The Power of Positive Thinking – Revisited

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Health | Posted on 19-12-2016

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I had this week’s article already planned out until I got an email from one of the readers about how they were thinking that the idea of “mind over matter” and “positive thinking” were very nice and all, but she really couldn’t imagine being able to apply such concepts realistically in her life.  She stated that she had been feeling depressed for some time and that she really was pretty much at the end of her rope and didn’t know what to do. When I read this letter I felt sad for her, that she has been and still is suffering so much from different problems, but I also felt glad in a way, because she had connected with the articles about mind over matter and positive thinking in the first place, which means she is already halfway there. I’m sure she doesn’t even know it yet, but indeed it is true. Perhaps since she wrote the email she has progressed even further, and gone on to apply one or two of the positive thinking concepts in her own life. It doesn’t really take much to be able to make this way your own. In fact it is quite simple indeed. It just sounds and feels difficult for some because they are so far away from doing that sort of thing that it seems totally alien to them. Really, every single person has it in them to act and react in just the way that I have been describing throughout this series. It just takes a little effort.  Isn’t it worth it? I think it is!

Now, getting back to our mission, remember, we are changing the world one mind at a time.  So you begin with yourself, and then through you the rest of the world will change. If you don’t believe me, just try it. But, remember, it is important to think positively about this, and to know for certain that indeed one single person can be the impetus for changing things in the entire world. What do you think about people like Moses, Jesus, and other prophets? Didn’t they change the world? What do you think about people like Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and all the other people who have done great good? Haven’t they made an impact on the entire world? They have! So, who says that you can’t do something for the world too?

Have you ever heard of the phrase “pay it forward”? This is a concept that began when a young, fictional boy in a story started what has become a worldwide movement.  It means that you do a good deed for three different people. When they ask how they can pay you back, you simply say, don’t pay it back, you pay it forward by helping three more people. Thus, the initial three people helped would ideally go and help three more each, and the “helping” movement would spread out so far that it would include thousands, if not millions of people. That was what the story book boy had in mind. But, as life imitates art, a real-life movement has been initiated on behalf of the concept of paying it forward. The great thing is that the idea of paying it forward doesn’t have to mean that the good deed is something difficult, or something expensive, or even something time consuming.  It can be as simple as a smile (although we should be giving those on a very regular basis). It can be helping someone carry their bags, or helping an elderly person cross the street, giving a young person important advice in a nice, caring way, giving money to a total stranger who looks like he (or she) might be hungry, giving someone a warm coat to wear on a cold day, giving someone a bottle of water (particularly here in Kuwait where the summers are scorching hot at up to 50 plus degrees centigrade), or a cold drink, some clean food, etc. Imagine how you would feel if your job was to clean the streets in the hot summer sun, and you were required to walk along the streets from the morning until the afternoon or God knows when, in order to pick up the papers and cans that some inconsiderate people threw out their window. You probably wouldn’t feel good at all. So, what can you do to “pay it forward”?

Well, first of all, each and every one of us needs to be extremely thankful that the person doing that job isn’t us. Then, we must think of nice ways to help these destitute people out. You know they are poor, live in very difficult conditions, and make practically nothing to send home to their families.  So, why don’t we get them food that they can eat while they are outside, nice cold bottles of water, and even clothing, rather than give the clothing to the charity box. We can give them money as well, if we like, why not? In fact there is practically no end to what we can do for the street workers, as well as the construction workers, the road workers, and more. Also, no matter how small your income is, try to make sure that somehow, someway you are giving even the smallest smidgeon of it to the poor. No matter how small your salary seems to be, you can be sure of two things: that there are other people who make less than you do; and that you are a millionaire compared to some. If you keep that in mind, and also, at the same time, always remember to give a little bit to charity, you will find that your own wealth starts increasing and as long as you don’t count it all the time (except to make sure that the bank isn’t stealing it) will continue to do so.

I’m sure some people are reading this thinking what?” “What does giving in charity and not counting my money have to do with my anything???” “If I don’t count it I won’t know what I have!!!I” Well I will tell you what I like to do. I like to just ignore my money and leave it, give as generously as I can, and I always find myself with more money than I thought I had. Sometimes it’s less or more, but that’s alright. You see, it doesn’t really matter what the quantity is, because what is important is that you give something, no matter how small it seems. One of my favorite good deeds is to NOT throw papers and other trash in the street, but to carry them around with me, until I am able to find a proper trash receptacle. Another thing we can do is to pick up papers, cans, and things that other people throw down (if it is feasible) and throw them into proper trash receptacles. Just make sure that you are smiling when you do it.

  

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com




Did you know that Bay Leaves, Marjoram, and Oregano Are GREAT for Your Health?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health | Posted on 05-07-2016

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Italian Herbs

If you like Italian food, you’re going to love what I have to say today! We are going to talk about three of the most important green herbs in Italian food. For those who cook Italian you will definitely know what I’m talking about, and for those of you who don’t know how, never fear, the Italian cooking wonder is here!

Italian Herbs Organic Dried

The three most important herbs in Italian cooking are bay leaves, marjoram, and oregano. (Basil is also important but we have already sung its wonders in a previous article).

Scientifically bay leave (also known as bay laurel) is called Laurus Nobilis, and is an evergreen herb, mostly grown in Asia and the Mediterranean. This herb has been used since ancient times, and was considered the herb of champions. Haven’t you ever heard of “resting on your laurels”? (That is when people who are winners get lazy). In ancient Greece and Rome, poets and others were crowned with wreathes of bay laurel, in honor. Also, at that time and after people believed that bay leaves could protect people against evil and disease. Although this herb is mostly used in cooking (and is imperative for a great Italian tomato sauce, but only for flavoring, not for eating), there are plenty of medicinal uses as well. Bay is good for muscle aches and pains, rheumatism and arthritis (for which it is apparently like a miracle), colds, bronchitis, and the flu, stomach ailments (also gassiness), and skin problems (like rashes). It is said that pregnant women shouldn’t take bay leaf though, because it is very astringent and might cause contractions. It is also good to help bring down a fever, and is supposed be great for diabetics, being particularly helpful in metabolizing sugar.

Bay leaves organic

In order to treat with bay leaves, you can make a nice light tea with the leaves, or make an infusion and use it for hot compresses on achy muscles and joints. It can be used as a poultice on the chest (for flu, bronchitis, etc), and directly on bruises, sprains, etc. And low and behold, putting a few in your drawers or closets will help to keep the moths and other bugs out.

organic oregano

Now, the deal with oregano and marjoram is that they are from the same “Origanum” family, and are basically the same. They are both native to the Mediterranean areas, although they are also found in the Sham areas (like Syria, for example), as well as practically everywhere else around the world now as well. Oregano is stronger than marjoram, which has a very mild, sweet flavor. Interestingly, all marjorams are oreganos, but not all oreganos are marjorams. Go figure! Oregano is known scientifically as Origanum vulgare (which is also known as wild marjoram), while marjoram is known as Origanum majorana L. What’s even stranger is that they act the same in some ways, and very differently in others. Oregano is considered a winter herb, while marjoram is considered a summer one. It would be ideal to use marjoram fresh, but it isn’t available in Kuwait like that unless you grow it yourself, so dried will probably have to do. You can usually find it in the grocer’s herb and spice section of any larger supermarket. Oregano can also be used fresh, but here in Kuwait is probably only available in dried form. Don’t confuse it with some kinds of what they call “zaatar” here in Kuwait. That’s not really what it is.

organic marjoram

These herbs are also known to be good for diabetes, and they are both antibacterial and antifungal. There is nothing better for an upset stomach than marjoram, and it is also amazing for sore throats. It is one of the most soothing herbs I have ever seen, and can reduce swelling practically immediately. These herbs have also been used since ancient times, and again, the ancient Greeks and Romans used to love both.

Marjoram and oregano are both great for stomach problems, colic, and many people say headaches. They are also good for colds, flu, fever, and cough. You can also take it for relaxing because it is so soothing that many use it as a sedative. People who have menstrual problems use marjoram and oregano to soothe the cramping. If you suffer from arthritis or rheumatism, you will also find relief in these two herbs, and you can both drink it and use it externally. Both oregano and marjoram are great for getting rid of swelling and can also be taken both internally and used externally for that purpose. If you suffer from edema, then a nice light tea will help if you drink it on a regular basis, and swelling due to injury will be greatly relieved with both of these herbs. You can use an infusion with compresses for relief.

Like bay, both oregano and marjoram are supposed to be very helpful for those who suffer with diabetes, and they are said to help the body metabolize the sugar taking the place of the missing insulin. Marjoram is good for high blood pressure and more. They both are also great for liver problems and gall stones.

Oregano has been found to be so high in antioxidants that it leaves even garlic in the rear, and if you’ve been watching Oprah in the past year, you will have seen a program talking about super foods, and how great blueberries, etc, are. Well, I have news for you! Statistically, oregano beats them all. Listen to this. From an antioxidant point of view, according to an Internet source, oregano has: 4 times more than blueberries, 12 times more than oranges, 30 times more than potatoes, and 42 times more than apples! Now that is incredible!

Organic italian seasoning

But, don’t overdo any of these herbs, because they can be harmful. Always remember, in herbal medicine, less is more. Go light on any herb you take and you will never have a problem. When you make any herbal tea, always make your tea as light as possible. You want a light green color, nothing dark! Keep that as a rule, and you will never go wrong.

 

email me: mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com




Dr. Mercola on Intermittent Fasting

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 27-06-2016

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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this infographic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/intermittent-fasting.jpg" alt="Intermittent Fasting" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">"<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/intermittent-fasting.htm">Intermittent fasting</a>" is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body's ability to burn fat. Embed this infographic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>




Dandelion: A Real Weed Herb

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 25-04-2016

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dandelion 2

We have been talking about green herbs for a few weeks now, and it occurred to me that one of the best herbs anywhere is one that you don’t even have to buy! All you have to do is go out to your lawn, garden, front doorstep in order to find it, and best of all it’s FREE!

The herb I’m talking about is actually considered a weed by most, but I’m not one of those people who think so. I happen to think that this herb is delicious, beneficial, beautiful, and, well, annoying if you have a lawn, but if you take it in the right perspective then you shouldn’t have a problem with it. Look on the bright side. Instead of thinking how it is taking over and blocking out your beautiful grass, think about how its flowers are so nice, its baby leaves are so delicious and make the most wonderful salads, and how its leaves are so good for your health too. OK, now either you know for sure what I’m talking about or you are really wondering what it is, so I’ll unveil the not-so-secret secret. DANDELION!!! (Yes, I’m talking about those pesky weeds that take over lawns and provide children with hours of entertainment blowing the flyaway spores off of the flower stalks after they dry up).

dandelion root

Scientifically dandelion is called Taraxacum officinale, and is found almost every place in the world growing wild. I’ve never heard of anyone cultivating it, but it’s possible that people do, since it is sold quite extensively dried for medicinal purposes. It is found in Kuwait around most homes and in the desert, but it is a desert version of the plant that is found here, which isn’t quite as succulent as the one found in more temperate locations, but is still good from a medicinal point of view.

Fresh baby dandelion leaves are nice in salads and if you don’t believe me, just ask anyone from many European countries. My father (he was born in Italy) is the one who turned me on to this delicious delicacy when I was a little kid, and I’ve been interested in dandelions ever since. I have always thought that a lawn covered in dandelions was the most beautiful sight, but I quickly learned that not everyone had the same penchant for dandelions, and most people went out of their way to get rid of dandelions, even resorting to poison! But, not me! I love the leaves, the beautiful yellow puffy flowers, the dried up puffballs, and even the milky centers of the stems that stain whatever they come into contact with. I just love dandelions.

dandelion leaf organic

The good news is that dandelions aren’t just another pretty weed. They are actually an extremely good medicinal herb that can be used for practically every ailment that you can think of. Different parts of the dandelion can be used as well, including the leaf and the root. You can use them fresh or dried, and either one is fine. So, if you absolutely can’t find any dandelions growing in your area, then you can use dried as a last resort.

Dandelion can be used for so many different problems that you will hardly know where to begin. You can use it when you have an upset stomach or any kind of digestive problem. If you are suffering from some kind of urinary tract problem or are feeling swollen or bloated, dandelion is a fantastic diuretic (and it’s loaded with potassium, which is what chemical diuretics deplete from your body). It is also good for people suffering from high blood pressure for the same reason. Dandelion also has a good helping of Vitamin C, and also B, A, and D, along with calcium and iron as well. It is great for helping liver problems, particularly liver congestion (and is even good in cases of cirrhosis of the liver), and is even said to get rid of gallstones and kidney stones too. It is also good for helping with any kind of toxic buildup in the body, so people with allergies and food sensitivities would do well to hook themselves up with some dandelion. It is well known as a blood cleanser and is great for any kind of detoxification program that you might be interested in. It is a blood builder as well, so if you or someone you know has anemia, tell them right away, and maybe your problem will disappear. I have heard that the milky substance inside the stem is also great getting rid of things like warts, but I haven’t tried that one myself yet. Dandelion is great for helping to reduce cholesterol buildup in the blood, and is an overall super-tonic for practically everything that ails you.

There are people who swear by dandelion for rheumatism and arthritis pain, drinking a light tea of dandelion leaf for help. For this purpose it can be taken either internally or externally, depending on what your problem is. Lots of medicinal herbalists say that dandelion helps to increase fat metabolism, therefore it is good for losing weight, and along with that is its effects on diabetes. Many claim that it even helps with cancer! I haven’t seen it working myself, but people swear by it!

All in all, for such a common place herb you would hardly even realize how great it is. But great it IS! So, the next time you see a dandelion, you can look at it in a new light.

Mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com




The Natural Health Benefits of Basil Herb

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 15-03-2016

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basil herb

This week we will carry on with our look at fresh herbs as medicines and health foods. There are so many choices out there and they are all so healthy and good for us! Today’s fresh herb is basil. Fresh basil is used around the world in countless delicious dishes. Italian food is a favorite, and sprigs of fresh basil in a sauce or on pizza are a delightful touch to a delicious dish. But, I’ll bet you didn’t realize how wonderful basil was for your health too!

Scientifically basil is called “Ocymum basilicum” (sweet basil), and also ” Ocymum minimum” (basil bush). Basil can actually be found growing all over the place here in Kuwait, and is next to homes and buildings, along the street sides, in public parks, and just everywhere! You can also buy fresh basil herb in most supermarkets in the green grocer section. If all else fails though, you can use it dried as well. In Arabic it is called “rayhaan”. While basil belongs to the mint family of plants, it doesn’t really resemble mint in taste or aroma.

basil herb organic

Basil is one of the most versatile and beneficial fresh herbs. It has a wonderful strong aromatic aroma that is sweet yet powerful. If you are looking for it on the streets, it is a leafy bushy plant with lovely purple flowers growing up in spikes. Basil is practically indestructible once it gets started, and that is probably how it is able to grow all over the dry desert lands of Kuwait. Here in Kuwait the basil plant that you find outside in the “wild” is a bushy, woody type, but the leaves are the same, and extremely loaded with the essential oil that is what makes basil medicinally beneficial. It is the leaves of this plant that are used medicinally, but you might like putting the beautiful purple aromatic flowers in a vase, giving your home an aromatic spicy smell (and having the basil aroma flowing around in your home will keep it a healthier place as well).

basil seeds organic

If you suffer from digestive problems, particularly upset stomach, vomiting, nausea, or flatulence, just drink a light basil tea or eat a few basil leaves. You can make basil into a lovely tea by infusing it with plain steaming hot water for a few minutes. You can also just pop a few leaves right into your mouth! It is also great for aches and pains, and can be applied directly onto a painful area.

I will never forget the time a friend and I were preparing my first herbal clinic in Kuwait for opening back in 1994 and I was standing on a ladder, painting herbal names around the ceiling. I was busy painting and I reached back with my arm, when suddenly I felt a horrible searing pain! Without realizing it I had put my arm into the path of the ceiling fan, which hit my forearm with force. The pain was excruciating and I’m blessed that my arm wasn’t cut off. The only thing that we had around was some fresh basil that was growing coincidentally outside the front door of the place. My friend Renee, who was also into herbs, rushed out and picked some basil, crushed it, and immediately applied it to my arm, which, by then, I was incapable of moving and which was becoming blacker by the minute. The pain immediately eased when the basil was applied, and we wrapped it in gauze to keep the basil on, and continued working. Thanks to good ole’ basil, the day was saved, the basil helped the bruise to resolve itself in record time, and I was none the worse for wear!

basil essential oil

Basil is also great for respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, or any other phlegmy ailment that causes coughing, because it helps to get the phlegm out of the system. If you have a fever basil can be applied directly to the head or body, in the form of hot packs (make an infusion and soak cloth or towels in it). It is also good for colds and the flu, and is noted to be great for earaches. Basil is know to strengthen the immune system, so if you are one of those people who seem to be sick all the time, basil might be just what you need!

Some people swear that basil can get rid of any migraine, and since most migraines are sinus related, that makes perfect sense. If you are having trouble with your menstrual cycle, basil can help to regulate it for you, and if your problem is that your cycle is too light it will solve that problem for you as well. If you suffer from skin problems, basil might be just what you are looking for. It is said to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, thus, people who are suffering from acne and other inflammatory ailments can try applying fresh basil directly to the places where they have problems, and it should help.

The Chinese use basil for many purposes as well, including bladder and urinary problems, and blood diseases. Some people throughout history have even used basil to cure cancerous tumors! In Ayurvedic medicine basil is called “tulsi”, and is used widely in India for many purposes similar to how basil is used medicinally in the West and other Eastern lands.

For those who suffer from nervous disorders, such as anxiety attacks, basil is going to be your friend. Keep some with you wherever you go, if possible, and whenever you feel an anxiety attack coming on, just take out your sprig of basil leaves or basil flowers and take a big whiff of it. Inhale as deeply as you can, and you should feel better right away. Basil is relaxing and calming, and is certain to help you to forget why you were anxious in the first place! If you are prone to feeling tired, basil is also your friend. Again, just keep a sprig or two of basil with you and deeply inhale the refreshing aroma. The essential oils that are abundant in the fresh basil herb are great for reviving you and helping you to feel refreshed and revived. This can be particularly useful at the end of a long work day, when you are feeling like you can’t concentrate any longer. Just breathe in the lovely aroma of the basil and you will be able to continue with your day!

So, if you are suffering from any of the ailments we just talked about, carry a few sprigs of basil around with you and use them frequently! You will be glad that you did!

 

Email me: mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com

 



Mint and its Benefits

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 25-02-2016

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mint herb

 

There are all kinds of fantastic beneficial herbs that you can find right in the vegetable section of your supermarket. In fact, the herb that we are going to talk about this week can be easily found right in your backyard! Mint grows practically everywhere, and is easy to cultivate and harvest. It smells wonderfully fresh, and tastes delicious as well. Mint is also widely available all over the world, particularly here and in this vicinity, with mint being used in practically everything! The great thing about mint is that it tastes so good too!

mint essential oil

The history of the use of mint as a medicine is practically as old as mint itself, and there are records of its use in ancient China (and other countries in the Far East), India, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. It is truly an international herb.

spearmint herb cut

You can get mint as an herbal medicine, in many different forms, including as a fresh herb, dried herb, essential oil, herbal oil, and even in capsule form (for taking as a digestive medicine). But, if you want it in its most natural form, then fresh mint is the route for you. And, what’s even better is that mint is so well tested that some companies are even selling it as a non-prescription medicine, but who needs that when you can have the fresh version and it’s as inexpensive as can be!

peppermint herb cut

There are so many ways that you can have mint as well. If you like warm drinks, then a lovely mint infusion will be the way. If you prefer chewing on green leafy things, then fresh, either plain, in a salad or sandwich is what you need. And, dried is another option that keeps things fresh, practically indefinitely.

organic herb seeds

And mint is great for so many different medical ailments that some people call it a panacea. It is particularly well known for its use as a digestive aid. If you suffer from intestinal gasses, heartburn, flatulence, digestive upset, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), nausea, and even intestinal cramping, then mint is just what the doctor ordered (although it is highly unlikely that any conventional doctor that you know will prescribe it)! Many people swear by its use for diarrhea too. Mint is also great for hemorrhoids, shrinking the swollen veins (you can use fresh mint, or mint juice here, but I find that the essential oil is particularly helpful in this case, particularly if mixed with calendula oil and other essential oils).

china tea cup set

Mint is great for problems in the respiratory system, being a great help with people suffering with phlegm problems such as bronchitis and asthma, breathing-type allergies, and is even used historically for helping with tuberculosis. Mint is good for those suffering with the flu, but try to catch it early before it takes hold. Mint is also great for feverish conditions as well as any type of inflammation.

 

organic mint tea

Mint infusion (made with hot water and some mint leaves) is great for calming down raw nerves and anxiety. In this same capacity, it is well known for helping to get rid of heart palpitations, which is particularly helpful for nervous, anxious people. Mint is also great as an antibacterial and antifungal. It is great for muscle aches and pains, and is also useful for cleansing the liver. It even helps to get rid of nasty urinary system gravel that can be one of the most painful ailments of all.

mango and mint cookbook

In addition to being a great medicament, mint is also loaded with important nutrients as a food too. It contains a certain amount of protein, calcium, iron (and other minerals), and a host of vitamins, including a healthy dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E, along with other things like B vitamins. It also contains chlorophyll, which is nature’s antibiotic and freshener. So, mint is clearly great for your health from a variety of standpoints. And it’s much better to get your vitamins and minerals naturally from whole fresh foods than it is to get them from a tablet. The same goes for medicine. Isn’t it better to take your medicine in the form of fresh whole food, rather than a tablet or capsule? I know that I am certainly going to choose natural food over pills any day!

instant pot

For those people who suffer from skin ailments, such as acne, mint is just what you need. You can put mint juice directly on your skin, in order to help kill the excess bacteria that are plaguing you, and it will also help clear up eczema. If you get a bug bite or sting, then applying mint directly over the area will help reduce the burn, sting or itching.

simply mint gum

Mint has been used in candies and chewing gum for ages, and now you will know one of the reasons for that. Mint actually helps get rid of the harmful bacteria that flourish in our mouths, particularly in the presence of food or during the night when we sleep and our mouths are not active in producing saliva (which helps to clean our mouths). It is great for the tongue as well as the mouth, stamping out the harmful bacteria that grow and helping to keep our mouths feeling and smelling minty fresh and clean. (Now you know where all those toothpaste commercials came from).

Another great thing about mint is that it is safe and beneficial for babies as well as adults, and thus is one of the most useful medicinal foods anywhere. Then you have the added benefit of its being available practically everywhere, and you have perfection. So, get out to your supermarket, green grocer (or the little Afghani guys on the street) and get some fresh mint! It’s inexpensive and great for your health!

 

Email me: Mia@yournaturalhealth.com



Cilantro and Its Benefits

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 20-02-2016

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cilantro

 

Green leafy vegetables are always touted as being some of the healthiest of all, as are green leafy herbs. There is a good reason for that. The reason is that they are loaded with all kinds of good vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and medicinal benefits. Last week we talked about wheatgrass. This week we have another of the great green wonders. The best thing about this one (unlike wheatgrass) is that it is readily available all over Kuwait and the world! All you have to do is go to any supermarket, any vegetable market, or even to the roadside guys that sell fresh vegetables from a pseudo-bicycle veggie stand. The herb I am referring to here is cilantro, which is also known as coriander leaf. Here in Kuwait it is called “kuzber”. It is used as a cooking herb here and around the world, but not many people know that it is also great as a medicinal herb, and that it has countless benefits.

organic cilantro

Cilantro is known for the fact that it looks very much like parsley, but has a different, somewhat stronger aroma, and a slightly different leaf configuration. (Some people call it Chinese parsley, even though it is indigenous to the Middle Eastern areas and some parts of Europe originally, and in spite of the fact that it is grown in many places including India, where it is widely used in cooking and as a medicine). So, when you want to go and buy it, look for it in the same place as the parsley. It is generally right next to the parsley, and is the same price (super cheap!) The seeds, which generally are called coriander (not cilantro), are also available everywhere, and are renowned for their healing properties too. They are quite inexpensive, so no one should have any trouble buying them. Coriander essential oil can also be found in the repertoire of any aromatherapist worth his or her salt (which is good for the same ailments but only used externally due to the oil’s strong properties).

cilantro essential oil

Cilantro, which is known scientifically as “Coriandrum sativum”, is used for many ailments, including digestive problems. It is great for indigestion (which is why it is often added to dishes that have gas causing ingredients, etc) and it helps to get a flailing appetite back. It is also renowned for getting rid of heavy metal (aluminum, mercury, etc)(or other) toxicity, and it is so effective in doing this that the metal are found in the urine almost immediately after eating a dish containing cilantro (or coriander)! This is important because it has been found that several diseases concentrate in areas where these heavy metals accumulate. Also, people with heavy metal accumulation in their bodies exhibit many other symptoms as well, such as anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, serious allergies and sensitivities, heart problems, hormonal imbalances, migraines, and a host of psychological symptoms (including anxiety, memory problems, and many more serious problems). Thus, getting rid of them is of utmost importance. In fact, cilantro (or coriander, whichever you prefer) is known as being one of the best overall medicinal tonics! Who knew?

organic herb seeds

Cilantro is good for diabetics as well, and there has been research that shows that it is effective in helping to balance blood sugar levels. It is known to balance and lower blood cholesterol too. When trying to get rid of infections (bacterial, fungal, and viral), or prevent them, (in fact, historically it was used as an antibacterial agent, a fact that has now been verified scientifically). Scientifically it has been found to kill the salmonella bacteria, which is probably one of the reasons that cilantro is used so extensively with fish and other seafood, chicken, and other dishes here in the Middle East, particularly Iran. And the most delicious herb to eat with shrimp is coriander. If you haven’t tried the well-known Kuwaiti shrimp dish that uses generous amounts of fresh cilantro as a base for a delicious sauce, don’t miss it! Coriander is supposed to be fantastic also as an antimicrobial. Using it in foods apparently helps them not to spoil! People have been using both the leaf and the seed since ancient times for these and other purposes, and this herb was even found with the Egyptian pharaohs inside their tombs. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used it as a medicine. At that time in history cilantro was considered a great talisman against evil spirits and the devil himself. In Indian ayurvedic medicine coriander or cilantro is considered a balancing herb, and they use it when a cooling cure is needed.

miracle gro aerogarden

Many people use cilantro for helping with rheumatism and arthritis and the associated pain that accompanies these problems. Since it helps to increase the circulation in the body, it is going to be great for many other ailments as well, including getting rid of excess body fluids, particularly for those who suffer from edema. This is also great for people who are suffering with cellulite! Many people swear by its use as a deodorant as well, and say that it gets rid of their unpleasant smelling perspiration odor. This will hopefully be good news to those people out these who have a problem with that. (If it’s not good news to them, it will be good news for the rest of us!)

 

The best part is that cilantro (coriander) is considered totally safe as a food and as a medicinal herb. Even in very large quantities, it doesn’t show toxicity, and on the contrary, is well tolerated and good for us. So, make it a point to go out now and try it if you haven’t before. You don’t want to miss out on such a good thing, and the fact that you can buy it right in your local supermarket, on the streets, or practically anywhere in Kuwait for a very low price is certainly a big plus. So, what are you waiting for?

 

Email me: mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com

 




How Dangerous are Surgical Weight Loss Options?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 11-10-2015

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weight loss surgery 1
For the past several weeks we have been talking about many of the diet products on the market these days. There are so many different types of weight loss products out there that we really can’t go over everything, but I think we have introduced enough that our readers are much more aware about them than they were before.

So this week we are going to begin our discussion on the various forms of weight loss surgery that are available to people nowadays. Weight loss surgery has become so widespread all over the world that you are certain to know someone who has done it or someone who knows someone who has. There is some ethical discussion about whether or not this type of surgery is done out of vanity or whether it is done for dire health purposes. Naturally, every different person who is considering doing such surgery has their own reasons, and every person must be assessed separately, but probably most people do it for health AND vanity reasons, which are both valid. Having said this, we must always remember that all forms of surgery are dangerous, can result in death, and before anyone makes the decision to do weight loss surgery (or any other type of surgery, for that matter), all the details, dangers, and potential long term drawbacks of the proposed type of surgery should be well researched, well understood, and well thought out. Any overweight person who is considering doing any of the various forms of weight loss surgeries that we will discuss, must be well aware of all of the risks, as well as what the benefits are.

While many of these types of surgeries seem quite drastic, the fact is that, statistically, it has been proven that overweight (obese) people actually live longer after having done one of the various forms of weight loss surgery. So, drastic or not, some people simply can’t diet their miseries away and need a stronger push. The fact is that obese people are dying every day of the various complications of being obese. According to the American Medical Association in the year 2000 around 400,000 people died from obesity attributed complications (such as diabetes, heart problems, etc). This is where weight loss (also called bariatric) surgery comes into the picture. It doesn’t only make people look better, but it saves lives.

There are several different types of weight loss surgery, some being more drastic than others. Some methods are reversible and some aren’t, so, if you are one of the people considering weight loss surgery, think a thousand times over before you make a decision that you might regret later on.

One of the oldest forms of weight loss surgery is what is called the gastric bypass (also known as stomach stapling, although there is really much more to it than that). This procedure is performed as an in-patient procedure with a stay in the hospital because it is quite drastic. Basically what happens here is that you are opened up surgically, and rearranged. This method is actually made up of several different methods, including a simple bypass, which combines a reduction of the size of the stomach (either through stapling or banding) to the size of a small pouch (but leaves the rest of the stomach intact), combined with a change in the location of the intestine, which prevents people from eating too much and also acts to prevent absorption in certain cases as well, and a more serious version, where the entire stomach is cut off and made into a tiny pouch, the last portion of the small intestine is reattached to this small pouch stomach while bypassing the duodenum and the jejunum completely, thus preventing absorption of food. While the weight loss (as you can well imagine) is great with this, since it is so drastic the side effects are almost always increased.

Naturally, as you would imagine, with such a change in the body you are going to have several possible side effects. These side effects include vomiting (particularly when an episode of overeating occurs), dumping (which is when the food that is eaten passes directly through the bowel without being absorbed, and causes weakness, diarrhea, nausea, etc.), vitamin deficiency, and more.

The other newer type of weight loss surgery is called the laparoscopic gastric band. Basically, this type of surgery consists of tiny laparoscopic incisions that enable placement of a plastic “band” around the low end of the esophagus (at the very top of the stomach), which creates a tiny pouch. The idea behind this is that once the band is filled (which is done with a needle through a port under the skin) it causes the person to feel full after eating only tiny amounts of food, thus the weight loss. This procedure must also be done in the hospital, but it requires a much shorter stay. Also, since the procedure is done laparoscopically, and is much less invasive than the gastric bypass, the recovery time is much shorter. The LAP band is also a reversible procedure, so that if, for any reason (but why would you want to?) you wish to remove the band, you can.

With this type of weight loss surgery there are several advantages, including the fact that it is adjustable, so that if you need to eat (for example, if you become pregnant) you can simply deflate it. It has much fewer complications than the gastric bypass surgery, although there are always going to be a minute amount of people who suffer certain complications, and these can include erosion of the area of the stomach where the band is touching, band slippage, etc., although the percentage of people that these complications occur with are extremely low, and with proper diet and care, all of these complications should be easily averted.

One of the drawbacks with this type of operation, as compared to the gastric bypass is that sometimes the weight takes longer to come off, but that could also be considered an advantage, since the longer it takes, the better the skin tone could come out (who wants horrible saggy skin?). Also, apparently, according to long term studies, the weight that is taken off with the LAP band surgery is more permanent, because often with gastric bypass, the weight is regained after several years, because the people can eventually stretch their pouch with long term overeating (for those who don’t change their eating habits and make a commitment to it). Logic will also tell you (as well as statistics) that the less invasive the procedure is the less complications you will have, so the LAP band is the least invasive, the normal gastric bypass is more invasive, and the drastic version of the gastric bypass is the most invasive of all, and carries with it the most complications and drawbacks.

These types of operations are definitely not for the faint of heart. They are for seriously obese people who have a long history of dieting and exercise without success. These are for people who desperately need to lose weight, usually for medical reasons. Usually the minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) for even being considered for this operation would be 40 or more, or are 100 pounds or more overweight (here in Kuwait, being 100 kilos or over is often a standard for doctors). The other problem is that this type of procedure is expensive, so it is still not an option for everyone, but prices are going down, and for those who desperately need it, the government hospitals offer cut rate prices (because you only have to pay for the band itself, for example in the LAP band procedure).

So, while these operations are not a standard weight loss solution, and are quite severe when compared to the dieting and exercise traditionally employed for weight loss, they are extremely effective, and statistically have shown better results than simple diet and exercise in both the short and long term. So, if you are suffering from severe obesity combined with serious (or potentially serious) medical problems, you might want to consider some form of weight loss surgery, but do your own investigations, and do see a highly qualified doctor.

(For people who are interested in finding out more, you can contact me through email: miaponzo@yahoo.com, for more information and names of doctors).

Are Your Diet Pills Going to Kill You?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 09-10-2015

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deadly diet pills

 

There is a weight loss drug on the market that is only available through prescription, which is called Reductil (here in Kuwait), and is known as Meridia in the USA. (It is also known as sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate, scientifically.) We are going to discuss this drug because it is getting popular with many people, and since it is available here, we ought to know about it, although we aren’t going to get into too much depth, since there is tons of information on this drug on the Internet.

The drug works to suppress the appetite, which is thought to happen by giving you a sense of well being, happiness, and euphoria, basically. But, while this is all well and good (and I’m not trying to be a spoiled sport, I swear), but the clinical trials have only been going on for a short time, and beyond 2 years no one really knows what this drug may or may not cause. (Please keep in mind here the “Fen-phen” fiasco that only occurred due to a lack of long term testing). That alone should really be a factor in your decision not to take it. The problem is that when people are desperate to lose weight they will do practically anything. But, taking drugs should most definitely not be high on your list of ways to lose weight. This drug, particularly, should be off of your list, if not only for the super, duper long list of side effects and observed reactions, which include: headaches, constipation, insomnia, sore throat, impotence, depression, seizures, high blood pressure, and much more.

While this drug is being touted as the new, safe miracle diet medication, my own personal advice is this: The more you know the better you are, and in this case it could never be truer. So, don’t jump into this diet drug. Because when things sound too good to be true, then usually are!

Also still available on the market is Phentermine (which goes by many trade names, including Adipex-P, Obinex, Oby-Trim, and others), which is one of the offending drugs in the Fen-phen duo. When Fenfluramine was taken off the market in the middle of the hoopla of deaths, Phentermine stayed around. It is still available around the world. Phentermine acts as an appetite suppressant and stimulant, and as such is almost as addictive as almost any amphetamine which directly affects the nervous system. It, like Reductil, is considered dangerous (a controlled substance), and is distributed by prescription only in most countries. While it is not as dangerous as Reductil, it does have many side effects, including nervousness, tremor, insomnia, headache, dizziness, impotence, diarrhea, constipation, and even hallucinations! This drug is certainly not recommended, primary because of its addictiveness and serious side effects. But, people are still taking it.

Any drug that claims addictive properties should be taken immediately off of your list of medications you need or want to take. I am of the opinion that ALL medications, unless of dire necessity, should be left on the shelves, and this is particularly true with this type of medication. While the idea is that only the most dangerously obese people are supposed to have these medications prescribed, the fact is that people who are not in desperate need are taking them too. That is where tragedies can occur. And, while a morbidly obese person does desperately need to reduce their weight, for a variety of health reasons, they do not really need to become addicted to yet another thing. (Many, if not most, obese people are already addictive personalities and already addicted to food, so why add on another addiction?)

The bottom line is that these drugs are addictive and dangerous. The benefits of taking them are few when compared to the detriments, and why bother when there are other safer, more permanent alternatives? These drugs can only be taken for a fairly short period of time anyway, and those taking them are subject to psychological evaluations, along with other complicated issues, so why bother? These are just temporary solutions that can end up in lifelong addictions. Is it worth it? I think not!

It is true that there are so many diet aids and nutritional supplements out there on the market today that we ca hardly keep track of them. Manufacturers are becoming more and more creative in getting away with murder (so to speak), and are coming up with products that haven’t been regulated yet, marketing products similar to dangerous products and worse. While many of these products really are safe, certainly many more aren’t. So you have to be a savvy consumer, and learn about what you are buying. In this day and age of super fast Internet, this shouldn’t be difficult. Always remember that the less artificial material you metabolize the better. Your liver and other bodily organs will thank you.

If you are one of those people who are suffering from long term obesity, there are many other (drugless) solutions out there, ranging from the old standard, dieting, to different surgical interventions (some safer and some less so). Next week we are going to discuss the various surgical options available out there in the world today for weight loss, and then you will be able to make your own informed decisions!
Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

Mad Cow-Like / Alzheimer’s-Like Diseases Caused by Weight Loss Pills?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 08-10-2015

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couch potato

This is the third installment of our quest into weight loss products that are out on the market these days waiting to accost desperate consumers. There are literally millions of people out there in the world who want to lose weight, and they seem to be willing to do or pay almost anything in order to have a “quick fix” for their problem. Unfortunately, there is no real “quick fix” per se. Although there are plenty of claims being made out there by the companies that make these products, the fact is that many, if not most of these products are not only useless when it comes to weight loss, but also dangerous, with some of them even being linked to the deaths of those who use them.

Today we are going to continue with the world of the chemical and natural choices:

Xenical

When the chemical diet drug “Orlistat” (which goes by the trade name of Xenical) came onto the market people were flocking to the pharmacies to get it. This was even though it had an exorbitant price tag attached. It was touted as the new “miracle” weight loss aid. It works by blocking the fat absorption in the intestine. The problem is that it has serious side effects, some of which are merely uncomfortable, and some of which are downright dangerous. It is important to understand that the US FDA was skeptical and not very keen on approving this drug. Initial clinical trials apparently were disturbing and showed some unusual results, for example a seeming connection with using the drug and getting breast cancer. But, as usual the show must go on and big money talks.

Some of the side effects of Xenical are as follows:
• severe gassiness
• spontaneous excretion of oil from the anus
• oily diarrhea or defecation (sometimes uncontrollable)
• complete or partial fecal incontinence (this is fairly common)
• flu-like general malaise
• certain vitamin deficiencies, including: A, D, E, Beta-carotene, and K, which are all fat soluble vitamins
• putrid odor with bowel movements and gas

You may think that the side effects would be worth it, but think before you act! I will tell you a little story of something that happened to a friend of mine. She had been taking Xenical for a while and she was driving along in her car when she had one of the “accidents” that it is so famous for (she had a spontaneous bout of putrid diarrhea) and then her car broke down. She could move, because she was sitting on a putrid, oily, orange colored mess! Well, finally someone stopped to help her, and she had to get out of the car, because there was no way to start it, but she wasn’t prepared for what happened next. The man in the crispy white dishdasha, who had been so kind to stop and help her sat right smack in the middle of the putrid, oily, orange mess! He got out of the car without realizing what had happened, and since her car had started, but she raced off at the speed of light out of embarrassment, and that helpful man will probably think 100 times before he helps anyone else!

Perhaps all this would be acceptable to some for the benefit of a huge weight loss in a short time, but in actuality, the weight loss with this drug is often quite low, and sometimes people even gain weight. This is partly because people tend to think that taking this drug gives them free license to eat as much oil as they want. Also, there are several situations where you wouldn’t be able to take this drug, and since practically anyone can buy it here in Kuwait, many people are going to be taking it that aren’t supposed to. For example, people who suffer from eating disorders (hmmm, aren’t these exactly those who this drug is targeting?), pregnant women, diabetics, people with any kind of digestive disorder, people with kidney stones, gall bladder problems, and people who take certain kinds of drugs, including some blood thinners, and drug to reduce cholesterol. This is one of the reasons that it is imperative that you check with your medical professional before embarking on any new diet program, particularly if it includes drugs.

The moral of the story here is to think before you buy! Don’t just jump on any band wagon of diet “therapy” without thoroughly investigating what you are getting yourself into. While some of the products do work to some degree or the other, many of them don’t work, or work very little. While there are many people who claim that Xenical helped them lose weight, there are many more people who not only didn’t lose weight with it, but actually gained, and while this isn’t exactly the fault of the producers of the drug, it still is a fact worth knowing.

The bottom line when dealing with Xenical is “buyer beware”. This drug isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the side effects are, frankly, atrocious! My advice on this one is when in doubt, don’t!

(Later note…. several years after I originally wrote this article, I was called to a new patient who was basically in a vegetative state.

The doctors really couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her…she was exhibiting signs of mad cow disease, which would pretty much be impossible for her, being a Muslim, who doesn’t eat meat with residual blood, etc, like most people who contract the disease.

So, while I was collecting her medical history, I asked about whether she had been on a weight loss diet prior to her illness.

Her daughter’s eye widened, and she said yes (this was no surprise to me, and sadly, this was not the first person I had seen with detrimental side effects due to extreme “low fat” dieting.

She told me that her mother was on a strict low fat diet and that she had been popping Xenical like candy.

Obviously, her illness can not be blamed on Xenical at face value, because she wasn’t following the proper dosing of the drug.

It was entirely her own fault.

But, what it seemed was that (and this is entirely speculation on my part, but it is hoped that more research will be done on this issue, because it is urgently needed) the low fat diet, combined with fat sucking pills, basically caused her brain to be eaten away (after all, brains are made of mostly fat, and if the body doesn’t have any more, it makes logical sense that the fat has to come from somewhere, and it came from her brain).  Scary, huh???

Let this be an extreme warning!

So, here are two great books for keeping your brain safe while dieting 🙂

grain brain

brain maker 2

(Next week we will continue with our exploration into the wild world of diet aids).

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com