A fi sau a nu fi...liber

Personal growth ,life-coaching,positive and transpersonal psychology , education for all,INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. HAPPINESS, WELL-BEING,WISDOM, HARMONY, COMMITMENT TO LIFE MISSION AND VALUES


Natural remedies for hair loss in men

(NaturalNews) It is normal to shed hair each day but sometimes hair loss may be exacerbated by stress, a poor diet or illness. Hereditary hair loss is known as alopecia, which affects men more often than women. Many men turn to cures that promise amazing results in preventing hair loss, but usually these are nothing more than expensive scams that can damage health over time. There are, however, homeopathic and herbal treatments available that can slow down hair loss and encourage hair to grow naturally.

Causes of Hair Loss and Baldness in Men

Baldness, or alopecia, is total or partial loss of hair. This is often a hereditary condition that occurs more frequently in males than females because it depends on the influence of the male hormone testosterone. Pattern baldness is the most prevalent instance of hair loss in men.

Sudden, temporary hair loss sometimes occurs as a result of stress, flu, pneumonia or typhoid fever. Temporary baldness can also be the result of exposure to nuclear radiation, X-rays, anti-cancer drugs or a severe nutritional deficiency.

Natural Treatments for Hair Loss in Men

Herbal and homeopathic treatments can stimulate and encourage hair growth, as well as support good blood circulation, hormonal balance and correct thyroid functioning.

Homeopathic - A homeopath may prescribe Aurum metallicum for an individual who is losing hair and also suffers from headaches and/or boils on the scalp. Phosphoric acid is generally recommended for hair loss following grief and exhaustion. Selenium is said to help an individual with a painful scalp combined with loss of hair. Visit a qualified homeopath to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Herbal - An herbalist may suggest a daily intake of rosemary tea or nettle tea. Equisetum arvense (field horsetail), Avena sativa (oats) and Echinacea are effective in combating hair loss and nourishing hair follicles. Visit an herbalist first before deciding on these treatments.

Aromatherapy - A scalp massage with essential oils such as fenugreek, ginger, cypress, lavender and rosemary are suggested to help with hair loss. Blend 2 drops of essential oil to 15ml (1 tablespoon) of carrier oil, such as jojoba.

Vitamins and Minerals - Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, choline and inositol should be taken regularly by men whose hair is receding or falling out.

Cutting down on alcohol and sugar and eliminating nutritionally deficient junk food from the diet can slow down hair loss. Stick to a natural, healthy diet that includes good fats, protein, whole grains and plenty of organically grown fruits and vegetables in order to prevent hair loss or thinning hair.


Papaya has anti-cancer effects

(NaturalNews) Originally native to southern Mexico and now cultivated in many tropical countries (including Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam and Sri Lanka), the papaya plant has been touted by traditional healers for centuries as a source of powerful medicine. Not only is papaya fruit delicious and loaded with vitamins and phytochemicals, but other parts of the plant have been used historically to treat health problems, too. Now University of Florida (UF) researcher Dr. Nam Dang and his colleagues in Japan have announced new evidence that the papaya fights cancer cells. In fact, they discovered that an extract made from dried papaya leaves produced a dramatic anti-cancer effect against a broad range of tumors grown in the laboratory -- including cancers of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, not only showed that papaya has a direct anti-tumor effect on a variety of malignancies, but it also documented for the first time that papaya leaf extract increases the production of key signaling molecules called Th1-type cytokines. That's important because this regulation of the immune system raises the strong possibility that the use of papaya could help the body's own immune system to overcome cancers. In addition, it suggests papaya could be helpful in treating or preventing other health problems such as inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

The research team found that papaya's anti-cancer effects were strongest when cancer cells received larger doses of the papaya leaf extract -- yet, unlike many mainstream cancer therapies, there were no toxic effects at all on normal cells. In a statement to the media, Dr. Dang pointed out that the ability of papaya extract to stop cancer without toxicity is consistent with reports from indigenous populations in Australia and in his native Vietnam.

"Based on what I have seen and heard in a clinical setting, nobody who takes this extract experiences demonstrable toxicity; it seems like you could take it for a long time -- as long as it is effective," stated Dr. Dang, who is a professor of medicine and the medical director of the UF Shands Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office.

In all, the UF scientists exposed 10 different types of cancer cell cultures to four strengths of papaya leaf extract. When they measured the effect of the extract after 24 hours, the papaya had slowed the growth of tumors in all the cultures.

What exactly does papaya do to halt malignancies? To find out, the researchers focused on a T-lymphoma cancer cell line. They discovered that at least one of the mechanisms that makes papaya extract a potent anti-cancer weapon is the natural compound's ability to cause malignant cells -- but not normal ones -- to die.

The researchers hope to follow up these experiments by eventually testing the papaya cancer treatment in animal and human studies. Up next for Dr. Dang and his colleagues: they've applied to patent a process to distill the papaya extract through the University of Tokyo and they are working to identify all the specific compounds in the papaya extract that are active against cancer cells. To this end, Dr. Dang has partnered with Hendrik Luesch, a UF Shands Cancer Center professor of medicinal chemistry who is an expert in the identification and use of natural products for medical purposes. Dr. Luesch recently discovered yet another natural cancer fighter -- a coral reef compound that blocks cancer cell growth in cell lines.

For more information:



Natural help for hemorrhoids

(NaturalNews) Hemorrhoids are painful swollen veins in the rectum or anus that plague many men and women. They result from increased pressure in the veins which cause the veins to bulge. Getting hemorrhoids is considered bad news. However, if you do get them the good news is that nature offers some good remedies to help control and perhaps even eliminate hemorrhoids.

The most common cause of hemorrhoids for men is straining during bowel movements. Women's hemorrhoids are often caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Hemorrhoids may also result from constipation, sitting for long periods, poor posture and infections. In some cases they may be caused by diseases such as cirrhosis.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include anal itching, anal pain or aches (especially while sitting), pain during bowel movements, hard lumps in the vicinity of the anus and bright red blood on toilet tissue, in the stool, and/or in the toilet bowl.

To avoid hemorrhoids:

- Eat a healthy diet which includes plenty of fiber.
- Avoid sitting for too long at a time and maintain proper posture.
- Keep your weight down to prevent strain.
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and reduce constipation.

To help with some of the problems associated with hemorrhoids:

- Wear cotton undergarments.
- Avoid toilet tissue with perfumes or colors.
- Try not to scratch the area.
- Sit down in a bathtub with warm water or else a sitz bath.
- Use stool softeners to help reduce straining and constipation.

Here are natural remedies that may help you conquer hemorrhoids:

1. Start drinking water and do it slowly. If you gulp down water you`re going to urinate most of it out.

2. Take supplemental iodine and cayenne pepper to help strengthen veins. Cayenne also rebuilds stomach tissue and iodine is also good for irritable bowel and other conditions which may aggravate hemorrhoids.

3. After you`ve relieved yourself put very warm water in a sitz bath (not so hot that you burn yourself but it should be a little uncomfortable). Put the toilet seat up and place the sitz bath on the toilet itself (it should come with instructions). Make sure you have a towel within reach.

4. Gently sit on the sitz bath and remain for five minutes. At the 4 minute mark reach in the bath with your hand and clean yourself off. After 5 minutes get up and dry yourself off. Thoroughly wash your hands.

5. Next, grab a dry face cloth; place two ice cubes in the cloth. Find a comfortable place to rest and place the cloth against the anus. Hold it there for 5 minutes.

6. Repeat the sitz bath and ice cube procedures three more times.

7. Keep doing this until everything is healed. It normally takes a day and a half or so and you should feel dramatic results at the end of the first day.

Other items that can help with hemorrhoid problems are:

- Wash two to three dried figs very well & soak in a glass of cold water overnight. Have them first thing in the morning and again in the evening.

- Mix two teaspoons each of fresh lime juice and olive oil and apply on affected area.

- Apply Vitamin E oil to affected area as often as needed.

- Take fresh mint leaves juice, lemon juice and honey orally three times a day.

- Drink boiled mashed ripe banana in one teacup milk two to three times daily.

- Vitamin B6 can help in just a day or two if hemorrhoids come from a B6 deficiency.

Sources included:



The useful cucumber

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free... Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath...
12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!! Pass this along to everybody you know who is looking for better and safer ways to solve life's everyday problems..


7 keys to reducing stress in our life

(NaturalNews) Once you've identified the top sources of stress in your life, it's important to take action and start moving things in a positive direction. Most people are amazed at the improvement they see in their health after making just a few small but very significant changes. Here are seven simple keys for reducing the stress in your life:

Reduce Emotional and Psychological Stress

The impact of emotional stress cannot be underestimated, but this type of stress is often overlooked because it is difficult to make changes in this area. A difficult living situation, an unhappy marriage or a stressful job could be a source of major stress that is wearing down your health. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to move, get a divorce or quit your job, but it's important to look for ways to improve your situation in any case. If you're dealing with other stressors like depression, anxiety, or the loss of a loved one, you may want to seek counseling or join a support group that can offer you help.

Although it appears small on the surface, negative thought patterns have a way of chipping away at our quality of life by compounding our stress. Establishing healthy patterns of enjoying the moment, reframing, and learning to forgive can have a very positive effect on your health.

Prioritize Quality Sleep and Regular Downtime

The impact sleep can have on your life is well documented. Getting at least seven hours every night will balance your cortisol levels, improve your energy and brighten your mood. And just as important as sleep is downtime. It may take some rearranging if your schedule is packed with activities, but it's vital for your health to take time each day to relax and unwind. Taking a day off now and then and freeing yourself from a mile-long to-do list is very restorative as well. And by all means, if you can take a vacation and get away from it all, do it!

Improve Food Quality and Eating Habits

It can't be emphasized enough: food is the foundation of your health. A balanced diet of natural foods is a must. All macronutrient groups (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) should be included in balanced ratios. Avoid skipping meals or under-eating. Your body needs quality food for nourishment.

Avoid Allergens

If you have allergies, these can trigger a stress response in the body. Do your best to avoid allergens, which includes identifying food allergies so you can make better food choices. On the up side, if you deal properly with other stressors in your life, this may decrease the severity of your allergic reactions (which are, in part, a stress response of their own).

Exercise: Make It Smart and Sensible

Exercise is very healthy, but it's important not to overdo it if you're otherwise stressed. Emphasize activities like strength training, yoga, walking and swimming. Avoid overtraining or doing too much cardio, which can exhaust the adrenals.

Reduce Physical Stressors

If you get sick, injured or have to deal with chronic pain, try to get the rest and care you need so you can reduce the stress these cause on your body. Allow your body time to heal or, in the case of chronic pain, look for ways to treat the pain or the underlying cause that prevents you from living a normal, happy life.

Avoid Toxin Exposure

Most of us can't completely eliminate toxins from our lives, but we can take measures to greatly reduce the amount of toxins our bodies must deal with every day. Filter your water, use natural beauty and cleaning products, eat organic foods, avoid chemical food additives and take the time to enjoy fresh air as much as you can.

For More Information:

Schwarzbein, Diana. (2002) The Schwarzbein Principle II: The "Transition" - A Regeneration Program to Prevent and Reverse Accelerated Aging. Published by HCI.

Wilson, James L. (2002) Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Published by Smart Publications.


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Cranial electrotherapy stimulation

(NaturalNews) Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is non-invasive alternative therapy that involves passing very small electrical impulses (micro-currents) across the base of the skull. This is done by placing electrodes or clips on or near both ears. Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation alters the electrical activity of the brain and is being considered a safer alternative to drug treatments for conditions such as insomnia, depression, drug addiction, headaches and even ADHD.

Electrotherapy is not new to the world of healing. Ancient civilisations have recorded the therapeutic use of electrostimulation. Artwork in Egyptian tombs demonstrate the healing use of the Nile catfish, which emits an electric shock when touched. The Black torpedo (an electric ray fish) was prescribed by the Roman physician Scribonius Largus for relieving headaches and gout in 46 AD (his patients had to stand on a live fish).

A number of scientific studies have indicated that CES has many positive effects. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted randomised, controlled trials comparing placebo treatments with CES. The CES proved to be substantially more effective than placebo in alleviating anxiety, headache and pain. Further studies confirmed that CES increased the attention and concentration in patients while they completed a psycho-motor task. These findings could be valuable in providing non-drug assistance to learning-disabled children, such as those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD).

How Does CES Work?

The pulsed electrical currents are believed to affect the limbic system, the reticular activating system, and/or the hypothalamus and to stimulate regions that control pain messages, neurotransmitter creation, and hormone production via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.

The electrical current is believed to increase the brain's levels of serotonin, beta-endorphin, GABA and DHEA and to lower levels of cortisol and tryptophan. These substances influence the chemical activity of nerve cells in the nervous system.

CES stimulates activity in some neurological systems and decreases activity in other areas by changing the electrical and chemical activity of nerve cells in the brain stem. This produces increased alpha rhythms (electrical activity patterns in the brain) that are accompanied by feelings of serenity, relaxation and increased mental focus. This reduces agitation and the effects of stress, helps balance mood and controls sensation and perception of certain types of pain. Decreased delta rhythms suggest reduced drowsiness and decreased beta rhythms are associated with reductions in anxiety, ruminative thought, and obsessive/compulsive-like behaviours.

CES should not be mistaken for (ECT)electro-convulsive therapy also known as electroshock therapy used by psychiatrists to treat patients with severe depression. Shock therapy uses a current that is 1000 times greater than Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).

The most common and recognised treatments with CES are for anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is also used to treat other conditions such as stress, headaches, cognitive dysfunction in head-injured patients, fibromyalgia and pain and has been shown to be effective with virtually no adverse effects.

The outcomes of the studies done indicate that Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation is a good potential substitute for drug therapy in the conditions noted above, especially where mainstream drugs may have undesirable side-effects including dependency (addiction). It has also shown positive results in the treatment of a variety of chronic conditions, including reflex sympathetic dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, and as part of the supportive treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.


1. http://www.bmedreport.com/archives/...

2. http://www.depressiontreatmentnow.c...

3. Kirsch, Daniel, L. and Smith R. Cranial electrotherapy stimulation for anxiety, depression, insomnia, cognitive dysfunction, and pain. In Bioelectromagnetic Medicine. Paul J. Rosch, Ed. Marcel Dekker, New York, Pp 727-740, 2004

4. Plotnick, Stephen E. Finding hope: Alpha-Stim 100 may help clinicians yield better fibromyalgia treatment results. Advance for Directors in Rehabilitation, P. 82, May 2005.

5. Gilula, Marshall F., and Kirsch, Daniel L. Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation Review: A Safer Alternative to Psychopharmaceuticals in the Treatment of Depression. Journal of Neurotherapy, 9(2):7-26, 2005

6. Shealy CN, et al. Depression: a diagnostic, neurochemical profile and therapy with cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). J Neurol Orthop Med Surg 1989;10:319-321

Non-stick chemical and thyroid disease

(NaturalNews) A British study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found that people with high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in their blood also have higher rates of thyroid disease. PFOA is a chemical used in the production of many industrial and consumer products including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpet coatings, and fabric waterproofing treatments.

Nearly 4,000 American adults over the age of 20 were tested for PFOA between 1999 and 2006 and evaluated based on thyroid function. Researchers found that those with the highest blood serum levels of PFOA, above 5.7 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), were twice as likely to have thyroid disease than those with the lowest levels below 4.0 ng/ml.

Despite the fact that thyroid disease is typically more common in women rather than in men, researchers found that the link between PFOA and thyroid disease is as just as prevalent in men as it is in women.

Researchers seemed to tiptoe around the results of the study, however, carefully avoiding making a direct link between PFOA and thyroid disease. Tamara Galloway, lead author of the study and professor of ecotoxicology at Exeter University, explained that further research is needed to determine exactly how the chemicals affect people's bodies.

Ashley Grossman, professor of neuroendocrinology at Queen Mary, University of London, warned that declaring a connection between PFOA and thyroid disease based on studies like this should be avoided. She believes that until research is able to verify exactly how the chemical interferes with the thyroid, a definitive link cannot be inferred.

Located in the neck, the thyroid gland secretes the necessary hormones that regulate a person's growth and development. Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland is operating below the healthy level, is a common disorder that is increasingly being linked to toxic chemicals like fluoride and chlorine which disrupt proper hormonal production. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include hair loss, weight gain and chronic fatigue.

The connection between toxic chemicals and thyroid disease is undeniable, yet many refuse to accept it. Unless exact causation can be established, many will refuse to believe that there is even an association.

Even so, there are many ways to help improve thyroid function and overcome thyroid disease. Since toxic halogens like chlorine and fluoride block the uptake of necessary iodine in the thyroid, supplementation with a high-quality form of iodine can bring improved function. Other steps include detoxifying, improving one's diet, and avoiding the sources of toxic triggers.

Sources for this story include:



The healthy walking

(NaturalNews) As little as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week can reduce the risk of early heart-disease-related death by 60 percent, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Department of Cardiology in New Orleans and published in the American Journal of Medicine.

"This study proves once again that exercise has both psychological and physical benefits for patients with heart disease," the British Heart Foundation said. "Health authorities must ensure that all suitable heart patients are offered cardiac rehabilitation. Structured, well-resourced programs have been shown to improve physical and psychological well-being and reduce mortality."

Researchers offered 522 heart disease patients a 12-week exercise class, which included three weekly sessions consisting of a 10-minute warm-up, 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise, and a 10-minute wind-down stretch. Aerobic exercises included walking, jogging, rowing and cycling. All exercise program participants were advised to exercise a further one to three times per week, and were given diet and lifestyle advice.

After six years, participants who had taken part in the exercise program were 60 percent less likely to have died from a cardiovascular cause than those who had declined to participate. The risk was reduced even further in patients who had reported being stressed.

Stress can increase the risk of death in heart patients fourfold. In the current study, the proportion of stressed patients in the exercise group went from 10 percent to 5 percent.

"Exercise reduces mortality in patients with coronary artery disease ... in part because of the effects on psycho¬social stress," the researchers concluded.

The weight of participants in the exercise group did not change significantly over the course of the study, suggesting that exercise provides important health benefits separate from its effect on weight control.

Prior studies have shown that regular exercise lowers the risk of not only cardiovascular disease, but also of cancer and neurological disorders.

Sources for this story include: www.dailyexpress.co.uk.


Junk food as dangerous as cocaine

(NaturalNews) Junk food appears to be almost as addictive as heroin, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Scripps Research Institute and presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

"This is the most complete evidence to date that suggests obesity and drug addiction have common neuro-biological foundations," researcher Paul Johnson said.

The researchers fed rats one of three diets: a nutritious diet, a healthy diet with restricted access to junk food, or a diet of unlimited junk food. Junk foods included cheesecake, chocolate, sponge cake and fatty meat. Mice in the third group quickly became obese, while the weight of mice in the first two groups did not change.

To test the effects of junk food on the brain's pleasure centers -- the areas affected by drugs -- the researchers electrically stimulated those areas whenever the mice ran on a wheel. The longer a rat ran on the wheel, the more pleasure it would receive.

While rats in the first two groups did not change their wheel-running behavior, the rats eating junk food soon began running on the wheel for longer periods -- suggesting that their brain's pleasure centers had become less sensitive. Consistent with this finding, the rats began eating more and more food, suggesting that their bodies had become desensitized to the pleasure the food was producing.

The researchers then began exposing rats to painful electric shocks whenever they ate junk food. The rats on the restricted junk food diet quickly stopped eating the food, but the binge-eating rats were undeterred.

"You lose control. It's the hallmark of addiction," researcher Paul Kenny said.

When the bingeing rats were deprived of junk food and given only healthy food, they refused to eat anything for two weeks.

"It's almost as if you break these things, it's very, very hard to go back to the way things were before," Kenny said. "Their dietary preferences are dramatically shifted."

"What we have are these core features of addiction, and these animals are hitting each one."

Sources for this story include: www.telegraph.co.uk; www.sciencenews.org.


Home made harmless deodorants

(NaturalNews) Using deodorants and antiperspirants are considered by many to be essential in order to prevent body odor. Finding a good deodorant that does not contain aluminum oxide, aluminum compounds, synthetic fragrances and stabilizers makes for a tough search. Brands advertised as organic, all natural or herbal often contain the same chemicals, either with lesser quantities or with certain additives removed but others added. Alternative, natural deodorants can be home-made, are cost effective and very simple to make. Best of all, they are not damaging to health.

Natural Alternatives to Chemical Laden Deodorants

- By mixing corn starch and baking soda with a few drops of essential oil, an effective and natural dry deodorant can be created.

- A wet deodorant can be created by mixing witch hazel and glycerin combined with essential oil of choice.

- Blending pure essential oils with a base oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil or blending a few drops of essential oil to use directly on the skin can make a delightfully scented, natural deodorant.

- Crystals or salt rocks that leave an almost unnoticeable residue when applied can take care of underarm odor. Salt rock crystal deodorants are safe, even for people with allergies and skin sensitivity, and they do not leave behind any noticeable residue on skin or clothing. Though there are several brands available, the only thing to really watch for is that a pure salt crystal is chosen and does not have additives or artificial fragrances added.

Essential Oil Blends - What to Consider

For body odor, use essential oils that will limit the bacterial growth that causes odor. Be careful of oils that may irritate the skin, however, especially the sensitive skin under the arms. Try lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and patchouli, cinnamon and clove essential oils.

Be sure to use very good quality essential oil, since some oils are poorly processed or contain additives that may irritate the skin. Look for organically sourced oil, pressed at low temperatures and safe to use topically.

Recipe for Deodorant Powder Using Essential Oils

Deodorant powder

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon pulverized lavender flowers
15 drops pure lavender essential oil

Mix lavender oil with the pulverized lavender flowers
Mix with the other ingredients and allow it to sit in an airtight glass container away from any light for a day or two.

To use, lightly dust the underarms using a shaving brush or blush brush and/or apply to any other area of your body you wish to feel fresh.

Recipe for Natural Spray Deodorant Using Tea Tree Oil

Pour 2 ounces of clean water
4 drops of tea tree essential oil

Mix together, shake up and spray whenever necessary for a natural deodorant that can even double up as a mosquito repellent.




Food actions for the body(Chinese medicine)



Bean Sprouts
Bok Choi
Chinese Cabbage
Chrysanthemum flower
Dandelion leaf
Snow peas
Water chestnuts
White mushroom
White peony root



Wheat germ


White pepper.

Soy sauce
Sugar cane



Alfalfa sprouts Artichoke
Bamboo shoots
Bitter Gourd
Button mushroom
Cooked Lettuce
Cooked Onion
Daikon radish
Endive lettuce
Lotus root
Snow Pea
Soybean Sprouts
Swiss chard


Black currant


Wild rice


Lima beans
Mung bean


Duck egg
Fresh water snail.


Cilantro leaf


Green tea
Miso soup
Oolong Tea
Sesame oil



Bell pepper
Cooked Tomato
Green bean
Green Pepper
Mustard green
Oyster mushroom.
Sweet potato


Hawthorn fruit
Sweet/glutinous rice


Black bean
Lotus seed
Pine nut


Fresh water fish
Pig tripe
Sheep & goat
Sheep's milk


Bay leaf
Coriander (also known as Chinese parsley or Pak Chee, in Thai.)
Dill seed
Fresh ginger


Brown sugar
Malt sugar


Black tea
Goats milk
Plum vinegar
Rice vinegar



Green onion
Raw onions
Red pepper


Deep-fried or grilled meat.
Grass fish.
Sparrow meat.


Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili pepper




You may have realised by now that Chinese food -- Chinese philosophy as well -- is all about balance. In Western/European cooking, everybody knows there are "five food groups" -- meat, fruit&veg, grains, nuts and dairy products. In Asia, however, there are many other categories of food groups. As well as temperature, foods are also classified by taste, five tastes for that matter: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent. In Thai cuisine, every meal is prepared to have a perfect balance of each of these five taste groups.
The Five flavors refer to the concept of five kinds of taste of foods or drugs, ie, pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty, FIVE TASTE GROUPS:
Pungent: Ginger, scalllion, garlic, hot pepper, pepper, cayenne pepper, onion, leek, spirit.
Sweet: Potato, lotus root, wheat, polished rice, pea, milk, pork, chestnut, date, honey.
Sour: Tomato, tangerine, plum, lemon, grape, papaya, haw, cherry apple, pomegranate, vinegar.
Bitter: Bitter melon, almond, lily bulb, orange peel, tea, coffee, bitter green, arrow root, pig liver.
Salty: Barley, millet, dried purple sea weed, kelp, jelly fish, pork, beef, crab, table salt.
According to Chinese Food Therapy: "Each taste acts on or has direct influence on a specific vital organ... Sweet acts on the spleen and stomach helping digestion and neutralizing the toxic effects of other foods. Sour acts on the liver and gall bladder and controls diarrhea and excessive perspiration. Bitter acts on the heart and small intestine and reduces body heat and excessive fluids and induces diarrhea. Salty foods act on the kidneys and bladder and soften hardness of muscles or glands. Pungent acts on the lungs and large intestine and induces perspiration and promotes energy circulation."


Apart from maintaining general health, foods can be utilised more specifically to deal with health problems and even medical emergencies. For example, eating an apple is recommended as a quick way to sober up after drinking too much alcohol. Some medical uses of food, compiled by Dr. David Chan:

STOP BLEEDING: Black fungus, chestnut, Chicken eggshell, cottonseed, cuttlebone, guava, lotus plumule, spinach, vinegar.
REDUCE STOMACH ACID: Chicken eggshell, cuttlebone.
STOP PERSPIRATION: Oyster shell, peach.
INDUCE PERSPIRATION: Cinnamon twig, coriander, ginger, green onion, marjoram, rosemary.
PROMOTE URINATION: Asparagus, barley, Chinese cabbage, carrot, Chinese wax gourd, coconut, coffee, corn silk, cucumber, grape, hops, Job's tears, kidney bean, lettuce, mandarin orange, mango, mung bean, muskmelon, onion, pineapple, plum, star fruit, sugar cane juice, water chestnut, watermelon.
CLEAR TOXINS: Abalone, banana, bean curd, black soybean, castor bean, cherry seed, chicken egg white, Chinese wax gourd, clam (freshwater), cucumber, date (red & black), fig, honey, Job's tears, kohlrabi, radish, salt, sesame oil, small red bean, star fruit, vinegar.
TRANSFORM PHLEGM: Chinese wax gourd, clam (saltwater), longevity fruit, pear, radish, sea grass seaweed.
IMPROVE APPETITE: Green & red pepper, ham.
INDUCE BOWEL MOVEMENT: Castor bean, sesame oil.
LUBRICATE DRYNESS: Bean curd, chicken egg & yolk, honey, maltose, mother's milk, pear, pork, sesame oil, spinach, sugar cane juice, yellow soybean.
LUBRICATE INTESTINES: Bitter & sweet apricot seed, banana, milk, peach, soybean oil, walnut, watermelon.
LUBRICATE LUNGS: Apple, apricot, chicken egg white, ginseng, lily flower, longevity fruit, loquat, mandarin orange, peanuts, persimmon, strawberry, white fungus, white sugar.
PROMOTE BLOOD CIRCULATION: Black soybean, brown sugar, chestnut, eel blood, peach, saffron, and sweet basil, wine.
PROMOTE DIGESTION: Apple, coriander, ginseng, green & red pepper, hops, malt, nutmeg, papaya, pineapple, plum, radish & leaf, sweet basil, tomato.
PROMOTE ENERGY CIRCULATION: Caraway, chive & root, dill seeds, dry mandarin orange peel, fennel, garlic, kumquat, litchi, marjoram, radish leaf, spearmint, star anise, sweet basil, tangerine, tobacco.
PROMOTE MILK SECRETION: Common carp, lettuce.
QUENCH THIRST: Crab apple, cucumber, loquat, mango, muskmelon, persimmon, pineapple.
REDUCE FEVER: Muskmelon, star fruit, water chestnut.
RELIEVE ASTHMA: Bitter apricot seed.
RELIEVE COUGH: Sweet & bitter apricot seed, kumquat, longevity fruit, mandarin orange, tangerine, thyme.
RELIEVE DIARRHEA: Guava, sunflower seed.
RELIEVE HEAT SENSATIONS: Chicken egg white, crab, mung bean, sea grass.
RELIEVE PAIN: Honey, litchi, spearmint, squash, tobacco.
SHARPEN VISION (Brighten eyes): Abalone, bitter gourd, wild cucumber, freshwater clam, cuttlefish.
TONIFY KIDNEYS: Black sesame seed, string bean, sword bean, wheat, kidney.
TONIFY LIVER: Black sesame seed, liver.
TONIFY LUNGS: Job's tears, milk.
TONIFY SPLEEN: Beef, gold carp, ham, horse bean, hyacinth bean, Job's tears, polished rice, potato, string bean, sweet potato, yellow soybean.
RELIEVE DRUNKENNESS: Apple, ginseng, strawberry.

Chinese food therapy


Chinese food therapy dates back as early as 2000 BC. However, proper documentation was only found around 500 BC. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine also known as the Niejing, which was written around 300 BC, was most important in forming the basis of Chinese food therapy. It classified food by four food groups, five tastes and by their natures and characteristics.

During the Chau dynasty (16 BC), food therapy was established as a specialist field. The state even had a food specialist serving the emperor in the imperial court. It was during the Tang dynasty (608-906 AD) that food therapy became popular and the classic books on the subject were published.

Throughout Chinese history, healthcare was not the responsibility of the state but rather the responsibility of every ordinary citizen. People used their own resources to find cures when they became sick, which meant that most people could not afford to be sick. This is why preventive healthcare is so popular in China. Out of the four pillars of health - lifestyle, diet, exercise and mind - diet is most important because food is considered the primary cause of sickness as well as the main reason for living long and healthy.

Food plays a center role in Chinese culture. Cooking good food for family members is a lifelong profession for most women. Children are brought up with some knowledge of the nature of their daily foods. Dietary restriction is commonly understood and observed. Eating well and healthy is almost a national obsession and definitely the most valued activity of family life.

Herbal Medicine and Food Therapy
"Medicine and food are of the same sauce", the Neijing says. When the Chinese discovered farming and agriculture in the early days, they discovered the medicinal properties of food. Since then, food has been studied and analyzed for its medicinal effects on people. This knowledge enables people to use food as the first line of defense to ward off common sicknesses and diseases. It is only when food alone cannot solve the health problem that people seek the help from medical practitioners.

When treating sickness, Chinese doctors use herbal remedies initially to control the problem. They apply tried-and-true formulas with slight variations to meet the patient's specific conditions. Mixing herbs of similar properties increases the overall effectiveness. Mixing herbs of different properties can moderate the effects of the main herbs, complement the actions and/or minimize any adverse side effects. Some herbs can be as harsh as drugs, very forceful and effective but not to be taken continuously.

Herbal medicine comes from plants, animals and minerals sources. Plant sources are roots, stalk, and bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds of wild vegetation. Some can only be found in extreme climates and mountainous terrain. Animal sources include insects, marine products and game. Mineral sources include crushed stones, fossilized bones and crushed shells. Herbal remedies are mostly decocted into teas, to be taken warm and are very bitter in taste. They are used to control and treat the predominant symptoms of sickness. Once the sickness is under control, food therapy is used to continue the treatment.

This combination of foods and herbs to make medicinal dishes to treat sickness is food therapy. When herbs of similar, supporting or enhancing natures are added to food, they intensify the medicinal effects. When herbs of opposing natures are added, they lower the impact or change the effects on the body. Therapeutic foods are designed to assist the body in healing itself for permanent cure. The herbs used are superior herbs or food herbs with little or no adverse side effects.

Medicinal food is most effective when taken regularly for a few days or up to a few weeks. Patients going through the treatment gain a better understanding of their body's systems and know what to eat to prevent future reoccurrence. Some simple therapeutic recipes have become popular family dishes and the more precious ones are delicacies in Chinese cuisine.

The Four Food Groups
The four food groups in the Chinese diet are grains, fruits, meats and vegetables. Dairy products, especially cow's milk, are not considered suitable for humans.

The Niejing defines "grains for sustaining, vegetables for filling, fruits for supporting, meats for enhancing." Grains and vegetables are regarded as the basic foods necessary to sustain life. They should form the major part of our diet. Meats and fruits are supporting and complementary foods and should be eaten in moderation.

A balanced Chinese diet comprises 40 percent grains, 30 to 40 percent vegetables, 10 to 15 percent meats and the rest in fruits and nuts.

The Five Tastes
Foods are classified by the five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent. Each taste acts on or has direct influence on a specific vital organ. When each taste is consumed in moderation, it benefits the corresponding organ. Over-indulgence in any taste harms the organ and creates imbalance among the five vital organ systems.

Taste Sweet Sour Bitter Salty Pungent
Act on Organ System Spleen/Stomach Liver/Gall bladder Heart/Small Intestine Kidney/Bladder Lungs/Large Intestine

Sweet acts on the spleen and stomach helping digestion and neutralizing the toxic effects of other foods. Sour acts on the liver and gall bladder and controls diarrhea and excessive perspiration. Bitter acts on the heart and small intestine and reduces body heat and excessive fluids and induces diarrhea. Salty foods act on the kidneys and bladder and soften hardness of muscles or glands. Pungent acts on the lungs and large intestine and induces perspiration and promotes energy circulation.

The five organ systems control and support each other. Proper coordination only exists when there is no one organ stronger or weaker than the rest. Since the five tastes have direct influences on your organs, your diet should have a good combination of the five tastes in order to promote internal balance and harmony.

The Nature of Food
Chinese medicine defines the natures of foods as hot, cold, warm, cool, wet and neutral. It is the same definition as our body constitution.

Yang Yin
Hot < Warm < Neutral > Cool > Cold

Knowing your body's constitution and the nature of foods are necessary to eat right for your type. When the body is in balance, it is in good health and is more resistance to disease and external evils.

You are born with a specific body constitution determined by genes and the diet of your mother when carrying you. However, your diet can change its constitution after birth. Eating foods that are in contrast to your body's constitution is beneficial because it balances out the effects. This is why people of cold constitution can eat a lot of heat excess foods without getting sick and vice versa. So, what is good food for others can be bad food for you. You just have to eat according to your constitution.

The nature of food can also affect your moods. Too much hot or yang food brings about over excitement. Too much cold or yin food brings about sadness and fearfulness. Foods that are neutral in nature are good for everyone and they promote clear thinking and reasoning.

The Action of Food
The proper flow of energy around your body is most important in keeping your system in good order and healthy. Food affects the flow because of its movement characteristic. It can move energy outward, inward, upward and downward.

Food moving outward promotes the flow of energy from the center of the body to the surface. It induces perspiration and releases body heat. When the body is suffering from wind-heat attack resulting in fever, it is important to move heat outward. Inward-moving food promotes the opposite effects. When people are having profuse perspiration, night sweat, premature ejaculation and frequent urination, inward-moving food is used to contain the excessive outward movement. Upward-moving food controls diarrhea, prolapsed anus or uterus and falling stomach. Downward-moving food controls vomiting, food-rejection, constipation and energy obstruction.

It is beneficial to know about the movement of most common foods in order to use them to your health advantage.

The Seasonal Effects

Eat According to the Season
In Chinese medicine, all illnesses can be prevented if you constantly observe and maintain the balance of qi (vital energy) in your body. There is good qi and bad qi resulting from external influences - the weather, and from internal influences - our food. For example, a diet with too many spicy and deep-fried foods generates excessive heat and hot-qi. It dries up the internal body fluid, causes constipation and dries up lips and skin. It is worse in summer when the weather is hot and the body loses water through perspiration. To bring the body back to the right balance, you need to eat cool-food such as watermelon, citrus fruits or white turnips to counter the internal and external heat. If the imbalance is not rectified promptly, the body can develop a deficiency in protecting-qi and you become ill. Eating to counter the seasonal excesses or evils is a very effective way in staying well.

In spring, it is the season dominated by wind. When the pores of your skin dilate due to the warmer temperatures after the cold winter, it is easier for "wind-evil" to enter the body causing coughing, a stuffy or runny nose, headaches, dizziness and sneezing. It is important to eat food that can eliminate excessive wind in the body during spring.

In summer, it is heat / fire that dominates with symptoms such as excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation and heart palpitations. When summer heat combines with dampness, it results in abdominal pains, vomiting and intestinal spasms. Cooling yin foods will help, while overly hot yang foods should be avoided. Iced drinks are cool in temperature, but not cool in nature. They can damage the spleen and stomach causing more health problems.

In autumn, dryness dominates and can easily injure the lungs, causing heavy coughing, blood in the sputum, dry nose and throat and pains in the chest. "Inner-dryness" can be a result of profuse sweating, vomiting, bleeding or diarrhea. The symptoms are dry and wrinkled skin, dry hair and scalp, dry mouth and cracked lips, and dry stomach with hard and dry stools. Insufficient body fluid is harmful. You should eat more nourishing yin food to promote body fluid and soothe the lungs.

In winter, cold is a "yin-evil", which dominates and injures the body's yang energy. If cold enters the body through the skin, it produces symptoms of fever, cold, headaches and body pain. If it reaches the meridians, it produces muscle cramps and pains in the bones and joints. If it enters as far as the internal organs, cold excess causes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains, coldness in limbs and many other complications. To prevent the attack of cold, plenty of warming yang foods and slightly fatty foods should be included in the diet. And in extreme cold, a few warming yang herbal medications should be consumed regularly.

The external evils or the six excesses - wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness and fire - affect everyone differently. They attack people when and where they are weakest. Healthy people with strong immune system are least affected. Eating to strengthen the body's resistance lowers the chance of catching seasonal sicknesses.

Body Constitution

Eat According to Your Body's Constitution
It is very important to understand your body's constitution or type so that you know what foods to eat that are complementary and what foods to avoid. Body constitution can be classified into five types: hot, warm, neutral, cool and cold. With neutral in the center, hot and warm are yang types, and cool and cold are yin types.

Yang Yin
Hot < Warm < Neutral> Cool > Cold

Body type is usually determined by the following characteristics: If you are always hot and have warm hands and feet even in winter, always energetic and almost restless, underweight by at least 20 pounds, and have a high sex drive, you belong to the hot type. If you prefer summer to winter, are normally not tired, fairly active and enjoy sex more than food, you are the warm type. On the reverse, if you are always cold, with cold hands and feet even in summer, overweight by at least 20 pounds, normally tired, easy going and quite patient and have a low sex drive, you are the cold type. If you prefer winter to summer, just slightly overweight, normally lazy and fairly relaxed, and enjoy food more than sex, you belong to the cool type. If you have a combination of cool and warm symptoms, you are likely to have a neutral body type.

Knowing your body type helps you choose foods to maintain good balance. A person with a yang body type should eat more yin foods and vice versa. A person having a yin body type and eating too much yin foods drives his or her body to a yin extreme. The body's natural defense mechanism will show signs of rejection, which western medicine describes as food allergies. If the imbalance is not rectified, the person will become ill.

Sickness Dependent

Eat According to the Nature of Sickness

Sickness has yin and yang characteristics as well. When you become sick, you should identify the nature of your sickness first and then use foods of the opposite nature to balance the yin and yang effects.

Usually, by observing the patient, it is quite easy to find out the nature of his or her sickness. If the patient feels better under warmer surroundings and enjoys warmer foods and drinks, the person most likely is suffering from yin sickness. Yang food such as ginger is effective. If the person is having a fever and a cooler environment and cold drinks gives him or her more comfort, the sickness is most probably of the yang type. Yin food such as mung beans and watermelon should be eaten to restore balance. If it is too damp causing water retention, drying foods such as broad beans and job's tears should be used. If the sickness is causing qi flowing in the wrong direction resulting in hiccups or vomiting, food with downward movement of energy such as ginger and chive should be used. If there is fever, food of outward movements helps to induce perspiration therefore lowering the temperature.

When we are sick, we need extra nutrition for the body to fight the sickness. A healthy spleen/stomach system is most important for digesting and absorbing nutrients from foods. We should avoid cold drinks, raw foods, hard to digest foods and oily and deep-fried foods, which add an extra burden to the digestive system. Easy to digest foods such as soups are most suitable.

Needs Driven

Eat According to Age and Needs
To stay healthy, you should eat according to your age and physical needs. Over-eating or under-eating are both harmful to your health.

Young children whose bodies are developing healthy bones and muscles need a diet rich in protein and calcium. They are highly active and should eat regularly to maintain their energy levels. Teens need a good quantity, well-balanced diet with lots of calories and nutrients as they develop toward maturity. Older people whose digestive system's are weakening and who are less physical active should eat less and easier to digest foods. Professional people, such as athletics or construction workers, should eat more, especially carbohydrates to maintain their energy. People whose profession requires them to think can nourish their brain with a protein-rich diet.

A diet that doesn't provide the necessary nutrition to support the physical demands or is in excess of what the body needs is harmful and could lead to serious health problems. Eating three meals a day at fixed times, in moderation and with lots of variety is recommended.

The Application
Eating food according to your constitution and in harmony with the climate is fundamental to staying well. Understanding common diseases, knowing how to read their early symptoms and knowing the nature and characteristics of foods are keys to eating right for preventive healthcare.

Chinese medicine believes that most diseases progress from initial stage with obvious surface symptoms or external conformation and develop into bigger problems with internal conformation. If we can identify problems at the initial stage and treat them with dispersing drugs, we can stop them from progressing further. When diseases turn internal, they become chronic in nature and are more difficult to treat. The treatment starts by treating the interior symptoms. When the interior problems are corrected, the surface symptoms disappear automatically.

During sickness, it is important to eat foods that are complementary to the treatment so that relief can be achieved sooner. Usually Chinese doctors explain the nature of the problem and give advice on what foods to eat and what to avoid during that time.

Most therapeutic food dishes are eaten as meals or with meals and repeated for days or sometimes weeks until the body has enough nutrition to repair itself. The results are more comprehensive and permanent. After recovery, repeating the recipe at regular intervals is recommended for maintenance purposes.

Eating purposely for health requires knowledge, time and effort. Investing in your food is an investment in yourself; health and quality of life will follow.

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Sa ne ascultam corpul !

“Nu trebuie să ignorăm manifestările, cât de mici, ale corpului nostru”

În filosofia de viaţă pe care o promovezi se spune că organismul este cel mai bun aliat al omului şi că acesta ne semnalează din timp când ceva nu funcţionează bine. Ce transformări ale corpului trebuie să ne dea de gândit?
Luminiţa Băltăreţu - Să încercăm să comparăm corpul nostru cu un vehicul şi să fim atenţi la ce se întâmplă. Dacă pe panoul de bord se aprinde beculeţul roşu, ce facem? Ne oprim să vedem despre ce este vorba. Aşa trebuie să facem şi cu propriul corp. Nu trebuie să ignorăm manifestările, cât de mici, ale corpului nostru. Să nu aşteptăm să ajungem la boli grave. Să fim atenţi la micile neplăceri, micile afecţiuni fizice. Bolile se manifestă atunci când o persoană ajunge la limitele ei fizice. Fiecare dintre noi are o limită de energie fizică, emoţională şi mentală diferită. Ne naştem având aceste limite diferite. Cu cât este mai mare rezerva de energie a cuiva, cu atât va ajunge mai târziu la limita sa fizică. Acea persoană va ajunge la limita sa fizică după ce a ajuns înainte la limită emoţională şi cea mentală.

Ce anume ne poate determina să ignorăm cu desăvârşire limitele propriului organism? Este ambiţia? Este teama că ne vom pierde poziţia în companie?

Epuizarea profesională se produce la persoane care au lucruri de reglat cu părintele de acelaşi sex. Fiind tineri, ei au vrut să impresioneze acest părinte, făcând totul ca să-i placă, dar nu au primit niciodată recunoştinţa aşteptată. Neavând încredere în valoarea lor, aceste persoane au luat obiceiul de a performa pentru a dovedi ce sunt. Ele amestecă “a face” cu “a fi”. Au foarte multe aşteptări şi se simt foarte singure când nu sunt recunoscute pentru ceea ce fac. Ele sfârşesc prin a se descuraja. Trebuie să recunoşti cine eşti, să recunoşti că, fiind tânăr, tu eşti cel care a decis că, făcând mai mult, părintele de acelaşi sex te va iubi mai mult. Tu singur poţi schimba această decizie. Nimeni pe lume, nici măcar tu, nu are dreptul să îţi ceară mai mult decât poţi. A te iubi înseamnă a-ţi recunoaşte talentele, limitele şi slăbiciunile, cu tot ceea ce implică asta. Ai dreptul să spui nu atunci când crezi că este prea mult pentru tine. Respectându-ţi limitele, vei fi mult mai puţin înclinat să îi critici pe ceilalţi şi vei fi mai fericit.

Legătura dintre cancer, ură, ranchiună şi invidie

Asta spune că noi, românii, avem nişte credinţe populare foarte puternice. Cancerul are ca principală cauză nerecunoaşterea anumitor emoţii pe care le avem: ură, ranchiună, invidie, şi toate astea trăite în primul rând în relaţia cu părinţii. Câţi dintre noi au puterea să recunoască faptul că şi-au dispreţuit părinţii la un moment dat?
Sunt convinsă că are legătură şi cu anii petrecuţi în comunism, când am fost educaţi să nu spunem ce dorim, ce gândim, eram împiedicaţi să devenim ceea ce ne-am fi dorit, eram educaţi să facem ce ni se spune. Asta a condus la un anumit tip de mentalitate şi anumite convingeri care încă ne apasă şi ne tarează.

Cum ai explica predispoziţia pentru cancerul pulmonar, cea mai răspândită formă de cancer la români?
Cancerul pulmonar înseamnă o noţiune de eşec foarte marcată. Înseamnă pierderea raţiunii de a exista. Înseamnă să mă simt obligat să trăiesc o situaţie până la sfârşitul vieţii. Sunt de obicei drastic în toate judecăţile pe care le fac. Totul este alb sau negru. Îmi este frică să îmi exteriorizez gândurile, opiniile. Trăiesc o mare neputinţă. Ceilalţi mă judecă pentru cum trăiesc şi eu îi critic la rândul meu. Se spune că fumatul este cauza principală a cancerului pulmonar. În timp ce fumez, îmi acopăr emoţiile care mă deranjează şi care mă împiedică să trăiesc.

Ne pasă prea mult de ce spun ceilalţi

Dintr-o statistică a Ministerului Sănătăţii reiese că afecţiunile aparatului circulator au cauzat 253.000 decese printre români în 2008. Dintre acestea, accidentele vasculare cerebrale au făcut cele mai multe victime, urmate de cardiopatii ischemice şi hipertensiune arterială. Ce trăsătură de caracter a noastră, a românilor, ne expune unor asemenea diagnostice?
Pentru a asigura buna funcţionare a unui vehicul, trebuie să îi procurăm un carburant de calitate. Carburantul corpului este sângele, care pentru a fi eficace trebuie să circule liber în tot corpul.
Sângele reprezintă bucuria de a trăi, reprezintă energia care circulă în noi, simbolizează dorinţa de a evolua. Atunci când cineva are o problemă de circulaţie, acest lucru înseamnă că are o dificultate în a-şi administra corect viaţa, în funcţie de adevăratele sale nevoi. Este o persoană care dramatizează prea mult anumite situaţii, ceea ce o împiedică să aibă o viziune globală asupra vieţii. Îşi face sânge rău, adică este îngrijorată pentru tot şi pentru toată lumea. Este foarte emotivă şi îşi blochează sensibilitatea, are nevoie să îşi acorde o transfuzie de acceptare necondiţionată a propriei persoane. O altă modalitate de a-şi bloca sensibilitatea este aceea de a avea mult sânge rece, adică a fi o persoană impasibilă, rece, care îşi ascunde bine sentimentele. Persoana afectată este lipsită de bucurie din cauza unui profund sentiment de lipsă. A trăi cu adevărat înseamnă, pentru o fiinţă umană, a trece prin diferite experiente in acceptare si bucurie.

Care-s mentalităţile cele mai păguboase care fac ravagii în organism?
Să nu-ţi dai voie să fii tu însuţi! Nouă, românilor, ne pasă prea mult de ce spun ceilalţi, de imaginea pe care o avem, nu ne permitem să ne arătăm vulnerabilitatea, să ne arătăm fricile, întotdeauna ne-am dorit să ne arătăm ceea ce nu suntem. Dorinţa asta e foarte mare la români. Să ne arătăm muşchii, să ne arătăm puternici, să-i impresionăm pe ceilalţi cu realizările noastre, cu maşinile pe care le avem, cu casele, e o chestie sâlbatică, primitivă. Şi mai avem până când lucrurile se vor aşeza.

E o mare diferenţă între a fi responsabil şi a fi vinovat

Foarte mulţi dintre oamenii pe care îi întâlnim în metrou, în tramvai stau cu capul în pământ, cu umerii adunaţi şi au ochii trişti. Ce spune asta despre noi?
Că noi, românii, suntem foarte dependenţi de iubirea celorlalţi, de celălalt….

Deci cum recunoşti o rană? În primul rând după corpul fizic şi apoi asculţi pe cine acuză. Persoanele care sunt dependente îl acuză mereu pe celălalt, ceilalţi sunt de vină, nu mi-a dat nimeni, n-am primit ce trebuia, îşi acuză soţul, mama, sistemul… Să ştii că la fel face şi dominatorul, numai că el nu are înfăţişarea unui tip trist, cocoşat de griji. El e puternic şi adesea seducător. Însă şi el e convins că altcineva este de vină pentru nefericirea lui. Ceilalţi, fugarul şi rigidul, adică oamenii care suferă răni de respingere şi de abandon, aceştia se acuză pe sine.

Păi, până la urmă, nimeni nu e vinovat. E vorba despre responsabilitate, nu vină… Noi suntem responsabili de tot ce am creat în jurul nostru. Dacă ajungi să înţelegi noţiunea de responsabilitate şi să ţi-o asumi, atunci nu te mai acuzi nici pe tine, nici pe ceilalţi. Spui da, asta e urmarea, consecinţa faptelor, dorinţelor mele, vorbelor mele şi îţi vindeci rănile. E o mare diferenţă între a fi responsabil şi a fi vinovat.

Contează cum percepe fiecare ceea ce i se întâmplă”, a adăugat Luminiţa Băltăreţu.

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Essential oils for acne remedy

(NaturalNews) Acne is a skin problem that affects adults and teenagers. Teenagers are often plagued with persistent acne. Many adults, who may have thought skin problems were a thing of the past, are distressed to find themselves affected, sometimes even when middle-aged. The skin care industry caters to sufferers by constantly developing expensive creams, lotions, pills and treatments which promise to cure acne forever. Essential oils can provide a soothing, natural remedy and are a far cheaper solution for acne problems.

Choosing the Best Essential Oils for Acne

Individual skin types will react differently to essential oils. The process of combining and experimenting with the best essential oil blend may be a trial and error process. Generally, the skin responds well to aromatherapy oils because they heal and nourish the cells and reduce inflammation. Essential oils also have antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

The best essential oils for acne control include lavender, geranium, sandalwood, jasmine, lemon, patchouli, chamomile, rosewood and eucalyptus.

Essential Oil Recipe for Acne

Create a natural gel to treat acne. Combine a quarter of a cup of aloe vera gel with ten to twelve drops of geranium oil, ten drops of lavender oil and seven drops lemon grass oil or tea tree oil. Blend all the oils and gel together thoroughly and apply to blemish areas twice daily after cleaning the skin. Do not use around the eyes.

Safety Precautions

Unlike perfume, essential oils are highly concentrated substances that need to be diluted prior to application to the skin. When buying essential oils, it is important to look at the label closely to see if they are pre-diluted or not. Buy undiluted, pure, organic essential oil and avoid cheap oils as they may be impure, adulterated or distilled with petrochemical solvents which may aggravate the skin instead of healing it.

Good carrier oils for the skin include sweet almond, apricot kernel, carrot oil and avocado, jojoba and hazelnut. To dilute, add ten drops of essential oil to 28 grams (1 ounce) of carrier oil.

Make sure the skin is thoroughly clean and dry before applying oils.

Consult a qualified homeopath if the skin is severely inflamed or not improving after using home remedies.

Additional Tips to Combat Acne

Cut out sugar, processed and refined foods from the diet. Sugar is not food and should not be eaten in its refined form. Eliminating sugar is possibly the best thing an acne sufferer can do to cure his or her acne problem. Cravings should disappear after one week or so of eliminating sugar from the diet.




Essential Science Publishing (compiled by), Essential Oils Desk Reference, 2nd Edition. USA, Essential Science Publishing, 2001.

Cell phones linked to brain tumors

(NaturalNews) A large multinational research effort overseen by the World Health Organization has concluded that heavy mobile phone use significantly increases the risk of brain and salivary gland tumors.

The Interphone studies surveyed 12,800 people in 13 countries between 2000 and 2004. Although the final findings have not yet been released, they have been accepted for publication in a scientific journal and will see print before the end of 2009.

The conclusions are particularly surprising given that the industry-funded effort has been widely criticized for designing its studies to minimize the apparent risks of cell phone use.

The studies examined the relationship between cell phone use and the risk of three different types of brain tumor and one tumor of the salivary gland. They concluded that "use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more" was associated with a "significantly increased risk" of the tumors.

Six of eight studies found up to a 39 percent increase in the risk of glioma, the most common type of brain tumor. Gliomas can be either benign or malignant. The risk of acoustic neurinoma, a benign tumor of the nerve between the brain and the ear, was found to increase up to 3.9 times in two of seven studies, but problems with participants' memories interfered with these findings. Another study found a 50 percent increase in the risk of salivary gland tumors.

Some researchers have suggested that the Interphone study probably understates the risks of cell phone use, due to flaws in its methodology. The study has been criticized for including people who made as little as one call per week yet excluding children and young adults (considered the most at-risk population), non-cellular cordless phones (which also emit radiation), several kinds of tumors, and participants who either died before the study concluded or became too sick to answer questions.

Some of the Interphone studies found that short-term cell phone use decreased the risk of cancer, further suggesting research flaws.

Sources for this story include: www.telegraph.co.uk.

Does cholesterol really matter?

(NaturalNews) I'd like to shine the spotlight on one of medicine's sacred cows- the belief that lowering cholesterol with drugs protects against heart attacks and premature death. Our obsession with cholesterol began in the 1950s when studies linked high consumption of animal fat with high rates of heart disease. This opened the door for clinical trials that laid the foundation of a new paradigm: the cholesterol theory of cardiovascular disease.

This theory has had profound ramifications. It changed the way we eat (fats bad, carbohydrates good) and contributed to our problems with obesity and diabetes. It wormed its way into "clinical practice guidelines"- cholesterol management has become a "standard of care" that doctors are expected to follow. It spawned the invasive heart surgery industry, based on the presumption that cholesterol-laden blockages must be bypassed or propped open. And it led to the creation of the best-selling class of medications in history: cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which generate more than $15 billion in worldwide sales every year.

But it's all a house of cards. No matter what you've been led to believe, a high cholesterol level is not a reliable sign of an impending heart attack. In fact, growing numbers of experts question whether cholesterol matters at all. As for statin drugs, for most of the 40-plus million Americans recommended to take them for the rest of their lives, they're an ineffective, expensive, side effect- riddled fraud.

Statin-Free Zone

When a patient taking Lipitor, Zocor, or another statin drug comes to Whitaker Wellness, we discontinue it at once. "But my cholesterol level is 240." "My doctor told me I'll have a heart attack if I don't take this drug."My father died of heart disease, so I have to take it." I've heard all these justifications and more, and I still recommend that my patients get off statins. Here's why.

First, they're not very effective. These drugs do lower cholesterol, but so what? We're not treating lab numbers. We're treating patients, and the ultimate goal in cholesterol management is to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Except for a very limited number of people, there is absolutely no evidence that statins protect against heart attack or premature death.

Are you over age 65? Not a single study suggests you'll receive any benefits, even if your cholesterol goes down substantially. A woman of any age? Same story. A man younger than 65 who has never had a heart attack? Ditto, no help at all. For middle-aged men who have had a heart attack, statins may lower risk of a repeat heart attack, but that's the extent of it.

I know this is hard to buy in light of the multiple drug advertisements and glowing endorsements from doctors. But keep in mind that pharmaceutical companies do a superb job of pulling the wool over the eyes of consumers and physicians alike by withholding unfavorable study results and making false, misleading, and often deceptive claims.

A Statistic We Can Understand
That's why I want to step around confusing statistics and tell you about an easy-to-understand measure that you'll never hear about in drug ads. It's called "number needed to treat," or NNT, and it describes the number of patients who would need to be treated with a medical therapy in order to prevent one bad outcome. Experts consider an NNT over 50 to be "worse than a lottery ticket."

Lipitor ads claim that it reduces risk of heart attack by 36 percent. Sounds pretty good until you look at the fine print, do the math (which John Carey did in a great article in Business Week), and figure out that the drug's NNT is 100. This means that 100 people must be treated with Lipitor in order for just one heart attack to be prevented. The other 99 people taking the drug receive no benefit.

To put this into perspective, the NNT of antibiotics for treating H. pylori, the underlying cause of stomach ulcers, is 1.1. These drugs knock out the bacteria in 10 out of 11 people who take it, making them a reliable, cost-effective therapy. At the other end of the spectrum are statins, which as a class have an NNT of 250, 500, or higher depending on the study you look at. What a deal for drugs that can cost more than a thousand bucks a year and are almost guaranteed to cause problems.

Goodbye Drugs, So Long Symptoms
Statins lower cholesterol by suppressing the activity of an enzyme in the liver involved in the production of cholesterol. But this enzyme has multiple functions, including the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a key player in the metabolic processes that energize our cells. No wonder statin users often suffer from fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, and even heart failure- the cells are simply running out of juice.

The second most frequent adverse effects of statins are problems with memory, mood, suicidal behavior, and neurological issues. Other common complaints include sexual dysfunction, and liver and digestive problems. Symptoms range from minor (achiness, forgetfulness) to serious (complete but temporary amnesia, permanent memory loss) to lethal (congestive heart failure, rhabdomyolysis or complete muscle breakdown). One statin drug, Baycol, was taken off the market a few years ago after it caused dozens of deaths from rhabdomyolysis. Several studies have also linked statin drugs with an increased risk of cancer.

Because physicians rarely warn of these side effects, few patients suspect their drugs may be the reason they begin feeling bad- and it's often a revelation when they put two and two together. Simply discontinuing these medications can result in tremendous improvements in health and well-being. Texas cardiologist Peter Langsjoen, MD, published a study showing that when symptomatic patients got off their statins and started taking 240 mg of CoQ10 per day, they had significant decreases in fatigue, myalgias (muscle aches), dyspnea (shortness of breath), memory loss, and/or peripheral neuropathy.

Not a Drug But a Program
As you can see, we need to shift away from this myopic focus on statin drugs and lowering cholesterol, and take a more holistic view. Folks, you don't need statins- you need a program that addresses all the known risk factors for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders.

Inflammation, not high cholesterol, is the primary cause of heart disease. Harvard researchers have discovered that a high blood level of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, is more predictive of heart disease than cholesterol. To get a handle on inflammation, lose weight- especially if you carry excess fat in the abdominal area. Exercise. Stop smoking. Eat plenty of vegetables and several weekly servings of salmon, sardines, and other omega-3 fatty acids, and avoid sugars and starches.

The beauty of this program is that it targets not only inflammation but other conditions that contribute to cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, diabetes, even cholesterol. Best of all, it's a foundation for overall good health.

Necessary Nutrients

Your program should include a well-rounded nutritional supplement regimen, as well. My number-one suggestion for inflammation in all its guises is fish oil. This supplement also improves blood flow, discourages excess clotting, helps normalize heart rhythm, and saves lives by reducing risk of sudden cardiac death.

Folic acid and other B-complex vitamins are important because they lower levels of homocysteine, a toxic substance that damages the arteries. The mineral magnesium relaxes the arterial walls, which improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and helps prevent arrhythmias. And antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, provide protection against damaging free radicals- another contributor to cardiovascular disease.

Supplements that boost the heart's energy are recommended as well. One is coenzyme Q10. In addition to serving as a potent antioxidant, CoQ10 also increases the heart muscle's efficiency and protects against the adverse effects of statin drugs. Another is D-ribose, a natural sugar that is the structural backbone of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy that fuels cellular function.

Don't Fret About Cholesterol

As far as cholesterol lowering is concerned, there are a number of natural therapies that work well, including flaxseed and other sources of fiber, niacin, plant sterols, and policosanol.

In short, do what you can to manage your cholesterol, but don't worry about it if your level is particularly stubborn. The average cholesterol of people who have heart disease isn't much higher than the level of those who don't. If high cholesterol runs in your family, concentrate on what you can control, and remember, numbers aren't everything.

Here are suggested daily doses of the supplements discussed above: fish oil 2-8 g, folic acid 800-1,200 mcg, magnesium 500-1,000 mg, vitamins C 1,000-5,000 mg, and E 400-800 IU, CoQ10 100-400 mg, D-ribose 10-15 g, flaxseed 1/4 cup, niacin 500-2,000 mg, plant sterols 1,500-2,000 mg, and policosanol 20 mg. Look for these supplements in your health food store or order them by calling (800) 810-6655.

* Discuss this information with your doctor. If you are interested in learning about the protocol we use at the Whitaker Wellness Institute to prevent and treat heart disease, visit whitakerwellness.com or call (800) 488-1500. To locate a physician in your area familiar with drug-free therapies, visit acamnet.org.

Carey J. Do cholesterol drugs do any good? Business Week. 2008 Jan 17. Available online at www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte....

Langsjoen PH, et al. Treatment of statin adverse effects with supplemental coenzyme Q10 and statin drug discontinuation. Biofactors. 2005;25(1-4):147-152.

Marchioli R, et al. Early protection against sudden death by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids after myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2002 Apr 23;105(16):1897-1903.

Ravnskov U. The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease. New Trends Publishing, Washington, DC, 2000.


Chemicals linked to obesity, not only calories !

Fat epidemic linked to chemicals run amok

Fast food not solely to blame for obesity, new research suggests

March 8, 2010

It's not just about calories in versus calories out.

If that were all it took to lose weight — eating a little less and exercising a little more — then weight loss would be as simple as grade-school math: Subtract Y from Z and end up with X.

But if you've ever followed a diet program and achieved less than your desired result, you probably came away feeling frustrated, depressed, and maybe a bit guilty. What did I do wrong?
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Instead of X, it's XXL.


Because there's probably more at work here than just calories in/calories out. More and more research is indicating that America's obesity crisis can't be blamed entirely on too much fast food and too little exercise. (Or on these seven habits of highly obese people.) A third factor may be in play: a class of natural and synthetic chemicals known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), or as researchers have begun to call them, obesogens.

The new weight-gain threat
Obesogens are chemicals that disrupt the function of hormonal systems; many researchers believe they lead to weight gain and, in turn, numerous diseases that curse the American populace. They enter our bodies from a variety of sources — natural hormones found in soy products, hormones administered to animals, plastics in some food and drink packaging, ingredients added to processed foods, and pesticides sprayed on produce. They act in a variety of ways: by mimicking human hormones such as estrogen, by misprogramming stem cells to become fat cells and, researchers think, by altering the function of genes.

Endocrine disruptors are suspected of playing a role in fertility problems, genital malformation, reduced male birth rates, precocious puberty, miscarriage, behavior problems, brain abnormalities, impaired immune function, various cancers, and cardiovascular disease. "We have data linking environmental chemicals to practically every major human disease, from cardiovascular disease to attention-deficit disorder," says Jerry Heindel, Ph.D., an expert on EDCs at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Discover the frightening health problems EDCs have caused on one Canadian Indian reserve.

Now new research is finding that some EDCs, the obesogens, may be helping to make us fat. This field of research is dominated by animal and test-tube studies. And while researchers note that the known effects of many obesogens are more potent in the unborn and newly born, some suspect a similar impact on adults.

This combination of factors, along with our growing tendency to put on weight, is what we call the obesogen effect. Understanding it could be the key to freeing ourselves from weight gain and the other hazards of these chemicals.

Why traditional diets don't work
Decades ago, before big, soft guts were the norm in the United States, we referred to overweight people as having "glandular problems." Their weight was not their fault, doctors explained; their bodies just didn't have the ability to fight off weight gain like most people's bodies did.

We don't use that polite phrase any longer. What changed? Now that about two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, did those folks with "glandular problems" disappear? No; it's just that many others have caught the same disease. Thanks to the obesogen effect, we may all be at risk for some glandular problems.

Because it's probably been a while since you took high-school anatomy, here's a quick refresher: Your endocrine system is the contingent of glands producing the hormones that regulate your body. Growth and development, sexual function, reproductive processes, mood, sleep, hunger, stress, metabolism — they're all controlled by hormones. And the pancreas, hypothalamus, adrenal glands, thyroid, pituitary gland, and testes are all part of that system. So whether you're male or female, tall or short, hirsute or hairless, lean or heavy — that's all determined in a big way by your endocrine system.

Your endocrine system is a finely tuned instrument that can easily be thrown out of kilter. "Obesogens are thought to act by hijacking the regulatory systems that control body weight," says Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., curators' professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri. "And any chemical that interferes with body weight is an endocrine disruptor."

That's why obesogens seem to be good at making us fat — and why researchers are so bent on uncovering the truth about these chemicals. The NIEHS is funding studies that target them. The Endocrine Society, the largest organization for hormone research and clinical endocrinology, has also noted the connection. "The rise in the incidence in obesity matches the rise in the use and distribution of industrial chemicals that may be playing a role in generation of obesity," it stated in a recent report, "suggesting that EDCs may be linked to this epidemic."

That's one reason why weight-loss advice may not always work. In fact, even strictly following the smartest traditional advice won't lower your obesogen exposure. See, an apple a day may have kept the doctor away 150 years ago. But if that apple now comes with chemicals believed to promote obesity, then that advice is way out of date. In fact, apples have been named one of the most pesticide-laden produce choices out there.

The obesogen effect may be part of the reason why traditional dieting practices — choosing chicken over beef, eating more fish, loading up on fruits and vegetables — may not work anymore.

But as we began researching our book, "The New American Diet," we found some good news: There's no reason why our favorite foods — steak, burgers, pasta, ice cream — can't be part of a reasonable weight-loss program. We just need to move past the old thinking, and adopt some new laws of leanness.

Leanness law #1: Know when to go organic
Every day the average American is exposed to an estimated 10 to 13 different pesticides and/or their metabolites (breakdown products) through food, beverages, and drinking water.

Some of those chemicals can mimic estrogen during development, which can lead to weight gain later in life. Others can spur unnecessary fat-cell formation at any age. At the University of California at Irvine, Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., recently reported that prenatal exposure to obesogens among mice can predispose them to weight gain later in life. The effect is likely the same in humans. In one study, the adult daughters of women who had the highest levels of DDE (a breakdown product of the pesticide DDT) in their blood during childbearing years were found to be 20 pounds heavier, on average, than daughters of women who had the least.

And the evidence continues to accumulate.

Researchers have noted a link between organochlorine pesticides and impaired thyroid function. According to the Endocrine Society's 2009 report on EDCs, changes in thyroid function can result in metabolic effects. Indeed, the authors of a 2009 Thyroid Research article cited hypothyroidism, a symptom of which can be weight gain, as a possible effect of organochlorines on the thyroid.
The authors of a study in the journal BioScience found that tributyltin, a fungicide, activates components in human cells known as retinoid X receptors, which are part of the metabolic pathway necessary for fat-cell formation. They also found that tributyltin causes the growth of fat cells in mice exposed to it. Although tributyltin is no longer used on crops, experts suspect that a similar compound still used on produce, fenbutatin, is at least as potent.
The authors of a recent study in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology note that organophosphates and carbamates, two common classes of pesticides, cause obesity in animals.

But there is some hopeful research; a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that children who ate fruits and vegetables free of organophosphorous pesticides for just 5 days reduced their urine concentrations of those pesticides to undetectable levels.

According to the Environmental Working Group, you can reduce your pesticide exposure by nearly 80 percent simply by choosing organic versions of the 12 fruits and vegetables shown in its tests to contain the highest pesticide load. The group calls them the Dirty Dozen: In order of pesticide load, they are peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, and pears. There's a Clean Fifteen, too, a group of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residue: onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwis, cabbages, eggplants, papayas, watermelons, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. No matter what kind of produce you're buying, use this guide to pick the perfect fruit and vegetables at your grocery store or farmer's market.

Leanness law #2: Stop eating plastic
You're thinking, Well, I don't generally eat plastic.

Ah, but you do.

Chances are you're among the 93 percent of Americans with detectable levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies, and you're also among the 75-plus percent of Americans with detectable levels of phthalates in their urine. Both of these synthetic chemicals, found in plastics, mimic estrogen. And like some pesticides, these chemicals can predispose your body from an early age to gain fat.

How do they end up inside you? Mostly through what you eat and drink: Phthalates can be found in food packaging, plastic wraps, and pesticides, as well as children's toys, PVC pipe, and medical supplies. Each year, about 18 billion pounds of phthalate esters are created worldwide, and they can easily leach into your body.

More than 6 billion pounds of BPA, found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, is produced every year; it leaches from food and drink packaging, baby bottles, cans, and bottle tops. Pop the top off a jar of tomato sauce and check out the resin on the inside of the cap — that's where the BPA comes from.

A recent study published on BPA's effects on humans found that workers exposed to BPA at Chinese factories had more than four times the risk of erection difficulties. (Japan reduced the use of BPA in cans between 1998 and 2003; as a result, measures of BPA in some Japanese populations dropped more than 50 percent.) According to the Environmental Working Group, canned chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli have BPA levels of the highest concern. And your sturdy reusable water bottle? After people drank out of a polycarbonate bottle (usually stamped with a 7 on the bottom) for just 1 week, their BPA levels jumped by nearly 70 percent, according to a seminal study from Harvard University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here's how you can limit your exposure.
Follow vom Saal's rule: "No plastic item ever goes into the oven or the microwave." Heat can damage plastic and increase leaching.
Avoid plastic-wrapped meat. "The plastic wrap used at the supermarket is mostly PVC, whereas the plastic wrap you buy to wrap things at home is increasingly made from polyethylene," vom Saal says. PVC contains phthalates that, according to animal studies, may lower testosterone levels. In humans, lower testosterone leads to weight gain as well as a decrease in muscle mass and sex drive. Go to a butcher who uses paper instead.
Cut down on canned goods like tuna, and buy frozen vegetables in bags instead of canned produce. Consider buying Eden Foods canned beans and jarred foods, which are in BPA-free packaging.
Use a nonplastic mug whenever you can. And for good measure, avoid drinking coffee or other hot beverages out of Styrofoam, which can leach styrene, a compound linked to cancer.

Leanness law #3: Don’t eat the Viking
When was the last time you took a dose of weight-promoting hormones?

Okay, when was the last time you ate a burger?

The answer to both questions may well be the same. Every time you eat conventionally grown beef, there's a chance you're eating weight-gain hormones — a potential cocktail of natural and synthetic obesogens. In fact, a report in the International Journal of Obesity by researchers at 10 universities, including Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Cornell, notes that the use of hormones in meat could be a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.

A 1999 European study concluded that people who eat meat from cattle treated with growth hormones are taking in hormones and their metabolites: estrogens in the range of 1 to 84 nanograms per person per day, progesterone (64 to 467 ng), and testosterone (5 to 189 ng).

A nanogram is a billionth of a gram: That's tiny. But it may be enough to disrupt the way your hormone system operates, research indicates. Some experts believe that certain obesogens exert influence at below 1 part per billion. And small amounts from many sources add up over time.

Perhaps even more worrisome are the potent synthetic steroids we ingest from beef. Trenbolone acetate is an anabolic steroid estimated to be eight to 10 times as potent as testosterone, which is an endocrine-disrupting chemical by definition. "This cocktail of hormones given to beef has huge consequences," vom Saal says. We know what happens to the body when it receives large doses of steroids over a short period of time, but there is no research on the effects of small doses over years.

To bring this all home, imagine you've been in a terrible plane crash in the Andes, like those poor souls depicted in the movie "Alive." The only way to survive is to pick one of the dead folks to eat. You're given the choice of an obese, grotesquely muscled, man-boob-toting Minnesota Vikings lineman with shrunken testicles who's been injecting himself with hormones for a dozen years, or someone of normal size and body type and hormonal function. (One of the Kardashian sisters, maybe.) Which would you choose?

Well, every time you eat conventionally raised beef, you're choosing the Viking.

There's a better way. Organic beef has none of the weight-promoting steroid hormones of conventional beef, while grass-fed beef has been found to have more omega-3s and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a fatty-acid mixture that's been linked to protection against cardiovascular disease and diabetes; it can also help you lose weight, according to a meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Similarly, conventionally raised dairy cows are often given hormones to produce more milk, which may lead to some nutrient dilution. Grass grazing, however, may increase omega-3 content in milk. By choosing to eat and drink more omega-3s, more CLA, and more nutrients, you're choosing to fill your body with more nutrition — feeding your brain, fueling weight loss, and keeping hunger at bay.

Leanness law #4: Beware of the sneaky saboteurs
Ingesting pesticides, growth hormones, and plastic-based chemicals obviously isn't a good idea. But other, sneakier obesogens are at work. We're talking about high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and soy, which are added into your diet and the diet of the animals you eat, and which carry or are converted into natural obesogens.

But wait: Isn't soy good for your heart? Not necessarily. A review in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation notes that soy protein can lower LDL cholesterol, but only a measly 3 percent. You'd have to eat the equivalent of 2 pounds of tofu a day to reap that benefit. As a result, the AHA withdrew support for definitive health claims for soy protein and coronary heart disease. Yet soy is in hiding in everything from cookies to french fries to salad dressing. Scroll through this shocking slideshow to unearth what's hiding in your food.

The result of all that extra soy could be — get ready for it — more fat. This is particularly true for people who were given soy-based formula as infants. You see, soy contains two naturally occurring chemicals, genistein and daidzein, both of which are estrogenics, which can spur the formation of fat cells.

But wait! Guess who else is on a soy diet? Elsie, Wilbur, and Chicken Little — the animals we depend on for food. (Many fish, too, are chowing down on soy.) Chickens that once ate natural grasses and forage now feed on a high-energy diet of which soybean meal is a large component.

According to British researchers, this type of diet is partly to blame for the fact that some modern chickens contain two to three times as many calories from fat as from protein. (That's right: The chicken's proportion of muscle is dropping, just like ours! Sounds like the obesogen effect.)

So when you eat modern, supermarket chicken and beef you're eating more fat, less protein, and more obesogens.

High-fructose corn syrup, too, has been fingered by some experts as a possible player in the obesity crisis. HFCS is found in countless items, from bread to ketchup to Life Savers to cough medicine. Recent research indicates that a diet high in HFCS may trick your brain into craving more food even when you don't need it. And preliminary research indicates that HFCS may even play a role in disrupting the endocrine system, says Robert Lustig, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF. In overweight people, it interferes with leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite.

Is all this a bit disturbing? You bet. Depressing? Not at all. Because you can reconsider the old weight-loss advice — the "diet wisdom" that told you to stop eating burgers, pasta, and ice cream — and go back to eating what you love. Of course you should eat reasonably-sized portions. But the key is to eat natural, obesogen-free versions. Do this while keeping up your exercise program and over time you'll see results. Your waistline, your tastebuds, and even your muscles and libido will thank you.

Adapted from "The New American Diet" (Rodale 2009), available at bookstores and at NewAmDiet.com.