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The search for mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual openness will makes it possible to develop your unique creative potentials. The sky is the limits.

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Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

The most dangerous damage your body ever has to handle is inflammation. When your body becomes inflamed this can trigger serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance, and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury, and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute inflammation and chronic/ systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation, however, can be dangerous. It can turn into a festering fire that creates pain, illness, and disability. This is because your body reacts to chronic inflammation by triggering cellular and molecular distortions to pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body. This can bring damage to healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels, as in arteriosclerosis, or your joint tissues in arthritis, or gut mucosa and diabetes. It may even act as a precursor to cancer. When it comes to the treatment of long-term illness—such as heart disease—savvy medical doctors now warn that we’ve been misled. It is inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls and cause heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. So prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol and telling people to restrict saturated fats do not protect from heart disease as we’ve been told. In fact, statins, which the majority of cardiologists continue to prescribe for cholesterol, can seriously damage your health. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. As he says, “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority, often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong.” He continues, “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” So, what are the causes of chronic inflammation in your body? The most common causes include: Exposure to chemical inhalants and pollutants, and electromagnetic exposure to cell phones, smart meters, and towers. Another is taking long-term courses of powerful drugs, from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics, and sedatives, as well as drugs like statins and other pharmaceuticals, the remains of which can literally poison your body long term. Want to protect yourself from inflammation? Become aware of your possible exposure to these things and make changes to help protect you from possible causes. In many ways the simplest place of all to begin is by changing the way you eat, since the typical 21st century diet is right at the core of widespread chronic inflammation. Learn which foods are inflammatory in nature and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. Foods that cause inflammation, which you want to avoid at any cost, are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you;” all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population nowadays reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Buy goat, sheep or buffalo milk, yogurt, and cheese instead. Another category of foods that can be seriously inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods—breads, pasta, cakes, and biscuits made from common grains and cereals as well as all the common convenience foods that line our supermarket shelves. These are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers, and other chemicals that poison your body. And it goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods completely. Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements can help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs is likely to be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age.

200 Mg Of Zen

200 Mg Of Zen

Its name tells the truth about what it delivers. This unique combination of L-theanine and GABA has been formulated to support the production of alpha-wave activity in the brain. And it keeps its promises. The Buddha-like feeling that practitioners of Zazen know so well is just one of the benefits I and others who have used it report. Two capsules offer a unique and natural path to relaxation without sedation. I use it often to great effect. 200 mg of Zen is the brainchild of one of my favorite manufacturers of dietary supplements in the world Allergy Research Group who since 1979 have used only the purest raw materials available and are known for the strictest quality control procedures available. They are even licensed by The California Department of Health Services—Food and Drug Branch. 200mg of Zen 200 mg of Zen contains a combination of L-theanine and GABA. L-theanine is found in green tea (Camellia sinensis). Order 200mg of Zen from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply. 200 mg of Zen is a real find, so long as you are not taking drugs of any kind. IT IS CONTRAINDICATED WITH DRUGS OR MUST BE USED ONLY UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER

Psychic Scrub

Psychic Scrub

When it comes to rejuvenation on an emotional and spiritual level, the most powerful way there is to liberate life energy is simply to tell the truth. This means nothing more than allowing yourself to be what you are, without the pretensions or self-limiting assumptions that can unconsciously block the experience of being fully alive and able to make full use of your potentials. Far too much vitality lies stillborn beneath patterns of addictive behavior, fear, and heavy psychological baggage - the kind of stuff we all carry around with us to thwart our energy and make simply being who we are hard work. life energy thwarted The physical, emotional, spiritual and social environment in which most of us grow up rarely supports the full unfolding of our individual nature. As a result, like a plant trying to develop in depleted soil with too little rain and too little sun, each of us develops our own brand of disharmony and distortion. We may try to change ourselves to be what we think others want us to be, or we bury deep inside us all our fears, disappointments and frustrations lest they rock the boat of our day-to-day lives. Every past experience, all thoughts, perceptions and fears, can become encoded within the molecular structures of the body in the form of layer after layer of old "stress". Later on in life such `encoding' can manifest as muscle tension, metabolic processes that don't function as well as they should, negative thought patterns and recurring emotions such as fear, anxiety or depression. This happens to all of us to some degree. When we carry around a lot of old stress we can also gradually develop a lack of trust in ourselves, a lack of confidence, or a feeling of being unworthy or guilty. We can even end up burdened by a sense of meaninglessness which leads to addiction, or greed for material things, so that no matter how much we acquire we never fill up our emptiness. polishing the lens of perception At the core - at the very center of our being - beneath whatever physical, emotional or mental rubbish we have accumulated, is where true freedom is to be found. Rediscovering this freedom is essential for rejuvenation. It asks that we let go of distorted habit patterns, fears and frustrations which have developed over the years, and gradually reassert our trust in our essential self. The false ideas, notions and habit patterns that suppress and squander our life energy make us highly susceptible to early aging. They represent psychic and spiritual rubbish which is not only a big energy drainer but can cause as much free radical damage as living on junk food or taking drugs. The wonderful thing about the psyche is that, like the body, given half the chance it will detoxify itself so that life-changing psychic and spiritual energy is released. Psychic detoxification brings a spiritual rejuvenation in its wake that can echo throughout your whole life, adding the freshness of a child's vision to the wisdom you have developed over the years. There are many ways to go about it. Good psychotherapy can help. So can meditation, certain energy approaches to exercise such as Chi Chung, Tai Chi, Yoga and martial arts practices - provided they are taught with a real understanding of the spiritual power that underlies them. But one of the simplest to learn, yet most effective ways of doing this is by autogenic training. It costs nothing but a little time to learn the technique. Once learned, a daily practice of five or ten minutes a day over time can clear away psychological blocks and lift off stresses that have been locked deep within for a lifetime.

Banish The Blues

Banish The Blues

Depression can be a killer. I know. I suffered from it badly in my early twenties. I suspect I was born with a genetic tendency towards it. I am familiar with the deep sadness, feelings of shame and helplessness, the terrible fatigue coupled with not being able to sleep to relieve it, the poor concentration and strange shifts in appetite. I have learned a lot about handling it over the years. There are many causes of depression—some are of the body, and some of the psyche. I don’t think you can separate the two. Just as body and mind feed each other in producing the dark, seemingly endless blues which can set in at any period of your life, the herbs you call on for help will improve both body and spirit. When you feel depressed, you can feel anxious as well. Many of the plants which are effective in lifting the blues help to clear fear and anxiety too. Cleanse Body And Soul Where you find depression, you almost always find a mass of creative energy which, for one reason or another, has remained blocked. This can make you feel impotent and helpless. You also often find a tendency to live life by other people’s rules rather than your own—from the depths of your own soul. Indeed, if depression is deep and debilitating enough, you may even come to feel you have no soul to live from. Deep-cleansing the body is important in releasing blocked creative energy and restoring the biochemical balance that helps wash away the blues. Use the Herbal Cleanse. Take a look at my brand new 10 Day Clean-Up Plan book, just published on Amazon. When your cleansing program is done, try following a long-term way of eating based on fresh vegetables—many of them raw—and good quality proteins from fish, organic meat, free range chicken and eggs. Avoid milk products including milk itself, yoghurt, and cheese (butter is OK because it is a fat, and it is the milk protein that tends to cause problems for people prone to depression). Also cut out wheat and anything made from flour such as pasta, breakfast cereals, breads and biscuits and, finally, make highly processed convenience foods a thing of the past. It was just such a diet—one in which at least 50-75% of the foods I ate were raw—that began to lift my own deep depression in my twenties. Sacred Plants Then, turn your attention to herbs and discover just how useful they can be to rebalance brain chemistry, strengthen the body and clear the mind. Then call on the healing powers of some of the best plant-based antidepressants you can find, from St John’s Wort, rosemary and California poppy, to the gorgeous ginkgo. Ginkgo Clears Cobwebs The beautiful leaves from ginkgo biloba—also known as the Maidenhair tree—improve circulation throughout the body and brain. Ginkgo’s seeds were sent to Europe in the 1720s from Japan and China. The Chinese use the ginkgo seeds, but research in the West has mostly concentrated on the leaves. They contain ginkgolides, unknown in any other plant. These phytochemicals block blood platelet activating factors. In doing so, they inhibit all sorts of allergic responses. Meanwhile, ginkgo’s flavonoids do wonders to improve circulation to the brain. Recent studies show that this long-standing Oriental gift can help people clear depression. Ginkgo increases the rate at which information is transmitted at the level of nerve cells. This helps depression in many, thanks to the plant’s ability to enhance the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. An effective antidepressant dose in one study where ginkgo was used to specifically counter depression was 240 milligrams of the powdered herb a day, in capsule form. It can take six to eight weeks to experience the full effects of ginkgo. So be patient. California Bright Lights Its watery sap has long been used by Native Americans to relieve toothache. It relieves pain, relaxes spasms and warms your body. California poppy is the best anxiety-calming herb I know and it works quickly—in a few hours. Don’t worry, it is not a narcotic, only a gentle sedative and tranquillizer so safe that herbalists give it to children. Neither does it depress the central nervous system as many sedatives do. The usual dose of tincture is 1 teaspoon to half a glass of water taken twice a day in the afternoon and evening. I like to combine tincture of golden California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, with that of St John’s Wort—in equal parts—to lift the blues. Bright As Sunlight The yellow flowers and dancing leaves of St John’s Wort—Hypericum perforatum—can bring balance and joy. This plant may be slow to act, but its effects are deep and long lasting. St John’s Wort is nature’s answer to Prozac. Every part of this joyous herb yields uplifting power—its leaves, its shoots, its glorious yellow flowers. Even the way it grows seems to celebrate life. St John’s Wort can banish anxiety, bring light into the dark depths of depression, and help transform difficult times—the loss of a job, of a lover, or of sense of purpose—into times of power. In the past 20 years, dozens of randomized clinical trials have shown that this plant is just as, if not more, effective than standard antidepressant drugs. Yet it comes without the negative side effects. In Germany alone, 1 million prescriptions are written for this plant each year. The bright yellow flowers of St John’s Wort contain a red oil called hypericin, which is anti-viral and probably mood enhancing. Many studies show that it is whole plant extracts, however, rather than hypericin alone that have the best antidepressant effects. Help From St John's Wort To make tea, use 1 teaspoon of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes, strain, and drink 1 to 3 times a day. Another effective way to use St John’s Wort for depression is as a tincture. When you feel at your lowest you don’t have to go to the trouble of making a tea. Take 1 teaspoon of St John’s Wort tincture in a little water 3 times a day. When used as an antidepressant it should be taken for at least a month before results can be seen. A lucky few people, however, respond right away. Caution: In a few people St John’s Wort causes mild nausea, stomach-ache, depressed appetite, tiredness, and in even fewer still, sensitivity to sunlight. It shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy. If you are already taking antidepressant drugs do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. Lift Your Spirit Tea Rosmarinus officinalis grows just about everywhere. Who would ever suspect that the rosemary plant is one of the most useful herbs you will ever find for lifting the blues. The strong and sturdy plant is an excellent tonic as well as an all-round stimulant. It raises spirits and energizes the body, clearing apathy, nervous exhaustion and digestive disturbances. Rosemary has a long-standing reputation for strengthening the memory as well. That’s why Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary when taking exams. It is also rejuvenating, in no small part thanks to the flavonoid diosmin which it boasts in abundance, to strengthen capillaries and collagen in the skin. In the 14th century, 72 year-old Izabella, Queen of Hungary, was crippled with rheumatism. She used masses of Hungary Water (rosemary leaves macerated in alcohol) and regained her youth so well that the king of Poland proposed to her. One of the first to be distilled, a few drops of essential oil of rosemary in the bath can help clear a fuzzy head with ease. You can use the fresh leaves or the essential oil in steam inhalations for exhaustion and shattered nerves. Meanwhile, simple rosemary tea is bracing and wonderfully uplifting. Spirit Lifting Tea Put a handful of rosemary leaves (1 tablespoon of the fresh herb or 1 teaspoon of the dried herb per cup) into a warmed pot and pour boiling water over them. Replace the lid to prevent the aromatic vapors from being wasted. Leave to brew for five minutes. Drink hot. Top quality herb products: Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root Liquid Herbal Extract Validated Full Spectrum Extract Dietary Supplement Supports Normal Relaxation from Tension Brought on by Daily Stress Promotes Muscular and Nerve Relaxation Encourages a Sense of Emotional Well Being Order Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root from iherb Natrol Ginkgo Biloba Helps Improve Memory Supports Sharpened Alertness Dietary Supplement Natrol Ginkgo Biloba may help support circulation, which is one way researchers believe this herb helps enhance cognitive function. Our formula is standardized to guarantee a potent level of highly active compounds. Order Natrol Ginkgo Biloba from iherb Gaia Herbs St. John's Wort Liquid Herbal Extract Validated Full Spectrum Extract Dietary Supplement Order Gaia Herbs St. John's Wort from iherb Herb Pharm, California Poppy We prepare our California Poppy Extract from fresh (undried) whole Eschscholzia californica plants (root, leaf & flower) which are Certified Organically Grown on our own farm without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. To assure optimal extraction of bioactive compounds, the plants are hand-harvested while in full flower and are then taken directly to our laboratory and promptly extracted while still fresh and succulent. Our poppy plants are never fumigated or irradiated. Order Herb Pharm, California Poppy from iherb

Stress Is A Gift

Stress Is A Gift

The idea that stress is all bad is patent nonsense. As human beings we would be little more than vegetables without stress in our lives. Also, and most important, the more committed we are to the lives we are leading and the more right they are for us, the less likely we are to suffer the ravages of stress. Nevertheless we worry about stress, wonder about it, and wish it would go away. Yet seldom do we even stop to ask what it is. Little wonder. For stress is complicated even to define. YOU NEED STRESS TO LIVE The word stress comes from the language of engineering, meaning “any force which causes an object to change.” In engineering the specific change caused by stress is known as strain and there are four possible kinds: torsion, tensile, compression and sheering. In human terms the strain is you body's response to physical, chemical, emotional or spiritual forces, asking in some way that you adapt to them. As we learn this art, we also discover a great secret: How stress can become the spice of life, the exhilaration of challenge and excitement, the high of living with heavy demands on you and and thriving. For, like the tempering process involved in the production of a piece of good steel, once you make a friend of stress, forces which had seemed to be working against you become positive energies that define you, strengthen you and help you express your own brand of creativity and joy. This is one of the great gifts that stress has to offer. Without physical and mental challenges your body would become feeble and you would never feel the excitement and creative energy which are such an important part of wellbeing. But too much stress can be a killer since stress, or rather the inability to cope with it, is the common denominator in all disease states. It is also a strong contributing cause in almost every illness to which we are susceptible. Develop methods for neutralizing the negative effects of stress and you can begin to thrive on its positive aspects. TOSS OUT THE PILLS Drug-based therapy is not the answer: the a million tons of Valium swallowed each year, as well as sleeping pills and other tranquillizers, produce unpleasant and dangerous side-effects ranging from addiction to acute rage, withdrawal, long-term worsening of anxiety symptoms, sub-clinical vitamin and mineral deficiencies, aggressiveness and even acute psychotic episodes. New evidence indicates that taking tranquillizers may also encourage the growth of tumours, impair neuromuscular coordination and make takers more prone to road accidents. Quite apart from the detrimental effects these drugs exert on mind and body, the fact that they treat only the symptoms of overload and do absolutely nothing towards eliminating the causes, means they can never make a positive contribution to wellbeing. What’s worse, relying on pills weakens your ability to cope with life and undermines your autonomy and your self-esteem. QUICK ENERGY NOW It is actually possible to breathe in energy whenever you feel burdened with worry and fatigue. Try this for a couple of minutes: Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply from your diaphragm, so your stomach (not your chest) swells with each in breath. Imagine that you are breathing in vitality from the air to fill your whole body through your solar plexus. As you breathe in, feel that your whole body is becoming more and more relaxed. Imagine it as a centre of immense light radiating outward in all directions, as though you are taking in energy through the solar plexus itself, transforming it into light and radiating it out again everywhere. YOUR FEELINGS MATTER Emotional stressors in your life can take their toll. But f most emotional hurdles can be overcome. Take a look at what continues to trigger off the stress response in your own life. Ask yourself whether it is something which prevents you from turning a lot of your energy to more constructive use. Some stressors provide challenges from which we can grow. Others are simply habitual. They lead nowhere and bring little in terms of increasing awareness or your ability to make better use of your energy. If there are any of these in your life see if you can eliminate them. For instance, take a look at the work you do and ask yourself if you find it really satisfying. Are the financial responsibilities you have taken on really necessary? Can you reduce them in any way? If so, have the courage to drop them and to accept the changes this will bring about; this too can make you stronger. We humans have a tendency to hang on to the status quo at all costs - and often the cost is in terms of lost adaptive energy - occasionally even life. Regardless of whether you learn the world's finest techniques for meditation to counteract stress, if you are in a job you hate year after year or are faced with a relationship that no longer has meaning for you, they will do little good. To make stress work you must not only face up to its demands, but also take responsibility for removing it wherever it is no longer useful and relevant to you. GET INTO JOY Each of us needs to develop our own personal ways of throwing off stress. A walk in the woods for clearing consciousness is something quite specifically ordered by Tibetan doctors to patients who suffer from rapid swings of mood and worry. Or you could try sailing, running, dancing, gardening, listening to music or some other form of hobby. I have a passion, verging on an addiction, for good movies. Explore them all. Find out what works best for you and make it an important part of your day-to-day life. By eliminating unnecessary stressors from your life, practising relaxation and exercise, and becoming more and more aware of which challenges are important to you and which you are better off without, you will develop a way of being which will keep you free from unnecessary illness. You will soon be tapping the kind of vitality and enthusiasm a child has which most adults have long forgotten. A special bonus too - you will quite automatically preserve your good looks and vitality decade after decade. THE ART OF SIGHING When you begin to unwind and let go the muscles' tension, the release is often accompanied by a very slow deep breath - in fact, a sort of sigh. You can use sighing throughout the day to calm your nerves and prevent tensions building up. Think of a stress producing situation which occurs fairly frequently at work, e.g. the telephone ringing and each time it happens, take a deep breath and let it out again, then answer the phone. Be sure to let your shoulders drop as you inhale and breathe deeply down into your belly and lower back. Let the lower ribs expand away from your spine as much behind as in front. When you exhale, don't collapse, but think of your head and spine lengthening upwards. THE BLISS OF BALANCE Stress and relaxation are like two sides of a coin. Learn to move easily from one to another and you will begin to experience your life as a satisfying and enriching challenge like the ebb and flow of the tides. Then you will never again have to worry about getting stuck in a high-stressed condition which saps your vitality, distorts your perceptions and can even lead to premature ageing and chronic illness. The secret of getting the right balance between stress and relaxation is threefold. First, take a look at the kind of stress that is part of your life, eliminate unnecessary stressors and discover new ways of working with the others. Second, learn one or more techniques for conscious relaxation and practise them until they become second nature. Finally, explore ways of expanding your mind, honouring your individuality and for creating an environment that supports both. Not only will this help your body stay in balance and increase your level of overall vitality, it can bring you a sense of control over your life that is hard to come by any other way.

Laugh Hard

Laugh Hard

Laughter and humor are much needed in the over-serious world of health and beauty, a world which tends to measure health not as joyous energy and creativity but in terms of cholesterol levels, blood pressure and sedimentation rates. The irony is, that according to the latest research into the mind body relationship, a life which sparkles with laughter is not only good for you because it feels good, it can also help look after the state of your blood pressure, immune system and cholesterol levels. Some researchers believe laughter can help look after the state of your blood pressure, immune system and cholesterol levels far better than high powered medical care and drugs. Drugs, after all, have deeply worrying side effects. The worst of laughter's side effects is joy. When we laugh we shed feelings of judgment, self pity and blame. Our perception shifts and we come to know another level of consciousness. Laughter deepens your breathing, expands blood vessels, heightens circulation bringing more oxygen to your cells, increases the secretion of hormones beneficial to your body, speeds tissue healing and helps stabilize bodily functions. A new philosophy is emerging from studies carried out in France and Canada by philosopher Andre Moreau on the notion that one should seek in all philosophical teachings the keys for releasing innate human tendencies towards humor, laughter and positive energies. It is known as "Jovialiste" which advocates the practice of smiling as a free expression of human vitality and creativity. Meanwhile, hospitals both in the United States and Europe are even prescribing laughter in the form of Jerry Lewis and Marks Brother's films, humorous books and any other simple triggers to put patients into a blissful state of spontaneous giggles. life on the flip side The way that emotions and health are closely related has been investigated for many years. The scientific press is full of papers which show the way that negative emotions such as anger, resentment, fear and despair are major factors in the development of serious illness from cancer to coronary heart disease. Scientists have charted direct pathways between mind and immunity via anatomical connections that link the brain directly to organs such as the spleen and the thymus gland. They have also shown that hormonal secretions induced by emotions and thought patterns create a second pathway between mind and body which is carried on the blood, and there is strong evidence that excess adrenaline from high levels of stress can significantly depress the body's immune system. But until recently most of the focus of mind-body research has been on the negative. Now, thanks to the new fascination with laughter, many scientists are beginning to investigate the biochemical changes brought about by positive emotions and encouraging their use as tools for health and healing. Researchers now find that laughter, relaxation, meditation and hope not only produce beneficial changes such as lowered heart rate and breathing, they can even improve the way your body responds to stress hormones, and bring about a shift in your perception of potentially stressful situations so you can look on them as challenges rather than as insurmountable problems - a vital attitude in preserving and enhancing the health of your mind and body. One of the very best things of all about laughter is that it breaks through the tendency each of us has to take our self and our values too seriously. It breaks down the roles we play and liberates the self locked within. It is our tendency to identify with our own self-created image, fears, beliefs and assumptions that takes us away from the joy which we believe is normal for each of us to feel. Give yourself a chance to laugh, and it will make you feel more alive, healthier and more beautiful. learn to laugh Seek out and spend time with people who make you laugh - often. Look for books that make you laugh, and keep a file of cartoons and magazine articles which you can share with your friends. Learn to be silly sometimes - like a child. Maybe join a drama class where they do improvisation, or make friends with children who still remember how to laugh and play and let them be your teachers.

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.

Escape The Rut

Escape The Rut

Working in the same stressful environment day after day produces the same triggers and responses to stress that we simply learn as habits. It’s a good idea to take as many opportunities as you can to break the stress-routine, and there are lots of easy ways to do this. Tea and coffee breaks may be official breaks or simply a chance to grab a quick cup of something between phone calls, appointments or jobs. They are usually few and far between, so it’s wise to make them work for you rather than against you. Consumption of coffee or tea can range from a single cup in the morning to up to 6 or more cups a day. For most people, the process of having another cup becomes an automatic response. The problem is that after the initial caffeine pick up, tea or coffee can let you down badly. Few people know - or want to know - how much damage a few cups of tea or coffee a day can do. Each time you drink a cup of coffee you are getting a dose of between 90 and 120mg of caffeine, and between 40 and 100mg of caffeine for a cup of tea. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, pancreas and heart as well as the cerebral cortex, which is why a cup of tea or coffee will give you a temporary boost in energy. The bad news is that, like any drug, the effects of caffeine are short lived. After the temporary energy boost wears off, your blood sugar level will drop lower than it was to begin with and you will feel exhausted. This encourages you to reach for a second cup, and the vicious cycle is set up. breaks that work An average tea or coffee consumption of a few cups a day has been linked with such complaints as heart disorders, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, gastric ulcers and even mental illness. In an already stressful office environment, a cup of tea or coffee in the long run will only contribute to general fatigue and edginess. It is far better to look to natural energy-boosting drinks that will help sustain you through the day. the caffeine-free break Try a glass of vitamin C tonic. Simply add 1-2 grams of powdered vitamin C (about 1 teaspoon) to a glass of spring water (plain or fizzy) and sweeten with a little natural stevia. Or stir a half-teaspoon of powdered vitamin C into a glass of fresh fruit juice such as apple, grape or pineapple. Try coffee substitutes from your local health food store. There are also some wonderful herb tea combinations on the market, which come in convenient sachets and range in flavor from almond to cranberry. Just add boiling water and a little natural stevia to sweeten if you like. Some herbs are particularly helpful for pepping you up, such as lemon grass, while others, such as chamomile, will soothe your nerves. Have both types around. You generally need to steep herbal teas for several minutes to get the full flavor. If you have a centrifugal juicer, you can squeeze fresh juice, such as carrot and apple, in the morning and keep it in a thermos with ice to drink throughout the day. Or simply keep a bottle of spring water on your desk to drink throughout the day. Most offices can be very dehydrating, and replenishing body fluids is an important boost to mental alertness. find relief Recognizing the signs of stress in your body is the first step to taking control of what is happening to you. We all have specific areas where we hold onto tension. Usually you are not aware of these tensions, because your body adapts itself to them and considers them the norm. You only discover a tension when it becomes so severe that it actually causes you pain. If you can locate the areas in your body which tend to be tight, you can unload not only the physical, but also the emotional and mental stress you are carrying around. Common areas of tension are the neck, face, shoulders and between the shoulder blades, forehead, hands, feet, lower back and upper chest. In a quiet moment at home, try this simple technique for discovering the tense spots. Lie down on your back on the floor with a pillow to support your head and your knees bent comfortably, the soles of your feet to the floor. Become aware of your breathing and then concentrate on different parts of your body - beginning with your head and working down to your feet. A tight spot will feel numb, or "dull". This is because the tense muscles reduce the sensitivity in that area. Once you have discovered your particular area of tension, say for example shoulders, concentrate on that area again and consciously decide to make it relax. On each out breath, release a little more tension. You may find as you do this that tension in another part of your body will disappear as well. That will help you discover another typical tension holding area for you. Once you know your typical tension spots, you can use this exercise throughout the day, whether you're sitting or moving about, to let go of tension. The more you practice releasing these muscles, the easier it will become. breathe easy How we feel is almost always reflected in the way we breathe. When we experience emotional extremes, for example crying or laughing, our breathing also becomes extreme. By changing your breathing pattern, you can also change the way you feel. In this way, breathing can be an important tool for de-stressing. Here is a very simple breathing technique which you can repeat throughout the day to help you let go of tensions and get an energy pick up. Start by breathing in and out fully with a sigh. Wait for the in breath to come by itself. As the air comes in let it fill out your abdomen first, and then your chest. Don't raise your shoulders. Then as you breathe out again, imagine you are exhaling all the tension in your body and let your muscles relax. Pause and allow the breath to come in once more and then continue with whatever you're doing. Use this exercise whenever something triggers a stress response. This can be anything from hearing the telephone ring, to looking at your watch when you're late. Stick a colored tab on your watchstrap and on your telephone so that each time you see them you will remember to breathe! tension release Working intensely for long hours on an exciting project does wonders for the mind and for self-esteem. It does nothing for your body, and can lead to long term stress-related physical problems. Here are a few exercises you can do in any quiet moments you have by yourself to get rid of the aches and pains that come with working for too long in one position. neck release Let your head drop forward so that your chin rests on your chest. Clasp your hands behind your head and gently let the weight of your arms pulling down lengthen out the spaces between the vertebrae in your neck. Then drop your head backwards and let your mouth drop open. Open and close your mouth like a fish (this is why you might want to do this when no one else is around) and feel the stretch in your throat. Bring your head back to center and drop it over to one side so that your ear goes towards your shoulder. Wrap the same arm as shoulder over your head and gently help ease it down. Then ease your head over to the other side using the other arm. Roll your head slowly clockwise twice and then anti-clockwise twice. Finish by giving yourself a quick neck rub. Place your fingertips either side of your neck vertebrae, and rub up and down with small circular movements. shoulder shrug Lift your arms above your head, fingers clasped, and squeeze your shoulders up to your ears. Hold them there for a count of five, then let them drop allowing the weight of your arms to pull your shoulders down. Bring your shoulders as far forward as possible trying to bring the insides of your elbows together, hold for five, then relax. Now push your shoulders as far back as possible - squeezing your shoulder blades together for a count of five and relax. Taking one shoulder at a time, rotate it backwards as if you are unscrewing the upper arm away from the body. You should create a space between your arm and the side of your body. Repeat with the other shoulder. Now take a breath in, and imagine your torso widening and your upper arms moving even further away from each other. As you breathe out maintain this distance. Repeat twice more. scalp tap For a quick energy boost simply use your fingertips to tap lightly over the entire area of your skull. Some areas are sensitive so tap lightly, other areas, like the base of the skull, can benefit from a firmer tap. Massage along the jawbone, with small circular movements, from below the ears to the chin. Your whole head and face should feel alive and refreshed. eye refresher Lean your elbows on your desk and cup your hands over your closed eyes. Hold this for about a minute then gently release your hands and open your eyes. Blink several times. Repeat this exercise whenever your eyes are sore or tired. Remember to lubricate your eyes by blinking often, particularly if you are reading or watching a computer screen.

Natural Mood Helpers For Stress, anxiety And Depression. Alternatives to Antidepressants

Natural Mood Helpers For Stress, anxiety And Depression. Alternatives to Antidepressants

In our vastly overmedicated society, a mind-boggling 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled every year. Over the course of one decade, their use has doubled—they are now the most popular class of drugs in the US. Yet they are far from the miracle drugs many believe them to be. Not only do they carry the risk of seriously dangerous side effects. Many trials have suggested they are no more, and perhaps even less, effective than placebos—mere sugar pills. In light of all this, it would be a mistake to ignore the safe, effective help for anxiety and depression provided by nature, which comes in the form of some wonderful herbs and supplements. It’s vital that you become aware of these natural alternatives in case you, or one of your loved ones, are in need of the remarkable healing they can bring. Natural Remedies For Depression - Banish The Blues There are many causes of depression—some are of the body and some of the psyche. I don’t think you can separate the two. Just as body and mind feed each other in producing the dark, seemingly endless blues which can set in at any period of your life, the herbs you call on for help will improve both body and spirit. When you feel depressed, you can feel anxious as well. Many of the plants which are effective in lifting the blues also help to clear fear and anxiety. Here are a couple of the best. St John’s Wort Known botanically as Hypericum perforatum, St John’s Wort is possibly the best herbal antidepressant nature has to offer. Its Latin name means ‘over an apparition’—a reference to the belief that a mere whiff of St Johns Wort will banish any evil spirit. Used since the time of the Greeks and Romans to treat nerve-related disorders, it is now the most commonly prescribed antidepressant in Germany. This makes good sense when you look at the research: At least 23 randomized clinical trials have shown that this plant is just as effective as standard antidepressant drugs, if not moreso. It’s earned its name as “nature’s answer to Prozac”, but can be used without fear of the dangerous side effects that pharmaceuticals bring. How to use The bright yellow flowers of St John’s Wort contain a red oil called hypericin which is antiviral and probably mood enhancing. Many studies show that it is whole plant extracts, however, rather than hypericin alone, that have the best anti-depressant effects. You can pick the flowers, leaves and stems of St John’s Wort while the plant is in flower. Dry them quickly, as you want to preserve the red oil in the flowers. To make tea, use 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes, strain, and drink 3 times a day. One of the most effective ways to use St John’s Wort for depression is as a tincture. Take 1 teaspoon of St John’s Wort tincture in a little water 3 times a day. It should be taken for at least a month before results can be expected. A lucky few people, however, respond right away. Nature's Tranquilizer The drug valium takes its name from a plant. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) was the primary herbal sedative used on both sides of the Atlantic before the advent of barbiturate sleeping pills. It is a safe and well-tested herbal remedy with a smell like dirty old socks. But don’t let that put you off since valerian is a powerful herb for inducing safe sleep – more potent than hops or camomile. You can take valerian in a couple of ways. I like the tincture best – 10 to 20 drops in a little water before bedtime or in the middle of the night when you awaken. Alternatively you can take a couple of capsules of the dried root. Valerian in lower doses is equally useful when your nerves feel ‘shot’, even during the day. It has the remarkable ability to enhance your ability to deal with stress and bring you stamina while it calms. Very occasionally, and only to a very few people, valerian will cause a hangover in the morning, if this happens to you lower the dose or try a different herb. Sam-E Short for S-adenosyl methionine, Sam-E was discovered in Italy in 1952. It is not actually a herb, but an amino acid, which occurs naturally in our bodies when we are in good health. However it easily becomes depleted by stress, illness and deficiencies. Though it has been popular for treating depression in Europe since 1975, it has largely remained unknown elsewhere in the world—that is, until recently, when it became available in the US. It’s still unknown exactly how it works to lift depression. One hypothesis suggests that it can increase the availability of two neurotransmitters that regulate our mood: serotonin and dopamine. Studies repeatedly find in its favor compared with pharmaceuticals and placebo. (You may be interested to read this 2002 analysis of depression trials by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality) Sam-E is especially recommended for those who have tried and not responded to traditional prescription antidepressants. Help From Omegas Last but not least, there is ever growing evidence to demonstrate the importance of fatty acids in the diet to guard against depression. In particular, the levels of omega-3 in the blood of depressed individuals was found to be significantly lower than those of non-depressed people. This is in addition to the wealth of other well-documented benefits that omega-3s bestow. Yet in the United States alone, it is estimated that over 90% of adults are deficient in this essential fatty acid. Therefore, adding a good quality omega-3 supplement to your diet (see recommendations below) is one simple and effective measure you can take to bolster your mental and overall wellbeing. LESLIE RECOMMENDS I have tested all of the products that follow, both personally and with others who wanted to leave behind antidepressant drugs in favor of natural alternatives. I have also listed below what I believe to be the best brand you can buy in the case of each product. Valerian Root Liquid Phyto-Caps - Gaia Herbs' patented technology delivers a concentrated full spectrum alcohol-free liquid extract in a 100% vegetarian capsule. Extra Strength Liquid Phyto-Caps For Ultimate Support of Restful Sleep 100% Vegetarian A Dietary Supplement Not to be used during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs, please consult with your doctor Order Gaia Herbs-Valerian Root from iherb Omega 3-6-9 Essential Fatty Acids in Hexane Free Nutritional Oils A balanced blend of two essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (and their derivatives) necessary for many body functions: Omega-3 oil from Flax Seed and Canola, and Omega-6 oil (GLA) from Primrose and Black Currant. Oleic Acid, an Omega-9 oil from Canola and Flax Seed, is a monounsaturated fat not considered "essential" but does play beneficial roles in human health. Order Now Foods - Omega 3-6-9, 1000 mg from iherb Flora, St. John's Wort Extract A Wild-grown Full-Spectrum Extract. Flora's premium St. John's Wort is prepared in the traditional manner using freshly gathered wild-grown St. John's Wort flowers. They are sun-infused in extra-virgin olive oil for 1,000 hours to maximize extraction of the full-spectrum active principles into the oil. Flora's St. John's Wort can help reduce the effects of mild depression, anxiety, and nervous tension caused by daily stress. Order Flora, St. John's Wort Extract from iherb Nature's Bounty, SAM-e The body makes SAM-e from the amino acid methionine. However, you may not be able to obtain sufficient methionine levels simply by ingesting food. In addition, because of age or other factors, levels of SAM-e can fluctuate or decline. Supplementation with SAM-e is the easiest way to increase intake. The enteric coating helps the breakdown of SAM-e occur in the small intestine. In addition, the enteric coating is designed to protect SAM-e from moisture and serve as a protective barrier so that SAM-e can be absorbed where it can provide you with the greatest benefits. Order Nature's Bounty, SAM-e from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: Get $5 OFF your first order. They ship all over the world very cheaply, and their products are the cheapest and best in the world. Get your order sent to you via DHL. I use them for almost everything no matter where I am.

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