Monthly Archives: July 2011

Green Living Healthy Living Toxin Alert!

3 Effective Ways to Elminate Sinus Infections

www.mypicshares.com

Two years ago I wrote a post about how I defeated a raging sinus infection I had been battling for nearly 8 weeks. I used every natural method I could think of and had no success.  I was so desperate for relief, I almost broke down and agreed to take antibiotics. I am so glad I didn’t relent and tried this natural remedy instead.

It’s very frustrating to hear from people that they have tried natural remedies or “cures”, had no success, and so they decided to go with drugs. Usually the reason why a natural remedy doesn’t work is because it is not properly employed – not because as a whole natural remedies aren’t effective. I know because many times I’ve used remedies incorrectly, and later learned the right way to do them and had success. And sometimes when things are more serious, different remedies work better than others.

These sinus remedies really work, I’ve heard dozens of people tell me since I first used this that it has been effective for them as well.

1. Probiotics in your neti pot

I was using the neti pot for weeks while I had my infection, which usually works wonders on its own. But this time it wasn’t doing the trick.  My neighbor gave me the idea to use probiotics in my neti pot.  When I did this, I felt a terrible burning in my sinuses and the back of my throat for a few minutes, and then the pain I had been feeling for weeks and weeks completely disappeared. I continued with the probiotic neti-pot rinse for several days, at least twice daily and I was cured.

Directions:

  1. Using a clean neti-pot or nasal-spray bottle (great for kids), empty the contents of a therapeutic, high-bacteria count probiotic capsule into it. Good brands include Biotics Research or Bio-Kult.
  2. Add warm filtered water to the neti-pot or spray-bottle. I use my tea kettle and don’t let it go to boiling, then add in cold filtered water to make sure the temperature is just right for my sinuses. You definitely want to make sure the water is just tepid so that you preserve the beneficial bacteria in the probiotics. You can also use 1/8 teaspoon of home-made yogurt or kefir from raw milk.  Do not use commercial yogurt or kefir as the bacteria count won’t be high enough or diverse enough to eliminate your infection.
  3. If desired, add a bit of sea salt and baking soda. You won’t need much (I don’t measure, but I don’t use more than an 1/8 teaspoon), When you are finished with the probiotic rinse, you can also do another rinse with just sea salt and baking soda an hour or so later.
  4. Stir the water/probiotics in the neti-pot with a spoon or shake bottle after tightly screwing on the lid (nasal spray bottle).  If using a neti-pot: while standing over a sink, insert the nozzle of the neti-pot into one nostril, and make sure there is a good seal between the nozzle and your nostril. Lean forward, close the back of your throat and breathe through your mouth. Then, allow the contents of the neti pot to enter one nasal opening and rinse through to exit out the other nasal opening. This may take up to two or three minutes if your nasal passages are congested. Repeat on the other side. Try to avoid swallowing the water that goes into the nostrils, and blow your nose when finished. If using a spray bottle: insert the nozzle of the spray bottle into one nostril while covering the other. While compressing the pump on the nasal spray bottle, inhale deeply. Repeat several times on both sides. Be prepared to spit out anything left after inhaling the mist into the sink.
  5. When finished, wash out your neti-pot or spray bottle with warm water and soap and allow to dry before using again.

2. Enemas

Sometimes we need to go deeper to eliminate the problem at hand. Since discovering the probiotic remedy for sinus problems, I have found enemas to be another very effective method to eliminate sinus infections.  Because most issues that cause sinus infections begin in our natural detoxification centers such as the colon, enemas are a highly useful tool to reduce toxicity in that area, which lowers the chance of getting infections throughout the body.

The sinus cavity is a particularly discrete area, and thus is a place where dangerous bacteria can hide.  When we eat processed foods and are continually exposed to environmental toxins, our bodies become overwhelmed. There is only so much we can filter out.  The last time I felt a sinus problem coming on, I used the neti-pot with probiotics.  But even after I did this, I could tell things weren’t moving out as they should. I was planning to do an enema that day anyway. Afterward, the sinus problem I felt coming on completely went away.

If toxins build up in your body at a faster rate than you can eliminate them, the result is disease and illness. Infections such as sinus and other respiratory ailments have been strongly linked to colon and also liver toxicity, and these types of issues are discussed at length in Dr. Norman W. Walker’s book Colon Health: The Key to A Vibrant Life.  I highly recommend using enemas for any health condition, but they are definitely effective for sinus issues. If you have a severe sinus issue, an enema just may do the trick.

Many people are squeamish about enemas because of the part of the body it involves. I admit that when I first entertained the idea of using enemas, it seemed unpleasant and wrong. But once I discovered the tremendous benefits of using them, I was able to get over my reluctance to do them. If you do them a few times, you can become well-practiced and the procedure won’t seem so intimidating or overwhelming.

There are several types of enemas to use. Some people simply use water as a means to move matter out of the body. You can also use probiotics in your enema, and coffee enemas. Coffee enemas are highly effective because they prompt your liver to dump toxins. You should only use organic coffee in your enema.

Rather than go through the entire procedure here, I’m providing a link to Dr. Wilson’s web site which has very thorough directions as well as an explanation about the importance of detoxification in the body. Dr. Wilson has worked extensively treating cancer patients for many years and is an advocate of the work of Dr. William Donald Kelley, a pioneer in cancer treatment and research.  Remember that cancer is an advanced expression in the body of toxins and its inability to properly filter them out to maintain good health.

Colonics are also beneficial.  I’ve had over 20 of them. To be effective, they should be used on an ongoing basis, particularly with chronic health problems.  Because of this, colonics are out of many people’s budgets. Enemas are a good alternative and are much cheaper.

The reason colonics and enemas are so effective is because most people have spent their lives consuming processed foods and being exposed to chemicals.  Both of these procedures encourage your body to eliminate toxins that have built up in your body, and may be embedded as a result of years and years of poor lifestyle.

3. Dietary support

What you eat affects your body. If you eat a lot of junk, processed, and commercial foods, you can expect to have chronic health issues. These foods are nutritionally-empty and also devoid of enzymes and probiotics which your body needs to maintain health. They contribute to free-radical development, aging, and disease in the body.  

Avoid the following foods:

  • Refined sugar and carbohydrates
  • Pasteurized dairy products
  • Wheat and other grains
  • Nuts that are processed and contain undesirable ingredients
  • Soy
  • Other processed foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Industrially-produced fats such as margarine, shortening, vegetable oils (which are trans fats) like canola, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and fake butter or butter substitutes

If you eat sustainable foods grown or produced without pesticides, chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, additives, preservatives, and genetically-modified ingredients, you will have better health. I’m not promising that you’ll never be sick or that you’ll have perfect health, but you will notice a big difference. Your body needs nutrients, living enzymes, and beneficial bacteria to stay healthy, all of which are available in these foods.

Foods to include in your diet:

  • Grass-fed meats and poultry
  • Game meats
  • Eggs from hens on pasture
  • Healthy fats like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, tallow and lard from healthy animals on pasture, and fermented cod liver oil
  • Safe-source seafood
  • Raw milk and other dairy products from healthy cows on pasture; also cultured dairy foods made at home from fresh, raw milk
  • Sustainable, fresh produce
  • Whole grains that are properly prepared through soaking, sprouting, and fermenting
  • Cultured vegetables and home-made vegetable juices
  • Organ meats from healthy animals and birds
  • Home-made stocks, soups, and broth from the bones of animals and birds on pasture

Note: it is a good idea to avoid grains and especially gluten altogether if you experience chronic health issues and infections, even the properly prepared kind that are sprouted, soaked, soured or fermented. Once you get your health issues under control, you can add these back in as your body can tolerate them. Keep in mind that some people’s bodies do not tolerate grains at all.

More information:

Dietary changes & supplements for removal of candida overgrowth, part I

Dietary changes & supplements for removal of candida overgrowth, part II

My liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse experience

My home medicine cabinet – what I use to remedy ailments

 

 

 

Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Deceptions in the Food Industry: Whole Grains

www.mypicshares.com

In this installment of Deceptions in the Food Industry, I’m going to talk about “whole grains”, a term which has received a great deal of abuse both on product labels and in recommendations for better health from mainstream health professionals.

In the past, the Food Pyramid told us to eat 6-11 servings of grains per day for health.  This year the government revised its formula and recommendations to My Plate – even more vague and completely leaving out one of the most important components our diets – healthy fats. Grains are still there, and comprise just over a quarter of the size of My Plate.  Yet despite following these high-carbohydrate, low-fat recommendations, obesity and disease rates in the U.S. have continued to skyrocket over the last 50+ years. Why?

Ironically, a majority of those grains we told to eat with such frequency are highly-processed, and are far from whole. When you see a package that says “whole grains” on the label, what are you really getting?  One of the methods used on most grains you buy in packages in the store is called extrusion.

Here’s how it works:

Ingredients are mixed to create a slurry or dough. This mixture also includes other ingredients such as dough conditioners, stabilizers, other chemicals, and sugar. These are placed into a large processing chamber where they are subjected to high temperatures and pressure and cooked or baked, and finally pushed through a hole in an exploding movement. This ensures that all pieces look more or less the same, such as little o’s, spheres, squares, and other shapes you see in cereals, snacks, and crackers. During this processing, delicate nutrients in the grains are denatured and oxidized. These grains are also not properly prepared through soaking, sprouting, or fermenting in order to make them more digestible to the body, leaving phytates intact to prevent absorption of vital nutrients. For more information, read Be Kind to Your Grains…And Your Grains Will Be Kind to You from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

What is a whole grain?

A true whole grain includes all parts of the whole:

  • the starchy endosperm (with few nutrients)
  • the bran or outer layer of the kernel (where you’ll find most of the fiber)
  • the germ (where you’ll find most of the nutrients)  including B vitamins and iron.

Examples of whole grains include brown rice, whole-wheat berries, whole cornmeal, bulgur, popcorn, millet and whole oats. Refined flours are most of what you’ll find on the supermarket shelf, and have the bran and germ removed during processing. What’s left in these products is the endosperm. Refined grain products are usually enriched or fortified with nutrients that are now missing from the food such as iron, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. But those nutrients are synthetically-assimilated in a laboratory, and are not the way they would occur in nature.

Supermarket sales and health recommendations

Over time – and especially since the revision of Dietary Guidelines in 2005 – the trend toward recommending the consumption of whole grains in our diets by the USDA and most health and medical sources has increased. As a result, we are seeing disease rates increasing dramatically – obesity, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

The trend toward adding more whole grains to food has been growing steadily since the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services revised the dietary guidelines in 2005, recommending that at least half of all grains eaten be whole grains and that 3 or more ounces of whole grains be consumed per day. As a 1-ounce equivalent of whole grains has about 16 grams of whole grains, the recommendation is to eat 48 grams of whole grains a day.

Those guidelines were based on information in large studies published in peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Obesity and the Archives of Internal Medicine that were assessed by the dietary guidelines committee, says Robert Post, deputy director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, a USDA agency. In an editorial released by the NEJM, doctors revealed that at least one of the studies they published received some of its funding from the tobacco industry. In the study, “The study the authors concluded that the majority of stage I lung cancers treated after their detection by CT screening had a favorable prognosis.”

Why should anyone care about this? Industry bias in medical studies is rampant, and should always be taken into consideration in the evaluation of studies promoting certain dietary lifestyle recommendations.  The grain industry, like many arms of the food industry, wields much influence on the mainstream food market and has powerful lobbying and business activities watching out for its interests. 

Are grains good for us?

There has been much discussion, study, and review of the effects of grains on human health by a variety of health and medical sources for the following reasons:

  • Grains contain phytates, which are anti-nutrients. Consuming improperly prepared grains such as those at the supermarket actually prevents mineral absorption in the body. When eating grains with the bran intact, the phytates bind to minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus and prevents our digestion from being able to absorb it so our bodies can use them. Preparing grains as our ancestors did through soaking and sprouting helps to aid in pre-digestion of grains and can minimize the loss of nutrients our bodies experience, but it does not completely eliminate this problem.
  • Consumption of gluten (commonly found in wheat and other products) for many contributes to various health issues: allergies such as asthma, eczema, respiratory illnesses such as colds, sinusitus, and bronchitis, digestive problems such as heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, leaky gut, IBS, diverticultis, and Crohn’s Disease, joint, auto immune, and teeth and bone issues, weight gain and metabolic disorders such as heart disease, high blood pressure, emotional and mental disorders, other auto-immune disorders such as diabetes, MS, and Lupus, and cancer. Researchers who study gluten-intolerance and celiac disease have discovered that 30% to 40% of people of European descent are gluten-intolerant on some level.  And that’s just what’s being reported. Gluten-free products, now on most grocery store shelves, aren’t much better nutritionally.
  • The fiber myth of grains: As we discussed with the processing of grains, they don’t contain so much as even a trace of fiber, as all that’s really left is the endosperm.  Scientists discovered the following about high-fiber foods: “bang up against the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, rupturing their outer covering” and “increases the level of lubricating mucus.” Last time I checked, increased mucous in the body means your body is trying to rid itself of something which is causing irritation, and it also means a lack of absorption of nutrients. There is also growing evidence that fiber causes a whole host of health issues. Read Fiber Menace for more information.
  • We are not designed to digest grains. Grains are a type of grass seed. Like carnivores, we have a short digestive tract. Prior to about 10,000 years ago, we did not consume grains or grass seeds. Starch-eating creatures secrete a large amount and variety of starch-splitting enzymes, while human production amounts to one starch-splitting enzyme: salivary amylase (ptyalin). Our teeth also do not grind grains efficiently. We’d never eat them raw, but the processing we put grains through by way of cooking, refining, packaging, boxing, and adding sugar and chemicals makes them palatable. For scientific information explaining why humans were not designed to digest grains, visit  Beyond Vegetarianism by Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD.
  • A diet high in carbohydrates causes health issues. Eating high-carbohydrate diets causes insulin production,  stimulated by the pancreas, to spike our blood sugar.  These substances are then quickly and readily converted to fat through our production of insulin. Continued elevated levels of insulin in the blood cause a condition known to medical experts as hyper-insulinemia. One of the side-effects of insulin production is that fat becomes deposited in the cells. Then, your brain is stimulated to make you feel hungry. The result is you want more food, and many people turn to carbohydrates to satisfy that need. As this repeats over time, the cells in your body become resistant to insulin production, placing tremendous strain on your pancreas to produce more and more of it. These abnormal levels of insulin produce a variety of health issues including metabolic disorder which includes heart disease and diabetes, aut0-immune problems, and premature aging.

At best, the “whole grains” you eat in packaged foods are a blasted mixture of various kinds of grain flour, chemicals, and sugar which don’t live up to the promises made on the label, and no part of this even remotely resembles a whole grain found in nature. Even most brands of bread on the shelf (excluding some fresh-made breads) are made of refined grains that are processed, causing the bread to go rancid by the time it gets to the store.  Fresh ground flour is really only fresh for up to about 2 or 3 days.

I’ve personally realized tremendous health benefits from avoiding grains, and I know many others who have experienced the same. So, if you are going to eat grains:

  • Avoid packaged and processed grain foods like the plague
  • Prepare your grains properly through soaking, sprouting, souring, or fermenting
  • Try limiting your consumption to once or twice a week

If you have digestive issues – and many of us do – it is really important to get those under control so your body can make the most of the foods you eat and receive the nutrients it needs from healthy foods. I recommend Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride as a good starting point for gut healing and detoxification.

More information?

Go grain-free & still eat delicious, healthy meals

Grain-free meal plans – Health Home, & Happiness

Grains and human evolution – Whole Health Source

The definitive guide to grains – Mark’s Daily Apple

If you missed the last installment of this series, read Deceptions in the Food Industry: Lean Meats