In this episode, Carrie explores the link between emotional health and gut health with Dan Chapman, founder of Red Remedies, emphasizing the role of high quality supplements in promoting overall well-being.

  • The connection between emotional health and gut health, and how stress can impact digestion and overall well-being.
  • Christian perspective on stewardship over our bodies and emotional well-being
  • Understanding the role of herbs and natural remedies as part of God’s provision for health.
  • The benefits of using supplements, such as those offered by Redd Remedies, to support emotional health and overall well-being.
  • What to look for in a natural health brand and why transparency in sourcing and
    testing is crucial.

Take advantage of a 20% discount on any Redd Remedies product using code HOPE20 at checkout.

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Transcript

Welcome to Hope for Anxiety and OCD episode 115. I am your host, Carrie Bock, licensed professional counselor in Tennessee. We talk about a variety of different topics on this show with a goal of reducing shame, increasing hope, and developing healthier connections with God and others. We’re constantly talking about the overlap between our physical health, our mental health, emotional, and spiritual health, since this is a Christian podcast.

Today on the show, I have with me Dan Chapman, who is the founder of Redd Remedies. That’s two D’s in Redd for those who are listening and not looking at our show notes yet, but we’ll put that in there for you. I’m happy to have Dan here. We connected a little bit after the AACC conference to have a chat about supplements and their benefits for anxiety.

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Carrie: Welcome to the show.

Dan: I’m grateful to be here with you, Carrie. Thanks for having me today.

Carrie: We’ve talked in the past on our show about gut health and the connection to anxiety. I interviewed, I think it was a functional medicine doctor. It’s episode 44, if anybody wants to go back and look at it: How Can Improving Gut Health Help Your Mood? We talked about neurotransmitters like serotonin and things being affected. A lot of that is my understanding is formed in your gut. Maybe for people who haven’t heard that episode, kind of give us a review of that connection between anxiety and gut health.

Dan: Absolutely. Oftentimes, we look at the health of our gut being a determining factor on what the health of your body is going to be, and that would include emotional health and all kinds of other health issues as well.

One of the things that I think is important to look at, though, it is not just the gut, but what is it, especially with emotional health issues that might cause you to have an unhealthy gut, which is therefore going to cause you to have some issues with maybe neurotransmitter production and digestive issues and other things like that.

It ends up being a little bit of a spiral and what I mean by that, is stress is going to cause your digestive system to change. What comes first, the digestive issue or the stress issue? When we have both of them, it can be a little bit of a spiral. I do want to give a little bit of hope that we’re not just going to share the bad news here today, but hopefully, some things that your listeners can do helpfully and positively to make positive changes. I do think it’s really important to understand what happens in the body. I really like to help people understand what happens when we have a stress response because we also need to recognize that God gave us a stress response. It’s not all negative, but there are changes that happen in your body physically under stress.

If we allow ourselves the time and the space to rest and to heal and to recuperate after that stress response. We’re okay. Our bodies are designed to go through that process, and we do it really throughout our lifetime. The problem happens is when we have this internal stress response that fires off over and over and over again. That’s where we need to make some changes.

One of the things that we know about stress is that during that stress response, your body literally shuts down the digestive system. You stop producing enzymes to digest food. You don’t process carbohydrates the same way. Part of that process is because during stress, your body needs to reprioritize the use of its energy.

You only have so much energy to go around, so your body is going to say, “You know what? I don’t need the digestive system to work at this moment. I’m going to put that energy into my muscles and my brain so I could respond the way I need to for survival.” If we live in that stress response, we live in a constant state of digestive enzymes not being produced the way that we need to, to digest food well, which is going to cause a host of other issues.

I like to back up not just talking about digestion, but I want to back up at some point and talk about what can we do to protect your body from the negative impact of stress.

Carrie: A lot of people are familiar with the fight, flight, or freeze. Some people have added now fawn to that, but then the opposite of that is rest and digest.

A lot of times we don’t talk about the rest and digest piece. As you’ve said, if people are in chronic states of stress, maybe due to caring for a loved one, Maybe due to past trauma, so they’re constantly getting triggered back to that time where they had to be in that fight, flight, or freeze mode, or the stresses of day to day life that people have that, whether it’s job, work, family, we live with a lot of stress, probably more than we need to.

We can lower that stress. That’s great. But sometimes we’re in situations where for a season, at least even we don’t have an option. We have to keep doing the things that we’re doing. And so this is great to talk about. Our digestive system doesn’t get that balance. It’s constantly in the fight, flight or freeze and doesn’t get that balance of the rest and digest energy.

Dan: I got my start in the natural food world because of my mother. My mom struggled with anxiety, fatigue, depression in the 1950s, a long time ago. And it was a long process for her to change her health. By changing diet and integrating herbs and nutrition, and part of the thing that I recognize growing up with my mother is that she had the mindset of always wanting to care for and serve other people, and sometimes she did not take care of herself well and when she needed to take care of herself, she almost had a sense of guilt because she wanted to be outward focused and help all of those around her. One of the things I think is just really important to recognize is we look at the fact that we are whole people. We can’t just look at stress or just look at digestion or just look at our diet or whatever the thing is.

God created us as whole people. One of the things that I love about the way that the Lord cares for us is in creation, He created night and then day. It’s been such a really remarkable thing for me to appreciate. That, you know, my view of the day typically is that, oh, it’s going to start at 6 or 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning, and that’s not true. Our day starts at night. We need to sleep and we need to rest and it’s out of that rest that we can go about having a good day.

The other reflection on that, that I think is important, at least it was impactful for me is to understand that in the creation process, Our first day as human beings, our first full day was Sabbath. So my week doesn’t start on Monday through Friday, and when I’m tired at the end of the week, I’m going to take the weekend and I’m going to rest and then recuperate from that long week. No, my week starts on Sunday where I’m going to rest. And out of that strength of rest, I can actually go about having a week.

I realized even the knowledge of that, like some of us and myself included can feel like, well, I just can’t do that. My schedule doesn’t allow for that. I don’t know how I would possibly do that. But it starts with the knowing that we have to rest first and out of that rest, we can go about living our life the way God created us to live.

Carrie: That’s such a great concept. All of these things that you’re talking about play on each other. I’m so anxious. I can’t sleep and then I’m not sleeping well and maybe I’m just grabbing something quick and not really thinking about what I’m eating or I’m eating too many carbs to try to get the energy flowing or drinking too much caffeine because I’m exhausted.

It just people get end up in this really negative cycle of their physical and emotional health. It’s like I feel terrible. But then I continue to do things that cause me to feel worse instead of helping my physical and mental health. So how do we get off of this treadmill, I guess, or negative cycle.

Dan: That’s a great question.I think this is definitely the place where We have some amazing herbs and vitamins and minerals, amino acids and things. I believe the Lord gave us because he knew, he knew from the beginning of time where we would be. I believe he gave us these tools to help our body deal with the place that we’re at.

We can start to make these little steps forward each day. We just need a little bit of improvement over the day before. We don’t need transformation by Friday. We just need a little bit of improvement and progress every day. That’s part of the reason that I started Red Remedies is I wanted to create formulas so an individual in a situation did not have to figure out, okay, what herb do I use? How much do I use? Do I put that together with that vitamin that I heard about or that mineral that I heard about? There’s so much clutter to work through. We put these formulas together in a way that allows us to get the results that we want for that individual, but also working with the body. Our formulation philosophy is we’re going to nourish your body.

We’re not going to push or stimulate it. We’re going to nourish and feed it because I believe a well fed body is going to do what the Lord created the body to do in the first place. So we are simply feeding and nourishing the body. We are using some herbs known as adaptogens. These herbs are going to protect your brain and your body from the negative impact of stress, and I will tell you these herbs are wonderful because it goes through all of the things that we just talked about earlier on this episode of the impact of stress when we live in that stress response that fires off constantly throughout the day, there is a significant negative impact physically on your body and in your brain. These herbs, they’re safe. They’ve been used for thousands of years. There’s so many studies around them. And literally the way I summarize is they protect you from that negative impact of stress.

Carrie: That’s awesome. We’ve all heard people say, okay, we’ll be talking with friends or family and they’ll say, well, have you tried this? Have you tried adding B vitamins? Or have you tried adding a probiotic? Or have you tried adding this? And next thing you know, you’ve got this table full of supplements and you’re like, I don’t know who’s doing what and if any of this is working and how is it going? So What you’re talking about, your products are blends of all of these different vitamins and herbs to help people with specific issues like sleep or digestion or brain function and anxiety so that you have a supplement that I actually started taking called at ease, which has been really great to just managing overall stress level.

I feel like for me, it’s been helpful. I got one for my husband too. I got him on nerve shield because he has a neurological condition and he has a lot of nerve pain specifically at night, more often in neuropathy issues. I said, do you think that’s helping you? And he said, yeah, definitely. And I was like, okay, well let’s keep taking it then.

I’ve noticed just two at night, less complaints from him or less issues of him being in so much pain that he was before. So that’s really a game changer for us to be able to use something natural and also not have to rely on prescriptions. If people are on medications for anxiety and OCD that are working for them, we’re all for that.

I talk with a lot of clients too who struggle because they’ve tried medication, they’ve gotten a lot of side effects, or they haven’t gotten the effectiveness that they’ve wanted. I find a lot of clients are looking for more natural remedies. So I’m glad that we’re having this conversation and talking about these things.

Dan: Definitely. That is exactly why I started Redd Remedies and put these products together. It’s because I had been working with so many people for many, many years. And it was so challenging to give them a B complex and then take these couple of herbs over here and you end up with four or five or six bottles of product to use for a single problem, and it’s difficult to take that many pills. It’s difficult to follow the instructions for what you need to do with each one of those products, whereas we put it together in a formula and it just makes it so much easier for the individual to use. And we find that a well designed formula will actually have a many times better impact, and the result that we’re looking for, then using a whole bunch of single ingredients that fill up your cabinet.

Carrie: Yes. Honestly, when I first heard about Redd Remedies and we started communicating via email and I thought, okay, like it’s a supplement company. That’s nice. There’s about a thousand plus supplement companies out there.

I wanted you to talk with us a little bit, because I’m sure, like I’ve said, people who are listening have heard, “Hey, take this vitamin or that vitamin,” and then you go to the store, there’s this whole rows of vitamins. And you’re looking at what makes this brand A different from this brand B over here.

How do I know that I’m actually getting what I’m getting? That’s one piece. How do I know that I’m getting what the bottle even says I’m getting? Second piece is like, how do I even know that my body’s really absorbing that and using that? Can you talk with us about those things as we’re trying to make consumer decisions?

Dan: Yes, that’s a great question, and we could talk for a few more days about that specifically. Let me try to give you just a little bit of an image, and then I’ll tell you just some more details about who we are. Yes, there are thousands of supplement companies out there, and it may be it’s similar to the fact that there’s also thousands and thousands of restaurants. All of us can go through our town and we know different restaurants. We know some are really, really good quality. They have got the five star and they have got the chef that went to school for how many years and he’s a master chef. And the food at that restaurant is incredible. And then there’s other restaurants that maybe not the same quality.

We know that, but it’s all food and you might even be able to get chicken at both of those restaurants or steak at both of those restaurants or a salad at all of those restaurants, but the quality is absolutely different. That is very much also true in the dietary supplement world. And so at Redd Remedies, we were a small, I consider us a boutique company.

We make only about 40 different products. Where we make a product, we’re very specialized in that area, so we have a handful of products for emotional health issues, if you will, and because we know that we need slightly different formula for the issues that different people might be experiencing. I also have on our team, a master herbalist, and that’s 1 of the things that sets us apart. While I personally have a very long history, I grew up using herbs and eating healthy foods, mostly because of my mother.

I have a long experience with that. It’s like second nature to me on my team. I have a lady who has an undergrad degree in biology and a master’s degree in herbal medicine. I will tell you that in particular is really part of what’s significantly sets us apart, and it’s no different than that 5 star restaurant with that master chef who can make chicken noodle soup, if you will, no different than maybe I’ll make chicken noodle soup with all the same ingredients, but that soup by that master chef is very different. They might use the same spices, but they know where to get them. They know when they should be harvested. They know exactly how that spice should be used and prepared in the right amount, along with the other spices they use. And that’s what happens when we put a formula together, uh, using our master herbalist.

We have lots of resources beyond that, so it’s one of the things that really separates us is the choice of the herbs that we’re using, the part of that plant that we want used, the type of the extract that we want used, and the way we want that herb prepared. You might see an herb or even a mineral on the label of 20 different herbal supplements, but that same quote unquote ingredient can be wildly different.

On each 1 of those products, just because of the source, the way it’s prepared, the type of extract. That’s 1 piece is we’re very particular about the ingredients that we put in. The other thing that we do is while I believe very much in building relationships with the places that we buy and get our herbs and our vitamins and minerals.

We definitely believe in accountability. We have a purity promise that we have designed ourselves. It’s a testing protocol. The reason we’ve designed it ourselves is I have not seen a testing standard. I’ll say in the world, that is a standard that we believe is going to do the job that’s necessary to ensure purity.

With the variety of herbs and things that you see out there, our master herbalist has put that program together, and we have a 3rd party lab that then manages that purity promise for us. If any of your listeners want more detail on purity, I don’t want to spend too much time there, but then go to our website at reddremedies.com/purity. We have a nice summary there, but also for those that really want the detail, they can download a white paper. That’s about 23 pages long. That will tell you what we do for testing and purity. I can just tell you that it’s what we do is different. No different probably than that 5 star restaurant where that chef is just really engaged in what he or she is making and cooking and preparing for their clients.

Carrie: Yes, I think that’s awesome and I appreciate the transparency there because not all brands are willing to peel back and let you know the details of some of those things. If you really want to get down into the dirt and the weeds and everything like that.

I also think it’s cool that you can become a master herbalist. Put that on your list of career goals for anybody that’s looking and interested in this area. That’s pretty awesome. Studying herbs and acquiring and how to use them and I like what you said about there’s a difference probably in terms of how you’re using the extract or dried forms of things and all of that stuff. I’m sure that makes a huge difference. It’s kike when we put fresh parsley and something versus if we use dried parsley and something, it’s going to make a difference in the end result.

When we met via Zoom a little earlier and had chatted, we got on the subject of gummy vitamins, which is super funny because when you go into the store now, it’s like, we’re all adults, but somehow there are just like tons of gummy vitamins. I was looking for, I think, maybe like a multivitamin or something at one point, and I was really struggling to find one that wasn’t a gummy vitamin. Why are these things so popular? And are we just kidding ourselves here? Are we really just eating candy and pretending we’re getting vitamins? What’s going on with these gummy vitamins.

Dan: Oh my goodness. Yes. As human beings, do we not love to just satisfy ourselves? Yes. That’s probably the best definition of a gummy. I want to do something good for myself, but yet I want to be satisfied. So, yeah, gummies have kind of taken the supplement world by storm. I hate to generalize because no doubt there are some gummy products out there that I would say absolutely have value, but I would say that is the minority.

It would be the very select few. The majority of the gummies out there, in my opinion, are probably not going to be worth the money that you spend on them. I would encourage you, if you can’t swallow a capsule or tablet, like in the multivitamin example, I encourage you to go find a good tablet chewable, not a sugar filled gummy chewable.

The reason for that is vitamins, minerals, and herbs can and do degrade. We want them to be pure and potent. And one of the things that will degrade a vitamin especially is moisture. If you think about a gummy, gummies are soft. We don’t think about gummy as having moisture in there. Most of us probably don’t squeeze a gummy and water doesn’t come out. But there is a moisture content in a gummy significantly higher than a capsule or tablet. You’re going to have some issues with stability for sure and so you want to make sure that it is a brand that knows how to do appropriate testing to ensure that what’s on that label is on the label.

I will just tell you that most brands are not testing properly. The other issue that you have with a gummy is just a physical issue of space. You can only put a very small amount of active ingredients in a gummy. Part of the issue is if you have a gummy and you’re going to chew like two of those or even three of those a day of some multivitamin, you’re really not getting much of anything.

I would encourage you to go to the produce stand and eat some lettuce and an apple or something or some blueberries, and you probably get more benefit from that. Hopefully that’s helpful. Most of what we use at Redd Remedies is a capsule. We do some tablets. We’re going to get really good stability in that and really good efficacy in that. You know, for the most part, stay away from your gummies.

Carrie: Yes, that definitely makes sense. I appreciate you sharing all of the different wisdom that you had, just talking about how we can make decisions and investigate companies. Let’s talk about a couple products specifically that you have at Redd Remedies for emotional health.

Dan: Certainly. You mentioned that you were using at ease and that certainly is one of the flagships in the emotional health area for us. AtEase is a product that people would use when the stress that they experience is more like anxious, nervous, tension type stress. I also look at AtEase as my caregiver product.

If you’re one of those listeners and you’re caring for everybody around you, AtEase will actually help kind of balance the emotions of that out because when you care for others, You’re giving a part of yourselves away in that process. So AtEase is definitely one of the products I find that most people probably listening here would definitely benefit from.

There’s another product called InJoy. And InJoy is for people whose stress really shows up as kind of depressive, low, melancholy type stress, where we just need that lift of the spirit. We also have and most of us could probably benefit from that will help us get a good restful night’s sleep. And so that’s an important one to look at.

And I don’t want to ignore brain awakening here is because all of us, especially with. Any emotional health issue, if we can feed and nourish and help the brain to function healthy and the way that it’s designed to, brain awakening would probably be a great choice for us as

Carrie: What does brain awakening do for your brain?

Dan: Yes, great question. So brain awakening is going to do three primary things. It is going to restore density to the synapse. Right? So the synapse, of course, as we know, connect our brain cells and we need healthy, dense synapse for the messages to go back and forth between our brain cells appropriately.

There’s a form of magnesium that we use because it’s those minerals or electrolytes that are going to help with electrical connectivity. And some amazing research on this specific form of magnesium to restore density to synapse. And then I also use a mushroom known as lion’s mane, which will nourish the health and the strength of that brain cell itself.

We use another herb called amla, which is an antioxidant that will protect the brain against damage, stress, plaque buildup, and so forth. We’re focused on the brain cell, the synapse, and protecting that structure to keep it healthy and strong.

Carrie: Wow. Several different angles there that you’re hitting it at. I like that.

At Hope for Anxiety and OCD, I’ve really made a decision not to just kind of, I don’t have random ads on my show, advertising luggage and random things. We’ve made a decision here to be an affiliate partner with Red Remedies. They have been so gracious to give us a coupon code, so if you put in HOPE20, you can try any of their products, not just the ones that we’ve talked about today, and get 20 percent off, and you’ll also be Helping support the podcast.

I really believe in what you’re doing there. I think that adding supplements to just an overall picture of your health, like you said, you can’t just ignore diet, exercise and sleep and then take a supplement and expect your life to be great. But in the process of working on our overall health, if these are products that could benefit you, I would encourage people to definitely try them. Thank you for being on the show and sharing with us today.

Dan: It’s been my pleasure.

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Carrie: Hope for Anxiety and OCD is a production of By the Well Counseling. Our show is hosted by me, Carrie Bock, licensed professional counselor in Tennessee. Opinions given by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of myself or By the Well Counseling.

Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum.. Until next time, may you be comforted by God’s great love for you.