Holistic Health Journal

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GallBladder FormulaGallBladder Formula has two primary areas of action, the digestive system and the hepatic system (particularly the gallbladder). The formula is a carminative, which means it helps to alleviate intestinal gas and bloating. It also acts as a cholagogue, meaning it increases bile production in the liver and bile secretion from the gallbladder. GallBladder formula also has an antispasmodic action, so it relaxes muscle cramps in the colon and gallbladder. This can help relieve pain from abdominal spasms and gallbladder attacks.

GallBladder Formula can be used for weak digestion, poor appetite, constipation, jaundice and bloating. By stimulating bile it aids digestion of fats and, taken with a fiber supplement, it can help reduce cholesterol levels. It can also be used as part of a gallbladder flush to reduce gallbladder congestion and help pass gallstones. This formula may also help to reduce fevers.

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The following herbs are responsible for these effects:

Oregon grape root

This bitter herb stimulates the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder. It contains berberine alkaloids (also found in goldenseal and barberry) which give it an antibacterial and antifungal action. It stimulates digestive secretions and helps with general detoxification by aiding lymphatic flow, especially in the gut. It has been chiefly used for gastritis and general digestive weakness. It also has a blood purifying action and has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, all of which have links to poor liver and gallbladder function.

Ginger root

This herb is primarily used as a digestive aid. It stimulates blood flow in the abdominal region, improves digestive secretions, and relieves gas and flatulence. It soothes nausea and morning sickness, which are often related to the liver and gallbladder.

Cramp bark

As it name implies, this herb is used to relieve pain from cramps and spasms of the smooth muscles. As such, it has been used as a remedy for intestinal cramps, menstrual cramps and asthma.

Fennel seeds

In India and European countries, fennel is often handed out after dinner to settle the stomach and promote the digestion of fats. In other countries, fennel is used primarily as a weight control herb.  It is excellent as a remedy for colic in children, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.

Peppermint

The leaves of the peppermint plant have a carminative action, helping to improve digestion and relieve intestinal gas and bloating. Peppermint has also been used for colic and dyspepsia (indigestion). Tests on dogs have shown increased bile secretions. Peppermint oil has antimicrobial properties, so peppermint helps with intestinal infections. It also eases intestinal inflammation and relieves digestive related headaches.

Wild Yam Root

Wild yam root is both an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory herb. It has a powerful effect on the digestive tract, easing digestive inflammation and cramping. This reduces pain in the intestinal region. It relaxes the bile ducts and promotes a better flow of bile. It also relieves the pain and bloating associated with adult colic. Historically, it has been used for conditions such as flatulence, hemorrhoids, colic, painful spleen, diarrhea, infected gallbladder, dysentery and liver disorders.

Catnip

This herb has been dubbed “Nature’s Alka Seltzer” by some herbalists. It helps ease acid indigestion, bloating, gas and stomach pain. It has a relaxing effect on the nerves in the digestive tract and stimulates a healthy flow of digestive secretions.

Suggested Use

Take 2 GallBladder Formula capsules 3 times daily with meals. If diarrhea ensues, discontinue for a day or two, then try again at 1/2 the former dose. For acute gallbladder attack, 2 capsules of the formula can be taken every two hours.

Selected References

Chinese Herbal Remedies by Albert Y. Leung (New York, New York: Universe Books, 1984).
A Handbook of Native American Herbs by Alma R. Hutchens (Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala, 1992).
The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal by Terry Willard, Ph.D. (Calgary, Alberta: Wild Rose College of Natural Healing Ltd., 1991).

gallbladderThe gall bladder flush is a therapy that has been around a long time. It is controversial, even in the natural health community. Many herbalists I know don’t believe its beneficial. However, I have done it a few times myself and used it with others and have seen it provide tremendous benefits.

It definitely increases bile flow, causing the gall bladder to empty its contents. This seems to ease gall bladder pain and may help to dissolve and/or pass gallstones. However, it has not been proven to do so. Even still, I’ve known a number of people who have stopped severe gallbladder pain and avoided surgery using the proceedure.

People have thought this proceedure passed gallstones because people who use it will typically pass small greenish-grey balls about the size of peas. These are not stones. They are composed of soap, which is created by an alkali interacting with fat. In this case, the large quantity of olive oil used in the cleanse mixes with a large quantity of bile to saponify (i.e. turn into soap) the fatty acids. Normally, enzymes would break this down to absorb the fatty acids, but it appears that the extremely large quanitity of oil is more than the body can assimilate, so they are passed intact.

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A medical doctor told me that the large amount of oil causes the gallbladder to go into spasm and completely empty its contents and that this could theoretically cause a large stone to get lodged in a bile duct. This would require surgery for removal. I have had one person tell me that this happened to them when they did this proceedure, so the risk is real. However, I’ve also used this proceedure for myself and clients many times, as well as talked to others who have used it safely with hundreds of people. So, I believe the risk is very small, and since surgery is the primary medical treatment for gallstones, the proceedure just hastened the need for it.

As I mentioned, I tried this proccedure several times when I was younger. Later, I used some of the herbs mentioned here to assist my gallbladder, which I knew had problems. Then, during a very intense period of stress in my life I had a gallbladder attack so servere that it made it difficult to breathe. I think that had I not been under so much pressure at the time that I would have tried this proceedure before having surgery. However, I submitted to the surgery because I was just so overwhelmed.

As I’ve seen happen to other people who have had their gallbladder removed, I have side effects as a result of the surgery. My colon does not move as well as it used to (bile is a natural laxative). I also have a harder time digesting fats. However, I understand that over time the bile ducts enlarge slightly to try to store more bile, so this problem appears to be easing as time passes.

So, I would encourage people to at least try this therapy before submitting to surgery. If it works, great. If not, have the surgery.

Other Uses for the Flush

In addition to being used for a sluggish gallbladder or for gall stones, there are some other situations where this proceedure may be helpful. My friend Thomas Easley uses it for people who need to bring their cholesterol down before medical testing. As some of you know, the medical establishment has lowered the normal ranges for cholesterol in the mistaken belief that this will prevent heart disease. The normal range should actually be about 175-275 with 200-250 being optimal. People within this actual normal range are being encouraged to take drugs to lower their cholesterol.

The problem is, that you can lose your insurance for failing to comply with doctor’s orders, so if you can reduce your cholesterol naturally, you can avoid having the doctor prescribe the drugs. This can also help with medical testing for insurance purposes, as a lower cholesterol level may earn you a better insurance rate.

The reason this proceedure works for this purpose is that bile is mostly composed of cholesterol. In fact, 50-60% of the cholesterol manufactured by the liver is used to make bile. This is why low fat diets can actually increase cholesterol. Monounsatured fats, like those found in olive oil, appear to be very good at helping to lower cholesterol by encouraging bile production.

By increasing bile flow, this proceedure could aslo improve digestion and metabolism of fats. Theoretically, it could also be beneficial in fatty liver disease or in clearing fatty tumors and deposits (along with other remedies).

Instructions

Olive Oil2Here’s the standard way to do a gall bladder flush.  Start by fasting for 24 to 48 hours on fresh, raw apple juice. Do not use bottled or frozen juice. Malic acid, an ingredient in the apple juice, is reported to soften the stones. Edward Shook claims this in his Advanced Treatise in Herbology. If you can’t fast, try eating very lightly and taking an herbal laxative (like LBS II or cascara sagrada) to clear the colon. You could also take Fibralgia, which contains malic acid and magnesium, for a similar effect.

Just before going to bed at the close of the fast, drink 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of lemon juice (you can also use grapefruit juice). Mix these together thoroughly like you would shake up a salad dressing. The lemon juice cuts the olive oil and makes it more palatable. It sounds and smells worse than it tastes. Next, lie on your right side for a half hour before going to sleep. In the morning, if you don’t have a bowel movement, take an enema. This procedure may need to be repeated 2 days in a row.

Generally, you will pass some dark black or green objects that look like shriveled peas the day after drinking the olive oil and lemon juice. This may not happen. Remember that these objects are not gallstones. Chemical analysis has shown they are little balls of saponified fatty acids (soap). Besides, objects that large could not get through the bile ducts. Only a stone that is 2 millimeters in diameter or smaller could be actually be passed.

Even if this proceedure does not pass any stones, it usually eases the pain and discomfort and allows the problem to become asymptomatic again.  You see, most people with gallstones don’t know they have them, because they cause no symptoms unless the gallbladder becomes irritated or inflammed. So, this proceedure appears to eases gall bladder inflammation (and therefore the pain) and allows the person to resume a normal life without surgery.

Variations on the Proccedure

I had one practitioner report to me that it worked equally well to take three Tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with three tablespoons of olive oil every night for 30 days. A midwife friend of mine recommended taking a dose of Epsom salt about two or three hours prior to taking the olive oil and lemon juice. Follow the directions on the container of Epsom salt as per the dosage.

There are also herbs that can help, especially if you want to work with this problem more long term. For instance, NSP’s Gall Bladder Formula has been helpful for some. Hydrangea has been helpful for others. I’ll explain more about these remedies next.

Can You Dissolve Gallstones?

I have no documented evidence that herbs or nutrients can dissolve gallstones. However, there is some antecdotal evidence that they might. To understand what remedies one might use for long term care of the gallbladder and for dealing with stones, we need to know that gallstones come in two basic varieties.

GallstonesThe most common are gallstones made from cholesterol. About 80% of stones are this type. The other 20% are composed of pigments, bilirubin and calcium (usually calcium carbonate, the same kind of calcium found in urinary stones).  In the picture on the left which I got from Wikipedia (Emmanuelm at en.wikipedia) you can see a gallbladder filled with stones. According the caption, the large yellowish colored ones are the cholesterol stones. The smaller greenish ones are calcium stones.

Hydrangea could help to dissolve the calcium based stones. It works well for kidney stones and some people have reported to me it worked for gallstones, too. Magnesium helps with urinary stones (including helping to prevent them from forming) so it may help with gallstones, too. This may also explain the benefit of Epsom salt in the proceedure.

According to Shook, the malic acid in apple juice helps with the cholesterol stones. It’s possible the olive oil does, too. At least some natural healers think this is the case. Fibralgia contains both malic acid and magnesium and might be helpful for gallstones when taken regularly.

Dehydration is part of what causes these stones. Water is needed to keep the components of bile in solution, so drinking plenty of water is important for keeping your gallbladder healthy.

Herbs called cholagogues increase the flow of bile. This can be helpful, along with water, to increase bile flow, which may help to dissolve stones slowly over a period of weeks and months. Herbs that have this property include Oregon grape, dandelion root, artichoke, barberry bark, yellow dock root, fringetree bark, turmeric and celandine. Any of these can be taken before attempting the gallbladder flush to increase its effectiveness, or afterwards to continue improving gallbladder function.

I do not know if CurcuminBP would work in place of turmeric for increasing bile flow. But, it can help with the inflammation (and pain) of the gallbladder attack. GallBladder Formula can be helpful, too. It’s not a very strong cholagogue, but it does have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. The wild yam in it is particularly good for relaxing the gallbladder and easing the inflammation.

Of course, if these procedures do not bring relief, medical help should be sought. 

o-EBOLA-VIRUS-facebookThe mainstream media is at it again. It seems like every year or so we get news of some new disease that threatens to wipe us all out. So far, these dire predictions never seem to come true. I’m cynical enough to believe that it’s a great way to promote vaccines. So, I won’t be surprised if we’re soon being urged to do mass vacinations for ebola. Frankly, I’m more concerned about mass vaccination than the diseases.

For me, life goes on as normal. This kind of news never really bothers me. It’s not that I don’t believe we could have a plague in this country, because I do. We could also suffer a major economic collapse  or get into another world war. Natural disasters can also strike any day. For instance, we had extreme rains here a few weeks ago that washed out a 15-mile stretch of interstate 15 between St. George and Las Vegas. And, I just learned yesterday that those same rains ruined the crops of many farmers in this area.

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Life is filled with risk and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I’ve come to terms with that. But it doesn’t mean that I chose to be reckless. Quite the contrary. I value life, so I chose to do what I can to minimize the risks. I drive safely, I wear eye protection when I use certain power tools and I have smoke detectors in my home. I do my best to take care of my body and I try to maintain a positive attitude. I also prepare for emergencies.

Preparation is Important

Preparation reduces fear. This is a basic principle. The military helps reduce fear in soldiers by training. Pilots are drilled in how to handle emergencies so they won’t panic if something goes wrong. Worry accomplishes nothing. So, I chose not to worry, but I do chose to prepare. That’s a constructive way to handle something like this.

Because I’ve believed since I was a teenager that we could have a major breakdown in our society (for a variety of reasons), I’ve also realized that such a breakdown would cause widespread problems with sanitation and hence, disease. So, I’ve given a lot of thought to this scenero.

I don’t know any specific cures for Ebola. After all, I’ve never treated a case and I don’t know any other herbalist or natural healer who has either. So, I can’t tell you what to do for Ebola and neither can anyone else in the natural health community.But natural healing isn’t focused on treating diseases anyway. It’s focused on general principles that support the body in fighting disease. These principles don’t change because we have some “new” disease.

DoTerra and Young Living both got in trouble with the FDA because distributors were claiming essential oils could cure ebola. So, I’m not going to make any such claims for NSP products.  Any marketer who is trying to sell you stuff to “cure” Ebola because you’re suddenly afraid of it, is preying on your fears. (Which includes the government pushing for mass vaccination, by the way.)

If you’re scared take some Be Courageous flower essence or some Distress Remedy to get centered.  Both flower essence formulas contain red clover, which helps you not get caught up in the emotions of the group. I wish I could put this in the drinking water, because it helps you maintain a sense of balance when everyone else is getting caught up in group hysteria, anger or fear.

Be Courageous also helps you take action in the face of fear, which changes fear into something constructive. If you don’t take action, you tend to worry instead, which is totally unproductive. I’m going to share actions I’ve taken (long before this latest “Ebola Scare”), but first let’s examine the current situation more closely.

Gaining Perspective

There’s no queston that ebola is a scary disease, but I just checked the news and it appears we have about 4,000 deaths right now. It’s expected to rise to 10,000. Let’s put this in perspective. There are over seven billion people on planet earth, right now. That’s 7,000,000,000. For the sake of simplicity let’s round the figures and say that 10,000 people do die from this plaque. That means that one out of every 700,000 people on this planet have died of this disease and only one of these people was in the US.

Compare this to the 1918 flu epidemic, which killed 3-5% of the worlds popluation. It’s likely that the conditions (stress, troup movements, etc.) surrounding World War I contributed to this epidemic. Still, what about the large percentage of the people who survived? Why did some die and some survive? That’s the big question to ask. Likely some people’s immune systems were stronger, which suggests that our primary defense against a plague is to have a healthy immune system. How much does mainstream media talk about that?

We can boost immunity by having a positive attitude and clearing our negative emotional issues. The flower essences are great for this. We also need to get good nutrition, including adequate amounts of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D3, zinc, selenium and vitamin C. NSP has plenty of products that can help that. We also want to make sure we have a healthy gut flora, so probiotics and fermented foods are also important.

Of course, sanitation is very important. Public health officials are taking reasonable precautions to contain the spread of the disease as they should, but we also need to pay attention to personal sanitation. I’m not talking about disinfecting everything, because that actually weakens the immune system. We need some natural exposure to germs to train our innate immune system to protect us. I’m talking about simple things like washing our hands.

We should also know how to take care of sanitation, especially in emergencies when normal ways of dealing with waste break down. What would you do if the water was out for several days and you couldn’t flush the toilet. It can easily happen. How do you deal with it? If you think about things that will be needed in emergency situations and make preparations, you’ll be less stressed about such things.

Again, keep this all in perspective. Everyday, people are eating junk food, smoking, drinking, taking drugs and engaging in other behaviors that are known to shorten their lives. People get into cars and drive, even though the risk of dying in an automobile accident is actually quite high. Life is a risk. None of us are guaranteed we’ll be here tomorrow. So, again, if we’re wise, we adopt behaviors that minimize the risks. If I’m living a healthy life and have positive attitudes, I’m much more likely to survive a plaque than if I’m not doing these things.

Being Prepared

I believe in preparedness. I keep emergency supplies in my home for power outages, natural disasters or other events that could disrupt the flow of normal life. This includes storing first aid supplies. I keep a supply of herbs for treating infections, wounds and other problems that might arise in a crisis along with normal first aid supplies like bandages, disinfectants and so forth. Plus, I have knowledge of local plants which I can collect and harvest in a real emergency. This knowledge and preparations give me a sense of peace when I hear about things like an Ebola outbreak.

I made a 72-hour “bug out” kit for each of my children. I also have one in my car and another in my home. All my emergency kits include a number of NSP products. One is Silver Shield. My kits contain both the liquid and the gel. The gel makes an excellent hand sanitizer and is great for keeping injuries and wounds from getting infected, something that would be very important in an emergency situation. The liquid can be used to purify drinking water and to take for infection.

I can’t tell you if Silver Shield would work against Ebola or not, but I think it probably would. I think you’d want to take it in rather large doses, however. I’d plan on using about 4 oz. a day of the new 20 ppm strength. My bug out kits only contain one bottle, but I keep a larger quantity in my home. I’d suggest having enough to give 4 oz. to every member of your family for at least 10 days. I’d also keep more of the gel.

My kits also contain a bottle of High Potency Garlic. This is a good option for respiratory and digestive tract infections. I’m doubtful how effective this would be on something like ebola, but there are lots of other infections it can help. At home I keep some of this, plus I always try to keep some raw garlic on hand.

My kits also contain Tei Fu, Pepperment oil and Tea Tree oil, which have many uses. Tei Fu can not only help with pain, it can also be used as an insect repellant or treatment for bug bites. Peppermint is great for nausea, indigestion and mental alertness. Tea Tree is a great disinfectant for wounds.

In addition to the above mentioned NSP products, my kits also contain a bottle of iodine tincture (for water purifaction) and Iodoral. These are in case the emergency involves radiation. Iodine would also help the body fight infection. The other items are homeopathic arnica (for injuries) and something for pain. 

Preventing the Spread of Infection

Essential oils have been proven to kill airborne microbes, which could really help prevent the spread of infection in a crisis. The story of the four theives who avoided the plague while robbing the victims reports they used a lot of aromatics. Both Guardian and the new Essential Shield would be good disinfectant blends. Individual oils like Eucalyptus, Pine, Rosemary and Tea Tree could aslo be used.

If there was some kind of plague going around, I’d diffuse these oils into the air in both my home and my office. If the power is on you could use a diffuser, otherwise, there are candle-powered diffusers or you can put some of the oils into boiling water and allow them to diffuse through the steam. You could also make an aerosol. If the power is on, I’d also be running my Boomerang Air and Surface Sanitizer. The technology of this unit is pretty sound and it would be a good way to inhibit the spread of infection. Again, I can’t say for certain that it would inhibit the spread of ebola, because I have no hard data, but I think it’s highly probable that it would.

It may also be wise to keep some medical gloves and masks in your emergency supplies, especially if you want to be able to help others in a crisis. I’d also keep some strong disinfectants on hand. This is one situation where chlorine bleach would actually be something good to have, as would hydrogen peroxide.

I’d also keep my immune system strong by taking extra vitamin C, vitamin A&D and/or D3 and possibly some herbs to boost immunity, either Immune Stimulator or Ultimate Echinacea. I also keep these remedies in my emergency supplies at home. I also keep most of NSP’s liquid extracts in my preparedness supplies. These include ALJ, lobelia, VS-C, Ultimate Echinacea, Goldenseal and Echinacea and more.

I found these nice carrying cases for them, so I can haul them with me to help people in emergencies. Because they are in plastic bottles, I don’t have to worry about bottles getting broken in an emergency situation.

I also keep Distress Remedy in my first aid supplies. This is a vital remedy to have on hand in any crisis sitution. Give it to people who are panicing. It helps them to get centered and could be a life-saver in emergencies. Actually, I have all of the flower remedies I designed for NSP in my kit. It will be just as important to care for people’s mental and emotional state as it will be to care for them physically.

Knowledge is Power

I sincerely believe that knowledge is power. Knowledge, like preparedness, reduces fear and worry and increases self-confidence and faith.

ebola4With the threat of the Ebola virus spreading, there is a need to understand what natural options are readily available to you in case you don’t want to be subjected to conventional medical treatments and infected patients in hospitals. The only proven system to help eradicate the Ebola virus is your body’s immune system, and it is of primary importance to start strengthening its response now to give yourself the best chance of successfully fighting off an infection.

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Work with your body’s natural defenses

The only way to work with your body’s natural defenses is to give it what it requires in order to function at optimal performance. Conventional medical wisdom claims that man-made remedies such as vaccines are superior to those provided by nature, but it doesn’t take a scientist to understand that the toxic chemicals and preservatives injected into the body along with antigens is not a legitimate way to improve immunity.

To improve your immunity, you must improve your relationship with nature and the medicine it provides, which has been proven to keep people healthy for thousands of years. In this case, a focus on healing foods and herbs that have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties is of primary importance, along with improving immune system function and eliminating foods that suppress it.

Antibacterial foods, herbs, and solutions to begin consuming regularly

Even though Ebola is a virus, it only makes sense to start clearing out any harmful bacteria in your digestive system in order for your immune system to function properly. This will allow it to do its job more efficiently, which is a must have when dealing with more deadly infections such as Ebola.

Antibacterial foods and herbs to consider, include:

Most of these foods and herbs can be used in many different ways in every day meal preparation, but the most potent way to receive their benefits in through tinctures, capsules, teas, essential oils, and freshly pressed juices. A few of them are antiviral as well (like ginger, garlic, cranberry, colloidal silver, and Echinacea).

Stock up on antiviral herbs

In the event that Ebola is found in your region, or you suspect you may have an infection, you may want to consider the following as part of your natural defense:

These proven virus fighters will provide another layer of protection to your overall immune support plan.

Consume immune strengthening foods, herbs, and nutrients

Along with these foods and herbs, it’s also important to consider those things that help solidify a strong immune system, such as:

The foods, herbs, and ingestible nutrients listed will provide your immune system with exceptional benefits, and can be consumed in whole food, capsules, tinctures, and tea. Grounding is helpful as well. 

  • Ditch foods and behaviors that suppress the immune systemAnother very important factor to unleash your immune system is to stop consuming foods and engaging in behaviors that depress it. The biggest culprits in immune suppression are:
    • Sugar (especially refined)
    • Alcohol
    • Dairy
    • Corn, soy, and wheat (gluten)
    • Hydrogenated foods
    • Excess animal protein
    • Excess flour intake
    • Highly processed foods
    • Chronic stress
    • Excessive EMF exposure
    • Limited sunshine or vitamin D supplementation

    Improve in all of these areas, and your immune system and energy will reciprocate nicely, both which help your body protect itself against Ebola (and any other viruses or bacteria).

    As always, consult with a qualified herbal practitioner or naturopath to determine which herbs and solutions are best for your individual situation. At this time, there is no proven remedy for Ebola, but investing in your immune system and using nature’s medicine quite possibly gives you the best route of action.

pumpkin-seedsFrom boosting immunity to helping ensure good sleep, pumpkin seeds offer many potential perks. You know what it means when the weather turns cool and the leaves start to change, right? It means make way for the pumpkin riot. Market produce bins are like exploding cornucopia spewing orange squash, windows everywhere host dancing paper pumpkins, and pumpkin flavor has invaded just about anything that you can put in your mouth.
 
And of course, the annual rite of carving pumpkins has kitchens across the country being littered with pumpkin innards. But with all this pumpkin reverie, we often overlook one of the best parts about the seasonal squash: the seeds!

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If you make a habit of not wasting food or if you happen to love pumpkin seeds already, chances are you roast them. But if you’re one of the many who toss the seeds, may we suggest that you reconsider? You should eat them, and here’s why:
 
1. They’re plant-based protein bombs
According to the USDA nutritional database, this is how 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds stacks up nutrition-wise: (Other sources proffer them with even higher positive numbers, but we’re sticking with the more-conservative USDA data.)

285 calories

11.87 grams protein

12.42 g fat

11.8 g dietary fiber

See all that protein? You want that! Although plant-based protein differs from animal-based, it’s just as important and pumpkin seeds are a great way to boost your protein intake without resorting to red meat. The fiber is a great bonus too; and while the fat content looks high, it is predominantly the “healthy fats” that many of us don’t get enough of.

2. They boost your magnesium

That same cup of roasted pumpkin seeds also boasts 168 milligrams of magnesium, more than half of the 310 mg adult women should consume daily. The body needs magnesium for many processes, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure, plus making protein, bone and DNA. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that people in the United States consistently have intakes of magnesium that are lower than recommended amounts.

3. They pump up your potassium

The body likes potassium for jobs such as helping muscles contract, regulating fluids, balancing minerals and maintaining blood pressure; it may also help reduce the risk of recurrent kidney stones and bone loss as the body ages. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recommends that adults consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day, which is twice as much as most people get. Pumpkin seeds are a notably rich source of this important mineral with 588 mg per cup. Compare that to the famous potassium source known as a banana — a medium one provides 422 mg.

4. They bolster your immunity

There’s a reason that treatments to prevent and quell the common cold generally contain zinc; it’s an important mineral that plays a significant role in immune function. The National Institutes of Health recommends 8 mg of zinc daily for adult women, and a cup of pumpkin seeds will almost meet that with its 6.59 mg.

5. They help with prostrate health

Research suggests that pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds may be beneficial in supporting prostate health as well as treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Prevention magazine reports that pumpkin seeds have protective compounds known as phytosterols, which might be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also offer chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is associated with enlarged prostate.

6. They may make you happy!

Shape magazine suggests that the L-tryptophan in pumpkin seeds can improve the mood naturally and may even be effective against depression. (Can’t hurt to try that!) Meanwhile, The Times of India suggests eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed for the L-tryptophan (which is used in melatonin and serotonin production) to help encourage a good night’s sleep.

7. The are chock-full of antioxidants

Pumpkin seeds are unique in their abundance of antioxidants. WHFoods.org notes that the seeds contain numerous forms of vitamin E, as well as the phenolic acids hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, protocatechuic, vanillic and syringic acid. Antioxidant phytonutrients like lignans are also found in pumpkin seeds, including the lignans pinoresinol, medioresinol and lariciresinol. Importantly, says the site, “this diverse mixture of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may provide them with antioxidant-related properties that are not widely found in food.” They’re special!

FibralgiaFibromyalgia is a condition involving pain in the muscle fibers. It affects 2-5% of the American population, or about four to six million people. Its exact causes are unknown, and because there are no objective medical tests for it, it is often overlooked or misdiagnosed. Typical medical treatment is to use pain medications and anti-depressant drugs, but these offer little help.

There are many contributing factors to fibromyalgia, and one may be a deficiency of magnesium, an important mineral that muscle fibers need in order to relax after contraction.  Magnesium is also part of over 300 enzyme systems in the body.

One of the primary dietary sources of magnesium is naturally-occurring chlorophyll in dark green plants. (Magnesium is not found in Liquid Chlorophyll but can be obtained from Chlorophyll Gel Caps).  Americans tend to eat very few dark leafy greens and hence, wind up magnesium deficient. They also take calcium supplements without a proper balance of magnesium to go with it.

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Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia correlate with symptoms of magnesium deficiency. For example, a deficiency of magnesium can lead to muscle stiffness, increased pain, and disturbed sleep patterns.

Nearly all of the enzymes needed to turn the fats and sugars we consume into energy (in the form of ATP) require magnesium. Low levels of ATP are common in people with fibromyalgia.

The brain requires ATP to function, with 20% of the ATP in the body being found in the brain. Thus, low levels of ATP can diminish brain function.  “Brain fog” is common in people with fibromyalgia.

Magnesium is important for muscle functioning. Magnesium deficiencies lead to spasms, tics, restlessness, twitches and muscle tension. These are all problems associated with fibromyalgia.

Magnesium also tends to make nerves calmer. A deficiency of magnesium results in nerves firing too readily from minor stimuli. People who are magnesium deficient are often bothered by insignificant noises. This excessive firing makes the nerves that signal pain more likely to overreact.

Malic acid is a natural acid found primarily in sour fruits like apples. It is also synthesized by the body. It is used in the production of energy (ATP) inside the cells and may also have a beneficial effect for people with fibromyalgia.

When given 1200 to 2400 milligrams of malic acid, fibromyalgia patients reported an improvement in pain symptoms within 48 hours of starting the supplement. This improvement was subsequently lost when supplements were discontinued.

Studies using malic acid combined with magnesium have proven effective in helping to reduce pain in fibromyalgia patients. One double-blind study showed no improvement with 50 mg. of magnesium and 200 milligrams of malic acid three times per day after four weeks, but when the does was later increased to 300 mg. of magnesium and 1200 mg. of malic acid per day, there was a significant improvement in pain and tenderness.

In another study of 15 patients with fibromyalgia, there was significant improvement after eight weeks on 300-600 mg. of magnesium and 1200-2400 mg. of malic acid. While these studies do not suggest that fibromyalgia may be cured with magnesium and malic acid alone, they do suggest that these nutrients may be helpful.

Suggested Use

Fibralgia is a blend containing 350 mg. of malic acid and 80 milligrams of magnesium sterate. A good dose of this blend would be 1-2 capsules three times daily.

Selected References

The Role of Magnesium in Fibromyalgia by Mark London (http://web.mit.edu/london/www/magnesium.html)
Malic Acid and Fibromyalgia(http://www.immunesupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/id/171)

Candida ClearIf you are depressed while you suffer from regular yeast infections, or athletes foot, or have taken antibiotics recently, there is a connection. Our brains are inextricably tied to our gastrointestinal tract and our mental well being is dependent on healthy intestines. Depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and a host of other mental illness from autism to ADHD can be caused by an imbalance of gut microbes like fungi, and “bad” bacteria.

Candida is the opportunistic flora that typically takes over our colon with conventional diets. Along with it comes other fungi, harmful bacteria, and parasites. An intestinal system infected with this kind of ecosystem cannot process and assimilate many of the vitamins we need, like B vitamins, which are imperative for brain function and found to be low (especially B6) in virtually anyone experiencing depression. Candida also breaks down the intestinal wall and leeches into the bloodstream, allowing other toxic byproducts to leak from the colon to the bloodstream.

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Much of the body’s hormone production occurs in the intestinal tract. 90 to 95% of our serotonin, the key neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, is produce inside our intestines. When the candida population reaches a certain point, it suppresses the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. A lack of serotonin leads to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

Acetaldehyde, a byproduct of yeast (candida), also reacts with the dopamine neurotransmitter, which can cause mental problems such as anxiety, depression, poor concentration, and feeling spaced-out.

Candida impairs the liver’s ability to store vitamin B12. We don’t need much B12, but if we are low, depression and other more serious mental issues well develop quickly.

The byproducts of candida’s metabolism are toxic to us. Candida goes through the bloodstream and finds other areas of the body to make home in, invading everywhere it can and making detoxifying the blood every difficult for the body. The blood becomes sluggish with diminished regenerative capacities, and the body begins to age, ache, and develop allergies and then autoimmune issues, which all lead to and fuel depression.

It’s rare to find a person who suffers from depression and does not suffer from an overgrowth of candida. On the other hand, it’s rare to find a person in our modern culture that does not suffer from an overabundance of candida. That said, it’s very difficult to improve one’s mindset without a healthy mind. And you cannot have a healthy mind without a healthy colon.

Poor colon health does lead to poor brain health, as well as poor health within the rest of the body. For almost every major disease, both physical and mental, one of the most important things you can do, and the first thing that should be done, is to improve the health of the intestinal tract by killing excess candida and balancing the gut flora. A great way to do this is with thorough detoxification. Also see Natural Remedies for Depression and How to Kill Candida. See the first source for more on detoxifying.

Sources:

http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com http://www.drcarolyndean.com http://www.mindbodygreen.com http://truthwiki.org/B_vitamins http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com

two fresh zucchini isolatedZucchini is a very versatile food. It can be eaten raw or cooked, can be consumed virtually in its entirety and has several health benefits. Of course, be sure to choose organic zucchini.

It even has some interesting tidbits that many people aren’t aware of.

For example, their blossoms, or flowers, which appear under its leaves as it grows, are edible. (1) They’re typically sold at farmers’ markets, and not only can they be cooked with a little olive oil, but the delicate flowers can also be eaten raw; many enjoy adding their sweet, slightly herbal flavor to salads. (1)

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In addition to the blossoms, its skin can also be eaten. While many are aware of this, several still opt to peel and toss the outer layer. However, the skin is where most of its water is found and where the most concentrated source of vitamin K, fiber and antioxidants are housed. (2)

Then there’s interesting tidbit number two. While it’s commonly referred to as a vegetable and sold in produce sections as such, it’s technically a fruit since it comes from a flower. (1)

Health benefits of zucchini

Weight loss

For people looking to shed some pounds, zucchini is an ideal low-calorie option. One cup contains just 20 calories; it’s 95 percent water by weight and is a good source of fiber, making it a filling option that staves off hunger. (2, 3)

Stronger bones and better wound healing

Eating zucchini boosts the body’s uptake of the mineral manganese, which plays a role in the development of healthy bone tissue and proper wound healing. (4)

Boosts eye health

Zucchini contains the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which are associated with healthy eyesight. Therefore, eating them is a smart choice when it comes to maintaining eye health and fighting age-related macular degeneration. (4)

Fights free radicals

It’s no secret that free radicals are damaging to the body. Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and, in turn, protect cells. (4)

Sources:

(1) http://www.nytimes.com

(2) http://www.livestrong.com

(3) http://www.naturalnews.com

(4) http://www.livestrong.com

CurcuminA new study published September 26, 2014 in the Stem Cell Research & Therapyjournal suggests that a component of turmeric, aromatic (ar-) turmerone, induces and increases neural stem cell proliferation.

Turmeric has been found to have numerous health benefits with especially powerful anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that can improve cognitive function and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. A study published back in 2012 demonstrated three months of treatment, where Alzheimer’s patients were given a daily turmeric supplement, resulted in a significant decrease of severe behavioral and psychological symptoms, and in two instances, patients came to recognize their family within one year of treatment (Hishikawa 2012).

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This new study may provide even more insight as to why turmeric is proving so effective in treating neurologic disorders:

- “The targeted (that is, pharmacologic) activation of endogenous NSCs [neural stem cells] has been shown to enhance self-repair and recovery of function in the adult brain in both stroke [13,14] and neurodegeneration” (Hucklenbroich et al., 2014).

- “At certain concentrations, ar-turmerone was shown to increase NSC [neural stem cells] proliferation by up to 80%, without having any impact on cell death” (BioMed Central, 2014).

Ar-turmerone’s ability to regenerate the brain’s stem cells has important implications in the event of stroke, dementia and neurodegeneration. This study was performed on rats in vivo and in vitro, and researchers concluded ar-turmerone is a prime candidate for developing a future drug to induce regeneration in neurodegenerative disorders/diseases.

Yet another reason to add this superfood to your arsenal!

Sources:

Aggarwal, Bharat B. and Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar. “Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases.” The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 40–59. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2637808/

BioMed Central. “Turmeric compound boosts regeneration of brain stem cells.” ScienceDaily, 25 September 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140925205819.htm

Hishikawa, Nozomi, Yoriko Takahashi, and U. K. Krishna. “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” Ayu. 2012 Oct-Dec; 33(4): 499-504. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/

Hucklenbroich, Joerg, Rebecca Klein, Bernd Neumaier, Rudolf Graf, Gereon Rudolf Fink, Michael Schroeter and Maria Adele Rueger.“Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo.” Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 26 September 2014. www.stemcellres.com/content/5/4/100

Ji, Sayer. “Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Recovery in Alzheimer’s Patients.” GreenMedInfo.com, 10 June 2013. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric-produces-remarkable-recovery-alzheimers-patients

Bronchial FormulaThe respiratory system regularly encounters airborne particles such as microorganisms, pollutants, pollens and dust, and protects delicate body tissues. As a result, the functions of the lungs and bronchi can be affected.

Bronchial Formula is an Ayurvedic combination of 18 herbs that nourish the lungs and bronchi and helps support the respiratory system. This formula, developed in concert with Indian Ayurvedic masters with herbs direct from India, provides nutrients necessary for respiratory health and function.

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Bronchi-1

 

Ingredients:

  1. Adhatoda vasica leaf extract
  2. Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract
  3. Alpinia galanga rhizome extract
  4. Clerodendrum indicum root
  5. Inula racemosa root extract
  6. Myrica nagi bark extract
  7. Verbascum thapsus leaves
  8. Phyllanthus emblica fruit
  9. Hedychium spicatum root
  10. Picrorrhiza kurrooa root extract
  11. Pimpinella anisum fruit
  12. Pistacia integerrima gall
  13. Zingiber officinale rhizome
  14. Ocimum sanctum leaf extract
  15. Tylophora asthmatica leaf
  16. Abies webbina leaf
  17. Elettaria cardamomum seed 
  18. Ferula assafoetida gum.

Benefits:

Supports the respiratory system. Supports bronchial function. Nourishes the lungs and bronchi. Is a balancing formula to minimize respiratory irritation.

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The cardiocascular system is a fined-tune machine that makes sure everything in the body is getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. It starts with every breath. Take a deep breath, inhale and peruse our newest graphic below:

How-Cardio-Works-1

As you inhale, air moves down the trachea into the bronchi, bronchioles and finally into the 600 million air sacs — called alveoli — in the lungs. Oxygen passes from the alveoli into the tiny blood cells called capillaries that cover them. The oxygen-rich blood from the lungs is transported to the left altrium of the heart. The heart contracts moving blood into the left ventricle. The next contraction pumps the blood into the aorta. From the aorta, oxygen-rich blood pumps into the body’s arteries, which branch into smaller arterioles, and then to the capillaries, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells and pick up carbon dioxide and other cellular waste. Capillaries, venules and veins return the oxygen-depleted blood to the heart, where it collects in the right ventricle and then to the lungs. The capillaries transfer carbon dioxide and cellular waste into the alveoli where they exit the body through the bronchioles, bronchi and trachea.

Fun Facts About The Heart

  • The heart beats over 100,000 times every day
  • During an average lifetime, the heart pumps nearly 1.5 million barrels of blood
  • Your heart creates enough energy every day to drive a truck 20 miles
  • It takes less than 60 seconds to pump blood to every cell in the body