Natural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular Products: An Outstanding Remedy for Seasonal Allergies

I discovered Natural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular Products at Pharmaca, a natural health food store and pharmacy, when I was looking for a supplement to help me with a persistent night-time cough. The cough had followed a bout of the flu and continued to linger for long after. As soon as I lay down at night, the coughing (I started calling it The Rock Show) would start. The coughing attacks were long (some spells lasted as long five minutes), uncontrollable and uncomfortable and would often lead to vomiting, an inability to breathe and muscle soreness. Needless to say that I wasn’t getting any sleep at night and was desperate for relief.

After having tried almost every cough drop and cough syrup in the ‘Allergy and Immunity Support’ section of my local health food store, I had given up hope that anything would help me. I was at Pharmaca to pick up a prescription for my daughter and thought that I would pick up some Manuka honey to ease some of my symptoms. I had one of my long coughing attacks in the pharmacy aisle and a pharmacist who saw me walked up to me and recommended this product. Her kindness and the ingredient list on the back of the bottle compelled me to try this product.

Let’s go over the ingredient list of Natural D-Hist and examine how and why this formulation is brilliant at promoting respiratory health, strengthening the immune system and treating allergies and coughs.


Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in apples and red onions and has strong antioxidant and antihistamine properties. According to the Ortho Molecular Products website, quercetin controls the release of inflammation increasing compounds called leukotrienes and prostaglandins. When I dug deeper, I found that leukotrienes are precursors to prostaglandins, and are the inflammatory compounds that are responsible for broncho-constriction in acute asthma attacks. A serving size of two capsules has 400 milligrams of the leukotriene-busting quercetin. In addition to supporting respiratory health, quercetin’s strong anti-oxidant activity makes it useful for cardiovascular health and cancer prevention.

Stinging Nettles Leaf Extract

In a 2009 study published in Journal Phytotherapy Research, researchers identified key mechanisms that led to a deeper understanding of the nettle’s role in alleviating allergies and hay fever. The study pinpointed several ways in which nettle extract inhibited inflammatory events, including the reduction of prostaglandins that lead to seasonal allergies. Two capsules of Natural D-Hist contain 400 milligrams of stinging nettle leaf extract. Additionally, stinging nettles is rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium and silica and helps in treating anemia, correcting hair-loss and healing wounds.


Found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant, bromelain is an enzyme that is supreme for protein digestion. While bromelain is often associated with digestion, a research study published in Journal Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the enzyme was helpful in preventing seasonal allergies. The study found that in addition to masking the primary immune response to allergies, bromelain addresses the key cause of allergies, that is, a hyperactive and hypersensitive immune system. Two capsules of Natural D-Hist contain 100 milligrams of bromelain. In addition to its allergy reducing and digestion boosting properties, bromelain helps with joint pain and muscle soreness and enhances the absorption of quercetin in the formulation.

N-Acetyl Cysteine

A precursor to glutathione (a super-star antioxidant), N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a modified version of the sulfur rich amino acid, cysteine. NAC is well known for reversing Tylenol induced toxicity, but in this formulation, it works as a mucolytic or mucus thinning agent. NAC changes the viscosity of mucus and thins thick phlegm associated with the flu. 2 capsules of Natural D-Hist contain 50 milligrams of NAC. NAC is an effective, safe and natural remedy for several conditions such as insulin resistance, tumor reduction in cancers, and stomach infections.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that is rapidly used up during times of stress and illness. In addition to its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C deactivates histamines and supports the immune system. Two capsules of the formulation contain 300 milligrams of vitamin C.

Final Thoughts

After purchasing Ortho Molecular Products Natural D-Hist in Pharmaca and reading the instructions at the back of the bottle about the loading dose, I decided to do things a bit different by front-stacking the product and took 6 capsules at the same time. I found relief in about 20 minutes and slept through the night after almost 10 days of suffering through night-time coughing attacks. After the initial stacking, I have been taking the recommended dose of 2 capsules per day.

Natural D-Hist is a superior formulation to support respiratory health and relieve seasonal allergies. It has found itself a firm place in my medicine cabinet.


  • theBMJ; What are Leukotrienes and how do they work in Asthma?
  • University of Mayland Medical Center; Quercetin
  • Phytotherapy Research; Nettle Extracts affects key Receptors and Enzymes Associated with Allergic Rhinitis
  • Dr. Axe; 7 Health Benefits of Bromelain
  • Life Extension; The Overlooked Compound that Saves Lives
  • OrthoMolecular Products; Natural D-Hist

Review of Solaray IbuActin, an All Natural Inflammation and Pain Reliever

I recently discovered IbuActin at WholeFoods when I was looking for a natural alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen. IbuActin is touted as an all-natural alternative to Ibuprofen and promises all day, all body comfort.

While I rarely pop pills (supplements included) to numb pain, I decided to try IbuActin when I experienced persistent, all-day, unexplainable and unrelenting pain that kept me from enjoying the moment and basically, living my life, after a recent trip to India. The all day, all body message resonated with me loud and clear and I decided that taking this supplement to relieve the pain I was experiencing would be a kind and loving thing to do for myself. The supplement helped take the edge off the pain, got me unstuck and helped me move forward, when I needed it the most. The pain finally resolved after a month, and even though I took the supplement only a few times, I have decided that it has earned a permanent spot in my healing cabinet.

IbuActin by Solaray is an analgesic and inflammation-reducing supplement comprising of six pain-relieving herbs as active ingredients. Let’s examine each of these ingredients, get to know them and how and why they treat pain in a gentle, yet holistic and effective way.


Yes, the same plant that makes the popular booze, also relieves pain, treats inflammation, calms anxiety and soothes digestion. Before you get ready to grab a bottle of beer, the beer making process destroys the alpha acids, responsible for treating inflammation and pain reduction in Hops. So it is best to take traditional herbal preparations for pain and anxiety. A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the alpha acids in Hops demonstrated COX-2 (an enzyme responsible for inflammation) inhibition comparable to 400 mg of ibuprofen, but without the side effects of gastric problems.


An enzyme found in pineapple juice and pineapple stems, bromelain aids in the digestion of proteins, reduces inflammation and treats indigestion. Central and South America have a history of using bromelain to reduce inflammation and swelling and treat sprains.

Most research studies on the enzyme are at least a decade old, but a recent 2014 study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery showed that taking bromelain orally improved the quality of life of patients who had undergone surgery for impacted third molars. The study compared bromelain with the drug, diclofenac sodium and concluded that both the natural and pharmaceutical pain medications reduced pain significantly and improved the quality of patients after oral surgery. The study validated and strengthened the enzyme’s reputation as an inflammation and pain reducer. Earlier studies have reported bromelain’s role in reducing inflammation and pain in osteoarthritis and sinus infections. In Germany, the enzyme is an approved and widely used remedy to reduce swelling and inflammation in the nose and sinuses.

White Willow

White willow is the au naturel cousin of the ubiquitous pain and inflammation reliever, Asprin. The Greek Physician Hippocrates waxed lyrical about the qualities of white willow and ancient Egyptians used the herb to treat inflammation. The herb is extracted from the bark the white willow tree that is a native of Asia and parts of Europe. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine showed white willow’s ability to safely treat lower back pain. However, remember, if you are allergic or sensitive to Asprin, you are also allergic to white willow and taking the herb can cause undesirable effects.

Turmeric and Ginger

Inflammation is a normal response of a body’ s immune system to fight off infection from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. However, when things go awry, the body produces an inflammation response even when there is no infection to fight. Chronic low-level inflammation is the subject of a huge amount of research and is being implicated in every disease, ranging from arthritis to diabetes to Alzheimer’s to cancer. Time magazine called inflammation, ‘the silent killer’! Inflammation is not always silent though and can cause acute and chronic pain. Studies have consistently confirmed the role of two common kitchen spices, turmeric and ginger, to fight inflammation from arthritis and muskulosleletal pain. IbuActin contains 50 mg each of ginger and turmeric in a dose of 2 capsules.


Papain is a proteolytic enzyme found in the papaya fruit. While papain is often taken as an enzyme to aid digestion and soothe gastrointestinal upsets, an old German study confirms its ability to reduce pain caused due to Shingles. Smaller studies pinpoint to the enzyme’s role in stimulating the body’s own analgesia and relieve arthritis inflammation and pain. Further, due to enzymatic nature, papain gets rid of cellular waste that accumulates in arthritic joints. IbuActin contains 75 mg of the enzyme in 2 capsules.

To Sum it Up 

Two tropical fruits, two kitchen spices and a plant extract that makes a popular booze, combined together, make for a mighty fine supplement! With an ingredient list that reads like the who’s who of kick ass inflammation fighters, IbuActin is a good supplement to have around when you need some natural pain relief. Remember that it is not as fast acting as pharmaceutical analgesics and will only take the edge off the pain 


  • Natural Health: A Hopping Good Pain Reliever
  • Natural Health Research Institute: Hops, an Informed Opinion
  • American Cancer Society: Bromelain
  • About; Alternative Health; White Willow
  • American Journal of Medicine: Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: a randomized double-blind study
  • International Journal of Rheumatic Disease; Protective effects of ginger-turmeric rhizomes mixture on joint inflammation, atherogenesis, kidney dysfunction and other complications in a rat model of human rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Livestrong; Papain and Bromelain-for-Joint Pain and Arthritis


Book Review: The True Power of Water

The True Power of Water: Healing and Discovering Ourselves, written by researcher Masaru Emoto, is an exploration of the healing properties and possibilities of water. In the book, the author proposes that the ubiquitous liquid that we take for granted has the potential to not just dramatically improve our individual health, but when its true power is harnessed, it can heal the earth and our environment. Water, according to Dr. Emoto, is highly perceptive and responsive. It can take on the ‘information’ that we send to it. With positive intent, we can transform water into a healing vehicle that in turn has the potential to transform us.

This is a gem of a slim book that everyone should read. Easy and quick to read, I finished the book in one sitting, but have re-read parts of it several times. I have also been going back to it to gaze at the water crystals, especially the crystal formed by the words, love and gratitude. It is a stunning piece of art, has a mesmerizing quality and is brimming with peace and ‘hado’.


We are introduced to the Japanese concept of hado in The True Power of Water. The Japanese word hado literally means wavelength, but in the spiritual and philosophical context of this book it means, “the subtle energy that exists in the universe..the intrinsic vibration of all matter.” While I have read other books in the same genre, and I am quite familiar with the concepts of vibration, chi, and prana, which are all similar to hado, the beautiful pictures of the water crystals are what set this book apart. They give me a glimpse of ‘hado in action’, validate and intensify my faith in the subtle energy of all matter.

I am especially fascinated with the section in the book that talks about the effects of music on water. Water when exposed to different types of music formed different types of crystals in Dr. Emoto’s experiments! That section also tells us about how the hado of each piece of music has a positive effect on different organs of the body, for example Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue’ in D Minor is supposed to help with lethargy. It sure did help me finish this book review in one sitting.

While Dr. Emoto’s research about water may seem far-fetched to many, consider suspending disbelief for now and rest your faith in the healing possibilities of water. To understand water is to understand ourselves as the human adult body is 70 percent water. To end, I will leave you with Herman Hesse’s words in Siddhartha,

They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.

Friday Five: December 5th 2014

I will let today’s delightful guest columnist, Divya Krishnan,  introduce herself to you. As an introduction to her Friday Five, she writes,

“Here is my “Friday Five”. I thought of changing my dear friend Arathi’s blog completely by writing about my “Friday Ten” but very quickly realized that this is not a decision I can make, simply because this is not my blog. So by a process of elimination, I got to these five. Thank you for this amazing opportunity Arathi!”

That in a nutshell is my dear friend Divya. She is all rock and roll. She is full of energy and enthusiasm and sparks joy, wherever she goes. I hope that the five beautiful insights from  her world spark joy in your world too. 


A rising mist over the lake. Birdsongs, a double rainbow. A cherry blossom tree in full bloom. Alpine meadows and the smell of the early morning air. The sight of an old growth forest, the sound of river water rushing over old rocks and the sight of Bald eagles just skimming the surface of the lake looking for fish. Nature enthralls, Nature also relaxes, and Nature makes us reflect on why we are here. The real stillness in the busy rollercoaster of life. I have always been attracted to mountains for this reason; hiking in old growth forests fills me with a sense of peace and belonging. The views are spectacular, and the trees make you pause awestruck. Finding mushrooms is another bonus. I usually hike with friends who know mushrooms, but many of them look edible even if they are not. The colors of these mushrooms always keep me coming back to take a second look, as with most things of natural beauty.

I am lucky to live in a city like Seattle, which offers most of these sights on a daily basis. However, just tending a little garden or weeding a community pea patch can also help you commune with Nature.


To get through this life’s journey friends are absolutely essential. Friends prop you up when you are down, laugh at your poor jokes and are even sometimes able to look you in the eye and say what an idiot you are (only to be punched in the face quickly after), yet they stay your friends.

I have several sets of friends. The ones from high school, the ones from college and the ones I have met in my more adult avatar) we gossip and trade secrets (oh that is very important, got to have those secrets) share our love for books, movies, terrible teachers and the outdoors. I hold this sisterhood close and we keep in touch. Then there are those special friends who just show up at a particular time and vanish thereafter never to be seen again except in a Souk in Morocco after 15 years! We still rush into each other’s arms because it does not take that much time to reconnect. After a quick recap of why you are in a Souk in the first place, you repeat lines from your favorite movie or book and it is like you were never apart. The great miracle of good friendships.


Remember that note in the movie “Amadeus” that Salieri referred to? That single note of the Oboe that made you stop just for a second and listen, oblivious to wailing children, honking cars, vomit on the floor and overflowing bath water? That is the kind of music I am referring to – music that makes you go still, break into a dance, become a weepy mess or just make you want to hum the tune over and over again. Music that will be on your “desert island disc” collection. Seek those tunes, soak in those melodies, they speak to your spirit. True music is for our souls.


I am a big fan of Jean Luc Pickard and his Starship Enterprise. I would love to “go where no woman has gone before” However, have to be content at the moment living on Earth. Until Virgin makes their starship accessible to us common folk, being an eternal wanderer on our beautiful planet, makes my heart sing. Travel kindles “The explorer” in all of us. Ideally I would like to touch large part of each continent, but until that happens, subscribing to “National Geographic’s travel magazine and meeting their explorers here in Seattle, makes me live that vicarious life. There is always a possibility that they may need an assistant, and I eternally hope that, that assistant will be me. I have not done shabbily by way of travel by any standards, but I always seem to want more. I think being immersed in another culture for a week or even a few days is so refreshing that when you come back home you want to set out again almost immediately.

The Power of a good book and a cup of hot tea

Stories draw us into mysterious worlds and take us on journeys that make us come alive.

There is the world of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer that transport us to another era. There is the “Hobbit” where we share our room with elves and dwarfs, and then there is the world of “Witches” and “Muggles” in the “Harry potter” series. As a little girl, I was drawn strongly into the mysterious lands atop the faraway tree in the “ Magic faraway tree” series. I hoped one day to have my own “Famous five” who I would have adventures with. I painstakingly built and stuck wings on my dining table chair, hoping it would transform into the “Wishing chair” by morning. I loved and lived the vet’s life with James Herriot and then took a little walk in a dark alley with Poirot and Holmes into the world of mysteries. Living in these worlds of “make believe” made life so exciting. Today, I still have a large pile of books but now have my little cup of tea to make the whole experience feel better than a visit to the spa.

Image Credit: Sridhar Chandrashekar

Friday Five: November 14th, 2014

I’m back with the Friday Five feature for this month. Here are five thoughts/ideas/things that are bringing joy and delight into my life. I had written about the possibility of including guest posts for this feature and it looks like it is going to happen. Stay tuned for exciting guest posts next Friday onwards!

Fresh Turmeric Root

The fresh turmeric root was an impulse buy. I have seen it sit next to fresh ginger root in grocery stores for years, but have ignored it thinking that powdered turmeric was all that I needed in my kitchen. Turmeric powder is good, but fresh turmeric root is extraordinary. The fresh version has a subtle taste, a slight peppery tang to it, but it would be remiss of me to call it turmeric lite. It is the creator of the powder after all. I have been julienning it, grating it and juicing it (in a garlic press) into my dishes, and my-oh-my, it adds glorious color, flavor and magic every single time. Just around the time I started buying fresh turmeric root, I had a scary-very-apt-for-Halloween cut on my finger. The few people who were allowed to peek under the band-aid said that it needed multiple stitches. Six weeks later, there are no signs whatsoever of the once upon a time cut. Our ancients were so certain of turmeric’s healing prowess, that they named the root, Kanchani, or the golden goddess in Sanskrit. You can also bring the goddess home today to heal your wounds, external or internal.

Medjool Dates

Deep brown in color with a caramel like flavor, medjool dates are embodiments of nature’s sweetness. Brimming with nutrients like vitamin A, B, potassium and iron, they make an energizing snack all by themselves or they make an excellent substitute for sugar. I have been using them to sweeten smoothies, truffles and puddings. Something magical happens when bananas, coconut milk and a touch of cardamom meet these dates in the blender. It is like they go on an awesome date (sorry, I could not resist) or something.


It is that cold time of the year and if you are worried about plunging into Seasonal Affective Disorder, embrace Hygge. What is Hygge? It is a Danish word and it is hard to translate it into English. It is the reason why the Danes are considered the happiest people on earth despite long, dark and dreary winters. Describing the concept, Helen Dyrbye in the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Danes says that,

“It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality and contentment rolled into one.”

Simply put, it is the driving away of darkness and coldness through the luminosity and warmth of you and those around you. It is your everyday Deepavali or Christmas. Hygge is both a ceremony involving cozy candle light dinners as well as a feeling. So what will you do today to bring Hygge into your life?

Nag Champa Incense

Each stick weighs a gram and burns for one whole hour. Each stick is a special blend of resins, flower essences, herbs and natural sandalwood oil. Each stick is hand rolled. The scent is gentle, earthy and lingering, and is resonating with me, big time. I burn one stick every day; it wraps and cradles me with light, love and Hygge.

Maria Popova’s Literary Jukebox 

It is a Brain Pickings project where quotes are imaginatively, reflectively and thematically matched with songs. When asked about the inspiration behind the project, Maria said,

“I have music on practically all the time and spend an inordinate portion of my waking hours reading, so it’s unsurprising that this synesthetic quality would manifest itself [for me] most powerfully in the relationship between literature and music.”

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on this site. Here is one of my favorites, time seems to expand with this Proust with Murdoch pairing.


  • California College of Ayurveda; Turmeric: The Golden Goddess
  • Dr. Mercola; What are Dates Good For?
  • Mother Nature Network; How ‘hygge’ can Help you Get Through Winter
  • Library Journal; Q & A; Maria Popova on Literary Jukebox

Friday Five: October 2014

I have five thoughts/ideas/things this Friday that you might want to add to your arsenal – for warmth, health, joy, serenity and inspiration. These five ideas/things have been rocking my world the past few days. I hope to make “Friday Five” (monthly feature for now) a permanent feature in my blog and possibly invite people to share their ideas too.

Traditional Medicinals Organic GingerZingiber officinale has to offer. If you love the taste of ginger, this tea is for you. It is spicy with just the right amount of bite and great for fighting all types of chills, whether they are real or perceived. It is soothing as an after or before meal drink for its ability to promote digestion. I have a cup or two just by itself and sometimes add a stronger brew to my stews and soups. I buy loads of fresh ginger, always have ginger paste and powder in my spice cabinet and also have this tea around to keep my days bright and gingery.


I celebrated a birthday recently and the only two things that I wanted to do on my day were to write and to walk. Putting one foot in front of the other is a primal need; it nourishes me deep down and fosters a true sense of joy. Mark of Daily Apple makes a moving case for walking by calling it an integral part of the human condition. He says, “Those walking genes, those urges best online casino to explore remain within us. We should honor, respect, and indulge them.”

This Photo Editor

An online photo editor called that not only performs basic functions like cropping, rotating and resizing, and correcting pictures, but also has fun filters, art effects and much more. It is fun, free, quick, and easy to use. You can download your masterpiece immediately (like I did for this post), and makes a handy little tool for bloggers, wherever you are.

Clear Clutter

Although I only manage to clear only a small area like a drawer or a cubicle in the closet, I have been consistently doing it for the last few days and the impact on my energy and wellbeing have been huge. Channels, that had not existed before, have opened up leading to new paths and delightful experiences! If you need inspiration, read this, Get Rid of Clutter and Change your life. Try it today, you have nothing to lose but clutter.

The Maptia Blog

You may have read the Maptia Manifesto and may have even signed it. I did. It is a great way to stay open to new experiences, follow your curiosity and trust your instincts. Their blog is brimming with wonderful posts like this one. You”ll learn more about the Scandinavian word Arbejdsglæde and get inspired to tell your own stories about spaces and places.

So this was my Friday roundup. What is yours? Do share. I hope to make “Friday Five” (do it once a month for now) a permanent feature in my blog and possibly invite people to share their ideas too.

Edit Your Blood with WellnessFx

I’m never satisfied with the “everything looks fine” phrase that I hear from my doctor when I get the results of my blood work. It’s like, “Is that it? I just let you peek into the depths of my life-source and all you have to say is everything looks fine?”  Besides, what does that “fine” really mean? Continue reading Edit Your Blood with WellnessFx