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245 articles in health

Hard Look At Soft Fat

Hard Look At Soft Fat

Findings show that the structure of cellulite tissue differs considerably in structure and chemical composition from normal fat. This scientific low down on cellulite is useful to fall back on next time somebody tries to tell you those lumps and bumps that you worry about are all in your mind. Curri examined fragments of adipose (fat) tissue taken from the outer thighs of young subjects, obese adults and older subjects, and then compared their physical and biochemical structures with those from women with cellulite. Examining cellulite tissue under a microscope and analyzing it chemically using gas chromatography, Curri established conclusively both from a morphological point of view (structure) and from a biochemical one that cellulite tissue differs in many ways from normal fat tissue. structurally or morphologically only in cellulite is there: a leakage of plasma through weakened capillary walls into the spaces between your fat cells a thickening of connective fiber which encapsulates your fat cells the formation of nodules caused by the hardening of collagen a stretching of your capillaries and blood stagnation with poor circulation Biochemically in cellulite there are significant differences in the ratio of certain fatty acids and triglycerides compared to ordinary fatty tissue. These include: an increase in stearic acid over palmitic acid an increase in stearic acid over oleic-linoleic acid an increase in unsaturated fatty acids over saturated fatty acids the four stages of cellulite In simple terms, Curri's findings showed that the structure of cellulite tissue differs considerably in structure and chemical composition from normal fat. it also tends to develop in stages: normal flesh Skin on your thighs and buttocks is smooth when you are standing or lying down. When pinched it folds and furrows but does not pit or bulge. This is the normal skin of most lean and very healthy men and women. stage 1 Your skin is still smooth when you are standing or lying, but a pinch test reveals the mattress phenomenon of bulging and pitting. Some deformation of the skin surface has taken place. There are signs of waterlogging - interstitial edema - structural dissociation and the beginnings of tissue dystrophy. Your skin has begun to look pasty. Tissue examination reveals the development of hard fibers in connective tissue. stage 2 Your skin is smooth when you are lying but when standing it shows signs of pitting and bulging. (This is common in women who are overweight or past the age of 35). Deep palpitation of your skin produces a dull pain. You cannot detect specific nodules to the touch, but micronodules will be seen in tissue examination. stage 3 The mattress phenomenon is apparent whether you are sitting or lying. Your flesh is painful - sometimes even when not touched - and macronodules or what is known as hypodermic plaque will be seen whether or not there is a lot of edema or water retention present. Histological examination will show that nodules are encapsulated in hardened or sclerotic connective tissue. This stage is very common after menopause, or when a woman is seriously overweight. So much for the scientific low down on cellulite, all of which is useful to fall back on next time somebody tries to tell you those lumps and bumps that you worry about are all in your mind or to suggest they will disappear in a jiffy on a 900 calorie diet. But the important question for any woman with lumpy flesh is, 'What am I going to do about it?' That is where a total shift in body ecology comes in. And I mean total. You can spend as much money as you like, and go through as much agony as you like being stuck and prodded and wrapped in special packages, but unless you go the whole body approach you will be wasting your money.  

Beware Of Statin Pushers

Beware Of Statin Pushers

I am shocked and horrified by the guidelines just issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology which speak of giving statin drugs to well people. The “experts” who have issued the new directives claim that healthy people should take statin drugs as a “preventative against possible future illness.” They want to see one third of all adults in the United States on statin drugs—44% of all men and 22% of all women. One in four Americans over 45 are already on statins, despite more than 900 studies reporting dangerous side effects from these drugs. Reported side effects of statins range from heightened risks of cancer and diabetes to sexual problems, neuropathy and liver dysfunction, as well as immune system suppression—even a higher risk of cataracts. In Britain, statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs already. Currently between 6 and 8 million people are taking them. If the new directives are accepted by the UK medical establishment—as they are likely to be—the numbers of men and women being prescribed statins could well become legion. WHAT ARE STATINS? Statins are a group of drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. They have many different names such as Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altocor and Zocor, to mention only a few. These drugs are prescribed on the assumption that they lower the risks of cardiovascular events and strokes. The new directives assert that, if given to healthy people, they could help protect the population from heart attacks and strokes at some time in the future. Happily, a growing number of cardiologists are strongly opposed to the new directives. These cardiologists insist that the new directives should be suspended. Sadly, few media outlets have so far reported on the negative assertions to the new directives from physicians who oppose them. The U-T San Diego newspaper is a welcome exception. It reports, “Doctors assail new guidelines for statins.” Then it goes on to say that “Many physicians have since come out and said that the risk calculator [used in the new directives] was based on bad information, and that if it is used, millions of people who don’t need statins will be urged to take them.” WELCOME NEWS Last year, Dr Eric Topol, highly respected cardiologist and professor of genomics at Scripps Research Institute in California wrote an excellent article for the New York Times Opinion Page on February 29, 1912. In it he warns that “We’re overdosing on cholesterol-lowering statins.” Topol is especially concerned about the sharp increase in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes that is occurring in people using them. He writes, “Statins have been available since the 1980s but their risk of inducing diabetes did not surface for nearly 20 years. When all the data available from multiple studies was pooled in 2010 for more than 91,000 patients randomly assigned to be treated with a statin or a sugar pill (placebo), the risk of developing diabetes with any statin was one in every 255 patients treated. But this figure is misleading since it includes weaker statins like Pravachol and Mevacor—which were introduced earlier and do not carry any clear-cut risk. It is only with the more potent statins—Zocor (now known as simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin)—particularly at higher doses, that the risk of diabetes shows up. The cause and effect was unequivocal because the multiple large trials of the more potent statins had a consistent excess of diabetes.” Meanwhile, a recent study in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention by Jean A McDougall and her colleagues reveals that long-term use of statins increases the risk of both lobular and ductal breast cancer in women between 55 and 74. BOTTOM LINE In the past four and a half years, I have worked with hundreds of men and women whose doctors had been prescribing statins as they began their Cura Romana Journey Program. I always insist that they let their health practitioner know what they are doing, so that he or she can monitor carefully the dosages they are prescribing while they are following the program. This is essential, since no physician wants to prescribe more of any drug than is absolutely necessary, and the need for statins and other medications tends to decrease dramatically on the Cura Romana experience. At the end of their CR program, participants regularly send us reports like this one: “Before Cura Romana I had been taking 50mg of Levothyroxine per day as well as 40mgs of Simvastatin per day. I had chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, raised cholesterol etc. Now, not only am I free of the drugs, I no longer experience any of these conditions,” writes Debbie in the UK. I am no doctor, but what I have learned during my more than forty years of writing and broadcasting on health is this: When a body is restored to healthy functioning naturally, the need for medication is either dramatically reduced or, more often than not, eliminated altogether. Statins, like most pharmaceuticals, treat symptoms—they do not heal. Only nature can heal from within. My advice to anyone thinking of accepting the new directives is this: Before you agree to take statins, be sure to research well the implications of doing so. There are other natural ways of clearing cholesterol issues. Learn as much as you can about statin drugs as well as the natural alternatives. Here are just a few suggestions about where you can begin finding out more. RESOURCES U-T San Diego “Doctors assail new guidelines for statins: 18 November, 2013 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Published Online First July 5, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0414 This is an excellent compilation of dangers from statin drugs with links to abstracts. Click Here JAMA Ophthalmol 2013 Nov 1;131(11):1427-34. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.4575. Association of statin use with cataracts: a propensity score-matched analysis. This is a good source of information on the use of statins for the elderly.Click Here Sultan and N. Hynes, "The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns," Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 179-185. doi: 10.4236/ojemd.2013.33025. I also recommend visiting Mercola.com and typing in “statins” since you will find some good information here too.

Two Faces Of Sleep

Two Faces Of Sleep

There are two kinds of sleep: orthodox sleep, which is dreamless - sometimes called `synchronized slow-wave sleep' because of the brain wave patterns that accompany it - and paradoxical sleep, during which dreaming occurs along with rapid eye movement (REM), sometimes called desynchronized sleep. Orthodox sleep is vital for physical restoration of the body while paradoxical sleep is essential to your mental and emotional stability. Research into sleep measured by electroencephalograms has shown that all of us spend our sleep time moving in and out of these two stages in predictable rhythmic patterns. If for any reason these patterns are repeatedly disturbed, we suffer. There are four levels or depths to orthodox sleep. When you fall asleep you move into the first level, characterized by low-amplitude fast-frequency brain wave patterns. Sometimes sleep starts with a sudden twitching movement called a myoclonic jerk. This is the result of a sudden flare-up of electrical activity in the brain, as in a minor epileptic seizure. Then, as you move to level two and even deeper into levels three and four, there is a general slowing of the frequency, and an increase in the amplitude of your brain waves. pure contradiction REM sleep, which is diametrically opposite to orthodox sleep in many ways, is just as vital. It more than earns its name `paradoxical' by being a mass of contradictions: although the body is virtually paralyzed during the REM state, the fingers and face often twitch and the genitals become erect. Breathing speeds up to the level of your normal waking state. Heartbeat rate, blood pressure and temperature rise, and adrenaline shoots through the system. Beneath the lids your eyes move rapidly from side to side as though you were looking at a film or tennis match. And this is exactly what is happening - you are viewing images that come rapidly in succession. Your brain waves in the REM state show a marked similarity to the rapid, irregular patterns of being awake. Although the exact purpose of REM sleep remains a mystery, researchers know that it is essential for maintaining one's mental and emotional equilibrium. The need for paradoxical sleep also varies from one person to another. How much you will need is related both to your personality and your general psychological state. Longer periods of REM sleep and more of them throughout the night take place in times of psychic pain, or when your defense patterns are being challenged by new demands. Women tend to have increased REM sleep during the three or four days before the beginning of a period. For most women this is a time of increased anxiety, irritability, mood changes, and unstable defense patterns. But there is a lot that is not known about the function of paradoxical sleep. Well-known French researcher Michel Jouvet, who has done extensive studies of the REM state in animals and their unborn young - in which it occurs as well - believes it is a kind of practice of the genetic code in which lower animals run through their instinctive behavior patterns. In mammals and man, he thinks, it is a time when we are probably practicing our learned behavior, as each night we go through the process of integrating new information with the knowledge we already have. Normally you fall asleep and remain for a short time at level one and two, and then plunge into levels three or four to stay there for seventy to one hundred minutes. At that point comes your first period of REM or paradoxical sleep when dreams begin. This dream period of REM lasts only ten to twenty minutes. It is repeated again at about ninety-minute intervals throughout the night with orthodox, undreaming sleep in between, culminating in the longest period of REM - usually about half an hour - just before you wake up. During orthodox sleep your body is quiet, heartbeat slows, blood pressure falls slightly, and your breathing gets slower and more regular. Even your digestive system winds down. In the deeper levels of orthodox sleep, brain waves gradually become more synchronized, as if everything is at peace. At such times your body's restorative processes come into their own, rapidly repairing damaged tissues and cells, producing antibodies to fight infection, and carrying out a myriad of other duties necessary to keep you healthy. Without orthodox sleep in all its different stages, this important vegetative restoration does not take place properly and you become more prone to stress-damage, illness, early aging, fatigue and muddled thinking. Orthodox sleep is the master restorer. psychic necessity When scientists disturb sleepers in the orthodox state, they find that deprivation of orthodox sleep doesn't lead to any psychological disturbances. But after being deprived of REM sleep for several days,  sleepers become desperate for it. Their normal sleep patterns alter so that they slip into REM immediately on falling asleep and then experience twenty to thirty periods of it each night instead of the usual three. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as `REM rebound'. It is often accompanied by fierce nightmares as psychic imagery, too long repressed, seeks strongly to reassert itself. Sleeping pills repress this REM phase, and repression can result in lasting psychological damage to the pill popper. After taking sleep-inducing drugs regularly, when you come off them you may fear you are going crazy as you start to experience the REM rebound. Vivid and frightening hypnagogic images and nightmares appear, as the body hungrily tries to make up for what it has been denied. There are other reasons to steer clear of sleep-inducing drugs too. Both barbiturates and non-barbiturates prescribed for sleep are physically and psychologically addictive - barbiturates to an even greater degree than heroin. They can be fatal, even at low dosage, when mixed with alcohol in the bloodstream. Finally - something that few people realize - they are also not very effective over the long-term. Sleeping pills can be successfully used to bring on sleep only for the first week or two. After that, dangerously increased doses are needed to work. When sleeplessness becomes chronic it can leave you feeling exhausted, hopeless and washed out, in which case something needs to be done about it. Sleeping pills are not the answer. Their side-effects include digestive problems, poor concentration, disorders of the blood and respiration, high blood pressure, liver and kidney troubles, problems with vision, depression, dizziness, confusion and damage to the central nervous system. Using them can even lead to worse insomnia. There are better ways. For many people who rely on sleeping pills, the power of suggestion brought about by putting one in the mouth and swallowing it is far more useful than the drug in introducing sleep. The drug itself can only do harm in the long run, sleeping pills themselves put your body under continual stress. There are safer and more effective ways of getting to sleep using nature's sleep aids. how much sleep? The amount of sleep you need varies tremendously from one person to another. It also varies from one day to the next. There is no truth in the idea that you need eight hours of sleep to stay well and feel energetic. You might need ten hours, while another person gets on very well with four and a half. One study showed that short sleepers tend to be active, outgoing people who are sociable, flexible in their personalities and more conformist socially. Those wanting longer periods of sleep are more introverted and creative and are particularly good at sustained work. Often the more stress-filled your day, the more sleep you will need to balance it. As we get older we tend to sleep less. Many sixty and seventy-year-olds get by on a mere three or four hours a night. Occasionally you meet someone who sleeps as little as half an hour to an hour each night, yet appears to be perfectly normal. The amount of sleep you need depends so much on your biological and psychological individuality that you can't make hard and fast rules about it. Many high achievers and great minds throughout history - Napoleon, Freud, and Thomas Edison, for instance - have been poor sleepers, while others like Einstein could sleep the day away. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of general propaganda about sleep rather than true non-sleepers. And many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. Forget insomnia. But the idea that you need a certain amount of sleep each night to stay well is a powerful one. For many people it is so embedded in their unconscious that if they only get seven hours one night instead of eight, they are convinced they will be tired next day and soon develop all the signs of it. If you are one of these people, try re-examining your premises, and experiment - sleep less and see what happens. You may find that how you feel after a certain amount of sleep depends more on your own choice than on the time spent in bed. Try sleeping less for a few days. Many people find when they do, they actually have more energy. Although it is best not to go to bed on a full stomach, some people find it helpful to have a little something before retiring. Some foods help promote sleep because they contain high quantities of the amino acid tryptophan - a precursor to the calming brain chemical serotonin - or because they encourage the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Others taken at bedtime can disrupt sleep, because they stimulate or because they contain high quantities of the chemical tyramine, which increases the release of noradrenaline - a brain chemical which excites the nervous system. Find out what bedtime snacks work for you. hydrotherapy Water, applied to your body, can `stress' your system in very positive ways - ways which make you stronger and more resistant to illness and which can increase overall vitality. It can improve biological functioning and provide a healthy mental stimulation which takes you away from the habitualized ways of thinking which can result in boredom, stress, and sleeplessness. Sebastian Kneipp, after whom European hydrotherapy is named, was born in Bavaria in 1821, the poor son of a humble weaver with an ambition to become a priest. While studying for the priesthood he contracted tuberculosis: his physicians pronounced him incurable. But Kneipp was unwilling to accept their judgment. He came across an old book written by a German physician on the curative powers of water and began to experiment on himself by applying water in various ways. This, coupled with a growing awareness of the body's own ability to heal itself in accordance with certain laws of nature, brought him back to full health. He went on to develop hydrotherapy into the remarkable therapeutic and preventative system which bears his name. In a world where the benefits of an invigorating, quick shower are more and more appreciated, it is easy to forget the bliss and the relaxation of a long lazy bath. Water - especially when it has been fortified with plant essences - has the power to soothe, heal and relax a tense body, to lift a fatigued spirit, and to put you in just the right frame of mind for sleep.  See A benevolent bath. Several herbs act as safe and natural tranquilizers which can help relax your mind and body for sleep. One of the most popular is passionflower, or passiflora; others include hops, valerian root and skullcap. You can swallow them in pill or capsule form or make a herbal tea night cap. The classic bedtime herbal tea is chamomile, or you could try a tablespoon of orange flower water stirred into a cup of hot water with a little honey. See Herbal help. You've counted a hundred sheep, told yourself to relax, tried the left side, the right side, the back, the front, turned the light back on, read your book, done the crossword, turned the light off again and still you're wide awake. Your mind is racing. So why lie there and let it? Rather than try to block all your thoughts out of your head, face them. See Write It Out.

Eat Your Way To Menopausal Freedom - Part 3

Eat Your Way To Menopausal Freedom - Part 3

This is part three of natural menopause – if you have not done so yet, I suggest you read part one here “Beware Of HRT” and part two here "5 steps to an ideal menopause" The decisions you make about what you eat from 35 onwards not only determine the kind of menstrual, peri-menopausal and menopausal issues you will have—or not have. They also determine how slowly or rapidly your body ages, how good you look and feel as the years pass, and how much vitality you can count on. You see, life feeds upon life. Your body makes use of foods radiant with life force to increase your mental and physical energy and restore hormonal order. Choosing the right kind of foods will protect you from all those female agonies that the rest of the world wrongly thinks can only be handled by swallowing dangerous drugs. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE Go through your kitchen cupboards. Throw out (I mean literally!) every packaged convenience food you find there. This stuff is not worthy of being called “food.” It’s chock full of artificial chemicals, destructive trans-fatty acids, masses of sugar, poisonous pesticides and herbicides which were sprayed on crops, and dangerous GMO rubbish. Nothing can screw up your hormonal system faster than this kind of junk can. If you want to protect your body from early aging, degenerative diseases, osteoporosis, cancer and female miseries, it’s time to get savvy and opt for a life-generating way of eating based on organic foods grown on healthy soils. This is no joke! Once your body gets used to clean, healthy, natural foods, you’ll be surprised to discover that you literally hate all the junk that most people eat. Of course will take a while to make the transition from junk to real foods, so start now. Point your goals in the right direction and keep learning how to eat so you stay looking and feeling young at every age. This way of eating also reverses all sorts of so-called illness—from something as simple as reflux, to sleeplessness, depression, heart disease and cancer. All you need is the persistence to see the change through. RICH IN VITALITY Begin by eating foods rich in phyto-hormones—natural hormones that perfectly fit your own cell receptor sites to protect you from damage by estrogen mimics in our poisonous environment. Fresh, raw, organic vegetables, concentrated green foods like spirulina, chlorella, and naturally fermented foods are ideal. We have long been told that carbohydrates—breads and pasta, rice and cereals—are your body's main source of energy. This just ain’t so. Of course vegetable carbohydrates are great: sea plants, broccoli, spinach, kale—the works. So are legumes, but only in small quantities, since they can help provide steady lasting energy throughout the day. GRAINS TURN INTO SUGAR The other piece of nonsense which our corporate-controlled media and government keep pushing is the notion that low-fat, processed foods are healthy. Don’t believe it. In packaged, processed convenience foods, good-quality fat—such as extra-virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil and butter from cows that, at least part of their lives, have been fed on green grass—has long been replaced with sugars (oftentimes with high-fructose corn syrup), flavors and colors. If you eat sugar and grain-based carbs, this leads to more calories and weight gain, and fatigue. Read labels. If you see “non-fat” or “low-fat”, what this means is high sugar—and getting fat from eating them. Stay away from them. One of the major energy problems caused by eating processed foods full of grain-based carbs and/or sugars such as pasta, bread, cereals and sweets is that this brings about a progressive decline in your body's ability to process sugar. Unlike vegetables and fruits, which are full of beneficial fiber, manufactured processed foods are highly concentrated. Fiber is no longer present to dilute their concentration and slow down the rate at which the simple starches and sugars they contain are absorbed into your bloodstream. Grain and sugar based foods are far more calorie-dense. When you eat them year after year, they begin to overwhelm the body—especially the pancreas—causing blood sugar problems, and mood and energy swings that wreak havoc with your health. Eating this way predisposes you to insulin resistance, food cravings and obesity. Don't get misled by the nonsense that is written on the packaging of foods you buy, either. Read the ingredients carefully and watch for hidden sugars—glucose, sorbitol, invert sugar, corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, barley syrup, malt sugar. Even many products that claim to be sugar-free contain one or more of these, all of which are just another name for sugar. CUT THE CAFFEINE Caffeine—an ingredient in coffee, tea and many soft drinks—gives you a quick lift and the illusion of energy, only to let you crash a couple of hours later when you find yourself craving more coffee or wanting to reach for a sticky bun or chocolate, just to keep going. Tea contains a surprising 14-61 mg of caffeine per cup, to coffee’s 95-200 mg. Coffee makes your blood more acid, which in turn draws calcium from your bones to try to re-establish a healthy acid/alkaline balance. Drinking coffee is one of the worst things you can do if you want to prevent osteoporosis. Colas, squashes and soft drinks also contain caffeine—and are also riddled with sugar. A 12 ounce tin of cola contains 7 teaspoons—about 40 grams. As for the “diet” varieties, they are full of excess phosphorous and poisonous artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which under no circumstances do you want to put into your body. POWER FOODS Every molecule of muscle in your body is made from the proteins you eat. Muscle is the engine which turns food calories into energy, and burns fat. Improve the quality of your muscle and you automatically raise the vitality of your whole body. You also enhance your sex hormones, create better skin quality, and gain in strength and power. Only protein foods help do this. They also help ground you. Thanks to this characteristic, protein can even play an important role in helping you fulfill your dreams, influence your goals and discover your unique life. No protein structures in your body are fixed. Each strand is constantly being broken down and reshaped. In fact, the whole structure of your body is being rebuilt day by day, thanks to the proteins you take in through your foods. 98% of your body’s molecules, including your teeth and bones, your organs and your muscles, are replaced each year. Within the last month, your skin has completely rebuilt itself. Within the last 3 months, you have received a whole new blood supply. Within the last 6 months, just about every molecule of muscle protein has been renewed. What is exciting about all this is that, when you shift for the better both the quantity and the quality of proteins you eat, you can completely transform, regenerate, and rejuvenate not only the way your body functions, but also the way you look and feel. GREAT CHOICE PROTEIN FOODS Raw foods: Including non-roasted nuts and minimally processed cheeses—especially sheep, goat and buffalo cheeses, since so many women these days don’t get on well with cow’s milk products, including cheese, yoghurt and cow’s milk itself. Eat meats from grass-fed, free-range, and cage-free animals without added hormones. Never eat farmed fish of any kind. Their feeds are not only full of cheap carbohydrates, but dead animal. You don’t want these things in your body. Choose cold-water fish rich in Omega-3 fats such as wild salmon, sardines, mahi-mahi, mackerel, etc. Organic eggs from free-range chickens. Buy only meat from grass-fed animals and grass-fed, free-range organic poultry. Wild game birds (pheasant, duck, goose, grouse). Venison. Wild game (kangaroo, goat, etc). Good quality vegan or whey protein, provided your body can handle cow’s milk products. THE 50% WILD SECRET Raw foods do wonderful things for women. For hundreds of generations, our ancestors lived on wild foods gathered and eaten raw. Our genes are specially adapted to handling raw foods. Incorporating a good percentage of live foods—fresh vegetables, raw seeds and nuts, and fresh sprouted seeds—in your diet helps restore good hormone function, stabilize moods, clear and rejuvenate skin, shed excess fat and even transform your outlook on life. Eat 50% of your foods raw and choose the rest from wholesome natural products like sea plants, cooked vegetables, and fresh locally-grown fruits, and you will notice a dramatic improvement in how you look, feel and function, even in the first couple of weeks. But it will be several weeks before the burden of toxicity which you have been carrying has fully cleared, and it may well be a few months before even deeper benefits begin to show themselves. Be patient. Your body has a magnificent ability to heal itself, but it won’t happen overnight. DEEP CLEANSE FOREVER To help you reap the rewards of a natural menopause, go for foods high in phyto-hormones—compounds in plants whose molecular structure is akin to the body’s own hormones. Unlike dangerous xenoestrogens, plant hormones are weak in their actions. They “fit” into a woman's metabolism. Your body recognizes them and knows how to use them. When weak estrogens from plants bind with estrogen receptor sites in the body, they help protect your body from the negative effects of xenoestrogens. They allow your body to readjust its hormonal balance naturally. This is why a diet high in phyto-hormones plays such an important part in protecting Japanese women from hormone-related diseases. The vitamins, minerals, and phyto-hormones in fresh foods, eaten as close as possible to the state in which they come out of the ground—or carefully and naturally fermented as the Japanese do—can bring to your life a supply of phyto-hormones sufficient to help mitigate most of the female symptoms that plague us in industrialized countries—from fibrocystic breast disease, PMS and hot flushes, to osteoporosis. GIFTS FROM THE SEA If you have never used sea vegetables, now is an ideal time to begin. Not only are they delicious—imparting a wonderful, spicy flavor to soups and salads—they are the richest source of organic mineral salts in nature, particularly of iodine. Iodine is the mineral needed by the thyroid gland. As your thyroid gland is largely responsible for your body's metabolic rate, iodine is very important to your energy. So try some of the sea vegetables. Before long, your nails and hair will become strong and beautiful thanks to the minerals and trace elements like selenium, calcium, iodine, boron, potassium, magnesium, and iron which are no longer found in good quantities in our garden vegetables. So will the rest of your body. I like to use powdered kelp as a seasoning. It adds both flavor and minerals to salad dressings, salads and soups. I am also fond of nori seaweed, which comes in long thin sheets or tiny flakes. It makes a delicious snack food which you can eat along with a salad or at the beginning of the meal. I often toast it very, very quickly by putting it under a grill for no more than 10 or 15 seconds. It is also delicious raw. You can use nori to wrap around everything from a sprout salad to cooked grains in order to make little pieces of vegetarian sushi. It's often a good idea to soak some of the other sea vegetables such as dulse, arame and hiziki for a few minutes in enough tepid water to cover. This softens them so you can chop them and put them into salads or added to your soups. Here are my favorites: Arame, dulse, hiziki, kelp, kombu, laver bread, nori, wakami, mixed sea salad. Change the foods you have log been eating and will change the whole of your life for the better. Try it for a month and find out for yourself.

Your Cat Deserves 9 Lives

Your Cat Deserves 9 Lives

Do you want your cat to live a long, happy life, free from cancer, kidney disease and other unnecessary illnesses that create suffering? Fifty years ago, I discovered the secret of raising healthy cats who live up to 23 years or more, and die naturally of old age. Let me share it with you. What we feed our animals from birth onwards determines the length of their lives and the quality of their health. Most animals are fed on junk pet food. And don’t be deceived by all the quasi-scientific language that adorns packages of pet foods in an attempt to convince you how excellent they are supposed to be. They are not, no matter how much you pay for them. It’s little wonder that our beautiful creatures die early from all sorts of dreadful illnesses, none of which are “normal” experiences of natural aging. You see, just as the human world is filled with manufactured, packaged convenience foods and pharmaceuticals—all of which do far more harm than the public realizes—so is the pet world filled with junk we are urged to feed our cats and dogs on. Some fifty years ago, I learned all about this thanks to a cat named Mistletoe. She was a beautiful little Siamese who gave birth to two litters of perfect kittens. But Mistletoe was not strong. So I took her to the vet, who told me she needed an injection of anabolic steroids. It helped for a while. But two months later, I had to take her to the vet again for a second injection. This made me furious. My anger led me to read everything I could get my hands on in an attempt to discover what natural foods cats—from tigers and lions to tiny kittens—had been eating for millennia. Before long, my searches led me to Dr Francis Pottenger MD’s unparalleled research into animal health. Known for his success healing humans, Pottenger believed that—given half a chance—any living body, be it human or animal, is capable of healing itself naturally. For ten years, he carried out clinical trials on 900 cats that he and his team monitored down 9 generations. He split them into two groups. To group one he fed only raw meat, including organ meats, bones, raw milk, and a little cod liver oil. To group two, instead of raw, he fed the same foods but cooked. They got cooked meats, pasteurized—that is, heat-treated—milk, and cod liver oil. Then he traced the health and behavior of both groups down an amazing nine generations. All of the foods he fed all cats were organic, of course, because back in the 1940s when he carried out his research, virtually all foods were. Group one cats, who got only raw food, became healthier and healthier with each year that passed. They had no birth problems, nor did they develop any health issues during the nine year period of the study. These fortunate cats died late in life from simple old age. Meanwhile, group two cats—who got the same food except that it was cooked—started developing health problems, right from the first generation. These included death of kittens, smaller litter sizes, poor mothering behavior, scruffy coats—you name it. The second generation of group two cats started to show signs of allergies, gingivitis, inflamed joints, dermatitis, poor vision, and skeletal malformation. Their fertility dropped, as did their litter size. Perinatal mortality increased. Their calcium bone density fell from 17% at the beginning of the research to 4% by the fourth generation. Even the behavior of group two cats was affected. They became more aggressive to handlers and to one another. By the ninth generation, many of group two became sterile. And, because, by then, they had stopped reproducing, Pottenger’s trial had to be stopped. Meanwhile, group one cats continued to thrive. Learning about Pottenger’s work was all it took for me to decide that my beautiful little Mistletoe was never again going to be fed any form of “cat food”, be it in a can or dried, again—so she would never have to go to the vet again. She never did. I started feeding her entirely on a little cod liver oil, raw milk or cream, raw organic meats and offal, liver, wild rabbit, as well as a source of minerals which I call cat pâté. This I make in my Vitamix by grinding up organic chicken carcasses in a little water. Little Mistletoe went from strength to strength. She never looked back. She finally died at the age of 22. She was never sick. One day I noticed she was not interested in eating any more, but she still wanted to drink water. In another three or four days, she no longer wanted to drink. She spent more time alone resting, but she still wanted to be held and given love. When she was ready to let go, she died in my arms—calm and peaceful. Mistletoe not only taught me to reject all of the propaganda which tries to convince us that our animals need manufactured foods and pharmaceuticals to stay healthy—far from it. She even taught me about the nature of dying itself. It can be a peaceful blessing surrounded by those who love you, whether an animal or a human being. What I learned from Mistletoe half a century ago has stood me in good stead. Since then, I have raised and nurtured many vibrantly healthy cats and other animals. With each day that passes, I still give thanks for all that my animal friends continue to teach me. This is not only about how to help them stay healthy life-long. They’ve taught me to listen to their own innate wisdom and never to assume that, as a human being, I know better than they do. I’ve come to love and respect them in ways I once would never have dreamed possible. I suggest you read the wonderful little book that Pottenger wrote about his research with 900 cats. I think you can find it for free on the internet. It just might change your life for the better, as well as the lives of your beloved creatures. It has most certainly changed ours.

Mind Body Connection

Mind Body Connection

Your body is an incredibly complex, dynamic system. Mind and body are not separate entities as we have been led to believe. They are opposite ends of the life continuum and they need to be experienced this way. For how you think is at the core of tapping into the kind of vitality and aliveness that fuels charisma. Does this sound like some old wives' tale or one of those 'growth techniques' that urges you to 'smile in the mirror every morning and think positively'? Far from it. What I am talking about is hard core science. The latest research in one of the most exciting fields of scientific study taking place today, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), has a lot to tell us about charisma. PNI has begun to quantify scientifically a lot of the things which we as human beings already 'know' somewhere deep inside but which, as a result of the mechanistic paradigm or world view implicit in our Western 20th century culture we have all but forgotten. PNI studies the complex bi-directional interactions between the central nervous system and the immune system. Leading researchers in the field such as Dr. G.F. Solomon at the University of California, have discovered that the human mind (which includes our conscious thoughts, unconscious impulses and our transcendent or superconsciousness as well as our emotions) is elaborately interwoven with all the functions of our bodies via nerve pathways and chemical messengers such as the endorphins, intestinal peptides and hormones. A hormonal-nerve relationship exists between endocrine glands such as the pituitary (the master gland regulating the actions of all others), the adrenals (which deal with stress) and the hypothalamus which is called the hypo-thalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It links thoughts and emotions with physical responses. This may sound complex and high faulting but what it all means is simply that how you think, feel, the way you see yourself, how you respond to the world around you powerfully influence the levels of vitality you experience, how slowly or rapidly you age, and whether or not you resist infections from colds and flu to the viruses behind such conditions as AIDS and ME. Despite a proliferation of articles, books and television programs for popular consumption which speak of the body as the 'human machine', in reality it is nothing of the sort. Use a machine a lot and it wears out. Use your body a lot with respect for its needs and it only becomes stronger. Leading edge research is also amassing evidence that through our consciousness we are linked via extremely complex energetic interfaces both with other living organisms and with planet itself. Becoming aware of these interfaces - connections which are now being mapped by brain researchers, biologists and high level physicists - can be fascinating. Coming to make use of them is another highly subtle yet tremendously potent and exciting aspect of living with charisma. Throughout history the basic unity of mind and body has formed an integral aspect of man's belief systems and healing practices - from ancient Egyptian medicine and Ayurvedic medicine (the oldest known system of healing in the world from India) to Chinese Medicine, homeopathy and spiritual healing. But, during the eighteenth century and especially from the onset of the industrial revolution this awareness was largely replaced by a dominant paradigm or world-view which sees man as a blend of mechanism and egotism. A world-view is a dominant way of looking at reality which remains unconscious in a culture but which tends to govern the judgments one makes whether large or small. Ours holds first that all phenomenon in the universe, even life itself, are nothing more than a complex yet ultimately explainable series of chemical and physical reactions, second that differences between organic and non-organic life are only in degree, and finally that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. This mechanistic paradigm has been useful. It has enabled us to study and organize experience scientifically and it has been responsible for our technological development. But no matter how useful, every dominant paradigm has its limitations. Ours for instance has led us to ignore the organic interrelatedness of nature in favor of the notion that it is man's task through science and technology to 'harness nature' for his own ends - the results of which we are having to wrestle with in the increasingly unstable weather conditions, the dangerous thinning of the ozone layer, and unprecedented ecological disruptions so serious that many believe they could herald the end of human life on the planet. Our mechanistic world view has also contributed to a sense of human alienation which is expressed in our art and our literature and in our destructive social behavior. Now however our dominant paradigm has begun to explode around us thanks to findings in high level physics, PNI and the new biology. Energetic links are being established between the inner and outer world of man and the complex nature of interactions between consciousness and material reality are being mapped. The scientists and the philosophers now know that a mechanistic world view is no where near big enough to explain reality. As a result, new world views are rapidly evolving all of which, strange as it may seem, can play a powerful role in the development of charisma, in no small part because they enable us to break down the barriers of the self-limiting images each of us hold. (How often does one think thoughts such as, 'Oh I could never do that' or 'I am too small... too stupid... too afraid.) Coming to terms with them may seem a long way from deciding what kind of lipstick you wear or how you look after your hair and skin yet an understanding them can lead to as great an expansion of self-expression in those areas as it can in how you think, dream, behave and choose to direct your ambitions.

Blessings For Animal Friends

Blessings For Animal Friends

Some people have an addiction to alcohol, others to cocaine or shopping or television. Aaron and I are addicted to animals. No joke. We adore them, are besotted by them and long to spend a lot of our life connecting and communing with them be they household pets or wild creatures. We once spent 5 days in Canada sleeping with an Arctic Wolf. At other times, in Africa, we romped with baby lions in the bush. There is no question that our addiction will never be cured. When it comes to any animals we adore them...yes even rats and sharks although we don’t allow either of these amazing species to live in our home. We have always our homes with some of the best domestic creatures—cats and dogs. CREATURES RULE Dogs have long been the great protectors of the home. Cats bring us a sense of mystery and enchantment. They never forget that they were worshipped in Ancient Egypt and that they honour your home with their sacred presence. Introduce herbs into the lives of your pets and well-chosen plants share in the cleansing, enhancing and blessing of your beloved animal friends. For many years we had two Bearded Collies called Sunshine and Moonbeam. Now we live with and two Burmese cats called Gus Winterbear and Grizabella Starfire who grace our lives with love and affection, warmth—and the odd flea or two. INTO THE BATH Our dogs were long-haired. We found we had to bathe them regularly to discourage fleas. I always used a mild, tea tree shampoo and tried to keep each dog in the water for ten minutes to drown the fleas (not easy with Moonbeam!). Finally I gave each dog a rinse with eucalyptus tea. Fleas can’t stand the smell. How To Make Eucalyptus Tea Put 4 tablespoons of dried eucalyptus leaves into a teapot and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Leave to steep until cool and strain. Alternatively you can add 20 drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil to a pint of water in a spray bottle then mist your dog being sure to protect their eyes and noses. I even make my own flea powder and dust the dogs and their favourite sleeping places with it regularly. Leslie’s Homemade Flea Powder Mix 1 cup of diatomaceous earth with 2 tablespoons of citronella oil, 4 tablespoons of eucalyptus oil and 4 tablespoons of orange oil. Store in an airtight container. Shake over each animal and rub into their fur. DOGGIE PILLOWS For all the talk about how tough dogs are supposed to be. When you get down to it every dog, big and small, is a comfort-loving animal who hates fleas. I make flea repelling herb pillows for my dogs’ beds. I stuff an old pillow case with herbs and sew it up. I then slip this pillow inside another old pillow case as they get dirty quite quickly and I like to change them often. I always include pennyroyal in my doggy mix. Its Latin name is Mentha pulegium, pulegium coming from pulex (flea) in Latin. The name for the main chemical constituent in pennyroyal is pulegone. All of which proves that chemists do sometimes have a sense of humour. When choosing herbs for your dog’s pillow remember that their noses are much more sensitive than ours. You don’t want to overwhelm them. There are times when this can be put to good use, however. Rubbing a little clove oil on the legs of furniture will discourage puppies from chewing them – but check somewhere inconspicuous that the clove oil won’t damage your furniture or you will be back to square one. What To Use In A Herb Pillow Liberally stuff an old pillow case with one of the following herbs, whole and dried, or a mix of equal parts of two or all three of them. As dogs lie on them and crush the herbs it releases more of the flea-repelling scent. Try a mixture of: pennyroyal camomile flowers dried rue CATS NAP It’s not quite so easy with cats. Their saintly heritage makes them sensitive to strong smells, or anything that might dent their superior composure. Herbs like rue and pennyroyal which repel fleas also repel cats. I have found that some cats don’t mind camomile so I put a little in my cats’ pillows and mix in some catmint or valerian. Just about every cat I have ever met goes mad for valerian. To my nose it smells like the wet socks of soldiers who have been marching through swamps for a week. But, out of love for Winter Bear and Starfire, I make a few extra herb sachets with this mixture and scatter them in my linen cupboard where they love to while the day away. A note about catmint. There is an old saying that cats take little notice of the plants that grow from seeds sown straight into the garden. But when you raise the seed indoors, or buy some plants, and them transplant them into the garden the cats will literally love it to death. I have never tested this theory scientifically. I find that my cats chew the plant no matter how I grow it. Herb Pillows for Cats As these pillows are smaller than dog pillows I suggest crumbling up the dried herbs. Use a mixture of: camomile and catmint, or camomile and valerian TROUBLED EARS Ear mites are a common problem in cats. They are irritating for them and for you. Dribbling a few drops of garlic oil (peel a whole bulb of garlic, steep it for a week in 2 pints of olive oil, strain, bottle the oil and keep it in the fridge) into the ear twice a day will help enormously. Stop if your cat is made unhappy by the smell. If, however, you have a young female being courted by the local tom cat and you don’t want kittens, try putting a few drops of essential oil of garlic on the back of the female’s neck. Her suitor is likely to be put right off his stride.

why the food pyramid is wrong? How really to Eat Healthy

why the food pyramid is wrong? How really to Eat Healthy

There is too much nonsense talked about obesity, not only in the media, but even in published findings of scientists and doctors who, by rights, should know better. If you decide to take time out to plough through the voluminous research and declarations about degenerative diseases and obesity, their causes and their cure—as I have done ad nauseam in the course of my developing Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana—you discover that several important conclusions demand to be drawn. Let’s look at the obesity problem first. Then we’ll go on to examine what few people yet know: the same factors that make some of us fat can foster the development of degenerative diseases in all of us. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Cereals, grains, and sugar-based carbohydrates are the culprits that make you gain weight, if you have inherited a genetic tendency to do so. These foods distort hormonal regulation and interfere with your body’s ability to maintain its functions within a normal range. This is a consequence of the way grain and sugar-based carbs screw up blood sugar and destroy insulin sensitivity. What most people—even those who believe they are eating a ‘healthy diet’—are amazed to learn is that sugars and starches don’t just cause weight problems. They are major factors in the development of diabetes, coronary heart disease and a myriad of other degenerative conditions, even in those who never seem to gain weight, no matter what they eat. Nonetheless all of us, fat or thin, become prone to rapid aging when we consume carbs and sugars in quantity. HERE’S WHY The most signification change to human diets in two million years began with the Agricultural Revolution, where man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet as cereals and starchy vegetables began to enter our food chain. The more that these carbohydrates have been refined and processed, the more problems they have caused us. Meanwhile, during the 20th century, an overwhelming increase in cereals, grains, sugars and high-fructose corn syrup used in convenience foods has become a major trigger of burgeoning obesity and chronic illness. In the nineteenth century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today per capita we consume between 150 pounds and 200 pounds a year. So this is little wonder. Health Care - IGNORANCE IS PROFITABLE In the so-called civilized world, people are getting fatter and sicker by the year. Yet food manufacturers, government bodies and well-meaning but ignorant doctors are still telling us that we need to eat more low-fat-high-carb foods, as you can see from the three images of the Food Pyramid and Choose Your Plate. This includes masses of bread and cereals, rice and pasta. And the majority of the population still buys into the notion that fats, not carbs, are the villains of the piece. Much of the public’s inability to recognize what low-fat-high-carb eating is doing to ruin our health comes from the fact that the more ignorant we remain, the more profitable it becomes for some. In the past sixty years, multinational food manufacturers have been quick to take up the notion that carbs are good for us and fats are bad. Commercial interests waste no time in translating unsubstantiated scientific research promoting a fat-free, low-fat, and reduced-fat way of eating into huge profits. Consequently our supermarkets remain overloaded with convenience foods which health elitists, in the know, refuse even to touch. As for those who remain unaware that it is possible to transform health and weight naturally, the majority of the world continues to suffer. As the Irish humorist P.J. O’Rourke pointed out, the world is full of “masses waddling into airports, business offices and churches dressed in drooping sweats or fuchsia warm-up suits or mainsail-size Bermuda shorts, each with a mobile phone in one ear…sucking Diet Pepsi through a straw”. A True Healthy Eating Plan - Things to know As a result of the negative influence they exert on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, sugars and starches foster the development of diabetes, coronary heart disease and obesity. These foods are also significant contributors to the Diseases of Western Civilization. These include cancer, arthritis, depression and rapid aging. Cereals, grains, and sugar-based carbohydrates distort hormonal regulation of homeostasis. They raise blood sugar, which encourages excessive insulin secretion leading to insulin resistance, Syndrome X and metabolic syndrome. Eating carb foods increases hunger, causes food cravings and addictions, also creating an on-going experience of fatigue. This forces people to rely heavily on coffee and other stimulants to get through each day. Weight gain is a disorder of excess fat accumulation as a result of disequilibrium in the body’s hormonal regulation of fat metabolism. Obesity is not caused by gluttony, too little exercise or a lack of will power. Taking in excess calories is not the cause of weight gain, nor can expending a lot of energy on exercise prevent it. Good quality fats and oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and butter neither cause obesity nor the development of degenerative conditions. FIND OUT MORE If you want to educate yourself further about this revolutionary stuff, you need to read my brand new ebook: Leslie Kenton’s Secret Guide to Lean Health for Life. Within it, you will find the latest ground-breaking—and often shocking—information about carbs, fats both good and bad; oils; sugar in all its insidious forms; the false directives based on bad science we have been following for far too long, and why these are so dangerous; as well as practical advice on how to begin eating in a way that can literally transform your body and life. Learn More: Download My New Book Free - Healthy And Lean For Life In my new book Healthy And Lean For Life which is available to everyone at no cost, readers will be surprised to learn some of the real causes of degenerative conditions and weight gain as well as natural methods to become free of them. Download Health And Lean For Life Now Allred, J B, Too Much of a Good Thing? An Overemphasis on Eating Low-Fat Foods May Be Contributing to the Alarming Increase in Overweight Among US Adults., J Amer Dietetic Assoc, 1995, April; 95 (4): 417-18. Banting, W, Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public., Obesity Research, 1993; March, 1 (2): 153-63. (Reprinted from the December 1863 third edition.) Farquhar, J W, et al, Glucose, Insulin, and Trigylceride Responses to High and Low Carbohydrates Diets in Man., J Clinc Invest, 1966; 45 (10): 1648-56. O’Dea, Glucose and Insulin Responses to Carbohydrate Ingestion: Acute and Long-term Consequences., in Obesity: Dietary Factors and Control, Romsos, Himms-Hagan, and Suzuki, eds., Japan Scientific Societies Press, Tokyo, 1991; pp147-57. Lee, B M, Wolever, T M S, Effect of Glucose, Sucrose and Fructose on Plasma Glucose and Insulin Responses in Normal Humans; Comparison with White Bread., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998; 52: 924-928. Taubes, Gary, Good Calories, Bad Calories – Challenging the Conventional Wisdom Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2007

My Love Affair With Plants

My Love Affair With Plants

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

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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

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