by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
I think the issue was that I had too much coffee. That is pretty hard to do, but when combined with a day of talking with people at a convention, as an introvert I definitely overextended myself. As I stood at my booth nodding as a woman told me the terrible story of how she found an abandoned puppy in a trash bag, trying to find the right combination of sympathy and active listening facial expressions, the conversation weighed on me and I felt dizzy and claustrophobic. It is a common feeling for me when someone I don't know well is talking and I don't know if the conversation will be easy to get out of. My social anxiety always keeps me thinking three sentences ahead, worrying that I time my reactions too soon or too late, make my voice or expressions too strong or not strong enough to express them properly. As the day went on, I tried everything I could think of to get my nerves to calm down - I hid in the bathroom for twenty minutes, I made sure I ate, I tried to breathe and take a walk. Nothing helped. My nerves were still raw. I would be speaking on the main stage, but I minded that much less than one-on-one conversations, so I knew it wasn't nerves. I was just tired and overcaffeinated.
Desperately wishing I had brought some sort of anti-anxiety medication with me, I looked across the room and saw a booth heavy-laden with crystals. While other people in my social circles swore by their healing properties, it was not something that resonated with my often over-analytical mind. But at this point, I would try anything.
I wandered over and asked the man tending the booth if he had anything for anxiety. He asked what kind, and when I told him it was social anxiety, he nodded, and much like I do when someone tells me their dog struggled with arthritis, his hand seemed to itch to rush to a solution he had explained hundreds of times before. He led me around to the edge of the booth and handed me a piece of black tourmaline.
The effect was immediate. The weight of the large piece felt solid in my hand, grounding and secure. My arm almost felt like it was vibrating, warming, and the tension that had been in my chest all day long making it difficult to concentrate began to ease. It didn't disappear, but it felt like healing balm was being applied to my raw insides and that it would be over soon. I bought the large crystal on the spot and clung to it until I finally felt like I was myself again. I don't like believing in anything I don't understand, but sometimes comprehension can take a back seat to experience. If you find something that works, you don't need a thousand scientific studies to validate your personal experience. Just knowing it helps can be enough.
by Aspen Anderson
We are all familiar with the idea of craving something sweet or salty. But do you ever crave something bitter? While bitters may not currently be on your cravings list, your body is wise and will start to hunger after the benefits of bitters over time. All three of these flavors have evolved into descriptions of feelings and personality traits. Being “sweet” is a good thing. Observing that someone is “salty” refers to sass, irritation, and even a foul mouth, but is still an upbeat term used humorously. “Bitter,” on the other hand, is a negative word to describe a level of nastiness no one wants to be around! While you may not want to be bitter emotionally, from a digestive perspective, bitter foods are where it’s at! If you are not accustomed to bitters, you should be. Here are the reasons bitters should be your go-to flavor.
Dietary Wellness Assistant - Bitters assist your body in making healthier food choices overall. Bitters help to curb cravings while stimulating an appetite for nutritious foods.
Nutrient Rich - Bitters are usually those dark leafy greens that are too often misunderstood at the grocery store, or they can be found amongst the weeds you are constantly battling in your yard. Regardless of where you find them, it would be sensible to take the time to look them over at the store and research how to prepare them. Or turn some of your weed patches into fresh produce at no cost! In doing so, you will load your body with oodles of potent nutrients that are both highly nutritious and protective for your cells.
Tastebud Sidekick - Bitters jump into action the second you put them in your mouth, waking up taste buds and kicking them into hyperdrive. Due to their biting flavor, chewing bitters helps activate the brain to start releasing digestive chemicals and notifying the digestive players in the body. They help stimulate enzymes in the saliva that alert the digestive system to start creating bile. Taking bitters in capsule form would, of course, override this action, but are still beneficial.
Digestive Companion - Bitters are your best friend when it comes to the digestive process. Amongst some of the supportive actions instigated by bitters are the ability to encourage certain organs such as the stomach, pancreas, and liver to effectively produce crucial digestive enzymes, support smooth muscle function, enhance digestion time, fight negative digestive responses, and help support healthy digestive tissue over time.
Healthy Organ Advocate - Your organs benefit greatly from bitters. Bitters support a healthy pancreas, normal blood sugar balance and a healthy bloodstream. They gently nourish the liver and support liver function and detoxification.
These are just some of the benefits of adding bitters to your diet. Bitter extracts go great in cocktails, too, and a big push culturally for bitters has been driven by creative bar concoctions (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as well creative culinary recipes that include bitters in soups, salads, pies, and ice cream! Overall, bitters benefit your body and support health and wellness in ways no other food or supplement can.
by Brittini Gehring, MH
People across America are mystifying their neighbors, as they discover the strange and wonderful joys of buying local produce. With a well-stocked supermarket on nearly every corner, why would people drive for miles and line up early on a Saturday morning to pay higher prices for vegetables by visiting a local farm stand, co-op, or farmer's market? If you don't know, you haven't tried it yet. But here are my top reasons.
1. Know your food. There is great comfort in buying your food right at the source. Want to know whether your produce has been organically grown? Would you rather look for a sticker, or personally ask the family that grew it?
2. More and better varieties. Supermarkets typically carry only one or two varieties of tomatoes, potatoes, onions, apples, and pears; a few kinds of lettuce; and usually only one or two other kinds of produce. But local farmers may be trying out a wide variety of different strains, including unique and flavorful heirloom varieties, that you may never see in a supermarket.
3. Field ripened and preservative-free. Supermarket produce is often picked well before it is ripe, then coated with wax or other preservatives to slow ripening while it is transported, and stored until it is finally ripe enough for sale. Warehouse ripened produce can't hope to compare in flavor or nutrition to produce that has ripened in a sunny field until nearly bursting with goodness.
4. Earth-friendly. Supermarket produce may travel for thousands of miles to its destination, using expensive and often non-renewable resources for processing, refrigeration, transportation, packaging, display, and lighting.
5. Support your local economy. Almost all of the money spent in your local farmer's market stays around to help and support your neighbors, rather than taking a side trip through some multi-national corporation on the other end of the country or world. And it encourages more of the same, helping to preserve the diversity and health of our mutual food supply.
by Matt Warnock
1 C. Borax
1 C. Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha or Equivalent Castille Soap, shredded or ground
1 C. OxyClean
30-40 drops of your favorite Essential Oils
Use a cheese grater or food processor to grind down your bar soap. Mix all ingredients, except essential oils, until well combined. Add in essential oils and mix again. Use 1 - 2 TBSP's for high-efficiency washers or 2 - 4 TBSP's for regular washers.
by RidgeCrest Herbals
by RidgeCrest Herbals
by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
by RidgeCrest Herbals
Any live plant is a chemical factory. Green plants grow by chemical processes, using sunlight for energy, and taking water, carbon, and mineral elements from the soil, and turning carbon dioxide into free oxygen. A lot of this chemical energy is used in building glucose molecules, the simple sugars that are the fundamental building blocks for cellulose, the material that makes up the rigid cell walls of plants. Cellulose is common to many plants, and may make up about a third of all plant matter, while other chemicals are unique to a particular family of plants, like citrus, or even unique to a single species, like tangerine. When using herbs as medicine, it is these combinations of unique chemicals that we rely on for their therapeutic effects. We don't rely on the water or the cellulose, both of which we get in large amounts in our regular diet. But as important as cellulose is to digestive health, it is these other unique compounds that deliver the goods in herbal medicine.
Traditionally, herbs were used fresh where possible, and that is still the best way to use them. But it isn't very convenient. Many herbs can only be grown in a particular environment, and if you live outside that environment, then growing isn't really an option for you. Fresh herbs are often seasonal as well, so you can't get them year-round. Fresh herbs will wilt unless used very quickly, and if not properly managed, they can even spoil and make you sick. For most people, anything more than a small pot of fresh chives, parsley and/or basil in a windowsill is really more herb farming than they really want to take on.
Dried herbs are much easier to transport, store and use, and when dried properly, are very nearly as potent as fresh herbs. Dried herbs have been used for thousands of years, so their characteristics are very well-known. Dried herbs can be stored for many years if kept out of sunlight, cool, and dry, especially in an airtight container. Dried herbs are generally cut and sifted, milled or powdered before use so they can be sprinkled on food or used in teas, tablets, or capsules. Once powdered, it is more difficult (but not impossible) to assess the quality of the original herb, and crooked vendors may try to pad their wallets by diluting expensive herbs with inexpensive powders like cellulose or maltodextrin. When buying any powdered herb, stick to well-known and reputable suppliers, and do your homework. Sometimes even reputable and knowledgeable suppliers have been known to fall for this old trick. Many herbs contain chemicals that are not very soluble in water, but are more soluble in alcohol, oil, or other liquids, so many other fluids have been used for extraction. More recently, “supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) has used gases like carbon dioxide to extract chemicals at high pressures but lower temperatures and at faster speeds than conventional methods. One of the difficulties with extraction is that there is no standardized extraction process. For example, a “4:1” herbal extract supposedly means that 4 kilograms of input herbal material were used for every 1 kilogram of extract produced. But small changes in the inputs or the process can produce huge changes in the extract. For example, if you boil a cup of tea or coffee too long, use more or less water, or use a different bean or leaf, you will get a very different result. By the same token, the quality of herbs and the process of extraction is likely to differ dramatically from one manufacturer to another. One manufacturer may use only the medicinal root, while another uses the whole plant to save money. One may use water alone, while another uses water and alcohol.
One may steep the herb for a day while another gives it a week. One may dry the extract onto maltodextrin, while the other dries it on unextracted herb. Rarely if ever does the 4:1 designation mean you can use 1⁄4 of the amount of the extract and get the same result, but it is very common for a 4:1 extract to sell for 10 times the price of the herb from which it was made. Extracts in most cases just don't seem to add value. Standardized extracts are not much better. They are typically “standardized” only for one certain “marker compound”. For example, a hot pepper extract may be standardized for capsaicin, while a black pepper extract might be standardized for piperine. In cultivation, hot peppers can vary from 0% up to about 6% capsaicin, and black pepper runs 38% piperine. Suppose the extract is standardized for 4% in both cases. A batch that tests higher than the specification can be diluted, and one that tests low can be spiked with the pure capsaicin or piperine to bring it up to specification. In either event, there is no specification or standard regarding the input material, what extraction process was used, or what other compounds make up the result. In practice, standardized extracts are not nearly as “standardized” as they sound.
by Matt Warnock
When I read through the long list of subject ideas, I have to admit that this one jumped out at me, as if to say: “This is important; you need to find out more about it, and, perhaps, find ways to become better at it.” It has been my privilege to research this subject, mostly for selfish reasons, because I know, deep down, that I have shied away from it for much too long, and have been in denial about its importance. Ever since my elementary school days, I have been a teaser and a jokester, hopefully not to the point of being abusive, but certainly not a model of kindness or empathy.
At the outset, I want us to agree on one thing: this is, undeniably, an important area of concern. If you’re not convinced about that, consider the following quote by Elwood P. Dowd (played by Jimmy Stewart) in the 1950 classic film, Harvey: “Years ago my mother used to say to me…. ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be Oh-so-smart or Oh-so-pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart --- I recommend being pleasant. You may quote me.”
Another reason that, for me, is compelling, is that, after many years of observation, I have come to believe in what is known as the “Law of the Circle”, which, basically goes something like this:
Whatever you send out will come back to you, sometimes magnified, or in greater proportions.
How do we honor feelings, whether they be our own or those of another person? Although it is, by no means, all inclusive, following is a list of suggestions that I have gathered:
1) Practice listening
2) Show interest in other people
3) Look for the good in everything
4) When you point a finger at someone, notice the other 3 (on your own hand) pointing back at you.
5) Don’t sweat the small stuff (Newsflash: it’s all small stuff)
6) Show reverence for all of God’s creations
7) Don’t let complaints turn into criticisms, i.e., don’t make it personal. Separate the sin from the sinner.
8) Listen to and share good music; avoid music or any other “entertainment” that is not uplifting.
9) Avoid profanity, and any other derogatory or belittling language.
10) Look for anything around you that is worthy of a compliment, and spend that extra time to give it.
11) Avoid negativity in all its forms.
12) Try to settle conflicts while they are small, thru understanding and talking it out.
13) Treat others with respect; give them the benefit of the doubt.
14) Avoid the urge to be sarcastic or hurtful.
15) Don’t be defensive; admit mistakes; learn to laugh at yourself.
16) Be reasonable in the time it takes you to respond to others’ questions, requests, concerns.
17) Watch what you eat and drink, and get an adequate amount of sleep.
Cavett Robert, one of my favorite motivational speakers, quoting Will Rogers, said this:“The Bible says, ‘Love your enemies’, but, just for practice, why not try it out on your friends?” The key to successful relationships, according to Mr. Robert, is making others feel important.
Let’s all give it a try.
by Sherm Anderson
I have been interested in being healthy for many years now, but lately, it seems I have been on a real health kick and have been trying to pay close attention to those around me more than ever. There are some people who are real health nuts who take health to the extreme, those who are mostly healthy, those who want to be and those who seem to pay little to no attention to their health at all.
What I am finding in my observations is that health means something different to everyone. Part of my observation includes asking questions to find answers and patterns. So I will ask them to you to help plant seeds, get the cogs moving and open some eyes.
What does health mean to you?
Do you know anyone who is truly healthy? Not on any medications, has no complaints about pain, stomach/intestinal issues, headaches or other ailments?
How do you currently take care of your health? How do you nurture your body? How do you nurture your mind? How do you nurture your spirit?
What do you know about the human body? What do you know about your body? Have you ever taken a human anatomy class?
What are your daily habits like? Are your daily habits helping you to take care of yourself in the long run or are they holding you back?
These are just a few questions you can ask yourself and those around you!
by Shaelynn Brackett
You ever take on those projects you think are small, but later realize they really aren't small - they're kinda of massive? Like...MASSIVE? That happened to me this spring. We bought a house back at the end of November that needed some yard work. I thought originally that the yard could wait a year. See, I generally keep my parents garden for them each year, and that would be especially important this year because my dad was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma. The work I do for them benefits my entire family, and this year that would count more than ever.
So how did I end up taking on the massive project of my own yard as well? That wasn't the plan! Yet fast forward a couple of months and I've taken a 300 lb sod cutter to my grass, built five 4'x4' garden boxes in my yard, and a trellis to espalier an apple and a pear tree. I've moved yards and yards of sod and numerous wheelbarrows of dirt, with some other materials for hugelkulture. This was all on top of planting my parents garden, going to school full time, working full time, and taking care of my kids, quail, and puppy. Was I insane? YES! Should I have recognized my boundaries and that whole not having a time-turner thing? YES!
Needless to say, I reached a point of exhaustion and depletion. I have a strong, strong tendency to be overly-ambitious (can you tell?). Add that to a completionist, perfectionist mentality and it's a cocktail of never-ending over-commitment. Because, you see, this is just ONE example of the ridiculous standards I try to hold myself to. I'm sure some of you can relate.
I was hitting a breaking point is when my local angels showed up - friends, neighbors, and family. Did I ask for help? No. I was just planning on powering through it all at some point. That's my personality tendency. Thank goodness for those who recognized I desperately needed some assistance and took the initiative to provide it. Should I have asked for help? Abso-freaking-lutely. I let my own ego get in the way of humility. In retrospect - I could have gotten a lot more done had I just been patient enough to take things one step at a time, ask for help along the way, and stuck to my original plan.
In short, the lesson learned from this is: it's more than OKAY to have limitations. It's OKAY to ask for help. It's OKAY to not tackle projects all at once. It's OKAY to include others in your projects. And it's better to live in the moment than to inundate yourself with excessive responsibility. It might be that a little bit of patience goes a really long way. Thanks to all those angels out there for saving my sanity.
by Nichole Carver, Your Magical Marketing Millennial
In my journey of the natural world, I’ve always turned to essential oils. Whether it’s the fact that they are marketed as being 100% natural or that they smell so great I’ve always been drawn to them, of all the natural options available they have always appealed to me. I love the idea of being able to use peppermint oil when my head hurts or rubbing some tea tree oil on a bug bite or a rogue pimple to help heal and disinfect. Essential oils seem to be the “hip” thing, so I’ve brought you some tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your essential oils.
Dilute Your Oil: To dilute your essentials oils, you’ll want to use what is referred to as a “carrier oil,” an oil that you mix with your essential oil. Many essential oils are very potent, so putting them in an oil can make them easier for your skin and help them last longer. Some carrier oils are sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and even grapeseed oil. 2% Dilution is ideal for most normal adults (2% = 2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil or 10-12 drops per ounce) For children, 1% dilution is recommended for those over the age of 6, as well as for pregnant women, elderly adults, people with sensitive skin, and those with pre-existing conditions (1% = 1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil or 5-6 drops per ounce). Diluting your essential oils is important to ensure you are using your oils properly and getting the most out of them. You can google essential oil dilution charts online as a guide.
Heat and Light: Essential oils are flammable, and every oil has a flash point. However, every oils flash point is different. These points tend to be quite high, so keeping your oils at normal room temperature is perfect, but storing above a hot surface or in a window sill is not recommended because the heat or sun rays may affect the oil negatively, possibly resulting in less potency.
Oxygenation and Moisture: Oxygenation occurs when your oil is exposed to oxygen. Consistently exposing your oil to the air can deteriorate your oil and cause it to evaporate, so always remember to close your oils completely. Moisture can get trapped in your oil if you leave your bottle open for too long, as well. When you get moisture in your oil it may become cloudy, or water may bead up at the bottom of your oil.
Safety: Essential oils are extremely potent. For example, one drop of peppermint essential oil is the equivalent of more than 20 cups of peppermint tea. Because of this, you want to use great care. It is not recommended to ingest essential oils, as they are too potent for digestion and could disrupt your gut bacteria. Do not apply essential oils to your skin without a carrier (especially for children), or before exposing your skin to sunlight or a tanning bed (especially citrus-based oils, as they can increase the risk of photosensitivity). Carefully research all oils if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and if you wish to use on children.
Last few things to remember - not all oils come with droppers, depending on the thickness of your oil. It’s important to get a glass dropper for this. Never use the dropper as a cap, the rubber on the droppers are very pliable and can corrode. Clean with alcohol and keep in a dry place. Keep your out of reach from children and keep oils in a dark bottle out of the sunlight. If you are pregnant, always check with your medical provider before using essential oils.
Follow these simple tips and tricks for your essential oils and you’ll be surprised how long they last. Always treat your oils with care - after all, they aren’t cheap and you want to get the most out of them. Essential oils can be used for many different things, so experiment with your oils to find what blends you like best and how best to use them in your daily life.
by Eva Chacon
by Brittini Gehring, MH
by Shaelynn Brackett
by RidgeCrest Herbals
by Connie Carlin
by RidgeCrest Herbals
Tired of weeding? Here is a safe alternative to commercial weed killers!
What you will Need:
1 gallon of Vinegar
2 cups Epsom Salt
1/4 cup dish soap
Spray bottle (for smaller areas)
or Sprayer (for larger areas)
Use a medium-sized pan to heat up a quart of vinegar and stir in salt until dissolved. Once cooled, ad all ingredients slowly (to avoid suds) to sprayer/bottle. Apply to weeds in the hottest part of the day when there is no rain in the forecast for 24-48 hours. Some more stubborn weeds may need a second application. Vinegar draws moisture out of the plants, and the sun will help magnify the process. Meanwhile, Salt can penetrate the soil and affect an area permanently, so avoid places you want to plant in later on.
by RidgeCrest Herbals
Alexandar Falls, Whistler, Canada
by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
by Will Christensen
by RidgeCrest Herbals
RidgeCrest Herbals is pleased to announce that their award-winning product, PhysiQOL, is back in stock and better than ever! Their slight reformulation is designed to maintain the incredible effectiveness of the product despite the removal of the homeopathic element per FDA regulations. The new, powerful formulation still includes all the effective herbs you love, like Boswellia, Ginger, Lavender, Chinese Skullcap, and more. RidgeCrest has also increased the amount of turmeric and is pleased to be sourcing it using the patented Curcumin C3 Complex®, one of the most effective, scientifically-based formulas for curcuminoids on the market (http://www.curcuminoids.com/). By including such bioavailable forms of three different curcuminoids, the new formulation will be able to help customers maintain quality of life, support the body’s natural recovery process, and reach their peak.
PhysiQOL is a two-time award-winning product. In 2016 it won the Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Pain Relief Category, and in 2017 it won Better Nutrition Magazine’s Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements, Pain Relief Category. RidgeCrest is proud of these recognitions, and the formula that is able to provide improved Quality of Life to those who use it.
PhysiQOL™ is a non-habit forming, all-natural formula designed to support the body’s comfort and mobility through the bumps along the way. It contains an eclectic variety of effective ingredients used in Ayurvedic Medicine, TCM, and Western Herbalism. PhysiQOL™ won the 2017 Taste for Life Essential Supplement Award for Pain Management, and it is designed to help people experiencing everyday discomfort get back to doing their enriching, healthy activities and hobbies. Combining herbs that support the body's natural, healthy state free from excess inflammation, PhysiQOL™ also promotes feelings of calm. It is a go-to for anyone looking for a natural, non-addictive discomfort management solution. If you are an active individual, PhysiQOL™ can be combined with Adrenal Fatigue Fighter™ and/or ClearLungs® Sport for additional oxygen support and overall health.
by RidgeCrest Herbals
The awards keep coming in for RidgeCrest Herbals! This time it is their Hair Revive that has won the Taste For Life Women’s Essential Supplements Award in the category of Hair Restore.
40% of women experience visible temporary hair thinning by the time they reach middle age, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Especially for mothers with young children, this hair-thinning is extremely common and can be emotionally devastating in a society that places so much pressure on appearance and youth. But there is more to it than that. Hair is an indicator of overall good health. Hair Revive’s goal is to help support women get the nutrients they need to maintain healthy, normal hair.
Horsetail is rich in silica, a common trace mineral in natural hair support products.
Stinging Nettle Leaf
Common in herbal medicine throughout the world, today we know it is rich in multiple vitamins and minerals.
Bamboo Stem and Leaf
Much of its unique benefits come from it being a rich source of silica, a traditional TCM ingredient.
Kelp is an incredibly rich source of iodine, a necessary mineral for health. Iodine plays a crucial role in the body's ability to manufacture and manage thyroid hormones and overall thyroid wellness or function.
Hair Revive joins RidgeCrests’ other award-winning products, including:
AnxietyFree™ - VITY Award, 2014 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements
AnxietyFree™ - VITY Award, 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements
ClearLungs Immune® 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Sinus & Respiratory Support Category
PhysiQOL™ - 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Pain Relief Category
ClearLungs® Immune, 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award, Breathe Easy Category
Essential Eyes™ - 2017 New Hope Network’s NEXTY Award for Best Condition-Specific Supplement
PhysiQOL™ - 2017 Better Nutrition Magazine Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements, Pain Relief Category
PhysiQOL™ - 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award Winner, Pain Management
ThyroidThrive™ - 2017 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement
Essential Eyes™ - 2018 Taste For Life Essential Supplements Award, Eye Health
by RidgeCrest Herbals
by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
by RidgeCrest Herbals
Read this twice: Most of the garden seed varieties available to U.S. gardeners in catalogs in the early 1900’s are now extinct, for one simple reason. Heirloom seeds cannot be corporate owned. Today, the vast majority of seeds are sold by three huge conglomerates. (At this writing, Monsanto has made a $57 billion offer to buy out Syngenta. That would bring the total down to two companies.) They buy up seed companies, drop the heirloom seed varieties, and replace them with hybrids and genetically modified seeds because those two kinds of seeds force the grower to buy new seed each year -- and those two kinds of seeds can be patented and corporate-owned. Getting rid of natural, true seeds is good for profits, but terrible for self-reliance. I’m also convinced that having so few seeds available by so few producers -- and most of them are the kinds of seeds that purposefully don’t produce new true seeds -- is a national security issue. Our food supply is at risk.
Most people are too busy watching television and playing on their smartphones to care. Gardening -- working to provide your own food with great flavor and nutrition -- is out of favor. Seed saving, because it requires extra work, attention, and space in the garden, has only been practiced among a small percentage of gardeners for the past century anyway, so you can imagine that today, the art is nearly extinct. People with a broad, working knowledge of how to save seeds in a backyard garden are few and far between. Seed saving is both necessary and in crisis. We, today, are the first generations on earth who have entirely walked away from the concept of growing our own food. Through the history of the world, people grew their food -- and saved their own pure seeds. Today’s world is the mirror reverse -- we buy our food without ever knowing who grew it, or where it came from. And 99.999 percent of the U.S. population today has no earthly idea how to grow and harvest pure seeds from the garden. Even three generations ago, this would have been unfathomable.
As a nation, we have spent little time making sure our children know how to grow even the easiest of vegetables. Knowing how to feed a family or a community self-reliantly is laughable -- after all, we have grocery stores and the industrial agricultural complex to take care of our needs, right? They will never let us down. Our food system will never be in doubt. Right? I’m not fearmongering. The point I want to make is that the “zombie apocalypse” has descended on us twice before, as a nation. Both times it nearly cost us everything. I have a large collection of ration books, stamps, tokens, and guidebooks from both World War I and World War II. I have vegetable ration stamps, sugar stamps, stamps for tires and gasoline. I have the ration stamps that were carried both by the families in the U.S. and those working in the European theater of war. I give a lot of speeches and I take this collection with me to nearly every speech because most people have never seen these relics of our near national starvation. I promise you that, when my great-grandparents were children around 1900, no one thought national starvation was on the horizon. Yet without war victory gardens, starvation is what would have happened. Twenty years later, we found ourselves facing starvation again. With so many of our men at the battlefront, we had exactly enough domestic food production to either feed the people of the nation or feed the millions of soldiers we sent overseas -- but not both. Again it was victory gardens to the rescue. Without them, we would have lost the war. As it turns out when you arrive to fight Nazi Germany, you can’t knock on their front door, and then ask for their nearest grocery store.
But that is all ancient history, and surely we will never again need to be self-reliant. Surely. I pray it is so. You can discern where this is going. Let’s all say it together now -- “Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it.”
We can do better. We can teach our children and grandchildren, by example, to grow gardens using true, natural seeds. Every gardener can either learn to save their own seed, or buys seeds from people like me who work to ensure heirloom seeds remain in the public domain, and that no more heirloom seeds are lost to extinction. I literally search the globe for the last seeds of important historic varieties, like perennial wheat, white strawberries, multiplier onions, just to name three. I am single-handedly keeping alive many critical heirloom varieties. You can read about this in my book Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers. For every common heirloom I offer at SeedRenaissance.com, I’ve grown and rejected 30-40 other varieties. I spend huge amounts of time and money on these tests because no one else is doing this work. I evaluate how these varieties perform in an organic garden, without petrochemical fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. I evaluate earliness, flavor, production, storage, cold-soil tolerance, winter harvestability, self-seeding capacity, and more. If I don’t love a variety, I don’t sell it. Every seed I sell is guaranteed pure. They’re NEVER hybrid, GMO, patented, or corporate owned. Our food supply MUST remain in the public domain. Join me in creating a renaissance in our backyard gardens.
Caleb Warnock is the bestselling author of 14 books, including the popular Forgotten Skills series and the Backyard Renaissance series. He is the owner of SeedRenaissance.com.
by Caleb Warnock
Health is achieved through the combination of many efforts such as eating wholesome food, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and reducing stress. At Ridgecrest Herbals, we formulate products using what we call Eclectic Medicine, the combining of different philosophies of health from Western Herbalism, Ayurvedic Medicine, Nutraceuticals, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
We can learn so much about the body through the lens of TCM. One of the oldest recorded practices of alternative medicine, TCM includes herbalism, acupuncture, qigong and tai chi exercises, reiki, and more, and is the largest long-term case study on the planet. In TCM, Qi (pronounced Chi) is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the workings of the human mind and body. Qi flows through the body via pathways, called meridians. There is a total of 20 meridians: Twelve primary meridians, which correspond to specific organs, organ systems or functions, and eight secondary meridians. Imbalances in the flow of Qi through these meridians cause illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
Four Key TCM Principles:
1. Your body is an integrated whole. Along with your mind, emotions, and spirit, your physical body structures form a miraculously complex, interrelated system that is powered by Qi.
2. You are completely connected to nature. Changes in nature are always reflected in your body. TCM factors in the season,
geographical location, time of day, as well as your age, genetics, and the condition of your body when looking at your health issues.
3. You were born with a natural self-healing ability. Your body is a microcosm that reflects the macrocosm. Think about it: nature has a regenerative capacity, and so do you. Sometimes, this ability may appear to be lost or difficult to access, but in most cases, it is never completely gone.
4. Prevention is the best cure. Do you know your body is continually revealing signs about the state of your health? It’s common to ignore these signs or symptoms until something more complicated arises. TCM teaches you how to interpret what your body is telling you and take proactive measures.
Along with strengthening and balancing the meridians, TCM practitioners also use a theory called Zang-Fu, the art of pairing organs.
Zang (Yin organs) include the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. The pericardium is sometimes considered a sixth yin organ. The function of the Yin organs is to produce, transform, regulate and store fundamental substances such as Qi, blood, and body fluids. In general, yin organs do not have empty cavities.
Fu (Yang organs) which are made up of the gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, bladder and triple burner. The triple burner does not have a physical structure and is considered a functional unit, which is translated to essentially regulating Qi, the synovial fluids, and fluid that surrounds the organs, muscles, nerves, and vessels. The yang organs are mainly responsible for digesting food and transmitting nutrients to the body. Usually, yang organs are organs with empty cavities.
These organs perform tasks with Qi in order to bring homeostasis to the individual. Certain organs work closely together, and sometimes the physical manifestation of illness are rooted in a different organ than the one that is showing the signs of disease. Therefore, you can sometimes address the health issues of one organ by cleansing a related organ. This is called Organ Pairing. For example, if you get constant bronchitis or lung issues, it would be wise to do a colon cleanse to not only serve the large intestine but help the lungs as well, whose health is dependent on the balance of the large intestine. 70% of the immune system is in in the gut, so if you eat a lot of refined sugar, carbohydrates, and mucus-forming foods, this causes your immunity to drop. Lowered immunity can result in more sickness and lung impairment. The harmonious relationship between the two organs needs to be restored.
by Chris Herbert
Are Supplements Necessary?
In a perfect world, the answer would be “no.” In the world we live in, I believe the answer is often “yes.” I’ve heard it said many times that supplements are unnecessary, as you should be receiving all of your nutrients from a balanced diet. Some argue that our ancestors weren’t popping pills to stay healthy, so why should we? However, our modern environment is profoundly different than that of our ancestors. Examples include:
- A decline in soil diversity and quality and thus, a consequent decline in nutrient-dense foods
- A decrease in the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed - Consumption of mass-produced, processed foods
- An increase in exposure to food additives and environmental toxins - Overuse of antibiotics and other medications that damage the liver
- An increase in chronic stress
- A decrease in sleep quality and duration
- A reduced connection with nature and less time spent outdoors
- An increase in the number of hours we spend sitting Supplements are meant to supplement your diet, not to correct a bad diet. There is no substitution for eating well! Food not only provides vitamins and minerals but also fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals and many other compounds that interact in ways that supplements can’t. However, it takes a lot of time, energy, and money to eat a perfectly balanced diet and those things are hard to come by in our modern world! By consuming certain supplements, you are ensuring that your body is taken care of, even when you aren’t necessarily making the conscious effort. A daily multivitamin is safe, effective and can go a long way toward correcting nutritional deficiencies.
Some other supplements to consider:
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is necessary for bone health. It is integral to your immune system, muscles, blood vessels, and nervous system. Consider taking if you spend a lot of time indoors, are over 50, or have dark skin.
Potassium reduces your risk of stroke and heart disease. It’s found in bananas, leafy greens, oranges, raisins, milk, etc. Consider taking if you have a heart condition or are African American, as those populations are at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease. Too much can be harmful to older people or people with kidney problems.
Folate prevents neural tube defects in utero, such as spina bifida. It’s synthetic version, folic acid, is found in many processed food sources, such as citric fruit juices, pasta, bread, and fortified breakfast cereals, but there is evidence that it can be more harmful than beneficial in the amounts included in a processed diet. Folate is naturally occurring and found in dark green vegetables, nuts, and legumes. If you are pregnant, find a supplement that sources folate from real foods, like the Garden of Life Prenatal.
Iron, Zinc and Vitamin B12 are crucial nutrients that are more readily available from animal products, thus making them hard to come by in vegetarian and vegan diets. Red blood cells use iron to transport oxygen and nutrients, so not getting enough could lead to anemia. Zinc is found in every cell in the body and helps with everything from maintaining your immune system to reproduction. It can be found in plant sources but is hard for the body to absorb. Our bodies don’t make vitamin B12, and it can only be obtained through animal products or supplements. It is essential for maintaining the brain and nervous system, as it helps make your DNA and red blood cells. Low levels can lead to anemia, pregnancy complications, fatigue, muscle weakness, nerve damage, and even vision loss. Calcium maintains healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis. Pair this supplement with Vitamin D to improve absorption, especially if you don’t consume or have a hard time digesting dairy products.
Fish Oil has a host of benefits and unless you’re consuming 2+ servings of fish per week, your body could use more of it! Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish and contains omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA, which are essential for the optimum performance of the heart and brain. Studies have shown that fish oil may improve the risk factors for heart disease, increase weight loss when paired with exercise, support eye health, reduce inflammation, maintain healthy skin, reduce arthritis and joint pain, and even improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity. The types of fish most commonly used in fish oil supplements are salmon, cod liver, mackerel, sardines, halibut, pollock, and herring. Doses vary based on age and health. Many supplements contain 1,000 mg of fish oil per serving, but be sure to look for one that contains at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg of fish oil. Also check the label for purity, form, and sustainability certifications. Fish oil is best taken with a meal to reduce the side effects of “fishy burps” and bad breath.
You should always exercise caution when taking a supplement of any kind and it’s wise to consult with your primary physician and have blood tests run to see where you’re deficient. Toxic effects of high doses of vitamins and minerals are well documented and certain medicines such as antibiotics, birth control, laxatives, and aspirin can interact with them as well. Bottom line: there are many benefits of taking supplements, but nothing beats the taste of whole foods! Here’s to a longer, happier life through healthy choices!
by Healther Warnock
“Challenge yourself. If you don't understand how to play it, play it until you understand.”
I was recently reading a study on brain health and memory, which inspired me to share one of my personal hobbies that have brought me vast amounts of joy and great memories: Playing games. About 2,000 men and women, age 70 and older, participating in the long-running Mayo Clinic Study of Aging showed that those who used the computer at least once a week were 42% less likely to develop memory and thinking problems than those who rarely logged on. This study also showed that playing games would decrease the chances memory loss by 14%. I was really encouraged by this because this news helps to encourage families to get together in the home and play a game.
Board games that include strategies, counting, and moving parts/pieces like Monopoly, or remembering who and what you have eliminated in a “who-done-it” game like Clue, or even keeping track of the shares owned by each player in the real estate game Acquire (my all time favorite) are GREAT brain boosters. Games not only challenge and keep the brain firing, they also bring families and friends together. Games help children learn how to lose, and more importantly, how to be a gracious winner. They also teach parents how to throw a win to one of the children without letting them realize it. Games open mouths to mothers that need to hear how their children each deal with challenges, and they teach children how to ask for help in understanding rules. This list is a just a drop in the bucket of benefits from playing games.
We work full-time, and we all have causes we commit time and energy to. We are bombarded by media on our phones, TVs, even the radio in the car. Entertainment is good, but experiencing it with family and friends is better. This upcoming generation has more options than ever to escape into entertainment, but we need to remember the importance of turning off electronics every so often. Would we know what to do with our families and friends if there were no phones, no computers, no TVs?
Here are some ideas to help a family that is new to game playing:
- Look at the age ranges and time keys on the outside of the game's box. Start with a time and age that you feel is a little shorter and younger than you feel like you would like, and ease into it with family members.
- Find theme games that your family would enjoy.
- Read the instructions, and then search YouTube for a video on how to play the game. Play a round or two to get the hang of it, and then start over. Play as teams, and ask your young children to be on your team. This will help them get the gameplay down while still having an advantage to the older kids, and it's a great way to work closely with them.
- Look at games you're thinking about on boardgamegeek.com, and read the user reviews. This will help you choose a better game for your group/situation.
- If you aren’t committed to finishing a game you can share with friends, invent a game! You will have gone through a great deal of strategy and mental work in designing it.
- When your family or friends are ready, step it up. Play some intense strategy games, like Risk. This is great for children and adults to maintain the skill of learning something new.
by Will Christensen
Candles can provide atmosphere, beauty, and relaxation to your home, regardless of the time of year. Unfortunately, many commercial candles contain harsh ingredients that become harmful when burned. Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). Yuck! Keep your home cute and cozy with this natural recipe that can be customized with different scents. These also make great gifts!
- 1 pound filtered beeswax, chopped or in pellet form
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Medium tabbed cotton wicks (the thicker, the better for beeswax)
- Jars – This recipe makes three 8oz. mason jars, or six 4oz. jars
- Essential Oils, if desired
- Melt beeswax and coconut oil in a pouring pitcher, or double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create one by placing one inch of water in a pot and placing a smaller pot or stainless steel bowl inside and bringing the water to a low simmer.
- Once the mixture is combined, add 20-30 drops of an essential oil of your choice (if using), and stir. To ease on cleanup, use a chopstick that you can throw away.
- Pour mixture into jars, and insert wicks in the center. You can keep them centered and straight by feeding a trimmed-to-size wick through the middle of a clothespin hinge and setting the clothespin on top of the jar.
- Allow candles to set/harden in a warm place since cooling beeswax too quickly can cause the wax to crack.
- Allow candles to cure for at least 2 days, then cut wicks to 1/4 inch tall. When the candle is lit, allow it to burn long enough that the wax melts out to the sides of the jar. This helps to prevent tunneling (when the middle melts down with lots of wax left over around the edges). NEVER LEAVE A CANDLE UNATTENDED.
by RidgeCrest Herbals
by Pat Bagley
Mankind has used herbs since long before the dawn of recorded history. How do we know? Well, like us, Neanderthals living some 50,000 years ago used to get food stuck in their teeth. In 2012, Spanish scientists preparing skulls for museum exhibition decided to run DNA analysis on the dental calculus that they were cleaning from the molars for display. They found two herbs, yarrow and chamomile, that are both too bitter and too lacking in nutritive value to have been eaten as foods. Both are still widely and regularly used as medicinal herbs today. This is compelling evidence that Neanderthals already used medicinal herbs. Since Neanderthals were not farmers, we can assume that the earliest medicinal herbs were all wild-crafted.
However, before we could say there was a “history” or “tradition” of herbal medicine, agricultural societies had to be established (about 13,000 years ago) and then writing (about 5,000 years ago), and early writings have not often survived. Monuments inscribed in stone are usually the oldest surviving original writings, while most other ancient texts, such as religious or medical texts, come to us through many years of handwritten copies of older documents, making their age and original authors difficult to determine. Yet every major civilization has passed down written texts and oral histories that have preserved their knowledge and philosophies of herbal medicine for future generations.
In ancient China, the written history of herbal medicine began perhaps with the Divine Farmer’s Herb/root Classic (Shen-nong Ben Cao Jing), a treatise on herbal medicine attributed to Shen-nong, the Divine Farmer, a larger-than-life figure who was traditionally said to have lived before 2500 BCE, and who was said to have invented the plow, initiated the use of tea, and tested the use of medicinal herbs on his own body. Shen-nong was said to be an ancestor of the Yellow Emperor, the father of the Chinese people. The Ben Cao Jing listed 365 medicines (animal, vegetable, and mineral), and laid out the beginnings of acupuncture and other principles of Classical Chinese Medicine (now simplified and referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM).
This foundation of TCM was further expanded in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) which is a dialog between the Yellow Emperor and six of his ministers. The Yellow Emperor is also a legendary figure, who is credited with inventing the calendar, establishing the Chinese culture, and fathering the Chinese people. Both texts are some of the oldest in Chinese literature and are thought to date at least to the beginning of the Han Dynasty that was established at the end of the Warring States period, about 220 BCE, making them roughly contemporaneous with the oldest of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
At least as old as TCM, Ayurveda is another ancient herbal tradition, founded and developed in India. Like the Chinese system, the origins of Ayurveda are lost in the mists of time, and the oldest manuscripts we have date to the Gupta period of 300-600 A.D. Like the foundational TCM texts, the earliest Ayurvedic texts relate an account of the Gods transmitting the knowledge of medicine to early sages, who passed that knowledge on and expanded on it.
Classical and European:
In Mediterranean Europe and the Middle East, the history of herbal medicine traces its roots through Babylon, Egypt, Phoenicia, and eventually to Greece. Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived from about 460-370 BCE, is often called the “Father of Modern Medicine” because of his role as the founder of a school of medicine that still has influence today. Notable in the teachings of Hippocrates is the use of food (including herbs) as medicine, a focus on the natural healing powers of the body, and the ethics embodied in the Hippocratic Oath, which is still used today.
The European discovery of the New World in 1492 began a wave of immigration that would last hundreds of years. Settlers from all over Europe brought their own herbal and folk medicines. They also adopted local remedies used by native Americans in both hemispheres. West African slaves brought their native remedies, and immigrants (forced or voluntary) from India and China were often used as cheap labor, bringing their herbal traditions with them. Physicians, exposed to all of these various influences, selected the remedies that seemed to work best, regardless of their provenance, and became known as the “Eclectic School” of herbal medicine.
Today in our global economy of shared information, this Eclectic tradition carries on with herbalists who review the literature on herbal medicine from around the world, tailoring traditional remedies to fit the needs and types of patients they serve. The influence of these global herbal traditions extends far past herbal practitioners. Even the most conventional Western physician is indebted to herbal medicine for the foundations of the vast majority of the drugs that he or she prescribes. And many physicians, dissatisfied with the modern assembly-line model of pharmaceutical medicines, are literally returning to their roots to study medicines in their natural form. It may be that someday, except in life-threatening situations, our society will entirely shift back to herbal traditions as the most effective form of care, tested for thousands of years.
by Matt Warnock
There is a major trend happening in the natural health industry with a growing interest in probiotics, digestive bitters, fermented foods, and broths. Rather than being a new, passing fad, it's more of a revival of ancient wisdom that collectively works towards digestive health, and subsequently, immune health. The experts are now confirming what your great-great-grandparents probably already practiced, but was lost along the way. Scientific research is backing the long-understood idea that the majority of our immune system, about 70%, is located in the gut. So it makes sense to bring beneficial probiotics, fermented foods, and nutritious liquids into our diets and supplementation.
Bone Broth is a hot topic right now. It is incredibly nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor, and boosts healing. It is best made from the bones of natural, ethically raised animals; such as organic chicken, beef, and pork. From there you want to add organic vegetables, seaweed, a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, and bring to a simmer over the course of 24-48 hrs. Over the slow cooking process, the bones and ligaments release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, glutamine, and a plethora of minerals.
Here are some extra added benefits of bone broth:
Better digestion support through normalizing stomach acids
Source of collagen for skin health
Rich in minerals
Immune system support
Bone broth is very economical as well, saving you money and giving purpose to things you would normally throw in the bin. If you roast a chicken or beef with bone in, after your meal simply put the bones with vegetable scraps in a slow cooker and water and make yourself some broth. If you're short on time, you can freeze the bones and vegetable scraps in a baggie until you're ready. When your broth is finished & you've strained out the solids, you now have liquid gold to help you stay healthy. You can simply drink a cup, make soup, use instead of water when cooking rice or quinoa, or freeze to use for a later time when you're feeling sickness coming on. Drinking bone broth during a time of fasting can help you to abstain from eating foods and reduces the negative effects of toxin removal while giving you important nutrients for health.
Besides doing wonders for you nutritionally, it also tastes impeccably better than store-bought broths and saves you money in the end, with very little effort on your part. Consume on a regular basis and take note - you may find you feel an improvement in your well-being and experience sickness less! So Drink up!
Bone Broth Recipe
Serves: 3-4 cups
by Chris Herbert
by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
When it comes to having the best Quality of Life (QOL), pain/inflammation and lack of energy are at the top of the list of things that can affect how you feel and live. One thing you can be aware of that will help you with both of these issues is eating a diet high in foods containing anti-inflammatory properties. Here is a list of foods that are known to fight inflammation, as well as a list of foods to avoid so that you can have more movement, energy and improve your overall QOL.
Foods to Add:
Dark green, broad leafy greens: As well as being good for anti-inflammatory purposes, greens contain some of the highest amounts of nutrients available.
Fresh Pineapple: This delicious food is full of the enzyme bromelain, which works on inflammation by blocking metabolites which cause inflammation.
Salmon: High in Omega 3, which is one of the most highly researched natural ingredients to help fight inflammation. There are other foods high in healthy fats such as other types of fish, nuts, avocados, or olive oil that also contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Beets: Besides being delicious, this root is filled with antioxidants that are good for supporting healthy cells. They contain magnesium which is important because magnesium deficiency is linked to inflammatory build-up.
Spices: Turmeric and ginger are a couple of common spices that are often used for cooking and can be extremely beneficial in fighting inflammation.
Foods to Avoid:
Refined sugar: It might be silly to have this on the list because we all know the negative effects eating too much sugar has on our health. Sugar, especially refined sugar, is directly linked to inflammatory conditions. Try eliminating it from your diet, or use only moderately at most. It will not take long for your body to thank you!
Gluten: You don't need to have an established disease for gluten to cause your body stress. In fact, around 30% of Americans have cut gluten out of their diets and report having better health. Gluten-free replacement foods are getting lots of attention and the taste and quality are improving all the time.
Trans Fatty Acids: Trans fats are not in a natural form for your body to be able to digest properly. Not only do they mess with the lining of cells (really bad), they set off all sorts of inflammation markers.
Dairy: Certain dairy products can be high in fats, sugars, and other chemicals or substances that can be harmful to health. Over-consumption of dairy may lead to systemic inflammation in the body.
It's hard to get away from cheap processed foods, but improving health does not need to be about eating 100% perfect, right from the get-go! Start small, with one or two of the above-recommended changes, and you’ll be on your way to being free of inflammation!
by RidgeCrest Herbals
The awards keep coming in for RidgeCrest Herbals! This time it is their Essential Eyes that has won the Taste For Life Essential Supplements Award in the category of Eye Health.
The Essential Eyes formula takes a nutritive approach to supporting eye health, keeping in mind the stress placed on eyes through overuse of electronics while strengthening supporting systems. This innovative product contains Lutemax 2020, a patented, award-winning eye-support ingredient sourced from marigolds, which contains Lutein, Zeazanthin and Meso-Zeazanthins in a 5:1 ratio. Designed to support circulation to the eye and provide it with crucial nutrients for eye health, Essential Eyes acts as internal “sunglasses” for the macula’s constant exposure to blue-light from technology. For more information on this ingredient and to learn about the dangers of overexposure to electronics, visit www.bluelightexposed.com.
Wild Yam Root: This root contains steroidal saponins, which studies have shown may help protect the body from free radicals. This can be beneficial for the eyes as blue light damage can increase free radicals.
Asiatic Dogwood Fruit: It is rich in antioxidants - lower antioxidant levels in the eyes may be linked to age-related vision decline.
Poria Fungal Body: Poria, which contains multiple vitamins and other nutrients essential to healthy cardiac function and blood circulation, helps balance electrolytes and revitalizes the spleen to help support the immune system and help it function properly.
Zeaxanthin Isomers: There are hundreds are carotenoids, but only two located in the human eye - lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids help the body filter blue light and defend the eye from oxidative stress.
Essential Eyes, which also received the 2017 New Hope Network’s NEXTY Award for Best Condition-Specific Supplement, joins RidgeCrests’ other award-winning products, including:
ClearLungs® Immune, 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award, Breathe Easy Category
ClearLungs Immune® 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Sinus & Respiratory Support Category
PhysiQOL™ - 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement, Pain Relief Category
AnxietyFree™ - VITY Award, 2014, 2016 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best of Supplements
ThyroidThrive™ - 2017 Taste For Life Better Nutrition Award, Best Supplement
For more information, visit rcherbals.com.
by Aspen Anderson
by Will Christensen
by Val Bagley
by Val Bagley
by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
This beautiful body butter is so rich and creamy you'll love using it all over your body. This all-natural whipped body butter is great for all skin types! Try keeping some in your office at work, or using some after a shower during the dry summer months. You'll love this amazing burst of hydration!
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container, and keep chilled in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to use, stir up the mixture, apply as needed, and you’re good to go!
by Eva Chacon
We often express our love to family, friends and significant others, but we forget to include ourselves, which can weaken the immune system and make us more
susceptible to illness and disease. When we love and respect ourselves, we tend to eat healthier foods and make better lifestyle choices that promote good physical and mental health. physical, emotional and mental health has been closely linked to each other, so by loving the self, you can create a positive attitude.
A positive attitude is also a large factor in maintaining good health. Our beliefs and thoughts are wired into our biology. They become our cells, tissues, and organs. There's no supplement, no diet, no medicine, and no exercise regimen that can compare to the power of our thoughts and beliefs. Cultivating self-love and positive perceptions can be done in a number of ways. Here are a few techniques that will help change your life:
• Make your health a priority. Nourish your body with nutritious foods, exercise regularly, stretch and pamper your mind, body & soul. Let go of your thoughts on what you envision as imperfections. Instead, focus on the things you like about you!
• Protect yourself. Maintain a healthy perspective of people that drain you mentally and physically. Take whatever measures necessary to protect yourself against the negative effects they might have on you.
• Learn that it’s okay to say NO. We often create unneeded stress in our lives by saying yes to things when we haven't given ourselves time to recharge from our daily lives. We also say yes to things that aren't in alignment with our highest good. It is okay to say NO to anything or anyone that drains us and makes us see the world negatively.
• Forgive yourself. You aren't perfect and that is perfectly okay. Remember that nobody is perfect. Before you can love yourself, you must forgive yourself and love yourself exactly as you are, flaws and all.
• Have an attitude of gratitude. Make a list of things about yourself and your life that you are grateful for. Appreciate your uniqueness and you will learn to love yourself.
by RidgeCrest Herbals
Fun Fact: You Are More Bacteria than You Are Cells!
Now that I’ve caught your attention - Yes, that is indeed a fact. Scientists today estimate that the average human male has around 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria (a 1:1.3 ratio) - but that’s if you’re an average healthy adult. Whoa! That’s a lot of microorganisms.
But let’s get to the first main point of this article: what is the microbiome? By definition, the microbiome is a complex, naturally-occurring community of flora (bacteria) that resides within our bodies. Why is it important? It is our internal ecosystem and is a crucial part of maintaining good health.
Now don’t freak out! Not all microorganisms are bad. In fact, some are really, really, REALLY good for you! Science is continuously discovering the importance of this internal environment, and have so far found strong benefits relating to our immune system, digestive system, hormones, and brain function, to only name a few. In fact, our individual microbiomes are sometimes called our “genetic footprint” because they actually help determine our unique DNA, hereditary factors, predisposition to disease, body type, and much more. And these little helpers are found not only in our bodies but everywhere in our surroundings, on nearly every surface we touch and every environment we come into contact with. It’s even been said by some researchers that up to 90% of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome. I’d say that means these tiny bugs are important!
Throughout our lives, we shape the health of our microbiome through food choices, sleep, exposure, stress, and much more. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself! The health of your microbiome has roles that include:
Helping with hormone production, like serotonin
Extracting nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fats, antioxidants, etc.) from our foods
Managing appetite and body weight
Supporting our mood, motivation, and cognitive health
Keeping our immune systems healthy and responsive
Repairing damaged tissues and injuries
How do you improve the state of your body’s internal ecosystem? These good microbes found in your body are often referred to as “probiotics,” and in my opinion, providing your body more of these are one the most important things you can do to better your health, not only as a supplement but as a food. If you look at cultural dietary habits, you see probiotics everywhere. After all, where does bread come from? Beer? Wine? Kefir? Yogurt? Cheese? Kimchi? Pickles? The list goes on and on! You can also make some lifestyle changes:
Reducing your exposure to chemicals (triclosan is a great one to get rid of!) both in your household and in body care
Finding a meditative practice to help with stress
Getting a full night's rest
Choosing foods that are nourishing to your body
Not being afraid of playing in the dirt (my favorite!).
If this has struck your curiosity - there’s loads more information out there! I encourage you to continue to discover this fascinating ecosystem. And you’re in luck! There’s a HUGE scientifically-based collective research project dedicated to learning more about the microbiome. Visit http://hmpdacc.org/ to check it out!
by Nichole Carver, Your Magical Marketing Millenial
by RidgeCrest Herbals
What needs to be in your emergency kit? Well, that will depend on where you are in your life and who you need to consider. Are you a mother with young children that drives everywhere, but are never far from home? Or are you an avid outdoorsman who travels, hikes, and camps in remote areas? Emergency kits are as different as the people that use them, the places they go, and the kinds of emergencies that are most likely to happen wherever they are. An emergency kit should contain things that you can use in an emergency, so it helps to imagine the worst things that are likely to happen to you and what you might need in that situation. For example, most of us are very reliant on our cell phones, and a cell phone is a great emergency kit for many situations, but an emergency whistle might be a good backup if you are away from cell towers, your phone dies, or if it gets wet or broken. Speaking of which, an emergency kit is only useful if it is WITH you. So you probably want one for your home, one for work, and one for the car. You may also want a smaller kit that you keep with you all the time, like in your pocket, purse, or bag.
In my truck, I always keep something handy to break glass and or/cut seat belts in a vehicle emergency. It doesn’t have to be a fancy tool - a box cutter and a length of steel pipe will do. A fire extinguisher can also be a lifesaver, if you keep it maintained. After the “hurry cases” of first aid (heart attack, bleeding, breathing, and poisons), hypothermia may be one of the fastest killers. If you are cold and wet, hypothermia can set in in minutes, causing bad decisions and disorientation. A thick blanket, “space blanket,” or emergency bivvy sack of reflective mylar could be a lifesaver.
Here are some things you might want to consider for your kit(s):
by Matt Warnock
Seasonal Affective Disorder can push even habitually happy people into a moody funk, and can send a depressed person even deeper into hopelessness. The combination of cold temperatures and short days during winter makes this a common time for people to suffer from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Thankfully, we have some ideas for you to fight back. The following information may help minimize the downs and lengthen the ups:
Good light - Take a few minutes to consider the amount of light you are losing each day during the winter months, which you might normally be spending outside during the summer months. Our bodies are like batteries, charged by the sun. During the winter, the sun is low in the sky and the rays of light are spread much thinner than summer months. Get outside as much as possible during the day, and take advantage of what sunlight there may be. Try going for a walk at noon, when the sun is at its brightest. If sunlight is limited, consider light therapy. There are light bulbs available at your local hardware store that are significantly brighter than regular bulbs, and they provide light in different wavelengths. This artificial light can help stimulate your body’s circadian rhythms and suppress its natural release of melatonin. Research shows that light therapy is most effective in the morning.
Good signals - Give your body clear, obvious signals to help your brain efficiently make “feelgood” hormones and chemistry. Try not to confuse your well-lit, awake time with dark, sleeping time, so that your body can properly produce melatonin and serotonin. These chemicals in the brain help to improve quality of sleep at night, and mood the following day. Avoid electronics such as T.V. and cellphones in bed and during scheduled sleeping times. It is acceptable to read and watch T.V. in the evenings, but do it sitting up in a well-lit room. Set and keep a scheduled time to go to sleep at night. Lights out, and lay down!
Good food - Avoid eating as many of the white starchy carb foods (such as bread, sugar, rice, etc.) as possible, and try to substitute with fruits and vegetables. The more you can substitute bad foods for good, the more positive results you should feel toward mood and energy. Also, try to shrink the size of your meals and eat them more often throughout the day (This tip alone is powerful for improving mood and metabolism). Eating colorful, low-glycemic carbs and good sources of protein throughout the day can also help you feel energized and motivated to exercise.
Good exercise - Exercise helps your body release chemicals called endorphins, which interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling similar to that of morphine. Exercise will also help offset weight gain that is common with SAD. Get outside if weather permits, but if you can’t, choose a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine closest to a window at the gym. - This article is not meant to treat or diagnose disease. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional with health concerns.
by RidgeCrest Herbals
by Shaelynn Brackett
by Aspen Anderson
by Aspen Anderson
Quality, Testing, and Transparency
By Brittini Gehring, MH, CBO
RidgeCrest is a family-owned company that has been in business for more than 25 years. Throughout that time, product quality and effectiveness have always been important to us. However, 20 years ago, issues like GMOs and pesticides were of little concern to either the consumer or the industry. In recent years, we have watched these standards along with others such as heavy metal testing, organic certifications, allergen-free, vegan, and more certifications become crucial to consumer demands as well as the survival of companies in the natural product industry. People want to know their products are of the highest quality and potency. The FDA has issued GMP's (Good Manufacturing Practices) that require each individual company within the supplement industry to show that they are producing the safest, purest and highest quality products possible through many different testing methods and standards that are, in many ways, in line with the pharmaceutical industry. At RidgeCrest Herbals, we have progressively taken the many steps necessary to meet regulatory standards and provide our customers with complete transparency. Many of these steps are extremely time-consuming and expensive. But, as the Quality Unit Manager, I take great pride in the strides RidgeCrest has made over in this direction. We get more and more questions from consumers every day who want to know who we are and what we do to ensure the quality of our products. Below are some of the basic efforts and standards we follow - but keep in mind, our current (and future) efforts extend far beyond what is stated here.
Guarantees and Service: RidgeCrest Herbals has been recognized for having effective products since the beginning of our company’s history. In fact, we honor a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back on all of our products. Our customer service department, management team, and quality department are available to answer any questions you might have concerning our products or company.
Formulation and Ingredients: Many of our formulas have ancient combinations dating back thousands of years and involve multiple medicinal disciplines such as TCM, Ayurveda, Western Herbalism, etc. Our ingredients are selected based on important factors such as quality, location, supplier compatibility, etc. When at all possible, we select ingredients that have a story or a cause behind them, tracing them all the way to the farmers. Our products are non-GMO (non-certified) as are most botanicals, completely allergen free, and almost all are vegan-friendly.
Manufacturing: All facilities that produce RidgeCrest products are carefully selected based on moral and regulatory standards and audited annually by qualified RidgeCrest employees. They are third-party GMP certified by USP, NSF, or UL and some have even more qualifying certifications.
Testing: Testing is generally done in two separate stages: Raw ingredients and finished product. Testing is done by our manufacturers that have laboratories or are sent out to our favorite high-quality lab if in-house testing is not available. All RidgeCrest ingredient suppliers are prequalified by our manufacturers and are approved sources for providing quality ingredients. Raw ingredient testing requires that the manufacturer request an initial sample of the product from the supplier before ordering for identity testing if they are not on the prequalified list. If an ingredient passes identity testing, it is then ordered. Once a raw ingredient is received by the manufacturer, multiple samples from different areas in the container (top, middle, and bottom) are pulled for testing. All raw materials are first tested for identity via HPLC, HPTLC, and or microscopic ID, and sometimes other methods. A sample is also sent to the quality unit at RidgeCrest Herbals for organoleptic and sensory testing. The raw material is also tested for microbes and heavy metals and must meet all RidgeCrest specification requirements as well as the safety limits set by the FDA and applicable international requirements. Finished products are again tested by the manufacturer for microbes and total heavy metals before shipping to the RidgeCrest facility. When it arrives at our warehouse, RidgeCrest receives a finished product COA along with all of the raw ingredient COAs, and records for the entire manufacturing and testing of every batch produced. It includes each step from ingredient sourcing to production and finished product, and shipping and truck inspections. When the product arrives at the RidgeCrest facility, our quality unit pe rforms a series of testing that includes organoleptic and sensory testing, comparison with past batches, capsule count, packaging integrity and more. We then create our own COA based on the approved manufacturer batching records and our own quality assurance methods and records designed specifically to provide our customers with complete transparency. Although not all lot numbers are immediately available online, an example of the RidgeCrest COA for each product can be found on our website. These are updated annually. A more current version for each and every lot can be provided upon request for any customer to review.
Product Storage: RidgeCrest collects and stores samples of each individual batch (or lot number) of every product we make so that we can reference, test, or compare any batch necessary. The FDA and other regulatory organizations have access to these storage supplies at any given time and are welcome to access samples for testing and review as desired. We have nothing to hide!
Shelf Stability Testing: Although ahead of the times, RidgeCrest has done testing to assure our 4-year shelf stability. Now it is slowly becoming standard practice to perform consistent testing on products to validate shelf stability. During 2016-2017, RidgeCrest implemented a shelf stability testing program to assure each product was being tested regularly and meets the 4-year shelf stability guarantee.
Qualified Employees: RidgeCrest Herbals invests a great deal of money and time into making sure our quality assurance employees are qualified, trained, and receive continuing education concerning regulatory and high-quality expectations and standards set by both the industry and regulatory organizations
Membership organizations: RidgeCrest is an upstanding member of the NPA, UNPA, AHPA, and more. These organizations help keep members up-to-date on all FDA requirements, changes, industry trends, and testing requirements.
Forward Thinking: The industry continues to head in a positive direction. However, not all testing is available, ideal, or cost-effective. While RidgeCrest has a solid agenda of where we want to be in the future, not all of our transparency desires are yet realities. Some of these items on our potential goal list include comprehensive pesticide testing, organic ingredient sourcing, potency testing, regularly updating our website with batch testing results, and more.
Our number-one priority has always been to help. In order to do so, we go out of our way to assure that our products are not only effective but also the highest quality we can provide. If you have any questions concerning the quality or safety of our products, please feel free to contact me directly at brittini @ rcherbals.com with further inquiries.
by Brittini Gehring, MH
by Aspen Anderson
Bonnevile Salt Flats, Utah - Photography by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
by Abbie Warnock-Matthews
by Aspen Anderson
by Brittini Gehring, MH
Having a cold is NO FUN, and they are definitely going around during this season! If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a cough and/or a stuffed up nose, at least there are nice things you can do to find some relief. A hot bath with this soak mixture could be just the ticket to ease your symptoms - the Epsom salts go to work on your sore muscles, and the aromatherapy vapors from the essential oils will make your head feel better and support your immune system.
- 4 cups Epsom salts
- 2 cup baking soda
- 20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 20 drops tea tree essential oil
- green or blue natural food coloring (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a spoon. Store in an airtight container such as a glass or plastic jar. For each bath, scoop 1-2 cups into water as hot as you can stand, and soak for 30-40 minutes.
by Aspen Anderson
Truth is often stranger than fiction, and, at times, it can even be fascinating. Such was the case for me, as I was trying to find some organ sheet music back in 2013. One of my hobbies is playing the organ; I find it to be very satisfying. I tell people that it is the most fun allowed by law, and, nowadays, with the help of the internet, it is easier than ever to obtain sheet music, especially for classical music that is past copyright (see IMSLP.org). I'm constantly in search of new pieces to add to my collection.
One of my first encounters with Norman Coke-Jephcott's compositions was when I heard his "Tansy" (for Organ), as performed by Charles Callahan on his CD entitled "Cathedral Echoes." When I googled Norman Coke-Jephcott, I ran across a 33-page history of his life, as researched by his great-nephew, Roger Jephcott.
As I was reading the composer's biography, I came across a statement that gave me some hope of where I might find the sheet music I was looking for: "One of Norman's students, David Pizarro, who later became organist at St John the Divine, collected much memorabilia,
including sheet music, about Norman. When David died, his widow didn't know what to do with it all, and I made arrangements for it to be sent to the AGO Library in Boston."
After emailing the American Guild of Organists Library and getting a reply back that they didn't have it, I conjectured that maybe some of the pieces that were donated to the library had not been indexed yet. Obviously, Charles Callahan, the organist who recorded the piece, had a copy and I told the people at the AGO library that I appreciated the fact that Mr.
Callahan would not want to be inundated with these types of requests, but I thought that their organization would have an “in” with organists of his caliber. I also offered to donate money to their cause, if that would make any difference. That was October of 2013. In April of 2014, I got the following email:
Dear Mr. Anderson,
My name is Anita. I have been a volunteer at the Ago Organ Library in Boston for the past twelve years. We are currently in-between librarians. I came across your message while I was checking the OL's e-mail account. I am writing to clear up some misinformation that you were given by the previous librarian.
Unfortunately, the Pizarro archive was not sent to the Organ Library. The entire collection was sent to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York about three years ago. My son, Raymond, happens to be the assistant organist at the Cathedral. It was only because of this coincidence that the Organ Library received any of the Pizarro collection. Raymond was able to arrange for the published organ music from the Pizarro collection to be donated to the Organ Library. The Cathedral retained all of the unpublished works, manuscripts and choral works, as well as all of the personal papers, in the collection.
When I found your message, I asked my son to look in the papers at the Cathedral to see if he could locate "Tansy." It took some time, but he was able to find it. I have attached the scan he sent me to this message. I apologize for the misinformation that you were given, as well as the amount of time that has elapsed since your request. I hope that this music will still be of use to you.
Here’s where it all ties together - For many years, RidgeCrest Herbals, Inc. was owned by Clyde St. Clair and Paul Warnock. Clyde St. Clair's funeral was on the day before Thanksgiving in 2009, and Paul Warnock's funeral was on the day before Thanksgiving in 2014. I was asked to play an organ solo at Paul's funeral, and the piece that I chose to play was "Tansy" by Norman Coke-Jephcott, the subject of this story. Later, when I got curious about what Tansy meant and looked it up, it was defined as "an old-world herb, commonly used for medicinal
purposes." Yes, truth is stranger than fiction!
by Sherm Anderson
Did you know that it's really easy to make your own extracts from fresh herbs and fruits? These are great alternatives to ones at the store which may contain corn syrup or artificial flavors, and they make great gifts around the holidays! The basic idea is just to steep nuts, zests, or leaves in an alcohol that will absorb all of the flavors over time, leaving you with delicious flavors that are easy to add to any recipe.
These liquids can be stored in medium mason jars, or 2 oz. glass jars, with screw-top lids which make for good storage in small spaces or as cute gifts!
1 cup hazelnuts (toasted/skins removed)
1 split vanilla bean
3/4 C vodka
Directions: Add hazelnuts to a jar, add vodka, vanilla seeds, and vanilla bean. Close and infuse for 3-4 weeks, shaking once daily. Strain hazelnuts from extract, and sweeten the liquid with a dash of simple syrup, if needed.
1 cup almonds (freshly ground, toasted)
1 split vanilla bean
3/4 C vodka
Directions: Add almonds to a jar, add vodka, vanilla seeds, and vanilla bean. Close and infuse for 3-4 weeks, shaking once daily. Strain hazelnuts from extract, and sweeten the liquid with a dash of simple syrup, if needed.
1 medium lemon rind (all white pith removed)
1/4 C water
1/2 C vodka
Directions: Chop up rind and pour it into a jar with water and vodka. Store in a cool dry place for one week. Strain out the lemon peel before using.
1 medium orange rind (all white pith removed)
1/4 C water
1/2 C vodka
Directions: Chop up rind and pour it into a jar with water and vodka. Store in a cool dry place for one week. Strain out the orange peel before using.
1/4 C peppermint leaves (dried and finely chopped)
1/2 C water
1/2 C vodka
Directions: Place peppermint leaves, vodka, and water in a jar. Close and infuse for three weeks, shaking the jar lightly once a day. Strain out leaves before using.
Let me fill you in on what it's like having chickens as pets: For starts, chickens require less time than most people think, and who isn't concerned with time these days? Just a few minutes of checking food and water each day, and they're pretty much set. They also don't require very much space, and they give you fresh and nutritious eggs almost daily. Despite what some may think, you don't need a rooster for the ladies to lay eggs, you only need a rooster to fertilize the eggs for more chickens. These powerhouses just lay, lay, lay on their own.
Chickens are so much fun to watch, I think they are hilarious. My family spends a lot of time in our backyard, watching and giggling at our chickens' silly antics. They each have such different personalities - some are strong and willful, while others are reserved and shy, but they all definitely known who their favorite people are. My chickens follow me everywhere, it's so cute watching their little legs try and keep up with you as they follow you around the yard.
Chickens are great organic pest controllers, they eat everything! I can come outside to a giant pile of ants, bring the chickens over to the pile, and they are gobbled up in five minutes. I love that! They also love to eat weeds, as well as our leftover fruit and veggie scraps (just no potato peelings), and who doesn't want less waste? Their poop makes great fertilizer for the yard and garden, just another benefit of these wonderful creatures.
Last, but certainly not least (and probably my favorite part of keeping chickens), chickens help humans produce the stress-lowering chemical known as Oxytocin. There are actually hens that serve as therapy chickens, how cool is that? My chickens let me hold them, because I've done it ever since I got them, and they even sit on my lap.
My chickens often come in the house and want to be a part of what's going on, and they even beg for food, just like the dogs. They put themselves to bed every night, it's pretty cool how they just know when to go to bed, based off the daylight hours. It makes it very easy for a pet owner not to have to put them in their coop. They co-exist really well with our other pets, we have two dogs and three cats. They all just walk around together, sharing the yard. Sometimes I don't think they think they are any different than the dogs and cats. They definitely have the Oxytocin affect on my family, as well as me. We enjoy having them, and we will probably always have chickens as part of our family.
by Jamie Miller
Beginning in 2017, Ridgecrest Herbals has decided to phase out the homeopathic elements that exist in some of our formulas. We expect the full process to take around two years as we carefully work to replace the homeopathics with equally effective herbal components.Ridgecrest Herbals continues to believe in the effectiveness and benefits of homeopathic remedies, but we feel that in the current hostile regulatory atmosphere it is more beneficial for us as a company to remove homeopathy from our products. This decision has come from a multitude of events in the industry:
For all of these reasons, we have decided to discontinue our homeopathic/herbal combination products and focus on our herbal formulas.
The theory of homeopathy was developed by German Physician Samuel Hahnemann at the turn of the 18th century. He based his theory on the Greek philosophy of “like cures like”, the belief that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people. It is believed Hippocrates prescribed a miniscule amount of mandrake root to cure mania, understanding that larger doses would produce mania. The practice was a welcome shift from bloodletting, purging, and medicines that could sometimes include lead, mercury, and opium. It gained popularity throughout the 19th century, and helped pave the way for more scientific approaches to medical treatment. In 1938, before the pharmaceutical industry became powerful as in modern days, the FDA recognized homeopathic preparations as drugs.
Homeopathy is the second most-used natural medical system worldwide (next to Traditional Chinese Medicine), with over 500 million people around the world incorporating it into their healthcare. The World Health Organization has called for a greater acceptance of the practice as well as a push for more evidence-based studies into the practice. In 2004, they produced a comprehensive list of every known study in the world, and concluded that there was much evidence of its effectiveness, though more research was needed. In Europe, homeopathy is supported and is an accepted form of natural practice, and many countries integrate it into their state-subsidized health care systems, reimbursing for care, regulating and protecting homeopathic drugs, and financing research. It is legally recognized in 42 countries, is written into the constitution of Sweden and in Great Britain Queen Elizabeth is a patron of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, and her husband, Prince Phillip, has played an active role in promoting the practice.
In the US, however, the road for homeopathics has been much more difficult, as the recent federal developments prove. Natural medical alternatives have little federal lobbying power, and regulations such as these hurt the ability for advocates of natural medicine to offer their services to the general public. As a result, it can be difficult to describe exactly how a product works when you are not allowed to properly or adequately explain what traditional methods, backed by hundreds of years of global efficacy, believes them to do.
Because of the difficulty of selling products while trying to work around the governmental oversight that does not allow companies to properly describe the effects of their products, Ridgecrest Herbals has found our homeopathic remedies in the crossfire. While homeopathy makes up less than 2% of our products by weight, we do feel that their inclusion leads to better effectiveness than herbal remedies alone. Unfortunately, in light of the current regulatory environment, they simply are not worth the fight. We will be researching herbal alternatives in an attempt to improve on these formulas so they continue to be as effective as we are proud they have always been. For some this will mean including products proven to increase bioavailability, making the already existing ingredients more useful, and for others it may mean integrating new herbs. While we are disappointed at what we see as an over-regulation of the natural products industry, we are committed to providing quality products that meet all federal requirements, and we will work to guarantee our products to be as powerful and effective as ever.
by Jamie Miller
I am often asked where our herbs come from. As an eclectic herbal company, our herbs come from all over the world. Our herbal ingredients come from every continent of the world, except Antarctica-- which doesn't grow many herbs.
Obviously, sourcing quality herbs from so many different geographic locations is a challenge. And we often read sensational headlines about supplements that are laced with prescription drugs, or that contain dangerous chemicals. However, the companies that sell these products are usually fly-by-night firms, that buy complete predefined formulas from disreputable overseas suppliers, and sell them on the Internet. These products are almost always intentionally spiked during production, in order to make the formulas more effective.
Our products, on the other hand, are manufactured entirely in the USA. The ingredients are sourced as individual herbs, and are purchased only from well-known and trusted suppliers. Since the suppliers don't know what the herbs will be used for, there is little incentive to spike them. And since each separate herb has well-known physical and chemical characteristics, it would be difficult to spike them without the adulteration being noticed.
Still, ensuring overall quality of herbal ingredients is a very real challenge, and we meet that challenge with a combination of teamwork and process. Teamwork means that we rely on known and trusted supply partners who make it their business (and reputation) to provide quality ingredients. In addition, we make it our process to further test our products, to ensure that our product specifications are consistently met or exceeded.
There are three important qualities that need to be adequately assured for each individual herbal ingredient: identity, potency, and purity. These major areas of concern can be further broken down as follows.
Obviously, not every possible test can or should be performed on every single batch of herbs. As an extreme example, we could run a DNA identity test on every batch, or even every individual drum of powdered herb, but the cost would be astronomical, and would ultimately have to be passed on to the consumer. On the other hand, at least one identity test needs to be run on every ingredient, and microbial tests need to be performed on every batch of finished product.
Some problems are more likely than others, and some problems are more dangerous than others. Likely or dangerous issues should of course be tested for more frequently, and more stringently. Other tests can be omitted, or tested for only periodically, if the problems they detect are unlikely, or not immediately dangerous. If these problems do crop up in random or sporadic quality testing, they can be made part of the routine testing program until they get resolved.
In reality, some tests are just as effective, and far less costly, than others. For example, organoleptic testing (testing by appearance, smell and taste) may be low-tech, but human senses have not yet been surpassed by scientific instruments for speed, effectiveness and value for identity and potency testing in many (but not all) circumstances.
But by far the best way to increase quality and lower costs is to know your supplier. Good companies use well-known and respected suppliers, because they know that their products and their reputations depend on good quality ingredients. Reputable suppliers in turn know their sources of supply, and they do a lot of testing when they buy the herbs, so as to reduce the amount of testing that needs to be done later by their clients.
In the end, quality is largely a matter of trust. Trusted suppliers provide trusted ingredients, which can be used by reputable manufacturers to create trusted and effective products. No amount of testing or government regulation can eliminate all crooked manufacturers from the marketplace, but luckily, you don't have to buy from them. Do your homework, ask your local retailer, and buy effective products from reputable companies, and you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
by Matt Warnock, CEO RidgeCrest Herbals
Ever wanted to start your own compost pile for your yard/garden, but didn’t know where to start? Here are some of the basics to help get you started on cultivating your own black gold. Microbes thrive on heat, moisture and oxygen inside your compost pile to turn organic matter into soil, full of nutrients.
Now that you have compost, put it to use! Your compost is ready when all identifiable parts have turned into a black and crumbly soil. Place a ring of compost around your plants and then water in to provide nutrients to established plants, or till it into your soil at the beginning of planting season.
Vermicomposting has grown in popularity and become a mainstay for homes around the world, turning natural table scraps into worm castings, or dark black beautiful fertilizer right under your kitchen sink. Before you turn up your nose, let's get the gross worries out of the way:
1. Worms will not escape and find their way to your bed while you sleep, they are contained within their own system.
2. Done right, vermicomposting will not stink.
3. You should not have to handle the little red worms. They do all of the work, and move right on to the next step in the process.
Why should you compost with worms? The short answer: Fertilizer. The long answer: You can turn your kitchen waste into food for your garden, houseplants, and trees. You will also have a supply of rich compost tea - clear water that collects in the bottom of the container, which is an additional fertilizer. You can water your plants directly with this liquid, and they will love it! Your kitchen waste will not have to go into the garbage - Instead you will put it in the top tray of this system under your kitchen sink, or in your garage (they need to be someplace insulated from frozen winters for maximum benefits), where the worms will break it down into usable material. The ecological benefits are giant, it saves a lot of power, and helps you do your part for the planet. When you buy big-brand fertilizer, you have to think about the energy & fossil fuel used to make or mine the components, and acknowledge the energy used to transport it globally.
How do you vermicompost? You can find forums on the web, or there are many books available to teach you how to make your own. You can also purchase kits that vary in cost from around $80-$120, depending on the size you need. Size is determined by how large your family is, and the amount of non-meat food waste you produce.
Keep in mind: you will need RED worms. This will not work with the common night crawler you find in your yard. These worms can be bought by the pound, or found in horse pilings (if you have access to that resource). The best way to get them is by asking around. Someone who vermicomposts (or even has a red worm composting system) can give you a handful, and that’s all you need to get started. They will populate the right amount for your system in a short time. The only downside is that red worms do not like extreme temperatures. I live in the mountains of Utah, which means I have to pay close attention and be careful to not let them freeze during the winter. If you live in a hot climate, you will need to keep them out of the extreme heat. This is why the dark and temperature controlled environment under a kitchen sink is a common place to keep them, and is fairly stable year round.
I love vermicomposting. I know where my fertilizer is coming from, and I know it is not damaging our ecological system, but helping it. If you’re curious and want to find out more, check out these references:
by Will Christensen
an excerpt from the book by Caleb Warnock
Fifteen Reasons to never till your garden again:
1. Dramatically reduces the work required to garden
2. Reduces weeding by 90 percent
3. Allows you to establish a self-seeding garden
4. Means you never need to purchase fertilizer again
5. Hugely cuts down on soil disease
6. Cuts down soil compaction
7. Dramatically increases natural soil fertility
8. Makes a 100 percent organic garden practical
9. Makes gardening physically accessible
10. Makes permaculture truly possible - no gas, no tiller
11. Make a garden honestly sustainable
12. Make gardening easier for beginners and experienced growers,
the physically disabled, seniors, children, families
13. Increases yields
14. Makes a larger garden possible with less work
15. Makes gardening less expensive
There are only two ways to make soil fertile - One way is natural, the other is synthetic. The natural way costs nothing and requires little work. The synthetic method is expensive, labor-intensive, and violates the first rule of sustainable gardening -- the garden should pay you, instead of you paying your garden in the form of buying stuff for it. You may be surprised to learn that the natural method is based almost solely on mushrooms (mycelium). Mother Nature has a whole system of soil fertility in place, and as it turns out, if we get out of her way, she will make our garden fertile -- for free.
Modern science has confirmed something surprising. In natural ecosystems, many (if not all) plants are best able to remove nutrients from soil with the help of mushroom mycelium. Most gardeners have never heard of mycelium, even though they’ve seen it. Mushrooms are an interesting plant. The whole plant is underground. Only the fruit -- what we call mushrooms -- emerge into the sunlight. The rest of the plant is called mycelium. If you’ve ever turned over an old log, or cleaned a garden in spring, you’ve likely seen the brilliant white threads that are mycelium. These strings are delicate and easily destroyed -- but when left to their own devices, they will slowly break down the largest logs, straw, chaff, and garden waste, helping Mother Nature turn these things to rich soil. Mushrooms are huge plants, with the mycelium of one plant running for dozens, hundreds or thousands of feet under the soil. Mushroom plants are also long-lived, threading themselves through the soil where they assist trees, bushes, grasses, and vegetables. The roots of all the plants that surround us need the help of mycelium to get food from the soil. It’s that simple.
When we mechanically till the soil, we are damaging the very mycelium that our soil relies on for natural health. Throughout history -- until the modern age -- gardening was always done using the no-till method. Scientists are quick to tell you that, even though we have known for 130 years that plants depend on mycelium, we know very little about the whole process. We know that, for the most part, mushroom plants must have carbon to live, but are not able to process this carbon themselves. To solve this problem, they form relationships with plants underground. The plants provide carbon to the mushrooms, and the mushrooms “farm” these plants by supplying them with nutrients so that the plants will continue to grow and provide carbon.
In 2008, the Oxford Journal of Experimental Botany published a wide-ranging paper which examined years of studies of mycelium and its relationship to plants. Here is what modern science has learned about this relationship between mushroom mycelium (fungi) and plants (data from J. Exp. Bot. (2008) 59 (5): 1115-1126):
“Mycorrhizal fungi ‘connect’ plants ‘to the nutrients required for their growth.’ Mycelium helps plants in times of stress including drought, soil acidification, and exposure to toxic metals and plant pathogens. Mycelium increase “the nutrient absorptive surface area of their host plant root systems.”
Tilling drastically reduced soil fertility because it did so much damage to the soil. What kind of damage? The mechanical action not only destroyed the mycelium, but also ground the earth so fine that it created compaction. And tilled topsoil, essentially ground into dust, continues to this day to blow away, creating huge fertility problems worldwide. Science solved these problems by creating commercial petroleum-based fertilizers which could be scattered over fields and mixed right into the soil with Howard’s new tiller machines. Natural soil fertility was no longer necessary. During and after World War I, millions had starved to death in Europe. As I explain in my “Backyard Winter Gardening” book, it took years for aid to reach rural Russian villages and other places, where the starving had turned to eating their straw roofs. When help finally arrived, what the locals wanted more than anything else was vegetable seed. Seeds helped put these villages back on their feet, and taught the world a valuable lesson that has been mostly forgotten today -- seed is only available when someone grows it. When seed vanishes, people starve. As I wrote in my first Forgotten Skills book, today our seed supply is almost wholly hybrid, corporate owned, patented, and designed to be self-suiciding to ensure long-term corporate dependence and thus, profits. Nine out of every ten heirloom varieties that were for sale in 1900 are now extinct. We will never be able to get them back. The new science of agronomy promised to end starvation forever.
As petrochemicals became the standard on farms, backyard gardeners began to “see the light.” Arthur Howard’s invention had initially been rejected by gardeners as useless, but soon the wave of science washed over the backyard garden too. Organic gardening methods were dropped as “old-fashioned” and “foolish”. The great age of chemicals had dawned.
Did you know that vinegar has many different uses in your home in place of harsh chemicals?
Try some of these great methods:
Remove Pet Odor - Spray some white vinegar onto your pet’s puddle when you’re cleaning it up to remove the odor as well as the stain.
Clean Mineral Deposits - Scrub your shower with vinegar to remove hard water stains, let it stand for an hour, then rinse. Clogged shower head? Tie a plastic baggie filled with vinegar around the head with a rubber band and let sit overnight, remove and rinse.
Absorb Smoke Smells - Vinegar can help to remove cigarette smoke from rooms and surfaces. Add it to your carpet shampoo solution to pull the smell out of carpet, dilute with water and spray/wipe walls, or even stick a bowl full of vinegar in smoky rooms to absorb odors before they set in.
Clean Your Refrigerator - Wipe up spills and stuck-on food with a rag and 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water. Works like a charm!
Dissolve Kitchen and Bathroom Grime - hard water deposits, soap grime, and food spots are no match for baking soda, vinegar, and a toothbrush! Let the solution sit for 20 mintues to an hour on stubborn spots, then rinse or wipe with a warm damp cloth.
Unclog a Sink - This is an inexpensive way to get a drain moving again. Add 1/3 cup of baking soda and flush with a generous amount of vinegar, followed by hot water to completely flush the baking soda through the pipes.
Ridgecrest Herbals is thrilled that our PhysiQOL herbal supplement has won the 2017 Taste for Life Essentials Award in the category of Pain Management. This recognition is a tribute to the hard work our company has put into this unique product and the results our customers experience. Designed to help improve quality of life (QOL) during periods of pain or discomfort, we combined homeopathic remedies with herbal products used for centuries to help reduce pain and promote a healthy inflammatory response such as Boswellia, ginger, bromelain, turmeric, and white willow bark. The result is an eclectic, effective product that helps manage the root issues of many common aches and pains. Whether it is tension in the neck or head, inflammation associated with overuse, or menstrual discomfort, PhysiQOL is a natural, safe alternative that is non-habit forming and gentle on the liver. Ridgecrest Herbal’s patented formula contains a variety of the most powerful ingredients for natural pain relief used in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TMC) and Western herbalism. Ingredients in PhysiQOL are fast-acting and have been shown to help reduce discomfort and promote a healthy inflammatory response in the joints, muscles, digestive tract, and respiratory system. In addition to pain management, this formula includes ingredients designed to help bring a sense of calm to help reduce stress for faster recovery, and still others that increase the bioavailability of the product.
The Taste of Life Essentials Award is a great honor, demonstrating the quality and effectiveness of our PhysiQOL product, and places our exclusive solution for natural pain management alongside some of the best products in the industry. Released in 2015, this is PhysiQOL’s first recognition, adding it to our list of other quality, award-winning products including ClearLungs Immune (2016), Anxiety Free (2014, 2016), and Thyroid Thrive (2016).
by Scott Van Zalinge, Fellow Bearded Brother
Since the beginning of mankind, men have been growing beards. They have been worn for warmth, fashion, or to convey masculinity. For centuries, the ability to grow a beard was accepted as the sign of full-grown manhood, and in many cultures, a long beard has been associated with great wisdom, strength, and social status.
Early man would have had little choice but to wear their beards, since the earliest evidence of hair removal only dates back to the Stone Age. During that time, hair was plucked from the body using two shells (like tweezers), or by use of water and a tool such as a sharpened flint, or shark tooth. Egyptian warriors, followed by Greek and Roman soldiers, would shave their beards to keep them from being grabbed in hand-to-hand combat. The modern straight razor was conceived in Sheffield, England in the 19th century, though daily shaving was not a widespread practice then. The custom of shaving every day began among American men during World War I, when soldiers were required to shave daily so that their gas masks would seal properly.
For me, I feel that having a beard does convey masculinity… and perhaps one does look wiser with a beard, like the many philosophers who’ve worn them in the past. It keeps my neck warm while out on winter hikes, intimidates bears I come across, and I think it’s just plain cool!
by Matt Warnock, CEO of RidgeCrest Herbals
As a kid, I loved to know how things worked. I would take gadgets apart, and loved to push the buttons, work the levers and trace the wires, trying my best to understand how they worked, or why they had stopped working. My skills in putting those same gadgets back together, however, were not nearly as good. As the oldest of six kids who all shared the same curiosity, I soon learned not to tinker with things that weren't already broken, so that I didn't attract the eyeball-peeling wrath of my exasperated parents. I learned that there were several good reasons for my Dad saying, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it!”
I also learned that you have to be a whole lot smarter to build something, than to take it apart. There is a big difference between a “shade-tree mechanic” who may (or may not) be able to fix a car, and the many hundreds of highly skilled automotive engineers that designed and built the car in the first place. The mechanic has just enough know-how to be dangerous. And destroying that same car? Heck, that can be accomplished with no real brains at all - ask any teenager!
As I got older, I also became fascinated with history. One thing that puzzled me was the vast number of things we used to know, but somehow don't know anymore. We used to know how to build pyramids, obelisks, Greek temples and Peruvian cities, but somehow, the knowledge of exactly how we did those things has disappeared. How were the monoliths transported and arranged at Stonehenge? How did the statues of Easter Island get to their places? Or how did the ancient Greeks design the Antikythera mechanism, a precisely geared brass clockwork instrument that could predict the relative positions of the five known planets, our moon and sun, and even predict solar and lunar eclipses with astonishing accuracy? This knowledge has become lost.
In the 1970s, some Georgia scholars began to document the backwoods knowledge and lifestyle of the Appalachian mountain pioneers, which was slowly going extinct. Basic skills like how to build a cabin, make your own tools, butcher and cure your own meat, and a thousand other things that used to be commonplace, were slowly disappearing as the older generations passed away. The result was an amazing D.I.Y. reference called the Foxfire Book (Vols. 1-5), which can provide some really interesting reading for a rainy afternoon. Read more about the Foxfire project at http://www.foxfirefund.org/.
Utah has always had a really strong do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) tradition. Because of its early isolation and hard winters, Utah pioneers had to learn to make things themselves, or to do without. Perhaps the first Utah inventor was William Clayton, who invented a “roadometer” to measure the distance traveled by his wagon wheels while on his way to Utah in 1847. His invention, now called an “odometer” is built into every car, nowadays. As time went on, that early D.I.Y. culture became pretty deeply ingrained, and Utah has produced some amazing inventors, including Philo Farnsworth (television), Lester Wire (traffic lights), Robert Browning (repeating rifles, shotguns, and pistols), Nolan Bushnell (video games), Hervey Fletcher (hearing aid), Robert Jarvik (artificial heart), Alan Ashton (WYSIWYG word processing), and Frank Zamboni (ice resurfacing).
A lot of Utah folks still like to do their own thing, and that may explain why there are so many entrepreneurs here on the “Silicon Slopes.” I volunteer with VentureCapital.org, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs raise capital to make their business dreams happen. It is fun to see entrepreneurs come in with an idea, build a business plan, and make a presentation that can actually attract and keep the interest of potential investors.
But the D.I.Y. trend isn't limited to inventors and entrepreneurs. There is just a certain satisfaction that comes from making something yourself, and everyone can get excited about that. Recently, while visiting my sister (a financial planner), she showed off her new stainless steel kitchen island that she had made from a recycled dresser and some galvanized pipe. It looked (and worked) great! My brother-in-law, who is a doctor and part-time musician, had made some of his own acoustic sound-deadening panels for the room where he keeps his drum kit. Today, finding your own D.I.Y. ideas is so easy. Whether it's fixing your car or building an experimental aircraft in your garage, Google is your friend. Social media like Facebook and Pinterest are also full of ideas and success stories, so there really is no excuse - Go get your D.I.Y. on!
Last, but certainly not least, a lot of people are thinking more about D.I.Y. health. After all, if you don't take care of your health, who will? Herbal medicine is an area of ancient knowledge that is at risk of loss in our modern society, if we don't take active steps to use and preserve it. For thousands of years, our ancestors treated many of their common physical complaints and injuries with common herbs that grew in their gardens, or in the nearby forests, fields, and waste spaces. How much of their herbal wisdom has today been lost, because it wasn't written down, or the writings were not preserved?
Today, modern medicine is very much in the “shade-tree mechanic” stage. Yes, we can take things (and people) apart, and, sometimes, we can even put them back together in some semblance of working order. But design them? Not a chance. That takes a power much higher than ours, and we can't even begin to know what we don't know. While modern medicine may look down its nose at the ancients and sneer at their limited medical knowledge, future generations may well look back at us and think many of the same things. In the meantime, what once worked for your pioneer grandmother may still work today. Here at RidgeCrest Herbals, we believe in eclectic approaches. The more “tools” that you have in your wellness toolbox, the better equipped you’ll be for whatever life throws at you!
By Brittini Gehring, Master Herbalist - Chief Botanical Officer for RidgeCrest Herbals
My path to becoming an Herbalist has been a series of events laid out before me - one step at a time. I recall many hours spent in the mountains, holding my father's hand as he pointed out different plants and explained their uses to me. I was totally enthralled with this information, but was too young to realize just how much these outings would shape my future. As life continued, fate provided me with a way to apply the the things I had learned in nature and led me on a beautiful path to success, peace, fulfillment and service.
The first stepping stone in my journey was placed long before I really knew what career path I would take. It was nearly 30 years ago, I was just a young girl, and it was the 4th of July. This particular year, my family and I were celebrating in a wilderness park when something colorful next to a boulder caught my eye. Always on the lookout for treasure, I curiously strolled over to the large rock, and beneath it was a pair of the most beautiful beaded moccasins I had ever seen. Something about them made my heart pound, and I looked around to see if there was anyone else nearby to claim them, but there was only my family having a picnic in the distance. Something about them resonated with me, and reminded me of my great, great grandmother, who belonged to the Ute tribe. I pondered what to do, and made the decision to pick them up. It may sound odd, but at that moment, I felt they were placed there just for me, although I had no idea why. Such a profound and clear feeling can be overwhelming to a young girl, so I ran to show my parents, who I was sure would tell me to put them back. They didn't! In fact, they assured me that if I didn't keep them, someone else would, so I took them home and loved them. The beading was immaculate, and the colors were so vibrant. For years, the moccasins sat in a box in my closet, and I would open it periodically to admire them, and sometimes try them on - they always fit. It would be a long time full of learning and growth before I would find out just how valuable they would be.
The next stepping stone arrived 8 years later, on another continent. I had moved to Brazil for two years on a service mission. I came to know a family who after inquiring where I lived, asked me to take some books back to a man in my home state once my mission was over. They informed me that he was an herbalist who had lived in Brazil many years before, and that his father, Dr. John Christopher had founded a school for natural medicine. In that instant, I knew what my future would hold. When I got back to my home state, I couldn't wait to take the books to their owner and discuss my future, which is exactly what I did. Unfortunately, after being gone for two years without any income, I was broke and needed to save money to attend the school. Over the next few years, I got married, and had two children. They became my whole world, and my dream of becoming an herbalist was placed behind the responsibilities of being a wife and mother. One day, I met a girl who told me about her own plans of attending Dr. Christopher's School of Natural Healing. It was one of those, “No way! Me too!” moments, and my desire to pursue my career was reignited. I had some obstacles now, but my biggest one was convincing a controlling spouse that attending school would not interfere with me being a good homemaker, or cost us much money. “If I can find the money on my own, can I do it?” I begged. “Yeah, sure,” he said, as he laughed with a certainty that there was no way I could come up with tuition on my own. I applied for, and received a scholarship that covered half of the cost. I still had to come up with the remaining money, but from where? I exhausted every idea I could think of, but none of them would bring enough cash as fast as I needed it.
Ebay was a new concept at the time, but it was my only remaining hope. I began listing any and every valuable item I had, including antique dolls, jewelry, books, gently used baby items, etc. Then I remembered the moccasins... I pulled them out of the box they had been in for so many years, and I admired them again as I did the first time I saw them. I decided it was time to see if they could somehow help me. I listed them on Ebay, without even considering that Native American artifacts were highly sought-after by collectors. My husband laughed and shook his head when he saw me listing them - but he didn't know that destiny was on my side. As soon as the moccasins were listed, bids started going up and questions about their authenticity flooded my inbox. As luck would have it, an outdoor Native American artifact show was taking place just minutes away from my home that same day, and I hurried down to look for a specialist who could tell me if the moccasins were authentic. I located an expert, who examined them and told me that the laces were real sinew and that the tiny beads were handmade and had been delicately sewn on by hand. The leather was most likely deer hide, also authentic. The material lining the back of the heel was still such a vivid red that he felt it may have been restored at some point, but possibly original. He explained to me that these were burial moccasins, and that they were considered sacred.
I returned home, even more intrigued by how these moccasins came to me. I updated the listing to say that they had been verified by an expert to be authentic, and the bids kept coming. For the last hour of the auction, my husband and I watched in awe as the bids continued to climb, right up until the very last minute, and SOLD! The final amount was the EXACT sum, right down to the penny, that I needed to cover the rest of my tuition. My eyes still fill with tears when I recall this moment of definite purpose and realization of why I found those moccasins so many years ago. The new owner had a lot of questions about them, including how they came into my possession.
I told him the whole story, and he too was intrigued. He asked me to write down the story so he could display it with the moccasins in the gallery they were going to. Full of gratitude, I carefully wrapped them in tissue paper with my story. I held them close to me, whispered thank you, and mailed them off. Letting them go was hard, but I knew it was for a greater purpose. I enrolled in school, and wasted no time sharing my education with friends, family, and clients. The week I graduated, my husband decided to trade in his family for a more “exciting” lifestyle (another unforeseen stepping stone), and we divorced. he moccasins were gone, but they gave me the motivation and courage to pursue a career that would bless me, my family, and others indefinitely, even during hard times. They eventually led me to my current position as the Chief Botanical Officer at RidgeCrest Herbals, Inc., a company that truly cares about quality and helping others. I am approaching my 10 year anniversary with RidgeCrest, and at present, I oversee new formulations and Quality Assurance. Just like with the moccasins, my career with RidgeCrest fits. A photo of the moccasins hangs above my desk to this very day, as a reminder of their role in my path to becoming an herbalist.
By Heather Warnock, L.M.T.
“To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one already feels thirsty, or forging weapons after the war has already begun.” -Nei Jung
In the West, we tend to think of ourselves only as physical beings. In actuality, we are energy beings that have attracted matter to give us form. When we think of ourselves this way, it’s easy to understand that disruption in our body’s flow of energy could then cause physical dysfunction. Acupressure, like acupuncture, is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine developed from the belief that Chi (energy) is concentrated along meridians (channels) within the body. Meridians are the fundamental physical pathways through which Chi flows, connecting superficial areas of the body to internal areas. They are named according to the organ or system to which they are most directly connected. Along each meridian are points that are often referred to as “gates”. If a gate is closed, the Chi cannot move freely through the meridian. Conversely, if a gate does not control the flow, the Chi in that area becomes deficient. Through the use of fingers (acupressure) or needles (acupuncture), these gates can be adjusted to promote the smooth flow of Chi throughout the body, thus alleviating and preventing physical symptoms of dysfunction.
How to administer Acupressure:
Here are eight commonly used Acupressure points:
Gallbladder 20 (GB20): Gates of Consciousness
This point is recommended for headache, migraine, eye blurriness or fatigue, ankle pain, side ache, shoulder pain, low energy, and cold/flu symptoms. It is located at the meeting-place of the base of the skull and top of the neck - just lateral to the muscle tendon.
Gallbladder 21 (GB21): Shoulder Well
This point is located by pinching the shoulder muscle with your thumb and middle finger and is commonly used for stress, nervousness, irritability, fatigue, facial pain, headaches, toothaches and neck pain. Use with caution in pregnant women.
Pericardium 3 (PC3): Marsh at the Bend
You can find this point located on the inside of the arm, at the lower edge of the elbow crease when the arm is bent. PC3 is an emotional balancing point, and controls nervousness, anxiety, and irritability. It also helps relieve nausea, wrist pain, elbow pain, and chest discomfort. It moves and cools blood, dispelling stasis.
Pericardium 7 (PC7): Great Hill
This point is located in the middle of the crease of the wrist. PC7 works to calm the mind and clear heat. It is commonly used to treat insomnia, convulsions, too much or too little sweat, hot flashes, and foul breath.
Pericardium 6 (PC6): Inner Gate (Healing Point)
This point is located three finger-widths below the wrist on the inner forearm in between the two tendons. It can help relieve nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, upset stomach, vomiting, hiccups, motion sickness and headaches and is even used for regulation of heart palpitations.
Large Intestine 4 (LI4): Joining the Valley (Gates of Pain)
This point is found in the web of the thumb and index finger and is good for stress, frontal headaches, constipation, depression, analgesic for pain, balances gastrointestinal. However, as a word of precaution, it can induce labor and must never be used during pregnancy. Alternative: Hold index finger.
Spleen 6 (SP6): 3-Yin Crossing
This point is located on the inside of the leg, four finger-widths above the ankle in the depression under the tibia bone. This point can be very helpful for many urological and pelvic disorders. Regulates menstrual cramps, aids in water retention, as well as fatigue and insomnia. Avoid during pregnancy
Liver 3 (LV3): Great Surge (Gates of Pain)
You need to take off your shoe to find this point. It is found in the depression below the web between your big toe and second toe. This is an excellent area to stimulate for stress, low back pain, high blood pressure, limb pain, insomnia and emotional upset.
Congratulations! You’ve activated your body’s own self-healing power! Here’s to better health, balance, and well-being. Caution: If you have a serious or life-threatening illness such as heart disease or cancer, please consult with your physician before practicing Acupressure.
RidgeCrest Herbals Almanac success leads to a new partnership with WholeFoods Magazine and higher production for 2017.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT December 13, 2016 - RidgeCrest Herbals, maker of the #1 natural herbal lung formula, ClearLungs, is happy to announce they have teamed up with WholeFoods Magazine for the production of the annual 2017 RidgeCrest Herbals Almanac publication.
Nichole Carver, the Retailer Marketing Specialist with Ridgecrest Herbals, states, “We’re excited about our partnership with Whole Foods Magazine. They’ve given us the opportunity to get the Almanac into more hands, and then some. If you subscribe to WholeFoods Magazine, you’ll see a copy bundled with the January Issue. And if not, give us a call to get one!”
In 2016, RidgeCrest Herbals printed the first Almanac with huge success. The reception of the Almanac continued to be a hot topic bringing excitement throughout the year, causing demand to exceed the amount printed. RidgeCrest Herbals Chief Marketing Officer, Will Christensen, reported, “Not only was it another fun year with our team writing articles and adding new store and vendor tools, we were taking hundreds of requests for next years’ edition. So much so that we will be printing twelve times as many for 2017.”
Customers could not get enough of the old fashioned, but up to date, booklet filled with interesting, useful - and some not so useful - tidbits of information. The Almanac provides customers with a planning calendar packed with helpful tips, articles, recipes and beautiful photographs, compliments of RidgeCrest Herbals’ team.
Heather Wainer, WholeFoods Magazine publisher, commented, “When I saw the almanac for the first time last year I caught all of Team RidgeCrest’s excitement. It embodies the personality and integrity of the company while providing the retailer with useful information, all in a fun way. Even though we also do a Planning Calendar, I knew that this would be a great companion piece to what we have been doing for years. I love working with all at RidgeCrest and glad that when they came to me questioning if there was a way more people could see the Almanac I had the answer. And I’m so proud that we can do it together. I know our readers will love it as much as we do.”
The Almanac captures the company's character, personality and culture delightfully. As summarized by RidgeCrest Herbals Chief Eclectics Officer and President, Matt Warnock, “We are a pretty close company, and we feel that moral and spiritual values are important, and we can summarize ours in six key areas. The first three describe how we design and produce our products: Eclectic, Innovative, Effective. The next three describe how we treat other people, especially our customers and each other: Trustworthy, Kind, Fun!”
RidgeCrest Herbals makes natural remedies for individual health needs, including the top selling ClearLungs, SinusClear, Anxiety Free, Hair ReVive, and more than 20 other formulas. The company’s eclectic approach combines natural methods and ingredients from around the world to deliver the most effective results. To learn more about RidgeCrest Herbals or to order the RidgeCrest Herbals Almanac visit www.rcherbals.com or call 1-800-242-4649.
Regulatory changes prompt an updated formula named AirwayClear, formerly known as AsthmaClear.
SALT LAKE CITY, June 24, 2016 - RidgeCrest Herbals has released a new product to replace their popular product AsthmaClear. The new product, called AirwayClear, has almost the same herbal formula as the former AsthmaClear product, but does not contain homeopathics. This change was precipitated by recent FDA statements and enforcement activity taking the position that asthma was not appropriate for over-the-counter (OTC) treatment, and specifically warning against homeopathic OTC treatments, a class that apparently included AsthmaClear. The new AirwayClear formula contains no homeopathics, but contains the exact same herbal blend formerly found in AsthmaClear. It also contains AvailaBlend, a patented natural formula for enhancing potency by increasing bioavailability. Because the new AirwayClear product is regulated as a Dietary Supplement, rather than as a homeopathic drug, the name and UPC code were also changed. You can find the new formula at www.rcherbals.com.
“AsthmaClear has been a consistent top seller for us since 1994, so we don’t take these changes lightly. But because homeopathic medicines are not dose-dependent, the actual change in the new formula was about 2% by weight, “ said Matt Warnock, CEO. “I doubt most existing users will notice a difference in the effectiveness of the formula, and some may actually find it more effective, because of the addition of AvailaBlend. But the change was needed to stay within the changing FDA regulatory framework.”
Customer feedback since the update has been generally positive, although the name and formula change has certainly created some uncertainty as consumers braced for adjustments to a product that they have used and enjoyed for so long. Consumers or dealers with questions about the new formula can call the company help line at 1-800-242-4649.
RidgeCrest Herbals makes natural remedies for individual health needs, including the top selling ClearLungs, SinusClear, Anxiety Free, Hair ReVive, and more than 20 other formulas. The company’s eclectic approach combines natural methods and ingredients from around the world to deliver the most effective results. To learn more about RidgeCrest Herbals visit www.rcherbals.com or call 1-800-242-4649.
Will Christensen is promoted to Chief Marketing Officer and Brittini Gehring to Chief Botanical Officer to continue upon the success of ClearLungs, the #1 Natural Lung Decongestant.
SALT LAKE CITY, June 24, 2016 - In 2015, RidgeCrest Herbals, maker of the #1 natural herbal lung decongestant ClearLungs, promoted two senior leaders to support the company’s strategic growth and innovation. After ten years of developing customer relationships, Will Christensen will occupy the lead position as Chief Marketing Officer, managing internal relations and promotions for the company. Brittini Gehring, a nine year product researcher and certified master herbalist, takes her seat as the Chief Botanical Officer, overseeing product formulation, development, and relations with manufacturers and suppliers. You can learn more about RidgeCrest Herbals at www.rcherbals.com.
“These are valued and proven team members who have stepped up to new roles,” said Matt Warnock, CEO. “They have consistently delivered in the past, and I am excited to see what they can do with these new responsibilities and opportunities. 2015 was a record year for us, and I only expect that trend to increase with their new ideas and additional direction.”
With a long history as both a natural product retailer and a natural ingredient supplier, Will Christensen is an experienced executive who is passionate about working with retailers to understand their needs and translate those needs into useful tools and solutions.
“I really look forward to getting RidgeCrest Herbals’ story out to our retailers and partners,” said Will Christensen, the new CMO. “We shot right out of the gate ending the 2015 year by launching the 2016 RidgeCrest Herbals Almanac. It was a massive undertaking. The entire company was involved in this effort to develop a closer relationship with our retailers and consumers. I wanted to show everyone what it is like inside the walls of RidgeCrest, but the book ended up being so much more than I planned. It became a way for us to display our passions, not just at work, but also in our personal lives.”
As a certified Master Herbalist, Brittini brings a unique blend of knowledge and personality to RidgeCrest Herbals formulations. Her passion for clinically effective, high quality, and natural products is the driving force that stimulates her creative and unique approach to botanical formulations.
“RidgeCrest Herbals has always been a place of learning and growth for both me and my career,” said Brittini, the new CBO, “What excited me most about my new position is that RidgeCrest Herbals has entrusted me with a critical section of the company’s mission to bring trusted and effective products to the market. My new position requires me to stay current on a wide range of laws, industry regulations, practices, ingredients, and trends. I feel very fortunate to be in a career that I find so rewarding, fun, and exciting.”
RidgeCrest Herbals makes natural remedies for individual health needs, including the top selling ClearLungs, SincusClear, Anxiety Free, Hair ReVive, and more than 20 other formulas. The company’s eclectic approach combines natural methods and ingredients from around the world to deliver the most effective results. To learn more about RidgeCrest Herbals visit www.rcherbals.com or call 1-800-242-4649.
Thank you Vitamin Retailer!
We are so proud to have won a VITY 2014 Award!
Anxiety Free won for the category called
Anxiety Free Stress Release is a comprehensive formula for combating stress and anxiety naturally and without side effects. It includes full (clinically proven) levels of each of the following ingredients.
Sensoril is a patented ingredient that has been shown to:
L-Theanine is an amino acid that provides a sense of relaxation within 30-40 minutes, through at least two different mechanisms. First, it stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. Secondly, L-theanine is also involved in the formation of GABA (discussed next).
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in increasing alpha relaxing/reflecting) brain waves and decreasing beta (alert/working) waves. It influences the levels of two neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. Human research shows that GABA not only induces relaxation but also reduces anxiety. These three clinically proven ingredients combined with B-vitamins, Eleuthero, Lemon Balm, Holy Basil and others provide complete system support.
The RidgeCrest Herbals Retailer Program will be introduced at Expo West this year! (Booth #1366)
The RidgeCrest Herbals Summit Retailer program offers a retailer locator, special discounts, staff training and marketing incentives for participating retailers.
Retailers! Register at the booth for a free gift! Come see us at booth #1366 during the show.
RidgeCrest Herbals Receives Patent for Homeopathic Encapsulating Method
SALT LAKE CITY—Ridgecrest Herbals received a new patent for its homeopathic encapsulating method to combine homeopathic and herbal ingredients.
The method allows Ridgecrest to mix homeopathic ingredients with stronger and faster working herbs without reducing the herb’s effective strength. Also, the method does not require lactose and sucrose, which are traditionally used to deliver homeopathic ingredients.
This summer, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reintroduced the infamous Dietary Supplement Labeling Act, after being previously defeated in a landslide 2011 vote. The bill aims to confer new powers on FDA, by allowing the agency to approve or reject supplements before their introduction—basically the same procedure currently applied to prescription drugs. Proponents say the legislation will help curb crooked supplement manufacturers that intentionally mislabel products or obscure the inclusion of dangerous additives. The fact is, this is a classic example of absurd over-regulation.
Under existing law, FDA already oversees finished dietary supplements and ingredients. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) already requires supplement manufacturers to ensure the safety of their products, and allows FDA to take legal action against violators. The agency can and does take such actions when needed.
Under Durbin's proposal, supplement makers would be required to submit all products to FDA for pre-approval prior to marketing or distributing any product, and the agency would have near-complete discretion to approve or deny (ban) any dietary supplement. FDA has no current authority for such a pre-approval process, and no funding or personnel with which to do it. Does this really seem like the best possible use of limited FDA resources.
The upcoming holiday season is a great time to have fun with family and friends, but it can also bring on stress. Matt Warnock, president of RidgeCrest Herbals, says that while it’s possible to alleviate this stress “with exercise, meditation or even over-indulging in food or alcohol (which can cause a whole new set of issues), our natural supplements can help as well, by combining the best ingredients known to target these specific issues without any side effects.”
Products reviewed: Adrenal Fatigue Fighter, Anxiety Free, Blood Sugar Balance
Nutrients are only useful if the body absorbs them. The nutrition industry is full of apocryphal stories of vitamin pills that fill septic tanks after passing undigested through the body. Bioavailability measures how well nutrients are assimilated into the body. Some nutrients are relatively easy to assimilate, while others are notoriously difficult.
Herbs and spices have been used since ancient times for their ability to enhance the flavor and enjoyment of foods, and to preserve foods for storage and later consumption. However, herbalists know certain herbs and spices can also aid proper digestion, and increase the bioavailability of other nutrients. We are just beginning to understand how some of these herbal medicines work. Many spices show great promise as bioavailability enhancers, helping the body properly absorb and make use of other nutrients.
My first post last month, “Tonics 101” defined tonic herbs, specifically how tonics help the body to better adapt to the challenges it faces, and how this approach differs from the symptom-oriented approach common in modern western medicine.
Today, let’s examine adaptogens, one of the best-studied classes of tonic herbs. Adaptogens are tonic herbs that address the immune system and help the body better cope with stress. These herbs are often said to have holistic healing properties that produce a general state of “well being” and balance.
Adaptogens work to boost the immune system and improve the body's resistance to the physical and emotional stressors that can cause illness, depression or stress. Adaptogens don't directly combat the symptoms caused by environmental and lifestyle stressors, but they can enhance and increase the coping mechanisms used by the body to respond to these stressors.
In herbal medicine, the term “tonic” is often used—mistakenly—to mean an infusion, tea or tincture, or even more simply, an herbal remedy of any kind. In truth, a tonic herbal formula is one that is used to promote, restore or maintain an overall feeling of energy and vitality within the body. These formulas have been used for hundreds of years in many traditions of herbal medicine and healing, including traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic and European traditions.
Tonics are so named because they are intended to tonify, tone or enhance wellness, either for the entire body, or particular parts or systems within the body. This is usually done by supporting and strengthening organs and systems that help to balance and regulate the body.
Let me explain how that works…
Anxiety Free Stress Release, Adrenal Fatigue Fighter, and Blood Sugar Balance combat stress while providing stable, consistent energy
Hoping to survive the holiday season naturally? RidgeCrest Herbals has the solution. Today, the company announced that three of its eclectic and innovative natural remedies—Anxiety Free Stress Release, Adrenal Fatigue Fighter, and Blood Sugar Balance—will naturally combat stress and anxiety; fight fatigue; and provide stable, consistent energy whether taken together or separately.
“While the next two to three months of holidays are undoubtedly filled with fun and family, they often cause high stress and low energy as we have a little too much fun and family time,” said Matt Warnock, president, RidgeCrest Herbals. “While many alleviate this stress with exercise, meditation, or even overindulging in food or alcohol (which can cause a whole new set of issues), our natural supplements can help by combining the best ingredients known to target these specific issues without any side effects.
Aspirin is a non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) similar to ibuprofen. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is a derivative of salicylate, which can be found in plants such as willow trees and myrtle, according to MedicalNewsToday.com. The benefits of willow were first discovered in 3,000 B. C. in Mesopotamia. In the following centuries, willow bark was continuously recommended for pain relief throughout the world.
According to MedicalNewsToday.com, more than 40,000 metric tons of the drug are consumed annually. Aspirin is typically used to relieve minor aches and pains, to reduce fever and as an anti-inflammatory drug. It is also commonly used for cardiac health as an antiplatelet to prevent blood clot formation in people at risk for, or who have just had, a heart attack or stroke.
Some side effects of aspirin include stomach bleeding and severe asthma attacks, according to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, director of the Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Practitioners Network. “Unfortunately, the side effects from aspirin and NSAIDS have been found to be daunting,” said Teitelbaum. “NSAIDS cause more than 30,000 deaths a year, 16,000 from bleeding ulcer deaths, and a doubling to tripling of heart attack and stroke risk.”
Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives that are far more effective, he said. One such remedy is a mix of a highly absorbable form of curcumin (called BCM 95) plus boswellia. This mixture was found to be more effective than Celebrex in treating arthritis in a recent head-on study, according to Teitelbaum. And, going back to the original source, willow bark has been shown in comparison studies with Motrin to be more effective, and also gentler on the stomach.
(see mention of Migraine Relief)
Thyroid Thrive is the latest product from RidgeCrest Herbals. Containing a natural vitamin and herbal formula, Thyroid Thrive is designed to support and maintain several internal organs and systems including the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands, proper hormone levels, a healthy metabolism and natural energy.
Will Demo Sample at the Vitamin Shoppe Expo on August 2 in Orlando
SALT LAKE CITY, UT, July 30, 2013 – RidgeCrest Herbals, a creator of eclectic and innovative natural remedies, today announced the “Unleash Your Inner Beast, Naturally!” supplement/sports nutrition promotion for the fitness industry. As part of the promotion, retailers will deliver a product package - including samples of RidgeCrest’s Clear Lungs, Adrenal Fatigue Fighter and Thyroid Thrive - to a neighboring fitness facility to help encourage natural fitness enhancement, build relationships and drive business to their store. RidgeCrest will have these sample boxes available to retailers at the Vitamin Shoppe Expo on August 2 in Orlando.
“The use of supplements in the fitness industry is very common, and people are increasingly searching for natural and safe alternatives to help reach their fitness goals,” said Matt Warnock, president, RidgeCrest Herbals. “The products included in our promotion are all-natural, herbal and nutritional formulas that are safe, clean, and caffeine-free – and targeted at strengthening the organs most needed by any athlete.”
Supplements in the sports sample, include:
“While these products aren’t specifically designed to increase athletic performance, any athlete or fitness enthusiast can benefit from these natural performance enhancers,” Warnock said. “The competitive athlete can also take them without fear because none of these natural supplements include any steroids or stimulants banned by any international sporting organization.”
As part of the promotion, local retailers should:
RidgeCrest Herbals makes natural remedies for individual health needs, including the top selling ClearLungs, SinusClear, Anxiety Free, Hair ReVive, and more than 20 others. The company’s eclectic approach combines natural methods and ingredients from around the world to deliver the most effective results. For details, visit www.rcherbals.com or call 1-800-242-4649.
Learning about how environmental toxins and poor diet can affect them, many consumers are turning to detox and cleansing programs as a proactive approach to health.
Detoxification and cleansing has been practiced throughout history by many cultures for physical and spiritual reasons. Many ancient cultures took part in cleansing rituals, while detoxification is a part of traditional Chinese, Native American and ayurvedic medicine.
Further, in many religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, fasting is a way of purifying the soul. “It’s a way of resetting one’s moral clock, of starting with a clean slate,” said Michael McCullough, a psychology professor at the University of Miami, in an interview with Newsweek.
Today, the market for detoxification and cleansing products is on the rise. In fact, according to a Mintel study, the number of food and drink products with detoxification claims has increased fourfold since 2003. Part of the reason for this growth is the exposure from experts/television personalities such as Dr. Oz and the influence that they have on their viewers. For instance, Dr. Oz introduced his viewers to a three-day detox to jump start energy on an episode of his show. “Consumers hear and listen to these recommendations— as indicated by the marked sales increases of these supplements in the days following their mentions,” said Zoe Kissam, herbalist and associate brand manager for California-based Traditional Medicinals.
(See quote from Matt Warnock, President, RidgeCrest Herbals and mention of KidneyAid and LiverClean.)
While some of us may have a sweet tooth, the cells in our bodies definitely do not. Our cells naturally use a certain amount of glucose for fuel, but they’re not so keen on sweet-stuff overload. Consistently high levels of sugar in our bloodstreams make it tough for pancreatic cells to produce enough insulin. In response, the organ overcompensates by creating too much insulin and eventually becomes damaged (1). As blood sugar levels become consistently high, type-2 diabetes may develop.
There’s more bad news. Excess sugar in the bloodstream will injure other parts of the body, too. Its modified form becomes viscous and film-like, coating blood vessels and causing proteins to function poorly (1). For this reason, diabetics often experience other issues like kidney problems, vision loss, poor wound healing and nerve damage (i.e., neuropathy).
Given these issues—and the fact that 25+ million Americans have diabetes—it’s no wonder that the disease costs the country more than $116 billion annually in direct medical costs (1). Retailers should understand how to meet the needs of anyone concerned about healthy blood sugar levels, and be prepared to talk about how supplements and lifestyle choices play a role in glucose health.
If shoppers are looking for natural remedies for diabetes, let them know supplements can't be said to cure or prevent disease. Nonetheless, there are numerous natural ways to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
(see quote from Matt Warnock, President, RidgeCrest Herbals)