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Wellness Recommendations

Three of my personal favorite home remedies


Given everyone’s extreme interest in staying healthy these days, I decided the time was right to share my favorite home remedies with you. For more than two decades, I have used these three remedies personally and for my kids. They also accompany me any time I travel domestically or abroad. They have been in widespread use for centuries, and I believe they are extremely effective. I am talking about “Thieves Blend” essential oils, Vitamin D, and Grapefruit Seed Extract.

What follows is based on my personal beliefs and experiences. I am not attempting to make any curative medical claims, and I have no financial interest in any company selling these products nor will I receive a commission or any form of remuneration. I am sharing this strictly for your information.

Thieves Blend-essential oils

Use of this combination of essential oils (Citrus lemon, cinnamon leaf, clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus radiata) dates back to Europe in the early 1400s. At that time, little was known about the importance of hygiene or how disease was spread. Specifics vary, but the story goes: the Bubonic Plague was responsible for killing between 30%-60% of Europe’s population. Despite the near 100% mortality rate, there was a group of people who appeared to be immune to the disease. These were the corpse robbers (or “thieves”) who would circulate freely night and day, robbing the valuables from corpses of people who had fallen dead in the street.

The rulers were baffled by the thieves’ immunity, so they captured a group of them and forced them to divulge their secret. The thieves explained that they blended these five essential oils and would dab the oil near their ears, below the mouth, next to the nostrils, and on the brim of their cloak hoods. The effectiveness was undeniable and this practice spread across Europe. It is thought to have slowed the spread of the plague.
Doctors adapted the practice by filling a beak-like mask with cloths soaked in the blend. They wore these Thieves Blend masks when treating patients afflicted with the plague. This is also where the term “quack” comes from in reference to doctors.
Fast forward to modern times. Little if any clinical research has been done on this blend of essential oils. Some have been researched separately and do suggest benefits in preventing bacterial and viral conditions. Nevertheless, Thieves Blend enjoys widespread popularity in the holistic- and essential- oil-using communities. Here are the ways I use this product:

I carry a bottle with me when traveling. I apply it to my ears, chin, and cheeks before going into public areas. When I reach my seat on the plane, I dab a bit on the headrest and seatback. At my destination, I apply to my face daily before leaving my room. Currently, I do this each morning after my shower.

Around the house, I use a Thieves Blend foaming soap for hand washing instead of anti- bacterial soap. You can also buy mouthwash, toothpaste, mints, and even dental floss infused with Thieves Blend. I keep a tin of the mints on hand for any time I am concerned about exposure while out and about.

Vitamin D

For more years than I can recall, I have provided vitamin D supplements for all Hammer Nutrition staff members. Our kitchen and warehouse cupboards are stocked year-round with bottles of this impressive nutrient. While our use of vitamin D supplements diminishes a bit in the summer (because we get a lot of our D from the sun), from early October to late April/ early May, taking vitamin D supplements is a daily occurrence.

Space limits listing all of the roles that vitamin D plays in the body, but it’s fair to say that since nearly every bodily cell and tissue has vitamin D receptors, they all require vitamin D to function properly. In regards to the immune system—a primary focus for all of us these days—vitamin D is very much a “front line defense” nutrient.

Highly-regarded vitamin D expert, Dr. Richard F Holick, states that vitamin D “is capable of regulating a wide variety of genes that have important functions in regulating cell growth, modulating immune function and cardiovascular health.” Epidemiologic evidence and prospective studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with increased risk of many chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, deadly cancers, type II diabetes and infectious diseases. By now, it should be clear that vitamin D is essential for basically all aspects of health, including proper immune system function. There is a wide range of how much vitamin D one needs to take daily to maintain optimal levels—a vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy blood test is the only way to know for sure—but the general consensus is 2000 IU - 4000 IU daily.
Each capsule of Premium Insurance Caps contains approximately 71.5 IU of vitamin D, so a typical four-to-six capsule daily dose will supply you with just about 285 IU – 429 IU of vitamin D. Augmenting with additional amounts can easily be done via a stand-alone vitamin D supplement, most of which are extremely affordable and readily available. Most vitamin D supplements (sold as vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol) are produced from lanolin, which is derived from sheep’s wool. There are also vegan-friendly vitamin D supplements, the vitamin D3 being derived from lichen.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

People began writing about the beneficial properties of grapefruit over 2,000 years ago. They heralded it for the benefits we now associate with all citrus: namely as an excellent source of vitamin C. It wasn’t until the 1960s that people began exploring the health benefits of grapefruit seeds. Dr. Jacob Harich, a physicist and immunologist, noticed that grapefruit seeds lasted a long time in his compost—a place full of bacteria and fungi. Curious about the antimicrobial properties of grapefruit seeds, Dr. Harich began experimenting. Using grapefruit pulp and seeds, he created a liquid extract that is still common today.

The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) are well documented. Besides being used for consumption, it’s commonly used in cosmetics, soaps, cleaning sprays, and disinfecting wipes. Studies have shown that it works against bacteria by breaking down their outer membrane. Aside from the antimicrobial properties, GSE is packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols. GSE has to be processed and manufactured to be put into a form that’s easily used. You must get yours from a trustworthy company with stringent manufacturing standards. I like to use NutriBiotic (again, I receive no compensation from this company).
I carry a bottle of GSE with me whenever I travel internationally. I put 4-6 drops in a glass of water in the morning and at night. This routine always works well for me. In the fall of 2018, I used it every day while crisscrossing countries around the world. I stayed healthy the entire trip and I know the GSE helped!

I hope you find these remedies— Thieve’s Blend, Vitamin D, and Grapefruit Seed Extract—helpful. I have used them personally and with my kids for over 20 years, so I am confident in recommending them to you.

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