Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP

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

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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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The Surprising Natural Remedy for Allergies

April 10, 2015

Probiotics can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Aaaa-choo.  It’s that time of year again for allergy sufferers.  You may be surprised to learn that probiotics are among the best natural remedies for allergies.  If you’re hooked on antihistamines, decongestants, and desensitization shots you might be inclined to think there is little value in such miniscule microbes.  But more and more research shows that specific probiotic strains could be just the natural remedy you’ve been waiting for.

Ideally, probiotics are best taken during gestation since they can prevent the inflammation that leads to allergies.  Research in the Jou…

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EPA Classified Roundup as Carcinogen 30 Years Ago…but Mysteriously Reversed Decision

March 30, 2015

EPA Banned Roundup as Carcinogen then Mysteriously Reversed its Decision

Scientists and environmentalists have been saying that the world’s most common weed killer, known as glyphosate, or Monsanto’s Roundup, is a carcinogen for decades.  Last week, the World Health Organization report indicated that, indeed, glyphosate it is a probable carcinogen.  Now there’s evidence that the Environmental Protection Agency knew glyphosate was a probable carcinogen thirty years ago but approved it for use anyway.  Here’s a summarized chronology of events:  

1985:  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was aware of the herbicide’s ability to cause cancer 30…

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Super Healing Sauerkraut--The Ancient Superfood

March 12, 2015

Sauerkraut is simple to make.I was probably only a few years old when I first tasted sauerkraut.  Like most people, my first taste also involved a hot dog and mustard.  But I immediately loved its unique sour and tart flavor.  Later in life I began experimenting with many sauerkraut combinations, including my favorite one, which is made with cabbage, apples, and juniper berries.  I also love garlic and chili sauerkraut and have included recipes for both of these types in my new book The Probiotic Promise:  Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out.

 

Sauerkraut isn’t just for sausages and hot dogs any…

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The Herb that Relieves Pain Better than Prescription Medication

March 10, 2015

Turmeric has potent anti-pain propertiesHere’s some exciting news for pain sufferers:  new research shows that an herbal extract is more effective than acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nimesulide—a potent prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) at alleviating pain. 

The study reported in the Journal of Pain Research found that curcumin, one of the active ingredients in the spice turmeric, has demonstrated potent pain-relieving effects, even greater than 1000 mg of acetaminophen or 100 mg of nimesulide.  Additionally, curcumin’s analgesic effects lasted longer than the drugs.  This new study shows th…

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