How Herbs Help Humans: Vol. 1, Section 1: Hopping Mad! Will Hops Cure Road Rage? Hops for Intense & Angry People

28 10 2015

Hops or Humulus lupulus,  may not cure road rage, but it is a great herb for people who are intense, th-4angry & bitter people.  You may not show it in your mannerisms, but deep down inside you have these intense emotions that need to come out…or you could use Hops to help dissipate these emotions by “digesting” them away.  Poor digestion has always created misery, just look at all those colicky kids whose mothers ate cruciferous veges or drank cow’s milk at the advice of their physician, everyone suffers when colicky kids crank constantly through the night.  And if you are eating those heavy, high-society foods that taste yummy but make you sluggish, sloth-like & miserable, do everyone a favour & take a bitters formula with Hops or take Hops alone after you eat.

Interestingly enough the taste of this herb is both intense & bitter which stimulates digestive function/juices including bile & increases the absorption of nutrients.  Its main organs of action include the stomach, nerves and liver but because of its “salty” flavour it can also help the kidneys with the water/solid balance.  For digestion take a small amount say 1 or 2 mL after eating…usually works best in a “bitters” formula…for insomnia you need large doses like 3 mL 1 hour before bed…but it often works best in a “nerve” formula.  You can also take it in a tea for sleeping, but it must be made strong as in a good quality herb in a large tea ball infused in a mug for 15 to 20 minutes.  But if you find you are an intense, angry/bitter person with insomnia it may work okay alone, since you share in its personality.

Besides it digestive & nervine properties it actually has pain relieving properties as well and can help kill some bacteria in the gut.  It also has been recently shown to have anti-cancer abilities when they extract certain compounds from it.  See: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691599000198

The personality type as mentioned above is for angry, bitter & intense persons but it is also suited for strong-headed people with the need to work all the time…they are the “drivers” as it were.  They have a lot of mental strain & strong emotions of hatred & anger which when expressed causes nervous exhaustion, insomnia & worry.  Ultimately, the person is “too strong above & too weak below”, so to speak.  They present with red, flushed faces typical of a person who eats too much heavy food & works too much.

It is for the “abused stomach” where food is eaten and not digested well causing a pounding head and insomnia.  Its intense, acrid/bitter flavour  will help this type of stomach heal.

Take it in a tincture for better digestion or even for sleeping, but it can also be used in a pillow or in a bath if the smell of a Hops pillow is repulsive to you.  King Henry lll & Abraham Lincoln actually benefitted from the Hops pillow, so if you think you are of the same “line” as they, try it & see if your sleep is sublime.        I am not recommending it in beer, though occasional use this way would be okay, but generally those who need this herb are drinking way too much anyway so the tincture is recommended for digestion.

You may not be a “Hopping Mad Hops” personality type, but you may have seasons where you are like this, so I would recommend using this for those seasons in your life, but take it with the herb that fits your “personality” type.

This information has been derived & contrived mainly from Matthew Wood’s book “The Earthwise Herbal” for the “Old World Medicinal Plants”, David Winston’s book “Herbal Therapeutics” and my clinical use of this herb.  It for information purposes only & if you are self-helping you take full risk and responsibility.  I always recommend consulting with a Clinical Herbalist to get pertinent solutions for your health issues.  I hope you find this information helpful.

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How Herbs Help Humans Volume 1, Section 1. Introduction & Basic Therapeutic Guidelines for Great Health.

9 09 2015

How Herbs Help Humans Vol. 1, Section 1. 

I want to write some articles on how herbs help humans because our mindset in Western Culture is not onherbs.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart prevention but on treating symptoms.  Whether you like it or not we are all influenced by the Western medicine mindset on treating symptoms and using drugs & surgery as our main methods of controlling ill health.  Unfortunately, while these methods can be helpful, they do come up short in many illnesses as can be testified by many who have experienced some relief of symptoms only to have drug side-effects and now a different set of symptoms.  I am sure you have known at least one person who has experienced this situation.

What I want to attempt to do is to provide some simple solutions by looking at some herbs that have influence on digestive disturbances, mental health disturbances & structural disturbances/herbal first aid remedies to start.   Unless a person has an allergy to a specific plant or plant family, then there are typically no side-effects to these methods providing you follow instructions from a Clinical Herbalist who knows exactly how to use the herbs.  These articles, then will be to provide information and peek a person’s interest who may be suffering while looking for simple solutions that work.

I will be adding to this volume as I add different herbal monographs and how to use them.  Some herbs need to be used in a formula to get better and quicker results and some herbal remedies need to be taken frequently to get great results in first aid treatment,  plus there are what is called Basic Therapeutic Guidelines that need to be followed in order for the remedies in chronic illnesses like mental & digestive disturbances to really grasp hold and work well.  I will indicate these details on the “herbal monograph” which will be a short blurb on the herb in terms the layman can understand.

Before getting into the herbs themselves I will list what I call the “Basic Therapeutic Guidelines” for great health.

Diet:

A. Avoid:  white flour, white rice (in most cases), white sugar, deep fried foods and generally any “fast foods”.  These foods tend to increase inflammation and cause imbalances in mood, digestion & blood chemistry.  Also avoid aspartame or any other artificial sweetener.  If you need an alternative use “raw” Stevia as it does not have an after taste like the “white” processed Stevia does.

B. Eat: Low glycemic (low sugar) foods like green leafy vegetables (romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, spring greens etc.), cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, collards, kale, kohlrabi etc.) Also, whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa etc.,  for those who can eat grains and high protein foods like meat, beans, legumes etc.  Note: 50% of what you eat should ideally be non-starchy green vegetables.

Eat & Drink Fermented Foods like; Kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir, yogurt, crunchy sauerkraut, other fermented vegetables, etc.  I am not referring to drinking alcoholic beverages either, though some kefir drinks can contain a small amount of alcohol.  Note: all sauerkraut or fermented vegetables needs to be eaten at room temperature rather than cooked.

Sleep:  At least 9 hours per day and go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day.  If you are a shift worker do your best to follow this as much as you can. (If you have trouble sleeping and did not indicate this symptom on the intake form please let me know so I can help you with this.) Please also refer to the “sleep hygiene” checklist.

Stress:  Practise stress-reducing techniques like meditating, exercising at least 3x per week and 1 hour each time, listen to relaxing music, talk to a friend, take up a hobby, get in the outdoors, practise self-hypnosis as directed in the book “In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick”, practise body mindfulness with the help of a licensed counsellor etc.

Life Purpose:  Create a “mission statement” or discover your purpose in life by believing in a “power greater than yourself” & ask for help from this “power greater than yourself.”

Laugh:  Laugh daily and find at least 6 gifts to be grateful for.  Write them down.  Watch a funny movie or listen to a “clean” comedian.

Keep a Health Log/Journal:  For those of you who have a chronic illness you will need to keep a health log or health journal to record what you are doing and your symptoms.  This will give information regarding the correlation of lifestyle changes & remedies to your relief or increase in symptoms.  Record all that you do for your health including the prescriptions that you may be using from your doctor etc.

Vitamin D:  For those of you who live up in Canada take at least 10,ooo iu of Vitamin D per day for a healthy immune system, nervous system & for your bones.   It must be taken year round since we do not get enough sunshine here in Canada to stop taking it during the summer months, plus sun screen and showering less than 1 hour after being exposed to the sun stops your body from making Vitamin D.  It is vital for everyone to take this simple vitamin as it has been implicated in the prevention of many diseases.  Note: for those suffering with SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder you cannot afford to miss a day of this, since it will help with the SAD symptoms.

Omega 3’s:  Everyone, unless you are allergic, should be taking Omega 3 oils from fish or flax oil since it helps with inflammation and supports good immune, mental and joint health.  Note: for those suffering from SAD or other mental disturbances you will need an exact amount, determined by a trained professional/Clinical Herbalist, to get the best results.  Also, if you are allergic to fish then you could eat lamb, grass fed beef, eggs, game meats & poultry, but if you suffer from mood swings, depression of any kind and you cannot have fish oil, then I would take flax oil instead.   Most people need at least 3,000 mg per day and those suffering from mental symptoms need more as in 7,000 to 10,000 mg per day.  (That is an amount discovered in clinical research.)

Note:  If you don’t think you need to supplement with “Essential Fatty Acids” (EFA’s) then just look at the palms of your hands.  If they are “orange” instead of “pink” then you are low in EFA’s.  Nothing will change this unless you actually supplement with the correct amount as well as the “correct” EFA type for you.  Some people need a blend of oils while others can get away with just one type.  In my clinical experience, I have observed that the majority of people need 2 oil types either Fish or Flax oil and either Borage or Evening Primrose or a blend of 3 or more oils as found in “Udo’s oil”.

I would highly recommend if you take it in liquid that you keep it refrigerated and use it regularly so that the bottle does not go rancid.  And the liquid form can be cheaper in cost when you take it in high amounts for depression or mood disorders.

Magnesium citrate or diglycinate:  Up to 60% of people are low in Magnesium as it cannot be stored in the body.  It is important for all muscle function through out the body and helps to get rid of cramps and assists in all kinds of important chemical reactions through out the body.  It can improve; sleep, bowel movements, menstrual cramps, irritability etc.  Most people need about 500 to 1500 mg per day.

Nerve &/or Adrenal Formula: At Hirai Health Services one of our specialties is to develop formulas for people undergoing stress to help protect their adrenals, digestion & immune system.  The Nervous System is at the top of the body’s hierarchy & controls your stomach acid, hormones, elimination etc.  A herbal nerve formula will keep the nerves functioning without succumbing to stress as easily & your recovery will be much quicker once the stress is over.   (By the way, stress can just be working very long days at a job you love for weeks & months on end without having regular weekly breaks or daily breaks.)

Also, for those who train “physically” taking a nerve formula can be quite useful to help your muscles recuperate from the stress of working out even though a workout can be a very positive thing.

Adrenals are affected by your nerves first, then if the stress does not go away your stomach acid starts to decline & you will have trouble digesting protein as well as absorbing nutrients like Iron & B12.  Then the bacteria will start to overgrow in your small intestine causing “SIBO” symptoms, (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) which is another whole can of worms on its own.  Also, the bones will start to be affected over time because you will not be able to absorb Calcium & other minerals as well since the adrenals are part of the “kidney” in Chinese Medicine & kidney health is paramount to bone health.  Then there is the heart & the Cardiovascular system.  Increased stress will increase your chance of Cardiovascular disease as well, like blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks.

And to think all of the above symptoms can be prevented by stress management, a nerve formula & possibly an adrenal formula when required.  Also just a quick note on when to take a nerve formula, I recommend 1 hour before bed and then take the adrenal support formula in the morning before going to work.

Active B complex: Which means a B complex that is activated with a methyl group so that your body can use it right away.  Yes, it is true that some people methylate better than others and you can determine that by either symptoms or going to 23andme & get a DNA test to determine if you are a methylater or not.  But B vitamins are very important for digestion & assimilation of food as well as important for nerves.

Zinc:  This mineral is very important for digestion since most enzymes are Zinc dependent.  Even if you take just 25 mg a day to keep up your digestion unless you have a diagnosed problem with digestion then you would have to take more.

Think Green!  The liver does something like 300 functions every 3 minutes….so it needs a lot of TLC to keep it going.  How about giving it a “Green” drink or large dark green leafy salad on a daily basis.  If you can add sprouts to the salad including sprouted seeds & soaked nuts even better.  Be careful of drinking too much oxalic acid veggies in drinks as some peoples’ kidneys can hurt from running all that oxalic acid through them!  You would know if this was an issue because your upper back will ache.  Wheat grass or sprout drinks along with Romaine Lettuce do not contain oxalic acid so you can drink plenty of those daily without risk of irritating your kidneys.  Click “here” to check out the list of oxalic acid containing foods.

Visit a Natural Health Practitioner at least 2x per year for “dis-ease” prevention:  Find someone that you can work with, that listens to you & that has a “work” guarantee program.  If you have a problem that is complex or deep, Ie. have had for many years, then a “team” approach is definitely appropriate.  Acupuncture, Cranial Sacral, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Herbs, Colon Hydrotherapy  etc., can all have a positive affect along with a few herbs & cleansing spring and fall to keep your toxicity level down.  In my clinical experience, most severe problems are due to nutritional deficiencies or toxicity overload.

Please note:  This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to be used for diagnostic or treatment.  This information is applied at the reader’s own discretion.

 

 

 

 

 





30 07 2014

 

1. Take 15 minutes every morning to relax before rushing out the door.  (Sit cross-legged on a hard floor andimgres-10 sip hot water if experiencing sever constipation.)  Deep breathing exercises are also helpful to do at this time.  Ie. Breathe from belly not chest.                                       

See the information here:   http://modernherbalmedicine.com/articles/breathe-your-way-to-better-physical-and-emotional-health.html

2. Avoid anything containing white flour, rice & white sugar, as much as possible.  (called the “white plague.”)

3. Remove as many of the external stresses from your life such as: being ‘too busy’ plus deal with internal stressors like; lies you tell yourself, ‘stuffing’ your feelings, feeling bad about yourself and any “co-dependent” or “co-addictive”, or addictive behaviour.

4. Drink at least 1 to 2 litres of water per day between meals.  (non-chlorinated)

5. Eat lots of fibre in your diet.  If you can eat grains, eat whole grains.  Regardless, everyone should take a fibre drink once per day.  See the information here:                                                                              http://www.hiraihealth.com/pdf/How%20to%20take%20a%20fiber%20drink.%202012.pdf 

6. Eat lots of “live food” like sprouts, fresh vegetables, juices, raw salads, fruit and avoid deep fried and heavy foods containing wheat, dairy, beef or pork.  (These are all hard on the liver.)

7. If your colon lacks tone, do the colon exercises listed on the ‘Colon Regime’ article here:  http://www.hiraihealth.com/pdf/Colon%20Therapy%20Regime%202012.pdf

8. Get checked for a nutrient deficiency if you are still constipated.  If you are low in any of the B vitamins, lecithin or acidophilus, – these help the colon stay lubricated and toned up.

9. Eat and drink fermented foods, and I don’t mean alcoholic fermented beverages.  I mean Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Fermented Vegetables etc.  These help to maintain a healthy digestive tract.

10. When traveling, take your enema bag along.  (Refer to ‘How to Give Yourself a High Enema.’ http://www.ozonelab.com/monica/enema.htm )    You can also benefit from doing a colonic before and after you travel.  Book these appointments ahead of time.  Also, herbal laxatives such as Senna, Cascara sagrada are okay for occasional constipation.  Do not take herbal laxatives as a long-term solution.   Please consult with me during your next appointment so I can help you determine the cause of your constipation and a plan to address this properly.

11. If you are on drugs or medication, check to see if constipation is a side effect.  Ie. Pain killers cause constipation.  There are herbal alternatives to help with pain.

12.Iron supplements can also cause constipation.  Herbal iron supplements are superior as they do not cause constipation and absorb better to.  

13.Have an assessment to determine if your stomach or liver may be causing the constipation you are having.

 





Fruity Lemon Water Kefir

18 12 2013

images-14

1/  1 package of Water Kefir Grains that have already been activated.  (If you do not know how to do this, then please refer to the instructions contained in the box that held the package of Water Kefir Grains.)

2/  125 mL of Cane Sugar  (Organic Cane Sugar is the best.)

3/  1 to 2 dried figs (Can also be raisins, sultanas, dried prunes etc. Organic is best.)

4/  Half a lemon.

5/ 1 to 1.5 Litres of Filtered Water, it can be water that contains minerals. Ie.  Does not have to be distilled or reverse osmosis water.

6/  2 Litre glass container or two different glass jars that will hold 1 litre each.

7/   Coffee filter or cheesecloth & 1 elastic.

8/  Plastic sieve or strainer.

9/  Plastic or wooden spoon.  (Do not use metal spoons or bowls or metal anything when you make any kind of culture.)

Steps:

1/  Dissolve sugar in the water.

In the container, pour in mineral water and add the sugar.  Dissolve sugar using the plastic or wooden spoon or even better just swirl the jar gently until all the sugar dissolves.

2/  Add the kefir grains, dried figs or dried fruit of your choice and the lemon as is, do not sqeeze it yet.

3/  Cover the container with the cheesecloth or coffee filter and secure with an elastic.  (It should not be air tight.)

4/  Place away from sunlight and leave at room temperature of 18 C to 25 C.

(65F to 77F)

5/  Allow to ferment for 24, 48 or 72 hours.  For a stronger kefir, ferment the grains longer.

6/  Once the fermentation is completed to your satisfaction, squeeze the lemon.  (Use plastic tongs to get the lemon out of the water.  Do not put hands into the water.)

7/  Strain & separate the kefir grains separately from the fruit.  Store the kefir grains in a BHP free plastic container either in the fridge or the freezer.  When you want to make your next batch, just warm it up on the counter in your kitchen to room temperature…and start the whole process over again.

Benefits of Kefir are:

  1. Helps to restore normal flora inside your gut.
  2. Helps your probiotic to “implant” inside your gut.
  3. Crowds out unfriendly bacteria, yeast and parasites.
  4. Can get rid of “tummy aches” and pains in both adults and children.
  5. Good for breast feeding women to take in regularly to increase digestion & prevent colic in infants.
  6. Good for restoring normal flora after antibiotics especially when taken with a good Human Microflora strain of probiotic.
  7. Helps to manufacture certain Vitamins like some B vitamins, vitamin K, enzymes etc.
  8. Can help with hormone balance by crowding out the yeast.
  9. Can help get rid of food cravings due to low normal gut flora.

What you will need:





Colon Cleansing

3 12 2013
  1. Make sure that you take Magnesium citrate capsules or powder for at least one week before images-6you start the colonics.  Then make sure you continue to take them to keep your bowels regular and soft.  The dosage is: 4 capsules before bed and 2 in the morning.  It can be lowered if you get too loose or can be increased if you are not going at least 2 times per day.  With the powdered Magnesium, the best is to start with the highest dose suggested on the bottle then decrease it or increase it as you see necessary.
  2. Make sure to take the fiber drink that works for you.  Ground Chia seeds, Ground Flax seeds, Psyllium Combination Powder, and follow the directions on my website (At the bottom of the Book An Appointment page, look for “How to take a   Fiber Drink”.)
  3. Take your probiotic daily (HMF probiotic from Seroyal is the best as it stays in your body the longest.  Ask me about this if I haven’t told you already.) especially at the beginning of your suggested regime.  As you increase your fermented foods, you will need to take the probiotic less and less until you don’t need it anymore.  You can tell when you don’t need it anymore because you will not be bloated after you eat or later in the day any more.  (Provided you are eating the diet that is right for you.  Check my website: www.hiraihealth.com for recipes on fermented foods  under: healthinfo/articles&links.
  4.  Report any problems that you may have after the colonic like; a) feeling sleepy, b)increase in gas, c) right-sided lower abdominal/back pain d) not being able to have a bowel movement for more than a day after having a colonic. (Missing the day after having a colonic is normal.)  You need to call me when you have these symptoms.  Usually if you have any of these symptoms it means you have a dysbiosis, which is low good gut flora and increased yeast & parasites.  It can be easily solved by taking a parasite remedy or yeast remedy or a combination of the two.
  5. Remember it takes at least 3 colonic spaced out no more than 2 weeks apart, (1 week apart is recommended) to get decent results and most people need at least 6 colonics or more depending on the nature of your digestive issues.
  6. Once your colon is cleaned out you will need to have a “Maintenance Program” in place to help you maintain proper elimination & digestion.  This will vary from person to person and you will need a follow-up appointment after your series of colonics.  With this program you will be able to have colonics as a part of a cleansing program or before & after travel or as needed for general health maintenance.  Cleansing clinics around the world recommend a minimum of 3 colonics spring and fall for cleansing to help keep the body free of dis-ease.
  7. Eat fermented foods daily and especially on the days that you have colonics.  If you don’t know which fermented foods would be best for you, ask.  Fermented foods help the Probiotic Supplement stay in your system better.  The suggested minimum for fermented foods are 1/4 cup minimum for the kefir drinks and 1/8 to 1/4 cup fermented veges or yogurt. (This may vary from person to person and you may have to start at 1 tsp of kefir and work your way up to 1/4 cup.)
  8. Books on cleansing & colonics:  1) Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management by Dr. Bernard Jensen. 2) Colon Health by Norman Walker. 3)The Colon Health Handbook by Robert Gray.

If you have any questions or concerns or have any symptoms as listed under #4 of this list, please       email me or call me right away.

HAPPY CLEANSING!  🙂

 





Digestive Health

15 10 2013
  1. Why do people get bloated, gasey and constipated?imgres-5

The main causes are the heavy North American diet that most people devour.  What I mean by heavy foods is cooked grains & animal sourced foods like meat & dairy.  Some examples are; white bread, white pasta, white rice, hamburgers, steaks, pork, pizza, hotdogs, sausages etc.  Anything deep fried or full of sugar.

These foods are very heavy because they lack enzymes, vitamins & minerals used for digestion.   They are also hard to eliminate as well because they are low in fiber.  The stomach & liver become burdened with digesting this food and “food residue” is left in the intestines because it could not be burned “cleanly”.

Over the weeks & months this builds up in the intestines and impairs the digestion in the small & large intestines, because the food becomes rotten and turns into a “glue-like” substance-something like old gum on the sidewalk.  Hard to get off!  It clogs the delicate, finger-like projections in the small intestines and the body becomes auto-intoxicated because you will keep reabsorbing the toxins into your bloodstream causing the liver to constantly work cleaning the blood so you can stay alive without poisoning yourself.

Some of the symptoms of this malady are bloating, smelly gas, low energy after eating, dark circles under the eyes, bad breath, sensitive spots on the abdomen etc.

Some remedies for this problem are; a)  start eating “live” foods.  Foods like sprouts, raw veges, raw fruit, raw nuts and seeds.  b) do a cleanse which needs to include; fiber drinks with bentonite clay, herbs to help release the old “gum” on the intestinal walls, herbs for the liver & kidney and with the cleanse you must do juicing, skin brushing, colonics or at the very least enemas.  c)  do a daily fast once per week and to make it more effective do  skin brushing, but use a rebounder to really get the lymphatic system moving and drink tons of water with fresh lemon & cayenne pepper.  (You can do this longer if you like) d) Take enzymes with the heavy protein meals even with the vegetarian meals on a daily basis.

The main idea is to eat so you can digest properly by incorporating foods easy to digest while also clearing the intestines of the “goop” so you can also absorb what you digest.  Happy assimilation!





How to Make Coconut Water Kefir Correctly.

25 07 2013

How to Make Coconut Water Kefir Correctly..








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