Health & Nutrition Archive

How Alcohol Can Ruin Your Health

Posted February 28, 2017 By Mark

One shot… One glass… What does it matter, right? WRONG. Even just one shot or glass of any alcoholic beverage can affect your organs and your health.

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singing-bowlsSound healing is the practice of using audio tones and vibrational frequencies to repair damaged tissue and cells within the body. It works on the basis that all matter is vibrating at specific frequencies, and sickness, disease, depression and stress causes human beings to vibrate at a lower frequency. Playing tones that promote healing, happiness and vitality will allow DNA strands to repair themselves, and several scientific studies have been conducted on the potential healing benefits of audio sound frequencies. Sound has been used as a healing tool for centuries, and is still regularly utilized by many different alternative healthcare centers. Tibetan singing bowels, tuning forks, drumming therapy, and even chanting are all used in sound therapy and many participants experience strong emotions during therapy sessions. Advocates of sound healing claim that it has the power to heal mental illness, arthritis, autoimmune disorders and can even shrink cancerous tumors. Learn about the different forms of sound healing and examine the evidence that supports its use as an alternative medical practice.

Dr Emoto’s Messages from Water

Dr Masaru Emoto is a Japanese researcher at the Yokohama Municipal University who stunned the world with the release of his book, Messages from Water. Dr Emoto designed an experiment to test the effect of spoken words and music on water molecules. He placed several bottles of purified water next to each other and exposed each bottle to different spoken words, music or pictures. The words ranged from ‘I love you’ to ‘you make me sick’, and Dr Emoto experimented with different forms of music such as heavy metal and Mozart. The water was then frozen and Dr Emoto used a very powerful microscope to take high-speed photographs of the newly formed water crystals. The results were astonishing, and all of the samples that had been exposed to positive words and relaxing music formed beautifully intricate patterns and symmetrical, geometric shapes. By contrast, the samples that were exposed to heavy metal music and angry words were distorted and disharmonious. Dr Emoto claims that the results show that water is directly affected by outside influences such as sound, vibration, and frequency, and as human beings are 70% water, our health and wellbeing are also affected by these stimuli.

Cymatics And Sacred Geometery

Cymatics is the visible representation of sound and its study has been documented as far back as the 1600s in an essay by Galileo Galilei. It began gaining popularity in the 1960s when Dr Hans Jenny conducted several experiments that showed how sound could be converted into physical form. Jenny’s experiments involved placing some form of powder of crystallized substance over a flat surface and connecting the surface to an amplifier or tonoscope that could cause the surface to vibrate at different musical tones and frequencies. As the tones were played, the powder would shift into different geometrical patterns which became more complex as the frequency was increased. The results of Jenny’s experiments have been recreated by thousands of people all over the world, and typing cymatics into YouTube will bring up some truly startling videos showing how sound can influence physical matter.

Modern Forms Of Sound Healing

Clinics offering sound therapy can be found all over the world, and many offer a wide range of different treatments. Crystal bowls, shamanic drumming, tuning forks, and even didgeridoos are all utilized in sound healing and patients often take part in group sessions or workshops. Music therapy is a form of sound healing and is widely used in hospitals in the US to treat disorders such as schizophrenia, amnesia, depression, and can even assist those recovering from a stroke or other serious brain injury. Binaural tones are also widely used to promote different mental states, and musicians sometimes insert them into their music to create an effect on the listener. A wide number of guided meditations are available online that use binaural tones, particularly 528Hz which is known as the divine frequency, to bring the listener into a deep meditative state that allows the body to heal and repair itself.

Scientific Evidence for Sound Healing

A two year study supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation in Germany proved that sound therapy was able to significantly reduce the symptoms of chronic tinnitus. Not only did sufferers report a significant decrease in their symptoms, MRI images of the subject’s brains during treatment showed that sound therapy was able to activate certain areas of the brain that researchers believed were responsible for the unpleasant symptoms associated with tinnitus.

A study that examined the effects of music therapy on those with Huntington’s disease was conducted by researchers at theUniversity of Rochester in 2005 and involved the use of group singing, drumming, and music assisted relaxation. All of the 5 subjects who participated in the trial responded well to the use of sound therapy, and further trials are being organized to test the therapy on a wider range of subjects.

Researchers in the UK have found that sound wave therapy successfully cured 90% of male patients that were suffering from prostate cancer, and did so without any harmful side effects whatsoever. Dr Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation, stated “We’re optimistic that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may soon be able to undergo a day case surgical procedure, which can be safely repeated once or twice, to treat their condition with very few side-effects.”

Words and sounds are much more than just a method of communication. They are tangible forces that have a direct effect on our health and wellbeing. The study of quantum physics shows that the human body and the entire universe is made up of tiny pieces of matter vibrating at certain frequencies and joined together by magnetic forces. Exposing the internal organs and brain to different musical frequencies will encourage them to heal from within, and sound therapy helps to raise the frequency of the human body promoting health, vitality and spiritual wellbeing.

Sources:

Water Crystals


http://www.collegeofsoundhealing.co.uk/pages/methods.html

What are the Solfeggio frequencies?


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2130824/Sound-wave-treatment-zaps-prostate-tumours-debilitating-effects.html#ixzz2jz7Bd4UP
http://www.tinnitool.com/en/klinische_studien/klangtherapie.php
http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00178360

 

(Photo credit: Public domain)

The Amazing Mind-Body Benefits of Tai Chi

Posted April 3, 2016 By Mark

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The almost endless list of health benefits from meditation are becoming more and more crystallized into scientific fact as study after study is showing how every aspect of being a human is improved and benefited by spending even just 15-20 minutes per day meditating.  These health benefits include the immune system, stress and anxiety levels, memory and alertness, happiness and satisfaction, pain levels, creativity, and numerous other benefits. Science also reveals that when meditation is taken a step further in the physical biological body through motion, it can not only offer these potent benefits, but can also really catalyze healing and health in the physical body itself.

Tai Chi is  branch of the ancient Chinese Qi Gong practice.  Chi refers to the life force energy itself and through series of gentle movements paired with mindfulness, Tai Chi regulates the flow of chi in the individual and helps to balance the Yin and Yang principles within a person.

In clinical research, Tai Chi has been shown to lead to improvements in the quality of life for those suffering from breast cancer and Parkinson’s.  It is also showing promise for reducing high blood pressure. One study done recently revealed that tai chi improved balance, flexibility, cardiovascular health, and also strength.

The study was conducted by monitoring a group of participants who practiced tai chi and those who did improved over 30 percent in lower body strength and 25 percent in arm strength- this was almost as much as the strength improvements in the weight-lifting group; pretty impressive for movements that seem so gentle and serene.

 

According to U.S. News & World Report:

“… [I]n 85 percent of trials, tai chi lowered blood pressure. Other studies have shown it to reduce blood levels of B-type natriuretic peptide, a precursor of heart failure, and to maintain bone density in post-menopausal women.”

Similarly, mindfulness meditation has captured the interest of many researchers in recent years, bringing new information and scientific validation to an art that has been valued for ages.  Studies clearly show a reduction in the experience of pain in subjects practicing mindfulness meditation.  This type of meditation is shown to alter the physiological state, reducing awareness of pain and increasing awareness in other areas such as alertness and problem solving.

Dr. Mercola says, “If you’re looking for a gentle, mind-body activity to add to your fitness routine, tai chi is a phenomenal choice. A form of Chinese martial arts, tai chi is an ancient form of self-defense that is said to support the balance of “yin and yang” in your body, thereby improving the flow of “qi,” or life energy.

Often described as “meditation in motion” or “moving meditation,” the activity takes your body through a specific set of graceful movements. Your body is constantly in motion and each movement flows right into the next.

While practicing tai chi, your mind is meant to stay focused on your movements, relaxation and deep breathing, while distracting thoughts are ignored. More than 2 million Americans have already taken up this ancient art form, and you might want to join them once you learn about all of its benefits.”

One of the most appealing benefits of Tai Chi is in its gentleness and accessibility for practitioners across all age and social groups. Tai Chi is equally appropriate for children, elders, and everyone in between.  Tai Chi can even be adapted for persons in a wheelchair.  The ancient practice improves balance, stamina, coordination, flexibility, and as mentioned previously, strength and cardiovascular health.

 

·         Here are a few of the known benefits of tai chi from mercola.com,

·         Improvements in physical condition, muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility

·         Better balance and mobility

·         Lower risk of falls, particularly in the elderly

·         Improvements in pain and stiffness, including arthritis pain

·         Improved sleep and overall wellness

·         Enhanced immune system

Another study showed that patients suffering with fibromyalgia who practiced tai chi for a 12 week period showed significantly better reading for their pain, sleeplessness, fatigue, physical functioning, and stress.  Tai chi is looked upon with so much confidence by the medical community that it is even recommended by Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic

We know that mindfulness meditation as well as other forms of what could be called classical meditation are powerful practices that can cultivate peace, health, and overall well-being in the lives of those who practice them.  Likewise, practitioners of tai chi will benefit their minds, bodies, and naturally their spirits as well.

Sources: mercola.comworldtaichiday.org

Achieving Dadirri And The Power Of Nature

Posted March 14, 2016 By Mark
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Dadirri is a state of calmness one achieves by letting their mind realize their connectedness and dependence on nature itself, hence being a part of nature.

Learn how to achieve Dadirri

Modern man has become accustomed to the idea that we are, somehow, separate from the world around us, and we have lost the ability to stand and gaze with it, as an integrated part of it.

We have become engrossed in a world engineered in our own image, or even worse, in an image which we, ourselves, do not understand in our delve to increase our freedom through technology and engineered artifacts — all “for the sake of” better understanding or reading the Book Of Nature.

As a result, we have completely forgotten to listen to what the scribe of the book of nature itself had to say to us, through all these centuries.

The Scribe of Nature, the Eco-Psychologists, and the Aborigines

The scribe is Nature itself — ancient and patient, before whom all of human life has been but a fleeting glimpse in the vastness of the universe. And we have ignored it, and became cut off from the source of all healing.

We have never looked back and so, over the years, humans have slowly become ill. This illness has exhibited itself in many forms — ranging from physical sickness due to stress and longing for balance, to mental illness and existential crisis questioning the purpose of our existence.

Eco-psychologists are now speaking to us of this severed link with nature, and its dire consequences.

Working with people for over 20 years, Bill Plotkin, an eco-psychologist, wrote in Nature and The Human Soul:

“… Healthy human development requires a constant balancing of the influences and demands of both nature and culture … By suppressing the nature dimension of human development … industrial growth society engenders an immature citizenry unable to imagine a life beyond consumerism and soul-suppressing jobs.”

He does not, however, speak of how we should regain this balance and, once again, experience the healing power of nature.

Fortunately for us, aborigines, the survivors in the fringes of modern society, have been passing on a treasure of information on how to regain this balance.

They call it Dadirri.

What is Dadirri?

Dadirri is deep listening — a respectful silence where you allow yourself to become part of the environment around you, instead of being someone aloof and isolated from it.

This listening is not directed at something, it’s a journey, an awareness where you simply waiting to become attuned with nature.

Because when you do, nature speaks in innumerable ways— in silence, in hushed tones, in rising intonations of the winds, the chirping of the birds, the crackling of the leaves, the movement of the living things, the heat from the sun, the light from the moon, the many colors reflected from all things material in nature and shed upon us… and even more.

Dadirri speaks to us about what we routinely miss — an interaction with the world around us. It is a world that has been there long before us, generations past us, and one that does not need us.

Dadirri — How to Reconnect with Nature

The famous aborigine writer, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, said of Dadir:

“[Dadirri] is in everyone. It is not just an Aboriginal thing.”

 

It is more than a practice. It is a state of calmness one achieves by letting their mind realize their connectedness, and dependence on nature itself, and hence being a part of it for a few moments.

I use “being” instead of “seeing” yourself as part of nature because Dadirri is also a realization of the age old truth: humans have always been part of nature.

Hence, Dadirri is the practice of deep listening to the natural environment around you, cherishing its timeless existence.

Performing Dadirri is simple:

  • Reserve a space in a natural environment (park, garden, backyard, etc.) where you will not be disturbed for 5-10 minutes each day.
  • Take calm deep breaths, becoming slowly aware of the surrounding without focusing on anything.
  • After the first few breaths, become aware of yourself in the environment. Feel the weight of the body and the points of contact where it is touching the ground.
  • Slowly scan yourself from head to toe and gain a general mood of your body (tense, relaxed, happy, etc). Avoid letting your thought linger on it (if it does, calmly bringing it back to experiencing the mood).
  • Now allow your mind to catch focus on something specific in nature, like a flower, a bird, the sky, the sunlight, or a blade of grass. You can even focus on the sounds of nature, like the whisper of the wind, leaves rustling , a bird’s song etc. Do not try, or think, nor guide your mind to become aware of something.
  • Now be still and silent, and aware.

Dadirri will allow you to experience and appreciate nature and, in the process, sooth your worries, allowing you to reflect on the current state of your body — its health, its troubles, and hence allow you to gain clarity about yourself and your purpose.

Turmeric Lemonade

Posted February 24, 2016 By Mark

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Turmeric is a super root. It is packed full of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, is great for brain health, lowers risk of heart disease, and has been found to increase happiness.

Turmeric Lemonade

[Makes 4 servings]

4 cups cold filtered water [or sparkling if that floats your boat]

2 tablespoons freshly grated turmeric [peel it by holding a spoon against the root, convex side towards you, and lightly brush the spoon against it- the skin should come off easily]

4 tablespoons 100% maple syrup [or honey]

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a small carafe, stir and serve with a slice of lemon as a garnish

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Manipura is the third of the seven chakras  – i:e: at the navel center and relates to power, action, willpower, self-esteem, vitality and ego. It governs the digestive system. The manipura chakra is also known as the solar plexus. To me this has such a rich texture of meaning and it seems not by coincidence that the golden yellow, ten-petaled lotus center is also called “solar” plexus.

The manipura chakra then, is driven by the colour yellow, the energy of the sun and yellow fresh foods that we eat. When I looked online for the exact meaning of solar plexus, this is what I found:

1. “The large network of sympathetic nerves and ganglia located in the peritoneal cavity behind the stomach and having branching tracts that supply nerves to the abdominal viscera.”

2. “The pit of the stomach.”

And then I discovered what was most interesting and an echoing of my own insight:

“Referring to resemblance between the radial network of nerves and ganglia and the rays of the sun”

Brilliant, isn’t it!

Digestive fire, immunity, self-esteem and power

One’s mood and general behaviour is a good indicator of the strength of the solar plexus and the digestive system. The reverse is also true leaving mind and body inextricably connected.  This realisation brought me to a new understanding of the adage “you are what you eat”. Diet is everything and eating to keep the gut healthy, replacing micro-flora on a regular basis is an essential aspect of feeling well. The gut is then, a second brain of sorts and it is no mistaking that we do think with our guts – I guess we can all relate to a “gut feeling” or “a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach”.

Powering up the intuition through good gut health

Sounds absurd? I honestly believe in eating in tune with the body – that is, by treating the body like an intelligent entity that will always tell you what it wants or doesn’t want. A healthy gut sends messages to the brain, and in spiritual terms, we might say, it sends messages to the higher self. Messages are sent to and fro between brain and guts and in the reverse order too.

Digestive fire, immunity, self-esteem and power

One’s mood and general behaviour is a good indicator of the strength of the solar plexus and the digestive system. The reverse is also true leaving mind and body inextricably connected.  This realisation brought me to a new understanding of the adage “you are what you eat”. Diet is everything and eating to keep the gut healthy, replacing micro-flora on a regular basis is an essential aspect of feeling well. The gut is then, a second brain of sorts and it is no mistaking that we do think with our guts – I guess we can all relate to a “gut feeling” or “a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach”.

Powering up the intuition through good gut health

Sounds absurd? I honestly believe in eating in tune with the body – that is by treating the body like an intelligent entity that will always tell you what it wants or doesn’t want. A healthy gut sends messages to the brain, and in spiritual terms, we might say, it sends messages to the higher self. Messages are sent to and fro between brain and guts and in the reverse order too.

A sagging self-esteem, or depression, absent mindedness or anger-driven communication could indicate that the power center needs fixing.

A healthy gut then is a sign of overall health and well-being. Science has established that there is a definitive link between the brain and the gut, which is why the gut has been rightly named “the second brain”.

Expressions such as “butterflies in my stomach” and “gut wrenching” are actually saying more than what we read on the surface. Whether one’s tummy is in knots over a speech or one lacks the guts to undertake something, the fact remains: We think and feel with our guts as much as we do with our brains. Isn’t it logical, then, that a strong and healthy gut will spawn a healthy body and strong mind?

Research suggests that the gut micro-flora lining the intestines are much more than just “good” or “bad” bacteria, and that their most important function is to regulate the body’s immune response, especially when faced with stress. This is a two-way street: Psychology and psycho-social factors influence the physiological functioning of the gut, and a healthy strong gut can help one stay mentally agile and fit.

A recent scientific study in Nutrition in Clinical Practice shows that the micro-organism or gut flora living in the human intestines form a network of natural controls that regulate mood, appetite, body weight, nutrient absorption, stress and immune response. No surprise then that the human digestive tract is home to 70 percent of the immune system. Simply put, our every-day food can help or harm our mind-body health.

Another example that proves the brain-gut connection is when we think of food and the appetite is stimulated. Similarly, a gut in distress can cause stress and mental depression. Nearly every brain-controlling chemical is generated in the gut, including hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, GABA and nor epinephrine. The gut is home to 100 million neurons – more than what the spinal cord has. It also contains 24 minor brain proteins, major cells that regulate immune function, one of the body’s in-built opiates, and native bensodizipine. Recently there has been one more addition to the nervous system: The gut, also known as the enteric nervous system. It is ensconced inside sheaths of tissue found in the lining of the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. It is known to have an important function in regulating our emotions. Isn’t it obvious why symptoms from the two brains are often the source of confusion?

How intestinal flora aid digestion and foods that help build them

Cells in the human digestive system lack some of the enzymes needed to break down certain types of food. The good bacteria in our gut have what it takes to break down those types of food, however. These micro-flora also make the B vitamin complex and hence aid the absorption of lipids, calcium, iron and magnesium.

The act of re-seeding the gut in order to sustain gut-life can be done with probiotics and fermented foods. Fresh leafy vegetables, fruit and fiber, whole grains, lentils, garlic, green tea and miso are but some examples.

So the next time you find yourself wondering what to cook for dinner, spare a thought for the millions of microscopic bugs for whom your gut is home and look into yogic practices that stimulate and calm (by turns) the yellow lotus behind the navel.

 

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As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.

The brain is an astonishingly sophisticated but extremely delicate mechanism. Reduce the amount of oxygen it receives by the smallest amount and it will react. It was no big surprise that people who had undergone severe trauma would return from their experiences with strange stories. But that didn’t mean they had journeyed anywhere real.

Although I considered myself a faithful Christian, I was so more in name than in actual belief. I didn’t begrudge those who wanted to believe that Jesus was more than simply a good man who had suffered at the hands of the world. I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.

In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.

I know how pronouncements like mine sound to skeptics, so I will tell my story with the logic and language of the scientist I am.

Very early one morning four years ago, I awoke with an extremely intense headache. Within hours, my entire cortex—the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human—had shut down. Doctors at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, a hospital where I myself worked as a neurosurgeon, determined that I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain.

When I entered the emergency room that morning, my chances of survival in anything beyond a vegetative state were already low. They soon sank to near nonexistent. For seven days I lay in a deep coma, my body unresponsive, my higher-order brain functions totally offline.

Then, on the morning of my seventh day in the hospital, as my doctors weighed whether to discontinue treatment, my eyes popped open.

There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.

But that dimension—in rough outline, the same one described by countless subjects of near-death experiences and other mystical states—is there. It exists, and what I saw and learned there has placed me quite literally in a new world: a world where we are much more than our brains and bodies, and where death is not the end of consciousness but rather a chapter in a vast, and incalculably positive, journey.

I’m not the first person to have discovered evidence that consciousness exists beyond the body. Brief, wonderful glimpses of this realm are as old as human history. But as far as I know, no one before me has ever traveled to this dimension (a) while their cortex was completely shut down, and (b) while their body was under minute medical observation, as mine was for the full seven days of my coma.

All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these experiences are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. My near-death experience, however, took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent.

It took me months to come to terms with what happened to me. Not just the medical impossibility that I had been conscious during my coma, but—more importantly—the things that happened during that time. Toward the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky.
Higher than the clouds—immeasurably higher—flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them.

Birds?
Angels?

These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.

A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. Again, thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise—that if the joy didn’t come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.

Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was. I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging, joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming a part of it—without joining with it in some mysterious way. Again, from my present perspective, I would suggest that you couldn’t look at anything in that world at all, for the word “at” itself implies a separation that did not exist there. Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet … or a butterfly’s wing.

It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face. When first I saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface, which after a moment I recognized as the wing of a butterfly. In fact, millions of butterflies were all around us—vast fluttering waves of them, dipping down into the woods and coming back up around us again. It was a river of life and color, moving through the air. The woman’s outfit was simple, like a peasant’s, but its colors—powder blue, indigo, and pastel orange-peach—had the same overwhelming, super-vivid aliveness that everything else had. She looked at me with a look that, if you saw it for five seconds, would make your whole life up to that point worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far. It was not a romantic look. It was not a look of friendship. It was a look that was somehow beyond all these, beyond all the different compartments of love we have down here on earth. It was something higher, holding all those other kinds of love within itself while at the same time being much bigger than all of them.

Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.

The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing you can do wrong.”

The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.

“We will show you many things here,” the woman said, again, without actually using these words but by driving their conceptual essence directly into me. “But eventually, you will go back.”

To this, I had only one question.

Back where?

A warm wind blew through, like the kind that spring up on the most perfect summer days, tossing the leaves of the trees and flowing past like heavenly water. A divine breeze. It changed everything, shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.

Although I still had little language function, at least as we think of it on earth, I began wordlessly putting questions to this wind, and to the divine being that I sensed at work behind or within it.

Where is this place?

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Each time I silently put one of these questions out, the answer came instantly in an explosion of light, color, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave. What was important about these blasts was that they didn’t simply silence my questions by overwhelming them. They answered them, but in a way that bypassed language. Thoughts entered me directly. But it wasn’t thought like we experience on earth. It wasn’t vague, immaterial, or abstract. These thoughts were solid and immediate—hotter than fire and wetter than water—and as I received them I was able to instantly and effortlessly understand concepts that would have taken me years to fully grasp in my earthly life.

I continued moving forward and found myself entering an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting. Pitch-black as it was, it was also brimming over with light: a light that seemed to come from a brilliant orb that I now sensed near me. The orb was a kind of “interpreter” between me and this vast presence surrounding me. It was as if I were being born into a larger world, and the universe itself was like a giant cosmic womb, and the orb (which I sensed was somehow connected with, or even identical to, the woman on the butterfly wing) was guiding me through it.

Later, when I was back, I found a quotation by the 17th-century Christian poet Henry Vaughan that came close to describing this magical place, this vast, inky-black core that was the home of the Divine itself.

“There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness …”

That was it exactly: an inky darkness that was also full to brimming with light.

I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone—even a doctor—told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion. But what happened to me was, far from being delusional, as real or more real than any event in my life. That includes my wedding day and the birth of my two sons.

What happened to me demands explanation.

Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity—that it is undivided. Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference, physics tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation.

Before my experience these ideas were abstractions. Today they are realities. Not only is the universe defined by unity, it is also—I now know—defined by love. The universe as I experienced it in my coma is—I have come to see with both shock and joy—the same one that both Einstein and Jesus were speaking of in their (very) different ways.

I’ve spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold—as I myself did—to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us. But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it, and I intend to spend the rest of my life investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.

I don’t expect this to be an easy task, for the reasons I described above. When the castle of an old scientific theory begins to show fault lines, no one wants to pay attention at first. The old castle simply took too much work to build in the first place, and if it falls, an entirely new one will have to be constructed in its place.

I learned this firsthand after I was well enough to get back out into the world and talk to others—people, that is, other than my long-suffering wife, Holley, and our two sons—about what had happened to me. The looks of polite disbelief, especially among my medical friends, soon made me realize what a task I would have getting people to understand the enormity of what I had seen and experienced that week while my brain was down.

One of the few places I didn’t have trouble getting my story across was a place I’d seen fairly little of before my experience: church. The first time I entered a church after my coma, I saw everything with fresh eyes. The colors of the stained-glass windows recalled the luminous beauty of the landscapes I’d seen in the world above. The deep bass notes of the organ reminded me of how thoughts and emotions in that world are like waves that move through you. And, most important, a painting of Jesus breaking bread with his disciples evoked the message that lay at the very heart of my journey: that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by a God even more grand and unfathomably glorious than the one I’d learned of as a child in Sunday school.
Today many believe that the living spiritual truths of religion have lost their power, and that science, not faith, is the road to truth. Before my experience I strongly suspected that this was the case myself.

But I now understand that such a view is far too simple. The plain fact is that the materialist picture of the body and brain as the producers, rather than the vehicles, of human consciousness is doomed. In its place a new view of mind and body will emerge, and in fact is emerging already. This view is scientific and spiritual in equal measure and will value what the greatest scientists of history themselves always valued above all: truth.

This new picture of reality will take a long time to put together. It won’t be finished in my time, or even, I suspect, my sons’ either. In fact, reality is too vast, too complex, and too irreducibly mysterious for a full picture of it ever to be absolutely complete. But in essence, it will show the universe as evolving, multi-dimensional, and known down to its every last atom by a God who cares for us even more deeply and fiercely than any parent ever loved their child.

I’m still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience. But on a deep level I’m very different from the person I was before, because I’ve caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right.

 

*****

Dr. Eben Alexander has been a neurosurgeon for the past 25 years. His book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, will be published by Simon & Schuster on Oct. 23, 2012.

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We all know exercise is good for us. But did you know that exercise does amazing things for your brain?

Recent research reveals that exercise is more important to brain health than scientists ever imagined. For example, most of us were taught that we can’t grow new brain cells. Even worse, we tend to believe we’re losing them all the time. But recent studies prove the opposite.

We can generate new brain cells through a process called Neurogenesis. And, the creation of new brain cells can continue through our later years. Neurogenesis seems to be directly tied to one factor – aerobic exercise.

These new findings are having a big impact on the fields of psychiatry and mental health as well. Studies have shown that even moderate aerobic exercise can:

  • Strengthen synapses
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improve concentration
  • Increase feelings of well being and decrease symptoms of depression
  • Increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain
  • Prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease

In fact, Carl W. Cotman, Ph.D., a neurobiologist at the University of California at Irvine, makes this startling statement: “You’re literally building the structure of the brain by moving your feet.”

But here’s the catch, if you suffer from depression or poor brain health, you just don’t FEEL like exercising, right?

Well I have good news for you. Even small amounts of moderate exercise can promote brain health. 10 minutes during the day, 2 or 3 times per day. That’s it! And those 10 minutes can be walking your dog, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, playing with your children, or doing the laundry.

So, don’t worry about joining a gym or mapping out a 45-minute workout plan. Just start by doing SOMETHING. Your brain will thank you!

Stay Away From Chemotherapy and Radiation

Posted November 23, 2009 By Mark
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November 21, 2009

NewsWithViews.com

For many years it has been known to well informed individuals within the medical community that chemotherapy and radiation were quite toxic and essentially worthless in the management of malignancies. This information is carefully covered up by our controlled media so that these two methods of therapy are regarded by lay persons as the proven therapy for malignancies. Like lemmings going over a cliff the general public lines up for these therapies and nearly all treated persons proceed to die.

To the person who inquires how can an essentially worthless therapy continue to be used the answer is simple. It is all about money. Chemotherapy drugs bring in more than a trillion dollars annually to the pharmaceutical industry. Oncologists frequently make $1000 from every injection administered to a patient. There are 40 National Cancer Institute Centers scattered across the USA. Each of these employs thousands of employees. Curing cancer would be devastating for the economy and must not be allowed to occur. Research programs whose alleged purpose is to cure cancer see their funds steered into harmless areas where no cancer cures will ever result. Less than 1% of research funds are spent finding methods to prevent the spread of cancer. which is the cause of fatal cancer cachexia which kills 90% of cancer victims..

Preventing unfavorable chemotherapy results from being seen by the public in TV, radio, and newspaper reporting is combined with malicious quackery charges and actual death threats to practitioners who have legitimate cancer cures. I am aware of at least a dozen cancer cures since 1900 that have been ignored or suppressed. Several persons with bonafide cancer cures have been so vilified they died alcoholics or committed suicide. Prominent physician Dr Milbrook Johnson was poisoned the night before he was scheduled to speak on a national radio network in the 1940s about the ability of Dr. Royal Rife’s electronic equipment to cure cancer and infections.

Both chemotherapy and radiation have such toxic effects on the human body they must be stopped before they kill the patient. In the early days of chemotherapy drugs it was noted that skeptical patients who refused to take chemotherapy usually lived longer than patients treated with chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy directed toward a bone containing cancer might initially seem innocuous but actually has effects throughout the body. Circulation of blood through areas of ionizing radiation being delivered to bone is able to transport this radiated blood to distant sites where it can injure bone marrow production of killer lymphocytes, red blood cells, macrophages and platelets. Loss of appetite and nausea can be seen. Conventional radiation to the abdomen and other areas may be followed by permanent injury to the small intestine(diarrhea, pain) and arteriosclerosis of arteries in any field of radiation.

A suspected cancer patient had xray films showing numerous lucent identical sized masses overlying brain and spinal cord tissue. The films were misread as metastasis from a prior malignant melanoma instead of echinoccocal cysts spread from the family dogs.. Massive radiation of brain and spinal cord tissue caused complete loss of appetite with no food intake and death in 8 days in a previously well 26 year old woman.

What are results of chemotherapy drugs? Associate Professor Graeme Morgan of Australia was the lead researcher on an article titled “The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5 year survival n adult malignancies.” This research showed that chemotherapy improved 5 year survival by less than 3% in adults with cancer. In 1987 Dr. Lana Levi of the University of California wrote “most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. It does not eliminate breast, colon, or lung cancer. This fact has been known for over a decade. Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemotherapy than without it.”

Dr. Ralph Moss Ph.D relates that “Conventional Cancer therapy is so toxic and dehumanizing that I fear it more than I fear death from cancer. Yet most alternative therapies regardless of potential or proven benefit, are outlawed, which forces patients to submit to the failures that we know don’t work because there is no other choice. Dr. Moss was employed as a science writer for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Chemotherapy drugs are cellular poisons so they are quite toxic. They are also quite expensive. In his book The Cancer Industry he documents how the close links between the pharmaceutical industry and the cancer establishment enables an inadequate therapy like chemotherapy to become promoted and established as standard care”.

In a 1995 interview Dr. Moss related that chemotherapy was effective in only 2 to 4 % of all malignancies(Hodgkin’s Disease, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, childhood leukemia, testicular cancer and Choriocarcinoma.)

The package inserts for chemotherapy drugs admit that taking a course of chemotherapy drugs can increase your risk of subsequently developing a new cancer by about 10%.. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health(NIOSH) warns that the powerful drugs used in chemotherapy can cause cancer in employees who handle them(nurses, pharmacists, cleaning personnel). If continued too long these drugs are fatal. The damage to white blood cell , killer lymphocyte and red blood cell production makes the patient vulnerable to overwhelming infection which is the cause of death in many patients on chemotherapy and radiation. It never made sense to me why administering toxic substances that cause major side effects could possibly heal a serious illness like a malignancy.

Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, MD “To understand the utter hypocrisy of chemotherapy, consider the following: The McGill Cancer Center in Canada, one of the largest and most prestigious cancer treatment centers in the world, did a study of oncologists to determine how they would respond to a diagnosis of cancer. On the confidential questionnaire, 58 out of 64 doctors said that all chemotherapy programs were unacceptable to them and their family.

In 33 years of conventional medical practice I referred all patients with malignancies to oncologists. The only survivor was a Chinese man with a low grade lung cancer. He responded every five years or so to a few doses of radiation.

In my opinion one of the most important verses in the Bible is Proverbs 14:12 There is way that seems right unto man but its end is the way of death. Drug company owners and executives, politicians, world leaders and media executives have unbelievable wealth and power in this world. However, they face a tortured eternity following death. This seems to be a very unwise tradeoff.

Anyone reading this article has my permission to copy or publish this information. Hopefully, some individuals will be made aware that there are safe effective alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation in the treatment of malignancies.

Dr. James A. Howenstine is a board certified specialist in internal medicine. The Second Edition of his book A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work is available.

Dr. Howenstine can be reached by phoning 001-506-2262-7504.

E-Mail: dr.jimhow@gmail.com

Is Drinking Tea or Coffee the Smarter Choice?

Posted November 21, 2009 By Mark
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The below information was taken from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/Is-Drinking-Tea-or-Coffee-the-Smarter-Choice.aspx

By Dr. Mercola

coffee, teaIf you’re like over half the adult population in the United States, you drink coffee everyday. By the end of the year, you will have consumed over 10 pounds of the stuff.

At over 400 billion cups consumed per year[1], coffee is the most popular drink in the world. The U.S. imports over $4 billion in coffee each year, and Americans drink 400 million cups per day.

Why has a substance which places an enormous metabolic burden on your body and offers no nutritional value at all — no vitamins, no minerals, no enzymes — become so widely used throughout the world?

What’s so Great About Coffee, Anyway?

Many coffee drinkers enjoy the taste. And for those who don’t, there are countless addi­tives to mask the flavor — like sweeteners, milk, and chocolate syrup to name just a few. The list of coffee “enhancers” is limited only by your imagination.

The other major reason people drink coffee is for a caffeine boost. Many people swear they can’t get going in the morning without a cup of coffee — or several. They feel physically tired and mentally foggy without their morning brew.

Most regular coffee drinkers argue their habit isn’t doing them any harm. In fact, they’ll point to reports touting the health benefits of coffee, citing studies that claim regular consumption reduces the risk for heart disease and diabetes, for example.[2]

The problem, though, is while coffee’s effect on humans has been extensively re­searched for decades, there is still a great deal of controversy about what it really does to your health. The results of coffee studies often conflict, which is why you might read an article this week which completely contradicts the advice given in a report you read a month ago.

A study conducted in 2004[3], for example, indicated drinking coffee may negatively affect your short-term word recall. Not long after, a report was published which pointed to evi­dence that a couple cups of coffee per day could improve your short-term memory[4]. This is but one example of many which points to the conflicting information regularly published about the effects of coffee on your body.

Researchers can’t seem to pinpoint exactly how coffee acts to allegedly reduce the risk of certain diseases, but they suspect it has something to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of the antioxidants in coffee.

The simple fact that remains however is that, coffee is not good for you and it’s not a health food, as some published re­ports would have you believe. There are much better, less risky ways to achieve any professed benefits of coffee consumption. Don’t use pro-coffee reports or propaganda as an excuse to hang onto your coffee habit!

The Truth: Coffee Can Wreck Your Health

Among the typical health claims about coffee is it decreases the risk of developing cer­tain cancers and diabetes. However, it increases your risk for stomach cancer and leu­kemia. Just like with most drugs, there are perceived benefits — and then there are the side effects which often render the “cure” worse than the disease.

Coffee can also[5]:

  • Interfere with your body’s ability to use water, and promote fluid loss
  • Raise your cholesterol
  • Send your insulin levels out of control
  • Contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and stroke
  • Damage your blood vessels
  • Increase your risk of heart disease

Coffee interferes with your body’s ability to use folate, and vitamins B12 and B6. Your body needs these nutrients in order to keep your homocysteine level in the healthy range. Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with a wide range of serious, even life-threatening conditions.

Pesticide Exposure

Chances are the coffee you drink is made from beans grown outside this country.

Coffee beans are known to be a heavily sprayed crop, and the U.S. has limited input and control over the type and quantity of pesticides used in the countries from which we import.

Aside from the damage coffee alone can do, pesticides are contributors to a wide range of health problems, including prostate and other cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and even miscarriages.

Metabolic Damage

Coffee stimulates your adrenals — the hormones that activate your fight or flight re­sponse. If your adrenal hormones are stimulated too often, which is bound to happen if you are a daily coffee drinker, your adrenal glands may eventually burn out.

When your adrenals no longer function effectively, your body will go in search of a re­placement hormone — which happens to be progesterone.

Progesterone has its own full-time job to do, part of which is to keep your body’s estro­gen in balance. As your progesterone is used up compensating for your exhausted ad­renals, you run the risk of becoming estrogen dominant.

Estrogen dominance can lead to osteoporosis.

Coffee also raises the acidity level of your blood, causing calcium to be pulled from your bones and teeth for use as a buffering agent. The combination of estrogen dominance and high blood acidity puts you at an even greater risk for osteoporosis. In fact, research has established an undeniable link between coffee consumption and hip fractures.

A Pick Me Up? Don’t Kid Yourself!

Fatigue is the number one daily complaint among Americans. Are you using coffee to combat feelings of tiredness and low energy?

Caffeine is a strong stimulant and will deliver a temporary jolt, which may feel like a burst of energy to you.

But the truth is, coffee only gives you the illusion of energy and not the real thing. Over the long-term coffee actually depletes your B vitamin supply, and lack of B vitamins depletes your energy.

If you struggle with fatigue and low energy on a daily basis, your body is telling you it’s time to assess your health and lifestyle choices. Drinking coffee is not the answer to chronic feelings of weariness and lack of energy.

Caffeine — Coffee’s Not so Hidden Menace

Caffeine is a psychoactive substance able to alter the way your brain functions, bringing about temporary changes in your behavior and mood.[6] The more sensitive you are to the drug, the more pronounced its effects. Caffeine intoxication is not an uncommon condition — especially with the high levels of caffeine found in today’s “energy drinks.”

My firm position is that caffeine is a very powerful drug and should be avoided or strictly lim­ited.

Symptoms and health hazards of caffeine use can include:

  • Insomnia
  • A rise in blood pressure and stress hormone levels
  • Heart palpitations
  • A sensation of jitteriness and nervousness
  • Symptoms of anxiety, especially if you already have a panic or anxiety disorder
  • Depletion of iron and calcium levels in women

If you happen to be a protein Nutritional Type™, you are likely extra sensitive to caf­feine. I recommend you consume it only in small quantities, if at all, and never in the late afternoon or evening, as it may interfere with your ability to sleep.

A Special Message about Caffeine if You’re Pregnant or Planning a Family

Pregnant women should avoid caffeine entirely, and if you’re a coffee drinker who is planning a pregnancy, you’ll want to quit the habit before you conceive.

Studies indicate over 300 mg of caffeine a day, which is the equivalent of two to three eight ounce cups of coffee, may also increase your risk of:

  • Miscarriage / spontaneous abortion
  • Delivering a low birth weight baby
  • Having a child with certain birth defects like cleft palate

Four or more cups of coffee a day may increase your baby’s risk of SIDS.

It’s important to realize that any caffeine you ingest passes easily through the placenta to your unborn child. It is also transferred through breast milk, and stays in your body — and the body of your un­born child or infant — longer than average. Your unborn baby has no ability to detoxify the caffeine he or she is exposed to.[7]

A Much Healthier Alternative to Your Coffee Habit

As my regular readers know, my first recommendation for a healthy beverage is always pure water. It is by far the best choice you can make.

But if you’re looking to kick your coffee habit to improve your health, a cup of high-qual­ity green tea can be a great alternative as a warm, soothing morning beverage.

Green Tea vs. Black Tea

Most types of tea have some health benefits. However, black tea not only contains more caffeine than green tea[8] — it’s also high in fluoride.

Fluoride is a toxic substance (more toxic than lead) and can have a profoundly negative effect on your health. It has been linked to weakened bones, osteoporosis, and even cancer.

Consuming high levels of fluoride can result in a condition called skeletal fluorosis[9]. Symptoms may include bone pain, calcified ligaments, bone spurs, fused vertebrae, and difficulty moving your joints. Since Americans are exposed to fluoride in water, certain toothpastes, coated cookware, some wines and brands of sparkling mineral water, and several other sources, it’s important to avoid more of this poison in your tea.

Lesser brands of green tea can also contain fluoride and other dangerous substances like lead and aluminum, so you must do your research before settling on a particular brand of tea. I’ll discuss how to select a high-quality tea a little later.

EGCG: Nature’s Miracle Compound

EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is what is known as a catechin:

  • Fresh, unfermented green tea leaves contain polyphenols (naturally occurring an­tioxidants)
  • Within the group of polyphenols are flavonoids
  • Flavonoids contain catechins:
  • EGCG is the most powerful catechin: found in green tea

Polyphenols are recognized for their disease prevention and anti-aging properties, and can account for up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight of green tea.

EGCG, in particular, boasts an impressive list of illnesses and conditions it has the po­tential to positively impact.

Powerful Protection for Your Body

Catechins have been researched for hundreds of years for their health-promoting prop­erties, including their ability to help:

  • Improve digestion
  • Inhibit bacterial and viral infections
  • Neutralize the negative impact of harmful fats and oils on your body
  • Protect against oxidation in your brain and liver
  • Support healthy gums

The powerful antioxidant properties of EGCG can also help your body fight a number of debilitating conditions like AIDS, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

In fact, based on encouraging study results, scientists are hopeful they will be able to con­duct further research on green tea’s protective powers in relation to other autoimmune diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis[10].

Research indicates the polyphenols found in green tea may help fight prostate cancer.[11]

Green tea polyphenols act on molecular pathways to shut down the production and spread of tumor cells. They also discourage the growth of the blood vessels which feed the tumors.

These prostate cancer study results show potential for green tea to help fight breast, lung and colon cancer as well.

Promising study results also show EGCG health benefits in the prevention of arterio­sclerosis, cerebral thrombus, heart attack and stroke. Greek researchers have discov­ered green tea may help prevent heart disease, due to its ability to improve blood flow and promote relaxation of your arteries.[12]

A sizable body of research also suggests the polyphenols in green tea can help:

  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Lower your triglyceride levels
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Ease painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Obesity and Diabetes Help

A number of studies show EGCG has a regulatory effect on fat metabolism. It has been shown to improve exercise performance, increase fat oxidation and prevent obesity.

There is also evidence EGCG may help neutralize toxins in your body formed by high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which can help to reduce the association between HFCS and diabetes.[13]

EGCG may also protect fatty transplanted livers from ischemia (poor blood flow).[14] Twenty percent of Americans have fatty livers as a result of the growing epidemic of obesity.

Randomized controlled trial results published last year show green tea extract had a positive effect on glucose levels. Daily dosing with a powder supplement improved the hemoglobin A1C levels in borderline diabetics.[15]

Green Tea and Your Brain

Researchers have also discovered green tea has the potential to enhance the function of your brain.

EGCG appears to decrease the production of the protein beta-amyloid, which can over accumulate in your brain, resulting in nerve damage and memory loss over time — a condition related to Alzheimer’s disease.

When researchers injected pure EGCG into mice genetically programmed to develop Alz­heimer’s, results showed a decrease of as much as 54 percent in the plaque which clogs the brains of Alzheimer sufferers.[16] This is a promising finding that demonstrates the potential for EGCG as a weapon against the growing scourge of Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

Your Choice of Green Tea Makes All the Difference

Given the healthful properties of green tea, I’m comfortable this is a drink you can con­sume in moderation — especially as an alternative to coffee.

Keep in mind, though, pure water is what your body was designed to drink. You don’t want to get too far away from this basic health principle. Stick to clean spring water and filtered water.

I do not recommend either tap or distilled water, and it’s im­portant to avoid fluoridated water as well.

Next to pure water, I believe a high-quality green tea is a nutritious choice.

A cup of green tea supplies about 20-35 mcg of EGCG. Much of the research done on the health benefits of green tea has been measured at three cups per day, so that’s a good num­ber to keep in mind.

If you enjoy green tea — especially if you’re looking for a healthy substitute for your cof­fee habit – add a few cups to your day. Make sure not to counter the benefits derived from your tea by adding sugar, milk, or other “embellishments.” Drink your green tea straight.

Make Sure Your Green Tea is Green

Many green teas have been oxidized, which takes away much of the health benefits de­rived from drinking them.

If your green tea is brown, it has likely been oxidized.

What you want is green tea that’s actually green in color. Ideally, you want green tea which contains the entire ground tea leaf. Matcha tea is what I prefer. It is of such high quality it can contain over 100 times the EGCG found in regular brewed green tea!

Matcha tea is a vibrant bright green color. It is of much higher quality than most other green teas, and you can be assured you’re not consuming fluoride or other toxic sub­stances found in lesser quality teas.

Unlike other teas which you steep and strain, matcha tea is a powder made from ground green tea leaves. You add the powder right into the water. You are consuming the whole leaf, which makes matcha tea one of the healthiest green teas available.

My personal choice, Royal Matcha Green Tea, comes from Japan, is USDA certified organic, and is a premium green tea of the very highest quality.

In general, you want to make sure your choice of green tea is:

  • Free of fluoride, lead and aluminum
  • Vibrant green in color
  • Grown in nutrient-rich, clean soil (the majority of green tea is grown in China, Paki­stan and India, where soil conditions can be potentially toxic)

Tulsi Tea — Another Healthy Alternative to Your Morning Coffee

The Tulsi herb is the principle herb of Ayurveda, the holistic system of health practiced in India.

Tulsi is full of antioxidants, which are nutrients that fight the free radicals in your body and prevent oxidation damage. Cells damaged through oxidation leave the door open for disease to invade your body.

Research shows antioxidants help your body resist heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkin­son’s, cancer, and even the aging process.

Tulsi tea also contains phytochemicals, compounds which have health promoting prop­erties. The combination of antioxidants and phytochemicals found in tulsi can promote your overall health in a variety of ways, including:

  • Support for your immune system
  • Improving digestion
  • Increasing your resistance to stress
  • Promoting healthy metabolism
  • Maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Providing you with skeletal and joins support

Tulsi tea has a naturally delicious taste — slightly sweet and a bit spicy.

You can add a natural sweetener like raw honey or Stevia, and raw milk as desired. You can also drink it iced with a touch of mint.

A Word about Caffeine in Tea

A study published in 2008 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports the caf­feine in tea contains a natural protein, theanine, which actually counteracts unhealthy side effects.

If you are avoiding tea because of the caffeine, you should know caffeine is much less dangerous to your health than fruit juice or soda, and in small quantities — especially the kind found in tea — should not be reason for concern.

There is one exception: if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you should avoid ALL caffeine, including in tea.

False Advertising Alert: Beware the “Benefits” of Tea Energy Drinks

The numerous and glowing reports of the health benefits of green tea have unfortu­nately created a market for green tea “energy drinks,” which are being promoted as “natural” weight loss products.

Don’t believe it!

The idea that a product created in a laboratory using a mixture of chemicals, sweeten­ers, and caffeine is “natural” or healthy is simply ridiculous. Tossing in some green tea doesn’t make it any less so.

If you want to drink green tea for its health benefits, stick to the real thing.

If you want to lose weight, do it safely by optimizing your diet, exercising regularly, and getting good quality sleep.

For a cool, refreshing, healthy green tea beverage, try the following:

Recipe for Healthy Green Tea Soda

(Prepare in advance, as it can steep in the fridge for about an hour before serving.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 green tea teabags
  • 2 cups (1 pint) boiling water
  • Pint-sized Pyrex measuring cup or heat-proof jar
  • 1 teaspoon raw organic honey (optional)
  • 2 cups total Natural Sparkling mineral water (1/2 glass per serving)

To prepare:

  • Place teabags in Pyrex measuring cup or heat-proof jar
  • Pour 2 cups boiling water over teabags
  • Add 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey (if desired), and stir
  • Place mixture in fridge for about 1 hour to cool
  • After an hour, remove tea from fridge
  • For each serving, pour a half glass of tea into tall ice tea glass
  • Add a half glass of sparkling mineral water into each serving

Serves 4.

Tips to Help You Quit Your Coffee Habit

Going “cold turkey” isn’t always a good idea, especially if you’re a heavy coffee drinker or are especially sensitive to caffeine. As with most drugs, eliminating caffeine from your system can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Even one cup of coffee a day can create an addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can in­clude:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Flu-like feelings of nausea and muscle pain

In order to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, you should consider tapering off your coffee habit — especially if you drink several cups per day.

If you want to quit drinking coffee gradually, there are steps you can take during the withdrawal process that will reduce the harmful effects of the coffee you are still con­suming:

  • Buy organic to avoid exposure to pesticides
  • Avoid coffee additives like sugar, artificial sweeteners and milk – they are worse for your health than the coffee
  • Use unbleached coffee filters in your drip coffee maker to avoid chlorine contamina­tion of bleached filters
  • If you switch to decaf, make sure to drink only coffee that has been non-chemi­cally decaffeinated (for example, the “Swiss Water Process”)

Make sure to follow the nutrition plan for your particular type, get adequate high-quality sleep and exercise to increase your energy level naturally.

Consider using the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT) to help with your caffeine ad­diction and withdrawal symptoms.

Remember to substitute a high-quality green tea when you want a warm, soothing drink. You might also try replacing your morning coffee with vegetable juice for an energy boost.

Do not make the mistake of substituting fruit juice or soda for coffee, as they are much worse for you. Remember — pure water should be your primary beverage of choice, followed by healthful drinks like green tea and vegetable juice, in moderation.

There’s No Time Like Today …

Keep this in mind — coffee adds zero nutritional value, and the risks it presents to your health make it a very bad choice overall. This is especially true if you’re planning a fam­ily or are already pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you use coffee as a crutch to get a quick burst of energy, remember that cultivating a healthy body and mind supplies all the power you need to get through your day. The jolt you receive from a cup of coffee is not only temporary, it’s also depleting your energy stores in the long term, and very likely wreaking havoc on your body in other ways as well.

I hope I’ve given you plenty of incentive to quit your coffee addiction once and for all, and replace it with beverages that can improve your health and prevent disease. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, once you make the change to healthier beverages, how much better and genuinely energetic you feel.

References:


[1] Top 100 Espresso, Coffee Statistics Report – 2009 Edition ) (Accessed 5/4/09

[2] The New York Times, Fitness and Nutrition, Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits, Nicholas Bakalar (Accessed 5/4/09)

[3] Mercola.com, Coffee Impairs Short-Term Memory (Accessed 5/4/09)

[4] Mercola.com, Sharpening Your Memory with Coffee? (Accessed 5/4/09)

[5] Mercola.com, Advanced Plan: Beverages (Accessed 5/5/09)

[6] Wikipedia, Caffeine (Accessed 5/9/09)

[7] Mercola.com, Where Starbucks Went Wrong (Accessed 5/10/09)

[8] Mercola.com, How Tea Can Keep Your Mind Young (Accessed 5/11/09)

[9] Mercola.com, Get That Fluoride Out of Your Tea! (Accessed 5/11/09)

[10] Mercola.com, Green Tea Found to Protect You From Autoimmune Diseases (Accessed 5/12/09)

[11]EurekaAlert!, December 2004 (Accessed 5/12/09)

[12] Eur J of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, June 2008, 15(3):300-305, The Acute Effect of Green Tea Consumption on Endothelial Function in Healthy Individuals (Accessed 5/12/09)

[13] The China Post, Green Tea Helps Diabetic Mice Much Like Glaxo Pill (Accessed 5/11/09)

[14]ScienceBlog, Component of Green Tea Protects Injured Livers in Mice (Accessed 5/11/09)

[15]Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;62(8):953-60, Randomized Controlled Trial for an Effect of Green Tea-Extract Powder Supplementation on Glucose Abnormalities (Accessed 5/11/09)

[16] The Journal of Neuroscience, September 21, 2005, 25(38):8807-8814, Green Tea Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG) Modulates Amyloid Precursor Protein Cleavage and Reduces Cerebral Amyloidosis in Alzheimer Transgenic Mice (Accessed 5/11/09)