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N Acetyl Cysteine: A Decades-Old Remedy With Many Uses
April 27, 2022 11:53 AM
Did you know that N Acetyl Cysteine has been around for decades? This powerful supplement was first discovered in the 1950s and has been used as a remedy for many health issues since then. We will discuss the many benefits of N Acetyl Cysteine and how you can start using it to improve your health!
Glutathione and aging
As we age, our natural levels of glutathione tend to decline. This is a major cause of many of the negative effects associated with the aging process, including reduced energy and slower recovery times after illness or injury. Fortunately, there are steps that we can take to increase our levels of glutathione, thus slowing down the aging process and keeping us feeling young and vibrant for longer. Some of these steps include eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, engaging in regular physical activity to improve circulation, and reducing stress levels through relaxation techniques like yoga and Meditation. With these strategies in place, we can help to keep our bodies strong, boost our energy levels, and stay young well into old age. Fortunately, there is a supplement that could help, it is called N Acetyl Cysteine, this substance is a precursor to Glutathione and has been shown to boost glutathione levels.
What is N Acetyl Cysteine and what are its benefits?
N acetyl cysteine has been used as a supplement for many years, and its popularity is likely due to the many benefits it offers. The main function of this compound is to promote the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects our bodies from oxidative stress and harmful free radicals. In addition, n acetyl cysteine has been shown to help reduce symptoms of certain mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. Furthermore, studies have found that n acetyl cysteine may lower blood pressure and improve heart health by increasing blood flow and improving blood vessel function. Overall, it is clear that n acetyl cysteine has been an effective nutrient for many years and continues to be widely used by those looking for an easy way to support their health.
How can you start using N Acetyl Cysteine to improve your health?
N acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect cells from damage. It has been shown to be particularly effective in guarding against liver damage, and is often used as a treatment for hepatitis C. NAC can also help to improve lung function and relieve respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. In addition, NAC has been shown to boost levels of glutathione, which is a key molecule involved in detoxification. As a result, NAC can help to cleanse the body of harmful toxins and pollutants. NAC is available in supplement form, and can be taken orally or intravenously. It is generally well tolerated, with mild side effects such as nausea and vomiting occasionally reported. When taking NAC supplements, it is important to start with a lower dose and increase gradually as tolerated. Those with pre-existing medical conditions should always speak to their doctor before taking any new supplement. Overall, NAC is a safe and effective way to improve your health and protect your cells from damage.
What is the recommended daily dosage for N Acetyl Cysteine per day?
The standard recommended dosage for N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is 600 mg per day. However, some studies have used dosages as high as 2,400 mg per day. The most common side effect of NAC is nausea, which can be minimized by taking the supplement with food. NAC is also sometimes used as a treatment for chronic bronchitis, and the recommended dosage for this condition is 1,200 mg per day. When used for this purpose, NAC is typically taken in divided doses of 600 mg twice per day. There is currently no consensus on the optimal dosage of NAC for any particular condition, and further research is needed to determine the ideal dosage for different applications. In acute circumstances, one might need 4000mg to 6000mgs daily in divided dosages, always work your way up to higher dosages as needed.
What are some of the most common uses for this supplement?
There are many different uses for NAC, or N-acetyl cysteine. This potent antioxidant supplement has been found to be effective in addressing a wide range of health concerns, including asthma and COPD, chronic sinusitis, liver disease, and particularly serious conditions such as cancer. Additionally, NAC has been shown to provide support for the immune system in general and may also serve as a detoxifying agent by helping to eliminate waste products like heavy metals from the body. Overall, there are numerous benefits to using NAC as part of a well-balanced diet. Whether you are looking to improve your respiratory health or strengthen your immune system, this versatile supplement can help you achieve your goals.
NAC, or N-acetyl cysteine, is a complex compound that is composed of various amino acids, including glutamate, glycine, and cysteine. These specific amino acids all play important roles in the function of NAC and affect its many beneficial properties. For example, glutamate increases metabolism and energy levels, while glycine promotes tissue healing and regeneration. Cysteine, on the other hand, facilitates the transport of oxygen and serves as a natural antioxidant. When taken together, these different components work synergistically to promote overall health and wellbeing by supporting key physiological processes such as digestion and immune response. Whether taken as a supplement or consumed through food sources like eggs and milk products, NAC is a versatile substance that is vital to many aspects of our daily health and well-being.
NAC and liver health
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is a compound that has numerous benefits for liver health. Studies have shown that NAC can help to protect the liver from damage caused by alcohol and other toxins. It does this by helping to replenish levels of glutathione, a key antioxidant that helps to detoxify the liver. NAC also helps to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the liver. As a result, it can be an effective treatment for both acute and chronic Liver diseases. In addition, NAC has been shown to improve the overall health of people with Liver cirrhosis. Consequently, N-Acetyl-Cysteine is a compound that has many benefits for liver health and should be considered as part of any comprehensive treatment plan.
NAC, its sulfur content, and mucus elimination
NAC, or N-acetyl cysteine, is a sulfur-containing amino acid that plays an important role in mucus production and elimination. The sulfur content of NAC helps to thin mucus and make it less sticky, making it easier to clear from the lungs. In addition, NAC helps to break down mucus and remove it from the body. As a result, NAC is often used as a supplement to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). NAC is typically taken in the form of capsules or tablets, and the recommended dose depends on the individual. However, side effects are rare and generally mild, making NAC a safe and effective option for those seeking to improve their respiratory health.
N Acetyl Cysteine may lower blood pressure
One of these is its ability to lower blood pressure. A review of several studies found that N-acetyl cysteine was effective at reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension. In one study, participants who took N-acetyl cysteine had an average reduction in systolic blood pressure of 9.5 mmHg, compared to those who took a placebo. Other studies have shown similar results, suggesting that N-acetyl cysteine may be an effective treatment for high blood pressure. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, N-acetyl cysteine may offer a safe and natural way to lower blood pressure.
N Acetyl Cysteine may help blood clots - thrombosis
Blood clots are a necessary part of the body's natural healing process. They help to stop bleeding by sealing off damaged blood vessels. However, sometimes blood clots can form in healthy blood vessels, causing a potentially deadly condition called thrombosis. N Acetyl Cysteine is a compound that helps to break up blood clots and prevent thrombosis. It works by preventing the formation of a protein that is essential for clotting. In addition, N Acetyl Cysteine helps to improve the flexibility of blood vessels, making them less likely to rupture. As a result, this compound may help to reduce the risk of thrombosis and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Omega 3 Oil For Anxiety?
February 01, 2019 04:06 PM
There is some evidence that omega-3 supplements can be effective in relieving anxiety. Recently, a Japanese research team looked at 19 previous studies and concluded that large doses of omega-3 supplements can relieve symptoms in adults diagnosed with anxiety disorder (though not in children or those with un-diagnosed anxiety). As an alternative to supplements, Dr. Andrew Weil recommends the consumption of oily, cold water fish as a means of ingesting omega-3, and suggests breathing exercises and meditation as ways to lessen anxiety.
"There is some evidence that omega-3 supplements can help reduce anxiety in some people."
Read more: https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/mental-health/omega-3-oil-for-anxiety/
3 Ways to Boost Your Endocannabinoid System (Without Cannabis)
December 06, 2018 10:16 AM
endocannabinoid system includes mood, memory, pain, and more within the body. It is mainly found in CBD oil made from marijuana. This system's purpose is to keep every thing in check with one another from the circulatory system to the nervous system. There are other ways to help with regulation of the body. Not only CBS oil but CBC has been known for it's pain relief and anti-inflammatory qualities. To help your own endocannabinoid system, feed it, don't ignore it, and then nurture it.
"To reduce the impact of stress on the endocannabinoid system, experts suggest introducing healthy behaviors such as exercise, social interaction, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and even fasting, which Gersh notes can actually help increase natural endocannabinoids."
Read more: https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/3-ways-to-boost-your-endocannabinoid-system
Leaf Therapeutics is a Trusted product from Solaray, never consume off brands stay with quality!
How to keep your microbiome happy
August 28, 2018 05:53 PM
Your microbiome is an ecosystem of trillions of bacteria, yeast and other microbes inhabiting your digestive tract. Probiotic foods such as kimchi, miso soup and yogurt, along with probiotic supplements, can help keep up a robust microbiome. They are especially beneficial after a course of antibiotics. Foods like sauerkraut, full fat yogurt, and kombucha, a form of fermented tea, also support a healthy microbiome. Green tea and meditation, meanwhile, can help make your gut more hospitable to beneficial microbes.
"Keeping your microbes in balance is the key to good health and has been shown to affect weight, well being and fat storage."
Read more: https://www.hippocraticpost.com/ageing/how-to-keep-your-microbiome-happy/
6 Steps to Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control & Turn Down the Stress
July 27, 2018 02:44 PM
Cortisol is a hormone that is released whenever we are under intense levels of stress. Whenever you are in a situation that causes extreme tension, your brain reacts with what is called a, "fight or flight" response. This response is what contributes to heightened cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol can lead to various health conditions, so it is important to keep it regulated by consuming an anti-inflammatory diet, and by participating in activities that reduce stress such as meditation.
"Although most think of cortisol as a bad thing — such as contributing to acne, weight gain or high blood pressure — there’s actually a lot more to cortisol levels than just our stress response and its unwanted symptoms."
Read more: https://draxe.com/cortisol-levels/
Anxiety Treatments: Tools to Live With and Control Common Anxiety Disorders
October 24, 2017 01:14 PM
There are many anxiety treatments out there that can help people. Anxiety disorders can have a terrible impact on your job and your relationships and your quality of life as well. Anxiety disorders are some of the most common issues in the United States. 40 million adults are impacted by anxiety disorders in the United States. There are many different kinds of anxiety disorders. One thing you can do to help cure an anxiety disorder is to stay active.
"If it seems like exercise is the cure for everything, that’s because it works wonders for your well-being."
Read more: https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/anxiety-treatments-tools-to-live-with-and-control-common-anxiety-disorders.html/?a=viewall
Is it healthy to detox with salt?
October 03, 2017 01:14 PM
Some people might wonder if it is healthy to detox with salt. The world is going crazy about salt detox. If you are feeling itchy and bloated, then it may be time for a detox. A detoxification, or body cleanse is the process through which toxins are removed from your system. Water and juices and even meditation aids in this process. These toxins get into our system through food and many other ways as well.
"Contrary to what the salt-water detox fanatics say, experts don’t recommend a saline cleanse at all!"
Read more: http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/diet/is-it-healthy-to-detox-with-salt-k0917/
5 Reasons to place Matcha with your morning coffee
September 13, 2017 09:14 AM
There are 5 reasons to place Matcha with your morning coffee. If you are a big coffee drinker, then you are not alone. Most people in America still prefer coffee. It is the morning beverage of choice for people. But, there are some unwanted side effects. Many people crash, or get headaches. If you drink Matcha, then you can increase your mental clarity. It will also help to improve your digestion. You can lose weight with it too.
"Not only does making matcha green tea help us slow down, but when coupled with meditation we have found it easier to get into zen, live in the moment, and live with mental clarity."
Read more: http://www.waow.com/story/36292047/5-reasons-to-place-matcha-with-your-morning-coffee
Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure Without Relying on Drugs
August 28, 2017 04:14 PM
There are some natural ways to lower your blood pressure without relying on any drugs. If you are relying on drugs to treat your blood pressure issues, then it is important to understand that you do not need drugs. Many classes of hypertension drugs have some very severe side effects. Exercise and meditation are two ways that you can lower your blood pressure. Getting 30 minutes of exercise every day during the week is a great way to start.
"Engaging in regular exercise, around 30 minutes most days of the week, is key to maintaining a healthy blood pressure, as well as improving your overall cardiovascular heal"
Read more: https://medshadow.org/features/hypertension-blood-pressure-lower/
Benjamin Hardy: 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.
March 20, 2017 01:44 PM
Getting out of survival mode should be the top of everyone's list. The way to get out of survival mode is to simply do the things on this list. The first is to get a health amount of sleep - at least 7 hours. Next is to either use prayer or meditation to start the day off in the zone. Performing a hard workout and then consuming a breakfast full of protein is next on the list. A cold shower follows, then reading or listening to something uplifting. And finally, review your life goals and then do something that continues you on the path to completing those goals. Doing all these things before 8am will surely get anyone on the path to feeling better about life.
"Sadly, most people’s lives are filled to the brim with the nonessential and trivial."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-things-every-person-should-do-before-8-am_us_58c808a1e4b03400023f4b68
9 Natural Ways To Combat Depression That Actually Work
March 17, 2017 11:44 AM
Chronic depression should not be left untreated. Cost of treatment is a real concern, particularly if you are uninsured or unable to meet high deductibles. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Look for the free or low cost resources in your community. Community counseling services or support groups are some examples of low cost or free access to help. Self helps in the form of journal writing or meditation should be considered. Take advantage of sunlight, exercise, and a balanced diet. Finally, know the number for a national crisis hotline and recognize help is waiting for your call.
"Some universities across the nation offer community counseling services with graduate students in their psychology departments."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/natural-ways-to-treat-depression/
Breathe. Exhale. Repeat: The Benefits of Controlled Breathing
November 22, 2016 02:59 PM
Some researchers believe that overcoming stress and depression may be as easy as breathing. Many studies have been done to test the effect of slow and steady breathing on the body. Scientists have found that people who practice breathing Meditation on a regular basis are able to lower their stress hormones and cytokines that have an adverse effect on the body. So, the next time you feel stressed, just practice some deep breathing to help calm yourself.
"Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system."
Powerful natural ways to relieve stress, anxiety
November 13, 2016 03:04 PM
Need a few new ways to calm anxiety and stress naturally, without prescription drugs? Here are 10 unique ideas for calming your nerves by activating your senses in new ways. From breathing exercises to keeping a journal and trying some new herbal teas there is sure to be one or two options here that are worth a try for those looking for alternative ways to relax.
"When emergency strikes and you feel a panic attack coming, simple breathing exercises can reverse the situation"
What Is Adrenal Burnout?
Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing adrenaline and cortisol. These help you to manage all kinds of stressful situations as they help you to survive any difficult condition.
Over time your adrenal glands will stop working as well as they should. This will result in adrenal burnout, a condition where your glands keep you from feeling energetic and healthy.
Adrenal burnout occurs in that you will feel worn out rather quickly. You might struggle to get up in the morning regardless of how much sleep you get.
You may also develop naturally high cortisol and adrenaline levels. This causes your body to become stressed out all the time. It will be hard for you to feel relaxed in this case, thus depleting your energy levels. Over time, the levels of those compounds in your body will decline due to them wearing out and your glands being unable to produce new forms. This may cause you to use more stimulants like caffeine than what your body really needs.
After a while, your immune system will start to weaken. This is due to your body not getting cortisol over time. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory agent that should protect your body but you may have little to no cortisol to help. Also, an excess amount of cortisol at the start of adrenal burnout will keep your immune system working too hard to the point where it starts to become fatigued and fails to work properly.
You will need to work hard to keep adrenal burnout from being a real threat. You will have to create a consistent sleep schedule while creating a comfortable space to sleep in. Meditation and deep breathing exercises may help as well. Vitamin C can also help to produce cortisol while vitamins B5 and B6 will help create new hormones.
Adrenal burnout can be a real threat to your life. Be sure to watch for how you control your life if you start to feel excess fatigue and stress.
Herbs For Better Mood and Mental Health
Bad moods occurs to even the best of us. When one is in a bad mood, their feelings spiral out of control and emotions run wide. Feelings of unworthiness and isolation can occur. Fortunately, Meditation is not the only solution for bad moods. Natural herbal remedies also help to improve mood. Below is a list of herbs that you should consider taking next time you want to fight bad moods. If one does not work for you, another in the list might work miracles.
Each herb listed above can calm and ease a stressed mind, gently improving mood with out side effects.
Ashwagandha - Herbal Way to Reduce Stress
Mankind has tried every possible way to overcome the issue of stress. Among these, the natural and healthy ones include family get-togethers, yoga, Meditations, or rituals. Others might show the same unwanted result on your body which includes, consumption of drugs, think cocktails, or midnight ice cream bings. Ashwagandha has a special name and place in ayurvedic arrangement of medicine as it is a successful herb for reducing stress. It is an herb utilized since ancient times that assistance to cool your mind and keep you free from stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is a natural way to lessen stress. In today's fast moving life you may get a disease-free life by taking ashwagandha everyday. It will give you mental peace and will also enhance your working capacity. Ashwagandha serves to decrease stress as well as make your body disease-free. Ashwagandha has a property to decrease negative contemplations from your mind and deadheads in inspirational attitude. It gives you a new way of dealing with stress naturally. It supports your vitality and makes you solid from inside to face any more regrettable situation.
It feeds the weak cells in your body and help to give a superior performance. Ashwagandha brings peace in your life by balancing powers that act on mind, body and soul. Regular intake of this herbal stress reliever will give you great results within couple of days and you will start feeling better and see changes in the effectiveness of your work. Ashwagandha has a special property that relieves the mind and gives you a sound rest. Adequate rest is an important factor to diminish stress. Ashwagandha serves to induce natural rest. Many chemical medicines are available in the market that create a great deal of reactions and regular intake of such medicines make you habitual. You get to be subject to the medication and it delivers adverse impacts on different organs of the body. A herbal supplement, for example, ashwagandha is a natural answer for ease stress. It is totally safe and does not create any adverse impacts.
A man under stress turns out to be aloof and may attempt to confer suicide. Ashwagandha serves to take away such contemplations from mind by nourishing the brain cells. It also gives sustenance to other body cells and supports up your vitality level to deal with any situation naturally. Ashwagandha is also useful in treating gloom and anxiety. It cultivates positive considerations in mind and makes you feel happy in each situation. It revitalizes your body cells and tissues to give you more vitality. It increases dopamine levels that assists in dealing with stress. Ashwagandha also serves to enhance memory skills. Ashwagandha is a complete tonic for your brain and sensory system and does not cause any adverse reactions.
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What Is Patchouli Oil?
February 22, 2014 08:12 AM
What is patchouli
Patchouli oil is normally distilled from the flowers and leaves of a plant known as Patchouli, a bushy herb which is native in Asian. It is famous for its beautiful scent and has been used in perfumes for centuries. It is recently used as an alternative herbal medication for chronic diseases as well as an insect repellent.
Health benefits of patchouli
Patchouli oil offers several health benefits including treating digestive conditions such as diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, prevention of wrinkles, speeding healing of wounds and disappearance of bruises, fighting infection and healing snake bites. Elements of patchouli oil are found in many beauty and skin care products. Patchouli oil is very ornamental in preventing anxiety as well as a wide variety of allergies. It is used in herbal curing of hypertension, haemorrhoids, fluid retention and weight reduction. It is one of the major ingredients for treatment of depression.
When patchouli oil is applied undiluted on the skin, it can improve the skin condition by smoothening sagging and chapped skin. It clears dandruffs on the head and deals with skin undesirable conditions such as acne, dermatitis and eczema. The oil is also used to reduce stress in therapeutic and aroma therapeutic healing. It contains several desirable properties including being anti- inflammatory, antifungal, relaxant, stimulant and insecticidal, a digestive aid, diuretic, tonic, decongestant, deodorant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antitoxic. It is one of the most widely used products in medicine development.
Patchouli oil is naturally sweet and attractive to use. It offers an inspiring scent that feels very sweet. Its influence is known to relax both the body and the mind. It has been used in spiritual healing for hundreds of years. It is used to align the heart chakra with the sacral and root chakras. In Meditational healing, it helps people release insecurities, obsessions, and jealousness while enhancing one’s desire for a satisfying and fuller life.
How to deal with Stress and Cortisol...
August 30, 2006 09:36 AM
Beating the Aging Odds
All of us grow older, but aging is a choice. You have it in your power to retain much of the health, vitality and beauty of your youth. It boils down to a simple fact – retard oxidative stress and you’ll retard the aging process. The 70 million people who make up the “boomer” generation and are getting ready for an active retirement welcome this news.
Stress and Cortisol
The early twentieth century “stress doctor” Hans Selye, M.D. was renowned for his work on the human adaptive response and the effects of stress on aging. He taught that every stress leanves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older. That’s because stress raises levels of the adrenal hormone cortisol. It increases internal generation of free radicals, disrupts normal metabolism and leads to aging conditions. Because of this, cortisol has been dubbed the age-accelerating hormone.
The more stressful our lifestyle and the level of environmental hazards we are exposed to, the higher cortisol levels will climb in an effort to jump-start our adaptive response. Coupled with a poor diet, this is a recipe for pre-mature aging. At least eleven major aging factors are related to high cortisol levels:
So, there you have it. Now let’s see how to tame cortisol and reduce oxidative stress.
Reducing Cortisol and Oxidative Stress
Be in the moment – stress reducing techniques such as Meditation, prayer, visualization, yoga, chi gong, and listening to inspirational tapes induce calmness and a sense of balance.
Eat right for your genes – as we get older, we don’t digest animal protein as efficiently as when younger. Shifting to plant source proteins that are easier to digest and contain the full complement of vitamins and minerals is most desirable. We are accustomed to thinking of dairy, meat, poultry, and fish as “protein.” All vegetables are good sources of protein. Along with legumes, whole grains, and nuts, daily protein needs are easily fulfilled. Meals that combine a variety of tastes from plant foods also require less salt for flavor enhancement and this helps keep hypertension at bay. So, explore just how good meals can be that either do not contain meat or use it as a condiment. If you do need some salt, try substituting table salt with NOW Vitamins Potassium Chloride crystals.
Enzymes Increase Digestion
Use digestive enzymes such as Optimal Digestive System to insure that you are absorbing all the nutrients in your food. This product has been clinically tested for its digestive effectiveness helping to digest fats, carbs, proteins and even gas producing beans and cruciferous vegetables. Other enzymes, Serrazimes is a systemic enzyme that will help keep lymphatic’s clear of debris, support immune function, and boost your adaptive response to stress.
As many people reach middle age they have a tendency to gain weight around the navel. High stress amps up levels of cortisol that results in increased girth. Middle body fat is considered a significant risk factor for impaired glucose metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Check your waist to hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement in inches by your hip measurement. If you have a ratio of 0.85 or below, you have lower risk of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. This measurement is one of the best indicators of cortisol induced metabolic syndrome and weight gain.
Super cortisol support with Relora is an herbal, vitamin and mineral formula that’s designed to fight mid-body fat by taming cortisol. Its key ingredient is Relora which is a blend of the herbal extract of Phellodendron amurense and Magnolia officinalis. A small double blind clinical trial found that pre-menopausal obese women – half of whom took Relora – lost a significant amount of weight. These were women who eat in response to stress. Thus the researchers proposed that Relora appeared to reduce cortisol and perceived stress, resulting in weight loss. Super cortisol support also contains Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, herbs traditionally use for increasing adaptive response and reducing stress. You can read about these herbs and other nutritional products in the book 7-syndrome healing: supplement essentials for mind and body. Written by myself and coauthor Jayson Kroner. This book can be ordered from Now Foods.
Additionally, Chinese scientists found that the active components in Relora called honokiol and magnolol delayed gastric emptying, which would make you feel full longer. An additional anti-aging benefit was observed by another group of Chinese scientists. They reported that honokiol is a potent arterial thrombosis inhibitor because it inhibits prostacyclin release; a promoter of platelet adhesion. Platelet stickiness increases stroke risk. Phellodendron and Magnolia have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.
Quell Free Radicals
Health and longevity essentially rests on the body balance between free radical load and antioxidant reserves. Toxic exposure depletes some of your antioxidant reserves. Eating a diet rich in antioxidant fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, helps you rebound. Continued toxic exposure will challenge your antioxidant status and may overwhelm your reserves. VitaBerry Plus+ is a powerful antioxidant formula that contains a range of high ORAC fruits that naturally augment the diet. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It is a measure of the ability of a food to quell oxygen free radicals, the most dangerous kind. VitaBerry Plus+ is a product after my own heart. In my book The Anti-Aging Solution, I wrote about how different color foods protect DNA and prevent aging. VitaBerry Plus+ contains the important colors described in my bood. You can order your copy from Now Vitamins.
True-E Bio Complex rounds out the antioxidant colors. It contains all eight tocopherols and eight tocotrienols in the natural ratio found in “tan” foods such as whole grains and legumes. It is the only natural vitamin E that is produced from soy that has not been genetically modified.
The best anti-aging advice I can pass on is from my friend and food columnist Joan Jackson. “Take Pleasure in Your Life TODAY and Enjoy What You Eat”
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
August 02, 2005 10:03 AM
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
Stress, illness and even our everyday routines can all affect our energy levels and our ability to do daily tasks. Perpetual fatigue not only keeps us from doing what we would like to do but also what we have to do. Below are some tips for easy ways to boost your energy and increase your enjoyment of life: FIGHT AND WIN THE Allergy WAR
DECREASE YOUR INTAKE of white flour and sugar, processed foods, red meat and fatty foods. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and soy products.
ENERGY LEVELS CAN be affected by digestive problems, such as sluggish bowel. Try a juice fast followed by a diet of whole, raw foods to help cleanse your body and recharge your immunity.
INSTEAD OF RELYING ON caffeinated soft drinks to get you through the day, try an iced ginseng or peppermint herbal tea. Ginseng is a particularly energizing herb that is good with honey.
FATIGUE CAN ALSO BE a result of a vitamin deficiency. B vitamins in particular are important for our energy levels and our ability to handle stress. Consider getting a B12 shot.
IF YOU ALWAYS feel tired and rarely sleep well, consider taking L-tryptophan supplements. With the right dosage, you should feel a big difference in your anxiety levels and how rested you feel.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING from hidden food allergies, you are overworking your immune system. This situation can cause fatigue. Keep a food diary to help you eliminate the guilty foods.
CONSIDER A FISH, flaxseed or evening primrose oil supplement for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The typical American diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, which affect every body system.
Get energized—try these natural energy-enhancing tips
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY or sleeping too much can also lead to a general lack of energy. Even if a gym is not for you, walking or stretching for 45 minutes, three times a week is suggested.
SOMETIMES FATIGUE IS DUE to a problem with the thyroid gland, especially if you are pregnant. Consider talking to your health-care professional about thyroid testing. Adding kelp to your diet is also helpful because of its iodine content—an iodine deficiency is sometimes responsible for thyroid disorders.
DEPRESSION, NERVOUS TENSION AND emotional or physical stress can tax the body, and if experienced daily, they can lead to a chronic lack of energy. Research suggests that daily journal writing is effective for dealing with depression and stress. Daily Meditation is also helpful.
MAKE AN HERBAL JUICE by mixing sage, rosemary and oat juice (from the green plant), and take 1 tablespoon each day. This juice will help counteract nervous tension and irritability, as well as exhaustion. It is also good for insomnia if taken before bed.
COENZYME Q10 IS A useful supplement that increases the supply of oxygen to your body tissues, thereby boosting your energy and performance levels. This supplement should be easy to find at any pharmacy or health store.
LONG-TERM FATIGUE can be a symptom of low blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, cancer or liver problems. If you are concerned, see your health care professional.
CONSIDER GETTING TESTED FOR weak adrenals or low iron in the blood. If you are suffering from either of these problems, you are likely to feel a general lack of energy. DHEA, a precursor hormone, can help with adrenal problems, and low iron can be remedied with a simple mineral supplement fortified with iron.
MAKE AN EFFORT to unwind before bedtime. By reading, going for a short walk or taking a bath before you go to sleep, you have a chance to release tension and stress that will affect how well you sleep each night. Also, try not to eat right before retiring to bed.
CONSIDER ADDING TWO OR MORE yoga positions to your daily routine. There are a number of books on how yoga increases well-being and fights fatigue.
THE PRESENCE OF A yeast infection in the body can also decrease energy levels by overtaxing the immune system. These infections can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control and environmental stress. Acidophilus and a cleansing diet are helpful for dealing with yeast infections. Serious infections may require medication.
THE PRESENCE OF PARASITES in the body can also compromise your immune system and lead to chronic fatigue or lack of energy. Goldenseal, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, zinc and vitamin C can all help fight microbes and support healthy immune function.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE spring and summer months, when the weather is getting warmer, you should be drinking plenty of water. Also, consider trying this energy booster: 3 cups pineapple juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup alfalfa sprouts and 10 almonds, all blended until smooth.
ONE OF THE MOST substantial problems of the typical American diet is a lack of fiber. Aim for 25–35 grams of dietary fiber each day by including beans, fruits (like apples, skin included) and whole grains to the diet. Fiber is essential for proper digestion and elimination, both of which affect all other body systems.
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM is especially important for enhancing your energy levels, especially if you have been ill. Consider adding vitamin C, bee products and green foods to your daily diet to fight infection and fatigue.
Natural Health for a Healthy Heart
July 13, 2005 09:17 AM
Natural Health for a Healthy Heart
Cardiovascular disease is on the rise. Heart disease, stroke, and related disorders kill more Americans than any other ailments combined. In 1990 approximately one million Americans died form cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Fat and cholesterol accumulate around the heart and inner walls of the arteries. This causes blood flow to slow and blood pressure to rise. Blood clotting is also a problem when the arteries are clogged which, if a clot breaks loose, can cause strokes or heart attacks according to where they end up. Heart disease is usually advanced before a problem arises. Prevention should be the first goal.
Heart disease is much less common in “primitive” societies. This is due in part to the lifestyle and diet choices of Americans. Diet is viewed as the most important factor in heart related disorders. An increased intake of sugar, refined flour and simple carbohydrates may also be contributing factors. Other risk factors include a family history of heart disease, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, type A personality, stress, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and coronary artery disease. Changes must be made in diet and life-style in order to prevent heart disease.
Following a diet low in animal fat and refined sugars but high in fiber is highly recommended. Whole grains, almonds, fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of legumes, skinless turkey, chicken and fish should be the main dietary elements. Brown rice, garlic, onions, olive oil, raw fruits and vegetables, sprouts, asparagus, apples, bananas, beans, buckwheat, seeds, whey powder, and yogurt are especially good for the heart. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, red meat, refined carbohydrates, and white flour. Limit intake of dairy products which contain high amounts of fat. Homogenized dairy products contain an enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is believed to cause artery damage and could lead to arteriosclerosis. Use olive oil and canola oil when using fat. Avoid palm oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and cottonseed oil.
Choline, inositol and lecithin: These act as fat emulsifiers in the bloodstream and can help prevent plaque buildup.
Chromium: Chromium is known for recent studies linking it to a reduced risk of heart disease. It may help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. Low levels of chromium are thought to be a risk factor for developing heart disease. It also may help increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol and aid in lowering the LDL cholesterol.
Coenzyme Q10: This can help oxygenate the heart muscle helping to prevent additional heart damage. Coenzyme Q10 can help the body break down fatty acids converting them to energy. This is often lacking in individuals with heart problems. Essential Fatty Acids: These can help prevent hardening of the arteries by preventing the blood cells from clumping together and forming clots. They also help with the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.
Germanium: Germanium has been found to lower high blood pressure and improve circulation in the body. Calcium and Magnesium: Both of these minerals contribute to the muscular contraction and relaxation of the heart. They are essential for the proper function of the heart muscle and maintaining normal heart rhythm and blood pressure. Low levels of calcium have been linked to high blood pressure.
L-Carnitine: This is an amino acid that can help the heart by reducing fat levels in the blood. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: Vitamin C helps prevent blood clots and strengthens the capillary and blood vessel walls. It may help prevent high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, lower cholesterol, repair arterial walls, and contribute to reversing heart disease.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is well known for its beneficial effect on the heart. Selenium: Low levels of selenium have been associated with heart disease.
Hawthorn: This herb is great for cardiovascular health. Garlic: Garlic is one of the most studied herbs for cardiovascular health. Several recent studies link garlic to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Cayenne: This is also known as capsicum and is beneficial on circulation and cleaning and nourishing the blood vessels.
Ginkgo: Ginkgo relaxes the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood even in constricted arteries. Rosemary Tea: This is a traditional heart tonic that helps to promote circulation and lower blood pressure. Chinese Mushroom (auricularia polytricha): This is a natural blood thinner.
It is important to include exercise in the daily routine. Aerobic exercise is known to help improve the heart1s pumping ability, reduce serum cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure as well as many other ailments. Exercising an average of three to five days a week for thirty minutes will benefit the body. Actually any amount of exercise is beneficial for the body, so try and do something each day.
Include relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Stress can increase the risk of heart disease. Stress releases adrenaline which causes the heart to work harder. If you feel resentment, fear or anger, find ways to deal with these in a positive way. Pursuit serenity and peace in life. Exercise, self hypnosis, biofeedback, Meditation, yoga and prayer can all help develop inner peace.
Immune Health - Herbs to Maintain A Healthy Immune System
July 01, 2005 04:21 PM
Immune Health By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The immune system has been receiving a lot of media attention, especially since the rise in recognized immune system deficiency diseases. The efficient functioning of the immune system is of paramount importance to everyone, adults and children alike, since it controls our ability to fend off illness, whether it is a common cold or more deadly disease. The immune system is made up of a combination of specialized cells, chemicals, tissues and organs. These include the lymph nodes, thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow and tonsils, as well as specialized white blood cells, which recognize and engulf invading microorganisms and cellular debris.
The ability of the immune system to function optimally is influenced by many factors. These include inherent genetic makeup, environmental influences (such as pollution, pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring/colorings in food), obesity, stress levels, exposure to infective agents, etc. Specific research suggests that consuming excessive amounts of sugar interferes with immune function. We can aid our immune system by eating a high amount of organic green vegetables, whole grains and nuts, while cutting down on 'junk food' consumption. Stress reduction, through prayer, Meditation, yoga and moderate exercise can also help.
Herbs may be used in two different ways to help the immune system. Tonics strengthen the immune system over time, while strong immune system stimulants have a more immediate action, and are used during an acute infection.
Herbal tonics work to help maintain a dynamic balance in the body and usually need to be taken long-term. Astragalus is said to build "Wei chi". "Chi" is the Chinese concept of life energy force. "Wei chi" is thought of as 'protection'. Current scientific studies confirm the positive benefits of Astragalus on the immune system. One study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated Astragalus' ability to help strengthen resistance of the immune system, especially to viral infections. Reishi, called the "mushroom of immortality", has been used for centuries as an overall tonic. Chinese physicians have used Ligustrum berries specifically for their immune-enhancing activities. They are often combined with Astragalus for a synergistic effect. Coptis is another Chinese herb that contains the bitter yellow compound, berberine. This herb helps the immune system prevent infections. Many of these herbs can be found in the unique combination formula called Immunotonic™ (alcohol-free). Immunotonic™ offers the ideal way to experience the benefits of many herbs in one convenient supplement.
Other immune system tonic herbs include Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra. Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps to balance the immune system. It gives strength and fortitude, especially when dealing with environmental stress. Schisandra has been shown to build non-specific resistance, improve brain function, increase work capacity and build strength.
Osha Root has been used traditionally by both Chinese and Native Americans (who called it Chuchupate) for colds and flues, sore throats and other health ailments requiring a higher level of immune support. Echinacea is a well-researched and respected immune system stimulant. (Refer to our Echinacea article for further information). It helps increase the activity of white blood cells, which engulf invading microorganisms. Thuja is an herbal extract from the Northern White Cedar tree. It is a strong immune stimulant that Native Americans used for colds, coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Possibly the mushroom with the greatest capability of stimulating the immune system is the Maitake. It is known as the "dancing mushroom" because it was so highly prized that whoever found some would dance for joy. Maitake contains specific chemical components that have been scientifically studied for their strong immune enhancing effects; (refer to Maitake Bio-Beta-Glucan™ article for further information). Nature's Answer® combines these herbs in Immune Boost™, a combination formula for use during acute illness and infections. Try it along with the combination formula Echinacea & Goldenseal. Nature’s Answer® offers a selection of all these herbs in liquid and/or capsule forms. Check with your local health food store, or visit www.naturesanswer.com, for more information.
Children can often use a boost to their immune system to help ward off colds and flues. Nature's Answer® comes to the rescue with three alcohol-free formulas specifically designed for their special needs - E-KID-nacea™, E-KID-nacea Plus™, and NatChoo™. All of these outstanding formulas help promote a healthy immune system.
June 30, 2005 09:20 AM
Depression By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Depression is a widespread health imbalance that effects many people at some point in their lives, and may be caused by a multifaceted list of factors. Depression can be triggered by personal tragedy, loss of a loved one, or changes in life situations (even if they are positive!). Some of the less recognized causes of depression may involve diet, including over-consumption of sugar, artificial sweeteners, chemical flavorings and preservatives, insufficient nutrition and foods that causes an allergic or sensitivity reaction in an individual. Lack of exercise and not enough sunlight, (i.e. Seasonal Affective Disorder), may be implicated as well. It is essential that those suffering from severe depression seek professional care. Since depression can arise from many different sources and operate on multiple levels, it is helpful to remember that “true healing” requires one to explore and address the root cause(s), not just attempt to cover up the symptom. Proper nutrition is essential. B vitamins can be helpful, such as Nature’s Answer’s B-Stress with Herbs, along with other nutrients such as the amino acids, GABA (particularly for anxiety), Tyrosine and Phenylalanine. Regular exercise, and a nice relaxing bath in lavender oil and sea salt are also enjoyable aids for lifting one’s spirits.
Herbs can be useful in relieving the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Nature’s Answer offers many high-quality, single herb and combination formulas (liquid or capsule) that feature ingredients well-known for balancing emotional mood. Relora®* features a patented propriety blend of two herbs, Magnolia (standardized to 1.5% honokiol (3.75mg)) and Phellodendron (standardized to 0.1% berberine (0.25mg)) which, when combined according to a particular method, may help reduce the negative effects of stress, a factor that leads to depression as well as “stress overeating”. When the body is under stress, it causes the release of specific “stress hormones” that influence mood and emotional well-being. Relora® is unique because its active plant constituents work on the body’s natural chemistry to re-establish a normal equilibrium of stress hormones, while enhancing feelings of relaxation and cheerful outlook.
Another powerful, “all-in-one” proprietary herbal blend formula from Nature’s Answer® is Mood Balance 2™ (alcohol free liquid, vegetarian capsule). Mood Balance 2™ contains key ingredients well-recognized for their beneficial actions on emotional health, including St. John’s Wort, California Spikenard, Gotu Kola, Skullcap and Eleuthero root**. This combination of ingredients can help “lift the spirits”. (Note that these herbs are also available from Nature’s Answer® as single herb formulas in concentrated liquid herbal extracts and/or vegetarian capsules; Kosher).
Key ingredients in Mood Balance 2™include:
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), used for a range of nerve disorders and said to “chase away evil spirits.” Since 1996, it has become one of the most popular herbs in the US due to its use as a mild to moderate antidepressant. A number of current studies confirm its effectiveness, including a review in the British Medical Journal of 23 clinical trials, which reported that it worked nearly as well as the leading pharmaceuticals with far fewer side effects. Although more research is needed, it appears that the activity of St. John’s Wort is due to a variety of naturally occurring components, including Hypericin and Hyperforin. Nature’s Answer’s exclusive formula, Super St. John’s Wort (vegetarian capsule), is standardized to both 3.0% hyperforin and 0.3% hypericin. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica), used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a nerve tonic and to treat emotional upset, insomnia, stress, anxiety and memory problems. It is currently used along with Meditation and yoga due to its abilities to both calm and energize nerves. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) has the double action of relaxing nervous tension while building the central nervous system. As a mild bitter it will also help stimulate digestion and help the liver. Eleuthero root** (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is an “adaptogen” that helps to balance the entire system. It gives strength and fortitude, especially when dealing with stress; so often a factor in depression.
References for Educational Purposes:
Progesterone Cream - Supports Hormonal Balance
June 28, 2005 09:40 AM
Recent medical reports have profoundly shaken popular beliefs about the safety of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for women in menopause. You may be one of the six million women who are searching for alternatives. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM can help address normal menopausal discomforts, when used as part of a care for their own health needs. Source Naturals is committed to joining with your health food retailer to help insure that right.
Menopause and Hormonal Balance
Public confidence in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) suffered a major blow when the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health halted a large clinical trial out of concern for the safety of participants. Women are looking for natural alternatives to risky HRT.
Source Naturals Progesterone CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM address the hormonal fluctuations that bring on the first disturbing hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Used together or separately, these creams address declining levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Progesterone Cream from Woman-Friendly Soy
Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to most other steroid hormones, including cortisol, androstenedione, estrogen and testosterone. Because it is the precursor to so many hormones, progesterone is crucial for overall hormone balance. Yet progesterone levels can drop to near zero during menopause. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM supplies natural progesterone from soy.
Unlike creams which don’t divulge their progesterone content, Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM is guaranteed to contain 500 mg of progesterone per ounce! This pure white cream softens and smoothes skin. Along with natural progesterone, it contains aloe vera, wild yam extract, natural vitamin E, lecithin phospholipid, jojoba oil, and extracts of ginseng root and grapefruit seed. Natural rosemary oil is added as a fragrance. Available in both tubes and jars for your convenience.
Phyto-Estrogen Cream: Plant Compounds Renowned for Menopause Estrogen levels drop 40-60% at menopause. Phytoestrogens—estrogens from plants—have been shown to bind to the same receptor sites as estrogen, helping maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. When there is too little estrogen (the situation during menopause), phytoestrogens substitute for the lack of human estrogen. Conversely, when estrogen levels are high (as in some women who experience PMS), phytoestrogens compete with human estrogen for binding to receptors and decrease overall estrogenic activity.
Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM is an almond-colored cream that can be massaged into smooth skin areas to add oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM offers some of the finest phytoestrogens in the botanical world, including 60 mg of soy isoflavones per ounce. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM also contains pomegranate seed juice (a natural source of estrone), red clover tops extract, black cohosh root extract, and dong quai root extract, along with aloe vera gel, natural vitamin E, cocoa butter, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary oil, and natural cherry almond fragrance.
Warning: Phyto-Estrogen Cream is not for use by women of childbearing age. DO NOT USE if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you may become pregnant.
Source Naturals offers you the first progesterone and phytoestrogen creams to utilize unique liposomal delivery of key ingredients. Liposomes are micro-penetrating lipid spheres made from lecithin, which pass through skin layers more easily than non-liposomal creams—for highest possible penetration of skin cells. Both creams are available in 2 and 4 oz jars. PROGESTERONE CREAM is also available in 2 and 4 oz tubes.
Lifestyle Tips for Menopause: A Strategy for Wellness
Eat Well: In certain cultures, hot flashes are practically unknown. It is generally true that women in these cultures eat foods rich in phytoestrogens. For example, in Southeast Asia, where soy proteins comprise 20% to 60% of daily protein intake, epidemiological studies suggest an association between a positive, trouble-free menopause and soy consumption.
Lignans—phytoestrogens found in flaxseed oil and unprocessed olive oil—may also have a protective effect. You should eat fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, cereals, beans, whole grains and small portions of fish or hormone-free chicken. Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods. Avoid fatty meats, sugar, processed foods, fried foods, and chemicals. Adequate calcium intake— 1,500 mg per day—is crucial.
Use Supplements: Source Naturals HOT FLASH is an excellent complement to PROGESTERONE and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAMS. A recent comprehensive scientific review of natural menopause products (Annals of Internal Medicine 11/19/02) singled out soy isoflavones and black cohosh for their benefits in addressing hot flashes. Unlike most products, HOT FLASH contains clinical potencies of both soy isoflavones and standardized black cohosh extract. In addition, HOT FLASH contains additional herbs, renowned for use in menopause: vitex, licorice root and dong quai. To be sure you are covering all your nutritional bases, take a good daily multiple like MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE, especially designed for women 40+ years old.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women who are overweight have an increased risk of heart disease, while those who are thin or underweight are more susceptible to osteoporosis and hot flashes.
Rest and Relax: It is important to get adequate sleep, take naps if you feel tired, and avoid stress. Meditation and yoga can be helpful in reaching a state of calm. Take Care of Your Skin: A 1997 study of 3,875 postmenopausal women documented the relationship between low estrogen levels and skin dryness and loss of elasticity. Research has associated wrinkling with consumption of full-fat dairy products, butter, margarine, fatty meats and sugar. Drink lots of water—at least 1.5 liters daily. Water flushes out wastes, and acts as an internal moisturizer, keeping skin hydrated and supple. Spring water is beneficial since it contains trace minerals vital to healthy skin. For radiant skin, you should also try the Source Naturals SKIN ETERNAL™ family of creams and serums. This advanced cosmetic system recharges and revitalizes all skin types. Keep Cool. Avoid triggers such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, overheated rooms, hot beverages and stress. Wear layered clothing, and choose natural fabrics, such as cotton or wool.
Stay Active: Exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps regulate weight and contributes to overall well-being. Weight-bearing exercises are especially important for increasing bone mass. Kegel exercises (tightening and relaxing of the pelvic muscles) can improve bladder control, and may enhance sexual pleasure. Try Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): Alternative therapies— herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and much more—can help you cope with the physical and emotional changes of menopause.
June 14, 2005 06:26 PM
by Catherine Heusel Energy Times, October 1, 1998
Quitting a bad habit presents quite a challenge. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give up cigarettes. Or alcohol. Or even coffee. You start out with the best of intentions but cravings can push you off the straight and narrow. The result: giving up a nasty habit often means regenerating your resolve and trying again. And again. And again. While some blame an inability to give up a bad habit on poor will power, in actuality, the tenacious chains of these habits may derive from the body as well as the mind. "People don't seem to realize the effects these substances have on the body," says Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., director of the Health Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, and author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Dr. Mathews-Larson is one of a growing number of addiction professionals who stress physical recovery when giving up a drug, whether it's caffeine or cocaine. "You can't disrupt your internal chemistry for months or years on end and then expect your body to automatically bounce back," she says. "You have to give it some help."
Breaking Off is Hard to Do
The substances we love to overdo all share a common characteristic: they mimic or enhance the body's chemical messengers. Opiate drugs such as heroin, for example, are virtually identical to substances called endorphins, neurochemicals that the body produces to mask feelings of pain. (When an injured Kerri Strug performed her final Olympic vault, her endorphins enabled her to push past her protesting nerve endings.) Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can provide a "rush" similar to that produced by adrenaline and noradrenaline, the neurochemicals that provide the quick and excited feeling that swells down your spine during frightened or thrilling moments. On the other hand, some drugs (notably alcohol and cocaine) boost the activity of several different neurochemicals, including those that control sensations of pleasure. From a biological perspective, then, none of the drugs that people take are totally unfamiliar to the body. Your body makes similar chemicals all the time, in response to specific events and needs. "The main advantage of drugs is that they act powerfully and immediately," explains Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind Altering Drugs. "Their main disadvantage is that they reinforce the notion that the state we desire comes from something outside us."
Another serious disadvantage of drugs resides in their impact on the body's everyday neurochemical balance. Under normal circumstances, the body maintains its internal chemical environment on a fairly even keel. It may pump out oodles of adrenaline in response to a specific threat, like a near miss on the highway, but for every such scary "high" a corresponding low sets in: that rubbery-kneed sense of relief you feel when things calm down.
Over time, the body mistakes the introduction of mind-altering, foreign chemicals as an excess of its own production of neurochemicals. As a result it slows down its own manufacture of these vital substances. So when you stop drinking caffeine or other stimulating drugs, the body finds its neurochemical receptors begging for relief: Cravings raise their ugly heads while so-called withdrawal symptoms raise your discomfort level. A general sense of ill health sets in until the body's natural production of neurotransmitter production reaches an acceptable level.
Breaking a bad habit may be complicated by a lack of regenerative health habits. "A proper diet is pretty low on an addict's list of priorities," says Mathews-Larson. "Most of the people we see live on fast food and junk food." Many people trying to give up bad habits are attacked by the chemical and physical problems resulting from eating fatty foods and not exercising: their bodies are chemically and physically challenged from a poor lifestyle.
Fortunately, recovery from a bad habit can be enhanced by balancing your diet, exercising and using nutritional supplements to straighten out your interior biochemical environment.
"We target substances that are essential for maintaining optimal brain chemistry," points out Mathews-Larson. Foremost among these substances are a variety of amino acids that the body needs to rebuild its supply of neurotransmitters. In addition, nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are often in short supply among those who indulge in addictive drugs and alcohol.
Exercise and Meditation are equally important to recovery, since both activities naturally prompt production of mood-enhancing neurochemicals. (The so-called "runner's high" is believed to result from endorphins and other neurochemicals stimulated by jogging.) More importantly, natural stimulation that pushes the body to create its own, endogenous supply of feel-good chemicals produces a longer sense of well-being than the transitory high induced by drugs and alcohol. "The potential for highs is always there, and many techniques exist for eliciting them," declares Dr. Weil. "Drug highs differ from other highs only in superficial ways."
To experienced treatment professionals such as Mathews-Larson, kicking a long-standing habit depends on learning to appreciate the natural high of good health, through an overall healthy lifestyle. "It's not enough to just stop using the substance you abused," she contends. "You have to build a high quality of life for yourself, so you can fully enjoy every day."
Recommended Reading: Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Mathews-Larson (Fawcett Books, 1997) Healing Anxiety With Herbs by Harold H. Bloomfield. (Harper Collins, 1998.)
Centering Your Heart
June 13, 2005 10:15 AM
Centering Your Heart by Lisa James Energy Times, January 4, 2004
The romantic view of the human heart conjures up vivid images: The gallant lover, the committed enthusiast, the wise sage. When the romantic philosophy speaks of the heart, it speaks of things that lie at the very center of what it means to be human.
Western medical science, though, views the heart as a biomechanical pump-marvelously engineered to be sure, but a physical device amenable to surgical and pharmaceutical tinkering.
Between romance and technology lies the Eastern path. Eastern medical traditions, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and India's Ayurveda, see the heart as a seat of energy that must be kept in right relationship with the rest of the body.
TCM: Yin, Yang and Qi
The two great polarities of yin and yang are always shifting and rebalancing, according to Chinese philosophy, in our bodies as in everything else. Yin is dark, inward, cold, passive and downward; yang is light, outward, warm, active and upward.
The energy that keeps us alive is called qi, or life force. Organs, including the heart, are seen as places where qi resides. Organs supply and restrain each other's qi, which flows along carefully mapped meridians, or channels. Disease occurs when disturbances in qi interrupt the flow of energy so that an organ experiences either a deficiency or excess of yin/yang.
According to Chinese precepts, disturbances in the heart affect the whole body. "The movement of the blood throughout the body, TCM circulation, is managed by multiple organs, which in turn interact with one another. A failure in any one part of this system can result in pathology," says Jonathan Simon, LAc, an acupuncture expert in private practice and at the Mind-Body Digestive Center, in New York.
"If there's a circulation issue, all the organ systems are going to be deprived of the nourishment supplied by the blood. The heart seems to have a dramatic effect on everything else in the body," says Ross Rosen, JD, LAc, CA, MSTOM, Dipl AC & CH (NCCAOM), of The Center for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine P.A. in Westfield, New Jersey.
Connecting the Dots
While Western medicine probes the heart's physical functioning, TCM searches for energy imbalances by looking for patterns in a person's complaints.
"The wrong approach, in my opinion, is to try to relieve a Western ailment before you have established the proper pattern," Simon notes. "For example, I once had a 20-year-old, slim patient who came to me complaining of hypertension. She had seen several other acupuncturists before she got to my clinic, all of whom had prescribed the number-one formula for hypertension in TCM. When I interviewed her, I discerned a very different pattern from the classic one for hypertension. I gave her the formula associated with her pattern, not her symptom, and she had great relief over the next three weeks. After consultation with her Western physician, she began to cut back on her medication, and is now off of her meds."
TCM emphasizes taking a thorough medical history and using a sophisticated pulse-taking technique called the shen hammer method. Rosen calls pulse "the blueprint of one's health."
As in conventional Western medicine, TCM sees diet as a major culprit in heart disease. "Poor diet will cause problems depending upon on the constitution of the person," explains Simon. "For example, if one eats an excess of greasy and spicy food, that may build up and generate excess heat in the body. That may manifest itself as someone with a quick temper, red face and high blood pressure. On the other hand, a vegetarian who eats only salads may have low energy, a sallow complexion and low blood pressure. I try to tell my patients to keep balance in their diets, but to avoid cold, raw and greasy foods."
TCM also sees unsettled emotions as a source of illness. Stress "creates stagnation in qi and in the blood, eventually," Rosen says. "When stagnation is long or severe, heat starts being produced. We say that heat goes into the blood and steams the body, and heat starts to dry out the vessels. This process winds up turning into atherosclerosis-it kind of vulcanizes the vessel wall. It deprives the vessel of its moisture, which deprives it of its elasticity. Blood pressure starts to increase."
Managing one's emotions and not overworking body or mind is key, says Rosen: "The heart houses the spirit, the shen. When we see people with imbalances in emotion, the spirit starts to become agitated; once the spirit becomes agitated, the whole heart system goes out of balance."
Signs of agitation include insomnia, anxiety and an inability to feel joy, along with chest pain and heart palpitations. TCM uses nutrition, herbs and acupuncture to bring the body back into balance.
Ayurveda: Constitutional Energies
Like TCM, Ayurveda sees health as a matter of balancing the subtle energies that power our bodies. In Ayurveda, these energies exist as three doshas, or basic constitutions:
* Vata is cold, dry, light, clear and astringent. The skin of vata individuals is generally dry, thin, dark and cool, with hair that's curly, dark and coarse. Vatas change their minds readily and crave warmth.
* Pitta is sharp, light, hot, oily and pungent. Pitta people tend to have skin that's soft, fair, warm and freckled, along with fine, fair hair. Quick-witted, pittas hold strong convictions. They prefer coolness, since they tend to perspire profusely.
* Kapha is cold, heavy, oily, slow and soft. Kapha skin is pale, cold and thick, and kapha hair, which is usually brown, is thick and lustrous. Stable and compassionate, kaphas don't like the cold.
Few people are one, pure dosha. Most contain varying levels of vata, pitta and kapha (abbreviated VPK), generally with one predominating.
Ayurveda views the heart as "governing emotions and circulating blood," according to Sophia Simon, MS, LAc, of the Karma Healing Center in Newtown, Pennsylvania. In Ayurveda "heart problems arise mainly due to improper diet and stressful lifestyles," which causes a "derangement of vata dosha. This leads to thickening of the arteries, resulting in angio-obstruction."
"Stress reduction is very important in heart disease," says Simon. "Meditation helps a lot with stress reduction, especially simple breathing exercises, yoga, etc." Some of Simon's recommendations have a familiar ring: Don't smoke, do exercise, eat a plant-based, low-fat diet. In addition, she says you should:
* Avoid coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine.
* Be loving and compassionate to all mankind.
* Do things in a casual way. Speak softly. Avoid anger, especially holding anger for a long time.
* Indulge in healthy, whole-hearted laughter.
In addition, Simon notes that garlic is an Ayurvedic herb "most useful for heart problems.
Keep your balance: In the great Eastern healing traditions, it is the key to keeping your heart healthy.
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.
June 10, 2005 10:06 PM
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness. by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, December 6, 1999
Most folks wouldn't seek the distressing distinction of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. Aside from a dizzying array of discomforts associated with the malady, the lack of a definitive cause, and few remedies offered by the medical establishment, scornful skeptics lob accusations of laziness or boredom or just plain moodiness. "Snap out of it!" they say, with little sympathy or understanding. "Just get moving!"
But if you're one of more than 3 million Americans affected by chronic fatigue, you know your problem is not all in your head. Your symptoms are real and they extend far beyond mere tiredness. In addition to a debilitating sense of fatigue that can make everyday existence feel like an overwhelming struggle, you may suffer from impaired concentration and memory, recurrent sore throats, nagging headaches, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fitful sleep. The persistence of any one of these effects alone could be debilitating, but the overall diminished capabilities of the chronic fatigue sufferer can become the most discouraging aspect of the disease.
But before you give up hope on kicking this energy-sucking ailment, look to natural ways to boost your immune system and regain your stamina for a more healthy and productive life. New research points to powerful, energy enhancing supplements which, combined with a nutritious diet and stress reducing techniques, can help you reclaim your body from a swamp of sluggishness.
Part of the public's misconceptions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may stem from vague definitions of exactly what it is and its causes.
In the '80s, CFS was often mentioned in the same breath as the Epstein-Barr virus, which garnered much notoriety as the "yuppie flu": a state of chronic exhaustion that often plagued young, overworked professionals, as the media trumpeted. CFS was initially thought to be the result of the Epstein-Barr virus, and the two were often considered to be the same thing. Since the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, the term "chronic mono" was also thrown around to refer to long-lasting states of fatigue.
Today, CFS is defined as a separate disorder from the Epstein-Barr syndrome. Researchers have found that CFS is not caused exclusively by the Epstein-Barr virus or any other single infectious disease agent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, CFS may have multiple causes, in which viruses or other infectious agents might have a contributory role. Some of these additional possible culprits include herpes simplex viruses, candida albicans (yeast organisms), or parasites.
According to the CDC, a person can be definitively diagnosed with CFS when she or he experiences severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer that is not caused by other medical conditions, and must have four or more of the following problems recurrently for six consecutive months: tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.
Even if you are not diagnosed with CFS, you could still probably use some help in fending off fatigue. You may suffer from another poorly understood condition like fibromyalgia, which causes similar symptoms of exhaustion and pain with additional stomach discomfort. You may cope with another ailment like hypoglycemia or low thyroid function that zaps your energy. Or you could be like almost every stressed-out American adult trying to do it all at the expense of your well-being. Though researchers still search for a definitive cause for CFS, one thing is certain: Constant stress and poor nutritional habits weaken the immune system's ability to ward off a host of debilitating viruses and organisms. So before you run yourself down and succumb to a chronic condition, learn how you can build up your defenses now.
Some of the most exciting new research in CFS treatments focuses on NADH or Coenzyme 1, an energy-enhancing nutritional supplement. This naturally-occurring substance is present in all living cells including food, although cooking destroys most of it. Coenzymes help enzymes convert food and water into energy and NADH helps provide cellular fuel for energy production. It also plays a key role in cell regulation and DNA repair, acts as a potent antioxidant, and can reportedly improve mental focus and concentration by stimulating cellular production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.
A recent study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and reported in the February 1999 issue of The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed that chronic fatigue sufferers improved their condition significantly by taking Enada, the stabilized, absorbable, oral form of NADH. The researchers found that 31% of those who took the supplement achieved significant improvement in relief of their symptoms, and a follow up study showed that 72% achieved positive results over a longer period of time.
Coenzyme-A and Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) are related coenzymes also necessary for energy production.
According to Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Carol Colman, authors of Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons) CoQ10 in combination with the nutrient carnitine enhances cellular energy production, thereby boosting energy levels. Coenzyme-A is required to initiate the chemical reactions that involve the utilization of CoQ10 and NADH for the production of energy at the cellular level.
Another important energy-enhancing nutrient is D-ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial to many processes in your body. D-ribose stimulates the body's production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, an energy-rich chemical compound that provides the fuel for all body functions. D-ribose is essential to the manufacture of ATP and maintaining high levels of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.
In addition to these new nutrients, a host of more familiar vitamins and minerals can help banish fatigue. According to Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of the Chronic Fatigue Self Help Book (Celestial Arts) nutritional supplements help stimulate your immune system, glands and digestive tract, promote proper circulation of blood and oxygen, and provide a calming effect. Some of Lark's recommended nutrients for building and regaining strength include:
Vitamin A: Helps protect the body against invasion by viruses that could trigger CFS, as well as bacteria, fungi and allergies. Supports the production and maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invaders. Also supports the immune system by boosting T-cell activity and contributing to the health of the thymus, the immune-regulating gland.
Vitamin B Complex: Depression and fatigue can result from the body's depletion of B vitamins, which can occur from stress or drinking too many caffeinated beverages. Studies have provided preliminary evidence that CFS patients have reduced functional B vitamin status (J R Soc Med 92 , Apr. 1999: 183-5). The 11 factors of B complex are crucial to glucose metabolism, stabilization of brain chemistry and inactivation of estrogen, which regulate the body's levels of energy and vitality. n Vitamin C: Helps prevent fatigue linked to infections by stimulating the production of interferon, a chemical that can limit the spread of viruses. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections by maintaining healthy antibody production and white blood cells. Also necessary for production of adrenal gland hormones which help prevent exhaustion in those under stress.
Bioflavonoids: Help guard against fatigue caused by allergic reactions; their anti-inflammatory properties prevent the production of histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids like quercetin are powerfully antiviral.
Vitamin E: Has a significant immune stimulation effect and, at high levels, can enhance immune antibody response.
Zinc: Immune stimulant; improves muscle strength and endurance. Constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism and digestion. n Magnesium and Malic Acid: Important for the production of ATP, the body's energy source. Magnesium is also important for women who may develop a deficiency from chronic yeast infections.
Potassium: Enhances energy and vitality; deficiency leads to fatigue and muscle weakness.
Calcium: Combats stress, nervous tension and anxiety.
Iodine: Necessary to prevent fatigue caused by low thyroid function, as it is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxin.
In addition to nutrients to bolster your immunity, herbal remedies can also help suppress viral and candida infections. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic, while echinacea and goldenseal have strong anti-infective abilities. Other botanicals help combat tiredness and depression: stimulating herbs such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and Siberian ginseng can improve vitality and energy. For anxiety, moodiness and insomnia try passionflower or valerian root, which both have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Eating For Energy
Supplements can only do their best if you eat a nutritious diet. Start by cutting out large quantities of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and fat.
But what are the best foods when trying to restore energy or recover from illness? "High nutrient content foods with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates," answers Jennifer Brett, ND, interim clinic director and chair of botanical medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.
"You want foods with high nutritional value-that's where vegetables end up looking better than fruit."
Brett enthusiastically pushes that "universal food," as she calls it: chicken soup.
"In China," she says, laughing, "they do make chicken soup, and they do think of it as healing, because they add astragalus and shiitake mushrooms. Vegetable soups with chicken or fish have high nutritional value and are easy to digest."
The same principle applies to juices, Brett says. Juices are a good way to tastefully get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into your diet. Toss in protein powder, and you can make a complete meal in your blender.
"You get more energy from juicing," she explains, "more accessible nutrients and carbohydrates that are not bound up in fiber." Brett's additional recommendation: oatmeal.
"It's got protein and carbohydrates combined with a lot of minerals, which you may not get from a sugary cereal," she says. "Sure, they spray some vitamins on them, but if you don't drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl, you'll miss out on them. You might as well take a multivitamin."
Look to fiber for superior energy enhancement. Natural Energy author Schwartz calls it downright "miraculous": "In terms of conserving precious energy, fiber-rich foods are your cells' best friends," she writes. "It takes smaller quantities of them to give you a full, satisfied feeling. They release all their benefits slowly, which allows the cells to extract nutrients with much less effort. Then these fiber-rich foods graciously leave the body with ease and efficiency." Among these "slow burn" foods that Schwartz says raise blood sugar slowly and steadily and maintain energy evenly:
Alfalfa sprouts-high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
Apples-one medium unpeeled provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber dose; unlike sweeter fruits, which are rich in healthful fiber, they help regulate blood sugar.
Broccoli-along with such greens as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and broccoli rabe, it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals n Brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains-fiber treasure troves, including barley, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
Corn-excellent fiber source.
Lentils and other legumes-high in fiber, delicious beans are rich in culinary possibilities.
Oat bran and wheat bran-mix into yogurt or add to cereal for the best available access to fiber.
Popcorn-an excellent snack.
Citrus for More Energy
If constant colds and infections are draining your energy, healthy helpings of citrus fruit may be the pickup you need. According to Robert Heinerman, in Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices (Parker), citrus fruit have been used for more than a thousand years as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments:
Kumquat juice is supposed to help clear up bronchitis. Lemon juice with a pinch of table salt eases a sore throat. Lime juice in warm water soothes aches and cramps from the flu. Tangerine juice can break up mucous congestion in the lungs. Along with citrus' vitamin C, these fruits also supply carotenoids, antioxidants that provide disease-preventing benefits. Citrus also often contain calcium, potassium, folate (a B vitamin that fights against heart disease), iron and fiber.
Fruits are loaded with phytochemicals, naturally occurring chemicals that give fruit their vibrant colors. Yellow, red and orange fruits are also high in flavonoids, like quercetin, a substance which fights cancer. Quercetin also aids in prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to author Stephanie Beling, MD, in her book Power Foods (Harper Collins).
Even the US Department of Agriculture agrees on this flavonoid's benefits, noting in its phytochemical database that quercetin is an "antitumor promoter, antiasthmatic, anticarcinogenic, antiplaque, cancer-preventive, capillariprotective." (Quercetin is also available as a supplement.)
Don't Avoid Avocados
For a vitamin rich food, few items beat the avocado which holds vitamins E and C as well as some B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin). A significant source of beta carotene, though not nearly as much as carrots or sweet potatoes, avocados also contain high amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Just 15 grams of avocado delivers about 81 international units of vitamin A as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a carotenoid in fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin, aside from providing antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals, is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and healing.
In addition, the avocado, like all of these healthy foods, tastes great. Which means that you can pep up and not have to sacrifice taste for zest.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Remember that the path to wellness begins in your mind. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, Meditation and massage and aromatherapy can have a great rejuvenating effect on your body. If you can learn to handle stress effectively instead of letting it control you-and strengthen your system with the right nutrients and diet-you'll find that fatigue can be a sporadic visitor rather than a chronic companion.
Immunity - The Big Picture
June 10, 2005 09:51 PM
Immunity: The Big Picture by Brian Amherst Energy Times, August 3, 1999
Your body wants to be well. Outfitted with a battalion of defenses for strategic deployment, your immune system explodes with resistant force at the first sign of infective invasion.
Think of the time a tiny splinter embedded itself in your thumb. By bedtime, the spot rose and reddened; by morning, white blood cells had launched their campaign, building a hot, throbbing fortification. By day's end, the bit of wood was propelled to the surface and ejected by the immune system warriors. Once again, a foreign assailant was summarily ousted.
The Protective Force
"Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Conversely, good health is critical to supporting the immune system." So write naturopathic doctors Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima).
Maintaining the immune system requires a comprehensive program of wholesome diet, resilient attitude, fitness enhancing activity and nutrients keyed to the clear and specific needs of this energetic machine.
The all-star lineup for immune sustenance: a high-potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula, vitamins C and A, bioflavonoids, isoflavones, zinc and selenium, antioxidants like ActiVin (grape seed extract) and pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark), as well as the botanicals echinacea and astragalus.
But optimal partnering with your immune system also benefits from understanding its workings.
Lymph, a milky fluid consisting of water protein and immune cells, is the essence of the immune system. Powered by muscle movement (an important reason why exercise boosts immunity), the lymphatic system collects and transports lymph to the lymph nodes. These nodes contain certain immune cells and filter out invading antigens, as well as produce antibodies, before siphoning the lymph out into the bloodstream.
If you've ever had "swollen glands," that means your lymph nodes have been in overdrive.
Macrophages are the immune cells that filter lymph, consuming bacteria and cellular debris while protecting the lymph system from invasion and damage.
The White Blood Cell Album
In Monocytes collect cellular trash after infections and can trigger immune responses; eosinophils can eliminate foreign particles and, with basophils, are involved in immune response.
In Lymphocytes include varieties of T cells, which work with other white blood cells or attack and destroy foreign tissue, cancer cells or virus-infected cells; B cells that produce antibodies that bind to bacteria, viruses or tumors; and natural killer cells (NKCs) that destroy cancerous or virally-infected cells.
(Based on information in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine; The Road to Immunity: How to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) by Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin; and the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book (Harper Resource).
Keep the System Sound
"But you must always be sure to maintain the mind-body-spirit link," he told Energy Times. "For the mind, it could be exercise, yoga or Meditation. Evidence shows improved immune system responses from these therapies. And in any case, you never read in the headlines that somebody has been admitted to the emergency room overdosing on Meditation.
"Intentionality also is an important part of the mind link: believing you are going to fare well. For your spirit, you must ask yourself such questions as, Do I feel connected to others?
"For the body, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Much depends on your community: I live on Long Island, where there is a high incidence of breast cancer, so I would recommend green tea and isoflavones from soy products for women."
Dr. Benjamin stresses moderation in the use of immune-intensifying supplements, among which he cites mixed carotenoids, zinc and vitamin E.
The Soy Solution
In a study conducted by the University of Southern California at Norris and published in the March 4, 1998 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that genistein, an active component of soy products, short-circuits the ability of tumor cells to elude destruction by the immune system due to an excess of defensive stress proteins.
Genistein seems to make cancer cells vulnerable to the immune response. Researchers at Wake Forest University told participants at the January 1999 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that dietary or supplemental soy fed to monkeys counteracted cell proliferation that is a cancer precursor.
That Championship C
Immune cells are known to accumulate and retain high levels of vitamin C. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York now understand how that happens: Proteins called growth factors (which control growth and production of immune cells) also increase those cells' ability to take up vitamin C.
These researchers, reporting in the April 1998 issue of the journal Blood, explain that the additional glucose that the growth factors pump into immune cells (for enhanced energy), plus extra vitamin C, intensify immune response.
And folks with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum experience less cell damage from free radicals that leads to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo (addressing the June 13, 1997 meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research) deduced from studying population groups that high levels of vitamin C are associated with low oxidative stress and lower risk of cell damage.
From A to Zinc
In Colostrum, the pre-milk liquid produced by mammals during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, took the spotlight recently as a supplement imbued with multiple immune factors and natural antibiotics that augment body's immune response. A 1992 study showed that bovine colostrum might be able to reduce and prevente infections in immune deficient folks, especially those with AIDS.
In University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers found for the first time (on laboratory animals) that vitamin D appreciably inhibits widespread prostate cancer by binding to cancer cells and triggering cell death or their transformation to benign cells.
In Vitamin E exerts formidable immune-enhancing influence on both antibody and cell-mediated immunity. One fundamental study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (245, 1981: 53-58) established conclusively that vitamin E deficiency results in significant impairment of immune function. Later studies demonstrated that it reduces prostate cancer by up to one-third.
In Coenzyme A, described as a metabolic enzyme, takes part in starting numerous body processes that provide energy for the immune system. If you ever run short of this enzyme, fat processing within your body would grind to a halt.
in Researchers looking at a substance with the tongue twisting name 3-acetyl-7-oxo-Dehydroepiandro-sterone, believe it aids immunity by quelling stress hormones.
in Mushrooms contain natural substances called polysaccharides, believed to enhance immunity. In particular, maitake mushroom, which conveys the immune booster beta-D-glucans, is reputed to help fight infections and drop blood pressure.
in Men and women taking selenium supplements for 10 years had 41% less total cancer than those taking a dummy, according to a January 1997 study by Cornell University and the University of Arizona. Other studies have shown it to reduce the risk for colon cancer by about 60%. n Zinc may provide immediate protection against the all too common cold. Scientists at the University of Florida were the first to apply genetic fingerprinting methods like those used in criminal and paternity investigations to understand how nutrients directly affect human immune cells.
The study, in the April 1998 Journal of Nutrition, demonstrates that zinc signals cells to make the protein metallothionein, which protects against infections, toxins and other stressors.
Phytochemicals a la Carte
n Isoflavones from soy, fight angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels form to supply nutrients to cancerous growths. n Sulforaphane in broccoli, kale and cabbage activates anticancer enzymes.
n Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish block the synthesis of prostaglandins, natural compounds in the body that promote tumor growth.
n Ginger contains antioxidant compounds, each more potent than vitamin E. Recent studies on mice show ginger can prevent skin tumors. n Rosemary contains carnosol which deactivates carcinogens and helps limit the effects of prostaglandins.
Sometimes the world can look like a dangerous place, especially when you're sick and tired much of the time. But in the search for immunity, menus of health help like this ensure that no matter what your immunity needs, a boost can be yours with the proper nutrient selection.
June 10, 2005 05:38 PM
Aromessentials by Joanne Gallo , February 3, 2002
Aromessentials By Joanne Gallo
But aromatherapy is more than just a '90s-style novelty. The practice of using aromatic essential oils for psychological and physical well-being dates back more than 4,000 years to medicinal practices in Egypt and India.
The term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French cosmetic chemist R.M. Gattefosse, who discovered the benefits of essential oil after burning his hand in a laboratory accident. Gattefosse immersed his hand into the nearest available cool liquid: a vat of lavender oil. The near miraculous soothing of his pain and rapid healing spurred him to dedicate his life to the study of aromatic plants and their therapeutic effects.
How it Works
For those who turn their noses up at this most seemingly-subtle of senses, keep in mind that the perception of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than the sense of taste. "The sense of smell is the sense of the imagination," noted French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; this emotional connection lies at the heart of aromatherapy.
Aromas are transmitted rapidly from olfactory cells in the nose to the limbic system in the brain which perceives and responds to emotion, pleasure and memory. Scents trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals which influence mood. Well-known neurochemicals like endorphins and serotonin help create a sense of well-being.
When you inhale essential oils, some of the molecules travel to the lungs, where they proceed to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Oils applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream as well. Because they are oil/fat soluble, essential oils are highly absorbed by the body, where they circulate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours and are eventually eliminated through sweat and other bodily secretions.
Essential oils are extremely potent and volatile: approximately 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
Most essential oils are steam distilled from herbs, flowers and plants. Others are cold expressed from the rind of the fruit, which produces the purest essential oils because no heat or chemical treatment is involved.
The components of various oils are beneficial for a wide variety of beauty and hygiene conditions. Some of the more indispensable essential oils include:
Chamomile (anthemis nobilis): soothing properties for sensitive and inflamed skin; calming, balancing and relaxing.
Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): warming, female balancing herb used for PMS; calms anxiety, tension and stress; also used as a muscle relaxant for aches and pains.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antibacterial; fresh, herbal menthol aroma; widely used as an inhalant for colds, coughs and congestion; excellent for massaging tired or sore muscles.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens): one of the best all-around tonic oils for mind and body; soothes nervous tension and mood swings; balances female hormones and PMS; gently astringent and antiseptic, it improves general tone and texture of skin.
Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum): a warm, rich, sensual floral scent used historically as an aphrodisiac; moisturizing for dry/mature skin.
Lemon (citrus limonum): refreshing and invigorating; eases tension and depression; useful for oily skin and treatment of acne.
Peppermint (mentha piperita): cool, menthol, invigorating stimulant; cleans and purifies the skin.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis): stimulating and uplifting; purifying and cleansing for all skin types; warm and penetrating for massage to ease muscular aches and pains.
Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): an antiseptic from the leaves of the Australian tea tree; antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; excellent for skin irritations like cold sores, insect bites and acne.
Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): enticing and sensual; helps alleviate anger, stress, insomnia and hypertension; helps balance the skin's sebaceous secretions.
Essential oils can be utilized in a variety of ways: in electric or candle-based diffusers, to spread the aroma through a room; in sachets and air fresheners; added to shampoos and lotions; or diluted and applied to pulse points like the temples, on neck or on wrists. Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin. First mix them with carrier oils: pure vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and apricot kernel oil. Use a general guideline of six to 18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of vegetable oil. Blended, diluted oils are also available which can be used directly on your skin.
Pond's Aromatherapy Capsules come in four scents: Happy, which is fruity and floral; Romantic,with musk and vanilla; Relaxing, a floral and woodsy aroma; and Energizing, with fresh citrus and bright floral scents.
Sarah Michaels offers four essential oil blends: Sensual Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Refreshing Citrus and Invigorating Peppermint.
The San Francisco Soap Company's Simply Be Well Line features an essential oil light ring set, a diffuser that uses the heat of a light bulb to spread an aroma through your room.
One of the most popular and luxurious ways to enjoy aromatherapy is in a steaming hot bath. Numerous bath products formulated with plant essences can turn your tub time into a rejuvenating experience. Body & Earth features Body Wash, Foam Bath and Soap in five essences: Vanilla Serenity, Lavender Whisper, Playful Peach, Raspberry Rapture and Pear Essence.
The Healing Garden offers a full line of aromatherapy products; try their Tangerinetherapy Wake Up Call Body Cleanser, Gingerlily Therapy Upbeat Bath & Shower Gel; or Minttherapy Fresh Start Bath & Shower Gel.
Simply Be Well products take traditional aromatherapy one step further by combining essential oils with herbal extracts and natural nutrients.
The line includes Shower Gel and Bath Salts in four fragrances: Explore contains ginkgo, eucalyptus, lemon and vitamin B6; Share features dong quai, passionflower, ylang ylang and zinc; Unwind includes kava kava, geranium, lavender and vitamin E; and Celebrate contains ginseng, wild mint, hemp and vitamin C.
Yardley London Bar Soaps, formulated with botanicals and moisturizers, are available in five fragrances: soothing English Lavender, exfoliating Oatmeal and Almond, Aloe Vera for natural healing, skin-softening Chamomile Essence, and astringent Evening Primrose.
"Aromatherapy and the cosmetic use of essential oils have made a tremendous contribution to skin care," asserts Joni Loughran, author of Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques (Frog, Ltd.). "Every type of skin (such as oily, dry, and normal) can benefit." Some of the natural products that can help balance your skin include these:
Kiss My Face Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal/Oily skin features citrus oils which act as antiseptics, marigold for healing, licorice root for toning, lavender to normalize oil production, plus the antioxidant green tea.
Kiss My Face's Gentle Face Cleaner for Normal/Dry skin includes essential oils plus organic, detoxifying herbs goldenseal and red clover, echinacea and rose hips with natural vitamin C.
Naturistics Almond Facial Moisture Cream contains almond, allantoin and calendula to smooth dry skin; Wild Chamomile Facial Lotion with rose hips and honeysuckle soothes and conditions rough skin.
Simply Be Well products, which use essential oils combined with herbal extracts like ginkgo and dong quai, are available in Body Lotion and Body Mist.
Wicks and Sticks
Perhaps the easiest way to get your aromatherapy fix is to light a candle and just sit back, relax and breathe.
The Healing Garden offers a wide variety of aromatic candles to suit your every mood; try their Green Teatherapy Meditation Candle; Jasminetherapy Embrace the Light Love Candle; or Lavendertherapy Peace & Tranquility Candle.
Basics of the Immune System
June 10, 2005 03:01 PM
Basics of the Immune System
by Leonid G. Ber, MD Energy Times, September 1, 1998
In a world filled with pathogens and microbes, good health and resistance to disease is no accident. It requires a vigorous and vigilant immune system. The immune system should be viewed as an internal security force that is constantly checking the identity of everything entering and already existing in the body. A cell or substance may be recognized as "non-self" and a potential enemy if it does not have the right molecular make-up. A cell displaying molecules produced according to a different blueprint than the body's own code may be recognized as foreign. To eliminate alien material that may harm the body, the immune system must take swift action.
Recognizing entities that originate outside the self forms the key to overall immune system response. This key is carried in the body by cells called macrophages (ma-kro-fajs), a name derived from a Greek term meaning "big eater." Macrophages eat or engulf foreign cells and molecules. When a macrophage encounters something that it distinguishes as being "non-self" or abnormal, it can attack the enemy with a series of assault weapons, including free-radicals (reactive substances) and enzymes, that dissolve and weaken the intruder. In fact, an enzyme produced by macrophages called lysozyme is recognized as one of nature's most powerful anti-infective agents. These chemical defenses, along with engulfment and complete digestion by macrophages, can effectively stymie invasion by disease-causing pathogens.
Harmful invasion can originate in the body's own cells as well as begin from outside sources. While we are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, fungal cells and parasites, destructive cancerous growths often start within the body.
Every day, thousands of the body's cells mutate into possible cancers. Under most circumstances, the immune system keeps these cells under control. But when the immune "security" system slips up, these harmful growths multiply unrecognized.
The initial immune response that recognizes invaders is called a "non-specific defense mechanism" since this immune response is generally the same toward all invaders. This counter-attack entails battling every invader pretty much identically: a macrophage can engage, dissolve, weaken, engulf, digest, eliminate. However, if, despite the initial immune efforts, the problem persists, a macrophage can tag an invader and "introduce" it to the rest of the immune system, thus recruiting more specialized types of immune cells to enter the battle. This tagging function endows macrophages with the name "antigen-presenting cells." (Antigens are substances that can provoke specific responses by the immune system.)
Most antigens are proteins. Proteins are relatively large molecules made of smaller units called amino acids. The specific geometric organization of amino acids is what conveys uniqueness to each protein. (Your genetic code forms a blueprint for the production of your own, individual proteins.) Protein molecules produced by one human being can act as an antigen for another human being. That's why organs transplanted from one person to another can be rejected by the immune system. Unless organs are transplanted from one identical twin to another (who share the genetic blueprint for protein creation), doctors must use immune-suppressing drugs to curtail organ rejection. At the same time as these medicines prevent transplant rejection, they also make people more susceptible to infectious diseases and cancer.
After one set of immune cells chemically tags antigens (invaders) for recognition, other highly specialized parts of the immune system go into action: Cells called T cells or T lymphocytes acknowledge the invaders and can take the further action (second line of defense) that is necessary to render them harmless.
T cells get their name from the thymus (an organ located behind the sternum) where they originate. The thymus, most active when we're young, usually shrinks and apparently slows or shuts down its activity about the age of forty.
A wide variety of T cells inhabit lymph nodes (soft, usually round, pea- or nut-sized organs) and other body areas. For instance, natural killer cells, as their name implies, are a particularly aggressive type of T cell. Another type of T cell is called T helper (a cell that supports development of immune response). T suppressors halt immune response when infection ends.
In order to make all these different cells work in concert, cytokines or messenger molecules are produced that facilitate constant communications between all the parts of the immune system.
The B Team
Other organs of the immune system include:
*bone marrow: a powerful cell producing organ where the majority of immune cells are born;
*spleen: an abdominal organ that forms a reservoir for the production of immune cells.
Lymph nodes oversee particular segments of the body where they collect and recycle tissue fluids. Like an early warning system, lymph nodes react when an invader is detected in the part of the body that it controls.
Yet another step in the so-called immune cascade entails action by lymphocytes, called B cells, which originate in the bone marrow. These cells produce antibodies which are immune proteins (immunglobulins) that attack specific antigens.
While traveling in the blood, an antibody can bind to an antigen, curtailing its harmful action. This bound up molecule forms a complex easily recognized by scavenging macrophages which make a quick meal out of the unlucky invader.
After enemy cells are removed from the body, knowledge of this victory resides in the immunological memory prolonging your resistance toward specific disease pathogens indefinitely. That's why someone who has recovered from a disease like the measles may be impervious to reinfection.
Rules for Optimum Immunity
Even though the immune system consists of a complex team of hard-working cells, enhancing your immunity is relatively easy:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid continuous stress and negative emotions or cope with them through exercise or Meditation. Consistent, moderate exercise can boost the immune system. Massage can also help although extreme care must be taken when inflammation or disease is already present.
Sleep 7-8 hours a day. Sleep allows the body to recover and rebuild. Protein synthesis, vital for a healthy immune system, increases during the night.
Stick to a healthy diet. Your immune system consists of trillions of cells. Consequently, nutrients important for cell health boost the immune system. A balanced low-calorie diet rich in complex carbohydrates, "good" fats (including fish oils, olive oil and flaxseed oil) along with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables can fortify immune cells. Plus, drinking plenty of water helps improve circulation of lymph fluid.
These recommendations are not hard to meet once they become a part of your daily routine. However, extra immune security may be necessary during flu season, while traveling long distances (airplanes are notorious sources of pathogens) or when working extensive hours in front of a computer screen. In addition, exposure to x-rays, immunosuppressive chemicals, ultraviolet radiation (the sun) or simply aging may give your immune cells extra burdens.
Your "specific" immune system does not respond immediately to the challenge of invasion by an infectious organism. Instead, it may require about 2 weeks for an effective reaction after antigen recognition and alerting T cells. During this period, the macrophages' non-specific defense assumes a crucial role in keeping infection in check.
Enhanced activity by macrophages is especially important for recognizing and destroying cancer cells. The most dangerous cancers are those that can mimic normal cells and avoid the immune system's wrath. Few substances can activate macrophage function in the body (aloe vera contains substances that contribute to this process). The most powerful macrophage activator recognized by the scientific community is a sugar-like substance called beta-1,3-D-glucan. Beta-glucan, extracted from the cell walls of common Baker's yeast, when taken in certain small amounts, can prevent infection by making macrophages more active in recognizing and attacking infectious bacteria, fungi and certain viruses.
This kind of activation can encourage macrophages to attack previously unrecognized tumor cells. As a result, tumors may be eradicated as the immune system mobilizes and produces what may be known as "spontaneous healing."
When a macrophage works overtime fighting disease, its demand for nutrients and energy increases dramatically. Vitamin C, known for its immune supporting function, seems to be especially important for maintaining fully active macrophages. Vitamin C collects in macrophages, often reaching forty times the concentration found in surrounding blood. What are conventionally considered normal amounts of vitamin C in the body may be insufficient to keep macrophages well supplied with this antioxidant. Therefore, extra amounts of vitamin C can keep the immune system in fighting trim.
Scientists are only now beginning to uncover the secrets of the highly organized immune system. One thing's certain: The immunity security team depends on proper lifestyle, nutrition and supplements to maintain the critical defenses necessary for good health.
Dr. Ber received his doctorate in internal medicine from the Yaroslavle, State Medical Institute in Yaroslavle, Russia.