Posts by: Carly Barrett

Embracing Health Literacy: The Power of Herbal Medicine and Nutrition in Personal Advocacy

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October’s Health Literacy Month is a global advocacy initiative that underscores the importance of understanding and interpreting health information. As we reflect upon the essence of health literacy, two modalities stand out for their profound influence on personal health advocacy: herbal medicine and nutrition. These pillars, deeply rooted in nature’s wisdom, empower individuals to take charge of their health and make informed decisions that resonate with holistic well-being. 

The Essence of Health Literacy 

Health literacy encompasses the capacity of individuals to obtain, process, and understand fundamental health information and services, enabling them to make informed decisions. This involves: 

  • Deciphering Health Information: Grasping key details about one’s health conditions, medications, and management strategies. 
  • Navigating the Healthcare System: Understanding the intricate workings of the healthcare landscape. 
  • Open Dialogue: Facilitating transparent communications with healthcare providers to address concerns and receive tailored advice

Integrative Medicine & The Wider Spectrum 

Integrative medicine, marrying conventional and alternative treatments, accentuates holistic health, considering the entirety of an individual—mind, body, and spirit. Such an approach encourages patients to actively participate in their wellness journey, often integrating preventive practices with symptom management. 

Herbal Medicine: Nature’s Healing Touch 

An age-old practice, herbal medicine taps into the curative power of plants, offering a natural, holistic approach to healing. 

Key Insights: 

  • Natural Remedies: Predominantly using plant-based ingredients, herbal medicines tend to have fewer side effects and promote holistic healing. 
  • Preventive Focus: Numerous herbs bolster the body’s natural defenses, paving the way for preventive healthcare. 
  • Tailored Healing: Herbal treatments can be personalized, considering individual health needs and challenges. 

Nutrition: The Cornerstone of Wellness 

Undoubtedly, nutrition forms the bedrock of health. It’s a testament to the adage, “You are what you eat.” 

Key Highlights: 

  • Balanced Intake: A diet rich in essential nutrients supports optimal bodily functions and vitality. 
  • Combatting Chronic Ailments: Appropriate nutritional choices can serve as a shield against chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart ailments. 
  • Conscious Consumption: Mindful eating promotes healthier eating habits, cultivating a more informed relationship with food. 

Synergizing Herbal Medicine and Nutrition 

  • Enhanced Awareness: Gaining insights into herbal medicine and nutrition empowers individuals to make health decisions that align with their personal beliefs and objectives. 
  • Constructive Conversations: Knowledge fosters meaningful engagements with healthcare professionals, allowing patients to seek integrative health solutions. 
  • Wholesome Approach: Both modalities prioritize holistic health, addressing the root causes of issues rather than just managing symptoms. 

MUIH: Championing Health Literacy and Advocacy 

Maryland University of Integrative Health stands as a beacon in integrative health education with its distinguished herbal medicine and nutrition programs. MUIH’s holistic curriculum cultivates well-informed advocates equipped with both traditional wisdom and modern insights. As Health Literacy Month unfolds, MUIH’s role in fostering informed health decisions and personal advocacy shines ever brighter. 

Unlocking Holistic Wellness: The Vitality of Pursuing a Graduate Program in Integrative Health

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In today’s fast-paced world, health and wellness have taken center stage in our lives. We’ve come to realize that true well-being is not just about the absence of disease but a harmonious balance of physical, mental, and emotional health. This realization has given rise to the field of integrative health, a holistic approach that blends conventional and complementary medicine to enhance overall wellness. Pursuing a graduate program in integrative health can open doors to a world of knowledge and opportunities, with a focus on essential areas like nutrition, herbal medicine, health and wellness coaching, and herbal medicine product design. In this article, we’ll explore the profound importance of this field of study.

Nutrition: The Foundation of Holistic Health

Nutrition is the cornerstone of integrative health. It is one of the most influential determinants of health and wellness, as well as the prevention and treatment of disease. What we eat directly impacts our physical well-being, energy levels, and overall vitality. A graduate program in integrative health delves deep into the science of nutrition, helping students understand the power of food as medicine. MUIH’s programs are grounded in a holistic philosophy that integrates the physiological, socio-cultural, and evidence-informed roles of food in our lives. Graduates support the faster than the average job growth rate projected for nutrition professionals in the U.S.

Understanding the intricacies of nutrition equips graduates with the knowledge to educate others on making informed dietary choices, thereby contributing to the prevention and management of chronic diseases. In a world rife with nutritional misinformation, becoming an expert in this field is a powerful way to promote holistic wellness.

Herbal Medicine: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries in various cultures to treat a wide range of health issues. In integrative health graduate programs, students gain a comprehensive understanding of herbal medicine, from its historical roots to its modern-day applications. They learn to identify, cultivate, and prepare medicinal plants while studying the science behind their therapeutic properties.

Graduates with expertise in herbal medicine can offer alternative and complementary treatments to conventional healthcare, often with fewer side effects. This knowledge can be particularly valuable in today’s world, where many people seek natural alternatives to synthetic medications. MUIH’s one-of-a-kind herbal medicine programs recognize the power of the natural world and plant medicines in promoting health and wellness. Through the integration of time-honored uses with contemporary science and research, graduates support the growing consumer use of herbal medicine in community health and wellness, clinical care, research, manufacturing, and retail settings.

Health and Wellness Coaching: Guiding Personal Transformation

Health and wellness coaching is an integral part of integrative health programs. Graduates are trained to provide guidance and support to individuals on their wellness journeys. They help clients set and achieve health goals, navigate lifestyle changes, and overcome obstacles. The power of coaching lies in its ability to empower individuals to take charge of their health.

A graduate program in integrative health equips students with the skills and knowledge to be effective wellness coaches. This role plays a vital role in bridging the gap between knowledge and action, helping people make lasting, positive changes in their lives. It is an evidence-based approach and set of skills that empowers individuals to tap into their own inner source of motivation to restore and preserve health and well-being. Graduates from MUIH are prepared for credentialing by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

Herbal Medicine Product Design: Innovating Holistic Solutions

In the ever-evolving field of integrative health, there is a growing demand for herbal medicine products that are safe, effective, and convenient. Graduates with expertise in herbal medicine product design can play a pivotal role in developing innovative solutions that meet these criteria. MUIH offers the only M.S. Herbal Product Design and Manufacture degree in the U.S. Graduates of this program are prepared with the skills and knowledge in herbal medicine and scientific practice and research needed to contribute to the growing field of herbal supplement development and manufacturing. Students develop expertise combining the abilities of medicinal plant researcher and herbalist with that of a medicine maker.

By combining their knowledge of herbal medicine with product design principles, graduates can create herbal remedies, supplements, and wellness products that cater to specific health needs. These products have the potential to make holistic health practices more accessible to a broader audience.

Joining a Program at Maryland University of Integrative Health

The pursuit of a graduate program in integrative health is a noble and timely endeavor. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to address the holistic well-being of individuals and communities. Through a deep understanding of nutrition, herbal medicine, health and wellness coaching, and herbal medicine product design, graduates of these programs can make meaningful contributions to the world of healthcare. Apply now for Spring 2024 programs and get started on your future career in integrative health.

As our society increasingly recognizes the importance of holistic wellness, the demand for qualified professionals in integrative health continues to grow. Those who embark on this educational journey not only empower themselves with a wealth of knowledge but also become advocates for a healthier, more balanced world. Ultimately, the importance of applying for a graduate program in integrative health lies in its potential to transform lives, one holistic approach at a time.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Importance of Family and Food

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hispanic heritage month

Latin, Spanish and Hispanic cultures are renowned for their rich traditions, vibrant celebrations, and deep sense of community. Among the core elements that define these cultures, two stand out as paramount: family and food. In this article, we will explore the profound significance of family and food in Hispanic cultures and how they intertwine to create a unique and cherished way of life.

Family: The Foundation of Life

In Latin and Spanish cultures, family is more than just a group of relatives; it is the cornerstone of one’s identity and support system. Families are known to be close-knit, often spanning multiple generations, and offering unwavering support in both good times and bad. The importance of family is embedded in the very essence of these cultures and permeates every aspect of life.

Familismo is a cultural concept deeply ingrained in Latin and Spanish societies. It emphasizes the central role of the family in an individual’s life. Family members are expected to prioritize their immediate and extended families above all else, and this value fosters strong bonds that endure throughout generations.

Celebrating Milestones Together

Family gatherings are frequent and filled with warmth and love. From birthdays to weddings to religious ceremonies, every significant milestone is an opportunity for family members to come together, celebrate, and reinforce their connections. These gatherings are characterized by laughter, lively conversation, and, of course, delicious food.

Food plays a pivotal role in Latin, Spanish and Hispanic cultures, transcending mere sustenance to become a form of expression, tradition, and connection. The cuisine of these regions is diverse, flavorful, and steeped in history.

Traditional Dishes: A Taste of Heritage

Each Latin American and Spanish region boasts a unique array of traditional dishes. From paella in Spain to beans and rice in Mexico, these dishes are a celebration of cultural identity and heritage. Preparing these recipes often involves passed-down family secrets and techniques, preserving a sense of continuity.

And meals are not just about nourishment; they are a means of bringing family members together. Whether it’s a casual weekend barbecue or an elaborate holiday feast, sharing meals is a cherished bonding ritual. It’s a time when stories are shared, traditions are passed on, and familial ties are strengthened.

Along with family gatherings, festivals have become a large part of tradition with food being at the center. Hispanic cultures are known for their vibrant festivals, and food is an integral part of these celebrations. From Dia de los Muertos in Mexico to La Tomatina in Spain, festivals often feature traditional dishes that showcase the unique flavors of each region.

Cultural Identity in Food

The bond between family and food in Latin and Spanish cultures is undeniable. These two elements intersect in myriad ways, reinforcing the importance of both. For many, preparing traditional dishes is an act of love and devotion to family. The effort and care put into cooking are tangible expressions of affection. Grandmothers, in particular, are often revered for their culinary skills, passing down recipes through generations.

Family recipes are a means of preserving tradition and cultural identity. They carry with them the stories of ancestors and the flavors of home. Teaching the next generation to prepare these dishes is a way of ensuring that the culture lives on. Family gatherings, centered around food, provide opportunities for reconnecting and strengthening familial bonds. These gatherings are essential moments for storytelling, laughter, and the sharing of life’s joys and sorrows.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting the love, nourishment and importance that family and food provide and enrich the lives of those who embrace these cultural values. As we celebrate these enduring traditions, let us recognize and appreciate the importance of family and food in Latin and Spanish cultures, and perhaps, in our own lives as well. After all, there is nothing quite like the warmth of a family’s embrace and the taste of a well-prepared family recipe to bring joy and meaning to our lives.

The Fascinating World of Mushrooms: Nature’s Fungi Marvels

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Mushrooms, often referred to as fungi, belong to the mold, yeast family, and inhabit a unique realm in the natural world. These enigmatic organisms live in symbiosis with other species and play a crucial role in the decay of organic matter. However, what sets them apart is their remarkable ability to thrive without chlorophyll, the green pigment that allows plants to harness energy from sunlight. Instead, mushrooms derive their sustenance from various substances and other living organisms. 

One striking characteristic of mushrooms is their high-water content, comprising 80-90% of their composition. They have a thin outer layer known as the cuticle, and cell walls are reinforced by chitin—a complex carbohydrate amine complex found in insects and crustaceans’ exoskeletons. This stiff fiber, chitin, forms an indigestible barrier for humans, yet it contains immune-stimulating compounds called beta-glucans, a specific type of polysaccharide. Mushrooms are higher in protein and vitamin B12 than other living plants. 

Hot-water extraction remains the only proven method to break down the chitinous cell walls and extract these bioactive polysaccharides intact. The complexity of these polysaccharides makes synthetic reproduction challenging. Beta-glucan molecules stimulate macrophage activity, bolstering the body’s immune response. 

Mushrooms exhibit diverse types of relationships with their surroundings. Some, like boletes and truffles, engage in symbiotic partnerships, while others, such as corn smut or huitlacoche, follow a parasitic lifestyle. Most edible mushrooms, however, thrive on the decaying remains of dead plants. 

Cordyceps sinensis is a parasitic fungus found in high-altitude regions of China, Tibet, and Nepal. It’s known as the “winter worm,” “summer grass,” and “caterpillar mushroom” in China. This rare and expensive fungus grows on the caterpillar larvae of moths, consuming the host. 

The constituents of Cordyceps sinensis include D-mannitol, polysaccharides, amino acids (including essential ones), mycoses, ergosterol, sterols, palmitic acid, cordycepin, and micronutrients. The fruiting body (fungus) and the worm (caterpillar) are used together to harness its benefits. 

Medicinal Properties of Mushrooms

Certain mushrooms hold medicinal value. Cordyceps sinensis, Maitake, Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), and Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) are notable examples. Cordyceps sinensis, in particular, has gained recognition for its adaptogenic properties, promoting overall health and aiding in fatigue management, lung and kidney health, athletic performance, and even supporting conventional cancer therapies. 

Its diverse applications include antiaging, fatigue reduction, enhanced sexual function, kidney and liver protection, blood pressure regulation, and potential support in autoimmune diseases, cancer, asthma, and immune system enhancement. It also demonstrates protective effects against hepato- and nephrotoxic drugs, such as chemotherapy and radiation. 

Depending on intended therapeutic effects, dosage recommendations typically range from 1 to 6 grams daily. Cordyceps sinensis has a remarkably safe profile with no known safety concerns. 

Mushrooms for Culinary

Regarding culinary delights, mushrooms offer a wide array of distinctive flavors. They are known for their rich, meaty taste and contain a high content of free amino acids, including glutamic acid, a natural monosodium glutamate (MSG) source. Certain varieties, like the shiitake mushroom, are rich in guanosine monophosphate (GMP), enhancing their meaty flavor. Additionally, mushrooms produce octanol, which contributes to their savory profile. Brown and field mushrooms are more flavorful and are even known to help deter snails and insects. 

Mushrooms offer a delectable array of flavors and textures, each with its unique culinary potential: 

  • Abalone is best enjoyed when cooked. It shines in dishes like stir-fries and hearty stews. 
  • Black trumpet is part of the chanterelle family; it boasts an aromatic, smoky, cheese-like flavor, making it a fantastic addition to rice dishes. 
  • Chanterelle with its golden hue and delicately fruity, apricot-like flavor, the chanterelle delivers a chewy, meaty texture. It thrives when sautéed or braised, enhancing pasta, sauces, and soups. 
  • Cremini are originally from Italy, these brown mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) are rich in flavor and possess a meaty texture, thanks to their lower moisture content. 
  • Enoki are mild-flavored and white-creamy, originate from the enoki tree in Japan. They bring a crisp-tender freshness to salads and add a delightful twist to various dishes. 
  • Lobster are a fascinating fungus living on other mushrooms (Russula and Lactarius genera), making them palatable. They introduce vibrant colors and a meaty texture to your dishes. 
  • Morels are found in yellow, brown, and black varieties and collected in spring, morels provide a deep earthy and smoky flavor with a satisfyingly chewy texture. They work wonders in creamy pasta, rice, or alongside fish and poultry. 
  • Porcini are known as the king of boletes, porcini mushrooms are woodland treasures collected in late summer or fall. Light brown in color, they boast rich, meaty, nutty flavors, lacking gills but featuring a spongy layer. 
  • Portobello embark on a flavorful journey with these dark brown Italian mushrooms, ranging from 3 to 8 inches in diameter. They are best enjoyed marinated and grilled when their gills are fully exposed, offering a flavorful, meaty texture. 

Storing mushrooms requires care. Keeping them in a paper bag in the fridge is best to extend their freshness. At room temperature, mushrooms can lose up to 5% of their energy reserves within four days. Refrigeration reduces their metabolic processes, but they should be used soon after purchase. While some recommend washing, simply wiping them down suffices. If washed, they should be cooked immediately. 

In conclusion, mushrooms are a fascinating corner of the natural world, offering distinctive flavors and potent medicinal properties. Their bioactive polysaccharides, particularly beta-glucans, make them valuable for enhancing immune function and overall health. So, remember the remarkable world hidden within these fungi marvels next time you savor a delicious mushroom dish. 

With the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing program, which focuses on the developing field of culinary/health medicine, learn more about the role of culinary to promote healthy diets, celebrate global cuisine, and create multicultural-specific meal plans. Additionally, it combines the fields of nutrition and cooking, preparing students with the evidence-based principles and practices of choosing and preparing whole foods as a foundation for health and wellness. 



Yance, D. (2013). Adaptogens in medical herbalism. Healing Arts Press 

Hirsch, K. R., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Roelofs, E. J., Trexler, E. T., & Mock, M. G. (2017). Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation. Journal of dietary supplements14(1), 42–53. naturalmedicines-therapeuticresearch-com 

Empowering Health and Wellness Coaches: National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach

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health and wellness coaching

In a world where health and wellness have taken center stage, the role of a health and wellness coach has become increasingly vital. Maryland University of Integrative Health offers the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching, dedicated to training and teaching coaches to help clients clarify health and wellness goals through introspection, leverage their strengths, address challenges in behavior change, and implement and sustain life-changing behaviors.  

MUIH stands out, ensuring professional excellence, with its prestigious Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching, where graduates are eligible for dual credentialing by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). Maryland University of Integrative Health’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching is an Approved Health and Wellness Coach Training & Education Program by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for the HWC Certifying Examination to become National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC).  

The NBHWC’s mission resonates deeply with the growing demand for expert health and wellness coaches. By setting professional standards and fostering collaborative partnerships, the board seeks to advance the health & wellness coaching profession. MUIH’s commitment to integrative health and wellness education aligns seamlessly with the NBHWC’s goals. 

At the heart of this mission lies the Health and Wellness Coach Certifying Examination, which provides graduates a recognized pathway for aspiring health and wellness coaches to become National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWC).  

Graduates of MUIH’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program have a unique opportunity to apply for the NBC-HWC examination, showcasing their dedication to excellence and commitment to the well-being of their clients. The NBC-HWC credential isn’t just a symbol of accomplishment; it’s a testament to the rigorous training, education, and assessment standards the program adheres to.  

A standardized certification signifies that the coach has undergone a robust education, has been rigorously assessed, and adheres to the standards set forth by the NBHWC. It also ensures that coaches are well-prepared to meet the diverse needs of their clients. 

As health and wellness continue to take precedence, Maryland University of Integrative Health’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching prepares individuals for this dynamic field. It aligns perfectly with the NBHWC’s mission to elevate the practice of health and wellness coaching. Graduates of this program gain valuable skills and the opportunity to proudly display their commitment to excellence through the esteemed NBC-HWC credential. 

Unlocking the Future: The Power of a Degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture

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In an age where health and well-being are paramount concerns, herbal medicine has emerged as a time-honored and effective solution to various ailments. With an increasing demand for natural remedies, the field of Herbal Product Design and Manufacture offers a unique opportunity for individuals seeking a fulfilling career that combines science, innovation, and the healing power of nature. At MUIH, you will explore the vast potential and significance of pursuing a degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture, with a special emphasis on the invaluable role of herbal medicine.

Embracing the Renaissance of Herbal Medicine

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in herbal medicine due to its holistic approach to healing and the increasing preference for natural alternatives to conventional pharmaceuticals. A Master’s Degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture equips students with a comprehensive understanding of the medicinal properties of plants and their safe and effective integration into modern therapeutic products.

Nurturing the Marriage of Tradition and Science

One of the unique aspects of studying Herbal Product Design and Manufacture is the blending of traditional knowledge with cutting-edge scientific advancements. By fusing time-tested herbal wisdom with evidence-based research, students in this field learn to develop innovative herbal products that are both safe and effective. This particular perspective is highly sought after by the industry and is quite rare.

Meeting the Growing Market Demand

As consumers become more health-conscious and environmentally aware, the demand for herbal products is reaching new heights. This presents a lucrative opportunity for graduates of Herbal Product Design and Manufacture programs to enter a flourishing job market. Whether it’s working with established herbal medicine companies or launching their own startups, graduates are poised to make a meaningful impact on public health.

Addressing Global Health Challenges

Herbal medicine has long been a key component of traditional healthcare systems across various cultures. By pursuing a Master’s degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture, individuals can play a crucial role in addressing global health challenges. From developing sustainable herbal supply chains to creating herbal remedies for specific health issues, graduates can contribute to making herbal medicine more accessible and affordable worldwide.

Fostering Eco-Friendly Practices

With a growing awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment, sustainability is a central concern for consumers and businesses alike. Herbal medicine offers a naturally eco-friendly approach to healthcare, and a degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture encourages students to adopt environmentally responsible practices throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Collaborating with Experts from Various Fields

The journey towards becoming an Herbal Product Design and Manufacture expert involves collaborating with professionals from diverse fields, such as botany, pharmacology, chemistry, and marketing. This interdisciplinary approach enriches the learning experience and fosters a comprehensive understanding of the complex world of herbal medicine.

A Master’s degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture opens the door to a rewarding career that embraces the healing wisdom of nature and the advancements of science. As the world embraces the resurgence of herbal medicine, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is set to rise. By championing the cause of herbal medicine, graduates can make a positive impact on public health, the environment, and the future of healthcare. Embrace the power of herbal medicine, and embark on a journey of discovery, innovation, and transformation with a degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture.

MUIH offers the only Master of Science in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture program in the U.S. The program is designed for individuals whose passion for herbal medicine focuses on producing herbal products instead of practicing as a clinician. The program integrates traditional perspectives on the use of herbs with evidence-based scientific research as a foundation for improved development and commercialization of herbal supplements. Our graduates engage with existing companies or as entrepreneurs in multiple roles, providing quality assurance, research, product development, and Federal regulatory guidance.

The Importance of a Certificate in Workplace Wellness for Companies: Cultivating Success through Employee Well-being

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certificate in workplace wellness

In today’s fast-paced corporate world, companies are continually seeking innovative ways to boost employee productivity, retain talent, and maximize profits. Amidst these endeavors, a crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the well-being of the employees. This is where workplace wellness comes into play. A certificate degree in workplace wellness equips professionals with the knowledge and skills to create a healthier and happier work environment, benefiting both employees and the company. In this article, we will explore the significance of a certificate in workplace wellness for corporate companies and its role in fostering success.

The Essence of Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness encompasses a comprehensive approach to improve employees’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It goes beyond just offering gym memberships or occasional health workshops. A degree in workplace wellness equips individuals with a deep understanding of human behavior, health promotion strategies, and the ability to design effective well-being programs tailored to an organization’s unique needs.

The Impact on Employee Productivity

Workplace wellness can be a game-changer for corporate companies. Healthy employees are more productive, engaged, and motivated. A degree in workplace wellness allows professionals to identify and address health-related barriers that hinder employees’ optimal performance. By fostering a healthy work environment, companies can expect reduced absenteeism, improved focus, and increased overall productivity.

Enhancing Employee Satisfaction and Retention through Education

In today’s competitive job market, employee retention is a top priority for corporate companies. Offering to pay for an employee to take part in a workplace wellness program demonstrates that a company values its employees’ well-being, and education, leading to increased job satisfaction. A workforce that feels cared for and supported is more likely to remain loyal to the organization. This translates to reduced turnover rates, saving the company significant recruitment and training costs. Companies that pay for employees to advance their education in turn helps to advance the health and atmosphere of the company. This mutual benefit between employee and company builds a positive company culture.

Building a Positive Company Culture

Company culture plays a vital role in attracting top talent and shaping an organization’s reputation. A certificate in workplace wellness enables professionals to design wellness initiatives that align with the company’s values and culture. When employees experience a positive work environment that prioritizes their well-being, they become brand ambassadors, contributing to a positive public image for the company.

Stress Reduction and Mental Health Support

Work-related stress and mental health concerns are common challenges faced by employees in corporate settings. A workplace wellness education equips professionals with the tools to implement stress-reduction strategies and provide mental health support. By promoting a culture of emotional well-being, companies can create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable seeking help and support, ultimately leading to reduced stress-related issues.

Fostering Team Cohesion and Collaboration

Workplace wellness programs often involve group activities and team-building exercises. These activities help foster team cohesion, encourage collaboration, and improve communication among employees. A certificate in workplace wellness empowers professionals to create team-building programs that promote healthy relationships and a sense of camaraderie among colleagues.

Maryland University of Integrative Health offers a top Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Workplace Wellness program. Offered online, and completed within a year, students in this program can begin to prepare for the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing’s Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. Students can also receive a degree in workplace wellness through our Master of Science in Health Promotion which promotes a deeper understanding of health improvements needed in an organization.

A certificate or degree in workplace wellness holds immense importance for companies. By prioritizing the well-being of their employees, organizations can create a positive work culture that fosters success and growth. Investing in a qualified workforce armed with a deep understanding of workplace wellness can bring about a transformation in corporate settings, leading to happier, healthier, and more productive employees—all of which contribute to a thriving and prosperous company. Embracing workplace wellness is not just a trend; it’s an essential step towards cultivating a sustainable and successful future for companies.

Co-Curricular Learning: A High-Impact Practice for Academic and Career Success

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online learning

Christina Sax, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs  

An MUIH graduate education includes three types of learning experiences. They combine to develop holistically prepared integrative health professionals: 

  • Curricular learning 
  • Co-curricular learning 
  • Extra-curricular learning 

Curricular learning is the primary means of learning in an MUIH academic program. This occurs in courses, and it is the traditional type of learning that you think of when consider earning a degree. This involves acquiring, mastering, and applying knowledge and skills specific in a particular field.  

Also important are two types of parallel learning experiences that occur outside of courses – co-curricular and extra-curricular learning. Both broaden learning and add value to the degree. These informal and optional learning experiences play a key role in supporting students’ professional, career, and personal development. 

Co-curricular learning occurs through structured activities designed to complement and extend the formal curriculum. These activities align with the degree and are part of the overall program-specific learning experience. They support the formal learning that occurs in courses. At MUIH, co-curricular learning occurs through activities such as the research symposium, student journal and research clubs, health equity speaker series, integrative grand rounds, telehealth and healing presence mini-enhancement courses, professional and continuing education courses, career community roundtables, and guest speakers, webinars, and workshops focused on timely and practical topics in the field of integrative health and practice management. 

Extra-curricular learning occurs through activities that provide the opportunity to cultivate personal knowledge and skills that support academic and career success. This learning goes beyond preparation for a particular occupation. It equips students with transferrable skills and strategies that allow them to be agile, resilient, and successful in a variety of occupations and settings. At MUIH, extra-curricular learning occurs through activities designed to build resilience and wellness, an understanding of your learning style and personality type, strategies for focused work, time-management and study skills, and understanding and respect of the cultures and unique perspectives of others. 

What are the benefits of co-curricular learning? 

Co-curricular activities give students the opportunity to extend what they learn in their degree program. They are designed to reinforce and enhance course learning and work. They also support students’ achievement of their Program Learning Outcomes and the University Learning Outcomes for all students. Such experiences exist beyond, and in interaction with, formal learning in courses. 

  1. Co-curricular learning is experiential. Students can hone the knowledge and skills gained in courses. They can put ideas into practice by engaging in practical settings with other integrative health professionals. Students have the flexibility to explore and try new ways of thinking, solving problems, and answering questions in a low-stakes and ungraded environment. They can generate new knowledge. These learning activities offer the opportunity to gain experience beyond reading, watching videos, and listening to others.
  1. Co-curricular learning creates personalization. Students can become a co-creator of their holistic curriculum and can personalize their learning experience. Because co-curricular learning activities are informal and optional, students can choose the experiences that match their interests and goals. Students can explore emerging areas of interest and subspecialities in their field that are not covered in their courses. Students can directly express their own values, goals, and interests, and connect them to their degree program.
  1. Co-curricular experiences are collegial. Students, faculty, and alumni are invited to participate in MUIH’s co-curricular learning activities. They engage as peer colleagues in a professional learning community. Students bring their unique and prior experiences and their program learning into the educational exchange. This community of practice offers the opportunity to engage with integrative health professionals from multiple fields. This diversifies students’ perspectives and strengthens their ability to understand and work with a wide range of professionals after graduation.
  1. Co-curricular opportunities are transformative. These learning experiences provide ever-expanding development opportunities. They broaden horizons and perspectives. Students can reflect on their inner talents and aspirations, such as their leadership qualities, creative skills, and comfort level with public speaking. They can discover an aspect of their field, a career path, and professional characteristics they did not know about before. These experiences help students sharpen skills and attributes that employers seek – critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills.

Why is co-curricular learning strategic for career advancement? 

Engagement in co-curricular learning experiences can enhance employability and career success. These activities prepare students for their future in practical ways. 

  1. Co-curricular experiences are future focused. They provide the opportunity to participate in authentic scenarios like those students will encounter after graduation. Students can build comfort and confidence in these situations while still in school. They can learn how to contribute and make the most of these situations in their career. Such scenarios include discussing patient or client cases with practitioners from other fields, debating the implications of peer-reviewed journal articles, sharing research findings through poster presentations, and questioning guest speakers from across the country about their care models.
  1. Co-curricular learning promotes a T-shaped education. Students gain depth and breadth. The formal curriculum (the vertical part of the T) develops a depth and a strong disciplinary core. Co-curricular learning experiences (the horizontal part of the T) develop breadth. A T-shaped degree provides deep knowledge, skills, and expertise in one area and a broad base of general supporting knowledge and skills. This foundation leads to an adaptable degree and professional. Graduates can apply and transfer what they have learned to different and changing settings and circumstances. Employers value these same attributes in a rapidly evolving workplace.
  1. Co-curricular engagement demonstrates professionalism. Your participation in optional co-curricular learning experiences signals to employers that you are committed to your ongoing professional and career development. It communicates that you are motivated and curious. It indicates that you take initiative and responsibility for your professional growth. Highlighting your participation articulates your personal brand and the distinctive value proposition you bring to an employer, collaborator, patient, or client. 

Embrace the Soothing Power of Aloe Leaf: Your Summertime Herb for Radiant Skin and More!

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summertime herb

As the sun’s rays grow stronger during the summer months, our skin yearns for rejuvenation and protection. One of nature’s most treasured gifts for summertime self-care is the aloe leaf. Beyond being a staple ingredient in skincare products, aloe vera offers a plethora of benefits that make it the perfect herb to embrace this season. In this article, we will delve into the various ways aloe leaf can enhance your summer experience while keeping you refreshed and revitalized.

Natural Sunburn Relief:

Nothing can ruin a fun day in the sun quite like a sunburn. Luckily, aloe leaf comes to the rescue with its remarkable healing properties. The gel extracted from aloe vera leaves contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can soothe and cool sunburned skin. Applying a thin layer of fresh aloe gel to affected areas promotes healing, reduces redness, and provides immediate relief from pain and discomfort.

After-Sun Care:

While sunburn prevention is crucial, sometimes prolonged exposure to the sun is inevitable. Aloe leaf’s cooling and healing properties make it an ideal after-sun care remedy. By applying aloe gel generously to sun-exposed areas, you can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote faster healing. Aloe’s soothing effects also help prevent peeling and keep the skin hydrated, allowing you to bounce back from a sunburn and enjoy the rest of your summer adventures.

Hydration Booster:

Staying hydrated is crucial during the summer, and aloe leaf can help with that. Aloe vera juice, made from the inner gel of the leaf, is a fantastic natural hydrator. Packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, it replenishes the body’s water levels and aids in maintaining optimal hydration. By incorporating aloe vera juice into your daily routine, you can stay refreshed, combat heat exhaustion, and promote overall well-being.

Skin Rejuvenation:

Longer days spent outdoors often lead to increased exposure to environmental stressors, leaving our skin dull and tired. Aloe leaf, with its rich source of antioxidants, offers a natural solution for reviving your skin’s radiance. Applying aloe gel or using skincare products containing aloe vera can moisturize and nourish the skin, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, aloe’s antimicrobial properties can help combat acne and prevent breakouts, making it a versatile summertime herb for maintaining a healthy complexion.

Digestive Aid:

Maintaining good digestive health is essential, especially during the summer when we indulge in outdoor gatherings and barbecues. Aloe vera juice acts as a natural digestive aid, assisting in proper digestion and easing common summer-related digestive issues such as bloating and acid reflux. Consuming aloe vera juice before or after meals can soothe the digestive system, promote regularity, and contribute to an overall sense of wellness during the summer season.

As the temperature rises, harnessing the power of aloe leaf becomes increasingly valuable for maintaining your well-being throughout the summer. Whether you need relief from sunburn, hydration for your body, a rejuvenating skincare routine, or support for your digestive system, aloe vera is the go-to herb. Embrace this summertime treasure and enjoy its countless benefits. Let aloe leaf become your trusted companion for a radiant, refreshed, and revitalized summer experience.

Remember to consult a healthcare professional before using aloe vera internally or if you have specific health concerns. If you are looking to have an herbal medicine consultation with a practitioner, call or email our Natural Care Center. You can also learn more about herbal medicine through our integrative health programs at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). Find all of our herbal medicine programs here.

So, go ahead, soak up the sun, and let the wonders of aloe leaf enhance your summertime adventures!

Hydration 101: Essential Tips for Staying Refreshed and Healthy

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Hydration 101: Essential Tips for Staying Refreshed and Healthy

National Hydration Day is celebrated on June 23 each year. The beginning of summer is the perfect time to remember how essential hydration is to survive and thrive. Water is a huge part of the human body and crucial to every bodily function. At birth, water makes up about 75% of body weight. Dr. Eleonora Gafton, Program Director of the Whole Foods Cooking Labs at Maryland University of Integrative Health, explains the significant roles of water in the body: 

  • Transports oxygen, and nutrients through the blood to muscles and other tissues 
  • Eliminates metabolic wastes in the form of urine 
  • Absorbs muscle heat during exercise and dissipates it through sweat via the skin- regulating body temperature 
  • Helps digest food through saliva and gastric secretions 
  • Lubricates joints and cushions organs and tissues 
  • Keeps mucosa moist 
  • Supports health brain function 

According to Dr. Eleonora Gafton there are various sources of hydration besides water. These include water in other beverages and food. Approximately 1/5 of total water intake comes from food.1 Good sources include cabbage, celery, cucumber, grapes, melons, zucchini, and watermelon. 

Contrary to popular belief, almost all beverages are hydrating including still water, sparkling water, soda, sports drinks, milk, juice, tea, and even coffee and lower-alcohol beer.2 That said, Dr. Gafton suggests consuming many of these drinks in only limited quantities to avoid excessive consumption of caffeine, sugar, and/or alcohol content.  

Some of the best sources of water to stay hydrated are:  

  1. Purified water: Water that is produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, and carbon filtration. Impurities cannot exceed ten parts per million, and the water is free of contaminants and chemicals.
  1. Spring water: Water that flows to the surface of the earth and is collected only at the spring.
  1. Tap water: Depending on where you live, tap water is often a cheap and healthy option.
  1. Black, green and herbal tea: Teas not only help hydrate but can be a source of health-promoting phytochemicals. There are many options here, but some “cooling” ones for hot days include hibiscus, spearmint, peppermint, and chamomile. If you drink black or green tea (Camellia sinensis) be aware that they contain varying levels of caffeine and related stimulants. For the best results, use whole herbs rather than instant teas, which often contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

How to know if you are dehydrated? 

Some signs of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst, decreased urination, dry mucous membranes, a stick mouth, fatigue and muscle weakness, dizziness, and headache.

Recipes to Stay Hydrated 

Sun Tea- Hibiscus flowers:

  • Place herbs in a glass vessel 
  • Cover with water 
  • Allow the vessel to be exposed to sun for several hours (4-6)  
  • The vessel must be tightly covered 
  • Same process for moon tea 
  • Cold infusion is preferred for some herbs like marshmallow due to mucilage or bitter principals which are denatured by boiling water 

Basic formula: 

  • 1 ounce of plant material to 32 oz of water 

Magic Mineral Broth – excellent for hydration as it is filled with electrolytes:

  • Mixture of grounding root vegetables 
    • Carrots, celery, leeks, onions, non-starchy potato, sweet potato, burdock 
  • Aromatic herbs and spices 
    • Bouquet garni, juniper berries, bay leaf 
  • Sea vegetable 
    • Kombu or Wakame or Kelp 
  • Filtered water – make sure all your ingredients are always submerged under the water. 
  • 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt

Simmer on low for 2-4 hours for full extraction 

Flavored water:

  • Water, cucumber sliced, and fresh dill or basil 
  • Water, citrus slices like orange, lemon, lime, or fresh mint 


  1. Institute of Medicine (2005). Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 
  2. Maughan, R. J., Watson, P., Cordery, P. A., Walsh, N. P., Oliver, S. J., Dolci, A., Rodriguez-Sanchez, N., & Galloway, S. D. (2016). A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 103(3), 717–723.   

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) stands out for its unique nutrition programs. MUIH offers one of the few integrative Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program in the U.S., and the Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health is one of only two master’s degree programs in the U.S. accredited by the Accreditation Council for Nutrition Professional Education.

Additionally, MUIH offers other different programs in nutrition to start or complement your holistic wellness career: 

Looking to see a Nutritionist at the Natural Care Center to meet your nutritional needs? Integrative nutritionists use science-based diet and nutrition therapies to support your health and well-being.  

During your first visit at the NCC, your practitioner will gather information about your health and personal history, review your dietary preferences and health concerns, and assess your nutritional status. To talk with someone about making an appointment, call 443-906-5794 or email .

Embrace Wellness at MUIH’s Natural Care Center

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This month, we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on a hidden gem in the world of holistic health – the Natural Care Center (NCC) at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). The center is a beacon of transformative healing that integrates traditional wisdom and modern science to promote optimal health and wellness.

A Confluence of Traditional and Modern Healing Techniques

The Natural Care Center provides a unique array of services combining age-old practices and cutting-edge methodologies. From acupuncture, Chinese herbs, yoga therapy, nutrition, Clinical Herbal Medicine, the NCC is your one-stop-shop for holistic health services. Our professionals specializing in these disciplines create a haven for those seeking to harmonize mind, body, and spirit.

Clinical Herbal Medicine: Nature’s Healing Bounty

We’re excited to announce the return of Clinical Herbal Medicine services to the NCC. This service, based on the learning outcomes of MUIH’s Clinical Herbal Medicine program, brings the healing power of plants to you. Clinical Herbal Medicine is a holistic practice that integrates the traditions of Western Herbalism with the latest scientific research on plant-based medicines. This service provides individualized support to clients, fostering resilience, and promoting overall health and wellness.

Telehealth: Wellness at Your Fingertips

In an era where convenience is paramount, we are excited to offer telehealth services for all our disciplines. Whether you’re seeking advice on nutrition, or herbal medicine, our services are just a click away. Telehealth ensures you receive timely care without compromising on the quality of service, all from the comfort of your home.

In-Person Appointments: A Personalized Experience

For those who prefer an in-person touch, the NCC offers appointments for Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Yoga Therapy, and Nutrition. Our practitioners are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment where your wellness is the priority. Experience the therapeutic power of acupuncture, discover the healing properties of Chinese herbs, immerse yourself in the transformative practice of yoga therapy, all at our center.

Special Offers and Discounts

New to the NCC? We extend a warm welcome to our first-time visitors with an exclusive offer. New patients can receive a $25 discount on their first appointment. It’s our way of saying thank you for choosing the NCC as your holistic health partner.

Supporting our Heroes

In acknowledgment of their service and sacrifice, we offer special discounts for US Veterans. We believe in the power of holistic health practices in supporting the well-being of our brave servicemen and servicewomen, and this is our small way of giving back.

Harness the Power of Seasonal Transition

As we transition into a new season, there’s no better time to check in for your health and wellness. Seasonal changes can impact your body in various ways, making it essential to adapt and realign. Whether it’s adjusting your diet, incorporating new meditation routines, or simply managing the changes in your environment, our experts are here to guide you on this journey.

MUIH’s Natural Care Center is not just a healthcare provider but a partner in your wellness journey. Our holistic approach, coupled with the convenience of telehealth and our special discounts, make NCC an irresistible choice for those seeking a balanced, healthier life.

Make an appointment today and step into the world of holistic wellness with us. Your journey to optimal health and well-being awaits you at the Natural Care Center.

Women’s Health Week: Prioritizing Your Well-Being

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As we embrace the spirit of empowerment and celebrate the strength and resilience of women, National Women’s Health Week takes center stage. This annual observance, held from May 12th to May 18th, reminds women of all ages to prioritize their health and well-being. It is a time to reflect, educate, and inspire as we journey toward nurturing a healthier and happier life.

At Maryland University of Integrative Health, we embrace this opportunity to inspire and empower women, fostering a generation of strong individuals leading fulfilling lives. Our expert faculty, Dr. Suzie Carmack, Department Chair of Yoga Therapy, and Ayurveda, shares five actionable steps women can take to optimize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being:

  1. Prioritize Your Time with the 2/10/5/7 Rule: To effectively manage your day, adopt the 2/10/5/7 rule. Allocate at least 2 hours daily for “me time,” including personal exercise, spiritual reflection, and self-development. Limit work-related efforts, including emails, to a maximum of 10 hours per day. Dedicate at least 5 hours each day to quality time with family, friends, and hobbies. Lastly, ensure you have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep or restorative downtime.
  2. Practice Self-Compassion for Well-being: Avoid self-criticism and stress by cultivating self-compassion. Embrace mindfulness, kindness, and common humanity to support your wellness journey. By being gentle with ourselves, we can better manage stress and maintain overall well-being.
  3. Take Genius Breaks: Discover the power of micro-breaks throughout your day. In her best-selling book, “Genius Breaks,” Dr. Carmack encourages combining movement, mindfulness, and meaning into short breaks. Just a couple of minutes can reset your mindset, recharge your body, and release stress.
  4. Embrace Seasonal, Unprocessed Foods: Connect with the feminine energy of mother nature by including seasonal, unprocessed foods in your healthy diet. This approach enhances your relationship with nature and supports overall well-being.
  5. Schedule Ongoing Medical Appointments: Ensure you don’t miss essential medical appointments by dedicating time to schedule all your ongoing check-ups, annual exams, and specialty appointments. Taking this proactive step demonstrates your commitment to your health and helps maintain a comprehensive care routine.

As we celebrate National Women’s Health Week, let us remember the importance of prioritizing our well-being. By following these actionable steps and embracing empowerment, we can nurture a healthier, happier life. Join us in celebrating women’s health and take charge of your wellness journey today.