Category Archives: Toxins

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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Natural Remedies For Head Lice

Another school term has started and with that comes the re-appearance of the head lice plague. The blight of every school mum, head lice provide a never-ending battle for parents. What do you do when you get that call from school “Your child has lice?” If you’re a health conscious parent you’ll look for a natural alternative to the noxious poisons found in insecticide based head lice shampoos and lotions.

natural remedies for head lice

Dangers Of Head Lice Shampoo

Here’s a toxic alert! Skin can readily absorb any product that’s applied to it. Once absorbed it travels to your bloodstream and throughout your body causing toxic effects.

There’s agreement amongst experts that absorption of toxins through the skin is more dangerous than through the mouth. When toxic substances are ingested they are broken down and often detoxified by the liver and kidneys. When they’re absorbed through the skin they travel straight into the blood stream without being broken down first, carrying the full toxic load with them.

One study found that some toxins were absorbed more easily through hairy skin than hairless skin. This makes one wonder whether higher levels of pesticides are being absorbed through the scalp from head lice shampoos and lotions than is expected. Are the toxin levels being absorbed becoming critical?

Apart from the dangers of absorbing the toxins into your body, the chemicals in the shampoo can also irritate the skin especially if the skin is sensitive, as in a child, or if it has any breaks in it.

The chemicals in head lice shampoo can also irritate the eyes.

All insecticidal shampoos and lotions sold in Australia must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Act (TGA) to ensure they comply with safety standards and are effective.

But although deemed safe many of these lotions and shampoos containing pesticide can be harmful to children. Because children’s bodies are much smaller than adults the amounts of toxin in the products can have more impact on their small bodies.

 

Insecticide Shampoos Don’t Always Work

Lice often become resistant to insecticides and many parents find that insecticide shampoos and lotions don’t kill the lice. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the pests leaves your child exposed to higher doses of poison without solving the problem.

If you’re in any doubt you need to ask yourself whether the pesticide based shampoos are worse than the problem?

 

Natural Alternatives To Head Lice Shampoo

While head lice don’t carry and spread disease like some other pests, they are none-the-less a real problem.

So how do you beat the problem without poisoning your child?

There are a few alternatives to toxic insecticide treatments. Simply by diligently combing conditioner through dry hair with a metal lice comb you can rid the hair of lice and nits. But it can take a number of attempts. Conditioner stuns the lice for about 20 minutes so they can’t crawl around and if you are quick you can comb them out.

But even more effective is to use conditioner in conjunction with an essential oil mixture.

Some essential oils are very effective at getting rid of lice and nits. Plus the mix can be added to a spray bottle of water and used daily to prevent further infestation.

An essential oil mix first stuns the lice just as conditioner does, but unlike conditioner it also kills them. Lice attach the nits, or eggs, to the hair shaft where they stick like glue and are normally very difficult to dislodge. The great thing about the essential oil mixture is it loosens the nits making them easy to comb out and dispose of before they hatch into nymphs.

 

Essential Oil Head Lice Treatment

A number of essential oils are suitable in the battle against head lice but some, like tea-tree oil which is very effective, can be too strong for children’s sensitive skin.

These ones are more gentle but powerful enough to do the job.

Head Lice Treatment Recipe

To 75ml base oil (coconut is great, or sweet almond) add:essential oil treatment for head lice
Lavender essential oil – 25 drops
Geranium essential oil – 13 drops
Rosemary essential oil – 25 drops
Eucalyptus essential oil – 12 drops

Makes 2-3 treatments. Store any left over in a glass bottle, amber is best.
Be sure to use high quality essential oils. Do not use fragranced oils.

Method

Massage the oil mix through dry hair and leave for two hours.
Shampoo out adding the shampoo BEFORE wetting your hair.
Wet hair and wash.
Put conditioner on hair and comb through with a metal lice comb. This makes it easier to remove all the creatures. To make certain you get all the lice and nits divide the hair into segments and thoroughly comb through each section.
Repeat a few days later to remove stray lice from any missed eggs.
This formula can also be added to distilled water and sprayed over your hair each morning as a lice deterrent.
For really bad infestations the treatment can be repeated every 3 days over a few weeks if needed.
Be generous with the amount of oil used. The bottle will do 3-5 treatments depending on the amount of hair you have.

The extra bonus is your child’s hair will smell beautiful.

Remember to take all the usual precautions: tell your child’s school, tie back hair, don’t share brushes and combs, run bed linen and hats through a hot washer dryer to kill any stray lice and nits.

Head lice infestations are a fact of school life. Check your child’s head regularly. If your child starts scratching don’t panic. Get to work fast to eradicate the pests with the least toxic impact for your child.

natural treatment for head lice

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://cincovidas.com/toxic-alert-skin-can-absorb-what-we-apply-to-it%E2%80%94including-cosmetic-chemicals
http://raisingolives.com/oils/treating-lice-naturally-with-essential-oils

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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Chemical Free Natural Perfume Alternatives

Very few women head out to a special occasion without a dab of their favourite perfume. One of the great pleasures in life is surrounding yourself with gentle wafts of an exotic aroma that immediately transports you to somewhere special. Most likely you chose your perfume for its gorgeous smell, not for what it is made from. But, there is pretty well nothing natural, apart from water, in commercial perfumes.

chemical free perfume

 

The big problem with conventional perfumes is that they are so toxic! A serious hazard for anyone wanting to reduce their toxic overload is that a loophole in the legislation means that perfume manufacturers only need to list a tiny handful of the vast array of chemicals that their product contains. This is on the basis that their recipe is ‘a secret’ and disclosing all the ingredients would allow anyone to copy their product.

Make no mistake, this is at your expense. A vast number of the chemicals used in perfume manufacture have big question marks over their safety.

Convential perfumes may smell wonderful and exotic to some (although even the smell may be toxic to many others) but in reality they are just a blend of chemicals, fixatives and solvents straight out of the laboratory. These synthetic ingredients can cause hay fever, headaches, mood swings, reproductive and neurological damage, or skin irritations.

When you wear perfume you inhale a chemical cocktail as well as absorbing the same ‘chemical test tube’ straight into your blood stream through your skin.

Seriously…Not so sexy!

 

What Other Options Are There?

roseThere are a whole lot of Natural Perfumes out there for you to choose from. Some you dab, some are roll-on, some are balms, but they are all made very simply from very few ingredients and contain none of the toxins found in normal perfumes.

Basically ‘natural perfumes’ are evry simple. They contain just two components – organic or natural essential oils or absolutes, and a vegetable carrier oil or a mixture of distilled water and natural grain alcohol. Some also contain botanical or herbal extracts. Balms are made from beeswax or shea butter.

The best thing is that the Essential oils used in these products are therapeutic and have healing elements that work on your body, mind and spirit to offer much more than just a beautiful smell.

Pure essential oils create wellbeing and can help you to feel relaxed, energized, or improve your concentration. Basing your selection on what health benefits, whether they are emotional or physical, as well as on your personal enjoyment of the aroma can be a simple but effective way to heal yourself.

Some Perfume Oils On The Market

The availability of natural essential oil based perfumes is growing. There are now many on the market to fit every preference and price bracket.

The Little Alchemist is an Australian artisan company that hand blends perfumes in small batches.  The perfumes contain a host of  plant extracts rich in antioxidants and vitamins. One of these is wheatgrass, and if you have Coeliac disease or sensitivity it would be wise not to apply these perfumes to open skin wounds. It is generally held that it is gluten that is ingested that is the problem but better to take care.  The Turkish Rose and Cardamom and the Passionfruit and Lime perfume oils are yum!

The Goddess Line has a selection of roll-on perfumes that contain only carrier oil and essential oil.  Saraswati is my favourite, a blend of jasmine, neroli and patchouli in grapeseed and coconut oil. They are a US company but are available online.

If you like a solid prefume balm the Dewi Perfume Balm by Indah is beautiful. It is 95% organic and combines coconut oil, beeswax and cocoa butter with essential oils.

If you want to take things to another level altogether an alternative option are the Aura-Soma Pegasus Parfum range – which combine the healing energy of colour, or chromotherapy, with the purest essential oils and herbal extracts. They are completely natural and free from chemicals. You select your one based on the colour you are drawn to, rather than the smell…as you do for Aura-Soma therapy. The carrier alcohol is certified organic.

There are many natural perfumes available online as well as in health food stores now. Just be careful to check the ingredients before you buy. Not all that claim to be ‘natural’ are non-toxic, remember petroleum and mercury are both natural ingredients!

The use of the word ‘organic’ on a product is no guarantee of non-toxicity either. When a product displays the word ‘organic’ it can mean that just one ingredient in it is organic and the others may be far from organic or even natural.  Check the other ingredients are safe too.

For your knowledge I am not affiliated with any of these products or companies, and offer this information for your interest only.

 

For Do-It-Yourselfers

You can make your own Natural Perfume…it’s easy.

Simply add a couple of drops of one or more of your favourite high quality essential oil to a carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba or even coconut oil. (about 5 drops to 10 mls of oil is a good ratio) Put it into a small preferably dark, glass bottle and then dab onto your skin as needed. The aroma is released as the oils warm on your skin. You may need to apply it more often than with chemical perfumes.

Make it up in small quantities and make more as you need it. I do one with an amazing therapeutic grade essential oil blend I love – it combines about ten different oils. But sometimes I want something simpler so I also love jasmine and vanilla, or ylang ylang, patchouli and sweet orange, or simply sandalwood alone. You can make up a signature blend which you always wear, but it is actually worth making a few different ones as then you can make specific use of the therapeutic healing qualities to suit whatever your mood at the time.

 

Safety With Essential Oils

Pure essentail oils have therapeutic qualities. Care needs to be taken as they may be contraindicated for certain people or conditions, such as pregnancy, high blood pressure or for children. Here are some guidelines to using essential oils including their safety.

 

 What You Need To Do Right Now

  • Take a critical look at any perfumes and perfumed products that you use. If there actually is a list of ingredients ask yourself how many of them are natural…are any at all? If there are no ingredients be suspicious. Healthy perfumes have nothing to hide and will list their simple basic ingredients – a carrier oil and essential oil.
  • Make the decision to ditch the chemicals that are added to your personal products. Remember they enter your body and are carried through to every cell in your bloodstream.
  • Get out there and test some of the beautiful natural, healthy perfumes about, to find the essential oil that you love. If you feel inspired, make one up for yourself instead…I do, it’s a breeze!

What is your favourite Essential Oil?

Do you have a gorgeous natural chemical free perfume that you particularly love? Make sure you let us know the name in the ‘Leave A Reply’ section below so we can go out and try it also.

DISCLAIMER: Essential Oils are not intended for use in the treatment for specific medical conditions. For treatment of health ailments, please consult with a licensed practitioner. Some Essential Oils are contraindicated during pregnancy. Please seek advice from your natural health care provider.

Copy of lavender essential oil

Detoxing Daily

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

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

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

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

 

WHAT HAPPENS AS YOUR TOXICITY DECREASES

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

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

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

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RECOGNISING TOXIC OVERLOAD

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPORT YOUR ORGANS OF DETOXIFICATION

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

CHLORELLA

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

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

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

MSM

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

DANDELION

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

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

MILK THISTLE

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

PSYLLIUM HUSKS

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

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

PROBIOTICS

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

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

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

OTHER MEASURES TO HELP YOU DETOX

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

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

dandelion flower

Disclaimer

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

Source articles

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

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

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

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

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

Foster, H. Detox Solutions, Hamlyn, 2004

Getting Naturally Candid About Candida

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS TOO MUCH CANDIDA?

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

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

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

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

WHAT CAUSES THE PROBLEM?

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

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

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

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

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CANDIDA

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

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

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU DO HAVE CANDIDA

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

HOW TO BEAT CANDIDA

Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

fermented foods

Probiotics

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

Eating yogurt alone will not replace a quality supplement.

Herbals

Echinacea angustifolia boosts the immune system to battle yeast infections.

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

Goldenseal may be effective for candida-related diarrhea.

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

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

Fatty Acids

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

Lifestyle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Therapies

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

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

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

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

HOW TO PREVENT FURTHER YEAST OVERGROWTH

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

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

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

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

lust for life

Disclaimer.

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

Source articles

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

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

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

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

 

How’s Your Liver Doing? Holiday Recovery Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

OVERCOME POST-PARTY IMBALANCE AND ILLNESS

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

nux vom

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

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

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

including grasses and flower pollen

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

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

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

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

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

 chinese_tea

FOODS

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

Photo courtesy: Shawn Campbell
Photo courtesy: Shawn Campbell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO

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

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

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

Disclaimer.

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

 

Source articles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related articles

 

35 Sizzling Suggestions For Bicarb (That’s Baking Soda!)

Before I continue here, just so we all know, Bicarb Soda is Baking Soda – same thing, different name!

Replacing your commercial cleaning products with baking soda (or bicarb soda) is simple and effective and can go a long way towards turning your house into a ‘Healthy Home’.
Replacing your commercial cleaning products with baking soda (or bicarb soda) is simple and effective and can go a long way towards turning your house into a ‘Healthy Home’.

When you are trying to get healthy but you don’t want to cause too much disruption all at once, sometimes the smart thing to do is to look at what you already have in your home and to ask yourself – what else can I do with this? How else can it benefit me and my family? What have I missed here?

It is becoming more and more common for children in particular to develop health problems as a reaction to the chemicals they encounter in their foods or their environment, whether this is the air, water, cleaning products or items such as furnishings. While for these children it is vital that they are exposed to less chemical toxins, it is better for all of us if we too are exposed to fewer harmful toxic elements.

It is always worth remembering that ‘safe levels of exposure’ on cleaning products and personal care products are calculated on the basis of you being exposed for just that one time, to that one product, only in the amount specified. What these level calculations do not take into account is that the same possibly harmful substance that is being evaluated occurs in many, many products that are commonly in daily use, in addition to the one being tested and assessed.

Even if the quantity of the chemical in a single product is within the levels that are deemed safe, there are maybe ten or twenty other products used every day that  have that level of the chemical in them also, and this adds up to exposure to much more of the chemical than the ‘safe level’. The quantity in all these different products accumulates very quickly into an unsafe amount of exposure. Which is all the more reason to seek out healthier alternatives to most cleaning products, skin and hair care products.

Of course this doesn’t even take into consideration the concern about all the environmental pollutants that are being washed down the drains and into the waterways along with all these cleaning and personal care products.

There are lots of things in your pantry right now that you are most likely not getting the most benefit from.

Bicarbonate of soda, baking soda in the US, sodium bicarbonate, or soda ash, is a perfect example of one of these items. Most of us have it in the cupboard to use in our cooking, but it has many other uses that can go a long way towards turning our house into a ‘Healthy Home’. At the same time it can be a simple and very effective ways to improve our health.

It seems so much easier when we are all so busy to just grab ready-made cleaning products from the shop shelf but the reality is that these products generally contain many toxic ingredients, and you have no way of knowing what these are as the manufacturers are not required to list all the ingredients.

Making your own cleaning products is a great money saver! At first it may seem confusing but it very quickly becomes easy and you can make products ahead ready to use.

The other bonus is that home made cleaning products work really well!

My bathroom cleaning kit. Replacing your commercial cleaning products with baking soda and other natural products is simple and effective and can go a long way towards turning our house into a ‘Healthy Home’
My bathroom cleaning kit. Replacing your commercial cleaning products with baking soda and other natural products is simple and effective and can go a long way towards turning our house into a ‘Healthy Home’

There are now a number of cleaning companies that actually operate using only home-made natural cleaning products, made from vinegar, lemon and of course bicarb soda, among others. As a cleaning product bicarb soda can make a big impact. It has a gentle excoriating property that is able to help remove even difficult to remove grime.

Bicarb soda works to clean mainly as an abrasive although there is a small amount of chemical reaction involved. It reacts with grease to form glycerol, an ingredient commonly found in soap. When mixed with vinegar it forms carbonic acid, a weak acid that improves the corrosive action of the vinegar.

It also neutralizes unpleasant odours without simply masking them, and acts as a neutralizer and when it comes into contact with something that is either too acidic or too alkaline. It will bring them back to a neutral pH as well as to then retard further changes in the pH, to buffer it.

35 WONDERFUL WAYS WITH BAKING SODA

Bicarb soda works very simply but can have a significant effect. So here are my 35  ‘anti-corporation, anti-unecessary-toxins, pro-simple-clean & healthy home’ ways to use bicarb soda to great effect in your home.

BATHROOM

1. Remove stubborn stains: Apply a paste of three parts bicarb soda and one part water. Let it stand then scrub and wipe clean.

2. Toilet stains: Use in the toilet to prevent stains developing in the porcelain. This is particularly useful in areas with hard, mineral-rich water. Once a week sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then spray with vinegar to moisten it. Scrub with the brush and flush away.

3. Clean baths and tiles: Sprinkle on a damp cloth and scrub as normal. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. You can use this on fibreglass and all tiles. For extra cleaning power make a paste of bicarb soda, course salt and liquid soap (dish detergent is ok but castile soap is better). Let it sit on the surface and then scour off.

4. Clean glass shower doors: Bicarb soda is excellent for removing that soapy scum from the shower doors. Many products are not recommended for use on glass doors but bicarb soda is gentle enough to do no damage. Simply sprinkle some on a damp cloth and wipe down the glass. Rinse well and dry.

5. Remove lime from taps: When lime forms around your taps or drains mix some vinegar with a little bicarb soda to form a paste and coat all the area with lime on it. Let it sit for a few hours and then rinse off. It may take a few applications to get rid of heavy deposits.

6. Clear clogged drains: To clean out any clogs that have formed inside the drain from hair, soap or grime, pour in 120mls bicarb soda and follow it with 250mls vinegar. Let it sit for ten to twenty minutes and then flush the drain out with very hot water. But, DON’T try on a clogged drain after you have used a commercial cleaner as a reaction may occur that spews out caustic fumes and liquid. To avoid the clogs in the first place, pour ¼ cup bicarb soda down the drain weekly. Follow with lots of hot water.

7. Draw out stains: To draw out stains from stone, marble, limestone or unglazed ceramic surfaces coat the stain with a thick paste of bicarb soda and water. Let it stand for 24 to 48 hours and then rinse and dry thoroughly.

8. Clean grout: Make a runny paste with water and use an old toothbrush to clean stains in the grout between tiles.

9. Hand cleanser and softener: To remove ground-in dirt and neutralize odours on your hands scrub with a paste made with 3 parts bicarb soda and 1 part water or a gentle soap like Castille soap. Rinse away.

10. Clean brushes and combs: Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking in a solution of 1 teaspoon bicarb soda in a basin of warm water. Rinse.

Home made cleaning products work really well and are a great money saver
Home made cleaning products work really well and are a great money saver

LAUNDRY

11. Grease stains: Pre-treat grease stains with a paste of bicarb soda and water.

To continue reading baking soda uses number 12 through to 35 click here 

Natural Ways To Deal With This Galling Problem

Dandelion, a classic bitter herb stimulates bile production as well as bile action.
Dandelion, a classic bitter herb stimulates bile production as well as bile action.

Gallstones are a common condition and gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in Australia, where about 18,000 are performed using keyhole surgery each year.

The gallbladder is a small pear shaped pouch-like organ in the upper abdomen just under the liver, that works alongside the liver to digest foods and eliminate toxins. It is responsible for breaking down fats, mostly cholesterol, so that they can be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine.

Bile is made in your liver from recycled red blood cells, cholesterol and bile salts (minerals). The bile then passes from your liver into the bile duct and gallbladder which acts as a storage house. Here the bile is concentrated ready to be released when it is required. After a fatty meal more bile is needed to digest the extra fat and can be released quickly from the gallbladder into the intestine to help with digestion.

When your gallbladder is not functioning well it can affect your energy level, your weight, exacerbate thyroid conditions, cause bloating, gas and stomach pain and other miscellaneous pains. But many people nowadays have poorly functioning digestive systems and often regard many of these symptoms as being normal.

Many people have gallstones and are not even aware of them as they have no obvious symptoms. But for some the presence of gallstones can cause excruciating pain and other symptoms.

Bile is usually liquid, but when the different components are out of balance the bile hardens and over time forms gallstones. They can be the result of insufficient amounts of bile or an excess of cholesterol (fat) in the bile. At first the fat clumps to form a sludge. With time this sludge thickens to become first ‘sand’, then ‘gravel’ until eventually the ‘gravel’ becomes one or more gallstones, which can be as big as a golf ball. They form in the liver and most of them are carried through into the common bile duct on their way to the small intestine.

English: Opened gall bladder containing numero...
Opened gall bladder containing numerous gallstones resembling pebbles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Problems arise as the gallstones pass from the liver through the common bileduct. When a stone begins to make its way down this tube the result can be what is known as biliary colic. Pain suddenly starts under the ribs on the right side, sometimes radiating up into the back, getting steadily worse for a few hours until the stone passes out of the bile duct and into the intestines. It can be accompanied by sweating, vomiting and great restlessness. The attack passes, but will recur again later.

The next stage of gallbladder disease, cholecystitis, is similar to biliary colic but involves inflammation and fever and vomiting. The pain is often stronger and lasts longer and  jaundice occurs if the stone becomes stuck along the way. If the stone gets impacted in the neck of the gallbladder it impedes the flow of bile and the gallbladder eventually becomes infected. This is when a major attack occurs, often requiring surgery.

After the gallbladder is removed the bile drips steadily into your intestines. Because there is no longer anywhere to store it, there are no reserves for the body to draw on if it has to digest a greater amount of fat so it becomes vital not to eat large amounts of fat that will overwhelm the system.

There are a number of factors that make you more susceptible to gallstones.

  • They are twice as common in women than men.
  • It seems that oestrogen plays a role and having more children puts you more at risk.
  • So does pregnancy, obesity, liver disease, diabetes, high fat diets, the contraceptive pill, a sedentary lifestyle, family history of gallstones and some forms of anaemia.
  • Their incidence also increases with age particularly for those over sixty years old.

Some Natural Ways To Prevent Gallstones

The gallbladder works with the liver to digest food and eliminate toxins. When either of them is clogged up from poor nutrition or a buildup of toxins the cholesterol in the bile crystallizes to form gallstones. Gallstones are far more difficult to break down than to prevent, so it is worth taking steps to keep your liver and gallbladder happy.

Gallstones won’t form if you are digesting fats properly. However, removing fats totally from your diet, while it might seem like an easy option, is not the answer. Your body needs fats in order to function efficiently and therefore it is a matter of choosing better forms of fat and digesting those fats well. In fact eating fats helps to prevent the bile in the gallbladder from stagnating as it promotes the flow of bile.

HEALTHY FATS

The best approach lies with choosing healthy fats. Olive oil, coconut oil and saturated fats from grass-fed animals for instance, actually help assimilate nutrients from foods that help to maintain a clean liver and gallbladder. Select foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish or chia seeds, to reduce the toxic burden. One way to help break down the fat in your meal is to have lemon juice before you eat. Add it to warm water as a tea and drink thirty minutes before eating. It will cut through the fat making it easier to digest.

Avoid unhealthy fats and oils such as canola oil, soybean oil or other vegetable-based hydrogenated processed oils as they cause inflammation and chronic inflammation leads to chronic disease. In addition chronic inflammation causes high cholesterol. Don’t include foods high in unhealthy fats like burgers, fried foods, ice-cream, or cheese.

Raw, unfiltered apple juice is a useful way to support the gallbladder.
Raw, unfiltered apple juice is a useful way to support the gallbladder.

FOODS

Liver and gallbladder health is strongly affected by what you eat. Foods are perhaps the simplest way to make changes to your health. Here are a few that will support your gallbladder or even dissolve gallstones.

1.  Apples are a great friend for the gallbladder and eating apples is a particularly useful way to support the gallbladder. They contain pectin to soften and disintegrate existing gallstones and prevent new ones forming. Raw, unfiltered apple juice is very rich in pectin. Juicing reduces inflammation and enzymatically helps to detoxify your liver and gallbladder. Good selections to add to apples are lemons, celery, tomato and beets. Another wonderful apple juice variation is to add Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with malic acid to it, which makes a great gallbladder flush. The richest source of malic acid is apples.

2.  There are a number of foods that are perfect for offering support to the liver, and therefore the gallbladder. Green vegetables including artichokes, rhubarb, beets and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli etc) stimulate bile  production.  Other helpful foods include green leafy vegetables, fresh ginger, and foods rich in pectin. Add them to your meals wherever you can.

3.  Diets high in refined carbohydrates are a problem because they reduce the solubility of the bile, making it more likely to ‘sludge’

4.  Eat lots of soluble fibre (apples, celery, dark green leafy vegetables) which goes a long way to help prevent gallstones forming and can even reverse them once they have formed.

5.  Having sufficient bile is also essential and some foods that promote bile production and flow are artichokes, beets, dandelion root, and turmeric.

6.  Turmeric is certainly a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food. Adding it to your meals helps maintain a healthy gallbladder by improving the solubility of your bile, so that it is able to break down the minerals and cholesterol in it more efficiently. You can take also take curcumin (the active component of turmeric) as a supplement – 300mg of curcumin three times a day.

Support For Your Liver And Gallbladder

Because the liver and gallbladder work alongside each other, taking care of your liver also benefits your gallbladder. Reducing your toxic load greatly reduces the strain on your liver and how hard it has to work. You can do this by reducing your intake of caffeine, alcohol and unnecessary medications. In addition try to reduce any toxins you are exposed to, but don’t actually ingest. Hair care products, skin and body care products, toxic fumes, even the pesticide residue on  non-organic foods are some factors that put stress and strain on your liver. Don’t forget that you body may regard and respond to many seemingly harmless foods as toxins. Foods such as gluten and dairy foods are perfect examples.

There are a number of botanicals that you can treat your liver to. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) protects liver cells. Dandelion root, a classic bitter herb can be taken as a tea or latte, and stimulates bile production as well as bile action. Rosemary is another herb that stimulates bile production. Both young milk thistle leaves and dandelion leaves (picked from your garden) can be steamed like spinach or added to salads.

There are many wonderful Homeopathic remedies such as Chelidonium, Dioscorea, Nux vomica and Lycopodium amongst many others, used to successfully relieve the symptoms of gallbladder attack as well as to redress a dysfunctioning liver and gallbladder and prevent more gallstones developing.

If you find you get mild pain after eating fatty foods you could take the digestive enzyme lipase to help digest the fat. But, if you provide extra enzymes as a supplement over a long period, and your body is no longer required to manufacture them at all, it may cease making them altogether. It is far better to improve the health of your body so that it is able to more easily make the enzymes it requires itself. In the long run it is the healthier outcome.

 Supplementing with lecithin is one easy way to dissolve gallstones. Make sure it comes from sunflower or non-GMO soy. The digestion of lecithin requires large amounts of bile, and in the process hardened gallstones are also dissolved. Taking even one gram of lecithin three times a day has been shown to increase the concentration of lecithin in the bile. Taking more (up to ten grams) produces even greater increases.

Lastly, increasing exercise and stretching can help prevent gallbladder disease.

Raw turmeric - a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Raw turmeric – a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

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.livestrong.com/article/535096-foods-that-increase-bile-flow/

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-prevent-gallstones-with-everyday-foods

http://www.naturalnews.com/038571_gallstones_prevention_foods.html#xzz2HHGadpLN

http://www.betternutrition.com/gallbladder-function-nutrition/columns/askthenaturopath/1016

http://www.detoxyourgallbladder.com/gallbladder-function/

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+advice/what+does+a+gall+bladder+dor,18591

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Plastic Bombastic – Not Fantastic

The new school year is here and thousands of children are heading off to school each day with packed lunches
The new school year is here and thousands of children are heading off to school each day with packed lunches

Making school lunches can be a bit of a nightmare. Every mother wants to send their children off to school with a healthy lunch (even if occasionally they succumb to outside pressure and include unhealthy snacks such as potato chips). Lots of children are now known to have reactions to certain foods and many schools impose limitations on the inclusion of certain foods, and of course this limits choices. There is lots of advice and suggestions around about school lunches and it is very easy to find ideas for healthy lunch boxes.

But in addition to what the children actually eat there is also the question of how to package it. With the new school year beginning this week and thousands of children heading off to school each day with lunches packed into plastic boxes and wrapped tightly in plastic cling film now is again the right time to revisit the question of the dangers on the kids health of chemicals leaching out of the plastic and into the food.

The issue is not whether chemicals will leach from the packaging into the food, but how much

Over the last few years the media has widely covered the impact on babies of Bisphenol A, or BPA as it is commonly known, used in the production of babies bottles with the result that there are now BPA-free baby bot

tles available. But not much is said about the danger of other plastics, even though research has made the dangers well known.

Plastics deserve their bad name! There have been numerous studies showing the adverse effects of plastics – in particular PVC, polycarbonate and polystyrene which contain the chemicals DEHP, Bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenol, all xeno-oestrogens.

The problem with xeno-oestrogens, such as BPA, is that they alter hormones. They have been linked to breast and testicular cancer, infertility, early puberty, reproductive delays, obesity and diabetes, as well as being found to lower the ability of your immune system to respond to inflammation. BPA has even been found to be linked to behavioural and emotional problems in pre-schoolers. The danger from BPA is even greater for babies and children because they seem to be sensitive to even tiny amounts. Boys in particular are susceptible to the hormone altering effects.

These toxic chemicals not only occur in plastics. They are present across our environment and are found everywhere from the lining of metal food cans, to the detergents in cleaning products, dental sealants and composites, pesticides and even baby bottles.

Let’s break it down a bit

  • Many chemicals found in plastics alter hormones in the body and lead to illness of the reproductive system and other diseases.
  • Harmful chemicals are found in all manner of plastic products and are more likely to be there than not. Some plastics are not so dangerous
  • There is lots of evidence of BPA leaching from the epoxy lining of cans holding food and beverage. Even cans certified “organic” leach BPA.
  • Chemicals leach out of plastics faster when they are in contact with fatty, salty or acidic foods like meat, milk or tomatoes.
  • Chemicals leach out faster when the plastic is heated. NEVER heat food or drinks in plastic, and be very wary of unintentional heating like water bottles left in a warm car.
  • Some plastics are safer than others. The number of the type of plastic will be on the bottom of the container. The ones to avoid are #1 (PET or PETE polyethylene terephthalate), #3 (PVC polyvinyl chloride), #6 (PS polystyrene), #7 (all other types of plastics). Some labeled with #7 are safe and some unsafe but you can’t be sure which it is. One of the unsafe ones is polycarbonate (PC) which is used in baby bottles.

What plastics are safer?

Some safer plastics to use are:

#2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) – a hard plastic used for many food containers as well as some toys,

shopping bags packaging, plus lots more. It is more stable than most other plastics and does not leach out endocrine disrupting chemicals. It is also easy to recycle.

#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) – a soft plastic used in bags, squeezable bottles, cling films. It is safer but not recyclable, unlike #2

#5 Polypropylene (PP) – used for rigid containers like ice-cream containers, plus many other items. It is thought to be free from known hazards but again, is not recyclable.

These do not give you a huge choice and also need to be balanced up with the damage that non-recyclable plastics do to our environment.

It is really safer and more responsible to avoid using plastic .

Paper bags - an alternative to plastic lunch boxes
Paper bags – an alternative to plastic lunch boxes

Simple ways to make changes

  • Use paper bags for school lunches – safe and recyclable
  • School lunch can be wrapped in greaseproof paper (at your supermarket) or one of the re-useable wraps now available. Look for them at Onya or 4MyEarth
  • Store food in glass, unglazed ceramics and stainless steel which are the safest containers for food storage. .
  • Get a good quality stainless steel drink bottle for you and your children and avoid plastic water bottles or juice boxes
  • Avoid lunch boxes made from PVC (#3) and polycarbonate (#7) as food left sitting in these could be harming your kids
  • Never heat food or liquids in plastic containers (not even if they are made of safer plastics)
  • Take your own containers for take-away foods and avoid having hot food sitting in plastic containers
  • Don’t use cling wrap in the microwave – harmful chemicals leach out
  • If you need to store food and drinks in plastic then choose one of the safer ones
  • Only use plastics if they have a recycling symbol on the bottom so you know it is not harmful, or else you could call the manufacturer to find out what type of plastic it is
  • Glass is the only safe option for baby bottles
  • Don’t store foods like meat, tomato-based meals or cheese wrapped in cling wrap or any plastic.
  • Avoid canned foods wherever you can – look for glass instead.

If you do make the change away from plastic containers and food wraps, not only will you be protecting your family’s health you will also be making a significant contribution towards a cleaner planet, where vast quantities of plastics in landfill and our oceans pose a huge problem.

Vast quantities of plastics in landfill and our oceans pose a huge problem
Vast quantities of plastics pose a huge problem to our health as well as in landfill and our oceans

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.naturalnews.com/041912_BPA_fetal_exposure_contamination.html#ixzz2dxplBmpG

http://www.buildingbiology.com.au/index.php/Biology/Plastics.html http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/16/practical-options-to-store-your-food-without-contaminating-them-with-plastics.aspx

http://welladjustedbabies.com/the-wrap-on-plastic-food-wrap

http://www.emagazine.com/blog/bpa-free

http://www.ecolife.com/blog/food-health/plastic-food-wrap.html