Tag Archives: digestion

9 Easy Ways to Support Liver Health

Your liver is responsible for filtering every drop of blood that comes from the digestive tract, and then it metabolizes and eliminates the toxins and chemicals that it encounters. It’s also responsible for secreting bile, an aid in the digestive process.

A sluggish liver that’s not operating optimally will affect the health of your whole body. The toxins the liver usually removes can stay in the body, causing damage and making you feel unwell. Thankfully, there are several simple things you can do that can have a positive impact on your liver!
9 Easy Ways to Support Liver Health from Beeyoutiful.com1. Eat liver-happy foods. These include garlic, leafy greens, grapefruit, green tea, and grains, along with apples and avocados. These foods are known to help support and nourish the liver, while not overburdening it.

2. When your liver needs a little love, avoid processed foods, alcohol, and foods high in sodium and sugar.

3. Stay hydrated. Drinking the right amount of liquids helps the body to flush toxins out of the liver and increase optimum health.

4. Do gentle liver-stimulating exercises. One simple exercise you can do is to sit crosslegged on the floor with your back straight. Simply turn slightly to the right and then to the left. This helps stimulate and increase blood flow to the area without putting undue strain on the body. Start with 10 repetitions, then gradually increase to 100 per day. Moderate exercise also can be beneficial as it helps to decrease insulin resistance and fatty deposits in the liver.

5. Avoid unnecessary medications. Ask your doctor which of your medications are metabolized through your liver and if there are alternatives you could use instead. Replacing some popular pain reducers with alternatives such as Arnica Homeopathics can decrease the burden on your liver.

6. Love your gut. Some studies have shown that liver health is directly impacted by gut health and poor gut flora. Using fermented foods or a daily probiotic can help to both increase and diversify the population of gut flora.

7. Sip some tea. Several herbs have historically been used to help support the liver. Dandelion, Turmeric, Peppermint, Milk Thistle, Barberry, and Rosemary are the most well known.

8. Use spices and herbs in cooking. Garlic, Turmeric, Rosemary, Oregano, and Thyme are encouraging to the liver and can be used regularly in cooking to provide ongoing support.

9. Take your liver-happy supplements. Silymarin Liver Support, Digestive Enzymes and Digest Best, Red Raspberry Leaf, and Vitamin C (Gentle C, Rosehip C, and ChewC) can all contribute to the liver’s wellbeing.

Dig deeper! Learn about choosing probioticsimproving gut health, and creating herbal tea blends and brewing tea

shop Beeyoutiful.com

How I Nearly Missed a Key to Nutrient Absorption

How I Nearly Missed a Key to Nutrient Absorption from Beeyoutiful.com

This information originally appeared in a slightly different form in our Fall 2009 catalog

Busy schedules and a desire for convenience had taken a toll on my family’s diet, but not long ago, I decided to get us back on the wagon of nutritious eating. While eating whole and healthy foods has always been my focus, we had gotten so we didn’t take time to prepare fresh, nutritious foods.

How I Nearly Missed a Key to Nutrient Absorption from Beeyoutiful.comOur family garden and the weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) basket gave us a plentiful supply of delicious and healthy foods, so we had no excuse for not eating well. I knew our bodies craved better foods and noticed my own energy level had dropped considerably. I was fatigued much of the time.

I tweaked our family menus so that we once again were eating nature’s bounty. To my surprise, however, my fatigue lingered, along with occasional bouts of acid reflux. Our diets had improved, but I didn’t feel the commensurate improvement in my body.

Fortunately, about this time, a friend told me a bit about digestive enzymes, and I set out to learn more.

How the Good in Good Food is Lost

I discovered that proper nourishment involves more than just eating healthy foods. It’s possible to eat a wide variety of the best foods, use only organically-grown fare, and still be deficient in adequate nutrition.

But why is this so? The key to good health lies in both eating healthy foods and properly digesting them.

We’re born with an ample supply of enzymes to break down the food we eat just after birth: breastmilk. A broader range of enzymes to process other foods and release their nutrients develops gradually as we grow. Nutrients in our food, when properly digested, strengthen our immune systems, enhance cell growth and repair, and boost energy levels.

However, the SAD (Standard American Diet) is an enemy of digestive enzymes. Our abundance of non-living and processed foods actually destroy digestive enzymes!

Time and poor diets whittle away the supply of digestive enzymes, particularly if our diets have been low in fresh, cultured, and raw fruits and vegetables. Consequently, research shows that older people and people with chronic diseases have fewer enzymes in their saliva, urine, and tissues.

Enzymes are also destroyed by stress and environmental toxins. Once the enzymes are gone, the digestive system struggles to compensate for the loss of these essential workers. When enzymes are not plentiful and functioning, a person may experience any or all of the following: fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, bloated sensations, heartburn, acid reflux, excessive gas, and food cravings.

The Great Enzyme Comeback

The good news is that vital digestive enzymes can be restored to the body. Even if your body is depleted of its natural digestive enzymes, you can, through supplemental digestive enzymes, rebuild your body’s inventory of these necessary enzymes. Here are a few of the most helpful.

  • Betaine– A naturally-occurring enzyme in the stomach that helps break down fats and proteins.
  • Pancreatin– A mixture of amylase, protease, and lipase, this enzyme fills the gap where pancreatic secretions are deficient. It has been associated with helping food allergies, celiac disease, automimmune disease, cancer, and weight loss.
  • Papain– Derived from papaya and certain other plants, this enzyme has a mild, soothing effect on the stomach and aids in protein digestion. Papain helps digest protein thoroughly and frees amino acids for quick absorption. It works in acid, alkaline, or neutral environments and is especially valuable for the elderly or anyone who has weak digestion due to enzyme deficiencies.
  • Ox Bile Extract– Excreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, this important enzyme assists in digestion of fats. It also assists in metabolizing cholesterol and fat and in absorption of Vitamins K, A, D, and E.
  • Pepsin Enzymes– Pepsin is produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach and acts to degrade protein.
  • Bromelain– Found in the stems and plants of the pineapple, this enzyme is often used to aid irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, and other digestive problems. It is effective in breaking down proteins and rendering their nutrition available to the body.

The Enzyme Solution

Some nutritional experts recommend that at least 70% of your diet should consist of raw, cultured, or juiced foods, all which will boost enzyme production and which also provide healthy levels of fiber, another important element of healthy digestion.

Since heat kills enzymes during cooking and pasteurization, milk products that are pasteurized have no life to aid digestion. These products are essentially cooked and dead, and end up burdening your digestive system. It is far better to use live dairy products. Those made from raw milk are best. Yogurt, for instance, contains beneficial probiotics and is simple to  make at home from raw milk.

When making the shift to a more natural diet, though, go slowly. Introduce raw foods gradually, and allow your body to adjust to the new “climate” you’re creating in your digestive system.

As I discovered, eating raw fruits and vegetables did not immediately cure my fatigue. In my case, I needed help from a supplement to restore my digestive balance and to help my body absorb nutrients in the healthy foods. This is where supplemental enzymes can be such a blessing.

I started by taking one tablet of Beeyoutiful’s Digestive Enzyme with each meal. After about a week, I was able to tolerate foods better, and the tired, sluggish feelings I had been experiencing during the day were gone! I no longer wanted a midday nap and felt energetic and stronger each day.

Beeyoutiful has expanded its line to include four different enzyme options.

  • Digestive Enzymes – Broad Spectrum digestive enzyme with Cellulase and Protease for yeast cell wall digestion.
  • Digest Best – Whether you are looking for a digestive aid to help with protein, carbohydrates or fats, Digest Best’s one pill covers them all with its special blend of non-GMO, vegetarian digestive enzymes.
  • Bromelain – An enzyme derived directly from the pineapple that is beneficial for digestion.
  • GoGoZymes – Beeyoutiful’s GoGoZymes provide a great range of digestive enzymes that are great for both kids and adults. These berry-flavored tablets are certified non-GMO and are free of artificial additives.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that may indicate an enzyme deficiency, you may benefit from a supplemental boost of digestive enzymes. I was amazed at how, in a week’s time, I had more energy and the occasional acid reflux completely disappeared. The road to better health begins with proper digestion!

For even more about the amazing process of digestion, read here and watch here.

Christy StoufferChristy Stouffer moved from the “big city” to rural middle Tennessee where she enjoys gardening, living in a small community among friends, learning about the natural things God has given us for nutrition, and homeschooling her four children with her husband. She is a pianist in her church fellowship and a valued resource of encouragement and wisdom for younger women in her life. Christy’s enthusiasm and research about nutrition and wholesome living is appreciated by all who know her.

*Article has been updated to reflect new products.

Ride Off Into the Sunset With a Healthy Gut

Sometimes it’s easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

There are honorable citizens who keep the peace, and then there are disreputable folk who disturb it. We all support the sheriff and his posse, wearing their white Stetsons, as they head out against the black-hatted outlaws.

Everyone cheers when it’s a simple matter to run the hooligans out of town, but what about when they’ve dug in so firmly, it seems they simply can’t be rooted out? Or maybe the posse is just disorganized and isn’t working together on the same strategy. What a mess!Ride off into the sunset with a healthy gutThat sense of confusion and disarray is a familiar one for those of us interested in running our digestive issues, low immunity, and yeast overgrowth out of town on a rail. We’re pretty sure that improving gut health is the key, but uncertainty about how to do it is the seemingly overwhelming obstacle.

There’s been a lot written about the harm done to the gut by “bad” bacteria such as Candida albicans, antibiotic use, and lifestyle stresses, and the resulting need to repair that damage in order to have a strong immune system. This post isn’t going to deal directly with the why, since that information is well documented and readily available elsewhere, and instead we will continue on with how to fight back in a strategic and coherent way, and identify the weapons that can help get the job done.

First, clear out the bad guys.

To get rid of yeast overgrowth, we recommend Yeast Assassin (or the Lite version, if you’re pregnant or nursing). Both contain caprylic acid, a potent antimicrobial compound that fights fungal infections such as C. albicans.

Other tools, such as Garlic and other immune boosters, can assist with the eviction. The goal is to root out fungus and harmful bacteria that have colonized the gut, so that there’s a relatively clear area on which beneficial bacteria can stake their claim.

Be sure to mend the fences!

While you’re going to the trouble of invading the gangster’s hideout, you need to be sure you’re not allowing them to sneak back in while your back is turned. Sugar feeds yeast, so if you’re faithfully taking your Yeast Assassin while just as faithfully having your sweetened cereal for breakfast every day, you won’t make much headway.

Examine your diet by keeping a food diary for a few days; you might be surprised at what’s been on your plate that is at cross purposes with your desire to heal your gut. Do your best to eliminate sugar (including artificial sweeteners and even “natural” sugars such as fruit and honey) and restrict foods that the body converts to sugar (grains and flours, alcohol, starches such as potatoes, etc.).

If you already know that you have food sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances, be vigilant to stay far, far away from those foods. You may be able to welcome some items back into your diet eventually, but they will not contribute to your gut healing right now.

Stick to unprocessed natural foods, with no extra flavors, dyes, preservatives, or other additives. Emphasize fresh fruit and vegetables along with healthy fats and daily cups of bone broth. If you’re able, eat fermented food with every meal (fermented/cultured vegetables, kefir, kombucha, etc.). Consider a structured program, such as the GAPS Diet.

Make cleanup as gentle as possible.

Those hooligans who’ve been camping out in your gut can leave behind a mess, and they can wreak a bit of havoc on their way out, too. Sometimes, as the body clears out old toxins and dead yeast, people report experiencing temporary symptoms such as headaches, skin breakouts, brain fog, or digestive upset.

You may want to have some extra tools on hand to assist in the swift elimination of dead yeast and bacteria, and to minimize the sometimes-unpleasant symptoms of detox. Digestive Enzymes, Silymarin Liver Support, and Activated Charcoal can all support this effort in unique ways.

Post plenty of good guys as lookouts.

First, you chased the bad guys away, and then you fixed up the hideout so that it’s not a welcoming place for them to come back. Now it’s time to install some good guys in that place, good guys who will keep it nice and neat and not cause trouble when they come into town.

These good guys are beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Beeyoutiful provides several options with different strains of bacteria in varying potencies. You’ll want to choose one (or more) with strains that are particularly good for fighting yeast and restoring the gut, in a potency that is sufficient for your needs. (If your gut has been in disrepair for a long time, you may need a stronger option than someone who has milder issues.)

Before you choose your posse…

Keep in mind that conquering Candida is only one part of a life-long and multi-pronged strategy for reclaiming your health territory for good. It’s vitally important to remove inflammation triggers and use dietary support and lifestyle changes to support gut restoration.

It is crucial to understand that the severity of Candida infestations and the damage it may have done to the body can vary widely; the protocol we suggest is generic and may not be suitable for situations that are severe or long-standing, or in light of other health issues.

IMPORTANT: We aren’t medical professionals, and we don’t know the details of your unique health situation. This is intended as a general guide for adults and not as specific advice that applies to everyone! Before you make dietary or lifestyle changes, especially if you have a diagnosed condition, are pregnant or nursing, or are taking medications or other supplements, PLEASE consult with your healthcare provider to determine together what is appropriate for YOUR body.

Beeyoutiful’s suggested protocolSuggested Anti-Yeast Protocol from Beeyoutiful.com

Month 1: 3 Yeast Assassin (regular or lite) + 4 Acidophilus Blast per day
Month 2: 2 Tummy Tuneup per day
Months 3 & 4: 1 Gut Guardian per day
Months 5 & 6: 1 Gut Guardian Supreme per day

(Many of the items mentioned are available in discounted groupings: Anti-Yeast Pack (Pregnancy version) and Gut Restoration Pack.)

If you’re still struggling with yeast symptoms after the first month’s anti-yeast protocol, continue supplementing with Yeast Assassin for another month. Remember that lifestyle and diet changes are necessary along with appropriate supplements; clearing out a yeast overgrowth and going right back to a gut-damaging diet will not support long-term relief of symptoms.

Educate yourself! Learn more about how yeast damages the gut, and discover how the digestive system works.

Armed with a strategic plan and the right weapons, you can send yeast and bad bacteria packing so you can bask in the warm glow of good gut health. We’d love to hear your story; get in touch with your questions and ideas, or to share your favorite tools and recipes. Happy trails!

SuperLady: An Optimized Multivitamin for Women

SuperLady: An Optimized Multivitamin for Women from Beeyoutiful

The Daily Handful

If you’re anything like me, you take your daily multivitamin to ensure that your basic nutrient needs are covered, and then something extra, like Evening Primrose Oil for hormonal balance. Then, if you have a specific health issue you’re addressing (such as my autoimmune disease), you probably take even more nutrients, such as extra doses of Vitamins A and D3K2, and an advanced form of B-12 to help your sluggish body along. Then you sit back and hope that your body knows what to do (and can do what it needs) with everything you’re swallowing.

You and I have both wished that we could rely on just one bottle to get the many separate components that our unique health situations require, but that’s seemed like too much to ask.

SuperLady: An Optimized Multivitamin for Women from Beeyoutiful

SuperLady To The Rescue

Is it possible that there’s a one-bottle solution for people like us? A nutrient-intensive multivitamin with a wide array of minerals and herbal ingredients, along with several key whole foods, SuperLady has been designed with specific optimized components to support immunity and overall health and nourish the hormonal system of women of all ages. It also provides key nutrients for healthy bones, sharp cognitive skills, the urinary system, and cardovascular needs, all while being extremely gentle and easily digested.

SuperLady’s array of bioavailable vitamins includes beta-carotene, D3, and K2, a crucial trilogy of nutrients. Also joining the team is the methylated form of B-12 (a pre-converted form of B-12 that’s especially easy for the body to use). For the increasing number of individuals whose bodies are unable to convert other forms of B-12 into a usable form, SuperLady helps to bridge the nutritional gap without further burdening their systems.

A few of the uniquely beneficial components of SuperLady are:

  • Evening Primrose Oil. One of the most concentrated known forms of essential fatty acids; renowned for its ability to support hormonal balance, skin health, and circulatory health.
  • Cranberry. Rich in proanthocyanidins which encourage optimal urinary tract health.
  • Horsetail Silica. Extremely beneficial for healthy bones, hormonal balance, and cardiovascular health. Silica works in conjunction with calcium to make it more bioavailable, which greatly aids bone health.

One of SuperLady’s best features is that this gentle and thorough spectrum of nutrients is in a liquid base, safely ensconced in a soft gel coating that’s easy to swallow and digest.

If you have experienced other multivitamins causing you nausea, or feel as if your body may not be absorbing and metabolizing all of the nutrients in multivitamins that you’ve tried in the past, then SuperLady may be what you need.

Is SuperLady Right For You?

We encourage you to ask your healthcare practitioner if you have one or more of the following conditions to see if SuperLady is an optimized multivitamin that may be particularly beneficial for you.

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Hashimoto’s/Thyroid Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Menopause

When in doubt, we encourage you to share the nutritional information of any potential health supplement with your healthcare provider and ask their advice, since they will be most familiar with your specific personal health history.

If you are pregnant, we suggest using SuperMom instead of SuperLady, but your health care practitioner should be consulted for specific recommendations prior to any supplementation in pregnancy.

Compare your options and see if SuperLady could rescue you from the dreaded Daily Handful!

Superlady_SuperMom_comparison_chart

Why Your Body Needs Probiotics, and How to Choose Them

Why Your Body Needs Probiotics and How to Choose Them

Thanks to their growing popularity, probiotics have showed up on most people’s radars. (Pro means good, so probiotics are simply beneficial bacteria.) After all, special yogurt products containing added probiotics are prominently displayed in the dairy case at the supermarket, touted as being helpful for improving digestion.

You may have passed these products by, thinking that if you don’t have a digestive disorder, you must not need to add probiotics to your diet. Perhaps unexpectedly, the reality is that you don’t have to experience abdominal upset to be in need of good bacteria.

Why Your Body Needs Probiotics and How to Choose ThemWhy You (Yes, YOU) Need Probiotics

Ask yourself a few questions. In your lifetime, have you ever:

  • taken prescription antibiotics?
  • been vaccinated?
  • used hormonal birth control?
  • used artificial sweeteners?
  • eaten a Standard American Diet (SAD) for an extended length of time (months or more)?
  • had a period of sustained high stress and/or lack of sleep (have you ever been a college student, worked a night shift, been a parent of a small child)?

If you answered yes to any of those life events (especially to more than one), you can strongly suspect that your gut is in need of support.

Our bodies normally carry about 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines alone, plus countless organisms that reside elsewhere on and in our bodies. When good bacteria is keeping the bad stuff in check, we’re healthier, even when exposed to germs and viruses. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles, processed foods, and even carefully-chosen and appropriate antibiotics (which indiscriminately kill allbacteria) will diminish the population of good bacteria in the gut, and probiotics don’t just replace themselves.

Poor gut health can manifest in many ways that aren’t limited to common digestive symptoms such as gas, constipation, and bloating. Imbalanced gut flora can lead to seemingly unrelated health issues such as acne, low immunity and slow healing, joint pain and systemic inflammation. As the body’s “second brain,” gut problems can even lead to brain fog and behavior issues (especially in children).

Fermented foods are invaluable!

Introducing a variety of strains with a sufficient quantity of beneficial bacteria is crucial when rebuilding gut health. Although most traditionally-made fermented foods (such as homemade kefir or sauerkraut) can provide a large dose of beneficial probiotics, many clinicians advocate regular use of supplemental probiotics to ensure consistent amounts as well as a wide diversity of strains. Supplements also have the added appeal of convenience for those times when you just can’t get fermented foods on your plate. Restoring the gut with healthy probiotics gives the good guys a leg up and thus a step toward enhanced immunity and good health for you as well.

How to Choose a Probiotic Supplement

There are lots of options in the world of probiotics, so here are a few tips to cut through the fog and help you make a great choice to support your health.

Choose to buy from a company that offers full disclosure. Don’t let someone you don’t know decide what’s okay for you to put in your body.  If they won’t share every ingredient with you, look elsewhere for someone who will.

Look for probiotics with a guaranteed potency through the expiration date. Bacteria are living organisms and probiotics have no effect if they are dead. The last thing you want to do is spend your money on capsules that may have been filled with living probiotics at one point, but were then allowed to languish and decay on the shelf (or worse, in a hot warehouse). Most probiotics will require refrigeration to stay at full potency; avoid anything that’s been stored at room temperature unless it is specifically formulated to be shelf-stable.

Choose the right blend of bacteria to help you meet your goals. Some strains are well suited for gut restoration, while others are fabulous at combating an upset stomach. Higher doses may be more helpful while actively working toward a balanced gut, and later a lower potency could be a great choice for daily maintenance.

Probiotic_Chart_2011_1

Beware of additives or filler ingredients. (This applies when choosing any supplement, not just probiotics.) Look for what’s NOT in there, too. If you’re avoiding common allergens, such as soy, gluten, or corn, be sure to read the label because those sneaky ingredients are frequently found in supplements too. Beware those sugar-laden yogurt options in the dairy case; sugar depresses the immune system and can easily cancel out the benefits of the probiotic ingredients.

When it comes to probiotics, as quality and quantity of the bacteria increase, so does the price tag. (There’s a simple reason: extra time and energy is required to culture and harvest higher quantities and more strains of bacteria.) It’s very tempting to cut corners on potentially expensive supplements, but this is not the time to shop the clearance bin! Make a conscious investment in your health by prioritizing the best, freshest, and strongest probiotics that your budget will allow.

Interested in learning more?

Watch this entertaining 5-minute video about how gut bacteria contribute to overall immunity. Here’s a longer article from one of our catalogs that covers why you might want to be wary of certain filler ingredients. Want to dig even deeper into the specifics of the digestive process and how to restore gut health? We invite you to watch a detailed 48-minute video produced by Nutritional Therapy Consultant, Jessica Bischof.

If you’re still curious about Beeyoutiful’s probiotics, let us answer your questions! Get in touch with us by commenting here, emailing customercare@beeyoutiful.com, or calling 877-623-3968. Get started on gut restoration and begin to enjoy the benefits of a healthier, happier gastrointestinal tract that’s well populated by the hordes of good bacteria that belong there!

Read the rest of our Immunity Boosters series here

Stay Healthy Away From Home With Handy Travel Supplements

Stay Healthy Away From Home With Handy Travel Supplements from Beeyoutiful.com

Have you ever found yourself carefully packing your suitcase for a long overdue vacation and wondering which supplements you should bring along? Every time I travel, whether my destination is across oceans or across state lines, I always bring certain essential items along to keep my family healthy. My handy travel supplement kit includes Tummy Tune-Up, Activated Charcoal, Chew C, Digestive Enzymes, and Lavender Essential Oil.Stay Healthy Away From Home With Handy Travel Supplements from Beeyoutiful.com Tummy Tuneup is always in my kit because my entire family can use this gentle yet effective probiotic. I take it when I feel those uncomfortable gas bubbles pop up, and within a matter of minutes I feel better. My two year old takes it on a daily basis as part of her immune support. In fact, we traveled to Playa Del Carmen this summer and of all the children in our group, she was the only one who didn’t experience any digestive upset! I also open the capsules and give it to my newborn for colic, gas, and thrush. (Who wants to be on vacation and have thrush creep in? Not me!)

Activated Charcoal is another favorite soldier of mine. We use it all the time. Heartburn? No problem, have some charcoal! Stomach bug symptoms? No problem, have some charcoal! And the list goes on. It neutralizes excess stomach acid and absorbs toxins, stopping heartburn and other stomach issues in their tracks. It acts like a sponge, absorbing everything in its path as it goes through the digestive system. Use capsules for a mess-free option, or if you have the powder form in your kit, simply stir it into your favorite beverage. (Accidentally got into some poison ivy, or something more exotic? Apply a paste of charcoal and water to the skin to draw out toxins there, too.)

The next thing you need to throw in your suitcase is Chew C. I start taking it a few days before I leave for my trip, whether driving or flying. Travel causes stress on the body, leaving us susceptible to bacteria and viruses that in a well-rested situation the immune system might have fought off. Adding extra Vitamin C is an excellent way to boost your immune system, and Chew C tastes great for the whole family.

When I eat unfamiliar foods, as I often do on vacation, they aren’t always easy for me to digest. That’s why I added Digestive Enzymes to my arsenal. The enzymes help my body to break down the food I am eating for better absorption and less digestive distress. The high quantities of Cellulase and Protease help to maximize yeast cell wall digestion as an added bonus, keeping yeast overgrowth in check.

Lavender is one of the most used and best loved essential oils in history. It smells great and can be applied neat (without a carrier oil). I take it on every trip because of its antiseptic and antibiotic properties. On top of that, it can be used to relieve the itch of bug bites, help with relaxation, and soothe tired muscles. There are endless ways to use Lavender, so just go ahead and drop it in the bag too.

When you include these travel-friendly supplements in your bag, you can relax even more on your vacation knowing you conquered the most common travel ailments before you even left home.

What are your “can’t leave home without them” items? Have you used supplements while away from home? We’d love to hear about your travels!

A Toolbox for Children and their Brains

A TOOLBOX FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR BRAINS from Beeyoutiful.com

This post by Esther Ramsey originally appeared in our Fall 2014 catalog

Being the oldest of eight children, I expected motherhood to be easy. I naively thought that I could simply fix all the problems I saw other parents facing: obviously, my child would never be allowed to throw a tantrum in a store, or throw his food all over a restaurant.

And if at just sixteen I was already able to cook dinner with a baby sibling on one hip while also correcting my math homework, how hard could it be to raise a few of my own?

I remember the leather couches of the perinatologist’s office when he told us it would be a miracle if our unborn child was brought into the world without severe mental handicaps. Part of me died that day, even though the prognosis turned out not to be true, and it started a pattern of me being given grim news and then working to overcome it.

Then my son was born two months prematurely, which started us down a yellow brick road that went something like “failure to thrive”… ”developmentally delayed”… ”speech delayed”… and ”borderline autistic”. As he got older, the diagnosis morphed into things like “sensory processing disorder” and ”ADHD” (which was an improvement, but still discouraging).

If you asked any medical professional along our journey, she would have said there was no cure for the diagnoses my son has. Oh sure, there’s therapy and early intervention, and psychiatric drugs to help mitigate the more obnoxious symptoms, but nothing you can do to actually fix it.

However, I’ve learned a lot in the nine years since sitting on those leather couches, and contrary to how I felt that day, there is a great amount of hope. Science and research have come a long way, and whether you’re dealing with a dyslexic kid who is having trouble reading and writing, or a kid with Asperger Syndrome who can recite all the ingredients from every can of soup in your pantry, don’t give up.

There is a lot you as a parent can do to help, if not entirely reverse, neurological disorders.A TOOLBOX FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR BRAINS from Beeyoutiful.com (2)

Food, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes

The biggest factor has always been diet. For years, research has increasingly indicated that children with any sort of neurological impairment also have compromised digestive systems.

The gut is often referred to as the second brain because it controls so much of how healthily the brain functions. For a struggling child, the brain is like a war-torn ship trying to pump water out and patch up holes in whatever way it can, and the gut is like a 20-ton octopus attached at the bottom either helping or dragging the boat down further.

Whether the culprit originally was vaccine injury, birth trauma, heavy metal poisoning, or genetics, it all tends to swirl together like a perfect storm bent on sinking the ship.

Some kids are seemingly impervious to things like vaccines, and other kids sink like a torpedoed battleship after a simple flu shot. But diet can help to repair those holes. Both GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) and SCD (Simple Carbohydrate Diet) are the big guns of the gut healing world, with more moderate diets like Gluten free/Casein free also helping.

You can’t simply patch up the ship, though. While you’re using bone broths and gelatin to repair the holes, you also need to hire sailors, and stock the ship with supplies. This is where probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and digestive enzymes (to make the most of food) come in.

Ideally, you should use a wide spectrum of probiotics and switch them up from time to time, like starting with Tummy Tuneup Jr and Toothie Tuneup, then switching out Toothie Tuneup for the stronger Gut Guardian. Add a digestive enzyme like chewable GoGoZymes and you’re well on your way to better gut health.

Cod Liver Oil

High-quality cod liver oil is the great-granddaddy-heavy-hitter of the brain world. Fish oil’s effectiveness (and CLO in particular) is so well documented that you can now buy the candy flavored gummy versions in just about any store from Costco to Wal-Mart.

Unfortunately, those probably won’t do much good, as they are more “candy” than health supplement. The amount of oil is low and the nutritional quality of the oil poor due to high temperature extraction techniques that damage the vitamins. The bio-available Vitamin A in a good fish oil stimulates the brain’s pathways to connect properly, and the EPA/DHA combo of fatty acids work like building blocks in the brain.

I noticed eye contact and verbal skills increased dramatically in my son after starting fish oil. (Pro tip: If you can’t get your kids to take it, try giving it to them via oral syringe after they’re asleep, or letting them chase it with whatever juice is their rarely-allowed awesome treat.)

Giving the Brain A Chill Pill

 If you’ve ever thought your child was acting like a jet engine attached to a row boat, get yourself two things: Magnesium and Vitamin B-12. In the case of my son, it wasn’t just his body that was bouncing all over the place (although some kids are like that); rather, it was his brain, and we all had to hang on for dear life as he tore through a million thought processes nobody could keep up with.

Apparently it’s impossible to sleep at night if you’re worried the door might be opened one tenth of a millimeter more than it was the night before, which may or may not allow for a new species of dragons to be let in, because we all know mythological creatures carry around tape measures to catch ignorant parents who don’t listen when their child tells them the door needs to be exactly three inches cracked open. 

The imagination? Awesome. The million-miles-a-minute anxiety? That needs to go bye-bye. Magnesium and B-12 worked wonders for this. My kids like the blueberry-flavored Bone Ami, which has the perfect amount of magnesium for a child.

Secondary benefit of Bone Ami? It also has calcium, and I’m convinced it’s the reason my sons have crashed off a hundred playground slides and swings without breaking anything yet. Tertiary benefit? The magnesium helps with constipation, which can be another big digestive problem for kids with neurological disorders.

The B vitamins in general are important for brain support and health, with B-12 being especially crucial for children with learning disorders. Simply put, it acts as a freeway for all cell growth and regeneration in the brain. If those freeways are broken down, or filled with bumper to bumper traffic every day, then the brain ceases to function optimally.

You know you’ve got Los Angeles-level traffic problems in your child’s brain when he has high anxiety, is neurotically freaking out about the littlest things, and overall is just unhappy. It’s time to bring in the B-12 vitamins. Thankfully these also come in a dropper or chewables and are easy to get into even the pickiest child.

Essential Oils

This is a new area of research for me. (And there’s so much to learn!) Until recently, I only thought of Frankincense as one of the three gifts brought to baby Jesus, and then I found out firsthand that the essential oil is quite the superhero when it comes to saving the brain. It’s the heavy hitting oil for mental clarity, dispelling brain fog and clearing up pathways for optimal thinking. I line up all of my children and apply a dilution to their big toes and the base of their skulls.

Lavender and Chamomile are the other two essential oils in my tool box for kids. I keep the lavender oil bottle right on the kitchen counter while we do schoolwork, where I can easily rub it on frustrated temples when multiplication and division concepts just don’t make sense to little minds. I’ve also been known to liberally apply Lavender on myself because no one wants a teacher yelling about how obvious it is that two baskets with three apples in each equal six apples!

Lavender oil and chamomile oil also work great for those middle of the night woes where you can’t figure out what your child is crying about. For nightmares and unidentified ailments, I mix lavender and chamomile with coconut oil and massage their little backs and foreheads. My husband says the boys room sometimes smells like an apothecary shop when he gets up in the morning. I tell him it’s merely a warning sign that I’ll need lots of coffee that day!

I’ve since discovered even more powerful benefits of essential oil blends, and wrote about how they impacted my family here.

The Special Agents With Controversial Agendas

One of the biggest factors in autism and developmental delays is heavy metal toxicity and its evil twin, unhealthy yeast overgrowth. Usually one doesn’t happen without the other, although it’s anyone’s guess as to which comes first. Did the heavy metal cause the body to lose its ability to fight the yeast, or did the yeast compromise the body’s ability to chelate the unwanted metals? Either way, both yeast and metals need to be evicted.

This is the reason diet and probiotics were the first tools I mentioned. When you starve the bad yeast from their beloved sugar-fuel (or anything that turns into sugar), and you start feeding your child nutrient-dense food, those bad bugs freak out and die by the thousands.

As the body heals, it starts naturally flushing the mercury, lead, and aluminum that acted like a ball and chain in the brain. As the evil stuff is tossed overboard (sometimes literally, I’m afraid to say… so be ready with activated charcoal!), you have to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. Use kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, and any other living, fermented foods that you can get your hands on, and supplement with even more strains of probiotics.

But sometimes those metals are stubborn and that yeast refuses to budge. The gentlest way to escalate your war against yeast and metal is to start out with diet, and then slowly add other forms of detoxification. Yeast Assassin is a veritable ninja on yeast, but it’s powerful stuff so start with a half capsule after a week of the GAPS protocol and work up from there. (Consider the Lite version, if your kids can swallow large pills.)

Chlorella binds and flushes heavy metals, but if your child’s body isn’t working properly it ends up being like a busy airport with no traffic controller: planes going everywhere with the luggage and flight paths all mixed up. Ideally, add Chlorella after your child is well past the initial detox stage and has been doing some sort of gut healing protocol for at least a month.

Even then, chlorella is somewhat controversial as it hasn’t been studied well enough to know the time frame of its chelating properties, making it a bit like trying to schedule those airplanes without a super accurate clock. A lot of people report great success with it, so I’m putting it in the toolbox even though I haven’t personally used it yet.

Last But Not Least

There’s good ol’ fashioned sunlight, or rather, one of its gifts, Vitamin D3. Recent studies show that a lot of children are deficient in Vitamin D thanks to shifting cultural paradigms and the widespread use of sun block. Kids with neuro disorders also have a harder time absorbing Vitamin D3, and research suggests they need a much higher dose than most other people.

Vitamin D3 works to moderate brain development and is responsible for the growth of neurons. Ideally I like my kids to get Vitamin D3 from playing outside, but I also give them Vitamin D3 drops not only to supplement what they’re getting naturally, but also to ensure their body has it available to use from several different resources. If I had to pick only one thing to give my children, it would be Vitamin D3. The drops are flavorless and potent, making it an easy supplement to give even babies.

Don’t Give Up

My son was re-evaluated recently for special ed, and shockingly, he’s almost all caught up to his peers. The language and social skills that were so absent when he was five are now neurotypical and age appropriate. The math and reading he once struggled to understand are now whipped through with speed (he’s still a jet engine attached to a row boat).

Esther Ramsey from BeeyoutifulIt isn’t always easy. We have regressions, and we have breakthroughs. My other sons have their own set of health challenges that keep me researching, and I’m sure my toolbox of remedies will have to grow and expand. Every child is different, and no two neuro disorders are exactly alike, but hopefully with the right tools, you can find the healing and support their little bodies and minds crave.

Esther is the mom of four rambunctious boys who keep her in a semi-constant state of insanity. When she is not coming up with creative ways to get bone broth and other nutrients down her kids, she’s a book addict who is convinced there is nothing that cannot be learned with enough research. She lives in Southern California where she thinks the ocean is nature’s ultimate spa, the sun is an antidepressant, and gardens are pharmacies.

Are there children you love who struggle with neurological issues? Share this post with a friend who might need it!

shop Beeyoutiful.com

« Older Entries