The microbe is nothing, the matrix is everything...
My recent experience over the past few years has brought me into contact with many folks dealing with ongoing microbial infections, in particular Lyme. Lyme disease seems to have been burgeoning in recent years. But, it has been with us for a long time as an undetected and often misdiagnosed illness. A number of medical professional are now understanding this is a real illness and although it seems to elude treatment, it is indeed treatable. Many folks have gone undiagnosed for many years and can really end up in a serious spot with a symphony of symptoms that seem to define understanding.
It is important to note that of all the population that may carry Lyme bacteria and other co-infections, only approximately 30% -35% of the population become symptomatic. Why is this, is the question? In my experience almost everyone who becomes symptomatic have experienced undue levels of stress, burned the candle at both ends for too long, possible addiction issues with drugs or alcohol, aging, junk food, not enough sleep, etc.. All these things lower the immune response making one susceptible to infections.
All pathogenic microbes and viruses are parasitic in nature.....
Meaning they are more able to get a foothold in a body that is suffering from enervation/adrenal fatigue, is toxic, overweight, undernourished. This ties into the basic tenant of naturopathic medicine of yester years in which the understanding of the day, believed the microbe is nothing, the matrix that allows the microbe to proliferate is everything! In our modern world we are indeed challenged to maintain a healthy microbiome and strong immunity that can fend off microbial invasions. Overuse of antibiotics and general genetic decline attributable to poor nutrition and tissue clogging fast and convenience foods are a sure fire recipe to find oneself in trouble. The blog post, State of Health and Wellness in America goes into depth about this phenomenon.
Many folks with Lyme and the myriad of other bacterial or fungal infections may have been suffering for many years before they finally receive a valid diagnosis. They have gone untreated or mistreated from the wrong thing, sunken into a morass of symptoms and residual side effects from prescription medication. Like a tangled chain it seems impossible to sort it all out.
Intensive heroic allopathic measures are often the treatment option that is best suited when someone has first contracted Lyme, however most people are not aware of the initial onset event. Antibiotic and antifungal treatments eventually imbalance the body's natural ecology pushing the patient into deeper symptoms. Beyond these heroic measure one must learn to support improved immunity to ultimately vanquish these invisible foes. Bacterial infections can be eradicated, but in the case of Lyme and it's coinfections success is often found in finding an equilibrium that allows one to live as symptom free as possible.
Botanical offer powerful healing support from bacterial and viral infections
The botanicals below are useful for many types of infections. I have used a number of them over the past forty years in which I have been able to stay antibiotic free by treating infection with sound natural therapies and fasting. Nature provides us abundantly with sources of healing potential. The list below includes link to research documentation for a deeper level of confidence!
The gallery below offers links to purchase the botanical above. Click on the image, the link will activate.
These botanicals are potent medicine and are best used under the direction of a ND, Wellness Practitioner or experienced Herbalist. Acute infections require immediate stronger dosages. For those with chronic infections it's advisable to start with a low dose and build up to the maximum dose over a period of a week to 10 days. If no adverse reactions occur move onto the next option.
It is important to note that you may begin to experience herxing or die-off reactions as these herbs begin to affect the bacterial growth. To prevent excessive herxing, back down dosage, if symptoms lighten or abate, it was die-off and not an adverse reaction.You may need to consult with your ND, MD or Wellness Consultant to determine if you are having a reaction or die-off symptoms.
To learn more about how these herbs may benefit you with your health challenges connect with Certified Wellness Consultant and Educator Vanessa Goldeen, see the booking link below and schedule your Free 15 Minute Phone Consult today!
Also learn more about Adaptogens. Powerful herbs and fungi sources that help modulate immunity, endocrine balance and reduce inflammation.
WARNING: If you are under the care of a medical provider, it is crucial that you review any recommendations with them before integrating them into you lifestyle. Recommendations on this blog are not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions.
Transformation of Eli - LOVE in Action, Vanessa Goldeen 2015
Upon reflection of the why I am setting about to do the work I am doing in this field of health and healing where there appears to be so many voices one could listen to....what do I have to say that's different, new or supremely useful?
Meditating on these questions has given me the opportunity to clarify my purpose. Which I can sum up in one word.....
It is my belief that I have arrived at a certain wisdom founded in love that is useful to others. It is my heart felt intention to share this wisdom whether esoteric or practical in application to help meet the needs who are trying to find their way through the maze of chronic illness.
I myself have experienced being down the rabbit hole of chronic illness in my life. Through the circumstances of my life I have been led, in part by necessity to choose to find my own way out of that hole. I was young, on my own and did not insurance for health care, which meant seeing doctors was out. Additionally I had had so many negative experiences with MD's who simply were not listening to me or could not admit they had no answers, so I just stop going in that direction.
Being a little Hippy Girl, I was already turned onto whole foods and detoxing. This gave me a foundation to expand my knowledge beyond support through food, to herbs and other healing modalities. I avidly studied Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Louise Hay, the famous 12 Steps and more. I explored health and wellness through every avenue I could find!
I began early on to understand that folks who become ill usually have a crisis of sorts proceeding their decline. It may have been dramatic or subtle. A broken heart, a stressful work of home situation. Happiness falling into your lap as it did in my case.
I suffered a major set back within weeks of marrying my husband and love of my life, David. With all the layers of heartache and trauma I had experienced in my life previous to this, my body literally could not contain the joy! Mold found me and took me down. For the second time in my life I was back in the rabbit hole after having gotten myself out once before. Initially it took awhile to narrow down what was happening, but through prayer and perseverance it became clear I was reacting to high levels of mold on the Central Coast of CA. I'll post that story later in an upcoming Mold Recovery Post!
Over the past 20 years I have been able to pull together all my research, wisdom and experience into what I believe are key foundational requirements for anyone with chronic illness to move toward recovery. These components take into account the "whole person" and reach into every corner of your heart to help you find the courage to ask for and find the help you need.
It is my sincerest desire to share this wisdom with others, because I have learned that LOVE never fails! When you are willing to make changes, stick to protocols, learn the think in a new way in your heart and have faith to believe that what has gone awry can be reversed and that health and happiness can be restored, that's LOVE and Faith in action!
The concept of adaptogens was originally created in 1947 to describe a substance that may increase resistance to stress. Adaptogenesis was later applied in the former Soviet Union to describe remedies thought to increase the resistance of organisms to biological stress. Another definition for an herb to be considered an adaptogen requires that it must be nontoxic, nonspecific, and thought to affect physiology of the organism. Wikipedia - Support Wikipedia
There has been debate among the scientific and medical community for many years over the proof that these herbs and super foods have any true benefit. The problem of proof arises when we fail to understand that the forms of medicine from which the knowledge to these herbs are based on observational study over 1,000's of years! In Asia, the Middle East, South America and Europe plant based medicine has been refined and adapted for generations and generations.
We forget that previous to the "scientific age" all knowledge was past down orally or in written form from one healer to another. It is through this long chain of experience that we have come to know about the power of these plants. So, I am not going to offer proof per se, however at the bottom of this post you will find some research links because we are now entering a new age of reason and commonsense. Researches are, more than ever interested in unlocking the ancient knowledge and wisdom of letting food, ie plants, be thy medicine!
Below you will find the tried and true adaptogens for immunity and stress. For questions about how you can personally integrate these plant based therapies into your regime you may want to seek advice and guidance form a Wellness Consultant, ND, Herbalist or Chinese Medical Doctor or Acupuncturist.
Adaptogens take time to create change, they are meant to be used as a tonic on a daily basis over a period of time. It is also advisable to take breaks, allowing the body to integrate. This break taking will be a new post in the near future. Many people who have been chronically ill are feed up with protocols for good reason. Taking breaks is VERY IMPORTANT!
Immunity Boosting Adaptogens
Cordyceps - Cordyceps sinensis
This is the funniest looking fungi. Cordyceps is a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects. When these fungi attack their host, they replace its tissue and sprout long, slender stems that grow outside the host’s body.
Cordyceps increase the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), essential for delivering energy to the muscles improving the way your body uses oxygen,
Cordyceps and the following fungi, Reishi are often paired together in capsule form.
See below for sources for these adaptogens.
Reishi - Ganoderma lucidum
One of the most important effects of the reishi mushroom is that it boosts immunity
This fungus has potential cancer-fighting properties. Helps with fatigue and depression by improving overall cellular function at the mitochondrial level, the power plant of your cells.
It's also good for the brain and is currently being researched as a possible aid for those suffering from neurological disorders.
In addition to all that goodness, it support regeneration of the liver improving the ability to capture and release toxic byproducts from the blood.
Eleuthero - Eleutherococcus senticosus
The main active agents in Panax ginseng are ginsenosides, which are triterpene saponins. Beneficial effects include anti-inflammation, antioxidant. As well as inhibiting cancer growth. Clinical studies indicate that ginseng improves psychologic function, improving depression symptoms and elevating mood. Additionally ginseng helps regulate blood sugar, beneficial to those who may be borderline diabetic.
It is generally well tolerated, but there can be contraindication to take in consideration. In particular it may interact with warfarin, oral hypoglycemic meds, insulin and phenelzine.
It is advisable to consult with you health care practitioner and your medical doctor before adding this to you protocol. Maximum time to use 3 -4 month, then take a break and return to it if needed.
Adaptogens for Stress & Mood
Holy Basil - Ocimum tenuiflorum
Is an aromatic perennial plant native to the Indian subcontinent. It is a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics.
Holy Basil maintains equilibrium among biochemicals associated with the stress system in the body. Ursolic, Rosmarinic acids and Eugenol have all shown antioxidant activity and support normal levels of inflammation.
Highly revered in Ayurvedic Medicine, Holy Basil is the calm the F%@& - down herb! Taken as a tonic herb it supports the nervous system by reducing ennevation.. overstressed nerves! Jangled and overwhelmed feelings indicate the use of Holy Basil.
Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera
Studies have shown that ashwagandha helps modulate the stress response of cortisol secretion. Cortisol is a "stress hormone" secreted by the adrenal glands in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low. With prolonged stress cortisol levels become chronically elevated, leading to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen.
Studies of chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared to a control group. Those taking the highest dose had a 30% reduction, on average.
Ashwagandha is best taken as a tonic over a longer period of time to produce the most benefit.
Rhodiola - Rhodiola rosea
90 Rhodiola species exist world wide (55 of which are found in China, and 30 of which can be found in Tibet) all of which resemble sedum (Sedum sp.), the popular garden ornamental, and are members of the Crassulaceae family. Both of these genera are often referred to as 'stonecrops' due to their ability to survive in dry rocky areas.
In Chinese medicine plants medicinal qualities are often linked to their survival habits. This wonderful herb can survive almost anywhere. It is tenacious and can out last any stress. What it is able to do in nature, it will do for you.
Together these three herbs have been the best source of support for me in times of unrelenting stress!
Daily Stress Balance - Herb Pharm. Supplies all three stress adaptogens in one formula, along with ginseng. Dosages are moderate making it useable for a good long time to get the benefits. Use as directed
Andrena Soothe - Herb Pharm is another good option, combining reishi and ashwagandha. Use as directed
CordyChi - Host Defense. A simply blend of just these two potent healers cordyceps and reishi. Start with one cap two to three times per day.
NCBI & National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health
FDA Warning: This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition
You may be asking yourself what is this all about?
The pineal gland is a central player in the endocrine system. When the endocrine system is humming along and all playing well with each other, we experience optimum health. We have vitality and energy, we are able to sleep soundly and get good sleep consistently.
This pea sized gland is responsible for the production of serotonin a neurotransmitter essential to maintain a sense of wellbeing and joyfulness. It is an antagonist to adrenaline. In our modern life we have become overstimulated and produce high amounts of adrenaline which is at the root of many of our health problems. Insomnia, stress related conditions such as heart palpitations, panic disorders, rashes, learning disorders, depression and much more.
The effects of too much adrenaline.
It is the syndrome effect of too much adrenaline that sets folks on a downhill slide into deeper health issues. Lack of sleep alone is enough to breakdown one's health and wellbeing. It is during the sleep cycles that our bodies repair and restore. We also work out our emotional and psychological struggles during the deeper dream states of sleep.
The pineal gland's important serotonin production during waking hours converts to melatonin as night falls. Melatonin is the lullaby that winds us down for sleeping. Without adequate serotonin, sleep will be disturbed and irregular. Over time we become walking zombies! Lacking the uplift of serotonin we do not have the energy or inclination to exercise, get out into nature, take in the sun or prepare ourselves healthy nourishing meals.
So, we see the pineal gland is key to health.
The pineal gland is naturally stimulated with light. It is also stimulated when we find the meditative state. This does not necessarily mean meditation in sitting for hours trying to be still and allowing our thoughts to subside, although this is an excellent practice. There are many forms of meditation to be found within our daily activities, painting, even a fence, drawing, riding a bike, going for a walk or run, just sitting and enjoying the day go by in the fresh air and sunshine is meditative. This recent scientific abstract from MDPI and independant peer reviewed journal of chemistry offers insight into the effects of pineal calcification and the reversal of this process.
"Pineal Calcification, Melatonin Production, Aging, Associated Health Consequences & Rejuvenation of the Pineal Gland"
Chi Nei Tsang a healing modality of applied Chi Kung, focuses on improving endocrine function. As a regular part of my practice as a Chi Nei Tsang therapist my #1 homework assignment for clients is to begin a regular practice of sun gazing which stimulates the pineal gland to increase serotonin. When we look up to the sun with eyes closed, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominate as the pupils contract. The optic nerve carries the light stimulation directly to the pineal gland and stimulates the production of the much needed serotonin.
However, not all clients are compliant! This has lead me to look for ways to jump start the activation of the pineal gland. In the process I have learned that when this small gland is not properly stimulated calcification can result. This calcification rendures the pineal gland ineffective and leads to chronic states of ill health. Recent research indicates the pineal gland can be restored through the use of light therapies and brain entrainment modalities.
This abstract, "Illumination Rationale and Uses for Light Therapy", from Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine offers further insights.
The truth is therapeutic devices have their limitations, ultimately health is restored and maintained through consistent daily habits that promote vitality and the joy of living!
It is important to understand that nothing beats the real thing SUN GAZING, which improves health in so many ways. It is the most powerful way to improve sleep, mood and restore health. Sun gazing, with eyes closed causes the pupils to contract to their smallest aperture. This contraction signals the nervous system to drop out of sympathetic response into the parasympathetic state...this is the calm and relaxed state. Additionally the light that enters through the eye lids travels through the optic nerve and gently stimulates the pineal gland indusing it to begin producing serotonin. At night when the evening begins to fall, your body then turns the serotonin magically into melatonin... the "make you sleepy" neurotransmitter.
Additionally moderate daily exposure to the sun for as little as 20 minutes will stimulate the skin to produce Vitamin D, which most people shower off daily...that's a whole other blog. The bottom line, get out in the fresh air, develop a practice of regular sun gazing ...you'll be amazed at the transformation...common sense health care!
Within our practice Bridge to Health, a Commonsense approach to Wellness, we offer,
Detox, Purify, Support, Heart & Unwind these modalities have proven to work synchronistically to support clients who are truly seeking a restoration or improvement of their health!
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