Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre
We Take Care of Your Health Naturally, Using Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Western Herbal Medicine, Diet and Body Therapies.
Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre
We Take Care of Your Health Naturally, Using Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Western Herbal Medicine, Diet and Body Therapies.
There is no news to report – I guess No News is Good News…
This issue of The Health and Wellness Magazine – Autumn 2022 is published in association with Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre, The Herbal Health Coach and Wildcrafted Herbal Products
by Susan O’Neill-Siegenthaler
In this article, we are revisiting a concept that we may have momentarily overlooked during preoccupation with the distractions in the world today, such as climate change and its consequences, economic fluctuations and instabilities, the impacts of political and social changes on our lives and health crises such as global pandemics!
For many decades natural health practitioners have recommended fresh fruit and vegetable juices as valuable sources of concentrated nutritional supplementation because of their potential to maintain good health, prevent disease and healing benefits when illness occurs.
Significant results have been reported in control and prevention of chronic diseases such as allergies and digestive complaints, skin problems, cardio-vascular disease and auto-immune disorders when juices are taken regularly.
A variety of juices, such as apple, orange, cranberry, pomegranate and cherry juices, are conveniently available in the health food stores and supermarkets. Many of these juices are of very good quality, having been juiced in a manner that maintains their nutritional value and stabilised in a way that does not include addition of potentially harmful substances. For busy people bottled juices can be a valuable nutritional resource but they can lack the important anti-oxidant activity due to refrigeration and storage over time.
For the purposes of this article, we are referring primarily to fresh juices, i.e. no more than a few minutes existing between being a whole fruit or vegetable to being in your glass in juice form and consumed immediately. These juices have the added benefit of retaining undamaged anti-oxidant compounds, active enzymes and the ‘life force’ of the plants from which they come.
There is also something calming and centring about making juice from scratch: commencing with the idea of juicing our own fruit & veg for health rewards and leading us through a process that is in itself of therapeutic value. The selection and preparation of the fruits and vegetables we want to use creates an interaction with the senses: touch, sight and smell of the fruits and vegetables themselves having a healing benefit and even stimulating the digestive system to produce the digestive enzymes needed for proper digestion and absorption.
We engage the mind in a positive way as we juice, acknowledging that we are about to ingest a concentrated form of these amazing foods, the juice being full of anti-oxidant compounds (vitamins, minerals, essential oils and many other compounds) that protect our body cells from damage by ‘free radicals’ and provide the building blocks for repair and maintenance. A wonderful gift from Nature.
Below are some of the fruits and vegetables that we use at home. Included is a brief over view of their nutritional contents and health benefits.
Apple: over a dozen minerals and vitamins; promotes the flow of saliva which helps keep teeth and gums healthy, malic & tartaric acids in apples aid digestion and liver, pectin in the peel of apples protects the digestive system and promotes protein digestion.
Cabbage: Contains the B group Vitamins and Vitamin U, chlorine and sulphur. All are cleansing and soothing to the digestive system, give protection from infection.
Carrots: Vitamin A (water soluble) for healthy eyesight, night vision, skin and gut health. High in sulphur and many other minerals and vitamins, carrots cleanse the body and build strength – suitable for nearly all ailments. A real super-food.
Celery: known as the ‘stalks of life’, celery maintains the correct acid-base balance in body tissues and fluids. A tonic to the nervous system it promotes relaxation and aids mental fatigue, relieves arthritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure.
Beetroot: High in Vitamin A, folate, B6, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, Vitamin C, fibre, betaine & betalain, anti-oxidants; lower systolic blood pressure, protect cardiac function, anti-inflammatory, brain & nervous system health, reduces cancer risk.
Lemons: Vitamin C group including Hesperidin, diosmin for heart health & lowering cholesterol, Citric acid that can prevent kidney stones, aids iron absorption and prevents anaemia, reduces cancer risk through limonene and naringenin, improves digestion through pectin fibre content and can reduced blood sugar levels.
Pineapple: Manganese, copper, B6, Vitamin C, Thiamine, Folate, potassium and magnesium for bone health, immunity, wound healing energy production, tissue repair; iron, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin K, zinc, choline & B vitamins, bromelian which suppresses inflammation caused by trauma or surgery.
Coconut water: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sugars helps with rehydration, lowers blood sugar and restores insulin sensitivity, prevent kidney stones, can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, electrolyte replacement following prolonged exercise & restore proper fluid balance.
Papaya: Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate and potassium, protein, lycopene antioxidant, prevention of alzheimers, oxidative stress, hypothyroid conditions, anti cancer due to lycopene, enhances ‘good’ cholesterol production, anti-inflammatory, improves digestion in constipation, IBS , ulcers and bloating, protects the skin.
Here are a few recipes that you could try at home. The recommended dosage is once per day but the concentration, volume and frequency of the juices will vary if taken while fasting.
Carrot and coconut 50/50 for calcium, magnesium and iron prevents muscle cramps and aids development of muscle strength. Also relieves symptoms of peptic ulcers.
Carrot 8 parts, Beetroot 4 parts, Apple 4 parts, Celery 2 parts and Lemon 1 whole.
Coconut water 5 parts, Pineapple 5 parts and Papaya pulp 1/4 of a papaya.
Carrot 8 parts, Apple 6 parts and Cabbage 4 parts
We cannot praise the uses of juices enough…why not give them a try and experience the health benefits yourself?
References & Sources
More amazing information can be found at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition 28th March, 2022.
“The Health Index” by Manfred urs Koch
“Drink Your Troubles Away” by John Lust
“Food is Your Best Medicine” by Henry G Bieler MD
Adapted from Giovanni Maciocia by Danny T. Siegenthaler
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises different climatic factors such as Wind, Heat, Cold, Damp and Summer-heat can affect the body adversely.
In this article we’ll take a look at Dampness and how it can affect the body and cause a wide range of diseases.
Dampness is a Yin pathogenic factor and it tends to injure the Yang energy of the body. One of the most central concepts of TCM is that of the intimate connection between the body and the environment. The physiology of the cells, tissues, organs and the channel system of the body, is in dynamic internal equilibrium and constantly adjusts to the vagaries of the external environment.
As mentioned above, External Damp conditions can result from environmental or climatic dampness: thus, it may be due to humid weather (whether hot or cold), and may also be due to damp living conditions, such as living in damp houses.
Dampness may combine with either climatic heat or cold generating Damp-Cold or Damp-Heat conditions in the body.
Exterior Dampness can also be contracted by wearing wet clothes, wading in water, working or living in damp places or sitting on damp ground.
From Giovanni Maciocia, 2015, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Third Edition.
Internal Dampness may arise due to:
Diet: Excessive consumption of greasy foods, dairy foods (except yogurt), sweets, sugar, excessive cold-raw foods. Dampness may also be due to overeating (in the same way as Retention of Food) or from irregular eating habits.
Work: Excessive physical work (including sports, exercises, lifting, gym, etc.) can weaken the Spleen and lead to Dampness. Internal injury of ‘Spleen Weakness’ may arise from a chronic illness.
Constitutional: A constitutional weakness of the Earth element (Stomach/Spleen and sometimes Kidney organs) predisposes the patient to Spleen deficiency and Dampness. On the other hand, a constitutional tendency to a Fullness of the Earth (for example, people with a constitutional tendency to Stomach-Heat) may lead to Heat in the Stomach and Spleen which combines with Dampness.
If the Spleen function of transformation and transportation of Body Fluids fails, these will not be transformed and will accumulate to form Dampness. It can be due to either a problem arising from the inability of the digestive system to transport fluids, or from the body being overwhelmed by external damp from the environment (damp weather, damp living conditions, damp-producing foods). It can also arise as a response to illness, or from the overuse of medication that promotes dampness, such as certain antibiotics. A condensed, easily recognised, form of dampness is Phlegm.
There is a saying in TCM: “The earth element creates damp and the metal element stores it.” The organs associated with the earth element are the Stomach and Spleen. The organs associated with the metal element are the Lungs and Large intestine.
When exterior Dampness invades the body, it tends to invade the lower part first, typically the legs. From the legs, it can flow upwards along the acupuncture channels of the legs to settle in any of the pelvic cavity organs. If it settles in the female genital system it causes vaginal discharges, if it settles in the Intestines it will cause loose stools and if it settles in the Bladder it will cause urinary difficulties, frequency and/or burning urination. However, Dampness is also common in the head and always the cause of sinusitis for example.
Dampness can cause many different disorders and affect almost any part of the body. If it affects the head, a feeling of heaviness of the head may be experienced. The eyes may be swollen and there may be a discharge or sties. The mouth may develop ulcers on the gums and/or the lips can become swollen.
In addition, the skin can be affected resulting in eczema, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, etc. Joints and muscles may also be impacted by dampness causing for example arthritis, rheumatic disorders, stiffness and aching muscles and joints, etc.
In the lower part of the torso (called the ‘Lower Heater’ in Chinese medicine) dampness can cause genital itching, vaginal discharge, painful periods, infertility, issues with urination and turbid urine. It can also affect the bowels causing loose stools, and many other diseases or disorders.
Dampness, whether it is of a heat or cold type, is difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. It is sticky in nature, causes repeated attacks and lingers in the body.
by Danny Siegenthaler
For many years now we have seen a move away from skin care products that contain chemicals which are potentially harmful to the skin. Consumers have begun to demand natural skin care products. That is, they demand products, that instead of containing potentially harmful, synthetic and/or artificial ingredients contain natural ones. This is a step in the right direction, but it is not the whole story.
Natural skin care is by definition the use of natural ingredients such as herbs, essential oils and various extracts and nutrients from fruits and/or vegetables that treat the skin. Skin care after all is not about plumping up of the skin or temporarily removing fine lines and wrinkles, skin care is far more than that.
Real skin care is about maintaining or regaining healthy skin by use of natural ingredients that facilitate and promote the normal functions of the skin. If the skin needs particular attention, because one of its functions is compromised, herbal extracts and other natural substances can be used to specifically target that issue. Herbs are healing substances that have been used for thousands of years to re-establish health and many of these herbs have specific therapeutic functions on the skin.
The Skin is an organ and just like any other organ in our body, it too requires regular attention and maintenance. After all, we drink water to help our Kidneys function properly, we eat bran and other fibre containing foods to help maintain healthy bowl function and so on. However, when it comes to our skin we often use products that simply mask dis-function rather than addressing the underlying problem.
Natural skin care products, or if you prefer, herbal skin care products, that contain therapeutic doses of herbs, essential oils and other nutrients, are like eating bran and grains to maintain our digestive system, but they are formulated to work on maintaining the normal functions of the skin.
Unfortunately, this is not the attitude of the cosmetics industry. The fact that products are being made with one or two natural ingredients (together with all the other synthetic and artificial ones) and then are advertised to contain natural ingredients is merely a marketing ploy by these companies. They are not interested in healing the skin, far from it; they want you to continue using their products to cover up the symptoms of a stressed skin that is in need of actual treatment.
Think about it. What is more profitable, treating the underlying cause of a problem and thus fixing it, or treating the symptoms by continually applying products to cover the problem… I’m sure shareholders of large cosmetic companies don’t want to see problems solved… But then again, I could be wrong…
Therapeutic herbal skin care is about addressing weaknesses or problems of the skin and addressing these in specific ways through the use of specific herbs and/or essential oils; and once normal skin function has been established, herbal skin care products can then be used to maintain optimal functioning of the skin. The aim of therapeutically formulated herbal skin care products is not to mask symptoms of skin problems, but to fix them.
For example, Lavender is well known for its wound healing, antiseptic and toning properties. It has the ability to remove redness and heat from the skin, making it an ideal choice for soothing and repairing an irritated or hypersensitive skin. Although it is not really an anti-inflammatory as such, Lavender is often useful where there is inflammation, hence its use in burns, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, boils, rheumatism, wounds, ulcers, and so on.
From a natural medicine point of view, treatment of any health problem needs to be viewed from the first principle; that is the cause of the problem, not the effect. Thus, therapeutic herbal skin care products are formulated to target the cause of the skin problem not the result of it. This approach may take longer for the person to see the effects, but these will be more permanent and ultimately easier to maintain.
When products merely aim to mask symptoms, they actually never address the underlying cause and therefore the problem gradually gets worse. At some point, the problem will be irreversible and the masking of the symptoms no longer possible. This is when the whole deck of cards falls in a heap and serious skin problems become apparent and almost impossible to treat.
by Susan O’Neill-Siegenthaler
YOGA is a Sanskrit word that means ‘union’, ‘to unite’, ‘to join together’ or to integrate. Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India many thousands of years ago. Over time, Yoga has evolved, changing, adding and integrating techniques and philosophies. It is not a religion or a dogma, but rather embraces all belief systems, seeing value in each, thus allowing all people to enjoy and benefit from the practice of Yoga.
HOW CAN YOGA HELP US RELAX?
As a philosophy, Yoga teaches us about ourselves, helps us to discover who we are from within and to accept ourselves. It also helps us to clearly see our relationship to Nature, to be the best that we can be, to change for the better and to understand and be tolerant of others, thus finding contentment in life.
Yoga can show us the beauty of life lived without fear.
Regular practice of Yoga can lead us to understand our true nature as humans and to recognise our place in the Universe.
HOW DOES YOGA DO THIS?
As a practice, Yoga teaches us to care for the body and appreciate the role that good health plays in the expression of our life purpose. This aspect of Yoga is known as HathaYoga and comprises the well known Yoga exercise practices known as ‘asanas’ or ‘postures’.
Hatha Yoga helps us to mindfully stretch out the body to release physical tension and stress, to develop strength and confidence and to move with poise and grace in the world.
Yoga also teaches us about the nature of the Mind (thoughts and feelings) and how the mind works to help or hinder us.
This aspect of Yoga is made up of Meditation and Relaxation techniques, which can also help us to experience the ‘higher self’: the still and peaceful place within.
Yoga Meditation develops focus and clarity while Yoga Relaxation methods teach us how to completely relax, to switch off the adrenaline and allow the body-mind to release worries, to rest and to heal.
Linking these two aspects together is the practice known as Pranayama – control of the prana or ‘life force energy’ which is accomplished through correct breathing and breath awareness.
Mindfulness, the awareness of body and mind acting as an integrated whole, is also part of this Yoga practice.
Pranayama allows us the experience of how the body-mind affect one another and reveals that we have an energy body as well as a physical body.
Through mindful connection with the breath we discover that the energy body can be depleted by stressful thoughts, feelings and physical strain and restored and recharged through positive thought-feeling experiences and balanced use of the body.
Through these practices, which are simple and develop naturally with regular practice over time, we can restore energy, calmness, peaceful enjoyment of life and good health.
by Author Unknown
A lingering hug creates an open-hearted exchange of energy between two beings in the most beautiful way.
The need to touch and be touched is established early in our lives as we develop and grow in the omnipresent embrace of our mother’s womb. Once we are born, separated from that sanctuary of connectivity, we begin to crave the physical embrace of our parents. As we age, we become more independent. Yet during times of triumph or trouble and during those moments when we are in need of reassurance, we can’t help but long for a hug.
Since a hug requires two active participants, each individual taking part in the embrace experiences the pleasure of being embraced and the joy that comes from hugging someone. As both individuals wrap their arms around one another, their energy blends together, and they experience a tangible feeling of togetherness that lingers long after physical contact has been broken. A heart hug is when you put your left arm over someone’s shoulder and your right arm around their waist. As they do the same to you, your hearts become aligned with one another and loving, comforting energy flows between the two of you to flood your souls with feelings of love, caring, and compassion.
A hug is a pleasurable way to share your feelings with someone who is important to you. Depending on your relationship with the other person and the kind of message you wish to send to them, a hug can communicate love, friendship, romance, congratulations, support, greeting, and any other sentiment you wish to convey. A hug communicates to others that you are there for them in a positive way. In an instant, a hug can re-establish a bond between long-lost friends and comfort those in pain. The next time you hug someone, focus all of your energy into the embrace. You will create a profound connection that infuses your feelings and sentiments into a single beautiful gesture.
We hope you enjoyed this Edition of The Health and Wellness Magazine. We are always open to constructive feedback and ideas for future articles. If you have a particular topic you would like us to cover relating to yoga, alternative medicine, meditation, etc., please let us know and we will include it in an up coming Magazine.
Kurrajong Natural Medicine Center will be closed from 24th Dec. 2023 to January 9th Inclusive.
We’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.