Category Archives: Natural Health

Artificial Dyes linked to Hyperactivity

Standard

This is taken from a petition I received in my mail.  To sign the petition, click here

I could add my own comments here… but this lady has worded it well.  I would only add that it’s not just candies we need to be concerned with, but any food (and there are many) that these items are used in.  I’ve seen Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40 in several different things, and it’s adversely affecting our kids.  Even if your child has not received an ADD/ADHD diagnosis, it could still be causing behavioral problems of a sort… and it is something that our children do NOT need to have in their diets.  Interestingly… in Europe, they actually put WARNINGS if these dyes are used in food!  Why can’t we in the US do the same…? *sigh* good ole FDA, always watching our backs…. :/   Here is her text in its entirety, you can click on the link above or on the bottom below her post.  It is definitely worth a read… here it is:

“Did you know that M&M’s candies contain harmful, petroleum-based, artificial dyes that can trigger hyperactivity in sensitive children? I believe eliminating these dyes did wonders for my family’s health. M&M’s are already made without most of those dyes in Europe so I don’t understand why they are being made with cheaper, controversial ingredients in North America? Please sign my petition asking for M&M’s to be made without artificial dyes.

I’m a mom to two kids, and we like having some sweets around the house like most people do. Several years ago our little Trenton (now 9 years old) was having some behavioral problems. He was having trouble in school, at hockey practice, and at home with tasks as basic as falling asleep. He’d often have nightmares, and the slightest disappointment would set him off. As I did some research, I found out that parents all across the country have been struggling with similar hyperactivity issues. I also found out that many families were using an “elimination diet” to isolate and remove harmful ingredients — particularly artificial dyes. By removing dyes like those found in M&M’s, they were able to delay, reduce, and sometimes eliminate the need for medication.

Some of the latest info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more than 1 out of every 10 school-aged child has received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder! My understanding is that’s a 41% percent increase in the past decade, and that’s why I’m so interested in trying to find simple solutions that will help make our families healthier.

I’m not trying to keep my kids from being kids.  They can have treats.  But they don’t need petroleum-based dyes.

Just two days after deciding to eliminate artificial dyes from Trenton’s diet, we saw dramatic improvements! His nightmares stopped and he was able to sleep through the night. Trent changed from a child who would have a meltdown if he didn’t get his way during playtime to a calm student who could share and do his schoolwork. When Trenton returned to hockey camp, the coach couldn’t believe he was the same person, calling him “smiling, eager to participate, and a joy to have on the ice.” Trenton’s teachers and coaches all know him for his sense of humor, wit and contagious positive attitude. Trenton excels in academics and sports, and this has been possible since our family figured out the harmful effects of the dyes.

We did this without medication and by eliminating harmful dyes like the Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 found in M&M’s. When M&M’s are sold in Europe, different dyes are used because otherwise they’d be required by law to place a label on the packaging that says “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

With Halloween coming up, I’ve decided to work with the experts at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on this campaign. Their review of scientific studies shows that artificial dyes including Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 can stimulate hyperactivity and other behavior problems in children.  CSPI has recommended that these additives be prohibited from use in foods. I was present at a 2011 hearing where even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that “Exposure to food and food components, including artificial food colors and preservatives, may be associated with adverse behaviors” in children.

M&M’s used to be one of Trenton’s favorite candies, but we’ve found products in the United States like SunDrops, Yummy Gummies, and Unreal that don’t use these dyes. And they taste great! I don’t believe anyone should be eating cheap, harmful, unnecessary dyes when safer alternatives exist and already are used in M&M’s in Europe! Please join us in asking Mars Inc., manufacturer of M&M’s, to replace artificial dyes with natural coloring.”

https://www.change.org/petitions/m-m-s-candies-stop-using-artificial-dyes-linked-to-hyperactivity#

Advertisements

HerbMentor News 82: Holy Basil Tulsi Tea

Standard

HerbMentor News 82: Holy Basil Tulsi Tea.

This was my first foray into making my own herbal teas directly from dried leaves, flowers, etc.  This tea is an ayurvedic remedy, good for so many things!!  This is posted from herbmentor.com… check it out and give it a try!

I made it for the first time last night and loved it… and it’s pretty too!  Nice and pink, add a little agave nectar (PLEASE leave out the sugar… that just ruins the whole healthy aspect :P ) and VOILA  you have an awesome health perk right in your cup!

The Amazing Holy Basil & Tasty Tulsi Tonic Tea

by Rosalee de la Forêt

Our featured herb at HerbMentor.com for the months of May and June is holy basil or tulsi (Ocimum sanctum).

This mint family plant has been a sacred and important medicinal plant in India. Tulsi is one of those plants that will amaze you with the many ways it can support health and well-being.

As an adaptogen…

Tulsi’s main claim to fame in the western world is as an adaptogen. In Ayurveda they refer to it as a rasayana. This term is similar to the Chinese term tonics. It basically means that this is a transformative herb and, when taken daily, it moves a person towards health. These are generally building and nourishing herbs.

I often hear people say that they don’t want to be taking herbs for the rest of their life, the idea being that if they were healthy they wouldn’t need to take herbs. In this sense, people are equating herbs with pharmaceutical drugs. However, in other systems of healing like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, specific herbs are taken for a lifetime to ensure vibrant health and longevity. Holy basil is one of these herbs.

Holy basil not only helps the body adapt to stress, it can also promote energy and endurance. One way it does this is by increasing the body’s ability to efficiently use oxygen.

Holy basil is a relaxing nervine that can help calm the mind and recover from our hustle and bustle culture.

As an herb for the heart…

Tulsi has many beneficial actions on the heart. It is slightly blood thinning and promotes good circulation. It can lower stress-related high blood pressure and taken daily it can help optimize cholesterol levels. Stress can play an ugly role in overall cardiovascular health and the adaptogenic properties of tulsi can help mediate stress-related damage.

In Ayurveda, a formula that is balancing to all who take it (tridoshic) is made up of tulsi, arjuna and hawthorne.

For musculoskeletal pain

In scientific studies, holy basil has been shown to be a COX 2 inhibitor (many modern pain medications are COX 2 inhibitors), making it useful against arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Tulsi is high in eugenol, a constituent also found in cloves, which is helpful to decrease pain.

Holy basil growing in southern France.

And more! This is just a smattering of beneficial uses for this amazing plant. It’s also used for viral infections, fungal infections, radiation exposure, high blood sugar, hay fever, the herpes virus, anxiety, high blood pressure and on and on and on!

Note: I know some of you are wondering if our common culinary plant, basil, is the same as tulsi or holy basil and the answer is no. Our culinary plant, Ocimum basilicum, is a different species although they do have some overlapping properties and uses. There are over 60 different species in the Ocimum genus.

A “Tulsi Journey”

Many members of the HerbMentor.com community have signed up for a tulsi journey.

We’ve agreed to take tulsi as a tea or tincture daily for thirty days and then report back on what our experiences are. We can share recipes and different ways we experiment with taking tulsi as well as changes in how we feel.

Since we are drinking tulsi tea daily at my house I have been experimenting with all sorts of different recipes. Today I am going to share one of my favorites.

To make this tea you’ll need…

To make this tea simply place the herbs in your tea pot.

Pour in the just-boiled hot water.

Let steep for 10 – 15 minutes and then pour.

…And enjoy!

~Rosalee

P.S.

If we collect enough recipes from HerbMentor.com members I’ll be making it into a community ebook! Look for it on HerbMentor.com.

We love hearing from you!
Please comment BELOW …

Website Content Protection

Follow us on…

Please comment & share with others here…
(No logging in required for simple, fast commenting)

Are you in Peri-Menopause? (sorry guys, don’t look! LOL)

Standard

Has your body over the last few years started to go a little (or a lot) wacky?  Feel like you’re falling apart but know you’re too young to feel this way?  In your 30’s or older?  Have several symptoms and they seem unrelated?  No, it’s not in your head.  It’s in your hormones!

The bad news is… this may be normal.  And the good news is… this may be normal.  Basically, it’s just like that saying “life happens.”

You, my friend, may be in… da da DA… (dramataic pause)……………  the early stages of perimenopause.  And you thought it couldn’t happen to you!

More good news though… you can help alleviate the symptoms you might be having, like this whopping list:

  • abdominal bloating
  • agoraphobia
  • aggression, anger, rage, resentment
  • alcoholism, particularly pre-menstrually
  • allergies
  • anxiety, nervousness, irrational fear
  • arthritis, joint and muscle pains
  • blood clots
  • breast tenderness
  • bruising and capillary breakage
  • chronic fatigue – muscular weakness, procrastination, exhaustion, tiredness, mental confusion, difficulty in getting up after enough sleep, lethargy
  • clumsiness
  • cold hands and feet
  • constipation
  • cracked heels
  • cravings, eating disorders, binges, inability to tolerate long intervals without food
  • cysts – breast and ovarian
  • dizziness
  • depression – loneliness, uselessness, endless crying, irrational behaviour
  • fibroids
  • guilt
  • hair loss and excessive facial hair
  • headache
  • hot flushes and night sweats
  • hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • hypothyroidism
  • incontinence
  • insomnia
  • irregular menstrual flow, heavy or light flow
  • irritability
  • lack of self confidence and esteem
  • libido loss
  • memory loss
  • mood swings and irritability
  • nails – flaking, brittle and weak
  • osteoporosis
  • palpitations
  • panic attacks
  • personality changes
  • skin problems-dry skin and early ageing of the skin
  • sleep disturbances
  • tension
  • urinary tract infections, cystitis
  • vaginal thinning, dryness and itching
  • violence-verbal and physical
  • violent dreams
  • weight gain
  • water retention
Yes, it is glorious to be a woman… ;) 

It just doesn’t get much better than that! *smile*

                    Read more: http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/peri-menopause.html#ixzz1uYcnVtFp Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

All kidding aside… if you have many of these symptoms… it could be worth your while to consider using progesterone cream.  Look for a brand that lists the amount of progesterone, and it should say “Progesterone USP” NOT “wild yam root”.   Wild Yam Root needs to be converted to  progesterone, in a lab… our bodies can’t just take wild yam and convert it.  So be aware of that.  I personally use a brand by Emerita called  Pro-Gest.  I began using it a few months ago, when my thyroid symptoms got worse… to my surprise, I found that the signs of estrogen dominance are almost identical in SEVERAL ways to hypothyroidism!  So, after being put on a small dose of synthroid, and still having the same problems, and the doctors saying I was “normal” … I decided to give progesterone a try.  In some ways my body is still adjusting so not everything is “fixed” but I have seen several things that ARE being “fixed” such as my problems sleeping at night, mood swings, tough PMS symptoms, painful periods,, menstrual migraines, (and amazingly even my gluten intolerance has gotten better, and I really don’t understand that at all but HEY I am not complaining!)

For an amazing article, check out http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/peri-menopause.html#axzz1uVAZWOx2  and it will give you a lot of really good info.  The whole site is incredibly helpful.   This article will explain more in detail about the effects of perimenopause on your body and how progesterone cream can help you.
So smile, it *will* get better! :) 

The Path of Compassion and Wisdom… e-book review

Standard

Amazon.com: Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom – Volume 1 Sutra eBook: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: Kindle Store.

Wow… I have always been drawn to Buddhism… the gentleness and reverence for all life… the teachings of  Buddhism, the ones I am aware of,  have always been one of the closest ones to my core being, even since I was young..  I have not, though, done an in-depth study on the subject.  Yet. That is about to change.

I have been doing some searching, soul-wise, and I suddenly came across this gem today, as if in answer to the questions of my  heart..  I have a Kindle reader (OH I LOVE my Kindle!!!) and while looking for something else, completely… I happened on this.  I felt immediately drawn to it and recognized that perhaps this is a place and a path that it’s time to investigate further, in this journey of my life.  It was one of those “things” that you just know is a nudge from Someone or Something.  When I saw that the author, an ordained monk (from the time he was 8!!) just wanted to make it freely available for everyone to read… I felt so humbled and appreciative, that this person would make these teachings available via free e-book, for anyone wanting to learn.

I sat down to read, and just the preface alone was enough to stop me in my tracks.  It touched my heart.. my soul… I just felt like I had come home, as I continued to read.  I reluctantly had to stop long enough to do the laundry for my dear family LOL and now I have to run to the store and get dog food for my dogs *sigh* and then I have to come back and … and.. life is just so busy.  But I cannot stop thinking about the words in this book and can’t wait to find a few quiet moments, to resume my thought processes and get into deep reading mode again.  The words have been with me all day.  I feel that I have come to a definitive spiritual mark on my path.


“Modern Buddhism, The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, Volume 1, Sutra” is written in a very humble, touching and loving spirit, which helps you see beyond the day to day material surface and focus on the quietly, infitely spiritual matters of the heart, soul and mind.  I would say the gentle wisdom this book has to offer is life-changing, for those who put it into practice. There are 2 more in the series. I can’t wait to delve into them. :)

If you have a Kindle.. and if you too are drawn to more spiritual things and have not quenched your thirst on the things you have found in this world so far… give this little book a try.  You have nothing to lose and so much peacefulness to gain! :)

Introduction and Encouragement This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (the Kindle Store sets the minimum price at 99 cents and also additional taxes are added…

Reiki

Standard

I would like to share a little with you all today about Reiki!  

One thing some of you may not know about me… for those of you who have been following my blog… is that I am a level 2 Reiki practitioner.  I love it!  Reiki has brought about many positive changes in my life, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to bring some healing to others, both human and animal.  I had my doubts at first, being raised in a very religious home and being taught to shun or look down on pretty much anything “in the world” that wasn’t explicitly listed in a holy book… I was hesitant to study Reiki. It was different and foreign to me, so I didn’t know if I could trust it.   There are a lot of things that I have missed out in life because of a strict belief system, or because of being fearful it might be “evil”…  and wanting to please those I cared about… but the past 14 months has been a time of finding myself and renewing interests that once I used to love, but out of fear that I might somehow be sinning, I had let them slip away.   I didn’t realize that in the process… it was my own self that was slipping away.  I was losing the essence of me… becoming someone I didn’t even know anymore, someone who was not full of compassion as I had once been, but more concerned with judgment and those things that go along with that.  I am grateful for this time of rediscovery… getting to know this brown eyed girl again for who she really is inside… not what everyone else wanted her to be… but who she was born to be.  And it has been a time of letting go of fears… and making new and wonderful discoveries.  Life is to be lived, not feared.  It is for sharing love and happiness … not looking down on anything that is different than you, or fearing it. Or making others feel less than they are, because you believe differently.  

Back to my topic! Sorry about that… lol.

During this time of rediscovery… I found something wonderful.  I actually found Reiki a couple years ago… but due to my belief system I never went further with it.  Now, though, it seemed like the point to get back to studying it… my heart was hooked… and I received my first attunement.  Shortly afterwards I received my second attunement.  It is amazing to me… each time I lay my hands on my little girl’s head to relieve her of a headache or fever… send a distant attunement to a friend for their pain relief… help my sick dog to get well… or lay my hands on myself when I burn myself cooking! LOL (which happens frequently).  There are so many instances that it has been such a beneficial, amazing thing to have.  And it is not me…. it is the Reiki that flows through me.  I have noticed that when I lay my hands on someone for healing, or send a distant treatment… I can feel such a hotness in my hands.  It’s not unpleasant, but it is very noticeable.  I can feel a warmth and a pulsation that doesn’t stop until I am done.

Reiki is healing energy… Rei is Japanese for Universal …. ki means spirit, energy or life force.  It was developed (re-discovered) by Dr. Mikao Usui, a theologist… the short version I will use here, is that he was searching for a healing modality that could be used to help others.  

To me, this means it is the closest you can get to God energy… the very energy that makes us live… breathe… the spirit that animates our bodies.  This is the healing power of the universe.  Many believe it is akin to the Holy Spirit… and perhaps even the way Jesus himself healed.  I believe this is entirely possible.  

Reiki is not massage.  It is a technique that encourages relaxation, stress reduction… and allows healing energy to flow into the body, helping it to heal.  It is not magic.  Sometimes it is instantaneous, but most of the time it takes a little time.  It has even been used in chronic conditions to help people, over a number of treatments.  Reiki is even being used in some hospitals and by some doctors and nurses!   The higher level of Reiki you are, and the more you use and work with it, the more healing energy you are able to use and share with others.  Reiki practitioners lay their hands on the person or animal that needs healing and the Reiki energy flows to wherever it is needed.  Reiki is not just about physical healing… it includes emotional healing as well.  It is not even something you have to believe in, or have faith in… it just is.  And it works.

A person receives the ability to use Reiki by an attunement.  It is simple and easy to do, and doesn’t require any special college degree or years of training.  From the moment you receive your first attunement, you are able to use Reiki for self healing and healing of others.  Typically the first level of Reiki is used to self heal and the additional, higher levels are for Reiki work as a practitioner.  Usui Reiki consists of three levels with the Master level allowing you to teach and attune others to Reiki.  

When we talk about attunements, you can think of it as tuning a radio to a certain station.  Perhaps you can hear a faint bit of music… or it blends into another station… just a little turn of the knob and you hear the music in full!  It is very similar with an attunement.  Everyone has the ability to use Reiki….  It is as natural as breathing!  Remember… it is the universal life energy.  What could be more natural?  An attunement simply tunes the receiver (the one desiring to learn Reiki) into the right “frequency” to enable healing to flow through our hands, and in some cases also our feet and eyes, as some are able to do.  Level 2 and up Reiki practitioners are able to perform distant healings and attunements as well.  Some use symbols and some do not.  There is no distance in spirit.

Reiki is not harsh, painful, evil, or scary.  It is a gentle, pure and loving energy.  It cannot harm you or those you lay hands on… it is only good.   There are hand positions that you use… each hand position is held for three to five minutes.  Reiki will go where it needs to but my personal belief is that the reason for the hand positions is A) we are able to focus the Reiki directly onto major areas of the body and B) it would be very uncomfortable to hold your hands in the same position for 30 or 60 minutes!  A typical Reiki treatment can last from a half hour to an hour, depending on how long the hand positions are held and whether or not you feel led to work on other parts of the body besides just the basic positions.  I also think that since the more you work with Reiki, the more healing energy flows through you… that when we put our hands on specific areas of the body, it enables the Reiki to get there more quickly and directly.  Imagine if you are a new practitioner and not yet accustomed to the flow of energy through your hands… maybe you only get a very small stream at first.  It would make sense to lay your hands where the pain was, or at least a few inches above, so that the energy would get there in a more direct and timely way.  But that is just my opinion.

When you go for a Reiki treatment, all clothes stay on.  The Reiki  practitioner may lay their hands directly on you (head, neck, shoulders, etc) or they may keep their hands a few inches above you, especially when it comes to other areas of the body.  There is to be respect and proper distance maintained at all times.  You will likely hear soft, meditative music playing, and you will be made to feel comfortable, in a relaxing environment.  

If Reiki is something you are interested in, I highly suggest some good books and further research.  You can find a lot of good info on google too.  My favorite book, though I have many, is Reiki, A Comprehensive Guide, by Pamela Miles.  If you could only read one book… this would be it.  Another one of my favorites is Reiki for Life:  The Complete Guide to Reiki Practice for Levels 1, 2 and 3  by Penelope Quest.   A third one is Living a Life of Reiki, by Shalandra Abbey.   One that I have not read yet but plan to is Reiki Nurse: My Life as a Nurse and How Reiki Changed It by Meredith Kendall.  I would highly suggest any of these books to someone seriously interested in learning about Reiki, whether for attunement or just personal study.

A final word about receiving attunements.  Some charge set amounts for their classes and attunements… others feel it should be freely given and received.  I received my attunements distantly, freely,  and I am so grateful, because I could not have afforded the class and attunement, or had a way to travel to get there.  I read everything I could beforehand, several books and articles, and it got so big on the inside of me that I felt if I didn’t receive my first  attunement soon I would go crazy!! I wanted this so badly!  I found a wonderful Reiki master who agreed to attune me for free, and the energy exchange here (for those that are concerned about such things)  is that I will also “pay it forward” and freely heal and attune others.  I consider it an honor and a privilege.  I am also a member of the Distant Healing Network, which allows people to send in reiki requests for distant treatment, who are unable to afford a treatment.  When I reach my master level I too will offer free attunements and teaching materials to those that happen across my path.  It will be my happy pleasure to give to others what was so freely and joyfully given to me!  Reiki is too wonderful not to share.  :)

If you are in need of a reiki treatment, or would like to try it for yourself, please feel free to email me at freespirit.amy@gmail.com,  and I would be more than happy to help you.

Blessings and Reiki hugs!

Amy