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integrative health

154 articles in integrative health

Insomnia - To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

Insomnia - To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

A great many sleep issues are more the result of worrying about insomnia than anything else. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of general propaganda about sleep rather than true non-sleepers. And many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. There is nothing more apt to cause sleeplessness than the worry that you won't be able to drop off. Sometimes sleeplessness can be normal. We all experience a sleepless night now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried, or excited about some coming event. THE TRUTH ABOUT INSOMNIA Real, chronic insomnia is less frequent. A major research project into long-term insomnia turned up some interesting facts about sufferers. Over 85 per cent of the 300 insomniacs studied had one or more major pathological personality indication, such as depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, schizophrenic characteristics or sociopathy. For them, their insomnia was a secondary symptom of a more basic conflict—a socially acceptable problem they could talk about without fear of being judged. Insomnia can simply be a mask for whatever is really bothering the non-sleeper. Sometimes an inability to sleep can be a manifestation of a nutritional problem, often a deficiency of zinc coupled with an excess of copper—which produces a mind that is intellectually overactive and won't wind down—or a deficiency of calcium or magnesium or vitamin E—which can lead to tension and cramping in the muscles and a difficulty in letting go. 300mg of magnesium taken before bed often clears cramping and allows you to sleep more peacefully. BE COOL The more easygoing an attitude you take to sleep, the less likely you are to have any problem with it. If you miss an hour or two, or if you are not sleepy, simply stay up, read a book, or finish some work. Believe it or not, one of the best times for coming up with creative ideas is in the middle of a sleepless night. It can be the perfect opportunity for turning stress into something creative. Chances are that you'll more than make up for a few lost hours of sleep in the next couple of days—provided you don't let yourself get anxious about it. IT’S A WOMAN THING Insomnia is one of the greatest fears of all for women. Eight times more women report sleep difficulties to their doctors throughout their lives than do men. Apart from the motherhood-induced insomnia which comes from having to feed a baby, if ever you are going to have trouble sleeping it is most likely to be during the perimenopausal years just before your periods stop, or much later on in your seventies and eighties. People sleep less as they get older for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a decrease in the production of a brain hormone called melatonin which regulates the body's circadian rhythms. How much sleep you need can change depending on your life circumstances too. When you are pregnant, eat less wholesome foods, are under stress or ill you may need more sleep. You need more sleep when you gain weight, too. When losing weight, or during a detoxification regime, you will often sleep less. The sleeplessness that occurs in women around the time of menopause and is usually not so much a difficulty in going to sleep but a tendency to awaken regularly at the same time each night (usually 2 or 3 in the morning) and to lie wide awake. Because we are accustomed to sleeping through the night we assume that there must be something wrong. Yet sleeplessness can sometimes bring new insights, if you are ready to receive them. Many artists, writers and composers will tell you that they receive inspiration for new projects and discover ways of overcoming creative challenges on awakening in the night. That being said, when sleeplessness becomes chronic it can leave you feeling exhausted, hopeless and washed out, in which case something needs to be done about it. Sleeping pills are not the answer. Their side-effects include digestive problems, poor concentration, disorders of the blood and respiration, high blood pressure, liver and kidney troubles, problems with vision, depression, dizziness, confusion and damage to the central nervous system. Using them can even lead to worse insomnia. There are better ways. HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT The next time you are troubled by sleeplessness experiment with nature's best sleep aids. Spend 20 minutes in the sun or in very bright light each morning. Your circadian rhythms are linked to sunlight. The sun sets our natural clocks properly and acts as a natural energizer too. Get more exercise. This helps burn up stress-caused adrenalin build up in the brain which can result in that tense, nervous feeling where you are ‘up’ and can't seem to get ‘down’. Experiment with exercising at different times of the day to see which time works best for you in terms of relaxing you and making you ready for sleep at night. Never take strenuous exercise before going to bed as it can set the heart pounding and stimulate the whole body far too much. Don't take on any new activities late in the day. Don't take a nap in the evening or late afternoon. Eat early, not late. In fact, the earlier the better. Make dinner your smallest meal of the day and avoid snacks after dinner since they can interfere with sleep. Everybody sleeps better on an empty stomach despite what the hot drink manufacturers would have you believe. Don't drink coffee or alcohol at dinner, or other strong stimulants. This isn't just an old wives tale. One researcher looking into the effects of caffeine on human beings recently showed that total sleep time is decreased by two hours and the mean total of intervening wakefulness more than doubles when men and women are given caffeine equivalent to a couple of cups of coffee. Alcohol may put you to sleep but it tends not to keep you there, awakening you instead in the early hours of the morning. Drink plenty of water during the day. Sleep is induced by the brain and brain cells need adequate hydration both to stay awake during the daylight hours and to trigger the dreamy relaxation that brings on sleep. Hardly anyone drinks as much water as they profitably could. I regularly consume at least 2 litres of mineral water a day in addition to whatever other drinks I may have. Don't go to bed when you are not sleepy. Instead, pursue some pleasant activity, preferably passive. Television is not the best choice for rays emitted from the set disturb your nervous system when you least need it. Get into a rut, going to bed as far as possible at the same time every night and developing a routine or simple ritual about it. When it comes to getting ready for sleep each night the body loves routines, they foster relaxation and let the body know what to expect. Make bedtime and rising time as regular as possible and go through the same routine each evening of putting the cat out, opening the window, reading a book, etc. Soak in a lukewarm (not hot) bath for 30 minutes topping up with hot water to maintain the temperature at just blood heat. (A hot bath before bed is a mistake. It is far too stimulating to the heart and gets your motor running.) Blot your skin dry without friction and go straight to bed moving slowly. This can be a great thing to do in the middle of the night if you awaken too - use a candle instead of turning on the light and let yourself relax as you probably never can during the day when a telephone could ring or someone might demand something of you. Insist that you sleep in a room by yourself when you want to be alone. Nights, sometimes weeks, sleeping alone can be enormously restful and fruitful. Use an ioniser. A little contraption beside your bed that sends negative ions into the air is a godsend to anyone who has the kind of nervous system that tends to go ‘up’ and doesn't want to come ‘down’. Although not cheap, it is an excellent investment for you can use it at a desk when you have a lot of work to do. Or, if you buy one of the portable varieties, you can also take it in the car on long trips to keep from going to sleep (it magically works both ways). Negative ions also stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain. Listen to mellow music. Music too can help alter consciousness and have you sinking blissfully into the depths of slumber. An ipod by the side of your bed is one of the most pleasant ways of all of putting a racing mind to rest and easing yourself into sleep. Use essential oils. They can have a wonderfully calming effect on the mind and body. You can take a warm bath with them or place a few drops on your pillow to inhale through the night. For the bath use four drops of lavender oil, two drops of camomile and two drops of neroli (orange blossom). Or try a drop or two of each on your pillow. Count your blessings. It's an old fashioned idea but it is a true key to deep relaxation and blissful sleep. Each night as you turn out the light think of six things during the day which you have to be thankful for, regardless of your physical or emotional state or how difficult your life may be at the time. This gradually turns the mind to dwell on pleasurable themes while you are awake. It can even improve the quality of your dreams. Make use of effective relaxation techniques (coming soon). You will find they enhance many other areas of your life too. Stop worrying about getting to sleep. Just let it happen. If it doesn't tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night. Or the next. Lack of sleep is not going to kill you, but worrying about it long enough just might.

Beware The Body Snatchers

Beware The Body Snatchers

In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley, Scrooge's dead partner, appears to him as a ghost: `You don't believe in me', observed the Ghost. `I don't', said Scrooge. `What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?' `I don't know', said Scrooge. `Why do you doubt your senses?' `Because', said Scrooge, `a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheat. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!' Scrooge was right. Biochemical changes brought about by what you eat, how well you eat, and how often you eat, can affect your brain and alter consciousness enough in some people to produce imaginary fears—even hallucinations—not to mention depression and anxiety as well as chronic fatigue and chronic insomnia. The very worst of the body snatchers are the sugars in their myriad of forms. More about this in a moment. Meanwhile, everybody knows that fruit contain a kind of sugar known as fructose. Does this mean we should ban fruit from the table? GOOD FOOD BAD RAP Somehow fruits seen to have have earned themselves a bad name. Why? Because fruits contain fructose—fruit sugar. Nonetheless, it’s fructose that gives glorious organic navel oranges, blueberries, apples, and golden kiwis their marvelous sweetness. And the right amount of organically grown, whole fruits do as lot to keep us well. Fruit plays an important part in any high-raw way of eating. These colorful gifts of nature cleanse the body of the toxicity we absorb from our environment, the water we drink and the dreadful packaged convenience foods people eat. That’s why fruits are so valuable to any serious detox program. So what’s the problem with fructose? First of all, there is evidence which indicates that people who eat too much fruit can make themselves vulnerable to chronic problems like insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. And this is important. For most fruits we eat today contain between 30 and 50 times the amount of fructose compared to the fruit our hunter-gatherer forefathers munched on. This has come about because, during the 20th century, enormous hybridization projects continue to make fruits sweeter and sweeter. As a result, not only has the incidence of chronic illnesses—from heart disease and diabetes to cancer and mental disorders—exploded in developed countries: So has our consumption of sugar in its many forms—of which fructose is one. WHERE DO YOU STAND If you are someone with high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, insulin or leptin resistance or hypertension, then it is best to limit your fruit intake so you only get, say, 15 grams of fructose a day. How do you do this? Choose your fruits carefully so that most of them are low-fructose. If you do not fall into these categories, you should be able to eat a lot more fruit and have it do you nothing but good. That is, of course, provided the fruits you choose are organic and therefore not sprayed with chemicals. Make sure they have not been GMO grown. Under no circumstances do you want to put genetically modified foods of any kind into your body. All GMO crops are dangerous, despite all the corporate hype designed to make us think otherwise. BIG CONTRADICTIONS But findings about the effects of fruit eating are contradictory, to say the least. The British Medical Journal published three observational studies that examined the effects of fruit-eating on human health. These studies analyzed the diets of almost 200,000 people between 1984 and 2008—none of whom had indications of heart disease, diabetes or cancer when the studies began. On completion, the studies indicated that, far from fruits predisposing us to degenerative diseases, some fruits including grapes, blueberries and apples may actually reduce the risk of diabetes. This is great news and somewhat unexpected, since apples and grapes contain a lot of fructose. But beware. Drinking juices made from these fruits that are bought rather than being homemade from fresh produce do contribut to the development of the same diseases that eating whole fruit can help prevent. Steer clear of all packaged and tinned fruit juices and fruit drinks. DEVIL IN DISGUISE One aspect of fructose is as dangerous as hell—high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The ultimate body snatcher it is. If you value your health and the health of your children you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. But avoiding it is not easy. HFCS is added to just about every packaged food and drink you buy. So read every label on every packaged food or drink you buy and reject every food or drink containing it. HFCS is deadly stuff. A highly processed form of liquid sugar extracted by a nasty chemical solvent called glutaraldehyde, is not only HFCS frequently contaminated with mercury. Putting it into the body is a major cause of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and mood disorders, and hyperactivity in children. High-fructose corn syrup is similar in composition to sucrose, with levels of around 45% glucose to 55% fructose. And, as with sucrose, its harmful effects are concealed from view. It does not raise blood sugar, as it is processed by the liver. There it promptly turns into fat. In 1978, HFCS was brought in as a substitute for sugar in soft drinks. This quickly became a real game-changer, but not in a good way. By the year 2000, sugar consumption in America increased by 25 pounds per person per year, nearly ALL of it in the form of HFCS. These days the average American consumes a massive 35 pounds of HFCS each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s no coincidence that the obesity rate in the US has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. SNEAKY AND SINISTER You’ll find HFCS in thousands of grocery items, even in places you might never suspect—such as pizza sauce, salad dressings, foods from sodas, drinks and sweets to sauces, breads, and delicatessen foods like smoked salmon, luncheon meats and salami. Farcically, HFCS is often labeled "all natural" because fructose is found in fruit—even though it is mass-factory-produced, using a process which dramatically increases the fructose content of corn syrup. Fructose in these protucts bears little resemblance to fructose found in fresh fruit. It also lacks the fiber, antioxidants and nutrients found in fresh fruit. As pediatric specialist and childhood obesity expert Robert Lustig puts it, high-fructose corn syrup is “a poison all by itself”. Lustig doesn’t distinguish between plain sugar and HFCS when it comes to health perils—they are “equally dangerous”, he insists, like two sides of the same coin. And what’s so insidious about HFCS is that it is sold to the public as a “healthy alternative” to regular sugar. You should avoid it at all costs. MY OWN FRUIT EXPERIMENT Most of you know that I am a passionate fan of organic raw food and have been for almost half a century. A high-raw way of eating in my mid-twenties healed me from so many illnesses contracted as a result of being raised on junk food throughout most of my unpredictable childhood. A few weeks ago, Aaron and I decided to experiment by returning to being on an all-raw fruits and vegetables diet for a period of six weeks. We wanted to check out what, if any, ill effects eating an all raw diet containing lots of fresh, organic fruits would have on us. The results of our little experiment have turned out to be excellent. We ate a lot of fruit. We put it in our salads, we made juice from a mixture of fruits and included in it much of the pulp produced from the juicing. We loved the way this made us look and feel. I’m happy to report that the results of ouro little experiment has been nothing but good. Like vegetables and herbs, fruits are not only a storehouse for vitamins and minerals; they boast high levels of phytochemicals. These powerhouses for health and vitality are not nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Yet they carry colored plant factors which play an important role in our health. A good supply of these phyto-nutrients helps minimize the incidence of cancer and heart disease and protect from degenerative conditions associated with aging, such as inflammation of the joints, loss of memory and concentration. They even help slow the aging process itself. Large quantities of these plant factors with many different names are found in common fruits, from berries, oranges, lemons and grapes to cantaloupe, kiwis, cranberries and cherries. However, in any diet based on manufactured convenience foods, they are scarce as hen’s teeth. MEET THE GOOD GUYS Berries, grapes and cherries as well as citrus fruits are excellent sources of water-soluble phyto-chemicals known as flavonoids. Flavonoids guard the integrity of collagen within the body. They work together with vitamin C and—as do many of the other phyto-nutrients—enhance the positive effects of antioxidant vitamins, improving the function and the integrity of tiny blood vessels known as capillaries, which deliver nutrients and oxygen to our cells. This helps raise overall energy. It also helps keep skin smooth and elastic, protects against bruising while improving memory and eyesight. Phyto-nutrients often carry weird names like catechin, quercetin and hesperidin. Among the more than 20,000 known, hesperidin, rutin, quercetin, catechin and pycnogenol are especially important. Catechin reduces allergic reactions by calming histamine release in the body. Rutin helps guard the integrity and health of capillaries, veins and arteries, as well as the skin itself. Many phytochemicals protect our health by interfering with or blocking specific disease processes. They do this either by acting as antioxidants and preventing free radical damage, or by inhibiting enzymes which promote the development of diseases like cancer. Some plant factors found in fruits and vegetables clear our cells of toxins and other damaging substances such as herbicides and pesticides we take in from our environment. HEALTHY SUPPORT HERE At Tufts University in the United States, scientists developed a method of quantifying the anti-oxidant power of specific fruits and vegetables by measuring their ability to quench free radicals in a laboratory test tube. To test a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity, called the ORAC test, scientists have been able to categorize a fruit or vegetable according to its overall anti-oxidant power. Fruits like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are at the top of the list. They can be highly protective of our health. While we’re talking of lists, here is a list of some of the most common fruits indicating how much fructose is in each. Become familiar with it and, given the state of your own body, you can easily make your own decision about what kind and how much of each fruit suits you best, as well as how much you want to eat of it. FRUIT SERVING GRAMS OF FRUCTOSE Lemon 1 medium 0.6 Passionfruit 1 medium 0.9 Apricot 1 medium 1.3 Raspberries 1 cup 3.0 Kiwi 1 medium 3.4 Cherries 1 cup 3.8 Strawberries 1 cup 3.8 Pink grapefruit ½ medium 4.3 Nectarine 1 medium 5.4 Peach 1 medium 5.9 Orange 1 medium 6.1 Banana 1 medium 7.1 Apple 1 medium 9.5 Persimmon 1 medium 10.6 Pear 1 medium 11.8 Grapes 1 cup 12.4 Mango 1 medium 16.2 Here are my suggestions on how to get the very best from fruits, now and always: If you know you have insulin or leptin resistance, suffer from food cravings and are overweight, it’s pick your fruits from those with the lowest levels of fructose and limit your fruit intake to around 15 grams of fructose a day. If you are not troubled by any of these conditions, you can experiment by eating fruits which give you from 20 to 40 grams of fructose a day and work out by trial and error what the levels of fructose best work for you. Always eat your fruits whole if possible. If you choose to juice them yourself, make sure you keep the valuable pulp from the juicing process and add a good quantity of it back to the juice. Go for organic fruits. You might even try growing a lot of your fruit in your garden if you have the space. Never eat GMO fruits...something difficult to ascertain in most countries these days since corporate interests have lobbied hard to prevent GMO labeling. This is another reason to choose organic. Never eat or drink anything with high fructose corn syrup in it. It’s deadly stuff—so read labels carefully. Fruits are one of nature’s most glorious gifts to us. Know the ones that work for you and shun those that don’t. Above all steer clear of high-fructose corn syrup and read labels carefully to make sure you do.

Sprout Magic Details

Sprout Magic Details

Make them the base for salads, add them at the last minute to homemade soups, even carry them around with you in a bag and eat them instead of chocolate bars and biscuits. They are sweet and delicious and won’t leave you with an energy slump. There are many different seeds you can sprout - each with its own particular flavor and texture. Use the following chart as a guide to the variety of sprouts you can try. Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Alfalfa 6-8 hours 3-4 tbsp 5-6 days 3.5 cm 1½ in Rich in organic vitamins and minerals Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Fenugreek 6-8 hours ½ cup 3-4 days 1 cm½ in Have quite a strong ‘curry’ taste. Good for ridding the body of toxins Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Adzuki beans 10-15 hours 1½ cups 3-5 days 2.5-3.5 cm 1-1½ in Have a nutty flavor. Especially good for the kidneys Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Chickpeas 10-15 hours 2 cups 3-4 days 2.5 cm 1 in May need to soak for 18 hrs to swell to their full size. Replace the water during this time Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Lentils 10-15 hours 1 cup 3-5 days 0.5-2.5cm ¼–1 in Try all different kinds of lentils. They are good eaten young or up to 6 days old Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Mung beans 10-15 hours 1 cup 3-5 days 1-5 cm ½-2½ in Soak at least 15 hours. Keep in the dark for a sweet sprout Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Sunflower seeds 10-15 hours 4 cups 1-2 days Same length as seed Soak them and sprout for just a day. Bruise easily so handle carefully Seeds Soak time To Yield 1 liter Ready to eat in Length of shoot Growing tips and notes Wheat 12-15 hours 2 cups 2-3 days Same length as grain An excellent source of the B vitamins. The soak water can be drunk straight or added to soups or juices

Sacred Truth Ep. 51: Female Sexuality

Sacred Truth Ep. 51: Female Sexuality

For many years I’ve worked with herbs. I love the purity of them and their effectiveness when used to treat everything from infections and fatigue to depression and clearing stress. High on the list of my favorite herbs is Ashwagandha. It is also one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. It's been used since ancient times to impart the vigor and strength of a stallion to the body. In fact, in Sanskrit, the name itself means "the smell of the horse." Ashwagandha has long been known for its rejuvenating properties. Recently an excellent study reported in Biomed Research International discovered that Ashwagandha could significantly improve female sexual functions when women are given it in a concentrated form as a root extract. Fifty women diagnosed with female sexual dysfunction, including lack of sexual desire, poor sexual arousal, little or no female orgasmic experience, and an inability to become aroused through genital stimulation, were given this remarkable herb in an attempt to find out what, if anything, it might do to enhance their sexuality. Twenty-five of them took 300 mg of Ashwagandha root twice a day. The other twenty-five received a placebo during the eight-week period of the study. Researchers evaluated their sexual functions, including lubrication, arousal, desire, satisfaction, orgasm, pain, and overall sexual activity response to therapy, at four weeks and then again at eight weeks during the study. Those who received Ashwagandha reported significant improved sexual function scores when it came to orgasm, satisfaction, arousal, and lubrication. They experienced heightened sexual desire and even a growing number of successful sexual encounters by the end of the eight weeks compared to the women who'd been given a placebo. Researchers also discovered that Ashwagandha given in this way lowers the experience of chronic stress, which interferes with sexual response by lowering serum cortisol. They also reported another possible mechanism by which Ashwagandha enhances female sexuality: it was by "offsetting androgen deficiency syndrome, which is seen as contributing to a lack of sexual desire in some women." What is also interesting is that this wonderful herb even appears to increase serum testosterone, which plays an important part in sexual functioning in both men and women. The power of something as simple as a herb never ceases to amaze me, provided you know how to use it. Ashwagandha is rich in medicinal chemicals including alkaloids, choline, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of natural sugars. I’ve used it for many years to counter all kinds of difficulties, including problems concentrating, fatigue, stress, and lack of vitality. I discovered long ago that it can alleviate not only these common symptoms, but also supports energetic rejuvenation and heightens our sense of well-being. Of course medical researchers have been examining the power of Ashwagandha for years. There are more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical. Here are just a few of the other healing properties of Ashwagandha: It offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps reduce brain cell degeneration. It stabilizes blood sugar. It reduces depression and anxiety. It protects the immune system. Ashwagandha is what is known as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens contain a combination of health-giving substances including vitamins, amino acids, and other plant factors to support health. They can help your body cope with all sorts of external stressors, including poisons in the environment as well as internal challenges, including insomnia and anxiety. A healthy body is only built when we take into it essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which it can make use of by metabolizing them into energy and metabolic information for our tissues, organs, and cells. Ashwagandha is usually given in quantities from 600 to 1000 mg twice a day. It can be a great comfort for people who suffer from anxiety and insomnia. Drinking a cup of herb tea that contains a teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha root before bed can be great for improving sleep. Of course you should always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using any herb to make sure that it is suitable for you, especially if you are taking any pharmaceutical drugs. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Here are a couple of my favorite forms of Ashwagandha: Organic India, Organic, Ashwagandha, 90 Veggie Caps Relieves Stress & Builds Vitality Made with Certified Organic Herbs Herbal Dietary Supplement Safe for Vegans and Vegetarians Gluten Free Order Organic India Ashwagandha from iherb Irwin Naturals, Steel-Libido for Women, 75 Liquid Soft-Gels Bioperine Powered Absorption Promotes Healthy Sexual Response & Pleasure Daily Essentials Fatty Acids - Omega-3 Oils Dietary Supplement Order Irwin Naturals from iherb

Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

“Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners” Shakespeare One of the most powerful healing plants in the world originates in the dry, hostile environment of Siberia. For eons it was prized as a source of strength for Viking warriors, Russian cosmonauts having to endure the demands of space travel, and Olympic athletes. A beautiful perennial plant with pink, red or yellow flowers, it is called “Arctic Root” or “Golden Root.” Its proper name is Rhodiola rosea. If you don’t already make use of this incredible gift from nature, you don’t know what you’re missing. QUEEN OF ADAPTOGENS Rhodiola is the most versatile adaptogenic plant in the world. An adaptogen is a plant or herb which acts in non-specific ways to improve health and increase resistance to stress, without upsetting the body’s biological functions. Numerous studies carried out in France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Russia confirm what has been known for centuries by shamans and wise woman healers: Rhodiola brings endless blessings to anybody using it. Here are just a few of its benefits. restores normal menstrual cycle in women prevents and clears fatigue increases vitality enhances immunity improves athletic prowess supports heart strength promotes improved wellbeing protects muscles when exercising helps endurance increases the metabolism of fats increases work capacity reduces stress and damage from stress supports thyroid function improves sexual function in men Whew! I could go on and on. The scientific research into this beautiful plant is voluminous and inspiring. I first learned of Rhodiola many years ago when Professor of Medical Science, Israel Brekhman—the much celebrated Russian research scientist in organic medicine and biologically active substances in Vladivostok—visited Britain. Brekhman’s career focused on the genetics of plants and herbs, and on improving health and wellbeing. It was he who first coined the word adaptogen. NON-TOXIC HEALING One of the wonderful things about Rhodiola is that it has a very low level of toxicity and very few side effects. (Since safety issues are as yet not available for pregnancy and lactation, however, it should be avoided in these circumstances.) There are many ways in which Rhodiola—which now grows in Greenland, Iceland, Canada and Alaska—as well as its native Siberia, can be used. One of the most surprising is this: If you can get hold of the plant itself (unfortunately in some countries, Rhodiola plants are not available because of agricultural import regulations), it will thrive in your garden. You can cook its shoots and leaves which are edible, prepare its roots as you would any starchy vegetable, serve its leaves raw in a mixed salad, and even serve its shoots prepared as you do asparagus. More about Rhodiola in a moment. Meanwhile, there are some important things you need to know about using herbs of any kind. NATURE’S MEDICINES Plants hold powerful medicine for men and women. To state such an obvious truth seems absurd, since every culture in the world from the beginning of human history has turned to herbs, trees, and other plants as medicine. Yet in our post-industrial world, we find ourselves in the absurd position of having to rediscover our medicinal and health-promoting heritage—not only by unearthing long neglected local practices, often passed on verbally from woman to woman, but also by investigating herbal traditions from other parts of the world: Tibet, China, India, Japan and Native America. The benefits of making nature’s medicinal plants a part of your day-to-day life becomes obvious when you realize that the origins of most drugs lie in plants. Using plants and herbs for strength and healing offers many advantages. First, their powers for enhancing wellbeing go far beyond their ability to alleviate symptoms. For centuries, women healers preferred to use the whole of most plants. They had no belief in the practice now propounded by today’s mainstream medicine which chooses to use isolated ingredients and make them into patented drugs. In every medicinal plant, there are two kinds of compounds, each of which has an important part to play in treatment. The first are the active ingredients—these are what capture the imagination of chemists and drug producers to make the biochemically twisted molecules that Big Pharma turns into patented drugs. The second are the compounds and substances which drug manufacturers ignore altogether—even seek to eliminate—but which good herbalists insist play a vital supportive role in the healing a particular herb can bring to the body. These compounds work synergistically with the active ingredients, making them more easily accessible to the body or dampening the effect of what are often very potent plant chemicals—helping to protect the body from side-effects. Some even help protect from overdose by causing nausea if the body's safe level of tolerance is passed. It is the synergy of these primary active ingredients and their secondary helpers that makes herbs work so well. There are many different substances and compounds in plants and herbs which offer health-supporting abilities. The volatile oils for instance, the tannins, phenylpropanoids (like those in Rhodiola), alkaloids, bitters, glycosides, and flavonoids. WAYS AND MEANS You can take herbs in many different ways—as infusions, decoctions, syrups, tinctures, suppositories, capsules, and in baths, ointments or creams. You can grow your own herbs or buy them in bulk dried. Using the dried plant is by far the cheapest way to use herbs, since you can buy a large amount at a time very cheaply and make up your own infusions, decoctions, suppositories and ointments, as well as tinctures. You can even buy empty gelatin capsules and fill them with dried herb yourself. However, it is often easiest if you are a complete beginner to rely on good quality ready-made herbal products from a good supplier—whole herbs, herbs in capsules, herbal extracts and tinctures. Tinctures are made by using water and or alcohol to draw out a plant's chemical constituents and preserve them. They are taken in a little water. These are best either bought ready-made from a reputable supplier, or left until you have mastered the use of herbs in other ways, as each herb demands a specific ratio of water and alcohol to plant material. MEET THE SOUL OF A PLANT It is worth remembering that, just as people have different personalities, so do plants. Once you get to know the actions of various herbs—and the best way of doing this is to use them or to watch them work on other people—you begin to develop a feel for the character or soul of each plant. Eventually you develop a skill that enables you to call on the right plant or plants when you need their help. But it is important to remember that plants, such as Rhodiola, are slower acting than drugs, so you need to be patient. It is necessary to use most herbs for a few weeks before you come to experience its full benefits. That being said, I sometimes find a plant can will bring almost immediate relief too. One big advantage of using herbs is that many herbs, when taken steadily over a period of time, will do the job for which they were being taken so well that you no longer need to use them. Another important thing to remember when using herbs is that some work well in combination. Whatever herbs you are using, they need to be fresh, clean and either well-crafted or grown organically. Some herbs on the market today have been grown in countries where pesticides and herbicides are sprayed heavily. Others are not fresh or have been irradiated or are contaminated with chemicals. Often suppliers themselves are not even aware of how the dried plants have been handled. BACK TO RHODIOLA The active constituents of Rhodiola root are many. This is one of the reasons that this plant acts so powerfully in so many ways to benefit your health. The most important ingredients it contains include Rosin, Rosavin, Salidroside, and Tyrosol. Although Rhodiola can be prescribed by an herbalist as a tincture or extract, for many reasons, this plant is usually best taken in capsules. In no small part, this is because its taste in tincture form is far too intense for most people. For those of you who, like me, love to know the minutiae: A typical dose in tablet or capsule form for long-term administration is 360-600mg per day when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin, 180-300mg when standardized for 2% Rosavin, or 100-170 when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin. Some products list the Rosavin in milligrams, such as 6mg of Rosavin per 120 mg of Rhodiola root, or 12 mg of Rosavin per 240mg of Rhodiola root. These formulations are an even more robust 5% Rosavin content. Even so, such products provide a large margin of safety. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Always read labels carefully. (This is one of the reasons I order almost all of my nutritional products—including capsules of Rhodiola—from iHerb, where they provide both clear in-depth ingredient information as practically no other company does, and they ship DHL incredibly fast worldwide.) Always check out where any herb such as Rhodiola has been sourced. Make sure the raw materials it contains are the most active and desirable ingredients. Use products only from a first-rate manufacturer who relies on high-quality processes and extraction methods. Reject nutritional supplements of any kind that contain flow agents like magnesium stearate, which is made from stearic acid. It can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients via the digestive system. Thanks to Rhodiola rosea’s stunning versatility, it is able to nurture the nervous system, cardiovascular system, hormonal system, immune system and musculoskeletal system all at the same time. It’s little wonder, given its wide spectrum of therapeutic benefits, that in this time of physical, emotional and financial pressures, demands and work loads, growing exposure to environmental stressors and increasing costs of health care, this unique inexpensive herb with its excellent safety profile is gradually becoming better known. Most people see an improvement in energy levels, mood, mental clarity, memory, stamina and endurance within 2 to 6 weeks of using it. I for one wouldn’t be without Rhodiola in my family herb cupboard. Personally I take it twice daily as does my son Aaron. You want to choose the very best Rhodiola you can buy. I’ve investigated a good dozen readily-available products, so 2 of my personal recommendations below: Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea This is a wonderful product in no small part because of the way Gaia encapsulate it as a liquid which is rapidly absorbed. Each capsule contains the equivalent of 2,000mg of the dry herb. I keep mine in the fridge once the bottle is open. Order Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea from iherb Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola Another excellent Rhodiola 100% fresh freeze dried. Order Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola from iherb

Intermittent Fasting - Part 3  Meal Spacing

Intermittent Fasting - Part 3 Meal Spacing

A search for intermittent fasting on Google turns up more than 4 million results. PubMed lists almost 500 research articles on the subject. Great stuff. And, in the midst of all the kerfuffle, websites and books keep popping up riddled with conflicting information and advice. Some of it is useful. Too much of it is just plain confusing for someone seriously wanting to put this eating style into practice. As a result, many people dive into this way of eating with great enthusiasm only to discover that it turns out to be very tough for them to sustain it for more than a week or two, no matter how much they grit their teeth and keep trying. Whether you call this much talked about eating style meal spacing, intermittent fasting or some other name, it is by no means new having been practiced in one form or another for a century or more by those in the know about the gifts it can bring. A T W Simeons, the original creator of Cura Romana, wove it skilfully into meal planning during the rapid weight loss portion of his protocol. On Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana, meal spacing/intermittent fasting is incorporated both into the Essential Spray+Food Plan part of the experience and Consolidation. Participants learn as a matter of course how, if they wish, they can structure this food style into their way of eating for a lifetime of lasting weight control, high level health, and protection from the degenerative diseases now plaguing our planet. BACK TO THE FUTURE Since Cura Romana is a holistic, science-based no-hunger protocol which brings balance to the control centers of the brain, eliminating food cravings and unnatural hunger, the process of integrating meal spacing into a participant’s life is simple. In fact, it takes place almost automatically thanks to the profound shifts in biochemistry which the program brings about quite naturally. Sadly, this is not case with a lot of people who, on their own and without the benefits of Essential Spray+Food Plan want to initiate meal spacing/intermittent fasting into their life. Many write to me saying that they struggle hard when trying to eat two meals a day without snacks. Some make the mistake of attempting to do this while continuing to eat all the wrong kind of foods. Others report that they fail, no matter what they do. Then, full of disappointment and self-criticism they revert to the ways they were eating before. I passionately believe that the benefits of this eating style need to be available to everyone. What is missing in so much written and talked about is practical information about how to approach meal spacing/intermittent fasting so you can gently ease yourself into it and become familiar by experimenting with an introductory plan. This will make you free to make a choice as to whether or not you want to make it a permanent part of your life. LET’S GET PRACTICAL There are some important questions which need to be answered before you even begin: What’s the best way to approach meal spacing/intermittent fasting? What kind of foods do you need to eat to reap its benefits and which foods should you avoid? What benefits can it bring? And, most important of all, how do you go about gracefully easing yourself into such a dramatically different way of eating than what you have been used to? First here are some important things to get straight: Dieting with calorie restriction—eating less and exercising more—is forever doomed to fail. It just doesn’t work at all for lasting weight loss. The success of meal spacing/intermittent fasting in no way demands that you count calories. The notion of calories-in-calories out is nonsense. So is the belief that you need to eat three meals a day. This has been foisted upon us for generations. It is wrong as is the idea that we need to eat regular snacks. The truth is that your body needs regular periods free of meals and snacks for health and lasting leanness. This need is implicit in our genetic inheritance. As such it is to be honored. Eating too often, which most people do, forces the body to keep up with on-going levels of glucose that are continually shunted into the blood. This creates a relentless inflammatory load which in turn leads to degenerative conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and destructive distortions to blood lipids. It also forces your body to age rapidly. Even short periods of fasting daily—from 12 to 18 hours—help keep insulin spikes down, while increasing insulin sensitivity. Metabolic processes gradually begin to normalize, reducing dangerously high blood glucose levels at the same time. For meal spacing/intermittent fasting to work for you—for them to help keep you healthy and lean for life—you must completely avoid convenience foods. They are filled with artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavoring, and hidden GMO components. Eat only real food—fresh green vegetables, wholesome proteins such as eggs, fish, and meat, plenty of good fats such as organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter from cows that have been pasture grazed. WHEN TO EAT When it comes to exploring meal spacing/intermittent fasting, success on every level depends on your creating an eating lifestyle that works for you. By the way, when you begin to space your meals wisely day after day this directs the protein hormone insulin—which plays a central role in healthy metabolism by removing potentially toxic excess glucose from the blood—to direct the blood glucose into the liver and muscles where it can be turned into energy, rather than laying it down as fat deposits. Most people leave out breakfast altogether. They choose to eat two meals a day, spacing them so that they allow at least 5 to 6 hours after their first meal, say brunch or lunch, before eating their second. No snacks are allowed. Doing this enables the body to increase its levels of an important peptide hormone—Human Growth Hormone (HGH)—produced by the pituitary gland. Bit by bit it brings gifts such as helping to reduce body fat, increasing muscle mass and enhancing bone density. Of course, this takes time to develop so be patient. The second meal of the day becomes an early dinner, after which they begin their longest period of fasting which lasts through the night. It needs to be a minimum of 12 hours but many people find that once they have got used to their new eating lifestyle, they want to extend their night fast to as long as 17 hours. No snacking, of course. Provided they are eating the right kind of foods, once they establish for themselves the best pattern of meal spacing to suit their lifestyle, they find themselves feeling vital and not hungry between meals. They are also delighted to be looking and feeling better than they would ever have thought possible before starting to eat this way. WHAT FOODS TO EAT Here are foods to choose any meal spacing/intermittent fasting eating style: A good supply of wholesome natural fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter—preferably from grass-fed cows. Top quality protein foods including meat, seafood, eggs and the very best micro-filtered whey if you like to make smoothies. Plenty of fresh green vegetables—preferably organic— both to eat raw and to cook. Some low-sugar fresh fruit such as berries. For vegetarians, Tempeh, miso and other fermented soya products are excellent. If you decide to use tofu, make sure it is organic. More than 95% of soy beans today have been genetically modified. You do not want to put GMO foods into your body ever. For a complete list of foods to eat—as well as those you want to shun forever—download a free copy of my Healthy and Lean for Life. The first part of this book is available free to download from www.curaromana.com You’ll find it at the bottom right hand corner of the home page FOODS TO SHUN The most significant change to human diets in two million years began with the Agricultural Revolution where man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet as cereals and starchy vegetables began to enter our food chain. The more these carbohydrates have been refined and processed, the more problems they have caused us. During the 20th century, an overwhelming increase in cereals, grains, sugars and high-fructose corn syrup used in convenience foods have become the major triggers for obesity and chronic illness. In the nineteenth century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today per capita we consume between 150 pounds and 200 pounds a year. So this is little wonder. For more than half a century food manufacturers, intent on making profit, have been producing a great variety of so-called foods by fragmenting and reducing raw material foodstuffs—grains and seeds, fats and sugars, vegetables and legumes—to simple “nuts and bolts” ingredients. Then they whip up these nuts and bolts into the manipulated “convenience foods” which fill our supermarket shelves—from ready-to-eat meals to candy bars, cakes, breads, and cereals. This tuff now makes up 75% of what the average person eats. Because such foods have been whipped up using grains, flours and sugars, junk fats and chemical additives—all of which you want to avoid when creating your own meal spacing/intermittent fasting food style—you will want to steer clear of them altogether to reap the benefits of your new eating style. BEWARE THE PERILS OF CONVENIENCE White flour and sugar-based convenience foods have an ultra-long shelf life. This suits food purveyors intent on making a profit. Yet such packaged foods are little better than junk foods—often devoid of any nutritional value other than calories. Even the fats used to concoct them are not the natural fats that we thrive on. The highly processed fats most of them contain, together with the masses of chemicals used as flavorings, colorings and preservatives, are far removed from the foods your body needs for health. It is little wonder that human beings who eat them year after year—even those in economically privileged countries—do little more than survive. You will never succeed in creating a meal spacing/intermittent fasting food style for yourself unless you get rid of convenience foods from your life. EASE YOUR WAY FORWARD Anyone new to meal spacing needs to experiment before diving headlong into making dramatic changes in how, when and what you eat. So, next week, I’ll give you a simple and easy-to-begin way to help you experiment with creating condensed eating windows in your own life which that suit your appetite and ability to cook. I’ll suggest meal structures and provide you some of my own recipes. It is high time that the many gifts of meal spacing/intermittent fasting to be available to anyone and everyone genuinely wanting to make use of them.

My Love Affair With Plants

My Love Affair With Plants

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

Beware Of Truvia

Beware Of Truvia

In 2009 the US FDA approved two versions of a new sweetener developed for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Truvia and PureVia, both of which use rebiana—an extract from the South American plant Stevia. Truvia has just hit the market in Great Britain supported by gigantic public relations celebrations that would do an aspiring politician proud. Stevia, in its natural state, is the best no-calorie health-supporting natural sweetener on the planet. Here is what you should know: 1. TRUVIA IS NOT STEVIA. 2. I ADVISE THAT YOU AVOID IT. Like every plant which has long been used as a food source, Stevia is a complex of synergistic substances and compounds including numerous steviosides, rebaudiosides, and glycosides. It is this synergistic power that creates its unique benefits including its anti-oxidant properties. When the FDA declared that these two manufactured zero-calorie sweeteners were “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) it referred only to a couple of the active ingredients taken from Stevia that had been used in manufacturing including rebaudioside A—a component which imparts to the natural Stevia plant some of its sweet taste. What takes place when you extract only one or two of a plant’s parts and throw away the rest? Does the product you make out of this affect your body the same way as the natural plant? Virtually never. In The Toxicology of Rebaudioside A: A Review, researchers at UCLA report that a living organism metabolizes stevioside compounds and rebaudioside A at different rates. This makes it impossible to assess the potential risks to the body. The company behind the development of both Truvia and PureVia is Cargill. Cargill is one of the most notorious corporate polluters in America (which Conde Nast Portfolio listed as one of the “Toxic Ten.”) Coke and Cargill have conducted their own ‘research’ into the safety of Truvia on which the FDA gave them the go ahead to sell the sweetener. However, no genuinely independent studies have been done to affirm the safety of the product. And as even the Truvia website itself states: “While rebiana is natural and comes from a plant, it is not certified or grown organically at this time. That could happen in the future, depending on consumer demand.” How absurd. How can you claim to have invented an “all-natural” zero-cal sweetener that is not only not organically grown but which no genuinely independent studies have shown to be safe to use over time? THE BEST SWEETENER Last, and by no means least, remember that nature has given us many wonderful wholesome sweeteners which can be used in moderation without any adverse effects. The best sweetener of all is natural stevia—available from iHerb.com. Here are the two best stevias I have found anywhere. The first is great for baking, porridge, and sprinkling. The second is ideal to sweeten tea, coffee, sparkling water, and anything that requires a liquid form. It is also absolutely delicious. STEVITA:SPOONABLE STEVIA Stevita Spoonable Stevia uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains Order Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA All Natural, Zero Calories, Dietary Supplement. SweetLeaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine.. Order SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia from iherb

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Hydrotherapy is a powerful external tool for rejuvenation. The Germans are masters at it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on the body can alter the electrical charges of molecules in the body—particularly the low-level voltages which regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms this opens up the capillaries increasing blood flow and helping to stimulate the elimination of wastes through the blood and lymph systems. It also relaxes and tones muscles and helps you feel energetic. Here's how: After standing under a hot shower for 3 to 5 minutes so that your body is warm and comfortable, alternate hot and cold water—2 minutes of hot followed by 30 seconds of cold—three times, finishing off with cold. Once you get used to the Blitz Guss protocol you are likely to find that you want to increase the time your body is exposed to cold water just because it makes you feel so good and so alive. Don't do this just before bed or you may feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. And, of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart condition it is essential that you check with your medical practitioner and get his or her OK before you try it. Be sure to check out the video below: [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ]

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 13,000+ 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 8th of May 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.75 lb
for women
-1.27 lb
for men
-0.75 lb
for women
-1.27 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 8th of May 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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