Parasites!!!! :-(

Parasites – Yuck! Parasites are an often overlooked cause of certain health problems today.
Parasites are actually very common in nature and more common in humans than we would like to think. Approximately one half of the population of the world carries at least one form of parasite. If you add yeast/fungus (another form of parasite) to that, it includes almost the entire world population.
Having good hygiene does not exempt us from parasites. In fact, our diet of refined foods tends to weaken our immune systems and make us more susceptible to parasitic infection. Remember, parasites like a weak host; so poor diets (lots of white sugar and white flour products) give these critters plenty of people to choose from.
Parasites are not just found in our intestinal tracts. They can infest any body part such as the lungs, the liver, the muscles and joints, the brain, the blood, the skin and even the eyes.
Most people think of worms – round, pin, tape, etc. when they hear the work “parasite”. However, many of these are microscopic.
It is very easy to come into contact with parasites. Contaminated water, undercooked meats, improperly washed fruits and vegetables are just some of the common sources of parasitic infections. Transmission from pets, insect or spider bites, or other people is also common.
Symptoms of parasitic infection can include chronic digestive problems, gas, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, stomach pains, and or fatigue. Parasitic infections may contribute to a variety of major diseases including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Parasites can be very difficult to detect in conventional laboratory analysis. Of over 1000 species of parasites that could infect humans, only 40 to 50 have tests available to detect them. Medical testing procedures for parasites are not always accurate due to poor laboratory technique, not enough different stool samples, use of the wrong test, or not catching the parasite in a phase that is easily detected.
I love it when people walk into the store and tell me that they have been to over 7 or 8 medical doctors and their skin rash, or digestive issue, or whatever doesn’t go away with whatever they are prescribed. These problems, more often than not, resolve with a simple parasite cleanse that has no harmful side effects. Wow!
There are many good herbal products available that rid the body of parasites. Different formulas are used depending on the type of parasitic infection. Common herbs used include black walnut, artemisia or wormwood, cloves, garlic, oregano, grapefruit seed extract and olive leaf. Parasites are not affected by these herbs during certain stages of their life cycle, so it is helpful to repeat dosage after a 10 to 14 day break.
In my grandmother’s time, “spring tonics” were common. These “tonics” typically included herbs to rid the body of parasites or worms. Although these have fallen out of fashion, nature has not changed and parasites still find good homes in humans. People with pets and livestock routinely treat their animals for parasites but do not think about treating themselves.
Remember that parasites are part of nature and they can infect any living creature not just animals.

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Depressed & Snappy? You Need Serotonin!

Serotonin is the brain chemical that makes us feel happy and content. When we eat a wholesome meal, the body is notified through the release of serotonin that we are well fed, helping us feel content and satisfied. A lack of serotonin causes depression, anxiety, irritability, negativity and food cravings. From a nutritional standpoint, a lack of serotonin is frequently a result of bad diet and food reactions.
Reactions to certain common foods decrease our levels of serotonin and make us crave sugar and other refined carbohydrates. When we have food sensitivities or food reactions, the picture of contentment is upset and the well orchestrated symphony of chemical reactions in our bodies begins to break down.
As we eat reactive foods, they enter our system as macromolecules that the body doesn’t recognize, triggering an inflammatory response which results in swelling and bloating. Then the body releases endorphins which give a feeling of relief along with a “high”. When the endorphins wear off, we crash and feel the need to eat this reactive food again so that you can get the endorphin release again.
To complicate matters, our adrenal hormones rush to the rescue to help the body cope with the allergic reaction, but also contribute to the initial high and the ultimate crash. Eventually, the levels of serotonin become depleted because the white blood cells that help to transport serotonin are busy with the inflammatory reactions in the body.
If you are a “carbohydrate craver”, it will seem virtually impossible to break the cycle. One easy step to break the cycle is to get outdoors. The natural sunlight increases serotonin levels as will moderate exercise such as brisk walking.
Next, begin to identify food allergens in your diet and eliminate them. The most reactive seven foods are wheat, milk, sugar, soy, peanuts, corn, and eggs. But consider food chemicals such as MSG and aspartame.
An easy way to identify food reactions is by taking your pulse rate before and after you eat. Adrenal hormones cause your heart rate to increase. If your pulse is elevated after you eat, chances are that you ate a reactive food.
Food reactions harm the metabolism more than any other single dietary factor. They slow the metabolic rate. They increase the hormones that cause weight gain. They create hypoglycemia. They depress energy. They also contribute to illness.
Cleaning up the diet to contain whole foods and plenty of protein will also help you feel better. It’s important to eliminate processed foods and foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and/or sugar.
Supplements that will help increase your serotonin levels along with your mood and your energy levels are a good balanced whole foods multi-vitamin and a basic omega 3 oil to fill in nutritional gaps.
Another helpful supplement that increases serotonin levels is 5-HTP. It is a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan and the precursor to serotonin. 5-HTP is best taken in small doses throughout the day as it is not stored in the body. I like one called Neuro-5-HTP that contains not only 5-HTP, but B vitamins and theanine as well. Theanine helps balance the 5-HTP with properties that reduce stress and increase focus and memory.
My favorite serotonin enhancing herb is St. John’s Wort – but it has to be fairly high quality to get good results. Also, be sure to get plenty of sunlight to increase your natural levels of vitamin D and remember to walk outside at least 20 minutes per day.

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CoQ10 – Good For You!

Coenzyme Q10 provides energy for the body’s cell growth and maintenance. It is a valuable antioxidant that is normally produced by all cells in the body, but is much more abundant in the heart, liver and immune system.
As we age, our ability to produce Co Q10 seems to decline. Low levels of Co Q10 have been linked to several chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, congestive heart failure, and cardiovascular disease. Low levels of Co Q10 are also linked to people with severe allergies, auto immune disorders and muscular dystrophy.
There are a number of scientific studies showing that Co Q10 may be effective against diseases such as heart disease, heart failure, breast cancer, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s.
For the cardiovascular system, Co Q10 stabilizes heartbeat in arrhythmia patients, prevents atherosclerosis in the arteries by preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, improves blood circulation, assists the heart to function normally in the presence of blood clots, alleviates congestive heart failure, improves 91% of heart attack patients within 30 days of initial Co Q10 supplementation, lowers blood pressure, improves the heart’s ability to survive and produce energy in limited oxygen situations, helps to prevent stroke, counteracts the toxic effects of ischemia on the brain and heart, and normalizes heart function in mitral valve prolapse patients.
For the immune system, Co Q10 can double the body’s level of protective antibodies, alleviate allergies, suppress proliferation of cancer cells, boost immune system chemicals that attack cancer cells, increase the body’s resistance to virus, and greatly enhance the general function of the immune system.
In terms of metabolism, Co Q10 increases energy production in the body improving athletic performance and also alleviating chronic fatigue syndrome. Co Q10 also helps to reduce blood sugar levels by 20 to 36 percent in diabetes patients.
The nervous system is another area benefiting significantly from Co Q10 supplementation. Nervous system disorders helped by Co Q10 include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. For those of you without a chronic disease, Co Q10 retards the aging process within the brain and increases energy within the brain.
Benefits of Co Q10 are not limited to the inside of the body. Co Q10 also helps the skin and is an effective therapy for psoriasis. Topical Co Q10 improves the visual appearance of the skin and helps to prevent and treat wrinkles.
For supplementation, soft gels (as opposed to dry capsule form) are better utilized in the body. The latest trend in Co Q10 is Ubiquinol, which is what the body makes when we take ordinary Co Q10 or ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is more expensive per milligram than the ubiquinone form or Co Q10, but each milligram of ubiquinol is equivalent to 2-10 times the same amount of Co Q10.
Buy the largest milligram you can afford. The clinical trials tend to use 100 to 150 milligrams per day, with some of the studies using 200 to 1200 milligrams depending on the condition. Note that CoQ10 is one of the supplements where quality really matters. Cheap CoQ10 tends to be crystallized and not useful to the body. Instead of wasting your money on the cheap stuff, buy quality to get the benefits of this incredible supplement.

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Flu Arsenal – Build Yours Now!

It is time for me to stock my personal flu season arsenal. Every cold and flu season is a little bit different – something that worked really well last year may be just so-so this year. My first line of defense is something called d-Lenolate Plus – it is olive leaf, neem and homeopathics. I take 2 of these 4 times a day when I first notice symptoms. I usually know on the first dose if it is working.
If that isn’t quite taking care of my symptoms so that I can go to work and help all of you, I add oregano oil. Oregano oil kills lots of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungus. It is really strong stuff – especially the kind that is at least 70 percent carvacrol. I like this in liquid veggie caps because the oil is just awful tasting– with the capsules, you get to swallow it without the nasty taste.
Occasionally, this doesn’t work as well as I would like it to. Then I usually add one or more of the following: zinc, vitamin C and/or nucleotides. These all help boost the immune system and speed healing. Nucleotides are relatively new – and also effective. On colds and flus, research shows that nucleotides can diminish the symptoms and duration of both. In research trials, nearly all patients on a therapeutic course of nucleotides reported significantly less discomfort associated with the symptoms of colds and flu and experienced a substantially accelerated recovery.
These products are in my first aid cabinet during the fall/winter for colds and flus. I then like to add something to help break up coughs and congestion. I have 2 favorites – fenugreek and thyme (in combination so it counts as 1 thing) and a herbal blend with osha in a liquid gel cap that really seems to work well on the pesky middle of the night coughs.
Everything I mentioned above is tablet or capsule form now that my son is old enough to swallow pills. I still recommend liquid forms for those who need them. For the younger set, I have 2 favorites – colloidal silver and elderberry chewables. Both of these interfere with a virus or bacteria’s ability to reproduce and overrun your system. I particularly like silver for stomach viruses because it is very gentle, but usually very effective.
A couple of years ago, we added a really strong tasting liquid called Cold and Sinus Blaster – it does just that. I like it for breaking up congestion and speeding up recovery. There are many other supplements that work. Everyone is a little bit different – one customer uses astragalus and zinc. Another uses echinacea and vitamin C. Others swear by oscillo.
Natural supplements work best when taken at the first symptoms of cold or flu – I go with the early and often theory because it is bad for my business if I get sick.
I also need to mention my favorite immune builders. The first is olive leaf – the one I like best is d-Lenolate as it is a patented extract that stays in the body longer than other olive leaf extracts. The only time I get sick is when I run out of this – it’s my personal immune builder. I also recommend Elderberry Defense which is either a capsule or a chewable. I find that taking one of these on a regular basis keeps immune systems strong so they are more resistant to sickness to begin with – and if you do get sick, a strong immune system lessens your symptoms and helps you recover faster.

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