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245 articles in health

Eat For Youth

Eat For Youth

Many of the most beautiful meals will be found on the ageless aging table. The variety of colors, textures, tastes and culinary experiences which delicious natural foods offer to anyone with an interest in food preparation and a love of fine cuisine at the very least equals the best traditional cooking. Eating fresh foods rich in `life force' in a high-raw way of eating means that your taste-buds, sense of smell and aesthetic awareness of food become dramatically heightened so that the appreciation of all that you eat can be greater than ever before. From being someone who used to love fresh cream and rich sauces I've become infinitely more appreciative of the fine flavors implicit in ageless aging cuisine. And I love it. Not only because I look younger, feel better all round and have infinitely more energy than before, but because the experience of eating itself has become so much more delightful. Most of us eat far too much and we dull our senses and our appreciation of food in the process. Even the most subtle of Beethoven's late quartets begins to dull the senses when you have too much of it. So can too much food even if it is the very best. Ageless aging cuisine revives them. Put your kitchen scales away and forget the complex routine for preparing a béchamel sauce.  It’s not conventional directions that matter when preparing foods, it is a passion for the foods themselves – a feeling reflected in our passion for the earth and life itself.  It’s good because it tastes good.  Such passion, which is visual, visceral and luscious, becomes the inspiration that, in food preparation, leads you automatically to make certain choices.  Open wide your kitchen window.  Welcome in the breezes of experiment, wit and spontaneity.  Inside, you find the traditional meal of roast meal and boiled Brussels sprouts topped off with a piece of sticky toffee pudding replaced by something far more hedonistic: slivers of raw Pacific salmon, luscious garden-fresh salad, followed by a winter sorbet of cranberry and mint.  The real joy in eating fresh, light foods lies in their taste, their texture and the remarkable ability they have to bring excitement to a palate jaded by too many highly processed, unimaginatively seasoned or over-cooked dishes. sheer energy I look on food as a source of both delight and life-energy which is passed on to us from the earth.  I believe this energy needs to be preserved by not cooking food too much, by eating it fresh and by respecting its essential nature.  Food eaten this way becomes a medium through which we build our own vitality – energy to protect the body from premature aging and illness, to enhance good looks and to keep the mind clear.  It is the life-energy present in abundance in fresh foods and the clean, simple protein from fish, game, organic meat and poultry that makes these foods irresistible and helps us look and feel great. The most significant change to human diets in two million years began with the agricultural revolution, when man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet.  The more that these carbohydrates have become refined in the past 300 years, the more problems they have caused us, not only in terms of burgeoning obesity worldwide but also in the development of the chronic degenerative diseases of civilization.   The thing to remember is that when you eat low-starch vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus and cauliflower, or proteins such as fish, meat and eggs, the levels of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) rise very slowly and modestly.  On the other hand, when you eat what are known as high-glycemic foods - starchy foods, simple carbohydrates, sugars - like a muffin, pasta, breakfast cereal or ice cream, blood sugar soars, then crashes as insulin is released in order to lower your blood sugar.  You can end up feeling hungry even though you've just eaten a meal, crave sweets and biscuits, and reach for a cup of coffee and a cake mid-morning just to keep going.  High insulin levels, by the way, suppress human growth hormone essential for healthy muscle tissue, making you look flabby and older. The most important foods are fresh non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, and proteins like meat, seafood, eggs and game.  A little unprocessed cheese is fine too and a few nuts and seeds.  Go for nothing but the best.  Here are a few guidelines: Choose natural whole foods – organically grown/raised if possible Your foods need to be as fresh as possible and eaten as close to a living state as you can.  This allows little time for the deterioration that occurs as a result of oxidation. All the foods you eat should be non-toxic and non-polluting to your body.  They should contain no synthetic flavours, colors, preservatives or other additives used to ‘enhance’ them cosmetically.  Stay away from convenience foods. Try to vary the foods you choose from day to day and week to week.  All through our evolution the human body has adapted to a wide range of foods offering a broad spectrum of nutrients. Use fresh garlic and herbs often.  They bring high-level support for cellular regeneration and immune support. Eat what you enjoy and enjoy what you eat.  Eating is one of life’s great pleasures – make it one of yours. make way for a new lifestyle Eating for ageless aging leads most people to a totally new way of living. You become more alert and more active. You will probably sleep less yet far better than before. This is because your whole system will be far clearer of toxicity than before and you will need less time for tissue repair and restoration than you do on a normal diet. You will also probably find that you are better able to deal with stress than ever. This way of eating provides you with high levels of potassium and rapidly restores the sodium-potassium balance in most people. This leads to increased resistance to fatigue and a greater feeling of calm stability day in day out. It may also set you slightly apart from your gravy-eating, hard-drinking friends and may even have them feeling slightly suspicious of you in the beginning. But it has been my experience that as soon as they find you are not trying to sell them anything - that you have a live-and-let-live attitude to whatever they do - they show a similar respect for your new lifestyle. In fact, the people who have been the most resistant to what you are doing and the most opinionated are very often the ones who are first to become intrigued about what an ageless aging lifestyle might offer them. And they are usually the ones with the energy and interest to carry it out. Day 1 RAW DISHES: melon; cauliflower and tomatoes mixed with red peppers and lettuce salad topped with Avocado Delight Dressing (see blow). COOKED DISHES: Steamed fish; wok-fried beans and peas; brown rice. Day 2 RAW DISHES: lamb's lettuce, celeriac and wild-herb salad topped with chopped egg dressing; fresh pears and plumped raisins. COOKED DISHES: Garlic Chicken Soup; steamed baby carrots and basil; young peas with mint. Day 3 RAW DISHES: mushrooms, watercress and chicory salad topped with Basil and More Basil Dressing; Mulled Stuffed Apples (see below). COOKED DISHES:  Fabulous Fish Soup. Day 4 RAW DISHES: `Sunburst' platter of avocado, beetroot, cos lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery and peppers served with raw humus (see below). COOKED DISHES: carrot and coriander soup; or venison burgers; Scottish oatcakes; Pineapple Blackberry Frappe. Day 5 RAW DISHES: `Jungle Slaw' salad made from cabbage, tender green beans, carrots, spring onions, red or yellow pepper and almonds served with a citrus dressing. COOKED DISHES:  Lightly grilled salmon and steamed green beans. Day 6 RAW DISHES: gazpacho; pineapple salad stuffed with orange, mango, papaya and strawberries and topped with coconut. COOKED DISHES: Hand Made Sausages (see below). Day 7 RAW DISHES: `Sandstone Loaf' made from carrots, lemon juice, almonds, pumpkin seeds, tahini and herbs; apple and ginger salad; home made blackberry sorbet. COOKED DISHES: Flax Crackers (see below) with humus. small meals For breakfast - or for that matter instead of lunch or supper when you want a small meal - you can't do better than a bowl of fruit muesli. If you have never tasted real muesli (and it bears no resemblance to the flaky sweet stuff you can buy on the shelves of supermarkets) you have a real treat ahead of you. Fruit muesli was the invention of Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner who devised it as the perfect light meal. It is a delicious and easy-to-digest completely uncooked dish which can contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals, and which is an excellent source of high-quality complete proteins and essential fatty acids. It can provide you with sustaining energy but will never lie heavily in your stomach. And it can be made low in calories. Real muesli (often called Birchermuesli after its inventor) is not a grain-based but a fruit-based dish with only a very small quantity of top-quality fresh wholegrain flakes in it. It is usually made with apples and oats but there are so many varieties which you can make, calling on whatever fresh or dried fruits and whatever kinds of grains, nuts and seeds you have available, that you could quite literally eat it twice a day all the year round and never get tired of it. Children absolutely adore Birchermuesli both as a complete breakfast and as a sweet after a main meal. A small bowl of muesli in the morning will keep you going all the way to lunch with none of the `elevenses slump' that has many people reaching for a cup of coffee and a pastry or a chocolate bar. It is also an excellent food to eat in the evening since it is so easy to digest that it never interferes with sleep. I do a lot of traveling and for many years I dreaded having to stay in hotels because the food available in so many hotel dining-rooms is so poor. I have got into the habit of carrying with me a small `muesli bag' with a hand grater in it plus some grain flakes and minced nuts and a small bowl so I can make my own breakfast or supper whenever I want and not be forced to eat what I don't want just because there is nothing else. Here is the basic recipe: bircher muesli For each person you'll need: I level tablespoon rolled oats soaked in 4 tablespoons water I heaped tablespoon raisins or sultanas I tablespoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened yogurt I large apple ½ banana I teaspoon raw honey (if desired) or pure stevia to taste I tablespoon minced hazelnuts and almonds or other mixed seeds and nuts I pinch cinnamon (if desired) Soak the rolled oats and raisins in water, preferably overnight. This begins to break down the starch present in the grains and turn it into natural sugar so it is easily assimilated. If you have no time to soak the grains then simply mix with the water (you will need slightly less water in this case) and carry on immediately. Wash the apple(s) and remove core and stem but don't peel. Then, using a stainless-steel hand grater or a food processor, grate the apple into the mixture and, stirring, add lemon juice to protect it from discoloring. Cut the banana into small cubes, add to the mixture with the honey (if desired) and mix with yogurt. Sprinkle the top with the minced nuts and a little cinnamon if you like. Instead of rolled oats you can use other cereal flakes such as barley, millet or buckwheat. These are available from wholefood shops. I find I don't usually add honey to my muesli because it is so beautifully sweet already, thanks to the soaked grains and fruit. You can also make muesli with soft fruit such as strawberries or raspberries, loganberries, red and black currants, blackberries or blueberries as well as with apricots, cherries, peaches, plums or greengages. Or you can mix your fruits together. Also you can make the muesli from dried fruit which has been soaked for twelve hours or overnight in spring water. But make sure you get sun-dried not sulfur dried fruits to which no glucose has been added (it is commonly added to figs for instance) or you can end up with a gastrointestinal upset. seasoning and spices Make use of all of the wonderful culinary herbs that are available: And the list of seductive possibilities seems almost endless: caraway, fennel, dill, chervil, parsley, lovage - the Umberiferae; summer savory, marjoram, the mints, rosemary, and thyme-the labiates, which have a strong aroma and are particularly useful for seasoning; the Liliaceae such as garlic, onions, chives and leeks; and three of my favorites, basil and tarragon and horseradish. Herbs have a special role to play in any ageless aging regime. They contain pharmacologically active substances such as volatile oils, tannins, bitter factors, secretins, balsams, resins, mucilages, glycosides and organic vegetable acids each of which can contribute to overall health in a different way. The tannins, for instance, which occur in many common kitchen herbs, are astringent and have an anti-inflammatory action on the digestive system. They help inhibit fermentation and decomposition. The secretins stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes - particularly important for the complete breakdown of proteins in foods to make them available for bodily use. Organic acids have an antibiotic action and are helpful in the digestion of fats and the bitter factors, which are found in good quantity in rosemary, marjoram and fennel. They also act as a tonic to the smooth muscles of the gut and boost secretion of digestive enzymes. Use herbs lavishly in your meals and you will find you can create the most remarkable combinations of subtle flavors and aromas. drink yourself younger Coffee, although not completely forbidden on any serious program of ageless aging, is not something to drink daily. The occasional cup after dinner is not likely to do much harm. More than that and you are really undermining your potential for age-retardation not only because it contains mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds which cause oxy-stress and free radical damage but also because regular coffee tends to make cadmium (one of the heavy metals) build up in your system and can interfere with proper pancreatic functioning. It also leeches calcium from the bones. Tea is OK in moderation - no more than a cup or two a day - but there are other drinks which are not only good for you, they can be highly enjoyable as well. Alcohol is another substance you want to go easy on. Not only is it very high in calories yet practically worthless in terms of the nutrients it supplies, it also causes your liver to produce one of the most potent cross-linkers known - acetaldehyde. A glass or two of wine can be easily accommodated. More than that as a daily intake is likely to seriously undermine your effort. And make sure it is good wine. The run of the mill vin de table is full of toxic substances which your cells can do without. You'll find some delicious mixtures of herbs in ready-made tea bags if you comb through a few delicatessens and healthfood stores. Some of my favorites have names like Cinnamon, Rose, Almond Sunset, Creamy French Vanilla, and Red Zinger. They are great to drink for pleasure and refreshment the way most people drink coffee and ordinary tea. But there are others which are quite wonderful simply because they affect the body in specific ways. Lemon verbena, for instance, is a refreshing sedative, chamomile soothes the digestive tract, and both horsetail and solidago (goldenrod) are excellent natural diuretics. The teas I like best just before bed are orange blossom, which you make by boiling a few blossoms for 2-3 minutes in two cups of water, red bergamot and lemon peel, all of which are natural sedatives. This last tea comes from an Italian tradition. You make it by peeling the outer yellow skin off a lemon (which has been washed well) with a potato peeler. Pour boiling water over this and let steep for 5 minutes. Then strain and drink. a few recipes to play with Avocado Delight Dressing 1 avocado, peeled and stoned Juice of 1 lemon Juice of ½ orange 1 small onion, chopped finely 1 garlic clove, chopped finely Handful of fresh herbs – mint, parsley or basil Freshly ground black pepper to taste Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and serve. Italian Herb Dressing 100ml extra-virgin oliv oil 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1-2oz fresh basil, chopped 1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder Freshly ground black pepper to taste Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adjusting the flavour as necessary. Garlic Chicken Soup (serves 1) 150g lean, skinless chicken breast, but into small cubes 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic 1 level teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder 2 teaspoons chopped parsley and/or ½ teaspoon lemongrass or ½ teaspoon mild curry powder 180 ml water Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes and serve. Fabulous Fish Soup (serves 1) 360ml water 1 teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder ½ tsp fresh chopped garlic ½ tsp chopped onion 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or ½ tsp dried basil 1 cup broccoli 150g white fish ¼ tsp paprika Himalayan or Malvern salt to taste Pepper, to taste Put the bouillon powder, water, garlic, onion and basil in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.  Place the rish on top of the broccoli and sprinkel with paprika, salt and pepper.  Put the lid on and cook for another 5 minutes. Raw Humus 2 cups sprouted chick peas Juice of 3 lemons 1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Buillon or Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon Powder 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 3 tbsp tahini 3 tbsp chopped spring onions or chives Water to thin if too thick Put the ingredients, except the onions or chives, in a food processor or blender and blend thoroughly.  Top with the chives or onions. Hand-made Sausages 350g lean minced pork, chicken, lamb, beef, venison or wild boar 1 tsp Himalayan or Malvern salt, to taste 2 tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour) 4 cloves garlic (optional) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, coriander or sage ½ large onion, finely chopped Combine all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl and ix thoroughly with your hands.  Refrigerate until well chilled then separate into patties and cook in an oiled skilled until crunchy on the surface and cooked through. Flax Crackers 240g faxseed meal (or buy whole flaxseeds and grind them) 240ml water 30ml tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce Himalayan or Malvern salt, to taste Fresh minced herbs A little chopped garlic Ginger, chilli powder, or cayenne pepper (optional) Combine the flaxseed meal with the water and let it soak for 1 ½ hours.  The water will change to a sort of gelatinous state.  Add a little more water if necessary, you want it to be gooey but not too runny or too thick.  Add the tamari, salt, herbs and garlic (or other flavourings).  Blend together.  Spread the mixture out, about 1/8 inch thick, and cut into squares.  Carefully lift the squares onto a wire mesh and bake in a slow oven until crunchy.  You can also make them in a dehydrator - dehydrate them for 4-6 hours, turn the mixture and dehydrate for a further 3-4 hours. Mulled Stuffed Apples (serves 2) Most of the nutritional value of an apple lies in its skin, or just below it, so wash apples well but don’t peel them. Softish apples are best for this recipe as their insides have to be scooped out. 100ml grape juice or red wine ½ tsp cinnamon 2 cloves ¼  tsp nutmeg 1 crushed white cardamom pod ¼ tsp allspice 75g blanched almonds 2 large apples Squeeze of lemon juice handful dates or raisins ‘Mull’ the grape juice or wine by putting it in a bowl with the spices and leaving for at least an hour.  Discard the cloves and cardamom and blend the remaining mixture with the almonds in a food processor or blender.  Slice the tops off the apples and keep them.  Remove the cores, saving small pieces to plug the bottoms.  Scoop out the apple pulp, leaving a shell about 1cm thick. Lightly blend the pulp with the juice and the almond mixture until smooth, adding a squeeze of lemon juice.  If the mixture is not thick enough, add a few more ground almonds.  Chop the dates or raisins and fill the apple shells with the dried fruit and almond mixture.  Replace the ‘lids’. Or, make stuffed apples with apple sauce and blackberries.  Blend the apple pulp with a little lemon juice, stevia and spices then combine it with the blackberries and spoon into the apple shells. Pineapple Blackberry Frappe This makes a wonderfully refreshing dessert as it stands, or it can be chiled to serve as a cool sorbet on hot summer days. 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks ½ cup blackberries Juice of ½ lime Place all the ingredients in a blender and liquidise.  Serve immediately.

Addicted To Fragrance

Addicted To Fragrance

It’s time that I come clean about one of my most powerful addictions: fragrance. Here’s something that may surprise you: Most women choose perfume not as an expression of their personality, but as a quality they aspire to. A sexually assured, high powered businesswoman, for instance, will most often choose a delicate floral. Her shy and introverted sister is most likely to opt for a sultry oriental. As for me, I dislike most commercial fragrances. Not only are they overpriced, many of the most expensive and highly advertised perfumes smell revolting. Why? Because they have become more and more polluted by artificial chemicals which create allergic reactions in many. After all, phoney chemicals are cheap, while the real thing is costly. A discerning nose can easily sense the difference. This is the main reason why I make my own fragrances. It’s easy, and I’ll tell you how I do this. But first, come with me on a mini-journey into the sensuous, irresistible world of real fragrance that, long ago, literally changed my life. Who knows? It could even change yours... GLORIOUS GRASSE At the foot of the Mediterranean Alps, amidst the wild herbs and brilliant citrus of Southern France, lies Europe's hoard of sensuous delight and healing power: Grasse, perfume capitol of the world since the fifteenth century. But that was already long after holy orders of monks had settled in what they called a 'blessed herb garden', where cloves, tuberose, jasmine and lavender spread over the earth in wild abundance, and grew in the harmony of perfect ecological balance. They acted upon that balance with great skill and cunning, introducing rare plants from Persia, India and the Iberian Peninsula—plants to heal the plague and banish evil, plants to soothe and quiet a troubled mind, plants to perfume leather and to heighten the charisma of courtiers and bishops. In alchemists' chambers and cloistered cells, stoves glowed and retorts bubbled with one end in mind: To extract the 'soul' of each plant and flower, of every root and leaf and bark. These men knew that the life-force is something after which every creature lusts. If only they could capture it, they reasoned, if only they could distil it and then drink its essence through their skin and senses, perhaps they could heighten their own experience of abundance, pleasure and wellbeing. That was more than five hundred years ago. Now the advent of high-technology has altered the means. We no longer use words like 'alchemy' or 'soul', yet the goal is the same: To extract the fine, light, almost ethereal essence of the living plant: The essential oil—one of the great miracles of nature. SOUL OF A FLOWER These substances taken from roots, leaves and flowers in the prime of life once formed the core of the world's great perfumes. So precious and rare are these essences that it takes some 8 million blossoms of jasmine to produce a single kilogram of the essential oil, or five tons of rose petals to yield a similar quantity of the famed rose absolute. The essential oil of tuberose is so expensive that every drop is worth its weight in gold. Along with small quantities of animal substances such as civet, ambergris and musk and the new synthetic aromatics, such essential oils are the be-all and end-all of real fragrance—balms to soften skin, perfumed soaps, flowery powders, bathing oils, perfumes, spicy dishes and aromatic drinks. LAMAS AND PROSTITUTES Throughout history, essential oils have been prized for their mind-bending qualities. Tibetan lamas mixed extraordinary combinations of complex hydrocarbons taken from herbs and flowers to produce incense, to heighten concentration and center the mind. Knowing every secret of sensuality, temple prostitutes used them to create heady aphrodisiacs—fragrances carefully contrived to make themselves irresistible to their worshippers. In Persia, astrologers advised their clients on the use of balms made from opopanax and origanum, to give protection when malevolent planets made transits. But perhaps most important of all, these subtle aromatics, which are the life-blood of a plant, formed the basis of potent medicines for healing all the way from East India to the west coast of America. Plant-based essences extracted from flowers, fruits, woods, herbs, spices and resins have extraordinary complexity, both chemically and in subtle energies for healing which they carry. In some mysterious way, they capture the sun's photo-electromagnetic energy and, through the actions of enzymes, transform it into biochemical power. NATURE’S GLORIOUS GIFTS A natural essential oil is absolutely impossible to reproduce artificially. For it is something which, in its wholeness and its power to act on the human mind and body, can only be created by life itself. Herein lies the wonderful paradox of all potent nature-created substances. On the one hand, they have quite remarkable abilities to affect our bodies, minds and feelings. On the other, they are so fine and light and delicate that power can be virtually destroyed unless they are cultivated, harvested, extracted, stored and used in a manner which shows absolute respect for nature and her needs. But herein lies the rub: The essence of any plant is locked within it. In the case of flowers such as rose, jasmine and tuberose, it is found in the blossoms. It can also be taken from stems and leaves such as patchouli, geranium and mint, from fruits, (strawberry, orange and lemon) from roots, (angelica, orris, and vetiver) from woods, (rose, cedar and sandalwood) as well as from needles and twigs such as cypress and pine, herbs and grasses such as hay, sage and basil, resins and balsams such as myrrh and galbanum, and barks such as cinnamon. A few plants, such as the bitter orange tree, are "multiple producers". It yields neroli from its blossoms, petitgrain oil from its leaves, and bitter orange oil from the peel of its fruit. But the most costly and rarefied essential oils come from flowers whose fragility and fine fragrances have made them infinitely desirable. And the method for cultivating them, picking them and extracting them is as great an art as it is a science. A ROSE IS A ROSE Take rose, for instance. The Centifolia rose is cultivated in the vicinity of Grasse. It also grows in Morocco and Egypt. But the most famous rose in the world is the Damascene rose of Bulgaria, which grows in great abundance at the foot of the Balkan Mountains. It bears blossoms for a mere thirty days a year—blossoms which can only be gathered by hand individually, as they have been for centuries. This process begins at dawn each morning and is a race against time. For as the sun grows high in the sky, the flowers yield their essential oils to the surrounding atmosphere—so much so that, by midday, they are only half as potent as they were at sunrise. Whole families enter the fields to pick flowers, each person carrying a great bag over his stomach. A skilled worker can harvest as much as fifty kilos in a day. It is a considerable gathering, yet it will yield only a few drops of the essence. Flowers thus picked must be quickly removed from the sun and processed within twenty-four hours. The Damascene rose is then subjected to a process of distillation where blossoms are spread in abundance on a grill and great quantities of steam directed through them. The intense heat calls forth these fragrant materials, which have a very high boiling point. In the case of the Centifolia rose of Grasse, a process of extraction is used instead to yield not the oil itself, but what is called the rose absolute. Each species of flower is unique, and despite the high-technology of modern perfumery, there will never be a single method of drawing forth the 'soul' of every plant. SEDUCTIVE JASMINE A Jasmine harvest takes place even earlier—while the dew is still on the tiny white flowers, which appear on bushes each night and are removed at dawn by hundreds of pickers of all ages, each carrying a sturdy market basket, into which is poured the blossoms. Harvest in Grasse lasts from the beginning of August to the end of October. There each morning, as you walk in a field of 200 or more of these prolific bushes, you can find yourself inebriated with fragrance. Essence of jasmine, like many of the most prized essential oils, has a relaxing effect on the human body and a narcotic effect on the human mind. By midday, hundreds of baskets of blossoms have been taken to the processing house where they are weighed and wages are paid in cash on the spot. The blossoms are piled high on strainer grills in the extraction container. Then a solvent such as petroleum is passed through them. After the solvent has become replete with the scent, it will be distilled to yield what is known as jasmine concrete. A further process of extraction in alcohol will yield the jasmine absolute. It takes ten tons of the flowers to create 2 1/2 kilos of the concrete, which is transformed into a mere 1 kilo of the prized absolute. Tuberose, the lovely night-hyacinth—a relative of the lily—is perhaps the rarest of all the white flowers, the most costly to extract, and certainly the most demanding of care if one is to draw forth its essence. It is personally my favorite scent. It is grown in Italy and Morocco, as well as in the south of France. There the blossoms are hand-picked and swaddled in damp cloths, and then processed immediately by enfleurage, an ancient method using lard, which is painstaking, slow and laborious. Fat is spread on both sides of a piece of glass and blossoms pressed into it. After 48 hours, the blossoms are removed and new ones replace them, until eventually the fat is thoroughly saturated with essence. A further process of extraction using alcohol then produces the tuberose pomade oil. Because of the time and expense involved in using enfleurage, it has largely been replaced by more efficient and less costly extraction using liquid solvents. Yet tuberose is still one of the most expensive absolutes in the world—a treasure used only in minute quantities. LET’S PROTECT LIFE With the development of high-technology methods of analysis, the current growth in fascination with the healing properties of essential oils, and the burgeoning passion of the Western world for 'natural' products, essential oils could have a bright future. That is provided our awareness of their ecology and our intention to preserve it develops equally well. But it is a big issue. For, ultimately, the preservation of these precious etheric substances is dependent upon our caring for the wellbeing not only of the land around Grasse and other places from which they come, but on our caring for the wellbeing of the whole planet. That, and only that, will ensure the continued existence of this 'blessed herb garden' at the foot of the French Alps—a garden which has brought pleasure and healing for centuries. Don’t rule out using good quality, pure essential oils to fragrance your hair and body. Most are relatively inexpensive. They are a delight to play with, and they can be combined to create your own unique signature scent. You’ll need to dilute them, since some can burn the skin if applied neat. I use 25ml each of pure alcohol (vodka will do) and apricot oil, with 12 to 15 drops of essential oils. Store your scent in a beautiful perfume bottle. Wear it on your body, spray it in the room you work in or play in, put it on your linens and pillows before sleep. Indulge in the magic of real fragrance and sleep like a child again.

Natural Menopause Revolution

Natural Menopause Revolution

Nobody ever prepares you for menopause. Nobody tells you that if you are going to have hot flushes or emotional instability, they are likely to be far worse before you stop menstruating than afterwards. Nor does anybody explain that waking regularly at two or three in the morning, and lying in bed filled with sadness or fear or anger, is likely to be not some aberration of nature, but a messenger announcing that menopause is near. And because we are told so little about menopause - apart from the scaremongering that equates the menopause with a disease, something that needs fixing - few women in our culture are prepared for the next phase of their life. We seldom expect the intensity of emotion - both pain and pleasure - that can accompany the end of the childbearing years, nor do most of us realize that such passions can be transmuted into creative power. In fact, there are many signs that the change is near. Alterations in menstruation, for instance. Periods can become longer, heavier, shorter, lighter or irregular. You can find your feelings go up and down very much the way they did in puberty, so that one moment you are completely content with your life, and the next you want to throw everything up and go off to India to ‘find yourself’. You may begin to experience a growing dissatisfaction with the parts of your life that used to seem fine. You may also find yourself very tired without apparent reason. You may also begin to get aches and pains in joints, or find your skin suddenly seems to sag or look sallow. Some or all of these things can happen to a woman in mid life. They are commonly lumped together with menopause, some even are temporarily masked by giving hormone drugs; however, most have little to do with the change - aches and pains in the joints, weight gain, and aging skin for instance, as well as the sense many women report that they have climbed to the top of the ladder only to find that it was against the wrong wall. Such symptoms are really signs that a woman’s lifestyle - probably her values too - needs revising. It could be time to give up the work you are doing and do something else, to follow your passion, to take up weight training, to learn a technique for meditation or deep relaxation, to reeducate the way your body moves through Feldenkreist, or to revise your way of cooking and eating. If you have been eating convenience foods, or going on and off crash diets over the years, for instance, in an attempt to keep your weight down, you will have inevitably created biochemical imbalances in your body. Deficiencies of minerals such as magnesium and zinc, or trace elements such as boron or chromium here, excesses of heavy metals such as lead or aluminum from your environment there, radically interfere with the functions of enzymes in your body - which are responsible for the manufacture of hormones, for the digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients, and for the production of energy. A woman’s body has a remarkable ability to compensate for a deficiency here and there. But, as a result of chemical farming - which depletes the soils and therefore our foods of trace elements and unbalances minerals - as well as food processing, which further depletes vitamins and minerals and puts chemicals into our bodies that do not belong there, by the time mid-life arrives most women have accumulated many metabolic imbalances. In time these biochemical distortions begin to create symptoms - mood swings or depression that occur because of a resultant deficiency in brain chemicals such as serotonin, low levels of adrenal hormones that we need to cope with stress and to protect against inflammation in the tissues such as rheumatoid conditions, and fatigue with no apparent cause. Perhaps a woman also begins to get hot flushes or night sweats, both of which are a normal and temporary part of the readjustment in hormones that takes place during the profound passage of menopause, yet these days are also treated like a disease, and so she goes to her doctor for help. Yet because few doctors are trained in either nutrition or metabolic biochemistry, nor are they aware of how to use effective plant substances and natural hormones to ease a woman’s passage through the change, they believe there is no alternative but to put the woman on drug-based HRT. He will choose from an enormous variety of combinations of oestrogen and artificial progestin drugs, the latter being added to help protect her from cancer. For by now it has been well established that giving oestrogen on its own is dangerous - predisposing a woman taking it to cancer of the breast and womb. The experience of taking HRT varies widely from one woman to another. Some feel great on it. Others feel lousy and gain weight. More commonly a woman will feel better for a few months and then begin to report unpleasant side effects from the drugs she is taking. The most common complaints from prolonged HRT are migraine, bleeding, depression, water retention, increased blood pressure, weight gain, thrush, breast problems, varicose veins and chest pains. A recent Swedish survey in the university town of Linkoping showed that 48% of women who go on HRT stop taking the drug within a year. A recent British study examined the reasons most commonly given by women who give up HRT after starting the treatment: about half stop taking it because of side-effects, about one-fifth because they are advised to do so my their doctors, and about one-third either because they are afraid of long term consequences such as cancer, or because HRT has shown itself to be ineffective in helping them. Unlike changes in diet and lifestyle, at best HRT is a stop gap measure which addresses symptoms but offers little in the way of genuinely strengthening and re-balancing a woman’s body. And as far as the treatment of hot flushes is concerned - the single major symptom which is part of menopause - where the plant based treatments from say, wild yam, or agnus castus, or angelica will tend to work more slowly, it will also tend to eliminate hot flushes completely; while the woman who opts for HRT as a way of treating hot flushes finds that the moment she stops taking the oestrogen - whether in a few months or ten years - her hot flushes return. But it is time we stopped talking about the bad news connected with menopause and looked at the good. For despite all of this, we are now poised at the brink of a revolution in women’s natural health care, which promises to help women turn the menopause transition into a true passage to power, personal well being and freedom. Health educators such as Sandra Coney, author of The Menopause Industry, and Dr Robert Jacobs of The Society of Complementary Medicine in London, scientists such as biologist Renata Klein, and doctors such as (the now sadly late) John Lee MD - the only person who has ever carried out a study on 100 women and been able to reverse osteoporosis - now vigorously challenge the wisdom of established medical practices in the treatment of women with drug-based hormones. They also object strongly to the widespread propaganda which accompanies the sale of HRT, claiming that the indiscriminate doling out of potent drug-based hormones can undermine a woman’s fertility as well as trigger the development of menstrual agonies including PMS, and menopausal miseries, from endometriosis to cancer of the breast and womb. This practice of making virtually every woman a `patient’ for most of her life by subjecting her to drug treatment, not only where it may not be necessary but even when it can be potentially dangerous, is a way of diminishing her personal power and taking away control over her own body. It is therefore, they say, biologically, politically and morally reprehensible. There are two classes of major reproductive hormones in a woman’s body - the oestrogens, which are commonly lumped together and called `oestrogen’, and progesterone. When these two are in good balance, a woman’s health thrives. She remains free of PMS and other menstrual troubles. She is fertile and able to hold a fetus to full term, and menopause becomes a simple transition instead of a passage riddled with suffering. She is also protected against fibroids, endometriosis and osteoporosis, and she is likely to remain emotionally balanced and free of excessive anxiety or depression. When oestrogen and progesterone are not in balance in a woman’s body, all of these things can come a cropper. In our modern industrialized world it is easy for a woman’s biochemistry to become distorted as a result of declining physical activity, because of the proliferation of highly processed convenience foods depleted of essential minerals, and as a consequence of the rise of a whole new - as yet largely unrecognized - phenomenon known as oestrogen dominance. This is where a woman’s oestrogen levels far outweigh progesterone in her body, making her prone to cancer, menopausal agonies and menstrual miseries. Oestrogen dominance has developed in industrialized countries for many reasons, including the widespread use of oestrogen-based oral contraceptives, and the exponential spread of chemicals in our environment which are oestrogen mimics - they are taken up by the oestrogen receptor sites in a woman’s body and throw spanners in the works. Called xenoestrogens, these include the petrochemical-derivatives we take in as herbicides and pesticides which have been sprayed on our foods; the plastic cups we drink our tea out of, from which can migrate into our bodies; and even the oestrogens that come through in drinking water recycled from our rivers. Oestrogens from the Pill and HRT are excreted from a woman’s body in her urine, which end up in water and are not removed by standard water purification treatments. Every woman needs to be aware of the potential dangers of the `sea of oestrogens’ in which we are now living. Recently, Greenpeace issued a report describing the effect that xenoestrogens are having on men’s sperm count. It has dropped by 40% in the past fifty years. But far more devastating - and much less publicized - are the effects that the rising sea of oestrogens, and its consequence of oestrogen dominance, are exerting in women’s lives. Oestrogen dominance makes us more prone to breast and womb cancer, to fibroid tumors, to endometriosis, to osteoporosis, to infertility - not to mention a long list of emotional and mental imbalances. However, because much of the medical profession as well as the general public remains ignorant of the effects of xenoestrogens and the growing oestrogen dominance in women’s bodies, oestrogens continue to be prescribed heavily as part of HRT, not only to the handful of women who - around the time of menopause - may need it temporarily, but for thousands of women whose lives would be far better off without it. Neither do they know that hot flushes, dry vaginas, and early aging can usually be addressed more safely and successfully - not to mention less expensively - by alterations in diet to eliminate highly processed convenience foods (replete with junk fats which can interfere with the production of important hormones and prostaglandins in a woman’s body), changes in lifestyle, and by the use of traditional herbal remedies such as wild yam (from which many of the drugs sold for HRT incidentally are derived), chastetree, motherwort and black cohosh. Natural menopause revolutionaries are by no means altogether opposed to HRT. But they want to see it put into perspective. They insist that, while it may be useful for short periods in a small number of women who actually need oestrogen, the use of drug-based hormones in most women’s cases is costly both in financial and physical terms. Drug based oestrogens and progestogens in the ‘treatment’ of menopause have virtually all been shown to have dangerous side effects and for many who have followed such advice, the use of hormone drugs has ultimately created more problems than it has solved. Also they insist there are better, more natural, ways. One alternative to the currently available HRT appears to offer many new benefits yet is virtually side effect free. It consists of using plant derived natural progesterone - natural in the sense that it is the identical molecule to that found in a woman’s body - in the form of a cream applied to the body. Progesterone can not only help eliminate oestrogen dominance in a woman’s body, reestablishing hormonal balance; it can therefore also help protect against the many conditions with which oestrogen dominance is associated. Unlike the progestins prescribed in conventional HRT, it has virtually no side effects since it is a normal body chemical. As such, the body has the enzymes needed to metabolize it easily. Progesterone is also superior to the progestins because it is a biochemical precursor to many other important hormones in the body. This means the body can turn it into these other important hormones - adrenal hormones, for instance, to help support against stress damage, and into hormones which support brain function and balance emotions. It can even be transformed into the natural oestrogens. By contrast, the progestin drugs are ‘end product molecules’. They cannot be converted into other important body chemicals that are needed for emotional and physical health. In fact, their presence in the body may actually interfere with these conversions. After all, the progestins have to be unique molecules foreign to the human body to be patented and sold as drugs. There are no big profits for anybody in selling a generic substance such as a natural progesterone cream. This is another reason why so many doctors remain ignorant of its value in the treatment of women who need extra hormones. Unlike oestrogen commonly given in HRT to help slow down bone loss, progesterone actually increases bone density. It effectively stimulates the activity of osteoblasts - the cells which make new bone. By contrast, no drug has ever been shown to do this significantly. In most countries of the world, the progesterone cream used for natural HRT is readily available to women for their own use without a prescription. In Britain it is available by prescription from doctors who do know about it, but it can also be legally ordered by post, by any woman for her own personal use, from the United States or Ireland. In fact a  French study has recently reported not only that transdermal progesterone in small doses is well absorbed, used monthly, it reduces the risk of breast cancer. These are only a few of the exciting alternatives developing as part of the natural menopause revolution. But in many ways, what is most exciting of all about the new movement is a growing recognition that menopause is no more a disease than menstruation. It is a natural and important transition in a woman’s life - a passage every bit as important physically and spiritually as puberty was. And, like puberty, menopause carries with it enormous fluctuations in hormone levels and with them great shifts in mood, attitude and personal values, all of which are part of the passage itself. In other cultures, the transformation which takes place in a woman’s life sometime between the ages of 35 and 60 is traditionally considered a journey towards new freedom and power for a woman, a time of celebration where her creativity - until then bound to her biology - is at last set free for her to use as she wills. It is a time when women cease to give a damn what others think of their eccentricities and can set themselves free to soar into whatever realms they fancy. The passage we make at menopause - like the passage at birth or in giving birth - is a profound one which dissolves the boundaries of a woman and can take her deep inside an archetypal heroine’s journey to discover the real treasures of her life. Each woman is biochemically and spiritually unique. So is the inner journey she must make if she is to succeed in her quest for wholeness. Such journeys need to be undertaken with the highest respect for the body, the spirit and the powers of nature which bring it about. Such journeys cannot be codified. They are not packaged holidays where you pay your money, take your anti-diarrhoea pills and know exactly what to expect. These, insist natural menopause revolutionaries, are journeys of the soul.

Cancer - The Forbidden Cures

Cancer - The Forbidden Cures

This is a remarkable documentary that takes a look at the Cancer cures that have been available and worked for thousands of patience around the world through-out the century that have then been suppressed or simply have never been allowed to reach the public eye. This documentary is worth seeing to learn how the natural treatments that have been used for centuries are now being outlawed and suppressed because they pose a threat to the Medical industrial complex. The filmmaker has provided the film for free hear and if you find that it has been helpful and you world like to share it please support him by purchasing a DVD version and distribute it (as are the filmmakers wishes) to anyone you feel would benefit. Description In the last 100 years dozens of doctors, scientists and researchers have come up with the most diverse, apparently effective solutions against cancer, but none of these was ever taken into serious consideration by official medicine. Most of them were in fact rejected out-front, even though healings were claimed in the thousands, their proposers often being labeled as charlatans, ostracized by the medical community and ultimately forced to leave the country. At the same time more than 20,000 people die of cancer every day, without official medicine being able to offer a true sense of hope to those affected by it. Why?

Fever Power

Fever Power

Like many old wives' tales the adage `sweat it out' is beginning to look like good advice. For generations medicine has tried to suppress fever, believing it to be a state detrimental to the body. Latest findings show that fever can not only significantly strengthen your body's defense system, it appears to be a critical component in immune function. As such, so the new findings indicate, when it occurs naturally, for instance as a response to infection, it should not be completely eliminated by drugs the way we have been wont to do. Fever weakens the force of invading enemies and is a potent positive force for fighting infections. Some scientists now believe that, because of its many immune-supporting characteristics, even when fever is artificially induced in a healthy body by saunas, Turkish baths or vigorous aerobic exercise it can act as a powerful prophylactic to aging, it can increase vitality and it can help provide you with a high level of well-being. This approach to fever is anything but new. Ancient Greek physicians considered fever a beneficial sign of vitality in an organism. They believed that disease was the result of an imbalance between the four humors - blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile - and they considered fever a means of burning off the bad humors and clearing the body of them. To this end they employed sudorific (sweat-producing) herbs, steam and hot baths to induce fevers in their patients. Such practices went on well into the seventeenth century when the famous British physician Thomas Sydenham commented that `Fever is Nature's engine, which she brings into the field to remove her enemy.' Then in the middle of the last century, with the discovery of antipyretic (temperature-lowering) drugs such as aspirin doctors began to insist on reducing fevers when they occurred. Drugs such as aspirin not only lower bodily temperature, they also eliminate many aches and pains associated with fever, thanks to their analgesic properties. This makes patients feel temporarily better. So gradually both doctor and patient began to lean heavily on the use of these drugs to suppress fever, and fever came to be considered a negative thing - something to be eliminated as rapidly and effectively as possible. Recently researchers such as Matthew J. Kluger, a professor of physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, have begun to examine the phenomenon of fever afresh and to ask questions such as: Just what happens when the body is plunged into a feverous state? Why did evolution develop the phenomenon of temperature-raising fever in its creatures? What is the purpose of this remarkable response? What Kluger and others have discovered is that fever's occurrence is not a sign that something is wrong with your body's temperature control system. Instead, a superbly modulated deliberately chosen temperature has been created at which several important physiological and biochemical events occur to heal the body. fever's bounty Among their known benefits (and there are probably many as yet unknown), even slight elevations in temperature not only increase white-cell concentrations, they make the body's defense army of white blood cells more mobile so they can reach any site of infection quicker. There is also considerable evidence that fever makes them more effective in engulfing and destroying invading microorganisms. Indeed it appears to make many other immune functions more effective too. For instance interferon, one of the body's natural anti-viral, anticancer (and therefore probably anti-aging as well) chemicals, about which we have heard so much in the news lately, has been shown to be more effective at elevated temperatures. Of course illness is not the only way that many of the beneficial effects of fever can be brought about. EP stands for endogenous pyrogen which is a low-weight protein produced by leukocytes to help destroy infection in the body. After a good workout of aerobic exercise substances appear in the blood which have identical characteristics to EP. Naturopaths have long insisted that fever is an important force for healing the body. They claim that controlled overheating of the body also increases the rate of metabolic processes as a whole and stimulates the functioning of the endocrine system. Since Hippocrates - some 2400 years ago - doctors have been using artificial methods of inducing fever, for instance giving the herb Echinacea or putting people into sweat baths or steam baths and applying hot compresses, to improve their vitality or stimulate the body's natural healing processes. The new fever research has begun to explain why many of their time-tested methods work. It is also beginning to lend credence to the beliefs of the Turks and Russians that periodic steam baths are strengthening to health and vitality, and to those of the Scandinavians, who have used saunas as a means of both stimulating immune response and spring-cleaning the body from within. words of warning Despite new findings that fever is of benefit to the body, there is every indication that it needs to be treated with respect and that your physician is the best guide to dealing with any illness. For extreme fever can have a damaging effect on a body. And there are some people in whom the benefits of fever may well be outweighed by the risks involved. For instance, in a pregnant woman a high fever could potentially damage her unborn child and young children with very high fever can be subject to convulsions. Also, fevers in very old people have to be carefully watched because of possible damage they could do to the heart. fever as a prophylactic Provided you are fit, aerobic exercise such as cycling, running, walking very briskly, swimming, rowing or dancing is probably the best way of all to benefit from small elevations in temperature. Saunas too can be helpful provided you are in good health, don't overdo them and provided you follow the basic guidelines. A sauna helps make your joints more supple while it soothes your muscles and refreshes the mind. It is also an excellent adjunct to any serious anti-cellulite program for a woman. And early spring, when one's body is suffering from too much heavy winter food and clothing, too little fresh air and exercise, is an excellent time to make use of it. Here are the guidelines: Give yourself lots of time. It will do most for you if you take it leisurely so you have time for several sessions in the heat, with short rests in-between and a rest of at least thirty minutes - preferably an hour - after you are through. Never take a sauna until at least two hours after a meal and never take a sauna during a juice fast. (It is an excellent idea to use the sauna the day before a juice fast or special eliminating diet begins, however.) Never take a sauna if you have the symptoms of an illness. Wear little or nothing in the sauna - a towel wrapped around you is more than enough. The more you wear the less effective will the heat treatment be. Take off any jewelry and your watch. They become very hot. Stay in the sauna room for only 5-10 minutes at a stretch. Then plunge into cold water or take a cold shower and rest before going back in. Don't water the stones during your first session and be sparing with the moisture you put on afterwards. Lie down in the sauna room if you can or sit quietly. Once you are used to the heat you can move to a higher bench. Take at least a half-hour rest at the end to let your body readjust to the normal temperature of the room. This is just as important as the sauna itself to make sure you reap all the benefits. Don't towel-dry yourself afterwards. Instead let the air dry your skin naturally. Then you can have a shower.

How Not To Catch Colds And Flu

How Not To Catch Colds And Flu

Each year we hear about some “deadly” new strain of flu. The powers-that-be incessantly spread fearful propaganda about their dangers. So much so that vaccination has now become widespread from cradle to grave. Despite all the media hype, we know little about the long-term consequences of most inoculations being forced upon us today. We do know that some of these vaccines provoke illnesses they are supposed to be preventing. Meanwhile, what few are aware of as yet is this: Microchip implants have become so small now that they can be, and frequently are, injected direct into the human body via a hypodermic needle while a vaccination is being given. This is without consent. Many are injected into the bodies of newborn babies. There the implant remains. Thanks to its presence in the body, with the help of satellites, any implanted person can potentially be tracked anywhere on the planet, since these minute implants respond to low-frequency radio waves. Enough about these questionable high-tech practices. When it comes to prevention and treatment, I’ll opt for nature power every time. Simple herbs work better and are far safer. They keep me from being laid low by illness even when people all around me are dropping like flies. NATURE’S WAY If you are generally healthy, yet lead a stressful lifestyle, the occasional cold is simply your body’s way of getting rest and clearing out toxins. However, if you find yourself spending most of the winter with your nose in a handkerchief, then it is time to take preventative action. Both colds and flu are viruses. There are many plant friends that can help protect from them. Viruses cannot replicate themselves without entering your own cells and altering their function. If you can prevent a virus invading your cells, you will stop cold and flu in their tracks. Giving your immune system a boost for the colds and flu season is the key to doing this. Eat well—plenty of fresh vegetables and some low-glycemic fruit, and cut out all the packaged convenience foods. They are worthless when it comes to protecting or enhancing your health. AT FIRST SNIFFLE The moment you feel you may be coming down with something, it’s time to listen to your body. You might like to stop eating cooked food and go raw. In such circumstances, I often don’t eat anything at all—just take live, fresh organic juices like carrot, spinach, apple, celery, kale—whatever I have in the house or can pick up at the market. Animals stop eating when they feel unwell. So do children. The body needs all its strength to get rid of the invasion. Trust this. Boost your immunity by wrapping yourself in your favorite blanket, watch your favorite film or listen to music you like. Have a glass of juice or, if you prefer something warm, a bowl of tonic soup. Remember, your body is trying to clear itself of stuff that does not belong in it. Make time to let the clearing take place. GOOD OLD VITAMIN C Remember the discoveries of two Nobel Prize winners—back when the Nobel Prize still meant something: Begin by taking at least 4 to 8 grams of vitamin C a day. This may sound excessive, but if you are under-the-weather or your immune system needs a boost, you will soak up vitamin C like blotting paper. It’s worth remembering that we don’t make our own vitamin C like other animals. If we were goats, we would be making 5 grams of vitamin C per day or more for ourselves. The body simply flushes out any vitamin C it doesn’t need. If you find your bowel movements are loose, reduce the amount you are taking a little. You can rest assured that your cells are being adequately flushed in ascorbic acid. Look for a supplement that has bioflavonoids in it as well. And if you have a delicate tummy, go for a brand that’s “buffered.” Personally, I take 3 grams of Vitamin C 3 or 4 times a day when I feel a cold or flu threatening, until 2 days after all symptoms have disappeared. SWEET PROTECTION Astragalus is the root of the yellow vetch plant. Unlike many herbs, it actually tastes good. Creamy yellow, it’s a favorite among the Chinese for strengthening digestion, overcoming chronic weakness, and enhancing wound-healing. Astragalus brings deep strength to the immune system, increasing the number and quality of white blood cells used to fight infection. It even boosts the production of interferon. This is why it is often used with HIV and cancer patients whose immune systems have been undermined by chemotherapy or radiation. Astragalus is also an adaptogen, a plant which is often called a ‘medicine for well people’ that, taken over time, brings strength and support to the whole body. Three cups of astragalus tea a day helps ward off colds and flu, so long as you take it consistently every day during the cold season. Chinese medicine defines ailments as being either ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ and herbs as being ‘warming’ or ‘cooling’. Astragalus is a warming herb to be used with ‘cold’ illness. Use it for protection as well as an immune boost after any bout of cold or flu. Organic astragalus is increasingly available in herb stores dried and shredded. Bought from Chinese pharmacies and Asian markets, dried astragalus root looks like ice-lolly sticks. It is cheap and simple to prepare, and it makes a mild, sweet tea. Look for sticks which are long and thick, firm yet bendable with a few striations. They should have a sweet taste when you chew on them. DRINK ASTRAGALUS TEA I make enough for three or four cups at a time. This recipe can make a sweet chilled drink, but I prefer to reheat mine and drink it warm. Here’s how: Put 6 sticks of astragalus, 3 pieces of licorice root sticks and a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly, into a saucepan (not aluminum or non-stick). Pour 1 ½ liters (just over 2 ½ pints) of cold water over the herbs and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Take it off the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Strain and keep in the fridge. (You can also buy astragalus herb tea in a packet, which you can prepare as you would a cup of ordinary tea.) ELDERBERRIES FROM THE GARDEN Elderberries too make an excellent healing tea. It has been shown in trials to help protect from infection. If ever you do succumb to flu or a cold, elderberry tea can shorten the length of time you are ill. If you are one of those people who tend only to be recovering from one illness when another hits, these wonderful berries can help break the chain and give you time to recover completely. The way it works against flu is fascinating: The flu virus breaks into healthy cells by piercing them with spikes on its surface. Elderberry appears to make these spikes useless, so defeating the virus before it has had a chance to do any damage. You can make your own Elderberry tea from the garden. Here’s how: Put 2 tablespoons of crushed fresh or frozen elderberries in a tea pot. Pour three cups of boiling water over them and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink. JAPANESE HELPERS Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms not only taste delicious, they contain excellent immune strengthening compounds, among them the compound lentinan. This phytochemical helps lower elevated cholesterol. It also boasts anti-aging and anti-tumor properties. You can take Shiitake and Maitake in capsules or as extracts, but I prefer eating the mushrooms themselves. I soak the dried mushrooms and put them in salads, soups and stir-fries. All of these will help you to ward off colds if you make them a part of your daily life. You won’t get their full benefits, however, unless you support your body with a good supply of all the nutrients it needs for good health. HOW TO LIVE A COLD-FREE LIFE 1. Cut back or eliminate completely cereal-based, grain-based and sugar-based carbs. 2. Eat a large, raw salad once a day. This is the best possible way of enabling your body to rebalance and rebuild itself, restoring metabolism to its peak level. Choose high-quality real foods. Shun all packaged convenience stuff. 3. Eat plenty of ‘high water’ foods. Your body is 70% water. For it to cleanse itself properly, it’s useful to make at least 50-75% of your daily diet high-water foods—fresh, low-glycemic fruit and vegetables—most of them eaten raw. This is one of the easiest stay-healthy guidelines to keep. If you are eating fruits or vegetables for breakfast and at least one big salad a day, it just about takes care of itself. 4. Don’t eat between meals. If you are truly hungry, have a piece of non-sugary fruit such as berries or some crunchy raw vegetables. Your system thrives when you give it time to complete the digestion of a meal before you put anything else into it. Four or five hours should elapse between lunch and dinner, otherwise digestion (never at its best when you are unwell anyway) can be incomplete. 5. Drink plenty of clean water—up to 3 liters a day if you have a cold or feel yourself coming down with one. Avoid coffee, milk, which is mucus forming, and alcohol. Instead, drink plenty of filtered water. Take advantage of the huge number of delicious herb teas now available. 6. Try sprinkling a handful of sage or eucalyptus (or a few drops of the essential oil) onto a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam to ease any respiratory difficulties—cover your head and the bowl with a towel to keep the steam in. Celebration Herbals Organic Astragalus Root Tea Astragalus is one of the most famous herbs used traditionally in China. The long oval leaves have a feathery appearance and the Astragalus puts forth handsome bell shaped flowers with pale yellow petals. The root, which is used in herbal preparations, has a yellowish white interior and faint sweet taste Buy Celebration Herbals Organic Astragalus Root Tea Celebration Herbals Organic Elderberry Herbal Tea The Elder is a legendary tree, considered magical and sacred in folklore and myths. Some herb manuals refer to it as the medicine chest of the country people. The Elder Tree produces creamy-white flowers in late spring which give way to bunches of juicy, purplish black berries in early autumn. Birds love Elderberries and will eat entire crops if given the opportunity, so harvesting must be done quickly. Buy Celebration Herbals Organic Elderberry Herbal Tea Mushroom Wisdom Super Shiitake Tablets Paradise Imperial Mushroom Blend is a Full Spectrum hot water extracted concentrated formula. It provides a complete full spectrum with active levels of polysaccharides in the balanced ratio nature intended without isolating, fractionizing or using toxic solvents, harsh chemicals or gases to ensure all active and synergistic constituents are present. Buy Mushroom Wisdom Super Shiitake Tablets

Free Radicals & Rockers

Free Radicals & Rockers

Ten years ago the idea that free radical damage underlies both the aging process and the development of degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, seemed absurd. Nowadays we know different. Free radicals are all the rage. Every other book on health you come across is warning about the dangers of free radicals and telling you to take lots of vitamins A, C, and E, to protect yourself from these horrible demons. A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron, lustfully searching for a mate. There are several kinds of free radicals. Oxygen free radicals are particularly malevolent. They react quickly and greedily with other molecules. When they find a mate - and just about any mate will do - they can destroy cell membranes, disrupt DNA (the cell's genetic material) and wreak havoc with the body. Many things cause the production of free radicals. Air pollution, for instance, being exposed to ultra violet light or radiation, pesticides on foods, drugs, cigarette smoke, exposure to some plastics, and even polyunsaturated fats. Flying in jets also produces free radicals, as does living at a high altitude because in both cases you are subject to high levels of gamma radiation. Even exercise produces free radicals. And the experts on aging are right. Free radicals do cause terrible damage to the body. But only when they are produced in excess. There are lots of good things to be said about free radicals as well. This is something all those little books and articles on swallowing more ACE vitamins fail to tell you. energy equations What makes energy yielding metabolism possible in our bodies - in effect what keeps us alive - is the ability that we have evolved throughout the ages to take nutrients in through our foods and convert them into chemical and bioelectrical energy. We do this through oxidation or burning in a process known as aerobic metabolism. Enzymes in the body - living catalysts that make redox reactions possible - carefully control a series of small steps which liberate the maximum amount of energy present for effective use, while causing the minimum amount of disturbance to our cells. It is an enormously efficient way of producing and releasing energy which involves the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another. Scientists call this transfer an oxidation-reduction or a redox-reaction. So long as we live redox-reactions take place ceaselessly. The trouble is - and here's where free radical damage comes in - a number of highly reactive, potentially toxic and destructive species of molecules are generated in the process. The greater the bodily activity at any particular place or time, the more free radicals we generate. Our brain is a particularly demanding organ when it comes to energy. About 20% of our body's oxygen consumption is used by the brain. This gives the brain an enormous amount of energy but it also creates a fertile ground for free radicals to breed. Surges of various hormones in our bodies such as adrenaline and noradrenaline generate hydrogen peroxide which can also result in the formation of more free radicals - so much so that we frequently generate more than our antioxidant defense mechanisms can handle. Most free radicals are generated during the day. Some researchers believe that free radical formation in the day time and free radical quenching that occurs at night while we sleep may be the driving power behind the circadian rhythms - that is the biological control of events in the body. 10,000 hits a day What is amazing is just how enormous free radical activity is in the human body. One of the major experts in free radical biochemistry, Dr Bruce Ames at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that every cell in our body experiences 10,000 free radical `hits' each day of our life. A well nourished, healthy body is equipped to handle them. As humans we have amazing antioxidant defense mechanisms - enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, super-oxide dismutase and catalase. Provided we are leading a balanced life, eating plenty of fresh foods, getting optimum amounts of exercise, and are not exposed to excessive amounts of chemical pollution, all should go well. What's happening to many of us, however, is that we are subjected to more free radical activity than our natural antioxidant mechanisms can detoxify. Then we get oxidation damage as excess free radicalss wreak havoc with our bodies. They can form cataracts in the eyes, trigger Alzheimer's disease, cause premature aging and the build up of cholesterol in the arteries, as well as a thousand other negative changes associated with aging. strange paradox So free radicals put us in the strange position of being totally dependent upon them for our life energy yet completely susceptible to their toxic effects - what in biochemistry is know as oxidizing-stress or oxy-stress. It is this oxy-stress which poses a continuous challenge to the integrity of our cells and tissues. As the free radical enthusiasts point out, this is the central cause of premature aging. The key to making free radical biochemistry work for you instead of against you, is balance. When there are too many free radicals produced in your system as a result of poor digestion, or stress, or exposure to excessive ultraviolet light, or pollutants in air and water, then you suffer oxy-stress. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, beta carotene, Co Enzyme Q10, selenium and many potent plant-based factors like pycogynol, help quench oxy-stress and prevent free radical damage. So nowadays we are continually urged to take more of them to prevent premature aging and illness. Yet this is not quite as simple as the free radical rockers would have us believe. And popping pills is not always the best way to go about it.

Candida - Your Addictive Eating Has A Monstrous Cause

Candida - Your Addictive Eating Has A Monstrous Cause

In the next few minutes, I want to share with you the real cause of most food addictions. First let me tell you, they are not your fault. I’ve spent 7 years mentoring men and women throughout the world to shed excess fat and keep it off permanently. During this period, I made an astounding discovery about the common reason for almost all uncontrollable food cravings, as well as what you can do to end the suffering they can bring. First, a word of warning: What you will learn in the next few minutes may well blow your mind. Addictive eating makes you feel powerless. You’ve been taught to hate yourself for being “weak willed”. You feel at the mercy of some force that seems impossible to resist. So you go on and off slimming regimes, take diet pills, lose weight temporarily only to gain it back soon afterwards. OK. It’s time to lay aside all your guilt, shame and self-criticism, as well as the fear that you have some kind of “emotional eating disorder.” To my amazement, what I have found out is this: an inability to control appetite no matter how hard you try is triggered by monstrous visitors from the underworld who have invaded your body. Food addictions, cravings, hopelessness and self-recrimination are the result of an overgrowth of Candida albicans. These are parasitic yeasts and fungi. These strange and powerful organisms feed on sugar as well as anything you eat that turns into sugar. This includes grains, cereals, fast foods, and convenience foods—all of which they thrive on. The goal of Candida is to control your body so they get their sugar fix. Next time you find yourself craving that piece of cake or reaching for a sugary drink, stop and remember this. It is not YOU who is craving that piece of cake or chocolate. It’s the yeasty beasties who are after sugar in any form for their continued survival in your body. Amazing? It certainly amazed me to learn this fact. Then, I spent two years learning about the behavior of these darkly hidden organisms, whose numbers are legion, and discovering how to help you clear them from your body. More about this in a moment. When Candida invades your body en masse, it distorts brain functions and can produce endless miseries. It screws up your emotions. It can even undermine your sense of personal power, so that you don’t feel you’re in control of your life. The chemical products that Candida pours into your body through the fermentation process by which it lives and spreads contain high levels of ethanol—plain old alcohol. This is why there are many cases on record of people who do not drink alcohol, yet live in a state of drunkenness which alters thought patterns, disturbs consciousness and creates many emotional and physical disorders. When the alcohol produced by Candida begins to break down in your body, this produces acetaldehyde—a chemical six times more toxic to the brain than ethanol itself. Acetaldehyde insidiously interferes with brain functions, causing damage to neurological structures. Let me share with you just a few of the symptoms experts have connected with an overgrowth of Candida albicans: Weight gain Chronic fatigue from impaired metabolism Brain and nervous system dysfunction Self-blame, shame, guilt and fear Headaches Poor memory, fuzzy thinking, inebriation Heart problems—rapid pulse rate, palpitations Vaginitis and lack of bladder control—which can lead to frequent urination, itchy rashes and vaginal thrush Stomach troubles: diarrhea, bloating and gas, gastritis, gastric ulcers, constipation Allergic reactions of many kinds Until the past decade, few doctors believed that Candida could invade the body’s tissues. Now we know it can do this with ease. Like every primitive microorganism, Candida has a powerful will to survive. It can breach normal defence systems to enter through skin and digestive tract, decrease the level of protective white blood cells, and invade the deep tissues of the body including the bloodstream. Medical tests for Candida are notoriously unreliable, and medical diagnosis of chronic Candidiasis is virtually impossible to make. Few physicians as yet even understand it. It is the body’s biological terrain that has to be restored to health for you to eliminate Candida from your system. This is what an effective anti-Candida program must do for you. Once this happens, all the addictive eating for which you have wrongly blamed yourself for causing is gone. The feeling of freedom and renewed self-esteem that this brings can be nothing less than life-changing. With the help of men and women whom I worked with on fat loss, I tested out dozens of anti-Candida supplements. In the process I found only one which I can recommend for everyone. It is low in cost and non-aggressive but highly effective. Now here is the catch. It takes time. Candida is so persistent that you must take 2 capsules of this nutritional supplement at lunch and two at dinner each and every day without fail, over a period of 3 to 6 months, to clear it from your system. During this period you must also stay away from convenience foods, breads, cereals and grains, all of which turn into sugar when you eat them. You need to increase the green vegetables that you eat and you must stay away from sugary fruits, fruit drinks, and sugar itself in any form. It can be a challenge. The good news is that, as Candida clears from your body, the increase in energy, wellbeing, self-confidence and loss of excess fat people experience brings with it an unparalleled experience of freedom and self-respect that is even hard to describe. To learn more about the monstrous and mysterious Candida, click on the links below here. 1. Are You Addicted To Food 2. End Food Cravings - Part 2 3. Radiant Health Restored - Part 3 In the meantime, let me share with you what I find to be the most gentle, effective and inexpensive natural nutritional supplement for clearing a Candida infestation. One last word: Patience. Remember, it can take three or more months, taking 2 capsules of this supplement at lunch and at dinner each and every day without fail. The transformation this kind of clearing can bring about is well worth the effort. Candida Support As a dietary supplement, take 2 capsules twice daily with food. Consider taking these other NOW products: Oregano Oil Softgels, Virgin Coconut Oil and Probiotic Defense. Order Candida Support from iherb

Baking Soda's Healing Secrets

Baking Soda's Healing Secrets

Sodium bicarbonate—commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda—is derived from naturally occurring mineral deposits. It’s something that most of us keep around the house for cleaning or, as its name suggests, baking purposes. It’s been used in this way for more than 150 years. I personally use it to clean my teeth, and it works a treat. But this humble powder has many more applications than you might imagine. It can become a common cure for simple maladies, ranging from removing nasty splinters to clearing a common cold. In this day and age, where drugs of questionable safety are thrust upon us for just about every ailment, it’s a relief to know you can call on an inexpensive, old-fashioned natural product for help when you need it. GOOD FOR COMMON COMPLAINTS Chances are, you’re familiar with taking a little baking soda(bicarbonate of soda) in water to clear a sudden case of indigestion. Its alkalinity (or high pH) lends itself well to this purpose when used occasionally. You can also use it to take the fire out of minor burns and sunburns, as its endothermic (heat-absorbing) nature means it can draw heat from the skin. But here’s a less common use for this humble powder. Did you know that it can even be used to fight—as well as prevent—colds and flu? Many attest to its efficiency, though it’s not yet known for sure how it works to ward off ills and chills. One theory is that it stabilizes the pH balance in the bloodstream, strengthening the immune system in the process. It was used as far back as the late 1910s by a Dr. Volney S. Cheney. With the help of plain old baking soda, the good doctor helped many of his patients fight off the dreaded fight swine flu—with quite some success. He then went on to publish his discovery in 1924. You might like to try it for yourself next time you feel you’re coming down with something, and see what happens. It certainly won’t do you any harm. For, unlike pharmaceuticals, Dr Cheney’s treatment carries no nasty side-effects. HERE’S HOW: The recommended dosages based on Cheney’s findings are as follows. Day 1: Take six doses of ½ a teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water, with two hour intervals. Day 2: Take four doses of ½ a teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water, with the same intervals between. Day 3: Take two doses of ½ a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cool water, morning and evening. Thereafter, ½ a teaspoon each morning in a glass of cool water until cold symptoms have cleared. AND WAIT—THERE’S MORE Baking soda’s marvelous healing abilities don’t end there. Got a troublesome splinter? Try making a paste with a tablespoon of soda and a small amount of water, applying to the affected area twice daily until the splinter emerges. Alternatively, you can put the paste onto a bandage and leave it on for 24 hours. This should encourage the splinter to the surface; it may even fall out on its own. Stop an itch. You can also apply this type of paste to insect bites to soothe itching, or to itchy or painful rashes such as from poison ivy. Natural deodorant. Try using it as a natural deodorant—you’ll avoid the nasty parabens and aluminum found in most commercial types. Great foot soak. Add a few tablespoons to a tub of warm to hot water and enjoy a delightful foot soak; or make a paste of 3:1 baking soda to water and use as an all-over body exfoliant. MASTER OF ALL TRADES Is there anything practical that baking soda can’t do? You may well ask. I continue to find new uses for this stuff like freshening carpets with baking soda and some essential oils, mixing it with white vinegar, a bit of dish soap and warm water to create a heavy duty floor cleaner, and mixing a dash of the powder with my shampoo to clear any buildup of impurities, so my hair becomes soft and manageable. It will even remove crayon marks from walls and painted furniture when you apply it to a damp sponge and rub lightly, and will clear the inside of a porcelain cup. Just wet the inside, pour some into the bottom and scrub. Coffee and tea stains disappear. Finally, you can make your nails ready for the perfect manicure by scrubbing them and the cuticles with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle, circular motion over your hands and fingers to exfoliate any dead skin. Then rinse with warm water, and apply varnish if you wish. Give a few of these things a try. You may become as enthusiastic about this humble powder as I am.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of September 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.76 lb
for women
-0.96 lb
for men
-0.76 lb
for women
-0.96 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of September 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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