Tag: Depression

The Healing Benefits of Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is a versatile medicinal plant. It has the potential to treat PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction and cancer. Here are the different benefits of Ayahuasca. Read it and it will surely interest you.

See: Video’s on how to brew your own Ayahuasca in a few simple steps, further down in this Article

Ayahuasca’s Medical Benefits

Although some want to try Ayahuasca for a different experience, say, transformation, others simply want healing. Yes, some patients who are not satisfied with their PTSD or depression medications turn to Ayahuasca. Others with terminal diseases like cancer also try it in hopes of improving their condition.

If you want to learn more about the wonders of Ayahuasca in the medicine field, read more on how efficient it is in treating depression, PTSD and cancer.

Ayahuasca cures depression The medicine reduces depression in the individual within two to three hours of ingestion. Quite similar to pharmaceutical antidepressants, this medicine seems to change concentrations of serotonin, the mood-boosting neurotransmitter in the brain. Another way it alleviates depression is by the action of its active ingredient DMT, the psychoactive chemical known to induce spiritual revelations and experiences.

Individuals with depression who turn to Ayahuasca find solace and solution in the substance. One of them is Kira Salak. Her experience is terrifying and enlightening.

Just like the other ayahuasca users, Salak saw visions. She found herself in a tunnel of fire. She heard wailing and saw men begging her to help them. Others tried to scare her that she will never get out of the tunnel, but she was fierce and strong enough to answer back that she’s not scared. At the end of the tunnel, she saw three thrones with shadowy figures. The devil was sitting in the middle, warning her that darkness will never end and that she can never escape to which she replied with I can.

Salak woke up and felt lighter and at peace. She saw the shaman welcoming her back and the following day everything was changed. I discovered the impossible: The severe depression that had ruled my life since childhood had miraculously vanished, Salak confessed.

Ayahuasca cured Salak’s depression and the experience made her feel lighter and free.

Ayahuasca cures cancer A number of Ayahuasca users who went to Peru returned home feeling revitalized. Some others tried Ayahuasca somewhere else and still get the same benefits of healing. Among them are Donald M. Topping, a former professor in Hawaii who was diagnosed with colon cancer and Margaret De Wys a writer who survived breast cancer. Donald and Margaret took Ayahuasca ceremonies in different places, but they experience the same cure. Both are now cancer free. They are just two of the growing number of individuals who claim Ayahuasca’s healing.

A Brazilian study conducted by Eduardo Schenberg, of the University of Sao Paulo, learned that Ayahuasca has the potential to treat cancer. There is enough available evidence that Ayahuasca’s active principles, especially DMT and harmine, have positive effects on some cell cultures used to study cancer, and in biochemical processes important in cancer treatment, both in vitro and in vivo, Schenberg wrote. Therefore, the few available reports of people benefiting from Ayahuasca in their cancer treatment experiences should be taken seriously, and the hypothesis presented here, fully testable by rigorous scientific experimentation, helps to understand the available cases and pave the way for new experiments.

Ayahuasca cures PTSD Some war veterans and soldiers who developed PTSD turned to Ayahuasca for relief. Some claim that the medicines they took failed to improve their condition, that’s why they travel to the jungle of Amazon for a new treatment and their trip was not in vain because they return home with a new perspective in life, lesser baggage and cleaner slate. The medicinal vine helps them clear their mind from suicidal thoughts, pain, and bitter experiences that were holding them back.

Ayahuasca helps PTSD patients conquer their trauma by activating their subconscious brain. It then reprograms the brain by reorganizing and neutralizing environmental triggers and symptoms. It also brings the traumatic experience to the conscious mind for processing and integration to one’s life with deeper meaning without replaying the emotional intensity that used to come with it. That’s why PTSD patients develop new and better perspective on the things that once haunted them.

Ayahuasca’s Health & Healing Benefits

Aside from treating PSTD, depression and cancer, Ayahuasca offers health and healing benefits with its transforming effects. It does not only strengthen one’s body, but it also reconditions the mind and spirit. Learn about Ayahuasca’s health and healing benefits in the following passages.

Expands Consciousness

Ayahuasca helps in expanding and deepening the known experiences along with one’s consciousness capacity. As a result, it benefits the individuals who consciously look out for exploring relationships, life and spiritual fulfillment. The Ayahuasca process lets one gain a better insight into the mental understanding of their life and reveals a deep understanding of their situations. The overall experience not only makes it hard to avoid the realities of your life but also opens the perceptions, increases awareness and lets one meet their thought process completely. At a psychological level, the brew enhances the feelings and perceptions, making an individual’s thinking, reaction, self-reflection and beliefs even more intense and vivid.

Among the individuals who enjoy this Ayahuasca benefit is Russ Binicki. Russ is a former soldier who survived the Vietnam War. His experience was quite traumatic. Three of his closest friends were killed in the battle and he was involved in several plane crashes due to mechanical failure. When he returned home he engaged in drinking, smoking pot and fights. He puts himself in danger as coping mechanism of the high intensity experiences he had in Vietnam.

He was in denial of his PTSD condition and anger related issues. He often gets angry easily. He gets angry when he drives,
while on duty, at home or even in public. His rage problems were terrible that he described his anger tendencies from zero to warp speed in a heartbeat. He also gets angry when his daughters are late on their agreed curfew.ayahuasca benefits

Russ’ condition led him to Ayahuasca. He travelled to Peru to try it and his life was changed. He learned more about himself, was able to understand his behavior and eventually admitted that he has anger problems. His Ayahuasca experience opened his mind to the things that kept on haunting him. It gave him the strength to confront those terrible thoughts it in a different perspective.

According to Russ, his anger issues were due to guilt. He was devastated after losing three of his closes friends in the battle. He felt bad for making it alive and yet seeing his comrades in the battlefield lifeless. He also learned that his being strict about the curfew was also due to his experience in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, when one gets late, it means he is in trouble. This thought is engraved in his mind. So when his daughters show up late, he easily gets angry. The anger was due to fears because paranoia struck him.

The Ayahuasca experienced enabled Russ to learn about himself and understand his behavior, which he thought was just normal. He enrolled in a PTSD program when he returned home.

Ayahuasca Self-Healing Benefits

Ayahuasca is often called as a healer due to the inner processes facilitated by it, that eventually leads to the initiation of psychosomatic and spiritual shifts in individual, physical changes, changes in habits as well as a release of addictive patterns. The experience inspires the users and helps them to work towards bringing a change to their lives, allowing a genuine transformation and self-healing to happen. The self healing comes from the deeper look into the ideas, realities, ideologies or beliefs as Ayahuasca is potentially powerful in supporting the knowledge about oneself. But, Ayahuasca is not an external force that intervenes and solves a problem inside a person without their own intentional contribution. The thing that makes it work on bringing a transformation is one’s own determination, motivation and intention.

Kirby Surprise shared one personal encounter with Ayahuasca that showcased the medicinal plants self-healing benefits.

One man had a major depression during graduate school while maintaining two jobs and raising a family. His depression was like a plague that kept him from joy and light. He struggled with work and his family. He even resorted to a medical professional for help. He took different anti-depressant medications and finally Zoloft. He was advised to maintain the drug for the rest of his life. However, it took a toll on his health and marriage life. He can’t sleep well and sex was difficult which affected his self-esteem. He tried talk therapy and other western medicine, but he still felt that something was missing. He was not whole.

It affected his mood and attitude towards his wife and work. Until he decided to confront his depression from within and heal himself. He studied shamanism and medical plants and went on to an Ayahuasca conference. He learned that UDV members use it and that studies showed that regular Ayahuasca drinkers were less depressed but more social and organized instead. There were no physical or mental side effects to long-term use. One of the deciding factors that convinced him to try Ayahuasca was the people he met at the conference. They admitted to be long-term drinkers of the Ayahuasca tea and for him, they were some of the most grounded, kind, sane and healthy people he met in his life.

He decided to try Ayahuasca despite his wife’s lack of support and he experienced something unimaginable and unexplainable. He saw lights, colors and visions. The images were beautiful and intense, it made him cry. Then the lessons came in, he realized that he was losing awareness of his body and felt the weight of how he treated his wife in the past years while he struggled with depression. The experience was sacred, painful and beautiful. He realized that he was so cold and angry. The Ayahuasca experience made him alive again, he can feel again and it filled him with gratitude and love. He wept and started sobbing, which awakened his wife who told him that he was hallucinating, but he told her that he was aware of what he was feeling. For the first time in years, he woke up filled with joy and gratitude. He started to appreciate his wife, family and work. What was on the verge of being torn down was restored. He is alive again and he is whole.

This story is a concrete manifestation of Ayahuasca’s power to heal one’s self.

Ayahuasca Spiritual Teaching Benefit

When it comes to spiritual aspirations, the Ayahuasca experience plays a major role of a spontaneous teacher. Without any claims to a specific phenomenological status about the source of the teachings, an Ayahuasca practitioner is able to have strong insights, revelations and a sense of getting guided. It is particularly helpful to bring a subject that you want to learn or understand into the ceremony. Ayahuasca will help open up those neuro-pathways to make learning easier. Aside from learning new ideas or skills, Ayahuasca may pave the way for a meaningful and deep divine experience.

Ayahuasca is popular in improving spiritual health. In fact, some religion ceremonies use this and refer to it as the vine of the soul. According to Sita, an Ayahuasca user, the experience affected her physically, emotionally and spiritually. It shifted her perspectives and perceptions giving her the most challenging experience and divine bliss. She considered it spiritual because her quest for it is to find meaning and surrender. Her experience revealed sources of creations and made her realize that there is someone out there with supreme power. Others may call it God, Allah or Buddha, but one thing is certain for her, there is a powerful force behind everything, which can’t be known.

Some Ayahuasca users felt that they died and live again. Some felt the divinity, others claimed to see God. Ayahuasca helps them understand humanity, find a connection, and feel the great power behind everything. For Ayahuasca users, the experience was something unimaginable and unexplainable. It altered their views about the sacredness of life and their purpose.

One study revealed that Ayahuasca can indeed improve one’s spirituality. One study found out that Ayahuasca users have high scores in Spiritual Orientation Inventory. They excel in all nine components which include transcendent dimension, meaning and purpose in life, mission in life, sacredness of life, material values, altruism, idealism, awareness of the tragic and fruits of spirituality. The score remains high even after the second assessment, which suggests that the use of Ayahuasca improves one’s spiritual health.

Helps Identify the Totality of Life (Transformation & Rebirth)

The vivid, intense or sometimes confused and chaotic visions associated with Ayahuasca serve to show a person the totality of one’s life, including the conscious and subconscious mind, behaviors, emotional reactions as well as their effects on their relationships. Sometimes, the visions often work as a factor of cleansing, allowing a person to process the visual imprints and the impact of TV, mass media, Internet and several other blockages of psychosomatic and emotional nature. The meditation-like visions can be anything ranging from simple reflections of a person’s life and situations that must be solved or healed to the visions of animal and plant spirits as well as astral entities working on the body and soul quite similar to a doctor. This eventually leads to one getting a complete picture of the elements of their life, relationships and difficulties as well as gain a better comprehension of the world. A lot of people take Ayahuasca for its realistic or vivid hallucinations and to gain an insight into the world’s and brain’s mysteries.

Martijn Schirp, one Ayahuasca user revealed that the Ayahuasca session turned him to be a believer. He saw visions that filled him with fear and loneliness. It was a pure hell. It hit him hard. He remembered seeing the interview of psychiatrist and psychonaut Stan Grof, where he admitted that he experienced to be a different kind of animals and a plant in one instant. Martijn did not believe him but to his surprise he experienced it. He felt like he was a haunted animal and the experience was so vivid and real. He saw the connection in the world, from the air he breathes, the food he eats, and trees and rivers that give life. When he came to his senses, he felt the pangs of pain at how humans abused the natural resources. He was disappointed that people failed to see the spirit of the mountains, trees and animals. He was broken hearted that the humans’ greed consumes the natural resources that money can’t buy.

The Ayahuasca experience raised his awareness and transformed his relationship with nature. He is now more sympathetic to the natural world.

Ayahuasca Increases Efficiency Benefit

The usual physical benefits associated with Ayahuasca are pretty astonishing. One of the core functions of the brew is the cleaning of the body and crossed energy straightening. This implies that at a physical and energetic level, it makes the body operate with as little impediments as possible. It makes your body perform everything more efficiently. This means either minimal is required for the maintenance of the status quo or higher benefits are extracted from the same input. It increases the energy levels and minimizes the need for sleep. During the ceremonies and during the dieta, one finds their energy levels all over the place.

Moreover, since the use of Ayahuasca is life changing it affects one’s efficiency. As it helps one come to his senses, discover his failures and learn from it, accept his mistakes and shortcomings, it also filled the emptiness with gratitude and love. When one feels good, happy and satisfied with himself, it resonates in his works and relationships. It produces a better person and worker. Thus, making one more efficient in everything he does.

For those who felt stuck with their lives that they can no longer give their best to their work or family, Ayahuasca can help you regain your wholeness for a more efficient you.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Ayahuasca offers many benefits, be it in the medical field or health and healing. But is Ayahuasca legal? You’ll be disappointed because, in the U.S., this psychedelic medicine’s legal status remains questionable. Brews made with DMT containing plants are illegal in the country as it is categorized as Schedule I drug.

However, due to religious freedom in the U.S., there are legal Ayahuasca ceremonies. UDV members are allowed to practice Ayahuasca ceremonies because this medicinal plant is sacred for them. It is a sacrament that helps them heighten their spiritual understanding and perception. Furthermore, it brings the practitioners closer to God and enables them to experience divinity.

If you want to experience the benefits of Ayahuasca, you may try the UDV Ayahuasca ceremony or book a ticket to the jungle of Amazon. Try Ayahuasca to experience its amazing benefits. You will surely be surprised to find a better version of you.

How to brew your own Ayahuasca in a few simple steps

Ayahuasca, one of the most potent healing drinks known to man, is easier to concoct than one might guess. By pulling together mimosa bark and caapi resin, you can boil together and create this intense psychedelic.

We do not condone illegal activity of any kind so it is important that you find out if it is legal before you make the concoction.

The process is quite simple. Boil water, vinegar and the mimosa bark three times over the course of about 9 hours, straining and reusing the bark each time.  Once you have a concentrated liquid, add the caapi resin and melt it down until the drink is ready.

See Video’s below; the Making of Ayahuasca

 

 

Here is a step-by-step video demonstration of the creation of Ayahuasca

There are multiple ways to extract the DMT needed for the Ayahuasca brew.  Here is another example of a way to produce the drink

Keep in mind, this is one of the most powerful psychedelics known to man.  It has intense healing properties and is intended for ritualistic, healing endeavors.  It is often suggested that you use this substance only in the guidance of someone familiar with the ritual as it can be many, many hours of psychedelia.

You can also visit a shamanistic retreat and experience the entire situation under controlled guidance. This is suggested for people using Ayahuasca for the first time.  It is stressed that this is not a recreational drug, but a medicine to use with respect.

 

Admin Cymantra April 2017

The Oil that Can Cure Migraines, Anxiety, Depressions, and Even Cancer

Frankincense oil is the King of Oils

Frankincense oil is known as the King of Oils – and it truly deserves this title. I use it daily to promote my health and if I ever had to choose just one oil to have, it would be frankincense. Frankincense has a long history of being used as a prized and precious essential oil. Historically it was used by the Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians in religious ceremonies, and as a resin for balms and salves. And of course, the three wise men brought frankincense to the baby Jesus as an offering.

Frankincense is taken from Boswellias when it is extracted from the bark of the tree. The milky-white sap will quickly harden to a resin and then be scraped off the tree in the form of pear-shaped droplets. The color and quality of this resin varies greatly, from the highest quality (clear and silvery in color) to the lowest (of a brown-yellow hue).

Today, the essential oil, acquired by steam distillation of the resin, is widely used and holds great therapeutic value.

The following uses of Frankincense are based upon my own personal experience.

1. Help with wounds from cuts, scrapes, and burns.  For even greater benefit, apply Lavender essential oil first then layer Frankincense on top.  The combination of these two oils together is amazing when it comes to helping with wounds. (where to find) 

2. Neurological support.

Frankincense is probably the best oil I know of for neurological support. It helps with the function of the central nervous system in particular. Whether it’s helping with clarity of thinking, or balancing the emotions, frankincense has a lot of benefits to offer.

3. Reduce and fade scars.  Just combine 2-3 drops of frankincense oil with coconut oil, and directly apply it on your skin.

4. Foster strong immune system.  Massage a few drops into the balls of your feet daily to boost your immune system. You can also diffuse it throughout your home or in your bedroom at night.

5. Reduce stress and anxious feelings.

Frankincense oil promotes relaxation and feeling of calm. You can simply rub a few drops mixed in a carrier oil on the back of the neck when you feel stressed.

6. Hormones and Memory

Frankincense can help balance hormones and improve memory.

7. Aging skin.   Mix a few drops of the Frankincense with unscented oil (like coconut) and apply to your skin. You can also add a drop of Frank to your daily moisturizer.

8. Head tension.  Frankincense can be used to relieve conditions where pain and tension are present.

9. Congestion.  Put up to six drops in a sink or bowl filled with very hot water then bend over the sink with a towel draped over your head to contain the steam. Breathe in the vapors for at least five minutes, adding more hot water as needed.  Be careful not to scald yourself; the water should be hot, not boiling.

10. Relieve itching.  A single drop applied to the affected area will bring immediate relief.

11. Relieve joint pain and swelling.  Mix with a carrier and rub into aching joints at night before bed and throughout the day,

12. Clear up problem skin.  Dab one drop on stubborn spots morning and night.

13. Relaxation.  Add 5 or 6 drops to a diffuser and breath in the oil to open the senses and create a calming atmosphere. To elevate your mood a few drops – as a perfume – works well.

14. Remove moles, skin tags, and warts.  Apply a single drop 3 or 4 times a day until gone.

15. Enhance vision.  Put 1-2 drops of Frankincense in your hand and then  rub your index finger in the oil and rub it onto each of your temple.  It can provide greater clarity to your vision and bring everything into greater focus.

16. Remove musty odors.  Place a couple of drops in a small dish of water and the room will take on a much fresher smell.

17. Oral Health: Useful as preventative measure against oral health problems such as bad breath, toothaches, cavities, canker sores, and other infections. Try mixing with baking soda and coconut oil to make your own toothpaste.

18. Promote sleep  Diffuse frankincense at bedtime to help you slow down your breathing and relieve nervous tension and anxiety.  You will sleep like a baby!

19. Enhance the efficacy of other essential oils.   Layer Frankincense over other essential oil to enhance that oil’s properties and drive the oils deeper into the cells.

July 14, 2016 by

Conditions You Can Treat With Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol is just one of the many cannabinoids found in marijuana, however, it is probably the most medically advanced substance in the world. Here’s what CBD can help treatment with…

Conditions You Can Treat With Cannabidiol (CBD)

There are more than 500 cannabinoids currently known to humanity and 1 of them is cannabidiol. It is easily the most interesting of all right next to THC as CBD has a ton of medicinal uses.

Thus, it is slowly becoming a global healing agent, but unlike “modern” drugs it has no negative side effects and can also help treat a number of conditions – some of which are extremely serious ones.

1. Cannabidiol VS Cancer

CBD has been proven to have antineoplastic properties which inhibit cancerous development and tumor growth. The stimulation of apoptotic pathways throughout the body forces the immune system to effectively destroy cancer cells.

2. Cannabidiol VS Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an awful condition which is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking nerve endings. That results in  constant pain throughout the entire day.

However, marijuana is very well know for its pain relieving properties. More specifically, CBD has been found to relieve that exact same pain caused by multiple sclerosis.

Rough statistics show that up to 30% of multiple sclerosis patients in Europe puff weed to ease the symptoms of MS.

3. Cannabidiol VS Epilepsy

This battle is probably what CBD is most famous for currently and we all know who the winner is. There is still much to learn about the way cannabidiol works to stop seizures, but one thing’s for sure – the effects are there and no one can deny their power.

The countless success stories around the Internet of people treating their children’s epilepsy with medical marijuana (like this one) prove just how good of a medicine this plant is.

In the story mentioned above, we have a 9 year old girl with severe epileptic episodes in her earlier years going to 30 or more in a day and some days even more than 100.

However, since here mother started her on cannabis oil treatment, her daughter hasn’t had a single seizure in more than 18 months.

The sad part is that even though the results are too obvious to be true, hospitals are still denying medical marijuana renewals, because of the lack of scientific evidence of marijuana being a safe treatment option.

What a joke. Where’s the scientific evidence that any of the drugs you buy at your local pharmacy are a safe treatment option? There is none, because they aren’t.

They all do more damage than heal and if the same rule was applied to them as is to cannabis, there will be no pharmacies left.

4. Cannabidiol VS Depression

That lame state of mind we’ve all been at one point in our lives should be fought with the mind itself, however, throwing in some CBD in the mix won’t hurt at all.

According to this study, cannabidiol induces anti-depressant effects in mice. THC was also found to have these same anti-depressant properties which is why marijuana is a first choice for anyone feeling blue.

5. Cannabidiol VS Diabetes

CBD has been recently found to significantly reduce the incidence of diabetes in mice. This study showed that with the percentage lowered from 86% for non-treated mice to 30% in mice treated with cannabidiol.

This data proves that CBD can in fact inhibit and delay the destructive insulitis and inflammatory cytokine production.

6. Cannabidiol VS Schizophrenia

Recent research suggested that CBD is also an effective and at the same time safe treatment for patients suffering from schizophrenia – who isn’t right?

Cannabidiol has anxiolytic and anti-psychotic properties that help people with schizophrenia as well as another similar mind condition, namely bipolar disorder.

It has also been found to help negate some of the more unwanted effects of THC such as paranoia and anxiety. In my opinion, those are caused by the puffer’s mind frame right before they smoke.

7. Cannabidiol VS Cardiovascular Disease

Aside from the aforementioned serious conditions that CBD can help with, it can also help with the number 1 cause of death nowadays – cardiovascular disease.

According to this study, the same effects that cannabidiol exerts which help prevent diabetes are also responsible for its positive effects on cardiovascular disease.

CBD attenuated myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways.

Summary

Believe it or not, there are even more conditions that CBD can help with (probably even cure on its own), but a lot more research is needed to know.

However, since it acts on the endocannabinoid system in our bodies, which is located everywhere, it’s pretty logical to assume that it can help with almost anything.

The good thing is that CBD at least can be obtained legally much more easily than marijuana as a whole. That is due to the fact that it does not cause a high like THC.

But despite that fact, the decades of being demonized by the “health organizations” around the world have caused immense damage to the plant’s “image” including its underlying cannabinoids.

So, it will take time before marijuana and its substances become a (legal) major part of the medical industry, but once this happens, we will be surely looking at the medical revolution of the millennium.

Admin – February 2, 2016

The Health Benefits of Bananas

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

 

DEPRESSION
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

 

ANEMIA

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

 

BLOOD PRESSURE:

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

 

BRAIN POWER

200 students at a Twickenham school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

 

CONSTIPATION

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

 

HANGOVERS

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

 

HEARTBURN

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

 

MORNING SICKNESS

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

 

MOSQUITO BITES:

Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

 

NERVES

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.. Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

 

ULCERS

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

 

TEMPERATURE CONTROL

Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, ‘A BANANA a day keeps the doctor away!’

Source: Natureknows.org

Probiotics: Everything You Need to Know

probiotics

Did you know that the bacteria in your body outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1?

It’s true, and most of them reside in your gut.

But there really is no need to panic, most bacteria are quite harmless.

Having the right bacteria in there has even been linked to numerous health benefits (1).

This includes weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced immune function, better skin and a reduced risk of many diseases (2).

This leads us to the topic at hand, probiotics.

Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain these friendly bacteria, and are supposed to help colonize our guts with health-boosting microorganisms.

The importance of this can not be overstated.

Taking care of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that reside there, may be one of the single most important things you can do for your health.

What Are Probiotics?

According to the official definition, probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (3).

Probiotics are usually bacteria, but there is also a type of yeast that can function as a probiotic.

You can get probiotics from supplements, as well as foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation.

Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and others.

Probiotics should not be confused with prebiotics (note the “e”), which are dietary fibers that help feed the friendly bacteria that are already in the gut (4).

There are actually dozens of different probiotic bacteria that have been shown to have health benefits.

The most common groups include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Then there are many different species within each group, and each species has many strains.

Interestingly, different probiotics seem to work for different health conditions. Therefore, choosing the right type (or types) of probiotic is essential.

Many probiotic supplements combine different species together in the same supplement. These are known as broad-spectrum probiotics, or multi-probiotics.

Keep in mind that this is a new but rapidly expanding area of research.

Although the evidence is promising, it is not conclusively proven that probiotics help with all the health conditions mentioned in this article (5).

Bottom Line: Probiotics are live microorganisms that cause health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. There are many different types, and you can get them from foods or supplements.

The Importance of Microorganisms in The Gut

The complex community of microorganisms in your gut is called the gut flora (6).

Your gut actually contains hundreds of different types of microorganisms, with some numbers going as high as 1000.

This includes bacteria, yeasts and viruses. The great majority is bacteria.

Most of the gut flora is found in the colon, or large intestine, the last part of the digestive tract.

The metabolic activities of the gut flora actually resemble those of an organ. For this reason, some scientists refer to the gut flora as the “forgotten organ” (7).

The gut flora actually performs many functions that are important for health. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins (8).

It also turns fibers into short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, propionate and acetate, which feed the gut wall and perform many metabolic functions (9, 10).

They also stimulate the immune system, and regulate the integrity of the gut. This can help prevent unwanted substances from “leaking” into the body and provoking an immune response (11, 12, 13, 14).

However, not all organisms in the gut are friendly. Some are good, others are bad.

The gut flora is actually highly sensitive to modern insults, and studies show that an “unbalanced” gut flora is linked to numerous diseases (15, 16).

This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, colorectal cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression and many, many more (17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23).

Probiotics (and prebiotic fibers) can help correct this balance, making sure that our “forgotten organ” is functioning optimally (24).

Bottom Line: Your gut flora consists of hundreds of different types of microorganisms. Probiotics help your gut flora perform optimally.

Probiotics and Digestive Health

Probiotics have been studied most in regard to digestive health (25).

The strongest evidence has to do with antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

When people take antibiotics, especially for long periods of time, they often suffer from diarrhea for a long time after the infection has been eradicated.

This is because the antibiotics kill many of the natural bacteria in the gut, which shifts the balance and allows the “bad” bacteria to thrive.

Dozens of studies have provided strong evidence that probiotic supplements can help cure antibiotic-associated diarrhea (26, 27, 28).

Probiotics have also been shown to be beneficial against irritable bowel syndrome, a very common digestive disorder. They can help reduce gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms (29, 30, 31).

Some studies also show that probiotics may be beneficial against inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (32).

Probiotics may also be useful against Helicobacter pylori infections, the main driver of ulcers and stomach cancer (33, 34, 35, 36).

If you currently have digestive problems that you can’t seem to get rid of, then perhaps a probiotic supplement is something you should consider.

Bottom Line: Probiotics have been shown to be effective against various digestive problems. This includes antibiotic-associated diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics and Weight Loss

Obese individuals have different gut bacteria than lean people (37, 38).

Animal studies have also shown that fecal transplants from lean animals can make obese animals lose weight (39, 40).

For this reason, many scientists now believe that our gut bacteria are important in determining body fatness (41, 42).

Although this needs to be studied a lot more, some probiotic strains have been shown to help with fat loss (43).

The most impressive study on this was published in 2013. It was a study of 210 individuals with central obesity (lots of belly fat).

In this study, taking the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri caused people to lose 8.5% of their belly fat mass over a period of 12 weeks (44).

When they stopped taking the probiotic, they gained the belly fat back within 4 weeks.

There is also some evidence that Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis can help with weight loss and obesity prevention (45).

However, this needs to be studied more before any recommendations can be made.

There are also some animal studies showing that other probiotic strains could even lead to weight gain, not loss (46).

Bottom Line: There is some evidence that the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri can help people lose belly fat. This needs to be studied a lot more.

Other Health Benefits of Probiotics

Getting into all the incredible benefits of probiotics is beyond the scope of this article.

However, there are a few that are definitely worth highlighting here:

  • Inflammation: Probiotics have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, a leading driver of many diseases (47).
  • Depression and anxiety: The probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression (48, 49).
  • Blood cholesterol: Several probiotics have been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels (50, 51).
  • Blood pressure: Probiotics have also been shown to cause modest reductions in blood pressure (52, 53).
  • Immune function: Several different probiotic strains can enhance immune function and lead to reduced risk of infections, including the common cold (54, 55).
  • Skin health: There is some evidence that probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea and eczema, as well as other skin disorders (56, 57, 58, 59).

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Probiotics have been studied, and shown to be beneficial, for a wide range of other health problems.

Bottom Line: Probiotics have been shown to have numerous health benefits. They may reduce depression and anxiety, improve heart health and enhance immune function, to name a few.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Probiotics are generally well tolerated and considered safe for most people.

However, in the first few days, you may experience side effects related to digestion. This includes gas and mild abdominal discomfort (60).

After this initial adaptation period is over, your digestion should be better than it was before.

Probiotics can be dangerous, and even lead to infections, in people with compromised immune systems. This includes people with HIV, AIDS and several other health conditions (61).

If you have a medical condition, definitely consult with your doctor before taking a probiotic supplement.

Bottom Line: Probiotic supplements may cause digestive symptoms, but this should subside within a few days. They may be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions.

What Are The Best Probiotic Supplements?

There are hundreds of different probiotic supplements available.

If you have a health problem and you want to try a probiotic for that purpose, then it is very important that you choose the right strain.

I recommend looking around on Amazon at the different options available. There you can see which strains the supplements contain.

Make sure to buy probiotics from a reputable manufacturer. Dietary supplements are not regulated, so many of these products may not contain what the labels say they do.

According to one study, it is best to take probiotics either right before, or with, a meal that contains some fat (62).

Beyond that, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Keep in mind that some products need to be refrigerated.

Take Home Message

Maintaining a healthy gut goes way beyond just taking a probiotic supplement.

What you do from day to day is just as important.

All sorts of lifestyle factors, especially the foods you eat, have been shown to affect the gut bacteria (63).

Living a healthy lifestyle, getting good sleep, and eating real food with lots of fiber is the key.

In many cases, probiotic foods and supplement can be helpful as well.

I recently started taking a probiotic supplement myself (this one here).

It has significantly improved my digestion, and I feel that my energy levels and thinking have improved as well.

I now consider probiotics to be an essential component of my own personal health strategy.

Contributor – Kris Gunnars

The Health Truth about Coffee

Liver CoffeeThe health effects of coffee are quite controversial. Depending on who you ask, it is either a super healthy beverage or incredibly harmful. But despite what you may have heard, there are actually plenty of good things to be said about coffee. For example, it is high in antioxidants and linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. However, it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep. This article takes a detailed look at coffee and its health effects, examining both the pros and cons.

 

Coffee Contains Some Essential Nutrients and is Extremely High in Antioxidants

Coffee is more than just dark brown water… many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the drink.

A typical 8oz (240 ml) cup of coffee contains (1):

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA.

Folate: 1% of the RDA.

Manganese: 3% of the RDA.

Potassium: 3% of the RDA.

Magnesium: 2% of the RDA.

Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA.

This may not seem like a lot, but try multiplying with 3, 4, or however many cups you drink per day. It can add up to a significant portion of your daily nutrient intake.

But where coffee really shines is in its high content of antioxidants.

The average person who eats a typical Western diet actually gets more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables… combined (2, 3).

Bottom Line: Coffee contains a small amount of some vitamins and minerals, which add up if you drink many cups per day. It is also high in antioxidants.

Coffee Contains Caffeine, A Stimulant That Can Enhance Brain Function and Boost Metabolism

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (4).

coffee punch

 

Soft drinks, tea and chocolate all contain caffeine, but coffee is the biggest source.

The caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30-300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere around 90-100 mg.

Caffeine is a known stimulant. In the brain, it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) called Adenosine.

By blocking adenosine, caffeine actually increases activity in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. This reduces tiredness and makes us feel more alert (5, 6).

There are numerous studies showing that caffeine can lead to a short-term boost in brain function… including improved mood, reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function (7, 8).

Caffeine can also boost metabolism (calories burned) by 3-11% and even increase exercise performance by 11-12%, on average (9, 10, 11, 12).

However… some of these effects are likely to be short-term. If you drink coffee every day, then you will build a tolerance to it and the effects will be less powerful (13).

There are also some downsides to caffeine, which I’ll get to in a bit.

Bottom Line: The main active compound in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. It can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, metabolic rate and exercise performance.

Coffee May Help Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Leading to Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia.

Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (14, 15, 16).

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain.

Coffee drinkers have a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. The more coffee people drink, the lower the risk (17, 18, 19, 20).

Bottom Line: Several studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in old age.

 

Coffee Drinkers Have a Much Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars due to resistance to the effects of insulin.

This is a very common disease… it has increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicts over 300 million people.

Interestingly, coffee drinkers appear to have a significantly reduced risk of developing this disease, some studies showing that coffee drinkers are up to 23-67% less likely to become diabetic (21, 22, 23, 24).

In one large review study that looked at 18 studies with 457,922 individuals, each daily cup of coffee was linked to a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (25).

Bottom Line: Numerous studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Liver Diseases

The liver is an incredibly important organ that has hundreds of different functions in the body.coffee liver

 

It is very sensitive to modern insults like excess alcohol and fructose intake.

The end stage of liver damage is called Cirrhosis, and involves most of the liver being replaced with scar tissue.

Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for those who drink 4 or more cups per day (26, 27, 28).

Liver cancer is also common… it is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer (29, 30).

Bottom Line: Coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The more coffee they drink, the lower the risk.

 

People Who Drink Coffee Are at a Much Lower Risk of Depression and Suicide

Depression is an incredibly common problem.

It is the world’s most common mental disorder and leads to a significantly reduced quality of life.

In one Harvard study from 2011, people who drank the most coffee had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed (31).

In one review of 3 studies, people who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day were 53% less likely to commit suicide (32).

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of becoming depressed and are significantly less likely to commit suicide.

 

Some Studies Show That Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

Given that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of many common, deadly diseases (and suicide), it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer.

There is actually some good evidence to support this.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 looked at the habits of 402,260 individuals between 50 and 71 years of age (33).

In this study, people who drank coffee had a much lower risk of dying over the 12-13 year study period:coffee death

 

The sweet spot seems to be at 4-5 cups per day, with men having a 12% reduced risk and women a 16% reduced risk.

You can read more about it in this article on how coffee can make you live longer.

Bottom Line: Some studies have shown that coffee drinkers live longer, which makes perfect sense given that they have a lower risk of many diseases. The strongest effect is seen for 4-5 cups per day.

 

Caffeine Can Cause Anxiety and Disrupt Sleep

It wouldn’t be right to only talk about the good stuff without mentioning the bad.

The truth is… there are some important negative aspects to coffee as well (although this depends on the individual).

Consuming too much caffeine can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations and may even exacerbate panic attacks (34).

If you are sensitive to caffeine and tend to become overstimulated, then perhaps you shouldn’t be drinking coffee.

Another unwanted side effect is that it can disrupt sleep (35). If coffee reduces the quality of your sleep, then try avoiding coffee late in the day, such as after 2pm.

Caffeine can also have some diuretic and blood pressure raising effects, but this usually goes away with regular use. However, an increase in blood pressure of 1-2 mm/Hg may persist (36, 37, 38).

Bottom Line: Caffeine can have various negative effects, such as causing anxiety and disrupting sleep, but this depends greatly on the individual.

 

Caffeine is Addictive and Missing a Few Cups Can Lead to Withdrawal

One issue with caffeine, is that it can lead to addiction in many people.

When people consume caffeine regularly, they become tolerant to it. It either stops working as it used to, or a larger dose is needed to get the same effects (39).

When people abstain from caffeine, they get withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness, brain fog and irritability. This can last for a few days (40, 41).

Tolerance and withdrawal are the hallmarks of physical addiction.

A lot of people (understandably) don’t like the idea of being literally dependant on a chemical substance in order to function properly.

Bottom Line: Caffeine is an addictive substance. It can lead to tolerance and well documented withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness and irritability.

 

The Difference Between Regular and Decaf

Some people opt for decaffeinated coffee instead of regular.

The way decaffeinated coffee is usually made, is by rinsing the coffee beans with solvent chemicals.

Each time this is done, some percentage of the caffeine dissolves in the solvent and this process is repeated until most of the caffeine has been removed.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that even decaffeinated coffee does contain some caffeine, just much less than regular coffee.

Unfortunately, not all of the health benefits of regular coffee apply to decaffeinated coffee. For example, some studies show no reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s or liver diseases for people who drink decaffeinated coffee.

Bottom Line: Decaffeinated coffee is made by extracting caffeine from the coffee beans using solvents. Decaf does not have all of the same health benefits as regular coffee.

 

Things to Keep in Mind in Order to Maximize The Health Benefitscoffee benefits

 

There are some things you can do in order to maximize the beneficial health effects you get from coffee.

The most important is to NOT add anything unhealthy to it. This includes sugar and any sort of artificial, chemical-laden creamer.

Another important thing is to brew coffee with a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee (such as Turkish or French press) contains cafestol, a substance that can increase cholesterol levels (42, 43).

Also keep in mind that some of the coffee drinks at places like Starbucks can contain hundreds of calories and a whole bunch of sugar. These drinks are NOT healthy.

There are some more tips in this article on 8 ways to make your coffee super healthy.

Bottom Line: It is important not to put sugar or a chemical-laden creamer in your coffee. Brewing with a paper filter can get rid of a cholesterol-raising compound called Cafestol.

 

Should You be Drinking Coffee?

There are some people who would definitely want to avoid or severely limit coffee consumption, especially pregnant women.

People with anxiety issues, high blood pressure or insomnia might also want to try limiting coffee for a while to see if it helps.

There is also some evidence that people who metabolize caffeine slowly have an increased risk of heart attacks from drinking coffee (44).

All that being said… it does seem clear that for the average person, coffee can have important beneficial effects on health.

If you don’t already drink coffee, then I don’t think these benefits are a compelling reason to start doing it. There are downsides as well.

But if you already drink coffee and you enjoy it, then the benefits appear to far outweigh the negatives.

I personally drink coffee, every day… about 4-5 cups (sometimes more). My health has never been better.

Take Home Message

It’s important to keep in mind that many of the studies in the article are observational studies, which can not prove that coffee caused the beneficial effects.

But given that the effects are strong and consistent among studies, it is a fairly strong indicator that coffee does in fact play a role.

Despite having been demonized in the past, the evidence points to coffee being very healthy… at least for the majority of people.

If anything, coffee belongs in the same category as healthy beverages like green tea.

by KRIS GUNNARS

Source: Authority Nutrition