Category Archives: Detox

Health Benefits Of Lemons

There are so many new and exotic superfoods around and it seems their numbers just keep growing. With all the hype surrounding the new it’s very easy to forget the simple traditional superfoods that have stood the test of time. These are the superfoods we’ve been using every day for generations without even thinking of the incredible health benefits they bestow. They are readily available and much less costly. One of the most valuable of the traditional superfoods is the humble lemon, peel and all, which certainly packs a powerful punch when it comes to turbo-charging your health.

health benefits of lemons

Lemons really are a wonder food loaded with nutrients. Well-known as an excellent source of vitamin C, they also contain a wide range of other nutrients including flavonoids, vitamin B-complex, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and phosphorous, citric acid and fibre. You can’t help but love all the lemons health benefits.

 

LEMONS – ACIDIC OR ALKALINE?

Many people get confused about whether lemons are acidic or alkaline. They wonder how lemons can be an “alkaline food” when they’re so acidic to taste. In fact they’re both.

Outside the body lemon juice is acidic. But once the lemon juice has been fully metabolized within the body and its minerals have been dissociated into the bloodstream its effect is alkalizing..

This means it raises the pH of body tissues making them alkaline. In acidic environments the structure and function of the cell are damaged. Lemons help to return the body to a healthier alkaline state to fight off the wide range of dangerous and unpleasant illnesses including cancer associated with acidic body fluids.

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods around.

 

WARM LEMON WATER, THE NUMBER 1 HEALTH PRACTICE

I always recommend that if someone can only do ONE thing to improve their health then it should be to drink the juice of half a lemon in a glass of warm water in the morning.  The trick is to do it when they first rise in the morning, half an hour before they eat or drink anything else. The combination of lemon and warm water encourages the production of bile to support the liver, to prevent liver disease and  help eliminate toxins. It stimulates gastric juices and acts well to cleanse the bowel.

Even just adding a few drops of lemon juice to water or food can aid in digestion and cleanse the system

Simply, here are some of the ways warm lemon water can boost your health:

Like this article?  Read more….

8 Methods of Grounding and Connecting to the Earth’s Frequencies

Grounding is one of the most simple and fundamental ways to rebalance your energies. Walking barefoot on the earth immediately makes you feel whole again, but it isn’t the only way to ground yourself and bring you back to centre.  Here are eight ways to ground yourself with thanks to Adam Lanka of healthy holistic living

simple ways to ground yourself

The term grounding means connected to the Earth, and it is one that spans numerous different cultures, traditions, and spiritual practices. While it is associated with feelings of balance, connection, centeredness, sinking, being anchored and in the flow, I would like to explore the greater implications of what is happening every time you go outside and relax into nature.

All species upon our planet are shaped by the forces and presence of the Earth and the cosmos, and as such this connection is deeply inherent to a sustainable state of well-being. The Earth, as an organic and inorganic system, is constantly bathing all life on the planet with its highly ordered and coherent electromagnetic field. The natural tendency of an organism is to couple with the Earth’s energy field, and come into a state of mutual cooperation and harmony with its external environment, finding its niche and its place within a system.

What we need to understand is that all systems strive to achieve, return to, or maintain a state of pure coherence. In every single moment, whether one is aware of it or not, we are taking part in a constant process within our universe, coupling with other energy fields and finding some sort of balance within this space. This happens everywhere, with life within an ecosystem, when you sit down in your favorite chair and watch television, when you play with animals, or when you say hello to your neighbor. We are constantly interacting with the energy fields all around us in varying degrees and to varying results.

The more organized or coherent these fields are, the more effectively and efficiently energy can be transferred to both stimulate and enhance the lesser organized of the two. Of utmost important to all life on our planet, the Earth’s field has a normal lower range of ~7.8 Hz, also known as the Schumann Resonance.

This natural rhythm is found in multiple places within the human organism, and it is inherent to functioning at our most efficient, sustainable, and coherent state. The human body cavity resonates at 7.8 Hz. Our Alpha and Theta brain waves both border the frequency of 7.8 Hz. These brain waves are associated with insight, intuition, inspiration, meditation, relaxation, and calmness.

Thus, the Earth resonates with our biological system, bringing us into a state of greater coherence. This enhances our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. When grounded, organisms operate more efficiently and harmoniously and can more freely access the Earth’s stabilizing electromagnetic energy to increase vitality, health, wellness and enjoy a prolonged lifespan.

This is ancient knowledge that is expressed in widely different cultures, traditions, and spiritual practices, and it all draws from our connection to the Earth. It is then important to become aware that the dominant Western paradigm in the world at the moment is largely set up to alienate people and hinder this connection to the Earth.

The economic system is set up to keep people inside generating information, in large buildings of stone and metal that disconnect us from the Earth. We surround ourselves with machines and technology that constantly bombard us with electromagnetic radiation, i.e. telephones, computers, televisions, etc. We are sold pieces of insulating plastic or rubber to put onto our feet when we are out in nature, hindering the flow of energy from the Earth up into our physical vessel. Pollution and invasive procedures within the Earth distort the electromagnetic field.

Thankfully, we can cultivate our connection to the Earth and facilitate a more coherent, healthy state of being through the practice of grounding. Below are detailed many different methods that one can utilize to bring the human organism back into harmony with the Earth’s energetic field:


Simple Ways Of Grounding Yourself

 

simple ways to ground yourself

1. Go Outside

Be out in nature; go to a field, a mountain, a swamp, a river, a stream, a beach, the ocean. Get out of the office, off of the couch. Be in the presence of nature, be in the presence of life.

2. Walk in Nature Barefoot

Enjoy some quality barefoot time. The human species has thrived for thousands of years barefoot, let’s take the time to return to this practice in our daily life.

3. Hug a Tree

It’s science; go couple and touch another organism to balance your energy field.

4. Use Grounding Technology

Many people and companies have developed technology to ground you and replenish your body with negative ions. The Earth is the largest electron donor and receiver, and the ideal PH of the human body is alkaline to neutral. Germs, bacteria, parasites, viruses have a positive charge and thrive in an acidic environment.

Using grounding electrodes helps increase the electro-negativity of the human organism, making the internal environment more alkaline, which is widely recognized as critical to a healthy immune system.

Innovative products for grounding the body in unnatural environments like the Earthing mat, or the Earthing sheet from Earthing.com are practical ways to maintain harmonizing electro-magnetic contact with the earth.

5. Utilize Visualization

As conscious beings, we can alter and regulate our energy field through our changing emotions, and how we choose to feel. Visualization is an ancient practice that is incredibly effective and can be done in any moment, no matter where you are. Below are a few techniques that are quite effective.

spiritual grounding

6. Grounding Chord

Visualize, see, feel, or simply be aware of the center of the Earth and the free energy that it emits. With your mind and heart, reach down into the core, and pull up a pulsing, twisting chord of energy from the depths of the Earth. Hook this chord onto your root chakra, or sacral chakra as well for women, and feel the immediate connection between you and the Earth as the energy flows through you. You may become aware of a sinking feeling, a tightening and flexing of the perineum and muscles in your groin and butt area. Conversely, you can also flex these muscles and concentrate on sending the chord down into the Earth, as well.

Practice and repeat this process as often as you need. Experiment with different chords of different colors and thicknesses, and experience the incredibly wide variety of sensations that it will instil in you.

7. Tree Meditation

Visualize, see, feel or simply be aware of your body, and become a tree. Feel your feet grow roots that sink down into the Earth and anchor you to it. Feel your legs and thighs become wood as well, as the roots that grow up from the ground encircle and entwine themselves around your legs, and continue to spread up your body. Feel the straightening in your spine as you become a trunk, feel the energy rising from the Earth up into your stomach, into your heart, into your head. Feel your arms become branches that grow, stretch, and reach for the sky, drinking in the light of the sun and changing it into energy. Feel your crown open as it fills with light, which then flows down into your roots and into the Earth.

8. Mountain Meditation

Visualize, see, feel, or simply be aware of your body becoming a mountain, turning into stone. We see only the tips of mountains, their roots run deep into the Earth. Feel your legs and lower body anchoring into the bedrock and stone of the Earth, and the feelings of peace and calmness that come with it. Become the base of the mountain as it grows upwards and reaches into the sky. Feel your crown as the top of the mountain, where the Earth and sky meet and mingle; the connection of these two opposite spectrums that are in perpetual balance.

techniques for grounding yourself

We have the ability to regulate and change our state of being. While indeed we are a product of our environments, constantly in the presence of other external forces and influences, we always have a choice as to how we choose to feel and how we respond. We have the choice to change our external and internal environment to come into a state of greater harmony and coherence. I invite you to utilize the information and techniques above to increase your coherence, elevate your vibration, and take your power back to be the change in the universe you wish to see.

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue

Adam Lanka

Adam Lanka, originally from North Carolina, is a traveling philosopher, energetic arts healer, and physicist. His passion and interest are in bridging the gaps in the dominant paradigm, uniting science and spirituality into one journey of consciousness, and elevating the vibration of humanity. To learn more about Adam, please visit his personal blog, The Wanderlust. Find him on Facebook at Gateway Explorations.

 

MSM The Miracle Mineral

For some time now there has been a lot of buzz with good cause, surrounding the nutrient MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane). MSM is known to be especially useful for treating chronic pain, especially arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders in a natural way. But in fact it is very useful for treating many more health issues.

When you see the list of all the health problems it can help, MSM may look like an awesome cure-all. It is no wonder MSM is known as ‘the forgotten nutrient’.

MSM

WHAT IS MSM?

Sulfur is very important in the human body and an important part of human nutrition. It is needed for a number of different processes within the body. Low sulfur levels in the body lead to many degenerative diseases.

MSM is a natural form of organic sulfur compound and is found in all living organisms. It forms a natural part of the earth’s food chain and is the main source of bio-available sulfur that the human body is able to actually utilise.

MSM is needed by your body for healthy connective tissues, good joint function, proper enzyme activity, hormone balance and a well-functioning immune system. It provides one of the tools your body needs to heal itself and maintain its vitality.

 

WHY YOU NEED SUFFICIENT MSM

MSM is really no more than a simple food supplement that is present naturally in diets that are not loaded up with processed foods.

However the MSM that occurs in our food is destroyed during processing. Given that most food in the food industry is processed in some way – by heating, irradiation or freezing – most of the food consumed in the western world no longer contains MSM. As a result most people are deficient in this essential compound, and this deficiency is likely to become even greater as you age.

 

WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED EXTRA MSM

MSM deficiencies show up in many ways including pain, fatigue, depression, sensitivity to stress (both physical and psychological), and many degenerative diseases.

Chronic Pain: MSM supplements are often successfully used to help treat chronic pain and a range of inflammatory disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tenosynovitis, tendinitis and eye inflammation.

Aging: As they age most people become less flexible. Their tissues become less elastic, joints stiffen up, lungs and blood vessels lose elasticity, and their skin develops wrinkles. MSM levels in the body also decrease with age. When MSM is replenished these symptoms of aging are reduced.

Cell Health: MSM aids detoxification within the body by increasing the permeability of cell walls. As you age old cell walls harden and new cells are stiff and inflexible, affecting the movement into the cell of nutrients, and out of toxic waste products that lead to degenerative disease. MSM helps the body replace old stiff cells with new, healthy, elastic cells which allows a more efficient passage of nutrients into the cell and elimination of toxins and waste products out of the cell.

Heavy Metal Exposure: Most of us are unknowingly exposed to a wide range of heavy metals, through the air, our food, even in tattoo ink. MSM can be really useful for anyone who has had exposure to heavy metals because it plays such a powerful role in eliminating them from the body, by inactivating them and hastening their removal.

Antioxidant: MSM is a wonderful antioxidant to help scavenge free radicals within your body. It also assists your body to make its own antioxidant, glutathione for detoxification. Free radicals are now considered to be behind all degenerative disease. They also play a part in the aging process speeding up all the signs of aging. You can read all about why free radicals are harmful in “Free Radicals Are Bad, Right…But Why?

Hands by Alex

ILLNESSES SUPPORTED BY MSM SUPPLEMENTS

Connective Tissue

MSM is best known for its wonderful benefit for connective tissue, particularly in skin, hair, bone and joint care. Some of the benefits you might expect from taking MSM are:

  • Improved joint flexibility
  • Reduced pain and swelling in joints
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved cell vitality
  • Break up unhealthy calcium deposits
  • Improved collagen formation
  • Generated keratin production
  • Enhanced strength and thickness of nails and hair happening quickly
  • Creation of new cells and repair of damaged tissues

Chronic Pain

MSM has been found to be a wonderful pain killer, very effective for relieving chronic pain. It acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as having an analgesic effect to naturally block pain.

Here are just some of the painful problems MSM has relieved:
Burns and scars
Injury from accidents
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fibromyalgia
Migraines and headaches
Bursitis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
RSI
Sclerosis

Skin problems

MSM is a genuine miracle beauty mineral that can radically improve skin, hair and nail health. It improves the production of collagen needed to keep skin supple, as well as keratin, both critical for producing healthy hair and nails. Hair and nails can become stronger, and hair thicker after just a few weeks of regular use.

Acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, some fungal infections, and scars can all benefit from taking MSM. Aloe Vera is frequently used to heal damaged skin but in fact it is the MSM that is contained in the aloe leaves that really works the wonders, repairing the scrapes, burns or other damage. Instead of using aloe vera MSM can be applied topically as well as taken internally.

MSM spoonful

OTHER PROBLEMS MSM CAN HELP

  • Neurological diseases
  • Alleviate allergies – food, contact, and inhalation. MSM inhibits histamine just as well as antihistamines, without the side effects.
  • Fights the inflammation associated with auto-immune disease. Experiments for arthritis and Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Disease (ALD), showed great improvement. In Lupus it had benefit before and after the disease.
  • Can protect against the onset of cancer
  • Has a strong action against, even killing, parasites including Giardia, Trichomonas, as well as various intestinal worms
  • Improves cellular glucose uptake in diabetes, as well as assisting pancreas repair
  • Eases sore and stiff muscles and cramps, it inhibits muscle spasms and relaxes muscles, and is excellent for exercise recovery
  • Constipation
  • Relieves stomach acidity
  • Improves oxygen uptake by the lungs. In emphysema it is often the deficiency in MSM combining with the smoke aggravation that leads to the disease
  • Stress
  • Prevents candida and yeast surviving anywhere in the body outside the intestines
  • Improves circulation by dilating blood vessels

 

ILLNESSES MSM MAY HELP

Arthritis – Osteoarthritis & RA                               Allergies
Gastrointestinal problems                                        PMS
Acne                                                                             Lung dysfunction (asthma, emphysema)
Muscle pain                                                                 Parasites
Heartburn                                                                   Lupus
Snoring                                                                        Breast and colon cancer
Parasites                                                                     Diabetes
Stress                                                                           Mental disorders
Eye health                                                                   Constipation
Acidity (maintaining pH in the body)                      Cramps
Headaches                                                                   Hay fever
Carpal tunnel syndrome

HOW MSM WORKS

In pain relief MSM acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as having an analgesic effect to naturally block pain. It also improves the action of the hormone cortisol, which your body releases in response to inflammation.

MSM is an excellent energy booster. Because it increases the permeability of cells, allowing nutrients to pass more easily in and toxins out, your cells use less energy. Because it is easier for your body to absorb nutrients far less energy needs to be spent on digestion. So there is more energy left over.

 

FOODS OR SUPPLEMENT?

MSM occurs naturally in protein rich foods such as meat bones, poultry, eggs, fish and legumes. Good vegetable sources include raw leafy green vegetables, garlic, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, kale and wheat germ. It is also found in beer and coffee.

Raw milk has the highest naturally occurring amount of MSM, however, it is destroyed in the pasteurization process. MSM is also lost when food is cooked as it vapourises in the steam, or when it is stored for any lengthy time.

Unless your diet is excellent and you eat lots of MSM rich foods every day, you are better off getting your adequate amounts of MSM from a supplement.

MSM comes as a powder or capsule and is considered very safe and non-allergenic.

You can take a supplement knowing you can’t overdose with MSM. It has been shown to be extremely safe in toxicity studies. Even with a diet rich in MSM the amount you would ingest from your food would still be only a small fraction of the recommended therapeutic dose. So even if you are getting MSM through your diet you can safely take a supplement. Your body will take what it needs and eliminate the excess.

Dosage varies depending on your complaint. For most adults an effective therapeutic dose would be between 1.5 grams up to 10 grams a day, taken in three doses with a glass of water, 30 minutes before eating.

If you get nausea or headaches, diarrhea, a mild rash or swelling of the ankles (all detox symptoms) you may need to decrease the dose you are taking before slowly working your way back up. But be aware that your body is ridding itself of toxins and so you need to continue the MSM in order to finish the process.

While it is always better to get your mineral needs from the food you eat, sulphur and MSM may just be an exception. It is unlikely, even if you are eating a perfect diet, that in our society you are getting enough MSM to satisfy what your body needs.

MSM2

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source Articles

http://www.puremsm.com/details.htm
http://www.livestrong.com/article/442084-what-is-the-supplement-msm-good-for/
http://www.nutriteam.com/msm
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/03/msm-benefits.aspx

5 MSM Benefits You Should Know About

Detoxing Daily

Copy of woman-above-white-board

Many people associate the term ‘detox’ with extreme measures including periodic fasts and detoxifaction diets. But detox is really far simpler, meaning nothing more than removing as many toxins from our life as possible and replacing them with healthier alternatives.

I believe that detoxing is not something to be done periodically but rather something that needs to go on in your life 24/7. Basically an ongoing detox can be achieved by avoiding taking toxins into the body as much as possible, and gradually and replacing more harmful foods and drinks, as well as lifestyle practices, with healthier alternatives.

Many of the detox diets or detox programs around are designed to help you shed weight quickly but at the same time they deprive your body of crucial nutrients and force it into starvation mode. While you may lose the weight initially it creeps back on later. Plus you don’t get the other benefits that happen when you maintain a low-toxic environment within your body.

It is really quite simple and smart to make Small Sustainable Changes when it comes to reducing toxin levels in your body. By adopting changes gradually you are far more likely to maintain the changes over the long-term and adopt them as a normal part of your life. Once healthy changes are integrated into your life it is quite easy to use these as the foundation on which to build further change.

WHAT HAPPENS AS YOUR TOXICITY DECREASES

As you adopt healthier alternatives and practices you start to reap the benefits almost immediately, experiencing greater feelings of wellbeing.

The first and most noticeable changes are physical. The organs most affected by toxins, the liver and stomach,  start to work more effectively. Symptoms such as bloating or gas may diminish. You often feel ‘lighter’ with more energy. Your immune system functions better because there are fewer free radicals causing damage throughout your body. Your blood circulates better. Your skin appears clearer, even glowing. Sleep improves, as does concentration and focus. As you start to feel better the impetus to continue and make further changes grows making more change easier.

If you make it your goal to minimize toxins then it is far less likely you will be faced with crisis situations and serious illness caused by toxic overload.

food tree-157673_640

RECOGNISING TOXIC OVERLOAD

Some symptoms of toxic overload are fatigue, digestive problems, aching joints, depression, poor blood sugar regulation, hormone imbalances, skin problems, low energy, loss of libido, poor sleep, headaches, heartburn, high blood pressure, memory loss, accelerated aging, even severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s.

In an ideal world your body would receive what it needs to function well simply from the foods you eat, but for most people it is not what happens. What you eat is a good place to start making changes.

Begin by taking a cold, hard look at your diet. Keeping an honest food diary for a week, that includes everything, is an excellent way to get a clear and accurate picture of just where there are problems with your diet. Here are the guidelines.

Once you have a true picture of your eating habits you can make a realistic appraisal about where the toxic overload is occurring. Does your dietinclude too much coffee? Too much sugar? Are there too many food additives? Too many processed foods and too few unprocessed foods? GMO foods? Too much dairy? Too many grains, and are the grains wholefood or processed?

It is then time to assess what changes you can make and stick to, and to find replacement foods for the problem foods. For example, if you decide to reduce your coffee to one a day, look for healthier alternatives such as water, green tea or other herbal teas to replace the coffees you are ditching. Seek out alternatives and try them all until you find ones you like and enjoy, that can easily adopt as part of your new normal diet. Even if you start with partial replacement of the offending food and gradually increase the new food as you decrease the old, over time you will get significant benefit.

Unless your diet is a total mess just change one thing a week. It makes it easier to stick to the new if you are not trying to change too much at once. Even though this is slower and you will not see big effects as quickly you will still be in a better space at the end of every single week.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS

Changing your diet is a good place to begin but you also need to decrease your exposure to toxins in your surroundings. These are often overlooked yet have a very strong effect on your body.

There are toxic substances in most of the furnishings in our homes and workplaces which leach out into the air we breathe. Poisons in cleaning products, or personal care products are absorbed through your skin. Many are deemed safe in the quantities found in a single product, but as they are present in many of the products you use, the accumulated quantuty creates a heavy toxic load for your body.

Most people are aware of the danger of toxic pesticides on fresh food, or of heavy metals present in seafood or cigarette smoke. But it is easy to forget that chemical and pesticide runoff from farms and factories taints underground water, or that smog is also loaded with heavy metals.

Electrical appliances, broadband wireless, mobile (cell) phones, computers plus many more everyday items give out Electromagnetic Pollution (EMR) which directly affects your health, and is behind many illnesses. Consider this: Anywhere you have mobile phone reception you are being affected by EMR; when you are asked if you’d like to connect to your neighbours network as you connect to the internet you are actually in the middle of the Electomagnetic field of their wireless connection as well as your own; how often do you sleep for many hours with a connected mobile phone on the table beside your head, or a baby monitor beside the crib; is the Smart Meter on the other side of the wall behind your bed. The positive ions emitted from all these are toxic and cumulative and reflect the fact that you are receiving high exposure to electromagnetic pollution all the time.

Sleeping with a mobile phone near your head causes thermal (heating) effects all night long
Sleeping with a mobile phone near your head causes thermal (heating) effects all night long

You can reduce the impact these toxins have on your body. Buying food free from toxic pesticide residue is a good place to start. Using a special wash on commercial produce can minimize toxins. Adopting practices that help support the organs of detox is another. Moving sources of EMR away from our body and introducing practices to neutralize it is yet another.

Rather than throwing up your hands in despair or panicking about the repercussions, it is far more effective to get proactive. Altering your exposure to toxins across many parts of your life, even if only minimally, will certainly make a difference to how much they affect your health.

SUPPORT YOUR ORGANS OF DETOXIFICATION

There are also a number of supplements that you can take to help support your body and help it to detoxify.

CHLORELLA

Chlorella is a micro-algae SuperGreenFood similar to spirulina. It is rich in antioxidants and high in protein, vitamins and chlorophyll, and like spirulina can increase your energy because it helps you process more oxygen. It has many benefits for your body.

Chlorella is particularly useful in cleansing the body because it is a natural detoxifier which binds well with heavy metals, chemicals and certain pesticides to eradicate them. Japanese research from 1975 revealed that up to ten times more of the heavy metal cadmium was excreted when chlorella was ingested. It also assists in the removal of lead, mercury and chemical pollutants.

Choose a quality chlorella as the way in which it is manufactured greatly affects whether your body can access its health benefits or not. Chlorella is actually a food rather than a supplement. It is important to start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount you take. It comes as a tablet or powder which can be added to juice or smoothies.

MSM

Organic sulfur, or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is critical in detoxification, cell oxygenation, energy production and immune optimization. In the past MSM was available in our food supply but with modern farming practices it is dramatically reduced. MSM helps repair malfunctioning cells, improve the transport of oxygen to the cells, and improve the removal of toxins from your body, particularly GMO remnants.

DANDELION

This versatile herb offers two pathways of detoxification. The leaves aid in removing excess fluid, but unlike other diuretics, do not leach out the mineral potassium from your body. The root serves another purpose. Toxins are filtered out of your blood in the liver. Dandelion offers your liver great support by increasing the production of bile to improve digestion, and improving your liver’s detoxifying capabilities.

The easiest way to take dandelion is as a tea. Dandelion Leaf Tea is the one to reduce fluid retention, cellulite, or if you feel bloated. Dandelion Root Tea (or coffee) is for liver support and detoxification. The root has a strong flavour and makes an excellent latte.

MILK THISTLE

Milk thistle is another wonderful herb to strengthen the liver and support detoxification. Silymarin, the active compound, is found in the seeds and research has shown that it makes liver cells less permeable to toxins, helping protect the cells from damage. It also helps to increase the speed at which toxins are reduced in the body. It can be taken daily to support ongoing liver processes, particularly if you are suffering from toxin overload. It can also be used before and after drinking alcohol to speed the detoxification in the body.

PSYLLIUM HUSKS

Psyllium husks, or the seeds of the plantain, are a natural laxative. They have high levels of soluble fibre and are known for their remarkable colon-cleansing capability. They can give tremendous help to sufferers of digestibe problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation and other digestive problems. When combined with water they swell in the bowel, absorb toxins and stimulate the bowel to work well so the toxins are quickly eliminated. Studies show they can halve bowel transit time. Unlike other laxatives they will not make your bowel ‘lazy’.

How you take them is vital. Without sufficient water they have the opposite effect and bind you up. Take them twice daily thirty minutes before meals – 5g in a full glass of water, and follow immediately with another full glass of water. Don’t take them at the same time as probioics as they interfere with each other.

PROBIOTICS

Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your gut and help your digestive, immune and detox systems function well. When levels of these bacteria are too low a condition known as ‘leaky gut’ can develop.

Normally food broken down into molecules in your gut does not pose any problem, but when you have ‘leaky gut’ food molecules are able to pass straight through the intestinal wall and into the liver via the bloodstream. The liver views them as toxins and uses lots of energy trying to eliminate them while other more dangerous toxins are allowed to build up.

Supplementing with probiotics maintains the levels of good bacteria, keeps your digestive tract free of toxins and helps prevent leaky gut developing. Taking them for a few weeks should replenish the population.

OTHER MEASURES TO HELP YOU DETOX

In addition to changing your diet and taking a few supplements for support here are a few more areas you could address to really clean-up your body.

  • Drink plenty of clean, fresh water every day
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Eliminate stress as much as possible
  • Sweat (Infra-red saunas; use natural deodorants instead of antiperspirants)
  • Exercise (particularly yoga, which is an ideal way to detox)
  • Select enough natural fruits, vegetables and whole grains to provide 30g of fibre a day.

dandelion flower

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatments suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/041664_gmos_detoxification_dietary_fiber.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/138631-how-make-homemade-detox/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/18969-benefits-detoxing-body/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/01/is-this-one-of-natures-most-powerful-detoxification-tools.aspx

http://www.wellbeing.com.au/article/features/body-health/Supplements-for-detox_909

Foster, H. Detox Solutions, Hamlyn, 2004

Getting Naturally Candid About Candida

You may start to wonder if you will ever get well when you feel ghastly but test after test comes back clear.
You may start to wonder if you will ever get well when you feel ghastly but test after test comes back clear.

It is so common to have clients come in and say “I feel just awful but all my tests have come back normal”. Whilst they could have a number of different problems, often they are suffering from yeast overgrowth, or Candida.

This has become so widespread within the community with research suggesting that 90% of the population, men and women, may suffer from it. Many individuals regularly use fungal treatments when obvious symptoms flare up. But they are not addressing the problem at its source in the digestive tract and so the symptoms persist or recur. The yeast overgrowth leads to chronic systemic problems that leave them feeling exhausted with a variety of other seemingly unconnected symptoms, ranging from itchy throat to joint pains, or brain fog.

Candida albicans is a robust form of yeast normally present in our body. It can lead to fungal infections in the digestive tract, as well as the mouth, the vagina and on our skin. The presence of other friendly bacteria, normally keep it in check and hold it to levels that do not create problems for the immune system.

But many people’s gut bacteria are not in balance. When you have sufficient numbers of “good” bacteria they keep the candida bacteria in check. But when the numbers of good bacteria are diminished it allows the candida to grow and multiply rapidly until it overtakes the good bacteria, and causes a variety of chronic health problems in both women and men.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS TOO MUCH CANDIDA?

First the candida bacteria damages the lining of your intestines causing them to weaken and allowing toxins to pass through, which are then carried throughout your body. This is known as Leaky Gut. As well as spreading the toxins right through your body it leads to intolerances to many foods that were previously well tolerated such as dairy foods, eggs or gluten.

Next you start to crave sugars and carbohydrates more and more. Candida feeds on sugars both refined and unrefined. Carbohydrates break down in your gut into sugars and so are just as appealing to the candida bacteria as are simple sugars. As the numbers increase so does their need for food and so you seek out more of these types of food.

As the candida matabolises and then dies it creates 79 different toxins. These cause symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea or gas within the digestive system. As the toxins leak out of your gut, enter your bloodstream and are carried around your body they make you feel terrible. You may feel like you have the flu or even that you are drunk. As the numbers of candida increase the quantities of released toxins also increases.

Oral and vaginal thrush, or candidiasis, plus skin affections such as nappy  (diaper) rash, are commonly recognized and treated with western medicine. However dysbiosis, where the candida has become so prolific in the intestines that it causes the wide-ranging symptoms throughout the entire body, is more controversial and often rejected by many doctors.

WHAT CAUSES THE PROBLEM?

Dysbiosis is thought to be created by a few things. Taking lots of antibiotics is considered one of the main things that can lead to this situation as many of the “good” bacteria are killed. Candida however is not affected by the antibiotics, and with fewer numbers of other bacteria left to maintain the balance, it is able to flourish and reproduce wildly.

The overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is most often the cause of the problem, particularly when the person has been on them for long periods to treat problems such as acne or sinus. But there are other medications that can also create the problem. Birth control pills are a perfect example of these medications. Taken for very long periods, often many years without a break, they has a strong bearing on gut bacteria, allowing the proliferation of Candida albicans. Commonly prescribed oral corticosteroids like prednisone, is another.

Other factors that increase susceptibility to dysbiosis are stress, lowered immune function, high-sugar diets, diabetes, and the hormonal changes in pregnancy.

When you remember that the command centre of the immune system is found in the gut it is obviously essential that significant problems in the intestines are addressed and turned around.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CANDIDA

The imbalance of intestinal bacteria, or flora, is often called dysbiosis. It leads to many symptoms including:

  •  Nail fungal infections, discolouration of toenails
  • Skin fungal infections such as tinea, athlete’s foot, ringworm
  • Feeling tired, fatigued, worn down or exhausted
  • Digestive problems – bloating, diarrhea/constipation, gas, new food sensitivities, spastic colon
  • Autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma, Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Poor concentration, poor memory, disorientation, brain fog, lack of focus, dizziness, headache
  • ADD or ADHD
  • Skin problems – eczema, psoriasis, recurrent rashes
  • Sinusitis, recurrent colds, chronic nasal congestion
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Recurrent vaginal yeast infections, vulvar itching (women)
  • Prostate and bladder infections (men)
  • Rectal itching
  • Urinary tract infections
  • PMS, decreased libido
  • Strong cravings for sugar and sweets or refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cake, cookies etc)
  • Weight gain

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU DO HAVE CANDIDA

Candida can be measured with a blood test. Many natural health practitioners are able to test in their clinic, or a doctors can order a blood test to test for Candida Anti-bodies, or a stool test to identify candida in your colon. But make sure it is a comprehensive stool test, not a standard one.

HOW TO BEAT CANDIDA

Diet

A good way is to starve the candida out, and to use probiotics to repopulate the gut with the friendly bacteria that then keeps the candida in check. The damage to your intestines causing the leaky gut also needs to be repaired so any chemicals produced by the remaining candida can no longer travel through your body.

To starve the candida requires adhering to a strict diet for at least two months, although it can take longer. Candida flourish in the presence of sugars, refined and unrefined, and anything fermented. Foods such as sweets, soft drinks, most fresh, all dried and all juiced fruit, refined grains including bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, rice, or fermented foods like soy, alcohol and vinegar, create “candida heaven” in your intestines. Removing these from your diet and supplementing with probiotics to help repopulate the gut with “good bacteria” can starve out the candida and help to create balance between all the gut bacteria.

Eliminate all sweets and sugars on the Candida Diet
Eliminate all sweets and sugars on the Candida Diet

It can be quite difficult to maintain the diet, especially as our Western diet is based on sugar-rich refined foods. Many people baulk at the diet and give it away before it has killed sufficient candida to reduce their symptoms in the long-term. Although the diet does require commitment, when you consider just how far-reaching the effects of yeast overgrowth are, and the extent of its impact on your entire system, it seems worth the effort. The long term improvement in lifestyle as well as health makes it worth persevering.

Removing any foods that are causing inflammation in your digestive tract, such as dairy foods and gluten, will help your gut to heal and aid your digestion. Healing your gut stops the candida getting out and making its way right through your body. Reducing inflammation improves your overall health, helping to prevent chronic disease later.

Once you finish with the candida diet it is time to be pro-active with your diet. Introduce foods rich in good bacteria such as miso, sauerkraut, kombucha tea and kefir (fermented milk). And don’t go back to eating lots of sweet or processed foods.

fermented foods

Probiotics

You require about 25-100 billion units of probiotics daily to start to balance out the candida by restoring the good bacteria. The variety needs to be Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidus and saccharomyces boulardii (SB). The Lactobacillus varieties maintain the balance of friendly bacteria and the SB variety reduces the candida population by acidifying the contents of the intestine.

Eating yogurt alone will not replace a quality supplement.

Herbals

Echinacea angustifolia boosts the immune system to battle yeast infections.

Garlic (Allium sativum) enhances immunity and research has shown that it reduces Candida albicans. Adding garlic to your diet is very useful in fighting candida.

Goldenseal may be effective for candida-related diarrhea.

Silymarin supports the liver, which may have reduced detoxification ability due to being compromised by the candida-related toxins. It enhances function and offers protection.

There are a number of herbs useful for treating candida and their effectiveness varies. This has led to some saying that different herbs must be used in cycles. In order to ensure you are taking the best antifungal for your needs, you would be better to use them under the care of a Natural Health practitioner.

Fatty Acids

Caprylic acid, a fatty acid has anti-fungal actions. It works by interfering with the cell walls of the fungus. Your body makes small amounts but it is also found in plants, particularly in coconut and palm oils. Although there is no clinical data available as to its effect on candida, it has been found to reduce the ability of the candida to grow and replicate.

Lifestyle

An approach that incorporates change on all levels is far more effective than simply taking probiotics or changing your diet. Altering your lifestyle can make a big difference to the reappearance of yeast overgrowth.

Maintain an exercise program to support and enhance your immune system.

Reduce stress. Taking up meditation, yoga, qi gong or tai chi will help you deal with stress you cannot avoid.

Avoid commercial feminine hygiene products. Also, the perfumes in them can irritate the mucous membranes.

Eat yoghurt which is not sweetened and contains live cultures of acidophilus.

Increase fibre to maintain bowel habits to effectively eliminate toxins in the gut.

Avoid exposure to chemicals in paints, cleaning products, perfumes as chemical sensitivities are very common in those with overgrowth of yeast.

Take up meditation or yogato help you deal with stress you cannot avoid.
Take up meditation or yogato help you deal with stress you cannot avoid.

Natural Therapies

While western medicine has many strengths, it is natural therapies that shine when it comes to treating chronic illnesses. Two natural therapies are particularly useful in dealing with yeast overgrowth.

Homeopathic remedies can be selected to treat candida overgrowth, quickly reducing the associated symptoms, and at the same time building the immune system. They are also useful for dealing with associated food cravings for sweets. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technoque) is also great for stopping cravings.

Traditional Chinese Medicine combines acupuncture with Chinese herbs to clear the candida and strengthen the immune system.

For my clients I combine Homeopathic remedies with other natural therapies, the candida diet and probiotics. This combination addresses the symptoms and improves their general health, which has been undermined by the overgrowth. It also seems to speed up the process, and help with the symptoms that arise as the candida dies off.

HOW TO PREVENT FURTHER YEAST OVERGROWTH

To prevent yeast overgrowth avoid the use of antibiotics unnecessarily. If you do need to take antibiotics take probioics at the same time, and for about three weeks afterwards to rebuild friendly bacteria numbers. Avoid unnecessary steroid use. Rinse your mouth or nose after using a steroid inhaler or nasal sprays if you do use them. Consider your use of birth control pills, particularly if you use them continuously for long periods. Reduce the amount of sweet, refined carbohydrates and processed fermented foods in your diet.

Be aware that as large numbers of candida die off all at once they release significant toxins into the gut. These can cause a temporary return of symptoms such as bloating, pain or diarrhea, or general ‘flu-like’ symptoms. The symptoms pass as the waste toxins are removed.

Be careful about assuming that you have dysbiosis. Although it is quite common, and is often not diagnosed, the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions and problems. There is also quite a bit of misinformation about candida around and you need to be careful about diagnosing yourself from a book or the internet.

If you think you may have an overgrowth of candida consult with a Natural Health Practitioner. While you can make the necessary changes for yourself, this can be a very complex problem that can have extensive effects on your body, and one that is far better managed holistically by a practitioner. They will construct the best protocol for you and manage any difficulties you encounter along your way to overcoming this disorder and returning to better health.

lust for life

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/06/10/holistic-treatment-for-candida-infection.aspx

http://www.wholehealthchicago.com/76/candida-overgrowth-syndrome

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/what-your-body-is-trying-to-tell-you-9-signs-you-shouldnt-ignore.html

http://drmccombs.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/10-candida-myths

 

How’s Your Liver Doing? Holiday Recovery Tips

champagne-160867_640

After the festivities and often the overindulgence, of the Holidays it is quite common for many people  to find themselves suffering the effects badly. Quite apart from the immediate discomforts of hangovers, other symptoms such as migraines, joint pain, bloating, and fatigue can appear and persist for some time after the bout of too much rich food, too much junk food, too much alcohol, too little sleep and too much stress. Often the body finds it very difficult to detox after the onslaught of December. After the indulgences of the Holiday their liver will be pleading with them for a little TLC.

Rather than taking something for each individual symptom you experience an efficient way to deal with all the different problems is to target your treatment towards the struggling liver.

Good health requires good digestion. The Holiday period wreaks havoc on the body and you need to quickly take steps to reverse this and get back on track.

The state of your gut partly determines your vitality and overall health. It is directly tied in to your immune system and affects your mood and thinking ability.

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body, and it has many functions. A part of the digestive system, it is the detoxification centre of the body. Everything that we ingest must be processed by the liver before it can be passed out and used in the body. This includes not just the food we eat, but also any drugs, alcohol, and chemicals we come in contact with. The liver also helps in cleaning metabolic waste out of the body. It produces bile to digest fats and removes toxic bilrubin from the blood. It plays a role in the immune system, blood clotting, amino acids regulation, acts as a storehouse for iron and glucose, produces plasma proteins as well as toxin removal.

Without a liver we cannot survive, although we can manage with just a part of a liver. It certainly is aptly named as the “live-r”.

Taking some time to attend to the needs of your liver over the Holiday period will help you enter the New Year ready to fly through 2014. There are various ways to deal with the after effects of too much rich food, too much alcohol, too little sleep and too much stress and anxiety  naturally and they can easily be incorporated into your routine.

Many suffer the ill-effects of overindulgence during the Holiday Season - hangovers, digestive upseta, fatigue, aching joints, are just some of the problems that can arise.
Many suffer the ill-effects of overindulgence during the Holiday Season – hangovers, digestive upseta, fatigue and aching joints are just some of the problems that can arise.

 

OVERCOME POST-PARTY IMBALANCE AND ILLNESS

On New Years day I regularly attend a family birthday party and I always carry some of the Homeopathic remedy Nux-vomica with me, not for myself, but for anyone at the party suffering a New Year hangover. Nux-vomica is toxic in its crude state, but not as a Homeopathic preparation, where it is a wonderful remedy for the illness caused by overindulgence in too much rich food, too much alcohol or too much coffee. Take it according to the principles of Homeopathic prescribing for a quick recovery.

nux vom

There are a number of other Homeopathic remedies that are excellent for both supporting and cleansing the liver, giving speedy and sustained relief, protection and support. But they need to be prescribed individually according to the symptoms that are individually expressed by each person. If you find you are susceptible to liver stress it would be very worth your while to seek out a fully trained Homeopath (not a Naturopath for this one) who will find the remedy that is the best for you and your problem. Look here to find a fully qualified and Registered Homeopath in Australia.

Dandelion root provides the liver with a wonderful gentle cleanse as it is a natural detox flush. It is also great for any gallbladder problems as it increases bile production. It is often used as an appetite stimulant. It improves food metabolism by the liver and helps to remove toxins quickly and efficiently from the body.

Two studies cited in the Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism show dandelion has liver regenerative properties in cases of jaundice, liver swelling, hepatitis and indigestion. Often found in herbal tincture mixes, it can be simply and easily taken in the form of capsules (500 to 2000mg daily) or as a ‘tea’ or ‘coffee’ drunk three times a day. Dandelion root even makes a decent latte!

including grasses and flower pollen

Milk thistle (Silybum) seeds are a powerful liver cleanser. They stimulates the secretion of bile from the liver and gallbladder. Milk thistle has traditionally been taken to help protect the liver and is used to relieve the symptoms of over-indulgence of food and drink by fighting oxidation and free radicals. It is also useful for rebuilding the liver after it has been damaged by stimulating liver cell regeneration. Take it in tablet form before and after you head out for a night partying. Look for an extract containing about 140mg of silymarin. You can take it daily right through the Holiday period and for a while after as an excellent gentle support for your liver.

You will also find silymarin, the active ingredient of milk thistle, in artichoke leaf extract which is another great liver cleanser.

Burdock root cleanses the liver and aids detoxification. Studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants in burdock help the liver to heal and protect it from further damage.

Turmeric is a fabulous herb for reducing inflammation that is becoming easier and easier to source in the West. The antioxidants in turmeric are known to be of great benefit in easing joint pain but also improve the health of the liver. Adding the spice to your cooking is the easiest way to take it. You won’t get enough this way to make a difference to pain symptoms you are already experiencing, but it can act as a support to your body. Instead take one of the many quality turmeric formulations now available in tablet or liquid form as well as eating it.

Green tea supports liver function as it is high in catechins. Pomegranate, seeds or juice, contains the liver detox compound ellagic acid to help liver detoxification.

 chinese_tea

FOODS

Protect your liver from further overload stress. Eat organic, even if only for a short time as it keeps pesticides and chemicals out of your system. Avoid foods that have been stored in plastic as the toxins in the plastics can leach into your food. Avoid GMO foods. Steer clear of non-green personal care products and cleaning products – the toxins are absorbed through your skin.

Photo courtesy: Shawn Campbell
Photo courtesy: Shawn Campbell

It is really important to get straight back into healthy eating practices right after overindulging. Get rid of the sugars, cut back on grains and try to eat lighter meals, which should not be difficult with the warm weather finally here. Your digestion works best in the morning so eat more of your daily intake earlier in the day and keep your evening meal small.

Certain foods can benefit your liver. Onion and garlic activate the liver enzymes that flush out toxins. Beets and carrots, full of beta-carotene, promote increased liver function and make great additions to freshly squeezed juices.

Apples, avocados, walnuts and lemon juice all help flush toxins, although in different ways.

Water – water – water – and more water. Drink filtered, fluoride-free water to flush out the toxins from the liver. A glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon or lime squeezed into it first thing in the morning, kickstarts your liver and the digestion process.

Lemons and limes are one of natures great gifts and including them in your morning routine has huge health benefits
Lemons and limes are one of natures great gifts and including them in your morning routine has huge health benefits

While you are actually experiencing digestive symptoms as a result of overindulgence there are a few things you can take to help. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins, helping to protect the liver. Aloe vera is a digestive tonic which also relieves pain. Both are easy to find in your health food store. Chewing fennel seeds after eating will help your digestion, or you could take a fennel seed tea after eating.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping as it is often called, is an effective method that combines ancient Chinese acupressure techniques with modern psychology. Incredibly simple at its basic level it can be done by anyone, anywhere in a couple of minutes. Simply tapping with two fingers on the ribs on the right side of the body over the liver will stimulate liver processes. Watch this thirty second video for a demonstration. (Note that it is posted backwards and shows her tapping the wrong side! It must be the RIGHT side)

A variation on EFT that I prefer is EEM which uses a range of simple short energy exercises and techniques to get results. Massaging your hands and feet daily stimulates a number of acupressure points that help keep your liver strong and healthy. According to EEM practitioner Rose Mattax the most effective point is in the “V” where the big toe meets the second toe on the top of the foot at the base of the metatarsal bridge. Massage this source point of Liver chi several times a day.

There seems to be some truth to the big ‘fry-up’ as a morning after cure, although a freshly squeezed fruit juice alone would probably be better. The symptoms of the hangover you experience are partly due to your blood sugar levels. By substituting fruit juice which contains fructose for coffee, you speed up your body’s metabolism of the alcohol. Eating high protein foods like eggs helps the body produce serotonin and endorphins, the chemicals which help you feel good.

 

WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO

Even when you feel terrible or lethargic after heavily overdoing it, movement is essential. The twisting postures of yoga are particularly good and a great way to help digestion.

This is how I picture myself meditating...but it is far more likely I will be sitting in my car catching a few brief moments to centre my breathing before plunging back into the chaos of life Lastly sweating helps get the waste products out of your body once they have been processed by the liver. Exercise or saunas every day promotes the excretion of toxins through the skin and optimizes your detoxification systems. And don’t forget to balance out the fluid loss by drinking lots of water.

What are your secrets to overcome the overindulgences of the Holidays naturally?

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/039201_live_health_detox_home_remedies.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-herbs-to-cleanse-your-live.html

http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/the-best-herbs-for-liver-cleansing/

http://www.schwabepharma.co.uk/pages/common-ailments/over-indulgence/milk-thistle-as-a-hangover-cure.php

http://weeklycupofqi.com/2013/11/26/digestive-recovery-after-holiday-indulgences/

http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/top-6-natural-remedies-to-keep-your-liver-healthy/

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/liver-detox-zbcz1308.aspx#axzz2ocbINmeV

Related articles

 

The Health Benefits Of Herbal Teas

Loose leaf herbal tea
Loose leaf herbal tea

I’m a big fan of herbal teas, or tissanes. When I started drinking them, I had a difficult time, as like many people initially I did not enjoy the taste. But I had always drunk my coffee and tea without milk and I think that this helped me make the switch. I still find herbal tea with milk added just weird (unless it is chai of course).

The problem for me was that the first herbal tea I tried was peppermint, and I tried it during pregnancy because it was recommended for treating the nausea of morning sickness. However it made me feel even sicker at the time and every since whenever I sip on peppermint tea it comes accompanied with a wave of nausea – the power of suggestion!

Peppermint is well known as a wonderful digestive – and it is, for just over about half the population. For the other half peppermint can have a very different effect. It is a herb that has a relaxing effect on the sphincters of the body. It can have that effect on the sphincter at the top of the stomach, allowing partially digested food to flow from the stomach into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn and indigestion. It is definitely not the tea of choice for anyone who suffers from heartburn.

This is a wonderful reminder of the power of herbal tea. Herbal teas not only offer a tasty warm drink, they also deliver a dose of medication at the same time. If you have a negative sensitivity to the effects of that particular plant then you are certainly going to feel the negative effect in your body.

The medicinal effects of the plants in the tea you select can also build up. Chamomile is widely recognised as a great herb to relax people sufficiently so they can drift off to sleep. It has a soothing effect on the nervous system. But take too much chamomile tea and you could find yourself far from relaxed. Instead you become a nervous, irritable, difficult to please, pain-in-the-neck.

Herbs are a wonderful way to treat all manner of illnesses, with their prescribing origins going way back into the depths of time. But it is certainly valid to investigate whether consuming herbal teas in any quantity is going to be harmful to you. There are a number of teas that are not good during pregnancy. But there are also other health issues that may make you choose to stay away from certain herbal teas. Licorice for example can cause an increase in blood pressure and is better avoided if you suffer hypertension.

One great benefit of drinking herbal teas is that they are alkalizing when they are metabolized by the body. Too many acidifying foods create inflammation in your body, which contributes to many diseases. Balancing out these foods with alkalizing foods, including herbal teas, helps to bring your body back into balance also.

I try to vary the teas I drink in order to avoid problems from too much of any one herb in my system and so I have a whole shelf in my cupboard devoted to herbal teas. I am continually on the lookout for new ones to try. I occasionally dry my own herbs, although my current garden is not so great for growing the herbs I prefer. Growing and drying your own herbs is very easy and provided you don’t use any chemicals on them an excellent way to make your own organic teas.

My herbal tea cupboard with some of the herbal teas we drink
My herbal tea cupboard with some of the herbal teas we drink

Here are some guidelines for growing your own tea herbs. Home grown herbs are often more flavoursome than bought varieties.

If you prefer to buy packaged herbal teas there are many great brands out there, so you don’t need to buy those made by Liptons or other big companies. I love quite a few. Pukka teas are made according to Ayurvedic medicine principles and there are some great blends in their range. Tea Tonic  is the brainchild of a naturopath and herbalist Lisa Hilbert and teas in the range are formulated for good health. Healing Concepts make a big range of awesome teas, including an excellent dandelion root tea, which is great for your liver. Plus there are many other companies making great, often organic, teas. If you want quality tea that not only tastes good but is really good for you, source your teas carefully. I read a few months ago that many of the teas from a well-known and long established herbal tea company were found to contain worrying high levels of pesticides.

If you are using the herbal teas for a specific health issue you need to drink about drink two to four cups a day for a few weeks. By then you should know whether it is helping to improve your problem.

photo credit: Khairil Zhafri
photo credit: Khairil Zhafri

 

12 HERBAL TEAS TO TRY

Chamomile

One of the most popular herbal teas, it is calming and soothing and helps people who lose their appetite when stressed. It soothes tense stomachs or digestive problems like heartburn or nausea. Because it relaxes it is useful for PMS or abdominal cramps.  It is also excellent for nervousness or anxiety and is a wonderful relaxant before bed. It’s a great stress buster and usually available.

Dandelion

The part of the plant used dictates the benefit. The leaves are a diuretic and increase your urine output. The root however gives excellent liver support and helps bile secretion. It is also helpful for skin conditions. Dandelion ‘coffee’ makes an excellent liver tonic, helping it in its detox role, for those times when you have eaten too much rich food or drunk too much alcohol.

Fennel

It is often drunk by new mothers to improve production of breast milk. A good stomach tea, it eases indigestion by increasing the secretion of digestive enzymes. It increases the appetite and has been used for cancer patients to help them put weight on. Like dandelion it is also a gentle liver and bile stimulant. Also good for coughs and colds. It can be blended with chamomile for colicky babies.

Lemon Balm

Another tea helpful for stomach problems particularly cramping and it relaxes the muscles around the bowel. It also helps to lift your mood if you drink it regularly and is fantastic for the nervous system.

Ginger

Excellent for anyone with a cold or flu, especially combined with lemon. It increases blood flow and helps clear blockages. It is also wonderful for upset stomachs, nausea, indigestion and diarrhea. You can simply grate fresh ginger but will get more flavour from the dried herb.

Rosemary

Rosemary is fairly strong tasting and helps to ease joint pains and headaches. It also has antiseptic properties so is useful to relieve mouth ulcers and sore throats.

Hibuscus

Pretty dark rose coloured and delicious tasting hibiscus is great for lowering blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol. It is a diuretic like dandelion leaves, useful in cystitis. It is high in antioxidants, is a rich source of Vitamin C and strengthens the immune system. It is useful for colds, sore throats, gum disease and other inflammations of mucous membranes.

Lemongrass

Good for reducing blood pressure and improving circulation. Also an antioxidant, it boosts the immune system, calms the nervous system, helps tone muscle and tissue and detoxifies the organs. It can aid digestion particularly bloating and flatulence.

Nettle

A great tea to drink for seasonal allergies, excessive mucous discharge, difficulty or burning when urinating, and skin disorders.

Rooibos

Rapidly gaining popularity, this wonderful antioxidant tea is up there with green tea. Great for irritability or mild depression, it helps maintain a healthy nervous system. It is a broad anti-inflammatory. It is useful for hypertension, headaches, heartburn, nausea or stomach cramps. Known as the ‘complexion tea’ it is good for your skin.

Tulsi

This is one of my very favourite teas, it has a strong flavour with just a hint of mint. Tulsi, or Holy basil, has held a significant place for centuries in Ayervedic medicine. You can read all about the extraordinary benefits of Tulsi here.

Peppermint

Generally used as an excellent digestif, it reduces bloating and flatulence and helps indigestion (for some people). It can also ease stuffed-up colds. Very cooling, it can be drunk iced in the summer.

In fact many herbal teas are wonderful cooling summer drinks. When my children were small I often made them iced blackcurrant tea on hot days. They were happy to drink it unsweetened and it made an excellent fruity alternative to soft drink (soda) or cordials with the extra benefit of being sugar-free and artificial sweetener-free.

These are just a few of the herbal teas available. There are many other herbal teas and herbal blends for you to enjoy. If you find you don’t like one, then keep trying them out until you work out your preferences.

What’s your favourite herbal tea? Do you grow any yourself?

Herbal tea
Herbal tea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended
as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/040501_herbal_teas_healing_natural_remedies.html#ixzz2Ujzot3Gc

http://blendhappy.com/herbal-tea-benefits

http://www.littleecofootprints.com/2012/05/growing-herbal-teas-at-home.html

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/a+guide+to+herbal+teas,1336 1

http://blendhappy.com/herbal-tea-benefits

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Spirulina, The Supergreen Solution

super spirulina

Spirulina is one of my favourite superfoods because it is one of the most nutritious plant-like organisms known to humans. I regard it as the ultimate superfood powerhouse. Although there are other super-greens such as chlorella, spirulina is almost like the supergreen equivalent of a “multi-vitamin”, a great all-rounder. Its nutritional benefits are both vast and impressive, making it an invaluable food especially for vegetarians, vegans, anaemics, diabetics and anyone who is nutritionally compromised.

Spirulina is one of the oldest life-forms on the earth and it helped produce our oxygen-rich atmosphere billions of years ago. Actually a blue green algae, it is a 100% natural and highly nutritious micro water plant. It is found in both the ocean and large warm alkaline fresh water lakes.

Spirulina is so nutrient dense you could survive on it and water alone.

Health Benefits

Spirulina earns its superfood powerhouse status because it has the highest concentration of digestible vegetable protein (60-70%) with a perfectly balanced combination of essential amino acids. This is more protein than you will find in beef, chicken or soybeans.

One of the most common vitamin deficiencies found in a vegan or vegetarian diet is vitamin B12. When you consider that Spirulina also contains large amounts of Vitamin B12, which is very difficult to find in other plant foods, it is easy to understand why it makes such a great choice for vegetarians.

Spirulina is loaded with other nutrients in addition to B12. It is very rich in iron, which is a mineral that is very commonly deficient. Spirulina also contains calcium, magnesium, and Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. There are also small amounts of a number of other minerals. There is no use in ingesting lots of minerals if they are not absorbed, but Spirulina actually improves mineral absorption and so the abundance of minerals it contains can be utilized properly by the body.

Spirulina is a wonderful plant source of the essential fatty acids linolenic acid (omega-3) and GLA (omega-6), offering a great source for anyone who cannot get their essential fatty acids from fish oil.

There is always some concern about the effect on processing and shelf storage on nutrients. But Spirulina only grows in extremely warm conditions and it has the ability to withstand the high temperatures that are always involved in processing, able to retain its nutritional value unlike many other plant foods which deteriorate at these temperatures.

It only contains 3.9 calories per gram and still has all of these great benefits. It is a low calorie, nutrient dense

The immune boosting qualities of spirulina can never be over stated. With its unique ability to fight infection, enhance cellular functioning, and even keep cancer at bay, it has a wide range of uses.

Here are some ways that Spirulina is beneficial:

  • Boosts energy – it is a source of life force or vitality
  • Protection against viruses including flu, herpes, mumps and measles
  • Promotes healthy nerve tissue
  • Increases antioxidant protection to fight free radicals
  • Improves digestion and gut health Improves age spots, eczema, acne, rashes
  • Fights the ageing process,
  • Curbs the appetite to help weight loss
  • Aids glaucoma, cataracts, poor vision
  • Improves allergies & respiratory function
  • Helps to detoxify radiation out of the body
  • Plus it fights heart disease, reduces arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and depression, and lowers bad cholesterol

Because it is so easily digested it packs a powerful punch when it comes to all these benefits.

What to look for

Good Spirulina has no side effects, and this is one product that you need to be absolutely certain of the quality. Contaminated blue-green algae is incredibly toxic to the system and can cause a range of fresh health problems such as liver damage. Because Spirulina easily absorbs nutrients from water, if the water contains pollution or heavy metals, these will be highly concentrated in the Spirulina cell. If this happens, then this kind of Spirulina is no longer suitable for human consumption. There are a number of Spirulina products on the market that are of questionable quality so select carefully. Either research well or buy from a qualified practitioner.

 

Spirulina Tablets
Spirulina Tablets

Spirulina comes in powder or tablet form and it is easy to tell if it is good quality or not. Quality tablets are made without sugar, starch fillers, animal parts, preservatives, stabilizers, and colours. They are a uniform dark green colour without any light coloured specks. You can take up to about twelve a day, and some people take even more. But start out with three and increase to six over a couple of days. You can take them all at once or spread over two doses. The recommended dose for adults is 5-10 per day.

When I am going on a long-haul flight I take lots of Spirulina on the day of the flight as well as the day before and the one after. It is part of my ‘flight regime’ to help overcome the bad effects of air travel.

Powder is a better choice if you want to add spirulina to smoothies, juice or other foods. 100% pure powder is also a uniformly dark green colour.  You feel the effects very quickly because the powder is easily digested. Because Spirulina is a natural food and NOT a supplement you can’t take too much. If you take more than you need it is like overeating. You can take two or more tablespoons a day but a good way to start is with one teaspoon (5 grams) added to drinks or other foods. The drink or smoothie colour will change to dark green but it doesn’t really affect the flavour. You can gradually increase the amount over time to two teaspoons (10gms) per drink.

I use the brand Hawaiian Pacifica made by Microorganics in my clinic as I know it to be high quality and free from toxic heavy metals. Just for the record, I have no affiliation with this company or product, and only recommend it to you to help your health. (I also like this one personally as it is easy to swallow)

If you are very run down or have a debilitating illness keep the amount you take low. You will get enormous benefit from the smaller amount and the smaller quantity will not push your body too fast or too hard.

Avoid alcohol, soft drinks or coffee for about 30 minutes after taking the spirulina as these will destroy some of the nutrients and enzymes.

People with hyperparathyroidism or phenylketonuria should not take spirulina.

Spirulina powder
Spirulina powder

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

http://www.australianspirulina.com.au/spirulina/spirulina.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

http://hecticlifehealthygirl.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/what-is-spirulina-and-what-are-its-health-benefits/

http://www.naturalnews.com/033698_spirulina_superfood.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/041164_spirulina_superfood_supplements_immunity.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/036101_spirulina_superfood_nutrients.html

Related articles

Delicious Recipes Using The Superfood – Spirulina (susansmithjones.com)

Get Down To Earth Again And Do Some Grounding

This year I decided to ditch my footwear inside the house, ever since reading up on Barefoot Earthing or Grounding. This is a radical new health practice that is quickly gaining momentum as word about its benefits spreads. Its impact can be quite far-reaching and yet it is incredibly simple to do, costs nothing, is always available and feels great.

Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take off your shoes to walk barefoot?  Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/5760553436/
Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take off your shoes to walk barefoot?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/5760553436/

Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take off your shoes to walk barefoot? Well it seems there is a scientific explanation, and research into the practice of Grounding has found that it can significantly improve all sorts of health problems. It can help your energy levels, reduce stress, improve your sleep, decrease muscular inflammation and stiffness as well as other chronic pain, reduce anxiety, improve circulation, prevent free-radical damage and associated premature ageing and even heal injuries faster. It brings you back into a state of equilibrium where your body is best able to heal itself. Those who use the practice on a regular basis report great results. I am certainly finding I have less aches and pains whenever I walk round without shoes than when I leave them on.

It all has to do with electrical fields.

These days we live completely immersed in electro-magnetic waves (EMFs) from a huge number of everyday items including our mobile phones, computers, wireless technology, huge numbers of electrical appliances, and even compact fluorescent lights. The air in our houses, our workplaces, our schools and in some outdoors places is full of electro-pollution, harmful positive ions produced by this multitude of electrical contraptions that surround us. These positive ions are contributing to ill health.

Electrical stress is now recognized as a significant contributor to many health problems and in fact a new chronic illness, “Diabetes Type 3”, has been coined to describe the effect of illness believed to be from electropollution. Surrounding yourself with sources of negative ions helps to rebalance this disharmony, as does being in places where negative ions are in abundance.

The surface of the earth is electically conductive and has a permanent supply of free electrons sitting just above the surface. The charge on the earth surface is negative and anything that is close to the surface will also carry that charge

Your body also has an electrical field, sometimes referred to as the biofield or the aura. When your bare feet are in contact with the earth negative electrons can easily pass into you. Grounding helps to prevent a build-up of harmful electrons in your body as well as promoting a discharge of the positive ions from your body into the earth. Simultaneously you receive a flood of free electrons from the earth. These neutralize the free radicals in your body which cause inflammation and are responsible for many health problems. The flood of electrons immediately ‘re-balances’ you, which is why you feel so good when you walk outside barefoot.

In case you got lost in that explanation, simply, standing on the earth rebalances the electromagnetic field of your body, helping to strengthen your immune system, and boosting both your health and your wellbeing.

For most of our existence humans have gone barefoot and often slept directly on the ground, things now are very different. As well as being surrounded by electromagnetic pollution we are cut off from receiving the rebalancing benefits from the earth because the shoes that we now wear have rubber and synthetic soles that insulate and block transmission of the natural beneficial energy of the earth. Think how rubber gloves can provide protection from electrical shock.

 HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF

  • Take your shoes off and go barefoot on grass, beach, bare earth, even concrete when it is laid directly on the earth (but not if it is painted or sealed) whenever you can
  • You need to walk around on the earth for about thirty minutes to gain the benefit
  • Swim in lakes, rivers, or the sea
  • Wear shoes with leather soles
  • Purchase and use one of the indoor grounding mats or an earthing bed sheet.

By the way, the reason I am able to benefit from earthing when walking barefoot indoors is because my floor is unglazed slate sitting on a concrete slab which is set directly onto a rock shelf on the side of a hill. You would not get earthing benefit in a home above the ground, or with glazed tiles, or a layer between the concrete and tile, or with other floor coverings.

If you would like to read up on Earthing also then get a copy of the book EARTHING – The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?  by Clint Ober, Dr Stephen T Sinatra and Martin Zucker.

Remember though, Grounding is not a substitute for medical treatment and if you have a medical condition you need to consult your healthcare provider.

Taking your shoes off and walking barefoot in the sea helps to rebalance your energetic field.
Taking your shoes off and walking barefoot in the sea helps to rebalance your energetic field.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://www.earthing.com/category_s/1823.htm

http://www.barefoothealing.com.au/

http://www.wellbeing.com.au/article/Features/Body-Health/Barefoot-earthing_1054

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/04/why-does-walking-barefoot-on-the-earth-make-you-feel-better.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/028967_electropollution_diabetes.html

What is Biofield Therapy?

Why Tattoos Are A Health Risk (And How To Rectify The Damage)

Almost everyone has a tattoo these days, or has at the very least least considered getting one. We hear about the danger tattoos pose from infection and so on, but how many people ever consider the danger presented by toxic substances in the ink itself. Heavy metals, many of which are highly dangerous to humans, are used in many tattoo inks for colour. While we need small amounts of some like iron or zinc, in large quantities or under constant exposure even they are dangerous. Others like mercury, arsenic or cadmium are highly toxic in any amount and can lead to cancer, birth defects and many other health issues. When ink is left under the skin in a tattoos it basically means the body is exposed to these nasty toxins all the time.

This is a great article that was posted by Jess Ainscough on her blog, the Wellness Warrior , which I followed. Unfortunately the blog has now been taken down. Even though I like to write my own articles I think this is one that’s an absolute must to read.

tattoo ink toxins


I’m well aware that this post is probably going to make me pretty unpopular – especially among my tattoo-loving group of friends, but if I’m able to get just a few people to re-think getting inked, I’m doing my job.

Once upon a time I was desperate to get a tattoo. All of my friends started getting them when we were in high school and I thought it was tantrum-worthy unfair that my parents wouldn’t let me join them. I felt so inadequate with my bare lower back. Turns out my folks were right. I still think that the right kind of tattoo can look great, but these days I put my health above the temporary glee of such aesthetics.

This post isn’t about the horror stories associated with dodgy tattoos. I’m not concerned with writing about damage done by unqualified artists, infections, or allergic reactions. I’m more interested in filling you on just what you’re putting into your body when you get a tattoo, and what this does for your health.

Our skin is our largest organ, and anything that you apply to your skin is absorbed straight into your blood stream. So, everything found in a tattoo ends up in your system.


Toxins In Tattoo Ink

Way back in the day, traditional tribal tattoo marks were made using dyes from the natural environment. This is certainly not the case any more. While it’s near impossible to say what’s in all tattoo inks (they are all different, and disclosure of ingredients is not actually enforced), it’s safe to say that most colours of standard tattoo ink are derived from heavy metals.

Mercury = red ink
Lead = yellow, green, white ink
Cadmium = red, orange, yellow ink
Nickel = black ink
Zinc= yellow, white ink
Chromium = green ink
Cobalt = blue ink
Aluminium = green, violet ink
Titanium = white ink
Copper = blue, green ink
Iron = brown, red, black ink
Barium = white ink

Other compounds used as pigments include antimony, arsenic, beryllium, calcium, lithium, selenium, and sulphur.

Tattoo ink manufacturers typically blend the heavy metal pigments and/or use lightening agents (such as lead or titanium) to reduce production costs.

 

Danger Of Heavy Metals 

Heavy Metals bind in our bodies and are incredibly difficult to remove. They cause damage on a cellular level and contribute to cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and diseases of the kidneys, circulatory system, and nervous system.

Then there’s the carrier solution, which most likely contains harmful substances such as denatured alcohols, methanol, rubbing alcohol, antifreeze, detergents, or formaldehyde and other highly toxic aldehydes.

 

Avoid Tattoo Ink Toxins

1. Stop getting tattoos.
2. If you’re a tattoo lover, ask to be decorated in high-quality vegan, organic inks and quiz the tattoo artist about the ingredients in the ink. Be adamant that you do not want ink containing heavy metals. Do your research first!
3. Start detoxifying those heavy metals.

I’m working on a more thorough blog post about heavy metal detoxification soon (this is something both my mum and I have had to do), but for now, here are some tips:

+ Add chlorella to your green smoothies.
+ Eat clay every morning.
+ Eat and juice coriander (aka cilantro).
+ Eat chia seeds.
+ Eat aloe vera.
+ Sweat on a daily basis – far infrared saunas are great for this.

So, there you go. I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Does this info make you think twice about getting a tattoo? Or is your love of ink just too strong? Tell me in the comments below – just please be nice. I’m simply the messenger, so put down that rifle.

Before you go, take a look at my friend and her amazing, beautiful “non-tattooed” body art…

Gorgeous Body Art
Gorgeous Body Art

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.