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The Greatest Transformation

The Greatest Transformation

I am fascinated by stories—especially mythic tales. I have an obsession with them. Wonderful myths inspire us, open us to new ideas and help us connect more deeply with the essence of who we are—warts and all. There is one particular myth which I adore. It is not only relevant to a man who can spend a lot of energy trying to understand what the woman in his life wants, it is also valuable to women. This fun story always makes me laugh. Only when the irrational feminine within both men and women is embraced and its will honored can any of us, man or woman, come to live in wholeness. The most difficult task most of us ever come up against is that of accepting the part of ourselves which we find most ugly and loathsome. Yet, locked within what we most hate or fear about ourselves lies the greatest power for our transformation. The tale is beautifully told in the Arthurian grail myth of The Loathly Lady. WHAT WOMEN WANT One Christmastide Arthur rode out with his knights to hunt. By chance he became separated from his companions and found himself at the edge of a great brackish pond. There a knight in black armor emerged from the shadows and challenged him to a fight. Arthur reached to draw his sword Excalibur and call on its power to protect him from all harm. Alas, he had come away from court without it. He could feel every ounce of strength drain away from his body in the presence of the dark and evil stranger who raised his sword and threatened to kill him. Being a responsible king, of course, Arthur told the dark knight he didn't think that killing him was such a great idea - he had a country to rule after all and knights to look after. Where would they be without him? The stranger, bored at the thought of such an easy kill relented and replied, "OK, I won't kill you so long as you return to this place in three days with the answer to a riddle I shall give you. If you fail I shall remove your head in one full sweep." Arthur agreed. He figured that given half a chance and a mug or two of mead, his pals back at the castle would be sure to come up with something. The riddle the stranger posed was this: "What does every woman want?" So Arthur headed home to ask all of his knights and wise men to give him the answer. Everyone from Merlin to a goose girl he met along the road had a go. Each gave him a different answer: "A woman wants beauty," said one. "A woman wants power," said another, or fame, or jewels, or sanctity. None could agree. Time was running out. Finally, although he had done his best to hide from his beloved Guinevere the seriousness of the situation, the third morning arrived. Bound by his word of honor to the Black Knight, Arthur had to face the music. Along the road to the meeting at the brackish waters Arthur came upon an old woman. She sat on a tree stump by the side of the road calling his name. FACING THE HAG Arthur dismounted and approached her with all the courtesy he could muster. For the closer he came the more ghastly this old hag appeared. Although she was dressed in fine silk and wore magnificent jewels on her gnarled and twisted hands, she was unquestionably the most hideous thing he had ever seen—or dreamed of for that matter. Her nose was like a pig's, her mouth was huge toothless and dribbling. What hair remained on her head was greasy, and the skin all over her misshapen and bloated body was covered in oozing sores. Arthur swallowed hard, forcing himself not to have to look away. "My Lord," she said in a surprisingly gentle voice, "Why look you so dismayed?" Summoning up all his chivalrous training, Arthur apologized for his manner, trying to explain it away by telling her he was most unsettled at the prospect of returning to meet his death at the hand of an evil knight because he could not tell him the answer to the riddle, "What does every woman want?" "Ah," said the hag. "I can tell you that. But such knowledge cannot be given without payment". Arthur, hoping once again for a reprieve from death, replied, "Of course Madam, anything you desire shall be yours for the answer—even half my kingdom." The Loathly Lady made Arthur bend down while she whispered a few words in his ear." The moment Arthur heard them, he knew his life and his kingdom had been saved. He was about to leap on his horse again and ride off to meet the stranger when she tugged on his cloak and said, "Now I want my reward." "Of course Madam, what is it that you want?" he asked. "I want to be the wife of your bravest knight and live at your court." Arthur, who only a moment before had felt his spirits soar was plunged into the deepest despair. How could he possibly expect any knight to consent to marry such a hideous hag. And what would it be like to have to endure such ugliness every day at court? WHERE TO TURN "But Madam, that is impossible!" he said. The words slipped through his lips before he could catch them. Aghast at his own lack of courtesy and agonized by having to ask any of his knights, Arthur said, "I beg your pardon, Madam. You are quite right. Come to court tomorrow. There waiting for you will be your future husband." So saying, he mounted his horse and rode off to meet the Black Knight to convey to him the answer to the riddle. When he got back to the castle, Arthur was distraught. The knights questioned him. He confessed that he had won his life from the Black Knight but then told them at what cost and reported his promise to the Loathly Lady. "My very honor is at stake," said Arthur, wringing his hands "unless one of you will agree to wed her." His knights were horrified at the prospect and tried to avoid his gaze. But one—the youngest knight of all—Sir Gawain, the most courageous and purest of heart stood up. "Worry, not my liege," Gawain said, "I shall save you, I will marry the woman no matter what her mien." Gawain did not have long before he rued his offer. The marriage was planned for the following morning and the hag arrived at court. When he looked upon her, even Gawain with all his chivalry did not know how he could go through with the ceremony. It demanded every ounce of his courage. Somehow he managed it. But things got worse. When the festivities were over, the couple were obliged to retire to their chamber for the night. Gawain, unable to face the hideousness of his wife, sat for long hours in their bedchamber with his back to the lady, writing at his desk and praying she would go to sleep without him. Was he to spend the rest of his life shackled to such a hideous monster? THE TRANSFORMATION Long past midnight, as the candle burnt low, he felt a hand come to rest upon his shoulder. "Will you not come to bed now, my Lord?" a voice whispered from behind him. Shuddering with horror Gawain mustered his courage to look at her. To his astonishment there stood not the ugly hag he had married but the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had golden hair and ivory skin. "Why do you seem so surprised, My Lord?" she said to him. "I am indeed your wife. I was enchanted by a wicked magician. But now the enchantment is half broken by your having consented to marry me and so you see I stand before you now in my true form." Gawain could not believe his luck. "Half broken?" he asked. "Yes, my lord" was the reply. "Sadly I am only allowed to spend half the time in my true form. For the rest I must return to the shape of the same hag which this afternoon you married. And now you must choose, my Lord. Would you have me be my true self at night when we are alone together and the hag during daylight hours?" Gawain, whose mind was flooded with passion at the thought of her beauty filling his bed each night replied eagerly, "Yes, that is certainly how it must be." In the eye of his beautiful lady appeared a tear. "But Sir," she said, "Would you then have me suffer the humiliation of the court who cannot conceal their horror at my ugliness?" Now Gawain, if he was nothing else, was compassionate. He could not bear to bring this beautiful woman a tear of sorrow. "No, of course not," he replied. "It shall be the other way round, of course. You shall be my beautiful wife for the court during daylight hours and the hag at night." But this only made the lady weep the more. "Oh sir, would you then deny me forever the joy and pleasure of your embrace?" She asked. HOBSON’S CHOICE Poor Gawain, who after all was but a man (and man has never found it easy to deal with woman's grief) did not know what to do. After much thought he replied, "My lady, whatever choice I make will be the wrong one. It is therefore for you to choose which you prefer." At the sound of his words the Lady threw herself into his arms in glorious laughter. "In so saying, my Lord, you have given the right answer. You have bestowed upon me what every woman wants—her own way. The spell at last is broken. You will never have to look upon the hideous hag again. I am my true self and it belongs to you forever." Such is the power of accepting that which to ourselves is most loathsome. And great is the power of myth in reminding us of it.

We Are One

We Are One

I once spent the night lying on a platform above an animal watering hole staring into the vastness of space beholding the great, fathomless mystery of the African sky. Aaron, my youngest son, then three years old, lay curled up next to me like a kitten lost in his dreams. Dazzled by the inconceivable expanse of the sky whose darkness was so overcome with the light from billions of stars that lived in it, I lost myself in timelessness and infinity. That night I came not to think or to wonder but to know with absolute certainty in every cell and molecule of my body that this cosmic world was not something separate from myself, nor I from it. We were, in a way I will never be able to understand rationally, one being. It was one of the greatest moments of my life SEA OF UNKNOWING Like the proverbial iceberg, most of us live with the lion’s share of our potential for freedom, joy, creativity and authentic power submerged beneath a sea of unknowing. We go about our day-to-day duties and pleasures conscious only of what comes to us through our five senses. How does it taste and feel? What does it sound like? What do we see in front of our eyes? Meanwhile, beneath the vast ocean of consciousness that constitutes what it is to be fully human, our greater selves hibernate waiting to be awakened. Sometimes, when we fall in love perhaps, or when we are faced with an event of life-shattering proportions like a critical illness or the death of a close friend, a submerged area of our being erupts in magic or horror and often in surges of passion, energy and beauty. Then, for a time, the mundane quality of everyday life is replaced with a sense of expanded being. Not only do we feel more alive, we wake up to find that familiar things—the tree that stands outside a bedroom window, the cat that greets us when we come home each day, a simple shell we picked up and slipped into our pocket while walking on the beach—have taken on a luminosity which we can’t explain. AS ABOVE SO BELOW Other times, without warning while listening to music or walking down a city street, we are suddenly gripped with a sense that the world is far greater than we ever imagined it to be, and a certainty that all we see around us somehow is us. While the experience lasts everything seems right in the world. Then, like the sun at the point of setting, everything fades beneath the mundane horizon leaving only the faintest wisp of color to remind us that we once stood in its glory, felt it’s rays on our bodies and knew that being at one with the universe brings a sense of meaning to our own life and to the lives of others that is simply indescribably. The greatest desire I have is to live my life conscious of the oneness to which we all belong. After all, the magnificence of that African sky not only stretches out to infinity above us, it lies within us calling to us—asking us to discover that it is who we are.

How I Learned That Love Is Real

How I Learned That Love Is Real

My first child was born in a huge teaching hospital in Los Angeles. The labor was long and regrettably not natural. I was given an analgesic during labor and an epidural for the delivery. It was all very cold, efficient and mechanical. The hospital I was in happened to be a Catholic one in which every other woman there seemed already to know the ropes since she was giving birth to her fifth or eighth or tenth child. Nobody bothered to tell me much about what was going on or what was expected of me. My baby was taken from me immediately after the birth and put into a nursery with all of the other babies while I was wheeled off to a private room. Soon they brought this tiny creature to me. I held him in my arms and stared at him in stark wonder. Then at three hourly intervals he would reappear for twenty minutes at a time and I'd hold him in bed beside me until the nurse would come and take him away again. The third or fourth time they brought him to me, he began to cry. I nestled him, rocked him, and spoke gently to him but he wouldn't stop so I rang for the nurse. `My baby's crying,' I said, `What should I do?' `Have you burped him?' `Burped him?' `You have fed him haven't you?' `Fed him? Am I supposed to feed him?` The nurse took him and put him to my breast. His tiny mouth opened and reached for me as if he had known forever what to do. He began to suck with such force it took my breath away. It was like being attached to a vacuum cleaner. I began to laugh. I couldn't help myself. It seemed incredible that such a tiny creature could have such power and determination. He too had a purpose. He was raw, insistent and real. With every fiber of his being, this child was drawing his life and he would not be denied. Tears of joy ran shamelessly down my cheeks while he sucked. There in the midst of all that clinical green and white, I had discovered what love was all about. It was really quite simple—a meeting of two beings. The age, the sex, the relationship didn't matter. That day two creatures - he and I — had met. We touched each other in utter honesty and simplicity. This experience was for me a true epiphany. My life was forever altered by it. There was nothing romantic or solemn about it. No obligations, no duties, no fancy games, and you didn't have to read an encyclopedia of baby care to experience it. We'd met, just that. Somewhere in spirit we were friends. I knew beyond all doubt that I had found something real and real it has remained.

Nature's Helpers

Nature's Helpers

Amidst the growing awareness of what high-tech biochemistry boasts in the form of the antioxidant nutrients against degeneration and what expensive treatments such as cell therapy can do to improve your appearance, to slow down the rate at which you are aging and to revitalize your system, we often give little thought to what simple natural substances have to offer. Take herbs and roots and animal tonics for instance - some with a history going back several thousand years. Amongst them all, the most exciting, the finest and most effective belong to a group called `the adaptogens'. The adaptogens, which include a number of very different natural substances - from Panax ginseng and eleutherococcus (sometimes called `Siberian ginseng') to an exotic-sounding preparation made from the horn of a deer - have been widely investigated in recent years by Soviet scientists and, in centuries past, mostly by the Orientals. Most of the adaptogens belong to long traditions of folk medicines and most have been held in high esteem for thousands of years in the pharmacopoeia of the world's medicine. What is so special about these natural products and why they are grouped together under the name is that they are all substances which, in carefully conducted laboratory and clinical studies, have been shown to enhance an organism's `nonspecific resistance' to aging, illness and fatigue. In practical terms they enhance your body's ability to adapt itself to all forms of stress - from the stress of fatigue, of illness, of exertion and of aging to emotional hardship - while at the same time helping to normalize biochemical activities. Taken as `medicines for well people' they can be remarkably helpful in keeping your body young and full of vitality. So remarkable are the positive effects that adaptogens have been shown to have on a living organism that it is a constant source of wonder to me that they have not been more widely investigated and used in Europe and in America. Meanwhile Soviet and Oriental scientists have spent the last forty years working with certain natural products which, when taken in a form unadulterated by heat or heavy processing, have a remarkable ability to improve health. They appear to be high in structural information. structural information for high-level health As Soviet scientists I.I. Brekhman and others have shown, not only are the chemicals and nutrients which can be extracted from natural plant or animal substances in the laboratory - vitamins, minerals, protein, organic acids, oils, etc - important for health, so is the complexity of the way they and other as yet unidentified factors are synergistically combined. In Brekhman's terms certain natural products (many of them folk remedies) are rich in `structural information' a high-quality health-supporting energy which cannot be measured in chemical terms alone. He was particularly interested in certain natural pharmacological substances such as ginseng which appear to supply a high degree of structural information to an organism and thereby support a high level of health and energy. There is something quite special in the way the constituents of such natural products seem to work together and have a natural affinity for the body. They have been shown to increase physical stamina and endurance, stimulate protein repair on a cellular level, protect from radiation damage, increase antibody production, detoxify your body and improve your stamina and vitality. In a way the adaptogens could be considered the `elixirs of life'. They are perfect natural tools for ageless aging stress without distress It was Soviet scientists who first developed the notion of an adaptogen, from the work of Hans Selye, Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal, whose work on stress has become universally accepted. His `general adaptation syndrome' describes the way in which when your body is stressed by whatever agent - from cold to fatigue to emotional upset to overwork to chemicals in your air or foods - its homeostasis, that is its natural balance, is threatened. Immediately it draws upon its resources to resist the threat and to maintain well-being. And indeed, provided you are young and strong and well it can go on resisting any damage from stress for a long time. But, alas, eventually it enters the final stage of the GAS in which exhaustion takes over. Then your body's weakest system starts to break down and chronic illness, fatigue and (if the stress is great enough) even death can follow. What in effect has happened is that your body's adaptive energy - its ability to cope - has finally become exhausted. Selye pointed out that the aging process itself can be viewed as the GAS on a wider scale. He emphasized that the capacity to adapt virtually disappears in old age and that this loss, equivalent to a loss of vitality, is characteristic of senescence. Selye was always fascinated by the notion that it might be possible to discover or to develop `medicines for well people' which could enhance the body's own adaptation mechanisms - substances which could prolong your body's ability to resist age degeneration and exhaustion. They would be different from usual medicines in that, unlike drugs, they would not be aimed at a specific effect such as lowering blood pressure or eliminating pain. Nor would they be intended for the treatment of illness. Instead they would belong to a new category of medicines for health for they would improve the body's nonspecific resistance to illness, aging and fatigue. That's where the adaptogens come in - substances which can increase your general capacity to overcome external stresses through adaptation. Their use has an important part to play in protecting skin from aging, in maintaining a high level of health and vitality and even in enhancing mental abilities. Russian researcher I.I. Brekhman, at the Far-East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science, Vladivostok, did more than any other single scientist to explore adaptogens and to test their effects. In fact it was Brekhman's teacher, the Russian expert in pharmacology N.V. Lazarev, who first coined the word in order to describe these substances with the remarkable ability of strengthening and rebalancing the whole system. One of the first natural substances which Brekhman and his coworkers investigated and which they found had this ability was Panax ginseng - the root that was first used for medicinal purposes more than 4000 years ago `to restore the five internal organs, tranquilize the spirit, calm agitation of the mind, allay excitement, and ward off harmful influences. The continual use of ginseng makes for long life with light weight of the body.' It is probably the most well known and highly respected natural medicine in the world. useless in perfect harmony Traditionally ginseng has been prescribed only in states of imbalance. It is used to treat toxicity in the body, sluggishness, anemia, weakness and fatigue. But like most of the nutritional and natural tools for health, in a perfectly healthy and balanced person it is supposed to have no effect whatever. Because, as your body ages, its ability to withstand stress and to maintain homeostasis declines, ginseng has become a prime anti-ageing remedy. For generations in the West the value of ginseng has largely been dismissed as an old wives' tale. In part this is because the very notion of a medicine for health finds no place in the thinking behind Western orthodox medicine. But in part too it is probably because some of the few studies which have been carried out to test claims made for it have been done on inferior crops or on ginseng which had been heat-treated and heat-treating destroys many of the beneficial effects of most of the adaptogens. A number of well-conducted studies, both on animals and humans, carried out by Brekhman and others in the Soviet Union and by European researchers in Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Britain show quite conclusively that ginseng has extraordinary adaptogenic properties. It improves the body's ability to use oxygen - important in staving off aging as well as increasing mental and physical stamina and in enhancing athletic performance, all of which it has been shown to do. It helps lower blood pressure that is too high, but doesn't affect normal readings. It offers protection against radiation-caused damage - also important in slowing down the rate at which your body ages. It increases your resistance to illness and against harmful effects of chemicals in the environment. It heightens mental faculties and is a natural stimulant to the central nervous system, improving reflexes, long term and short term memory, and making learning easier. But unlike coffee and most other stimulants, it does not produce a sudden rise in body activity followed by an unpleasant dip in energy, or depression. Nor is there any danger of becoming dependent on it. Like all of the adaptogens, ginseng has a gradual buildup effect on the body when you take regular doses of it over about three weeks. staving off exhaustion If, like me, you like to work long hours but still be reasonably fresh and responsive afterwards, you can use ginseng as a means of staving off exhaustion, while improving mental and physical functioning and maintaining a sense of mental and physical balance. At the Maudsley Hospital in London, Stephen Fuller gave ginseng to nurses involved in stressful and exhausting shifts and an identical placebo to others. He found that although performance in psychological as well as physical tests, and overall mood, vitality and competence, were undermined by the stressful conditions in which they worked, ginseng improved many of these parameters in those who took it. In the Soviet Union ginseng was given to fifty soldiers on a 3km race while to another fifty a placebo was given. Those who had taken the ginseng finished an average of 53 seconds sooner than the rest. At the University of Minnesota researchers tested the exam taking abilities of students giving some ginseng and some a placebo. The exam results from the ginseng group were significantly better than the placebo-takers. In repeated trials Brekhman and others have found that ginseng acts as a stimulant without causing insomnia and that not only does it help stave off fatigue and strengthen the organism's ability to cope with stressors of all sorts, the beneficial effects of taking ginseng appear to multiply and build up over the period in which it is taken. Also, ginseng's benefits last long after you stop taking it. As Brekhman said: After a series of experiments on men it was established that daily doses of ginseng preparations during 15-45 days increase physical endurance and mental capacity for work. The increase was noted not only during the treatment itself, but also for a period of time (a month to a month and a half) after the treatment had been over. The increase in work capacity was attended by a number of favorable somatic effects and a general improvement of health and spirits (appetite, sleep, absence of moodiness, etc). siberian ginseng Another adaptogen which has now been widely investigated, particularly in the Soviet Union, is eleutherococcus or Siberian ginseng. Unlike ginseng, eleutherococcus has not been used for generations for health. Indeed its therapeutic properties have only been discovered in the past fifty-odd years. Siberian ginseng is a prickly plant known as `devil's shrub' with leaves similar to ginseng and beautiful yellow and purple flowers. It is the plant's hot and spicy roots which are used medicinally. Like ginseng it has an ability to strengthen the body's ability to resist illness, degeneration and fatigue while never upsetting your body's natural physiological functions. It is a mild stimulant. Take it now and this stimulant action will last between six and eight hours. Its tonic effects are accumulative - they come gradually over a few weeks. They include increased stamina, better sleep patterns, better memory, clearer thinking and improved athletic performance. Eleutherococcus has particular relevance to any anti-ageing program because it is a natural protector against the kind of free radical oxidation which leads to cross-linking of proteins and, among other things, skin sagging and wrinkling. It also appears to have potent anticancer properties. Brekhman and many Russian researchers believe that eleutherococcus is a better adaptogen than ginseng. It has been shown both to increase the work capacity of people in factories and also to reduce the incidence of absence from work because of illness. And it is considered by Russian physicians to be a treatment of choice for both high and low blood pressure thanks to its ability to harmonize bodily functions. It is also used widely to treat anemia and to treat arteriosclerosis in the Soviet Union. Like ginseng and all of the adaptogens it is best taken regularly over a period of several weeks. It can however be taken year round without any loss in beneficial effects. stringent demands for adaptogens Ginseng and eleutherococcus are the two adaptogens most widely available in Britain and America (not, alas, always in active forms however - you have to be careful what you buy). But there are others too: pantocrine (an extract of deer horn); Schizandra Chinensis (the red berries of a Chinese plant which are widely used as a tonic); and many more, including the Scandinavian Arctic Root, and Kvann - a Norwegian variety of Angelica - still under rigorous investigation. Schizandra Chinensis has protective properties for the liver, increases the ability to use oxygen at a cellular level and stimulates brain function. Acantha Root or Acanthopanax Senticocus is used to build physical strength, regulate blood pressure that is too high or too low, improve adrenal action and heighten cerebral function. Each has its unique properties but they have a great deal in common both in the way they act on the body and in their safety even when used regularly over long periods of time. The most exciting herb I have come across for a long time is suma (Pfaffia paniculata). Locally known as Para Todo - `for everything' - suma has been used by Brazilian Indians for centuries as an aphrodisiac and general tonic. Recent research shows that, like good ginseng, the wild root of the suma plant also has strong adaptogenic properties. Amongst its other constituents, suma is rich in the saponins, some of which show anti-tumour activity, and in a plant hormone called ecdysone. At the University of São Paulo, Dr Milton Brazzach, Chairman of Pharmacology, has treated thousands of patients with serious ailments, including both diabetes and cancer, and verified the plant's potent healing and preventative powers. Researchers have found that a major source of the plant's energy-enhancing and stress-protective properties lies in its ability to detoxify connective tissue of what are called homotoxins. These are wastes which can interfere with the active transport of nutrients to the cells and in the production of cellular energy, and lead long-term to changes in the DNA associated with premature aging and the development of degenerative diseases. What all of this means to the active man or woman is that suma is well worth looking at as a nutritional support to raise your energy levels, enhance your ability to be very active both mentally and physically without fatigue or damage, and to detoxify your cells as a prevention against premature aging and degeneration. Russian scientists are very careful about the requirements that need to be fulfilled if a natural medicine is to qualify as an adaptogen. In Brekhman's own words: 1.The substance must be absolutely safe to the body. It must also have a wide range of therapeutic and protective properties while only bringing about minimal alteration to bodily functions. 2.Its action must be nonspecific. That is it must increase resistance to a wide variety of harmful chemical and biological influences. 3.It must have a normalizing action regardless of the direction of pathological changes it may meet with in the person's body. In other words in a person with blood pressure which is too high it should help lower it while it should have just the opposite effect on an organism in which blood pressure is too low. When you think just how remarkable these requirements are you begin to realize why the Chinese have traditionally believed many of the adaptogens to be worth their weight in gold. It is also easy to understand why the Western mind has such difficulty grasping the idea of an adaptogen at all. After all, we are used to a totally different approach: mostly this is because of our strong emphasis on symptomatic medicine. Our science has investigated a number of pharmacological preparations designed to do specific things, such as improve circulation or increase oxygen uptake by cells during surgical operations. However most of these drugs, such as the derivatives of phenothiazine and ganglio-blocking agents, bring about side effects which make them inappropriate for any healthy person to use as part of a program for increasing vitality, promoting high-level health and encouraging ageless-ageing. We take substances such as the phenylalkylamines, like amphetamines and their analogues, as a means of suppressing an overactive appetite, or we drink coffee with its caffeine or other purine derivatives to pep us up, and we can turn to the bromides and sedatives such as the herb valerian to calm us down, but we find it hard to conceive of something that could do both or either depending upon our specific mental and physical state when we take it. As a result little investigation of possible new adaptogenic substances is going on. Good candidates would be bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly and even honey itself. bee power `Use thou honey,' commanded Solomon, `for it is good.' Just as ginseng has a long history of being used to increase vitality and protect from aging, so folklore is filled with advice about the medicinal use of honey and other bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly, which have been employed throughout history to increase stamina, heal sickness, beautify skin and retard aging. A natural antiseptic with a proven ability to kill bacteria, honey and all its `by-products' - pollen, propolis and royal jelly - have antibiotic properties. And although honey has been scientifically analyzed for the last fifty years, there appear to be a number of its constituents which remain unidentified. Scientists who have attempted to break it down into its parts and then to put it together again have failed. Although honey is made up of 75 per cent natural sugars and 17 per cent water it is also a good source of many of the B group of vitamins, vitamin C, carotene and organic acids, and of many important minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, sodium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus and lime. This sweet golden substance has a reputation for prolonging life. While researching longevity another famed Russian scientist, biologist and experimental botanist DR Nicolai Tsitsin, discovered that of the 200 people in Russia whom he surveyed claiming to be over 100, a large number were beekeepers. All of them claimed their principal food was honey. Natural unprocessed honey has been shown to increase calcium retention and to raise hemoglobin count - it is traditionally used to treat anemia. It also appears to speed the healing process in a great many conditions from arthritis and poor circulation to liver and kidney disorders, poor skin and insomnia. Some researchers even believe that, thanks to its high aspartic-acid content - an amino acid important in the proper functioning of sex glands - it has rejuvenating properties. But just in case you're tempted to rush to your local supermarket and buy the first jar of golden stuff you come across you should know that it is not the honey itself which appears to be the most potent source of health-promoting qualities but the pollen-rich waste matter which lies at the bottom of honey containers. Tsitsin found that beekeepers tended to sell the `good' honey and to eat the `dirty residue' themselves. The dirty residue - which is a constituent of natural unfiltered and unprocessed honey and appears to have such exceptional properties for health - is too often filtered off from commercial honeys. Most have also been heated, which further limits the structural information they carry and therefore depletes their health promoting value. Honey, by the way, keeps indefinitely thanks to its anti-microbial properties so you need never worry about it spoiling. royal bee power Even more interesting than honey are the other bee-based products - propolis, royal jelly and pollen. Propolis is a sticky resin made out of the substance bees gather from the leaves and bark of trees. It is secreted via their pharmageal glands. They use it as a binding material when making hives. It has strong antibiotic properties and is much used in Sweden and Denmark to combat minor infections. Royal jelly is a white jelly-like substance produced by glands in the heads of very young worker bees. It contains almost every life-supporting element known. The queen bee, who lays over 2000 eggs a day, lives on the stuff and it appears to have remarkable benefits for beauty both when it is taken internally and when it is used in beauty products. The problem is most Royal Jelly on the market is pretty worthless. To be active it needs to be fresh, not processed into pills and potions, and it must be properly extracted from the hive and kept under refrigeration at all times - including while it is being transported. Royal jelly contains virtually all the life-supporting elements plus an unidentified 3 per cent which scientists have been unable to break down. In the south of France royal jelly is a common sight for sale by the roadside. People take a `cure' of it for a month or so twice a year. It is also said to be beneficial for anyone suffering from stress or exhaustion or for people recovering from an illness. Bulgaria is often called `the country of royal jelly' because beekeeping and all its products have formed an important part of the economy since feudal times. The Bulgarians have also done a great deal of research to establish the health benefits from royal jelly, pollen, honey and propolis. They have found for instance that royal jelly has an ability to protect against radiation, that it increases fecundity in animals, that it improves the body's use of oxygen, lowers blood pressure, speeds regeneration of damaged tissue, lowers cholesterol and, like the official adaptogens, increases tolerance to stress. It even stimulates and encourages better functioning of the immune system. priceless pollen Pollen is the male germ seed of flowering plants. A fine powder that plants need to make seeds, it is gathered by bees in the process of collecting nectar for honey and harvested by pollen collectors as the bees fly back into the hive. Not only does it contain all the water-soluble vitamins including the elusive B12, it is a good source of carotene, and vitamins E and K, and it offers a rich supply of minerals, trace elements and enzymes as well as hormonal substances beneficial to human beings. As such it is probably the perfect `skin food'. Pollen is a rich natural source of rutin as well - one of the bioflavonoids which, together with vitamin C and zinc, is particularly important in the formation of collagen (the structural protein which gives skin its contours and much of its strength). A thrice daily dose of raw pollen can do wonders for ailing skin whether the problem is acne, excessive dryness or hypersensitivity. It can also improve the look and feel of normal healthy skin. But pollen's health promoting properties don't stop there. It has been a favorite of Olympic athletes since ancient times and still is. Those who use it claim it increases strength and endurance, improves performance and helps prevent minor infections. cure for allergies? One of pollen's more curious attributes - particularly important in springtime - is its ability to render many hay fever sufferers free of symptoms, provided oral doses of the stuff are taken regularly for several weeks before the season begins - another example of one of those folk remedies which is supported by the experience of a number of physicians who still use it successfully every year. One more interesting attribute of pollen of interest to anyone concerned about preventing premature aging is its ability to protect the body from some of the damaging effects of radiation. It has been tested on irradiated animals and given to cancer patients subjected to radiation doses with excellent results. Finally, and most important, pollen taken in this way, like many of the natural substances which are high in structural information, seems to possess an ability to restore balance to a body. It is said to be particularly helpful in weight regulation - whether the person taking it is underweight or too fat. Bee products - all of them - are best taken unheated in small quantities daily. In the case of pollen and propolis, which usually come in tablets, the recommended dose is usually two to three tablets a day on an empty stomach. Royal jelly is best bought raw, kept refrigerated and taken in amounts of between 250 and 500mg a day under the tongue where it is absorbed by the mucosa in the mouth and bypasses the digestive system. It can also be bought in less biologically active forms as capsules and suspended in tonic solutions. proof of the pudding Using any adaptogen as a tool for increasing vitality, protecting health and resisting aging is simple. It is taken every day, usually on an empty stomach, and an average long term restorative dose is usually 1-2g a day in the case of ginseng and Siberian ginseng. Benefits tend to accrue over the time one is taking it and the best results come from taking it regularly over a period of a month to six weeks at least. Often people take it twice a year as a `cure'. What is not so simple is making sure that the product you are taking has been properly grown, harvested and processed in order to preserve its biological activity. For instance there are dozens of ginseng preparations on the market which are virtually empty of ginsenosides - the active ingredients in ginseng. And if eleutherococcus has been heated too much in its processing its effectiveness is either reduced or completely destroyed. Panax ginseng comes from Korea or China and the best quality are the big red roots which are six years old. Second are the white roots and third are the red grown in Japan, so look for country of origin when buying them and also for the Korean `Office of Monopoly' seal on the pack. The whole roots are the best, with root pieces and extracts following in that order. Ginseng tablets and powders often contain `fillers' and are much less potent. American ginseng - Panax quinquefolium - is usually less effective than Panax ginseng unless you can get large old roots, and they are hard to come by. The best form of eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) comes in extract direct from the Soviet Union. It has been carefully low-heat processed to preserve its biological activity. This form of extract is used in some of the German Siberian ginseng preparations. Most experts in adaptogens insist that Panax ginseng is primarily a man's preparation, although it can be useful for women past menopause, and that eleutherococcus is excellent for both men and women. People with very high blood pressure are usually given eleutherococcus instead of ginseng. It is best to steer clear of coffee while on a course of ginseng or you may have trouble sleeping, and to follow a light diet without too much meat. Certain herbs and plants such as astragalus and echinacea now also appear to offer excellent immune support. Known as Purple Coneflower, echinacea is a member of the Compositae (daisy) family with potent antibiotic and anti-viral effects. The roots of two species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia, have long been used against infection and in detoxifying the body by native people including the American Plains Indians, who also used it for poisonous snake and spider bites, abscesses, diphtheria, measles, chicken pox, septic wounds and many other infectious or immune-compromising conditions. In recent years the herb has been heavily researched in Germany where numerous scientific studies now verify its health-promoting abilities. In Germany there are now more than 200 prescription products based on echinacea or its derivatives. The herb can inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria that cause colds and 'flu, increase the number of valuable B-cells in the body and enhance the protective functions of macrophages - white blood cells - which are the guardians of the immune system. In short, echinacea is able to amplify the activity of the immune system not only by helping an ailing body recover swiftly, but by helping protect from infections such as colds and 'flu during the long winter months. I find particularly interesting some recent research in the treatment of vaginal thrush where the herb was used. All the women in the study were treated with conventional anti-fungal drug agents. Some were also given echinacea - the equivalent of 100-200mg a day. As any woman who has ever suffered from it knows only too well, one of the major problems with thrush is although you can knock it out, it tends to recur, especially when you are under stress. Researchers discovered that amongst the echinacea-supplemented group there was a significantly lower recurrence of infection than amongst the rest. And the protection went far beyond thrush. They also found a heightened immune response to tetanus, diphtheria, streptococci and tuberculin. What is exciting about their findings is that they concluded that, unlike antibiotic drugs, echinacea does not attack germs directly. Instead it strengthens your body's own ability to resist them and heightens your defenses. I find it a welcome friend taken daily as a preventative during `the 'flu season' as well as a great boon to recovery.

Good Fats and Bad Fats - The Truth About Fats

Good Fats and Bad Fats - The Truth About Fats

We live in a world where fats—especially the saturated, animal-based variety—are falsely accused of being our greatest enemy. Meanwhile, the polyunsaturated fats, whose benefits are often celebrated, are not as good for our health as we have been led to believe. In fact, they can be very dangerous. Science has moved on since much of the erroneous “fat research” appeared some 40 years ago. But politically correct dietary advice and mainstream public consciousness has not. Health-supporting evidence has come to light. It’s vitally important you learn about it: A lot of saturated fats–which we have long been told are dangerous–are, in truth not dangerous at all. They do NOT cause heart disease as we have been taught. In truth they are GOOD for us. So are many other fats which our forefathers ate but which we have long been told to avoid. The trick is to choose the right kinds of these fats in your meals. When you do this, your body, health and looks will be revolutionized. THE BAD SCIENCE For generations, fats have been surrounded by all sorts of false beliefs. One of these is that “saturated fat is a prime cause of heart disease”. This theory is based on the 1950s ‘lipid hypothesis’, by the scientist Ancel Keys. This erroneous research greatly benefited the vegetable oil and food processing industries, who suppressed alternative views. Over sixty years later, many still believe it. Another myth: “The Western diet has increased in saturated fat over the last century”. This is absolutely wrong. In fact, the reverse is true. At the turn of the century, most people got their fatty acids from saturated or monounsaturated animal-based sources: Lard, butter, tallow, etc—and they were better off for it. But from 1910 to 1970 in the United States, the proportion of animal fats declined from 83 to 62%. Butter consumption went from 18 to 4 pounds per person per year, all because of the promotion of margarine manufacturers. What has increased is the amount of fats we’re taking in the form of refined vegetable oils, margarines and junk fats—by a whopping 400%—during the same period. And our health as a species continues to suffer. THE REAL CULPRITS Here’s something else that might shock you. Analysis of the fat in artery clogs reveals that only about 26% is saturated. The rest is mostly polyunsaturated! In actual fact, saturated fats are our heart’s preferred source of “food” to draw on under stress. They help our bodies perform many other functions too, building our cells, strengthening our bones and immune systems. As for polyunsaturated fats, most of which are in the form of omega-6 fatty acids, these tend to become rancid quickly when heated—such as during cooking or food processing. They then become a health-undermining source of free radicals, “marauders” inside our bodies. Polyunsaturates can do our body a great deal of harm, attacking our cells and damaging DNA. Little wonder that time after time, studies show a high link between consumption of these fats with cancer and heart disease. (Whether rancid or not, too much omega-6 in the diet is dangerous. This is just beginning to be discovered.) Yet most of the fats in modern diets come from these vegetable oils—with many diets consisting of up to 30% polyunsaturated fat. So don’t do yourself a disservice by believing what those P.C. diet gurus tell you. A good hard look at the evidence shows us quite the opposite is true. OUT OF WHACK - OMEGA 3 BENEFITS Omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids, when in the right balance, help your body in all sorts of ways. They increase your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, helping your body regulate its blood sugar. They increase metabolic rate and fat metabolism, so more of your stored fat can be burnt as energy. Paleontologists have discovered that our ancestors consumed them in the ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 (omega-6 to omega 3 fatty acids). However today, in our Western diets, the balance between these two fatty acids has become all screwed up. Modern diets contain a ratio of about 22:1—far too high for optimal health. This excess can cause all sorts of problems, from weight gain to cancer. What can we do about it? For a start, you never have to worry about getting enough omega-6s. They’re everywhere. What you do need to do is increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids]. A great way of doing this is to start taking a good-quality fish oil supplement. Good Fats and Bad Fats - GET SAVVY Another vital way to address the imbalance of good and bad fats in our diets is to get savvy about what oils we are using daily—in our cooking, baking, dressings, and everything else: Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils are very high in omega-6—over 50%—and are badly processed, using all sorts of nasty chemicals. Avoid them completely. Canola Oil has been associated with fibrotic heart lesions; is high in sulfur and easily turns rancid. Steer clear of it at all costs. Olive Oil is monounsaturated rather than polyunsaturated, so is the safest vegetable oil you can use. It’s well-suited to dressings and can be heated at moderate temperatures. Make sure it’s cloudy (not filtered) and a golden-yellow color. Sesame Oil is reasonably stable and can be used on occasion for frying. But don’t overdo it, as it is still high in omega-6. Coconut, Palm, Palm Kernel and Red Palm Oils are much more highly saturated than the other vegetable oils, so are the safest, healthiest oils you can cook with. Coconut oil in particular is very good for you, containing antiviral and antibacterial properties and plenty of medium chain triglycerides which support weight loss. BUTTER ‘EM UP If you’re like millions of others, you buy margarine in the belief that it’s “better for you” than butter. Here’s an order: Avoid it like the plague. The process used to make margarine, known as hydrogenization, does horrendous things to the already-rancid vegetable oils it is made from. Not only does it contain all sorts of additives you should steer clear of. It’s linked to both cancer and heart disease, and can cause chronic high cholesterol. On the other hand, natural, good quality butter contains many essential nutrients. In fact, it may be the only good source of fat-soluble vitamins in the American diet! Experiments comparing the health of margarine eaters with butter eaters continually find in butter’s favor: In one such study, the risk of developing heart disease in butter users was half that of those using margarine. Infants and children especially benefit from butter for their normal growth and development. Use this delicious stuff liberally—and without guilt—in the knowledge that it will do you no harm, and your body will thank you for it.

Nourishing Body & Soul

Nourishing Body & Soul

Being healthy means a lot more than just not being sick. A child that is healthy experiences a sense of grace in his life. He feels at ease. He has access to all of his being - his imagination, his intellect, his physical strength, and his ability to connect with the world around him through his senses. Buoyant health depends on there being a high degree of biochemical and emotional order in his life. These days, such order is not always easy to come by. It begins with the way you feed your child, and ends with creating structures for his day to day life that establish a safe arena - emotionally, physically and spiritually - in which he can operate. When you do, the child develops a sense of trust in himself, a huge resistance to illness, and a sense of real connection with his outside world as well as an excitement about his life and what is going to happen next. This is what real health is all about - nurturing Nature's child, body and soul.

Body, Mind And Bliss

Body, Mind And Bliss

The emotional and spiritual transformations that take place on CURA ROMANA JOURNEY weightloss program begin as simple, physiological shifts in the way the diencephalic area of the brain and the autonomic nervous system function. Quite apart from the health-enhancing and weightloss benefits they have, these shifts give us greater access to bliss. They encourage the body to let go of wastes, rapidly decreasing the toxic burden a body has been carrying. As toxicity diminishes, our living matrix—that is our physiological, biochemical and energetic body—is enlivened. Our senses become heightened. CURA ROMANA JOURNEY also brings a calming, centering effect to the mind and emotions, quieting habitual thought patterns so that many of the inner conflicts and confusions which all of us carry can be quelled. As human beings our capacity for bliss, as well as our need to experience it, is inscribed on the primitive brain—almost as deeply as our need for air, water and food. Bliss is the medium through which mind, spirit and emotions weave a tapestry of meaning. Bliss renews. Bliss cleanses. It makes us feel whole, solid, stable and alive. Bliss tells us: ‘This is something I want to try,’ then brings us the courage to go for it. Physical illness often develops out of unresolved conflicts between our primitive, instinctual, nature—which is centered in the diencephalon, autonomic nervous system and limbic system—and our intellectual cerebral cortex—from which we have been virtually brainwashed to believe we should be living our lives. A T W Simeons, who created the original Cura Romana, writes about this at length in his book Man’s Presumptuous Brain. He says, and I quote: “An instinct is a very old impulse which is generated in the diencephalon by a combination of hormonal and sensory stimuli. In this process the cortex is involved only to the extent that it censors the raw incoming messages from the senses. An emotion, on the other hand, is the conscious or subconscious elaboration of a diencephalic instinct by the cortical processes of memory, association and reasoning. Emotions are thus generated in the cortex out of crude instincts. In primitive man many raw instincts were still consciously acceptable but in urban man this is no longer so. When a raw instinct . . . breaks through all cortical barriers, it is usually interpreted as insanity . . . raw instincts threaten the cortical authority with which man runs his artificial world.’ Simeons describes the cortex as a “censor of instinctual expression and action.” Once the cortex changes instincts into emotion, it usually censors any expression of that emotion. And, because our culture is built on cortical control and demeans the value of instinct, illness often occurs. As a result of these and other restrictions—both conscious and unconscious—directing our lives, we begin to lose touch with our bodies, our instincts and our essential self at the core of our being. So important is bliss to becoming who you really are and to helping you realize your goals—whatever they may be—that when we deny our need for it, we are forced to look for artificial substitutes. Addictions arise: to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, even ambition. These addictions disempower us, leading us further from the authentic freedom that is our birthright. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: The more bliss we can learn to allow in our lives the more true balance between instinct and intellect is created within us harmonizing mind, body and spirit. This is why I urge you to let more bliss into your own life. Find out what brings you bliss day by day and make space for it in your life. It is a powerful force for transformation and will help you forge your own individual path to authentic freedom and greater creativity.

Motivation From Within

Motivation From Within

We think we must teach our children about discipline - particularly self-discipline. But have you ever watched a baby at play? If a baby sees a toy he wants across the room, he doesn't stop to consider whether it's worthwhile going to get it. Neither does he begrudge the time taken to crawl across the room. The seeing, the crawling, the taking it in his hand are all of a piece, all part of the experience, all a source of pleasure. For a young child there is no separation between the work of seeking a reward and the pleasure of having it, as is so often the case in my life. Like most adults, I have learned to live for goals. I have lost the great joy of the seeking itself by relegating that part of my life to the `unpleasant duty of working for what I want.' Yet many of life's pleasures are to be found as much in the seeking as in the finding. Young children have helped me see this - although I am a long way from putting it into practice in everything I do. As parents, we feel obliged to correct our children when they make mistakes in speaking. Yet so often the words they coin seem much more sensible and charming than their proper counterparts. `It's a froggy day,' Jesse used to say when he meant `foggy.' `Where are the `ouches'?' Susannah would ask when she wanted to hang something on the clothesline. (She had once caught a finger in a clothes peg and her great-grandmother had consoled her by saying, `Ouch, that hurts.') Then there were `flat tireds', the things you get when your car runs over a nail in the road, and the `constructions' which you read to find out how to use something for the first time. Aaron, my youngest, announced one day after playing with one of our Burmese cats `Mummy, guess what, pussy cats have dangerous toes'. Children have also taught me to express anger and not be afraid of it. Watch two children fight. They sling the most appalling insults at each other. One gives the other a whack and swears not to play with him or her again. Two hours later they are best friends once more. They know so much better than we do how to forgive. Somehow they will seem to understand that being angry with someone, no matter how important it seems at the time, is not half as interesting as all the things you can do, see, say and make together as soon as the anger has passed.

Surprising Truths About Osteoporosis

Surprising Truths About Osteoporosis

In the way so many half-truths get blown up by commercial interests, we have been led to believe that all men and women need for strong bones is to get lots of calcium—either by popping pills or drinking milk. Millions of pounds and dollars have been spent to propagate these fantasies. Bottom line? Both these beliefs are fiction. Meanwhile, after four generations of aggressive milk promotion, the incidence of osteoporosis has reached epidemic proportions in the West. In countries where milk is not drunk, osteoporosis hardly exists. FORGET MILK So negative an effect can milk and milk products like some cheeses exert on a man or woman's health that, if you would care to experiment by leaving all milk products out of your diet for three weeks, you are likely to find you look and feel better, as well as experiencing great boosts in vitality. Sometimes doing this can be more difficult than you expect, however. Why? Because, in one form or another, milk finds its way into most convenience foods, including breads, biscuits, and sauces. It is even in a lot of nutritional supplements. Why, I cannot imagine! Milk is designed by nature for a very specific purpose—to feed young mammals until they can feed themselves. Cow’s milk was made for cows, and human milk for humans. As we grow up, our bodies lose the ability to produce lactase, the enzyme that digests the sugar in milk. This creates what is known as a lactose intolerance. Studies show that three out of every four adults in the United States have some degree of lactose intolerance and are therefore unable to digest milk properly. When they include dairy products in their diet they experience lower energy, their bodies produce more mucus in an immune reaction, and they experience food sensitivity reactions with symptoms that can include mood swings, depression, aches and pains and many other undermining issues, often with no sense of what has been causing them. UNDERMINES HEALTH Milk is the most common food allergen in the western world. Wheat follows close behind. But you find milk in one form or another just about everywhere—in cheese, cream, foods with cream sauces, yogurt, ice cream, breads, and all sorts of other manufactured food products. There is also strong evidence that milk—the pure white food which we are continually told will give us good bones, strong hair and “a lot of bottle”—is toxic to many. Dr Daniel Cramer at Harvard Medical School discovered that using milk products increases the risk of ovarian cancer in lactose-intolerant women. After extensive analysis of lactose-intolerant women in 36 countries, as well as meticulous examination of human and animal studies, researchers concluded that galactose, one of the milk sugars, is toxic to the ovaries and interferes with fertility. It may even trigger birth defects. According to Executive Director of The Dairy Education Board, Robert Cohen and many others, the consumption of milk and milk and milk products are in no small part to blame for a long list of health problems: rheumatoid arthritis stroke kidney stones acne heart disease multiple sclerosis diabetes breast cancer REAL MILK IS DIFFERENT Milk that comes from pastured cows containing all the natural fat, has not been processed and is not pasteurized or homogenized is the way to go, provided you are one of the lucky ones whose body can handle milk without any of the negative side effects. It is taken from healthy cows under sanitary conditions. Raw milk is full of natural components which kill pathogens in the human body and strengthen the immune system: Lacto-peroxidase and lactoferrin as well as anti-microbial components in blood, helpful carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), healthy fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), and wonderful enzymes to aid digestion as well as growth factors, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B12-binding protein. These natural ingredients in real raw milk are inactivated and destroyed when milk is pasteurized. Yet the huge dairy industry and governments continue to spread false information about the “dangers” of real milk and even to forbid its sale in some countries. WHAT ABOUT CALCIUM? Far from turning to milk as a source of calcium, most men and women who value wellbeing and good looks would be better off clearing out milk and milk products from their diet altogether. But hear this: If you are going to cut milk out of your diet, you need to get rid of anything that might contain milk products such as milk solids, sodium caseinate, sodium lactate, milk fats, whey, or lactose. So read labels carefully. As for taking pills, a number of researchers have shown that calcium supplements do little to stop the loss of cortical bone tissue. They have virtually no effect at all on trabecular bone in the spine and the hip, where most osteoporotic fractures occur. Yet having been told it again and again, most people still believe that the best source of calcium is milk or milk products. Of course, the question which is rarely asked is: Where does the calcium in milk come from in the first place? EAT YOUR GREENS Cows get calcium from eating green foods—grass, silage, herbs and plants. Only plants can take the calcium from the soil and turn it into a form available for absorption by animals. Beetroot tops, chinese leaves, roquette, lettuce, seaweeds, herbs and broad-leafed green vegetables are all excellent sources of calcium. A cup of any of these vegetables supplies as much calcium as a cup of milk. And vegetable-based calcium is easily assimilated, along with a collection of other important minerals and trace elements, without having to deal with possible negative side-effects of using milk products. Include plenty of leafy green vegetables in your meals and you’ll need never give calcium another thought. Incidentally, the reason why taking calcium supplements or drinking masses of milk has no effect in halting osteoporosis is this: The problem is not an absence of calcium in the body, but rather a disorder in calcium metabolism. A DELICATE PROCESS Calcium metabolism is a very complex process. In most people, absorption of calcium in general tends to be highly inefficient. Only somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of the calcium you take in through your foods will actually be absorbed. The rest gets filtered through your blood and then excreted in urine and sweat, or eliminated through the feces. Many factors influence just how much calcium your body will absorb at any time. When you are growing rapidly or when you place stress on your bones doing weight bearing exercise, your absorption of calcium is increased. When your body is in great need of calcium it is also absorbed more effectively. In fact, the smaller the supply of calcium available from your foods and the greater the need your body has for this mineral, the more efficient calcium absorption becomes. The opposite is also true. When large quantities of calcium are available—say if someone has been drinking a lot of milk, or has taken masses of calcium supplements as many women do—then the absorption of calcium is markedly decreased. It is worth remembering that in the United States, where the consumption of calcium supplements and milk products is highest in the world, so too is the incidence of osteoporosis. METABOLIC KEYS For calcium to function properly in relation to bone building, it has to be accompanied by phosphorus—but not too much—as well as magnesium, Vitamins A, B6, C, D, E and K. Zinc is also important, since zinc is a co-factor in the intra-cellular conversion of beta carotene to Vitamin A which in turn helps manufacture the collagen matrix of bone. Zinc has to be present in sufficient quantities for the body's enzymes to make the conversion. Even the trace elements boron and silicon, which are needed only in the most minute quantities, play important roles in bone strength. ALL POWERFUL MAGNESIUM What surprises most women—doctors too, for that matter—is that it is taking extra magnesium that can make the greatest difference to good calcium metabolism. Magnesium is another element essential for the proper metabolism of calcium. Magnesium probably acts as a catalyst for more enzymes in the body than any other mineral, in fact. Magnesium is plentiful in whole grains—brown rice, buckwheat, millet, whole wheat, whole rye and in legumes such as beans, lentils and peas, but low in highly processed foods. Adequate magnesium helps the body absorb calcium. Where there is a magnesium deficiency, not only can osteoporosis develop easily; so can joint and soft tissue calcification. Low intracellular magnesium undermines immune functions too, making women susceptible to infection and such hard-to-handle conditions as M.E. in which women with low intracellular magnesium have been found to have unnaturally shaped bone mineral crystals. Magnesium deficiency is common in both men and women with osteoporosis. Milk is relatively deficient in magnesium—another reason why it is a poor food for protection against osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiencies are particularly widespread in women over 35 who have long been living on the standard diet of convenience foods. PMS expert Guy Abraham MD showed that giving women 600mg of magnesium a day could bring about a significant increase in bone mass in nine months, although the women he treated were also given other vitamins and minerals as well as HRT, so it is impossible to determine just how much of the improvement was due to the magnesium. In an Israeli study, however, where 31 post menopausal women were given between 250-750mg of magnesium a day for two years, bone density increased between 1-8 percent in 75 percent of the cases and remained unchanged in the remaining 25 percent, while women who refused magnesium supplements altogether experienced losses in bone density of 1-3 percent. START EARLY IF YOU CAN Osteoporosis prevention is best started early—preferably in the teens, twenties and thirties, while the density of bones is still increasing. This makes it easy to build good strong bones and to establish good habits that can carry you through the second half of your life with no trouble. If you are female and osteoporosis has already begun, you may want to make use of topically applied, natural progesterone cream to help restore normal bone density, then keep you permanently osteoporosis-free. Finally, just in case all this sounds like a tall order, take heart. The benefits an osteoporosis-protective lifestyle can bring to overall health and good looks are immense. Such a lifestyle helps keep your immune system functioning well, helping to protect you from illness, countering early aging and degeneration, and enhancing your energy all round. Such a program begun at any age can make you look and feel great. Learn more: http://www.realmilk.com http://www.llli.org/FAQ/bflength.html http://www.notmilk.com/ http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 18th of September 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.71 lb
for women
-1.05 lb
for men
-0.71 lb
for women
-1.05 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 18th of September 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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