Natural Health & Wellness
Creatively Fun Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Family
by Karen Ranzi, M.A.
Author: Creating Healthy Children through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods
Some of the many advantages your children will experience after increasing the amount of fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables in their diets: absence of eye, ear, nose, throat or sinus infections, increased energy and attention spans, enhanced ability to process information, a heightened sense of ease, comfort, harmony, and perception, less hyperactivity, strengthened immune systems, enhanced athletic capability, increased brainpower and intellectual curiosity, emotional poise and a greater range of expressivity. I would like to share with you some of the many creative tips I learned along the nurturing parenting path to enhance a fun, healthy lifestyle that would help children understand the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:
General Tips to Remember
1. Try different textures.
For example, a child may not like green leafy vegetables in a salad but may enjoy them in green smoothies, juices, soups or dips.
2. Keep fruits and vegetables around the kitchen in pretty baskets and brightly colored bowls.
Children will find the varied colors of the foods in their everyday environment attractive.
3. Name the foods you make with lively or catchy titles!
My kids created their own recipes, even from the time they were very little, and then gave names to the recipes. For example: BAT (Banana, Apple and a scoop of Tahini) – a cereal which worked very well at replacing the processed packaged cereals. BAT became a family favorite.
4. Kids love using equipment
A saladacco for making veggie pasta; a snow cone maker for making ices from fresh fruit juice for a special birthday party treat; a small juicer (such as The Healthy Juicer); a mini food processor; the Champion Juicer for making all sorts of recipes, especially banana ice cream; and a dehydrator for making crackers, veggie burgers and chips heated at low temperatures to preserve the enzymes of the food.
5. Play “Health Food Restaurant”
Let your kids be the Chefs! If you set the example, your children will love setting up counters, and preparing smoothies, juices, fruit or veggie platters, guacamole, cole slaw and beautiful salads. My children often used a doorway as their ideal place to set up their restaurant. The ironing board or a small table was the counter. Even when we traveled, we bought food for them to prepare meals for us in our hotel room, and my husband and I would be the customers, paying them for our meals.
6. Kids love dips!
I observe so many children eating their green leaves (such as kale, Romaine lettuce and spinach) and other veggies while delighting in fresh home-made dips made from fruits, vegetables and herbs such as basil, cilantro or dill, and nuts or seeds. Below are two of the many dips my children have enjoyed:
Creamy Cucumber Dill Dip
• 1 cup chopped cucumber
• 3 T soaked pine nuts (soaked a few hours)
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 soaked pitted dates
• cup fresh chopped dill
• 1 to 2 stalks celery
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add more dill if desired.
No Bean Hummos
• 2 cups peeled chopped zucchini
• cup hulled sesame seeds
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tsp. paprika
• 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Blend sesame seeds until ground using a high power blender such as the Vita-Mix or a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
7. Kids adore attractive food designs that display a picture
For example, slicing a half inch thick pineapple circle can be used to make the “sun” and a bowl of orange sections makes the sun’s rays. I have used a heart-shaped stainless steel cake pan to prepare special raw treats for Valentine’s Day. I purchased different ridge-shaped cutters to make decorative trims on cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers and carrots. Children like interesting and fun designs in food, so why not use these tools for making fun shapes with raw foods? It is also easy to find many different cookie cutter shapes and holiday designs for making cookies, cakes and other treats.
8. Use of puppetry with young children is an excellent way to introduce them to fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables and to encourage discussion of healthful living topics in a non-threatening play situation.
9. Traveling with your children provides an excellent learning experience and creates family bonding time.
We were always able to find fruits and vegetables during our travels to Central and South America and Europe. It was exciting to look up and identify specific fruits or vegetables in the book Fruits and Vegetables of the World by Michel Viard and then locate them in the market at each new destination.
Karen Ranzi is the author of Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods, available at www.superhealthychildren.com, Barnes & Noble, and Whole Foods Markets. You can e-mail Karen at email@example.com. Copyright 2010 Karen Ranzi
Toxic world, toxic people
by Anna Victoria Rodgers
What IS Your Purpose?
I’m sure you have already asked yourself, ‘What is the meaning of life?‘ or ‘Why am I here?‘ I know I certainly asked myself these questions time and time again for many years, and, as I was never able to answer them properly, I was left feeling very confused and deeply unhappy. I just didn’t understand what my life was supposed to be about. It was depressing to feel useless and not able to do anything of benefit.
Finding your spirit also means connecting with what is called your ‘intuition’ – you know, when you have to make a decision and you can sense the right answer? But for many, they get the wrong answer because they haven’t learnt to really listen to their inner selves. Finding your spirit also means getting in touch with your soul.
One way of connecting to your spirit is through meditation. Meditation has become a very accepted form of stress relief these days with many doctors now recommending it. Through the act of sitting, being still and deep breathing, within seconds the body and mind is able to achieve a very relaxed state. Hypnotherapists also use this technique to get into our subconscious minds where they can help us to overcome fears and anxieties, unlock past memories, and actually ‘reprogram’ the mind. It’s interesting to know that the word ‘inspiration’ is not only used to define breathing, but that we use it to describe what drives and motivates us.
So to become inspired, we must perform inspiration through deep breathing. Yoga and getting close to Nature, are forms of meditation too. Try to sit still for at least 10 minutes every day; don’t try and shut your thoughts off, but instead pay attention to them and see what keeps coming up. The more you do this, the more you will find yourself less stressed and will often also be able to deal with tough situations much better. Meditation allows you to be still with your inner thoughts and can bring a profound sense of peace. By practicing meditation, you can really get to know yourself, through seeing how you ‘talk’ to yourself, what memories come up and what you feel you need to improve.
If you have trouble meditating, like so many do, myself included, the following tips, inspired by the book Falling into Easy by Dee Willock may help.
Sitting in the right position
This is usually cross-legged or sitting on a chair. Lying down may mean that you fall asleep, so sometimes being a bit uncomfortable will help you to meditate. When I try, I find myself getting super-itchy and cannot sit still! This is common too and only goes away the more you practice.
Making a space just for meditating
If you want to get serious about your practice, then it may be a good idea to create a little area just for this. You can get comfy cushions, or a nice chair, and surround it with incense (the non-toxic kind of course!), aromatherapy, music, candles and crystals. Buddhists will have status of Buddha to look at and may also use beads to hold. You can make it whatever way you like, but just be sure that it’s an area that relaxes you.
Finding the time
Like most things, the more regular we are, the better and easier it becomes. Meditating is exactly the type of thing that responds to regular sessions. Some say it’s best first thing in the morning and those that are serious may get up before the crack of dawn to meditate as the sun goes up. If you can’t manage sessions every day, try to do it a few times a week, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
Breathing is so powerful. It can relieve us of tension and pain and get us quickly relaxed in no time at all. Women who do hypnobirthing say that they had a pain-free birth purely down to the way that they breathed, as well as visualizing and practicing the technique. I didn’t exactly have a pain-free birth but I did manage to have it without drugs and I do credit the deep breathing with this. When meditating, breathing deeply is very important. There are many types of ways to breathe during meditation; some prefer breathing slowly, while others will do more vigorous types of breath work such as pranayama. If you want to find an example, YouTube have plenty of videos on this subject.
Letting your thoughts think
It used to be that we were told we must ‘empty our minds’ to meditate properly, but now so many are saying: No, that’s not always right. You can let your thoughts enter you mind; take notice of them and then let them go. You can learn a lot about yourself when certain words or memories pop up in your mind; some will be a bit silly or odd and others may be quite profound.
After leading a very unwell life, Anna Rodgers healed herself naturally after discovering she was very ill due to toxic exposure from a toxic chemical when young. She started her blog Miss Eco Glam in 2009 where she has gained a following for being ethical and glamourous at the same time, dispelling the myth that only hippies can be green. Anna also contributes travel articles to Get Fresh and Yoga Magazine, as well as regularly writes articles for her website. Anna has also written the book, Simply The Best – 95 Living Food Recipes by 20 of The Worlds Most Talented Raw Chefs and is co-writing a recipe and health book with Karen Maidment, holistic nutritionist, later in the year. She is also bringing out a health and wellbeing book for teenagers in 2015. Anna is an ex-model and over the last few years was the face of St Erasmus Ethical Jewellery for 3 seasons. She lives in East Sussex, UK. Toxic World, Toxic People is published by Soul Rocks Books June. ISBN: 978-1-78099-471-0 (Paperback) £21.99 $37.95
Minerals Make the Difference
by Susun S. Weed
By 2015 half of the female population of the United States will be post-menopausal. But this group of post-menopausal women won’t be old fuddy-duddies with broken hips, heart attacks, and failing memories. Women of today expect to emerge from menopause energetic, zesty, and passionate! Are hormones necessary? No! Wise women nourish their hearts, bones, and spirits with simple, safe mineral-rich herbs.
The secret to keeping your bones flexible, your spirits high, your sleep deep, and your elder years free of chronic problems is not complicated. It doesn’t require a vast knowledge of herbs. It can be summed up in a single word: minerals.
Minerals are critical building blocks needed for optimum functioning of the nervous system, the immune system, and all muscles — including the heart. The production of hormones also requires large amounts of minerals. During menopause 30 to 60 times more hormones are produced than at any other time of a woman’s life. If the diet is not mineral-rich the deficit is drawn out of women’s bones.
Minerals are plentiful in well-balanced diets composed of organic whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, dairy products (especially yogurt), seafoods (especially seaweeds), and small amounts of meat. But if your diet is only partially organic, or if you limit it (by choice or necessity), or if you are menopausal, you need extra minerals.
Herbs, especially the weedy ones, are minerals powerhouses. Getting those minerals isn’t as easy as taking a tincture (alcohol extracts little to no minerals) or swallowing a pill (minerals are poorly utilized from encapsulated herbs) but it isn’t difficult either. At the Wise Woman Center we include mineral-rich herbs in our daily diet; it’s easy, tasty, and very rewarding. How do we do it? 1) Drink 1-2 cups nourishing herbal infusion each day. 2) Eat wild plants in salad. 3) Dress salads with olive oil, tamari, and 1-2 tablespoons of a tonifying herbal vinegar.
Herbal infusions differ from herbal teas: They are darker in color and richer tasting because their long brewing extracts many more nutrients — especially minerals. My favorite nourishing herbal infusions for menopausal women are oatstraw, red clover blossoms, stinging nettle leaves, and comfrey leaves.
To prepare your infusion: Put a quart of cold water up to boil. Weigh one ounce of dried (not fresh!) herb into a quart canning jar. Go brush your teeth and count your grey hairs until the teapot whistles. Pour the boiling water into the jar with your herb (only one herb at a time, please!), screw on a tight lid, turn off the light, and go to bed. Next morning strain out the herb and drink the liquid: cold, hot, or at room temperature. Add honey, tamari, or milk if desired.
Oatstraw (Avena sativa) has a mellow taste. It eases frazzled nerves, lowers cholesterol, improves circulation, strengthens bones, eases headaches, relieves depression and encourages us to be sexy old ladies!
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) infusion not only builds bones, and prevents cancer, it reduces serum cholesterol (protecting heart health) and helps maintain strong pelvic tissues –thus preventing incontinence, lowered libido, atrophic vaginitis, and uterine prolapse. Red clover contains ten times more phytoestrogens than soy, without soy’s bone-damaging, thyroid-impairing side-effects .
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) infusion contains more than 500 milligrams of calcium per cup. (Nettle tea has none, neither does the tincture.) Nettle strengthens adrenal functioning, promotes sound sleep, increases overall energy, prevents allergic reactions, strengthens the blood vessels, and prevents hair loss.
Comfrey (Symphytum uplandicum x) is controversial. Ingestion of its roots can cause severe liver congestion. The leaves are safe, though labeled otherwise. Comfrey leaf infusion helps maintain good vaginal lubrication, strengthens the bones, protects against cancer, soothes painful joints, and improves mental functioning.
Eat Wild Salads During Menopause
Eating a few wild leaves in my salads helps keep me connected to the earth even when I’m in the city. (I figure the pollution on the plants is the same stuff I’m breathing!) Wild foods nourish the wild woman within and help me remember that Mother Nature does, indeed, provide.
It’s easy to find chickweed (Stellaria media) in large planters on street corners and in gardens. Mince her stalks and leaves into your salads to nourish your thyroid and help prevent excess weight gain during menopause. (Ten to fifteen pounds can be normal and healthy however.)
Mallow (Malva neglecta) likes city parks as well as country farms and is often found in drainage ditches. Both the roots, thinly sliced, and the leaves (flowers, too!) can be added to salads to soothe and strengthen intestines and reproductive organs, to ease nerves, and to cool our hot flashes.
The two similiar tasting but unrelated sour grasses — sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) and wood sorrel (Oxalis) — are vitamin C rich additions to salads found under trees and shrubs.
Spicy cresses — such as wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris), cowcress (Lepidium campestre), and garlic mustard (Allaria officinalis) — are common weeds throughout much of the world and renowned as cancer preventatives.
And, of course, the seaweeds, added to salads either fresh or dried. Some of my favorites include hijiki/ celery/shitake salad and seapalm fronds soaked, sliced and tossed with salad greens.
Use Tonifying Herbal Vinegars During Menopause
Vinegar is the ideal medium for extracting minerals from fresh herbs. Making them is easy and fun. Chop the herb finely, enough to fill any jar. Add enough room temperature pasteurized apple cider vinegar to fill the jar to the top. (Be careful not to put in too much herb; an 8 ounce jar will hold a cup of chopped herb and about 6 ounces of vinegar.) Cork your jar or cover it with plastic wrap, and don’t forget the label. For best mineral extraction, wait at least six weeks before using the vinegar. (You can eat the pickled roots and leaves or discard them.)
Tonifying herbs add specific effects to their mineral-rich properties. Fresh leaves of any mint (including motherwort, rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage, lemon balm, and bergamot) are excellent tonics. So are dandelion, burdock, and yellow dock roots. And everyone lives near my favorite tonic: the herb I call cronewort — in honor of the visionary powers of old women.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) may be the single most useful herb for menopausal women. Taken as a vinegar or as a tincture (dose is 5-25 drops as needed), motherwort leaves and flowers act to calm the nerves, relieve premenstrual tension, ease menstrual cramping, restore lubrication and elasticity to the vagina, strengthen the heart, and maintain hormonal balance. Motherwort vinegar is exceptionally rich in minerals, too.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) is a powerful ally for the menopausal woman who suffers from endless hot flashes. All parts of the herb — leaves, roots, and flowers — can be used to strengthen the liver, aid digestion, and cool off those volcanic flashes. Dandelion also helps promote healthy breasts and clear skin. It’s rich in bone-building minerals and contains enormous amounts of cancer-preventing carotenes (14,000 units of pro-vitamin A in 100 grams of leaves).
Burdock (Arctium lappa) roots may be, with great difficulty, dug out of the ground at the end of their first year of growth. Or they may be, fairly easily, bought in health food stores and Oriental markets. Cook the fresh roots as a tasty vegetable (see Healing Wise for recipes), preserve them in vinegar, or tincture them (a dose is 10-50 drops, up to three times a day). All will help strengthen the liver, clear the skin, promote regrowth of thinning hair, cool hot flashes, ease mood swings, and reverse pre-cancerous changes.
Yellow dock (Rumex crispus and other species) roots are intensely bitter, suggesting moderation. The vinegar is delicious as a condiment with beans and cooked greens. Both tincture and vinegar encourage the blood to utilize more iron, important for the menopausal woman who’s bothered by flooding or fibroids.
Cronewort/mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is an ideal tonic for older women: It strengthens the cardiovascular, urinary, and nervous systems. Mineral-rich cronewort builds steady nerves as it relaxes. As with all Artemisias, cronewort has visionary properties and can be used to help us see menopause differently: More than the end of physical fertility, menopause is also the beginning of one of the most creative, productive times of a woman’s life.
To learn more, read: Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way, Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90 by Susun Weed.
Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 8 Healing sweets: herbal honeys, syrups, and cough drops – Part 1 by Susun S Weed
Be Your Own Herbal Expert Part 8
Healing sweets: herbal honeys, syrups, and cough drops Part 1
by Susun S Weed
Honey has been regarded as a healing substance for thousands of years. Greek healers relied on honey water, vinegar water, and honey/vinegar water as their primary cures. An Egyptian medical text dated to about 2600 BCE mentions honey 500 times in 900 remedies. What makes honey so special?
First, honey is antibacterial. It counters infections on the skin, in the intestines, in the respiratory system, or throughout the body.
Second, honey is hydroscopic, a long word meaning “water loving”. Honey holds moisture in the place where it is put; it can even draw moisture out of the air. A honey facial leaves skin smooth and deliciously moist. These two qualities – anti-infective and hydroscopic – make honey an ideal healer of wounds of all kinds, including burns, bruises and decubita (skin ulcers), an amazing soother for sore throats, a powerful ally against bacterial diarrhea, and a counter to asthma.
Third, honey may be as high as 35 percent protein. This, along with the readily-available carbohydrate (sugar) content, provides a substantial surge of energy and a counter to depression. Some sources claim that honey is equal, or superior, to ginseng in restoring vitality. Honey’s proteins also promote healing, both internally and externally.
And honey is a source of vitamins B, C, D and E, as well as some minerals. It appears to strengthen the immune system and help prevent (some authors claim to cure) cancer.
Honey is gathered from flowers, and individual honeys from specific flowers may be more beneficial than a blended honey. Tupelo honey, from tupelo tree blossoms, is high in levulose, which slows the digestion of the honey making it more appropriate for diabetics. Manuka honey, from New Zealand, is certified as antibacterial. My “house brand” is a rich, black, locally-produced autumn honey gathered by the bees from golden rod, buckwheat, chicory, and other wild flowers.
Raw honey also contains pollen and propolis, bee and flower products that have special healing powers.
Bee pollen, like honey, is a concentrated source of protein and vitamins; unlike honey, it is a good source of minerals, hormonal precursors, and fatty acids. Bee pollen has a reputation for relieving, and with consistent use, curing allergies and asthma. The pollens that cause allergic reactions are from plants that are wind-pollinated, not bee-pollinated, so any bee pollen, or any honey containing pollen, ought to be helpful. One researcher found an 84 percent reduction in symptoms among allergy sufferers who consumed a spoonful of honey a day during the spring, summer, and fall plus three times a week in the winter.
Propolis is made by the bees from resinous tree saps and is a powerful antimicrobial substance. Propolis can be tinctured in pure grain alcohol (resins do not dissolve well in 100 proof vodka, my first choice for tinctures) and used to counter infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, colds, flus, gum disease, and tooth decay.
WARNING: All honey, but especially raw honey, contains the spores of botulinus. While this is not a problem for adults, children under the age of one year may not have enough stomach acid to prevent these spores from developing into botulism, a deadly poison.
Herbal honeys are made by pouring honey over fresh herbs and allowing them to merge over a period of several days to several months. When herbs are infused into honey, the water-loving honey absorbs all the water-soluble components of the herb, and all the volatile oils too, most of which are anti-infective. Herbal honeys are medicinal and they taste great. When I look at my shelf of herbal honeys I feel like the richest person in the world.
USING YOUR HERBAL HONEYS
Place a tablespoonful of your herbal honey (include herb as well as honey) into a mug; add boiling water; stir and drink. Or, eat herbal honeys by the spoonful right from the jar to soothe and heal sore, infected throats and tonsils. Smear the honey (no herb please) onto wounds and burns.
MAKE AN HERBAL HONEY
Coarsely chop the fresh herb of your choice (leave garlic whole). Put chopped herb into a wide-mouthed jar, filling almost to the top. Pour honey into the jar, working it into the herb with a chopstick if needed. Add a little more honey to fill the jar to the very top. Cover tightly. Label.
Your herbal honey is ready to use in as little as a day or two, but will be more medicinal if allowed to sit for six weeks.
Herbal honeys made from aromatic herbs make wonderful gifts.
MAKE A RUSSIAN COLD REMEDY
Fill a small jar with unpeeled cloves of garlic. If desired, add one very small onion, cut in quarters, but not peeled. Fill the jar with honey. Label and cover.
This remedy is ready to use the next day. It is taken by the spoonful to ward off both colds and flus. It is sovereign against sore throats, too. And it tastes yummy!
(Garlic may also carry botulinus spores, but no adult has ever gotten botulism from this remedy. A local restaurant poisoned patrons by keeping garlic in olive oil near a hot stove for months before using it, though.)
MAKE AN EGYPTIAN WOUND SALVE
“I thought at first this would be dreadful stuff to put on an open wound . . . Instead, the bacteria in the fat disappeared and when pathogenic bacteria were added . . . they were killed just as fast,” commented scientists who tested this formula found in the ancient Smith Papyrus.
Mix one tablespoonful of honey with two tablespoonsful of organic animal fat. Put in a small jar and label.
Increase the wound-healing ability of this salve by using an herbally-infused fat.
MAKE A REMEDY TO COUNTER DIARRHEA
Fill one glass with eight ounces of orange juice. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoonful of honey. Fill another glass with eight ounces of distilled water. Add ¼ teaspoonful of baking soda. Drink alternately from both glasses until empty.
MAKE DR. CHRISTOPHER’S BURN HEALER
He recommends this for burns covering large areas. Keep the burn constantly wet with this healer for best results.
Place chopped fresh comfrey leaves in a blender. Add aloe vera gel to half cover. Add honey to cover. Blend and apply.
Best to make only as much as you can use in a day; store extra in refrigerator.
FRESH PLANTS THAT I USE TO MAKE HERBAL HONEYS
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Comfrey leaf (Symphytum off.)
Cronewort/mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Ginger root (Zingiber officinalis)
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
Lavender (Lavendula off.)
Lemon Balm (Melissa off.)
Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Osha root (Ligusticum porterii)
Peppermint (Mentha pipperata)
Rose petals (Rosa canina and others)
Rose hips (Rosa)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus off.)
Sage (Salvia off.)
Shiso (Perilla frutescens)
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Thyme (Thymus species)
Yarrow blossoms (Achillea millefolium)
to be continued next time … (herbal syrups + more)
Book Excerpt: Chapter 8
Diabetes Prevention and Management
Multi-micronutrients, Diet, and Lifestyle Recommendations
In spite of current preventive recommendations, the incidence of diabetes is increasing throughout the world including in the United States. This increase implies that the proposed recommendations–primarily changes in diet and lifestyle–are not having optimal results. If there are no significant changes in the current preventive recommendations, it is estimated that by 2034 the number of individuals in the United States with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes will increase from about 23.7 million to 44.1 million. During this period, about 65 percent of the population is expected to remain overweight or obese. The annual medical cost of this disease is expected to rise from 113 billion to 336 billion dollars, a threefold increase during the same time period. The projected increase in this disease and its related cost makes it imperative that we develop an additional strategy for prevention. This chapter describes a novel prevention strategy using micronutrients that would complement the current recommendations.
TYPES OF PREVENTION STRATEGIES
Prevention strategies can be divided into two groups: primary prevention and secondary prevention. Primary prevention strategies include ways to avoid exposure to agents that can induce one or more risk factors for developing diabetes. The purpose of primary prevention is to protect non-diabetic individuals or pre-diabetic individuals from actual onset of diabetes. Secondary prevention focuses on stopping or slowing diabetes progression in high-risk populations. Secondary prevention strategies may involve insulin (in the case of type 1 diabetes) and micronutrients together with changes in diet and lifestyle.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRIMARY PREVENTION
Changes in Diet and Lifestyle Primary prevention strategies for both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes should be adopted from childhood. Pregnant women who have a family history of type 1 diabetes should also adopt primary prevention strategies. Diet and lifestyle changes are very important in primary prevention. Fat-rich and calorie-rich diets and physical inactivity contribute to obesity and insulin resistance, which are considered major risk factors in the development of diabetes. Increased levels of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are found in obese individuals and individuals with insulin resistance. To reduce obesity, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation, I recommend daily consumption of a low-fat and high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits (especially grapes and berries) and leafy vegetables. It is also recommended to avoid excessive intake of carbohydrates and proteins. Whenever oil is used for cooking, virgin olive oil is preferred because it is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has been shown to have beneficial effects in patients with diabetes. For non-vegetarians, fish (especially salmon) twice a week and chicken is recommended. For vegetarians, I recommend an increased intake of lima beans and soy or soy products. Certain spices and herbs–such as turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger–can be added to vegetables or meat. These spices and herbs have antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties. Changes in lifestyle recommendations include maintaining normal weight, reducing obesity, increasing physical activity, stopping tobacco smoking, reducing stress, and exercising moderately four to five times a week. Moderate exercise includes walking twenty to twenty-five minutes per day at least five days per week or using a treadmill and weight lifting for thirty minutes three to four times a week. The level of exercise depends upon the age and condition of the individual. These changes appear to be easy to implement, but in reality, they are difficult to follow consistently. This is due to the fact that human behavior and habits are difficult to change. This is supported by the phenomenon that despite extensive education programs about maintaining normal weight, the number of overweight and obese individuals is increasing in the United States.
An appropriate preparation of multiple micronutrients is equally important for primary prevention and complements the effect of changes in diet and lifestyle in reducing the risk of diabetes. Micronutrients include dietary antioxidants (vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium) and endogenous antioxidants (alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione-elevating agent n-acetylcysteine, coenzyme Q10, and L-carnitine), B vitamins, vitamin D, chromium, and appropriate minerals. The doses of each of these ingredients in a micronutrient formulation would differ depending upon the age of the individual. Micronutrient formulations for various age groups are presented in tables 8.1 to 8.4. These formulations, now referred to as BioArmor, have been patented by the Premier Micronutrient Corporation and are currently marketed to consumers. These formulations have unique properties that are not found in other multi-vitamin preparations currently sold. For example, the micronutrient formulations have no iron, copper, manganese, or heavy metals (vanadium, zirconium, and molybdenum). Iron and copper are not added because they are known to interact with vitamin C and generate excessive amounts of free radicals. In addition, prolonged consumption of these trace minerals in the presence of antioxidants may increase the free iron or copper stores in the body, because there is no way for men to excrete iron, nor for women after menopause. Increased stores of free iron may increase the risk of some human chronic diseases including heart disease. Heavy metals are not added because prolonged consumption may increase their levels in the body, and because there is no significant mechanism for excretion of these metals from the body. High levels of these metals are considered neurotoxic.
TABLE 8.1 FORMULATION FOR CHILDREN 5-10 YEARS OF AGE WITHOUT A DIABETES RISK FACTOR
Micronutrient / Amount Vitamin A (palmitate) / 1,500 IU Natural mixed carotenoids / 5 mg Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate) / 100 mg Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) / 400 IU Vitamin E (two forms: d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate and d-alpha tocopheryl acid succinate, 25 IU each) / 50 IU Vitamin B1 (Thiamine mononitrate) / 2 mg Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) / 2 mg Niacin (as Niacinamide ascorbate) / 10 mg Vitamin B6 ( Pyridoxine HCl) / 2 mg Folate (Folic acid) / 400 mcg Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) / 5 mcg Biotin / 100 mcg Pantothenic acid (as d-calcium pantothenate) / 5 mg Calcium citrate / 100 mg Magnesium citrate / 50 mg Zinc glycinate / 7.5 mg Selenium (l-selenomethionine) / 50 mcg Chromium (as chromium picolinate) / 25 mcg
Bio: Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., is the chief scientific officer of the Premier Micronutrient Corporation, the former director of the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the former president of the International Society of Nutrition and Cancer. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
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Fighting Diabetes with Vitamins and Antioxidants by Kedar N. Prasad, Ph. D., © 2014 Healing Arts Press. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
Stuck Living in Mediocreland?
3 Quick Tips to Escape the Rut
by Shawn Anderson
Wake-up alarm sounds. Hit snooze button. Steal ten minutes more sleep. Groan. Get coffee. Wake kids. Take shower. Get dressed. Yell at kids. Drive to work. Slump into chair. Check email. Check Facebook. Meet deadlines. Waste time chatting. Watch clock. Check Facebook again. Sneak out early. Wait in traffic. Get groceries. Chaperone kids. Shout about homework. Make dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat.
Of course, there is no way this sounds familiar. Right? Maybe to our friends, but never to us. Not to worry…this is for them. (The friends.)
To help those “friends” who are stuck in a life rut, motivational guru Shawn Anderson shares three quick rut-escaping tips you can provide to those who need emergency advice and are living the same day over…and over…and over:
TIP #1: Quit living in Mediocreland.
Stuck on mediocrity? Well, look in the mirror at the person responsible. It’s you. You created your average-ness…and you can un-create it, too. Want out of the rut? Quit making excuses, quit pointing fingers, and quit waiting for a miracle to fly you out of Mediocreland. If you’re ever going to leave the world of average, you need to start creating the changes you seek. Cast a vision. Create a plan. Take massive action. Passive residents are not allowed to fly.
TIP #2: Don’t expect an overnight miracle.
It’s impossible to go from “ice cold” (in the rut) to “red hot” (out of the rut) overnight. Massive change just doesn’t happen that way. Don’t expect it. Do expect, though, that you can grow to “red hot” if you hold yourself accountable to take one step a day towards the changes you want in your life. Single steps daily add up to big changes eventually.
TIP #3: Don’t wait for perfect.
Waiting for the perfect scenario to unfold before making changes? Your reasons to wait before taking action might sound good in your head now. The problem is that five years down the road those same reasons will probably still exist…and you’ll probably still be in a rut. Life is too short to wait for the stars to fall into perfect alignment before we take life action. Live and live now. Otherwise, waiting too long for the right risk-taking moment eventually leads to paralyzing fear…which leads to complacency…which leads to “I don’t care” acceptance.
The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Shawn Anderson lives and breathes all things related to “going the extra mile” in order to live a life we love. Last year, Anderson’s Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as “Extra Mile Day”… a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we “go the extra mile.”
“My feeling is ‘we get one life’ so why ever choose to live it with anything less than our deepest passion and most ardent dedication? We create the life we live…one way or another,” Anderson says.
For more information about Shawn Anderson, or to subscribe to his free motivational newsletter, go to www.ShawnAnderson.com.
Empathic Illnesses: Do You Absorb Other People’s Symptoms?
by Judith Orloff MD
Adaped from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life (Harmony Books, 2014)
Empathic illnesses are those in which you manifest symptoms that are not your own. Many patients have come to me labeled “agoraphobic” with panic disorders, chronic depression, fatigue, pain, or mysterious ailments that respond only partially to medications or psychotherapy. Some were nearly housebound or ill for years. They’d all say, “I dread being in crowds. Other people’s anger, stress, and pain drain me, and I need a lot of alone time to refuel my energy.” When I took a close history of all these patients I found that they were what I call “physical empaths:” people whose bodies are so porous they absorb the symptoms of others. I relate because I am one. Physical empaths do not have the defenses that others have to screen things out. As a psychiatrist, knowing this significantly changed how I treated these patients. My job became teaching them to center and protect themselves, set healthy boundaries, and let go of energy they picked up from others.
To determine if you are a physical empath take the following quiz.
Quiz: Am I a Physical Empath?
• Have I been labeled as overly sensitive or a hypochondriac?
• Have I ever sat next to someone who seemed nice but suddenly my eyelids got heavy and I felt like taking a nap?
• Do I feel uneasy, tired, or sick in crowds and avoid them?
• Do I feel someone else’s anxiety or physical pain in my body?
• Do I feel exhausted by angry or hostile people?
• Do I run from doctor to doctor for medical tests, but I’m told “You’re fine.”
• Am I chronically tired or have many unexplained symptoms
• Do I frequently feel overwhelmed by the world and want to stay home?
If you answered “yes” to 1-3 questions you are at least part empath. Responding yes to 4 to5 questions indicates you have moderate degree of physical empathy. 6 to 7 “yeses” indicate you have a high degree of empathy. Eight yeses indicate you are a full blown empath.
Discovering that you are an physical empath can be a revelation. Rest assured: You are not crazy. You are not a malingerer or hypochrondriac. You are not imagining things, though your doctor might treat you like a nuisance. You are a sensitive person with a gift that you must develop and successfully manage.
Strategies to Surrender Toxic Energy
Physical empathy doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Now that I can center myself and refrain from taking on other people’s pain, empathy has made my life more compassionate, insightful, and richer. Here are some secrets to thriving as a physical empath that I’ve learned so that it doesn’t take a toll on my health.
A Survival Guide for Empaths: 9 Strategies To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Illness and Pain (from The Ecstasy of Surrender)
1. Evaluate. First, ask yourself: Is this symptom or emotion mine or someone else’s? It could be both. If the emotion such as fear or anger is yours, gently confront what’s causing it on your own or with professional help. If it’s not yours, try to pinpoint the obvious generator.
2. Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don’t err on the side of not wanting to offend strangers. In a public place, don’t hesitate to change seats if you feel a sense of “dis-ease” imposing on you.
3. Know your vulnerable points. Each of us has a body part that is more vulnerable to absorbing others’ stress. Mine is my gut. Scan your body to determine yours. Is it you neck? Do you get sore throats? Headaches? Bladder infections? At the onset of symptoms in these areas, place your palm there and keep sending loving-kindness to that area to soothe discomfort. For longstanding depression or pain, use this method daily to strengthen yourself. It’s comforting and builds a sense of safety and optimism.
4. Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s symptoms, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power.
5. Practice Guerilla Meditation. To counter emotional or physical distress, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. Do this at home, at work, at parties, or conferences. Or, take refuge in the bathroom. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love.
6. Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
7. Visualize protection around you. Visualize an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field against intruders.
8. Develop X ray vision. The spaces between the vertebrae in your lower back ( lumbar spine) are conducive to eliminating pain from the body. It’s helpful to learn to mindfully direct pain out of these spaces by visualizing it leaving your body. Say goodbye to pain as it blends with the giant energy matrix of life!
9. Take a bath or shower. A quick way to dissolve stress is to immerse yourself in water. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.
Keep practicing these strategies. By protecting yourself and your space, you can create a magical safe bubble around you that nurtures you, while simultaneously driving negative people away.. Don’t panic if you occasionally pick up pain or some other nasty symptom. It happens. With strategies I discuss in my book to surrender other people’s symptoms you can have quicker responses to stressful situations. This will make you feel safer, healthier, and your sensitivities can blossom.
Judith Orloff MD is a UCLA psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Come celebrate the LA launch of Judith’s new book The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life April 2 7PM The New York Open Center, NY and April 16 7PM Mystic Journeys Book Store, Venice, CA and April 17 7PM at Vromen’s Book store in Pasadena! For more inspiration and Judith’s workshop schedule check out http://www.drjudithorloff.com
8 Simple Stressbusters
By Henry S. Miller
Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness: Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive
Got stress? Stress is a part of a normal life that you can’t really avoid. The good news? You have more power than you realize to control stress before it prevents you from living the life you want to lead. Here are 8 simple stressbusters to help you:
1. Breathe Slowly and Deeply
Before you react to the next stressful event, first take 3 deep breaths and consciously release each breath slowly. If you have more time, try a relaxation technique, such as meditation or guided imagery, before deciding how to handle the situation.
2. Speak More Slowly
If you feel overwhelmed at any time, deliberately slow down the pace of your speaking. You will appear less anxious and more in control of the situation. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly. If you slow down, you’ll find you can think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations.
3. Take a Break Outdoors
Take advantage of the healing power of fresh air and sunshine. Just 5 minutes outside on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating. If you have more time, 30 minutes of sunshine has proven positive benefits.
4. Check Your Posture
Hold your head and shoulders upright. Avoid slumping or stooping: bad posture leads to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. If you are behind a desk during the day, avoid repetitive strain injuries and sore muscles by making sure your workspace is ergonomic, and take 5 minutes every hour to walk around or stretch.
5. Drink Plenty of Water and Eat Small, Nutritious Snacks
Fight dehydration and hunger—they can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress. Drink plenty of water always have small and nutritious snacks available on hand, such as fruit, string cheese, or a handful of nuts.
6. Do One Thing Today
Take control of your time. Every day, do at least one simple thing you’ve been putting off: return a phone call, make a doctor’s appointment, or file the paperwork piling up on your desk. Taking care of one nagging responsibility will energize you and improve your attitude! You might even find that completing one task inspires you to move on to the next one. At the end of each day, try planning your schedule for tomorrow using a calendar or day planner that works for you.
7. Reward Yourself after a Stressful Day
At the end of the day, set aside any work concerns, housekeeping issues, or family concerns for at least a few minutes. Allow yourself a brief period of time to fully relax before bedtime each day—even if it’s only taking a relaxing bath or spending 30 minutes with a good book. Remember, you need time to recharge. Don’t spend this time planning tomorrow or doing chores you didn’t get around to during the day. You’ll be much better prepared to face another stressful day if you give yourself a brief reward of some free time.
8. Practice Letting Go
When your next inevitably stressful situation comes up, make a conscious choice not to become upset. Just let it go. Don’t waste your energy on situations where it is not deserved. Managing your anger is a proven stress reducer.
There’s no way to avoid stress, but you can be proactive in managing it. Here’s wishing you a happy life with less stress!
About Henry S. MillerHenry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness: Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness: Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness: 20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group www.millergroup.com, he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being. In prior careers, Henry was a Senior Consultant for the Tom Peters Company training and coaching senior management teams worldwide in leadership and his initial career in corporate America was with IBM.
Shungite: Protection, Healing, and Detoxification
by Regina Martino
Book Excerpt: CHAPTER 7
Bioenergetic Research on Shungite
What is the unique property that distinguishes shungite from other protection stones?
I have carried out detailed studies using bioenergetic tests and have personally tested more than 200 stones and crystals that have an influence on the chakras. Among those tested, I made comparative studies of about 20 stones, including shungite, that were able to resonate with the first chakra.
In comparing tests on shungite with tests carried out on other stones of this group, we noticed right away that for stones of the same weight, shungite is the stone that achieves the largest expansion of the vital field, the greatest concentration, and, in a striking way, a significant expansion of the first chakra.
It is quite possible that the presence of fullerenes would explain all of shungite’s qualities:
1. Helping the energetic body correct the influence of left-torsion fields
2. Neutralizing the impact of electromagnetic radiation
3. Opening access to life energy (first chakra)
4. Concentrating the vital field
5. Not taking on negative charges
CORRECTING THE INFLUENCE OF LEFT-TORSION FIELDS
At every moment, our energetic body is continuously informed and influenced by everything around it. It picks up and integrates subtle information from everything that it comes into contact with, whether or not we’re aware of it.
A torsion field, created by the form of an object or by the spin of elementary particles as defined in quantum physics, can have a right rotation (as in DNA) or a left rotation. Research conducted by Russian scientist Vlail Kaznacheyev at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine at Novosibirsk has demonstrated that right rotation fosters life, whereas a torsion field that has left rotation has a negative effect on cells. Pulsed wave radiation such as Wi-Fi and DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) generate left-torsion fields.
The influence of left-torsion fields shifts our vertical axis and totally unbalances our bioenergetic system. Our system tries to rebalance itself, but if the influence is present for long periods it can permanently upset the energetic system and disturb it to the point where it influences the physical plane, giving rise to dysfunction and illness.
When shungite is in direct contact with the physical body or when it is present as a nearby emanation (see the action of spheres or pyramids of shungite in the chapter “Practical Applications”), it helps the energetic body instantaneously correct the shifting of the plane to the left and allows the system as a whole to remain centered. It also allows the individual to be connected to telluric energy and cosmic energy in a natural and positive way.
This property of shungite is its main asset. This is what makes it a stone of protection as well as a stone that accompanies the healing of a number of illnesses.
NEUTRALIZING THE IMPACT OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
Another of shungite’s great assets, which mainly accounts for its recent fame, is its ability to protect us from electromagnetic radiation. This radiation is one of the principal sources of left-torsion fields.
The rapid technological development of our society has brought us into contact all day long with a large quantity of sources of harmful radiation, and very often we are quite unaware this is happening. It is clear that we need to find solutions so that humankind can survive its own technology.
Over the past fifteen years, a number of researchers in the field of bioenergy have endeavored to establish systems that would allow individuals to reestablish their equilibrium. However, it has only been recently that the public at large is beginning to be more fully informed about the health problems created by the increase in electromagnetic radiation. A simple, efficient, inexpensive solution is what we need: shungite.
Our research on shungite demonstrated its effectiveness in neutralizing the effects of electric fields, electromagnetic fields, and pulsed electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by home appliances, cordless phones, cell phones, Wi-Fi hot spots, computers–in short, all of the electromagnetic emissions that generally surround us.
We conducted two kinds of experiments: one was to test the different ways the impact of electromagnetic fields on the individual could be corrected and the other was to try to correct the harmful information directly at its source. In both cases we obtained satisfying results with shungite. We provide a complete account of these tests in appendix 1.
The transformative effect of shungite appears essentially at the bioenergetic level: we could say that it transforms left-torsion information into right-torsion information. Although electromagnetic waves are invisible, they have a physical component, and it is this physical component that is picked up by electromagnetic field detectors. When information is modified on a subtler energetic level, the physical information is still picked up by the detection equipment. In other words, shungite does not interfere with the functioning of this equipment. It doesn’t turn off the pulsed waves emitted by a Wi-Fi transmitter, a cordless phone, or a cell phone; it transforms the harmful radiation.
The solution is not to eliminate the radiation but instead to prevent its deleterious impact on our health.
We’re going to illustrate this especially important property of shungite with an example drawn from an experiment carried out recently in Russia. Researchers went to a site where fowl were being raised and for twenty-one days they studied three incubators, each of which contained ninety-eight hen’s eggs. They placed a cell phone in standby mode in the center of the first incubator. The second incubator had another cell phone in standby mode, positioned on a shungite plate. The third incubator was the control and was used in the normal way. At the end of twenty-one days, the control group had a loss rate of 11.2 percent. The incubator with an unprotected cell phone had twenty-one chicks hatch–a rate of loss of 79.42 percent! The incubator with the cell phone that had shungite protection came in with a rate of loss of 10.5 percent. The figures speak for themselves!
Headaches & Migraine
by Susun Weed
“Oh, how densely packed your head is, my sweet,” sighs Grandmother Growth. “I’m afraid there’s no room for new growth. If you could empty your mind, leave off worrying and planning for a while, and give in to the chaos and its random pleasures, just for a short time, I think you’d feel less pressure and your head would hurt less. The energy of your womb now circulates inside you and throbs in your head. Sit quietly; breathe out through the top of your head and imagine the breath falling gently down to earth. Rest your forehead against the earth. Place this cool stone on your third eye. Your Crone’s Crowning comes closer. This is the work of your body; let your mind rest.”
Step 0. Do nothing . . .
• Follow your natural instinct: Lie in total silence, in complete darkness, and sleep, if possible, until the headache is gone.
• Like fatigue, a headache, especially a migraine, is a way to get some time alone. Is finding time for yourself usually a headache?
Step 1. Collect information . . .
Menopause often brings relief to the woman who has had migraine headaches since adolescence. Other women experience headaches for the first time during menopause, usually the result of fatigue, stress, rapidly changing hormone levels racing through the liver, and rushes of kundalini moving into the crown area.
Menopausal headaches may also be triggered by sudden (and usually short-lived) allergies to certain foods.
Headaches and migraines are a common side effect of ERT/HRT.
Step 2. Engage the energy . . .
• Rub a drop of lavender or chamomile oil briskly between your hands. When palms are warm and tingly, place them on the part of your head that aches. (It’s also wonderful to have someone do this for you.)
• If it’s tolerable for someone to hold your head, try this: Sit in a chair or lie down. Lean your head back into your friend’s hands and allow them to support your head in their palms (fingers pointing down, thumbs above the ears) for up to five minutes. Breathe fully.
• Blinking red lights can relieve extreme or severe migraines, within an hour, 72 percent of the time. Wear goggles that restrict side vision for maximum effect.
• Women with chronic migraines often benefit greatly from the help of a skilled feminist therapist.
Step 3. Nourish and tonify . . .
• Tea, infusion, or tincture of garden sage leaves offers immediate relief from a headache and helps prevent future ones.
• Black cohosh root tincture or a vinegar of fresh willow leaves will ease a headache with pain- killing methyl salicylate. Ten drops of the tincture or one teaspoon/15 ml of the vinegar is equivalent to two aspirin.
• Vervain (Verbena officinalis) was a sacred herb in the ancient matriarchies. Menopausal women use the tincture of fresh vervain flowers, 20-40 drops in water, before bed and as needed, to strengthen the nerves, relieve insomnia, dispel depression, treat nervous exhaustion, and moderate headaches, including migraines. (Vervain was a favored plant for the Maiden’s altar and the moon lodge, where she was used to promote the onset of the menstrual flow, ease cramps, reduce flooding, and quicken desire.)
• Lady’s mantle, another ancient sacred plant, has many magical attributes, including an ability to aid women who are taking on or leaving the role of mother. What a wonderful friend for an emerging crone! Try 10-25 drops of the tincture of the fresh herb several times a day to relieve headaches.
• The beautiful spring primrose (Primula veris) offers relief from menopausal headaches if taken regularly. The golden carpet of Schlesselblume on Bavarian pastures and roadsides is one of my favorite memories of Germany. If you don’t visit or live in Bavaria, you can grow and gather the blossoms of Primula officinalis instead; they’re also a good source of pain-killing salicyn. Make a tea of the dried flowers and drink several cups a day for some months. CAUTION: Sip your first cup mindfully and slowly, as some folks are allergic to primrose. NOTE: The roots of most primroses contain oil-soluble estrogenic factors and cell-softening saponins, suggesting use as an ointment for tender, dry vaginal tissue.
• Connections between foods and headaches are sketchy. There is little evidence that plants indigenous to the Americas, such as chocolate and nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tobacco) contribute to headaches. I do suspect that chemicals in processed foods (such as aspartame, MSG, and nitrates) and in some natural ones (aged cheeses, miso, red wine) can trigger headaches. With other foods, you’re the best judge.
Step 4. Stimulate/Sedate . . .
• Avoid alcohol. It is a known headache trigger.
• Keep cool. Being hot, from hot baths, saunas, hot flashs, exertion, or air temperature, is the second most common headache trigger. Stay cool. Stay in the shade. And just say “no” to hot tubs.
• Sedate headache pain with tinctures of skullcap, 3-5 drops, and St. Joan’s wort, 25-30 drops. I take them together, as frequently as needed, up to half a dozen times a day. Migraine sufferers take them as soon as the aura begins, before there is pain, and repeat every ten minutes for 3-6 doses.
• Anti-inflammatory, hormone-rich wild yam eases the aching heads of menopausal women. A dose of wild yam root tincture is 10-30 drops up to 6 times a day, or infused, 1-2 teacupsful a day. The lower dose, taken daily, relieves chronic headaches. In acute situations, use the higher dose.
• Soak your feet in cool water scented with a few drops of rosemary oil. Breathe deeply.
• Migraines are most frequent between 6 a.m. and noon. Take head-ache remedies before bed and on awakening to insure maximum effect.
• To banish simple headaches, soak a handful of fresh lemon balm (Melissa) leaves in a glass of wine for an hour, or drink a tea of dried leaves. If you want sleep as part of your headache cure, substitute catnip (Nepeta cataria) for the melissa.
• Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) is a much publicized remedy for migraine. It is most effective as a preventative measure: eat a sprig of the fresh plant daily. For acute headache, 2-4 fresh leaves or a cup of strong tea may help. CAUTION: May irritate mouth.
Step 5. Use drugs . . .
• Painkillers are many women’s first thought for a headache remedy. But habitual use increases the duration and frequency of headaches.
• Taking ERT/HRT? Ease off and see if your headaches ease up.
Step 6. Break and enter . . .
• Some women say their headaches are so bad that they want to blow their brains out. Perhaps menopausal headaches, like sleeplessness, are part of the physical “mind-altering” process of becoming a crone.
If you liked this excerpt by Susun S. Weed, you will want NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30 – 90 by Susun S. Weed