Other ideas (possible articles) about health via food
Essential oils are usually obtained by steam distillation from certain plants. You can inhale them, put them on your skin, or diffuse them in the air. Some people put some of them in their food (in very small amounts). They are ery potent. Often, one or two drops is enough. True to their name, they are the essences of the plant. They contain the volatile (temporary) fragrances, like the scent of a rose. They vary in quality. Know your supplier.
Due to biochemical individuality, no essential oil works for everybody. The same oil may have different effects on different individuals. What works for you today may not work for you tomorrow. It is better to use very small quantities to start. The fact that one drop is good does not mean that two is better. One drop of good-quality peppermint oil can add taste and a pleasant flavor to a smoothie. Essential oils represent a vast subject. I intend to try to reduce it to simple concepts and practical terms. A reading list is here.
Triclosan, formadehyde, parabens and other artificial ingredients are found in many toiletries and cosmetic products. They are used as fragrances or for other purposes. Many perfumes are based on synthetic aromas. For some people, it is nauseous to be in an elevator surrounded by synthetic perfumes. Your nose and your skin are sponges that can absorb these and other toxins from these products. Essential oils are an alternative that make it possible to avoid these artificial ingredients. Ylang ylang is a specific alternative to perfume.
Essential oils were used in ancient Egypt, India, Greece, and Rome, though most were oils infused with herbs. Arab traders starters to distill essential oils in the nineth century. In 1910, the French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefossé was severely hurt in a lab explosion. His hand began developing gangrene (a deadly disease). According to his journal, “Just one rinse with lavender essence stopped the gasification of the tissue.” This treatment was followed by profuse sweating and healing began the next day.” The therapeutic use of essential oils is known as aromatherapy. Gattefossé is sometimes called the “father of aromatherapy”.
Diffusers are ultrasound are nebulizers. Always ventilate the room. Beware that essential oils can have unpredictable effects on pets and children. Some people can have distant memories, either pleasant or unpleasant, restored by inhaling essential oils.
A list of essential oils, including references to research is here. You can listen to podcasts about essential oils here. The least expensive essential oils are lavender, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, peppermint, ginger, eucalyptus, oregano, and tea tree. They vary in effect. Specific results depend on the oil and the individual. On the other hand, patterns have been noticed. Again, your specific results may vary. Lavender tends to be a sedative. Peppermint tends to improve respiration and digestion. Tea tree can control mold and fungus. Beware that citrus oils, such lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, make your skin more photo-sensitive. Some people can become sunburned, if they have one of these oils on their skin.
Dr. Eric Zielinski DC wrote an excellent reference on essential oils, “Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, and Feel Great“. Watch his sixty-four minute video here. According to Dr. Zielinski, Grapefruit oil can decrease appetite. Peppermint can increase energy. Peppermint, orange, frankincese, and neroli can reduce pain. Orange and vanilla can reduce depression. Other oils that can booost mood include lemon, lavender, lime, bergamot, and ylang ylang. Clary sage can decrease cortisol. Rosemary can increase memory. Lemon oil can decrease nausea. Lavender can calm. Ylang ylang can increase the heart rate but reduce blood pressure at the same time. If this seems contradictory, essential oils create balance. Again, according to Dr. Zielinski, Frankincense, myrrh, lemongrass, citrus, lavender, thyme, and others can be used therapeutically against tumors and cancer.
Some oils, such as lavender and tea tree, can mimic estrogens, so it is better to be careful with use by men and those with estrogen-induced tumors.
The food and flavor industries are the main users of essential oils. The most popular culinary oils are peppermint, orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, clove, ginger, cinnamon, basil, rosemary, and coriander. One teaspoon of herb equals two to three drops of essential oil. In other words, use at most two to three drops of essential oils per dish. Beware that oils do not mix with water. If you add a drop to water to flavor it, shake or stir the water before you drink it.
PubMed, a database of published research, includes more than twenty thousand studies about essential oils. You can find other sources of information here. The Tisserand Institute offers online courses about aromatherapy.
Pancreatic enzymes, also known as proteolytic enzymes, are found in certain foods, such as apples, pineapples, and papaya. They were researched therapeutically and reported by John Beard, William Kelly, and Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez. For details, read the history by Dr. Gonzalez here.
Mushrooms have vitamin D, but they also have other nutrients, some of which are known as polysaccharides. Some have certain minerals that can be healthy for some people. Some mushrooms are poisonous. Not all healthy mushrooms are healthy for everybody. Mushrooms absorb any toxic heavy metals in the soil, so know your supplier. Some are indeed poisonous. I intend to research this and then to write it up in practical terms.
Reishi – scientific overview
Reishi and gene expression
Reishi and immune system
Reishi and immune system 2
Shitake may not be optimal for blood type O, according to Dr. Peter D’Adamo and blood type eating. Maitake may be more healthy for blood type O.
Hyperion Herbs, a supplier, lists mushrooms that they claim increase the immune system.
Psychology of routines
Why do you eat what you eat? Do you eat to satisfy your cravings? Are your eating habits part of your identity? Do you eat to nourish yourself? Without judgement nor guilt, you might ask yourself these questions and think about it. I intend to research this subject, of which there are many opinions. Philosophies and religions there are many, but the truth there is only one, and it is inside you, if you look for it.
Entheogenics are controversial, but can be soul food for some people. On the other hand, they are not for everybody. I intend to research this vast subject and to focus on legal use of these plants for mental and spiritual health. One possible reference for reading is “The Way of the Shaman” by Michael Harner. This article is to summarize and simplify:
Kilham, Chris, “The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook“, North Atlantic Books, 2014
Narby, Jeremy, PhD, “The Cosmic Serpent – DNA and the Origins of Knowledge“, Penguin Putnam, 1998
Tafur, Dr. Joseph, MD, “The Fellowship of the River“, Espiritu Books, 2017, book
Ayahuasca – fifty-two minute documentary by Aubrey Marcus
Herbal first aid
Cut, burned, nauseous, poisoned by food while traveling? There are various options. Beware of the 100 mL limit while passing through an airport. Though not all herbal, my travel kit includes:
- three- to eight-percent food-grade hydrogen peroxide (used for disinfection and mixed in minute amounts with water for detoxification),
- magnesium chloride (oil to stop muscle cramps),
- essential oils – ginger, lavender, citronella, eucaplytus, peppermint, tea tree,
- vitamin C (powder, non-GMO, in a labeled bag or container),
- sodium bicarbonate (powder, aluminum-free, in a labeled bag or container),
- activated charcoal (in case of food poisoning),
- sodium chlorite (to to form ClO2 in very small amounts under conditions you need to control),
- vitamin B complex (for digestion), and
- iodine (food grade tincture for disinfection of wounds in minute amounts for detoxification).
The purpose of this article would be to explain why these items, for what specific use, and with what precautions, most of all to start low and go slow.
Ayurveda is ancient “life science” from India. Starting with analysis of the individual and their “dosha” (body type), Ayurveda includes advice about healthy eating for each dosha. Some people have mixed doshas.
Ancient Chinese medicine
There were many different local schools of thought about nature, food, and health in ancient China. How these schools are described today can become a political matter that I intend to avoid. One school of thought in ancient Chinese medicine tried to identify the individual constitution of the person as either “cold” or “hot” and also as either “wet” or “dry”. This leads to certain advice about what foods are healthy or not healthy for the specific person. This fits the concept of biochemical individuality.
Practitioners also had their own philosophies and local availability of foods and herbs even in times of plenty. One school of thought in ancient China excluded grains, even rice, for health. A very brief overview of ancient Chinese medicine is here.
Anatomy – briefly
Your body is attached to your mind. Your spirit may control them all. The best knowledge is self-knowledge. Aware of biochemical individuality, this article is to describe the primary sub-systems of the body briefly:
- central nervous system (brain, nerves, and gut-brain axis),
- bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissue,
- circulatory system (heart, blood, and lymph),
- respiratory system (lungs, oxygen, and carbon dioxide),
- digestive system (mouth, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, large intestine, liver, …)
- urinary system (kidneys, bladder, urine),
- reproductive system,
- immune system,
- endocrine system, and
Physiology – briefly
It is the whole body that is healthy or not. If one part of your body is unhealthy, then other parts are also. Blood goes everywhere. This puts a limit on specialization but not on the specialist. You could possibly use food, herbs, and spices to strengthen the various sub-systems. Note that not all foods and herbs work for everybody. Results depend on biochemical individuality. Also note that opinions differ about what defines evidence of efficacy. If you have a medical condition, see a doctor.
These concepts are to be detailed here with references, starting with this list, merely of what seems to work for me, when I tried it for myself (no health claims):
|Physical sub-system||Possible fortifiers, depending on the individual|
|brain, central nervous system, vision||vitamin B3, B complex, adaptogens, ginseng, rhodiola, healthy fats, blueberries, visual Bates method|
|bones, muscles, joints||calcium (carob, fenugreek, parsley), horsetail (silica), magnesium (dark green leafy vegetables), vitamin D (Dr. Sunshine), vitamin K2 (kale), protein, vitamin C (citrus); herbs & spices to relieve joint pain.|
|heart, circulatory system, blood||garlic, hawthorn, vitamin E, vitamin B3, others|
|lungs, respiratory system, oxygen||ginger, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus (externally), licorice, cannabis (edibles), oregano, mullein, plaintain|
|gut, digestive system, enzymes||apple, pineapple, papaya (non-gmo), ginger, cayenne, peppermint|
|urinary system||cranberry, dandelion, nettle, horsetail|
|reproductive system||vitamin C (citrus), turmeric, pumpkin seeds, he shou wu (fo-ti), aphrodisiacs (damiana, yohimbe, horny goat weed)|
|immune system||avoiding refined sugar,
vitamins C, A, and D, iodine (see research by Dr. David Brownstein),
garlic, ginger, licorice, astragalus, adaptogens, other herbs
|endocrine system||kelp, bladderwrack, chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus)|
|skin, nails, hair||aloe vera, burdock, clay, charcoal, turmeric, horsetail, he shou wu (fo-ti)|
Without offering personal advice, this article is also to list foods, spices, and herbs known by published research to strenghten each of these systems, such as herbs for the eyes, herbs to relieve pain, and others.
Pineapple, banana, and ginger can all be used to stimulate production of melatonin, which can relieve insomnia for some people.
Pathology – briefly
Local and regional traditions
Quality control of herbs
Observed effects of certain herbs in some people
Teas and tinctures
Herbs, spices, and cooking
Your suggestions or requests?