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Archive for March, 2009

I’ve been going to the Vitality Show in London consecutively for the last 7 years. As a complementary practitioner I like to keep up to date on what’s new and available and the show, for me, is both fun and informative. I meet many therapists and it provides a basis for my continuing research.

Having just returned home from this year’s show, I was very disappointed. Not only was it down-sized (from Olympia to Earls Earls Court 1), it was also heavily geared towards sports clothes, hair and beauty and many of the therapy workshops (aura readings, colour therapies, reflexology, Ayurvedic treatments, herbs and supplement stands) had disappeared, possibly due to the high costs of exhibiting there. This was a shame

However, I was delighted when I actually stumbled across what I feel is a gem of a company: Mercy Oil Products. Mercy Oil products are produced from the seeds of plants and contain hundreds of precious and nutritious substances which include vitamins, minerals, high levels of essential fatty acids, amino acids and highly medicinal active components. They provide a natural healing remedy for immunodeficiency and opportunistic infections. I would encourage anyone who is interested to keep a look out for these products and do their own research.

The company’s leading product is Mercy Oil – an oil produced from the seeds of the Black Cumin flower (Nigella Sativa).

Black Cumin seed oil has been used for thousands of years by various cultures and civilizations around the world as an organic nutritional treatment, aiding good health and well-being.

The unique healing properties of Mercy Drinking Oil lie in the traditional way it is produced. Great care and time are taken to grow the Black Cumin plants in a mountainous climate of clean air and rich soil with as little pollution as possible.

The special extraction process which is used enhances Mercy Drinking Oils’ medicinal qualities without damaging the organic nutritional elements that the plant seeds have taken from the earth.

Since the 1960s, doctors around the world started researching and proving Black Cumin Seed oil’s many medicinal benefits, publishing their findings in respected and peer reviewed medical journals. Watch this space as I’ll be reviewing my findings.

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Red Yeast is also known as: Hong Qu, Monascus, Red Rice Yeast, Red Yeast Rice, Xue Zhi Kang, Zhi Tai.

Red yeast is the product of rice fermented with Monascus purpureus yeast. Red yeast supplements are different from red yeast rice sold in Chinese grocery stores. Supplements are manufactured by culturing M. purpureus on rice at carefully controlled temperatures and growing conditions to increase the concentration of mevinic acids. Red yeast contains sterols, including beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, and sapogenin; isoflavones and isoflavone glycosides and monounsaturated fatty acids. Red yeast is the product of rice fermented with the Monascus purpureus yeast that contains monacolin K (lovastatin, mevinolin) and other HMG-CoA reductase inhibiting compounds.

If it is not correctly fermented it may contain citrinin – a toxin which may cause kidney failure

Orally, red yeast is used for maintaining desirable cholesterol levels in healthy people and reducing cholesterol in people with hyperlipidemia (essentially, high cholesterol). It’s also used for indigestion, diarrhea, improving blood circulation, and for spleen and stomach health.

When used orally and appropriately and for the short term, red yeast is safe. It has been safely used in studies lasting up to 12 weeks. There is insufficient reliable information available about the safety of red yeast when used orally for the long-term.

Studies have shown that taking red yeast for hypercholesterolemia can significantly lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, and triglycerides when used for 8-12 weeks. The dose used most commonly is 2.4 grams per day. Some research suggests that red yeast might be as effective as simvastatin (Zocor) for improving lipid profiles.

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The link between progesterone and the menopause is highlighted by the fact that women in industrialised countries have a hard time with menopausal symptoms compared to women in rural societies. Dr. P. Ellison of Harvard University studied oestrogen levels in various ecological and cultural populations and found that oestrogen levels in western women are abnormally high. This can be due to a number of factors:

  • the food consumed (particularly animals fed oestrogen to fatten them)
  • the crops sprayed with pesticides (most of which are oestrogenic)
  • the Pill and HRT
  • drinking recycled water which has not had the oestrogen removed
  • using cosmetics which are made with liquid paraffin and oestrogenic antioxidants.

An understanding of the effects of a lack of progesterone is vital to understanding that progesterone can play an enormously beneficial role in helping to go through menopause without too many adverse affects. By naturally opposing the action of oestrogen, the symptoms of oestrogen dominance are lessened and in some cases eliminated. The easiest method to apply progesterone is in a cream form.

New research conducted by Wallace and Kelsey published in “Human Reproduction”, indicates that it might be possible to show the approach of menopause by a scan of the ovaries. Currently blood hormone levels are used to try to determine this, but these are notoriously inaccurate as it is common practice to only check oestrogen levels, not progesterone. The patient generally needs to specifically request this despite the fact that progesterone and menopause are inextricably connected. As the symptoms of menopause are caused by a lack of progesterone and too much oestrogen, the standard ‘oestrogen only’ test is of little help.

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Readers of my blogs will know that I have suffered from adrenal stress and have looked into a number of ‘alternative cures’. I’ve looked into and talked about Macca but I never actually got around to using it because I discovered Ashwagandha first. I’ve been using Ashwagandha for several months and I do believe it’s gone a long way in helping me. I’m starting to feel ‘normal’ again.

What is it?
Ashwagandha (meaning: strength of a horse) is a known herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Found in India, it’s an evergreen shrub the roots of which are used medicinally. It has a reputation for improving strength, energy and stamina.
It’s an adaptogenic herb suitable for long-term use (avoid if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding).

Stress
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen: a class of herbal medicines that improve energy and help the body adapt to stress. It relaxes the nervous system and increases strength and stamina. Excellent for promoting restful sleep; its antioxidant effects help immunity and increase white blood cell count and reduces arthritic pain and inflammation.

Research published in the journal of Phytomedicine (2000) found Ashwagandha was ‘comparable to some orthodox drugs for treating anxiety and depression’.

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I first came across Transcendental Meditation (TM) during my degree studies when I was mixing with students of Ayurveda.

Transcendental meditation is a technique which gives a quality of rest to mind and body which is quite unique. It allows for the release of stress and tiredness which results in greater energy and peace and clarity of the mind, so bringing enjoyment of life.

Now, a study seems to be endorsing what users of TM have known all along: that it can, in fact, help to increase brain function and lower stress levels.

A group of fifty students took part in the trial at the American University in Washington DC, and after using meditation for ten weeks they reported lower levels of stress and feeling more alert.

One ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) sufferer who took part in the study claims meditating for a few minutes a day helped him to get off a cocktail of medication which controlled his condition

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7907242.stm

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