HERBS AND DIET

Herbs work through their unique combinations of chemical constituents, which they have each biologically tailored to thrive in the conditions they do around the Globe. They work in our bodies, to treat dis-eases, and bring about and maintain our health. When we take or use Herbal Medicine the complex bio-chemistry inter-acts with ours, thus effecting our symptoms, and expression of health.

Herbal medicine is suited to acute and chronic health conditions. The duration of time needed to work with herbs will vary from person to person depending on their needs and symptom picture.

WHAT WE USE HERBAL MEDICINE FOR:

“Herbs are not suited to artificially imposed disease names but to naturally occurring and evolving processes within the body.”

Matthew Wood, MSc.

Herbal Medicine is suitable for adults, children and animals in many of the common situations you could refer to your GP with.

Here follows a non-definitive list of conditions that Herbs treat very well:

Digestive problems;

Hormonal imbalances;

Stress, anxiety and depression;

Coughs, colds and low immunity;

Allergies;

Skin conditions;

Joint pains;

Headaches and migraines;

Heart and circulatory problems;

Urinary disorders and blood sugar imbalances.

DIET WORK

A locally grown Organic lifestyle in this time of Globalised chemical agriculture is very important for our health. The local plants are not only fresher, but they will have grown and adapted alongside the local micro-environment.

There are many reasons for keeping it local! Less food miles, better flavor, supporting local business/production/knowledge/practice, eating seasonally, and thus knowing what is seasonal, and having a diversity of produce, rather than strawberries or potatoes the yr round! Atuning with seasonal food is a medicine practice in itself for maintaining health, and preventing disease.

If you are very out of touch with what is in season as you always shop at supermarkets, then have a look at your local veg market. What is in season is usually cheaper because its abundant. Another wonderfully rewarding way to get in touch with what is local and seasonal is joining your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It is a very easy way to connect with those who grow in your area.

Glyphosate (the most heavily used chemical herbicide in human agricultural history) is patented as an antibiotic, and is presently sprayed on anything which does not self-declare as Organic. Avoid ALL GMO foods. Non-organic soy often tests high for pesticides, cheap, non-Organic Almonds are usually high. Have a look at THE DIRTY DOZEN and THE CLEAN FIFTEEN. One good example is here.

INTOLLERANCES?

Often we need to look at cutting out food groups due to intolerances. Diagnosis is usually from symptom patterns, and can be backed up with muscle testing and dowsing. Once identified an elimination diet of at least 3 weeks is advised with follows with a further detailed symptom overview to see what’s changed.

There can be withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, stomach pains, and mucous clear out, which of course, if sever then it’s recommendable to back-off from the diet and get in touch with me.

People generally have one main intolerance, but there can be layers of multiple intolerances. ALL intolerances are ALWAYS worse/flare-up with stress. Intolerances can appear anytime during an individuals life right from birth, they are often triggered by times of stress. The heavy use of chemicals in our food-chain and the many hormones in our water don’t help sensitive individuals, which is why we advocate for Organic whole food. There are more and more local sourcing options popping up around the country…this might even manifest as a carrot in your garden 🙂 !! As we age and the system stressor/s are routinely absorbed the presentation of the intolerance can deepen into the body (becoming more chronic) from the integumentary system (skin rashes, eczema, red cheeks), to the digestive system (bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS), the circulatory system (high/low blood pressure, headaches), and the musculoskeletal system (arthritis, joint pain and swelling). We don’t grow out of intolerances, the symptom picture changes, until the stressor/s are removed, and we can have time and space to heal.

Aside from avoidance, there are useful adjuncts such as digestive bitter, probiotics, ferments, high intake of anti-inflammatory foods, or a certain protocol tailored to your condition. Each individual generally needs a specific protocol. But generally avoiding inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy, sugar, pork, oranges, alcohol, tea, coffee, and rather having more lemon and lime, dark green leafy veg, bitter salad leaves, ginger, olives and olive oil (if tolerated).

THE MAIN FOOD GROUPS PEOPLE ARE INTOLERANT TO:

Dairy (although usually butter can be kept in the diet, as its the protein that people are intolerant to, rather than the fat). This constitutes for at least 75% of all intolerances. Its highly addictive due to the protein casein, which your body breaks down into casomorphins. These compounds attach to dopamine receptors in your brain triggering cravings. Milk ferments such as sour milk, milk kefir, cottage cheese etc. for those over 7 yrs old are generally much better suited to the digestive tract. There are however lots of great alternatives to dairy. Here is a little overview of various different nut milks and the pros and cons of each.

Wheat/Gluten. 10-15% of the population say some sources, others say much higher. Gluten fits into the opiate receptors in the brain, thus giving a ‘high’, and being habit forming/ addictive. Wheat is very inflammatory, and Christine always said it would make symptoms of other intolerances worse.

Soya is becoming more common (be careful here if you stop dairy…don’t suddenly up your intake of soya products). Fermented soya is much more digestible.

Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, sweet and hot peppers, tobacco, some herbs) affect 5% of the population.

Salicylates (a chemical compound found in plants and herbs). I have a list which is useful to follow of high, medium and low level sources which comes from the work of Christine. Here it is most important to learn which foods and herbs are high, and largely avoid them.

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