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functional food

100 articles in functional food

Sacred Truth Ep. 51: Female Sexuality

Sacred Truth Ep. 51: Female Sexuality

For many years I’ve worked with herbs. I love the purity of them and their effectiveness when used to treat everything from infections and fatigue to depression and clearing stress. High on the list of my favorite herbs is Ashwagandha. It is also one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. It's been used since ancient times to impart the vigor and strength of a stallion to the body. In fact, in Sanskrit, the name itself means "the smell of the horse." Ashwagandha has long been known for its rejuvenating properties. Recently an excellent study reported in Biomed Research International discovered that Ashwagandha could significantly improve female sexual functions when women are given it in a concentrated form as a root extract. Fifty women diagnosed with female sexual dysfunction, including lack of sexual desire, poor sexual arousal, little or no female orgasmic experience, and an inability to become aroused through genital stimulation, were given this remarkable herb in an attempt to find out what, if anything, it might do to enhance their sexuality. Twenty-five of them took 300 mg of Ashwagandha root twice a day. The other twenty-five received a placebo during the eight-week period of the study. Researchers evaluated their sexual functions, including lubrication, arousal, desire, satisfaction, orgasm, pain, and overall sexual activity response to therapy, at four weeks and then again at eight weeks during the study. Those who received Ashwagandha reported significant improved sexual function scores when it came to orgasm, satisfaction, arousal, and lubrication. They experienced heightened sexual desire and even a growing number of successful sexual encounters by the end of the eight weeks compared to the women who'd been given a placebo. Researchers also discovered that Ashwagandha given in this way lowers the experience of chronic stress, which interferes with sexual response by lowering serum cortisol. They also reported another possible mechanism by which Ashwagandha enhances female sexuality: it was by "offsetting androgen deficiency syndrome, which is seen as contributing to a lack of sexual desire in some women." What is also interesting is that this wonderful herb even appears to increase serum testosterone, which plays an important part in sexual functioning in both men and women. The power of something as simple as a herb never ceases to amaze me, provided you know how to use it. Ashwagandha is rich in medicinal chemicals including alkaloids, choline, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of natural sugars. I’ve used it for many years to counter all kinds of difficulties, including problems concentrating, fatigue, stress, and lack of vitality. I discovered long ago that it can alleviate not only these common symptoms, but also supports energetic rejuvenation and heightens our sense of well-being. Of course medical researchers have been examining the power of Ashwagandha for years. There are more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical. Here are just a few of the other healing properties of Ashwagandha: It offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps reduce brain cell degeneration. It stabilizes blood sugar. It reduces depression and anxiety. It protects the immune system. Ashwagandha is what is known as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens contain a combination of health-giving substances including vitamins, amino acids, and other plant factors to support health. They can help your body cope with all sorts of external stressors, including poisons in the environment as well as internal challenges, including insomnia and anxiety. A healthy body is only built when we take into it essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which it can make use of by metabolizing them into energy and metabolic information for our tissues, organs, and cells. Ashwagandha is usually given in quantities from 600 to 1000 mg twice a day. It can be a great comfort for people who suffer from anxiety and insomnia. Drinking a cup of herb tea that contains a teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha root before bed can be great for improving sleep. Of course you should always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using any herb to make sure that it is suitable for you, especially if you are taking any pharmaceutical drugs. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Here are a couple of my favorite forms of Ashwagandha: Organic India, Organic, Ashwagandha, 90 Veggie Caps Relieves Stress & Builds Vitality Made with Certified Organic Herbs Herbal Dietary Supplement Safe for Vegans and Vegetarians Gluten Free Order Organic India Ashwagandha from iherb Irwin Naturals, Steel-Libido for Women, 75 Liquid Soft-Gels Bioperine Powered Absorption Promotes Healthy Sexual Response & Pleasure Daily Essentials Fatty Acids - Omega-3 Oils Dietary Supplement Order Irwin Naturals from iherb

Sensuous Foods That Heal

Sensuous Foods That Heal

Time to eat more! More what? More foods that heal. Organically grown plant foods, together with good quality fats and proteins. At last, the focus of nutritional healing is beginning to shift from an obsession with food groups, vitamin pills and much-hyped superfoods—from chia seeds to acai—for which we have been paying through the nose. Who needs them when so many delicious, readily available plants bring us natural healing phytochemical compounds. Their powerful, health-giving actions are well backed up by medical research. Get to know the health benefits of these easily obtainable foods. Make use of them and thrive. CRANBERRIES FOR CLEARING Cranberries are one of those wonderful red/orange/yellow fruits rich in flavonoid antioxidants and high in flavor. Native Americans have used them for centuries as both food and medicine. They have anti-fungal properties. They are anti-viral too. Cranberries, fresh or dried, also help prevent as well as treat many urinary infections such as cystitis. They knock out the Escherichia coli bacteria that glue themselves to the walls of the intestine and the bladder. An as-yet-unidentified phytochemical in cranberries prevents them from sticking. Cranberries also boast a natural antibiotic—hippuric acid. Eating them carries this little gem into the bladder and kidneys. MANGOS FOR DEPRESSION Mangoes have long been known as “food for the gods”. It was Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote in his autobiography, Autobiography of a Yogi, “It is impossible for the Hindu to conceive of heaven without mangoes.” He probably knew nothing about the biochemistry of this sensuous fruit, but he certainly got right its uplifting qualities. Mangoes are rich in anacardic acid— phytochemicals that bear a strong resemblance to drugs used to treat depression. This makes them a great way to start the day— especially if you can get them tree-ripened and organic. ASPARAGUS TREATMENTS Asparagus has long been used in ayurvedic medicine as a remedy against indigestion. Not long ago, researchers compared the therapeutic effect of asparagus with a commonly-used drug in the prevention of nausea and hiatus hernia, heartburn and gastric acid reflux. They found that asparagus was just as effective as the common drug remedy, yet it had no side effects. Asparagus also boasts excellent diuretic properties, too. It stimulates the digestion and is used to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis. A member of the lily family, asparagus was used by the ancient Greeks to treat kidney and liver troubles. It is one of the best natural remedies for PMS-related bloating and is a top source of folic acid, the antioxidant glutathione, and vitamin C. All three are associated with a reduced risk of cancer and a myriad of age-related degenerative conditions. FENNEL FOR PMS As well as containing potassium, fennel (bulb fennel) is full of phytoestrogens. These are the natural plant hormones which help protect from the onslaught of dangerous estrogens in the environment and from the negative effects of estrogen-based drugs, which continue to be doled out far too often to women. As a result, fennel is useful not only in helping to regulate menstruation, but also in calming PMS. It even stimulates the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers. When you buy fennel, look for the fattest stems—they have more flavor and contain more phytohormones. PEPPERS FOR ANTI-AGING Peppers go back at least 7000 years in their many forms: bell peppers, pimentos, cherry peppers, paprika, piquin, Anaheim, jalapeno, chili, cayenne and aji, to name a few. They became part of European fare when Columbus returned from the New World and introduced them to the court. By the mid-seventeenth century they were widely cultivated in Spain and Portugal. All peppers are rich in vitamins C and E and the carotenoids to help protect against degeneration and the damaging effects of toxic chemicals in the environment. The hotter peppers are rich in an alkaloid called capsaicin, which is known to decrease pain, enhance digestion, detoxify the body and protect it from ‘flu and colds. Eat peppers raw as crudités, bake them and add them to stews and soups. Their magnificent color and health-enhancing capacities are a wonder to behold. BASIL FOR SOOTHING Basil has remarkable healing properties. It calms the stomach and brings a calming quality to the whole body. Basil is rich in monoterpenes. These are phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. It also contains lots more plant chemicals, which soothe stomach cramps and quiet upset stomachs, including eugenol—known for its ability to ease muscle spasms. Finally, basil is both antiseptic and mildly sedative. CHILIES FOR PAIN Most people think of chilies think in terms of herbs and spices, not of health. But chilies are a great addition to any health-enhancing diet, even in the smallest doses. One small chili boasts one hundred percent of the daily recommended dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as nearly two hundred percent of vitamin C. These nutrients help fight free radicals and therefore help protect against heart disease, cancer and early aging. They also strengthen immunity. In addition, chilies contain a plant chemical called capsaicin, which helps prevent cholesterol issues. Throughout history, chilies have been used to relieve pain. Recent research shows capsaicin can temporarily block chemically transmitted pain signals in the body. That’s why you find it in natural ointments useful for relieving arthritis and nerve pain. You’ll even find it in nose sprays for clearing headaches. There is good evidence that capsaicin may also soothe pains of the mind and soul, since it triggers the release of mood enhancing endorphins by the brain. GINGER FOR PMS The spicy, sweet ginger root is one of the greatest of all the natural health supports from the vegetable kingdom. It’s well known for its ability to calm an upset stomach and banish travel sickness. It is also brilliant at alleviating the symptoms of colds and flu by increasing circulation and calming fevers. It even eases PMS and headaches and has heart-protecting properties thanks to its ability to discourage the clumping of blood cells. To prevent or clear nausea you can use half a teaspoon of dried ginger or a tiny piece of fresh ginger. It relives indigestion and flatulence. Ginger stimulates circulation, and is used in natural medicine to counter rheumatism. In a study done in Denmark in 1992, researchers confirmed what ayurvedic practitioners have long known—that ginger relieves the pain of arthritis and rheumatism without side effects. Many scientists studying this amazing root believe that ginger works its wonders in no small part thanks to an ability to block inflammatory tendencies in the body. ROSEMARY FOR SORE MUSCLES Rosemary has a natural ability to soften the skin. When used in a carrier cream and rubbed on the body, its essential oils are a great help in relieving muscular soreness. But what I like best about rosemary is the way it revitalizes the senses through its pungent odor and taste. GREEN LIPS FOR INFLAMMATION With their beautiful blue-green shells, these sea gems—when harvested from unpolluted water—are not only a highly nutritious form of protein. They are rich in vitamins and trace minerals. In addition, green-lipped mussels are a great source of mucopolysaccharides and the free radical scavenging enzyme superoxide dismutase. Extracts of green-lipped muscle have been used successfully to treat inflammatory diseases from rheumatoid arthritis to osteoarthritis to eczema and emphysema. But eating them is even better than using extracts. Recently, they have even taken their place in the growing arsenal of natural cancer treatments. Always eat them cooked. MEET GOOD MEAT The problem with domestic meats is that, in many countries, most of them are laden with hormones, toxins and antibiotics. When you routinely eat non-organic meat, you can end up not only with a high level of uric acid in your body, but a tendency to form a lot of mucus and to build up toxic chemicals in the body, including hormones and antibiotics. This is why I buy only certified organic meat. The difference in flavor is remarkable, and I know that the animals I am eating have been carefully raised and are free of both excess fat and the toxicity that most domestic farm animals carry these days. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY I was a vegetarian for twenty years. I believe that a vegetarian diet is ideal for many people. I discovered in my mid-thirties, however, that vegetarianism was not ideal for me—probably because my ancestors, being Nordic, spent most of their lives living on fish, salted meat and whatever vegetables they could dig up from the frozen tundra. Our genetic make-up determines to a great extent what works for us and what doesn’t. When I added fish and game to my meals, my energy levels soared and I looked and felt better. Each one of us is unique. This not only determines what kind of foods we thrive on, it also determines what kinds of foods are best for us at any particular time of our life. For instance, many women at menopause find they do better by cutting meat out of their diet. Others discover just the opposite—that they need more protein. It’s a question of ‘suck it and see’. Don’t hesitate to shift from eating more vegetables at one time of your life to more fruit at another, and more fish at another. The human body is always changing, as are our needs for various foods. The magnificent variety of organically-grown, healing and health-enhancing foods to choose from makes the process of finding which foods serve you best a sensuous delight.

The Miraculous Apple

The Miraculous Apple

The second most cultivated and widely-eaten fruit in the world is the apple. It seems we had to be well into the 21st century before science finally discovered its nutritional value. Not long ago, Medical News Today featured an article about the top 10 healthiest foods. Apples were number one. Apples are extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and marvelous dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants they contain help reduce our risk of developing cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. But there’s lots more news, too. MAGIC FROM A HUMBLE APPLE Recent studies show that apples have the ability to improve neurological health as they are rich in quercetin, which reduces cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. According to research carried out at the University of Quebec, apples also reduce our risk of stroke. A large study involving 9,208 people showed that those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk of stroke. At Florida State University, scientists praised the apple as “a miracle fruit”. Older women who ate apples every day had 23% less LDL—the bad-guy cholesterol—and 4% more HDL—the good cholesterol, over a 6 month period. Meanwhile, researchers at Cornell University discovered that apples can help “protect neuron cells against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity”. This reduces our risk of developing disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Also at Cornell, researchers discovered that an apple a day may help prevent breast cancer. There is some mounting evidence that apples help reduce the risk of diabetes. A large study involving 187,382 people showed that those who ate 3 servings of apples a week had a 7% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to those who did not. Finally, researchers at Oxford University discovered that eating an apple everyday can be just as effective as statins are in preventing vascular death in people over 50. It’s about time that contemporary research is starting to celebrate the power of the apple. I have known for 50 years that apples are a miracle food. With so many benefits and uses, it is hard to list them all. HEADSTART TO A HEALTHIER LIFE One of the best ways to trigger rapid detoxification in your body, and get you started on a way of living that will keep you healthy all around, is to do an organic applefast for a few days. Of course, no one experienced in the art and science of fasting should fast on water for more than a couple of days, unless they are under the watchful eye of a health practitioner well-trained in natural methods of healing—and never if they are pregnant, suffering from kidney or liver disease, or on drug therapy. But an apple fast is different. In truth, it is not a fast at all. You eat as much as you want—but only organic apples, in place of regular meals. Like the traditional water-fast, the applefast is a powerful tool for stimulating the process of detoxification on which high-level health depends. An applefast can be used in many different ways, each of which is powerfully helpful. First, if you are keen to change the way in which you’ve been eating, an apple fast can get you off to a good start. It spurs the rapid elimination of waste, clears away food sensitivities—which can be present as a result of eating convenience foods, too much carbohydrate and sugar—and it can banish the ravages of unnatural appetite that develops due to chronic overstimulation of the digestive system. After your first 2 or 3 day applefast, try to set aside one day each week for applefasting. A once-a-week, one day applefast is a great boost because a day a week on apples is an excellent discipline. It’s a practice that helps us break through ingrained habit patterns which make us unconscious and mechanical in the way we live, and largely unaware of what we’ve been eating. Finally, you can also use the applefast whenever or for whatever reason you have slipped and eaten something that you know your body was not happy with. For example, if you discover you have eaten more than you really wanted, or your system has become somewhat polluted because you were trapped in a smoke-filled room the evening before. A day of applefasting quickly helps correct digestive disturbances and internal pollution problems which can result. It left unchecked, being out of sorts can trigger unnatural and excessive appetite. In effect, an applefast puts you back on track again, and can have you feeling great when you wake up the following morning. APPLEFASTING—HOW LONG If you’re keen to get off to a good start with detoxification, set aside two or three days for an applefast. Buy a box of organic apples. Usually the greengrocer will give you a good discount when you buy a box at a time. Or, buy three or four different kinds for variety to get you started. They must be organic. Eat as many as you like, but eat the whole apple, including the peel, the seeds and the core. You must chew it all very well, until the last drop of flavor has been extracted from the fruit. The only part you throw away is the woody stem. The apples you eat must not only be organic, they need to be fresh and eaten raw too. You can munch these crisp organic fruits au naturel, or you can grate them and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. You can even put them in a blender with clean water to make a whole apple drink. Eat apples whenever you’re hungry throughout the day. How long you carry out your first applefast depends on how convenient it is for you to munch on nothing but apples, and on how you feel. Usually a couple of days are enough to give you a good start on spring cleaning the body from within. Three days is as much as any healthy body should do on his or her on, without being under the supervision of a health practitioner well-versed in fasting and the use of living foods. No pregnant or lactating woman should do an applefast, nor should anyone with a kidney, liver or heart complaint, for in such cases a sudden change of diet carries with it potential dangers to health. But, if you are generally well, then a short applefast is a great way to clear the decks for a new way of healthier living. When your day or two on apples alone is finished, then you can start the next morning to apply your healthier way of eating based on fresh foods. ONCE A WEEK TREAT It really is a treat, too, as you’ll find after you’ve got into the swing of it. To lay aside one day of rest from the three-meals-a-day routine and spend it applefasting gives your digestive system a break. It helps clear your mind and encourages the letting go of old poor eating habits. It’s also an excellent tool for giving an extra push to the detoxification process. For me, applefasting is a pleasure. When I travel, and hate being faced with some of the airplane, hotel and restaurant food which I would otherwise be forced to eat. So instead, I carry a sack of apples with me, and munch away. I always find it increases my energy and has me sailing through whatever I have to do. I tend to vary the day of my applefast from week to week. Most often, it is Monday, because I feel that this is a good way to start the week. But when I have a commitment which entails lunch or supper or Monday, I simply shift it to a day later during the week. THE QUICK CORRECTOR In many ways, the most useful thing of all about the applefast is that you can call on it when you most need help to get you back on the rails again. Each of us occasionally finds ourselves in a situation where we’ve eaten something that we would rather not have eaten. You may find your system has been upset by some dish you were served the day before, which has forced the return of false appetite, and does not seem to want to go away until your digestive system is calmed and your body is balanced once more. Or perhaps you’ve overeaten—old habits die hard, and you must be patient with yourself if this does happen—or you’re under heavy stress for some reason, and feel you need help to smooth things over. The applefast is ideal as a “quick corrector” in any of these situations. Spend a day munching organic apples, and it well you to rights again, so that when you awaken the next morning you feel more centered and more yourself, ready to get back to eating good-quality foods with renewed enthusiasm and energy. CLEANSING CRISIS Very occasionally when someone goes on an active program of detoxification beginning with the applefast, he or she has the experience of a headache at some time within the first day or two, or feeling moody or having an upset stomach or loose bowels. This is a sign that your body is throwing off wastes at such a pace that you are experiencing what is known in natural medicine as a cleansing crisis. In fact, this happens to very few people. If you happen to be one of them, be glad. Even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours, it’s actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity to get rid of a lot of debris that it wants to eliminate. If a cleansing crisis does take place, make time to relax—in a darkened room if possible—and be kind to yourself. It’s quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris at once. The cleansing crisis will pass quickly, leaving you better than ever. BEWARE THE CAFFEINE MONSTER People most likely to get a headache as part of the cleansing crisis are those who’ve been drinking several cups of strong tea or coffee a day. This kind of reaction is triggered by your tissues dumping a lot of stored caffeine into your bloodstream all at once in order to clear it from your body. The first time this happened to me, I had been in Vienna for six days, where everybody drinks coffee—and very strong coffee indeed—all day long. Not being much of a coffee drinker myself (apart from a cup of bitter Turkish coffee once every six months after a middle-eastern meal), while there, I decided to go along with the custom. The day I left the city, I got into an airplane to return to London and to my usual way of eating, and found I was struck down by the most appalling headache which lasted about four or five hours. It was no fun, believe me. But when it passed, I did a 3 day applefast. I was left with the most wonderful feeling of freshness and lightness—the way you feel on a beautiful summer’s morning when there is a light breeze blowing. This sense of lightness is a common one for people who turn to an applefast to clear their system of stored wastes. It more than makes up for the headache or tummy upset that heralded its coming. When you experience a headache as severe as the one I had that day, it makes you appreciate even more how valuable a one-day-a-week applefast can be, and what a source of pleasure and energy. It’s something I would never want to be without.

Meet The Helpers

Meet The Helpers

The right kind of herbs can be a great asset not only during times of heavy pressure, but also to help increase your body's adaptive energy so you can take a lot more pressure without cracking. Hans Selye, the father of stress, did not believe this could be done. Now, thanks mostly to research carried out in Russia we know it can - provided you know your herbs well and choose the right ones. There are two classes of herbals that are helpful when it comes to stress. The first are the adaptogens. These are agents which can help protect you against mental and physical fatigue. The second group are the problem solvers such as valerian - an excellent alternative to tranquilizers when you need some extra help, or echinacea, which is an immune booster should you feel yourself in danger of getting a cold or flu during very demanding times. Rather like people, each herb has its own personality. Get to know them; they can be great friends for stress and overall health, enhancing your energy levels, protecting you from fatigue and illness, and helping you to unwind. Let's look at the adaptogens first. medicines for the well The adaptogens include a wide variety of natural substances. In practical terms, they improve your ability to adapt to all forms of stress, while at the same time helping to normalize its biochemical effects. Taken as ‘medicines for well people’ adaptogens can be remarkably helpful in keeping you youthful and full of vitality. Russian researcher II Brekhman at the Institute of Marine Biology Far-East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science in Vladivostock has probably done more than any other single scientist to find natural substances with adaptogenic properties, and to test their effects both on animals and humans. One of the first natural substances which Brekhman and his coworkers investigated which had this ability was Panax ginseng. Probably the most well-known and highly respected natural medicine in the world, the ginseng root was first used for medicinal purposes more than 4,000 years ago ‘to restore the five internal organs, tranquilize the spirit, calm agitation of the mind, allay excitement, and ward off harmful influences.’ for perfect harmony Over-processing and heat treatments destroy many of the beneficial effects of the adaptogens; as a result, most of the ginseng you find on the market is pretty useless. You need to choose your products carefully. There are three true ginseng plants: Panax ginseng, which is the original Korean/Chinese plant: Tienchi (Panax noto-ginseng) which is another Eastern version of the plant: And Panax Quinquefolius, or American ginseng. The active chemicals in ginseng are compounds called ginsenosides, of which there are thirteen. They lie at the core of ginseng's anti-stress properties. When choosing ginseng you need to look for a standardized ginseng extract with a guaranteed percentage of ginsenosides. Panax ginseng comes from Korea or China. The best quality roots are the big red ones which are six years old. Second are the white roots and third are the red grown in Japan, so look for country of origin when buying them. The whole roots are best to take, with root pieces and extracts following in that order. Ginseng tablets and powders often contain ‘fillers’ and are much less potent. American ginseng - Panax Quinquefolius - is usually less effective than Panax ginseng, unless you can get large old roots which are hard to come by. Unlike most other stimulants in common use, ginseng does not produce a sudden rapid rise in blood sugar followed by an unpleasant dip in energy. Nor is there any danger of becoming dependent on it. Also, Brekhman and others have found that ginseng acts as a stimulant without causing insomnia, and that it not only helps stave off fatigue but also strengthens the organism as a whole. The beneficial effects of taking ginseng multiply and build up over the period in which it is used. And ginseng's benefits last long afterwards. siberian ginseng Another adaptogen which has now been widely investigated, particularly in the Soviet Union, is eleuthrococcus senticosus or Siberian ginseng. Members of the same family, but really a different species, eleuthrococcus' therapeutic properties were only discovered in the past 50 years. Like ginseng, it has the capacity to strengthen the body's ability to resist illness, degeneration and fatigue, while never upsetting its natural functions. It is also a mild stimulant, the stimulant action lasting between six to eight hours. But its tonic effects are accumulative - they come gradually over a few weeks. They include increased stamina, better sleep patterns, better memory, cleaner thinking and improved athletic performance. Brekhman and many Russian researchers believe that eleuthrococcus is an even better adaptogen than ginseng. But there have so far been very few well-controlled studies to validate their claims. The best form of eleuthrococcus senticosus comes in extract direct from the Soviet Union. It has been carefully low-heat processed to preserve its biological activity. amazon power The most exciting herb I have come across for a long time is suma (Pfaffia paniculata). Locally known as Para Todo - "for everything" - suma has been used by Brazilian Indians for centuries as an aphrodisiac and general tonic. Recent research shows that, like good ginseng, the wild root of the suma plant also has strong adaptogenic proprieties. Suma is well worth looking at as a nutritional support to raise your energy levels, enhance your ability to be very active - both mentally and physically without fatigue or damage - and detoxify your cells as a prevention against premature aging and degeneration. Apart from the adaptogenics, which strengthen the organism against stress, there are two general herbs which can be a real help during times of heavy pressure - echinacea and valerian. daisy with a difference The immune system plays an important part in protecting from stress-damage. For prolonged stress can interfere with the immune system and you can become highly susceptible to infectious illnesses. That's where echinacea comes in handy. Known as Purple Coneflower, echinacea is a member of the Composite (daisy) family with potent antibiotic and anti-viral effects. The roots of two species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia, have long been used against infection, and in detoxifying the body, by native peoples including the American Plains Indians. In recent years, the herb has been heavily researched in Germany, where numerous scientific studies now verify its health-promoting abilities. In Germany there are now more than 200 prescription products based on echinacea or its derivatives. Echinacea is able to amplify the activity of the immune system not only by helping an ailing body to recover swiftly, but by helping protect from infections such as colds and flu during the long winter months. I find it a welcome friend taken daily as a preventative during ‘flu season’ as well as a great boon to recovery if you feel yourself coming down with an infection. perfect calmer There is one more herb that can be enormously helpful especially when you become so wound up that you find it difficult to come down. Valerian, Valeriana officinalis, lives up beautifully to its folk reputation as a natural tranquilizer. Recent research confirms this common herb has a remarkable ability to normalize the workings of the central nervous system. Scientific research confirms that valerian is a superb natural sedative. One of the major problems with drug-based sleeping pills is that, while they will put you to sleep, they can also interfere with the quality of the sleep you get when taking them, and leave you with a ‘hangover’ of fatigue in the morning. Researchers found that valerian not only significantly improved sleep quality it also left subjects with no hangover the next morning. But it is just as good as a de-tenser. I find it particularly helpful when I have been traveling across time zones as a help in readjusting my sleep patterns. Get acquainted with a few of the best herbal stress-helpers. They are good friends to have around when you need them.

Bless The Coconut

Bless The Coconut

For more than 60 years we’ve been warned to stay away from saturated fats and told that coconut oil is dangerous. Government bodies, the media, even most of the medical profession have been harping on about how coconut oil elevates cholesterol, makes you fat and fosters all sorts of illnesses like Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Well don’t you believe it! The humble coconut is a godsend. Its oil blesses health, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, destroys harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa, counters food cravings, and is one of nature’s great antioxidants. It also supplies the body with top quality fat, essential for high-level wellbeing. If you’re not yet one of this oil’s greatest fans, it’s time to become one… COCONUT’S MIRACLES Half of the fat that makes up coconut oil consists of a marvelous and rare gift from nature called lauric acid. When lauric acid enters the body, either when you eat coconut oil or rub it on your skin, it gets converted into monolaurin—a monoglyceride capable of wiping out the viruses that carry a lipid coating—herpes, flu and HIV, as well as dangerous protozoa like giardia lamblia. The next important fat components of coconut oil are its medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These fatty acids get converted by the liver into energy instead of being laid down as fat deposits. When it comes to banishing your food cravings, especially for sugars and starches, MCFAs are the best things around. They bring us the energy the we long for so we don’t feel compelled to munch on sweets and snacks. Medium chain fats are also highly nutritious. They are regularly used in hospitals to feed critically ill patients who are unable to digest their foods. They also offer excellent support for pregnant and nursing women. Athletes, disillusioned with much-hyped sports drinks that lift you up temporarily only to let you down an hour or two later, are at last waking up to the amazing way MCFAs provide them with energy that lasts and lasts. EAT IT REGULARLY Use organic coconut oil in cooking as often as you can. It’s great for frying and for baking. It can be heated to very high temperatures without being damaged the way other oils are when they are heated. Coconut oil does not go rancid like other oils. It is not only the tastiest and most stable oil you’ll find anywhere for cooking: It’s also the easiest to digest. Put a teaspoon of the oil in your morning cup of tea or coffee and it will bring you a quick burst of energy that may even last long enough to carry you through to lunchtime without hunger. Coconut oil never causes blood sugar spikes or insulin resistance the way sugars and carbs do. And, taken with any fat-soluble vitamin like D3, A or E, coconut oil improves your body’s ability to assimilate these nutrients. BIG LIES How does coconut oil work its wonders? This is a question still being debated. Why? Because—since the mid 1950s—most of what we have been taught about what is a healthy diet has been nothing more than conjecture. Not grounded in solid research, current widespread beliefs about nutrition are still not based on hard science, but on endless unproven hypotheses. We’ve been indoctrinated by multinational food corporations, government bodies and the majority of medical doctors to believe that all saturated fats cause heart disease. Even Dr Mehmet Oz, well known for his TV appearances, and his co-author Mike Rosen published a blistering attack called “Don’t Monkey With Coconut Oil”, claiming that coconut oil is “loaded with artery-clogging saturated fat and oozing with calories.” It’s hard to believe that similar blatantly inaccurate warnings of the dangers of eating saturated fats—especially coconut oil—still goes on in spite of the extensive research demonstrating that such beliefs are completely untrue. Coconut oil’s ability to support high-level health is now well proven. When I wrote and presented my documentary in the Southern Hemisphere called “To Age or Not to Age” , the nutritional program I designed for participants was rich in organic coconut oil. We worked with healthy men and women between the ages of 30 and 60 who wanted to become even healthier. My documentary asked the question, “Is it possible to slow aging by making simple nutritional changes?” We also wanted to know, “Might it also be possible to reverse age-related degeneration that has already occurred?” And, most important, “Can these things be verified in medically measurable ways?” GREAT BLESSINGS We carried out what is known as a baseline study to find out. We sent our participants to undergo standard tests of medical parameters before the project began. They were each one checked for fasting insulin and blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. These medical tests were carried out in a well-known hospital which also happened to have an excellent physiology laboratory, so we were able also to work with exercise physiologists who measured each participant’s VO2Max, body fat percentage and lean body mass to fat ratio. To our surprise, every participant—including a 50 year old triathlete—showed several abnormalities associated with insulin resistant syndrome and other biomarkers. Most were also overweight. I introduced the group to my low-carb, high-fat way of eating, full of coconut oil. The experiment lasted only 5 weeks. When we sent participants back to the hospital at the end of this time to have their medical parameters checked again, the results were mind-blowing. We were amazed to discover that, after only 5 weeks of dietary changes, every abnormal biomarker had normalized for each participant, except for cholesterol measurements in one woman, which took another few weeks to normalize. Participants reported that they felt better than they had for years in every way. The irony of all of this was amusing. A well known self-promoting “professor of nutrition” went so far as to upbraid the television broadcasting authorities for having aired such a documentary. Paying no attention to the remarkable improvements in health recorded for all participants and validated by medically measurable procedures, this gentleman raised hell. And the single most aggressive attack he tried to make against the program was directed at... you guessed it... coconut oil. The documentary confirmed yet again that the human body has a phenomenal capacity to heal itself through the right changes to what we eat. Here is a short list of some of the proven health benefits that we can experience when we add coconut oil to our meals on a regular basis. Coconut oil: Balances thyroid gland functions Is an instant source of energy and vitality Stimulates metabolism Supports heart health Produces no insulin spikes in bloodstream Supports weight control Has anti-cancer benefits Is a natural anti-microbial Has anti-aging properties Feeds the brain Creates vitality that lasts ONLY THE BEST Coconut oil comes in two forms: refined and unrefined. Most coconut oil that you find in a supermarket has been refined. The refined oil tends to be tasteless and without fragrance. Some people like this. However, refined oils don’t offer the same benefits that unrefined, raw, virgin organic oil does. Most refined oils are processed using a chemical distillation procedure. They have been bleached and deodorized in an attempt to produce the bland consumer product that lines our supermarket shelves. Some are even hydrogenated—something you want to avoid at all costs. There are a number of methods for extracting coconut oil too: expeller-pressed is one during which the oil can often be heated as high as 90 degrees Centigrade. The higher the temperature, the stronger the smell and taste becomes. This is how some coconut oil ends up smelling as though it has been toasted. Cold-pressed is another extraction method—this does not necessarily mean “raw”, since it too can sometimes be heated. Then there is the Centrifuge method: This is often the best extraction method, since coconut oil treated this way is less likely to have been exposed to a lot of heat in the process. This makes it taste milder and more delicate. I have tried many brands and rejected many in the process. I guess I could go so far as to describe myself as a connoisseur of this wonderful stuff! Let me share my favorites with you below. Decide to welcome organic coconut oil into your life. You won’t regret it. I’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to the myriad blessings it bestows on us in every aspect of our lives. Soon I’ll share with you lots more amazing things that coconut oil can do, for your skin, your hair—it can even be used to protect from tooth decay and clear gum problems. There appears to be no end to the gifts this tropical oil can bring us. Nutiva, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (which comes in many sizes and is very good value for money) Buy Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Nature’s Blessings Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Which with its own certified coconut plantation in the Philippines they are able to pick the nuts at the exact time of perfect ripeness. Buy Nature’s Blessings Organic Virgin Coconut Oil WANT TO LEARN MORE: Weston Price: New Look At Coconut Oil Coconut Oil Research Coconut Oil In The 21st Century

Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

“Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners” Shakespeare One of the most powerful healing plants in the world originates in the dry, hostile environment of Siberia. For eons it was prized as a source of strength for Viking warriors, Russian cosmonauts having to endure the demands of space travel, and Olympic athletes. A beautiful perennial plant with pink, red or yellow flowers, it is called “Arctic Root” or “Golden Root.” Its proper name is Rhodiola rosea. If you don’t already make use of this incredible gift from nature, you don’t know what you’re missing. QUEEN OF ADAPTOGENS Rhodiola is the most versatile adaptogenic plant in the world. An adaptogen is a plant or herb which acts in non-specific ways to improve health and increase resistance to stress, without upsetting the body’s biological functions. Numerous studies carried out in France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Russia confirm what has been known for centuries by shamans and wise woman healers: Rhodiola brings endless blessings to anybody using it. Here are just a few of its benefits. restores normal menstrual cycle in women prevents and clears fatigue increases vitality enhances immunity improves athletic prowess supports heart strength promotes improved wellbeing protects muscles when exercising helps endurance increases the metabolism of fats increases work capacity reduces stress and damage from stress supports thyroid function improves sexual function in men Whew! I could go on and on. The scientific research into this beautiful plant is voluminous and inspiring. I first learned of Rhodiola many years ago when Professor of Medical Science, Israel Brekhman—the much celebrated Russian research scientist in organic medicine and biologically active substances in Vladivostok—visited Britain. Brekhman’s career focused on the genetics of plants and herbs, and on improving health and wellbeing. It was he who first coined the word adaptogen. NON-TOXIC HEALING One of the wonderful things about Rhodiola is that it has a very low level of toxicity and very few side effects. (Since safety issues are as yet not available for pregnancy and lactation, however, it should be avoided in these circumstances.) There are many ways in which Rhodiola—which now grows in Greenland, Iceland, Canada and Alaska—as well as its native Siberia, can be used. One of the most surprising is this: If you can get hold of the plant itself (unfortunately in some countries, Rhodiola plants are not available because of agricultural import regulations), it will thrive in your garden. You can cook its shoots and leaves which are edible, prepare its roots as you would any starchy vegetable, serve its leaves raw in a mixed salad, and even serve its shoots prepared as you do asparagus. More about Rhodiola in a moment. Meanwhile, there are some important things you need to know about using herbs of any kind. NATURE’S MEDICINES Plants hold powerful medicine for men and women. To state such an obvious truth seems absurd, since every culture in the world from the beginning of human history has turned to herbs, trees, and other plants as medicine. Yet in our post-industrial world, we find ourselves in the absurd position of having to rediscover our medicinal and health-promoting heritage—not only by unearthing long neglected local practices, often passed on verbally from woman to woman, but also by investigating herbal traditions from other parts of the world: Tibet, China, India, Japan and Native America. The benefits of making nature’s medicinal plants a part of your day-to-day life becomes obvious when you realize that the origins of most drugs lie in plants. Using plants and herbs for strength and healing offers many advantages. First, their powers for enhancing wellbeing go far beyond their ability to alleviate symptoms. For centuries, women healers preferred to use the whole of most plants. They had no belief in the practice now propounded by today’s mainstream medicine which chooses to use isolated ingredients and make them into patented drugs. In every medicinal plant, there are two kinds of compounds, each of which has an important part to play in treatment. The first are the active ingredients—these are what capture the imagination of chemists and drug producers to make the biochemically twisted molecules that Big Pharma turns into patented drugs. The second are the compounds and substances which drug manufacturers ignore altogether—even seek to eliminate—but which good herbalists insist play a vital supportive role in the healing a particular herb can bring to the body. These compounds work synergistically with the active ingredients, making them more easily accessible to the body or dampening the effect of what are often very potent plant chemicals—helping to protect the body from side-effects. Some even help protect from overdose by causing nausea if the body's safe level of tolerance is passed. It is the synergy of these primary active ingredients and their secondary helpers that makes herbs work so well. There are many different substances and compounds in plants and herbs which offer health-supporting abilities. The volatile oils for instance, the tannins, phenylpropanoids (like those in Rhodiola), alkaloids, bitters, glycosides, and flavonoids. WAYS AND MEANS You can take herbs in many different ways—as infusions, decoctions, syrups, tinctures, suppositories, capsules, and in baths, ointments or creams. You can grow your own herbs or buy them in bulk dried. Using the dried plant is by far the cheapest way to use herbs, since you can buy a large amount at a time very cheaply and make up your own infusions, decoctions, suppositories and ointments, as well as tinctures. You can even buy empty gelatin capsules and fill them with dried herb yourself. However, it is often easiest if you are a complete beginner to rely on good quality ready-made herbal products from a good supplier—whole herbs, herbs in capsules, herbal extracts and tinctures. Tinctures are made by using water and or alcohol to draw out a plant's chemical constituents and preserve them. They are taken in a little water. These are best either bought ready-made from a reputable supplier, or left until you have mastered the use of herbs in other ways, as each herb demands a specific ratio of water and alcohol to plant material. MEET THE SOUL OF A PLANT It is worth remembering that, just as people have different personalities, so do plants. Once you get to know the actions of various herbs—and the best way of doing this is to use them or to watch them work on other people—you begin to develop a feel for the character or soul of each plant. Eventually you develop a skill that enables you to call on the right plant or plants when you need their help. But it is important to remember that plants, such as Rhodiola, are slower acting than drugs, so you need to be patient. It is necessary to use most herbs for a few weeks before you come to experience its full benefits. That being said, I sometimes find a plant can will bring almost immediate relief too. One big advantage of using herbs is that many herbs, when taken steadily over a period of time, will do the job for which they were being taken so well that you no longer need to use them. Another important thing to remember when using herbs is that some work well in combination. Whatever herbs you are using, they need to be fresh, clean and either well-crafted or grown organically. Some herbs on the market today have been grown in countries where pesticides and herbicides are sprayed heavily. Others are not fresh or have been irradiated or are contaminated with chemicals. Often suppliers themselves are not even aware of how the dried plants have been handled. BACK TO RHODIOLA The active constituents of Rhodiola root are many. This is one of the reasons that this plant acts so powerfully in so many ways to benefit your health. The most important ingredients it contains include Rosin, Rosavin, Salidroside, and Tyrosol. Although Rhodiola can be prescribed by an herbalist as a tincture or extract, for many reasons, this plant is usually best taken in capsules. In no small part, this is because its taste in tincture form is far too intense for most people. For those of you who, like me, love to know the minutiae: A typical dose in tablet or capsule form for long-term administration is 360-600mg per day when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin, 180-300mg when standardized for 2% Rosavin, or 100-170 when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin. Some products list the Rosavin in milligrams, such as 6mg of Rosavin per 120 mg of Rhodiola root, or 12 mg of Rosavin per 240mg of Rhodiola root. These formulations are an even more robust 5% Rosavin content. Even so, such products provide a large margin of safety. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Always read labels carefully. (This is one of the reasons I order almost all of my nutritional products—including capsules of Rhodiola—from iHerb, where they provide both clear in-depth ingredient information as practically no other company does, and they ship DHL incredibly fast worldwide.) Always check out where any herb such as Rhodiola has been sourced. Make sure the raw materials it contains are the most active and desirable ingredients. Use products only from a first-rate manufacturer who relies on high-quality processes and extraction methods. Reject nutritional supplements of any kind that contain flow agents like magnesium stearate, which is made from stearic acid. It can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients via the digestive system. Thanks to Rhodiola rosea’s stunning versatility, it is able to nurture the nervous system, cardiovascular system, hormonal system, immune system and musculoskeletal system all at the same time. It’s little wonder, given its wide spectrum of therapeutic benefits, that in this time of physical, emotional and financial pressures, demands and work loads, growing exposure to environmental stressors and increasing costs of health care, this unique inexpensive herb with its excellent safety profile is gradually becoming better known. Most people see an improvement in energy levels, mood, mental clarity, memory, stamina and endurance within 2 to 6 weeks of using it. I for one wouldn’t be without Rhodiola in my family herb cupboard. Personally I take it twice daily as does my son Aaron. You want to choose the very best Rhodiola you can buy. I’ve investigated a good dozen readily-available products, so 2 of my personal recommendations below: Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea This is a wonderful product in no small part because of the way Gaia encapsulate it as a liquid which is rapidly absorbed. Each capsule contains the equivalent of 2,000mg of the dry herb. I keep mine in the fridge once the bottle is open. Order Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea from iherb Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola Another excellent Rhodiola 100% fresh freeze dried. Order Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola from iherb

Bedtime Snacks

Bedtime Snacks

Below you will find a list of good sleep foods and bad sleep foods. good sleep foods Bananas Figs Dates Yogurt Tuna Wholegrain Crackers Nut butter Turkey bad sleep foods Caffeine Alcohol Sugar Cheese Chocolate Sauerkraut Bacon Ham Sausage Aubergine Potatoes Spinach Tomatoes

Astaxanthin: What is it?

Astaxanthin: What is it?

How much do you know about astaxanthin? It is one of the most important nutritional supplements ever created. This fat-soluble antioxidant has been much studied. One of 700 different carotinoids it may well be the most powerful antioxidant in existence. It is 65 times more powerful than Vitamin C. It brings effective support to the brain, helping to protect it from abnormal functioning. It helps protect from cellular damage to the eyes and the skin as a result of exposure to excess UV sunlight. It may even slow the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Astaxanthin is a super anti-inflammatory as well. Athletes—from weekend enthusiasts to endurance runners and pro boxers—sing its praises for the stamina it brings them. Astaxanthin is derived from part of Haematoccous pluviallis, the algae which gives flamingos and wild salmon their orangy-pink color. It helps the algae survive when they dry out in the baking sun by creating a protective energy field. Evidence emerging from clinical studies indicates that astaxanthin may even go a long ways to help protect us from nuclear radiation. Finally, it’s an effective internal supplement helping to keep skin strong and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I take it daily and have for several years—2 capsules of Nutrex BioAstin Hawaiian Antaxanthin 4mg each day. I order it from my favorite supplier of nutritional supplements in the world: www.iherb.com. Nutrex BioAstin Hawaiian Antaxanthin BioAstin, nature's strongest antioxidant, has shown a variety of benefits in human clinical studies: Supports joint and tendon health Supports skin health during UV and sun exposure Supports eye health Supports anti-aging through cellular health Supports healthy immune function Supports cardiovascular health Supports the body in recovery from exercise Order Nutrex BioAstin Hawaiian Antaxanthin from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply.

Sacred Truth Ep. 42: Are You Plagued By Hunger?

Sacred Truth Ep. 42: Are You Plagued By Hunger?

Have you ever wondered what triggers your hunger? Sometimes even after eating a good meal? Then let me share some interesting truths with you. Hunger signals come from your brain’s appetite control centers. These are meant to tell you when you need to eat. The problem is that these days, control centers in most people’s brains no longer function as they are meant to as a result of the way we’ve been taught to live and eat in the modern world—masses of packaged foods, grains, sugars, and convenience foods filled with pesticides, chemicals, and health-destroying additives. So often we experience false hunger, which undermines health and makes many people fat. More about this in a moment. This false hunger is most of the time triggered by three situations: First, when your body is fatigued and is calling out for energy, you often turn to food in the hope that eating will revive you. Sadly, this seldom works. In fact, for most people, eating under such circumstances only increases your hunger instead of helping you handle it. Second, when your body’s in need of essential nutrients—a vitamin or mineral for instance—or, more often than not, needing a combination of nutrients that you’re not getting from the foods you’ve been eating—this also produces false hunger that is not easy to handle. Finally, when you’re experiencing negative emotions or are under a lot of stress, most people seek comfort from eating certain foods—especially grain-based carbohydrates like breads and pastas or foods full of sugars in the hope that these foods might alleviate their discomfort. The problem is that the very foods you seek for comfort only make you crave yet more carbs and sugars. Why? Because when you turn to grain and cereal-based carbs—from breads and pasta to sweet deserts—these foods create insulin resistance and blood sugar disorders. This leads to ever-increasing food cravings and addictions. These are the three most common triggers of false hunger, which undermines your health, decreases your vitality, and makes you feel lousy. False hunger is triggered by your hypothalamus and autonomic nervous system. More often than not, you are not aware that this is happening as you reach for food. Conventional weight loss diets use all sorts of pills, potions, and techniques in the hope of overcoming false hunger’s trigger mechanisms. Slimming diets tell us we should count calories. They tell us we have to work our bodies hard to keep from getting fat. They urge us to use brute force or willpower to overcome the impulse to eat. Of course, sooner or later, these methods fail. So what’s the answer? You won’t believe how simple it can be. Here’s how to manage these issues. When you feel hungry for no reason, stop and ask yourself if you are really hungry or just tired and in need of a rest...if only for five minutes. Drink a glass of good quality water, breathe deeply, and give yourself a time-out which you deserve. Stay away from packaged convenience foods. They deplete your body of vitamins and minerals, and are filled with hidden ingredients, including flavor-enhancers designed by manufacturers to increase your hunger while undermining year health. Learn simple practices for making stress your friend instead of being ruled by it. Then practice them. Eat REAL foods like fresh organic vegetables, and top quality proteins from fish as well as chicken and animals that have been freely grazed in pastures. Cut the quantities of grains, cereals, and sugars to an absolute minimum. Want to learn more? Download my new very comprehensive free book now (Stay Healthy & Lean For Life). The information it offers can literally transform your health and your life.

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 26th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.68 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men
-0.68 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

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