Category Archives: Antioxidants

Slip Me a Slug From The Wonderful Coffee Mug – Ahh Java!

Lots of us rely on our morning java to get us going and for some that is followed by numerous refills through the day
Lots of us rely on our morning java to get us going and for some that is followed by numerous refills through the day

For most people the question of whether coffee is good or bad for you is entirely irrelevant. Whatever the answer, it makes no difference to their coffee habit.

Lots of us rely on our morning java to get us going and for some that is followed by refills through the day. But caffeine is highly addictive and can lead to adrenal fatigue

Coffee serves lots of purposes for each individual – it can get you through depression or anxiety. But the caffeine it contains that provides the adrenaline rush, the temporary jolt,  also has a dark side, putting stress on your adrenal glands, increasing your stress hormones and leading to a vicious cycle of stress and anxiety. When you drink lots of coffee the adrenaline rush initially makes you alert. But as it wears off cortisol builds up. When this cycle is repeated frequently it creates the same effect on your body as chronic stress.

Caffeine also contributes to fertility problems including increased miscarriage and infertility; triggers the secretion of stomach acids and causes heartburn; contributes to hypoglycemia, an imbalance of blood sugars; increases weight gain over the long term linked to the production of stress hormones; hastens osteoporosis because it interferes with mineral absorption in the bones; affects the normal detoxifying process in the liver; and causes dehydration which then can lead to many other problems including wrinkles and stretch marks. It can even contribute to gluten intolerance  or Coeliac disease.

It is interesting that the heaviest consumption of coffee occurs in regions that are overcast, drizzly or that lack sunshine for long periods and are generally dreary. Caffeine seems to help with depression initially by contributing to dopamine production, which in turn helps to lift our mood. But increased coffee consumption can then create the vicious circle that actually leads to depression.

Caffeine is present in some other foods also like chocolate, cola and tea but most caffeine in our diet comes from coffee. However it only makes up 1 – 2% of the coffee bean and it the other constituents that are now beginning to be researched for their effect on our health.

For some years coffee has been recognized as having some benefits as well as being harmful, and for a while the belief that to be healthy you needed to quit coffee eased somewhat. Caffeine can offer benefits to those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons disease. Research done 20-30 years ago discovered that there seems to be a relationship between coffee and diabetes – the more coffee drunk the lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

More recently however it has been found that the caffeine in coffee could be causing insulin spikes and contributing to hypoglycemia. Considering that insulin imbalance plays such a part in ‘diabesity’ which is such a big and rapidly growing problem in our society, the alarm bells are now ringing.

Coffee is a very acidifying food. Foods which cause an acidic reaction in the body are known to contribute to a wide range of problems quite apart from digestive upsets including arthritis and gout. Here is a checklist of 30 symptoms to find out if you are too acidic.

Caffeine is a diuretic, causing the body to release more fluid. This also results in an increased excretion and loss of high levels of minerals – calcium, magnesium and potassium. This becomes particularly significant in a country like Australia where the soils, and therefore foods grown in that soil, is very mineral deficient already.

With concern over these rapidly increasing health problems and given that so many people in the 21st Century are stressed, depressed, overworked, sick, nutritionally deficient, hormonally imbalanced and generally living with inflamed or toxic bodies, it seems that the time has arrived for many to kick their habit.

Caffeine is very addictive and when lots of coffee is combined with stress in your life then the addiction can take over. But, some people don’t actually want to even consider that there is a level of addiction, let alone kick it.

Quitting coffee can be very difficult and apart from leaving you feeling weak and tired can cause all sorts of side effects such as headache, fatigue, depression and difficulty concentrating, as anyone who has to forgo their normal fix knows very well.

The answer is not to turn to de-caf coffee, which is often subjected to some nasty toxins such as solvents in the decaffeinating process and still contains trace amounts of caffeine, but to turn to healthier alternatives – choose NO-CAF over DE-CAF.

In addition, caffeine withdrawal does not have to be so difficult and there are measures that can ease it. I regularly use Homeopathic remedies for my clients with great success to stop cravings for all manner of substances, including caffeine. Hypnotherapy and EFT are other successful strategies you can use to break addictive habits. Supplementing with the amino acids L-Tyrosine or Phenylalaline can also help – some people do better on one and some on the other.

When my clients are drinking lots of coffee and need to cut it back I encourage them to do it in steps. This might be to just drink one cup less a day at first gradually working down to one ‘high quality’ coffee treat on the weekend, or even better, no coffee. The easiest way to do this is to replace the coffee with alternatives.

If you would like to make the switch here are some much healthier alternatives.

Start out by replacing some of your coffees with these. Perhaps initially alternate a coffee with one or more from this list and gradually decrease the coffees and increase the alternatives.

DANDELION COFFEE – This is one I drink and enjoy. It has a strong, slightly bitter flavour, very similar to coffee but it contains no caffeine. It has an astonishing range of health benefits – it is nutrient rich, supports the liver and kidneys to remove impurities, aids digestion and decreases inflammation, plus much more. The root is roasted and you will often find it mixed with chicory root. I drink it black and unsweetened but you can mix it with milk and sugar. I prefer the pure dandelion root to the mixes but try both out. I also mix it half and half with coffee occasionally.

You can make your own dandelion coffee and a quick google search will yield lots of instructions. If harvesting your own plants make certain that it is true dandelion and not the very similar Catsear.

TEECHINO – gives the energy feel of caffeine but without the crash of caffeine. It tastes like coffee but is made of carob, barley, chicory, dates, figs and almonds. But, just take note that this contains gluten so don’t use Teechino if you are watching gluten in your diet.

YERBA MATE – (pronounced yerba matay) This is a herbal tea from South America. It doesn’t taste exactly like coffee but has a pleasant flavour of its own. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals. Like coffee it boosts energy and fights fatigue. It does contain caffeine but the levels are lower than in coffee or even tea. You can also find Yerba Mate in some herbal tea blends.

GREEN TEA – Green tea has small amounts of caffeine, about 20 grams a serve, but these are substantially less than in coffee. It has high levels of antioxidants that fight free radical damage, improves cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of cancer and helps with weight loss. By the way, your green tea needs to be green, if it is brown it has been oxidized.

WHITE TEA – even better than green tea is white tea which is less processed and retains a higher amount of antioxidants compared to green. It also has less caffeine than green, only 15 grams a serve, and is light and delicious.

ROOIBOS TEA – A pleasant full flavoured, slightly sweet and nutty tea from South Africa which like coffee, can be mixed with milk. It contains no caffeine and very little tannin. It is also rich in antioxidants and minerals. It is thought to reduce stress, irritability and headaches, the opposite of coffee, plus has many other health benefits as well as relieving many illnesses.

REISHI MUSHROOM TEA – This is one to take if you are determined to wipe the slate clean and it is certainly an acquired taste, but reishi mushroom is absolutely loaded with antioxidants, is a wonderful stimulant for the immune system, lowers blood pressure and is purported to have cancer fighting qualities. It requires long brewing and you may need to add ginger or to sweeten it.

Coffee is often touted as having health benefits but the simple truth is that coffee is not a health food. Like other drugs there are side effects to any benefit that it offers. There are much better, less risky ways to achieve any of the professed benefits of coffee consumption.

If in spite of everything, you are going to continue drinking coffee then consider the coffee you are drinking and choose the best options around.

  • Firstly, opt for Organic fair-Trade varieties. Coffee is notorious for its dangerous growing practices.
  • If your coffee is laden with milk you might want to think again. The latte drinks offered by Starbucks for example are high in kilojoules, sometimes as high as fattening desserts like ice-cream or chocolate cake that most people avoid, and those joules are all in the form of unhealthy fats.
  • The way the coffee is prepared also affects the caffeine levels in the cup. Espresso coffee contains less caffeine than drip coffee and also has the most antioxidants, but it is also the one linked to higher levels of Triglycerides and LDLs.
  • The amount of caffeine in light and dark roasts varies only slightly so which you use makes little difference

After all this bad news are you still reading?

If you are still with me then enjoy this video (I’m not sure why it isn’t displaying properly, but follow the link it will get you there).

Then let me know in the comments below what your favourite coffee alternative is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pULXnVTRynY                 .

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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.hungryforchange.tv/article/10-reasons-to-quit-coffee-plus-healthy-alternatives

http://www.naturalnews.com/036412_coffee_dopamine_caffeine.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/034335_Starbucks_nutrition_calories.html

Coffee – The Good and The Bad

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/food+diet/expert+opinion/white+tea+vs+green+tea,13045

http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/mushroom-tea.html

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

http://www.naturalnews.com/034058_coffee_health_effects.html

http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-end-your-coffee-addiction/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/Is-Drinking-Tea-or-Coffee-the-Smarter-Choice.aspx

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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.

 

Health Benefits Of Lemons

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

health benefits of lemons

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

 

LEMONS – ACIDIC OR ALKALINE?

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

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

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

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods around.

 

WARM LEMON WATER, THE NUMBER 1 HEALTH PRACTICE

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

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

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

Like this article?  Read more….

6 Basic Supplements Everyone Needs

The question is always whether you should supplement your diet for good health or not? Generally it’s better if nutrients come from food. But most people don’t eat an optimum diet and so can’t get the nutrients they require from their food. Supplements can be useful as they can fill nutrient holes in your diet. On their own they will never be enough to reverse lousy eating habits. But well selected, high quality supplements certainly have benefits. Most people don’t need to take handfuls but there are some basic supplements that everyone in our society would benefit by taking.

natural supplements

MULTIVITAMIN & MINERAL

Even when they eat well, most Aussies don’t get the optimum 6-8 serves of vegetables each day, or even the 5-6 recommended serves. Nor do they always get the recommended 2 serves of fruit.

Unfortunately Australian produce is affected by the low levels of minerals in our soils with the result that much of the produce we grow is also lacking in minerals and vitamins. This problem is worsened by modern commercial farming practices which further deplete the already starved soil (and produce) of nutrients.

If you only eat organic produce you may be getting enough vitamins and minerals from your foods. You will certainly get than from commercially grown produce, as it has been shown that organic produce contains much higher levels of vitamins and minerals. But the reality is that most people don’t eat only organic foods.

When you combine the vitamin and mineral deficiency in produce with poor dietary practices it becomes obvious that many Australians are significantly deficient in basic vitamins and minerals.

To make certain you are getting enough a quality multivitamin and mineral daily is almost a necessity.

Be wary! There are many around that are just junk. The vitamins and minerals in them are in a form that is not bio-available, which means your body is not able to absorb them properly and they pass through and out of your gut without being taken up. Money down the toilet, so to speak.

Minerals come in many different forms and some forms are better for you than others. Many multivitamins include inferior forms of minerals that your body can’t really use.

You need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals for them to be effective. If there is not enough they simply don’t do what your body needs. It is important to have sufficient amounts of each nutrient in the multivitamin you take.

Don’t get sucked in by brands flaunting ‘A-Z Vitamins and Minerals’. Chances are you don’t need all of these, and the bigger the range of nutrients the less there will be of each one in the tablet – after all the tablet can only be so big!

Before you throw your money away do some research or talk to your natural health practitioner. Look for someone who is professionally trained in nutrition (taught in natural health courses) including vitamin and mineral therapy. Most mainstream Medicine courses do not include much nutrition.

There are some excellent multivitamins around with the optimum balance of quality nutrients but often these are the ones you can only get from your Health Practitioner.
Cheaper products on supermarket shelves are not worth your time and money.

OMEGA 3

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are wonderful anti-inflammatories and excellent for reducing the symptoms of chronic disease. They are essential for brain function and strongly support heart health.

As the name suggests, these oils are essential for good health. Your body cannot make them so you need to obtain them from food or supplements.

Omega-3 is found in a range of foods, and is particularly high in fish oils, including krill oil.

Vegans and vegetarians are particularly at risk for omega-3 deficiency. While there are a number of vegetarian sources for omega-3 flaxseed oil is usually used for plant-based supplements.

Research into the effects of fish oils has shown that in addition to its wide range of cardiovascular and cognitive benefits it is particularly helpful in the treatment of autoimmune disease. It has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms in Lupus, reduce joint pain and stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis, and assist in inflammatory bowel disease.

Omega-3 also plays a role in the prevention of many diseases and reduces the symptoms caused by inflammation in others.

Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 but many people don’t like it. Plus there are concerns about the presence of mercury and other heavy metals in fish. With a high quality omega-3 supplement you avoid these problems.

1 gram – 1000mg, of combined EPA/ DHA each day is recommended for maintenance. But to gain real benefits and boost your health, especially if your health is compromised, you need more, up to 5 grams a day.

Be wary about cheaper omega-3 supplements. In some the processing causes the oil to go rancid. This is actually harmful to you, creating free radicals and inflammation in your body. Omega-3 supplements are very much a case of you get what you pay for!

drugs capsules

VITAMIN D

Most of us are deficient in Vitamin D, even in ‘sunny Australia’. We live and work inside far more than we ever did in the past and when we head outside it is under a thick cover of sunscreen, which prevents the vitamin D in the sun’s rays from being absorbed by the cells in our skin.

Vitamin D is essential for a huge range of body processes. One of the most important is to work with calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It is also crucial for an effective immune system. Deficiency can increase your risk for asthma and cancer, cause daytime fatigue and affect thinking processes

The current recommendation for adults is 1000IU a day. But this is the bare minimum maintenance dose, great if your levels are at an optimum level but nowhere near enough if, like most, your levels of Vitamin D are lower.

Don’t DIY Vitamin D – it is possible to have too much. Most doctors will happily order a blood test to find out your levels. Good levels are up around 75 ng/ml.

Once you know what your level is, it’s important not to get complacent as your levels of Vitamin D vary greatly through the course of a year, being at their highest in late summer and their lowest in early to mid spring.

Discover how to optimize your time in the sun (without sunscreen) to get the most Vitamin D from the least exposure at Good Morning Sunshine: Just How Much Vitamin D Are You Really Getting?

To raise the levels in your body, rather than just maintain them, you need between 1000 and 5000 IU a day, depending on how low your levels are. Make sure you get the D3 form.

Again, there is quite a big difference between the quality of different brands and how well your body is able to utilize them. Be guided by your Natural Health Practitioner.

ALGAE

The two most commonly used forms of algae are spirulina and chlorella. These are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Spirulina is one of my favourite supplements and I recommend it to clients regularly as well as taking it myself.

Chlorella is an amazing detoxifier which cleanses heavy metals from your body.

Spirulina is a great detoxifier but is higher in protein, so excellent to boost your energy when you feel flat, or simply every day. It is an excellent punchy source of nutrients and can help you feel healthier very quickly. Read more about it at Spirulina, The Supergreen Solution

Dosage requirements vary and you need to adjust for your requirements. Because algae are food you can’t overdose on them, and you can increase how much you take in times of greater need. But you may need to go gently especially if your health is poor because too much algae may provide too much stimulation for the body to deal with.

It is VITAL that your algae is well sourced. It MUST be organic or it will be loaded with heavy metals like mercury. Look for tablets or powder with an even dark green colour. Lighter specks indicate the presence of fillers.

Spirulina Bought Watermark29414713_s

PROBIOTIC

Probiotics occur naturally in your gut. They play an important role in your wellness, not only by improving your digestion, but also by boosting your immune system and keeping bad bacteria in check. They control yeast overgrowth and diarrhoea and inhibit lactose intolerance.

Our digestive system functions best with the aid of a quality probiotic. The trillions of good bacteria in your gut are essential for good health but can easily be destroyed or over-run by bad bacteria.

Numbers of these bacteria decrease as we age. Antibiotics are notorious for killing them. Poor diet or pollution can also destroy them. When numbers decline your system goes right out of balance and you can suffer many symptoms.

Probiotics come from two sources – fermented foods or a probiotic supplement.

Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea, yoghurt and need to be raw or the probiotics will be dead.

If you don’t eat fermented foods every day taking a good quality, broad spectrum probiotic daily will repopulate your gut with good bacteria to fortify your health and return your digestion to normal.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are the two most common and effective forms of probiotic. You need between 10 and 30 billion ‘live units’ each day.

COENZYME Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 is a power packed antioxidant which delivers various substances including fat into your cells for a boost of energy. It is of great benefit in helping cells function properly and preventing cell damage.

CoQ10 provides great benefit for heart health, and offers anti-oxidant protection for a number of related cardiovascular conditions. It keeps your heart functioning efficiently.

As an anti-oxidant it protects cells against the stress of free radical damage and helps prevent chronic disease.

Once you reach the age of 25 the levels of CoQ10 in your body start to drop and you are likely to be deficient. When this happens DNA is damaged more quickly and you age prematurely. CoQ10 slows the process and may improve signs of aging like fine wrinkles.

CoQ10 seems to offer benefits for a wide range of diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia

When CoQ10 is used for specific diseases dosage varies wildly. But for general health and anti-oxidant protection between 60-150mg daily is sufficient.

 

I hope this short list helps you select supplements you need to include in your everyday health plan.

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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.drfranklipman.com/the-4-key-supplements-to-take-every-day

The 6 Supplements You Need to Take Every Day

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7234/4-supplements-everyone-should-be-taking.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/coenzyme-q10/evidence/hrb-20059019

Best Anti-Aging Secrets

anti aging 2

It seems like one of life’s ironies that just as you are getting your act together in your thirties you start to notice the first small visible signs that you are getting older.

You have a great relationship, your career is on track, you are starting to really make it in the world and you notice that little crinkles that were cute in your twenties are starting to get deeper and turn into proper crow’s feet. The telltale signs of long hot summers are starting to show as brown spots.

Hormone changes are at the bottom of these changes. Our bodies are designed to carry babies through our teens and twenties and after that our reproductive hormones start to decrease. Most hormone changes start about thirty and continue right on through menopause.

After the age of twenty-five we don’t produce as much human growth hormone (HGH) either and this means that we stop replacing cells as fast, collagen production slows and our skin becomes loose and dull. By the time we are thirty our levels of growth hormone might be only about twenty percent what they were when we were eighteen.

As oil production drops, older skin is not able to retain moisture as well as younger skin causing loss of elasticity and producing wrinkles. The decreased collagen in your skin results in thinner less flexible skin which is more likely to damage and is slower to repair.

If you nurtured your skin right through your teens and twenties, stayed out of the sun and off tanning beds, avoided any high living, ate perfectly and didn’t smoke you’ll probably look amazing at thirty. But, chances are you spent lots of your twenties out in the sun, a glass of vino in one hand, a cigarette or burger in the other. By the time you reach your thirties your earlier vices will become evident, you can see it in your skin. The normal effects of the hormonal changes in your body will be worse.

But don’t despair. There is still time to repair the damage and to turn those fine lines, saggy skin, blotches and dryness around.

HELP! HOW TO SLOW DOWN AGING

We’ve all heard anti-aging advice from our mothers since we were small. Brush your hair one hundred times, drink lots of water, eat lots of fruit and veges, get eight hours sleep and lots of exercise. While these are all important there is more to it.

There are two parts to supporting the regenerative processes of your skin and slowing the processes that cause it to age.

When we are identifying the causes of aging skin and hair we need to consider both the internal and environmental factors. Of course beauty does come from within and if we are not putting the right things into our body it will show up straight away on our skin.

Free radicals are produced by your body and are a natural part of metabolism. Your body can deal with a certain amount. But when you make poor food choices, are exposed to chemicals in your environment or the products you use on your skin and hair, you produce many more free radicals, far too many for your body to deal with, and this results in inflammation.

Free radicals are known not only to be the cause behind many chronic and serious diseases, but they also affect your skin by causing inflammation, destroying cells, and causing pigment changes.

 

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EXTERNAL CAUSES

In your everyday life your skin is exposed to many harmful toxins, from those found in air pollution (both indoors and outdoors) to those in your moisturizer. There are the obvious toxins like petrol fumes or those used in nail salons, but there are also a myriad of others that are not at all apparent. And many environmental toxins can affect our skin through pathways that include our gut, our liver, our kidneys and our lungs. No matter which way the toxin affects us, it creates free radicals in our body that lead to inflammation and the resulting signs of aging showing on our skin.

SUNLIGHT

Too much sun exposure can dramatically age the skin. It produces broken capillaries, wrinkles, age spots, dry, thickened, pigmented skin. Known as photo-aging, skin aging is accelerated by exposure to UV radiation. Wearing sunscreen may not be the best answer to the problem of UV exposure, as the chemicals in the sunscreen can actually react when they come in contact with the suns rays to speed up skin damage and promote aging.

Vitamins A and C are helpful in reversing the damage caused to your skin by the sun’s rays. Whether you take a supplement, eat lots of foods rich in these vitamins or find them in the products you apply to your skin, they will benefit. But don’t use products full of harmful chemicals simply because they have vitamins added. There will not be enough vitamins in the product to counteract the damage caused by the chemicals.

Eat a Rainbow
Eat a Rainbow

DIET

Antioxidant rich diets  are the answer to slowing down the aging caused by free radicals, by both reducing them and producing beneficial anti-aging results for your skin.

Foods that are denatured, pesticide-ridden, genetically modified, processed are essentially ‘dead’ foods and toxic to your body.

SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Read your makeup and skin care ingredient labels carefully.

Some chemicals in most makeup products are endocrine disruptors and mimic hormones. Makeup, skin care and hair care products should only contain natural products. A good rule is if you can’t eat it don’t apply it.

Be careful of synthetic cleaning products as they contain dioxin which also disrupts the endocrine system and interferes with the immune system.

 

ANTI-AGING SKIN CARE REGIME

Avoid soap or foaming or gel cleansers. They strip the natural oils from your skin and cause aging. Try a quality, chemical free, milk cleanser, or make one your self. Any cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight needs to be avoided as it could lead to dry, flaky, irritated skin.

Select a moisturiser that will help your skin by keeping it hydrated and protect it from the dehydrating effects of airconditioning and heating. BE CAREFUL, many chemicals are added to leave your skin feeling moist and soft but are actually dehydrating. If the humidity is less than 65% these humectants will draw moisture to the skin from the cells below the surface instead of from the air, which naturally causes the skin to dry out.

NOURISHING OILS

As an alternative a light application of a vegetable oil such as jojoba, coconut, almond, apricot kernel, camellia, avocado or olive will nourish your skin and can be used as an alternative to face creams.

Even those with oily skin can use oils as a skin moisturiser. Vegetable oils, particularly jojoba, nourish your skin without causing pimples, acne or blackheads, which are caused by a combination of factors.

Jojoba oil is a liquid wax which was used to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema in folk medicine. It is said to be closer to human sebum than any other oil which makes it an ideal choice for skin care. Strange as it sounds to put oil on oily skin, it works because chemically oils break down oils.

Gently massage a few drops of jojoba oil into your face. Place a warm washcloth over and allow it to cool before wiping off the oil. Rinse the cloth and apply a few more times until the oil is gone.

Don’t use these oils around your eyes, instead choose rosehip oil which is rich in omega 3.

EXFOLIATION

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells but needs to be done gently or it will accelerate aging and cause inflammation. Natural options include oatmeal ground in a blender with almond or rice milk added. Form it into a light paste and gently massage into your skin before washing.

 

TREATING WRINKLES

While it is important to take steps to minimise wrinkles forming the challenge becomes how to get rid of those you already have without resorting to toxic skin care. Here are a few home remedies you can try out to reduce wrinkles.

  • Coconut Oil is one of the best home remedies to minimise wrinkles and it is easy. Simply gently rub organic coconut oil over your face and neck before going to bed. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil contains an essential emollient to reduce wrinkles and make skin firmer and softer.
  • Aloe vera contains malic acid to improve the elasticity of your skin to reduce wrinkles. Simply cut the leaf off and extract the gel. Apply to your skin and leave on for twenty minutes then wash off with warm water.
  • Ginger is high in antioxidants and helps inhibit the breakdown of elastin. Drink ginger tea twice a day or eat a piece of finely chopped ginger mixed with a tablespoon of honey every morning.
  • Cucumber cut into thin slices and placed on the skin can soften the skin and help remove wrinkles.
  • Vitamin E massaged into the skin daily can help remove wrinkles (simply break open vitamin E capsules)
  • Rosehip oil patted gently into your face reduces wrinkles.
  • Apple is very high in malic acid. Mash a boiled or stewed apple. Add one tablesppon of honey and some milk powder (if you have it). Apply to your face and leave on for at least fifteen minutes before washing off. Apple improves your skin’s elasticity.

 

Above all avoid products which include parabens, parrafin, mineral oil, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulphate, or acrylamide.

These preventions and treatments are not just for those in their thirties. Everyone will benefit from a natural skin care regime and no matter what your age you can always slow down the aging process.

While you can’t stop the aging process entirely, taking a few simple steps can certainly slow it down and give you glowing skin along the way.

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.

skin cream-194116_640
Source articles
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/question-does-glycerin-draw-water-from.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/155700-jojoba-oil-for-acne-prone-skin/                       http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-wrinkles.html

 

 

 

 

 

20 Awesome Superfoods You Need Everyday (Part 1)

awesome superfoods

There are many new and exotic Superfoods arriving in our shops every day. Foods with excellent health track records in their country of origin are finding their way into all manner of products. New recipes calling for these exotics appear every single day. But this week a client who is very diet conscious, always seeking out the foods that give her the most benefits for each mouthful, brought up the subject of ‘Everyday Superfoods’ – good traditional foods that are easy to find wherever you happen to be eating.

This particular client wanted to know just what some of the best plain and simple Superfoods are. Although she regularly eats a wide array of exotic Superfoods, including acai berry, spirulina, maca, edamame, and others, she wanted to know about Superfoods that she can access every day, whether she is at home, work or eating out with friends.

Superfoods is a recently coined term used to describe a group of foods that are light in kilojoules and very dense in nutrients, particularly antioxidants and other essential nutrients that we are unable to make for ourselves. Another requirement of Superfoods is that they are foods found in nature. They are thought to have many extra health benefits and are considered highly beneficial because they provide a solid dose of nutrients for each mouthful.

Superfoods fall into different food categories. Many are vegetables, particularly the green leafy types, or fruits. Many nuts are considered Superfoods because they are rich in antioxidants to clean up free radicals that cause inflammation in your body.

Free radicals are a normal part of metabolism and your body has mechanisms in place to deal with those ones. But free radicals are also produced in your body in response to environmental factors like pollution, tobacco smoke, charred food, trans fats, electrical appliances, mobile phones and can quickly cause much damage that can lead to serious chronic disease.

 

10 BASIC EVERYDAY SUPERFOODS

These are such common foods, now nobody has any excuse not to include as many foods from this list as they can every single day.

 

1 BLUEBERRIESEnjoy some superfoods to honour your beautiful temple!

The deep blue colour of blueberries is the give away that they are rich with antioxidants, ranking highly on ORAC, which measures the antioxidant value of foods. An anti aging superstar, they are one of the best sources of flavonoids around to help preserve memory function  and slow down loss of motor coordination. High levels of the cancer fighting antioxidant, ellegic acid and studies have shown them to have greater cancer fighting capabilities than other fruits. Many recent studies have shown they slow the growth of certain tumours. Anti-inflammatory

 

2 SPINACH

Long before we became aware of the benefits of antioxidants Popeye was onto their awesomeness. Spinach is loaded up with antioxidants and truly a simple Superfood. It contains vitamin C, betacarotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin to protect your eyes, with lots of vitamin K for cardiovascular and bone health, as well as iron for strong hair and nails.

3. BROCCOLI

Well known as a nutrient packed vegetable with cancer fighting properties, broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, folic acid and carotenoids (vitamin A) to protect from free radical damage, improve immune function and reproductive health. Broccoli contains high levels of vitamin K to build strong bones and help blood clotting. It also contains significant amounts of fibre, vitamin B2 and potassium.

4. AVOCADO

Delicious avocados are an excellent source of healthy raw monosaturated fat.  They contain nearly twenty nutrients including fibre (10 to 17 grams in each fruit), high levels of potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid and lutein for healthy eyes and skin. They protect from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eye and brain disease. They help stabilize blood sugars, are great for heart disorders and assist with tissue regeneration.  In addition avocados help you properly absorb other fat-soluble nutrients.

5. ALMONDS

Raw almonds are loaded with good (monosaturated) fats and fibre to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Rich in phytochemicals to promote heart and vascular health and a great source of minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamins E and B6, they make a great afternoon snack. Munch on them in place of other less healthy options.

6. LENTILS & BEANS

All beans and legumes are beneficial. They are low in fat with lots of iron and B vitamins (including folate). A great complex carbohydrate, they are filling but low kilojoule. They contain magnesium and potassium for heart and circulatory health.  They are an excellent source of protein, and with a low GI they help control rises in blood sugar. Combined with complex grains like oats or barley they provide all the essential amino acids needed for a complete protein.  Perhaps the most nutritious legume is lentils. Also, they are inexpensive! Add them to your diet every week.

apple heart bought7. APPLES

The humble apple is often overlooked in the plethora of new Superfoods around. Apples are loaded with quercetin and catechin, both powerful antioxidants, to protect cells from free radical damage. Apple peel is where most of the nutrients lie so don’t peel them. They are also a great source of fibre. You may like to consider eating organic apples as they are one of the foods that regularly appear on the Environmental Working Committee’s DIRTY DOZEN list of the foods that are most highly sprayed with pesticides.

8. SARDINES & SALMON

Wild caught salmon is packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids to lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. It also contains vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Farmed salmon on the other hand, (the only salmon available in Australia) is low in omega-3 and contains contaminants, so to get the benefit of eating salmon you need to make sure it is wild caught. Unfortunately as all salmon in Australia is farmed, the only wild caught one I have ever found is one brand of tinned salmon from Alaska. Wild caught salmon comes from Scotland, Alaska and Canada.
With just as much omega-3 as salmon, sardines are a much better choice in many ways. They are always wild caught so do not contain all the contaminants that you find in farmed salmon. Also being so small you can eat them up bones and all, and they are extra good as then you also get a hefty dose of calcium.

9. EGGS

Eggs are a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, especially if they are organic. They contain the highest quality nutritional protein of all foods containing about 6 grams, and loaded with nine amino acids, eleven vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A and folate, naturally occurring vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells, choline for memory and brain development and lutein and zeanthine for protection against eye disease.
Eating eggs for breakfast gives you a great start to the day and studies show that it may lead to you eating fewer kilojoules through the day because they rank highly on the satiety list.
But forget about eating the whites only, it’s the yolk that holds all the nutrients.
By the way, the link between eating eggs and blood cholesterol is an old myth and studies  have shown there is no connection.

10. OATS

Whole grain oats are one of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre to metabolise fats  and promote healthy digestive system. They are low glycaemic to help control blood sugar levels. As well as helping improve your skin, they are brilliant for those suffering from stress and tiredness.  No wonder we’re always been told to eat porridge for breakfast, oats are rich in niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E and antioxidants.  Packed with protein, they are a great way to kick-start your day.

 

Check back here for Part 2 next week when I’ll give you 10 more basic Superfoods, incuding some that are newer and not quite so common, to eat everyday.

 

What are your favourite Superfoods? Which do you choose to make certain you have some every day?

veg and nuts

 

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://foodmatters.tv/superfoods
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/10/top-ten-best-superfoods.aspx
http://man.bodyandsoul.com.au/health+nutrition/nutrition+advice/7+superfoods+for+supermen,24531

Top 11 Superfoods That Can Save Your Life

Hail The Pomegranate!

“Pomegranate is a fruit of paradise. There is one seed from Paradise in every pomegranate growing on the earth.”

hail the pomegranate

Autumn has firmly established itself in Melbourne. But along with the welcome rain and cool weather comes an abundance of Autumnal produce. Mushrooms, mandarins, apples and pears in all their autumnal glory and alongside them, the luscious pomegranate.  This week I was delighted to see the first beautiful, generous pomegranates in my greengrocers shop.

Originally hailing from Persia where it has been used medicinally for thousands of years, growth of the pomegranate spread through the Middle East, Asia, the Mediteranean and today is now widely grown across the globe including here in Australia.

Throughout history the pomegranate has been regarded as a symbol of most of the fundamental beliefs and desires of humanity, with almost every part of the fruit having significance. According to Greek mythology the pomagranate even played a role in the change of season, which was said to occur because Persephone ate a pomegranate seed, dooming her to return to the underworld (or winter) for one third of the year. In Ancient Egypt the pomegranate was regarded as a symbol of prosperity and ambition, in China and many other places, of fertility.

It is very easy to understand the magic of the pomegranate given the glossy, glowing skin and the rich generous colour of the distinctive ruby red seeds when the fruit is broken open.

Fruits and vegetables that are brightly coloured tend to be high in antioxidants. These help your body by clearing up excess oxidants, or free radicals, which if left to run wild in your body cause inflammation and lead to disease. The ORAC  score of pomegranates highlights them as one of the ‘richest sources of free-radical scavenging antioxidants’. This makes them a powerful tool to prevent those diseases with a strong inflammatory basis like arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

Pomegranates are rich sources of antioxidant phytonutrients, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which protect against free radicals. They also contain a wide range of other nutrients including most of the B Vitamins (including folate), zinc, magnesium, and iron, amongst others. But they are particularly high in Vitamin C, potassium, and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5).

Pomegranate seeds are used effectively against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that pomegranate juice may protect against some cancers as well as modify heart disease risk factors. This study showed drinking pomegranate juice for two weeks lowers reduced systolic blood pressure.  And this 2006 study  found that drinking a 225ml glass of pomegranate juice every day significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer.

Ayervedic medicine employs the healing power of the bark and rind of the pomegranate fruit to treat a wide range of disorders including diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal parasites; the seeds are used as a heart or throat tonic; the astringent qualities of the fruit are considered useful for stopping nosebleeds or bleeding gums.

 

HOW TO USE POMEGRANATE

With pomegranates now in the shops it is time to reap their benefits. Using them fresh has some health benefits over using the stored juice.

pomegranate juiceJuice

The benefits of pomegranates are so high that you don’t need much to do you good. Even a 30-50ml shot of juice is sufficient to have significant benefits. Rather than using the juice as a beverage it might be wiser to consider it as a herbal treatment and take a smaller amount. Just 50ml a day will sustain healthy heart benefits.

 

Like to read more about pomegranate juice, seeds and oil?  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/031068_pomegranate_superfood.html
http://www.nutritionguideexpert.com/pomegranate-seed-oil-benefits/#
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/superfoods/Pages/is-pomegranate-a-superfood.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/08/02/pomegranate-ranked-healthiest-fruit-juice.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate

 

Glorious Health From Golden Turmeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, is a very powerful antioxidant
Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, is a very powerful antioxidant

 

Turmeric has enjoyed a revered status in India and China for thousands of years for its amazing healing benefits. In the Pacific the spice was also known and used by the Polynesians who carried it to Hawaii where it is still known as Olena. Recognized in the west as the yellow coloured ingredient in many curries, turmeric has long been used extensively in Asia to treat a wide range of medical conditions due to its strong anti-inflammatory effects.

The main beneficial component of turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is curcumin. Curcumin is a very powerful antioxidant, far more powerful than grape seed or pine bark extract. It can help reduce DNA and cell damage caused by dangerous free radicals in our body.

There are many who believe that there is a strong link between inflammation and chronic illness. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. These make it very effective for fighting heart disease, the pain of osteoarthritis and many other health problems associated with inflammation.

The effect of curcumin is particularly evident inside the colon where the result of its action is a quick turnover of cells. Damaged or mutated cells are destroyed quickly before they have the opportunity to spread through the body.

 

HOW TURMERIC BENEFITS

Turmeric is one of the most researched natural remedies and there are numerous studies that validate its benefits. These studies have shown that turmeric may be useful to:

Prevent and Destroy Cancer Cells

Turmeric can help prevent breast, prostate, skin and colon cancer. Studies show that it can start a process of self-destruction in the “mother cells” of the tumour, destroying them before they have the chance to spread through the body.

Nine different studies all showed turmeric reduced the size of brain tumours. It also limits the growth of blood vessels in tumours, and can be used to ease the side effects, and boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

 Support Healthy Bones, Joints & Skeletal System

Turmeric supports healthy joint function and is a wonderfully effective remedy for arthritis, reducing the inflammation that leads to pain without side-effects. Studies show that turmeric is a natural pain-killer.

Maintain A Healthy Digestive system

Curcumin helps improve and balance your digestive system. It increases the flow of bile needed to break down dietary fat, which can relieve many gut and digestion problems.

Prevent Diabetes and Hyperglyceamia

The antioxidant agents in turmeric help reduce insulin resistance and may help prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. If blood sugar levels are already within the normal range turmeric helps maintain them.

Promote Heart Health

Turmeric supports healthy blood and your circulatory system. It reduces the risk of blood clots, and prevents buildup of plaque in the arteries, helping to reduce the risk of stroke and other blood clotting problems. It helps reduce bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol to maintain levels within the healthy range.

Slow Alzheimers And Support Memory Function

Studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric can slow the progress of Alzheimers, as well as the progression of acquired brain injury.

Reduce the Symptoms of Asthma

Turmeric helps reduce the inflammation associated with asthma as well as reduce the symptoms. A teaspoon of turmeric added to warm milk before bed is a remedy for asthma you can try at home.

Depression

In Traditional Chinese Medicine turmeric is a long-standing treatment for depression.

Promote & Support the Immune System and Boost Immunity

Turmeric is an adaptogen that helps to support your body under stress and support the immune system.

Protect Against Liver Disease

Turmeric is a strong liver detoxifier, helping to remove toxins from the body and supporting and encouraging healthy blood and liver functions.

Help Promote Healthy Skin  

While neutralising free radicals that cause skin aging, turmeric also nourishes and cleanses your skin and helps maintain its elasticity.

The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can help heal cuts, wounds and other skin infections. Simply mix turmeric with water to form a paste and apply to the skin. It helps with restructuring the skin so may prevent scarring. When applied topically it has been shown to help the symptoms of psoriasis. It is a natural antiseptic and can also be used to treat burns.

Promote Weight loss

Turmeric helps to metabolize fats and provides a boost for the metabolism.

By reducing the activity of the cells that contribute to many diseases including insulin resistance, turmeric helps reduce the incidence of obesity-related disease ans help contribute to weight loss.

Slow Multiple Sclerosis

       Turmeric slows the progression of Multiple Sclerosis

  Recently it was reported that curcumin has antimalarial properties.

 

Continue Reading about research into turmeric benefits, turmeric for arthritis and the best way to take turmeric.

 

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. 

The Health Benefits Of Herbal Teas

Loose leaf herbal tea
Loose leaf herbal tea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo credit: Khairil Zhafri
photo credit: Khairil Zhafri

 

12 HERBAL TEAS TO TRY

Chamomile

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

Dandelion

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

Fennel

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

Lemon Balm

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

Ginger

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

Rosemary

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

Hibuscus

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

Lemongrass

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

Nettle

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

Rooibos

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

Tulsi

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

Peppermint

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

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

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

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

Herbal tea
Herbal tea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disclaimer.

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

 

Source articles

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

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

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

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

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

Related articles

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

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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.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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