Hawthorn Berries

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Hawthorn berries have long been used in Europe and China. At one time the tree was regarded as sacred and was given to a couple on their wedding day as a symbol of their love and heartfelt connection, as it is an herb that resonates with the heart on a physical and emotional level. In Germany it is one of the most popular herbs for declining heart function. It has been used for all types of cardiovascular disorders including high blood pressure, palpitations, congestive heart failure, circulatory diseases and cholesterol.

Hawthorn berries

Hawthorn berries

Some medical doctors combine it with conventional medications to increase their effectiveness. I have had incredible results using it clinically for palpitations in conjunction with a doctor’s supervision. It is also a wonderful herb for the highly stressed individual who can not calm down and who is running the risk of potential cardiovascular problems.

In China you find it in candy that is known to aid in fat digestion and cholesterol management. Because it is high in a group of nutrients called flavonoids it also has an antioxidant effect and a positive circulatory effect improving the blood flow and reducing varicose veins. I would recommend it to anyone with cardiovascular disease and to those who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. (more…)

More on the Hawthorn berry

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Hawthorn: The Cardiotonic

Hawthorn berries

Hawthorn berries

Hawthorn berry (Crataegum species) is considered one of the oldest known remedies in European medicine to be used as a cardiotonic. It has traditionally been used in the treatment of arrhythmias, hypertension, angina, atherosclerosis, and congestive heat failure. Researchers believe the benefits of Hawthorn stem from the flavonoids it contains and its ability to dilate blood vessels and increase heart rate. The dilation of blood vessels allows more blood and oxygen to flow into and out of the heart muscle, which consequently supplies the bodies’ organs with more oxygen rich blood. Hawthorns flavonoids, such as oligomeric procyanidins (a.k.a. OPCs) interact with enzymes that increase the efficiency of heart muscle contraction. The berries, leaves, and flowers of the plant are used in herbal preparations, but the leaves and flowers contain a greater concentration of flavonoids. (more…)

Healthy weight loss

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It’s that time of year again when many of us want to lose some of those extra pounds we put on last year. So, we thought we’d share some strategies to help you along. It’s important to support weight loss through healthy liver and blood sugar metabolism, detoxification, proper hormone levels (particularly thyroid), and plenty of exercise. Weight gain is closely correlated with digestive imbalances, improper elimination and liver dysfunction. So, it’s easy to understand the connection between internal cleansing and weight loss. After cleansing, the body is more capable of efficient digestion and elimination and you may even experience more energy! (more…)

Green Tea and the weight loss connection

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Tea has been used medicinally for over five thousand years and dates back in Chinese medical text to 2737 BC. In 1211, the founder of Zen Buddhism, Eisai Myo-an, highly encouraged the consumption of tea for good health and long life. In 2001, the World Health Organization determined that citizens of Japan possess not only the longest life expectancy in the world, but also the healthiest. The average intake of green tea in Japan varies from 3 to 10 cups a day, which has been scientifically shown to promote heart and immune system health.

Why Green Tea?
Few teas can claim the medicinal power and world-wide recognition that green tea (camella sinesis) holds. Green tea has rightfully earned its status, considering it contains some of the most potent antioxidants known. Camella sinesis is the same plant used to make white, green and black tea, although green tea contains a higher concentration of polyphenols than fermented black or partially fermented oolong tea.

Science has since been able to confirm the earlier suspicions that tea promotes good health by identifying hundreds of beneficial phytonutrients contained within the tea leaf. These phytonutrients, including polyphenols and flavonoids, are responsible for protecting the body against free-radical damage that can result in poor health and disease. (more…)

Green tea for optimum health

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Anyone living in modern society can benefit from the antioxidants in green tea. Antioxidants help the body protect itself from toxic damage and help the body function at optimal levels. Green Tea contains a group of constituents known as polyphenols which have a powerful antioxidant effect in the body. In Japan, where they consume an average of 3 to 10 cups of tea per day, they have a much lower incidence of cancer. Studies have found that it is particularly helpful with breast and prostate cancer. These polyphenols also have a powerful effect on the brain, protecting it from toxic damage due to heavy metals. (more…)

How I lost 30 pounds

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Are you trying to lose some of those extra pounds you put on as you have gotten older?   Join the club!!!

There are millions of others out there just like you and I used to be one of them.  Over the years, the pounds just kept creeping on and even though I ate a fairly healthy diet (most of the time), I just couldn’t keep those extra pounds off.  Looking back, I now know that I just like food too much.  Even healthful food will put the pounds on if you eat too much of it.  And, exercise (or lack of it) is a big factor.

After many years of reading every book on weight loss and trying many of them, unsuccessfully, I might add, I decided to get really serious.   So, what did I do?   I joined Weight Watchers and Curves at the same time.   I resisted Weight Watchers for a long time because I think some of the foods they promote are not exactly what you would call “health promoting”.   But, after taking to Rose, my acupuncturist, she convinced me that I could do Weight Watchers and still eat a fairly healthy diet. (more…)

Weight Loss and the fiber connection

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A vital part of maintaining optimal weight is proper elimination and colon function.  Although the colon absorbs water and electrolytes, its primary function is to store and eliminate waste.  Fiber is the most important element of the diet that affects long-term colon health.  During cleansing and detoxification, the majority of toxins are transported out of the body through the small intestines.  If regular bowel movements are not established the toxins and hormones waiting to be eliminated in the colon will be reabsorbed into the bloodstream.

Toxins keep re-circulating  until they reach the liver and once again go through the liver detoxification process.  Adequate fiber and water intake will increase the efficiency of this elimination process so that toxins don’t re-circulate in the body and wreak havoc.  Fiber actually binds to the toxins in the intestines and escorts them out of the body through regular bowel movements.  Although the primary culprit of constipation is a low-fiber diet, other causes include physical inactivity, pregnancy, drugs, bowel diseases, structural abnormalities, and even overuse of enemas and laxatives. (more…)

Mindful eating

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Tis the season of over indulgence with  family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners; and it is unrealistic to think that we will not at some point give in to the culinary delights of holiday foods.  But if we keep some of the following tips in our consciousness we can limit the destructive aftermath of feeling like a participant in Epicurean orgy.

I thought this might be a good time of year to visit the issue of digestion.  As you have undoubtedly heard before, digestion is crucial to your over all health.  Different foods require different digestive conditions. Digestion of food depends on the nutrients in it and those nutrients are ultimately the fuel that keeps us healthy and vital.

The order in which you eat the foods on your plate can determine the quality of benefits you get out of your meal and will lessen the more undesirable effects of a poorly digested feast. Of course, if you are not used to this idea of compartmentalizing your food, it may seem an effort; but it can be a fun and interesting experiment and will certainly be a reinforcing one. A great way to start is to give thanks for the food in whatever way feels comfortable to you. It does not have to be an overt display and can be a simple inward acknowledgement of respect for the food, the growers and the preparer that brought this to your plate. This will set the stage for the beginning of a calm digestive process. (more…)

Beat your cold with ingredients from your kitchen

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Spice it up!

Garlic

Garlic

Some of the most common spices used to add flavor to food do so much more; they can kick your immune response into hyper-drive. Cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic and onions all contain anti-microbial properties that fight infection and help to decrease the duration of colds. Hot peppers and ginger increase circulation and inhibit inflammation, two effects that speed up recovery and relieve symptoms.

Ginger works well as a decongestant for upper respiratory colds and sinus infections and soothes sore throats. Onions and garlic have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties that fight respiratory congestion and allergic responses. Incorporating these seasoning into your cooking is easy! You can try our recipe below, experiment for yourself, or you can just eat them raw! (more…)

Staying Healthy Naturally

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The best defense to staying healthy is to think prevention by keeping your immune system strong. When so many others are out and about with the sniffles or worse, we must be vigilant and start with the basics by taking the obvious precaution of washing hands frequently.

I am not a fan of anti-bacterial soaps as we can do the job efficiently with ordinary soap. Scientific studies confirm that soaps containing anti-bacterial agents are no more effective than plain soap at  reducing bacteria on the hands and preventing infectious illness. Pay special attention to hand washing after being in public places,  plane travel and definitely before sitting down to eat.

Cold and flu season is a good time to consider taking some natural immune boosting supplements. I am partial to good old reliable vitamin C because it can boost the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies.  Also important, is a good bio-available multiple mineral (I prefer liquid); since the body burns off its mineral stores when fighting infections.  At this time of year your natural reserves will need replenishing. Be sure to take a good multiple vitamin everyday, because it will help to keep your energy stable throughout the day, especially when weather changes may add extra stress on the body. (more…)

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