Can some teas
really help you sleep better at night? And is there a dietary
supplement that can protect you from sunburn? While we are
free to buy these products, they are worth checking out. Here
A close friend
swears that his first cup of Sleepytime tea won’t be his
last. It helped him sleep better. So I took a look at the
ingredients. At the top of the list is chamomile which has
been used as a sleep and digestive aid in some cultures for
hundreds of years. Hard data on the effects of chamomile for
sleep are unfortunately scarce, however.
show that chamomile is a safe way to get a good night’s
sleep; other studies show no benefit. Pregnant women should
avoid chamomile, advises the National Library of Medicine,
since one variety, Roman Chamomile, may cause miscarriages.
Chamomile is also related to ragweed, chrysanthemums,
marigolds and daisies in case you are allergic to any of these
also contains spearmint, which according to its manufacturer,
Celestial Seasonings, “is thought to help settle the stomach
and soothe the mind.” At any rate, spearmint is a plant
source of anti-inflammatory substances and has been used as a
medicinal plant for more than 200 years, say scientists.
folks also say lemongrass gives Sleepytime tea, “a uniquely
uplifting flavor and aroma that many tea drinkers describe as
‘hitting the reset button.’ “ Fair enough. Enjoy.
approached me this week about a product that she heard,
“helps you from getting sunburned.” Interesting. It’s
called astaxanthin — pronounced asta-zan-thin (I think) —
which is a potent antioxidant in the carotenoid family. (Carotenoids
are pigments that give carrots their orange color.)
Astaxanthin gives the orange tint to salmon and is also found
in shrimp, crab, red snapper, green algae and red yeast.
work behind the scenes to do battle against wayward oxygen
molecules that damage our cells in the process of living. How
important is the work of antioxidants? They help protect every
cell in our bodies from inflammation and damage that can lead
to premature aging and a host of chronic diseases.
astaxanthin protect us from sunburn? A few small studies on
middle-aged women found they had less saggy skin and fewer
wrinkles (sun damage causes skin to sag and wrinkle) after
taking doses of astaxanthin ranging between 4 to 12 milligrams
for 6 to 16 weeks. And at least one study found that applying
astaxanthin directly to the skin helped protect skin cells
much like sunscreen.
Always good to
check out dietary supplements at reliable sites like the
Office of Dietary Supplements www.ods.od.nih.gov. Unlike drugs
and medications that must meet strict requirements for safety
and efficacy (meaning they work for what you are taking them
for), products marketed as dietary supplements do not have to
prove they are safe or effective before they can be sold.