Why Ghee Is Good For You

If you love Indian food, like I do, I am sure you have heard about ghee, or clarified butter. Many tend to consider this to be unhealthy, but I dare to challenge that.

In this time and age, we have become very afraid of everything that contains fat, and fat reduced foods are reckoned to be the healthier option. The problem occurs when you remove the (tasty) fats from the foods, you are left with a very bland food, and therefore have to substitute with even more sugar and refined starches to make it edible.

I dare say that fats are good for you. Saturated fats contain good amounts of energy. Problems arises when you ingest too much of it, and especially with large amounts of refined starches and sugars. If you look at epidemiological studies, and compare it with our food trends, you will see that after we started eating less fats and more starches, the obesity rate went up. There are many reasons for obesity, but what I will say is that solely reducing saturated fats is not the way to go to cure people from this epidemic that is causing so many health issues down the line.

So what is Ghee? In short, ghee is butter that has been clarified, meaning you remove the dairy proteins and lactose, and are left with only fat. What is interesting about the fat in ghee and butter is that it is the richest food source of small chain (saturated) fatty acids you can get hold of. This fat is the main fuel for intestinal cells, primarily in the colon. Granted, this can also be produced from bacteria breaking down starches called Fructo-oligo-saccharides (FOS), from foods such as Jerusalem artichokes and Chicory, but still I consider ingesting good amounts of small chain fatty acids to be very good to preserve good intestinal health.

Ghee also contain great amounts of medium chain fatty acids, almost to the same extent as coconut oil. You may have heard about all the health benefits of coconut oil, but I think it is less commonly known that ghee have many similar health benefits. Medium chain fatty acids are considered to give the body, muscles and mind a great boost of energy.

Ghee and butter contain quite a bit of cholesterol, but studies have shown that the cholesterol we ingest doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in cholesterol in the blood, but rather work as fuel, and conversion to other essential hormones in the body including cortisol and the sexual hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Too low ingestion of cholesterol could also be a health risk.

I am not saying that you should start eating huge amounts of ghee from now on, just that this food is in many ways considered a healthy option. Also, for people suffering from lactose intolerance and dairy protein intolerance (make sure there are no traces of dairy protein in the ghee) this clarified butter can be a great food source in your cuisine. Besides, when cooking with ghee, the amount of saturated fats renders this fat very stable, and is from my point of view the best oil you can use for high heating.

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There are many ways to make ghee. The easiest is to just take a block of butter (preferably from grass fed cows) in a pot, heat it up slowly, and after a few minutes when the butter has melted the fat goes up and the dairy protein and lactose falls as sediment to the bottom of the pot. It is now safe to pour the oil over in another container, careful not to get any of the sediment with you. If you want a ghee with a smoother texture, you can try to add olive oil to it. Otherwise, it works perfect on itself.

Enjoy!

Tips To Improve Your Eating Habbits

Here are some simple tips I generally advice patients so that they have a better and healthier diet:

  • Start the day with a fresh lemon/limewater. Simply squeeze 1/2 a lemon/lime in a glass of cold to lukewarm water, and drink this on an empty stomach. For those suffering from lack of energy, adding 1/2-1 teaspoon of raw, unprocessed honey is also good.
  • Drink some fresh juice on an empty stomach for an extra cleanse and energy boost. Any fresh vegetables will do, including cucumber, celery, wheatgrass.
  • Drink plenty of clean water, about 2 liters daily. Try to substitute some of the coffee/tea and other beverages with drinking clean water. Your body will thank you for it!

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  • Chew your food thoroughly, and do not stress when you are eating.
  • For a poor digestion it is wise to add some bitter herbs/vegetables in the beginning of a meal. Simply eat a fresh salad, with the additions of herbs such as rucola, dandelion, watercress and many more.

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  • In between meal snack I would advice eating nuts and seeds. For even better effect it is best to soak the nuts in water overnight. Then digestion of the nuts will be far better, and you get more out of eating them. Also, cutting up some vegetables and have it with a nice dip is a good snack in the middle of the day.
  • Skip the snacks that are overtly processed, salty, greasy such as chips and cookies. Focus on less processed foods. Rule of thumb is that what is fresh or home made is much better that what has been pre-packaged.
  • Limit intake of refined sugar since ingestion of pure white sugar have shown detrimental effects on peoples health, primarily linked to increased inflammation. Rather substitute refined sugar with some honey, maple syrup, stevia, yacon syrup, lucuma or dried fruits such as dates and figs. Remember, less is more in terms of these sugars!
  • If you really want to boost you gut functioning I would recommend adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut to your diet. This is great to help assimilate and absorb the food you eat even better.

Bon apetit!

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The Secret Power of Honey

Honey can be considered the edible gold, due to all its medicinal properties. Honey have been part of peoples diet since the ancient times. While excavating the great pyramids in Egypt, archaeologists recently discovered jars of honey in an old tomb dating back 3000 years, and the honey was still perfectly edible.  That means that due to many of the medicinal properties in honey, it can virtually last forever.

Honey comes from the laborious process of bees assimilating pollen from the flowers in the area. To make one pound of honey,  it is estimated that around 60.000 bees have collected pollen from about 2 million flowers! That is a lot of hard work, which I think is also good to be mindful of when consuming honey.

 

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In this article we will discuss the various healing benefits of honey, which are:

  • Reduce allergy symptoms to pollen. By eating a daily dose of honey, you also ingest trace amounts of pollen. Therefore ingesting honey on a regular basis, and at least several months before the pollen season starts, can be an effective way to reduce allergy symptoms to pollen. Additional tip: I would recommend using honey from your region for optimal effect, as the pollen in the honey comes from where you live.
  • Treat wounds to speed up the healing. Honey has long been considered a good remedy to treat woulds, dating back to the teachings of Aristotle. When you cut your skin, I would advice to put a bit of honey in the wound. This will speed up the recovery time of the healing. Recent discovery have found even better effect upon using a particular honey called Manuka Honey for this purpose. Further research have also found a healing factor, and the reason why this is so effective in treating wounds. At the time I am writing this, it is uncertain what this ingredient is, so it is simply called the “Unique Manuka Factor” (UMF).
  • Treatment of stomach ulcers. Here also Manuka Honey comes out as the most effective, as it has shown effect in killing the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which are commonly causing stomach ulcers. Honey in general is good for the stomach lining, so therefore all honey is beneficial. Honey can therefore also help treating gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) and soothe acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Treat herpes breakouts. If honey is applied directly on sores, it can have a healing effect. The reason for this healing effect is as with wounds, that it heals the mucosal lining and helps treating microorganism. Also, honey contain a bit of hydrogen peroxide, which further cleanses the wound.
  • Energy enhancer. Honey can be used to boost ones vitality. Honey is useful to give a boost when one feels fatigued. Ingestion of honey right before, during or right after a workout session can increase athletic performance.
  • Cough suppressant and treat sinusitis problems
  • Sleep inducer. The simple sugars in honey causes your insulin level to rise, which then elevates the neurotransmitter serotonin. This, in turn, converts to melatonin (also called the sleep-inducing hormone)honey-823614_1280
  • Treats a dry and itchy scalp. Honey has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore works well for an itchy scalp. To help with these matters, apply a diluted solution of honey and water to the hair and scalp, and leave for a few hours, before rinsing it out. Honey can also be great as a conditioner, as it moisturizes your hair.
  • Anti-fungal and digestive aid. Evidence have shown that honey have anti-fungal properties. Therefore, daily consumption of honey can be a great supplement as a digestive aid
  • Treat acne. Honey contain humectants that acts as moisturizer on your skin, and at the same time kills bacteria that causes acne. For best effect, leave raw, unprocessed honey on the skin affected with acne, and rinse off after 30 minutes.
  • Hangover cure. Honey helps to speed up the oxidation of alcohol in the liver, and at the same time gives you an energy boost. Try adding turmeric and lots of fresh water, and you will get back in shape in no time.
  • Boost libido. Honey is a natural aphrodisiac, and therefore good to boost ones desires in the bedroom. According to Hippocrates, intake of honey will increase your sex drive.

To boost ones energy, I recommend as a morning routine of lemonwater with honey.  In Ayurveda there is also a healing elixir called Golden Milk, a healing tea that is made by adding turmeric, honey, almond milk, and pepper to hot water and let it simmer for 10 minutes. This has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties for a good night’s sleep.

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The Health Benefits Of Garlic

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food”

These are the famous words of the ancient Greek physician called Hippocrates Asclepiades, living in the Classic Greek time. He is considered the founder of modern western medicine, where physicians nowadays recite the Hippocratic oath. Interestingly enough, Hippocrates Asclepiades used garlic for a range of medical disorders.

I want to dedicate this article to this marvellous and diverse herb. Already in 1858 the well renowned French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur recognized the antiseptic properties of garlic. The many uses of garlic stems from the fact that it contains a range of medicinal properties. Sulphur compounds called Allicin are formed when the garlic is chopped, cut or grated, and occurs due to exposure to oxygen. Heated or cooked garlic does not have the same health benefit, but tastes great in dishes anyway! Here are some of the most widely known health benefits of garlic:

  • Reduce elevated cholesterol, both the total amount of cholesterol and the LDL cholesterol, that will be harmful in excess amounts in the blood stream. Using garlic on a regular basis will therefore have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis and plaque. Dr. Budoff, MD, FACC, FAHA, is an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After having done numerous studies on aged garlic Dr. Budoff is a strong believer in aged garlic in treatment of calcification of arteries. Calcification of arteries are directly proportional to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Aged garlic is aged up to 20 months witch changes the harsh chemicals in garlic to safe, stable and odourless compound. Kyolic garlic has been the subject of over 650 studies. “Supplementing with Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract can halt, and even reverse the accumulation of deadly low-attenuation plaque in arteries”, according to new research in The Journal of Nutrition.
  • Reduce elevated blood pressure. Studies have shown that supplementation of aged garlic extract of 600 – 1500 mg shows a significant reduction of blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimers and Dementia due to its range of sulphur and antioxidant compounds
  • Reduce the risk of heavy metal and radiation toxicity, due to its high sulphur content
  • Treat the common cold. Studies have shown that using garlic upon getting sick will reduce the length and severity of the common cold.
  • Balance the gut flora. In my clinic I have used garlic for a range of gastrointestinal disorders. Garlic haw powerful anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. The fresher the garlic is the more effective it will be. For people with chronic anal itch, chronic fatigue (may be accompanied with a skin rash) this may indicate a parasitic/intestinal worm infection. Using grated garlic as a poultice directly on the skin may be beneficial. With intestinal worms, consuming garlic at least four times daily is a good way to rid yourself of these worms. Please consult your doctor if these symptoms persist.

Scientists by Kyungpook-university in South Korea have figured out that the amounts of antioxidants in garlic increase tremendously when it starts to sprout. The sprouts will stay fresh for about 5 days. Also, freezing the garlic is also a good way to enhance the antioxidant capacity of garlic. Garlic could stay fresh for half a year in the fridge and 3-4 days in room temperature.

Bear in mind, garlic is not for everyone. A few have developed allergies to garlic, and those who are following a FOODMAP diet should avoid garlic while they react adversely to it. Even so, I am a huge fan of garlic, and believe most people will benefit by ingesting this herb. Besides, it tastes great, both in salads, sauces/soups, and a range of other cuisines. Enjoy!

How To Lose Those Extra Kilos

After having had a merry Christmas holiday I am sure there are plenty of us who ponder how we can lose those extra kilos we gained after stuffing ourselves with lots of delicious savoury foods. Here is a list of the most important points in this regard:

  • Eat less sugar. Excess refined sugar is probably the main reason why people struggle to lose weight. Also, know that alcohol is considered a refined sugar and should be moderated. Eating more wholesome sugars from fruits and berries is much better. A small amount of wholesome sugars such as honey, raw cane sugar is much better than the refined beet sugar. Remember, less is more.
  • Fat is not the enemy: There is a crisp new study from the University of Bergen that show the beneficial effect of consuming more saturated fats, and how this may indeed lower one’s weight. Mind you, this is a small study, but still contradicts the theory that eating less fat makes one loose fat. Eating saturated fats such as butter in moderation may be better than eating those hydrogenated oils in margarine. Here I would advise to focus on the quality of fats. I also believe eating good quality oils such as extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil is generally good for one’s health.
  • Eat less refined starches such as that bowl of potato chips or floury foods that is so easy to eat too much of. Remember, the more wholesome the food is, the better it is for you.
  • Also, avoid refined starches such as Pepsi max or the equivalent. Many studies have shown how these artificial sugars will ”fool” the body into believing that sugar will arrive, and thereby increasing insulin production. The surge in insulin without being saturated by glucose cause the body to store more fat due to the insulin effect.
  • Regular workout: Physical exercise have a range of benefits, from boosting blood circulation (and hence oxygen transport and excretion of waste particles), improving mood and energy from an elevation of endorphins, balancing the lipoproteins in the blood circulation. Regular physical exercise, both endurance and strength workouts, will be beneficial to balance ones weight.
  • Stress down: Too much stress leaves excess cortisol levels in the body.and may consequently cause one to gain more weight. One of the best ways to stress down is to sleep better. Also, deep belly breathing and intervals of calming activities are very beneficial.
  • Lower inflammation: An increase in certain inflammatory markers called cytokines have been linked especially to abdominal adiposity.
  • Treat your gut flora: There are now coming out various studies on how the gut flora influence one’s weight. The balance between the two gut flora families Bacteroidetes and Fibricutes are of huge importance as to how one digests starches. Fibricutes bacteria’s cleave carbohydrates at a much greater extent than Bacterioidetes. We tend to see more of an overweight of Fibricutes to Bacteroidetes in the west in contrast to more ”primitive” cultures. Most probably this relates to the diet. An excess of Fibricutes in relation to Bacterioidetes is linked to overweight. Consuming more fibrous foods from vegetables and fermented foods may, as well as eating less refined starches, be a good way to balance these bacteria’s.
  • Check your thyroid: Oftentimes, when people see an abnormal increase in weight (For example, beyond eating several Christmas-style feasts for days), then it may be necessary to check your thyroid status with your doctor, as a thyroid imbalance may be the culprit!
  • There are some supplements that may have a good effect at lowering one’s weight. An Indian study show great improvement by consuming an Ajurvedic herb called Ashwaghanda.

Have a Happy New Year!

The Benefits Of Fasting

Fasting is an ancient way to restore one’s health, from the Ezekiel’s 40 days’ fasts, to the Muslims 30 days Ramadan. Aristotle used to demand that his potential students embark on a fasting period before commencing his teachings.

If we go back in time several thousands of years (a speck in time for the history of the world), humans naturally fasted in times when there were scarce amounts of food. Hence, when we consider evolution, most of the human existence we were forced to have intermittent fasting. It is only in the modern time that we have a surplus amount of food available at all times. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a negative thing in its self. It is great that we are able to have a more varied and rich diet than our forefathers. The only problem is that in this time and age, where we tend to think more on efficiency and how to get food fast, food also tend to lack a lot of the essential nutrients that we have available, virtually at all times.  The diet tend to be too rich in fast sugars and starches, and nutrients lacking in enzymes that will leave a more sluggish digestive system. Studies have shown that in the west we typically carry many kilograms of partially undigested food in the colon. Fasting is therefore a way to restore health in the body by sweeping clean the gastrointestinal system of the excess food particles.

The concept of fasting is also a time where you focus not on what you ingest. This has the potential to relieve addictive behaviors.  It is also a good way to clear ones mind, as less energy goes to the digestive system. This is the reason why Aristotle demanded that his students fast before studying, as this increased the efficiency of their learning capacity.

There are many ways to fast. I do not suggest you start with a long fast if you are not used to fasting, as this may be too big of a shock to the body. Therefore, it is better to start with intermittent fasting’s, lasting a day or two. If you look at Anthony Weils recommendations to a healthier lifestyle, fasting one day a week is a good way to go.

Now, how does one fast. There are many ways to do this:

  • Water fast. This is the most common way to fast, where one only consume water for the entire fasting period.
  • Juice fasting. Drinking solely vegetable juice, alternatively with some fruits such as lemon and apple.
  • Absolute fast. This is where you ingest nothing for a period of time. An example of this is the days of Ramadan.
  • Fasting could also be just being conscious of eating/drinking more simply. Whole grain rice fast is a good fast, and could be particularly beneficial with parasitic infestations.

Once one gets more in the habbit of fasting one can try the 7 days fast. This commonly is a water fast, done once a year, preferably in the spring or autumn. Here it is advisable to do this in a time of less stress, as it turns out to be a contemplative period. Here it is advisable to consult a physician before the fast to make sure the liver and kidney values are up for the task. It is also advisable to consume lots of leafy green vegetables and herbal teas a few days prior and after the fast, to ease in and out of the fast.

Fasting is a way to reset the body and mind, where one can spend more time on doing other hearty things, such as being more out in nature, and bring the nature in to your home by buying plants or flowers. Fasting could also include fasting from media and news for a day, so as to relieve more of ones collective stress. Remember, fasting is about enjoying more of what life has to offer, while regaining more energy and clarity by doing so.

Happy fasting!

How To Boost Vitality

Do you feel the occational lack of energy, or is every day a drag, where you have to force your way through it? There are ways to leave you feel more envigorated, energized and vital. Do you want to know what that is? Ok, great! Let’s go:

  • Get proper amount of good sleep. The key here is sleeping enough.
  • Stress down. Get adequate amounts relax during the day. Deep breathing, feeling your stomach moves with the breathing is a good way to lower ones stress level, aka taking a breather. Also, don’t set your mind to doing more than you are capable of, as this will only stress you more. Learning to say no is something many could be better at.
  • Tend to your thyroid. This is related to the point above.
  • Take care of you gastro-intestinal tract, as this really influences your energy level.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise, in the right amounts is both healthy and a good way to boost vitality. Interval workout, with high intensity bursts of exercise alternated with intermittent resting periods is a good way to improve circulation in the body. I can recommend a book called Spark, by  John Ratley on this subject.
  • Regularly stretch out your body. It is particularly important to have a flexible back, as it influences the circulation of your body.
  • Eat regular meals. By eating regularly you maintain a more balanced blood sugar, and consecuently leaving you with more energy.
  • Eat your veggies. Eating enough vegetables is a very important measure to making sure that the energy level is maintained at optimal levels. Drinking juice of clean, organic vegetalbes on an empty stomach, is a good way to get a lot of these phyto-nutrients in your system (use the fibers for something else, like in a smoothie). Eating a salad of vegetables prior, during or after a heavy meal will make you digest the food much better due to the enzymes, fibers and other nutrients in vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of clean water. First of all, make sure your tap water is clean. If not, there are many ways to make the water cleaner. I would advise to install an activated charcoal filter on the tap, or use a mug for the same purpose. Then make sure you drink enough water regularly, 2-3 liters of water depending on your daily activity.
  • Make sure you have enough vitamin B12 and iron, as a lack of these will influence your energy. The nutritional status also depend on how your digestion and absorption of nutrients are. I could also recommend eating pumpkin seeds, as they are rich in iron. If you want the nutrients from seeds, nuts, beans and lentils to be more easily assimilated, you could sprout them. This also has a very positive effect on energy and vitality.
  • You could also try to take supplements to boost vitality, which include maca, mucuna, licorize (not if high blood pressure). Choose a well renowned brand, as the quality tend to be better.
  • There are also ways to boost energy and vitality through what I call energy workout. This includes qi gong, tai chi, yoga and many more. This is a very good way of gradually building up ones vitality.

Remember, take it slow. Gradual progress is much better, than aiming too high too soon.

 

The Healing Effects Of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has gained a great reputation lately, due to its numerous healing effects. I want to outline some main beneficial effects of using coconut oil. Coconut oil contains a rich amount of a saturated type of fat called medium chain triglycerides, MCT. In contrast, long chain triglycerides may, if overconsumed, have a detrimental effect to ones health. Coconut oil, even though it is rich in saturated fat, the mail composition is MCT, which has a healing effect to both body and mind.  The difference is that MCT’s are metabolized differently, and are more readily being converted into energy or ketone bodies (used as a energy source when glucose is not readily available). Coconut oil is the richest source of MCT of all foods. The healing effects of coconut oil include:

  • Dementia: The MCT’s are converted to ketone bodies in the liver. Ketone bodies are also being produced upon a low glycemic diet. Studies have shown great benefit for the nervous system upon loading with ketone bodies. Therefore, ingesting coconut oil is a great way of making sure that you get a decent amount of ketone bodies.
  • Epilepsy: The same reason as for dementia, ketone bodies being produced from MCT have shown a significant improvement in people suffering from epilepsy. This is the most scientifically proven advantage of MCT.
  • Dental: Either by oil pulling (where you swoosh around the oil in your mouth for about 5 minutes) or finishing ones dental care with a rinse with coconut oil, this has shown great effects in restoring gum health and reversing dental caries.
  • Gut flora: The MCT in coconut oil has a healing effect on the gut flora, particularly alleviating fungal overgrowth in the flora.
  • Muscle therapy: The MCT from coconut oil will be more readily absorbed as a energy source in the muscle cells. This means this is a great pre-/post-workout nutrient, to restore and energize the musculature.
  • Skin therapy: Skin greatly benefits from being supplemented with coconut oil. It is m experience that dry skin, rashes and wounds more easily heal by applying coconut oil.
  • Hair therapy. While Castor oil often is better for the hair, coconut oil is great for rejuvenating certain hair conditions.
  • Slow caffeine absorption: I often recommend having coconut oil in the coffee, as this slows down the absorption of coffee, causing a slower surge in caffeine into the body.

Ways To Improve Digestion

I consider the gastro-intestinal tract to be one of our most important organs. We could definitely not live without it, as it is here that digestion and assimilation of nutrients takes place. Therefore, to maintain a healthy gastro-intestinal tract is essential for proper digestion. Here are some general advice, that I consider sound:

  • Drink plenty of clean water throughout the day. The gastrointestinal tract is important in balancing hydration of the body, and excretion of waste particles. Consuming enough water will enable the gut to function optimally.
  • Start the day by drinking a lukewarm (tepid…under 42 degrees) glass of water, with juice from ½ a lemon. Alternatively you could use cold pressed apple cider vinegar in stead. This practice will hydrate the body (which is particularly useful after a good nights sleep) and get help prepare the gastrointestinal system for the day,
  • Cut back on coffee. Coffee contain caffeine, which overtly stimulates gastric emptying, and irritates the gut lining. Coffee works as a laxative, so people with obstipation might feel an improvement after consuming this. Even so, using coffee as a therapy for obstipation will just make issues worse over time. The key word here is moderation. Someone with very irritable intestines, with burning sensations, should probably evade drinking coffee alltoghether for a while. Mind you, caffeine is addictive, and cutting down on caffeine might lead to abstinence symptoms such as (forbigående) headache or fatigue. Some should also stay away from other caffeinated beverages for a while to alleviate symptoms.
  • Bitter herbs, including milk thistle, dandelion,  shisandra, burdock root are all herbs that are useful at helping the liver and gall bladder to function optimally. In my practice I often use tinctures of Bitterstern, as this will help cleanse the liver/gall bladder, and consequently allow for better digestion. Patients suffering from acid reflux may also benefit greatly upon taking this supplement.
  • Ingest lots of healthy, fresh vegetables, either in its raw form or as freshly squeezed juices. This contains lots of phytonutrients, nourishment that will leave cells more energized. The fibers and enzymes in vegetables are also very beneficial.
  • Stress down. This is particularly important for gastric acid secretion, and gut motility Calming down by deep breathing is a good way to increase the parasympathetic system, aka the relaxing part of the nervous system.
  • Active charcoal will mop up some of the toxins being unleashed in the gut. Toxins may come from excretion of waste particles from the liver, ingested pollutants, gut flora toxins and more. Better to take a small amount of this, over a longer period of time, to have the most benefit.
  • A good fiber mixed with water, taken on an empty stomach between meals is a good way to balance the motility in the intestines.
  • There is also the issue of possible gut flora imbalance. For more information  on this see my other post Our Little Helpers

 

 

Ways To Treat The Common Cold

We are in winter season, which also is the season for frequent colds. Here is a list of suggestions of how to treat the common cold:

  • Stay warm. This is key to recovering quickly.
  • Get enough sleep and rest. This is also as important. When the body has been attacked by a viral pathogen one important factor to get better is to adequate rest.
  • Nasal irrigation with lukewarm saline water. Often cold start with pathogens clogging up the nasal passages, which may then spread to the rest of the airways. Cleansing the nasal passages is a great way to heal yourself of infection, and is commonly adviced by ear-nose-throat specialists.
  • Vitamin D. This is what we call the sun vitamin. Unfortunately, when not being exposed to enough sunlight, this essential vitamin becomes depleted. Vitamin D is important for the immune system, and a lack of the vitamin increases the likelihood of getting sick. Hence, taking a vitamin D supplement in the darker periods of the year is a good preventative measure.
  • Vitamin C. Humans are one of the few animals (yes, we are animals 😉 ) that doesn’t produce vitamin C, and need a diet rich in this essential vitamin. When the diet is lacking in vitamin C it is also advisable to supplement with it. Foods particularly rich in vitamin C are herbs such as parsley and ginger, fresh vegetables, fruits and berries such as pomegranate, blueberries and acai-berries.
  • Zinc. Zinc is a mineral important for thousands of enzyme reactions in the body. It aids in detoxification processes and the immune system. It is particularly useful for treating viral infections.
  • Foods rich in glycoproteins. There is exciting research that has been done on the role of glycoproteins for the immune system. Foods rich in glycoproteins are mushrooms, and possibly a main reason for why many mushrooms are considered such great immune modulators. Mushrooms that contain large amounts of glycoproteins are reishi, shiitake, chaga and many more.Wild plants and berries also contain a rich amount of glycoproteins.
  • You could also try herbal supplements, including echinacea, sage, elderberries and many more.  In my practice i am fond of using the echinacea and sage throat spray by Vogel works wonders.
  • A good drink to boost the immune system is ginger tea: Drink ginger, lemon and honey. Take a piece of ginger, the size of your thumb, and juice it. Alternatively steep the ginger in hot water for 5-10 minutes, and then cool down. Add juice from ½ lemon and a teaspoon of raw honey. This drink gives you a boost of essential nutrients including antioxidants and vitamin C.Tropical smoothiepexels-photo-302810