user-icon chevron-right minus plus cross google shopping-cart caret-down chevron-down chevron-circle-up menu search youtube facebook twitter rss linkedin2 pinterest

integrative health

A worldview that fosters human freedom looks at living systems as integrated wholes. It takes into account the interconnectedness of all things.

Featured

Nature's Helpers

Nature's Helpers

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

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

One of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world uses hot and cold baths and showers to increase your vitality, balance hormones, beautify skin, tone muscles, clear your mind, and vitalize your nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulation. It quickly brings you a sense of wonderful aliveness, and all the while it is dissolving, transporting, and clearing rubbish from your body and psyche. Father Sebastian Kneipp The father of all water therapies was Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian priest who first made us aware of water’s healing power. “When used appropriately,” he said, “water and herbs can cure almost every disease.” He established Bad Worishofen in Germany in 1897, a center where people all over the world came to be healed by special ice cold baths, walking barefoot in the snow, and other simple but powerful methodologies that are celebrated to this day. I first learned the secrets of water healing in my early twenties after spending many years in a state of ill health thanks to my being raised on a terrible diet. It had been based on huge bowels of breakfast cereals piled high with white sugar, horrid fast foods eaten at 5 am in truck drivers’ cafes throughout America, and a lot of other junk. No wonder I was unhealthy. However, what I learned from the generosity of some brilliant British and European doctors who practiced natural medicine turned my entire life around. This was how I came to work in, write about, and teach natural methods of healing. It is also how I came to visit Kneipp’s centers for hydrotherapy, which still continue to thrive, especially in Germany. In many ways the most important of all I learned was how powerful healing with simple water techniques can be for improving your life at any time. Let me share with you one of these techniques. Do try it and let me know how you get on. There are many more, but let’s begin with this one. Thanks to water's chemical and bioelectrical properties, and to your body's physiological and energetic responses to them, water therapy is a superb method for cleansing, energizing, and restoring great functioning to any tired or aging body. The technique of using alternating applications of hot and cold water is called “Contrast Hydros.” If you have not yet experienced the turn-on it offers, you have a real treat ahead. After a workout, athletes use hydroelectrics in the form of contrast baths and showers to strengthen the body, prevent muscular damage, and eliminate aches. Contrast hydros not only help clear wastes and vitalize but also bring nutrients and oxygen to areas of your body that need them and balance your energies, helping to protect you from stress-induced damage. Here is how Apply hot water to your whole body for three or four minutes in the form of a hot bath or shower. Follow with 30 to 60 seconds of cold water. Repeat the procedure three times. The application of cold water needs to be just long enough to make blood vessels constrict. This can take place in as little as 20 seconds. Cold water triggers your sympathetic nervous system to energize while hot water intensifies parasympathetic activity for relaxation. The combination of the two makes you feel great. It’s important that you start slowly, increasing the length of your exposure to hot and cold water gradually. If you have a separate bath and shower you can use the bath for one temperature application, the shower for the other, moving back and forth. During the summer, make your bath cold and your showers hot. During the winter, reverse this. Like any natural treatment, contrast hydros need to be followed carefully and wisely to get all the benefits they offer and to make sure no harm is done. You will probably find at first that a plunge into cold water or a cold shower is a shock to your body. Soon this will turn into an experience of total pleasure. It is always the first cold application that is the hardest. The biggest barrier to getting into cold water is a psychological one. Once you leap this hurdle you’ll find yourself eagerly looking forward to your daily treatment. Here are a few cautions: Always check with your doctor before beginning any natural treatment to make sure that it is appropriate for you. He or she may advise you not to use contrast hydros if you have any kind of heart condition, nervous disorder, high blood pressure, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, or suffer from hardening of the arteries. Make sure your body is warm before beginning. The room should be well heated. Don’t let your body become chilled during the treatment. If you feel yourself becoming too cold, immediately stop and get into a hot bath or shower until you warm up fully. Always begin with a hot application and end with cold. Start slowly with 2-3 minutes of hot application followed by 20 seconds of cold. As your body gets used to contrast hydros, increase the time of the cold applications up to 1 minute (even up to 2-3 minutes if you are extremely fit or an athlete). When you finish, dry your body well and dress warmly. I’d love to hear how you get on so I can share with you other hydroelectric treatments that cost virtually nothing but can be wonderfully life enhancing.

Cleansing Help

Cleansing Help

Very occasionally when someone goes on an active program of detoxification such as an apple fast for a few days, they have the experience of a severe headache at some time within a day or two, or of feeling moody, or having an upset stomach, a film on their tongue or teeth, even loose bowels. This is a sign that your body is throwing off wastes at such a pace that you are experiencing what is known in natural medicine as a cleansing crisis. In reality, it happens to very few people. If you are one of them, be glad, even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours; it is actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity you have afforded it through what you are eating (and what you are not eating) of throwing off a lot of debris which you need to get rid of if you are to live at a higher level of health and vitality. If a cleansing crisis does happen, take the time to relax, lie down in a darkened room if possible, and be kind to yourself. Have a cup of peppermint tea - it is very soothing when you have a headache. If you can’t sleep, try a cup of chamomile tea, or eat a banana which is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, a superb natural sedative. Congratulations – it can be quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris all at once. It will pass quickly, leaving you better than ever. caffeine trouble The people most likely to get a headache as part of a cleansing crisis are those who have been drinking several cups of coffee or tea a day. This kind of reaction is triggered by your tissues dumping a lot of stored caffeine into your bloodstream all at once in order to eliminate it from your body. The first time this happened to me I had been in Vienna for six days, where everyone drinks coffee – and very strong coffee too – all day long. Though not much of a coffee-drinker myself, I decided while there to go along with the custom. The day I left the city I got on to an airplane to return to London and my usual way of eating, and was struck down by the most appalling headache which lasted about four or five hours. It was no fun, believe me. But when it passed I was left with the most wonderful feeling of freshness and lightness – the way you feel on a beautiful summer’s morning when there is a light breeze blowing. This sense of lightness is a common one for people who for the first time begin to clear their system of stored wastes. It more than makes up for the headache or upset stomach which can herald its coming. clever compress Something I learnt many years ago from another doctor who uses natural methods for healing, is that if you are experiencing any kind of cleansing crisis, you can help your body enormously by putting a simple cool compress around your middle and leaving it there as you lie down for half an hour. This can also be done when you go to bed in the evening if you prefer. A cool compress stimulates the flow of blood to the area of the liver – another prime mover when it comes to detoxification – so speeding up the release of wastes from the body, and easing any unpleasant symptoms that come with them. Using a compress is also enormously relaxing. Tear a piece of cotton fabric (an old sheet is ideal) into a rectangular piece which is about fifteen inches wide and long enough to go comfortably around the middle of your body (between your armpits and hips). Wet this compress in cold water and wring out completely so it is only damp. Now, using a dry towel (or a piece of wool or thick natural fabric) which is also big enough to go around your middle and to overlap so you can pin it comfortably with a few safety-pins, spread the compress out on the outstretched towel. Now lay your naked midriff on this strip and wrap first the compress around you and then the towel on top, pinning it securely. Pull your clothes or nightclothes down over the lot, and pop into a warm bed for at least half an hour. Such a compress can be helpful not only for sailing through a cleansing crisis, but also if ever you find it difficult to sleep because of worry or stress. kidney power If you find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms during your apple fast, increase the quantity of spring water you are drinking. When the body’s water level gets too low, your kidneys don’t work efficiently and the liver has to take on too much of the cleansing work on its own. If you tend to retain water, this is often because you don’t drink enough, so your body tries its best to hold on to the water there is in order to dilute any toxicity in your tissues. Believe it or not, you breathe out about 2 big glasses worth of water a day. The kidneys and intestines eliminate roughly another 6 glasses, and 2 are released through the skin. So keep drinking – during a detox and after. We all tend to need more water than we drink for optimum health. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle or two of mineral water on your desk, or somewhere where you will see it often, to remind you to take in enough water each day. Here is a simple formula for working out the ideal quantity of water to drink each day for maximum energy and good looks. Divide your current weight in kilos by 8. (e.g. 58 kilos divided by 8 = 7.25). Round the figure up (to eight) and that is the number of glasses of water you need a day. This is just a base calculation of course. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do day-in-day-out to keep your body eliminating wastes efficiently. Remember that you will probably need to take in more water than your base calculation when you are exercising or if it is a hot day. psychic detox Some people can get a temporary feeling of letdown on a detox. This is usually because the heart, having been stimulated by caffeine and other irritants, begins to beat more slowly, and the false exhilaration you used to get from stimulants temporarily turns into a feeling of being down. It doesn’t last long, and in most people it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes, however, during a detox it can seem that all sorts of psychic junk suddenly gets released along with the physical toxins you have been carrying around. Feelings of anxiety, worry or guilt may surface with seemingly no reason. They will most likely just be flushed away with all the other junk your body is getting rid of. In the meantime, try putting a few drops of lavender or vanilla essential oil in an oil burner and enjoy their relaxing and soothing properties. Or put one or two drops of either essential oil in your bath and breathe in the fragrance. One of the nice things about this sort of detox is that you often find you think much more clearly after it. Stress does many unpleasant things to the body, one of which is that it can make your whole system acidic. An apple fast alkalizes your system, so bringing it back into balance, and throwing off the byproducts of stress in the process. When you are mentally stressed, your body becomes physically stressed through having to deal with all this toxic waste. Removing these toxic wastes can often mean that your ability to deal with more stress is greatly improved. You begin to see things in a much more positive light and can put what once seemed difficult problems into their proper perspective. relax and revive During a detox it is important to make sure you get enough rest. Think how good you feel after a holiday. It’s usually the one time when we actually allow ourselves to rest - something we don’t do enough of during the rest of the year. Rest is so essential because it is while you are resting that your tissues restore themselves. Without it, your body cannot properly restore damaged tissues. During a detox, your body is working pretty hard in eliminating all the rubbish you have allowed to be released into your system. Give it a break and make time for yourself to relax – and don’t feel guilty about it. Watch your favorite videos, read that book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll find time for, listen to all your old records, or just do nothing. This is a precious time; a time to devote to yourself and your body’s needs. Don’t waste it. During the day, whenever you can, lie down even for ten minutes and just let go. Or practice a simple relaxation/mediation exercise like this one: Close your eyes and watch your breath coming in and out of your body. With each out breath count silently. So it goes like this: ‘In breath… out breath… one… in breath… out breath… two…’ and so on up to ten. If you lose track or find that your mind is distracted, it doesn’t matter at all. Just go back to ‘one’ and start again. Carry this out for ten to fifteen minutes whenever you can find a few spare minutes to yourself. It helps to rebalance your body’s nervous system and can be useful if you have to deal with any negative emotions that surface during your detox.

Sacred Truth Ep. 63: Secret Paths To Energy

Sacred Truth Ep. 63: Secret Paths To Energy

“I’ve got no energy.” It’s the complaint I hear most often from men and women...an experience that carries endless consequences: feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and devoid of the sparkle that makes life enjoyable. In truth, energy potential is still there within you. It just needs to be rediscovered and set free. Begin by listening your soul’s whispers, and the rest comes naturally. Get into your body. Did you know that how you think and feel are inextricably linked to how well your body functions? Mind and body are integrated through our nerve pathways, hormones, and chemical messengers. The first step, therefore, requires a real change of perspective. Start to see your body not as external to yourself but as the physical expression of who you are. Decide you matter. Decide that you have a right to energy. You do. What kind of energy do you desire? When embarking on an energy journey, it helps to know where you’re starting from. So, as you’re starting the energy journey, take note of where you are now. Start an energy diary. Try writing down a few sentences about how you think and feel, where you want to be, and record anything you think may be holding you back. Form a crystal clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve. The clearer your visualization, the easier it becomes to make high energy a reality. What are your energy drainers? Our world is filled with external energy parasites, such as environmental poisons like pesticides, solvents, estrogens, heavy metals, and junk foods. Then there are the inner energy thieves: Negative emotions. Addictions. Low self-esteem. With all these energy enemies pitted against us, it may seem like an uphill battle. But don’t be disheartened. Once you have identified the specific drainers at work in your life, you will be able to take action to clear them. Do a health check now. Not only are there environmental and emotional energy drainers to watch out for, but biochemical factors come into play as well. These include things like low blood sugar, allergies, anemia, yeast infections, and leaky gut syndrome. How do you start addressing these drainers? Identify and eliminate foods from your diet that are causing or worsening these conditions. You may also want to supplement with the nutrients or digestive enzymes you’re low on. Clear out the junk. So far you’ve started your energy journey and dealt with the baddies sapping your vitality. Now it’s time for bold action. It’s time for a detox—spring cleaning your body from the inside out. Over the years, a less-than-optimum diet results in wastes building up in the tissues. Energy expended on dealing with these toxins depletes you of vitality. So it’s time to clear all unwanted wastes. Quite literally, throw away every package of junk food in your kitchen. Drink at least 2.5 liters of pure water every day. Then you’re ready for the next step—change the kind of foods you were eating before today. Buy, grow, and eat only Real Foods. Stop buying packaged convenience foods filled with hidden sugars, additives, and chemicals, which undermine your health. Too few people realize that grains and grain-based products are themselves insidious energy drainers. This is cutting-edge information—still ignored by the media and much of the medical profession as a result of pressures from Big Pharma and the multinational convenience food industry as well as the corrupt FDA. Grains, cereals, convenience foods—which most of the Western world lives on—turn into sugar as soon as you eat them, creating serious health issues: weight gain in those with a genetic propensity to it, rapid aging, and a myriad of degenerative diseases from heart disease, arthritis, and depression to Alzheimer’s and even cancer.    Real Foods means lots of fresh vegetables and low sugar fruits like berries, plus sprouted seeds and high-quality proteins from grazed animals and wild fish. Add a few superfoods. It’s time to acquaint yourself with some of Nature’s superfoods. To name just a few: Spirulina—seaweeds—chlorella, white tea, and immune-enhancing mushrooms like shiitake and maitake. Tap into their amazing power. You won’t look back. Get moving. Choose a physical activity that you absolutely love, and get into it. It can be anything you like, so long as it’s regular (done maybe three times a week), consistent (lasting 20 to 30 minutes each time), rhythmic, and uses plenty of large muscle groups. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions: Walking. Easily incorporated into daily life, and a great option if you’re unfit. Dancing for the sheer joy of it. Yoga. Incredibly adaptable and practical, especially for frequent travelers. Rebounding (bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline). So much fun, and perfect to do regardless of your fitness level. Movement can become a source of bliss, which becomes a reward in itself. Laugh it off. You’ve learnt the serious stuff. Now it’s time to start living with energy and joy. Laughter is a great way to start. It’s good for your immune system and your entire body. Seek out and spend time with the people whose sense of humor you love. Watch wonderful comedy movies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger, and Death at a Funeral. They can help energize your life. Time to look ahead. We’ve now come full circle. Go back to your energy diary and ask again the same questions you answered in step two. Have your answers changed? Ask yourself positive questions, and record answers when they come. Now make a long-term energy plan for yourself featuring aspects of the steps you’ve found most helpful. Remember, the energy process is an ongoing journey. And it’s an amazing one. Have fun with it.

Convenience Foods Can Be Deadly

Convenience Foods Can Be Deadly

Widespread overweight is a relatively new phenomenon. So is adult-onset diabetes, kidney stones, hypertension, coronary heart diseases and cancer of the bowel. Together with many other chronic degenerative ailments, these belong to a group of illnesses now known as Diseases of Western Civilization. These conditions are hard to treat—so hard that, despite all the sophisticated drugs and leading-edge techniques of modern medicine, we have been unable to halt their spread. For, unlike the microbe-generated infectious diseases like typhoid and tuberculosis, Western Diseases are lifestyle-caused. Thanks to pioneering works from scientists such as Sir Robert McCarrison—who did the first epidemiological studies on the relationship between diet and health—and Drs Weston Price, Dennis Burkitt and Hugh Trowell, it is now widely accepted that degenerative conditions including obesity have developed as a direct result of the massive changes that have taken place over the last 150 years in how we live—especially in the way we eat convenience foods. Convenience Foods - NO WONDER WE’RE IN TROUBLE A lot has happened to our foods in the last century to produce this state of affairs. First, they are grown differently than the way our ancestors, for thousands of years, grew theirs. We grow food on chemically fertilized soils in which the organic matter has been degraded or destroyed. Eating foods this way leads to a depletion and imbalance in the minerals and trace elements available to our bodies—both of which we need in good quantities, to support complex metabolic processes on which health and leanness depend. Second, our foods are now highly processed. Raw foodstuffs, instead of being made into meals in home kitchens as they were in our grandparents' time, are sent to food manufacturers where they are fragmented—literally broken apart physically and chemically—then put through complex manufacturing processes to alter them out of all recognition. Third, our foods are shipped over long distances and stored for long periods of time, both of which lower their nutritional value. These modern practices destroy food's wholesomeness—a property very hard to measure, except in terms of the degenerative effects that eating such foods has on our bodies. Destroy a food's wholesomeness and you destroy a food's ability to support the highest levels of health. And once the health-giving integrity of any food has gone, it has gone for good. It can never be compensated for by vitamin and mineral supplements, or by eating cereals to which extra fiber and vitamins have been added. FOOD’S NATURAL STATE Our great-grandparents—whether they were Africans, Indians, Orientals or Europeans—had two important things in common. Their meals were mostly prepared from foods of animal and vegetable origin, and the foods they ate were little processed. They were eaten whole, as closely as possible to their natural state. Such foods form the basis of a way of eating that rejuvenates the body and restores healthy functioning. This kind of eating helps prevent the development of obesity and other degenerative conditions—even if you happen to have inherited a tendency towards them. This way of eating can free people of all ages from much suffering caused by degenerative conditions such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, diverticulitis and other Western diseases. FORGIVE YOURSELF NOW There is one more major change that has taken place: today we also swallow a kaleidoscope of chemical colorants, flavorings additives and `enhancers', not to mention pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which our ancestors never imagined in their wildest dreams. We slurp down chemical pollutants with each sip of our diet cola and every bite of our pre-cooked meals. Such is the Western diet. So next time you upbraid yourself for what you perceive to be your lack of willpower as you reach for yet another biscuit and feel guilty about it, let the guilt go. It does not belong to you. The denatured, degraded, food we eat bears the lion's share of blame for the fat state we find ourselves in, as well as for how hard it is in our culture to stay lean and to remain healthy.

What Price Convenience

What Price Convenience

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

Seek The Essence - Part 2

Seek The Essence - Part 2

The more I get to know flowers—living with them, healing with them, photographing them, practicing and teaching flower meditation with them—the more I sense the deep compassion and affinity they have for human beings. This affinity is carried in the energetic architecture of their form. Woven into it also is a great desire to help human kind. SOUL BEAUTY Flowers love to give of their beauty. They love to share their soul energies with our own. And the healing they bring us takes place in a highly personal way. Imagine being at a concert of expertly played classical music. Although we all hear the same music, each of us in the audience will be affected in a different way. Some will be deeply moved, others uplifted, still others calmed and quieted—depending on our individual response, and on whatever need the music fulfils for us. If the same symphony is played by another orchestra with a different conductor, the same collection of people will experience further shades of meaning. So can it be with flower essences created by different makers. There are now more than three thousand flower essences made worldwide. You need only a handful to benefit from their gifts. The most famous of all is Rescue Remedy. Not a single essence, but a mixture of five flower essences, it was created by Dr Edward Bach. Hundreds of thousands of bottles of it are sold each year. Many who use it regularly are not aware of how it is made from flowers, and have little idea how it works. They only experience its benefits. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is one of the most useful things you can give to anyone who has suffered a shock—from a skinned knee to the death of a family member. It helps restore mental, physical and emotional balance in the face of any trauma. Taking any flower essence is a gentle, yet profound, experience. Before deciding on which essence or essences are right for you at a particular moment in your life, take time to become aware both of what is going on inside you as well as whatever physical symptoms you may be experiencing. A practitioner trained in flower medicine can be a great help here—especially if you are wrestling with deep depression or chronic physical illness. He or she will take into account your history, your work, your relationships, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future goals. If you are choosing an essence for yourself, think about all of these things. Look at photographs of flowers, or better still, seek out the flowers themselves in a garden or the woods. Get to know a little of the character and the healing properties of each flower and notice any that seem relevant to you, or which attract you. WHERE ARE YOU Then take a gentle, compassionate look at what is going on with you now. There are two ways to do this. You can begin by looking through a flower essence materia medica to find out what conditions different flower essences are designed to alleviate. You may discover that some essences leap out at you as you recognize descriptions of behavioral or emotional patterns that fit. Write all this down. Then work from the list you have when making your choices. When you get to know the flower essences you are drawn to, explore each flower essence company’s lists. This is easy to do by looking them up on the internet. You really don’t need to know a lot of different essences to find the help you need. For many different essences can often help the same conditions. The other method for ‘self diagnosis’ takes a bit longer, but works even better. For a week, observe your reactions to what is going on around you day after day. Make a note of any emotional reactions that repeat in your life again and again—if you feel anxious, nervous, angry, tense, or upset, for instance. Write all this down in a notebook. Also record what seems to trigger these feelings. See if there are one or more emotional patterns or tendencies that appear more often than others. Record any keywords or phrases that come to mind. For instance, “I am often irritable. This makes me impatient. Sometimes my body gets tense, and I feel anxious. I suppose people think I’m intolerant.” You might talk to your partner or to a close friend about what you have observed and recorded. See if they agree. Ask if they have other observations about you that might be helpful. Then, armed with your description of your emotional states and traits, go through the descriptions in a flower essence material medica and match your key words and phrases with theirs. Make a list of all the essences that you think might apply to you. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT Narrow your list down to no more than 3 to 6 essences— those which best match the way you feel, or want to feel. Using your intuition, see if you can identify one or two essences which you think, more than any of the others, seem to ‘fit’ with your needs. If you have a healthfood store or pharmacy nearby that sells flower essences, it can useful to handle the bottles of essences themselves. Hold each one you think might be helpful in your hand for a moment or two, close your eyes, and see how you feel. Always trust your instincts to discover which ones most call to you. Flower essence therapy is the safest form of natural treatment in the world. It is impossible to over-dose on it. Should you happen to choose the wrong remedy, your body’s energy will simply not resonate with it and you will get no effect from it. LESS IS MORE Sometimes the best way to use flower essences is to work with one remedy at a time. But if you feel you want to use more than one, then choose a ‘theme’—remedies that deal with a single emotional state: A combination of peppermint and nasturtium, for instance, helps clear mental fatigue. Crab apple and buttercup can help build self-esteem. You can mix them together. If two quite different emotional ‘traits’ emerge from your self-examination—for example, anger and a need to release more creativity, you can deal with both issues at the same time, if you wish. In this case, take one essence or a mixture of essences for the one condition in the morning, and those for the other in the evening. With any flower essence the adage ‘less is more’ applies. Although you cannot overdose on a remedy, you are more likely to see benefits from taking smaller amounts than larger ones. Also remember that there is tremendous power even in the ritual of taking a flower essence. As you take it, focus your mind gently on the positive healing you seek. Be sure to allow plenty of time for an essence to do its work. Give it at least a month before you consider replacing it with another. You will sense its effects and know if you should continue to use it. HOW TO USE FLOWER ESSENCES Flower essences that you buy come in glass bottles containing stock concentrates. The stock concentrate or ‘stock’ has been made from the mother essence, which in turn has been made from the vibration water plus a little alcohol to preserve it. It can be a lot of fun and very rewarding to make your own flower essences. Here’s how it works. The sun impregnates water into which a flower is introduced, creating vibrational water. ½ vibrational water + ½ brandy makes the mother essence (sometimes also called mother tincture.) 7 drops of mother essence in a bottle of 20% alcohol and 60-80% pure water creates a stock concentrate of the flower. (This is what you buy in stores and make your own dosage bottles from.) 2-4 drops of one or more stock concentrates is added to a 30ml bottle filled ¾ of the way up with pure water and then topped up with brandy to make your dosage bottle. Put four drops under your tongue at intervals throughout the day or add them to a small glass of water and sip it. Carry your dosage bottle around with you. Take your essence from it four times a day. Making your own decanted bottle also enables you to use more than one essence at a time. You simply add 4 to 6 drops of each mother tincture to the dosage bottle when preparing it, thereby creating a special mixture just for you. You can also mix your stock concentrate directly into a bottle of spring or distilled water and drink this mixture throughout the day. I like to do this when using the Bach Flower Remedy Crab Apple, which is helpful for detoxifying the body. I take a liter or a liter and a half bottle of pure water, add 6 drops of stock concentrate to it and mix it up, then put it on my desk while I am working, and sip it throughout the day. (Be sure to label each blend you create.) Flower essences work best when taken regularly—say four times a day—as much as possible at around the same times (but don’t get neurotic about this if you can’t.) Whenever you can, take them as you would a homeopathic remedy, in a ‘clean mouth’—at least 20 minutes before eating, or at least a couple of hours after. Take a moment or two each time you take an essence to remember its healing qualities and to give thanks to the flowers from which it comes. This makes you more receptive to what is given. GREAT USES OF ESSENCE DROPPER BOTTLE: Fill a 30ml dropper bottle with ¾ spring water and ¼ brandy. Add 4 drops of flower essence from a stock concentrate bottle. Shake or tap the bottle against your hand several times vigorously before taking to potentize it. Place 4-6 drops of your mixture directly under your tongue. Alternatively, place these drops into a glass of spring water and drink. STOCK DIRECT: Put 4 drops of the concentrated stock essence directly under your tongue. ESSENCE WATER: Place 6 drops of one or more essences from their stock bottles directly into a large container of mineral water or distilled water and drink throughout the day. Swirl the bottle round clockwise before using each time to potentize the water. ESSENCE BATH: Add 25 drops of stock concentrate of essence directly into a warm (not hot) bath. Swish it all around for a minute or so and then soak for at least twenty minutes, topping up the bath with warm water if you start to feel chilly and topping up with cold water if you get too warm. Use this time to expand your consciousness through meditation. It’s a great way to prepare for a blissful night’s sleep. ESSENCE MASSAGE: Add 10 to 12 drops of stock flower essence to your massage oil or face or body creams and then use them as you normally would, directing your intention towards bringing healing and wholeness. You can mix an essence this way with aromatherapy treatments, combining both the vibrational aspects of a flower with the physiological benefits of an essential oil. ESSENCE MISTERS: To a clean 100ml spray bottle of pure water, add 20 drops of stock concentrate flower essence. Shake well before spraying. Spray your face, your body, the air around you while opening your awareness to the flower healing that is being offered. However you choose to use the flower essences, remember that your intention and the compassion that you have for yourself or for another while using them play an important part in receiving their vibrational healing power. Let each time you use an essence be a moment of pleasurable receptivity, where you open yourself to the grace of flower blessings and give thanks for the generosity of spirit they bring to enhance your life.

Food State B-Vitamins For Vitality

Food State B-Vitamins For Vitality

If you are looking for a Bio-balanced, high potency B-complex for adrenal and nervous system support, enhanced vitality, resilience and mental clarity, you can’t do better than Rainbow Light, Complete B-Complex, Food-Based Formula. I buy mine at iHerb.com, who ship fast and cheap worldwide. This formula contains absorption enhancing co-nutrients such as zinc, manganese and 500 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids as well as energizing foods and herbs to calm and soothe—like California poppy and orange essential oil—while supporting energy with gotu kola, American ginseng and ashwagandha; as well as immunity enhancing bee pollen, and spirulina and barley grass for vitality. This gentle-on-the-stomach formula is designed for optimal assimilation and utilization. Most important of all, this product is a top quality FOOD STATE formula. BETTER THAN SYNTHETICS Most vitamins sold in stores and online are synthetic man-made vitamins that have been produced in the laboratory in an attempt to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins that are normally found in our foods. Avoid them. You see, unfortunately our bodies have been accustomed to absorbing with ease the vitamins and minerals that we get from our foods and these man-made synthetics, even though they try to match the molecular structure of a particular vitamin, are not the same—our body does not handle them the same. So you may be taking a very high potency vitamin that is highly recommended, and you actually may not be using the vitamins and minerals. This is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about FOOD-BASED natural multivitamins and minerals. BOTANICALLY GROWN Good manufacturers of whole food vitamins and minerals often grow the majority of the foods and botanicals that go into their formulas. Then, using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, they test, validate and document the potencies of all the raw materials that go in to the formula. This is achieved by using high performance liquid chromatography to test vitamin potency, or inductively coupled plasma optimal emission spectrometers to test mineral potency. They are also very careful in how they handle the food extracts that go into their multivitamins. They use a very specific system of drying which transfers heat gently and efficiently, removing moisture from delicate foods and botanicals while preventing oxidation of the raw materials. This protects the integrity of the food and the botanicals, as well as protecting against the degradation of the nutrient content, maintaining the color and the flavor. There are many vitamins on the market that also claim to be whole food vitamins but that are not of top quality. Rainbow Light, Complete B-Complex, Food-Based Formula When looking for good quality vitamins of any kind, I highly recommend that you look for one that is a multinutrient capsule with whole food concentrates, providing vitamin and mineral complexes with antioxidants and a full range of high potency herbs. You also need to always look for a vitamin that’s free of corn, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy products and has been formulated without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring. Of course, if you are a vegetarian, you need to look for one that is suitable for your needs. You can order Rainbow Light, Complete B-Complex, Food-Based Formula from here: Order Rainbow Light, Complete B-Complex from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply.

Natural Aphrodisiacs For Men

Natural Aphrodisiacs For Men

Sexual impotence—a loss of ability to maintain a full erection—affects most men at some time in their lives. It can be the result of feeling unwelcome, afraid of your own power, or experiencing a sense of inadequacy or depression about yourself. Such feelings strongly influence the behavior of your body. And when you can develop real awareness of how your lover feels, with patience and consideration, psychologically-caused impotence will often clear by itself. Other difficulties in maintaining an erection can be biochemical in nature. In men over the age of 35, this often happens during periods of prolonged stress, after illness, or simply as a result of having lived for too long on convenience foods, so your body has become depleted in essential minerals, trace elements and vitamins. When you have eaten like this, many of your metabolic processes no longer work properly. Then it’s time to make some serious changes in the way you are eating, and keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. In the meantime, there are a number of effective plants for heightening your sexual energy: Mucuna Dopa Mucuna Dopa—this is a powerful Ayurvedic herb, also known as velvet herb. A potent extract from the Mucuna pruriens seed, it heightens brain function, libido and muscle growth. It contains high concentrations of L-Dopa, a neurotransmitter which prompts a positive mental state of action and assertiveness. These are a few of the reasons Mucuna Dopa is an effective sexual enhancer for men. Start by taking one 166mg capsule between meals (containing 100mg of L-Dopa). Never take more than 6 a day and do not use if you are taking MAO inhibitors or any prescription drugs without first getting permission from your medical practitioner. Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba—not only boosts the flow of blood to the brain and enhances memory; it can increase circulation to the penis. The best way to take it for this purpose is in the form of a concentrated 24% standardized extract capsule, once or twice a day. Do not take more, since in large quantities gingko can cause loose bowels and irritability. One research project gave men 80 milligrams of gingko extract three times a day, with excellent results. It not only cleared impotence, it lifted the depression which often accompanies it. You can also get a ginkgo tincture: 1 teaspoon in a little water twice a day. Horny goat weed Horny goat weed—has been known for 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance both male and female libido. It increases blood circulation to the genitals. A study carried out in 2008 indicated that it can be as effective as Viagra but without the dangerous side-effects. One 1 gram tablet daily between meals is the usual recommended dose. Fava beans Fava beans—can have an astounding effect on an erection. The first written record of this food’s sexual benefits comes from ancient Rome, where Cicero used it to increase his own passion. Fava is also a good natural source of L-dopa (used to treat Parkinson’s disease). It intensifies erections in many men, which is how fava got its reputation. One way to use fava beans is to make soup from them. Whatever products you buy it is essential that they are top quality and organic. Be warned, there are lots of cheap imitations which do not deliver on their promises. See below for my recommendations. Source Naturals, Mucuna Dopa Mucuna Dopa uses a potent extract of the Mucuna pruriens seed which assists in brain function, libido and supporting muscle growth. Order Source Naturals, Mucuna Dopa from iherb Paradise Herbs, Ginkgo Biloba Paradise Ginkgo is a potent 50:1 concentrated extract of the highest quality nature has to offer. Using a 100% natural extraction method the true essence and breadth of the whole herb is captured Order Paradise Herbs, Ginkgo Biloba from iherb Planetary Herbals, Horny Goat Weed Epimedium is one of the most valued tonics of Chinese herbalism. In China it is especially used for supporting healthy sexual activity - thus its name, Horny Goat Weed Order Planetary Herbals, Horny Goat Weed from iherb Bob's Red Mill, Fava Beans For over 5,000 years, Fava Beans have been enjoyed as a delicious source of protein, fiber and iron. Similar in taste and texture to lima beans Order Bob's Red Mill, Fava Beans from iherb Dragon Herbs, Siberian Ginseng, Super Potency Extract This is a potent formula, made from the finest Chinese herbs, to enhance your adaptability and daily Qi. Order Dragon Herbs, Siberian Ginseng from iherb

More in integrative health

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 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 19th of October 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.92 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men
-0.92 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of October 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life