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health

245 articles in health

Herbal Help

Herbal Help

Valerian: This is the root of the plant Valeriana officinalis, which was the primary herbal sedative used on both sides of the Atlantic before the advent of barbiturate sleeping pills. It is a safe and well tested herbal remedy with a smell like dirty old socks (the smell drives some people's cats wild). Don't let that put you off, since Valerian is a powerful and useful tool for inducing safe sleep - more potent than most of the other natural tranquilizers such as hops or skullcap or chamomile. You can take Valerian in a couple of ways, but I like the tincture best - 10 to 20 drops before bedtime in a little water, or in the middle of the night when you awaken. Alternatively you can use a couple of capsules of the dried root. Valerian in lower doses is also useful when your nerves feel 'shot' during the day. Very occasionally Valerian will be too strong for a particular woman, so that she awakens with a little sense of hangover in the morning. If so, you can either cut down on the dose or try another milder remedy. In any case, it can be a good idea to change remedies every so often so your body doesn't become accustomed to one, rendering it ineffectual. Passion Flower: Passiflora incarnata, also known as Maypops, is a climbing plant that boasts magnificent white flowers with a purple center. It has a wonderful sedative and mildly narcotic effect on the body. Passion Flower is most useful for women who wrestle frequently with nervous tension and particularly helpful when nerves seem to be edgy before and around the time of menopause, when hormones can fluctuate wildly. It is also useful for relieving pain, thanks to its mild analgesic and antispasmodic qualities - all of which has been well demonstrated in laboratory and clinical tests. Passion Flower can also be useful for a woman troubled with premenstrual tension. It is not as strong as Valerian in its actions, is more calming than sedating, and as such is a great alternative to tranquilizer drugs. Use 10 to 20 drops of the tincture or the same amount of the liquid extract in water. Alternatively take two capsules of the dried extract up to four times a day as needed. Where a woman might take Valerian at night just before bed, the best results from Passion Flower often come from taking it 2 to 4 times a day to calm nerves and make everything easier and less stressful. Chamomile Tea: Matricaria chamomilla. One of the nine herbs sacred to the Anglo Saxon god Wotan, chamomile was also much loved by the Romans. Its name Matricaria is derived either from the Latin word 'mater', meaning mother, or from 'matrix', meaning womb. It has for thousands of years been used as a woman's herb against painful menstruation, to calm anxiety and aid sleep - even to help build strong bones, since it contains a form of readily absorbed calcium. Chamomile is also a uterine tonic - something else that has been scientifically evaluated. It boasts many other therapeutic properties as well such as being antibacterial in its actions and good for skin. The easiest way to take chamomile is in the form of a tisane or tea by infusing 5 to 10 grams of the dried flowers in hot water before bed or whenever you need relaxation. Chamomile works particularly well when taken together with Passion Flower. Hops: Humulus lupulus. The flowers from this British herb are often used together with other remedies to treat everything from indigestion to calm nerves. Like Valerian, hops has a pronounced sedative effect, but is milder. Unlike Valerian, hops smells sweet, and can be used without concern for side-effects. You can use hops in the form of a tincture but by far the best way for sleep - particularly good for women who are awakened in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep - is to drink hop tea, which you make before going to bed by steeping the flowers for ten minutes in hot water then straining and allowing to cool. Sit the tea - sweetened with honey if you like - by the side of your bed, so you can drink it when you awaken in the night. Also wonderful is a little pillow stuffed with dried hops blossoms, which you put under your neck when you go to bed, or if you awaken. Oatstraw: Avena sativa. The straw from oats has an ability to restore energy when nerves have been frayed, and for counteracting insomnia. It can help ease night sweats, calm anxiety, and even relieve headache. Again, stuff a little pillow with oat hulls or infuse them in hot water as with hops, and keep beside your bed through the night in case you need it.

Toxicity & Aging

Toxicity & Aging

Apart from inadequate nutrition, the primary cause of premature aging - and all the fatigue, cell damage and disease which accompany it - is a buildup of waste products which are toxic to the system. They result in poor circulation to and from the cells and in a stagnation of cellular fluids. A continuous interchange takes place between your body's trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids. This is where nutrients and oxygen are exchanged for waste products from the cells. Wastes are then picked up by minute lymphatic tubules or ducts and sent through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. It is an exchange regulated by subtle electrochemical processes. Living cells will only thrive when both nutrients and oxygen are well supplied and toxic wastes are concurrently removed and eliminated from the body. The methods for encouraging this are extraordinarily simple yet their effects can be remarkably profound. Many are also immediately experienced in terms of improved good looks and vitality and a newfound sense of calm well-being. long weekend spring-clean This is a method I like to use when for one reason or another (such as after Christmas celebrations or living in hotels) I have not been able to eat the same kind of foods I do at home, or when I am feeling tired and need a lift. It takes three days to carry out. Ideally you should eat all raw foods the day before you begin but this is not always possible. It is an ideal way to regenerate yourself over a long quiet weekend. On rising, or at 9am, each day you begin with a cup of herb tea - not too hot. You can sweeten it with a little natural stevia if you like. Day 1 9am Herb tea 11am 8oz fresh fruit (not citrus) or vegetable juice 1pm 1 cup potassium broth 4pm Herb tea 7pm 8oz fresh fruit (not citrus) or vegetable juice 9pm 1 cup potassium broth Day 2 9am Herb tea plus half an apple - be sure to chew it thoroughly 11am Fresh fruit or vegetable juice 1pm Cup of potassium broth 4pm Herb tea 7pm Cup of potassium broth 9pm Fresh fruit or vegetable juice Day 3 9am A dish of prunes which have been soaked overnight in water 11am Fresh fruit or vegetable juice 1pm Salad of fresh raw vegetables with a little yogurt dressing. 4pm An apple 7pm Fresh fruit or vegetable juice 9pm Cup of potassium broth During this Weekend Spring-Clean you can drink as much spring water as you like. It is important that you take a brisk walk in the open air for at least half an hour each day. You can continue to work if you like but it is especially pleasant to carry out over a long weekend when you have time to yourself. You must not smoke, or drink alcohol, tea or coffee. Herb teas are available from healthfood stores. So is potassium broth which is made from fresh vegetables and herbs and contains no additives. The best you make yourself simply by boiling masses of fresh vegetables. Alternatively you can buy it in little cubes over which you pour boiling water, or in a powder form which I prefer. The best I have found is called Low Salt Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon. You can make your own fresh vegetable or fruit and vegetable juices (half apple and half carrot is a particularly delicious and effective combination to use) provided you have a centrifuge juice extractor. Otherwise look for those processed by low heat to preserve their natural enzymes and nutrients. They too are available in health-food stores. The Biotta juices from Germany are the best. Daily baths are a must during the Long Weekend regime and you will probably find you need to brush your teeth more often than usual since your body will be rapidly eliminating wastes and both teeth and tongue can become coated when this occurs. Skin brushing is excellent for hastening the eliminative processes. Do not take a sauna during the Long Weekend Spring-Clean however. On the fourth day simply return to your normal way of eating, with particular emphasis on raw foods for a day or two.

Hangover Cure - Forget The Hangover

Hangover Cure - Forget The Hangover

Over the years I’ve amassed so many useful tools for dealing naturally with unnatural states of mind and body—even, god forbid, hangovers. The most obvious way to avoid a hangover is don’t drink. If you do drink then choose only the best—be it wine, whiskey, or whatever, and never overdo it. The best always has fewer unpleasant chemicals—known as congeners— to upset the system. King of all the alcohols when it comes to purity and low levels of congeners is tequila. However, if you make yourself a margarita, make it from real tequila. So much of the stuff they sell as tequila is filled with a lot of insidious junk you don’t want to put into your body. SUCCULENT LILY Agave, which is called cactus, is actually a succulent that belongs to the lily family. The finest blue agave comes from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. It must be harvested at the peak of its sweetness. My brother, whom I adoringly call Toto, is a connoisseur of Tequilas. He insists—I have checked out his recommendations and come to trust them implicitly—that the finest tequila is made by Patron. Anejo Patron is his favorite. Silver Patron is mine. My son Aaron has developed a fabulous recipe for Margaritas. It’s very simple: To a handful of ice in our Vita Mix he adds four jiggers of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 4 jiggers of Silver Patron, 2 jiggers of Cointreau or Grand Marnier, a couple of jiggers of water and the crème de la crème, a dropper or two of the most delicious stevia in the world: English Toffee Sweet Leaf Liquid stevia from iherb,com (so much more delicious than the usual sugar or syrup, which is really rather revolting). He turns on the Vita Mix for 30 seconds while he rubs the rim of each glass with one of the lemon or lime skins, then plunges it into a saucer of Maldon salt to coat the rim. This makes Margaritas for 4 people. A perfect hangover-free treat to share with friends. Hangover Cure - WORST CASE SCENARIOS Now let’s get back to hangovers, should they happen from drinking stuff that’s not so pure or far too much of even a good thing. Drinking lots of fluids along with alcohol helps to prevent the dehydration that comes with an over-indulgent evening. There are also a couple of things you can do the morning after to help feel better. First thing, make yourself a cup of peppermint tea. Put 2 teaspoons of the dried leaves (or 4 teaspoons of fresh) into a tea pot and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Steep for 5-10 minutes and sip it gently. The peppermint will settle your stomach. Breathing in the steam from your tea will also help to ease your headache. When your stomach is settled enough to handle more, take a couple of grams of vitamin C and 2-3 grams of evening primrose oil, or star flower or borage oil. The vitamin C’s antioxidant properties help the liver clear the toxic wastes from too much alcohol. The GLA in these oils is turned into prostaglandin E1—an important regulator of mood which alcohol depletes. When it is low you can feel depressed and very tired. Hangover Cure - SAINT MARY’S THISTLE Also known as milk thistle is a wonderful liver cleanser and supporter. Take 2 capsules or 1 teaspoon of tincture in a little water every 3-4 hours until you are feeling better. If you can remember where you last saw it in your current state, reach for some dried borage as well. Open the jar, or put it in a paper bag, hold your nose over the bag and take a deep breath. No one has ever explained to me how it does it, but this clears your head wonderfully. I have heard that taking ginkgo before you go out for the evening can also help to prevent hangovers by enhancing your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol swiftly. However, I’ve never heard anyone say how much you should take, or how long before drinking alcohol you should take it. If you are taking ginkgo for other reasons, pay attention to how you feel after a glass or two of wine and see if this makes a difference.

Brush It

Brush It

Some of the simplest techniques for supporting your body’s elimination processes also happen to feel wonderful and can bring delicious relaxation in their wake. Your body is working hard to get rid of all that stored waste, so treat it gently and give it some attention. Your mind will benefit too. Your two day apple fast is a not to be passed-up opportunity for some bodily indulgence of the first order. Skin brushing is now frequently recommended by health practitioners and has a long history for health and healing in the annals of European natural treatments. It is a particularly helpful technique to use during a detox, and can do wonders for your skin used daily afterwards. Skin brushing acts both superficially to draw out wastes from the skin, and deeply by boosting lymphatic drainage (more of this later) and helping to break down congestion in areas where the lymph flow has become sluggish and toxins have collected. It improves the look of skin, helps eliminate cellulite, and tones the whole body. It is an extraordinarily gentle yet powerful technique, and it feels wonderful. Using a natural bristle brush, preferably one with vegetable bristles and a long handle (available from pharmacies, natural beauty shops and health-food stores), go over the surface of your body once with long sweeping motions. Brush across the tips of your shoulders and upper back, then down over the neck and shoulders and down the arms and over the hands – always working in a downwards direction and covering the surface of the skin once. Now brush down over the trunk and tummy and down the back until you’ve covered every inch of your upper body. Then, beginning at the feet, brush upwards in the same long sweeping motions up the legs, front and back, and up over the buttocks. Do this slowly and enjoy the feeling of having the skin of your whole body gently exfoliated. Always brush your skin with a dry brush and never brush your face. How much pressure you put behind the brush should depend on how strong your skin is, your age, and how much stimulation it is used to. Go easy to begin with. Your skin will soon become fitter and then you will be able to work far more vigorously. But you should never go too hard too quickly or you risk being counter productive and will miss out on the benefits of steadily increasing skin firmness and fitness. Skin brushing encourages better circulation, brings energy into ‘deadened’ areas of flesh, smooths and softens skin, and encourages better lymphatic drainage. You are also sloughing off dead skin cells with the brush, so encouraging new cells to come to the surface and make the skin of your whole body glow. detox test Being your body’s largest organ and one of the most important for elimination (almost a third of your body’s wastes can be eliminated through the skin), skin that is brushed regularly yields up the most amazing quantity of rubbish. You can check for yourself just how dramatic is the skin’s elimination of wastes by performing a practical experiment with the help of a flannel. Every day before your bath or shower, brush your skin all over for three to five minutes. Then take a damp flannel and rub it all over your freshly brushed body. Hang the flannel up and repeat the process with the same flannel the next day. After a few days, the smell of the flannel will be quite revolting thanks to the quantity of waste products that have come directly through the skin’s surface. Just think how much better off you are without them.

Get Rid Of Inflammation

Get Rid Of Inflammation

Inflammation is the most dangerous condition your body has to handle to make you well and keep you that way. It diminishes your immune system. It can trigger a wide variety of serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute and chronic inflammation—systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation is different. It turns into a festering fire causing pain, illness and disability all round. The reactions it brings about in the body are highly complex, involving many cellular and molecular distortions. It acts upon pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body, damaging healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels in arteriosclerosis, joint tissue in arthritis, gut mucosa in lactose and gluten intolerance, and pancreatic tissue in diabetes. It can even act as a precursor to cancer. SURPRISING DISCOVERY Recently, highly respected cardiologists have pointed out that when it comes to the treatment of many conditions—such as heart disease—the medical profession has been doing it all wrong. Prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol, and telling people to restrict quality fats, do not protect from heart disease as we have been taught. The statins which cardiologists continue to prescribe are not only useless, they say, these pharmaceuticals can be seriously detrimental to your health. It is, they have discovered, inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls causing heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong,” he says. “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” THE TRIGGERS What causes inflammation in the body? Many things, from genetic inheritance to environmental influences—especially the wrong diet; being exposed to bacteria, inhalants, pollutants; even electromagnetic influences from cell phones, smart meters and towers; not to mention taking long-term courses of powerful drugs—from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics and sedatives, to drugs like statins, commonly used to treat heart conditions; and other prescriptive drugs, the remains of which literally poison the body, badly polluting its terrain. If you wish to protect yourself from inflammation, you need to become aware of where it’s likely to be coming from. This means examining how you live your life, and making changes to protect yourself from possible causes. The second step is to learn about which foods cause inflammation and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EATING Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: Spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Foods that cause inflammation which you want to avoid at any cost are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you”; all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population also reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Another category of foods that can be highly inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods, from the common grains and cereals to packaged convenience foods which line your supermarket shelves. They are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers and other chemicals which poison your body. It goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods, from sugared drinks to pastries, completely. Explore instead using the faux grains, which do not pollute your body and are great for meals and baking. (See: faux grain) SPICE IT UP Certain spices are wonderful for helping to quell inflammatory issues. Always buy organic. Most herbs in supermarkets have been irradiated—sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, which you do not want to allow into your body. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a medicine for treating colds, flu, and liver disease. It contains curcumin which has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Cinnamon, in addition to its beautiful smell and flavor, has been shown in many studies to exert anti-inflammatory properties and to ease swelling. Garlic in fresh form eases the inflammation of arthritis, as well as helping to protect you from colds, flu and other ailments. Ginger, in the form of a fresh root which you can grate into your foods and drinks, is fabulous for calming inflammation of upset stomachs, getting rid of headaches and infections. Cayenne, like other chili peppers, contains capsaicinoids which gives it its anti-inflammatory properties and can ease the pain of arthritis and headaches. MAGNESIUM THE ULTIMATE For those in the know, it is magnesium that forms the foundation of both treatment and prevention of heart disease, arteriosclerosis and diabetes by calming the fires of chronic inflammation. Virtually everybody in the western world is seriously deficient in this wonderful mineral. All packaged convenience foods are very low in it. Magnesium deficiency is common in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the insulin resistance that can trigger cardiac issues as well as the widespread incidence of cancer. Magnesium reduces hypertension, reduces your rate of aging, helps protect from bone fractures, and calms troubled minds. It is as basic as clean air and water for becoming healthy and staying healthy. There are many ways you can take magnesium, from swallowing supplements (not the best way) to bathing in magnesium chloride baths. One of the most effective ways to get more magnesium into your body—something all of us need to help clear inflammation and treat pain—is transdermal magnesium therapy. Get yourself a spray bottle of high quality magnesium chloride and spray it on your body, massaging it in all over. Magnesium chloride is taken right through your skin into the cells. Slowly but surely, doing this three times a day counters inflammation and pain superbly well. Spray it on or have a friend massage it into your body. When it dries, it may leave traces of white powder on the skin surface. This is nothing to worry about. It is some of the magnesium itself, that’s all; you can brush it off. Life Flo Health make a pure Magnesium Chloride Oil, which is inexpensive. It provides 66mg of magnesium chloride for every 4 sprays or 560mg per teaspoon. It is taken from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed, which lies 1600 to 2000 meters beneath the surface of the earth in the Netherlands, and is 100% pure. Magnesium chloride has no equal when it comes to the effectiveness of using magnesium to counter inflammation and athletic pain. It must be 100% pure magnesium chloride, not any other form of the mineral. I use it every day. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs may well be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age. Life Flo Health, Pure Magnesium Pure Magnesium Oil is a highly concentrated spray of pure magnesium chloride-nothing added and nothing removed. Mined deep under the earth's surface from the Zechstein Seabed in the Netherlands, it can be used daily, is non-greasy, and leaves no unpleasant odor. Provides approximately 66mg of elemental magnesium for every 4 sprays or 560mg per teaspoon. Order Pure Magnesium from iherb

Nature's Helpers

Nature's Helpers

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

Be Wary Of Mammograms

Be Wary Of Mammograms

We have long been told that the “gold standard—life-saving” tool for protecting us from the ravages of breast cancer is regular mammograms. So powerful is the pro-mammogram lobby that we’ve come to believe if we do not have regular mammogram x-rays, we are irresponsible as well as at high risk of dying from cancer. This is quite simply not true. And in no way can mammography be considered a risk-free procedure. Far from it. Mammography relies on powerful ionizing radiation, which can actually cause cancer. One mammogram delivers the radiation equivalent of 1,000 chest x-rays into your body. Each year in the United States, an amazing 4 billion dollars is spent on over-diagnosis and false-positives in relation to mammography results. In fact, false positive results are known to be as high as 56% in a woman who has undergone 10 mammograms. Meanwhile, the physical and emotional damage of any woman having to live through “false positive” diagnoses can unnecessarily fill her life with fear. Recently, a massive study on mammography involving 90,000 women studied for 25 years concluded that mammograms have absolutely NO effect on mortality rates. As reported in the New York Times: "One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter­century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms: one in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman's health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation." Earlier on, researchers at Dartmouth in the United States wanted to find out how often lives are actually saved by mammography. They examined breast cancer data from The National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They discovered that the probability of a mammogram saving a life is well below 25%. They concluded, “Most women with screen-detected breast cancer have not had their life saved by screening. They are instead either diagnosed early (with no effect on their mortality) or over-diagnosed.” Personally, I have never had a mammogram. Why? Because my gut feeling has always said “no”. This was long before a massive accumulation of clinical evidence began to show up, indicating that the 30kVp range of “low-energy” radiation used in breast screenings is up to 400% more damaging to human DNA (read 400% more carcinogenic) than the so-called “high-energy” radiation which it is often compared to. I would stay away from mammography in any shape or form. How do you protect yoursel from cancer naturally? This is what I’ll be covering in next week’s videocast. Join me then.

Fasting - What's The Buzz. Part One

Fasting - What's The Buzz. Part One

The media is suddenly obsessed with fasting. On one hand, this is a good thing. The right kind of fasting can be a tremendously powerful tool for rejuvenation, weightloss, restoring insulin sensitivity, promoting human growth hormone—the anti-aging hormone—and lots of other things. Fasting can clear your mind and body of what is preventing you from living your life on top form. What worries me is the way so many wild fasting practices have turned up recently. One day it’s a cure-all for everybody. The next it leads people to binge on junk foods. So what is all the buzz about? Fasting is a powerful tool. But it needs to be taken seriously, fully understood and carefully followed. In recent months I have had a number of people join our Cura Romana Journey or Inner Circle Gold on line programs who were in trouble after their metabolism became all screwed up by their having tried to follow one of the current fast-yourself-slim diets. This is a sad state of affairs. More unbiased information about fasting, its blessings and its drawbacks needs to be forthcoming. MY LIFE IN FASTING When it comes to fasting of all kinds I’d wager there are few who have researched and experimented with it as long as I have. I was introduced to the ancient tradition of fasting in my mid-twenties when I had been unwell for many years, and it changed my life. I first wrote about intermittent fasting more than thirty years ago in The Joy of Beauty. I’ve continued to research and write about it in many other books since. I became fascinated by the profound healing of body, mind and spirit that takes place when people fast wisely. I have done so many kinds of fasts—juice fasts, water fasts, fasts using nothing but free-form amino acids, and intermittent fasts. I’ve just about tried them all. I even did a 40 day fast on water then spent the last five days of it skiing at St Moritz. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS I remember well the healing physical effects of carrying out my very first fast. My head became clearer and clearer. After the first few days my vision was so sharpened it was as if I were looking at the world through a crystal glass. It’s impossible to describe the changes that took place in my thinking and my emotions during the fast. I can only say that the world looked different. I realized that there was so much beauty around me which I had continued to miss. Fasting made me stop and think, stop and feel. I found delight in the simplest of things—just sitting under a tree, washing vegetables, or combing my hair. Everything seemed important. I found I wanted to do everything with real awareness. I also gained a sense of distance from my own problems, enabling me to make the decisions facing me calmly and quietly. As a result, since then, whenever I feel myself hung-up over something or whenever I sense I’m not seeing things clearly, I will quietly fast—often just for a day or two until I feel clear again. To some people this may seem an eccentricity, but not, I believe, to anyone who has actually tried fasting. DAYS ON DAYS OFF The buzz now, however, is intermittent fasting. This form of fasting has many faces. Some are better than others. The most lauded at the moment is where you spend two or more days a week drinking water while during the rest of the week you eat “normally” either with or without a very low calorie diet for the purpose of losing weight. The right kind of fast, while eating the right kind of foods, is indeed capable of facilitating weight loss provided you are capable of following it religiously for several weeks, while your body shifts from a glucose-based metabolism to a fat-based metabolism. But, even with the best will in the world, very few people can carry out this exacting procedure for long enough to allow this important metabolic transformation to take place. The second problem with days-on-days-off fasting is that it tends to precipitate binge eating during eating days. Few people understand that if you want to benefit from the experience you must rigorously fast when you are meant to be fasting and avoid binge eating on the days when you do eat. It’s essential, too, that you alter the kind of foods you eat if you want good results both in terms of weight loss and enhanced health for the future. MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE The other way to practice intermittent fasting works much better. It is a lot easier to carry out and protects your body from unnecessary strain. Here’s how it works: Instead of the day-on-day-off practice, commit yourself to eating only during a specific window of time—say 8 hours— each and every day. This is convenient and do-able for almost anybody, and it protects you from bingeing. You do all your eating between, say, 11am and 7pm and have no food or drinks except clean water and herb teas in between. For example, you skip breakfast and make lunch your first meal of the day, and you don’t eat anything after 7pm that evening. How does it all work? It takes from six to eight hours for your body to burn stored glycogen in your tissues after eating carbohydrate foods. Once this happens, your system starts to turn towards fat as its primary fuel. After a few weeks of this time-restricted fasting, food cravings that may have dogged you for eons are likely to have disappeared. (And you can take organic coconut oil which is rich in short-chain fatty acids which are quickly broken down to deal with any food cravings.) But you absolutely must be choosy about the foods you eat during the hours that you are eating. Download my little book Healthy and Lean For Life to learn more about what kind of foods protect from weight gain, foster natural weight loss and create powerful protection from degenerative diseases. It is free on the home page of www.curaromana.com in the lower right-hand corner. SPONTANEOUS INTERMITTENT FASTING So natural a procedure is fasting that in some cases it can happen spontaneously. By the time most Cura Romana participants have completed 24 days on the Essential Spray+Food Plan part of their program, and are ready to move into Consolidation, they are already fasting intermittently. At this point in their program the body has been taken through a process of deep cleansing. Food cravings have long since disappeared. Control centers for appetite, emotions, and hormones are functioning well so their food preferences are now excellent. Quite spontaneously most participants choose to skip breakfast. They say they love the vital, empty feel this brings them. They don’t need to be taught how to do intermittent fasting, they just do it. What has happened to them is that their bodies have already become adapted to burning fat instead of glucose for energy. Unnatural hunger is gone and sugar addictions no longer exist. HEALTH PAYOFFS The benefits of this kind of intermittent fasting are many. The procedure of incorporating this practice into your life becomes easy and natural. It is the start of a new way of living and eating that helps protect us from degenerative conditions long into the future. Here are just a few of the benefits it brings: Insulin sensitivity increases. So does the efficiency of mitochondrial energy, helping to slow aging and disease. Stress resistance improves dramatically. Oxidative stress diminishes since the body’s proteins, nucleic acids and lipids are protected from much free radical damage. Next week we can delve further into fasting—intermittent and otherwise. We’ll look in greater depths at the powerful therapeutic potentials it can have for weight loss, metabolic improvements, even as an effective treatment for mental and emotional disorders. We’ll examine its spiritual dimensions as well as its advantages and disadvantages. Then we’ll clarify who should and who should not fast. See you then.

Nature's Finest Treatment

Nature's Finest Treatment

What is Nature’s most powerful healer? The answer will surprise you: WATER applied to your skin’s surface. Would you consider pouring a stream of cold water over your face to banish fatigue and prevent skin from wrinkling and sagging? Would you walk in ice-cold water up to your knees every morning to increase your vitality and ward off aging? Have jets of cold water directed against your back and legs to help you shed fat? Extraordinary as these practices sound, they are natural methods of treatment with over a century and a half of clinical validation behind them. They are part of one of the most elaborate, effective and well-researched European methods of healing, health enhancement and age-retardation in the world: Kneipp therapy. KNEIPP’S GENIUS Applications of hot and cold water have long been standard treatment for regenerating energy, curing headaches, improving lymphatic function, and even eliminating hangovers after a night of partying. In no small part is this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with water treatments. In 1855, Kneipp was sent to the tiny Bavarian village of Worishofen to supervise a Dominican nunnery. Many of his friends insisted that the church had only sent him there to get him away from his fascination with water-healing, in the belief that it was interfering with his clerical life. There he acted as father-confessor to the nuns, revived the village's stagnant economy, and advised farmers on how to improve their agriculture. But Kneipp’s fascination with health and healing prevailed when later he was made parson of the village. Despite the fact that his days were filled with ecclesiastical duties, he found his time increasingly taken up by a growing number of ailing people who had heard of his ‘miracle cures’, and either didn’t have enough money to pay for medical care, or had been given up as ‘hopeless’ by their physicians. Kneipp treated them with his water techniques. He then taught them to treat themselves, gradually developing a complete system for prevention, cure and rehabilitation based on the theory that a human being is a unity of body and soul, and that whenever this unity is threatened, or whenever the harmony of nature is disturbed, illness ensues. As far back as 1900, Kneipp's water therapy was being practiced all over Europe. Since then, his methods have been researched, applied, refined and adapted to contemporary needs by medical scientists—most of them German—who have established the basis of Kneipp’s water techniques worldwide. AMAZING BENEFITS Still little known in English-speaking countries, Kneipp therapy is practiced in some seventy spas and thousands of hospitals in Europe. Treatments are supervised by physicians highly trained in the various methods it involves, the most important of which is a complex set of water applications which have profound regenerative and protective effects on the body. Far from being some kind of far-out alternative therapy used only by nature freaks and old women, Kneipp hydrotherapy is supported by government health-insurance schemes in Europe, and even subsidized by the state both as a preventative treatment against aging as well as a means of curing and rehabilitating the seriously ill. Kneipp therapy is used in many applications—from affusions, where water in a steady stream is poured over specific parts of your body, to hot and cold compresses—as a treatment for conditions from arthritis, abscesses and heart disease to asthma, diabetes and allergic eczema. All of Kneipp’s methods greatly increase your vitality, can enhance athletic prowess, help you handle stress better, banish insomnia, and counteract a myriad of negative effects connected with the aging process. SECRETS OF HYDROTHERAPY This is the secret of using cold water applications on your body. You need to be warm to begin with, and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water in these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. THE PRINCIPLES Not every water treatment has to be administered by a professional in a clinic or a spa. One of Kneipp's most important principles was that hydrotherapy should be simple enough that any healthy person can benefit from it—as a prophylactic treatment against aging, to improve the condition of the skin, to eliminate stress and to treat minor ailments from a headache to a cold without professional help. Simple at-home water treatments fortify your body against sickness in general, improve circulation and calm frayed nerves. FOR GREAT SKIN An affusion is literally a pouring of running water over a particular area of the body. Affusions stimulate blood supply to the skin, restoring lost tautness and freshness to sagging or faded skin. It is a popular natural treatment in Europe amongst men and women who want to retain (or reform) their youthful good looks. It helps prevent premature aging of the skin, eliminate feelings of fatigue and can even cure a migraine. Here's How Make sure your body is in a well-warmed state to begin with. Then, using a hose with an opening of about ½ inch (it can be a bathroom hand shower with the head removed) turn on the cold water so that a sheet of water is delivered to the skin when the hose is held 2-4 inches from it. (There should be no great pressure of water.) When an affusion is done right, the water flows smoothly and evenly and with no `splashback'. Now, resting your neck on a towel and bending over a sink or the bath, begin by circling your face with the water from just below the temple. Then go back and forth from one side of the face to the other. Guide the stream several times from up to down starting at the left side and working towards the right. End by circling the whole face again. The entire process is done with cold water and should take only a couple of minutes. Pat your face gently to remove excess water and then let it dry completely in the air. TO BOOST VITALITY AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY There are several techniques designed to increase vitality and bring protection against illness and age-degeneration. Which you choose depends on your current state of stamina and health. They range from the body wash, which is gentle enough for almost anyone, to the cold Blitzguss, which top athletes and other very fit people favor. The Body Wash This is quite different from the usual cleansing wash you carry out in the bath or shower using a flannel. It involves the uniform spreading of water over your skin with a rough linen cloth. Afterwards you do not dry yourself. Instead get into a warm bed for a few minutes. It helps relax the body while bracing and strengthening it. It also activates natural warmth, eliminating and protecting you from the build-up of toxic substances in the blood and tissues which can cause cellular damage and age-related problems. Here's How Having dipped the linen cloth into cold water, begin on the back of the right hand and sweep upwards over the shoulder then down again on the inside to the thumb. Now turn the cloth over and wash the inside of the hand and arm to the armpit, and finally the back of the palm. Dip the cloth in water again quickly and carry out the same movements on the other arm. Then, quickly dipping the cloth in water again, with half a dozen vertical movements wash over the chest, abdomen and the fronts of legs. Another dip and do the back (or have a friend help here since it is easier). Finish your body wash by quickly rubbing the soles of the feet. The whole procedure (which must be carried out in a warm room) needs to be very quick (only thirty to forty seconds). Then remove excess water from your body's surface, dress warmly and move about, or get into a warm bed for a few minutes. This is a superb way of refreshing yourself after a long day before going out for the evening. WATER TREADING This takes a couple of minutes. In Bad Worishofen there are beautiful pools at the clinics and hotels and even in the woods, where you can take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in water every morning, summer and winter, even when there is snow on the ground. If you are lucky enough to live near the sea or by a brook, both are ideal. But you can get the same results at home using a bath filled with cold water. Here's How Dressed warmly, but with your legs and feet naked from the knee down, step into the water and `walk on the spot', lifting first one foot and then another up out of the water. The reaction will be either a pleasant warm feeling flooding the feet or a sharp cold ache, followed by warmth. Begin by treading water for only thirty seconds or so, then work up to a couple of minutes as your system gets stronger and more resilient. Immediately afterwards put on dry warm socks and shoes and move about. (By the way, this is also an excellent treatment for insomniacs when done just before going to bed.) BLITZGUSS A real Blitzguss has to be done by a professional in a special shower using a powerful water-force. But you can get many of its beneficial effects in the shower, particularly if you happen to have a hand-held shower which you can direct on to different parts of your body. This is something I do every morning after exercising. Here's How Take a warm shower until your skin is glowing with the warmth. Turn off the hot water and use only cold, directing it over your face, down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. This process should take no more than thirty seconds. Get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This will leave your skin glowing with warmth, thanks to the reaction against the cold water. Practiced every day or so, it will also strengthen your immune system, not only against age-degeneration but also against colds, flu and other illnesses. Blitzguss greatly increases vitality. This is a favorite of top athletes in Germany. It is also my favorite of all the prophylactic treatments with water—and I am a long way from being a top athlete. But I had to work up to it in the beginning by starting with the body wash and with water treading (which I still do when I feel tired but unable to sleep). It’s best not to use Blitzguss until you are already quite strong. DE-STRESS FOR BETTER SLEEP The next two techniques are particularly good if you feel stressed or you tend to wrestle with insomnia at the end of the day. Wet Socks A favourite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woolen socks, then get into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. Once you begin to experience some of the extraordinary benefits from these simple treatments, you may find you want to explore some of the other natural therapies which are also carriers of vital information for health and ageless aging. They include air baths, saunas and Turkish baths, herbal treatments using the adaptogens and dry skin-brushing. Not only can each one of them leave you feeling vibrantly well and looking good, together with good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, they are some of the means by which your body/mind/spirit can restore balance and help keep you well, youthful and vital, long after those around you have succumbed to the ravages of time.

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 3rd of October 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.50 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men
-0.50 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 3rd of October 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

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