Archive for January, 2013

Do You Know Your pH? You Should!


By Jennifer Morganti, ND, Director of Education for NEEDS

Fatigue, osteoporosis, muscle spasms, sinusitis, insomnia, nerve pains, eczema, poor circulation…could these seemingly unrelated symptoms and conditions possibly have a common thread? The surprising answer is—YES! These symptoms were selected from a much longer list of conditions that can originate from an acidic environment in the body. The good news is that with diligent effort, one can neutralize the acid through a healthy diet and supplementation, and these issues may be resolved without requiring prescription drugs.

Acidity and inflammation don’t impact everyone in the same way—symptoms tend to manifest in a person’s weakest link. For some people, that might be the joints, so they experience joint pain, and some might incur urinary tract infections, yet both conditions can be a consequence of chronic acidity and inflammation.

Diet is the most significant cause of acidosis. The standard American diet is rich in acidifying foods and deficient in alkalizing foods, particularly vegetables. Stress and illness also impact the body’s pH, but diet is the major source of acid. It is highly recommended to read a book like The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health by Dr. Christopher Vasey, or the Acid Alkaline Food Guide by Dr. Susan Brown, to better understand the complexities of how foods affect pH and which foods have superior alkalizing activity. The general rule of thumb is that green leafy vegetables, followed by other colored vegetables and fruits, are alkalizing, and sugars, refined carbohydrates, and protein tend to be acidifying. It is helpful to have one of the food guides for reference, because some foods that have acidic qualities actually have an alkalizing effect on the body, such as lemons and vinegar. The books also provide guidelines on how to accurately test pH using pH test strips to track your progress.

Dietary changes are critical for alkalizing but to truly enhance the alkalization process, supplementation is highly recommended. Because vegetables are such an effective way to increase alkalinity, green drinks easily boost the daily veggie intake with just a few gulps. Minerals are a good way to alkalinize. Coral calcium provides a broad range of minerals, along with calcium in the carbonate form, which is the most alkalizing form.

Lastly, be sure to use pH test strips to monitor your pH changes. The pH fluctuates throughout the day based on food and beverages that are consumed. It is wise to use alkalizing supplements several times throughout the day to maintain an alkaline environment.

January 31, 2013 at 8:00 am Leave a comment




Cold season can extend from fall well into spring. It is worth spending a moment discussing the ancient Zulu remedy for successfully fighting off symptoms such as runny and stuffy noses, sore throats, and coughs.

Native to the coastal regions of South Africa, Pelargonium sidoides was described as “umKhulkane” (denoting respiratory infection) and “uHlabo” (roughly meaning chest pain) by the Zulu. The herbal remedy was introduced to Europeans in the late 19th century by the Englishman and TB-sufferer, Charles Stevens. On a trip to South Africa to seek a cure for TB, he consulted a tribal healer who gave him a strong concoction of Pelargonium sidoides root. Fully recovered, he returned to England with this new remedy and popularized it throughout Europe as “Steven’s Consumption Cure.”

The rediscovery of the root extract occurred in Germany where a standardized product known as Umckaloabo® has been approved for the treatment of bronchitis, tonsillitis, and sinusitis. The overwhelming success of the product has led to its recent introduction to the United States as Umcka Coldcare from Nature’s Way.

Specific findings of the Pelagonium sidoides root include:

Common Cold: A recent study gave 93 adults suffering the common cold either Pelargonium sidoides root extract (30 drops or 1.5 mL three times per day) or a placebo for 10 days. By the fifth day, the majority of participants taking the herbal extract reported not only feeling better, but were back to almost 75 percent of their normal level of activity. Those taking the placebo didn’t feel much better and were at only about 50 percent of normal activity. By day 10, 82 percent of those taking the herbal remedy were back to their normal daily routine compared to only 54 percent of those taking the placebo.

Bronchitis: A clinical study treated 468 adults with bronchitis with either the Pelargonium sidoides root extract (30 drops three times per day) or a placebo. Treated for only seven days, symptoms such as cough, chest pain, sputum production, and shortness of breath, were reduced by almost 50 percent in those persons taking the herbal extract compared to those taking the placebo. Coughing either improved or disappeared in 89 percent of those taking Pelargonium sidoides compared to only 57 percent of those taking the placebo.

Sinusitis: A frustrating and difficult condition to treat, sinusitis is often a recurring problem and resistant to repeated antibiotic use. A new study has shown that using Pelargonium sidoides root extract (60 drops or 3 mL three times per day) for 21 days dramatically reduces not only symptom severity in adults with acute sinusitis, but also improves sinus health. Using x-rays to check for sinus congestion, the study found that almost 98 percent of those taking the herbal extract had normal x-rays by the end of the study compared to only 10 percent of those taking a placebo. Notable is that none of the participants took antibiotics.

As stated above, the researched Pelargonium sidoides root product used in these clinical studies is available in the product Umcka Coldcare™ from Nature’s Way. The safety and effectiveness of this extract for both adults and children makes it a must-have for any natural medicine cabinet.

January 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

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