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High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is one of the first widely-available tests that offers a tangible marker of inflammation. The High-Sensitivity Creactive Protein (hsCRP) test measures very low amounts of CRP in the blood providing much more precise and accurate readings. When CRP is high, that is a definite indication of an inflammatory process present throughout the body. (Note: In some cases inflammation is present, yet CRP is not elevated.) CRP levels are considered elevated when greater than .5 mg/L.

When inflammation persists, that is almost always a feature of subclinical disease—a process smoldering below the surface that is not yet detectable, but in which tissue damage is occurring. High CRP levels are common in pre-diabetes and diabetes, reflecting insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome—all conditions associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Elevated CRP levels can also indicate a long-term infection. It is also an important marker of cardiovascular risk. As a predictive biomarker, hsCRP reflects the effectiveness and efficiency of immune defenses, which are responsible for neutralizing any sign of infection, repairing daily wear and tear, and identifying and eliminating cancerous cells.

Luminous Brain

Russell Jaffe, MD, Ph.D., CCN

A sustainable brain responds to life with resilience and learned optimism. From mood stability to mobility, from senses to sensibility there is much we can do to add years to life and life to years. This is a brief user’s guide and contemporary update about how to have a healthy brain for life and how to improve or recover function when needed. First, we review the functions of your brains and then our synthesis of keeping your brain tuned up for life.

Brains: CNS and GNS

Brains, both Central and Intestinal, are responsible for how well we comprehend, concentrate, feel, remember, understand and interact with the outside world. Neurohormones and neurochemicals are produced by and influence brain function and performance. Constant communion between the gut and the central nervous systems occurs through the Vagus nerve, recently confirmed to be bi-directional.

Brains thrive on intense balanced intake of nature’s nutrients; these nutrients are referred to as essential because the body cannot make them on its own. Later in this article, there are suggestions of predictive tests and a suite of 21stcentury supplements for lifelong healthy brains.

Proactive and predictive primary prevention practicesfor brain health.

Essential fat replenishment

The white matter in your brain is ~30% DHA, an essential Omega 3 fat. You need DHA for brain and body and you need EPA for body and brain. The best source for both is marine lipid distilled under nitrogen to remove mercury and other toxic minerals as well as solvent residues that can build up in fish oil, even in those from cold-water sources. Nitrogen also protects the delicate fats from oxidation by substances in the air that harm essential fats.

The amounts needed have risen over the last decades. Experts currently recommend 3 or more grams daily of EPA and DHA from both fatty fish in the diet as well as supplements. Micellized softgels provide better bioavailability, ease of uptake and extend product shelf-life.

What about ALA

The desaturase enzymes needed to convert ALA into EPA and DHA are often inhibited or down regulated. This means it is important to take a high-quality EPA + DHA micellized supplement that provides active essential fats for immune defense and repair modulation and better neurohormone functions. While ALA from flax or hemp seeds is OK to consume, its conversion to EPA is too often greatly limited.

Edible Oils: Just Say No

Reducingor eliminating edible oils and fried, crisps or chip foods lowers excess Omega 6 fat intake and can restore a healthy balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6.  An Omega 3 indexis helpful to determine Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance. The healthiest people globally take in a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats from whole foods that are easier to digest, assimilate and eliminate.

In addition, to reduce insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetic complications, take in 20% each of fat and protein plus 60% nutrient rich fiber (complex carbs from plants).

Essential antioxidant protection from oxidative stress and ‘aging’

Much of what is known as agingis the gradual depletion and lack of repletion of essential nutrients and co-factors. Further, cumulative repair deficits due to imbalanced intake of essential nutrients are more commonly known as inflammation. From Ascorbate to full B Complex to carotenoids to tocopherols and tocotrienols to selenomethionine, the healthy brain needs protection from nutrient depleting substances that can be present in the diet, beverages and environment.

Ascorbate is the ‘mother’ antioxidant that sacrifices herself so that others can be regenerated, conserved and better utilized. Always use only recrystallized under nitrogen, 100% l-ascorbate, fully buffered and fully reduced. This is nature’s ascorbate.

We suggest a personal ‘C Cleanse’to determine how much oxidative burden and therefore how much antioxidant protection a person needs. A weekly C Cleanse helps people repair, reduces oxidative toxic burdens more safely, and helps people survive and be well in the stress and toxin-rich 21stCentury.

Ascorbic acid or commercial vitamin C is synthetic and only a small fraction is helpful. This means a cheap price and a low value product that is actually expensive compared to benefits from fully buffered and reduced l-ascorbate. Synthetic ascorbate can build up in the intestines and irritate the gut.

Vitamin E, glutathione, lipoic acid, taurine, FAD and NAD are among the protective molecules that l-ascorbate both regenerates and functionally enhances synthesis (renewal).

Comprehensive B complex intake using nature sources including hydroxocobalamin (nature’s B12), PABA, pantothenate and folate is recommended. B complex sufficiency is confirmed when people have a sunshine yellow urine. The glass clear urine of many people indicates functional B complex deficit. Muddy or yellow brown urine may indicate dehydration; need for more water or herbal beverages.

Carotenoids are a large family of molecules. Each has a specific functional benefit and preferred location in the body. From lycopene to lutein, from alpha- to beta-carotene, from zeaxanthin to cryptoxanthin a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables provides carotenoids. Supplementation with full spectrum carotenoids is recommended. High dose beta-carotene is not recommended. Quercetin dihydrate and soluble OPC are the recommended polyphenolics.

Tocopherols and tocotrienols, of which there are four of each, along with selenomethionine play an essential role in preventing free radical oxidative damage to cell membranes.

Healthier hearts and vascular systems benefit from 400 to 3600 IU daily of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Selenomethionine is required for the benefits of vitamin E to capture and transfer to ascorbate electrons liberated during triglyceride metabolism so that they do not become harmful free radicals.

Essential minerals to neutralize excess acids and recharge the cell

‘Cells are acidic in design yet alkaline in function’ quipped Albert Szent-Gyorgy. He isolated ascorbate from Hungary paprika. He then contributed so much to understanding how muscles work that he was awarded the Noel Prize. He was one of my many mentors.

Minerals, especially magnesium, need to be taken in from diet and supplements, sufficient to keep cell energetics high and to protect essential fats in transport. For ATP to provide energy to cells, each ATP molecule needs one magnesium. This means that magnesium deficits induce cell energy fatigue that can have a variety of adverse consequences medically as accelerated chronic illness.

Cell enzyme catalysts are exquisitely sensitive to small changes in pH (acid to alkaline relationship). Accuracy and efficiency of protein production and metabolism depend upon a regular replenishment of minerals, particularly magnesium, zinc and potassium. We recommend them with Krebs’s energy counter ions such as fumarate, citrate and succinate. The common acidic forms from chlorides to sulfates to oxides or ground up mineral rich rocks are better avoided.

Checking urine pH after 6 hours of rest provides a daily indication of our acid – alkaline balance. Preferred urine pH in the morning is 6.5-7.5, with lower numbers showing increasing net acid excess and indicating a need to eat more ‘alkaline’ foods and increase intake of magnesium rich supplements. Choline Citrate uniquely enhances ionized magnesium uptake and chaperones delivery to cells needing buffering mineral’s protection and activation.

First morning urine pH numbers above 7.5 indicate possible catabolic illness.

Meaningful work

Doing something meaningful is important in a life well lived and for a lifetime of brain health. If you can’t do what you love at least love what you do. Gardening, dancing, ambling in nature and hiking are recommended examples.

Restorative sleep and dreams

During different seasons of a life, different sleep rhythms can occur. Adequaterestorative sleepincluding dreams (Rapid eye moment or REM intervals) is essential for mental health, mood stability and brain renewal. While important for all humans, restorative sleep is particularly important for the young and the long lived.

It helps to have a firm mattress. A futon on the floor or a latex or similar adaptive mattress improves restorative sleep for many people. The darker the bedroom the better. My suggestion is neither digital screens nor devices in the bedroom.

Lack of restorative sleep has adverse consequences on mood, productivity and problem solving. Watch my recent webinar about using physiology before pharmacology for restorative sleep and enhanced mood. Watch Now

Pre-sleep salt & soda bath

Part of self-care is preparing with quality sleep. Many people find that a salt and soda bathis both relaxing and health promoting.While in the bath, abdominal deep, slow breathing for 5 minutes and some form of mindfulness practice or being more fully in the moment are encouraged. This relaxation response can be coupled with the next suggestion, dichromatic green light.

Green dichromatic light

One level of the retina is wired directly into the pineal gland in the deep brain. If the pituitary is the master gland, the pineal is the mistress of the pituitary, mediated through the thalamus. Green frequencies,as generated uniquely by PAR 38 dichromatic 150 watt lights, help restore, renew and enhance neurohormonal balance.

Relaxation response / active meditation

Mindfulness studies have confirmed that a few minutes twice daily can dramatically improve mental and physical health. Mind and body are always intimately connected. This is shown in the bidirectional nature of the vagus nerve connection between the central and visceral nervous systems. Learned optimism and ability to appreciate the opportunities we are given emerge from regular active meditationpractice.

It is increasingly clear that anything we devote 10,000+ hours to changes brain function in response to the particular physical or mental practice. Choose wisely; perseverance furthers success.

Phosphatides

From phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylserine, phosphatides are quaternary amines that enable uptake especially when they are used in advanced micellized softgels, enhanced uptake and chaperoned delivery of cofactors like CoQ10 to minerals like magnesium to tocopherols to omega 3 fats to a variety of herbs.

Botanicals

A few plants have traditionally been used to improve memory or other brain functions. Vinpocetine from periwinkle and gingko biloba as well as various ginsengs are examples that have been extensively studied. Standardized concentrates of natural products are recommended. Synthetic work-a-likes are less safe and less effective.

Additions and Options to Support Brain Health (see also Sidebar below):

  1. Lucid dreamingSome people can learn to be aware while dreaming. This allows people to be active within their dream time.
  2. Breathing exercisesFrom pranayama yoga practices to breathing in Tai Chi to many contemplative techniques, a quieting breathing practiceis both an induction to peaceful contemplation and a place of mental refuge in afflictive circumstances.
  3. Amino acids for moodThree simple, synergistic amino acids are remarkably helpful in helping people think more clearly and get more benefit from anything else they are doing or feeling. The amino acids are methionine, glycine and magnesium aspartate. Each is known to be helpful to neurochemical and detoxification functions inside brain and other cells. Glycineis also a stabilizing neurotransmitter along with being a simple protein building block amino acid.
  4. Functional tests of brain function that can be efficiently tested include:
    1. Self assessments include digestive transit time, hydration status, antioxidant need / oxidative burden (C Cleanse)and urine pHafter rest to assess cell mineral needs such as magnesium to redress net metabolic acid excess.
    2. Predictive biomarkersthat cover all of epigenetics through eight tests interpreted compared to best outcome goal values rather than usual or normal lab ranges.
    3. Salivary stress and other hormonesto include cortisol and DHEA at four different times within a day along with estrogens (female hormones) and androgens (male hormones) along with their precursors.
    4. Assessment of essential and toxic mineralsthrough d-penicillamine provocation using 24º urine collections.

Scans and Images

There are many scans that can be done. From Functional MRIs to high resolution CT and PET scans, the interpretation of the scan can be helpful in ruling out certain problems yet remains quite limited in regard to revealing how well the brain is functioning and adapting. Neuroscience is learning how adaptive and changing is the adult human brain. Needed are new technologies with even better ability to assess nerve cell energetics, oxidative toxin burden and stress resilience. Many assume incorrectlythat nerve cells to not divide, however, new brain cells sprout when the nervous systems are in an energetic, alkaline nutrient rich cell environment including in people who have lived long.

Having had my dad until he was 90 and my teacher, Bhanté Dharmawara, until he was 110, it has been my privilege to observe healthy highly functional brains in elders dear to me. In both cases, I had the privilege of helping them recover fully from significant stroke events. My Dad had his stroke in my living room. He quickly went into brain stem (Cheyne-Stokes) breathing. Assuming he would pass, I chose palliative care. After nine months of attentive care, Dad was ready to return to his condo and independent living. After that event, he would often comment that every day was, ‘the best day of my life’. In Bhanté’s case, the stroke occurred while he was away. He stayed for half a year with his students in Potomac, Maryland near where I live. Again, his recovery was complete as was his confidence that effort on his part would be rewarded as replenished and restored strength, endurance, and brain were.

References:

  1. Jaffe R and Mani J, Predictive Biomarkers: Clinical Opportunity to Save Lives and Prosper Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 2018, Jan (414): 25-26
  2. Lord LD, Expert P,Huckins JF,Turkheimer FE.Cerebral energy metabolism and the brain’s functional network architecture: an integrative review. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab.2013 Sep;33(9):1347-54
  3. Jaffe R and Mani J. Polyphenolics Evoke Healing Responses: Clinical Evidence and Role of Predictive biomarkers. In: Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease, Second Edition, Volume 1,Watson RR, Preedy VR and Zibadi S (Eds) Academic Press, 2018: p 403-413.
  4. Fernando Gomez – Pinilla. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2008Volume 9, pages 568–578.
  5. Davidson RJ, Lutz A. Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation. IEEE Signal Process Mag. 2008;25(1):176-174.

Sidebar: Supplements summary for 21stcentury luminous brain at all ages 

  1. EPA + DHA fish oil in protected, micellized soft gel (3+ grams/day).
  2. Super-multi supplement with 40 active components in safer forms sufficient to keep urine sunshine yellow.
  3. Fully buffered and reduced l-ascorbate with balance of minerals
    (potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc) based on a C Cleanse.
  4. Polyphenolics (4+ grams quercetin dihydrate flavonoid and soluble Orthoproanthocyanidin [OPC] flavanol)
  5. Carnitine fumarate with GABA (gamma-amino-butyrate) in micellized softgel to enhance fat metabolism.
  6. Co-enzyme Q10 and Vitamins E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) micellized in 100% rice bran oil (200-600 mg/day)
  7. Tryptophan enhanced with zinc and B6 to facilitate uptake and delivery of serotonin for restorative sleep and melatonin levels where needed in the brain for pineal and pituitary benefits.
  8. Methionine, glycine and magnesium aspartate for better sleep and mood
  9. Triple detoxifier and/or liver protection supplement (1-2 softgels AM & PM)
  10. Insulin resistance, blood sugar regulation and weight all benefit from multi-herb micellized softgels and also include safer forms of chromium such as citrate or picolinate as well as vanadium to help independently regulate sugar metabolism (intake based on blood sugar levels or sufficient to keep hemoglobin A1c <5%.

Health Benefits of Ghee vs. Butter

In this week’s “Ask Dr. J”, Dr. Russell Jaffe is asked about the health benefits of ghee vs. butter.

Restorative Sleep is Essential

Everyone experiences a sleepless night at some point in life. Whether it is cramming for exams, tending to an injury or illness, or just worrying yourself awake all night. If you have young children, sleepless nights are all too common. These isolated incidents certainly take their toll on your functioning for a day or so, but what happens when lack of sleep is chronic?

According to the American Sleep Association, 50-70 million US adults suffer from a sleep disorder. Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is defined as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The Cleveland Clinic reports that up to 22% of US adults have chronic insomnia. We know how we feel the day after a night of poor sleep, but the consequences go much further than just nodding off in a meeting at work the next day.

The human body requires sleep to function properly. This was clearly demonstrated by NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in a training exercise in which participants were kept sleep deprived for days. After one day, people tended to be a little more irritable and a little less flexible. By day two, people were making mistakes. By day three, they were hallucinating. Sleep is essential and restorative sleep is essential.

So, what exactly is taking place while you sleep?

Sleep is the body’s restorative time. It’s during sleep that the pituitary, the master gland in the brain, releases growth hormone. It is the time when your immune defense and repair system is most active. It is identifying things that have worn out and replacing them. It is identifying things that are foreign to us, that might be harmful to us, and engulfing and recycling them.

During sleep, abnormal cells we make every day get marked for destruction and turned into useful building blocks for the body. When you interfere with restorative sleep, you begin to invite those abnormal cells to multiply them within you.

Prescription medications are commonly used to help bring relief. Understandably, if you are lying awake every night, tossing and turning, a drug promising rest will seem very appealing. But for the millions of people surviving – not thriving – because of a lack of restorative sleep, we recommend physiology beforepharmacology. Prescription sleep medications do increase somnolence – they make you feel sleepy and even prolong the time you are asleep, but they can actually interfere with the normal four stages of sleep and prevent the restoration that should be occurring during sleep. As a metaphor, if someone knocked you on the head and you were out for six to eight hours you would wake up feeling groggy and not well because those hours were not restorative sleep. Frankly, that is too often what happens with prescription solutions to sleep.

What about natural solutions? We say “no” to melatonin and 5HTP and “yes” to tryptophan.

Tryptophan is the source from which the body knows how to make 5HTP and melatonin. PERQUE Sleep Guard starts with pure tryptophan, adds B6 and zinc as to enhance uptake, and delivers the tryptophan to the place in the brain where it needs to be converted into 5HTP and then melatonin. While 5 HTP may lead to quicker conversion to serotonin, tryptophan appears to be safer over long-term use. Tryptophan has fewer interactions with medications and offers more benefit for sleep than 5HTP.

Glycine , an amino acid is also extremely helpful in regulating sleep rhythm. PERQUE Mood Guard supplies l- glycine that also feeds into the serotonin and melatonin pool.

Today, people are taking melatonin supplements because they are correctly understanding from marketing literature that melatonin is important for sleep. But the body never floods itself with melatonin. Melatonin is such a powerful antioxidant that the human body restricts its production, its action, and its down regulation, that is, its metabolism within seconds. This happens in master glands like the pineal, which is deep in the brain and regulates the pituitary. When the pineal is rhythmically stable and receiving the precursors that it needs it can make melatonin in the instant that it’s needed, where it’s needed, and then metabolize that.

Applying nature, nurture, and wholeness for restorative sleep is a wholistic approach that goes beyond simply using natural sleep aids. It includes eating the foods you can digest, assimilate, and eliminate without immune burden. It means ensuring your body has the nutrients needed. And we encourage everyone to develop a sleep induction process. More simply put, spend the 30 minutes before bed preparing for sleep. Here is what we recommend for a restorative good night’s sleep.

Salt and soda bath. Start with a tub of warm water. The water temperature should have you come out pink like a baby, not red like a lobster. Add one cup of good old-fashioned Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) and one cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Soak for approximately 20 minutes.

The bicarbonate makes the water alkaline. Magnesium, above all other molecules in the body, tells the micro vasculature – the tiniest little blood vessels – to relax. The magnesium contributed by the Epsom salts relaxes muscles in the tiny pores on your skin, they’re called piloerector muscles and they control the rate at which you sweat. They also control the rate at which the body can eliminate toxic waste through the skin. So, if toxic matter goes into the bath water, and if some magnesium from the bath is able to get into you, with the help of the alkaline baking soda, now your body says, “Oh, the active day is closing down and we’re getting ready for the passive but restorative time.”

Abdominal breathing/Relaxation. During your soak, do five minutes of slow, deep, abdominal breathing and then 15 minutes of relaxation or active meditation. To delve deeper into active meditation we recommend reading Active Meditation, the Western Traditionby Dr. Robert Leichtman.

Green dichromatic light. Get even more from your salt and soda bath by adding a green dichromatic light to your bathroom. These 150-watt, power 38 lights are made specifically for high chroma. They are different from all other bulbs because they don’t create just an illusion of color, they generate green wavelengths that go through your retina directly to the pineal gland. These green lights have nothing to do with vision and everything to do with a calm and rhythmic pineal gland. A resilient rhythmically harmonic pineal gland is better able to receive multiple signals and harmonize all of them.

Screen-free Oasis. Most of us have no shortage of screens in our home – cell phones, tablets, TV, computers. Those tools help us stay informed and connected, but they don’t do much to help us sleep. They have their place, but it is not in the bedroom.

Food and Drink. Keep caffeine consumption to the mornings. After lunch, stick with herbal beverages and or water. Leave 2-3 hour between your last meal and bedtime.

PERQUE Sleep Guard is best taken about a half an hour before you want to go to sleep. Add PERQUE Mood Guard for sleep supportive amino acids. Learn more about PERQUE Sleep Guard and PERQUE Mood Guard.

We have been recommending this bed time ritual for over three decades. Prepare for sleep so that you get a better quality of sleep and so you wake up rested and optimistic about the day.

 

Flowers Do Affect Your Mood

“Your skin and mood are an outward reflection of an inward condition”
– Melissa Crispell

Too many people are going through life over-nourished and underfed and I’m not just talking about food. It’s easy to get caught up in the race to the finish line and forget to look around and enjoy the course. Everyone, at some point in their life, has wished for the to-do list to be shorter or for there to be more hours in the day. If you’re the one wishing for more hours, please stop!

In those times of feeling overwhelmed, we can become grumpy, irritable, and even anxious. It is important to stay mindful that we are what we eat, drink, think, and do.  We can make the choice to change a situation. If you haven’t tried it, as a mood changing situation, add fresh cut flowers to your home or office (or home and office) and witness the difference.

In a 2007 behavioral study by researchers at Rutgers University(1),  the connection between flowers and life satisfaction was explored and results showed “flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods”. The team of researchers found:

  1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
  2. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
  3. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.

“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy. Now science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional wellbeing.” Dr. Haviland-Jones.

Flowers can change the brain with their color, scents, or symbolism.

Chinese healers (who have believed in “flower power” much longer than I) believe there are more benefits to flowers than just mood enhancing. They say that “the secret to using flowers to summon any power or emotion you want is in the color”.  Their belief is that different colors create different frequencies. Those frequencies produce light waves that travel through the retina and down the optic nerve to set off a chain of reactions in the body. Among those reactions are neurotransmitters being released which induce the production of hormones like melatonin, adrenaline, and serotonin.  These are our calming, stimulating, and mood-enhancing hormones.

Need to change an inward condition? Here are some tips:

Energy – Red roses

Red has the slowest vibration and the longest wavelength, it stimulates the adrenal glands, boosting energy.

Confidence – Irises

Indigo stimulates the pineal gland which regulates sleep patterns. Indigo helps to free the mind of worries, fear, and inhibition.

Alertness – Sunflowers

Yellow light waves stimulate the brain, helping you to be more alert, clear headed, and decisive. Yellow is also associated with the sun and daylight, this can help us to feel more optimistic.

Relaxation – Green zinnias

Green affects the nervous system, making us breathe slowly and deeply. This in turn slows the production of stress hormones and helps the heart relax.

Sending flowers is like getting happiness at your front door. But this is really not new information. People have been giving flower gifts since ancient times. Interestingly, gifts of fruits, candles, or even fake flowers do not elicit the same response or genuine smile that fresh flowers do. The colors are not the only part that can have a lasting impact on you.  The scent of certain flowers can change your mood as well.

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils for improving psychological or physical well-being. Personally, I love the smell of magnolia and honeysuckle (can you tell I’m from the south?) which both have calming and relaxation properties. When you smell either of those you can simply close your eyes and imagine the front porch on a warm day, the ceiling fan blowing cool air over head and a glass of iced tea on the side table… no matter where you are.  Lavender can relax you too, but I associate that with sleep and wouldn’t use it during the day. Other popular scents are Jasmine, used for soothing feelings of stress, relaxing muscles, help increase libido; Wisteria to aid in meditation, embrace one’s femininity, and help overcome the fear of intimacy; and of course, we can’t forget roses that help boost energy, self-esteem, and mental strength. If you like chocolate, try adding chocolate cosmos to your backyard.  They’re known for their unique reddish-brown flowers and have a light vanilla fragrance. The smell is intriguing, but the blossom is poisonous so don’t eat it!

As with all our recommendations, please start with the LRA by ELISA/ACT test. Sniffing flowers, adding them to a meal (edible flowers), to a bath (soap or bubble bath), or on your body (essential oils) can be problematic if you have a delayed sensitivity to them. Even the most detailed food log won’t pick up something that you’re having a reaction to 1-3 weeks down the road.

Don’t just slow down to smell the roses – stop an enjoy them for a moment.

Share pictures of your flowers and help brighten someone’s day by using these hashtags so we can see them as well: #PIHflowers #BrightenSomeonesDay #Smile #FlowerPower

(1) https://www.wkf.com/blog/rutgers-behavioral-study-links-flowers-and-life-satisfaction/

About Melissa Crispell

Melissa Crispell is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Natural Health Provider, Certified Lifestyle Educator, Certified Wellness Coach, and Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. That’s just during the work day! The rest of the day is spent as mom, Abuela (Abbie for short), coach, wife, cook, chauffeur, cheerleader, marathoner and triathlete. Melissa has been published in Living Well (local health magazine), DC Practice Insights (a national magazine to help Chiropractors grow their businesses) and Acupuncture Today. In addition, she has spoken at the, Functional Medicine Success Summit, The Easter Seals Annual Caregiver Conference, and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She is a Member of Health Studies Collegium speaker’s bureau, and has given classes for Naturopathic Physicians, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors and other healthcare providers.

Melissa has served almost 9 years as a Clinical Training Specialist for PERQUE Integrative Health, teaching physicians and providers all over the world how to grow their functional medicine practice using medical grade supplements and functional immunology. Melissa’s mission is to empower people of all health statuses to take control of their wellness journey. Melissa believes that when we have better information we make better choices. This includes debunking myths and sharing basic health concepts that are frequently overlooked. The future of healthcare is definitely self-care and we must take responsibility for our choices.

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