Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Strawberries: A Sweet, Vitamin-Rich Health Support

For those of you who may not know, the American Botanical Council offers free HerbClips on their website. Today they're featuring an HerbClip about rose hip bread and rose petal jelly, but last week the Clip was about strawberries and too sweet to pass up!

"The taste of a warm, juicy strawberry on a hot summer day is a delight to the mouth," wrote Lori Glenn, Managing Editor. "Even in February when southern California strawberries appear at the northern California farmer's markets, the sight of the red fruit is a joy they promise that better weather and a variety of berries will soon appear."

A signal of spring and summer to come, strawberries are not only sweet, their nutrient-rich too, as Glenn goes on to explain:

"Strawberries are a rich source of flavonoids, iron, folate, potassium, vitamins B, C and E, and phenols. In the strawberry, these phenols are led by anthocyanins and ellagitannins. The anthocyanins not only provide the strawberry's red color, but they also supply antioxidants. Strawberries' unique phenol content gives them heart-protective, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory abilities. Strawberries also have blood-purifying, astringent, diuretic, and liver-tonic properties. Medicinally, the fruit has been used to treat anemia, constipation, fevers, hangover, high blood pressure, gout, and rheumatism. Cut strawberries have even been used to whiten teeth and are said not to damage the enamel. In a recent study (see HC 110195-396), freeze-dried strawberries were found to lower cardiovascular disease risk factors in women with metabolic syndrome."

Eat up! Glenn suggests adding strawberries to a green salad with the addition of some chopped nuts and cheese drizzled with lemon and olive oil. How do you like your strawberries? If you have favorite, healthy strawberry recipes to share, please post them here!!

Also, yesterday's edition of The Oregonian included the article "Growing strawberries is deliciously easy here." According to the article, Oregon's climate is perfect for strawberries, but even if you don't live near ACHS in Oregon, there may be some use useful tips about planting, care, and harvest as well.

>> If you're interested in learning more about holistic nutrition, check out our new Nut 101 Introduction to Nutrition course here:

Image (c)

Vintage ACHS Apparel: The Apothecary Shoppe's Newest Line

Our Apothecary Shoppe, the ACHS college store, has a new line... ACHS Vintage Apparel!

These t-shirts and aprons bear the College's original logo, which was inspired by nature and her bounty, and celebrates more than 30 years of excellence in education and the original Apothecary.

>> Click here for a close-up image of our Vintage logo

Vintage ACHS is wearable memorabilia. Show your school pride and support for natural health and wellness, and get your Vintage wear here:

Vintage t-shirts come in sizes S-XXL and are 100% cotton. Aprons are a blend and adjustable. Hats coming soon!

P.S. This is a picture of our very own Instructional Designer, Ephraim Ross, wearing his Vintage ACHS in the ACHS Botanical Teaching Garden in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ACHS President Dorene Petersen Featured on KPTV Better Portland

American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) President Dorene Petersen was featured on KPTV Better Portland today.

Watch the segment here and learn more about easy ways to starting using essential oils for aromatherapy in your everyday life.

Click this link to watch Dorene Petersen's segment, "Find Out the Basics of Aromatherapy," on the KPTV website here:

Health Benefits of Parsley Featured in Psychology Today

The April edition of Psychology Today magazine includes an insightful profile of parsley, commonly thought of as "The Garnish Herb."

As the article by Hara Estroff Marano[1] points out, parsley actually has quite a few nutrients, including beta carotene, vitamins B12 and folate, and "more vitamin C than the equivalent amount of orange." In addition, parsley "contains immunity-enhancing phytonutrients like luteolin that curb inflammatory processes in the body," and other organic compounds, including myristicin and folic acid.

Perhaps our most well-known garnish, in other parts of the world parsley serves a heartier function. Leafy and a bit whispy, parsley can be used to make several sauces, including pesto, and is added to many grain and salad dishes, such as tabbouleh.

Plus, the rumors are true ... parsley does help freshen breath after eating more pungent foods like garlic!

Here's a link to a study[2] about how the antioxidant capacity of culinary herbs, including parsley, is affected by various cooking and storage processes:

>> For more information about the health benefits of parsley, including tips for using parsley in cooking, check out holistic nutrition and cooking books from the Apothecary Shoppe College Store.

>> To learn more about holistic nutrition and herbalism courses offered by the American College of Healthcare Sciences, visit

[1] Marano, HE. 2010. Parsing Parsley. Psychology Today. March/April, p 56.
[2] Chohan M, Forster-Wilkins G, Opara EI. 2008. Determination of the antioxidant capacity of culinary herbs subjected to various cooking and storage processes using the ABTS(*+) radical cation assay. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. Jun;63(2):47-52. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Join Us At the Better Living Show This Weekend, March 26-28

Just a reminder, the Better Living Show is this weekend, March 26-28!

Come visit with ACHS at Booth #811 at the Portland Expo Center. Show hours are:
  • Friday, March 26: 12-9 pm
  • Saturday, March 27: 11 am-9 pm
  • Sunday, March 28: 11 am-5 pm
What is the Better Living Show? >> Click here to learn more about ACHS and the Show.

What’s happening at the ACHS booth:
  • We're collecting gently used t-shirts for Urban Retread this year. Bring your shirt to the ACHS booth, and we'll give you a free gift. (Your shirt may be re-worked into a one-off designer shirt!)
  • Sign up to receive a free copy of the more than 100-page ACHS Wellness Guide via email and enter our contest to win a free iPod Touch!
  • Enjoy new interactive holistic health and lifestyle displays and the opportunity to speak person-to-person with holistic health experts and other ACHS students and graduates.
  • An Apothecary Shoppe marketplace with special savings.
  • Several great contests!
Want to read more about ACHS’s commitment to sustainability? >> Click here to read our sustainability pledge.

Thank you for supporting ACHS and the Apothecary Shoppe College Store, and our efforts to provide comprehensive, sustainable holistic health education.

We look forward to seeing you at the show! Bring an eco-friendly reusable bag because all holistic health books and supplies at the show will be 20% off for the weekend. (Can't carry it all? Not to worry. We'll honor the 20% off on all orders placed online through the Apothecary Shoppe March 26-28. Go to

Admission to the show is free. Parking costs $5. >> Click here to see green transportation options.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Highlights from "What is Aromatherapy?" at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland

Have you seen our new photos on Facebook? Click here to see photos from today's lecture "What is Aromatherapy?" at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Check out our new photo album “What is Aromatherapy? at the Lan Su Chinese Garden” from ACHS President Dorene Petersen’s lecture today.

Most of the photos are from within the Scholars’ Room, where the lecture took place, but there is also a beautiful picture of a big rhododendron right outside the lecture hall, in the Fragrance Garden.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend in person today, Dorene is going to give a complementary aromatherapy lecture at the Garden next week, on March 30, at 1pm, which is a continuation of the Garden’s Festival of Fragrance.

But, don’t worry if you’re not able to attend that event either, we filmed it! “What is Aromatherapy?” will be available for download on our College channel, ACHStv, on YouTube soon. Here is a link: It’s easiest to subscribe to ACHStv and an email will automatically be sent to you when the video is available (and all educational holistic health videos we post for free download!).

In the meantime, here are some interesting points from Dorene’s lecture:
  • Aromatherapy is the use of aromas for their healing properties.
  • An essential oil is the distilled (or sometimes expressed) product of the volatile components synthesized by various plant tissues of a single plant species.
  • Essential oils are produced in different parts of the plant depending on the oil. Some examples include: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is from seeds; eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) from leaves; and bitter orange (Citrus sinensis) is from the peel.

Some essential oils you might want to get started with include (note, before apply essential oils to the skin, a skin patch test is recommended):

>> All of these essential oils, as well as a large variety of additional oils and organic base oils (including camellia, aloe vera, and jojoba) can easily be ordered from ACHS’s Apothecary Shoppe College Store here: Just click on Essential Oils and/or Carrier Oils on the left-hand toolbar.

Two parting thoughts: First, when you have a quiet moment to yourself, ponder these words from Helen Keller: “Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived.”

Second, the Moon Gate at the Garden has a plaque above the arch on each side. On one side it reads, “Read the landscape,” and on the other side, “Listen to the fragrance.” According to the Lan Su Chinese Garden’s website, “In Chinese tradition, garden landscape without poetry is not complete.”

What do the words “Listen to the fragrance” whisper to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare Reform Bill Passed March 21 to be Signed by President Obama

On Sunday, March 21, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or H.R. 3590). The final vote was 219 to 212, as reported on the NPR website, and the bill will now go to President Obama to be signed.

More than 30 million Americans will now have access to healthcare. The $940 billion bill will "extend health coverage to most Americans," as reported on NPR. "Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health insurance to the poor and disabled, will be expanded to cover all adults earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level."

Additional highlights of the healthcare bill include:
  • Individuals and small companies will have access to private health insurance via exchanges run by the states
  • Those who do not buy insurance, and "most employers who do not offer coverage to workers," face fines
  • "All but about 5 percent of non-elderly Americans will ultimately be covered"--about half through Medicaid and half through private insurance
  • "There will be a broad education effort, so that people understand what's in the legislation," said Executive Director of Families USA Ron Pollack
  • The Congressional Budget Office "has estimated that the legislation will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years"
>> To read the original NPR article "House Passes Historic Health Care Bill", click on this link:

>> To read the related article "What Are The Immediate Effects of Health Bill Passing?", click on this link, which includes specific information about help for the uninsured, healthcare changes we may see in 2010, Medicare, coverage of kids, changes to insurance, and tax credits for businesses.

Friday, March 19, 2010

NPA Natural Standard for Home Care Products

The Natural Products Association has developed the Natural Products Association Standard and Certification for Home Care Products, which will help "protect and equip consumers to maximize their well being," according to the NPA website.

The NPA describes their Certification as "guidelines that dictate whether a product can be deemed truly 'natural,'" and includes home care products like household cleaners, laundry detergents, and ready-to-use hard-surface cleaners. Certified products would bear the NPA natural home care seal.

As outlined on the NPA website, establishing a standard for natural home care products would help ensure:
  • Natural Ingredients: A product labeled "natural" should be made up of only, or at least almost only, natural ingredients and be manufactured with appropriate processes.
  • Safety: A product labeled "natural" should avoid any ingredient that has peer-reviewed, scientific research showing human health or environmental risk.
  • Responsibility: A product labeled "natural" should use no animal testing in its development except where required by law.
  • Sustainability: A product labeled "natural" should use biodegradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging.
The criteria for products that want to bear the Natural Certification seal include, but are not limited to:
  • Product must be made up of at least 95 percent truly natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources, excluding water
  • No ingredients with any suspected human health risks
  • No processes that significantly or adversely alter the natural ingredients
  • Ingredients that come from a purposeful, natural source (flora, fauna, mineral)
  • Processes that are minimal and don't use synthetic/harsh chemicals
  • Non-natural ingredients only when no viable natural alternative ingredient are available and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks
To read more about Certification, including how to apply, visit the NPA website here:

>>To start using natural products in your home today, check out the Aromatherapy Spring Cleaning Kit from the Apothecary Shoppe, including organic essential oils and a how-to guide for cleaning your home with essential oils.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Essential Oil for St. Patrick's Day: Peppermint

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all. If you're looking for an essential oil to use reminiscent of the spirit of St. Patrick's, give peppermint Mentha piperita a try.

Peppermint essential oil, also called balm mint or brandy mint, has a fresh, somewhat minty and strong smell. It is considered an adaptogenic oil, and although peppermint is not traditionally used in perfumery, the aroma is known to "give a lift" when inhaled.

The main constituent of peppermint oil produced in the United States is the alcohol, l-menthol (42.8%). Menthol is responsible for the cooling taste of peppermint, which is why peppermint is used extensively in commercial products, such as cough drops.

Before applying peppermint oil directly to skin, a skin patch test is recommended. You can also diffuse peppermint essential oil directly into the air for inhalation by using a terracotta light ring or a variety of diffusers.

Here's a recipe for a peppermint-based migraine rub (just in case!):
  • Chamomile Anthemis nobilis oil: 5-drops
  • Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globules oil: 5-drops
  • Lemon Citrus limonum oil: 5-drops
  • Peppermint Mentha piperita oil: 5-drops
  • Base oil: 2-T
  • Blend the oils and apply to shoulders, neck, and temples
Other "green" essential oils you might enjoy for St. Patrick's Day include: Eucalyptus, lime, basil, and bay.

>> For more information about the History of Aromatherapy, download a free lecture from the Apothecary Shoppe.

*Note, this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prescribe. You should always check with your primary care physician.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tell Your Congressman to Vote YES on HR 950

Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Rep. Bob Filner, sent out a letter asking for our support for H.R. 950, the bill he introduced last year, which would provide a housing allowance for Post-9/11 veterans who choose to take online education.

Rep. Filner states in his letter: "There should not be a distinction between those who attend a brick-and-mortar classroom versus those who study online and take their tests on a computer. Supporters of this bill are standing up for: disabled veterans, veteran families, rural veterans, and single-parent households who are getting an education and working to improve their lives. Join me in support of H.R. 950 and help restore equity by choosing to provide all our veterans with equal housing benefits while they participate in online higher education."

Your support for this bill would provide the same living allowance as veterans who choose to attend "brick-and-mortar", or more traditional, schools, and would show support for ALL veterans.

Contact your Congressman and ask them to vote YES on H.R. 950. Click on this link to find the email of your representative:

For a generic form you can use to send to your representative, click here:

H.R. 950, to "increase educational assistance for certain veterans pursuing a program of education offered through distance learning," can be found here:

Monday, March 15, 2010

ACHS Call for Presenters

ACHS Call for Presenters

You've spent a lot of time building your expertise and honing your craft. Now is the time to share your knowledge and experience by volunteering to lead an in-person community wellness event at the ACHS campus and/or a remote teleseminar.

This is your opportunity to donate a little time and help support our social mission of providing accessible holistic health education on a regular basis. The purpose of these classes and teleseminars is to provide the community with high-quality holistic health and wellness information in an easy-to-use and interactive manner. Classes and seminars should engage the audience, focus on holistic health topics of the day, share your passion, and be professional and organized.

In exchange, you'll have the opportunity to meet some great people, help improve the health of our communities worldwide, practice your presentation skills, add a presentation to your resume, network, and laugh … Need we go on? It may even meet continuing education requirements for your professional organization (check directly with your organization). You are also welcome to introduce your service or product, provided it is not the focus of the presentation. Presentations must be noncommercial in nature overall.

Here's a little more about what we're looking for:

Volunteers to present anin-person Saturday community wellness class at the ACHS campus in Portland, Oregon. Presenters are free to choose a holistic health and wellness topic of interest to them, but classes should be approximately 50 minutes long. Sessions will be filmed and then edited for viewing by the public on our college YouTube channel, ACHStv. Presenters are responsible for planning their class and organizing any necessary materials and/or technology with ACHS staff.


Volunteers to present a holistic health and wellness-themed teleseminar. Speakers do not need to be in the Portland area to take advantage of this opportunity. Rather, speakers can participate remotely (they will call into ACHS) and are again free to select the specific topic of their choice. All teleseminars will be scheduled on Tuesday evenings and will run from 7-8:30 pm, PST. To participate, speakers should be available from 6:50-8:45 p.m. to allow some extra time for set-up and Q & A. Teleseminars will also be recorded and available after the session for download.

We encourage ACHS graduates and those interested in faculty positions at ACHS to volunteer, as well as existing students and faculty and other experts in the local community.

To have your community wellness class and/or Tuesday teleseminar considered, please email your resume and a brief proposal for your class, including approximate length and any set-up requirements, to An ACHS staff member will then follow up with you to find out more information about your event and/or presentation and will send you required paperwork.

Thank you for volunteering your time and expertise. You may also want to contact your professional organization to see if this opportunity meets their continuing education requirements.

We look forward to learning more about your presentation!

ACHS students can now have their college exams proctored online with ProctorU

ACHS students can now have their college exams proctored online with ProctorU

American College of Healthcare Sciences today announced that students enrolled in their degree, diploma, and certificate programs can now have their college exams conveniently proctored online.

ACHS President Dorene Petersen said the college is always looking for solutions that simplify the learning process for its online students. Petersen said, “The online ProctorU service provides us with a proven and easy-to-use method to ensure academic integrity while allowing our students to take exams at a time and place convenient to them.”

ACHS is one of only nineteen institutions of higher learning that offer online exam proctoring using ProctorU’s proven system. ACHS understands one of the reasons its students enroll is the convenience online courses offer. “We realized that the requirement that a student locate a proctor to take an exam somewhat negated the convenience factor, so we searched for a solution,” said ACHS Senior Vice President Erika Yigzaw.

Click here to read the full-length press release on the ACHS website.

ACHS Partners with Wonderlic, Inc.

ACHS Partners with Wonderlic, Inc. to Ensure Hiring of Most Qualified Faculty and Staff
American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) has teamed with Wonderlic, Inc. to streamline their hiring process for Admissions and Adjunct Faculty positions, thus ensuring all new hires will meet the needs of ACHS and their students.

ACHS is the one of the first accredited online colleges to offer degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM). They are committed to providing current and prospective students with the best online CAM education and experience available, including highly trained admissions advisors and faculty who are both industry experts and engaging online instructors.

ACHS chose to work with Wonderlic because of their ability to customize testing metrics for specific positions. Applicants interested in available jobs in ACHS Admissions or as Adjunct Faculty will now complete Wonderlic’s pre-employment testing, which consists of several assessments that provide an objective measurement of applicants’ knowledge, skills, and ability to meet specific job requirements. The results will allow ACHS President Dorene Petersen, Senior Vice President Erika Yigzaw, Dean of Admissions Tracey Miller, and Academic Dean Dr. Arianna Staruch to compare applicant experience and skills, leading to the selection of only the most qualified candidates.

“By hiring staff and faculty who possess the ability to perform well and have the personality to be successful in an online institution, we ensure that we are maximizing our students’ valuable tuition dollars,” says ACHS Dean of Admissions Tracey Miller.

Click here to read the full-length press release on the ACHS website.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday's article in The Oregonian, "Oregon's suicide headache tree," reported that the camphor scent from the Oregon myrtle (also called California laurel) can cause severe headaches in some people and may contain important clues to "understanding mysterious cluster headaches."

Italian researches began to investigate the connection between Oregon myrtle and these headaches after learning of the case of a 69-year-old gardener who "was struck by a severe headache centered in his left eye" while pruning Oregon myrtle.

According to The Oregonian, Oregon myrtle was used by Native Americans to treat headaches: "Sufferers inhaled crushed leaves or applied a poultice to the forehead," a practice that bears comparison to homeopathy, which is based on "the principle of similars," according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website. The principle of similars, or "like cures like," states that "a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people."

Researcher Dr. Silvia Benemei of the University of Florence told The Oregonian, "'We are close to the identification of the mechanism.' [...] Finding the responsible chemicals could help explain what causes the disorder, and perhaps point the way to better treatments."

Image by Walter Siegmund (200&0 from

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

98% of ACHS Students Said They Would Recommend ACHS to a Friend

After several key developments in 2009, the American College of Healthcare Sciences sees the positive results in student satisfaction

American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), one of the first accredited, online colleges to offer degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine (CAM), also known as integrative medicine, celebrated its 20th year of operations in the U.S. in 2009. Building on its foundation of core CAM courses and programs, in 2009 ACHS also launched seven new certificate programs and six graduate certificates for specialized training in CAM in response to growing demand for CAM-trained healthcare professionals.

The January 2010 survey showed exceptional results from ACHS’s 2009 developments and a completion rate of 93% for the top 10 ACHS courses by enrollment. Of the more than 500 survey respondents, 95% said yes when asked, “Did you achieve, or will you have achieved upon completing your studies, the goals you had when you started the course or program?” When asked, “Would you recommend these studies to a friend?”, 98% said yes, and 98% also said yes when asked, “All things considered, are you satisfied with your studies with us?”

“Our surveys and results are a vital part of our outcome Assessment Program at ACHS,” said ACHS Senior Vice President Erika Yigzaw, who serves as the Institutional Improvement Officer. “We appreciate and value students’ feedback and comments, which we ‘feed back’ into our cycle of improvement. This cycle keeps us at the forefront of our industry.”

“We had our largest enrollment and number of courses starting January 2010,” said ACHS President Dorene Petersen. “That’s exciting! It feels wonderful to know our students are satisfied and happy with their studies, to know we’re meeting their needs, which is something we plan to do well into the future.”

Read the full press here, including more information about ACHS's plans for future development:

OR on eSchool News here:

ACHS Partners with Urban Retread at the Better Living Show March 26-28

As part of our sustainability mission, ACHS has partnered with Urban Retread at the 2010 Energy Trust Better Living Show.

Bring your gently used (no stains, rips, or tears) long or shortsleeve shirts to the ACHS booth #811 any time during the show, March 26-28, to receive a free gift from ACHS. Your shirt may be selected to be re-worked into a one-off designer shirt! You can catch Urban Retread's designs at the
Eco Fashion show.

The ACHS booth will also feature interactive holistic health presentations and lifestyle displays, holistic health experts and ACHS faculty and staff on hand to speak with attendees about holistic living, fun giveaways, and a show special of 20% off holistic health merchandise for the duration of the show!

To learn more about sustainable living and holistic health, visit ACHS at the Better Living Show, booth #811, March 26-28, 2010, at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 North Marine Drive, Portland OR 97217. Admission is free. For hours, a list of scheduled presentations, and information about parking, visit

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ACHS President Dorene Petersen Featured on KPTV Better Portland March 25

ACHS President Dorene Petersen will be featured on the KPTV program Better Portland on March 25, 2010, at 1:45 p.m.

Brooke Carlson, a lifestyle correspondent for the Better Portland program, will host an interactive interview with Dorene about aromatherapy. Dorene will demonstrate for KPTV viewers the basics of aromatherapy, including simple ways to integrate aromatherapy use into everyday health and wellness routines, and the many benefits of aromatherapy.

In addition to her work as President of American College of Healthcare Sciences, Dorene also serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC), an independent nonprofit organization that administers the national examination in aromatherapy to ensure minimum standards of training and safety knowledge of registered aromatherapists.

To learn more about aromatherapy and its health benefits, tune in to the show on KPTV on March 25 at 1:45 pm.

KPTV will also post a video of Dorene's aromatherapy segment on their website after the interview airs. Download it here:

Read "Aromatherapy for the Home" by the American College of Healthcare Sciences on the Better Living Show Blog here:

ACHS is gearing up for the Better Living Show at the Portland Expo Center March 26-28. Visit ACHS at booth 811 for interactive holistic health presentations and lifestyle displays, to speak with ACHS faculty and staff about holistic health education and living, and for daily giveaways! Read the full press release about ACHS at the Better Living Show here:

FDA Commissioner Hamburg Posts Open Letter to Food Industry

NPR yesterday posted a short article on their website linking to an open letter from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to the food industry "exhorting them to do a better job and highlighting some areas of special concern."

Her "beef," NPR comments, is that "companies should stop misleading consumers by trumpeting a food as free of trans fat--implying that it's a healthy choice--when it also happens to be be high in unhealthy saturated fats." Nor should they make health claims about foods for kids younger than 2 or "representing that foods can cure or treat a disease."

NPR cites this example: "Nestle Drumstick Classic Vanilla Fudge [...] proclaims '0 g Trans Fat,' while the fine print shows 10 grams of saturated fat per serving, or 50 percent of the recommended daily amount."

>> You can read the Open Letter to Industry from Dr. Hamburg here.

>> To read the original NPR article, click here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Workplace Wellness Programs Help Employees Lose Weight, Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

Workplace wellness programs DO help employees to lose weight, and lower their cholesterol and blood pressure. In a new study, U.S. researchers followed 757 hospital workers who volunteered for a 12-week wellness program focused on diet and exercise. Researchers recorded information about participants' weight, lifestyle and heart disease risk factors at the start and at the end of the wellness program one year later.

"At the start of the study," as reported by HealthDay, "33 percent of participants were overweight (body mass index, or BMI, of 25 to 29.9) and 30 percent were obese (BMI of 30 or more). The researchers found that obese participants lost the most weight -- 3 percent at 12 weeks and 0.9 percent at one year -- and were most likely to reduce their intake of dietary sugar. Overweight participants did almost as well, with an average weight loss of 2.7 percent at 12 weeks and 0.4 percent at one year."

All participants, though, showed improvement in levels of physical activity, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduced waistlines at the end of the year-long program.

The Massachusetts General Hospital researchers concluded that: "Voluntary wellness programs can successfully address weight loss and lifestyle behaviors for employees in all weight categories, but more work is needed to improve long-term changes."

>> To learn more about wellness consulting and holistic wellness programs, visit the American College of Healthcare Sciences here.

April 4-10 is National Workplace Wellness Week: "
Initiated by the American Heart Association and introduced by Reps. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) and Charles Boustany (R-LA), the week serves to encourage private and public employers across the country to invest in the health of their employees by creating worksite wellness programs and to share their best practices with other employers."

>> To read more about National Workplace Wellness Week, including National Start! Walking Day, and the Healthy Workforce Act, checkout the American Heart Association website here.

Researchers Indentify 6 Essential Oils for Inflammation

A new study in the January edition of the Journal of Lipid Research reported that researches have found six essential oils, including thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel, and bergamot, that may help suppress the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme like resveratrol, the "chemical linked with the health benefits of red wine."

According to the website The Medical News, these findings "provide more understanding of the health benefits of many botanical oils and provide a new avenue for anti-inflammatory drugs."

Of the commercial essential oils tested, the researchers were able to identify six (thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel, and bergamot) that "reduced COX-2 expression in cells by at least 25%." Of these, thyme oil proved the most effective and reduced expression levels by about 75%.

>> For therapeutic grade essential oils, visit the Apothecary Shoppe here. To learn more about aromatherapy and the use of essential oils, visit the American College of Healthcare Sciences here.

>> Read the full-length Medical News article here, with a link to the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

NAHA Now Offers Mini Marketing Tips for Aromatherapy Professionals

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy e-news now features a mini-marketing tips section written by Kayla Fioravanti, RA (who also is responsible for the blog Essential U). If you don't yet follow NAHA, now's the time. This is a very practical article for aromatherapy students and professionals, as well as holistic health professionals who adjunct aromatherapy with the primary practice.

In this first edition of NAHA Mini-Marketing Tips Kayla suggests "Determine Your Best Sellers-Cut the Dead Ends." She recommends focusing "on the top 20% of your products and services that bring in 80% of your sales. Phase out the rest unless they are support products for your top sales items. On a spreadsheet list every single product and service and put the total dollars sold next to each item. Sort them from highest to lowest and then determine which products make up the top 80% of total sales. You will find that they will be your top 20% of products or services. That means in almost every business, that 80% of your inventory is only doing 20% of your sales. But you are spending most of our money keeping those 80% of products or services available for that customer that uses them once a year."

>> To read more from the NAHA blog, click here:

Health Freedom News: Raw Milk Hearings

Historic Wisconsin Raw Milk Hearings Date Consolidation to March 10th, 10AM in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

The historic raw milk hearings for the raw milk bill in Wisconsin will be consolidated to one date–March 10, 2010 in Eau Claire, WI. There will be no public assembly hearing in Madison on March 16, 2010 for the raw milk bill because now a joint-hearing for both the assembly and senate committees will be on the same day of March 10. The members of both committees will be there. It will take place at the Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Room 106/Auditorium 10:00 am.

RAW MILK & “FOOD FREEDOM RIGHTS” ADVOCATES FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY NEED TO ATTEND. We need 3,000 plus people to take part in this landmark event. If you plan on speaking, please bring a written statement to give to both committees, since there may not be not enough time for everyone to address the members. Get there early as parking will be an issue–carpool if possible.

From: Kimberly Sharples ACHS Alumni and Health Freedom Coordinator

Answers to the Myths of the Dangers of Soy

BY Laura H. Hatton, M.S., C.C.N., C.P.T., ACHS Instructor

Recently there has been a lot of information being published purporting the evils of soy. I have been very concerned about this information and responded to a specific set of myths that were published on a popular website. The following is a summary of that research.

Myth #1―High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce the assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Phytic acid is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets cause growth problems in children.

First off, all beans and grains have phytates. We understand this and are instructed to cook our beans and grains well and never eat raw. Second, assimilation is only potentially compromised in zinc and iron, as well as some calcium and magnesium. It has never been shown to interfere with copper absorption. However, though the possibility of this occurring is seen to interfere with the growth and mineral status of animals, it has never been seen in humans. In several studies done on humans there was no evidence of compromised absorption of any of these metals.

Sprouting has been shown to reduce phytate levels and fermentation is very helpful in this. Tempeh has ½-⅔ the phytate content of regular soybeans.[1] Also, cooking, germination, fermentation, soaking, and autolysis have been shown to decrease the inhibitory effect of phytic acid on mineral absorption.[2] Another important study noted that prebiotics and probiotics promote degradation of phytates in the gut.[3] Thus, it is very important to have very healthy gut flora to improve digestion of soy.

Myth #2―Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.

Although studies have shown these adverse effects in rats, other studies showed no effect on mice or hamsters. Trypsin inhibitors are sensitive to heat. Therefore, most of their activity is lost when raw soybeans are exposed to heat.

As Liener explains, “Most commercially available soybean products intended for human consumption, such as tofu, soy milk, soy-based infant formula, soy protein isolates and concentrates, and textured meat analogs, have received sufficient heat treatment to cause inactivation of at least 80% of the trypsin inhibitor activity present in raw soybeans. This level of trypsin inhibitor destruction is well above the threshold level of 50-60% inactivation found to be necessary for eliminating significant growth inhibition and pancreatic hypertrophy."[4]

In addition, “All antinutritional factors such as phytic acid, tannin, trypsin inhibitor.. are decreased during soaking in 0.5% sodium bicarbonate.” In other words, soaking beans in a little baking soda will help reduce these things. “Human trypsin is more resistant to inhibition than is the trypsin of other mammalian species. The effect on human trypsin of soybean trypsin inhibition in soy protein does not appear to be a potential hazard to man.”

>> For information about more soy myths, download the full-length article in the March edition of the ACHS holistic health eNewsletter, the ACHS Reporter:

[1] Liener IE. (1994). Implications of Antinutritional Components in Soybean Foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 34(1):31-67.
[2] Urbano G. (2000). Lopez-Jurado M, et al. The Role of Phytic Acid in Legumes: antinutrient or beneficial function. J Physiol Biochem, 56(3):283-94.
[3] Scholz-Ahrens KE; Ade P; et al. (2007). Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics affect mineral absorption, bone mineral content, and bone structure. J Nutr, 137(3 Suppl 2):838S-46S.
[4] Liener IE. (1994). Implications of Antinutritional Components in Soybean Foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 34(1):31-67.

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