The Mt. Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) honored co-founder Jessica Alba with the Champion for Children Award, recognizing her as a leader in the children’s environmental health movement. In front of a crowd of almost 800, Jessica shared how her personal experience with childhood illness—like severe asthma, allergies, and even kidney surgery—inspired her journey to ultimately advocate for toxic chemical reform and create The Honest Company.
“It made me determined to create the safest, healthiest environment for my two little girls and children everywhere,” Jessica said. “The CEHC and director Dr. Philip Landrigan’s groundbreaking research have been a true source of inspiration for our work at Honest and my and new book, The Honest Life…. With [their] vision and commitment to the cause, we’ve been able to turn research into real action — providing solutions to childhood disease and spearheading meaningful regulatory reform.”
In their desire to discover and resolve why today’s children are suffering from diseases that were virtually unheard of a generation ago, the CEHC and Dr. Landrigan have made great strides in researching and identifying the environmental factors that cause them:
As leaders in the children’s environmental health movement, CEHC and Dr. Landrigan have truly made a difference.
The Honest Company was proud to sponsor and participate in the Greening Our Children Benefit Luncheon, work alongside other like-minded vendors at the Green Expo, host a Q&A with bloggers, and support CEHC initiatives through a silent auction. The afternoon was a great celebration of the CEHC mission, one Honest will continue to advance by exemplifying and promoting social, corporate, and government responsibility in children’s health.
Seasonal allergies can put a damper on the beauty of spring flowers in bloom and green landscapes — especially for the 35 million Americans who suffer from them yearly due to high pollen counts in the air. So, this is the time of the year when many of you may find anti-histamines become your wingman.
Every spring, many of my patients walk into my office blood shot, teary eyed, sniffling, and stuffy. Their seasonal allergies can be very debilitating to day-to-day activities and the medications can be sedative. In my practice, I offer people natural solutions to carry them through the spring and help them actually enjoy the season of renewal.
Natural therapies for seasonal allergies are geared towards three basic goals:
These tools provide relief without the extra chemicals, are non-sedative, and address the underlying cause of the liver’s inability to properly detoxify.
Our liver is our body’s filtration system that traps toxins entering the body through our respiratory system, digestive system, and skin. It is arguably the hardest working organ, as it’s constantly converting hazardous material into safer compounds to be excreted.
Our liver filters two quarts of blood per minute, extracting 99% of viruses, bacteria, environmental toxins, and more before recirculating it through the rest of the body. Pollen is considered an external offender by the body, so the liver packages it to be excreted as well.
Once filtered, these toxins need a way out. Our body’s three exit strategies include the skin, urinary tract, and digestive tract. If these areas are not optimally functioning, they will recirculate back to the liver. Seasonal allergy symptoms are a result of the liver’s inability to keep up with the workload it is dealt.
Here are five strategies for dodging seasonal allergies:
1. Pour a Cup of Nettles Tea
Nettles tea remains my number one seasonal allergy weapon. Nettles is an herb that specifically grows in the springtime for situations like allergies. It is highly nutritive to the liver, and studies have shown its ability to reduce histamine levels. For most of my patients, this alone does the trick.
I usually prescribe 3-4 cups per day in the form of tea instead of capsules because the hydration helps flush toxins more efficiently. You can brew it ahead of time and drink it hot or cold.
2. Decongest – Bromelain & Quercitin
Bromelain is a compound found in pineapples, and quercitin is a compound found in various fruits and vegetables. These antioxidant compounds combat congestion in the nasal cavities and chest by stabilizing immune cells and reducing inflammation. These both typically come in the form of capsules.
3. Up Your Fiber
The average American gets a total of 15 grams of fiber per day, where primal predecessors were getting upwards of 120 grams of fiber per day. Fiber assists in regular bowel movements and also binds to toxins for excretion. Increasing your daily intake of vegetables, seeds, and whole grains improves detoxification and chronic disease in the long term.
4. Adequate Hydration
By drinking plenty of caffeine-free fluids, your body is better able to flush toxins from your system. To determine hydration repletion, the general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Herbal teas (including nettles tea mentioned above) can count towards your daily water goal. For every cup of caffeinated beverage you consume, it’s best to add an extra cup of water to compensate for dehydration.
5. Break a Sweat Daily
This can be a double-edged sword for allergy sufferers. You may want to exercise outside, but you have a flare up every time you try. Consider exercising indoors until you have a handle on your allergies. Our skin is our largest organ and sweat is a great vehicle for excreting toxins. Aside from exercise, dry saunas are another tool for enhancing detoxification if you have the access.
The content presented above is for informational purposes. Please consult with your doctor if you are interested in implementing any of these suggestions to ensure it is safe for your personal health care needs.
- Dr. Thalia Farshchian, N.D.
Dr. Thalia Farshchian is a Naturopathic doctor. As an expert in women’s health, digestive conditions, hormone conditions, autoimmune disease, weight loss, and environmental medicine, Dr. Thalia’s extensive health toolbox includes herbal medicine, diet and nutritional supplements, lifestyle modification, intravenous therapy, bio-identical hormones, and conventional medications when necessary. You can follow Dr. Thalia on her Web site, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@DrThaliaND) where she regularly posts her medical insights, recipes, and latest findings in healthy living.
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.
This sleek, classic men’s wallet makes for a timeless gift for dads, grads, or the minimalist-loving guy in your life. Handmade by MotorStreet, an Etsy artisan, the wallet/thin card case is built to last. The leather is hand-picked, stitched, treated, packaged, and sent. The designer shares, “I love knowing that every item I make will find a good home.” We love that, too.
Here at the Honest offices, we get pretty geeky about our product formulations. Most people cringe at the idea of spending hours and hours poring over scientific studies, but we find it fascinating. And that’s how we end up creating products that are not only safe, but also super effective, too. We keep the nasty stuff out and find the best stuff to put in.
We spend a lot of time thinking about every ingredient that we include in our formulas, and wanted to share some of the exciting things we’ve learned about lavender (which is currently used in our Lip Balm and brand new Healing Balm). It’s a delicate little flower with some amazing super powers!
Here’s a little about what we’ve learned…
Lavender essential oils have been used both cosmetically and therapeutically for centuries and are considered to be some of the mildest of known plant essential oils. Since it’s been used for so long, there’s oodles of anecdotal evidence, but what do the scientific studies say? Although some of the data is still inconclusive, there does seem to be both scientific and clinical evidence revealing some pretty exciting stuff:
During our research, we also found various Web sites expressing concern over the use of lavender – primarily because of estrogenic properties and cases of contact dermatitis. So, we looked into that, too – and here’s what we found:
In 2007, several doctors released a brief report linking tea tree and lavender oil to male prepubertal gynecomastia (breast growth) because three boys who were using products containing these ingredients were diagnosed with the condition. Since then, the report has been mentioned widely online and has caused much confusion and, we’d say, unnecessary worry.
There were many flaws in this report including:
What about other testing for estrogenic impacts? Well, there was a follow-up test that indicated a hormonal effect, but it was in vitro (test tube) testing which simply doesn’t translate to actual human exposure. (Also, it should be noted that over 4,000 components of plants have shown some degree of hormonal effect – that’s just the chemistry of nature and life!) Another follow-up study testing lavender oil as it might impact humans in real life exposures (using the model regarded as the “gold-standard in vivo test for estrogenic activity”) showed NO evidence of estrogenic activity.
And, what about contact dermatitis?
Well, skin allergies to lavender oil can happen, but it appears quite rare – and might possibly be due to oxidization (which happens when the oil is stored improperly). Considering that lavender is one of the most widely used essential oils and the cases of reported allergic reactions are so few and far between, we really don’t feel it should be considered an irritant. (Though, please consult your family doctor if you’re still concerned about it.)
All in all, the long list (and evidence) of benefits far outweighs the concerns of risk – and we’re excited to include it in some of our newest formulations!
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