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Cinnamon – Surprises and Cautions

  Cinnamon has been beloved for as long back as we can look. It has such a lovely scent, packs a substantial medicinal punch and can be used, safely, on a regular basis.   The idea that cinnamon is associated with warmth isn’t coincidental. Herbalists around the globe use a system of energetics to ascribe traits to both human health and disease, as well as the herbal medicines which can be used to support them. We have herbs which are hot, cool, damp, dry, and anything in between. While … [Read more...]

Everything You Need to Know About Zucchini

  What Is Zucchini? Zucchini are members of the gourd family along with cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins (which are all fruits, botanically speaking, but regarded as vegetables when it comes to culinary use). They’re classified as summer squash because they’re harvested before they fully mature, while their skins are thin and tender and their seeds are small and edible. Yellow or crookneck squash—which has a bulbous base and thin, sometimes curved neck—is another summer squash cultivar and is … [Read more...]

PFAS in Michigan: What to know about the contaminant

  PFAS is Michigan's most widespread, serious contamination problem since the PBB crisis of the 1970s.   Thousands of Michigan residents' water supplies have been impacted, and the full scope of the contamination from these so-called "forever chemicals" is not yet known. Soil and surface waters are also contaminated in many places, and people's exposures may have come from consumer products in years past.   Here is information for understanding the problem, and what can be done about it:   What … [Read more...]

Five Ways to Stay Hydrated Any Time of Year

Water is the primary chemical compound in our bodies, comprising over 60 percent of our body mass. Water plays such a key role in carrying nutrients to our cells and eliminating waste products that even low levels of dehydration can affect mental functioning and energy levels, and chronic dehydration can presage serious health consequences.   Consider some of the lesser-known signs of dehydration: arthritis back pain angina migraine headaches colitis high (or low) blood pressure   Drinking … [Read more...]

Hip & Core Muscle Exercises for Hip & Low Back Pain

When it comes to the human body, an issue in one area can contribute to problems elsewhere. For example, one study found that three-in-five patients with femoroacetabular (hip) impingement also suffer from clinically significant low back pain, and increased disability in one location is associated with greater disability in the other.   When it comes to managing a patient with a musculoskeletal disorder of either the hip or low back, it’s often important to incorporate exercises that promote … [Read more...]

EPA Data Shows Almost 900 ‘Forever Chemical’ Foam Releases, Many Into Local Waterways

Data newly released by the Environmental Protection Agency show almost 900 spills or uses of firefighting foam made with the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS across the U.S. and the amount that entered local waterways.   It is unclear whether surrounding community water supplies were contaminated by PFAS from the spills or use of the aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) that contained the chemicals.   The data, recorded by the National Response Center and posted to the EPA’s website, show … [Read more...]

How to Buy Sunscreen that is Safe

Sunscreen is a double-edged sword. It’s full of ingredients proven to protect our skin from damaging UV rays, but at what cost? The table below outlines some of the human concerns for eight common sunscreen ingredients approved by the ​​U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).     Sunscreen Chemicals Seep Into the Bloodstream Studies as far back as 2008 have found traces of sunscreen ingredients in breast milk and urine samples. But a 2019 study published … [Read more...]

Mid Back Strengthening for Neck Pain

In normal posture, the center of the shoulder joints should be vertically in line with the mastoid processes (the part of the skull just behind the ears). Unfortunately, excessive device use (laptop, tablet, etc...) can lead to forward head posture where the head rests forward of the shoulders, which can lead to a condition called upper cross syndrome (UCS). This condition is characterized by weakening of the back muscles (rhomboids, serratus anterior, and lower trapezius) and shortening of the … [Read more...]

Best Vegetables for Container Gardening

  An increasing number of gardeners have growing space that’s limited to a small area, such as a patio garden, a raised bed, or containers. Because of this, plant breeders and seed companies have dedicated much effort toward increasing the number of pint-sized fruits, veggies, and herbs available to home gardeners, while also paying careful attention to flavor, disease resistance, and productivity.   All the plants on the following list require a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight per day, … [Read more...]

EWG Clean Fifteen Released for 2022

Whether organic or conventionally grown, fruits and vegetables are critical components of a healthy diet. However, many crops contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after washing, peeling or scrubbing, which the USDA does before testing each item. Since pesticide contamination varies by crop, it is important to understand which items are most or least contaminated. Tests from the Environmental Working Group determined the following items to be the Clean Fifteen for 2022.     EWG's Clean … [Read more...]