Other ideas

Other ideas (possible articles) about health via food

Essential oils

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), such as peppermint, orange, or lemon. They are very 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. Some essential oils can irritate the skin of some people. One way to test this is to put one drop on your wrist. It is better to use one drop at a time 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 soaps,  shampoos, toiletries and cosmetic products. They are used as fragrances, to keep up the shelf-life, 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. If you are nervous, lavender can calm. Peppermint tends to improve respiration and digestion. Tea tree can control mold and fungus. Especially for women, ylang ylang can relax gently. 

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, citrus oils and peppermint oil can decrease appetite. Peppermint can increase energy. Peppermint, orange, frankincense, 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. 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.

Beware the citrus oils, such as lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. They make your skin more photo-sensitive. Some people can become sunburned or more sunburned in the sun, if they have one of these oils on their skin.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. Keep them in the dark with the lids closed.

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

Pancreatic enzymes, also known as proteolytic enzymes, are found in certain foods, such as apples, pineapples, and papaya. They have been researched therapeutically and reported years ago by Dr. John Beard in his book, “The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer” and by Dr. William Kelley DDS in his book “One Answer to Cancer“. More recently, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MD described his protocol and use of enzymes in his book “Conquering Cancer“. For details, read the history by Dr. Gonzalez here. Another reference is “Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept” by Dr. Edward Howell, a summary of which is here.

This article is to summarize and review these books.

 

 

Mushrooms

Mushrooms have vitamin D, but they also have other nutrients, such as polysaccharides. Some mushrooms have certain minerals or other nutrients 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 where they are grown, so know your supplier and look for organic mushrooms. Do not pick wild mushrooms, if you do not know what you are doing or if you do not know the local area. 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

He shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum Thunb) has many uses and a long history in ancient Chinese medecine. Look for a reliable souce. You can add its powdered form to smoothies. 

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 they remind you of happy moments of your childhood? Do  you eat to nourish yourself? Without judgement or 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. 

The Power of Habit” is to be reviewed.

 

Entheogenics

Entheogenics are controversial, but they can be soul food for some people.  These are natural substances used by some people to reach a state of inner peace and self-awareness. They can be used to free troubled souls from the effects of turmoil and anguish from psychic suffering or emotional trauma, such as early childhood trauma. Some medical doctors report using entheogenics to prompt alcoholics and heroin addicts to walk away from their habits without the symptoms and agony of withdrawal.

On the other hand, entheogenics are not for everybody. They are to be used with caution, if not extreme caution. One possible reference for reading is “The Way of the Shaman” by Michael Harner. Another is “Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice” by Mark Plotkin.

This article is to summarize and review:

Plants contain many molecules, of course, but the psychoactive effects of the entheogenics are sometimes attributed to specific molecules and their biochemistry. DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a molecule found in many plants. It binds to serotonin. When you consume these plants, the enzyme monoamine oxidase in your stomach metabolizes DMT. If consumed with a molecule known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, DMT is not metabolized as rapidly, and it can induce hallucinations and a psychedelic experience. Again, beware that this experience is not for everybody. For example, if you have a mental illness, or if you are taking anti-depressant pills, then avoid these plants. Is DMT released at death?

This can be a controversial subject for some people. In many countries, DMT is prohibited to make, sell, or use in its pure, synthetic form. Plants that contain DMT are also regulated in many countries. In other countries, there is a legal limbo. DMT is prohibited, but extracts plants that contain DMT are not prohibited. On the other hand, these plants have been used traditionally by indigenous people in many parts of the world for many years.

Perhaps the occasional search for an altered state of consciousness is common to all human beings. Why else do so many people drink so much alcohol?

Plants (and their botanic names) that contain concentrated DMT include:

  • Psychotria viridis, known in the Amazonian Quechua language as “chacruna”,
  • Mimosa hostilis (synonym Mimosa tenuiflora),
  • Acacia podalyriaefolia (and other species in the Acacia genus), and
  • others.  

Plants that contain monoamine oxidase inhibitors include:

  • Banisteriopsis caapi, known as “caapi”, or when mixed with chacruna and brewed, as “ayahuasca” in the Quechua language,
  • Peganum harmala, known as “Syrian rue“,
  • Passiflora incarnata, and other Passiflora species, known as “passion flower“,
  • Glycyrrhiza glabra, known as “licorice”,
  • Ginkgo biloba,
  • Hypericum perforatum, known as “St. John’s wort”,
  • Panax ginseng, with much research about
  • others.

How did people in the Amazon find the precise psychoactive combination of capi and chacruna among the tens of thousands of plants there? The experience of drinking a brew of these plants depends on the individual. 

Professional scientists, such as Dr. Jordi Riba and Dr. Charles Grob MD, are doing more clinical research about how ayauasca and entheogens can be used therapeutically. Reliable sources of more information about entheogens and ayahuasca include Entheonation.com and ICEERS.org

 

Herbal first aid

Cut, burned, nauseous, or 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:

  • vitamin B complex (for digestion),
  • sodium bicarbonate (powder, aluminum-free, in a labeled bag or container),
  • vitamin C (powder, non-GMO, in a labeled bag or container),
  • three- to eight-percent food-grade hydrogen peroxide (used to disinfect water with caution), 
  • iodine (food grade tincture for disinfection of wounds and in minute amounts for detoxification)
  • magnesium chloride (oil to stop muscle cramps and flakes mixed with water 1:40 for disinfection),
  • colloidal silver (for disinfection),
  • sodium chlorite (to form ClO2 in very small amounts to disinfect water with caution),
  • essential oils – ginger, lavender, citronella, eucaplytus, peppermint, and tea tree,
  • activated charcoal (in case of food poisoning).

The purpose of this article would be to explain why and how these items, specifically, and with what precautions, externally only or internally, and most of all to start low and go slow.

 

Ayurveda

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
  • skin. 

 

 

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, lobelia (with caution)
gut, digestive system, enzymes apple, pineapple, papaya (non-gmo), ginger, cayenne, peppermint, slippery elm
urinary system cranberry, dandelion, nettle, horsetail, cabbage, beets, citrus
reproductive system vitamin C (citrus), turmeric, pumpkin seeds, he shou wu (fo-ti), aphrodisiacs (damiana, yohimbe, horny goat weed), 
nutrients to boost progesterone, looking after your prostate
immune system avoiding refined sugar, Brazil nuts (selenium), pumpkin seeds (zinc),
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

 

 

Herbal medicine

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?

 

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