Natural Health Tips for 2017

By Debbie Koteras, Owner, Mother Nature’s Food, Inc

A new year is upon us, and for many people it is a time to reflect and make a New Year’s resolution. For many this can be a lifelong change, and for others it lasts about two weeks and then it is back to old habits. During this time of reflection, I would love to give you some things to think about that I have seen make a difference in many of my customers’ lives.

The first thing is water. I cannot say enough about having consistent good-quality water in your life every day. I think the key for many people is finding that perfect container for you because it really needs to go everywhere with you. Maybe you have one for home and one that goes with, whatever works for you!

Now the next item is sleep. I am not here to debate how many hours of sleep you should get, but my goal is to have you really think about the quality of sleep that you get. For many people having to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom is a nightly interruption. Is it an easy fix of not drinking anything too late at night or is there a prostate issue or a bladder issue? Getting to the root cause of the problem and not covering it up or ignoring it is really what you need to figure out. For some, you cannot get to sleep because you are unable to shut your thoughts off. There are different natural products that may help you out with many of these issues.

Now that you are drinking enough water and getting a good night’s sleep, there are a handful of supplements that MANY of my customers use every day that are helpful to their overall well-being. The top items are an omega supplement, a vitamin D3, and a multivitamin. Now these are all basics for people of any age – young to old.

Taking responsibility for your own health has to be a personal decision. Once you take on that challenge to get and keep yourself healthy, you will never regret it. Here is to an awesome 2017 and a healthier and happy you!

Using Herbal Remedies to Support Mind and Body During the Dolidays

By Erin LaFaive

During cold winter months our bodies and minds may experience more stress as they try to stay warm, defend against harmful germs encountered from being in close quarters with others, and maintain energy needed to keep up with extra demands from the holidays when all we want to do is hibernate.

Stressed-out bodies and minds may lead to increased susceptibility to colds and flu. Herbal remedies that support the body to fight off these kinds of illnesses include elderberry syrup. It’s high in vitamin C and can be taken daily by the tablespoon or added to water and smoothies. Culinary herbs have anti-microbial properties too. Add herbs such as oregano, thyme, sage, garlic, and onion daily, to recipes.

Nourishing infusions of oat straw help soothe nerves over time. It’s also rich in calcium and magnesium. Use one ounce of dried herb and add one quart of boiling water (I like to use a one quart mason jar). Add a lid, but don’t tighten it, and let the infusion steep for about 2 to 4 hours. Drink at least one cup per day. Oat straw comes from the same plant used to make oatmeal, therefore you can imagine that oat straw infusion tastes like watered-down oatmeal. The plant is sometimes sold as only the unripened tops called “milky oat tops” or just the dried stalk and leaves called “oat straw.” Either can be used, however milky oat tops tend to be more expensive.

Herbs known as nervines can help soothe frayed nerves. Mild nervines include chamomile, catnip, and lemon balm. They can be drank as a tea or used in tincture form. For a tea to impart its medicinal properties, a person must drink up to three cups per day. Tinctures are another option to ingesting herbal remedies. They are usually made by steeping the herb in alcohol for approximately four weeks. However, non-alcohol versions are made using vegetable glycerin.

Where to purchase herbs and other remedies? Look at local health stores that carry bulk herbs and other herbal remedies. My go-to for on-line sources include Mountain Rose Herbs, Frontier Co-op, Zack Woods Herb Farm, and HerbPharm.

Erin LaFaive, MS, is trained as a master herbalist, owns Full Circle Herbals, and has an office at Harmony Healing Center, 2411 North Hillcrest Parkway Suite 11,  Altoona, Wisconsin. Contact her for a free 15-minute consultation at