Monthly Archives: January 2016
There are a few different types of ginseng available that can be found at your local health and nutrition store. But do you know the difference between each of them? Here is a quick guide to help you choose the best ginseng for you.
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng)
Asian ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng, is considered a true ginseng because it contains ginsenosides which are the active constituents of this root. Asian ginseng has a warming, heat producing or stimulating effect. It is more suitable for the elderly and short term (3 months). This effects of this root is known to increase physical endurance and reduce fatigue and to improve the ability to cope with stress.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
American ginseng is also considered a true ginseng due to its ginsenoside content, but with a different chemical makeup from Asian ginseng. American ginseng is considered cooler in nature and less stimulating than Asian ginseng. Its use is suitable for young and middle aged people and can be used long term. American ginseng is known to help boost the immune system and balance blood sugar levels.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Siberian ginseng, despite its name, is actually not a ginseng as it does not contain ginsenosides. It is instead rich in eleutherosides, the active constituent that provides the adaptogenic effects of this herb. Siberian ginseng can be used long term to help increase energy and the body’s resistance to stress, and is commonly used to alleviate general fatigue, and improve mental and physical performance during periods of stress.
Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera)
Indian ginseng, also known as Ashwagandha, is also another medicinal herb not related to the ginseng family despite its popular name. This herb is frequently referred to as Indian ginseng because of its rejuvenating properties even though botanically ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated. Much of Ashwagandha’s pharmacological activity is from the withanolide content in this herb. It can be used long term and is known to have a more gentle and less stimulating effect compared to American ginseng. In Ayurvedic medicine, this herb helps increase one’s resistance to stress and is traditionally used as a rejuvenative tonic and and to relieve general debility, especially during convalascence or old age.
CanPrev Products Containing Ginseng:
Spencer Madden is a modern day adventurer. He’s the founder of Mountain Obsession, a welcoming tribe whose members share quality outdoor content, inspire new adventure, promote environmental stewardship and encourage the spread of a “live life to the fullest” mentality. In July of 2015, Spencer embarked on a solo trek to hike and climb some of the most beautiful peaks in North America, a tour he tagged, Explore Everything Epic or EEE for short. In January 2016, he will take his EEE adventures to Chile and close out the year hiking the Great Divide Trail. His motto, “Think outside. No box needed” truly encompasses what Spencer is all about. Read on to learn more about this captivating guy and his adventures in the great outdoors.
Walk us through the step-by-step process you went through to get to where you are now. How did you become the traveling, nature and adrenaline junkie that you are today?
I started out hiking at very young age and my parents always allowed me to run around, play with my friends without supervision for hours and to generally explore as I saw fit. I would regularly be miles away from home on my bike just experiencing life. Over time, this grew into a love of the outdoors helped along by Beavers and Cubs (Scouts Canada). In university, I snowboarded a lot and eventually became obsessed with getting to the mountains at every opportunity.
I was bitten by the travel bug later than most since I went straight to university without taking a break after high school. I went on a solo trip to Europe in 2013 loved it. After that, I decided to get serious about exploring – in all honestly, I am just getting started!
Spending countless days outdoors and hiking must be both mentally and physically challenging, as well as dangerous! What were some of the unexpected hurdles that you encountered during your adventures? What helped you overcome those obstacles and how did you do it?
Oh, I come across a lot of interesting things in my explorations. Wild animals usually crop up and I have had some close encounters with bears and moose. There isn’t too much you can do other than make noise, back away slowly and hope you don’t get attacked. That said, wild animals just need to be respected – they aren’t that big of a deal. I also got a crazy spider bite just this past summer. It wasn’t confirmed at first but after going through a few sets of doctors, they think it might have been a brown recluse, which is actually one of the most poisonous spiders you can find in Canada. I didn’t feel the bite at the time, I just woke up with a throbbing leg and I thought it was a sting initially and hoped it would resolve itself after a couple of days. Long story short, my entire leg got numb and the flesh started rotting around the wound and it was pretty nasty for sure. I have a permanent bite mark.
I have also dealt with car issues in remote areas, which can be challenging and tiresome. Injuries are another area – hence why I use Canprev to help keep me healthy. I experienced a flash food this past October and that was a wake-up call. Always make sure to evaluate the obvious dangers in an area before heading out there.
How do you stay healthy when you’re on long hikes and usually out in the middle of nowhere? What do you do if you get sick or injured?
Good health = good adventure. It’s pretty simple, if you’re not in good health, you’re not going to have an optimal time adventuring. There’s really nothing worse than going out into nature and not feeling 100%, knowing you can’t go as hard as you want to. And when I go out, I go pretty hard; hiking all day, taking minimal breaks, and carrying a ton of weight if I’m going for multiple days. In terms of health, I’m definitely a lot more fit and healthy now than I used to be. When I wake up in the morning I do some stretching, foam rolling, and definitely don’t skip breakfast. My whole nutrition plan has changed completely from what I used to eat on the trail, and it has definitely increased my ability to go further, faster, higher. A big one for me was reducing sugar, it doesn’t really help me on the trail. I also eat a lot of lean protein and actually bring my shaker to mix up my CORE protein shakes.
If I get sick in the back country, I try to ride it out and rest up for a day, but if that’s not the case, I just have to hike out. I usually don’t get sick, but I did get beaver fever once and that wasn’t great but it was my own fault for drinking sketchy water and that made for a pretty bad hike out!
Out of all the hiking trips and adventures you have been a part of, which one is the most memorable for you, and why?
This question is way too hard! Every adventure stands out for me as I am completely happy when I am in nature. One highlight from my recent 51,000 km road-trip around the US was the Weminuche Wilderness. I spent six days hiking amazing terrain without seeing a single person. I had some amazing moments of clarity that have set me on a path of adventure and excellence – I wouldn’t trade the beauty of the area and the clarity I found for anything in the world.
You mentioned that you also take part in other humane and environmental support initiatives. What kinds of things are you currently working on?
I am in the process of launching a start-up with a newly minted Canprev ambassador, Josie Ganos. While it is in the development stage and likely a year away from coming to fruition, it will be a kind of “building for a purpose” business. One of the inspirations is Ten Tree clothing, which plants 10 trees for every piece sold. While we won’t be planting trees, it will be along the same lines and I am very excited about the potential. More on that soon.
I am also a brand ambassador for www.thisworldexists.org, which focuses on bringing together adventure travel with educational development in the Third World. While I have yet to get on a trip with them, I work to promote their presence online, and am in the process of setting up an event in Chile during my S-N traverse of Chile starting January 2016.
Does being outdoors ever get old for you? Do you see yourself adventuring for the rest of your life?
For me, it gets more exciting every time I open my Facebook feed or talk to people or discover new trails – my bucket list is continually growing. It’s exciting to know that I’ll never be able to do everything I want to do, the possibilities are endless. I can put my finger on a globe and in my fingerprint are endless options, and that’s just one small part on a map. Hopefully with the strategy I’m taking with my health I’ll still be doing this when I’m 80. You see 70 year-olds ripping up and down the mountain, and that’s impressive!
What is your number one piece of advice to any intrepid adventurers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Easy: start now. I put off starting for years and lost a lot of time. There is never a perfect time. Make a list today of actionable ways to go after your dreams and take that first step. Yes, it will be hard and scary. Yes, the future may not turn out like you planned. But, you will have had one heck of an adventure and after all, who doesn’t want to be remembered for taking a chance on their dreams and getting the most out of life?
Which CanPrev Products do you use as a part of our daily routine? Which CanPrev products are your favourite, and what do you use them for?
I love every CanPrev product. Here is my typical routine:
AM – 3 scoops of CORE with fresh water and organic cinnamon in a shaker. Great to jump start the day with nutrients and very easy on the system
PM – More CORE and repeat the above combo. Resvera-Pro gives me much need antioxidants to fight off the continuous pollution of our air, water and food. Pain-Pro helps me stay strong and healthy. Curcumin-Pro is the ultimate anti-cancer, anti-inflammation supplement – my favourite in an amazing line. If I am sick, I use Oil of Oregano – I love Canprev’s potency! Mind-Pro helps to keep me focused and not distracted.
Thanks CanPrev for all the support!
There are a lot of ways to make sure you stay healthy, especially during the holidays when viruses tend to run rampant. Here’s a quick list of dos and don’ts to help keep your immune system in good working order.
Do carry disinfecting wipes
If you travel during the holidays, adopt this practice before you settle in for your flight, train or bus ride: run disinfecting wipes over the armrests, tray table and latch, air vent, seat-belt buckle, or anything else you think you might touch and let it air dry. These surfaces are likely teeming with germs. Studies conducted at the University of Arizona, Tucson, have turned up flu virus and even the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA on airline tray tables.
Do stay hydrated
Winter’s low humidity and blasting heat in cars, trains, airplanes and buses can dry nasal and throat passages, making airways more vulnerable to bacteria and circulating viruses. Keeping well hydrated helps mucous membranes stay moist and undesirable bugs at bay. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight ounces of water every one to two hours during the day. Liven up your glass with a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime plus a pinch of unprocessed sea salt to increase mineral absorption, alkalinity and nourish the adrenal glands.
Do keep your hands to yourself
You’re probably not even aware of how many surfaces you touch when you’re out in public, especially when you’re shopping. Make it a practice to keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers in your purse and car and use them as often as possible.
Do treat yourself to a massage
A relaxing rub down might have more benefits than soothing sore muscles! A study conducted at Cedars–Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles concluded that a single Swedish massage session lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increased several types of white blood cells that help protect the body against germs.
Do get enough sleep
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that people who slept at least eight hours a night were almost three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven. It’s thought that growth hormone released during sleep prompts the immune system to stimulate growth and repair of your body.
Do let go and laugh
Studies show that laughter boosts the immune system for at least 24 hours, so don’t hold back from a good belly laugh when a hilarious opportunity presents itself!
Do include more protein in your meals
Did you know that your immune system is built on protein? Without it, the immune system can become depressed and not function to its potential.
Do get out and exercise
There really is no downside to exercise. One of its biggest benefits is waking up the immune system to fight viruses.
Do refresh your natural medicine cabinet
Go through the immune, herbal and homeopathic supplements you already have and check the expiry dates. Make a list of what you might be missing and restock as soon as you get the chance. Having remedies on hand at the first sign of a cold or flu may enable you to help lessen symptoms right away should you get hit with a virus in the middle of the night.
Don’t pretend your symptoms will go away
It’s best not to ignore symptoms that get worse. If you feel more lethargic or come down with a fever, start to vomit or develop a pounding headache, call your doctor. These signs might indicate something more serious than a common cold and medications or other treatments prescribed by a health care practitioner might be needed.
Don’t drag yourself to the office
It’s best to stay home when you’re sick unless you absolutely have to go to work. You’re most contagious during the first few days of a cold, so if you really must go, avoid your coworkers as much as you can. Take enough time to recover from your symptoms so you can enjoy your holidays and the other employees can stay healthy for theirs!
Don’t indulge in a lot of sugar, carbohydrates or alcohol
Carbs turn to sugar and sugar is pro inflammatory, which means that your immune system can be suppressed for eight to twelve hours after eating something sweet. Processed foods, alcohol, sugar and starches keep your white blood cells from being able to battle germs, so pass on the box of candy and stick to only a glass or two of wine.
Don’t sit through a violent movie marathon
A Harvard University study showed that watching violent television and movie scenes tended to weaken the immune system, but on the flip side, watching loving images stimulated it.
Don’t think you can function when you’re in chronic stress mode
Chronic stress elevates cortisol levels, and too much cortisol prevents the immune system from working the way it should. Look for healthy ways to decompress during the holidays: try to incorporate more exercise, go for a massage, take a hot bath, keep going to yoga class, and learn to meditate with the help of apps or CDs. Adaptogenic herbs like Ashwaghandha and Rhodiola can also be helpful in lowering elevated cortisol and managing stress.
What to Stock at Home
Taking a high potency probiotic and good quality daily multivitamin and mineral supplement helps to ensure adequate nutrient support which can build up the immune system. But it’s important to know that it takes most people two to three months of supplementation before the immune system gets stronger. It’s very challenging to obtain sufficient nutrition from food alone since the majority of our food today is over processed and devoid of many essential nutrients.
CanPrev Immune Support Products
It’s good to get sick and challenge our immune systems from time to time.
Unfortunately it sometimes happens that we fall ill during the holidays, keeping us from socializing with family and friends. Here’s a primer on how cold and flu cycles work and how to stay healthy so festive plans don’t fall through!
1. You’re not sick.
Perfect. You feel great…and let’s keep it that way as the weather gets colder and your coworkers around you start sniffling and sneezing.
Stress at work / home / school
• Combat stress response with: ashwagandha, holy basil, Siberian ginseng, linden, rhodiola and licorice root
People around you at work / home / school are sick
• Prevent sickness with: vitamin C, vitamin D, echinacea, astragalus, ashwagandha, American ginseng, holy basil
2. Holding back the flood.
Oh no. Here come the first signs of a sniffle or sore throat that can mark the onset of a cold or flu.
3. The moment you realize you’re sick.
There’s no use in denying it, you feel terrible. Unfortunately it’s time to cancel your holiday party, notify your guests and focus on recovery. Luckily there are ways to shorten the duration of your cold or flu.
Symptoms (these can vary):
• Cold: sneezing, coughing, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat
• Flu: fever, chills, headache, body aches, fatigue, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, sore throat
To help you recover from the cold or flu:
• Stay at home – that’s right, no work and no play. Get lots of rest, meaning actual sleep! Drink lots of liquids (preferably water but you can drink some teas in moderation). Avoid sweets and sugary foods to help prevent bacterial growth while your immune system works hard. Continue to take vitamin C and zinc, and thyme and lungwort for coughs. Andrographis for colds and fever, reishi mushroom to stimulate the immune system, holy basil and feverfew for headache relief.
4. What if you’re not getting better?
A cold or flu that drags on is usually because you’re not getting enough rest, or you return to work or celebrate prematurely while your body is still trying to recover. By not resting, you are placing yourself at risk of exposure to secondary infections like sinusitis, bronchitis or pneumonia while your immune system is busy fighting the original illness.
Symptoms you had earlier may become worse.
• To help recovery: see your doctor or call 911
• To help make a full recovery: take medication as prescribed by your family physician. If you are prescribed antibiotics, consider taking probiotics to help recolonize your gut with the bacterial strains that promote a healthy digestive tract after you’ve completed the course.
Get your rest and drink lots of water!
5. You’re feeling better
Symptoms are starting to fade but beware: nasal congestion and dry coughs can take up to four weeks to fully subside.
Symptoms are starting to go away.
• To help make a full recovery: continue to take zinc and vitamin C. Take it easy by avoiding rigorous activity and exercise. Steer clear of others who are sick . Try goldenseal for sinusitis and fennel for mucous relief.
Go enjoy the holidays!
CanPrev Favourites for Cold and Flu Prevention & Management
The holidays are a busy time for patients and practitioners alike, and many will be flying, driving across borders and travelling abroad. All the while carrying supplements, tinctures and powders with them. If you or your patients have ever been concerned about what is allowable and how to avoid a hassle at the airport or border, here are a few tips that might help.
If you’re travelling to the United States by land, water or air, you are permitted to carry supplements in your luggage or in your possession in amounts that are considered “reasonable for personal use”. So even if you plan to be gone for several months, it is certainly okay to have a few bottles of the same supplement in your checked luggage. You shouldn’t worry about being accused of trying to import supplements illegally. These U.S. rules fall under the Transportation Security Administration or TSA (overseen by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA).
In general, the FDA does not have an issue with people bringing their personal supplements into the country. The TSA allows travellers to carry all forms of medication, including vitamins on board even if they are unmarked, but you should be aware that local laws in the city you’re visiting may differ and you will need to keep labels on all bottles intact. Better to be safe than sorry. For countries with stringent biosecurity laws like New Zealand and Australia, you may bring in plant-based vitamins and supplements as long as they are for your own consumption and you can provide the label, brochure or a letter from your doctor verifying the identity of the supplements. You are, however, limited to a three month supply. An import permit is not required for commercially packaged protein powders in quantities less than 10 kilograms or 10 litres, provided they were manufactured in one of the countries on a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources approved list and the product is being used for human consumption only.
When it comes to carry-on luggage, your bag may be subject to additional screening even if your supplements are permitted. If your bag triggers an alarm during the screening process or your supplements appear to have been tampered with, they may not be allowed through the checkpoint until they’ve been further inspected. The TSA will make the final decision on whether or not your items will be allowed to go through. It helps to be sensible and bring only the supplements you need when travelling so no suspicions are raised and security screening can proceed quickly and smoothly.
It also helps to be organized when travelling.
The general recommendation is to start with a layer of clothes, a layer of shoes and a clear pouch with your supplements on top. Pull this pouch out at the start of the screening process and show it to the security officer. This constitutes an open declaration of what you are carrying but the officer may still insist on putting it through the x-ray or explosives screening process.
Try to keep your supplements in the original packaging
or at least in a bag with the coordinating label. You never know when you might be asked to provide identification of what you’re carrying. Do not empty powdered supplements into unlabeled plastic bags to save room – you definitely run the risk of having them removed by security and tossed away if the officer is unable to quickly identify the product. Protein powders generally come in large plastic tubs and while it may seem reasonable to you to transfer the contents into a resealable plastic bag, the security officer might think otherwise . If you absolutely need to bring your protein powders, then keep them in their original containers. CanPrev’s Core pouches, for example, are very easy and light to pack and each one is clearly labeled with the contents. Keep all your liquid supplements like homeopathics or tinctures (100 ml or less) in a resealable plastic bag smaller than 1 litre so that you can present it at the security checkpoint. If you’re bringing larger amounts, then pack them in your checked luggage. Some security officers will oblige with a request to pass your homeopathics around the x-ray machine but others will insist on putting them through. If your homeopathics are indeed x-rayed, there’s no reason for concern – generally speaking, homeopathic remedies are robust enough to withstand several passes through an airport screening machine without having their potency affected.
Countries with Biosecurity Laws
Australia and New Zealand have some of the strictest biosecurity laws in the world to prevent inadvertent introduction of foreign pests and diseases into their ecosystems. That means that you may be asked whether or not you are travelling with live animals or plants, plant materials and certain foods when landing in these countries. Australia even has biosecurity guidelines for crossing state borders. If you are travelling to a country with biosecurity laws, always keep your natural health products in their original packaging. We also recommend that you ask beforehand whether your natural health products are safe to bring in, and to always declare those you are travelling with, especially if they are more traditional remedies containing herbs and other unprocessed plant material.