Studies have now proven that chocolate is good for you. It is rich in antioxidants and has many health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and cholesterol. Cocoa comes from the Theobromo cacao plant. Half of the cocoa bean is made of fat in the form of cocoa butter. Cocoa powder is the edible non-fat part of the cacao bean. Most of the fats in chocolate are saturated, but it also contains lots of the “good” fats: oleic and linoleic acids.
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that has long been used to treat burns. It is useful for treating digestive complaints, as well as skin conditions. Aloe can be taken internally or used externally.
Aloe was mentioned by Pliny the Elder and also in the New Testament. “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes,” (John 19:3940). It is long been in use as an herbal medicine in the Orient and Asia.
What is white flour? It is from the same wheat plant as whole wheat, but the grain has been bleached and the outer hull, or shell of the grain has been removed. The outer shell is hard and protects the soft inner layer that we eat. However it contains most of the nutrients and the food value in the grain.
In early civilizations, everyone ate “whole” wheat. But now, refined wheat is thought to be a sign of the advancement of our civilization and whole wheat is considered crude or primitive.
Before the Industrial Revolution, when night arrived, the sky darkened. This was conducive to sleep, and our natural circadian rhythms. With the increased use of electricity and electric lights, we turn our nights into days and prevent sleep. Over two-third of Americans suffer from sleep problems. And medicine has now determined that lose of sleep can lead to depression, diabetes, obesity and cancer. More than half of all alcoholics have sleep issues, begs the question of which came first.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body uses to regulate sleep cycles. Melatonin is triggered by exposure to light. The natural rhythms of the day are regulated by the pineal gland in what is called Circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the body`s biological clock.
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Coughs are caused by an irritation in the lining of the throat or lungs, causing mucus build up. When you are sick, the lining of your throat and lungs becomes more sensitive. Cold air, eating or drinking, or sometimes just plain breathing can annoy the already tender lining. Coughs can tickle, or feel dry, making you clear your throat, or cough when you step into cold air. Some coughs are caused by mucus backing up in the throat or lungs. These coughs will end with the coughing up of mucus. These coughs can rattle, or bark. They can be spasmodic, as your body tries to eliminate the mucus. If you use cough drops, or cough syrups, you can prevent your coughs. This doesn’t fix the problem that caused the cough; it only suppresses the body`s natural desire to heal.
A carrot poultice is a compress made from carrots. It is used to draw toxins from the body, usually the neck area. Carrots have a cleaning action on the lymph glands and a poultice is an easy way to focus that healing energy to the glands in the neck. A carrot poultice can speed recovery from a sore throat or swollen glands. Children love carrot poultices, as they are non-invasive and they are very soothing.
Adaptogens are plants that help the body maintain homeostasis and balance in the endocrine and hormonal systems. Recent research into stress has proven the important functions and usefulness of these plants.
The first sea creatures to crawl out of the sea onto dry, parched land were probably not going on an adventure. Rather, they were seeking to escape a toxic ocean or pond. They were driven by survival. Prior to that, they experienced a great stress that caused them to leave their normal patterns, their normal habitat. Something forced them to change.
In times of stress, creatures must adapt or die. Survival depends on change and adapting to a new environment. A fish grows legs and walks on land. A lump of coal gives up its dark heart and turn into a diamond.
Humans, under stress, send out hormones that trigger a flight or flight mechanism. The adrenals release cortisol, which enables short bursts of energy. Under constant stress, the adrenals give out and the body can no longer flight or flee.
This is where adaptogens come in.