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130 articles in food

Dangers Of Soy

Dangers Of Soy

Everybody “knows” that soy is good for you. But is it really? I’ve written about it many times in the past, in the full belief that compounds called isoflavones in soy are helpful in protecting women from hot flushes, pre-menstrual tension, and so on. Well, I was wrong. So was most of the world, as it happens. There are things about soy that you need to know about eating soy beans and using soy-based foods—from soy milk to tofu—things which can be vitally important to your health and the health of your family as well as to the reproductive capacity of future adults. BADS NEWS FOR SEX CELLS If you’re thinking of having a baby—or you’re pregnant—new research clearly shows that you want to steer clear of soy products. This is not only for your sake, but for the health of your developing fetus. The phytoestrogens in soy have been shown to exert profoundly detrimental effects on a growing baby as well as after its birth. Exposure to estrogenic chemicals in the womb and during childhood, can damage a girl’s fertility as she grows into a woman. Even more surprising, for many adult women even a small amount of soy can pcreate an anti-pregnancy effect—equal to four or five birth control pills a day! Eating a lot of soy has also been linked to an increasing chance of breast cancer. But women are not the only ones affected by soy and soy products. The soy isoflavone genistein interferes with sperm motility. Even small doses of this substance can seriously impair your ability to conceive if you are trying for a baby. PERILS OF GM Virtually 95% of all soybeans in the world are genetically modified. The last thing you want to do is feed yourself or your children on this nasty stuff. Not only are these foods incompatible with your body for many reasons. They can also contain dangerous quantities of Glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. As if this weren’t bad enough, a great deal of soy contains potentially destructive levels of manganese and aluminum—both of which are known to reduce brain functioning. The sad news is that in the United States alone, 20% of babies are now fed on soy formula. Meanwhile, as an adult, if you’re drinking a couple of glasses of soy milk a day for a month, you will be absorbing a lot of phytoestrogens. These are very likely to interfere with your menstruation and undermine your health. FALSE “FACTS” ABOUT SOY We’ve been told that Asians consume a huge amount of soy based foods in their diet. In truth they eat very little soy food...on average, only about 10 grams per person per day—two teaspoons. This they eat soy only as a condiment and never as a replacement for animal-based proteins. The use 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 fermenting soy beans to make foods like temph, natto, and naturally fermented tamari—all three of which are good for you. Most modern day foods are not fermented to neutralize the toxins in soybeans. They are manufactured in a way that not only denatures what protein they do contain but also increases the levels of carcinogens present in the foods. If you are vegetarian, you have also been told that soy foods provide complete proteins. This too is untrue as is the notion that soy foods can supply Vitamin B12 to vegetarian diets. ORGANIC FERMENTED ONLY If you are vegetarian and you wish to eat soy in some form, only choose fermented soy—and only from organic soybeans: natto, temph and tamari. Steer clear of all soy milk products, that are not fermented and let go of the notion that any soy products are going to give you all the protein you need to live at a high level of health and resistance to early ageing. BREAST IS BEST As far as infant formulas are concerned, soy is something you want to avoid altogether. The very best care you can give to both yourself and your baby is to breastfeed. If possible, let your child decide when the or she is ready to give up nursing. Your baby will get life-long health gains from breastfeeding. And the closeness that develops between the two of you is a great blessing. Here are some of the health benefits nursing your baby confers upon him or her: 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. Want to learn more about soy? 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/ I Want to know more about breastfeeding? You can get help from a wonderful organization called the La Leche League. Find them at http://www.llli.org/. If you are unable to breastfeed, your next best option is to create a healthy infant formula based on certified raw milk.

Eat Organic - It's Crazy Not To

Eat Organic - It's Crazy Not To

Early on in the twentieth century, a few scientists—mostly in Germany—experimented with chemicals as a means of fertilizing food crops. They found that a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) would grow big yield crops of good-looking vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits. But little interest was taken in their discoveries until the end of World War II. At that time most foods were still grown pretty much as they had always been—by farmers who manured, mulched, and rotated their crops to keep soils rich and in good condition. To put it another way, most food was grown organically, although nobody had even coined the word; for this was no more than what traditional farmers throughout the world had done for thousands of years. MASS DESTRUCTION BEGAN HERE When the war ended, big chemical conglomerates who had been involved in the manufacture of phosphates and nitrates as war materiel found themselves stuck with huge stockpiles. They went looking for new markets. Aware of the early research into chemical fertilizing, they turned towards farmers, and began to sell them artificial NPK fertilizers at costs low enough to make it all look very attractive. These purveyors of chemicals also spread the false belief that NPK is all you need to grow healthy crops. There were unfortunately two very important facts that the chemical hawkers left out. Probably they did not even know. After all, it was not good for their profit margins to know. The first is that, although plants grow big on artificial fertilizers, they do not grow resistant to disease. The second is that the health of human beings eating food plants grown this way is, sooner or later, seriously undermined. CHEMICAL VICTIMS Plants grown only on NPK are deprived of essential minerals and other micro-substances they need to synthesize natural complexes in roots and leaves, which ward off attack by insects, weeds and animals. So before long the new artificially fertilized vegetables and fruits began to develop diseases. The chemical hawkers were quick to the rescue. The answer to this problem, they said, would be found in using more chemicals. That is how pesticides, herbicides, nemacides and fungicides came into being. They provided chemical companies with yet another exciting business opportunity—especially since the longer you fertilize chemically, the more depleted in organic matter your soils become, and the less they contain of the minerals and trace elements needed to synthesize natural protective complexes during growth, so the more pesticides you need. So as time went on, more and more pesticides and other chemicals were sold. Before long another important fact began torear its ugly head. It was this: like plants, human beings need a lot more than nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus from the foods they eat too, to maintain their own health. Your body cannot make minerals. It has to take them in, in a good balance, from the foods you eat. In addition to nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, it requires magnesium, manganese and calcium, selenium, zinc, copper, iodine, boron, molybdenum, vanadium, and probably other elements as yet undiscovered as well, to stay healthy. These elements need to come from the foods you eat. Generally they do, when foods are grown organically in healthy, traditionally fertilized soils. But they are increasingly missing and unbalanced in the foods we buy today, thanks to our legacy of chemical farming. EARTH’S BLESSED CREATORS The organic matter in healthy soil is Nature's factory for biological activity. It is built up as a result of the breakdown of vegetable and animal matter by the soil's natural 'residents'—worms, bacteria and other useful micro-organisms. The presence of these creatures in the right quantity and type gives rise to physical, chemical and biological properties that create fertility in our soils and make plants grown on them highly resistant to disease. When it comes to human health, they do a lot more. The minerals and trace elements we need to look after our metabolic processes, on which health and leanness depend, must be in an organic form—that is, taken from living things like plant or animal foods. You cannot eat nails—inorganic iron—for instance, and expect to protect yourself from anaemia, or chew sand—inorganic silica—and be sure to get enough silica, the trace element that keeps your nails and hair strong and beautiful, and helps protect your bones from osteoporosis. It is the organic matter in soils that enables plants grown on them to transform inorganic iron and silica into the organic form which is taken up by the vegetables and fruits, grains and legumes. Destroy the soil's organic matter through chemical farming, and slowly but inexorably you destroy the health of people and animals living on foods grown on it. Eating food grown organically protects from significant mineral deficiencies, as well as from distortions in mineral balances. What few people realize is that an overload of one or more mineral elements alters your body’s ability to get enough of other minerals, undermining the people's health. No such protection is available when foods are chemically grown. So eat organic even if you have to grow your own foods in the garden or feed on sprouted seeds you grow in your kitchen window. Your body will bless you with energy, protection from early aging, and the sense of wellbeing that many long for but few as yet experience.

How To Make Sprout Magic

How To Make Sprout Magic

Make them the base for salads, add them at the last minute to homemade soups, even carry them around with you in a bag and eat them instead of chocolate bars and biscuits. They are sweet and delicious and won’t leave you with an energy slump. An excellent way to cram your meals with goodness is to sprout your own seeds (sometimes called bean sprouts). Seeds and grains are latent powerhouses of nutritional goodness and life energy: Add water to germinate them, let them grow for a few days in your kitchen and you will harvest delicious, inexpensive fresh foods of quite phenomenal health-enhancing value. The vitamin content of seeds increases dramatically when they germinate. The vitamin C content in soya beans multiplies five times within three days of germination - a mere tablespoon of soybean sprouts contains half the recommended daily adult requirements of this vitamin. The vitamin B2 in an oat grain rises by 1300 percent almost as soon as the seed sprouts, and by the time tiny leaves have formed it has risen by 2000 percent. Some sprouted seeds and grains are believed to have anticancer properties, which is why they form an important part of the natural methods of treating the disease. Another attractive thing about sprouts is their price. The basic seeds and grains are cheap and readily available in supermarkets and health food stores - chickpeas, brown lentils, mung beans, wheat grains and so forth. And since you sprout them yourself with nothing but clean water, they become an easily accessible source of organically grown fresh vegetables, even for city dwellers. DIY Sprouting When you discover how economical and easy it is to grow sprouts you will want to have some on the go all the time. Once germinated, you can keep sprouts in polythene bags in the fridge for up to a week - just long enough to get a new batch ready for eating. Most people grow sprouts in glass jars covered with nylon mesh held in place with an elastic band around the neck, but I have discovered an even simpler method which allows you to grow many more, and avoids the jar method problem of seeds rotting due to insufficient drainage. You will need the following: seeds (e.g. mung beans) seed trays with drainage holes, available from gardening shops and nurseries a jar or bowl to soak seeds in overnight a plant atomizer - from gardening or hardware shops a sieve nylon mesh - available from gardening shops. Place two handfuls of seed or beans in the bottom of a jar or bowl and cover with plenty of water. Leave to soak overnight. Pour the seeds into a sieve and rinse well with water. Be sure to remove any dead or broken seeds or pieces of debris. Line a seedling tray with nylon mesh (this helps the seeds drain better) and pour in the soaked seeds. Place in a warm dark spot for fast growth. Spray the seeds twice a day with fresh water in an atomizer and stir them gently with your hand in order to aerate them. After about three days place the seeds in sunlight for several hours to develop the chlorophyll (green) in them. Rinse in a sieve, drain well and put in a polythene bag in the fridge to use in salads, wok-fries etc. There are many different seeds you can sprout - each with its own particular flavor and texture. Have fun discovering which ones you like best.

Take Only The Best Vitamin Supplements

Take Only The Best Vitamin Supplements

Many years ago, impeccable research in reputable scientific journals confirmed that every one of us benefits from taking the right kind of vitamin supplements. One excellent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who take over-the-counter multivitamins in the first months of pregnancy dramatically reduce their risk of giving birth to a neurologically damaged child. Neural tube defects are amongst the most horrible and most common birth defects. They cause everything from death to paralysis in the child, and they affect between 1 and 2 babies in every 1000 births. The study was carried out under the direction of Aubrey Milunsky, director of Boston University's prestigious Center for Human Genetics. It involved 23,000 women, half of whom took multivitamin pills containing folic acid—a B-group vitamin in particularly high demand during pregnancy. The results were astonishing. The incidence of neural tube defects in babies born to the women who took the supplements was less than a quarter of what it was amongst those women who took no supplements. So remarkable were these results that they shook to the core FDA officials, who had insisted for generations that taking nutritional supplements is not only unnecessary but, can cause damage our health. Nevertheless, the FDA and CODEX continue to propagandize the ridiculous idea that “nutrition has no significance for health”. The notion that if vitamins and minerals are allowed on the market, they should only be permitted in ultra-low doses. As a result, month-by-month, clinically effective nutrients are being treated as “toxins”. The levels of nutrients they contain are being reduced. Many are being removed from public access in one country after another. There’s a wonderful way around all this which I strongly urge you to explore. Shun chemically made vitamins—which over 90% on the market are—and take food-state nutrients instead. Most vitamins you buy in shops or online are made from synthetic chemicals. They’ve been manufactured in a laboratory in a futile effort to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals found in our foods. As a result, they are chock full of chemically-made nutrients. Your body has been designed to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Manmade synthetics can never match natural molecular structures. In no way are they the same. Our bodies do not handle synthetics well. You can be taking a high-potency, man-made synthetic that somebody’s recommended, yet not effectively absorbing the vitamins and minerals it contains. This is a major reason why I am passionate about whole-food natural vitamins and minerals. Good manufacturers of whole-food vitamins usually grow most botanicals themselves that go into their food-state formulas. Using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, they test, validate and document the potencies of the raw materials that make up their products with high performance liquid chromatography for testing potency. They are careful in the way they handle other plant extracts which they add to their supplements. They use a specific system of drying which transfers heat gently and efficiently, removing moisture from delicate foods and botanicals in order to prevent oxidation of raw materials. This protects the integrity of the ingredients against any degradation of their nutrient content, and helps maintain the color and the flavor. Since food-state vitamins are biologically natural, you’ll often find that the recommended daily serving of some of these products can sometimes be as high as six to eight capsules a day for you to get the full benefit of what they have to offer. In addition to the common vitamins, such as vitamin A, C, D3, E, K2, folate, and so forth, many food- state multis offer a broad spectrum of bioavailable minerals—calcium, iodine, magnesium, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese; as well as extracts taken from plants also beneficial to your body—extract of barley grass, for example; green papaya; Ayurvedic herbs such as astragalus, foti and kudzu root; and those used in Chinese medicine like reishi and shitake mushrooms. These are often the kind of supplements you may well benefit most from using. Read labels when looking for a good food-state supplement, and choose carefully. But beware. There are many vitamins on the market that claim to be food-state or “whole-food vitamins” that are not top quality. Always make sure that whatever vitamin/mineral complex you choose, it is free of corn, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy products, and that it has been formulated without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring. See below for some food state products I have personally tested and recommend. Dr. Mercola, Premium Supplements, Whole Food Multivitamin Plus As a dietary supplement, adults take 4 tablets two times daily with food or as directed by your healthcare professional. This product is best taken once in the morning and once at night. Order Whole Food Multivitamin Plus from iherb MegaFood, One Daily, 180 Tablets MegaFood cares about doing things the right way - we refuse to take shortcuts, and we never compromise on quality or the things that matter. Order MegaFood, One Daily from iherb MegaFood, Men Over 55 Since 1973, we have been going out of our way to source fresh and local foods from trusted farmers. We then make our wholesome supplements using our one-of-a-kind process to deliver the most authentic nutrition - much more than vitamins alone. Order MegaFood, Men Over 55 from iherb MegaFood, Women Over 40 One Daily FoodState Nutrients are made with fresh and local foods. Crafted with our Slo-Food Process, they deliver the most authentic nourishment available, which we believe the body recognizes as 100% whole food. Order MegaFood, Women Over 40 One Daily from iherb

Cut Grains And Thrive

Cut Grains And Thrive

There is a well-known saying about computers: “garbage in, garbage out.” The same can be said of your body. It’s no use thinking of the food you choose to eat as if it were a dead fuel. Yet most people do. It is an assumption which results in all our dreadful degenerative diseases, from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis to cancer, chronic fatigue, mental confusion, weight gain and the other conditions for which we are urged to swallow dangerous pharmaceuticals, believing that we are doing the right thing. Here’s what you need to know about starches such as grains and cereals. We’ve been taught that these foods are wholesome, salt of the earth fare. The smell of freshly baked bread celebrates home and comfort. It brings us a superb form of fiber to protect from constipation—or does it? Here is my advice: If you value your health and strength, cut down on or even eliminate grains and cereals from your diet. Your body was never designed to handle them. Sounds revolutionary? It is. But following this advice can not only help make you well and get rid of excess fat. It can restore lost vitality to your life. BACK TO THE FUTURE Here’s why. The genes you have inherited from your ancestors matter. It can take 100,000 years or more for the human body to make a single, natural alteration in its genetic structure. It is not true that your distant ancestors wandered through forests munching on wild fruits like gorillas. For thousands upon thousands of years, they were dwellers in grasslands. They walked bipedally and lived mostly by digging up starchy tubers, roots and corms, which have something in common with today’s potato and taro. Neanderthal man relied on these starchy plants for more than 250,000 years, also hunting and eating herbivores and fish. What scientists now call the Paleolithic diet consisted of 15 to 20% of these carbohydrate foods such as tubers, rhizomes, roots and corms, along with between 50 and 70% fatty animal foods, as well as insects, eggs, birds, reptiles, and creatures from lakes and the sea. Depending upon where these early humans lived in the world, some also gathered foods such as coconuts. Sweet fruits such as those we eat today were non-existent. So were grains. GO WILD, GO FREE At the top of the human food chain, our Paleolithic ancestors were characteristically tall and strong, with incredibly healthy teeth. Their high-meat-high-fat foods together with a relatively small percentage of these vegetable carbohydrates created an amazingly health-giving human diet that has hardly been seen since. They hunted mammoths and fought for their right to them with wild animals who also hunted and ate them. Whether our political and religious leanings like it or not, it still is their protein-oriented, flesh-based diet that remains the healthiest for us today. On such a diet that the forces of natural selection have refined and moulded us to function best. To put it another way, we have been genetically programmed to eat this way for hundreds of thousands of years. HERE COME GRAINS The agricultural revolution began some 10,000 years ago. With the coming of agriculture, man shifted away from his high-protein, low-carb diet. Gradually cereals, fruits, and starchy vegetables began to play a big part in human nutrition. Their bodies suffered for it, as ours still do today. By 4000 years ago, when the agricultural revolution was in full swing, a lot of physical degeneration had taken place. Men and women had shrunk in height. Dental decay and malformation of the jaw had become widespread. Disease epidemics began to shorten the human lifespan. This moment in history marks the very beginning of what nowadays are known as the diseases of civilization, including obesity. It’s hard to imagine a more different scenario from the healthy, nomadic ways of our ancient hunter-gatherer forefathers. Anthropologist Kathleen Gordon at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC describes this well when she says, ‘Not only was the agricultural “revolution” not really so revolutionary at its inception, it has also come to represent something of a nutritional “devolution” for much of mankind.’ WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? What’s wrong with grains and cereals? Plenty, and we are not told about it. For generations, we’ve believed that grains and cereals are good for us. Sadly, the truth is that there are plenty of reasons not to eat them often—and, for many people, not to eat them at all. Most grains can cause humans toxic effects. For instance, corn—the domesticated form of the teosinte grass—can create pellagra. Many of us are starch-sensitive as a result of toxins created by our gut bacteria as they try to digest starches. Our 21st century bodies have never been genetically adapted to thrive on them. Research affirms this fact. Grains and cereals contain anti-nutrients to protect them from predators such as birds and insects. They can exert negative effects on human metabolism. These toxins can include lectins and alpha-amylase inhibitors, which behave like allergens. Lectins are especially important anti-nutrients found in many places, especially in grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. They can trigger digestive problems such as nausea, diarrhea, bloating. Your body creates antibodies in response to lectins which can, in turn, launch an attack on your own body, causing autoimmune issues like celiac disease, lupus and multiple sclerosis. Lectins damage the walls of your intestines, creating “leaky gut” so that large particles of food cross the intestinal barrier to enter the bloodstream directly, creating food sensitivities and overwhelming the immune system so it starts attacking your body causing eczema, weight gain, depression and migraine. The best way to reduce lectin’s negative health effects is to cut down on your consumption of grains and cereals or even eliminatee these foods altogether. All grains and cereals are full of phytic acid—a mineral blocker. It prevents your body from absorbing vital minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, and iron. Finally, there is the fiber issue. We’ve been told we need to eat cereal grains to make sure we get enough whole grain fiber. Yet grain fiber contains toxic proteins, including gluten, and roughage that can actually damage the intestinal wall. Cut down on grains, cereals and legumes to create a low toxicity way of eating to keep you slim and fit, and protect you from rapid aging and degenerative diseases. This is your first step towards freedom. SAFE STARCHES What are the safe starches? They include white rice, potatoes, sago, tapioca, and sweet potatoes, provided they are organically grown. Akin to what our ancestors lived on for hundreds of years, these starches can improve your gut health. They also provide useful minerals such as potassium. These foods must be cooked gently so that any natural toxins which they contain are neutralized. Brown rice is not great because the phyten it contains can provoke an immune response. But there are no known auto immune antibodies generated by white rice protein. When it comes to potatoes, you should know that the solanine and chaconine toxins they can contain are generated when potatoes are exposed to light and heat. This is why it’s important to keep them in cool, dark conditions. Any potatoes that have become discolored or not fresh you should throw away. There are other sources of what appear to be safe starches, including buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa, but these have not yet been thoroughly researched. I refer to them as the faux grains. They can be great for baking and to replace the usual grains and cereals. People who choose to use them usually do very well on them. They do not appear to cause weight gain or digestive problems, provided you eat them in moderation. You can make wonderful baked goods from them, such as white rice noodles, pasta dishes, rice crackers to replace wheat crackers, sugar-free muffins, pancakes, and biscuits. To learn more about these delicious safe starches, click here. DECEPTIVE PROGRAMMING Grains and cereals are cheap to manufacture. And they are also highly addictive. For more than half a century, food manufacturers intent on making a profit have been producing a great variety of hyped foods by fragmenting and reducing raw material foodstuffs—including grains and seeds, cereals and legumes—to simple “nuts and bolts”. These are then whipped up into the manufactured convenience foods that most people pick up from supermarket shelves. You know the kind of thing: Ready-to-eat in a minute meals, to cakes, breads and packaged, denatured stuff that makes up three quarters of what most people eat these days. Flour and sugar-based convenience foods full of junk fats have an ultra-long shelf life. Most, in truth, are nothing more than junk foods, devoid of any nutritional value other than calories. The processed fats they contain, together with masses of artificial chemicals used as flavorings, colorings and preservatives, are far removed from the foods you need for health. It is little wonder many human beings today— even those in economically privileged countries—stuff themselves with dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, yet do little more than survive. STOP EARLY AGING Our high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet is a disaster for long-term health. Here are just a few of the negative effects of living on it: Raised serum insulin levels, causing insulin resistance and resulting in metabolic distortions which undermine health and vitality. Lowered basal metabolic rate, leading to weight gain and low energy. Increased adipose tissue growth accompanied by a gross reduction in lean muscle tissue. Acceleration of biological aging. Development of food allergies or sensitivity, especially to grains, legumes, cereals and dairy food. Development of over-active immune system and eventual immune failure. Soaring incidence of degenerative diseases, including heart disease, obesity and cancer. Such a way of eating brings about serious problems with blood sugar levels and causes endless suffering to people with diabetes. And it never reduces high blood pressure. People who lose weight on such a diet never keep it off. Yet the myths we are fed by the media and multi-national corporations persist. We find ourselves stuck in a frustrating circle of misinformation, temptation and self-blame. I believe it’s time to strip away the false “truths” and get back to basics. SET YOURSELF FREE I’ve worked with huge numbers of people who have changed their way of eating—by cutting out convenience foods based on refined flours, grains and legumes, and starchy vegetables—lose their cravings sometimes as quickly as in a few weeks. This feels like they have been set free from a life in prison. Their appetite diminishes, their blood sugar levels stabilize and their life transforms. Before long these people feel uncomfortable when they eat more than their body actually needs. For them, the transition to nutrient-rich-calorie-poor way of eating becomes a graceful, natural experience. They report that they have never felt better, while friends and family tell them they look wonderful. I would never have believed this had it not also happened to me. You will only know what it can do for you when you get yourself into a low-grain-and-cereal way of eating, or even eliminate these foods altogether. I challenge you to find out for yourself.

Sacred Truth Ep. 43: Celebrate Coffee

Sacred Truth Ep. 43: Celebrate Coffee

Despite the warnings in recent years about how dangerous coffee is to health—and there is truth in many of them—coffee has many benefits to mind and body. It’s been prescribed for generations in the treatment of asthma, vertigo, headache, jaundice, and even snakebite. A poultice of wet coffee grounds speeds up the healing of insect stings and bruises. Coffee enemas have long been used internally as a strong purgative stimulant to both the bowels and the liver in the natural treatment of serious illness, including cancer. Coffee warms us, stimulates us, and has a natural diuretic and purgative effect on the body. From the point of view of our creativity and mental functioning, coffee most definitely has something to offer. The cafés in Paris in the last century were filled with famous writers, artists, politicians, and thinkers who enjoyed the stimulation that coffee can bring, among them Ernest Hemingway, Collette, Jean-Paul Sartre, Picasso, and even W.B. Yeats. The most popular beverage in the world is coffee. More than twelve billion pounds of coffee are traded each year. Once known to Persians and Arabs as the ‘drink of the gods,’ coffee has become so much a part of modern life that many dread to be without it. In the United States more than 60% of people drink coffee daily while 80% drink it occasionally. Most coffee drinkers swallow about two cups a day. If you’re going to drink coffee, there are certain things you need to know about it—for instance, how to choose the best coffee and how to protect yourself from the ever-increasing contamination from pesticides and herbicides. From the point of view of digestion, coffee can have a tendency to eat away at the villi in the small intestine. This can happen if you drink too much of it. And if you are not savvy about making sure that the coffee you drink is only the very best, it can also interfere with the assimilation of nutrients from food—one of the reasons why heavy coffee drinkers tend to be deficient in minerals. The acidity of coffee has also long been another concern. If your body becomes too acidic from the wrong kind of coffee, it will tend to leach calcium—an alkaline element—from your bones to balance the acidity of the blood. The good news is great news. Clean, fresh, organic, fair trade coffee—which is the only kind you should be drinking—can be a major source of helpful antioxidants in your diet. These help neutralize the aggressive action which coffee can have on the body. While it was long believed that drinking coffee would increase your blood pressure, recent studies show that this is not a great problem. In one meta-research project involving 11 studies and some 480, 000 people, researchers concluded that drinking one to four cups of coffee a day can even diminish the risk of developing type II diabetes. A Japanese team discovered that drinking a cup of coffee could also lower the strain on the heart by enhancing blood flow in the capillaries. Other recent studies indicate that coffee consumption may help limit Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and liver disease. One of the ingredients in coffee may help protect from alcoholic cirrhosis. And coffee boosts athletic performance. Virtually all of the previous research into the damaging effects of coffee was done using readily-available coffee in the market-place, which is contaminated by an ever-increasing number of herbicides and pesticides that build up and poison your body by interfering with metabolic processes. In developed countries such as Europe and the United States, once a herbicide or pesticide is labeled ‘dangerous to human health’ and made illegal, the chemical companies who sell it then tend to send the banned chemically contaminated beans to third world countries for use there. Coffee itself is grown in third world countries. In most of these countries there are no statutory controls over allowing how much of a specific herbicide or pesticide is to be sprayed on crops. Coffee is the second most contaminated food in the world. Organic coffee is free of the chemical dangers, none of which have been fully investigated but which are certainly considerable in relation to human health. So, when buying coffee, go organic. Here are my own guidelines for safe, delicious coffee drinking. Limit yourself to two cups of the very best organic, fair trade, fresh coffee, which is pesticide free. Buy whole beans and grind them yourself just before making coffee. Make sure the beans you choose smell fresh and delicious. Most brands are too old and these can poison your system. Dark roasts, especially espresso roasts, are the best to buy. Espresso has less caffeine in it than ordinary coffee. It is also more delicious. Always drink your coffee black, without cream or sugar, otherwise you’ll undermine your ability to receive all the newly discovered benefits from coffee drinking. An important warning: Never drink coffee when pregnant. Even one or two cups drunk while pregnant can affect fetal heart development and long-term function. Enjoy.

What Price Convenience

What Price Convenience

Our Western Diet is based on foods of convenience—the fast food items we buy at the local corner shop or supermarket. These products are gross distortions of the REAL foods which human beings have eaten throughout history...foods to which our bodies remain genetically adapted. Our ancestors did not have bread, sugar, junk fats and all the other nutritionally depleted pre-packaged, pre-cooked stuff that we do. They ate fresh wholesome foods. Palaeolithic man’s diet was high in wholesome fats, moderate in proteins, and rich in fiber, thanks to whatever vegetables and simple fruits they could gather. CHEAP AND NASTY The modern convenience foods on which we now feed depleted of natural fiber and filled with chemicals. They are manufactured from grain-based carbs, and altered milk products then riddled sugar and dangerous trans-fatty acids—oils which have been separated out from the foods from which they are taken, then chemically altered by solvents and heat processing. FOODS CAUSE ADDICTION Apart from the destructive power of GMO foods, which are not only destroying human health but the health of the planet, another major change has taken place: Today we also swallow a kaleidoscope of colorants, flavorings, additives and ‘enhancers’, not to mention pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which our ancestors could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. We slurp down chemical pollutants with each sip of our diet cola, and every bite of our pre-cooked meals. Quite simply, this is the fast food diet that 95% of the Western world now lives on. And, next time you upbraid yourself for what you perceive to be your lack of willpower as you reach for yet another biscuit and feel guilty about it, let the guilt go. It does not belong to you. The denatured, degraded, food we eat bears the lion's share of blame, not only for the plague of obesity worldwide, but for food addictions and cravings that lead to illness and weight gain, the development of potentially fatal degenerative diseases, from heart disease and cancer to metabolic syndrome; Alzheimer’s disease; diabetes, and dozens more. DEGENERATION BEGINS It was Weston Price, early on in the century, who first brought the scientific community's attention to the devastating effects the rise of processed foods and the destructive ways in which they damage human health. Price, a dentist, traveled the world recording the changes in the shape of the jaw and teeth which take place slowly but inevitably as each culture discards its traditional dietary practices, based on real food, in favor of our more ‘civilized’ Western fare. Price's many studies—each of which lasted between 20 and 40 years—carefully plotted the onset of degenerative diseases. It is not surprising that, after living on a diet of simple whole plant foods rich in natural fiber and a health-giving synergy of nutrients and micro-nutrients throughout evolution, the human body continues to this day find the foods we eat now anathema to health. Our genes have been attuned to naturally grown, unprocessed foods for more than a million years. Our metabolic biochemistry as human beings is designed for it. Sir Robert McCarrison—brilliant British doctor also charted the relationship between food and health. More recently, two more British doctors, Dennis Burkitt and Hugh Trowell, carried out their own extensive studies, taking Price and McCarrison’s work a step further. They carefully documented the exact sequence of events which takes place when a people's diet changes from simple, primitive, real food to packaged fast foodstuffs. Stage One: The primitive, unprocessed diet of hunter-gatherers, complete with plenty of healthy fats, good quality proteins, plus vegetable and fruit-based carbohydrate is eaten. Degenerative diseases do not exist. Stage Two: Western diet is introduced. Obesity and diabetes become common among privileged groups able to afford foods of commerce, and degenerative diseases begin to appear. Stage Three: A culture's diet becomes “moderately Westernized”. Obesity becomes more widespread, as does constipation, haemorrhoids, varicose veins and appendicitis. Stage Four: Westernized diet is now widespread. Overweight and obesity are common in all social groups. So is heart disease, high blood pressure, diverticular disease, hiatus hernia, cancer and other Western diseases. FRAGMENTED “FOODS” Like our soils, the industrially manufactured foods we eat today—from biscuits and pasta to pre-cooked convenience meals—have quite literally been taken to pieces. High-tech food production works something like this: To create a great variety of palatable foods from raw materials, you have to reduce the foodstuffs—grains and seeds, vegetables and legumes—to simple, malleable ‘nuts and bolts’ that lend themselves to whatever manipulations you want to perform on them. Take soya beans for instance. They were once considered an excellent source of complete protein as valuable as meat or eggs—more valuable in many ways, since they are so cheap. Nowadays more than 95% of soybeans grown worldwide are genetically modified. Food manufacturers still take whole soya beans, in which 30% of each bean is protein, and process them physically and chemically to extract this protein and make it ready to accept dyes and flavorings. hen they alter its texture through more processing until eventually it becomes ersatz meat. This end product—from which soy-based foods from tofu to soya milk are made—is a long way from the natural soya bean. In the course of such manipulations the little soya bean, which, pre-GMO devastation and high processing, once offered asynergy of nutrients, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and fiber. By now however it has now been turned into a highly concentrated artificial material. During the operation, vitamins and minerals are destroyed. The soya bean's proteins and natural fatty acids have been denatured and chemically altered into new forms, many of which are not usable by the body. The soya has also lost most of its fiber too—a vital part of any food's health-promoting wholeness, and something absolutely essential for protection from degenerative diseases and obesity. To this artificial “food”, manufacturers then add a lot of phoney colors and flavors. Canadian expert in food science, Ross Hume Hall, puts it rather well when he says: "The product contains the same number of calories as the original soya protein, but it now consists of a set of naked molecules completely divorced from any natural context." The same is true of the way in which cereals and grains are processed. NUTRITIONAL DESTRUCTION From milk to meat to garden peas—whatever food is involved—processing destroys nutrients. According to official government handbooks, 50-70% of vitamin B6 is lost when meats are processed. 50-90% of folic acid—a vitamin of particular importance to the functioning of nerves and the actions of hormones, especially in the female body—is shed when grains are milled, while more than 80% of the mineral magnesium disappears in the same process. The multi-national food industry covers the packaging of its products with endless ‘nutritional’ information, which would have you believe that any goodness lost in processing can be made up for by ‘enriching’. Enriching is just another chemical whereby a few cheap vitamins and minerals in synthetic form are pumped back into the now fragmented food. It is categorically impossible to restore the health-giving power of wholeness to any food which has been fragmented in this way. BIG COVER-UP Similar nutrient losses happen during other phases of food handling—artificial ripening, transport and storage. Store asparagus for a week and it loses 90% of its vitamin C. Keep grapes for the same time, and they shed 30% of their B vitamins. Freeze meats and you can lose as much as 50% of two important B vitamins— riboflavin and thiamine. These are just a few examples of nutrient losses which occur every day. They are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which modern food handling and manufacturing processes have created highly concentrated, calorie-dense foods filled with masses of sugar (more about this in future entries) which are dangerously destructive of health, and promote both weight gain and rapid degeneration of body and mind. REAL FOOD CREATES REAL HEALTH OK, so where do you go from here? It is easy to change your food-buying habits once you clear your cupboards of the manufactured rubbish we all collect. You’ll find the healthiest, freshest, and most natural foods for lasting health at the outside edges of your local supermarket. These include crunchy fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh game and meats, seafoods and eggs. Skirt the edges, steer clear of the middle, and you’ve got the secret to becoming a successful modern-day hunter-gatherer. Remember this: Natural wholesome foods are perishable. They have to be replaced often, unlike the ready-in-a-minute, pre-made stuff that you find in the inner aisles. You will be shopping “at the edge” in another way too: You’ll be looking for foods as close as possible to those that our ancestors ate—with a wide variety of crunchy, living vegetables, especially bright-colored ones. 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 they can sit on the shelves for a long time, and are cheap to produce with high profit margins. Virtually all convenience foods and fast foods have been whipped up out of processed grains and cereals, masses of sugar in all forms, junk fats, chemical additives. Avoid them for your sake, as well as the sake of your family. You’ll be able to turn your lives around in short order. Find our for yourself. Try it.

My Love Affair With Plants

My Love Affair With Plants

For more than a million years, our ancestors lived with herbs. They cooked with them, healed with them, used them to scent their bodies and sanctify their prayers. On a molecular level, the human body recognizes herbs when we take them. Get to know the nature of a few specific plants and they will enhance your life immeasurably. In a very real sense, we can come to know an herb the way a woman knows her lover. The spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human. Expect magic. You won’t be disappointed. A FINE ROMANCE My own passion for herbs began when I discovered the help they could bring me and my family. Simple plants such as nettle or golden rod (Solidago virgauria) have a natural cleansing and diuretic effect on my body. Traveling on airplanes, my ankles used to swell up. I discovered when I got home and made a cup of golden rod or nettle tea, the swelling would vanish. Fascinated, I began to read about what herbs can do for the immune system. I began to experiment with other plants—goldenseal and echinacea, burdock and shiitake mushrooms. I began to give herbs to my whole family whenever any of us threatened to come down with flu or a cold. I discovered that, provided we took them in time, one or a combination of plants would clear the problem before the full force of any illness hit. A doctor friend, Gordon Latto, taught me that gargling with red sage and sticking a clove of garlic in its paper shell in between the teeth and the inside of the mouth for a few hours a day would clear a sore throat and nip throat infections in the bud. I began to wonder just how many other remarkable things plants could do for us. THE SUPERB ADAPTOGENS I was lucky enough to meet with the famous Russian scientist I.I. Brekhman, expert in adaptogenic herbs, who won the Lenin Prize for Science. From him I learned that the adaptogens such as ginseng, eluthrococcus or Siberian Ginseng, and Suma from South America strengthen a person’s ability to resist illness as well as making it possible for us to work and play longer and harder without experiencing the negative effects of prolonged stress. That was thirty years ago. Since then I have come to use herbs and flowers, fresh raw juices and vegetables, water and tender loving care to help the body protect itself from illness, heal a sickness when it struck, calm an agitated mind, induce slumber when unable to sleep, clear depression, and care for my skin. I have also learned to use herbs to decorate my house and sanctify my working space. I also fell in love with photographing them. Meanwhile, I raised four children without antibiotics or over-the-counter drugs thanks to the blessings of herbs. DAZZLING POWER The classic definition of an herb is ‘a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter’. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course, there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, ginkgo and elder, which provide us with some of the best-selling herbs on the market these days. My own definition of an herb is simply a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild—a weed, a spice, a plant which is used for its healing, culinary or beautifying properties. So powerful are the health-enhancing capacities of herbs that a vast number of common prescription drugs have been derived from a mere 90 species of plants. According to Professor Norman Farnsworth—leading American expert in pharmacognosy at University of Illinois —74% of common drugs have been developed directly out of traditional native herb folklore. In the United States alone, the annual sales of prescription drugs developed from plant products used by tribal cultures is already in excess of $6 billion. Unlike prescription drugs, whose side-effects can be devastating, most herbs are both safe and simple to use. Most carry no side-effects at all. MEDICAL FAILURE The way we have thought about health and healing for the past century—what the experts call our biomedical model—has come to the limits of its usefulness. Conventional medical practices view the body as a collections of structures—bones and blood, cells and tissues. Common medical treatment consists of acting on these structures in a symptomatic way. Doctors give one drug to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, another to get rid of headaches or put you to sleep. Whether these drugs are medically prescribed or over-the-counter products, virtually all carry negative side effects. Most have no concern with genuine healing. They instead focus on ‘managing’ illness by suppressing symptoms. Herbal treatment, like all of the great natural approaches to health through history, looks at things differently. It insists that at every level of biological organisation—from chromosomes in our DNA all the way up to our eyes and toes, stomach and liver—the body has a stunning capacity for self-treatment. It is capable of removing damaged structures and renewing them on its own. The natural capacity of living organisms as complex as ours to regenerate themselves is something that symptomatic drug-based medicine ignores altogether. Yet self-regeneration lies at the very core of using natural foods, water, air and movement therapies, and of course herbs, to strengthen, balance or heal. Chinese medicine is functional medicine; it did not develop along structural lines as Western 20th century medicine did. So is Ayurvedic and Unani medicine from India, and nature-cure in the West. The Chinese pharmacopoeia is the richest in the world. Chinese doctors value plants for their ability to strengthen the body’s functioning, heighten its own defences and improve immunity. They use herbs, as we are only now beginning to in the West, to extend longevity, to increase resistance to illness, to heighten energy, and to calm disturbed emotions. BRING MAGIC INTO YOUR LIFE There is an endless parade of different ways you can use herbs. In the health food store and mail order catalogue you can find a confusing array of capsules, pills, tablets, extracts, tinctures and ‘whole herbs’ or ‘bulk herbs’, none of which seem to relate to the ‘infusion’ you have decided you would like to take. And what about the herbs you have growing in your garden? Here is a rough guide to finding your way through the confusion. First, find yourself a reputable supplier. I have a passion for iHerb.com, since the variety of herbal products they offer are the best and cheapest anywhere, and they ship worldwide. Personally, I’m wary of buying herbs in health food stores or pharmacies unless they come from a manufacturer or supplier I know. With a supplier you trust and with whom you can discuss your needs, you can be sure you are getting a good potency and that the herbs have not been sitting in a cupboard somewhere for months. BULK/DRIED/WHOLE HERBS What you are buying is a bag or box of a specific weight of dried herb, either in its whole form, crushed or powdered. This is the best way to purchase herbs if you want to make teas (infusions), decoctions, or your own capsules, or if you want to use them in potpourris and sachets. It is also about the cheapest way to buy dried herbs. TINCTURES A tincture uses alcohol diluted in water to draw out the plant’s chemical constituents and preserve them. You can buy tinctures by the bottle and they are pretty potent. You take from several drops to 1 teaspoon or more of a tincture in a little water several times a day if needed. Tinctures are best bought from a reputable supplier. You can make them yourself, but the process is less accurate than when they are professionally produced. I buy many herbs in tincture form as I find them so convenient. You will sometimes find a figure such as 1:4 on a bottle of tincture. This gives you the ratio of the weight of the herb—in this instance 1 part of herb—to alcohol/water mix. An herbalist may suggest you take a specific ratio in which case your supplier can advise, but for general usage you don’t need to know the ratio. EXTRACTS Extracts are easy to confuse with tinctures. They are far more concentrated. They aim to contain all the active chemicals of the plant, not only those that will dissolve in alcohol. Extraction processes vary from pressure rolling to heat treatment to vacuum extraction. These are best left to the experts. Extracts have a limited shelf life. They should be kept in the fridge. Herbalists often prescribe extracts during an illness, rather than using them for prevention. Extracts can also be useful to add to a cream or salve for external use: ¼ extract to ¾ base. They are pretty strong in their action. TABLETS, PILLS & CAPSULES Tablets, pills and capsules are often more readily than the loose dried herbs themselves. Tablets, pills and capsules usually contain the whole herb, not just the constituents extracted in a tincture or infusion. Therefore, in taking them, you are making use of the synergy in action between all the constituents of each plant. Choose those from a reputable manufacturer/supplier. Tablets are made from dried plant material—leaves, roots, bark and/or flowers—mixed with a base, sometimes lactose, both to help you hold them in your hand to take them and to aid absorption in the stomach. Pills are, basically, tablets with a coating. If the plant is sticky, smelly, or tastes dreadful—or all three—it is more likely to come in pill form than tablet form as the protein or sugar coating disguises less pleasant aspects of the plant. Usually I avoid these, since sugar in any form is far from beneficial. Capsules, made of gelatine or a vegetarian equivalent, are filled with dried herbs—even the stickier, smellier ones. They need to be stored in a cool, dry place, but they preserve herbs well. You can buy gelatine capsules from a chemist and fill them yourself, either with herbs you have dried yourself or with dried herbs you have bought in bulk. The standard 00 size capsule holds about ½ gram (500mg) of herb. Make sure the herb is ground into as fine a powder as possible before filling, so that it can be easily absorbed by the body. A WONDROUS WORLD Plants speak volumes when you know how to listen. One of the great joys of our herbal tradition has been the love affair that takes place when the spirit of an herb meets the spirit of the person using it. It is an old art by which, using your intuition and trusting your instinct, you can move towards an awareness of the central nature of a plant and how best it can be used. For example—the herb Leonurus cardiaca is a powerful strengthener of the heart, reducing tachycardia and hypertension and promoting normal heart action. The essence of its personality, however, is better expressed in its common name—motherwort. This herb has the ability to bring a sense of absolute security—the way a baby feels lying in the arms of its mother—during periods of deep and unsettling change. Every plant has secret wisdom and power. It will tell you its tales and offer its richness to you as you open your heart to it.

I must have flowers

I must have flowers

Whatever else happens in my life, I must have flowers. These gifts from Nature nourish the soul. We scatter their petals when we marry. We send bouquets of them to celebrate the birth of a child. We decorate our homes and our places of worship with them. We use flowers to comfort the lonely and the ill. We even honour the end of a person’s life by laying floral wreathes on a grave. Not only do flowers play a central role in the rituals of life, they bless our ordinary daily existence by blossoming in our gardens, waste ground and hedgerows – and gracing our windowsills by protruding gaily from a cracked teapot. Perhaps it is the velvet softness of their petals and their luminous colours that make these affirmations from nature so precious to us. Maybe it is the uplifting energy they carry – an energy you sense lying in a field of poppies or when you go into a florist’s shop. It could be the fragrance of flowers, or the transient nature of their coming and going. I don’t know. Ancient Wreaths Our passion for flowers and the awareness that they carry deep healing and sanctifying energies are both as old as history itself. Not long ago, archaeologists digging in the Cave of Shanidar within the Zagros Mountains of Iran unearthed nine bodies of primitive people and discovered that, at least 60,000 years ago, men and women were carrying out flower rituals similar to those we use today. The archaeologists found soil samples in which clusters of pollen from twenty-eight different species of flower lay in a circle forming a wreath which had been laid to rest with human remains. One of the interesting things about the find was that the flowers these primitive people chose to use as a sacred and healing offering to their dead were not the most beautiful, nor were they the most readily available in that area. The flowers from which these wreathes had been made were chosen from plants that are specifically known for their healing properties - hollyhock, grape hyacinth and horsetail - all of which we still use today for medicinal purposes. Precious Offerings The Ancient Greeks and the Egyptians used aromatic oils and flowers for healing too, as they did for embalming, expanding consciousness and for sanctifying space. The Bible is riddled with words of praise for flowers and what they have to teach us, both about the realms of Spirit and about the ordinary world in which we live most of our lives. It tells us “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Mathew 6:28-29). In Song of Solomon 2:12 “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is at hand…” Soul Healers Not only does humanity have a passion for flowers. Flowers have a passion for us. They love to share with us their beauty, their healing powers – their very life force. “When I touch a flower, I am touching infinity,” said the American botanist George Washington Carver: “Through the flower I talk to the Infinite… a silent force… that still small voice.” American clairvoyant and healer Edgar Cayce celebrated the healing power of flowers again and again. He insisted that flowers bring companionship to those of us who are lonely, that they speak to the “shut in”, and that they bring Divine grace and upliftment to everyone. That is certainly my own experience of flowers. The Time Is Now Despite our longstanding love affair with flowers - despite the way for thousands of years we have used them for healing and to mark life’s passages, never in recorded history have we experienced a greater need for their healing and their blessings than right now. For we who live in the post-modern world often feel ourselves to be alienated, isolated, suspended, caught somewhere between the magnificent technology we have created and a longing to bond with the earth and with our own souls. Flowers can help bridge this gap. I think they do this better than anything else in nature. Flowers delight us, bless us and heal us. They clear the spiritual anorexia so widespread in urban life and help fill up our starving souls. They remind us of our own simple humanity as well as our essentially divine nature: They whisper to us of the splendour in the world around us—a world of which we humans are the guardians. Most important of all our relationship with flowers helps realign our ordinary day-to day lives with the authenticity of our unique soul energies. A big statement to make? Yes, but having worked with flower meditation for many years, having explored the potential flower essences have to build bridges for us between our inner truth and our outer lives I have come to believed with all my being that this is so. How Do Flowers Heal? No-one knows for sure. There are so many of their elements which carry healing potential that it would be hard to list them all: Their colours influence our mind, our energy levels, our clarity of thought. Colourful flowers and the plants they come from often carry health-enhancing nutrients within them - anti-oxidants such as flavinoids, which give plants their wonderful colours and help protect from degeneration, and other phyto-chemicals that help to strengthen immunity, improve circulation or delay ageing. Then there are the more recently discovered vibrational energies which Dr Bach called on when he fashioned flower essences and, of course, essential oil treats and treatments for person and place. Last, but by no means least, is the power of flower meditation. Here is where the soul of a human being meets the soul of a flower to bring healing, friendship and blessings to both. To Each His Own Flowers are as individual in their personalities as they are in their looks and fragrance. Some love the night. They only display their beauty and emit their fragrance once the sun goes down. Like night-owl people, at their best in the wee small hours of the morning, these blossoms have a passionate nature. They often carry exotic names like Queen of the Night, Night-Blooming Silene, and Gilliflower. Other flowers, like goatsbeard, poppy and marigold, open their petals at the crack of dawn then close down each evening and drift away into sleep. The sunflower stretches itself boldly towards heaven, while the bright blue borage flower, worshiped by Celtic warriors for its ability to bring courage in battle, bows its tiny head towards the ground. A shy soul with a great power to heal, borage prefers to go unnoticed – despite its heart-rending beauty. I have learned much about the individual personalities and soul nature of flowers not only from meditating on them and using them for healing but also from photographing them. Some, like peony, love the spotlight. Put them in front of a camera and they upstage everything else. Many have very strong likes and dislikes about where you plant them and where you place a bouquet of them in a room. On one table a particular flower becomes recalcitrant. But move it to the top of a bookcase in front of a window and suddenly it surrenders its beauty to the camera the way a woman yields to the touch of her lover. Each flower has unique healing properties and each speaks its own silent language. Learning that language, listening to flower wisdom and opening your heart to a flower’s healing energy can be a joyous and often life-changing experience. Spotlight On Flower Essences Get to know half a dozen of the most useful essences. Choose them depending on where you are in your life now and as you change explore more of these wonderful floral friends. Here is my personal selection with some information about each essence. It can open up a whole new world for you of beauty, healing and joy. Here are a few flower essences you might like Bach Original Flower Essences, Vervain Vervain is essentially a plant of ease. It eases heartache, headache, stomach-ache, concern for the future and bad luck. Dr Bach made a flower essence from vervain to ease stress and tension. Vervain is an essence for those of us who tend to ‘live on our nerves’. These people are likely to take on tasks beyond their strength then force themselves onward through will-power alone. They are the martyrs of this world who will do anything for their cause. Vervain essence is calming. It helps you to slow down long enough to listen to your own needs, and to the opinions of others as well as to let you restore your strength. In all its forms vervain brings relief. Order Bach Original Flower Essences, Vervain from iherb Flower Essence Services, Lotus The lotus is no symbol of abstract perfection never to be achieved. All true lovers of the lotus will tell you that true spirituality grows out of the depths of material form. Step by step it reaches toward the light. The unique power nestled within the lotus’ genetic structure is this: Only this flower among all water plants is born from the muck with such strength of stem that, instead of floating on the water as do others, the power of its life force raises it a foot or more above the pond. Flower essence made from lotus can help when you find yourself knee deep in an endless swamp. Meditating on the lotus flower opens you to a pride-free experience of your soul’s divinity. I find both the essence and the meditation useful in blearing illusions and dissolving spiritual pride. Lotus reminds us that all true spirituality is deeply rooted in imperfection. Order Flower Essence Services, Lotus from iherb Flower Essence Services, Sunflower Sunflower essence helps those on a spiritual path, who tend to forget their bodily needs. It brings grounding and helps us manage times of dramatic change with ease. Its wisdom is a fine example of the Australian aboriginal idea of 'keeping your head in the stars and your feet on the ground'. Sunflower essence also helps strengthen self-esteem. It can improve the way you relate to people in authority by allowing you to maintain your sense of self in the face of someone else’s demands. Order Flower Essence Services, Sunflower from iherb Flower Essence Services, Mallow, Flower Essence The mallow is a flower of the heart. Its flower essence can help you to align the demands of your head with the intuition of the heart – in effect, to hear the whispers of your soul. Mallow is of great help to those who ‘lead from the head’ rather than from the heart and who often feel that life is a struggle although they are not sure why. This essence helps you to integrate your deepest beliefs and desires with your daily thinking and, in doing so, to live out more fully your true nature. Order Flower Essence Services, Mallow, Flower Essence from iherb Bach Original Flower Essences, Honeysuckle Honeysuckle flower essence was a favorite of Dr Bach – father of all flower essences. He prescribed it “to remove from the mind the regrets and sorrows of the past.” It is an essence which can help anyone who is stuck in the past, either through regret or nostalgia. As Dr Bach insisted, the important thing about any experience is that we learn from it, not continue to relive it. Honeysuckle flower essence helps put the events of the past where they belong – behind you – so that you can go forward into the future with the enthusiasm and innocence of the child reborn. Order Bach Original Flower Essences, Honeysuckle from iherb Flower Essence Services Calendula The flower essence of calendula is both warming and calming. It can help speakers, writers, teachers and leaders use words with clarity, compassion and creativity. The flower boasts a benign energy that makes it easier to express yourself and at the same time honor the opinions of others. Marigold can be especially useful for people who find their discussions too often end in arguments. This flower essence brings warmth and patience. It encourages you to listen as well as to make your point and furthers the cause of real communication. Order Flower Essence Services Calendula from iherb

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 11th of August 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.56 lb
for women
-1.01 lb
for men
-0.56 lb
for women
-1.01 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 11th of August 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

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