Monday, 11 June 2007

Your Optimum Diet


It's easy to overlook the importance of physical conditioning, but it really is the foundation for everything else. If you're fit you have the capacity for more happiness - really, and don't forget the glowing complexion. 'We are what we repeatedly do' Aristotle said, and that's exercise in a nutshell. You build muscle, it's like memory made flesh.

The problem is many of us these days don't have jobs that require us to form peak physical fitness, so long as we can drag ourselves into the office and sit at a desk and manage to answer the telephone coherently, that's acceptable. It's sad beacuse as kids many of us had visions of being superheroes when we grew up, or Fire Fighters or something similarly heroic or admirable. Then we end up desk bound eight-ten hours a day, and don't get to even know what it might be like to be our most powerful selves. We settle uncomfortably for less.So being fit is the first thing I put in my First Aid kit.

You know for many years I've practised massage and other therapeutic techniques, there's nothing worse than massaging the strain out of someone's back for an hour or two and then have them come back because they've put the strain right back again - week after week. It's not just strain, it might be smoke - believe me you know if someone smokes or not when you give them a massage - it just leaches out of their pores. All of us walk a tight rope in our lives, it goes something like this:-

I really look after my body__________ I'm really self destructive
I love and accept myself ____________________I hate myself

At some time in our lives, we all of us will have tested both extremes, or hovered at the middle. I've used a gentle approach to heading to the best extreme where I look after myself properly. I try and complement the things that I know are bad for me with something that I know is good. Then slowly where I may have only had a bad habit, the good effects of a good habit make themselves felt and over time I don't want the thing that was bad for me anymore. It doesn't mean I do any crash diets, or failed fitness fanaticism weeks. I don't fall over, beating myself up when I'm not 100% angelic either.

So, my First Aid Kit has an ounce of common sense in it. Unless you're brought up by family who are already fitness fanatics you have probably already inherited self-destructive tendencies without even knowing they're bad.

In Britain the popular diet has been something that evolved during the industrial revolution; when flour, fat and sugar came along - polished by the second world war by rationing and rounded off nicely by the arrival of supermarkets. Which meant that our diet is stodge, with stodge on top, followed by stodge. The original diet that mankind was meant to eat is nothing like the one we are accustomed to; we are so alienated form our natural diet that our body's get over acid, dehydrated and we suffer from all sorts of complaints into our usually less than old age, becuase our diets and our attitudes toward eating, kill us off early. Even our pets are suffering from our dietary ignorance, dogs aren't meant to eat processed grains - when did they ever grow a field of wheat, harvest it and grind it into flour to make 'dog biscuits'?
The same applies to us, our bodies haven't evolved as fast as our manner of mechanically processing foods - we're still attuned and built for a seasonal hunter gatherer diet. If we eat such a diet, the stress leaves our bodies along with the fatigue, headaches, constipation, hair loss (seriously), and all the other complaints a lot of us just 'put up' with.

So now I'm going to introduce to a few foods that our ancestors would have regularly eaten.They would have eaten fresh seasonal greens, up to 70% of their diets. That's a massive difference in comparison to what we eat, most of the time there's a pile of potatoes/pasta, a pile of meat (sometimes but not enough times fish) and veg/salad on the side. Well veg/salad shouldn't be 'on the side' - it should be right in the middle along with a pile of fresh herbs'.

People used to eat forty to seventy differnt kinds of 'herb' in their 'sallets' or salads. Including:-Dandelion, lemon balm, mint, lavender, hyssop, feverfew, nettles, marigold, plaintain, hawthorn leaves, blackberry(bramble) leaves, beech leaves, fennel, chickweed, chamomile, borage, ramsons (wild garlic), Linden Flowers, Burdock, Marshmallow, Meadowsweet, Wild Marjoram/oregano, Cleavers, Rose, Red Clover, Sage, Thyme, Yarrow, Yellow Dock root, Wild Lettuce.

I've purposely picked things that we don't have in our diets that people would have once eaten 'regularly'; and this is what they're good for:-

Dandelion - (Use root, stem leaves and flowers) Liver tonic, promotes bile flow, diuretic ( make syou pee ), mildly laxative, antirheumatic, purifies blood, clears skin disorders

Lemon Balm - (Leaves and flowering tops) Antioxidant, antihistamine, carminative, antispasmodic, antiviral, anti-bacterial, nerve relaxant, anti-depressive, stimulates bile flow, lowers blood pressure, use for anxiety, depression, stress, flatulence, indigestion, insomnia.

Mint - (Leaves and flowers) Antispasmodic, digestive tonic, prevents vomiting, carminative, peripheral vasodilator, promotes sweating, promotes bile flow, analgesic, stimulates liver and gall baldder function. Used in ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, travel sickness, fevers, colds, flu, and to improve the appetite

Lavender - (Leaves, stems and flowering tops) Relaxant, antispasmodic, anti-depressive, nervous system tonic, circulatory stimulant, anti bacterial, antiseptic, carminative, promotes bile flow. Used for colic, depression, exhaustion, indigestion, insomnia, stress, tension headaches.
Hyssop - (Leaves and flowering tops) Antispasmodic, expectorant, promotes sweating, mild pain killer, diuretic, antiviral against herpes simplex, reduces phlegm, soothing digestive. uses for asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs, influenza, fevers, flatulence.

Feverfew- (Leaves) Anti-inflammatory, dilates blood vessels, digestive. Uses for preventing migraine headaches, inflammatory arthritis. Avoid use inpregnancy as it stimulates the uterus. Fresh leaves may cause mouth ulcers in sensitive people.

Stinging Nettle -(Leaves, flowers and root) Astringent, blood tonic, circulatory, stimulant, diuretic, eliminates uric acid fromthe body, nutrient (high in iron, chlorophyll andVit C), promotes milk in breast feeding, (root is astringent and diuretic). Uses - a general, everyday nourishing tonic, for iron deficiency, aneamia, gout, kidney stones, as a blood tonic in pregnancy, diabetes, poor circulation and chronic skin disease. The root has a strong action on the urinary system and is useful for water retention, kidney stones, urinary tract infection, cystitis/prostate inflammation, and swelling.

Marigold/calendula - (Petals) Astringent, antiseptic, antifungal, heals wounds, menstrual regulator, stimulates bile production. Acts as an aid to digestion and as a general tonic, eases menopausal problems, period pain, gastritis, peptic ulcer, gall bladder problems, indigestiona and fungal infections

Plaintain - (Leaves) Anti -bacterial, soothingexpectorant, provides mucilage rich protection to digestive tract, nutrient, antihistamine, astringent. Uses for coughs, bronchitis, allergies, IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gastric ulcer.Hawthorn (Leaves and flowering tops, fruits) heart Tonic, improves circulatory function. Used for angina, hypertension, poor circulation. Consult Doctor if using other heart medicine before using this.

Beech (Young Leaves (I eat a lot and they're fine and tasty), and Seeds (not eaten in large quantities) The bark is antacid, antipyretic, antiseptic, antitussive, expectorant, odontalgic. A tar (or creosote), obtained by dry distillation of the branches, is stimulating and antiseptic. It is used internally as a stimulating expectorant and externally as an application to various skin diseases. The pure creosote has been used to give relief from toothache, but it should not be used without expert guidance. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Intolerance', 'Criticism' and 'Passing judgements'.

Fennel-(Leaves and seeds) soothing diuretic, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, soothing digestive, promotes milk flow, mild expectorant. used for indigestion, flatulence, increasing milk in breastfeeding, relieves colic in babies when taken by nursing mother, used directly for colic, coughs. Avoid high doses in preegnancy because it is a uterine stimulant

Chickweed - (Leaves, flowers, roots and stems) Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, astringent, heals wounds, demulcent. Uses for rheumatism, constipation, mucus in the lungs, cpoughs, colds, tumors and blood disorders. Externally for eczema, psoriasis and other skiin conditions (along with Marigold/calendula)

Ramsons/wild garlic - (leaves and bulbs) Anti microbial, antibiotic, cardio-protective, hypotensive, anti-carciongen, promotes sweating, reduces blood pressure, anti coagulant, lowers blood cholestrol levels, lowers blood sugar levels, expectorant, digestive stimulant, diuretic, anti-histaminic, antiparasitic. Uses - garlic inhibits cancer cell formation and proliferation. It lowers serum total and low density lipoprotein cholestorol in humans and reduces the tendency of the blood to clot, reducing the risk of blocked arteries and heart disease. An antioxidant and immuno boster. Strongly antibiotic and anti inflammatory. a ghood wound medicine. it protects organs from damage induced by synthetic drugs, chemical pollutants and the effects of radiation.

Borage - (leaves and flowering tops) Adrenal gland restorative, expectorant, increases milk in breast feeding. Uses for coughs, depression, streess, to strengthen adrenal glands after medical treatment with corticosteroid drugs.

Burdock-(Leaves, Stalk, Seeds, Root)- Leaf is Mild Laxative, diuretic. Root is mild laxative, antirheumatic, antibiotic, diaphoretic, diuretic, alterative, a skin and blood cleanser, burdock stimulates urine flow and sweating. root and seed s are soothing, demulcent, tonic, used to soothe kidneys and relieve lymphatics. It is a cleansing, eliminative remedy, helping to remove toxins that cause skinproblems like eczema, acne, rashes and boils, digestiove sluggishness, arthritic pains, supports liver, lymphatic glands and digestive system. The seeds prevent fever, are anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial, reduce blood sugar levels, are a soothing demulcent tonic used to sooth ekidneys and lymphatics.

Linden Flowers - (Flowering tops) antispasmodic, promotes sweating, diuretic, loweers blood pressure, relaxant and mild astringent. relaxing for stress, anxiety, tension headache, insomnia. relaxes and nourishes blood vessels, useful for high blood pressure and heart disease. it promotes sweating and is useful in colds flus and fevers

Marshmallow - (Flowers, leaves and root) Root - Soothes mucous membranes, diuretic, expectorant, Leaf - soothes, cleanses, heals external wounds, Flower - soothes mucous membranes, diuretic, expectorant, soothes, cleanses and heals external wounds, expectorant. Uses for ssothing mucil;age of digestive tract, the kidneys and the bladder, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, urethritis, hiatus, hernia, cystitis, diarrhea and gastritis. the leaf is used for bronchial inflammations, and forulcerative conditions. The flower is used in a syrup as an expectorant for coughs.

Meadowsweet - (Aerial parts) Anatcid, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, astringent, antirheumatic, diuretic, liver supportive, promotes sweating, used for rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, peptic ulcer, hyperacidity, gastric reflux, for certain types of diarrhea. It protects mucous membranes of the digestive tract and does not produce the stomach bleeding side effect that is caused by long use of aspirin

Goosegrass/Cleavers-The tender young shoot tips - raw or cooked as a pot-herb. A rather bitter flavour that some people find unpalatable, they are best used in the spring. They make a useful addition to vegetable soups. It is said that using this plant as a vegetable has a slimming effect on the body The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. One of the best substitutes, it merely needs to be dried and lightly roasted and has much the flavour of coffee. A decoction of the whole dried plant gives a drink equal to tea. Uses - Alterative; Antiphlogistic; Aperient; Astringent; Cancer; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Skin; Tonic; Vulnerary.Goosegrass has a long history of domestic medicinal use and is also used widely by modern herbalists. A valuable diuretic, it is often taken to treat skin problems such as seborrhoea, eczema and psoriasis, and as a general detoxifying agent in serious illnesses such as cancer. The whole plant, excluding the root, is alterative, antiphlogistic, aperient, astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, tonic and vulnerary. It is harvested in May and June as it comes into flower and can be used fresh or dried for later use. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of a wide range of ailments, including as a poultice for wounds, ulcers and many other skin problems, and as a decoction for insomnia and cases where a strong diuretic is beneficial. It has been shown of benefit in the treatment of glandular fever, ME, tonsillitis, hepatitis, cystitis etc. The plant is often used as part of a spring tonic drink with other herbs. A tea made from the plant has traditionally been used internally and externally in the treatment of cancer. One report says that it is better to use a juice of the plant rather than a tea. The effectiveness of this treatment has never been proved or disproved. A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry] A homeopathic remedy has been made from the plant.

Rose - (petals and rosehips) to come
Red cloverYarrowYellow dockWild Lettuce


I am going to keep adding to this list as I come across information that is relevant and useful. As you can see many of these herbs, plants and trees have solutions for illnesses that are prevelant in society today including - digestive problems, arthritis, cancer, lymphatic disease, skin and lung problems. Note - There are also certain herbal combinations that are being found to help/eliminate symptoms from Cancer, Diabetes and M.S (To Come - see articles on Essiac/Caisse Tea for cancer and Diabetes, histamine patch treatment for M.S, Dandelion Root tea and diet for Hepatitis C Cure) There is a very effective herbal treatment for AIDS presently being used on a small scale in Africa.

Where can you find them? If you just head out your door to the countryside and find a hedgerow - you'll find them (please see my article on Identifying Plants which has advice on how not to poison yourself accidentally). A lot of these food were well known by country people, my nan called Hawthorn leaves 'bread and cheese' because when she was little, and they only had a bit of bread and dripping for their lunch, they used to pick the leaves to supplement their meal. She didn't know what they were good for, though in villages of the past a lot of these remedies were popular knowlege which they should be today.

I resourced this list largely from 'The Juicing Bible' by Pat Crocker and Susan Eagles and the www.pfaf.org site. Both of these I suggest as reading resources for the Bushcraft and Positive Impact Living Life Skills Courses.

PROJECT
There's also a Project for you to do and that is find out what the medicinal effects are of your kitchen herb and spice rack, like in the following list:-Basil, Cayenne, Thyme, Mint, Cardomom, Alfalfa, Dill, Ginger, Fenugreek,Garlic, Licorice, Nutmeg, Parsley, Sage, Turmeric, Marjoram/oregano
Herbs are very easy to grow. You can grow basil, parsley, coriander indoors in a tub by your kitchen window and pick them to add them fresh to your meals. They are like fresh vitamin/mineral supplements. Don't forget that the minerals in the plants you grow reflect the minerals that exist in the soil you grow them in. Many of us suffer mineral deficiencies because our diet relys heavily on food that is grown in deficient soils - these deficiencies can manifest as illness in odd and sometimes hard to diagnose ways. I have met many people who have recovered from a nagging problem simply because they have switched to organic food - organic farmers spend a lot of effort building a healthy soil base for their plants.

Also find out the benefits of some of your basic food staples like Oats, Lentils and vegatables etc. I suggest also that you keep a little book with all of these in, to pass on through your family. Your own P.I.L.L.S pages. Like mine has how to build a still and make fruit/herb wines and beers like blackberry wine, elderberry wine, nettle beer!

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tags - depression, headches, flu coughs colds, treatment, eczema, asthma, cures, cancer, anti-cancer, M.E, M.S, treatment, C.F.S, chronic fatigue, diabetes, alternative remedies, wild food, raw food, free food, free medicine, illness, health, migraines, tension headaches, fatigue, moods, original diet, man's natural diet, hunter gatherer diet, bushcraft, survival food, tucker, postive food, chronic illness, healing diet, Crohn's Disease, natural anti-depressant, anti-histamine, liver, bronchitis, hypertension, anxiety, rheumatism, antifungal treatment, remedy, solution, help,

1 comment:

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