Weekly Health Tips

Week of March 31, 2007:     Your Liver and Milk Thistle

Your liver is the chemical manufacturer of the body. The liver produces: (1) albumin, which regulates the exchange of water between blood and tissues; (2) a group of proteins called complement that are crucial for the immune system; (3) globin for hemoglobin which carries the oxygen in the blood; and (4) cholesterol. After you eat the liver will convert amino acids to glucose, proteins, or urea (excreted by the kidneys in the urine). The liver makes bile for better digestion of fats. The liver extracts drugs and poisons, alters their chemical structure, and excretes them in the bile. Alcohol and disease can damage the cells in the liver and replace them with scar tissue. The portion of the liver that becomes scar tissue can no longer operate to keep your body functioning properly. Research has shown that milk thistle can be effective in preventing damage to the liver and correct a damaged liver. In addition, milk thistle can help the liver remove toxins more effectively.

From: Dr. Duke's Essential Herbs: 13 Vital Herbs You Need to Disease-Proof Your Body, Boost Your Energy, Lengthen Your Life

Click here for more on Milk Thistle

Week of March 24, 2007:     Improve Your Diet and Improve Your Health

To improve your diet buy whole foods (fresh, frozen, or canned) instead of processed foods (fast foods, meals ready to heat and eat). Don't consume food with corn syrup as an ingredient. Corn syrup is high in calories with no nutrition. Have a mixed green salad with your dinner. If you eat it first, it will help feel full sooner and add vegetables to your diet.


Week of March 17, 2007:     The Acid/Alkaline Balance in the Body

The human body is slightly alkaline, and has a complex system that works to maintain that balance. All parts of the system, including the mineral balance inside and outside the cells, the mineral reserves within the bones, and three buffer systems in the blood, work together, along with the lungs and the kidneys, to prevent the body from becoming overly acidic. However, some outside factors can alter this favorable balance.--p. 43

[B]oth peak performance and optimal health depend on the body's ability to maintain a slightly alkaline state in virtually all of our cells and tissues.--p. 27

The typical American diet is composed mainly of foods that are either highly acidic in their chemical makeup or, once eaten, cause an acidic reaction within the body. These foods include red meat, poultry, dairy products, most fruits, nuts, refined sugar, corn sweeteners, chocolate, refined flour products, soft drinks, beer, wine, coffee, and black tea.--p. 44

Strong emotions of any kind increase acidity: Anger, fear, hostility, and even excitement generate acids within the body because they reduce oxygenation and blood flow to the tissues and increase muscle tension.--p. 50

As a person exercises, oxygen is consumed, and lactic acid and carbon dioxide, among other waste products, are created. Studies have shown that the more vigorous the exercise, the more these acids accumulate, which results in a decrease in the PH of the muscles. This hampers energy production within muscle tissue and can significantly limit athletic endurance and performance.

Most people are unaware that spending hours in an airplane increases acidity within the body. This is because the stale, recirculated air in the passenger compartment of a commercial plane has a lower concentration of oxygen.

Many over-the-counter medications are acidifying, including aspirin and sweet-tasting cough syrup.--p.51

One easy way to alkalinize the body is by breathing deeply. The practice of yoga and meditation promotes deep, slow breathing.--p. 159.

Another way to promote the removal of acidic waste products from the body is by warming the interior tissues with hot baths, saunas, and massage.--p. 160

From The Chemistry of Success: Six Secrets of Peak Performance by Susan M Lark, MD and James A Richards, MBA.

See also, The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health.


Week of March 10, 2007:     Pears

"Pears are a good source of fiber, particularly pectin, as well as potassium and boron. They are low in sodium and have small amounts of phosphorus and vitamin A. The pectin reduces serum cholesterol and cleanses the body of environmental and radioactive toxins." The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating, p. 256 by Rebecca Wood.

"No. 53--Pear: Nutrients: Calcium, magnesium. phosphorous, potassium, beta carotene, folic acid. High in iodine. Benefits: Diuretic, high iodine content. Beneficial for thyroid function. Contains pectin which aids peristalsis and the removal of toxins." The Food Doctor - Healing Foods for Mind and Body, p. 20 by Vicki Edgson & Ian Marber.


Week of March 3, 2007:     Exercise

Most people don't ordinarily think of exercise as a form of detoxification, but it is one of the best natural detoxifiers available. Exercise is just as important to detoxification as a good diet. It can also enhance the cleansing effects of any detoxification program.

Without movement the body atrophies. We become stronger and healthier with movement. Every cell in the body requires movement to get nourishment, remove metabolic waste, and to fulfill its function. If the cells did not have movement they would be dead or dying.

Motion is life. Stagnation is death. Without movement we deteriorate and head toward disease and death. Physical activity is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth.

Regular exercise may be the most powerful natural antidepressant available. It also increases energy, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, and releases tension. . . studies have shown that increased participation in exercise, sports, and other vigorous physical activities is strongly associated with decreased symptoms of restlessness, tension, depression, fatigue, and insomnia.

Aerobic exercise affects the chemical processes in the brain by increasing blood flow, releasing hormones, stimulating the nervous system, and raising the levels of morphine-like substances called endorphins. Endorphins, which are more potent than morphine, are released during exercise and can trigger a neurophysiological "high." When endorphin levels are low, depression occurs. Conversely, when endorphin levels are elevated, so is mood.

From , pp. 121, 124, and 187-188 by Bruce Fife, N.D.


Week of February 24, 2007:     Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil has been used for thousands of years and has withstood the test of time. Almost all other vegetable oils available today are highly processed and have much more omega-6 fat than you need. The average American consumes a hundred times the amount that Americans did in the nineteenth century.

Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with omega-9 fats. You can enjoy the benefits by using it on salads but don't cook food with it. If you want to use a healthy fat for cooking, the top choice is coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a proven antiviral and immune system builder.

For more on olive oil and its use in fighting H. pylori infections, read, articles in Science Daily and the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry


Week of February 17, 2007:     Russian Energy Secret

From the book Dr. Earl Mindell's Russian Energy Secret: "The Russians discovered that certain natural substances which they called adaptogens enable the body to cope with stress and help normalize all body functions. For example, if your blood-sugar levels drop too low or if your blood pressure climbs too high, adaptogens bring your body back to a normal state. Adaptogens work best in people who are not in poor or in peak health but somewhere in the middle."

The 16 top adaptogens are: Siberian ginseng, Ameican ginseng or panax ginseng, pantocrene, artic root, schizandra (seed and fruit), aswagandha root (without somnifera), avena sativa (oats, oat fiber, fresh milky seed), reishi mushroom, cordyceps sinesis, licorice, elderberry, hawthorn (leaves, blossoms, and berries), grape seed and skin extract, green tea, lo han, and ginger.


Week of February 10, 2007:     Ching Wan Hung for Burns

Ching Wan Hung is a Chinese herbal ointment that is helpful in the treatment of burns. It has been applied to chemical burns, radiation burns, and sunburns, as well as burns caused by fire, electricity, steam, or direct contact with a hot liquid. It is also utilized to treat hemorrhoids, poison oak/ivy dermatitis, and bedsores. It relieves pain, decreases inflammation and infection, and aids in the regeneration of the damaged tissues. It's fast acting, alleviating burn pain almost immediately after application. Rub a generous amount of ointment directly into the affected area after it has been thoroughly cleaned. I became aware of this product a few years ago when a man told me how his granddaughter got burned from a boiling pot of water and applying Ching Wan Hung resulted in great pain relief and no scars left on the little girl.


Week of February 3, 2007:     Stress

Some of the ways in which the body responds to stress are: nutrient absorption decreases, nutrient excretion increases, LDL levels of blood cholesterol increases, blood platelet aggregation increases, salt retention increases, cortisol output increases, oxygen supply decreases, growth hormone production decreases, erratic function of the lower esophageal sphincter increases (gastric reflux), insulin resistance increases, inflammation increases, kidney function decreases.

Lower stress by intentional deep breathing during the day, aromatherapy, laughter (watch a comedy or read some funny columns in newspapers and magazines (Readers Digest have a lot), listen to classical music, get a therapeutic massage, and soak in a hot tub.


Week of January 27, 2007:     Your Daily Fast

While you sleep, the body works on maintenance, detoxification, repair, and growth of the tissues and organs. Because of these important processes, you need to eat at least four hours before you go to bed. This daily "fast" while you sleep will enable the body to do all the healing and growing that is necessary to maintain good health, free from the distraction of digestion. When you wake up, you can break the fast with a nutritious breakfast. If you have trouble sleeping, try a natural aid to sleep, Naturopatch Sleep Aid (individually wrapped sacheted patches).


Week of January 20, 2007:     Good Posture for a Healthy Back

You probably spend most of your day sitting--at work, on the Intenet, or watching TV. This is hard on your back. If you are sitting with poor posture, it's even harder.

A Swedish study has shown that sitting upright increases the force on the spine by 140 percent, compared with standing. If you slump while sitting, the force on the spine is 185 percent.

To sit properly line your head up over your shoulders and line your shoulders over your hips. Rest on your "sitz bones" (the two bones in your rear end--sit on your hands and you can feel them). Place your feet flat on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle.

Don't just sit there for long periods of time. Take breaks every 45 to 60 minutes to prevent strain. Get up, walk around for a minute or two and stretch if possible. Try neck rolls left to right and vice-versa. Do chin tucks and shoulder rolls. Try bending back with your hands on your hips. Place your hands on the back of your chair and bend forward with your head down between your arms, keeping the spine straight. You should be able to get a few clicks of relief.


Week of January 13, 2007:     Build Muscle to Burn Fat

Toning and building muscle through exercise can turn your body into a fat-burning machine. There are numerous studies with the facts and figures on this. It appears that adding one additional pound of muscle to your body can burn 30-90 more calories per day, while you are at rest. A pound of fat only burns 2-4 calories in the same time frame. Think of how many more calories you can burn by simply putting on five more pounds of muscle.

To add muscle tissue you must force the body to add it. You can't just add a pound of muscle because you followed a 3-set workout that you read about in a fitness magazine. You need to give the body a reason to add muscle tissue. You have to provide a "stimulus." You can do this in various ways. Basically, you need to subject your body to levels of stress it isn't used to. You can do this by slowly increasing the variables in the exercises you do.

    • Increase the weight or resistance
    • Do more repetitions
    • Do more sets
    • Move the weight or resistance slower
    • Rest less between sets and exercises

Week of January 6, 2007:     Benefits of Strength Training

Regular weight training builds better muscles, reduces blood pressure, and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels, all of which improve cardiovascular health overall. In addition, weight training also may improve the way the body processes sugar, which could reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Studies have shown that exercise of any kind improves strength, gait, and the ability to perform activities of daily living among older adults with osteoarthritis, and, in many cases, reduces the pain associated with the disease. Weight training is also known to increase bone mass and thus decrease the possibility of osteoporosis.

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Information on this web site is not to be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations. I do not endorse or guarantee references or sites listed, and no unfavorable inference should be drawn from failure of any resource to be listed here. Readers are encouraged to direct any questions concerning personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate healthcare professionals.

This page was updated on 2 April 2007