Natural Health Article
- ABCs of Health – “C” is for Cleanse
- Yoga or Pilates – Different focuses
- Tip of the Month – Natural bowel movement remedy
- The Herbalist – “N” is for Nettle (Stinging)
ABCs OF HEALTH
You need to cleanse, “C”, in order to keep your body clean and functioning well. Cleansing involves the use of fiber, toxin-removing herbs and stimulating herbs to clean and maintain the eliminative channels or chimneys of the body. Begin a nutrition program with a cleanse to get the best results.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Bowel Movement – take 1 tsp. of pure crystalline vitamin C when you awake with 8 oz. of water, usually results in a bowel movement within 30 minutes.
YOGA, PILATES OFFER DIFFERENT FOCUSES
I have compiled the following excerpt from our local newspaper, via author Julie Deardorff, Chicago Tribune, and thought I would share the article with you as it defines the different focuses of yoga and pilates in simple layman terms, usually not relayed by instructors in their classes.
Both pilates and yoga can improve strength, flexibility and posture, as well as relieve stress. Both are considered mind-body practices. And both use breath as a tool to delve into hard-to-reach places.
But while yoga was originally a spiritual, meditative practice based on the Eastern concept of moving energy through the body, pilates has always been about physical conditioning and functional fitness.
Correctly engaging and working the core muscles of the body-which reach from the lower rib cage to the pelvic floor-is the foundation of pilates. The core is where we have a weakness and where your power is; its where everything originates, energetically and physically, said Chicago”s Abby Factor, who teaches both yoga and pilates.
The main difference between the two is philosophical: Yoga generally adds spirit to the mind-body connection. The best way to figure out which is right for you is to try both, sampling several different teachers.
ONE EXERCISE TECHNIQUE ENERGIZES THE MIND
A yoga class can be a rigorous, flowing cardiovascular workout, or it may involve static poses. Chants, readings or meditations can also encourage the students to be kind to all creatures and live a balanced life.
Pilates mat classes focus on bio-mechanics and teach students to move in ways that strengthen the body’s core muscles. These muscles, called the powerhouse, or stabilizing muscles are often ignored. For the extremely flexible, pilates can be beneficial because it teaches you to stabilize the joints, whereas yoga may push you deeper into the joints, said Factor. But if you are in a bad place mentally, you might find more comfort in yoga and focus on meditation and breathing, Factor said.
Gentle yoga is recommended for joints that may be so tight they don’t experience any movement. Pilates is recommended for loose or unstable joints.
Stretching of the mind or the joints? We need both.
Take advantage of the booming popularity of Yoga! Practiced by tens of millions of Americans, offered at 80% of America’s health clubs, and featured in leading mainstream media, yoga is becoming the fitness craze of the new millennium.
I promised I would give you some information on a specific herb, its origin and its uses. I really enjoy this part of our newsletter, as I always learn something new and exciting. This month we will discuss:
Latin Name: Urtica dioica (Urticaceae [stinging nettle] family)
Other Common Name: nettle
General Description: Stinging nettle is found in temperate climates around the world. It is a perennial plant, growing to a height of five feet (1.5 meters). It bears lance-shaped leaves and green flowers with yellow stamens. If you come in contact with fine hairs on the leaves and stem, you may develop a burning pain that lasts for hours. Both the leaves and the roots are used in herbal medicine, but for very different uses. From the Greeks to present day, nettle has been used in various treatments. Stinging nettle leaf is available in capsule and juice forms, and can also be used as a tea. Stinging nettle leaf has a long history of use as a food, and is regarded as safe.
Excellent For: It has been used for the treatment of coughs, increased milk production of nursing mothers and also, as a hair tonic and diuretic.
Benefits of Nettle (Stinging) for specific health conditions include some of the following:
Allergies (hay fever): Low doses of stinging nettle root extract increases the production of T cells, the immune cells that act as a controlling mechanism on other immune cells that cause allergic reactions.
Anemia: Nettle contains iron, vitamin C, and chlorophyll, all of which help iron-deficiency anemia. It provides iron for the production of red blood cells.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH): Stinging nettle root extracts decrease the rate of cell division in the prostate gland.
Diminished sex drive: Stinging nettle root keeps testosterone, which contributes to sexual desire in both men and women, in an active form.
Hives: Stinging nettle leaf speeds the healing of rashes, especially those caused by reactions to shellfish.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: NOT to be used by people that have fluid retention, due to congestive heart failure or kidney disease.
It should be avoided by people who think they may be coming down with the flu.
There are concerns, though no actual reports, that stinging nettle may interact with prescription medications used for diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation, as well as sedative medications. You should use it with caution, and not use uncooked stinging nettles, as they may cause kidney damage and other symptoms of poisoning.
This concludes another exciting issue of Natural Health. REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO READ TO WIN!