The Critical Role of Sleep

In these times of high anxiety, when every social media post or news article can invoke a feeling of not being grounded, there are both ancient and more recent learnings that can provide us with guidance, as we enter the cool Winter season.

Critical Role of Sleep
We all know that we feel better able to deal with the day-to-day stressors in life when we are well rested. The current scientific research supports that we need to get at least 8 hours of sleep for basic good health. For some, that is a very difficult goal to set, because of the push and pull of the daily to-do list. But consider, this is not a deficit we can pay back, and every waking hour goes better when we get this sleep.

It has been recently discovered that the brain has a drainage system, called a “glymphatic” system. This system is responsible for clearing out the “gunk” that might otherwise harm our brain. In preliminary research, this system, when it is not cleaned out via sleep, supports the development of beta amyloid,  the protein that can be a primary contributor to the development of Alzheimer’s. These proteins also have an affinity for the deep sleep centers. So, the less sleep we get the more “gunk” and the more “gunk” the less well we can sleep.

Dr. Matthew Walker, the Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California Berkley and the author of new book, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams, provides guidance as to getting a good night’s sleep.  

·       Sleep in a completely darkened room: Photons of light can upset the circadian rhythms.

·       No caffeine or alcohol: Adenosine is a hormone which is important in signaling sleep to the brain. Caffeine interferes with this hormone. Alcohol disrupts the ability to get a deep night’s sleep.

·       The wisdom of Ayurveda provides guidance that it is best to be in bed in a quiet, dark, uncluttered bed room before 11 pm.This means: electronic devices put away around ten and the same pre-bedtime routine that works for you: calming tea (such as Passiflora’s Sanctuary blend), Passionflower solid extract in warm water, a soothing footbath or bath with Epsom salts, lavender essential oil on the feet, and/or yogic legs up the wall. Develop a consistent self-love night-time routine that works for you.

·       Sleep in a cool room

·      If you wake during the night, train your brain that your bed is for sleep. Get up and go to another room to read or meditate until you get sleepy. Avoid bright lights and electronic devices.

Ayurvedic Wisdom for the Winter Season
Ayurveda  (the ancient Indian “science of life”) provides guidance as to how to bring more balance, joy and vitality to life. In the season of windy-ness, lightness and sometimes dry-ness, the antidotes are warm, unctuous and soothing.

·       Remember to be gentle on yourself, such as: walks in the woods, restorative yoga at home (in child’s pose or legs up the wall at bedtime), an early morning breathing practice with “I am” on the inhale and “at peace” on the exhale. Put yourself and your peace on your to-do list!

·       Slow cooked soups and stews, roasted root vegetables and squashes and other naturally sweet, warm and soothing foods, eating slowly, in pleasant surroundings and company are the anti-dote to the season.  Check out our catering menu, if you would like to order our nourishing soups by the quart.

·       Ashwagandha is a Fall harvested root that allows you to have vitality and healthy focus during the day; and still allows you to sleep at night. The recommended dose is 500 mg twice a day. Some of our favorite brands are Banyan Botanicalsand Organic India.

·       A sesame oil self-massage before the shower (include some of your favorite essential oils, perhaps rose geranium or grapefruit in the am; and lavender or vetiver in the pm) is calming and soothing to the body and central nervous system.

We hope that Passiflora will play a role in your winter health. Look to us as your calming, relaxing community space. Contact us at passifloratearoom@gmail if you would like to have a private, consult herbal or Ayurvedic consult.

BE WELL

Gratitude is the Best Medicine

Over the past 14 years, we are so grateful for all the times you have chosen to be a part of Passiflora’s community.

It reminds me that gratitude is a wonderful medicine.
Gratitude has the quality of being slow, deep and grounding. Gratitude can lower blood pressure and slow heart rate. It has an Ayurvedic quality of being “sattvic” or pure, making us feel more connected and centered which runs opposite to overwhelm, anxiety, stress, fear, envy, and stagnation.
Our life force energy aligns with what we focus on. When we slow down for a moment to express, record and deeply feel gratitude, we can feel our worries start to melt away, our anxiety dissipates and our grounded-ness increases.
In the moment of distresses in our life, it is hard to remember to express and feel gratitude. However, trying to incorporate it into a simple morning practice. Breathing (prana) and gratitude is a simple “free-bie” in life. Upon arising, find a quiet place and center in on the breath. Breath in “I am”, pause and breath out “at peace”, “grateful”, “abundant”, (you choose what you need). After a few of these breaths, envision 3 highly tangible things that you are grateful for: your warm pajamas, your ability to walk, a dear family member or friend, or that stranger that held the door for you.

Tell the people in your life that your grateful for them. Tell the strangers you meet when you are grateful for them. When I travel and I see other business owners that are brave enough to run businesses or a young worker that out of bed early to make sure I had coffee that morning, this gives me another moment of gratitude, a simple but powerful gift.

And remember that the simple acts of kindness that you show to someone can be their reason for being grateful today. Listen to that customer, friend, barista, elder folk as you go through your day.

Self-care is radical and empowering. 
Gratitude is an easily accessible form of self-care. It creates magic in each day!
Every time I walk into Passiflora, I feel so blessed to have had each of you in my life. 
Have a restful peaceful time with your family and friends

.

We hope to see your smiling face.
Karen Tyson

Passiflora's "Start Fresh" Cleanse Menu 2018

   

Passiflora’s “Start Fresh” 
Cleanse Package for 2018

Each day you will get 16 ounces of each drink, 1 quart of salad, and 1 quart of soup. Add on tea and herbal sweet bites at an additional cost. Create your own menu for each day with all of our different options.  Two day minimum required to do the Cleanse.  Cleanse for 4 days and get their 5th day free or Cleanse with a friend and get a 10% discount! 

 Glowing Green” Juice:  A salad in a bottle: Brings you the best of leafy greens together with lemony goodness to energize, invigorate and lighten-up.  Contains: Organic Spinach, Organic Romaine, Organic Kale, Organic Avocado, Organic Celery, Lemon and Organic Green Apple. 

 “Beets are the Best Veggie for Your Liver” Juice: We have combined the sweetness of beets and with the spiciness of ginger in a base of coconut water to create a warming feel good juice. Beets are rich sources of folate and carrots are loaded with Vitamin A. Contains: Organic Beets, Organic ginger, Carrots, and Coconut Water 

Ginger Peach Detox Juice: We have combined warming anti-inflammatory organic turmeric ginger tea with the lightness and sweetness of peaches and raspberries. A bit of tonifying/rejuvenating dates are added for sweetness, with avocado for some essential fats, and lightness of cilantro for detoxing. Contains: Organic Turmeric Ginger Tea, Peaches, Raspberries, Avocado, Dates, Fresh Ginger and Cilantro. 

Soups: All soups are vegan and gluten free; and prepared with an organic veggie stock:

§ Broccoli Soup with White Beans (Puree) : Rich in pre-biotics such as garlic and loaded with the anti-oxidant- sulfur rich benefits of broccoli, and warming spices such as cayenne and warming spices. Contains: Organic Broccoli, Organic Yellow Onions, Garlic Cloves, Organic Veggie Broth, Cannellini Beans,  Lemon, and  Cayenne Pepper.

§Carrot Ginger Soup: The nutrient density of Vitamin A rich carrots, combined with the warmth of curry seasoning. Contains:  Garlic Cloves, Organic Onions, Organic Carrots, Ginger Root, Organic Veggie Stock, Black Pepper, and light coconut milk

 

Salads: Kept in a quart sized mason jar:

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  Lemony Raw Beet and Quinoa Salad: Cooked quinoa, shredded beet, lemon juice, diced shallots, fresh dill, sliced green olives and topped with pistachios. Accompanied with a lemon and garlic dressing containing garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and a touch of maple syrup.

 Massaged Pressed Kale Salad: Organic kale, red cabbage, carrot, red onion, beets, apple, fresh ginger, and lemon, with a handful of cilantro, and parsley. Topped with sesame seeds. 

Teas (Optional at an Additional Price): 5.50 Per Ounce (5-6 Cups)

Passiflora’s Organic Cleanse Tea: containing burdock root, nettles and to keep your system moving as you detox from some of the Holiday season excess. Contains: Echinacea, dandelion root, nettle leaf, chicory root, burdock, licorice, cinnamon, and orange peel. 

 Organic Turmeric Ginger Tea: warming and rich in anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger. Contains: Organic Ginger, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Licorice Root, Organic Lemongrass, Organic Turmeric, and essential oil of lemon.

Pomegranate Oolong: contains a bit of caffeine but the pomegranate supports the lymph system, while the oolong supports the metabolism.  One of China’s most famous teas, this oolong comes from Anxi in the Fujian province and is infused with the flavor of pomegranate. 

Lemon Balm/Chamomile/Linden/Passion Flower Tea: Drink a cup before bed to relax the Central Nervous System. Caffeine free.

      Price Options: 

Base Program Price of $29.99 per day includes: 16 oz. drink, Quart Mason Jar of Soup, and Quart Mason Jar of Salad (Two-Day minimum required to do “Cleanse”) 


Call our commercial kitchen Tuesday through Friday to sign up: 860-894-9956 or to send us an email at passifloratearoom@gmail. com to place your order. 

   

 


Stress Free Summer with Adaptogens

Stress Free Summer with Adaptogens

Ah, summer time. In the blink of an eye, our favorite teas have gone from hot to iced, the trees have become greener, and the days have become longer, seemingly leaving us with a bit more time to ourselves. Whether your summer is business-as-usual or you’ve got a bit more time away from routine, there is no better time of year to sit back, reevaluate our lifestyle, and reconnect with nature while it flourishes for these limited months of the year.

Throughout the year, most of us experience stress from the often over-stimulating combination of work, school, family, health, finances, and social life, etc. all trying to function and succeed daily. The American Medical Association shows that 95 million Americans experience a health problem caused by stress every week. Dr. Aviva Romm, midwife and practicing herbalist, links stress to a common difficulty to find the balance between saying “yes” to opportunities and overextending ourselves both personally and professionally.
Have you ever felt like you have a motor in your chest?  Do you self-doubt? Do you get short tempered or pick a fight with a loved one? Do you experience shallow breathing or tense shoulder? If this sounds like you, your body is trying to tell you that it feels overextended. These symptoms are your body’s “Fight or Flight” response to stress, pumped out of the adrenal glands. These stress responded increase our body’s level of Cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone, which can lead to osteoporosis and osteopenia.
It is important to note that stress isn’t all bad. Stress can be a motivator to reach great success in our lives. It can motivate us in our daily lives to reach deadlines at school and work. Ever heard of the classic story of the mother lifting a car with her bare hands to save her child trapped underneath? That’s healthy stress, which fills her body with adrenaline to have abnormal strength and energy. After all, nothing in life is black or white, all good or all bad, but it is all about finding balance. Find the motivating power of healthy stress, and listen to your body when it sends signals of overextension.
The answer to those symptoms of stress can be found in simple lifestyle changes. Keep to a sleep cycle of 7-9 hours a night and organize your days mindfully, allowing for Ultradian Rhythms. These daily rhythms call for 20 minutes of rest in between 90 minutes of active work. These allow the body frequent rest and rejuvenation in short bursts, to avoid long stretches of uninterrupted stress that lead to heavy crashes.
Most importantly, make time for self-care. The way we feed our body is how we nourish not only our physical body, but also our mind and soul. We are surrounded by an abundance of herbs in our world called Adaptogens, which help us reduce stress symptoms and improve our mindset in a natural way. According to Dr. Aviva Romm, Adaptogens are natural herbs that help us address the root of our energy crisis: adrenal imbalances. Adaptogens are a special class of herbal medicine that have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Scientist Israel Brehkman from the former Soviet Union brought Adaptogens into modern medicine by scientifically researching and using these herbs starting in the 1940s.

Ashwaganda, an adrenal soother, is the king soother for people who feel “tired and wired” and experience muscle tension and anxiety.  At Passiflora, we carry this as an herb. We recommend boiling it in with a glass of almond milk, cinnamon and molasses as a warm drink before bed. This soothing drink is also a great support for thyroid health. In fact, Ashwaganda is one of the only herbs proven to stimulate and re-regulate the thyroid.
Maca, an adrenal nourishing powder improves mood, lowers depression, and increases vitality. It is especially great for women as it helps settle hormone imbalances. At our Passiflora Café, we carry a delicious and nourishing Cacao Maca Chia smoothie, a blend of coconut milk, yogurt, cacao powder, maca powder, chia seeds, bananas, and agave.
Holy Basil, or Tulsi, is another excellent, drinkable adaptogen to nourish your adrenals. Tulsi increases energy, lowers fatigue, and decreases Cortisol levels. It also soothes depression and helps with a bright and healthy mindset. Leading herbalist and ethnobotanist, David Winston, even uses Tulsi as a natural antidepressant in his clinical practice. At Passiflora, we offer Tulsi as a loose herb that can be blended into just about any tea. Our favorite is taking equal parts Tulsi and peppermint over hot water for a fresh, nourishing, and vitalizing tea.
Rhodiola, an uplifting adaptogen, calms the spirit with stress reduction and softens the feeling of being overwhelmed. This type of adaptogen helps us target the effect of stress on our mood and our personal relationships in life. Rhodiola is an excellent support for the immune system as well. In Siberia, Rhodiola’s native land, people would take Rhodiola during long, wet, winters, to prevent sickness. At our Passiflora Herbal Shop, we carry Mega Foods Supplements Adrenal Strength capsules which contain Rhodiola, to be special ordered online.
If you’re looking to reduce stress, create or re-organize your adaptogen and herbal supplements, consider setting up an herbal consultation with Karen. Her mission is to allow your mind and body permission to pause and create a self-care strategy that suits your lifestyle. For more information contact Karen at passifloratearoom@gmail.com.

We owe a warm embrace of gratitude to Mother Earth for providing such abundance for centuries that helps clear our minds, heighten our energy, and equip us with the positivity to live the best life we can live, even under 21stcentury stress.
Happy Stress Free Summer to all!
Supporting Resources:
-Dr. Aviva Romm Podcast “Natural MD Radio”
– David Winston and Steven Maimes, “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief” 

From Farm to Tablet: Simplify your Supplements with Mega Food

Taking the first step away from big pharma and getting closer to the plant world is a big and empowering, but confusing decision. There is a plethora of information out there for what supplements you should be taking, but unlike the pharmaceutical world, there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution for optimizing your life with herbal supplements. This overwhelming information can lead us to buy and buy and buy, hoping the next bottle of supplements will be “the one”. Yes, we have all been there. Most of us are still there. But we don’t have to be. Let’s work together to simplify our life with herbal supplements.

The CDC reported that 90 million Americans are low in vitamin D, including 23 million with a severe deficiency; 18 million people are deficient in B12, 30 million are low in B6 and 16 million are vitamin C deficient.

Tieraona Low Dog, MD., is a leading expert in integrative medicine, with a focus on women’s health. Her wide range of expertise includes massage therapy, martial arts, midwifery, and herbal medicine, serving as the President of the American Herbalist’s Guild. She received her medical degree from the University of New Mexico to continue her path as an advocate for compassionate, effective, equitable, and environmentally conscious health care.

Dr. Low Dog believes that by getting in touch with our own bodies, we can target the exact vitamins we may deficient in. Let’s have a chat with some of our body’s most essential vitamins:

•Magnesium: Without me, you’ll feel muscle cramping, eye twitching, fatigue, and anxiety.
•Omega 3: I help lower risk of chronic health issues. I’ll also improves cognitive function, mood, and behavior.
•B vitamins: B12 here, I help immune function and get rid of fatigue, depression, and chronic levels of inflammation. For the ladies, B6 is essential for your overall health, especially reproductive health.
•Zinc: I am necessary for blood clotting and wound healing. I will also give you a strong helping hand to improve immune health.
•Iron: Hey kids! I will help you grow big and strong by formulating of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

As you set yourself up for fall health, the most important thing to get ready is taking a multivitamins and B vitamins. We can later incorporate vitamin D and magnesium.

It is important to focus on the person not the symptom. After all, you have existed for far longer than your symptom. Your physical form, mental state, and life experience, all make you the amazingly unique person that you are.

Our goal is to simplify your supplement intake to 3 supplements a day. We’re talking quality, not quantity.

Our long-time favorite vitamin supplier is New England native, Mega Food. Mega Food functions on the motto “From Farm to Tablet”. Mega Food sources over 500,000 pounds of real, farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and herbs directly from farmers every year to use in their supplements. Each vitamin or mineral is paired with an ideal whole food using their unique process to deliver guaranteed potency and the benefit of health-promoting compounds present in the whole food itself. They offer supplements for men, women, and children.

Karen Tyson, the found of Passiflora Café, Tea Room, and Herbal Shoppe, takes 7 supplements a day. Keep in mind, she’s been developing this routine for years- you do not need to strive for this many supplements early in the game!

Karen has an MS in Nutrition, Ayurveda Certification from Kripalu in Lenox, MA, and Herbal Certification from Herbalist and Alchemist, David Winston. She is currently pursuing her degree as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).

Karen’s Mega Food Daily Dose:
•Adrenal Strength
•Women’s Over 55
•Balanced Mind
•B Complex
•Un-Stress
•Complex C
•Vitamin D3

Karen will be offering FREE herbal supplement consultation. She is dedicated to helping our community realign their bodies with the rhythms of their life and the needs of their physical being. We want to make this process easy for you, and make sure the information and dosage you receive is in alignment with your body’s needs. As Dr. Tieraona Low Dog says “if a patient has a vitamin D level of 12ng/mL, they could take 1,000 IU per day for the rest of the life, and it still wouldn’t budge…[physicians] can’t be imprecise.” We’re here to simplify, correct, and improve your health!

Contact Karen at passifloratearoom@gmail.com to set up your FREE consultation!

As always, be well.

Resources:
Tieraona Low Dog, MD. “A Clinician’s Guide to Thoughtful Nutritional Testing”
www.MegaFood.com