FEATURED PRODUCT: Marseille’s Remedy Thieves’ Oil & Balm: Ancient Remedy for Modern Times

marseilles-remedy-product-photo-6The Folklore

In 1413, as the bubonic plague decimated France, thieves were arrested for robbing dead and dying plague victims, a crime punishable by burning alive.  The judge offered them leniency for their terrible crimes if they would share the secret which enabled them to expose themselves to the plague without contracting it.  The thieves explained that they were perfume makers and spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of France’s sea ports.  They had prepared a special herbal infusion which they applied to their hands, ears, feet, masks, and temples and this protected them from infection.  As promised, the judge did not burn the men alive…He hanged them instead.  Soon after, plague doctors began to wear beak-like masks stuffed with absorbent material soaked in the Thieves’ blend to protect them from disease.

The Thieves’ original blend, containing vinegar and garlic, was known primarily as Vinaigre de Marseille. This formula was marketed by medical suppliers as the first line of defence for hundreds of years, and has been a staple of pestilent prevention in every plague since its formulation. The rise of the modern pharmacopeia saw this staple placed in the pages of forgotten history. Marseille’s Remedy is the most traditional concentrated form of this time- honoured recipe. Its applications are numerous, as a treatment for all of life’s hygienic needs.

A Powerful, Versatile Remedy

Marseille’s Remedy is an all-natural blend of five pure, high-grade, therapeutic essential oils used to improve wellness, health, and vitality. It consists of the organic, steam-distilled oils of Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus and Rosemary, plus the true cold-pressed oil of Lemon. These are sourced from Sri Lanka (the first two), Australia, France and Italy, respectively. This authentic blend naturally balances, safeguards, and synergizes (or strengthens) the healing properties of various essential oil constituents.

It can be mixed with any carrier oil for topical use, vinegar or soap for cleaning, baking soda for teeth, or used directly in a diffuser to purify air.

Its applications and usages are many, and when applied correctly, Marseille’s Remedy is a very effective antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral treatment.

We have received many happy testimonials from customers, including in successfully treating acne, boils, warts, cold sores, and colds/coughs amongst their families, to refreshing indoor air quality, eliminating their pet’s fleas, or wiping out surface molds, among others.

Suggested Uses:

  • Clears phlegm and congested airways
  • Relieves inflammation due to sprain/strain/rheumatoid arthritis
  • Antispasmodic for symptomatic relief of digestive discomfort
  • Eliminates airborne pathogens and foul odours
  • Antifungal: Feet, hands, scalp, and mold remediation
  • Use as hand sanitizer or all-purpose cleaner
  • Can aid in the treatment and prevention of topical infectious ailments
  • Deters mites, lice, worms, fleas, and mosquitoes


  • Topical: Combine 2 drops of Marseilles Remedy with 40 drops of carrier oil, and massage into skin, muscles, or joints.
  • Direct Inhalation: For cough and cold, apply 2 to 6 drops undiluted product to a handkerchief/tissue and inhale. Alternatively, diffuse in boiling water or in an essential oil diffuser.
  • Household: Mix with soapy water, or diluted vinegar, to clean, and sanitize. Use undiluted to remediate mold around the house, or deter pests.


Thieves’ Balm:

The Balm is like having a popular muscle rub product combined with the favorite leading chest rub, merged into one effective and all-natural ointment. It contains over 50% of the Marseille’s Thieves’ Oil blend, plus some grapeseed oil and beeswax for pleasant texture, plus a warming natural camphor, and a soothing, deeply penetrating natural menthol (peppermint oil compound).

The balm is effective for many of the aforementioned uses, but also can “stick” longer to the skin, so is better suited for continual topical treatments, such as in respiratory disorders, or for joint or muscle aches or injury areas.

Some parents have reported how quickly it acted as an expectorant to help expel their child’s chest cold, and many clients have had success treating symptoms of back or other body pain. Recurrent daily use can help the body modulate the inflammatory response, and resolve conditions more easily.

Since Marseille’s Remedy is a concentrated, undiluted pure blend, use responsibly. Avoid contact with eyes, membranes, or other sensitive body areas. Read label before using.


Have a Cheerful and Healthy Autumn and Winter!

Creating Beautiful Hair…Naturally

Not all chemicals are “unnatural” and dangerous  to human or environmental health. There are many natural chemicals such as the ones found in grapefruit seeds and apple cider vinegar which are beneficial to our health and environment. Here’s a sample list of some of the health-endangering ingredients that Prairie Naturals never uses in any of our hair care products.

Prairie Naturals Hair Care formulas deliver the cleansing, conditioning & styling support your hair needs without the use of harmful ingredients. Prairie Naturals Hair Care products create beautiful, healthy hair without dangerous ingredients.

Beautiful Hair without Dangerous Ingredients


ULTRA-SIL™ 500 mg

  • Promotes beautifully healthy hair, skin and nails!
  • Supports the skeletal system
  • Provides superior source of organic silica
  • Aqueous extract of Spring Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
  • Specially processed for best assimilation
  • Rich source of trace minerals
  • Strengthens bones



  • Counteracts stress, illness, hormonal imbalances
  • Stimulates maximum growth of hair follicle
  • 22 natural nutrients restore, repair & nourish
  • Creates beautiful, healthy hair from within
  • Easy-to-absorb softgels
  • Minimizes hair loss
  • Love Your Hair!



Prairie Naturals award-winning hair care products are formulated with natural ingredients to give you beautiful, healthy looking hair without the questionable additives. Each Prairie Naturals Hair Care formula is carefully crafted using the rich, nourishing ingredients found in nature…moisturizing Jojoba oil and Shea butter, soothing Aloe Vera and stimulating Tea Tree oil are but a few of the precious ingredients that work to give you healthy, manageable, gorgeous hair. Our premium quality, award-winning shampoos, conditioners and styling aids deliver the results you demand with concentrated nutrients, botanical extracts and pure plant essential oils.

Here’s a sample list of some of the health-endangering ingredients that Prairie Naturals never uses in any of our hair care products. You’ll quickly see why.


  • most widely used, broad-spectrum preservatives worldwide Also known as methyl-, propyl, butyl- and ethyl- parabens or under the name Germaben, these toxic substances can be absorbed through the skin, are linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as toxicity in wildlife. They are weakly estrogenic (may cause hormone dependent cancers) and can negatively impact the immune system.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and its chemical cousins are standard ingredients in anything that foams. They are among the most irritating ingredients in personal care products causing dandruff-like scalp conditions, skin rashes, eye and lung irritations, and are also toxic to aquatic organisms. It is frequently disguised in semi-natural cosmetics with the explanation “comes from coconut”.
  • This chemical threesome: DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine) and related compounds are used as foaming or emulsifying agents and can form cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines when they come in contact with other nitrogen containing compounds found in cosmetics.
  • Propylene glycol, often used as an emulsifier/moisturizer, is a petrochemical also used in antifreeze and brake fluid. It is an inexpensive, synthetic humectant and emulsifier. Known as a primary irritant to skin, eyes and lungs, it penetrates the skin very quickly and may encourage liver and kidney issues.
  • A synthetic emollient, it’s the most extensively used ingredient in body care products and the single greatest cause of breakouts in women who use a new product. While covering the skin, it clogs pores and traps toxins and wastes inside the skin layers preventing the skins ability to respire.
  • Phthalates (pronounced tha-lates) are industrial plasticizers known to be one of the foremost dangers found in cosmetics and personal care products. Dozens of studies have shown that phthalates disrupt and inhibit normal hormonal functions, causing infertility and birth defects.
  • The chemical colours used in shampoos and scores of other products are labeled as FD&C or D&C followed by a color and a number. These synthetic colours are made from coal tar and contain heavy metal salts that can deposit toxins onto the skin and cause cancer.
  • Artificial fragrances can generate a variety of instant adverse reactions including headaches, dizziness, rash, redness, violent coughing and vomiting. These chemical fragrances often contain a toxic cocktail of more than 200 chemicals including endocrine disrupting phthalates.

Life is Good at the Factors Farm

Located on United Boulevard in Coquitlam BC, Natural Fators Farm is the newest extension of a local natural comapny that has been around since 1950!  Today, Natural Factors is one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional products in North America.  Right from day one, they’ve been fully committed to making products right. They are not a public company with shareholders to impress. Instead, they care about impressing their customers.  Here’s what they’ve got to say about the new movement in natural supplementation:

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Working Hard

Local, whole, and good for you: get to know your supplements

We’ve been getting to know our food a bit better in recent years. Not in in an up-close-and-personal kind of way – we don’t need our chicken to have a name and hobbies (though a chicken who could juggle might make for an interesting marketing campaign). No, we want to know that our food was grown in a way that’s good for us, for farmers, and for the environment. We want to know our kale was tended by people who care about the earth, and not just the bottom line. We want to know that the nutrients in our strawberries fulfill the promise of their ruby red colour. And what about the nutrients we take in the form of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements?

Well, yes, we want to get to know those, too.

After all, whole foods aren’t just a trend at the dinner table. Today’s nutritional supplements are capturing the benefits of whole foods – such as Natural Factors’ Whole Earth & Sea line, with offerings from multivitamins to bone-health formulas, and more. Like that heirloom tomato from your local farmers’ market, whole food-based supplements bring you the best of what nature has to offer, plus all the benefits of locally grown, locally produced goods.


Whole foods vs. isolated nutrients

The best way to get nutrients is from whole foods. Plants provide a broad spectrum of nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to enzymes and phytonutrients, and the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Research suggests that nutrients from whole, raw foods are team players; in other words, a valuable synergy allows key vitamins and minerals to work more effectively together, and makes them more bioavailable, so your body can absorb them easily.

Arguably, this means we would fill our plates with an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies three times a day, every day. And if you’ve figured out how to come up with fresh, home-cooked meals while juggling work, kids, exercise, and if you’re lucky, a social life, call us. No, really – you’ve stumbled upon the secret of life, and we want in. For the rest of us, whole food supplements like Whole Earth & Sea can take the pressure off a little.

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Organic Echinachea

It’s all about soil

Organic farmers often joke that they grow healthy soil – veggies are just a happy side effect. Like all good jokes, there’s truth in it. After decades of mismanaged soil thanks to the advent of chemical agriculture, certified organic farmers are experiencing a renaissance. Healthy organic soil contains all the vital nutrients that plants need to thrive, and foods grown organically have been shown to contain higher levels of key antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals.

Growing organic herbs, fruits, and veggies for whole food supplements makes perfect sense, according to Jan Slama, Research Scientist for Natural Factors in Kelowna, BC: “The purpose is to control the quality of our products from the ground up.” Jan is speaking of Factors Farms, a certified organic farm in BC’s fertile Okanagan Valley where many of the ingredients for Whole Earth & Sea are sourced.

At Factors Farms, Spring is in the air, and seeds are being sown for another season of locally grown herbs and supplements. 25 years of organic, non-GMO farming experience have taught the farmers here just what it means to grow high-quality ingredients. Soon, the fields will be bursting with colourful echinacea, vibrant greens, and sweet, antioxidant-rich berries. Fertilized only with compost and nitrogen-rich sea plants and meticulously cared for by hand, the plants are harvested at their peak and, just down the road, they’re raw processed to preserve those delicate antioxidants.

Factors Farms 7Z9A8479

 The Feilds

Local does it better

Those fields of green could be grown almost anywhere on the planet, but for Jan and the team at Natural Factors, growing at home is important. Sure, you can find Natural Factors and Whole Earth & Sea across North America, but they act more like your friendly neighbour than anything else.

And that’s important to Jan, who says “Canadians want local, organic herbals that they can trust.” For many of us, that means food and supplements grown right here in our own backyard, with all the benefits that come with buying locally grown, locally produced goods: a boost for the local economy, local jobs, sustainability, and healthier communities.

If you’ve made room on your plate for local whole foods, be sure to make room in your medicine cabinet too.
After all, life’s a healthy feast – enjoy it whole!

Omega-3’s: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

By Renew Life CanadaFeb Heart Health

Every 7 minutes someone dies from Heart Disease or Stroke in Canada. Did you know that silent inflammation in the body is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease? It’s true! The key to stopping silent inflammation is Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.

There are two types of inflammation; Acute and Silent. One is good, the other is bad.

Acute Inflammation: This is good. It is the body’s local, protective reaction to injury or infection. Swelling, redness, and pain trigger the healing response. This is what happens when you slam your finger in the door.  The inflammation is needed to heal the injury.

Silent or Chronic Inflammation: This is bad. It is a deep, low grade inflammatory attack within the cells. It can’t be seen or felt and it damages the body rather than heals.

Silent inflammation is the root cause of many chronic and debilitating diseases such as heart, arthritis, autoimmune, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Interestingly, three of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease are also SIGNS of silent inflammation; high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

Silent inflammation is a major health concern but the solution is well within reach. One very effective way to combat silent inflammation is to consume more omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), have a strong anti-inflammatory effect in the body. In fact, there are over 7000 published studies on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and much of this research is focused on inflammation and heart health.

Since our body does not manufacture omega-3 fatty acids on its own, it is very important that they are acquired through a healthy daily diet. However, the typical Canadian diet is severely deficient in these. In fact, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is ranked number 8 on the Harvard School of Public Health’s list of Preventable Causes of Death. Repairing this deficiency of omega-3 fats in the body by taking a high potency fish oil supplement will help improve, alleviate, or even eliminate inflammatory conditions in the body.

Bottom line, fish oil reduces silent inflammation and helps to protect your heart. 

NG Fish Oils Group

Norwegian Gold fish oil is designed with heart health in mind!

Norwegian Gold Critical Omega 

Critical Omega is a high potency fish oil delivering 840mg of Omega-3 fatty acids (including 490mg of EPA and 240mg of DHA) in every capsule. This is the ideal choice for someone who wants to
maintain their good health.

NG Critical Omega 60 (English JPG)

Norwegian Gold Super Critical Omega

Super Critical Omega is designed for those individuals who require therapeutic strength fish oil. Each capsule delivers over 1000 units of Vitamin D. Super Critical Omega is the right choice for individuals with cardiovascular issues or those concerned about optimal heart health.NG Super Critical Omega 30 (English JPG)

Norwegian Gold Ultra EPA

Ultra EPA delivers 1000mg of EPA per capsule making it the strongest EPA fish oil on the market. EPA is especially effective at lowering inflammation throughout the body as well as lowering triglycerides. Ultra EPA is the ideal choice for anyone with an inflammatory condition.

NG Ultra EPA 30 (English JPG)

More from the CHFA on NPN Licensing

Further to our last post about NHN quality in Canada – here are some details via the CHFA about how companies go about actually getting their licenses to sell NHP’s.


Ten-Day Licensing

Under the “Management of product licence applications for natural health products,” products eligible for approval within 10 days are part of what NNHPD considers Class I products.  To be eligible for this category, the product must comply with all parameters of an individual (a single) Health Canada monograph.

Monographs are documents developed and maintained by NNHPD that contain a compilation of the known efficacy and safety information of a certain well-known ingredient. The use of a monograph is efficient for both applicants and the NNHPD since the safety and efficacy of the ingredient has already been established by Health Canada when it is used under the conditions specified in the monograph.

Since the information needed to support the safety and efficacy has been vetted and is thoroughly understood, an applicant can attest to meeting the monograph for their product and the application is then reviewed for completeness. These applications are for the lowest risk, highest certainty products.

To add further scrutiny to the review, NNHPD conducts random and risk-based post-licensing audits of monograph-based applications.  This ensures that the parameters against which applicants have attested were met.

DNA Testing

Scientific developments in quality assurance testing and analytical methodologies continue to evolve worldwide. As new technologies are developed, those technologies may lead to new test methods and analytical procedures that are faster, cheaper and more precise. However, emerging test methods must be validated for accuracy and acceptability before being promoted for general use.


As an example, the use of DNA barcoding technology for testing the identity of botanical products is useful but presently limited. DNA testing is rarely able to properly identify chemically complex herbal extracts, as little or no DNA is extracted during the extraction processes. This technology would be more appropriate for raw material identification than herbal extracts found in finished products.


In the case of DNA testing specifically for finished products containing herbal ingredients, additional scientific analysis should be used to confirm the initial DNA results. Drawing conclusions on the basis of one testing technology from one laboratory should only be considered as preliminary and requires further substantiation.


Canada’s Natural Health Product Regulations reinforce that quality assurance and quality control are critical for manufacturing safe and effective NHPs.  Canadian consumers demand and deserve safe and high-quality NHPs.  CHFA supports this demand and encourages the entire supply chain, from raw material suppliers to NHP manufacturers, to use recognized quality standards that are well characterized and deemed fit for purpose.



Evidence requirements for natural health products are proportional to the level of risk of the product. The referenced slide in The Fifth Estate episode referring to weak evidence is from a presentation given in 2012, prior to the implementation of the current risk-based system. Since then, Health Canada has published two guidance documents that outline evidence criteria for NHPs.  Under these documents, NHPs that are defined as medium- to high-risk require phase III or IV clinical studies or well-designed meta-analysis to demonstrate safety and efficacy.

On the other hand, low-risk NHPs that make general claims for minor, self-resolving health conditions or for general health maintenance claims have evidence requirements that reflect the low-risk nature of these products. Evidence such as traditional/botanical medicine textbooks or published peer-reviewed studies are acceptable as long as the entirety of evidence submitted supports the safety and efficacy of these low-risk products.

The guidance documents also provide predictable, consistent and clear instructions on what is required when filing a product licence application.  These new tools have drastically improved the quality of submissions as applicants now know with greater certainty what evidence is likely to be acceptable to Health Canada.

Vitamins and Minerals Products

In Canada, the commercial sale of NHPs is strictly regulated by the “Natural Health Products Regulations,” which requires products to be licensed by NNHPD before they can be sold. In order to be licensed, a product must demonstrate that it is safe, effective and high quality.

An important tool for product licensing is product monographs for common medicinal ingredients found in many NHPs. A product monograph is a factual scientific document on the specific medicinal ingredient that prescribes the safe and effective dose, as well as other parameters.

Using vitamin D as an example, the monograph outlines a maximum daily dose of 1,000 IU. If using a monograph to get a licence, NNHPD does not permit products providing more than 1,000 IU on a daily basis. As of today, there are no licensed products on the Canadian market with daily doses of vitamin D greater than 1,000 IU. Companies seeking a licence for a product containing more than 1,000 IU per day would be required to submit additional safety and efficacy evidence to support the dose.  NNHPD would thoroughly review the application and supporting documents to ensure it is, in fact, safe and effective.

CHFA recommends consulting a health care practitioner prior to making changing a health care regime.

Role of the Inspectorate

The slide in The Fifth Estate episode referring to the “Role of the Inspectorate” that discusses NHP complaints and quality is from a 2012 presentation. As of June 2014, there are 54,706 licences issued by NNHPD, representing 81,629 products on the market. There are approximately seven times more licensed NHPs on the market than licensed prescription and non-prescription drugs, combined. The statistic doesn’t surprise us when you take into consideration the sheer number of licensed NHPs on the market compared to other health products.

Another important point regarding the Fifth Estate episode is the fact that the Inspectorate receives complaints for numerous product-related issues. Complaints can range from low-risk complaints, to not tasting as desired, to concerns regarding public health. After the Inspectorate has verified the complaints for risks to health and safety, only the legitimate complaints are pursued by the Inspectorate. The Fifth Estate 2012 presentation statistic reflects all complaints submitted to the Inspectorate and not just the identified legitimate complaints.

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