Apricot Kernels

Nutrient Fact Sheet Apricot Kernels Loula Natural

Nutrient Fact File

Apricot Kernels

Apricot Kernels are from the inside of the seed of an apricot. The Scientific Name(s) are Prunus armeniaca L. (Rosaceae) ; P. armeniaca L. var. vulgaris Zabel. They are very common here in Hong Kong as they are used in congee and powdered to make a tea. They have  been used medicinally in India and China (in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine) for over 2,000 years. They are widely known for their anti-cancer properties although this claim is often disputed. Often by those who seem to profit from them not being used.

In chinese medicine they are used to stimulate digestion (reduce constipation, to soothe the digestive tract and relieve indigestion), improve respiration (used for asthma and to relieve coughs), lower blood pressure, and relieve arthritic pain (by reducing inflammation). Their bitter/sweet taste is warming and slightly toxic. This is supposed to stimulate healing. 

It is their potential for toxicity which is most widely spoken about even though they have been used safely for thousands of years. In fact only two deaths have ever been reported and it is not stated what dose of the kernels were consumed and whether there were any other conditions involved. They contain tiny amounts of cyanide. 

However they (along with wild cherry pips, crab apple pips, grape seeds, cassava root, millet, broad beans, most berries, and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains that have not been hybridised) also contain vitamin B17 and Laetrile (amygdalin). These nutrients are very powerful immune stimulants, anti-oxidants and digestive supportive. The bitter taste stimulates gastric juices and the rich oils are very beneficial to the body. Apricot Kernal oil is used in many cosmetics and has a great effect on skin.

I have used it both as an oil and as a food for many years and I love it’s flavour. We use it in our muesli, bircher chia, smoothies and I have also made a seed butter from them. Readily available raw in supermarkets they are also relatively inexpensive.

If you want to use them in cancer treatment I suggest you approach your naturopath and oncologist for dosage advice. For prevention of cancer they can also be used safely. Eating 10-12 kernels over a day is generally recommended for prevention. Chewing them to release the oils is advised (hence why making them into a seed butter is a good idea). For cancer treatment almost 5 times that amount is recommended.

Sources and further reading;

My 3 articles on Cancer- What is it, prevention and Anti-oxidants.

My 3 articles on Inflammation; What do we need to know, healing and anti-inflammatory nutrients 

http://www.naturalnews.com/027088_cancer_laetrile_cure.html

http://www.rawapricotseeds.com/faq.html#a1

http://www.anticancerinfo.co.uk/apricot_kernels.html

Nutrient Fact Sheet Apricot Kernels Loula Natural pin

Drink from the Fountain of Youth

I reiterate; I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is given as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and it is not specific to any type of cancer or any particular case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment or supplementation. If you are using any of this advice whilst undergoing Cancer treatment please let your Oncologist know of any changes to your diet or supplements.

Today I want to talk about maintaining cell health and renewal. Regulating cellular lifespan and maintaining DNA integrity to re-create healthy cells is the corner stone of Life Extension and the answer to reversing ageing – the Holy Grail!

Only a short time ago, cancer was something seen mainly in the elderly, with a few cases of early onset and children’s cancer; in fact in the 1900’s 1 in 8000 people got it. Today’s statistics of children and young people being diagnosed and sadly even dying of cancer are alarming. If conventional medicines approach to cancer is so evolved and advanced from and lifestyle is supposedly better than 50-60 years ago, why are we now being quoted as 1 in 3 people will now be diagnosed with Cancer? It is also the number one killer in the US.

As discussed in the post ‘A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?‘, everyone has cancer cells at some point in their body. It is how the body reacts to these cells which determine how far the cells mutate and replicate. The cells oxygen supply, energy manufacturing processes, programmed cell life, damage to cells or DNA integrity to replicate cells are all key factors in cellular health and therefore overall life extension. Most chronic illnesses follow this same path. As ageing occurs cell death and renewal slows down and is not as efficient as in our developmental stages. So how do we optimise our ageing process?

Telomere health is the key. They are at one end of a stretch of DNA. They are important because they protect our genetic data making it possible for cell division and are likened to both the fuse on a ticking time bomb and also the plastic ends of laces that protect them from fraying.

Each time a cell replicates and divides the DNA strand gets shorter. We have a limited number of DNA strands in our body. When they get too short they can no longer divide and become inactive. The result of this is cellular ageing and causes less collagen in our skin, grey hair, pigmentation changes, reduction in reproduction, reduced brain development, subsequent memory loss, reduced muscle and bone mass and all the other symptoms we attach to the ageing process. DNA plays the fundamental role in all the bodies cell replication, the organisation of chromosomes and, of course, controls our gene expression. Since cancer is based on cell mutation, keeping the health and integrity of our DNA is the lynch pin of prevention and indeed should be considered when looking for a cure.

So how do we slow down our Telomere shortening and reducing the damage caused to DNA, in turn protecting and prolonging life but also for looking and feeling younger for longer? I can tell you now it is not in a beauty cream!

There are a few main causes of cellular and in turn DNA damage. One is oxidative stress or free radical damage. The other is Glycation. I will address each in turn;

Free radicals can cause damage to our cell membranes, proteins and DNA strands. They are of course derived from the environment but are also naturally occurring in the body through a number of different essential chemical reactions. X-rays, sunlight, chemicals in our foods, drinks, cosmetics, cleaning products, clothes, even exercise and digestion causes free radicals. The body has a very efficient way of dealing, mopping up and excreting these free radicals. However when the body is either overloaded with toxins or deficient in the raw materials necessary to deal with them, the body has to respond with cell mutation to buy time for survival.

See the post Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail‘ for some ways to reduce your chemical input. Carcinogens bind to DNA in the cell nucleus or mitochondria (the brain and energy power house of the cell) altering its structure and its potential for normal replication. Also consider alcohol, coffee, cigarette smoking, sweeteners and other neurotoxins such as MSG and E numbers. Plastics are also a number one reason for breaks in DNA. They can lessen energy production in cells, increase number of free radicals but also increase the need for detoxification thus depleting the nutrient reserves further. Reducing all of these will go a long way towards preventing unnecessary mutations.

I am by no means saying that you should cut out everything, I follow the 80/20 rule (be virtuous 80% of the time and the other 20% will look after itself). Below is a list of ways to also increase your ability to cope with the excess load. So reduce the above and increase the information below and try and find balance. Be aware and responsible for your health.

Glycosylsation is another very damaging reaction in your body. It occurs when excess glucose in our blood binds to our DNA, proteins and fats rendering them unable to fulfil their function. Glucose is of course sugar. It reduces enzymes ability by deactivating them and damages proteins and fats necessary for providing cell membrane structure and therefore protection and regulation. It also impairs the immune system responsible for programming cell death and mopping up dead and mutated cells. In short, balance your blood sugar levels- it is about way more than what dress size you are.

Dehydration- Consider your fluid intake. Thickened blood due to lack of fluid, increased diuretics from caffeine or pharmaceuticals, sugar, cigarette smoking, stress, excessive meat intake or excessive exercise will cause the cell membrane to thicken to hold onto water within the cell. Thicker walls mean that it also reduces the cells ability to absorb water and nutrients essential for cellular health and function. This in turn causes water retention and inflammation all contributing to cell mutation as the cell will need to become anaerobic (supply energy without oxygen- a key factor of a cancer cell). It is also essential to eliminate toxins from the body through bowel, bladder and sweat! So drink up that water.

Nutrients necessary for DNA integrity and cellular health;

Alpha Lipoic Acid– Very powerful antioxidant  by seeking and mopping up free radicals in both a fat soluble and water soluble environment, helps to recycle and protect other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, Co Q10 and works alongside Glutathione by elevating levels. Improves energy synthesis (essential in cancer cells to be able to stop mutating), immune system, reduces insulin resistance (seen in pre-diabetes type 2, PCOS, Metabolic syndrome- those with excess tummy weight) and increases glucose metabolism. This in turn will reduce both free radical damage and Glycosylsation. It is a sulphur containing amino acid which contributes to phase 2 detoxification. It binds and eliminates toxins from the body and to protect the liver. It also detoxifies heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. Sources include: broccoli, liver, potato, spinach, tomato. Good in supplement form.

Bioflavonoid (citrin, hesperidin, quercetin, rutin)- Antioxidant which may strengthen and protect blood vessels and improve enzyme activity. Should be found in vitamin C supplements. Unlike Vitamin C they are easily obtainable from our foods. Decreases inflammation and protects vitamin C from oxidation. Stimulates phase 2 detoxification process. Quercetin especially stimulates the immune system, modulates gene expression, and also causes cell death in tumour cells. Sources include: apricots, apples, blue, red and black berries, cherries, citrus fruits, green growing shoots of veg, onions, garlic, rosehips. Can be lost through cooking and processing.

Calcium– really important for energy production and to support bone health. Helps to regulate cell division by decreasing the cellular proliferation that is seen in fast reproduction of cancer cells. Activates insulin so also reduces Glycosylsation by utilising excess sugar in blood. It is used to alkaline the blood and cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Sources include- almonds, broccoli, egg yolk, molasses, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables

L Carnitine– Amino acid (protein). Can be made in the body in the liver. Plays a major role in energy production within the cell and muscles by transferring fatty acids through cell membrane. It also helps burn body fat thus reducing excess body weight decreasing the need for cell reproduction and excess oxidation of fat cells. Sources include: Avocados, beef, chicken, fish, liver. Supplement with advice from a professional.

Chromium– Mainly supports the body by reducing balancing blood sugar. It can reduce sugar cravings and enhances insulin receptors in the cells to help remove glucose from the blood whereby thinning it and also reducing Glycosylsation. Sources include: asparagus, apples, egg yolk, liver, mushrooms, nuts, prunes, raisins, liver, molasses and potatoes.

Cysteine– Essential for Glutathione and lipoic acid production. Sulphur containing amino acid and aids detoxification by supporting  the liver and storing glutathione. Required for making insulin so will help protect against glycosylsation. Helps to transport amino acids through cell membranes to support energy production and regulation within the cell itself. Also may protect cells against radiation and pollution. Is another nutrient seeking and mopping up free radicals and should be taken with vitamin C to help protect the kidneys. It is good to take with a complete essential amino acid combination. Sources – beef, chicken, eggs, fish, garlic, whey protein, beans.

Glutathione– (Made up of Cysteine, Glutamic acid and Glycine). Not normally supplemented itself but worth mentioning as its fundamental role as a powerful intra-cellular antioxidant and anti-toxin. It maintains DNA synthesis and protects the cells ability to make energy. Helps detoxify DDT and other carcinogens. Recycles and thus maintains Vitamin E and C to be used again. As mentioned in ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure ‘. Sources include: asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein.

Magnesium-Necessary for energy production within the cells. It also facilitates water being pulled into the cells. Balances calcium. An important role in the immune system is that it may help to remove cells that have been transformed. Improves insulin sensitivity therefore reducing Glycosylsation. Protects DNA replication. Sources include: Almonds, cashews, cocoa, cod, eggs, seeds, parsnips, molasses, cod, kelp and figs.

Methionine– Sulphur containing essential amino acid. Antioxidant by creating Cysteine and helps in phase 2 detoxification (sulphur) in the liver. It seeks and mops up free radicals and is the pre-cursor to Cysteine (see above). Involved in creating antibodies and Carnitine (see above). Therefore by helping to create Carnitine and Creatine it has a role in energy production. It is low in vegetable proteins and is the least abundant in many foods. It prevents fatty build up in the liver and body. Sources include- high levels in eggs, meat and fish with lower levels in soy, peanuts and legumes, nuts and seeds.

Omega 3– regulates inflammation and reduces blood thickness. Flaxseed also helps to regulate oestrogen levels responsible for cellular growth and replication in some cancers. Important role in energy production facilitating fat burn and in return reducing body fat. Sources include: cod liver oil (fermented preferably), mustard seed oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil (do not expose these oils to heat), tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod.

(The following are mainly useful for immune support but have protective properties too. Sources found were mentioned in  An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure ‘)

Beta Carotene– Antioxidant roles. Reduces size of cancers. Protects DNA, cellular membranes and proteins against oxidation

B12– Important for energy production within the cells and is necessary for the production of DNA. It is involved in most rebuilding processes in the body.

Vitamin C– As an antioxidant. Also prevents nitrates (found in the soil, wine, processed meats, water and is in some pharmaceuticals) from converting to carcinogens. Ascorbic acid specifically prevents cell membranes and has been seen to reduce damage caused by cigarette smoke and air pollution.

Vitamin D– Stops over proliferation of cells (division and replication) especially in colon, bone cancer and melanoma. Helps to absorb Calcium. Increases glutathione levels. May create cellular death in breast and prostate cancer.

Vitamin E– antioxidant also protects cell membranes by reducing fat breakdown (an important component of the cell membrane). May also reduce impact of air pollutants.

Folic Acid-Helps in DNA production.

Selenium– Essential for antioxidant balance. It recycles glutathione after its done its job  back to its reduced form ready to be used again.

Zinc– Has an important anti-oxidant role as it seeks and mops up free radicals. as well as its immune support function

Resources:

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/telomeres/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/09/the-nutrients-most-likely-to-let-you-live-to-be-much-older-than-100.aspx

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-027.shtml

Cancer is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine: Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopedia-Natural-Medicine-Third-Edition/dp/1451663005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340245753&sr=8-1

The Nutrient Bible: Henry Osiecki

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Nutrient-Bible-Henry-Osiecki/dp/1875239537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340245813&sr=1-1

A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?

Cancer, a word that holds so much fear, for those who have been diagnosed, their family and friends who help them through it and for everyone in the world who fears they may get it. Like so many other chronic conditions there are many ways of defining it and there are many ways of treating it. For your information firstly, by law your health provider is your primary care giver (for cancer and HIV) so if you are looking for alternative treatments you do have the choice but your nutritional therapist or anyone else should seek permission and be in touch with your oncologist.

Like any condition without knowing why these changes in your body are taking place, it’s very difficult to then know how to treat it. In this series of 3 blog posts I will try to help you understand; 1. What cancer actually is, 2. How you can best try to prevent it and 3.  Ideas on how to help heal yourself, either alongside conventional treatment or things to consider if you choose to forego traditional treatment. I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and not specific to any type of cancer or any specific case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment.

Now that’s been said, this is how I understand what cancer is, from Andres Moritz – “Cancer is a general term that describes a group of 100 unique diseases that share a common factor: uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cell”. Its why this mutation of cells happens, and what the body is trying to do with this spread and change, that I will try and explain today.

The body’s singular function is to survive. Each cell is designed with a specific purpose and when its lifespan is up, there are ‘death cells’ that come and take it away to make room for the new ones. Each cell has a purpose and each cell needs an energy source. To obtain, utilise and transfer this energy each cell needs certain nutrients, to feed, break down, catalyse reactions with enzymes and utilise  metabolic pathways. Without this our cells will die and therefore eventually we will too. There are many reasons as to why any of these factors for healthy cell growth and renewal can end up in mutation. Believe me it happens every day to every single one of us. It’s when it happens over a prolonged period of time without any change in the circumstances, that we find chronic disease, cancer being the one everyone fears the most.

To have good cell renewal you need DNA that will make sure the integrity of the cell information is kept intact. A healthy digestive system that procures all the nutrients needed to build a healthy strong cell are available (fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals necessary) and the environment that has the right pH for all of these chemical reactions to happen. Combine that with a well circulated, oxygenated and fully hydrated blood supply to feed it and to take away the waste, a healthy immune system to mop up all the rogue bacteria and to dispose of the cells that have served their purpose, a healthy liver to process any toxins produced and a well functioning elimination system to remove all the toxins and waste out of your body, you can see that there are many places where this could potentially go wrong!

Conventional medicine has identified Cancer as an ‘autoimmune disease’ in some cases. The body is not attacking itself; the ideal environment and circumstances as outlined above has been compromised forcing the cell to mutate in order to continue to survive. Normally the body gives you signs of imbalance and the need to slow down and clear out. A cold is a good example. You get hot eyes, sore throat, and fever to indicate to you that there has been an infiltration. Fever is necessary to increase the body temperature to kill off the bacteria, inflammation is necessary to try and contain the bug so the body can fight it and then the mucous produced is the body’s way of then eliminating it. We are very efficient machines. So why would you then want to reduce a fever and inflammation in order to ‘feel better’? Sometimes you have to stop, feel like crap and let the body do its job; rest, feed it immune boosting nutrients and keep hydrated. By then encouraging the purge you are successfully strengthening your immune system, and getting rid of anything left over. So decongestants, supposedly helping you to breathe, are also not the answer as it just gets broken down and redistributed. Such is the case against Vaccinations and prolonged use of antibiotics. Not only to they upset the body’s natural defences they also contain many toxins and can contribute to the ticking time bomb that may be in your body for years and years. The only way to get an immune system is to get sick and the only way to strengthen it is to provide the nutrients necessary to do its job and to keep the body in tip top condition. This is true for body, mind and spirit.

Without good nutrition, adequate exercise (for both circulation and oxygen content of blood) and the ability to express emotions and release stress your body will suffer. You have to listen to your body’s signals. Each illness is an opportunity to cleanse and heal, even the childhood illnesses are integral to this. There is that great quote from the Dali Lama that illustrates this perfectly

After you take a day off work when you are feeling awful, take the next day too. In the long run you do yourself and your work a favour as by properly convalescence you are less likely to get sick again as quickly as you may if you continue to plough your way through it. Suppressing symptoms is a dangerous game. Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood to the organs and supplying the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything. Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs breaking the essential environment for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. Cancer cell mutation is a last survival mechanism built in when all other protective measures have failed. It’s actually an ingenious way to survive. A cancerous cell is anaerobic so it can continue to function until the environment changes and it can change back to producing a healthy cell.

A cell cannot have malicious purpose or ability, their only function is to survive. Organ failure happens when the constant deprivation of nutrients causes the cell wastage and mutation to continue. Combine that with a highly invasive and destructive poison and toxin that comes in the form of conventional treatment and in my opinion it is a miracle anyone survives such an onslaught from every angle.

In my next blog I will go into the various nutrients necessary for good DNA cell replication, healthy and strong cell formation and immune system; How to minimise toxicity and maximise the body’s detoxification pathways on an everyday level rather than a ‘New Year’s resolution quick fix’. Until then any comments and questions are encouraged and welcomed.

I leave you with this quote again from Andreas Moritz

“Destructive microorganisms have no business in a clean, well-circulated and oxygen rich environment”

Awesome links (and my sources) to follow up with:

http://www.canceractive.com/ a holistic cancer charity.

credence.org a great resource with more online videos to sign up to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgJKaP0Sj5U&feature=plcp&context=C47cd81eVDvjVQa1PpcFP8RDvM10YWoAEwubj3bxD5l703FZVfLDA%3D An awesome video watching the natural immune system dealing with cancer

http://search.mercola.com/search/Pages/results.aspx?k=cancer All the videos and articles from Dr Mercola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzDHGLEUyw a video about the history of cancer treatment and its dubious takeover by modern medicine

http://www.cancerlaw.net/treatments.htm Some of the Law behind conventional cancer treatment and its failings.

Books:

Caner is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

The Transformed Cell Steven A Rosenberg.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Transformed-Cell-Unlocking-Mysteries/dp/0399137491/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339484314&sr=1-1

 

Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail

We all know chemicals are bad for our health. They create oxidative damage to our cells and create roaming free radicals – words we are used to hearing, but what do they mean, how does it happen and how is it linked to most chronic conditions? For example we know that there is a link between Asbestos and Lung Cancer, but what about the small amounts of chemicals we are exposed to everyday, and not just their individual toxicity, but in their interactions and their potential lethal combination. The cocktails we create, little and often and whether willingly or not, will play a massive role in our cellular, and therefore overall, health.

;

Chemicals are in our Food, Air and Water. Things we can presumably try to control somewhat. Eat organic and as unprocessed as possible, use an air purifier in our homes or wear a mask while out and about (not my personal choice but a choice all the same) and using a water filter or buying bottled, mineral water. But say you buy all organic food, but then use a chemical detergent to wash your dishes and utensils, or a heavy duty surface cleaner or bleach for the floors. Not to mention bug killers sprayed in the kitchen. What about when you use plastic containers to store food or the cling film that wraps our organic vegetables? Look in your bathroom, shampoos, cleansers, toothpaste, nail polish, soap, moisturiser’s make-up, sun cream, insect repellent. The list is endless, that’s before you go to put on your clothes washed in chemical cleaners and softeners, or gone through chemical processes in their manufacture. The skin has an enormous surface area that excretes and also absorbs. However I think the most pointless combination is an air purifier used with chemical air fresheners, especially those automatic dispensers! Even without my usual rant on vaccinations and their chemical content.

So the list is endless and very daunting. When we look at our health and the health of those around us, most things can be helped by cleaning-up what we use and how we use it. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. For example, my husband has very mild asthma; he thought it was the air-conditioning, then the dust in the carpets, then the pollution or the humidity, that was making him need his inhaler more frequently whenever we came to Hong Kong. When we moved we were able to experiment. I chucked out the automatic air freshener in the bathroom and hey presto, complete turn around.

Chemicals react with your body and with each other. Slowly start to replace things as you have finished with them e.g. replace the surface cleaners with the same spray bottle rinsed out completely and filled with water, tea tree, lavender and a squeeze of lemon. You will find that this works at removing grease, and it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and completely non-toxic. Changing to more earth friendly products will reduce your toxic output for the environment but they will still contain chemicals; try using eco balls or soap flakes in the wash, and don’t forget the numerous uses for the amazingly simple – bicarbonate of soda!

Clean up your cosmetics. Your hair and skin will change, but that’s because they are not constantly being stripped of their natural oils (sodium laurel sulphate is the main culprit for this) and goodness, and being replaced with a coating of chemicals which makes your skin appear duller when you don’t use it, give it time and it will be a million times better than it ever was. I have only used blends of oils such as Almond, avocado, jojoba, wheat germ and rosehip with various aromatherapy oils depending on my mood, part of the body I want to use it for, and for what purpose. For example a great blend for a facial oil is rose, frankincense and lavender; an amazing after-sun blend is chamomile, neroli, lavender and geranium, which also doubles as a very good insect repellent, as does lemongrass, grapefruit and geranium. Use the blended oils directly on skin, in the bath, as a makeup remover, as a hair-mask, or on your hands, nails and feet before you go to bed. Save an absolute fortune and have something completely unique and bespoke for you. Parabens may be a hormone disrupter and may have an impact on ‘bad’ oestrogen production that can lead to pcos, fibroids, painful periods and other oestrogen dominant conditions including prostate, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. It’s not about what and how much oestrogen comes into our body; it’s more about what happens to it afterwards and how the body then excretes it. But that is a whole other blog I will get to very soon as it is a big passion of mine!

One of the major players in chemicals and chronic disease is beginning to come to light. Humble sun cream and its connection to skin cancer. There is research to suggest that completely blocking UVA and UVB rays may be the answer. Australia is one of the countries with an increasing number of people with Vitamin D deficiency (foods containing Vitamin D include egg yolk, fish liver oils, butter and sprouted seeds) an important component which holds vital anti-cancer and general health properties by being a very powerful anti-oxidant. They are even starting to suggest that Australia’s high skin cancer rate has very little to do with the hole in the ozone layer but with the sun creams everyone is using and their chemical effect, combined with vitamin D deficiency. Personally I rarely use sun cream, but I am sensible about my sun exposure at the same time. No more than 20 minutes, during the hottest part of the day, with 40% skin exposure may be enough. If I am sunbathing the first 20 mins will be in part shade (I always wear a hat or have my face in the shade) and then I will generally use a factor 20-30. Burning is obviously not an option and will of course produce a lot of damage; I am not condoning that in any way.

If you start in the spring your body builds up its natural defences to the sun, melatonin, and so by the summer when the sun is at its strongest you will have a good degree of natural sun block. After the 20 mins, sleeves, shade, hats etc and obviously keeping well hydrated and your diet packed full of antioxidants in the form of Selenium (Alfalfa, broccoli, eggs, fish, organ meats, onion, garlic), Vitamin A (apricots, barley grass, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, eggs), Beta Carotene (broccoli, carrots, yellow veg, papaya, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes- as uncooked as possible), C (Ascorbic acid- Blackcurrants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, guava, parsley, pineapple, raw cabbage, strawberries, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits), E (almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflowers, wheat germ) and glutathione (asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein) should also massively help in the prevention of skin cancer and of course cancer in general. Seek out the most natural sun creams. Also the iris in your eyes is a major player in vitamin D production so try and hold off putting on those shades, for as long as possible, and if you wear glasses with UVA and UVB protection, have a sit down and take them off for a bit.

Chemicals are largely stored in your fat tissue. Chlorella can help to chelate them out of your body. Be careful if you go down this route and always add greens gradually as they can play havoc with your digestive system. Also always consult a professional nutritionist before adding any supplement to your lifestyle, contact me for more personal recomendation.

A last footnote, those chemicals in disposable nappies (in the gels and the materials), are being absorbed into your little babies skin. Use natural ones or re-usable ones.

Here are some links to back up some of what I have said, let me know if you have any questions or information to add.

http://www.thelosthaven.co.uk/BSoda.htm uses for baking soda

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/sunlight.html

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/melanoma/

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=509 A truly brilliant cancer charity

http://products.mercola.com/chlorella/ You can skip the video if you want!

Books used:

Staying Healthy with Nutrition (2006)Elson Hass

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991) V.A. Worwood

X