Tag Archives: Special Needs

Addressing the GAPS in Your Health

Addressing the GAPS in Your Health

By Nancy Webster

nancy_small* This is a two part series, the second article can be found at Addressing the GAPS in Your Health, Part 2

[Dear Beeyoutiful Readers: Of all the subjects I’ve written about over the years, I’m most passionate about gut health and am especially excited to offer this first of two articles on the subject. Since “the gut” affects virtually everyone, you’ll likely recognize yourself or loved ones in the examples in my article. After struggling from effects of unhappy digestive systems, our family has learned there IS HOPE for healing! So pour yourself a warm mug of bone broth (see sidebar on page 44-45) and read on! Blessings, Nancy]

“Diet has nothing to do with this,” the pediatric gastroenterologist told me when I asked how our nine year old son could have a chronically impacted colon after eating freshly ground, whole wheat bread, raw carrots, and apples every day.

“Your son is on the autism spectrum. Give him these drugs and this therapy and hope for the best,” the pediatric neurologist told us about our boy. (Later, we would be told this story for three more of our eight children.)

“Here are some steroid cream samples to try on the bumps on his arms, legs, and buttocks,” the dermatologist said of the same son.

“This prescription-strength antacid will take care of your severe stomach pains,” the adult gastroenterologist told him at eighteen.

A Family Affair

Although your story may have a different twist, you probably do have a story. Your pediatrician may have referred your child to a specialist for ear drainage tubes or a tonsillectomy after regular antibiotic treatment didn’t stop the earaches.

Or maybe your child is seeing an allergist. Or a reading specialist for dyslexia. Or a urologist for chronic urinary tract infections. Or a dermatologist for acne or eczema. Or a psychiatrist for ADHD or more difficult behaviors.

Children with problems like these usually aren’t the only ones in the family with health issues. In our family, I’ve been amount the others. After traditional treatments for childhood problems such as earaches and bad skin while growing up, I’ve had an “ornery” tummy. To handle the problem a few years ago, a doctor gave me Miralax (a popular remedy concocted from propylene glycol, a form of mineral oil found in brake fluid and antifreeze!). I also fought off bouts of depression with the typically prescribed anti-depressants.

Maybe in your family, there are teens or adults with painful or irregular menstruation or migraines. Perhaps a grown-up someone suffers from chronic cystitis, mood swings, anxiety, poor memory, or brain fog. It could be the problem is schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, anorexia, or bulimia. Or even Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Most families today have some combination of these stories. The bottom-line cause for these ills is dysbiosis, otherwise known as poor gut health.

From Greeks to GAPS

Enamored with its considerable successes, modern medical practice often fails to give appropriate credit to some foundational wisdom of the ages. About 2400 years ago, the Greek scientist Hippocrates observed, “All diseases begin in the gut.” And certain contemporary-mostly “alternative”-health research affirms the ancient sage’s assertion.

Even if your health problems do not cause specific stomach discomfort, they usually began because of the state of your digestive system. Regardless of (and sometimes because of) how many pills, lotions, and potions-or even healthy supplements-you take, if you do not heal your gut, you cannot be as healthy as you were designed to be. It’s funny (and sad) how today’s allopathic medical community seems ignorant of this simple fact.

The centrality of gut health is the premise behind the highly successful gut-healing protocol of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a physician in England and the author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome and soon-to-be-published Gut and Physiology Syndrome. The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet, as her program is called, has delivered thousands of patients worldwide from all sorts of physical and mental health problems standard medical treatments could not fix.

The GAPS Diet is strongly endorsed by the Weston A. Price Foundation, and as you may know, Beeyoutiful promotes the WAPF nutrient-dense, properly prepared foods explained fully in Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions However, thanks to the increasingly processed, preserved, and polluted diets of even our great-grandparents, our digestive systems and those of our children may not be able to tolerate all the WAPF-recommended foods until serious attention is given to improving gut function. The GAPS Diet provides a step-by-step path to better digestion-and therefore-better health-by improving tolerance of a wider range of healthy foods.NourishingTrad_1

To understand the importance of the GAPS Diet, it is crucial to grasp exactly how health problems develop in families. It is not genetics in the way we’ve been influenced to think of “passing down” problems to our children. There appear to be familial weaknesses for things like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and even autism. But more than “genetic weakness”, it’s likely that similar bad diets and lifestyles are the cause for this heightened possibility.  So don’t resign yourself to thinking you’re doomed to get your dad’s diabetes or your mom’s arthritis!

Health risks to the next generation start when a baby is born to a mother whose intestinal health is compromised by an over growth of bad bacteria. This could be due to her diet, antibiotic use, past use of the birth control pill, or any of an assortment of other unhealthy choices. The unborn baby’s digestive tract is sterile until, just before being born, he gulps form the womb or birth canal. That fluid contains the same good or bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi as the mother’s digestive tract and determines the starting point for the newborn’s gut health.

Dr. McBride writes:

Amongst all the parents of GAPS children I have met, the mother always invariably has signs of chronic gut dysbiosis…The most common health problems (of the mothers) are: digestive disorders, asthma, eczema, hay fever and other allergies, migraines, PMS, arthritis, skin problems, chronic cystitis, and vaginal thrush. These conditions seem to be unrelated, but they are all children of one parent-Gut Dysbiosis.

She notes, too, that fathers contribute to vaginal flora, so dad’s gut health also affects the child’s well being.

Feeding in infancy also contributes to a baby’s present and future health. It is commonly known that “breast is best,” and that formula-fed babies routinely suffer more health problems. However, if the breast delivers milk from a mother with bad gut flora, the baby is getting the same bad bacteria. While the natural antibody protection of breast milk helps the baby hold off manifestations of health problems until weaning, the “polluted milk” is still harmful in the long run (although still preferable to formula). A nursing mom can benefit her baby’s tummy flora by improving her own gut health.

“Insult to injury” happens to many babies within days of being born, when their immature and often unhealthy digestive tracts are inundated with immunizations. Then come solid foods. Most moms start their children on starchy cereal and fruit, favorite foods of the Candida fungi baby most likely got from mom’s body. Next come easy-nibble foods like crackers and cookies, and it’s not long before ear infections and antibiotics start. With that, the Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome spreads to another innocent family member.

The Inside Story

Gut-related problems show themselves in an assortment of ways.

Leaking

When bad bacteria overwhelm good bacteria, there is no protection for the lining of the gut. It degenerates and cannot digest and absorb food properly, leading to mal-absorption, nutritional deficiencies, and food intolerances. Protein molecules from undigested food leak through the gut wall into the bloodstream, causing allergic reactions and aberrant behaviors.

Fiber

In a healthy gut, rich with beneficial flora, dietary fiber helps the body to absorb toxins, activate metabolism, recycle bile and cholesterol, and more. But in an unhealthy gut, fiber can actually be harmful to the digestive system by housing bad bacteria and aggravating inflammation in the gut wall. That’s why the early stages of the GAPS Diet are strictly low in fiber.

Lactose Intolerance

A startling number of people these days claim to be lactose intolerant as they age. Doctors say this is caused by the disappearance of lactase, the enzyme required to digest lactose (milk sugar). Howerever, some people still manage to digest milk perfectly well. Why? Because these folks have the right bacteria in the digestive system to perform the job. So if a person improves digestive health, he or she may again be able to handle dairy products.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Children or adults with gut dysbiosis generally show vitamin deficiencies, especially in the Vitamin B group, the ones essential for mental and emotional stability. This is because another job of a healthy gut is to manufacture vitamins and amino acids. Supplementation is a good crutch, but it is not the best long-term solution, because it does not address the root of the problem.

Anemia

Iron deficiency is another condition which comes with an “off” gut. Pathogenic, iron-loving bacteria take over and prevent the body from absorbing the iron in food. These bacteria actually feed on iron supplements, making the anemia worse, so many people with GAPS are pale and lack energy.

Candida

The most famous bad guy in unhealthy guts is the fungus Candida albicans. Dr. McBride believes many of the symptoms blamed on Candida are a result of gut dysbiosis, because Candida albicans thrive with many other opportunistic, pathogenic microbes. This includes bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and other strains of yeast. All it takes to give Candida and its buddies a leg up is a course or two of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Food Allergies

I listed the problem of gut leakage above but want to explain a bit more, since food allergies and intolerances have become such a problem for many people. When normal gut flora is present, the intestinal wall is strong and impermeable. But if things get out of whack, spiral-shaped, bad bacteria, Candida, and parasites pike roots through this protective wall so partially digested food particles “leak” into the bloodstream. The immune system sees these particles as foreigners and triggers sneezing, extra mucus production, and other allergic-like reactions to get the blood clean again.

This is why food allergies or intolerances can crop up even though they many not have been a problem at an earlier time. Nothing is wrong with the food. It simply doesn’t get digested properly before leaking through the damaged gut wall. On this point, Dr. McBride concludes, “in order to eliminate food allergies, it is not the foods we need to concentrate on, but the gut wall.” She notes that many food intolerances disappear when the gut wall is healed, and that true deadly food allergies are rare.

Hippocrates knew that all health problems begin in the gut. With a proper understanding and treatment of the digestive system problems, it could be that most of our health problems just may end there as well.

[If you can’t wait three months for the “rest of the story” in the next Beeyoutiful catalog, I encourage you to study Dr. McBride’s website www.GAPS.me Next time, I’ll report on why a gluten-free diet may not be sufficient for healing, explain ways to clear up stubborn infections without antibiotic use, and tell a few more stories about the GAPS diet and its healing effects on members of our large family-including a “booster diet” which helped relieve most of our daughter’s problems with autism.]

Nancy Webster is one of Beeyoutiful’s more prolific researchers and writers, a homeschool mother of eight, and a leader of the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She lives with her family on their “partially working” farm in Tennessee.

Pre-Natal Peace of Mind- Fall 2009 Catalog

Pre-Natal Peace of Mind:

And Other Benefits of Folic Acid

By: Nancy Websternancy_small

After massaging countless pairs of names to prepare for the birth of our twins, my husband and I had settled on Grace and Rachel if we were blessed with two girls. Whoever came out first would be Grace. But when Greg held “Twin A,” the name “Rachel” felt more right to him. Within a few days we would realize why “Twin B” would need an extra measure of God’s grace.

After the Friday morning birth, I spent the weekend reveling in the wonder of having delivered the twins that I had prayed for nine months before. My husband spent the weekend secretly studying books and online sources about infant abnormalities. When he first held Twin B, he thought he saw something different about her eyes.

What he saw was Down syndrome. The midwife attending the birth had missed it. Our delivering obstetrician hadn’t noticed and none of the nurses at the hospital detected anything different about Grace. But at the twins’ Monday morning post-natal check-up, our pediatrician confirmed Greg’s suspicion.

Now 13, our twins are a delightful pair, if strikingly different from one another. Rachel rides pony trails and climbs mountains while Grace tours the zoo in a wheelchair, because severely flat feet make her legs and hips ache after much walking. Rachel catches on quickly while simple, often-repeated activities frustrate Grace into blank stares. Rachel’s alto contributes handsomely to classical performances of the local children’s community choir, while Grace can only attend performances.

Of course, Grace would not be Grace if she didn’t have her Down syndrome. Without her, we would miss out on the mysterious, masking-taped presents of a toilet paper tube, a rock, or utensil from the kitchen–accompanied by her standard card, a crayoned picture of a multi-layered cake with candles, signed “GRCE.” And we might take for granted her mastery of reading a new word.

Still, if there was something I could have done to prevent her Down syndrome, I would have done it. There’s no denying life is harder–and maybe burdened with a few more inexpressible disappointments—for Grace.

At the time Grace and Rachel were conceived, I was homeschooling four children, ages two to eight. My oldest daughter needed speech and occupational therapy, which meant hauling the entire crew back and forth to tri-weekly sessions. One son suffered gastrointestinal problems, which entailed specialist visits and many home treatments.

Although by the time I’d learned quite a bit about healthy eating, life was so huge that fish sticks and tater tots made their way onto our table far too often. I knew we should do better with our eating, but Real Life was so overwhelming, it couldn’t happen as I wanted. I didn’t even remember to start taking pre-natal vitamins until four or five months into the twin pregnancy.

The Folic Acid Connectionfolicacid1_1

Researchers have found that nearly 60% of mothers of children with Down syndrome have a genetic mutation that impairs the mother’s ability to metabolize folic acid. “Maternal non-disjunction” occurs before conception and is responsible for 95% of all Down syndrome cases. Mothers of babies with neural tube defects like spina bifada and anencephaly have a similar problem metabolizing folic acid.

Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate, vitamin B9. Found naturally in leafy greens, citrus, liver, tuna, eggs, and legumes, among other foods, folate is necessary for synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins, and for the production and maintenance of all new cells. The body’s requirement for this vitamin increases during periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development. As a result, since 1992, the U. S. Public Health Service recommends that all women who might become pregnant should take a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid supplement per day. Studies suggest that if all women did this, the risk of neural tube defects would be reduced by up to 70%.

Waiting until you’re expecting a baby is not good enough. It takes up to a year to build up reserve of this vitamin, and the lack of folic acid at conception may result in brain and spinal cord damage as the fetus develops. Folic acid supplements taken for at least a year before conceiving is also associated with a 70% reduction in premature births between 20 and 28 weeks and a 50% reduction between 28 and 32 weeks. Another benefit of folic acid is protection against congenital cleft lip (with or without a cleft palate). It is estimated that 1/3 of facial clefts can be avoided with the help of folic acid.

Dads are not off the hook here, either. There’s a connection between folic acid and chromosomal abnormalities in men’s sperm. Men who consume high levels of folate or folic acid tend to have fewer sperm in which a chromosome is lost or gained. Extra or missing chromosomal material causes genetic abnormalities like Down, Turner’s, and Klinefelter’s syndromes. As with moms, future dads should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day for a minimum of three months prior to conception.

You are more at risk of preclampsia, placental abruption, fetal growth restriction, or even fetal death if you take medicines for epilepsy, mood disorders, hypertension, or infections because these medications are folic acid “antagonists.” You may require more than the usual recommendation of folic acid to counteract these bad effects.

Folic Acid- Mixed Reviews

In cancer research, there’s good news and bad about folic acid. On the good side: It counteracts cancer by strengthening chromosomes. Folic acid helps prevent colon cancer in men, and a study at Harvard Medical School found it can reduce women’s colon cancer rates by 75 percent.

However, too much folic acid can be a problem. While maintenance levels seem to offer protection against prostate cancer, too much folic acid may actually increase chances of prostate cancer. In other mixed news, studies show that people who get sufficient folic acid reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps by 40 to 60 percent. On the other hand, one researcher estimates that ingesting too much folic acid may cause an extra 15,000 cases of colorectal cancer each year in the US and Canada.

Folic Acid intertwines with vitamin B12 in many body processes, including synthesis of DNA, red blood cells, and the myelin sheath which insulates nerve cells and helps conduct signals throughout the nervous system. But, again, too much folic acid in the interaction can worsen a vitamin B12 deficiency. This problem is common in older patients and causes dementia and other complications like depression, apathy, withdrawal, and lack of motivation. Taking a combination of the two vitamins protects against this problem.

Vegetarians, whose diets tend to be especially high in folate-rich green vegetables and folic-acid fortified grains, are prone to vitamin B12 deficiencies. Because the body stores a good amount of B12 in the liver, though, there may be a delay of 5 to 10 years between the start of a vegetarian diet and the onset of deficiency symptoms.

Folic acid supplements offer good news to people over 50 through improved mental performance and memory. A study of adults age 50 to 70 who had low levels of folate were given folic acid supplements for three years with the result that memory, reaction speeds, information processing, and overall thinking tested similar to that of people two to five years younger.

In addition, a folate deficiency elevates homocysteine levels which contribute to heart disease and stroke. Folic acid supplementation is beneficial in preventing these cardiovascular problems. But too much folic acid throws these levels off in the other direction.

Allergy sufferers will likewise want to be sure their folic acid intake is good. Patients consuming higher levels had fewer antibodies that trigger immune responses such as allergies and asthma.

Folic Acid– The Sources

Since 1996, the USDA has required cereals and grains to be fortified with folic acid to ensure folks get an adequate amount of this vital nutrient. Although this has show a reduced incidence of babies born with neural tube defects, it’s wise for prospective parents to supplement with folic acid as extra insurance– especially mothers who already have a child or two (or more!) and may be depleted.

So how much should you take? Because folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, it is hard to overdose. The ideal dosage is between 400-800 micrograms per day for all populations. This will be safe for you unless your favorite daily snack is liver, which contains 170-190 micrograms for every three ounces!

Healthy bodies seem only able to process a maximum of 1000 mcg/day. Above this, some people report itchiness and rarely, gastrointestinal discomfort or insomnia. Sometimes doctors prescribe up to 4000 micrograms per day of folic acid supplementation for special cases, like a jump-start in healing certain anemias, or for mothers planning another pregnancy when they’ve borne a child with a neural tube defect. The folks at Beeyoutiful urge medical supervision before consuming mega-doses.

The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends getting the necessary pre-natal nutrition (also good for people of any age!) from properly prepared, nutrient-dense foods. This includes organic liver and other organ meats, seafood, eggs, and the best quality butter, cream and fermented (preferably raw) milk products you can find. Organic meats, vegetables, grains, and legumes should round out the diet, with a special emphasis on leafy green vegetables. (For more about the ideal way to prepare and eat foods, I’ll recommend yet again the excellent book by Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, available from Beeyoutiful.)

Healthy meal preparation too often collides with Real Life making a thoroughly healthy diet difficult to achieve regularly–which is where the importance of using the right supplements come in. For those in their child-bearing years, the elderly, allergy sufferers, heart patients, and people taking medicine for epilepsy and mood disorders, supplemental folic acid intake is essential. You can get it through Beeyoutiful’s SuperMom and SuperDad vitamins as well as Beeyoutiful’s separate Folic Acid tablets which contain an ample 800 mcg. of folic acid, plus 25 mg. of B12. Whatever your stage of life, knowing you’re getting the rewards of proper folic acid intake will add to your peace of mind.supermom_superdad

Nancy Webster is a free-lance writer, homeschool mother of eight, and an avid researcher on health and nutrition. She lives with her family on their partially working farm in Tennessee. Nancy and her husband Greg’s sixth child Grace (smiling atop their old Belgian horse) is a big sister to a brother and sister who do not have Down syndrome or neural tube defects. The Websters believe siblings are the best gift you can give your child with Down syndrome. Nancy has recently started the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation (see Nourishing Traditions in the Beeyoutiful book section for more about the WAP Foundation.)

Red Raspberry Leaf- Winter 07-08 Catalog

By Jenny WestRedRaspberryLeavesWebProPillS

My greatest passion in life is midwifery and experiencing the birth of a child with parents who love children as much as I do. And as a Licensed Midwife, it has been my privilege to advise many women during pregnancy, and to be present at thousands of births. I take it upon myself to care for my clients, before, during and after the birthing, physically, mentally and emotionally. I had one client who was worried about having her fifth baby. After a few prenatal visits, I was puzzled about her concern. I was thinking, “Fifth baby, what could she be worried about?” After some coaxing, she finally admitted that it was the after pains that had her concerned about her birth. Apparently the after pains were so incredibly intense after her fourth baby, that she was not at all concerned about the act of giving birth to number 5, but the after pains. Now that I knew what was troubling her, I suggested that we up her dosage. She was skeptical that this would help, but was willing to give it a try. I advise all of my clients to take Red Raspberry Leaf through pregnancy because it does so many fantastic things.

Red Raspberry Leaf Information: For thousands of years midwives of old and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. This fact is not lost on the current medical community as most of our allopathic medicines have come from herbs. As a midwife and herbalist, I use herbs constantly in my practice. I believe that the female body was designed to give birth, and that with proper nutrition, it can usually do what it knows how to do, without much, if any intervention. I have also found certain herbs to contribute significant amounts of nourishment necessary to our bodies. Red Raspberry leaf is a widely used herbal tonic that is especially beneficial during pregnancy.

Brewed as a tea, in capsule form or as an infusion, Red Raspberry Leaf is one of the safest and most commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant. Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) tones the uterus, is the most easily assimilated form of calcium, improves the quality of labor contractions, improves quality of sleep, decreases feeling of anxiety/nervousness and decreases constipation. Since osteoporosis is caused by a lack of calcium, daily use of Red Raspberry Leaf is highly recommended for all women.

Almost every trace mineral that our bodies use is available in Red Raspberry Leaf. Taking this herb helps facilitate all the functions our bodies do for us on a daily basis. This is why Red Raspberry Leaf  is considered a ‘tonic’ herb; it tones or tonifies and supports the body in general. Because Red Raspberry Leaf has calcium that is so readily available to our bodies; and most of us have a calcium deficiency, most people notice a change in how they feel right away. Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf is easily assimilated by your body. All the necessary trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to easily assimilate the calcium are already right there, occurring naturally in the Red Raspberry Leaf itself. This means no one in a lab had to figure out how to formulate something that might work as well as the real thing!

When to Use Red Raspberry Leaf: Use Red Raspberry Leaf every day! It is almost impossible to over dose on Red Raspberry Leaf. You can drink 1-6 cups of Red Raspberry Leaf leaf tea per day, hot or iced-it’s a very mild tasting tea. Or, you can take one to four capsules per day. Take or drink more in the second half of the day if you tend to have trouble sleeping. Red Raspberry Leaf encourages a deeper, more restful sleep. Now, as for symptoms of taking too much Red Raspberry Leaf, you will experience one or the other… very loose stool or constipation. Either is a sure sign that you have more than reached your body’s threshold for calcium levels. Just back down on your dose by one or two cups of tea or one or two capsules. Your bathroom habits will return to what is familiar to you.

 

Pregnancy and Red Raspberry Leaf: As for pregnant women using Red Raspberry Leaf, there are two schools of thought on the subject with conflicting information ‘floating around’ about the use and safety of this herb. Many clinicians agree that in the 3rd trimester, frequent (3-4 cups per day of tea OR 1 – 2 capsules) use is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles. Red Raspberry Leaf contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium. It also contains an alkaloid called fragrine, which lends tone and strength to the uterus.

Other clinicians agree that drinking one cup of tea per day in the 1st trimester and 2 cups in the 2nd trimester and switching to an infusion (an infusion is just stronger ‘tea’) for the 3rd trimester ensures a strong uterus, is good for you nutritionally and prevents miscarriage. And finally, some clinicians advise no use of Red Raspberry Leaf in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage. Midwives in the U.K. claim an increase in miscarriage rates during that time by those women who have used Red Raspberry Leaf. It has been noted that Red Raspberry Leaf can possibly cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy. Some advise to use it especially if you have a history of miscarriage. None of the above studies were done with an herbalist’s input.

What Red Raspberry Leaf does NOT DO is start labor or promote contractions. It is NOT an emmenagogue (something that promotes a miscarriage) or an oxytocic herb (an herb or chemical that promotes uterine contractions). It does strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles in order to help you feel better throughout your pregnancy (something we all need, right?) It also allows your labor and the muscles involved with birthing to be more relaxed and efficient. Who doesn’t want a shorter, more comfortable birth?

Contact your midwife, herbalist or physician for more information about your personal use of Red Raspberry Leaf . You always have the option of doing enough ‘homework’ yourself to feel good about your decision to use or not use this herb. This advice is good for any decision you might be facing about your pregnancy options or your own health and welfare in general!

 

Tea recipe: To make tea, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of herb and steep for ten minutes. Steeping longer than ten minutes will only make the tea bitter, not stronger. For stronger tea, use more in the tea bag or tea ball. Sweeten with Stevia or honey.

For pregnant women, during the first two trimesters, drink 1-2 cups per day. You can drink up to four cups a day as there is no known overdose of this herb. During the final trimester, drink 2-4 cups per day, especially before going to bed for the night; you’ll sleep much better. If you’re just not a tea drinker, try Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf! One to six capsules per day, based on comfort.


Making your own dry tea:
You can harvest your own Red Raspberry leaves or purchase them dried from your local health food store or organic grocery. To dry harvested leaves quickly, lay them on a cotton sheet in the back of a vehicle on a hot day with the windows closed.

I like to add Nettles, Alfalfa or Spearmint to my dry tea. This combination makes for a very toning tea. Nettles has every trace mineral our bodies need and helps build up red blood cells as well. Alfalfa helps blood to clot well and prevents unnecessary blood loss. Spearmint is soothing to the stomach and adds a bit of flavor to these herbs for a bit more punch to your tea.

Just a note about ‘sun tea’. Feel free to make the above tea as sun tea, but know that boiling water is hotter then sun-warmed water, and will extract more of the botanical properties you are drinking the tea for in the first place. You can always brew your tea with boiling water and serve over ice. Make a quart or two and drink throughout the day. Start with a fresh brew at least every three days, as herbal teas will allow mold to begin to grow after three days, even if stored in the refrigerator. Your best option is to make a daily amount, one to two quarts. Remember, you still need to be drinking plenty of water. Tea does not count as part of your daily water intake even though it has water in it.

Well, my client faithfully took the Red Raspberry Leaf in the higher amounts discussed and her birth experience went so well that I almost missed it! She felt just fine at her 24 hour check up too, but said the next day would be the test to see if it had worked. I told her to call me if she experienced any after pains like she had in the past and scheduled a routine five-day postpartum check up. I never received any phone calls from her and started wondering if she was going to tough it out rather than call. With all of this going through my mind, I rang the door bell on the day of my visit hoping to hear good news, yet fearing I wouldn’t. My face split into a huge grin as my client all but tap danced to the door to let me in! She couldn’t stop telling me how great the last few days had been! It had been nothing like her last postpartum experience. She wanted me to promise that I would tell every pregnant woman of this miracle herb that made all the difference for her. So, this is me keeping my promise and telling all of you this “big secret” to feeling good during and after your births! Red Raspberry Leaf truly is a miracle herb! Enjoy your amazing body every day. Bee well, bee happy!

 

Written by Jenny West, LM, CPM, HBCE, TBMP, CST, CH; a midwife/herbalist who has been in practice for 18 years and delivered over 7000 babies.
Edited by Jean Kuvik.

Beeyoutiful Products Listed in This Article:

How Goot Changed our Lives- Winter 2006-2007 Catalog

by Wanda Hughes

garlic

My strong, hardworking husband came in from toiling in the summer heat. Sweat was pouring down his face. He went straight for the refrigerator, yanked on the handle and pulled out an ice cold canning jar with yellow liquid inside. He smacked his lips and grabbed the lid. Just before he unscrewed the top, he hesitated. “Is this stu? okay to drink?” he asked. “Well,” I replied, “It would be good for you, but I don’t think you’d like it.” In his hand, he held a quart of whey. I quickly got him a tall glass of red raspberry tea and sent him on his way. I guess he didn’t want to repeat the time that I told him to take some sleep tincture and he accidentally got into the herbal rub for muscle aches. Who knew wintergreen rubbing alcohol could taste so bad?

My kitchen wasn’t always a laboratory. We used to eat fast food, chips, ice cream, milk shakes, you name it. Sure, we had allergies, got colds, sleep disturbances, etc. But you can just take a pill for that and move on, right? That was our mindset until we saw close family members start su?ering. When we visited the doctor, the little boxes that you mark for family history of illnesses were starting to ?ll up. More and more, medicines were starting to cause side e?ects that required yet another prescription to deal with those e?ects.

I had always been interested in natural health, but didn’t know quite where to begin. I had tinkered with supplements, but not yet ventured into herbs. I didn’t know where to start. Then goot happened. We had decided not to immunize our youngest children. One had gone through the trauma (well it was more OUR trauma) of surgery. We were ready to ?nd other ways to build up their immune systems. A kind, dear, wonderful man showed us how to make goot – garlic oil ointment.

To be honest, the recipe looked like something you’d smear on your toast. The ingredients were:

3 tablespoons of fine-ly chopped fresh organic garlic cloves,

3 tablespoons of olive oil,

3 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil.

Once the oils were made liquid (by gentle warming) they were blended with a hand wand mixer along with the garlic cloves. Any large pieces of garlic were then strained out of the mixture which was sealed in a small jar and refrigerated. After about 1 hour, you had a paste.

I knew garlic had a lot of healing properties and was a versatile herb, but I was still skeptical when I blended my ?rst batch. The information said that this stu? could be used directly on the skin. It could be used on the feet of infants and children to transfer the garlic oil into their bloodstream to ?ght infections. It could be placed in the nose for sinus congestion, behind the ear for ear infections, on the chest or back for colds or pneumonia.

This stu? was even supposed to help athlete’s foot and jock itch. You could even insert it into other areas if it was needed for yeast, parasites or other maladies. I looked at my little jar. It would only last two weeks before I’d have to make another batch. I smelled my garlicky ?ngers and thought, “Well, if nothing else, MY sinuses are open.”

It wasn’t long before goot was put to the test. Someone stepped into a ?re ant bed.

“Mama! Mama! The ants bit me!” I put the little guy in a chair and took a look at his feet. I could already see the red welts starting to form. If nature were allowed to take its course, he would have white bumps and a very red, swollen foot by the next day. “Well, goot, here’s your chance.” I pulled out the little jar and put the cool salve on each mark. For good measure, I rubbed it over the foot and put socks on my little guy. I noted with interest that he immediately stopped complaining of the pain. I watched him the rest of the day and also noticed that he didn’t scratch at the bites. Before bed, I checked his foot. “Come over here to the light,” I said. I looked closer. There weren’t any welts. There were some red spots that were very slightly raised. “Do these hurt?” I asked. He said no and that they didn’t itch either.

The next day, I pulled the sock back and found only pink dots. They weren’t even raised. The dots themselves were hard to see if you weren’t looking for them. That’s when I was convinced. This herbal stu? really works. If just three ingredients from my kitchen shelf could do that with ant bites, I was going to learn more.

I started collecting recommended books on herbal medicine and nutrition. I learned more than I could implement, but I kept on learning anyway. I wanted to know all I could so that I would be able to discern what was most important and how best to invest our few dollars. I already knew that it was very easy to spend a lot of money on the chance that something might work. I wanted to know what would work and why. One little salve. Three little ingredients. One huge success. Now my husband has to look twice before he gets a drink from the refrigerator. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Garlic, The Natural Plant Antibiotic- Winter 2006-2007 Catalog

by Rebekah Joy Anast

I lived and worked among the Kumboi people in the highlands of Papua New Guinea during 1997-1998. I was the whitest white person they had ever seen. They affectionately named me “mbiny kuloi ai yande,” the albino daughter. I was there to teach literacy and compile a translation of the New Testament in their language, but healthcare inevitably took up some of my time. The main health problems in those mountains were infections of all sorts, from skin boils and abscessed wounds to lung conditions like pneumonia.

Rather than destroy their precariously built immune systems with antibiotics, I planted a huge garlic garden and explored the uses of that smelly herb. The village ladies were enthusiastic. We tried everything from garlic poultices on external infections and internal doses for parasites (we also used pumpkin seeds for that), to garlic water enemas. What a job it was to explain the civilized reasoning behind enemas! I showed the village ladies how to use a clove in the ear for ear infections, warm-garlic chest plasters for lung infections, a few drops of diluted garlic water on an infected umbilical cord and a warm washcloth saturated with diluted garlic water on the baby’s belly. Mothers were taught the benefits of using garlic poultices on general infections, and how the ingesting of garlic by mothers could help prevent any afterbirth infections due to prolapsed uterus, etc. I cannot give garlic all the credit for the success we had; I’m certain that God, as usual, was working miracles.odorlessgarlicweb

The most encouraging thing about the use of garlic in rural conditions is that, when I left that village, I did not take my medical care with me; it remained there in a little aromatic patch in the middle of those thatched huts and has continued to heal a multitude of diseases. Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It is the most powerful herb for the treatment of antibiotic resistant disease. No other herb comes close to the multiple system actions of garlic, its antibiotic activity or its immune-potentiating power. Unlike traditional medications, and many herbs, garlic is directly e?ective against viruses. It has been successfully used to treat all of the following common conditions:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • active bacterial infections
  • gastrointestinal infections
  • sinus infection
  • infections of eye, nose, and ears
  • athlete’s foot and surface skin infections
  • prevention of blood infections such as gangrene
  • amebic dysentery

How to Make a Garlic Poultice.

Break of two or three large cloves and lay them on your counter. Start some water heating on the stove, and then lay out a clean washcloth or double thick paper towels. Smack the garlic cloves with the bottom of a heavy glass to lightly bruise or crush them. Now the papery skin will come o? easily. Take the bruised cloves and dice them up, or smash them in a garlic press so that the juice and the smell billows out to make you hungry for lasagna. Lay the 2-3 tablespoons of minced garlic in the center of your washcloth or paper towels and fold in the edges of the cloth, creating what I call a “poultice” or “plaster.” Lay this garlic pad in a bowl or plate and pour the warm/hot (but not boiling) water over it. (If your water is too hot, it may kill some of the powerful healing properties in the garlic. You should be able to keep your fingers in the water without scalding yourself.) Let it sit for 5 seconds or so, and then fish it out and squeeze the excess water out with your hands. Place the warm (not hot!) poultice on the chest, the back, and the soles of the feet (alternately) for about 60 seconds each for viruses, colds, flu, infections, etc. Garlic poultices can also be used for earache – holding the poultice against the infected ear. For flesh wound infections – hold against the wound lightly. Eye infections – hold over closed eye.

Products Mentioned in This Article:

Odorless Garlic

Amazing Aloe Vera – Summer 2007 Catalog

by S. Lee

 

Christopher Columbus called it “the doctor in the pot” and attempted to have aloe vera plants on all his ships. The Mayans considered it a magic plant. For centuries it has been used in many countries, including the United States, to treat both internal and external ailments. The American Indians included it among their sixteen sacred plants, cooking the leaves over hot coals and eating them. They also used the pulp to stop bleeding and heal wounds. The fermented gel was used to calm stomach pain, to clean the kidneys and bladder, to dissolve stones, stop coughs and ease pneumonia, and the Egyptians used aloe vera gel on their faces as a beauty treatment.

For years I have known aloe vera was beneficial and usually had an aloe plant in my home. I would cut off a piece of one of the leaves, cut the piece open and rub it on cuts, burns and insect bites. I knew it would promote healing and prevent scars, and I knew it would relieve the itch or pain of insect bites. But now that I have researched aloe vera, I am in awe of it!aloe vera

The aloe vera plant is a member of the Lily family, but looks somewhat like a cactus. This succulent is usually 80 to 100 cm tall with thick fleshy leaves that are long and narrow. Aloe Vera makes a good houseplant and requires very little care. It is from the mid and lower portion of the leaves that the gel is harvested. When the leaf is cut open it will ooze a clear gel-like liquid within a few minutes. Simply rub the opened leaf on the infected area of the skin for most external uses. Refrigerate leaves after cutting them open if you plan to use them again. If you don’t happen to have an aloe plant handy, the next best thing is to use pure aloe vera gel, such as that in Beeyoutiful’s Aloe Vera Gelcaps. Simply puncture the gelcap and squeeze out the gel.

Aloe vera is so amazing there is an abundance of research showing the antibacterial, antifungal and antibiotic properties of it, as well as how it acts to reduce in?ammation and heal and regenerate cells. In cancer patients, taking aloe vera internally helps by activating the white blood cells and promoting the growth of non-cancerous cells. The National Cancer Institute has ordered increased testing on aloe vera. An injectable form of acemannan, one of the components from aloe vera, has been approved in the United States for treatment of cancer in dogs and cats.

An astonishing array of components found in aloe vera are bene?cial to the human body, including polysaccharides, proteins, enzymes, biological stimulators, more than forty vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C and E, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and six of the B vitamins, to name a few. Aloe vera also contains seven of the eight “essential” (since our bodies cannot manufacture them) amino acids, eleven of the sixteen remaining “secondary” amino acids contained in the human body and most (if not all) of the eight essential sugars (which are necessary for healthy cells). Plus, there are numerous bactericides, fungicides, germicides and painkilling agents in aloe vera. Study continues on this amazing plant with new components still being isolated and identi?ed.

In 1985 Dr. Bill McAnalley isolated a polysaccharide taken from the aloe vera which he named Carrisyn. Numerous clinical tests on patients with AIDS show that Carrisyn can stop the progression of the virus and showed no secondary side e?ects. Canadian researchers discovered an active molecule possessing remarkable antiviral properties which they named Acemannon. A Japanese doctor has shown that the bradykinase enzyme is responsible for the remarkable anti-pain, calming and healing action of aloe vera.

In 1996 a research study showed that taking aloe vera internally reduced blood sugar levels in diabetics by as much as 48%. Recently an active molecule in aloe has been discovered which gives a very astounding result in the treatment of burns and atomic radiation. Another recent finding is that aloe vera stimulates the production of collagen, which in turn promotes and restores skin cells.

Other clinical research shows its e?ectiveness, when taken internally, in treating and relieving sciatica, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, ulcers, liver and kidney problems, TB, prostate problems, sores in the mouth, urinary infections, yeast infections, digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis, any internal in?ammation, constipation, asthma, cleaning out the colon and more. It is even being used to preserve fresh produce!

A few years ago, someone suggested that my son should drink aloe vera juice to relieve in?ammation in his digestive system. He didn’t like the taste of that juice and would not drink it. But, he would take the gel capsules and he felt much better. Now that I have learned all that aloe vera can do, I am taking the recommended amount of capsules every day and my digestion is greatly improved. I know it is also doing other really good things for my body and my general health.

Studies have shown that applying aloe vera gel to the skin aids healing from minor cuts and abrasions not only by acting as an invisible bandage, but by killing germs and stimulating the growth of healthy cells while soothing and eliminating pain. On insect bites and rashes it reduces or eliminates itching and pain. It helps clear acne because of its antibacterial and cell regenerating properties. It can even be used e?ectively on eye infections such as conjunctivitis and sties, sunburns and other minor burns, blisters, herpes, boils, athlete’s foot, vaginal infections, shingles, frostbite, warts, rosacea, cracked dry skin, wrinkles and as a scalp and hair treatment.

I recently treated a vaginal infection with aloe vera gel (after going to the doctor and getting no help), and it cleared right up. Most of the itching, swelling, pain and redness were gone within twenty-four hours. Having just researched aloe vera, I am con?dent that it killed whatever bacteria or fungus was there.

To treat minor cuts or burns, including sunburns, apply aloe vera gel frequently during the ?rst twenty-four hours. Do the same for poison ivy. The aloe vera will prevent infection and reduce or eliminate scarring. For athlete’s foot, apply aloe vera gel at least four times a day.

hairshineweb

For scalp and hair treatment to prevent hair loss, add aloe vera gel to your favorite shampoo and shake it up well. The most effective combination is 70% aloe vera. This helps control dandruff and gives a shine to the hair. Beeyoutiful’s Hair Shine contains aloe vera and not only gives your hair a healthy shine, but also rebuilds damaged hair and makes hair more manageable. Just spray it on.

To make an after-bath lotion, add aloe vera gel to 4-5 drops of glycerin or lemon juice and apply over the body for a refreshing feeling. Add aloe vera gel to your bath to relax muscles or add it to a cream base for a body massage that will ease pain from arthritis, rheumatism, sore muscles, or injury. Add aloe vera to face creams to help heal and condition skin. Many major sports teams in the United States use aloe vera massage creams on their players because of their astonishingly fast relief of soreness and pain.

Many topical products contain aloe because of all its amazing properties, but one must carefully look at the list of ingredients. Aloe is very e?ective at transporting through the skin and will also transport other things with it, including the dyes and other questionable things contained in many skin products.

One of the great things about aloe is that it increases the bioavailability of other foods and vitamins taken with it. For internal use there are basically three forms of aloe-gel, powder and juice. Obviously fresh gel is the best, but it is not always the most convenient. Prepackaged 100% gel is available but, again, is not always convenient, and you have to take quite a bit for an e?ective dosage. Some people like to drink aloe vera juice. Juice does not contain all of the components of gel, or even all that is in the freeze-dried whole leaf powder, so be sure that the juice you buy is at least 95% aloe vera or else it may not be very e?ective at all. Gelcaps are the easiest and preferred form of ingesting aloe vera and provide the most accurate concentrations. They are almost always made by freeze drying gel or whole leaves, concentrating the powder and then reconstituting it in a thick gel and packaging it in a gelcap.SuperKidsOrangeWebProBottle_1

The Aloe Vera 5000 mg Capsules carried by Beeyoutiful are the recommended strength for optimum effectiveness with daily use. For children, Beeyoutiful has a new multivitamin containing aloe vera called Super Kids. With all the benefits of aloe vera, it is no wonder that it has been called the miracle plant and the universal panacea!

Beeyoutiful’s Products Mentioned in this Article:

–          Aloe Vera Gelcaps

–          Hair Shine Spray-in Conditioner

–          SuperKids