How does the Immune System work?

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural 

How does the Immune System work?

 BAlance Loula Natural

The Immune system is a complex balancing act. The body is constantly reacting to changes in the internal and external environment, constantly morphing and adapting to maintain optimal health. Boosting the immune system is simple using natural methods and also extremely effective. Prolonged disease is an effect of the immune system either being interrupted by external forces (which can make the situation worse) or will not switch off (due to stress, digestive weakness, lack of bacteria, lack of key nutrients like fats and so on). 

The body has several inbuilt innate responses primarily designed to keep the body safe and alive. The Fight or Flight mode is paired with the Rest and Recovery mode exactly for this. When there is a perceived threat to the body, the fight and flight mode is switched on to divert all resources to the muscles to do what they have to do. All other healing, nourishing, developing jobs are switched off for the time being to best use energy resources to do what is necessary- fight or flight (run like the wind). Rest and recovery takes over when the situation is safe and all the healing and repairing and growing can then take place again. 

Fight or Flight Loula Natural

However in today’s society what we do not appreciate is that the brain does not distinguish between actual threat and subconscious threat. For example driving in your car- even without traffic and road rage is actually quite stressful for the subconscious- you are in a tin can travelling at speed with things also travelling at speed around you. This is perceived by the subconscious mind even if the conscious mind is singing along to the radio. This is also true of public transport- living in a block of flats above ground level, air travel, being in close proximity to strangers either in a shopping mall or even just walking along the street. 

What we also choose to ignore is the way we speak to ourselves also gives signals to the brain about perceived threat-

sounds of stress

These examples will promote a fight or flight response. So on an emotional level ensuring that you take some time in your day to feel safe, to feel calm and free from obligation, to really focus our minds of restoring blood flow and repairing the body through visualisation or focus on breath is such a simple way to bring back the rest and recover mode. This is the first and most important thing we need to do for optimal health and our immune system.

Rest and Recovery Loula Natural

Rest and Recovery is the only time the immune system can kick in and do some very necessary repair work. It is why we always get sick after a long period of stress or when on holiday. Being sick (inflammation, heat, pain and swelling) is the body’s method of healing. When we are on holiday we have time to rest and do the big work we have been putting off. It is not an ideal situation and is always considered such a pain but really by promoting these functions in the body we can speed up the healing process rather than suppressing it to enjoy yourself on holiday or to just get through the holiday. Consider that by making small changes in your daily life can make a holiday more enjoyable as there is not as much healing the body needs to do as you have taken the time each day to catch up with any healing that needs to be done.

Inflammation what do we need to know Loula Natural

Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and suppressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health

See my Post here about what to do about boosting the immune system

More Information:

Read my book Culture Your Life about Kefir and Kombucha. It includes recipes for food, drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners that can really boost and change your body for longer than a probiotic powder.

culture your life

5 Reasons to make Kefir

Kefir FAQ

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Spring into Health

Inflammation

The Power of Breathing

Heal From Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Naturopaths First Aid Kit

What to do when your kids get sick

What to do when you get sick- fever

5 ways Nutrition can change your life

Recipes

Honey and Onion Immune Elixir

Sunshine Shot

Elderberry Cordial

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spices

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Orange Peel Powder

How to make your own bone broth

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Coconut Milk

Lemon, Orange and ginger curd

Healing Body Butter

 Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak

See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural pin

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Coconut Ginger Cookies Loula Natural

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Always on the lookout for nut free nutrient dense recipes for school lunches and snacks- I found this recipe. I love the simplicity of the recipe but since my daughter is not a massive coconut fan I wanted to change the flavour without changing the flour.

Adding the ginger gives an amazing spin on such a wonderfully simple recipe.

Coconut Ginger Cookies
A delicious spin on a very simple and effective cookie recipe.
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Ingredients
  1. 6tbs coconut flour
  2. 5 tbs Butter (cold)
  3. 1 Tbs Honey
  4. 1-2 tsp ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mixer
  2. Use on a medium speed to blend all ingredients.
  3. ball up mixture into 16-20 balls
  4. Grease a baking sheet, place balls on the sheet
  5. Press down balls to m2ke cookies
  6. Bake at 200 degrees for 8-10 mins.
Notes
  1. Watch the cookies as they start off browning at the endge.
Adapted from Coconut Flour Cookies/
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
They are also perfect for dunking into our hot chocolate!dunking coconut ginger cookies

Coconut Ginger Cookies Loula Natural Pin

 

Healing Body Butter

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural

Healing Body Butter

I have a scar in between my eyes and it is a constant reminder of a silly drunken debacle in my youth! I have made my peace with it with eft and have minimised it with a scar oil I make. I also have an intense reminder of my mastitis and abscess I had in my second pregnancy (big scar!). In my healing process I have a dermatitis on my finger tips (I think its also from the harsh soaps in the toilets here which I have stopped using)too which I would like to support. Now thanks with my two kiddies (actually just the final days of my second pregnancy, I got through my first pregnancy markfree!) I have some stretch marks. They are my stripes sure but I would also like to see if I can aid my body to heal from the inside and also from the outside!

From the inside I have (over the years) changed my lifestyle to reduce gluten and dairy, refined sugars, all processed foods, increased great fats like coconut oil, ghee and others, increased fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life), use stress management methods (rainbow meditation, eft and Bach Flower Remedies). All of these changes have helped me to naturally balance my weight, improved my skin and digestive system and also helped balance my mood, hormones and energy levels. Read more about my journey here

So I have specifically chosen the ingredients of this body butter to help in these three causes;

Argan oil; Deeply nutritious oil from pressing the kernel of the fruit from the Argan tree. This tree only starts producing oil from fruit after it has matured to 30-50 years old (they do say beauty comes with age!). The tree’s are found in Morocco and the oil should be cold pressed. Therefore you would expect this oil to be expensive and always buy a 100% Argan oil. Since the trees live to be 150-200 years old it must be difficult to certify them as organic- so consider this when you see the label. It is most important that it is 100% Argan oil, sustainably produced and from Morocco. A little goes a long way and it is great for dry conditions especially flaky skin (like on my fingers) which works well for my scar too.

This Argan oil and this one are great 

Rosehip oil; Rosehip oil has been used for centuries to improve skin, from the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans. Benefits include corrects UV damage from the sun, reduces appearance of scars, burns and stretch marks (tick,tick), improves elasticity of skin- (which is what I am looking for to heal scars and stretch marks) Treats fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates dry skin, Great for eczema and psoriasis (contact dermatitis is a form of Eczema), Evens skin tone. All round brilliant for what I want this body butter to help from the outside.

This Rosehip oil is great

Shea Butter; Shea butter is also dense with nutrients, including vitamin A, E and phytonutrients which are the source its healing properties and make shea butter an anti-inflammatory. Benefits include treating blemishes, wrinkles, eczema and dermatitis, as well as burns and even stretch marks (tick, tick).  It works to moisturise and soothe all types of skin.

This Shea Butter is lovely

Cocoa Butter; Cocoa butter of course comes from the cacao bean which is found inside the cocoa pod that grows on from the cacao tree.  Like Cocoa itself, Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants which greatly enhance its skin rejuvenating qualities and help to reduce inflammation. The cocoa pod has about 30 to 40 cocoa seeds inside and are like a gourd. These seeds must be fermented in banana leaves (love that it is fermented of course), dried, roasted and pressed. All of this then allows the oil to be released. Benefits include reduces stretch marks, helps heal scars, the fatty acid content helps to hydrate the skin and can help in skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis also helps to heal sensitive skin.

This Cocoa Butter is the one I use

I have also used some essential oils in this body butter to help increase its ability to regenerate and nourish skin cells. 

Frankincense; Apart from being one of my favourite scents on the plant, Frankincense has an air of magic surrounding it. The oil is extracted from the gum or resin from the Frankincense tree (Olibanum tree). It has natural bacterial balancing properties which helps the skin but also helps to preserve the body butter itself. Frankincense Oil promotes regeneration of healthy cells and also keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy. Herbal properties include; Carminative (which of course means it is anti-inflammatory and calming both physically and emotionally), Astringent ( which helps it to lift and contract thus strengthening skin tone), Cicatrisant (which makes it anti-ageing, it can makes the scars and after marks of boils, acne and chickenpox on the skin recover at a fast rate. This also includes the fading of stretch marks.). Not recommended in the first 2 trimesters in pregnancy it is used in perennial oils too both pre and post natally. See this post for some ideas about where to buy Frankincense.

Vanilla; The vanilla plant is a the plant is a perennial herbaceous climbing vine, a tropical orchid. The pods are the seeds from the plant. It has been used for centuries to help heal wounds. Vanilla extract is composed of  sugars, essential oils, vitamins and minerals. Containing high levels of antioxidants and, as a seed, many vitamins and minerals with  benefits for the skin rejuvenation and repair. Calming and soothing for physical and mental imbalances, Vanilla is also known as an anti-inflammatory. I use this extract. There are many other essential oils that can be used (lavender, geranium, neroli) however I want to keep this butter simple and I absolutely LOVE the combination of these two scents. 

Recipe

Healing Body Butter
A healing mix of cocoa butter, shea butter, argan and rosehip oil. Using Frankincense and vanilla to calm, heal and rejuvenate scar tissue, stretch marks and dermatitis.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup cocoa butter
  2. 1/2 cup shea butter
  3. 5mls 100% Argan oil
  4. 10mls Rosehip oil
  5. 10 drops Frankincense
  6. 20 Drops Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. I use my dehydrator to melt my cacao and shea butter.
  2. When liquid (30 mins or so) I added the other ingredients and emulsified the oils with the essential oils in my Kenwood mixer or food processor.
  3. Pour into a jar or tub (I reused a glass moisturiser jar I had already)
  4. Place in the fridge to cool.
  5. Use after shower or bath. Night or day
Notes
  1. It is gentle enough to use in the morning on your face (I have actually used it as a face moisturiser as well as on all my targeted areas).
  2. It is also rich enough to use at night before bed.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
I will let you know how I get on- here is my before picture on my scar and fingers before shot

 Other wonderful homemade lotions and potions;

Also try this diy miracle anti-aging skin cream from Mary Vance 

and this diy puffy eyes serum from Oh Lardy

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural Pin

 

 

How To; Ferment Sauerkraut

How To: Ferment Sauerkraut

Ferment Saurkraut Loula Natural fb

For my inspiration watch this;

Sandor Katz has taught me so much about fermenting… here is his book The Art of Fermentation. and here is his book Wild Fermentation and the link to his website.

Here is how I have tried to make sauerkraut- without a crock or any kind of fancy equipment! Just what I already have in the house.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented. Normally made from finely shredded cabbage and salt. The salt preserves the cabbage for a few days while the probiotic bacteria begin to grow. Raw naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems.

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions mainly because fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage.

I have used a mix of half red cabbage and half white cabbage cause I love both. Cabbage is one of the cruciferous vegetables which may have huge benefits on the digestive and hormonal systems. The vibrant colour of red cabbage reflects it concentration of protective phytonutrients, far more than a green cabbage. This enhances the claims to health benefits such as dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Fermenting these (and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to potentially further enhance them) make these nutrients a powerful mix of goodness and healing for the body.

Here is the recipe with directions and I have photos to follow

Sauerkraut
A simple way to ferment cabbage using only salt and cabbage!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 head of red cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 head of white cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1-2% of cabbage weight in sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt (I generally use 1.5% weight)
  4. Equipment;
  5. Bowl
  6. Mason Jar (or litre jar)
  7. Jar which will fit into the mouth of the mason jar or
  8. A ceramic crock/ glass fido jar with a wide opening with a plate on top to weigh down the cabbage
Instructions
  1. Try and retain one of the outside leaves of the cabbage for later, cut out heart of cabbage
  2. Weigh the cabbage and times the weight by 0.015 to find out 1.5%. Weigh out that amount in salt.
  3. Thinly slice your cabbage.
  4. Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a non reactive bowl (plastic, glass, stainless steel or ceramic).
  5. Add the salt and get your hands in there to massage and work in the salt. The cabbage will quickly become softer and wilted. You will start to see water collecting in the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Add to the mason jar/ceramic crock pushing the cabbage down with a wooden spoon, potato masher or your other jar. You can also just use your fingers. You will notice the brine being created and rising up to the top of the cabbage.
  7. When all the cabbage is in the jar then you place the retained cabbage leaf on the top- this will ensure all the stray bits remain under the brine. Push the smaller jar down and weigh down with either ceramic baking beads, marbles or rocks. This step is not compulsory but does help the first few days of fermenting as it makes it easy to continue to push the kraut down to keep the cabbage in the brine.
  8. Leave for 1 week and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Notes
  1. Ensure that the cabbage stays under the brine to reduce mold and mildew growth.
Adapted from Sauerkraut by Sandor Katz
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
This is the basic recipe. You can play with flavouring your sauerkraut with turmeric, apple, caraway seeds, fennel seeds or carrot. 

Here are the baking beads I use to weigh down the smaller jar

baking beads

Here is the jar set up again-underneath the jar you can see the whole leaf of cabbage to keep the little bits under the brine.

picture of the kraut Loula Natural

Thank you to here for the tip about the whole leaf of cabbage. Once the fermentation has been going a few days I will remove the second jar and put a lid on the jar.

If you use a lid be aware you need to release the build up of carbon dioxide which is a product of all fermentation. Depending on the speed of fermentation (which as mentioned before- depends on the temperature and humidity levels in your fermentation spot) this may be daily.

I will post below what it looks like over the next few days and weeks.

DU5W3949

 

Isn’t it pretty!

To make things easier for you, here is my pdf printable notes for you to make it at home! Let me know what you flavour yours with…

Sauerkraut handout

Ferment Sauerkraut Loula Natural

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

Here is a great healing, fermented sauerkraut; Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut from A Harmony Healing

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

 

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