Friday, October 29, 2010

Celtic Sea Salt and the Thyroid Gland

Though it is just a small gland that sits just below the Adam’s apple, the thyroid has a huge responsibility for maintaining many important bodily functions. Through its secretion of hormones, the thyroid affects the metabolism, cholesterol levels, heart rate, eyesight, skin, and memory. But… in order to manufacture a healthy amount of hormones, the gland needs to be in good working order. Celtic sea salt, a course gray salt found along the coast of Brittany, France, is an unrefined salt that contains over 80 minerals, trace minerals, and other essential elements. Due to its high mineral content, it can work effectively with the thyroid, providing healthful nutrients to the body.

Abundance of Minerals
Dr. David Brownstein in his online article, “Shattering the Myths about One of Nature’s Necessary Nutrients,” speaks about Celtic sea salt’s high mineral and trace mineral content, as opposed to table salt’s mere two elements: sodium and chloride.  He states that the use of unrefined salt provides a great benefit for optimum health. All Natural Information asserts that Celtic sea salt is able to eliminate excess acidity in cells, particularly the brain, while also balancing sugar levels and generating energy in the body as it works in conjunction with the thyroid gland. Celtic sea salt is also a great addition to the diet for its iodine content, which helps thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism.

Magnesium Salts
The presence of magnesium bromide and magnesium chloride boosts the metabolic processes by fortifying the thyroid.  According to All Natural Information, magnesium salts also help to drain excess sodium from the body, helping to address edema, high blood pressure, and other problems associated with high levels of sodium.

Additive Free
Because Celtic sea salt is free of additives and chemicals, it provides the body with the maximum benefit inherent in naturally occurring salt, according to Thyroid Guide. Celtic sea salt is sold without being processed, meaning that there is no application of heat, which normally removes minerals. Commercial table salt on the other hand, is the result of high-heat drying in order to keep salt granules from clumping together, with iodine often added after processing. Because the magnesium is removed from commercial table salt, the mineral is not available to perform its function as a nerve and brain cell stimulator, nor for metabolizing fats and sugars. Celtic sea salt, however, contains naturally occurring magnesium along with only 82% sodium chloride, as opposed to the 98% found in commercial salt.

Note: Be sure to consult with your health-care provider before embarking on a Celtic sea salt protocol, especially if you are suffering from kidney problems.

For information on the purity of sea salt given our polluted waters, here is an excellent response on the subject:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Aloe Vera Plant: Super Plant

Aloe vera is a gorgeous succulent plant that a member of the Lily family.  It is easy to indentify by its thick, fleshy leaves that when gently sliced open, yield a medicinal gel. There are approximately 400 species of aloe, with the most curative being Aloe Barbadensis Miller. Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its medicinal value, whether applied topically or taken internally.  Because it is so easy to grow, having a plant or several of your own is an excellent way to keep this essential part of your medicine cabinet at hand. 

Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe vera contains over 20 amino acids and according to the Healthcare Information Directory, is high in B complex vitamins, especially vitamin 12.  This is especially good news for vegetarians, as B12 is hard to find outside of animal products. Aloe also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, silicon, sulfur, and essential fatty acids, all of which are essential for our health.

Gastro- intestinal Assistance
According to Aloe Vera Studies, juice made from aloe vera gel helps detoxify the system by working with the intestinal tract to help break down impacted food. Because aloe vera juice helps the body to release pepsin, an enzyme that assists in digestion, it can also reduce bloating and similar discomforts, including irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. 

Boosting Immune Function
Because it contains phyto-chemicals, which help to fight free radicals, aloe vera helps to strengthen the immune system. It also helps to relieve symptoms of allergies such as asthma due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Other attributes include reducing symptoms of bladder and yeast infections, leg cramps, arthritis, intestinal parasites, and hemorrhoids. With its anti-viral abilities, it also fights colds and other illnesses.

Studies on Aloe Vera
According to Nutritional Health Information, there have been several clinical studies to determine if aloe vera can assist in cancer recovery. In one, patients were given aloe along with MLT, a neuro-hormone, and the benefits were clear. In another study, 5,000 angina pectoris patients were studied over a period of five years as they took aloe vera and psyllium husk supplements. Improvements in cholesterol balance and reduced angina attacks along with a reduced need to use pharmaceutical drugs were observed, especially among those who also suffered from diabetes. The Mayo Clinic states that there is scientific evidence that aloe vera functions well as a laxative and may also improve skin conditions due to inflammation.

Aloe vera prefers a warm, dry environment in which to thrive. I bought several plants a number of years ago and they are now huge, gorgeous specimens of plant life whose gel goes into my blender drinks, on cuts and sores, or on my face to tighten the pores and enliven my skin tone.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chlorophyll: Liquid Health from Nature's Garden

All green things in nature contain chlorophyll, the liquid substance created by the chemical process known as photosynthesis.  As the most essential element contained in plants, chlorophyll allows growing things to absorb light from the sun and convert it into energy. Chlorophyll gives leaves, grasses, and vegetables their color as the pigment reflects sunlight at specific wavelengths for our eyes to perceive them as green. Chlorophyll A contains a molecule that reflects light in a blue-green range and chlorophyll B in more of a yellow-green hue. Vegetables contain more chlorophyll A than B, which makes them perishable as they age.

One of the most interesting facts regarding chlorophyll as it relates to human health is that its molecular structure is identical to that of hemoglobin. The only difference is its central atom, which in hemoglobin is iron and in chlorophyll is magnesium. As hemoglobin is essential to nourishing and transporting our red blood cells, by ingesting chlorophyll we assist hemoglobin with its duties. Our blood is made up of approximately 75% hemoglobin, which is responsible for maintaining high quality red blood cells, boosting our energy level, and regenerating the entire body at both the cellular and molecular levels. 

Chlorophyll contains high doses of vitamins A, C, and E, making it an excellent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Additionally, it is composed of vitamins K, folic acid, iron, calcium, and protein, which all help to boost the immune system as well as repair and build the red blood cells. Chlorophyll is a powerhouse serum, with many other healing properties that include:
·            Cleansing the body of toxins
·            Preventing harmful chemicals from weakening our metabolism
·            Providing chelation of heavy metals, such as mercury
·            Fighting infection
·            Promoting better circulation
·            Assisting digestion
·            Increasing our cells' ability to use oxygen
·            Helping to prevent carcinogens from binding to DNA within our organs 
·            Breaking down calcium oxalate stones to exliminate excess acid
·            Assisting tissues in destroying germs
·            Increasing resistance to disease
·            Preventing bacterial growth
·            Treating bad breath by promoting a healthy digestive tract
·            Providing a natural treatment for wounds
·            Helping decrease side effects from drugs
·            Creating quick delivery of magnesium to cells and tissues

Because chlorophyll is highly alkaline, it is a strong anti-carcinogenic. There have been increasing studies on its power to inhibit multi-organ carcinogens, as well as its ability to successfully fortify the body against air-borne carcinogens such as pollution.

Chlorophyll is easily incorporated into our daily regime through consuming greens such as spinach, broccoli, Asian greens, asparagus, peas, beans, kale, bell peppers, celery, cabbage, leeks, parsley, green olives and cold pressed organic olive oil, sea veggies, or any other deep green vegetable. Eating greens raw provides the fastest delivery, as does juicing them into power drinks. Buying chlorophyll in liquid or tablet form is another way to ensure that your body is getting the pure substance in adequate amounts. 

Steaming veggies quickly is another way to get your chlorophyll, but this means for no more than 5 minutes. Once the color fades from bright green to grayish green, vegetables begin to lose their potency. When plants are heated, or exposed to acid in any way, the magnesium content at the center of chlorophyll's structure is replaced by an atom of hydrogen, which diminishes the veggie's healing potency.

Eating the fresh greens that nature supplies is one of the best ways to assure our bodies of glorious and radiant health without necessarily having to rely on the doctor's medicine cabinet. Think of your body as a garden and tend to it accordingly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three Essential Nutrients for Stress and Sleep

As we all know, getting a good night's sleep is key in maintaining a balanced, healthful life. Enhancing the quality of sleep and reducing the effects of stress means that we can make the most of our mental and physical abilities. When we are deficient in essential nutrients this can lead to irregular sleep patterns, higher stress levels, and other health complications. By providing the body with the appropriate nutrients, our immune system is thus strengthened, making it easier to fight illness and disease.

When the body is low in magnesium levels, it becomes vulnerable to the ravages of stress. Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium and potassium to affect every organ in the body as well as tissue and cell function. Because it is not often added to the soil in conventional fertilizers, the magnesium level in our food is diminishing, unless we are eating organic, farm-grown produce. Refined foods are also lacking in magnesium, which makes it essential to replenish this mineral if our diets are not up to snuff. When magnesium levels are in balance, we have a much greater ability offset the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, as well as PMS. Some foods containing magnesium are almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, sesame seeds, coconut, brown rice, quinoa, tofu, salmon, sardines, spinach, eggplant, yams, beet greens, avocados, and black beans.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid responsible for creating protein and repairing protein tissues. Tryptophan converts to serotonin in the brain, which helps the brain produce melatonin, the hormone that assists in regulating the body's natural clock and improving sleep quality (see below). Tryptophan helps to reduce the effects of stress, jetlag, PMS, depression, and insomnia. Appropriate amounts of tryptophan also keep blood sugar levels stable, while working with the adrenal glands to release stress-reducing hormones. Tryptophan can be found in grains, soy products, shellfish, tuna, and turkey.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. Known as the ‘sleep hormone’, it helps to regulate the body's internal clock, regulate blood pressure, heighten the libido, and keep the immune system healthy. As a powerful anti-oxidant, melatonin fights free radical damage and helps to lower stress levels. According to the online journal, Alternative Cancer Care, studies focusing on cancer patients show that they generally have low melatonin levels, and that by elevating these levels the degree of stress associated with the illness can be alleviated. Herbs containing melatonin are St. John’s wort, and feverfew. Foods containing melatonin are oats, rice, ginger, bananas, and tomatoes.

Make sure you consult with your health-care provider before you take any of the above to determine dosage and to make sure there are no counter-indications.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Healing Benefits of Sangre de Drago

Sangre de Drago: in English it is Blood of the Dragon, and no, it’s not to be used in the witch’s brew including eye of newt, although it couldn’t hurt!   

Sangre de Drago is actually a photochemical-packed medicament has been used for centuries to heal a myriad of ailments. It comes from a species of tree called the Croton, of which there are 750 varieties, most of them producing well-known medicinal tonics and purgatives used by the natives of countries such as Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia where they are found. Sangre de Drago comes from a tree covered with a smooth, mottled bark that sports large heart-shaped leaves and greenish-white flowers growing from long stalks.  When the trunk of the tree is cut, a dark red resinous fluid resembling blood oozes forth.

Healing Properties
Indigenous people have used Sangre de Drago for treating diarrhea, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, hemorrhaging due to childbirth, douching, skin disorders, upper respiratory viruses, as well as treating ulcers that form in the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. Because it contains two important alkaloids: Taspine, an anti-inflammatory, anti-tumerous, and anti-viral compound; and Dimethylcedrusine, an element responsible for healing wounds, Sangre de Drago is especially effective in the cessation of bleeding and the reduction of inflammation. It also helps to kill bacteria, germs, and fungi, as well as destroy cancer-forming cells and reduce tumor growth and mutations. 
The healing sap contains collagen along with latex-like qualities that when applied to external wounds, bites, or rashes, dries quickly to create a barrier that functions like a second skin. Chock full of alkaloids, phytochemicals, and enzymes crucial to healing, Sangre de Drago is now recognized by mainstream medicine as an important medicinal.

Studies on Sangre de Drago
There have been numerous studies done on Sangre de Drago to determine its effect as a skin balm for problems such as itching, swelling, and redness due to insect bites, bee stings, poison ivy and other rashes. Patients receiving a topical dose of the substance all experienced relief within minutes due to Sangre de Drago's ability to block the activation of the nerve endings responsible for sending pain messages to the brain.

A study in Belgium focusing on Sangre de Drago's healing properties found that it is four times as effective than synthetic formulae purporting to achieve the same ends. Clinical trial subjects were given three pharmaceutical preparations containing Sangre de Drago: one was an oral product for treating respiratory viral infections, another was a topical product for treatment of herpes, and the last was an oral product for treating diarrhea. In each case, results were extremely positive in favor of Sangre de Drago's potency as a cure.

In another experiment at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, Dr. Mark Miller induced three groups of rats with stomach ulcers. He found that two of the groups drinking Sangre de Drago in varying concentrations had a substantially reduced bacterial content with reduced ulcer size as compared with the one control group that was given a placebo.

Other studies show that Sangre de Drago can inhibit the production of Myeloperoxidase, an enzyme found in white blood cells that is responsible not only for inflammation, but also for cardiovascular disease. Another experiment with the substance proved that Sangre de Drago contains elements that kill bacteria. A sample of Sangre de Drago was placed on a sterile plate to dry and then smeared with the E Coli bacteria. A second sterile plate containing the antibiotic Ampicillen was also smeared with E Coli. The plate with Sangre de Drago demonstrated that the bacteria were killed, as opposed to the plate with Ampicillen, which showed that the E Coli bacteria were still alive.

An Anti-Viral
Sangre de Drago is undergoing many experiments in mainstream medical centers where it is being studied for its anti-viral function. In this regard it is being considered for use against the herpes simplex viruses I and II, as well as a treatment for the HIV virus.

Pure Blood
Mainstream medicine is finally taking a good look at one of nature's phenomena so commonly used by people of the land. If you are fortunate enough to find pure Sangre de Drago, either in a health food store or by traveling to South America, you can take it in doses of 10 to 15 drops in warm water or use it topically as needed. Be forewarned that it has a rather a nasty flavor and that though it turns the skin red when applied topically, it easily washes off. This is not true, however, of fabric, so be careful you don't get it on your clothing!

Note: There are no known counter-indications for Sangre de Drago, but it is still best to consult with your healthcare provider before considering it as a medicament.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Colloidal Silver: The Body's Therapeutic Shield

Used by the early Romans and Greeks to disinfect water and food, treat burns, and dress wounds, colloidal silver has been respected as a therapeutic element for centuries. Paracelsus used it for fighting dropsy and diseases resulting from excess humidity, and Herodotus wrote about it in reference to King Cyrus of Persia who drank water stored in silver containers for his health. Ancient Hindu tomes speak of decontaminating water by plunging hot silver into it, whereby parasites and other toxic elements are eliminated. Early North American settlers put silver coins in their milk in order to preserve its freshness. In the 1930's, physicians used colloidal silver to fight infection, administering it orally as a gargle, or by injection or douche. It was also used as a topical application for all sorts of skin ailments until antibiotics took over.

Colloidal silver is once again coming to the fore as one of nature's 92 pure elements that benefit man, animals, and plants, but is toxic to all types of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, parasites, as well as a range of viruses. What's more is that silver is not accumulated in the body, so it can be used regularly without harm. Because it does not interact or interfere with drugs, it can be taken alongside pharmaceuticals without adverse indications. Due to an increasing resistance to antibiotics from overuse (my article), people are recognizing the power of colloidal silver for protecting the body's natural enzymes while disabling those of bacteria, fungi, and other invasive elements.

How Colloidal Silver Works
Colloidal silver is made up of sub-microscopic particles that adhere to the walls of harmful micro-organisms. Enzymes that supply oxygen to these pathogens are disabled, whereby the pathogens die. Colloidal silver also adheres to the DNA in viruses, preventing them from replicating and spreading. Simultaneously, it protects the body's own natural enzymes, helping to stimulate tissue growth while strengthening our immune system. How Colloidal Silver is Made The production of colloidal silver stimulates the innate therapeutic aspects of the element through electrolysis. Electricity is passed through two wires containing 99.9% colloidal silver. This releases electrically charged ions that are then suspended in distilled water through the powerful charge that each ion contains, which opposes the pull of gravity. When ingested, the colloidal silver is absorbed into the blood and transported to all cells.

The Power of Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver has the capacity to fight over 700 different species of pathogens, including staphylococcus, streptococci, and bacterial dysentery. Within six minutes of contact, bacteria and viruses are killed off due to their inability to survive once their enzymes are no longer supplied with oxygen. Colloidal Silver has been approved by the FDA for marketing as a pre-J 93 8 drug, which means it is considered safe and effective. The EPA's Poison Control Center reports that colloidal silver presents no toxicity and is harmless in any concentration. Studies have been done by numerous scientists and doctors who agree that colloidal silver is an extremely effective broad spectrum antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-fungal that causes no counter indications when used with other medication.

Dr. Carl Moyer, Department of Surgery Chairman at Washington University along with Dr. Harry Margraf, found that colloidal silver is the most effective treatment in prevention of infection due to burns. Because the solution penetrates bacterial membranes quickly, it can interact with enzymes and other proteins in the bacteria, depriving them of oxygen and thus preventing germs from spreading.

Colloidal silver is extremely fast acting on ear infections, which if left untreated, can lead to hearing loss. A few drops administered to the area with an eyedropper can almost immediately alleviate symptoms and activate healing. Colloidal silver is also used for fistulas and ulcers, among other skin conditions. Colloidal silver can be found in most health food stores or can be ordered online. It is ingested easily and is an ideal preventative and curative for many disorders affecting our health and energy levels.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Detoxifying the Body With Bentonite Clay

Indigenous cultures around the globe have used clay as a medicine for centuries. The Native Americans called it "Ee-Wah-Kee, " or the "mud that heals," and the Quetchua Indians in South America have used it to keep the intestinal tract clean and healthy by dipping potatoes in it before eating. Dr. Weston A. Price  speaks about bentonite clay in his book, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration," having studied the diets of tribes in Central Africa, the high Andes, and elsewhere. He describes the Australian Aborigines as carrying balls of volcanic clay that they would dissolve in water to dip their food into for healing purposes. 

Medicinal clay was first identified in Montmorillon, France, where one of the important minerals it contains was named "montmorillonite." It was also found in cretaceous rocks in Fort Benton, Wyoming, where it retained the moniker, Bentonite Clay. There are bentonite clay deposits throughout the world, with the largest found in the Great Plains area in the United States.

Bentonite clay is an inert substance, meaning it passes through the body in undigested form. It is made up of tiny platelets that contain a negative charge that attract the positive charge of impurities and toxins. When added to water, the clay swells and stretches, becoming sponge-like whereby it traps toxins in its spaces through electrical attraction. Binding impurities, it holds on to their positive ions until they are eliminated through excretion.

According to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, bentonite clay can absorb a huge range of toxic material, including pathogenic viruses, herbicides, and pesticides. Because bentonite clay travels directly to the unhealthy area, it is able to target toxins there, drawing out such poisons as pus, black blood, and the like. It also kills MRSA, or Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, as well as other potentially lethal infections. Research done at Arizona State University has shown that bentonite clay kills salmonella, E coli and Mycobacterium Ulcerans, among other types of potentially lethal bacteria.

Bentonite clay is extremely gentle on the system, eliminating toxins through the bowels as well as drawing out toxic chemicals through skin's pores. It is often used to eliminate parasites as well as to neutralize poisons in the intestinal tract, eliminate food allergies, and treat food poisoning. It is an excellent treatment for mucus and spastic colitis, viral infections, stomach flu, stomach ulcers, chronic fatigue, menstrual problems, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, arthritis, gum disease, and migraines. It helps boost digestion, circulation, and the immune system as well as balancing and enriching the blood, which makes it an excellent treatment for anemia. Because it contains the important minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, silica, and trace elements, bentonite clay is also used to increase bone formation and strength, as well as help overcome dietary deficiencies. Bentonite clay can also help to heal acne, open wounds, insect and animal bites, and is an antidote for heavy metal poisoning.

There are many commercial pharmaceutical and cosmetic products containing bentonite clay. Mud packs, baby powder, face creams, anti-irritant lotions, protective creams, and wet compresses often include it in their formulae. Bentonite clay can also be used as a filler in drugs due to its absorption qualities.

Bentonite clay can be bought in gel, powder, or tablet form. Used as a regular colon cleanser, bentonite clay helps the body to assimilate nutrients more efficiently. Drinking it on an empty stomach one hour before or after a meal is ideal. Add one teaspoon to a cup of juice daily, increasing the dose up to four times daily to keep the body in optimum health.  A bath containing bentonite clay is also good for detoxifying the organs.

Word to the wise: be sure to consult your healthcare provider before starting a bentonite clay regime. Keep your body well hydrated once you begin in order to assist the cleansing process.