Sunday Sip - Adrenal Mocktail

By Alyssa P
CN buyer, herbalism student, and beverage connoisseur

If you find yourself needing a little afternoon pick-me-up or just some extra hydration, an adrenal mocktail is a great beverage to turn to. This beverage is packed with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes- most notably magnesium, potassium, sodium, and vitamin C. It’s very simple to make as it only requires three ingredients. Plus it satisfies that salty-sweet craving! Adrenal mocktails are so refreshing and will give you an energy boost without having to reach for that second cup of coffee, all while transporting you to a momentary tropical vacation. It’s the perfect midday or post-gym drink.



Add all ingredients to a glass and mix well. If adding coconut cream, blend or shake well to make sure everything gets mixed in.

Staff Picks: Autumn 2022


Natural Stacks Ciltep (Neuro Fuel) Natural Nootropic

As I gear up for a challenging and exciting fall semester, I am happy to have Neurofuel to support my focus and motivation. Natural Stacks uses natural ingredients that work as fuel for neurotransmitters, supporting greater signaling between brain cells. This supplement helps me to combat the brain fog, fatigue, and procrastination that can come with the added demands of the semester. With Neurofuel, I can approach my schoolwork with more creativity, curiosity and enthusiasm to tackle my assignments and get the most out of my semester.


Forest School for Grown Ups by Richard Irvine

A newer book to CN shelves this season is this adorable guide to exploring the wisdom of the woods! This book balances a surplus of practical knowledge as well as blurbs of myth and folklore. From map reading, foraging & basket weaving to forest spells, mythical forest beings (and so much in between) this book has it all. A really sweet gift for your nature loving friends (or yourself!), this is a lovely book that anyone would be happy to have in their collection. Come see for yourself!


Juniper Ridge Douglas Fir Spring Tip Botanical Tea

Juniper Ridge's Douglas Fir Spring Tip tea is for sure going to be a staple in my coffee and tea cabinet this fall. Its bright and earthy flavor is both grounding and soothing; drinking it reminds me of a nice autumnal hike in the woods! Just breathing in its steam makes you feel like you've been transported to a wooded trail deep in the pacific northwest...


Mad Hippie Face Cream and Vitamin C Serum

Believe the hype!! Almost everyone at BL has heard me gush over Mad Hippie and their products so I had to pick these for my staff pick! I have been using the Mad Hippie Face Cream for almost 2 years now and it does not disappoint, no matter what time of year. I have sensitive skin and personally struggle with sensory issues with skin care when products are too sticky, oily or feel thick on my skin. This face cream absorbs fast while also keeping my skin feeling moisturized all day, even when the weather starts to cool down and conditions outside get harsher. And I don't know how they engineered the pump so perfect but you're able to use every last drop in that bottle, so you really get every dollar's worth! I also started using the Vitamin C Serum in my daily routine recently and I love the added brightness I have noticed in my skin. As someone with extremely fair skin I appreciate how all of Mad Hippie's products are protecting me from further sun damage all year long.


Everyone Body Lotion Unscented and Just Soaps Oatmeal Honey Bar Soap

Fall, to me, means getting back to the basics and inviting a grounding level of self care and routine back into my life after a fun-filled summer. Part of how I do that is through body care. The Everyone lotion is nourishing while also being lightweight and quick to absorb which makes it perfect the lotion as we transition into the colder months! The Oatmeal Honey bar soap from Just Soaps is another staple in my cold weather skincare. Oatmeal is known for its hydrating properties, so it helps keep my skin extra soft this time of year! Just Soaps are also 100% package free!


Seemore Chicken Kale Pesto Sausage

Seemore Meats & Veggies founded by a 4th generation butcher, currently a women owned business, that uses humanely raised meat, and local farm vegetables gluten free ingredients, to create the most deeeeelicious sausages. My favorite flavor is their Chicken Chili Verde. These sausages pack a powerful punch, you can really taste the spicy green chilis & fresh cilantro. I buy 2 packages of these sausages at a time, keeping 1 in the freezer for back up. They can quickly be diced, sliced, or cooked whole to create a quick eggs & sausage breakfast or dinner. They make a great taco, or nacho topping, grilled like a hot dog - the possibilities are endless and yummy! You can find the variety of Seemore sausages we carry in our cooler case.


Organic Bath Co. Skin Cream Naked

For me, the changing of the seasons brings on the dreaded cracked and dry hands. Organic Bath Co.'s skin cream is just the solution I needed! I love it as a hand cream specifically, but it's great on any other dry areas (feet, elbows, etc.) It's fragrance free and doesn't irritate my sensitive and temperamental skin, but has a pleasant mild aroma from it's amazing ingredients, cocoa butter and rosehip oil. This skin cream is beautifully rich and creamy, but non-greasy and absorbs quickly, which is key. Out of the many hand creams I have tried, this one is by far my favorite.


Mikes Hot Honey

The BEST thing I've ever bought in my life... maybe. I've been putting it on everything recently such as avocado toast, tomato's, and even vanilla oat milk ice cream with a tiny bit of sea salt. It's the perfect mix of sweet and spicy to add to any dish!


Wooden Spoon Herbs Fire Cider

The changing seasons can really put our bodies through the ringer increasing our chances of getting a bug. This is the time when I start pulling out all the stops to boost my immune system as we head into the colder months which is where fire cider comes into play. A folk remedy used for centuries that may be used for a variety of issues including as a immune boost, for digestion, and for warming the body. The Wooden Spoon Herbs Fire Cider is certified organic made with apple cider vinegar, honey and a variety of herbs and vegetables including: ginger, garlic, onion, horseradish, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne fruit. I like to dilute it in hot water as a warming tonic but it can also be mixed with sparkling water or used in a salad dressing! Yumm!


Upstate Elevator CBG Gummies

These tasty gummies combine CBD with CBG (Cannabigerol) in a convenient 20mg dosage. CBG, which is often called 'the mother of all cannabinoids', is being studied for its aid in mood support as well as its potential anti-inflammatory benefits. I like it for the uplifting, energizing effect it has on me--it's great for when I want to get the benefits of CBD without the sedative effects of many other products. As a Supplements Buyer for Cambridge Naturals, I've tried almost every CBD product we carry, and this is by far my favorite.


Soul Chai

Fall is here and I am craving all things warm and spicy. Enter Soul Chai. Aside from being one of the most delicious Chai blends I've ever had, Soul Chai uses mindful sourcing and sustainable practices. Also... it comes in the cutest, most eye catching, reusable little tin.


Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

What is autumn without pumpkin-themed goodies?? This clean (and affordable!) face mask has organic pumpkin, honey, and glycolic acid that help soothe, brighten, and exfoliate the skin. It smells so nice and tingles so goooood. If you are hesitant to commit to the full-sized jar, we also have little 1-time-use mask "pods" you could try!


Bulk Nettle leaf (Local, Organic)

As we re-enter allergy season, one of my favorite daily rituals comes into play - a morning cup of nettle tea. Nettles, in addition to being incredibly nutritive and mineral-rich, can support the body's immune system to reduce its histaminic responses to seasonal allergens, especially when taken regularly. I particularly like our bulk nettles sourced from Foster Farm Botanicals in East Calais, Vermont. Steep in hot water with a tea bag or infuser of your choice, and mix in a spoonful of raw local honey for extra allergy support and tastiness!


Cambridge Naturals Passionflower Tincture

As we move from summer to fall, many of us transition from play mode to work mode which at times can be stress inducing. As the to-do lists ramp up, I often find myself ruminating on what I need to get done the next day as I'm trying to fall asleep. I've been taking passionflower (also known as maypop) in the evenings to help me unwind and slow the mental chatter so that I can fall asleep easier and wake up up feeling more rested.


Brown and Coconut Hydrating Face Oil

It's that time of year again, where the air gets a little more crisp and your skin gets a bit more dry. But have no worry,treat your skin with Brown and Coconut’s Hydrating Face Oil! Whether you have reactive-sensitive skin to oily-combination skin type; this silky fast absorbing facial oil is ultra lightweight, and provides instant nourishment to your skin. Transport your senses into Autumn with this neroli-manuka oil blend that helps soothe, and aid with hyperpigmentation. This aromatherapeutic oil will elevate your facial care regimen leaving skin dewy and radiant.



Vibrant Health Green Vibrance Drink Powder

This is the highest quality, most nutritious, greens powder on the market. As you can tell by list of ingredients that takes up more than half of the label, it’s packed with a multitude of beneficial nutrients for body and mind. I drink mine on its own in a glass of cold water or in a smoothie. Pro-tip: store it in the freezer to keep as fresh as possible!


Good Morning, Good Night Deck

Are you as baffled as I am by how quickly Summer passed us by? What do you mean we only have four months until 2023?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN 2010 WAS OVER A DECADE AGO?!? It's tough to remember to slow down and take care of yourself when life moves so fast, but the Good Morning, Good Night Deck is here to help! These 78 double-sided cards with mindfulness exercises, yoga poses, and self-care tips are perfect for anyone who wants to reconnect with themselves.


Carlson Cod Liver Oil (Lemon) 8.4 fl oz

The natural food industry doesn't call Cold Liver oil a super food but, I do! Why might you ask? Cod Liver Oil is high on Omega-3, Vitamin A & D, EPA, and DHA making it a nutrient powerhouse supplement. Daily use may support brain health, heart health, immunity, and a healthy inflamation response. What more could you ask for? Try it on your kids! My son doesn't bat an eye at the Lemon flavor. Pro Tip: Storing it in the fridge gives every dose a crisp experience.


True Grace One Daily Probiotic

As we head into the season of hearty, delicious meals and more time spent indoors, my digestive and immune health are top of mind! I absolutely love this probiotic from our new vendor partner, True Grace. As a company, they put high quality sourcing, manufacturing, and transparency at the forefront of their decision making - and I love seeing the exact percentages of each probiotic strain contained within their products. The One Daily is a blend of prebiotic fiber and 90 billion count of 12 probiotic strains to support gut and immune health. It's shelf-stable and gluten-free, vegetarian, and non-GMO verified.


Rose Cordial Syrup by Portland Syrups

I loved this product right away. The smell, the flavor and the delicate color that adds to my rose mocktails! It has just the right sweetness and a touch of tartness that enhances the rose flavor. Made from Rose Petals, Rose Hips, Rose Buds and Real Cane Sugar. No artificial flavors or colors. You could definitely add it to seltzer water, smoothies, sparkling water, pancakes, drizzle on fruit/ice cream and cocktails. I regularly add it to my special delightful signature mocktail: in a mason jar I delicately smash organic peaches, blueberries and mint leaves. Then I add "Cucumber Seltzer by Something and Nothing", coconut water, 1 or 2 tablespoons of "Portland Syrups Rose Cordial", a hint of ceylon cinnamon and a couple of ice cubes.

P.S. I garnish it with dried rose buds to add visual impact and flavor. You will wow your friends.


Sunday Sip - Elderberry Defense

By Alyssa P
CN buyer, herbalism student, and beverage connoisseur

As the season begins to change, now is a great time to give our immune systems a little love. Goldthread’s Elderberry Defense Tonic is a great place to start. This tonic is both refreshing and nourishing. It features herbs such as elderberry- a delicious and well loved immune supporter and rosehips, which are a great source of vitamin C. Astragalus root is another commonly used herb for immune support and ginger provides anti-inflammatory properties. Lastly, the addition of tulsi helps us to unwind and de-stress.

This tonic is great on its own or combined with sparkling water if you’re craving some bubbles. Nixie’s Lime Ginger sparkling water would pair really well! Adding a dropperful or two of a tincture could also make this drink even more potent. I would choose Urban Moonshine’s Immune Tonic, which features similar ingredients to the Elderberry Defense as well as immune-supporting mushroom extracts. Feel free to get creative with combinations!

Happy sipping!

Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome 101

By Amber Testa, Supplements Buyer + Gut Health Enthusiast

We contain multitudes.

No, seriously. The human body is an ecosystem, comprising some 37.2 trillion cells distributed between bones, organs, blood, and other vital processes. But the body also contains billions of other cells like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, with the exact estimates ranging from 39 trillion to an astounding 300 trillion cells. (Bacterial cells are much smaller than human cells, which is why you look like a person and not like an amorphous cellular mass.)

Image via wikimedia commons

Most of those bacterial cells are concentrated in the stomach and intestines--the areas collectively known as the gut microbiome. Up to a thousand different species of bacteria inhabit your microbiome, and (contrary to popular assumption), most of them are actually beneficial to your body, with the disease-causing microbes limited to a minority. Humans have evolved alongside our microbiomes over millions of years in a symbiotic relationship with many benefits.

So what exactly does your gut microbiome do? Among other things, the gut microbiome plays an important role in digestion, particularly of fiber. It also supports the immune system as the bacteria within your body communicate to your own immune cells, instructing them on how to best fight infections.

But although we usually live in harmony with our gut microbes, sometimes imbalances occur. When your body has too many hostile microbes in the gut microbiome and not enough of the friendly bacteria, a state called dysbiosis occurs. This results in conditions like bloating, impaired digestion, and abdominal pain. It's in cases like this that you might want to turn to a probiotic.

So what is a probiotic, exactly? In short, a probiotic is a dose of cultivated good bacteria that are deliberately introduced to the gut microbiome. You can find naturally-occurring probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut--or you can take a probiotic supplement.

Probiotic supplements can vary widely in composition, but they all share a few common traits. On probiotic packaging, you'll see two important numbers. The first number is the total amount of live cultures in the probiotic. This number is usually somewhere in the billions--it might seem like a lot, but the gut microbiome works with a large scale of bacteria. The second number is the amount of strains of cultures. This can range from single-strain probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus or saccharomyces boulardii to comprehensive probiotics containing a dozen or more strains. You'll also note that many probiotics specify on the packaging whether or not they require refrigeration. Many bacteria are especially sensitive to heat and moisture, and being too hot may actually kill the good bacteria within the probiotics. At Cambridge Naturals, we keep all of our probiotics in the refrigerator, just in case.

Probiotics can be helpful for anyone who experiences unpleasant gut symptoms like bloating or indigestion. They can also help to repopulate the gut microbiome after you've taken a course of antibiotics like penicillin (which kills both the bacteria that cause infection as well as, unfortunately, killing off some of the good bacteria in your body). Probiotics have also been found to aid individuals who suffer from yeast infections--especially a type of probiotic called lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Along with the probiotic cultures themselves, many probiotics come formulated with what's known as a prebiotic. This is a form of plant fiber that nourishes the good bacteria in the gut--it's basically the equivalent of giving them a welcome-home gift.

If you're interested in adding a probiotic to your health regimen, it's best to start simply with either a specific probiotic supplement or with probiotic-laden foods like ferments, yogurt, or kombucha. And always check with your medical practitioner if you have questions.

Probiotics can certainly seem intimidating at first, but they're a valuable part of a healthy lifestyle. Your gut microbiome does so much to keep you healthy--give it some recognition in return!

You can shop the entire Cambridge Naturals stock of probiotics here online or in-store!


The information in this blog post is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

Virgo Season Tea

By Alyssa, CN Buyer, herbalism student, Virgo sun

Virgo season is here! Time to get organized, focus on the details, go out of your way to help your friends, overthink, and give solicited (or maybe unsolicited!) advice.

Virgos are known for their overactive minds, therefore they need all the stress support they can get. And notoriously Virgos are known for stomach issues (probably from stressing themselves out), so this tea provides digestive aid as well. For stress support, we have lemon balm, maypop (passionflower) for an overactive mind, and holy basil for sustainable nervous system support. Milky oat tops also help reduce stress as well as being all-around nourishing. Lastly, fennel, ginger, and dandelion provide digestive aid.




Add all herbs to a teapot or tea infuser. I use about a teaspoon of each except for the ginger and fennel- those I use a half teaspoon of. Pour 12-16 ounces of freshly boiled water over the herbs. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain out herbs or remove tea infuser. Add honey to taste. Take a deep breath and exhale any stress.

Sunday Sip - Cycle Balancing Iced Tea

By Alyssa P

CN Buyer, herbalism student, tea enthusiast

As someone with a menstrual cycle, I find that incorporating certain herbs into my routine can make a big difference in how I feel “that time” of the month and beyond. One of my favorite plant allies has been raspberry leaf for this very reason. Raspberry leaf is vitamin and mineral rich and has a toning effect which can help keep uterine cramps at bay. I’ve made it a habit to make a big batch of iced tea overnight to drink daily for at least the two weeks leading up to my period. However, I find that drinking this daily throughout the month gets me the best results. I always feature raspberry leaf in this infusion along with some other cycle balancing and stress reducing herbs. My favorite herbs to add in are rose, spearmint, milky oat tops, and red clover. The resulting taste has a black tea-like base and the rose and spearmint add floral and minty notes.




  • Add all herbs to your pitcher. I use about 2-3 tablespoons of each herb and my pitcher holds about a half gallon of water.

  • Pour water to fill the pitcher and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.

  • Strain tea out when done infusing and enjoy!

P.S. Brittany Wood Nickerson also had a great book called Sacred and Mysterious that details more menstruation supporting herbs and recipes. I like to incorporate herbs inspired by her recipes into this daily infusion.

P.P.S. This tea can be nourishing for all bodies! Not just for those who menstruate :)

Late Summer Charcuterie Board

By Dev, CN Manager + Charcuterie Board Afficionado

Don't let summer slip away before treating yourself to a fun and flavorful charcuterie board! They're great for parties, beach hangs, or just chilling at home when you're in a foraging mood. Here at CN, we lovingly designed one using nothing but products you can find on our shelves! Featured on our board are the following tempting, delicious, and wholesome snacks :

A number of these staff favorites are locally sourced within New England, as well. Come in, grab an armful (or basketful), and let the magic begin. Happy board-building; consider it a new summer sport!

Sunday Sip - Hibiscus Cardamom Mocktail

By Alyssa P
CN buyer, herbalism student, and beverage connoisseur

Sit back and relax this Sunday with a cooling, bright, and slightly spicy hibiscus cardamom sparkling beverage. For this drink we are using Portland Syrup Co. Hibiscus Cardamom Syrup and Dram Cardamom and Black Tea sparkling water. Hibiscus can help us cool down from the summer sun and cardamom can aid digestion. Plus the sparkling water is very lightly caffeinated, making this beverage a perfect post-lunch pick me up.

To make: simply add an ounce of the syrup to a glass, pour in the Dram, add ice, and stir! Garnish with a slice of lime if you’re feeling fancy. Enjoy!

Mushroom for Discussion: Lion's Mane

By Amber Testa
CN Supplements Buyer & Armchair Mycologist

hericium erinaceus via Wikimedia Commons

Whether cultivated or encountered in the wild, Lion's Mane is a truly striking fungus. Cascades of fringelike white spines have inspired a variety of unusual names, mostly animal in nature. Its Latin name, hericium erinaceus, literally means 'hedgehog hedgehog'; in German it's called Igel-Stachelbart ('hedgehog goatee'); and one of its common names in Chinese translates to 'Monkey's Head Mushroom'. Nobody's quite sure where exactly the name 'Lion's Mane' came from originally, although the fungi itself is native to North America, Asia, and Europe. 

Lion's Mane is saprophytic, meaning it feeds on dead or decaying matter, but it's also a parasite, invading living trees. It's fond of growing on beeches and oaks especially, although Lion's Mane that is grown for commercial use is often grown on a substrate of rice bran. 

Unlike many other medicinal mushrooms, Lion's Mane is occasionally used as a culinary mushroom. Chewy and meaty in texture, it is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, where it is sometimes used as a meat substitute (the taste has been likened to seafood like crab or lobster.) It can be deep-fried or marinated in spices--a versatile ingredient indeed! 

In terms of its health benefits, Lion's Mane is remarkably comprehensive. Of particular note is its high antioxidant levels, which fight inflammation in the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they have a long history of being used for neurological support and supporting memory and nerve function, and have been used by Buddhist monks for thousands of years. Lion's Mane is primarily thought of as a nootropic, or a substance which bolsters cognitive function; the many helpful compounds within it have been found to easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Like many other fungi, Lion's Mane has also been found to boost the function of the immune system. 

As one of the newer examples of mushrooms being scientifically investigated for their medicinal benefits, there's still a lot of research to be done on quantifying the precise benefits of Lion's Mane. Early studies have already validated it as a powerful addition to the medicinal mushroom canon.

Lion's Mane is most commonly consumed encapsulated in pill form, although you'll occasionally encounter it as a loose powder. It's also often blended with coffee, matcha, or tea to create a tasty, brain-boosting beverage that can be consumed at home or on the go. One of my personal favorites is Tamim Tea's Lion's Spice, where it joins turmeric and ginger in an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. 

On the whole, Lion's Mane is a visually striking member of Kingdom Fungi, respected for both its health benefits and culinary uses. It's by far the most popular mushroom supplement we sell here at Cambridge Naturals. You can shop our full selection of Lion's Mane products in-store or on our webstore here


Spicy Chai Concentrate for at-home iced chai lattes!

By Alyssa P
CN buyer, herbalism student, and beverage connoisseur

This heat wave has me craving a beverage that will help me stay both cool and energized. Lately I’ve been turning to a homemade chai concentrate that is refreshing, spicy, and not overly caffeinated. Having a concentrate on hand makes my mornings easy since all you have to do is add a milk of choice and ice. Nothing complicated or heated once it’s prepped and it’s already cold from being kept in the fridge. Plus you can make it as sweet (or not sweet) as you would like! This recipe features assam black tea and chai masala spices from Boston Chai Party, a beloved local and Indian-owned brand whose mission is to empower people to make their own high quality and authentic chai at home. Happy chai making!


Medium/large pot and lid
Glass container for storage
Spoon for mixing
Your favorite glass
Measuring cup(s) 


½ cup Boston Chai Party Chai Masala Spices
¼ cup Boston Chai Party Assam Black Tea Leaves
4 cups water
Honey, sugar, or another sweetener to taste 
Minor Figures Oat Milk
2-3 fresh ginger slices


  • Add black tea, ginger slices, and water to a pot on high heat and stir. 

  • When the water starts boiling, turn the heat to low and stir in the chai spices. 

  • Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. 

  • Let cool for a few minutes and then strain into a glass container for storage. The mixture will be thick, so it’s helpful to stir as you strain.

  • If you would like to, add some honey, sugar, or maple syrup for some added sweetness. 

  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

  • When ready to use, pour about 4 oz into a cup and add around 8 oz of milk or a milk alternative- Minor Figures oat milk is my favorite. Add ice and enjoy your homemade iced chai latte!