Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP

Best-selling & 17-Time Book Author, Board-Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, Nutritionist, Activist

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The Herb that Alleviates Menstrual Cramps Better than Advil or Motrin

April 15, 2015

Research shows fennel seeds help PMS pain

Every woman who has ever experienced painful menstrual cramps knows the importance of pain relief.  For some women cramps can be mild while others experience debilitating pain that can affect their ability to work, attend school, and participate in athletics or social activities.  Dysmenorrhea—the medical term for painful periods--seriously affect 60% of women and their quality of life.  According to research American women miss 600 million work hours annually due to this painful condition.  But researchers found that an herbal extract offers more effective relief than ibuprofen—Advil or Motrin. 

The study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research ass…

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The Surprising Natural Remedy for Allergies

April 10, 2015

Probiotics can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Aaaa-choo.  It’s that time of year again for allergy sufferers.  You may be surprised to learn that probiotics are among the best natural remedies for allergies.  If you’re hooked on antihistamines, decongestants, and desensitization shots you might be inclined to think there is little value in such miniscule microbes.  But more and more research shows that specific probiotic strains could be just the natural remedy you’ve been waiting for.

Ideally, probiotics are best taken during gestation since they can prevent the inflammation that leads to allergies.  Research in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that probiotic consumption by the mother during pregna…

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EPA Classified Roundup as Carcinogen 30 Years Ago…but Mysteriously Reversed Decision

March 30, 2015

EPA Banned Roundup as Carcinogen then Mysteriously Reversed its Decision

Scientists and environmentalists have been saying that the world’s most common weed killer, known as glyphosate, or Monsanto’s Roundup, is a carcinogen for decades.  Last week, the World Health Organization report indicated that, indeed, glyphosate it is a probable carcinogen.  Now there’s evidence that the Environmental Protection Agency knew glyphosate was a probable carcinogen thirty years ago but approved it for use anyway.  Here’s a summarized chronology of events:  

1985:  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was aware of the herbicide’s ability to cause cancer 30 years ago, even categorizing it as a ‘Class C Carcinogen.” Class C carcinogens have “suggest…

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Super Healing Sauerkraut--The Ancient Superfood

March 12, 2015

Sauerkraut is simple to make.I was probably only a few years old when I first tasted sauerkraut.  Like most people, my first taste also involved a hot dog and mustard.  But I immediately loved its unique sour and tart flavor.  Later in life I began experimenting with many sauerkraut combinations, including my favorite one, which is made with cabbage, apples, and juniper berries.  I also love garlic and chili sauerkraut and have included recipes for both of these types in my new book The Probiotic Promise:  Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out.


Sauerkraut isn’t just for sausages and hot dogs anymore.  This German staple made of fermented cabbage, though other ingredients are often added to …

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The Herb that Relieves Pain Better than Prescription Medication

March 10, 2015

Turmeric has potent anti-pain propertiesHere’s some exciting news for pain sufferers:  new research shows that an herbal extract is more effective than acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nimesulide—a potent prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) at alleviating pain. 

The study reported in the Journal of Pain Research found that curcumin, one of the active ingredients in the spice turmeric, has demonstrated potent pain-relieving effects, even greater than 1000 mg of acetaminophen or 100 mg of nimesulide.  Additionally, curcumin’s analgesic effects lasted longer than the drugs.  This new study shows that not only is curcumin an effective pain-relieving natural remedy, it also helps prevent and heal m…

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The Complete Guide to Gluten-Free Flours

March 5, 2015

Experiment with gluten-free flours to find what works best for baking

Are you trying to eat gluten-free but confused about gluten-free flours?  You’ve come to the right place. From amaranth to teff, I compiled the following guide to 13 different gluten-free flours to make light work of gluten-free baking.  And, if you’re looking for a great guide to gluten-free baking, I really like Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread:   Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home by Jennifer Katzinger, the founder of Seattle’s Flying Apron Bakery.  Of course, most of my recipes in my books like 60 Seconds to Slim and The Probiotic Promise are completely gluten-free so be sure to check them out.

Amaranth flour has a unique and earthy flavor and is high in fiber and prot…

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What You Need to Know about Kefir

March 4, 2015

Just add fruit to kefir for a delicious, healthy beverageMost people know about the health benefits of yogurt but few have even heard about kefir (pronounced ke-FEER).  In many ways it is like a drinkable form of yogurt but offers even greater health benefits than yogurt.  Like yogurt, kefir is typically a cultured milk product (although there are non-dairy and juice varieties as well) that has a tart, tangy, sour-like taste and a slightly bubbly characteristic.  Adapted from my new book, The Probiotic Promise:  Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out, here is what you need to know about kefir.

Kefir comes from the Turkish word “keif” which means “good feeling” probably for the health benefits it offers.  This be…

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The Spice that Boosts Memory in Just One Hour

February 24, 2015

Research shows curcumin boosts memory in one hour.Now there’s one more reason to enjoy your favorite curry dish.  Turmeric, a spice commonly found in many Indian curry dishes, has been found to improve memory and cognition in as little as one hour.

While conducting the research for my upcoming book 60 Seconds to Boost Your Brain Power (Rodale, 2015), I came across an exciting study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study explored the effects of one of turmeric’s active ingredients known as curcumin on sixty healthy adults aged sixty to eighty-five to determine whether the spice has any short- or long-term memory or cognitive effects.

Conducted at the Swinburne University …

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St. John's Wort for Much More than Depression

February 18, 2015

Do you think that the herb St. John’s Wort is only helpful for depression?  Think again.  This herb, which is one of the most widely researched herbs on the planet has been found to be helpful for many other conditions, ranging from obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety to cancer.

The following dosages are based on Mayo Clinic recommendations, with the study-proven products or a product that is similar to one used in the studies, listed wherever applicable:

Anxiety: 900 milligrams of St. John's wort, taken by mouth twice daily for several weeks.

Cancer:  0.05-0.50 milligrams per kilogram of hypericin (one of the active ingredients found in St. John’s Wort), taken by…

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The Mushroom that Shows Great Promise against Cancer

February 13, 2015

When we think of cancer in our Western world, we tend to think of harsh chemicals or toxic radiation as the treatments.  But promising new research published in the journal Phytomedicine suggests that we might want to give serious consideration to the humble mushroom cordyceps that quietly rears its head deep within our forest floors. 

Photo credit: Terry Willard

Cordyceps (cordyceps militaris) is also known as caterpillar fungus and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as a lung and kidney tonic and for loss of stamina, fatigue, shallow breathing, wheezing, and as an aphrodisiac.

According to the Phytomedicine study on human leukemia cells, a compound found i…

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