The adrenal glands are walnut sized, when healthy, and sit above the kidneys.  That’s what their name means: “Ad” is Latin for above and “Renal” means relating to kidneys.  The main secretion of the adrenal glands is adrenaline, also known as epinephrine.  Adrenaline has an extremely short half-life, which means it dissipates quickly in the bloodstream, so we really can’t measure your levels of adrenaline.  However, the adrenals also secrete cortisol (from the outer layer, or cortex, of the glands) which has a more prolonged effect, and can be measured. Adrenaline is the “fight and flight” neurotransmitter and causes numerous physical responses such as narrowed peripheral blood vessels, shunting blood to the internal vessels, such as in the big leg muscles and the heart and away from the digestive organs.  An adrenaline rush might feel like a strong shot of caffeine, or the heart-twanging scare of a near-miss on a busy highway. Humans evolved, for many thousands of years, in an environment much less cozy than what many of us enjoy today.  We were built to outwit and kill larger...

If you are considering a 5 day “spring cleanse” here is a shopping list and recipes for 5 days of fresh juice — which, along with water, will be all you “eat” for those 5 wonderful days. If your bloodtype is O or B and you typically require at least 50 grams of protein daily for optimal wellbeing, you may consider adding home-made “bone broth” using an organic chicken carcass, celery, onions, garlic, ginger, etc. or a similar clear broth from simmering a fresh fish head.  For making juice from the fresh organic produce I like the good old Champion juicer, also the “Juiceman” juicer, but there are many good ones out there. Shopping list: 25 pound bag of #2 organic carrots (not the prettiest, but perfect for juicing) 10 pound of organic beets 10 packets of organic celery stalks 10 pounds of organic apples 5 pounds of organic pears 2 pineapples cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, ginger, garlic, lemons for juicing Day One: morning drink: 4 apples, 1 pear, a little basil and a little ginger noon and evening drinks:...

Would you benefit from cleansing? Yes, if you: Smoke Are regularly exposed to environmental toxins Drink less than a litre of water daily Drink soda pop, coffee or alcohol Eat processed foods such as white flour baked goods and candy Crave junk food Are tired, constipated, bloated and lack focus Have sticky or malodorous bowel movements Have pasty skin or dark circles under your eyes Have blood sugar problems Have unstable emotions Have unsatisfactory libido or sleep Are over or under-weight Use prescription or recreational drugs regularly If you peruse natural health news, you certainly have read the word “detox” lately.  You may have heard about how “body burden” of unnatural chemicals is higher than ever before. Industrial run-off into our rivers, pharmaceutical pollution flushed down toilets, burning fossil fuels belching into the air, fake food, plastic everywhere — all of this and more comprises an enormous burden for our internal self-cleansing systems. The amazing human body has several mechanisms by which to rid itself of non-nutrients which come in daily through our nose and mouth. We process food across...

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), particularly the seeds, has been used medicinally for over 2000 years.  Ancient writings recommend milk thistle not only for liver and gall bladder disorders, but for poisoning of all kinds including from toxic mushrooms and snakebites. The modern use of milk thistle extract began in 1949 when animal studies showed that it could protect the liver against carbon tetrachloride poisoning.  Since then over 100 clinical trials have been performed on this miraculous medicine and it is carried in the Emergency Department pharmacies of most major European hospitals.  Milk thistle has successfully saved lives by reversing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Amanita mushroom (one of the most deadly) poisoning. Milk thistle is thought to work in three main ways: first as an antioxidant, “quenching” free radicals created from poisoning or environmental pollution.  Folks living in a smoggy area are well advised to take 600-750 mg daily of standardized milk thistle.  The best quality milk thistle is standardized to contain 70% by weight of the major ingredient silybin.  The other mechanisms of action are by protecting the cell membranes (most...

Three recent clinical studies, two about cocaine addiction and one about compulsive gambling, examine the role of a simple amino acid in normalizing brain chemistry of those with addiction. Drug addiction and various forms of pathological gambling has widely ruined personal finances, family cohesiveness and health.  Relapse rates are extremely high.  These studies offer much hope for an inexpensive, non-toxic option for healing. N-acetylcysteine, a form of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine is a precursor to the brain neurotransmitter glutamate.  There is observational evidence that low levels of glutamate in the brain will increase compulsive and addictive behaviors and intensify cravings. Taking NAC by mouth has been shown to increase glutamate concentrations in the regions of the brain (the nucleus accumbens) which, when low in glutamate, promotes addictive behavior. In the first study, 15 volunteers with a history of cocaine addiction received either 600 mg of NAC or placebo every 12 hours for 2 days.  The test subjects taking NAC were significantly less likely to scan the internet for cocaine-related news than those on placebo, and the NAC group also...

There are many approaches to weight loss; it is a multi-million dollar industry in our land of plenty. The bottom line is to eat fewer calories than you expend daily, but not drastically fewer, until you’re happy with how you fit into your clothes, then resume a diet and exercise program that will maintain the desired weight. You can dress up weight loss with grapefruits, or cabbage stew, or Hoodia, but really, the only thing that works is to burn more calories than you’re eating. Regular, preferably daily, exercise is a must; and a brisk 45-minute walk is a terrific choice.Make sure to commit to a movement program that you enjoy.Exercise not only burns calories, but gets you away from the fridge, stimulates blood flow, improves tissue oxygenation and the overall sense of well-being, and promotes lymphatic drainage which will help rid the body of toxins.Dean Ornish, MD (new age cardiologist) says “Walk your dog every day, even if you don’t have one.”A basic comprehensive detox program is very helpful with weight loss.Drink plenty of fresh, pure water. At least...

Q: Why Do I Crave Foods That Are “Bad” For Me? A: This is a big question. Part of the answer involves understanding the relationship between your individual digestive system and the wide variety of food choices out there. Much of what passes for “food” has not even been grown in the ground. Start with this: eat real food. Eat food that HAS grown in the ground, optimally in certified organic soil, and choose food that grew there in the good earth not too long ago. Each person has a unique relationship with food depending on various factors. For example, family background. How was food presented to you as a child? Was candy given as a bribe or treat? Food choices would ideally also be predicated on blootype. Also, consider your caloric requirements: how much do you exercise, are you mostly sedentary during the day, is your day-to-day work highly mentally demanding? When you crave a certain food, and it’s a whole food (such as a juicy ripe peach) and when you eat that food and feel good and satisfied,...

In this land of plenty, a conservative estimate calls 4 out of 10 Americans “addicts.” Abused substances include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs and street drugs including pot. Addiction can serve us well once we recognize that substance abuse is a way to obscure honest, peaceful, self-discovery. Using, of any addictive substance, gives us the temporary illusion of control, excitement and perfection. In recovery we discover, often to our great relief, that we’re not perfect, that we need intimacy, and that integrity is more appealing than denial. The addict is self-obsessed; living for the next “fix.” The addict is crisis oriented; using panic as a way of feeling alive while avoiding meaningful contact with others. In recovery we let go of our need to control in favor of serenity and clarity.

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