Manuka Honey and Cider Vinegar – a winning combination

manuka honey and cider vinegar
Healing combination

Some people would swear by cider vinegar for treating weight loss, rheumatism, blood pressure and more.

Others will tell you that manuka honey is the elixir of life, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can be used to treat complaints internally and externally.

So, why not combine them together?

The wonderfully named Picklecoombe House are doing just that with an active 5+ Manuka Honey & Cider Vinegar.

I’m looking forward to hearing what folk are going to say about this!

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Fish Oils

Cod Liver Oil has been used as a medicine for centuries although its clinical use did not begin until the mid 17th century when it was given to people suffering with bone disease and rheumatism. At that time no-one knew why it worked.

A Time-Honoured Remedy

Research continued and cod liver oil was found to contain many nutrients that were not easily obtained from non-marine sources. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D and E and also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which have essential roles in the body’s metabolism.

In 1970, two Danish doctors discovered that Eskimos in Grenland had a low incidence of coronary heart disease, associated with eating large amounts of fatty fish and seafoods. Further tests showed that EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) is contained in far greater quantities in the blood lipids of Eskimos, as is DHA (docohexaenoic acid). This is needed in high proportions in the grey matter of the brain, the nerve tissue and the retina of the eye to ensure healthy functioning of these organs.

So perhaps the “old wive’s tale” of fish being good for the brain is not so far fetched!

Researchers at the University of London have shown that fish oils can lower the risk of heart disease and reduce cholesterol levels and it has also been indicated that EPA can help with arthritis and rheumatism.

A Dutch researcher carried out surveys in more than 16 different countries to measure fish intake relative to heart disease frequency. His results showed that the groups eating no fish have a 10 times greater risk of heart disease than groups like the Japanese or the Eskimos who eat a great deal of fish.

More importantly, it is also shown that eating a limited amount of fish reduces the risk significantly so that changing the diet from eating no fish to eating 50g a day will reduce the risk by half. (One tsp of cod liver oil is equivalent to 50g fish.)

There is also good news for those who have had heart trouble. A study carried out by the Medical Research Council gives direct evidence that increasing the fish oil intake can reduce the risk of death from heart disease where one heart attack has already been suffered. One group advised to take 6 cod liver oil capsules a day (or eat fatty fish at least twice a week) had a 35% better survival rate.

Could fish oils calm us all down?

The intriguing possibility that eating more fish or supplementing the diet with fish oil capsules could calm us down has been raised by research published in the Lancet.

The idea comes as a result of a study suggesting that people with a high level of a certain type of fat in their blood tend to be more aggressive. Researchers in Edinburgh took samples from 1,500 randomly selected middle aged men and women. These were then measured for the different types of fat and the subjects’ personality profiles examined, assessing them for factors such as hostility and the extent to which they looked down on, or tended to dominate, other people.

After taking into account factors such as smoking and drinking habits, it was found that those with the most aggressive attitudes had higher levels of the triglyceride type of fat in their blood. The connection with fish lies in the well-established fact that eating more of the oil found in fish lowers the level of triglyceride due to its Omega-3 polyunsaturates content.

“A reduction in aggressiveness may be one more of the factors contributing to the explanation of how eating more oil-rich fish reduces heart disease risk” comments Fish Foundation chief executive, Dr Ray Rice.

Daily Dose

During the period from 1930 to 1950, the Government provided cod liver oil through the NHS as a vitamin A and D supplement to ensure healthy growth and bone formation in children and it was not until 1971 that the free distribution of cod liver oil was dropped at health clinics because of decreased demand.

For many of us, the daily dose of cod liver oil is a never to be forgotten experience as it tastes so unpleasant. Cod liver oil remains the subject of very extensive research and the good news is that much as been done to make it far more palatable.

Who Should Take Fish Oil as a Supplement?

  • Those with arthritis or rheumatism
  • Those concerned with heart health
  • Those with dry skin and hair

The common cold could be chased away by an ancient Japanese plant

Kudzu (or Kuzu) is a leguminous plant that grows wild in the mountains and fields of Japan. A very strong plant, it has vines that wrap around trees and eventually pull the trees down. A snow-white starch is made from the kudzu root and has been used as a food and a medicine by the Japanese since ancient times. Kudzu is effective in treating colds and cures many ailments, such as high blood pressure, stiff muscles,neuralgia, and rheumatism.

Kudzu contains large amount of isoflavone which loosens muscles and blood vessels.It soothes inflammation and reduce fevers. Japanese take Kudzu-yu (a kudzu drink) as a treatment for the common cold. Kudzu relieves stress and insomnia and is also good for high blood pressure and strictures of the heart.

So called “kudzu starch” made from potatoes and sweet potatoes, are now common, but they do not have the same effects as real kudzu.

Muso’s manufacturer of kudzu is Hirohachido Shoten, the largest producer of natural kudzu starch. It is a third generation family owned business in its hundredth year of operation. Muso’s kudzu is of the finest quality, produced from plants found in the southern part of Kyushu, Japan.

Kudzu root is harvested from December to March when the sap, rich in starch and trace minerals, is concentrated in the root.

Manufacturing Process :

  • The kudzu root is cut into chunks using a power saw and then crushed into fibers.
  • The fibers are soaked and rinsed.
  • The kudzu starch settles to the bottom and the water is removed. To remove all of the impurities and wood is an extremely long process, and the washing is repeated countless numbers of time to end up with just the pasty kudzu starch.
  • The pure white paste, which contains 83% starch, is finally allowed to dry resulting in the final product.

Basic preparation : Dilute 1 teaspoon of kudzu per cup of water and place over low heat stirring constantly. Because kudzu has excellent medicinal properties it can be used as a drink, made with umeboshi or lotus root, by people suffering from a cold or those with a weak constitution. Use to thicken soups, stews, sauces, glazes and puddings.

Kudzu-yu with Umeboshi

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kudzu
  • 1 teaspoon Ume Paste
  • 150 cc water
  1. Mix all of the ingredients well in sauce pan.
  2. Place over low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. The mixture will suddenly change from milky white to translucent. At this point remove from heat.

This is a good drink for treating diarrhea or weakness.

Kuzu Cream – Makes 1 cup

This is an effective rejuvenating tonic made with three powerful medicinal foods: umeboshi, kuzu and ginger. All three are known to aid digestion and circulation, and the citric acid in the umeboshi neutralizes lactic acid and eliminates it from the body. Lactic acid build-up in the body is thought to be related to numerous circulatory problems such as hardening of the arteries.

Kuzu cream is commonly recommended by macrobiotic health practitioners for colds, weak intestines, general body pains, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea, as well as for neutralising excess stomach acidity. It’s also a great preventive!

Kuzu Cream is most effective when taken about one hour before meals (preferably in the morning when the stomach is empty). The recipe below makes a thick cream. If a thinner cream is desired, reduce the amount of kuzu to 1 heaped teaspoon.

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp crushed kuzu
  • 1 umeboshi plum, pitted and minced, or 1 tsp umeboshi purée
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp fresh ginger juice
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp shoyu soya sauce (optional)
  1. In a small enamel or non-metallic saucepan, thoroughly dissolve the kuzu in water.
  2. Add the umeboshi and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. As soon as the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, stir constantly until the kuzu thickens and becomes translucent.
  3. Gently simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. Add the ginger and soya sauce (if desired) to taste.

Art of Longevity -The Macrobiotic Guide © (C) 2003 Vitalise Well-being Company

Evening Primrose Oil

What is Evening Primrose Oil?

The Evening Primrose is a plant of the willow family whose flowers open in the evening. The plant flowers from June to mid August and is indigenous to North America. It grows wild in Britain around estuaries and sand-dunes.

What is so Special About It?

The active ingredient in Evening Primrose Oil is an Essential Fatty Acid called Gamma Linolenic Acid(GLA). Essential Fatty Acids are vital for the proper functioning of the body, but cannot be manufactured by it. They are therefore obtained solely through diet. Fatty acids are found in every cell in the body. The key Essential Fatty Acid is cis-Linoleic Acid. It is used either as a source of energy, for tissue formation and repair or (most importantly), it is converted to GLA as a precursor to prostaglandins.

Sources of GLA

We normally obtain GLA from our diet through eating dairy products, vegetable oils and products like soya which contain Linolenic Acid. This is broken down into GLA. Corn oil contains GLA, but due to its particular molecular structure, it cannot be utilised in the same way as Evening Primrose Oil. Safflower and Sunflower oils contain Linolenic Acid, but not GLA.

The only other source of importance is human breast milk. However, once children who are breast fed from the neo natal stage are weaned, they often develop eczematous skin conditions. This is because their body is not able to convert from Linolenic Acid to GLA.

The Metabolic Pathway of Essential Fats

Linolenic Acid -> Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) -> Dinomogammalinolenic Acid (DGLA) -> Prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are required for metabolic functions of the body. They act by reducing inflammation, dilating blood vessels, reducing the tendency of the blood to clot, and are also involved in the production of cholesterol. They are constantly being depleted and require continual replacement.

When is Evening Primrose Oil Needed as a Supplement?

Some people seem to have an inability of convert Essential Fatty Acids to GLA as successfully as others. Certain factors can also block the conversion process such as:

  • Too much saturated fat in the diet
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Excess alcohol
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Ageing
  • Atopy (an inherited susceptibility of certain diseases)

When the conversion process of Fatty Acids to GLA does not occur, prostaglandins are not produces. One of several medical conditions may then occur. Supplementing the diet with EPO provides the body directly with biologically active GLA and ensures a supply of cis-Linolenic acid.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Evening Primrose Oil inhibits inflammation, activates the immune system and blocks the release of damaging enzymes which cause pain and inflammation.

Other items of interest

A trial* carried out in Glasgow using a combination of EOP and fish oil on 52 arthritis sufferers was highly successful. 50% of the patients were able to stop their anti-inflammatory drugs altogether and 50% were able to reduce their dosage.

Eczema – It seems that patients with eczema have an inability to convert Linolenic Acid to GLA because of a faulty immune system. A clinical study carried out at Bristol Royal Infirmary on 50 adults and 39 children had a high success rate. The patients were given high doses of EPO capsules every day for 12 weeks. Generally the patients improved over the three month trial period and the symptom showing most relief was itchiness. This helped in containing the skin condition as scratching can spread the infection. DGLA levels were tested at the start and conclusion of the trial and in 80 of the 89 patients, levels were raised after three months, indicating that conversion of GLA to prostaglandins had occurred.

Pre-menstrual syndrome – a condition affecting 40% of women in the UK to a greater of less extent. Women suffering from PMS seem to be lacking in Essential Fatty Acids. This deficiency leads to an overproduction of the hormone prolactin, which can lead to mood changes. Clinical trials* have rated positively against similar trials using hormone treatment. It was most effective in the treatment of depression and mood changes, water retention and breast discomfort.

EPO is also prescribed as an effective treatment for mastalgia.

Conclusion

Evening Primrose Oil can be used in a dietary approach to the treatment of a number of medical conditions. It should be taken for at least 3 months on an initial trial basis.

http://www.GoodnessDirect.co.uk have a choice of products you can choose from: Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 500mg 90 Capsules, Natures Aid Oil of Evening Primrose 1000mg 90 capsules or Quest Evening Primrose Gammaoil 1000mg 30 capsules

* Trial reported by Britannia Ltd.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil has been used as a medicine for centuries although its clinical use did not begin until the mid 17th century when it was given to people suffering with bone disease and rheumatism. At that time no-one knew why it worked.

Research continued and cod liver oil was found to contain many nutrients that were not easily obtained from non-marine sources. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D and E and also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which have essential roles in the body’s metabolism.

In 1970, two Danish doctors discovered that Eskimos in Grenland had a low incidence of coronary heart disease, associated with eating large amounts of fatty fish and seafoods. Further tests showed that EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) is contained in far greater quantities in the blood lipids of Eskimos, as is DHA (docohexaenoic acid). This is needed in high proportions in the grey matter of the brain, the nerve tissue and the retina of the eye to ensure healthy functioning of these organs.

So perhaps the “old wive’s tale” of fish being good for the brain is not so far fetched!

Researchers at the University of London have shown that fish oils can lower the risk of heart disease and reduce cholesterol levels and it has also been indicated that EPA can help with arthritis and rheumatism.

A Dutch researcher carried out surveys in more than 16 different countries to measure fish intake relative to heart disease frequency. His results showed that the groups eating no fish have a 10 times greater risk of heart disease than groups like the Japanese or the Eskimos who eat a great deal of fish.

More importantly, it is also shown that eating a limited amount of fish reduces the risk significantly so that changing the diet from eating no fish to eating 50g a day will reduce the risk by half. (One tsp of cod liver oil is equivalent to 50g fish.)

There is also good news for those who have had heart trouble. A study carried out by the Medical Research Council gives direct evidence that increasing the fish oil intake can reduce the risk of death from heart disease where one heart attack has already been suffered. One group advised to take 6 cod liver oil capsules a day (or eat fatty fish at least twice a week) had a 35% better survival rate.

Could fish oils calm us all down?

The intriguing possibility that eating more fish or supplementing the diet with fish oil capsules could calm us down has been raised by research published in the Lancet.

The idea comes as a result of a study suggesting that people with a high level of a certain type of fat in their blood tend to be more aggressive. Researchers in Edinburgh took samples from 1,500 randomly selected middle aged men and women. These were then measured for the different types of fat and the subjects’ personality profiles examined, assessing them for factors such as hostility and the extent to which they looked down on, or tended to dominate, other people.

After taking into account factors such as smoking and drinking habits, it was found that those with the most aggressive attitudes had higher levels of the triglyceride type of fat in their blood. The connection with fish lies in the well-established fact that eating more of the oil found in fish lowers the level of triglyceride due to its Omega-3 polyunsaturates content.

“A reduction in aggressiveness may be one more of the factors contributing to the explanation of how eating more oil-rich fish reduces heart disease risk” comments Fish Foundation chief executive, Dr Ray Rice.

Daily Dose

During the period from 1930 to 1950, the Government provided cod liver oil through the NHS as a vitamin A and D supplement to ensure healthy growth and bone formation in children and it was not until 1971 that the free distribution of cod liver oil was dropped at health clinics because of decreased demand.

For many of us, the daily dose of cod liver oil is a never to be forgotten experience as it tastes so unpleasant. Cod liver oil remains the subject of very extensive research and the good news is that much as been done to make it far more palatable.

Who Should Take Fish Oil as a Supplement?

  • Those with arthritis or rheumatism
  • Those concerned with heart health
  • Those with dry skin and hai