From the category archives:

seasonal health

Staying healthy as the seasons change

by Ed

In the Pacific Northwest we had a fairly cool May. Then, rather suddenly, it warmed up last week. I know a number of people that got sick, then. We tend to be more vulnerable to disease during changes in the weather, so it is important to take extra care during those times. Protect yourself from environmental extremes and allow your body to acclimatize slowly. This can be hard for people when they have been waiting a long time for Summer to arrive. Slowly increase your time in the heat, and wear a hat, especially for the first while.

If you are out sweating a lot make sure you are well hydrated. That means not just fluids, but eloctrolytes as well. However avoid gatorade, which is a good source of high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener our bodies should never ingest. See this post for more information on that. I like to make lemonade with a freshly squeezed lemon, just enough honey or maple syrup to make it taste good, and a little salt. Unrefined sea salt is best, as it provides small amounts of many minerals. When I have people working at my place in the Summer I offer them my lemonade. I am always told how thirst quenching it is. That’s because it is replacing the water and the salts that are lost when you are sweating a lot.

Many people do not do well on raw food. The Summer is the one time when it is ok for most of us to eat salads. Take it easy, though. Again, give your body time to adjust, especially if, like me, you only eat salads in the Summer. Start with one or two a week and build up to every day or every other day. Your body will appreciate the extra nutrition, but your stomach and intestines may complain about the extra work digesting them.

If you are in a part of the world where the weather keeps changing from hot to cool, be extra careful. Human beings are very adaptable, but we do need time to adjust.

Enjoy the Summer.

Gall Bladder Flush

by Ed

Continuing with my Spring Cleaning series:

Keeping your gall bladder working well is important to good digestion, particularly digestion of fats. If you feel sluggish or bloated after eating oily or greasy food you are probably overdue for a gall bladder flush. It’s a good idea to have one once a year in any case. If gall stones run in your family, or you know you are prone to them, twice a year might be better.

There are a few variations on the gall bladder flush, some of them take only one day. I prefer this five day version. It is very easy to do.

Eat normally during the five days, except add four to five organic apples or four to five glasses of organic apple juice every day.

On the fifth day, do not eat dinner. At 6pm take a tablespoon of epsom salts in a half a glass of warm water. Do the same at 8pm. Be sure to get epsom salts for internal use. The large containers for bathing have impurities in them.

At 10 pm get ready for bed. Last thing before getting into bed drink half a cup of olive oil mixed with half a cup of lemon or grapefruit juice, preferably fresh squeezed. Get straight into bed and lie on your right side with your right knee pulled up. That will help the oil move into the gall bladder.

All of these procedures help to soften the stones, open the bile duct or increase movement in the gall bladder.

The next day you should find a number of small green stones in your stool. Some “experts” say the stones are just the olive oil mixed with the epsom salts, but the first time I did this I had at least a dozen little stones, and the second time I did it I had none. Usually I find a few, depending on how long it has been since I last did it. The first time I did it, it made a huge difference in my ability to digest oily foods.

Cleansing the Digestive tract

by Ed

Every Spring is a good time for internal cleansing. I suggest starting with the digestive tract, then doing a Gall Bladder flush. While these cleanses are safe for most people, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified health professional, especially if you have any significant health concerns. After doing a cleanse many people find they have more energy, clearer skin, fewer allergy symptoms, and many other positive effects. It is certainly helpful for anyone with constipation.

One simple and safe way to cleanse the digestive tract is to do a short juice fast. Three days is safe and effective. Only drink juice of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Drink them immediately after juicing them, as they lose their goodness, and start to oxidize very quickly. Besides drinking fresh juice, you can drink herbal teas, ginger is particularly good. Also, first thing every morning, mix one teaspoon of psyllium husk in a glass of water or juice. It does not have a pleasant flavor, so you probably want juice. Psyllium husk is known as intestinal broom because is sweeps out the old debris that lines the intestinal walls. You may want to continue the psyllium for a few days after the fast is over.

While generally regarded as safe, a small minority of individuals do not tolerate psyllium well. Those experiencing discomfort should discontinue use, or start with a very small amount to allow the body to adjust. However a feeling of bloating, especially the first time you take it, is normal.

Use of psyllium can reduce the effectiveness of prescribed lithium.

Use of psyllium can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Do not use psyllium within two hours of any medicinal substances. Use at least 30 minutes prior to eating.

Psyllium is generally safe and helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and colitis.

Spring Cleaning

by Ed

Spring is definitely in the air in the Northwest. I don’t know how the rest of the world is doing. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. It is also a good time for internal cleansing. Over the next couple of days I will be talking about cleansing the digestive system, the Gall Bladder, and the blood. Today I want to talk about clearing the cobwebs from the mind.

Every year, when gardening season starts again, I feel totally rejuvenated by getting my hands into the earth. I think as we have moved into the cities and let other people take care of our food production, we have lost an important part of our wellbeing. I feel more grounded, more at ease, more alive, when I am digging in the earth. Walking in the forest can have similar benefits. You could say it’s the fresh air and exercise, and those two are both very important, but I am sure that there is something about our connection with earth that our souls need.

Winter

by Ed

Well, it’s late January, and that means, in the Pacific Northwest, that it almost feels like Spring. But don’t forget, the coldest week of the year is just around the corner. Where ever you live, you have your patterns of warming up and cooling down. But then again, weather has gotten pretty strange these past few years.

Typically, it’s during the changes of the seasons that we have to be careful of our health. It’s easier to get sick during that time when we are not acclimatized. These days, you never know when the weather might suddenly shift, so it is important to keep your immune system strong all the time. Get plenty of exercise, but don’t get a chill while your pores are still open. Always dress appropriately, protecting yourself from cold and wind. Eat warm nourishing foods like soups and stews. Be sure to get lots of fresh veggies. Fruits and vegetables are full of immune boosting chemicals that you can’t count on your vitamin pill giving you. Take time to relax and enjoy life with your friends and family. Both relaxation and joyful activities enhance the immune system, besides making life more worth living. If you tend to get sick frequently, seek out a Chinese herbalist, who can design a formula, specifically for you.