In the true cooperative spirit, the entire Wellness team has contributed to the article this month. The topic is our favorite products...enjoy.
There are many basic products on the body care side of our department that I rely on—cotton swabs, deodorant, jojoba and grapeseed oils—but the one product that I have used for many years is Aubrey’s GBP conditioner. Only a heavy conditioner can manage my dry and unruly hair, and this one has never failed to reduce the fuzziness. I use it two to four times a month and, in these winter months, I don’t rinse it out completely. I also used it on my daughters’ hair as a detangler when they went through their “don’t brush my hair!” stage.
My favorite supplement has got to be New Chapter’s Stress Advantage because it contains a good combination of adaptogenic herbs such as rhodiola, schizandra, eleuthero and American ginseng. An adaptogen is defined by Dr. Weil as an herb that “acts in non-specific ways to increase resistance without disturbing normal biological functions.” Personally, I can tell that my immunity decreases as stresses increase. Being proactive and taking this supplement helps me maintain my health and energy level while navigating through life and its myriad of stressors.
My day with Wellness routine: First thing every morning I take a multivitamin. I switch which brand I take based on sale prices and my mood when I run out. Right now I’m working on a bottle of Rainbow Light Women’s One, but I also like the Willy Street Co-op’s Ultimate One and Irwin Naturals multis.
During my shower, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint bar soap helps me wake up and feel squeaky clean. For my face, I love the Suki Exfoliating Cleanser because it smells wonderful and really works. During the winter I need heavy-duty lotion. I like BWC or Avalon Organics unscented lotions in the 32oz bottles that last all winter. I like to smell nice so I use Nature’s Gate Summer Spice deodorant as well as HerbanCowboy aftershave balm as face lotion. Then I’m off with a Cliff Nectar Bar in my bag as a snack. When my lips are chapped, I like Burt’s Bees or Badger lip balms.
At the end of the day, I have a hard time falling asleep, and I occasionally use Deep Sleep by Herbs Etc. I fall asleep easily and have sweet dreams.
One product that I buy every Wellness Wednesday is the Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner. If you have any issues with dry or itchy scalp in the wintertime, this is definitely a hair care product to try. This product has a number of essential oils that give it a tingling-fresh scent and feeling. The tea tree oil is antibacterial and antifungal; the peppermint is cooling; and the rosemary has a long history of use for hair care. All of the plant extracts and essential oils in it are certified organic. Of all the conditioners I have tried (and I have tried most of them), this one seems the most concentrated—a small amount mixed with water soaks into much more hair than you would expect it to.
Another one of my all-time favorite products is the herb Rhodiola. Rhodiola is a plant native to Siberia, where the native peoples have relied on it for centuries to provide them with immune-enhancing, endurance-improving, and even mild anti-depressant effects throughout the long, cold winter. This herb is also excellent for students, as it has been found to enhance concentration and memory retention. Rhodiola is classified as an adaptogen, putting it in the same class as ginseng, ashwaganda, and eleuthero. Adaptogens help our bodies maintain vitality and function optimally under stressful conditions. We sell this magnificent herb in capsules or liquid extract. Capsules are more economical, but the liquid is absorbed quickly and has a lovely rose/wine flavor. Be sure to check with your health care professional before taking any new herb.
Sometimes, while at work I look around at all of the many different supplements that we carry and I find myself bewildered. I ask myself, “How many different products can one person possibly take?” This large variety of supplements—all stating how important they are for optimal health—could encourage hypochondriac-like behavior. Vitamins, minerals, omegas, green powders, protein powders, herbs, homeopathic remedies, probiotics, enzymes...I’ll stop there. So, as you can see, prioritizing is a must if you want any money left over to purchase food. If I could only choose one product from the supplement section, I’m pretty sure it would come in the form of a mycomedicinal. These incredible mushrooms share about 33% of the same DNA as humans and many authorities speculate this is the reason why they work synergistically with our systems. To add to this strange species’ mystical reputation I have recently come across sources claiming many types of medicinal mushrooms are not even from this planet! Spores can survive in a vacuum state (i.e., outerspace). Japanese research on a particular species named Lion’s Mane has revealed this mushroom’s remarkable ability to stimulate neurons to regrow.
Some more gems located in the Wellness section can be found within the essential oil display. I cannot resist the fragrant scents of these alluring herbal concentrations. Creating new blends has sort of become a side hobby of mine.
It’s important to stay healthy during the winter months. Over the cold and flu seasons I like to use Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer. It’s one of my favorite Health and Beauty products this winter. Its active ingredient is Thymus Vulgaris Oil. It smells like thyme and doesn’t dry out your hands like most hand sanitizers. I like to keep a small bottle in my car and purse.
One of my favorite Health and Wellness products is New Chapter’s Holy Basil. It helps quiet my mind but still allows me to focus. It is calmingbut doesn’t make me sleepy. I enjoy using this product prior to a potentially stressful event like an interview or an important meeting. One of my co-workers likes to use it prior to car rides. In any case I find it quite effective and enjoy its benefits.
One of the products that I feel is of high quality in our department is Emerita warming lubricant OH. OH is a paraben-free lubricant that is warm to the touch. Parabens are a preservative that some experts believe may be linked to breast cancer and could also affect the secretion of testosterone in males. Both are consequences I don’t feel are worthy of risking by using a product containing parabens.
Another product I really like is Irwin Naturals Steel Libido. Steel Libido is a dietary supplement that enhances performance and desire with horny goat weed, maca, ashwagandha and yohimbe. These are all herbs that traditionally are used to invigorate and enhance virility. Hopefully these products will be to your liking and will help enrich your lives.
One of my favorite body care products is also a fairly new product on the market. It’s Dr. Bronner’s new Shikakai Soaps. I always found that Dr. Bronner’s soaps left my skin way too dry especially in the winter months. Their new Shikakai Soaps are a mix of their original castile soap with organic shikakai extract. Shikakai comes from the seedpods of a small South Asian tree. It has been used for many years in India as a gentle conditioning cleanser for both skin and hair. I really enjoy adding my own essential oils to the baby mild formula, producing my own custom scents. Another great thing about Dr. Bronner’s products is that they are all certified organic and fair trade.
As for my favorite Wellness product, that would have to be Simplers bulk tinctures. I believe many people overlook the bulk tinctures. They are located between the facial care and bulk body care fixtures. My favorite of the bulk tinctures is astragalus. I like to add it to my morning herbal tea and find it helps wake me up without resorting to caffeine. Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries as an energy tonic and is believed to help strengthen the immune system.