Category Archives: holistic -meds

Magnesium -signs of deficiency……….

MAGNESIUM……
Signs of magnesium deficiency are everywhere in the United States, if you know what to look for. Unfortunately, the symptoms are so incredibly common that they constantly slip under the radar! Hardly anyone, especially doctors, notice that the ailments we suffer from on a daily basis are actually magnesium deficiency symptoms… and we’re all paying for it.
Just about every single person you come into contact with – especially those with a health problem, but even those with only minor complaints – are suffering in some way from this nationwide deficiency. Including you!

What Exactly Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is life.

It is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body, right next to sulfur (which is JUST as important).

Along with being a mineral, magnesium is also an electrolyte. “Sports drinks” (aka sugar-filled scams) claim to contain electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium because we sweat away these important nutrients during exercise, and their deficiency is what leads to the common problems athletes face, such as muscle cramping! But believe me – electrolytes (especially magnesium) do so much more than treat and prevent muscle cramps.

First off, electrolytes are what allow us to be living, electrical beings. They are responsible for all electrical activity (and thus brain conductivity) in the body. Without electrolytes like magnesium, muscles can’t fire, your heart cannot beat, and your brain doesn’t receive any signals. We need magnesium to stay alive, point blank. As soon as we don’t have enough of it, we start to lose the energy and conductivity that keeps us going. Technically, as soon as we become deficient, we slowly begin to die, getting more aches and pains day by day, feeling worse year after year. I can’t stress it enough… signs of magnesium deficiency are everywhere, if you just look.

Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred reactions in the body, necessary for transmission of nerve impulses, temperature regulations, detoxification in the liver, and formation of bones and teeth. However, magnesium shows its true power in cardiovascular health. The Weston A. Price foundation writes, “Magnesium alone can fulfill the role of many common cardiac medications: magnesium inhibits blood clots (like aspirin), thins the blood (like Coumadin), blocks calcium uptake (like calcium channel-blocking durgs such as Procardia) and relaxes blood vessels (like ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec) (Pelton, 2001).”

Nearly EVERYONE has signs of magnesium deficiency but we don’t realize it…

Symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired memory/thinking
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Chronic back pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Muscular pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • ADHD
  • Brain fog
  • Tension
  • Anxiety disorders such as OCD

Anything that makes you tense and tight could potentially be due to magnesium deficiency. If you can’t relax or you can’t stop — think magnesium! Full-blown health problems can even be tied back to this crucial mineral. Most people with ANY chronic disease or issue benefit greatly from magnesium supplementation therapy. This is because chronic illness = stress, and stress depletes magnesium. The following are conditions that are likely to have magnesium deficiency as a part of the puzzle:

“Similarly, patients with diagnoses of depression, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, tremor, Parkinsonism, arrhythmias, circulatory disturbances (stroke, cardiac infarction, arteriosclerosis), hypertension, migraine, cluster headache, cramps, neuro-vegetative disorders, abdominal pain, osteoporosis, asthma, stress dependent disorders, tinnitus, ataxia, confusion, preeclampsia, weakness, might also be consequences of the magnesium deficiency syndrome.”

Amazingly, the article referenced above even mentions neuro-vegetative disorders as a possible result of magnesium deficiency. This would include comas. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences can immediately lead to complete depletion of magnesium stores; could this be a contributing factor to why we see comas after traumatic accidents/injuries? As I mentioned above, magnesium is an electrolyte responsible for brain signals and conductivity. Without magnesium, people in comas may not be able to come to and resume conductivity. Many people with diabetes also fall into diabetic comas. Diabetes is listed as another possible consequence of magnesium deficiency. Could this be a factor in diabetic comas as well? Something to think about and research further!

Cravings

Do you crave chocolate? Why, when people are stressed out, do they go for chocolate? Chocolate is one of the highest food sources of magnesium.

Magnesium is associated with so many disorders that Dr. Carolyn Dean of the Nutritional Magnesium Association has devoted an entire book to discussing how she has treated thousands of patients for a wide array of diseases, with magnesium as the primary component. Her book, The Magnesium Miracle, is a must-read if you have any of the magnesium deficiency symptoms above, or any health problems in general – as there is likely a magnesium component to everything. Check out 50 Studies Suggest That Magnesium Deficiency Is Killing Us.

Why Don’t Doctors Find Magnesium Deficiencies In Tests?

Unfortunately, conventional medicine has not woken up to the amount of research that has been done on magnesium deficiency.

One of the reasons Western Medicine is so off base with magnesium is how they test it: with blood tests.

Blood tests do not yield ANY information about magnesium… why? Because the body controls the levels of blood magnesium very tightly. If the magnesium in the blood drops just a little bit, you’re going to have a heart attack. It’s that sample. So to prevent this, the body will rob all of its cells, tissues, and bones of magnesium in order to keep the blood levels constant. If you do a blood test for magnesium, the cells could be completely empty while your blood levels remain constant.

What’s worse is that magnesium is not even in your blood. 99% of the magnesium in the body is stored in the cells that get robbed, while a mere 1% of your body’s total magnesium is in the blood. These tests are a complete waste of time, and they’re not educating doctors to this reality.

“A serum test for magnesium is actually worse than ineffective, because a test result that is within normal limits lends a false sense of security about the status of the mineral in the body. It also explains why doctors don’t recognize magnesium deficiency; they assume serum magnesium levels are an accurate measure of all the magnesium in the body.” – Dr. Carolyn Dean, The Magnesium Miracle.

Why Are We So Deficient?

Here’s the short(ish) version: Number one, we’re being poisoned by our food. Number two, we’re increasingly stressed out. We’re running our engines on high to keep up with life and it’s draining us. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences lead to depletion of magnesium stores. Number three, we’re eating more sugar than ever. For every molecule of sugar we consume, our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to process it. Fourth, low levels in the soil and modern farming techniques deplete stores of magnesium. And lastly, magnesium is depleted by many pharmaceutical drugs and estrogen compounds such as oral contraceptives, antibiotics, cortisone, prednisone, and blood pressure medications (“Drug-induced nutrient depletion handbook,” Pelton, 2001). Diuretics in coffee and tea (caffeine) also raise excretion levels. Oh and by the way – flouride competes for absorption with magnesium!

Nowadays, nearly everyone is magnesium deficient – no test needed. Refined/processed foods are stripped of their mineral, vitamin, and fiber content. These are anti-nutrient foods because they actually steal magnesium in order to be metabolized. When consumed, they demand that we supplement with magnesium or we are destined to break down eventually due to severe deficiency. Like I said, sugar is the worst offender. Every single molecule of sugar you consume drags over 50 times the amount of magnesium out of your body.

Well, what if you eat a healthy diet? Processed products are not the only foods that are devoid of magnesium. In general, magnesium has been depleted from topsoil, diminishing dietary intake across the board while our need for magnesium has increased, due to the high levels of toxic exposure we come across in our daily lives (air, water, plastics, chemicals, the list goes on!). The soil is depleted of magnesium because of the pesticides that are sprayed on all conventionally grown plants and worldwide pollution that affects even the cleanest fields. Pesticides also kill those beneficial bacteria/fungi that are necessary in order for plants to convert soil nutrients into plant nutrients usable by humans.

Article by;Organic Olivia

photo by gina tyler


your pets and homeopathic use

Thanks to Dr. Deva Khalsa (vet and Homeopath)

Homeopathy is fun to use and the fact that it works so very well with so many medical problems makes it all the more rewarding!

Most of the commonly used remedies are inexpensive and easy to find.  I suggest you compile a kit of common remedies to have ready and waiting when minor emergencies occur because there’s often not the time to run to the store and this stuff always seem to happen late at night or on a major holiday!

Homeopathy has particular rules associated with using it and this can be confusing and put off prospective students. But for many simple and common accidents and illnesses, it can be pretty simple to use. The first thing to do is to assemble a homeopathic kit to have at home and then buy a book or two about homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies number in the thousands and are made from anything and everything. But you only need to learn some of the rules of homeopathy and have about a dozen remedies to be off and running.

HOMEOPATHY SIMPLIFIED

Here is the straight goods on how to work with Homeopathic remedies.

  • Homeopathic remedies need to melt on the gums so they should not be hidden in a treat or in food. Our dogs have a built in pouch on the side of their mouth and the remedies can go right in there.
  • Try not to handle the remedies but drop them straight from the bottle into your dog’s cheek.
  • Remedies come in tiny white pellet or liquid form. Either form can be placed directly into your dogs cheek.
  • It’s not important if you give one drop of the remedy or five or one homeopathic pellet or three because homeopathy is an energy medicine and there is typically none of the physical substance left in the remedy. One tiny white pellet could treat an elephant and 10 pellets could treat a mouse. That’s a hard one to digest, if you’ll excuse my pun, but people are always worried about how much to give and how often to give. The amount is no big deal and you give it until they get better. If it’s not working at all, you stop giving the remedy. We’re all just too used to using antibiotics that have to be calculated to the weight of the dog and have a certain time they need to be given. This is simply not the case with homeopathy.
  • Because homeopathy is an energy medicine the remedies should not be stored next to heavy electromagnetic appliances such as televisions and computers or left in the bright hot sun for a long time.

WHAT DOSE SHOULD I GIVE ?

Unlike drugs, Homeopathy does not work by body weight (e.g., give 500 mg per 25 pounds of body weight). With Homeopathy, the original physical substance is sequentially diluted and this is why you have the funny numbers after the name of the remedy. Arnica 6x does not mean that you have to give it six times! It means that the remedy has been diluted six times. To confound you even more, the more dilute the remedy the more powerful it is, so very highly diluted remedies are usually only available to doctors. The potencies most commonly available to you are 6x and 30x (diluted 1/10 either 6 or 30 times) and 6c and 30c ( diluted 1/100 either 6 or 30 times).

WHAT MAKES IT BETTER AND WHAT MAKES IT WORSE

Homeopathic remedies are chosen in accordance with how the patient experiences his illness. For instance, one person who has a cold may want everyone in the house at attendance and worrying about him while another wants to be left alone to lie quietly in the dark. Each of these individuals would need a different remedy based on the individual picture they present. Let’s say your dog has arthritis and stiffness. Look that up in a Homeopathy text book and you’ll be given a choice of remedies. The specific way the problem presents in your dog will determine the remedy you choose.

For example, look at arthritic stiffness in dogs. Your choice of remedy might depend on whether your dog is worse or better when he first gets up after resting. If he’s better after resting, he might need the remedy Bryonia as noted above. I’ve found that most dogs are stiff at first but after walking a bit they get less stiff after they move around for a bit. Oftentimes these same dogs are worse in cold damp weather. With this presentation you’d likely choose the remedy Rhus toxidendron.

Rhus tox, as it is commonly known, is much cheaper than NSAID’s and also much safer to use. If you were to determine that Rhus tox was the best remedy for your dog, you would simply put a few pellets to melt in his cheek pouch about three times a day and watch him over the next week, noting changes in his condition. If he gets better, you’ve got the right remedy and if there is no change, there’s no harm done. Go back and do a little more reading in your handy books on homeopathy. When you have the right remedy, and you’ll know because there will be improvement.

12 HANDY REMEDIES

You may want to go out and purchase these commonly used remedies to have on hand in case the need arises. They are small and make a great travel kit too.

  • Apis mellifica – great for bee and other insect bites. Give every 20 minutes for a few doses after a bee sting.
  • Arnica – good for general pain, stiffness due to overexertion, soreness and musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Arsenicum album – great for GI upsets from eating spoiled food where there is both vomiting and diarrhea. Give twice an hour for a few hours.
  • Borax (the remedy, not the powder) – excellent for fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. Give this at the 6c potency twice a day for a month during the season.
  • Calendula (can be used both as an oral remedy and as an external ointment) – use for skin infections or any kind of external infection. It’s a remarkable healing agent and a tube of the ointment should always be on hand to apply topically to scrapes, infections and wounds. You can also buy a tincture and dilute it 1/10 and flush any cuts or wounds with it.
  • Hepar sulphur – is wonderful to treat painful abscesses anywhere on the body and painful infected anal glands.
  • Hypericum – is an excellent remedy to give for any pain due to nerve damage or injuries to nerve-rich areas. I once closed my finger in a window and learned firsthand the wonders of Hypericum. Great for when you cut your dog’s toenails too short.
  • Myristica – phenomenal remedy for anal sac infections and chronic anal sac problems.
  • Rhus tox – for arthritis that’s better after moving around, general musculoskeletal injuries, red swollen eyes, skin infections and skin itching.
  • Ruta – fantastic for any injury to tendons or ligaments and this remedy has a real affinity for the knee so you would use it immediately after any knee or cruciate injury.
  • Silicea – pushes foreign bodies like splinters or foxtails out of the skin.
  • Ledum – the first choice for any type of puncture wound, including those from insect bites. Insect bites that require
  • Apis will be hot and red whereas bites that require Ledum will be cool and appears bruised.

With a small investment and a little planning, you can build your own Homeopathis kit. These remedies aren’t that difficult to use and can give your dog fast and effective relief from many common injuries and illnesses.

 


Poison Ivy a medicine?

Using Poison Ivy as a Med

 

Someone I know once told me that as a child she rubbed poison ivy all over herself in order to avoid having to go to school. Needless to say the tactic worked–too well–and she wound up missing several days of school. But did you know that poison ivy has been successfully used as a therapeutic substance for more than a hundred years?

Ask any person familiar with homeopathy and they can tell you about the positive health benefits of Rhus toxicodendron. The Latin name refers to the genus and species of the poison ivy plant. In homeopathic parlance, it is commonly referred to as Rhus tox. Both conventional and homeopathic researchers have observed positive results from the use of Rhus tox in clinical trials (1)(2), and many a homeopathic practitioner can testify to the results seen in clinical practice.

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old medical system that employs very small doses of medicinal substances. A substance known to cause a certain pattern of symptoms can be used in its homeopathic form to treat a person who has a similar pattern of symptoms. This is known as the principle of similars. These FDA-approved medicines are known for their exceedingly positive safety profiles. Although homeopathic Rhus tox can be used for a wide variety of health problems, it has a reputation for its therapeutic use in two main areas: skin problems and musculoskeletal injuries.

Applying the principle of similars to poison ivy, one can easily imagine its potential uses in homeopathic practice. If poison ivy can cause itching, redness, blistering, and oozing discharges, then it should be potentially beneficial in medical conditions that display similar symptoms. Under what conditions do we see such symptoms? Chicken pox should come to mind, as does shingles, herpes, dermatitis, eczema and, lest we forget, poison oak and poison ivy.

Now, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds, because the unique details of each case determines the proper homeopathic prescription. In reality, there are many substances that can cause itching, blisters, and other skin problems and it is important to choose the right one. That is why consulting an experienced practitioner can be helpful.

A careful study of the symptom profile of poison ivy (symptoms that it can cause and, therefore, treat) reveals some dependable clues that can help confirm a Rhus tox prescription. Chief among those clues is an aggravation of symptoms from cold damp conditions and corresponding relief from heat. Another clue is a type of physical restlessness that accompanies ailments that need Rhus tox. In other words, for example, a case of shingles with pain and itching that is relieved by heat, aggravated by cold, and causes the person to toss and turn in bed at night will likely respond very well to a few doses of Rhus tox.

Homeopathic poison ivy can also be very useful for treating injuries to muscles, tendons, and joints. Sprains, strains, and cases of tendinitits that involve stiffness usually respond well to Rhus tox. The classic scenario is the sprained ankle that has partially healed but now becomes stiff, especially first thing in the morning, or upon rising from a seat. The stiffness eases with gentle use, stretching, or limbering up, but returns after overuse. Hot packing or bathing brings relief, while exposure to cold makes it stiffen up more. These are common indications for the use of homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron.

When injuries linger over time, they may become chronic. No doubt you’ve heard of people who say that they can predict the approach of rain or stormy weather because it often triggers a flare up of pain and stiffness at the site of an old joint injury. Rhus tox can be very helpful in situations of this nature. Rhus tox and other homeopathic medicines can also be useful for a variety of other chronic aches, pains, and arthritic conditions. However, while many people use homeopathic medicines at home for simple self-limited problems, it is best to consult a homeopathic professional for chronic health conditions. My own experiences with this remarkable medicine has confirmed its clinical usefulness many times over.

References:
(1) Effect of homeopathic treatment of fibrositis (primary fibromyalgia). Fisher P, Greenwood A, Huskisson EC, et al. BMJ. 1989;299:365-356.

(2) Homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron treatment increased the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in primary cultured mouse chondrocytes. Huh, Yun Hyun et al.
Homeopathy , Volume 102 , Issue 4 , 248 – 253.

 

Thanks to Author;Larry Malerba, DO, DHt is a physician and educator whose mission is to build bridges between holistic healing, conventional medicine, and spirituality. He is the author of Metaphysics & Medicine: Restoring Freedom of Thought to the Art and Science of Healing and Green Medicine: Challenging the Assumptions of Conventional Health Care.


sugar cravings the ‘white plague’

Zapping Sugar Cravings

Hair-Raising Stats on this “White Plague” and How to Reduce Your Need for Sweets

Sugar is caustic, plain and simple, especially the white, refined versions, which demolish health with staggering ease. Most foods consumed today, processed and homemade alike, contain added sugar. While the more natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated cane sugar juice are gentler on our body chemistry, they still contain a high concentration of these simple carbohydrates. When over-consumed, sugar provokes a whirlwind of regulatory functions in the body that race to rebalance the system after sugar’s body-blow, especially for pint-sized kiddos. Replacing unhealthful sweeteners with more wholesome choices is a good first step to a more nourished body. The second and often more challenging step is reducing cravings and breaking the habit of daily sugary desserts. Although it may take a bit of work, I assure you, it can be done!

IS SUGAR REALLY THAT BAD?photo by ginatyler

A comment I often hear is, “A little won’t hurt!” Sure, a little sugar is a minor challenge for healthy individuals. Unfortunately, dysfunctional blood sugar balance, immune issues, and adrenal fatigue are common, and even a small amount of sugar can send someone with these disturbances into sugar shock. Moreover, most of us already get a little here, a little there, and then a little more over here, and bam! That sugar really adds up. What do I mean by “a lot”? Our ancestors likely indulged in around one tablespoon (60 calories) of honey per day (when available), which is stunningly low compared to today’s average sugar intake of one cup (774 calories) per day!1 YOWZERS!

About twenty years ago, Nancy Appleton, PhD, began an eye-opening, research-supported list of the ways sugar can ruin your health. As research on the subject has continued, so has Appleton’s list, growing to one hundred forty-three points long. The latest version is included in her most recent book, Suicide by Sugar. It is also available on her health blog found at www. nancyappleton.com. Here is a small, yet powerful sampling of reasons to avoid sugar:

• Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach.2-6
• Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.7
• Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract, including an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.8-12
• Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.13
• Sugar can cause food allergies.14
• Sugar contributes to obesity.15

As a mother, I regard sugar’s impact on my children as a top priority; for the kiddos themselves of course, but also for more selfish reasons—my sanity. The more well-mannered and happy my children are, the more smooth is the daily flow. Sugar’s impact on children is more dramatic than it is on adults due to their smaller size and still-developing systems. The connection between sugar consumption and rowdy behavior and weakened immunity is strong.

UNRULY BEHAVIOR

Clinical research has proven that destructive, aggressive and restless behavior is significantly correlated with the amount of sugar that is consumed. 16 The main reason for this is the fact that refined carbohydrates, which include sugar and its cousin white flour, cause hypoglycemia,17 or low blood sugar. Because glucose (blood sugar) is the primary fuel for the brain, when blood levels are too low, the brain is affected first.18 The chain of events goes something like this: a soda drink or other sugary food is consumed and blood sugar rapidly goes up, the body releases insulin in response, and the sudden increase in insulin causes a drop in blood glucose. This yo-yo scenario stresses the body, causing a fight-or-flight response, which involves a rapid increase in adrenaline. Both the low blood sugar and surge of adrenaline exacerbate aggressive behavior and contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety and attention difficulties.19

I frequently hear testimonials from other moms who see improvements in their children’s behavior after reducing sugar in their family’s diet. Envision the impact the reduction of sugar consumption could have on an entire school! One such success story is set in a Georgia elementary school, where the principal, Dr. Yvonne Sanders-Butler, recognized the need for dietary changes with her students suffering many modern illnesses— obesity, diabetes and hypertension. In 2005, Browns Mill School became the first sugar-free school in the country, and the results speak for themselves with a 30 percent decrease in nurse visits, a 28 percent drop in teacher referrals for bad behavior, and improved test scores.20 Dr. Sanders-Butler continues to see the difference in the children’s health through weight loss and fewer absences, as well as more frequent everyday positive interactions with happier children.

At Browns Mill, every parent and child is asked to sign an “Achieving Academic Excellence through Nutrition” commitment contract, outlining the parameters and expectations of the program. Sugary foods are prohibited (even for birthdays) and confiscated if brought to school. School lunch menus were revamped and exercise, breakfast, and good sleep are expected. It goes to show, bold action can lead to sweet rewards!

MINERAL IMBALANCES

Minerals work synergistically with one another and have a vast number of functions within the body, including maintaining pH balance, aiding in digestion, and transmitting nerve impulses. Suffice it to say that the consequences of mineral imbalance can lead to many problems, including anxiety, asthma, tooth decay, brittle bones, and poor sleep quality. Here is the kicker: if one mineral is out of balance, so go the others. This is particularly true of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Years ago the dentist Melvin E. Page uncovered the significance of calcium’s ratio to phosphorous in regards to bone absorption and tooth decay. Sugar was found to be the driving force behind calcium-phosphorous imbalance; the elimination of this refined food allowed the ratio to recover and glucose levels in the blood to normalize. It was then that factors leading to bone loss and tooth decay (along with a number of other symptoms) vanished.

Sugar causes the body to excrete calcium and magnesium, which results in an improper calcium-phosphorous ratio. To help restore this balance, stored calcium is pulled from storage sources throughout the body—namely teeth and bones. 21,22 Unfortunately, much of this previously stored calcium isn’t utilized well because it is not perfectly paired with phosphorus or magnesium. The calcium is either removed in the urine or finds a new, unnatural home, as in kidney stones or gallstones.23

In his seminal work Sugar Blues, William Dufty explains the body’s strain with sugar intake this way: “So essential is balance to our bodies that we have many ways to provide against the sudden shock of a heavy intake of sugar. Minerals, such as sodium (from salt), potassium and magnesium (from vegetables) and calcium (from the bones) are mobilized and used in chemical transmutation; neutral acids are produced, which attempt to return the acid-alkaline balance factor of the blood to a more normal state. Sugar taken every day produces a continuously over-acid condition, and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Finally, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth that decay and general weakening begin.”24

A simple way to get a general idea of your body’s acidity is to use pH test strips or litmus paper. Sugar and grain excess, stress, and other unhealthy habits lower the body’s pH levels. For optimal health, our body’s pH should be neutral to slightly alkaline; when it is too acidic the body buffers this acidity by releasing calcium and magnesium from bones and breaking down muscle to produce ammonia (strongly alkaline).


SIDEBARAlternatives to Candy as Rewards for Children
When it comes to food, I am quite the negotiator. Brainstorm on what your child enjoys most. Maybe you limit your child’s time with the TV. A piece of candy received at school can be traded for an extra half-hour show, staying up fifteen minutes past normal bedtime, or an extra trip to the pool over the weekend. A ticket system could be devised to work up to something bigger, such as a doll or a pair of in-line skates. Use your imagination to make active family fun more tempting than sugar.
Also, you can offer your child’s teacher or Girl Scout group leader ideas for rewards or gifts instead of candy. Depending on the age, consider nickels or dimes, balloons, pencils, bookmarks, crayons, ribbons, glow bracelets, stickers, and other little trinkets from the dollar store. It may even be worth purchasing these alternatives to make the switch happen.

Saliva (upon rising) and urine (second voiding of the morning) are best for testing pH levels, although some believe urine to be more accurate. Compare the color of the urine or saliva-covered strip to the pH color chart accompanying the package. Collect numbers over several days for an average, which will give you an idea how well your body is dealing with your sugar and carbohydrate load as well as managing your mineral coffers.25 If your pH tests show high acidity (below 6.8), cut down on your sugars and grains (especially all processed products), increase your consumption of good fats and recheck in a couple of weeks.

MORE SICK DAYS

White blood cells, called neutrophils, are a primary player in the immune system, fending off infection from foreign bacteria and viruses, anything from colds and strep throat to ear and sinus infections. Research shows these “germ-destroyers” become much less effective at their job when sugar is consumed (table sugar, fructose and even orange juice), and this immune malfunction can last up to six hours after consumption. 26 Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, suggests the reason for this six-hour despondency is that the neutrophils are too busy dealing with the inflammatory mess created by the influx of sugar.27 Whatever the mechanics, removing excess sugar is a must if you want to reduce the number of illnesses your family suffers.

THE ADDICTIVE POWER OF SUGAR

Although socially acceptable, sugar addiction is real. As with any addictive substance, more and more sugar is consumed over time, withdrawal symptoms are experienced when it is removed (headaches, low energy, mood swings), and finally strong cravings often lead to relapse. Regardless of the fact that it has been referred to as the “white plague” and rivals cocaine in its addictive strength,28 sugar remains a socially sanctioned commodity to sell, eat, or use to celebrate and lavish on children.

Sugar’s addictive power is three-fold. First, we have a natural affinity to sugar. It tastes yummy and gives our body fuel. While stumbling upon a beehive or bush of ripe wild berries was quite useful to our foraging ancestors in their endeavors to obtain enough calories, our situation is quite different today. In our developed world of easy access, this added fuel has become over-available, over-processed and over-consumed, all of which lead to trouble with a capital T.

SIDEBARTHE SIX TASTES
In the Ayurvedic philosophy, foods are categorized by six major tastes, or rasas. Foods usually contain many tastes, but they are identified by their main flavor.
Sweet : honey, rice, milk, butter/ghee, coconut, dates, fig, grapes, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, fruit, walnut, chicken, eggs, and most grains.
Sour : citrus fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruit), cheese, yogurt, tomatoes, apple, olive, peach, pineapple, plum, raspberry, adzuki beans, strawberry, vinegar and fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickles, miso).
Salty: salt, sea vegetables (kelp, dulse).
Bitter : leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, green cabbage, Romaine), zucchini, eggplant, olives, turmeric, vinegar.
Pungent : ginger, onions, radish, black and white pepper, mustard, chives, cinnamon, clove, dill, garlic, green onion, red pepper, rosemary, basil, salsa.
Astringent : legumes (beans and lentils), apples, cranberries, pomegranates, pears, dried fruit, potatoes, walnuts, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, asparagus, turnip, rye, buckwheat, and quinoa, turmeric, and marjoram.

 

Second, sugar has the ability to increase pleasure-yielding opioids in the brain, similar to morphine and heroin, making one’s sugar cravings often too strong to ignore.29 Julia Ross tells us in The Diet Cure, “For some of us, certain foods, particularly ones that are sweet and starchy, can have a drug-like effect, altering our brains’ mood chemistry and fooling us into a false calm, or a temporary energy surge. We can eventually become dependent on these drug-like foods for continued mood lifts.”30

Third, sugar begets more sugar. Eating sugar clearly throws one’s body chemistry into a tailspin. Tag on poor sleep habits, adrenal fatigue, and an overload of distress, intense cravings for sugar (or other substance like alcohol or drugs) can easily develop. Insulin imbalances and a lack of the happy-brain chemical called serotonin are often the underlying culprits. Essentially, the sugar being consumed perpetuates the vicious cycle of more intense sugar cravings.

Are the dangers of sugar giving you chills yet? We live in a fallen world; sickness, crime, mental illness, diabetes, cancer and other unfortunate situations are going to happen, but imagine if the body-wrecking effects of an overload of sugar were removed from the equation? How much less would we suffer? How much easier would it be for children to sit still, concentrate, and behave in class? How much happier would people feel? Would teen violence or drug use diminish? The positive possibilities are endless.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Becoming sugar-celibate isn’t necessary or appealing to most. We are designed to enjoy sweet foods and, well, they taste good! Nancy Appleton’s extensive research on sugar led her to uncover the fact that, for healthy individuals, the threshold of added sugar is two teaspoons at one time, no more than two to three times a day, totaling two tablespoons altogether.31 This means any sugar—white table sugar, dehydrated cane sugar juice, maple syrup, honey, dextrose, brown rice syrup, maple sugar or coconut sugar. For unhealthy individuals, no amount of sugar is recommended.

In terms of processed foods, two teaspoons isn’t much (see the side bar titled “Sugar in Common Products” on page 57). Bottom-line, most processed foods are too sugar-heavy to be eaten if balanced body chemistry is your goal. Switching to artificial sweeteners is not the answer either, as these synthetic ingredients cause numerous deleterious side effects (see Sugar-Free Blues on http://www.westonaprice.org for more). Also, as a side note, white flours and other stripped starches (also frequently found in processed foods) function similarly to sugar due to their “skeletonized” state; they are also best avoided for all the same reasons previously mentioned.

Most families seeking vibrant health know that home-cooked meals are a necessity. The case made for cutting down sugar only strengthens the need for this fresh-from-the-kitchen lifestyle. As for added sugar in homemade goods, below are a few reasonable choices one might consume:

• Two teaspoons raw honey in a serving of full-fat, homemade yogurt with berries, ground nuts, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
• Two teaspoons maple syrup blended in a fruit sauce to top soaked wholegrain pancakes or waffles
• One tablespoon honey-sweetened preserves on an almond butter sandwich
• A spoonful of ketchup sweetened with evaporated cane juice on your pasturedraised, bison burger
• One tablespoon date syrup or paste in an avocado pudding
• A small pour of brown rice syrup in a smoothie with egg yolks, berries and coconut oil
• A muffin recipe made with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) coconut sugar per dozen (equals 2 teaspoons per muffin)

Needless to say, it is imperative that each and every one of us becomes keenly aware of our added sugar consumption. But what about sugars naturally found in foods? Fruits, berries, milk, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes and red peppers? Whole foods contain a cornucopia of vitamins, minerals, fiber, fat and other co-factors that mitigate the dangers of the residing sugars. Body chemistry is not as affected as with more concentrated and isolated sugar sources. Moreover, once a person’s body chemistry is stabilized, these more subtly sweet, whole foods will often be enough to satisfy sweet cravings.

With that said, while these wholesome foods are nourishing to consume, the more sugar-endowed choices can be overdone. If you like fruit, the less-sugary choices of berries, cherries, and apricots are best. One or two dates at a time are plenty, as each can have up to one teaspoon of sugar. Raw milk from range-fed animals is definitely nourishing for most to consume, however overindulging in its uncultured form can work against those who are trying to lose weight or maintain weight loss. (Culturing dairy uses up most, if not all, the sugars.)

A starch-filled sweet potato smothered with pastured butter and sour cream will cause only moderate fluctuations in blood sugar levels, because of the added fat and protein to slow down the meal’s digestion. Essentially, overdoing any food with a higher percentage of sugar or starch (from grains and potato foods) can be counterproductive to insulin stability and overall health. Use wise judgment and regularly re-evaluate your family’s attachment to even non-refined sweet foods.

Dr. Joseph Mercola goes as far as to say in his book Sweet Deception, “Without a doubt the best way to prevent aging and degenerative disease is to keep your insulin levels in a low but healthy range.” The simple answer to healthy insulin levels is moderate intake of grains, minimal consumption of sugars, physical activity, good sleep and a healthy mental outlook.

As for those dealing with health conditions or symptoms, eliminating concentrated sugar sources altogether is ideal, at least for the short term. Ironically, one’s insatiable desire for sugar could indeed be worsened by these very same health issues, resulting in a difficult-to-break cycle. If you are unsure where to start, partner with a holistic practitioner to assess your blood glucose levels. Find out your adrenal hormone rhythm (through a saliva test) and assess your thyroid health. A full blood panel can also give useful information on the body’s needs and deficiencies.

For tips on conquering sugar cravings, see page 58. These will help you get your family off health-wrecking sweeteners and replace them with more nourishing, less-processed sweeteners. And now, knowing what you know, even these naturally derived sugars should be limited; unfortunately, cravings sabotage the best of intentions. But with the right tool you can zap sugar cravings at the source. There is no magic pill; getting off sugar requires a well-designed lifestyle with exercise, plenty of sleep and relaxation, and time in the kitchen. Only then will your days of sugar slavery come to an end so that you can reap the rewards of happier moods, less sickness, and an overall brighter future for everyone.

 


SIDEBARS

Sugar in Common Products35

PRODUCT SUGAR CONTENT
In teaspoons
Kool-Aid, 8 ounces 6
Jello, 1/3 cup 4.5
Yoplait yogurt, flavored, 99% fat-free, 6 ounces. 8
Cap’n Crunch cereal, 2 cups 8
Tropicana pure premium orange juice, 8 ounces 5.5
Apple and Eve clear apple juice (100% juice), 8 ounces 5.5
Ketchup, 2 tablespoons 1.5
Pop-tart 3.8
Original Gatorade, 20 ounces 9
Soda drink, 12 ounces 16.5

 

ZAPPING CRAVINGS: SIX PRACTICAL STEPS
1. Find your best diet: The diet that best suits your biological needs and satisfies cravings may be a smidge different from that of other family members. Stick with the core traditional food principles (see Modernizing Your Diet with Traditional Foods on http://www.westonaprice.org), but experiment with different food combinations, portions, protein levels, grain intake, and amount and type of fat. Then take the time to evaluate how you feel. There should naturally be a sense of ease, vitality, clarity and satisfaction that will not be felt if a diet is off kilter.
2. Focus on fermented food: Many people find that once they begin to consume more fermented foods and beverages their yearning for sweets naturally disappears. Your choices are myriad; see Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell or Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig for ideas and recipes. Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet, says “If you do give in to the temptation of sugar, consider having fermented foods and drinks along with them. The healthy microflora in fermented foods and beverages will use the sugar as its food, reducing the negative effects on your body.”32
Try a tall glass of fermented ginger ale along with a popsicle during a warm summer afternoon, or accompany a rich homemade carob coconut oil-based truffle with a fruity fermented chutney. If your child is attending the occasional sugar-laden birthday party, send her off with a can of coconut water to enjoy during the festivities.
3. Win the mental game: For many, eating something sweet to “top off the tank” following one or even all meals is simply habit or a lackadaisical presumption about sugar. Don’t forget, eating sweets begets more sweets. Remind yourself regularly that for a healthy body and mind, desserts (even when made with natural sweeteners) are ideally reserved for occasional consumption and special celebrations, not everyday meals. Additionally, while dealing with more negative thought patterns and emotions—distress, anger, sadness—the consumption of sugary and starchy foods can quickly morph into a coping mechanism. Stay aware and seek help for emotion-driven eating when necessary.
4. Take the Three-Week Challenge: Slowly remove added sugar from your diet. If you have a competitive edge, find a friend to help spur you on. For the more sugar-addicted folks, commit to a three-week challenge. Week one involves becoming aware of your added sugar consumption and removing, replacing, or reducing the most obvious insults. Replace soda drinks with spring water, cookies with trail mix, store-bought dressings with homemade vinaigrettes. Week two, cut your sweet treats in half; for example, if you often follow dinner with a dessert, cut that down to three or four times a week. During week three, cut dessert intake in half again and continue this pattern until you are down to once a week at most. On dessert days, plan it and relish your indulgence. Sally Fallon Morell suggests
on evenings when a meal is less appealing to some in the family, such as a liver dish, dessert can be the prize for cleaning plates.33
At the conclusion of this gradual decline, you will notice your desire for sweets has lessened dramatically and as time goes on the effort needed to refrain will be much less. Don’t forget to give yourself a well-deserved reward for your accomplishment: a luxurious massage or that new book you have been waiting to buy.
5. Remove the temptation and have a plan: Sounds too simple to mention, but I find most people need reminding now and again: play hard-to-get with sugary snacks. Invariably, if a sweet food is ready and waiting in the cupboard or fridge when hunger strikes, it will be consumed, even for those with the most powerful of wills. Always have a clever plan for the moment when cravings creep up, such as stash of sugar-free CinnamoNuts or a pitcher full of Pucker-up Red Tea (see recipes on page 59). A nut butter-stuffed date is always a quick and easy delight as “au naturel” berries or fruit. Also try topping fruit with whipped cream and nuts or bake a cored apple or pear with butter and spices (stuffed in the opening) to jazz it up. Finally, when you do allow your family the occasional indulgence, make sure it is bursting with nourishing fats—coconut, avocados, cream, butter, nuts, egg yolks—to slow the absorption of sugar, and dish up fat soluble nutrients essential for regulating the effects of sugar in the body.
6. Prepare meals with all six tastes: Ayurveda is a six-thousand-year-old philosophy on life, health and food preparation. Practitioners of this system believe that when each taste is present in a meal— sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent—the body becomes more balanced, ultimately minimizing cravings, stabilizing appetite and perfecting digestion. Ayurvedic teachings go much deeper into the properties of each food and their effects on an individual’s dosha or constitution, yet the practice of the six tastes is fairly easy. For example, chutney made with fruit and spices can incorporate all six tastes and makes a lovely condiment to many meals (see the Fruit Chutney recipe in Nourishing Traditions). All tastes are easily incorporated into a meat stew with butternut squash, greens, tomatoes, onions, legumes and spices. Or chicken tacos (chicken slow cooked with salt and a touch of turmeric under the skin) topped with sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, avocados, red pepper spears, leafy greens, and cortido (Latin American sauerkraut, recipe found in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell). Basically, strive to include a wide variety of ingredients in your family’s meals, complement each with a fermented condiment, and there is a good chance of dishing up six tastes.

NO-SUGAR SNACK ALTERNATIVES
CINNAMO-NUTS
2 cups crispy almonds (or walnuts, pecans, etc.—see Nourishing Traditions for details)
1 egg white, preferably from pastured hen
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon green stevia powder (not extract)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk egg white until frothy but not stiff. Blend in the oil. Add almonds and stir until well coated. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and stevia powder and mix well again. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until golden, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Note, the nuts will become crisper as they cool. Store in an airtight container. For variation, try other nuts (pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts) and play around with different spices (add a dash of cayenne or nutmeg or replace the cinnamon with turmeric and ginger), but bear in mind that cooking times may vary a bit.

PUCKER-UP RED TEA
4 cups boiling filtered or spring water
1/4 – 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
2-3 teaspoons green stevia powder (not extract)
Cinnamon stick (optional)

Pour the boiling water over the dried flowers, stevia and optional cinnamon stick in a glass container and stir. Allow the tea to stand for at least 10 minutes, up to overnight. Strain out flowers and dilute to your liking with additional filtered water or a fermented beverage, such as water kefir or the Punch (similar to lemonade) or Ginger Ale recipes in Nourishing Traditions.

 


 

REFERENCES
1. Mercola, Joseph. Sweet Deception. Why Splenda, Nutra-Sweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous To Your Health. Thomas
Nelson. 2006. pp 7, 207
2. Takahashi, E., Tohoku University School of Medicine, Wholistic Health Digest. October 1982:41:00
3. Quillin, Patrick. Cancer’s Sweet Tooth, Nutrition Science News. Ap 2000 Rothkopf, M. Nutrition. July/Aug 1990;6(4)
4. Michaud, D. Dietary Sugar, Glycemic Load, and Pancreatic Cancer Risk in a Prospective Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. Sep 4,
2002 ;94(17):1293-300
5. De Stefani, E. “Dietary Sugar and Lung Cancer: a Case control Study in Uruguay.” Nutrition and Cancer. 1998;31(2):132-7
6. Cornee, J., et al. A Case-control Study of Gastric Cancer and Nutritional Factors in Marseille, France. European Journal of
Epidemiology 11 (1995):55-65
7. Kelsay, J., et al. Diets High in Glucose or Sucrose and Young Women. Am. Jnl. Clin. Nutr. 1974;27:926-936. Thomas, B. J., et al. Relation of Habitual Diet to Fasting Plasma Insulin Concentration and the Insulin Response to Oral Glucose, Human Nutrition Clinical Nutrition. 1983; 36C(1):49-51
8. Dufty, William. Sugar Blues. (New York:Warner Books, 1975)
9. Yudkin, J. Sweet and Dangerous.(New York:Bantam Books,1974) p129
10. Cornee, J., et al. A Case-control Study of Gastric Cancer and Nutritional Factors in Marseille, France, European Journal of Epidemiology. 1995;11
11. Persson P. G., Ahlbom, A., and Hellers, G. Epidemiology. 1992;3:47-52
12. Jones, T. W., et al. Enhanced Adrenomedullary Response and Increased Susceptibility to Neuroglygopenia: Mechanisms Underlying the Adverse Effect of Sugar Ingestion in Children. Journal of Pediatrics. Feb 1995;126:171-7
13. Simmons, J. Is The Sand of Time Sugar? Longevity. June 1990:00:00 49-53
14. Appleton, Nancy. Lick the Sugar Habit. Allergies. New York. Avery Penguin Putnam. 1988
15. Keen, H., et al. Nutrient Intake, Adiposity, and Diabetes. British Medical Journal. 1989; 1:00 655-658
16. Prinz R, Roberts W. Dietary correlates of hyperactive behavior in children. J Consult Clin Psych 1980; 48: 760-769

17. Sanders L, Hofeldt F. Refined carbohydrates as a contributing factor in reactive hypoglycemia.Southern Med J 1982; 75: 1972-1975
18. Murray, Michael, N.D. Diabetes & Hypoglycemia. Getting Well Naturally Series. Prima Health.1994
19. Goldman, J., et al. Behavioral Effects of Sucrose on Preschool Children. Jrnl Abnormal Child Psychology.1986;14(4):565-577
20. Sanders-Butler, Yvonne Ed.D, Healthy Kids, Smart Kids. The Principal-Created, Parent-Tested,Kid-Approved Nutrition Plan for Sound Bodies and Strong Minds. Penguin Group. 2005. pp. 33-34 NOTE: Dr. Sanders-Butler’s strides in her sugar-free school are noteworthy; however, her advice on fats and soy is incorrect, if using this program in your own school, adjustments must be made.
21. Appleton, Nancy. Lick the Sugar Habit. New York. Avery Penguin Putnam. 1988. p. 23
22. Mercola, Joseph. Sweet Deception. Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous ToYour Health. Thomas Nelson. 2006. p.12
23. Fallon, Sally, Enig, Mary, PhD. Dem Bones: Do High Protein Diets Cause Bone Loss? Myths & Truths about Osteoporosis. 2000 First published in Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation quarterly journal. Found at http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/osteoporosis/271-dem-bones.html
24. Dufty, William. Sugar Blues. Warner Books. 1975. p. 137
25. Challem, Jack. The pH Nutrition Guide to Acid / Alkaline Balance. Found at: http://www.naturalnews.com/Report_acid_alkaline_pH_0.html) NaturalNews.com

26. Ringsdorf, W., Cheraskin, E. and Ramsay R. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis and Resistance to
Disease, Dental Survey. 1976;52(12):46-48
27. Sisson, Mark. Sugar as Immune Suppressant. Found at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sugarsuppresses-immune-system/ on July 3rd 2010

28. Magalie Lenoir, Fuschia Serre, Lauriane Cantin, Serge H. Ahmed. Intense Sweetness SurpassesCocaine Reward. University Bordeaux 2, Université Bordeaux 1, CNRS, UMR 5227, Bordeaux,France. Found at http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000698

29. Mercola, Joseph. Sweet Deception. Thomas Nelson. 2006. p.6
30. Ross, Julia, M.A. The Diet Cure. The 8-Step Program to Rebalance Your Body Chemistry and End
Food Cravings, Weight Problems, and Mood Swings – Now. Penguin Books. p. 8
31. Appleton, Nancy, PhD. Suicide by Sugar. A Startling Look at Our National Addiction. SquareOne
Publishers. p. 10
32. Gates, Donna. The 25 Key Reasons You Want to Dramatically Reduce or Avoid Sugar in Your Diet.
Body Ecology E-newsletter. Found at http://bodyecology.com/07/04/12/25_reasons_to_avoid_sugar.php

33. Fallon, Sally, Enig, Mary Ph.D. Nourishing Traditions The Cookbook that Challenges Politically
Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. New Trends Publishing 2001. p. 534
34. Hospodar, Miriam Kasin. Heaven’s Banquet. The Vegetarian Cooking for Lifelong Health the
Ayurveda Way. Penguin Group. New York. 1999. p. 434
35. Pennington, Jean. Bowes and Church Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. Lippincott. 1998.

 

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2010.


Cinnamon effective in preventing foodborn pathogenic bacteria.

Cinnamon is very effective in preventing foodborne diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria, a new study finds.

Who doesn’t love a sprinkling of cinnamon on fresh apple pie or atop a chai latte? It’s just one of those spices that taste fantastic. But taste is not the only reason to love cinnamon. It also has many health benefits. Adding to the already long list of such benefits is the recent discovery suggesting cinnamon can help keep foodborne diseases at bay.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are the most common bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. These bacteria are known as “non-O157 STEC,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. After looking at the top six strains of non-O157 STEC, researchers from Washington State University found that cinnamon oil was effective in killing several strains of such bacteria.

“Our focus is on exploring plant-derived natural food bioactive compounds as antimicrobials to control foodborne pathogens, in order to ensure safety of fresh produce,” co-author Meijun Zhu, an assistant professor in the School of Food Science said in a press statement. “The oil can be incorporated into films and coatings for packaging both meat and fresh produce. It can also be added into the washing step of meat, fruits or vegetables to eliminate microorganisms.”

Very recently, a study also highlighted that cinnamon may help stop progression of Parkinson’s disease.

“Cinnamon has been used widely as a spice throughout the world for centuries,” said lead author Kalipada Pahan, in a press statement. “This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson’s patients. Cinnamon is metabolized in the liver to sodium benzoate, which is an FDA-approved drug used in the treatment for hepatic metabolic defects associated with hyperammonemia.”

photo by g Tyler
Numerous studies show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike. That’s also great news for anyone who wants stable energy levels and moods.

It reduces LDL cholesterol levels. LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol. Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cinnamon has natural anti-infection compounds. In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens.

This spice also reduces pain linked to arthritis. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain. Research also shows that cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of the disease. It is a natural food preservative. It contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese, albeit small amounts, in a typical dose of ground cinnamon.

Studies have also proven that cinnamon is effective in treating menstrual pain and infertility. It contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.

The current study was published online in the journal ‘Food Control’.


Abandonment issues & Bach flower essences for animals

photo ginatyler

Abandonment Issues & Essences for Animals
By C.M Barrett

21419114.thbSome people think that dogs and cats, because they were long ago wild animals, can simply be dumped and thrive in the outdoor world. This is a dangerous misconception. Over the eons of their association with humans, both dogs and cats have lost many of the traits that enabled them to survive as wild animals. Some of this is due to the selective breeding of pedigreed animals. Some of it comes from the reality that those puppies and kittens that seem friendly and docile are more likely to be adopted and thus have a better chance of surviving. Whatever part of their temperament is genetically based will be passed on.

The bottom line is that domesticated cats and dogs aren’t wild animals. Experts on feral cats say that their life expectancy is about two years. Dogs may live longer because of their tendency to form packs, but their way of life threatens their well-being and often that of humans. Rescued animals have a better chance of survival, but they need extra understanding and care.

Abandoned animals may have special issues about food. Cats or dogs born to a mother who was malnourished during her pregnancy will also be malnourished. They will need extra and high-quality nutrition, and they may at first act frantic about food.

In many cases the same remedy recommendations work for abandonment as work with abuse, and animals often have a history of both issues. They may be highly traumatized. The survival strategies that animals develop to cope with their situations can include aggression, withdrawal, fear, and other negative emotions and behaviors.

Star of Bethlehem. This is the most important Remedy for abused and abandoned animals. All animals (including humans) have the primary goal of surviving and avoiding pain. On this basic level, abused and abandoned animals have experienced severe difficulties in achieving this goal.

Every animal, again including humans, has what is called the primitive or reptilian brain. This brain knows three basic responses: flight, fight, or freeze. Fight and flight are self-explanatory, but the freeze response is more complex and is usually the origin of trauma. In the wild, this doesn’t often occur.

Domesticated animals (and humans) don’t always have access to this life-giving relief. When a chained dog with a natural tendency to obey its master is beaten by that same master, it may neither flee nor fight. Instead it will freeze. The freezing literally imprints the agonizing memory of the beating—and sadly, it may experience more than one—into its awareness. Anything that reminds the dog of that experience will throw it into the same helpless, suffering state.

20836301.thbStar of Bethlehem can help to heal traumatic memories. If you even suspect that these conditions may be part of an animal’s history, recommend it or administer it.

Holly. An animal traumatized by abuse can naturally learn to defend itself with an aggressive front. Animals that display extreme forms of aggression are not considered eligible for adoption.

This Remedy can help mild to moderate cases of aggressive behavior, especially if it is combined with one of the two primary remedies for fear. Holly can also be very valuable for animals that are aggressive in protecting their food supplies.

Mimulus. As you gain experience, you’ll find that close questioning about and observation of the particulars of an animal’s current behavior can
lead you to draw accurate conclusions about the source of its fear. Even if you don’t have specific information, though, the animal knows what frightens
it, and Mimulus, the Remedy for known fears, can be very effective.

Among the emotions abandoned animals may experience, the fear that they will be abandoned again predominates. Their human companions need to consistently give them affection and attention. The humans will also benefit from understanding some of the behavior patterns a previously abandoned animal acts out. These can include a high level of dependence and possessiveness. The animal may never want the new human out of its sight and may be particularly fearful when it senses that a human is going away, whether it’s for a few hours or a vacation. Once the animal’s fear has been addressed, the secondary behavior patterns often dissipate.

Aspen. This Remedy is for unknown fears. An abandoned animal remembers that life became uncertain and frightening once it was forced to be on its own. Abandonment also means a loss of a known environment. This particularly affects cats in terms of a familiar space, as felines are very territorial. A dog might be more affected by the loss of pack members, whether animal or human.

If you notice that an animal is generally fearful, but you can’t connect the fear to anything specific, Aspen is a good Remedy choice. In addition, since Remedies don’t have negative effects when not needed, it does no harm to give an animal both Mimulus and Aspen.

Overall, it’s important for the human companion to have realistic expectations about an abused and/or abandoned animal. Consistency and lots of affection can ease many of an animal’s fears, and essences can do a lot to help. All rescued animals have good chances to become approachable and affectionate pets.

21418953.thbThe human, however, needs to realize that the animal may not turn into a tail-wagging or purring creature that loves every human in sight. It’s important for the human companion to accept the animal at each stage of its development in socialization. If the human is disappointed in the animal’s progress, the animal will realize this and may have self-esteem issues.

The best general advice for anyone who takes in a rescued animal is that any animal placed in a loving household is likely to improve considerably. Patience and loving understanding will help the animal grow in trust.
Fortunately, those who knowingly take on a cat or dog with a history of abuse are also those usually have the commitment and compassion to appreciate the courage and devotion of an animal that, regardless of its degree of socialization, has triumphed over great adversity.

Remedies for Humans Who Have Adopted an Abandoned or Abused Animal

The Remedies below are generally helpful when you have an animal whose behavioral/emotional issues may frustrate you.
•Impatiens. This teaches acceptance of the animal as it is and appreciation of its rate of progress, regardless of the length of time it may take.
•Beech. This Remedy helps to release any judgment one may feel about an abused or abandoned animal’s behavior.
•Pine. This Remedy can help if you are feeling guilty about either impatience of judgment. It also helps to remind yourself that you’re only human.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: C. M. (Connie) Barrett has been a flower essence practitioner, teacher, and writer since 1990.


Kinetic Muscle testing- What is it?

written by Lauren Felts
Muscle testing-
Muscle testing is a form of applied kinesiology that is utilized by holistic practitioners as a method to evaluate the body’s imbalances and assess its needs. At the Chalkboard, we’re always fascinated to learn more about these types of testing techniques – and love that our readers are too. Although muscle testing may seem like an esoteric form of nutrition testing, we have had positive experiences with it, and are always open to learning more about this popular technique, especially when it is directly from an experienced expert.

Rachel Lazenby is a holistic nutritionist that has taken the world of muscle testing and made it her own. Running a successful clinic in Santa Monica called The Premier Center, she is the go-to woman for uncovering client’s nutritional needs by focusing on the root cause of their issues rather than merely addressing symptoms. Whether it is through the ancient practice of mud therapy or by delving into emotional blockages, she utilizes the skill of muscle testing to unravel the most stubborn of issues. She is as much of a gentle force in her personal relationships as she is in her professional ones, which is why she has such a dedicated following of clients, all of whom firmly believe in her abilities. With her bright and sunny disposition, she turns this technique into an art form, and helps us uncover this elusive form of kinesiology.

The Chalkboard Magazine: For those out there who aren’t familiar, what is muscle testing?

Rachel Lazenby: Muscle testing is a kinesiologic Western medicine principle. It is the science of how the nerves transmit impulses across the muscle tissue. There are different forms of muscle testing. The particular form that I use is called the bi-digital o-ring test. It was developed in 1980 by an M.D. named Yoshikai O’Mura. It is considered the most accurate form because it involves the least amount of muscle groups. It is making an “o” out of the thumb and another finger, typically the 4th. The grip strength is then tested by the practitioner. If the person is weak, it becomes impossible to keep the “o” made by the two fingers together, and if the person is strong, the “o” ring will remain strong. It is from here that we determine what is needed by the body.

TCM: How does it work?

RL: Since it is not a strength test, but neurological one, when you are weak on a point, it is physically impossible to remain strong. Concurrently, if you are strong on a point, your body will remain strong. Strong refers to the body’s cells, whether an organ or gland system or a tissue itself, having an affinity for a substance or concept; weak on the other hand shows an aversion. Whether the body has an affinity for or an aversion to a substance or concept, all depends on two factors – the energetic strength of a substance and the body’s need for that substance or concept. The substance can be anything from a food, to a supplement to a personal care item, while the concept can be anything from asking if the body needs to perform a cleanse (like a Pressed Juicery cleanse), or if it needs to clear an emotional blockage.

TCM: It sounds a lot like “magic” – how do you find that it is validated?

RL: Kinesiology is a validated scientific principle in Western medicine. So the science of it, in and of itself, is undisputed. Whether or not a person decides to buy into the fact that our body is made up of a system of electrical pathways has no bearing on whether or not the tests work. I think the largest problem with muscle testing is that the practitioner really has to know what they are doing clinically, and also has to know how to test the client’s strength correctly. There are subtleties to it, and I find that is the area where people (meaning the practitioner) can be off-base. It is all about mastering the fundamentals of the testing and having some clinical knowledge as well. It is interesting to put it to the test, such as having a very “strong” person hold an object that would make them weak (something knowingly toxic such as aspartame), and watch them not be able to maintain their strength.

When testing a client, I will uncover things that I would have no way of knowing. Things that they may have forgotten to tell me, or things that they are not even aware of themselves. Muscle testing will often back up what a client already knows or suspect about themselves as well, which is important for the practitioner client relationship. Muscle testing will also show weaknesses in the body that we would have a very hard time determining otherwise. These weakness can be generated by nutritional deficiency, toxicity, infection, or trauma and we then have ways to determine what is causing the weakness as well. This is essential to the full resolution of health problems, because we get to the root of the root, rather than continuing to chase symptoms.
aura
TCM: What type of practitioners use it?

RL: All types of practitioners in the field of medicine and healing are integrating it into their practice. Medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, herbalists, massage therapists, nurses, etc.

TCM: How does it compare to Western testing techniques such as blood, hair and stool testing?

Muscle testing can support results found in traditional testing methods, but it can also point out deficiencies or toxicities that may not have shown up in traditional testing. Since Western techniques are testing for disease-states, it often misses pre-pathological conditions. This is important because it is in these pre-pathological states where we have the best chance of preventing disease from setting in. For example, if the pancreas tests weak, we can support it with digestive enzymes, oftentimes preventing the onset of hypoglycemia. This is vital because blood work or other type of analysis might not show anything outside of normal parameters, which does not draw attention to an underlying, slow developing condition.

TCM:Why do you find it the most effective technique for working with clients?

RL: It is effective because it shows us problem areas and deficiencies we wouldn’t otherwise know about. It also allows us to pinpoint the exact dosages of nutritional and herbal supplements, taking all of the guesswork out of it. As a result, the programs are highly effective, and we get results fairly quickly.

TCM:Who can benefit from muscle testing?

RL: Anyone and everyone. Anyone dealing with a chronic issue that they are unable to solve, or perhaps people that want to get off medication for high blood pressure or other concerns – these are common cases we see. For example, we see a lot of clients dealing with chronic sleep issues, infertility, liver/gallbladder issues, thyroid concerns, digestive problems, lack of energy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, the list goes on and on. Of course it is also very helpful for folks who just want to optimize their health.

TCM: Muscle Testing is not mainstream. You must enjoy seeing a first-time client really experience a healthy change for the first time! Tell us about that.

RL: This is true. I love it when a skeptical person comes in, and I am able to tell them something about themselves that they may not have shared with me, or because of the testing, put them on a nutritional program that is very effective, allowing them to feel results within just a couple of days.

People who come to see me are usually dealing with chronic issues that they have not been able to solve yet, which is where the really fun part happens. For example, if a person has not slept well their entire life, I can get them to the point where they are sleeping really well with just one or two supplements and that is really rewarding. Each person comes in with a different set of symptoms, health history, body type, and life experiences, so it is like solving a puzzle. The muscle testing really helps get to the bottom of issues that have been unresolved otherwise.

TCM: What is something new that a client may take away from a session of muscle testing that they may not have experienced before?

RL: One unique aspect of our testing method is that we test trauma sites on the body. Trauma sites are any areas that have been injured, scarred or have undergone a surgical procedure. Trauma sites affect the biofield (the energy field making up and surrounding the body) in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. They can inhibit natural energy flow, therefore affecting the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and they can even cause an increase in toxicity at a cellular level. Therefore, through muscle testing we are able to see if an area (such as an organ or gland) is affected by a trauma site, which is often a root cause for dysfunction. For example: If a patient was delivered with the use of forceps, the forceps may have caused a trauma to their temples. As a result, this trauma may be affecting their vision and their brain chemistry such as pituitary gland, so muscle testing will reveal this connection. The next step would be to reconnect the interruption in energy flow through the trauma site with ancient mud therapies, therefore allowing the affected area to restore health. This is probably one of the most unique but effective things we can do with muscle testing.

TCM: In what other ways do you use muscle testing?

RL: Muscle testing can be used to test your environment, for instance, to see if the level of EMF (electromagnetic fields) you are being exposed to (TV, cell phones, wireless internet) is affecting your health. Muscle testing can also be used to test any substance that you would want to ingest or put on your body, to see if it is good for you. For instance, if you are having an immune reaction to dairy, or even your favorite skin care product.

Another interesting thing we do with muscle testing is using it to identify emotional blockages. We test for concepts, perhaps an affirmation, such as, “It is okay for me to do everything in my power to be healthy,” to uncover latent emotional issues. Often times people have psychological blockages to concepts, say for instance, not loving themselves because of a relationship with a parent, which is actually the root of their health issues. So in many cases, a physical health problem is due to an emotional issue, not a physical one, and through muscle testing we can uncover that and then resolve it.

So as you can see, you can literally test anything and everything, from the physical to the ethereal. Seeing is believing though, so you have to experience it firsthand to really grasp its power. It proves that we are all highly sensitive energetic beings, and that is really amazing to see and FEEL!


Deet and DDT WARNINGS! Bugspray many parents use on children

Why You Should Not Use products with DEET

DUKE UNIVERSITY REPORT ON DEET
Click to read the full article here

Every year, approximately one-third of the U.S. population uses insect repellants containing DEET to ward off mosquitoes and other pests. At present, DEET is used in more than 230 products with concentrations up to 100 percent.

However, DEET should be used with caution due to its possible damaging effects on brain cells. Studies have shown that DEET causes brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats after frequent and prolonged use. This exposure causes neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration. Rats treated with an average human dose of DEET (40 mg/kg body weight) performed far worse when challenged with physical tasks requiring muscle control, strength and coordination. These findings are consistent with reported human symptoms following DEET’s use by the military in the Persian Gulf War.

With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath. These symptoms may not be evident until months or even years after exposure. The most severe damage occurs when DEET is used concurrently with other insecticides, such as permethrin, for prolonged and frequent periods of time.

At this time, there is little information about the short-term, singular and occasional use of DEET. Further government testing of the chemical’s safety is necessary. However, frequent and long-term use of DEET, especially in combination with other chemicals or medications, could cause brain deficits in vulnerable populations, particularly children.

Until further studies are done, it is important to be cautious when using this insecticide:
•Use insecticides containing DEET sparingly and infrequently. If you do use one on your skin, avoid wearing it for prolonged periods of time.

•Be wary of using insect repellant containing DEET on children. Children are more susceptible to subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in their environment because their skin more readily absorbs them. Also, their still-developing nervous systems are more potently affected. For the same reasons,
photo by ginatyler

•NEVER use insect repellant containing DEET on infants.

•Be aware that DEET can be present in commonly used preparations like insecticide-based lice-killing shampoos. Use the same precautions with such preparations as you would with insect repellant.

•Do not combine insecticides with each other or use them while using other medications. Even an over-the-counter antihistamine could interact with DEET to cause toxic side effects.

•Do not spray your yard for insects and then take medications afterward. There is a possibility that you’ve inhaled a small amount of the insecticide that might interact negatively with the medication. Also, be sure to wash your skin thoroughly after spraying your yard. Lawn treatment chemicals are very strong and were not formulated to be applied to human skin.

Blowing The Whistle On WNV – Shades Of The 50’s And DDT
by Lynn Landes
Read the full article here
DEET, Anvil, and other toxic pesticides are aggressively promoted to protect the public from a mosquito bite that appears to be, statistically, less dangerous than a dog bite or bee sting. And the CDC seems to agree. On its website it says, “Human illness from West Nile virus is rare, even in areas where the virus has been reported. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a mosquito bite is low.” The use of DEET in mosquito repellents is extremely troubling. DEET has been associated with seizures and several cases of toxic encephalopathy (encephalitis) in children, including three deaths, according to the Extension Toxicology Network at Cornell University.

State and federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are encouraging the public to use mosquito repellents containing DEET. Although the CDC warns parents to avoid applying repellent on children less than 2 years old, the EPA and other state agencies are not giving that caution. The EPA instead advises, “Do not allow children to handle the products, and do not apply to children’s hands. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child.” Have these people ever met a child? Children touch everything and everybody, including themselves. And then they put their pudgy little fingers directly into their mouths.


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