue  What now?  The important thing to do is not panic, but to educate yourself.  Many professionals recommend talk therapy, medications, exercise, and others to help quell anxiety and depression to keep heart issues at bay.  A cardiologist may also be needed for advanced heart issues that need intricate treatments.  However, if anxiety and depression are at a stage that can be helped without the need of drugs with dangerous side effects, it may be worth your time to look at natural alternatives.  At the Olive Branch, there are numerous anti-anxiety/anti-depression options that have little or no side effects at all such as:

  • Terry Naturally AnxioCalm
  • L-Theanine
  • 5-HTP
  • Valerian
  • Passionflower
  • Our house brand of stress-ease
  • Calm-Advantage
  • Acai – to help lower C-Reactive Protein
  • And others!

Author Final Thoughts

While stress is a part of our daily lives, as well as a survival necessity and a given in life, it is important to recognize when stress/anxiety/depression become too overwhelming and it becomes too hard to function on a daily basis.  One thing I feel many of us feel is ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help due to stigmas on mental health in our society.  Please understand that you are human, and we as humans are emotional beings.  Many anxiety disorders are based on buried emotions that need to be addressed at our core to help us move on with our lives.

By all means, if you feel that you have any symptoms of overwhelming stress, anxiety, or depression, please seek the advice of a doctor and/or a natural doctor to get multiple opinions to ensure that all avenues have been addressed in your heart and mental health. Exercise, a good nutritious diet, quality sleep, meditation, yoga, quality social time, and spiritual time all are good helpers to keep the heart young and ticking well.  Let’s not forget laughter – life’s old heart remedy for a healthy heart. Remember, our emotions and our heart are connected.  Listen to your heart and your emotions.  Take care of your heart!  Remember to take care of yourself, and your heart will take care of you.  God Bless.

 

~In Good Health,

Mikele Ketchem, MBA, COI

@Canton Olive Branch

  

Disclaimer: While we at The Olive Branch do not prescribe, nor recommend going against the advice of any medical professional, we do ask that you educate yourself. It would be helpful to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your doctor to see what works best for you. The best possible outcome for this scenario would be to heal yourself naturally, and get off or avoid side effects from synthetic medications for treatment. There are quite a few treatments that greatly assist and can even help you get off your medications. This article is meant for informational purposes, and is not intended to replace any medical advice from a qualified medical professional.

 

References

Anxiety and Heart Disease: A Complex Connection. (2017, October). Retrieved from health.harvard.edu: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/anxiety-and-heart-disease-a-complex-connection

Anxiety, depression, other mental distress may increase heart attack, stroke risk in adults over 45. (2018, August 28). Retrieved from ScienceDaily.com: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180828085920.htm

Ridker, P. M. (2003, September 23). C-Reactive Protein: A Simple Test to Help Predict Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke. Retrieved from www.ahajournals.org: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.CIR.0000093381.57779.67

Taking Anxiety to Heart. (2018, September 04). Retrieved from https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/news/taking-anxiety-to-heart

Wells, D. (2017, July 06). Fun Facts About the Heart You Didn’t Know. Retrieved from healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/health/fun-facts-about-the-heart#1

 

 

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The Mystery, Magnificence, and Necessity of MSM: A Natural Review

by Mikele Ketchem @Canton Olive Branch

Article 6- January 16, 2020

Happy New Year fellow Olive Branch customers!  Actually, we moved into a new decade at midnight on December 21, 2019.  Did you make any new year resolutions for 2020?  Maybe it’s time to finally lose weight; eat healthier; reduce stress; make more time for the family; make more money; or take control of your health is on your mind.  January is a common month where many people file into the closest gym or fitness center to lose those flabby pounds that were gained over the holiday season.  Many will attempt to work out consistently, but many will find out their joints ache and hurt after a hearty workout, let alone their entire bodies. 

A vital mineral that is commonly sought after for these pains is called MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane.  MSM is not only a Sulfur powerhouse for joints, but also has a long list of other bodily treatments that help with common (and not so common) ailments.  This article will look into the background, the uses, and how it can help you live a more active (and healthy) life.  Grab a cup of cocoa, and let’s learn something new today.

What Exactly is MSM?

Ok, without getting too technical, MSM is short for Methylsulfonylmethane, or in short – a form of Sulfur.  If you have any joint pains and visited a health food store in the past you may have been suggested to take some MSM with glucosamine and chondroitin to help with pain and inflammation.  This popular supplement hasn’t lost its luster, but some formulations over the years have decreased its potency in some situations.  However, as medical science and clinical trials advance, MSM is continually surprising scientists in the numerous ways it acts upon the body besides for joint health.  For example, many customers who come into the Olive Branch with sore muscles and other ailments and I try to explain how MSM affects them in multiple ways.  One of the biggest ways MSM works is through the adrenal cortex system which helps regulate our response to stressors.  Jillian Levy’s article on MSM comments,

“One of the most notable attributes of MSM supplements is that they help accelerate healing and detox the body by improving how chemicals enter and leave our cells.  MSM essentially makes cells more permeable, releasing certain built-up minerals that can cause problems, heavy metals, waste and toxins, while also helping usher in nutrients and water.” (Levy 2019)

MSM has more than just joint pain and inflammation busting properties.  Plus, it has multiple forms that can be found in most health food stores.  These are discussed below.

Types of MSM On the Market

  • Powder form
  • Cream/lotion form
  • Gel form
  • Pill/tablet form
  • Liquid eye form
  • Crystals

The Importance of Sulfur

According to Dr. Mercola’s article on MSM, the importance of Sulfur is understated.  Sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, including metabolism and the sulfonation of hormones, and deficiency appears to play a role in a wide range of health problems and disease including:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism

Sulfur has undergone many trials of safety and effectiveness over the years.  Sulfur is most notably known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to relieve pain.  MSM has been known through the years to be mainly for joints and inflammation, but MSM has more uses in the body than we originally thought.  Sulfur is also necessary to keep the circulatory system and liver healthy.  Read on to learn more about MSM, and how it affects the body.

Benefits of MSM-A Comprehensive List

  • Treats osteoarthritis and joint pain
  • Helps with skin conditions
  • Lowers muscle pain and spams/improves exercise recovery
  • Restores hair, skin, nails growth
  • Helps the body adapt to stress
  • Reduces allergies
  • Excellent detoxifier
  • Helps insulin function
  • Helps uptake of vitamins/minerals/amino acids
  • Superior antioxidant
  • Improves neurological function
  • Immune Booster
  • Cancer fighter

Treats Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain

This is the most common complaint we receive in the store concerning joint health.  MSM helps decrease joint inflammation, improves flexibility, and restores collagen production.  It helps form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons, and ligaments.  Jillian Kubala states, “Studies have shown that MSM significantly reduces inflammation in your body.  It also inhibits the breakdown of cartilage, a flexible tissue that protects the ends of your bones in joints.” (Kubala 2018)

Helps with Digestive Problems / Helps with Autoimmune Conditions

I know for a fact that we get a considerable amount of people that come in with digestive issues that also have an autoimmune condition that is associated.  Any time that you are battling an autoimmune disorder, typically digestive upsets are usually present.  MSM can help with digestive and autoimmune disorders because MSM helps treat leaky gut syndrome as it helps stop particles from leaching out the gut through small junction openings, where they can enter the bloodstream and ignite an inflammatory response.  Jillian Kubala comments, “MSM can help rebuild the lining of the digestive tract and lower inflammatory responses in response to allergic reactions to certain foods.” (Kubala 2018)   It may be worth your time to research the effects of L-Glutamine supplementation to help MSM patch up the leaky gut syndrome to address these issues.

Helps with Skin Conditions

Creams containing MSM for skin conditions helps lower inflammation contributing to rosacea, skin discoloration, allergies, or slow wound healing.  Improved skin tone, reduced redness, and ease of sensitivity are common responses.  It is best to combine these skin products with Vitamins A, C, and E to help build new skin.

Lowers Muscle Pain and Spams/Improves Exercise Recovery

This is another common complaint at the Olive Branch.  Again, anytime you have pain there is inflammation.  MSM acts as a pain reliever while improving range of motion and mobility.  Another cool fact in the working out arena is that MSM helps counteract certain byproducts like lactic acid which is responsible for DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness which gives you pain after working out.  Jillian Levy comments, “A study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, in which it was found that only 10 days of MSM supplementation helped decrease muscle damage via its effect on antioxidant capacity.” (Levy 2019) 

Restores Hair, Skin, Nails Growth

MSM is shown to boost collagen and keratin levels that are needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails.  Especially during the cold winter months.

Helps the Body Adapt to Stress

If you’ve ever heard of adaptogen in a health food store, MSM is one of those.  MSM is an adaptogen supplement that helps control how the body deals with stress.  MSM boosts the ability to heal and bounce back from exercise, stressful events, injuries, and surgeries. 

Reduces Allergies

MSM helps reduce inflammation and decrease the release of cytokines and prostaglandins which helps with managing allergic reactions.  “One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that it can help to reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis, which includes itching, congestion, shortness of breath, sneezing and coughing.” (Levy 2019)

Excellent Detoxifier

Aids in the removal of heavy metal toxicity and cellular waste products.  In addition, the production of glutathione assists the liver in removing waste products from the body. (Patti 2016)

Helps Insulin Function

Bet you didn’t know MSM is excellent for diabetics did you?  Sulfur is needed for proper structure and function of insulin, and is essential in carbohydrate metabolism. (Patti 2016)

Helps Uptake of Vitamins/Minerals/Amino Acids

MSM helps you absorb more of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to give your body more of what it needs to heal and keep you healthy

Superior Antioxidant

MSM (mainly sulfur) aids in the production of glutathione which is a key antioxidant in reducing oxidative stress. (Patti 2016)

Improves Neurological Function

MSM has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier thereby improving cellular function and removing heavy metal toxicity within the brain cells.  Indirectly, it helps improve brain memory function. (Patti 2016)

Immune Booster

Sulfur plays a big role in keeping your immune system running in top shape.  MSM is effective in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation that can weaken immunity. Since it has inflammatory reducing properties it is thought that MSM reduces stress on the immune system.  Increasing the immune system is also supported by the increased production of glutathione. (Patti 2016)

Cancer Fighter

This is a big one.  There has been a huge surge of research involving studies where MSM and its effectiveness in fighting cancer cells.  Jillian Kubala comments, “Several test tube studies have shown that MSM inhibits the growth  of stomach, esophageal, liver, colon, skin, and bladder cancer cells.  It seems to do this by damaging cancer cell DNA and stimulating cancer cell death, or apoptosis.”  (Kubala 2018) There are even studies where MSM has inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells, and appeared to stop metastasis.

Author Final Thoughts

In today’s busy world full of stress, illness, and pain, we look to alternatives to help us bring down inflammation and avoid pain.  There are lots of choices in health food stores that can help alleviate pain and inflammation.  Sure, curcumin, Boswellia, devil’s claw, cat’s claw, and others are suitable choices.  However, the topic of this informational report is how MSM can not only help with pain and inflammation, but with a myriad of other positive bodily aids.  MSM has been given GRAS certification, or generally recognized as safe, to give peace of mind with consumers on overall safety.  With those thoughts in mind, it may be suitable to add MSM to your daily regimen to help give your body a boost from the inside out.  Stop into the Olive Branch today to get more information on how MSM can help you today.

A quote from Jillian Levy in her article sums this report up perfectly on MSM’s overall use and effectiveness:

“One of the most notable attributes of MSM supplements is that they help accelerate healing and detox the body by improving how chemicals enter and leave our cells.  MSM essentially makes cells more permeable, releasing certain built-up minerals that can cause problems, heavy metals, waste and toxins, while also helping usher in nutrients and water.” (Levy 2019)

~In Good Health,

Mikele Ketchem, MBA, COI
[email protected]
@Canton Olive Branch

Disclaimer: While we do not prescribe, nor recommend going against the advice of any medical professional, we do ask that you educate yourself. It would be helpful to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your doctor to see what works best for you. The best possible outcome for this scenario would be to heal yourself naturally, and get off or avoid side effects from synthetic medications for treatment. There are quite a few treatments that greatly assist and can even help you get off your medications. This article is meant for informational purposes, and is not intended to replace any medical advice from a qualified medical professional.

Sources used and cited for this article:

References

Kubala, J. (2018, May 21). 8 Science-Backed Benefits of MSM Supplements. Retrieved from healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/msm-supplements

Levy, J. (2019, September 26). MSM Supplement Improves Joints, Allergies and Gut Health. Retrieved from draxe.com: https://draxe.com/nutrition/msm-supplement/

Mercola, D. (2019, October 14). Health Benefits of MSM — A Powerful Sulfur Donor. Retrieved from www.mercola.com: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/10/14/msm-health-benefits.aspx

Patti, A. (2016, May 28). 10 Benefits of MSM. Retrieved from onalimb.org: https://onalimb.org/2016/05/28/10-benefits-of-msm/

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New Additions to The Olive Branch!

Attention Olive Branch Customers: We’ve Expanded! Yes, our original location at 1105 Whipple Ave has expanded its offerings of refrigerated, frozen, and pet food/supplies to satisfy our diverse customer needs.

Our refrigerated section has a diverse offering of new meatless foods from Field Roast, and Upton’s Naturals such as breakfast sausages, burritos, pizzas, wings, vegan crab cakes, multiple flavors of frankfurters, jackfruit meals, and cheeses.

Our frozen department cooler is literally “full” of new meatless microwave/oven meals, veggie burgers, and side dishes of beef, chicken, and turkey offerings from companies such as Quorn, Field Roast, Dr. Praeger’s, Sweet Earth, and Chao.

Our expanded pet food and supply section is newly expanded to include wet and dry can and bag foods from Tender & True, Wellness Core, and Castor & Pollux Organix to name a few. New chew bones, bully sticks, all-natural rawhides, treats, jerky, arthritis and joint rescue treats by Ark Naturals, Paw Love, Doggy Delirious, “Greenie” breath and tartar control treats for various size pets are included.

Come in to the Olive Branch today, and see all the new products we’ve added to our existing location to better serve our loyal customers.

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An Investigative Look at AHCC: The Mushroom Natural Approach That Helps with Cancer and More

by Mikele K.

Article 5- December 13, 2019

Happy holidays from the Olive Branch! Today is December 13, 2019, and do we have an interesting article for you today. It’s been awhile since our last blog post, and I feel that this topic deserves a post in the archives for our customers. It is important that we are always challenging our minds to learn something new in our busy lives, and it allows us to learn something new to challenge our modes of thought to better our lives. 

Learning Something New

Our last topic that was discussed was based on autoimmune disorders, and this topic will branch off of that to discuss immunity in somewhat detail. In this month’s article, we will touch lightly on the types of immunity, natural methods that assist in raising natural immunity, and a detailed look into a mushroom complex that is gaining popularity in the store as a semi-new product: AHCC.  Can AHCC help you?  Is AHCC right for you?  Grab a cup of coffee, and walk with me as we learn about the immune-positive effects of AHCC.

Background

It’s been kind of a rollercoaster ride of temps here in Canton the last month or so.  I sit here writing this article and think back just a couple days ago we saw snow with cold temps and black ice.  What a nightmare.  Most of us look at the holidays and cold weather with colds, flu, and illnesses that can wreak havoc on our family gathering plans that eventually catch up with us at some point or another.  As most of us stay indoors more, the likelihood of bacteria and viruses being spread is extremely high as it is cold outside, warm inside, and air is not fresh and circulated like it is outside.  The chances of any of us catching anything comes down to our body’s defenses being strong enough to fend off any foreign invaders, but many factors come down to how well our body’s defenses work efficiently:

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Genetics
  • Gut health
  • Environmental factors
  • Sleep
  • And more

Our Immune System…in a Nutshell

Before we go any further, ask yourself a question: How would you rate your overall health?  Good? Average?  Or Poor?  While many of us do everything we can to keep our bodies running at optimal efficiency, our immune systems aren’t perfect.  However, our bodies are quite amazing at keeping invaders away.  For example, did you know that our immune systems are divided into two types of responses?  Yes, our immune responses are as follows:

  1. Innate – is an immediate non-specific attack against an attack – these are comprised of special cells called cytokines, natural killer cells (NK), macrophages, and dendritic cells
  2. Adaptive – takes longer to react, but provides a specific attack against an attack – these are comprised of B and T cells

OK, I promise we won’t get too technical here, so stick with me.  What do those cells mean to me you ask?  Well, your innate and adaptive immunity rests with those types of cells keeping us healthy when an invader presents itself.  For example, this time of year we see a lot of immune boosting products go out the door such as:

  • Sambucus
  • Astragalus
  • Wellness Formula
  • Immuno Well Rx
  • Zinc
  • Oregano
  • Umcka
  • Allibiotic CF
  • Immune Renew
  • Elderberry products

All About AHCC

Finally, we get to the crux of this article: AHCC is another powerful immune boosting product that we will discuss from here on out.  AHCC stands for Active Hexose Correlated Compound, and is extremely powerful in its immune boosting properties.  AHCC supports the immune system by turning up the dial on your natural immune response.  According to an article by ahccresearch.org states that AHCC can modify the innate and adaptive immune system response.  In layman’s terms, AHCC allows us to better fight and withstand the impacts of a virus, bacteria, auto-immune attack, inflammatory response, or other disease such as cancer, hepatitis, or diabetes.  That’s a lot…let that soak in.

AHCCresearch.org comments:

“AHCC has been clinically studied and tested to have positive benefits for people with cancer, diabetes, the flu, HPV, liver ailments, cardiovascular disease, stress, and inflammation.  As an extra benefit, AHCC helps you better withstand the impacts of treatments for many of these debilitating diseases and conditions.”

Diving into AHCC a little more:

  • It’s a functional food rich in alpha-glucans
  • Manufactured in Japan
  • Used around the world
  • Modulates the body’s innate immunity and supports healthy immune function
  • Shown to modulate the immune system by maintaining optimal natural killer cell activity, enhancing cytokine production, promoting T-cell and macrophage activity, and increasing the number ad activity of dendritic cells

So, in essence, AHCC can be used in healthy and people who are battling a multitude of diseases.  In fact, ahccresearch.org also confirms:

“For healthy people, AHCC is useful in health maintenance and in preventing infection by aiding in the normal function of your immune system.  In integrative oncology, research indicates that AHCC may lead to longer post-operative survival, help support patients through chemotherapy, reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and lead to an improvement in quality of life.”

Diving a little deeper with AHCC…stay with me here…

  • AHCC helps with cancer according to the quote above.  AHccresearch.org states that data from 100,000 treated cancer patients with various cancers that AHCC is effective and beneficial in roughly 60% of cases
  • AHCC alleviates the side effects of chemotherapy such as hair loss, nausea, bone marrow suppression, and liver damage
  • AHCC helps with Diabetes as well – in fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, a clinical trial in Japan revealed that 13 patients who took AHCC for 6 months benefited from taking AHCC.

When it comes to AHCC benefits, AHCC has a long list of benefits, but its main arena of attention is in the cancer arena.  For example, Barry Ritz, PhD of the natural medicine journal January edition 2011 is quoted:

“Overall, AHCC has been suggested to enhance prognosis and quality of life in a variety of cancers, as well as to elicit potentially positive changes in cytokine production and lymphocyte populations – most notably increased natural killer (NK) cell activity.  From a clinical standpoint, the application of AHCC supplementation, or any integrative therapy, must be considered in the context of standard medical treatment.”

What’s very interesting about AHCC and cancer is that it increases NK cells, and without getting too technical here, NK cells are crucial in fighting cancer.  Barry Ritz concludes his article in the Natural Medical Journal:

“In summary, the available literature clearly suggests that AHCC is an immune-modulating compound, with consistent effects on NK cell activity when induced by either the presence of an active tumor or a viral infection.”

In conclusion of this article, we have learned a lot about the immune system and how it is increased through natural means.  We have also discussed the topic of the natural mushroom complex AHCC and its various uses on the human body.  It is important to remember that when we are talking about a simple infection, or the topic of cancer, there are many facets of treatment to complement conventional treatments that can be included in your treatment plan. 

The Olive Branch has a full array of immune boosting products in the store that includes:

  • Sambucus
  • Astragalus
  • Wellness Formula
  • Immuno Well Rx
  • Zinc
  • Oregano
  • Umcka
  • Allibiotic CF
  • Immune Renew
  • Elderberry products

The AHCC product that is discussed in this article is in stock at The Olive Branch:

Disclaimer: While we do not prescribe, nor recommend going against the advice of any medical professional, we do ask that you educate yourself. It would be helpful to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your family doctor to see what works best for you. The best possible outcome for this scenario would be to heal yourself naturally, and get off or avoid synthetic medications for treatment. There are quite a few treatments that greatly assist and can even help you get off your medications. This article is meant for entertainment purposes, and is not intended to replace any medical advice from a qualified medical professional.

Come join in on the conversation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CantonOliveBranch/

Sources used for this article:

https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2011-01/active-hexose-correlated-compound-ahcc-and-immune-outcomes-humans-review

https://www.ahccresearch.org/blogs/news/what-are-the-benefits-of-ahcc

Cheetham, M.D., P., & Lifton, D. (2015). The Patient’s Guide to AHCC. Salt lake City: Woodland Publishing.

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Hey Allergy Sufferers: It’s That Season Again!


Weekly Article 4/015/2019
by Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch
Hey Allergy Sufferers: It’s That Season Again!

Greetings Olive Branch Customers! Today is 4/15/2019, and we are in the third week of the second quarter of the year. Are you noticing your allergies kicking up? Do the sounds of mowers, along with the release of pollen from trees and flowers got your sinuses all stuffed up? Have no fear, The Olive Branch has all of your seasonal allergy supplies to help get you through the sneezing, itchy watery eyes, and congestion with vitamins, herbs, and select homeopathy.

What Are Allergies?

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. When someone has allergies, their immune system makes an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies respond to allergens. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction.

What Are the Types of Allergens?

  • Drug (medicine)
  • Food
  • Insects that sting (bee, wasp, fire ant); bite (mosquito, tick); or are household pests (cockroach and dust mite)
  • Latex
  • Mold
  • Pet (dog or cat urine, saliva and dander)
  • Pollen

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?

The most common allergy symptoms can simply make you uncomfortable. For example, you may have watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, a rash or hives. Other more serious symptoms, like trouble breathing and swelling in your mouth or throat, may be a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis (“anna-fih-LACK-sis”).

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?

The most common allergy symptoms can simply make you uncomfortable. For example, you may have watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, a rash or hives. Other more serious symptoms, like trouble breathing and swelling in your mouth or throat, may be a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis (“anna-fih-LACK-sis”).

How Do Doctors Diagnose Allergies?

Doctors diagnose allergies in three steps. They review your personal and medical history. They give you a physical exam. They do tests to identify your allergens.

What Are the Treatments for Allergies?

Good allergy treatment is based on your medical history and the severity of your symptoms. It can include three different treatment strategies: avoidance of allergens, medication options and/or immunotherapy (a treatment to train your immune system not to overreact).

How Can I Prevent an Allergic Reaction?

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid your allergens. It sounds so easy, but you can’t always avoid them. For example, it’s not possible to avoid all outdoor activities if you’re allergic to bees and wasps. But there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being stung and you can carry the medicine you will need if you are stung. It is important to prepare and have an allergy action plan.

Don’t let allergies interfere with your day-to-day activities at home, work or school. You can live a normal life despite having allergies. See your allergist for treatment and guidance. Take steps to avoid your allergens. Keep medicine with you at all times so you can treat an allergic reaction. Use our tips to help you manage your daily life with allergies.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Allergies?

Doctors diagnose allergies in three steps. They review your personal and medical history. They give you a physical exam. They do tests to identify your allergens.

What Are the Treatments for Allergies?

Good allergy treatment is based on your medical history and the severity of your symptoms. It can include three different treatment strategies: avoidance of allergens, medication options and/or immunotherapy (a treatment to train your immune system not to overreact).

How Can I Prevent an Allergic Reaction?

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid your allergens. It sounds so easy, but you can’t always avoid them. For example, it’s not possible to avoid all outdoor activities if you’re allergic to bees and wasps. But there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being stung and you can carry the medicine you will need if you are stung. It is important to prepare and have an allergy action plan.

Don’t let allergies interfere with your day-to-day activities at home, work or school. You can live a normal life despite having allergies. See your allergist for treatment and guidance. Take steps to avoid your allergens. Keep medicine with you at all times so you can treat an allergic reaction.

Wanting to take an alternative approach to keeping seasonal allergies at bay? The Olive Branch offers its suggestions such as:

  • Rootology brand Breathe Free
  • Buried Treasure brand AllerEase
  • NOW brand Quercetin with Bromelain
  • NOW brand MSM
  • Planetary Herbals brand Three Spices Sinus Complex
  • Wild Harvest brand Nettle and Quercetin
  • Umcka Allergy & Sinus
  • XLEAR brand Nasal Spray
  • PURE brand Nasal Mist
  • NOW brand nasal mist
  • SinuOrega
  • Peaceful Mountain brand Nasal Rescue
  • Naturade brand Nasal Spray with Saline and Aloe
  • NaturalCare brand Sinufix
  • Source Naturals brand Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray
  • OregaSpray

The allergy season is starting to pick up at The Olive Branch! Stop in today to talk with one of our knowledgeable team members to help you find the allergy support product to help you get through allergy season. Do you have a testimony or question about an allergy product we have? Ask us!

~In Good Health

~Mikele K.

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Listen up Men: Getting to the Root of Prostate Issues


Weekly Article 4/08/2019
by Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch

Listen up Men: Getting to the Root of Prostate Issues

Greetings Olive Branch Customers! Today is 4/8/2019, and we are in the second week of the second quarter of the year. Time sure is flying isn’t it? We’re not that far from grilling out and summer vacations for Summer 2019. In this week’s article, we will focus on a specific men’s issue that is common in the medical community. Prostate issues with men are not talked about much in the store, and even men are for some odd reason embarrassed to talk about it until it becomes a big issue. Today, we will talk about men’s prostate health, the three prostate issues men encounter in their lives, and what alternatives are out there to assist in the healing of prostate issues.

To begin, this is a topic that is seen frequently in the store weekly, but the number of cases vary. Many men who come in asking or assistance in this area are unaware of what exactly a prostate issue is. Firstly, the prostate is a walnut sized gland that sits below the urethra which produces seminal fluid, and contains a big part of sperm, which makes up the components of semen in men during sexual activity namely ejaculation.

A visual on a normal and enlarged prostate in detail

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s see what the three types of prostate issues men can encounter:

  1. BPH namely known as benign prostatic hyperplasia this is basic prostate enlargement. BPH blocks the flow of urine out of the bladder. This causes uncomfortable urinary symptoms, and can also cause bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems. A condensed list of symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic:
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder
  1. Prostatitis -This is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, and is common, but not always associated with, a bacterial infection. Prostatitis causes painful and/or difficult urination, and can include pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals, and flu-like symptoms. Mayo Clinic states the symptoms of prostatitis can be: Prostatitis signs and symptoms depend on the cause. They can include:
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
  • Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night (nocturia)
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Cloudy urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
  • Pain in the area between the scrotum and rectum (perineum)
  • Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Flu-like signs and symptoms (with bacterial prostatitis)

Now, this is where things get interesting. Stick with me. Most men who come in to the store have no idea what their swollen prostate means, or how to deal with it. Conventional medicine says that many times the prostate will heal itself, while other times an antibiotic is needed for bacterial infections. However, many men do the wait-and-see method to see if they get better before heading to the doctor. Matter of fact, many spouses and significant others notice the signs mentioned above which warrants the trip to the doctor. Alpha blockers are the most commonly used medications for an enlarged prostate in most situations. Common names of alpha blockers are:

  • Flomax
  • Uroxatral
  • Rapaflo

Now, many are asking, So what is the issue? According to AskMD, Well, common side effects of alpha blockers, while they do work, can cause some harsh side effects such as: Side effects may include headaches, drowsiness, weakness, fainting, nasal congestion, and nausea. Other side effects may include frequent urination or loss of bladder control, and a rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat. Alpha blockers can make it dangerous to drive or to operate machinery. The whole point around alpha blockers for prostate issues is to help urine flow more easily. These drugs change the behavior of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. These help relax the muscles in the urinary tract, making it easier to urinate.

As always with any topic we talk about, we do not advise our customers go against the advice of their doctors or health professionals. However, we do ask that you educate yourself on all options that are available for any condition to have a more informed talk with your doctor to come up with the best treatment plan for you or a loved one. Now, if one is looking for alternative options, please consider coming into the Olive Branch store and talk with one of our staff members to see what alternative options that may be a fit for you for prostate health:

  • Saw Palmetto
  • Beta Sitosterol
  • Pygeum
  • stinging nettle

The Olive Branch carries the following products that may be beneficial for men’s prostate health

NOW Prostate Health

The Olive Branch Prostate Support

Pure Essence Prostate Essence

NOW Saw Palmetto Extract

Source Naturals Prosta-Response

Source Naturals Saw Palmetto

Solaray Saw Palmetto/Berries

Solaray Pygeum & Saw Palmetto

NOW Pumpkin Seed Oil

Jarrow Formulas Prostate Optimizer

In summary, at some point in every male’s life they will experience a form of prostate issue that we have discussed. The goal of treatment for prostate issues is to first get a confirmed diagnosis of the actual issue, and then reduce the swelling to bring urinary flow back to normal. Stop in today to talk with one of our knowledgeable team members to see if any of our prostate products would be a good fit for your prostate health needs. Join the discussion on Facebook and our website: theolivebranchnutrition.com to tell us a success story, or if you have any questions about any of our products!

~In Good Health

Mikele K.


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A Closer Look at Diabetes: Natural Approaches That Help with Sugar and More

A Closer Look at Diabetes: Natural Approaches That Help with Sugar and More

by Mikele K.

Article 4 April 1, 2019

Happy April Olive Branch Customers! Today is April 1, 2019, and do we have a sweet article for you today. This week’s article is on another topic we see at the store that many come in looking for alternative ways to treat and manage. Our topic stems from last weeks’ autoimmune disorder talk, and that is Diabetes. In this week’s article, we will touch lightly on the types of diabetes, natural methods that assist in lowering blood sugar, and a detailed look into an herb that is causing quite a stir in the store (and doctor’s offices around the country).

Before we begin, some statistics to let you know where we stand (as a country) with diabetes:

According to the National Institute of Health:

  • Total: An estimated 30.3 million people have diabetes (9.4 percent of the U.S. population)
  • Diagnosed: An estimated 23.1 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes (7.2 percent of the U.S. population)
  • Undiagnosed: An estimated 7.2 million adults, ages 18 years or older are undiagnosed (23.8 percent of people with diabetes)

The results are staggering to say the least. I know on a personal level we are seeing an increase in customers wanting information about lowering blood sugar lately mainly men. A majority of those we speak with are on some sort of glucose management in the form of pills or insulin, depending on severity. Once again, as previously stated in our earlier blogs, many people are misinformed and/or uneducated on how to treat and/or manage their condition. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, let’s educate you on what’s going on with your body!

OK, so you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. There are technically three different types of diabetes:

  1. Type I Is considered an autoimmune disease where the body attacks insulin producing cells of the pancreas. This type is most common with children, and low occurrence in adults. Atypical patient can’t produce insulin, and require lifelong insulin. This type is commonly known as juvenile diabetes.
  2. Type II There is controversy that this type is autoimmune-based, but this is commonly inherited genetically, and through lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyles, and some environmental factors. Typical treatments are diabetic medications, and possibly insulin replacement depending on severity to control blood sugar
  3. Gestational -This type of diabetes occurs with pregnant women; The condition usually disappears once the baby is born; however, a history of gestational diabetes increases a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The condition may be managed through eating a healthy diet, and physical activity, although diabetes medication, including insulin, may also be required to manage blood sugar levels.

Now, this is a condensed listing of the three types of diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is more common as a whole in this country, as well as what is seen in the store, we shall continue and expand our discussion on type 2 diabetes. Treatment of type 2 diabetes usually includes replacing the function of damaged tissues, and possibly steroid therapy to suppress dysfunctional immune cells. While conventional treatment of Diabetes, in essence, does work, but like all synthetic medicines, they carry the potential for side effects both short and long-term. Where do you go from here? Hang tight, there are options.

While we do not prescribe, nor recommend going against the advice of any medical professional, we do ask that you educate yourself. It would be helpful to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your family doctor to see what works best for you. The best possible outcome for this scenario would be to heal yourself naturally, and get off or avoid synthetic medications for treatment. There are quite a few treatments that greatly assist and can even help you get off your diabetic medications. Here are some suggestions from dailyhealthpost.com, as well as our from our team:

  • Cinnamon-Research indicates that powdered cinnamon, about a half teaspoon a day, may help prevent diabetes or reduce blood sugar in adults who have diabetes. One study found that cinnamon helped reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Garcinia Cambogia- According to the American Diabetes Association, Natural weight loss can help lower your blood pressure, improve your blood fat levels and lower blood-glucose levels especially for those who are not in the healthy range. Because Garcinia Cambogia uses natural extracts, it will definitely help shed the excess pounds the natural way
  • NOW SuperCitramax-Super CitriMax is a potent combination of herbal extracts rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA), naturally derived from the Garcinia cambogia fruit in India and designed to help support a healthy body weight and proper glucose management.
  • Berberine discussed further in this article
  • gymnema Sylvestre makes sugar taste bitter so you limit your food cravings
  • flax seed-How does flax help control blood sugars? Flaxseeds may improve insulin sensitivity in glucose intolerant people. After 12 weeks of flax, researchers found a small but significant drop in insulin resistance, perhaps related to the drop in oxidant stress due to the antioxidant qualities of flaxseeds. Studies show a tablespoon of daily ground flax seeds for a month appears to improve fasting blood sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c levels in diabetics was a non-blinded, non-randomized small study.
  • l-arginine-L-Arginine has long been recommended as part of the nutritional treatment of diabetes alongside medication. L-Arginine increases the rate of release of insulin from the pancreas, improving diabetics tolerance of sugar. The dangers that stem from diabetes are side effects of having a high blood sugar level
  • chard-Swiss chard nutrition is especially well known for having special chemical properties that make it extremely useful for preventing and treating diabetes. Swiss chard helps the blood sugar-regulating system within the body by helping to regulate activity of the enzyme called alpha-glucosidase, aiding in the slow release of glucose (sugar) into the blood stream
  • corn silk- Corn silk has been used like a folk remedy for diabetes in China for hundreds of years. Corn silk extract has become used as a treatment for diabetes worldwide and it is no longer just a folk remedy
  • genistein -A number of health benefits are attributed to isoflavones and recent evidence indicates a potential for genistein as a preventative and therapeutic treatment for patients with IR and diabetes. Following dietary supplementation, concentrations of circulating genistein may reach as high as 7 µM in humans and rodents, suggesting that many of the studies conducted with genistein in both cell culture and animal models have physiological relevance.
  • nigella sativa – The black cumin seed of Nigella sativa contains a high level of essential oils, which is why black seed oil has immense medicinal healing power, especially when dealing with diabetes. Research suggests this is due to the high levels of antioxidant activity that is found in black seed, which helps to protect the pancreatic cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. This makes black seed oil one of the best alternative treatments for people who suffer from diabetes (according to Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology, 2009).
  • stevia -stevia sweetener is attractive as a sugar substitute that does not cause an adverse affect on blood glucose levels. Even more encouraging for the stevia and diabetes link, stevia has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. Meaning, it may reduce insulin resistance, helping the cells use insulin.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric has anti-inflammatory property that helps in suppressing inflammation caused due to diabetes.
  • Turmeric serves as an antioxidant and helps to reduce oxidative stress observed in diabetes.
  • Turmeric lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Turmeric can repair pancreas cells and benefit in type 1 diabetes.
  • It can reverse prediabetes
  • a healthy diet reducing sugar and carbs, along with a rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps with weight loss and keeping sugar levels in check
  • exercise walking just 20 minutes each day has significant effects on the body. Seek out a fitness trainer for more info.
  • quality regular sleep strive for 7-8 hours each night

Of all the suggestions mentioned above, we will finish the article out by discussing the herb berberine for the treatment of high blood sugar associated with diabetes. With diabetes being a metabolic disorder, a multi-faceted approach is needed. Diabetes is characterized with inflammation (the source of many diseases) and should be treated as such to bring the inflammation down. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid compound found in several different plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.

Berberine has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties. It’s effective against a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. It can be used topically on cuts and other wounds, and it’s perhaps most commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including traveler’s diarrhea and that from food poisoning.

However, what newer research is uncovering (and what traditional medicine has likely known for centuries) is that the benefits of berberine extend far beyond its antimicrobial properties. As reported in the Natural Medicine Journal:

“In recent years, the botanical extract berberine has been pushed from relative obscurity to front and center on our supplement shelves due to newly published research. Over a third of the approximately 2,800 studies on berberine listed on PubMed were published in the last 5 years. These studies reveal that berberine may have clinical applications in a range of conditions.”

Dr. Mercola also states: One of the most celebrated studies on berberine compared taking 500 milligrams (mg) of the compound two to three times daily for three months with the diabetes drug metformin. Berberine was able to control blood sugar and lipid metabolism as effectively as metformin, with researchers describing berberine as a “potent oral hypoglycemic agent.” A separate meta-analysis also revealed “berberine has comparable therapeutic effect on type 2 DM [diabetes mellitus], hyperlipidemia and hypertension with no serious side effect.”

On top of the blood sugar lowering effects, an article in the Natural Medicine Journal by author Jacob Schor ND, FABNO, as well as Dr. Mercola, berberine is also effective in treating:

  • reduces inflammation
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • lowers cholesterol
  • lowers triglycerides
  • reduces oxidative stress in the kidneys
  • cancer* (in review by scientific community for validation)
  • metabolic syndrome

In summary, type 2 diabetes is a controversial blood sugar disease based on an autoimmune disorder theory that stems from inflammation dealing with the pancreas’s inability to regulate sugar properly via metabolic syndrome and other factors. While conventional medicine is traditionally prescribed, some may wish to approach this disorder naturally. Out of many natural therapies, berberine has shown promise to reduce blood sugar levels, as well as other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome and/or diabetes. The Olive Branch carries different versions of berberine, on top of other blood sugar lowering herbs mentioned in this article. We also have educational literature to help educate yourself on diabetes, as well as berberine, to help manage your diabetes/blood sugar. If you have any questions, please stop in and talk with one of our team members to see if berberine would be a good addition to your blood sugar management regimen today.

Sources For Your Convenience:

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/diabetes-types

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/22/berberine-benefits.aspx

https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2012-12/clinical-applications-berberine

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/diabetes-statistics

~In Good Health

Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch

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The Treatment of Auto Immune Disorders: Are There Natural Remedies for Treatment?

Weekly Article 3/25/2019
by Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch

The Treatment of Auto Immune Disorders: Are There Natural Remedies for Treatment?

Good day Olive Branch customers! We are in Spring 2019, and the days are beginning to have more sunshine in them! The days of mowing lawns, spring concerts, BBQ’s, hot weather, and bonfires are upon us.

This week’s topic is a frequent occurrence that is seen in the store on a daily basis, and that is the topic of an autoimmune disorder and how somebody could treat it naturally. It can be a scary ordeal to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, but rest assured that there is a lot of information out there among ways to treat them naturally. Information truly is power in these days when attempting to treat autoimmune disorders. If you were to come into the store and talk to me, among our other helpful members, this is what we will discuss to help you better understand what you are up against.

First off, most customers come in stating they have been freshly diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. If a customer hasn’t been freshly diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, it is highly recommended to have a qualified medical professional accurately test and diagnose properly. I’ve seen customers who Google diagnose themselves, and that is typically not a good idea to do, let alone can be hazardous in the long run if something is critically wrong. If you are freshly diagnosed, we will move on.

One thing I notice is many customers do not understand what exactly an autoimmune condition actually is. Throughout this article, I will reference a peer-reviewed journal that you can directly link to do your own research and see factual references based on medical science here:

https://www.intechopen.com/…/probiotics-applications-in-aut….

In my multiple author peer-reviewed journal (Al-Salami, Calcetta, Golocorgin-Kon, and Mikov), the authors state that an autoimmune disorder is where the body mistakenly attacks its own body cells via antibody production. This process thereby increases inflammation and are seen commonly through metabolic disorders/disturbances/and imbalances. Some common autoimmune disorders are:

diabetes
Rheumatoid arthritis
Grave’s disease
Lupus
Multiple Sclerosis
IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and
Crohn’s disease

According to research, genetics plays a 30% prevalence, while an overwhelming 70% prevalence of autoimmune disorders come from environmental factors such as lifestyle and the food we consume. 6-8% of the population at a given time suffers from these conditions. Interestingly enough, research suggests that the root of the majority of autoimmune disorders originates from gastrointestinal abnormalities directly linked to initiation and progression of autoimmune disorders in the form of slower gut movement and microfloral overgrowth such as candida and yeasts.

So, we know the origins and what exactly an autoimmune disorder is, but how are they treated? In a traditional medical setting these are treated two ways:
1. replacing function of damaged tissues (ie. Give insulin for diabetes)
2. steroid therapy to suppress dysfunctional immune cells

While these conventional therapies do work, the side effects associated with these treatments causes a lot of discomfort and issues down the road. This is the reason why many look to the alternatives to help correct their autoimmune disorder.

Now, for those who are looking to help naturally heal their autoimmune conditions, consider this train of thought…the article states that the majority of autoimmune disorders originate from gastrointestinal abnormalities. There is a condition that is called leaky gut syndrome that deserves attention here. Leaky gut syndrome is recognized as a phenomenon that occurs within the intestinal tract where the epithelium tissue’s tight junctions open slightly, allowing undigested food particles and potential bacteria (endotoxin) to make its way into the bloodstream. These compounds are typically only found in the gut, so our immune system goes on high alert when it starts seeing new and unusual things.

In layman’s terms, in leaky gut we have holes in our gastrointestinal lining that allows things to pass back and forth into our blood. The immune response to this is linked to the formation and progression of autoimmune conditions.

At this point, most people ask me, “What can I do at this point?” Here are some considerations to ponder in natural remedies for autoimmune conditions:

1. Probiotics probiotics are good beneficial bacteria that are added to our digestive systems to repopulate and correct any candida or yeast overgrowth to put the system back into balance. According to our article authors, probiotics are dietary supplements containing bacteria which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Combinations of different bacterial strains can be used but a mixture of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria is a common choice. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in a wide range of conditions including infections, allergies, metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
2. Aloe- aloe has many uses, but it regulates metabolism and decreases inflammation in the digestive track
3. Food enzymes by properly breaking down your food you take away more nutrition and nutrients to give your body the fuel it needs for bodily processes and immune health
4. L-Glutamine- L-Glutamine is an amino acid that basically patches up the holes in the colon to keep leaky gut in its place so the immune system doesn’t start its attack on the body through recognition of a potential foreign invader
5. MSM aka Methylsulfonylmethane, This naturally occurring sulfur is found in all vertebrates – although the extent of its importance still has yet to be explored. It can be obtained through a variety of food sources in small amounts, but occurs higher in [raw] nutritionally-dense foods such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage as well as dairy products and certain cuts of meat. A heavy duty anti-inflammatory for many conditions where inflammation is causing issues
6. Look into doing a heavy metal cleanse
7. Fish Oil
8. Increase Vitamin C
9. Increase Vitamin D
10. Consider eating a more alkaline diet to help ease inflammation

We have talked about a lot concerning autoimmune disorders and how to treat them naturally. There are a lot of options to help in treating these naturally, but do remember that every is different and some things may or may not work for you. It’s a trial-and-error situation for each person who is going the natural route. If you need additional help, please stop in and talk with one of our members to see what could help you today.

~In Good Health
Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch

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The Importance of Mental Health

Weekly Blog #1

The Importance of Mental Health: How Anxiety, Stress, Tension and Lack of Sleep Affect Us

We’ve all been there. Many are there now. The winter months are hard on some people-especially the holidays. The holidays are behind us, but sometimes the effects can be everlasting for some. The effects of trying to make ends meet, eat right, take care of a family, work, and maintain relationships take their toll on us in many different ways. Multiple aspects of stress and anxiety are unavoidable in everyday life, and some stress is good for us. Stress (good) can push us to achieve goals, and get through stressful situations. However, what happens when stress and anxiety take over our lives? Mental health for men and women is no different between the two, but both have slight differences in how they manage their symptoms. For example…The top ten stressors in life are as follows:

Death of a spouse (or child*): 100

  1. Divorce: 73
  2. Marital separation: 65
  3. Imprisonment: 63
  4. Death of a close family member: 63
  5. Personal injury or illness: 53
  6. Marriage: 50
  7. Dismissal from work: 47
  8. Marital reconciliation: 45
  9. Retirement: 45

So, looking at the list above, we can see that death (in any form close to you) and separation from a loved one top the list. Seems losing ones we love is one of the hardest, along with loved ones walking away from us can push us to our limits which can push some into breaking points. It is important to monitor our own mental health, but the mental status of our loved ones as well which can take the form of anxiety and depression. How do we spot anxiety and depression in ourselves or loved ones? Here is some good information to consider:

If you ask someone to name two common mental health problems, chances are they will think of anxiety and depression. Despite the fact that they are commonly referenced in conversation, people still struggle sometimes to determine the difference between these two conditions. This is because many people with anxiety also develop depression and vice versa. Roughly 50% of people diagnosed with depression with also be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. However, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to treat the correct conditions.

Many people with depression may experience what is known as anxious distress in addition to their low mood. People with anxious distress often feel tense, restless, and have trouble concentrating because they worry so much. They are deeply afraid that something bad is going to happen or that they might lose control of themselves. People who experience anxious distress with depression may be at higher risk for suicide or need more intensive treatment, so it is important to identify these symptoms along with the depression.

Above all, it’s important to remember to let a doctor or mental health professional evaluate you to see if your symptoms meet the criteria for a depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of Major Depression

  • depressed mood
  • lack of interest in enjoyable activities
  • increase or decrease in appetite
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • slowing of movement
  • lack of energy
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • trouble concentrating
  • suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • excessive worry
  • restlessness
  • being easily fatigued
  • trouble concentrating
  • irritability
  • sleep disturbance
  • muscle tension.

It is important to know the difference between depression and anxiety. There are two main points to make here. First, our customers and their health are vital to us. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Please know that if anybody you see close or not is considering suicide or has intentions thereof, please please please contact your local suicide prevention hotline to save a life. Second, the list of depression and anxiety symptoms are generalized and beyond the scope of this article, and there are other conditions that can mimic anxiety and depression which need to be ruled out by a qualified physician to ensure quality life. However, if you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and/or depression, don’t fret there are options.

The typical recommendation of health professionals for patients with anxiety and depression are anxiolytics and antidepressants. Both of these come with side effects that can be troublesome. Many are unable to function due to sedation effects of such drugs. If you are looking for an alternative to these drugs read on. A viable option for many with stress and anxiety should consider stopping into the Olive Branch and sitting down with one of our members who can help you find alternatives to help you effectively manage your stress and anxiety. Second, consider looking into adding these into your supplement regimen:

  • B vitamins
  • L- Theanine
  • 5-HTP
  • Ashwaganda
  • Terry Naturally AnxioCalm (non-sedating)
  • adrenal support herbs

Also consider:

  • eat a balanced nutritious diet
  • get plenty of quality sleep
  • exercise
  • get plenty of vitamins and minerals
  • seek out the advice of a therapist/counselor when needed

A little about Terry Naturally AnxioCalm:

AnxioCalm is clinically studied to quiet your nerves and relieve your occasional anxiety without drowsiness!

It’s the safe and effective way to help relieve

  • Occasional anxiety and nervousness
  • Everyday stresses
  • Excessive worry
  • excessive sweating
  • upset stomach
  • muscle tension
  • insecurity
  • occasional restless sleep


AnxioCalm is perfect for everyday use, or occasionally when you need extra support. It provides relief when you need it, without drowsiness or mental fogginess.

In summary, life is tough. Stress in small amounts can be helpful, but in the long term stress can wreak havoc on our lives. Knowing what to look for, getting a proper diagnosis, and having an action plan are crucial. The key is being informed about all of your options for treatment. Stop in today and talk to us to see if Terry Naturally AnxioCalm, or the other supplements mentioned could help you get back on track mentally.

Do you have a testimonial about your stress journey with one of our stress-relieving products? Have a story you want to share? Let us know below!

~In Good Health

by Mikele K. @ The Olive Branch