Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Detox & Fly, Preparing for The Year Ahead - Part 4

Liver, Helping Herbs and Supplements.

This week’s article (the last on detoxification)  looks at specific tools you can use to support the liver. The musician James Brown was known as the hardest working man in show business, your liver is the hardest working organ in the body. The liver majors in detoxification but it also stores energy, makes some immune substances, helps maintain electrolyte balance,  filters the blood,  helps with the breakdown of  fats and many other functions. As a testament to how hard it works it also generates the most heat of all the organs in the body.
The liver is one of the organs in the body that can sustain damage and regenerate itself if given the opportunity. Regeneration* can be assisted through diet and herbs, in this way they have an amphoteric effects on the liver –  they specifically nourish the liver back to health.  As a busy person I much prefer to use diet and herbs as I don’t always have the time or inclination to subject myself  to  a full liver and gall bladder cleanse,* I think you may find them useful too. My top 3 I use and recommend are
There are others but I chose these 3 to start with as they are easy to get hold of and use. Goji berries travel well and half a handful a day is more than enough to benefit you. Schisandra berry tincture is also easy to use or if you get a good source you can boil your own berries into a tea and add some licorice. Licorice twigs or tea bags are a better choice over the confectionery.  TOP TIP: Add all three items together to make a great tasting tea you can start the day with. One of the great things about this formula is that you can drink it  as a tonic beverage and keep on getting adaptogenic* benefits from it.
Bitter herbs are very good for the liver on account of the fact that they tonify it. Some of the best are
I found it best to be at home when using Bitters as you never know how your body may react. The best way I know of taking them so far is through bitter tonics and digestives. Swedish bitter and aromatic bitters are good examples.  TOP TIP : If you are not yet ready for some of these herbs the bitter principle in any plant food will provide some benefit. Aloe ferox a wild relation of aloe vera is a good example that may serve as a half way medium.
A more comprehensive list of liver protecting substances including some from the previous article is included for your benefit. Note they all offer antioxidant properties so they are grouped by other types
  • VITAMINS   Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A
  • FLAVONOIDS  Catechin, Quercetin, Rutin, Kaempferol, Luteolin
  • MINERALS   Zinc, Selenium
  • AMINO ACIDS  Methionine, Glutathione, Cysteine
On a final note I would always suggest caution when using herbs or supplements you are unfamiliar with. Do find out as much as you can before taking them especially if you are on any medication.If you intend to use them while travelling remember that altitude can increase or decrease your biochemical response to drugs supplements and substances ingested. Be safe and consult your primary or qualified healthcare practitioner if it gives you peace of mind. On that note if you need to find any of the items mentioned in this series of articles or would like the help of a qualified nutritional therapist do not hesitate to contact me for an informal chat.

Liver Flush

What You Must Know About Hydration As A Frequent Flier

I think it was a Tony Robbins website quote that once said "We are surrounded by knowledge but starving of wisdom," this quote has a corollary when it comes to hydration.The earth is approximately three quarters water and a quarter land mass, yet we have great challenges staying hydrated for health and well being. This article is going to explore what you can do about hydration for general health and in the context of staying healthy while flying. First of all we are going to look at water, what it really is and what it's purpose is. Then in future articles we are going to look at our relationships with water and start to develop strategies we can use to help us get healthier for general and flier health.

Water tends to be seen as similar to food, as in the saying food and water, but it is much more than that. It is an Element and this is an important distinction to make from many perspectives. The big picture about water being an element is that elements are primordial substances and in our case 70 per cent of our body is made of one. Water is in fact an essential element and its form and function are integral to your well being. What does this imply? To make the point I will use a fresh water micro-organism to demonstrate.

Spirulina, a single cell fresh water algae is distinctive by its blue green hue. As a single cellular organism spirulina is at the bottom of the food chain. This means it has been around for a very long time. Scientists have linked spirulina to having been on earth at a time when the Sun's rays beat down on earth with such intensity that it would not have been possible for us to survive on Earth. Spirulina did! The blue pigment in spirulina is an adaptogenic trait it developed to enable it to survive the hash onslaught from a stronger shining Sun. (This adaptability is passed on to us when we consume spirulina regularly by the way).
Water on the Earth pre dates any type of organism single celled or otherwise and would have had to endure scorching sunlight and more. By the same token water has adaptive qualities. As it has weathered harsh atmospheres before the arrival of humans and is still here, it is safe to say it has some adaptive qualities which it transfers to us. To be without these health giving qualities is to demonstrate less than your health potential. If you are a flier it can even get you into trouble during your travels.

From a purely nutritional view we know water is essential for digestion and metabolism. It's value is not always recognised in the role it plays in producing energy. Science is revealing to us that good quality water has a major function as an aid to conducting electricity in concert with the electrolytes of the body. The better quality water you have in the body the more efficiently it works, the more efficiently you produce energy. Getting good quality water is about getting STRUCTURED WATER.

Structured water is the water that sits between the cellular membranes in the body. Any habits or tools you can use to help the water you drink to become structured are good for your health. It starts with making the water as pure as possible by considering its t.d.s (total dissolved solid) count, other contaminants, surface tension, zeta potential and other measures.

Looking at the health of the body from the perspective of good water is a shortcut to greater health for two reasons, one it is ubiquitous in the body and secondly it is a component of the blood which is another major player in the determination of your health.


Dr Gerald Pollock

Total Dissolved Solids

Zeta Potential

- Christopher Babayode