SPONSORED CONTENT If you’re staying well during the winter season you’re likely eating nutritious food, getting plentiful sleep and exercising. You know, all the things that help keep us healthy all year. And yet, no matter what we do there are going to be times when we need a little extra support to help get us through the occasional seasonal imbalance. Yin Chiao has been used in China for centuries. In fact, this iconic formula was developed by a renowned doctor during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and has been a staple of traditional herbalists and acupuncturists, and a household name in China for hundreds of years. Typically Yin Chiao is used at the onset of imbalances associated with seasonal changes and contains prized immune-boosting and fortifying herbs including honeysuckle, forsythia, mint, phragmites, burdock, platycodon, soy sprouts, licorice, schizonepeta and lophatherum. And, for all these hundreds of years the Yin Chiao formula has changed very little…it works that well! Why fix something that isn’t broke? One of my favorite products with Yin Chiao is Source Naturals® Wellness Shot®. Not only does it include the Yin Chiao formula, but it supports the immune system with an array of powerful herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. For example, it includes 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 5,000 IU’s of vitamin A, and a healthy 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D-3 for potent immune support. This product provides a quick, potent blast of nutrients for a wellness intervention. And, it’s great tasting and so convenient to use especially for multi-tasking, busy people…like us! Nopal Cactus The iconic nopal cactus has large paddle like leaves, bright red fruit, luxurious flowers and grows throughout the Southwestern U.S. and is particularly renown throughout Mexico. In fact, the nopal cactus is intimately linked to Mexico’s history. Many centuries ago, the ancient Aztecs of Mexico were a nomadic people. The legends say that one of their leaders had a vision which told that the people should settle, and if they did, they would thrive. They would know where to settle when they saw a sign: an eagle with a snake in its talons perched on a nopal cactus. Roaming central Mexico, the people saw the sign in a location now known as Mexico City. They settled there and they did thrive, creating one of the most advanced civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. The nopal is still legendary in Central and South America. Indeed, the eagle, snake and nopal cactus adorn the flag of Mexico. And now all these centuries later studies indicate that it may be an effective means of supporting healthy glucose levels, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program. Animal and human studies in both Mexico and the US have shown nopal cactus to have blood sugar balancing qualities. And further studies have found that extracts of nopal also help balance fluids and electrolytes, two areas that are often affected when blood sugar is imbalanced. The emerging research is indicating that it’s nopal's polysaccharides, along with its pectins and mucilages, which may slow down intestinal transit and absorption of sugar, thereby supporting healthy glucose levels. The cactus also contains substantial levels ofbeta-carotene and vitamin C, which also have antioxidant properties. Planetary™ Herbals Full Spectrum™ Nopal Cactus combines extracts from the epidermis, roots and inner flesh of the cactus, for the plant's full benefit. Planetary Herbals integrates the best of worldwide herbal traditions with modern clinical research. The result is an herbal product line that is unequalled for efficacy, safety, and dependability. Author: Julie Dennis Julie Dennis has been an educational lecturer and writer in the natural products industry for over 20 years. Having graduated from Dr. Michael Tierra’s East West School of Herbology in 1996, today Julie shares her herbal wisdom lecturing nationally, and as a contributor to major industry trade and organization publications, including the American Botanical Council’s Clinical Guide to Herbs.