Posts Tagged ‘healthpulse.org’

The Magic Of Tulsi

by Shelli Thompson
March 20th, 2014

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 The Magic of Holy Basil or Tulsi
(Ocimum Tenuifloum)

Ayurveda considers that all disease is derived from stress whether environmental, nutritional, job related or mental. Because we all suffer from stress in some form it is wise to have tools to counteract the stress that seems to creep into our daily lives.

What are the tools that help control stress we already know about? There are many things that we can control, like our diet. Organic, local, fresh produce is always best. It is important to remember that our body deals with toxins that are not within our control every day. We don’t want to add to toxins by eating foods containing anti-biotics, pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

How stressful are your thoughts? Do you find yourself worrying about things that may possibly never happen? There’s a difference between being prepared and worrying about a catastrophic event. We make ourselves sick with worry and that leads to other health related concerns. This is another area that we have control over, it may not seem like it at times because our mind can be pretty powerful. With training in meditation and some activity along with proper diet and herbs, you can get your “run away” mind under control.

How can the magic of Tulsi support our bodies?

We can turn our focus to herbs with properties that assist the areas we need help with. When it comes to stress it is important to support the systems of the body what are some of the things that we look for?

  • Adaptogens are great to include along with antioxidants to help rid the body of free radicals.
  • Anti-inflammitory because many stress related diseases will present at first with inflammation and then progress to a higher disease state.
  • Germicide, fungicide and natural anti-biotic to help the body fight off infections thus alleviating stress from illness.
  • Diuretic and detoxifier to cleanse the kidney and reduce uric acid in the blood.
  • Acetic acid to break down kidney stones
  • Analgesic property to help with pain.
  • Anti-carcinogenic to stop the progression of breast and oral cancers.
  • Decongestant to assist with allergies.

It may sound like we would give you an entire handful of herbs to address all of these areas. There is one herb that checks off all the boxes.

Tulsi or Holy Basil is like Magic

  1. Headaches: Helps with all sorts of headaches from sinusitis to migraine due to its decongestive and analgesic properties.
  2. Stress: Normalizes Cortizon in the body is an adaptogen (anti-stress), soothes nerves, regulates blood circulation, fights stress produced free radicals.
  3. Kidney Stones: Dissolves stones due to acetic acid, diuretic, detoxifier, reduces Uric acid in blood good for Gout, analgesic.
  4. Quit Smoking: Reduces urge to smoke due to stress. Chewing the leaves when urge arises reduces stress.
  5. Diabetes: Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps beta cells in pancreas to regulate release of insulin, increases the sensitivity to insulin lowering the blood sugar levels, helps cells overcome oxidative stress.
  6. Protects Heart: Tulsi is shown to lower cholesterol, especially LD types, keeps blood pressure lower, Eugenol (anti-oxidant) helps keep free radicals from damaging heart tissue.
  7. Fever: Germicide and a fungicide as well as an anti-biotic so it helps relieve fevers from the common infection to more serious diseases.
  8. Respiratory: Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, anti-allergetic, fights infections, relieves congestion and cough it a good expectorant and is immunomodulatory (good for the immune system)
  9. Hair and skin: Last but not least because of it’s purifying properties it is good for reducing acne and pimples. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties assist in preventing break outs. It purifies the blood when the leaves are chewed raw and it reduces excess hair fall and itchy scalp.

Enjoy the magic of Tulsi in your diet

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Seasonal Cleansing, Get The Spring Back into your step.

by Shelli Thompson
March 17th, 2014

title % titleKapha season is late winter and early spring, time for seasonal cleansing.

At that time of year our Kapha energy is more likely to go out of balance. Kapha is immobile and stable and strong. During the late winter Kapha tends to accumulate, we become less active and many times we crave comfort foods which tend to be Kapha-genic. This is usually a time that suggests it’s time for seasonal cleansing.

With spring comes a shift in the weather and it becomes time to rid our bodies of excess Kapha. In order to do that we plan some seasonal cleansing (ridding ourself of excess Earth and water elements in order to avoid imbalance).

Ayurveda provides a nourishing and effective approach to seasonal cleansing of the body that seeks to balance and restore harmony to the system.

Ayurvedic Suggestions for Seasonal Cleansing:

Drink lots of water and shift your diet to lighter fare. What we eat has the greatest overall impact on our health and Most Americans get less than half the required amount of fiber-needed daily.

Ayurveda suggests a diet that support the bodies natural purification systems. Including complete servings of fiber and protein in order to stave off hunger between meals. Herbs and spices are used to help detoxify and cleanse the body as well as make the foods tastier.

What are some signs that you need Seasonal Cleansing?

  •  Crave Junk food and sugar but have a poor appetite
  • You notice it takes longer to feel hungry after a meal
  • You find yourself eating  large portions
  • Feeling heavy, congested or constipated
  • Bloating and gas cause discomfort
  • Feeling tired with little energy
  • Mind feels a little foggy and “spaced out”
  • Lack of motivation.

What is the first thing you need to do when preparing for a seasonal cleanse?

The first thing is to remove the foods that create sludge or Ama in the system such as foods with preservatives and additives, junk food, sugar, cheese, deep fried foods, carbonated drinks and left overs. These may be things that you normally do not consume but you may have found that some of them have snuck into your diet.

Do not eat raw foods, they are harder to digest and we are trying to cleanse the system. Foods that are cooked are partially digested since digestion is our systems way of cooking. Eat plenty of cooked vegetables and eat fresh fruits (ripened fruit is not considered raw as the ripening process is the plants way of “cooking” the fruit until it is done).

Eat foods that are whole, fresh and organic as much as possible and make sure you are eating according to your dosha. When we eat according to our dosha it makes the food easier to digest for each of us individually.  Make sure and eat your cooked food warm and drink only warm or hot water.

Tea is a great way to help detoxify your body. Boil equal parts of coriander, cumin, fennel and ajwain, take it from the heat and let it set for about 20 minutes to seep. Drink the tea throughout the day, make fresh tea every day.

For seasonal cleansing the best vegetables are cabbage, celery and cilantro, and fresh ginger, and lemon are excellent herbs to assist the system your detox.

Get plenty of rest because a rested body will digest and assimilate the foods more effectively. Exercise is very important as it will increase your metabolic levels, help sweat out toxins and increase energy levels.

Using healthy oils on your skin and in your diet will help to loosen toxins embedded deep in the layers of the bodily tissues. Generally coconut oil for Pitta and Sesame oil for Kapha and Pitta.

Regular elimination is also important when seasonal cleansing, including lots of vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet will help such as cooked apples and pears, prunes, pomegranates and pineapple.

Within a week you will feel the fog lift and you will feel more energetic, as you continue you will feel lighter and release weight. When you began you may have been craving your old lifestyle, after a while you will wonder why you would ever want to go back to unhealthy eating again.

 

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Now Thats A Stretch!

by Shelli Thompson
August 24th, 2010
 
 

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Downward Dog is a Great Stretch

 That your doctor will tell you before you get stiff and can’t touch your toes that you need to keep your flexibility as you age in order to lead a healthy life is a real stretch.  If your doctor told you before it was almost too late it would be really helpful.

 I taught fitness classes for 25 years of varying nature.  I taught from age 2 1/2 all the way to 90 years old and one thing I always did was talk about the importance of flexibility.

 Many people would ask my advist after their doctor told them that they need to work on flexibility with different stretches.  Many of those students could only reach about mid shin when they reached for the floor.

 I saw tremendous improvement in many students after attending Yoga and classes specifically designed for stretching and addressing stiffness that comes with age.

 Why is this so important?

You see, we only have 4 types of tissues in our bodies.  These tissues are made up of cells with the intelligence to know what they are needed for.

 Within each type of tissue there are different uses for instance Epithelium is our skin and it has different functions such as protecting us from the outside world, it absorbs in the stomach and intestinal lining, it filters in the kidneys and it secretes from glands.

 So let’s look at Muscle tissue and the different functions it performs.

 Muscles are responsible for body movement, muscles move blood, food, and waste through the body’s organs and it is also responsible for mechanical digestion.

 If you notice Muscles are responsible for moving blood and blood runs through veins.  The walls of your veins have the same type of tissue that your muscles are made up of.

 What we all need to understand is that when you have a tissue type in the body that is affected in a negative way all of the tissue that is similar in nature will have a similar problem.  If muscles get stiff all of the tissue that has the same make up will be affected.

 So if we have the same tissue responsible for our muscles and our veins, what do you suppose will happen to your veins when your muscles get stiff and inflexible?

 I think you got that right, your veins become stiff and hard, allowing for the sticky, gunky build up known as plaque and also allows cholesterol to block the veins due to their lack of flexibility.  The real danger though is the build up of plaque.  This Plaque can break free from the walls of your veins and arteries and actually cause blockage.  Depending on where the blockage is it can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

 Do we want to wait until we are all stiff and “stoved” up before we start to work on our flexibility?  Certainly not and the reason for that is it can be a long road back to having some semblance of flexibility if you have lost it at an older age. 

Chances are you won’t get it back completely but there is definitely a chance of that happening with perseverance and determination and the really important ingredient would be dedication.

 Don’t let you muscles get stiff, make sure and stretch morning and evening and you will never be sorry you took the 10 minutes to get it done, it is an investment in your future.

 Make sure and join Health Pulse Magazine and they explore stretching and lengthening all of the muscles in the body in their special series, “That’s a Stretch” coming soon.

 Make sure and subscribe to Health Pulse Magazine to get all sorts of health information.  We have made it easy, just put your name and email in the box to the right and you will gain instant access to our latest issue

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