Without doubt, your diet goes a long way to dictating the health of your liver. If you eat a lot of high fat, high sugar, processed foods, drink alcohol regularly, or consume caffeine daily – over time your liver can become stressed, fatigued and over-burdened.
The most common signs of an overworked liver include:
- Indigestion following a meal (especially if the meal is high in fat)
- Poor skin (due to toxic overload)
- Digestive discomfort (including nausea, flatulence and foul odours from poorly digested food matter fermenting in your digestive tract)
- Bad breath (which is also a sign you are not digesting your food properly
- long lasting hangovers, experienced from over-indulging (be it in alcohol, sugar laden foods or fatty foods)
Interestingly, the liver is the only organ in the body that regenerates itself, meaning if you have a portion of your liver that has been damaged by an unhealthy lifestyle your body can heal and regrow healthy tissue to replace the damaged portions. By giving your liver a break (especially following particularly indulgent times like Christmas and New Year’s), and excluding toxic nutrients (such as sugar and alcohol), you re-charge the organ, allowing it to restore itself to good …
Concerned that your hair is falling out, getting thinner, or losing condition? Or perhaps you’re just fed up with having hair that’s dry, dull, brittle or prone to split ends? We know that what you see when you look in the mirror each day has a big impact on your self-esteem and how comfortable you feel interacting with others socially, at work, home and school.
The traditional Chinese understanding of hair health
In Chinese medicine, the growth and development of the hair depends on the health of the Kidney and Liver organ-meridian systems, with Kidney Essence (Jing) influencing the growth of the hair, and Liver Blood providing nourishment to the scalp and hair follicles.
Deficiency of either Jing or Liver Blood may have detrimental effects on the hair, leading to issues such as dryness, brittleness, premature greying, and hair loss including male and female pattern baldness (sometimes called androgenic alopecia) and alopecia (including spot or patchy baldness).
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, a synergistic combination of specific herbs can promote hair growth by revitalising nourishment to the scalp and hair follicles, and may aid in the management of:
- Hair loss and general thinning of the hair, including receding
Making a commitment to maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.
Being a healthy weight has important benefits, not only on how you feel, but also for lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, sleeping problems, joint pain and a range of other conditions.
When our weight changes it generally comes down to two factors – how much we eat and drink (energy in), and how active we are (energy out). It’s all about achieving a balance: If we don’t use up all the energy we consume, the excess will be stored as body fat, and over time our body weight will increase.
‘Apple-shaped’ bodies carry more weight around their middle and are a greater health risk than ‘pear-shaped’ bodies where weight is carried more around the hips and thighs. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, women are more likely to develop more fat around the abdomen.
We know that people come in all shapes and sizes so what might be a healthy weight for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for another. At Healthy Life we believe that an individual approach is better for the long term.
So if …
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) grows as perennial native herb throughout the northern hemisphere and as a weed in other temperate zones. It has a long history of both medicinal and culinary use. In western herbal medicine, Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic and the root as a liver tonic. Dandelion leaves are added to salads, providing a good source of minerals and the roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.
Its name originates from the French ‘dent de lion’ (teeth of the lion), referring to the jagged edges of the dandelion leaf. This plant has its roots firmly planted in the historical use of herbs as medicines. The first mention of the Dandelion as a medicine is in the works of the Arabian physicians of the tenth and eleventh centuries.
The benefits of dandelion tea have been known for centuries and the combination of dandelion and burdock in mead, a drink made during the Middle Ages in Britain, has seen the drink evolve to various forms in cordial, wine, a carbonated soda, and even beer. Dandelion leaves are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing beta-carotene, vitamin C, D, B complex, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, calcium, copper and particularly potassium. …
Can you believe that winter is just around the corner? So when do we start to build immunity against coughs and colds? The answer to this of course is that we should always be mindful to have a strong immune system but with such busy lifestyles, we sometimes let our health take a back seat. Supplements are therefore essential to maintain winter wellness for lasting health – but how do we know which supplements are best?
Five ways to be a health hero is to know the facts with the right information to make the right choices. Our list shows why these supplements will assist to protect you before the winter blues set in.
Or purple coneflower, originally a native indigenous American medicinal herb, has now been adopted by Western Herbal medicine due to its health benefits. It may support healthy immune function, and may help to lessen the duration and severity of the symptoms of colds and other mild upper respiratory tract infections. It was recorded in a traditional American herbal text published in 1905, King’s Dispensatory, as being useful for conditions ranging from snakebite to scarlet fever! This of course is not supported by modern scientific research, …
IMMUNE BOOSTING TEAS
ECHINACEA – A pleasant floral tea with a little tingle sensation. Echinacea is well known herb commonly used in Western herbal medicine as an immune tonic and to provide relief from the common cold.
OLIVE LEAF – Olive products have been used widely as folk medicine in many European countries. Olive leaf tea is also used as a general tonic to improve wellbeing.
ROSEHIP – fruity, high in Vitamin C to help boost your immune system.
GINGER – A warming spicy tea which can soothe digestive upsets. It has been traditionally used for indigestion, nausea and stimulates circulation.
STRESS AND ANXIETY TEAS
LICORICE – Sweet, smooth and comforting licorice tea. Licorice is widely used in herbal medicinetoday for digestive complaints, to soothe sore throats and coughs as well as provide adrenal support.
TULSI – used for thousands of years in India to treat stress and anxiety.
Fruity teas are light and uplifting, high in vitamins and often cleansing. Always read the ingredients on the pack to ensure your fruit tea is not artificially flavoured or sweetened. Fruity teas include hibiscus, blackcurrant, orange and lemon.
Green and white teas which are high in antioxidants are often …
A busy lifestyle is often the excuse used to avoid taking care of yourself. Being busy though needs energy to enjoy what you do. Plan to change one habit at a time with these simple steps so that you can work, rest and play with increased energy.
One of the most common reasons people feel fatigued is dehydration. Drinking more water can boost energy levels and mood. Aim to drink 1 litre per 25 kg of body weight per day.
TRY: Infuse water with cucumber, lemon and mint for a refreshing summery drink.
Swap processed foods for whole grains, seeds & fresh vegetables. These take longer for your body to break down so you feel fuller for longer.
TRY: Next time you feel that mid-afternoon slump, grab a handful of almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds instead.
Feeling tense? Take deep breaths into your belly, moving your diaphragm to instantly switch off your ‘fight or flight’ response. You’ll feel calmer, giving you a fresh burst of energy for the rest of the day.
That’s right, laugh out loud! Studies show laughter can reduce stress and anxiety and instantly increase energy levels.
TRY: Check out …
Did you know… the foods we eat can influence the central nervous system (neurotransmitter) pathways in our bodies which ultimately affect the way we think and feel? Studies have found that natural substances in food have the ability to send messages to the brain to enhance mood, reduce stress, and anxiety, as well as improving memory and concentration.
One of these main substances is tryptophan, an amino acid, which naturally occurs in many protein containing foods. Tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin which is a ‘happy hormone’.
When you combine this with carbohydrates, it improve the passage of serotonin to the brain thus giving credence to the adage that ‘we are what we eat’ as it helps to balance our moods and stress levels.
Foods highest in tryptophan
Turkey, banana, baked beans, chicken and beef, lentils, tofu, soy milk, and dairy products.
Foods with complex carbohydrates
Oats, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and wholegrain breads
Try these mood boosting meal ideas
• Substitute processed cereal for rolled oats + soy/cows milk + 1/2 banana
• Baked beans on wholegrain toast
• Smoothie with soy milk, banana, organic yoghurt, strawberries, buckwheat
LUNCH & DINNER
• Turkey, chicken, tofu, or …
How you feel during your waking hours hinges greatly on how well you sleep. Similarly, the cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine.
Your sleep schedule, bedtime habits, and day-to-day lifestyle choices can make an enormous difference to the quality of your nightly rest. The following recommendations will help you optimise your sleep so you can start your day on the right foot every day.
Essential oils such as ylang-ylang, lavender and orange are shown to help calm and give you the ‘oohh-ah’ feeling. The scents stimulate the limbic system which releases chemicals into the brain and promote a feeling of relaxation and calmness. Apply it to your oil diffuser or add a few drops into a hot bath with magnesium flakes for an over all body and mind session.
TRY: Lively Living Aroma Bloom Diffuser
Don’t go to bed either hungry or stuffed, your discomfort might keep you up. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. Even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night. …
Minor bumps, bruises and cuts, as well as coughs and colds, can be safely treated using natural products that are easy to find at your local Healthy Life store.
Aloe Vera gel
Look for pure aloe vera gel to sooth, cool and reduce redness. Apply to minor burns, sunburn or itchy skin.
Arnica tablets and Arnica cream
Arnica helps reduce bruising and swelling. It can be taken both internally as a homeopathic medicine and externally as a cream on unbroken skin.
Calendula has antiseptic and wound healing properties. Apply to cuts and to soothe itches and rashes.
Echinacea liquid or tablets
Echinacea is great for boosting the immune system and fighting infection, so is ideal for colds, flu and minor infections.
For antibacterial activity, choose UMF-rated Manuka honey. A teaspoon can soothe a sore throat or a tickly cough. To speed up healing, apply to minor wounds and cover with a dressing.
Rescue Remedy or Emergency Essence drops
Use these calming drops under the tongue in times of shock, trauma, stress or anxiety.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic and antifungal treatment. Use slightly diluted to clean cuts and abrasions, or dab …