Ginseng isn’t new — it’s been used for centuries and not just in the holistic health world. In fact, you could probably find it at your local gas station. Although, we wouldn’t recommend buying it from there. Yikes…
Holistic health enthusiasts, including Gwyneth Paltrow (hate her or love her, she’s here to stay), swear by adaptogens like this herb and their ability to help restore and revitalize the body. And what’s an adaptogen? They may sound artificially-manufactured and scary, but they’re not. Simply, adaptogens are herbs that help the body react to stress. Hence, why truck drivers sometimes buy it from gas stations during long drives.
But does the strain matter? Read on for a quick run-down on this popular herb.
The American Strain
The two most popular strains are Asian and American. We tend to love the American strain, commonly known as Panax quinquefolius (which is the type we use for our potent products). No, that’s not a sequence of letters that we just strung together! Interestingly enough, American ginseng is so beloved by others too, that it’s even grown and sold in other parts of the world.
So, why would someone go out of their way to grow American strains in say, Korea? This is because of the genetic make-up of the herb and how that affects its benefits. Generally, it is believed that the American variety supplies the same stress-relieving benefits as its Asian counterparts, without causing the jitters (1).
Ginsenosides and Why They Matter
Okay…what? We understand if these plant chemicals name went over your head. That’s okay — you don’t have to know too much about them. Just know that ginseng has these little babies to thank for most of its touted benefits (2, 3).
Ginsenosides help distinguish the strains origins. While they are thought to be the driving force in helping to lower oxidative stress and support the cardiovascular system, there’s still a lot of we don’t actually know. What we do know is that the American strain actually has more of these chemicals than the Asian strains. Could this be the reason it’s less jittery? Possibly.
These chemicals may also be the reason why the strain differ slightly from each other. For example, the Asian stains have been used to help beat fatigue, poor memory and erectile dysfunction. Meanwhile, the American strain has been thought to help with anxiety, focus, immune system boosts and even blood sugar. Both contain potential antioxidants that can help the body’s response to inflammation. (4)
Both strains can be found pretty easily, either in capsules or powder form. You can also find them commonly added to green tea drinks. You just want to be careful with these. Premixed drinks most likely contain quite a bit of sugar in them, which is counteractive to they reason you’re even reaching for it in the first place!
At Pure Planet, we harness the power of this herb through natural processes and offer two different varieties:
- Extract: Our extract is based in a minimally processed, pure vegetable glycerin base. This allows you to easily add it to your own teas or even in a glass of water.
- Powder: Ginseng Plus, our unique powder formula, is blended with spirulina for a boost of vitality and immunity-support.
Learn more about our ginseng here.
The underrated fruit doesn’t get the love it deserves.
Yes, it’s the better-tasting cherry (we love a little zing), but it’s also loaded with nutrients. These nutrients make it especially beneficial for the average person. Like apple cider vinegar, this may be something you want to work into your daily life.
Why? Well, because it can help with something we all hold dear to our hearts — SLEEP. That’s right: nutritionists connect this dark red beauty with better sleep. But that’s a little vague, right?
Vague, yes, but still true. In fact, science supports these babies and makes a case for their role in daily life.
Let’s take a look at some of the evidence.
Tart Cherries and Improved Sleep
They can help increase melatonin levels.
This body chemical is sometimes confused with melanin, which is a skin pigment. They’re not related, so there’s your FYI — don’t be that person. Instead, this molecule helps regulate sleep. How so? Well, your body produces an increased amount of this towards your bedtime. Production helps lull you down and eventually, knocks you out for the night.
So, if your eyes feel a little heavier as the sun goes down, now you know why. Melatonin helps control your circadian rhythm. No, that’s not a Fortnite dance the kids are doing; it’s the process that your body uses to rest. Think of it as your internal clock that usually follows the day cycle. The sun goes down and you’re ready to catch some z’s, the sun comes up and you’re ready to go.
At least, that’s how things are supposed to work. Yet, many of us still lay awake at the wee hours of the night. Then we drag our knuckles throughout the morning like a zombie looking for brains. Instead, we’re not looking for brains, we’re hoping for our pillows.
That’s where supplements come in. Many look to pills and potions to help them remedy bedtimes issues. For those who would like a more natural supplement, that’s where tart cherries come in. Medical studies have shown this cherry can help increase melatonin-production. In fact, one European Journal of Nutrition study showed measurable changes.
The double-blind study followed 20 volunteers over 7 days. Participants drank either tart cherry juice concentrate or a placebo. Researchers collected urine samples, testing for signs of the molecule.
And what did they find? Surprise, surprise: the cherry drinkers melatonin-content increased, while the placebo showed no change. What does the increase mean?
That brings us to our next point…
Cherry concentrate can help boost sleep efficiency.
Again, it sounds vague, but it’s still true. The European study didn’t just tally chemical-ranges, it accounted for sleep quality too. Volunteers answered sleep quality questionnaires and special sensors monitored actual sleep. Both methods showed the same thing — people slept better with daily doses of the concentrate. More accurately, they slept for longer hours in this case.
Researchers in Spain found a similar correlation in a 2013 study. Ages for this placebo-controlled study ranged from 20 to 85-years-old. Across all these ages, participants showed measured success. Those who drank tart cherry concentrate daily showed reported better sleep. Their activity patterns exemplified this: less sudden awakenings during sleep and more shut-eye.
The report also focused on sleep latency, which means how long it takes to fall asleep. Can you guess what happened? Yup, participants reported (and data showed) falling asleep quicker during their trial. Falling asleep easier and less instances of randomly waking up at 3 AM? Count us in.
This sour fruit’s potential effectiveness has many in the health world. That brings us to our next point.
It may able to help those with sleep disorders in the future.
If the tart cherry can benefit the average person’s sleep cycle, can it help those with sleep disorders? Signs are looking positive, but lack extensive research. Research might be far and few between, but there’s still hope.
The American Journal of Therapeutics recently published a pilot study focusing on patients with insomnia. Researchers hoped the fruit could one day be a natural alternative to sleep-inducing drugs. So, is that what they found?
Unfortunately, the correlation could not go that far. But, those who ingested a cherry concentrate daily (as opposed to the placebo) found improvement. Their monitored sleep time increased by a little over an hour and thirty minutes (83 minutes). We know every minute counts, so that’s pretty cool.
Interestingly enough, researchers also noted an increase in tryptophan-availability. This chemical helps your body produce the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter serotonin. This makes sense because serotonin is also associated with melatonin. Think about it like this: how many times has your night’s rest (or lack thereof) affected your mood the next day?
A Very Cherry Recipe
Enticed? Of course you are. Here’s a fun little way to get some cherry-love in your life. Use our Organic Tart Cherry Extract to create this refreshing recipe.
Tart Cherry Red Wine Spritzer
Wine and cherries are two of our favorite things, so naturally we love this recipe by Running to the Kitchen. Add seltzer in the mix and a rosemary for garnish, and you got yourself a holiday drink (or any time, really).
Looking for more tasty drinks? Check more recipes here.
Walking down grocery store aisles, you are bound to come across something with aloe in it, from drinks and food to hair care and lotions. It would actually be shocking for you to not find something that is related.
At this point, you have to wonder, is it all hype? Can the plant really do what people say it can do?
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most popular theories.
It is said to help with acne.
Because aloe vera contains antioxidants and vitamins, it is believed to help protect skin. But does this translate to a reliable acne treatment?
One study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment suggests this is, indeed, true — at least for the gel.
Researchers created a topical ointment made up of tretinoin and the gel for mild to moderate acne. 60 subjects were studied; some were given the first treatment and others were given a different formula.
The gel formula had positive feedback, being described as “well-tolerated” and “significantly more effective” than the other treatment.
That’s pretty cool, right? But why do researchers think that it worked?
Well, the plant can help naturally support the body’s response to inflammation. This is due to to its polysaccharide content that helps reduce the promotion of prostagandin synthesis and leucocytes.
And remember, acne is a type of inflammation, the tale-telling symptom being red, inflamed skin.
More study is needed for other more aggressive forms of acne, and if the gel can be used on its own as a topical ointment.
It can help promote clear skin and anti-aging.
Okay, this one definitely sounds like a stretch, right? Anti-aging? Yeah, right.
But knowing how the gel can be beneficial for acne, it may be a little easier to understand where theories about where this idea originates.
But does this theory actually hold up?
Specific polysaccharides from this plant’s gel, called mucopolysaccharides, support skin moisture and the appearance of wrinkles. Other phytonutrients, including amino acids, also help encourage skin elasticity, which promotes softness.
So, maybe aloe can’t turn back time, but it can help the skin appear younger. One study published in the American Journal of Infection Control explored this benefit.
The study focused on assembly-line workers (30 women) who had occupation-related, dry and irritated skin. They were subjected to wearing gloves that were outfitted with aloe vera for multiple hours of the day, for 30 days.
So, was the experiment a total bust? Nope!
Researchers found that the subject’s skin had improved, with decreased appearance of fine wrinkling, dermatitis and dry skin.
Aloe vera can help hydrate.
Moving along from the benefits of topical gel, let’s look into oral consumption. Drinking its juice, or water mixed with the juice, is thought to help support hydration.
On this side of the spectrum, research becomes a little more sparse. Much of the benefits of consumption can be attributed to anecdotal evidence, which doesn’t sit right with everyone.
So if that’s not your thing, this benefit may be a “no-go.”
Healthline reports that this consumption can help promote healthy hydration, primarily due to the spiky plant’s naturally water-density. That makes sense, especially as the juice is described as “refreshing.”
The health authority also goes on to say that the juice may be a good way to rehydrate after workouts, specifically because more fluids are needed to help decrease lactic acid afterward.
But like coconut water, more research would be necessary to confirm hands-down, although it wouldn’t hurt to try.
It can help with digestion.
Oral consumption is also said to also help with digestion. This is because the green plant holds specific enzymes that aid in breaking down sugars and fats, which support smooth digestion.
Its water content has also been seen as an asset for digestion. Healthline suggests that increasing water content in the intestines can help stimulate peristalsis, which also supports smooth digestion.
So, if you’re having a little stomach distress, a swig of aloe juice/water could help do the trick. In fact, one double-blind study found that its laxative-like property helped relieve constipation.
Studies have explored how this digestive support affects disorders and diseases, like irritable bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis, but more study is needed to determine it exact efficacy. So far, it’s a mixed bag: some people have reported improved symptoms; however, others says there’s no effect.
It could help support immunity.
Aloe vera is sometimes is seen as a “superfood” or “miracle” food due to its many properties, especially due to its supposed ability to help support the body’s immune system.
So, where does this theory stem from?
This green and refreshing plant contains special antioxidants called flavonoids, tannins and carotenoids, which may help support the body’s response to oxidative damage. By doing so, this can help the immune system properly function at its best.
The plant’s enyzmes may also help support nutrtion absoprtion, which can help support immune response.
Ready for a Taste?
Sources and More Info:
Apple cider vinegar is taking the health world by storm and for good reason! Out of all the different kinds of vinegars, it is the one that can boost some of the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals. That’s why Pure Planet makes not just one but TWO refreshing, yet nutritious blends.
Vinegar might not be the first thing that comes to mind when hear the word “refreshing,” but Pure Planet has been around long enough to know that when can make something healthy taste delicious it’s a lot easier to drink it every day.
Focusing on two of its most potent properties, the family-owned company created Apple Cider Probiotic and Alkalizer. Both blends contain whole-food ingredients that target specific functions and taste buds.
Conveniently, the two dry-mix beverages have long shelf lives and don’t require refrigeration.
Probiotic ǀ Lemon Flavor
You’re probably already hip to probiotics, but if you aren’t they are beneficial microorganisms that help aid digestion, boost immune function, increase nutrient absorption and keep harmful pathogens from overgrowth. Apple cider vinegar naturally contains probiotic enzymes, because it originates from fermented apples. Fermentation breaks down nutrients and makes them more easily digestible.
Pure Planet boosts those digestion benefits by including a well-researched probiotic strain, bacillus coagulans, plus ginger and turmeric into its blend for extra gut support. Together, the Probiotic formula helps promote digestive health with a pleasant lemon for flavor.
Alkalizer ǀ Cherry Flavor
Here’s a quick lowdown on alkalinity: it’s the acidic measurement for foods, drinks and the body, referred to as the pH level. Ranging from 1 (Acidic) – 10 (Alkaline), a smaller pH number is said to be more prone to illness and disease with neutral in-between. Nutritionists believe a healthy body should be a bit more Alkaline (7sih).
While eating greens daily helps keep the balance, another pH-scale booster is apple cider vinegar.
Drinking Pure Planet’s Alkalizer can be another way to offset acidity and provide the body with pH balance. This mix is blended with powerhouse superfoods beets and cherries to support healthy blood circulation and immune function. Plus, it tastes like cherry fruit punch without the sugar and excessive calories.
Pure and True Since ‘92
Pure Planet’s Apple Cider Vinegar is non-GMO, USDA certified Organic and sustainably-farmed. Learn more about the products and the local Long Beach California company at pureplanet.com.
Growing up, we followed the 4 R‘s: reduce, reuse, recycle and Rihanna. Okay, maybe it was only 3 three “R’s,” but who can remember those days for sure.
Our point is that we disposed of our bottles in the correct bins, turned off lights in rooms that weren’t occupied and turned off the water faucet as we brushed our teeth. We felt good doing so and these little tasks made a big difference. For most of us, these habits have followed us into adulthood.
These days, the environmentally-friendly landscape is totally different in an exciting way. With more companies feeling the “green” wave, it’s become easier to make more conscientious decisions that can benefit the planet.
Sometimes it can be a little confusing, and a little frustrating as you are only one person. But that’s all it takes.
Watching our hometown of Long Beach, CA come together for #BYOLBC inspired us to participate in the #ChooseToReuse campaign, too.
Learn how you can improve your eco-friendly practices with the list below and check in with Pure Planet’s best practices.
Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly
Swap out one use-products for something that can be evergreen.
One-use items end up sitting in landfills or even worse, in our oceans. Take a second to think what one-use items can be swapped out for multi-use items.
Here are some ideas:
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. After drying your hands or cleaning counters and surfaces, cloth can easily be washed and reused.
- Opt for reusable glass or metal containers and utensils for food and drink needs.
- Invest in cloth grocery bags instead of plastic or paper bags. Cloth bags can be used over and over again. Buy some and stash in your car.
- Re-purpose Pure Planet containers as storage for office stationery, or for holding kitchen, bathroom, and home essentials.
Be more mindful with clothing.
Did you know you could be eco-friendly with clothing? Not many people think about how the industry affects the environment, but keeping with the trends has a heavy cost. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is the one that pays.
So, what exactly does the industry contribute? For starters, clothing is usually made from fabric constructed by crops or animals. That by itself is one big factor. In fact, Huffington Post reports that cotton fields use more chemical pesticides than any other crop!
In addition to creating waste, production and manufacturing can release harmful greenhouse gases.
So, how do you rectify all that? The first step is being more thoughtful in your shopping. Here are some ways to do practice more efficiently:
- Head to the thrift shop. Thrifting is a good for two reasons: you can donate your clothes to someone else to use and you can buy used clothing too.
- Search online. It’s 2018! There are tons of companies that sell used clothes and even some that rent out clothes for a short time, using the same boxes to and from.
- Buy staple pieces. If used clothing doesn’t interest you, make sure to buy clothes you will use for a long period of time.
Cut your meat consumption.
Some experts believe that living a more vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can greatly impact environmental conservation (in addition to the health benefits of veggies and plants). This is because how much the meat industry effects environmental factors such as greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
In fact, Time suggests that a dietary shift in the food sector could account for a 63% (vegetarian) to 70% (vegan) cut in emissions. That’s major! But it makes sense. After all, Science reports that meat and dairy make up 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emission.
And what’s more? The Independent reports that that the diet could also contribute to less industrialization of wild land due to agriculture, which is a huge factor in the extinction of wildlife.
Going full vegan might not be an option for whatever reason, but you can still be friendly to the cause:
- Only buy meats from companies that practice sustainable farming.
- Try making one meal a day plant-based.
- Meal-prep and/or properly preserve meats to discourage waste.
But if we’re going to ask you take steps, we should at least tell you what we’ve been up to as well.
Did you know that trees remove 2,000 tons of air pollution per year in Los Angeles?
When you grow ANY plant (for the most part), you are helping clean the environment. Get your hands dirty and reduce pollution and the amount of C02 in our planet’s atmosphere with some natural photosynthesis. Be sure to search the web for tress, vegetables, flowers and other plants that thrive in your local area.
Pure Planet Initiative
Earlier this year, we here at Pure Planet decided to evaluate our own practices.
Saving Water + Cuttings Environmental Damage
You may have noticed that our refreshing blends, like Best of Greens, don’t come mixed in water. That’s a conscious choice on our behalf.
Well, because shipping water isn’t the most sustainable practice. As the Guardian states,
… the long-term impacts of bottling and transporting water….are doing more damage than we realize
So, we decided to go a different route, with dried powders.
You’ll find that our efficient drying methods allow our products to yield a longer shelf-life, as opposed to if they came pre-mixed with water. Products that last longer are much better for the environment than compared to those that expire quickly. That just contributes to the massive amount of waste that piles up.
Cutting Out Plastic Scoops
A couple of months ago, we decided we could do more. So, we took a small yet necessary step: we took out our plastic scoops, lowering our contributions to waste. It may sound minimal, but it has decreased our footprint and we’re happy about that.
Stay Healthy with Pure Planet
Want to see what were cooking up? Check us out at PurePlanet.com.