Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Sampson of the Vitamin Kingdom

The humble yet powerful vitamin C is sometimes over-rated and yet more often over-looked as a valuable and necessary part of every person’s life. The biological effect of vitamin C only lasts for about six hours and so we need to constantly be replenishing this essential vitamin. Most people know that inadequate body levels of vitamin C can cause scurvy causing bleeding under the skin, bruising, bleeding and swollen gums, anemia and general weakness and many people know that higher levels of vitamin C can help in the prevention of colds and flu as well as elevating the body’s ability to fight cancer. But very few people seem to understand that the body needs extra vitamin C to help accelerate the healing of wounds both accidental and surgical. Vitamin C will help detoxify from certain drugs and other harmful chemicals such as nitrites. Vitamin C helps in the formation of natural steroid hormones, it utilizes iron in the body and helps to regulate the metabolism of cholesterol. This fantastic vitamin helps to maintain normal brain activity for good mental health and memory functions. Most people know that stressful conditions over a period of time will create dangerous body reactions, but adequate levels of vitamin C will help the body deal with stressful conditions.
Keep in mind that smoking can severely deplete your vitamin C levels, as will the use of aspirin, antibiotics, cortisone drugs and oral contraceptives. Your diet and lifestyle can also affect your vitamin C body levels. It has been shown that individuals use up their body’s store of vitamin C much faster when confronted by disease or distress and the resulting lowered body levels of this vitamin seem to aggravate any existing illness or anxiety which will then cause a vicious cycle.
Many scientists question the adequacy of the recommended amounts for the average person because of increasing environmental issues which cause high levels of physical and mental stress. They feel that much larger doses are necessary to combat these issues. One symptom of doses that are too high would be extremely loose bowels, unexplained rashes, reoccurring headaches and possible insomnia.
What then is the function of vitamin C in the body? Just as red blood cells carry oxygen to the individual cells of the body, so vitamin C carries hydrogen which is a substance necessary for the proper burning of our foodstuffs and this vitamin is necessary for the health of our connective tissues, the substance which binds all the individual cells together, composes cartilages, veins, ligaments and so forth. If this substance is not in good repair, many disastrous consequences may result. Vitamin C also helps form collagen, which in turns strengths blood vessel walls.
The precious minerals such as calcium and phosphorus which our body needs for so many functions are stored in our bones until they are needed. If not enough vitamin C is present, the tissues of this storage place will not retain the minerals and they are then lost to us.
Finally, vitamin C is a powerful agent against the infections that constantly plague us. An individual who gets over and above his daily quota of this vitamin will not be subject to as many infections.
The recommended dosage for an average adult is 1,000 mg. daily the daily recommended dosage for a child is 60 to 100 mg. Essential Oils that are high in vitamin C or that help the body to absorb this powerful vitamin are those in the citrus families, as well as the rose family.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Hidden Cavities

Deep in center of the facial bones which surround our eyes and nose are cavities called sinuses. These hidden cavities serve as resonance chambers for our voice; they also make our skull lighter. These cavities are surrounded by mucus membranes which help in part to protect these bony cavities, as well as to trap bacterial and viral infections and then reject these substances out through the lymphatic system. Unfortunately the sinuses can become irritated and even infected resulting in congestion and inflammation.
In Western society we refer to the body’s ability to fight off disease and infection as the immunity system. In Chinese medicine, the reference goes much deeper. The lungs and the colon are the organs corresponding to the element of metal, which is responsible for the functioning of the “we qui” or the defensive energy which protects the body from external invasion.
Having thus explained these systems in part let us follow through. The connection between the colon and the lungs is the lymphatic system, which under ordinary circumstances removes waste from the body tissues and drains it into the colon in the form of mucus. When the colon is congested, the result is a greater toxic burden in the body which in turns creates a less effective lymphatic drainage. As a result, more less waste is eliminated from the body via the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract, including the sinuses.
In the short term, this can result in sinus problems such as a runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip and coughs. As the problem becomes more chronic, the post-nasal drip can inflame the throat causing the common sore throats while the toxic laden lymphatic fluid can then irritate other tissues causing further inflammatory conditions like earaches, tonsillitis, bronchitis and even asthmatic symptoms.
Cleaning the colon through herbs, essential oils and homeopathies will create a long term cure but what about the shorter term “Band-Aid” relief for these symptoms?
Herbs with expectorant and decongestant actions can stimulate these tissues and help to break-up trapped mucus and expel it from the system more effectively. Fenugreek and Thyme are great herbs for the intense pressure that creates the sinus headaches. Steaming those sinuses with a strong infusion or tea will begin to relieve the pressure and cause the sinuses to begin to drain correctly but add a few drops of essential oil of birch to your mixture and you have an added fighter to the mix. If you don’t have the time for a good steam make yourself an inhaler with 2-3 drops of these herbs in essential oil form and breathe deeply.
Birch is the one oil that will penetrate through bone mass and because the sinus cavities are incased in bone this oil will penetrate into the bone, relaxing the surrounding membranes and thus helping the fenugreek and thyme to do their job more effectively.
Snuffing a very small amount of powdered bayberry into the sinuses will rapidly shrink nasal polyps and bring quick relief from constant sinus problems. If a bacterial or viral infection is present a very small amount of golden seal or Oregon grape root can be added to the snuff mixture.
Most people will turn to eucalyptus products to try and dry up excess mucus but many times the problem has been created because of dehydration so be careful in your evaluation of using eucalyptus because dehydration might be the catalyst already.
Remember that mucus is 90% water and so it is very important that the mucus membranes be properly hydrates so that they can produce a thin, watery secretion that is easily removed by the body. When we are in a state of even mild dehydration the body natural defense will try to retain every ounce of moisture possible and so the mucus secretions naturally get very thick. By encouraging the body with lots of healthy, clear fluids the secretions will again become thin and watery because the body realizes that there is no need for fluid retention.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is Fungi Amoungi?

One of the most common, and persistent fungal infections around is Athlete's Foot -Tinea pedis. This is caused by the ringworm infections Trichophyton rubrum; Trichophyton interdigitale; or Epidermophyton floccosum.
Essential Oils that research has shown to be effective against the Trichophyton species include:
Citrus limonum - lemon; Cymbopogon citratus - lemongrass; Foeniculum vulgare - fennel; Lavandula angustifolia (officinalis) - lavender; Melaleuca alternifolia - tea tree; Melissa officinalis - melissa; Ocimum basilicum - basil; Ocimum gratissimum - wild basil; Pelagonium graveolens - geranium; Rosmarinus officinalis - rosemary; Thymus vulgaris - thyme; Vetiveria zizanioides - vetiver.

Essential Oils that research has shown to be effective against the Epidermophyton species include: Citrus limonum - lemon; Cymbopogon citratus - lemongrass; Foeniculum vulgare - fennel; Melaleuca alternifolia - tea tree; Mentha spicata - spearmint.

Armed with this information it makes sense that one would first try essential oils. However, one must keep in mind that because of the tenaciousness of fungal infections as a whole, one must be prepared to continue the treatment over a period of time in order to see results. A minimum of a month is generally recommended and sometimes depending on the strain and the severity it might take up to a year to affect a change.

Using antifungal essential oils while bathing or showering is especially important because fungal infections thrive and try to grow in warm, moist environments. All of the oils mentioned above can easily be added to Epson salts to combat fungal infections.

Pathogenic Fungi have a tendency to hibernate along the spinal cord and in the lymphatic system. The body can then hold them in a suspended state for long periods of time; hence the reason that these types of infections are so difficult to get rid of.

When the immune system becomes compromised from stress, fatigue or other factors, these pathogens can be released. Lymphatic drainage therapy can help remove dormant fungi.

Alkalizing the body will also make it easier for you to rid the body of disease of any kind.

Acidophilus cultures have also been shown to help combat fungus overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract.