Category Archives: Disease & Syndromes

How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Many people think of inflammation as being skin redness, joint swelling after exercise, or even a pimple. And it is. But there’s a different kind of inflammation that is more insidious. This is chronic inflammation, or systemic inflammation. It’s a slow, silent attack on your body and health that never switches off. And worse, it’s the underlying cause of many serious chronic diseases in our lives. Luckily there are simple changes you can easily make to reduce the chronic inflammation in your cells.

chronic inflammation

 

You actually need some degree of inflammation in your body to stay healthy. However it’s more and more common for the inflammatory response to get out of hand.

Inflammation serves an important purpose but when it continues indefinitely it can become dangerous. You know your immune system is stuck in “high alert” when inflammation doesn’t recede. And this is where chronic disease develops.

 

Effects of Chronic Inflammation

 

Most of the common chronic illnesses today are thought to develop when the body is in a state of chronic (or systemic) inflammation. Osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, IBS, heart disease and even cancer are just some indicators of chronic inflammation.

Many things in life both contribute to and maintain chronic inflammation. Excess weight, lack of exercise, poor diet, excess alcohol, poor oral health and ongoing stress are just some factors that lead to it. Others such as pollution and toxins in our environment can also contribute.

 

Stress And Chronic Inflammation

 

For many people stress can be the major problem. Cortisol is an important part of your body’s stress response to perceived threats. So levels of the hormone cortisol rise in response to any stressful situation.  However, when stress of any type is ongoing the cortisol release mechanism doesn’t turn off. This results in persistent low grade inflammation. In some cases it can go on forever.

The first step to turn off the chronic inflammation response is to change your lifestyle. Simply switch to an anti-inflammatory diet for a significant impact.

 

Conditions Caused By Chronic Inflammation

 

  • Heart disease – stroke, hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Lung issues – asthma, hay fever, COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, breathing difficulties
  • Bone and joint disease – all forms of arthritis, osteoporosis
  • Depression – including feeling down, sleep problems, appetite loss
  • Cancer
  • Anger disorders, aggressive behaviour
  • Autoimmune – Crohn’s, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, colitis, IBD,
  • Neurological disorders –  Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, Multiple Schlerosis,

 

Common Causes Of Inflammation

 

Excess Weight

Stacking on the kilos causes fat cells to grow. This leads to immune system distress and results in an inflammatory response within the fat cells.  Over time these cells become insulin-resistant which can lead to diabetes.

 

Chronic stress

Whether it’s a terrible job, unhappy marriage, sick parents, overfull diary or worry about your kids makes you anxious, they’re all chronic stressors. And chronic stress causes unchecked chronic inflammation.

 

Poor Air Quality

Chronic inflammation is one result of smog or any other form of pollution. Tobacco smoke is probably the worst form of air pollution.

 

Gut Health

The gut is integral to your immune system. Seventy percent of it is seated within the gut. Therefore bacteria balance is crucial to the regulation of inflammation. Beneficial bacteria suppress inflammation and harmful bacteria activate it. Boost the beneficial bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Certain foods contain inulin, a prebiotic which feeds beneficial gut bacteria and keeps your gut healthy. These include onions, raw asparagus, raw dandelion greens, raw banana, yoghurt, sour cream, and raw leeks.

Gut inflammation can initiate diseases like Crohn’s or rheumatoid arthritis.

Discover how to fight inflammation in your body.

Continue reading …

 

Disclaimer

 

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only. They are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. 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.

 

Adrenal Fatigue, Cortisol, and That Overwhelmed Feeling.

While everyone knows about adrenaline and the ‘fight or flight’ response, not so many know much about the hormone cortisol, the “other” stress hormone, or about how it contributes to Adrenal Fatigue. Both adrenaline and cortisol are produced in the adrenal glands but each performs a very different role.

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Adrenalin is the hormone released when the body is in danger, It promotes quick reaction, throwing you into the best response to get you out of the dangerous situation. It is meant to be released, used quickly and then switched off.

Cortisol also plays a part in the stress response. It is essential for maintaining homeostasis in your body and actually regulates many of the changes in your body that are related to stress. It is released in high levels during periods of stress alongside adrenaline. As with adrenaline it is vital that the cortisol response then shuts off so levels can return to normal.

It is only when stress is ongoing and cortisol continues to be released into the body for prolonged periods that it becomes problematic. Under constant stress cortisol release never gets turned off and this has a negative effect on many body functions.

 

EVERYONE’S STRESSED

Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle which is relentlessly stressful produces the perfect platform for the Stress Scenario.

Stress itself can be very addictive. It’s not uncommon for people to even be proud of the fact that they can juggle a high-power job, family and relationship on caffeine, nicotine and very little sleep. Often we actually applaud people who are able to do it all, and pull off the seemingly impossible.

But stress burns you out, it comes at a cost. And that cost is chronic illness. – diabetes, cancer, a whole gamut of autoimmune diseases, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or a host of others

When someone lives their life in a constant state of prolonged stress where stress hormones are continually released into the bloodstream, never getting switched off, further symptoms continue to develop until eventually the Adrenal glands themselves are affected.

Your adrenal glands simply can’t keep up with the amount of stress. They become overworked and can no longer match hormone production with demand. The production of cortisol plummets and that’s when Adrenal Fatigue kicks in. The Adrenal glands are no longer able to produce sufficient cortisol to release that extra boost of cortisol when an emergency situation arises.

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WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?

Adrenal Fatigue is the umbrella term for the group of symptoms caused by this deficiency.

The primary symptom of Adrenal Fatigue is fatigue that is not improved by sleep. Those who suffer with this syndrome wake feeling exhausted, drag their feet with tiredness all day, only to find they get a second wind and wake up right at the time they should be going to sleep at night.

You can read more about Adrenal Fatigue at “Are You Suffering From 21st Century Syndrome?”

 

YOU DON”T NEED TO BE ANXIOUS TO BE STRESSED

It’s really important to understand that stress does not just refer to a state of anxiety. Living with a feeling of overwhelm, insufficient or poor quality sleep, eating a poor diet, worrying (about anything), unhappiness, or living with pain, are all situations that create a state of stress within the cells of your body, without you ever feeling anxious at all.

Stressful experiences like the death of a loved one or a divorce, undergoing surgery, financial hardship or job stress, bullying, even negative thinking can create adrenal fatigue just as easily as poor diet, lack of exercise or pollution and environmental toxins.

Many, many people spend their entire life in this state, and so live with raised levels of cortisol in their body all the time.

 

THE EFFECTS OF CORTISOL IMBALANCE

The effects of a cortisol imbalance fall into two groups.

The first group of symptoms occurs when circulating cortisol levels are too high and happens during prolonged stress. The second group of symptoms occurs later, once the Adrenal glands are no longer able to produce enough cortisol and circulating levels have dropped significantly, as happens with Adrenal Fatigue.

The negative effects of higher levels of circulating cortisol:

Suppressed or weakened immune system
Raised blood pressure
Increased blood sugar levels
Impaired cognitive performance
Disrupted sleep
Hardening of the arteries
Increased fat storage, especially around the abdomen which is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels,
Lower growth hormone and testerone production
Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugars) and other blood sugar imbalances
Lowered thyroid function
Decreased bone density and osteoporosis
Muscle loss
Inhibited protein synthesis
Loss of collagen in the skin and inhibition of the formation of more
Depression

Long periods of raised cortisol levels can also damage the brain and memory, reducing the ability to learn.

The negative effects of lower levels of circulating cortisol:

Low energy
Brain fog, fuzzy-headedness
Mild depression
Blood sugar imbalances, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars)
Fatigue, especially in the morning
Disrupted sleep
Low blood pressure
Lowered immune function
Inflammation
Cravings for salty or sweet foods
Difficulty recovering from illness or stress
A feeling of being run down or unable to cope
Feeling awake and alert in the evening in spite of being tired all day
Body aches
Moodiness
Decreased libido
Increased allergies
Hair loss

Overworked Life Plan
Overworked Life Plan

 

SUPPLEMENTS FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

Natural Health modalities can help speed up your journey back from Adrenal Fatigue, which can otherwise be slow. But if you are also deficient in simple vitamins and minerals you lack the basic building blocks your body requires to build your health. Consulting a Natural Health practitioner will provide you with the advice and treatment you need, and replacing some of the deficiencies will also help.

These are just some of the vitamins and minerals that Adrenal Fatigue sufferers tend to lack, although not every person will need all these. Your Natural Health Practitioner can guide you best.

B Vitamins

B5 contributes to cellular respiration and the breakdown of nutrients. Start with 100mg a day.
B6 helps create adrenal hormones. Take 50 mg a day to begin.
B12 helps with energy production, cell repair and red blood cell maintenance. Start with 100mcg a day.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant directly involved with the production of cortisol, and in addition offers many other benefits to your immune system and more. Start with 100mg of buffered Vitamin C a day and increase this gradually.

Probiotics

When Adrenal Fatigue affects the digestion, which it frequently does, probiotics play an important role as they contribute towards a better uptake of nutrients to assist the body on its healing journey.

Magnesium

As most of the population is thought to be deficient in magnesium supplementing is a great benefit. As well as causing depression and sleep problems deficiency can also lead to muscle cramps and stiffness. Start with 400mg a day.

There are a number of other supplements that I often like to include in the treatment of Adrenal Fatigue such as CoQ10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Spirulina (although it is not strictly a supplement) and the herb Tulsi (Holy Basil).

 

NATURAL THERAPY

I repeatedly find that Homeopathic medicine and Herbal Essences help provide good recovery in my clinic for cases of Adrenal Fatigue. Both these forms of Natural Medicine are effective on their own without the use of additional supplements. Best sustained results occur when Homeopathic medicines are individually prescribed according to Homeopathic prescribing guidelines, by an appropriately qualified practitioner.

 

LIFESTYLE CHANGE

Making lifestyle changes that assist in reducing the impact of Adrenal Fatigue is helpful. Walking, yoga, meditation, tai chai, and qi gong are all gentle forms of exercise that will not result in you crashing after providing an initial burst of energy, which often happens with more strenuous exercise.

Controlled breathing exercises and techniques are excellent and can be done through the day wherever you happen to be.

Modifying your sleep preparation rituals can help reduce insomnia and the impact caused by adrenal fatigue, to improve your sleep.

 

EATING FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

Moderating your diet by reducing sugars, caffeine, and alcohol at the very least will also help support you to recovery.

If you must drink coffee or cola do it in the morning and then steer clear of it as it interferes with sleep and adrenal recovery.

Watch for hidden sugars and replace sugar with stevia where you can

Alcohol contains sugar and creates a boost and crash scenario, interfering with the sleep cycle and causing insomnia later in the night.

Hydrogenated oils lead to adrenal inflammation, Use good fats like coconut oil instead.

Processed foods or microwave foods contain many difficult to digest preservatives and fillers.

 

Have you experienced Adrenal Fatigue? Leave a reply below.

For more information and advice about how best to treat your symptoms contact your Natural Medicine Practitioner.

 

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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.psychologicalharassment.com/stress-and-stress-management.htm
http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/cortisol-adrenal-function

 

6 Natural Remedies For Depression

natural remedies for depression

Along with the outpouring of sorrow that occurred this week with the news of the death of Robin Williams there has also been much discussion about depression – the nature of the illness, reminders to offer our support to those suffering with it, of ways to deal with it.

Clinical depression is a serious illness that needs treatment from a professional western or alternative health practitioner. However many of the symptoms of mild depression can be helped significantly by a variety of natural treatments that you can do for yourself or which a Natural Health practitioner can take you through.

There are many symptoms associated with mild or subthreshold depression including ongoing fatigue, poor sleep, appetite irregularities such as lack of appetite or comfort eating, a lack of interest in relationships events or celebrations, low self-esteem, anxiety, an inability to find motivation, or a feeling of being cut-off from life.

 

1. MINDSET

There have been studies done that confirm that a persons perception of life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. While depression is not all in the mind your frame of mind is really important for recovery. I am not suggesting you can just ‘snap out of it’. But, while acknowledging that there is something wrong, losing the depression label is a first stepto recovery.

When you buy into defining yourself with a label placed on you by someone else, whether it is a doctor, family or a friend, you relinquish your personal power and undermine your ability to get well. If you allow your thoughts to focus on the label, you accept for yourself the role of someone who is mentally unwell. It may seem simplistic but changing your mindset and making the decision to overcome your illness is the first step that allows you to move forward.

One way to do this is to carefully examine how you are affected by the people you mix with. Tuning into how you feel after spending time with a particular person allows you to sort out any that may be contributing to your low feelings. If you regularly feel disheartened after time spent with anyone it is better for your frame of mind and wellbeing to minimize time with that person.

What your feelings tell you about your relationships with others can come as a real surprise. But acting in congruence with your feelings can turn around your mindset, lift your mood and support you in getting well.

It is also worth asking yourself if your low feelings are linked to your life. Are you expected to sell out your integrity in your work? Are there problems in a relationship that you may need to end? Do you have creative outlets? Feel spiritually disconnected? Is your body restricting you?

Being honest with yourself may help you find the source of your depression. Sometimes having a counselor, psychologist or life coach to help you work through these and define a pathway to change makes things easier to achieve.

 

Learn how to choose the best Homeopathic remedies for acute illnesses

 

 2. HOMEOPATHY

Many natural therapies have a good record with alleviating the symptoms of depression. Acupuncture, herbal therapy and EFT are just a few.

Homeopathy also offers many options for depression. The Homeopathic remedy used depends on the particular symptoms you experience, as everyone’s experience of depression varies slightly, in both the expression and the emotions and thoughts and experiences behind it.

Homeopathy taken in accordance with homeopathic prescribing principles is particularly good at changing your mindset. It allows you to lift your head out of the depressive thoughts and start to move forward.

There are many Homeopathic remedies for depression. One of the first to consider for depression with obvious anxiety is Arsenicum album. These people are often quite particular about describing every little detail of their symptoms. They are often very worried that an illness has been missed and have often undertaken lots of investigative tests.

Another commonly used remedy, Ignatia, is a good remedy when depression follows bereavement or shock. These people are very emotional with lots of sudden mood swings and sudden tears or they may frequently sigh deeply. They don’t want sympathy and often take well meant help as criticism.

A person needing Natrum muriaticum responds differently to grief as does one needing Ignatia. This person builds a barrier and won’t release any emotion through crying. They hate sympathy from others although they are empathetic themselves and will readily care for others. They can be very sensitive and easily move into a lower mood from stimuli such as music.

As you can see Homeopathic prescribing is quite particular and individually selected. Two people may react to a similar experience in very different ways and so require very different remedies. There is also the potential to make symptoms worse if the wrong remedy or potency of remedy is taken. Consulting a Homeopath who can match the correct remedy to your particular symptoms can result in significant improvement.

 

3. FOOD

Food most definitely affects our mood. What we eat and when we eat can have a huge effect. Staying away from caffeine, sugar, fatty foods and alcohol is a great place to begin as these foods actually make depression worse. Don’t keep them in your pantry and you will be less tempted by them. You will feel a lot better if you simply don’t eat them.

Replacing the poor junk foods with nutritious foods moves you towards recovery faster. The top foods to fight depression are:

  • Omega-3 is often lacking in depressed people so eating oily fish and other foods high in omega-3 can make a significant difference. One study showed taking just 1 gm of fish oil a day made a 50% difference in symptoms of depression. Take between 1-3 gm a day. Other omega-3 rich foods include walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds.
  • Brown rice is rich in B vitamins as well as trace minerals. Brown rice is great for reducing mood swings due to sugar-highs and lows. Don’t use ‘quick-cook’ varieties as they don’t have the same benefits.
  • Leafy greens are a great source of folic acid, one of the B vitamins helpful for symptoms of depression, as well as magnesium.
  • Bananas are high in tryptophan which is used in the body to make serotonin, the happy hormone. Other foods to enhance serotonin are healthy fats like coconut oil, protein rich foods especially free range turkey and wild caught fish high in omega-3.
  • Don’t skip meals and help keep your blood sugars stable.

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4. SUPPLEMENTS

  • Many people actually suffer from a disorder known as Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) which is the result of insufficient exposure to sunlight and as a result, they have low Vitamin D levels. This disorder becomes worse as winter progresses and can persist through Spring until levels of Vitamin D build up in their body again. Taking Vitamin D as a supplement through the winter months can dramatically help SAD sufferers. Consult an Alternative Health Practitioner who will work out how much Vitamin D you actually need, it varies from one person to the next.
  • The B Vitamins are linked to a whole range of emotional disorders and if your levels are low taking a supplement can be a great way to keep your spirits up. Take 50 mg of a Vitamin B complex each day rather than individual B Vitamins as each one works better when the others are all present.
  • Magnesium deficiency can be another factor behind depression and mood disorders and there are many who have a deficiency of this crucial mineral.
  • SAMe can be very effective for treating depression. Take 200 gm on an empty stomach.
  • The herb St John’s Wort has long been used for depression. Check with your doctor before using as it can interfere with some pharmaceuticals. Don’t take this if you are taking anti-depressants

 

5. LIFESTYLE

Getting enough exercise is essential to beat depression, no matter how little you feel like it. Pushing yourself to get out for a walk will help improve your spirits. Even exercising along with a DVD in your living room is good.

The effect of meditation on depression has been well-documented and it is known to greatly improve the symptoms. There are many different ways to meditate from simple breathing techniques LINK that you can do in just a few minutes, through guided visualizations, walking meditations, mindfulness LINK and binaural beats. It is all a matter of working out which is the right one for you.

 

6. HORMONES

It may be there is a physical cause for your depression. If your hormones are out of balance your mood will be hugely affected. Finding out your levels of thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones are wrong can offer some clues. Armed with the results, visit your natural health practitioner who can then work toward rebalancing your hormones naturally without resorting to pharmaceutical medicines.

Moving yourself out of mild depression requires a combination of strategies. Making lifestyle changes, dietary changes, examining your relationships and your behaviours all play a part. Seeking out professional help to put these strategies together to achieve the balance you need to move forward can set you on the path to recovery faster.

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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.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201103/11-natural-treatments-depression-md-s-tips-skipping-the-prozac
http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/bha-charity/how-we-can-help/conditions-a-z/beating-the-blues/
http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+advice/treating+depression,7821

 

Natural Alternatives To Paracetamol

Paracetamol

Do you regularly rely on paracetamol for quick-fix pain relief to get you through the day? When in pain most people quickly reach for a conventional painkiller so they can get back to their busy life. However, common painkillers can have nasty undesirable side effects.

While paracetamol is widely regarded as generally safe when used at its recommended doses, in larger doses it can be fatal.

Paracetamol was discovered and used as a pain reliever long before it was known how it works. According to Panadol Uk  it is believed to work in the brain where it inhibits the production of the pain and inflammation causing chemicals, prostaglandins. It has no effect on inflammation.

Pain is the body’s indication that something is wrong and it seems our primary concern needs to be to find a way to lessen the problem by treating its cause. Paracetamol alleviates the effects of the problem, the pain, but does not address the cause behind the pain.

In addition there is the big concern about the side effects of any prolonged use of medications that do nothing more than simply block pain symptoms.

Paracetamol can cause liver damage and even liver failure. There is a serious risk for liver injury with overdose.

But paracetamol can also cause other side effects. Skin rashes, blood disorders, nausea and vomiting, and inflammation of the pancreas can all occur when paracetamol is taken for a long time.

In 2012  in the UK it was suggested that people who regularly take medicines, such as aspirin and paracetamol could be causing themselves more pain than relief. The dosage recommendations for paracetamol were subsequently lowered in the UK and USA. But in Australia recommendations were maintained at the higher levels. Many people in the community have the impression that paracetamol is a harmless drug.

However, there are natural alternatives that do stop pain and help the body heal as well.

 

LIFESTYLE

In addition to the use of homeopathic remedies or herbs it is wise to address any factors in your lifestyle or diet that are contributing to your pain.

Toxins in any form in your body can cause pain.

Pain and inflammation can often be caused by a food. Sometimes a seemingly benign food or food group can be the culprit, acting as a toxin within your body. No matter what you take, if you continue to eat the problem food you will continue to have the pain. Testing can help you identify problem foods quickly. But be aware that you may have a food intolerance rather than an allergy causing the inflammation.

When you are able to identify the problem food, or foods, you can remove it from your diet at least for a while, to give your body time to recover.

Deficiencies of certain nutrients can also cause you pain, as can metabolic processes. Pain is often linked to excess acidity in the body. Acidity may be caused by a number of things, and one is a diet containing too much acidic food.

All foods can be classifies as either alkaline or acidic according to how they break down in the body (not how acidic they are before eaten). Weighting your diet towards more alkaline foods can help reduce pain. Essentially eating more fruit and vegetables and less meat, sugar, dairy, grains and additives makes your diet more alkaline.

Many headaches are the result of dehydration and simply increasing your water intake can reduce the problem.

 

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HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT

As a professional homeopath my personal inclination is to make homeopathic remedies my go-to for pain relief. The advantage of homeopathic remedies which are carefully selected by a trained practitioner is that at the same time you get pain relief the homeopathic remedy will also immediately begin to address the underlying cause.

There are many homeopathic pain remedies and I have employed their use successfully for many years. In fact we have not even had any paracetamol or other pharmaceutical painkillers in my home for decades. Homeopathy can be particularly useful for treating pain associated with problems that cannot be diagnosed, as it is selected according to presenting symptoms rather than disease diagnosis.

Perhaps the most well-known homeopathic remedy for pain is Arnica montana. Used in both homeopathic and herbal formulations this mountain meadow flower offers great benefit for muscular pain as well as pain in general.

Homeopathic Hypericum (St John’s Wort) provides great relief for nerve pain, especially in the fingers, toes and nails. When professionally selected in its homeopathic form it can be used along with anti-depressants, unlike the herbal version.

Magnesium phos and Chamomilla are perhaps the most widely used homeopathic remedies for spasms and cramps.

Nux-vomica is just one of the many remedies that offer great relief for headaches.

Homeopathic Arnica is very widely used by many first-class sports persons. They employ its marvellous healing benefits for traumatic injuries such as bruising, muscle strain, ligament sprain, fractures and so forth.

 

HERBAL REMEDIES

There are a number of herbs that have been used for thousands of years to relieve pain. When prescribed by a qualified herbalist they assist the body to heal itself. However, like paracetamol, some herbs simply suppress the symptoms without actually healing the problem. But, these generally do not have the side-effects of the drug and so may be a better choice than paracetamol or NSAIDS for pain-relief.

Capsaicin is the active ingredient found in chili peppers, and gives topical relief from nerve, joint and muscle pain by interfering with substance P, a chemical that transmits pain signals to the brain.

There has been a great deal of research into curcumin, the active substance found in turmeric, which is proven excellent for reducing the inflammation that causes pain. Like capsaicin it blocks substance P. It offers great relief for the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.

Bromelain is another herb that works as an effective anti-inflammatory.

Chamomile is well known for its calming properties and provides relief for muscle pain and spasm.

Scutellaria (skullcap) can be effective in relieving headache and muscle pain and has been used for the pain of fibromyalgia, joint pain and tension headaches.

 

peppermint oilESSENTIAL OILS

A German study showed that a drop of peppermint essential oil applied to the forehead and temples could reduce headache pain as effectively as paracetamol.

 

 

Paracetamol certainly has a place in certain situations such as post-surgery. But while paracetamol is useful if used occasionally with care, it poses concerns especially for chronic conditions when used frequently. If you find yourself in that position it’s time to start investigating alternatives. Discuss what natural alternatives may help your problem with a professional alternative health practitioner.

In the end it is far more effective to treat the cause of the pain rather than simply suppressing the symptoms. Carefully selected natural or traditional remedies can provide fast pain relief and start the body’s own healing processes at the same time.

You may need to try a few options to find the one that suits you best as we are all different and so we all respond to different treatments differently.

Anxious

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.tga.gov.au/consumers/information-paracetamol-doses.htm#.U8TFBUBqMyk

Alternative Options For Paracetamol – Home Remedies For Pain

Alternative Remedy Reduces Headaches in 15 Minutes

Iodine: Have You Overlooked This Essential Micronutrient?

oyster

One essential trace element that not many people ever think about is iodine. It is essential to many of the functions of your body. But many Australians are deficient in iodine. And not just Australians, as in fact it is thought that up to 40% of the world population is getting insufficient iodine.

Iodine can be found throughout the organs of your body. Highest concentrations occur in the thyroid gland and it is also found in the ovaries, skin, saliva, breasts and gastric glands although it can be detected in every organ and tissue.

In the thyroid gland, iodine along with the minerals zinc and selenium is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, particularly thyroxin. These thyroid hormones directly control the body’s metabolic processes, which in turn have significant influence on many of the body’s organs and processes including heart rate and blood pressure.

When iodine levels are too low the thyroid is unable to produce sufficient levels of hormones and you start to experience a range of symptoms such as lethargy, sleepiness, depression, intolerance to cold, dry skin, slow digestion, goiter, weight gain and slower mental faculties.

Goiter
Goiter

 

Health Benefits

Iodine has so many health benefits and iodine deficiency has been linked to goiter, hypothyroidism, obesity, cognitive impairment, heart disease, psychiatric disorders and cancer. It also causes impaired mental and physical development.

Iodine helps prevent the storage of excess calories as fat, assists in the removal of toxins and aids in the utilization of other minerals. It strengthens the immune system and maintains healthy tissues throughout the body.

Addressing iodine deficiencies has been found to very effective in the treatment of goiter, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

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Food Sources Of Iodine

As it became apparent that more and more people were suffering from an iodine deficiency, an attempt to address the growing problem was made by fortifying a certain range of foods with iodine, including basics like bread and milk. Since 2009 iodine has been added to bread, and prepackaged bread required to list iodised salt as an ingredient.

Although iodine it is a fairly rare mineral it is present in a number of foods. The best sources are marine plants such as spirulina, seaweed like kelp, nori, dulse or kombu and shellfish. Make sure that any produce from the sea is harvested from uncominated waters.

While iodine is found in abundance in the sea it is not as prevalent in soil, and due to the toll that modern farming practices have taken means that most soils contain extremely low levels of iodine, along with many other minerals vital to good health. This transfers to low levels of iodine in crop foods. Unfortunately, the amount of iodine found in foods is completely dependent on the amount there is in the soil

Baked potatoes are a great source of iodine. Some other vegetarian sources are eggs, milk, garlic, lima beans, swiss chard, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens and spinach.

Prior to the 1970’s milk was one of the foods that contributed most iodine to the diet but since the 1990’s the amount present in milk has dropped to about half due to changes in dairy processing practices.

Iodised salt was one food that provided many with daily iodine. But with firstly the awareness of the relationship between high salt intake and hypertension, and now a growing awareness of the problems with all highly processed foods including salt, consumption of this source of iodine has dropped off significantly.

If you are trying to avoid conventional salt you could replace it with Himalayan Salt in moderation, which is a viable alternative. Half a gram contains 250 micrograms, 150% of what the body requires each day.

To combat iodine deficiency dried seaweed is the food to head for. Just seven grams supplies 4,500 micrograms of iodine – 3000% of your daily requirement. Rather than having this much at one meal eat smaller quantities more frequently to maintain a regular supply.

Food                                               Iodine content (µg* per 100g)

Oysters                                                                        160
Cod                                                                                99
Sushi (containing seaweed)                                   92
Tinned salmon                                                            60
Bread (made with iodised salt)                            46
Steamed snapper                                                     40
Prawn                                                                             35
Baked turkey breast                                               34
Navy beans (1/2 cup)                                               32
Plain yoghurt                                                             31
Baked potato (1/2 medium)                                 30
Boiled eggs (2)                                                          24
Cheddar cheese                                                      23
Eggs                                                                              22
Ice cream                                                                    21
Chocolate milk                                                         20
Tuna, canned                                                              18
Canned corn                                                               17
Flavoured Yoghurt                                                   16
Regular milk                                                                13
Tinned tuna                                                                 10
Strawberries                                                               10
Bread (without iodised salt)                                  3
Beef, pork, lamb                                                         <1.5
Tap water (varies depending on site)                0.5-20.0
Apples, oranges, grapes, bananas                      <0.5
* micrograms
Source: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/iodine-facts

Don’t forget that you may eat substantially less than 100grams of some of these foods so you need to consider just how much iodine there actually is in the food you are eating.

Seaweed Salad
Seaweed Salad

 

How Inadequate Iodine Intake Affects You

Perhaps the most obvious, but least dangerous manifestation of iodine deficiency is goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland which manifests as a swelling in the neck and around the larynx. Treating goiter with iodine during the first five years usually ensures that the thyroid does not suffer permanent damage.

It is well known that micronutrient deficiencies are known to affect the development of intelligence and iodine deficiency can certainly be included as one. Inadequate iodine has a significant effect on cognitive function, affecting memory.

Although iodine is recognized as a major requirement for thyroid health, it also plays other important functions including boosting the immune system, by increasing antioxidant activity.

Iodine is widely used to treat fibrocystic breast disease. It has been shown in studies to shrink caner cells when injected directly into the cells. It is essential in the prevention of thyroid cancer. It assists with flushing out chemical toxins including fluoride, lead and mercury.

Deficiency in children not only causes lower IQ but also creates issues with learning and concentration. It can be an ongoing issue when intake is too low.

 

Iodine is Required for Reproductive Health

Iodine offers lots of assistance to the reproductive organs. Sufficient levels are crucial to ensure fertility initially, as well as during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage or stillbirth, and to prevent neorologic and cognitive conditions in the baby. Severe deficiency during the pregnancy can lead to the following problems:

  • Miscarriage during the first trimester, or stillbirth
  • Gestational hytertension
  • Birth deformities
  • Neurological defects in the baby causing irreversible brain damage – cretinism, intellectual difficulties, hearing    loss and speech difficulties, short stature, deaf mutism, dwarfism

Iodine passes into the breast milk in large quantities and nursing mothers need to maintain their intake of iodine in order to prevent iodine deficiency themselves.

 

What Can Cause Iodine Deficiency?

There are a number of factors that can lead to iodine deficiency including:

Low amounts of iodine in the diet

  • Selenium deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation exposure
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Oral contraceptives

 

Some Deficiency Clues

Here are some symptoms that could provide the clue that you are not getting enough iodine. If you suffer from these symptoms consult your health care practitioner:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin, reduced sweating
  • Hair loss
  • Reduced alertness, poor perception, lowered IQ
  • Fibromyalgia, pain, fibrosis
  • Scar tissue, nodules
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Reduced fertility
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

 

 

A word of caution if you live in an area where fluoride is added to the water supply. There have been studies which question the validity of fluoridation of drinking water because there is a link between excess fluoride ingestion and thyroid disease. The incidence increased where water was fluoridated as the fluoride inhibits the action of the iodine. It may be something worth thinking about if this applies to you.

Iodine supplementation is one place where you can get too much of a good thing. There are potential risks to taking too much iodine. Doses over 2,000mg a day are dangerous especially if you have kidney ailments. Too much can easily lead to subclinical hypothyroidism – ironic when you consider that hypothyroidism is often linked to iodine deficiency. Sourcing iodine from foods may be preferable to taking supplements.

Iodine is certainly one supplement where you need to make sure you achieve a healthy balance. 

 

Kelp is a rich source of iodine
Kelp is a rich source of iodine

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.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/iodine.htm
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/29/iodine-deficiency-risk.aspx
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-iodine.html
https://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/oct2011_The-Silent-Epidemic-of-Iodine-Deficiency_01.htm
http://bembu.com/iodine-rich-foods

 

 

Stevia – The Key To Kicking Your Sugar Habit

sugar Kicking the sugar habit is easier said than done. For some people even making the decision to get rid of sugar from their diet is beyond thinking.

One of the biggest health pushes of 2013 was to encourage both us and food manufacturers to dramatically cut back the amount of that ‘giant nasty’ sugar that we consume. Suddenly it seemed that the finger was pointed squarely at sugar as the primary culprit behind one after another health problem.

We all know that too much sugar is bad for us. But most of us don’t really know why,  or how much too much actually is. But it seems that many of us have now picked up on the message that it could be that ANY sugar is bad for us.

But actually removing sugar and sweet foods from what you eat is another matter altogether. Only last week someone was talking to me about their New Year resolutions and breaking their bad habits. “I really need to lose weight” she said “but I don’t think I’m quite ready to say good bye to sugar”. And therein lies the problem that the majority of Australians, and probably most other Westerners face. They love their sweet food and they know just how hard it is to say goodbye to it completely.

Add to this reluctance the fact that sugar is addictive, and the resolve to abstain dissolves.

It is not just about deciding to give up sugar. It is also about breaking the physical effects of sugar. As with any other addiction, sugar metabolism sets up a chemical reaction in the brain as well as the body. Within the brain, glucose from metabolized sugars causes a higher release of dopamine and opioids.

Dopamine is often called the ‘feel-good neurotransmitter’. But while it may make you feel good, the release of too much has many health consequences. Many addictive drugs including nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine also cause increased levels of dopamine to be released in the same way that sugar does. The opioids released by sugar metabolism also make sugar hard to beat by playing a part in the withdrawal symptoms.

I Love Sugar

HOW SUGAR AFFECTS THE BODY

One health problem where sugar plays a part is ADHD /ADD. Although sugar is not thought to cause ADHD, it does raise levels of dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine have been shown to lead to high activity level and impulsive behaviour in the person. So it seems that when parents notice behavioural changes in their child after eating sugar, they may be seeing the dopamine effect.

During 2013 it was suggested that sugar should be included amongst the big three causes of high cholesterol. The other two being trans fats and stress. It was thought that saturated fat was the main cause of high cholesterol levels but the question is now whether it may be sugar instead. At present this remains a controversial topic.

SUGAR AND ILL HEALTH

Here are some of the many illnesses that sugar is known to either cause or where it  plays a significant role or aggravates the symptoms of illnesses:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mineral depletion which interferes with the absorption of magnesium & calcium
  • Food allergies
  • Slows down your immune system
  • Increases your risk for cancer – as hypothesized by Dr Walberg
  • Heart disease
  • Behaviour problems – ADHD, ADD
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Increased triglycerides
  • Reduces (HDL) high-density lipoproteins
  • Poor nutrition
  • Suppresses your immune system
  • Causes inflammation within the body
  • Causes a decline in tissue elasticity and function
  • Raises dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline levels and release
  • Lead to an acidic digestive tract
  • Arthritis
  • Learning disorders in children
  • Candida overgrowth

 For more from this impressive list of 143 Ways That Sugar Ruins Your Health check out this list from Nancy Appleton.

MORE SUGAR PROBLEMS

Over time you become desensitized to sugar. The more you eat, the more effective your body becomes in absorbing it, and the more sugar you absorb the more damage it does. As well as becoming more sensitized to sugar you also become more sensitized to its toxic effects. But fortunately this sensitization to sugar can be decreased so you become less reactive to it, by taking a sugar holiday, even just two weeks off sugar can be effective.

 Sugar is an expert at masquerading and is excellent at hiding in the foods you are eating. It goes by many names but an easy way to identify many sugars is to read the ingredient panel and take note of any ingredients that end in “ose”. Dextrose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, maltose – these are all just different forms of sugar, which when they are metabolized in your body all end up as the same thing, and all have the same effect on your body.

Remember that natural sweeteners, although better for you than white cane sugar because they are not so processed, all essentially become the same thing in your body, blood sugar or glucose. If you want to cut back the amount of blood sugar you cannot just replace one for the other.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The alternative is NOT to turn to artificial sweeteners. Diet soft drinks, artificially sweetened yoghurts, lo-cal, lo-joule or diet anything are most definitely a poor alternative choice when  they contain artificial chemical sweeteners.

The chemicals such as aspartame that are used to sweeten “diet” or low-sugar foods are linked to all manner of health problems.

But there is one sweetening agent now readily available that is a good alternative to sugar, or to any other sweetener, and it is very safe.

That product is STEVIA.

Stevia rebaudiana
Stevia rebaudiana

Stevia rebaudiuna is a herb that comes from Paraguay in South America, where it has been used for centuries as a sweetener and a health tonic by the Guarani Indians.

The leaves of Stevia are intensely sweet. This naturally sweet extract is in fact up to an amazing 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, so you only need to use a tiny amount of stevia.

The thing that makes the use of stevia so attractive and exciting is that it does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels, in spite of being so sweet. Stevia allows you to enjoy some sweet foods in your diet without the health or weight issues that are caused by cane sugar.

By the way, stevia can used in cooking.

Occasionally some people find stevia has a metallic aftertaste but this seems to be related to the way the plant is processed. The plant leaves have no aftertaste. If you find this a problem it may be worth trying another brand of Stevia, or search out a liquid form.

Be very careful when you buy your Stevia. I was reading the ingredient of a product claiming to be stevia on the shelves at the supermarket and discovered that although the box was covered in the word “Stevia” in fact it was a mixture of stevia and aspartame!

Be careful to buy only pure Stevia. If you are concerned shop for it at a Health Food Shop. It is just as important to read the ingredient panel on foods that are sweetened with Stevia as it is any other to make sure there are not other artificial chemical sweeteners added as well.

Crushed stevia leaves
Crushed stevia leaves

SOME OF THE REPUTED HEALTH BENEFITS OF STEVIA

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Provides sweetness without elevating blood glucose level
  • Research shows taking 1000mg a day of stevioside reduced blood sugarlevels after meals by up to 18 percent in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies conducted at Mahidol University in Thailand showed stevia to have the following actions: Lowers blood pressure; anti-inflammatory; anti-tumour; anti-diarrhoeal; diuretic; immunomodulating

Currently further research is being conducted into the effects of stevia on diabetes.

So why not make the decision today to reduce your sugar and other sweetener intake and give stevia a go.

Have you tried stevia? Have you totally removed sugar and sweet food from your diet? Tell us about your experience in the Leave a Reply section below.

If you are local (Mitcham, Melbourne, Australia) you can pick up Stevia at Indigo Centre for Health & Wellbeing.

Small stevia plantation
Small stevia plantation

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://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/16/stevia-the-holy-grail-of-sweeteners.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/4/523.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2012/october/cholesterol-myth-what-really-causes-heart-disease/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine

http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/

http://www.healthylife-healthyplanet.com/health-problems-caused-by-sugar.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2356674/Stevia-First-natural-sugar-substitute-help-fight-obesity-diabetes.html

http://owndoc.com/pdf/Stevia%20new%20rural%20industry.pdf

 

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

 

Fight Anxiety With Natural Medicine

AnxiousEveryone feels anxious at some time or other, but for some people anxiety is an overwhelming part of their everyday life. For some, stress or depression walks alongside, and insomnia likes to drop by too.

Modern life moves so fast and our lives are constantly changing. Upheavals such as moving house, redundancy, the passing of a loved one, or even something joyful like a wedding or a birth, can set up the arena for feelings of anxiety. Your body recognises the feelings as stressful and responds by sending out a flood of stress hormones to deal with the situation. If you are healthy, you deal with the feelings, and move on. But for others, unable to move past the feelings, anxiety interferes with their daily life to such an extent they cannot cope well with everyday things. This is an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is not stress. Anxiety is a fear-based emotion that results in a physical and emotional response in the body. Stress is the body’s response to stimuli, which can be a problem is if is ongoing or overdone.

There are a number of different forms of anxiety including Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Phobia and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) phobias, Separation Anxiety.

Anxiety is experienced in many, many different ways. It may show as constant and obsessive worrying, panic attacks, feeling overwhelmed and teary, repetitive thoughts, huge emotional swings, having concentration difficulties and being easily distracted, trouble remembering things, difficulty learning, insomnia, tension that makes relaxing difficult, low libido, appetite changes such as cravings, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, or weight change. A combination of life experiences, hereditary tendency and chemical imbalances in the brain leads to the symptoms.  It develops gradually and runs in families.

The conventional treatment calls for a combination of strategies to deal with the symptoms, which include a number of effective natural methods. But there are many other very effective ways to reduce anxiety in the long term that are not a part of the normal conventional treatment plan, but are well worth trying. They can be used to treat both anxiety disorder or a simple anxious response to a life event.

Some of the common Conventional ways of dealing with anxiety:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Breathing techniques
  • Diet changes
  • Counseling
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Behaviour Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Medication
photo: Alain Abplanalp Photography
photo: Alain Abplanalp Photography

So How DO You Reduce Anxiety?

NATURAL MEDICINE

Homeopathy

Homeopathy has a great track record when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Remedies such as homeopathic Aconite is a very useful first-aid remedy for dealing with panic attacks or fear of flying. Homeopathic Gelsemium is one of the remedies that can help exam nerves. There are many others which are very effective when they are closely matched to the exact nature of your individual anxiety symptoms. Other remedies can be used for long-term anxiety issues but again, need to be matched to your own particular symptoms. Certain remedies are helpful when you wake during the night with worry and anxiety that keeps you awake, others for when you avoid social situations due to anxiety, others for control issues, others for anxiety due to a range of particular stimuli and so forth. Consulting with a qualified Homeopath  will identify which remedy suits your needs the best.

EFT

Emotional Freedom Technique  or Tapping, is so simple, anyone can learn it and do it anyplace as it only takes a few minutes. It works on the principle that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system, and seeks to shift the points along the body meridian system where energy is blocked.

Temporal Tap

Affirmations are employed in conventional treatments but you can take this much further to get a greater impact by combining them with ‘Tapping’.  Stimulating acupressure points on the body helps awaken the chi energy and keep it flowing smoothly. By tapping on certain points on the head while you say the affirmations, you can help to set the self-reprogramming in place quicker and stronger. Temporal tapping influences your thinking, your nervous system and the cellular activity of the body. Watch this demonstration by Donna Eden of the Temporal Tap method. She explains how it works and demonstrates the process very clearly and simply.

Flower essences

Essences are a very gentle form of natural medicine that work directly on the emotions. Bach Rescue Remedy is extremely effective for panic attacks and can be carried with you in your bag. It is simple to use and gives fast, gentle results. Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence has a similar effect to Bach Rescue Remedy. Some people respond better to the Bach and others to the Australian Bush Flower remedies. Try both to see which works best for you. Bach Mimulus is the remedy to use for a known fear, such as public speaking or dogs. Bach Aspen is better when there are more general, vague fearful or anxious feelings without a specific cause.

Aromatherapy

Because the sense of smell bypasses the part of the brain that does all the worrying, aromas and smells can be powerful helpers. Light some (100% natural and plant-based) incense such as frankinsense or sandalwood which are very relaxing, or lavender if you need calming. The incense slows the heart rate and soothes nerves. Or burn quality pure essential oils such as lavender, geranium or bergamot, which are all calming and effective relaxants. If you soak in a bath with added essential oils or add the oils to a massage oil base, you get added relaxation benefits.

DIET

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that triggers the body to release adrenaline, a major stress hormone and the one you need to avoid. You find caffeine in coffee, cola, guarana, chocolate, diet supplements, and now it is also added to many other soda drinks so always read the labels and don’t assume that if you avoid the cola drinks you will be ok.

Adjust Meals

Eat small meals frequently. Stable blood sugars help maintain stable moods. Eat every couple of hours and make sure the meal contains some protein. You can get protein from a boiled egg, a handful of almonds or other nuts and seeds, a small tin of tuna, a quinoa salad, a slice of turkey or organic chicken breast, nut butter, hommus, tempeh, grain fed organic beef.

There has been much research recently into how anxiety originates in the gut, so it is no surprise that it also affects digestion and the bowel. Reduce caffeine, sugar, dairy, increase vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and grains to ease the load on your gut – basically, eat healthy!

Supplements

Magnesium  is a mineral that is often deficient in much of the population, but more so in anxiety sufferers. Available in many foods including green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, brown rice, bananas, and dark chocolate, to make sure you are getting adequate amounts it high-quality supplement can be better.

Vitamin B is also often deficient in the diet of anxiety sufferers and a daily Vitamin B complex is worth taking. Take a high quality complete B rather than single B vitamins.

HERBS

Calming herbs include passionflower, kava, oats and chamomile which are also good for helping with sleep problems, and St John’s Wort.

 Holy Basil, or Tulsi, is one herb that helps the body respond to stress and anxiety, whether that is emotional or physical, by reducing the levels of stress hormone. It produces feelings of calm and relaxation.

A cup of chamomile tea in the evening eases stress and promotes sleep by helping you relax and easing tension before bed. Chamomile is a useful relaxant and will help sedate you to sleep

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate) is an old folk remedy for anxiety that acts as a mild tranquilizer, calming without sedating. It can be taken as a tablet, a tea, or a liquid tincture from your practitioner. It also assists with insomnia. Don’t use passionflower if you are already taking sedatives, or if you are pregnant, nursing or have established kidney or liver disease.

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) is widely known and used to reduce anxiety symptoms by activating GABA receptors in the brain.

image: Shawn Rossi
image: Shawn Rossi

OTHER NATURAL STRATEGIES

Bodywork

Muscle tension can be an effect of anxiety, particulary if it is ongoing, and body therapies such as massage, reflexology or shiatsu can relieve the muscles and help you relax. Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are other techniques to help the body relax. Yoga incorporates good breathing practices and is especially useful.

Cranialsacral therapy uses more gentle techniques than massage on the head, spine and pelvis, the source of the nervous system. Gentle manipulation of this area of the body leads to reduced nervous, as well as muscle tension.

Meditation

In meditation controlled breathing techniques are used to free the mind of chatter and activity. By practicing meditation on a daily basis you can develop a more relaxed outlook. Meditation does not need to be difficult. There are many different ways of meditating and it is simply a matter of finding the one that suits you. Take a look here to discover some different forms of meditation for beginners and find the one that is right for you. If even the idea of meditating freaks you out start here instead.

Breathing

Learn to breathe correctly. When you get anxious you start to breathe more and more shallowly, using just the top of your chest. Breathing deep down in the belly helps to bring about calm. Learn more about controlled breathing techniques here.

Self-talk

Using positive affirmations can be very effective. When you form an affirmation try to phrase it as if it already is happening. For example, instead of saying “all will be well” use “all IS well” instead. Placing the thought in the present is more effective. “I am coping, breathing deeply, and feeling relaxed” is more likely to calm you because it is strongly placed in what is happening now, in the present, rather than “I always cope if I breathe and relax” which is far more general.

Centring

To create calm in the moment place both your palms on the side of your face and rest your fingers gently on your closed eyelids. This cradles and quiets the mind, allowing you to centre yourself so you can face things again.

Release the built-up adrenaline

Move your body about. Play some up-beat music and dance, scrub the walls or floor, weed an overgrown patch of garden, go for a run or a bike ride. Exercise burns up the stress chemicals , promotes relaxation and helps circulate blocked energy that contributes to anxiety.

Distract yourself

Put on your favourite music, take the dog for a walk, make a cup of soothing herbal tea, revisit your favourite beach holiday photos, especially if they were in the tropics or whatever calms you in the moment.

Taking steps to reduce your anxiety in a more natural way allows you to experience more of life. Try out some of these strategies for yourself.

What natural strategies do you find most useful to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, tell me in the comments section below? For me it is homeopathy, flower essences and EFT.

fearless

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/042748_anxiety_natural_treatments_fight_or_flight_mechanism.html

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/Natural_Treatments_for_Stress_and_Anxiety

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/natural+health/ten+ways+to+beat+stress+and+anxiety+naturally,10965?gclid=CNjOycSxzLoCFQLvpAodlA8Abg

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2006/08/26/one-simple-solution-addresses-6-different-types-of-anxiety-disorder.aspx

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/conditionsatod/a/Anxiety.htm

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Anxiety_treatment_options

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Arthritis – Natural Ways To Get Results

Many people with arthritis have lack of mobility caused by stiffness as well as having to endure constant debilitating pain.
Many people with arthritis have lack of mobility caused by stiffness as well as having to endure constant debilitating pain.

“I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.”     ~  Jack Benny

Many people have to live with the debility that is arthritis every day. Not only do they have lack of mobility caused by stiffness but they also have to endure constant debilitating pain. As the arthritis progresses they can also experience joint weakness, instability and deformities which all make the tasks of everyday living such as walking, climbing stairs, or turning on taps even more difficult to perform. While arthritis won’t actually kill you, it can leave you feeling like “death warmed up”

The name arthritis is actually an umbrella term for over a hundred conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system and include the two most common forms, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease. Some others are gout, ankylosing spondylitis, SLE (lupus), juvenile arthritis and scleroderma.  Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the musculoskeletal system causing a rheumatic condition that is arthritis-related and now seen as a problem of the central nervous system that displays many of the symptoms of arthritis. It often responds well to many of the natural treatments that also help arthritis.

Joint and muscular pain and the associated inflammation are your body’s call for help. Whilst the use of pharmaceutical medications can provide symptom relief and make life easier for some lucky ones, the drugs come with accompanying side effects. As well as seeking out relief it is also very important to focus on reducing the inflammation that triggers the symptoms. The imbalance that leads to inflammation of the joints can come from a number of sources including poor detoxification by the liver, disturbed blood sugars, allergies, free radicals and a lack of essential fats in the diet.

Diet

There are certain foods that have consistently been shown to have a detrimental effect on the symptoms of arthritis when they are included in the diet. These are frequently the members of the Nightshade Family which includes potato, tomato, capsicum (peppers), eggplant, and chilli. It is interesting that tobacco also falls into this family and The Mayo Clinic states smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which leads to increased arthritis pain. Milk (and milk foods like cream and ice-cream) and citrus fruits are also known to have some impact on arthritis and should be reduced, if not eliminated. Processed foods containing preservatives, artificial colours and flavours , coffee and alcohol all place unnecessary strain in the immune system. Red meat is a highly  acidic food that can aggravate arthritis.

At the same time as removing these problematic foods from your plate it helps to include certain beneficial foods in your diet such as green leafy vegetables, cherries and pineapple. Ginger is one food that is known to contain enzymes that relieve inflammation. You can add fresh ginger to your cooking or take it in a tea for a medicinal dose.

There are countless numbers of people taking medications for the pain of arthritis, in spite of there having been many questions raised about the long-term use of many of these medications. Fortunately there are a number of natural remedies and treatments that have been shown to offer enormous benefit to arthritis sufferers, relieving their pain and increasing their mobility.

Here are some natural ways of treating arthritis that may give you relief.

Homeopathy

There are quite a number of studies that have shown Homeopathic remedies successfully reduce the severity and duration of pain, as well as reducing swelling and stiffness.       In my practice I have seen many people experience great improvement in their symptoms with the use of Homeopathic remedies, improvement which over time is maintained with a need for increasingly less and less remedy.

This study from 2003 found ‘improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo’. And this German study found that Homeopathic medication works as well as COX2 inhibitors (NSAIDs) without the worrying side-effects. This 2007 Brazilian study found Homeopathic medicine interfered with inflammatory processes which suggests it may be useful for a number of different problems, including the variations of arthritis.

Whilst there are a number of remedies that are commonly found to help sufferers such as Rhus-tox, Apis, Causticum or Bryonia, the benefits have been shown to be far more effective when the remedy is selected by a professional Homeopath to match the individual variations in the symptoms of each person. You can read about some useful remedies here but selection of the remedy must be made according to homeopathic prescribing guidelines. If you are not sure of these it is far better to consult with a professional Homeopath.

Acupuncture

Some people have found great relief of painful symptoms through Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Acupunture seeks to rebalance the flow of Qi, or energy in the body through the insertion of very fine needles. Treatment is individual, different for each person, and aimed at treating the specific symptoms of each. Often Chinese herbs will also be used alongside acupuncture.

For many kinds of treatments, including Homeopathy and Acupuncture, arthritis is not seen as a single syndrome. Rather it is recognized as a collection of symptoms, which vary slightly from one individual to the next and treatment is tailored to suit the particular symptoms that are present in each case.

photo: by Alex
photo: by Alex

SUPPLEMENTS

There are a number of supplements that have been shown to be very useful when dealing with arthritis and all the related syndromes.

Glucosamine is well known and has long been used with success for joint pain. It is a glucose/amino acid compound that both slows down the breakdown of cartilage, and boosts its repair. There are a number of studies that show it to be more effective than ibuprofen, as well as being better tolerated by the body. It has also been shown to be as good as NSAIDS for easing arthritic pain and inflammation without the side-effects. Take 500mg of glucosamine three times a day, although it may take a month or two to get relief.

Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin for improved benefit. It helps to provide a cushioning effect in the joint, (reducing wear and tear)

S-adenosylmethionine (SAM or SAMe) has been shown in trials to have a similar effect to glucosamine and chondroitin when they are combined. SAMe contributes to cartilage formation and exerts a mild analgesic (painkilling) effect.

Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM as it is commonly known, is a form of the essential mineral sulphur, which is commonly found in the tissue of living beings. Sulfur is involved in many functions including pain control, detoxification and tissue building and is an essential component of the connective tissue of the joints, tendons and ligaments. Huge results have been reported after using MSM in pain relief for arthritis sufferers, as well as for those with muscle and ligament problems such as bursitis or muscle pain. It also helps inhibit cartilage destruction in osteoarthritis. Take 500mg three or four times a day with food (but you can take up to 3000mg a day). Some people get worse for about a week or two followed by improvement.

There are some products available that combine glucosamine, chondroitan and MSM which gives even better results.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are a number of studies which have shown that using omega-3 to fight arthritis looks very promising, and that those taking EPA supplements experience less pain and have more mobility after six months use. Many people report positive results from fish oil. If you decide to take a fish-oil supplement make sure to carefully source a high quality one, with an awareness that some contain heavy metals, and the knowledge that many of the fish oil supplements on the market may have oxidized during processing and will cause more harm than good. Alternatively you can increase your essential fatty acid intake by including more of these omega-3 rich foods in your diet – chia seeds, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, cold-water oily fish.

Increase your essential fatty acid intake by including more of these omega-3 rich foods in your diet
Increase your essential fatty acid intake by including more of these omega-3 rich foods in your diet

Vitamins

Vitamin A is a great antioxidant, which neutralizes the free radicals that cause inflammation. Vitamins C, B6 and E may be useful in enhancing the production of  collagen to slow osteoarthritis development and help repair connective tissue.

HERBALS

Turmeric

Perhaps the most effective herbal for arthritis is turmeric, or more precisely the active compound curcumin, in turmeric. Curcumin is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and has been shown to be as effective as cortisone, without the side-effects. Recently, a review in the Journal of Clinical Immunology said that curcumin at low doses enhances antibody responses and regulates the immune system. It is considered quite a safe herb. A normal dose would be 400 to 600mg three times a day, but I have found that the need varies from one individual to the next. If you are using it in your cooking you would need about 3 heaped teaspoons every day, and that’s in just your serve not the entire dish.

Perhaps the most effective herbal for improved symptoms of arthritis is turmeric
Perhaps the most effective herbal for improving the symptoms of arthritis is turmeric

You can read lots more about the role that many other herbs, minerals, vitamins, and juices play in reducing the symptoms of arthritis here

Managing arthritis without using medications, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter types, may require targeting from more than one direction in order to get faster, longer-lasting, deeper results, for example a combination of treatment, diet, and supplements.

Exercise programs, tailored to meet the persons capabilities, should always be included in the mix, as inactivity can make the problem worse, increasing pain and stiffness in the affected joints. Exercise increases circulation and reduces stiffness. Swimming is a great exercise for arthritis sufferers and walking is another good option.

it is important to remember that not every thing suits every person.  We are all individuals and respond differently to different ways of treating illnesses in a natural way. Dietary changes alone may work wonderfully for one person but the next will respond better to turmeric supplements or the addition of homeopathy or accupuncture. The way you manage arthritis is often far more effective when done under the care of a Health Practitioner with a good knowledge of combining natural alternatives that can complement, or reduce the need for, medications.

The key to not simply managing arthritis but to getting deeper, long-lasting results, in a more natural way is to combine a number of diffent methods - exercise, diet changes, supplements and effective alternative treatments.
The key to getting deeper, long-lasting results rather than simply managing arthritis, in a more natural way is to combine a number of diffent methods – exercise, diet changes, supplements and effective alternative treatments.

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.mayoclinic.com/health/arthritis/AR00029/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://safe-medicine.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/arthritis-homeopathic-treatment.html

http://www.patrickholford.com/arthritis

http://www.naturalnews.com/023045_arthritis_pain_tea.html

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/natural_treatments_for_arthritis

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Acupuncture+for+Arthritis

http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/arthritis-information/what-is-arthritis.html

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The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

I grew up a tea drinker because my mother was a great tea drinker. It almost seemed I was destined to follow and she couldn’t wait for me to be old enough to discover her love of tea. Most of my memories of her involve her holding a cuppa in one hand. She’d start her day with a mug of tea and end it the same way. She’d even take a mug of tea when she went outside to garden or hang the washing out. But she always drank black tea and never got to know the amazing health benefits of green tea.

Back then tea was always black tea varieties. Green tea was served at the local Chinese restaurant, but I never knew anyone who actually drank it. But the health benefits of green tea are now well known and widely touted.

health benefits green tea

The healing effects of green tea have been recognized by the Chinese for over 5,000 years. In the west we have been slow to recognize these, but widespread research has verified the amazing role that green tea plays in protecting the body against a host of diseases. You too can benefit simply by drinking green tea each day.

Tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are considered the most effective and protective of all the antioxidants. Green tea is particulary rich in one of these called catechins, with between fifteen and thirty percent catechin content. EGCG is the main active component of the polyphenol activity and is highest in green tea.

The Difference Between Green And Black Tea

Green tea differs from black tea in that it is unfermented. It is made by steaming the leaves very quickly just before picking, rolling and drying. This prevents the breakdown, or oxidation, of the catechins.

Black tea undergoes more processing and the leaves are subjected to heat and light where they wither before they are fermented. This results in the EGCG being converted into less effective compounds. Black tea has less far less beneficial properties than green.

I started drinking three cups of green tea on my homeopath’s advice and initially I hated the taste. But I decided to experiment with how I made the tea and learnt some interesting things.

  • Strong green tea is very astringent.
  • Green tea gets bitter as it cools down.
  • Experts advise to not use boiling water in the preparation of green tea as it destroys the flavonoids which give the healing potential.
  • Green tea marries well with other herbal and floral flavours.

Once I realized that unlike black teas, the strength and temperature of the green tea brew was far more crucial to drinking pleasure, I quickly came to enjoy it. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I had to careful not to drink too much and this leads to digestive problems. Now I stick to three or four cups a day.

Green tea is often combined with other ingredients. Jasmine is one of the more common ones. Recently I found a wonderful mix of green tea and berries. Not only is it delicious, it is also loaded with antioxidants.

The Benefits

teapot cartoonWhich brings me to the benefits of drinking green tea, and the good news just keep getting better. It’s difficult for any black tea or coffee lover to see why they should make the change, whether it be a total change to green tea or just to include it alongside their coffee or black tea, but green tea has many reasons why it’s a vastly better choice.

Green tea’s high in antioxidants (EGCG) to protect the cells from damage and inflammation caused by free radicals which leads to many chronic diseases.

Scientific research into the effects of green tea

Continue reading…

 

 

 

 

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/034227_green_tea_caffeine.html

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/Why_Is_Green_Tea_Good_For_You

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Tea_leaves_and_health

http://www.findwholeness.com/blog/diet-and-nutrition/drinking-tea-causes-anemia-low-calcium/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-reasons-to-drink-green-tea.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/24/green-tea-protects-against-heart-disease.aspx

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