Health Notes

Start a New American Tradition: Bring Bitters to the Table

Urban Moonshine Bitters

By Guido Masé, RH (AHG), Chief Herbalist at Urban Moonshine

Come early evening, around six o’clock, when the sun is still strong but a cool breeze begins to lift the heat of the day, Italians gather at the local bar for aperitivi. Sitting under striped awnings, they sip from wine glasses full of a light, sparkling drink made from seltzer water and mild bitter preparations. The glasses vary in color from dark brown, through red, and into an almost electric orange, reflecting the ingredients they contain. These drinks are preferred over strong cocktails, and are really the beginning of the evening meal as they support digestion and can help prevent indigestion and heartburn. After the aperitivi, a short walk through narrow streets leads to the main restaurant, where the real eating begins: three, often four courses featuring rich cream and meat sauces, lots of prosciutto and thin cuts of beef, plenty of seafood and crisp vegetables. Visitors are often encouraged try aperitivi, as the rich (and abundant) combinations of food can be too much for the digestion, and the bitter drinks before meals really help.

November's Health Genie: Coconut Oil

Coconuts

Note:This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Hello Health Genie,

I know this is a common complaint, but nothing I’ve tried seems to really help.  I typically have pretty dry skin, but with the colder drier weather approaching, I just can’t seem to keep my skin hydrated.  I’ve heard that coconut oil can be effective, but I’ve never used it outside of the kitchen.  Can you tell me more about its medicinal properties?

Thank you,

Debbie Dry

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April's Health Genie: Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Note: This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Dear Health Genie,

I recently came across a recipe that called for chia seeds as an egg substitute. Is this the same chia that I used to make Chia Pets in my youth? What else can you tell me about chia seeds?

Sincerely,
Chia-quisitive

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Fine-Tuning the Mediterranean Diet

Note: This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Asparagus

By Robert Luby, MD

From a scientific point of view, the Mediterranean Diet (MD) is the most-studied of any dietary plan. Research has shown that adherence to the MD may reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality (death from heart disease), the incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and the risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. All told this leads to lower overall mortality, or stated positively, a longer life expectancy.

March's Health Genie: Healthy Kids

Note: This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Dear Health Genie,

I grew up on the Standard America Diet (S.A.D.). Veggies to me meant salad composed mostly of iceberg lettuce or baked potatoes or canned peas. As an adult, I have broadened my horizons and now enjoy a variety of fruits and veggies. In contrast to my own childhood, I am trying to establish healthy eating habits for my kids while they are still young. Getting them to eat a variety of fresh fruits and veggies is important, but a tricky task. Do you have any tips for encouraging kids to eat more produce?

Sincerely,
S.A.D. Mom

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