choose natural health newsletter: the large intestine + digestion

one of our vendors, pure herbs (who makes can-sol, the herbal tincture to help control candida yeast overgrowth), puts out delightful and very informative newsletters every month.  with permission from their writer, jeri spencer, i’ve decided to share some of the best ones with you all, in hopes that you can gain more knowledge about how your body works, and how to best optimize the one you’ve got!  we want to empower you to understand and take charge!

any sS’er knows how important digestion is to eliminating the body’s toxins.  toxins that build up within the body often times manifests in the skin (as acne, or rashes) and extreme cases can induce (or be indicative of) more complicated underlying imbalances, like candida yeast overgrowth.

read this and let us know what you think!  take a close look at the ingredients of “know your ingredients” – it’s surprising to discover what’s in products that are marketed as healthy (the product is disclosed at the end of the newsletter).  and i personally love the joke of the month! 🙂

Choose Natural Health Newsletter April 2017

“ALL-DISEASE-BEGINS-IN-THE-GUT.”-–-HIPPOCRATES-2.jpgThe large intestine is the topic of this newsletter.  It has been said you are what you eat.  I believe it goes further to: you are what you eat, absorb, assimilate and don’t eliminate.  Often  allopathic doctors when questioned say as long as it is regular there is nothing to worry about even if you are only having regular bowel movements once every couple of days, weeks, or months,   If this is the case why does the CDC rate Colon/Rectal cancer as the #2 cause of death in America?

If you have ever had a baby and think back to when they were newborns, they would sleep, eat and poop.  When the baby finished eating you could wait a little while and know you were going to have to change the diaper.  As children age, they often get too busy to stop and take the time to eliminate creating a lifelong habit of holding bowel movements  in.   In addition,  the abusive use of antibiotics destroying the good bacteria of the microbiome adds to the development of lifetime constipation.

It is very important to remember the ways of the newborn’s elimination process is the way it should continue throughout life.  For every meal eaten, there should be a bowel movement the next day.  It takes approximately 24 hours for food to digest and pass the entire way through the digestive system.

Know Your Ingredients
cultured grade A reduced-fat milk, sugar, water, fructose or fruit sugar, modified food starch, less than 1 percent milk protein concentrate, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, agar, guar gum, lactic acid, calcium lactate, vitamin D3 and sodium citrate

Recipe of the Month: Want a way to warm up the digestive system and burn excess fat at the same time, try drinking the Melt Away Tea a couple of times a day.

Morning and Afternoon Melt Away Tea

  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger puree (peel and chop ginger, add water in blender, blend until pureed;  store in fridge)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper
  • Very warm water.
  • Stevia or Xylitol to taste

Large Intestine Function
The major function of the large intestine is to absorb water from the remaining indigestible food matter and transmit the useless waste material from the body.

Joke of the Month: Who’s In Charge?
One day the different parts of the body were having an argument to see which should be in charge.

The brain said, “I do all the thinking so I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The eyes said, “I see everything and let the rest of you know where we are, so I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The hands said, “Without me we wouldn’t be able to pick anything up or move anything. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The stomach said, “I turn the food we eat into energy for the rest of you. Without me, we’d starve. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The legs said, “Without me we wouldn’t be able to move anywhere. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
Then the intestine said, “I think I should be in charge.”
All the rest of the parts said, “You?!? You are just the garbage dump! You’re not important! You can’t be in charge.”

So the intestines shut down.

After a few days, the legs were all wobbly, the stomach was all queasy, the hands were all shaky, the eyes were all watery, and the brain was all cloudy. They all agreed that they couldn’t take any more of this and agreed to put the intestines in charge.

LargeIntestine.pngThe Large Intestine Anatomy
Food and liquid pass through the stomach into the small intestine to the large intestine or colon.  The average length of an adult colon is 5 feet long. Its largest diameter is at the cecum (about 3″) and narrowest in the sigmoid (around 1″). Fecal matter passes through the ileocecal valve from the small intestine into the cecum, the first part of the large intestine.  It then needs to work against gravity and climb up through the ascending colon, around the hepatic flexure (curving area near the liver) across the transverse colon and around the splenic flexure (left side of the body) to the descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, anal canal and then is eliminated.
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The large intestine is lined internally by a layer of mucosa. This mucosa contains tiny indentations called the crypts of Lieberkühn. These contain various glands and goblet cells that help in secretion and absorption of fluids.

There is also a large amount of lymphoid tissue that helps in maintaining an immune barrier.

Antibody Production
The lymphoid tissue contained in the large intestine help in the production of antibodies.  These antibodies are produced in part to protect against harmful bacteria and helpful in protecting against infections.

Vitamin Absorption
The good bacteria or probiotics, sometimes called commensal bacteria,  residing in the large intestine play an important part in the continuation of the digestive process.   These bacteria are also responsible for the production of large amounts of vitamins if the intact of nutrient dense food is lacking.  A person eating a typical American diet whose body depended on the formation of vitamins by commensal bacteria may become vitamin deficient; especially if they have a history of drug use like antibiotics which kill the commensal bacteria.

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Know your Ingredients Answer

: Danon Activia Original

acne-safe ice cream!

what’s the scoop on acne-safe ice cream?

summer is right around the corner, and with the hot weather comes the siren song of the ice cream truck! it tempts our collective sweet tooth with soft-serve and ice cream bars. if you’re worried that you might not survive an acne-safe summer without frozen treats, we’ve got you covered! back in february, ben & jerry’s added three new flavors to their acclaimed dairy-free almond milk ice cream line. this left us all wondering: are they acne-safe? can we finally eat a bowl of cherry garcia on a hot summer night without fearing an impending breakout? at skinSALVATION, we take frozen dessert pretty seriously! we read some labels and put ben & jerry’s almond milk ice creams through our rigorous ingredient-auditing. while the creative and iconic vermont flavors still shine in the new ben & jerry’s dairy-free ice creams, they all contain a few acne-triggering ingredients. here are the culprits:

soy lecithin (in all flavors) – while we encourage our clients to avoid soy as much as possible, we’ve found that soy lecithin in small amounts does not aggravate most acne-prone skin.

soybean oil (in coconut seven-layer bar and chocolate fudge brownie) – soybean oil is highly inflammatory, so we recommend steering clear of these two flavors as much as possible.

coconut oil (in all flavors) – it’s not the end of the world if you consume coconut oil, but try not to let it come in contact with the skin around your mouth.

carrageenan (in caramel-almond, coffee caramel fudge, cherry garcia and coconut seven-layer bar) – this is an iodine-heavy thickener derived from seaweed and the body flushes excess iodides out through the skin. for that reason, we suggest limiting your consumption of these four flavors.

and if you’re sensitive to gluten, stick with chunky monkey and cherry garcia – these are the gluten-free options!
before you run to the nearest corner store to nab your favorite frozen pint, we’ve got one more caveat: the sugar content of these ben & jerry’s products is a little high. even though an ice cream flavor named after a beloved hippie rockstar sounds irresistible, cherry garcia and the rest of these flavors contain higher amounts of sugar than other non-dairy ice cream products on the market (25g per half cup vs. 13g in coconut bliss, 12g in almond dream and 5g in jöne’s gelato). sugar and soy can negatively impact acne-prone skin (more on soy in a new blog post coming soon). we recommend treating these ben & jerry’s products as occasional indulgences and seeking soy-free options for your regular ice cream cravings instead. if you can’t resist, the winner of the most acne-safe b&j’s flavor award is chunky monkey – so choose your vermont’s finest flavor wisely!

if you’re feeling adventurous and want to branch out into the decadent world of acne-safe ice cream just in time for summer, here is a list of some of our favorite brands that pass the sS test:

– coconut bliss – the house favorite! a dreamy, creamy coconut base that surrounds fun flavors like cinnamon chocolate fusion and ginger cookie caramel (check it out here)

– so delicious – a carrageenan-free product line! watch out for coconut oil and soy lecithin in some flavors and then bask in this super sweet and texturally-authentic ice cream (check it out here)

– jöne’s paleo – this smooth and squeaky-clean paleo gelato can be found all over the sf bay area and in whole foods stores across california (check it out here)

– mr. dewie’s – an oakland-based mom & pop ice cream company that shies away from soy and gluten and opts instead to amp up the protein content of its creations with creamy cashews (check it out here)

– almond dream – these products also contain small amounts of carrageenan for thickening purposes, but they are delicious! watch for soy lecithin in the chocolate chips! (check it out here)

– make your own! the internet is full of dairy-free ice cream recipes featuring homemade nut milks, coconut milk and even hemp milk! use our pinterest page to guide your courageous culinary endeavors.

(if you want to link to actual recipes, here are a couple – i’ve never made them but i trust these people)
this post was created for you by diane.

before + after micro-needling for acne scars

many of you are curious to know the results of my micro-needling experience to help reduce the appearance of textural scarring from acne. for a reminder about what textural scarring is and how micro-needling may help it, check out this blog post.

i received 6 full micro-needling treatments from natalie at the center for holistic skin rejuvenation in san francisco. during my initial consultation with her, i expressed that my main goal was to help reduce the appearance of the deep pitted scars on my cheeks where i used to have inflamed acne.

what were the treatments like? each treatment was one hour long. she began by cleansing my face with skinSALVATION charcoal cleanser, which i asked her to use to avoid future breakouts. she used a disposable needle roller on each area of my face for a total of about 10 minutes, which felt comparable to the pain of receiving extractions. after needling, she did full body acupuncture to help with internal issues like stress management, digestion, and hormone balance. i would lay on the table for 30 minutes with the acupuncture needles in, a heater on and relaxing music playing. this was my favorite part and felt like a total treat after the pain of the face treatment. at the end, she used safeguard sunscreen to help protect and moisturize my skin.

my skin felt hot and flushed for the remainder of the day and stayed pink for about 3 days post treatment. during these 3 healing days, i used hydrating cleanser morning and night, safeguard spf and hydrating cream. i didn’t use any other active products and did not apply makeup.

i waited at least 10 days before and after micro-needling treatments to receive extractions or chemical peels from skinSALVATION.

other than reduction of textural scarring, what did i notice? the micro-needling helped break up old scar tissue in my chin that looked like small seeds that we could never extract. i believe that these seeds were trapped so deep beneath scar tissue that they hadn’t been able to come to the surface before. micro-needling helped to bring these seeds to the surface, so i had a little bit of a, “purge” where i broke out. ultimately, this helped me be more clear and have a smooth chin.

am i happy with my results? yes. the reduction of my pitted textural scarring on my cheeks is not as dramatic as i anticipated. i hoped that after 6 treatments on micro-needling, the skin on my face would be flawless and as smooth as porcelain, but that wasn’t my experience. however, i love that:

  1. the scarring on my cheeks is much less noticeable
  2. i was able to bring the deep seeds in my chin up to the surface and get rid of them for good
  3. the acupuncture portion of the treatments helped me reduce overall stress and balance my hormones. my usual painful cramping associated with menstruation was MUCH better when i was receiving regular acupuncture from natalie.

who would i recommend this to? i would recommend micro-needling to people who have raised textural scarring on their skin. this might feel like little bumps on the skin that aren’t acne. if you aren’t sure if you have scarring or acne seeds, ask your esthetician at skinSALVATION.

if you have minimal pitted textural scarring, micro-needling may help you get closer to having completely smooth skin. like many treatments, there is no guarantee that you will have 100% success with this treatment. success depends on your skin type, genetics, natural collagen production, and severity of scarring.

the photos on the left-hand side are from before my treatments and the photos on the right are after 6 treatments, approximately 4.5 months later.

 

 

as you can see from the above photos (especially if you zoom in on them), there is some noticeable reduction in scarring on my cheeks and a reduction in hyper-pigmentation. the pigmentation is most likely lighter as a combined result of the micro-needling and chemical peels that i received during this time at skinSALVATION.

note from kim: keep in mind that this series of micro-needling was performed by an acupuncturist, and not a dermatologist.  acupuncturists are (legally) only able to work on the skin’s uppermost, superficial layers of the skin, rendering much milder results than a dermatologist would (who is legally able to access the deeper, subcutaneous dermal layers of the skin).  dermatologists, being board certified and having access to more aggressive tools and treatments, would likely be able to render more aggressive results.  for example, a dermatologist may employ anesthesia to numb you from the pain of going much deeper, into the dermal layers of the skin to stimulate more collagen remodeling, whereas acupuncturists are really only treating the epidermis, or upper-most superficial layers of the skin.

liesse has yet to explore the same therapy with a different, more aggressive approach, and we will be sure to document and share with you the results of further experimentation as we can!

 

 

the opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experience. this does not reflect the opinions of practitioners who perform micro-needling.

 

celebrate skinSALVATION’s 9th birthday with us!

skinSALVATION is celebrating 9 years of helping empower people with the tools that they need to get, and keep, clear skin FOR LIFE. we would love for you to join us in our celebration on march 25th from 3pm – 6pm. we will have cocktails, an acne-safe and soy-free noodle bar from mau vietnamese restaurant, and hundreds of dollars of gifts from skinSALVATION, kabuki spa, mateo’s taqueria and more. come hang out with kim and the entire skinSALVATION crew and let’s have a great time!