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Inside Out

Health and beauty questions

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Once again, my column today is dedicated to numerous questions and answers you seek.

Every month I experience the most excruciating PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Is there a natural relief you can offer?

Millions of women all over the world suffer from PMS anywhere within the week prior to the onset of menstruation. Symptoms range from mood disorders to discomforts like bloating, depression, severe pain, even suicidal thoughts. Consult your OB gyne about your options. As for natural remedies, please note the following:

Avoid:

  • High sodium/salt and salty foods, cold foods and drinks (which interfere with abdominal circulation and worsen cramps)

  • Caffeine—This includes coffee, black/green tea, chocolate. Note that caffeine stimulates your craving for sugar, neutralizes potassium and zinc and increases stomach acids.

  • Alcohol—Interferes with your liver, increases your blood sugar.

  • Spinach, beet root—High in oxalates which are difficult to assimilate

Increase:

  • Dong-quai—a Chinese herb, known as the female ginseng (take as a tea)

  • Figs, dates, bananas, peanuts, potatoes, peaches, tomatoes

  • Strawberry, watermelon, watercress, parsley—natural diuretics

  • Supplements: Take daily vitamin B6, 50-300 mg; magnesium,  500 g; calcium, 250 mg; vitamin E (dry form), 100-400 iu; panthotenic acid (vitamin B5), 1,000 mg.

Exercise! It’s a must. This stimulates circulation and releases excess fluids.

I am a 51-year-old homemaker and my numerous symptoms are frightening me—sallow complexion, hair loss, exhaustion, blood-shot eyes. Help!

The first thing you must do is see your doctor. Have a complete checkup. Chances are you could be anemic and suffering from hormonal imbalance.

You may consider taking a supplement called L-lysine. This is an essential amino acid that is crucial in the composition of body proteins. Needed for the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies, lysine can be found in natural sources like egg, tuna, garbanzos, fish, milk, meat, cheese, and soy products. Actually, lysine deficiency affects both men and women. The requirement for men is higher. You could also supplement with 500-1,000 mg daily between meals.

Can aromatherapy improve my well-being?

Definitely, yes. The use of essential oils from plants can improve your physical and psychological well-being. Used for centuries as a traditional substance for healing, these special oils can treat minor and major ailments.

Different parts of plants are used by aromatherapists—bark, petals, roots, leaves—in order to get the pure essential oils. For this reason, it cannot be used in its pure concentrated essence. Even just a drop will do. Use it in your bathwater or humidifier, inhale  from a pan of boiled water, and inhale from the bottle but never apply directly on the skin if undiluted.

Caution: Certain oils should be avoided if you’re pregnant or have the following conditions: asthma, epilepsy and other health problems. Keep away from children.

What to use:

  • Anxiety/stress—neroli, lavender

  • Acne, bacterial and fungal infection—tea tree

  • Low libido/energy—cinnamon, sandalwood (has an aphrodisiac effect)

  • Hormonal imbalance (women)—geranium

  • Water retention/poor circulation—juniper

  • Poor sleep—chamomile

  • Skin ailments, muscle ache, stress—lavender

  • Skin problems—patchouli

  • Depression—rosewood

  • Weak immune system—sandalwood

Consult a naturopath for the best oil combinations.

How can I sweeten my breath?

Usually breath problems are caused by poor digestion, tooth decay or parasites. If you take parsley every day, your breath will be sweeter.

Parsley tea

Mix ¼ cup of fresh parsley leaves in a pot of boiled water. Allow to steep for five minutes.  When the water turns light green, the water is ready for drinking.  Sip and enjoy its pungent flavor.

Supplement with one capsule of acidophilus twice daily to improve digestion. For parasite cleansing, ask your physician.  However, there are natural herbs you can take like black walnut, grapefruit seed/rind, garlic bulb, pumpkin seed, rosemary leaf and seed, thyme leaf and seed, and orange peel.

Can fiber intake speed up my weight loss?

Certainly! If you increase your vegetable and fruit intake, your fiber levels will go up. And you will lose weight naturally.

You could increase the bulk in your food by sprinkling it with flaxseed or chia seeds. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Both kinds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Health benefits:  Reduces cholesterol and alleviates arthritic pain.

Note: If you choose to take psyllium, make sure you drink eight to 12 glasses of water daily. The more fiber you take, the more water you need.

Relaxation bath

In a tub of warm water, add a few drops of rose oil. Close your eyes. Take in the calming fragrance. Feel gorgeous.

Today’s affirmation: “Happiness is my birthright.”

Love and light!

Reference: “Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century” by Earl Mindell


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