HEADLINES / TRENDS l STATS l RESEARCH l MEDIA l PEOPLE

July / August 2016

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MEDIA

Healing from the Herb Garden

 


The belief that good health starts with one’s daily sustenance is centuries old, most famously stated by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

Nowhere is this more true than in the herb garden, where the plants that delight one’s palate have proven in study after study to benefit one’s body and mind as well. That principle is illuminated by two recently published books on what could be called kitchen herbalism.

One of the most common ways to employ herbs medicinally is to brew them. Technically, the result is known as a tisane—but you can call it herbal tea if you like, as in Infuse: Herbal Teas to Cleanse, Nourish, and Heal (Hamlyn).

For authors Paula Grainger, a medical herbalist, and Karen Sullivan, a nutritionist and health writer, herbs are particularly well-suited to home self-care. “Herbal teas are quick and easy to make,” they write, “and drinking them is a soothing, restorative way of experiencing their healing powers.”

Beautifully illustrated throughout, Infuse presents blends designed to support cleansing and detoxification—such as a simple morning brew made with parsley, dandelion, lemon and ginger—and those that address specific issues, such as a ginger-based stomach soother and a blend of anti-inflammatory herbs to soothe achy joints. The herb listing at the back of the book helps the reader come up with his or her own combinations.

What Grainger and Sullivan call their “herb-pedia” forms the core of Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking (New World Library).

Like many authors in the natural self-care field, Michelle Schoffro Cook came to her interest in alternative healing after an illness in her early years led her to what she calls “Mother Nature’s medicine.” Now a certified practitioner in the field, Cook imparts what she has learned about 31 “common and accessible herbs.”

Each chapter in Be Your Own Herbalist provides growing information and medicinal uses for the herb it describes. For instance, oregano, best known for its use in Mediterranean cuisine and as an infection fighter, may also help ease arthritis and balance blood pressure.

Cook writes, “It is my mission in life to teach and empower people to become self-sufficient in growing their own food and natural medicines.” If that’s your goal, Be Your Own Herbalist can be helpful.

 

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N U M B E R S


Hurting Heels

 

1 in 10

People who will suffer from

plantar fasciitis, the most

common form of heel pain,

in their lifetimes

 

6x

The number of women affected,

compared with men

 

40-60

The age range most likely to be

affected

 

Source: Airplus

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Prenatal Vitamins May

Reduce Pregnancy Loss Risk

 

For would-be parents, loss of an unborn child is a crushing blow. But taking a prenatal
multivitamin daily during pregnancy may reduce the risk of such a loss by more than half, according to the results of a recent study.

Researchers allied with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development enrolled 344 couples from Michigan and Texas. The women ranged in ages from 18 to 40; the men were all over 18.

The study team followed the participants from preconception to seven weeks after
conception.

Several factors were associated with pregnancy loss. One was age, with the greatest risk found among women who were over 35. The consumption of caffeine—especially when more than two caffeinated beverages were consumed daily—was also linked to loss of a pregnancy.

However, the team reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility that women who took a prenatal multivitamin every day during their pregnancies were 55% less likely to lose their babies.

The study team, led by Germaine Buck Louis, PhD, noted that previous studies had found links between consumption of vitamin B6 and another B vitamin called folate, both of which are found in standard prenatal formulations, and reductions in the risk of losing a baby.

Taking their own investigation into account, the team concluded, “Collectively, these data are supportive of a beneficial association between vitamin usage and pregnancy loss.”

They added, “Our findings are supportive of the need for ongoing efforts to ensure couples receive preconception guidance” regarding lifestyle choices, such as caffeine consumption.

 

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HEALTHY TRAVELER

Native American Healing

at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin


Elkhart Lake, the centerpiece of the southeastern Wisconsin town of the same name, is among the clearest we’ve ever kayaked. The thousands of springs that feed the lake account for its clarity, while the importance that Native Americans placed on it adds a spiritual dimension. The Potawatomi Indians called the lake “Me-shay-way-o-deh-ni-bis,” or Great Elk Heart Lake, according to legend, because of its shape. The Native Americans also believed the waters had curative powers and were sacred.

Those powers attracted German immigrant Otto Osthoff, who wanted to help his ailing wife Paulina. In 1886, he opened the Osthoff Hotel, which quickly attracted luxury vacationers. Now called The Osthoff Resort, it remains perhaps the most beautiful property—with lovely manicured grounds—on the lake. The all-suite property has offerings, both modern and rooted in tradition, for the health-conscious traveler that would widen Otto’s eyes with wonder.

Osthoff general manager Lola Roeh and her team paid attention to detail in assembling the property’s Aspira Spa, a monument to feng shui. The earth-tone spa’s physical core is a candlelit meditation room, built in a circle to encourage a smooth energy flow. Similarly, designers placed the five Chinese elements—represented in the sanctuary’s pebble-laced stone floor, a circle of votive candles around a copper vessel and wood benches and walls—in “a prescribed order,” Roeh says.

Aspira employs chromatherapy, the use of colors, as well as sound therapy and hydrotherapy treatments, and uses lavender, chamomile and other herbs from the resort’s extensive gardens in its services. Heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash and more from the gardens find their way into the property’s restaurants, including Lola’s on the Lake, Roeh’s namesake, and the property’s L’ecole de la Maison cooking school, where the resort’s patient master chef, Scott Baker, deftly manages multiple courses and students with a teaching manner that is the polar opposite of, say, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s volatility.

Restaurants at nearby resorts, Victorian Village and Siebkens, whose properties have modern elements but maintain classic features, similarly offer fare with made-from-scratch wholesomeness, as do the independent eateries in the chain-free town. An easy walk or bike ride from the lakeside resorts, the town is full of old-school charm and quaint surprises—like the bags of seeds to grow honeybee-attracting clovers for sale at sommelier Jaclyn Stuart’s Vintage Elkhart Lake Wine Shop and Tasting Bar.

For a taste of adventure, you can hike portions of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a thousand-mile path in the midst of hills and depressions known as kettles sculpted by glacial ice flow more than 12,000 years ago. In more recent history, Elkhart Lake was an epicenter of car racing, and the town’s streets served as the track until state officials put the kibosh on that years ago. Your need for speed can be fulfilled at Road America, a 640-acre park with a scenic four-mile, 14-turn track where guests can run their own vehicles and test their driving skills by keeping a tennis ball from rolling off the hood while weaving between orange cones.

Kitschy foam cheese hats greet you at airport kiosks, but you can get a more authentic experience at Henning’s Cheese, a family-owned factory where you can taste fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. Visit ElkhartLake.com and Osthoff.com.

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