Ahh…summer! Ahhh…swimming pool! Ahhhh…cocktails on the porch! Ahhhh…Ah-chu!

It is true. Cold and flu season may be on vacation, but it’s not a symptom-free ride for many of us during the summer. And what could be worse than summer colds and allergies that keep us indoors on bright , sunny days?

Our summer sickness saga began in early July when my daughter called me from urgent care: “Mom, how much of Tracy’s soap do you have on hand?” Heather was referring to Tracy Riddle’s famous Jewelweed soap that crushes poison ivy—you remember Tracy…she’s the Shepherd’s Wife.

Super Sheep’s Milk Soap

It seems Heather and her whole gardening crew had become injured on the job. They all were covered in poison ivy—and I’m talking in the ears, up the nose, over the scalp and down the throat. I must say, I was worried. So once they all had their shots, steroids and creams, they started using Tracy’s handcrafted sheep’s milk soap. Eight bars later, the entire crew was doing much better. And while Tracy’s soap was only one piece of their recovery puzzle, it was the key ingredient that brought immediate relief, allowing everyone to rest and heal. I am so proud to be a regular Shepherd’s Wife customer and call Tracy Riddle my friend.

Supplemental Care Just for Her

Funny how a crisis can morph into best practices. The poison-ivy incident started a conversation between mother and daughter on healthy summer habits and the need to always take good care of ourselves. For one thing, Heather confessed that she was feeling really achy, especially after that severe bout of poison ivy. As a gardener, her job requires long days and lots of physical labor. So I suggested she try Naturewise Multivitamin & Minerals Whole Food Complex, a one-a-day supplement specially designed for women’s joint support from the New Hope Network Blogger Box. She’s now a fan and says she feels she has more energy with fewer aches and pains.

Naturewise actually offers many herbal supplements, energy drinks, gender-focused multivitamins, and probiotics. The company philosophy is impressive: “We believe in working with nature, not against it. That’s why we use only the highest quality raw materials in our NatureWise products. All-natural, non-GMO, and made without any artificial fillers, we obtain our ingredients from certified organic and sustainable sources whenever possible.”

Heather and I suggest you check them out. And if you try the Multivitamin and Minerals Whole Food Complex for Women’s Joint Support, Heather suggests taking them in the morning with a healthy breakfast. This practice not only was easier on her tummy but has made a huge difference in her energy level throughout the day.

Heading Off Problems Feet First: Tea Tree Oil to the Rescue

The next seasonal casualty was Heather’s boyfriend Buddy. He’s a gardener, too, as well as an industrial landscaper who spends hours and hours in the hot sun building retaining walls, mowing large areas around shopping malls and planting full-size shrubs and trees. He gets pretty sweaty, to say the least. And while his body is used to the work, this summer his feet were really suffering from athletes’ foot. Stinky, ichy and burning. Then he tried Nature’s Truth Essential Tea Tree Oil. Now, he’s tried tea tree oils before, with modest results, but this was different. His feet—with regular attention and oil application—just cleared up and smelled way better. Both Buddy and Heather are all smiles.

Since Nature’s Truth Tea Tree oil comes in an easy-to-apply roll-on, Buddy was more diligent in its application. And that tube is glass—good for the environment! The roll-on container was spill-proof, perfect for keeping in his truck at work, in case he started to feel a tingle in the toes. I really believe the packaging was the clincher to success for Buddy—easy to use and transport coupled with a high-quality product.

Nature’s Truth offers an entire line of aromatherapy products for everything from skin care to diffuser to bath time. Many are available in those convenient roll-ons. Here’s their promise to you: “Our goal at Nature’s Truth® is a shared passion among each associate to bring quality, innovative wellness products to people around the world at a great value. We want consumers to see our brand and know each product under our home is one they can trust, and know we have trending items they might be looking for at the best value, made with naturally superior ingredients.” So worth a look!

Stuffy Nose and Down in the Dumps

Donald and I did not escape the summer symptom-free, either. To supplement retirement, Don cuts grass and does yard work for many of our neighbors. (Do you get the idea that I am surrounded by dirt diggers and weed wackers?) Anyway, every summer, Don gets what I call the grassy cough; he starts waking up each morning hacking and sneezing once mowing is in full throttle. So this year I decided to test a couple of products using Don as my guinea pig—I didn’t even tell him he was in the experiment! I started him on REDD Remedies Adult Sinus Support, and after about two weeks of two tablets per day, the coughing and sneezing all but stopped. So I finally confessed that, no, those were not tablets he’d been taking for years but something new. I think he forgives me for sneaking them in since he feels great, and we are buying more to keep “in the REDD” until fall.

I love the story of REDD Remedies because it begins as a personal journey—sort of like mine at Green Gal. Dan Chapman, the company’s founder and CEO wanted to do one thing: help others find health through natural foods and high-quality supplements because he watched his mom suffer for years until a dentist suggested her ailments might be caused by the food she was eating. She changed her diet to organic fresh foods, and then she and her husband went a step further and opened Sunrise Health Foods, an independent, family-owned business. Dan went off to college, earned a degree and came home to manage the family store. Eventually, his research in quality supplements led him to manufacture REDD Remedies products. I strongly suggest you read his story and research the REDD product line, especially if summer allergies have you down.

Okay, true, true confession. I actually experimented on Don with another Blogger Box product. Once I could sneak in the sinus supplement, I figured why not one more? I felt so “scientific.” I decided to try Oregon’s Wild Harvest Ashwagandha. You may have heard about ashwagandha, since it is currently a popular herbal supplement that has been gaining a lot of medical attention. Ashwagandha is known to positively address stress—specifically that fight or flight response that causes our hearts to race and our adrenalin to surge. Too much stress and we weaken our immune system with repeated fight or flight episodes. Don was a prime candidate; he bottles his stress and emotions inside, and that is just not good—consider a tea kettle left unattended on the stove. No one remembers until the whistle blows. So, I just sneaked in the recommended two per day. Again, I swore to him he’d taken them for years. Sometimes an oblivious husband is just what you want.

And here’s what I found: in the afternoons, Don’s typical crankiness has sort of mellowed. He has a better sense of humor and he is more talkative overall. I can’t promise it would make a difference for you or someone you love, but we are continuing with Oregon’s Wild Harvest Aswagandha indefinitely. We think it works.

And we are big fans of Oregon’s Wild Harvest the company, too. In 1992, husband and wife team Randy and Pam Buresh had a dream – to naturally heal the body and the earth. By 1994, the combination of Randy’s herbal expertise and Pam’s business savvy had created the right kind of balance at Oregon’s Wild Harvest. Here’s how they feel: “Mother Nature gives us everything we need to thrive. It’s our responsibility to take care of her and heal the planet. We do this through Biodynamic, or “regenerative” farming. Today, two of our three farms are certified by Demeter® USA, the international seal of approval for Biodynamic farming practices and principles. The third is currently transitioning to organic on the path to Biodynamic.” And on their Oregon farms, Randy and Pam oversee the production of quality herbal supplements like the ashwagandha that Don is taking. Give them a look and see if there’s something there for you.

A Honey of an Idea

Last month I couldn’t say enough good things about Wedderspoon’s Manuka Honey Body Lotion. This month I have found another Manuka Honey favorite from Pacific Resources, a company that acts as a distributor to health food stores and other retails throughout the country. Their Manuka Honey UMF 10+ Lozenges with Propolis are imported from New Zealand and were just what the doctor ordered for Heather’s scratchy sore throat and my ragweed-induced cough. Pacific Resources, Int. is a family owned and run business that prides itself on great customer service and quality products. Pacific Resources is the US store front for Companies such as Arataki, Nelsons Honey, Mossops Honey, Dominion Salt and more.

With six children and nine grandchildren (to date) David Noll, Pacific Resource’s founder, knows the importance of living a healthy life style and wants to share the great New Zealand products with U.S. customers. As I reported last month, the healing properties of Manuka Honey are well known, as is the superior taste. So it only makes brilliant sense to use it in a throat-soothing lozenge. Instant relief!

What’s got you house-bound or feeling sad this sunny summer? What are you doing about it? Let us know your simple tips for staying well..

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