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My 20 year journey with Chronic Lyme Disease

My 20 year journey with Chronic Lyme Disease

I have been needing to write this blog post for years, so many of you have requested it. May is lyme disease awareness month and it's time I brought my story to light. 

I grew up in the panhandle of Texas where we often went camping in Palo Duro Canyon, rode motorcycles at the motorcycle lease, played in rivers and were basically outside all the time. It was completely normal to find ticks on us, light a match and "burn them out" or paint them with fingernail polish to "smother" them. We had never heard of lyme disease so we didn't think ticks were anything more than annoying. 

In the fall of my senior year of high school, 2001 we went on our annual camping trip with some of my dads work friends. Per usual, I got several ticks and pulled them out and moved on with my life. I was an ambitious 17 year old and would go to school in the morning and work in the afternoon to save money and get ahead.  After that camping trip I started to experience symptoms that I never had before. I found myself calling into my afternoon job that I had worked so hard to get, just so I could take a nap. That was literally my only reason. I was dead tired and had to sleep. I wasn't calling in to play hookey, I was literally so fatigued I couldn't make it through the day, as a 17 year old. 

I told my parents that I was beyond exhausted, that I felt like my grandmother had more energy than me so my mom took me to the doctor. They ran basic blood work and wanted to check my blood sugar after eating so I did for a couple of weeks and everything was normal. The doctors told me it was probably just me worrying about college and upcoming life changes. I didn't know any better so I accepted that. For a while. 

Pretty quickly my symptoms progressed to much more than fatigue. I began having daily intense headaches/migraines, brain fog so bad that I couldn't drive sometimes, random flu like sensations that would come and go, feeling like my brain was inflamed all the time, panic attacks, heart palpitations and derealization. We went to more doctors- ENT's, neurologists, specialists, heart doctors and normal MD's. Always me, crying in their office and them telling me blood work is fine and it's all in my head- here is an anti-depressant. Not one of them ever mentioned lyme disease or tested me for it. I lived that way from 2001-2016, just assuming I was a wimp compared to normal people and that something was seriously wrong with me but it would never be found. I got my masters and business and continued on as a Human Resources Business partner for many years. Eventually moving from TX to SC for my career, all while being super sick. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of trudging through my day at work, collapsing at home for a few hours, then getting up to eat and spend a few minutes with my daughter. I’d crawl into bed at 8:00 pm usually too exhausted ot brush my teeth, and then repeat the same routine the next day.

My body just could not repair itself. I was barely existing, and certainly not living.

Lyme Signs and Diagnosis

Lyme is caused by a tick infected with the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to humans through a tick bite. The diagnosis is usually confirmed through a combination of lab tests and symptoms, including:

  • Butterfly or bull’s eye rash following a tick bite, between 3 to 30 days after a bite (note: not everyone develops a rash and I never had one) 
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Neck stiffness
  • Neurological problems

Even with advancements in diagnosis, confirming the presence of Lyme disease can still be difficult, in part because one of Borrelia’s strategies is to suppress immune function

My Journey continued and I finally got answers...

Thankfully, the move to SC led me to a doctors office in Charleston SC that took cases that were "unsolvable" and they were the first one to ever run a full lyme panel on me. It came back off the charts positive, as did mold. The doctor there taught me that lyme disease is an immune system issue, and mold was hindering my immune system making it basically impossible for my body to heal. I will write a seperate post in the future on mold, but for this post I will focus on Lyme disease. The doctor that diagnosed me was an amazing doctor who is now retired unfortunately, but the same test she used to diagnose me can be done through The Crunchy Club, without needing to see a doctor. I paid thousand of dollars to get diagnosed, and it's one of the biggest reasons I started The Crunchy Club so that if you don't have the funds you can test yourself. The test that she utilized and that is available to members at practitioner cost is the Vibrant Wellness Lyme and Co-Infection test panel

She was the doctor that told me that since my original infection was (At that time) over 15 years prior that the lyme was now considered "chronic" and antibiotic treatments would not help. She instead had me use herbs, tinctures, purchase a sauna, and open up my detox pathways. She basically followed the protocl of Stephen Harrod Bugner. 

Herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner, is a pioneer in the use of plant medicine for Lyme disease and has developed a botanical protocol that many people have used with great success, myself included. The protocol is centered around several herbs, including Cat's Claw, Japanese Knotweed, and Andrographis. Botanicals that can be added to the core protocol, based on the patient’s needs, include Astragalus and Smilax; Buhner recommends Astragalus as a preventative measure for those who live in Lyme endemic areas. You can learn more about Stephen’s protocol in his book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Coinfections.

Byron White Formulas, Beyond Balance, and Nutramedix are three companies that offer great products for Lyme disease. Each company provides antimicrobial botanical formulas designed to target Lyme and coinfections as well as restorative formulas designed to aid detoxification, regulate inflammation, and alleviate neurological dysfunction.

There is also emerging research that supports the efficacy of the botanicals in the above mentioned protocols for the treatment of Lyme disease and coinfections. A recent study published in Frontiers in Medicine has added to the growing body of evidence that certain botanicals can effectively target B. burgdorferi and coinfections.2 

Some of the botanicals with anti-Borrelia activity include:

  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
  • Scutellaria baicalensis (Skullcap)
  • Artemisia annua and artemisinin, a concentrated extract from the Artemisia plant
  • Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
  • Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
  • Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
  • Oregano oil
  • Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • Clove essential oil

Of note, this is one of the first studies to show that Cryptolepis has activity against the Lyme spirochete. This herb has a long history of use in Africa for malaria, and has been used in the Lyme community to help treat the co-infection Babesia.


In some cases, prescription antibiotics can be a central component of Lyme disease treatment. However, while they are essentially the only treatment for Lyme offered in the conventional medical model, they are but one antimicrobial treatment option in the functional medicine model

The International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), a medical society dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme disease and other tick borne infections, has created a helpful set of Lyme treatment guidelines outlining evidence-based guidelines around the antibiotic treatment of the disease.4 For acute Lyme disease, ILADS recommends a 4-6 week course of the antibiotics doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime.5 On the other hand, antibiotics used in the treatment of chronic Lyme disease may include doxycycline, amoxicillin, clarithromycin, rifampin, and tinidazole. The ILADS approach also advocates combining different antibiotics as needed to effectively target Borrelia and it’s different forms, as well as to target co-infection organisms. 

Many functional medicine doctors combine antibiotics with botanical medicines, discussed next, as several botanicals appear to have synergistic antimicrobial effects in the management of Lyme disease and coinfections.

Some doctors who treat Lyme disease hand patients a prescription for an antibiotic (or two or three) and leave it at that; however, antibiotic treatment is but one piece of the puzzle. Antibiotics are powerful tools that can make a significant difference, but they are best utilized as part of a comprehensive treatment approach, not as a sole treatment. A comprehensive treatment approach may include antibiotics with probiotics, which may attenuate the microbiome-disrupting effects of the antibiotics, diet and lifestyle changes, and interventions that support detoxification, decrease systemic inflammation, and boost your body's immune function, among other interventions.  If these areas are left unaddressed, response to treatment can be incomplete, and there is greater risk of relapse after treatment.


Dapsone, an antibiotic historically used for the treatment of leprosy, is another emerging treatment for Lyme disease. Leprosy is a chronic but curable skin infection caused by a “persister” bacteria, a variant of a bacteria that is highly tolerant to antibiotics, called Mycobacterium leprae. Dr. Richard Horowitz, a pioneer in the treatment of Lyme disease, theorized that the antimicrobial effects of dapsone against this M. leprae persisters might carry over to the treatment of other persister bacteria, including B. burgdorferi persisters in Lyme disease. Subsequent clinical research conducted by Dr. Horowitz suggests that dapsone is active against the “persister” form of Borrelia burgdorferi and associated tick-borne coinfections such as Babesia.9 A minimum of 12 months of dapsone treatment may be needed to produce significant improvements in symptoms and prevent relapse.10 

Like disulfiram and antibiotics, dapsone is not without side effects. It can cause anemia, a condition in which the body lacks sufficient red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, so patients must be monitored closely during treatment.


Disulfiram is an interesting new option in the treatment of Lyme disease and certain Lyme coinfections. Disulfiram, also known by the generic name “Antabuse,” is a drug conventionally used for the treatment of alcoholism. It treats problem drinking by triggering nausea and vomiting when alcohol is ingested. However, in recent years, disulfiram has emerged as an effective treatment option for a completely different condition – Lyme disease.

How exactly has an anti-alcoholism drug come to be used in Lyme disease treatment? In 2016, in work funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, researcher Jayakumar Rajadas was screening an array of pharmaceutical drugs for potential anti-Borrelia activity. During this process, referred to as "high-throughput screening" in the scientific community, he identified disulfiram as a candidate drug with anti-Borrelia activity.6 Subsequent in vitro research revealed that disulfiram is exceptionally effective at killing all forms of Borrelia burgdorferi, including the stubborn “persister” form that is highly resistant to antibiotics.7 

While disulfiram is lauded by many as a breakthrough drug for Lyme disease, it is not without side effects. Emerging research indicates that disulfiram may trigger undesirable effects, including neuropathy, headaches, pain, and fatigue in some patients.8 Patients need to be monitored carefully while on the disulfiram protocol and much can be done with functional medicine to help patients better tolerate treatment. If you are interested in learning more, sign up for our email list; we are working on developing a comprehensive support program for individuals who want to use disulfiram for tick borne illness treatment using an innovative combination of disulfiram and functional medicine interventions.  

Methylene Blue 

Methylene blue is a pharmaceutical drug new to the Lyme disease market. Traditionally used for the treatment of methemoglobinemia, a condition in which the blood cannot carry oxygen properly, methylene blue has also been found to exert antimicrobial effects against the “persister” form of Borrelia burgdorferi, which is notoriously resistant to antibiotic treatment.11 It may also target Bartonella henselae, a common Lyme coinfection.12 

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Antimicrobial Treatment for Lyme Disease

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the antimicrobial treatment of Lyme disease and it might take some trial and error. 

What I would have done differently...

First and foremost, I would have had a tick kit with me and bug spray that was effective at repelling ticks so I didn't get lyme disease in the first place, but I was clueless back then. I wrote a blog post HERE all about my Tick Kit and Bug Away Spray

The Dr. I worked with had me tackle the lyme and mold while boosting my immune system. That is actually how my product, elderberry and honey tonic was created because it included almost every herb/root/fruit that she wanted me to take and I couldn't find that blend on the market. So I began drinking 1 oz of the tonic 2x a day, plus daily sauna use (read my sauna blog post HERE), worked on lymphatic drainage daily and took the Byron White Formulas

I got about 80% better with the above protocol and I was thrilled with that. I was told that I wouldn't be able to get rid of my chronic lyme, just manage it, so I accepted that. Then, I learned about parasites and how they feed off of and THRIVE in a body that has lyme, mold, toxins, and/or heavy metals and that they can hold 10x their weight in all of those toxins and then recirculate it in my system and a light bulb went off. 

I got a stool analysis test for parasites and it was negative but I decided to do a parasite cleanse anyway. And man, I am so glad that I did. I passed over 150 parasites and my remaining 20% symptoms disappeared along with them and haven't returned. So if I had it to do all over again, I would do a parasite cleanse first, then tackle the lyme/mold/heavy metals with phase 4 of the Cell Core Protocol.

I would have gotten 100% better, 100% faster.

My preferrred method for tackling lyme after treating for parasites (we all have them, check out my blog post HERE) is via Cell Core. You can only order Cellcore products through a physician, nutritionist, certified herbalist, etc....

You can use my practitioner code:  Kp69EfqJ  to order the Phase 4A Kit from Cell Core

Cellcore's Comprehensive Protocol is for you if you are affected by any chronic health issue. This is commonly used when people are affected by Lyme, mold toxicity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, gut issues and many more.

What's included in the Phase 4A kit

  1. BC-ATP adds highly charged molecules to support your metabolism and ATP (energy) production. This formula is well tolerated by most sensitive people and can help the other formulas be more efficient.
  2. HM-ET Binder seeks out heavy metals and environmental toxins (like glyphosate) to bind and expel.
  3. KL Support is a collection of herbs that support your most basic detoxification organs, your liver and kidneys. Your liver is where your body breaks down toxins and hormones and sends them to bile or the kidneys for elimination. They need support starting yesterday, that's why KL Support is in Phase 1.
  4. Para 4 is the newest powerhouse herbal blend to blast parasites and fungus. 
  5. CT-Biotic contains 11 strains of bacteria; spore forming and non-spore forming. These strains will help break down toxins in the gut to help with detoxification and improve digestion.


This kit, Phase 4, is not recommended to take as a stand alone. You want to do the first three phases and it is all outlined for you in my Parasite Cleansing Course. You can save thousands of dollars by taking the course instead of working with someone one on one like I did. I even have a free intro course and parasite quiz that you can take HERE. 

The main point of this blog post is to let you know that if I healed from chronic lyme, you can too. Our bodies were designed to heal if we give it everything we need to do so. So, don't live in fear of the forrests, just be prepared with knowledge and faith that you can overcome anything. 


As always, this is not to be taken as personal medical advice. Please see your physician with any questions regarding potential lyme disease. 

  1. Lyme disease treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed December 17, 2019. Accessed September 12, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/treatment/index.html.
  2. Feng J, et al. Evaluation of natural and botanical medicines for activity against growing and non-growing forms of B. burgdorferi. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020; 7(6). doi:10.3389/fmed.2020.00006.
  3. Feng J, et al. Selective essential oils from spice or culinary herbs have high activity against stationary phase and biofilm Borrelia burgdorferi. Front Med. 2017; https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2017.00169.
  4. ILADS Lyme disease treatment guidelines. LymeDisease.org. https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/resources/ilads-lyme-disease-treatment-guidelines/. Accessed September 12, 2020.
  5. Cameron DJ, et al. Evidence assessments and guideline recommendations in Lyme disease: The clinical management of known tick bites, erythema migrans rashes and persistent disease. International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. Accessed September 12, 2020. https://www.ilads.org/patient-care/ilads-treatment-guidelines/.
  6. Pothineni VR, et al. Identification of new drug candidates against Borrelia burgdorferi using high-throughput screening. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016; 10: 1307-1322. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S101486.
  7. Hari-Hara SK, et al. Repurposing disulfiram (Tetraethylthiuram Disulfide) as a potential drug candidate against Borrelia burgdorferi in vitro and in vivo. Bio Rxiv. 2019; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/842286.
  8. Trautmann A, et al. Potential patient-reported toxicities with disulfiram treatment in late disseminated Lyme disease. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020; 7: 133. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00133. eCollection 2020.
  9. Horowitz R and Freeman PR. The use of Dapsone as a novel “persister” drug in the treatment of Chronic Lyme Disease/Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome. J Clin Exp Dermatol Res. 2016; 7(3): DOI: 10.4172/2155-9554.1000345.
  10. Leland DK. Touched by Lyme: Leprosy drug shows promise for Lyme treatment. LymeDisease.org. Published May 8, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2020. https://www.lymedisease.org/touched-by-lyme-dapsone/.
  11. Feng J, et al. Identification of additional anti-persister activity against Borrelia burgdorferi from an FDA drug library. Antibiotics (Basel). 2015; 4(3): 397-410.
  12. Li T, et al. Identification of FDA-approved drugs with activity against stationary phase Bartonella henselae. Antibiotics (Basel). 2019; 8(2): 50.



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6 tips to prevent TICKS + Tick Bite Checklist

6 tips to prevent TICKS + Tick Bite Checklist

If you have followed me for a while then you know, I had chronic lyme disease that went undiagnosed for 15 years (now healed of course) and it was one the main reasons why Roots & Leaves was born. May is Lyme disease awareness month so it's the perfect time to write this blog post. May also happens to be prime time in the Carolina's for ticks to hatch and latch. Last week we went hiking and found several ticks crawling on us. Luckily none attached and we were prepared if they did. ⁠Honestly, even after having chronic lyme disease for over 15 years I refuse to live in fear and I go out and enjoy nature all the time. 

First and foremost, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so we try to prevent them from wanting to attach to us in the first place.

Here are the six things we do to prevent ticks latching onto us:

1. I developed my Bug Spray specifically to repel ticks. Sure it's great at repeling mosquitos, no see ums and other annoying pests but my main goal was to make ticks HATE us (and you too if you snag some HERE). The essential oil Rose Geranium (Pelargonium capitatum x radens) is well known for its ability to repel ticks. It is important, however, to know that there are two varieties of Rose Geranium oil. Our bug spray uses the type of Rose Geranium that works. I do my research and take ticks very seriously. There are also lots of ingredients in the bug spray that help to repel ticks and mosquitos. The key is to apply frequently, every 2-3 hours or more frequently after sweating or swimming. Remember – essential oils are effective because of their scent. If you can’t smell it, chances are a tick can’t smell it either and won’t be repelled appropriately.

2. When we are hiking in deep carolina woods or very thick brush we spray our clothes ahead of time (and let them completely dry for three hours) with permethrin spray. Depending on what brand you end up with, treating clothes yourself means that the permethrin will last anywhere from four to six washings. Even if you don’t wash your treated shoes, I recommend re-treating them about once a month. The great thing about permethrin is that since it is on your clothes and not on your skin it is not toxic to humans once fully dried. The ticks crawl on the treated shoes/clothes and die before they can attach to you. It’s pretty genius. If you don’t want to treat your own clothes you can buy pre-treated clothes that last for 70 washes. We then also spray our skin and clothes with our Bug away the natural wayHere is an article on permethrin

3. Wear long pants and long sleeves when walking in tick-infested areas

4. Keep to the center of hiking trails, and avoiding walking through wooded, grassy, or brushy areas.

5. Using a hand-held or full-length mirror to check the body for ticks after coming indoors

6. Shower immediately after coming indoors

Next up, to be prepared I always have my Tick Kit with me. Below is a picture of my tick kit:⁠

In the plastic bag kit: tweezers, antibacterial tincture (andrographis is a good option), cotton balls/pads, medical tape, bentonite clay⁠ (i put about 3 tbsp inside another zip lock bag and put it in the kit. 


  1. Remove tick with tweezers, grabbing as close to the head as possible. NEVER squeeze its body, coat in oil, burn or other traumatic strategies that can cause the tick to “throw up” more bacteria when agitated or alarmed. 
  2. Save the tick in plastic bag to send for testing if desired (testing options listed below)
  3. Apply andrographis tincture to the bite site immediately after removing the tick to kill bacteria. Potentially soak a bit of coton in the tincture and tape over the bite for 10 minutes (can do this with mosquito bites as well). 
  4. Mix bentonite clay with the andrographis and apply liberally to draw out bacteria and then cover with thin cotton
  5. Use homeopathic ledum, 5 pellets 3 X daily for 3 days after tick bite
  6. If rash develops begin homeopathic Apis 30C 3 X daily for 3 days and begin core buhner protocol 

You can get the products that we use (minus the bag and the tweezers of course) in the above tick kit for 15% off at my fullscript link HERE

If you do get bitten and the tick has latched, you might want to consider sending it off for testing. 

How to get the Tick Tested:

The first thing I recommend doing immediately is to send the tick to a lab to determine whether or not it even carries Lyme or other tickborne infections. Some labs will only identify whether the tick is a blacklegged deer tick, and only if it is, will they test to see if it carries Borrelia burgdorferi. While knowing what kind of tick it is may be useful, it is more important to know whether the tick actually carries any infections. I do recommend checking for co-infections, and not just for Borrelia alone. Ticks can carry and transmit more than one infection, and knowing what symptoms to watch for can be very helpful in early diagnosis. 

The labs that I recommend using are TicknologyTickReport, or TickCheck. The turnaround time for these labs is 2-5 days from receipt of the tick. But in the meantime, while you’re waiting for results, you’re still stuck with the question of whether or not to take antibiotics in case you might have contracted lyme or other co-infections. 

I wrote a separate blog post called "My Journey with Chronic Lyme disease and what I would do if I got bit again" that goes into great detail about lyme disease, my symptoms, rashes and the fact that I never got a bullseye, conventional and herbal treatment. Check it out for some in depth tips. 


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Top 6 Parasite Myths + Free Parasite Quiz & Course

Top 6 Parasite Myths + Free Parasite Quiz & Course

Have you ever wondered if you have parasites? Or maybe you don't even want to consider that you could have parasites because it grosses you out too much. Take the free parasite quiz and find out if they could be your root cause. 

The first time someone suggested that my symptoms could be related to parasites, I laughed. I refused to believe that I had parasites so I went about my merry way treating my lyme disease and mold symptoms for another year. 

I didn't have any of the typical (or what I thought was typical at the time) symptoms of parasites: abdominal pain, gastrointestional issues like constipation or diarrhea, etc... I thought all symptoms of parasites would be gut related, but boy was I wrong.

Years ago I  didn't realize there were three main categories of parasites as shown in the image below. Then there are multiple subcategories of parasites underneath those main three, and they can all cause different symptoms. 

My symptoms started when I was 18 and lasted for over 18 years. Half of my life. Not one doctor ever mentioned parasites to me and I went to at least 30 different doctors, had three MRI's done, tons of lab work, and gave them thousands of dollars to "treat me". 

🤦‍♀️ Chronic Daily Headaches and weekly migraines. The headaches would intensify after eating food, so I didn't eat very often. 

👩‍🦽 Fatigue so bad that I felt like I was 120 years old, also known as chronic fatigue, which I was officially diagnosed with. My fatigue was extreme after eating, no matter what I ate. 

😬 Horrible TMJ that caused the muscles of my jaws to be constantly tight and I would grind my teeth I slept. 

🍦 Intense sugar and carb cravings. 

🥴 Brain fog so bad that when I had it I couldn't drive. I actually called it drunk brain because it felt more like I had drank alcohol when I had not had a drop. Again, this symtpom was more intense after eating. 

🤧 Random Flu like symptoms that would come and go without actually being sick with a virus. 

When I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease and mold toxicity at the age of 34 I was estatic that I finally had answers. What I didn't know at the time was that parasites feed off of lyme, mold, heavy metals and other bacteria and can actually hold those within their own bodies. Up to 10 x their own weight in fact! Meaning, I could never fully heal from Lyme and mold until I got rid of the parasites. A few years ago I decided to do a parasite cleanse for four months. I passed over 150 parasites (not even including the microscopic ones I couldn't see) and my chronic symptons listed above all 👏 went👏 away. For good. and they haven't returned. I am 100% healed and a "normal" person now. I never thought I would fully heal, but I did. I waited a couple of years to share this with all of you to make sure it would stick, and it has. 🙏🙌 I would have never guessed parasites were to blame. 

If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone after parasites first and then treated my lyme and mold. It would have saved me thousands of dollars to do it that way, because I was truly spinning my wheels. And to be honest, doctors aren't taught much about parasites other than the really dangerous ones you can pick up from third world countries. Other than that, it's pretty basic so it flies under the radar and millions of us stay sick.

This brings me to the top 6 parasite myths that I compiled:

Each one of these myths are a little lengthy to explain in a blog post so I made a short 5 minute video that you can watch HERE.

The video linked above is day 1 of my FREE Parasites 101 online course, you can sign up for the free course HERE.

Within the free course you will have access to:

✨ 6 video lessons all about parasites

✨ Discounts to my practitioner account on fullscript

✨ A starting guide on what to eat while killing parasites

✨ Lengthy 40+ parasite quiz to see where you land on symptoms. This isn't your typical parasite quiz, it is clinical, in depth and will help you see if you pass or fail when it comes to parasitic symptoms. 


Be sure to watch the welcome video to get an understanding of how the course works! In the future this mini-course will be $47 so hop on the free train while you can! 





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Eliminate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Naturally

Eliminate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Naturally

Eliminate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Naturally

Here we are again! It’s spring and we are excited to get out and enjoy the comfortable warmth of the sun, the new growth of plants, the blooming of flowers, and perhaps some spring foraging. 

However, upwards of 30% of adults in the U.S. deal with the dreaded symptoms of allergies, and 40% of children do

While a comprehensive program is needed to eliminate allergies, you could also use a variety of herbs, and supplements to decrease the symptoms, severity, and duration of the symptoms that occur from seasonal pollen.

Common symptoms of allergy sufferers include: 

  • Nasal Congestion 
  • Sneezing 
  • Runny Nose 
  • Watery Eyes 
  • Itchy, Irritated Eyes 
  • Headache 
  • Sore Throat 

Allergies and Asthma Correlation 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Allergies and asthma often occur together. The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, may also cause asthma signs and symptoms. In some people, skin or food allergies can cause asthma symptoms. This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma.” 

An allergic response is the immune system’s reaction to what it deems as a threat, the allergen. Common environmental allergens include pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mites. Often these become more prominent as our earth wakes up from its winter slumber and plants start their process of reproduction, the dust gets shuffled around as we start our spring cleaning, or the warmth makes mold more prevalent. 

Unfortunately, for some with the chronic condition asthma, encountering common allergens can pose a more severe threat and deeper measures should be taken to prevent an asthma flare, as well as increase the quality of life of the person with asthma during spring. Many of the natural alternatives to allergies suggested in this article can be even more beneficial for those with asthma. 

Supplements that Soothe Allergies

Supplements are nutrition-based products that are meant to fill the nutritional gaps in our diets. The fact is most of us struggle with getting in all the nutrients we need to fully support the body. Many of these nutrients support the body through seasonal changes, for example, Vitamin D is a helpful supplement to take during the winter season in places where getting adequate sunlight is challenging. Vitamin D is necessary for a healthy immune system! 

The following are a few supplement suggestions for those wanted to prevent or decrease allergy symptoms. 

Magnesium and Allergies 

In a study published in the Journal of Asthma of 55 patients, it stated: “that the group taking 340 mg (170 mg twice a day) of magnesium, for 6.5 months versus the placebo group had better bronchial reactivity and better subjective measures of asthma control and quality of life.”

Another study in Brazil found that the participants that took 300 mg of magnesium along with Flonase and prescriptions as needed, had significantly improved bronchial reactivity compared to the participants that did not take magnesium. 

Magnesium’s effects on Allergies

  • Fights inflammation. 
  • Improves lung function.
  • Decreases histamine levels in your body.
  • Relaxes the smooth muscles that line your airways by opening them up.
  • Can help reduce the bronchospasms that typically occur in an asthma attack.

Roots and Leaves Magnesium Body Butter

80% of humans are deficient in magnesium! Magnesium has been argued to be the most important mineral in our body. Not only does magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium, and sodium, but it’s essential for cellular health and a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body. So many people suffer needlessly from something as simple as a deficiency in magnesium, and our body butter is an easy way to remedy this issue. Our skin is our largest and most efficient organ for delivering vital minerals and nutrients, which is why trans-dermal magnesium (on your skin) is preferred over magnesium oral supplements where most of the nutrients are lost.


“In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 60 subjects, aged 6-18 years old, were given either Pycnogenol or a placebo. After three months, the Pycnogenol group had significantly more improvement in lung functions and asthma symptoms. They were also able to reduce or stop their use of rescue inhalers more often than the placebo group.” 

Pycnogenol comes from the bark of a European pine tree, so it is sometimes referred to as pine bark. It is also considered to be an antioxidant, protecting the cells from internal and external damage. My favorite pycnogenol supplement comes from Pure Encapsulations and can be purchased here through Full Script at a discount. *

*You must create a free account on Fullscript to be able to purchase

I also like to use Allerplex from Standard process for seasonal allergy relief, it can be found under the Fullscript link above as well. 

Vitamins Good for Allergy Sufferers 

Good nutrition is also key to avoiding seasonal allergies! Vitamins, A, B, C, D, and E are all important to the reduction of allergy symptoms. 

Vitamin A & Allergies 

This vitamin found in organ meats, salmon, cod liver oil, eggs, butter, and several other animal sources strengthens the mucous membranes and aids in the digestion of proteins. 

You can also find vegetable sources of vitamin A, however, it is best to consume these with fat, since vitamin A is considered a “fat-soluble” vitamin, meaning it is absorbed and stored in the fat cells. An alternative is to supplement your diet with 25,000 units of emulsified vitamin A daily until symptoms are cleared. 

B Vitamins and Asthma 

Vitamin C 

This simple water-soluble vitamin has been shown to reduce histamine levels by 38%! Water soluble means it dissolves in water and is not stored in our cells. While there are risks to overdoing vitamin C (loose stools are a sign), supplementing vitamin C along with other bioflavonoids like quercetin is a great natural alternative for allergies. 

Vitamin D 

This fat-soluble vitamin helps to regulate the immune system and can reduce inflammation, which may then reduce the effects of histamine release. Histamine is the chemical released by your body as a part of the immune response when it comes into contact with the invader, aka the allergen. Vitamins that support the immune system and healthy inflammatory responses are all beneficial in one way or another. 

My favorite Vitamin D with K2 is from seeking health and can be found HERE

Vitamin E 

Another fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E has been shown to have potent antihistamine properties. According to this study, “Vitamin E increases n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and decreases n-3 PUFA, an effect that diminishes asthma and allergic diseases.” However, more research on its uses for allergies and asthma is needed. 

Find it hard to get in all the vitamins and minerals you need through your diet? Roots and Leaves Allergy-C Tea is a blend high in these helpful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and antihistamines. It is safe to consume regularly, hot or cold, and of course, it’s tasty! 

Herbs that Help with Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies & Asthma 

As an herbalist, I always look to my apothecary for plants that can help me prevent and heal common ailments. Below are a few key herbs that I would go to for allergy symptom prevention. 

Goldenrod and Allergies

Goldenrod contains 3 key plant compounds that are beneficial during allergy season: saponins, quercetin, and kaempferol

According to this study, Saponins exert a wide range of pharmacological activities including expectorant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antifungal, antiparasitic, and many others, and plants rich in saponins, like Panax ginseng or Glycyrrhiza glabra, have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. 

Antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol in goldenrod help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules created by the body as a natural byproduct or from exposure to toxins that live only a fraction of a second but wreak havoc on cellular health causing disease. Antioxidants neutralize these unstable molecules and should be consumed every day. 

Nettle the Natural Antihistamine 

Nettle has a long reputation in the herbal community for use in cases of asthma and other respiratory conditions. It has been called nature’s antihistamine, meaning it blocks the histamines that trigger the allergic response. Nettle also has anti-inflammatory properties and can suppress many allergies related symptoms, like runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion. Nettle leaf is also the base herb in my Allergy C+ Herbal Tea!


This study concluded that “curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma”. Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric root that decreases inflammation and oxidative stress in the airways. 

What is high in turmeric AND quercetin? Elderberry and honey tonic for the win here. Elderberries are one of the berries that are very high in quercetin, I wrote a whole blog post on it HERE

Salt Caves and Salt Inhalers for Allergy Relief 

The last natural remedy in this article on natural remedies for allergy relief is sea salt. Many clinical studies have reported sea salt’s ability to improve symptoms of COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, allergies, and sinusitis. The benefits of Himalayan salt include antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, additionally, it loosens excessive mucus, removes pathogens, and reduces immune system sensitivity, which is beneficial for autoimmune disorders. 

While I love the experience of going to a salt spa, like the one I visit in Columbia South Carolina, Shvaas Spa, you can gain many of the benefits of Himalayan Sea salt by using a small inhaler like this one. Modern Alchemy’s Himalayan Salt Inhaler has been a mainstay in my life for treating my allergy symptoms. You can use code: Rootsandleaves for 10% off of the inhaler from Modern Alchemy. 

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The Truth About Toxins- What happens when toxins build up in your body?

The Truth About Toxins- What happens when toxins build up in your body?

Support your Health by Decreasing Toxins with the Bye, Bye Toxins Challenge.

Every day our bodies become overloaded with toxins that surround us in our environments, I call this the “toxic load”. 

These toxins include environmental and industrial toxins in our food, water, personal care products, etc.…. from the radiation that we are being endlessly exposed to wireless technology, to the increased amount of antibiotics and prescriptions given, IT’S TOO MUCH for our bodies.

I've said it 1 million times over, and I’ll repeat it… The world we live in today is just too toxic. Our bodies were not designed to be able to clear the level of toxicity that we are bombarded with daily.

Some toxins we have little control over, like the air we breathe outside or the radiation/EMF we are bombarded with, but we do have control over the products we use daily in our own homes, such as our cleaning products, cosmetics, foods, and even candles. Before we get into how to avoid toxins, let’s take a look at the impact these toxins have on our bodies. 

The Impact of Environmental Toxins on our Bodies 

Toxins not only surround our bodies daily, they actually get absorbed by way of the skin, lungs (by breathing), and digestive system. These harmful ingredients then collect and stay in our bodies in places like our fat cells, glands, lymph nodes, brain, liver, and gall bladder.

This collection of toxins in vital organs and tissues causes health issues such as bloating, brain fog, headaches, dizziness, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and inflammation. Many people go years thinking these issues are just normal for them, or something they cannot control, when in fact there are measures, you can take to rid your body of toxins, relieving the effects they have on your body. 

Daily Toxins and How to Avoid Them 

The following are examples of the daily toxins we come into contact with and have some control over in our lives. Unfortunately, these lists are only a few of the many examples, but they’re a good place to start to begin cleansing your home life of harmful toxins. 

Toxins in the Home 


Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally and can cause some types of lung cancer, in fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Fortunately, there are tests to determine the radon levels in your home and measures can be taken to lessen the exposure. These measures include but aren’t limited to sealing cracks (in your building), allowing more airflow by keeping windows cracked, installing ceiling fans with positive ion generators, avoiding exhaust fans, and using activated carbon to remove radon from your water. 

Benzenes (laundry detergents) 

Benzene is widely used in the United States, it’s highly toxic and is a known carcinogen. It ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume. Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Indoor air generally contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents. Learn more about reducing your exposure to benzene by joining my Bye, Bye Toxins Challenge. 

Toxins in Foods 


Arsenic is a natural component of the earth’s crust and is widely distributed throughout the environment in the air, water, and land, and is highly toxic in its inorganic form. Long-term exposure to the metal is known to cause lung, kidney, skin, and bladder cancers, and it interferes with estrogen and testosterone, as well as with the hormones that regulate your metabolism and immune system. Common foods that contain arsenic include rice, brussel sprouts, dark meat fish, and alcoholic beverages. 


Pesticides are toxic chemicals that are used to kill organic substances like fungi, insects, weeds, etc. The consumption of pesticides may cause different health issues, from mild poisoning, nausea, and headache, to reproductive function disorder, cancer, and endocrine system dysfunction. Besides, exacerbates acute issues such as irritation and fatigue. 

Artificial Colors

    Over the past 100 years, food dyes have been riskier to our health than any other category of food additives. These are listed by the following names: 

    • Blue 1 (Brilliant Blue)
    • Blue 2 (Indigo Carmine)
    • Citrus Red 2
    • Green 3 (Fast Green FCF)
    • Orange B (No longer used in the U.S., but was never officially banned)
    • Red 3 (Erythrosine)
    • Red 40 (Allura Red)
    • Yellow 5 (Tartrazine)
    • Yellow 6 (Sunset Yellow)

    Toxins in Cosmetics 


    Triclosan has been banned in several countries due to its impact on reproductive hormones. However, in the US, it can still be found in some deodorants, mouthwash, shaving cream, and toothpaste.


    Oxybenzone, a potential endocrine disruptor, is a common ingredient found in sunscreen and products containing sunscreen. Instead, make your own DIY Natural Sunscreen.


    These compounds are used as emulsifiers in skincare and cleaning products. They may also be listed as monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), or triethanolamine (TEA) and can irritate.

    What Organs help our Bodies to Detox? 

    Of course, we do have organs that’s roles are to detox our bodies for us, the problem is they are often overburdened with the number of toxins present in our everyday lives. This means the first step we can take in caring for these organs is to eliminate as many of these toxins as possible, and then we can focus on caring for the detox organs through nutritional, and herbal support. 

    The main organs/systems that perform detoxification activities include the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin. 

    The liver’s focus includes the blood, regulating chemical levels in the blood and metabolizing nutrients for use. It also produces a secretion called bile which prompts the gall bladder to eliminate. 

    Most people are aware the kidneys are part of the urinary tract system, a system vital for elimination. Hydration is the key to keeping your kidneys in optimum health, but this includes more than water, this also includes herbal teas, fresh juices, and homemade bone broths

    The main role of the lungs includes transporting oxygen throughout our bodies and removing extra carbon dioxide. Caring for your lungs means not smoking, and paying attention to your air quality. You can improve air quality by using an air purifier, adding a few houseplants, and changing your air filters regularly. 

    The skin is our body’s largest organ, and absorbs many toxins, as well as expels them. Avoiding topical products with toxins is the first step to decreasing the number of toxins your body will get from the skin, but increasing the skin's ability to expel toxins is also helpful. You can do this through regular exfoliation, especially dry-brushing, and by spending regular bouts of time in a sauna, such as the Sunlighten Infrared Sauna. 

    The Bye, Bye Toxins Challenge 

    With the Bye, Bye Toxins download you’ll learn how to eliminate the toxins you can avoid. This is not an active "detox/cleanse" this is about how to reduce our toxic load in what we put on our skin, the makeup we use, etc.

    There is a small $7 charge for Bye, Bye Toxins, and these are the results you can expect from detoxing your life: 

    • Sustained and healthy weight loss
    • Increased energy
    • Restoration of vital nutrients
    • A calmer nervous system
    • Better & deeper sleep
    • Clearer thinking
    • Improved digestion
    • Decreased bloating.
    • Clearer skin
    • Boosted mood.
    • Faster metabolism

    With the Bye, Bye Toxins challenge, you’ll receive: 

    • An 11-page PDF download of all of my favorite clean brand swaps from food brands, and makeup to laundry detergent. I have done all the research for you! This thing is value-packed! You can keep it forever, print it off, and place it on your fridge for easy access. 
    • 15% off my suggested clean brand of supplements + 20% off Roots and Leaves Coupon
    • The original Live recordings (3 one-hour sessions)  from our first challenge. 
    • A private Facebook group where I hop on occasionally to share more toxin info and future free challenges for those that have already purchased. 


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    Fire Cider 101: What is Fire Cider?

    Fire Cider 101: What is Fire Cider?

    Fire Cider 101

    Fire ciders have been infusing in kitchen cupboards for decades with likely hundreds to thousands of variations depending on what’s available and the preference of the family herbalist. However, all will contain the “5 tastes”, according to Chinese herbal theory: pungent, salty, sour, sweet, and bitter.

    The result will be a medicinal liquid that is nutrient dense warming, nourishing, and stimulating. Taking a daily shot of fire cider during cold and flu season can be an effective preventative, fire cider can also be used on the first onset of symptoms to lessen the duration and severity of illness, like Roots and Leaves elderberry and honey tonic.

    With the recent launch of Roots and Leaves Fire Cider Tonic, we wanted to make sure you knew where this popular recipe came from and exactly how it can benefit your body.

    What is Fire Cider?

    Fire cider is a vinegar-based infusion of spicy aromatic herbs and spices + pungent fresh produce such as garlic, peppers, and onions. You may be wondering why such a fiery-sounding concoction exists!

    Fire cider, first created by folk herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in late 1970, is a remedy that has been used for decades to support the immune system naturally. It is referred to as a cider because apple cider vinegar is the main infusing liquid.

    However, honey is added also, so in technical herbal terms it could also be considered an “oxymel”, this term comes from the Greek word oxymeli, meaning “acid and honey”.

    So, what are the Ingredients in Fire Cider?

    I love that fire cider is so customizable! Ingredients can be added or subtracted due to allergies, taste preferences, or by what’s available at your fingertips. Have a left-over red onion instead of a white one? Use it! Have a fresh harvest of basil? Put it in! Just don’t forget the garlic!

    I decided when creating the exact recipe for Roots and Leaves Fire Cider to cold infuse our lucky number of 12 roots, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

    Our fire cider includes astragalus, ginger, turmeric, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, horseradish, chili pepper, oranges, lemons, onions and garlic. Along with the extracting ingredients of apple cider vinegar and honey! 

    Fire Cider Benefits

    Wow! What is fire cider not good for? It is most often thought of as an immune-boosting remedy but, fire cider has multiple benefits.

    Fire Cider benefits include:

    • Antihistamine
    • Anticancer
    • Antiviral
    • Better Gut Health
    • Bronchial Support
    • Blood Sugar Support
    • Blood Pressure Support
    • Cardiovascular Health
    • Increased Immunity
    • Decreased Inflammation

    Let’s take a look at the ingredients in fire cider one by one to learn more about the benefits of fire cider.

    Apple cider vinegar has proven antibacterial and antioxidant properties and it may bring down blood sugar levels and combat high cholesterol. To learn more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar I recommend this book.

    In traditional Chinese medicine astragalus, is used to support the immune system. Studies show that astragalus helps the body produce more white blood cells and antibodies, strengthening the body’s antiviral immunity.

    The ginger, turmeric, and black pepper work synergistically to quell inflammation, decrease pain & nausea, and support optimum gut health.

    Citrus fruits are a source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are plant compounds, found commonly in all plants such as chocolate, tea, and fruits. They have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine benefits.

    Onions and garlic are in the vegetable family called “alliums”; this group contains the mineral sulfur. Sulfur is necessary for the body to perform essential functions when it comes to healthy cellular health.

    Sulfur is also essential for recycling the amino acid glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and prevents cell degradation.

    Rosemary and thyme are herbs in the evergreen family that contain a variety of terpenes such as thymol and carvacrol. According to the University of Michigan Health System, one of the main uses of thymol is for the treatment of bronchitis.

    Carvacrol, also found in oregano oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

    Fire cider is known for opening your nasal cavities like no other! That potent effect comes from the addition of chili peppers and horseradish. These two together increase circulation and clear mucus.

    We also add a dash of sea salt to Roots and Leaves Fire Cider for mineral support!

    Fire Cider and Gut Health

    In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a theory called the “5 Flavor Theory”, which teaches that each flavor connects to and is beneficial for a combination of organs.

    The five flavors include sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty. The flavors in Fire Cider are predominantly pungent and sour, two of the flavors most often missing in our modern diets.

    The flavor of sour connects to our liver and gall bladder which work in tandem to digest and assimilate fats and fatty acids. The pungency of fire cider supports the lungs and large intestine, this connects to the release of wind (gas) and waste.

    While the other three flavors aren’t as present, they still exist in the fire cider remedy, sweet from the citrus fruits and honey, bitter from the citrus rinds, and salty from the salt.

    Preventing the Flu with Better Gut Health

    Did you know 80% of your immune system is in your gut? This is primarily due to your microbiome. The microbiome is the community of microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live in and on our bodies.

    The microbiome’s role is to communicate with the immune system advising it which invaders are beneficial or harmful. It also signals the gut to increase antibodies by stimulating the tissue around the gut.

    Antibodies bind with antigens and inactivate them so that other bodily processes can take over, destroy, and remove foreign substances from the body.

    Fire Cider FAQs

    So now you have a rather good idea of how fire cider can benefit you during the winter months!

    The following are some frequent questions we get asked about the new Roots and Leaves Fire Cider.

    How much fire cider should I take daily?

    Adults typically take 1-2 tbsp a day and children under 12 typically take 1-2 tsp a day but remember this is a food so you can't take "too much". We have been known to take 1 tbsp every few hours when we need to for extra support.

    What does Roots and Leaves Fire Cider taste like?

    Our fire cider tastes mostly like raw apple cider vinegar, with a hint of spicy sweetness. If you are unsure about the flavor, then we suggest trying the 2 oz bottle to start with!

    Why is sea salt added to Roots and Leaves Fire Cider? 

    In addition to following the TCM theory of 5 flavors sea salt is added due to its high mineral content. Minimally processed sea salt contains potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. 

    Where can I purchase Roots and Leaves Fire Cider?

    We are still delivering brand-new batches of fire cider to our retailers! Use our store locator to find the closest retailer to you, however, call ahead to ensure they have the NEW Fire Cider product in stock.

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    Elderberry Tonic vs. Elderberry Syrup

    Elderberry Tonic vs. Elderberry Syrup

    Elderberry Tonic vs. Elderberry Syrup 

    How is Roots & Leaves Elderberry & Honey Tonic different than the rest? 

    The Roots and Leaves flagship product is our Elderberry & Honey Tonic infused with 12 different herbs, roots, and spices. We believe our formulation results in more comprehensive herbal support allowing you to stay supported all year long but especially during flu and cold season. 

    In this article, we want to teach you about the differences between an elderberry “tonic” (our product) and a traditional elderberry “syrup” (their product), after reading we think that you will be able to determine what product is worth your financial investment and will keep your family healthy. We also wanted to take advantage of this space to give you a little insight into the benefits of elderberry and how exactly they boost your immunity. 

    Roots and Leaves is a family-owned business with so much belief in our products that we’ve dedicated our lives to making this brand successful and traveling the country educating retailers about why they need it in their stores. We’re in several retailers across the country, if you would like to find a retailer near you visit our retailer map

    What are the Benefits of Elderberry? 

    Elderberries have been used for thousands of years in the regions where it is a native plant, these regions include Asia, Europe, North America, and North Africa. These cultures were aware of the many benefits of elderberry and used it to treat issues such as colds and flu, respiratory illnesses, burns, wrinkles, and even acne. Today, elderberry is primarily used for immune support, but it also touts many other medicinal and nutritional benefits. Below is a short list of the less-talked-about benefits of elderberries. 

    Benefits of elderberries

    • Elderberries are a prime source of antioxidants that protect cellular health and prevent premature aging and conditions affected by inflammation. 
    • Elderberries are a source of vitamin A which protects the skin, heart, and lungs, and a source of vitamin C which facilitates the repair of body tissues and the formation of collagen. 
    • Research has confirmed that elderflower extract stimulates glucose metabolism and insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar levels.
    • Elderberries are a source of fiber, relieving constipation. 
    • Elderberries calm inflammation lessening joint and muscle pain. 

    How does Elderberry support Immunity? 

    According to Rosemary Gladstar, “In Old World tradition, an elder bush was commonly planted at the edge of the herb garden as the “protector” of the garden.” Similarly, elderberries and flowers function as the “protectors” of our immune system. In herbalist’s terms elderberries are thought to be “immune-modulating”, meaning they enhance the body’s immune response, in this case, to ward off colds and viruses. The stars of elderberries are the flavonoids called, anthocyanins. Flavonoids are the group of compounds that give fruits and vegetables their colors and anthocyanins are a subset of this group that gives the berries the deep purple color that is known for. 

    As stated, anthocyanins are the star of this medicinal plant because it is those compounds that actually have the ability to attach to the viral glycoproteins that enable viruses to enter host cells decreasing the multiplication of the virus. Studies have shown that the consumption of elderberry products does in fact shorten the duration of a cold or virus and also lessens the severity of the symptoms. Additionally, elderberries and elderflowers are a source of vitamin C, which has also been recognized as nutritional support for the immune system. 

    How should Elderberries be Consumed? 

    When uncooked, elderberries contain a toxic substance that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed in large amounts. For this reason, elderberries are traditionally cooked in the form of jellies, jams, syrups, and at Roots & Leaves, with honey to create a tonic. 

    So, what IS the Difference between an Elderberry Tonic and a Syrup?

    Ok, here we are at the final question! How exactly does Roots and Leaves Elderberry & Honey Tonic stand out from the traditional syrups other elderberry brands sell? 

    We take the ICK out of the bottle! 

    Most of us recognize the viscosity and texture that constitutes syrup, the sweetness and thickness are created from either a natural or artificial sweetener and/or a thickener. Common sweeteners that also function as thickeners used by mass-produced cheaply made elderberry brands include high fructose corn syrup (!), glucose syrup, fructose, and glycerin. Additionally, preservatives like potassium sorbate, malic and citric acids are added. 

    Roots & Leaves Elderberry and Honey Tonic’s formulation is without any of those icky ingredients in the bottle! Instead, you will simply find filtered water, organically grown black elderberries, and 11 other herbs, roots, and spices along with organic honey and a dash of black pepper and lemon juice. Each serving contains 2,000 mg of elderberry, and every herb, root, and spice plays its part in keeping you healthy in myriad ways. 

    An Elderberry Tonic is known to have a lower Glycemic Index 

    Removing the heavy sweeteners that cause an elderberry syrup to be syrupy lessens the impact our elderberry tonic will have on your blood sugar. This has the greatest impact on those with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions, but it also supports those consumers that are on special diets like keto (our tonic is less than 1 carb per 1 tbsp), and those that don’t want to risk a blood sugar spike. Instead, we sweeten with the herbs rose hips and hibiscus and add raw unfiltered honey for a tad of sweetness but also for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits. 

    R&L Elderberry Tonic Packaging is Environmentally Friendly 

    Too many elderberry products are packaged in plastic! As a company that values human life, we also value the earth we depend on. Therefore, we take pride in choosing only glass for packaging our Elderberry & Honey Tonic. Not only is it best for the environment but it's best for your body AND it can also be washed easily and reused for your own recipes like salad dressings, kombuchas, or cold herbal teas. Don’t forget we have an amazing loose-leaf herbal tea selection! 

    Where to Purchase Roots and Leaves Elderberry & Honey Tonic 

    Acquiring your own bottle of Elderberry Tonic with 12 herbs, roots & spices is VERY EASY! You can order here through our site or find a retailer that is close to you using our retailer finder map. We work hard to maintain inventory at several retailers but if you don’t see one close to you contact us to learn how to get your closest health food store on the list and you’ll receive a free bottle from us! 

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    13 Stomach Bug and Food Poisoning Remedies

    13 Stomach Bug and Food Poisoning Remedies

    It's September and the stomach bug has arrived in full force. At least in the Carolina's. My daughter had it a couple of weeks ago, thankfully it was mild for her but I also think it was mild because I used these EXACT remedies below. Many other kids in her class got the stomach bug MUCH worse than she did unfortunately. 

    I just dropped a new video on Tik Tok and Instagram showing how I make the gut healing popsicles for the stomach bug. We use these as prevention AND treatment. Check out the video if you are a visual learner like me. 

    Gut Soothing Popsicles:

    1 cup 100% concord grape juice, no sugar added

    1/2 cup Elderberry and Honey Tonic

    1-2 capsules of GI Detox OR Activated Charcoal  

    Mix the juice and elderberry together and open up the capsules. I prefer to blend this up in my magic bullet so it won't be grainy at all. Blend and pour into popsicle molds then pop into freezer for a few hours! I have these from amazon! They are only $12 and have lasted me over two years.

    I prefer GI detox over just plain activated charcoal because it has additional ingredients that help to soothe the stomach and mop up germs. Here is information from the manufacturer, Biocidin, and I absolutely trust and love their supplements. 

    G.I. Detox™+ is formulated to provide broader activity than a single-ingredient product.* Zeolite clay, activated charcoal, and MMST silica, plus apple pectin, humic and fulvic acids, and aloe vera. Binding and detoxification agents long used in traditional medicine and supported by modern research.


    • Assists in “mop up” of microbial and biofilm components*
    • Supports healthy detoxification and full-body cleansing*
    • Supports clearance of mold metabolites*
    • Helps in the neutralization of histamine*
    • Supports a more comfortable cleansing experience*
    • May reduce bloating and gas*
    • Supports mental clarity* 


    Viruses such as norovirus, adenovirus, and rotavirus are highly contagious. The norovirus is the most common, affecting up to 21 million people in the U.S. annually. A stomach virus is typically spread by coming into direct contact with someone sick. GI viruses can also be transmitted by touching an infected person’s saliva, stool, or vomit.

    Food Poisoning

    According to the CDC, 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) suffers from food poisoning annually. I had a very dear friend that suffered with an awful case of food poisoning last year that landed her in the hospital and it was scary. 

    The most common causes of food poisoning include the following:

    • Raw, undercooked, or contaminated meat
    • Contaminated water
    • Unpasteurized beverages
    • Raw fish or oysters
    • Fruits or vegetables that aren’t rinsed thoroughly
    • Soft or unpasteurized cheeses

    For adults who don't feel like eating a popsicle for their upset stomach (although I recommend it because popsicles are FUN) then here is what I personally do:

    1. Take GI Detox, one hour away from other supplements and medications. I typically take 2-3 a day when not feeling well. **

    2. Take shots of apple cider vinegar or fire cider a few times a day

    3. Elderberry Tonic every few hours to boost my immune system

    4. Tummy Ease Tea which includes all of the herbs that are recommended for upset stomach. Chamomille, ginger, peppermint and more! 

    5. Bone Broth, you can check out my bone broth recipe here 

    6. I typically try to follow the BRAT diet (BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) is commonly recommended for people recovering from the stomach flu. Why these four foods? They are all typically easy on the stomach and can also up bind up stools, which is helpful when you’re struggling with diarrhea. These simple foods can be a great start for the first hours or day of eating solid foods when you’re recovering from stomach flu. Just don’t rely on the BRAT diet long term because research has shown that this diet is too low in vital nutrients, especially for children.

    7. Electrolytes – Coconut Water is a great source of natural electrolytes. I much prefer it to sports drinks like Gatorade that are full of food dyes and sugar (or even worse, artificial sweetener). My other favorite electrolyte mix is this powder from Seeking Health. We always have some on hand! 

    8. Fresh Ginger – Ginger is widely known for its digestive effects. Studies show it to be an effective option for relieving nausea and vomiting. Grate fresh ginger into warm water and add honey.

    9. Apple Sauce – Cooked apples are easier to digest and contain more pectin, which helps to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea and soothes the gastrointestinal tract.

    10. Fresh or frozen pineapple – Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which acts as a digestive aid, is anti-inflammatory, and could potentially kill viruses.

    11.  Warm Epsom Salt Bath – Epsom salts are good for detox, and will provide some needed magnesium. 

    12. Peppermint Essential Oil – Peppermint is well known for it’s anti-nausea effects. Dilute it with a carrier oil and rub on the soles of the feet (be careful not to get it on the eyes or face). You can also diffuse it into a room or put it on a wet washcloth. (Please note that peppermint oil might not be the best choice for young children because it can potentially cause skin irritation and respiratory distress when inhaled.)

    13. 100% Concord Grape Juice, No Sugar Added- Some people claim that drinking grape juice changes the ph of your digestive tract, making it harder for a stomach virus to multiply. Obviously, this has not been clinically studied or proven but it doesn't hurt to take a few sips throughout the day when you know the virus is going around. 

    ** The above is most effective when taken within 1 hour of experiencing symptoms of food poisoning or a stomach virus. During this time, the toxins are still primarily in the stomach and can be adsorbed by the binders in the GI Detox  before it is absorbed and spreads throughout the body.




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    Nebulizing- simple but powerful remedies

    Nebulizing- simple but powerful remedies

    Do you have a nebulizer at home? Many people do not, unless they have asthma or other lung issues. I am here to tell you that every household needs one and I will explain all the reasons why in this post.

    Where to purchase one:

    You can typically find them at your local pharmacy or amazon. We have had ours for four years and we spent around $140 on a very high quality one. I suggest you purchase one that is NOT battery operated as they typically are not strong enough to get the nebulized solution deep into the lungs. We purchased this one five years ago and you can order it HERE. 

    What we personally nebulize and why:

    The below is in no particular order of importance as they all serve different purposes.

    We have nebulized the below three options for suspected pneumonia, bronchitis, excess mucus, to stop viral replication and as prevention when traveling or exposed to sick individuals. Please know, this is not considered medical advice and is for educational purposes only and my own personal experience with using the below methods. 

    1. Colloidal Silver

    2. NAC (N-Acetylcysteine)

    3. Saline solution + Highly diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide + Iodine

    Let's dive into each one.

    Silver has been used to kill over 650 different illness-causing microorganisms, bacteria, viruses and fungi for centuries all over the world. Colloidal silver is a liquid derived from silver particles small enough to be measured in nanometers. Unlike silver that is a natural occurring element in nature, colloidal silver is produced using water, silver and a generator.

    Some of the things to look out for when choosing colloidal silver are: 

    • Particle Size: The smaller the size of the mineral particles, the safer, more effective and greatest in bio-activity. The smaller the particle, the better absorbed and easier for the body to excrete what it can’t use. Particles 0.8 nanometers in size is best. The solution should be clear to ensure smallest particle size as silver reflects light when left in larger pieces. 

    • Positive Charge: The bioactive form of silver is the positively charged form, and in order for colloidal silver particles to be effective, they must be converted into a bioactive form. A higher ratio of positively charged silver (try to get as close to 100% as possible) creates an unwanted environment to unfriendly organisms. 

    • Purity: True colloidal silver contains more than 50% silver in nanoparticle form. On the other hand, if it contains only 5-10% nanoparticles, it is considered ionic silver. Pharmaceutical based water ONLY is best, void of any proteins or gelatin additions. 

    • PPM: PPM refers to the mass of a substance per unit volume of water. According to Sovereign Silver, when a silver product contains the most active species of silver, coupled with the smallest particle size and greatest amount of positively charged silver, then a safe low concentration of 10 to 23 ppm bioactive silver is sufficient.

    Due to colloidal silvers antiviral and antibacterial properties, one of the most common uses is to nebulize it as a form of treatment for bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. It is also shown to have profound oncolytic properties as an additional treatment against lung cancers (SOURCE)

    Bronchitis is usually caused by a pathogen that inflames and irritates both the bronchial tubes, windpipes and the tiny hairs that line the passageways. This inflammation causes fits of coughing, mucous and a rattle in the chest when breathing. Other symptoms such as wheezing, chest pain and low grade fever may sometimes accompany bronchitis. The pathogens can be either viral or bacterial from a concurrent respiratory infection or other chemical pollutants. Colloidal silver has been shown to be affective against the pathogens that cause acute and chronic bronchitis after studies showing the ineffectiveness of the traditionally prescribed antibiotic medication. 

    Although colloidal silver is effective when ingested as a treatment to disease, breathing it into the lungs delivers direct speedy respiratory support. Using a Nebulizer is the fastest way to get silver nanoparticles into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system, and straight to the lungs where they are absorbed. Not to be confused or used with humidifiers or essential oil vaporizers. 

    My favorite brand is Sovereign Silver because it has been proven over and over again to be a very potent silver. 

    How we personally use it:

    For most respiratory infections, we typically nebulize one teaspoon, 2-3 times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. The first few days nebulizing colloidal silver may cause coughing and phlegm before treatment helps lungs feel better. Most holistic doctors recommend that treatment should be limited to no more than 30 days or as needed temporarily. Always check with your physician to be certain. They also make a nose spray that we use while traveling or when sick as well. If you have an active virus it will burn a little bit when you use the nose spray and I have personally experienced that several times. 

    We have only had to use NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) two times in the past five years and we mainly used it to break up thick mucus, prevent bronchitis and pneumonia when there was mucus that wouldn't budge. The only downside to using NAC is that the liquid vials you use for the nebulizer are only obtained via a prescription by a medical professional and not all pharmacies keep them in stock. Oh and it smells like pure sulfur...which is also a slight downside. I make sure to always have some on hand and not wait until we "need" it. 

    Why do I love it so much?

    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor of the antioxidant glutathione, has been used to loosen thick mucus in the lungs and treat acetaminophen overdose for five decades. However, NAC can also boost the immune system, suppress viral replication, and reduce inflammation. SOURCE

    • NAC has anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties and has been used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rhinosinusitis with variable results. The antioxidant effects of NAC are thought to be mediated by increased levels of intracellular reduced glutathione in the lungs and neutralizing oxidant species. Its mucolytic action is attributed to its effect of reducing sulfhydryl moieties, thereby leading to a disruption of disulfide bridges within the glycoprotein matrix of mucus. This causes a reduction in the viscoelasticity of mucus and brings the levels closer to the optimal level, thereby making it easier to transport along the airways. SOURCE

    • My daughter has a weak point in her lungs, mine is usually my sinuses. Everytime she gets a virus it always represents with coughing and mucus. One time she had a cough that wouldn't budge no matter what we tried. Nebulized NAC broke it up within 24 hours and we could all sleep again. 

    How we personally use it:

    • Since liquid NAC is only available via prescription there will be instructions included with the vials. You will also need to ask for needles (my pharmacy doesn't automatically give them) to be able to pull the liquid out. You can get this in 10% or 20% strength, I requested 20% and this specific brand because it is preservative free. Below is a picture of my actual vile for you to show your doctor when requesting the prescription.

    Ok, I know this one sounds a little out there and maybe even scary but I promise, we have nebulized hydrogen peroxide so many times I have lost count for over five years with ZERO side effects. BUT it's very important that you make sure you do it correctly, which is outlined below via an article I will link written by one of my favorite physicians. As always, check with your personal physician if you have concerns. 

    Dr. David Brownstein, who has a clinic just outside of Detroit, Michigan, has successfully treated over 200 patients with what has become my favorite intervention for viruses and other upper respiratory infections, namely nebulized hydrogen peroxide. He has now published a book describing his approach, titled “A Holistic Approach to Viruses.” which I highly suggest you purchase and keep on your bookshelf.

    A peer-reviewed consecutive case series of 107 COVID-19 patients treated with nebulized peroxide and other remedies, including oral vitamins A, C and D, iodine, intravenous hydrogen peroxide and iodine as well as intravenous (IV) vitamin C, along with intramuscular ozone, was published in the July 2020 issue of Science, Public Health Policy, and the Law.1 All patients survived.

    Nebulized Peroxide Basics

    I’ve embraced nebulized peroxide since the pandemic broke out and have received many anecdotal reports from people who have successfully used it, even at more advanced stages. Based on Brownstein’s experience, I now also add iodine (2 drops to the .01% peroxide solution since I have the 2% iodine) when nebulizing, as it appears to make it even more effective.

    You absolutely must use FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide. Do not use the brown bottle from the grocery store, that is not food grade nor is it meant to be used internally as it has additional stabilizers that you would never want to inhale. I order my food grade hydrogen peroxide from Modern Alchemy, I trust their quality 100%. I reached out to the owner to let her know how much I love her hydrogen peroxoide and that we have used it multiple times with great success. I also asked her if my customers could get 10% off her products and she happily agreed. Use code: rootsandleaves at checkout on her site HERE to get 10% off your order. 

    Keep in mind that the peroxide needs to be diluted with saline. Some physicians recommend diluting it down to 0.1%. Brownstein recommends diluting it to 0.04%. If you pre-dilute to 0.04%, it will stay potent for about three months when kept refrigerated. If you do a 0.1% dilution, it may stay potent a bit longer. I personally chose to do a .1% solution as outlined in the chart below. Here is a link to the full article on how to nebulize hydrogen peroxide written by Dr. Mercola. 

    If you don’t have access to saline, you can make your own by mixing one teaspoon of unprocessed salt (such as Himalayan salt, Celtic salt or Redmond’s real salt) into a pint of water. This will give you a 0.9% saline solution, which is about the concentration found in body fluids. Using that saline, you will then dilute the hydrogen peroxide as described in the below chart. Since the peroxide I purchase comes in the form of 17% I dilute that down to 3% first and Modern Alchemy includes easy instructions on how to do so with your order and then I dilute it down to .1% using the measurements from the below chart.

    How we use it:

    We personally nebulize it two-three times a day for 10 minutes at a time when traveling or around a lot of people to stop potential viral replication and/or at the VERY FIRST sign of illness. Dr. Brownstein talks about when he was treating multiple covid positive patients a day he would nebulize the solution two times a day and he and his staff stayed healthy.

    If you want to dive deeper into unique immune support strategies, what to request if you end up in the hospital, step by step guides on staying immune strong and keeping inflammation low then consider joining The Crunchy Club. You can also download this free 27 page PDF e-book called "IMMUNE" HERE. It is packed full of immune system support tips. It is free for a limited time so grab it while you can. 

    And there you have it friends! The three items we always keep on hand for our nebulizer. We even travel with our nebulizer, just in case. As always, this is not to substitute for medical advice this is just what we personally utilize and I have followed the science and doctors for over a year before I was comfortable sharing this valuable information with all of you. But remember that I am not a medical doctor, I am an herbalist and a dedicated researcher. I feel confident enough to administer these modalities to my family, including my child and have never had any issues but always check with your medical doctor.

    I wish you all health and peace.




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    Top Benefits of an Infared Sauna + HUGE discount for my community

    Top Benefits of an Infared Sauna + HUGE discount for my community

    Five years ago, I had seen doctor after doctor.  Some of them helped push me in the right direction, but I still had a lot of health issues lingering from my chronic lyme. One holistic health practitioner recommended purchasing a sauna to help my body heal and detox (I have MTHFR gene).

    I was told that a sauna could be amazing for some of the symptoms I was living with. Headaches, cold all the time, inflammation, inability to detox, overall fatigue and more.  

    So, I tried one at my local gym. And after just one use...I felt worse, not better. I was determined to figure out WHY that sauna made me feel worse. I brought it up at my next holistic doctor appointment and she asked me what type of sauna I used. 

    I told her it was a steam sauna and she said "oh that's why it made you feel worse". Steam saunas are notorious for mold spores. Since I already had high mold in my blood she said it "stirred up" the mold in my body. She recommended a specific brand and a specific type of infrared sauna that didn't use steam.   

    I found a local spa that had the type of sauna my doctor recommended. I wanted to be sure it wouldn't make me feel worse. So, I sat in it for 40 minutes.  


    Much to my surprise, I felt relaxed in the sauna. Afterwards I felt energized and then I slept great that night which had not happened in years. More importantly it did not flare up any of my symptoms.

    I was so excited to finally find a sauna I could tolerate! So, I started digging into the research and details of why this particular sauna worked. And why I reacted to all the others.

    The type of sauna that worked so well for me was an Infrared Sauna. 

    Infrared saunas are very different from other type of saunas (dry sauna, steam sauna, heated rocks, etc...). Unlike steam, there is no moisture with an infrared sauna. That means ZERO mold spores. 

    And unlike other types of saunas, infrared saunas can be used effectively at lower temperatures. This can be helpful for people with mold symptoms and histamine issues.

    Let’s talk about what an infrared sauna is and how it works. 

    (Jump to the discount info here if you don't want to read the full article)

    Infrared Sauna: How It Works + Health Benefits  

    Infrared light is felt as an internal heat. The soothing, natural warmth from the sun is infrared heat. But unlike the sun, the infrared light here doesn’t have UV rays that can cause sunburn or aging.  

    In fact, you can be exposed to infrared light for hours without any risk of burning.    

    Infrared light therapy is 100% safe 

    I find this gentle heat so relaxing and comforting. It reminds me of being on a beach, soaking up the sun on a warm summer day.

    Research on infrared saunas has shown the below health benefits: 

    • Helps with wound healing and muscle recovery
    • Immune support
    • Boosts metabolism 
    • Helps remove toxins from the body (detoxification) – i.e. mold toxins, chemicals, metals.
    • Inflammation-lowering effects 
    • Acts similarly to antioxidant nutrients 
    • Activates the cell healing cycles 
    • May help to potentially lower dementia/alzheimer's risk 

    Not all infrared saunas are created equal though. In fact the best infrared saunas provide 3 different bands of infrared wavelengths:  

    1. Near Infrared 
    2. Mid Infrared 
    3. Far Infrared 

    Each of these wavelengths provides different benefits.  

    Near Infrared reaches the skin’s outermost layer. It energizes and regenerates cells. Benefits include:  

    • Cell Health/Immunity Boost 
    • Faster Wound Healing 
    • Skin Rejuvenation 
    • Muscle Recovery 

    Mid Infrared wavelengths reach the body’s soft tissue. This is where inflammation occurs. Benefits include:  

    • Pain Relief 
    • Improved Circulation 
    • Muscle Recovery  

    Far Infrared reaches deepest into the body. It can reach deep into the tissues where toxins are often stored. Benefits include:  

    • Weight Loss 
    • Detoxification 
    • Relaxation 
    • Immune Support

    My Recommendation for a Safe Infrared Sauna– 

    When I recommend something, I do a lot of research on that product. I take a lot into consideration and I try it for myself first. 

    In the research I did, I learned that not all infrared saunas are equal. In fact, they can be very different in terms of EMFs, chemical off-gassing, and need for high heat temperatures.   

    So, which sauna was it that has worked so well for myself and many friends and family?

    The sauna I settled on is from Sunlighten

    Here is what allowed me to tolerate Sunlighten Sauna when I couldn’t tolerate other saunas. 

    These are the 5 major reasons why I went with Sunlighten Sauna: 

    1. Has all 3 infrared wavelengths: near, mid, and far 
    2. Can get the health benefits at lower temperatures for shorter times 
    3. Low EMF (with 3rd party testing validation) 
    4. No chemical off-gassing 
    5. Sustainable materials used (better for the environment) 

    My favorite of Sunlighten’s sauna has a patented infrared technology with all 3 wavelengths. These wavelengths deliver those gentle, warming infrared waves directly into the body.  

    Delivering the infrared waves directly into your body is what can allow you to detox without high temperatures and in a shorter period of time than other saunas.  

    With some saunas, only the air is heated. That means only your outer skin is getting hot which means you won’t have much detox happening – so what’s the point?  

    But infrared waves penetrate your body deeper. These waves reach those deeper tissues where toxins are stored. Particularly reaching the fat-soluble toxins like mold toxins. 

    Another reason I like Sunlighten is the low EMF factor. 

    One of the reasons I had trouble with so many saunas is that most emit a lot of EMFs. And there is clear, solid evidence showing how EMFs trigger inflammation.

    So, you don’t want a sauna with high EMFs, look for 3rd party testing for EMFs by an independent testing company.  

    You don’t want to just go by the company’s own evaluation, though. It’s too easy for a company to skew their own results if it’s not 3rd party tested. 

    Sunlighten Saunas were 3rd party EMF tested in 2020 and 2021. This testing showed EMF levels in Sunlighten Saunas were lower than 95 percent of common household devices like hair dryers or vacuum cleaners!   

    Of course, I still tested with my own EMF meter as well. And I found the EMF levels in my sauna to be very low.  

    And some people (like me) can be triggered by off-gassing of toxic chemicals. This is another reason I had trouble with other saunas in the past. 

    Sunlighten doesn’t purchase saunas from a large, mass-production sauna factory. They source all raw materials from PEFC-certified and FSC-certified woods. These are certifications for socially and environmentally responsible wood sourcing.  

    They have also done extensive third-party testing to ensure their saunas are made with safe, non-toxic materials. So, no weird chemical smell, and no off-gassing! 

    The sauna I picked is made with hypoallergenic basswood. This is the wood I’d recommend if you have any chemical sensitivities or allergies.

    There are a lot of great health benefits and there have been many clinical studies done to back up the claims. Below is just a snippet of some of my favorites but if you scroll down to the bottom of this post there are a ton of studies under references. 

    >>> A 2016 study compared to people who used the sauna once per week, those who used it 2-3 times per week and 4-7 times per week had a 21% and 66% lower risk for dementia, respectively. For Alzheimer's disease specifically, the risk was 20% and 65% lower, respectively.

    >>> A 2013 study (see references below) concluded that repeated sauna may help people with allergic rhinitis. This is a kind of nasal swelling and congestion often associates with histamine issues, mold, allergies and mast cell activation.

    >>> A case study that was published in 2014 showed that sauna was helpful for severe chronic itching that didn’t respond to antihistamines.

    >>> Further, there are studies showing how sauna can support the nervous system and relaxation. 

    >>> A 2013 study looked at the effects of just a single 15-minute sauna session. The study showed that sauna improved the white blood cell profiles. 

    >>> Sauna use has also been shown in studies to help the skin in people with psoriasis and eczema. 

    >>> Finally, there are numerous studies showing how sauna supports removal of toxins in the body. This includes mold toxins and was my main reason for purchasing one.

    I think the most important reason to own a sauna right now is the clinical data backing the fact that infrared saunas can drastically boost your immune system. When we feel like we are coming down with something we get in the sauna, which can induce a rise in basal body temperature, and viruses do NOT like heat. At first sign of illness we combine sauna treatment, elderberry tonic every two hours, high dose vitamin C/D and we are usually good to go within a day or two. 

    How Infrared Saunas Can Boost Your Immune System During Cold and Flu Season

    The cold and flu season is upon us. It is far better to strengthen the immune system so that you reduce the chance of getting sick in the first place. After all, viruses can only make you sick if your immune system allows it.

    How a Fever Improves Immune Function 

    When you have an infection, your immune system induces fever in order to stimulate immune function and make the body less habitable for pathogens [1]. Generally, fevers under 104oF (40oC) help the body fight off pathogens without the risk of febrile seizures. In addition, people infected with rhinovirus (a type of cold virus) who use anti-fever medications experienced reduced immune response — they experienced worsened symptoms, took longer to recover from the cold, and were more infectious than those who didn’t use medications [2]. 

    According to the American College of Critical Care Medicine, fever is defined as a core temperature of 100.9°F (38.3°C) or higher, i.e. just above the upper limit of an average human temperature, irrespective of the cause [3]. Sunlighten infrared saunas can penetrate deep into tissues and raise core body temperature to approximately 102°F (39°C). Although the sauna heats you up differently than a fever does, the increased body temperature can provide many benefits of fever, such as improving immune functions and preparing your body for the cold and flu season.

    1) Making antiviral and antibacterial immune responses more efficient

    Many aspects of immune function are heat-sensitive and are designed to be mobilized in response to a fever. Specifically, fever-range body temperature causes the body to favor anti-viral and anti-bacterial immune response (Th1) over the antiparasitic or allergic (Th2) immune response. In addition, fever-range temperature helps the immune system better remember germs that you are exposed to, so that the next time you encounter them pathogens, your body can fight them off better [4]

    In addition to heating the body, near-infrared light also stimulates white blood cells and increases antibodies against germs by increasing cellular energy production [5].

    2) Hormesis

    The term “hormesis” refers to a small amount of stress that trains the body to get stronger. For example, exercise is a type of hormesis. Many health benefits of saunas are due to hormesis. 

    Using the sauna generates heat stress and oxidative stress at the low levels that help the body better deal with these stressors. The heat exposures trigger the production of heat-shock proteins, which help other protein molecules fold correctly. In addition, heat-shock proteins also help the immune system fight off viruses [6]. 

    Too much oxidative stress can damage tissues and immune cells, which reduces your ability to fight infections. The sauna generates small amounts of oxidative stress that increases your cell’s antioxidant capacity, which reduces your risk of getting sick [7]. 

    3) Anti-aging for the immune system

    The immune system, which is continually replenished by immune stem cells in the bone marrow and thymus, is one of the most sensitive systems to aging. This is why the elderly (>65 years old) are more likely to get sick and develop complications from cold and flu. 

    As people age, their immune stem cells have a declining ability to regenerate more white blood cells. Interestingly, photobiomodulation, especially from the near-infrared spectrum, may stimulate the mitochondria of these stem cells and help mitigate age-related immune decline [8].

    4) Reducing Stress 

    Stress significantly increases the incidences of colds by reducing the antiviral immune system, partly because cortisol suppresses the immune responses [9, 10, 11]. Exposure to far-infrared sauna significantly reduces post-exercise cortisol, which may mitigate the immune-suppression effects of stress [12, 13]. In addition, you can use Sunlighten infrared saunas, along with Acoustic Resonance Therapy technology to help you get into a relaxed state, which may further help reduce the risk of getting sick from stress. I personally like to meditate and use my sauna time as "me time", I look at it as a huge stress reliever and my time to check out. 

    5) Normalizing the Circadian Rhythm and Improving Sleep

    Not all sleep is created equal. Deep sleep helps build your antiviral immune system, so you want to increase deep sleep in the winter [14]. 

    During colder months, when the days are shorter and sunlight is dimmer, your sleep could get thrown off. You may hardly notice it because you are still going to work and sleep on the same schedule, but you may experience changes in mood, fatigue, and more frequent colds partly because you are not sleeping as deeply.

    According to board-certified sleep psychologist Dr. Micheal Breus, the steep drop in body temperature in the evening helps cue your body that it is time to sleep. Using the infrared sauna in the afternoon to help you relax before allowing your body temperature to drop naturally will improve your sleep quality. 

    Using the Sauna Reduce Incidences of Common Cold

    In an Austrian study, 25 healthy subjects who regularly used saunas had significantly fewer episodes of common colds than those who did not [15]. This benefit becomes more significant, especially after 14 weeks of consecutive sauna use. Therefore, in order to fully experience the immune-strengthening benefits of sauna use, you want to use it regularly, at least twice a week throughout the year.

    And now that I’ve found a safe sauna option, it’s one of the key steps I recommend for almost everyone to include in their healthy lifestyle.

    Remember, as I have said before, not all infrared saunas are worth your money. This is worth repeating if you are serious about purchasing a sauna.  

    The really nice thing about the type of sauna I share with you below is that you don’t have to heat it very hot to get the benefits. In fact, you can start with fairly low temperatures.  

    You don’t even have to sweat to be able to get the benefits from the sauna I picked. This is really nice for people who are still having trouble sweating or can’t do high heat. 

    My favorite of Sunlighten’s saunas has a patented infrared technology with all 3 wavelengths. These wavelengths deliver those gentle, warming infrared waves directly into the body.  

    Delivering the infrared waves directly into your body is what can allow you to detox without high temperatures and in a shorter period of time than other saunas.  

    With some saunas, only the air is heated. That means only your outer skin is getting hot which means you won’t have much detox happening – so what’s the point?  

    But infrared waves penetrate your body deeper. These waves reach those deeper tissues where toxins are stored. Particularly reaching the fat-soluble toxins like mold.

    With Sunlighten, I’m finally able to get all the benefits of a sauna without experiencing any flares!  

    Sunlighten saunas have good research behind them and have been proven to 95-99% effective.  

    And as a bonus, it’s super easy to use.   

    Adding an infrared sauna to your home is affordable and easier than you may think. 

    When I first tried the Sunlighten Sauna at the spa, I felt so great, I knew I’d want to come back again and again. I just felt so good afterward. 

    Even beyond detoxing, I already knew the research on infrared sauna use and longevity was solid. So, I figured now that I’d found a sauna I could use, I’d want it to become part of my regular health routine for the long term. 

    I looked at some numbers, next. The cost of going to this spa 2-3 times a week for the long term was going to get expensive quickly.  

    When I added what it would cost me to get 3 sauna sessions per week for a year, it was going to cost me more than just buying a home sauna!  

    Since I knew I’d use it frequently…and because it was a great investment in my health…it just made sense to get a sauna I could use at home. 

    It certainly isn’t the cheapest thing I’ve done for my health. But, they had financing options, a great warranty, and a return period. I knew if it could help me through my mold detox and with my muscle and joint pain, it would definitely be worth it. And it really has been, we absolutely LOVE our sauna. And even better, I wouldn’t have to worry about other people’s germs and sweat. 

    If you are thinking about getting a home sauna for yourself, you’ll want to know about the different model options. This can save you some time. 

    Sunlighten has 4 models: 

    1. mPulse 
    2. Solo 
    3. Amplify 
    4. Signature 

    Let’s start with the mPulse. This is the one I want in the future but it was out of my budget four years ago so we started with the Signature.   

    mPulse Sauna Model:


    The mPulse offers all 3 infrared wavelengths: near, mid, and far.  

    The near infrared has been shown to be very helpful for cell rejuvenation and anti-aging.  

    And the construction has something called an emissive coating. This allows the sauna to produce more infrared per square inch than any other heater on the market. That translates to more health benefits with lower temperatures and shorter amounts of time in the sauna. 

    It comes with a built-in Android control panel. The control panel can be used in airplane mode to keep the EMFs down. 

    I also like that it has 6 preset Wellness Programs. Each program uses a different combination of wavelengths: 




    Pain Relief 

    Weight loss 


    Custom program options – this is where you can create your own programs. 

    The mPulse does need a little space in your home and also needs a dedicated outlet (meaning nothing else runs off that circuit). 

    We are saving up our money to purchase this unit in the future, but for now we are still very happy with our signature 2. 

    But what if you don’t have the space or budget for a walk-in unit?  

    Solo Sauna Model:

    For those that don’t have the space for the larger sauna or don’t want to spend the money on the walk-in options, Sunlighten also has a portable infrared sauna called the Solo System.   

    The Solo can be a great option if you don’t have space for a larger sauna or need a more budget-friendly option.   

    It differs from the mPulse because it isn’t a walk-in model.  

    Instead, you recline and are cocooned in it, but your head remains outside the unit. This can be good for some people who are extremely heat sensitive for any reason. 

    The Solo model doesn’t have all 3 infrared wavelengths. It just has far infrared, but this is still great for detoxifying and immune support. 

    The Solo model doesn’t need a dedicated circuit, either.  

    What about the other 2 units? 

    Amplify Sauna Model:

    The Amplify Sauna has 2 ceramic heaters at the front for people who like a hotter sauna. This sauna technically provides all 3 wavelengths, as the extra heaters are full spectrum.  They don’t provide the same, quality, precise wavelengths as the mPulse. 

    Signature Sauna Model:

    The Signature Sauna also offers far infrared only. It can be a good choice if you want a cabin unit and are only interested in the detoxification benefits. This is the one that we purchased because we felt it was the best bang for our buck and at the time I mainly needed detox benefits. 

    Four years ago my husband and I decided that for our Christmas present (for years…ha)  to each other we would invest in a sauna, and it has been worth every single penny. 

    After owning and testing out my sunlighten sauna for four years I decided to reach out to them to see if I could get my community a discount, and they said YES! I really wish I would have had this discount when I purchased. 

    If you’re ready for a sauna, it can be a great investment in your health. I get in my sauna 3-4 times per week! My husband gets in almost everyday and it has dramatically helped his chronic back pain.

    I tend to feel cold a lot. And when the weather turns cooler, it feels so good to hop in there to warm up! 

    While these aren’t the least expensive sauna units, they are, in my opinion, the best and highest quality on the market.

    I love being able to share new products with you that I’ve found helpful. But I know cost can be a concern for those of us with so many health expenses. I have lived that after spending thousands and thousands on doctors that didn’t help me.

    UP TO $600 (Either $500 or $600 depending on the model)


    $250 off a solo unit 

    Two different ways to access the discount:

    # 1 - Use this link directly to order online. The discount will be applied as long as you don't navigate away from the direct link.  

    # 2 - Call Sunlighten at 877.292.0020 x1  and tell them you’d like the "Roots and Leaves Discount"

    You can also learn more about Sunlighten Sauna here:

    >>> Learn more about Sunlighten Sauna

    As passionate as I am about this sauna, there are those who might not be ready for it, though.  

    Who Shouldn’t Use Sauna?  

    When considering if sauna is safe for you, there are a few other situations where you should definitely talk to your licensed medical provider first: 


    Metal implants 

    Multiple Sclerosis, Central Nervous System Tumors, and Diabetes with Neuropathy 


    Recovering from surgery 


    If none of the above describes you though, then you can do further reading and exploration on saunas and you might consider giving Sunlighten Sauna a try! My body thanks me every time I use mine! 

    Enjoy the discount friends and let me know if you end up purchasing one and how you like it (I know you will!).





    **as always this does not constitute as medical advice, this is just my personal experience with using infrared saunas.

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    Triple Lab Tested for Ultimate Quality

    Triple Lab Tested for Ultimate Quality



    Wearing a hair net, in a lab, is not my most flattering photo but sharing this important message mattered more!
    Do you know our products are tested THREE times? 
    Above is a picture of me and my daughter in our production facility lab, having fun and learning from the scientists/chemists (most of which are women so that is amazing for my little one to see). She even did a fun science experiment for my five year old that day, so homeschool science check! 
    First: When we produce our products we check for PH, potency, and more, right on the spot. 
    Second: Then, we go a step further and PAY for third party lab testing that tests for toxins, lead, mold, mildew and harmful contaminants like pesticides.
    Last but not least: We test for shelf stability. Meaning, we know EXACTLY how long our product is good for before mold and mildew starts to develop. Like literally, exactly. This took over a year to lab test. Our elderberry is completely safe unopened for two years, once open it is good for two months in the fridge.
    Yes, we could have made that longer by adding harsh preservatives or adding a TON more honey but we actually care about your health. 
    Sharing this unflattering picture to show our customers how much I truly care about quality. We are not required to triple test our products, but it is what I would want for the products I purchase and consume so I do the same for you and your family! 
    Thank you for putting your trust in me, my formulations and my quality standards!
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    low fat and low carb ranch dressing

    Homemade Low Fat/Low Carb Ranch Dressing

    Recently I have been strength training very instensly and in doing so I realized I needed to do an overhaul of my diet. Even though I eat extremely healthy and focus on whole organic foods, I realized I wasn't getting enough protein everyday to sustain my new muscles and energy levels. I embarked on the journey of counting macros to ensure that I was getting plenty of protein and carbs every day, while watching my fat intake to optimize my strength training. 

    This was a difficult feat at first because I LOVE my homemade mayo and ranch but I now only consume around 50-60 grams of fat a day and that would easily be gobbled up with just a few tablespoons of my normal homemade ranch. And let me tell ya, I am a serious clean ranch addict. 

    Listen, there are tons of ranch recipes out there but I could not find one that tasted good and wasn't loaded with fat. I tried some no fat greek yogurt ranch recipes and they were...super sour and sorely lacking in flavor so I decided to create my own recipe. 

    If you follow a low carb way of eating then normal ranch is perfectly fine for you as you need the extra fat content to compensate for lack of carbs, but if you follow a macro based (higher/moderate carbs) or lower fat lifestyle like I am then this is the perfect ranch dressing for you. 


    1 cup no fat yogurt- my fave is Siggi's Icelandic

    6 tbsp mayo (I use my homemade mayo recipe which you can find here)

    1.5 tsp dried dill

    1 tsp dried chives

    1.5 tsp dried parsley

    1 teaspoon garlic powder

    3/4 tsp salt

    1/4 tsp ground pepper

    1 tbsp rice vinegar or Fire Cider

    *Optional but totally amps up the flavor and cuts the sourness of the yogurt:

    *1 tsp swerve or sugar/honey/sweetner of choice

    *1 tsp Trader Joe's Multipurpose unami seasoning blend

    *1-2 tsp siracha for a little spice

    *2-4 cloves raw garlic pressed or minced

    Add all of the above to a 2 cup measuring cup and mix well, add water until the mixture reaches 2 cups. We like our ranch pretty thin so add less water if you want thicker ranch 

    Nutritional Info:

    Whole 2 cups: 750 calories, 60 grams of fat, 10.5 carbs, 28 grams protein

    Per Tbsp: 24 calories, 2 g fat, .33 carbs, .89 protein

    Pour your ranch into one of our elderberry and honey tonic bottles that you have (obviously) saved to recycle! It makes the perfect glass container to pour this delicous ranch with ease. 

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