What is Holistic Health?

What is Holistic Health & Wellness?

  • An ancient concept prescribing treatment according to the overall health status of the individual, not picking one specific symptom for treatment.
  • Holistic means consideration of the entire individual – mind, body, and soul – when treating illness and disease.  
  • Holistic Wellness is an individual’s perception of and acceptance of or satisfaction with their overall health status. 
  • The entire individual taken into account when prescribing herbal remedies and spiritual practices developed over generations to ward off and treat illness.
  • Holistic practices view individual health from the perspective of the Ten Dimensions of Health and Wellness.
  • Holistic health and wellness is a healthy balance of every function of the individual – mental, physical, spiritual, social, and emotional.

Effects of Aging: physical changes caused by normal aging.

  • Gradual loss of bone tissue can lead to the development of osteoporosis.
  • Joints lose flexibility due to repetitive motion, wear and tear, and water loss from tissues leading to inflammation, damage, and arthritis.
  • Skin cells lose moisture and shrink making skin thin and vulnerable to bruises and tears.
  • Increased time to recover from stress, shock, or surprise; it takes longer for heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal.
  • Circulation decreases as vessels lose elasticity and plaque builds up inside, increasing blood pressure.
  • Decreased sense of thirst can lead to chronic dehydration.
  • Difficulty chewing increases the risk of poor digestion and incomplete nutrient absorption.
  • Decreased immune system function leading to vulnerability to infection.
  • Decreased muscle mass with weight gain, decreased joint function, and loss of bone density all combine for an accident and injury waiting to happen.

Achieving Wellness: changes in lifestyle to slow aging and prevent disease.

  • Consume a well-balanced and nutrient dense diet of fresh and unprocessed meats, nuts and beans, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and excessive amounts of sugar and caffeine.
  • Drink at least 32 oz of water, herbal teas, animal or vegetable milk and/or fruit or vegetable juices each day to prevent dehydration and maintain strength of hair, skin, and nails. 
  • Green, black, and oolong teas as well as coffee, soda, and energy drinks with artificial sweeteners all have a diuretic effect on the body and work to reduce water consumed.
  • Remaining active and walking often throughout life will promote muscle retention well into aging and reduce the risk of accidents due to muscle weakness.
  • Regularly participating in educational or community settings will promote mental, emotional, and social wellbeing well into aging.
  • Dealing with life’s stresses in a calm and conscious manner will reduce the damage to the heart and nervous system that accumulates from stress throughout life.

Maintaining Longevity: habits that increase your life span.

  • Practice a relaxation technique, at least sometimes.
  • Be grateful for what life has brought you. Being thankful for what you have.
  • Continue to learn new things and use your mind. Use it or lose it!
  • Take a walk every day. Again, use it or lose it!
  • Enjoy the little things. A smile and a laugh go a long way.
  • Get lots of sunshine in short periods without burning.
  • Eat a well-rounded diet limiting junk foods.
  • Take care of your skin. Drink plenty of water and moisturize with natural moisturizers.
  • Accept others as they are. Love people for their differences!
  • Accept yourself as you are. Love your own differences!

Sea Salt

Sea Salt

Sea salt is mostly composed of sodium chloride, a compound that helps regulate fluid balance and blood pressure in the body. Since it is minimally processed, it contains some minerals, including potassium, iron, and calcium. This is one reason why it is often considered nutritionally superior to table salt, which is heavily ground and has had most of its nutrients removed.

Still, most people do not realize this distinction and consider sea salt to be healthier than table salt, as excessive sodium consumption has been linked to high blood pressure levels and an increased risk of heart disease. However, if the amount of sodium you consume exceeds the recommended limit or your personal tolerance, using sea salt in place of regular salt makes no difference.

Advertisement

Benefits of Consuming Sea Salt

In general, salt can help you maintain adequate hydration and blood pressure levels. Since sodium plays a vital role in fluid balance, not getting enough of it can lead to dehydration, especially during high-intensity exercise.

Having proper fluid balance in the body is also important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Therefore, consuming either too little or too much sodium can lead to changes in blood pressure in those who are sensitive to dietary salt.

Chloride is necessary to produce stomach acid, and sodium chloride (salt) facilitates the absorption and transportation of nutrients in the intestines after they have been broken down during digestion. Therefore, consuming enough salt promotes optimal digestive health.

The minimal processing of unrefined sea salt enables it to retain much of its natural mineral content. Sea salt contains many of the major electrolytes, like sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium, that are essential to good health.

Advertisement

Electrolytes have so many important functions — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so that you can move. Sea salt in moderation can help in avoiding an electrolyte imbalance, which can cause all kinds of serious negative symptoms, including some that are potentially deadly.

As a good source of sodium, sea salt is essential for proper brain, muscle and nervous system function. Not only does sodium play a role in regulating your body’s fluid balance, but it is also required for the transmission of electrical signals in the body. Without the proper transmission of electrical signals in the body, so many things can get thrown off.

Without this communication system working as it should, the brain, muscles and nervous systems are especially inclined to suffer. Both too much and too little sodium cause cellular malfunction. So as much as you hear about making sure you do not get too much salt in your diet, it is also just as important to make sure you get enough.

Benefits of Using Sea Salt

Taking a sea salt bath is thought to decrease skin dryness and inflammation. In fact, the National Eczema Foundation recommends adding 1 cup of sea salt to bathwater to help relieve irritation from eczema, a condition marked by red, itchy skin.

Dead Sea salt baths also help in improving the skin barrier function and eliminating the roughness and inflammation on the skin’s surface.

Soaking your tired feet in a warm sea salt solution helps relax the muscles, and relieve the soreness and pain in your aching feet.

Sea salt contains fluoride, which is beneficial for promoting dental health. Fluoride aids in protecting the teeth from acidic damage and prevents the development of caries and cavities. Regular rinsing and gargling with tepid sea saltwater help alleviate mouth sores, bleeding gums, ulcers, and the pain of sore throats. While fluoride is now added to the water in many countries around the world, sea salt was particularly important in the early 20th century, when many some countries did not have access to it this way.

Advertisement

Dead Sea salts have been proven to be effective in providing therapeutic relief to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. One study showed that participants in baths containing these salts demonstrated significant improvements in such ailments as compared to normal sodium chloride baths. These results are promising for an effective, natural method for providing relief in this population.

Sea salt finds another use in the cosmetic industry in the manufacturing of scrubs and other skin care products like antiperspirants and deodorants. Exfoliation with sea salts helps remove dead skin particles, tone up the skin tissues, encourage peripheral blood circulation, and promote skin renewal. Unlike table salt, the granular texture of sea salt works very well in providing clean and smooth skin.

Research studies have proven that the Dead Sea salt solution is also effective in providing relief from rhinosinusitis. The study also concluded that nasal irrigation and sprays done with sea salt showed better symptomatic relief as compared to those made of hypertonic saline solution. The anti-inflammatory effects of Dead Sea salts make them a natural and healthy alternative for relieving nasal allergies and other respiratory disorders; other remedies, such as nasal steroids have side effects like inflammation that can lead to mucus secretion. The mineral content present in Dead Sea salt may help alleviate swelling and congestion, as well.

Why Iodized Sea Salt?

Getting too little iodine — called iodine deficiency — is a serious issue. Iodine is an essential mineral used by the body to produce thyroid hormones. Too little iodine in a pregnant women’s diet can affect the development of the fetus’ brain and can cause cretinism, an irreversible form of physical and intellectual disability. Iodine deficiency during infancy can also result in abnormal brain development and impaired intellectual development.

Until nearly five years ago, Americans who got dairy, bread, and meat in their diets got plenty of iodine. Machines used in production were cleaned with an iodine disinfecting solution, so some iodine ended up in dairy, bread, meat products. That ended when companies quit using iodine disinfectant. Iodized salt is rarely found in canned, frozen, or boxed food. French fries and other snack foods mostly contain regular salt — not iodized salt. In fact, Americans now get one-third less iodine than they once did.

Advertisement

Both newborns and toddlers are affected by iodine deficiency. A recent study showed lower IQ scores among children with mild iodine deficiency — proof that the problem exists in developed countries.

The normal requirement for iodine, according to World Health Organization standards: Adults need 150 micrograms a day. Women trying to get pregnant should increase their intake to 200 to 300 micrograms a day.

Side Effects of Too Little Salt

Too little salt — iodized salt, that is — is dangerous, too. It is the iodine in iodized salt that helps the body make thyroid hormone, which is critical to an infant’s brain development. A little salt is essential to good health. Healthy adults should consume salt and water to replace the amount lost daily through sweat and to achieve a diet that provides enough other essential nutrients. The American Heart Association and NIH advise adults to get no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium daily. That is about 1 teaspoon of salt.

Side Effects of Too Much Salt

Consuming too much salt of any kind, including sea salt, can result in excessive sodium intake, which has been linked to high blood pressure and other health issues. The typical American diet contains a large amount of high-sodium processed foods, and most people in the United States consume more than the recommended amount of sodium. Overconsumption of sodium is associated with high blood pressure, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and other health issues. Therefore, even if you prefer sea salt over other types of salt, it does not offer any specific benefits and should be used in moderation like all other salts. Furthermore, people with kidney disease, high blood pressure, and heart failure may need to be particularly careful about their intake of sea salt and other salts.

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sea-salt-benefits

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/salt-dont-ban-entirely

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-sea-salt.html

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/is-sea-salt-healthier-than-table-salt

https://draxe.com/nutrition/10-benefits-celtic-sea-salt-himalayan-salt/

http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Mi-Oc/Mineral-Resources-from-the-Ocean.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230222395

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5098396/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18519109

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1410848/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5760509/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4105387/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4129840/

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/321505/nutrients

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/359145/nutrients

Basics of Herbal Remedies

These are supplements or products made from whole plants or plant extracts that are prepared and consumed in different ways for the purpose of nourishment, prevention, and healing.

Common Types of Herbal Remedies

Spice: ground dried plant materials used in cooking, added to foods for additional flavoring and nourishment

Advertisement

Tea: dried plant materials steeped in boiled water to extract nutrients and drunk, washed with, or used in a poultice on the skin.

Decoction: dried plant materials are boiled for a longer period to extract denser chemcial compounds for stronger healing medicines.

Infusion: dried plant material is soaked in a liquid base in a warm place to gently extract nutrients for use on the skin or as supplement. Ex – honey or oil.

Salve: liquid plant extracts and animal fats combined for external injury and wound healing.

Advertisement

Balm: dense moisturizing blend of waxes, butters, and/or oils; heals cracked skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, etc.

Syrup: making a decoction of plant materials and then cooking it with a sweet base like maple syrup or honey until thick. Great for everyday remedies like for allergies or colds.

Standardized Extracts: encapsulated concentrated herbs, not always what they say, labeling often misleading

photo of jar near cinnamon sticks

Safely Healing Herbs & Spices

Gain benefits from eating, drinking, or soaking in any of these herbs.

Basil leaf: nourishing, balancing, clearing, toning

Black Pepper: anti-inflammatory, healing, warming, calming, pain relieving

Calendula flower: common marigold; anti-inflammatory, healing to mouth and digestive tract, soothing to rashes and irritation

Advertisement

Catnip leaf: antianxiety, calming, relaxing, sedative, soothing

Chamomile flowers: anti-inflammatory, sedative, relaxing, pain relieving

Cinnamon bark: anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, sugar balancing, antioxidant

Dandelion Root & Leaf: nourishing to kidneys and liver, diuretic and water balancing, highly alkaline and reduces acidity

Echinacea root: antiviral, immune boosting, colds and flu, repiratory infections; should not be taken for more than 2 weeks in a row.

Advertisement

Eucalyptus leaf: mucolytic, clearing, opening, healing, soothing, pain relieving, calms coughs and muscle spasms

Fennel seed: digestive, great for gas, nausea, upset stomach, heartburn

Ginger root: helps relieve every digestive issue, alleviates vertigo and motion sickness, and calms the nervous system.

Jasmine flowers: antidepressant,nourishing, calming, sedative, healing, balancing, regulating

Lavender flowers: calming, relaxing, balancing, soothing, and healing

Licorice root: digestive, calming, sweet, hormone balancing, sugar balancing

Marjoram leaf: mucolytic, cough suppressant, fights cold and flu, relaxing

Nettles leaf: antihistamine, clearing, balancing, detoxifying, nourishing

Oregano: antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, healing

Passionflower herb: calming, sedative, hormone balancing, aphrodisiac, nourishing, regulating of cycles

Peppermint leaf: digestive regulator, reduces heartburn, balances peristalsis, stimulating to system

Rose petals: nourishing, calming, soothing, healing, balancing, uplifting

Rose Hips (fruit): full of Vit C, more than oranges, nourishing and healing

Rosemary leaf: stimulating, healing, and regulating to therespiratory and digestive tracts.

Sage leaf: cough suppressant, antispasmodic, fights cold and flu

Thyme: anti-inflammatory, hormone balancer, antibiotic

Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, pain relief, antioxidant, healing, balancing, tonic

Yarrow flower & leaf: anti-inflammatory, headache relief, calming, clearing, detoxifying

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals

These are considered essential nutrients—because acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy and repair cellular damage.

  • There is a fine line between getting enough of these nutrients and getting too much.
  • Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need.
  • Although they are all considered micronutrients, vitamins and minerals differ in basic ways. Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure.
  • Minerals in soil and water easily find their way into your body through the plants, fish, animals, and fluids you consume.
  • Vitamins from food and other sources are harder to get into your body because cooking, storage, and simple exposure to air can inactivate these fragile compounds.
  • Vitamin D enables your body to pluck calcium from food sources passing through your digestive tract rather than harvesting it from your bones. Vitamin C helps you absorb iron.
  • The interplay of micronutrients isn’t always cooperative; vitamin C blocks your body’s ability to assimilate the essential mineral copper and even a minor overload of manganese can worsen iron deficiency.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

These are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins; excess goes out in urine.

Advertisement

  • B vitamins: Biotin (vitamin B7), Folic acid (folate, vitamin B9), Niacin (vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Thiamin (vitamin B1), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C

Here are some examples of how different vitamins help you maintain health: Generally, water-soluble vitamins should be replenished every few days.

  • Release energy. Several B vitamins are key components that help release energy from food.
  • Produce energy. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin for energy production.
  • Build proteins and cells. B6, B12, and folic acid metabolize amino acids; help cells multiply.
  • Make collagen. One of many roles played by vitamin C is to help make collagen, which knits together wounds, supports blood vessel walls, and forms a base for teeth and bones.
  • Can stay in the body for long periods of time; several years’ supply of vitamin B12 in your liver; folic acid and vitamin C stores can last more than a couple of days.
  • Very high doses of B6—many times the recommended amount of 1.3 milligrams (mg) per day for adults—can damage nerves, causing numbness and muscle weakness.

Fat-soluble vitamins

These gain entry to the blood via lymph channels in the intestinal wall and travel through the body only under escort by proteins that act as carriers. These include: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Together this vitamin quartet helps keep your eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system in good repair. Here are some of the other essential roles these vitamins play:

  • Build bones. Bone formation is impossible without vitamins A, D, and K.
  • Protect vision. Vitamin A also helps keep cells healthy and protects vision.
  • Interact favorably. Without vitamin E = difficult to absorb/store vitamin A.
  • Protect the body. Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body for long periods; toxic levels can build up most likely when taking supplements, rare to get too much of a vitamin just from food.

Major minerals

These are no more important to your health than the trace minerals; they’re just present in your body in greater amounts. Travel through the body in various ways. Potassium, for example, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, where it circulates freely and is excreted by the kidneys, much like a water-soluble vitamin. Calcium is more like a fat-soluble vitamin because it requires a carrier for absorption and transport. Major minerals include: Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Sulfur.

One of the key tasks of major minerals is to maintain the proper balance of water in the body. Sodium, chloride, and potassium take the lead in doing this. Three other major minerals—calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium—are important for healthy bones. Sulfur helps stabilize protein structures, including some of those that make up hair, skin, and nails. Having too much of one major mineral can result in a deficiency of another. Here are two examples:

Advertisement

  • Salt overload: Calcium binds with excess sodium in the body and is excreted when the body senses that sodium levels must be lowered: too much sodium through table salt or processed foods means losing needed calcium as your body rids itself of the surplus sodium.
  • Excess phosphorus: can hamper your ability to absorb magnesium.

Trace minerals

Their contributions are just as essential as those of major minerals, they include: Chromium, Copper, Fluoride, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium and Zinc. Trace minerals carry out a diverse set of tasks. Here are a few examples:

  • Iron is best known for ferrying oxygen throughout the body.
  • Fluoride strengthens bones and wards off tooth decay.
  • Zinc helps blood clot, is essential for taste and smell, and bolsters the immune response.
  • Copper helps form several enzymes; assists with iron metabolism and the creation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.

Too much of one can cause or contribute to a deficiency of another. Here are some examples:

  • A minor overload of manganese can exacerbate iron deficiency.
  • Too little iodine thyroid hormone production slows, causing sluggishness and weight gain as well as other health concerns. The problem worsens if the body also has too little selenium.

The difference between “just enough” and “too much” of the trace minerals is often tiny. Generally, food is a safe source of trace minerals, but if you take supplements, it’s important to make sure you’re not exceeding safe levels.

Antioxidant

A term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules such as free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells. Your body cells naturally produce plenty of antioxidants to put on patrol. The foods you eat—and, perhaps, some of the supplements you take—are another source of antioxidant compounds. Carotenoids (such as lycopene in tomatoes and lutein in kale) and flavonoids (such as anthocyanins in blueberries, quercetin in apples and onions, and catechins in green tea) are antioxidants. The vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium also have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are able to neutralize marauders such as free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons.

Free radicals

Are a natural byproduct of energy metabolism and are also generated by ultraviolet rays, tobacco smoke, and air pollution. Free radicals have a well-deserved reputation for causing cellular damage. When immune system cells muster to fight intruders, the oxygen they use spins off an army of free radicals that destroys viruses, bacteria, and damaged body cells in an oxidative burst. Vitamin C can then disarm the free radicals.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum & album)

Sandalwood is a commercially and culturally important plant species especially in India belonging to the family Santalaceae. The wood is valued in carving because of its dense character. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the heartwood by steam distillation. The average yield of oil ranges from 3.0% to 6.0%. The sweet, powerful, and lasting odor has made sandalwood oil useful in the perfume industry, soaps, candles, incense, folk medicine, and religious and cultural purposes for centuries.

In addition, the wood and its powder are used for religious and medicinal purposes, and the food industry, especially in India. The sandalwood tree flourishes in regions where the climate is cool with moderate rainfall, plentiful sunshine, and long periods of dry weather. The tree is planted in different states of India but large commercial cultivation state is Karnataka. The trees are slow growing and usually take about 30 years for the heartwood to become economically useful in India.

Advertisement

Santalum spicatum is used by aromatherapists and perfumers. The oil concentration differs considerably from other Santalum species. In the 1840s, sandalwood was Western Australia’s biggest export earner. Oil was distilled for the first time in 1875, and by the turn of the 20th century, production of Australian sandalwood oil was intermittent.

Santalum album is a threatened species indigenous to South India and grows in the Western Ghats and a few other mountain ranges such as the Kalrayan and Shevaroy Hills. Although sandalwood trees in India, Pakistan, and Nepal are government-owned and their harvest is controlled, many trees are illegally cut down.

In Kununurra in Western Australia, Indian sandalwood is grown on a large scale. This species is the primary source of sandalwood used in commercial oil production and should not be confused with West Indian Sandalwood, Amyris balsamifera.

Major Constituents

(Z)-a-Santalol, (Z)-B-Santalol, (Z)-Nuciferol, epi-B-Santalol & (Z)-a-trans-Bergamotol

Advertisement

Sandalwood Essential Oil Uses

Bronchitis, Chapped Skin, Depression, Dry Skin, Laryngitis, Leucorrhea, Oily Skin, Scars, Sensitive Skin, Stress, & Stretch Marks

In traditional medicine, sandalwood oil has been used as an antiseptic and astringent, and for the treatment of headache, stomachache, and urinary and genital disorders.

In India, the essential oil, emulsion, or paste of sandalwood is used in the treatment of inflammatory and eruptive skin diseases.

The oil has been used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicinal system as a diuretic and mild stimulant, and for smoothing the skin.

The leaves and bark were used by early Hawaiians to treat dandruff, lice, skin inflammation, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Sandalwood oil has also demonstrated repellency against the crop pest Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite).

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: White sandalwood is likely safe when taken by mouth in food amounts. But it is unsafe when taken by mouth as a medicine for longer than 6 weeks. There have been reports of kidney damage with prolonged use. White sandalwood can also cause itching, nausea, and stomach upset.

Advertisement

Medication Interactions

Lithium interacts with WHITE SANDALWOOD: sandalwood might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking sandalwood might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

References

https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/sandalwood-oil.asp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandalwood

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-116/white-sandalwood

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5749697/

Advertisement

https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780124166417/essential-oils-in-food-preservation-flavor-and-safety

Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Updated Edition) (London: Harper Thorsons, 2014), 179-180.

Tips for Healthy Eating

Relying on Crash Diets: Determined to lose 10 pounds fast, you turn to a crash diet. Perhaps your plan calls for nothing but grapefruit or cabbage soup each day. You slash your daily calories to fewer than 1,000, and sure enough, the pounds melt away. But when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down. Once the diet is over, you have a body that burns calories more slowly, and you usually regain the weight.

Skipping Breakfast: Skipping breakfast seems like a simple way to cut calories, but it can make you hungry the rest of the day. This may lead to unplanned snacking at work and eating a supersized portion at lunch, making calorie counts soar. But breakfasts that are high in protein and fiber can curb hunger throughout the day. In fact, studies show people who eat breakfast every morning are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

Advertisement

Losing Track of Your Snacks: Maybe you count calories at every meal, but what about all those nibbles in between? There is the bag of pretzels at your desk, the little slice of cake at a party, the taste of your son’s ice cream cone. All of this mindless munching adds up and could sabotage an otherwise well-planned diet.

Not Snacking at All: While mindless snacking can pad your waistline, thoughtful snacking may do just the opposite. People who eat several small meals and snacks a day are more likely to control hunger and lose weight. Snacking helps keep your metabolism in high gear, especially if the snacks are protein-rich. Having a few nuts is a good, high-protein choice, and research suggests people who snack on nuts tend to be slimmer than those who do not.

Loading Up on Low-Fat: Low-fat products can play an important role in your diet. Just remember that low-fat is not the same as low-calorie, and it is not a license to take second and third helpings. If you pile your plate with low-fat cake, you may end up eating more calories than if you had a smaller slice of regular cake. The best way to know how much fat, sugar, and calories you’re getting is to check the nutritional label.

Sipping Too Many Calories: When counting calories, many of us tend to overlook what is in our drinks. This is a big mistake when you consider that some fancy coffees and alcoholic beverages have more than 500 calories. Even the calories in fruit juice and soda can add up quickly. What is worse is that liquid calories do not curb hunger. You are not going to eat any less after a high-calorie drink.

Advertisement

Drinking Too Little Water: This is one of the simplest diet blunders to fix. Water is essential for burning calories. If you let yourself get dehydrated, your metabolism drags, and that means slower weight loss. Research suggests adults who drink eight or more glasses of water per day burn more calories than those who drink less. So try adding a glass of water to every meal and snack.

Ditching Dairy: Full-fat milk, cheese, and ice cream are taboo for many dieters, but ditching dairy foods may be counterproductive. Some research suggests the body burns more fat when it gets enough calcium and produces more fat when it is calcium-deprived. Calcium supplements do not appear to yield the same benefits, so dairy may have other things going for it, too. Stick to nonfat or low-fat dairy options.

Taking the Drive-Thru Bait: The drive-thru is convenient after a hectic day, and you can always order the salad or other healthier option. But once you are there, can you resist that milkshake or other treat? And if you allow yourself the ease of fast food once, it could become a habit. According to one long-term study, people who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds than those who had it less than once a week.

Weighing Yourself Every Day: Weighing yourself daily is a recipe for frustration and does not yield useful information. It’s more important to look for a long-term trend with weekly weigh-ins. If your goal is to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, you will be satisfied to see those full-pound drops when you step on the scale. The result is more motivating than the confusing swings that may accompany daily weigh-ins.

Setting Unrealistic Goals: Telling yourself you will lose 20 pounds your first week is probably setting yourself up for failure. If you know you will not be able to do it, you may never start your diet in the first place. If you diet and lose 5 pounds in a week, instead of celebrating, you may feel discouraged that you did not reach your goal.

Drinking Ice Cold Drinks. Iced drinks reduce stomach acid temperature thus reducing the speed of the chemical reactions that breakdown food into molecules small enough to be absorbed. The higher the stomachs temperature, the faster and more efficient the chemical reactions occur. Most chemical reactions proceed at a faster rate as temperature increases. Food digestion reactions follow this general principle, but there is an upper temperature limit of about 40°C or 104°F, lower limit is about 10°C or 50°F. Ice is frozen water, which freezes at 0°C or 32°F, below the minimum for digestion. The inefficient breakdown of foods causes heartburn and indigestion, stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, malabsorption of nutrients, and damage to the bacterial flora of the intestines.

Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away. Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food. You are also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that is not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Advertisement

Consider whether you’re really hungry. Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving does not come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it. When you are done eating, you should feel better – not stuffed, bloated, or tired. Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably. Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.

Enjoy your favorite foods. Putting your favorite foods off limits leads to weight gain because it triggers ‘rebound’ overeating. Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag. You can enjoy your favorite foods, but you must do so in moderation.

Enjoy your treats away from home. When you need a treat take a walk to your local ice cream parlor or plan a family outing. By making it into an adventure, you do not have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house, and it is a fun and pleasurable way to make it work when you are trying to lose weight. And for those times you just cannot get out? Stock the kitchen with fresh fruit, which can be every bit as delicious as any other dessert.

Eat several mini-meals during the day. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you’re hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging. Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight. Divide your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying as many of them as you can early in the day – dinner should be the last time you eat.

Eat protein at every meal. Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the new secret weapon in weight control. Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss.  Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.

Advertisement

Spice it up. Add spices or chilies to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you will not eat as much. When you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball candy for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.

Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods. Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand sets you up for success. You will be less likely to hit the drive-through or call in a pizza order if you can make a healthy meal in 5 or 10 minutes.

  • microwave popcorn
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Bags of pre-washed greens
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Whole-grain wraps or pitas
  • Pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts
  • containers of pre-cooked brown rice

Order children’s portions at restaurants. When you are eating out, order a child’s pizza or a small sandwich as an easy way to trim calories and get your portions under control. Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.

Eat foods in season. When you eat seasonally, fruits and vegetables are more flavorful, at their best, and you will not be disappointed.

Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables. Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year. You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables.

Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress. Sooner or later, you are going to be faced with a stressful situation. Instead of turning to food for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you. Reading a few chapters in a novel, listening to music, writing in a journal, practicing meditative deep breathing, or looking at a photo album of loved ones can help you feel calm without filling your stomach.

Be physically active. Although it may seem counterintuitive, do not use exercise either to punish yourself for eating or to “earn” the right to eat more. When you do, it sets up a negative thought pattern, which is why so many people say they hate to exercise. Instead, focus on how great you feel, how much better you sleep and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Physical activity is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not, so keep it positive and build a lifelong habit.

Common Sage

Sage Leaf & Oil (Salvia officinalis)

Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, common sage, or culinary sage) is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae and native to the Mediterranean region, though it has been naturalized in many places throughout the world. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times it has been used as an ornamental garden plant. The common name “sage” is also used for a number of related and unrelated species.

Sage is an herb. The leaf is used to make medicine. There are many species of sage. The two most common species are common sage (Salvia officinalis) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia). Sage is used for Alzheimer disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and symptoms of menopause. Sage might help with chemical imbalances in the brain that cause symptoms of Alzheimer disease. It might also improve how the body uses insulin and sugar.

Advertisement

Like many herb and spice oils, Sage is helpful for digestive issues. It can help relieve symptoms of stress, such as emotional exhaustion, nervousness, mental fatigue, and head and neck tension. Also, Sage is a powerful oil that can be neurotoxic in large amounts. It is recommended to be used at a maximum dilution of 0.4%. This oil should also not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.

The health benefits of sage essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial, cholagogic and choleretic, cicatrizant, depurative, digestive, disinfectant, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, and a stimulating substance.

This essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of sage leaves and is constituted mainly of aesculetin, alpha-humulene, alpha thujene, alpha-thujone, alpha-terpineol, alpha terpenes, alpha-pinene, alpha maaliene, aromadendrene, beta-pinene, beta copaene, beta-thujone, borneol, camphor, cineole, caryophyllene oxide, camphene, delta cadinenes, linalool, limonene, myrcene, ocimene, octanol, paracymene, para cymenol, salviol, terpineol, thujanol, and terpinolene.

Blending: Essential oil of sage blends well with the essential oils of Clary Sage, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Orange, Vetiver, Neroli, Rosemary and Tea tree.

Advertisement

Benefits of Consuming Sage

Alzheimer disease. Taking extracts of two different sage species, common sage and Spanish sage, for 4 months seems to improve learning, memory and information processing in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.

Diabetes. Taking common sage leaf extract three times daily for 3 months lowers fastingblood sugar and average blood sugar over time (HbA1c) in diabetes patients.

High cholesterol. Taking common sage three times daily for 2 or 3 months reduces “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides. It also increases “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, in people with high cholesterol.

Symptoms of menopause. Research shows that taking common sage extract for 8-12 weeks improves symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes and night sweats.

Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. Taking a single dose of common sage extract might improve some measures of memory in healthy older adults.

Hot flashes in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer. Early research shows that taking common sage extract three times daily for 4 weeks reduces the severity and frequency of hot flashes in men receiving this treatment.

Lung cancer. Some research suggests that people who regularly use sage as a spice may have a 54% lower chance of developing lung cancer than those who don’t use sage as a spice.

Advertisement

Memory. Taking a single dose of common sage extract or Spanish sage essential oil by mouth seems to improve some measures of memory in healthy adults. But these sage species do not seem to improve memory when used as aromatherapy.

Sore throat (pharyngitis). Using a spray containing common sage extract 15% reduces throat pain in people with a sore throat. But sprays containing higher (30%) and lower (5%) amounts of common sage extract do not seem to reduce throat pain.

A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Some research shows that taking sage helps to reduce some, but not all, symptoms in people with PCOS.

Sunburn. Applying an ointment containing common sage extract to the skin after exposure to UV light seems to reduce the development of skin redness.

Dosing BY MOUTH:

For Alzheimer disease: 1 gram of sage per day. A dose of sage extract, gradually increased over time to 2.5 mg three times daily, has also been used.

Advertisement

For diabetes: 500 mg of common sage extract has been used three times per day for 3 months.

For high cholesterol: 500 mg of common sage extract has been used three times per day for 2 or 3 months.

For symptoms of menopause: 300 mg of common sage extract has been used daily for 12 weeks. Also, 280 mg daily of a specific thujone-free common sage extract (Sage Menopause, Bioforce AG) has been used for 8 weeks.

Benefits of Using Sage Oil

Antifungal: The presence of camphor and camphene in this essential oil gives it an antifungal property. This oil can inhibit fungal infections, both internally and externally, and gives relief from fungal infections like dysentery, skin diseases, Athlete’s Foot or dermatitis. This property is one of the causes behind its use in skincare products.

Antimicrobial: The components in sage essential oil which give protection against fungal infections also provide protection against microbial infections too. Therefore, you can protect small wounds or cuts from developing irritating or potentially dangerous infections, as confirmed by a report published in the African Journal of Biotechnology.

Antibacterial: This oil is equally useful at countering bacterial infections since it kills bacteria and inhibits their growth in the body. This property can also be used to heal ailments like bacterial infections in the ears, nose, throat, eyes, genitals, urethra, colon, intestines as well as on the skin and in wounds.

Antioxidant: This is perhaps the most valuable aspect of this essential oil and the reason behind its extensive use in anti-aging and skin treatment products. Sage gets it potent antioxidant power from rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid. Antioxidants, as the name suggests, act against oxidants or free radicals in the body, which are the main causes of aging. These antioxidants slow down aging and prevent symptoms like wrinkles, sagging skin, and muscles, reduction in vision and hearing capabilities, malfunctioning of the brain, memory loss, degeneration of tissues, macular degeneration, and nervous disorders.

Antiseptic: Since it has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, it serves as an antiseptic for wounds, surgical incisions, post-natal injuries, ulcers, and sores.

Anti-inflammatory: It reduces inflammation on the skin, inflammation due to fever, and prevents the entry of poisonous material into the bloodstream. It also reduces the effects of excessive intoxicants and narcotics, ingestion of excessive salty or spicy food, the influence of hot winds, etc. A study in Pharmaceutical Biology journal suggests that it helps cure inflammation in the stomach, intestines, and excretory tracts too.

Antispasmodic: This property of sage essential oil is useful in treating all problems that arise from spasms, including pain in the stomach, chest, and intestines, as well as coughs, convulsions, and cramps.

Cholagogue & Choleretic: According to the International Journal of Biology, sage promotes the discharge of bile. Sage essential oil helps in digestion, soothing the stomach, and improving the functionality of the whole digestive system against inflammation caused by excessive acids. It also neutralizes acids in the stomach and the bloodstream, thereby providing relief from acidity and acidosis, which in turn protects us from peptic ulcers due to acidity, as well as from boils, eruptions, and skin diseases that occur when acid levels rise in the blood.

Cicatrisant: This is yet another property which has given sage essential oil a strong place in the world of cosmetics as a key ingredient of anti-mark and anti-spot cream. Sage oil helps to eliminate scars, post-natal abdominal stretch marks, and blemishes caused due to boils, pox, and sores. It also helps in quick healing of wounds and incisions.

Depurative: Sage essential oil speeds up the removal of toxins from the blood through excretion or sweating and thus purifies the blood, acting as a depurative.

Digestive: It acts as a digestive medicine in case of indigestion by facilitating the decomposition of food. It does so by promoting the secretion of bile and gastric juices and by inhibiting microbial growth in the digestive system, which interferes with the digestive process.

Disinfectant: The antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties of essential oil of sage make it an effective disinfectant, as it gives sound protection from both internal and external infections.

Emmenagogue: This essential oil regularizes menstrual cycles and helps relieve obstructed menses. It activates certain hormones, such as estrogen, which helps to bring about clear menstruation and gives relief from problems like a headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and other associated symptoms of periods.

Expectorant: It can give you relief from a cough, cold, and infections in your chest and respiratory tracts. It also provides relief from congestion that results from the common cold.

Febrifuge: Sage essential oil reduces fevers by fighting infections and reducing inflammation caused by them.

Laxative: It facilitates excretion and eliminates constipation by promoting the discharge of certain fluids, as well as stimulating the intestines.

Stimulant: If all the properties of this essential oil are to be described with a single term, ‘stimulant’ would be the appropriate one. Most of the properties it displays are different expressions of this property. It stimulates the brain, nervous system, liver, spleen, and the circulatory and excretory systems, thereby activating and optimizing them.

Other Benefits: Sage essential oil helps to manage dermatitis, herpes, psoriasis, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis, accumulation of phlegm, cerebral palsy, depression, sciatica, and lumbago as well as induces mental stability, alertness.

Side Effects of Using Sage

When taken by mouth: Sage is likely safe in amounts typically used in foods. It is possibly safe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, for up to 4 months. But sage is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth in high doses or for a long time. Some species of sage, such as common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a chemical called thujone. Thujone can be poisonous if you take too much. This chemical can cause seizures and damage the liver and nervous system. The amount of thujone varies with the species of sage, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking sage during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE because of the possibility of consuming thujone, a chemical found in some sage. Thujone can bring on a woman’s menstrual period, and this could cause a miscarriage. Avoid sage if you are breast-feeding, too. There is some evidence that thujone might reduce the supply of mother’s milk.

Diabetes: Sage might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use sage. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use Spanish sage.

High blood pressure, low blood pressure: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure. On the other hand, common sage (Salvia officinalis) might lower blood pressure in people with blood pressure that is already low. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure.

Seizure disorders: One species of sage (Salvia officinalis) contains significant amounts of thujone, a chemical that can trigger seizures. If you have a seizure disorder, don’t take sage in amounts higher than those typically found in food.

Surgery: Common sage might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using common sage as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Medication Interactions

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with SAGE: Sage might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking sage along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed. Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants) interacts with SAGE: Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Sage may also affect chemicals in the brain. By affecting chemicals in the brain, sage may decrease the effectiveness of medications used to prevent seizures. Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interact with SAGE: Sage might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking sage along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

References

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/sage-essential-oil.html

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-504/sage

https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/dalmatian-sage-oil.asp

https://www.planttherapy.com/sage-dalmatian-essential-oil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_officinalis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3809930/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292293630_Dalmatian_Sage_Salvia_officinalis_L_A_Review_of_Biochemical_Contents_Medical_Properties_and_Genetic_Diversity

https://www.acanceresearch.com/cancer-research/medicinal-property-of-sage-saliva-for-curing-illnesses-such-as-obesity-diabetes-depression-dementia-lupus-autism-heart-disease-and.php?aid=8089

https://bhma.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/SalviaMonograph1.pdf

https://www.iso.org/standard/17791.html

https://europepmc.org/article/pmc/6473381

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003706/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318325/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10552494/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5634728/

Toxins & Vitality

Vitality

The state of being when you are full of life and energy. It is exuberant physical, mental and emotional vigor. It is also the capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence. Having vitality means you are energetic, lively or forceful. Being vital is essential to well-being. 

Physical vitality is having energy to do things. You have strength and stamina. This is not only important in athletic activities, but it is also valuable in work and day-to-day tasks. It is being able to do things with vigor. This vitality first requires that you are in good health and relatively free from disease or injury. Physical vitality means that your body parts are effectively supplied with nutrients and oxygen, and you have developed the strength and endurance to allow you to perform physical tasks easily.

Advertisement

Mental vitality is having a mental energy to think clearly. It means that you are in good mental shape with sufficient mental powers and thinking stamina to handle problems. It is a state of mental alertness and effectiveness. Mental vitality first requires physical vitality, since effective flow of oxygen-laden blood and nutrients are important to the functioning of the brain and mental processes. It also requires that you are in good mental health such that your brain is functioning properly and your perceptions are clear.

Emotional vitality is having an up-beat attitude, such that you are happy, at peace, enthusiastic and joyful. You are then able to deal with various problems and stress that may hamper an average person. You can strengthen your emotions to cope with problems. You can increase your emotional endurance and stamina to be able to maintain a positive outlook over a long period. Emotional vitality first required that you are in good mental and emotional health, such that you are relatively free of mental toxins that can affect the way your think.

Toxicity

Mental toxins are opinions and criticisms that can affect your confidence, motivation, esteem and courage. They can make your angry, fearful or sad or to have other negative emotions. You gain emotional vitality from feeding your emotions positive thoughts. You also need a strong reinforcement system and a conditioned ego. Your ego is effectively supplied with positive comments, and you have developed the emotional strength and endurance to allow you to readily perform emotionally.

Toxicity is the degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. Acute toxicity involves harmful effects in an organism through a single or short-term exposure. Subchronic toxicity is the ability of a toxic substance to cause effects for more than one year but less than the lifetime of the exposed organism. Chronic toxicity is the ability of a substance or mixture of substances to cause harmful effects over an extended period, usually upon repeated or continuous exposure, sometimes lasting for the entire life of the exposed organism.

Advertisement

Symptoms of Toxicity

Toxicology textbooks list the first symptoms of chronic poisoning as low energy, fatigue, muscle weakness, inability to concentrate and intestinal complaints.  These symptoms are virtually identical to those experienced by the chronically ill.

  • Bad breath and coated tongue – foul smelling breath caused by unhealthy/bad digestion from a backed-up colon or periodontal disease.
  • Hemorrhoids – varicose veins of the anus with pain, swelling and itching, often caused by constipation and lack of dietary fiber.  75 million Americans are suspected to suffer from hemorrhoids.
  • Constipation/Digestive complaints – irregular or insufficient bowel movements due to lack of dietary fiber, fast-paced lifestyle where our body’s urges are ignored, use of pharmaceutical drugs, and other causes.  This could indicate the need for cleansing and diet change.
  • Weight Gain – caused from sedentary lifestyle, inactivity, poor food choices, food additives, and disease.  This places strain on the heart, digestive and all systems of the body.
  • Acne – skin break-outs is often a sign of toxicity in the blood or the liver.
  • Excessive Body Odor, belching and bad gas – sometimes caused by poor hygiene, zinc deficiency, diabetes or liver disease or chronic constipation.
  • Lack of Energy – could be environmental toxicity, allergies, sluggish liver.
  • Inflammation and Pain/fibromyalgia – joint pain, may be an over-acid body, indicating the need for cleansing and diet change.
  • Mental Fog, poor concentration and/or lack of sexual desire – brain feels foggy and not as clear as usual, sometimes due to allergies, toxic body products, lack of exercise, and the need for improved circulation.
  • Depression – see mental fog, often helped with cleansing, exercise, and diet change.
  • Headaches – includes sinus congestion, some causes are lack of water, exercise, toxic environment, lack of circulation, or allergies.
  • General nausea or lack of wanting to eat – other than pregnancy, look at the possibility of environmental toxicity, look at a liver cleanse, blood cleansing, extra fluids, diet change to include digestive enzymes in your food.
  • Allergies and Food sensitivities

Causes of Toxicity: Three Main Sources

Indoor air pollution can affect you at home, work, or even places you visit. It is a common source of respiratory diseases, including asthma, allergies, and lung cancer. It can be worse in winter, when windows are shut tight and less fresh air can circulate.

Toxins from Food: Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic-lined cans — it’s tough to find a food that isn’t packaged in plastic. Yet, what leaches out of the packaging and into our food is often an overlooked component of food safety.

Toxic Thoughts & Actions: 75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.

Rosemary Leaf & Oil

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

The rosemary plant, Rosmarinus officinalis L (family Lamiaceae), is an aromatic evergreen shrub originating in the Mediterranean region and now growing widely in Europe, Asia, and Africa. This plant has been used extensively as a culinary spice in a variety of contexts. Rosemary and its extracts also are used as food preservatives and enhancers of sensory and functional properties. Today, research attention is focusing more closely on whether this herb may have potential to alleviate complications of obesity and diabetes, inflammation-associated conditions, and neurological deficits.

Recent research has shown that whether consumed as an essential oil, tea or seasoning, rosemary benefits can include promoting digestive health, mental clarity, hair and skin health, relaxation and more.

Advertisement

Rosemary Nutrition

According to USDA, fresh rosemary has a high reserve of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, and folate. It contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. Moreover, it has abundant antioxidants in the form of phenolic compounds like diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid. The essential oils in it contain powerful ingredients such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-terpineol, and α-pinene.

Benefits of Consuming Rosemary Leaf

Antimicrobial. Within rosemary there are compounds that can help defend against proliferation of certain types of harmful bacteria, including those that contribute to infections. Rosemary extracts are even used as food preservatives in some cases because they can help stop bacteria from growing. The smell of rosemary also acts as a natural bug repellent and may help prevent certain insect bites, including from ticks and other bugs that can spread illnesses and viruses.

Antioxidants. Because of its rich supply of antioxidants and bioactive chemicals (including phenolic diterpenes, such as carnosol and caffeoyl derivatives), consuming rosemary can help fight oxidative stress and support the immune system. It is also known to promote healthy circulation and to defend against inflammation, which can lead to pain. Another way that rosemary’s antioxidants can be beneficial is due to the ability to promote skin health by fighting free radical damage that leads to signs of aging.

Cancer. Rosemary contains carnosic acid, a compound known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Studies have found that carnosic acid can slow the growth of cancer cells in the body and even lower the risk of developing tumors.

Advertisement

Gut Health. Rosemary has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, constipation, gas, bloating as it helps in relaxing the muscles of the intestine. Adding it to your diet can help you regulate your bowel movements and your gastrointestinal system. One study showed that in test subjects with colitis, treatment with rosemary extract was effective to reduce colon tissue lesions and colitis. This, in turn, helps maintain gut health and fight gut diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colitis.

Immune Support. Studies have shown that the carnosic and rosmarinic acids in rosemary have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Consuming rosemary regularly can potentially help lower the risk of infection and help the immune system fight any infections that do occur.

Indigestion. This herb, whether cooked with or steeped in herbal tea, has long been a natural remedy for digestive issues, including loss of appetite, heart burn/acid reflux, gas, bloating and abdominal pains. It seems capable of stimulating the release of digestive fluids including bile, which assists in digestion and can support normal nutrient absorption.

Low blood pressure. Early research shows that taking rosemary oil three times per day increases the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) and the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) in people with low blood pressure. Blood pressure seems to return to pretreatment values once rosemary use is stopped.

Memory. Taking rosemary by mouth may mildly improve memory in young adults. Using rosemary aromatherapy seems to improve some measures of memory. Rosemary aromatherapy also seems to increase alertness.

Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. Early research shows that taking powdered rosemary leaves might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. But higher doses seem worsen memory. Other early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, lemon balm, and sage improves memory in healthy adults 62 years or younger. But it does not seem to improve memory in adults 63 years or older.

Metabolic Health. Rosemary has been associated with metabolic benefits including helping to treat high blood sugar and poor insulin sensitivity. While it likely will not be enough to prevent diabetes on its own, it is recommended for people who wish to improve their high blood sugar levels.

Advertisement

Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early research suggests that taking rosemary leaves along with methadone, improves opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Benefits of Using Rosemary Oil

Hair Growth. Rosemary oil helps to promote hair growth, prevent baldness, slow graying, and treat dandruff. A comparative study published in 2015 shows that rosemary oil is effective in treating alopecia by boosting hair growth. At six months, a significant increase in hair count was noted for the group treated with rosemary oil. It also promotes healing by increasing microcirculation of the scalp and decreases hair loss after shampooing.

Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Early research suggests that applying rosemary oil to the scalp is as effective as minoxidil for increasing hair count in people with male-pattern baldness.

Mental Activity. Rosemary essential oil is an excellent brain and nerve tonic. It is often used by students during exam times because it increases concentration and helps in studying efficiently. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Inhaling rosemary oil seems lift your spirits immediately. Whenever your brain is tired, try inhaling a little rosemary oil to remove boredom and renew your mental energy.

Pain Relief. The ability of rosemary essential oil to relieve pain has resulted in its extensive use in treating headaches, muscle pains, rheumatism and even arthritis. Massaging the affected area that is in pain with rosemary essential oil can give quickly relieve the pain. Vapor baths with rosemary oil are also found to be effective in the treatment of rheumatism. It has certain anti-inflammatory qualities as well, which makes it perfect for relieving the pain from sprains and joint aches. Furthermore, it is known to stimulate blood circulation, which can relieve pain and aid in coagulation of wounds for faster healing.

Advertisement

Respiratory Problems. The benefits of rosemary essential oil in treating respiratory problems are well-researched and supported. The scent of the oil has been shown to give relief from throat congestion, and it is also used in the treatment of respiratory allergies, colds, sore throats and the flu. Since rosemary oil also has antiseptic qualities, it is also effective for respiratory infections. The oil is antispasmodic and is therefore used in some treatment programs for bronchial asthma.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Recent research suggests that the use of rosemary essential oil’s antimicrobial qualities can help reduce the effects and recurring inflammation of the herpes virus. The herpes virus can quickly develop immunity to normal antiviral medication, so alternative methods are always being explored. Several studies have now shown the essential oil of rosemary to be an effective option for reducing the symptoms of the Herpes virus in test subjects, and even affects the level of contagiousness of the virus.

Skin care. Rosemary essential oil is not used in skin care as extensively as it is used in hair care, but it does have antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities that make it beneficial in efforts to eliminate eczema, dermatitis, oily skin, and acne. Topical application of the essential oil, or regular massage with the oil helps in toning your skin and removing dryness. It can also give your skin a healthy, even glow when applied regularly, or when it is a main component of your moisturizers and other creams.

Stress. Some early research suggests that rosemary and lavender oil aromatherapy may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. Rosemary may have a calming effect on those who suffer from anxiety and depression. An animal study conducted on the antidepressant effects of rosemary concluded that the herb is effective in improving the symptoms of depression. These beneficial effects were observed even with repeated administration two weeks later. Furthermore, it may also reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which helps ease tension in the body.

Dosing of Rosemary

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH: For memory: 500 milligrams of rosemary extract twice daily for one month has been used.

INHALED AS AROMATHERAPY: For memory: Four drops of pure rosemary essential oil (Tisserand Aromatherapy) has been applied to an aromatherapy diffuser pad 5 minutes before testing.

Ways to Eat Rosemary

  • It is made into herbal tea to promote digestive health and relaxation.
  • It helps season meats in the cuisines of Europe and the Middle East.
  • It is often found in marinades for lamb, pork, turkey and chicken dishes.
  • Rosemary leaves are added to soups and beverages in India for their flavor and nutrient content.
  • Whether dried or fresh, it is added to stews, casseroles, fish, potatoes, salads, pastas, and breads in many European countries.
  • The Spruce Eats recommends also pairing it with grains, mushrooms, onions, peas and spinach.

Rosemary Tea

  1. To make rosemary herbal tea, combine 1 teaspoon of chopped herbs (preferably fresh) with 8 ounces of water.
  2. Steep the herbs for 5 minutes or longer, depending on the strength you’re looking for.
  3. You can also add other herbs and flavor enhancers, including lavender, thyme, parsley, lemon juice or raw honey.
  4. Consuming about 1–2 cups daily is safe for most, although use caution if you take any medications

Side Effects of Consuming Rosemary

Consuming large amounts of Rosemary leaf or essential oil can cause vomiting, uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, increased sun sensitivity, skin redness, and allergic reactions.

Rosemary might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. There is not enough reliable information to know if rosemary is safe when applied to the skin when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Aspirin allergy. Rosemary contains a chemical that is like aspirin. This chemical may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.

Bleeding disorders. Rosemary might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders. Use cautiously.

Seizure disorders. Rosemary might make seizure disorders worse. Do not use it.

Medication Interactions

Rosemary has the potential to alter urination, blood clotting and blood pressure levels, which means it can potentially interact with certain medications and should be avoided in these cases. Speak with your doctor before adding large amounts or rosemary or this essential oil to your diet if you take these drugs:

  • Anticoagulants/blood thinners
  • ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure
  • Diuretics
  • Lithium for mental health disorders

References

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-154/rosemary

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rosemary

https://draxe.com/nutrition/rosemary-benefits/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/rosemary.html

https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2016/03000/rosemary__an_overview_of_potential_health_benefits.9.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4749867/

https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/rosemary

https://organic.org/health-benefits-of-rosemary-oil/

If You Must Diet, Try These

Finding it hard to change the foods that you eat? Here are some ideas that can help you improve your diet. We’ll cover the basics like Atkins, Keto, Paleo, DASH, and Mediterranean diets. These ‘diets’ have demonstrated their effectiveness at improving physical health outcomes in clinical settings. They should be considered more as lifestyle modifications than diets simply because of long term health outcomes. Although, there are risks to long term application of the Atkins and Keto diets.

When compared to the ‘shake’, ‘pill’ or ‘juice’ diet these options provide more nutrition and less expense. These options can also teach you how to prepare healthier food for yourself and your family by helping you create nutrient dense meals everyone can eat. Much more fun than blending a shake for one.

Advertisement

The Atkins & Keto Diets

Atkins and keto are two of the best-known low-carb diets. Both stipulate a drastic reduction in high-carb foods, including sweets, sugary drinks, breads, grains, fruits, legumes, and potatoes. Yet they have differences as well.

Atkins Diet

Though Atkins has evolved to offer a variety of plans, the original version (now called Atkins 20) is still the most popular. It’s broken down into four phases, which are based on your daily net carb (total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols) allowance:

  • Phase 1 (Induction). This phase allows for 20–25 grams of net carbs per day until you are 15 pounds (7 kg) from your goal weight.
  • Phase 2. During this phase, you consume 25–50 grams of net carbs per day until you are 10 pounds (5 kg) from your goal weight.
  • Phase 3. Your net carb allowance is raised to 50–80 grams per day until you have met your goal weight and maintained it for 1 month.
  • Phase 4. During the final phase, you consume 80–100 grams of net carbs per day for ongoing weight maintenance.

Most Americans get about 50% of their daily calories from carbs, which equates to about 250 grams of carbs if you eat 2,000 calories per day.

Advertisement

Keto Diet

The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very-low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet plan. Originally used to treat children who experienced seizures, but researchers discovered that it may benefit other people as well. The goal of the keto diet is to get your body into the metabolic state of ketosis, during which it uses fat rather than sugar from carbs as its main energy source.

In ketosis, your body runs on ketones, which are compounds that are formed upon the breakdown of the fat in your food or the fat stored in your body. To achieve and maintain ketosis, most people need to limit their total carb intake to 20–50 grams per day. Macronutrient ranges for the keto diet are typically under 5% of calories from carbs, 10-30% from protein, and 65-90% from fat.

Side Effects of Ketosis

Any diet that involves ketosis can cause adverse effects, such as keto breath, keto skin rashes, and keto flu. Staying in a state of ketosis for long periods can be harmful.

Following either diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies due to food restrictions. For many, carbohydrate sources are also key sources of fiber. When reducing carbohydrates, people should be sure to get enough daily fiber from other sources, such as vegetables.

These diets may increase the risk of deficiencies in electrolytes and many water-soluble nutrients that come from fruits and vegetables.

Ketosis may help burn fat, but it may also burn muscle to use for energy. Following a very low carb diet can result in a loss of muscle mass.

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should avoid keto, as weakened kidneys may be unable to remove the acid buildup in your blood that results from these animal foods. This can lead to a state of acidosis, which can worsen the progression of CKD.  Lower protein diets are often recommended for individuals with CKD, while the keto diet is moderate to high in protein.

Advertisement

Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet, also known as caveman diet, is a diet based on the food humans’ ancient ancestors might likely have eaten, such as lean meat, nuts, herbs and berries. The diet is based on several premises. Proponents of the diet posit that during the Paleolithic era — a period lasting around 2.5 million years that ended about 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture and domestication of animals — humans evolved nutritional needs specific to the foods available at that time, and that the nutritional needs of modern humans remain best adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors.

Modern humans are said to be maladapted to eating foods such as grain, legumes, and dairy, and in particular the high-calorie processed foods that are a staple part of most modern diets. Modern humans’ inability to properly metabolize these comparatively new types of food led to modern-day problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

  • More protein and meat: Meat, seafood, and other animal products represent the staple foods of modern-day Paleo diets, since advocates claim protein comprises 19-35% of the calories in hunter-gatherer diets.
  • Fewer carbohydrates: Non-starchy vegetables. The diet recommends the consumption of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables to provide 35-45 % daily calories and be the main source of carbohydrates. 
  • High fiber: High fiber intake not via grains, but via non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

The problem with the Paleo Diet is that it is misleading. The majority of plants and animals alive during the Paleolithic Era are now extinct. The herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruits we have today are nothing like those people were eating 10,000 years ago. Simply because the environment has changed and people have interfered with plant evolution through cultivation.

DASH Diet

The DASH diet is especially recommended for people with hypertension (high blood pressure) or prehypertension. In addition to being a low salt (or low sodium) plan, this diet provides additional benefits to reduce blood pressure. It is based on an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, with whole grains. It is a high fiber, low to moderate fat diet, rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

The DASH eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure in just 14 days, even without lowering sodium intake. Best response came in people whose blood pressure was only moderately high, including those with prehypertension. For people with more severe hypertension, who may not be able to eliminate medication, it can help improve response to medication, and help lower blood pressure.

Advertisement

It can help lower cholesterol, and with weight loss and exercise, can reduce insulin resistance and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. It is a healthy plan, designed for the whole family. You fill up on delicious fruits and vegetables, paired up with protein-rich foods to quench your hunger.

Dash Diet Tips

  • Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
  • Add a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use, check for added sugar.
  • Use only half your typical serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing; one to two tablespoons at most.
  • Don’t trust low-fat or fat-free condiments because they have added artificial sweeteners and salt.
  • Drink low-fat or skim dairy products any time you would normally use full-fat or cream.
  • Limit meat to 6 ounces a day. Make some meals vegetarian by getting protein from nuts, seeds, and legumes.
  • Add dry beans and lentils to your diet; high in fiber
  • Instead of snacking on chips or sweets, eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yogurt, frozen yogurt, unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
  • Read food labels to choose products that are lower in sodium.

The Mediterranean Diet

A way of eating based on the traditional foods (and drinks) of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Diet is not a diet, as in “go on a diet,” even though it is a great way to lose weight or improve your health. Rather, it is a lifestyle – including foods, activities, meals with friends and family, and wine in moderation with meals. It has been studied and noted by scores of leading scientists as one of the healthiest in the world. Just as important, the Mediterranean Diet is full of wonderfully delicious, flavor-filled dishes and meals.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the Mediterranean diet as an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease. And the Mediterranean diet is one your whole family can follow for good health.

Key components of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active, and enjoying meals with family and friends.