Ginger: A High Powered Herb For Great Health

Ginger is one of the most important spices you can use not only because of its substantial effect on the digestion but also because of its ability to balance the three body-types.

Ginger For Balance

The three body types in Ayurveda are vata for movement, pitta for metabolism, and kapha for the body’s structure.  Vata, pitta, and kapha are parts of each of us but in different relative strength. That accounts for why some people prefer hot weather and others cool weather, why some love spicy food and others hate it and why some people love physical labor and sports and others do not.

If you know your predominant body type (see quiz), then you can choose the best ginger remedy for you. According to the Ayurvedic Encyclopedia,

  • vata needs ginger combined with rock salt
  • pitta needs ginger combined with rock candy
  • kapha requires ginger combined with honey.

Power Up Your Digestion With Ginger

Ginger has another important function. It helps with the digestion. That may not sound like much, but digestion is one of the most important functions of your body. According to MAPI, ginger:

  1. ginger stokes the digestive fire
  2. whets the appetite
  3. improves assimilation of food
  4. improves transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues
  5. and clears the microcirculatory channels of the body to facilitate absorption of food and removal of wastes.

Ginger acts as a stimulant and a roto-rooter to make the digestive system more effective.

Food, when it is not properly digested and assimilated in the body, clogs the system attaching itself to tissues and organs.  It then reduces the functioning of the body and eventually creates disease. Taking ginger before lunch and dinner is a great way to ensure a healthy digestion.

Treating Disease With Ginger

Ginger has other benefits:

  • it acts as an analgesic, reducing pain, for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
  • it helps with motion sickness and has helped some pregnant women with morning sickness
  • it is used as a cold and flu remedy
  • it reduces the inflammation that can cause migraines
  • it has also been used in treat ovarian and colon cancer.

Ginger is a wonderful herb and spice that is easily incorporated into the diet and is worth considering to keep you in balance and your digestion humming on all cylinders.

Triphala: Super Herb For Super Health

If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would consider triphala one of the few essentials to have with me.

What is triphala? Triphala is one of the most important herbal preparations in existence.

I have been using it for over a decade as a general balancing herb.  It helps with premature graying of the hair because premature graying and balding occur in my family but fortunately not on my head.  I am happy to give triphala the credit.

It is such a well-rounded source of healing that I use it every day, and it helps me a lot. Triphala offers healing benefits to the entire human system. It is a special herb used extensively in the ancient healing system of Ayurveda which is over 5000 years old.

According to the Ayurveda Encyclopedia, triphala is an herbal mixture of three herbs, amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. The combination of the three herbs in triphala provides an herbal formula that works as a mild laxative that has the ability to rejuvenate the human system.

These are the specific conditions that each of the herbs can help heal:

Amalaki: it is used for:

  1. anemia
  2. arthritis
  3. asthma
  4. bronchitis
  5. colitis
  6. constipation
  7. diabetes
  8. duodenal and gastric ulcers
  9. eczema
  10. eye disorders
  11. chronic fever
  12. gout
  13. premature graying and balding
  14. heart attack prevention
  15. hepatitis
  16. hemorrhoids
  17. high blood pressure
  18. insomnia
  19. jaundice
  20. mental disorders
  21. menorraghia
  22. osteoporosis
  23. rebuilds blood
  24. bones, cells and tissues
  25. rheumatism
  26. liver and spleen weakness
  27. tuberculosis
  28. urinary disorders and difficulties
  29. vertigo
  30. vomiting

Bibhitaki

  1. colds, coughs and bronchitis
  2. chronic diarrhea
  3. dysentery
  4. eye disorders
  5. headache
  6. hemorrhoids
  7. gastrointestinal diseases
  8. digestive disorders leading to obesity
  9. laryngitis
  10. liver disorders
  11. mucus
  12. nausea
  13. stones including urinary tract stones
  14. vomiting
  15. sore throat and voice problems

Haritaki

  1. anemia
  2. cough
  3. hemorrhoids
  4. diarrhea
  5. gas
  6. fevers
  7. malabsorption of nutrients
  8. urinary diseases
  9. tumors
  10. blood purification
  11. spleen and liver disorders
  12. ulcerated gums
  13. muscular rheumatism
  14. heart
  15. skin conditions including itching
  16. edema
  17. nervous disorders

I consider triphala a natural balancer for the body.  It is gentle and inexpensive and a great preventative.

It is unrealistic to expect that we can prevent all imbalances in the body. Triphala is a great way to help yourself with the damage from stress, toxins in our food, water and air that we cannot control. It can help you feel more secure about your current and future health.

Triphala is one of my great finds in life. It would definitely get my vote on what to take with me on a deserted island.

12 Important Ways Neem Helps Your Immune Health

Neem is a wonder herb for immune health. Neem has been used by the people of southeast Asia and India for thousands of years because of its benefits as an all-purpose support for the body.  Neem is a medicinal product derived from the neem tree which grows in hot climates.  In India, neem is considered a pharmacy unto itself.

Neem is a very important herb for highly sensitive people since HSPs are so physically challenged because of their sensitivity to stimulus and as a result their immune health can be compromised.  The tendency for their nervous systems to become overwhelmed and exhausted from stress means that highly sensitive people need all the help they can get.

So what does neem help with?

  1. neem helps all kinds of skin diseases, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema
  2. neem is good for the hair and also helps with head lice
  3. neem is wonderful for teeth and gums.  Gum disease is known to cause inflammation in the body and to be a factor in facilitating the development of cancer, a disease that HSPs have to be concerned about
  4. neem is antibacterial
  5. neem is antifungical
  6. neem is antiviral
  7. neem is antimicrobial and in some forms is used for wound cleaning
  8. neem helps with a number of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, gout and osteoarthritis
  9. neem helps with many conditions related to digestion including hyperacidity and is believed to help stabilize blood sugar and is considered a big help for diabetes sufferers
  10. neem is an excellent blood purifier
  11. neem relieves infections including urinary tract infection.
  12. neem strengthens the immune system.

Neem is inexpensive and a wonderful way to improve immune health for highly sensitive people without worrying about side effects.  For highly sensitive people suffering from genetic diseases, neem can relieve some of the physical destabilization that diseases present. and minimize the effects of toxins from food, water and social stress.

Neem offers relief in so many areas that it is worth considering as an important part of a daily regimen.

More Information:

Dr. Oz on Dental Problems, Disease and Neem

13 Herbs For Detoxing

My cat, Kelly, loves to eat my asparagus fern.

She is detoxing.

I learned from Dr. John Douillard of Lifespa in Colorado that new greens which emerge from the ground in the spring are meant to help us cleanse our intestinal tract after a winter of eating heavy insulating foods. There are specific steps in an effective detoxing program.

In order to detox well, you need the right diet and practices that will support the cleansing of your system.  In addition, there are herbs that are especially effective for removing the toxins that make you sluggish and create disease.

These are 13 Ayurvedic herbs for an effective detoxing and rejuvenation program (1)(2):

  1. for cleaning the lymphatic system, where our immune system is located: manjistha. According to the Ayurvedic Encyclopedia, manjistha is one of the best herbs for blood purification and for detoxing the liver of environmental toxins which are increasingly a reason for poor health. It also cleans and regulates the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys, all organs which are important parts of the digestive system, and is anti-cancer and anti-tumor.
  2. for repairing the mucus membrane of the gut, which becomes dysfunctional when clogged by heavy foods: turmeric. Turmeric helps relieve the mucus buildup that comes from eating heavy foods, regulates the metabolism, is a natural antibiotic that improves intestinal flora and purifies the blood.  It improves IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease and all inflammatory conditions.
  3. thinning the bile so that toxins do not get backed up in the liver forcing them into the body where they will be stored in fat cells: beets, fenugreek, cinnamon.
    • Beets improve lymph, liver and gall bladder functioning and act as a laxative as well.
    • Fenugreek is a rejuvenating herb that improves liver function and diabetic symptoms.
    • Cinnamon is a strengthener: it strengthens the metabolism, one’s constitution and the individual organs of digestion: the liver, spleen pancreas and kidneys.
  4. cleansing the liver for proper processing of fat soluble toxins: amalaki, guduchi, barberry.
    • Amalaki cleans the intestines, stops stomach and intestinal inflammation, and improves the symptoms of diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions.
    • Guduchi is a blood purifier that improves digestion. It supports the immune system.
    • Barberry is a kind of decongestant in that it reduces fat, reduces congestion in the stomach, regulates liver functioning and destroys toxins in the body.
  5. cell regeneration: shilajit. Shilajit restores oxygen and nutrition to depleted cells and strengthens the immune system.
  6. balancing blood sugar: gymnema sylvestre removes sugar from the pancreas and restores pancreatic function and making it one of the most important  Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes.
  7. restoring digestion: ginger, black pepper, long pepper. These three herbs all act on digestion to stimulate and restore the digestive fire.

These are all important and useful herbs for anyone seeking a strong digestive detox. I have personally used then and have been very pleased with the improvement to my well-being. They are worth considering as part of a detoxification plan.

(1) Some herbal information obtained from the Ayurvedic Encyclopedia.

(2)These herbs are part of Dr. John Douillard’s Colorado Cleanse.

Treat Depression and Anxiety With St. John’s Wort

Depression and anxiety are common in modern life. Given the sensitive biology of highly sensitive people, they may be even more common among HSPs.

What are the causes?

Common Causes Of Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety can come from physical causes as many HSPs know and also from situational causes.

Many people when they experience a significant loss in their life – a layoff from their employment, or a car accident –  can feel sad, lost, or hurt. These feelings are legitimate responses to real difficulties in life.  When feeling lost, hopeless, helpless, scared, alone, and anxious, we lose our desire for doing the normal activities of daily life. The difficult feelings caused by challenging life circumstances can last for a long time –  days, weeks even months.

It can seem that we are grasping at straws when we talk about the causes of depression. It has been attributed to past abuse, medications, personal conflicts, a loss or death, genetics, substance abuse, major life change, a major illness, or other traumatic events. All of these reasons may be right.

Different Degrees Of Depression

Depression does not come in one flavor.

An individual can be suffering from:

  1. major depressive disorder (MDD) which can causes disruption of sleep, work, and eating patterns as well as interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy simple pleasures. A person suffering from MDD will have these debilitating symptoms for nearly every day in a two week span or longer
  2. chronic depression which has the same but less intense symptoms of major depressive disorder although it usually lasts longer
  3. atypical depression which is unusual often starts in the teenage years and expresses itself as  overeating, oversleeping, fatigue, and sensitivity to rejection.
  4. seasonal depression which will affect one’s mood when the season changes usually starts in fall and ends around spring time.

These are just naming a few on the broad spectrum out their affecting nearly one out of ten people.

 How St. John’s Wort Helps

St. John’s Wort is a natural healing herb.

The herbal remedy is made from its flowers and leaves. It contains hyperforin, hypericin and pseudohypericin, three components scientists believe relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. St. John’s Wort has also been used to help people suffering from panic attacks, wounds, headaches, sleep disorders, nerve pain, and mild depression.

St. John’s wort has been used to relieve these symptoms:

  • being really tired
  • loss of sleep
  • appetite
  • insomnia
  • menopausal symptoms
  • eczema
  • anxiety
  • mild depression
  • trouble sleeping

Cautions For Using St. John’s Wort

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, St. John’s wort blocks your body’s abilities to reabsorb a chemical in your brain called serotonin leading to antidepressant effects. If it is taken with other antidepressant medications, you can trigger some complications like serotonin syndrome.

It can interact with other medications you are on and interfere with some antibiotics, benzodiazepine tranquilizers, birth control pills, anesthetics, some HIV treatments, rizatriptan, and reserpine.

If you are taking other medications it is wise to talk to your doctor before using Saint John’s wort. St. John’s Wort can also increase sun sensitivity.

Relieving Depression And Anxiety

St. John’s Wort is certainly worth considering if you are looking for a natural way to help manage depression or anxiety for a short period of time. For highly sensitive people who are not on medications it can be a useful herb.

It is not a substitute for engaging with the challenge of being highly sensitive, the lifestyle needs of HSPs and necessary lifestyle modifications that the highly sensitive require to be at their best. It can, however, have a place as a short term solution while other changes are being made.

Detox with Triphala

Triphala benefits HSPs in many ways. One is by offering gentle detoxing is a great way to help your body become healthy.

Triphala, known as the three fruits, is one of the most important herbal combinations in Ayurveda.

Triphala benefits everyone because it is a combination of three different herbs: amalaki (pictured above), haritaki and bibhitaki, designed to rejuvenate the body, it falls into the category of Ayurvedic rasayanas, which are important rejuvenating herbal preparations.

The Triphala Benefits

The reason triphala benefits are universal is because of  this combination of three herbs developed into one of the most valuable and balancing herbal supplements in Ayurveda:

  1. the three herbs target the balancing needs of the three doshas or bioenergies: vata, pitta and kapha
  2. triphala is gentle, in its balancing actions, and can be taken over a long period of time.
  3. imbalances can vary over time. Triphala in targeting all three doshas is targeting all imbalances not just ones that you have today.

What does each of these herbs do?

  • amalaki targets pitta imbalances – associated with digestion. Amalaki, also known as Indian gooseberry, has antiviral and antimicrobial effects. It supports the immune system and can be helpful for some forms of cancer, diabetes and some types of arthritis.
  • bibhitaki is astringent and used as a laxative.
  • haritaki supports the nervous system, helps with respiratory ailments, is a laxative, and generally improves the digestive tract.

Deepak Chopra, an Ayurvedic doctor, MD, and founder of the Chopra Center in California decries how each of the three fruits balances one of the Ayurvedic body types or doshas in his write-up on Triphala:

  1. amalaki balances pitta because it is cooling to the body. Pitta is the warm bioenergy which is balanced by cooling.
  2. haritaki is a very strong laxative and balances vata. Constipation is a sign of imbalance in the data bioenergy associated with movement.
  3. bibhitaki balances kapha by reducing mucus in the body. Kapha is the bioenergy associated with the structure of the body. When out of balance kapha created sluggishness and increases mucus in the body which can slow digestion and create congestion in other parts of the body.

By supporting all three doshas in the body, triphala is a great all-purpose balancer that has no side effects and can become part of a long-term wellness program.

Why Triphala Benefits HSP’s

Because of their nervous system challenges and other genetic diseases, highly sensitive people have to find gentle but effective herbal supports that enable them to reduce nutritional and stress toxins in their bodies. That is a tall order.

HSP’s cannot control every aspect of their lives. Using herbs like triphala can help restore some balance to a balance-challenged HSP. Triphala is one of the herbs that can make a huge difference in wellness when combined with other positive health practices.

Additional Information:

 

Dosha Test

Vata Dosha

Pitta Dosha

Kapha Dosha