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April Issue of Natural Alternatives
April 01, 2011

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health


April 2011

Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!


I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a favor and pay it forward!

If a friend did forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting my web site.


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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates


IN THIS ISSUE:

1) 5 TROPICAL FRUITS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

2) GRANDMA'S HOME REMEDIIES FOR THESE 7 AILMENTS

3) 8 PLANTS THAT MAY HELP SHED POUNDS



1) 5 TROPICAL FRUITS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE


New York Times March 1,2011

Many people love the flavor of tropical fruits like coconut and mangoes. But did you know that, aside from tasting good, they also have healthy benefits that in some instances could be lifesaving?

For example, five of the most outstanding fruits that can change your life are

Coconut,
Mangosteen,
Avocado,
Mango, and
Longan berries.

Scientists believe an anti-oxidant in mangosteens can cause cell death in cancer; and avocadoes, mangoes, and longan berries are rich with vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent common birth defects as well as cancer.

With coconuts, the juice – or water inside – not only is sterile, but has the same electrolytic balance as human blood, which enabled medics in the Pacific Theater in World War II to use it as an emergency substitute for plasma. And not too many years ago, coconut oil's bad reputation caused a panic at the concession stands, when a study claimed that a large movie-theater popcorn, cooked in the oil, delivered as much saturated fat as six Big Macs.

But coconut oil has recently become the darling of the natural-foods world.

Scientists are backtracking on the worst accusations against coconut oil. It turns out that most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is an entirely different thing from a health risk perspective -- partial hydrogenation creates trans fats and destroys the essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other positive components present in virgin coconut oil.

According to the New York Times: "And while it's true that most of the fats in virgin coconut oil are saturated, opinions are changing on whether saturated fats are the arterial villains they were made out to be ... The main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid. Lauric acid increases levels of good HDL, or high-density lipoprotein".


2) GRANDMA'S HOME REMEDIIES FOR THESE 7 AILMENTS
By Dr. Mercola


Natural remedies that were passed from one generation from another, lost a lot of footing with the advent of modern medicine that has a pill for every possible ailment. But does that mean grandma, and all the women before her, were all wrong? Of course not.

In fact, many of the ailments you experience can be addressed using very simple, natural means. Yahoo Health offers up seven different folklore remedies for common problems. Below I will review my own recommendations for these ailments.

Motion Sickness

Olives may be of some help here, but ginger is far better. It's traditionally used to treat nausea, but also seems to work quite well against motion sickness. To make a tea, simply slice off a small amount of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water for 30 seconds up to several minutes. Ginger is very potent, so taste it at regular intervals of about 30 seconds—it can get very strong fast!

Alternatively, for a quicker but less elegant solution, just take a half teaspoon of the fresh ginger and finely dice it with a knife and swallow it whole. It has worked every time I have had the need for it. It probably is the most consistently effective herbal food that I have seen work nearly every time. In addition to ginger, the University of Maryland Medical Center also suggests using peppermint and black horehound, which is actually a traditional remedy for motion sickness.

These herbs can be taken as:

Dried extracts in the form of capsules, powders, or teas; or Liquid extracts or tinctures

To make a tea using dried herb, put about one teaspoon of the herb into a tea strainer and place it in a cup of hot water. Avoid adding sugar. If you absolutely need some sweetness, try a couple of drops of liquid stevia instead.

Another excellent method that you can do whenever and wherever motion sickness strikes, is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It balances your subtle energy system and calms your motion sensors, and this will calm your symptoms of motion sickness and allow you to finally enjoy the pleasures of travel.

Bad Breath

The devil is in the details when it comes to the recommendation to use yoghurt to combat bad breath, because most of the yoghurt you find today is loaded with sugar and made from pasteurized milk. You do NOT want to use these commercially available yoghurts as they are more likely to do more harm than good.

Only use traditionally fermented yoghurt, such as kefir made from raw milk with no added sugar. Another alternative is to consume traditionally fermented foods (such as natto or tempeh), or take a high quality probiotic like Complete Probiotics. How is it that these types of foods and bacteria can help against bad breath?

Because halitosis, or bad breath, is typically caused by systemic diseases, gastrointestinal and/or upper respiratory tract disorders, and microbial metabolism from your tongue, saliva or dental plaque—all of which are indicators of systemic unbalance, which can be remedied with probiotics in the form of an oral supplement or fermented foods.

In addition to reseeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut, I highly recommend limiting the primary fertilizer for the bacteria that cause bad breath, namely SUGAR and grains that rapidly break down to sugar. That automatically means cutting down on processed foods (which are high in both grains and sugars/high fructose corn syrup), as they cause bad odor-causing bacteria to grow out of control. 

Beware that mouthwashes are only effective against bad breath caused by intraoral factors. Gargling and swishing can't help you much if your problem stems from an imbalance of bacteria in your intestinal tract, for example. 


Hiccups Definitely do NOT use sugar for hiccups. There are many better options that do not involve spiking your insulin. One interesting method that seems to work is to have someone hold down the tragus of your ear to close off your ear canal while you drink a FULL glass of water. This has been the single most effective remedy I have ever used for hiccups. It is the rare occasion where it doesn't work.

Eczema

A really simple, inexpensive way to relieve the hallmark itch of eczema is to put a saltwater compress over the itchy area. You'll want to use a high quality natural salt, such as Himalayan salt. Simply make a solution with warm water, soak a compress, and apply the compress over the affected area. You'll be amazed to find that the itching will virtually disappear!

You also want to make sure your skin is optimally hydrated. Skin creams are rarely the answer here, but rather you'll want to hydrate your skin from the inside out by consuming high quality, animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet, such as krill oil. I also find it helpful to include a bit of gamma linoleic acid, typically in the form of primrose oil, as this works remarkably well for eczema. Products like "krill for women" are good for both sexes for this condition as they have both fatty acids. (Plant-based omega-3s like flax and hemp seed, although decent omega-3 sources in general, will not provide the clinical benefit you need to reduce inflammation and swelling in your skin.)

Additionally, food allergies play an enormous role in eczema. In my experience, the most common offending agent is wheat, or more specifically, gluten. Avoiding wheat and other gluten-containing grains is therefore a wise first step.

Avoiding grains will also reduce the amount of sugar in your system, which will normalize your insulin levels and reduce any and all inflammatory conditions you may have, including inflammation in your skin. Other common allergens include milk and eggs. I recommend you do an elimination trial with these foods as well. You should see some improvement in about a week, sometimes less, after eliminating them from your diet if either of them is causing you trouble.

Last but not least, vitamin D in the form of sun exposure can be your best friend when dealing with eczema and other skin conditions, such as psoriasis.

Ideally, you'll want to get your vitamin D from appropriate sunshine exposure because UVB radiation on your skin will not only metabolize vitamin D, but will also help restore optimal skin function. High amounts of UVB exposure directly on affected skin – but not so much to cause sunburn! – will greatly improve the quality of your skin.

If you can't get sufficient amounts of sun during the winter months, a high quality safe tanning bed can suffice. A safe tanning bed will provide the optimized forms of UVA and UVB wavelengths, without dangerous EMF exposure.

Toenail Fungus

Interestingly, about five years ago I posted a video with the dubious recommendation to use Vicks VapoRub to treat toenail fungus. The response from my readers was amazing—hundreds of people wrote me to confirm it really does work!

My experience tells me that when such a large number of people anecdotally confirm something, it probably has some merit. So, although I can't explain why it works, it certainly seems harmless enough to give it a try. If you've ever had a toenail fungus, you know it can be a vexing problem that can last for years with no obvious solution, so this simple remedy could be a welcome boon for many.

One way to reduce your risk of fungal infections is to cut down on sugar, which feeds the fungi. Spending time in the ocean on a regular basis can also help.

I have also struggled with this problem and never found a prescription or natural approach to work until I started spending my winters in the sub–tropical environments.  About 1 ˝ years ago I had a recurrence after wearing neoprene "Five Finger" type shoes for six months with no socks.

However when I spent the winter in the subtropics wearing no shoes and having my toenails receive hours of direct sun exposure every day the problem disappeared. The UV rays were more than enough to solve the problem. No Vapo Rub required.  This does take 4-6 months though of nearly daily sun exposure to work, in combination with wearing sandals most of the time so there is no moist environment for the fungus to grow.

Headache

If you're prone to headaches, I strongly advise you to evaluate your lifestyle to determine the root cause. There are many types of headaches, each with its own set of triggers.

For general headaches that do not appear to be due to tension or poor posture, I've found that avoiding wheat, grains, sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, and all fluids but water seems to be particularly effective. Those suffering from recurrent migraines would also do well to heed this advice. Just remember to stay the course, as dietary changes do take some time to work.

Migraines are also another common type of headache and it has been my experience that artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, trigger them in many people. So avoid all diet products.

Two methods that offer more immediate relief include intravenous magnesium and the Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT in particular is usually very effective for relieving pain of all kinds, oftentimes removing your pain in as little as a few minutes.

Upper Respiratory Infections and Sore Throat

There's a mountain of evidence showing that vitamin D plays a key role in your immune system, so maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is your number one defense against infections of all kinds, including upper respiratory infections.

The wintertime deficiency of vitamin D (which your body produces in response to sunlight) has been implicated in the seasonal increase in colds and flu, and a number of studies have suggested an association between low blood levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of respiratory infections. For detailed guidelines on optimizing your vitamin D levels, please see my article Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency. Another really simple and inexpensive treatment that is surprisingly effective against upper respiratory infections is hydrogen peroxide.

Many patients at my Natural Health Center have had remarkable results in treating colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours when administering a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each ear. (A bottle of hydrogen peroxide in 3 percent solution is available at any drug store for a couple of dollars or less.) You will hear some bubbling, which is completely normal, and possibly feel a slight stinging sensation. Wait until the bubbling and slight stinging subside (usually 5 to 10 minutes), then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear.

To treat a sore throat, few remedies are as tried-and-true as honey. Just make sure you use raw honey, as the vast majority of honey for sale in the United States is highly processed or refined, which, like most other refined foods, can promote disease and damage your health rather than help. Source: mercola.com

 


3) 8 PLANTS THAT HELP SHED POUNDS

Hoodia Gordonii

Long hunting trips through the vast desert have long been a way of life for the San Bushmen, one of the world's oldest and most primitive hunter-gatherer tribes.

To survive in the scorching environment, the Bushmen depended on a spiny succulent plant growing wild in the desert. In addition to the much-needed moisture, they discovered an unexpected side effect when they consumed this plant. Their appetites diminished!

For the San Bushmen, this provided a clear advantage. They could focus on the task at hand – hunting and gathering food to take back to their tribes.

This miraculous plant was Hoodia Gordonii. However, it wasn't until the 1960s that scientists began taking a closer look at this plant and its traditional use as an appetite suppressant.*

In 2004, researchers at one of the most highly-regarded medical schools in the U.S. studied the effect of Hoodia on the appetite of rats. After being fed Hoodia, the rats' caloric intake dropped by almost half and they lost weight. While these results cannot necessarily be imputed to humans, knowing the hearty appetite of rats, the researchers were impressed by the findings.

Imagine the results you may possibly see when adding in exercise and sensible eating according to your Nutritional Type…* Unlike some other products, Hoodia works in a way that doesn't affect the entire body. It helps trick your brain into thinking your stomach is full, even if it's not! A natural response is a decrease in the excessive desire to eat.*

Let's take a quick look at how Hoodia may help you lose weight when combined with exercise and a healthy diet.*

Over thirty years of research on Hoodia ended in the discovery of a potent substance known as P57. The researchers found that P57 acts in a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus – which is your body's appetite control center.*

Here's how scientists believe P57 works:

When your hypothalamus senses blood glucose levels from food, it triggers a signal to your body to quit eating. Researchers at a highly-regarded U.S. university found P57 to be about 1,000 times more active in rats than glucose, so it can send a 'stop eating' message way sooner.*

When crews from UK and U.S. news shows traveled to South Africa to investigate this story, they personally sampled Hoodia to experience its reported effects for themselves. Both the UK and U.S. reporters and crews said they experienced reduced hunger after eating Hoodia.* And here's more positive news… Hoodia has no known side effects based on studies done to date.


Fucoxanthin

Fucoxanthin is one of the most exciting substances to hit the weight loss market in quite some time.*

A natural carotenoid (natural pigments found primarily in plants and algae), Fucoxanthin exists naturally in brown seaweed, a type of kelp. Preliminary animal research performed in Russia and Japan suggests that fucoxanthin may help burn fat.*

Also, here's a huge plus for you and others searching for an effective yet natural option that doesn't disrupt your activities and sleep. Fucoxanthin revs up your metabolism without stimulating your central nervous system.* Although it's not fully understood how fucoxanthin works, it appears to target a protein called UCP1 that increases the rate at which belly fat is burned.*

Evidence is emerging showing that the fucoxanthin component is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your cells from free radical damage*. It also may support your:

Cardiovascular health* Healthy immune response* Maintenance of healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels that are already within the normal range* Maintenance of healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range* Healthy liver function*


Pomegranate

The pomegranate has been a staple of Asian diets since ancient times. The rich ruby fruit was mentioned in Egyptian papyrus scrolls dating back to 1550 BC. And in ancient Greek myths, the pomegranate represented life and regeneration.

Its traditional use dates back more than 3,000 years. Modern science is actively rediscovering its potential for a more healthful life.* Recent studies reveal a surprising host of benefits for consuming pomegranate.*

Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants that help quench free radicals in your body.* One study suggests that pomegranate shows triple the amount of antioxidant activity of either green tea or red wine.*

Other studies suggest that pomegranates contain bioflavonoids to help maintain healthy capillary walls.*

Research suggests other benefits from pomegranate:

Contributes to tissue health* Supports heart health* Supports healthy blood lipid levels that are already within the normal range* Supports the immune system* Helps maintain proper oxidative balance in your body*

Irvingia

An extract from a West African herb called Irvingia gabonensis may help support optimal leptin sensitivity in overweight people.*

And by promoting your body’s ideal sensitivity to leptin, you can better know when your body has eaten enough food.* In a recently published study, Irvingia demonstrated positive effects upon leptin blood levels and resulted in weight loss and inches off the waistline.*

Over a 10-week period, one double-blind study group received 150 mg of Irvingia extract twice daily while maintaining the same diet and exercise level. This group lost an average of 28 pounds whereas the placebo group lost less than three pounds.*

The Irvingia group also maintained healthy blood glucose, cholesterol, and LDL levels that were already within the normal range, and experienced a significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels.* Plus, there was a significant reduction overall of circulating leptin and a significant increase in adiponectin.* Irvingia targets the important factors that I mentioned above that may be involved in age-related weight gain, such as responding to your fat cells' command signals.*

In addition to supporting healthy leptin sensitivity*, Irvingia also helps:

Reduce the activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase which may help reduce the amount of starch and sugar calories that turn into body fat.*

Support a slowing of the rate of carbohydrate absorption from the intestines and a reduction of the caloric impact of starchy and sugary foods.*

Support healthy adiponectin levels while helping to maintain healthy insulin sensitivity.*

Of course, I must carefully caution you that if you eat more calories than your body can utilize, weight loss can't occur. Excess calories are stored as fat in your fat cells. It's just that simple. In my opinion, you simply can't consume unlimited calories and expect to shed fat pounds by taking a product that might happen to show weight loss in a research study.


Ginger

Sought after for more than 5,000 years by the ancients of China and India for its health-promoting properties, ginger remains highly in demand by spice traders.*

Today, it continues to be a component of a full half of all traditional herbal products.

Research suggests that it may have the ability to help offset some of the less desirable effects of a high-fat diet.* With 12 different antioxidants, ginger provides powerful free radical protection.*

In addition, ginger… Supports optimal cell division* Supports cardiovascular health* Promotes a healthy immune response* Supports digestive system health*

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia (also known as "gambooge") is a small fruit resembling a miniature pumpkin. Naturally found in India and parts of Asia, it has a long and popular history as a condiment. The dried rind is used as a flavoring in many dishes.

Preliminary research suggests that its biologically active compound, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), can inhibit the body's ability to store lipids and fatty acids.* This natural extract may also inhibit conversion of excess calories to body fat.*

And it may suppress appetite by signaling your brain that enough food has been eaten, possibly through its effect on neurotransmitters.*


Apple Cider inegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries as an energizing tonic and elixir.*

ACV is a completely natural product resulting from a two-step fermentation process of apples, from which it retains all the nutritional benefits of the apples plus gaining the extra acids and enzymes from fermentation. While the research is only preliminary, there are four suggested ways ACV may help you lose weight*:

#1. ACV May Increase Satiety*

The same hormonal reflex that sends a "full" message from your digestive system to your brain (discussed when talking about Hoodia earlier) is also triggered by ACV*. Scientists think that satiety – or feeling "full" – occurs more quickly with acetic acid* (the 'sour' part of ACV).

A preliminary Swedish study suggested that higher intake of ACV before meals was associated with significantly lower glycemic responses and an increased satiety score.*

#2. May Suppress Appetite*

Preliminary evidence suggests that pectin, the water-soluble fiber in apples and ACV, may absorb water and make your stomach feel a little full before beginning your meal.*

#3. May Improve Digestion*

Improving your digestion means fats stay in your digestive tract for a shorter time, with less absorption of those fats into your system. A number of other health benefits you may receive from ACV include:

Helps

Support bone health through minerals (calcium, magnesium, silicone, plus a number of vitamins).* Helps maintain healthy lipid levels that are already within the normal range.* Helps maintain healthy heart and circulatory system.* Support healthy immune response.* Aids in normal detoxification of your body.*

Cayenne

The powder from the cayenne pepper has been honored as both a food and for its health-promoting properties for over 9,000 years.

A substance in cayenne pepper, capsaicin, gives cayenne its hot and spicy taste.

Scientists believe that cayenne may act as a Health-promoting catalyst when combined with other herbs*

Some animal and human studies suggest that cayenne may increase the body's production of heat for a short time.* This increase in body heat may possibly burn more calories and increase metabolism.*

Additionally, research is ongoing about whether cayenne can help regulate blood sugar and break down carbohydrates after a meal.* What else might both ginger and cayenne do for you? They're reported to:

Support cardiovascular health* Support digestive health* Help regulate normal detoxification* Help promote a healthy immune response* Provide energy*

Source: mercola.com


PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!


Thank you for reading.


Livia
http://www.natural-health-and-healing.com
Brampton, Ontario, Canada


P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.


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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advices are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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