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integrative health

154 articles in integrative health

Sacred Truth Ep. 67: Magic Motherwort - calm and courage for your health

Sacred Truth Ep. 67: Magic Motherwort - calm and courage for your health

Let we share with you my very favorite plant for soothing, healing and helping when you need it most. It is Motherwort—Leonurus cardiaca. In the Chinese pharmacopeia it’s known as Yi Mu Cao, meaning “Lion's Tail.” A herb of the heart, this humble plant grows in waste lands. Motherwort is the most comforting herb I have ever found anywhere. It brings a sense of inner security and calm strength unequalled by anything, except perhaps a love affair of the deepest order—maybe not even that.   This wonderful herb has gained its name from the ancient practice of using it to reduce anxiety during pregnancy. The plant has good sedative properties— well validated by scientific experiment. It is able to calm the nervous system while at the same time acting as a tonic to the while body. Culpepper, who believed that motherwort belonged to the goddess Venus and to the astrological sign of Leo, wrote "There is no better herb to drive melancholy vapors from the heart, to strengthen it and make the mind cheerful, blithe and merry." I think this sums up the virtues of my beloved motherwort superbly.   Its leaves are full of mind-altering natural chemicals. Studies in China have shown that these decrease the levels of blood lipids and exert a regulating action on muscles like the womb and the heart, bringing peace in their wake. This is one of the reasons why, in addition to being used by women to ease hot flushes, banish insomnia, and restore elasticity to the walls of the vagina, it is an excellent herb for the treatment of many heart conditions in men. No wonder it’s the most physically and psychologically healing plant I know. This magical plant is also rich in alkaloids. It’s bitter as an infusion. So it can be easier to take as a tincture or make into a herbal vinegar. Take 10 to 25 drops of the tincture made from the fresh plant, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb vinegar as desired. A herb for all seasons, here are just a few of the gifts it can bestow upon you: Motherwort reduces fevers and is often used to treat illnesses with delirium. It is often used to treat lung issues like bronchitis and asthma, and is sometimes taken in conjunction with mullein. It calms nerves. In fact there is something so calming and balancing about motherwort that it is hard to describe if you have never experienced it. Used frequently it can relieve anxiety, uplift the nervous system, and relax tensions, while raising vitality. I often turn to it when I know I need to confront a situation that I believe is likely to be stressful. Motherwort can also minimize hot flushes and reduce their intensity, length, and frequency while helping to calm the dizziness or faintness that sometimes comes with them.  This is probably thanks to its ability to oxygenate the blood in both men and women, tonify the thyroid, liver, and heart, and invigorate circulation all round. For best results use it regularly for 12 weeks or longer. Although sometimes, 10 to 15 drops or so of the tincture in a little spring water can ease a hot flush while it’s happening. If you want to sleep peacefully and undisturbed, motherwort can be a good friend. It’s also useful if you awaken in the night with sweats and have trouble dropping off again. Take 10 to 20 drops of the tincture kept at the side of your bed with a glass of spring water and swallow some each time you wake up. It’s a natural diuretic as well. A little motherwort every few hours can reduce water retention. This is especially useful after a flight if your legs and feet have become swollen. As for clearing menstrual and uterine cramps if your menstrual flow is absent or light to moderate, I’ve never found anything more effective. Use 5 to 10 drops of the tincture in a little water every few minutes until they have gone then repeat as necessary. Prolonged use strengthens the muscles of the womb, and even makes it resistant to cramping in the future. Finally, in my own experience, this magical plant even seems to enhance women’s self esteem, would you believe? Ten to twenty drops of tincture of motherwort works wonders whenever you are feeling unsettled. Alternatively you can take 5 to 15 drops of the tincture every day for a month or two to stabilize emotions long term. It also strengthens the heart and helps you feel courageous even when the chips are down. There are a couple of important cautions in regard to using motherwort that you should know about. If you are taking blood-thinning drugs—and I sincerely hope you are not—then don’t use motherwort. Finally, if your menstrual flow is very heavy, motherwort could well make it heavier, so avoid it in this case. Meanwhile, I leave you with a wonderful Chinese belief from ancient times when there were many stories of both men and women whose water source was a stream flowing through the banks of motherwort: these people were believed to have lived 130 years or even longer.

Hangover Cure - Forget The Hangover

Hangover Cure - Forget The Hangover

Over the years I’ve amassed so many useful tools for dealing naturally with unnatural states of mind and body—even, god forbid, hangovers. The most obvious way to avoid a hangover is don’t drink. If you do drink then choose only the best—be it wine, whiskey, or whatever, and never overdo it. The best always has fewer unpleasant chemicals—known as congeners— to upset the system. King of all the alcohols when it comes to purity and low levels of congeners is tequila. However, if you make yourself a margarita, make it from real tequila. So much of the stuff they sell as tequila is filled with a lot of insidious junk you don’t want to put into your body. SUCCULENT LILY Agave, which is called cactus, is actually a succulent that belongs to the lily family. The finest blue agave comes from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. It must be harvested at the peak of its sweetness. My brother, whom I adoringly call Toto, is a connoisseur of Tequilas. He insists—I have checked out his recommendations and come to trust them implicitly—that the finest tequila is made by Patron. Anejo Patron is his favorite. Silver Patron is mine. My son Aaron has developed a fabulous recipe for Margaritas. It’s very simple: To a handful of ice in our Vita Mix he adds four jiggers of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 4 jiggers of Silver Patron, 2 jiggers of Cointreau or Grand Marnier, a couple of jiggers of water and the crème de la crème, a dropper or two of the most delicious stevia in the world: English Toffee Sweet Leaf Liquid stevia from iherb,com (so much more delicious than the usual sugar or syrup, which is really rather revolting). He turns on the Vita Mix for 30 seconds while he rubs the rim of each glass with one of the lemon or lime skins, then plunges it into a saucer of Maldon salt to coat the rim. This makes Margaritas for 4 people. A perfect hangover-free treat to share with friends. Hangover Cure - WORST CASE SCENARIOS Now let’s get back to hangovers, should they happen from drinking stuff that’s not so pure or far too much of even a good thing. Drinking lots of fluids along with alcohol helps to prevent the dehydration that comes with an over-indulgent evening. There are also a couple of things you can do the morning after to help feel better. First thing, make yourself a cup of peppermint tea. Put 2 teaspoons of the dried leaves (or 4 teaspoons of fresh) into a tea pot and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Steep for 5-10 minutes and sip it gently. The peppermint will settle your stomach. Breathing in the steam from your tea will also help to ease your headache. When your stomach is settled enough to handle more, take a couple of grams of vitamin C and 2-3 grams of evening primrose oil, or star flower or borage oil. The vitamin C’s antioxidant properties help the liver clear the toxic wastes from too much alcohol. The GLA in these oils is turned into prostaglandin E1—an important regulator of mood which alcohol depletes. When it is low you can feel depressed and very tired. Hangover Cure - SAINT MARY’S THISTLE Also known as milk thistle is a wonderful liver cleanser and supporter. Take 2 capsules or 1 teaspoon of tincture in a little water every 3-4 hours until you are feeling better. If you can remember where you last saw it in your current state, reach for some dried borage as well. Open the jar, or put it in a paper bag, hold your nose over the bag and take a deep breath. No one has ever explained to me how it does it, but this clears your head wonderfully. I have heard that taking ginkgo before you go out for the evening can also help to prevent hangovers by enhancing your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol swiftly. However, I’ve never heard anyone say how much you should take, or how long before drinking alcohol you should take it. If you are taking ginkgo for other reasons, pay attention to how you feel after a glass or two of wine and see if this makes a difference.

Balance Water

Balance Water

Water is a powerful energy balancer. Water treatments have been used for centuries to help heal illness and to keep healthy people well. They are so good at balancing energy that most people who begin to experiment with hydrotherapy techniques are astounded by what they can do. During a two-day detox, they can help with the elimination process enormously – after all, this is the prefect time for long, relaxing soaks in the bath to soothe your mind and encourage your body to get on with its job. Dr Douglas Lewis, whilst head of physical medicine at John Bastyr College Natural Health Clinic in the United States explained: ‘Hot water produces a response that stimulates the immune system and causes white cells to migrate out of the blood vessels and into the tissue where they can clean up toxins and assist the blood in eliminating waste’. Hot and cold water applied alternately to the surface of your skin stimulates circulation and spurs good lymphatic drainage, also helping your body to eliminate wastes quickly. Hydrotherapy is also fun. epsom salts bath Epsom salts baths are an old and potent practice for eliminating toxins through the surface of the skin. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfate molecules have an ability to extract excess sodium, phosphorus and nitrogenous toxins from the body. This is why athletes use them to relieve muscular pain. Magnesium sulfate dissolved in water creates a static, unified, electrical field, and immersing your body in it helps to create a magnetic balance. During your apple fast, taking an Epsom salts bath helps speed up the detoxification process and minimizes any aches, pains or fatigue which sometimes come with rapidly eliminating stored toxins from the body. Epsom salts are also wonderful during periods of prolonged stress and when you are feeling overtired. Take two cups of household-grade Epsom salts (available from the chemist), pour them into the bath and fill with blood-temperature water. Immerse yourself for 20 to 30 minutes, topping up with warm water when necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature. Get out of the bath and lie down for 15 minutes – better still, take an Epsom salts bath just before you go to bed. the heat bath Saunas can be a great help during a detoxification regime, as artificially induced perspiration is one of the best means of deep-cleansing the body. However, most of us don’t have a sauna at home. You can get a similar effect – in terms of the elimination of waste through the skin and deep relaxation – by taking a carefully regulated hot bath, provided your tub is large enough for you to immerse all of your body except your head in it. Make sure your bathroom is warm and comfortable – have candles for soft lighting, play some relaxing music, and put your towel somewhere so that it will be ready-warmed for you when you get out. The temperature of the bath is crucial. It needs to be kept at about 105-110 degrees F (40-43 degrees C) – just a few degrees above normal body temperature. Hotter than this can be over-stimulating to the body. You can use a simple thermometer to check the temperature every five minutes and keep topping up with hot water to bring it back when it starts to fall. Lie in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes with just your head sticking out. Then get out, quickly wrap yourself in a big towel (or a cotton sheet if you prefer) and lie down and relax, covering yourself with a blanket, for another 20 minutes. blitzguss A real blitzguss needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects in the shower yourself at home – especially if you have a handheld shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. The process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This is particularly good done just after skin brushing. Your skin is so fresh and clean after being brushed that it fairly zings in contact with warm water. The quick burst of cold water will make it zing again and get the circulation going a treat. If at any time you feel uncomfortable using any hydrotherapy technique, stop immediately and try again another time. Never force yourself to ‘suffer’ if any of them cause any tension either in your body or your mind. dew bath One of the oldest, and for me one of the most decadent, natural treatments is walking barefoot on dewy grass. The treatment was traditionally used to strengthen immunity, stimulate intestinal functions, act as a counterirritant for the chest and throat and relieve headaches. It is good to use during a two-day detox not only because it is stimulating to the whole system, but also because of the sense of clean freedom it gives you. If you are not in the habit of going barefoot, begin gradually. Start by simply rubbing the feet with a wet cloth for a minute or two then put on socks and shoes and walk about. After a few times try walking on dry grass and then on wet grass – first thing in the morning in the summer is just wonderful. Take the treatment whenever you get a chance – in the garden, in the park or in the country. Bare your feet to the elements and you’ll reap the benefits. By the way, bathing your feet can help with a headache, too. Half fill a bath with cold water. Then, making sure you are well covered so your body doesn’t get cold, walk about in it with bare feet for three minutes. Immediately afterwards, put on warm socks and lie down for ten minutes. You might feel silly doing it, but it really can help, and it gives you the same lift as paddling in the sea. air bath Water is not the only thing you can bathe in. Of all the nature cure treatments, the air bath is the simplest. It involves removing all your clothing and allowing fresh air to circulate around your body for a few minutes. It is believed that exposing the body in this way even for only ten minutes can increase metabolism temporarily by as much as 50 percent, no bad thing when you are trying to eliminate wastes. Certainly it makes sense to regularly give your entire skin surface a chance to breathe unrestricted by clothing. The easiest way to take a regular air bath is to strip down while you do your morning or evening toilet. Make sure you open a window in the bathroom so that there is fresh air. If you need to turn on a heater in the room do, although cool air on your body for a few minutes can have a positive, stimulating and strengthening effect. This is yet another technique you can use after your two-day apple fast to tone your skin and help keep that feeling of being fresh and alive that comes after a detox.

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Everybody knows that if you can’t lose weight and keep it off, you need thyroid meds, right? Wrong! Thyroid drugs are most certainly not the answer. Common thyroid drugs like levothyroxine, but known by many other names too have long been used with little success in the treatment of underactive thyroid, Hashimoto's disease, enlarged thyroid gland, thyroid cancer, and myxedema. They are also prescribed on the false belief that they help weight loss in hypothyroid people who can’t shed excess fat. But it doesn’t work. Only small amounts of fat, if any, can be lost. Once thyroid hormones are stopped, fat is regained. And this is true even when thyroid medication is continued for years. By the way, Synthroid is now the fourth most prescribed drug in the United States. There can also be all sorts of negative consequences in allowing your body to be treated with these synthetic chemicals that can seriously interfere with your quality of life. For one, they compete with natural hormones that your thyroid gland is still producing. You see, it’s not feasible for any human body filled with synthetic chemicals to be tricked into responding to them as though they were bio-equivalent, despite the claims of drug companies and the medical establishment, who tell you that drugs used to treat your body are an identical equivalent. The standard medical model for the treatment of thyroid disorders is badly flawed. There are huge misunderstandings about causes and effective treatments for thyroid deficiencies, which, by the way, may now affect as many as 90% of women in the Western world. A great place to begin getting an understanding of all of this is by reading the work of Dr. David Brownstein, author of Overcoming Thyroid Disorders and Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It (third edition). Brownstein is a leading expert in natural approaches to health and healing. He talks about something you need to know and probably have never been told: a major cause of thyroid malfunction, as well as many other conditions, is iodine deficiency. There will be more about this in a moment. In his books, his videos, and his DVDs, Brownstein shows how a natural holistic program can not only help transform hypothyroidism but also arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, and many other conditions by using safe, natural therapies. His work can bring you reliable information on such things as: Natural thyroid hormone Bioidentical natural hormones Diet Vitamins and minerals essential for thyroid function Detoxification. Now, back to your thyroid. The thyroid has an enormous need for natural iodine. This was once readily available in our food supply, but it no longer is because of poor agriculture, GMO growing of foods, and common practices, including the spraying of dangerous substances such as mercury and aluminum on soils. An abundance of natural iodine is necessary for your thyroid’s biochemical structures. If you do not get enough of it, your thyroid can malfunction. And of course, one consequence of this malfunction is weight gain—which no amount of pharmaceutical thyroid drugs will ever be able to correct. Note that it is absolutely crucial to work with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner who knows how to test for and reverse iodine deficiency, not just a doctor who will thoughtlessly prescribe drugs. It’s estimated that more than half of the world’s population is already at risk from iodine deficiency, which relates to many other illnesses, including cancer. With the nuclear fallout that has come from Fukushima and other sources where an iodine deficiency exists, the thyroid gland is most vulnerable to taking up dangerous radioactive iodine. When we eat and drink foods such as baked goods and soft drinks in plastic containers, take drugs, and are subjected to pesticides in the foods we eat, we become exposed to the bromine they contain. This also creates iodine deficiencies as well as increasing our risk of cancer. Meanwhile, with the decline in iodine-rich foods like seaweeds, fish, Himalayan salt, and eggs—not to mention the introduction of fluoridated water—virtually none of us are getting the iodine we need. By far the most effective treatment for low thyroid are the use of natural thyroid hormones and cofactors in desiccated form. Sadly, most doctors still refuse to prescribe them, despite the fact that these natural treatments made from bovine or porcine sources are available by prescription. Good quality nutritional supplements are also important for a healthy thyroid, including vitamin A, vitamin B complex with high levels of B-12, vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q-10, and the minerals magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc as well as natural iodine. Every cell in your body uses iodine. However, the federally defined Daily Value (150 micrograms) is way too low to help your overall health except to barely prevent goiter. If adjusting your diet and exercising more hasn't helped you reach a healthy body fat composition, it may well be that your thyroid is underperforming due to iodine deficiency. However, there is one quite remarkable supplement that is excellent for restoring levels of natural iodine to the body and is especially helpful in restoring thyroid functions. It is known as Iodoral. Dr Brownstein, whose clinical experience with it is extensive, recommends it highly. I can also recommend Iodoral from my own thyroid issues. At the age of 12, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid and prescribed the usual pharmaceutical. I was told that this would deal with this issue. I took the pills for exactly seven days and hated them. So I stopped taking them. Since then, I have never taken anything whatsoever to “treat” my own thyroid gland. Instead, I’ve learned how to eat organic natural foods and avoid cereals, grains, and sugars. This has stood me in good stead. However, I decided to explore the effect of taking Iodoral on my body in increasing my intake of iodine. The results have been extraordinary. I have more energy now than I have ever had. I am eternally grateful for this. I recommend you examine Brownstein’s work. You will find it both enriching and fascinating. Also investigate Iodoral 50mg and check out this excellent video. It has changed my life and it could change yours. Click here to watch Brownstein on Thyroid Disorders video IODORAL IOD - 50 High Potency Iodine/Potassium Iodide Containing 50 mg Elemental Iodine Per Tablet Order iodoral from iherb

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.

Inhale

Inhale

Like music and meditation, aromatics can be used to alter your consciousness and deepen your awareness. Using environmental fragrances is also a delightful way of lifting your mood and sharpening your mind. A cool whiff of neroli sets your brain racing. Sniffing white rose can nestle you down into the most enjoyable indolence. Immerse yourself in the rich warmth of the ambergris and, even if you are the most timid of creatures, you can begin to feel bold and daring. Tibetan lamas mix an extraordinary combination of herbs and flowers to produce an incense which heightens concentration and centers the mind for meditation. In ancient times, temple prostitutes knew every secret of blending aromatics to create a heady aphrodisiac which was completely irresistible to their worshippers. And astrologers advised their clients which balm to use when a specific planet made particular transits in their chart. The special substances that make all this possible are the plant essences - the light, fine, almost etheric essential oils taken from roots, leaves, barks and flowers of plants in their prime of life. A plant essence plays an important role in the plant's growth to maturity, is forever changing its chemical composition in the plant, and is present in greater quantities in young plants. Many experts in the use of plant essences believe that, in some way that no one has been able to identify, these substances contain much of the life force of the plant, including the basic characteristics of its leaves and flowers that give it a unique character, smell and ability to affect human beings in specific ways. Some plants, such as jasmine and rose, require hundreds of pounds of live flowers to produce even a tiny bottle of the essence. They are very expensive. Other oils, such as cinnamon and basil, are easily extracted and inexpensive. But you should know that the 'synthetic' version of a plant essence (in spite of the fact that its main constituents have been chemically reproduced) does not have the same effect on a person. This is probably because the terpene alcohols, phenols and esters that make up these natural substances have a synergistic quality - they work together to produce an effect greater than the sum of each working on its own. Some natural therapists rely on many plant essences for their restorative and stimulating actions in treatments for skin and hair, as well as for combating cellulite. They are also important constituents in many expensive face creams and lotions. But the way in which aromatic vibrations from essential oils can be used in your environment to alter mood and mind is something quite different from their therapeutic uses, when mixed with carrier oils and spread on the skin in aromatherapy treatments. Oil of geranium, for instance, is a mild diuretic useful in aromatherapy for treating fluid retention, eczema and anxiety. But burn it as incense, or let it diffuse into your environment as a fragrance, and it can make you act with uncharacteristic rashness - an effect quite separate from its therapeutic properties. Aromatherapy is a tool for healing. Aromatics belong to the realm of magic. The best way to discover what its magic can do for you is to experiment with a few of the real essences. Start with six, and then enlarge your repertoire as you get to know the quality and characteristics of each, and as you discover those you particularly like. Because they are natural substances, and highly volatile, they rapidly diffuse into the environment. They just as rapidly disappear or can be replaced by other fragrances. When you choose essences and oils for burning, make absolutely sure that those you buy are natural. The current fascination with aromatherapy has led to the appearance of a myriad of poor quality so-called essential oils, which are nothing of the kind. They are cheap chemical analogues and are currently being sold in chemists, department stores and specialty shops all over. Trying to use them for mind-bending is a grave mistake. They can actually make you feel quite sick, not to mention the unpleasant fact that they tend to infuse into a room and then imbed themselves in the carpets, curtains and furniture with the tenacity of a cheap perfume. Only real essential oils have mind-bending magic. But what a wonderful magic that can be. Cedar heightens creativity Chamomile soothes panic and hysteria Marjoram calms irritability, soothes panic Cinnamon is a natural stimulant Frankincense calms irritability and impatience Neroli is an anti shock aid, and heightens mental functions Basil banishes fear and indecision, and is antidepressant Clary sage clears the head after mental activity Juniper improves concentration, and banishes fear Sage dispels anxiety Lily restores energy Geranium is anti-anxiety Ylang Ylang is aphrodisiac and antidepressant Lavender calms irritability, and soothes impatience Patchouli is an antidote to apathy, and is good against exhaustion Peppermint uplifts the spirit, is good against apathy, and is a mental stimulant Jasmine is an antidote to shyness Sandalwood helps new ways of thinking Rosewood calms an aggressive mind Vanilla heightens nostalgia - especially for childhood USING AROMATICS FOR MINDBENDING * Put 30 to 50 drops of essential oil or oils into a half pint size spray bottle filled with water. (The kind you use to spray plants is ideal.) Use this mixture as a room spray. * Put 8 to 10 drops of essential oils on a small piece of cardboard and place it on a warm radiator. * Put 5-10 drops of an essence on a small plate and put it on top of an aga or wood stove. * Place a few drops of essential oils on a cotton or linen handkerchief and sniff it periodically. (This is a particularly good method if you are in a public place where the air is full of cigarette smoke or the room is stuffy.) * Place 10-15 drops in water which is simmering on a hob. This will humidify the environment as well as scenting it.

Forget Insomnia

Forget Insomnia

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. After all, we all experience a sleepless night now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried, or excited about some coming event. A lot of so-called insomnia is nothing more than the result of worrying about getting to sleep. 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 indications, such as depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, schizophrenic characteristics, or sociopathy. For them, their insomnia was a secondary symptom of a more basic conflict. Insomnia was a socially acceptable problem they could talk about without fear of being judged harshly. Insomnia is little more than a mask for whatever is really bothering the non-sleeper. sleeplessness often brings new insights Occasionally the 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. 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 it in the next couple of days - provided you don't get anxious about it. Insomnia is one of women's greatest fears. 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 substance 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, or 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 in the few years just before is most usually not 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 in bed 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.

The Health Process

The Health Process

Within each one of us lies an essence, a core of self, with one and only one intention—that it may be fully expressed while we live on this earth. With each passing year I become more and more aware that illness, lack of energy, a sense of confusion or lack of meaning in someone’s life stems from a basic frustration of the expression of their unique essential being. So often these experiences are calls from the soul. They ask us to become more aware of who we are at the deepest level of our being. They try to awaken us to our unique soul nature. All real healing is a transformation. Energy, power and authentic freedom grow as we engage in the process of connecting with our essence and begin to discover our values and our soul’s purposes and to express them in our lives. To do this we can call on all sorts of tools and techniques, from detoxifying body and mind to herbs and natural treatments to exercises for expanding awareness. Take energy. Being able to live out your energy potential depends on how well you nourish yourself—physically, emotionally and spiritually—day by day. It helps to develop a lifestyle that incorporates pleasurable exercise, good food, restorative sleep and other helpful practices—from hydrotherapy to taking super nutrients—that support vitality. But more than anything else, energy depends on living from your core, not by other people’s rules. It depends on living what you love most in some way, what feeds you most at the deepest levels. Live your soul’s passion and you call on virtually endless energy. For health not only depends on how you eat and what exercise you get and how you deal with stress. All of these things are important. Each of us needs to develop a way of living unique to our needs. But real health doesn’t stop here. For ultimately health is nothing less than the process of unfolding which each one of us goes through to become more fully who we really are. Once you begin to align your life with your own truth, the universe supports you in ways you may never have dreamed possible. Working with people through their own health process, helping them discover whatever is most appropriate to their needs on both a physical and spiritual level and teaching them how to work with these things has always been the most exciting thing in my life. Each of us carries a divine spark of soul which we are here to live out to the full, bringing our own individual brand of spirit into material form as we walk the earth. The beauty of watching this happen those I work with is like walking in a garden and witnessing unique flowers and plants, trees and rocks that I have never seen before. I am forever dazzled by their beauty.

My Love Affair With Plants

My Love Affair With Plants

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

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 13,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of January 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.65 lb
for women
-1.19 lb
for men
-0.65 lb
for women
-1.19 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 26th of January 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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