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                                     March 2014          

Product Specials! 
   hauschka masks          


 Dr. Hauschka

is 20% OFF!

All Dr. Hauschka, including make-up. Face care will be repackaged and the discount is only on the old packaging--while supplies last! 


 Country Life Vitamins & Herbs

25% OFF


Life Seasons Therapeutic Formulas

20% OFF


Rescue Remedy

25% OFF




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Natural Products Association Take Action

Rooting for Spring!
Here at the store we are moving ahead as if spring will actually happen. I do have my doubts since it is now March and we are only in the teens temperature-wise. We will be bringing in several new lines including Enzymedica plant-based enzymes and Mega Food whole food supplements. We continue to upgrade our mix of products to bring you what we feel is the best available in each category. We will also be introducing a new line of superfood juices and weight loss products by Genesis this spring. 
Please see our article this month "Enzyme Power" about the benefits of using digestive enzymes for digestive health, immunity, and for fighting inflammation.
Here's to Your Health!
What's Inside
New at Walsh! Enzymes by Enzymedica
Natural News You Can Use: Seasonal Support for the Spleen and Liver
Event: Complimentary Energy Reading
Featured Article: Enzyme Power

New at Walsh!
Enzyme Products by Enzymedica



Enzymedica produces cutting edge enzyme formulas that provide targeted support for digestive issues, food intolerances, cardiovascular issues, proper immune function and healthy inflammatory process.

Enzymedica leads the enzyme category by offering products that contain the highest therapeutic activities available. They are ranked the #1 selling enzyme and offer the best-selling digestive enzyme blend, Digest Gold™. Enzymedica is dedicated to using only the highest quality plant and plant-based enzymes in their products. Their products are 100% vegetarian and contain no fillers. Some vegan and kosher options are available.

We should have these in by the second week of March. Ask our staff which formula is right for you!

 Natural News You Can Use: Seasonal Support for the Spleen and Liver--A Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach
Meet Mandi Leuthardt, our newest employee and licensed acupuncturist. Mandi works at Walsh part-time and maintains her own acupuncture practice at Heartwood Center.

The transition time between the seasons is an important time to support the body with certain foods, herbs and supplements. Spring is the season of the liver. This means that liver energy is at its highest and most active. As we transition to spring, there is a need to fortify the earth element, or the spleen. This is for two reasons: 1) The earth element is an important balancer as we transition from one season to another 2) The high activity of the liver can cause earth (the spleen) to weaken. The function of the Spleen is to transform our food into nutrients and transport those nutrients throughout the body. If the spleen is weak, digestive issues, lethargy, and fatigue will occur. Energetically, the spleen is responsible for containing and holding. Examples of spleen weakness include malabsorption, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, miscarriage, and organ prolapse.


Since proper Spleen function is imperative to digestion, it is important to eat foods and include herbs and supplements that support its function. Eating root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, carrots, and beets is extremely beneficial. Most herbs that support the Spleen are also roots. Astragalus root, eleuthero root, American ginseng, licorice root, and dong quai are all herbal tonics that work as adaptogens, assisting the Spleen in energy production and therefore aiding in digestion, metabolism, and increased resistance to stress. The product EARTH by Healthforce is a combination of roots and other superfoods that is a perfect addition to your diet this time of year. Using EARTH in your morning smoothie, soups, or even certain baked goods can provide the Spleen many essential nutrients. Digestive enzymes, because they support energy production, can provide valuable support at this time of year. Adding mint or dandelion tea once to three times per day will also help prevent the Liver from suppressing the action of the Spleen.


 In-Store Complimentary Energy Reading

Saturday, March 29th

12:00-3:00 pm


If you're tired, have the winter blues, need an immune boost or a mini- mood-uplift , come on in and get some nurturing, healing  touch! Maureen Riley will be giving hands-on 15-minute energy treatments so you can feel uplifted, renewed, revitalized, rebalanced and better than ever. Maureen is a medically certified energy healer, an herbalist and psychotherapist. She uses hands-on, spiritual energy to scan and balance the body with the goal of detecting and transforming the root cause of chronic body symptoms. She can also recommend herbs to enhance your healing process. 


Enzyme Power: Why These Proteins are Essential for Digestion, Immunity and More
"Happiness: A good bank account, a good cook, and good digestion."~Jean-Jacques Rousseau  


It would be hard to overestimate the importance of good digestion to overall health. Without the proper breakdown, absorption and distribution of nutrients, our bodies cannot thrive even if we eat a nearly perfect diet. The availability of enzymes to break down our food is crucial to good digestion, as well as to immunity and repair in the body. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, believed that all diseases begin in the stomach. Incomplete digestion of our food can cause indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and food allergies. Poor digestion can contribute to a wide range of chronic disease because the building blocks for all body processes are not available when digestion is poor. Let's explore what enzymes do, where they come from, how they work in the body, and why we may want to supplement with them.



What are Enzymes?


Enzymes are protein molecules that do all of the work required by the body. They not only help us digest our food, but help the cells produce energy and perform detoxification, making them fundamental to every body process. They require vitamins and minerals as cofactors to do their work. They catalyze reactions in the body so that it can grow, sustain, and repair itself. Enzymes are present in all living things. All foods, plant and animal alike, contain the enzymes necessary for their digestion.


Enzymes are found throughout the body. They are in the salivary glands, the stomach, the pancreas, the small intestine, white blood cells, every cell wall, and inside every cell. We will be talking mainly about digestive enzymes, but it is important to note that the functioning of the immune system is highly dependent on enzymes that are used to literally "digest" invaders in our system. The cell wall can also digest certain particles it comes into contact with, and enzymes inside the cell are used to break down these substances.


There are three basic types of enzymes:


  1. Those that occur in foods
  2. Those made by the body for the digestion of food
  3. Those made by the body to perform other functions in the body (metabolic enzymes)

Those that occur in foods get our digestion started. Just as the enzymes in food cause it to rot if it sits on store shelves too long, they begin the breakdown of food in our stomachs. Enzymes made by the body to digest food are in saliva, the stomach, the pancreas, and the small intestine. Finally, we use the materials produced by the breakdown of our food to make the myriad metabolic enzymes that do the work of sustaining and repairing our bodies.


Digestive enzymes are specific to certain types of foods. Here is a partial list of some of the enzymes our bodies need to break down food and what type of food each breaks down:

  • Proteases and Pepsin-Protein
  • Amylase-Starches or complex carbohydrates
  • Lipase-Fats
  • Cellulase-Digests cellulose, a plant fiber. This enzyme is not present in humans.
  • Glucoamylase-Raffinose and stachyose found in beans, peas, nuts and seeds
  • Alpha-galactosidase-Foods rich in galactose bonds such as beans
  • Phytase-Phytic acid found in grains, seeds, and rhizomes
  • Pectinase-Pectin, found in fruits and vegetables
  • Disaccharidases-Simple sugars found in dairy (lactose/lactase), grains (maltose/maltase) and white sugar and flour (sucrose/sucrose)

The effectiveness of enzymes is based on the environment in which they operate. They need the correct temperature, amount of substrate (substance on which the enzyme acts), and proper pH level. Plant-based enzymes work in a wide pH range of roughly 3.0 to 9.0. Animal, or pancreatic enzymes work only in a more alkaline pH of 7.0 to 9.0. Due to this fact, animal enzymes are effective only in the small intestine, where pH levels are higher.



Why Use an Enzyme Supplement?


The main reasons to take an enzyme supplement are to increase energy, soothe digestive stress, and promote regularity. Food particles that are partially digested may pass through the gut wall into the blood, where the body does not know what to do with them. This can cause inflammation and an extra burden on the kidneys to filter the blood. Food that is not digested well enough to pass through the gut wall will pass into the colon, where it will rot and form toxins that are then passed into the blood. This puts an extra burden on the liver to detoxify these substances and the kidney to help pass them. Toxins can also compromise the integrity of the gut wall, causing "leaky gut" syndrome. Leaky gut is thought to be the cause of many food intolerances, autoimmune issues, and even fibromyalgia. Lastly, unfriendly bacteria feed on this indigested food, potentially causing an over-growth that can make us ill.



Since much of our food is cooked, canned, gas ripened or irradiated, the natural enzymes in it are destroyed and our bodies must make up the difference. Food companies have come up with ways to reduce the enzyme activity of foods to extend shelf life. While this makes food last longer on shelves, it does not do much to help our digestion.


Prescription drugs can also affect digestion. It is well known that NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, damage the lining of the stomach. Without this protective mucous lining, we can get ulcers or other stomach issues, inhibiting digestion. Many prescription drugs raise liver enzymes, a sign that the liver is not functioning correctly. Since the liver plays a role in digestion this is also problematic. Antacids decrease the acidity of the stomach, thus impairing protein digestion and our ability to absorb minerals. Protein digestion can be aided by supplemental enzymes. Antibiotics disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to over-growth of harmful bacteria. This can lead to infection, inflammation and gut permeability.


Medical procedures, injury, or other genetic issues, may also impair digestion. One example is when the gall bladder is removed and fat digestion is compromised. To digest fat we need bile from the liver (normally this is stored in the gall bladder) and the enzyme lipase. If the gall bladder is removed and fat digestion is impaired, this can be improved by taking bile salts and an enzyme formula with a high amount of lipase. Another example is trauma to the body such as an injury or surgery. During trauma, the body breaks down protein quickly to form the necessary immune and inflammatory proteins needed by the body. If protein digestion is less than optimal, as it frequently is in older individuals, the body will not make the needed immune and repair compounds. This is another case where an enzyme supplement can be helpful.


As we age, our body produces fewer enzymes. This can be due to many factors and can worsen over time. When older individuals have wasting diseases, it is often because they are not breaking down the food they eat, and therefore the nutrients in the food are not available for use in the body.


Food sensitivities can also create a need for specific enzymes. Undigested particles of food can pass to the bloodstream and create inflammation and other problems because the body does not know what to do with them. Certain enzymes can help with food intolerances. These enzymes ARE NOT to be used when there is a true food allergy, only with intolerances. Some examples are lactase for lactose intolerance, DPP-IV for gluten, and alpha-galactosidase for beans or soy.



What Types of Enzymes Are Available as Supplements?


There are three different types of enzymes that can be found in supplement form:



Plant-based Enzymes. Grown in a lab setting, these enzymes are grown on a plant medium such as soy or barley and are produced by certain fungus or probiotics. They are the most potent of the enzymes and work in a broad pH range of 3.0-9.0.



Plant Enzymes. These enzymes are obtained by grinding plant material. Two common plant enzymes used in supplements are bromelain, from pineapple stem, and papain, from the latex of papaya. Both of these enzymes require a temperature higher than that of body temperature to be activated. For this reason they are most effective at the site of inflammation where tissue temperature is elevated.



Animal Enzymes. These enzymes are from animal glands and organs. In the case of pepsin, it is usually from the stomach of pigs. They include enzymes like pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and phospholipase. Similar to our own pancreatic enzymes, they are effective in a more alkaline pH range of 7.0 to 9.0.




Can I Take Too Many Enzymes?


Experts such as Edward Howell, M.D. and Howard Loomis, D.C. do not believe that taking supplemental enzymes inhibits the body in its own production of them, but others disagree. I view enzyme supplements as a corrective approach. I would do a course of them to rebalance the digestive system, and then stop to see if normal digestion can be maintained without them. If problems recur, continued use is warranted.


Exceptions to this include those who take enzymes for more permanent or chronic issues. Removal of the gallbladder, continued use of a prescription drug that affects digestion, old age, chronic disease, and persistent inflammation are some examples. Individuals with these conditions may need enzymes on a regular basis.


I like to take enzymes at the change of season, when the element of earth within all of us needs some extra support. This is the element that stabilizes us and helps us through the change. I notice that my digestion is typically weaker at the change of season. If I take enzymes for two weeks or so, the problem is usually resolved. Additionally, I like to take enzymes on as as-needed basis. Thanksgiving comes to mind, as do vacations, dinners out, or other situations where I eat something I normally wouldn't.


Digestive enzymes can make a difference in minor digestive issues in just a few days. More chronic issues may take a couple of months or more to resolve.



Is It Preferable to Eat a Raw Food Diet Rather Than Take Enzymes?



The benefit of a raw food diet is that the foods you eat will contain the enzymes necessary to break down that food. We can all benefit from adding more raw foods to our diet. However, eating a completely raw food diet is somewhat impractical and is quite a science. Animal products like meat, poultry, eggs and fish are not usually eaten raw due to contamination issues. People with chronic disease often have digestive issues that would make it hard for them to properly digest a 100% raw food diet, particularly the fiber in the diet. Also, warmed foods are important in the winter, so a raw food diet in Chicago does not make a lot of sense. In order to get the proper heat in a raw food diet you must be knowledgeable in the use of warming herbs. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you must be vigilant to make sure that you get adequate protein, iron, B12 and zinc so that you have all the building blocks necessary to make your metabolic enzymes.


In conclusion, enzymes are a safe and effective way of supporting and correcting many digestive issues. Indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and food sensitivities can all be aided by the use of supplemental enzymes. Make sure that the brand you buy has sufficient amounts of the enzymes, no fillers, and no artificial preservatives. Enzymes can be broad-based, or targeted at specific issues like inflammation, gluten sensitivity, or the inability to digest fat. Ask our staff which enzyme supplement might be right for you.