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Herbal Extracts Plus extends our warmest welcome to you, our friends (old and new) and longtime patrons!  Having previously supplied fine botanicals and natural nutrients since 1995, our company now provides our rich storehouse of accumulated valuable information. This includes current and previous scientific research and university studies, history and folk use, clinical trials and common usage of herbs, spices and natural supplements....and how alternative therapy using natural substances and lifestyle habits casn enhance your health  right now and maintain it for many years to come - the natural way.



Doctors May Encourage Moderate Dark Chocolate Consumption ~


Healthcare professionals may recommend moderate Dark Chocolate after daily consumption was tied to reduced heart disease risk factors.

Scientists from Warwick University (UK), the Luxembourg Institute of Health (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), the University of South Australia and the University of Maine (USA) conducted a cross-sectional study analyzing data collected from 1,153 participants, aged 18 to 69 years (over 80% of whom ate an average of 24.8g of dark Chocolate per day) and found that eating dark Chocolate daily in moderation was linked to fighting insulin resistance and reduced liver enzymes - risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The researchers noted that multiple components in dark Chocolate - particularly flavonoids - may contribute to the complex interplay between nutrition and health, and Cocoa-based dark Chocolate contains higher concentrations of flavonoids per serving than tea, apples and red wine. Moreover, the researchers added that “Cocoa-based products may offer an extraordinary opportunity to successfully improve compliance to dietary recommendations.” Potential applications of this knowledge may include recommendations by healthcare professionals to encourage consumption of a wide range of phytochemical-rich foods, which can include Cocoa-rich dark Chocolate in moderate amounts. Further observational prospective research and well-designed randomized-controlled studies are needed to confirm this cross-sectional relationship and to comprehend the role and mechanisms that different types of Chocolate may play in insulin resistance and cardio-metabolic disorders.

Sources: NutraIngredients and British Journal of Nutrition

Read the entire article with complete study details:


Doctors May Encourage Moderate Dark Chocolate Consumption ~



Read other, previous research about more health benefits of Cocoa ~


Cocoa May Help Diabetics Regulate Insulin,

Says Study ~




herbday2016 copy.jpgHerb Day.

May 7, 2016


Always the First

Saturday in May!


Free and open to the public, the annual American Botanical Council Herb Day celebration will take place at the nonprofit's historic headquarters at the Case Mill Homestead in Austin, Texas. Visitors can enjoy refreshments, books and plants for sale, as well as expert-led garden tours and lectures. Learn more.



no longer offers our fine botanicals for sale and we are now an independent, not-for-profit educational site. The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. You should not use the information herein for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of medication or treatment. We have always recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.We do not endorse or sell products, nor verify the content or claims made with respect to outside research collected for this site, either implicit or explicit, nor responsible for any consequences of the use of this information. Herbal Extracts Plus does not profit in any way from the information herein, which is copyrighted by Herbal Extracts Plus, unless otherwise credited.

Visit our study articles on important herbal therapy. There is also additional info on our Suggested Reading webpage if you're looking for more! 

Enjoy, and thank you for visiting

Herbal Extracts Plus Information ~

Your Home for Good Health ~

for Life!

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Macular degeneration is the main cause of severe vision loss as we get older. Here are six prevention tips from New Jersey's Warren Hospital: Don't Smoke ~ Wear Sunglasses ~ Eat Kale, Nuts, Spinach and Fish with Omega-3 Fatty Acids ~ Exercise ~ Keep Weight Down to avoid diabetes. Check out some eye-healthy botanicals too: Bilberry, Eyebright and Carrots are great for our eyes.

Okay? Now...




Even for people with no particular vocal cord ailments or speech problems, overuse can have adverse effects. Here are a few tips to help preserve your voice: Drink plenty of water ~ Don’t talk for long periods of time without a break (difficult for people in communications) ~ Avoid secondhand smoke ~ Breathe through your nose ~ Do not yell - or whisper (both strain the voice) ~ Don’t talk through a cold (try to rest your voice). Lozenges with honey and lemon can be soothing, and the herb, Butterbur, helps soothe sore throat inflammation and ease laryngitis, hoarseness, tracheitis and smoker’s cough.


Eat Those Fruits and Veggies.


A nine-year study from 2009 with 452,755 participants found that increased intake of fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by as much as twenty-five percent! That large European study from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health revealed that the highest average intakes of fruit and vegetables were associated with a fourteen percent reduction in colorectal cancer risk, and a twenty-five percent reduction in the risk of colon cancer. Now, a 2016 study also found that antioxidant-rich COFFEE intake can help decrease colorectal cancer risk. Looks like MOTHER EARTH provides rich botanical nutrition to help us stay healthy, and...YOUR MOTHER AGREES!

When Stress is a DOWNER,

Pick UP Your Spirits ~

Try Proven Stress Beating Strategies: Socialize: Seeing friends, relatives and staying connected is paramount. Exercise regularly: It reduces anxiety, releases tension and spurs the brain to produce brain chemicals that create a sense of well-being (try for 30 to 60 minutes, three times weekly). Eat a healthy, balanced diet(lots of fruits and veggies). Let it all out: If you’re sad, cry; if you’re happy, laugh heartily; if you’re angry, get mad. Don’t hold in your emotions. Practice slow, deep breaths: Shallow breathing seems to send stress signals to the brain; deep, slow breathing soothes. Try something new like yoga or meditation; if you don’t like it, try something else. Enjoy hobbies or activities that you love: Make time daily and weekly for reading, playing music, dancing, gardening, visiting friends, swimming, going to concerts, museums, picnics or walks - for fun and stress relief. Look into some natural help with gentle Lady's Slipper or Chamomile. After all, we deserve to be happy.



You may not know you have high blood pressure until you suffer a heart attack, stroke or other serious health complication. Be Proactive: Have regular checkups to check blood pressure levels. Eat a healthy diet: Avoid high fat or sugary foods (contribute to high blood pressure), and eat whole grains, fish (with Omega-3 Fatty Acids, skinless poultry, nuts, fruits and veggies, plus low-fat and low-sodium foods. Exercise: Aim for thirty minutes of cardiovascular activity each day, but if short on time, break up workouts into three, ten-minute segments over the course of the day. Walk around the block, dance to your favorite CD, or work out to an exercise DVD. Ask your doctor about natural therapy with Garlic and other cardiac friendly botanical foods.



The weekend is here, so start your new week with a nice brisk WALK! The weather is spring-like; it’s warm; the days are longer, so start the new week by getting the family together or calling a friend and challenging each other to walk a little farther and faster than last time. Let the new week be the start of a new healthier you - without a whole lot of effort, whole lot of money, but maybe a whole lot of fun.


Slippery Elm Bark soothes and reduces inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Its high mucilage content soothes the inflamed mucous membranes of the stomach and neutralizes excess acids in the intestines. As a bowel lubricant it can be beneficial for Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome IBS). It has also been used to ease both constipation and chronic diarrhea. No more distress - only a soothed gastrointestinal tract!


Dental experts say people's teeth are eroding with a loss of protective enamel at a faster rate than ever. Dental erosion occurs when enamel is worn away by acids in the mouth, leaving teeth sensitive, cracked and discolored. Dentists blame soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices with high amounts of acid, but sugar in most of those drinks also plays a role, because bacterial plaque on teeth absorbs sugar from drinks and foods and excretes an acid that eats away at tooth enamel. In soft drinks (especially colas), one of the main flavoring agents is phosphoric acid; and people often make the situation worse by holding the drink in the mouth to enjoy the flavor or fizzing - increasing exposure to the drink's acids and sugars. Consider a new drink regimen: Water is good for the whole body, Green Tea is actually good for teeth, and unsalted veggie juices are loaded with nourishment and very satisfying. After all, having NO teeth can make that smiling face a very sad one, indeed. Thank about that!

CALLING ALL OUTDOOR LOVERS: LYME DIDEASE is a bacterial infection that is characterized by a bull’s eye rash and flu symptoms (headache, fever, nausea), and the best way to avoid the disease (which can cause serious complications) is to avoid tick bites. Wear light-colored hat, shoes, socks tucked into long trousers when in heavy woods or tall grasses. Put clothes worn into a hot dryer for twenty minutes before washing to kill ticks attached to fabrics. After being out, check your body, scalp, hind ears and knees for ticks. If you find one, remove it with tweezers (grabbing close to skin and slowly lifting straight up). Save the tick and take to your doctor to check if the insect is infected. Antibiotics have been known to treat most cases of Lyme disease if detected and treated. Think about preventive care with anti-tick repellent or Cat's Claw, a fine plant-based antibacterial that has shown an ability to combat bacterial infection with immune-stimulant effects to help fight Lyme disease invasion.


Consuming Trans Fat significantly increases risk of cardiovascular disease by raising LDL (bad) cholesterol and decreasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Trans Fat foods also increase belly fat, a sign of metabolic syndrome. Some food labels proclaim “0 grams Trans Fat” but still list hydrogenated oils in the ingredients. If a food lists “partially hydrogenated” or “fully hydrogenated” oils in its ingredients, then it definitely contains Trans Fats, despite the “0 grams trans fat” claim. How come? FDA rules state that when a product contains less than 0.5 grams of Trans Fat per serving, the number on the nutrition label can be rounded down to zero, but this doesn’t make the product free of Trans Fat. That half gram per serving is still there. Avoid Trans Fat altogether. It most commonly hides in cookies, crackers, microwave popcorn, margarine and other processed foods. Even if you see 0 grams Trans Fat, check the ingredients for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. If they’re listed, do not eat this food - it has Trans Fat.


The American diet, especially what you fellas refer to as “man food” (red meat, high-fats and few fruits and vegetables) dramatically increase risk for prostate problems and cancer. Studies say a preventive approach just might head off prostate trouble, and lifestyle changes and regularly consuming certain foods, herbs and other natural substances may protect or slow progress of prostate problems by targeting two bodily processes that underlie all prostate problems: oxidation and inflammation. Thus, reduce consumption of red meat, fried foods, high-fat dairy, sugar and simple starches (white flour, etc.), and eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy supplements. Selenium and vitamin E may reduce risk, and Lycopene from Tomato is another antioxidant associated with low risk. In Asia, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, Green Tea might be a clue to their low prostate cancer rates, and old-reliable Saw Palmetto supports good prostate health, especially prostate enlargement.



When there are a million things to do every day, and our schedules feel too packed to fit in a one- or two-hour exercise workout, it seems impossible to get it all done. Luckily, we don’t have to work out for an hour straight for results. Small bits of exercise throughout the day can add up to a big difference - and it may actually be better for our health to be physically active throughout the day - as opposed to doing it all at once - since researchers found that sitting all day long can cancel out some of the benefits we get from exercising. The message is clear: Small bits of exercise throughout the day can add up to big, better benefits.


Writing in the journal, Nutrition, scientists claim that fat-free milk could relieve constipation. While full-fat milk consumption may lead to constipation, as unabsorbed fatty acids left in the intestines bind to calcium in the intestinal channel, the new research suggests that drinking fat-free milk may have the opposite effect, actually helping to relieve constipation and irregularity problems. In the study, fat-free milk supplementation resulted in an increase in regularity and an improvement in stool softness among chronic constipation patients. Researchers also found that two peptide hormone levels that stimulate intestinal mobility (motilin and ghrelin) were increased by a statistically significant amount after fat-free milk consumption and may play a role in reducing the severity of constipation or giving total relief from the problem. Other natural help can come from botanicals like mild, and effective Psyllium husks for safe daily regularity. Read/See why.

Exercise For Body Building & Exercise For BRAIN Building???

We already know that exercise can help stave off or delay dementia - but did you know that regular workouts can actually reverse ageing in the brain? Aerobic exercise enhances speed and sharpness of thought, but it also increases the volume of brain tissue. As little as fifty minutes of brisk walking three times a week was found to have this brain-expanding effect. For an added boost, walk in the park: Researchers found that test subjects whose course took them through a tree-filled setting performed twenty percent better on memory and attention tests than those who walked in town.


Who Isn't?

About twenty-two percent of calories consumed by Americans come from liquids. An easy way to lose weight and save hundreds of calories a day if you are currently getting many of your calories from liquids is to switch to water or teas or calorie-free sodas. Here's how: Every day switch one drink that has calories with one that doesn't. If you drink three sodas a day, make one iced tea on the first day. If you drink orange juice each morning, switch to hot tea or water with lemon. Keep making these switches until you are drinking no calories. Try this for one week. You may reduce your daily calories without even changing anything that you eat. Here’s another tip: It takes at least twenty minutes after eating for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full, but most of us finish a meal in ten minutes. Give your stomach time to catch up to your brain by slowing down your eating, and fill your plate with salads with olive oil or low calorie/fat free dressings and lots of colorful vegetables. After putting food in your mouth, put your fork on the table and let go. Do not touch the fork until your mouth is empty. Repeat through the entire meal and savor each mouthful and the taste. Need help? Think about natural herbals like Magnolia Bark that is said to inhibit the body’s cortisol production (substance that encourages fat storage) and may be effective in weight loss programs.

Natural PainkillersTHAT WORK!

Every day, more than thirty million Americans take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen for everything from headaches to sport injuries to back pain, Though these drugs stop the pain, they also bring along unsettling side effects. The more you use them, the more you raise your risk for ulcers, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attack and kidney damage. No need to grin and bear it though: Nature has provided an array of gentle remedies that soothe pain effectively. Instead, check out Boswellia; It is a particularly effective anti-inflammatory and used to relieve joint pain and improve mobility; and new research confirms its efficacy for relieving the aches and pains of rheumatism, arthritis and osteoarthritis of the knee.


We already know that exercise and a healthy diet help you live longer, but did you know that friendships do too? Studies show that friends boost your immune system, ease stress and help prevent depression. According to doctors at Lehigh Valley Health Network, humans need connections, and our friends make us feel good about who we are. While old friends may be especially dear, it’s vital to also add new ones; friendships naturally come and go in life. If your circle is too small, seek out people with common interests: Join that book club, gym, swim or dance class, political club or support group. Making friends takes time, but this is really worth the investment that truly pays off.


A nice cold beer is not only refreshing; it may also help strengthen bones. A report from the International Journal of Endocrinology noted that HOPS and BARLEY-rich beer are a good source of the mineral silicon - so important for bone formation and health. Read about these healthy botanicals - with all the benefits - but without that beer.


Do you know what’s causing  it? Hint: It’s not only the Pollen count. There are a number of reasons, but one major cause is Stress (work, family, financial problems or just from life in general), and our Hormones (think cortisol) released in times of stress can trigger an immune response that results in chronic inflammation and allergies. Good news: Doing yoga and popping anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries can calm your system. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet as your first step during allergy season (on its way right now). If you eat inflammatory foods (wheat, milk, eggs, saturated fats, processed foods, heavily refined carbohydrates, peanuts), your seasonal allergies will be much worse. Instead, eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole (gluten-free) grains. And ask your doctor about helpful natural herbals too, like Eyebright or Mullein Leaf. Consider all the above for real relief; alergy season is right around the corner. Be prepared!!!



When dining out, ask your server to hold the bread and butter until your meal is ready. That way you'll eat less (and fewer carbs and fats) and leave room for the good nutritious food. And don’t rush the meal. Researchers have found that feeling full is a complex equation of time, thinking about food, number of chews, number of swallows, and a visual estimate of how much you have eaten. Feel full on less food by chewing your food more, thinking about the food as you eat it and taking longer to eat. Little things add up when you’re watching your diet and your calories.


If you thought Lemon Balm is related to lemons or a member of the citrus family, think again! It is a member of the mint family. The name, Lemon, describes the plant's glorious fragrance when the leaves are bruised, and it has been used for thousands of years as an effective calmative for all kinds of nervous problems, including tension headaches, migraines, neuralgia, tension, stress, anxiety, excitability and heart palpations (caused by anxiety). Known as “The Calming Herb,” it is used to relax muscle tension without daytime drowsiness.


When trying to develop healthier eating habits, avoid tempting situations that may influence you to fall into old or new unhealthy habits. For example, if you’re prone to buying excessive amounts of junk foods or snacks at the grocery store, avoid aisles that display these foods. You’ll have a better chance of success in breaking a bad habit if you have a new (workable, realistic) good habit to replace it.

Lower Osteoporosis Risk?

Prevent Falls !!

Avoiding fractures is key to keeping bones healthy, whether you have bone loss or not. To prevent a fall that could cause a fracture, minimize clutter and be sure that area rugs are anchored to the floor. Eliminate throw rugs and loose cords. Wearing sturdy, rubber-soled shoes also can reduce the risk of falling. To help keep your bones strong, eat lots of green vegetables like Spinach, drink calcium-rich non-fat milk and boost low calcium intake to recommended levels by exercising regularly. We need calcium every day. Coral Calcium is a wonderful way to provide the vital mineral that is necessary for strong bones.



Did you know that pungent, strong-smelling Onion is a cousin of the beautiful sweet-smelling and fragrant lily? Onion may not smell like a flower, but it is a powerhouse of health benefits and does help protect us against infection of all kinds, build the immune system and support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The ancient Egyptians must have known about these health benefits; they worshipped the Onion as the symbol of "Eternal Life."

"F" - as in FAT ~

Obesity rates are climbing and are a huge U.S.A. public health challenge. Even worse, research shows nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight. Currently, more than twelve million children and adolescents are considered obese - a very serious problem - and there is only one way to lose weight - a simple mathematical formula: We must burn more calories than we eat, so it’s time to Count Calories. Skip fast/junk food stops and soft drinks. Prepare healthy meals at home, and make it mostly veggies and fruits, plus whole grains (not too much), non-fat dairy, healthy oils, skinless poultry breasts, fish with important Omega-3 Fatty Acids; and minimize animal fat from meat (95% lean). Time to get the kids away from the TV and computers and outside for exercise (and fun). Time for the family to sit down together and talk, eat slowly and eat healthy (let the kids participate in healthy food preparation and be creative with colorful foods). Adults, if you need extra help, talk to your doctor about a sensible weight loss regimen and natural therapy with herbs like White Kidney Bean or Garcinia or Magnolia Bark.


Swearing off your favorite food can sometimes backfire. You end up eating other high calorie foods to satisfy your craving and continue even when you are not satisfied or even hungry. Instead, give in to temptation, BUT with a small portion that fits your weekly calorie budget - and then, eat it slowly, savoring the taste, enjoying the moment, and your special treat.


We may think that the “No Smoking” message is loud and clear to kids, but this is not the case. Sadly, every year, thousands of youngsters take up the smoking habit, so the “No-Smoking” message needs to be sent consistently from multiple people. Whether you are a parent, teacher, aunt, uncle, grandparent or health care provider, take time to figure out how you can help young people get the “No Smoking" message - before It’s Too Late - before “Trying It” becomes The Deadly Smoking Habit. Interestingly, for those who wish to stop smoking, it is said that Plantain can help "Quit The Habit" by including it in a gargle.


Begin each new week by thinking of Monday as your new start for healthy living. Stay within the (general) recommended daily 2000 calorie limit by snacking on fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheese and non-fat yogurt. Drink lots of water (with lemon wedge) with (and between) all meals (try for eight, eight-ounce glasses daily). This week, determine to read and compare nutrition labels before each meal. And don’t be fooled by a low calorie count at the top! Look at serving size and number of servings per package and multiply for a true reading of what is in the package (same for salt content).


Scientists from Wheeling, West Virginia’s Jesuit University have found that the scent of  Peppermint Leaf or Cinnamon in your car can make you more alert when behind the wheel. Their study found that drivers demonstrated decreased levels of frustration, anxiety and fatigue when exposed to the two fragrances, and they were also more observant. Previous research had indicated that Peppermint and Cinnamon aromas helped to enhance motivation, performance and alertness, as well as decrease fatigue and serve as central nervous system stimulants - all of which may be helpful when associated with prolonged driving. Imagine! Some driving help in-between those coffee stops!

Longer Life?  LET'S GO!

A recent study found that only fifteen minutes of daily exercise led to a three-year longer life expectancy. Also, every fifteen minutes of exercise increased that benefit, but even that fifteen minutes of activity was shown to make a significant difference. You don’t need a fancy gym or special equipment, because there are so many easy ways for you to get in those fifteen minutes: a brisk walk, lively dancing, aerobics in place. Fifteen minutes is a small price to pay for such a big reward. Start today - and remember your fifteen minutes every day. After all, so little can mean so much and make a big difference.


Science tells us that artificially sweetened “diet” foods and beverages tend to trigger appetite, increase cravings for empty-calorie carbohydrates and stimulate fat storage. Opt out, or go for healthy natural sweeteners like honey, real maple syrup or plant-based Stevia Leaf. It’s used as a table-top sweetener, in soft drinks, baked goods, fruit juices, jams, jellies, candies, yogurts, chewing gum, sherbets and more.


The University of Pennsylvania says the beginning of the week, like the beginning of the year, is a good time to reset your goals. Reinforcing this “fresh start” on Mondays with weekly reminders is a powerful way to help us sustain healthy habits over time. Hit the “reset” button. Whatever unhealthy behaviors you got into over the weekend, forgive yourself, let them go, and start fresh. Decide what health goal is your most important to achieve (and might have wandered from), and recommit. Break up that bigger resolution or goal into smaller more manageable steps and take one small step each Monday. Keep at it. Remind yourself that slip-ups happen to everyone, and every Monday is a new opportunity to try again.


Several studies have found that people who ate protein-rich eggs, instead of a bagel for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight and had a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference. Protein can help us lose weight (especially belly fat), and increase muscle mass and strength. Try to include other high protein foods or supplements in your diet, i.e., Chlorella, Oat Straw, Broccoli and Pumpkin Seed to name only a few.




Did you know that one in every ten adults suffers from some level of depression, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control)? There are meds, but many often carry brutal side effects like lethargy or worse, but there are also readily-available natural botanical solutions. Saint John's Wort is a popular natural calming herbal supplement and mood enhancer that helps banish the blues, manage stress, anxiety and mood swings.


If you are gaining weight for no discernible reason, it could be a faulty thyroid gland (located in your neck). Thyroid disease can slow metabolism, which leads to weight gain. Check with the doctor if any swelling in the neck, a visibly enlarged neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, difficulty swallowing or a hoarse, raspy voice can all be signs of thyroid disease. There are helpful meds, but be sure to ask your doctor about natural therapy with iodine-rich seaweeds like Kelp and Bladderwrack; they can be very helpful for thyroid problems and slow metabolism.


U.S.D.A. reports tell us that people with Type-2 diabetes who consume just a pinch or light sprinkle (one gram) of Cinnamon daily can experience a drop in blood sugar. The research shows that extracts of Cinnamon increase insulin activity, enhancing the breakdown of glucose and improving blood sugar concentrations. Enjoy your Cinnamon: Sprinkle powdered Cinnamon on your morning cereal, in your coffee or dusted on your yogurt.


Test Before Smearing ~

Before you use skin ointments or topical creams (including hair products), check them out to see if you’re allergic: Apply a small amount to your elbow. Wait forty-eight to seventy-two hours and then check the skin. If it is red, itchy or bumpy, you’re probably reacting badly, find something else; you’re allergic. Learn how to make your own herbal rinses, creams and ointments at Herbal Extracts Plus Information Herbal Preparations

WANT TO LOOK YOUNGER? Doesn't Everybody?

You may find help with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Dermatologists often recommend this supplement to help improve skin. These essential fats - which must be obtained from the diet or supplements because our bodies cannot make them - are a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin supple. They also aid in the production of hormones that improve skin texture and help combat the inflammatory damage wrought by free radicals - one of the causes of wrinkles and blotchiness. You may find yourself looking younger, but (even better), you may actually start feeling better too. Eat salmon or tuna or take Omega-3 supplements to get the one great fat that is really healthy.


Too much salt can wreak havoc with your system, and excess salt can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. However, secret sodium is the real danger. We actually get only ten to twenty percent of our daily intake from table salt; the rest is hidden in our foods (usually processed). So watch for the culprits like deli meats, frozen dinners and snacks, canned foods and soups, veggie juices, ketchup, relish and even bran cereals. The best remedies include reading labels for sodium contents, eating healthy fresh and unprocessd foods and, of course,getting exercise. If you need extra flavor for your foods, consider herbs and spices.

Exercise is Key

to a Healthy Life ~

Physical activity isn't just a way to lose weight; it’s an essential step towards a long, vibrant life! Work on your fitness routine, this week. Start out with smaller amounts of exercise at lower intensities and gradually progress to moderate-intensity activity to reduce your risk of injury. And don't be intimidated. After all, hiking is just walking with a better view.


Today start a new Fitness Journal. Writing down the exercises you do each day is a great tool to keep track of exactly how much exercise you’re getting overall - and where you might need some adjustments (a bit more as a challenge perhaps?). It is as important as a Food Journal is for dieters, in order to keep track of exactly how much food and exactly how many calories you are really eating. You’ll get a realistic picture of your habits and also observe patterns: Morning exercises better for you than evenings? Lunches from home better than restaurant? Too many easy-to-grab snacks around? Having to face THE Journals every day and face the truth is enough to motivate anyone. Start today and get motivated - and healthier.



Resveratrol is the important compound found in the Red Wine Grape Skin and GrapeSeed. Research from the University of Colorado tells us that it can help fight off cancer by killing damaged cells before they replicate. Red Wine provides the compound and so will a handful of delicious Red Grapes, supplemental Red Grape (with resveratrol extract) or a morning cup of low-sugar Red Grape Juice (100% juice). Grab Grapes for Great Grape Gorgeousness - and Health.


Make the most of your TV watching time by adding some exercise. Use weights and resistance bands while sitting, or get off the couch during commercials for cardio activities like running in place and jumping jacks. Even if you watch only a few shows a week, you’ll be adding a good bit of exercise to your routine! Try a workout during your favorite shows this week. You can even choose different routines for different shows, or use each commercial break to try and beat your last record! Don’t become a couch potato; you’ll start resembling a real potato and feeling worse.

Hypertension and Weight

Being overweight places a strain on your heart and increases your risk of high blood pressure. That is why diets to lower blood pressure are often also designed to control calories. They typically call for cutting down on fatty foods and added sugars, while increasing fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber. Even losing 10 pounds can make a difference. Think about that when getting into your new year health programs. If you need extra help, check out natural help with herbs like Garcinia for supporting decreased appetite, increased metabolism (helping to burn fat) and elevated body heat for potential caloric burning).


(Burn More Calories)

Ohio State University scientists tell us changing your walking speeds will burn more calories. We all know that walking is a great way to get your exercise, but the scientists (professors of mechanical and aerospace engineering) say simply varying the pace of your daily hoof can burn a whopping 20% more calories than those who keep up a constant speed. Changing speeds is important because acceleration and deceleration require more energy than steady maintenance, and when more energy is used, more calories are burned. Vary your speed, walk in a curve and then a straight line. Try quick small steps and then a longer loping gait. Speed up and then slow down, but just be sure to WALK your way to good health and maybe even good looks?


As night falls and the moon rises, the fragrant, lemon-scented Evening Primrose blooms; but by daybreak, the flowers fade and await the new blossoms that will bloom the next evening. Native Americans used the herb as a painkiller. Modern science knows that this heavenly flower possesses the rare gamma linolenic acid (GLA) that helps dilate blood vessels and reduces blockage, thus helping to lower heart attack and stroke risk - and GLA may lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, further reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Now, there's a story with a happy ending.

Watch Those Calories!

You crave eggnog and hot chocolate during winter get-togethers, but they're both high in fat and sugar. Plus, the alcohol in some holiday drinks lowers your blood sugar, which sends a hunger signal to your brain. Fear not. You can make healthier versions of holiday drinks using skim milk and a sugar substitute (natural Stevia Leaf has been approved by the USFDA as a calorie-free sweetener), and for hot cocoa, use dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Natural Cocoa has many wonderful (and important) health benefits.Try sparkling white grape juice as a healthy, non-alcoholic, champagne-like drink. Limit alcohol to no more than two, 4-ounce glasses of wine daily for men, and no more than one for women.

One More Reason To EXERCISE

(An Interesting Study)

According to a University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute study, athletes do a better job at making it across a busy thoroughfare. The researchers say it wasn't because they were moving faster than the non-athletes, but that they were thinking faster. The athletes were sizing up the situation better by visualizing their surroundings more sharply, and then their brains processed the additional data from the scene, using it to stay out of harm's way. The researchers noted that the athletes may possibly just have had faster brain functions to start with, so they couldn't draw an absolute conclusion that sports made them think faster. However, there does appear to be an association between the agility developed by participating in sports and an increase in certain brain functions. Even if you don’t have to scramble across a street and dodge heavy traffic, it’s always helpful to have good reflexes and improved mental and physical agility - AND, at the very least you’ll be fit.


Try Some Important Advice From Optometrists. For Computer Users: Follow the 20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes be sure to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, create a friendly workstation by lowering and tilting the monitor to reduce screen glare. Check light levels, blink your eyes often (important) and adjust your seat. A good diet that includes yellow and green leafy vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Carrot, Sweet Potatoes) - plus Omega-3 Fatty Acids (from cold water fish or Flaxseed), nuts and seeds (Sunflower, Almonds, Walnuts) and tasty fruits (Mangoes, Blueberry, Apricots) will all help to improve eye health and protect retinal function.

NO Competition Required -

You don’t need athletic prowess to be active! There are plenty of solo and team activities that emphasize fun and fitness, rather than competition or scoring points. Try playing games with like-minded friends, taking a dance class or going for a run, bike ride or swim. Find your personal motivation this week and try an activity that reflects your interests. Instead of keeping score, simply consider the physical and mental benefits of your new activity.


GOOD As Running ~

Running may be more efficient in terms of calories burned, but if you walk a longer distance to make up for not running, you will get many of the same benefits as running. That includes a reduced risk of hyper-tension, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary heart disease. The message is clear: If walking suits you better than running, then by all means: Walk On!


Home-cooked meals take all the guesswork out of eating. Preparing your own dishes ensures a properly portioned, balanced meal with fewer calories, less sodium and saturated fat than packaged or fast-foods. You can also easily incorporate whole grains and unprocessed foods into your diet and save yourself a bit of cash while enjoying healthier foods! Aim to prepare at least half of your meals at home this week. Make it easy by coming up with a few meal ideas on Monday, and heading to your local supermarket. Eat healthy (and save money) by bringing your leftovers for lunch.


That is a very bad habit. While you don’t have to dwell on it constantly, it’s important to develop good overall habits to benefit your complete daily health and especially your heart. Exercise, eat a healthy diet (delicious Mediterranean is great), and know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar). Don’t wait to get to work on keeping your heart healthy; the ideal time to do your heart a favor is right now!


Follow The Food Trail ~ Keep track of how much you’re eating by living with the visible evidence of your food packaging and remains. One study offering all-you-can eat chicken wings found that participants whose leftover bones had been cleared away ate 34% more than diners whose remnants remained at the table. That’s a lot of wings! Visual reminders - like candy wrappers, soda cans and take-out bags - can help you keep track of how much you’ve already consumed, so you’ll be less likely to overeat. This week take the no-throw challenge and keep your wrappers, empty containers, bags and other bits on the table during the entire meal. You might also want to look through your car or home trash for remnants of unnecessary snacks (Surprise, surprise! Did I eat all that?).


Get in the Habit: Is physical activity part of your everyday routine? Having an exercise habit means you’ll be more likely to keep moving (or start up again if you fall off the wagon). Make fitness part of your daily life by adding extra steps to your commute or taking an active lunch break. Stick with it despite obligations by exercising while on the phone or playing fun fitness games with your kids and pets. This weekend, think of little ways you can add motion to your busy life. Renew your commitment each week (Monday is a great day to restart), and soon fitness will feel just as routine as brushing your teeth or combing your hair. You will just feel better and look better too.



Often, mealtimes are anything but relaxing; the chaos of daily life leaves hardly any time to enjoy dinner! Many studies show that a relaxing dinner experience is beneficial to everyone, whether you’re eating alone or with your family. To create a positive dining atmosphere, turn off ALLtechnology and eat at a table with nice place settings. This week, schedule at least one relaxing dinner to enjoy time with your family and/or friends. The dinner doesn’t have to be perfect, either; it can be very simple and casual, but do try to make it a healthy-happy one. As long as you’re enjoying the experience, there’s no need to stress about any mistakes that occurred while planning, serving or cooking. Just enjoy the food, the company - and the moment.


Have you ever reached for a glass of Gingerale when your stomach was upset? Well, you are on the right track. Ginger Root is a time-honored and an ancient herbal remedy for upset stomach, indigestion, motion sickness and cramps. Keep up the good work; your stomach will thank you.


An often-overlooked strategy for preventing blood pressure is managing stress, so Learn Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises and yoga are powerful stress-busters. Manage Time: The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level. Get Enough Sleep: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep negatively affects mood, mental clarity, energy and physical health. Strengthen Social Ties: Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, seeing friends or participating in a support group. Nurture Yourself: Treat yourself to a massage. Savor an experience -for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music. Resolve Stressful Situations: D0 NOT let them fester if you can. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and work. Ask For Help: Don't be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends or a family member. If stress and anxiety persist, ask your doctor about helpful meds or natural herbs (like Chamomile or Lemon Balm) to relax. Life should be enjoyed, so enjoy every minute in good health and peace of mind.


Tired of really bad hair days? Dandruff can torment your scalp, making it itchy, irritable and excessively flaky - not to mention embarrassing. Triggers such as diet, stress, sun and wind damage, cold weather, poor health and excessive use of hair products can provoke the condition, but the true culprit may be the oil-eating fungus, malassezia. Although it also dwells on healthy heads, this fungus thrives in dandruff sufferers, feasting on the hair’s oil. To combat the flakes naturally, look for shampoos that contain an antifungal and antibiotic agent or zinc, which helps regulate oil glands. Making your own herbal rinses can help too: Try some Burdock Root or Eucalyptus Leafare great for fighting dandruff and have antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Read about them and see why.


Your skin craves good nutrition just like the rest of your body, so take care of it. Start with clean skin: Wash with warm or cool water (hot water strips away skin's natural moisture). Pat your face dry (don't rub). Apply moisturizers while skin is still damp (creamy one for dry skin or an oil-free, foaming for oily skin). Eat lots of vegetables, lean protein and whole grains (important nutrients feed skin from within). Studies tell us nutrients can improve and protect skin. Avocado’s healthy high fat, mineral, vitamin content helps fight ravages of age, sun and wind damage while softening and smoothing skin. Don't smoke (ages skin and encourages wrinkles). Exercise daily (boosts blood flow to skin, and sweating flushes out dirt). De-stress (makes skin more sensitive and worsens breakouts), so find a way to unwind. Stay out of the sun unless completely protected.

DE-STRESS...Help Your Heart!

Stress can influence heart disease in subtle ways, even causing some people to act in ways that increase heart disease risk, i.e., eating unhealthy food, having no energy and taking no time to exercise. Others find comfort in other heart-damaging behaviors (smoking and drinking too much alcohol). Let’s try some easy way to help deal with stress and break unhealthy habits. Stay positive. Laughter can lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries and increase "good" HDL cholesterol. Meditate. Practicing inward-focused thought and deep breathing can help reduce heart disease risks like hypertension. Its close relatives, Yoga and Prayer, can also relax the mind and body. Exercise. Every physical activity, whether walking or playing tennis, helps release mood-boosting chemicals (endorphins). Exercise not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscle and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Unplug. It's impossible to escape stress IF it follows everywhere. Cut the cord. Take time each day - even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes - to escape from the world. Avoid negative people, e-mails and TV news. Find your own ways to escape stress - simple things like a warm bath, listening to music or enjoying a favorite hobby - can provide a much-needed break from the stressors in life. Some herbs can soothe: Chamomile and Lavender are very gentle and may be very helpful; give one a try.

Watch What You Are Doing and

Mixing When Taking Medicines: Many fruit juices can influence efficacy of medications. Grapefruit juice has long been known to interact with certain meds (i.e., cholesterol or blood-pressure-lowering), but now scientists have found that taking apple juice and orange juice within two hours of taking your pills can also disrupt some other medications, including hay fever meds, anti-cancer drugs, beta blockers and antibiotics. Because other drugs may also be affected by fruit juices, researchers recommend taking medications with good old-fashioned water!

Lose Weight To


Did you know that if you lose just two pounds, you could improve your gastrointestinal symptoms? Extra pounds, especially around the midsection, can worsen digestive issues like heartburn, gas and belching. Of course, always check with your doctor before starting a weight loss program, but this could be quite helpful for these discomforts.


Although it can be hard to discuss stressful situations, keeping perspective and coming up with potential solutions is an important part of remaining calm and moving forward. Friends - who are often facing similar issues or have advice from past experiences - can sometimes provide the perfect support system to help you do just that. If you feel stressed this week, ask good friends or close family members or clergy to lend an ear. They may be able to offer insight that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Talking things through can be very helpful and even lighten the heavy burden of stress. If you suffer from insomnia, stress and anxiety, check out Chamomile as a natural sedative and tonic to soothe the nerves, induce sleep, help calm colitis and ease a nervous stomach. It’s the most gentle of all the ancient herbs that is still popular today (that must mean something?).



Research tells us that exercise can help stave off or delay dementia - but did you know that regular workouts may actually reverse ageing in the brain? Aerobic exercise enhances speed and sharpness of thought, but it also increases the volume of brain tissue. As little as fifty minutes of brisk walking three times a week was found to have this brain-expanding effect. For an added boost, walk in the park: Studies found that test subjects whose course took them through a tree-filled setting performed twenty percent better on memory and attention tests than those who walked in town. Think of it as food not only for the brain, but food for the soul as well.


Many times stress is the result of little things that were left unresolved, like work projects, medical visits, paperwork and other household concerns. These tasks can hang over your head week after week, building up stress without you even realizing it. This week, set out to solve the little problems in your life. Sit down this Monday and write a list of all the small things that have piled up; then come up with a realistic comfortable time line to make them disappear. By catching up and completing these goals, you can feel in control again! Need extra help? Look into natural help with gentle Passion Flower.

Everything OLD IS NEW Again!

Ancient Greeks and Romans not only used the herb Thyme to spice up their foods, they also burned it to fumigate and purify their rooms. In World War One, Thyme was used to purify surfaces and air in  hospitals and sickrooms to destroy bacterial infection. Today? We still add delicious Thyme to so many of our foods - AND - check out the label on your Listerine antibacterial mouthwash, and take note of its important active ingredient: It is thymol - the very same active antibacterial compound extracted from Thyme! The same delicious herb that flavors our food delivers good health too. Imagine! The old-timers already knew all this!

An ELEPHANT Never Forgets?

Sri Lankans believe that Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) promotes longevity on the basis that long-living and very smart elephants eat it (not exactly scientific), but Gotu Kola is often called "The Memory Herb" because its potent circulatory effects help revitalize brain cells, and it is often used in herbal therapy to enhance mental activity, concentration and managing memory loss.


Have you ever heard of a beautiful flower associated with good health? It's true: Word of American Indian and Colonial usage of the beautiful Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) roused the curiosity of physicians in Europe, where today it remains one of the most sought-after herbs, particularly in Germany, where doctors have been known to prescribe Echinacea as often as they prescribe antibiotics. It’s one of nature’s most powerful natural antibiotics, and it is great for supporting a strong immune system and helping to stimulate the body's resistance to infection. People often take it prior to travel to build up immunity to infectious bacteria and viral exposure in different environments from home.



Recent research suggests that poor oral hygiene (brushing less than twice daily) actually increases the risk of cardio-vascular disease. Brush Your Teeth with a soft-bristle brush and gently clean your teeth to avoid hurting gums. Fluoride toothpaste can help destroy oral bacteria, and frequent cleanings (if possible, right after snacks or meal) can stop buildup leading to gum disease. Don't Forget To Floss. It's one of the most important things we can do to keep teeth healthy. Floss is the only thing that reaches below the gum line. Bacteria build up in the pocket between the tooth and gum line, causing inflammation, tissue damage and bone loss. Worse, it can spread to the bloodstream and through the body. Try some Green Tea: it’s also rich in fluoride and may help reduce tooth decay. Too many people mistreat their teeth and ignore the decay and disease warning signs until too late. A little prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when the alternative is growing old without any teeth at all. Take the time to brush your teeth. Your teeth (and your heart) will thank you for it!



Save the bags only for your groceries, handbags or trash - BUT not under eyes - SO Banish Them: Put Down That Salt Shaker: Water finds its way from body areas low in sodium to those with the most (eye area). Manage Allergies: Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand, but some over-the-counter allergy, cold or sinus infection medicines and herbs like Eyebright can dry puffy eyes. Try a Neti Pot: It looks like a small teapot, and you pour salt water into one nostril at a time and let it drain out the other to help flush out all extra moisture in your sinuses. Sleep On Your Back: Gravity causes fluid to collect under eyes, so sleep on your back and add an extra pillow under your head. Remove Eye Makeup: Sleeping with eye makeup on can make your eyes water and cause morning-after puffiness. Limit Alcohol: It pulls the water out of your skin, and once you weaken the delicate area around the eyes, it's more likely to sink into a pouch. Protect Eyes From Sun’s UV Rays: You protect your body from sunlight and should do the same for your face. Too much sun makes the skin around eyes sag or wrinkle. Use sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to protect your face from harmful rays.Chill Eyes: A cold compress can ease puffiness. Try chilled cucumber slices, tea bags or even a chilled spoon. What you use doesn’t matter; the low temperature does the work..


Is the Tomato a fruit or vegetable? Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it a vegetable, they were scientifically incorrect: Botanically, it is classified as a fruit, and The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association specifically classifies it as a berry, since it contains both pulp and seeds. Tomato is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene, the remarkable, powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage to cells. So...whatever we decide to call it, just be sure to call it HEALTHY!


But Maybe A Lot Healthier

Did you know that the stronger the smell of Onions, the more potent and effective their healing powers are thought to be?...and did you know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Onion as the symbol of “Eternal Life?” Today we do know that Onion is one of nature’s best natural immunity supports that helps protect against infection of all kinds. As a powerful natural antibiotic and antiseptic, it is a wonderful way to strengthen the body’s natural defenses against common colds, flu, sore throat, bronchial and gastric infections; and happily Onion can be found in no=tears supplements. Can’t promise the perfume, tho!

What?  Education -HEALTHY?

Although higher education levels have been linked to better health in surveys, you don't necessarily have to have a long list of degrees to achieve well-being. According to health professionals from City University of New York, reading more often, following current events and engaging in activities that keep the mind as sharp as possible will help us reap vast health rewards. Time to get out those crossword puzzles, newspapers, library cards - or join a travel group (a truly fun way to learn and make friends at the same time). C'mon: It's Time to GET SMART!


Traveling can be very stressful, so your immune system may not be at its best. Furthermore, when traveling, you are exposed to germs that can be very different and from those you are used to. To stay healthy during your trip, why not try some Echinacea a week before you leave, and continue taking it while you are away from home. Studies tell us it can be helpful for supporting a stronger immune system to fend off colds and other unwanted germs that you’d rather not bring back as souvenirs. (T-Shirts, cups and postcards are much more enjoyable -and safe.)

DO NOT Let Anger Get the Best of You -It Can Make You SICK!!

Help yourself with a few simple tips: Admit Your Anger. Release Stress (get some exercise; take a walk or swim, go dancing). Relax (see a funny movie, listen to soft music). Take Care of Yourself (eat properly, look your best). Surround Yourself With Happy People who are positive and caring. Take Deep, Slow Breaths (slow, deep-breathing helps to trigger relaxation, so you can deal with unpleasant situations). Analyze and even talk about the situation that caused that anger with a friend, and try to put it in its place. Lastly, Try to forgive the mistakes of others; you’ll be the happier one in the long run.


Research shows Blueberries to be super nutritious and may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may also help reduce effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Some scientists have actually nicknamed Blueberries “Brainberries.” Do they know something? More News: Recent studies found that a Blueberry-rich diet improved learning, as well as muscle function in older subjects.


When buying wheat bread, don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding words like “nine-grain” or “multi-grain.” And just because the bread has a nice tan color, the color does not mean it’s whole grain. Be sure the label reads “whole” grain from the whole-wheat kernel. That way you’ll get the bran, the germ and all the natural nutrients that benefit your good health. Always take that extra time to read food labels - on everything. Your improved health will prove it was time well spent.


Did you know that a poor diet is considered a mind robber that can steal away bits of memory and cognition over time? It’s a fact. Although researchers have not yet quantified the specific effects of a good diet on mental health, it is known that Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in fish, fish supplements, Soy, Nuts and Flaxseed,) help provide the body with the amino acids needed for healthy cell formation and play a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. Healthy brain cells (neurons) will perform better than unhealthy ones, thereby promoting cognitive clarity, a well-functioning memory and positive mood. While a few deep-fried Oreos won't bring down your IQ or destroy your memory, it's generally accepted that a healthy diet aids the brain in maximizing its potential. Start this weekend with a healthy food list when grocery shopping.


Navigating Herbal Extracts Plus Information site...
Our main links are on the left of every page of the site.  Browse our Symptoms and Remedies  page for all natural herbal remedies that will help you to relieve many different ailments and conditions. Find your own herbal remedy by looking through our Single Herbs, Botanicals & Nutrients.  We offer information covering over 300 well-known and time-tested herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, plants and other natural nutriionals that are well known for their beneficial therapeutic properties. Visit these pages and learn how they can help us all achieve and maintain optimum health. Keep on top of the latest News Research  (linked above).  You'll find the latest university and scientific studies exploring the world of botanicals and how they can improve our health....the natural way!  We have also composed several informative articles chronicling the histories of Ayurvedic Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, The History of Herbal Medicine (in general) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our Herbal Learning Center  offers carefully researched and comprehensive information relating to important health topics, herbs and herbal health.  In the event you may be unfamiliar with some of the terms you find throughout our website, we have included a Glossary of Terms and Definitions.  Our Herbal Preparations Page will demonstrate some simple ways for you to prepare your own herbal remedies, including teas, herbal infusions, tinctures, poultices, etc., at home; and we have also included a section describing the benefits of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, another form of healing through herbal extracts in oil form.  Don't forget to visit the Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids & Other Nutrients page. If you wish to read even more facts about herbs, herbal supplements and current health topics, we have provided a page filled with Links & Resources  that will connect you with other helpful websites. They are invaluable resources for information. Visit our FAQs  page for answers to questions about taking our herbal supplements or finding your way around our website. 

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