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beauty

To me there is nothing more beautiful than the unique nature of a human being, that “seed power” within each of us which carries the genetic potentials of what we can become

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Hair Inside

Hair Inside

The type, the length of growth, thickness, thinness, straightness, and curl of your hair depend on your inheritance, but the condition of your hair depends on the internal state of your body, which feeds the papillae that produce it. For hair to be beautiful, the cuticle and the cortex have to be strong. It has always amused me when I hear hairdressers arguing about whether or not diet has anything to do with the beauty of hair, because it does, as any farmer knows well. Not only can you change the look of an animal's hair by altering its diet (and that goes for the human animal too), you can also tell a great deal about its internal condition by examining its hair. If you have a sheep that is poorly, its coat shows it. Horses, dogs, and cats are given special vitamin and mineral supplements to improve their coats for shows. But only recently has this aspect of hair care even begun to be looked at for human beings. What occurs in each hair follicle depends on the current nutritional state of your bloodstream and on adequate oxygen reaching the cells. So true is this that when you put someone on a poor diet, you will detect detrimental changes in the hair bulb even on the second day of the regimen. In a study of people placed on a protein-free diet for fifteen days, researchers have found that hairs plucked from their heads and then analyzed microscopically showed significant changes in color, texture, and structure - damage that took some time to correct. The worst thing you can do for your hair is to go on a crash diet for weight loss or live on typical Western fare, high in refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and white sugar. Both upset the vitamin and mineral balance in your body, and adequate vitamins and minerals are vital to hair. silica Probably the most important element of all for strong beautiful hair is silica. A French biochemist, Professor Louis Kervran, began in 1949 to study the effects of trace elements on living organisms and became fascinated with silica's health-enhancing effects on the hair, bones and nails as well as the whole human body. Kervran was aware that many people in the West, unbeknown to them, have subclinical deficiencies of silica because of our depleted soils and highly processed foods. He also knew that a good supply of organic silica in the form of a nutritional supplement was hard to come by and that taking unprocessed silica direct from the horsetail plant as a ground-up herb can lead to gastric irritation. Kervran worked for several years to develop a revolutionary technique of deriving a natural silica extract using no chemicals or solvents that would respect the integrity of the wonderful complex of nutrients and plant substances which are bound together with the organic silica in horsetail. The result is a plant-derived supplement with a remarkable ability to support the body's metabolic processes involved in rebuilding the collagen of connective tissue, the ground substance in which it sits. One more bonus: Because of its ability to bind and keep minerals in living tissue and to strengthen the keratin bonds, supplemental organic silica improves the strength and beauty of hair and nails better than anything I have ever come across. As you get older the amount of silica present in your body decreases year by year. With the decrease comes increasing weakness and fragility of hair, nails, connective tissue, veins, the ground substance of skin and arteries. Most women notice a difference within three to six weeks of beginning to take silica. Make sure the kind you buy has been processed without chemicals and is highly bio-available - which means in a form your body can easily make use of (see resources). You should never take powdered horsetail herb incidentally, for it is extremely irritating to the intestines.  Besides which your body will be able to make very little use of the silica present since very little of it will be bio-available. sea help Another source of plant complexes particularly useful in creating strong hair and nails are sea plants. All seaweed - from kelp to dulse, to the Japanese foods like nori and kombu - are rich in the minerals which your body's metabolic processes require to function properly. In a time when our foods are becoming increasingly depleted in important minerals and trace elements the use of plants from the sea becomes more and more important. Even things which your system requires in minute quantities such as vanadium, chromium, and lithium to help replenish the body's supplies are found in sea plants. Sea plants also tend to be rich in special forms of fiber called the alginates which have the ability to bind and remove heavy metals from the body. And they are rich in organic iodine which, used both internally and externally, tends to stimulate metabolic processes. A good supplement of sea plants which have been collected from unpolluted waters and then `atomized' or broken into very fine particles can offer another source of important metabolic support on any anti-cellulite regime. This process of atomization is very important in choosing any supplement based on sea plants. For seaweed tends to have very hard cell walls and unless these plants are extracted or their cell walls are exploded to make their mineral contents more easy for the body to absorb, much of the metabolic treasures they contain remain little available to the body. When choosing a good supplement of sea plants it is also important to make sure their source is unpolluted waters. For like fish that live in chemically contaminated waters these plants can absorb many negative elements which can badly disturb body ecology and which you certainly do not want in your body. iron One of hair's most important minerals is iron. If you are anemic or iron-deficient, your hair will tend to be brittle, lusterless, and hard to manage. It may also be thinner than is normal for you. Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition often implicated in excessive hair loss. If you have any of these hair difficulties, it is worthwhile having a serum iron test (which measures the total amount of iron in your bloodstream) and a total iron-binding-capacity test (which gives the ratio of blood iron to the blood's total capacity to hold iron). If your serum iron is low then your hair would probably benefit from iron therapy. Your doctor can arrange these tests for you. And it is important to remember, whether or not you take iron supplements, that vitamin C enhances iron absorption by helping ferric iron to be reduced to its ferrous form; also iron is best absorbed when calcium is present in sufficient quantities. sulfur Another important mineral for hair is the "beauty mineral," sulfur. It keeps your hair glossy and smooth. Sulfur is one of the constituents of keratin. When it is supplied in adequate amounts, your hair is strong. Eggs are particularly rich in the sulfur containing amino acids and are excellent hair food. Other natural sources include cabbage, dried beans, legumes, fish, nuts, and meat. zinc Research has established that a zinc deficiency is commonly the cause of hair damage in animals. It is probably true of humans as well and is certainly one of the factors contributing to the hair loss that women on the Pill or oestrogen therapy experience, since the hormones reduce zinc levels in the body. But the Pill can have other effects detrimental to hair too. It lowers blood levels of vitamins B12, B6, and B2, increasing your body's need for these vitamins as well as folic acid, vitamin C, and the trace minerals zinc and iron. If you are an oestrogen taker and your hair is giving you trouble, it may be helpful to take supplements of these nutrients. the B Vitamins The B-complex vitamins are particularly important to hair health and beauty. Deficiencies of biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and PABA can lead to a loss of color, and there has even been some success in reversing the graying process by giving supplements of these nutrients - particularly megavitamin doses of PABA. One researcher claims to have restored color to graying hair in 70 percent of cases. A lack of any of the B complex vitamins can result in hair troubles and losses. Vitamins B1, B2, and B12 are particularly important in invigorating lackluster hair, dandruff, scaling, redness of the scalp and hair loss, Vitamin C is important too, because it maintains the health and strength of the capillaries supplying your hair-producing follicles with nourishment. If your levels of vitamin C are too low, this results in perifollicular hemorrhages, in which these capillaries break and bleed, which results in improper nourishment to the papillae. How fast your hair can grow depends on adequate - but not too much - protein, since more than adequate amounts can deplete your body of the minerals it needs. The widespread notion propounded by many glossy magazines that if you eat lots of meat and drink milk several times a day you will have strong and beautiful hair is simply untrue. It is the right balance of nutrients that is most important. The condition of your hair is greatly affected by medicines that you take - and I don't just mean antibiotics and sulfa drugs, although these two are common culprits for causing trouble. But aspirin, the Pill, diet pills, tranquilizers, thyroid pills, cortisone, anticancer drugs, and even cold remedies are a common cause of brittleness, dullness, breakage, and loss. Hair follicles are ultrasensitive to hormones. If you are taking a birth-control pill and having trouble with your hair, this could be why. Try another form of contraception.

Hair Help

Hair Help

There are a lot of things you can do for your hair and with your hair to make it more attractive, and more manageable, but it is important to realize from the beginning that you have to work with what you've got. There is no way to change your genetic inheritance, and it is fruitless to worry about it. No woman is ever satisfied with her hair. When it is straight, she wants it curly, and when it is wavy, she wants it straight. The color is either too light, too dark, or too drab, and she either has too much or too little of it. what type are you? Straight hair is often strong and beautiful hair. It can be lank, in which case you should work it with a `stripping' shampoo which will enlarge the shaft of each hair and make it look fuller. If it is lackluster, go for a conditioner to make the scales of the cuticle lie flat and enable hair shafts to reflect light better. Straight hair is often good blunt cut and worn not too long, or tied up in a twist, a braid, or a chignon. Curly hair needs to be carefully cut, for this can make all the difference between its looking fantastic and frizzy. It is best not to impose a particular style on your hair, but rather to go with the natural swing of things. If your hair tends to be wiry, you can correct this by using a softening conditioner. Thin hair must never be allowed to get greasy, for excess of oil on it will only make it look limp and lank. It is usually best to have it cut in a short style, and it is useful to shampoo it often using a shampoo that contains no conditioners, and then use a volumizer - a spray or gel containing polymers which you apply to wet hair before blow-drying. The heat from the dryer swells the polymers that cover the hair shaft, making it look thicker. This will give it bounce and fullness. Blowing it dry helps increase the fullness too. Fine hair is delicate hair, but it is usually beautiful hair, too, like a baby's. Unlike thin hair, which is caused by a paucity of hair shafts, fine hair is made up of hair shafts of small diameter. You have to be particularly careful about what you do to it, because fine hair is the easiest of all hair types to damage from chemical treatments such as coloring or by using shampoos that are too alkaline, or by exposing it to heat or even the sun. Fine hair does well on protein shampoos and needs to be cut superbly and worn short unless you have a great deal of it. Volumizers are useful here, too. Thick hair is a blessing, although few women who have it realize this - particularly if their hair is curly. In this case, you should probably not wear it too short, or it can be unmanageable. Thick hair is the easiest to handle and the toughest. It will withstand chemical treatments and coloring far better than any of the other hair types and may not even need a conditioner at all when it is washed. If it is straight and you decide to have it chemically curled then you should expect the waving process to take at least a third as long again as it usually does, because the hair shaft is big and tough to break down. But the effects can last you as much as a year, where anyone else's will have to be renewed in a few months. hair loss Each day, you can expect to lose between 100 and 200 hairs. So you shouldn't be discouraged when you look down at the pillow in the morning to see a few lying there. This only means that new hairs will quickly be growing. That is, provided your hair is not coming out by the handful. Sometimes, as a result of sudden shock, hormonal change, or illness, large numbers of hairs are lost all at once. Even this is nothing to worry about unduly, so long as whatever triggered the loss is either past (as in the case of childbirth) or being corrected with a relaxation technique and dietary supplements for undue stress or illness. the cut is the thing A good cut is more important than any other single factor when it comes to the way a head of hair looks. Everyone is an individual, and hairstyling that doesn't take this into account is worse than second-rate. Changing your cut or style every year or two keeps you from getting stuck in a time warp and can lift spirits like nothing else short of falling in love. hair cosmetics perms There are two types of perms: acid-based which are soft and used to give a subtle lift at the roots to create an illusion of fullness; and the conventional alkaline perms. Acid or `body' perms don't last as long as the rest and need to be redone every three or four months. They are more natural and soft-looking, adding fullness and swing to hair without heavy curls. caring for processed hair Provided your hair is healthy and you look after it well after a perm, there is no reason to worry about its condition being spoiled by the waving. A perm will add a lot of body to lank hair and can often improve an over-oily condition as well. Once your hair is waved, it is more vulnerable to damage than ever before, so there are a few special precautions you need to take in order to preserve its health and sheen. For instance only use acid-balanced shampoos when you wash your hair, and always apply an acid rinse such as lemon juice in water. Protein treatments are particularly good for permed and colored hair. Also, instead of brushing 50 strokes a day, cut it down to 20. If your hair has been bleached or tinted, it is a good idea only to have an acid wave especially designed for bleached or damaged hair. They don't last so long, but they do ensure that the hair remains in good condition. straightening hair Aside from chemical straightening, there are also some short-term but simple ways to straighten hair. It can be done by blow-drying with a brush to smooth it out or by washing your hair and then wrapping it wet around your head in a circle, like a cap, fastening it with clips and letting it dry. Then, when it is dry, you simply comb it out straighter. You can use hair straighteners, and you could always use the old-fashioned and very efficient method for long, curly hair -  simply ironing it with an electric iron. Spread the hair out on a board, keep the iron on the lowest setting, and go over it gently from roots to ends. But the same applies as for blow drying and using heated rollers - be careful not to put too much heat on your hair. Burnt hair is irretrievably lost. a change of color One of the simplest and most effective ways of changing your appearance is to change the color of your hair. As we get older, the color of hair tends to fade so that a once shimmery golden mane or deep mahogany tresses can become lackluster and dull. Hair coloring these days is effective and reasonably priced and can look even better than most natural hair - provided, of course, it is done correctly. There are two categories of hair colorants: permanent colorants, which cannot be washed out, and the temporary and semipermanent, which can be used to highlight and intensify your own hair color. temporary colorants These are the easiest to use. They coat the cuticle of the hair with color that washes away with the next shampoo. You can get temporary highlighting shampoos and color rinses in a great variety of colors and most of them have a shine-promoting pH, too. But what you can do with them is limited, for while they will darken the hair - say from blonde to red or to black - they are really designed for minor color changes only. If you try to go too many shades away from your natural color, they tend to streak and give uneven coverage and also they cannot make your hair lighter. semipermanents Like the temporaries, they, too, coat the outside of the hair shaft and so are not good for drastically changing hair color. Nor will they lighten. Some of the semi-permanents are `color baths' which penetrate the hair so that they last up to a dozen shampoos. What they are good for is touching up hair that has just started to go gray, highlighting your own natural coloring, and making gray hair look shinier and more attractive without really changing its shade. If you use one, be sure to use a pH-balanced shampoo and a lemon and water rinse afterwards. permanents There are three kinds of permanent hair colorants: vegetable dyes such as henna, metallic dyes such as those used to gradually cover gray hair, and the aniline dyes or oxidation tints, which include most of the colorants used professionally in salons. vegetable dyes Henna will give brunette and black hair a lovely reddish glow.  The darker your hair the more chestnut is the effect. Lighter hair goes Titian. Henna does not do well on mousy hair, as the resulting tone is usually an unattractive orange. It should never be used over a tint, is no good on gray hair, and can be very drying to any hair, so it is better to avoid it if your hair is already dry. The only color of henna you should use is red which in its natural, powder form, is a pale green. The standard way of using henna is to add hot water to make a creamy paste and then put this on the hair and leave it for up to one hour. Daniel Galvin, Britain's top colorist, who is an expert in the use of herbal hair colorings, uses a different method and gets beautiful results. He adds hot black coffee to the powder, mixes it into a paste, and then adds the juice of a fresh lemon and the yolk of an egg. The coffee brings out the depth and richness of the hair color, the acid in the lemon accelerates the reddening, and the egg yolk keeps the mixture moist and easy to maneuver through the hair. Sometimes he also adds some 10 per cent peroxide to lighten the whole effect. Chamomile, another herbal colorant, has a gentle lightening effect on hair and is wonderful for `sun-streaking' blonde and light brown hair. But you must be patient, for it takes several applications and plenty of time to work. It is not useful for brown hair or dark hair, but it will gently lighten red and works beautifully on all shades of natural blonde. The herb also adds shine to the hair. You can make a chamomile rinse to use after each shampoo (as the last rinse) by taking 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and tossing them into a pint of boiling water. Simmer for fifteen minutes, strain, cool and use as a final rinse (you can make enough for several rinses and refrigerate it for up to ten days). You leave the rinse in your hair and towel it dry. metallic dyes These are often called color restorers. They deposit metallic dyes and salts of various metals such as manganese, cobalt, silver, and copper on your hair shaft, which gradually darken the hair. But hair dyed this way does not perm well, nor is its condition very good, as this kind of dye tends to make the hair look a dull, flat color. Metallic dyes have to be removed completely, with the use of a special preparation, several days before waving or tinting with a permanent colorant. Because of their many disadvantages, I think they are best avoided. THE ANILINE OR OXIDATION COLORANTS The most permanent (and the most successful), these dyes are included in a number of products for coloring hair such as tinting shampoos, highlighting shampoos, and the single-step and double-step permanent colorants you can buy in packages at the chemist. They are permanent dyes, because the artificial pigment is made to penetrate into the cortex of the hair shaft. There it stays. How this happens is most interesting. Tiny molecules of colorless dye are mixed with a "developer" such as hydrogen peroxide and then put on the hair. The hydrogen peroxide opens up the imbrications of the cuticle, and the molecules enter through them into the cortex. Once inside, they react with the oxygen from the peroxide (a very unstable substance), which spurs the molecules of the dye to oxidize and combine, forming larger molecules. In the process, these new and larger molecules develop the desired color, but they have now become so large that they can no longer pass through the cuticle, so they get stuck on the inside. There are more than 50,000 aniline dyes, each different in shade, thanks to slight changes in arrangements of their molecules. They are potent and effective. They are also potential allergens, since about one woman in ten cannot tolerate an aniline dye without reacting adversely to it. This is why it is important, whenever using a permanent colorant on your hair either at home or at the hairdresser, that a patch test be done first. The anilines can even cause blindness, so they should never be used to tint eyelashes or eyebrows. If you have your hair dyed with an aniline dye, you must wait at least a week before having it permanent-waved or straightened, and you must use a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner every time you wash it. One of the advantages of the anilines is that tinting limp, straight hair can often make it more manageable, since the peroxide in the dye disturbs the cuticle just enough to give the hair some body and eliminate its lankness. In this category of hair colorant you will find shampoo tints and highlight shampoos, which can be used at home to cover gray if there is too much of it, to lighten hair a couple of shades, to add depth, or to highlight hair that is drab and dull. You put the products on as you would an ordinary shampoo and then leave them in the hair for a few minutes while the peroxide and dye does its work, and then rinse off. They are simple to use. The single and double-step tints also fall into this category. They are the dyes most frequently used by hairdressers. If you want to change the color of your hair dramatically, you should have it done professionally. There is quite an art to color mixing and application (I know women who literally fly 5,000 miles to have their color done by someone who is a real master at it). Although there are some excellent products available for home use, if it were my hair, I would still shun them and head for a salon that specializes in color. The single-step tints are a mixture of aniline dyes, peroxide, and ammonia in an oil base. They are applied carefully to sectioned hair, starting an inch or so away from the roots to the end. The hair is left to sit for a few minutes and then the root area is done. The hair is rested for another half hour or so. These dyes can change the color of your hair to almost any other color, but they are not successful in changing very dark shades to blonde. For that, you need a two-step tint, which bleaches out the existing pigment in the hair shafts in the first step and then adds dye separately in the second. All aniline dyes and bleaching procedures have to be touched up often as the roots grow out, particularly if you change the color drastically from your normal hair shade. They also cause considerable damage to the hair shaft. If you have your hair tinted with them; you must look after it using a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner and having a protein treatment every couple of weeks. HIGHLIGHTS One of the best and most easily manageable ways of changing your hair color is to have it highlighted or lowlighted. This involves the same procedures as the single-and double-step tinting, but instead of being done all over your head, they are done only on some strands or areas. Highlighting and lowlighting are particularly useful for older hair that has darkened or faded. Highlights can bring new life to a head of hair by lightening some of the strands, but they create no harsh lines between the tinted and natural hair at the scalp, as total dyeing does. Lowlights add a color slightly darker to some strands. They are done just as highlights are by wrapping strands of hair in foil-covered bunches, letting the color develop and then being washed out. Both highlights and lowlights look natural and as they leave no hard-edged margins at the roots so they only need to be redone three or four times a year. This means that you don't need touchups more frequently than every two or three months. There are an enormous number of techniques used in highlighting. Some of the most interesting involve three or more colors put into the hair to give a remarkably natural look. SPECIAL CARE FOR BLEACHED OR TINTED HAIR The golden rule for processed hair is to stay out of the sun. The sun does harm in two ways: It dries out the hair, and it alters the color. Keratin needs water to stay soft and flexible. When too much water is lost as a result of sun or of using heated rollers or of blow-drying too often, then its fibres crack and split and the hair becomes so dry and brittle that it breaks off. It also loses its shine. Sunlight does strange things to hair color by oxidising it. It can turn it greenish or very brassy, or simply make the tint go flat and gray. If you are going into the sun and your hair is bleached or tinted, wear a hat or a towel wrapped around it. Even virgin - that is, untreated - hair needs protection from sunlight. You can use one of the sunscreen products especially made for hair or simply rub in some of the high-protection suntan lotion you use on your body shampooing it out at the end of the day. WHAT ABOUT CANCER RISKS? There is some indication that about 1 percent of the chemical hair dyes used on hair will penetrate through the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream. The question is, what damage will they do? Professor Bruce Ames, at the University of California, has tested 169 hair dyes on bacterial cells to find out if they cause mutations to the cells. Of these, 89 percent were found to be mutagenic. Although all carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) are mutagenic, not all mutagens are carcinogens, nor do we know if the same results will occur on human cells. The people most at risk from exposure to hair tints are those hair colorists in salons who use them daily without wearing gloves (something you should never do). It is unlikely that cancer risks are very great for the average woman who has her hair tinted. If you are uneasy about it, use one of the semipermanents or herbal dyes instead.

The Cellulite Story

The Cellulite Story

Cellulite makes everybody uneasy - from the woman who worries about her orange peel thighs to the British or American 'obesity expert' intent on proving that fat is fat, cellulite is nothing more than a figment of foolish women's imagination, and what any woman with lumpy thighs should do is get down to a good old calorie-controlled diet to shed it. Even staunch feminists who write hard-hitting polemics about the coercion of women by the beauty industry get het up about cellulite. It is, they insist, something invented by fashion magazines to make women feel bad about themselves. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of women with the problem bemoan their fate at having contracted a "nonexistent" condition and hope that if only they spend a little more money or endure a little more discomfort from one of the high-tech treatments - being pricked with multi-injector syringes or subjected to brutal pummeling for instance - it will make her legs smooth, sleek and svelte. banishing disbelief I've seen medical papers from all over Europe and America on cellulite, its cause and its development as well as proposed solutions to this lumpy bumpy flesh which can mar the thighs of even the leanest women. As of this moment literally hundreds of medical references to cellulite exist, some of them going back a hundred and fifty years. Next time someone tries to tell you you are imagining pea d'orange thighs smile knowingly and ignore them. None of the theories, analyses and descriptions of elaborate chemical treatments for cellulite have the full answer. In part this is because cellulite is a difficult condition to study in vivo - within the body of a woman who has it - since this means performing a biopsy of the tissue which is a painful medical process. In part it is because cellulite is a many-facetted syndrome with no single cause and no single effective treatment.

A Benevolent Bath

A Benevolent Bath

Allow an hour for the whole process of taking a delicious treat of a bath from beginning to end. Make sure you have everything you need - towel, loofa or hemp glove, and another towel to use as a headrest. Add essential oils to the water as the bath is filling, using about ten to fifteen drops total of either a single essence or of a mixture for a large bath. Each essence has a different effect on the mind and body (see below).  When you get into the bath, gently scrub yourself all over with a hemp glove or a loofa. Then just relax and soak for a few minutes, letting the heat penetrate your muscles.  Keep a cool cloth nearby to smooth over your face when needed. Let the essential oils work their wonders while you carry out a relaxing and waste-eliminating self-massage.  Water is the perfect medium for self-massage. The heat (remember not to have your bath too hot and stimulating) of the water works silent wonders, and it supports your body so that you have easy access to feet, legs, arms and torso while still remaining relaxed. When your bath is finished, lie down for ten minutes with an eye mask or a piece of dark fabric across your eyes and keep warm. the massage message Self-massage is nothing more than stroking, kneading, pushing and pressing your skin and muscles. Start with your feet. Grasp one foot between thumb and fingers and press in between the tendons, gently at first, then harder and harder, moving from the toes up towards the ankle. Then, using your fingertips and knuckles, go over the soles of your feet. Wherever you find a sore spot, work harder until you feel the discomfort melt beneath your hand. Now do your heel, grasping it between thumb and fingers and working around the area of the Achilles tendon. This is also a good time to make circles with your foot to loosen the ankle joint. Repeat this with the other foot, and then go on to your legs. Lift each leg in turn and deeply stroke the flesh on the back, from the ankle up to the knee. Then go back to the ankle again and repeat the same motions on the side and front of the calf. Keep working and, as you massage a little deeper with each stroke, you will gradually find that any tautness softens. Now go over your thighs with the same movement, and afterwards knead and squeeze around the knee area wherever there are trouble spots, just as you did on the feet. Now knead each thigh and hip. Then go on to your arms. Knead and squeeze every spot you can reach on your shoulders and neck, looking for sore spots and focusing on the areas between joints and muscles. Pay particular attention to the tops of shoulders, where most of us lock away our tension. Grasp this area in your thumb and fingers and insistently ease away any hardness you find there. Finally, go over your ribs, doing each side with its opposite hand. essence alchemy As part of the benevolent bath, choose essential oils not so much for what they can do for your skin as what they can do to expand your consciousness and lift your spirit. Whatever your mental state may be, it has an enchanting antidote from the world of flowers: Negative State Essential Oil Remedy anger: ylang ylang, rose, chamomile resentment: rose sadness: hyssop, marjoram, sandalwood mental fatigue: basil, peppermint, cypress, patchouli worry: lavender feeling jaded: neroli, melissa, camphor feelings of weakness: chamomile, jasmine, melissa irritability: frankincense, marjoram, lavender, chamomile physical exhaustion: jasmine, rosemary, juniper, patchouli anxiety: sage, juniper, basil, jasmine

Secrets Of Ageless Skin

Secrets Of Ageless Skin

Your skin doesn’t age by accident or just because time passes. It loses tone and texture when the order, energy, physiological and biological integrity of your body’s living matrix becomes undermined. Many factors can cause this to happen. But none is more insidious or sinister than chronic high levels of blood sugar and insulin which now threaten the majority of the population of the developed world. Stop this from happening to your own body, and you can not only slow skin aging. You can reverse its signs. You will also help yourself avoid degenerative illnesses and prevent weight gain. WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD Sugar destroys your skin. And I don’t just mean the white stuff that sits in bowls. Most of the foods we eat these days—from pasta and bread to packaged cereals and bagels—within a few minutes of entering the body flood the bloodstream with glucose. The reasons for this are simple and genetic. Yet for almost four generations, they have continued to elude most scientists, nutritionists, government bodies such as the FDA, and doctors. Grain-based foods and sugary foods are a recent invention. For over a million years of evolution, the human body never encountered them. Because genetic adaptation is a slow process—it can take one hundred thousand years for a significant alteration in even one gene to take place—our bodies do not have the ability to deal with sugars and starches in quantity for long periods. Yet such foods form the majority of stuff that people buy and eat. Our packaged convenience foods are based on them. Most are also riddled with junk fats and chemicals. These days, even smoked salmon and luncheon meats have sugars added to them. These manufactured products make up the largest portion of most people’s diets. When the body is forced to handle them (and most governments are still trying to sell us the false notion that a high-carb diet is good for health), it rebels. What form this insurrection takes depends on our genetic vulnerabilities. For some, it can show up as adult onset Type II diabetes. Others get fat and experience energy swings, high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol issues, and/or chronic fatigue. When it comes to skin, these carbs and sugar itself fabricate wrinkles, sags, puffy faces and lackluster complexions. This produces a situation where, even when you know all of this, you can find yourself with so little energy that you wonder if you are able to do anything about it. THE WRINKLE MONSTER When it comes to carbs and sugars, the wrinkle monster is two faced. To escape his insidious attacks, you need to understand and conquer both. First there is the all-encompassing glucose-insulin battle you need to win, probably after years of living and eating the way that, for the past 60 years, we have been urged to do by the powers-that-be. The monster’s second face focuses on the way excess glucose damages the body’s proteins. It attacks skin cells and collagen fibers leading to what are known as advanced glycosylation end products or AGEs. These nasties act like terrorists, wreaking havoc within your living matrix. AGEs cause the skin’s collagen proteins to cross-link, producing wrinkles, sags and bags on your face. Defeat the first face of the wrinkle monster and the second loses a lot of its power. Your skin will respond by literally rejuvenating itself. So will your whole body, and in medically measurable ways too. ALL POWERFUL HORMONE Insulin is the most important hormone in determining how quickly or slowly your body ages. This was one of the most important discoveries made during the past half-century. It began with the work of a brilliant American endocrinologist named Gerald Reaven. In the 1980s, Reaven identified a collection of abnormalities—high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol levels, and others which physicians commonly worry about, as they are viewed as biomarkers of illness and aging. These abnormalities, which generally occur together, have now reached epidemic proportions. They are major triggers in the development of degenerative diseases from heart disease and diabetes to including the dreaded skin-wrinkling and rapid aging. Professor Reaven named this collection of abnormalities Syndrome X—insulin resistance syndrome—which is now more widely known as Metabolic Syndrome. Although this condition often remains hidden to the person who falls prey to it, Metabolic Syndrome is a life-threatening, rapidly aging, perversion of body metabolism which we bring on ourselves—in small part by a sedentary lifestyle, but, most important of all, by having lived for decades on a carbohydrate and sugar-intensive diet. What is scary is that 95 percent of the population of English speaking countries still do. WORTHY OPPONENTS In your body, insulin and sugar are antagonists. In other words, they are meant to balance each other metabolically. All carbohydrate foods—from muffins to breads, cereals and packaged convenience foods—turn into glucose when you eat them. Insulin has two jobs to perform: First, when glucose from these foods enters the bloodstream, it is supposed to control blood sugar levels. Second, it is meant to see that glucose gets turned into the energy your body needs for health. In a healthy body, where blood sugar is balanced and in control, you have a good supply of ongoing energy. You don’t suffer from energy or mood swings during the day or at certain times of the month. It is insulin secreted from the pancreas which manages this. It responds to the level of glucose present in the blood from moment to moment. The more glucose there is, the more insulin it secretes to balance it. The less glucose present, the less insulin gets shunted into your blood. MASTER OF ENERGY Insulin’s second job is equally important. It has to do with getting all this circulating sugar into your body’s cells, where little energy factories there known as mitochondria can turn it into ATP—the currency your body uses to run metabolic processes, to make hormones, to repair damage to DNA and keep the body functioning well. The way it does this is interesting. On the surface of each cell there are receptor sites specifically for insulin. They are like locks that only the “key”, namely insulin, can open, so that this important pancreatic hormone can carry out its second major task: Escorting glucose inside the cell so its mitochondria can get on with their energy-producing. It’s a great system. But it was never designed to handle the onslaught of carbs and sugar which, for three or four generations, we’ve been forcing it to handle. After years of breakfast cereals and toast, sugary sweets and treats, the pancreas is forced to produce so much insulin in an attempt to limit high levels of sugar in the blood that it becomes trigger-happy. Day after day, month after month, it secretes so much of the hormone. This continually forces blood sugar to drop too low, which causes those awful 11 AM and 3 PM blues. We get hungry, eat more carbs—trying to get back our energy—and wonder why we suffer. The pancreas can also grow weary of the task after a while and give out. HERE’S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE When high levels of unused glucose circulate in your body, they seriously disrupt the functions of the living matrix and cause rapid aging of skin and the whole body. For when glucose cannot be turned into energy in your body, it poisons it. Habitual eating of high-carb meals and snacks shunts massive doses of glucose into your bloodstream. In an effort to maintain balance, the pancreas produces more insulin, keeping insulin levels too high for too long. This creates insulin resistance, interfering with your body’s ability to turn glucose into energy. You feel fatigued, may gain weight easily, become prone to cellulite and develop the medical abnormalities associated with Metabolic Syndrome. This also stimulates your liver to produce more triglycerides and pour them into your bloodstream. All this can produce mood swings and hormonal distortions. This distorts cholesterol levels and balance, increasing your risk of heart disease. It also bombards fat cells with extra calories they need to find a place for. If you are genetically prone to weight gain, you not only grow fat. You find it more and more difficult to shed weight. This in turn creates yet more insulin resistance, and can even start destroying the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. The energy, chemistry and physiology of the living matrix become disrupted. Cells no longer receive clear communications in this polluted medium. They become unable to effectively do the jobs they are meant to do. Skin shows the effects of all of this. It loses radiance, thins, sags, wrinkles and ages rapidly. Blotches appear. Spots, too, if you are genetically prone to them. You start to look tired, old beyond your years and, before long, you start to feel as bad as you look. Sorry for this long list of bad news. But it is important that you get a handle on how all this happens. The good news is you can actually reverse all of this by altering the kinds of foods you eat. DO WE NEED CARBS? A diet high in cereals, grains and sugars (the diet of 90% of the Western world) is the fastest way to ruin skin, get ill, age rapidly and get fat. Grains and sugars can undermine your immune system and make you susceptible not just to colds, but to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and coronary heart disease. Now, this is revolutionary stuff—as yet it’s known only to an elite few. On learning all of the above, the question most often asked is this: “Is a diet that is mostly or completely lacking in cereal-based, grain-based, sugar-based carbohydrates a healthy way of eating?” It’s little wonder that most of us don’t know this. For more than half a century, we’ve been told that we need lots of carbs for health and energy. WE DO NOT! Eating a diet that is low in convenience foods and grain-based, sugar-based, cereal-based carbohydrates but rich in low-sugar fruits and green vegetables, plus good quality proteins and good fats—coconut oil, butter from grass-fed cows and extra-virgin olive oil—ensures that you are never going to have a shortage of fuel for your body, nervous system or brain. You will not have to wrestle with insulin resistance, food cravings, blood-sugar-related health problems, weight gain or a poorly functioning immune system. What such a way of eating can do to regenerate and rejuvenate skin and slow skin wrinkling, sagging and spotting is little short of fabulous—no matter what your age.

A Woman's World

A Woman's World

To understand cellulite it is important to understand how your flesh is structured. Let's look at the deeper layers first. They are known as subcutaneous tissues. In your thighs, these are made up of three layers of fat with two planes of connective tissue and ground substance in between. This brings us to one of the interesting things about cellulite: It is almost always a female complaint. With a very few remarkable exceptions, men simply do not get it. In part this is hormonal. A woman's body is rich in female hormones such as oestrogen, which encourage the laying down of fat. (For years farmers injected oestrogen-like substances in cattle and chickens to fatten them rapidly for market.) This is also why cellulite tends first to appear during times of intense hormonal change such as puberty, pregnancy or when she goes onto a birth control pill. In part, however, cellulite is a woman's condition because the basic construction of subcutaneous tissue of the thigh differs in men and women. In women, the topmost subcutaneous layer is made up of what are termed large 'standing fat-cell chambers', which are separated by radial and arching dividing walls of connective tissue attached to the overlying tissue of the dermis or true skin. The uppermost part of the subcutaneous tissue of men is different. It is thinner, and there is a network of crisscrossing connective tissue walls which makes it harder for a man's body to lay down large fat cells and to trap stored wastes and water in the tissues. Also the corium - the connective tissue structure between the true skin and the deeper layers or hypodermis - is thicker in men than in women. You can check on these differences yourself by carrying out a 'pinch test'. It is only pinching the thighs of women that results in the 'mattress phenomenon' with its pitting, bulging and deformation of skin. Pinch the thighs of most men and you will get gentle skin folds or furrows, completely without bulges or pits. beware the ravages of time Age-related changes in women also encourage the build up of cellulite. For instance, as women get older, their skin gets progressively looser and thinner. This encourages the migration of fat cells into this layer. The connective tissue walls between the chambers of fat cells also get thinner allowing the fat-cell chambers to enlarge - a condition known as hypertrophy. This progressive thinning of connective tissue structures is another major factor in the development of cellulite and creates the granular texture and buckshot feel of much cellulite-riddled flesh. An examination of cellulite tissue under the microscope also reveals that a number of histological changes have taken place. They include a distension of the lymphatic vessels of the upper skin, for instance, and a decrease in the number of elastic fibers. The circulation of blood, too, has been slowed, and the connective fibers have undergone a sclerotic hardening, so that the fluids and the wastes they contain become trapped in an unpleasant network which pinches nerve endings (hence the pain in well developed cellulite) and create stasis in the tissue - rather like a polluted swamp - where energy exchange is reduced. The whole area takes on a deadened quality - a sure sign of poor body ecology.

How To Live Cellulite Free - Part 3

How To Live Cellulite Free - Part 3

Most cellulite begins with a stiffening of the septa locked into the surrounding network of connective tissue. Lymph circulation to and from this subcutaneous layer gets blocked by wastes we accumulate from a sedentary lifestyle and from eating foods which, unbeknown to most women, are anathema to their bodies. This causes the septa to become more fibrous, and to squeeze down on fat cells. It also deprives the area of oxygen and vital nutrients, preventing both fat and toxins from being cleared. Toxic build-up is not only a main cause of cellulite build-up. It is the reason that many women retain water, experience heavy leg syndrome, and find their feet and calves swelling on an airplane. One of the great gifts of the Rohsäfte-Kur which I wrote about last week is that, even when followed for only a few days, your body begins to eliminate toxic build-up that has become trapped in the connective tissues. Now, if you’re ready to banish cellulite forever, improve your health and life for the better, where do you begin?Start with this three step process—making changes in what you eat, in when you eat, and in what kind of exercise you do. It’s important to remember the following things if you want to become cellulite-free while growing healthier and leaner: Important Truths 1. Cellulite build-up is the result of hormone disregulation, toxic build-up and a sedentary lifestyle. 2. Insulin is your body’s primary regulator of fat storage and waste build up in the tissues.  When insulin levels are high—either long-term or simply after eating a meal—fat deposits accumulate and produce cellullite. When insulin levels are low, your body becomes able to release cellulite from septa-bound connective tissue, turning it into energy. 3. Grain-based and cereal-based carbohydrates are the major culprit behind cellulite as well as obesity, fatigue and chronic degenerative conditions. They negatively affect insulin secretion seriously disrupting the symphony of hormonal balance in the human body. 4. Sugars—from glucose and sucrose to high-fructose corn syrup—are monumentally harmful. To clear cellulite and remain free of it, you must eliminate sugars from your diet. It is also essential that you use no artificial sweeteners. They are dangerous contributers to body pollution and therefore to cellulite itself. Use only real stevia (see my recommendations below). 5. Because of the negative effects that grains, cereals, starchy vegetables and sugars exert on insulin, they not only lay down cellulite deposits; they lead to the development of diabetes and coronary heart disease. Grains are also major contributors to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of civilization, as well as early aging. 6. Cellulite and an inability to shed it are the result of an imbalance—a disequilibrium—in the hormonal regulation of fat tissue and fat metabolism. When hormonal regulation and hypothalamic balance are restored by making vital changes in how you eat, this reverses the process. Step One—Clear The Decks Start right now by getting rid of all the low-fat and high-carb foods in your kitchen. These include jams and jellies, rice cakes, popcorn, flour, grains, pasta, pretzels, low-fat salad dressings, raisins, fruit-flavored yoghurts and sugars. (You might want to hang on to a little sugar so you can offer it to visiting friends who are not yet as savvy about how dangerous it is as you are. You might also want to hold on to some brown rice, buckwheat flour or chickpea flour—things you can use to thicken a soup.) Most women find that the process of clearing their fridge and pantry is a salutary experience. It brings with it a sense that they’re starting a whole new life—as indeed they are. The most important foods you will be buying to replace them are these: A good supply of wholesome natural fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter—preferably from grass-fed cows. Top quality protein foods including meat, seafood, eggs and the very best micro-filtered whey you can find (see recommendations below) if you like to make smoothies. Plenty of fresh green vegetables—preferably organic— both to eat raw and to cook. The best fiber in the world comes from these vegetables. Try eating half of your vegetables raw. Some low-sugar fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Say No To Packaged Foods What surprises most people when they go to a supermarket in search of genuinely healthy foods is that most of the stuff they find there is not worth eating. A good general rule when choosing foods is this: Foods with a long shelf life don’t belong in your body. Processed high-carb foods often have a very long shelf life. This makes them great sales material for food manufacturers and retailers, since these packaged foods can sit on the shelves for months—sometimes even years. But 90% of them have been whipped up out of flours and sugars, junk fats and chemical additives—all of which you will want to avoid. You’ll usually find the healthiest, freshest, most natural foods around the outside edges of any supermarket. These include crunchy fresh vegetables, fresh game and meats, seafood, eggs and cheeses. Fresh, wholesome foods are perishable and therefore have to be replaced often, unlike the ready-in-a-minute, pre-made stuff that populates the inner aisles. Organic Is Your Goal Whenever possible, go organic. Not only do organic vegetables, fruits and meats taste better, the organic matter in healthy soil is nature’s factory for biological activity. Organic foods supply us with an excellent balance of minerals, trace elements and vitamins which we cannot get any other way. Organic methods of farming also help protect against distortions in mineral balance. Good mineral balance is important, since an increase in one or more minerals can alter your body’s ability to absorb as much of another mineral that it needs. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables have been sprayed with pesticides—petrochemical-derived compounds which behave like low-dose synthetic estrogens in the body. Many fruits and veg are also treated with fungicides or wax. Each one of these chemicals the body takes in contributes to its toxic load, putting pressure on your liver, stressing the entire body and causing free radical damage. When it comes to maintaining good blood sugar and insulin balance—all of which are essential to becoming cellulite-free—you do not want these things to happen. A stressed liver has trouble managing glucose levels and controls insulin poorly. Read Labels Carefully A word of warning: Just because you buy something in a health food store or natural food emporium does not mean that it will be helpful in reversing insulin resistance, clearing cellulite, and promoting fat loss. In addition to the good fresh foods they sell, these stores are also chock-a-block with high-carb treats full of sugar. And by the way, just because a food is labeled “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean you want to eat it. Organic sugar and organic flour can upset the insulin/blood sugar apple cart just as easily as their non-organic counterparts do. Although organic treats may look great in their packages, most of them are best avoided. Read labels as carefully here as in you do in a supermarket. Make sure that foods you buy contain no hidden sugars such as honey, corn syrup, fructose or other sweeteners. Step Two: Decide When To Eat Here’s where the power of meal spacing comes in. Its power can be monumental. You can call this intermittent fasting if you like, although I prefer to look upon it more as a way of developing your own schedule for eating as well as for resting from eating. Spacing your meals is an effective way of continuing to clear away cellulite as you cleanse the whole body creating new sleek muscles, heightening vitality and eliminating food cravings permanently. The ideal strategy for taking advantage of the gifts intelligent meal spacing has to offer is simple. Eat well at a meal, then wait 4 to 6 hours before your next meal. Here’s what happens metabolically each time you eat something. During the first couple of hours after a meal, your blood sugar rises and insulin spikes. After these first two hours—from the start of hour 3 after a meal for the next two hours—both insulin and blood sugar levels drop. Finally, from hours 4 to 6 after a meal, insulin gets so low that it almost disappears, while human growth hormone (HGH) rises directing metabolism to clear the body of more waste and metabolize fats from the body’s tissues including cellulite deposits by turning them into energy. Two Meals A Day To make the very best use of meal spacing you will need to eat only two good meals a day, made up out of the “good guy foods” listed above. Eat your fill of these health-giving foods and enjoy them. Be sure to include plenty of the good fats—coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter from pasture-grazed cows—in each meal. Be sure to create your meal spacing in a way that works for your lifestyle. I eat my first meal between 11am and 12:30, depending on what I am doing. My second meal is usually about 6:30 or 7 in the evening. This means that I have a long period during the night while I sleep for my body to work its magic, both for detoxing and anabolic rebuilding. Make sure your first meal of the day is full of good quality protein. Don’t just through yourself in at the deep end when you begin your meal spacing. Ease your way into it by having a good quality snack between meals if you feel you need to for the first few days until you get used to the lengthy periods between meals. It won’t be long before you sense the beneficial changes that are taking place. After the first week or two you’re likely to find you no longer have any need for snacks, and that you are beginning to look and feel so good. Step Three: Move For Joy I love this definition of real fitness: When you’re not sitting or resting, your body is physiologically able to deal with whatever challenges it is asked to handle. Forget forever that you need to exercise to lose weight and all that nonsense. You don’t. The major reason why exercise is so important for shedding cellulite and improving health is that it heightens insulin sensitivity and quite naturally causes your body to replace belly fat and liver fat with beautiful sleek muscles. What kind of exercise is best? The kind that delights you. I would never exercise because the powers-that-be tell me I ‘should’, or out of a sense of duty, or for fear of putting on weight. To do that would not only imprison my body, it would kill my spirit. It would be like taking a thoroughbred and binding it so that it can’t get out of the starting gate. Experiment and discover what physical activities you love doing, then do them for the sheer pleasure of it. You could swim or jog or dance just because it feels good and makes your body sing. Try rebounding on a mini-trampoline—something that is particularly good for improving lymphatic drainage and clearing cellulite. Swimming can be great because it feels so sensuous. But don’t make yourself swim laps in some driven way. Instead, move deliciously through the water. Play as a child would. Notice the bliss your body feels. If you have no idea what kind of movement you enjoy, start with a simple walk each day, while paying attention to how your body moves with each step you take. Once you discover just how vast your body’s potential for joy is, and begin to delight in movement, your experience of exercise can change forever. Far from being something you once did because you’re told you should (how I hate that word), exercise can become one of the most enjoyable experiences in your life. American enthusiast, the late George Sheehan, whose legacy continues to inspire people about the true nature of exercise, describes this experience well: “Exercise that is not play accentuates rather than closes the split between body and spirit. Exercise that is drudgery, labor, something done only for the final result is a waste of time.” I couldn’t agree more. 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Art Of Skin Treatments

Art Of Skin Treatments

While there is no fountain of eternal youth anywhere in cosmetics, there are substances which, when externally applied, can not only be absorbed but will also help improve skin's texture and quality, correct problems, and preserve youth. There are also treatments with masks, exfoliaters, massage, exercise, and hydrotherapy which, although the substances used to give them are not taken directly into the skin, will also do a great deal for skin health and beauty. They are all part of the rather esoteric art of skin treatment. skin absorption - a useful tool In general, your skin is impermeable. Water, for instance, will not go through it. Neither will most oils. However, if it is in prolonged contact with some substances, if it is broken or has a rash, or if it is rubbed with an oil, emulsion or extract whose molecular structure is fine enough to cross the epidermal barrier, then active ingredients it contains can be carried not only through the epidermis but deep into the skin and sometimes even throughout the body via the bloodstream. In fact the skin's permeability is constantly being exploited by drug companies which view this percutaneous absorption as a means of getting medication into the body without irritating the gastrointestinal tracts of sick patients. The three main routes of skin penetration are through the hair follicles into the sebaceous glands, through the sweat glands, and through the unbroken stratum corneum between skin appendages. Once a substance does get past the stratum corneum by any of these means, its further passage into the epidermis and dermis is pretty much assured. Vitamins were first applied this way after the Second World War to treat ex-prisoners with severe vitamin deficiencies who couldn't take them by mouth. Vitamins D, E, and A - the fat-soluble vitamins; vitamin C; and some of the B-complex vitamins have all been used successfully in this way. Hormone absorption is well known. Oestrogen creams are often given to postmenopausal women by dermatologists. Many essential oils of plants are also absorbed very readily. The important questions are, How do you make positive use of your skin's percutaneous absorption? And how do you protect it from misuse? The second question is easy to answer: Avoid skin contact as much as possible with household chemicals, products containing toxic metals such as aluminum, lead, and mercury, and soaps with cleansers containing hexachlorophene. Also guard your skin from atmospheric chemicals in the air by cleansing it regularly twice a day and wearing a moisturizer/sunscreen, preferably one that contains the silicones that are particularly useful in protecting from pollution. Then get to know the substances that can be usefully applied to the skin for treatment purposes, and discover which ones work for you, using them as night treatments or special cures. The French have an excellent idea of treatment in the concept of the cure. A cure consists of a particular product or substance applied daily for a specific period - usually about two weeks at a time - as a kind of shock treatment to stimulate better oxygenation of the tissues. Because this cure is different from what your skin is used to and because your skin doesn't ever get a chance to become accustomed to it and therefore to stop responding positively to it, cures often bring excellent results. A cure can be repeated every couple of months and will be particularly useful when given with the change of the seasons. Here are some of the commonly applied skin benefactors that can be used on their own or mixed into simple oils and creams. Many of them will be found in some of the world's best manufactured cosmetic products - particularly the European ones and those truly based on plant oils and essences. But there are a lot of so-called natural or herbal products that are made of synthetics and have never seen a flower, lemon, or blade of grass - so choose carefully. The vitamins and antioxidants Vitamin A applied to the surface of the skin either from a capsule on its own or mixed into cream and oil preparations has been used successfully in the treatment of dry and aging skin and acne. It appears to work particularly well in combination with vitamin D, which itself has a healing effect on the skin. (This is why vitamin D is often used in nappy-rash remedies and in burn ointments.) Vitamin E, about which there has been such controversy, and vitamin C are certainly useful in the treatment of skin healing from a cut or burn. There is no conclusive evidence that, applied topically, it will do much for normal skin, although many women who use vitamin E regularly claim good results from it. Both vitamins are natural antioxidants and as such are probably useful in preventing premature aging of the skin (as well as the whole body) but for this purpose should be taken internally as well. In a few people, vitamin E used on the skin can cause allergic reactions. So, if you decide to use it, test it out on a small area first. Fatty acids can be very helpful in treating skin. GLA from borage oil or Evening Primrose Oil squeezed from a capsule enhances both the health of skin as a whole and improves the ability to hold moisture in all kinds of skin. Flax seed oil is excellent too. But it must be cold-pressed and kept in the fridge and you need to be careful of it on the body since it can stain clothes and sheets. There are two ways of applying vitamins to the skin: You can squeeze the vitamin oils directly from the capsules (which works well with E but tends to smell very strong with vitamins A and D) or you can mix any of the vitamins into a simple carrier oil and then spread it on the face. Good times for doing this are before you take strenuous exercise (the physical exertion improves the skin's absorptive abilities) and after a facial sauna, steaming, or hot bath (when the skin is warm and moist). Leave your preparation on for twenty minutes, then either remove with cleanser or simply tissue off the excess. The essential oils Plant extracts, or essential oils, are some of the most useful substances for skin treatment that you will find anywhere. The chemical structures of these essences are close to those of the fluids and oils in the skin itself, so that the skin appears to have a natural affinity for them. Essential oils in small quantities mixed with a carrier oil are excellent for general skin treatment as well as for correcting problems such as early aging and excessive dryness or oiliness. Make sure when choosing them that you are buying the pure essential oils of plants, not their synthetic substitutes, which are much cheaper but have no therapeutic action. Mix your own formulas, using fifteen drops of plant essences (that is, all the various essential oils you may use should total only fifteen drops together) to each ounce of carrier oil. Almond oil, apricot oil and hazelnut oil are particularly good carriers for the face. You can add vitamin E or A, squeezed directly from the capsules (the scents of the plant essences do wonders to mask the unpleasant odors of vitamins). Keep your mixture in a cool place (mix only small quantities each time), preferably in a brown glass bottle to protect them from the light. Some plant essences such as fennel contain phytohormones, which have an action on the skin resembling that of hormones such as oestrogen. They have a remarkable ability to firm skin and stimulate cell metabolism in aging skin. Others, such as lavender and orange blossom (neroli) are cytophylactic: They stimulate cell reproduction in the basal layer. Most essential oils used externally encourage the elimination of cellular wastes and help regulate the activity of the capillaries, restoring a look of freshness and glow to the face. Massage them in gently. Here are some of the best essential oils for specific purposes. For skin that is too oily: lavender, lemon, basil, geranium, juniper, and ylang-ylang. For skin that is dry: sandalwood, geranium, rose, lavender, jasmine, and chamomile. For aging skin: fenugreek, wheat-germ oil, sandalwood, rose, myrrh, frankincense, lavender, mace, clary. liposomes You hear a lot about these little microscopic spheres used in cosmetics. Actually they are nothing in themselves but little delivery vans for active ingredients. Filled with GLA or plant fractions or antioxidants they are a great way of making sure these treatment substances and complexes are carried to just the right place in the skin where they can do the most good - restoring the integrity of cell membranes, improving the use of oxygen, and protecting from free radical damage. retinoic acid Available only on prescription this derivative of vitamin A comes in gel, lotion or cream form. Originally used as an acne treatment in the late 70's doctors noticed that it also appeared to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, smoothing out fine lines, lightening freckles and blemishes and improving tone and texture. Retinoic acid can change cell metabolism, making cells turn over faster and bringing them better oxygenation and nourishment. That is all the good news and why for a few years retinoic acid was hailed as the great rejuvenator of skin. The trouble is there is bad news too. First, it can cause birth defects used by pregnant women. It also irritates the skin badly, making it dry and flaky and highly sensitive to UV light damage. Retinoic acid has too often been used wrongly, even in the hands of doctors, in too high a concentration and all over the face. As a result it has recently gained a bad press. Used properly in low concentration (0.05%) it can be useful. But results come slowly over a period of three to six months and you still end up with highly sensitive skin. Retinoic acid is only for sun-damaged skin. It has little to offer natural aging skin. the acids and enzymes "Fruit Acids" otherwise known as alpha hydroxy acids or AHA's include such compounds as glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from apples, pyruvic acid from paw paws and lactic acid from milk. They are used in all sorts of concentrations, some of which you can buy over the counter, others which can only be used by doctors. With regular use they dissolve the intercellular glue that sticks old dead cells together allowing them to slough off and make the skin clearer. They also help plump up the skin of the epidermis, help to fade age-spots and increase the skin's supply of hyaluronic acid - a natural moisturizer. Some also believe they stimulate the production of new collagen. But why buy expensive products when you can use the fruits themselves complete with rich plant enzymes? Many of the best European skin-treatment products are based entirely on the actions of plant enzymes. These biocatalysts consist of two parts: the protein fraction, or apoenzyme, and the coenzyme. The smallest particles of enzymes are very large if one takes into account the entire molecule. However, thanks to enzyme splitting, the action of many plant enzymes is not restricted to just the uppermost layer of the skin. They can also produce effects on the deeper layers. Enzyme splitting is part of the manufacturing process in the production of cosmetics that depend for their effectiveness on the action of those plant biocatalysts. Another part lies in preserving the stability of their actions. For enzymes are delicate substances. All are destroyed at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C). Many also lose their activity if they come in contact with oxygen. Traces of iron or heavy metals also render them inactive. Finally, enzymes function best at the same pH as the skin - in a slightly acid medium. So the quality and the activity of vegetable and herbal extracts must always be carefully controlled in order to produce preparations of quality. But plant-based skin-care products that are made with all this in mind are excellent. home treatments On a do-it-yourself level, raw fruits and vegetables from your own kitchen are rich in acids and enzymes and will, in my opinion, give you an even better effect used regularly on the skin than most of the expensive "Fruit Acid" preparations you can buy. For instance, the cosmetic effect of the juice of fresh cucumber, which contains Ascorbic acid oxidase, has long been known. It is slightly diuretic and astringent and good for all types of skin. Similarly, the juice of fresh lemons, which also contains phosphates and the enzyme esterase, is also beneficial, particularly for oily skins. It is antiseptic and refining. So are fresh carrot juice and fresh papaya, as well as the juice and pulp of many other fruits. The enzymes contained in them help stimulate the life processes in your skin's cells, making it firmer and fresher-looking and giving it a glow of health. Only infinitesimally small quantities of enzymes - measured in millionths of a gram per liter - are needed for the enzymes to have a beneficial effect on the skin. And the art of using enzymes for cosmetic purposes is an elaborate one. For instance, for dry and tired skin one needs preparations with more proteases in them - enzymes that act on proteins; for blemished skin, or acne, you use more lipases - fat-affecting enzymes. When preparing plant-enzyme treatments at home, you need to make your preparations fresh each time and then put them immediately on the skin. The beneficial results will occur only so long as the living substances from the fresh fruits and vegetables have not yet been oxidized by exposure to air. And this oxidation process takes place rapidly. Here is an easy way of treating skin inside and out:  When you make fresh juices with a juice extractor, spread a couple of tablespoonfuls on your face. Masks are also particularly beneficial when made with fresh fruit and vegetable juices or pulp plus other ingredients from the kitchen - beaten egg yolk plus a tablespoon of raw, unheated honey for dry skin, or two teaspoons of natural yogurt for oily skin. They are best used after a facial sauna, when the skin is highly receptive to whatever is put on it. The following juices can be made with a juice extractor or the fruits and vegetables can be pureed in a blender. Experiment until you find the ones that work best for you, for every woman's skin is unique. air - let your skin breathe It may surprise you to see such a common thing as air listed among the important treatments for external use on skin, but in many ways it may be the most valuable of all. It is also often the most neglected by women who tend to cover their skin day and night with heavy creams. Although most of the oxygen your skin needs comes by way of the bloodstream, the skin also helps itself to as much as 2½ percent of the body's total oxygen from the air by direct absorption. Skin also directly eliminates almost 3 percent of the body's carbon dioxide waste. Generally, this direct oxygen intake is used only by the epidermis, where it helps to break down nutrients for cell use at the basal layer and to eliminate wastes. But in an emergency, when the body is short of oxygen, skin respiration can increase in order to partially oxygenate the blood as well. This ability of the skin to take in oxygen directly from the air appears to play an important part in maintaining its health and beauty. In the words of one oxygen researcher, Goldschmidt, "There is no doubt in my mind that skin respiration as such, and all our concern for its perfect function, is vital to health, life, even beauty ... the retention, holding back of exhaling carbon dioxide must produce a toxic condition in the body which is supposed to be discharged by way of normal respiration through the skin. If such unloading of carbon dioxide is made impossible, the condition of health suffers." Yet how many women do let their skin breathe? We cover the face day in and day out with cosmetic products, not to mention necessary sunblocks and sunscreens, many of which form a heavy, occlusive film on the surface of the skin that severely impedes the natural exchange of gases through the skin's surface. And in some cosmetic products too high a concentration of preservatives can cut down the skin's ability to inhale. On the rest of the body we wear layer upon layer of clothing, much of it made from synthetic materials, which also tend to restrict this skin breathing process. All this, together with the fact that few women breathe deeply and fully even through their lungs, means that they may be severely depriving the skin of vitality both from inside and out. Recently cosmetic manufacturers have begun to produce products - foundations and complex emulsion moisturizers - that do not interfere with the skin's air absorption. There are also several good treatment creams for older skin that contain ingredients designed to stimulate the skin's use of oxygen, which can be particularly helpful in aging skin. But whatever products you use on your skin, give it time to rest some of each night by cleansing it thoroughly and then leaving it free. For instance, there is no reason to wear a night cream all night long. With any treatment product you put on your skin, the lion's share of what the skin will pick up is taken in during the first twenty minutes after you apply it. Leaving it on longer than that is a waste of time. A night cream or a treatment oil or a mask can be applied after cleansing, for instance, left on for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and then removed before bedtime, so that your skin will be left free to breathe throughout the night. On the other hand there are also useful tools for encouraging the skin cells' use of oxygen. As your skin begins to age, its respiration slows down so dramatically that by the time you are sixty your skin may be taking in only half as much oxygen as a teenager's. At that stage it is helpful to take adequate supplies of pantothenic acid and the other B-complex vitamins and to use products containing placental extracts on the skin's surface. The skin on the rest of your body needs air too. Traditional European naturopathic methods of treatment have for years insisted on "air baths" as a means of increasing resistance to disease and strengthening the whole body. Patients are exposed to air in the nude or near nude for a specific period of time daily and even in cold weather. The treatment is even used with babies and small children, for colds and other infections. Practitioners claim that one of the main reasons women tend to feel so well during the summer months, while they are on the beach, is simply that their skin's surface is exposed to the air for long periods of time and that, although the sun's ultraviolet rays are destructive to skin tissue, the air exposure does it nothing but good: helping to clear up rough patches, lending a youthful glow to skin from improved circulation and better use of oxygen in the cells, and even, they say, revitalizing the whole body. They recommend spending from five to fifteen minutes a day (depending on the temperature) unclothed in the air - preferably outside or if that is not possible at least in a room in which the windows are wide open. They also recommend sleeping in a well-ventilated room. However you do it, find a way to set your skin free in the air for a few hours in every twenty-four. herbal saunas Every now and then (how often depends on whether your skin tends to be dry or oily and whether you live in the polluted air of cities or the clearer, fresh air of the country) skin needs more than everyday cleaning. It needs deep cleansing, and one of the most effective ways of getting it is from a facial sauna. In fact, the only skin condition that doesn't benefit from facial steams, or saunas, is that in which broken capillaries appear in the cheeks and nose, in which case the warm steam could aggravate the condition. A facial sauna will open the pores, drawing out impurities in them, soften the texture of the face, and tone the skin, all at the same time. If your skin is oily, you can benefit from one a couple of times a week. If your skin is dry, have one only once every two weeks. A facial steam is also an excellent way of preparing skin for treatment with masks, essential oils, creams, and vitamins. Here's how: Toss a couple of handfuls of mixed herbs (see below) into two quarts of water you have brought to the boil and then removed from the heat. Now cover your whole head with a towel and put it over the steaming pot so the towel forms a tent to catch the steam. Sit in front of the steaming pot (not closer than one foot from the water), and breathe in the scent of the aromatic herbs for five to ten minutes. Finish the treatment by splashing with cool water to remove wastes accumulated on the surface of the skin, and follow either with a treatment cream or mask, or your usual moisturizer. Here are some of the herbs you can choose from: chamomile, elder blossom, mint, basil, rosemary (particularly good for oily skin), sage, slippery-elm bark (good for sensitive skin), comfrey leaf and root (also good for delicate or inflamed or troubled skin), strawberry leaf, raspberry leaf, acacia flower, lavender, and rose petal. the mask effect Masks are one of the mysteries of the cosmetic world. The manufactured kinds come in many varieties and are designed for several purposes. You have to pick the right one for the right purpose. Many women don't. This is probably why they are often disappointed. Dermatologists disagree about their effectiveness. While some swear by them, others consider them little more than cosmetic security blankets. Chosen carefully, I believe, a mask can be a boon to beauty. A mask is designed to perform one of the more specific tasks: to deep-cleanse, to tone, to stimulate circulation, to moisturize the skin, or to exfoliate - that is, to remove the outer layers of dead epidermal cells so the skin is refined and left more receptive to whatever treatment product you choose to put on it after. Most commercial masks contain a great amount of water, which makes their evaporation rate rapid and gives the skin a cooling and soothing feel. But this is of little more than psychological help to the user. The deep response to elements in a mask comes through the vascular network in the dermis, where active ingredients coupled with physical tension from the mask drying on the skin bring about increased circulation and help stimulate cellular activity. 1. THE TIGHTENING EFFECT Putting the skin under a controlled degree of positive stress makes it look good. Most masks are smoothed on and then left to harden. They gently squeeze, and pinch the flesh while they are hardening. This constriction of the tissue, coupled with whatever stimulating properties the ingredients have, sets up a kind of temporary tension, When the constricting substance is rinsed away or peeled off, the blood vessels in the inner layer of the skin expand, the skin turns a pink tone, and the inner layer of it swells up somewhat as the fluid escapes from the enlarged blood vessels. This fluid pumps up the skin, making it resemble younger, more hydrated skin and making fine lines temporarily disappear. If the mask's tightening effect is powerful enough (as it is in clay-based masks, used for oily skin), the pores are also constricted, making them look smaller than they are. The whole face appears younger, smoother-textured, and more alive. The only trouble is, this mask effect is very transient. Almost as rapidly as it arrives, it can vanish, for as escaped fluid is reabsorbed, the skin returns to its normal state. But, for many women, this temporary lift, coupled with the fifteen minutes of enforced relaxation, is a useful beauty treatment. 2. THE EARTH TREATMENT Some of the most common and useful masks contain a clay base to absorb excess oil and in the process lift out dirt from the skin's pores. They usually also incorporate such ingredients as resorcinol and salicylic acid to slow down the activity of the oil glands themselves. They are designed for oily, combination, and blemished skin ("combination" meaning dry skin that has an oily "T" patch across the forehead and down the nose), and can be a remarkably effective adjunct to your regular skin-care regimen. Most of them dry on the skin. Clay also has a mild bleaching agent in it, which slightly lightens the skin. These masks are definitely not for the driest or most sensitive skins and are a kiss of death to any skin with broken capillaries. 3. FACIAL PEEL-OFFS In recent years, some of the most popular masks have been the peel-offs. Based on rubber, wax, or some kind of plastic, they are applied with a brush or fingertips, left to harden, and then finally peeled off like a piece of cellophane tape, taking surface dirt and some of the old dead cells of the epidermis with them. Because most of the peel-offs are translucent and many even transparent, they can be worn without fear of frightening the postman or the children. They form an occlusive layer on the skin which prevents water from escaping and encourages the tissue to store it up. They also contain specific treatment agents to soften the skin, and they come in formulas for all skin types. 4. CREAMS AND GELS Other masks are specifically designed for moisturizing as well as treatment. They contain such substances as collagen, NMFs, oestrogens, and silicons, liposomes containing fatty acids, and are formulated to increase the water retention of the skin and to soften its texture. In the form of a gel or a nondrying cream, they are ideal for dehydrated skin and can be used several times a week if necessary. They do not exfoliate, but they do moisturize and refine the texture of the skin slightly, leaving it smoother and softer to the touch. 5. EXFOLIATERS Although usually classified as masks, really these products are simply designed for smoothing out the surface of the skin, much as fine sandpaper does to mahogany. Very young skin doesn't need them. In the process of exfoliation, or skin sloughing, the cells that are dead on the surface are taken off, the pores (which may be blocked by cellular buildup) are opened, and excess pigmentation on the surface of the skin is removed. The texture is improved. Your skin becomes more translucent and a lighter and more uniform color. Exfoliation is particularly helpful to skin after thirty; as skin ages, the reproductive processes in the basal cells slow down. Removing the top layers of dead cells tends to stimulate these cells to reproduce more rapidly. It also makes the skin more receptive to any external treatment given afterwards. There are two types of exfoliaters on the market. Either will do the job well, so it is a matter of personal choice. One is a chemical exfoliater, which dissolves the cells when it is applied. The fruit acids, AHA's, are a good, gentle chemical exfoliation. The other is a pot-scraper physical exfoliater, which comes either as a little pad you wash with; as a mask you put on, let dry and then rub off like rubber cement; or as a cream containing lots of tiny grains. This kind you put on wet skin and rub gently for two or three minutes while the little particles in it scrape off the surface cells. Your skin can benefit from exfoliation once a week if it is dry, two or three times a week if it is oily. If you use exfoliation use it gently and with respect. It is easy to get too much of a good thing. the medium of massage Provided it is done skillfully, massage is a wonderful treatment for the face. But it must be done gently and carefully, for the muscles of the face and neck are made up of fibers which, unlike muscles in the rest of the body, are attached not only to bone but also to the skin itself. They are, therefore, delicate and must never be pulled hard, or massage can have a detrimental effect, rather than a helpful one. Always following the direction of the muscle fibers themselves, massage will stimulate blood circulation, which improves the tone of muscles and skin and promotes the use of nutrients in the cells and the elimination of wastes. Massage will also help the skin to absorb active ingredients in creams and essential oils. Always begin a massage by covering your face with a cream or oil. Begin with effleurage, which means moving the palm of your hand and your fingers lightly over the surface of the skin. This has a soothing effect and a relaxing one which encourages blood and lymph flow. Start at the center of the chest with your right hand, sweeping it outward towards the left shoulder and then upward over the left side of your neck. Then do the same for the other side with your left hand. (Actually these movements can be done simultaneously, using both hands at once.) Now massage from the base of the neck at the rear to the hairline. Do each stroke five times. Massage the neck, bringing first one hand and then the other around the curve of the neck from back to front also five times. Now bring each hand, one at a time, upward over the front and sides of the neck, under the chin, and outward at the jawline (five times each side). Stroke upward from corners of the mouth to temples (five times). Now, using the palms of your hands, stroke upward from the chin, over the jawline to the hairline so that the fingers cover the center portion of the face and the cupped palms go over first jaw and then cheekbones to end at the temples (five times). Stroke around the eyes. Begin at inner corners, at both sides of the nose, and using your middle finger, stroke outward around the eye to the outer corner. Then begin at the same inner corner and stroke upward and outward in a half circle around the top part of the eye, just underneath the bone that forms the eye socket. (Repeat upper and lower semicircle five times each side.) Now stroke across the forehead, using the left hand to move from right to left, followed by the right hand moving from left to right - five times each side. Finally, with the tips of your fingers tap lightly several times all over the chin and jawline, then over the cheekbones, then all across the forehead. Finish off the massage by removing the excess oil still left on the skin and splashing with cold water several times. the esoteric helpers Probably the finest toner you will ever find is simple ice-cold water. This is an excellent shock treatment not only for everyday use but also as part of postoperative care after plastic surgery. It stimulates cells, improves circulation, and brings back life to a neglected face. Here's how to give yourself a water treatment: Add two dozen ice cubes to a basin of cold water. Tie back your hair and cover your face with a layer of rich cream (oily and thick) or Vaseline or vegetable oil. Put on cotton-lined rubber gloves (I prefer to wear cotton, rather than rubber, gloves). Splash water on your cheeks ten times, under your chin ten times, on your neck ten times, and on your closed eyes five times. By now your face should be tingling and feeling frozen, so you are ready to go to work on the parts that most need firming, such as lines around the eyes, and double chin. Splash each section six to ten times. (You can begin with half the number of splashes everywhere and work up each time you give the treatment.) Finish by patting your skin dry with a soft towel and then applying a little oil or eye cream under the eyes and on the cheeks. You can use this freezing treatment every morning if you like, or only once a week. It is good for all skin types except those with broken capillaries, which should never be put under the strain of temperature extremes. Another marvelous skin treatment is spring water. Although I cannot say why, the spraying of spring water in microscopically small droplets from an atomiser or a spray bottle with a fine spray can not only hydrate skin but can also help eliminate skin eruptions and alleviate dry skin. I know two French dermatologists and an English one who have found this treatment useful in all kinds of skin inflammation as well. One of them believes that its beneficial results come from its being in such small droplets that the skin will actually take the water into itself. Whether or not this is true I don't know, but I do know it can greatly improve the texture and look of skin when used regularly. It is best to spray your skin after cleansing night and morning, before applying moisturizers or treatment products. I also find treatment products appear to be more effective when used after a skin spray. Ionization is excellent for improving skin of all types and ages. Ionization is the discharging of negative air ions into the atmosphere and is well known for its ability to speed the healing of severe burns. It has also been shown to be helpful in the treatment of many types of migraine and respiratory ailments and in improving mental clarity. Negative ions, which have often been referred to as "vitamins of the air," are negatively charged air molecules which occur naturally in unpolluted air, particularly by the sea or a river or in the mountains. It is the presence of these molecules, which carry a tiny negative charge, that makes one feel so well standing beside a waterfall in the country. It is also partly their absence in polluted air and in the air of centrally heated or air-conditioned offices and houses that makes some people feel tired or depressed, and which can cause illness and emotional disturbances in weather-sensitive people when the so-called ill winds blow, such as the sharav in the Middle East, the foehn in Germany, the mistral in southern France and the chinook in the Rocky Mountains of the United States. Scientists still do not know whether the beneficial effects of negative ionization occur as a result of these tiny particles being absorbed by the skin, or taken in through the lungs in breathing, or both. But, besides their other health-promoting properties, negative ions are useful in improving acned and blemished skin and, even more important, in helping protect skin against premature aging. This particular aspect of ionization is not one that has been proved scientifically yet, for most of the research into the use of air ions has been in the treatment of specific ailments, not as cosmetic treatment, but I can vouch for its effectiveness. I have seen it improve the skin of a number of women with all types of skin and of all ages. An ionizer you can put beside your bed at night will also help you sleep soundly. Ionizers are not cheap, but they are a most worthwhile investment.

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

For generations, we’ve been urged to eat soy-based foods. We’ve been told that soy foods are great for our own health and the health of our families. In fact, in the late 90s, soy became every aggressive marketer’s dream. The ignorant FDA informed the entire world that “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol which include 25 grams of soy protein may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This was another of their potentially dangerous pronouncements. As if from nowhere, soy food sales skyrocketed, rising from $300 million a year to an astounding $4 billion by 2006. Thanks to massive advertising campaigns, the whole world started swallowing soy foods, drinks, powdered sports supplements and oils, as well as a thousand other soy products which every one of us would have been better off without. Of course, Monsanto loved it and started growing GMO soy everywhere they could get away with it. Did you realize that as much as 95% of all soybeans in the world are now genetically modified? The last thing you want to do is feed yourself or your children on GMO anything. Not only this, but soy foods are incompatible with your body for all sorts of other reasons too. Most soy grown nowadays contains dangerous quantities of glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. Soy is also full of potentially destructive levels of manganese and aluminum—both known to reduce brain function. Even non-GMO soy carries many anti-nutrient inhibitors, known to interfere with the proper functioning of the enzymes needed for good digestion—l.ike hemagglutinin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits your body’s ability to take up oxygen. It also contains goitrogens, which interfere with thyroid functions and phytates, which depress the body’s ability to absorb important minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium. Nevertheless, you will still find soy in one form or another in a majority of the convenience foods and drinks which line our supermarket shelves, including many foods which have nothing to do with soy like ice creams, sausages, breads and sauces. For me, the saddest news is that a huge percentage of babies continue to be fed on soy formula all over the world. When it comes to infant formulas, soy is something you want to avoid at all costs. It is dangerous to your child. The very best care you can give to both yourself and your baby is to breastfeed. If possible, let your child decide when he or she is ready to give up nursing. Your baby will get life-long health gains from breastfeeding. Not to mention that the closeness which develops between the two of you is a lifelong blessing. Here are some of the health benefits that breastfeeding confers upon a child: Decreased risk of obesity Decreased risk of eczema and other skin problems Fewer middle ear infections Better respiration Added protection against diabetes, asthma, allergies and heart disease Improved immune function Better brain function. We’ve long been told that soy must be good for us since Asians consume huge amounts of it. The truth is, the Chinese and Japanese eat surprisingly little soy—on average, only about 10 grams—about to two teaspoons per person—per day. And they eat soy only as a condiment, never as a replacement for animal proteins. The eating of soy foods began during the late Chou dynasty in Japan and China (1134-246 BC). This was only after the Chinese had mastered the art of naturally fermenting soy beans. They began to make foods like tempeh, natto, and tamari, all of which were made from traditionally—read: organically grown— soy beans. These fermented soy products are indeed healthy for you, since fermenting neutralizes the toxins in soybeans. By contrast, eating unfermented soy not only denatures the small quantities of protein soybeans contain, it actually increases the levels of carcinogens present. If you are vegetarian, you’ve probably been told that soy foods provide your body with complete proteins. This is untrue. So is the notion that eating soy foods will supply Vitamin B12 to vegetarian diets. If you wish to eat soy, eat only fermented foods made from organic soybeans: natto, tempeh and tamari. Stay away from all soy milk products which are not fermented and not organic. Vegetarian or not, it’s time to let go of the belief that any soy product will give you all the protein you need to live at a high level of health and resistance to early aging. They won’t. Want to learn more? Check it out online at the Weston A. Price Foundation. There you can discover and learn which naturally fermented soy products are available. http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/

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