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Learning Factors, Calm Child, Green Magma, New Year's Resolutions!

January 2010 - Print | Index Michael LeVesque & David Steinhardt, artist

“In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.” – Henri Frederic Amiel

  • Our January 2010 Report spotlights an in-depth article written by a talented staff member of Vitamin Express, Caitlin Woolery. Her article focuses on one of our most important issues in our society- the health of our children. Interestingly, the article’s product is for people of all ages- especially the elderly, but I will let you make the connection. By the way, Caitlin was the H1N1 in our December Report. One of our store trainings with Tom Dadant of Planetary Herbals prompted the article.
    We often have all-store trainings creating a knowledgeable and passionate staff that is there to help you with your nutritional questions. Thank you for shopping with us at Vitamin Express! --Michael LeVesque, President
  • Sorry! Our Super Quarterly Flyer for winter, January 01 to March 31st, 2010 is not completed yet. It is undergoing a new design change and will contain even more specials than in the past. We hope it will be completed soon and will send it out right away.

One group of my personal favorites is Natural Factor’s Learning Factors! Sometimes you may have little energy and ability to focus and accomplish what needs to be done. The desire to procrastinate takes over and the least important but easily accomplished tasks take priority. Learning Factors breaks that cycle. From personal experience it is a wonderful feeling to have energy, desire and will to get things done.

Learning Factors tastes fairly good. After a few days of use my taste buds seemed to relish it. Perhaps this change is emphasizing how good this product is for our health. To repeat it is great for children, students, elderly and people with demanding schedules, concentrated work, and resolutions to maintain.

My favorite is the Daily Nutrient Boost with Pea Protein. It makes a thick smoothie all on its own with a mild berry flavor, low glycemic index. It’s tolerated well, even by sensitive systems like my own, and also comes in Whey Protein and has companion products of the highest quality of Omega 3 complex liquid and capsules. We have them on Special and hope you will try them!

I also add a couple tablespoons of Green Magma to each serving and it doesn’t seem to affect the taste, but gives that extra protection of alkalinity to the blood and SOD (super oxide dismutase). –Michael

Planetary Herbals Calm Child

by Caitlin Woolery

Children today are growing up in a highly stressful world. Overstimulation, mal-nourishment, and copious other distractions can have a devastating effect on a child’s ability to learn, concentrate, and focus. Calm Child is an herbal supplement blend designed to address the needs of hyperactive children by soothing the mind and body of the child and supporting growth in moments of restlessness and anxiety. The specialists at Planetary Herbals believe that hyperactivity is a symptom indicating that multiple systems in the body are out of balance. The benign herbs used in Calm Child were carefully chosen and have a long history of use as plants that support the normal functions of the body while enabling children’s systems to return to homeostasis.

Asian herbal tradition says that a disturbed and distracted mind signifies that the heart function is out of balance. It is commonly accepted that spirit, emotion, and personality correlate with the heart organ. Consider what happens to the heart rate when one experiences extreme anger or excitement. The heart rate accelerates drastically and is followed by a rapid increase in the speed of the thought process. Now consider how yoga or meditation can slow the heart rate and thus ease the mental process. A calm state of mind is conducive to observing inner vision, resulting in less distraction from the outside world. So, if mind state can affect the heart, then the heart can affect the mind. In Asian herbal tradition the heart function is the “shen” or the spirit, which can be understood to mean that the spirit lives in the heart, not the mind. This is not a religious or supernatural idea, rather an explanation of how an individual spirit or personality perceives the world and subsequently responds to it. For example, if the world appears scary to someone, he or she will likely behave in a shy or timid manner. If the world is perceived as a fun and loving place to another person, he or she will likely be open and friendly.

The heart is an organ of sensual perception and what it perceives is going to affect emotion and personality on an individual level. One can observe this even through common diction; “she wears her heart on her sleeve”, “my heart goes out to you”. Heart is perception, and its function affects mental state. It is a proven fact that if you slow the heart rate you will calm your thought process. With this in mind, formulator and herbalist, Michael Tierra, wanted to begin the Calm Child blend with herbs that support the heart. Hawthorn Berry is renowned for its ability to support normal heart rhythm and can regulate the beat of a heart that is too excited. Another herb, the Jujube Seed has been used historically as a tonic to calm the spirit by calming the pace of the heart. Used in combination, these two herbs can calm the child’s heart and mind. This has proven successful in years of experiential and anecdotal trials with this product.

After addressing the heart and mind, the herbalists aimed to support the children’s nerves. The nervous system also becomes imbalanced in a child exhibiting symptoms of hyperactivity. Human’s nervous systems don’t reach full maturation until the age of 19. The slow development renders the body susceptible to imbalance. Nutritional issues like mineral deficiencies, for example, can throw off the nerves and their ability to communicate properly and effectively, impeding cognitive function. Although it may seem logical to sedate a hyperactive nervous system, the developers chose to use a non-sedative category of herbs to support the nerves.

These herbs, called nervines, calm and nourish but do not sedate children. Chamomile, Lemon Balm, and Catnip all calm and soothe the nervous system but, in the amounts used, do not cause any type of physical or mental sedation. All three herbs have a high content of trace minerals that feed the nerves while simultaneously calming them. Chamomile in particular contains precursors to the amino acid L-Tryptophan, which is known for its relaxing properties. Lemon Balm is unique in that it acts as an anti-spasmodic that can reduce nervous twitches of anxious children, such as those who continually tap fingers or shake their legs or feet. Indigestion, the third system that Calm Child targets, is supported by all three of these herbs due to their potent trace mineral content. Alma, another herb in the blend, supports the activity of the intestines, an important part of digestive health. Indigestion can play a huge role in a child’s inability to concentrate. Think of how distressed and distracted a colicky baby can be, for example. If the digestive track is out of balance, other areas of the body can become compromised as well. Based on this knowledge, the herbalists knew it was just as important to address the digestive system as it was to support the heart and the nervous system.

Another herb worth noting is Gotu Kola, used historically by Asian monks for meditative contemplation. In Calm Child, the Gotu Kola helps children focus more clearly and speeds up the activity of the frontal brain lobe. This allows for continuity of thought, making mental process fluid rather than choppy and disturbed. This, in effect, is the idea behind how ADD drugs operate in the body. Anecdotal reports show that Gotu Kola can have the same affect yet it is mild, benign and has no reports of negative side effects or responses.

It is important to understand that none of the herbs in Calm Child force the body to act in an unnatural way. In combination, they support and encourage the child’s own normal function. A healthy child can sit still most of the time, can digest food properly, can concentrate on taking a test or studying, and can think in continuity. In effect, using herbs to support the heart, the nervous system, digestion, and cognitive function can promote a more balanced and normal behavior in children. Reaching this balance with herbs, not drugs, was the goal behind creating this special herbal blend. The spectrum of imbalances in children with problems like hyperactivity is vast and it may be that not every child needs to be medicated into submission. In many cases, hyperactive behavior may be as simple as experiencing a growing pain, like learning how to multi-task, and the child will mature out of the hyperactive phase once the skill is developed. There are a plethora of causes for these imbalances and they should be explored before automatically resigning to the path of Western drugs. The specialists at Planetary Herbals aim to provide different options and perspectives. Calm Child offers a safe herbal alternative methodology to cope with the anxieties and stresses of growing up in this fast-paced and demanding society.

4 oz.


2 oz.


72 tabs


150 tabs


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products listed in this newsletter are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician before taking any of these products.