Soy Advertising Hype

I am passing this informative article on to all of you, as I feel it is such an important topic. This is another example of the consequences of altering a natural food product. This article appeared in Volume 17, Issue 1 of Health Alert in the nutrition section. It is reprinted here with permission of the publishers. Get Ready for Soy Get ready for an onslaught of advertising hype about soy products that will really turn your head. The government has given soy folks the green light to make soy claims related to heart disease and other health concerns. That should open the spigots for a glut of soy products, all designed to make you younger, save you from heart disease, and solve all female hormonal problems. These advertisers will tell you that soy will lower your cholesterol (true), protect you against cancer (only in test tubes), relieve menopause symptoms (who knows?), lessen your risk of heart disease (if you believe cholesterol is related to heart disease), and help you lose weight (?!).

The Problem with Fractionated Soy Unfortunately, most of these health claims are a bunch of bunk. Soy is a reasonably good food, but isolating soy’s isoflavones from the food renders it a chemical with pharmaceutical effects on the body. Furthermore, isolated nutritional fractions simply do not perform like the whole food. They lack the necessary nutritional counterparts, which make them active, like enzymes, trace minerals, vitamins and more. Isolated phytoestrogens act even more like drugs than most other fractionated “nutritional supplements”. Phytoestrogens are powerful hormone-disrupting agents that can cause hormonal imbalances when taken at high doses. Watch for all the new products to contain 30, 40, 50 mgs. Or more of these chemicals as the varying advertisements vie for our buck by claiming that their product is the most powerful. The advertisers will use Asian women’s better hormonal health to promote their products, but will not mention the fact that 50 mgs. of this stuff every day will supply 30 times the average daily soy protein consumption in the Orient. Other problems from soy isolates include their effects on the thyroid (they can actually produce goiters). They can cause indigestion and block the uptake of many vital nutrients, including vitamin B12.

When too much soy is fed to animals, supplements are needed to make up for the imbalances caused by the soy. Soy isolates taste terrible, are not real food, and are powerfully denatured in the manufacturing process. This denaturation upsets the very structure of the protein. Experts and Governments Concerned about Soy Formula for Infants Besides the problems caused by phytoestrogens in adults, the use of soy with infants may be even more serious. The use of soy-based formulas in the U.S. has doubled in the past ten years, now accounting for a full 25% of all formula sales. Soy formula should actually be reserved as the formula of last resort for infants because of the powerful hormonal effects it may cause. At a time when the government has OK’d health claims for soy, real scientists with lots of experience would like to see warning labels on soy formula. Research scientists in the U.S., New Zealand, and England have all expressed concerns that high levels of phytoestrogens in soy-based formulas can jolt the infant hormonal system. This imbalance can lead to premature sexual development in girls, delayed sexual development in boys, and infertility in both genders.

As the U.S. produces more and more estrogenic compounds (pesticides, plastics, drugs and more), little girls are developing breasts and maturing sexually at age 10, eight, six and even some at ages four and five. The high-profile promotion of soy will surely compound this problem. Parents will not be able to discern the dangers from the benefits of soy now that the government has allowed for health claims. Even more parents will be feeding soy formulas to their babies. This will be disastrous for the next generation of Americans. Soy isolates in general will add to the hormonal soup that Americans are now full awash in, beginning in infancy for many. So don’t fall for all this stuff about to come down the pike. Eat a little soy, it is a good food. Stay away from powerful phytoestrogen products made from soy that contains huge amounts of imbalancing isoflavones. These will not perform as advertised anyway once they are fractionated away from their natural food source

For more reliable information on soy, refer to the following: Is soy a good food? (Health Alert, Vol.16, No.1) and The Ploy of Soy, by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig

Iridology

Iridology is the science of detecting clues about a person’s state of health from an analysis of the iris of the eye. It is an established way of observing healthy, weakened, stressed or toxic conditions and where they are located in the body. The five special functions which separate Iridology from the regular medical system are:

Iridology gives a holistic overview, as thoughts and emotions influence the body and their effects can be seen in the iris of the eye.
Inflammation can be found in the body and the stage of the inflammation; that is, whether it is in the acute, sub-acute, chronic, or destructive stage.
Mineral deficiencies can be observed in the iris, such as if the body is utilizing minerals properly and correctly feeding the structures and organs of the body.
Iridology can see if systems are in a hyperactive or hypoactive state and if deterioration is present in any systems.
Inherited strengths and/or weaknesses of tissues and/or systems can be observed. This is important as a preventative measure, as prevention of a condition is much easier than correcting one.

All of the above give us the ability to look for causes and have a whole person analysis in seconds. Medical science takes weeks and thousands of dollars of testing to get certain information and often this information never finds a cause for an unhealthy system.
How does the iris represent all this? The iris contains thousands of nerve filaments that receive messages from virtually every nerve in the human body via connections with the optic nerves, optic thalami and the spinal cord. The iris also contains microscopic muscle fibers and tiny blood vessels. In cooperation, the nerve filaments, muscle fibers and blood vessels duplicate tissue changes simultaneously with reflex- associated organs of the body. By examining the markings, discolorations, textures and other iris manifestations, it is possible to analyze the health level of all body constituents. As the body changes, the iris also changes.

The eye has been proclaimed through the ages as the “mirror of the soul”, and now we acknowledge it as the window to the body which enables us to visualize normal and abnormal states within the body and its organs. Iridology, used in conjunction with herbs, good nutrition, healing energies and a healing attitude is the one long term solution to body imbalances, sometimes called diseases.

Lyme Disease

While reports of possible tick related illnesses go back to the early parts of this century, it wasn’t until an excessively large number of children in
Lyme, Connecticut were diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, that the American public heard the term “Lyme Disease”. The culprit turned out to be tiny deer ticks infected with a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi or more commonly referred to as spirochete. Deer ticks prefer to live in the woods, where they inhabit shrubby vegetation and wait for an animal or human to brush by. Then they get hold of the fur or skin and crawl up the body. Infected deer ticks feed for at least 12 to 24 hours before they can begin to transmit the Lyme disease bacterium. Therefore, you should remove ticks as soon as possible. After being outdoors, undress in front of a mirror and check your body thoroughly (including folds under arms, between legs, behind knees and all over the scalp). Don’t forget to check your pets, too. If you find a tick, apply Tea Tree essential oil to the tick, then remove it with tweezers without mashing it, pulling gently but steadily straight out and without twisting, preferably as close as possible to its mouth and feeders in your skin. Continue to apply Tea Tree oil to the area as a disinfectant. DO NOT BURN OFF OR ATTEMPT TO REMOVE WITH PETROLEUM JELLY, GASOLINE OR NAIL POLISH. These methods force the stomach contents of the tick into your blood stream. Place the tick in a sealed jar for future reference. If you develop symptoms, it may be needed for testing. If symptoms do develop, contact your health care practitioner or the local branch of the Center for Disease Control immediately for instructions and treatment. When the tick is not removed quickly, the spirochete then multiplies in the bloodstream, spinal fluid and skin, causing a wide array of possibly devastating symptoms. In over 80% of cases, Lyme disease begins with a red rash in the area of the bite, followed by flu-like symptoms, including headache, joint pain, sore throat, dry cough, nausea, stiff neck, chills and fatigue. (Awareness of all potential symptoms is vital since symptoms do not always develop uniformly. Some people, for example, never get a rash). This first stage generally appears within 30 days of a bite, although there may be a time lag between the bite and the onset of symptoms. If these conditions are left untreated or mis-diagnosed, the disease can progress to a more chronic stage involving symptoms resembling fibromyalgia or muscle pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and arthritis. Symptoms at this stage have been known to resemble MS, Bell’s Palsy, Guillain-Barr syndrome, TMJ, parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s disease, meningitis, myelitis, measles, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, epilepsy, paralysis and sudden deafness. Psychological disturbances, such as irritability, depression, mood swings, psychosis, dementia and anorexia, could also accompany the above symptoms. Standard medical treatment is with antibiotic therapy, which is not always entirely effective and may cause spirochete die-off discomfort during the first few days. Since antibiotics can cause secondary yeast infections as a side effect, Naturopaths and Nutritionists advise the use of acidophilus supplements. Along with antibiotic use, there are some herbs that can help with Lyme disease: yerba santa, goldenrod, garlic, echinacea, astragalus, black walnut, burdock, schizandra and gentian. One herbalist reported benefits for her Lyme disease from tobacco leaf, which has shown larvicidal and pesticidal activity in scientific studies. Traditional herbalists draw on “blood cleansing” or detoxifying herbs in parasitic infections, such as favorites like nettles, goldenrod, burdock, yellow dock, red clover, milk thistle, sarsaparilla, dandelion, kelp and alfalfa.Tick fever is a serious disease that requires medical attention, so please seek help from a qualified health care practitioner. We hope that this information will help you have a safer and healthier summer.

Leave your toxins behind

Toxins: They are everywhere - in the air we breathe, in the water we drink; we consume them through food additives and preservatives, and we absorb them through household cleaners, in yard fertilizers and other products. It is almost impossible to be 100 percent toxin-free, but there are some simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to toxins.

a. Water, water, everywhere, and most of it is filled with chemicals. Drink bottled or filtered water. Hot showers open your pores and polluted water can get in, so keep the temperature a little cooler or install a shower filter.

b. Put the ex in Windex: This glass cleaner contains butyl cellosolve, which is toxic to blood cells, kidneys and livers. It is not listed on the label either. Try cleaning glass with a solution of water and vinegar.

c. Air out the aerosols. Aerosols can be toxic, so switch to pumps.

d. Mothball your mothballs. Mothballs are toxic to the brain, liver and blood. Try cedar chips instead.

e. It’s no magic carpet. Carpeting has two bad effects: The chemicals used in its production are bad for you, and it traps dirt, dust, animal hair, fleas, and more, all of which can cause allergies. So make a better, healthier choice in floor covering, but if you must have carpeting, remove your shoes inside your house to cut reduce dirt and bacteria.

f. Good-bye, old paint. Paint contains bad stuff, so be careful. Many pre-1975 paints contain lead, a cause of major problems, especially for children. If you are stripping or sanding an older home, keep the kids away and wear a facemask.

g. Get the white out. Products bleached “white” (white underwear, paper, tampons, milk cartons, napkins and toilet paper) contain dioxin, one of the nastiest chemicals around. Switch to unbleached products.

h. The grass isn’t greener. One study found that the rate of childhood leukemia is 4-7 times higher in kids whose parents used home and garden pesticides. These things are really nasty, so use natural pesticides. Your yard may not qualify for Better Homes and Gardens, but your family will be healthier.

i. Eau de death. Perfumes and colognes can contain some 600 chemicals, most petroleum-based. They can cause allergies and irritation, so buy unscented products and cosmetics. Try essential oils or natural resins.

j. Dye or Die? The National Cancer Institute estimates that permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes may be responsible for as much as 20 percent of all cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among U.S. women. A common ingredient, phenylenediamine, causes cancer. There are a few natural highlighters on the market and if you must dye, wait a few more years. The younger you start dying, the worse the problems.

k. Don’t bug me. Methyl bromide, Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride), and Dursban are all used as pesticides. Methyl bromide may cause cancer and nerve, liver, kidney, and brain damage. Vilane causes liver and kidney damage, and Dursban is toxic to the fetus and causes nerve damage. Its manufacturer, Dow Chemical Co., refuses to publish its safety data for public review. Barking up the wrong tree. We spray our animals for fleas and have them wear special collars. However, carbaryl, commonly used in pet flea and tick killers, causes birth defects in dogs. Cancer of the bladder is associated with lifetime exposure to tick and flea dips. Childhood brain cancer is associated with flea collars. Brush your animals and bathe them, use essential oils or feed them garlic, but avoid the collars. 

Herbs for Pregnancy & Childbirth

Nutritional support during pregnancy is the basis of a good start for your child. The lifestyle and diet of the mother are the building blocks for the fetus’ health. Historically, midwives and the disciples of traditional health practices have used numerous herbal preps to enhance the health of the mother and unborn child.

Constipation affects many women while they are pregnant. Avoid herbs that have a laxative action, like Cascara Sagrada and Senna. Use bulking herbs like Psyllium Hulls to add fiber to the stool. Drink a glass of warm water upon rising in the morning to help lubricate and moisten the bowel.

Morning sickness can make a pregnancy pretty miserable. It can be caused by the liver dumping toxins to cleanse the body for the pregnancy. Wild Yam cream (applied topically) and Red Raspberry can adjust the hormones. Sipping on Red Raspberry tea or water with Liquid Chlorophyll can aid nausea. Try a large glass of water and Vitamin B6 at bedtime for more severe cases. Having protein every time you eat, limiting carbohydrates and eating at least five times a day helps control blood sugar levels, which can cause nausea. Massage the palm side of each wrist 1-2 inches above the wrist crease for 5 minutes each, as this acupressure point relieves nausea.

For swelling of the extremities, keep off your feet if possible. Take Parsley, Uva Ursi, Peach Bark or Vitamin B6 to release fluids that cause swelling. Please take this condition seriously. It could be a sign of toxemia. If toxemia does occur, drink water with Liquid Chlorophyll and increase your intake of Vitamin C. Use Yellow Dock herb as a cleanser and for swelling, use the herb Motherwort. If this condition persists. contact your doctor or midwife.

Urinary tract problems plague some women, and drinking more fluids can help. Or you can try the herbs Marshmallow, Juniper Berry or Uva Ursi. Increase your Vitamin C intake to 1,000 mgs. per hour. This produces an antibacterial effect through acidification of the urine. Be sure you also have adequate amounts of Vitamins A, B and E.

If you should become anemic during pregnancy, Yellow Dock is high in organic iron compounds and liberates iron stored in the liver. It is especially useful when combined with alfalfa, beets and other iron rich foods.

Varicose veins respond to Red Raspberry tea and Shepherd’s Purse tea with alfalfa. For stretch marks, maintain adequate levels of Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Rub Vitamin E oil on the stomach to make the skin more pliable for stretching, and to reduce scarring.

Women who go past their due date are threatened with induced labor. The herbs False Unicorn, Lobelia and Master Gland can help start labor if everything else is ready to go. To stimulate contractions, the herbs Blue Cohosh or Red Raspberry help if contractions are slowing down, or labor is not progressing.

If labor is prolonged, Vitamin C is beneficial. Sipping on water with liquid Chlorophyll can give the mother some much needed energy by oxygenating the blood. For labor pain, midwives have used Lobelia, Red Raspberry and Slippery Elm.

Those pesky after-birth pains can be relieved with Red Raspberry, truly a woman’s best friend. This herb is rich in manganese, an essential element for oxygenation of the cells. To increase milk production after childbirth, try Blessed Thistle, Red Raspberry, Fennel or Herbal Calcium. Most importantly, listen to your body. When a pregnant woman craves pickles, she could be too alkaline: when she craves ice cream, she could be too acid.

Your body knows best. Remember that childbirth is not a medical procedure, but rather a natural process which need not be frightening. Formal childbirth programs of many hospitals disregard the needs of both the mother and child. Educate yourself about your body with classes (Bradley is excellent), read some books, make some plans and know what to expect when the event arrives. If you plan a hospital birth, let everyone involved know your wishes. Remember that you are the one responsible for your body and your child.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet part II

Our bodies are capable of repairing any condition, if they are given the correct environment for healing. Good food, clean air, pure water, exercise, proper rest and a positive mental outlook are important elements for good health. Last month, I set out some general guidelines for a healthy diet, but it is very hard for us to get the nutrition necessary for our bodies to function, let alone repair damages created by everyday living.

I feel it is essential to supplement our diets in order to supply the nutrients that allow us to lead healthy, unrestricted lives. The majority of conditions that I encounter are simply bodies that are nutrient deficient. The following minerals help correct a wide range of ailments:

Chromium (150 mcg.) helps to balance our sugar. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are signs of a deficiency, along with alcoholism, confusion, heart problems and nervous system disorders. Chromium can be found in mushrooms, whole grains, molasses, potatoes, brewer’s yeast and beans. Iodine (225 mcg.) is our body’s metabolizer and deficiencies can cause mental retardation, depression, glandular problems, weight problems, nervous tension, cold hands and feet and blindness. Seeds, onions, pineapple, radishes and cabbage are all sources of iodine.

Iron (18 mg.) is an energizer and can be found in green leafy veggies, dried fruits, whole grains and beans. If you are deficient in iron, you may be anemic, pale and tired, have an inflamed tongue, dull hair and worry a lot. Magnesium (750-1000 mg.) is our body’s relaxer and without it you may experience irritability (I think a lot of people are deficient in this mineral), muscle spasms, rapid heart beat, bone and teeth problems, pyorrhea, circulatory problems, MS, PMS or epilepsy. Foods such as green leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, soy and whole grains are all high in magnesium.

Manganese (10 mg.) is the love element and deficiencies result in reproductive problems, low maternal instinct, bone and muscle problems and diabetes. Foods high in manganese are beets, nuts, prunes, whole grains and green leafy veggies.

Potassium (99 mg.) is our body’s alkalizer and fruits (especially bananas), veggies, beans, wheat germ and green leafy veggies supply our bodies with proper amounts of this important element. Deficiency signs include fatigue, muscle weakness, nervous system problems, constipation, mental apathy, heart weakness and alcoholism.

Selenium (200 mcg.) is called the miracle element as a lack of it can be seen in high blood pressure, aging, hair problems, nail and teeth problems, low sperm count, infertility, fatigue, nervous system disorders, liver problems and cancer. Selenium can be found in fruits, veggies, whole grains, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, asparagus and mushrooms.

Zinc (50 mg.) is considered a trace mineral and a lack of it can cause prostate problems, color blindness, white spots on the nails, fatigue, brittle hair, stretch marks and gum disease. Food high in zinc are peas, nuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, oats and green leafy veggies.

An important factor that is necessary for the healthy assimilation of good food is hydrochloric acid or stomach acid, which is low in 9 out of 10 Americans over the age of 30. Low stomach acid can be present if you experience heartburn, belching, gas, bloating, lack of appetite, mental fatigue, arthritis, bad breath, anemia, paleness, calcium/potassium deficiency, impaired fat and protein digestion, mal-absorption, food allergies, constipation, yeasts, parasites, sinus and lung congestion. Quite a list, isn’t it? Usually people with these symptoms take an anti-acid, when in fact, they do not have enough hydrochloric acid to begin with.

Using fresh lemon squeezed into water to sip during the meal can benefit this condition, or taking a supplement that contains hydrochloric acid. Can you get all of these nutrients from your diet? You may have noticed that whole grains and green, leafy veggies are listed under almost all the vitamin and mineral categories.

Review your intake of food during a typical day and see how many of the above foods are on that list. If you are leading an average lifestyle in today’s world, you probably do not get enough of the foods necessary for your body’s nutritional needs. I am not suggesting that supplements are a replacement for good nutrition, but they can help fill the gaps in our nutritional cracks. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, gradually add to your diet some of the foods high in that mineral and you will be pleased with the results.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet part 1

News of yet another new “diet” is confusing. Just what constitutes a healthy diet? Are supplements necessary and if so, which vitamins in what amounts does the body need?

The “golden rules” for a healthy diet are:

Avoid such stimulants as sugar, coffee, tea, cigarettes, alcohol, sodas and chocolate; saturated fats (animal products) and hydrogenated or partially- hydrogenated fats (margarine); simple (refined) carbohydrates like refined sugars and refined grains; unnatural additives, flavorings and preservatives.

Do drink lots of purified water; eat more complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Since this is to be viewed as a permanent lifestyle change, do it gradually or you won’t stick to it.

Essential to life, along with water, are carbohydrates, protein, and fats, vitamins and minerals. Our soil is so depleted, our food does not contain sufficient amounts of what we need for the stress-filled world we have created. If we could eat all organic, mostly raw foods, then possibly we could come close to fulfilling our bodies’ nutritional needs. Since most of us don’t, we need to supplement to allow our bodies to function at optimum levels.

Protein is a tissue builder and, if you are reducing the amount of meat and dairy foods in your diet, you should try to get about 50 grams of protein a day. Sources: beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, soy products, spelt, and spirulina. Carbohydrates are body fuel, and about 60 percent of your total daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates. Sources: beans, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. A diet rich in healthy complex carbohydrates should easily fulfill the recommended daily minimum of 25 grams of fiber. Essential fatty acids, or vitamin F, tell the brain that the body is full and provide energy. Sources: avocados, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), seeds, cold-pressed vegetable oils, whole grains, leafy vegetables, flax seed oil, primrose oil, borage oil or black current oil. Calcium (1500 mg. daily) is our knitter. Deficiency signs are bone weakness, rapid heart beat, nervous tension, tooth decay, muscle cramps, and aches and pains. Sources: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, sprouts and broccoli. Vitamin D (400 IU daily) is necessary to utilize calcium and is used by the bones. A deficiency of vitamin D will manifest as rickets, bowlegs, fatigue, defective teeth, infection, nervous system problems and eye problems. Sources: sunflower seeds, papaya, dandelion greens, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and vegetable oils. Vitamin A (10,000 IU daily) is used for tissue repair and as an immune system nutrient. Deficiency signs can include infection, skin problems, chronic sinus problems, yeast problems, eye problems, lung weakness, loss of smell or taste, swollen lymph and ear infections. Sources: carrots, watercress, spinach, cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes, melons, pumpkin, broccoli, apricots, beets, and tomatoes. Vitamin C (3,000 mg. daily), the master vitamin, is used for blood building and fighting bacteria. Sources: strawberries and other berries, fruits, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and parsley.

The daily amounts of nutrients listed above are safe for adults and children over 100 pounds. A child of 70-100 pounds (but over age 6) should be given three- fourths the adult dosage: Under 70 pounds (but still over age 6) should be given half the adult dosage. A child under 6 years should be given nutritional formulas designed for young children.

Some people require higher than normal amounts: those who are active and exercise, those who are under great stress, on restricted diets, mentally or physically ill people, women who take oral contraceptives, those on medications, people recovering from surgery, smokers and those who consume alcohol on a regular basis.

Remember to start dietary changes slowly. When they become part of your lifestyle, then change something else, until gradually and painlessly, you are eating well and enjoying a longer, healthier and happier life.

Milk, it does a body….

Most of us have memories of being coaxed to drink our milk at mealtimes. We have all seen celebrities in commercials sporting their milk mustaches, and we know some of the slogans such as “Milk builds strong bones”, “Milk is a natural”, or “Every body needs milk”. But growing numbers of physicians and consumers are beginning to re-examine their deeply ingrained beliefs about the virtues of cow’s milk. Milk is supposed to be the most perfect food on earth, so it must be good for us, right?

Is milk a good source of calcium? The average consumer knows about milk from the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising every year by the dairy industry. Most people consume over 500 pounds of milk and dairy products yearly in the belief that the calcium content of these products will keep their bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.

The protein content in milk (even skim milk) can accelerate the loss of calcium from bones. Since the byproducts of the digestion of milk are acidic, the body draws alkalizing calcium from bones to neutralize these acid byproducts. It is interesting to note that the countries with the highest intake of dairy products are also the countries with the most osteoporosis. The United States has the world’s highest rate of osteoporosis and bone fractures among the elderly.

Is milk a good source of protein? Milk protein or casein is difficult for humans to digest and can also stimulate the production of mucus, which the body creates to get rid of the undigested protein. Certain conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis can be aggravated by the creation of this mucus. Removing dairy from the diet can also reduce the instances of chronic childhood ear infections (otitis media).

Dr. Andrew Weil tells us that casein can irritate the immune system. This can be harmful to people who have an overactive immune system that can manifest as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic allergies. These conditions are greatly improved by removing dairy from the diet.

Better living through chemistry? In 1993, the FDA approved the use of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), which is a genetically engineered copy of a naturally occurring hormone produced by cows. The injected BGH is supposed to increase milk production by 10-15%, but U.S. dairy farmers already produce more milk than we can consume. The manufacturer of BGH says on its label that use of this drug causes a 79% increase in mastitis (infection of the udder), which results in a need to treat the cows with antibiotics. A few years ago, the FDA increased the amount of antibiotic residue allowed in milk by 100 times, and food manufacturers in many states are forbidden from saying anything about BGH on their product labels. We are forced to consume these chemicals in our dairy products whether we want them or not.

If this is new information to you, please educate yourself further by reading Robert Cohen’s book Milk, the deadly poison or Don’t drink your milk by Frank Oski, MD. There are many alternatives to dairy such as soy, rice or almond milk and cheese. If you are worried about where to get your calcium, there are a variety of foods rich in this important mineral.

Just 3 ounces of sardines, 1 cup of cooked collards, 1 cup of turnips or 4 ounces of whole grain flour provide more than 250 milligrams of calcium. More than 200 milligrams of calcium are present in 1 cup of oysters, 1 cup of cooked rhubarb or 4 ounces of salmon. Kidney beans, broccoli, soybeans, almonds, a variety of fish and cassava are also good sources of calcium. So, do your bones a favor and explore some alternatives to dairy, you may feel the difference in just a few days.

Holiday Stress

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Preparing for the holiday season while coping with everyday pressures seems impossible at times. Some of us handle stress well; some of us create our own stress, while others are overwhelmed by stress. Stress can cause fatigue, memory loss, irritability, tooth grinding, high blood pressure, nervous twitches, cold hands, changes in appetite, chronic headache, gastrointestinal disorders, lowered sexual drive, and/or insomnia. Many major illnesses, both physical and emotional can be triggered by stress.

During challenging times, be sure to supply your body with the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc to combat the free radical damage caused by stress. B Complex can help with proper functioning of the nervous system, along with extra B5 (Pantothenic Acid) to supply the adrenal glands with the hormones that are reduced during stress. Calcium is lost when stress is present and a deficiency can result in anxiety, fear and even hallucinations. 2,000 mgs. of calcium, combined with 1,000 mgs of magnesium is the recommended amount needed for balancing the nervous system.

A body under stress rapidly loses protein, so spirulina, free form amino acids or protein drinks can be a great addition to the diet during the holidays. Caffeine can contribute to nervousness and can disrupt sleep patterns, so limit your intake of sodas and coffee during times of stress. Fiber, taken separately from other supplements and medications, is useful for improved bowel function, since stress often causes diarrhea and/or constipation. I could mention that it would be best to avoid processed foods and junk foods with white sugar, but the stress of not eating them during the holidays would be too great.

There are quite a few herbs that have been used for centuries as nervine herbs or relaxants, such as catnip, chamomile, schizandra, hops, kava kava, passionflower, scullcap and valerian. They can be taken in capsules, tincture form or as a relaxing cup of hot tea. Since some of these herbs can cause drowsiness, please use caution when driving.

Aromatherapy can be an important addition to a stressful lifestyle. The essential oils of chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood, lavender and sweet marjoram are especially useful when added to a tub of hot bath water to help you relax after a stressful day. A few drops of these oils can also be added to a tissue or an aromatherapy necklace and inhaled periodically during the day.

Other stress busters include exercise, plenty of pure water and adequate rest to keep the immune system from weakening. Remember that “laughter is the best medicine”, so learn to laugh and have an amusing holiday season.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is the therapeutic use of water, steam and ice and is useful in treating injuries and a wide range of illnesses. Treatments that have proven useful for centuries include baths, compresses, showers, sitz baths, steam baths and whirlpools. Hydrotherapy has been found effective for treating such conditions as AIDS, back pain, bronchitis and other respiratory problems, cancer, hypertension, muscle pain and inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Many hydrotherapy techniques can be performed at home. For example, muscular pain and swelling caused by a strain or sprain can respond to an immediate application of cold. An ice pack, applied continually (up to 20 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off) during the initial 24 hours following a trauma, can reduce swelling and provide relief.

In a hot water sitz bath, the pelvis is immersed in water to increase blood flow to the pelvic region and help provide relief for a variety of problems such as hemorrhoids, painful ovaries and testicles, muscular disorders, prostate disorders, and uterine cramps. Other effective hydrotherapy methods include simple, soothing baths and showers, body wraps, foot and hand baths, steam inhalation, and hot and/or cold compresses. Cold Wet Sock

My favorite Hydrotherapy technique is the Cold Wet Sock Treatment, which is very useful for nasal or chest congestion, colds, flu or earache. This is an especially nice treatment for children, which can be done before bedtime to give them (and you) a good night’s sleep. This treatment should not be done on those who are very weak, on those who are adverse to wool on the skin or for those who have a fungal infection on the skin of the feet. To begin the treatment, you will need to have handy, thin cotton socks, thick wool socks and cold and hot water. After warming the person with either a hot footbath or warm washcloth held to the feet, dry the feet and have them go to bed. Run the cotton socks under cold water, or better yet, dip them in a bowl of ice water. Wring out the water until no more water drips out.

Put these wet socks on the feet and immediately cover with the dry wool socks. Cover the person with warm blankets and have them rest or go to sleep. The body will dry the wet socks by pulling the circulation toward the feet and past all the organs of elimination. The immune system will be stimulated, and the person will sleep well. Although throbbing may be felt in the feet, leave both sets of socks on even after the cotton socks have become dry, for optimum benefit. For small children or those of weaker vitality, wet only the toes of the socks. If you do not have wool socks for kids, use larger ones folded down.

My hope is that you and yours will avoid the cold and flu season coming up, but if you find that a loved one needs “nursing”, this is a very comforting and beneficial technique to help them find relief from the symptoms that deprive them of rest. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.