Monday, March 19, 2018

DIY How to Make Kombucha

Kombucha is simple to make yourself. We recommend you give it a shot because brewing your own unpasteurized kombucha is rewarding when you consider the cost of purchasing store-bought bottles.
To learn more about the health benefits, read here. It's beneficial to drink at least half a cup daily to get the health benefits.  This recipe makes about eight cups of kombucha, but you can also double the recipe to make more, and you still only need one SCOBY disk.

Kombucha Recipe

kombucha tea
Yields: 8 cups
You need:
  • 1 large glass or metal jar or bowl with a wide opening
Avoid using a plastic jar or bowl because the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the kombucha during the fermentation period. Ceramic pots might cause lead to leach into the kombucha once the acid comes into contact with the ceramic glaze. Look for a big metal or glass jug/jar/bowl and make sure the opening is wide enough to allow a lot of oxygen to reach the kombucha while it ferments.
  • 1 large piece of cloth or a dish towel
Secure this material around the opening of the jar with a rubber band. Do not use a cheese cloth, as it allows particles to pass through. You can even try using an old thin cotton t-shirt or some simple cotton fabric from any textile store.
  • 1 SCOBY disk
You can find a SCOBY disk in health food stores or online for relatively inexpensive amounts. A SCOBY disk can be vacuum-sealed in a small pouch and shipped directly to your house for only a few dollars, while still preserving all of the active yeast ingredients.
  • 8 cups of water
I would use filtered water, if possible.  
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar or raw honey
Yes, this is one of the few times I’ll tell you to use real sugar! Most of it is actually “eaten” by the yeast bacteria during the fermentation process, so there is very little sugar left in the recipe by the time you consume it. It is important to use only organic cane sugar and not white refined sugar.

  • 4 organic tea bags
Traditionally, kombucha is made from black tea, but you can also try green tea to see which you prefer.
  • 1 cup of pre-made kombucha
You’ll need to purchase your first batch or get a cup from a friend who has recently made homemade kombucha. For future batches, just keep a cup on hand for the next time. Be sure to purchase only organic, unpasteurized kombucha. Pasteurized varieties do not contain the appropriate live cultures you need.
1. Bring your water to boil in a big pot on the stovetop. Once boiling, remove from heat and add your teabags and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
2. Allow the pot to sit and the tea to steep for about 15 minutes, then remove and discard tea bags.
3. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature (which usually takes about one hour). Once it’s cooled, add your tea mixture to your big jar/bowl. Drop in your SCOBY disk and 1 cup of pre-made kombucha.
4. Cover your jar/bowl with your cloth or thin kitchen towel and try to keep the cloth in place by using a rubber hand or some sort of tie. You want the cloth to cover the wide opening of the jar and stay in place but be thin enough to allow air to pass through.
5. Allow the kombucha to sit for 7–10 days, depending on the flavor you’re looking for. Less time produces a weaker kombucha that tastes less sour, while a longer sitting time makes the kombucha ferment even longer and develop more taste. Some people have reported fermenting kombucha for up to a month before bottling with great results, so taste test the batch every couple of days to see if its reached the right taste and level of carbonation for you.
Usually, the warmer your home is, the less time the kombucha needs to ferment. Once you’re happy with the taste, put your kombucha into smaller glass bottles and refrigerate the kombucha for at least 24 hours to allow it to cool and finish carbonating. The longer you refrigerate it before opening, the more fizzy it will be.
Note that as the fermentation process happens, you will notice that the SCOBY disk “grows” a second SCOBY disk. Many people call the SCOBY that you purchased and used to make the kombucha the “mother” SCOBY and the second SCOBY that grows the “baby.” The mother SCOBY is located on top of the baby.
You can actually use the newly formed baby SCOBY to create a whole new batch of kombucha, so you don’t want to throw out the baby disk. Store the baby SCOBY in a bit of already-made kombucha in a glass jar while not using it so you have it on hand to start a new batch when you want it. It will be “active” for several weeks when it’s stored in some kombucha at room temperature on a counter top or in a pantry.
While some people prefer to keep the mother SCOBY disk attached to the baby, others prefer to throw away the mother SCOBY once the kombucha is finished fermenting.
Keeping the mother disk hasn’t caused any reported problems or contamination. According to some sources, the mother disk can keep fermenting new kombucha batches for about another month after its first use but will then become inactive and should be thrown away.

Brewing Flavored Kombucha

The recipe above is for a basic, unflavored kombucha. You can try adding unique flavors like fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, ginger root “juice” made by blending ginger and water, blended berries, fresh-squeezed orange, pomegranate or cranberry juices.
We recommend doing this after the kombucha has fermented and is ready to drink, although some people prefer to add flavor-enhancers to the kombucha a day or two before it’s done so the flavor can intensify. Either way seems to work well.

Storing Kombucha

Once your homemade kombucha is complete you’ll want to store it in a clear glass bottle or jar with a tightly fit lid, preferably not metal, if you have the option. Plastic bottles may swell or harden and color from dyed jars can get into the drink.
When bottling kombucha, leave an inch or less of air at the top of the bottle. This should allow for an appropriate amount of carbonation.
It’s important never to shake a bottle of kombucha and risk exploding its container. Try holding your entire hand over the lid as you open it to prevent it from popping off unexpectedly.
Be sure to refrigerate your completed kombucha to extend its shelf life. If you’ve added flavoring, consider that when storing the kombucha. For example, fresh fruits will go bad in the kombucha long before the drink.

Kombucha Precautions

Most people experience great benefits drinking kombucha and have no adverse side effects.
Kombucha side effects seem to be more of a risk when making homemade kombucha because contamination is possible, and the SCOBY disk and finished product aren’t tested for quality like they are when manufactured commercially. If you’re going to brew your own, use sterile equipment, clean working spaces and high-quality ingredients.
A small percentage of people experience bloating, nausea, infections and allergic reactions when drinking kombucha. Because kombucha has a high level of acidity, it’s possible that this can cause problems for people with digestive problems like heartburn or sensitivity to very acidic foods.
If you are concerned about these issues, start drinking a small amount in moderation and gradually work your way up to drinking more in order to see if you have any negative reactions to it. Stick to about eight ounces per day or less, especially in the beginning. To limit your risk, buy pre-made, unpasteurized kombucha that’s been tested for bacterial contamination.
Kombucha is brewed using black tea and sugar, which when fermented, turns into alcohol in very small amounts (only about 1 percent of kombucha is believed to be alcohol). So a warning to those who are avoiding alcohol.

Otherwise enjoy this healthy drink!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

6 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Daily 
Kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and especially your gut. How does this drink make such a huge difference in your body?
Due to the fermentation process involved in creating kombucha, it contains a large number of healthy bacteria known as probiotics. On more about how fermented foods help gut health, read here.  These bacteria live in your digestive tract and support your immune system by absorbing nutrients and fighting infection and illness.

Since 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, not only will drinking kombucha help the immune system but it also helps the brain.  The majority of neurotransmitters that you need for good brain chemistry is made in the gut so to have a healthy brain, feel good and think well, you need a healthy gut.  It’s no surprise that the gut is considered the “second brain.” Drinking kombucha every day can help you to maintain peak immune, gut and brain health.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage consisting of black tea and sugar (from various sources, including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional, probiotic food. It contains good bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. Patients ask me if they can drink kombucha even though they I told them to stay away from sugar and the answer is yes!  It is because the sugar that is used in making kombucha is eaten by the bacteria so by the time we drink it the sugar is in the bacteria and not too much is free-floating in the drink.  That is why when you look at the ingredient list most of the time sugar is not an ingredient.  There is none left after the fermentation process is complete.  

After fermentation, not only is the sugar gone but kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic acids). The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as a “SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Although it’s usually made with black tea, kombucha can also be made with green teas. Contrary to common claims, a SCOBY is not a kombucha mushroom.
If you are interested in kombucha, it’s generally available for $3-5 at natural health food stores and some grocery stores. Others make it at home (which I’ll discuss a little later on).
Some people find it a healthier substitute for sodas, satisfying that craving for a fizzy drink.

The following probiotic strains make up this health elixir: 

  • Gluconacetobacter (>85 percent in most samples)
  • Acetobacter (<2 percent)
  • Lactobacillus (up to 30 percent in some samples)
  • Zygosaccharomyces (>95 percent)
There is some debate about the benefits of unpasteurized kombucha because of the 20th/21st century notion that pasteurization makes drinks “healthier.”  It’s not true for milk and the same holds for kombucha. The bacteria killed during the pasteurization process is the same stuff that can help your gut function more efficiently. “Pasteurized kombucha” should probably be called “kombucha-flavored tea” because the benefits of healthy bacteria have been lost during that process. The healthy benefits of the good bacteria are no longer there.  

One consideration is that pasteurized kombucha is not continually fermented. This means that if a commercial unpasteurized kombucha product is left on the shelf too long, the alcohol content (initially below .5 percent for most products) may rise somewhat. Be sure to purchase your kombucha from trustworthy sources and drink it within a relatively brief time after purchasing. If you make kombucha at home, the same rule applies.

6 Benefits of Kombucha

1. Helps prevent a wide variety of diseases
Kombucha contains powerful antioxidants and can help to detoxify the body and protect against disease. Related to this disease-fighting power is the way these antioxidants help to reduce inflammation. This inflammation-reducing, detoxing quality is probably one reason kombucha might potentially decrease the risk of diseases.  One reason this happens is because antioxidants reduce oxidative stress that can damage cells, even down to DNA. Being exposed to a lot of processed foods and chemicals within your environment can lead to this stress, which in turn contributes to chronic inflammation. While normal black tea does contain antioxidants, research shows that the fermentation process of kombucha creates more antioxidants not present in black tea. Kombucha may specifically influence the activity of two important antioxidants known as glutathione peroxidase and catalase. It was also discovered to contain a metabolite of quercetin.  Quercetin is associated with a long lifespan and massive anticancer properties. Research from the University of Latvia in 2014 claims that drinking kombucha tea can be beneficial for many infections and diseases “due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies and promotion of depressed immunity.” (

2. Supports a healthy gut

These antioxidants also help the gut but kombucha supports digestion also because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics, amino acids and enzymes.
Some research has shown kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal stomach ulcers in mice which could be the same in humans too. (
Kombucha can also help heal Candida from overpopulating within the gut by restoring balance to the digestive system.  With enough good bacteria in the system Candida cannot grow.  
Candida and other digestive problems can sometimes be complicated issues to fix, and symptoms might actually get worse before getting better. If you feel like kombucha is exacerbating the problem, consider that gut problems aren’t always a straight path to healing and at times some patience or trial and error is needed. You can always bring kombucha in to your next appointment to get it muscle tested

3. May help improve mental state
Kombucha doesn’t just help your digestion; it might be able to protect your mind, too. One way it can accomplish this is by the B vitamins it contains. B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, are known to increase energy levels and contribute to overall mental wellbeing.
The gut-repairing function of kombucha also plays a role in mental health. Depression may be a major symptom of leaky gut, specifically due to the way that bad gut permeability contributes to inflammation.  A 2012 study published in Biopolymers and Cell examined kombucha as a functional food product for long-term space exploration (yes, you read that right). They drink it in order to prevent or minimize the effects of anxiety and depression.  The study was done on astronauts but if it works for them it would work for us Earth people too.

4. Powerful antibacterial agent

This one seems a little counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But it’s true – because of the type of bacteria found in kombucha, drinking the live cultures actually destroys bad bacteria responsible for infections. In lab studies, kombucha has been found to have antibacterial effects against staph, E. coli, Sh. sonnei, two strains of salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni. 

The last of those, C. jejuni, is probably the most common cause of food poisoning in the US. It can sometimes be followed by a condition called Guillian-BarrĂ© syndrome, where the immune system attacks the nervous system. Because of the immense dangers of foodborne infections and significant costs to treat, the FDA is very interested in potential treatment methods for C. jejuni.

5. Helpful in managing diabetes

Although some practitioners warn against kombucha for diabetics, it seems that some research suggests just the opposite. This is assuming, of course, that you are consuming kombucha without a high sugar load.
Particularly due to the functions of antioxidants in kombucha, it seems to help alleviate diabetes symptoms. This appears to be especially true in terms of liver and kidney functions, which are generally poor for those with diabetes. 

6. Good for the cardiovascular system

Kombucha has been considered to be beneficial to the heart for some time, although research efforts in this area have been scarce. However, it seems clear that, in animal models, kombucha helps to lower triglyceride levels, as well as regulate cholesterol naturally. (

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Toxic-free Makeup:
I'm always on the hunt for better, healthier products and makeup is one of those things that is hard to find good products with natural ingredients.  The first line of natural makeup that I fell in love with was 100% PURE.  They use organic fruit for color in their products.  For example this is the ingredient list for an eyeshadow:
  • Oryza Sativa (Rice Starch), May Contain Pigments of Daucus Carota Sativa Root (Carrot), Cucurbita Pepo (Squash), Prunus Armeniaca Fruit (Apricot), Prunus Persica Fruit (Peach), Carica Papaya (Papaya), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa), Punca Granatum (Pomegranate), Rubus Fruticosus Fruit (Blackberry), Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry), Rubus Idaeus Fruit (Blueberry), Coffea Arabica (Coffee), Camellia Sinensis (Black Tea), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla), Lavandula Angustifoli (Lavender), and Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit/Leaf/Stem (Tomato), a-tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado ) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Red Wine Resveratrol (Wine), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), may contain Mica (natural shimmery mineral).
This line of makeup can now be found in Duane Reades throughout NYC which is nice because it is hard to pick a makeup out online.  However in some of their foundations is titanium dioxide which is a heavy metal that I need to help people detox from.  When titanium shows up as a problem in the office I have people look at their toothpaste, chewing gum, SPF lotions and makeup to see if there is titanium in those products.  It is used as a whitener for teeth in toothpaste and gum and it helps block sun rays in SPF lotions and makeup.  It actually is used in food too and can be found in your Coffee Mate and M&Ms as a food coloring.

When trying to figure out if your products have titanium in them or not you are looking for the word titanium and it is usually listed as titanium dioxide.  Unfortunately more companies are trying to hide is and are listing titanium dioxide by it's nomenclature "CI 77891".  Instead find SPF lotions and makeup that use zinc, or zinc oxide.

I just recently found Omiana makeup line that is very natural and even though a few of their products do have titanium their strength is a whole titanium-free line that makes it really easy to buy without having to read every single ingredient list.   They also have mica-free makeup which some people are sensitive to.  Mica is not a heavy metal but is a mineral used to make makeup shimmery.

Why take the extra time to read labels and stay away from titanium?  Because it could cause cancer.  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Although a Working Group with this agency believes that titanium dioxide is “possibly carcinogenic to humans” they cite “inadequate evidence” to classify the substance as carcinogenic (912). Rather the IARC remains to list the substance as poorly soluble and a low toxicity particle despite an emerging body of evidence opposing this aged belief.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): NIOSH acknowledges that titanium dioxide causes the most immediate threat when the metal is inhaled. In order to reduce risk for lung cancer and pulmonary inflammation, the agency simply recommends minimalizing exposure to titanium dioxide (8).

Scientific evidence is there.  It only depends on whether or not you want to look at it.  Dunkin' Donuts a few years ago removed it from their donuts because they were concerned.  Check out the story here. Not that I would ever say Dunkin' Donuts is healthy now but I do give them credit for that choice.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Why Good Gut Health Is Important for a Good Mood
New research is emerging every day regarding the role of the gut and how it effects the brain.  It is now known in the medical world as 'gut-brain axis'.  The good bacteria that is in your gut are responsible to create a healthy environment so the gut can make the right neurotransmitters for the brain. This healthy bacteria is known as a microbiome that line our digestive tracts. The digestive tract itself is a center point of the nervous system, hormonal system and immune system. It is responsible for the balance of our molecules of emotion called neurotransmitters and as a result has an effect on our mood. Good gut health is known not only to help the digestion, but are key factors in obesity, hormonal balance, healthy kidney function, and much more.

How Do Probiotics Help the Brain?
Medical research is uncovering the mechanism of probiotics in mood. Probiotics is the name of supplements that contain good bacteria.  These healthy germs boost mood in two important ways: they generate a particular neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and also enhance the brain receptors for GABA as well. Like a warm and gentle blanket for the brain, GABA is a calming amino acid, known to calm areas of the brain that are over active in anxiety and panic.

Animal studies working with mice showed those mice who ingested probiotics were, in general, more chilled out than the control mice.  The probiotic mice had lower levels of corticosterone in response to stress. Corticosterone is the mouse version of the human stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol are common in anxiety as well as depression.  These mice were fed either the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus or a broth without these. The lactobacillus-fed animals showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviors than those fed with just broth.

Human studies have also corroborated these mice findings. A French team learned via a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized parallel group study that giving humans specific strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium for 30 days yielded beneficial psychological effects including lowered depression, less anger and hostility, anxiety, and better problem solving, compared with the placebo group. 

Yeast and the Microbiome
While a healthy microbiome will contribute to good mood, an unhealthy one full of Candida albicans (yeast), and all the toxins associated with it, may also contribute to mood disorder. Presence of yeast will alter the ability to absorb nutrients and push hypersensitivity reactions of toxin by-products which translates to inflammation in the body. Inflammation will greatly contribute to depression, anxiety and poor mental function.

What You Can Do To Keep Your Microbiome Healthy?
Steps you can take for a healthy microbiome and mood are:
1 – Avoid excess sugary foods: to avoid yeast build up. If you think you may have Candida it is best to follow a Candida diet or get foods muscle tested using Nutrition Response Testing to figure out what foods are feeding the Candida. 
2 – Good Quality Sleep: good sleep is key for the intestinal lining to repair and create a healthy microbiome.
3 – Meditation and Relaxation: Meditation and quality down time is important to keep the body in the ‘rest and digest’ mode instead of stress mode. Stress mode shuts circulation to the gut, which doesn’t allow a healthy microbiome. A good app to help you learn to meditate and relax is headspace.  
4 – Eat Foods with Fiber: Good fiber helps feed the good bacteria and keeps them healthy. Vegetables, fruits, psyllium, flax, inulin and other fibers also help keep good flora and proper balance of short chain fatty acids in the intestines. 
5 – Eat Probiotic Foods: While the French study mentioned above used a supplement, there are also many wonderful natural foods full of probiotics. These include natto (a traditional Japanese fermented food), kim chi (Korean style cabbage), sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, fermented milk (like buttermilk), miso, and non-baked cheeses (like aged cheese). Homemade sauerkraut is better than store bought, for the store bought stuff is pasteurized, which kills some of the good probiotics. To read more on how  fermented food heals the gut, read here
6 – Get tested for a probiotic supplement: A good quality probiotic should contain at least Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacteria. There are a number of good ones on the market and some that are poorly made, so it is best to get muscle tested to figure out which one you specifically need.  I have about 6 different ones in the office to cover a variety of different types of situations.  Also make sure your probiotic doesn't have any binders, fillers, milk products, or corn.  Sometimes people feel worse after taking a probiotic because the body needs to detox or kill bad gut flora first and so adding healthy gut flora to the body is overwhelming.  If that has happened to you it is best to first do cleansing program with a healthcare practitioner.  We also test to see if a prebiotic is needed along with a probiotic.  A prebiotic helps the good bacteria grow so the gut can maintain the good bacteria on it's own which is what you want in the long run.  

To learn more on what to do to have better gut health read here.  

Monday, February 12, 2018

What to do About the Flu this Season

This winter seems to be worse than others for people getting sick.  I have been a doctor for over 11 years now and this seems to be one of the worse flu seasons.  Because of it being worse than others media seems to be pushing the vaccine now more than ever but the first data on how well the flu vaccine is working this season in North America has just been published — and it helps explain why everyone appears to be sick right now.  

It actually explains the vaccine's ineffectiveness so getting the flu vaccine makes even less sense right now.  The study, from the journal Eurosurveillance, found that the flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective against H3N2 (the main flu subtype going around in the US this season) among adults aged 20 to 64 years old in Canada.  The protection rate rose to 17 percent when considering all age groups.

In most adults, the study suggests the shot would only prevent 10 percent of H3N2 flu cases. So if 100 in 1,000 unvaccinated people develop flu, the number would drop to 90 in 1,000 among vaccinated people — a very small difference in flu risk between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. And more than 80 percent of confirmed US flu cases have involved H3N2.

“The evidence is mounting, from Australia and now from Canada, that the vaccine protection is low [this year],” said lead study author Danuta Skowronski, an influenza epidemiologist at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control. “Given the same H3N2 subtype [is circulating in the US], our estimate of low vaccine protection should also apply to the US.”

In a good year, the flu shot’s effectiveness hovers between 50 and 70 percent. But in years when the H3N2 type of flu virus circulates — as it is this year — the vaccine tends to be less protective.

So Skowronski wasn’t surprised by the dismal data. Plus, in Australia, where the flu season peaks in August and H3N2 struck as well, early estimates suggested the shot was only 10 percent effective there too.

There are a couple of reasons why it’s harder to vaccinate against H3N2. For one, the virus mutates as it moves through the population at a faster rate than other flu viruses — making it even harder to design a shot that matches the circulating virus.

One other reason the flu vaccine tends to underperform in H3N2 years has to do with ... eggs. To produce the vaccines, manufacturers need to grow a lot of flu virus — and they discovered long ago that flu virus grows extremely effectively in eggs. So viruses are injected into fertilized hen’s eggs, incubated for several days while they replicate, then harvested from the eggs, killed (or inactivated), and purified to go into vaccines.

“It’s an antiquated process, but it’s time-honored,” Anthony Fauci, the head of the NIH’s infectious diseases division, explained. While flu vaccines developed with more modern (cell-based and recombinant) methods of production have been licensed in the US, it’s not yet clear they are more protective against flu than the egg-based vaccines.

Plus, no other cell system comes close to growing the flu virus as cheaply or efficiently as eggs, and the industry has invested a lot in the egg-production infrastructure. So, Fauci explained, “We are stuck in the [egg-based] way, and it’s tough to transition to a more modern technology.”

But lately, researchers have found that there are problems with the egg-based approach that specifically relate to H3N2. “In the process of adapting virus to grow in eggs, that seems to introduce further changes to the [H3N2] virus, which may impair the effectiveness of the vaccine,” Belongia said. In other words, while growing the flu virus for vaccines, H3N2 mutates to adapt to the eggs, which seems to result in a vaccine mismatch.

Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February so we have a few more weeks before we are in the clear.  Until then if you want to do what you can to stay protected Healing Arts does offer the homeopathic version of the 2017-2018 flu vaccine. It's only $16 and will last you the rest of the flu season. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DIY Remedy for Boosting the Immune System

This winter season has been brutal on our immune systems.  Even people who never get sick through the flu season are sniffling, courageously fighting whatever germs come their way.  Here is my favorite remedy to make when starting to feel under the weather.

Why this home remedy for cough and cold works:

This recipes contains the best things for you to fight a cold or flu naturally:
Lemon: High in vitamin C, which keeps the immune system strong and neutralizes the free radicals in your body. This reduced the inflammation and swelling.

 Helps you sweat out the toxins in your body, which is helpful when you have a cold or flu. Ginger is also helpful for settling upset stomachs, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats.

Garlic:  Rich in antioxidants, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese. A recent study on the antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic shows that it can help boost the immune system. This means that garlic can help reduce the occurrence and the severity of the symptoms of a cold and shorten the recovery period as well. Garlic may also help with congestion in the sinuses by reducing inflammation in the nasal passages. 

Manuka Honey:
 Soothes a sore throat, making it an effective and natural cough suppressant. This improves the body's ability to fight infection and decreases the risk of fevers. The natural sweetness of honey also balances the tartness of the lemon and the ginger's and garlic's spice in this concoction.  Read this to learn more about Manuka honey. 

You can make this immunity boosting, body soothing concoction ahead of time and store in the fridge. I usually keep my mixture for about two months, and then make a new batch.


  • 2 lemons thoroughly cleaned
  • 2 piece fresh ginger about the size of your pointer and middle finger togehter
  • Manuka honey
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 12 oz mason jar


  1. Slice lemons and ginger. Chop garlic.
  2. Place the lemon, garlic and ginger slices in the mason jar, alternating layers of each.
  3. Slowly, pour honey over the lemon and ginger. Allow the honey to sink down and around the lemon and ginger slices. Fill jar to the top with honey and seal tightly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator. Over time, the mixture will start to turn into a loose jelly.
  5. When you are in need of some soothing tea, scoop 2-3 tablespoons into a mug full of hot water—be sure to scoop whole pieces of garlic, ginger and lemon. Allow to steep for 3-4 minutes and sip away.

Monday, January 29, 2018

got milk? 8 Reasons to start Drinking Golden Milk and How to Make It

Having recently written about turmeric helping with weight loss I wanted to talk more about the health benefits of turmeric because there is so much more!  It was in that blog I talked about taking turmeric pills in order to have high doses of curcumin, which is the main anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric.  Turmeric can be used in cooking, especially Indian dishes.  It can easily be added to a healthy shake as well.  I wrote how it can be used in a health drink with apple cider vinegar here and now I am going to talk about its health benefits and making another delicious healthy drink called golden milk.  For all my nondairy drinkers out there, don't worry, you can use seed or nut milk as well.  My favorite way to make golden milk is with coconut milk.  But first, here are 8 reasons to start adding it in to your diet:
  1. Turmeric milk helps build immunity
  2. Helps sleep
  3. It is a good remedy for digestive problems.
  4. It supports the liver.
  5. Helps fight cancer
  6. Clarifies the skin.
  7. Gives relief from autoimmune diseases
  8. Good for fighting Alzheimer's disease
When adding it to your diet you need to know that adding black pepper to it helps turmeric become more bioavailable.  Which is another way of saying your body can absorb more turmeric if you add black pepper with it.  Drinking golden milk before bed can help sleep because turmeric reduces inflammation, lowers your blood sugar levels, helps your liver to detoxify, boosts your immune system and eases your digestive system – all of which help you to get to sleep faster, to sleep better, and to wake up feeling refreshed.

How do you make golden milk?
Serves 2


  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp virgin coconut oil
  • ½ inch ginger knob, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper or 2 black peppercorns, crushed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • *Optional 2 tsp raw organic honey or pure maple syrup for the vegan version


  1. Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, black pepper, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes.
  2. Do Ahead. Golden milk can be made 5 days ahead and reheated.
Golden milk powder with the exact ratios of spice can be bought here at Wellbends.  Just add a teaspoon to simmering milk and you're done!

A great place to buy a golden milk latte with almost any type of milk you want is at Dr. Smood with the closest one to the office being on Lexington Ave at 47th St.