Category Archives: Detox Supplements

The ABC of Vitamins: Vitamin A

In the ABC of the alphabet song, "A is for Apple" and in our ABC of Vitamins we can start with Apple too because it contains around 100 iu of vitamin A.

And while that does not make it a rich source of vitamin A it makes sense to talk a little about “iu” before we go any further into the story of the vitamins so let's briefly look at what an iu is…

International Units vs Milligrams

Measuring how much of a vitamin a food has does not seem like it would be a big deal but some Food scientists publish their results in iu or International Units and some in milligrams.

The reason is that the vitamins in a food have different forms in any particular food some of which are more active and effective than others. In those cases it makes more sense to publish the vitamin content in terms of “activity” which is measured in iu rather than just how much there is in mg.

Vitamin A was discovered to be essential for sight during animal experiments and found to exist in foods a number of forms such as the carotene version in vegetables and retinol in animal tissues.

The Carotene Family is huge because there are hundreds of different versions in plants, fruit and vegetables – a few commonly mentioned family members are beta carotene, lycopene and lutein.

Both beta carotene and alpha carotene ( and other carotenes) can be converted to retinol in the body and act as a storage tank in a way for this vital vitamin.

Beta carotene is sometimes called provitamin A or previtamin A to express the fact that beta carotene can be converted into Retinol when needed.

Beta Carotene vs Retinol

So you may be wondering whether we need to eat both the carotene provitamin A as well as Retinol?

The answer is no – because we can safely consume large amounts of carotenes in a healthy diet and only when the body needs retinol will it produce it by converting it from beta carotene. And since retinol is fat soluble it can build up in our tissues and particularly in the liver and potentially be hazardous.

Beta Carotene is Safer

That means that the plant forms of vitamin A are safer versions of this vital vitamin to include in your diet. They can build up in your tissues if your intake of sweet potato and carrots and kale is truly and madly gargantuan but all that happens then is a slight bronze or orange tint in your skin which may not even be noticed and which fades if your intake goes back to normal.

What Does Vitamin A do?

I mentioned in passing that we get vitamin A from sweet potato, carrots and kale so with such rich sources of the vitamin delivering many health benefits you can expect vitamin A to do a lot in the body.

It is most well known for its role in vision and in particular night vision. As far back as 1816 animal experiments done to find out why so many babies were dying in Paris found that scars on the cornea of the eye and then death occurred when something was missing from the diet. It took over a 100 years to work out that the missing something was vitamin A.

And it's not just visual acuity that we get from vitamin A – it contributes to the health of the skin and of what may be called our inner skin.

The power of vitamin A to heal skin lesions is well known and many commercial skin lotions and potions are based on it. Generally they will use a synthetic version of the vitamin rather than the natural version because they may have a patent for the synthetic version and will make a higher profit by selling.

No one makes money telling you to eat sweet potatoes!

But it is not just your skin that benefits from a diet rich in vitamin A – your inner health gets a boost too.

Starting at your lips and going right down the throat and windpipe and gullet right through your stomach and intestines there is an “inner skin” or mucous membrane.

And on this thin and delicate membrane rests the health of your body.

If this membrane is unhealthy we cannot absorb the nutrients we swallow, if this membrane is inflamed by allergens or toxic sprays on our food we struggle to get the nutrition we need.

And if the membrane that lines the windpipe and lungs is unhealthy and inflamed we may struggle to breathe and suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases.

This membrane – our inner skin – needs nourishment, it needs vitamin A for it's health ( and vitamin C too but we haven't got there yet 🙂 )

On the health of the inner skin rests our entire life – no kidding and no exaggeration because it is the mechanism for us to take in both food and oxygen. Without good delivery of both vital nutrients we decline in health and eventually die.

Knowing that vitamin A is a matter of life or death we ask an obvious question…

Where we get Vitamin A From?

We've mentioned a few already and they are the richest sources of beta carotene…sweet potato, carrots and kale. But there are lots of others and basically if you have a healthy diet, one with lots of vegetables you hardly need to bother about vitamin A even though it is so important.

Greens – Turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens and spinach are rich sources too.

Squash and Pumpkin – rich sources of beta carotene

Apricots – dried apricots and peaches are not just totally yummy they pack a punch of beta carotene too.

Tomatoes – a different carotene here – lycopene

How much Vitamin A do I need?

The RDA for retinol is 2300 iu for for adult females, 3000 iu for adult males but my recommendation is eat tons of healthy vegetables rich in beta carotene and forget the numbers. If you really want to take a supplement as a kind of health insurance then consider taking

Last Words on Vitamin A

Basing your diet on vegetables gives you much more than vitamin A, it gives you a sound foundation to be healthy and resist cancer, heart disease and diabetes as well as other chronic diseases that are common on poor diets. By all means take a good vitamin A supplement or a good multi-vitamin but help it along with a multi-vegetable dinner plate as well.

Beyond the ABC of Using Vitamins – Natural or Synthetic Vitamins?

abc of vitaminsIn the previous post we looked at the ABC of Vitamins, their odd sounding names, the dosage we should take and at the whole issue of Official recommendations for our health.

The next step is to get more details about the vitamins in our food and to do that we'll go back to vitamin C again.

You can buy this as a powder to mix with water or as a tablet. Powdered vitamin C mixes well with water or juice because it dissolves well in water. Once the powder is mixed with water it tastes just like lemonade, and is rather yummy in my view.

Not all vitamins mix like this, some like vitamin A and E will mix well and dissolve in oil and fat and not in water.

Which is best – water or fat soluble vitamins?

The body needs both types of vitamins because it is made from cells which have an oily cell wall and a watery interior and both parts of the cell need the protection that vitamins give.

The vitamins that mix with water are called “Water soluble” and those that mix and dissolve with oils and fats are called “Fat soluble”.

Of our ABC of Vitamins we find that vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and vitamins B and C are water soluble.

Water soluble vitamins are going to be lost in the water used to cook foods with these vitamins if we throw the water away as most people do. Instead it is best to collect the water from cooked vegetables and either drink it with the meal – it is you might say, vegetable soup or keep it for stock.

Fat soluble vitamins may be in short supply in the average diet simply because people have been bombarded with so much wrong information about fats and oils being unhealthy that they risk not getting the vitamins in those foods! If you are persuaded to follow a low fat diet then don't be surprised that you are getting amounts of fat soluble vitamins too.

And that could be dangerous!

For example, the reason butter is yellow is because vitamin A in it gives it that colour naturally. With butter substitutes such as margarine, additives are used to give the impression that you are eating butter!

Butter and healthy oils like Olive oil carry fat soluble vitamins and adding them to foods makes it easier for the body to absorb and use the valuable fat soluble vitamins it needs

Different forms of vitamin C

Just in case you think that you now know all there is to know about vitamins we have one more slight complication!

And that is that there are several forms of each of the vitamins – each with their own pros and cons!

So vitamin C usually comes in the form called ascorbic acid but you can also buy it as calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate or…enough already! There's no need to list them all just to give you an idea of the complexity!

What to Buy

The major decision is around whether the version of the vitamin you are thinking of buying is a natural version or whether it is synthetic.

The difference may be dramatic.

There is a well publicised study of some smokers in Finland which has been interpreted by some Doctors as meaning that a vitamin supplement caused some of the smokers to die a little earlier than expected.

The problem lies in the fact, not revealed in the research paper that published the results that a SYNTHETIC molecule invented to mimic a vitamin was used rather than the natural form of the molecule.

It was not a vitamin that was used in the research – it was a manufactured “vitamin like” chemical made by the drug company that supported the research

So vitamins may be natural form or they may be synthetic and my advice is to avoid the synthetic versions.

We'll look at some of the details of this and other studies later in this series – I want to equip you as well as I can to choose and use the right vitamins to fill your needs, but I'm going to do it step by step!

OK 🙂 ?

Our next step is to look in detail at each of the vitamins and we'll do that in the next post in this ABC of Vitamins series with Vitamin A.

Do You Know the ABC…of Vitamins?

abc of vitaminsFunny enough, when we learn our ABCs we might say “A is for Apple, B is for Berry, C is for Cherry…but we don't learn about vitamins A, B or C until many years later, if at all. This means that we have only a hazy idea of how important they are to us or where they comes from or even what they are.

That stops here because today I want to fill in the gap left by our schooling and show you how important your ABC of vitamins really is.

What Are Vitamins Anyway?

Before we get to our ABC we need to clarify what vitamins really are.

Vitamins were discovered around 1900. One by one scientists found that there were unknown ingredients in food, something that was so important that animals and people die if it is missing from their diets.

Poor diets were found to lead to disease and death and one by one as the cases were studied the missing nutrient was found to be a vitamin.

Scientists found that there were several of these missing “somethings” and they then had to be given a name. The first name given was “vitamine” which was short for “vital amine” and then the letters of the alphabet were used so we ended up with A,B,C,D,E…all the way up to K.

Vital Amine?

And then the first major mistake was spotted! Vitamins were called “vital” meaning essential to life and that's correct but an “amine” is a member of the ammonia family and in a chemical formula looks like NH2 where N is for Nitrogen and H is hydrogen.

Problem is that vitamins are not amines so the very first step into Vitamin science was on quicksand and ended up with a quick correction.

A “political” correction was made – they kept the name and just knocked the final “e” of the word!

So now we call them “vitamins”.

Vital to Life

But food is vital to life – we know that without eating we get weaker, hungrier, lose weight and eventually lose consciousness and lose life.

Food supplies us with energy which we measure in calories and nutrients which we know as vitamins and other nutrients.

Scurvy is an interesting example of a disease we can get if we eat insufficient amounts of vitamin C. The disease was first described by Hippocrates who was writing hundreds of years B.C and yet 2,000 years later scientists were still unsure what the cause was. The cure was simple and had been proven many times and yet Doctors ignored the evidence.

And this was not a rare disease either as this quote from the Wiki shows “Between 1500 and 1800, it has been estimated that scurvy killed at least two million sailors ”.

And how to cure this awful disease? Easily according to Johann Bachstrom an 18th C Polish Pastor here is the cure…

“scurvy is solely owing to a total abstinence from fresh vegetable food, and greens; which is alone the primary cause of the disease ”

Which is of course, correct.

I could fill this entire blog post with similar cases, stories and proofs of how vitamins were found to cure disease.

And rather than do that I want to focus now on how much vitamin C we need – so we will look at a few numbers and see how they can help you know how much of the vitamins you need to not just avoid obvious disease but to healthy enough to thrive.

Not knowing this is why many people nowadays have scurvy – but more of that in a minute – we need some details to be able to use this information powerfully to boost our own health.

How Much and When?

We've seen that a major killer disease was found to be caused by a deficiency of a vitamin – in this case we are looking at vitamin C.

The next thing we need to know is how much vitamin C to use – how many milligrams of vitamin C do we need and does everybody need the same amount?

The surprising answer is that it all depends on where you live! Every government has a health and nutrition board that makes recommendations for the healthy functioning of its people.

Of course the people who get to sit on these boards are all Nutrition experts…oops that should be obvious but it does not quite work out that way. In fact the members of government committees are people who have the time and inclination for the paperwork and who are politically acceptable.

Very often the real experts don't fit into these requirements and the resulting recommendations show all the signs of official data they are out of date and ignore important scientific research.

In Canada, the US, UK, India and Australia – to mention the main English speaking countries the “Official” recommendations for daily vitamin C intake for an adult are…

Country Adult Dosage mg
Australia 45
Canada 90
India 40
United Kingdom 40
United States of America 60 to 95


In addition, just to show you that this is a political issue, there are values recommended by the World Health Organisation and the European Union which are 45 and 80 mg respectively.

Altogether then "Official" sources say that we should take an amount between 40 mg and 95 mg !

And remember we are only looking at vitamin C values, we will find a similar divergence of view with every other nutrient!

So who is right?

What is a person going to do here? Well the practical answer is,”Ask an expert!” and my definition of an expert is someone who is trained in Nutritional science and treatment and that answer will take you to people who use Nutrition with their patients.

That excludes the vast majority of Medical Doctors and includes Naturopathic Doctors and Nutritional Therapists and some Chiropractors and Herbalists.

It may surprise you that most Medical Doctors are not taught Nutritional Medicine but that reflects the situation. They are taught a lot of Drug Therapy and little to no Food and Nutritional Therapy.

Expert Opinion On Vitamin C

If my discussion on who is an expert does not quite convince you then let me refer you to the expert above all others on vitamin C; someone who is, you might say, the expert of experts…

And that is Dr Linus Pauling – yes the Linus Pauling with 2 Nobel Prizes. He recommended we take 2000 mg a day and that is what I take.

What I noticed in my time as a Nutrition student is that the more Nutrition people knew the more vitamin C they took. It was pretty common for us to take 4000 or 5000 mg a day and to do so for years.

I have taken these doses for decades now and have enjoyed almost perfect health.

A last word on the Official dosage.

Why do the officials get it so wrong? Part of the answer is politics and part is that they do not use Nutritional therapy on a daily basis with patients and simply do not base their recommendations on practical knowledge but on theoretical requirements about how much is needed for a white blood cell and how much is needed to help absorb iron in the diet and so forth.

Real practical advice for a adult seeking good health usually concludes with doses of 2000 mg upwards.

In the next post we look deeper into the ABC of Vitamins click here to read more.

Photo credits RubyGoes

The Rise of Detox and Its Role in Natural Therapies

detox and natural remediesThere is a large and rising number of Detox articles, diets and products nowadays so awareness and practise of detoxification is increasing. But to me a Naturopath using Detox as a normal part of everyday treatment, most of it appearing confused shallow and often totally wrong.

Time to ask some questions about detox and the first one is where does it fit when compared against Natural treatments and remedies.

Natural therapies have been all that we have had to turn to until relatively recently. So a little history may help put things in perspective follows.

It was the popularisation of antibiotics in the 20th Century that really “beat the drum” for drug based medicine, even though antibiotics had been used both in ancient Egypt and India and perhaps in other places too.

Mass markets were clamouring for products and a need for effective medicines to cope with injuries sustained in the Second World war. Added to that there was a Scientific mindset growing at the time that wanted to move on and move away from traditional choices.

The love for new things was such that even unhealthy practises like cigarettes were receiving popular and even professional support. Smoking was being popularised and Medical Doctors were recommending it as, “Good for the lungs”.

Our food choices were changing too. A whole world of technologically driven processed foods entered our stores and new appliances found their way into the home.

It was not just our medicine that was changing; a tide of change swept through Western and other societies and altered not just the practise of what we did but the underlying rational too.

A lot of this change was welcomed and many old methods abandoned happily. New understanding and research opened up new horizons even in staid subjects such as dietetics – what best to eat for our health.

Meals were then based on a rote formula like “Meat and 2 vegetables” and new data showed that this “default setting” was questioned by a, soon to be famous researcher, called Ancel Keys.

We are now into the 1950s and Public Health officials were looking at what large numbers of people were dying of. Blame started to accrue to smoking and many Doctors started to campaign on this issue. Decades were wasted and many innocent people died due to governments around the world resisting the unwelcome facts that so called “lifestyle” diseases were killing millions. Attention shifted to diet too and rightly or wrongly Keys pointed the finger of blame for the huge rise in deaths from Cardiac disease at the amount of cholesterol in the food.

All through this era Naturopathic Doctors were keeping their powder dry. None of the new drug discoveries or the diet changes impacted on their understanding of what a healthy diet was or on how the body heals. The tradition of Naturopathic medicine continued unabated in a low key way largely unheard of by the public.

But the public did hear from some renegade Doctors who ran into the facts that vitamins and some other food supplements are powerful enough to make a real difference to a seriously ill patient.

They heard from William Shute who pioneered the use of Vitamin E for Cardiac patients

They heard from Linus Pauling the Nobel Prize Winner who was a pioneer of the use of high dose vitamin C for various disorders.

And they heard from Abram Hoffer a trailblazer working with various nutrients such as Niacin.

Naturopaths did not really like this.

Pioneering Medical Doctors were not taking the whole caboodle from Naturopathy – they were picking and choosing the bits they liked and even paving the way for a new kind of therapy called Nutritional therapy that used a variety of vitamins, minerals and other natural substance found in food as medicines.

Hippocrates is always said to the “Father” of medicine but Medical Doctors pay no heed to his teachings and oppose and scorn Naturopaths who do follow them religiously.

The teaching of importance at this point is, “Let they food be thy medicine”. Food and diet is an absolute priority for Naturopathic Doctors and a matter completely ignored by Medical Doctors.

The new rebel Doctors pioneering vitamins came into the space between the medics and the Naturopaths and formed their own new kind of medicine called Orthomolecular Medicine, meaning medicine using the correct molecules – found of course in healthy foods.

Not drug molecules you understand but vitamin molecules. They pioneered Nutritional Medicine.

You'd think that this new take on the use of vitamins would delight the Naturopaths but they ignored it. They did not like the fact that the diet as a whole was not being optimised, they criticised vitamins being used “like drugs” and of course there were a lot of other Naturopathic techniques they knew that the new crowd did not know!

Not invented here? I think so!

Of course the old guard never invent anything; it is new people coming into the field not knowing what they are supposed to think that blunder into new discoveries.

Thanks to quite a lot of “blundering” we now have some distinct choices for somebody wanting natural treatment for a malady.

They can consult a Naturopathic Doctor or Naturopath; they can see a Nutritionist who may be trained in Nutrition and perhaps no other healing modality; or they could consult a Herbalist.

Other options are somewhat peripheral – acupuncture for example is part of traditional Chinese Medicine and is used when needed to boost the treatments of herbs and diet – it us not supposed to be a stand-alone therapy; homeopathy is not a natural treatment in my view but a different and less harmful way of using drugs. Osteopathy and Chiropractic can of course support someone in their healing journey but are both focussed on the muscles and joints and that is their strength and in a way their weakness.

So that is the therapeutic landscape or at least my take on it.

So where does detox fit?

It fits right in the middle of traditional Naturopathy.

Whether we look at traditional Chinese medicine used right across the Far East or Ayurveda and similar systems used in and around India or to the Naturopathy native to Europe and the West inspired by Hippocrates.

Naturopathy is based on a deep respect for the healing power of the body and assisted by the Naturopath as necessary using whatever works from modern science or from traditional techniques.

Detox is a part of all Naturopathic traditions used when patients needed it or as a seasonal therapy or as a maintenance therapy.

Detox has 2 faces; part of it is simple to understand and tends to be called “Cleansing” – an example of which is Colon cleansing, done with gentle fibrous ingredients such as psyllium or with enema techniques; the other more technical part of detox is much less understood even by Naturopaths and has much in common with a technique used in Toxicology used chelation.

This is the use of various chemicals that bond and bind to a poison such as molecules of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and their like. The body has no use for these industrial pollutants and no way to detoxify or excrete them without help from a detox chemical.

As detoxification methods were further explored and the exact steps that the liver takes to detox pollution products in the bloodstream Naturopaths began to incorporate nutrients that played a key role in the detox process.

Detox then or at least this intensive and specialised part of it, came to resemble nutrition in that it was accomplished with a carefully assembled tool kit of vitamins, minerals and herbs and any other healing ingredients that the body needed such as spices and some foods.

We don't now have to wait for a seasonal cleanse or detox, we can use detox foods and nutrients in any meal we wish. Simply by using garlic or turmeric we can help ourselves detox.

In the light of a deeper understanding we can say that Detox is nutrition and nutrition is detox when they are both informed of the science detoxification pathways in the body and the natural and healthy ways of eating.


CoQ10 – The Ubiquitous Enzyme That Powers Your Heart

coenzyme q10I knew something big had happened when I saw that my patient was taking 100 mg of CoQ10.

At the time the normal dose was 30 mg, a number arrived at with cost in mind rather than being the best dose.

So, I thought, the Japanese company who had pioneered the production had ramped up volume somehow and pulled the price down!

This was seriously good news.


Because CoQ10 is a crucial nutrient with many exciting health building benefits in the body but it was new to the supplement industry and they were struggling with producing the amount needed at anything like an affordable price.

Read more »

Review of the Green Vibrance Detox Drink

green vibrance powder - 30 day supply If your Mum made you eat your greens then welcome to the club. We know it's good for us but many fail to eat their greens once they grow up and are able to ignore Mum's advice!

The easy way to get your green fix is to drink your Greens instead

Yes the perfect alternative to buying, preparing and cooking green vegetables is to take green drinks either on their own or in a shake.

You can either make your own or buy a green powder such as Beyond Greens which I'm taking right now or Green Vibrance – the topic of today's review.

So let's look at Green Vibrance and see if it lives up to its great reputation. And analyse the ingredients which are all published on the Vibrant Health website

The first thing that strike you is the sheer number of ingredients in Green Vibrance. Printing the table of ingredients out gives you a table covering 3 and a half pages of A4.

And it keep changing – the company keeps working on the product ingredients as nutritional understanding deepens so you may want to scan the current ingredients label here

Just to help you keep track of all this I'm going to keep to the list Green Vibrance give and go down the label. For the calorie conscious (and please do rethink that notion, OK?) the serving size is a scoop of 12 grams which has a measly 45 calories.

The initial facts show a high dose of potassium which is good and what you'd expect from a green drink. The protein in 1 scoop is 2.6 grams so this is fine for a drink but not enough for a meal or meal replacement. The initial vitamin and mineral section shows a nice high beta carotene at just under 5,000 iu and a high-ish dose of calcium of around 150 gms and a very low magnesium of 27 gm.

The main ingredient by weight is Spirulina with 1.5 gms or 1500 mg. Spirulina is a blue green algae and a well known superfood. It has a good spread of amino acids and Essential fatty acids – both GLA and linoleic acid.

A writer at Natural News claims that "Spirulina is so nutrient dense that you could survive on it and water alone."

Sounds good and I like the enthusiasm but there is not enough protein and the magnesium and I think the zinc levels are low. This is a superfood but it must be used as part of a whole diet and supplement programme and not instead of one!

Chlorella is another kind of microalgae included. It is very rich in chlorophyll which carries life force into the body that is vital for someone who is exhausted or toxic.

Very useful for us Detoxers.

Grasses- some of the initial enthusiasm for superfoods centered around barley grass. There is a whole list of cereal grasses here including wheat grass. So much so that I would recommend starting taking Green Vibrance with a lower than standard dose and working up to a scoop gradually!

Other than cereal there's broccoli, spinach, parsley and other gorgeous veggies that we should all take but often don't.

A whole section of sea veggies too – kelp, laver and others adds to the green power and importantly boosts the iodine level which is widely ignored and under supplied in our diets.

Lecithin from Soy is the third biggest ingredient by weight coming in at 750 mg.

Lecithin or to use the official name Phosphatidyl choline is a part of all cell walls and provides material to coat all nerves. Research has shown that soy lecithin has increased HDL cholesterol ( also called "good cholesterol") and lowered triglycerides.

Lecithin is another neglected superfood. Prebiotics come next and are a range of special foods that encourage the growth of good bacteria.

Antioxidants and circulatory support– this section has several powerful herbs including Ginkgo, Green Tea and Grape seed extract and Pomegranate with 40% Ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is important, I've written about it in my book and will again here on the blog.

Antioxidants and Liver Support-notable mentions here of milk thistle, dandelion, Gentian and chicory Adaptogens. In Classical herbalism these were called, "Thinking Herbs" for their seeming ability to do the right thing whatever they may be to help heal the body.

Included here are Schisandra berry, Eleuthero coccus senticosus and Suma.

Immune Support–astragalus, arabinogalactan ( a new one to me) and beta glucan which is a special sugar with immune powers which may be important in fighting cancer.

Probiotic Blend- a super wide variety of friendly bacteria with 12 different cultures Several enzymes derived from the Aspergillus fungus or mould – to boost digestion of proteins, fats, starch and sugars

Skeletal support– good minimum dose of D3 (1000 iu) along with 3 mg of boron, an important mineral often ignored or supplied at tiny doses so all credit to them for a healthy dose of such a vital mineral

Tonics – Ginger root and Cayenne.

Lastly – for taste – freeze dried grape juice.

My goodness, what an enormously long list!

For a start there are hundreds of enthusiastic reviews by happy customers of Green Vibrance. In a way with such a long wish list of green superfoods, pre and probiotics and herbs you can't really go wrong.

The only questions for a prospective customer are will this suit me and is it worth the money?

The first question can only be answered with a suggestion to "try it and see if you want to know" and the second depends on your budget.

If you are only going to buy one health supplement I would not choose this one. I would go for the biggest cheapest deal on vitamin C I could get!

And then take 3 to 6 grams per day.

But if I had enough left over to try a jar of Green Vibrance I would definitely try it. You may not like the taste so be prepared to mix it with a juice such as apple or tomato. If you find it suits you then pop back here and let me know in the comment section below what you noticed in your health as you continued to take it

You can buy Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health direct or for a lower price from Amazon

MSM Benefits – Arthritis and More…

big piles of yellow sulphurMSM is  a supplement that has been around for years and periodically pops up due to great reviews of its results. The initials msm stand for Methyl sulfonyl methane and the middle name "sulfonyl" gives the game away – the key ingredient in msm is sulphur aka sulfur.

In a nutshell MSM is sulphur dressed up to be stable and able to be used as a mineral supplement so the obvious question is…..

Who Needs Sulphur? 

The answer to that question is probably, "All of us". A short quote from Dr. Carl Pfeiffer may serve to put sulphur in context

Every cell in the body contains sulphur, but the cells that contain the most are the cells of the skin, hair and joints. The horny layer of the skin, keratin, has a high content of sulphur as have the fingernails, toenails and hair. From Mental and Elemental Nutrients, pub.Keats.

If every cell in the body has sulphur then every cell in the body needs sulphur. The point for Detoxers and health enthusiasts is whether we get enough sulphur in our foods – because, if not then we need to consider taking MSM or some other sulphur supplement so that we satisfy that need.

Seen any Sulphur?

Well we find sulphur in the water at mineral springs, spas and wells. When the Romans invaded Britain they found natural mineral springs at the town that came to be called Bath. These springs came from deep underground aquifers where the water containing sulphur is heated geothermally.

Likewise at Epsom in Southern England springs containing sulphur and other minerals were found and were a major tourist attraction. Epsom Salts are mostly magnesium with small amounts of sulphur.

Where we don't find sulphur is in any area that was covered with glaciers during the last ice age. When the glaciers retreated they scraped and scooped most of the soil leaving it devoid of many vital minerals – including sulphur.

So while it is true that we can get sulphur from various foods such as onions, broccoli, and legumes our foods cannot get minerals from the soil that are not there!

Luckily some farmland is enriched with Sulphur by farmers as a special fertiliser, calcium sulphate.

It may be that some people need a sulphur supplement to supply extra sulphur for their particular needs. In particular, if you have poorly formed nails or skin you might benefit from a sulphur supplement.

MSM Benefits

  1. Allergies– msm has proven effective at rapidly terminating allergy symptoms
  2. Acidity- symptoms of hyperacidity in the stomach responded promptly to use of msm
  3. Arthritis pain and restricted mobility much helped. Pain and swelling were both reduced significantly.
  4. A more surprising result was that msm was found to treat constipation successfully.
  5. And concerned owners have been quietly helping their pets – cats, dogs and horses with their arthritic pain.

gorgeous yellow sulphur crested cockatooClearly msm benefits joints, hair and skin and so does glcosamine and chondroitin. The common factor here is the sulphur content and the ability of each of these nutrients to deliver sulphur to the body.

The main use for MSM at least at present is to treat pain, swelling and stiffness due to arthritis. Along with other supplements chondroitin and glucosamine it carries sulphur and supplies it to where the body needs it.

Other uses seem intriguing and I would not be surprised to hear of more ways of using msm.

Taking msm

We've mentioned sulphur being in Epsom Salts and bathing in Epsom Salts will result in some of the sulphur being absorbed. Most people wanting to benefit from msm are going to take a supplement.

Msm is available as a powder and in capsules and tablets.

The taste is often reported as being rather strong and users either disguise it with fruit juices or take it in a capsule.

Have you used msm? Will you, now that you know of how useful it can be?

If you like msm in tablet form then you may like this from Now Foods at Amazon

And of you'd prefer capsules you might like this from Doctor's Best also at Amazon

Yogi Detox Tea – is it for Thee?

box of yogi detox teaLots of people are turning to Detox drinks as an easy way of dealing with the toxins picked up in our "normal" Western life style. One of the most popular types of detox drink is tea, so today we're taking a look at a particular tea from the "Yogi" range.

This is quite a range with 60 teas in it –some green teas, some black and some decaffeinated. There are 4 Detox teas and we are looking at the general detox tea called "Yogi DeTox Tea".

This is one of the Indian teas similar to Chai– it has spicy and sweet ingredients and you either love it or you hate it.

Most people don't just love it they LOVE IT!

Taste aside, the tea is presented in a teabag and needs to brew for 5 to 10 minutes.

The ingredients are an impressive range of herbs and spices and out of interest this is the entire list

1. Indian Sarsaparilla Root

2. Cinnamon Bark

3. Ginger Root

4. Licorice Root

5. Burdock Root

6. Dandelion Root

7. Cardamom Seed

8. Clove Bud

9. Black Pepper

10. Long Pepper Berry

11. Chinese Amur Cork Tree Bark

12. Japanese Honeysuckle Flower

13. Forsythia Fruit

14. Gardenia Flower

15. Skullcap Leaf

16. Chinese Goldenthread Root

17. Rhubarb Root

18. Wax Gourd

19. Juniper Berry Extract

With 19 ingredients I have to duck out of discussing and explaining each one – but I am going to cover the top 6 in the list in some detail and summarise the formula as a whole.

 Here goes…..

1.Indian Sarsaparilla Root  

Traditionally used as a Spring Tonic and to stimulate the flow of bile, helping to decongest both the liver and gall bladder. NB this is not the same as American Sarsaparilla, it is a completely different plant.

2.Cinnamon Bark

This is one of the ingredients that appeals to lovers of spicy and aromatic teas! Traditional herbal use is as an anti-spasmodic and carminative tea which means that it relaxes muscles and it promotes digestion. It is also used as an anti-microbial and anti-helmintic –so it acts against infection by bacteria and worms. Also cinnamon stimulates appetite and has been used to treat anorexia.

3.Ginger Root

Well known for being used in biscuits and cakes, ginger has a powerful role as a tea much used by travellers for its anti-nausea properties and by those fighting a cold or flu. Ginger promotes perspiration adding detox via the skin and stimulates circulation.

4.Licorice Root

Like Cinnamon and Ginger, Licorice/liquorice is widely used in foods for flavouring. But it is a major herb in Oriental Medicine and included in many herbal formulas. First it has an endocrine action by stabilising hormones especially oestrogen. It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

One special point needs mentioning about licorice and is whether it can raise your blood pressure. It is true that people eating too much licorice confectionery have experienced some temporary rise in blood pressure. From that we might think that the same could happen with a herbal tea containing licorice.

My judgement on this is that it is unlikely to be an issue due to the small amount of licorice in the tea compared to the large amounts in the sweets, but by all means monitor your blood pressure or avoid this particular tea if this is a concern for you.

5.Burdock Root

This is a well known and well used digestive stimulant and stimulator of bile, making it useful in liver detox programmes. It has a healing action on the skin and has been used specifically to help cases of eczema and psoriasis.

It is a diuretic and aids kidney function and cystitis.

6.Dandelion Root

One of the best all round detox herbs – and,yes this is the ordinary dandelion that shows up in gardens and is usually pulled up and disposed of!

The leaf and the root have a detox action and the leaf can be included in salads, green juices and smoothies.

It is a good general tonic and a powerful diuretic. It may help to heal inflammation and congestion of the liver. Some anti tumour activity has been found in experimental conditions.

So much for the 6 major ingredients of the tea.

Some of the remaining ingredients contribute to the peppery taste and help the body detox further. In the design of this tea we have a very balanced and well thought out detox tea which can be used with almost no effort.

As part of a healthy lifestyle regular use of this Yogi Detox tea can help you detox a little every day and make your"proper" detox periods easier!

The only caveat I would raise is a possible concern about using what I call standard licorice which has a small possibility of raising blood pressure.

I think this is probably overblown but if you are concerned then just pick up a tea without licorice or with DGL licorice which does not contain the type of licorice concerned with blood pressure.

Overall this is a powerful detox tea that tastes good and is gentle enough to use daily. I use it so it is for me. Now you have to decide whether or not it is for thee! And if it is you can shop for it at Amazon on this link.

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