Kefir health benefits are numerous, which can be mainly attributed to the large number of beneficial microorganisms found in kefir grains. These beneficial microorganisms can play a vital role in improving general health and wellbeing of an individual, by promoting digestive health. Kefir can also provide some important vitamins and amino acids. A few of the most important health benefits of kefir are:
This article written by Lela was first published in the November 2008 issue of Rennaissance magazine, South Africa. Please see the relaunch issue in stores March 2009.
Prevention of Osteoporosis using our diet.
Osteoporosis is characterized by a deterioration of bones, resulting from the body’s attempt to extract nutrients from them and is a very real problem for many people, especially women, even in the medically advanced environment of today. The good news is that, with a little thought and information it can be easily prevented.
Lets take a look at the minerals which play the main roles in bone health:
This article written by Lela was published in issue 46 of The South African Journal of Natural Medicine, available in stores nationwide and on: www.naturalmedicine.co.za.
Are you familiar with the mid-morning blues? That feeling that even after eight hours of sleep you could have used at least another two? You may be deficient in magnesium.
Along with sodium, potassium and calcium, magnesium is one of the four macrominerals, essential to all life. A study in the 1960s by American physician Dr Palma Formica tested the effects of magnesium and potassium supplements on 100 people suffering from fatigue. The study included 84 women and 16 men, all of whom were given extra magnesium and potassium for five to six weeks. The findings were astounding: 87 of the volunteers improved, even those who had been suffering from fatigue for more than two years. The subjects became cheerful, alert and energetic, and some even recorded getting by on six hours’ sleep a night when they had struggled to feel rested on twelve hours’ sleep before they started taking the supplements.1
Magnesium is thought to combat fatigue because it helps release energy in the body. It also plays a role in the production of melatonin, which helps to regulate sleep; this production is disturbed when levels of magnesium are insufficient. As well as being helpful in treating fatigue and insomnia, magnesium plays a role in preventing and treating a host of other common ailments from the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to heart problems.
An edited version of this article written by Lela was published in issue 47 of The South African Journal of Natural Medicine, available in stores nationwide and on: www.naturalmedicine.co.za
Benefits of Vitamin E.
Every few years scientists and researchers around the world proclaim a new miracle product. Dis- eases from dry skin to diabetes are prevented or eased and all by a natural substance, with little or no side – effects. Sound too good to be true? Maybe, but in the case of Vitamin E, maybe not.
Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, was first discovered in 1922 and was initially known as the ‘antisterility’ vitamin. Since then it has become widely accepted as an essential vitamin and is used in the treatment and /or prevention of many common ailments.
There are varied opinions in the nutrition world about the benefits and/or drawbacks of including dairy in the diet. I have compiled my top 5 benefits and drawbacks for your interest. Please note that this is my personal opinion and in no way suggests that you should include or exclude dairy from your diet based on this opinion. Always consult your personal nutritionist before making any long term changes to your diet.
Prevention is better than cure they say and while medical technology and research have made major breakthroughs in the last two decades it is still wise to take responsibility for our own health and well-being. Cancer is now the second biggest killer of the adult American population and the statistics in South Africa are not much better…
Sexual Vitality or sex drive can be influenced by a variety of factors in our daily life. Stress, anxiety, poor body-image, excess weight, boredom, hormonal imbalance and even various environmental factors are but a few which can have a detrimental effect on our desire for sex. Nutrition can play a large role in eliminating some of these factors and that is what we will be looking at here.
Article written by Joy.
Well known and a herbal delight, lavender plants find a space in almost every garden. Lavender was used extensively by the Romans and others as a perfume for their baths, explaining the meaning of the latin, 'lavare' - to wash. During festivals lavender was strewn on floors, it was also an ingredient of 'Four Thieves' vinegar in the Middle Ages and country folk used the herb for dressing wounds, pains in the head as perfume for clothes and linen.
Cultivation of lavender in England is mentioned as far back as 1568 and the Pilgrim Fathers took lavender plants to America.
Popular uses of lavender today include Essential oil, fresh flowers, potpourri and a variety of uses in the perfume and beauty industry.
Article written by Joy.
Stress is something we are all much too familiar with in modern society and it can have longterm effects on our overall health..
Physiological effects of stress:
- increased heart rate, blood pressure.
- glycogen conversion to glucose, increased blood sugar levels.
- dilation of bronchioles.
- decreased digestive system activities.
- decreased urinary output.
- changes in blood flow patterns(more to brain, heart, skeletal muscles)
Prolonged stress leads to various 'stress related' illnesses: high blood pressure, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, depression and some immune system diseases. Tiredness and no energy are the results when we can't meet the body's increased need for vitamins and minerals during stress.
Article written by Joy.
A healthy human nose can distinguish between 10 000 different aromas. The professional 'noses' used by Essential oil and Perfume companies train for several years and are capable of determining the subtle differences the quality and the origin of essential oils.
Scents invoke immediate and powerful responses as the volatile fragrance molecules travel with tthe olfactory nerve tracts directly to the limbic system ( a part of the brain concerned with memory and emotion). Essential oils can thus reach us through inhalation, via the skin and through ingestion ( the last method should not be used by the layperson at all, unless supervised by a suitably qualified professional).
Essential oils are very complex and consist on average of up to 100 or more chemical components. Essential oils are classified as stimulating or calming, sedative or energising, according to the percentage of esters, aldehydes, alcohol, terpenes and other chemical components the essential oils contain.
The Five Elements are as follows: Water, Wood, Earth, Metal and Fire. These are used in traditional Chinese medicine in order to help with diagnoses and plot the course of dis-ease. The following is a brief overview of the Elements, more detailed information can be found in various books, most of the information for this post was taken from, ' Traditional Acupuncture - The Law of the Five Elements" by Dianne M. Connelly. Ph. D.
Each Element relates to an emotion, colour, taste, smell, body organ etc. and knowing a bit about each of the Elements can help us to broaden our view of the dis-ease we are experiencing and perhaps through this finding a route to cure.
The miasms (disease taints) can be seen as a kind of "map" as to where a being is in the overall health picture. Each of the miasms manifest certain diseases according to the level of toxicity in the body. In the tubercular miasm we find much internalized mucous and an inability to put calcium in the right place. For mucous loading to occur, dehydration would be one of the main factors involved. In relation to Traditional Chinese Medicine the TB-Miasm can be linked to an imbalance in the Metal Element.
Glucagon and Insulin
Glucagon and Insulin are 2 hormones produced in the pancreatic islets (Islets of Langerhans), glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells (which along with delta and pancreatic polypeptide cells are found in the outer portion of an islet) and insulin is secreted by the beta cells (found near the center of an islet ). The relationship between glucagon and insulin is an antagonistic one, when there is high levels of insulin there will be low levels of glucagon and vice versa. Between them they help to keep the blood sugar level stable.
Carrier Oils act as a medium for essential oils which are very concentrated and are blended into the carrier oil in low dilutions ( 3% ). This means that you will add a maximum of three drops essential oil per teaspoon carrier oil.
Carrier oils are usually extracted from seeds and fruit and are called fixed oils because they are not volatile. The chemical structure of vegetable oils is such that it is easily absorbed through the skin and also has therapeutic properties of its own.
Different foods are either acid-forming or alkali-forming in the body, eg. lemon contains citric acid in its juice which makes it very acidic but as citric acid is an organic acid the body can metabolize it to CO2 and H2O. In the whole lemon, negative charges on the citrate ions are balanced by positively charged metal ions (potassium and calcium). Once the citric acid has been metabolized, the potassium and calcium are balanced against negative ions (eg. chloride or bicarbonate) instead of the citrate. This discourages the formation of H+ and thus has an alkaline reaction. Thus although lemon itself may be acidic, in the body it is alkali-forming.
Hering's Law of Cure states that: "Healing starts from the top, the head, to the bottom, from the inside to the outside, from the major organs to the minor organs, and in reverse order in which they presented."
This can be broken down as follows:
"from the top, the head, to the bottom..."
As healing progresses one will see evidence of this moving from the top of the body to the bottom, e.g. One might experience headaches, then back problems and later athlete's foot during the progression of a cure. This also illustrates that healing moves from the mental to the physical. Energetically, the crown chakra, the chakra representative of ones wisdom and spiritual connectedness is situated at the top of the body, the head, while the base (root) chakra, the chakra representing how at home one feels in ones physical body and how grounded and secure one feels, is situated lower down the body. This also illustrates how healing (cure) would progress from a mental to a physical level. Healing needs to travel down the body through the heart chakra, thus mental healing, then emotional healing and then physical healing is taking place.
Also know as Co-enzyme thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), Vitamin B1 is needed in regular supply by the body and its odor and flavour are similar to those of yeast. It is needed by the Central Nervous System the Gasto-intestinal system and the cardiovascular system. It helps convert carbohydrate to fat for storage for potential energy and plays a role in glucose metabolism. It is thought that adequate amounts of Vit B1 may help reduce the progression of atherosclerosis by preventing the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, thus it is also helpful to the heart.
The inflammatory response is the body's second line of defense if the mechanical(skin) and chemical(sebum, mucus, hydrochloric acid) barriers of the immune system are broken or overcome. The four cardinal signs of inflammatory response are:
There are however, two very different perspectives as to how and why the inflammatory response comes about, much of which are based on the works of two very different men, Louis Pasteur and Antoine Bechamp.
Also known as flaxseed or linseed oil, flax oil is an important source of Omega-3 fatty acid or alpha-linolenic acid(LNA) which is essential to the body and is the precursor to other important Omega-3 oils, EPA and DHA.
Flax oil is the best oil for people with an omega-3 deficiency as it contains the largest amount of LNA, which is the strongest dispersing essential fatty acid. It is also suitable for vegetarians who may not wish to take fish oils. LNA helps to break up saturated fat deposits and cholesterol but must be taken with caution as if it is taken for too long it can actually start to cause Omega-6 deficiency.
Vitamin A; also known as retinol or beta-carotene was the first vitamin to be named, thus the letter A. Preformed Vitamin A is known as retinol because of its importance in vision (retina-part of the eye) and beta-carotene is one of several carotenes (found in mainly orange and yellow vegetables and fruits) which can be converted into Vitamin A in the body and are known as provitamin A, beta-carotene is the one that gives the most Vitamin A.