Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP

International Best-selling & 17-Time Book Author, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Nutritionist, Activist

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How Nature Rewires Your Brain and Reduces Mental Illness Risk

July 22, 2015

Taking a nature walk can boost your mental health.

Have you had your daily dose of trees, flowers, and shrubs?  No, I don’t mean in the form of herbal medicine, although there are countless studies supporting the use of herbalism in our daily lives.  I’m referring to spending time communing with nature.  We all know that spending time in nature just feels great but thanks to a new study published in the medical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, there are more reasons than ever to get outdoors and spend time in nature:  the experience transforms your brain and reduces your risk o…

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Is an Anti-Cancer Wonder Drug Growing on Your Front Lawn?

July 5, 2015

If you walk past my home you’ll know if from the dandelions that grow rampant on the front lawn.  While neighbors continue to douse the yellow flowers with pesticides, like Monsanto’s Round-Up, which have been shown to cause cancer, I prefer to let the resilient and prevalent flowers grow.  That’s because, in addition to dandelion’s excellent nutritional benefits, it is increasingly being shown in research to have potent anti-cancer properties.  

One of the most exciting studies about dandelion’s anti-cancer abilities was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementar…

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The Food that Cuts Your Risk of Premature Death by 20 Percent

July 2, 2015

Eating nuts regularly could lengthen your life.

Here’s some news to go nuts about.  Exciting research found that simply adding one food to your diet could drastically slash your risk of dying.  According to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine eating nuts could save your life.  The researchers found that  eating a handful of nuts on a daily basis cut the risk of premature death from any serious illnesses by 20 percent, including erious conditions like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The study examine 76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up S…

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Carotenoids Show Promise for Cancer

June 5, 2015

Apricots are an excellent source of carotenoidsCarotenoids are a group of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that provide the yellow-orange-red pigments found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, papaya, peaches, squash, and other similarly colored foods. You may have heard of beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, all of which are specific types of carotenoids.

While there are over 700 different carotenoids in nature, only about 60 are found in food. And the average person in North America eats fewer than a dozen different kinds and only in modest amounts.

Some carotenoids, specifically alpha-caro…

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The Little-Known Herb that Combats Allergies

May 25, 2015

The herb perilla has been scientifically proven to aid allergies

It’s that time of year again:  the season of itchy eyes, sneezing, runny noses, and breathing troubles for anyone who suffers from allergies.  While it is tempting to run for the decongestants and anti-histamines and lock yourself indoors, Mother Nature offers help in the form of a little-known herb that can significantly improve most allergy symptoms.

This mostly unknown herb, Perilla frutescens, is part of the mint family.  Sometimes just called perilla, an extract from the plant’s leaves have been found in many studies to be effective for the treatment of allergies, including:  n…

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13 Foods that Fight Allergies

May 8, 2015

There are many naturally-occurring plant compounds called phytonutrients that assist with allergies.  The main ones include:  anthocyanin, curcumin, hesperetin, and quercetin.  Don’t worry about remembering their names.  I’ve listed the food sources of each below.  Of course, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to one of the sources indicated, avoid that food.

Eat Foods Rich in Anthocyanins

The phytonutrient group known as anthocyanins give foods their purplish-red colour.  They have natural anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the nasal, sinus, and other infl…

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South African Herb Has Potent Anti-viral Activity

May 4, 2015

Umckaloabo shows potent anti-viral activity

A South African herb known as Pelargonium sidoides (Umckaloabo) which has been used and approved for the treatment of respiratory conditions like bronchitis has been studied for its antiviral effects with excellent results.  The research published in the journal Antiviral Research showed that Umckaloabo is a promising, antiviral natural medicine even against some drug-resistant strains of flu virus.  The study, conducted by the Institute of Immunology at the Center of Public Health Research at National Laboratory of Health, Luxembourg, tested the herb’s antiviral effects both in the labor…

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Not Lovin’ It: How Much Salt is in that McDonald’s Meal?

May 1, 2015

We all know that there is a lot of salt in fast food but just how much sodium is in that McDonald’s food you’re eating?  I’ve compiled a list of some common foods to give you a sense.  Keep in mind that most experts recommend getting less than 2300 mg of sodium per DAY (not meal!) and that anyone with high blood pressure or heart disease is usually advised to get less than 1500 mg daily.  That’s nearly impossible while dining in or taking out Mickey Ds.

Burgers, Sandwiches, and Wraps

Big Mac 960 mg

Cheeseburger 680 mg

Quarter Pounder with bacon and cheese 1380 mg

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The Mushroom that Shows Great Promise against Cancer

April 28, 2015

When we think of cancer in our Western world, we tend to think of harsh chemicals or toxic radiation as the treatments.  But promising new research published in the journal Phytomedicine suggests that we might want to give serious consideration to the humble mushroom cordyceps that quietly rears its head deep within our forest floors. 

Photo credit: Terry Willard

Cordyceps (cordyceps militaris) is also known as caterpillar fungus and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as a lung and kidney tonic and for loss of stamina, fatigue, shallow breathing, wheezing, and as …

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The Herb that Alleviates Menstrual Cramps Better than Advil or Motrin

April 15, 2015

Research shows fennel seeds help PMS pain

Every woman who has ever experienced painful menstrual cramps knows the importance of pain relief.  For some women cramps can be mild while others experience debilitating pain that can affect their ability to work, attend school, and participate in athletics or social activities.  Dysmenorrhea—the medical term for painful periods--seriously affect 60% of women and their quality of life.  According to research American women miss 600 million work hours annually due to this painful condition.  But researchers found that an herbal extract offers more effective relief than ibuprofen—Advi…

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