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

154 articles in integrative health

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals have an important part to play in rejuvenating the body and continuing to de-age it afterwards. A diet for de-aging the body needs to be high-raw and rich in green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans and seeds. When you eat this way you get the very best complement of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals for free radical protection and enzymes. And when it comes to de-aging the body enzymes move center stage. Here are a few of the most important recently discovered phytochemicals and some of their life-enhancing, antioxidant and anti-aging actions: Allicin Where Is It Found: onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions Benefits: lowers LDL (the negative) blood cholesterol, detoxifies by enhancing production of glutathione S-transferase, helps protect against breast cancer and heart disease as well as colon cancer and stomach cancer, enhances immunity Alpha Carotene Where Is It Found: seaweeds and carrots Benefits: heightens immunity, slows growth of cancer cells in animals, may help prevent cardiovascular disease and inflammation Anthocyanins Where Is It Found: cranberry juice Benefits: helps prevent and cure urinary tract infections Beta Carotene Where Is It Found: dark green vegetables, red & yellow vegetables such as carrot and marrow, peaches and apricots Benefits: decreases risk of many cancers including skin, colon, and female cancers. Also improves immune function Catechins Where Is It Found: green tea Benefits: together with polyphenol and theaflavin it lowers cholesterol, boosts fat metabolism and may boost immune functions as well as help prevent some cancers and much aging   Indoles Where Is It Found: cabbages, dark green vegetables Benefits: helps detoxify the body, protects against excessive oestrogen buildup, slows cancer growth in animals, enhances immune functions Limones Where Is It Found: citrus fruits Benefits: protects against breast cancer in animals, heightens production of enzymes involved in detoxifying the body, helps lower blood cholesterol and reduce plaque in arteries Lycopene Where Is It Found: red grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon, apricots Benefits: protects against age-related cell damage and oxidation to proteins and fats Saponins Where Is It Found: chickpeas, lentils and other beans Benefits: help slow the rate of tumor growth in animals Sulphoraphane Where Is It Found: cauliflower, kale, turnip greens, Brussels sprouts Benefits: helps cancer fighting and age fighting enzymes detoxify cells, inhibits the development of breast cancer in animals Triterpenoids & Glycyrrhizin Where Is It Found: licorice root Benefits: enhances immune functions, has anti-tumour properties, fights gum disease and tooth decay, improves liver function by enhancing liver enzymes that help protect against excess oestrogens

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.

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.

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

Are you one of the thousands of people who reach for artificial “low-calorie” sweeteners—such as aspartame or saccharin—to add to your tea or coffee, in the belief that they can help keep you from getting fat? If so, this is hardly surprising. We have had this lie shoved down our throats through advertising and the media, thanks to the lobbying of money-hungry companies keen to sell the sickly sweet chemicals they peddle. Independent research into the dangers of artificial sweeteners rarely sees the light of day. It can be a serious challenge to find unbiased data amongst the multitude of misinformation that is littered across cyberspace. It’s essential that you learn the truth about these destructive substances, as well as what they’re really doing to your health and your waistline. APPETITE STIMULANTS Independent studies have turned up some surprising results when analyzing the relationship between the use of artificial sweeteners and obesity, although as yet few people know about this. Far from helping you lose weight, these sweeteners actually stimulate your appetite, causing cravings and telling your body to “store fat”. How does this happen? When you taste something sweet, your body expects calories to immediately follow, just as they do when you eat sugar. This triggers your appetite. However, since the calories don’t follow, the sensation of hunger remains. You begin to crave more sweet-tasting, carb-rich foods. This effect is most marked in aspartame, though it also applies to the other common sweeteners such as saccharin and acesulfame potassium. HORMONE HAVOC This alone is bad enough, but it’s only half the story. The other half concerns aspartame’s effect on the key hormone insulin, responsible for regulating fat metabolism. Although vigorously denied by the “research” of the manufacturing companies, recent studies indicate that aspartame can actually trick your pancreas into releasing insulin—despite the fact that aspartame does not alter blood sugar. It can do this simply by activating our “sweet” taste receptors. Since the elevated insulin finds no blood sugar to combine with, this increases your hunger even more, and makes your cravings worse. The result of all this? You’re more likely to a) eat more of the sugary foods you’re craving, setting up a vicious circle, and b) lay down more fat stores, due to the hormonal fluctuations happening in your body. A new study published in the January 2013 issue of science journal Appetite reported that, between groups of rats fed either aspartame, saccharin or sugar, the aspartame and saccharin groups gained more weight than the sugar group—and this was unrelated to intake of calories, since they all ate the same foods. BAD NEWS FOR DIABETICS Not only is this terrible news for those trying to shed fat. It also has dire consequences for the ever-growing group of humans afflicted by diabetes. Many diabetics have been led to believe that these sweeteners are a healthier alternative than sugar, when this too is based on a fallacy. Sugar itself, in all its forms, is also toxic to the human body. And it too is an arch enemy to good health and weight loss. (See Robert Lustig’s excellent lecture on the dangers of sugar here.) But unlike sugar, low-calorie sweeteners are often sold as “diabetes-safe.” This too is a dangerous lie. As we have already seen, consuming aspartame can elevate insulin levels abnormally. The more often this happens, the more the body becomes resistant to this hormone. The insulin resistance that follows will lead to—or worsen—diabetes, along with obesity and many chronic degenerative conditions. FURTHER DANGERS As if you needed any more reason to stay away from artificial sweeteners, get this: Aspartame is composed of two separate components, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Phenylalanine quickly degrades into methanol, which in turn becomes formaldehyde—yep, that stuff lab specimens, and dead bodies are stored in—and accumulates in our cells. When levels of this nasty chemical get high enough in the system, it can cause all sorts of dangerous effects. The “Aspartame Consumer Safety Network Fact Sheet” warns of the following potential symptoms: “headaches, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, numbness, blurred vision, blindness and other eye problems, memory loss, slurred speech, depression, personality changes, hyperactivity, stomach disorders, seizures, skin lesions, rashes, anxiety attacks, muscle cramping and joint pain, loss of energy, symptoms mimicking heart attacks, hearing loss and ear ringing, and loss or change of taste.” All that, and it won’t even help you lose weight! NATURE’S SWEET OFFERINGS So what can we turn to now that both artificial sweeteners and sugar are off the menu? Fortunately for those of us with a sweet tooth, nature has provided a delicious and safe alternative: Derived from the sweet leaf plant, Stevia, in its natural state, is the best no-calorie, health-supporting natural sweetener on the planet. Even though it’s sweeter than sugar, its taste has a slower onset and longer duration, meaning it doesn’t carry the same risks as aspartame and the other artificial sweeteners. Not only is it safe—it is actually good for you, and may even help enhance glucose tolerance and improve insulin sensitivity. Another natural alternative safe for occasional use is coconut sugar, derived from the blossoms of the coconut palm. It has a high nutritional content, containing potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron, as well as Vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. It has a low glycemic index, so is considered safe for diabetics. It has a rich flavor that has been compared to toffee. Coconut sugar, which is currently bringing high profits to both coconut farmers and retailers especially in the US, has one major drawback, however. What nobody is warning consumers about is that coconut palm trees cannot produce both coconuts and coconut palm sugar, which is gleaned by drawing the sap out of the tree. When the sap is used to make coconut sugar, the flower buds, which are dependent on the tree’s sap enabling them to form, wither and die so the tree cannot grow coconuts. Because the tree can no longer produce coconuts and all the precious products made from them it can suffer and die. In short, producing coconut palm sugar is not a sustainable industry. Despite experiments in some places to make use of coconut trees one year as sap producers and the next as a coconut producer, this remains a serious challenge worldwide. STEVIA—IT’S GOOD FOR YOU An exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America, stevia is replete with non-caloric sweet molecules. This is the reason for its sugary flavor. Stevia has sweetened herbal drinks since Pre-Columbian times. Its properties were first recorded by a botanist named Antonio Bertoni in 1887, who wrote about ways the natives of Paraguay used it. Others have discovered stevia in the past fifty years and made good use of it. Japan and the United States have done extensive research and safety testing on the plant. Their research shows that this marvelous sweet herb is non-toxic, safe for diabetics and beneficial for weight loss as well as daily use for yourself and family. More good news: Stevia is not a source of nutrition for bacteria in the mouth, nor for yeasts and fungi such as Candida albicans in the body. A few years ago, following some rather bogus animal research promoted by Monsanto—who produce much of the artificial sweeteners in the world—the European parliament banned the sale of stevia in Britain and Europe. There is not much pressure at the moment to lift that ban. In the meantime, if you live in the EU, you can nevertheless order stevia online from herbal shops, either in your own country or another European country, including the UK, without difficulty. It is widely available in shops and stores in the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand and most other countries of the world. Stevia is great for all sorts of reasons on Cura Romana. How sweet is Stevia extract? Stevia extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Add a pinch to drinks like coffee or tea. Dilute in water when you are using it to make a salad dressing or dessert. How many calories are in Stevia extract? None. Stevia extracts have zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero sugar, zero fat and zero cholesterol. Can Stevia extract replace sugar in the diet? Yes. Refined sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in your diet. Stevia is natural, much sweeter than sugar, and has none of sugar’s unhealthy drawbacks. Can Stevia replace artificial sweeteners in the diet? Yes! Stevia is the only a safe, calorie-free, all-natural alternative to artificial or chemical pharmaceutical sweeteners in the world. Will Stevia raise my blood sugar levels? Not at all. In fact, according to some research, it may actually lower blood sugar levels. Can I use Stevia if I am diabetic? Yes. Stevia is a great addition to a healthy diet for anyone with blood sugar problems since it does not raise blood sugar levels. I’d advise you to stay away from any form of artificial sweeteners including those recently being marketed as “natural stevia” which are, in truth, distortions of the real thing. Here are the best and most useful forms of stevia you will find anywhere. Both can be ordered direct from iHerb no matter where you are in the world. BEST LIQUID STEVIA Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Buy English Toffee Stevia BEST GRANULATED STEVIA Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Buy Stevita GOOD COCONUT SUGAR Navitas Naturals, Coconut Sugar, 16 oz This coconut sugar is top of the range. It’s produced in Indonesia where farmers have harvested the nectar from coconut palm trees for herbal medicine and food for centuries. This product contains 100% pure evaporated coconut sugar that is certified organic, kosher and vegan. Buy Coconut Sugar ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: They ship all over the world very cheaply, and their products are the cheapest and best in the world. Get your order sent to you via DHL. I use them for almost everything no matter where I am.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men
-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life