Natural Health & Wellness
Cures without side effects
by Max Corradi
Practical healing manual of the most essential and effective biotherapy treatments
This book is a practical and very condensed health guide. It’s an essential manual for those who want to cure themselves without side effects. Part one describes different healing methods and therapies such as healing using the subconscious mind, Nutraceutical Therapy, Phytotherapy, Spagyric Medicine, Tibetan Medicine, Homeopathy, Homotoxicology, Oligotherapy, Low Dose Medicine and Physiological Regulating Medicine. Part two covers a whole range of treatment protocols for a wide variety of health conditions using all the Biotherapy treatments described in part one of the book.
I have named ‘Biotherapy treatments’ all those treatments which are conducive to the restoration or maintainace of health and well being and which are without side effects and I tried to briefly describe them in the following chapters.
Healing using the mind
Mind and consciousness
Mind, Pure Being, all encompassing Awareness (or God) is the source of all phenomena and apprehended reality, it is the potentiality of all events, meanings and circumstances and it is beyond all dualistic apprehensions of subjects and objects, time and space.
Mind is the source of all aspects of sentient beings consciousness, the source of the conscious and the subconscious mind as we understand it in Western neuro – science and psychology and the source of all physical and non physical forms. Mind as pure potentiality is beyond time, space and beyond any Laws, but its manifestation is always governed by unchanging Laws.
On the other hand, consciousness or mind (in lower case), as we understand it in Western terminology, is the offspring of Mind, it is the radiation or effulgence of Mind, it is like the reflection appearing in a mirror.
The power of concentration and presence
Concentration means ‘to bring to a center’ and is the best of mind’s tools. It can be defined as the undisturbed power of subjective attention over an object of consciousness. Once mastered, concentration is called presence of mind and can also serve the purpose of focusing the the mind for a specific purpose.
In a nutshell, the whole process of concentration or meditation consists in fixing the attention upon something which can be physical, non physical, or one’s own consciousness itself and being able to hold it there without being distracted by wondering thoughts or emotions.
Once mastered in practice sessions, undistracted concentration is then carried into all daytime activities and it is called ‘abiding in the present moment’ or, as in the words of Eckhart Tolle, ‘the power of now’.
How to change negative or depressing moods into positive ones
Law of Polarity states that everything has two poles, everything has its pair of opposites and that opposites are identical in nature but different in degree, depending on the rate of vibration, the higher the vibration, the higher the position in the scale.
The positive pole always dominates the negative because of the tendency of nature to go in the direction of the dominant activity of the positive pole.
Nutraceutical, phytotherapy and spagyric medicine
Nutraceutical refers to products that range from nutrients, dietary supplements and herbal products, but can include also specific diets and processed foods such as cereals, soups, and beverages.
Spagyria or spagyric medicine from the Greek ‘spáein’ to separate or extract and ‘ágeirein’ to combine, is a term first coined by the great physician and alchemist Paracelsus (1493 -1541).
Spagyria maintains that a normal phytotherapic or herbal extract could not be expected to contain all the medicinal properties from the living plant, and so the mineral component (ash) which is result of the ‘calcination’ process, is prepared separately and then added back to potentiate the alcoholic herbal tincture.
Tibetan Medicine is a very ancient medical system which integrates human physiology and psychology with Buddhist philosophy, astrology and the knowledge of the five elements.
According to Tibetan medicine, the absolute condition of empty luminosity manifests itself in the form of energy into three aspects: body, energy or speech and mind, which are also reflected in the human body in the form of three humors or energies called Wind (tib: rLung), Bile (mKhrispa) and Phlegm (Badken).
Homotoxicology uses complex or combination homeopathic remedies with a wide range of indications and it is mainly prescribed in order to stimulate the body’s own defense system and to unblock damaged enzyme systems by working on the three main aspects of detoxification, immune modulation and organ support.
Physiological Regulating Medicine – PRM (Guna Method)
Physiological Regulating Medicine (PRM) represents an up-to-date integration of homeopathy, homotoxicology, Psycho-
Neuro-Endocrine-Immunology (PNEI) and molecular biology.
PRM innovative approach combines the essential elements of allopathy and homeopathy, integrating the allopathic element related to diagnostic technology, modern physiology, and evidence based homeopathy which provides the therapeutic effects.
PRM can be regarded as a global strategy in which the nervous, endocrine and immune system communicate and cooperate with each other, and where any intervention in one of the systems will have an effect on all of the others.
The clinical therapeutic model of Physiological Regulating Medicine planning includes three phases:
• Reprogramming of the PNEI system
• Detoxify and drain the organism and the cells
• Symptoms treatment
Low Dose Medicine
Low dose medicine is a new therapeutic approach which aims at restoring physiology through communicating or signaling molecules such as cytokines, interleukins, growth factors, neuropeptides, neurotransmitters and hormones prepared in low dose-active dilutions (through the homeopathic method of dilution and succussion) and therefore without side effects
Since these molecules have the same physiological concentration (nanograms to picograms) as the molecules present in our organism which control and regulate organic functions under healthy conditions, one could define low dose medicine as ‘regulating medicine’ but also as ‘preventive medicine’ since low dose active preparations have virtually no side effects.
Be Your Own Herbal Expert (Part 8)
Healing sweets: herbal honeys, syrups, and cough drops (Part 2)
by Susun S Weed
Herbal syrups are sweetened, condensed herbal infusions. Cough drops are concentrated syrups. Alcohol is frequently added to syrups to help prevent fermentation and stabilize the remedy. Cough drops and lozenges, having less water, keep well without the addition of alcohol.
Bitter herbs, especially when effective in a fairly small dose, are often made into syrups: horehound, yellow dock, dandelion, chicory, and motherwort spring to mind in this regard.
Herbs that are especially effective in relieving throat infections and breathing problems are also frequently made into syrups, especially when honey is used as the sweetener: coltsfoot flowers (not leaves), comfrey leaves (not roots), horehound, elder berries, mullein, osha root, pine, sage, and wild cherry bark are favorites for “cough” syrups.
USING HERBAL SYRUPS
A dose of most herbal syrup is 1-3 teaspoonfuls, taken as needed. Take a spoonful of bitter syrup just before meals for best results. Take cough syrups as often as every hour.
MAKE AN HERBAL SYRUP
To make an herbal syrup you will need the following supplies:
One ounce of dried herb (weight, not volume) A clean dry quart/liter jar with a tight lid Boiling water Measuring cup A heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan 2 cups sugar or 1½ cups honey A sterilized jar with a small neck and a good lid (a cork stopper is ideal) A little vodka (optional) A label and pen
Place the full ounce of dried herb into the quart jar and fill it to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly. After 4-10 hours, decant your infusion, saving the liquid and squeezing the herb to get the last of the goodness out of it.
Measure the amount of liquid you have (usually about 3½ cups). Pour this into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat until the infusion is just barely simmering. Continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half (pour it out of the pan and into the measuring cup now and then to check). This step can take several hours; the decoction is not spoiled if it is reduced to less than half, but it is ruined if it boils hard or if it burns. Keep a close eye on it.
When you have reduced the infusion to less then two cups, add the sugar or honey (or sweetener of your choice) and bring to a rolling boil. Pour, boiling hot, into your jar. (Sterilize the jar by boiling it in plain water for a few minutes just before filling it.) If desired, add some vodka to preserve the syrup.
Allow the bottle of syrup to come to room temperature. Label it. Store it in the refrigerator or keep it in a cool place.
MAKE HERBAL COUGH DROPS
You must make a syrup with sugar, not honey to make cough drops, but you can use raw sugar or brown sugar instead of white sugar and it will work just as well.
Instead of pouring your boiling hot syrup into a bottle, keep boiling it. Every minute or so, drop a bit into cold water. When it forms a hard ball in the cold water, immediately turn off the fire. Pour your very thick syrup into a buttered flat dish. Cool, then cut into small squares.
A dusting of powdered sugar will keep them from sticking. Store airtight in a cool place.
MAKE THROAT-SOOTHING LOZENGES
Put an ounce of marshmallow root powder or slippery elm bark powder in a bowl.
Slowly add honey, stirring constantly, until you have a thick paste
Roll your slippery elm paste into small balls
Roll the balls in more slippery elm powder
Store in a tightly-closed tin. These will keep for up to ten years.
PLANTS THAT I USE TO MAKE HERBAL SYRUPS
Comfrey leaves (Symphytum uplandica x) Chicory roots (Cichorium intybus) Dandelion flowers or roots (Taraxacum off.) Elder berries (Sambucus canadensis) Horehound leaves and stems (Marrubium vulgare) Motherwort leaves (Leonurus cardiaca) pick before flowering Plantain leaves or roots (Plantago majus) Osha root (Ligusticum porterii) Pine needles or inner bark (Pinus) Sage (Salvia off.) Wild cherry bark (Prunus serotina) Yellow dock roots (Rumex crispus)
EXPERIMENT NUMBER ONE
Make a simple syrup, using only one plant. Make it once with honey, once with white sugar, and once with a sweetener of your choice, such as barley malt, agave syrup, molasses, sorghum syrup, or maple syrup. (See list for suggestions of plants to use.)
EXPERIMENT NUMBER TWO
Make a syrup with three or more plants. Choose plants that are local to your area, or ones that you can most easily buy.
EXPERIMENT NUMBER THREE
Make three or more simple herbal honeys using different parts of plants, such as flowers, leaves, roots, or seeds. (See list for suggestions of plants to use.)
EXPERIMENT NUMBER FOUR
Make an herbal honey with a plant rich in essential oils (such as sage, rosemary, lavender, or mint). Try it as a wound treatment. Try it on minor burns. Try it as a facial masque. Record your observations.
EXPERIMENT NUMBER FIVE
Make one or more of the recipes in this lesson.
1. Make a yellow dock iron tonic syrup following the recipe in my book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.
2. Make “Peel Power” following the recipe in my book New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.
• Compare the effects of honey from the supermarket, organic honey, raw honey, and herbal honey by using each one to treat the same problems and carefully recording your observations.
Organic Is Better. Really.
Are organic foods healthier? Worth the extra expense?
The scientific debate has raged on for years.
Now, a new report says yes—especially if you believe toxic chemicals are bad for your health.
Two years ago conventional media used a meta-analysis by Stanford University to cast doubt on the value of an organic diet. This despite the fact that the analysis—which looked at 240 studies comparing organically and conventionally grown food—found that organic foods are less contaminated with agricultural chemicals.
In an effort to further clarify the 2012 findings, a group of European scientists recently evaluated an even greater number of studies, 343 in all, published over the last several decades.
Here’s what they found. Not only do organic foods have more nutrients, including cancer-fighting antioxidants, but they also contain far fewer pesticide residues. This is a no-brainer given that monoculture chemical and GMO farmers kill the soil with toxic chemicals and climate-destabilizing nitrate fertilizer—while organic farmers feed the soil with compost, nurturing the soil food web.
But the key nutritional difference between conventional and organics? Anywhere from 18 to 69 percent more antioxidants.
Read full article here: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_30585.cfm
Reprinted with permission by the Organic Consumers Association.
The All-Day Energy Diet
by Yuri Elkaim
Yuri Elkaim discusses many principles to achieving optimal health and energy in his upcoming book The All-Day Energy Diet
Whether you’re worrying about paying your bills, consistently engaging in insanely intense workouts, drinking coffee or energy drinks, or throwing back a few sugary treats every day, you’re “stressing” your adrenals. Because of that, they respond the same way they did 10,000 years ago when our ancestors were hunting that bison. One of the challenges today is that while the human body evolves linearly, technology increases exponentially (according to Moore’s law). Thus, we have the same biology we did hundreds of thousands of years ago, which isn’t necessarily best suited for handling the increasingly rapid, nonstop stresses of the modern world.
So, collectively, here’s how the aforementioned stressors negatively affect your adrenals (and by default drain your energy over time):
- Excessive stimulation and stress cause your adrenals to release adrenaline and cortisol—two catabolic hormones, which break down your energy reserves for immediate use. Remember, your body thinks it’s in a state where it needs to fight or flee—so it needs that readily available energy. Cortisol, when chronically elevated in your bloodstream, is a detrimental hormone, leading to quick glycogen (stored carbohydrates) depletion, a rise in blood sugar, and eventually weight gain (especially abdominal weight gain). And even when it’s less present (adrenal fatigue), epinephrine picks up the slack, yielding the same problems.
- Adrenaline (epinephrine) has similar energy-depleting effects. Initially, however, it gives you that feeling often described as a “natural high” or “caffeine rush,” because it temporarily increases your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and carbohydrate breakdown into blood sugar. Within a few minutes you feel alive and ready to take on the world. But that quick surge in energy is soon followed by a debilitating crash in which your body does its best to recover from the stressful situation, whether it’s your morning coffee or a near fender bender on your way to work. Can you remember the last time you felt that crash? It probably wasn’t too long ago.
- With respect to hormones, balance is key. We don’t want excessively elevated levels (that is, acute stress), nor do we want excessively low levels (chronic stress, leading to adrenal fatigue).
- If you ever feel exhausted after an argument, a bout of physical exercise, a stressful day at work, or a few hours after your morning coffee, then you can be sure that your adrenals are crying out for help. Everything you feel is a message from your body. In this case, your adrenals are asking for some sorely needed rest and relaxation. They don’t want more stimulation, and they certainly don’t want to keep up with your intense workout regimen. They simply can’t.
How to Test Your Adrenals
The gold standard for testing the health of your adrenals is the adrenal salivary hormone test. This test requires four saliva samples to be taken at specific times throughout the day (upon waking, lunch, midafternoon, and before bed) to evaluate your total cortisol level, cortisol (or circadian) rhythm, and DHEA (a precursor to most sex hormones). This is because normal cortisol rhythm during the day features high cortisol upon waking and lowering levels through the rest of the day until bed. Basically, cortisol rises and falls with the sun and is inversely related to the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter melatonin (which does the opposite).
You can get this test done for about $200 at a naturopathic clinic near you or even online through Metametrix Clinical Laboratory (metametrix.com) and Diagnos-Techs (diagnostechs.com).
Aside from lab testing, there are two very simple adrenal tests you can do at no cost right in the comfort of your own home. These will give you a good indication of whether or not your adrenals are working properly.
The first test is called the pupillary light reflex test. Here’s how to do it:
Stand in front of a mirror in a dark room.
Take a flashlight and shine the light into one eye at a 45-degree angle from the side.
Watch your pupil for 30 seconds.
When in the dark, your pupil should naturally dilate to allow more light to enter. When you shine the light, it should instinctively contract. The duration of the contraction can give you an indication of adrenal function.
Here’s what your findings could represent:
- Pupil Constriction
- Possible Meaning
- Stays constricted for more than 20 seconds
- Healthy adrenal function
- Pulses after ten seconds
- Decent adrenal function
- Pulses after five seconds
- Poor adrenal function
- Immediate pulsation and dilation
- Adrenal exhaustion
If negative responses are observed, additional testing is warranted, and I recommend you perform the orthostatic hypotension test. This test does require a blood-pressure cuff, which might not be accessible to you. Nonetheless, I’ll share a shortcut with you at the end. Here’s how to do it:
Lie down and relax for five minutes, then record your blood pressure. Make note of the systolic pressure (the top number).
Stand up and take your blood pressure again.
If your systolic pressure remains the same or if it decreases, that usually implies that your adrenals aren’t functioning properly. When you stand, epinephrine should be secreted to increase your blood pressure. This helps prevent gravity from pulling blood away from your brain. If your blood pressure drops upon standing, this indicates that epinephrine isn’t present to do its job, and that’s because your adrenal glands are too tired to work properly. Make sense?
Now for that shortcut I promised you, as you probably don’t have a blood-pressure cuff at home. (Don’t worry; I don’t either.) The easiest way to perform this test is to simply go from lying down to standing and notice how you feel. Do you feel light-headed or dizzy? Maybe even like blacking out? If so, these are indicators that your blood pressure has dropped.Yuri Elkaim is a registered holistic nutritionist and renowned fitness expert. For more than 13 years, his honest and inspiring messages have helped more than 500,000 people worldwide enjoy more energy, lose weight, get in great shape, eat healthier, and have a much better understanding of their health. A former pro soccer player who later acted as the strength and conditioning and nutrition coach for seven seasons at the University of Toronto, Yuri is now on a mission to transform the lives of more than 10 million people by 2018 and would love for you to be one of them. Learn more about his upcoming book at www.hayhouse.com
5 Ways to Give off a Positive Vibe at Home, Work and Play
By Sherry Blair
Have you ever been around someone that gives off a negative vibe? Oftentimes being around someone who is negative can make us feel negative as well. Our demeanor, attitude and mood affect not only us, but others around us. Those who give off a positive vibe often times are happier, more connected with others, and have a brighter outlook on life. A general rule of thumb for being happy in life is to surround yourself with positive people. Positive people make you feel more positive! Sherry Blair, CEO of ISIS Innovative Specialists Inspirational Services, shares her thoughts on bringing positivity to your life.
“Surrounding yourself with negative people is only going to make you negative. I truly believe that happy people are friends with other happy people! Think about what would happen if you got a promotion; it wouldn’t be fun to share your success with a negative friend. They would end up taking away your happy! Positive people will always cheer for your successes,” says Sherry Blair.
If you feel like you can sometimes give off a negative vibe, it’s time to turn that frown upside down! Here are five ways to give off a positive vibe at home, work and play:
If you aren’t smiling right now, start. Too often people are not smiling. The more you smile, the happier you will feel. Why? Because! Everyone wants to be around the girl or guy who is always smiling and happy; it’s infectious. Starting today, smile at the cashier that rings you out, smile when meeting someone new, and smile just because!
Smiling and laughing go hand and hand. The more you laugh, even if forced, the happier you will feel. If you laugh enough, eventually it stops feeling forced and starts being genuine. If you find something even remotely funny, laugh. You’ll find that laughing feels good!
3) Choose Positivity
If you have a clear intention to increase your positivity, then tweaking just a few minor communications each day can have a major impact with your friends, co-workers and family members.
4) Celebrate others
Have you ever had a friend that loves to tell you about all the great things going on in her life, but never wants to listen to all the things in yours? These kinds of friends are not positive ones to be around! Since you don’t like when someone does that to you, don’t do it to others! When a friend shares an accomplishment, celebrate it! Your friends will start to notice that you are always so positive about the ups and downs in their lives and will appreciate you for it.
5) Say more positive words
What we say plays a big role in how we are perceived. If you are always saying “no” or, “that doesn’t work”, you aren’t going to come off as being a warm, positive person. Work on saying more positive words in your day-to-day life. Phrases like “thank you”, “I love you”, and “I agree” are all positive ways to communicate.
Note to the media: Sherry Blair is a popular media expert and can speak on any topics related to positive living and mental health. To schedule an interview with Sherry Blair, contact Tasha Mayberry, Director Public Relations at email@example.com or call 207.317.6099.
About Sherry Blair Sherry Blair is the CEO of ISIS Innovative Specialists Inspirational Services, where she inspires and motivates others by applying and encouraging Positive Psychology. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Board Certified Professional Counselor and Diplomate Professional Coach, Sherry teaches at University of California’s Graduate School of Social Work and is the author of several books. The positivity coach teaches others to speak from their hearts in synergy with their minds to achieve results and resolve conflict. Visit Sherry online at www.isisnj.us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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