Archive for February, 2011

Stay Healthy, Strong & Vibrant with these 7 Key Supplements

1. Medicinal Mushrooms – In Chinese medicine, many of the “superior” drugs — those that increase resistance to all disease agents — are derived from mushrooms. You can add them to your regular diet as well as take them in a supplement.

Shiitake mushrooms stimulate your immune system’s powerhouses and act both quickly and aggressively against invasion. A little shiitake goes a long way, and the dried ones have the same nutrients as the fresh. Simply soak them until they’re soft, and sliver them with kitchen scissors into miso soup, brown rice or stir fry recipes once or twice a week.

Reishi mushrooms stimulate your immune system in a way that allows it to fight against all disease strains. You can maximize the activity of reishis when you take them in a formula that has tonic herbs like ginseng. (Unlike shiitake and maitake, reishi is not used for cooking.)

Maitake mushrooms are significant immune normalizers for serious immune compromised conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis. An especially promising extract in maitake inhibits cancer tumor growth and metastasis by enhancing immunity at the cellular level. Maitake is a treasured delicacy in Asian cooking, but it is difficult to find and very expensive. Caplets or teas are widely available though.

Maitake mushrooms are such powerful immune boosters that they offer hope for people with AIDS. Tests by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reveal that maitake extract can actually prevent HIV from destroying the “helper” T cells of the immune system. Leading scientists from NCI consider maitake as powerful as the leading AIDS drug, AZT, but without the toxic side effects!  Find Maitake and and Reishi mushrooms in Nature’s Immune Stimulator plus it contains Beta Glucans, Arabinogalactan, Colostrum, and Cordyceps.

2. Enzyme Therapy – Enzymes are mighty scavengers. They literally clean up toxic cellular debris, partially digested food and unused proteins from your body before they ever have the chance to make you sick!

When digestion is poor, protein can work against the body, not for it. For example, if your intestinal wall is damaged, unused protein particles can leak past the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream. Your immune system has to work double-time to defend against these invaders. That’s where supplemental enzymes come in.

Food Enzymes is a full spectrum enzyme product that includes Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL). Proactazyme is also a full spectrum food enzyme supplement without hydrochloric acid.

Protease Plus also dissolves scar tissue with miraculous results — both externally and internally! NSP also offers

Supplemental Protease taken between meals enters directly into the bloodstream and helps the immune system digest the protein fragments and unwanted waste, including harmful bacteria and viruses in the blood and soft tissues.

High Potentcy Protease. Enjoy the same benefits of three Protease Plus capsules in one capsule of High-Potency Protease.

3. Probiotics including Acidophilus and Bifidophilus are organisms that live in our intestinal track and boost the immune system and white blood cell activity. Probiotics are so powerful they can suppress virulent strains of bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus. Try Probiotic Eleven which contains 11 strains of live microorganisms.

4. Antioxidants scavenge and neutralize highly reactive free radicals in the body. Some great choices include sea vegetables, like dulse, kelp and sea palm, and herbs like Gingkgo Biloba, Eleuthero and Grape Seed & Pine Bark. Also try Super Antioxidant with a combination of herbal antioxidants.

5. Immuno-modulating tonic herbs are the best choices for long-term protection against seasonal illness. Their activity is gentle and long lasting without the harsh side effects of antibiotic drugs.

Two excellent choices are:

Astragalus. In studies with people susceptible to frequent infections, astragalus improved natural resistance so patients got sick less frequently. It is especially beneficial for the respiratory system against viral and bacterial invasion. NOTE: Astragalus is not recommended for acute illness. It’s best used as a preventative or during the recuperation stage of disease.

Burdock provides remarkable support for your liver. Your liver is responsible for more than 1500 functions that directly maintain your immune system.

6. Green Superfoods have immuno-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-viral properties for fighting colds, flu and bronchitis. It may also help fight more deadly diseases, such as cancer. The best green superfood sources come from green algae (Super Algae & Spirulina), wheat grass, barley grass (Barley Juice Powder Concentrate) , Alfalfa and leafy greens. Take a green drink several times a week during the winter months for the best protection. Try Greenzone Powder or Capsules.

7. Minerals are the foundation your body works with to build everything —  from bone strength to food assimilation. Minerals increase body enzyme production and help establish normal pH levels, vital for immune system maintenance and disease prevention.

Minerals play a major role in not only detoxifying cells, but also in elimination acid crystals from the lymph system, a secondary circulatory system that your immunity relies on to filter and remove infective organisms. Try Ionic Minerals w/Acai or Herbal Trace Minerals.

February 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm 2 comments

Can Cholesterol Be Too Low?

The answer to that question is absolutely! Believe it or not I am seeing more clients in my office with cholesterol levels that are too low rather than too high. Most people have no idea that their cholesterol can be too low.

Cholesterol has been given a bad rap in today’s society. We’ve been told that high cholesterol “causes” heart disease. TV commercials warn us that “diet and exercise may not be enough,” and drugs are increasingly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. It’s important to realize that high or low cholesterol levels are a symptom of something else gone awry in the body. So to simply pop a pill that has numerous side-effects to lower cholesterol does much more harm than good. The result of the medication is that you now have a low cholesterol level but you feel lousy and are now at risk for some very serious health problems. Read on as I share research on the effects of having a low cholesterol level.

Why Cholesterol is Important to Health

Cholesterol belongs to a group of compounds called sterols. It is, by far, the most abundant sterol in the human body. We do get cholesterol from some of the foods we eat but most of the cholesterol in the body is manufactured in the liver. It’s interesting to note that every cell is capable of making this substance.

Cholesterol has many important functions in the body including:

1. The formation of cholic acid which is used to make bile salts. Bile salts are used to emulsify and digest fat.
2. The production of adrenal and reproductive hormones. Cholesterol is the basic building block for DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone and cortisol.
3. Along with other lipids it helps to make the skin water tight and impervious to various substances that might otherwise penetrate the skin. It is also used in small amounts in all cell membranes.
4. Helps the immune system by binding toxins, reducing inflammation and protecting nerve and brain tissue from chemical damage.

Obviously, cholesterol is an important substance to the body, and necessary for our health.

Healthy Cholesterol Ranges

Although excess cholesterol in the blood isn’t good, excess cholesterol is not a cause of anything — it is a symptom that something is wrong with the body’s metabolism. The ranges that you see on the lab report are 100-199. These numbers are simply not correct due to the many studies that have been done showing that low cholesterol predisposes you to many health problems (see below). For optimal health, cholesterol levels should be between 208 and 242. Oddly enough, people are being encouraged to take statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol to unhealthy, low levels.

How do you determine the cause of high or even low cholesterol?  The best way I know how to find the root cause along with evaluating a client’s diet, lifestyle and health history is Biochemical Blood Analysis, the in-depth process of evaluation that I use to look at blood work. It gives the answers to what is actually happening at the cellular level and can determine what will bring balance back to your biological terrain.

The Problems Associated with Low Cholesterol

The European Heart Journal published a three year study of 11,500 patients. This study showed that patients with low cholesterol experienced:

* Increases in lung cancer
* Increases in other cancers
* Higher risk of cardiac death
* Erectile dysfunction and infertility
* Loss of memory and mental focus

(Source European Heart Journal 1997, 18, 52-59)

A Swedish researcher found that:

* Individuals with low cholesterol suffer from frequent and severe infections
* Individuals with high cholesterol had a lower mortality than the average population

(Source: Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD. independent researcher Magle Stora Kyrkogata 9, S-223250 Lund, Sweden)

A study performed by the University of San Diego School of Medicine showed:

* High cholesterol can be protective against environmental toxins rather than harmful
* Low cholesterol is a risk factor for heart arrhythmia
* High cholesterol readings are associated with protection from neurotoxins and cancer protection

In a 30 year follow-up to the Framingham study which helped link cholesterol and heart disease in the first place, the Journal of American Medical Association reported:

* There is no correlation between high cholesterol and mortality, but correlation between low cholesterol and mortality
* Death rates from cardiovascular disease increased 14% for every 1 mg/dl drop in total cholesterol per year

(Source: Anderson KM. Cholesterol and Mortality, 30 years of Follow-up from the Framingham study. JAMA 1987 Apr 24;257 (16):2176-80)

The Journal of Cardiac Failure published a paper on low cholesterol. The study was an analysis of 1,134 patients with heart disease. The conclusions:

* Low cholesterol was associated with worse outcomes in heart failure patients and impaired survival rates
* Elevated cholesterol was not associated with hypertension, diabetes or coronary heart disease.

(Source: Horwich TB. Et.al. Low Serum Total Cholesterol is Associate with Marked Increase in Mortality in Advanced Heart Failure. J Card. Fail. 2002 Aug, 8 (4): 216-214)

A Japanese study found that death rates from coronary heart disease went down as cholesterol levels went up.

(Source: Okayama A., Marmot MG Int. J Epidemiology  Dec 1993)

The following was reported in the journal of Arteriosclerosis:

* Despite successful attempts to lower cholesterol with statin drugs, the death rate from heart disease has not changed in 75 years and mortality from heart disease is more than double what it was in 1996.

(Source: Uri Goldbourt. Et al. Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease in Mortality. Arteriosclerosis. Vol 10, No. 4, July/August 1990)

Here’s another study of 11,500 patients. It showed that:

* The risk of death in the low cholesterol group (160mg/dl and below) was 2.27 times higher than those with high cholesterol.
* Most common cause of death in low cholesterol patients was cancer.

(Source: European Heart Journal (1997) 18,52-59)

From the bookThe French Paradox:

* High levels of the stress hormone cortisol along with high insulin levels creates the metabolic state that causes atherosclerotic plaque development.

(Source: The French Paradox by Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe 1978)

Low cholesterol and also been linked with depression, mood disorders, aggression and increased risk for suicide.

If this information is new to you I hope it has opened your eyes and triggered you to want to learn more and question the reason behind every medication you take. The body is always working to maintain balance and if we give it what it needs it can correct the imbalances. Address the root cause and health returns.

Facts About Statins:

* Are known carcinogens in experimental animals in doses approximate to those given to patients
* Increase risk of polyneuropathy fourteen times
* Deplete CoQ10 and lower antioxidant levels
* Can cause liver dysfunction
* Can cause muscle pain
* Are associated with memory loss, lack of concentration and global amnesia
* Have been known to cause insomnia, weakness and fatigue
* May cause erectile dysfunction
* Create difficulty in managing diabetes because they raise insulin levels
* Annual sales of statins — $27 billion

Emotions Related to Cholesterol

High

  • Difficulty processing emotions
  • Aggressive
  • Demanding
  • Moody
  • Irritable
  • Prone to emotional outbursts

Low

  • Holding emotions in
  • Self-worth issues
  • Buried anger
  • Feeling stuck

Karol K. Truman, author of Feelings Buried Alive Never Die… states that the belief that “I’m not supposed to be happy” and also denying self joy are related to an imbalance in cholesterol.

And Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life says, in relation to cholesterol, that the channels of joy are clogged and there may be a fear of accepting joy. She offers the affirmations below to help shift these beliefs.

Affirmations:

  • I choose to love life
  • My channels of joy are wide open
  • It is safe to receive

February 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm 5 comments

Blue Vervain for Coughs & Congestion

A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I usually do.  Not eating well, doing too much and stressed more than usual due to our getting a new puppy. Well you probably can guess what came from that. Yes, I got sick with a cold. I haven’t been sick in I can’t remember when and it really was a good lesson to remind me of what I need to do to take care of myself. I loaded up on all my herbs and vitamins including AL-J, Goldenseal, Zinc Lozenges and drank a lot of tea and chicken broth. But one herb besides my favorite herb combo AL-J really made a huge difference in my quick recovery. That herb is Blue Vervain. It’s not an herb people usually know a lot about but it’s a wonderful one to have in your herbal medicine chest. I was beginning to get the obligatory cough so I took 1/4 tsp. of the liquid Blue Vervain in some water twice a day for just one day and it made a huge difference. I took a few more doses for good measure but the cough was gone!  Now I know this stuff works because my clients tell me their stories of healing but when you experience such amazing results yourself it really makes an impression.  So today I wanted to share my experience with you so that if you are having any respiratory issues or are experiencing any of the other things listed below you can try Blue Vervain.

Here are just a few of the things it has been traditionally used for:

  • Relieves congestion and cleans out body toxins.
  • It was used to save lives during the Medieval plagues.
  • In the liquid form, is given to small children to help relieve colds and fever with a relaxing effect.
  • It can help as part of a liver cleanses when there is inflammation and jaundice.
  • Calms coughing including whooping cough and croup
  • Settles stomachs
  • Expels phlegm from throat and lungs.
  • Expels worms.
  • Alleviates upper respiratory conditions.
  • Bronchitis
  • Anemia (it’s high in Iron)
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Insomnia
  • Neuralgia and Neuritis

Contraindications: Should not be used during pregnancy as it may be a uterine stimulant. Should not be taken with antidepressants and sedative drugs.

Have you tried Blue Vervain? What is your favorite herb for colds and coughs?

February 8, 2011 at 9:24 am 2 comments

Detoxify Your Body with Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale – a member of the Sunflower Family

Of course we all know that Dandelion’s are weeds that pop up in our lawns quite frequently and people go to great lengths to remove them but unbeknownst to most is the fact that this is an amazing herb with great medicinal value. An effective health remedy right in our own backyard!

Recently I have noticed that more of my clients have been testing for and needing this herb to help clear liver congestion.  We unfortunately live in a toxic world and our bodies are paying the price. The good news is that we have herbs to help us out and Dandelion works wonderfully for this.

A European folk remedy since the 15th century, the entire plant was used with wine made from the flowers, salads from the young leaves and the leaves & root used as medicine. It has been said that the dandelion never grows where there are no people, so it is a very sociable plant!

Some of the many ways the dandelion can aid the body:

Liver – A great herb for detoxification, the root is particularly effective for treating build up of toxins in the liver by helping to remove waste products and for aiding a sluggish or congested liver. A general tonic, it may help reduce side effects of medication and as it can help improve bile flow & reduce inflammation, it may be useful for hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Kidneys & Urinary Problems – The leaves are also a tonic for the kidneys, as a diuretic to help stimulate urine flow, improving general kidney function. They also stimulate toxin removal, improving health and assisting with skin problems. The leaves are high in vitamin A and potassium and are useful for water retention, kidney stones, edema, lymphatic swellings and bladder infection. If you have problems with fluid or water retention please consult a natural health practitioner before taking dandelion leaves.

Gallbladder – Both the root and leaf are used as a tonic for the gallbladder & spleen and are often used to prevent gallstones. The leaf can dissolve existing gallstones, but again this should be used with the support of your practitioner. If there is a bile duct obstruction, it should not be used at all.

Digestion – Dandelion Root has an excellent effect on the digestive system. It is stimulating and strengthening and is used as a mild laxative for constipation and also for general poor digestion. It helps to cleanse the digestive tract gently from the effects of meat, excessive fats, fried foods, drugs, coffee, and medication. The leaves help to increase  production of saliva, promoting digestive enzyme & stomach acid production. The roots may help stimulate appetite and aid digestion. With ulcers or gastritis, it should be used with care, due to the overproduction of acids.

Blood Cleanser –  A well-known blood cleanser & detoxifier, dandelion can help with ailments such as rashes, psoriasis, eczema, inflammation, boils, infection, abscesses, chicken pox, measles, painful joints, eyes, skin and fever. As a diuretic, it can help treat high blood pressure, increasing the flow of blood to the tissues and improving circulation, as well as being a blood vessel strengthener and cleanser.

Arthritis & Rheumatism – Another traditional remedy for treating rheumatism and arthritis, due mainly to it’s detoxifying properties

Pregnancy and Lactation -Taken in moderation during the second & third trimesters, dandelion is a useful nutritional aid. It is also a galactagogue, used to promote lactation, increasing milk flow and supporting the breastfeeding process. Discuss with your midwife if you have any concerns.

Nutritional Tonic – With an amazing nutritional value, dandelion is high in vitamins A, B, C and D, plus iron, copper, potassium and higher levels of beta carotene than carrots, plus magnesium, zinc, manganese, choline, silicon, calcium and boron. Older leaves are bitter but the young leaves are great raw or cooked.

External Uses – A well-known remedy for warts, the ‘milk’ from the stem and leaves of fresh dandelion can help with treatment, although this can cause an allergic rash in some individuals. This milk can also be used externally to ease the pain of sores & bee stings and for acne, fungal infections and growths.

Do not use dandelion unless recommended by your health professional if taking insulin, diuretics, lithium or any medication which reduces blood sugar levels

Nature’s Sunshine offers excellent quality Dandelion Root and Mountain Rose Herbs offers Dandelion Leaf & Root in bulk.

Thanks for reading!

February 7, 2011 at 9:46 am 3 comments


Welcome to my Natural Health Blog – My name is Paige and I’m a Certified Natural Health Professional writing about what I know and love, natural health.

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